Monday, September 30, 2013

Self-approving Women Wear White Post Labor Day

What I wore to last Friday eve's downtown dinner date

One of my favorite affirmations is, "I approve of myself."  Self-approval means I accept myself and my decisions/actions.

I think white jeans are chic--always have...  Once upon a time, however, I only wore them Memorial through Labor Day.  You see, even though I wanted to wear white jeans, I worried what others might think if I broke a fashion "rule."

One day, about ten years ago, I decided to wear my white jeans in December.  Felt empowering.  Enough so, I wore them another time...and on an occasion or two after that...  Soon, I wore them any ole' time I wanted from that point forward.  I also began doing scads of other things I wanted to do, and that felt empowering, too...

Here's my thought: the best way to gain a sense of self-approval, is to please yourself--without concern about what others might think.  And...something as simple as wearing white, post Labor Day, is a great way to baby step it into action!

Jacket: French Cuff (thrifted)
Blouse: Forever 21
White Jeans: Calvin Klein
Belt: Banana Republic
Handbag: Milly
Shoes: Candies via Kohl's
Sunnies: Dollar Tree
Necklaces: Vintage via consignment and Etsy
Black & White Stretch Bracelet: Mosaic Consignment Studio (local biz)
Silver Link ID Bracelet: Mark's

Do you boldly sport white post Labor Day? What little steps have brought you a greater sense of self-approval?

Joy, hugs and peace!  T.

Friday, September 27, 2013

How Do You Define Casual?

Today's a bit casual.  You see, I've gifted myself a vacation day from work--simply to relax and play!

How do you define casual?  These days, it's more of an attitude (to me) than anything else.

Take for example these pics--freshly-manicured trees equals a lot less shade and a bit too much exposure to sunshine.  Add to that Bowling Green's ever-present windiness--as well as the fact that Mark and I couldn't seem to get it together (he was snapping while I was distracted, dealing with flyaway hairs, fixing my sunnies, etc., etc., etc.)... I decided to have a bit of fun and use these photos anyway. That's the epitome of me being casual--not taking things too seriously... It's not a bad feeling, either!

Of course, there's the subject of business casual attire, too... What I'm wearing in these pics might be defined by some as business casual.  Business casual to me is determined by what's on my calendar in a given work day.  Some days, business casual means a nice sweater paired with a pair of white jeans or a dress topped off with a jean jacket.  Other days, it's a nice pair of slacks and a blazer--along with a whimsically printed blouse.

Business casual attire is something each of has to define for ourselves.  To me, it's the practice of dressing professionally, but with artsy flair. I can include statement vintage pieces, leopard print and even neon accents--should I choose... Yet, the underlying message is that I'm seriously ready to get down to business--if need be...

Riding Jacket: Anne Klein (vintage via Etsy)
Leopard Print Tunic: No Brand (and vintage via Etsy)
Pants: Chico's
Belt: Betsey Johnson (vintage via Etsy)
Kitten Heels: No Brand (and old!)
Glass Art Deco Necklace: Vintage via Etsy
Sunnies: Target

How do you define casual? In life and dress?  Would love to hear your definitions of both!

Joy and peace!  T.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What I'm Trimming From My Life This Fall

Last week, we had a few of the larger trees in our yard professionally trimmed. an overwhelming difference this simple bit of shedding made!  Post removal of the added, unnecessary load, remained lovely streamlined trees--so much lighter and freer...

That led me to think... If it works in nature, why not in life? As a result, I'm hoping to trim something highly undesirable from my own life: self-judgment.  You see, I'm actually already pretty good at directing my thoughts in a loving, self-caring manner.  It's a skill that has come about after several years' worth of daily self-affirming.  Even so, self-judging thoughts...well, those sometimes just happen, unfortunately.

My goal, this season, is to mindfully redirect thoughts that don't serve me--every time they show up.  Perhaps, I'll trim them out--entirely--at some point--as I firmly believe practice makes perfect (smile).

Recognize these little sweets?  They are the lovely mums that yielded another recent life lesson via nature.  Each day, they are moving closer to their fullest glory...  Now, that is inspiring!

Have a beautiful Thursday!  Joy and peace, T.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What Inspires and Captivates You?

What a gorgeous week it's been! Sunny, yet chill, but not too much so...  I am absolutely adoring it! Right now, I'm sipping a cup of pumpkin spice java, and luxuriating in the memory of a gorgeous fall evening. Yes, I'm referring to last night.

From my patio, I caught the sunlight descending softly upon my backyard.  There, its light shone fondly upon my precious maple tree.  Rich tones of amber, garnet and topaz literally sparkled before my very eyes; how very breathtaking it was!  Its rich beauty both inspired and captivated me, and I wanted to share the joy...

What has inspired and captivated you as of late? Would love to hear about it!

Joy and peace, T.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Equinox Reflections...

At the dawn of every new season, I establish time to reflect.  This evening, I look forward to being on the patio, candles lit, journal in hand, hot tea brewed and steeping--while luxuriating deeply in focused thought...  (Guidance for conducting your own seasonal reflection is found here.)

