How much tea can one pour from a pot without refilling it? No matter the capacity of the container, sooner or later it will empty of it is not replenished.  The same can be said of the compassion of women.  As wives, mothers, friends and community members women often work selflessly and tirelessly to meet the needs of others while neglecting their own need to be nurtured.

Ellen Michaud has focused her life on celebrating and supporting strong women who support others.   Her latest book, Blessed: Living a Grateful Life, Michaud invites her readers to explore and enjoy the everyday blessings that surround us.  Replenishing our own reservoirs of strength needn’t take weeks or days or even hours.  A few moments spent here and there truly noticing and appreciating our family, friends, community, and environment can fulfill us in ways no vacation ever can.

Each chapter in Blessed is a story unto itself complete with refreshment for our souls and lessons on embracing our blessings.  Each reading is a two to three page vacation from our own daily stress.  I have enjoyed these readings every morning either with or in place of my daily devotional.

About the Book:
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. 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.
Ellen & Meggie -- photo by Peter Chin

Ellen & Meggie photo by Peter Chin

About the Author:
Ellen Michaud is an award-winning author and editor who lives high in the mountains of Vermont. Her work focuses on women’s stories, and has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, Health Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Men’s Health, Readers’ Digest Magazine, and Prevention Magazine, where she was the editor-at-large for six years. Today she not only writes for these and other media, she is also an online columnist at MyCurves.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Ruby Mansuri of FSB Associates.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com. Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.


About the author

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.

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