Walk Now, Act Now, for Autism Speaks


A recent letter from Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks, included a quote from Vietnamese author Thich Nhat Hanh: “Compassion is a verb.” Taking compassionate action is what makes a real difference in the world, and that kind of active support has allowed Autism Speaks to make great strides forward this year.


 Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

A few of the organization’s achievements:Fifty thousand people honored loved ones with autism on April 2nd for World Autism Awareness Day, with rallies, candlelight vigils, and awareness games at professional sports events. The United Nations held a special panel on autism. As night fell, more than 18,600 monuments, buildings, places of worship and homes glowed with a beautiful blue light in 142 countries on every continent for Light It Up Blue.


There’s a genome project with Google to provide more data to scientists. The ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life Experience) is now underway in all 50 states. The Autism Cares Act was passed and signed into law by President Obama in August 2014. And the first global conference on autism was held at the Vatican with an audience afterward with Pope Francis, where he called upon every Catholic to accept and support all people with autism.


 Pope Francis with Bob and Suzanne Wright at the Vatican

I’m a fervent believer in the work of Autism Speaks, which is why I wholeheartedly support their important work. I’ve written before about autism (you can read my posts here, here and here), and as a sponsor, I’ll be walking with my husband, Frank, and our three little Bichons, Tuffy, G.G. and Ellie again this year on Nantucket.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks begins at Jetties Beach on Saturday, August 15. It’s a two mile walk and community resource fair with lots of family and child-friendly activities, in addition to raising much needed funds for autism research, and generating awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism.


If you’re not on Nantucket, then go to this site to find out when there’s a Walk Now event in your area.

Autism Speaks.It’s time to listen.

Living on the Edge

I love the energy and inspiration created when a group of people, all committed to a common cause, gather to share information and plans for action.  At  Living on the Edge, a Coastal Communities Conference held on Nantucket on September 29th and 30th, participants focused on the impact of how we use our waterways, the land/sea interface, and ways to knit together the shared edges between the blue water, the near shore, and the watershed.

By exploring new approaches and applying what we learn, we can help protect and preserve the health of our coastal communities.  The goal is to create a coastal waters management strategy that ensures that the sea remains healthy, and maintain the beauty of our oceans and our coastlines.

We were very fortunate to be able to screen a sneak preview of a wonderful new film, Ocean Frontiers:  The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship. The movie promises us a new way of thinking, and a new way of living, in concert with the sea. It includes stories and stunning footage from seaports and watersheds across the country, from Boston Harbor to obscure little fishing communities in the Pacific Northwest, from the Florida Keys to the Mississippi Delta.

I encourage you to visit the movie website at www.ocean-frontiers.org to watch a trailer, purchase the dvd, and find out what you can do to get involved with protecting our oceans.

Nantucket Arts Festival Week

Autumn has been my season for attending conferences and leading seminars on several thought-provoking and important topics.  I was gratified to be invited to speak this month at the Nantucket Arts Festival Week.  Hosted by the Nantucket Arts Council, this wonderful group is an advocate for the arts on the island.  Its goal is to preserve our lively cultural scene and its life-enhancing effect upon the community.

I was pleased to be able to share my presentation, Holistic House ™, with a group of people who wanted to know more about sustainable design at the Afternoon Artist’s Talk Show Series.  I believe that a healthy home is the ultimate luxury, and there are many ways to achieve that goal.  Whether building a new home, remodeling an existing one, or simply redecorating, there are healthy products, paints, finishes, and furniture to choose from that can make a difference in your health, and in the health of your family and friends.

My Holistic House ™ presentation also covers the importance of pristine indoor air, eradicating mold, and non-toxic household cleaning products.  I love to talk about sustainable design—my favorite subject—so I’m available for presentations for groups.

Contact me at info@dujardindesign.com for more information.

We’re featured in two Nantucket publications!

Please join me in enjoying articles about Dujardin Design in both Nantucket Today and Nantucket Home and Garden, on newsstands now!

Click on the Home and Garden cover image below to download our article in pdf (1.9mb)


Then join me to help create a “Blueprint for our Coast”: September 29th and 30th


Scientists, city planners, stewards of the environment and government officials will gather on Nantucket on Thursday, September 29th and Friday, September 30th to discuss the impact of how we use our waterways.  The goal?  To explore new tools available to analyze current and anticipated uses of ocean and coastal areas, to achieve maximum social and economic benefits, and to ensure that the sea remains healthy.

Some of the things that impact our waterways are transportation (seaplanes, boats and ferries), fishing, pleasure boating, wind farms, aquaculture, and more.  Bringing all of these concerns together to create a coastal waters management strategy that includes ecosystem protection is one of the most important things we can do to protect the beauty of Nantucket, and allof the New England coast.

This conference is co-hosted by ReMain Nantucket (www.remainnantucket.org) and Egan Maritime Institute (www.eganmaritime.org) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership (www.massoceanpartnership.org), The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org), Maria Mitchell Association (www.mmo.org),  the Urban Harbors Institute (www.uhi.umb.edu), UMass Boston and the UMass Boston Field Station.

Join me as we discuss how to knit together the shared edges between the blue water, the near shore, and the watershed!

A Party to Support The Nature Conservancy

There’s nothing like Nantucket in August:  blue skies, soft breezes and the smell of salt in the air.  I was thrilled to be asked to sponsor a festive outdoor cocktail party to support the good work of one of my favorite charities, The Nature Conservancy.With renovations at our fisherman’s cottage on Madaket complete, Frank and I welcomed 60 environmentally-minded guests to our home on Thursday, August 25th .


