Working Hard as a Director and on the Dance Floor

Working Hard as a Director and on the Dance Floor

It’s Day 28 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and a picture taken last Thursday while I was teaching reminds me that I’m working hard as a Director and on the dance floor! Captured toward the end of class with my hair a disaster and make  up destroyed, it’s clear I’m a sweaty mess! And so proud of it. Working hard to lead and serve the residents, staff and volunteers of a homeless shelter takes tons of energy. So much so that at times, I wonder where I’ll get the rest to instruct a class afterward. Then, following a mad dash to change my clothes and make the drive, I arrive and see the expectant faces of the students. This kicks my excitement into gear! And to top that, last Thursday the students surprised me with a belated 50th dance celebration and showed up from a few different gyms and YMCAs. That made me so exuberant that I kicked it up another notch, which shows on my face! It speaks to the effort I put in working hard as a Director and on the dance floor!

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Instead of the ugly cry, this is the ugly sweat!                                                                                            All performance attire Calvin Klein – it is quick dry and so appreciated.                            Preferred dance shoes – New Balance. All from TJ Maxx.

Women work hard! Being balanced takes intentionality. Far too often, we let our careers, family, other activities, etc. get us out of the habit of doing the things we love for self-care. Yes, I’m a paid Zumba instructor who appreciates the ancillary income, but I also dance to deal with my Ds –– barriers or challenges women face. For me these are mostly manifested in dysfunctional relationships and ongoing issues with being divorced. But oh, do I feel better when I’m dancing! The stress just melts away. Right along with my make up!!! Dance is a positive D and one of the main contributors to me being able to minimize my barriers in order to maximize beauty and my best life. Ugly sweat and all! So glad I was at least wearing my signature pink for the pic!

I pray you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and not only work hard on your job but that you’ll set a goal to work hard at a workout routine. Whether you’re getting one going for the first time in awhile or ever… I can attest from personal experience that the positive release of endorphins is worth it. They boost your emotions and can put a positive period on the end of the worst work day. Not to mention the cognitive, physical, social, and even spiritual benefits. No matter the playlist, there’s a part of me that’s connected to God in worship. I’m especially blessed that I receive financial gain from teaching dance classes as well. For me, it literally pays off to work hard as a director and on the dance floor!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Belated Birthday Dance Party

Belated Birthday Dance Party

It’s Day 18 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m feeling so much love after a belated birthday dance party! Yesterday evening when I rushed from work to teach my Thursday Zumba class, finding a good # of friendly frequent participants, plus seeing the dear face of Osha –– a visitor from another gym where I dance on Saturdays and occasionally sub –– provided a needed energy boost. Then as the class went on more visitors showed up in the form of my sweet Zumba sister, Cookie –– we got licensed together –– and one of my marvelous mentors, Marina. With sensational Sonya assisting –– she yells verbal cues when my asthma prevents me –– all of the amazing Zumba loving ladies celebrated my 50th with a belated birthday dance party!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, front and center surrounding by lovely Zumba loving ladies.                My performance wear, all Calvin Klein w/New Balance shoes – TJ Maxx.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan who just turned 50, if I had any concerns about dealing with the Ds –– barriers or challenges women face (depression, discouragement, dread, etc.) –– when I hit 50, they’ve been blown away by other Ds –– like dancing and a belated birthday dance party!

The next time you’re facing a milestone that presents potential challenges, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and minimize your barriers with whatever benefits not only the body but the soul to maximize your beauty and best lives, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 19, 2019 – Shout out to Sonya!

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 19, 2019 – Shout out to Sonya!

Friends who take time to care are really angels unaware.

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Last night after teaching Zumba, a student, Sonya and I sat down and talked for the longest. Glad that we’ve gotten to be friends, I was even more grateful for her when my car wouldn’t start. I suspect it’s another D –– personal and professional challenges women face –– in the form of a dead battery.  Sonya came to my rescue  –– helping me jump it, offering to follow me home to make sure I made it, then taking me home –– with a needed stop at the store first. She got to visit my tiny house –– though she pointed out it’s not so tiny –– and connected on a deep level for a few hours. So thankful for my friend who took so much of her time to care. She has such a serving heart, I suspect she’s an angel unaware.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

