Inspiration, pink, giveaways... What a beautiful weekend!

Today is an especially beautiful day, dear friends...
First and foremost, it is, of course, Pink Saturday. But this isn't just any Pink Saturday, but a special one, dedicated to inspiration and gratitude. It also happens to be my birthday and my 200th post. And, I'm holding a giveaway... but more on that later.
Thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound, Pink Saturday is joining with Kelee at The Katillac Shack for A Miracle Party blog event. The party is being held to celebrate Colette Gauthier's recovery from cancer ~ which was aided last year by bloggers, Kelee and Guideposts Magazine, who refused to let her fight cancer in a soulless room, devoid of beauty. Please visit The Katillac Shack to see the reveal ~ which is being featured in the September issue of Guideposts Magazine ~ and to register for some wonderful giveaways.
You can also contribute to future makeovers simply by leaving a comment at The Katillac Shack, Country Wings in Phoenix, Pink Saturday and Spiritual Sundays. Each comment left at each site earns a $1 donation toward another makeover project. It's an easy way to spread a little beauty to people who really need it.

One of the giveaways at The Katillac Shack is for this lovely painting.

As part of the Miracle Party blog event, we were asked to share something inspiring, something about celebrating life's gifts, be they little or big. So here's mine: When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I was searching for a creative outlet. My career had taken a turn from doing the stuff I really loved ~ writing and editing ~ to more administrative type work. And while I have no complaints because I am truly, truly grateful to be employed in the current economy, I was longing to connect with people again. To write something more than just basic e-mails.
As a journalist, I wrote for thousands of people every day for years. As an editor, I helped shape the next day's paper. Both were roles I relished. I loved getting those calls, e-mails, letters from the community ~ the nice ones and the not so nice ones ~ because either way you knew you had connected, you had broadened someone's knowledge, someone's world. On the really good days, I was able to help someone with the words I wrote. Then, I found myself in a job where the words didn't matter so much anymore and creativity wasn't exactly encouraged. After a couple years of that, I found that I dreaded getting out of bed in the morning, knowing there was nothing interesting awaiting me.
Then, one day at work, I was cruising around the internet (shhh ~ don't tell) and I somehow stumbled onto a blog, The Comforts of Home. And I was instantly in love. I had never really paid much attention to blogs previously, but suddenly, I felt like I had discovered fire. I was so inspired by this newfound world of expression and creativity, I took the plunge and started my own blog, which you kindred spirits are now reading. I decided I would focus on sharing my love of beauty, partly because I was hoping to inspire people to add more beauty to their lives and partly because I needed a constant reminder to focus on the good, the beautiful, instead of what was lacking in part of my life. At first I worried no one would bother to visit or find me among the millions, but sure enough, you did. And you kept coming, which inspired me to write and share more about living beautifully. And now, I belong to this wonderful little creative world waiting for me to add something more to it. A world that has given me not only this blog and my lovely readers, but a chance to write for a new e-magazine, Belle Inspiration. Because all of you took time out of your week to visit and follow my blog and leave a comment (and still do), you lifted me and gave me back something precious that I had misplaced for awhile. So, thank you, all of you.

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
~Albert Schweitzer

And, since this is my 200th post (yay!) and today is my birthday, I thought I would celebrate and say thank you with a little giveaway ~ a sampler pack from Sweet Cheeks Bakery. Yum. The winner gets to choose three different types of cookies; there are 42 cookies in a sampler pack, so you'll get a little more than a dozen of each. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower and leave a comment on this post. I'll leave the giveaway open through the end of the month. (I'll contact the winner with a list to choose from. If you don't have a blog, please leave your e-mail in your comment.) Good luck to all, and don't forget to stop by The Katillac Shack and register for those giveaways, too.
I'm off to celebrate my birthday. Wishing all of you a sweet weekend, full of inspiration and gratitude...


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY~~!! I have to totally agree with you about blogging and about feeling the creative spark of it all! It's so freeing and fun to just be who we are and post about it and whatever moves us.
    Have a happy and creative birthday!
    Hugs, Diane

  2. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a beautiful day :-)

    and congratulations! Here's to next 200 posts :-)

  3. Happy Birthday! I feel the same way about blogging.


  4. Hi!
    Wow! I didn't know that my blog was the first you discovered. Did you tell me that before (I have a mind like a seive-lol).

    I am glad you started your blog. I love visiting you. I have been a follower of yours for a while now.

