Creating Our Lives

Well, mes amies … how did your weekend go? Did you have time to take a look at your wardrobe and see if comfort still equaled elegance? I hope you did. I have to admit that this is something that I have been working on for the past several months. I happily hauled several bags of clothes off to either the battered women’s shelter, the homeless shelter, or to women in my Church who needed the clothes more than I did. In return, I “had” to get some new clothes. LOL! I then proceeded to only buy clothes that either:

1) I could foresee myself wearing 5 years from now (unless a miracle happened and I lost weight … and then, Quelle Horreur!!! I’d have to go shopping again!!).
2) They were good quality clothing. They would actually last 5 years. With that being said, I refuse to not get a bargain, so this didn’t mean that I’ve spent all my money on clothing either. More about that later … I have some great tips for you clothes horses, but that’s another day.
3) They were truly “me.” They accented my body type to its best advantage and they were colors that looked best on me.
and lastly,
4) They passed the “Do I LOVE it, not “just like it” test.

So … if you’re like me, you probably didn’t finish the challenge I gave you over the weekend. That’s okay. I still have drawers I haven’t gone through. So, let’s keep going, shall we? Only, now, let’s add the four (4) new challenges I’ve just given you to the mix.

If you did try my challenge and looked for comfort and elegance (you can even change that out to excellence if you can’t perceive yourself as elegant yet, but we’re going to work on that, I promise!), then I congratulate you, and I also hope that you’ll share your experiences. Please, when you can, share your triumphs, challenges, and stories. We can all learn from and help each other!

In the meantime, I’m giving you another Coco’s Pearl. It’s a graphic I created for the Graphic’s Fairy’s Brag Monday party that I always take part in. I used her “freely given” label at the bottom of the graphic to highlight Coco’s pearl. I hope that you’ll really take her wisdom to heart. Let’s go forth and create our lives!!

Bonjour mes amies, and have a wonderful week!!!

P.S. As always, please feel free to click on the picture and then right-click to save to your computer. No mass production, please. However, please feel free to share via Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus so that others can get their own copy and join us in our quest.

Life’s Lessons for Women April 2013: Coco Chanel

Well, mes amies, it’s taken me a little longer than I had hoped but I am confident that you’ll feel it was as worth it as I do. I’m so excited to announce our new journey to feeling beautiful by learning from successful women who have already forged the path ahead of us. And, as my loves of vintage fashion and all things french are so strong, I had to start of with Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, herself. What an amazing woman. What a path she blazed at a time when women had very few rights and very few comforts … especially in the way of dressing. I don’t know about you, but the thought of being trussed up like a Christmas turkey every day in order to wear my clothes, and then to try to get in and out of my vehicle with said clothes, while still breathing, is absolutely mind-boggling. I created the above graphic to get us started. Please feel free to download and print it out or save to your computer as a wallpaper. Many thanks to Karen at the Graphics Fairy for the beautiful french frame that I used in the background.

I know you all have a very busy life, so today’s post will just be an introduction. But, if you do have time, please following this link HERE to a great, but not long, bio of her. It’s in written or video form, and really quite lovely!

What is even more amazing about this woman, is that she was born in 1883 and lived until 1971, yet she still inspires fashion to this very day. Over the course of this next month, I’ll be sharing little snippets of what made this woman so memorable. And, I hope it will inspire you to believe and know that you are memorable. You carry within you, all that she had. We’re going to learn from her success, her mistakes, and her witty words of wisdom. It’s going to Coco Heaven!! So hop on board, girls … let’s take this crazy ride!!

Before I close … I have what I’ve been asked for, and promised, for quite some time to share with you … a TUTORIAL!!!!! I know many of you think that you are not crafty. Many women think that you either have “it” whatever “it” is, that can magically make you creative, or you don’t. Well, I don’t believe that for a minute. I have found the most wonderful crafter who has hopped on board and will be taking this trip with us … all the way. Her name is Tevis, and she will be offering 2 tutorials every month.

