art · life curation · reading list · relaxation

What I’ve Been Working On. . .

Let’s just take a moment to smile at the fact that we’ve made it to April. How blessed are we to see a new month and to know that things will only get better from here!

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I know that I’ve taken a couple of mini-hiatuses from the blog. As you all know, I’ve been nurturing my body after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year, but I haven’t allowed my diagnosis to stop me from pursuing my passions. At the beginning, this diagnosis felt like a hard stop: I had to relearn so many things and find a new normal.

I’ve had to adjust the pace at which I work toward my goals, but I am happy to report that, as I get better, I have more energy to work on the things that delight me. I still struggle with chronic pain, fatigue, and the mental fog that comes along with fibro, but those symptoms are not as pronounced as they used to be, which is such a blessing!

One of the biggest projects that has given me joy in the past year has been my publishing company, Bronze Butterfly Books. This precious project has allowed me to channel my creativity into designing beautiful notebooks and journals. I would love if you check out my website and let me know what you think.

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The bookstore is open!

I’ll have more special things coming from the book shop in the weeks to come. Thank you all for your continued love, support, and good vibes. Have a great day!


life curation

Resuming My Gratitude Practice

I didn’t mention this at all on the blog last year, but I meant to, because I was eager to resume one of the practices that made 2016 and 2017 especially magical years for me. Several years ago, I kept a gratitude journal. This journal is good for capturing the little things that I appreciate throughout the day. I got away from this practice because, life being what it is, I got distracted. I really wanted to resume the practice, and even begin using my journal again in August 2018. But, soon I found myself again skipping days and forgetting to do my entries. So my journal went unused for most of last year.


This year, I wanted to start things on a different note. I decided to begin using my gratitude journal again because well, why not? I don’t have many pages left in this particular journal but I will use it until it’s full, then I’ll start a new one. I focus on capturing the great things that happen each day. I don’t worry too much about expressing gratitude for the same thing multiple times within a week. If there’s something great that I appreciate on more than one day during any given week, I take no issue with noting this more than once. I do, however, try to focus on what truly makes me happy each day and I make an effort to find the moments that made me smile, no matter how small. 

So we’re eight days into the new year, and I’ve  already know that more than 24 things that I can be grateful for this month. I’m happy to be recording the things that I appreciate, because I tend to lose sight of what’s important. Now, I like to think that I am very appreciative on a daily basis. But, I am human and I’m not always as mindful as I’d like to be. Sometimes, I forget how much I have to be grateful for. So this exercise has been great for getting me to focus on what really matters.

Are any of you keep a gratitude journal? If so, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear more about your personal practice as well as how long you’ve been doing this.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are enjoying your day. Have a great afternoon and take care!

life curation

Making Joy a Daily Practice

I’m still buzzing a bit from the Joy Challenge that I talked about incessantly last month. Mindfully choosing joy daily is going to be a never-ending exercise for me, and that’s okay: it’s worth the effort. Fortunately, I have a little tool to help me to keep the joy going during the months ahead!


Amina Makhdoom Lynch, the creator of the Joy Challenge, generously gifted participants a copy of Rebecca Kochenderfer’s book, Joy Journal. The book is designed to engage you in joyful practices for 12 full weeks (3 solid months!) as you move from accidental/occasional joy practitioner to consistent joy creator.

This book is designed to get you into the habit of engaging a daily intention, reflecting on positive experiences and expressing gratitude. Each week opens with a few thoughts on the week’s theme, stories, encouragement, and examples to assist you in completing the week’s prompts.

I’m so thankful that Amina sent me a paperback copy: these are the kind of tools that I don’t enjoy when digitized. The act of writing (with pen and paper) and reflecting on my thoughts as I write has always been magical for me. So this lines up perfectly with my preferences.

If you need something to help you with staying in joy, this could be a great resource for you. Make sure you check it out!


Institute for Contemporary Arts Opening Next Week!

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it! (Pointer Sisters reference, for those that are unfamiliar) I’ve been waiting for this since I first heard about it last year. And now we’re less than 10 days away from the grand event!

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Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is opening the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA) in Richmond, VA. The ICA will feature different contemporary arts exhibits and act as an “experimental” space for art discussions and initiatives. This is one of the most exciting institutions to come to Richmond in quite some time, and I’ll be there on Saturday, April 21, 2018, when the ICA hosts its grand opening festivities!