My interior design firm, Dujardin Design Associates, Inc.,  pulled out all the stops to make it an evening to remember, bringing island caterer Simply with Style on board to serve delicious hors d’ouevres and fanciful desserts, and island favorite Spanky’s Raw Bar to add the proper sea-faring touch with a selection of chilled oysters and clams.

Mike from Spanky’s Bar with Chris McGuire, Massachusetts Marine Director for The Nature Conservancy.

William and Laura Buck with Trudy Dujardin

Gerry Schneider and Grace Hinkley

Trudy Dujardin with husband Frank Fasanella

Tracey Marshall, Bill Marshall, Nina Duchaine, Trudy Dujardin

Chris McGuire, Lynne Hale, Wayne Klockner, Trudy Dujardin

The Nature Conservancy works to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities of the earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive, in order to leave a sustainable world for future generations.  More information is available at www.nature.org.

Earth Animal: Home to Natural Pet Care

This is me and my husband, Frank, with our three dogs, GG, Tuffy and Ellie. Thanks to Venture Photography, Westport CT, for the photograph!

My three beautiful Bichon Frises are my loving companions and dear friends, so I am fortunate to live close to an amazing retail store that caters to the health and wellbeing of companion animals: Earth Animal, in Westport, Connecticut.

In business for thirty years, this groundbreaking concept is the brainchild of Dr. Robert Goldstein, V.M.D., a holistic veterinarian, and his wife, Susan. Authors of the book The Goldstein’s Wellness & Longevity Program, the Goldsteins have made natural care for dogs and cats their lifelong mission. Dr. Bob promotes abundant health in animals through a carefully considered program of healing and nutrition that ensures a long and healthy life for animal companions. Sue operated the retail store for many years; today, their daughter Merritt manages the store, its mail order division and their website, www.earthanimal.com.


Earth Animal opened in 1979, and was the first true health food store for animals in America at that time. Sue began the store with a concept, designed the interior, then went searching for organic products to fill it, only to find there weren’t any! She found herself making custom flea collars the old fashioned way: by hand rolling the collars in herbs to repel parasitic pests, she would dip the collars in wax, one by one, serving her grateful customers who were among the first in the nation to be aware of the dangers of pesticide and nerve gas exposure.


The basic concept behind Earth Animals is loving, gentle care of our guardian animals, based on a proper diet of whole foods made with vitamins and minerals, food supplements to boost the immune system, and herbs and brewer’s yeast to fight fleas and ticks.

One of their most popular products is an herbal powder formulated for both cats and dogs. Brewer’s yeast and herbs used as a food supplement work to strengthen the blood and immune system, creating a natural, powerful barrier against disease and parasites. Although topical chemical products often produce multiple side effects, such as seizures, vomiting and damaged kidneys, Earth Animal’s natural products are effective and 100% side effect free.

Whether visiting the Earth Animal store or buying products available nationwide through their website, www.earthanimal.com, there is an awareness that every dog and cat has unique nutritional and emotional needs. Sue describes the staff at Earth Animals as healers, not cashiers. An affiliated service offered through Dr. Bob’s office, the Healing Center for Animals Natural Pharmacy, offers nationwide phone consultations with conventional as well as holistic veterinarians, teaching them how to use nutrition as a healing modality. As cancer has become endemic among companion animals today, many of the consults focus on how to support an animal through a regimen of a whole food diet, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, herbs and homeopathic supplements working in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, depending upon the family’s choice.


The store and website offer organic and premium foods, including those specifically formulated by Dr. Bob, such as Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo is named for company owners’ Bill and Jackie Bishop’s large breed Airedale, Blue. After Blue had a bout with cancer, the Bishops found that veterinarians are concerned about the increases in environmental toxins and their effects on animals. They consulted with Dr. Bob and decided to make a food with ingredients to nourish dogs and cats, along with ones that are scientifically shown to provide an extra level of protection against environmental toxins.

Blue Buffalo food is made with real chicken, lamb or fish, plenty of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit. The secret ingredient? LifeSource Bits, a precise blend of nutrients and antioxidants that are cold-formed for greater potency. (You can read more about Blue Buffalo at www.bluebuffalo.com.)

Cold-formed, living nutrients are also the concept behind Earth Animal’s Daily Health Nugget, a vitamin/mineral supplement created with living, uncooked, nutrients. The store and website have chewies and treats made from free-range, hormone free beef and chicken, and a bakery section filled with adorable cookies made from vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes.


Earth Animal also has a line of shampoo called Clean Dog, a wild bird department for feeding and attracting avian friends to your garden, and much, much more! I invite you to visit their website, and if you are lucky enough to live close enough for a store visit, to stop by and say hello to Merritt, Chris, John, Betsy and Jamie, the resident animal healers who are there to help you.

CT Cottages & Gardens: Nantucket Style!

Join me in celebrating our eight page spread in Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Magazine.  The February issue of the magazine features my newly remodeled Nantucket home by the sea!  Completely “green” in design from front door to chimney top, all the building materials, cabinetry, flooring and finishes were carefully selected to be as healthy as they are beautiful.

Creating a home as fresh as the sea breezes that blow through the windows is easier than ever now, as eco-friendly choices in rugs, upholstered furniture, and drapery fabrics are rapidly expanding.  I invite you to pick up a copy of the magazine or visit their website for an “e-visit!’  I hope it feels like a little bit of summer for you.

The article is available now on Connecticut Cottages & Gardens’ website!