Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Day.

What A DAY. Ok, the last few days have been crazy. Evan is in one of his 'spirited' 2 1/2 year old moods. Challenging me every chance he gets by changing his mind - yes, no, yes, no. The TOT vs. MOM power struggle. Even with choices, he switches between the choices I offer like I switch between sipping coffee and taking a bite of my toast. It is ridiculous and frustrating. Yes, yes. Just a 'phase' but this is definitely something that Megan did not do and even for her - hearing it all the time is draining. She asks me, "Are you sure he won't take a nap mom?" LOL poor girl. So, we have an interesting household dynamic the past few days as Evan's mood has peeked like never before. Consistency they say. *high five team MOM* I can do this (shaking in the knees) I hope...

On a different non-crazy note, I have the best beaders ever. Seriously, I just can't believe how lucky I am to work with such amazing ladies. Jennifer, Jody, and our recent addition Mary are just amazing people. Motivating. Willing. Get 'er Done Gals. I know that I would had crashed and burned this week if it wasn't for their help with keeping stock up and making all the FB Exclusives we offered. Props to Jody for her amazing work on those, Jennifer for keeping up with the Simply Snazzy demand, and Mary who taking any task I throw at her so willingly.

Mommy Necklaces is just making me burst at the seams. I have so many ideas and visions, I find myself sleepless at night from all the relentless passion surging inside me. I think our first month of 2010 was beyond amazing - followed by amazing fans, an amazing staff, and my amazing husband who continues to support me through every obstacle. I want to keep asking, "How can we make this month better than the last?" And for a company like ours (and I mean ours, as in a piece of it is YOURS too), it isn't a question of money, it is a question of being mommy-ccessful. How do we amaze you? How do we make you feel good? How do we engage baby so you can feed a little easier? How do we make you feel like by wearing a Mommy Necklace you are part of a HUGE team of moms who all want the same thing - style. function. safety. Our success is measured in a bigger way - beyond money and numbers. It is measured by YOU. By how many moms are wearing, enjoying, and feeling good by wearing a Mommy Necklace. You keep us going, inspired, and 'on our toes'. Thank you. Here is to a Great Month 2 - Bring it on February - whose with us?! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Flow.

Thanks to those that continue to read my ramblings. It was nice to hear from so many of you that could relate to the 'scattered' feeling. I always find a little humor in the fact that so many think I have the 'perfect' job. The comments such as, "It must be so nice to work whenever you want!" or "How great you're able to be with your kids 24-7!" all bring my a silent chuckle. The truth is while I love what I do, there have been moments I've questioned the sacrifices that I've had to make to make it all work. I'm sure many of you have had times in your life when you've questioned yourself the same - whether related to a job, move, or even family. Working at home is nice but at the same time, I miss closing my classroom door at the end of a long day. When I was a teacher, I'd walk about before 4PM and when I got home, I was home. I had a start and finish to my day. At home, I always have my to-do list staring me in the face, teasing me - "look how behind you are" or "haha! you forgot to _____". It all blurs together, no start time or end time. Then insert two children wanting and needing my attention. I usually end up spending my time handling their needs and then working very late into the night. My situation would be easier if I had a mom or any family for that matter. The few relatives we have are hours (some days) away so that leaves no 'grandma's house' for my two. I have thought of getting a 'nanny' to come in a few days a week for a few hours each day, but honestly can't bring myself to have help. I'm so used to doing everything myself, I just do.

The point is 'scattering' or that feeling of loss of control happens to all of us. Even moms that may have what seems like the 'perfect' job. ;) And usually, even if I look in control on the outside, some part of me is scattering inside. But like one of my fans wrote and told me, just "take life enjoy it for what it is." We tend to compare our lives to others or desire a 'perfect' balance that isn't realistic. And sometimes, trying to reach that 'perfect' balance is actually what is causing the crazy in our life.

Instead of taking control of life, let life take you through the rough rapids and when things are smooth sailing again, choose 1. use any extra energy to paddle quickly and catch up now that the waters are easier to paddle or 2. use your time to sit back, relax and enjoy the calm knowing that at anytime you may be riding the rapids again. So far I'm rambling about how life compares to beads and rafting LOL but really what I am trying to say is that crazy is normal and normal is crazy. Got it? ;) I'm going to enjoy the moments while recognizing my priorities and it is as simply crazy simple as that. :)

On a lighter note, we bought underwear today! It is funny how with Megan I call them 'undies' but for Evan they are 'underwear'. He went and picked out Diego underwear and a new potty seat with Elmo and Friends. He was so excited when we got home and put his them on right away. He ripped off the plastic cover on his toilet seat and looked like he was ready to go... but as soon as I asked him if he wanted to sit on his new seat, he screamed "Noooooooooooo..." He wore his undies until he got them wet (even though he did stop himself) and then asked for his diaper. Well, poo - I was just hoping my 'magic potty talk' would make him potty trained first time out. I figured for now, we'll just go with the flow (pun!) and see if he gains more interest. If not, I may just need to spend a few days at home 'diaper free' and see if he catches on. Our biggest obstacle right now is the fact that he simply does not want to sit on the toilet. We've tried both a small, portable potty and a potty seat. Megan is so helpful and really wanting to help Evan be a 'big boy', so maybe she'll tempt him to get up on the porcelain throne soon or later. ;)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Up.

