Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Reflections

On December 31, I’ll often pause and reflect in an effort to remember and recognize the closing year's milestones.  Although it's a useful practice, I tend to fixate upon the large-scale occurrences versus the meaningfulness attached to them.  This month, I thought I’d try an experiment: Carve out reflection time at May’s close.  My hope was that this exercise would enable me to celebrate, assess, and better remember the subtle specialities attached to life's joys while they are still fresh in my mind.

And, so my May expedition began; when my beloved journal and I settled in on the patio a few evenings ago.  All I can say is, “Time well spent!”  The greatest take-aways from this activity were the feelings of thankfulness and accomplishment that embodied me afterward.  An added bonus: it was also a beautiful evening—a wonderful time to quietly reflect while being in nature. 

Below are a few photos capturing some of May’s many wonderful moments.  Hope you enjoy! T.

Took a few, added moments to admire my potted pansies, one day, 
while at home on a quick lunch break from the 9 to 5.

Spent a fun evening sipping herbal tea while watching an enjoyable movie (Sideways) with Mark; during a wonderful weekend getaway.  Pictured, above, is our room at the inn…
and, yes, it was lusciously pink!

Different inn, but same weekend... 
Adored the super moon from the private, screened-in terrace attached to our room (perfect for us introverted moon watchers!). The moon was awesome, but the three-hour serenade performed by a hoard of frogs (we enjoyed while gazing out) is what I'll always remember most fondly!

Relished an Italian martini at a fave, local restaurant while celebrating my 50th b-day.

For a few weeks, stopped daily to literally smell the roses (surprise Mother’s Day gift (from Mark)).

Treated myself to an artist’s date, where I mindfully enjoyed so many beautiful, 
natural sights at a local college campus, only a couple of miles from home.

Listened to my Wise Self, and carved out time to visit a favorite public garden.

Enjoyed a relaxing four-day Memorial Day weekend with loved ones.

Celebrated May's dreams being all realized!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crafting Special Moments

A rose garden in my art journal...

The other evening, Mark and I ventured out for a picnic.  Beforehand, I took a few minutes to stock our careworn basket with a favorite tablecloth, a couple of stoneware plates, cloth napkins and silverware, while Mark packed the cooler with the foods and drinks.  Our meal was simple, but luscious:  hummus, pita chips, assorted raw veggies, cheese, sparkling water (for me), soft drinks (for him), and large, sweet strawberries to top it all off.

When it came to selecting a site, I asked Mark to do the honors.  Rather than opting for a nearby park, he did the unexpected; choosing the charming university campus, only a few miles from where we live (the same one where I enjoyed a recent artist’s date).  Being it was the weekend, it was the perfect spot as it was pretty much deserted.  We had the lovely brick patio (complete with café tables) overlooking a pretty pink rose garden all to ourselves (Yum!). 

Once unpacked, Mark asked me what type of music I would enjoy.  I eagerly responded, “Frank Sinatra!”  He made the selection on his iPhone, and a delicious stream of Rat Pack era tunes softly played as we ate and talked.  

On the way back home, we decided to stop for ice cream.  It was an exquisite experience—our delightful evening getaway. 

What I am learning is that it doesn’t take much…time, money or even innovative thinking to make the ordinary extraordinary.   Yes, we could have dined on our own brick patio overlooking our own flower garden.  That is always special as well, but we do this often in the summertime.  Instead, by doing a few things a bit differently, a uniquely beautiful memory was created that will stay with both of us for quite some time. 

I am striving to create more of these carefully-crafted experiences—not just for us as a couple—but for me, personally, as well.  The solo artist’s dates I savor, lunch break smoothies enjoyed from an outdoor café table, and writing my journal from the backyard in the evening with a cup of tea at hand and a favorite lantern lit with a pillar candle…  All are examples of this. 

Sometimes, it’s easy to convince myself that I am far too busy to make my day special.  But, the truth of the matter is that I always can--if I only choose to do so.  Often, it merely takes me making a few tweaks to whatever it is I was going to do in the first place.  And, what I know (but sometimes forget), is that the effort taken is always worth it.   

What little adjustments can you make to create special moments during your day?  T.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Painting in the Art Journal: Overview

Painted in my art journal (outdoors) on Memorial Day!

