Changing Me – Getting Gorgeous and Giving Back

posted in: My Life 22 comments

I started something new and something big for me.  It’s on my ME list.  This is a list I will share with you soon, because I am changing almost everything.  I want to give more to myself, more to my family and more to others.  And, most significantly, I want to see more people.  Face to face.  I want and need to step away from the screen and into the real every day that surrounds me.  I want to feel good about myself, good about others and I want to do good for the world we live in.

Sparkling Inside and Out

A Long Time Coming

We lost a baby I desperately wanted last year.  A baby that I still miss every day.  A baby I still long for.  Whether or not we will have one more child is unknown.  On the day I went in for my surgery, I carefully removed all of my jewelry in my room.  Through tears, I placed my diamond earrings in my jewelry dish.  I removed my wedding ring and my engagement ring and laid them next to the earrings.  Finally, I removed the crystal necklace that everyone associates with me.  The necklace my husband gave me when we found out we were pregnant with our first child. I had no sparkle that day.  My glitter was gone from my body and that day was the last day I would wear jewelry for a very long time. It was also the last day that I sparkled, inside or out, for a very long time.

I was in a very dark place after saying goodbye to that lovely life.  It was months before I noticed that I had never put back on my jewelry.  My ring finger, my ears, my neck, all unadorned and ignored.  Like my heart, ignored.  Like my life, ignored.

When I opened my eyes one morning, I went to brush my teeth and noticed my wedding rings and placed them on my finger.  I felt comforted. I meant to make my marriage better and I wanted to show my husband my heart with his ring on my finger.  I needed him to know that I was committed to getting better.  I put on my necklace.  I reached for my earrings and found only one.  I looked everywhere.  It never turned up.  I felt like I was trying to put back the pieces of me and that my tiny missing earring was a constant reminder of what we had lost.  I continued to work on my inside, but I made little progress on my outside appearance.

Then One Day

Just a few months ago I flew to D.C. for my mother’s 60th birthday.  My mother is full of light and love and sparkles inside and out.  She is a lover of God, her her family, her friends and of jewelry, high heels and Betsey Johnson dresses.  My mom is my rock.  She is my best friend.  I watched her come down the stairs for our birthday brunch cruise in her fabulous dress with all of her accessories and a smile that could brighten the darkest day.  I was hit with a load of bricks.  I had not smiled like that in a long time. I wondered how she could bounce back.  She lost her 2nd sister to cancer just a couple of years ago and I know her heart was broken.  She never stopped taking care of herself, her family, her friends and the community around her.  I think staying engaged helped her to keep going.  I borrowed some jewelry from her for our morning out.  It felt good to feel pretty.  I thought again of the promise I made to myself and my family to start taking care of myself and I reflected on the idea that perhaps sometimes making ourselves feel good on the outside might help feel better on the inside.  The old emotional chicken and egg.

That jewelry made me feel pretty again.  The sparkle made me smile.  It was Stella and Dot.  My sister had just started as a stylist and I bought a few pieces.  It sounds silly but with that, I started wearing jewelry again.  Just a few things to liven up my daily uniform of jeans and a white or black shirt.  It may seem small, but this tiny act of caring for myself was huge.  It was a turning point.  It meant for me, that I could shine.  It meant I was okay with not hiding and hoping I would go unnoticed but instead beaming when a stranger paid me a compliment on my jewelry and then told me I have a beautiful smile. I slowly started to come out of my shell.

I Found My Earring and What I Needed

My new jewelry came in the mail and I took it to my room to put away.  As I was re-arranging some things to fit my new baubles, I saw something sparkling in the corner of my jewelry box.  I could not believe what I was seeing.  My tiny diamond earring was there.   I don’t know how it got there and I don’t care. Ridiculous or not, my life changed.  I was by myself and I laughed and the laughter turned to tears and those gentle tears turned to racking sobs as I released the anger I felt after our loss.  Finding that earring was cathartic.

I called friends I had abandoned and set up coffee dates or a wine night.  I was honest and open about where I was and I might have scared some people, but such is life.  I needed my friends and I needed them to know where I was and I wanted them to know that I was on my way back.  It was hard.   I was not apologizing for my grief, but for perhaps being unaware for a very long time of the things that they had experienced. I had ignored everything.

