Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's a beautiful day in the MY neighborhood..

...and in the neighborhood down the road.



Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Each and every one of you are a blessing to my life...
thank you.
See you all in the New Year!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Frosty and Leila

Having a granddaughter is ultra fun, especially one as cute as mine... ha ha.

This year she has decided to become obsessed with snowmen. None of us know where this came from. Her poppy (Scott) decided it would be great fun to take her to Build-A-Bear, for a special treat... here are the pics...


Choosing the heart...

Putting the heart in...

Giving Frosty his bath...

The birth certificate...

Christmas is so fun as seen through a child's eyes.

"He was made of snow, but the children know, how he came to life one day..."

"My new friend..."

He will have to live on magic and love, because it was 84 degrees the day he came to life!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My French Christmas Tree

The other day I showed you my family room, with all the cutsie Christmas stuff for the family.

My other side, is reflected in my living room/entry way. Eventually, I will phase out a lot of the "cute" and move into my more European phase... at least my version of it...

My oldest and dearest friend sent me this ornament, and that was the inspiration for the whole tree.

Table top live tree.

The tree is in the room no one sits in, except me, and that's only when I play the piano.

A very special blog friend sent me this card. I will cherish it always.

Sticker from The Beautiful Life.

Entry table with a scarf I bought in Paris in Sept.

Thought you might like to see my cross wall.

So there you have it.

Hope your shopping is going well.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Moment of Panic

Last month, I volunteered to have my writing group over for a Christmas brunch, the first week of December. I did this on purpose... I work best under pressure, and I knew it would FORCE me to get my house decorated early.

Have you ever heard the expression..."It seemed like a good idea at the time?" Well, two days before the brunch, I spent all day decorating a small live Christmas tree for my entry, and a small entry side table. I spent so much time doing that, I neglected to do all the other rooms, and the table.

The next day around 10am I was in a complete panic. Stuff was everywhere! The big tree in the family room sat naked, the table bare, and the Christmas village looked like it had been through a tornado. I was in complete overwhelm. So... what do I do when I'm in overwhelm?? I call one of two people... my first go to person is Scott... but he was at work. So, I called my mom. Within 30 minutes she came over, and we got moving. Sometimes, when someone else comes in, things just start going smoothly, especially when that someone is ultra talented in all she does. So in a matter of about 3 hours, we decorated the tree, got the table set, fixed the village, and even recovered a footstool!

Here are a few scenes. I only wish I had a before shot to show you...

The table...

The big tree... it looks a little crooked here... :)

Mom pulled this together in about 5 minutes, with found objects.

Mom also put the ribbon on the candle and the frame... what a special touch!


(BTW, this is an old footstool my sister-in-law gave me, and it just sat for years because it was so ugly. You vintage girls inspired me. When I have time, I will trim it and embellish it somehow... still thinking...)

The brunch went really well, and we all had a great time.

So, thanks mom... I will be calling again...


P.S. Still waiting to download more Disney pics.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Busy Week and Weekend!

Have had no time to blog... how you all have time this time of year blows my mind.

We've been at Disney all weekend. They've done the most incredible thing with Cinderella's castle (incase you didn't know, Cinderella is a French fairytale).

Here's a sneak peek. More in my next post.

Remember, "A dream is a wish your heart makes..."


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Best Gift...

Christmas is a time of giving, and receiving.

Three years ago I received a gift... and my life changed. Completely, totally, and I hope permanently.

I received my passion.

Oh, I had passion for my family, and for God, and I in no means want to minimize those, but this was different...

It was a passion just for me... well, actually for me and my better half.

Paris gave me passion...

Only in a place of passion, is something like this created...
so full of emotion...

Only in a place of passion, do you turn, and see this..

In Paris I received my passion...
passion for a place,
a way of life,
a way of thinking... thinking that told me there was more out there in the world than right here where I live...

My life gained texture, wonder, romance, awe, inspiration. I am willing to do things I would've never done before, all because I visited a place...

