Sunday, June 30, 2013

Be Sure & Stay Tickled Pink!

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Joy and peace!  T.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Inspiring Stuff I Want to Share...

My art journal is a place where I often find myself lost in inspiration...

It’s early Saturday morning, and, barring the chorus of birds singing outside my home office window, it’s an amazingly quiet one so far.  Shortly, I’m headed downtown, with Mark, for our standing Saturday a.m. breakfast date.  It’s a ritual I hold near + dear.

It’s been a fast-paced, albeit insightful, week.  Wanted to share, today, a few things, I hope, you'll find inspirational...

There's nothing more sacred than your spending quality time with you! Click here to access a great MSN feature dedicated to planning a date with yourself (moi time, artist’s date—whatever you’d like to call it).  Why not pencil something super-fun (and just for you) onto your calendar for the near future? I've planned something for myself on Wednesday!

Rife with opportunity, the universe is always knocking on each of our lives' doors. Before writing off an idea or opportunity, ask yourself, “If I don’t do this, will I regret it?”  If your answer is, “Yes,” explore ways to make it happen--even if it takes you an extended period of time to do so.  Click here to read about a NO REGRETS decision I recently made.

Recently, Instagram made it possible to now post short videos online via their site.  Following a recent seasonal reflection I enjoyed last Saturday afternoon, I vowed to challenge myself more often.  Following that commitment, I posted my first video to Instagram.  Check it out by clicking here

Okay, your turn!  Please share what has inspired you as of late?  I would adore hearing about it!

Joy + peace!  T.

P.S. Google Reader goes bye-bye as of July 1.  If this is how you are connected to my blog, consider clicking here to follow me via bloglovin' (I truly don’t want to lose your readership!).  You'll receive an email every time a new blog post is published.    In advance, thank you, and xx!

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Proposal Updates + No Regrets

My growth journal depicts notes and collage reflections related to a recent coaching call...

Tuesday evening marked the conclusion of my three-month involvement with author Gail McMeekin’s Customizing and Monetizing Your Jewel of an Idea Monthly Coaching Group.  What an awesome endeavor this has been!  It exceeded my expectations on every level.  I walked away (afterwards) not only having completed a book proposal for my second book (which is what I set out to do), but I also finalized a query letter and plan of action for how to proceed next. An extra bonus is that I’ve secured two book endorsements from favorite authors of mine (Yes, one of them is Gail!).  Another gem is that I was able to work closely with a renowned author (again, Gail) who reviewed my work and provided me with valuable feedback.  Plus, I had the privilege of connecting with seven other remarkable women, each pursuing unique creative passions of their own.  I plan on submitting my book proposal to the first publisher on my list by mid-July (I will keep everyone apprised!).

Here’s where the concept of no regrets comes into play... When I received an invite to join this hand-picked group, I was elated beyond belief.  It truly seemed surreal.  Then, those pesky internal concerns (a.k.a. “saboteurs”) began to emerge... My internal dialogues went something like this, “April through June simply won’t work.  You are way too busy with several major workplace deadlines.  On top of that, there are those two weekend workshops you are presenting—coupled with a host of various other weekend commitments—oh yes, and a week-long vacation, too (can’t forget that, right?)--all taking place within the April to June timeframe.” 

Fortunately, I’m learning to truly challenge what I refer to as “can’t” thoughts when they decide to mosey themselves on into my head.  What this means is that I stepped back and asked myself, “If I don’t do this, will I regret it?”  My immediate answer was, “Yes, definitely.”  From there, I knew I had to make it happen—one way or another.  

Despite much busyness, this past three months, I believe I kept my life (pretty much) in balance.  Yup, I hustled a bit to get it all done, but there are absolutely NO REGRETS for having kept the focus and pushed myself a bit further toward attaining a personal dream of mine.

Share with me the “no regrets” decisions you have recently made.  I would love to hear about them! 

Joy & peace & happy Friday, too!  T.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Simple Treasures that Made Me Smile

Spa artwork I spied last night...

Here are a few other simple sweets that recently made me smile.  Hope they do you, too!

First daylily blooming in my garden

Enjoying a creative coaching group call on my patio—post a walk outdoors

Listening to my inner insistence to rearrange + freshen up my workplace office

Last night’s spa facial...

 Tea time following my relaxing facial

Decorating my abode for Independence Day’s arrival

DIY square mani 
(my first!)

Lovely painting displayed at my dentist's office
(+ sparkling clean teeth and no cavities!)

