photo credit: @winestats

French Dessert Wines for the Holidays

photo credit: @winestats

photo credit: @winestats

Even though we won’t be eating Thanksgiving dinner for days, and Christmas dinner for weeks I’ve already chosen the wines I’ll serve because of course I need to need taste-test them, admire the bottles and simply rest in the security that there will be lovely drink to toast the good fortune of the holiday season.

I was asked to put together a few suggestions for French dessert wines to serve with dessert (or pudding, for the UK diners). This article is included in the gorgeous new magazine from The Good Life France. I am telling you, it’s such a pretty publication and full of dreamy French lifestyle. C’est bon. Enjoy!

French Wines to Serve With Dessert

Our new magazine about France is FREE, fabulous, fun – and it’s for you. We’ll be publishing it 6 times a year, January, March, May, July, September and November and it will just keep on getting bigger and better with bells and whistles – literally almost. We’re integrating new technology in digital publishing that allows us to use video clips, music and photo galleries into our online magazine. We hope that you’ll agree this is a fantastic enhancement to your reading experience and we want you to feel like you’re here in France with us. We have a terrific team of writers, photographers and experts on France and we intend to make sure you are thoroughly entertained, informed and inspired.

To celebrate our first issue in November 2014 we’re giving away lots of goodies, besides it’s almost Christmas! Books, keyrings, knick knacks, French bird boxes that are simply gorgeous – we’re giving prizes away from 1st to 25th December and all you have to do is subscribe to the magazine which costs nothing and watch out for details on how to enter in our weekly newsletter (you can subscribe to the right, just type in your email address then click subscribe).


Your Best Leftovers

Jill Barth:

My best friend, asks: would you give away your tags-still-on-it stuff to help others?

Originally posted on running the dream living with boys:


I recently found a match through The Holiday Hands Project and encouragement of my warrior friend Sarah. A woman needed gently used 12 month and 3T size shirts and hats for two of her four children. Done. I have an embarrassing boat load of these items. More than two boys could need or have ever worn. We connected and she shared a few more details so I had a better idea and could ship the items. We are strangers but the warmth and genuine love exchanged through these simple communications was spiritual.

I found myself pulling out the hand me down items, not the newer hats and cute glove sets I purchased on a whim or we received so lovingly from a friend or family member. It became clear lending a helping hand or giving away stuff meant things I didn’t want or would likely not lend to a friend…

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The Blessing Session

Jill Barth:

For anyone that’s prepping for a fall photo session…. remember what’s up, why you all are there in the first place. Looking good, though!

Originally posted on running the dream living with boys:

Recently captured family photos and I was a bit obsessive about what to wear and how to coordinate the entire family so we looked perfectly happy and perfectly put together in just the right, “oh we always look like this” sort of way. Turns out it didn’t matter what we wore.

As I combed through the photos with my husband, I complained of my boot and pant selection, mostly because I wasn’t as comfortable like the boys adorning denim and easy walking shoes. I went on to suggest my scarf was too frumpy. Why didn’t he remind me to remove it for a few shots? His response to all this, “Well it turned out fine; I looked pretty good in all the photos.” Now before you judge or assume he is arrogant (yes a tad), know this. My husband has a very dry sense of humor and his ears still endure me…

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Yellow ford

My fiction featured on NPR {Spooky Halloween Story}

This week my short story, Missing Meredith, was featured on NPR as a part of a collection of spooky stories for Halloween. Haunting bits, read by the author, to get listeners into the spirit of scary.

What fun, better than a Reese pumpkin.  I feel like I should vampire-voice my double-dare to look behind you for things that go bump in the night….

So, go ahead, click… but I wouldn’t go in there alone.  Especially if you are wearing a cheerleader uniform and your boyfriend just went out for pizzas and the basement is dark and the thunderbolt just threw out the power… unless you are that person please enjoy freely with a simple click, with which you consent to mass hauntings:

Missing Meredith (You’d kidnap her too if you had a getway car.)

