Greetings From Vegas

While there are hundreds of jewelry shows every year, there is only one that shines the brightest – it’s JCK Las Vegas. We’ve been here since Monday and it’s been one hot, and wild ride. From selecting new lines to meeting with other industry professionals, every day we’ve been working hard. And, to balance things out, every night we’ve been playing hard{er}.

While there is still one full day left before we pack up our bags to go home, here are some of our highlights so far …

THE BIG BRANDS

As you might know by know, when it comes to jewelry designers, I tend to pick favorites. Can you blame a girl? Every year when JCK Las Vegas rolls around I get a little giddy because I know I’m going to have the opportunity to meet with my favorite brands, pick their brains, and see what they have coming down the pipeline. While we’ve met with so many people over the last three days, my highlights so far have been Simon G., Tacori, and Hearts On Fire. So much sparkle, and so much innovation. We can’t wait to tell you what these brands have in store.

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THE MINGLING

I thought I threw a great party, but JCK Las Vegas sure has it down. From delicious dinner parties to evening soirees they’ve done such a great job at keeping the entire jewelry industry entertained. Not only are these events fun, but they’re also a great opportunity to mingle with other jewelers, up and coming designers, service providers, you name it! One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of talent in Vegas this week and we’ve had so much fun connecting with faces, old and new.

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THE BEAUTIFUL BLING

There are so many perks associated with JCK Las Vegas, but the thing we love the most is the ability to bring home new products to you, our customers. Day after day we’ve been strolling the exhibitor floor to find the dream pieces you’ve described. We’ve spent hours talking about trends we’re on board with, and those that we think will fizzle quickly. We’ve thought about the lines we love at the store, and those that could use some new life. After all of this thinking, talking, and trying, we are pretty stoked about the pieces that we’ll be bringing back to Yelton Fine Jewelers. Watch our showcases for new inventory. It’s coming soon!

One more day to go! Wish us luck. We look forward to seeing you all when we get back on home soil.

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Summer Bucket List

With the flowers blooming and the birds chirping I have summer on my mind. Unfortunately for us, the boys will be in school until early June, which means we’ll be getting a bit of a late start. No worries, we’ll make up for it! What’s on your summer bucket list this year?

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ll be up to …

BALL GAMES

If you’re looking for us this summer, there’s a 90% chance that we’ll either be on the baseball field or at a lacrosse game. Trent will be playing on a travel lacrosse team, which means we’ll all get to visit Georgia and Chicago {yippee}. As for Ty, he’ll be staying more local this year, playing primarily in Indy and Columbus. Win or lose, we’re looking forward to exploring a couple of new areas as a family.

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GO REDS

For those off weekends and weeknights when the boys don’t have any games, we bought a small pack of Cincinnati Reds tickets. While we’re hoping for a World Series title, there’s no doubt that we’ll have fun either way. We love the energy of the stadium, the crazy fans, and of course, all of the delicious food.

THE OPEN ROAD

Yelton’s love a good road trip and this year we’re hoping to make it to Pittsburgh to watch our new friend, Josh Harrison, play some baseball. On our way back we’ll make our annual stop at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort for a few days. If you haven’t been, look into it. Now! From golf, to ropes courses, and everything in between, they have something for the entire family. I should also mention that the spa is ahhhhmazing. Any guesses where you’ll find me?!

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NEW FAMILY SPORT

As if we don’t have enough on our plates, as a family we’ve decided to take up a new sport. It’s a little game they call disc golf, and I have to say, it’s a blast! While we aren’t ready for a competitive league {just yet} we plan to check out as many local courses as we can during the summer months. They’re everywhere! To find a course in your area, check out Disc Golf Scene. All you need your competitive spirit and a couple of discs because most of the time there is no entry free required {score}.

KINGS ISLAND

In our household, Kings Island is a summer must! Both boys have gold passes and while it’s only May, Ty has already gotten his moneys worth. I don’t know where these kids get their thrill-seeking spirits, but it’s definitely not from me! I’m more likely to post up in Kiddie Land and enjoy a scoop of “Blue Ice Cream”. Don’t judge, it’s delicious!

When I lay it all out there it seems like a lot, but like every summer before, I’m sure it will fly right by. Whatever you have on your list this year, be sure to soak up these warm and sunny months! Before we know it, we’ll be shopping for back-to-school outfits again.

Club Tacori 2016

Mark and I are back from Club Tacori 2016 and we’re still glowing from all of the California sun. When we arrived on Sunday we spent the day exploring Santa Monica. It’s such a cute part of LA! We hit the 3rd street promendade, the Pier, and dipped our toes in the sand at the beach. After a wonderful day on our own, it was time to join our other Club Tacori members to celebrate the past, the present, and the future …

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THE PAST

Club Tacori kicked things off with a welcome reception, dedicated to reflecting on the past. The whole party took place Under The Fig Tree at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica. This particular tree has a history. The wife of the man who founded Santa Monica planted it as a sapling back in the 1880’s. Since then it’s grown into one of the largest trees in North America and has been named one of the “Most Essential Trees of Los Angeles.”

