Green Adventure and a Giveaway

As most of you already know, I recently spent two amazing weeks in Thailand. While there, I had a chance to explore the Northern region of Chiang Mai, which is where my biological mother has lived all of her life (as did generations before her.)  This scene is from behind my mother’s house, located in the gorgeously green Mae Rim district. The mist and mountains are nothing short of magical.


Down the road from my mother’s house there’s a small village of rustic huts…


…with elephants in the yard.


Also down the road from my mother’s house is the Mae Sa Waterfall.  Here’s a photo of my mother and I walking together through the rainforest towards the falls. It was a rainy day but we were feeling sunny on the inside…just to be together like this.


The Northern countryside is amazing with the mountains and the fertile ground…


…so rich is the soil that the rice grows like weeds.


And the water is just as abundant and life-giving.  It is like a mirror for the sky…the trees…and all the makings of life.


Everything about this peaceful place takes my breath away.


Before leaving for this trip, I had a feeling that there was a great adventure ahead, but I had no idea that it was going to be quite so significant.

And speaking of adventures, Stampington Publications has just come out with a brand new magazine.  The photography within the pages of Bella Grace (which is more like a book) are elegant yet deeply honest and the stories inside are just as rich and full.


This magazine is “devoted to discovering magic in the ordinary” or as the subtitle reads, it’s about capturing the idea that “Life’s a Beautiful Adventure”. To celebrate this wonderful publication, Stampington is doing a blog hop.

As a participant of this blog hop, I’m offering a free copy of Bella Grace as a giveaway.  For a chance to win, simply leave a comment to this post by Saturday, September 6th, and I’ll put your name in the hat.  Then I’ll be back the next day to announce the random winner.

In addition to the magazine, I thought I’d add a little something from my own stash of goodies to the giveaway.  I picked up this pile of locally made antique hand-stitched trim while in Chiang Mai.  I love the well-worn look and have a feeling that many of you would too. So, for this giveaway, I’ll be cutting off the ends of some of the pieces to share. The winner will receive both a copy of Bella Grace as well as some of this trim.


Now that summer has come to a close, I wish you all a fun-filled fall full of adventures.

52 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. deb

    happy September Becky!
    Chiang Mai looks absolutely magical. With misty green mountains, waterfall and elephants … how gorgeous. Lovely photo of you and your mum.
    thank you for your generous giveaway ~ both Bella Grace & hand stitched trim look amazing xo

    September 1st, 2014

  2. Hi Becky! Such beauty here! Lush green, and misty…my favorite! Oh! and elephants…so sweet. Love the photo of you and your Mom. Sounds like it was a lovely holiday! I can’t wait to see a copy of the new Stampington publication Bella Grace! I’ll be picking up a copy soon, but going to wait to see if I might get lucky with your generous giveaway with the fabulous trim! Have a lovely week! It’s been 70’s with a little rain/sun mixed here in Seattle. Still loving life here. 🙂

    September 1st, 2014

  3. Oh Becky what wonderful photos, all that lush greenery and all those heartfelt lasting memories you are creating with your family near and far. I have to say Bella Grace is on my wish list of must have magazines and those trims look Devine. Hope you continue having a great time. Jo xx

    September 1st, 2014

  4. Ronda

    Wow, what a treat to visit Thailand and share your beautiful story with you. Thank you! Your trim looks gorgeous – I can only imagine all the beautiful projects they will become!

    September 1st, 2014

  5. I’m so happy that you had the opportunity to explore such beauty and reconnect with some of your family. Thank you for sharing a bit of the experience with your readers.

    That trim is amazing – such colorful and delicate stitches! The magazine looks lovely, too. Crossing my fingers!

    September 1st, 2014

  6. Jeanette in Illinois

    How wonderful for you and your Mother, what a lovely photo of you both!! I’m so happy for you to have had the blessing of this time together, what a gift.

    Thanks for your gracious spirit and generosity, once again.
    Gentle hugs and love,

    September 2nd, 2014

  7. Becky, I feel a sense
    of peace, calm and
    coolness from this
    lovely post. Thank
    you for sharing what
    must have been a life
    changing and affirming
    trip for you, and congrats
    on your spotlight in the
    beautiful Bella Grace ♥

    xo Suzanne

    September 2nd, 2014

  8. Ariane C.

    The photos from your trip to Thailand are beautiful, especially the purple water lily. What a beautiful country. And what a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with your biological mother. The trims look lovely. Thank you for sharing pieces of them with the winner of this contest and the memories of your trip.

