Where’s your next trip? Paris maybe?

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. ~ Saint  Augustine

I love that inspiring quote and use it often to give myself extra permission to do the thing I’m crazy for — travel!

To visit a new place, learn history and culture, see how others live, and get a new perspective on my own life exhiliarates me.  How about you? Do you love to go away and lose yourself (or find yourself!) in another place?

I’ve been to Antarctica, India and Egypt.  But I’ve never been to Zanzibar, Zagreb or Zurich. I sometimes worry I won’t have enough time in my life to go everywhere I want to go! What’s the next big trip on your agenda?

Wherever you go, I hope you will share your travel dreams with us so we can cheer you on — and maybe even live vicariously through you.

In 2012, one of the highlights of my travels was when Woman on Fire Doni Belau, the founder of Girls’ Guide to Paris, and I took a group of women to PARIS! It was life-changing.

For the women who went, they made lifetime friendships and figured out next steps in their lives, all while celebrating, devouring and luxuriating in what is so historic, gorgeous and feminine about Paris!

Because you are here, you know that being a Woman on Fire is about creating transformation in your life — and nothing does that quite like leaving your everyday environment to take a fresh look at yourself. All while surrounding yourself with a powerful and uplifting circle of support.

You’ve got to see this delightful video that Woman on Fire Meredith Schoenberger created from our last Women on Fire trip to Paris with Becky Adams, Lisa Umberger Arundale, Kim Davis, Jill Dulitsky, Angela Ittu, Susan Kruger, Tandi Musuraca, Michelle Whittaker, Jamie Eslinger, Doni and me.

Want to travel to Paris with Women on Fire?

Women on Fire are headed back to Paris in 2014.  And you are invited (just in case Paris is one of your big travel dreams, too!)

We will take 20 of you on two different trips (10 women on each trip) next April and May.  Many of you are already on our Paris list for more information.  If you’re not on the list and want to be considered to join us, be sure to let  meredith@womenonfire.com know your interest so we can be in touch with you.

Soon we will be sending everyone on the list a brief application and then registration will begin soon after.

I hope the video inspires you to think about your next trip — whether it is Prague, Patagonia or with us to Paris!

Have a phenomenal week and I’ll see Women on Fire members on our LIVE CHAT at 8PM Eastern on Tuesday. I’ll share tips on The Power of Your Story — And Why It’s Important to Share Yours.

Members also should receive this week September’s CD package 9 Questions To Ask Yourself To Live An Extraordinary Life. Hope you enjoy!


Links That Light Us Up

Welcome to our new feature “Links That Light Us Up.”

At Women on Fire, we are so fortunate to hear about or experience the latest in — practically everything!  From new recipes, restaurants and products to blogs, articles and books.  If it has a link, and we love it and think you would, too, we’ll be sharing here.

Let us know what you think and please feel free to send us any links that “light up” your life. 🙂

So, here we go …let’s start with something yummy!

Best Dessert — We’re ready to ditch the traditional campfire and say YES to S’mores any day (maybe every day). This S’mores Sundae was created by our own Woman On Fire member Phoebe Lapine.  Phoebe is a cookbook author and writes one of our all-time favorite blogs — Feed Me Phoebe.

Feed Me Phoebe's Smore's SUNDAES[pinit]

Best Desk Accessory — These Paris-themed pencils from Amanda Catherine Designs have us inspired to break out our stationery and communicate the old-fashioned way. Can anyone say Women On Fire Paris 2014?? (We are going…so stay tuned for a link on that in the future!) In the meantime, scribble away, mon amies.

Paris Pencils via Amanda Catherine Designs[pinit]

Best Summer Movie Guide – Congratulations to a Women on Fire favorite — author Judy Blume for her first movie release, based on one of her beloved books, Tiger Eyes. It’s terrific family entertainment! Head to the theater or rent it on iTunes. For all your summer movie watching, here’s a great guide to the blockbusters of Summer 2013.

Tiger Eyes Movie from Judy Blume[pinit]

Best New Travel App — What screams Summer louder than the idea of a ROAD TRIP!? Roadtrippers allows you to plan a road trip from start to finish, including best route, projected gas cost, restaurants, points of interest, scenic viewpoints, accommodations, etc. They also have hundreds of pre-planned routes for every part of the country. We’re sold! And we didn’t even have to be: it’s free!

Roadtrippers.com- best free roadtrip app[pinit]

Best Smoothie — This Tropical Pineapple, Mango & Orange Smoothie from Iowa Girl Eats looked so good, we ran to the store as fast as we could for the ingredients. How could we say no that gorgeous color!? (And, it was as heavenly tasting as it looks!)

Tropical Pineapple Mango Smoothie via Iowa Girl Eats[pinit]

Best Spot to Sit — How about a little virtual vacation? Check out these 30 places you’d rather be sitting right now. Jaw-dropping would be an understatement.

30 spots we would rather be sitting right now via Buzzfeed[pinit]

Best Puppy Picture — We just want to squeeeeze this little fur ball.

frenchie pup[pinit]

Best Print — Don’t these wine prints just make you happy?! Perfectly charming in any kitchen, they also would make an amazing gift. We think our resident wine expert Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach, would certainly approve!

Anatomy of Wine Prints[pinit]

Best ‘You Go, Girl’ Documentary — If you haven’t yet heard of MAKERS, be prepared to drop everything to watch these mesmerizing videos of illuminating women. These stories of trailblazing women will inspire you on your own journey. Here’s an example:


Let us know what you liked. Until next time, we hope these links light you up!


Women On Fire




For love of a great haircut

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. ~ St. Augustine


Yesterday I returned from Paris where 11 Women on Fire experienced the trip of a lifetime together.

We laughed and cried.  Listened and empathized.  Honored and celebrated.

We experienced days with four desserts! And, evenings with fine French food and wine.

Every woman on the trip carried a full plate prior to coming on the trip.  So, for each of us, Paris was a chance to stop, to breathe and re-calibrate our lives, and then to return home inspired and re-invigorated.

Years ago, a very talented colleague of mine, the writer Sue Ann Jones, referred to fashion or life make-overs as “The Before. The After. And, After The After.”

And, so it occurs to me that there are at least three powerful stages we go through in moving toward our dreams and deepest desires.

First, there is the excitement, the notion, the possibility of a goal or dream that inspires you to something better or greater for your life.

Take the paris trip, for example.  Several women on the adventure wanted to have a fun experience with other women; others wanted to take a break from overwork and overwhelm; still others wanted to “re-do” Paris after an unpleasant past experience.

Each one listened to the inkling or desire to follow her heart.  (Is there something in your life right now tickling your imagination?)

Next, there is taking action to make it happen.  You may launch a business, go on a vacation, move to another city.

With the Paris women, they signed up for the trip and started to plan.

And, finally, there is the reflection after the experience.  In this stage, you receive the wisdom, feel the glow, and apply the experience to a new and improved life.

For the women who went on the trip, I watched us each transform in a magical way, and I saw the three stages at work in us all.

Going to Paris was a lifetime dream of mine, and the trip proved to hold dreams within dreams.

One of them was my own “Before. After. And After The After.”

For a while now, I have been wishing for a new look.   Something different, but I had no clue what exactly.  It was just an inkling.

And, in Paris, with the help of renowned magazine cover hair and make-up stylist Rita Dell’Orco, my wish came true!


The Before

Rita Dell’Orco working her magic

The After

And, finally, After The After – living with the new

Wherever you are with your dream – maybe life has gotten in the way; maybe you need support and nourishment; maybe you need confidence – you can be assured  the stirrings inside you are waiting for expression.

And, perhaps something as simple as a new haircut you love, will get things moving in the right direction for you!

Keep us all posted on your dreams and goals in the comments section below.

Angels to each other

Hello from Paris!

This past week has been the long-awaited, much anticipated Women on Fire trip and Vision Day® in Paris.

It’s been magnificent and I hope you’ve seen the many posts about our trip on Facebook and Twitter.  We want to share as much of this magnificent adventure with you as possible.

It was a deeply touching week here in Paris – and I’ll tell you why.

You might think it was seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time …or eating at the Michelin 2-star Restaurant Helene Darroze … or learning to ride Segways and buzzing about the streets of Paris.

Paris by Segway! We had a blast zipping about Paris on Segways. The 11 Women on Fire from left to right: Susan Kruger Woodcock, Jill Dulitsky, Angela Ittu, Tandi Musuraca, Doni Belau, Debbie Phillips, Lisa Umberger Arundale, Michelle Whittaker, Kim Davis, Becky Adams and Jamie Eslinger

Or you might think it was shopping the fresh markets with a French chef. Then taking the ingredients back to his cooking school kitchen to learn how to whip up from appetizer-to-dessert (including cheese and wine) the most fabulous French meal.


But no.  What was most deeply satisfying was something else.

The 11 women on this trip spent the week in Paris together sharing our dreams, our hopes, our challenges.  We listened to each other; comforted each other; cheered each other on.