Just like everyone attending Club Tacori, this tree has a story. Standing in its shadow we all had an opportunity to think back to our pasts, our accomplishments, and the mark that we’ve left thus far. It was a wonderful evening!

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THE PRESENT

Monday was a celebration of the present. Tacori exposed to all of their beautiful new products and had most of us drooling. We can’t wait to bring some of these new items to the store for the holidays!

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As the sun began to set all of the Club Tacori Members gathered at the Jonathan Club for our White Party. There we were encouraged to embrace the moment, enjoying each others company as well as the beautiful California sunset. 

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THE FUTURE

Tuesday, the final day of Club Tacori, was a look ahead to the future. After some free time in the morning Mark and I attended seminars in the afternoon. It was so inspiring to see all of the wonderful things that Tacori is working towards. Hint, hint … there’s plenty of sparkles.

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Come nighttime we were all invited to a formal Wonderland party. The whimsical theme challenged us all to think outside of the box, and dream big. It was a night of excitement, great food, and plenty of dancing!

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Overall, we had an amazing time at Club Tacori 2016 and are so excited to share some of this amazing new jewelry with you. One more day strolling down Venice Beach and we’ll be on our way back. We hope to see you all at Yelton’s soon!

Our Time In Cooperstown

Our travels this month took us to Cooperstown, New York, “The Home of Baseball”. Our goal, of course, to play baseball!

To start our adventure, we packed up and drove 10 hours to this quaint and amazing little town. I never imagined New York could be so green! Cooperstown is truly beautiful, and it’s also in the middle of NOWHERE. After getting the whole family settled in our vacation home, it came time to drop off our first player (Ty). Things didn’t go as smoothly as planned there! To get into the barracks we waited in traffic for THREE HOURS, leaving only five minutes for our last hugs and kisses.

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Once we dropped off Ty, we ventured downtown and checked out the cute shops and restaurants. It was a boutique paradise, and all of the restaurants had cute, baseball inspired names such as DoubleDay Cafe, Hey Getcha Hot Dog, Mickey’s Place and Hard Ball Cafe. We even found a distillery that sells Glimmerglass Branded Vodka (named after a local state park) in a baseball shaped bottle, as well as a non-GMO cinnamon whiskey called Spitball. Awesome! The shops were also 100% focused on baseball with shirts that read “My son hit a Home Run in Cooperstown” and “My son hit a Grand Slam in Cooperstown”! Fortunately for us, members of the Ty fan club, we were able to purchase BOTH!

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Along with Ty’s Grand Slam and Home Run, he made the whole family proud with a strong showing on the Pitchers Mound, and every base that he played.

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As we neared the end of our baseball inspired vacation, we were so excited when our team made it to the Championship game in Little Majors Stadium. What an amazing accomplishment! The boys fought hard, but ultimately they came up short. There were a lot of tears and sad faces, but after a few days Ty came around!

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Since our team finished 2nd Place and went 11-1, we didn’t have a lot of breaks! That said, we did make time for one grand Yelton family excursion. Before arriving in Cooperstown, I researched the area to find that the oldest covered bridge in the United States is located just seven miles from downtown. It’s called the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge and is nestled in Glimmerglass State Park. Entrance to the park cost $7, and it was worth every cent. If you ever find yourself in the area, this is a MUST DO!!

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Overall, we’re so glad that we made the trip to Cooperstown. If you ever have the opportunity to take your son or daughter, don’t let this pass you by! Even if your kids are grown, but you love baseball, you could still spend three to four days in this quaint little town and have a blast.

We’ve had a lot of great family adventures lately, and as a mom, I just love to see how much fun the boys have. When we left Cooperstown we also headed to Niagara Falls. Stay tuned for a future blog on that trip! In the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying your summer so far!

 

To Family & Freedom

I hope everyone had an amazing (and safe) Fourth of July weekend! If you drove down Shulze Drive at all, you may have noticed that Yelton Fine Jewelers was closed. While it’s always a hard decision to leave our customers behind, we sure appreciated the time away as a family. It just doesn’t happen enough with our busy summer schedules.

To celebrate our freedom, and soak up our time together, we made our way to our vacation home on Hidden Valley Lake (psst, visitors always welcome). Along with the usual food, games, and fireworks we also had some time to indulge in our hobbies. Ty and Mark snuck away to play baseball resulting in some shiny new trophies, while Trent and I took our new paddle boards for a spin. So much fun, here’s a glimpse …

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To all of our customers, thank you again for allowing this opportunity to escape as a family. I hope your holiday weekend was just as relaxing, free, and full of laughs. See you all soon!

