Friday, June 20, 2014

All iIn A Day's Work & Messages From Heaven

Beautiful day here in Florida today and as always, 
and today I was reminded of how a day can deliver both expected and unexpected challenges as well as joys.

Lots of gardening work being done on the property today and then the phone call comes from outside:  "Miss Ruth, one of my workers tripped over a pipe by your well and it broke.  I'm afraid you'll have to call a plumber.  And we had to shut your water off."

Well, the good news is, I wasn't in the shower or doing laundry at that moment, right?  :)  Was without water for about 5 hours, but no biggie.
The pipes are fixed, well pump working again, and all is well.  :)

After the well workers left and the gardeners left, I sat for a bit on the couch to chill and lo and behold I found almost TEN old messages from my dad on my cell phone.  

Oh my...  To my surprise I did not cry.  

I breathed/sighed deeeeeply, but mostly I smiled.  A lot.  
(Okay... NOW I'm tearing up).  

What a blessing to hear him again saying "Well hello my dear Rootie.  (my nickname from childhood that's stuck through adulthood) 
I'm just calling to see how my baby girl is doing way out there in the country.  Give me a call when you have a minute.  Love you, sweetie and God bless you."

What a blessing to hear that dear man's voice again.  A serendipitous find to say the least.

Unexpected well pipe repair:  $123.00.
Unexpected messages from my sweet (and very missed) dad:  PRICELESS.

Love 'em while you've got 'em, people.  Love 'em while you've got 'em.  


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

House For Sale .... (In The English Countryside)

Ever have a desire to live in the idyllic countryside of England?

I'm pretty much ready to pack a moving van... you?


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shop Show & Tell, Part Deux...

More of the new things you may not have seen --
just click the picture and it'll shoot you right over to that 
item on the site.  

Pretty easy, huh?  

Set/3 Zinc/Wicker Planters

Fun Handpainted Wooden "Words of Wisdom"

Vintage-y/Chunky Paper Rolls
(Amazing when displayed en masse!)

Wire Message/Memento Board

Take-your-breath-away fabulous
"Carved Book Words"

Cigar Box Sets & various other yummy miscellany 
found in our "One Of A Kinds & Finds" department

Hope your week has been going well.  :)


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Show & Tell (part 1?)

Since it's been so long since 
we've had a chance to keep you updated each time we get new "finds" in, 
I thought I'd just do a little "show & tell"
of  just a few of the new things in recently.

Maybe I'll do a few of these posts to really  get you caught up 
(or, you could always just pop over and spend a nice long time
to see what's new!  ;)

Wanna start with these guys?
Two dapper men from long ago grace
these fun pillows that add a classic yet
whimsical look that any room 
benefits from.   :)

Love, love, love these
vintage-looking hand painted wooden license plates 
from Jeanne d'Arc Living!!

Even if you favor the white-on-white,
pale-on-pale schemes popular in the
magazine, this is the 
PERFECT POP of color
and has that yummy
vintage-y look we all love!

Look at this fun iron "planter"

We opted to display it not filled with
various little potted plants
(but wouldn't a bunch of succulents look AWESOME in it?!)
but with various decor items for a 
unique display variation.

Pack it out with pillar candles of varying heights --
so gorgeous in next to a bathtub 
or on a coffee table!

In the kitchen this just screams to be filled with
fresh fruits/vegetables.

Near the front door to catch mail, keys, wallets, etc.

Leave it to nature to create truly
the world's best coaster.

Seriously, forget the tile coasters,
the cork coasters, the knitted coasters
(do they still make those...?).

These gorgeously thick slabs of 
natural, untreated birch wood absorb
whatever you dish out and then 
dry out to practically never even show that they
were ever wet.

SUMMER=iced drinks=you need these!

Another great use for these is one placed
under the spigot of those gorgeous tall 
party drink dispensers.
Those are fabulous for gatherings, but let's face it -- 
their spouts can drip... right on your countertop.
Problem solved.

