Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Monday

Hope your Monday is filled with beauty! Enjoy these pretty images from Rosemary Beach.......a little bit of paradise for what could have been an ordinary day! Life is a gift......use it to the fullest and embrace with LOVE those around you! You will not pass through this day again. No matter what you are facing God can give you the strength to face it! Colossians 1:11 "You are being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy".

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Becoming a Better You......Balcony People

A BRIGHT sunny balcony just waiting to open up the day with sunshine! Balcony people in our lives cheer us on to be our best!

How about a whole "choir" of balconies just waiting to cheer on the day? When we are a part of God's family.....we become a choir of cheerleaders!

This Balcony is closed......closed to the sunshine and the joy of morning!

Just at the right time God sends a whole row of Balcony people! One of my favorite little books is called simply, Balcony People! I loved this little book for it's endless encouragement but long ago, I gave it to someone who I felt needed it! I have never forgotten it's beautiful message. It truly ministered to me, and was life the time. Valuable words are something I hope to give or receive everyday. I grew up without a Father in the home. I did get to spend a limited amount of time with my Father though and I did love him and in his own way, I believe he loved me. My mother worked full time and so a great deal of my childhood was spent with babysitters or grandmothers. These factors developed in me a deep, deep, deep desire to always be a mother available to my children and made me want to cheer them on in every situation! I have loved being a Mom and along with my husband, we have sought to not only cheer on our own family but anyone that God so graciously placed in our pathway. In my own life, I was divinely blessed to have people who mentored me or believed in me and used encouragement to lift me up to be what I needed to be and helped me. These were the balcony people, always using words to lift up, not tear down. These kind of people help others set goals that can be achieved so that their lives can be positive and they can become the BEST that they can be. The pictures above give you a visual image of those who set in the balcony bring sunshine to our lives.....sometimes God sends a whole choir of balcony people and those people truly make an impact. May I ask.....what kind of person are you? Are you one who lifts up or sits in the basement and tears down, in negative ways. It is something to think about each and everyday. The minister and best selling author, Joel Osteen, says " If you truly want to become a better you, it is imperative that you learn to feel good about yourself. Too many people live under condemnation, constantly listening to the wrong voices". He reminds us to listen to God's Words from the Bible and live each day seeking to become the person God planned for us to be! I might add, that it begins by looking upward, becoming real before God in prayer through repentance and accepting the beautiful TRUTH that God loves you and sent His Son as the Savior of the world, knowing that the Heavens declare His Glory and the TRUTH that you can become all you were meant to be! "Thank you precious Lord for the Balcony people in my let me be a Balcony person to others! Amen!"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Shelly

Today is such a special day because it is the day our lives were graced with our precious daughter, Shelly! She was born on a freezing winter morning at 10:20 am. I had arrived at the hospital only 20 minutes prior to her birth. It is quite funny because our doctor had sent us to the wrong hospital!!! We got back in the car and drove fast to the hospital where he was waiting. One of my friends's mother was the attending nurse in the nursery so Shelly got wonderful attention that morning. She weighed 8 pounds and 2 and 1/2 ounces and she was beautiful.......she has only grown in her beauty inside and out over the years. She is one of my treasures and I love her so much. HAPpY Birthday Shelly Kaye! Another marvelous treasure about Shelly, she received her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, graduating top in her class and has never looked back......only FORWARD!
Shelly is a graphic designer and artist....she recently gave her sister a treat at the Viceroy in Santa Monica, a boutique hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler who is one of Shelly's favorite designers.
I love these sweet girls and I love these yellow chairs at the Viceroy!!!!
Life is always a DANCE for her...leading, but loving in a graceful way!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

St. Albans Cathedral

In Hertfordshire, England near where our daughter lives this glorious cathedral stands as a constant reminder of the Majesty of God! Yes, He is Majestic! Psalm 36:5-6 says "Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the great deep......

His love for you is beyond your understanding. TRULY.......He longs to show you His majesty. Just like turning your eyes to see this majestic cathedral reaching to the skies we can see His beauty and glory when we turn our eyes upon Him! He loves you dear one! Trust Him today with your plans!

Monday, January 23, 2012

AT HOME WITH blue......

