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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The French Art of Tea and Chocolate ...

Tea made its arrival in Paris in 1636 (almost 22 years before its arrival in England). It is a petite known fact, but tea was exceptionally popular among French Aristocracy. One of the first connoisseurs of tea was Louis XIV, who is known to have taken tea regularly to assist in his digestion and as a preventative against gout and cardiac disorders.

Madame de Sevigne (one of the greatest letter writers in history), in her famous series of gossipy letters to her daughter chronicling the life of the Sun King - as Louis XIV was known-, and his entourage, provides us with a glimpse inside styles, fashions, opinions and much more about
life in 17th century France, including her numerous mentions of tea.

According to Madame de Sévigné ....  (complete article available in the May/June issue of Belle Inspiration Magazine)

WHAT is Belle Inspiration? and HOW can I get it? you are asking...

Belle Inspiration is an online  Digital Magazine. Each issue is delivered bi-monthly to your in-box. Based in France and with a team of international contributors (which High Heeled Life is a proud supporter and regular contributor) each issue treats readers to brilliant photos, and budget friendly solutions to bring and keep the joy of living in everyday life.
If you are not yet a subscriber it's as easy as clicking here
Don't miss  Style Français in the current issue!

Become a subscriber before June 7th, 2012 - you will automatically be entered in a Giveaway to win one of 3 Vintages by Nina books, by Nina Hartmann.

Belle Inspiration was founded and is published by BlogLand's very own inspiration of all things romantic, the joy in living - simply, and supporter of small independent boutiques Mimi Bleu author of Bonjour Romance.

Wishing everyone a week filled with Joie de Vivre !!!

Regular posting will resume this week-end here on High Heeled Life and the Country, with a fabulous giveaway you will not want to miss...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Angel Walked (S) Among Us...

Sometimes life's journeys make no sense ... especially when someone leaves their earthly journey before we are ready/prepared to say  "till we meet again in heaven."
image courtesy of our dear friend Mariette of Mariette's Back to Basics
For those of you who have followed this little blog of mine, you may already know that today May, 28th, marks the 4th anniversary since Angel  P.  returned home to heaven. 

She was only 33 years old (same age as Jesus) when she started her journey home. Though her time here was short, she touched the hearts of many with her grace, heart and smile. And through those lives many more  lives [of strangers] have felt the warmth, kindness and love that she taught those who were blessed to have known her.

I did not know Angel P.when she was here on her earthly journey, but I too am blessed, because she saw the diamond in the rough who is Mr. G. And I can tell you - he would not be the man he is today. Had it not been for the love, understanding and direction she gave/taught him. Through him she continues to touch many more lives, and mine is one of those lives.

I give thanks to Angel P. each day for having loved and believed in Mr. G (even when he did not believe he was worthy of much) and for her wonderful family who embrace me like family. Through them I continue to learn how to be a better person and give of myself to others.

Perhaps in another life time I will have the honour of meeting Angel P. ~ but for now I continue to honour her memory.  And try my best to take care of the one person who was her world ... Mr. G. and her beloved furbaby Stella.

Please keep Angel P's family and Mr. G in your prayers this week ~ that their memories not be filled with the horrific accident that brought her earthly journey to an end - but with all the times they spent together and how her smile lit not only their lives but the world (she was a caring high school teacher).

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”(NRSV)

Spiritual Sundays

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Day in the Gardens

There is nothing better for mind , spirit and body than a spring day in the Garden.... of course unless it's a day in the garden with friends willing to roll up their sleeves and help get things in order for a wonderful garden season.

This year even getting in the garden has been a bit challenging, which often leaves me frustrated. Mr. G's outdoor spring list for the property is already enormous, that I feel guilty asking for him to do more. Especially when it's things that I should be doing without a problem. So, I put it out to the Universe and next thing I know, our friends from Vermont came to visit ~ and one of the first things they said was "Ok guys, what needs to be done? We are here to work, we've brought our gardening clothes".