Being My Brand – Pink Collar Savvy & Chic

Being My Brand – Pink Collar Savvy & Chic

It’s Day 15 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and after reading a comment in the 50th birthday card from my staff,  I’m still celebrating the concept of being my brand. Even though I’m intentional about being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic both in my personal and professional life, I’m still blown away and humbled by the fact this smart young woman sees me this way. That means so may others! Because this blog almost always features my favorite brands and retailers –– Calvin Klein, Shabby Chic, Target and the TJ Maxx family of retailers, it could leave readers with the impression those are the things I most value. But in essence, a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swan is Spirit-Led, serene at home,  smart at work, serves on purpose, and owns her sense of style. That’s being my brand.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, being my brand in head-to-toe pale pink Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.                                                 Fashion wise, for me  it can’t get much more Pink Collar Savvy & Chic than this!             PERFECT PROFESSIONAL PACKAGING. Came together/purchased over years’ time.               Pink Timex watch – Target.

And if I’m living any of these attributes to the degree that other women see and want to emulate them, then I’m thankful my prayers to be used by Him and to point to Him are being answered…As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Director of a Women’s Center, who has the privilege to be able to live out my purpose to coach, encourage and inspire women to minimize their barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives –– all to His glory, reading “You are your brand” is one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. “Being my brand”.  Hmm. Not just best compliment. Best. Birthday. Card. Ever.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and be your brand –– whatever that means to you –– too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day and yesterday I spent precious time with two of The Lattes discussing leadership, loss and love.

Service on Purpose/Smart at Work (Professional Life)

Four of us –– three African America and one Caucasian, coffee with a little milk –– became close when we worked together as Leadership Coaches. Though we missed what our Milk brings to the mix, coming together made it a sweet Sweetest Day. Five years ago, I left the agency with the goal of maximizing  the Masters in Leadership and Coaching I’d soon earn. After a few almost but not quite right roles, this week will mark a year as Women’s Center Director – my perfect service on purpose fit! Terri soon earned a coveted spot as the agency’s first minority  Team Leader and Delorise recently came up through the ranks to claim the same title! So much leadership among us and reason to celebrate…

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Still, our rejoicing was tempered by a D ––  or challenge women face –– the unexpected death of Terri’s beloved husband of nearly  30 years on Labor Day. Heartbreaking. But hopeful. With a family history rife with Ds  –– in the form  of divorce and dysfunctional relationships –– for me their marriage serves a beacon of hope. Their kind of  love is rare but does exist! As Terri deals with her incredible loss, she can often be heard to say, “I go to gratitude”. Having been loved so well, she knows she’s among the blessed and highly favored. And of course, because we were at my Petite Retreat, talk turned to decorating and Shabby Chic style. Terri even laughed about being able to finally put her floral comforter on the bed now!

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The Lattes sans (without) our Milk!                                                                 Delorise, Terri and Me, Pink Collar Coach.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Being with my lovely, smart, strong Swan Sisters made me go to gratitude, too. Though I no longer see them on the daily, our hearts are connected and the time brought healing. The Lattes are leaders at work and in their families. In fact, Delorise adopted a toddler four years ago when his mother died of cancer though her two girls were in their preteens and teens… They have capacity for great love and to grieve losses graciously and find reasons to laugh. They are SO Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose. I’m blessed to have spent time with them because they truly demonstrate  how to deal effectively with the Ds to minimize barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives.  I just pray our Milk, appropriately named Joy, can join us next time for an even more perfect blend of The Lattes!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

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Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day & I’ve been pondering replacing vs. repairing broken things. Happy fall decorating recently ended in destruction –– another D or challenge women face. Peppa Loveday –– a My Furry Valentine gift from my hubby, hence the name ––  scrambled off the dining table when I scolded her for jumping on the harvest themed table runner I’d just laid out, taking my Simply Shabby Chic cloche (glass dome)  with her. When it crashed to the floor and shattered to pieces, I felt a piece of my heart break too. Of all my Simply Shabby Chic decor, the cloche covered floral arrangement was the item I’ve displayed in a spot that has seen daily use over fifteen years –– for meals, homework and as the desk where I ran my business full-time for a while, wrote my book and blogged consistently for a year. Emotion flooded me –– rage, regret and remorse. I Did Not Love my Valentine kitty for a few days and let her know we’d broken up over her breaking my cloche! The search to replicate it began immediately after clean up and it wasn’t until I found another as close to the original as I could get that my emotions ebbed. Below is what I learned about replacing vs. repairing broken things.

