life curation

Writing Out My Bucket List

After a few weeks of feeling uninspired and restless, I finally started getting back to my “normal”. I’m not 100% back but I’m on my way. As part of my recent burst of inspiration, I started writing out my bucket list.

checklistNow, I’ve done this before (multiple times, actually). But funny enough, I can’t find any of my old copies. I take that as a sign that I need new dreams. NO surprise there: I’ve already accomplished a lot of what I’ve wanted to do (as I mentioned in a previous post).

So I’m starting all over again. And I needed some ideas to help get my creativity flowing. I found this great list on Celestine Chua’s website that has 101 things everyone should try. She also makes this fabulous list available as a free PDF so you can get a printable version if you’d like. Between this list, Write It Down Make It Happen, and this incredible book I’ll be reviewing soon (more about that later), I expect to be absolutely unstoppable next year.

To our continued success! I hope your Monday is happy, productive and everything else you want it to be. Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Let Inspiration Lead You

Happy Saturday, friends! I recently experienced a major positive shift in my energy, and I wanted to share what happened that turned things around a bit. Now, the positive shift doesn’t mean that things are completely perfect; in fact, nothing is truly perfect in my life right now. However, this shift was powerful enough to give me a significant “push” when I wasn’t feeling inspired to do anything at all.

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Letting inspiration guide you is as simple as letting go

Earlier this week, the word “lagniappe” crossed my mind. Lagniappe is a Creole term meaning “a little something extra”. It’s a little gift or token that may be given for anything or nothing. Usually, little shops in New Orleans (though this might also happen in other parts of Louisiana, I’m specifically referring to New Orleans because I’ve been there) will throw in a little extra gift when you purchase something, or even give you a little token just for stopping by and chatting with the staff for a bit.

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A common sight in many shops in New Orleans – masks with all sorts of fancy designs

I hadn’t thought of the word in years but here it was, on my mind. I just figured that meant it was time to plan another trip to New Orleans (which would be fabulous!) and let the thought pass. I went on with my day as normal and didn’t think any more of it.

Two days later, I went online and read some posts in one of my coaching groups. I saw a post from a member that was unclear on what she needed to do to resolve the issue that she was facing. I thought a writing technique that I first read in Write It Down, Make It Happen by Dr. Henriette Anne Klauser. I flipped through the book, located the technique I wanted to describe to her, and posted my response.

After writing the response, I flipped to the back of the book, right before the bibliography. Right there, in the middle of the page, was the word “lagniappe”. For clarity, Dr. Klauser is not Creole nor does she write about life in Louisiana or anything else related to that part of the world. Literally, the word was on the page, like a beacon, telling me that what I needed was sitting on my bookshelf all along.

I’ve been languishing a bit because my dreams need fine tuning. It’s funny: I actually have almost everything that I want. I’ve spent years getting clear on my desires and successfully co-creating everything that I’ve wanted. I’ve traveled to places that I couldn’t imagine that I’d ever see in person. I’m in my dream field: the one that took me NINE years to get into. My family is healthy and happy, and I earn enough to do everything that I want to do (with proper planning, of course). By all accounts, I’m happy with my life and everything is great.

But my daily passion is lacking. I knew that I needed to get clearer about my art career goals as well as a few other “bucket list” items. I didn’t realize how much being “comfortable” and uninspired could negatively affect me, but now I know. So the next few weeks will be all about getting clear and finding my passion again. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my life and find a lot of joy in it daily. But my drive was gone because I’ve already gotten so many of the things that I wanted.

I mean, what do you do when you got everything you wanted?

It’s simple: you find new dreams. You get some new goals. You find a new passion because that passion is what keeps us going.

So I’m taking some time to get quiet and let inspiration lead me. I think I know where it’s going to take me: there’s a dream that I’ve been tossing around for a bit, but I needed a little extra clarity on how I’d like for it to look in my real life. So I’m going to reread Write It Down, Make It Happen, spend some time just doing what sounds like fun (because having fun is great for setting things in motion), and allowing my new dreams to reveal themselves to me.

Have you all had to “recalibrate” your dreams? I’d love to hear how you did it: feel free to comment below and let me know how you tapped back into your passion after a period of feeling uninspired.

Take care, and enjoy your Saturday!

life curation · Uncategorized

I Got a New Planner!