After enjoying their company... our guests reminded us that they wanted to help and started tackling project after project ... While the English green thumb hubby gave Mr. G a hand with the chainsaw; moving some brush, trimming trees. My sweet Parisian friend (his wife) made it her mission to get unsightly weeds under control.

All I can say is "thank  you" first to our dear friends English Hubby and French Wife ... for being the wonderful friends (extended family) you are. We truly treasure you and our friendship, and are most appreciative of your hands on attitude! and Second for remembering to ask for help ... our Angels really do listen, when we ask HIM for something and they are most happy to set about putting things in motion.

So, lets take a stroll.....

Our little Magnolia tree made the week as it dazzled us with its colorful soft lilac blooms ...

Our Angel Garden is the first of the gardens to bring to life the colors that only Mother Nature can produce!

Of course our tulips offer up a bit of sunshine too!!

Butterflies take flight in search of a spot in which to bask in the warmth of the day's sun....

Even a robin is not scared off  by our noisy human presence ... it continues on about its day.

Our little Gabbana is delighted that she has found a flower that is not told to leave alone...

As all gardeners know, to enjoy one's gardens there is a labour of love that must first be done...
Here our Butterfly Garden is starting to come alive ... giving us various shades of green. But not all that is green should be in the garden...and boy do the weeds seem to find their perfect home alongside the flower plants.  The photo above is our Butterfly Garden BEFORE ......

Our Parisian friend and nature loving friend discovered the dandelion/weed "thingy"... 
no weed had a chance ...

And here is the Butterfly Garden breathing happily with no pesky weeds and a good turning of soil.

and a day in the garden would not be complete with out lots of water and fresh fruits to keep one going..
(merci mon ami... it was perfect ).

This is how we get around our property and haul things to and from the gardens...

This little Fairy ... is the inspiration for a new garden we are creating this year...

I'm so happy you joined us for a day in the garden!

Do you garden? 
What have you found works best to keep the weeds away ?

sharing with ...
What's It Wednesday ~ Ivy & Elephants 
Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style
Favorite Things Thursday ~ Katherine's Corner 
Creative Things Thursday ~ The Vintage Farmhouse  
Transformation Thursday ~The Shabby Creek Cottage 
Open House Party ~ No Minimalist Here
Feathered Nest Friday ~The French Country Cottage  
Farmhouse Friday ~ LaurieAnna's Vintage Home 
Show & Tell Friday ~ My Romantic Home 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Other Side of Thin ..Part Two

According to an article in Business Weekly by Rebecca Reisner in 2008 Americans spent $40 Billion on diet products and programs. Marketdata  noted in an article posted January 2012, their research found $61 Billion is spent by Americans each year on fad diets and programs.  

At 5' 2 1/2" having been a healthy size 2-4, maintaining a consistent weight between 110 lbs - 117 lbs most of my adult life, it is difficult to grasp that the 145 lbs size 8-10 and still 5' 2 1/2" image staring back at me is actually me!

So, like most people looking to loose weight I have set off in search of the QUICK GREAT FIX! With the help of friends I have been looking into all sorts of "diet options" I've labelled them diet options, as after careful examination that is what they really are promising ... a quick fix. Although most of these diet options will initially deliver on their promise to help you lose weight and/or go down a dress size or two - maintaining the "diet option" long term is next to impossible.  Many have food restrictions that leave out necessary nutrients, which can be harmful to your body causing a whole new series of problems to deal with along with all the weight that returns, once you stop.

I asked myself :

"what was I doing at that time I felt healthy and happy with my weight and self?"  

~ was in the peak of my career
~ ate quality portion size food
~ didn't really snack between meals
~ was very active
~ barely took an Aspirin
~ wore heels
~ had a full social life
~ I was very happy in my skin

"What is my life now?"

~ Helping my body to heal is my career
~ still eat quality food (though portions are not always clear)
~ snack between meals and not always healthy choices
~ am definitely less active
~  5 years older
~ Flats are my go to shoes
~ Medication (pain, mood, etc.)
~ Everything I have gone through in the past 5 years has left me numb and uncertain, overwhelmed and lost most of the time

As I sat in took in what each of these items on both lists represented, I realized that the items on the first list barely reflected the person I am now. What struck me was that both of these lists are reflective of the life I lived and the one I live now. Noting a definite relation between life style and how it affects our bodies, exists.