Serene at Home (Personal Style) 

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Original Simply Shabby Chic cloche covered floral arrangement.                                      Everything except dining chairs is Simply Shabby Chic from Target.         Dining Chairs are Shabby Chic inspired from a local antique mall. 

Because of the great value I placed on the cloche, had it been possible, I would have painstakingly pieced it back together. But some things are broken beyond repair. No amount of glue, patience or time could restore the cloche. Rather than continue to despair, however, I set out on a quest to replace it. Online searches proved futile –– the choices were not the right either in  look, size  or cost, and that was without shipping.  Next I scoured my go-to shops –– TJ Maxx & Home Goods –– but came up empty handed. Rare! Then I checked  Stein Mart. Tuesday Morning. Both to no avail.  By this time I felt like Goldilocks when I tried Hobby Lobby where the cloche seemed to be too big and At Home where it was too small. Desperate, I finally returned to Hobby Lobby –– the day after the 1/2 off sale and overpaid for one that is most similar and almost but not quite the right size…Nevertheless, all the time, travel plus trial and error it took to find a cloche to replicate the look of the original  was worth it. The old one couldn’t be repaired, so a beautiful new one has replaced it.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Like my cloche, at times we feel  too broken for God to fix or use us. Yet He can do anything including mend a life that has been dealt so many Ds that the damage seems beyond repair. Even so, sometimes it is. But this experience has shown me that doesn’t have to be the end of our usefulness. He can take a broken life and replace it with one that’s not only brand new, but one that’s more beautiful than before.  That’s my prayer for you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Taking Time to Take Care of Ourselves

Taking Time to Take Care of Ourselves

It’s another day of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project,  and last week’s A Night to Celebrate You at Aveda Fredericks Institute to benefit Hope House Mission’s  Women’s Center where I’m the director, reminded me how we need to take time to take care of ourselves. As one of two speakers who would receive a makeover to be revealed later in the evening, the idea of arriving four and half hours early appalled me. Despite my love of beauty and maximizing it, having my hair, makeup and nails done by the cosmetology students produced more anxiety than anticipation. In the end though, I appreciated being able to take the time to take care of myself.

Sense of Style (Packaging)

Growing up in poverty and living barely above that line during my teens and early 20s,  surrendering my paycheck to an abusive husband for much of my 30s, then struggling as a divorced single mom in my early 40s, trips to the salon have been a rare treat. In fact, between working in education, non profits and social service and being loathe to pay others for things I can do for myself, last week’s manicure was my first ever –– and I’m 50! My favorite part of the pampering was learning how to pencil in perfect brows!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, with Grace, a student and Swan Soul Sister who softly serenades with Christian songs as she practices her skills. : )                I’m in my signature color – lips and shirt. Clothing Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.

Service on Purpose and Self Care  (Professional Life)

Serving as the director of a homeless shelter means I deal with the Ds –– the challenges women face –– daily. Destitution, debt, drugs, domestic violence, depression, etc.  So do the amazing team of women I lead. Because of this I strive to demonstrate one the 4Is of transformational leadership –– idealized influence. Simply put this means modeling the attitude and behavior I want to see in my team. In today’s staff meeting, however, more than one of them noted having their nails done as their method of self care. So did our Volunteer Coordinator,  who did an amazing job pulling the Aveda event together. In this way, they all model taking time to take care of themselves for me!

Spirit-led (Prayer and Putting it Into Practice)

My prayer for each of you Swans  its that you would be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and minimize your Ds by discovering or renewing a self-care practice that feels self indulgent but that is really taking time to take care of yourself. It’s important because if you’re anything like me, you’re not only the Swan who lays the golden egg for your direct reports, staff, team, family, etc….You’re the one who maximizes beauty and best lives, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Speaking at Aveda & Raffling Seasons of Her Soul Book and Life Coaching Sessions

Speaking at Aveda & Raffling Seasons of Her Soul Book and Life Coaching Sessions

Service on Purpose (Professional Life)

It’s another day of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and since I seem to be having some issues blogging consistently, I’m thinking I’ll stop counting the days…At any rate, it’s been a whirlwind workweek with three speaking engagements, including sharing my Women’s Center Director Ds –– challenges that women face –– story at Hope House Mission’s annual Aveda Frederic’s Institute, a local beauty school. In addition to being the recipient of a makeover, speaking at Aveda and raffling a copy of my debut novel Seasons of Her Soul along with complimentary life coaching sessions –– with proceeds to benefit the shelter ––  made it a beautiful night in more ways than one!

