Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A gem of a project

Well, it has been a few months.....again..... My intentions are always so good but time is so scarce.
I know you can relate. I admire my fellow bloggers (can I even call myself that?) that blog daily, weekly, or even monthly. One of these days it will happen for me.
I just had to share something with you. You know of my fascination with transforming a "humble" chateau. Well, this is the real deal. If you have a chance, check it out. The journey is inspiring.

photo from

Here is the link. I promise you will love it.

Perhaps when WE (hehe) purchase our little fixer-upper in Spain (remember the Italian post that had Army son believing  we had purchased that little fixer-upper in San Remo?)  I will post about it. 
Seriously, hubby is having some new issues so we could use a little prayer. Thank you in advance.

Take care, I miss you.

Big hugs from Barb

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We have made it over the mountain.

We are finally on the other side of the mountain. Whoo Hoo!!

Wow, it has been over 6 months since I last blogged. My intentions were so good earlier in the year. "Stuff" got in the way. The last half of 2013 has been quite the adventure. It has certainly kept us on our toes (and quite often on our knees)! As I sit here looking back, it seems like a really crazy movie. Not one I would pay to see however. Thank God we have crossed over to the really good side of the mountain.

Early this summer, my precious hubby was diagnosed with cancer. We were shocked to say the least. My blogging friends will remember that I have been the one with health issues. When we got married 10 years ago, he married a "pretty sick ole gal". Hehe. He was the strong, healthy one. After treatment, surgery, he was given A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH!
We are so thrilled. We realize how blessed we are. Thank you God!

Oh, lest I forget. Jeff was shot through the leg in September. Friendly fire (so to speak). He is doing o.k.
He is also remarried and I am now the grandma to 8 fabulous grans. I just doubled the amount of children to love. His wife is pretty amazing. She loves him and the job he holds. Being a military wife is difficult but she is up for the task.

J.W continues to amaze us. His health has not been great the past few months but he is a fighter. I guess we all are. 
I hope to be able to visit my blogging pals. If that doesn't happen as often as I would like, please know that I think of you often. Many of us started this journey together years ago. Some have dropped off but we stay connected on facebook. I hope that 2014 will allow me to blog a bit more. Time will tell.

Big hugs to each of you.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Unbelievable! Please check this out.

Photo- Getty/AFP

This link is worth a visit. The story is sad and moving. The treasures are beyond belief.
It truly is like stepping back in time. I shared this on facebook this morning but I know not everyone is a fan of facebook. If you have some time, check this out. You will not regret it.
Have a fantastic week.

Big hugs,


Friday, May 17, 2013 is finished!

So, I was chatting with a friend earlier and she asked me if I was finished. I really didn't know what she was talking about. She said she had visited my blog and evidently I was still doing laundry from our trip. Oh, all those good intentions flew right out the window. Hehe. One of these days it will all work out.

To bring you up to date a bit (if anyone is there), it has been busy. I have been working on some projects that I am excited about. Well, I am usually excited about something. We have had some health hiccups but hoping good news will be delivered next week.
Jayde is a teenager! Can you even believe that? When I started this blog in 2008, she was so young.
Now, a teenager.....big sigh!

If you haven't read Sonia's FABULOUS magazine
Creating Vintage Charm, you are missing out on a good thing.

It is a treat for the senses. I am so excited (happy dancing) to have an article
published in it. I know my facebook pals are very familiar with it.
It is definitely subscription worthy! Check it out!

Oh, one more thing. I have had a face lift. I needed a change. Well, not me exactly (I don't even color my hair anymore) but The French Elements.
I thought she needed a little makeover. I love how it turned out.

So, that is about it. Please say a little prayer for a good report from the Doc next week.