I heart my art journal!  Although, much of it houses my collage work, I’ve recently begun painting there as well (which, BTW, has been so very much fun!).

Today’s video features an introduction to art journal painting.  A second video actually demonstrating art journal painting will premiere in June.  If you are new to the blog and haven’t had a chance to peruse my earlier art journaling posts, they are accessible by clicking here, here and here.

The inspiration for this video came from a fab friend/reader (thank you!!!).  I’m always searching for blog and video material, and truly welcome others’ suggestions.  Enjoy!  T.

PLEASE NOTE...that glimpse of something furry at the beginning of this video is my adorable diva tabby cat, Tabitha.  Since she normally loves to take center stage, it is my guess she was attempting to feign shyness (smile).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mindfully Creating Mindless Art

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.  -Eckhart Tolle
The quote above is one that resonates with me.  A few years ago, maybe not so much…but, it sure does now. 

When I create art, I let my intuition (Wise Self) take the reins.  My art is an expression of what is inside my soul.  As a result, I worry not that it is worthy.  My only pursuit is to mindfully enjoy the process of creation versus the result.

Playful art is authentic art.  Authentic art is always beautiful.  Even more importantly, it is personally meaningful. 

As a little girl, I created art quite frequently.  Sadly, after turning 18, I abandoned my art for a lengthy period of time.  I now wonder if I unconsciously did so because I’d become too rigid—too self-critical in my artistic pursuits.

Joy is now found is the fact that I have reclaimed a former passion…and done so both mindfully (I drop myself into the bliss of creating art.) and “mindlessly” (I abandon my doubts in lieu of letting my Wise Self lead me in artistic endeavors.).  The watercolor, above, is one I created this past April during an art class.  I had tremendous fun crafting it!

In an effort to live my life in true tickled pink fashion, these days, I let my inner artist out, each day, to play.  Her forays are varied, but include the outfits I pull together, the gifts I select for others, and the work I perform.

Wishing you the joy of art created from a place of no-mind—of inner stillness.  T.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Elegant Fashion Advice

Tabitha (beloved diva pet), as a kitten

This Saturday, bask in fashion advice via the world’s most elegant woman…Coco Chanel.  Sage Coco once said, “The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!” 

Even though, I’m not the world’s most elegant woman (yet…smile), I think Ms. Chanel’s wisdom on this matter is the cat’s meow (which, for this cat woman, is akin to saying “fabulous!”).  Stay tuned as, next week's posts will include a video on art journal painting.  And, yes,  Ms. Tabitha will, again, be making a brief appearance in this one. 

Have a wonderful weekend!!!  T.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Authentic = Self-Assured

From my art journal...

The more I’ve luxuriated upon the tickled pink path, the more authentic my life has become.  There’s an added bonus to this, though…  Authenticity builds self-assurance.  In this spirit, I have included, below, some of my fave self-assurance building techniques.

Always put your best foot forward:  When I’ve given my very best to a project, I surrender myself to the beauty of that fact.  Afterward, I may explore different approaches to take in the future.  However, when I’ve put my best foot forward, I am at peace with myself, which gives me the confidence to let go and move forward as needed.  NOTE:  When I’m battling a cold, “my best” is not the same caliber as when I’m feeling “100 percent.”  The importance is found in recognizing that I’ve given the best I could during each moment’s circumstances. 

Affirm. Affirm. Affirm.  I truly cannot say enough about this.  To learn more, peruse an earlier blog post I wrote by clicking here

Live your life as art.  Fave author Alexandra Stoddard once said, “Make living as an art your quest, your personal mission.”  I adore that quote and strive to live by it.  Living life as art means I am in tune with adding my own hallmark touches to everything:  the outfits I put together, the gatherings I host, the artist’s dates I treat myself to, etc.  There’s definitely a high level of interrelatedness between this tip and the first one noted above.  But, this tip more clearly encourages my inner artist come out and play each day.

Establish and take on goals that are bite-sized.  This practice ensures I’m more likely to consistently achieve.  And, that is a tremendous confidence booster.

