Girl Talk with pie n' the sky

I was more than humbled when the fabulous Melisa of the blog Pie N' The Sky reached out to me for a Girl Talk interview. Not only is her blog beyond fabulous but she also asked some really fun and thought provoking questions (like what is my biggest insecurity? or what do I love most about myself?). I love & admire her quest to inspire and showcase what other women are doing & thinking.  She also has some wicked cool handmade crafts that are worth treating your eyes to...

So if I could be anyone for a day, who would it be? Find out here!

antique rings & sparkly things,



sayonara sugar!

I'm about to do the unthinkable for Brittany.

I've been racking my brain for days now trying to decide what I will give up for Lent. I've been wanting to land on something that would help me gain mental, physical, and spiritual benefits from sacrifice.

What to gain?

  • New found strength in the face of a difficult challenge
  • A bolder approach to my health
  • Elimination of a toxin from my life 
  • A challenge I could become obsessed with
  • A victory in the face of an addiction
  • Benefits beyond 40 days
  • An opportunity to truly sacrifice & resist
  • Spiritual growth through all of the above gains
Thus I have decided to say farewell to my loyal friend sugar (& I'm not just talking about the sweet good stuff either!). I've always been quite intrigued by blogger Sarah Willson's testimonial of "quitting sugar" though never credited myself to be brave enough to eliminate one of my greatest addictions. After almost a year of deliberation I'm ready to take the plunge and focus on this challenge. I  downloaded Sarah's ebook and will be digging in tonight as I polish off a pizza and the rest of the king size Kit-Kat bar in my freezer. If you are any bit intrigued I suggest you check out Sarah's book, she raves about the benefits of eliminating sugar from her life and discloses how she made it work for her. 

If I know myself like I think I know myself I just might have the biggest sweet-tooth of any individual I have ever encountered (the evidence embarrassingly lives in my dental records). I'm ready to buck up and I'm excited about the challenge and opportunity to approach life a little more creatively.

If you practice Lent what are you celebrating? If you don't then are you crafting opportunities for change and growth with a clear definition of outcomes and gains? I'd love to hear about it.

sayonara sugar!


Happy President's Day y'all!

Oops. I've been out and about for a week & now my loft is a disaster... but what made the most sense on this day off was sleeping in & then impulsively hanging a bold arrangement of frames around my tv (after my grilled cheese & tomato soup lunch of course). I even framed some of my own doodles & paintings also with some of my favorite photos, post cards, & sweet things. It all feels right.

happy happy monday!


snow day mixtape

oklahoma's first official snow day in the public school system enabled me to work from home and these beats made it all the more magical:

1. wagon wheel- old crow medicine show
2. forget you- cee lo green 
3. peaceful easy feeling- the eagles [top 2 favorite song of all time]
4. sweet pea- amos lee
5. ridin' solo- jason derulo [to pull me & maile away from the "adele slump"]
6. i wanna dance with somebody- whitney houston [song that i survived on summer 2011]
7. young blood- the naked and famous [thanks to my music guru]
9. wedding dress- matt nathanson [after being mesmerized at his concert last night]
10. where i stood- missy higgins
11. stronger (what doesn't kill you)- kelly clarkson [a pleasant treat in my email from maile]
...& of course anything that plays on the brett dennen pandora station.

warm tea & smooth melody,


Love Letter To My Body

Dear Body.

I'd first like to thank you for all that you do for me. I am thankful for the breaths you give me each day. I am thankful for vision to see the beauty that surrounds me, even in the least illuminated spaces. I am thankful for the ability to manifest creativity from my hands. I am thankful for my legs and the strength they host that allows me to travel as desired. I am thankful for the ability to feel, which serves as a constant reminder that I am alive.

I love you for all that you are, as you are- your smile brightens the faces of those around you & your brown eyes are always honest. Your skin is soft & ticklish and the arches of your feet mimic a rainbow. Your countless freckles remind others of youth and serve as lasting memories of adventures in the sun.

I love how your belly button is both an "innie" & an "outie." I love the tint of pink that your cheeks create when you blush, and how impossible it is for you to conceal. I love how your eyes, ears, nose, mouth & heart have an undeniable craving for sweet things. I love how impressed I am by the strength of your toes when I balance my weight on them. I love how all of your parts create a symphony of movement when you are compelled to dance. I love your awkward pencil grip & the scar on your right arm that resembles a snake bite. I love your long legs and how well they manage to sit in a pretzel fold. I love how strong your core is, providing you many hours of strength for laughing. I am amused by the freckles on your face that are parallel to the Little Dipper constellation & how much your feet enjoy being naked. 

You deserve to be showcased with perfect posture. You deserve to be nourished with food that makes you feel strong & energized. You deserve to be treated to deep sleep & colorful dreams everyday. You deserve to maintain hydration & have your lungs filled with fresh air.  Your mind deserves to be filled with positive thoughts & good intentions. Your soul deserves to be hosted in empowering & enriching environments. 

I know that I do not always hear you when you ask for what you need. I will be better at listening to you and answering you.

