Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Thank You" Bliss

I received the lovely, hand-made card (featured above) a few days ago.  It was from the sweet group of tween-aged girls I presented a volunteer art journaling workshop to, last week, at the local Girl Power Tween Camp.  I'm not sure how well the details will show up in the photo, but each letter in the word "Thank You" was cut and pasted onto this precious work of art!  Isn't it lovely? And, don't you dig that groovy peace sign?

In my opinion, there's absolutely no substitute for a hand-written thank you card or note.  And, a hand-crafted one (be it from the sender or a purchased card from an artisan), makes the thank you all the more special!

The pic, below, is of a thank you card I crafted for a dear friend, earlier this year.  The story surrounding my hand-crafted note of thanks is found in this past post.

Do you enjoy sending and receiving hand-written thank you notes?  Would love to hear your insights on this!

Joy and peace. T.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Creative Fashion Fun: New Way to Wear a Belt

As of late, I'm having fun wearing belts a whole new way... Or, at least, I should say, "a way that's new to me." I wear them with skirts and pants that don't require belts (no belt loops).

The secret is to not wear the belt at the garment's waistband...  Instead, let the belt hang a bit loose--falling about an inch or so below the waistband.  I think it lends itself to a unique look, don't you?

Cardigan: Ralph Lauren (birthday gift from Mark--several years ago)
Blouse: Forever 21
Skirt: White House Black Market 
Belt: Kohl's
Shoes: Target
Sunnies: Target

Share with me a fun, creative fashion tip.  I would love to hear about it!

Joy and hugs!  T.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Why I'm Smiling...

Art journal collage (July 27, 2013)

Saturday morning, post my standing breakfast date, downtown, with Mark, I headed out--to a local thrift shop.  This time, I decided to conduct an experiment while browsing. My plan: to mindfully smile at others and see what happens...

Upon entering the store, I passed a woman who appeared to be taking inventory.  I smiled.  She smiled back.  A moment later, while browsing for skirts, I sneezed.  She called out from across the way, "Bless you!" Her sweet words brought me added bliss...

At the checkout, I encountered a woman, who appeared, at first glance, to be very tired.  I shot her a compassionate look + smile.  She seemed to light up as she smiled back.  Pausing for a moment, she then asked, sincerely "How are you, today?"  I told her "Pretty good so far. Thanks," and asked,"How about you?"  She smiled, again, and told me she was doing well; thanking me.

As I was leaving the store, I smiled at two women, entering.  Both smiling back, one of them said, "I like your outfit." I thanked her; once again, smiling--a sense of joyful connectedness in hand.

"Smile, and the whole world smiles back at you."  It's a saying that's been around for awhile.  Yet, there's definitely something to it.

The pics featured throughout are of the two lovely items I snagged that day (I wouldn't even think of ending this story without sharing my finds!)  Anyway, I purchased a lovely, lined wool wrap skirt (Ralph Lauren) for $2.50.  I also bought a leather belt (Land's End) for $1.  Both were in mint condition. Yup, I'm smiling alright--for many a reason!

Joy, peace and a fab Monday to you!  T.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Why I Adore Second Hand Fashion...

The dress (Jones New York) and lace blouse (Lucky Brand), featured in today’s blog post, were both purchased (very reasonably and in mint condition) at consignment shops.  The vintage glass beads, Elgin diamond watch and Bakelite bracelet (all pictured) were also “second hand” purchases.  The glass beads I found at a sweet, rural antique shop. The watch was a yard sale snag, and the bracelet I found on Etsy.   

No doubt, I adore buying things second time around.  Here are a few reasons why...

 Doing so suits my budget.

My wardrobe is unique and not cookie cutter.

Finding the best quality for the least amount of money is a fun thing to do!

Living my life in a green-focused manner and in compliance with my shopping values, 
better allows me to live life with no regrets.

Do you purchase second hand items?  Would love hearing about it! 

Joy, hugs and happy Friday to you!  T.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tips for Dressing Cool in the Heat

It's a bit cooler this week, than last (which was downright hot!).  Okay, up here in northwest Ohio, we are a bit spoiled, as we think it's an oven if the thermostat hits the mid 80's.  Having grown up in southwestern Indiana, where the heat + humidity know no bounds, I realize the concept of a heatwave--as I define it now--is merely a relative thing (smile).

Nevertheless, when the heat hits, I like to keep cool.  Here are a few tips for doing so...

Pair bare legs with nude pumps: Doing so gives a seamless look and a sense of elongated legs.  This look is chic and totally office appropriate.

Tie back your hair: Sometimes, I'll sport a topknot or bun.  At others, I like to pull my hair into a side or traditional pony tail.  Here, a headband is combined with a low knot to achieve a bit of cool from the heat.

Lose the jacket and don a dress shirt in its place. This strategy is a summertime favorite of mine, and still lends itself to a polished look.  It's definitely a more comfortable option when the temperatures rise.

Wear lighter colors. Darker colors will absorb the heat more than lighter ones.  Hence, I typically reach for these softer-toned hues when the dog days strike.

Blouse: Lucky Brand
Belt: J Crew
Shoes: Candies
Watch: Anne Klein
Sunnies: Vera Bradley
Bracelets: Vintage
Glass Beads: Vintage

How do you dress cool when the heat is up?  I'd love to hear about it!

Joy and hugs!  T.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Virtual Art Journaling Workshop

This morning, I'm taking time out of my day to volunteer.  That's right--I'm teaching an art journaling workshop at the local Girl Power Tween Camp.  It's a commitment I've had the pleasure of taking part in for the past three years now.

Here's the agenda I'm using.  It includes links to corresponding past blog posts and Tickled Pink Woman YouTube videos.