For those of you who are intimidated by crafts, there is Paper Crafting 101, which will be offered the first (1) week of every month. For those of you who are crafty, but want to learn something new, different, and maybe a little challenging, we will be offering Paper Crafting 2.0 (offered the 3rd week of every month). Each month the craft will correspond with the icon from whom we will be learning from. So, this month’s craft is inspired by Coco.

This picture was taken when she was younger, but if you notice the bracelet she has on … it could be just as popular today. So, you can click HERE to go to our tutorial page and meet Tevis. Or, you can click on the Paper Crafting 101 button.

Also, be sure and join either my facebook page, or my twitter as I will be sharing little bits of wisdom over the next month regarding Coco. If you’re not a huge Facebook fan, but love Twitter, that’s the way to go. If you don’t tweet, but like to check in on Facebook, then that’s best. Of course, you can join all of my buttons and just have a complete Chanel fest if you’d like. Anyway you want to … come join us as we learn from one of the top 30 women listed as Women Who Changed the World!!

Bonjour Mes Amies … I hope you enjoy draping yourselves with Coco’s pearls this month.

Lorraine

Happy Pre-Easter

Well, it has been a little bit since I posted. In the meantime I drove to Albuquerque and back to help my son and his lovely new wife move here to live in the town where my husband and I reside. They will be starting school again in the fall, and so decided to get a head start on finding employment before the rest of the college crowd try to compete for summer jobs.

AND … yesterday was my birthday, and I will admit that I turned 49 … my last year of my 40’s. So I plan to enjoy this year as much as possible before I roll into my 50’s. And, while aging might be a problem for some women, it truly doesn’t bother me at all … at least not yet. Now while that’s being said … I still color my hair, so I guess the correct response would be that aging without gray hair doesn’t bother me! The most wonderful part of my birthday was realizing that ALL of my children were here to celebrate it with me. That hasn’t happened in years, and it truly was the best present I could have asked for (besides the homemade lemon cake that my husband made me!).

So … here are my juicy updates that I have waited with bated breath to share with you!! Many of you (my lovely and much loved facebook followers) have asked for tutorials on how to use some of the graphics that I create. Well … they’re coming, they’re coming, they’re coming!!! I’m so excited. I have been working on the evolution of my blog for several months, and spent hours upon hours working on what I wanted to share with you. All of the effort is finally paying off. So, I’m going to give you a little teaser … you will definitely want to check in the beginning of April (and this is no joke, mes amies) as it will be the beginning of all of my plans coming together. I can’t wait to share them with you.

So … here are some teasers:

  • Coco Chanel
  • Life’s Lessons for Women
  • A Craft Tutorial for Beginners (or those who think that they can’t make anything …)
  • A Craft Tutorial for Crafters (something to tempt even those who think they’ve done everything)
  • Give Aways
  • Contests
  • Reviews about things that we all want, know, or love!
  • A continuation of Freebie Fridays, but most of all …
  • Motivation that you ARE beautiful. You ARE special. You HAVE value. You ARE WORTH IT!!!

I hope you know that I care for each of you who reads my blog. I want you to feel what has taken me so many years to discover for myself: life is too short to spend any more time feeling doubts about your own unique beauty or self-worth. So, if you’ll stick with me … we’re going to make sure that you do!

In the meantime, I created a graphic for my Brag Monday. For those who are new, I create something each Monday using one of the Graphic Fairy’s beautiful vintage images. You’ll find her link to left. I wanted (SO BADLY) to jump the gun and share next week’s graphic, but I restrained myself and focused on Easter so I wouldn’t fudge and ruin my surprises.

I hope you enjoy this graphic. Please feel free to use it in a non-commercial way. You are more than welcome to click on the picture and then right-click to save to your computer. You might use it as a desktop wallpaper, print it out to frame and decorate for Easter, or even create cards or crafts with it. I only ask that you not mass produce it. You may, however, send anyone my way to get their own copy.

