Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in review and dreams for 2013

Supplies for working through Unravelling the Year Ahead - 2013

I  can't believe that 2012 is coming to a close in just a few days!  About 5 years ago I started doing a year-end review and a look forward to the new year at a day-long urban retreat.   We used prompts to write in our journals and created vision boards using images clipped from magazines to celebrate the highlights of the year, contemplate the difficulties, reflect on the lessons learned and dream of the possibilities for the new year. As an avid list maker, I find this exercise to be immensely helpful in organizing my thoughts and ideas and has helped me bring many of my dreams to reality.  

To do this at home, here is a link to by Susannah Conway's website where she offers an amazing free 20+ pages workbook called Unravelling the Year Ahead - 2013.  The workbook will step you through this process.  It took me just a few hours to complete this activity while I was a captive audience in the car on the return road trip from visiting family for the holidays.  Now that I am done, I can see that I did actually accomplish many of the things that I set out to do back in January 2012.  I also see things some things that didn't turn out the way I envisioned and some I didn't even get started at all - and that's okay.  Then there were the things that I hadn't expected or planned for that made for a very enriched year.  I encourage you to  print out the workbook, light a scented candle or incense, gather your favorite pens, scissors, glue and a couple of magazines to clip images from along with your favorite beverage and explore where your journey has taken you over the past 12 months and dare to dream for the new year.

More resources for exploring goal setting or journaling: - Washington DC area retreats, podcasts, workshops and ecourses at  including the Urban Women's Yoga Retreat -  Online courses including an interactive e-course version of Unravelling - retreats and ecourses on journaling including Inner Excavation - ecourses on journaling

I think that no matter how large or small your dreams may be that you'll have a better chance of making them happen if you put it down on paper in some way: words, pictures, lists, poems, drawings - whatever speaks to you.  You'll have something to guide you and remind you to take even one tiny step at a time towards your dreams when everyday life puts you on autopilot.

Wishing you a happy and creative new year!  

Thanks for reading!  

Snow storm in southern Indiana - December 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thrift Store Adventure

 Corduroy skirt, Ralph Lauren knit sweater and wool jacket

I am an avid thrift store explorer and on a recent excursion, I came away with lots of great finds.  The DC thrift store scene is plentiful and full of treasures to be discovered.  I took advantage of a holiday discount of 50% off offered at the Unique Thrift Store chain.  At the Wheaton, MD location, I was able to come away with some fantastic finds for a niece, two nephews and myself.  None of the items was more than $7 each and there were some great designer labels in the mix.  My total came to about $65 and here are some of the outfits I put together from the haul.

Ann Taylor cotton sweater and bootleg jeans

 Cotton sweatshirt and long sleeved polo

 Cowl neck wool tunic and Eileen Fisher knit skirt

Tommy Hilfiger cotton sweater and button down

We're all going to be cozy (and stylish) this winter with these great finds.  Check out the thrift and consignment stores in your local area for great bargains. For a few more DC area thrift stores, check out my resources page.

I hope your day has a little dose of creativity.  Thanks for reading! 

Landscape in Indiana viewed through the windshield on a road trip

Monday, December 17, 2012

Volunteering with One Brick

Volunteers with One Brick at the Capital Area Food Bank, Washington, DC 

My son and I are members of One Brick which is a non-profit organization that brings volunteers together to support other local non-profit organizations.  There are no long-term commitment so you can participate as your schedule allows and there is always a social event afterwards if you would like to hang out a bit and get to know the other volunteers  in a relaxed atmosphere.  This past weekend, we volunteered at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, DC in their new facility.  Our group of about 12 was tasked with making up bags of fresh fruit for children to take home during the upcoming week.  During our 3 hour shift, we packed 700 bags into 118 boxes weighing in at approximately 4,200 pounds.  It was a workout for sure!  In the past, we have volunteered at the DC Central Kitchen preparing food that is distributed throughout the community to various shelters and organizations that serve hot meals to those in need and also worked at a local organic farm weeding, watering and harvesting crops.  There are all types of volunteer activities so there is something for everyone.  One Brick has chapters in several large cities throughout the U.S. so check out their website if you would like to find out more about getting involved or want to donate.   

I think it has been a busy December for everyone, but I hope you find a little time to add a dash of creativity to your everyday.

Thanks for reading!

Carrots harvested in December

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Carrot Ginger Lemonade and Inspirational Women

Carrot ginger lemonade

Recently, I saw the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead about Joe Cross' journey to health by juicing.  You can watch the movie online for free on Hulu which you will find on the website at the link above.  I pulled my juicer off the shelf and was inspired to create this refreshing, nutritious cooler.  It will give you a quick pick-me-up anytime...much better than a cola or cup of coffee.

Carrot Ginger Lemonade

2 large carrots
2 stalks of celery
8 cups of watermelon chunks including rind
1 inch piece of ginger, unpeeled
1 lemon, unpeeled
1 lime, unpeeled

Juice everything and serve over ice.   Makes about a quart.

Inspirational ladies

The afternoon turned out to be a bit dreary and I was feeling a little uninspired.  My husband had put an article on my desk that he thought I might find interesting...and I think you will too.

Therrell Smith studied ballet in New York and Paris.  She opened her own dance studio in Washington, DC in 1948 because segregation prevented any opportunity to join the large dance companies in the U.S    She wanted other students to have the opportunities to study and perform dance so has been teaching ever since.  She celebrated her 95th birthday by performing at a local church.  Read the rest of the story about this amazing lady by clicking the link on her name or the photo below.

photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Therrell Smith's story reminded me of another inspirational woman, Ernestine Shepherd, who still competed in bodybuilding contests at age 74.  I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Ernestine a few years ago when we were both participating in a health and fitness fair.  She is very gracious and incredibly strong.  I certainly couldn't even begin to keep up with her as she did push ups in the fitness demonstration.  Read the rest of her story from a feature article last year.

photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Thanks for reading!

Summer flowers