Ladies, it's a jungle out there!
So our "Jungle First-Aid Kit" is perfect
for holding all your "survival" needs
(aka make-up/beauty essentials)
on the go!

Okay, you could also fill it with the
first-aid essentials....
(bandaids, wound cream, alcohol wipes,
aspirin, etc...)
and keep one in the kids' bathroom.
How cute is that?!

Actual military bags repurposed by us
for our own jungle warfare
(aka making it through each day with
our essentials at the ready!)

Vintage architectural blueprints
(though most aren't blue...)
that were just too cool to pass up when
we saw a whole collection of them
for sale.

What can you do with them?
Wrapping paper, party table coverings,
framed or hung au naturel from clips,
or buy a bunch and just fill a vase or
urn with them sort of like
we did!

Obviously so much more to show you,
but this is a start.  :)

Happy Wednesday!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

We'd Like To Help You Make Mother's Day Special (and effortless)

This week as you ponder what you'd like to shower your mother with 
to show her how much she is appreciated
you might enjoy taking a peek at the 
page we created
on the site with some "sure-hits" for her.

If you order by Tuesday or Wednesday
(maybe Thursday)
we can still get something special out 
to her 
from you
in time!

Take a look-see at some of the things we
culled from across the site to whet your creative-thinking
appetite for what you might surprise mommy with this year:

There are hand-carved books
made just for us in these three wise words:
"Be Still"

and there are hand-painted wooden signs with some of the 
MOST FUN sayings, as well as so many other
must-haves for her.

We have a little perk for YOU, too...

We'll be happy to wrap anything you purchase free of charge
if you'd like us to -- just ask us to in the comments section of the order form
- we'll be happy to!

We'll wrap it in this beautiful gift wrap 

from Jeanne d'Arc Living that will be sure to draw a big smile from mom. 

Click HERE to see what mom might like.  

Love you guys!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Jeanne d'Arc Living Magazine May Issue Is HERE!

The brand new May 2014 issue of Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine 
arrived today and if you already ordered a copy, it'll be
arriving in your mailbox within just days!

It is another gorgeous issue, this time with a delightful
feature on weddings, as well as all the beautiful homes 
you love to see, recipes you love to create, and craft ideas
that get you back to your work table!

Pick up your copy HERE.


Box-Pocolypse at The Container Store...

Photo courtesy of The Container Store

First thing in the morning shortly after store-opening, there she is... strolling the aisles in glazed-eye wonderment at all that is contained in The Container store, when it happens: Strolling blissfully one second, then the next thing she knows "BOOM" "CRASH!" and the ear-splitting noise that you just can't explain unless you were there. 

Yep... seemed like about 50 really loud, hard plastic shoe boxes are scattered in the middle of the store and allllll eyes are on her. And what's the only thing she can think to say?  "Everyone awake now?" 

Yep... brought to you by your's truly. 

Help comes to begin the "clean up on aisle 3" disaster that I created, and my sweet sister and I also scramble to the floor to be of help (least I can do, right, considering the box carnage before us).

About 1 minute into the project the sweet young man (employee) who was helping in the effort to resurrect the clear acrylic tower of boxes stops what he's doing, looks up at me from the floor and with the most flummoxed look I ever saw just says quietly "How did you do this?" 

Ohhhhh dear... then I involuntarily shot back my most hurt face (and I'm pretty sure my 
bottom lip quivered) as if "How can you even ask that?"

Haha -- he wanted me to recreate what happened for him 1.) because he was just stunned that so much havoc could be wrecked so quickly and 2.) so that they were sure to never stack them like that again. 

So, all that to say, anyone wanna go shopping with me sometime?

I'm a real blast (crash) to be with!  


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas To My Sweet Blog Friends :)

It's a lovely, peaceful evening here in my house:
the movie "The Ultimate Gift" on tv after returning
from a nice long ride to look at Christmas lights
all topping off a generally perfect Christmas day.

It's hard to believe that once again, this special time of year is now
pretty much passed and we're perched on the edge of 2012!