Sense of Style (Packaging)

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, with Jenny, the highest bidder for book/coaching.      To quote Shelby from Steel Magnolias “Pink is my signature color!”                 Of course it was  my choice for this event. High-low dress in pink & orange (lining barely visible) was purchased years before the scrappy heels.                                                                                                       All Calvin Klein  from TJ Maxx.                                                                               (A shrug would have concealed my muffin top, but I was too hot! LOL!)

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Being able to share how God used me being as down as I could be ––– rock bottom –– as a firm foundation upon which I’ve been able to build not only the rest of my life but the best of my life helps me to minimize the barriers I’m still facing and to maximize beauty and my best life. Whenever I’m feeling discouraged by the things that are not “going right” I try to go to gratitude for the things that are. So, though my personal life continues to present me with D upon D, I’m at peace that He is in control of ALL of them. And has a  Divine Design for me that is ultimately for my good and His glory. Like writing a book that may inspire the Swan Sister who bid on it or coaching her to live her best life, too.

Savvy & Chic on Purpose (Putting it into Practice)/Spirit-Led (Prayer)

My prayer for you is that you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and understand that no matter the Ds you’re dealing with –– death, debt, depression, diagnosis, diet, divorce, domestic violence, drug and/or alcohol dependency, etc., etc. He has a plan to use them to bless others (Jeremiah 19:11) Whether He has you speaking, writing, coaching or whatever He’s uniquely gifted you to do,   use your pain for purpose. When you do, you just might find you’re able to minimize your own barriers and maximize beauty and your best life, too.

Be savvy  &  chic,

                                                                                                            ~Pink Collar Coach

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
 
Also, Book 2, in the Lee’s Legacy series, is in the works! Watch for it! 
Blessed by My BFF

Blessed by My BFF

It’s Day 59 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I can’t expressed how blessed I am by my high school BFF.

Serene at Home (Personal)

As I shared in yesterday’s post, ongoing Ds –– challenges women face –– this time in the form of dysfunctional relationships, threatened to throw me into a fit of depression. One of the ways I fought back was calling Josette, my Swan Soul Sister from another mister, for some much needed girl time to celebrate her upcoming birthday and three years cancer free after her double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She’d texted that we needed to do lunch. My response –– Tomorrow? Before hanging up, however, she hesitated and then told me about an encounter with a hater of mine who tried to disparage me to her. Ever my champion, Josette graciously shut her down with a smile and sent her on her way frustrated because she got no traction with my high school bestie. Grateful as I felt for her having my back, last night I  felt wounded to be stabbed in it by someone who is supposed to be in my corner…Then today, I teared up when Josette apologized for upsetting me. I’m not upset, I assured her. Just blessed by you!

Sense of Style/Shop the Look (Personal Packaging)

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First day with somewhat fall-like weather in the 70s vs. recent record breaking 90s temps warranted breaking out brown handbag  & booties  paired w/floral top that reminds me of leaves turning, topped by a coral cardigan. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. Maximize fall fashion! : )

Spirit – Led (Putting it Into Practice)

Little did this hater know, but by attempting to malign me, she made herself look so malicious! Rather than doing damage to my reputation, her true colors came shining through without me having to say a word against her. Thus proving God’s promise is true –– If we stay still, He’ll fight our battles (Exodus 14:14, NIV) –– or in my case, let our high school BFFs do it for us!

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose, like my Josette, the next time someone tries to drag you into gossip or rumors. If you are, you may bless another Swan Sister to minimize her barriers and maximize her best life.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Seasons of Her Soul (Publications)

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 

 

Book 2 in the Lee’s Legacy series, Hold on Her Heart, is in the works! Stay tuned….

 

 

 

 

Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters

Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters

It’s Day 58 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m feeling blessed to be surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters.

Smart at Work (Professional)

I’m not gonna lie. Today has been a roller coaster ride. My work day started off well with me rising early to present about Hope House Mission where I’m the Women’s Center Director, at an AK Steel/United Way event. Because the former is featured in JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and the latter has Bold Goals around Income and a Stable Families Initiative, drawing the connection between these and our work proved to be a natural fit, so I felt well prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was being blinded by sunlight while trying to get to an unfamiliar location, traffic issues and dumb directions –– a new D or challenge women face ––  from my GPS, that had me discombobulated by the time I arrived!  Once there, however, what I shared was well received and set me up for a great work day on the professional front.

