An Experience Of A Lifetime

11707523_10205659837147587_7888750578414982962_nAnd, I’m back from Guatemala! Wow, what an experience. I am not exaggerating when I say that this trip was one of the best weeks of my life and I highly recommend a similar adventure to everyone. Sure there were ups, downs, and all-arounds, but that’s what makes it all so amazing. You learn a lot about the world, life and of course, yourself. Luckily for me, I had my travel journal to document each and every day. When I would sit down to write at night I just couldn’t help myself. The words would pour onto the pages.

Some of my entries were more serious in nature, exploring questions and interactions that I had. And then, as I scroll through the pages I also see quotes like “drop it like it’s hot” or “the globe is still round” scribbled down. Such great reminders that even when you work hard and don’t sleep all that much, you can still have some fun!

11794389_10152874778570683_42298003221812590_oLooking back on my journal I am most surprised by how much my perspective changed in less than one week. On our flight to Guatemala I kept thinking that when I arrived I would feel sorry for the children that I was about to meet. I thought I would want to bring them home. Love them. Expose them to life in the U S of A. Now that I am back on home soil, I can say with certainty that I have an entirely new outlook. I now realize that even though those children live in a much different environment, they are truly happy. They take the hand that’s been dealt to them and make the best of it.

If anything all the kids needed was a little bit of love and attention and I am grateful that in just a series of days we were able to give that to them. They don’t need fancy clothes, iPads, or a lot of the other things that money could buy them. Instead of arriving with massive suitcases of “stuff” we spent our time helping the kids find Jesus, understand compassion, and feel truly cared for. Focusing on human connections and a greater purpose brought us all so much closer together. Walking away from it all I feel accomplished, and I think I have a perpetual smile on my face.

It’s really amazing how much of a difference just four days can make.

11817262_10205795441097601_3812254524765026457_nWhile my time in Guatemala was short in the grand scheme of things, I am lucky to leave with memories and new insights that will stay with me forever. As you can imagine there is so much more to share, but for the time being I will leave you with a few themes that have been top of mind for me …

  • God revealed to me that people are happy. All they need is love and a bit of knowledge
  • I can’t fix everything nor should I try
  • Things are just things
  • I am blessed with what I have and now I need to figure out how I can use them to further God’s kingdom
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Appreciate family time
  • Life has a hierarchy. God first, spouse second, children third, family fourth and work fifth

As a result of this whole experience I have a greater awareness of the world, am more appreciative of what I have, and feel excited to share my stories with others. Thanks to all of you to allowing me to do that! And, a huge thank you to my family for making this trip possible.

Summer In Style

Finding jewelry that you love is one thing, but pairing it with the right outfit is another. If you’re looking to summer in style read below for a few tips to elevate your wardrobe. All it takes is a little bling.

Maxi_DressElevate Your Maxi Dress

Summer is here, which to me means dress season. Spruce up your everyday maxi dress with a bold, statement necklace. I especially love this Turquoise piece from the Tacori Island Rains collection.

CasualTry Classy Casual

Casual doesn’t have to be boring; in fact it can even be classy. You would be surprised how easily you can transform your look with the addition of a great timepiece. I’d recommend checking out the Movada Bold. One word – stunning.

Little_Black_DressPerfect Your Party Look

With weddings and anniversaries galore, it’s likely that you’ll pull out that little black dress at least once this summer. And, when you do, be sure to add a pair of great earrings. I am loving these chandelier earrings from the Simon G Fashion Collection.

With any outfit, when in doubt add some bling. Wishing you all one very stylish summer. If you are ever in need of more recommendations just stop by Yelton Fine Jewelers and I would be more than happy to help you accessorize.

Food, Family & Fun

imageIt seems like it was only yesterday that the boys got out of school and yet somehow it’s already the Fourth of July? Where does time go? While I can’t believe it’s already here, I am definitely looking forward to the festivities. In our house the Fourth of July is synonymous with three things –  lots of food, quality time with the family, and of course, fun!

Food: When it comes to Fourth of July, or any summer gathering for that matter, you can almost guarantee that I’ll be bringing fruit salsa to the party. I can’t help it, it’s a staple. For those of you looking to get a bit more adventurous with your holiday snacks check out this list of fifty festive recipes. Thank you Pinterest!

Family: Good food, parades, and fireworks aside if you ask me the most magical part of Fourth of July is the family time. And, with the store closed on Saturday, I am going to take full advantage of the extra hours with my three favorite guys. Looking forward to the laughs, the hugs, and the sun-kissed cheeks.

Fun: Fireworks. The Freedom Festival at New Life Chapel. Time outside. What’s not to love? With a bunch of great events happening in and around Cincinnati this weekend I don’t think I’ll have a hard time keeping the boys, Mark, or myself entertained.

