The (Un) Caged Bird

"Let the beauty we love be what we do." – Rumi

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Think Kit Day 10: New Traditions

“What new traditions do you want to start this year?”


I want to start sending everyone handwritten thank you notes and greeting cards.   I sporadically send handwritten items now but in 2013 I want to make it a to do thing for every occasion.

Other than that I haven’t the faintest idea what traditions I’d like to start.  I’ll put that on my mental list of things to ruminate over while waiting in line.


Are you planning on establishing new traditions?  What will you be doing?

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Think Kit Day 9: Exercise to unwind


I haven’t considered myself an active or athletic person for a long time.   In quitting smoking this year I really turned to exercise and physical exercise to help me reduce stress.   During the past year I participated in ballet lessons, a 30 day unlimited yoga package, tried burlesque once, walked and ran outside during the hot summer months, and then as fall came and the days shortened I joined a gym.

I find that I enjoy exercise that is fun and doesn’t make me feel like I’m working out.   I really enjoy dance classes and dance type cardio workouts like Zumba.   Participating in physical activities is a major stress reliever for me as when I’m engaged in doing something I’m present and focused in that moment and really in my body and not daydreaming in my head somewhere.   Also, the breathing learned in pilates and yoga is very helpful to use to get through day to day stressors.   When I take yoga and pilates weekly I feel as if I’m nurturing my body because I allow it to stretch, extend, relax, and be quiet and focused yet engaged and present.

In 2013, I plan to become even more active physically.   I have gained the dreaded quitting smoking 15 lbs in 2012 and it is my goal to work that off in the first quarter of the new year.  Time for new adventures in getting lean and toned.

What are your favorite activities to unwind?

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Think Kit Day 8: Your Creative Process

I’m a bit behind in my posts, but am going to try and catch up and write in order.  I haven’t even read some of the prompts as I haven’t had the time in general to write.  Here we go, jumping back on the wagon and let’s see how far I get down this road this time.

I feel like being creative is an essential part of feeling alive to me.  I don’t intentionally try to be creative but it comes and goes of its own accord.  For work one has to be creative on demand at times but even then its fun to be able to make something new and make something exist because you thought it into existence and made it.   I like to make beautiful places, things, and environments.  What I wear and how I decorate my spaces express who I am in the sense that it shows what makes me feel good, happy, and like “me”.

One of the projects I enjoyed the most this year was making a horse heating/cooling pad for my niece.  She loves horses and has trouble sleeping so I made this for her birthday hoping it would help her sleep better.  I a pattern online for an owl version of this pillow and made my own horse version for my niece.  I had originally planned on sewing on the facial features of the horse with separate fabrics but due to time restrictions I ended up painting them instead.    The project took longer then planned but I really enjoyed making it and giving a gift that was made with lots of love. IMG_3841


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Think Kit Day 7: Inspiration Board

I was so excited when I read the prompt today.  After a few days of minuscule posting due to long days and a very tired brain I was relieved to finally have a day where I can share a good amount and write minimally.  I’ve taken to covering my bedroom walls with inspirational bits that I cut out of magazines as I hate the color and want to repaint them.  The walls now serve as a large canvas I can tape whatever I want to until I get around to painting them.  This is a very personal post for me as I feel like I’m really baring my soul in showing what I have posted around my house to inspire me and help keep me on the path of life that I want to lead.  I snapped some photos with my phone and apologize for the lackluster quality but at least it’s something.  I’ve had a passion for cutting bits out of magazines and storing inspiring images, quotes, paragraphs, and stories away for quite some time now.  I have composition notebooks, bound books, file folders, and three ring binders filled with pages of collages and magazine pages themselves.  I just love beauty in all shapes and forms and have always been compelled to tuck away those pieces that inspire me and catch my eye.

My current inspirations are below, enjoy.

IMG_5490whatiloveaboutme IMG_5487-notestoself IMG_5482-quotes2 IMG_5484-magicalworld IMG_5483-quotes IMG_5488-healthylife IMG_5485-persontoplace


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Think Kit Day 6: Community Involvement

I’d like to spend more time enjoying my community.  There’s a laundry list of places I’d like to visit in Indiana and I’d like to take the time to explore the sights and enjoy where I live. In addition, I’d like to attend more cultural performances and be a more active participant in the arts scene.

Short and to the point, I think that’s the only plan I have for my community involvement in 2013.  We’ll see what develops a long the way, sometimes the best things come from a plan changed and just letting the unexpected come in and letting yourself flow with the current of life.

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Think Kit Day 5: Favorite Moments of 2012

Today’s topic required us to interview three people about their favorite moments of the past year.  I decided to bend the rules a bit and take the efficient approach and post the query on my Facebook page with full disclosure to my friends and family that their responses would be included in today’s blog post.  I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s most memorable moments and hope you enjoy them too.

“Buying a condo in Florida and being able to spend the month of February on the beach.”

“When I finished writing a book.”

“My 8 year old daughter read her first chapter book.”

“My massage yesterday!”

“My week with my grand-daughter, she is amazingly observant and a breath of fresh air.”

“Spending time in Hawaii with my fun and amazing husband,  having a feisty and alert 91 year old mama, spending time with and enjoying many students, alumni and friends on a day-to-day basis. Two silly dogs, a cat, great employees and a warm cozy home to settle into every day. Blessed I am!”

What are your favorite moments from 2012?

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Think Kit Day 4: My Wisest Decision of 2012

“I found that every single successful person I’ve ever spoken to had a turning point and the turning point was where they made a clear, specific, unequivocal decision that they were not going to live like this anymore. Some people make that decision at 15 and some people make it at 50 and most never make it at all.”


– Brian Tracy, (via @thedailylove)


By far the wisest decision I made this year was to quit smoking.   I wrote about quitting in my post, “How I Quit Smoking Cold Turkey”. Quitting cigarettes was more than just a step to become a healthier person, quitting was the first step in building my self esteem and learning to respect and love myself.   In quitting, I chose for me.  I made myself more important than a habit and proved to myself that I have the willpower, strength, courage, and tenacity to overcome difficult obstacles. I learned that I can be there for myself and support  myself and I don’t need a toxic substance to be my comforting friend.  I can be that comforting friend for myself.  Quitting started a domino effect of developing healthier lifestyle habits and was the catalyst I needed to stop self sabotage and jump on the boat of self love.  I quit in April and I’m proud to say that seven months later I haven’t had a single puff.