This month as been SO busy -- not only with the store and
orders for magazines and shop items, but in the personal realm,
my sweet daughter, Olivia, graduated last weekend (12-17)
from college.

I seem to remember that not that long ago I posted about her 
FIRST day at college.  So I ask you, WHERE has the time gone??

Well, in all fairness she did move at a pretty accelerated rate and
graduated early, but still...  :)

This is the girl who spent 6 weeks this past summer on her own
in Israel working with an organization that reaches out to Palestinians.
She traveled several times into the West Bank/Gaza Strip delivering 
food relief aid packages to needy Palestinian families.

This is the same girl who only AFTER she was safely back at home
let me in on the fact that the church-owned guest house she stayed in
had just been re-opened after extensive repairs due to arson at the hands
of some extremists in the area.
She knew about this before she left, but chose not to share this
nugget of info with me -- it didn't change her mind and she figured
no point worrying me... Oh my...

She absolutely fell in love with Israel -- I think she left a part of
her heart there...
(Olivia, in the library of the guest house)

I believe, if given the chance, she might well have 
stayed there and asked for her things to be shipped to her.
Israel was a perfect fit for her -- the foods,
the surroundings, the "feel".
(Sitting at the Sea of Galilee)

So now, she has her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts 
(concentrated in painting) and for the next 1/2 year she'll
take a breather until she heads off to pursue a Masters Degree in
Intercultural Studies.

I'll be trying to soak in and savor every single minute with her until 
she leaves next year... *SIGH*

If you've followed my blog for a while, you have to know that she and I are
linked -- tightly linked.  I'm so happy for her -- so proud of her... but when she
takes off next year... a HUGE piece of me goes with her.  Ouch.  
But it's a "good" ouch.  If that's possible.  :)

Well, I digress...  This is a post to say 
Merry Christmas to you all and to thank you,
from the bottom of my heart,
for sticking with me this past crazy-busy year!! 

We've grown quite a bit this year, and I'm thinking up 
some fun new changes for the new year for the store.

All in all, life is wonderful and I am blessed.

How about you?  :)

All is calm, all is bright...
Merry Christmas to all
and to all
a good night.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You Know That Feeling When You Get To Pass That LONG Line And Go Straight To The Front??? Consider This Your All-Access Pass To Jeanne d'Atc Living!

By now, I hope all of my customers know that all you pretty much have to do is
ask me for something and if it's at all within my power to do it, 
it's done.

Well, after years of fielding daily calls, emails and 
Facebook messages from many of you
asking if you can just buy a subscription
to Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine

(instead of ordering each issue one-by-one
throughout each year)

we are happy to (FINALLY)
announce that we are now offering
a subscription service for that gorgeous magazine.

And what better time of to begin your subscription!!
The 1st issue of 2012 will be here and shipping out
in January and we can get your 
started with that issue!

Of course we still offer the magazine on an
issue-by-issue basis so you can buy just the issues you want
as they come out.

For those who always buy each issue and know they will 
continue to do so,
a subscription is the way to go!!!

Here are just a few reasons why:

1.)  No more "waiting in line" so to speak...your name is 
always "on the list" and in line to get the next issue!
You skip having to always try to be on alert to 
when each issue is coming so you can be sure to 
order your copy -- now you can just make one
purchase (the subscription) and sit back and wait
for each issue to appear in your mail box.

2.)  With a subscription, you enjoy a bit of a savings by
buying a year at a time Your price per issue goes from
$26.00/each to $24.00/each.
Same free shipping as always.

3.)  You will be guaranteed that you will not be caught
without an issue in the event a particular one sells out 
quickly.  This has become the rule rather than the
exception lately!  And when we go to try and order more
from Denmark, we're finding that now even they are sold out!
Your purchase of a subscription will have secured each and
every issue of the year -- no worries.

What better time to put a subscription to
Jeanne d'Arc Living on your list to Santa??  ;)

Or, what about giving a year of beauty to your mom,
sister, daughter, best friend, etc..?

Place your order for them online and we'll do the rest --
all year long they will get issue after issue of some of the most
inspiring, breath-taking beauty they can inagine.

