Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lookie, Lookie!!

I just COULDN'T WAIT to give you a sneak peek at what we've been working on at The Beautiful Life!! And it is NOT EVERYTHING, by any means!! Have a look!

Ok....so the Dove chocolate isn't part of the new inventory (its more like what's been fueling me as I work my way through box after box of new things!), but I thought the sentiment on the wrapper was perfect!
By the way...are you? Living your dreams, that is?
Well, its going on 2AM and I'd better quit for now in favor of some rest.
As always, let us know what you think -- send us your comments! And by all means, stop by the online store! (www.thebeautifullife.com)
See you! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's President's Day & As George Washington would say, "I cannot tell a lie..." - I'm beat!

The view from my kitchen window tells me that Spring cannot be far away...Its funny, here in Florida we do things a little different: most of our trees around where I live actually have what looks for all the world like fall color! I guess because we get our really "cold" weather so late (January), our trees don't change colors until then! But, I also have some trees that did lose their leaves months ago that are now getting beautiful Spring-green leaves! Not matter how you explain it, its lovely!
What a week, what a week! Two kittens got "fixed" and needed special nuturing for a few days, shipment after shipment kept arriving for the store: unpack, loginto inventory, and hours upon hours spent at the computer, then behind a camera, and then back to the computer to upload pictures of all the new stuff -WHEW! If it weren't for gallons of Starbucks along the way, I'd be in a heap.

Then an honors students' brunch at the college my daughter plans to attend - go University of Tampa! - errands, cooking, housework, etc...its all good, though. Truly.

The new things that we'll be rolling out for the store are SO wonderful! Many of them are just about ready for their "debut" but until I can get just the right pictures, etc., I'm holding them back for just a few days more. All I can say, though, is be ready for quite a few 'Beautiful Life' changes! We're introducing a range of things we've not carried before and its so exciting!

NEWS FLASH! We are introducing a whole new area of The Beautiful Life devoted to embellishing, crafting, creating, etc. The BIG QUESTION would really be: what took us so long??? Embellishing, imagining and creating is what I'm all about and I can't believe I haven't thought of bringing it all around to The Beautiful Life before now!!
There are goregous papers of all kinds, FABULOUS, TRES CHIC rubber stamp kits, stickers, labels, bits, pieces -ALLTHE THINGS THAT GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING!

ONE LAST NOTE...Please don't forget to post a comment if you'd like! I'd so love to hear from you and also, when we do our "APRIL IN PARIS" GIVEAWAY in April, leaving a comment is how you'll enter to win!
If you are already registered to receive emails from us, be looking out for one soon letting you know when ALL the new inventory is finally up and available. If you are NOT signed up to receive our emails, just pop by
The Beautiful Life and sign up on the home page (there's a button/icon in the body of the front page for sign-up) and get signed up!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's almost Valentine's Day, so I guess Christmas is now officially over...

Confession time...I only just this weekend finished taking all my Christmas decorations down. Keep in mind, its the weekend before Valentine's Day...this is officially the latest our decorations have stayed up. So what happened here??
Well, first off, Christmas 2007 was our biggest ever - decorating-wise. Our home was one of four in our town to be featured on a Christmas Tour of Homes (SEE THE FLICKR PICTURE MOSAIC ON THE LOWER LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE) and needless to say, we pulled out all the stops in terms of glitzing and glamming the place up (a million thanks, again, to my sister, Minnie!!). We had five large trees and about ten smaller trees to take down in addition to the "frou-frou" that was in every nook and cranny in the house.

On the day of the tour, we had over 300 ladies come through in the space of three hours!! It was wonderful and I do believe I would do it again if asked! I can say that now. Kind of like childbirth -- after its over, somehow no matter how grueling it was, give us time and we're ready to do it again! :)

I must say, as much as I loved the way it all looked, it was past time for it to come down. I am SO looking forward to breathing a breath of fresh "Spring" air into the house now and turning the page to lighter, brighter, airy-er decor. I know ladies who honestly keep their Christmas things up all year 'round. No kidding. And, somehow in their homes it works, but that idea is just not for me... I so enjoy each new season as it approaches and unveiling a whole new look in the house for it, don't you? Maybe its the A.D.D. in me, but I really have to change things up often or I go crazy!!
Anyway, Christmas is put away, here in Florida, even though we keep hearing about snow and cold weather elsewhere, we're in the 70's and 80's, so Spring seems to already be on the horizon and The Beautiful Life is getting ready to unveil a wondeful new crop of things for the store!

UPS is slowly but surely delivering the new inventory - a load here and a load there - and as fas as we can, we're getting it all photographed and listed on the site (http://www.thebeautifullife.com/) so PLEASE make a note to keep checking back! AND! If you haven't already done it, use the button on the front page of the site to SIGN UP FOR EMAILS!! That's the best way to stay in the loop and find out when our new things are all up! Plus, you'll be privvy to coupon codes for some pretty substantial discounts and savings!


ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME KNOWS I AM A FRANCOPHILE (lover of all things French) EXTRAORDINAIRE, SO... I AM PLANNING A HUGE, FABBY, TRES' CHIC GIVEAWAY FOR APRIL THROUGH THE BLOG! What better theme than an "APRIL IN PARIS" theme?? Ultra perfect and SO fitting, so PLEASE be sure to enter starting in March (MORE DETAILS CLOSER TO THEN!).... In the meantime, I'll be stashing away a kinds of Paris-themed, to-die-for goodies! Please don't miss out and be sure to enter in March -- you can't win if you don't enter!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Time -- How much do we have? What are you doing with yours?

