moving on…

 

….to another blog.

You can find me now at:

http://vintagefrenchchic.wordpress.com

We hope to see you there.

If you missed my reasons  why I am changing things up a bit, click here.

Thank you for reading Stepping My Way to Bliss.

xo.

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season for change

 

Four score and five years ago…

Once upon a time there was…

Did I ever tell you about the time…

 

Hmmm?   How does one just launch into the announcement that she is closing up her blog?

Say…that wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.   Yes, yes.  It is true.  Stepping My Way to Bliss will be closing at the end of August.  There are many, many reasons for it but here are just a couple:

1.  If you have ever read my About page, you know how and why this all got started.  Some of those reasons now seem invalid.  For example, Bliss House doesn’t seem new to me anymore.  It fits and feels like an old, comfortable shoe.  It is my home  not just my new house.  Maybe we will be here for another 10, 20 years, maybe not.  In any case, I don’t feel like I am “arriving” any longer.

2.  The “Stepping” part of my blog title has come full circle.  Once Belle Fille got married in May, I felt like there was closure to being a step-parent.  I mean, yes, of course I am still (and always will be) a Belle Mere. But when Belle Fille said “I do”, she also became her own woman.  She now belongs with another.  Our parental responsibilities have shifted from active participants to casual by-standers.

3.  Now that I am working more, my time is more valuable.  Valuable enough that I am not sure I want to spend as much of it in front of my computer.  There are many other things I want to have time for so I am always seeking balance.

With those reasons (and others), I almost decided to quit blogging altogether.  When chere Fiona ended her blog last March, my sadness was mingled with jealousy.  I started asking myself why I continued to blog.  There really isn’t a theme (or point?) to my blog.  I am not a “Fashion Blogger” or a “Minimalist Blogger” or a “Foodie Blogger Extraordinaire”.  I am just kind of an “all over the place blogger” which was making posting more and more challenging.  I don’t know why I feel I must pigeon-hole myself but I guess I want to.  When a theme is involved, it keeps me centered and focused. I decided that if I was going to continue blogging, I was going to have to simplify my methods.

I began thinking about what makes me tick.  What  things /topics do I really love?  Of course there are many.  But I kept coming around to three basic things (um, these would be the things on the shallow end of my deep thinking pool–just clarifying): I love all things vintage; I love all things French; and I love all things chic.  Sound familiar?  VintageFrenchChic is the name of my Etsy store…definitely a pattern.  So I decided, if I was to continue blogging, I needed to streamline a bit.  Voila! A new blog…Vintage French Chic.

Some of you have already found my new blog.  Others have noticed my username change.  This will be a new format for me to continue writing (if you can call it that), experimenting, and sharing with the masses  the few who do read my blog.  I have designed the blog with simplicity in mind.  I will only have three categories to post in (Vintage, French, Chic) so hopefully this will keep me centered…and creative.  Another big change…I will no longer be Mistress Bliss.  Well, OK, I will be if you want me to be but my anonymous days are over–to a degree.  The new blog will definitely be a little more personal in feel and content.

So I will see out the end of August on Stepping My Way to Bliss with a couple more posts, including one last Visible Monday and the photo challenge.  If you would like to take a peek over at Vintage French Chic, I would love to have you for a visit.

Thank you for reading Stepping My Way to Bliss.   It has been a very enjoyable way to fly.  I am amazed by all the great people I have “met” through this journey.

Au revoir.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

UPDATE:  Changed my mind…this is the last post for Stepping My Way to Bliss.  Makes sense, don’t you think?

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visible monday ~~ visibly inspired

We are inspired by things we see.  I am always inspired by anything that occurs in nature–sunsets, the beach, flowers, the curious habits of little beasts (including Rockefeller), the Seasons, etc.  And once in awhile I get inspired by an outfit on someone…often pondering, why didn’t I think of that?  This happened to me the other day.  While perusing my cousin’s pins on Pinterest (my presence on Pinterest does not happen often…but I think I am on the verge of change), I saw this outfit:

Oh!  I like it!!  And it prompted me to think about a pendant I own:

I bought this on my memorable trip to Maine...the trip that brought me face to face with the lighthouse of my dreams.