Beneath The Bling

Coming back from Vegas, I feel refreshed. While jewelry shows are about finding new lines, staying up to date on trends, and networking, it’s also much more. As I reflect on the past week, I realize that the reason I love what I do is not just because of the sparkles. It’s because of the innovation, the fashion, the people, and the passion. All of the tiny facets that rest beneath the bling …

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Innovation

My favorite thing about the jewelry industry is how it continues to evolve. New technology, new styles, and new designers are constantly coming out of the woodworks. The result of this ongoing innovation is an industry that bleeds creativity and expression. In Vegas, there was evidence of that everywhere. Even after all of these years, I’m continuously amazed. And that is, awesome!

Fashion

When most people think about fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is clothing. Well, I’m here to tell you that no outfit is complete without perfectly coordinated bling. Everywhere we turned in Vegas we found stunning fashion pieces. They were colorful, they were bold, and they had me wanting. With the right jewelry piece, I promise, even jeans and a white t-shirt can become a work of art. That, my friends, is the power of fashionable jewelry.

People

Believe it or not when I see diamonds, I don’t think about the rocks themselves. I think of the people they represent. When I look at a well-crafted Simon G engagement ring, I think about the man, the artisan behind the work. When I sell a promise ring, or an anniversary band at Yelton Fine Jewelers, I think about my customers, their love and their unique story. When I put my own jewelry on each morning, I think about my blessings, and my own desire to express myself. Look deeply at any jewelry piece, and I bet, you too, will be reminded of someone special in your life.

Passion

If you ever have an opportunity to attend a jewelry show, one of the first things you’ll notice is that everyone there is passionate about what they do. When you walk into the room, the energy radiates and it’s because we believe in the products that we sell. As jewelers, we appreciate the hard work that goes into each piece, we respect the vision of the designers, and in the end, we love helping our customers commemorate the most precious moments in their lives. I think we can all agree, there aren’t many jobs quite like this one.

As I get settled back into the “real world”, I’m appreciative of my time in Vegas. For reconnecting me with the people that inspire me, for exposing me to the talents of so many designers, and for reminding me all that lies beneath the bling.

All American Spring Break

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Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is already behind us? Slow down 2016, you’re going too fast! As we march forward, the next big thing that’s in store for the Yelton’s is Spring Break. Time off. Sunshine. Family bonding. Yes, please.

Looking back on the vacations that we’ve taken in the past, I decided it’s time for the boys to experience a real, All-American road trip. This is something I used to love as a kid. My parents would pack us in their wood-paneled station wagon and we’d hit the road to Florida. Of course I sat backwards for the entire 15 to 20 hour drive. Who wouldn’t?

These days, we’re so caught up in the ongoing hustle and bustle that our longest car rides are to the airport and back. Well, that’s all about to change, and I can’t wait to see what the boys think. If you see our kiddos around town, just try to keep your lips sealed as this is a big surprise for them!

The Crew

A true road trip wouldn’t be complete without family friends. We’re so excited that the Crawford’s have agreed to join us! Rocky will drive and I will stand in as his fearless navigator. Fingers crossed, I don’t get us lost. Mark and Becky will manage all of our accommodations, and they’ve also signed up for the biggest job of them all … keeping the little ones in line. The kids have one task only and that’s to have fun.

The Attire

Of course, I’m planning to dress the part. I’ve already ordered Becky and I hats that read, “I’m a happy camper”. Also hoping we find a few Laundromats along the way to keep our wardrobe fresh and clean.

The Agenda

The first lag of our trip will be a flight to Phoenix. From there we’ll get in a cab to pick up our RV in Mesa. Yes, I said it … Tina in an RV. Can you picture it? From there the fun begins …

We’ll kick it off with a Cincinnati Reds Training game, followed by a delicious meal at Culinary Dropout. And then it’s off to LA. The little ones want to drive down Rodeo Drive to see all of the expensive cars, and the moms are hoping to get their toes in the sand. Bliss.

After leaving LA we’ll scoot up the coast to San Jose and then spend a couple of nights in San Francisco. Our current wish list includes Lombard Street, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. With any luck the Golden State Warriors will be home and we’ll be able to scalp some nosebleeds. Anyone out there have a hook-up?

Once we’ve soaked up all that California has to offer we’ll make our way to our final destination … good ol’ Las Vegas. There we plan to visit the Hoover Dam, Tanked, and a few of the fun car garages (see, there’s a theme). We’ll top it off with a Zipline ride down Fremont Street and a few kid-friendly shows.

All of that in a seven to nine day timeframe and then it’s homeward bound. Phew! I have no doubt that we’ll leave with memories that will last us a lifetime.

