June 2013 Life’s Lessons for Women: Audrey Hepburn

There are very few women in the entertainment industry (relatively speaking) who garner the respect and admiration of everyone the world over.  One such woman, however, was Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey was an amazing woman in more ways than one.  We’ll be exploring her life and learning from her this month.  To give you a “taste” of her elegance, beauty, and wit, I’ve created the following Printable just for you:

This is my gift to you so you can start thinking about this extraordinary woman, and seeing what attributes you share with her, because mes amies, I know that you probably share many.  Please respect that this is for personal use only … however please feel free to share this link with others so that they may join us as we learn from women, past and present, throughout the year who created lives of beauty.  Who were able to see what true beauty was and who exemplified it in their deeds and actions.
I have to thank Karen at www.thegraphicsfairy.com for sharing the lovely pink background that I used for this graphic.  However, the quote is pure Audrey.  I adore this picture, taken when Sabrina (the original movie) began its marketing.
So … look forward to a month of goodies, wisdom, paper craft tutorials, laughter, maybe a few introspections as well … while we learn from one of the most gracious women who was a style icon as well as an advocate for the beauty and strength of women!
Have a wonderful week mes amies!!
Lorraine

Coco’s Electronic Fashion Picks

Well, Mes Amies,

I hope you are having a wonderful week! Are you having fun draping yourself in Coco’s pearls of wisdom, checking out her “picks,” and soaking in her wisdom? I definitely am!!

I wanted to share a few things today to help you in your quest for elegance AND style. Actually some tips that I think Coco would approve of, if she were with us today. Yes … I’m talking about electronic fashion tips – whether you are on a strict clothing budget, maybe a little more “curvy” than the average girl, or for those who aren’t quite sure yet what your style is. So let’s get started!!

TIP #1 POLYVORE: For those of you who don’t have a clue what to wear, what looks good on you, etc. One of the best things you can do is to not over-think it. Go with your gut. It’s usually right. It’s when we start looking at what everyone else is doing that we get into trouble. If we are in tune with our “true” inner self, we’re usually on target. Not the inner self riddled with baggage who says “You’re too fat,” “You’re not pretty enough,” “You would look ridiculous.” It’s the true inner self that loves the “true you.” The one that says … “I’m worth this,” “I CAN be elegant,” and “I WANT to be stylish.” So, as a little aid … try out the App from Polyvore. It’s awesome. It will allow you to explore looks, colors, and trends that “speak” to you, before you ever spend a penny. Whether you have Apple or Android products, there is an app for you. Check out your app store … I promise you will love it!

TIP #2 POSHMARK: Have a beer budget, but Champagne taste? POSHMARK App is amazing. You can trade, buy, or sell clothing and accessories to other “girls” out there in the same position. Maybe you’ve lost weight and want to sell items that are still in great condition but a little too big, and then turn around and buy new clothes in your new size. You can on POSHMARK. My daughter started using this app and I have been absolutely amazed at how little she has paid for some really, really nice brands. Again … it’s an app that’s available in your App store, whether for Apple or Android.

TIP #3 Gwynnie Bee (for Americans only – but for those of you living elsewhere … this would be an amazing enterprise to start in your country!!): Are you a little curvier and want one of the most amazing opportunities to expand your wardrobe exponentially, but at a regular budget price point? Then go to Gwynnie Bee’s. You are, in essence, renting clothing every month. You choose how many clothes you have out at one time, but you get to turn them in as many times as you want every single month (postage included). So, quite literally, for a set fee, you have unlimited wardrobe options. However, these are not tent dresses, mes amies, they are really stylish. You also have access to a style consultant to help you figure out what suits your body style. They are now offering sizes US 10-26. Seeing is believe with this site. You can click HERE to go directly to their site.

Alright mes amies … it wouldn’t be Friday if I didn’t share a Freebie Friday, so here it is. What is so amazing to me is that the dress illustration is from 1932!!!! It definitely proves the point of Coco’s Pearl! As always, feel free to click on the photo, right-click to save. However, no mass production – personal use only. Feel free to share or pin so that others can come here to get their own copy and help them on their way to Elegance and feeling Beautiful!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!!

Bonjour,

Lorraine

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.

Lining Your Nest

I have been busy the last several weeks working on decorating and updating my home. I have been having a wonderful time, and I have to say that when I walk into my house now, it truly feels like coming home. I know that probably sounds cliche, but let me elaborate.

