stepping into the light

beth retro


hi guys! it’s been way too long, i missed you! but i had to disconnect from the hyper-overdrive my bod and psyche were on. it’s been a crazy busy couple months. once again BiG things are in the works (more about that soon), but for the first time in a long while i feel at ease today. so what did i do? headed straight to pinterest of course!


it’s funny the path you end up following when you go there. at first i was looking for holiday pics, pretty and inspirational. mom and dad are back home making strudel and decorating so i know there will be plenty of holiday cheer when i head back up north.  still i’d like to do a little something in my place. i’ve become way too lazy to do much so when i started coming across string lights, got to thinking about what a big statement just a little sparkle can deliver.


when i was younger i had them up year round. there was nothing like coming home and seeing them shine. it was sort of comforting.


and you have to love that the messier they are the better they look


and you look great posing with them in a twinkling  mirror!


there’s an instant transformation that happens to a room when that little plug goes in the socket


it seems around this time every year lately there’s always talk  about  the war on the holidays. this one doesn’t want a tree in the town square, that one doesn’t want to know from kwanzaa or chanukah in public spaces…


string lights just remind us that there is a holiday season however we want to celebrate


that there’s  magic in the air


and chances for a new beginning


best of all it doesn’t take much


even nature creates her own version!




so i think i’ll invest in a set or two today. will let you know where they end up!

oh, ps:  we have another giveaway, and to those who won a couple weeks ago, i’ll be sending out your books and portraits this week, thank you for your patience!


we have two sets of a wonderful collection of walking tours called ‘Paris from the Heart’ by Jan Dolphin .


they’re paperback books with detailed explorations of paris. if you’d like to win one of the collections, just leave a comment and say so! we’ll draw the winners on sunday night. ok, well that’s about enough playtime, but boy did i need it! a tout a l’heure for now, have a great weekend!

December 7, 2012. Decorating, Holidays.


  1. Laura Lewakowski replied:

    I would LOVE to win such a wonderful collection of books! Please please pick me! J’adore Paris!


  2. Johana Kafie replied:

    I love christmas lights, and mom puts them up in the garden’s palm trees where they look so beautiful. I’d loooove to win a set of Paris’ explorations on a book , I’m an architecture student and that would help me a lot I love Paris:)


  3. AestheticAlterations (@AestheticAlt) replied:

    This is such an inspiring set of images—I think I’ll spend this evening playing with my strands of fairy lights. Thank you.

    Please enter me in the drawing; I would love to have these in Paris collection.


  4. Cindy replied:

    Beautiful post Claudia!! Great way to get in the spirit :)


  5. Renee replied:

    I like lights strung on top of the wall bordering the dining room and living room. I would love to have my name added to the drawing!


  6. beautyqueenfromars replied:

    You got me dreaming of days off and more days off tucked in that picture in the attic.

    Beautiful photos, though the one with the lights behind the curtain looks like a fire hazard. :)


  7. Ms Anon replied:

    Wish I knew where to find the flower shaped lights on the large mirror. Beautiful!


  8. Deatra replied:

    I miss attics and basements, just not Floridian thing, and there is no way to make my small crawl space look like these beautiful attics. Although it would be nice with a couple of strings of lights for whenever I take a peep up there.
    The books look lovely, I am sure that it is loaded with things that are right under your nose, but you never seem to notice. Thanks.


  9. Andrea replied:

    Please enter me in the drawing for the set of books on walking in Paris…I’d love to dream about being there! Thank you! The twinkling lights are fantastic…I want to find some strings with the littlest of lights…they remind me of summer and fireflies!


  10. Miranda replied:

    How wonderful! I would love the set of books. I love the picture of the courtyard with the lights overhead.


  11. Marlene replied:

    I love the lights they are so warm and comforting. I would love to win the Paris from the Heart books.


  12. Emma Mitchell replied:

    I would love it if I was lucky enough to win these cute little books for my French themed bedroom! I have yet to win something so maybe I’ll get lucky this time! Fingers crossed!


  13. brandyinthesky replied:

    Oui, oui! please enter me in the giveaway!
    Merci beaucoup!


  14. peggy braswell replied:

    My tree is up with lights on it, whee! The books look wonderful! + the photos of the beautiful lights-“it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” Congratulations, in advance, to the winner.


  15. debbie hoy replied:

    would love to own these, moving to France in january to run a boutique B & B and they would look great in the bookcase, xx


  16. Colleen Martin replied:

    I’d love to have the Paris From the Heart guidebooks. In May we used a different set of walking tour guides and I would like to see a different viewpoint for what to see.


  17. Ashby House Interior (@Ashbyhouse) replied:

    Ashby House Interiors needs to have Paris from the Heart guidebooks to guide me and all of my Francophile customers around the places that I love!


  18. phyllis replied:

    Oh those wee lights make me so happy! I always think of that one scene in the Holiday movie, with the little girls in the tent :)
    That big floor mirror with the lights around it…I took a pic on Instagram (I’m going to see if you are on there and if you aren’t I hope you’ll get on! So fun!) at the Free People store in Nashville.