Is anyone else doing anything exciting for Spring Break this year? If you have any must-see stops for us to explore while we are gone, send them my way! I’m also taking RV tips too … I’m guessing there won’t be a lot of showers in my future.

Sun, Sand & Smartphone Apps

I was really excited when Allegiant Air announced its arrival into Cincinnati. Upon hearing the news I immediately started planning a summer excursion to Florida. It was perfect, while the boys played baseball in Disney I would take some time to kick back, relax and rejuvenate. Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball, but this chick was in desperate need of some beach time. Plus, what’s the big deal when you can get live score updates from anywhere these days! Don’t judge me (please).

After researching a few areas in Florida, it was decided. While the boys headed out for their games, Trent and I would post up in Juno Beach to visit my good friend Kendall and her husband Chad. Plan in place, time to book. As I browsed through the awesome “a la carte” rates offered by Allegiant I decided they were too good to be true and invited my niece, Kendall, as well. It didn’t take much convincing. She was on board.

Our flight path took us from CVG to Sanford Airport in Orlando. For those who travel often, Sanford is the best-kept secret in the world of airports. No lines. No waiting. It’s even smaller than Dayton! After snagging our luggage we headed towards our first stop, the rental car kiosk.Tina_Florida2

In an effort to be economical and save on fuel, I had originally booked a compact car. Well, little did I know that when they say compact they actually mean an itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie Smart Car. While I love those little things, I knew that it wasn’t going to fit the bill for this trip. With long drives ahead, new highways and a lot of planned stops, now wasn’t the time for my first Smart Car adventure. Luckily they had a couple of mid-sized cars on the lot so we didn’t have to pack in like sardines. We left it up to Trent who chose a bright red Hyundai Accent as our chariot and we headed on our way.

When we hopped in the car my niece asked where we were headed. No problem, I plugged the information into my favorite travel app, WAZE. If you’re on the road a lot, consider WAZE your new best friend. Not only does it give you accurate directions, but it also provides you with fun facts and important details along the way. Do you want to know where the police are hanging out? Would you like to steer clear of accidents or bad road conditions? How about terrible weather? WAZE knows it all.

While I consider myself a seasoned WAZER, my niece took it to a whole new level. The moment we decided we were famished she whipped out her ROAD NINJA app to reveal the closest restaurant. Easy. How technology comes so natural to kids these days, I have no idea.

By the time we had identified the location of our next feast our phones were dying quickly. We attempted plugging them into the USB charger in the car. No luck. We turned to WAZE, which pointed us to the nearest Walgreen’s to purchase a new charger. At this point I was starting to believe that my niece, Kendall, had super powers. With access to nearly every cell phone app in the world, she was saving our day!

After juicing up the cell phones and satisfying our bellies, it was finally off to Juno Beach. We set our ears on the US PL8S game while keeping our eyes peeled for different license plates. Arizona. New Hampshire. Colorado. Halfway to our destination we were convinced that we’d find them all, but, alas, we ended at 60%. Alaska, watch out, I’m still looking for you.

When we arrived in Juno Beach I immediately felt relaxed. The waves were crashing. The breeze was soft. The destination was nothing short of beautiful. We spent the week digging our toes in the sand, visiting local museums, shopping (of course), and swimming in our friends’ pool. We also got a little time in with my family as well – the Woodses. Unfortunately, we aren’t related to Mr. Tiger Woods himself, but our golfing skills are almost as good. Take my word for it.

By the time the boys met up with us we were ready to hit the beach again. Can you blame us? On Saturday morning, we darted towards the sand where we got to see Sea Turtles in action as they made their way back to the ocean. What an awesome experience. Come Sunday, we packed it up and headed back to Orlando to close the trip.Tina_Florida

En route to Orlando we decided to stop in Christmas, Florida for an airboat ride. Back in the day Roy’s parents lived in Christmas and Mark spent a lot of summers on the very river that we were on. It was kind of cool to imagine him hanging out there in his younger years. Our trip guide was amazing and if you ever find yourself in Christmas I highly recommend visiting Midwest Airboats. Santa Claus sightings, not guaranteed.

For our final stop (insert a tear), we decided to head to Universal City Walk. Guided by our fearless leader, Kendall, and her array of cell phone apps we, once again, got to experience the best of Florida. After strolling around, we decided to have dinner at NBA City where the food and the service were something that I could appreciate!

When the weekend came to an end we were sad to kiss our vacation goodbye, though we knew it had come time to make our way home and get settled back into our routine. Overall, the trip was awesome I would highly recommend all of the excursions that we went on. I also advise everyone to jump on the cell phone app train. From restaurant recommendations to accurate directions and everything in between, they make traveling so easy!

And, if you don’t like being tied to your smart phone, travel with a sixteen year old. They’ve got this technology thing down!