    September 2nd, 2014

  9. Chiang Mai looks absolutely magical and serene! I’ve never heard of it until now. Thank you so much for sharing this special place! Very lovely photo of you and your mother! The strong bond you have with one another is quite obvious. What a blessing to spend this time together.
    Thank you for sharing your sweet spirit 🙂

    September 2nd, 2014

  10. Fonda Rush

    I’m glad you enjoyed your visit and found peace there. What a beautiful piece of the country. The trimmings are gorgeous. I am especially drawn to the brighter blue design in the center, but they are all exquisite. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

    September 2nd, 2014

  11. Patti Parks

    Becky, Your photos brought me beautiful memories of Chang Mai! I think i know that elephant! We traveled there a couple years ago and loved exploring up into the mountains and riding the elephant through the forest. Your trims are beautiful & thank you for a chance to win the goodies!

    September 2nd, 2014

  12. I love Thailand, especially Chiang Mai. It’s such a contrast to Bangkok. I look at your lovely pictures and it brings back happy memories of a beautiful country. The terraced gardens in the North just took my breath away and the elephants made me smile!

    September 2nd, 2014

  13. Meg

    What a beautiful place. It’s definitely going on my travel list. I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit. I am a new reader and am enjoying your blog and your gentle wisdom very much. Thank you for sharing with us.

    September 2nd, 2014

  14. nancyjean

    dear Becky, What an amazing journey … elephants in the front yard? Just reading your blog post made me feel a sense of calm and wonder. Bella Grace sounds like an amazing publication from all the things I have read about it in blogland. thank you for the chance to win …

    September 2nd, 2014

  15. Tina zappone

    What an amazing adventure! Such a generous and kind soul you are. I always feel peaceful after reading your posts.

    September 2nd, 2014

  16. Laura

    Your photos are lovely. Thank you for sharing your trip. To be a part of two very different cultures must truly be amazing.

    September 2nd, 2014

  17. Deborah

    You definitely had a wonderful adventure. Thank you for sharing it. This is a great give away!

    September 2nd, 2014

  18. Kim McM

    Your photographs are lovely. I especially liked your saying that the water was like a mirror. That’s beautiful. Thank you for the giveaway!

    September 2nd, 2014

  19. Becky – thank you for sharing a window into your personal journey. I recently lost my mother and I too am on a journey of the heart. Your photos are breathtaking and “with elephants in the yard.” – swoon. The hand stitching is such beautiful pieces of art. Best, Kim

    September 2nd, 2014

  20. Sue

    Can’t imagine an elephant in my backyard, when we are used to cows and horses, dogs and cats, chickens and ducks. 🙂 What an experience for all the senses! The scenery? well, simply breath taking, another overload. Your little mom, you both look wonderful in the rain 🙂
    Excellent post, kept me wanting more of your beautiful Thailand. I thank you for sharing and for the chance to win some delicate trim and a new mag! 🙂 Have a great Tuesday

    September 2nd, 2014

  21. Linda K

    oh what a beautiful place you were able to enjoy Becky. You and your mom look so very happy. I would have been delighted to no end to have an elephant in my back yard 🙂 Bella Grace sounds like a very beautiful magazine. Thank you for your generous giveaway, and those gorgeous trims….I think they’d make a lovely addition to prayer flags.

    September 2nd, 2014

  22. Michelle Grace

    What a lovely adventure!! How inspiring it must be to be in such a magical place!!! Thank you for sharing your story and your travels!!! This magazine looks lovely, too!! One of my best friends had a little girl last December and her name is Bella Grace, so I’m totally intrigued!!!

    September 2nd, 2014

  23. laura H

    Oh, Becky, what a beautiful experience. Sharing with your birth mother her roots, and yours-what a gift. I’m so glad you were able to reconnect again. This magazine looks stunning. Thank you for being so generous, and the trim, what a treat to come across it. Have a good week.

    September 2nd, 2014

  24. Melanie LeGrand

    Becky, what lovely photos. They speak of untold words. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for you to visit the little village and see the past becoming the present as you shared it with your mom. So neat. I love the trims. I just want to run my fingers through the textures and colors!! Thank you for the chance to win both generous gifts. Congrats on your feature in Bella Grace. I look forward to reading it. xo melanie

    September 2nd, 2014

  25. Becky Shander

    Hi Ladies…and thanks for the sweet comments. And Melanie, just to clarify a bit. I’m not featured in this issue of Bella Grace (I’m just a participant in the blog hop).

    September 2nd, 2014

  26. Wow, what a lovely post! I, too am planning a trip to my Mother’s homeland of Hawaii to meet her family for the first time. Would be sweet to have Bella Grace along for my journey:) My Mama has passed, but it is going to be an incredible adventure. Thank you for sharing yours. Aloha

    September 2nd, 2014

  27. Jani Howe

    What beautiful memories you and your mother made in that softly-shaded, green and growing magical place, Becky. I am sure your Mother treasures every minute spent with you, as do you with her. It warms my heart to think of the moments you had together, with her proudly showing you around in her land and home. Thanks again for sharing your time there.