You are one-of-a-kind & I am lucky that you are mine. You are the reason why I exist & why I exist well. 

eternally grateful-

What does your love letter to your body sound like? Is the language different than what you would write in a letter to your lover or your best friend? It shouldn't be... Give it a try. Be gracious, kind, and complimentary to all extremes. Act as if your spirit has stepped out of your body. Your body deserves to know how you feel about it. No one else has to see it (trust me, this is not my full version) -you just need to feel it.


happy happy joy joy

things that made me blissfully blissful today...
waking up extra early to make chocolate chip pancakes before work & enjoying them with Maile. puppysitting Lexi for my manager while she is away. my nails layered with As Good As Gold & G-listen To Your Heart nailpolish. listening to "here comes the sun" on my way to work with the sun shinning brightly through my sun-roof. bringing ants on a log to share with my coworkers during our Monday meeting. doodling skyscrapers. Maile sharing tortilla chips & strawberry yogurt as dip with me. having a Twitter conversation with a new friend.. & by new friend I mean Terrell Owens (#funny). being on day 3 of not washing my hair. the fabulous company of my coworkers. skipping to get where I'm going. peeling an orange all in one piece. meeting with school leadership & feeling inspired by new insights. pink blush. doing the february-photo-a-day-challenge on instagram. taking Lexi for walks. getting a parking spot on my street. listening to the Pandora Motown radio while I make dinner. morning star vegetarian corn dogs... if I hadn't seen the package I'd have thought someone was fooling me into eating meat... they're unreal. discovering that I have 3 bottles of mustard in my fridge & new-found fear of running out of mustard(!!!). eating chocolate chip pancakes & corn dogs with Maile for dinner & talking about how great it is being a "grown-up." group texting with my mom & little brother. the sound of ballet flats on the floor. enjoying a chai tea latte out of the new lovely starbucks cups. watching season 2 of "sex & the city" while I reply to emails and review teacher plans. this stuff (oh! baby!). washing my hair. the scent of MorocaanOil curl defining mousse. Thunder victory in overtime!!!.

the little things  always bring such joy my way.


the secret to hair full of secrets

The tool to creating uber happy curls may actually look more like a torture device, but I consider it a magic wand... Rsession Tools NaluWaver ...

It could easily be the best beauty investment I have ever made (yes, ever). The possibilities are endless. You can use it to make loose beach waves or very structured and crisp waves. You can make crazy big curls or crazy loose curls & so much more. The more I play with it the more I learn. I once even managed to create a vintage inspired finger wave. I can curl my hair with it in under 10 minutes ...even with my wonky sometimes straight/sometimes curly/mostly nappy hair. It's insanely efficient. It's also what I use to create my curly side bun (which takes a total of 7 minutes!).

The videos on the Rsession Tools website teach the basics to using it (which you have to watch or you'll end up with an uncomfortable burn!). It comes with a heat-protecting glove that you must wear. Trust me, I try to rival fate and sneak around having to use the glove and it always gets me!... plus it kind of makes you feel like MJ.

So, the secret to fetch curls that are full of secrets is not the secret ingredient in Toaster Strudel, it's the NaluWaver. You go Glen Coco!!!

...& none for Gretchen Wieners... bye!


February Ambitions

Romance Myself

Write my own manifesto/mission statement: There is something so powerful about proactively defining my mission. I wrote something like this last year and found it to be so invigorating to lay out what I truly wanted in life and how I wanted to go about getting there through my actions. Another approach I may attempt is to write a letter to my younger self. Often times I seek so much information from books and websites yet neglect the overflowing wealth of wisdom that I have simply collected through my own experiences. By taking the time to do this I will be learning from my past and previous lessons.  I should be operating like this daily but I know that I ‘m not. This is going to be one of the first things I chip away at in February.  When I’m done with it I’m going to frame it for myself… after all, I know I’m never really going to get to printing out the pictures that are meant for all of my empty picture frames…

Some great inspiration to get started...

Figure out what I truly want: Start with a vision board. I haven’t done one of these since before Miss USA. For some reason it’s been very challenging for me to set a clear vision because my previous vision had an expiration date and I've struggled to navigate past it. I’m a huge advocate of vision boards; I truly believe they have played a large part in all of my accomplishments. This is a project that I’m going to commit to this month. I don’t want to finish it because ultimately my vision should continue to evolve and adjust as life does. 

My vision board creation madness looks & feels like this: I commit to a night either alone or with a friend (shout out to Sarah and our vision board frenzy we had back in December 2010). I gather all the supplies that I’ll need, glue stick, push pins, assortment of magazines, stickers, foam or cork board ect. I set up my favorite Pandora station and have at it. I start by just flipping through magazines and tearing out any pictures or words that compel me… some may not make sense, but I don’t believe they should. Some things may feel superficial but I try to navigate my way around judgment, this is for me and value judgment should not exist. Then I start to lay everything out and plaster the pictures and words onto my board. When all is said and done I step back and marvel with pure giddiness. Then I put it up and let it work its magic. 