Recognize ALL achievements—even the little ones!  My journal is often where I’ll note my accomplishments (even if it’s as small an achievement as going online for 10 minutes to research something related to a much larger project).  I like to treat myself when bigger accomplishments are realized, or when a final, small task taken toward a large project is complete.  Sometimes, I’ll reward myself with an artist’s date.  At other times, I might splurge by buying a lovely vintage brooch I’ve had my eye on (smile).

Engage in one soul massage daily.  A self-assured woman pampers herself.  Here's the best part: doing so need not be costly or time consuming!  My favorite self-care rituals include lighting candles, enjoying bath soaks, savoring walks in nature, writing my journal, enjoying my own company, mindfully seeing beauty everywhere, and a whole host of other delectable delights.  

Please share your self-assurance building tips with me .  I would love hearing them!  T.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Offbeat Days Happen

My art journal allows me to puzzle out those days that are offbeat.

Feeling a bit off cue today… Not sure why.  It could be due to a tad bit of sleep deprivation (a result of waking up inexplicably at 3:00 this morning—and being unable to resume my ever-sacred shut eye).  Maybe it’s just that this week (and most especially today) has been beyond busy and laced with a few uh oh’s (which I handle better at some times versus others (This is likely one of those “other” times.)). 

Guess it’s time I accept the fact that everyone occasionally has days that are just…well, offbeat.  “Offbeat” meaning internal tensions seem to be running higher than normal, and I truly feel out of sorts.  Not even my failsafe mid-morning tea break and lunchtime chocolate banana soy smoothie (sipped outdoors) seem to have done the trick.  Hmmm…

What’s important is that I allow myself the grace to have this sort of day from time-to-time—without self-judgment—without the feeling that it’s a forever sort of thing.  It is one day in the life—not a lifetime.  I have every faith my cherished Wise Self will lead me in nurturing myself accordingly; and that all will be well again soon enough.

Here’s to the fact that offbeat days are just that…and nothing more.  Peace & joy, T.

Author's Note:  I originally wrote this post a few weeks back after experiencing a somewhat "out of sorts" day.  I held off publishing it for fear it was too negative.  After further reflection, I've decided that everyone has "challenging days," and that "putting it out there" can only serve to reassure others of this fact. Oh...and, I finally did get my groove back much later that same evening--by tapping into the power of my own deep breathing (aha!).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Self-Heroine’s Manifesta

An art journal creation sings the praises of letting my own light shine...
"From this day forward, may the light that shines in me be its brightest."

While in grad school (about 11 years ago), I wrote a descriptive essay that likened my day-to-day existence to that of Joan of Arc (Yes, I know…a bit dramatic.).  I vaguely remember it starting out something like this: “I am a brave warrior woman…”  In my own defense, I most likely believed I had to be a brave warrior woman back in those days...a mother and wife, working full-time as a four-county program director for a non-profit, attending graduate school part-time--all the while wearing a variety of other assorted "hats."

Today's roles and responsibilities are a bit different from those of a few years ago; yet, they are equally as sizable.  Even so,  I no longer envision myself as a “brave warrior woman.”  The self-anointed term “my own heroine” seems to have a comfier feel to it.  These days, I no longer feel I’m fighting myself or anyone else for that matter.  The proverbial armor and shield are no longer necessary; nor is the sword.  I cherish my life, and realize its challenges are a normal part of its unique beauty.   

In celebration of self-heroines everywhere, I’ve sketched a yummy manifesta.  Hope you enjoy it!  T.

The Self-Heroine’s Manifesta
by Tina Bradley

A self-heroine:
  • is born by honoring her intuitive gifts.
  • uses spiritual practices to heighten her relationship with herself and sustain her power source.
  • knows that being a self-heroine is a daily, lifelong privilege.  In accordance, she practices her heroism sacredly.
  • builds community while championing causes near and dear.
  • relies on herself, rather than an umbrella, to prevent anyone or anything from raining on her soiree.
  • believes beauty is found in everyday sights and moments.
  • understands her legendary love affair with herself is what enables her to be heroic to others.
  • loves to create; this includes her own existence.
  • realizes she doesn’t have to walk on water or fly through the air; as a result, she recognizes, develops and highlights her own priceless talents.
  • allows her light to always shine brightly, seeks personal growth consistently and chooses love over fear in every instance. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sacred Outdoor Almost-Summer Joys

Last weekend, I painted in my art journal from my backyard!