I realized that as hugely supportive as my online community has been, I need hugs.  I need to be social.  I need to just chat.  I hid behind my screen for a long time and I needed to come out.  To cherish my old friends and make new ones.  To be a part of my community.

Skip to Just a Few Weeks Ago

I decided to jump all the way out of my shell.  I became a Stella and Dot stylist.  Why?  I have a job and I have made a successful place for myself online.  But that’s just it.  I need people.  If a little sparkle can help me, it can make anyone feel just a little but better about themselves and their day.  It was not just about making an outfit.  That’s great, to be sure.  It s about not forgetting about ourselves.  About treating ourselves and our loved ones to something special every once in awhile.  At the end of the day, I’m doing this for more sparkle for me and for you, both inside and out.  Getting together with girlfriends, trying on jewelry, talking about our lives, perhaps drinking a little wine and making new friends.  It is good for the soul.

Getting Gorgeous and Giving Back

I made a commitment when I started this to give something back from every show.  Every single one.  Here is the deal.  For every show, my hostess will get to choose a charity and I will donate 25% of my proceeds to it.  For every show I host, I will donate a minimum of 25% up to 100% of my proceeds.

Get Gorgeous Give Back Stella Dot This month, for my first show, I will be donating 25% to The Urban Ministry Center here in Charlotte.  The Urban Ministry Center is an interfaith organization dedicated to bringing the community together to end homelessness, one life at a time.  The other 25% will be donated to Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts.  If you have a suggestion of the best place to give, please let me know.  I am researching but would love to hear where the money could do the most good.  Want to help me?  Check out all of the great jewelry, handbags and scarves!

I am excited to start this new adventure and get back to being me.  It’s like spreading sparkles and smiles.

Half of the Stella and Dot line is under $50 and all of it is lovely.  If you are looking for someone hard to buy for, grab a gift card and make their day!  Orders placed by December 17th will arrive by Christmas via standard shipping and if you are a little late to the party there are faster options.  Of course, if you are looking to sparkle in 2013, no worries on delivery.   If you want to just say I love you, check out the $19 Love, Light and Courage bracelets.  Here is the light bracelet.

Stella and Dot Light Bracelet

I want to sparkle from the light within and I want to share that light with as many people as possible.

There will be more changes coming in the next year.  From the blog to my house to my family to my heart, change is coming and I couldn’t be more excited or more ready.  Thank you for joining me on this journey and for being there for me this past year.  I may have seemed distant, but the healing was hard to start and I am coming back.  Your support has not gone unnoticed.

Now, go ahead and get gorgeous! Do a little shopping and know that the extra sparkle will make someone’s day!  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Shop and Spread Sparkle

If you want to help you can shop or you can share!  I am just starting this and getting the word with your help would be awesome.

If your are here in Charlotte and would like to host a show at your home, you can give back and get gorgeous with a little free jewelry from the amazing collection.  Or you could come to my next show.  Just leave me a comment and I will add you to my super awesome sparkly people list. If you are one of my online friends, you can run an online trunk show.  Just let me know when and I will be happy to set it up!

Happy Holidays!

I'm Brittany. I believe that simple is best and that smiling can make or break a day. I love being a woman, a wife and a mother. I like to make pretty things and making things with big tools. I am a huge fan of good design. I love to travel. Hugs make me happy. I share my life, experiences, tips and tutorials in the hope that this community can find a whole lot of awesome together.

22 comments… add one

  • December 12, 2012 angela

    What a gorgeous way to give back and to honor your loss and help other women feel beautiful and special and sparkly!
    angela recently posted… Bluff – A ReviewMy Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      Love you sweetie and I hope I can make other people feel a little better. That would make me so happy!

  • December 13, 2012 Alison

    I love that you’re coming back and that you’re bringing sparkle back into your life. Your beautiful smile and heart must have been missed. So happy you’ve got your mojo back. What a great way too – I’m a big jewelry girl myself. I haven’t worn much since I’ve had the boys, but even just putting on one of my favorite pieces makes me smile.

    Alison recently posted… Beauty Is A Light In The Heart…. And Other ThingsMy Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      Did you notice I have been checked out for awhile? I missed our more regular interaction and boy do I mean to get back into chatting! Much love!

