Good Afternoon Sparklers!
Well the Grammys on Sunday were fabulous and many of my faves won. For me, Adele was uber inspiring as she demanded that her Grammy for Album of the Year be shared with Beyonce (quite literally in fact as the statue broke in half). Adele showed us all with one small gesture what true sisterhood looks like. Saturday Night Live hit the mark again with my favorite skit being their spoof on Beyonce’s unborn twins.
Many of you with children in public schools have February break coming up. I wish everyone sunshine and snow and lots of post-Valentines day love.
Love and Learning,
To Do… Make A Post Valentines Love Jar
I love Valentine’s day. Just love it! And not just because I have a Valentine of whom I’m quite fond of (you do know I’m talking about my dog, Revis right?). It’s because I’m an optimist by nature. I love being in love, feeling loved, and sharing love! So this week, I have a simple idea to bring some love to your family’s dinner table.
Grab a mason jar, pickle jar or whatever you can find in your cupboard. Get some plain white paper and cut it into wide strips about the size of two sticks of gum – big enough for someone to write a sentence or two on. Now hand deliver about 10 strips of paper to each of your family members and ask them to write down 3 to 5 things that they love about each person in the family. Quirky stuff. The more specific the better. To help, give them examples like, “I love when mom scratches my back while I try to fall asleep with her short jaggedy nails” or “I love how daddy falls asleep on the living room couch before we kids have even had dessert” or “I love how Shawn changes into her footie pajamas the minute she gets home from school.” Once each family member is finished writing their tiny love notes, have them fold them up and stick them in the jar.
Then one evening when EVERYONE is actually in attendance at dinner (darn after school activities!) place the jar on the dinner table and admire your work. As a group, decide what to do with the jar. You could read each note out loud one by one, or you can just let it sit there and wonder what’s inside. You could even try to guess who wrote what! Whatever you choose, it’ll be wonderful because it’s filled with love! Oh and feel free to decorate the outside of the jar too!
Spark the Conversation:
This is a fun project to get you and your children discussing the importance of noticing the small stuff. Talk about how it’s often the little things – like our habits and quirks – that make someone unique and endearing. Like dad’s snoring on the couch or mom’s terribly tough turkey meatballs.
To Buy … Women Entrepreneur Jewelry: 3 Designers Named Jen
Nothing excites me more than female entrepreneurs who rule school. If you haven’t heard of these three super creative jewelry designers named Jen it’s time to check them out! Each of these Jens uses social media to share their personal lives and grow their brands and businesses. They’re demonstrating to all of us that you can start something of your own, so long as you have a vision and/or a dream for which you’re willing to work hard. They’ve all created unique jewelry and the public (and the market) has taken notice! I personally have the Mariah Butterfly Necklace by Jen Zeuner as I’m obsessed with butterflies – I even bought my daughter the smaller version! I’m currently saving up to buy a piece from the other Jennifer’s.
Some fun back story on the three inspiring ladies …
Jennifer Fisher began as a stylist for feature films and got her start in jewelry-making after her son Shane was born. Unable to find a necklace with her son’s name on it that also reflected her personal style, she decided to design her own. Big demand for pieces led to the creation of her own company, and when Uma Thurman wore one of her necklaces on the cover of Glamour things kinda escalated from there! Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, and Beyoncé are now some of her regular customers. I first saw Jen’s custom designs when my twins were babies and my “new mommy friend,” who also happened to be Jen’s sister-in-law, sported one of her awesome necklaces. I have coveted my own ever since.
Jennifer Zeuner is a mother of four who makes all her pieces in the USA. She calls her jewelry’s style “simple with a spiritual twist.” Zeuner prioritizes family time over work, and spends Sundays at soccer practice, visiting the beach, and having dinner together. Over ten years ago, she couldn’t find a necklace she’d seen Kate Moss wearing, so she made her own version and a buyer in South Beach bought it directly off her neck! Her big break came when Cameron Diaz purchased that necklace. More celeb customers have followed since that day.
