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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy Happy!

Today as I write this post I am feeling so…contented. I had to smile as I wrote those words because life is certainly a bit topsy turvy at the moment given that I will be moving to a new state in just a few weeks, our current home has not been sold and our future home has yet to be found.

I think if I had to choose a cake to represent my day today it would be this one:

Lakeland love this cake, made with our Topsy Turvy Cake Tins!

Life and how we choose to see it really can be just mind over matter. I am truly so thankful for my dear husband, two children and the two fur boys who are always ecstatic to see me. I have a bevy of good friends and family who I am blessed to know. Contentment indeed.

With any birthday you get one wish. I remember as I child this was almost an impossible task because there were so many material things that I wanted. I am thankful that I have outgrown this way of thinking and I strive to be happy with what I have, as opposed to what I don’t.

Sure, I could use a new purse as mine is almost falling off my arm. This one captures my fancy:

But other than health, happiness and world peace there truly is just one thing I want~ a happy home. Most of us know that cannot be bought. But if it could mine would probably look like this:

Beautiful Cottage & Garden

Or this:

Beautiful Mediterranean house and garden

The sitting room would be warm and welcoming with collected meaningful treasures.

Sitting room

Maybe I’ll create a gallery wall in my new office.

Pretty office

I have been wanting to add some color to my life. The laundry room might be just the place.

skirted sink and window treatment

The kitchen should have a bit of this:

My heart says yes to this stove.

and perhaps a dash of that:

I adore Jane Moore's kitchen and her confit pot collection.

When the work is done I’d love a nice bathtub to soak in.

Perfection!

It’s so nice to have hopes and dreams as I begin my 46th year.

Laura

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Gorgeous Necklace on Sale & Making 2 Pairs of Earrings for the Price of 1!

On Friday I stopped by Banana Republic and hit the jewelry jackpot.

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These earrings caught my eye immediately. They were marked down to $7.99 with an additional 40% off making them just $4.79.

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As I happen to have a narrow, oval shaped face I generally try to stay away from long and dangly earrings as they tend to just emphasizes my face shape. But as I looked at the earrings I saw that they could be separated and easily become two  pairs of earrings. So I then stopped by Joann’s and purchased some gold lever backs. With a coupon they cost just $1.

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Using my jewelry pliers I gently pulled the earrings apart and added the new lever backs to the aqua stones. The clear stones required just a quick snip off of the round ring.

Voila! I now have two new pairs of earrings for under $3 each. I have already worn each pair once and will no doubt wear them often.

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The necklace is the “Pinwheel” style. I have been coveting this gem for awhile now but it was out of my price point. It has 12k gold plating and is really well made. It too was a steal at $7.99 with an additional 40% off.

Banana Republic Pinwheel Necklace Fine Womens Gold Jewelry Watch Accessory

Diamonds are a girls best friend…even if they’re faux. :)

What end of summer deals have you scored?

Laura

Sunday, August 17, 2014

When Laughter Fades…

I think a large portion of the population reeled in shock when hearing about Robin Williams this week.

I myself can’t really remember my life before Robin Williams. I think I was around the age of 9 when I first saw him on “Happy Days” and then like most of the country I never missed an episode of “Mork and Mindy”. In 5th grade my best friend Tracy received the EXACT rainbow suspenders (complete with pins) for Christmas. Man, was I jealous.

He just kept getting better….”Good Morning Vietnam” further revealed his amazing improv abilities.

Then in 1989 he made “Dead Poets Society” a movie that let the world know he was so much more.

Dead Poets Society

He was a multi generational actor winning younger fans with “Hook”, “Aladdin”, “Flubber” and “Night At The Museum”.

In 1998 I went with my mother, Nadine, to see “What Dreams May Come”. It was a difficult movie to watch. Afterwards my mom and I went to dinner to discuss the film. During the course of our conversation she mentioned Williams was bi polar. I had no idea and I imagine most of America didn’t either.

My mom worked in the field of mental health for over 30 years. She helped countless individuals lead well rounded lives. She was a champion and truly wanted to change the impression most people had regarding those who have various mental health conditions. The reality is that 98% of individuals living with some form of a mental health diagnosis do not look like this:

For many Americans, because of common misperceptions, Robin Williams death was confusing. Depression? People could only remember laughing hard and often with Williams. He was “Mrs. Doubtfire” after all. A trusted friend- so, so loved. This particular public loss was personal.  

But for all of Robin Williams abilities to make us laugh it was when he made us cry for which he won an Oscar. In watching this performance you are able to glimpse his raw pain.

As moviegoers, did we really know Robin Williams for the amazing human being he was?

He selflessly and free of charge entertained our overseas troops on many USO visits.

He was heavily involved in both the Make A Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

But by far the story that tells me who he really was included another famous actor.