Share with me life’s simple treasures that recently made you smile.  I would ADORE hearing about them!

Joy and peace, T.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Return to Childhood Joys

A few eves ago, while poring through my electronic photos, I came across the one of me featured above on the left.  Something about it seemed amazingly recent.  Then, I remembered a style-themed blog post from a few weeks ago.  Too funny to think of the similarities between my three-year-old and 51-year-old self: same sunnies, same hat, dressed up, posing... I had to laugh (yes, out loud!)!

Then, I remembered something I heard a few years ago while watching a Marcus Buckingham video.  I'm paraphrasing, but he basically indicated that whatever you liked, whoever you were in your younger years, you are every bit of that now--if not more.  It's just an issue of owning that--uncovering it in order to realize what you want to manifest in your life.

In my quest to live a life that's tickled pink, I've striven to excavate my authentic self.  Honestly, when I look at these two pics--side by side--how can I not think my authentic self has reemerged?  Whatever it is, I'm enjoying it tremendously (smile)!

What joys from your younger days have you recently reclaimed?  Please share!

Joy and hugs!  T.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Reflections + Transformation

My view during last Saturday's artist's date...

Summer has definitely arrived, and she’s brought with her heat, humidity, pop-up thunderstorms—the whole shebang!  As planned, last Saturday afternoon, I engaged in a treasured artist’s date which included a healthy dose of seasonal reflection on the front porch of a local cafĂ©.  Of course, I had an herbal, fair trade, minted iced tea at hand.

An interesting side note...  While sipping my tea and writing away (smile), I spied a sweet white butterfly circling the tree a few feet in front of me.  Round and round she fluttered, quite gracefully, my beautiful artist’s date companion. I felt charmed by her presence!

The next morning, enjoying breakfast on the patio, I saw several more lovely white butterflies dancing throughout my flower garden (my blooming lilies are featured in the pics below!).  I wanted to snap a photo of these lovely butterflies.  Unfortunately, they are camera shy (wink). 

If you have read my blog with any frequency, you likely know what happened next...  Yup, I researched the symbolism of white butterflies.  Courtesy of, here’s what I learned: “A white butterfly normally symbolizes peace and a certain change that occurs rapidly. They are known as symbols of transformation due to their impressive process of metamorphosis.”   

I know there has been a personal shift of sorts—most especially as of late.  It’s taken some time to get here, but I’m finding myself more often “in the moment” than ever before.  Recently, I’ve also been able to “extract” myself (more frequently) from my emotions long enough to see things at various “angles”—gain clearer insight into the situations I encounter in a more logical manner.  All of this encourages me to continue practicing my beloved yoga, writing in my treasured journal and carving out sacred moments of stillness on a consistent basis--as they do yield fab benefits.  Perhaps my little butterfly friend is a sign that added transformation is yet to come...

What about you?  Do you find that dedicated practices, like the ones I’ve mentioned, bring about positive change?  What transformations do you seek?  Please share as I would adore hearing about it!

Joy & peace!  T.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Great Ways to Take the “Heat” Off Yourself

Today, I’m venturing out for my monthly artist’s date.  Mostly, I plan on browsing various antique and other shops nearby.  At some point, I’ll stop for tea, pull out my journal and write a bit (Yum!).

Overall, it’s been a pretty cool summer (temperature-wise).  Today, it’s forecasted to possibly hit the 90’s.  Of course, I have devised ways to keep the heat at bay at bit... I’ll wear my sunblock and sunnies, tote my water, be armed with a hat, and sporting lightweight faves to keep me cool. 

Likewise, in a figurative sense, I also need techniques to combat those times when the “heat” is turned up a bit.  You know--those instances when deadlines loom, too many tasks await, and the unexpected uh oh’s seem to be abundant. 

Here are a few of my favorite ways to ease the “heat” a notch or two:
  • Pull out my calendar and schedule an artist’s date;
  • Gift myself a vacation day from work;
  • Unplugged (no music, phone or other electronics on or near), enjoy the sun set from my patio;
  • Stop whatever I’m doing and engage in sacred, deep breathing;
  • Journal;
  • Acknowledge myself for something;
  • Build a list of gratitude items in my mind;
  • Affirm;
  • Take a photo of something naturally beautiful;
  • Spend time in nature (even if it’s a short sunshine break!);
  • Play dress up; and
  • Flex my creativity muscles (plan, write, art journal, paint, plan the next day’s outfit, rearrange a work or living space...). 
How about you?  How do you take the “heat” off of yourself?  I would enjoy hearing about it!