There's a beautiful calming effect of blue and for me, I just can't get enough of it! I do think the combination of blue and white together bestows a crisp, clean feel to any exterior or interior. It is always lovely and in it's purest spectrum one is soothed and calmed and if at the beach, I might add, restored, as in the photo I snapped below at Rosemary Beach on the panhandle of Florida! Who among us would not love to be calmed here?
My affinity for blue doors grew while in Paris, interesting shades of blue!
This azure blue door caught my eye for the boldness against the brownstone! Behind every door there must be something of beauty!
In French villages, I believe the grey/blue color of paint is a revered secret! Just the right shade in the two windows inspire me to snap a picture and realize someone lives there who loves color and probably antiques! Wonder who thought to give these two little windows definition and French style.
No entrance is ever forgotten, even this simple, charming home in the village of St. Remy in southern France. This has an appeal all it's own of simplicity! Wandering down streets is expected here!
This grand villa (in my humble opinion) is right in town in St. Remy and the shade of blue is one I will long remember! The stone on the house, the gravel in the drive, all grey, make the choice of blue truly pop!
Even this little French blue car is placed perfectly for my photo! How perfect! Yes, blue works, no matter what shade you might choose!
The brilliant blue SKY that only God could create is our model! The ancient stone church becomes even more of a Glory to God!
Back in Avignon, France the creamy yellow against the blue works great!
My beautiful and very sweet daughter chose shades of teal blue and greens for her Bridesmaids at her May wedding. What could work more perfectly at an outdoor reception than the colors of our natural surroundings!
You can let your imagination run wild when furnishing or decorating your home with blue or really any color! The darker colors on the color spectrum do not work so well where I live so I seek to use shades of white with the blues. When it comes to window treatments, I am even leaning toward lighter fabrics......more to come on that topic at a later date! Small touches of blue will make a difference whether you live in a coastal setting like me, an English countryside like one of my girls, or by the sea in southern France! Most of us LOVE the sunshine, the clear blue skies of a perfect day, and the azure blue sea! There is nothing more relaxing and calming than to carry your bag to the beach, full of good intentions of reading and writing a note or two, and then in never get around to opening the bag. Beach life is all about simplicity! At the beach we all become equals......and I like that! During the end of January, no matter where we live, many of us yearn for the springtime and the warm sunshine and color of an azure blue sky! In the Bible, we find in Psalm 104 the powerful and majesty of God's creation of Heaven and Earth and the Sea! His Words even say He stretches out the heavens like a I like that!!!! These beautiful words even remind us that God sends the springs of water into the valleys! Yes, God gave us the color BLUE....... His creation of all colors inspires me to give my best for His Glory every day that He has allowed me to breathe! Please do not waste this day my friend with worry, or anger, or bitterness. Fill this day with LOVE. And I Promise you, yourself won't be "blue"! Bless you dear one!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Color Change......

The natural sunlight in this room brightens every morning in my home! I call it "light embellishment"! The room always feels light and airy but the color has not worked well for me! Patiently I have waited and so with the help of my husband, the day arrived to paint!

This is the new color and I love it! "Neutral backdrops allow details to pop, and clear colors~reds, blues, and yellows, and greens ~ give rooms a crispness". Interior Designer Linda Bodell. To me, it created a more calming atmosphere and one that is more inviting and pleasurable. Actually, most of the main rooms in my home are neutrals. This seems to work well with darker woods and antique pieces. Bravely, more and more decorators are painting darker woods with light neutrals and shades of grey. This seems to work well also. This past week, I was in Jackson, Mississippi in a wonderful antique market called Interior Spaces! It is filled with antique dealers and decorator booths that offer quality antiques, accessories and beautiful antique linens. It's a wonderful source for decorators and welcomes anyone shopping for quality home furnishings. I noticed many pieces painted with the grey/blue color which French inspired designers display in their decorating. The difference between a house and a home is in creating an atmosphere where people live together happily and where real memories are made. The legacy we leave to our families really matters and many of the decisions we make take place within our homes. What sort of legacy are you leaving to your family? The beautiful words of Psalm 127 and 128 encourage us as mothers and as fathers to allow the Lord to build our homes. These verses are not speaking of the physical building but the spiritual foundation being laid. If we are blessed in our marriages to have children, we are reminded in these lovely verses that children in our homes are a gift of the Lord! When a couple enters into marriage, they make themselves available to love, serve, and sacrifice for the next generation. What can be more beautiful? To love and care for the next generation is one of the principal ways that we honor God and share in building His kingdom. Truthfully, this is the home that IS beautiful........a home that is decorated with the joy, the peace, and the love of the Lord! Let me encourage you today, my friend, no matter what color you "seek to your home with what is true, whatever is noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, and whatever things are lovely......"Philippians 4:6. May the Lord bless you as you go about your day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


This beautiful kitchen designed by Interior Designer Suzanne Kasler is a great place to begin...clean, fresh, and a bowl of fruit on the counter! Love this!