  19. Marissa replied:

    Why do twinkle lights always draw me in? maybe because they allow you to dream …
    Please enter my name into the drawing … dreaming about meandering the streets of the City of Light!


  20. phyllis replied:

    found ya!! (pcovi) yay! :)


  21. Leslie replied:

    I was so happy recently to find your blog…I purchased your Paris Apartment book when it came out and love living vicariously through your Paris trips…Paris is my favorite city on the planet and I went there alone a few years ago after my dog suddenly passed (he was like my child)….exploring every nook and cranny my feet would take me to helped me to heal and turn me right side up again….thank YOU for sharing your adventures and yourself!!
    Happy Holidays all!


  22. Dee Dee Mozeleski (@BubblesDeux) replied:

    Oh, my what a pretty post! I have a girlfriend who always keeps white ‘twinkle’ lights up in her living room. I always say I want to do this, then never get around to it. Maybe you’ve just inspired me!


  23. Carol Evans replied:

    I received my first blog today after I signed up. What a lovely bunch of light pics. I can see I will love this blog as I love Paris, been 7 times and planning the 8th for next fall and would love the books


  24. Kristina Hunt replied:

    I would LOVE one!!!!


  25. Vicki Nuckols replied:

    I am totally in LOVE with Paris,I haven’t been there yet,but I will someday so for now I visit in my dreams,I would love to win this little beautiful set of books so I can dream even more.Thank you!!!!


  26. Jarand replied:

    I would love to win the travel books!


  27. vickiarcher replied:

    Love the fairy lights Claudia… So pretty… the more the merrier… Happy weekend… xv


  28. Laurie replied:

    I would love to win Paris from the Heart. I love Paris, and I love your blog.


  29. Mary Ballard replied:

    Hello Claudia, I have your book and LOVE it. Thank you for all the fun, vicarious journeys to the ‘city of light’! Pretty please, pick MOI for one set of the “Paris from the Heart” collections you are giving away because I am dying for the entire series and can’t seem to find all of them anywhere to purchase. Et bien sur, toutes les petites lumieres de Noel sont seduisantes comme les marons de La Duree!! J’adore les photo de votre blog!! Merci et joyeux fete!!
    Mes amities, Mary


  30. Cheri replied:

    I love the cover! It would look great on my new coffee table :)


  31. thetravelingpear replied:

    Adding twinkle lights to anything is always a fabulous idea. Would love to win one of those books too!


  32. Louise replied:

    I certainly would like to win a copy of “Paris From The Heart” how exciting that would be. Glad to see you back. ;-)


  33. pixelrites replied:

    I love this post – it’s inspired me to lighten up here in Sydney – have got some lights which I will pull out of storage.Thanks for the inspiration. And most certainly O would love to win a collection of the books! Merci


  34. judy replied:

    Very nice pictures. I would love to enter the give away. thank you


  35. Wanda Decker replied:

    You bet, please enter me, to. Merci! Wanda


  36. sissi replied:

    Amazing how just some simple holiday lights can transform a mood! Oui? Not just for Noel…..So I use them year round for creating a dreamy atmosphere.


  37. Kathy C. replied:

    Those are dreamy pictures. I love to decorate with twinkle lights. I would love that awesome collection of books. Thanks for the chance.


  38. Shelly Gregory replied:

    I can’t express how wonderful I felt, after a looonnnnggg hard week (months, actually) of work, when I opened your post full of lovely lovely lovely lights!!! I felt warm and twinkly (if that’s a feeling)! I am drained of energy and needed the lift! I am glad you were able to feel an ease in your day in order to make ours easier with your lovely words and photos! Thank you! Hope you have a beautiful weekend!


  39. Nikon replied:

    Beautiful photos, Claudia – I really love the “barn loft” one – the big mattresses filling the attic…..


  40. Nikon replied:

    p.s. – please put me into the book contest!


  41. Linda replied:

    Would love to win “Paris from the Heart”…..I also leave a string of white lights up all year in my living room….way up high. When I want a little magic I plug them in….instant ambiance! Thanks


  42. Carol replied:

    What a beauftiful post! Yes, there is something magical about lights, especially pure white lights…

    I would love to win a Paris book – to curl up and just dip into all the delights that Paris holds…under a string of white lights, of course!


  43. Julie replied:

    Would love a copy of “Paris from the Heart!” What a beautiful post on fairy lights.


  44. Alice replied:

    I love nothing better than turning the corner onto my street and seeing my house lit up with lovely twinkling lights. ‘Tis the season…..
    Would love to receive the lovely books. Thank you.


  45. Jason replied:

    When I was 6 or 7, I was quite ill. But, I loved colors and colored lights. One night, my parents bundled me up, I sat on my mother’s lap, and we drove around Philadelphia looking at all the outside decorations. One home in particular, blazing with light, had a sleigh, reindeer and a Santa on the roof. Don’t know what kind of sound system they had, but by opening the window, you could speak to Santa AND he answered. Week by week, if you drove past the home, you could see Santa’s progress to the chimney. Colored lights! Magical.


