I don’t know whether you guys can tell, but I started this blog exclusively for its namesake, THATMuse. When I was setting up the company everyone said the same thing – that blogging, Twitter and Facebook were indispensable. Up until last spring I was a virgin to all three — allergic to the idea of not corresponding by post or speaking in person, etc — so my learning curve has been steep. I have to say, though, I’ve grown to thoroughly enjoy blogging about pieces in the Louvre, and museums, art and treasure hunting in general. I don’t think of myself as a blogger, but simply that it’s a tool within my business. However, this is no excuse for not participating in a community which has generously welcomed me, given me tips and supported me with likes, comments, and blogging love — all of which has been an unexpected pleasure.

Monkeys trying to blog

So that I’ve left this Awards post as long as I have is both inconsiderate and unforgiveable (since April, I think). I owe huge thanks to both Marissa of Medieval Musings and Rasha of Leanova Designs for having nominated me for the Versatile Blogger’s Award and the Genuine Blogger’s Award, respectively. From what I can tell with the blogging awards no one ever actually wins them, it’s simply a means of spreading the blogging love, and referring your own interests on to the next blogger.

Versatile Blogger Award
I am adding a stipulation at the end to the rules, however, as I received them they are:
1.    To thank the person who gave you the award
2.    Include the link to their blog
3.    Share 7 things about yourself
4.    Nominate 15 other blogs you think are worthy of the award
5.    Contact the 15 and inform them of the nomination

Genuine Blogger Award
Marissa is reading medieval history at St Andrew’s in Scotland and is on a wonderful mission to get the general public interested in the Middle Ages. She has a gift at synergising the modern with the old and writes up her medieval subjects beautifully.

With a background as an architect, Chicago-based Rasha is a graphic designer and a mother of three. She also has a fantastic jewelry collection which she’s designed and from seeing her tweets is fluent in French.

Seven things about myself:

1) I don’t know how to drive

2) I haven’t smoked since Storsh was born but frequently have the most wonderful, heavenly dreams of taking a drag in a myriad of places or situations

3) I am a creature of habit and my favourite spring/summer restaurant near my office has closed leaving me to feel homeless. It was an overpriced Italian place with fresh veggies, delicious pasta and a gorgeous courtyard with a running fountain.

4) The sound of fountains remind me of Rome, no matter where I am.

5) I inherited 28 African Violets from my grandmother, some of which were older than I was, and kept them thriving for 4 years despite moving between NY and Brooklyn and back again. They’re still thriving, and dispersed among my friends in both NY and Brooklyn.

6) My mother worked at the MoMA when she moved to NY and once sent out 4000 embossed (or engraved?) invitations to an opening with the wrong date on it. She didn’t get fired.

7) My father was a commodities broker with a seat at the NYSE (the post used to be inherited!) interested in gold and mining, but when asked by snotty ladies at posh parties what he did he’d say he was a Gold Digger and move in a step closer as he raised his whisp of a Chinese brow

"We've been tlaking and we all think it's time you updated your blog"
And now to pass on the blogger love, unfortunately I can’t reach 15, as I just don’t have enough time to read as much as I would like with my job, Storsh and THATLou. Here are some favourites, though:

Love in the City of Lights – Thoughtful musings on the charmed life of Kasia Dietz and her Italian. A fellow transplant from NY, Kasia moved to Paris for her Love and has wowed the town ever since with her gorgeous hand-painted bags.

The Kale Project – Kristen Beddard Heimann is on the impressive (and daunting) crusade of introducing Kale to the French. She’s done a superb job of already furnishing the farmers with (certified) seeds, and is now pulling forces between restaurateurs and chefs in preparation for the first harvest this autumn! She has my full support.

Expat Edna – an inherent globetrotter, Edna Zhou has a wonderful travel blog with posts from Australia to Bulgaria, Shanghai to Paris, and of course Singapore where she lived and where her expat fiance still is. Currently she’s a press agent for the Olympics in London, but will be back to blogging imminently.

52 Martinis – About to launch a 52 Martinis App to Paris, Forest Collins does a fantastic job analysing Martinis and their lounges across Paris each Wednesday with her 52 Martinis members. 52 Martinis is a concept. Her writing is no non-sense, clear, and eloquent.

Savoir Fair Paris – Despite her 10+ years in Paris, Sasha Levenson-Wahl only recently started her Paris Up Close and Personal blog, which provides fresh tips on the city, from travelling with children to logistics about moving here. It accompanies her successful concierge company by the same name.

Paris Breakfasts – Carol Gillott’s enthusiasm and appreciation for Paris is a joy to look at through her posts of photos on all things French. The blog accompanies her beautiful watercolours, again, of all things Parisian. A former James Beard photographer Carol’s focus is often food, more specifically macaroons.

Perfectly Paris – Gail Boisclair has both humour and good cheer in her wonderful blog about Paris, often focusing her eye on excellent photos of Paris from the turn of the century and posting them on Pinterest or FB. Gail has more than 30 apartments for short term rentals in Montmartre, which has time and again won the Conde Nast award.

Lost in Cheeseland – Recently I’ve been very much enjoying Lindsey Tramuta’s Franco File Friday series, started in March 2011, which covers Parisian personalities with insightful questions. I understand that she, too, has a full time job and company making Lola’s Cookies.

Santu Online – As Somesh Mahanty, a recent graduate in India, put it whenever he’s near the weather’s always warm and sunny. I am nearly twice Somesh’s age, and on paper we probably have very little in common, but this wordpress world has brought us together somehow, and I very much enjoy visiting with his life and watching his writing develop. He was my very first reader / like-r / commenter and for that and for his (indeed) sunny disposition I shall always be appreciative!

To Blog or not to blog/ that is the question
As all of you above have been a part of the blogging community far longer than I, you may very well have already received one or both of these awards. In case not, there’s one important point / rule on these lovely honourable mentions I’d like to add:

Under no circumstances are you to feel obliged to pass these awards on. They are not meant to play on your blogging karma, time or guilt conscience. My including you herewith is simply because I enjoy each of your contributions. I’m sure whomever created them would not want to impose obligation.