Our kitchens should be places that inspire us to think about good health. Clean, bright, and equipped with........Green vegetables for the day's energy! A juicy pep-up will lift your spirits! It is so very easy to get started!!!

Fresh produce selected at a farmer's market or where produce is organic is the best way to begin!

Two years ago, one of my darling daughters encouraged me to purchase a juicer! She went shopping with me for one in my price range and we selected a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer Pro! With this purchase and her encouragement, I was introduced to the health benefits of freshly extracted juices which are unbelievably good and so so tasty! Before purchasing my Juicer, I had not given much thought to the fact that store bought juices loose valuable nutrients during storage plus they have been heat - treated and have additives to help them keep longer. Reading about the additives was enough for me to realize the importance of making my own juices when it is sort of fun! There does appear to waste at first when you see how much pulp goes into the pulp collector but you can add it into soups or better add it to a compost if you are into gardening. Some of my favorite fruits and vegetables for juicing are: beets, apples, blueberries, ginger, oranges, spinach, celery, tomatoes and kale. I would begin with fruits and/or vegetables you like! Be sure you wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly. An excellent book, SUPER JUICER, holds a collection of healthy recipes that replenish and restore and revitalize! It is also beautiful to look at the different combinations of fruits and vegetables! Here's to a healthier mind and body! (not to mention the benefits to your skin)

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Forgiveness....Author Philip Yancey calls forgiveness "an unnatural act. If you have ever been truly hurt then you know how tough it can be to offer forgiveness. Hurt is closely connected with trust. We trust someone to have our best interest in our relationship with them. It can be a family member or a friend or even an acquaintance but I think being hurt by a friend is one of the toughest. We play over and over in our minds what happened when we were hurt. This is not ever going to bring healing. We must begin the process, taking the first step as memories flood our minds by thinking about what the Scriptures teach. Yes, it is unnatural to forgive, but it brings joy and peace when we do. In Matthew 18:21-35 we are commanded to offer forgiveness to others who have committed wrongs against us. Forgiving someone allows us to get over what was done and move forward. It opens our hearts up to be REFILLED for future experiences that will surely come our way as long as we are living. When we do not forgive, anger which is harbored, turns to bitterness and walls are built up in our minds and heart and our faces show it. Jesus Christ made it clear to a man named, Peter. Peter asked the question in Matthew 18:21 "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?". In verse 22 Jesus says " I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." In other words, you forgive so many times you don't remember the first time you forgave. All the beauty creams in the world cannot erase bitterness. A beautiful heart radiates from the inside out and the face of one spent trusting God for the outcome WILL radiate. The beautiful winter rose that appeared on my rose bush is a stark contrast to the dull leaves around it this time of the year. It is radiant! Who do you need to forgive? Who do I need to forgive? We know where to begin. May we look to God for the grace and love He so lavishes upon us each and every day! Even in the quietness of your home you can be renewed, refreshed, and restored! You don't have to have a just look UP! "They looked to HIM and were radiant. And their faces were not ashamed." Psalm 34:5

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Essentially FRENCH

The beautiful cover of this most wonderful book is ready to be opened!

~This 18th century Italian mirror was acquired from a chateau near Paris~ Just one of the many homes featured in this wonderful book detailing homes with classic French style. The author has shared a life long love of France. I too have been captured by the love of all things French!

This simple kitchen table is set and ready for lucky guest! It is, according to the author, Josephine Ryan, found between the ancient towns of Montpellier and Nimes in southern France! It is the home to a renowned antiques dealer and her daughter! Lovely!!!

This photo from the book shows a French daybed with a pillow similar to ones I have made for clients! Simple and serene!

Who doesn't love the unknown of walking slowly down a narrow Street in Avignon in southern France just waiting to see a beautiful residence?

The just right gray/blue color of these shutters invite one to wonder what might be inside the door! Something simple but welcoming! Over the past year, my appreciation for the French ways of life have grown significantly. Last year, I took the most dramatic and inviting holiday I have been blessed to go on! My children, now grown' and all on their on, inspired me, I must say because they continually told me "it is so easy to travel in Europe!". I should have listened earlier but now it seems it is my time to appreciate their encouragement in new ways. If you are looking for a new book on French decor', I highly recommend this book! There are very few new pieces in the decor' though, so you have to be willing to go for the hunt if you have a desire to add a few antique pieces to your collection or get started as a collector of "old" things. You might begin with something simple and useful such as linens, add a monogram and you have a very European touch! What matters most though, is that you enjoy each and every day of life! As I say many times......each day is a gift from God and it should never be wasted feeling down or discouraged about your place on this amazing journey of life! Do you know that God had a plan for your life before you were born and He knows the details of your life! "For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my Mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest part of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance when as yet there were none of them. How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!". Psalm 139:13-17 Whether your home is a chateau or a tiny apartment it is a special place because YOU live there! Now......where is that teapot? Tea and your dreams..... Be encouraged today because "dreams really do come true!". The author of this book found hers because she was compelled by the thrill of the find! Be inspired and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beautiful Bathrooms