Although she’s not officially graced us with her presence, it sure feels as if summertime has already landed with her entourage in tow.  I’m all grown up, now, and my total sum of professional and personal responsibilities can, sometimes, be mind boggling.  When the warm days arrive, however, there’s a feeling of being on summer break most every day.  Flags flying, festivals abounding, blooming flowers cascading from pots and barrels, sandals, tree-shaded walkways, birds chirping en masse and so many other seasonal pleasures truly do make me feel more festive; pretty much regardless of what's on my plate. 

This past weekend was simply delicious; with a noted amount of it being spent outdoors.  Cherished memories from it include:
  • enjoying ice cream in lovely downtown Birmingham, MI at a café table with Mark, Andrew and Amanda;
  • an evening walk on the BGSU campus with Mark;
  • Sunday morning breakfast on the patio;
  • flower gardening;
  • painting in my art journal from my backyard; and
  • dinner on the patio, Sunday evening.
Perhaps I’m not alone in my sentiments.  I’d be interested to know if you get this same “summertime” feel as well.  T.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Warm Reflections on Journal Writing

Scene from a recent journal writing expedition--outdoors!

There’s something about an overcast, almost-summer morning that makes me reflective.  I’ve done a lot of introspection in the past few years…much of it through my journal and art journal. 

Journal writing affords me the perfect way to reflect.  When my journal writing is somewhat frequent (4-6 days a week), I am more grounded, have a better sense of what I want from life, possess an expanded capacity for achieving my desires and can truly note a greater overall sense of well-being.  I know much has been written about producing a minimum of three pages per journal writing session, but, many a time, I’ll only write one.  Even that level; however, has yielded notable results for me.

Now that it is warmer out (yay!), I enjoy crafting opportunities to write in my journal while outdoors.  Sometimes, I’ll take my journal along to a café or coffee house and write from their patio or deck.   I’ve written from the bench of a local botanical garden, too.  Of course, writing from my own backyard is always delicious.   And, on vacation, my journal is always packed and good to go (journaling poolside, on the beach or from atop a terrace = also divine!).  These experiences are so memorable to me, and have resulted in some of my most productive journal writing sessions to date.

Last year, I wrote my journal while relaxing on this beach!

I would love to hear your journal writing reflections—especially your thoughts on great places to engage in this practice.  T.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Added Tickled Pink Ways to Connect

I have the good fortune of being able to socialize (media variety) with some of you beyond this blog.  If you’re not one of those folks, I’d warmly welcome connecting with you, too, in these added ways:

Pin along as a follower on Pinterest.

Follow me on Twitter.

Have a lovely weekend--laced with plenty of pink panache, of course!  T.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Do You Etsy? I Do!

“Do you Etsy?”  Seems to be a common question these days!  And, to that question, my resounding answer is, “Yes, I do!!!”  

 Me (with Mark)--last year (in Nassau)--wearing a vintage dress from Etsy.

I’ve extolled the eco-friendly virtues of buying reused items in several past posts (here and here and here).  And, although I enjoy a good thrift store buy, I’ll also treat myself to a splurge from time to time.  Etsy’s a great place for that.  Etsy offers an extensive array of vintage finds, but they are also a marketplace for handmade goods—that are also fabulous! Not only are their things, generally, more affordable than they would be purchased new; the items found there are often nearly one-of-a-kind pieces that allow me to express my style creatively—and do so greenly. 

Sporting vintage skirt (Etsy purchase) while touring 
Stephen Foster State Park in Kentucky (a few weeks ago).

In the hopes of getting you to check out the Etsy scene (if you haven’t already), I put together a short video highlighting some of my fave finds from this fab shopping source.  Hope you enjoy!  T.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Elegance=Pink Panache

The first tenet of the tickled pink lifestyle is to live mindfully, elegantly & authentically.  Just for the luxury of it, however, I’ve decided to more closely define the “elegant” aspect.  I’ve come up with luminous term that captures it quite nicely:  pink panache. Yes, my quest to live elegantly is defined as infusing pink panache into my life!  An online source defines panache as: “Dashing style: a sense or display of spirited style and self-confidence. “  Yummy! Yes?