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. As a reminder, Yelton’s will be closed on Saturday, July 4th, but we’ll look forward to seeing you after the weekend of fireworks.

The Good, The Bad, The Balding

191705_1748159296158_8348258_oWith Father’s Day coming up, this blog is dedicated to my one and only – Mark Yelton. Together we’ve been through the good, the bad, and even, the balding (sorry love). No matter what life has thrown our way he’s managed to weather through it with me, make me laugh, and keep me sane (well, mostly).

While I could go on forever about how much I love my husband, I’ll save you the sappiness and cut the chase. Above all, I love Mark because he is an amazing father to our boys. From homework assignments to sports practice, he’s been there for them every step of the way. At the end of the day, I couldn’t ask for a better man for them to look up to.

Happy Father’s Day to Mark and all of the other dads out there! Your job isn’t an easy one and I appreciate everything that you do. Now, fire up that grill, kick up your heels and enjoy your weekend with your family members.

Schools Out!

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2.54.20 PMIt’s June! The days are warmer. The nights are longer. And, schools out! I know you can’t see my face right now, but I am smiling. Why? Because, if you ask me, summer rocks and here’s why …

Sleeping In: While my boys are wonderful, any mother knows that when school is in session it means an early alarm clock, superior organizational skills, and a few extra struggles before the clock ticks 8AM (ahem, chaos?). I wouldn’t trade those mornings for the world, though I won’t lie, as summer rolls around I am definitely looking forward to a little more shut-eye.

Family Time: There’s nothing better about summer than the ability to spend more time with my family. With the boys out of school and the longer summer days I look forward to evening strolls, road trips and BBQ season. I may even use the kids as an excuse to splurge on some frozen yogurt here and there. Can you blame a girl?

New Adventures: It’s a special summer as I’ll be cashing in my Mother’s Day gift – a trip to Guatemala to help others in need. Lending a hand is something that I’ve always been passionate about and while I always make an effort locally, I am looking forward to the opportunity to aid those in a completely foreign land. I have no doubt it will be a great learning experience for me … stay tuned for the stories.

Lots of Books: While I always have the best intentions, during the school year my reading list takes the back burner. After all who has time to nestle up with a good book when you’re worried about packing lunches and keeping homework assignments on track. Summer is my time to dive right in. If you have any great book recommendations send them my way. I’m ready!

More Bling: After returning back from the JCK jewelry show in Vegas, I’ve got bling on my mind (what’s new). As I wait to receive our new lines throughout the summer months, it’s going to be difficult to contain my excitement. They’re beautiful. They’re fabulous. You’re going to love them. Don’t worry, my customers will be the first to know when they arrive.

And, I’m still smiling. Happy June everyone. Wishing you all a safe summer full of laughter and exciting adventures. What are you looking forward to?

‘Tis The Season To Accessorize

Ahhh, spring has arrived. With the warmer temperatures comes less layers, shorter sleeves and if you ask me, a perfect opportunity to accessorize. If you’re on the hunt for those perfect jewelry items to transform your spring wardrobe, I’ve got your back. From bangles to fashion rings and everything in between, see below for some of my top five spring picks.

27501341_0Simon G Fabled Bracelet

Spring and bracelets were made for each other and I can’t seem to take my eyes off of this bangle from Simon G. Diamond stones are featured throughout to deliver a classy look, while the playful design adds that extra hint of sass (wink). It’s a piece that’s perfect for all hours of the day, and worth the splurge if you ask me.

35600805_0Belle Etoile Amazon Ring

Add a pop of color to your day and your wardrobe with this beautiful Amazon Ring from Belle Etoile. Made of sterling silver the ring features a unique woven design with a turquoise finish. The glistening accent stones are just the icing on the cake. I should also mention that this ring is also available in black for those who crave a look that’s not so bold.

26501529_0Tacori Lilac Blossoms Ring

This ring screams spring fashionista. Made of 18K white gold a beautiful Amethyst stone rests at the center and is surrounded by a single halo of white diamonds. What’s not to love? Wear it with your skinny jeans and a pair of opened toed heals and you’ll be on your way to spring domination.

27500791_0Simon G Garden Drop Earrings

Celebrate spring in the most elegant way with these 18K white gold drop earrings from Simon G. The earrings feature a stunning, leaf-shaped design with a row of diamond accents at the center. I love them because they’re simple enough for everyday wear, but also have the ability to make an impression. Prepare for compliments ladies!

41050600_0Trollbeads Leather Bracelets

For a casual piece that allows you to express your own unique personality, look further. These Trollbeads leather bracelets come in a variety of colors and you can easily swap out the charms depending on your outfit, your mood, or the weather. They’re flexible. I love it. Plus they look great with jeans.

