Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Creating a Happy New Year's Eve

Happy Happy New Year's Eve!!!!  We're off to see some family and friends at parties so I'm going to make this really brief!!!

Had a great day:

Did Yoga, meditated and gave gratitude for an amazing year.

Lifted at the Y with Ellen (deadlifted 165 so I definitely challenged myself)

Did some great manifesting and working on a great workbook (more on this tomorrow).

Hung out with Bridget and crew and Joe cooked a delightful lunch of fish and veggies.

Did our annual "burning bow" ceremony to let go some things for the ending of 2013.  I'm letting go of fear for sure and "waiting" and several other things :) 

Collage of our burning "bowl" ceremony!

Working on a terrific workbook for the beginning of the New Year.

Wishing you a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve!  Chat with you tomorrow!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Creating with Company

So today has been a fun and busy day since my friend Bridget arrived yesterday on her way from TX to NY.  

This morning I had my regular Manifesting Monday Meeting which is always fun and productive and the ideas are flying since we're wrapping up the old year and about to ring in the New Year. 

We had a girl party and watched "The Holiday."

I ran down to Ellen's and worked on the edges of two pieces that are about to go in the kiln.

The rectangular dish that I prepped for firing today

The bowl on the right is Sammies :)

 Bridget dragged me out to shop (Insert gasp here) for a couple of things for her apt.
Affirmations for the approaching New Year

I worked on a couple of affirmations/watercolors to post for the Daily Creative Practice Countdown.

#2 for the Daily Creative Practice countdown :)

Now I'm ready for bed.

So I will wish you all a good night.


P.S.  This is the Workbook I'm filling out tomorrow in prep for the New Year. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Creating some more

My new tea diffuser hanging out in my favorite mug

Today has been a day full of fun, renewal, exercise and creativity and hanging out.  It needed to be a day for clean-up since my friend Bridgette is on her way into town but I have slipped into vacation/relaxation mode and the thruster is broken.  So it's lounging for me.  That is after meeting my coupon group for clipping and chatting early this am at Starbucks.  Later in the day Joe and I caught a Zumba class at the Y.  My arms which are super sore from lifting on Thursday cried and whined a little but feel better.  It was great workout!  We also munched on the yummy Paleo Chinese 5 spice slow cooker ribs I cooked in the crock-pot last night from The Clothes Make the Girl Top 15 recipes. 

Yesterday we played in Ellen's Garagio and had fun creating!

Here is a plate Sammie was working on yesterday
And today I was in the mood to create some more especially after reading and getting inspired by 60 Affirmations.  So here are a few pics of the creations.  Hope you are having a fabulous weekend.



Some more ornaments we are creating and another bowl

Was inspired today by These affirmations so I played around with water color pencils.

A fun Christmas Collage I created with some of my favorite ornaments and decorations this year!

Thinking about 2013 and this affirmation inspired me


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Creating Post-Holiday Haikus

 Post Holiday Haikus

Visiting  our friends
Conversing  laughter
Joy abounds today

Presents now unwrapped
The peace of self immersion
Embraces the home

Christmas Exploded
Dishes, wrapping paper, rest
Remain to be done

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Creating the day after Christmas

An electronic collage

 It's been a relaxed day around the Gautreaux Gang Hideout...

Joe and I went to Zumba this morning.  We braved At&t to take care of some business for Alex.  I also had a friend call me who was cleaning out her garage and invite me to come check out some "treasures!"  Later this evening we got to say "Happy Birthday" to our friend and neighbor Tom.
I was able to be creative and chill out too :)  I love holiday breaks when there is no set schedule!  I was planning on getting some organization done today but alas there is always tomorrow!!!  Hope you all are having a great day!!!

One of my favorite FB statuses today:

Happy First Day of Kwanza! Today we contemplate the spirit of Umoja: Unity. One Tribe! One Planet! One Love! We ARE the Body Human: embrace it, embrace each other! When a hug approaches 20seconds, it becomes therapeutic. 10 hugs a day supports healing & growth. In the spirit of Umoja...I'm reopening my Hug Therapy practice!!!

Wishing you Umoja today,


Here are two scarves I completed!

A treasure for my G.S. Camping Kit :)

One of the bubble lights on our friends' tree - brings back such great memories of my childhood!

The collage I started this evening....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Creating Christmas Day

One of my favorite pics from Christmas Eve - Joe was reading "Twas the Night before Christmas!"

Sisters hanging out before the big reveal :)

Sammie was so excited that she "FINALLY" got a phone I couldn't get a pic she was bouncing around so much!