Today (actually written on Tuesday), I proudly practiced pink panache in these ways:

Let my inner artist come out to play:  Sported (to work) a lovely, black wrap-around dress, many strands of faux pearls in varying lengths, layered scads of thin gold and black bangles,  floral-patterned black fishnet tights and black vegan patent leather ballet flats.  Oh, and my hair…I pulled part of it up and back.  Did I look like I was headed to some swanky soiree?  Yes, and it felt like I was too—despite the fact that I was in meetings a good portion of my day.  It was fabulously fun! And, it made me feel a bit Audrey—notably elegant (or should I say, “pinkly panache”?). 

Honored my Wise Self:  Two words: tea time!  Despite many meetings and looming deadlines, I answered an inner call to stop, take a break and savor a cup of awesome organic, fair trade mint tea (Zhena’s Gypsy Tea).  Ahhh!

Engaged myself spiritually:  Today, I meditated, enjoyed ten minutes’ worth of legs up the wall (a yoga pose I adore) and wrote in my journal.  The elegance is found is connecting with myself on a realm that’s deep within.  These, and other assorted practices, enable me to more clearly hear my Wise Self’s gentle callings.  Now that I’m heeding her urgings far more frequently than ever before, the results of this are sheer elegance!  

Indulged:  Utilized a gift certificate (a la Mother’s Day gift from Mark) for a massage.  Note:  This didn’t have to be a massage.  It could have been a bubble bath, quiet time on the patio or a walk in the woods. The real indulgence, here, is that I carved out this time for myself—in the midst of a tremendously busy week.  There were many other “to do’s” on my after-work list, but…those will just need to wait a bit!

Connected with my community:  I serve on the Board of the local Zonta Club; a part of Zonta International (ZI).  ZI’s mission is to advance the status of women worldwide.  During lunchtime, I attended our monthly Zonta Board meeting.  Fab fellowship with like-minded women, worthwhile work toward a cause near + dear and a brief respite from a busy day at the office all equate to definite doses of pink panache!

What sprinklings of pink panache are planned for your day?  Would love to hear about them!  T.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Let There be New Growth!

My art journal is a garden of delight!

This past Sunday, I eagerly pulled out my art journal, and intrepidly flipped to the page where my May goals had been sketched.  With a smile still on my face, I drew a flower around a listed dream: Buy + Pot and Repot House Plants.  Doing so signified a task proudly completed.  Hooray!!!

Although it was cool and breezy that day, the sun was shining oh-so-brightly.  This led me to conduct my plant potting project outdoors from one of my front yard’s flower beds.  It was a serene, meditative experience which I thoroughly enjoyed; once I began.  And, the end products…they, too, were truly lovely (I’ve shared a few photos below.)!

Every time I engage in plant repotting, I’m drawn back to a great essay contained within Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.”  The author recounts how she found one of her potted plants drooping and nearly lifeless: “When I picked it up and looked at its underbelly I saw that its tiny white roots were frantically pushing in a futile attempt to find more breathing space.”  Ban Breathnach notes that plants should be repotted every two years. She further states, “We, too, need to consider repotting for growth.  Her tips for realizing when a personal “repot” is needed include the following:
• When visualization seems to be an impossible task;
• Those days when we “wilt before the day begins;”
• Laughter is something that is vaguely remembered as an event from the past; and
• There is nothing in the next 24 hours to look forward to.
How does a femme figuratively repot her life? Ban Breathnach says, “We don’t have to quit the job or leave the marriage. It just means we need something new.” 
In keeping with this theme, here are a few new’s I incorporated into my own life in the past week:
• Joined a local Toastmasters club.
• Savored Starbucks’ orange blossom tea for the first time (ordered only after finding out no chamomile was available).  Ended up loving the orange blossom tea so much, I bought a whole tin afterwards!
• Meditated in the evening versus the morning (not bad!).
What new’s can you incorporate into your life this week?  Wishing you exciting added growth as you do!  T.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Little Steps, Big Progress

Flirt w/the possibilities, dance w/the little steps taken & cozy up to dreams realized.

