Editor on location

Chris Christen, editor of Inspired Living Omaha. Reach her at chris.christen@owh.com

Five things I’ve learned and loved as our March-April issue of Inspired Living Omaha delivers today to World-Herald subscribers:

1. Our January-February cover story on Kara and Vince Bellino’s renovation of a house that nobody else wanted ranks as one of our most-popular ever to run online. Friends and family thought the Bellinos had lost their minds. Not-yet-thirtysomething and already experienced flippers, they forged ahead and transformed their ugly duckling into a swan. The story went viral. We’re hoping good things come to the couple from the exposure ... but that’s all we can say for now!

2. Sarah Voss and Daniel Sullivan emailed to tell us about their “senior project” – a 1920s farmhouse near 93rd and Blondo Streets. “Everything we have has a story behind it,” Sarah said. The house is filled with antiques, quirky finds and original art. Marjie Ducey and I teamed up for the online-only feature, which has gotten a fair amount of traffic. Who doesn't love a quirky house?

By the way, if you’re not in the habit of visiting us online, you’re missing out. We post bonus stories at inspiredlivingomaha.com nearly everyday, some with the Subscriber Plus icon. Did you know you can #joinourstory and get monthly access to those great reads and everything else on omaha.com for less than a cup of coffee and a doughnut at your favorite coffee shop?

3. I often am asked, “Where are you traveling next?" Prague and Budapest are on tap this fall. Both are on my bucket list of Great Cities of the World. Checked off already: London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Venice, Rome and Florence. Yes, I am a lucky girl. A part of the world my husband has seen but I haven’t: Southeast Asia. In our March-April issue, contributor Heather Winkel reveals the wonders of Thailand and piques my interest. Read the story here. .

4. Speaking of Thailand. Former Nebraska Secretary of State Allen Beermann is a hobby gemologist. Some years ago, the king of Thailand (now deceased) exhibited an extraordinary collection of gemstones in Omaha. Beermann was among the invited guests for the opening reception. He sent a letter of appreciation to the king via the king's personal secretary, whom he had befriended at the reception. Soon after, a small parcel for Beermann arrived by special postal courier. Inside, a royal gift. From Thailand. The customs duty: “Sizable,” Beermann told me. “But it’s a little boorish to send it back.” The king gifted Beermann – now executive director of the Nebraska Press Association – a gold ring with colored gemstones. The moral of the story: Never underestimate the impact of a handwritten thank-you note.

5. While we’re on the topic of correspondence: My husband faithfully sends me text messages. Some highlight happenings of the hour: “I just counted 111 turkeys crossing our yard.” Others impart more domestic news: “I dropped one of the house phones into the washing machine. I’ve been drying the phone ... in the oven and with a fan.” Really? And why was the house phone in the laundry room to begin with? “Well ... I had just answered the house phone while gathering the dirty clothes ... tossed the phone in the laundry basket on my way to the laundry room ... got sidetracked preparing the fabric softener and dumped the basket load into the water ... oopsie! Guess that’s one way to end the robocalls to our land line.” But no. The phone survived the dunking. In case you’re curious: The drying time (with battery removed!) was 45 minutes at 150 F.

Happy almost spring!

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Chris is a magazine and special sections editor for The World-Herald. She writes on lifestyle topics and trends, including interior design, travel and fashion. Follow her on Instagram @chrischristen and Twitter @cchristenOWH. Phone: 402-444-1094.

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