Tag Archives: Paris

JAMIE’S BLOG – DAY 314 :: blissful memories

14 Nov

Today’s bliss…memories.

I pass this photo everyday. It hangs in a frame on the wall in my hallway. It’s a beautiful memory for me. The once in a lifetime moment when my bestie Sara was in Paris at the Same. Exact. Time. I was in Paris.

What are the odds of that?

I look at it fondly every time I pass it. In me, the Eiffel Tower seems to be growing out of my head. But in my heart I runneth over with LOVE.

In this photo, in this Paris, I am loving this moment. Loving life.
That’s what Paris does to me. And that’s how I choose to remember her, focusing on her beauty. I have learned in my own life struggles to always focus on the beauty, and dear Paris, that is what you do best.

And, that, brings me comfort and a little bit of the promise of bliss. For the future.
Focus on the beauty, Belle Paris. 
la vie de joie

More tomorrow. 

{beauty. love. life.}

JAMIE’S BLOG – DAY 313 :: blissful home

13 Nov

Today’s bliss…arriving home.

I am home after a day of travels. My heart is full for I am home. But my heart is heavy for those who call Paris home.

May bliss find everyone home. Safe.
And sound. 

More tomorrow. 
{love and prayers}

Day 247: back to school trapper keepers

4 Sep

Can you smell that?
There is a breeze in the air that smells distinctly of school supplies. Wafts of pink erasers, lined paper notebooks and plastic Trapper Keepers are floating by my nostalgic nose.

Sad thing is: I can barely finish the books I already have on my shelf — and in my iPad!

Even so, in this Back-To-School-Fall-Frenzy I am motivated to take myself back.
To school.

I am committing to finishing all the books that I set out to read this year.


Just writing that down gives me a lump in my throat. But I know there is so much more I can learn in this Lovemore+Fearless year of mine. Sure, I have already swam with sharks, reclaimed Paris from my past and rode the whitewater of the Grand Canyon. But, I know there is more for my mind and heart that is just waiting for me.

Which means I have less than four months to put my nose in a handful of books. If you have a good book suggestion on LOVE or FEAR please send it my way!

I’ll put it in my Trapper Keeper.

What are you going to do with the rest of your year?

Day 151: j’aime, nice to meet you!

31 May

I am constantly mistaken for other people.

Today, a really sweet elderly lady approached me at lunch and asked if my name was Ann.  “Is that you, Ann?” she asked.

I looked up with a smile and nodded my head, no. “Sorry, I’m not Ann.”

“You look just like her!”

This happens to me all the time.
All. The. Time.

Are you Julie? 
Hi, Sharon!
What are you doing here, Sara?! 

To each one I smile and nod my head in the negative.

“I am Jamie. Nice to meet you.”

It could be a good way to meet people actually. I should just travel around the country and stand on random street corners and wait for people to think I am someone else. It would be a fun experiment.

Just this last week at the National Stationary Show, I turned the corner and walked down another aisle of paper, journals and party supplies to a man in a booth who was staring down my name tag. I assumed he wanted to find out what company I worked for so he would know what product to pitch me. As I walked closer his face changed, and he looked quite disappointed.

“Oh, I thought you were Gwyneth Paltrow.”

“No, sorry, I’m Jamie. Nice to meet you.”

So, tonight I find it fitting to share the one and only GOOP — by Gwyneth herself.

In this issue she shares Jessica Alba’s new production …a company that sells only honestly good products for your family (honest.com).

It’s a good read with some great information on cleaner products for your family.

And, now… here’s my most favorite street corner in the world… right in front of the Louvre in Paris.  Maybe I should go stand on it and meet some new people?

“Nice to meet you, I’m Jamie.”

At least there my name means love.  

Day 127: lovemore monday :: every mother counts

7 May

We’re closing in on that one day of the year that reduces my heart to both tears and sheer delight — Mother’s Day.

Last night Justin shared a song with me, called Skipping, by Eddie Vedder. The timing was perfect.

The song can be found on a Starbucks special release CD titled Every Mother Counts in support of the organization by the same name to support maternal healthcare worldwide.

(I think it might even be worth me drinking coffee again to slip into a Starbucks to buy the CD!)

I didn’t have to ask you, just took my hand
Off we went skipping throughout the land
The sky was blue and the blood filled my head
Me and you skipping throughout the land

Just this last week in Paris I had a Mama Sling moment skipping along with me while getting my hair done.

This wasn’t just any hair-do, it was an experience of a lifetime.

Debbie Phillips wrote about her amazing experience in Paris with the talented Rita Dell’Orco in The Spark yesterday, which you may read by clicking here.

I too, had the most special and incredible experience sitting before Rita and her magic scissors thanks to Debbie!