    September 2nd, 2014

  28. Linda Benson

    Discovered these beautiful photos on a very hot, humid day. What a pleasure to let my mind travel through the cool green countryside you visited.

    The elephant was an unexpected surprise!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win both generous gifts.

    September 2nd, 2014

  29. Kif

    that would have been an incredible trip. so magical and meaningful.

    love learning about this new magazine.

    happy september!

    September 2nd, 2014

  30. Becky, thank you for sharing your personal journey to your homeland with us. I can’t imagine the emotions you must have experienced during your visit. The sharing of stories, experiences and feeling their love is such a blessed gift.

    I love the photo of you and your mother; you both radiate so much love and tenderness.

    Thank you for letting us know about the new magazine. The last time I went to a book store was to meet a very special woman, so I’m not aware of all the latest books.

    Your amazing adventure gave my heart a warm hug.

    Thank you as always for sharing your heart and soul with us,


    September 2nd, 2014

  31. Gayle

    Looks like a fabulous magazine that would really spark my creativity!

    September 2nd, 2014

  32. Rita Montgomery

    Dear Becky, I’m so happy for you to have reconnected with your mom. I pray you will be able to go back again sometime for another visit. Your trims are yummy. Thanks for the great giveaway. Take care of yourself.

    September 3rd, 2014

  33. Ann Marie

    What? They get to have elephants as pets there? Man! It truly looks like a serene and peaceful place — I’d love to visit one day! Thanks for sharing!

    September 3rd, 2014

  34. J.B.

    Thank you for sharing your Soul Journey ~ your photos give such a sense of peace and beauty. I’m so glad you and your mother could reconnect with the land of your ancestors. What a beautiful story and gift for all of us who yearn to know our mothers and the land.

    September 3rd, 2014

  35. Love the trims!!

    September 3rd, 2014

  36. LoriSW

    Your trip looks and sounds marvelous! Thanks for the chance to win that gorgeous trim along with Bella Grace. ~Lori

    September 3rd, 2014

  37. Thank you for sharing your trip through your words and beautiful photos.

    September 4th, 2014

  38. Michele Stuart

    So beautiful, thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    September 4th, 2014

  39. What a lovely story!

    September 4th, 2014

  40. Thank you for sharing your journey! Your photos are beautiful as is the trim collection.

    September 4th, 2014

  41. Thank you for sharing your experience through your lovely words and images, and congratulation on your publication in Bella Grace!

    September 5th, 2014

  42. Your photos and description match the beauty of this region I have never visited. I can sense the Joy you are feeling by visiting your mother. How very sweet to offer a Bella Grace publication and some of those beautiful trims. I shall look forward to enjoying the Bella Grace hop. Creative Blessings Bliss Dear…

    September 5th, 2014

  43. Karen Mary

    What beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing. Textiles and books make my heart sing, so thanks, too, for the opportunity to win those!

    September 6th, 2014

  44. Denise Howard

    Lovely, so lush and green and misty, what an adventure! The picture of you and your mother under the umbrella is so, so sweet. Thank you for sharing and for your generosity!!

    September 6th, 2014

  45. Catherine Gelaude

    So much beauty and lushness in the Thailand Countryside. My brother has traveled there numerous times and would like to retire there someday — after reading your story and viewing your photos, I have a better understanding of the peacefulness he talks about. My favorite photo was the one of you and your mother — how blessed you are to spend time together. TheChiang Mai handmade trims are beautiful — thank you for the opportunity to win them and the copy of Bella Grace.

    September 7th, 2014

  46. PhaeLea

    Looks Iike an amazing trip! So beautiful!

    September 7th, 2014

  47. Oh, this post makes me happy! What a glorious setting-it looks magical~
    I am thrilled you were able to go and be there-with each other embracing the now~

    I love the photo of you and your mother~

    Lush, green goodness for all!

    September 9th, 2014

  48. I know I am too late for the contest but wanted to say I was recently in Chiang Mai and loved it! So sweet that you were able to visit where your mom lived – what an extra special visit for you. Love the elephant at the back window!

    September 12th, 2014

  49. Mindy

    Just had a chance to read this….how beautiful. I know you had a special time with your momma.

    September 17th, 2014

  50. What a growing time for you, Becky, and such wonderful time with your Mother! I am so very pleased to hear your visit was so enriching.
    I still have to respond to your last email, sorry for the delay- my reply is long so I’m just taking my time to really be present with my heart and mind.

    October 3rd, 2014

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