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Vintage photo of 5 women dancing on the beachWhen I started on this blogging escapade, I had no idea where it would take me. I didn’t think beyond the idea of reviewing books, movies and lipsticks. To be honest, I didn’t know if I could write well enough to engage readers. I’d spent my life painting and drawing. So facing a blank computer screen was daunting. But a writer friend said, “If you write. You’re a writer.” Was it that easy? I decided to go for it!

I was rather astounded when my readers responded enthusiastically to my stories about kissing wolves in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, sailing on a yacht off St, Tropez with Albert Finney and shaking hands with Steve Jobs during lunch at Apple! (I hadn’t even told some of these stories to my children.)
Beyond the gratification of reaching people was the delight in making friends every where. I had not anticipated the friendships that would develop with my fellow bloggers in Paris, Provence, Canada, Europe, all over the world. It’s incredible how close many of us have become. We all support one another and share in each other’s joys and sorrows. Some friends are ill, very ill. Some are new parents or grandparents.We support each other in any way we can.

I’d recently made a new blogging buddy quite by accident. I was reading a post in a blog link up (one blogger hosts a link up where everyone writes on the same topic selected usually by the host) when I saw this elegant woman feeding chickens in Tuileries Garden. Her name is Elizabeth Kirkpatrick but she goes by the name of La Contessa. I call her  Auntie Mame. Her site is The Vintage Contessa.

La Contessa feeding chickens in the Tuileries Gardens

Photograph: Carla Coulson Photography

Her writing style is eclectic to say the least. She writes in capital letters and exclamation points! I was intrigued because that’s the way I SPEAK! I went to her home page and saw her not only feeding chickens but wearing a magnificent, scarlet opera coat. Well, of course I had to meet her, and she wanted to meet me so we had lunch at The Ivy during one of her trips to Los Angeles.

The Ivy restaurant  We never stopped talking, laughing and connecting. We’ve become great friends and we’ve had dinner with her and her husband, Giampiero at their incredibly creative home in Northern California. You must read her posts and look through the photographs of La Contessa and her husband whom she calls, “The Italian.” Not to be missed post! The Vintage Contessa.

San Francisco Cable Car

Recently, I traveled to San Francisco to visit our family.  I made sure to have an extra day  so that I could meet La Contessa and three other bloggers I’d admired online and with whom I’d become friendly.  We met at The Waterfront Restaurant at the Embarcadero. Look at how color coordinated we are. Shows you that we’re all on the same wave length although our blogs are very different. We’re a whole posse of bright, fun, creative and energetic women. I asked each of them for a post that they would like to include here.

5 Blogging buddiesLisa Carnochon, Sandra Sallin, Jennifer Connoly, Elizabeth Kirkpatrick,  Beth Djalali


Lisa Carnochon of Amid Privilege wedding photo

Photograph: Emilia-Jane Photography

I had followed Lisa Cornochan’s blog Amid Privilege for a long time. In the beginning, she wrote about growing up on the East Coast in a family of privilege. She segued into writing about style, clothing,home and garden with a souçon of grandeur sprinkled about. Before I started blogging, I had met with Lisa in Menlo Park and asked her what was it like being a blogger? She invited me to lunch and was very supportive, encouraging me to just go for it.

When I asked her to choose a post that she would ike featured, she suggested Fierce at 50 Where You are 20 or 30.I also asked if I could include the post about her second marriage ceremony which I though was so beautiful. She combines simplicity with elegance and panache.

Enjoy the exquisite photos of her City Hall Wedding. This is the way to do it: San Francisco City Hall Wedding
Jennifer Connoly of A Well Styled Life





Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life is an image and style consultant.  She writes about beauty, family, entertaining, and health issues. And of course she does everything with great style! I’d been reading her blog, following her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and wanted to get to know her. I asked her for one blog that she would like me to feature here. She sent me four. They were all wonderful,but I selected two:
There’s No Place Like Home
Priceless Gift Giving From the Heart
Once you read them, I think you’ll want to read others as well.