    • deatra replied:

      What a beautiful story. It sounds like the lights and Santa set your mind ablaze with excitement and hope for a wonderful Christmas. I wonder how they showed Santa’s movement. Maybe it was manual, but I have always had a vivid imagination and that would have been great to see as a child.
      Thank you for sharing.


  46. Yvette Aubusson replied:

    Just about every tree in our neighbourhood is strung with string lights right now. It’s like fairyland and magical to take the kids wandering among them. I just looked up when string lights came into being… 1882!!!! Thanks to electricity and an early sparky called Edward Johnson. The pics you’ve shared are too dreamy for words. I’m a sucker for anything with sparkle and wanted to share a pic I took on a similar vein… sunlight in water… I hope you get a chance to see it… and yes please add me to the draw. Paris would have to put sparkly in anybody’s day.


  47. Yvette Aubusson replied:

    Just about every tree in our neighbourhood is strung with string lights right now. It’s like fairyland and magical to take the kids wandering among them. I just looked up when string lights came into being… 1882!!!! Thanks to electricity and an early sparky called Edward Johnson. The pics you’ve shared are too dreamy for words. I’m a sucker for anything with sparkle and wanted to share a pic I took on a similar vein… sunlight in water… I hope you get a chance to see it… and yes please add me to the draw. Paris would have to put sparkle in anybody’s day.


  48. Born in Paris replied:

    Thanks for posting and sharing the lights! I would love to be included in the drawing for the books. Anything about Paris! I am glad you are back and took some needed down time. THank you for sharing the lovely wrapping too!


  49. geri texeira replied:

    Missed your site…. Had a heart attack and away from computer. I live through your site to visit the city of Paris until one day I get to go there with my daughter’s family in a few years. Thank you for blogging with pictures.


  50. JasmineKyleSings replied:

    90% of my problem is I think I am to old to have these hanging in my bedroom. I should just do it anyway! No need for the drawing they are LOVELY however and will need to find the! (I have an aversion to loosing i do it so frequently I stopped trying LOL)


  51. Joan replied:

    Lovely pics. I would love to win one of the collections!


  52. Joyce McCune replied:

    Oh, to be in Paris this special time of year….I would love to win these and be able to dream!


  53. Lori replied:

    I’ve been in love with all-things-French since I can remember — the food, the culture, the language, etc. Your blog posts repeatedly transport me there…even when my kids are melting down in the next room. :-) I’d be delighted to pour through the books being offered! I promise them a happy (and stylish) home here in Chicago! Sante! -Lori


  54. Barb replied:

    Lights everywhere. My dream. Love those books on Paris. Would definitely use them next fall. Please, please…. Yeah.


  55. Barbie Corley replied:

    Beautiful post….you sparked an idea – my flower lights that I use outside in the summer. I now have them strung around my large mirror in the dining room – they look fabulous. I would LOVE to win the “Paris from the Heart” collection, these will be very useful when I move to Paris in Februay.


  56. dru replied:

    Love the lights, finally got to drape my fountain in lights, they are so lovely. The books look amazing. thanks


  57. Amanda replied:

    Frost on the rooftops in Paris today and as the night lifts, there is a sparkle to be seen…just like these beautiful and uplifting images that remind us what a little light can do to lift our spirits and open up the shadows…thank you Claudia – you gave us all a moment of reverie, dreaming, imagining…and yes, I would love to win this collection – about to have my second Christmas living in Paris there is still so much to discover!

    Looking forward to your posts in the New Year – happy celebrations to one and all, with plenty of sparkle and shine!


  58. Jeanette Grant replied:

    Lights and a book on Paris that is all I need for Christmas.


  59. Robyn replied:

    Oh,Yes! I would love to win. After hanging amber lights from the ceiling last night, I am newly inspired to hang some more. Truly a dream inspiration.
    Many thanks, as always.


  60. Angilique replied:

    Those sweet books will come in handy when I am lost on the streets of Paris!



  61. Maureen Albrecht replied:

    Mais oui! This would be a lovely Christmas Gift! Please enter moi to win! Merci beaucoup!!!!


  62. K. Muir replied:

    Falling in love with Paris. I would love to own these books. Thank you.


  63. Kelly Port replied:

    Looking at your images – i have been inspired to add some lights to my home. Please enter me in the drawing for these books.


  64. Jill replied:

    Missed your posts. Glad you’re okay and making your dreams happen.


  65. Julie replied:

    you shine brighter than all of these lights . . . . much love and levity pointed at you! xxJulie


  66. Kate replied:

    Twinkle lights, paint and fabric hide a multitude of sins! Love the books!


  67. sarah replied:

    Sign me up! I get so inspired by looking at images of Paris. And oh those lights! I once toyed with the idea of leaving my Christmas lights up all year round, but never went through with it. I do have a scallop-shaped gold glitter garland I kept up. I love ornaments that aren’t necessarily holiday specific.


  68. Kelly replied:

    I would be so happy to win these books and give them to my mom for Christmas! Paris is our most favorite place in all the world.
    Love the sparkly lights! They make me happy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: