Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by all the work it takes to launch a blog and create online revenue. I begin to wonder if I have what it takes to make a success of this. When this happens I need to break the negative cycle and do something fun to remind myself why I wanted to start a blog and online business in the first place.

I have always loved reading articles about women entrepreneurs who have created a successful business around a hobby or something they were passionate about.

Before I had any idea I would one day start a blog, I used to collect photos and stories about women who turned a simple idea into a thriving business. Now I use my Pinterest boards to collect all the stories I find inspiring. There is an added benefit to following these people. After a while, if you pay attention, you will start to see some common traits or habits all these women share.  Nearly all of their stories can teach you something.    

These ladies are the “Magic Carrots” I dangle in front of my own nose.  I use the word Magic because when I have finished taking a virtual and visual tour of their lives, their homes, their offices, bedrooms, wardrobes, and gardens etc, Magic happens …. I always feel so much better.    

They energize and motivate me, and they renew my enthusiasm. More importantly, I am ready to start trying again. Whenever you have a down day, try my magic carrot technique.  , it really does work wonders !,  and It has the same moral boosting effect reading all the income reports many bloggers are kind enough to publish. These women make me think: “If they can do it  so can I “  

As I have a passion for lovely homes, cooking and beautiful kitchens, I thought I would start my “Role Model” series by talking about some of my favorite lady cooks. These ladies have often completely re-invented themselves and had great fun doing it.


My first inspiring role model and one of my favorite Lady entrepreneurs is TV cook the “Barefoot Contessa”. Whenever I feel worried or stressed this US TV  program is the perfect antidote.

The Countessa’s real name is Ina Garten, a very charming ex stock-broker who left Wall Street to pursue her passion for cooking.

Ina is a mixture of warm bubbly “Joie de Vivre”,, relaxed easy-going sophistication and an enormous dollop of impeccable taste rolled into one. She too makes everything she does look effortless and relaxed.

During her show, Ina takes viewers shopping for ingredients in marvelous shops and invites them into her breathtakingly lovely home in the Hamptons while she prepares mouth watering delicious meals. The special little twist is that while everything is cooking, Ina shares some wonderful ideas on how to decorate a table and get everything ready well in advance before her equally charming guests arrive. .  

This series makes me think of  the maxim :

“Have nothing in  your home that is not beautiful or useful”  

Since I have started blogging and am toying with the idea of trying my hand at vlogging, watching someone as polished and at ease in front of the camera is proof positive of how important it is to keep things simple, whilst being disciplined and organized.

While Ina’s kitchen is gorgeous to look at, it is also very functional and extremely well thought out. From the Artisan blender to the oven, to the sharp knives, having the right tools is crucial to making the workflow more efficient.  Warning! watching Ina can make you want to upgrade your own kitchen utensils and redecorate.

One thing all experts seem to have in common, no matter what field they work in, are well oiled systems and the right tools. Their work  environment is uncluttered, and often very beautiful. Their  advance preparation and planning are what makes everything seem so easy.  ( You see where I am going here….)

Watching  Ina always fills me  a powerful urge to declutter and  streamline my own kitchen equipment. As a result of her show I am now the proud owner of a new Artisan Blender, and much to my family’s delight, I have at long last replaced my old blunt kitchen knives, with beautiful Japanese ones Called Kenshi, which slice and dice so effortlessly it’s like cutting through butter.


Mimi Thorisson is unbelievable. When I first stumbled upon her I could not believe my eyes. She has 7 children and 15dogs!!  (No that is not a typo!)  She is half Vietnamese, half French, a citizen of the world, a model and a great cook. She also happens to be exquisitely beautiful!

Mimi is married to the love of her life, an equally gorgeous Danish photographer.

A few years ago both of them took a leap of faith, left Paris and bought a lovely old house in the Médoc. The Médoc in Southwestern France produces some of the finest wines in the world. ( Margaux. Château Lafite- Rothschild)       

Mimi started a blog called “Manger” and wrote a beautifully illustrated cookbooks which became  instant bestsellers.  Mimi’s fame spread so fast she opened a bi-annual cooking school which is now booked months in advance by people who fly in from all over the world. She now has several wonderful books out “Au Pays de Mimi

Her husband who is responsible for the breathtaking photos on the blog and the book runs photography and a wine tasting courses.

For most people, all this would be more than enough. Not Mimi and her husband, this couple work as a team and seem to be constantly brimming over with new ideas. What I find fascinating and inspiring is the way they immediately implement and take action.  Implementation is definitely a lesson to take away from us bloggers. Not being afraid to try new approaches and to experiment, even if we do not yet feel ready.

On top of their cookery school and photography and wine tasting classes, they also experimented with a “Pop Up” restaurant only open during a limited time of year.

What I find so interesting is the way the couple has gone about monetizing so many of their passions. It is fascinating to see how they have used each of their different skills to create multiple streams of income. What I also find inspiring is the way they are constantly evolving and growing.

The way they have succeeded in leading a life they love whilst at the same time taking advantage of every opportunity is a brilliant demonstration of how almost anyone can potentially turn a strong interest, passion, or hobby into a lifestyle business.

Mimi has been featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue, ELLE and many other magazines. At the time of writing, she even has  her own TV show.

Like  the Barefoot Contessa, Mimi and her husband also make everything they do “seem” so effortless. On closer inspection, I think part of this is down to their ability to keep things simple.  

Their blog is very uncomplicated and minimalist, But it is one of the loveliest blogs I have ever seen.  Nothing distracts from the incredible photos. I also love the tone and easy going way Mimi writes. The combination draws you in and makes the reader feel he or she is one of  the guests or a family friend. I feel I know Mimi and that she is talking to me.

Mimi and her husband are  prime examples of Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote:

“Do what you can, with what  you have, where you are.”


They did not wait to do more research, or keep editing the blog, or hesitate to embark on a new adventure or wonder if it would be a problem with so many children. They “just did it “.

My dream

One day I would love to enroll in one of Mimi’s weekend cookery classes with my daughter.