That we could come together in this nurturing way was more touching and inspiring to me than anything else on this trip.

My best friend Jan Allen and I always say of each other, “as best friends, we take notes about life and share them each other.”

And, that is what happened when 11 women, most of whom did not even know each other before Paris, came together to share love, life, work, motherhood, dreams and goals.

More than one woman said to me over these past few days in Paris, “I had no idea how much I need the company of other women.”

So here in Paris, we laughed and cried and celebrated and turned our attention to next steps forward in our lives.

While you don’t have to fly to Paris for support like this (although I certainly would not stop you!).

Please know that sometimes it takes getting away in a purposeful and planned way to stop and take stock and breathe again.  And to be in the company of and to hear from other women to see the way forward.


What I would want for you are loving and caring women to spend time with regularly; women who cheer you on; women who accept you for you; women who celebrate how far you’ve come; and women who believe you and your dreams.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~ Jane Howard (1935-1996)

With love to you from Paris ~

Countdown to croissants!

Do you ever fear your dreams may not happen?

I do myself sometimes.

Like losing weight.  I’ve tried everything under the sun to return to my svelte self of my 30s.  I eat healthy.  Walk at least 3-4 times a week.  Skip bread and pasta.  Never eat fast food.  Meditate on “releasing” extra pounds.

Still, the scales never budge and those 30 extra pounds hug me tight.

Oh, well…more on that in the future.  I’m not giving up.

In the meantime, I have plenty of other dreams coming true!

And, tomorrow one of them is happening.

This little Eiffel Tower box of soaps, a gift from Woman on Fire Angela Ittu, has been my daily reminder that my dream of going to Paris is coming true!

I’m going to PARIS for the first time ever – and taking 10 Women on Fire with me!!

And, this experience-of-a-lifetime all grew when one woman who was “burned out” — and unsure how to make a living doing what she really loved — decided to follow her spark

Doni Belau, on the right, and I during one of our lunches to plan the upcoming trip to take Women on Fire to Paris!

Several years ago, Doni Belau attended a Women on Fire Tea in New York City.  And, as we always do at a tea, each participant shares what she is “on fire” about – or not.

Doni was the last woman to speak that day. When it was her turn, she was a little sad and very thoughtful.  “I must admit,” said, “I am burned out.”

She went on to say that listening to the plans, enthusiasm and joy of other women “on fire” about their lives inspired her to think of a step forward.

“So, I’m going to take a sabbatical — and go to France,” she announced to the cheers of everyone else!

You see, Doni loved all things French and possessed great knowledge of France and Paris, in particular.  Up to that point, it was only an avocation.  To make a living, she was in a totally different line of work as a consultant.

And, so she arranged to go to France for a few weeks.

When she returned, she knew what she wanted to do!  She would start a travel website and a business to host trips for women to Paris.

In 2009, The Girls’ Guide To Paris with all the latest happenings in The City of Light was born.  Today, Doni even has her own radio program on Overseas Radio Network.

And, now we are going to Paris…a dream and celebration for the women on the trip.

Thanks to Doni, who made her own powerful dream come true, there will be 11 Women on Fire in Paris next week riding Segways, sipping tea at Laduree, preparing a meal under the tutelage of French chefs — and many, many other activities!

We will be celebrating life and fun and our own next steps in life. The process of dreaming big starts all over again for the women on the trip.

I’m smiling at the ripple effect of one woman pursuing her BIG dream and the joy it is bringing now to us and so many others.

And, don’t worry, we won’t lose touch with you while we’re away. We’ll check in on Facebook, on Jamie Eslinger’s daily blog, and on this blog, so you can come along for the ride, too!

What is your big dream?  How will you make it happen?  What do you need for inspiration, strategies and support?

For me, I’m actually hoping that going to Paris will inspire the strategy I need next to lose a few pounds – double cafe mocha with chantilly and pain au chocolat, anyone? 😉

When loss happens far from home

On occasion, I’ll read a blog post that stops me in my tracks.

In this exquisitely touching tribute, our own Debi Lilly, writing from Paris, shares a wife’s heartache, a mother’s fierce love, a photographer’s eye and a daughter-in-law’s deep and abiding respect.

Debi takes us on a hauntingly beautiful and emotional journey of how she faced the day when the awful thing we fear happening happens – and we are thousands of miles from home.

Click here for Debi’s post

Have you faced a similar situation? How did you cope?  What did you learn from the way Debi guided her children? Please share your comments below.