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Thanksgiving Week

Hello, English Muse Readers! It is the most wonderful time of the year, don’t you think? From November 1st to January One, I am in heaven! I love the scents of the season, the colors, the twinkle-lights, the style. I love giving gifts, I love seeing family, mailing copious amounts of cards, and I love […]

Nick & Nora

Most days I feel as if I’m living in a Thin Man movie… beautiful clothes, martinis, and a witty husband & loveable terrier that always keep things entertaining. Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear this little interview on NPR this weekend. Two never-before-released novellas have just been published under the title Return of the Thin […]

The spook list: top 10 Halloween links

I asked some local mothers last week if the kids in our community celebrated Halloween and was over the moon when they said yes. This is not all that common in Australia. “We need to decorate the house!” I told Mr B, clasping my hands together with glee. “And stock up on chocolates and lollies!” […]

Mentors in the Broadest Sense

Hello, Musers! This weekend on Secrets of a Belle, I’ve been doing Last Minute Costume Ideas, and I just couldn’t help myself; I had to do Martha. While the post is quite tongue in cheek, Martha really is one of my heroes. In her book “The Martha Rules,” she talks about mentors in a broad sense. (For […]

The Artist’s way- a creative firestarter

Welcome to Monday morning. I don’t know about you, but I normally start to feel a bit lethargic this time of year. It has come to the time where inspiration is running on empty, drive is low and progress is slow. I am starting to think of the holidays and our Christmas plans. The last thing I want to […]

The truth about tea

Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. This week I want to talk about tea. Just because that’s how I roll. Kinda. It’s true. Okay, maybe it’s not that simple but for me very often just taking my mind off of the problem at hand for a couple of minutes gives […]

All Creatures Great and Small

In fourth grade, I was in love with animals.  My family had a darling but incomparably lazy cocker spaniel at home.  My parents had let me take a few riding lessons and attend a horse camp when we’d moved to Kentucky the year before.  I wanted, rather badly, to spend every day with animals.  Unfortunately, […]

Charlotte’s Web: This is the Story of a Barn…

“This is the story of the barn. I wrote it for children and to amuse myself.” ~E.B. White in his reading of Charlotte’s Web, which turns 60 today This morning started as most mornings do… with coffee & NPR… when I heard this little snippet about the 60th anniversary of this beloved children’s classic. Which […]

Your thing, your dream, your life.

Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. This week I want to talk about dreams. Big, small, comfortable and incredibly scary and all those in between. I’ve always been a girl with big dreams and an even bigger sense of direction and drive in my life. Somehow now that I’m coming […]

Alex Hitz: Southern comfort food with a delightful French twist

Jesse Kornbluth, of, would happily serve you a dinner cooked by Alex Hitz. My quick way to figure out if a cookbook is worth writing about here is to leave it on my wife’s desk for a few days. Then I count how many pages have been turned down. This year’s record has been […]

Time for Tea

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about ritual. Recently, I noticed that there is a group who works in my building that take a break each day between 3 & 5 to have tea and converse. It seems like such a nice way to break up the workday. Do you take time for tea? […]

Candy stripe walls

Morning guys. Welcome to a new Monday. How was your weekend? What did you get up to? I spent my Sunday painting a striped wall- it was quite a technical challenge, but also a lot of fun and very rewarding. Stripes are such a great way to add a statement to a room and they […]

The Book of the Future

You might have seen this darling comic around Pinterest lately or in the New York Times Book review back in April.  When I happened across it for the second time this week, I knew exactly what to write about today: the book of the future. I have very nearly bought a Kindle or Nook at […]

Tift Merritt: She only looks like the girl next door. When she opens her mouth….

Jesse Kornbluth, of, this week bringing Tift Merritt from under the radar. Because it’s fairly obvious I have a soft spot for female writers and musicians, I get more than my share of CDs by female singer-songwriters. Most seem doomed — they’re not Nashville, they’re not pop, and on the few college radio stations […]

What’s your favorite time of year?