In 1973 Christopher Reeve and Williams became roommates at the Julliard School of Drama. Being the only two students who made it into the advanced program they formed an inseparable bond.

It was during this time they made a special pact — whoever ‘made it’ first would always support the other one. Both men, of course, ended up achieving worldwide fame.

Reeve said that after his accident Williams was one of the few “Hollywood” people to stay by his side.

He said it was Robin who insisted he fight to live telling him “You’re still you.”

To me this encompasses everything that Robin Williams was. He was a son, husband, father and friend. Just like the millions of other people who struggle to win the war on depression daily.

Sadly, this amazing man lost his battle.

If any good can come of this horrific tragedy it can perhaps be that Robin Williams will change America’s perception of mental health.

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If you need help please call the number above. If you need prayer you are welcome to send me a private message. (Just click on the envelope icon at the top right hand corner of the DTA homepage page and it will link you to my private email.)

Not one more life needs to senselessly end.

Laura

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

“Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

“The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.” ~ Jonah 2:5-7

Friday, August 15, 2014

I Keep Thinking About This House…

I saw a house last week that I keep thinking about.

Now it might be due to my recent trip to France but I can’t help think that with a little bit of paint and landscaping it could look more like this:

I don't know what color these shutters are but they look so pretty with the stone

I love a good rounded shutter. Be it blue…

…or gray…

Can Be Lime-Washed

…or green.

The heart of this home is currently a bit of Laura Ashley meets Hansel & Gretel.

But take down the wallpaper, remove the soffit, add a bit of paint…

…and it could be an amazing transformation like this:

Before:

After:

Yep, lots of wallpaper removal opportunities in this home.

 

But the bedrooms are pretty good.

I think I would even update the leopard game room.

There’s a pool in the backyard and if you look at the building on the far right…it is a two bedroom cottage guest house.

Mr. Décor vetoed the property reasoning that it is too much house. Snort! Too much house!!!! I don’t even know what that means. :) Did he not see the dachshund dog exit built right in to the right door in the leopard room?

I can guarantee that he didn’t spy the diamond paned glass in the front door either. But I did. True that the three different types of flooring did make it difficult, but the bones are there.

I’m off to buy that man some rose colored glasses.

Laura

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Favorite Experience in Provence: Carrières de Lumières

When my cousin and I began planning our trip to Provence Mr. Décor insisted on just one thing~ that we go see an art show. You see in the 80’s Mr. Décor was stationed in Provence for a few months. While there he said he saw the most amazing interactive art show that he had ever experienced. I told my cousin and she was hesitant….. she had already been to the town of Baux-de-Provence and was not eager to fight the crowds and drive the steep narrow road.

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I somewhat begged. You see, my husband is not one to insist or make claims that something is “the best”. So, if he was saying we couldn’t miss this experience then by golly I was going to make sure we did not miss it!

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The Carrières du Val d’Enfer quarry in the Alpilles mountains was begun in the medieval  period as the white limestone extracted was used in the construction of the medieval Château and in the town of Les Baux. The quarry was closed in 1935 and there it sat for many years waiting to be transformed.

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During the late 1950’s and 60’s the writer and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, a true visionary genius, was enchanted by the beauty of the quarry and its surroundings, and decided to film “The Testament of Orpheus” here in 1959. In 1977 scenographer Joseph Svoboda developed a light and sound show. Since 2011 Culturespaces, at the request of the town of Les Baux-de-Provence, has managed the famous Carrières.

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Let me just say that from the moment we entered the quarry theater we were entranced. Both my cousin and I have thanked Mr. Décor a 1000 times for insisting that we have this experience. The images are projected on every inch of the quarry and accompanied by music that pierces your soul.

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The theme of the show changes. While we were there we saw "Klimt and Vienna, a century of gold and colours". It will run through January 4, 2015. 

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Each show is approximately 20 minutes in length. (Trust me, you won’t be looking at your watch!) It begins with a few grand masters. 

Even the change of art that appears on the walls is artistic. 

There is no flash photography allowed but alas, mistakes are made. :)

We stayed for two complete showings as we did not want to miss a moment. Once in you can stay as long as you would like. Some scenes were just truly surreal. In this video it really felt like it was raining.

It was truly an awe inspiring experience. I couldn’t help but try to immerse myself into the art a little more.

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Carrières de Lumières

The Carrières are open every day.

They are located at the base of the mountain near Château des Baux-de-Provence

Route de Maillane  13520 Les Baux de Provence

Children under 7 are free, teachers and students are € 8 (approximately $10.70) and the full rate is € 10 (approximately $13.40). This was a complete bargain. I would have paid, much, much more.

So if you can see just one thing in Provence, this is it.

Laura

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family,Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House