I'm hopelessly sentimental, especially when it comes to memories of my family. I'm the one who's always pulling out a camera and unfolding a tripod in the middle of a hotel lobby to capture a family photo. One of my favorite ways of preserving memories is with jewelry. I've been fortunate enough to have been passed down several pieces from my mom and grandmothers; and my dad, husband, and brother have each gifted me with some really special pieces too.
One of the most personal ways to combine jewelry with memories is with a charm bracelet. Have you ever owned one? My first charm bracelet began when I was in middle school. I was so excited to go into York Jewelry with my dad and pick out a sterling silver bracelet, just waiting to be filled with charms representing milestones and adventures in my young life: a crown to represent my name (God's Princess); a clarinet (chosen when I joined the 8th grade marching band), and even a medallion with a bear imprint (picked up during a memorable family trip through the Black Hills). Sadly, I have no idea what happened to this bracelet because I would absolutely still wear it.
I have two charm bracelets at the moment.
The top is a classic Tiffany & Co. ID bracelet, given to me by my brother and sister-in-law to commemorate my college graduation. I've often thought of adding more charms to it but haven't really found any that mean something to me.
The bottom bracelet was a gift from Dan. He gave it to me the first Christmas we were married, so I'd always remember our first Christmas. It's from Red Envelope and is holiday-themed. Because it's seasonal, I wear it non-stop from November to January.
If you'd like to start your own charm bracelet, you can either build your own or choose one with charms already attached. If you're building your own, you can find chain link bracelets lots of places - your local jewelry store or an online store like Blue Nile. You'd be surprised where you can find charms to add - everywhere from mall kiosks and junk shops to upscale jewelry stores like Tiffany's.
If you're going the route of a pre-made charm bracelet, Alex and Ani charm bangles are a favorite of Hollywood stars like Sandra Bullock and Jessica Simpson. They're delicate and so pretty:
Prices for Ani and Alex charm bangles run about $21-32 per set, but you can get a great discount (30% or more!) if you sign up as a member of Lockerz.com.