Here are a few things I've done over the past 3 years, that I would have NEVER done without open eyes to see the possibility to live more fully, to take chances, to get out of my rut... a rut I had carefully constructed myself, a rut I thought I was most happy in...
Until... Paris...

*I was the lead in a play for charity. I always secretly dreamed of being an actress, but never pursued it. You know what? When it was over, even though I was glad I did it because it stretched me, I realized I do not ever really want to do that again.
Funny, huh?

*I started writing. I took a writing class. I started this blog! I can promise you, no way would I have had anything to say, or the nerve to say it, a few years ago.
I did the book writing challenge. Without Versailles, and all the mystery and glamour of that place, and falling in love with Marie Antoinette, along with the city of Paris,
I would have never, ever had the imagination to do that.

*I took French lessons with a group of complete strangers.

*We welcomed a 14 year old French girl, Clara into our home for 3 weeks. That was so unlike us. We don't even like to have company!

*We visited Clara's family in Marseille, knowing they didn't even speak English! What a night... what an experience.

*I've turned corners, not knowing where I was going.

*Gone down deserted, lonely streets and alleys, unafraid.

*Walked alone (without Scott) in Paris at night at 11pm, thrilled by the exhilaration of knowing I would never do that in America.

*I got on trains without the proper ticket. Would I be thrown off? Get in trouble? Who knew? I just stuck my nose in a book, and hoped for the best. My heart beat wildly, but sometimes, when you have no choice, you just have to go with the flow.

*I went in buildings, restaurants, cafes etc. having no idea what the deal was, how the food was, or how we would be treated.

*I jumped turnstiles, when there were no other options.

*I learned to put on a scowl and argue with Frenchmen...ok, so it did me no good, but still, I did it! I stood up for myself.

*I tried snails... I love snails... enough said.

So my favorite gift I ever received did not come wrapped in a package at Christmas. It was given to me quite unawares, when I didn't even see it coming.

Only once in my life did a place that was man-made,
overwhelm me,
bring me to tears.
Only once have I sat in awe...
felt the passion of others...
felt the passion of creativity and artistry...
seen what can be created when there is time, no rush, no deadline...

Never have I felt so small, yet so full...

So Paris, I applaud you for preserving your past, for keeping your passion for beauty, for understanding that you can change and evolve...without removing all remnants of the past. An old building isn't torn down, it's recreated into something else. A palace that no longer houses royal residents, isn't mowed down for something new, it becomes home to some of the greatest works of art ever created. The residents of your apartment buildings change with each new generation, but the mystery and emotion in the air, never goes away.

So for me, I just want to say,

Merci Paris...Merci Beaucoup

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shopping In Paris

If I could go Christmas Shopping, anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?

Seriously, do I even need to tell you?

Of course it would be Paris...

We always visit Paris in the fall (cheapest airfare). Our first trip was in mid-October, and the weather was fabulous! Really balmy and warm in the day, cool at night. We thought this was normal for Paris. The following year, we went in November...what difference would 2 weeks make? A LOT. We froze!! We found out later, that particular Oct. was unseasonable warm, and my guess is, the following Nov. was unseasonably cold. I will tell you, the cold in Paris is damp and when the wind blows down those streets, it chills you to the bone. Cappuccino for 6plus tip became the order of the day. That is when we decided we couldn't live in Paris year round. Our thin FL blood will not take it.

We spent lots of time in museums. We even visited Victor Hugo's house, just to get in out of the cold! We also did a lot of window shopping. I'm not a shopper (buyer) but I am really glad we went in this store to get warm!

I think we are in Galleries Lafayette, across from the Opera House.

Here... take a look...


Had to try the Chanel...it's my favorite...

It was so festive and beautiful... and okay, due to the extreme temperatures, I bought 2 casual coats. One was bought out of necessity, and the other, well, it was just too cute!

Great Memories!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just for fun... Here is my new desktop picture for the holidays.

I ordered this from Tracy Porter, and I can't wait for it to arrive.