Yes, the Autumn Equinox was Sunday.  That's okay.  Reflection of this sort can take place at any point.  Generally, I'll engage in this yummy endeavor within the first week or so of a new season.

This fall, my reflections will be a bit different than in years past.  You see, there's been a shift in how I approach life this past few months...

Gone is the emphasis on what I've achieved in the season past.  It's been replaced by how I felt (e.g. Was I happy? Did I feel a sense of self-empowerment?  What courageous actions did I take? Did serenity reign supreme?).  Likewise, my vision for the coming months will follow this same pattern...

Blouse: Liz Claiborne (vintage and consigned via Mosaic)
Sweater: Zara
Plaid Pants: Evan Picone (beloved closet fave for some time now...)
Shoes: Candies via Kohl's
Sunnies: Target
Glass Beads: Vintage via Etsy


What feelings would you like to experience this fall? What moments of bliss and well-being did you experience in the season past?

Joy and bliss!  T.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Authentic Living=A License to Play!

At 51-years-young (smile), I'm having as much fun with creative play as I did as a child.  Creative expression isn't exclusively my writing and artistic endeavors, it encompasses all aspects of my life--even how I dress each day.  Every baby step taken to reclaim childhood's amazingly well-defined creativity (and courage) muscles, is paying off, too...

That's right--these days, when I see something that inspires me, I act upon it.  No longer do I think, "Looks fun, but I could never pull it off."  I used to, though...

Caps and camouflage are huge trends this fall.  Imagine my joy at finding this cap in my son's closet!  He's away at graduate school in Boston, right now, and I'm not sure whether this item is a discard of his or not, but I'm enjoying sporting it nevertheless (another smile...).

Cap: Youngest son's 
Shirt: American Eagle (Youngest son outgrew this one a few years ago)
Khaki Chinos: American Eagle 
Sunnies: Vera Bradley
Handbag: Vera Bradley (gift from my oldest son & daughter-in-law)
Pumps: Candies via Kohl's
Statement Necklace: Vintage via area antique shop
Wooden Bangles: Vintage via Vintage Vogue in Bloomington, IN

Living authentically means I have a license--to play--to experience life fully--to be me!  It sure beats, "Would love to, but I couldn't..."

Have you granted yourself license to fully live your life?  If so, please share your joy!  If not, consider committing to one action item (this week) to get you there. I would love hearing about it.

Joy, peace and happy Monday to you!  T.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Self-Care: Little Moments for Me...

Truly, it doesn't take much to make my day...often, just giving myself precious little moments of quality time does the trick.  And--simple or not--I like it that way...

This week, I gifted myself sacred time in nature--nothing fancy--just simple stuff: A walk in the neighborhood after dinner one evening, writing in my journal from the patio the next night, and a yummy dinner in the backyard on yet another eve.

It's been a week marked by a luscious full moon, soft seasonal breezes, sprinkles of gem-toned foliage dotting the trees, and the lovely melodies that contented birds and crickets sing.  Makes me feel so very appreciative--for every last second of it...

What little moments have graced your week, made you smile and brought a beaming sense of gratitude your way?  Would absolutely love hearing about them!

Joy, peace and happy Friday!!! T.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Inspired Seasonal Style...

Hanging the wreath (at my house) means it's officially fall!

Fall, you are one gorgeous creature! Wearing the boldest, richest hues, your chilly demeanor captivates all you touch.  

In fact, you've inspired me to reflect your beauty in my own seasonal stylings... For example, I...

Dressed the mantle...

Accessorized the hearth...

Sprinkled seasonal touches here and there...

Put my best stuff on (the table)...

Donned harvest-time faves...

Sported hot pink...

How's Ms. Fall influencing your style this season? Would love hearing about it! 

Hugs & joy, T.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Blues File=A Place to Gain Perspective

Yesterday, I treated myself to lunch out with a gal pal.  What a wonderful decision that was!

Both she and I work management level jobs, and share similar responsibilities at work.  Our occasional lunchtime get-togethers are a fab way to offer each other peer support.  Amidst yesterday's chit chat, I mused, "I sometimes wonder if what I do is really making a difference."

She shared with me a great concept for gaining perspective when she asks herself that same question--referring to it as a "blues file."  In it, she keeps letters from consumers who have written notes of gratitude, photos of projects she's seen through from start to finish, and emails demonstrating where progress has been made.  What a great idea, huh? An at-a-glance resource like this truly can demonstrate the impact one has made.

Cardigan: Ralph Lauren (gift from Mark many years ago)
Jean Shirt: Piace Boutique (Bloomington, IN)
Wrap Skirt: Ralph Lauren (thrifted)
Sunnies: Helix (Kohl's)
Statement Necklace: Bought from a talented friend who made it herself!
Tights: Simply Vera Wang (Kohl's)
Shoes: Nine West
Handbag: The Leather Satchel Company via Asos

I don't know about you, but I'm really loving the color blue this season!  I'm also excited to create a blues file of my own.  Do you have one or something similar that allows you to gain a clearer sense of the difference your efforts make?

Joy, hugs and peace!  T.