The fresh pecans (from Ellen's m-in-law) that I toasted today - yummy!!!

We've had a wonderfully relaxed Christmas Day.  The girls have been playing games together.  We've been eating leftovers from last night.  A couple of friends have dropped by to say hello and play banagrams :)  We're about to head out for some Christmas light looking and dropping off a few presents at a friend's house.  I hope you've had a wonderful day too!!!


Christine & Crew

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Creating Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

I wanted to take the time to write a nice blog about our traditions and what we do on Christmas Eve but as usual I'm running around doing them.  So a few pictures  and notes will have to do for now :)

I hope everyone has an amazing holiday surrounded by family and friends.

Here's the collage I made for today's #8 countdown for Daily Creative Practice
 The collage includes a picture I drew on the Buddha board.   The Paleo rolls I made for Christmas Eve Dinner.  A beautiful bloom Joe and I saw on our 2 mile run this afternoon.  The Christmas tree at the Forum.  The Center picture is of Joe and I before we went to a friend's Holiday open house last night :)

My favorite elf making me a martini :)

Yes!  A Christmas Cocktail :)

We're getting ready for a family dinner, caroling with friends and hopefully a Skype with all our loved ones in Texas.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season:  Joy, Laughter, Peace and Love!!!

 Love you,


Monday, December 23, 2013

Creating pottery, paleo food and fun :)

The double chocolate Paleo cookies that Ellen & I baked today :) Technically she baked- I cheered :)

This is the delicious sandwich that Ellen created with a Paleo bun - I haven't had a sandwich since March - wow! It was delicious!!!

Had the opportunity to play with some more clay and make some more ornaments and magnets!!!

Joe dressed as a caroler :)
Played with a collage app to showcase the things that were created today - including another completed scarf :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Creating Pottery

My very first piece of pottery - a pinch pot :)
 Today I had the chance to see the results of my first attempt at pottery.  I was so excited!!!  My friend Ellen who is a master potter has been letting me play in her "garagio" (studio in garage) and it has been so much fun.  I'm excited to share some pictures of what came out of the kiln.

My second pinch pot - shaped and glazed as a strawberry

I also made a sphere rattle that you can see in the bowl :)

Some of the ornaments I made too :)

Please be sure and check out Ellen's Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ellenmccorkle 

She has some incredible pottery that is beautiful and functional.  

Wishing you a creative and fun-filled day,


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Creating #reverb13 Day 21: On our last day

Click here for everything you need to know!


It's hard to believe today is the last day of Reverb13!  The following is the prompt from Kat McNally the wonderful woman who hosted the December blogging challenge:    

Today, I'd like you to revisit what you wrote on 1 December on the first day of Reverb13. How does that compare to where you are now?

Then, without thinking too hard about it, grab a pen and some paper and finish the following five sentences:

2014 is going to be MY YEAR because...

In 2014, I am going to do...

In 2014, I am going to feel...

In 2014, I am not going to...

In December 2014, I am going to look back and say...

For bonus points, if you participated in #reverb12, compare your answers to the ones you wrote this time last year. What has been revealled? Where are the surprises?

Sometimes it's fun to revisit the past and remember.  That is one of the things I love about journaling and blogging.  So I took a peek at the 1st entry for #Reberb13 creating-day-1-of-reverb-13
and smiled as I re-read about the Thanksgiving trip and could hardly believe that has only been 21 days ago!  I'm happy to report that a couple of things I wanted to work on as stated in that blog are flowing nicely and progress has been made :)  I am still feeling happy and content as we start the Winter break and I am full of gratitude.  I did need to read about how important my routines are to me as I stayed up waaaaay too late last night and my body is a little sluggish this morning (such an easy thing to slip into when the kids are out of school).
My Aunt Joan sent our family this cool Buddha Board and we love creating on it!

2014 is going to be MY YEAR because...

I am going to Flourish!!!!

I am going to be fully present and co-create an amazing year!

In 2014, I am going to do... launch a new website for my coaching business, Interplay, create something daily, blog and be in great balance with my family, friends and work!

In 2014, I am going to feel...Happy, Loved, Grateful, Healthy, Joyous, Sexy :)

In 2014, I am not going to..."should" all over myself.

In December 2014, I am going to look back and say..."What a terrific year - you really flourished!"

Two new additions above my computer thanks to #Reverb13

Wishing you all the best in 2014!



