Peace and Plenty and a Craving for Cake

Sorry for the late post. My assistant and I had to run errands this morning.

Apparently, I’m in a fashion show next week as part of a ladies who lunch thingy and have a fitting this Friday. Of course, I can think of nothing but cake for breakfast, even though I never eat cake for breakfast and am not really that fond of cake at all. It’s simply the prospect of the catwalk that is causing my cake lust.

Well, today it’s Type Tuesday. I finished reading Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I read Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance when it was hitting the New York Times’ best sellers list and was interested to see that she’s written something on financial peace. I assumed she was still the wealthy woman she was when hanging around the Oprah set, but it turns out that her most recent husband was a bit of a cad and left her in vastly diminished circumstances. She went from owning homes around the globe, including Newton’s Chapel in the UK, to couch-surfing with family. She knows of which she writes.

For any woman who is getting back on her feet after a setback – divorce, death of a spouse, job loss, illness –  this is essential reading. Ban Breathnach has read dozens of books on financial management and stacks of magazines from the great depression, geared towards helping the homemaker make ends meet on a very austere budget. This book not only offers practical advice but also helps to heal the hurt that both stems from and contributes to women’s financial setbacks. She deals with the emotional and spiritual side of money and asks us to think less about spending and saving and more to consider financial stewardship.

As a designer with a personal interest in reversal-of-fortune chic, I love how Ban Breathnach focuses on how you can live a life of abundance on very little. I also love how she quotes smart women who’ve walked the same path like Rumer Godden and Dorothy Parker. If you feel alone in your reversal-of-fortune struggle, she assures you that you are in fabulous company.

I always dog-ear pages that speak to me and half the book has folded corners. Here are some snippets of the wisdom she offers:

There is really only one way to deal with Misery. Accept her presence. Like most experiences in life, we must acknowledge the passage gracefully and let her move through our lives because she brings with her a hidden gift. But we must be patient enough for her to reveal it.


When the slight, strange ligaments of fate strip us bare of everything we thought we held dear, when we are cornered to defend what we cherish, when we are forced to say to the world, “Thus far and no farther,” this is how we finally create a life based on contentment, sanity, and serenity, even if it comes without a committed relationship, Barbie’s dream kitchen or prodigious funding.


If you can accept the priceless spiritual gift hidden in this season of relinquishment, you will know peace and plenty that the world and all its stock markets cannot take away.

Brilliant advice. And advice I’m taking. Reading this book helped give me the courage to finish my business book, sign up for school and launch my own decorating business.

I’m continuing to read the terrific Mended, and will do a wrap up post in the next week or so since time is tight today.

Take care of yourselves.

Until tomorrow,


  1. Thanks for your sweet comment! Your assistant is adorable, kinda a fav around here as far as (pets) assistants go!Hope your space is coming along! I have been doing some back reading here & it looks like a ton of fun to be working on!


  2. Thanks! It is fun to work on. And yes, I adore my assistant. I'm glad I saw the magazine and discovered a great new blog to read!


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