Find Ideas for Inspired Living from House of Fifty

     It’s time for a little R&R as I recharge my batteries with my family.  I’ve got some plans that should energize my creative juices.  If you are looking for inspiration while I am off, you need look no farther than the new on-line magazine, House of Fifty.


     I am still not 100% sold on the idea of on-line magazines.  Some of the kinks still need to be worked out, especially for the ipad.  There’s nothing I love better than curling up in a comfy chair or on my bed to enjoy the glossy pages of a brand new issue.  Unfortunately, these recessionary times have killed some beautiful periodicals.  The idea of the on-line monthly (Rue being a leader) definitely has its place, and it gives the opportunity for those outside of traditional publishing circles to find their voice in our digital world.  The direct product links are a bonus, too.

     Being close to becoming a woman of a certain age myself, House of Fifty is definitely appealing but not in a geriatric sense.  The founding editor, a very youthful looking Janell Beals, describes the purpose of House of Fifty best in her “Letter from the Editor” for the second issue,

Deciding to launch this magazine was the best solution I could dream up to address the fact I would be turning fifty this past summer:  if I didn’t create opportunities for myself, who would?  I wanted, and needed, to enter this new decade with excitement and a feeling of promise about the future, as opposed to finding myself a woman whose best days were perhaps behind her.  It was with this hope for me, and for women of all ages, who are striving to live their best life, that the idea of a publication which would focus on finding inspiration in the everyday came about.

     For very similar reasons, I launched this blog, and I found so many other ideas that I could relate to in this digital delight.  At least three of my favorite bloggers are featured in the second issue:  Lauren Leiss of Pure Style Home, Kate from Centsational Girl  about taking pictures and our own local Richmond blogger extraordinaire, Laura Trevey of Bright, Bold and Beautiful.  If you find yourself with some extra time, take a look at House of Fifty.  You are sure to find some inspiration for you own life.


Happy Father’s Day Via Garden & Gun

     Happy Father’s Day to all the dads whom I know.  To my children’s uncles, I do hope that your Father’s Day cards arrived on time.  With all of the graduation activities of the past couple of weeks, Father’s Day snuck up on me, but our best wishes for a wonderful day are timely and sincere.

In case your card was late . . . .

     I will get to see my dad again tomorrow, so we will celebrate his fatherhood then.  I have been truly blessed with a great father.  He is the epitome of the self-made man.  An all-around athlete, he put himself through college and law school with athletic, ROTC and every other scholarship that he could find.  By taking advantage of his physical abilities, he was able to train his mind and build a well-respected and successful legal career.  He is an inspiring example for his children and grandchildren of what hard-work, persistence and determination can create.

     My dad is a tough guy by nature.  For him everything was always a competition.  In an ironic twist of fate, though, he was given three daughters.  He raised us well, and I like to think that we helped him find his gentle side, which we have seen him reveal to his grandchildren whom he adores.

     When it comes to gift-giving, his present usually provides the biggest conundrum, no matter the holiday.  In his mid-70s, he has everything that he wants or needs and, in fact, he has reached the point where he wants to purge rather than accumulate.  Though I appreciate this desire, I love giving gifts and am always searching for the “perfect” one.

     I am hoping that this Father’s Day I have found it.  I’ve mentioned before that my new favorite magazine is Garden & Gun.  Well, guess what subscription he is getting?  He can recycle it when he finishes an issue, but it is the kind of magazine that many people will want to keep.

My accumulated collection

     The name of the magazine is a bit misleading.  Garden & Gun is not all about harvesting and hunting.  While it contains its share of odes to the perfect field dog, its pages celebrate the South in all of its beauty and eccentricities.

     Though my dad is not a deerhunter and mowing the grass and trimming the hedges is about the only gardening that he has ever done, I do believe Garden & Gun will appeal to him.  First, the magazine itself is beautiful to touch and hold.  More of a matte finish than a glossy, the pages have physical heft.  Second, its contributors include some of the best writers in the South, including Roy Blunt, jr., Clyde Edgerton, Lee Smith and one of my personal favorites, Julia ReedJon Meacham, Rick Bragg (with whom I once shared a hilarious lunch), Tom Brokaw, Logan Ward and Dominique Browning have also graced the pages of Garden & Gun with their varied styles and points of view.  The stories often contain in-depth portraits of the people, places and things that make the South so unique.  I know that my dad will love the spread in the current issue about Chattanooga, where we spent 10 wonderful years when I was a teen.

     My dad is Yankee born and bred, but after almost 30 years of southern living, he wouldn’t reside anywhere but in the South.  Now a proud and active citizen of the state of South Carolina, I am confident that he will appreciate this magazine, which is published up the road from him in Charleston.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad!  I hope that you find moments of pleasure in the pages of Garden & Gun.  As your daughter, that is the least and yet the best that I can hope to give you.