Beautiful bathrooms are the best way to start your day.....or end it I might say! For the bath you do not have to shop around for the perfect piece of furniture, you can now find a vanity already perfectly fitted with a beautiful sink and fixtures! My spring project is redoing our little half bath with the perfect wallpaper and mirror! Check out my idea below....of course I am thinking French! I also love the master bath redone in a home built in 1888! Perfect detail to every area! Enjoy the photos and have a blessed and wonderful day!

~This beautiful wallpaper, vanity, and mirror add a beautiful touch! Found this picture online and truly became inspired!~

~This lovely bathroom is in a beautiful 1888 home my husband and I love in our area! The restoration to this home is true perfection!~

~Okay....who among us does not like pink? Every big or little girl!~

~ The window, the tub, the vanity....the flooring....all lovely and Inviting one to relax and restore!~

Where do you find restoration at the end of your day? According to the dictionary, " to restore" means to "bring back to a former or original condition." When something is restored in the Scriptures, however it is always increased, multiplied or improved so that it's latter state is significantly better than it's original state. God has a beautiful way in our lives to restore us when we turn to Him with our plans, hopes and dreams. Perhaps today would be a good day after a relaxing soak in the tub to lift our hands with Praise to honor our Creator God and ask Him to cleanse and restore us so we can be useful to be involved in the work He is doing throughout the earth! May grace and restoration be granted with you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Year.....A New Beginning

This beautiful entry gate to this home in Weymouth, England is wide open.  What awaits you through the gate of the New Year 2012?  It will be exciting to see.....

~I snapped this photo in Weymouth, England...I loved the unknown path~

Happy New Year!  A new year....New, unused, fresh, novel!  Lets see...what will we do with it?  I love the new year because it is fresh, clean, unused, just waiting for everything we dream about to come true.  New Year's Day brings out the best in all of us or so it seems.  We can put behind us what we did not accomplish in the past year and begin again, fresh and new.  I like that thought!  I love new beginnings!  A new project is right down my alley this time of year!

There is a beauty in beginning again and seeing life in a fresh new way. The beautiful pictures above seem fresh, open, a new path to travel down.  The word opportunity comes to mind.  A favorite verse of mine is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."  What this means is the quality of our lives can be made new, we can become a new creation in Christ.  You might ask, how does this happen?  The quality of our lives change when we open our heart wide to what God desires to do within us.  It's hard to let go of old things, old habits which are not good for us and look forward to what God has in His heart for us.  We often think of a new door opening but how about a new gate.....a whole new beginning wide enough to take out the old and bring in the new.   That is, it seems to me, what a new year is all about.  The gate has been opened to new opportunities to live, to share, to love, to be kind, to be helpful, to be sincere, to believe in others and in their hopes and their dreams and not always feel the need to express our own words and thoughts.  Personal ambition is good but it has to come at the good of everyone on the team or in the family.  A new year is full of promise for each one in the family and on the team.  What are your hopes for this new year? 

As I write this, I think of all the changes that are new for my family in this new year.  New jobs for some, a new home for one, a new baby for another, new educational opporunties for all and perhaps personal endeavors that I am not aware of.  New experiences often take courage and we have to look deep within ourselves to find the strength and willpower to move forward.  The Bible encourages us in Matthew 6:33 "Seek first the kindgom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."  For me, beginning a new year, a new day, a new experience begins better when I begin with prayer.  There is a clarity when we humble ourselves before Almighty God and ask for Him to walk with us throughout our day, our week, our year.  I hope this new year 2012 is good, I hope that all your dreams come true and I pray, dear one, that you will turn to God and walk with Him.  His word promises it is possible for your dreams to come true.  It doesn't mean that everything you want will happen, but what it does mean is that He will work a newness in you where your hopes and dreams will line up with His hopes and His dreams for you.  "With men this is impossible but with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:26  May His blessings be upon your new year and may He give you the power to act and to accomplish all that awaits you!!!  Yeah.....let's get started!