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

 

Downton During my Down Time

Downton During my Down Time

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and since I’m still catching up from not blogging due to a broken ankle during the holidays, I’m sharing about watching Downtown during my down time. Though the show’s finale aired in 2016 after six successful seasons, much to the chagrin of devoted fans, the British drama set in the early 1900s is still PBS’ top drama of all time.  So as die hard Downtonians and Abbey Heads –– two of the names for lovers of all things Downton Abbey –– my Swan Sister Kibby and I were there the weekend the film hit the big screen. We made the most of the event (along with a Kibby’s friend, Downtonian Dami, who immediately became my friend) and in true Downton style, dressed for the occasion. The much anticipated movie didn’t disappoint but delivered a cinematic experience that proved to be magical! So much so  I went back and saw it alone a second time. Doing so helped me feel better about being divorced – a D or challenge women face –– and not having my children every weekend…Instead I can indulge in something just for me. Leaving the theater, I prayed it would be out in time for the holidays so I could again watch Downton during my down time.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, as Lady Mary (she’s pictured top left corner). Calvin Klein maxi dress and pink scarf/wrap, I already owned _ TJ Maxx.                                 Tiara is a child’s princess hair comb.                                                      Necklace, neck scarf and gloves from Kibby. She  made pink earrings.

To my delight and that of movie fans around the globe, the Blue Ray and DVD released right before Christmas. And though Santa didn’t leave it for me in my pink Shabby Chic stocking (he left Victoria, Season 3 instead) clad in my PJs and boot this time around, I enjoyed this treat to myself  in the comfort of my Petite Retreat even more than I did with my solo viewing.

In fact, I’ve talked it up so much, my hubby is on the verge of committing to watch the series with me and then cap it all off with the movie. He’s always walked into the room and watched in fits and starts… Kibby’s significant other, Roger, on the other hand joined us for our dress up viewing, and served as our photographer (I’m having technical difficulties or would share the photos). He’s a Downtownian himself, so I’m hopeful I can get my hubby to join the club. If he does, I suspect I’ll cherish sharing the series during date nights as much as I did watching Downton during my down time.

My prayer for you is that you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make the most of your down time. Even if that means playing adult dress up and/or seeing a movie alone. When you do, like me, I believe you’ll be able to minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life.

Be savvy and chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

P.S. Based on the movie’s whopping success, a  Downtown Abbey  sequel is in the works! : )

 

Treasured Time Together

Treasured Time Together

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and I’m still glowing from the warmth of a Christmas linner (lunch + dinner) with a forever friend and our treasured time together. Terri and I –– two of a BFF trio of teachers who taught at a private Christian school for years –– have been doing life with each other more than two decades. When the economy went south in 2003, forcing the school to close, our careers took different paths. Our hearts, however, remain as connected as when our classrooms were next door. Back in our school days, we gave each other lots of potty breaks and talked on the daily. Today, we’re intentional about scheduling visits and our catch up conversations cram in as much as our grown up commitments will allow. We may not be teachers anymore, but somehow every night is still a school night that necessitates us calling it an evening. This limitation only serves to make us truly treasure our time together.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, and Terri, treasuring our time together. An oldie but goodie Calvin Klein sweater dress I break out at least once every Christmas – TJ Maxx.                                                                                                                         $1 Christmas light earrings from Dollar Tree I bought for Zumba.

Terri, Brenda (our missing member, waited a long time to become a  grandmother and is now one to four little boys and  isn’t always available to join us and we couldn’t be happier for her!) and I have shared so much love and laughter during the up times. We’ve also shared many of the Ds –– barriers or challenges women face –– in the form of death, depression, domestic violence, divorce, and dysfunctional relationships.  The list could go on. And on. Through all these Ds –– the down times ––  we’ve found God’s Word to be true, “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV). How blessed we’ve been to have each other when we’ve been down.

These Swan Soul Sisters may not be my blood relatives, but they’re part of the family I’ve chosen for myself. I thank God He made me wise enough to fit them into the family space in my heart. They’ve helped me minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best life. Another reason I treasure our time together.

My prayer for you is that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make the effort to be with the ones in your life, those Swan Soul Sisters, who’ve been there for you when you’ve been down –– even though the holidays are “officially over”.  When you do, I believe you’ll not only treasure your time together, you’ll minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life too.

Be savvy and chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Leap In Leopard

Leap In Leopard

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and last night when I put together my professional packaging for today,  hopeful that it would transition into my personal life in the form of date night with my hubby, I selected an animal print sweater –– a  leap in leopard on my part! Pun intended. While the big cats can leap over 20 feet and jump 10 feet in the air, at age 50, rather than prancing around covered in an animal print like its a second skin, donning even a little feels like a big stretch. So, for me, buying and then actually wearing something I’m not totally comfortable in is literally a leap in leopard!

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Leap in Leopard! Calvin Klein leopard print sweater – TJ Maxx.                Shabby Chic floor lamp – Home Goods.