Wow, I've been up since 4AM for no good reason. Luckily, I believe that part of my insomniac ways have made Mommy Necklaces what it is (and continues to grow into) today. No sleep = more worktime. ;) But seriously, here I sit and my brain is flowing with ideas, bead colors, ways to reach more moms... You know my 'scatter' post below? Well, my brains is definitely scattering, but in a good way!

Megan has PJ day today. She was so excited to go to bed in the same clothes she'll be wearing to school. We have no big weekend plans and I'm excited for that. I have a lot of 'behind the scenes' work that needs to be done around here and a weekend without too many obligations makes a good balance of family/work.

Hmmm, I've already had breakfast (can you guess what I had?!) and since I just happen to have gorgeous beads at my disposal, perhaps I will go strand a special necklaces for a fan contest or somethin'. ;) Hope that everyone has a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I love oatmeal. I seriously could eat it everyday for breakfast and never complain. And I don't like the high sugar 12+ grams of sugar per itty bitty packet either (I'd rather have candy for breakfast in that case). ;) Just plain ole' oatmeal. As I ate breakfast this morning, I realized how boring this is - to eat the same thing everyday. Especially something that is know as a 'blah' food, oatmeal. BLAH! But for me, oatmeal is LOVE! Which is good, because it goes hand-in-hand with another love, running. It is a great pre-run food for me. (Are you taking notes, I may quiz you on this stuff later?) ;)

I started running about two years ago. Before that, I had done a little here and there - nothing consistant. I ran track in High School (I graduated in '98 so it had been a long while) ;) but only did sprints, hurdles, high jump, a few relays - nothing that required endurance. (My relay team did break a record, I won't if my name is still up on that silly board in the gym?) Anyway, one day I literally woke up and told my husband I needed to run. He looked at me strangely. I had never mentioned this desire before or even the slightest interest. But that day, I woke up and felt this fire inside me needing out. I could feel my pulse and it felt like it was beating so hard "get out. run. do it." So I did.

It felt so good to release that energy and just run. At least for a moment, I made it about two blocks before the side cramps sunk in and by block four, I was walking. Someone remind me, why did I want to do this just moments ago? I'd walk some. Run some. Walk more. Run very little. It all took time. Every run I'd use light posts as my markers and tell myself, "Next time, I'll make it to that one." It hurt, especially in the beginning. I wasn't well equipped with the greatest shoes and I hadn't run in forever. I had horrible shin splints in the morning and I waddled around like a crippled duck. Everytime I thought about quitting that pulse would start instead me again, "go. go. go."

I never calculated my mileage the first year and some months I ran. Why should I? Who cared? Not very many people even knew I was running. I would ran as far and as long as I wanted to. If my body told me to push it, I pushed it. If my body told me to rest, I rested. Simple. There was no plan I downloaded off the Internet, it was just me, my shoes, and some light posts.

Last Spring, I began to take it a bit more seriously. Did a little reading and decided I'd really like to grow as a runner. I had no races in mind. I didn't want to signup for anything. This was solely for me. Running is therapy. Period. It is a way to balance myself. I had never felt so balanced in my whole life. So I picked things up and started running longer distances and figuring out things like my pace, which I had no idea what it was until I stepped on a treadmill for the first time last spring. I remember the first time I ran 10 miles. I remember the first time I ran 13.1 (half-marathon distance). Such an amazing feeling. No one was there at the finish line with signs cheering me on. But I was there, I knew what I just did and that was what mattered (and still does) to me as a runner.

People in the gym ask me all the time what I am training for... I always just smile and say "Myself." I've finally been talked into my first race, which will be this May. A 25K (15 miles) and I'm excited to have the experience. The biggest goal I've set for myself is the Chicago Marathon this year. I seriously can't wait.

Up in Michigan, if you want to run, you better get use to the cold (and dressing up like a ninja - also, let go of the whole spandex are uncool mindset, because for running, they are HOT!) and that I have. Actually, it is surprising that I am actually HOT while I run - even in 10 degree weather. ;) The other day I came back from a run and was grey. I hadn't even realized all the ice crystals that had formed on my hair. I knew my eyelashes had frosted over but how fun to arrive home to frosted hair.


