Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Challenging Hair Day “Go To”

The rain came down, and the side pony tail soon emerged...

The good news about yesterday is: the original forecast of ice turned out to be rain.  Yes, rain--falling down as best she could midday.

Another goody from yesterday: I enjoyed lunch with a friend—several actually... You see, upon entering the restaurant, two mutual gal pals motioned us over their way.  We, of course, joined them!  What isn’t to adore about a quaint local cafĂ©, yummy vegetarian eats and wonderful companionship at lunchtime?

Here’s what wasn’t so good about yesterday... Albeit I am thankful for its presence, all that rain did a real “number” on this straight-haired girl’s curls.  Seriously, I had the cavewoman look going on by the time I arrived back at my office.

What I’ve come to understand is that when I can’t wear a hat indoors (e.g., when I’m in the office), my "go to" for more challenging hair days is the side pony tail. This quick fix just helps me feel more put together; which, quite simply, puts me more at ease.  The trick is: I always carry a couple of bobby pins and a hair tie with me—just in case (smile).  And, yes, they did come in handy yesterday!  

Obviously, this hairstyle won't work for or appeal to everyone.  And...not everyone worries about whether they are having a "bad hair day"(kudos to those who are there!).  Nevertheless, I offer this post to those who do.  My recommendation is that others explore what makes them, personally, feel more "pulled together." For me, it's the side pony.  Someone else's "go to" could be hair gel.  Possessing a simple "go to" strategy like this (and tapping into it when needed) merely adds to my overall sense of well-being.

Featured below are a few past pics of me sporting my “go to” on challenging hair days...
 August 2009

June 2010

April 2011

June 2012

 Do you have a “go to” for challenging hair days?  If so, please share!

Joy and peace,  T.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fab Reads Discovered at Second-hand Bookstores

Literary finds from a second-hand bookstore browse last fall...

Love, love, love to browse bookstores!  More recently—maybe the last four years or so—I’ve had an obsession with second-hand bookstores.  I see one, and (almost compulsively) need to check it out!

Browsing a second-hand bookstore is always a unique experience as I generally encounter a hard-to-find book from my must-read list or something I’ve never heard of—yet, peaks my interest. Plus, buying second-hand is a greener option—which I totally adore.

Featured below are a few unique, well-worth-the-read books I have picked up at second-hand bookstores:

by Diana Roberts Wienbroer, Elaine Hughes and Jay Silverman
This is one of the best writer's reference books I have ever read.  It covers strategies for developing a writing style, building persuasion, paragraphing, word usage, grammar--from basic to advanced, words to avoid using, etc., etc., etc.  This book is so good, I keep it atop my desk--ready for use!

The Art of Aromatherapy: A Guide to Using Essential Oils for Health and Relaxation
by Pamela Allardice
I use essential oils a lot.  My favorite place for them is in a nice, hot bath at night.  This book provides an introduction on how to use essential oils as well as a guide to thirty of the most popular essential oils.  This is a wonderful reference book!

Pencil Dancing: New Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit
by Mari Messer
I am always on the prowl for books about creativity.  This one's chalked with ways to develop and explore your own personal creativity.  It includes scads of reflective, creative and research assignments--all dedicated to enhancing one's creative flair.

The Art of the Possible: The Path from Perfectionism to Balance and Freedom
by Alexandra Stoddard
I adore this woman!  I have ever since I watched her hosting her own program on HGTV many moons ago.  To be honest, I did not even know she was an author until I came across this book while browsing a local second-hand bookstore/coffee shop.  Turns out she's got about a dozen books (I'm about halfway to collecting them all).
This book presents profiles of eleven different goddesses (e.g. Aphrodite) and ways women can gather to reflect, eat yummy treats, play games, create, share insights, etc.  Every presented get-together is themed around one of the goddesses. It's a fun book with great suggestions for putting together a series of fabulous girls' nights in.

Are you a bookstore browser?  Do you heart second-hand bookstores? Ever find a treasure in one of them?  I would LOVE to hear about it!