The most important thing to remember is to just do your own thing. Let your vision form naturally; don’t force yourself towards something that has been influenced by someone else or societal expectations. Listen to your heart.
The paper collages you probably made as a teen were feverishly personal manifestations of what you loved. Vision-boards, the grown up alternative, can be just as passionate- with more intention… -The Oprah Magazine (& here is what Oprah has to say about the art of a vision board) 
Journal 3 things about myself that I love every night: Through continuation of journaling my gratitude  I will also be journaling things that I love about myself.  I am hoping that through this endeavor I will come to learn more about who I am and what I believe my strengths are. I’ll also be journaling things that make me happy, and compliments that I have received along with compliments that I want to give. 

Purposeful ensembles & colorful lipstick everyday: This is my attempt to embrace my creativity and delight myself in my own style. Lately have I become so infatuated with bold lipstick colors, but I’m always so afraid to wear them. Through this endeavor I’m going to stop being so afraid. I know that fear is only stemmed from what I think other people think of me, not what I think of my self…. And that’s just silly. Just a simple effort to make my days a little bit brighter.

Be content in the approval from myself rather than others: Gala Darling is my one stop shop for all adventures on the pathway to what she calls Radical Self Love. I’ve been following and adapting her methods for years and this months I’ve enrolled in her Radical Self Love Bootcamp (how exciting!) and guess what?! It’s half priced right now! It’s a great time to join me on my quest if this is something you are interested in as well. Check her out, she’s beyond fabulous.

I am going to seek SARK! for further wisdom. Two of her books I absolutely adore are Inspiration Sandwich and Succulent Wild Woman. SARK does such a great job empowering women to dance to the beat of their own drum, a practice I very much value & appreciate.  Through this I hope to discover my own ability to approve of myself and identify when I am my best and why, and when I am not my best and how to overcome it.

I will also be seeking opportunity to extend my love and approval outwards so that others are embraced by my actions. I’m going to deliver more random acts of kindness & joy. 

Rabbit! Rabbit!

Ending January.... My Quest Towards Financial Fusion

January has officially come and gone. It was quite blissful. I enjoyed the warm Oklahoma winter weather, I discovered a new addiction for popcorn sprinkled with red chile powder & I put forth all of my efforts into improving myself and seeking opportunity to make life a little bit sweeter.

Back at the start of the month I wrote about my plan for stackable resolutions. Having this plan for 2012 has actually provoked a lot of ideas and reflections to the way I approach my day-to-day life and my future. I'm looking forward to each month and making 2012 amazing through new ideas and approaches.

I have to admit- January's resolutions were the least exciting to me of all. I think this is because they have the longest turnover for results and success, which is why this goal ultimately needed to be first. Though I haven't yet felt the impact of my actions it does feel good to have gained clarity on my finances and to now be more purposeful and proactive with how I am spending my money. Here is a recap of how January, my month of Financial Fusion, panned out:
  • Create a budget and stick to it: I actually am still sorting out what this looks like but I found a few great apps for the iPhone that are helping me be strategically plan my budget and be accountable for my spending and my actions. I also found in the past that mint.com is a great tool for taking control over your finances. I like the support of a very structured system and I also like tracking my spending and progress to my goals (in this case my budget). I've enjoyed setting up these tools and using them & I'm looking forward to continuing this. 
  • Make a plan to be debt free by December: Dave Ramsey is a financial genius. I spent time reading one of his books this past month and what I really appreciated was recognizing that I am not alone in my financial standings. Hearing about other people's situations (who in most cases were much more severe than my own) and how they overcame them helped me become more optimistic and empowered about my controlling my fiances. I highly recommend you check him out, he has a radio show, several books and work books, and a few other learning experiences. In addition to reading Dave's book and I set a goal for what I'm going to start saving my money for and what I'll be able to do once I'm completely rid of my debt. Doing that has invested me even more in my efforts. 
  • Spend only the money I posses, no more credit cards: It simply took the act of naming this goal to commit to it. I'm also going to start only using cash, and then I'll be able to do the $5 Savings Plan.

  • Journal gratitude every night, depend less on materials: This is a ritual I have actually been doing for a while, but I was writing down gratitude for all things in my life, even the materialistic things. By being conscious of this I am now only listing things that did not require money to obtain. I have found that I am even more blessed and fulfilled by identifying these things and now materials are less valuable to me than before. I have begun discovering happiness and gratitude in places that I have neglected for far too long. This has been a very eye-opening practice for me.
  • Give generously: This is my greatest opportunity for growth. I've given when the opportunity has found it's way to me, but I have yet to proactively seek opportunities. I want to give generously to something that I care about, something that aligns to my values, and to something that my donation will be of true value. I'm still in search of this so if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. I also don't  believe that this act needs to be in the form of just monetary donations. 

All-in-all I found great success in January and feel even more invigorated to hold steady with my goals as I move forward towards approaching my February goals. One thing I did learn is that the more clear I am with how I will meet my goals the more successful I am. Tomorrow I plan on sharing my methods & clarity for February...

"It doesn't cost a thing to smile, you don't have to pay to laugh..."

pennies, poise & poodles-