The two inspirations helped me put this together:

(it looks like my eyes are closed but I was looking down below)

Master Bliss and I spent the evening visiting a local artists’ colony/commune/gallery in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  It was their 30th Anniversary and they celebrated with an open house.  It was very interesting walking through this cavernous building that is now housing so much talent.  And of course, I am always inspired by architecture and light too, so I snapped a few of my own photos.

And bought one tiny trinket:

(roman coin set in metal)

What inspires you?

Don’t forget!  I am linking with Patti for Visible Monday.

Have a great Monday.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

PS  Later this week I will have a special announcement…stay tuned.

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weekly photo challenge ~~ merge

 

I had a really good idea for this challenge but I must save it for a future post.  This photo was taken last September when Summer was “merging” into Fall.  Can’t believe we are almost at that door again.  Plus, I like how the bridge, in effect, is merging two roads together.

Enjoy your weekend!!

~~Mistress Bliss~~

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souvenir

 

Our recent trip to Chicago garnered me just one souvenir:

via

It was a planned purchase, Cupcake Caramel would be proud.  It was also the most money I have ever spent on tea.  But I am OK with this.  I “won” a sample of this tea from the lovely, Catherine.  At first sip, I was hooked.  Just one little problem….it is very difficult to find.  However, some months ago I found that Porte Rouge in Chicago did have it.  I was going to order it online but the price of the tea plus shipping was hard to justify.  So I waited.  Waited patiently for my next trip to Chicago.  A couple of days before leaving, I called Porte Rouge to see if they had some on hand.  They did.  I explained I was coming in from Michigan and wondered how it would be best to find them from our hotel.  Imagine my surprise when they offered to deliver it to my hotel–great customer service!  The transaction was handled over the phone and sure enough, it was delivered as promised.  My only (yummy) souvenir from Chicago.  Or should I say France?  It is my favorite tea ever, next to this one:

via

I think I would really like to try Harney and Son’s Tower of London Blend or the Diamond Jubilee one.  Has anyone tried these?

What is your favorite tea?

~~Mistress Bliss~~

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visible monday ~~ shades of brown (or an ode to vintage coach willis)

Bonjour, lovely readers!  Today is Visible Monday and  I give you moi in shades of brown.  Which is truly not a summery way to dress but alas I also wanted to show off my “new to me” purse acquisition (and please no reminders of my previous pledges to not buy any more handbags for a year–that deal is so off  now)*.

Recently I started following Atlantic Pacific.  I can’t even remember how I found the blog but I love her stunning array of amazing outfits.  One accessory that she wears often–and it looks great every single time– is a vintage Coach Willis in British Tan.  This bag looks great with so many of her outfits and she wears it with colors I would never think to pair it with.  I have a vintage Willis in black and it has become one of my favorite, go-to handbags of them all.

The Willis is one of those Coach styles I admired from a far for a few years.  Loved it, thought it classy every time I saw it but wasn’t sure it was really me.  Instead I ventured into the Rambler, the Janice’s Legacy and a couple of other classic Coach styles.  Most were too small or not adequate for my needs.  And then I started carrying a Nook.  My requirements in a handbag became very specific.  I found a wonderful style in the Coach Ergo #9033.  Love the simple lines, the outside pocket (a must) and roomy interior, and the shoulder strap length is perfect for me.  Then a few months ago, I saw a great deal on a Vintage Willis (black) and thought I would give it a try.  I have always admired the flap closure with turn-key lock.  Another thing I thought I might like is the cross-body option and, of course, the rear outside pocket.  I bought it and haven’t looked back.  I use it a lot and it gets compliments…because it is a classic.

After following Atlantic Pacific I became convinced that a Coach Willis in British Tan was now part of my destiny.  And wouldn’t you know…they are super hard to find in good shape at reasonable prices.  Black ones are a dime a dozen but the British Tan?  Either they are in high demand or there just weren’t as many made in that color.   I don’t know.  But I was diligent obsessive in my searches and finally landed a good deal.  She just arrived the other day so of course I had to have her out for a spin.  I played it safe and styled her with other browns.  I am very  happy to have another Vintage Willis and I know we are going to have a long, happy union.

handbag: vintage coach willis~sweater, top: talbots~ shoes: bass~necklace: vintage; watch~seiko

Oh!  I just love that thick, glove tanned leather.