Joy and peace, T.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Creative Ways to Make Adversity More Bearable...

Last eve's full moon--post yoga class--was anything but adverse...

Adversity--I totally do not dig it.  You see, I don't fancy having encounters with mean folks.  Failure...could definitely live without it.  Plans going awry generally equate to me being out of sorts. Sticky situations? Is there an option to "pass" on these?

Yet, I fully know all the above and a host of other unsavory things happen--far more often than I'd even like to admit.  That's life, right?

Over time, though, I've developed a few creative ways to define and, as a result, better deal with those things that (at least initially) aren't so pleasant.  If even one concept is useful to you, I'll deem my sharing of these to be worthwhile (smile).

Here goes...

Razorbacks: These are those feelings that creep in when something just isn’t right... Yes, it’s unsettling.  Nevertheless, this vibe is an internal mechanism alerting you to pay closer attention to a situation or person.  It’s your Wise Self in action.  Be thankful for this internal warning system and for her (your Wise Self's) presence—she’s most definitely on your side!

Surprise Packages:  The best way to explain this one is found in the old adage “Every cloud has a silver lining.”  Added detail is found in this past post.

Rhubarb Pie:  It’s really my version of saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”  Bad situation (Life hands you rhubarb?)?  Find a way to make it yummy.  Make rhubarb pie. Toss in a few strawberries for real yumminess!

Bonus Bucks:  I have a theory. When life gets tough, small successes and/or micro-sized strides taken (which are generally overlooked when things seem to be going relatively well) actually become more meaningful to me.  This means more self-celebration is taking place (any level of self-acknowledgement counts toward this!). Decidedly, that's a plus, yes?

Please share your creative ways to redefine + overturn adversity.  I would ADORE hearing about them!

Joy & peace.  T.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Self-celebration Action: Bask a Bit!

Life lesson learned from diva pet: Bask a bit!

Yup, that's my lovely Tabitha--featured above--lounging on the futon in my home office--basking in the late morning sunlight.  I snapped this shot, yesterday, while attending to a spot of writing.  

The word "bask" has another meaning, though: to revel in.  Adopt a life lesson from Tabitha, today: Carve out time to bask in your accomplishments--even the smallest of ones!  

Joy & peace this lovely Monday!  T.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Art Journaling: I Heart It!

Tickled Pink Woman Podcast Episode #11 (video)

Access at iTunes Podcasts: Click here
(Consider subscribing for free to Tickled Pink Woman in iTunes Podcasts)
Or listen directly via Libsyn RSS:

A few weeks ago, I completed the art journal I first began using on May 6, 2010.  This momentous occasion has spurred the latest Tickled Pink Woman Television video/podcast (You may access this video at one of the links provided above).

In this video, I'll share added glimpses into my old and new art journals, discuss my art journaling journey and insights regarding this reflective activity.  BTW, Tabitha is, yet again, prominently featured in this latest video.

During the video, I mention my growth journal.  More information regarding this is found here.  I also mention past art journaling videos I've made.  My collection of videos may be accessed at my YouTube channel.

Joy and peace!  T.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Welcome Side of Adversity

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; 
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” 
–Anne Bradstreet

Glancing at the picture above; which I snapped while out and about post yesterday’s combination snow + ice storm, I am clearly reminded of winter’s unique beauty.  Okay, yesterday morning—en route to work with ice on the roadways—I truly didn’t have the same frame of mind (smile).

Pausing for a few moments, mid-day; however, I spied glimpses of splendor in what initially seemed adverse to me... A brief time in reflection yielded a fresh perspective. And, no doubt, it will serve to make spring’s arrival one I cherish even more.

Joy and peace!  T.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Art Journaling: An Exercise in Gratitude

An art journal collage serves as a sweet place to give gratitude!

It’s been one of those weeks—at least, workload-wise.  As much as I enjoyed having Monday off in observance of Presidents’ Day, I’ve been playing “catch up” ever since... 

