March
21

the MAMAS who clean together…

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Our business was born during a day of housecleaning.

During a walk with our dogs, we had mourned the days when we had jobs that warranted hiring people to keep our homes tidy for us and how the feeling of “everything clean at once” was not happening now that we were stay at home moms.  Oh, everyone was fed and clothed and breathing, but our homes would get vacuumed and dusted or the kitchen was clean for 30 minutes, but never all at the same time. So we thought we’d try cleaning both of our homes TOGETHER at the same time in one 5 hour period of time.

And it worked!  I would vacuum and dust at her house while she cleaned the kitchen, bathrooms and floors and we would swap roles at my house, spending 2.5 hours on each home.  Of course the day before we would do laundry, change sheets, put away mounds of toys and shoes and junk and HAIR ACCESSORIES in preparation for our cleaning day.  The point is IT WORKED!  And we chatted while we worked and asked important questions and caught up on each other’s daily lives.

Here’s the thing… when your friend is vacuuming in the other room you CANNOT stop and chat with your mother on the phone for 45 minutes.  While she dusts you don’t get rabbit-trailed into another side project when you should be scrubbing the tub.  You use every loving minute of that 2.5 hours to stay completely focused so that when times up your house is totally clean!

Those were purposeful days.  And on one such day, during a hypothetical conversation about how we would spend all of our time when our youngest kids went to school full time in the fall, our business was born.  And now we don’t clean house together anymore, we just don’t really have that luxury of time.  But I miss those days spent serving my best friend and being served by her.  Rich times indeed!

March
11

be YOU tiful

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So often we go through our days chasing down someone else’s life.  Trying to be like them.  To accomplish something they’ve already mastered.  It just hit me that while it is wonderful to stretch and grow and try new things, we shine brightest when we are fully engaged in the business of being ourselves.  So do YOU today… the best version of YOU that YOU can present to the world.  Authenticity is beautiful.  YOU are they only person qualified on this earth to be authentically and genuinely YOU.

Oscar Wilde said ” Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

Go “be YOU tiful” today!

 

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June
12

One At A Time…

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This past weekend we were able to attend a graduation party for the daughter of some good family friends of ours.  I had talked with the mom earlier in the week and told her that we wanted to make Emma a special necklace.  The necklace you see pictured is the result of our conversation and we couldn’t love it more. Let me tell you a little bit about Emma and her family.

A couple summers ago Emma went on a mission trip to China and worked in an orphanage there.  While she was there, one little girl captured her heart, and when Emma returned home she approached her parents about adopting little Mia.  “One at a time” Emma thought.  We can be overwhelmed when we hear the number of orphans in our world, and yet, the only way to change it is one at a time.  Emma’s dream became her parents dream too in time and they set out to adopt this special little girl.  As they began the adoption process, they were faced with roadblock after roadblock.  At one point, it looked like they would not be able to adopt Mia and so they began pursuing another little girl to adopt in China.  Well, in God’s perfect plan, the barriers were lifted to adopt Mia, and this family was now adopting TWO little girls at the same time!  Here is a picture of Emma with the two girls…

This story moves me in two ways.  One… to see a young girl want to change the story of orphans and to see them in families.  Two…that our friends were willing to listen to their daughter’s dream and have it become their own.  When I saw their Christmas card this year, I couldn’t help the tears from streaming down my face.  Aren’t they beautiful?I love how God makes family in all different ways.  They were willing to set aside their worldly dreams and desires and instead chose to adopt these precious girls.

This family now has six children from ages eighteen to four.  Emma, and her 16-yr-old sister, Maddie, are going back to China this summer for over a month to work in an orphanage devoted to children with Brittle Bone Disease.  With some of the children they even have to be careful on how they pick them up and hold them as their bones can break that easily.  It is so inspiring to me to see the hearts of Emma and Maddie…when most teenage girls are only concerned about boys, tanning and the next party, they are serving “the least of these”.  James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

We have decided to offer this necklace on our website and donate $5.00 for every adoption necklace sold to “The Jeremiah Project“, an organization devoted to helping families financially to adopt.  Check out the necklace here.

