Posted in Blogs

Shiny and new

Earlier this month, I was whining talking with my friend Cam about how much I wanted my blog to look like hers. It’s clean, well thought out and pretty. So very pretty.

The only problem? Doug Bowman, her brilliant designer, is more than a little busy… you know, with his day job. And being Cam’s husband and father to their two gorgeous girls. You know, stuff like that.

But once I stopped complaining, she said she thought she might be able to convince him to consider it.


A Handful of Joy

Lately, I’ve found myself spending stolen moments on a small handful of blogs that are simply beautiful…from the sentiment to the design.

I am so inspired by these blogs that I thought I’d share with you, so here goes…

Here, There and Elsewhere

Two newlyweds who have a passion for life and travel.

The DeLucas began following me on Twitter several weeks ago and I was compelled to follow them to their blog. What a lovely decision that was. The first post I read was Blog Promotion and I was struck by the honesty and simplicity in their words. Then, I learned that they were living here. Swoon. Today? I saw this and laughed so hard I may have peed a little.

Go say hello to the DeLucas…you won’t be sorry.


The Creative Mama

…to share with you; to reach out, encourage, and ultimately help you to live life a bit more creatively.

I first stumbled upon this amazing collaborative site when I followed my lovely friend Alison (who I wrote about here) over one day, where I read a description of love that left me speechless and more recently this piece on finding balance that leaves me inspired.


Baked Bree

…I got the idea to make this a place to put all of my favorite recipes and share them with my family, friends, and the Internet. That is how was born. It is pretty much a love letter to everyone that I have ever cooked for…

I followed Bree from a post she had written on The Creative Mama to her own breathtakingly beautiful blog. Bree blends family-friendly recipes with astonishingly gorgeous photography. (Bree has such photography magic that she could probably find natural light in a closet.) Before Halloween, she offered up this sugar extravaganza and then this week, she seduced me with these bowls of heaven.

I hope that you enjoy each of these lovely blogs half as much as I do!

Do you have any blogs that you turn to for inspiration? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

BlogHer ’11 Recap: Now I Need a Nap

There is so much that I could tell you about BlogHer ’11. I could go on for days about how much I learned in the sessions, how much I drank danced the parties, how much I enjoyed talking to some amazing brand representatives, and how much my back hurts from lugging home an obscene amount of swag.

But, what I want to tell you about most is the friendships, because as I sit here, 48 hours after returning home, they are the highlight of my trip…they are what made it so incredibly memorable.

And I want to thank so many people.

Deep breath…here I go…

Let me start with my “old” friends…

Sherri… Thank you for being my wingwoman through it all, for being the rock that I needed more times than I care to admit. Dancing with you, sharing inside jokes (what? what!), and knowing that you were by my side made all of the difference for me. Your friendship is one of the greatest gifts of my life.

Cheryl…You are the closest thing that I’ll ever get to having a sister. Your honesty, candor, silliness, and sarcasm make me love you. I appreciated your wisdom throughout the pre-BlogHer hysteria, your calm during the whirlwind that was BlogHer, and your willingness to talk ad nauseum during the exhausting aftermath. Love you, girl.

Rachel… Oh, my friend. You are so lovely inside and out. You are you. What you see is what you get…loyal, kind, outrageous, funny, and beautiful. I just love you. Thank you for always making me smile.

Yuliya… How can I begin to tell you how much your friendship means to me? I am so grateful that we had one-on-one time together on Sunday. You are vibrant, strong, gorgeous, true, and you just exude love. How lucky I am to know you.

Lori… Hearing you read your Voices of the Year piece on Friday was so powerful. Your words were true, strong, clear, and filled with love. I couldn’t have been more proud to call you my friend than I was in that moment. What a lovely representation it was of who you truly are. I love you so very much.

Amy…I’ve told you this so many times, but you are such a calming force for me. The melody in your voice and the way you look me directly in the eyes makes me all swoony over you. I admire you for so many reasons.

Natalie… To tell you that I counted the moments until I met you would be such an understatement. You have such a kind heart and your generosity means the world to me. Thank you were patient with me for being the “slowest getter-readier ever!” I know that we’ll be friends for always.

Tonya… I can’t count the times you made me smile. You soothed me when I was anxious, made me laugh when I was near tears, and made me giggle like a schoolgirl when I needed it. So much love for you, my dear friend.