Last evening, back at home, I carved out time with my art journal, and I’m really glad I did.  Afterwards, all seemed a bit lighter and brighter (smile).  This simple activity is one you may want to try--especially after a particularly (um) challenging day:
  1. Select a page from a magazine that “calls” to you.  Then, tear it out. (I actually chose two images and layered them as shown above).
  2. Using a glue stick, secure the image(s) into your art journal.
  3. Grab a marker (or so...) and write at the top of the page: Things I’m Thankful for Today:
  4. Then, freewrite your gratitude items.  Don’t judge yourself or censor; simply write away--listing everything you are thankful for that day.  
Featured below, are a few things I gave thanks for yesterday:
  • Hearing birds chirping and watching snow gently fall as I walked from the office to my car;
  • An evening visit to the salon for a wash + cut + deep condition;
  • Mark’s playful Facebook post, asking me out on a date;
  • The prospect of a weekend without anything on the calendar;
  • Deep breathing=grounding; and
  • Tabitha greeting me at the back door after work.
Art journal + gratitude = joy!

Joy, peace and happy Friday to you!  T.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Things Get Done...One Step at a Time

Remaining book proposal tasks...

Yesterday, via Twitter, I noted, “Shift need not be life changing. Write a few lines. Snap a photo. Stretch amidst the busy day. Any little step is one that’s monumental.” I wrote this statement to remind myself things get accomplished one step at a time, and every little stride forward, serves a useful purpose.

You see, since January, I have slowly begun to craft a book proposal for my second book (More deets on my first book are found here.).  Pulling together a book proposal has been quite a process; a slow-going one, with a good deal of work still. ahead. of. me.

A few nights ago, feeling somewhat adrift, I jotted down the remaining, yet-to-craft book proposal sections (BTW--as you can see from the photo at the top of the blog, the butterfly theme has presented itself (randomly) yet again).  Truly, seeing these tasks--written down on paper, has provided me with a greater sense of clarity--lets me better envision what steps remain in this lengthy, yet gently-taken, walk I’m on. 

What dream of yours currently requires slow, methodical steps?  I welcome your sharing it (Goodness knows it will make me feel I'm not flying solo in this realm!).

Joy, peace and gentle encouragement!  T.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Dollar Joy

One dollar fix=Me, joyful!

This one’s dedicated to the joy of what I call the “one dollar fix.”  Below, are some fab things I’ve purchased for only one dollar...

Jar candle (local dollar store)
My favorite tub-side candle!

Sweet Breton striped gloves (local dollar store)
Initially, bought these to wear when running outdoors. 
They are so cute; I now wear them lots of places.

Sunnies with UV protection (local dollar store)
Borrowed the idea from a fave fashion blogger.

Polka-dot scarves (local thrift shop)

Leopard print leather belt (local thrift shop)

Please share your one dollar joy with me!  Would adore hearing about it.

Joy & peace.  T.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Journal Reading: My Journey in Mindfulness...

Do you ever re-read your old journals?  I have to admit; I rarely do.

Currently, though, I'm reading Samara O'Shea's Note to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits.  That's where the inspiration to pore over an older growth journal of mine came from.

Glad I did.  I re-discovered an entry I wrote March 25, 2010, and wanted to share it.  It's a combination of creative writing and a plan I crafted using magazine cutouts and a colored marker (pictured above).  It reminds me to take time to be more fully present for life's sweet moments.

At the time I wrote it, I was taking an e-course.  In part, it was dedicated to mindfulness--art journaling, too.  In fact, my growth journal was then serving as a precursor to my beloved art journal (launched only a couple of months later).

This specific creation is entitled "My Journey in Mindfulness." Here goes:


I'll light them.


I'll wish upon them.


I'll gather it every way I can.

The flowers...

I'll stop and smell them.

In retrospect, perhaps it should have been entitled, "My Plan for Mindfulness." Nevertheless, almost three years later, it still reminds me to make time to relax, dream, grow and enjoy.  