If you have any questions, just let me know!
But really, if you are a regular buyer,

Hope your December is off to a lovely (chilly?) start!
We're still unseasonably warm here in Florida
(well... "normal" for Florida, but not at all
Christmassy weather).  ;)

Here's the link again for ordering
your subscription:



Friday, December 2, 2011

It's A Christmas Miracle! :)


Santa's elves came early and guess what they dropped off
here at The Beautiful Life?????

of the Christmas issue that 
WAS sold out
(until the magic of Christmas struck)
but is now available again while they last!

pimp myspace with Gickr

Many of you have called and emailed frantically looking for a copy
and I've had to give you the news that we sold out.

If that was YOU,
head over to the site now
 and grab your copy
while they're still available.   

What a great way to start December!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yes! Returning Again This Year From Uganda! Handmade Nativity Sets To Help Support Students & Mothers...

So very many of you have begun asking "Will you carry those beautiful African
nativities again this year??"

I am SO VERY happy to say "YES WE WILL!"

How many of we ladies here in the west would say that the seemingly simple act of learning to sew,
and having your own machine would 

How many of you reading this actually don't own your own sewing machine?

How many of us have walked through JoAnn's or WalMart and seen the endless rows of 
bolts of fabric -- at realllly great prices?

For us, it's commonplace.

Not so for the women in Uganda pictured below...

So.... an idea was formed.  We want to help these women as well as young college students who are
striving through education to better their lot in life, but who struggle to even pay the tuition
and who are also relied upon to help support their families.

Last year, through a friendship with a sweet man in charge at the college in Uganda (Mathias),
 the college students there at his school to learned how to make these Nativities 
and they were brought back to the U.S. with one of the many teams who go to 
minister to them throughout the year.

The local women go daily to a central, usually open-air spot under a roof, to learn the skill of sewing, so that they can support their families and send their children to school.

They travel mainly by foot each day -- often toting their children along on the journey --
to sit and be instructed in sewing -- often using only paper (empty cement bags, etc.) to
practice on.

Fabric is a luxury, not in abundance like here.

But even if they master the art of sewing (and they DO!), it isn't much
help if they don't have a machine to work on once they finish their training....

This sweet woman, Prossy, just received her sewing machine.
But there are many, many other women who are still waiting...

Here, Jenipher receives her machine... if that isn't genuine gratitude and elation,
I don't know what is.     ;)
Just look at this assortment of raw materials ready to be
transformed into the nativity sets!

And you won't believe the finished product that can come from this: 

Wood, corn husks, plant materials, natural leaf-based twine, etc...

Cutting out the base for the nativity "house".

The work begins!

I love these pictures -- kind of reminds me of some of my own crafting times --
blissfully surrounded by all manner of materials!!   :)

I can't even imagine working in this kind of detail -- and when you see the actual
sets, you'll know what I mean... it is amazing.

I love that the young men are trained to use their hands creatively  --
this is a skill they can use throughout their life.

The sets are nearing completion...

The little handmade nativity pieces are carefully tucked inside and readied for their
trip to us!

Packed up and ready to board the plane!    :)

When you buy a nativity, you help poor students AND assist in the great need for sewing machines for women in villages in Africa.

Completely handmade out of corn husks and every piece fits neatly into the little nativity "house" that showcases them for display.

Nativity "house" (box) measures 8 1/2 inches high x 6 inches wide x 3 3/4 inches deep.

Figures - tallest about 4 1/2 inches

Set includes these pieces, tucked neatly inside the door of the "house":

3 wise men, 2 musicians, 2 shepherds, 1 Mary, 1 Joseph, 1 baby Jesus in manger, 2 animals.

Click HERE to go to the nativity sets in the shop!

The PERFECT gift for the person who already "has everything" ... because we'll just 
bet you they DON'T have one of these.

And, if they do have "everything"... what better reminder to them (and us all)
that there are still many across the world 
who do not "have everything"
and just the simple purchase of a nativity can truly be