Friday, June 29, 2012
Well, it's Freebie Friday again, and instead of a printable, I have a special gift for one of you. I'll let the suspense build as I explain:
I believe I've mentioned before, at least in my profile, that I love all things french. I mean ALL things! I was fortunate enough to have a father who taught at an elite private school and so while we lived on a very modest teacher's salary, I was fortunate to go to school there, tuition free. Needless to say, I had an amazing education and was able to start learning french when I was only 10. I was then able to start college french classes as a junior in high school. Any opportunity to read about someone french (I can't tell you how many times I read the Scarlet Pimpernel, or William the Conqueror) I took.
So, what does this have to do with beauty? Why, Marie Antoinette, bien sur! She is one of the most beloved fashion icons, and the most hated royals in history. It is fascinating, however when you research her, because her most famous attributed line is: "Let them eat cake!" However, there is very little documentation suggesting that she actually stated this. There is more evidence to suggest that it was an aristocratic woman from several centuries before her.
However, we do know that she was an arbitor of fashion. She loved her children dearly. She respected her husband, but not necessarily his ability to lead. And, as an outsider, she was never really accepted by the french population as a whole. We also know, that while she lived with seemingly everything at her disposal, she lived such a sheltered life, that she truly didn't know how people were living just outside the walls of her home. She actually sounds like some women that I know.
I wanted to share an amazing experience I had this past fall. At my women's group at Church, we had a "Let Them Eat Cake" activity. What does that have to do with a charitable organization, you might ask? Well, we have a large population of graduate students and their wives/husbands in our congregation. Many of them do not have the means to buy new clothes, or at least haven't for quite some time. On top of that, we have a very varied economic strata in our church as well. We have people with quite a bit of means, and then we have some with none. It came to our attention that several of the homeless shelters (particularly the battered women's shelter) were in desparate need for clothing. I don't know if you knew this (I hadn't prior to this activity) but when women leave an abusive situation, and they finally feel safe enough to return home and get their things, more often than not, the abuser has disposed of all of their belongings and they end up having nothing at all.
So, we decided to follow Marie Antoinette's wisdom and lack of wisdom. We decided we would have our cake, eat some, and then share with the women in our community. We all brought clothes that either didn't fit anymore, we were tired of, or we just didn't need anymore. We also brought cupcakes and had a contest. We had an absolute blast playing fashion consultant for each other. Swapping clothing, helping those who didn't have a clue what looked good on them, and helping everyone feel beautiful and excited about their new fashion accessories and clothing, and yes, eating our cake. Then, we took all of the left over clothes to the shelters.
I was absolutely in awe as women of our church continued to bring in more and more clothes throughout the coming weeks. Because, we had explained that if they had nice dress clothing, it would not only clothe the women we wanted to help, but it could actually change their lives for the better. I mean, if someone is trying to get a job, and all they have are sweat pants, t-shirts, or jeans, who is an employer going to hire, even if they are competent? It will be the professional looking woman who may not even be as qualified.
So, long story short, I cannot begin to describe the look of gratitude and wonder as we brought bag after bag of clothing to the shelters. These women were in such awe that someone cared enough to not only bring them clothing, but also cared enough to try to help them change their lives for the better.
Is that true beauty or what?
Well, as I've mentioned before, I absolutely love to accessorize. I mean a woman isn't really dressed until she does, n'est-ce pas? So, when I survived breast cancer and decided to fulfill my dream to help all women feel beautiful, special, and loved with the remaining years I have on this earth, I decided to utilize my talents to do so. I have loved designing and making jewelry for years. So, I have now opened my Etsy store to share my designs with other women. I have been truly blessed to be able to take the time and money (which my husband has so graciously supported) to prepare for this new adventure.
So, as a grand opening gesture, I want to share some "cake" with you. Because just as we should never forget to share what we have with others (10% of all my profits will be going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation) it is truly okay to have some cake for ourselves once in awhile.
So here is how my giveaway will work:
1) Subscribe to my blog, so you can participate in the fun of discussing beauty, fashion, all things French, and also have the Freebie Friday Printables to decorate your life.