And while we’re talking about sharing … if you haven’t signed up for my facebook page, please do so. That is where you’ll find past Freebie Fridays, some that weren’t shared here, although you can always click on the Freebie Friday button to the right for the ones that were posted here. I try to switch things up between my followers. So, to make sure that you don’t miss anything, you’ll want to follow me in both places. I promise, some are truly treasures (at least that’s what I think, as well as many of my followers). Last Friday’s … well … does the name Audrey Hepburn mean anything to you? I don’t think I need to say more! LOL!

Mes Amies … have a very lovely week. I hope it is filled with beautiful thoughts and wonderful happenings for you and your life.

Warm Regards,

Lorraine

Image

Inspired by the Inspiring

I am back from Washington, D.C. and am so excited to share with you every little minute of the 3 days I was there. Alas, I know you don’t have that kind of time, so for the next several days I’ll share a little bit at a time.

As I mentioned before, Google so generously honored me with the opportunity to represent the state of Indiana as an Ambassador of “Get Your Business Online.” If you’d like to see what all that entails, click HERE. So, in Washington D.C., I was able to meet with 42 other Ambassadors around the country. It was so inspiring to meet people from all different backgrounds, all types of businesses, and to hear their story of how they are changing their lives, simply by following their dream and making it happen.

One of the things I love about the internet, is that NO ONE can tell you no!! How many people have tried to find a new job in this economic slump, and been told:

No … we don’t have any openings
No … you aren’t qualified enough
No … you are competing against 500 other people, and you’re just not what we’re looking for.
No, No, No!!

However, if you do have a dream, you can make it happen on the internet. I hope you take the time to read some of the stories of the people I met. I promise, you will come away inspired!! If you type in http://www.gybo.com/%5Binsert the state of your choice], you’ll read some really inspiring stories.

So … as always, I had to come up with a free printable for you to share the inspiration that is bursting in me! The background is a Victorian postcard. I have embellished it, cleaned it up, and created a printable that I hope you enjoy and that it inspires YOU to follow your dreams!!

**As always, this is for personal use only. You may click on the picture and then right-click to save to your computer. You may print it out for personal use, use as a desktop wallpaper, but you may not mass-produce. Please do, however, feel free to share my site with others so that they may get their own copy. Also, if you go to my Zazzle store (www.zazzle.com/lorrainesoolala*), you will find a whole slew of products that I designed using this graphic. You’ll find it is part of my “Define Your Life” series.

As always, mes amies … have a wonderful week and I’ll keep you updated, a little at a time, about my wonderful trip! Now go out, and inspire others!!

Bisou Bisou,

Lorraine

And … We’re Back!!

Well, mes amies … it has been absolutely too long. I have missed you dearly, and am so grateful to be able to get back in the saddle and blog again. I have so much news to share, but will do so over the next few days. One thing I know is that none of us have a lot of time, what with life being so fast-paced. So, sit back, put your feet up for a few seconds, and I’ll share some juicy news.

First of all, I hope your winter has not been too harsh for you. I’ve thought of many of you who went through the blizzard out east and hope you are well.

Secondly, I have to tell you that there are many changes coming for the life, tone, and feel of my blog. I’m so excited about this year and the direction I will be taking. Thank you, again, for taking this ride with me.

But, before I forget … I need to share my Valentine with you. It’s a Valentine I created using some of the Graphics Fairy’s images. I hope that you enjoy it and that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Even if you may not have a “Mr. Darcy” in your life … I hope you’ll take the time to think of all of those who are important in your life and who you love. I love Valentine’s Day. I have my Mr. Darcy, so that makes it special … but I also have a lot of other people who are special in my life and I love to think of them and what a joy they are to me as well.