Years ago, I decorated my bedroom based upon some fabric that I really loved. I’m a red girl, but very much aware that red is not the color choice for when you want to relax and go to sleep. So, I chose one of the other colors in the fabric … a smoky dark blue to paint my walls. In theory, it was absolutely beautiful. I had two very large windows that brought plenty of light into the room, so I knew I could pull it off without feeling like I was entering a cave.

Well, folks … it didn’t work. It was beautiful. It was coordinated. It worked with the fabric I had used on the drapes and the red cornice boards. But, I realized after several months, that I NEVER spent time in my bedroom. I’d leave it as soon as the day started and never return until the end of the day. It really wasn’t “Me!”

At the time, however, I was younger (around 28) and didn’t really know yet exactly what was me. So, I started reading the “Simple Abundance” book by Sarah Ban Breathnach that was so popular at the time. One of the prompts in the book was to start a scrapbook and whenever something “spoke” to you, you put a picture of that in your scrapbook. So, that is what I did, and “Voila!” Over time, I realized what truly was me. So, I painted over those blue walls, they became a soft creamy ivory and then I sponged a soft sage green very delicately on the walls. I kept the red cornice boards, and then changed my bedding to a creamy ivory background with red and yellow toile style flowers and, you guessed it probably … sage green leaves. At the time I don’t think anyone knew the phrase “Shabby Chic” but that is what my bedroom became.

Afterwards, I couldn’t stay out of that room! I wanted to be in my room all day long, every day … but alas my children and husband needed me to function outside of my bedroom.

So, here I am, once again, making my house uniquely mine. I’m having a ball, and … when I come into my home, I once again have that feeling of “Aaaahhhhhhhh,” I’m really home now. This space is “ME!”

So, my brag Monday entry is actually some placemats that I’ve designed to use on my new dining table (I’ll post picks after I finish a few things so that you can see). And they are … you guessed it … red!! But, I promise … there is no dark steel blue, as pretty as that color may be, on the walls of my home!

So, my challenge to you is … how do you feel in each space of your home? Is there a room that you love, and why? Is there a room that you don’t spend any time in? I know why! It isn’t you. And, if it isn’t you, and you don’t know what is … I promise that if you start making a scrapbook (you could even update that by using a Pinterest board) of anything that “speaks” to you, you’ll start to see some patterns, and you’ll realize what you need to do to make your living spaces create that feeling of “AAaaaaaHhhhhhhh” I’m finally home.

So, here is my brag Monday entry (Many thanks to the Graphic Fairy for her generous use of the nest graphic). Let me know what you think!!

If you click on the picture, it will take you to my Zazzle store, where you’ll see some of my other designs. Maybe it will give you food for thought for your journaling to find out what is “YOU!”

Have a wonderful week Mes Amies!!

Lorraine

Our First Freebie Friday!

So, this week I’ve had an ant problem.  I know, I know, it’s not really something to blog about, but while ants probably fulfill a wonderful purpose OUTSIDE of my house, I really don’t care to have them sharing my home with me.

So, I’ve been deep cleaning and making sure that there would be no “legitimate” reason for them to decide to move in with me.  In the process, I found some old Air Wick and Febreeze wall inserts that I forgot I had and decided to buy some more scented vials for them.  I was so excited because they have some of the fall scents out already and I absolutely adore fall!

Which reminds me … I know I’m rambling … but forgive me this side note.  I made a Treasury on Etsy called “I Love Paris in the Fall” that I’m pretty dang proud of.  Here is the picture of it, and if you click on the picture, you’ll go straight to the treasury.  It was such a joy to highlight the work of other wonderful artists and craftsmen/women, without expecting anything in return.
Okay, so let’s get this train back on track.

I immediately went home, plugged those babies into the wall, and I cannot tell you what a difference it has made to my spirits.  Which really made me start to think … hmmm …

How much joy and beauty are we missing out on when we don’t tap into all of our senses?  Not only around us, but on us as well.

So, I want to focus on the sense of smell today.  Think about the special memories in your life … are there smells attached?  I love fall, as it makes me think of crisp leaves falling, the smell of football games with hot dogs and peanuts.  I love the smell of leaves burning.  I love the smell of apple pie and cinnamon.  It reminds me of a homey warm feeling.  When I think about things that I adore, I often think about the smells that come with that thought or feeling.

Okay .. so let’s move on to your environment.  How does your home smell right now?  If it doesn’t smell inspiring, or beautiful, then how can you feel inspired or that you’re in a beautiful environment?  You might want to think about the smells that inspire you or relax you, enliven or invigorate you.  Do you have the appropriate smell in the appropriate room?  If you want to relax in your bedroom, you probably don’t want to potpourri in there with eucalyptus (known for its invigorating properties).  If you have a work out area, you don’t want to have chamomile and lavender in there, because you’ll go to sleep before you finish your push-ups.