I ran 13 today. Ran 10 outside yesterday. So I was inside today (with no MP3 player - dead batteries!). The odd thing, I actually enjoyed the 13 miles with clear ears... it was nice. I won't abandon my MP3 anytime soon, but today, it was a welcome break. :)

Listen to your body. If you ever wake up and want to run, just do it! It is something everyone can do. Today. Tomorrow. It doesn't matter. We're born to run. There doesn't have to be a 'program' or the newest 120.00 shoes. Listen to your body, take small steps, and enjoy the journey. You may find that you grow closer to someone you've been running away from... yourself.

(and I will not even proof this mess as I just spent way too much time typing this nonsense - get use to the typos people!) ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Last year, I kept a blog and I felt like it really did nothing for me. This year, I want this blog to be something I can come to when I want to, need to, or just simply want an excuse to sit down for a moment. No strings attached because the truth is, I have other priorities. What will happen here? Lots of rambling (and typos, tons of them, I'm the typo QUEEN!). Some giveaways. Mommy Necklaces Alerts. My Running Journey. Photos I Take. Whatever I want it to be. My blog won't be big and flashy. You won't find all the 'bells and whistles' you see on many of todays' blogs, but you'll find me here. That is exactly what I what this blog to be - a place for me. And in doing so, maybe you'll all get to know a bit more about me and the mom behind the beads.

So to start, a few things that you may or may not know about ME!

1. I have two super cute kid (who are incredibly energetic and mischievious!). Evan is 2. Megan is 5.

2. I love photography. (I use to have a photography biz but find shooting as a hobbyist much more relaxing.)

3. I love running more. (I am running the Chicago marathon this year.)

4. I love me some safe, stylish, and functional beads... ;) (, don't ya know?).(love you FANS! *smooch*)

For now, I'll share a bit of my first two - my kids and my photography.

While I use to find time to take their pictures almost daily, it seems those days have been far and few inbetween. Here are a few of Megan and Evan I took this past weekend. Thank you for letting me share and for being here. Remember, this is a come as you please, take your shoes off, and SCATTER! kinda blog. So get comfy and enjoy what nonsense (and freebies) I might have to offer.










That is my reaction when I see a large tub of beads fall to the floor. Scatter. Me, not just them. They find their way everywhere. Months later I am rearranging things and I find one. Almost taughting me and snickering, "thought you had me, didn't you?" I am traditionally not one to run away from things. And if you ask most, they will probably tell you the opposite about me. I am stubborn, determined, and unwilling to compromise even the slightest details, even if that means meeting a challenge head on (with a large cup of coffee - black please). However, 2009 was a hard year for me, especially personally. I found myself scattering a lot. In one moment, I'd feel like I had my life together again and the next, SCATTER! My life has felt a lot like that tub of beads lately. Constantly having to resettle after hands have reached in after me and stirred me up. Anticipating will I stay or go? Wanting out. Wanting in. If I go,what is out there? If I stay, where's the challenge? Wanting to SCATTER! And there, I fall. My first feeling is one of freedom as I whiz through the air waiting for the unknown of what touchdown will bring me. The first bounce and roll is fun and I'm excited for this challenge. Soon I'm feeling in control and enjoying the ride, then I hit the unexpected. The cupboard, the chair, some lint on the ground slows me down, and I slowly roll underneath a file cabinet. I feel defeated. It lasts sometimes a moment and sometimes what feels like an eternity. I see through to a crack of sunshine and know that while hiding under a file cabinet may be quiet, uneventful, safe... it isn't what I am about. Despite the sadness, the pain, the failure... I choose to bounce. I first start off with a slow roll outward, gain my momentum, and bounce. About now, you are probably thinking, "Wow, this Mommy Necklaces chic has really lost her mind! Writing such a horrible metaphor about her life! " but it is actually the opposite. While my first blog post is a rambling bit of nonsense (and yes, the metaphor is pretty horrible), the reason I am here is because I'm gaining my momentum back. Instead of losing it, I'm gaining it. Organizing my life. Prioritizing. ...And bouncing around (even if that means whiplash and unintentional file cabinet maneuvers). The point is that I am bouncing. Sure, We're barely into 2010 and I've already had many days where my brain has screamed SCATTER! and for that moment, I do. Roll. Bump. Fly. Fall. Stop. Go. But we all settle back into ourselves eventually, just like that tub of beads I spilt. They eventually stop scattering, I do my best to pick them up, and I continue to pick up every last one - even if that means finding them months later. So with that said, I'll really stop comparing myself to a bead and just say that I'm excited for what 2010 is going to bring. Losing my Grams late last year was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. At the same time, I've gained so much from it - a renewed faith and a realization that every moment should be cherished. I've realized that while this crazy scattering has given me a massive head and heartache at times, it has also made me incredibly stronger. So bring it on 2010, I've been waiting for you.