    Happy Birthday!

  5. Happy Birthday to you! So glad to be a follower of your beautiful and inspirational blog!

  6. Bella! Congratulations on your 200th! Wonderful!

    And thank-you for including The Miracle Party. I so appreciate you!

    Beautifully done.

    love you!

    Kelee Katillac

  7. Happy pink saturday, sugar. Isn't that painting beautiful? I'm a woman of faith and prayer also and believer in miracles. I've experienced them.

  8. this is an extra special pink saturday!
    enjoy your day and thanks for such a pretty and welcoming place!

  9. Happy 200 birthday post and happy PS!

    We have a lot in common. Come by and enter my giveawaty and we ccan network as true writers and authors fo..

    This is a beautiful blog and I am glad to ave met you!

    Se la vie!

    Que sera sera!

    If it's to be it's UP to me!


  10. Happy Birthday AND 200th post! I can't seem to figure out how to participate in Pink Saturday, but I'd love it if you could stop by my blog to see my pink flower garden (especially for a visual gift for your birthday).

    One of your new followers, Roz

  11. Happy Birthday dear Bella! Wishing you everything that makes you happy today! I've been a follower and always love to see your pinks!

    Such a generous way to help others and I'm going to check out the blogs right away!

  12. Happy birthday and happy pink Saturday Bella. I wish you a sweet weekend also.

  13. Well I am SO happy to have found your blog. I just love it so much. :)
    You truly are an inspiration to me.

    Sorry that I wasn't here to leave a comment yesterday. We were at a soccer tournament all day with the kids.
    So let me take the opportunity to wish you a very happy belated birthday and offer up my congratulations on your 200th post!


  14. What an uplifting story. I'm so glad you found a new outlet. Have a wonderful Miracle weekend.

  15. Happy Birthday and Pink Saturday! Lovely post. Yes, I'm a follower. Congratulations on your 200th post. Wow!

  16. Happy Birthday. As always I love all of that pink. That cup cake looks yummy. Are you still going to do your pet post this Friday since it is the First Friday of the month? Have a great Birthday..

  17. Happy Birthday Bella, from one Aug gal to another!

    What a beautiful blog you have! This is my first visit - but certainly, not my last! :-)

    I have signed up to follow you and invite you to join my family of Kindred Spirits at Create With Joy as well!


  18. Well Happy Birthday my sweet friend. Wishing you a cake and ice cream kind of day!


  19. You've gifted us with a beautiful birthday post. Thank you! I'm wishing you a happy birthday. I won't say "belated" because I think a birthday should be celebrated for an entire month. Let the party begin!


  20. Blogging truly is an amazing outlet! Happy birthday and congrats on 200 posts!

  21. Congratulations on your 200th post and Happy Birthday! You have a beautiful blog!

  22. Hello Bella!

    I just adore this song by Carla...I added it to my own playlist....

    count me in for this giveaway...thanks for inviting me over to sign up for it! hope I'm not too late to enter.....

    looks yummy!
    sounds like fun!

    happy days!
    ciao bella


  23. What a wonderful blog you have here!!! I just stumbled across it and you know what? I'm going to follow you - awesome place to be!!!

  24. Happy Pink Saturday, Bella. Thank you for making Pink Saturday special, and for taking part in this day of celebration and thanks.

    There truly are miracles going on all around us every day. We just have to open our hearts in acceptance.

    I am so glad that Penny inspired you. She is a wonderful person, and she inspires me, too. It was a special event that brought you into our lives. Now we are each blessed to find beauty through your eyes.

    I'm still hoping to reach my goal of 200 comments by midnight tonight.

  25. Happy Birthday! I'd love to become your newest follower...please also enter me in your drawing! As a former journalist, your post both inspired me and confirmed in me the goodness of the blogging world! :)

    Happy (late!) Pink Saturday!



    I missed your birthday?! I suck! Gah!
    Was away over the weekend and didn't catch up on blogs...

    Glad you like the photograph so much and I would love to see it framed! <3

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday and I was very interested to read your story.

  27. I have found that blogging is like a breath of fresh air to me. What I blog about is totally different than what I write for the newspaper every day. And you got me blogging, Bella! :) Thank you to my dearest friend.

  28. Well I'm a few days late, but I hope your birthday was abundantly blessed.

    That looks like a lovely magazine. I've seen snippets of it through Yvonne's blog.

    How wonderful that you are now doing something you enjoy doing, something that inspires you.



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