Don’t forget to stop by Patti’s for more Visibility.

What is your favorite “go to” handbag?

~~Mistress Bliss~~

*for the record, if anyone cares, i did some purging this weekend and no less than six handbags will be leaving via ebay or etsy.  striving for balance one goodwill load at a time.

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weekly photo challenge ~~ wrong

 

I have mentioned before  how disturbing it was to see so many homeless dogs while traveling around the Dominican Republic.  It is wrong on so many counts.

I realize it happens everywhere not just in the D.R.   However, the frequency of how often I saw these poor strays was truly overwhelming.

Sorry, not too cheerful of a post but what did you expect with a theme called “wrong”?  I almost posted a picture of  a welt-the-size-of-Texas I got on my upper thigh from a bug* bite/sting on my first day in the Dominican.  Now that was wrong!

See you tomorrow!

~~Mistress Bliss~~

*no, i don’t know what it was so i dubbed it the ‘damned devil bug’.

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chicago revisited

Bonjour!

We had a lovely time in Chicago last week.  It was only 2 days but it was enough to satisfy the itch.  The Kiddos really had a good time too…this was my son-in-law’s first visit.

On the first day we visited the Museum of Science and Industry.  A dear reader (merci, Simone)  recommended that we see the “Oriental Institute”.  This was totally on the “to do” list for Sunday….spend a few hours at “Science…” and then flit over to “Oriental…”.  Yes, yes, in a perfect world this would have been the perfect plan.  However, the Chicago Transit Authority is not part of a perfect world.  We had quite the time getting the bus #6 to go to the museum.  And let me tell you, I usually respect the public transportation workers in any given city, but in our experience that day, 2 out  of 3 CTA workers are down right mean and/or rude.  Without going in to all the negatives, I will give you the following tips:

1.  There is an Upper Wacker and a Lower Wacker.  Do not wait for Bus 6 on the Lower Wacker…it will never happen no matter how hard you wish for it to come.

2.  Do not assume another bus driver will know anything about any route other than the one she is assigned.

3.  Do not call the CTA on a cell phone while on Lower Wacker, under the bridge.  You can’t hear them and they can’t hear you.

4.  Always have single dollar bills and exact change for the bus fare.  Always.

5.  And God forbid, do not try to work a dog-eared dollar bill through the bill feeder when paying your fare.  This is greatly frowned upon by bus drivers and you will get yelled at.

6.  Evidently, the CTA is a branch of some government secret service.  They will not smile or make eye contact with you.  But they do bark.

OK, that is out-of-the-way.  We lost a lot of time getting to the museum so I had to resign myself to save “The Oriental Institute” for another time.  It is really too bad too because we all wanted to see it.  We still managed to have a good time at “Science…”.  Some of the coolness we saw:

did you know that this building was originally constructed as part of the huge world’s fair in 1893 (part of the “white city”) and is one of the few (only?) that remains? it survived because it was built to be fireproof to house valuable art during the fair.

this is an actual german u-boat captured during the war. it was brought here where this room was built around it as a wing on the museum.

tee hee…he got shorter on the moon.

The weirdest thing happened while we were there.  Master Bliss was in line for food in the cafeteria when he heard a familiar voice right in front of him ordering.  Master Bliss said, “Gary?”  Oh my goodness!  It was Gary.  A friend of ours who used to live in Michigan but now lives in California.  He was taking his son and nephew on the Route 66 trip from Cali to MI to visit family and to have the Route 66 experience.  Our families used to go camping together every year for years.  We got to eat lunch together and catch up on everything.  Sadly, they were leaving for Michigan after the Museum otherwise we would’ve hung together on the town later.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites Lakeshore so it was very important to get back to the hotel sometime between 5:30 and 7:30 PM for our “free”drinks and snacks.  We made it…but it wasn’t quite a good as I remembered the Manager’s Reception being when staying at Embassy before.  We could not believe how busy the Reception was….tons of peeps vying for free liquor.  After dinner we ate at “Buca di Beppo’s” where they had to hold me back from jumping into the vat of  tiramisu they served our table.  So good.  Good for breakfast too.