That’s all for today. Have a great Friday, and I’ll chat with you all tomorrow!

life curation

The Best Year of Your Life: the Dream It Section Follow-up

A few weeks ago, I gave a brief recap of my revelations while working through the book, The Best Year of Your Life by Debbie Ford. I completed my notes on Chapter 1, but I hadn’t finished fleshing out my thoughts on Chapters 2 and 3. Here, I’ll follow up on what I learned from doing the work outlined in those chapters.

Doing the Work to Create my


Chapter 2: Exposing the Fantasy -I thought deeper about the feelings I associate with my “fantasy” life: I often fantasize that I will feel joy, eagerness (happily looking forward to the good stuff to come) and calm. Activating joy will be easy, since I’m doing the Joy Challenge and will be regularly activating that emotion on a daily basis. Eagerness will come from taking more chances and affirming the goodness of everything that comes across my path. I can engage the feeling of calm by instituting relaxation practices for different scenarios. Right now, I can only think of two situations that would greatly benefit from the relaxation practice: I’ll need one for when I feel stressed about work, and one that I can engage to set the tone for a good night’s sleep. Once I finalize the details of those practices, I’ll make another post describing them. That takes care of Chapter 2’s exercises!

Chapter 3: Stepping Into Greatness – I allowed inspiration to come to me, and I created my vision for this year: I will become a well-known influencer, using my reach to encourage people to supporting the arts, move past relationship disappointments, and create the most enjoyable, luxurious lives that they can experience.  The traits I mentioned in the previous post – discipline and boldness (extroversion) – still apply. Creativity is also required, as is excellent communication skills. Focus will be big for me: I tend to get sidetracked. I could easily list about 5 – 10 additional realms that I want to influence, but my primary love is the arts, so I’m going to focus on that, with healing from relationship trauma and living high-quality lives as secondary and tertiary goals.

I’m glad I got a chance to review these chapters and get clear on what I’m dreaming up in 2018. I’ll be sharing more on how I plan out this year’s activities in a future post. Ciao for now!

life curation

Currently Watching . . .

Happy Saturday, darlings! A series of related YouTube videos led me to this TED talk from 2015 (yes, it’s an older video). The term “multipotentialite” was new to me, but I quickly identified with the traits ascribed to this label.

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Emilie Wapnick’s discussion about why some of us lack “one true calling” really spoke to me. I have had several successful “careers” (paralegal, tax analyst, financial analyst) but never felt that I was in my “sweet spot”, that one place I was meant to occupy. I enjoyed aspects about each career but nothing felt like a “calling” to me.

I appreciate everything I learned throughout my careers and I’m in awe that I was able to transition effortlessly from job to job. My current position is my favorite and feels more like a dream job than any other I’ve had. And yet, I’m preparing for the next transition, because I’m being drawn to a career in the art world. But my calling? I don’t know that I have a singular one. And that’s okay.

If you haven’t found your “calling”, take heart. You may just be one of “us”, the multipotentialites. Talk to you all soon!

hollywood glamour · style

Affordable Hollywood Glamour Series


Dorothy Dandridge, the embodiment of all things glamorous

Once upon a time, I used to cruise the internet in search of any and all things vintage (I still do this, actually). I drew a great deal of inspiration from the glamorous looks worn by Hollywood stars from the first half of the 20th century. They looked so effortlessly luxurious, perfectly coiffed and naturally elegant. I loved everything about how these doyennes of the silver screen presented themselves for the public. They cared about what they wore and who saw them.


The incomparable Hedy Lamarr

When you look at photos of classic actresses, you can’t help but think, “Wow they look great”. They had the benefit of the Hollywood style machine, combing over every inch of their personal appearance to ensure that they looked picture perfect at all times. But even though we know they had LOTS of help, many of us still enjoy the possibility of recreating some of these looks RIGHT NOW.


The perfectly styled Veronica Lake

I can’t say that I’ve reached that level of dedication, but I aspire to it. As a result, I want to share some of the websites and other goodies that I find help to cultivate a glamorous image.


Gene Tierney, an effortless beauty

Now I know that glamour isn’t for everyone, and even for those that are interested in it, it’s not something that they want to employ every day. But for those that do want to dip their toes into the glamour pool, this will be an easy catalog of glamorous indulgences that can be referred to whenever you need to tap into your most stylish self.


The radiant Theresa Harris

So as part of this series, I’ll share posts about makeup, clothing, jewelry, diet, books, and documented daily routines of stars of yesteryear. This is all about creating a more stylish existence for women that are ready to glam up their day-to-day existence. Glamour is fun: let’s all play with it!