2) Go to my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LorrainesOoLaLa
3) Heart your favorite item (no sets please, just a single item).
4) Come back and post a comment telling what you like about it and why you want some cake in your life. I'd welcome any other comments you might have about sharing cake as well. Also, tell me if you have "social networked" (is that a verb?) the item.
5) For each social networking method you also use, you receive one additional entry. For example, if you tweet, pin, like on facebook, or Stumble,Tumble, LOL, etc., you receive an entry for each social network.
I will be using Random Picker to choose the winners:
First place will receive the jewelry piece of their choice.
Second place will receive a $10 gift certificate to my store.
Third place will receive free shipping from my store.
In order to guarantee fairness on my part, I will be using RandomPicker.com to import all of the entries so that we truly have a random drawing. Closing of the drawing will be Sunday night at midnight, U.S. eastern time. I will then announce the winners on Monday morning.
Good luck to you all!! And, as a little taste of a piece of my jewelry, here is one of my favorite items:
Bon chance everyone!! I can't wait to see what you like. Also, please note that I have many, many items to continue to list, which I will be doing throughout the weekend. So, keep checking back to make sure that you choose the right one! While you only get one piece of cake, a woman is always allowed to change her mind!!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I absolutely adore birds. Not necessarily in my house, but I love watching them outside and appreciating all of the beautiful colors, plumage, and songs that they sing. I grew up in Oklahoma in a large city, and really didn't realize there were so many birds (other than sparrows, cardinals, bluejays, and scissortail flycatchers) until my husband and I moved out into the country. I was immediately amazed at the amazing array of birds. Suddenly I was exposed to nuthatches (they walk upside down a tree!), chickadees, meadowlarks, hummingbirds, whipporwills (louder than all get out!!), and a myriad of other wonderful and beautiful birds.
As I thought of our journey to find beauty, I was reminded of birds. Each has it's own beauty, whether it is their song, their grace, their antics, their actual plumage, etc. So, when I did my new weekly challenge over at The Graphics Fairy (which you should definitely check out if you like free vintage prints and printables - the picture above is from her website), I decided to make a bird bracelet and earrings. Did I mention before that I LOVE to make jewelry?
Anyway, you can check out my entry at: http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/, my entry is number 50. (and if you like, please press the like button, *wink*wink*).
Here's a larger picture for you to see:
When I wear this bracelet and earrings, I'm going to remind myself of my own personal song, my beautiful plumage, my antics or things about me that might be funny or charming to someone else, and the joy that I can bring to others.
What makes you sing? What special antics do you have or do? What beautiful, or subtle plumage do you wear? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Bonsoir Mes amies. Until Next time ... a bien tot.
Friday, June 22, 2012
As an aid to assist us in our search for beauty, I've decided to offer a free printable every Friday a la "Freebie Friday." Just click on the pic above and then you can right click to save to your computer in its original size.
You are welcome to print it out to inspire you, use as a desktop wallpaper, or even in a craft project. I only ask that you do not mass produce or use for profit in any manner. You are, of course, welcome to direct anyone to my website to download their own copy. I have a plethora of inspirational quotes on beauty, fashion, etc. that I can't wait to share with you.
How has your journey been going? I have had a wonderful time really paying attention to how others feel and react when I compliment them as well as how I feel when doing so. It is amazing how many women cannot own their own personal beauty. I noticed many who thanked me when I complimented them, but I could tell that they didn't internalize that I truly found beauty in them. They thought I was being "nice," or conversationally positive. It made me realize how often I feel uncomfortable when others compliment me. I probably show the same signs that I saw in the women that reacted in that way.
On the other hand, it was a joy to see some of my friends, acquaintances, and strangers who lit up even more. Their eyes sparkled, and seeing their joy, made me feel even like their sparkle was rubbing off on me.
How was your experience with complimenting others? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime ... I have an exciting surprise for you in the next couple of days. So, keep posted and be sure to follow me so that you can be the first to hear about it!!
Bon Jour Mes Amies ... have a beautiful weekend and check back in for my big reveal!!