Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy July 9th!



What?
Can't we celebrate every day like it's a holiday?
Every day is special, after all.
Special, and fragile.
Full of opportunity, and inspiration.
Don't forget to seize it!

Take last Thursday for instance.
Sure, it could have just been another Thursday.
Just another "July 2nd"...two days before the real holiday.
But it wasn't!
Why?
Because I made a conscious effort to make it special, and inspiring.

And it all had to do with a certain New York Times best-selling author named Mary Kay.
:-)

That afternoon, my Mom, Kevin and I headed out for a fun adventure none of us had ever experienced before.
As we made our way west on the I-10, the sky in front of us slowly began to look like a giant bruise, and the shades of red, blue and purple all played backdrop to a dark and mountainous thunderhead.
But the storm didn't deter us as we made our way towards the charming, seaside town of Fairhope, Alabama.

Thank goodness, the torrential rain didn't start until after we had reached our destination.
It was a quaint, two-level bookstore called "Page & Palette".
It wasn't long after we arrived that a relentlessly fierce gust of wind ripped a tree clean in half on the sidewalk, right outside the store.
Now normally I would have been panic-stricken with all the destruction carrying on outside.
But not this day.

This day, I was completely captivated by Mary Kay's voice as she read excepts from her newest novel-

"The Fixer Upper".



The atmosphere in the small room we all gathered in upstairs was electric, and it wasn't because of the lightning. Mary Kay proceeded to tell us about how she developed some of the characters in the book. She shared interesting and humorous anecdotes about her life, and her house she calls, "Breeze Inn", on Tybee Island, in Georgia.


(Mary Kay's home, "Breeze Inn")

One of my favorite stories she told, was the one about her trip through Tennessee on the previous Tuesday. One of her Facebook friends directed her to an antique store along her route, called "Rare Bird".


(Mary Kay and her new friends at Rare Bird in Goodlettsville, TN)

As soon as she mentioned that she filled an old suitcase full of treasures from the shop, I was dying to know what was inside! Of course when Mary Kay began to take questions, I raised my hand to ask.

She delightfully answered my question, first describing how thrilled she was by a booth that had been decorated for the 4th of July. She said the booths owner was a talented folk artist, and that she bought one of his handmade Uncle Sam dolls, completely made from vintage textiles. The little guy was even holding a vintage box of sparklers! She also bought a vintage black-and-white photograph, taken at the beach. But the pièce de résistance, was a 1920s, wool, one-piece bathing suit, ready for framing, and displaying at the Breeze Inn!

(Another vintage bathing suit, on display at the Breeze Inn)


I went to Books-A-Million yesterday, here in Prattville, and was so excited to see that "The Fixer Upper" is now at #6 on the New York Times Best-Seller list.

Congratulations Mary Kay!

Thank you for sharing your amazing gift with all of us, and thank you for making July 2nd such an thrilling day for me. I was inspired to the very edges of my soul!

(Mary Kay Andrews, telling me about the color she painted Breeze Inn)

(Mary Kay Andrews and me, smiling for Mr. LC)




Click here to win a weekend at the Breeze Inn, courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com!

44 comments:

wgleaves said...

I live right outside of Goodlettsville, TN. There are tons of antique stores in and around Nashville. You would love it...

Custom Cabinet Finishes said...

Hi, Layla ~ I have been following your blog for quite some time ... very inspired & awed by the magic that you create !! But your post today about Mary Kay was too precious to let get by without a comment ...

I absolutely adore Mary Kay Andrew's work!! I breezed (no pun intended) through the first three books ... waited on pins and needles for the next -- Deep Dish -- (not my favorite .. but, hey, it's Mary Kay!!) and I literally let out a "whoop!" when I saw the reference to her newest book on your blog ...

and it's RIGHT UP MY ALLEY ... as I'm sure you can relate ... off to Barnes & Noble ...

Thanks!

Oh, and keep up the good work ;=)

Scottie

Kelsey said...

Didn't she write "Savannah Blues"? That was good, too!

Dawn Heese said...

I adore Mary Kay Andrews. I have read all her books. As a matter of fact I just picked up The Fixer Upper today. Can't wait to start.

Kelly W. said...

I LOVE Page & Palette! It's the best bookstore. I go there when I'm in the Fairhope area. The last time that we went was a few years ago but we got to meet Joshilyn Jackson, author of "Gods in Alabama". So much fun!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Glad to know about this new book. It sounds good. Isn't it fun to meet authors? I am impressed by anyone who can write a book. Love & blessings from NC!

Kathy said...

I've been to Rare Bird! Not in a while, I'll have to make another trip. But I did buy some tea cups and saucers from there about 5 years ago.
I've got a gift card for Barnes & Noble and it looks like I know now what I'll spend it on. Thanks for your inspiration.

Tracy @ comfortandluxury said...

Thanks for the reminder, Layla! I need to get out and grab this book. And I'm totally with you about making up random reasons to celebrate any old day we want! Looks like you really made the most of "Mary Kay day"!

Sara @ Be Still and Know said...

what a fun post! meeting and talking with an author certainly amps up the experience of an awesome book purchase :)

Margaret said...

Great post, as usual! I love your blog and check it regularly. BTW, last Thursday was July 2nd, two days before the holiday! ;-D

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I LOVE Mary Kay Andrews! The Fixer Upper is sitting on my book shelf right now. :) As soon as I finish what I'm reading, TFU is next on my list. Her work is so fun! :) So cool that you got to meet her.

TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo said...

Sounds like a wonderful day. Well, not for the tree outside, but for you. ;)
*Tricia

its so very cheri said...

What a special treasure of a day to meet Mary Kay and be so wrapped up in her stories. You will remember it forever.

Cheri
www.itssoverycheri.blogspot.
July GIVE AWAY cutoff for this week 10 pm tomorrow

Cherri Engle said...

Layla, I could actually feel your excitement as you described your July 3rd. You have a wonderful way with words that just brings us right along with you on your journey. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your blog greatly. God Bless, Cherri

Christine said...

I JUST finished this book!!! It was a good read!

Reese said...

Oh what a wonderful adventure. Rare Bird is near my house. I feel an adventure coming!!!

Southern Aspirations said...

I have not yet read Mary Kay but she is on my summer reading list and I must hurry up with the FIxer Upper because I am planning on going to see her speak in Atlanta next week!

marykayandrews@aol.com said...

Layla--It was a day to celebrate because I got to meet you and your mom and your HH (handsome hubs). PS--You could win a weekend at The Breeze Inn in a giveaway over here:
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/at-sponsored-posts/win-a-weekend-stay-at-the-breeze-inn-cottage-thursday-giveaway-089029

Sassy Cass said...

First of all, I heart Fairhope. Second, Savannah Breeze was an awesome book and I can't wait to read Fixer Upper! Mary Kay Andrews rocks!!!!

Nichole said...

It's so funny that you posted this today, as I finished reading that book a couple of hours ago!

Jacqueline said...

You've made me want to go out and buy the book. Do you think that I can get it in the U.K ? XXXX

Trish said...

Love her! I've read all her books.

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

Love that framed swimsuit! I just picked one up at an estate sale recently. Love the beadboard they used in the framing!

Amy

cedwards55 said...

I was so excited to see that you've met MK. I discovered her books a couple of years ago and devoured every one of them. The first one I read was Hissy Fit. Laughed my way through the whole thing and immediately became a huge fan. Can't wait to read the Fixer Upper. Staying at Tybee Island is on my Bucket List. So happy that you got to meet her.

Julie @ Sweet Chaos said...

Tybee Island is popping up all over the place. I truly hope it doesn't become too popular, because it is indescribably perfect as it is. Just returned from our yearly vacation there and I am already trying to get back!!! Come check out my blog, I have a couple pictures of Tybee. Wish I could go to your bookstore, it sounds great too.

ohsweetchaos.blogspot

Restyled Home said...

Hi Layla! This sounds like a great book, and I am on the hunt for some great, summer reading!

I love that you had such a great day meeting someone you so admire. You were right to brave that storm!!

Cheers,
Linda

Busy Mom said...

I am reading her book now and LOVE IT!! She was here on Thursday and I missed it! I was ssooooo sad. Glad you got to meet her! I'd love to do one of her girls weekends! It would be a blast! Did you read Hissy Fit??!! It's my favorite and I read it every summer!!

Busy Mom said...

Ok... I missed the part that you were in Fairhope!! Small world!! I love our little bookstore!! It is very quaint!!

PS~Erin said...

How very, very cool.

Judy Clark said...

Layla:

I love Mary Kay Andrews, and have read ALL of her books. I can't wait to read the Fixer Upper.
L,
Judy

Carol said...

I just finished this book the other night. Really enjoyed the story and the details about the house and the renovations. I want that house!

NicNacManiac said...

FAbulous way to spend the day!! Meeting Mary Kay Andrew's was a big treat for sure, awesome way to spend July 2nd. Enjoy the book!
Hugs, Nerina :)

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

That's so exciting for you! What a great way to spend a day!

Candy said...

I love her books! She's such a witty and humorous author!

Kelly said...

Hi! Just stumbled on to your blog. I love your style! :)

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I enjoyed reading your blog today.
It is so much fun making new blog friends.
Hope you will stop by for a visit.

Susie Q said...

How fun to meet her. I've been a fan for quite some time and actually just finished Fixer Upper. Liked the house, etc., but I just didn't like this one as much as I've liked her others. I don't know what it was...but, oh well. I ended up borrowing it from the library as I cannot buy books right now (lost my job so.....) but our library is awfully good so...it'll do for now.

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

What a glorious way to spend a happy July 2! You are one of the most joy-filled people I've ever read; I really like that about you, girl, cuz that's totally me, too. We both like to celebrate!

Many thanks for introducing me to Mary Kay Andrews. I haven't done a lot of book reading the last few years, but have just started to pick it back up. (Unemployment opens so many doors like that.) Since you were so delighted with her, that's good enough for me. I'll go check her out!

Quinn said...

Love this author! I snagged her new book the day it came out....

heathero said...

I met Mary Kay at a book club we have here in Atlanta!! She is so great!!Love her.
Heather

Anonymous said...

I'm near the end of "Savannah Blues" and I have f-word fatigue. Oh well.

hello gorgeous said...

That's so funny - I am at the beach and reading that right now.

Avian | nestparty.com said...

I just had so much fun reading your post! I love Mary Kay Andrews. I've been to one of her signings too!! she's so sweet!!

Missy Langley said...

How exciting that you got to meet Mary Kay Andrews! I love her books.