Brow Game Strong

Sometimes I look at Carolina and she takes my breath away.
Literally I will catch my breath. She is brilliant with makeup - something I've never had much patience for. Look at those eyebrows!  And as beautiful as she is, it's her heart, her bravery, her loyalty, her clever brain and quick wit that really blow me away. She's the real deal.
Lookout world. 

Join the Tribe :: We Retreat Awesomely

Just a little glimpse of where I will be spending a few days while on my company retreat this year. 
 I LOVE this business ::  Join me, won't you?

More info click HERE !! <3

Now & Then :: I Cannot Do Any Of This

Our first 'home' in South Africa. A guest house about 5 minutes outside of Mamelodi. The taxidermy took some getting used to. Who kills a giraffe? The temperature took more getting used to. We arrived in June - Winter in the southern hemisphere. This is how I wrapped up each day at sundown to keep warm. Alas, South African homes are not heated.

Those first few weeks in a new country were exciting, scary, and oh so frustrating at times. One of my big fears was learning to drive on on the left side of the road (while sitting on the right side of the car no less). I kept avoiding learning and then, Will left town for a few days. We had no food, except breakfast, at the guest house, so, I was forced to face the fear. The first day, I decided the store was close enough to walk, so we struck out.  Me and Carolina trekking up the dusty path alongside the M10, headed to the Spar to get something for dinner. Me and Carolina, all shiny white skinned in a sea of native South Africans headed to or from work. I am not ashamed to admit I was nervous. I had yet to live the reality of being the minority. The one who looks different than most the others. I did not know, given the crime statistics in South Africa, if we were in danger. We were not. But, I did not know that then. So, I was nervous. People stared at us. Some pointed and laughed. One asked me something in Afrikaans, which she assumed I spoke. I did not. I smiled and nodded with a false confidence, trying to convey a message - "we LIKE walking, we belong here". And this from Carolina - "People think we are weird Mom. I don't like this." I stopped, bent down to look her in the eyes. "I want you to try your best to remember how you feel right now. I know this is hard and I am sorry, but this feeling that you are experiencing right now, well, it's just important you remember."

I forced myself behind the wheel the next day. I could not even reverse out of the parking space. I did not know about the secret 'car reverse' button that needed to be pushed. I tried this. I tried that. I gave up. We ate dry cereal for dinner. The next day, I tried again. I could not figure it out. I was going to have to call Will and admit that I was completely incompetent and useless without him, I was exposing our daughter to experiences that frightened and confused her and I was barely keeping her alive on dry cereal. I broke down and cried. "I can't do this" I sobbed. "I can't do ANY of this. It's too hard." Little did I know how many times I would feel this exact way in the coming months (and years). But then, from the backseat, from dear, sweet, resilient Carolina - "You can do it Mom." God bless that brave, beautiful child.

I talked to Will that night and learned about the secret, evil 'car reverse' button. He felt bad for forgetting to tell me. I did not tell him about the rest. He was out in the middle of nowhere trying to help people get their first pair of eyeglasses. I was pretty sure he was dealing with his own fears and doubts. And so the next day, I got back in that damn car and I kept repeating my new mantra, "Look right, stay left. You can do it Mom". And I did. For the next 5 1/2 years I drove on "the wrong side". And, indeed, became so good at it that now I am back in the states I have a new mantra, "Look left, stay right. You can do it Mom."

Art :: Van Gogh Tilt-Shifted

Artist Serena Malyon, took images of Van Gogh paintings and applied the Photoshop tilt-shift technique to them. The results are nothing short of amazing.

I particularly love that this tilt-shift application brings the details and brushstroke techniques of Van Gogh into focus.

Find more examples of beautiful tilt-shift photography here.

Travel & Adventure :: Hope House

In my desperate attempt to find last minute cottage rental, I came across this gem - the Hope House in Mousehole.

If you are headed to Cornwall, here is the link: The Hope, Mousehole.

 We ended up in Bath, which was really beautiful and we had great weather. Hope you all had a nice weekend!

In Fashion :: Black & Tan

I love this black & tan Polyvore created by Cary Randolph. Chic and comfortable - a rare combination.

This brunch has turned into dinner.

This brunch has turned into dinner. by caryrandolph featuring opaque tights

Happy weekend to you!

x, Beth

Mother's Day

My Mother's Day was a sunny Sunday at Charlecote Park. You never know what you are going to find just down the road from your house in this country! See for yourself ... 

The National Trust has taken care of this gorgeous estate ever since it was given to them in 1946 by the Lucy family who had owned it since the 12th century. The Lucys arrived here in England with William the Conquerer (did he have a last name I wonder?). The massive country house was originally built in 1558. Queen Elizabeth I visited soon after. These days much of it, including the interior, is Victorian. The gatehouse, and most of the outbuildings are Elizabethan. There is a small parterre just above where the house sits on the River Avon. The grounds are a huge deer park with very non-skittish deer (though too skittish to touch, because, of course, I tried). We wandered around for quite a while, just happy to soak up some sun and be surrounded by the beauty. At the Orangery, we had tea and something Will said was a scone, but I think maybe it was a teacake.

It was a very good day. And I got the best Mother's Day card EVER from my amazing daughter. She has set the bar very high indeed with this homemade treat full of humor, wisdom and uncharacteristic sweetness. I love that kid. Did everybody have a good Sunday?