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”  -George Eliot Fall is my very favorite time of the year… what about you? I love the colors, the sounds, the smells, everything. I hope you are taking the time […]

House tour: Brooke Shields

Morning guys. I am back and ready to share some Monday morning beauty with you. Sorry about my absence last Monday morning. We had a public holiday here in South-Africa and hubby and I spent the whole day building a bookcase. You can read all about our bookcase misadventure here and here.  But today I […]

Sometimes more is better

Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. This week I have my preacher’s hat on. For my own sake as much as yours.   (Illustration by Ivana Cunja.) Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But to truly, honestly and deeply love yourself isn’t always that easy. We’re inundated with advertisements that play on […]

It’s in the air

Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. This week I want to talk about my absolute favourite season. Autumn. It’s in the air here in Belgium. Autumn has only just arrived with yesterday’s equinox but it’s already gotten a tad colder over the past week and a bit. The leaves are […]

No Such Thing

Once this weekend has come and gone, I am sure my husband, brother-in-law, dad, and whoever else helps us move into our new apartment will beg to differ.  I don’t mean to accumulate books.  It just happens: one here, one there, and suddenly I have no room left on my shelves or the floor next […]

Bob Dylan’s ‘Tempest’ is a stunning, satisfying storm.

Jesse Kornbluth, of, this week delighted to report that you can be 71 and still dazzle. My wife has decreed that we will no longer attend Bob Dylan concerts. I was slow to agree, but I have come around. In live performance, you can hear every one of Dylan’s 71 years. It’s not just […]

A Gal Can Dream (Birthday Edition)

Good Afternoon, English Muse Readers! Today is a very special day! A little birdie told me that it is Tina’s birthday and so I thought we should use this post to celebrate in style. There are so many birthdays in the month of September, and my own (last week) got me thinking about what a […]

The Play’s the Thing

I’ll confess, Romeo and Juliet is not my favorite Shakespeare play.  I’m much more fond of comedy and a wedding at the end of the day.  I do have a soft spot for the play, however, because I find it rather brilliant: the play is a comedy until the death of Mercutio.  “Tis but a scratch!” […]

A doctor who reached back 1,000 years for insight to treat society’s losers has written the non-fiction book of the year

Jesse Kornbluth, of, this week swooning over a gifted doctor and a remarkable hospital. It almost always annoys me when someone who isn’t a professional writer produces a great book, but Victoria Sweet has written the best non-fiction book I’ve read this year and all I wanted to do when I finished reading it […]

A Little Announcement

Hello, English Muse Readers! Today, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you about my brand new website that launched this morning. Secrets of a Belle is all about the art of living a more beautiful life through fashion, food, entertaining, and simple lifestyle choices. Right now, I’m in New York for Fashion […]

Neon bright.

Morning guys. It’s Lelanie here from of Beauty and Love, inspiring you to grab Monday by the horns and have a fabulously creative day. I have a slight case of the Neons, at the moment. I have seen the trend gradually creeping into the wedding and décor worlds. I was very unsure at first, but I have […]

The Dreaded Question

When I tell others that I majored in English or that I want to teach middle school language arts and literature, a certain question often arises.  I dread it every time, even though I’ve crafted a simple answer that is, for the most part, true.  Of course, it is not permanently true; the answer may […]

Simple and true

Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. This week I’ll be talking about something simple that can make a big difference. You know how your parents/grandparents/extended family talk about choosing a profession that you love? They probably also mean a profession they can agree with. Something stable. Something dependable. In certain […]

What Are You Reading?

Friends, I have had a very trying week, full of too many things happening at once.  Some of those things are good, of course–many things, in fact–but I’ve gotten a little lost in the tumble.  I could sure use a good book to read at the moment, and your guys’ suggestions never disappoint. So, everyone, […]

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