Thursday, October 31, 2013

Self-Expression: Leather + Lace

Self-expression is akin to self-celebration.  The nice thing is it manifests itself in various forms including what we say, do, create, enjoy, love, and, of course, how we dress.

I adore pairing items that, basically, feel like they don't belong together--like leather and lace.  Truly, I think it's an expression of who I am.

Yup, call me a walking juxtaposition! I love all things pink, girly, and Zen; yet, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  It's simply who I am.

 Lace Top: Vintage via Etsy
Cardigan: Talbots
Leather Pencil Skirt: Thrifted (Vintage Vogue in Bloomington, IN)
Wedge Booties: Nine West
Tights: Simply Vera Wang via Kohl's
Sunnies: Daisy Fuentes via Kohl's
Glass Pendant: Black Swamp Arts Festival (2011)
Leather Bracelet: Antique Shop in Saline, MI
Belt: Urban Outfitters

I close, today, with a sweet pic Mark captured the other evening.  We laughed that Tabitha, our lovely adopted shelter kitty, was preparing, early, for the arrival of Trick-or-Treaters (which takes place tonight, here).

Joy, peace and Happy Halloween! T.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Self-Care: Craft a Bliss List...

I know it's only Wednesday, but the proactive side of me is already thinking about the coming weekend (smile).  Mark and I are headed out to a gathering to celebrate the recent engagement of one of his coworkers on Friday evening. Aside from that, there's really not much on the agenda--aside from Saturday's breakfast date, downtown, and dinner out that night.

The prospect of a "free" Saturday afternoon got me to thinking... What if I built a list of really fun things I'd relish doing?  There'd be no pressure to experience all or even any of the items listed. Yet, if the mood struck (this weekend or even at some other point)--what a great  way to focus my bliss, yes?

Okay, this is impromptu, but here's my list:
  • brew some chai tea, light the fireplace & write in my journal
  • drink sparkling water from a champagne flute while reading a stack of magazines
  • curl up with my cat and watch a fave old movie (maybe the Joy Luck Club...)
  • buy a cup of java at a local coffee house and browse for books there
  • check out the newly-opened Japanese peace garden and teahouse at a nearby park

Faux Fur Jacket: Ann Taylor (consigned)
Lace Dress: Diversity Boutique 
Turtleneck: TranquiliT
Tights: Simply Vera Wang via Kohl's
Sunnies: Target
Boots: Nine West
Mother of Pearl Pendant: Vintage (bought at an area antique shop)

What's on your bliss list? Would adore hearing about it!

Joy and peace, T.

The Joys of Creative Comfort...

In recent years, I've shunned wearing t-shirts and sweatshirts--outside of the fitness center, gardening in my flower beds and hikes outdoors.  I've gotta admit, though, I am (as of late) fully embracing their return as a fashion trend!

You see, there's something amazingly awesome about finding ways to creatively spice up comfy clothing (you know--those pieces (sometimes) not considered flattering or fashionable).  I've found that the inclusion of these once-tucked-away pieces into my wardrobe also stretches it (smile).

Finding ways to infuse comfort into one's life extends far beyond the wardrobe realm, though... Truly, it should extend into every aspect of life...

These pics were taken last Saturday (a cold, gray, windy day, BTW), following my standing breakfast date, downtown with Mark.  We decided (following both of us experiencing a busy past week) a day of relaxing fun was in order (It was our way to creatively manifest a spot of comfort into our weekend.).  We decided to journey to Michigan for the day.  Enjoyed time in Ann Arbor as well as two quaint little towns: Chelsea and Saline.  It was exactly what both of us needed!

Beret + Mittens: American Eagle (gifted several years ago)
Sweatshirt: Chaps Ralph Lauren (I've had this one for some time)
Turtleneck: L.L. Bean
Jeans: Liz Claiborne via JCP
Sneaks: Converse
Sunnies: Vera Bradley
Statement Necklace: Purchased from a talented friend who makes jewelry
Handbag: The Leather Satchel Company via Asos

What ways can you sprinkle comfort into your life this week?  Please share!