Here is my before shot:

When I arrived at Rita’s place, I brought out a photo of a haircut that I thought was fun, frilly and feminine and asked Rita if she thought it would work with my hair.

After all, I just learned my name means “LOVE” in french!  In English, Jamie, seems to always be a derivation of James, of a boy, of the masculine set. But, in French, my name feels so feminine and sing-songy and sweet.  J’aime!

I felt I needed a new cut to match.

Rita, of course, answered, “Oh, I have worked on this model before!” as she looked at the photo and, then, promptly told me this cut was a “Brigitte Bardot” look (whom Rita has also worked with as well — of course!).

Here is my attempt to take a photo while Rita was working away:

As Rita’s hands moved about my head, combing and brushing out my long locks I couldn’t help but think of my dear Mama Sling.

All of my life from beginning to end
What I remember is holding your hand
And all that I’ll cherish is that time that we’ve spent
Me and you skipping throughout the land

Mama Sling cut my hair when I was a little girl.
She was a beauty school dropout (no joke!) but that didn’t stop her from styling my long hair into braids, rolling it up in curlers and spraying it down and running a long-edged comb through it before sizing it up with scissors.

And, now, as an adult, every time I sink into a stylist’s chair I feel the hands of my dear Mama Sling all over again.

All the loves lost and the one that I found
You lifted my gaze up off of the ground
Forever we’ll talk and forever we’ll drown
In each other skipping around

There is just no other feeling than having your hair washed and combed by someone else.  It calm the nervous system. It releases the weight and pressure of gravity as you sink deeper into the chair.

Gravity pulls so many men down
The atmosphere breathes but not in this town
You took me away and you held me so proud
Skipping, skipping, skipping around

And, when Rita was finished, my heart skipped a beat.

So fun!
So feminine!
So French!

To me, it felt as if Mama Sling was right there with us, holding our hands.
Giving her little girl that she named after “love” a new lease on life.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Could not keep me from holding your hand
When all that I wanted was something to protect
And all that I needed was your voice in my head

I had such an amazing mother, my dear Mama Sling.

And, I hold her with me everyday in everything that I do. Even, in seems, in my haircuts too.

And all I remember from this life that I lived
Is me and you skipping throughout the land

J’amie, dear Mama Sling. 
Happy Mother’s Day wherever you are.

And, on this Lovemore Monday I can certainly say….
I. Love. It.

Day 124: f*ing friday :: friends in france

4 May

F*ing Fridays are back!
And, they will continue to occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5 in Year 1, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Funny Fabulous France

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Friends in France.

As in, Sara.

Today, I met up with my bestie Sara, under the Eiffel Tower.

As I approached our designated meeting spot, I was overjoyed to spot Sara walking towards me with arms outstretched, radiating her beautiful smile.

There’s my Sara!

It was just ironic, happenstance, serendipity that we both ended up in Paris during the same month, same week, same day.

Who could imagine that she would be in Paris for a mother/daughter trip of a lifetime, and I would happen to be here as well, with Women on Fire.

No matter how it happened, it was fantastique!
And, it was the best f*ing finale to my time in beautiful Paris.

I came to Paris with my old engagement ring in hand.
I go home tomorrow, wearing a new ring on my finger. 

But, the best part of this ring is that it is a shared one.

Sara has the same one as I do.  And, so does her mother — who bought us all the same piece of jewelry (Thank you Sandy!) so we could remember our trip, and the power of friendship.

This may be my last night in the City of Light, but I am bringing home much more than souvenirs.

I am carrying home a connection to this great city, one I have never had before.  One that has replaced a romantic memory gone bad, forever etched in my heart, with a lifelong love for friendship and support.

It is one of savoir de vivre — learning how to live.
And, one of savoir de amour — learning how to love.

Love in everything – buildings, gardens, metro stops, baguettes, croissants and crepes.

Love for making new memories that will forever be mine.

Love for new friends — that I feel old with I will grow.

And a love for old friends too — who have already seen me grow.

Thank you Doni Belau, Girls’ Guide To Paris, and Debbie Phillips, Women on Fire,  for bringing me back.

And, thank you, Paris, for showing me more joie de vivre.
Au revoir. 

Day 121: a golden opportunity

1 May

It’s been a long time coming. 

This question of what to do with the engagement ring I was given in Paris over a decade ago.

Once the marriage fizzled, I didn’t know what to do with the ring that no longer symbolically wrapped itself around my finger in love — instead it felt more like strangling it.

I pondered every option.

Do I keep the diamonds and turn it into something else? Like an independence ring?

Do I sell it?

Do I throw it away?

Do I hide it in a box only to be discovered in an attic someday?

The ring sat at my jewelers for three years, on display, waiting to be sold.
And, sell, it never did.

