Monday, May 30, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

After the wedding, reception, and a much-needed break,
I thought I'd get back to blogging by the end of May. However, due to the tragic tornado that hit and leveled a third of my hometown on Sunday, May 22, I must
 continue my absence.

We are blessed that our home and immediately family members are fine. Unfortunately, our business was directly in the path of the storm. It was only one of the eight-thousand structures destroyed. Sadly, there were 15 deaths in the apartment complex located next to our building. In all, 142 people died due to the tornado. I have friends who lost family members, my new son-in-law lost his grandmother, and I lost a dear friend from my church.

It has been amazing to see volunteers flooding into our city from all over the country. Food, water, clothing, as well as clean-up crews, nurses, doctors, counselors. Representatives from state and national government agencies have been here to help meet immediate financial and housing needs. President Obama spoke at the memorial service yesterday at our local university. We have been blessed with a outpouring of love and help.

Please pray for comfort, peace, and strength for the people of Joplin, Missouri.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I'm back from Italy, the wedding in Florence, the reception here - all wonderful.  I will share a few pictures in a future post, but for now, I'll start by welcoming May.

After the April showers, everything has been washed clean. May is such a beautiful month for flowers - rebirth, new growth, and blooms. May brings spring flowers, and the childhood memory of making May Day baskets.  Happy May!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Plate Spinning

Things are a little wild and crazy now that my daughter's wedding is just a couple of weeks away.  Parties, showers, travel plans, and finalizing the wedding details. I'm enjoying every minute, but I just need to step away from blogging and focus on having fun with friends and family.

I wish I could look this calm and collected when I have plates spinning.  This makes me smile.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mimi Bleu

It's so exciting to have a guest blogger, but even more special that it's Mimi Bleu from Bonjour Romance.  Mimi was one of the connections I made early in my blogging adventure, and she has continued to be a wonderful friend and source of inspiration.  She has not only created a beautiful blog where she shares all the things she loves - French decor, love, romance, anything vintage, old-fashioned and glamorous, but now Mimi is the creative talent behind Belle Inspiration e-Magazine.

I invited Mimi to share her story and her 'new' inspiration.

This is the image that started my love affair with Belle Inspiration.

How was your Magazine started?      A lot of research, hard work and sleepless nights went into the premier issue in September 2010.  After months of agonising over it, I took the plunge and announced the idea on my blog, Bonjour Romance.  I was completely unprepared for the positive response and encouragement to "go for it."  That is just what I did, and I am so glad I did! 

What motivated you to start your Magazine?      It was the culmination of a longtime dream.  A desire to bring a different kind of magazine to women.  How many times have you read a magazine and felt short changed because you just read the same old thing you had read dozens of times before.  I wanted to change that, and give readers something they could really look forward to, knowing that each issue would be unique.  

What is the mission behind your Magazine?      A place to create, share, and embrace l'art de la vivre.  Belle Inspiration has an emphasis on a romantic style of living that is both practical and classic, combining beautiful words and images.  Or, to put it more simply - We like to say Belle Inspiration is your rendez vous with good taste and style.   

 Where did you come up with your magazine's name, what does it mean?     'Belle' means beautiful in French - Beautiful Inspiration -  I felt that name embodied all we were trying to create. 

What are your plans for your magazine in the future?     Currently we are an online publication, but I am very excited to announce that we are now working to bring Belle into the print world.  Many of our readers prefer the digital version for the reasons above, but we still receive many requests for a print magazine. Our goal is to unveil Belle in print this Summer.  We also plan to offer an app for ipads and iphones.  

How have you been able to balance your blog and your online magazine?      It has actually worked together seemlessly.  Bonjour Romance is where I share a more personal side of being an American in Paris, chronicling things I love as well as my adventures in Paris.  Belle Inspiration is a collaboration of an incredible team of international contributors all sharing the beauty around them. 

What makes your online magazine unique?      I believe it is the wide variety of articles - we usually work around a theme with each issue, but we do not limit all our features to that. Belle Inspiration gives contributors free reign to write and photograph what they truly love. I think that comes across in each article and phot. Thankfully, the response has been overwhelming from both subscribers and advertisors. 

Describe your reader, who is your target audience?      Our motto is "Celebrating La Joie de Vivre", and that appeals to virtually every woman, regardless of age.  Our readers are women who are looking for beauty and inspiration - an online escape.  I always end the Editor's Letter in the magazine with the phrase "Because a woman loves so many things..." 

What are the advantages/disadvantages of e mags over traditional print magazines?       Online magazines have the wonderful advantage of offering clickable links to take readers directly to the blogs and boutiques, the ability to view embedded videos, and my favorite is the way the images are spread across the screen without the center line.  Digital mags also have the added benefit of being 'clutter-free'.  Today many of us are trying to edit and organise our 'stuff', so a digital mag is perfect.  There are still quite alot of readers wha are waiting to have a beautiful print copy, that is why we want to give all readers a choice that will best suit their needs.  

For those that might be unfamiliar, can you explain your tag line:      CELEBRATING LA JOIE DE VIVRE?      It is French for Celebrating the joy of living!   Belle Inspiration is based in Paris France, and I have been inspired by the unique way the French do just that! 

Online March 15th!      If you don't have your subscription yet, click here! 

                                                 Enjoy a little sample of Mimi's inspiration here -

As Mimi always says - Put a Little Ooh La La in Your Life!

Thank you Mimi. It was special having you as my guest.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Start Now!

I wish I had the same "I can't wait" decorating spirit for other holidays as I do Christmas. The ideas and intentions are there, but somehow it seems these other holidays just slip-up on me. Before I know it, the time for the fun new projects is gone, and I'm hurriedly hunting through cabinets, digging through boxes and drawers, in an attempt to place a few random decorations around the house to make it 'look' holiday-ish.

Easter is just around the corner, and this year I'm really going to try to do something fun - some pretty little planting, block-print some napkins, make some truffle eggs..... these ideas make me smile.

MarthaStewart CountryLiving WilliamSonoma

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Special Home Tour

What fun it has been to flip though a magazine (Celebrate Arkansas) and see my daughter's home as one of the feature articles.  I thought I'd share. It makes me smile. Enjoy the tour.

A few of the additional photos.

They are professional photographers, so their home office reflects their creative side.

I got to put my creative skills (and some of my college education) to work in my grand daughter's bedroom. It was so fun to create a bedroom and bathroom for her.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hello March!

If it's March, spring must be just around the corner - green grass, buds and blooms, bunnies, daffodils, and for some, birthdays. Happy March!  For those celebrating a birthday and the possibility of a gift of aquamarine - Happy Birthday!


                                                                     Happy March!

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