Monday morning we had a slamming breakfast at the hotel.  Again, it was super crowded but they did a great full breakfast.  I watched the omelette guy in pure amazement.  He was fast and sweating to death.  After breakfast we sauntered (as in walked, no more buses for us)  on to my favorite museum outside of Paris…”The Art Institute of Chicago”. I. LOVE. THIS. PLACE. Master Bliss and I took the time to explore galleries/exhibits we hadn’t seen before.  Right now they are featuring Roy Lichtenstein.  Sound familiar but can’t place?  This will help:

Here’s another:

This one is a little calmer:

Interesting dude.  I love the bold colors of his pieces and the nostalgia they provoke but otherwise I wouldn’t say he really moves me as an artist.  But I did discover a photographer I plan to learn more about, Louis Faurer.  I was entranced by every photo they had of his.  He would often use the night lighting of marquees and street lights on the streets of New York which gave the photos such a unique look.  You will have to look him up on your own.  I did take a couple of pictures of his photos but got in trouble for it (some things you can photograph at the museum, some things you can’t–it can get kind of dicey).  I am afraid that if I post them the Cyber Police will find out and shut me down.

Thanks to exploring more we found this staircase.  It is its own work of art.

We saved the Impressionists and Contemporary Art galleries for last.  Don’t ask me why but Master Bliss loves this guy (the artist, not necessarily Dorian Gray).

ivan albright “picture of dorian gray”

He has to visit this painting and another one of a door every time we go to the museum.  Should I be concerned? They are a little too dark and goth for me but the detail is stunning.  You can get lost in the details.  It took the artist  10 years to paint the door one.  Yeah.  No kidding.  He also did this one:

“into the world there came a soul called ida”

I find her very sad, depressing.  But at the same time I want to applaud her efforts at still caring about how she looks.  This will be me one day…especially the droopy boobs.

Some other things to be in awe of:

i thought this would be a great top for PMS week.

bob the dog

I didn’t want to leave the museum but we had to.  I was determined to check out H&M with the hopes of replenishing some tank tops.  This did not work out so well.  I couldn’t find what I needed and felt overwhelmed by the craziness of the store.  I think online shopping has finished me.  I was never big on store/mall shopping in the first place but now that I can do it at home and simply “search” for what I need in any store I visit, it is shopping nirvana while going to  the big, crowded stores is shopping hell.

We caught our train for home in late evening and did not arrive back home until well after mid-night.  An exhausting two days but so worth it.

I love Chicago.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

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visible monday ~~ weekend capsule dressing part three

Happy Visible Monday!

Last week for Visible Monday I gave you “Part Two” of my capsule dressing for a few days away (a mini-vacation we took in July).  I didn’t want to pack a ton of stuff so I worked around one pair of shoes and one handbag.  I kept my accessories at a minimum but just enough to pull the outfits together.  As a reminder, this is what was packed:

So on the final day I wore my LBD.  I have had this dress for years.  I bought it at Talbots and loved the faux wrap style so much I bought it in red too…which you can see here.  This time the orange in my scarf was used to bring in the handbag.  The nude peeptoes were worn again after sufficiently resting my feet the day before in my Naots.  Ta da!

(dress-Talbots;  shoes-Clarks; bag-Kate Spade; scarf-Hermes; scarf ring and horn bracelet-MaiTai)

One hugely important accessory I forgot to mention was the nail polish I had on my tootsies.  I got a pedicure just a couple of days before leaving so my toes could be at their peeping best.  Or poolside best:

I know.  Cute but hard to see.  So since I don’t want you to have to go to the trouble of enlarging the photo and then trying to locate your trusty magnifier, I will just give you this:

OPI “Your web or mine” from the Spider-Man collection.  Yes, really.  They had a Spider-Man collection.  You’re welcome.

OK, now off you go to check out Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.  Enjoy the start of the week!!

~~Mistress Bliss~~

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weekly photo challenge ~~ growth

On our recent trip to Chicago, I was impressed with the “growth” of grasses on a nearby rooftop–creating a summery, beachy pool area smack dab in the middle of the concrete city.  So cool.

Image

Closer:

Image

Happy Saturday!

~~Mistress Bliss~~

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