My Life Parenting Style

Pretty, but with Meaning

I like kooky jewelry. Tons of baubles and charms on a bracelet? Sign me up. Huge dangly earrings? I’ll rock those. Big yellow resin necklace? I have one (I wore it this weekend).

Then there is the other side of me — the side that loves classic or understated pieces imbued with meaning. My wedding ring of course, but there are others. The delicate green enameled bracelet that was my grandmother’s. The silver cuff from Tiffany’s that Brandon’s grandmother gave to me upon hearing of our engagement. The wedding ring my mother wore when she married my father. I adore jewelry with a family connection and a sense of history.

I resisted the Eleanor/elephant connection for a long time, but then I became obsessed with a rose gold elephant necklace that a reader had told me about. It was small, with a tiny little diamond (Eleanor’s birthstone) on it. Dainty and perfectly lovely. “It will represent my daughter”, I thought, even though I knew it was too expensive. I put it on my wish list where I put the other beautiful things I admire but don’t necessarily plan to buy, and I tried to forget about it. Then Brandon surprised me with it this year for Mother’s Day. Actually, I believe the gift was technically from Eleanor, though I don’t know how a one year old managed to navigate the online shopping process.

I love that necklace. I wore it every day for months, and you’ll still find me wearing it more often than not. And now I have another necklace to pair it with.

I’m writing this in San Francisco after having attended the Mighty Summit. We focused on our life lists, which is much like my 30 Before Thirty list but bigger. Grander. I have lofty goals and dreams, and I look forward to sharing them with you when I’m ready. For now though, let me just tell you that it was an amazing experience, being surrounded by a group of talented, successful, kind, helpful, inspiring women all working toward achieving great things. Blogging has brought so many opportunities, but more importantly many friendships. I’m eager to move forward, pushing for bigger and better things, all the while surrounded by new and old friends and an incredible sense of community.

We all committed to working on five of our dreams this year. Maggie told us at lunch on the last day that when she set the wheels in motion on her life list, she bought a gold band to commemorate the occasion. She wears it every day along with her wedding ring. We were then each given a gold necklace by lemonade handmade with five small rings on it, representing the five things we will accomplish this year. She teared up telling us about the meaning behind it, and I’m doing the same while writing this. The necklace symbolizes a commitment to acheieving your goals, yes, but there is more. There is the strength of the women I met this weekend. The passion we each have. The dedication, and the love of what we are doing. The ability to put forth a goal and the follow through to actually achieve it. It will also remind me to really believe in myself.

You are going to see that necklace on me a lot.

Meaningful Jewelry

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  • Cheryl Ann
    September 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

    So exactly my taste too! Mostly eclectic but also tailored and traditional…and the ultimate beauty of these two necklaces is they will pair with all the OTHER jewelery that you can pair with it…kind of like undergarments for an outfit. The MOST important part of any outfit, lol….I love both of them, and will be looking for something symbolic for myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Cheryl Ann
    September 21, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Oh, and my daughter has one like this. Her fiance (now husband) bought her a little PEACE sign necklace while he was in IRAQ and now she wears it every day and she wore it with her wedding dress. Quite symbolic….you can see it on my blog…

  • Amy Awesome
    September 21, 2010 at 10:23 am

    What a beautiful idea!

  • christine
    September 21, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I have the same mode of operation when it comes to jewelry, though I often err on the side of the small & classic (when I am *so* drawn to the charming & offbeat).

    I love the necklaces and the idea behind them even more.

    And I love your yellow necklace, too!

  • christine, just bella
    September 21, 2010 at 10:27 am

    So beautiful. Thanks for such an inspiring post, I really love this idea!

  • Molly
    September 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience. My husband gave me a charm bracelet when I (finally!) finshed college in my late twenties. I see that bracelet as symbol for the accomplishments that really mean something to me. Hoping to add many more charms as the years go by!

  • Jena
    September 21, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Where… WHERE did you find that yellow resin necklace? I must own that necklace. Share, super duper please.

  • Leslie
    September 21, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Oooohh, now I have that pulling feeling in my stomach and all over tingle of wanting to be a part of something so exciting and inspiring too!

  • Morgan (Blackbird Fly)
    September 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I’m all about really simple jewelry that means a lot. I have a necklace that I never take off and it has a feather (which have a really deep personal meaning to me), a whale’s tale because I am in love with whales and a tiny pendant of st. christopher passed down from my great great aunt from her first communion in the 1920’s. They are all really small but have so much meaning to me.