Joy and peace, T.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Reclaiming Past Passions...

Last Friday eve, Mark and I headed downtown for a fab fundraiser: Tales From the Tombstones.  We attendees first met up at the Clazel, a beautiful old theater that's been transformed into a pub/event center.  The historic character of this building has been well-preserved--inside and out--which I adore!

After dinner + drinks, we boarded a bus and headed to various sites, locally, for scads of history.  Of course, ghost stories were sprinkled into all we saw and heard. Seems our little town has a very interesting past!

Sometimes, I forget how much I enjoy anything historic...  You see, even though my graduate degree is in Public Administration, I was a History major as an undergraduate.  And...I absolutely adored every minute of learning about past places, events and people...

I always tell myself I love vintage due to its impact upon our environment.  This still stands as true. I'm now realizing, though, my passion is equally related to my adoration for the past as well.

The pics featured in this post are of me en route to Friday eve's event.  I sported something (aside from my spooky gloves) that was seasonally appropriate and it is certainly historic: Victorian mourning beads.

Beanie: Forever 21
Sunnies: Target
Jet Mourning Beads: Vintage (purchased at an antique shop in southern Ohio)
Turtleneck: TranquiliT
Fisherman Sweater: Tommy Hilfiger (mint, consigned)
Jeans: Chico's
Boots: Nine West
Fingerless Gloves: Yak & Yeti

What passions would you like to reclaim?  Would love to hear about them!  Rediscovering past passions equals newfound joy--in my opinion!

BTW, I'm linking this post today to a fave blog of mine, Two Birds. Check out the inspired link-up fun, by clicking here.

Joy and peace, T.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Take That, Bully!

I've been blogging a little over a year and a half, now. What amazes me most is the beautiful community of kindred spirits I continuously encounter on this journey.  I am truly touched by not only the supportive, affirmative comments left on my blog--but those I see on other blogs I read.

Wednesday evening, I received my very first "mean-spirited" comment on the blog (I didn't publish it--but I'll share it, below).  It was left in response to Wednesday's blog post.  Sadly, I knew it would happen eventually.  I've read--too many times--on others' blogs there are bullies out there... You know...the folks who tell people they look bad, write poorly or that they think people are trying to make their lives look more perfect than they are--and other sordid stuff that just doesn't need to be said.

Here's the thing with bullies:  Their goal is to make you disengage--make you fearful of putting yourself out there--make you unhappy. Here's my response to that, "Uh-uh, Bully.  Ain't happening!" In fact, in your honor, Bully, I've published a few more photos, today, than I normally do; so, take that!

You see, I like to have fun at a bully's expense.  Generally, I do this with my journal. In the hopes of sharing this strategy with others, today's blog post is gonna serve the same purpose. You might say it's my makeshift journal.

Noted below, beside "Bully" are snippets of the actual comment left.  Next to "Me" is me putting this bully in her place (smile). I guess if she tunes in to read, I really will be, huh?

Bully: "ehm....."
Me: "Excuse me, but what was that?  Did you just clear your throat? Ew! That's gross!"
Bully: "the photos here didnt do you any justice. you looked short because of the angle taken...."
Me: Let me begin by saying I'm 5' 4" and proud of it!  So, deal with it.  
Oh, and BTW, I dropped by your blog to see who you were, Bully.
Believe me, I could say far worse about you, but I won't because I'm way above it!
Another thing, Bully, you are not welcome here.  And, I don't want you
visiting the blogs of the dear souls who frequent this one. They don't need your creepy kind hanging around, either! 

Ya know, Bully, I ought to thank you.  You inspired one of the most creative posts I've ever written.  And, I've had scads of fun at your expense, too!!!

Blouse: Forever 21
Sweater: Banana Republic (thrifted)
Slacks: Ralph Lauren
Boots: Nine West
Sunnies: Dollar Tree
Statement Necklace: Boutique in Dublin, Ohio

Today's blog post is dedicated to anyone who has ever encountered a bully.  In fact, feel free to use the comment section of this post to confront your bully here.  You are welcome to do so!