Some projects have taken a lot of time for me to bring to fruition; this blog, for example.  I talked about it for two whole years before I made it happen.  The funny thing is that, once I took a couple of steps (which only took a few hours to complete), it was launched.  The space in between the idea for my blog and its becoming a reality was spent toying with how to approach what seemed like such an insurmountable task (which, in actuality, was not!).

Happily, I'm learning to use a practice that works well when tackling large projects, and wanted to share it with those reading the blog.  In her book, “The Bodacious Book of Succulence,” author SARK recommends the use of “micromovements.”  These little gems are the small steps taken; activities that are broken into bite-sized bits and pieces.  Micromovements not only move an activity forward; but, me as well.  When a small task is completed, I am often compelled to go well beyond what had been originally planned.  On those days when I don’t?  Well, I’ve at least taken some action toward a cherished dream.  And, for me personally, when I achieve a dream, I’m being true to my authentic self and putting my best foot forward (It’s all part of my plan for living tickled pink!).

Julie Hunt, author of “Shout to the Rooftops in Your Stilettos” offers a similar solution.  She calls it the “two-minute miracle.”  For large tasks, Hunt sets a timer for two minutes and sees how much she can accomplish toward attaining her goal.  Her approach offers yet another spin on dealing with the big stuff. 

Do you engage in "baby steps" (aka "micromovements") to help you tackle large projects?  Perhaps you have other solutions.  Either way, I'd welcome your thoughts!  T.

Monday, May 14, 2012

May’s Artist’s Date = Lots of Smiles

 Art journal creation used to plan May's artist's date!

I so heart Saturdays! This past Saturday, I treated myself to an artist’s date (smile).  With yummy Starbucks' orange blossom tea in hand, I settled onto the patio of Bowling Green State University's Bowen Thompson Student Union.  It is a lovely campus, and classes are between semesters right now--making it a truly peaceful site for this artist's solo excursion (another smile).  There, I enjoyed quality time with myself writing in my beloved journal and reading + journaling in Gail McMeekin’s “12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Journal” in preparation for Monday’s online journal forum (yet more smiles).

Afterward, I visited the too-cool little re-sale shop, downtown, where I consigned some of my “unwanted’s” post March’s wardrobe closet clean.  Finding out I’d sold nearly $40 worth of merchandise thus far, I engaged in a bit of retail therapy while there (HUGE smile!!!). 

 The goods=vintage straw bag + hat, a strand of faux pearls and two bracelets!!!

Yes, I adore Saturdays, and when an artist’s date is planned, it’s always special.  Wishing you a wonderful week; complete with smiles galore!  T.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tips for a Beautiful Weekend

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” -- Audrey Hepburn

For quotation source, click hereHave a beautiful weekend!  T.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Inspiration Honored=Sweet Bliss in the Garden

Honoring my inspirations=sweet time in "my" garden

Traveling back from Kentucky a few days ago, blissfully serene memories of a lovely public botanical garden came to mind while just outside of Dayton, Ohio.  In that moment, I so wanted to enjoy the beauty of that special place once again.  You see, Smith Gardens was a charming haven I had escaped to on many a lunch break while living (and working) in that area a few years back.  During those (um) busy years, “my” garden provided this then four-county non-profit program director + soccer mom + wife + part-time graduate school student more respite and joy than can ever be measured.   

 And, there we were; traveling oh-so-very close to that place I hold near and dear… Yet, my mind kept wandering back to the laundry list of items I wanted to accomplish before that evening’s dinner date, with Mark, back home.  My Wise Self came to the rescue; however, by reminding me of my vow to more consistently listen to my inspirations.  It was her compelling nature that led me to act upon my whim by asking Mark if he’d mind taking a brief detour.  Happily, he was most willing to oblige!

 What can I say?  It was everything I remembered it to be—breathtakingly enchanting and so peacefully quiet (oh, except for the birds singing and babbling brook (complete with a mini waterfall)—adore!)!   But, it was more than that.  It marked, yet another, more recent, instance when I stopped and listened to the Wise Self residing within.  It documents the fact that I did what I wanted to do versus what I imagined I should do.  And (yet, again), in the end, all worked out perfectly—despite my impromptu change of plans.  

Wishing you the sweet pleasures found in honoring your inspirations, T.