Friday, December 20, 2013

Creating Day #reverb13 Day 20: The way forward

Today's prompt and image come from Kelly Letky aka Mrs Mediocrity. Kelly's poetry is imbued with a magic that is indescribable and this extends to her photography and her jewellery. If you are going to treat yourself to a powerful talisman for the new year, you'll want to make sure it's from her Blue Muse collection.

Kelly writes:

Forward is the only direction.

The mirror never lies, but everything in it is backwards. 

Look at what you see in the mirror. How does it change if you view yourself with eyes that can only look forward?

I'm not quite sure how to respond to this prompt....

(pause to go look in the mirror and take 'selfie' for blog)

1st selfie - noticed how dirty mirror was
2nd selfie - can see self better now that mirror is clean!

When I look in the mirror I am happy with what I see.

Looking forward I see a women in her 40's who has earned her laugh lines and her crooked smile.  Who will take the lessons of the past (too much stress = Bell's Palsy x 3 for a slow learner) and learn to relax and keep smiling. 

I see a woman who knows herself and yet continues to explore.  

Who knows that her body likes 8+ hours of sleep a night, yoga, regular intense exercise and eating clean and healthy food. 

I see a person who thrives when her creativity is expressed on a daily basis and one who actually can learn new things (notice the scarf I crocheted at Thanksgiving).

I see Christine Lanell Gautreaux a person who gives thanks everyday for the amazing life I have and the beautiful nature and people that surrounds me where I live.

I see a person who is co-creating her life and is free to be...
An adventurer
A poet
An adoption coach
A holistic counselor
A trainer/teacher
A workshop leader
A retreat facilitator
A wholehearted mom
A loving wife
A true friend
A social worker
A peacemaker
A prayer warrior
A servant & student to life
A listener
A cyclist
A triathlete  
A blogger

I see me :) and the shy part of myself (yes I have one) is going to hit publish before I chicken out so you can see me too :)



The beautiful sunrise this morning! picture taken by Dakota Bowman


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Prompt from

#reverb13 Day 19: Self-compassion

The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

In the past year, I have been on a mission to understand and practice self-compassion, which is sometimes defined as "extending compassion to one's self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering," and what I have learned has made me realize that this practice is at the heart of everything. 

How will you practice self-compassion?

I Love this prompt and it immediately think of my friend, Dr. Cynthia Phelps who is the founder of

HEALTH eDesigns LLC.
She is currently working on an app that takes the work of Dr. Kristen Neff and creates a super cool app to help us practice self- compassion.  So I for one would love to use this app in 2014 to help me practice :) when it comes out!  
I was privileged to attend her talk Are you stuck - time for a creative breakthrough! which was held in Nov and was all about self-compassion.
So some things I took away from the talk include ways I can practice self-compassion in instances of perceived inadequacy (parenting), failure (keeping the house clean) or general suffering (perfect storm of hormones, teenager, clutter, etc)?
 Well the first thing I can do is take a deep breath and be in the moment.  I can ask myself is this (whatever negative self talk is happening) true?  I can remind myself to talk to myself like I would a friend or one of my children who is in crisis - gently and kindly, affirming the positive and my self-worth.  I can also self-sooth with a hug or an arm rub since research proves that touch does make a difference.  Which is also a part of the Interplay warm up :)  So I will also be practicing self-compassion with my Interplay practice!
 I can also tell myself that it will be okay.  I am usually pretty good at this - being a glass 1/2 full girl - I know that things work out - maybe not like we intended but they generally work out.  Through my work in the world I have seen some pretty rough stuff and I know that I have made a difference.
So when I'm having a "should" party and being too rough on myself I remind myself of the good I have achieved and tell myself, "you've got this!"  I know it sounds cheesy but for me it works.
When it's really bad I crawl in the bathtub and "soak it out."  Yes, I've had 3 bath days before.  It's amazing the comfort the water gives me and usually I have an escapism book in my hand too :)
 What I do know for sure is that self-compassion is essential and I am thankful to have starting working on it in 2013 and look forward to more practice in 2014 :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Creating Day 18 - Peace

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#reverb13 Day 18: Peace

I am often surprised where I find peace, it is usually in the midst of chaos.

In the midst of living, did you find moments to breathe? Were there moments that held you in the embrace of peace and quiet and pure contentment? 

Did these moments catch you by surprise or did you create the space for peace to find you?

Thank you, Liz!

I want to add: how will you make space for greater peace in 2014? Because it’s hard to imagine anything more important.