Happy accessorizing everyone! If you have any questions on these products or are on the hunt for additional jewelry advice, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Relax, It’s Mother’s Day

MothersTina

Keep going.

You’re doing great.

You are loved.

You are beautiful.

And, did I mention …

You’re fabulous.

Imagine what life would be like if someone told you those words everyday. After all, as a mother you deserve them. Believe me, I know.

Looking back I remember what motherhood was like in the early days. Kids. Work. Chores. Most days I felt like there would never be time for anything else. My friends. My faith. Ahem, Me. Getting in a groove and finding that magic equation to balance it all wasn’t easy, nor did it happen quickly.

But I got there!

And don’t get me wrong, there are still moments, days, weeks. You know, those times when everything seems impossible? The important thing, I’ve realized, is not to lose sight. Keep that head high and keep moving forward. Remember that you are loved, beautiful and fabulous. Even if you don’t hear it everyday, it’s important to believe it for yourself.

As mother’s if we remember our worth, we can conquer anything. We can be tough, we can show our compassion, and we are resilient. 364 days a year we are complete rock stars (go you!), but there is one day of the year where we all deserve a big ol’ break. Ahh, Mother’s Day.

This Sunday is your day! Let that inner-world-saver inside of you relax. Sleep in, forget about the housework, and pour yourself an extra cup of coffee. Hopefully your morning also includes breakfast in bed and a purple Yelton box on the pillow (fingers crossed). Regardless of how you choose to spend your day, make sure you’re at the center. Soak it all in and appreciate the opportunity to celebrate the greatest job in the world – motherhood.

Whether you are a mother to children, step-children, dogs, cats or fish – I wish you a very happy and relaxing Mother’s Day. This Sunday I’m going to ask God for time to slow down a little bit so that I can savor my role as a mother. After all, it’s pretty great.

Make Mom Happy This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Show her some love.

As a mother, I know first hand about all of the ups and downs that are motherhood. It’s a tough job, but considering all of the alternatives I wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus, the three men in my life are pretty amazing to me. They’re supportive. They make me laugh. They give me purpose. And come Mother’s Day, they always spoil me!

Family on Mother's DayLast year for Mother’s Day, Mark and the boys bought me a beautiful Hearts On Fire piece. This year, my Mother’s Day Gift is a mission trip to Guatemala to help out the less fortunate. While it isn’t bling, I am very excited about the opportunity to give a little bit of my heart. As they know, helping others means the world to me.

Take it from me, regardless of what you have planned for Mother’s Day, if you make an effort that special woman in your life is sure to appreciate it. Rub her shoulders, hire her a babysitter, bring her breakfast in bed. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just any gesture to show her how much you care.

And, when in doubt, there is always jewelry! For those of you looking to go above and beyond this year, here are some of my favorite Mother’s Day pieces from Yelton Fine Jewelers:

Jewelry gifts for Mother's Day

  • Belle Etoile Effervescence Collection, starting at $125
  • Chamilia Gift Set, starting at $199
  • Simon G Bracelets, starting at $1,760
  • Hearts On Fire Diamond Pendant, starting at $2,900
  • Tacori Sonoma Mist Earrings, starting at $1,000

For all of the mother’s out there, as well as the partners and children that support us – happy Mother’s Day. Bling, or no bling, I hope your day is bright!

Tacori Spring Bling

Tina_TacoriIn honor of the upcoming Tacori Spring Bling event at Yelton Fine Jewelers on April 10th and 11th, I am going to relish in the opportunity to spotlight one of my favorite designers. Aside from the fact that I am, and will always be, a Tacori girl here are some of the reasons why I am beyond excited for this event:

  • The Selection: Whether you’re looking for a Tacori engagement ring, a fun fashion piece, or a fine jewelry item to cherish for years to come, there is going to be a lot to choose from. Prepare your eyes for lots of sparkle!
  • The RoyalT Collection: This new bridal collection fuses classic elegance with modern day glamour. If you ask me this line was designed specifically for my TIVA’s (Tina’s kind of divas).
  • Scan Cards: A little birdie flew by and told me that the discounts are going to be great. Don’t miss your opportunity to save!

Having had the opportunity to look through all of the pieces and play dress up ahead of the event, here’s a preview of some of my favorites: Tacori_Spring_Bling

  • Sterling Silver: I have to with the Tacori City Lights earrings. These stunning drop earrings are more than just an accessory, they’re pure eye candy. From jeans to that little pencil skirt, put these on to transform any outfit.
  • Fine Jewelry: For a timeless piece with the perfect amount of sparkle, the Tacori Monogram Necklace gets my vote. Made of 18K white gold with white diamonds this necklace allows you to express your identity like never before.
  • Bridal: Vintage inspired with a hint of modern sophistication. This Tacori RoyalT ring takes my breath away. An emerald cut white diamond rests at the center and is brought to life by accent diamonds that can be seen from nearly every direction.