1)            Welcome + Overview: Why I Heart Art Journaling 
2)            My Video: Why My Art Journal is a Personalized Comfort Book! 
3)            Art Journaling Prompts
4)            My Video: Getting Your Feet Wet in Art Journaling 
5)            Q&A

The first year I delivered this workshop, I included an overview on journal writing and vision boards, too.  To view an informational video on vision boards (created for that first workshop), click here. Fittingly, all pics featured in this post are from that first workshop session.

Join me, virtually (in a sense), by clicking the links within this post.  I'd be honored to have you join me--even if only in spirit!

Joy and peace and a fab Wednesday to you!  T.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life Lessons Learned When Applying Darker Nail Polish

Every now and again, I indulge in a salon mani.  You see, I've gotten pretty good at doing my own nails--at home.

One thing, though, regarding my home manis...  I generally select somewhat demure colors: pale pinks, vanillas, beiges, gold tones, etc. I've found these shades to be very easy to apply as flaws are more easily hidden (making my manis, generally, quick and easy for me to undertake).

This past weekend, en route to a movie matinee, I dropped by a department store to pick up blusher (Lancome).  Turns out it was "free gift time" there.  A tote bag, lipstick, mascara, body lotion and several skincare items were all included in the free gift promotion.

When the gifts are too good to pass up, I'll generally invest a few bucks more, and reap the free goodies. This was one of those instances.  I decided to get a bit adventurous, buying a nail polish in a shade that's a bit darker than I generally wear (Very Vernis).

You may already know this: I love likening daily occurrences to life in general.  Yup, I've done it again.  This time, my tips for applying darker nail polish hues are ones that translate to life itself.  Here goes:

Don a cloak of courage: Sporting a brighter-than-usual shade and doing one's nails require a bit of bravery.  In life, courage is akin to wings.  It enables us to soar higher than we would otherwise.

Own a sense of self-confidence: Painting one's own nails a deeper shade requires a sense of skill as the goofs show up more.  Even if one doesn't yet possess this gift (smile), the "can do" attitude is a must; otherwise, the mani never happens.  Same goes in life.  Those things we think we can do, we will do.

Be very patient: Painting too quickly equates to an inordinate amount of messiness. A good mani requires one to invest time.  In life, worthwhile endeavors also require the investment of time and patience.

Abandon perfection: My mani isn't perfect, but that's okay.  I put my best foot forward. That's what counts, and that's where my focus is.  No doubt this same concept works throughout every aspect of life.

Have you tried a new shade of nail polish lately? Undertaken a task that required a higher level skill?  Would love to hear from you!

Joy + peace. T.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Sunday Morning Ritual

Art journal collage (7/21/13)

I've found a fabulous way to transition from weekend to workweek. It's my luxuriant Sunday morning ritual.

Here's the scoop: I sleep in; then, enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  Afterwards, I sip scads of java while reading emails and watching YouTube vids on my iPad.  Most all of these are personal development newsletters and videos from other non-fiction writers, making my efforts a great way to feed my mind. When weather permits, I savor this treasured time from my patio (the pics featured below were taken yesterday morning).

I find taking these relaxing few hours each week to be one of the most nurturing things I do for myself.  It has resulted, afterwards, in some of the most creative bursts of energy I've experienced.  

Do you have any rituals that both relax and revitalize you?  I would adore hearing about them!  

Joy and peace. T.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Soul, Mirrored Via Style

"Style is the soul mirrored outwardly." Me, via Twitter 
The collage is from my art journal (7/19/13)

A few added style shots via yesterday's blog post... My soul is feeling visually expressive this week...

Looking forward to a restful weekend.  How about you?  

Joy and peace.  T.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Change of Pace...

Yes, it's been a bit fast-paced as of late!

Hooray, it’s Friday! Yesterday marked the successful completion of a couple of super-big projects at work.  I welcome the tad-bit-slower clip I’ll enjoy this next few weeks.

There’s a change of pace on the home front, too. This weekend is the first one in some time that nothing is scheduled.  This evening, I plan on crafting an “All I Want This Weekend” list—map out those things I want to enjoy, accomplish—even feel (e.g. relaxed, creative, blissful, etc.) this weekend. Yum!

Yesterday, I continued onward with my pledge to infuse fun, daring and whimsy into my workplace wardrobe.  This, too, is somewhat of a shift as I, historically, have played it pretty “safe” with my workplace stylings.  Below, are a few examples of how I did so:

Wore two watches at once
The secret to this is pairing a larger and smaller watch (or larger grouping of watches of various sizes)—versus putting the same sized pieces together.

Donned sparkle shoes
Wednesday, I sported the dress I wore to my son’s wedding into the office. Yesterday, I wore the shoes (Nine West) I bought for that momentous occasion to work.  In doing so, I flexed both my creative and courage muscles a bit, and that felt fab! Stretched my wardrobe again, too!

Repurposed a necklace 
The necklace featured above is actually a long strand. The look I was going for, yesterday, was that of a statement necklace (the shorter variety everyone is wearing right now). No problem.  I wrapped the strand around my neck a few times and fastened it in the back.  Instantly, I was in vogue!

Showed a little lace 
Last summer, while on vacation, I purchased a couple of sweet lace camisoles at Urban Outfitters.  Yesterday, I wore the black one under the Chico’s dress I was wearing—letting just a little lace peep out from under the dress’s collar.

Wore a blouse as a jacket 
It’s been awfully stuffy these past few days. Thursday, I opted to switch out my jacket for a blouse (Forever 21).  It was a comfier option and looked every bit as polished.

 Share with me ways you are embracing a change of pace.  I would love hearing about them!

Joy and hugs!  T.