    I love the little elephant. It is so adorable

    -Morgan (Blackbird Fly)
    Blackbird Fly

  • Meg
    September 21, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Sniff! I’m wearing mine this morning.

  • Mandy Ford
    September 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Love the necklace and love the meaning behind it. :)

  • Nani
    September 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Now your having me obsessing over this. I am the same as you, it signify’s my daughter. That’s her birthstone as well (I Love Elephants so much it was the theme of her 1st birthday.) I have just added it to my wishlist. It’s beautiful.

  • lauren
    September 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    beautiful. wonderful post <3

  • Alison
    September 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    When I think of elephants I think of the republican party, therefore I want nothing to do with elephants, but that’s just me.

  • April
    September 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I love this idea. I wonder how I can get involved in the Mighty List too!

  • Vee
    September 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I love the idea of the life list. Love love love. Those necklaces look beautiful together, and the best part is all the meaning that they hold :)

  • Jules
    September 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Bravo! I have been tapping my foot waiting for you to get home. I can’t wait to talk to you!

  • tea_austen
    September 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    This is so lovely, Nicole. I’m not much of a necklace person, but I’ve put my Mighty necklace around my wrist as a bracelet, and the rings dangle and remind me all the time of what I want to accomplish in my life.

    So wonderful to meet you! (and see that amazing resin necklace). Not only do you make lovely–you *are* lovely.

  • Brigitte
    September 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Nicole – I’m so happy you took some time away from your responsibilities to focus on your life goals. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for your readers!

  • L
    September 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    love it. do you know where this lovely necklace w/ rings can be found for sale?

  • heather...
    September 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    it looks perfect on you mama! xoxo

  • Mocha
    September 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    You, too? I haven’t even taken mine off and I just adored what you said in this whole post. Lots of nodding.

    Also? You like totally live near me. Near in the less-than-3-hours-away kind of near.


  • katyrenee
    September 21, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    When is the next Mighty Summit?? I must go.

  • Lisa
    September 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    My grandparents got all the girls in our family these shamrock necklaces for Christmas in 1992. I’ve worn mine nearly every day since, and as the years go by, it means more and more when I see myself wearing it in old photos. We’ve covered a lot of ground together. :)

    None of my cousins seem to wear theirs anymore, but my mom pulls hers out on special occasions, and my sister wears hers fairly regularly too, so that it now seems like more of a sisterly tradition. It’s a small thing, but still really special.

  • Kathleen L
    September 22, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I was so inspired by this post, I went and bought the necklace and am planning my five things I want to accomplish this year as I type! I love reading your blog, especially this beautiful post!

  • Jessie
    September 22, 2010 at 8:47 am

    That is so sweet. I love elephant. :) I think the two necklaces look great together. Thanks for the inspiring story.

  • Kristian
    September 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Happy Birthday!


  • Jennifer
    September 22, 2010 at 10:22 am

    A very Happy Birthday!

  • Sandy a la Mode
    September 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    the elephant necklace is soo so adorable and i LOVE how you paired it too!

  • heidi
    September 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Happy Birthday , Joyeux Anniversaire !
    (it’s also my birthday today so I can’t forget yours)

    • Kim
      September 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      Happy Birthday to you

      and Heidi too! It’s also my birthday today :)

  • Valerie
    September 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Oh I love it. Very VERY cool.

  • Roxanna
    September 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    What a beautiful post! Yes, the meaning behind the pretty makes it even better. I love that we’ve all made a commitment to ourselves and share a tangible reminder of that!

  • Shelley @ Green Eggs & Hamlet
    September 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I too love funky jewelry and jewelry with a story behind it. I love the Eleanor-phant necklace – thoughtful husband! And the new five gold bands necklace pairs so well with it. Now you just have to choose something to commemorate baby #2! ;)

  • elissa @ faucethead
    September 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    that is beautiful. i love the everyday reminder of what we’re capable of. sounds like you had a great time at the event.

  • Renee
    September 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    In addition to my wedding rings, I wear my college class ring every day. It reminds me that I am capable of major accomplishments even when the odds are stacked against me.

  • kat
    September 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Happy Birthday!

  • Mélo
    September 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

    OH! i forgot!
    Happy birhtday Nicole!
    Hope youve got i nice one!

  • Renee Nordholm
    September 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I love this idea! So motivating to get strong, ambitious women together in a room to discuss their ideas and future plans. Very happy for you and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us ;)

  • Katherine
    September 26, 2010 at 10:11 am

    This is a lovely post. The necklaces are not only gorgeous but inspiring. I love that. Very inspiring post :)

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