As a young girl, I learned that not all engagements came with a ring. From the unconventional watch my father used to propose marriage to my mother to my own rocky romances–the too many rings I fell in love with and the too few men that could commit to a lasting bond, this the story of my life from age five to fifty, as told through the jewelry that I inherited, purchased for myself, and received (or didn’t receive) as gifts. Each chapter reveals a gem that brings forth an intimate memory– my mom’s post-divorce transformation from Jackie O pearls to donning love beads to my grandmother’s dime store fantasy gems and the sparkle of promising new relationships and the meltdowns of many breakups.

Then when my mother unexpectedly passed away, my life was forever changed. I not only lost my best friend, but also a big part of myself–the woman who taught me how to love, overcome obstacles and how to accessorize. In “My Charmed Life”, I connect my past and present by linking the jewelry in my life, conjuring up lost keepsakes and fiery moments—until I realize that the brightest gems are the ones you give yourself, and find freedom I never thought possible.