out of thin air


bonjour guys, it’s been a long time. tonight i’m finishing up the last of the profiles on the women from the social media conference this summer in paris. so without further ado, and last (but by no means least), please meet one of the co-hosts and a true soul sister, carina okula.


i profiled carina twice on the blog before we ever got to be friends. i was a big fan when i first set eyes on her magical photos, they’re serene yet vivid and she captivated me completely once we met.


she’s one of those people who sees beauty everywhere and lucky for us she’s willing and able to document it. just her daily life provides images and content that could so easlily get passed by in the hustle of city life, especially when you’re tending to two kids and a hubby. she pulls beauty out of thin air and makes it concrete and tangible, and that takes effort.


i’d like to channel her and have the camera ready at all times, take the time to go home and edit, work with photo programs and learn new techniques. luckily we have big plans to work on projects together including a book and creating a niche for some exclusive photos on the TPA boutique. choosing from her images will be the hardest part.

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website: carinaokula.com

of course she’s a social media whiz so check her out and follow her around just to what she’s up to.


blog: carinaokula.com/blog

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instagram: instagram.com/carinaokula


pinterest: pinterest.com/CarinaOkula

i want to thank carina for that one way trip to the moon and a time that i’ll never forget! looking forward to the future together and glad to have you by my side on all the projects to come. have a great night everyone!

October 22, 2014. Tags: . Paris, Paris Trip. 12 comments.

go and sit by her


well it’s officially autumn. i hope the crisp air is invigorating and you’re enjoying the change of season. i’m finishing up the last couple profiles of the ladies we met over the summer at the social media conference in paris. they’ve each been so fascinating to research and i think about them often. today’s gal is one i felt was a kindred spririt right away. whenever we were together it seeemed we were giggling like kids in school and getting in trouble at the back of class…she’s that friend who makes you laugh so hard that you get scolded even though she’s the one provoking you! but she was well worth every cross look and detention we got! so, mes amis, please get to know the darling, mischevous and marvelous, Ann Garvin. i started digging into her social stuff and didn’t know where to jump off so for now let’s start with her FB page facebook.com/AnnWertzGarvin where her latest book was featured in the Huffington Post: huffingtonpost.com


as far as her official bio, (you meet people and talk but never really know and understand fully what they do and have accomplished) and this is what’s being said about her. i took it verbatim since it’s way more prolific than i could ever be: Ann Garvin is an author, speaker and educator. As professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy at University of Wisconsin Whitewater, she has worked extensively in psychometrics, statistics and psychology. Ann is the author of On Maggie’s Watch & The Dog Year (Berkley Penguin, 2014). She also holds an adjunct teaching position in the Masters of Fine Arts at Southern New Hampshire University allowing her to marry her love of people, story and writing and help others to do the same.


she writes for a really cool site called unreasonable whose tagline is ‘for those hungry to put a positive dent on history’. her articles are many and varied, succinct and interesting. unreasonable-increased-productivity and her tagline for her own site is ‘come sit by me’. but stay out of trouble if you do!

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on her own site she’s writing about everything from nutrition to publishing to advocacy.

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on her twitter feed she’s doing something really unique by adding images and her hashtag to the actual tweets using something called pic monkey, giving another dimension to the ann experience! picmonkey.com


once she’s tweeted them she goes one step further and adds them to her pretty pinterest boards. we definitely learned a lot from each other on the trip about ways to maximize our social skills and the knowledge just keeps on coming!

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along with ann’s work in nutrition and saving the world, she’s a brilliant wrtiter who mixes nostalgia with optimism and humor. her two books are her latest focus and she’s even got a youtube channel to share and promote them!


Dog-Year-Ann-Wertz-Garvin and On Maggies-Watch

you can check out the first chapter of The Dog Year here: sneak-peek and see ann wow her crowd on her you tube promo:

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our sweet ann has generously offered to give away of each of the books so if you’re interested in either, leave a comment and let us know which you’d like to read. i’ll announce the winners in the next post.


all in all i thought this quote on ann’s site summed her up pretty well. she seems to know that there are universal laws about life, love and how they affect what you put out into and take out of the world. ann’s message is that we’re all in this together. that we have choices and can direct our energy and lives to create positive experiences for ourselves and others. she loves life and i love her. miss you girl!