It's on her website, under gifts, if you are interested.

She also does a radio show at 3pm EST on Wednesdays, and she's a hoot. There are also awesome videos on her website. She has really inspired me. Just today, I made a wreath, completely out of found objects.

Gotta love that!


Monday, November 30, 2009

I Made It!

Friends... It's been a long and lonely process, but this afternoon, (Sunday) I actually crossed the finish line, and finished my novel. 50,211 words to be exact, in 30 days.

MY NOVEL.. it sounds so odd to say that, but I guess that's what it is, whether I ever do anything with it or not.

It actually is a novel... it has a beginning, middle, and end. There were many times I wanted to quit, to shoot myself....

{This photo was taken at about 30,000 words.}

I got stuck many times in the "middle muddle" but I had someone at my side, always ready to pull me out of the muck.

That someone, was Scott... who for the past 29 days, has cheered me on, watched every Marie Antoinette movie and documentary I could get my hands on, and had to push huge, thick, library books off the bed in order to go to sleep.
He put up with me on my laptop at 3am (in bed) when inspiration struck. He put up with me saying no less than 6 times... "I have nowhere to go with this plot... I'm stuck... help me." Which, he did! He was always ready with an idea... seriously! He's a real history buff, and even though my novel is fiction, I wanted to keep it historically accurate. I couldn't have done it without him.

Then today, when I woke him up, from "watching" the football game, he sat by me while I uploaded my novel to the word counter on the website, and watched my "WINNER" notification come in. The certificate was there, ready to be printed with my name on it... but I needed a novel title! As fast as lightening he simply said...

"Marie Antoinette: Past, Present, and Future"

{The certificate..."winner" just means I finished by the deadline}

I couldn't believe it... it's a great title, and might give you a hint to my plot.

This is the point at which I should be telling you to never give up, follow your dreams, etc... except that writing a book has not been a dream of mine for any length of time. I just took this challenge sight unseen, and managed to finish.
I'm really glad I did.

So, December is here, and it's off to the races of pulling together a great holiday for my friends and family... and hopefully...
a few blogposts!


Monday, November 23, 2009


Taking a blogging break, to celebrate Thanksgiving....

and hopefully cross the finish line with 50,000 words by Nov. 30.

Check back in on December 1.

In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday full of family, food, and fun...

and giving thanks to our Lord Jesus for all that He has done.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Just For Fun

SO... a friend asked me the other day if the new photo at the top of my blog was in celebration of Halloween... no... another friend asked if it was in celebration of the movie, New Moon... no... it's just a pic I took of the Eiffel Tower. I simply changed the coloring to sepia, and blurred the edges. I guess to some people, it looks like a huge moon. When I took the picture, I was trying to capture the detail of the structure. It's so delicate, like lace, yet so much bigger in person than you can even believe. I heard the other night that if they melted the entire tower down to its base, it would only be six centimeters thick! Now that's amazing!

Speaking of New Moon... I thought I would share some pics of a party we had last year, the night Twilight was released on DVD. OK... I know some of you are yawning right now, and sick of the hype, but I share for a reason... please bear with me.

My two daughters are 10 years apart. My oldest is married and expecting her second child, and my youngest is 15. I love it so much when they hang out... it's sweet. Of course then there's me... the old lady. When all three of us like something equally, I like to take full advantage, and jump in with them. So I threw this party for them and some of their friends... just for fun! We ate, laughed, and all watched the movie together on the BIG screen. It is a fun memory!

My youngest, and her friends.

This guy looks hungry...

so we gave him some Red Velvet cupcakes.


My oldest... she has a great smile.

Scott was the only male invited (it was at his house after all) and he won the trivia contest... all the girls were furious!

The whole gang.

BTW... Older sister took younger sister to the midnight showing of New Moon last night... I stayed home in bed! I'm a fan, but I'm not crazy!

Well, tonight's date night... guess where Scott and I are going????


P.S. Still writing...

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