I hope you’re all as excited as I am! If you would like to make an appointment for our event this weekend shoot me an e-mail: tina@yeltons.com. I can’t wait to share the spring bling with all of you!

Baby Ava

Ava_Collage

One the same day that I got my ring back, I received another ring as well. It was a phone call from my good friend Vicki in Boston. Her and her husband had just been asked to “adopt” a friends child. The birth mother has a special bond with Vicki and knew that she would provide the perfect home for the sweet little girl who would be arriving in just three weeks.

Vicki talked to her husband and after their discussion, they knew this was God’s plan for their family. Baby Ava would make #5 for them. They have two twenty-something daughters, an eighteen-year-old son and an eleven-year-old. When she called me, she asked if we would be willing to let her and the newborn stay at our house while the paperwork was being drawn.

Without hesitation, or consulting my husband (oops), the answer was yes!

In my last blog, I talked about paying it forward. This is a prime example. What an opportunity to serve others and do what we are all supposed to do in this world. After discussing the situation with Vicki, we didn’t know what documentation would be required for the baby to leave Ohio, or how long they would need to stay with us.

Unknowns aplenty. But that didn’t deter us.

Vicki and I started our game plan. We asked to borrow baby items from the neighbors (thanks to Tony and Laura). We asked our favorite Goodwill shoppers to be on the lookout for clothes and blankets (thanks to JoAnn and Katie). I reached out to our church for diapers and formula (thanks to New Life Chapel). We started a Go Fund Me account and accepted cash donations to help pay the legal fees (thanks to all who contributed). We were on a mission. By the time Vicki arrived at our house on Sunday the 15th, baby Ava had 90% of what she needed.

Ahh, the power of community.

Baby Ava made her arrival into this world on March 17th. She was our little St. Patty’s Day good luck charm! She also now shares a birthday with my niece, Kendall. It was a perfect day. She was a perfectly healthy baby. And, we all fell in love with her immediately.

Watching the birth mother hand over her child over was incredible. While it’s hard to imagine how that would feel, it’s really commendable what she did. What a mature girl to recognize that she didn’t have the resources to give Ava the life that she deserves. What a strong girl not to abort, but rather seek out the perfect environment for her child to grow.

Talk about making the best of a challenging situation.

Being at the hospital and witnessing the emotions in the room was very hard. I met the birth mother an hour before she delivered. She was amazing. She welcomed me with open arms, gave me time with Ava, and didn’t think twice about letting me spend hours at the hospital with them. Being so close to Vicki and this process, I can’t express how much that meant to me.

After leaving the hospital, Vicki and Ava made their way to our home. There we all fell in love with Ava. She ate. She slept. She dirtied her diapers. She made us all smile. She really is the best baby!

The next day Vicki’s husband, Jeff, and their youngest son, Chase, arrived planning to stay until the guardianship hearing. We went through the weekend, hoping that Monday would deliver a court day. Another day passed, and no word. While we waited, we made the best of our days. Jeff made breakfast in the mornings and kept himself busy by hanging the artwork in our new home. Not complaining! Vicki and I kept busy feeding, changing diapers, attempting photo sessions and even shopping with Ava. Chase played video games and attended Ty’s baseball games so that he could visit with his old teammates. Being together and caring for one another helped us through the uncertainty.

Finally, on Tuesday they were told that the court date was set for May 8th. They were hoping for an emergency hearing due to the circumstances but, well … welcome to the court systems. While there are still hurdles ahead, they knew it wouldn’t help them to stay any longer. So, last night they started their journey back to Boston.

It was so hard to see them go. Throughout the process we’ve shared many words, many prayers and many tears. As I watched them pull out of our driveway, my tears reached a whole new level. I was sad to see my friend, her family and her beautiful new baby leave. I was also very happy for all of them. After all they are off to start something new. How lucky are they?

Just four weeks ago I would have never imagined hosting another family for an extended period of time, or having a newborn under our roof once again. But, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It was remarkable. And for those of you asking, never say never, but another child is not in our plans. That said, this story sheds light on the fact that God has the ultimate plans and in our family we will go where He leads us.

Wishing Baby Ava and her new family all the best. Please keep them on your prayer list and embrace those opportunities to pay it forward, come together and spread the love. After having experienced it first hand, I can truly say …

Nothing feels better.