One of the cards displayed at my home
I had to laugh at loud when I saw this prompt this morning.  Peace.  Today is my oldest daughter's 16th birthday.  Happy Happy Birthday Alex!


A picture of my Alex from 16 years ago :)
That is what I have been wanting to create all year in the midst of the chaos that comes with real life and teenagers.

Where do I find moments to Breathe?

I get up at 5:30 am (needs to be 5 but geez - really???)

I start my day with my yoga practice and usually by the end of the routine when I'm in relaxation pose I am awake and I am able to take a deep breath of peace.  I breathe in peace and breathe out my gratitude.  At the very end when I'm in prayer pose I take a few moments to send out love and blessings for all my family and friends - definitely a place of peace for me.

Did I have moments in 2012 that held me in the embrace of peace and quiet and pure contentment?

You bet,  every time I am conscious of Mother Earth and her bountiful blessings.  When I notice the way the  sun sparkles of a leaf.  Or the Sun rising and showing us her glory.  Even just this morning coming out to the beautiful full moon still shining bright as the hues of the sunrise pink and purple started to surround her.
The full moon this morning
I also find peace in my animal friends.  When I walk outside and a deer greets me with the reminder to be gentle with myself and others and to love on another.  When my cats deem it an appropriate time for a petting :)
When Merlin lays quietly beside me as I work on the computer - content just to be.

My first sip of hot tea in the morning - ahhhhh.

At the end of the day I do my best to catch a moment of peace in a hot Epsom salt bath and have a few minutes to read or just close my eyes and relax.

I so value Peace and when I reflect I do a pretty good job of creating some space for it to appear in my life even in the midst of all the busyness and chaos. 

How will I make a space for peace in 2014?  This is something I've been contemplating - especially between Alex and I as hormones rage and sometimes logic doesn't.

Where can create peace in our relationship (and others) and in turn our home and myself?  

I can remember to Breathe.  To remind myself to look for the good and count my blessings/gratitude every day.

I can create moments to have quiet time together and just be without an agenda or tasks that need to be done.

I can be fully present when we are together.

Peace is possible :)  As I write this I am reminded of a mini ceremony that happened every Sunday when I was growing up where during mass everyone greeted each other with "Peace be with you" and the response, "And also with you!" usually given with a hug or warm handshake.  A memory that makes me smile.

Imagine Peace Photograph by Sharla Gentile - Imagine Peace Fine Art ...

Peace be with you,


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Creating #reverb13 Day 17: It's your word

What word did you select to be your traveling companion in 2013? What gifts did this word bring?

What word will you choose to guide you through 2014? What do you hope it will bring into your life?

2013 - Since I wasn't doing Reverb yet I didn't officially pick a word.  I did choose the intention of more laughter so looking back the word of 2013 would have been Laughter :)

Laughing during the family photo shoot

One of my favorite photos of the year - my sister, Katie and I laughing together!

It brought the gift of fun date nights to comedy clubs.  An arts festival that included costuming.  It brought lots of conversations and fun times with friends and family.  Laughter is definitely a part of Interplay!!! It even brought an introduction to laughing yoga (thanks to +Hallelujah Truth and serendipity). 

For a recovering serious person this is no joke!  

This is one of my favorite pictures taken a couple of years ago by my friend Liz.

2014 - The word that I have seen lately on a couple of other blogs that peeks my interest and I say "Yes! Yes! Yes!" to is...


Full Definition of FLOURISH from merriam-webster.com

intransitive verb
1:  to grow luxuriantly :  thrive
2a :  to achieve success :  prosper <a flourishing business>
b :  to be in a state of activity or production <flourished around 1850>
c :  to reach a height of development or influence
3:  to make bold and sweeping gestures 
In several other definitions it lead with - to grow well, to be healthy. 
Yes! Yes! Yes!  I want to Flourish in 2014.
I'm just wrote it on a note card and posted it above my computer so I can remind myself daily!!!
On a side note I have several friendships that are flourishing and I just have to say I have the coolest and dearest friends who "get" me.  Isn't that a beautiful feeling.  It gives me the warm fuzzies and makes my heart smile.

The beautiful owl ornament that my friend Ruth gifted me with. We share the love of animals, totems, art and Interplay and more - yeah for new friendships!
Slippers with grips on the bottoms after my last fall, a naked cherub ornament with a heart on her bum and a pouch with native symbols of all 4 directions.  These are (recycled) gifts from my dear friend Liz who totally gets me :)                   Made my day!

I'm excited to hear what word you would pick to guide you into and through 2014....

Laughing & Flourishing,