Inspirations honored=a blissful me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Simple, Yet Satisfying, Day

Painting in my art journal=a simple, but luscious joy!

I believe the simple things in life are oftentimes the most satisfying.  It’s cool and overcast this morning.  Yet, a steeping cup of hibiscus tea and vintage jazz music, playing softly in the background, add to my sense of this day’s sheer loveliness. 

I have a lunch date, with myself, planned for later. Yup, I’ll savor a chocolate banana soy smoothie from Starbucks .  Think I’ll enjoy it on their outdoor patio….  And, I’ll grab a to-go cup of java to take back to the office with me.  I simply cannot wait!

Tonight, will write and art journal after work; most likely, with enchanting Tabitha (diva tabby cat) as my faithful sidekick (smile).  Mark’s bringing pizza home for dinner; perhaps we’ll enjoy it while watching the movie we rented.  Of course, I won’t end this day before treating myself to a soak in a hot, lavender-scented bubble bath.  Simply fabulous!

Uh huh, this day; albeit simple, will be delightful!  Hoping yours is as well! T.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vision Boards: The Video

The video (partial clip), below, was created for viewing at a volunteer workshop I conducted at the local Girl Power Tween Camp last summer.  It provides my insights on the subject of vision boards and how I use them (as does this earlier blog post).  Hope you enjoy!  T.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


“Earth’s crammed with heaven.” –Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Simply put--I heart the quote above!  It’s inspired the list below, which I’ve entitled, “Heavenly!”

  • Admiring the full moon’s reflection on the ocean or a lake;
  • Mini red velvet cupcakes;
  • Writing from a café;
  • Having a good laugh with either one of my sons;
  • Tea sipping in my backyard flower garden;
  • An evening on the patio watching the sun set while being serenaded by birds, crickets and cicadas;
  • Rolling hills emblazoned with fall foliage;
  • Facials;
  • Enjoying a weekend getaway with Mark;
  • Watching the snow fall, from the window, on Thanksgiving evening;
  • Vintage jazz tunes;
  • Petal pink (anything);
  • Cuddling a purring Tabitha (diva tabby cat);
  • Dining outdoors;
  • Date night: dining downtown;
  • Date night at home: Pizza + wine + a great film + the fireplace lit!
  • Dark chocolate…

Oh…and, the image above, I painted at a recent water color art class—also heavenly!

What's on your heaven-sent list?  Would love to hear about it!  T.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This Woman Has Come of Age!

 Art journal entry created on the eve of my last birthday!

Call me a “woman of a certain age!”  That’s right…today, I celebrate half a century of existence, and I’m kicking my heels up, all the while feeling truly tickled pink about it! 

The year 2012 has been remarkably surreal thus far.  In oh-so-many ways, I have already received scads of wonderful gifts in advance of my birthday. And, I am not talking about the ones that are wrapped up in pretty paper and adorned with sparkly ribbons.  What I am talking about are those presents that are utterly priceless to me:  the lovely new friends I have made, precious reestablished connections with longtime pals that have occurred and dearly-held ongoing encouragement I continuously receive from family and friends (both old and new!)--all via this blog .  It is beyond amazing, and I cannot express my gratitude nearly enough!!! 

Oh and there’s another lovely intangible I received a few days prior to my big day...  I wanted to share, here, it in the hopes it will inspire other women as much as it did me.  Mark forwarded me an email link to a CNN story about women aging not only gracefully, but with “verve” as the article notes!  He couldn't wait for me to read it and told me the "aging gracefully and in style" headline automatically made him think of me (Blush!!!).  To check this fab story out, click here.

This past weekend, Mark and I celebrated my 50th by staying at a couple of quaint, historic inns (one outside of Cincinnati, Ohio; the other south of Louisville, Kentucky).  It was a wonderful getaway!  Tonight, I will enjoy dinner with Mark, in our beloved downtown BG—topped off with a spot of martini sipping!   Being a woman of a certain age, I have full license to do this sort of thing, right?

I am compelled to end today’s post singing that awesome Natalie Merchant song, “Kind and Generous.”  Quite honestly, I can’t carry a tune, but can surely tell each of you (via the link above and in written form) the portion of the song that speaks to me most right now: “…I want to thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you…”

Watch out world, I’ve come of age!  T.