, , , , , , ,

So yes, today, Renaissance Mom, has another new look. My daughter picked this one out this morning. We weren’t loving yesterday’s theme because the homepage didn’t showcase any photos. So today we are trying Chateau by Ignacio Ricci on for size. Let us know what you think. We might try on a few more designs in the upcoming weeks, and then maybe we will have a vote sometime in the future to see what the final product will look like.


Yesterday, my friends M & J, took me out for a belated 10/40th birthday lunch. They let me pick the place, and surprising even myself, I chose Applebees. Maybe, it was because of was craving one of their gigantic sangrias. Yum! …

Or perhaps it was because earlier this week I met Mark there for a quick lunch and had a delicious Sante Fe salad, and washed it down with the house’s Perfect Margarita. (I am not an alcoholic honestly, I’m just milking this birthday celebration as long as I can).

The meal not only tasted yummy, but it looked yummy, too, so much so that I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos.

(But at the moment I’ve misplaced my camera so I can’t upload them. Maybe later.)

So off my friends and I went yesterday, on a unseasonably gorgeous day in the Berkshires, and plunked ourselves down in a booth and caught up on some much needed girl time. Thank you M & J!!!! I needed that.

(The lighting was so bad in here it was hard to get a good photo. We look like we have spent a little too much time in the sun or something. Not the best photo, but who cares. That’s not the point.)

I also needed this card.

I could not stop laughing (thankfully no pants were peed in the process). It was perfect! The inside read  “Good times, good friends, good conversation … Here’s to us!” I’ve missed you two!

Although I enjoyed the lunch, the card, and the gift inside of the card immensely, the funniest/best part of the afternoon for me, by far, was J crawling up inside M’s massive, behemoth of a truck, to show her how to check her break fluid. Once again, I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos, which got us laughing, again.

Ahh … As the well-known quote goes, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”


It wasn’t M’s break fluid, and when she got in the truck to drive home the “Service Breaks” light lit up, and she realized she had absolutely NO breaks at all. Yikes! She trudged along to the garage right across the street, scared to death, where I picked her up and drove her to the high school to get her son’s car. Amen!


Because I didn’t have an “official” birthday celebration (Mark surprised me with a trip to Foxwoods two weeks before my birthday with a great dinner, spa day, bowling — don’t mock, it was awesome — and very little gambling), I wanted to give M & J a little “party favor” of sorts. So I brought my set of pack of Life Journey Cards, that I had received from their creators, artist Linda Clayton and psychologist Dr. Jan Seward.

I had the opportunity to spend a January morning with the twosome in Great Barrington, Mass., and I’ve been wanting to blog about it ever since. Linda is married to former National Geographic photographer Charles Steinhacker, so between her multi-colored art and his fine-arts photography displayed throughout the house, walking into their home is as if you stepped over the rainbow into Oz. Seriously it is that colorful and bright. Splashes of warm lavenders, brilliant mustard yellows, etc. are seen on the walls and throughout the space, but the combination of hues does not overwhelming in the least. It’s actually quite soothing, and as I stepped into Linda and Charles’ home, I instantly felt a kinship with the twosome. Perhaps it was the cozy decor throughout the home — Linda’s yarn, and her knitting projects, the multi-colored antiques, and warm inviting blankets — that had me tucking into a corner of a loveseat, feeling as if I had come home. Or maybe it was the fantastic views of the river that gave way to Charles’ favorite fly-fishing spot. Whatever it was, I knew that at that moment I was exactly where I needed to be.

Linda, Charles, and I got to know each other over tea and treats, and soon Jan joined us and Charles dismissed himself to go work in another area of the house. During the next part of my visit, I learned of Linda and Jan’s journey in creating the “Illuminate! Life Journey Cards,” A Wisdom Linda Clayton Wisdom Deck (you can purchase them here), and I was lucky enough to receive a reading from the pro which was SPOT-ON. Thank you, Jan! These women were amazing, strong, and a major inspiration for expanding this blog. I plan to keep in touch with them both, and feature their work at some point soon in an article on this blog.


That brings me to unveiling the expansion of this blog. In the upcoming months I plan to write a feature on some other Renaissance Moms that continue to inspire me on my journey. From athletes to artists to musicians I am tapping into women around the world who count motherhood at the top of their lists of accomplishments, and that list is pretty impressive. Stay tuned in future posts to hear more from Olympic gold medalist, author, motivational speaker, and mom of two Nikki Stone;

and talented folk singer, (and last of her immediate Guthrie clan — yes, I’m talking Arlo’s daughter and Woody’s granddaughter — to join the family business), Kathy Guthrie. Kathy is just one part of the folk duo (along with Willie Nelson’s daughter Amy) that makes up Folk Uke, and she spends her days traveling the world with Folk Uke, and mothering her pride and joy, daughter Jorie.

Just to name a couple … So keep reading/following/commenting on Renaissance Mom everyday for news and new features, and join me as I get ready to expand.


Do you know a Renaissance Mom you would like to see featured here? Let me know, and I’ll look into featuring her here!