Happy Friday! Let’s just take a moment to smile and rejoice as we made it to the end of another week.

A few days ago, I knew I had to embark upon my annual exercise of selecting a new planner. I hate to wait until after January 1st to buy one, because the selection isn’t as good AND I have a slightly compulsive behavior where I must fill in the first day of my calendar/planner: filling a calendar retroactively just won’t suffice.

So I buy these sorts of things in December. Last year, I was gifted a 2017/2018 planner and it was absolutely perfect: seriously, it’s exactly what I would have purchased for myself. This year, I’m buying my own and I needed to find one that met my practical needs and aesthetic preferences.

My planner had to:

  • Be pretty
  • Have lined spaces for daily entries
  • Include a space for weekly/monthly goals
  • Have convenient at-a-glance calendars for this year and next year
  • Lots of space for notes at the back of the planner
  • Less than $30

I was delighted to find this beauty at Target for a little under $13. It’s perfect: pale pink with gold lettering, and generously sized.

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I am already enjoying it so much. The first few pages of the planner have spaces for fleshing out your vision for the year, as well as milestone goals that you want to accomplish in different areas of your life. Talk about comprehensive!

This planner is by Day Designer and I highly recommend it. It’s beautiful and meets all of my requirements. I love it!

beauty · style

8 Easy Ways to Look Luxurious

Happy Tuesday, folks! Despite some unseasonably warm weather yesterday, I’m still fully aware that winter is upon us and we’d do well to not let our beauty routines lapse. Sometimes, a little warm weather will make us less diligent when it comes to our cold-weather routines – don’t fall for the trap! After all, we only get one body: we have to take care of ourselves.

Along with caring for our bodies internally (diet, exercise, caring for our mental, spiritual and emotional health), we must care for them externally, too. And after we care for our external selves, we may find that basic care just isn’t enough to put a little pep in our steps. Let’s face it: usually, the basics aren’t enough to make us feel luxurious. It doesn’t matter if your face cream costs hundreds of dollars or if you’re using SPF2000: basic care isn’t always enough to make you “sparkle”.

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However, enhancing your sparkle is easy! Here are 8 simple ways you can look more luxurious on a daily basis. Keep up with these, and you’ll be glistening effortlessly in no time!

  1. Groomed brows – I selected this as the top item because it’s so easy to neglect our brows in favor of other body parts. However, well-groomed brows create a gorgeous frame for your eyes, and can instantly make your whole face look more polished and refined. Groom your brows to instantly see a more luxurious you.
  2. Moisturized skin – Dry skin will never be luxurious. Using a good moisturizer that leaves your skin soft, supple and non-greasy instantly enhances your look. Walking the fine line between glowing and greasy is tough, so you may have to sample a few different formulations to find a good one. It’s worth the effort, so start looking now so that you can be well on your way to a more luxurious appearance.
  3. Freshly manicured/painted nails (on hands and feet) – Polished, cared-for nails and feet make a world of difference when it comes to cultivating a luxurious look. Nails that are even, polish that has no chips, lumps or gashes, and cuticles that are trimmed and moisturized quickly give hands and feet the appearance of luxury. This takes a bit more time than some of the other luxurious enhancements mentioned, but it’s worth the investment.
  4. Clothing made from all natural fibers – This can be challenging, since we live in a world full of polyester, spandex and other unnatural fibers. Natural fibers require more maintenance but look infinitely more luxurious. All within reason, though – everyone must consider their personal budget and level of investment when deciding what kind of fibers to purchase. However, cotton is inexpensive and feels great next to the skin, and more expensive fabrics (like leathers, silks and cashmere) can be purchased at a discount if you are a wise shopper. For a truly luxurious look, keep in mind your personal ethics (leather isn’t for everyone!) while shopping for all natural fibers for your wardrobe.
  5. Red lipstick – Perfectly applied red lipstick can immediately make a face look more luxurious and polished. Red lipstick in the perfect shade for your undertones and complexion is a powerful tool to make any ensemble look more glamorous. Red lipsticks are available at all price points, so this luxe accessory is truly available to anyone!
  6. Whitened teeth – A bright, white smile can do wonders for enhancing your overall appeal. And, whitened teeth are very luxurious looking. Whitening formulas can be as simple as baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide, or as elaborate as a few rounds at the dentist’s office. Whatever it takes, make sure to remove as many surface stains as you can from your teeth, so that you can have your brightest smile.
  7. Large sunglasses – Give a nod to Jackie O, one of the most elegant women ever, by throwing on a large pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses are practical – who ?doesn’t want to protect their precious eyesight from the suns’s harmful rays – and mysterious. They shield your eyes in the most stylish way. The right sunglasses add a level of polish to any look. Try on a few pair and see for yourself!
  8. Gloves – An oft-forgotten accessory, gloves are another one that is truly practical and still adds a stylish, luxurious touch. Most people won’t reach for their gloves until the cold months, but lightweight cotton gloves are great for protecting hands from the sun when you’re out and about during the warmer seasons.