Big hugs,


Monday, February 25, 2013

Now that's Italian (with a lot of French)

We are home safe and sound. I love to travel but I am always HAPPY to arrive back home.
We had some pretty incredible adventures. We met so many warm, loving people both in France and Italy (even MODA)! This will be a short post with some pics. I still need to do the laundry that I started early this morning.
This was taken from a hilltop in San Remo, Italy. This city is gorgeous! And the food.....mama mia!
We had the opportunity to visit the fete du Citron in Menton. The theme was around the world in
80 days. Notice Jules Verne? The novel is 140 years old, the festival has been celebrated for 80 years.
I have to tell you that it was a highlight for me. Everything made from oranges and lemons. So imaginative!
This was taken in Antibes. It is one of my favorite pics. The gentleman looking out the window has the best view. Big sigh. Hehe.
We ate,
visited markets through the south,

and participated in Carnaval in Nice.
The best thing however, was spending time with the gentleman below....
my handsome hubby. I treasure our time together and the memories we made.
So, that is our trip in a nutshell. It is good to be back (home and blogging).
big hugs,

Friday, February 15, 2013

Way too long!

Well, It has been WAY TOO LONG. The last time I blogged was
in August, 2012. To be honest with you, the desire kind of left.
I believe the desire is returning. I know I will not be posting as often as I
used everyday, but the posts will be coming. Maybe once a week.
The photo above was taken in Nice, France. Hubby and I are there right now.
It is 4:30 a.m. and I am wide awake. I have slept like a baby for the past few
days. Tonight when I woke up at 3, I felt the need to begin blogging again.
So much for sleep..Hehe.
So much has happened since August, good and not so good. Thank God
the good outweighs the bad. I have had some interesting opportunities
come across my path. I think life does become sweeter the older we get.
Well dear ones, here is what I hope will be my return to blogging,
I have missed you.
Hugs and lots of love,
P.S. Jeff is still in the Army but I can't really discuss him (I hate that) and
J.W. is now 30 (can you believe that?!!!)
Hopefully, this will post. Blogger seems to have changed so much!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rust and Roses- The magic outside the shop

I promised another post on the fabulous destination shop..Rust and Roses.
Shelly is a master at putting together a shop that is filled with treasures. 
Look up, look down, unique items everywhere.
This post will take you outside the doors of the shop. So much to see.

This is one heavenly fridge. Cute, huh?

 Seriously, you could spend a good part of the day just looking
at everything in her outdoor location.

I know she is busy right now getting things ready for the 
August 16th opening. She has a good eye and did some serious 
sourcing this summer.  Next up will be SIRENS AND SAINTS.
Whoo hoo!

Stay cool. 112 here today and pretty humid. I am still shocked when summer
arrives each year.

If you have a little bit of time, click on the mini magazine on the left side of my blog.
The story of The French Elements was one of the features in the current
issue of Belle Inspiration. Mimi does a beautiful job.

Big hugs XOXO

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rust and Roses..... in Phoenix (caution- lots of pics)

Every once in a while, you meet someone and you know they are destined for GREAT THINGS.
Years ago, I was transferred to Phoenix. I was with Clinique as a Regional Education Manager
and had been for many years. As a "trainer" I met many people and traveled like a Mad woman.
I know you are not supposed to have favorites, but one young lady stuck out. I always enjoyed spending time at her counter. She knew her stuff and I was pleased she was on the line. 
She WAS destined for great things!

When I left the company, I received letters, cards, and other keepsakes.
Well, you already know I hang onto things that are important to me.

A couple of years ago, I opened a box that I had not been in for ages.
On the top was a card from Shelly. I read it, got a little weepy and put
the box away. You know where I am going with this. A couple days later,
I happened to be in the Melrose area of Phoenix doing a little shopping. I went 
into a wonderful shop. There was a woman with her back to the front door. I walked in,
she turned around and it was SHELLY! I started screaming (and of course happy dancing
because that is what I do) and we started to catch up.

Shelly owns 2 incredible shops (it was 1 at that time). Rust and Roses, and
Sirens and Saints. Right now she is closed and on a whirlwind buying adventure.
The shop reopens August 17th. I took so many pics when I was there last. I thought I
would give you a glimpse into her magical world. She does have an outdoor area as well
but this post will only show her main shop. Sirens and Saints and her outdoor area
will be in another post. 
That way, I will have to post again soon-hehe.
Here goes.... lots of pics. ENJOY!