Serene at Home (Personal)

But like the glaring sunlight that blind sighted me, so did some personal dysfunctional relationship dynamics  that plunged me into a  depression.At times I feel as though I’ve been dubbed “The Queen of the Ds”…Rather than focus on my family of origin or the one I’ve created, instead I’m choosing joy and gratitude because I’m surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters.

Sense of Style (Packaging)

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Saturdays often have me Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters (2 weeks ago).   Me, Pink Collar Coach, in the middle with Marina & Kibby on either side. My outfit all Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx with exception of shoes, Stein Mart.

Summary (Putting it Into Practice)

It’s easy, and oh so tempting, to let myself get sucked into a pit of despair, but I believe God allows me to go through the things I do so I can share how I’m able to minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best professional and personal life ––  all to His glory.  In this instance, being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose means blogging (writing about painful occurrences to render them historical) and surrounding myself with positivity from my Swan Soul Sisters.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

I pray when you’re facing personal and professional Ds this post will inspire you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose in order to minimize them, too.

Be savvy & chic, 

~Pink Collar Coach

Seasons of Her Soul, Book 1 in the Lee’s Legacy Series (Publications)

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
I am currently working on Book 2, Hold on Her Heart. Stay Tuned! 
Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore & Back to Baseline with Blogging

Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore & Back to Baseline with Blogging

Though it’s been a little over a month since my last post, I started this one on Living Proof Life 2019 with Beth Moore on Day 56 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project (reset) and am just going to pick up here 5 weeks later to get back to a baseline with blogging…

The event turned out to be truly transformational and provided what I needed to sustain me through the personal and professional Ds –– or challenges women face –– I was already dealing with and those to come. Originally when the nonprofit where I’m the Women’s Center Director offered complimentary tickets for the two day conference, I’d hoped to use it as a team building activity for the whole group of women I lead. But due to staffing constraints and a D  in the form of a diagnosis for one staff member, it wasn’t to be.

Instead, my Swan Sister, Kibby and I made the most of the opportunity. Various other Ds limited our time together this summer, so meeting for dinner –– a good D! –– beforehand and riding together saved gas, parking fare and allowed a chance to catch up. Aware of my dysfunctional relationship Ds, Kibby –– a prayer warrior ––  had me share. And by time we entered the venue to worship and look at God’s Word with Beth Moore, expectancy filled the building, our hearts and those of the 5,000 plus women who’d convened for Living Proof 2109.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, in a favorite lace dress, pumps and floral bag.               All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx.                                                                              Kibby is pretty as a peach in a unique sleeveless top that flowed into a train and gorgeous dangly earrings.

Both sessions started with praise and worship. If you’ve ever been in a an auditorium filled with this many women lifting their voices to the Lord, you know it’s a glimpse of what we have to look forward to in eternity.  With our hearts turned toward heaven, we were ready to receive Beth’s teaching and she didn’t disappoint.  Her message, “In the Same Boat” drew from the different accounts in the Gospels about Jesus and the fisherman/disciples who became fishers of men. As an expository teacher, Beth breaks down the history, geography and etymology of words in her lessons. I took a whole booklet of notes over several hours of teaching, but my main takeaways were “From now on ________.” and “I’m saying no to ________________.” My fill in the blanks relate to the dysfunctional relationships and have empowered me as I move forward differently –– another great D!

Since the event, one of my closest friends lost her husband unexpectedly and it rocked me because divorce runs rampant in my family and  they were one of the only examples of a happily married couples (29 years) I’ve had. They loved the way a  I Corinthians 13 tells us to… Then my staff member’s terminal cancer diagnosis took her from us two weeks ago tonight, two days after her birthday. Looking at the dates of  her sunrise and sunset my focus has been on the dash in-between and how she maximized it to the fullest. Both of these deaths have added significance to my “From now on ___________.” and “I’m saying no to ___________________.” I’ll never be the same.

Taking what I learned from Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore, I’m going to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and put the teaching into practice (TIP). Beginning with getting back to a baseline of blogging. Pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and determine ––– an awesome D –––  your “From now on ______________.” and “I”m saying no to ______________.”, too.

Be  savvy & chic ,

                                                                                                          ~Pink Collar Coach