As to smells and which ones do what, here’s a wonderful link for you to learn more, it is the <a href=”http://www.aromatherapy.com/”>Aromatherapy</a&gt; website and has a ton of information about which scents do what.

With that being said, I also read a very interesting article that stated that if you have a bad association with a smell, then it doesn’t matter what the properties of that scent is, it isn’t going to produce the effect that you want.  Because our memories of smells can overcome the effectiveness of a smell in and of itself.

So let’s go to the beauty aspect of smells.  Do you know what smells work best on you and your system?  Have you ever noticed that someone can be wearing the very same perfume as you, and it will smell completely different on them.  It is amazing how are body chemistry works with a perfume to create a unique blend or fragrance.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to a Perfume store where there is actually someone who truly knows what they are doing, it is quite an experience, and one that I think all women should do at least once in their lives.  You will learn so much, and at the same time, realize that you have probably wasted a lot of money on perfumes that really weren’t right for your body chemistry.

So, let’s get to the bottom line … do you have a special perfume that is just yours?  That is you … that is everything about you in a nutshell?  One that isn’t the hope that you’ll become like the model on the television commercial, but one that characterizes you and your own unique beauty?  If not, then I think it’s time that you took the time for yourself and found out what your perfume should be!

I’ve had several perfumes that I’ve loved over the years.  And, now that I’m in my late forties, I have found that some of the old favorites, don’t really “speak” to me like they used to.  I think that my life has evolved and so my perfume choices have evolved as well.

I found MY scent a year ago.  It is Angel by Thierry Mugler.
I wish I could say that it makes me look like Naomi Watts, but it doesn’t.  It does, however, make me feel beautiful when I wear it.  It is a very strong perfume, and I only need just a little, but man oh man … when my man smells it on me …

So, my challenge to you today, is to take the time to think about your perfume … does it reflect who you are, right here and now.  If possible, go to a perfume store, or at least a perfume counter where someone truly knows perfumes, their top, middle, and low notes.  Someone who will know what questions to ask you so that you can find “your” scent.  I promise you, you’ll feel so beautiful when you are wearing … well … you, in a scented form!

So, here’s today’s Freebie Friday.  I hope you enjoy.  I first found a quote by Coco Chanel that says:  “A woman that wears no perfume, has no future.”  However, I’m wanting to inspire, not tell you there’s no hope! So, I think this one is a little more promising!!

As always, it is not for mass production or to be used for profit in any way.  You may download your full copy by clicking on the picture and then right clicking to save to your computer.  Of course, you may send as many people as you want to my website to get their own copy.

Bonsoir Mes amies … Have a wonderful weekend!!

Sew Darn Crafty Linking Party 79

One Happy La La

Well, mes amies …

I’m a happy girl, but a tired one. The Italian Festival went very well. For my very first jewelry event, I have to say that I’m so pleased with the results. I was almost as happy about the ambience of my booth that was commented on as I was in the amount of jewelry that I sold.

When creating, and then putting your work out there for someone else to look at, judge, and then comment on, it is almost like birthing a child and then having someone else judge them. You feel protective, vulnerable, and at the same time so proud of each item.

I hope that each of you has a way to create and experience that type of feeling. And in light of that, I wanted to share the following quote:

“My mission in life is merely not to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou

For me, thriving means creating. Thriving means having a passion for life and all it offers. Thriving means having compassion for others. Thriving means using humor to get through the good and the bad. But of course, (mais oui) one must always thrive with style! Maya Angelou must have been channeling some Oo La La when she wrote this.

So, mes amies, I must apologize for the lateness (once again) for my Freebie Friday, but I hope you’ll forgive me as I used my time to thrive at the Italian Festival.

My prayer is that you will thrive with style, just as Maya Angelou would have you thrive! But I also challenge you to find a creative outlet, whatever that may be. Having an outlet for creativity will light you up inside and your internal beauty will light up and spill over to your outer beauty!

Once again, please do not mass distribute this printable in any way and you may not use it for commercial gain. But, by all means, please feel free to send people to my blog to download their own copy. Or, if you’d like to feature it on your blog or website, all I ask is that you link to my blog.

This particular freebie is a little smaller than usual. I didn’t want to compromise the beauty of this particular piece. I think it would make a beautiful card to send to someone or to put on your desk. Please click on the picture and then right click to save.

Bonjour Mes Amies! Now go out and Thrive!!

Lorraine

**Many thanks to the Graphics Fairy for the beautiful French illustration. To check out her website, you’ll find her link to the left in my blog list.