Are you still with me? THIS STORE IS DIVINE!
I can't wait to see what she brings back. 
She has a good eye and a good heart. That was obvious many years ago.

Stay tuned for Rust and Roses Part 2.

P.S. Thank you for your kind words about Army son. Things could be better but
they could be a whole lot worse. I'll be takin the better.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It could have been this

 When I was carrying on about the Italian fixer upper, I could have had this. O.k, maybe not "have" in that sense of the word
but we were right there.

To refresh your minds, this is the Italian Fixer upper.
This or.....

This stunning villa is called La Pausa and it belonged to
Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel. It was build for her by The Duke Of Westminster.
Staying in Menton, we were up and down this area on a very regular basis.
Roquebrune Cap Martin is to die for.

I could have been getting ready to start my day in a setting like this.
 But no...... I am thinking about this.

The potential of the fixer upper.

La Pausa was on the market and I didn't know. 
Can you even begin to imagine the stories that house could tell? Ooh la la!
Alas, it has been sold and not to me-hehe.
Check out the link if you have a chance. The pics are swoon worthy.

Be still my heart.

On another note, Army son (aka Jeff) has his surgery tomorrow,
What is left of 3 disc's in his neck will be removed. Titanium brackets and screws
will be inserted and the the vertebrae will be fused.
Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Life is a little crazy for him
right now and I just wish I could make things better. SO......please keep him in your prayers.
Many thanks!

Happy week. Love and hugs

P.S. Pretty pics compliments of Sotheby's Realty.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Friday

Happy Friday! We made it. I have stopped getting up at 1 am so 
I guess I have readjusted to AZ time.
Not sure if that is a good thing-hehe.
Work always helps me adjust so I thought I would show you
a few lovelies that I have been working on. Thank you for indulging me.

Love the look and feel. The embroidery adds such a nice texture.
The backs are red/cream toile. Lovely.

j'adore maman. Enough said! 
All three covers can be found at The French Elements.

I am going through pics and goodies that I brought back from France and  Italy at a decent pace.
Here is a sample of coming attractions-hehe.

French, vintage, and difficult to part with.

Have a wonderful weekend. Looking forward to spending time with 
hubby and my precious son.

hugs and love xoxo.

Monday, April 30, 2012

My Italian fixer upper

So, I have wanted a little place to fix up for a while.
Whenever we are in France, I always pick up the "dream books" that are in front of the 
realty offices. They are swoon worthy reading, let me tell you.
Since we were so close to the Italian border, we decided to visit. Big mistake-hehe.

I am not a picky person BUT I do have some requirements.

There has to be a fabulous market.
This is one fabulous market. Just look....

Such variety.
And there has to be lots of these....
truly majestic flowers.

 Besides food, I need a regular market to fill all the other needs.
O.K, I checked off another requirement. Loved the market.

 I would love a beautiful walkway to my house.
Are you ready? AMAZING!

There is more.
Hubby has to look good while crossing the bridge to get home. 
This is an eye rolling moment. Love ya hubby!
Just across the bridge. Ahhhh.

I require a killer view. Are you ready? 
The angels are singing.

Now, I mentioned a little fixer upper. I can see the potential in just
about everyone and everything. This house is no different. It just
needs a little LOVE.
It has potential, just needs some minor repairs.
The back is quite spectacular as well.
Just a little work. Hubby could actually see the potential as well.
So, there you have it. Just keep going back to the view.

We had a great time, it went by way tooo fast.
I purchased some goodies which will eventually make it
to The French Elements. Can I just say VINTAGE and EXQUISITE.
Back to reality today. My car broke down on the way to the store and had to be towed 
to the dealership. Not going to stress but going to focus on my little
fixer upper. I may be walking everywhere (very European).

Hugs and love!
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