Katie… Where do I even begin? Thank you for being exactly who I knew you’d be, for letting me snuggle you when I crawled into bed at 4 am, and for being willing to stay up and share pillow talk with me. You are the real deal, Katie. How lucky I am to know you.

Galit… I was so excited to meet you in person. You are so kind and generous online and you were every bit as sincere and lovely in person.

Gigi… It was so great to finally meet you. Our time by the pool was, hands down, my favorite time with you. If only some of your wisdom would rub off on me!

Nicole… I am so grateful for the time we had at the pool on Wednesday. I so enjoyed talking with you. You are so lovely.

Erin…You have such a beautiful soul. After spending time with you, I think even more highly of you than I did before.

Tracy… Once I forgave you for being so gorgeous, slim, and funny, I was struck by how at ease you made me feel. I am so happy that we finally met in person.

Eileen… I feel like I didn’t get to see you much, but you rocked the party Saturday night. The company was great and the food was delish! So grateful that we live so close.

Kristy… I adore you. That is all. Wait…also? You looked ridiculously awesome on Thursday night!

Amy… I kept thinking that we’d have loads of time to hang out, but the days just slipped through my fingers. It was such a joy to meet your family on Sunday…I just wish we would have had more time together.

Varda… You looked so radiant on Saturday night. It was amazing to see you so happy.

Then, there are my new-ish friends…

Morgan… I’m convinced you have one of the kindest, most tender souls I’ve ever come across. Getting to know you better was such a joy.

Christine… I apologize for talking your ear off every time I saw you. If I had been you, I would have ducked at the mere sight of me. ;) It was so nice to see you and I look forward to getting together soon.

Jenny… I don’t think that you could be any nicer or more engaging. You were a breath of fresh air amidst a whole lot of crazy.

Suz… I loved our time at the airport. It was so great to get to know you in a way that I couldn’t have done otherwise.

Merry… I can still see your beautiful smile. I loved talking with you and learning more about you.

Miranda… Girl, you are every bit as amazing in person as you are online. I could have listened to you talk all day, every day. I so loved spending time with you.

Cam… Thank you for letting me talk your ear off on Saturday night! It was so wonderful to get to know you. I see many road trips to San Francisco in my future.

And those people who were even more fabulous than I imagined they’d be… 

Monique… You are so many kinds of amazing. Your sincerity, sense of humor, and warmth left me speechless. You’re mine now, my pretty.

Poppy… Three words: Change. Your. Avatar. You are so ridiculously gorgeous. Add funny and genuine to the mix and I’m more than a bit smitten with you.

Jenny (the Bloggess)… Thank you for taking the time to speak with me at The People’s Party. Your compassion and words of understanding will stay with me for always.

Mary… You have an amazing ability to make those you come into contact with feel important and heard. I loved talking with you at dinner on Wednesday. Your stories still make me giggle. And blush.

Jen… I wondered if you could be nearly as funny in person as you are online and you didn’t disappoint. You were on my must-meet list and I couldn’t believe my good fortune for running into you on Thursday.

My blogging idol, Kelle… Thank you for not getting a restraining order against me for stalking you on Saturday. Before I went to BlogHer, when asked who I could only dream of meeting, your name was at the very top of an incredibly short list.

An one old, new friend (or a new, old friend?)… 

Cathy… I feel like we talked and connected more on Friday night than we did during our entire high school experience. How serendipitous it is that we’ve reconnected. The time we spent together at Sparklecorn was such a joy. I’m so happy we’ve reconnected.

And lastly, some lovely people with whom I wish I could have spent more time…

Robin, Elena, Jenny, Jessica, KayleenSusan, JessicaJanice, Lizz, Kristin, Fadra, Suzanne, Tara, Kelly, Carolyn, Tracy, Alena, Jen, Erin, Frelle, and Jill. You were all so lovely.

I keep thinking that I’m forgetting so many people. If I am, please reference the massive amounts of alcohol exhaustion referenced above.

Each and every one of you made my BlogHer ’11 experience wonderful. I am so grateful to know such a diverse, intelligent, dynamic, and driven group of women.

Happy sighs.

I’m off to take a nap.

Small Moments Spotlight

This week, on Small Moments Spotlight, I’m featuring four amazing women.

First up, I’d love to share with you a post by the lovely Melissa, who blogs over at Confessions of a Dr. Mom.  Though I read every post she writes, I had two other people email me the link to Dance With Me, a post that made me melt.  Melissa’s ability to reframe a situation is remarkable in its beauty. I am so grateful to call her my friend.