Do you re-read your older journals?  Would love to know!  

Joy and peace, T.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February Adorations

Today, I have the day off from work--in observance of Presidents' Day.  That, I truly adore.  Pictured above are potted tulips now residing prettily in my foyer.  Saturday morning, post my standing downtown breakfast date with Mark, I discovered red lovelies blooming among the pink ones--and I am adoring that as well!

Featured below are a few other recent adorations I wanted to share:

Self-made bookmark for my growth journal
Simply tied a couple of ribbons to a coated paperclip.
Knotted the ribbons for added "interest."

Sporting a fair trade bracelet
Purchased last summer in Evergreen, CO. while on vacation

Wearing a hat, indoors, while volunteering
Snagged on clearance at Urban Outfitters while in Bloomington last fall

Planning the week's wardrobe selections (Tuesday's is pictured)
Fave Breton striped shirt + thrift shop leather skirt + 
deal o' the century blazer featured in this past post

Began using new art journal=the end of an era...
The new art journal is the black one featured on top.

Please share what you are adoring this month.  Would truly heart hearing about it!  

Joy and peace.  T.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fashion Inspirations via Magazines

Magazine inspirations fashioned into a recent art journal collage!

Last week's journey to Indiana required scads of car travel both there and back.  What that equated to was me catching up (a bit) on reading the large stack of magazines I've acquired this past few months...

My reading has resulted in a stack of glossy images (I've pulled from the magazines).  You see, these visual guides have inspired my inner creative fashionista to have some fun.  Listed below are the ones I'm vowing to try out, myself:
  • pair a chambray shirt with a boucle' skirt (I own a fab chambray shirt. Think it's time to scope out a boucle' skirt (smile));
  • wear my snood indoors (with something quasi dressy) versus outdoors only. My snood (I refer to it as an "infinity scarf") is featured on a video made available via this past blog post;
  • knot a silk blouse over a pencil skirt (this will work perfectly with the couple of larger silk blouses I've acquired);
  • buy a leopard print blouse and layer it over a black dress;
  • match my lipstick to my sunnies (I believe it's time to find a pair of mulberry or cranberry shades...);
  • sport my fave white tee with my leather pencil skirt and leopard print pumps (My vintage bomber jacket would top this off nicely, yes?);
  • wear a maxi dress into the office (Paired with the right jacket, the one featured in this past post will work perfectly!);
  • don gold ballet flats (Topped off with a colorful boho print skirt/shirt combo and a vintage coin bracelet... How sweet!).
What about you?  Anything yummy inspire your creative fashionista as of late?  I would ADORE hearing about it!

Joy & peace!  T.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Volunteerism Done Mindfully

Me (on right), posing with sweet friend + local restauranteur 
while volunteering at the WinterFest Chili Cook-off  in 2011

A few events are on my agenda today; most notably: a breakfast date, downtown, with Mark, a late afternoon massage at the fitness center and dinner (possibly takeout, tonight).  There’s another important action I’m taking today, though...  I’m volunteering at a local Zonta fundraiser, the WinterFest Chili Cook-off (proceeds are used to support the club’s Women’s Scholarship Program). 

Working full-time, writing, blogging, etc., etc., etc., I’ve had to develop ways that enable me to contribute my time more thoughtfully than in years gone by.  Below are my key tips for volunteerism done mindfully:

Select a few organizations/causes near and dear. Then, concentrate your charitable efforts amongst them:  Right now I have two organizations I primarily donate my efforts to on a regular basis:  Zonta and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative.  Taking time to selectively choose causes near and dear; then, concentrating my efforts, meaningfully, amongst them makes me feel I’m making more of an impact than volunteering for a host of many causes/agencies. 