Jennifer Meyer started making jewelry at the age of six when her grandmother taught her how to work with enamel. You might recognize her stuff if you’ve seen the delicate gold leaf necklace that Jennifer Aniston wore in the movie The Breakup with Vince Vaughn. Meyer’s philosophy is, “Be authentic, be unique and always sparkle.” And you know I dig that! Oh yeah, and she was married to Hollywood’s Spiderman, Tobey Maguire and can be seen with her celeb besties on Instagram. A fun Instagram account to follow!
Spark the Conversation:
You’ve heard the old question: What would you do if knew you couldn’t fail? Ask your daughter the same thing! It could be something like jewelry design, but it could also be creating other things herself, or making the Olympic swim team, or going to space! What is it she’d most like to do if she could set up her own business or strike out on her own? Share the stories of these women and find out what inspires her to dream or create.
Each of these women succeeded because they created something they wanted to buy that didn’t already exist. They designed for themselves first and ended up filling a gap in the market because other people wanted it too! It turned out that people did take notice of a good idea and their creativity and uniqueness were rewarded! Ask your daughter if there’s something that she’d create because it doesn’t already exist!
To Learn … The Power In Making Mistakes
How many of those inspirational quotes or memes about success and failure have you seen today? At least a couple of them, right? There’s a reason — even though we don’t like it, they’re true! It takes a lot of trying, and a lot of mistakes to grow and succeed. No one likes making mistakes, but it’s what you do AFTER those mistakes that can make all the difference.
Admitting a mistake is hard. No one wants to look incompetent or negligent or just plain silly. But when we mess up, the only way to learn and move on is to own it and try again. Your girl needs to know and SEE this in action. Show her by admitting it when you mess up. I’ll never forget my daughter’s face when I confessed that I had made a mistake and was premature in insisting that she decide her full summer plans by February. She wasn’t ready just yet and that was okay I realized. I apologized and admitted that even moms make mistakes. The best part is that together we came up with a game plan and a deadline that felt better to her. She was so proud to help find the solution and help me to not repeat my mistake. We both grew from that experience.
Spark the Conversation:
When you or your daughter make a mistake, talk about it. Even if you or she is embarrassed — it never feels good to fail, but keeping it in only makes that worse! If an apology needs to be given, help her find the words. Admit it, apologize and promise to learn from it and do better next time. This is an incredible opportunity to grow, but children instinctually want to hide those failures. Be an example of humility and grace by admitting your mistakes and forgiving her for hers. It will sting a little now, but will serve her (and you) so well in the future!
To Think About … Which Celeb Would Be Your Bestie?
We’ve all done it. We’ve all watched a movie and said to ourselves, “If only [insert celebrity name here] knew me, we’d be besties. Like for sure.”
No, we’ve never actually met any of these actresses, but from what we’ve seen we just feel like they’d be cool. And duh, of course we’d have a great time if we hung out! But even though it’s kind of a daydream, it does give us a little insight into the type of people we identify with and what we look for in a friend. Do we want the intense, go-getter by our side or the clutzy yet endearing doesn’t-know-she’s-beautiful geek as our loyal companion?
Personally, I always thought I’d be besties with Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston. For some reason, I just got the sense that they were everyday gals and really great friends, ya know, like me! The vibe they exude on and offscreen makes me feel like we’d totally click. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to be best friends with Andi from How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days?
Spark the Conversation:
Share your celebrity bestie crush with your girl and ask her about hers… Why does she think they’d mesh well as friends? What does she think they’d do together? And then go read more about this hypothetical topic where you instantly get a celebrity best friend on the blog!
(My) Girl Crush Wednesday … Blake Lively
This gorgeous lady has us all patiently waiting to see what she’s gonna wear at every red carpet event. And she and Ryan Reynolds could not be any cuter (seriously, his tweets about parenting are hilarious). Since her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Gossip Girl days, we’ve just felt like Blake Lively was one of our good girlfriends. She seems like a natural in front of the camera, and well, that’s probably because she was born into the biz! Hailing from a large California family, her dad is an actor and director, and her mom is a talent manager. But despite all her success, Lively seems to remain down to earth… and honest about how awkward she feels filming racy scenes in front of a room full of people. And I especially love the message she sent to young people in her People’s Choice Awards Speech about the power of telling your own story no matter the medium. So I guess I can forgive some of her more questionable movie choices. (Uhh, The Shallows? Come on, Blake, you can’t outswim a shark!)