This realization perhaps explains why "diet options" (if ) they work, the results are short lived. The key is to live life ... something that before came so easily that I never connected it to my body's appearance. Also, I have been so wrapped up in what I am no longer able to do that I'm not looking at what I am able to do.

Yes, there are some things I may not be able to change on my list (of the life I now live) such as taking medication or wearing heels. But I think if I can manage to work on things like being more active, snacking less, look for things that bring me enjoyment outside my comfort zone (home) things will change!

Have you found a new way of eating that has now become a way of life, to maintain your healthy weight?

Is there a "Diet Option" that you have used to help in the short term (i.e used to slim down for a special function) or to jump start your life long eating habits ?

I have recently come across something that I will be trying starting next week, so check back regularly over the next few weeks - where I will share my findings , with first hand experience.

You can read Part One Here

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has been visiting and leaving encouraging comments and special thank you to those who have email me to see where I have been. I promise I will share all in future posts, as I regain strength.

click here

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rainbows and Butterflies ...

Life doesn't always happen the way we planned it. Though as we become caught in the storm and it's flurry of  changes it is so easy to cry out how big it (storm) is ... when we really should  remind ourselves how big HE is. Each storm and change is meant to teach, empower, awaken and bring us closer to our purpose of being.

Sometimes the storm is horrific, down right catastrophic and the changes may leave us unrecognizable on the outside and the inside, to the naked eye. But with every downpour there is always a minute break before it pours again. It is during this miniscule break that we need to act quickly, draw on the inner strength and faith that lay dormant waiting to be released.

Remember HE is bigger than any storm or change, and He believes we are capable of greater things than we give ourselves the chance to do/be. It is through these storms and changes that we will learn, grow and discover there is a reason for everything. Even when the down power is so thick that visibility is impossible, the change(s) that takes place enables us to see clearer than we thought possible, we need only to use our heart and faith to guide us through it all.

            "Rainbows are a result of powerful storms ... 

                                                     and Butterflies a result of painful change!"

I have had to remind myself many times these past weeks ... and thought you may need a gentle reminder that no matter the size of the storm it will pass and rainbows and butterflies will be the result! ...

And he said to me: “My grace is sufficient for you. For virtue is perfected in weakness.”
 And so, willingly shall I glory in my weaknesses, so that the virtue of Christ may live within me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Because of this, I am pleased in my infirmity: in reproaches, in difficulties, in persecutions, 
in distresses, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am powerful.2 Corinthians 12:10   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tea Rooms Series ~ Tintagels in Erin

Since purchasing our country home a couple years ago, Mr. G and I have not really been out exploring what the area and surrounding small towns have to offer. So, we headed out on a crisp Sunday to find a place to enjoy a light lunch. Our drive took us to Erin, where we decided to give Tintagels tea room a try. I had actually been here a couple summers ago with a friend.

It is a charming little place with cozy sitting...

There are some wonderful antique pieces which are used for displaying tea items for sale...

Look at all the lovelies here....

Mr. G. had the French onion soup with a side Cesar salad... 

Look at all that goggie, yummy cheese ..... 

Moi, I enjoyed a broccoli cheese quiche ... the salad looks good but the dressing was not something I was use it. No worries, I did not go hungry ....

To help fill that still empty spot in my tummy ... a scone would do the job!!!

and yes a lovely warm cuppa of tea!! This was such a darling little cup, it was quite thin and I loved the texture and that handle... the delicate floral a definite tribute to spring...

It was tres delicious!!! Warm .... with devon cream and homemade strawberry jam.... HEAVEN!!!

We discovered that small towns (at least this own) rolls up it's doors by 4 pm - so we were not able to fully explore the little shops ... next time.


Martha's Terri's Tea Time Tuesday
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