Day 17 Gratitude: Support and Structure

I had seen it coming, but that didn’t help diminish the pit in my stomach any.  For months, we employees had watched our 2 bosses struggle to find the financing not only to finish their massive new opening in Marseille, but also to pay us.  I’d been late on my rent the previous 3 months…

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Day 16 Gratitude – Technology

Some of you will remember the desperate hopefulness of sitting through the dial-up internet’s obnoxious BE-bawbawbawbawbaw, hoping, waiting for AOL to finally open and hope you could get everything you wanted done before it disconnected again and you had to restart the process. I am simply astounded that from a teeny rectangle that I can…

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Day 15 Gratitude – Angels

Talking about angels could seem like SUCH a kitschy, overdone, cutesie theme, but the angels in my life certainly warrant a day of focus and gratitude. So let’s go back to what an angel is. An angel is defined as a spiritual being who is thought to act as a messenger from God / the…

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Day 14 Gratitude – Getting in Touch with my Inner ROCKSTAR

It feels like I’ve dressed to fulfill MANY different roles in my life.  When I first got to France, I was wearing baggy jeans, babydoll t-shirts, and – get this – platform tennis shoes.  Yep.  Fit right into Monaco’s world of glam!  Boyfriend-at-the-time let me know in no uncertain terms that while my style might’ve…

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Day 13 Gratitude – How Does Your Garden Grow?

As an American, I used to take wide open spaces for granted.  There is SO MUCH space in the United States, we think nothing of huge houses, wide-laned roads, massive cars, and yards that go on and on.  Here in Europe, however, where space is at a premium, roads are narrow, cars are small, and…

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Day 12 – My Four Pillars

If there is one consistent source of gratitude that has run the course of my entire life, it is my family – the one I had the great fortune of being born into.  I am talking about Tom Burke, Bonnie Burke, Joy Zagar, and Jimmy Burke.  They challenge, support, motivate, model, listen, advise, and most…

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Day 11 Gratitude – “Elisabeth”

Oh that rush of energy to the brain when learning a new skill! The heightened senses and sensitivity to detail when exploring a new city on your own! One of the most enjoyable experiences of my thirties is DEFINITELY my haute couture embroidery classes with Elisabeth Roulleau-Gasbarre. I had been looking at ways to bring my art…

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Day 10 Gratitude – Letting Go

Imagine if the humble dandelion refused to let her seeds go on the breath of the wind.  All the missed opportunities for growth and expansion! It has occurred to me that everything and everyone we bring into our life represents an exchange of energy.  I, for one, get very attached to people and things, especially…

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Day 9 Gratitude – Rosé Days and Champagne Nights

I sat in my studio researching ideas for the piece I had scheduled for the day and wasn’t convinced of anything I was seeing.  So I went to my materials to see if that sparked anything.  Still nothing.  But I noticed that I kept being drawn to these bright, shiny pinks, and this remnant of…

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Day 8 Gratitude – Minimalism

The adage goes “Out with the old, in with the new.” And just when WHEN did we become a culture where new was all the time, every day, sometimes several times a day???  How did we let ourselves get so brainwashed into thinking that new was somehow equivalent to better? Luciano and I were preparing…

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Day 7 Gratitude – Where You Hang Your Hats

I like hats.  I don’t wear them as often as I’d like because it’s hard to fit my big old noggin’ in most styles, but I do love them.  They shade the eyes, keep the head warm or cool, protect from the elements, hide unfortunate hair incidents, add an element of style… Yes, I do…

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Day 6 Gratitude – “Meditation: Finding the Quiet Within”

“Breathe innnnnn through your nose…..and out through your mooooouthhhhhhh…. Go withinnnnn…… Shoot!  I forgot to sign that document and send it in with Camilla today.  I hope her teacher won’t say anything to her.  Don’t wanna be that mom.  Holls!  Focus!!!  And breathing innnnnn….. I wonder what the girls are having for lunch today.  They…

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Day 5 Gratitude – Resilience: Still I Rise

Circa 1920, Claudette sat in her stuffy rooftop atelier, concentratedly working away.  She looked up briefly to gaze out the small window in the eaves, which lent her the only “vu degagée” of the Sein and a bit further, la Tour Eiffel.  She was running late with a commission for her mistress’s skirt and it…

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Day 4 Gratitude – Self Reflection

In these last 10 years, I’ve learned that we tend to repeat the same patterns until we learn the lesson from our actions and their outcomes.  One of the most important moments of these past 10 years is when I noticed that I was repeating some experiences – negative ones – and was then able…

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Day 3 Gratitude – Setting Boundaries

My mom likes to tell the story of me as a teeny tot crawling into the laps of perfect strangers in waiting rooms, or flopping myself over, arms outstretched, (making holding onto me darn near impossible) so that the lady in the aisle next to us at the check-out would cuddle me.  This being my…

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Day 2 Gratitude – Motherhood

Motherhood.  What could I possibly say about a subject that is so universal and yet so personal?  What could I say which has not already been said thousands of times before?  I had to dig deep for this particular piece for sure.  My personal experience of being a mom to 2 adorable girls is that…

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DAY 1 Gratitude – True North

Ten years ago, I was facing another failing relationship and seriously wondering whether I wasn’t just really hard to get along with.  Perhaps my life would be a series of love stories which I would cherish for the time they lasted and then continually move on when they ceased to bring joy.  And instead of…

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Meet Gertrude – my little old lady

This is the story of how I discovered that furniture restoration is not my calling. Meet Gertrude.  We inherited little old Gertie with the purchase of our little old house.  She is indeed very very old, but has such nice bones, doesn’t she? Well, I decided she needed a second (or maybe third or fourth)…

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How bad do you want this?

Wow.  Just wow.  In looking at my last post, it strikes me how much change my little family and I have undergone. We have: moved house, started renovating said house, had another gorgeous baby girl we named Eleonora Frances, sent other baby off to her first and now her second year of preschool, changed jobs…

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The traces we leave

We’ll be moving house in a couple months, and I’ve started slowly slowly packing away decorative items that have made our apartment a home these past 3.5 years.  Once emptied, it’s interesting to see the footprints we leave behind from loving a place.  The traces of photo frames, empty nails, and scribbled dates recording Camilla’s…

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