So, without further ado … please accept my Valentine. You may click on it, right-click, and save to your computer for personal use only. Of course, please feel free to send anyone to my blog to get their own Valentine!!

And now … I’m off to Washington D.C. I have had the honor of being selected as Google’s GYBO (Get Your Business Online) Ambassador for the state of Indiana. And so all 50 state representatives were invited to attend a summit in Washington D.C. I promise, I’ll take pictures, and I’ll update you as soon as I get back about all of the details!!

Wish me luck!!

Bonjour Mes Amies … it’s so good to be back!

Lorraine

(Bisou Bisou)

And Now … On to Christmas!!

After listening to Christmas music and looking at Christmas products since before Halloween … I am now officially embracing the Holiday season!

* Do I have my home decorated? No
* Do I have my lights up? No
* Do I have my music out and on? No
* Have I bought all of my presents? No, but some of them.
* Do I want to do it all now? YES!!

However, I have my son’s wedding to go to (Dec. 1st) and so I’m chomping at the bit to get him married, so I can …

* Relax after the wedding and start stressing out about Christmas
* Decorate til the cows come home – my favorite part of Christmas.
* Buy my “Christmas Vacation” sized Christmas tree (has to be real or it’s not Christmas) my husband so graciously puts up with every year.
* Stress over all of my last minute orders in my shops.
* Stress over the perfect holiday menu and then cook until I can hardly stand, barely eating the food because I’m not hungry over smelling the food all day.

Did I say the word STRESS enough?

Sounds like fun, huh?! LOL!

Seriously, I love the holiday season. I love finding just the perfect gifts for people, and then going all OCD over the wrapping of the gifts. I love decorating my tree so that it’s beautiful enough to be on the front of BHG magazine. I love the smells of spices in the air. I love the generosity of people, and the goodwill that you just don’t see at other times of the year. I may even like my neighbor (who is a very crabby man, and very hard to like … but you never know!).

So, in the spirit of Christmas, my Brag Monday entry for the Graphics Fairy are more Christmas gift tags. Hopefully you have taken advantage of some of the sales going on and you have presents that they will work perfectly for!

Bonjour mes amies, and have a wonderful week! Mine will be filled with last minute wedding preparations, and the excitement of seeing family members I haven’t seen in over a year.

Au Revoir!!

Lorraine

*As always, these are for personal use only.  Please feel free to click on the picture and right-click to save to your own computer.  You may, of course, send anyone my way to download their own copy!

Beauty Within, Without, or Not at All

I believe I may have mentioned earlier that I have been really working hard on finishing up some projects in my home. It is truly coming together, and I’m so excited about how I feel when I open my door, walk into my home, and just feel … aaaahhhhhh … I’m truly home. Not only is this transformation the result of trying to create a beautiful home, but it is also an internal transformation … a realization of who I am and what makes me happy — what “speaks” to my soul.

I’m in my late 40’s and it has taken some time for me to figure out what truly is me, what truly makes me happy, what truly speaks to my soul. There have been several times in my life when I thought I had figured it out.  However, what “spoke” to me at 20, isn’t what speaks to me at 48. Too much life has happened in the meantime.

I’m reminded of the analogy of us starting out as lumps of coal, and through life, God creates a diamond … something that He saw in us from the very beginning, but that we aren’t able to see in ourselves. At least for many, it takes a long time, for others, they never see their full glorious worth. How incredibly sad that is.

So, today, for my Brag Monday, I’ve created a free printable to help remind us that we have to carry the beauty within to see the beauty outwardly. I particularly hope that it will inspire you to remember how beautiful you are … and that you will believe it!

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I created the printable using a peacock graphic (with many thanks) by the Graphics Fairy. As always, feel free to click on the printable and right-click to save to your computer. It is for personal use and you may not mass-produce or use in any commercial way. Please feel free to send people my way so that they may download their own copy.

Au Revoir mes amies … have a wonderful week!!

Lorraine