Another lovely post that I have stumbled across recently is Something in my Pocket, by Law Momma, who blogs over at Spilled Milk {and other atrocities}.  This post speaks to all women, especially those who work outside of the house … women who miss their babies each and every day and hurry home to the magic that waits for them. This is such a tender and lovely post.

I’d also like to point you to Awesomesauce: Now With More Awesome, a post by Tulpen, who blogs over at Bad Words, that chokes me up each and every time I read it, specifically the Saturday evening segment. Their mother-son connection is so strong and true that it touches a spot so deep in my heart.

Lastly, I have to share New Baby Sister, a post from Squid Mom (of the blog of the same name).  This post truly moved me, as I felt that she was speaking for me…that she knew exactly what was in my heart (I’ve written about a similar struggle time, and time, and time again.)

Please go read these lovely posts. You’ll be so grateful that you did.

If you submitted something this week and I didn’t feature it here, that doesn’t mean that I won’t in the weeks to come. I might just be saving it for now.

If you stumble upon a post that captures a small moment, or if you’ve written one yourself, please use my “contact me” tab (it’s over there on the left under “site links”) and send me the link.

If you’d like this badge for your blog,
just let me know and I’ll send it your way.

Suddenly, I was back

If I could make a wish list of bloggers who I would love to meet in person one day, my beautiful friend Megan, of Best of Fates, would be high up on my list.

Megan has a quirky, off-beat sense of humor that I just love. Her blog is filled with silliness, randomness, and fun.  She exudes love for her family and friends.  She’s genuine and real and it is a pleasure to know her.

Thank you for sharing this story with me, Megan.  We really have to figure out a way to meet in person.  BlogHer ’11?  :)

Suddenly, I Was Backby Megan


I feel at peace in the desert.

I love the heat and the dunes and the vast number of stars at night.

Which is just one reason why I moved to Morocco.

I love the cadence of Arabic and the sound of street vendors good natured arguments.

I love the taste of anything cooked in a tajine.

I love eating clustered around a table, being scolded on my improper method of scooping up food with bread.

I love the smell and the noise and vibrancy of Morocco.

I’d spent a summer falling in love with Fes in college, so I never questioned my decision to move to Rabat when the opportunity arose.

I packed up a year’s worth of toiletries, photos of home, and my camera and kissed my parents and friends goodbye at Dulles Airport.

I never imagined I’d be back in a week, my international journey officially over.

A lot happened during that week. Most of it upsetting yet relatively minute and boring when described.

But during that turbulent week I often found myself pausing and thinking what a fool I had been – how silly to have thoughtlessly left a life I loved.

My constant day-dreams of home weren’t of American food or WiFi or walking down the street unmolested.

My idyllic images consisted of sitting on a couch watching television while offhandedly tweeting. Of spending Tuesday nights cooking with my friends and talking about insignificant work drama. Of taking a leisurely bath and reading one of the many books in my oh-so-towering stack. Each, small moments I’d lived without considering its value.

Making awkward small talk with strangers, shrieking when someone startled me at work, missing the stoplight every single morning – soon I missed it all.

Then, suddenly, I was back.

For the first few months after I returned I couldn’t think of my time in Rabat without replaying scenes over and over in my head. Unable to sleep, I’d toss and turn through the night, until over time I thought of it less and less.

But every once in a while I have a bad day and I picture myself in my Moroccan room. I take myself back to those day-dreams of home and I think of how lucky I am to be back, once again living out each small moment.

Now that you’ve gotten just a small taste of who Megan is, head over to Best of Fates for more proof of why she’s so awesome.

I’ve hand-selected some posts to get you started…

To see how generous she is, read about how much time she has been spending with Pursey Galore: Fairy Tales and Sad Endings, Pursey Takes on The Nation’s Capital, Sequins Style, and Pursey Galore Loves the Night Life.  If you’re unfamiliar with Pursey Galore, please read about her at Project Purse and Boots.

For a post that shows just one example of Megan’s kindness, read I’m Scared This Post Is Too Sappy But Assuming You’re Reading This I Decided to Post It Anyway.

For some gorgeous photos with a side of humor, don’t miss Imagine a Beautiful Garden, Then Imagine It Withering Away As I Watch Modern Family.

Want some pearls of wisdom?  I’m still giggling over A Heartfelt Letter to a Married Couple.

Also, be sure to follow Megan on Twitter, where you’ll find some humorous gems…like this one:

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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