Somewhere in my heart I knew this ring had one more journey with me left in it.  And this week it make a return to the city of its birth. Paris.

So yesterday, as we toured Saint-Sulpice (which plays a prominent role in the novel The Da Vinci Code) I also paid a visit to the fountain outside.

And tossed my old engagement ring in the fountain.

It wasn’t a wild pitch, more like a symbolic gesture on my part.

But, there the ring lay to be washed and cleansed.
In the water of Paris.

Of course I grabbed the ring right out of the fountain after it had a good symbolic bath. And, now, I know it is ready to move on to a new journey — with someone else.

It’s amazing what we fall in love with and attach ourselves to.

A piece of gold molded into a circle of trust.
An ancient rock pressured to sparkle.

It’s time for this ring to have a new story.
So, it’s next official adventure will be a trip to the land of eBay. Which is even better than just throwing it away.

Instead, it’s like giving it a new adventure in love. 
A golden opportunity if you ask me.

Day 118: f*ing friday :: funny fabulous france

27 Apr

F*ing Fridays are back!
And, they will continue to occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5 in Year 1, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Fetch

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the words:
Funny, fabulous, France.

As in, pure art. 

Today was fun and fabulous in Paris.
And, we met a woman who is out to prove it.

Her name is Susan Shup.
And her art is FABULOUS!

We entered her Parisian studio through a gigantic medieval looking gate, walked through a courtyard and then winded our way up spiral steps until we arrived inside her work space with paint splattered walls.

The paint was still fresh and the air smelled like it too.
Her paintings are also fresh, funny and fabulous.

Her mantras captured in graphic letters and whimisical strokes say it all.
Like this one:

And, on an F*ing Friday like today…
With Food…

French Flags…

French Fashion…

Behind the scenes of French Fashion…

And Fragile Parisian pieces…

Pure art is what I have on my mind.

It’s great to see that art doesn’t have to be serious or subdued to be powerful, intriguing and thought provoking.

It can be funny and fabulous.
Or fresh and fragile.

Because, really, aren’t we all…
And, isn’t that what makes us priceless?

Day 117: i left my heart in paris

26 Apr

I came back to Paris for my RE-DO for a reason.

Today, I lit a candle and said a prayer in Notre Dame.
To thank all those with gratitude and love who have gotten me here, and to remember who I am and what I came here to do.

And, a re-do it has already been.

As I walked through the halls of Notre Dame I fully realized that this visit is very different from my last one.

The last time I stood under the majestic arches and rose window that floats in the sky above, I felt an overwhelming presence — an almost oppressive one. Massive. Overwhelming. Suffocating.

Today, more than a decade later, I felt a very different stirring inside my heart.  It was uplifting and spiritually full. Inspiring. Touching.

I’d like to think the difference between these two visits, is that today, the cathedral was full of song and people from around the world slowly shuffling through with respect and reverence in each step.

But really, I know, the only difference is in me.

In my heart.
In my soul.

There is something so romantic and creative and utterly breathtaking about this city, you can’t help but feel swirled in love.

But, what I have learned on this second visit is more profound that the sugar covered crepes on the street corners and the magnificent architecture soaring to the sky —  it doesn’t matter how much love is swirling around you if you haven’t any leftover for yourself.

So, today we saw Paris.
From inside Notre Dame…

To the Eiffel Tower….

To a tour on Segway through winding streets and city squares…

But, today, even more magnifique, I saw the woman I have grown into, from inside the flame of a candle to the whisper of a prayer in my heart.

Because, while love is swirling all around me in the incredible City of Light, love is bubbling up inside me too.

Just like the bridges that are covered with locks as promises from lovers, I too have made a promise.

One that grew out of curiosity and has turned into love.
For my head, heart, body and soul — and something even bigger than that — bigger than me.

I don’t want to leave Paris. Alas, I will.
But, I certainly don’t want to leave my heart in Paris.
I want to carry it with me everywhere I go and with everything I do.

And if it takes a transcontinental flight, and a re-do redux, to remember the power of love…

It’s worth all the prayers and crêpes in the world. 

Day 116: for the love of frogs

25 Apr

Day One in Paris and what is the first thing I do?
Take a nap of course.

But, then I bought something.

As we were walking the streets of Paris, I passed the beautiful Opera and found myself soaked by the rain from the dark and stormy skies above.

So, I bought an umbrella.
But, later this afternoon, the sun came out over Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

And we walked under blue skies to dinner…


Where I tried new forms of sausage…

And I even ate frog legs!
(Well, one frog leg.)

It’s good to know that even in Paris, when it rains, the sun will follow.
And, it’s even better to know that I am brave enough to eat a frog’s leg.
At least once.

Bon appetit!  

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