One at a time.   We have the power to help change people’s stories.   Where do you feel called to serve?  Who is your ONE right now?

~Kendra

 

May
14

What I Wear

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Before we started this business 5 years ago I (Sister Sledge) NEVER wore necklaces.  Really.  Something about costume jewelry reminded of the plastic beaded necklaces I used to paw through in my mom’s jewelry drawer, and they never impressed me much (sorry mom).  My hubby gave me a pearl necklace on a nice gold chain one year because I thought I wanted it.  I’d put it on for a bit and feel fussy.   I mostly would wear my wedding rings, my family ring and a smile :).  However, when we stumbled upon this personal, classic style of jewelry I knew I needed to own it, wear it, love it.  So… in honor of still loving it after all these years I thought I share with you what I wear.  It won’t be earth shattering, you’ll wonder if I should have lots more pieces, and I’ll agree.  But much like the plumber with leaky faucets, I often forget to make my own something new while making things for others.  I really do fall in love with the new designs people ask for but more often than not you’ll find me wearing the same things. 

Love this one!  My kids on the 1″ sweet circle with the framed cross, our established date and the old couple’s ( Tony and I) initials.  I wear this in bits and pieces, too, depending on the day… just the kids, just the cross, just the initials, or all together in a happy jumble.

 

You know how parents say they don’t have a favorite kid?  Well, this is currently my favorite kid!  We just started carrying this awesome chunky chain and I reach for it most days lately.  We’ll have it on the website soon, for now you can get it by contacting us personally.  Photographing jewelry keeps me very humble and frustrated, but I think you can see our swirly heart charm, my hubby’s first initial, our last initial and my first initial on the circle pendant and our kids on the square pendant.  The pearl is the topping.  YUMMY!

This is my happy place.  We call this category of necklace “simply special” in our shop for good reason.  I love the special simplicity and reach for this on my I’m-wearing-sweats-cause-I’m-sure-if-I-do-I’ll-work-out-today days and dress up days alike.

I am curious sometimes what a shoe designer would be wearing on her feet  if I ran into her at Starbucks, and am disappointed when the salesperson at the GAP isn’t sporting something  currently sold off the rack at that very store so I can leave with the look.  If you’d like to take any of these necklace designs home with you, just click on the photo, it will take you right to the store!  So, if you are at all like me, I hope I satisfied a tiny question for you.  If you aren’t there is one thing I would like you to know… I don’t immediately look at your neckline when I see you at Fred Meyer wondering where your cute As You Wish Design necklace is, I am genuinely happy just to see you.

What’s the random picture of my family doing at the bottom of this blog?  Well….  they are WHY I wear what I wear.

– Sister Sledge (Kristin)

April
11

Sometimes it’s OK to be THAT Mom

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I’m not really a big baker, but yesterday morning I was overcome by the desire to make cupcakes for my daughter’s fourth grade classroom.  You see, I am the art docent for the year and the project for the day was to make a cupcake out of cardboard, teaching a lesson on texture.   Here they are (cute, don’tchathink?)…

I thought to myself…how fun would it be to bring in actual cupcakes for them to see and eat while I am doing the lesson?  Then, I thought:  Wait, Im not THAT mom.   We all know that mom…the overachiever, the one who the other moms roll their eyes at and wonder how many cups of coffee they must have a day to do all that they do.

But, I realized I wasn’t doing it for any kind of compliments, kudos or points from the teacher.  Being THAT mom for the right reasons can be OK.  I purely wanted to bring the cupcakes because I know how fleeting this time is with my 10-year-old daughter.   How many more times would I get to do this?

Yes, let’s bring the cupcakes!  Now, I don’t have a cupcake stand and the sprinkles and gummy lifesavers aren’t quite Martha Stewart, but cupcakes were coming for the art lesson.

As I mixed the batter, while my daughter with her swinging ponytail cracked the eggs, I tried to etch this special time into my memory and be in the moment.  I love the quote from Annie Dillard that says, “How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.”  When we step back from the busyness of life, the to-do lists and the time we often spend on things that in the end don’t matter, we find that the little things with those we love the most are what bring the most joy.

And at that moment, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my day.

Love, Hammergirl (Kendra)