The timeless beauty of Merle Oberon

I hope you all enjoy!

(Photos courtesy of Pinterest, NNDB, Biography, The Dying Movie Race, Love Those Classic Movies and IMDB)



life curation

In Case of Emergency . . .

If you have never felt despair, frustration or sadness, then you may not need this post. In fact, if you’ve never felt these feelings, please leave a comment below: I’d love to know how you make that happen!

However, if you have experienced those emotions – or some other unhappy feelings – you may be able to relate to what I’m going to write.

Sometimes, you need QUICK relief. A temporary shot of relief can give you the boost that you need to keep going. It won’t take away every pain, but at least it’s a sort-of bandage: it’ll mend you for the time being.

In the midst of one of these dark times, I created an emergency self care kit.  The idea behind the kit was to put things in it that can give me relief when I need it most.

I made sure to select a beautiful box that would bring a smile to my face as soon as I saw it. I also wanted to make sure it would be large enough to accommodate all of the items that I intended to put inside.


My kit contains tissues, a journal and pen, chamomile tea, hot chocolate, a mug for my tea, a copy of “Rejuvenate: It’s Never Too Late” by Eartha Kitt, some crystals, and photos of loved ones. There’s a lot of empty space in my box: I have plenty of room to add additional comforting items.



Funny enough, I find that just looking at the box can create feelings of calm and relaxation. Crazy how that works.

Would you ever consider making a self-care kit? Let me know in the comments below!


life curation

Preparing for 2018: Commit It In Writing

“Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie, though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Habakkuk 2:2, 3)

Happy Tuesday, loves! Look at me, already with a third part of the Preparing for 2018 series (Have you missed the other parts? Catch up here and here). This series is part inspiration, part instruction, and part reverse engineering. There’s no better way to duplicate success than to analyze what you did and try to recreate the results.

As part of the Preparing for 2018 series, I want to touch on one of the most powerful tools I’ve used on my journey. Without it, I’m not sure that I would have made progress as quickly as I did. That tool is, of course, the power of WRITING my goals.

I use writing to not only clarify my goals, but to help me identify my stumbling blocks, visualize the steps needed to accomplish my goals, as well as reflect upon what worked well and where I should apply some course correction. Writing is my favorite recommendation to anyone trying to turn their dreams into reality.

I advise everyone to get a journal and use it for capturing thoughts when inspiration hits. But, in this case, I go a little further: having a journal dedicated to your 2018 vision can really help you materialize what you want faster. Funny enough, writing down what’s happening all around us may help us see that what we really desire – happiness, prosperity, love – is already present in our lives: we just needed to pay closer attention.

Here is a book that I’ve referenced many times over more than ten years (!), which explains how to use writing in powerful ways:

I’ll do a review on “Write It Down, Make It Happen” by Dr. Henriette Anne Klauser in a future post. But for now, let me just tell you that this book is my ultimate guide when it comes to inspired writing. And, for the upcoming year, writing down your goals and vision should be nonnegotiable. After all, we actually want to accomplish our dreams, and writing them down will put you ahead of the game in so many ways; why wouldn’t you want such a powerful advantage?

That’s it for today. I have a special little series coming up soon, so look out for that. Until tomorrow . . .


life curation

Maintaining Joy: Gratitude Journal

I don’t recall where I heard about this first: perhaps it was from an Law of Attraction podcast, or maybe a YouTube video. But I’m thankful for whoever shared this tip with me first.

Most of us forget how good our lives truly are. We could have 10 or 20 amazing things happening at once, but we focus on the one thing that isn’t going our way. The fact is, most of us have lots to be grateful for, even when life doesn’t feel 100% perfect.

To stay in the mode of appreciation and joy, I keep a gratitude journal. For every day, I list 3 things that I appreciate and feel thankful for. I try my best not to repeat gratitudes, but if I must, I don’t get upset about it. The truth is, some days are duller than others: I won’t always be able to name a “new” reason to be thankful.

I make an entry for every day, but I often forget days here and there, and I have to try to remember what went well for me on the days where I skipped an entry. During the earlier part of this year, I missed nearly two weeks in my journal, since I was traveling and living in the moment. In those cases, I simply do my best to remember as much as I can, listing my appreciation in no particular order.

I’ll be finishing my current journal this year, and I’m already looking at a few other designs. I’m considering purchasing this lovely set of four journals, all with soft, beautiful watercolor designs.

Do you maintain a gratitude journal? Please let me know in the comments below!