Ben’s Bells

I was so thrilled when a college friend posted to her FaceBook about spearheading a Phoenix chapter of Ben’s Bells. It’s an adorably simple concept: hang bells around town for people to find. Ask them to take the bell home and remember to practice kindness when they hear it ring.

The charity’s namesake, Ben, was a precious three year old living in Tucson. He awoke with croup like symptoms but seemed to be feeling ok. Like every mom would, his parents waited and watched his condition. In a flash, his airway swelled shut and they were unable to get him the help he needed in time. His parents began Ben’s Bells as a coping strategy that has blossomed into a beautiful tribute to his memory. And it has touched the lives of other tragedy victims including those in New Town Connecticut.

We were gifted 7 bells to distribute around town. We took them to our regular haunts and waited patiently  for them to be discovered and taken home. We realized later that people were a little confused as to whether they were supposed to take the bell, leave it for someone else or take it and then put it back out to be found by someone else. So after a few educational conversations with friends and aqaintences, all of our bells were found. We asked the friends that we knew to spread the word about the project. We’ve since bought a few more from the website as gifts and a few to leave for others to find too.

They make the cutest gifts for any occasion so order some up for you, friends and strangers:


Leaving one at swim lessons – someone was not pleased about posing…

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I couldn’t tell that sweet little face that we weren’t allowed to “find” one, so it is hanging outside their bedroom door

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I Do! I Mean, They Did!

Gorgeous, right?

I had the distinct honor of attending my good friend and Alpha Phi sister and her lovely fiance’s wedding this past weekend. Kristin and Jack tied the knot (literally – I’ll get to that) this past weekend in Prescott. To say this wedding was typical couldn’t be further from the truth. While it appeared to be a traditional event, there were too many amazing details that made it nothing short of fantastic.

To start, Kristin anticipated every guests needs. There was a shuttle to take you from the hotel to the ceremony. Got a heavy gift? The gift table was 1 step away from where the bus stopped. Chilly? An array of pashminas (spelling?) in deep purple, copper and cream, the colors of the wedding. Shoes killing your feet? Yup, there were copper sparkly flip flops so you could kick off your heels and keep dancing. Thirsty? I literally almost knocked over a guy with an entire tray full of wine selections. Not sure what kind of cake you’re in the mood for? Don’t worry, there were at least 4 different and delicious varieties to choose from.

While all of these things alone would make any event special, it was the usual things that Kristin and Jack made perfect. Most couples when getting married at sunset would have the guests face the sunset. But these two had the guests face away so you could watch the landscaping change from tan to warm pinks and oranges, thus providing an amazing back drop for the beautiful bride and groom. And the knot tying business; Jack’s sweet sister, Stormy, was the officiate of their wedding. Part of the ceremony including taking several silk ribbons and tying J and K’s hands together. There are several theories on where the term comes from, but many believe this old Christian ritual is the origin. Not to mention adorable and very pretty! The couple also held a stone from a mountain they visited in Switzerland, thus setting their vows in stone. The guests were all given a bell tied with ribbons to shake and the couple was pronounce husband and wife – you can see them in the picture above. It is so far, Baylie’s favorite toy this week.

The best part, in my opinion, was that Jack and Kristin did a lot of their pictures prior to the ceremony. And also because it was a smaller wedding, we got to see them! They were at cocktail hour, dinner and dancing – not being whisked away for pictures. It was so nice to get to tell them how beautiful it all was and dance the night away, rather than wondering when they would join everyone.

Due to the excessive amount of wine and dancing, Tyler husband of Megan, left his coat at the table. When we retrieved it to take with us on the bus back to the hotel, we realized he left his glasses in the pocket. And thus, a sunglasses montage ended what was a truly memorable evening.

Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Thomson!