Can you think of anything else that makes you look or feel luxurious? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

life curation

The Podcasts That I’m Loving Right Now

Happy Hump Day, friends! We’ve made it to the middle of the work week- let’s continue to push forward. We can do this!

I’ve been concentrating on my writing for the past few days, so I haven’t been consuming a bunch of media. However, I have been listening to podcasts, since that gives my creative mind a bit of a break. So, I am going to share a few of my podcasting favorites that I’m currently listening to.

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Afford Anything with host Paula Pant is such a treat. Pant’s investigative journalist style lends itself well to her interviews with different financial experts and people who have achieved the financial independence/retire early (FIRE) lifestyle. One of my personal favorites is her interview with Natalie Sisson, who has a successful business that she runs – while living abroad.

The Side Hustle Show with Nick Loper is a treasure trove of business ideas. Start with any of them: you won’t be disappointed. Since I’m interested in becoming a published author. I’ve found the self-publishing episodes particularly helpful.

Abiola Abrams has been in the public eye for many years, but over the past several years, she’s grown a loyal following. She teaches women how to create businesses that are lucrative, serve a higher good, and are aligned with the entrepreneur’s purpose and passion. Her Spiritpreneur (TM) series covers a wide variety of topics and are very insightful. These are worth checking out!

life curation

Winter Socializing: My Game Plan

Happy Hump Day! I’m already looking forward to the weekend, but I’m two days away and trying to make the best of it. As the days get shorter and the air gets cooler, I’m considering what my social calendar will look like. I hate having to go outside during the winter so any social events I attend must be pretty special in order for me to participate.

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My ideal calendar for December 2018 to March 2019 would involve the following:

  • A monthly art event
  • One wine event during the season
  • Two or three workshops (less than 3 hours long each)
  • One long workshop (more than 3 hours)
  • Biweekly dinners with friends
  • One date per week

I’m an introvert, so this schedule is ambitious for me. In fact, there’s a good chance I could line up my calendar to include everything I’ve written above and I still may end up flaking simply because I don’t have the energy. But what I’m learning is that it’s really important for me to set social goals, much like I set career, education, health and financial goals. Social goals can really help me with managing the emotional lows that I tend to experience during this time of the year.

As much as I love to isolate myself, I really benefit from interacting with others in small doses. If I don’t overdo it, being around others tends to lift my spirits and give me some energy. So I’m going to spend some time today figuring out which events to add to my calendar. And, once I have those all lined up, you can look forward to some reviews and discussions regarding the stuff that I’m doing as I ride out this fall and winter. Wish me luck!

art · life curation

Art is a Healer (I Knew It Already)

There’s nothing like confirmation. There’s a sweet satisfaction that comes from having someone state what you’ve known all along: it’s good to know that your thinking is accurate.

Recently, I came across an article that describes how some physicians in Canada are prescribing trips to the art museum to their patients. There are therapeutic benefits associated with spending time observing and appreciating art.

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Well, as you all know, I wrote about how I healed during my divorce by regularly visiting art museums. My time in museums helped tremendously with my self care and was one of the greatest keys in lifting my mood during the darkest period of my life. There was something so comforting about walking in those pristine and taking in all of the beauty that had been created years prior.

The article also talks about doctors prescribing time in nature to patients, as well. Yup, that’s another thing I used while I was on my self-care journey. All of these things contributed to getting me back into a state of wellness.

Well, that’s it for today. Just came in for a quick gloating session – I kid, I kid! I hope you all are enjoying your Saturday! Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.