  • December 13, 2012 Galit Breen

    This is gorgeous.

    I’m so very proud of and happy for you.

    You so deserve every little bit of sparkle that you find, and that you create!
    Galit Breen recently posted… BabbaBox {Crafting & Learning with Kids Made Easy}My Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      You, my gorgeous friend, have inspired me so many times over the past year to really work towards finding the light again. I should tell you more often how much it means to me that you are my friend, that you share your heart and your joy so often and with so many. Much love and I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! We are mid Hanukkah with Christmas coming fast so it is a whirlwind but I can tell you that saying these blessings every night is a beautiful things and to hear my children really engaging in these traditions is a wonderful boost to my spirit. xo

  • December 13, 2012 tracy

    I love you. And I am so happy for you. xoxoxoo
    tracy recently posted… Bumpidoodle GiveawayMy Profile

  • December 13, 2012 Kim Tracy Prince

    What a lovely idea. I’m so sorry about your loss, B. I know how hard it is to get the sparkle back. :(
    Kim Tracy Prince recently posted… Songs That Stab Me in the Heart: “How You’ve Grown” By 10,000 ManiacsMy Profile

  • December 13, 2012 Catherine

    Brittany, I had no idea. My heart goes out to you and your family. I am sincerely sorry to hear all you have been going through. I am thrilled you made it to the other side and have an outlet that allows you to shine. And let others shine. Literally.
    Catherine recently posted… Welcome to Closet of StyleMy Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      Catherine thank you! Remember we bumped into each other on Halloween and I said there was something I wanted to talk to you about? Well, I was already really starting to want to change my outside and was wishing my personal style showed and I wanted to talk to you about your closet makeovers and making Closet of Style part of my transformation! I will call you or oops its after 8 so I will email you because I have just been putting it off. Love you and can’t wait to get together for some girl time and wine!

  • December 13, 2012 Kimberly

    So happy to hear you are getting back to you and finding that sparkle again. And I love that you are giving back in such a great way!
    Kimberly recently posted… My Greatest GiftMy Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      Thank you Kimberly. I am finally seeing people again and getting hugs and so far, although it is very early, I am getting a lot of positive feedback from people when I ask them to host a show and tell them my story and that they will get to choose a charity to give to. I want everyone to sparkle and show their light!

  • December 13, 2012 Laura

    This is beautiful and heart breaking at the same time. I am so glad you are getting your sparkle back. I can see it shining through this post already. I hope you continue to shine!
    Laura recently posted… The Best Giver – a NOVICA GiveawayMy Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      That’s my plan. Hopefully it will work. So far stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing more people is really lifting my spirits. xo

  • December 13, 2012 Natalie

    This is such a beautiful post in so many ways :)

    And tonight – when the kids go to bed – I can’t wait to look at the Stella and Dot yumminess and find something just for me.

    Also? We need a phone call! xo
    Natalie recently posted… My Memories Makes Online Scrapbooking A Snap! **Giveaway**My Profile

    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      Thank you so much and yes, the phone…anytime. We need to talk again. More regularly. This is a whole part of what I and so many women, not just bloggers, need. More voices, more hugs, more time communicating in ways different from a keyboard. At least for me, it makes a huge difference. And yes, check out the yummy! I should have posted a pic of my dining room table covered with jewelry. Drool worthy!

  • December 13, 2012 Tina

    What a beautiful post Brittany!
    Tina recently posted… Putting On My Face! #VlogMomMy Profile

  • December 14, 2012 Kate F. (

    That is a great way to give back and do something for yourself at the same time. Making sure we remember that we need to put the “air mask on ourselves” first is important. This new business and plan sounds like a winner :)
    Kate F. ( recently posted… The Holiday Break-upMy Profile

  • December 14, 2012 Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things)

    Oh you had me in tears. What a beautiful story.
    Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) recently posted… Pregnant and planning? Check out Birth Plans for Dummies {giveaway}My Profile

  • December 14, 2012 Jenni Chiu

    You deserve to sparkle again! The journey back to yourself from loss is long and hard. I’m glad you’ve found a path to help you… and others.
    Jenni Chiu recently posted… Because he asked, “Do you trust me?”My Profile

    • December 27, 2012 Brittany

      Oh thank you Jenni! It will still take a long time to be back, I think, but I have started!


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