Back at work today and I have once again been ordering like crazy! Am I nuts?? I don't think I've stopped to figure out just where all this yummy new inventory is actually going to go once it all gets here! 

Ahh...the "logic" of a woman -- we'll just figure it out when the time comes, huh? 

Like that little something we buy that we don't need but MUST HAVE and we somehow find just the right spot for it anyway....and in the end, its as though the spot has been crying out for it all along! 

Well, I'm going to need to find lots of such spots in our storeroom for all this new merchandise!! Pretty great "problem" to have!! :)

I'm reminded of how easy our lives really are - even when we feel like our lives are spiraling out of control, we really don't realize how good we actually have it. All this was brought into perspective yesterday (I mentioned above being 'back at work today') during a nice long visit with a dear friend who is in the fight of her life (the fight FOR her life) battling serious cancer. 

I left her room of isolation (she's just received a bone marrow transplant and must be totally isolated) feeling so utterly brought to my knees in gratefulness. She just turned 34 last week, has three small children and hasn't lived a 'normal' day like you or I for the last year or so...

Do we ever truly know how blessed we are? 

When the slightest thing goes wrong in our day, we tend to automatically fly off the handle or get totally distressed. 

I can assure you, my dear friend Brooke would give anything right now to have her worst problem be that she's running late for work and suddenly spills an entire gallon of milk on the floor. 

Most of us in that situation would "lose it" right about then and proceed to raise our voice at our kids, then drive into work (speeding, of course) with a temper just this side of road rage.

Not until you come face to face with having to reckon with the fact that you may or may not see your kids grow up can you really -- no, I mean REALLY -- appreciate every second of every day. That trip to the grocery store you are dreading? It takes on new meaning when you contrast it against having to trade it for a trip instead to the hospital for a scan that will tell you whether you you'll see next Christmas or not. 

Deal with that and I assure you, nothing is ever the same again -- but strangely, in a very good way.

So I say all that to say this: the next time your hubby walks past the "obvious" mess and it doesn't occur to him to do anything about it (I honestly believe they don't really see the same things we do!), rather than read him his rights, give him smile -- heck, give him a kiss. Not only will it totally throw him off, you'll be smiling on the inside knowing you'd rather pick up that mess once again -- and again -- and again, for many a years to come.

This, my friend, is truly living 'the beautiful life.' No amount of dreamy decor will ever, ever subsitute for a peaceful, calm home -- full of people who look past each other's flaws and faults and instead sees the gift of life in them and in yourself. 

I will be the first to admit that I'm the worst at wanting everything in order - in my home, my life, my office (ugh! not for a while, it won't be in order!). My poor family instinctively grabs their drinking glass when I pass by because they've learned that I instinctively tend to almost absent-mindedly go to pick it up and take it into the kitchen to put it away. 

My husband & I were sitting on the couch one Saturday morning, leisurely reading the paper and chilling. My husband excused himself for only one minute and when he came back into the room he found the paper he'd been reading was already put away, the pillows on the couch were back in their places, tv was turned off and armoire cabinet doors closed, and coffee cup back in the sink and rinsed out. All in one minute (hey...why can't I get everything else in my day done that fast???).

I'm no one to talk when it comes to telling myself to 'just relax" and don't worry about the housework, etc...But I long to be that person. I long to look at a room that screams "tidy me up!" then look over at my daughter and then choose life -- real life -- my daughter. As I close out this day (it's almost midnight), I'm reminded that my friend, Brooke, hasn't left her room since I saw her yesterday. And she won't leave it tomorrow either. 

She honestly envies those of us who are out there in what we'd call the rat-race -- buzzing around all day in our chaos, running from the school to the cleaners to the grocery, then home to hurry and do laundry and then vacum up all that dog hair (thanks, Nicodemus...) -- she hasn't left her room (the size of a modest laundry room) for weeks. Can you say "stir crazy??" 

So...how about it ladies, what do you say we purpose to take one day and consciously try and keep a new mindset, based on Brooke's vantage point from her small enclave. Think we can last even one hour? One hour of pure, unadulterated gratefulness in everything. Tomorrow I will have a chance to put my money where my mouth is (and in my car...) since instead of holing up in my office to get some more done, I have to take a few hours and go deal with my car at the dealership. Big deal. I'd still rather do that than be in Brooke's shoes (or room).

So, my mind goes back to the clutter that is surely bound to begin overtaking my workspace soon as we prepare to unveil all the new goodies for the store -- but, who cares? 

Let the clutter begin. I'm thankful that, as far as I know, I have plenty of time on my hands to sort through it all and have fun in the process. How about you?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Great News!!!

You may have noticed that the store has been pretty "bare bones" for some months now... Things have been selling off while we have been re-evaluating the inventory needs of the store and we've held off buying much until we got all our ducks in a row...Well, I guess you could say the ducks are all lined up now and we're rolling out A TON of new and some very different items for you!!
We've been hard at work shopping (now that's MY KIND OF WORK!) and some of our new things have already started to arrive -- its wonderful!! We're busy unpacking, logging the items into the system and taking pictures. Before long, you'll see a whole new crop of beautiful "must-haves" unfolding before your eyes on our site!! More later -- gotta go unpack boxes!!