Blessed: Living a Grateful Life


Sometimes we just need to stop for a moment and absorb the quiet moments in the world around us--to take a deep breath and appreciate the things in life that make us thankful and bring us joy. Blessed is a call to do just that. In this heartfelt collection of her online columns from Diane, the flagship magazine of the Curves women's fitness center organization, author Ellen Michaud reminds us of the everyday blessings that surround us, but we ...
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Blessed: Living a Grateful Life

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Sometimes we just need to stop for a moment and absorb the quiet moments in the world around us--to take a deep breath and appreciate the things in life that make us thankful and bring us joy. Blessed is a call to do just that. In this heartfelt collection of her online columns from Diane, the flagship magazine of the Curves women's fitness center organization, author Ellen Michaud reminds us of the everyday blessings that surround us, but we all tend to overlook.

Entries include:

Summer in a Jar: On a 200- acre farm known for its Jersey cows and prizewinning cheese, two women harvest a cornucopia of produce that looks like it came from the Garden of Eden. Although the visit was intended to pick up ingredients for "one of the finest salsas in the near world," the end result is a view of a fertile valley, the rich smell of vegetables freshly tugged from the earth that speaks to the soul, and the natural rhythm of friendly conversation.

The Teapot: During a snowy winter storm, the author pulls her great- grandmother's worn silver teapot down from a shelf. As she polishes the teapot's tarnished surface, she contemplates its long journey over an ocean and through the generations. As she discovers engraved hallmarks that lead to a deeper understanding of its 200-year history, her appreciation for the women who traveled with it grows.

Welcome Home: As an Airbus 321 begins its descent toward the coastal lights of Los Angeles International Airport, the pilot makes an overhead announcement that stills the restless and rustling passengers. What follows are moments of contemplation about the sacrifices of soldiers and, how regardless of one's politics, there is still a shared sense of love and respect for those who fight for our freedom.

The Courage to Change: After a lifetime of self-built barriers, the author's 88-year-old aunt overcomes discouraging memories and years of grief to prove that it's never too late to open yourself to new experiences, take risks, and start over.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606524909
  • Publisher: Reader's Digest Association, Incorporated, The
  • Publication date: 4/12/2012
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 982,520
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

 Ellen Michaud is an award-winning author who creates magazines, books, and website content that nurtures women. She has contributed articles to the New York Times, Washington Post, Better Homes and Gardens, Health Magazine, and is the former editor-at-large for Prevention Magazine. She authored Sleep to be Sexy, Smart, and Slim, along with several cookbooks, and writes the online monthly column “Blessed” for Diane Magazine at She lives in Bristol, Vermont.


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Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Introduction 10

A Quiet Space

A Time to Listen 14

The Perfect Apple Pie 16

By the Sea 19

Summer in a Jar 21

The Quiet Time 24

The Storm 26

Finding Meaning

Welcome Home 30

A Faith Community 33

A Vermont Thanksgiving 35

Cleaning House 38

Digging in the Past 42

Christmas Fire 45

The Teapot 47

Making a Difference

A Philadelphia Wedding 52

Girls Matter 55

Gracie's Friend 58

I Love Frankie 62

The Heart and Soul of Dorothy Selebwa 64

The Cookbook 68

The K9 Connection 72

Jambo! 74

A Christmas Blessing 77

Village 2 Village 80

One Day, One Thousand Dresses 84

Eat, Pray, Knit 87

Swapping Fire for the Sun 91

Reinventing Who You Are

The Secret 96

The Perfect Weight-Loss Motivator 99

Survival 102

The Courage to Change 105

An Iowa Perspective 108

Faith @ Home 110

Are You Living the Life You Were Meant to Live? 112

The Farm Market 115

The New Frugality 119

Women Who Ride the Dragon 122

How Much is Enough? 126

A Celebration of Friends & Family

A Garden for My Mother 132

Love in a Pyrex Bowl 135

The Lady 137

Traveling with Pots 139

The Ladies of North Coventry 142

A Good Community 144

The Garden Club 147

Dinner by the Lake 149

A Woman's Strength 152

The Gruesome Twosome Ride Again 155

The Lady's Song 157

A Vermont Season 160

My Secret Garden 162

Ted's Gloves 165

Auntie's Dilemma 167

The September Garden 170

Acknowledgments 174

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful book

    What a wonderful little book that really does remind us of all of the daily blessings that we often miss because of our busy lives. In her writings the author reminds us of how our lives just might be a blessing to others, but more than that reminded me just how Blessed that I truly am, as I go along in my daily life, I often fail to notice the little things. In this book the author shares stories that encouraged me to start noticing the extra- ordinary in ordinary days, because blessings abound all around us, if we only open our eyes and hearts to notice them.
    This book is broken down into five topical sections, they are a quiet space, finding meaning,making a difference,reinventing who you are, and a celebration of family and friends. Each topics are further broken down and have several mini stories that will uplift and inspire you.
    Ms. Michaud, has the amazing ability to paint a vivid picture as she weaves her words together in the stories she shares. Several of her stories really stick out in my mind, such as "A Time To Listen," she tells the reader about sitting in her backyard enjoying the sound of a chickadee. In "The Perfect Apple Pie", a trip to an apple orchard has the author reminiscing about her grandmother, and in the "Garden Club" the author shares the immense blessing of spending a Tuesday afternoon weeding and tending garden with a group of senior citizens at a rehab facility. These are just a few of the stories that will enlighten and inspire the reader to find the joy in simple things, because truly we are Blessed.
    This book would make a wonderful gift, the pretty cover hints at the beautiful stories that the reader will find inside.

    I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

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    great book with short stories

    This book is really great to have beside your chair or bed to pick up when you need a little something to boost your thoughts. It is broken down into chapters that are really a little mini story of its own. This could be a book you may want to share or give as a gift, as it has a presentation page in the front. It has a nice "Spring" look to the book with its greens and blues. Each page is framed by a green floral border.

    This is the first book I have read by Ellen Michaud and I really enjoyed it. She has a way with her writing that you can sit and read it over and over.

    Thanks to the people at FSB Associates for sending me this copy to read and review.

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