This past weekend has been a crazy celebration fest - 2010 Winter Games starting, hubby's birthday, Valentine's Day, and Chinese New Year. I ended up partying at sold-out Molson Canadian Hockey House on Saturday and the whole city just feels like it's on a constant Olympic high. Very quietly, It's a Beautiful Life turned one a few weeks ago. I can't believe it's been over a year since I started this journey of blogging. And for my one-year blog birthday, I invited some of you to submit something beautiful and inspiring to share.
What's to come this year for It's a Beautiful Life? I am working on a new look and will soon have a new URL so I'll keep you posted. There will be more travels abroad, Hong Kong coming up and possibly Europe (Copenhagen and Paris!). Hump Day Hunks is here to stay, and my usual outfit posts, style reviews, ponies, and food porn. And if you're not already, you can follow me on Twitter via @abeautifullife.
Thank you to all my dear friends for participating. I enjoyed each one of your gifts below.
From La Flore et la Faune, who created this beautiful drawing of me earlier this year (a highlight):
For your 1st blog birthday I send you a cocktail. Because a cocktail is a metaphor of beautiful life. A mix of various tastes and sensations. Technique and work for a pleasant result. Et l'art de vivre...
For you I prepared a Mojito. It's fresh, dynamic, minty, sparkling and witty. Related to parties, to travels (Cuba), to litterature (Hemingway). Cheers !
From Kelly, Option8:
Happy Anniversary to "It's A Beautiful Life!". This is an image of "The Dance Examination" (c.1880, pastel & charcoal on paper) by Edgar Degas. While this piece may not be Degas's most famous, I chose it because I greatly admire his mastery of pastel. I love Degas's paintings and illustrations of dancers because they speak to the little girl in me who wanted to be a ballerina.
Kelly, I LOVE Degas. Like every little ballerina, I grew up wanting so much to be like the girls in his pictures. Thank you.
From Kat Arnett of Fat Girl Skinny:
The most beautiful thing in my daily life is Mt. Baker. I'm fortunate where I live to have an amazing view of mountains all around. Even on my grumpiest and most caffeine deprived morning, seeing the mountains always takes my breath away.
Kat: I love your food and photo blogs. You always make me laugh, and I totally appreciate your efforts at making me less of a dim-witted cook. Thank you.
From Hauteworld, who seems to be my soul-sister twin that lives in Paris:
I thought that for your lovely blog-birthday, I'd provide some lovely French delicacies, so I headed over to Ladurée, picked out some yummy macarons (top left), had half of them packaged in special boxes (far left and right) and created a birthday cake out of the rest (center). Unfortunately they were too fragile to post, so you'll have to come pick them up in Paris ;-)
S, as a Taurus yourself, you knew just exactly what to get me! I can't wait to come savour this in person with you.
The above two gifts are from Teresa of Senses and Style, whom I have the privilege of working with:
It’s difficult to articulate what inspires me. As sentimental as it sounds, any unique forms, colours, shapes, and lines would enthrall me. This affinity for design spreads to all realms such as industrial, web, fashion, food, and architecture.
Even when I was a toddler, I used my vivid imagination and crayolas to create adventures on paper. I fondly remember my inner Architect sketching out this complex multi-storey high living space…within a mountain. And you go from one floor to the next either on a slide or pole, and when you need to go up you just jump on an elevator platform. I’m sure NASA or the White House have stolen my blueprints by now for their covert operations.
But the source of where my semi creative side comes from had eluded me for awhile. A trip across the world finally brought profound answers. When I went to China, it completely enlightened me and opened my eyes to my rich history and culture; this manifested into unbelievably beautiful buildings, hidden vibrant alleyways, vivid landscapes, and smiles of long lost families and relatives. The journey to my past explained my present and inspired me to pave the way for my future.
Teresa, thank you for sharing a piece of what inspires you. Travel is one of the most amazing experiences, and I look forward to reading more about your journeys this year.
From MizzJ of Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy:
Here's my photo for your 1 yr celebration! It's a photo of me in Chiang Mai, Thailand at an elephant reserve. This photo holds a dear spot in my heart because this place was special - it wasn't your typical elephant farm peddling rides to tourists, this was a home for abused, unemployed domestic elephants. Every elephant here had a tragic story of abuse and torture and seeing them happy and healed was something I'll never forget.
Thanks J for this beautiful story. I spent nearly 3 years of my childhood in Thailand so it's a very dear place to me. For those of you interested, the reserve is called Elephant Nature Park.
From the awesome twins Cath and Lar at Cajun Asians:
Congrats and Happy Birthday!
I attached the photo of Tilda Swinton for Pringle of Scotland because I love the textures and color combination. And I love anything that reminds me of Scotland - one of the most wild and beautiful countries in the world.
Cath and Lar, thank you so much. Tilda is a pure style queen, and I would love to visit Scotland one day.
From Raul of Hummingbird604:
When Liv asked me to share something beautiful in my life for her blogiversary, I immediately thought of lilacs (the flowers). You see, my Grandma loved the colour purple. She loved lilacs. And Liv's personality reminds me a lot of my Grandma. Whereas my Mom (my Grandma's daughter) and I are extremely extroverted, and can be sometimes loud and talkative, my Grandma was soft spoken, but always confident. Beautiful, in a serene kind of way. I find that's one of the traits that Liv shares with her. Liv's personality and writing are beautiful but not loud. Serene and confident. My Grandma was like that too. And lilacs do remind me of that kind of personality, beautiful serenity. Happy blogiversary, Liv!
Raul, that is very sweet! I have enjoyed knowing you and you are an inspiration to bloggers of all diversities. ps - I always knew I was an old soul =D.
From Erin, of Haus of Hybrid:
This is the 'Imagine' sign at Strawberry Fields. Not only does it remind me of one of my favourite places, New York, but it also evokes the feeling of hope. With all the struggles in the world today, it gets difficult to maintain a positive outlook on life. But with a little imagination, hope, hard work, and sincerity, anything is possible.
Erin, I love your attitude. Anything IS possible.
From Nicole of Le Mode du Jour (photo credit Caiti Anne):
The photo is titled: "i need to keep part of me to myself"
Why I chose this photo: To me, solitude is beautiful. Having moments to yourself. Taking time to reflect. These are moments in time that remind us of who we are and why we exist. And if not for either of those things, then for self-preservation. That part of ourselves we can't or won't share with anyone else is what makes us real.
Thanks for letting me be apart of your 1 year anniversary blog post celebration, you're truly an inspiration :)
Nicole: Beautiful photo and well spoken. Thank you so much for your kind words.
Want to take part in my 1-year celebration? It's not too late - leave me a comment that you want to participate and we'll get in touch.