Archives for July 2008


“Our society is mistaken: the experience of maturing is infinitely more delightful than ‘perpetual youth.’ In youth one is likely to wish to be experienced (especially if one is an attractive woman) – that is, to be watched, listened to, admired; in maturity one is far more interested in experiencing – in living. The acute self-consciousness of the attractive woman is crippling. Wishing to be viewed, the woman surrenders her own vision; she sacrifices herself to her own image.”

-Joyce Carol Oates

Judging a Book…

Last Kiss by Luanne Rice

I freely admit that I am drawn into a book by its’ cover. Sometimes a cover can create such a feeling of peace or beauty that you immediately want to hold it in your hands and flip through its’ pages, praying that the book lives up to the cover.

I haven’t read Luanne Rice’s latest novel, but it looks amazing and the description left me spellbound.  What can I say, I love the cover! Luanne also does something that I so love…she blogs! She writes frequently about her daily transgressions, her thoughts, the poetry that lives in her head and the music that inspires her.

We should all be so lucky to do something that inspires us daily.

The Greats

thayer allyson gowdy

There is nothing as wonderful as getting lost in a book, becoming completely absorbed by the words written across a milky page. Sometimes I can get so lost in a book, so head-over-heels in love with the characters, that when tragedy strikes, I am as devastated by the loss as if it were real. Why, when life is always handing us lemons, do we insist on breaking our hearts with the make believe? Should we avoid stories that will ultimately leave us drowning in tears, or immerse ourselves in them fully? Will they help us better understand our own lives and perhaps see the lights shining brighter than before? Will they prepare us for an experience? Will they enrich our lives and make us stronger? If not, then why bother?

It is an incredible trust we put in the hands of writers. We pray that the path they have created for us is one that we can follow safely and come out at the end better for it. Not all writers are as capable, some can sucker punch us and leave us winded and wondering what went wrong. How could we have not seen this coming? Writers ask us to place our trust in their words, our heart in their pages and come into the world they created with an open mind. If they write from a pure, honest place, without an agenda or a formula, we follow them willingly. Many writers try but only few succeed. This summer, honor the writers who write with the purity of their art and the honesty of their soul.

Alice Munroe, Sue Miller, Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Berg, John Irving. These are just a few of the greats. Discover them if you haven’t yet, revisit them if you’ve already been there and pass along these gifted writers to friends and family.

{photo credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy}

I Do…in Canada

Love and Marriage in 19th Century Canada is a brand new exhibit profiling the correspondences between young couples in love during the 1800’s. It is amazing to see that the problems faced then and now are desperately similar; long distance love, families disapprovals, finances. The times have changed but the issues remain the same. The only major difference is that today we never correspond with letters, it is a lost art. We are now relegated to emails and text messages and so much is lost in the modern translation. Imagine receiving a letter like this one, so filled with words of love that they are virtually falling off the page.

Maybe these Canadians know a thing or two about the pursuit of love and the art of the written word.

In the moment…

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” -Henry Miller

NONSOCIETY with Julia, Meghan and Mary

Julia Allison for Non Society

Julia Allison, former editor-at-large for Star Magazine, columnist for Time Out New York and frequent contributor to Fox News and Page Six has started a new venture with her two best friends, Meghan Asha and Mary Rambin. The site is called NonSociety and it hopes to inspire all of us to “Live Differently.” I had been a frequent follower of Julia Allison’s blog until she took a much-needed hiatus from the spotlight. She is back and hoping to be better than ever. We will all have to wait and see what kind of exciting venture this is going to be for these media gals. It can be expected that they will be “Gawker-ed” about and scrutinized, but lets hope that the naysayers do not deter these girls from living their lives out loud. They have the energy, enthusiasm and hope that is the definition of “Moxie.” I can’t help but like them!

A Small Beautiful World

I found this gorgeous apartment on one of my favorite sites, design*sponge. As I was scrolling through the photos, I clicked on one of the links and was directed to the owners of the apartment who have their own very cool store in California, Empiric. Design*Sponge profiled their studio as well, and I was equally enamored.

Then I realized…I know this girl! We grew up in the same town and have a close friend in common. I am amazed at what she is doing out in sunny California and the beautiful life she has created for herself. She’s recently married and appears to be appreciating all of the beautiful things life has to offer. I urge you all to visit her store, her site, her blog and try to infuse your own life with a little bit of her enthusiasm!

Congrats Annie!

The Sea

Rosanna, Inc.

I love the combination of blue and white and the way that it immediately (and intensely) evokes thoughts of the sea. I have lived on the water all of my life and feel lucky and blessed. There is something calming, soothing and healing about the ocean.  I intend to incorporate an ocean theme in my home. This work is from Rosanna, Inc. Rosanna Bowles creates gorgeous and inspiring dishware that turns your table setting into a work of art or a relaxing escape. I just love her work! I discovered her through Elements of Style…a fantastic site that you will literally lose hours on just exploring the images she has collected.


I feel like I am letting myself down. I haven’t posted in a few days…a drought, it seems…and the reason is my own frustration. I was enjoying Pillars of the Earth and my Oprah challenge, but then a new book struck my fancy and POTE kept creeping further and further away from my nightstand. It is now across the room in a pile of books that have been sadly neglected at around the page 50 mark. My secret is out…I am easily distracted by books and end up leaving many neglected and unfinished. Ugh! Why do I do this to myself?! Pillars is such a good read but it is very long and very detailed and very historical. It’s not really beach reading. But then again, many of the books I pick up for “beach reading” leave me feeling unsatisfied and empty…I’m not going to make the potato chip comparison because we’ve all heard that one far too many times. But I am going to ask a question…what is more important from a book, learning or enjoyment? I know that you have struck gold if you can both learn from and enjoy one book, but that doesn’t always happen. Many times you will suffer through a book and feel either bored senseless or like you lost a few brain cells somewhere around chapter 2.

So, should I stick with Pillars and ultimately feel the pride of accomplishment or move on and find something that I really, truly enjoy…even if that means only getting halfway through a handful of books before finding the right one?

PS- Please, please, please…if anyone knows who the above picture was created by, let me know. I found it a long time ago, saved it, LOVED it, and have no idea who took it. I want to credit the beautiful artist behind this creation so drop me a note and I will link it up!