Beth Dijali of Style at a Certain Age

This is Beth Djalali of Style at a Certain Age. I’m fascinated by her. How does she do it? She posts every day in new and inventive outfits, always creative and original in the way she dresses. I ask her how she does her hair, what products she uses, what color lipstick and on and on and on. I love the way she poses. You just try posing the way she does. No one does it better. I’ve tried and I look like a flamingo who had a bad night. So here she is in all her glory with a funny story to boot! Going To The Chapel






Surround yourself with
People who push you
Who challenge you
Who make you laugh
Who make you better
Who make you happy.

5 women in vintage dresses

All images appearing on THE JOY OF BLOGGING are the expressed property of Sandra Sallin. All rights reserved. In other words, don’t steal it!

Facebook Comments
  • Eva Pastor - I really enjoy your blog. Very interesting and full of amazing stories. Thank to you I discovered new amazing bloggers and Kate Morton Books….Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - So glad you have enjoyed my posts. Kate Morton is coming out with a new book this Fall. Can’t wait.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes - Great group of bloggers & some fun posts to check out! Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Enjoy! I really enjoyed all of their posts. Of course I read everything they write or showcase.ReplyCancel

  • Anita Rivera - Sandra, I know what you mean about blogging. It has been a rich and even life-altering experience for me. I have some of the best and loyal friends (about four of them) that I found through blogging. I unfortunately had to stop blogging this year due to high stress and demands at school, and to find my voice again. Writing has become very important to me, and thanks to blogging, I discovered that I could write for an audience…but there is so much more than that. It’s the love, the fun, the kindred spirit of it all. YOU ARE WONDERFUL, and so is the Contessa. What a wonderful soul she is.

    It’s been great to get to know you a little more via Instagram!Enjoy your weekend, AnitaReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh Anita, you are one of my favorite treats on Instagram. I know you’re a poet but I do adore your photographs. Such a sensitive soul!Thanks for reading.ReplyCancel

  • LA CONTESSA - I did not realize you had been ONLY blogging for a couple of years…….TO chat with YOU it would seem YOU had been at it for YEARS!This came about from the lovely interview BETH did on you over at STYLE OF A CERTAIN AGE.
    I ADORE YOU………YES, I write the way YOU TALK!SO, happy YOU FOUND ME out here in cyber space cause I really do not know what I’m doing!Or WHY, however, you have answered that QUESTION PERFECTLY…………..it’s the kindred SPIRITS.The people one can relate TOO and laugh with.The ladies over in EUROPE share a piece of THEIR LIVES and WE feel WE are on HOLIDAY!ALL for the FREE SUBSCRIPTION of signing up to receive their POST ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!!SO, much BETTER Then reading the NEWS!SO, many women we can relate too and compare ourselves with………….it’s the BEST SOUNDING BOARD out THERE and the BEST part is meeting UP!!!What a treat to meet a PEN PAL or should I say a CYBER PAL………it just makes us HAPPY!!!!!
    WE DESERVE TO BE GIDDY and HAPPY and this does the TRICK for ME!
    I have yet to go back and read ALL the POSTS BUT I will…………I need an afternoon of ZERO interruptions as I get SO engrossed in YOUR STORIES!!!

    • sandra - Ha! Yes, we do have fun together. I enjoyed reading all the blogs. These women know how to rock it! Thanks for all your encouragement and your husbands pizza! What a pair!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - Sandra,I so enjoy reading all of your posts. Such a fascinating life! I have met the Contessa and Jennifer, both at another fabulous blogger’s home in Laguna, “The French Basketeer”. Such interesting people, such a good read!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh, are you the French Basketeer? La Contessa always wears one of your bags. Love your site and your bags. Thank you for reading my posts. So glad you enjoy them.ReplyCancel

  • D. A. Wolf - What a fabulous post, and blogging IS such a fascinating experience. So glad to have encountered you and these other amazing women in the interwebs!