Joy and peace!  T.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice Reflectiveness

Recent evening reflections patio-side...

Last evening, Mark and I attended Zonta's Annual Summer Solstice Wine Soiree.  It's an event that raises scholarship funds for local women students aged 25 years and older, who demonstrate academic promise and financial need.  We've enjoyed attending this same gathering, each year, since 2006 (what a fabulous way to greet the arrival of this luscious season!).  The pics, below, were taken en route (smile).

Today marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.  At some point this weekend, I am going to etch out time for dedicated seasonal reflection.  What I'll likely engage in is a revisitation of my Spring Equinox reflections (view the progress of seeds I've "planted," while also reassessing my plan on where I need to "water" and "weed").  My journal is ready to go... Perhaps I'll play in my art journal, too...create something beautiful and treasured!  Check out last year's recommended Solstice reflection activity here.

Creative endeavors one evening this past week...

I recently came across this great web article featuring ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice.  One suggestion it provided was to build a bonfire.  We did this last Saturday evening when our son Andrew and daughter-in-law Amanda were in town for an overnight visit--and had a wonderful time!  Other fab suggestions for celebrating include reading outdoors, enjoying yogic sun salutations and renewing your wardrobe. Check it out, and indulge in what resonates with you!

A moment from last weekend's bonfire...

What are your plans for celebrating the Solstice?  Would adore hearing about it!

Joy and peace.  T.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How Style Enhances Life...

Sporting stripes + polka dots together=my latest passion!

These photos were taken last Friday while enjoying a sacred vacation day from work.  We’d just arrived back from out trip East the night before.  So, Friday was a relaxed day. I took myself to lunch, savored writing and stillness on the patio, ran a few errands locally and enjoyed a dinner date with Mark, downtown (smile).

Pulling together an outfit enables me to get creative; especially one such as this.  First of all, it requires me to think outside the box I learned to dwell in many years ago.  Pairing different patterns was never thought (by me) to be a viable option.  It is now, though as it lets me see just how far I can flex the creativity muscles. The more I use my creative gifts, the more they seem to multiply.  That’s definitely a plus!

Style also allows me to be resourceful.  I totally embrace the “less is more” philosophy these days.  What, that’s already in my closet, can I fashion into something I’d adore wearing?  The dress featured in these pics was a gift given to me for Mother’s Day (from Mark) about 11 years ago.  I adore polka dots, so this dress has become a treasured, timeless piece I enjoy wearing each summer.  The shirt was a $3 find at a local thrift shop.  It instantly caught my eye when I saw it (and incidentally matches my beloved dress perfectly).  It fits a bit looser than I like; so, I’ve tied it in front; which I think works well.  The straw hat was purchased at a consignment shop and is so fun to wear!  Makes me feel I’m on vacation—even when I’m not.

There’s yet another added bonus about style...  A few years ago, I’d have never thought I could gracefully don older and second-hand items (much less talk about it).  Nor did I think it possible I would pair stripes with polka dots.  As I’ve embraced my authentic self, I’ve found myself empowered to do so many wonderful things—which includes wearing what I like!

I know there are scads more benefits I could likely share, but I’m hoping that you will share yours, instead!  How has being stylish enhanced your life?

Joy + peace!  T.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June's Adorations: Vacation Adventures

Last week's vacation was both relaxing and adventurous!

Today's post features the last of the photos from my recent vacation. The key spots visited, along with highlights and photos from each one, are featured below.  Now back at work and in the swing of my daily routines, again, it's hugely fun to pore over these precious pics!  As noted in this past postvacation is a nap for the soul

The Berkshires...

A charming bed + breakfast (Birchwood Inn), mountains, quaint towns 
(including Norman Rockwell's hometown),a beverage tour, and sacred relaxation...

New Hampshire...

Lunch in downtown Concord (outdoor cafe), the majestic White Mountains, waterfalls,
seeing my first moose in the wild (no pics, sorry!), dinner at the haunted Spaulding Inn...


Sacred time visiting with our youngest son (who lives there), seafood dinners, Little Italy, 
happy hour on the harbor, the Old North Church, Paul Revere's home,
coffee houses, vintage shopping...


The fab Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State University, breakfast at The Diner, 
shopping + drinks in cozy State College, PA...

What are you adoring this June?  I would adore hearing about it!

Joy and peace!  T.