Establish boundaries:  I never agree to do anything that makes me feel “put upon” or stressed out.  If I’m too busy to volunteer, I don’t sign on to do so. I reserve my efforts for those times when I can share myself more freely. Another option is I sometimes offer to donate small blocks of time.  For instance, today—I’m volunteering from 10:30 to noon.  This enables me to give back, and still do everything else slated for this weekend.  It’s a well-balanced approach that keeps me from burning out (so, in theory, I am likely to contribute more, overall).

Make contributing fun and meaningful: Our local Zonta Club’s volunteer activities are set up to feel very social.  Today, I’m helping Chili Cook-off participants to find their set-up stations.  I’m doing so with a host of dear Zontian friends I adore being with; so, it makes my volunteer experience a fun one.  Addicted to writing (wink), my contributions for the Go Red for Women campaign are often in the form of written articles, blog posts, letters to policy makers, etc.  This makes volunteering not only more enjoyable; it is more meaningful to me.

Get creative with your contributions: Sometimes, I don’t have time to donate an afternoon of my time to a worthy cause.  Instead, I’ll look at what I can do.  For example, could I instead write a press release for an upcoming fundraiser versus being there?  Or, might I be able to pull together + contribute a themed basket for an event’s silent auction—rather than helping to set up for it?  I like having the opportunity to get creative with how I can make a difference.

Would love to hear any of your tips for mindful volunteerism!  Joy and peace.  T.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Heartfelt Moments...

A scene from last eve's din-din date downtown...

Hope your Valentine’s Day was a fab one—marked by you doing something special—just for you!  Wanted to share a few sweets from my day, yesterday...

Lovely fabric an employee of mine brought in for me.  She had received it as part of the packaging from a Valentine’s Day gift—and thought I’d enjoy crafting with it.  Indeed, I will!

Kisses left on my desk by the woman who cleans the office building

Sweet heart gloves (Moschino) from Mark.

This one’s from Wednesday, but I definitely had to feature it. 
Girly girl Tabitha sniffing potted, pink tulips (smile!). 

Have a wonderful Friday!  Love, joy and hugs!  T.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day: Love Yourself First...

"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line..." --Lucille Ball

About a year ago, I sent out this tweet via Twitter: "Light a candle. Enjoy beautiful music. Engage in aromatherapy. Create art. Let the first valentine u send be 2 u."  A year later, it's advice I unabashedly offer, again.  

Settled back in Ohio, today, I've a Valentine's Day dinner date this evening, downtown, with Mark.  A smoothie-outside-the-office lunch break, affirmations, stretching desk-side throughout the day...these are the gifts I'll give myself, on this well-known day of love.

What sweetness can you offer yourself today? Whatever you choose, let it be the first valentine you give.

Joy, love and peace, T.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Photos: Celebrating Life

Today, we return back home.  Tomorrow, the blog's regular format will resume.  Thank you for all the kind words I've received following our family's recent loss.  This collection of photos was pulled together in the hopes of inspiring a sense of cheer.  Hope you enjoy them.

Despite what the pics convey, never considered myself a party girl! I do, however, consider myself to be a celebrator of life.  Hope you enjoy a random display of celebratory photos taken over the past few years!

Upon arriving... Nassau, Bahamas (April 2011)

 Anniversary toast... Nassau, Bahamas (April 2011)

Vacation happy hour... Boulder, Colorado (July 2012)

Local wine tasting soiree (June 2010)

Tasting at an area winery (October 2011)

Celebrating my 50th (May 2012)
Joy and peace! T.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Photos: Random Bliss...

During time spent with family, I continue stretch my creative wings via photos (a picture says a thousand words, yes?).  Today's post=recent random bliss I've encountered.

Me, developing fab improvising skills (a.k.a drinking java despite no Starbucks)

Writing from a hotel room, quasi barefoot

Classic, fitted black blazer, slashed from $323 to $35=SOLD!

Anniversary gift--a few months early (smile)

Lovely potted tulips...

Huddled with two of my three adorable sisters: Elaine (left) and Karolanne (right)

Joy, peace and bliss to you, today.  T.