Joy, peace, hugs and a beautiful Friday to you (unless you're the Bully)!  T.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Simple Joy: Sun Kissed...

So, what do you think?  It's my first go at orange nails!  You see, yesterday--between blocks of sunshine--snow and sleet fell down outside my office window.  In all honesty, I am simply not ready for winter--not yet at least!

Last eve, I lit orange candles (Yankee Candle's Fruit Fusion), slapped a few coats of Sally Hanson's Sun Kissed on my nails and cracked open a gifted box of Disney's Wonderland Tea (Mango).  It was an instant infusion of all things bright and sunny!

Amazingly enough, after these pics were taken... I realized not only was the tea I had enjoyed Disney-themed--my pajamas were, too.  Yup, my parents gave me these sweet Micky Mouse p.j.'s a few years ago.  They are my faves.  Of course, Disney always brings to mind what else but Florida--the sunshine state!

How are you sprinkling a bit of sunshine into your day today?  Would love hearing about it!

Joy, hugs and peace, T.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Listening to Inner Wise Whisperings...

This week, I'm celebrating my ability to listen to my own wise whisperings... You know--those subtle self-nudges to take a tea break, opt for the longer (and more scenic) route, or pick up the beloved journal and write for a while....

Last evening, there were several tasks--here at home--demanding my attention.  My inner Wise Self urged me, however, to leave them be--to take a walk outdoors, instead...

And, so... I ventured forth just as the sun was setting--for a charming walk through the neighborhood.  The night air was brisk, and a light wind blew as I walked.  The foliage was so very brilliant--oranges, reds, golds... Even as it grew dark, the street lights illuminated the gorgeous jewel-toned hues adoring the trees. It was indescribably captivating!

They say we may see our first snow flurries, today.   Although I'm not totally sure, I think a snowflake or two may have fell upon my cheek, last eve, as I walked.  One thing I do know is the impact listening to my Wise Self made.  What I needed most was a walk outdoors on a lovely fall night.

Close-up of vest fabric...

Shirt: American Eagle (my youngest son outgrew it!)
Vest: Bitten/Sarah Jessica Parker
Leather Skirt: Thrifted (Vintage Vogue in Bloomington, IN)
Boots: Nine West
Sunnies: Target

What's your inner Wise Self whispering to you? I say, "Go for it!"

Joy, peace and beautiful Wednesday to you!  T.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Creative Style: Quilted Jacket

Pretty much any endeavor undertaken requires creativity (at least a spot of it).  Baking, planning an event, organizing the office, arranging furniture, beginning a project (any kind--you name it), dressing--everything we do has creativity's involvement attached to it in some way.

My realization of this has led me to understand: I am a creative being (We all are!).  Knowing this fact, has allowed to me step out of my comfort zone, recognize my accomplishments and feel confident about trying new things.  After all, when I do, I'm being creative (and, for the reasons stated above,  that's a good thing!).

Fall is a great time of year for a quilted jacket.  I own two of them: a red one and the black beauty featured above.  Recently, I've discovered a chic new way to style them... I roll the sleeves up to three-quarter length and sport something long-sleeved underneath.

The weather's perfect for doing so.  Of course, this same technique could work with any type of jacket or blazer.  The quilted jacket, though, is one I feel sometimes needs a bit of added oomph.

Jacket: Steve & Barry's
Turtleneck: Target
Statement Necklace: Jennifer Lopez via Kohl's
Belt: The Ritz
Skirt: TranquiliT
Boots: Nine West
Sunnies: Daisy Fuentes via Kohl's
Bracelets: Kohl's (enamel); vintage (stretch)

Amidst last eve's photo taking, my adorable diva tabby cat, Tabitha, struck a pose.  I simply had to share my pet parent pride! I'm guessing others can relate to this, yes?

How has creativity enhanced the quality of your life?  I would adore hearing about it!

Joy & peace, T.