October 1, 2014. Tags: . Embrace Paris Trip, EmbraceParis. 7 comments.

paris is her playground


bonjour et bon samedi! it’s been a while since i’ve been able to sit down again and dig into the lives of last few of ladies from our summer trip. can’t believe how long it’s taking me to cover but each one has so much style, panache and lively, beautiful worlds that putting the posts together takes a lot of time and research.


today our featured lady is none other than the darling Mary Kay Bosshart. she lives in paris and it (as well as the rest of france) is officially her muse. you can check out her gorgeous photographs and catch her gallavanting through town here: outandaboutinparis.com. she has a really interesting take on the city and shows us the side we rarely see…one that only someone living there has the ablilty to uncover since as we know, paris has so very many layers.


she lets us know about fabulously random events as well as the most important goings on around the city…like this one:

Two times a year (around May 10 and August 1), the setting sun aligns with the Champs Élysées. For a few breathtaking moments, the entire orb of the sun is visible under the Arc de Triomphe. 
Photo credit:


she’ll take you to the louvre, a castle, the musee d’orsay…all through the back door. mary kay is that kind of friend you’d have had in college. she makes you feel like you’re with a school chum with her easy laugh, joie de vive, and the way she sees the beauty in things both great and small.


she travels in and around the countryside and always takes us on the most marvelous photographic tours, introducing places that are off the beaten path yet not to be missed:

Château de Valençayoutandaboutinparis.com/2014/09/add-chateau-valencay-former-residence.html

#chateau #LoireValley #history #France #ChateauValencay #Talleyrand


for example she says: The Château de Maintenon is one of Fodor’s “11 Must See Châteaux Outside of Paris”Via Fodor’s: Madame Maintenon, the second wife of Louis XIV, bought this already ancient château in 1675 with money given to her by the king. Louis oversaw its improvements, employing his staff from Versailles, including landscape architect André le Nôtre. Although Madame Maintenon loved the castle’s singular beautSee More

— at Château de Maintenon


tag along with her to the small towns in places you always wanted to go but never seem to get to: The lovely town of Bourges is located a mere two hours by train from Paris making it the ideal spot for a weekend getaway. Accompanying blog post: http://www.outandaboutinparis.com/2014/09/10-reasons-to-visit-charming-town-of.html

#Bourges #France #LoireValley #travel #TravelTuesday#WeekendGetaway


and if you’re staying in the city, she will let you know where you can find incredible adventure that’s both off the beaten path and right under your nez:  You don’t have to go to Versailles to see over-the-top opulence. You’ll find lots of gold in Paris. Assemblée Nationale


as she puts it: I’m an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that I feel compelled to use. So I’ll be out and about exploring the city for the next couple of years. Switzerland, Germany, The Philippines, Indonesia, and Trinidad and Tobago are other countries that I’ve called home…


The rosy hue of sunset. Photo taken from Pont d’Iéna


let her be your guide…just tap into her feed and you have a friend on the inside! her taste and interests are wide and varied and cover everything from music to fashion to shopping, museums, villages, cultural affairs and of course, cuisine! these are a few of her recently featured events:


If you like fashion, don’t miss “The 50s” (“Les Années 50″) at Palais Galliera. The exhibition runs through November 2, 2014.


The annual procession attracts 25,000 people, both the faithful and the curious. The parade is lead by a group of pipers, drummers and frenzied dancers, who whirl and twirl to the music. Coconuts are broken along the route. The shell of the coconut symbolizes the illusion of the world, the flesh represents the Karma of an individual, and the coconut water is the human ego. By breaking the shell of a coconut, one offers their heart to Lord Ganesha.


If you’ve ever marveled at the transformation of the Musée d’Orsay, take a look at http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/exhibit/de-la-gare-au-musée-d-orsay-rénové/ARK7SK5T?projectId=art-project&hl=en-GB. “From station to the renovated Musée d’Orsay” is the story of the building via a virtual exhibition on Google Art Project.


One of my favorite secret courtyards in Paris. Do you know where it is? Clues: In the Middle Ages, the series of three courtyards was used as a passageway when King Philippe Auguste traversed the neighborhood.

she’s playful, sweet, smart and helpful. so get to know mary kay whether you’re in paris, going to paris or just love exploring what’s on the city’s agenda. she’s always out and about and is someone you’ll want to connect with. reach our and you’ll feel like you found a new old friend!

Mary Kay Bosshart

September 20, 2014. Tags: . Embrace Paris Trip, EmbraceParis. 9 comments.

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