    • sandra - Thanks D.A. So glad you liked it. You’re right there are amazing women on the web! Such fun to meet.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - It’s just so wonderful to know you. xox.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - I feel the same way about you Lisa! Thanks for your contribution and help.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Twigg-Smith - Sandy: so great to see you back and blogging again! Wonderful post and it makes you feel closer….not so far away! Welcome back! ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks buddy, but the warm welcome! Thinking of you!ReplyCancel

  • jill - hi sandra! what a lovely post about some truly fabulous women! i love seeing peeks into the amazing community you’ve created. and it sounds like you have some incredible stories of your own!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Jill. These are are fine group of females and I’m so lucky to know them. All because of blogging.ReplyCancel

  • Chicatanyage - Fantastic group of bloggers. Flying the flag for mature women. I follow them all.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - So glad you follow them all I also follow you. Love the Brit point of view. Thanks for reading!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Good for you. I follow you also! We must all stick together. Love reading the British point of view.ReplyCancel

  • Merisi in Vienna - Good morning,
    I landed here thanks to La Contessa, and what a beautiful place this is!
    Looking forward to read more here,

    • sandra - Guten tag. Vilkommen. So glad to have you here. Thanks to La Contessa. I hope you enjoy yourself. My husband lived in Wiesbaden for four years. So it’s his spelling. Thank you for reading and commenting.ReplyCancel

  • Heather in Arles - Oh this was just fabulous. Such an amazing, amazing group of women all together – and yes, it absolutely shows that you are all of the same mindset and not just in your sartorial choices!

    I am going to take my time and go back and read everyone’s posts – even though I know of and admire each of them, most certainly our amazing La Contessa, whom I am lucky enough to call my friend…

    Maybe you two need to take a “roadtrip” across the ocean to France? Just a thought…

    Gros Bisous,

    PS. Oh! I had not gotten the last few posts either! Will resign up…ReplyCancel

  • Frances/Materfamilias - What a fun post! I’ve also had the delight of meeting blogging friends IRL, and it’s consistently been a wonderful experience (two of them are in your photo!). For all the work this blogging is, it so enriches our lives–love yours!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Frances. I see your feel the same way I do. Carry on!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie - What a wonderful post Sandra. It is so very nice to see other women supporting other women. I have known the Contessa for a little while, but it feels like I’ve know her all my life. She contacted me shortly after I started blogging and ever since then we have been friends. She is truly a one of a kind, special person. I adore her.

    I wish I didn’t live on the East coast. I would love to meet all of you in person. I am very familiar with Jennifer’s blog, she is fabulous and delightful. And, I recently discovered Beth’s blog, I agree I am amazed at how she posts everyday and so stylish every time. I am anxious to hop on over to Lisa’s blog, she looks lovely.
    And, best of all, I recently found you or you found me, I don’t know, but I’m so glad we did!


    • sandra - Thank Cherie. Do you ever come out to the West Coast? If you do you have a standing invitation for lunch at The Ivy or anyplace of your choice. I love your blog. Love the visuals including you. Yes, these bloggers are remarkable and give me such pleasuer. La Contessa is the Pied Pipier of blogging. She introduces me to so many talented and fun ladies. I love it. I do have some shoes I must photograph for you and also a great carpet bag. Give me a few days and I’ll get it done. So nice to meet you and follow you!ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - Fabulous post, fabulous ladies, Sandra.
    I don’t know Lisa, thank you for the introduction I’ll pop across and say ‘hi’
    Thank you for dropping by my blog today always so lovely to hear from you 🙂
    Catherine xx

    • sandra - We’ve got a mutual admiration society going on here. You’ll relate to Lisa of Amid Priviledge. She’s one smart and classy lady! Thanks for stopping by.ReplyCancel

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