Yellow ford

French Vineyard in Autumn. The Good Life France.

Le Vendage, the Wine Harvest in France

Le vendage takes place in early fall in most parts of France.

Exact timing depends on the region, the grape variety, the winemaker’s instincts and the sum of the year’s climate. It’s not as if you can buy your plane tickets a year in advance and hope to skate into your favorite winery with a plan. But keeping up on who’s picking what isn’t difficult because these days everyone is talking about it via social media, follow your favourite wine maker and you’ll be kept up to date with events.

For the rest of the article, please visit The Good Life France, where it’s published along with all sorts of irresistible Francophile treats.

Vineyard in autumn in France

#writeyourselfalive. Deux.



In the swim. Day 1 (don’t worry,  won’t blog it out day-by-day)…Day 1:

Typed into novel software the last 2k words from my notebooks. I’ve handwritten over 40k (many while riding a train, it’s about as romantic as can be and yes there was hot coffee and sometimes rain & yes it took years) and have been adding all this story mass into software. Now editing time.

Hopefully & willing & ready & proud…. sure sounds ALIVE to me.


{{Merci pour cette énergie créative.}}

Inspired by the Wines of Provence.




We’re in Provence, on a gravel road off of the D-99 just outside of St. Remy-de-Provence.

We can hear the wind whistling by, tyres on a wet road, a half-heard opera on French radio. The moment is so special we video-record it through the windshield.

We pass open fields, hedges, a house with a little car parked along the side of the road, cross a small bridge. The sky is baby blue. White and grey clouds chunk the sky. I giggle when we hit our millionth big pothole. The Apilles mountain range is the glorious backdrop. Provençal trees line the roadside. It’s gorgeous. I’m telling you, you’d record it too, prettier than a bride on her wedding day. More anticipation than a groom on his wedding night… Then we come to the vines, planted on both sides of the road and our destination, the Domaine des Terres Blanches winery and tasting room appears. Classic sienna roof tiles, red shutters, a little stone porch with a waiting wine barrel. A golden-colored dog doesn’t care that we’ve arrived.


To finish the journey and enjoy your glass of wine, please visit full story at The Good Life France. Soon we’ll publish a special on winemakers in France, featuring the team at Domaine des Terres Blanches and a few other impressive vignerons.

If the closest you’ll get to Provence is your computer, please submerge yourself at the Domanine des Terres Blanches website.


The Joy of Family Yoga

The rhythm of the body
the melody of the mind
& the harmony of the soul
create the symphony of life
~B.K.S. Iyengar

In 2006, before I’d ever taken my first yoga class, I walked my then four-year-old son into a second story Chicago yoga studio, took off our shoes, paid $15 and sat aside while he tried out few poses with a group of other littles. Time passed, we went home. A list was checked: Kids Yoga Class. Done.

That’s exactly how it happened.

A year later, I started my own yoga practice.

Flip the calendar; seven years have gone by since that first kid yoga class. And in those seven years we’ve adopted a different style of yoga: Family Yoga. It’s a way of life, one that we learn bit by tender bit. It’s not a pay-and-drop-them-off arrangement. I teach them, they teach me, our loving teachers guide us all…..


Please visit the Trailhead Center Online Magazine to enjoy the rest of this article. Thanks very much for reading and for sharing your clicks with the Trailhead Center.

Flow State. (Quick, what’s the capital…?)

Well this is interesting.

Infographics abound,  and sometimes they are too patchy…this+that gatherings to prove a point. But this is neat. I’m hearing more & more about the flow state.  Is it something we can perpetually create or are afternoons of flow given to us as gifts?

I’ve always thought of flow as “creative lightness”. I’ve always wanted to extend the lightness outward, along the seams of daily life. This seems to suggest it can be cultivated.  Yes, I agree.

Maybe if we dialed down stress by authentically, fiercely giving ourselves to permission this state of bliss-flow could flourish.  Can it be achieved while doing anything? Yes, even that job you hate. Imagine.

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

The Theory of Awesomeness Infographic