And speaking of prancing around in faux fur, recent catastrophic (yeah, I did it again) reviews of the film CATS –– not only made me nix it for tonight’s movie selection, it made me wonder whether my feline inspired fashion choice would elicit similar feedback. Instead, my prayer partner/morning coffee meeting stated, “You look so pretty in animal print!” The resident who helped me out to my car after work at the Women’s Center where I’m the director exclaimed, “I love your outfit!”, and the doctor covering for my primary care physician at today’s appointment to address my asthma –– a D or challenge women face –– this one in the form of a diagnosis –– walked into the office, introduced herself and gushed, “I love your sweater.” Even in her lab coat she appeared chic clad in plaid pants and suede booties. I confessed how I  always hesitate with animal prints.  “Not me! I wear them as a neutral and mix them with other prints.” Wow! No leopard leaping for her!

This young woman’s response is exactly what I mean about owning our sense of style. She feels confident enough not only in her clothing choices but in herself to bold. Which brings me back to my prayer partner. After she complimented me, we went on discuss bold choices. In clothing –– she wore hot pink, a bold choice, because it’s my color, though she admittedly plays it safe in subdued colors most of the time. We talked about how this translates into life. We women often shy away from speaking with a bold voice. Even when we’re led by God and should be filled with holy boldness.

All that to say, like the chic physician, we, too,  need to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and feel confident enough to be bold in  our clothing choices so we can own our professional and personal sense of style…My prayer for all of us is that we would be confident enough in God’s leading in our lives that we stop doubting ourselves –– another D –– and have holy boldness. When we do, we’ll be able to minimize our barriers and maximize beauty and our best lives.  Enough to make giant leaps in life and in leopard. 

Be savvy & chic ,

~Pink Collar Coach

The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful

The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful

 

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy and Chic on Purpose, and as I resume blogging in the new year, I’d like to back track and reflect on  Thanksgiving as it relates to The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful. At the homeless shelter where I’m the Women’s Center Director, we see a ton of giving  from Thanksgiving  through New Year’s Day. The ladies and children receive generous meal donations –– not just for dinner, but bounteous breakfasts, lavish lunches and fancy feasts throughout the holiday season. The abundance doesn’t stop with food but extends to gifts from small jewelry trinkets to designer clothing and handbags, to all kinds of activities and crafts, to more toys than the children can possibly play with, and everything in-between. So do the responses of the residents. Returning to work for the first time since the day before Christmas Eve (I’ve worked from home some with my broken ankle), I observed The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful.

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Shabby Chic Melamine serving platter. A steal from TJ Maxx at under $10!

No sooner had I pulled into the lot this morning than one of the residents greeted me with an offer to help with my bags and walker. While doing so, she expressed how thankful  she is for everything received throughout the holidays. As she carried my stuff, I crutched alongside her, my ankle a burden, but my heart light. The best holidays I’ve ever had. We’re so blessed! she enthused. Clearly, she’s one of The Grateful.

Soon after we got inside –– with other considerate residents holding doors for us –– the atmosphere shifted. Unlike the attitude of gratitude that met me at the car,  staff filled me in on complaints about leftovers and meal options after the bounty. This baffles me. I work hard to make a living and LOVE LEFTOVERS! And I’ve lived in a homeless shelter where there were ZERO meals provided. So I can’t imaging turning my nose up when leftovers of scrumptious food is served. Yet that’s what we’re getting now. These are The Gobblers.

Wondering how the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s spirit can evaporate by day 2 of 2020,  I encountered the saddest situation –– a woman who has complained and never been satisfied with anything during her time in shelter. Having walked in her shoes when my abusive marriage ended and I was made destitute –– a D or challenge women face –– I’d be the last one to say anyone should be made to feel beholden because of their situation. But I’d also say acting entitled –– as if collecting on what the universe somehow owes –– isn’t the way to go either. Nor is biting the hand that provides shelter, meals, clothes, support, etc. Unfortunately, this woman and so many others fit under The Grabbers.

Please don’t get me wrong, too often in my life I’ve fit under The Gobblers and The Grabbers myself. My prayer for 2020 is that I’d always be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and fall under The Grateful. That’s my prayer for you too. If we express an an attitude of gratitude, no matter the Ds we face, it goes a long way towards  minimizing our barriers and maximizing beauty and our best lives..

Be savvy & chic,

                                                                                                            ~Pink Collar Coach

 

My Book, My Boot and My Blog

My Book, My Boot and My Blog

It’s 2020 (Happy New Year and Blessings)!, another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose, and a chance to finally catch you up on my book, my boot and my blog!  To do so, I have to back track to November and NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writer’s Month. The goal was to write 50,000 words of Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul,  in  30 days. I  wrote faithfully everyday, however, I stopped posting  progress halfway through when it dawned on me time spent blogging could go toward word count! So I eliminated the post but acquired a viral infection, asthma complications that led to sleep deprivation –– another D or challenge women face – and a broken ankle! Then a team member’s mother lost her battle with cancer and died. Such a heart-wrenching D! With those additional barriers in place, I feel even better about finishing strong at 42,514 words for the challenge and approximately 55,000 words of my book!

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the last day of the challenge, I planned to write as close to 8,000 words as doable. The plan didn’t include breaking my ankle while leading the 2nd song of Zumba class. Seriously, I thought I’d just get up and keep dancing! Instead the squad came but I refused to go and waited for my hubby to transport. A champion through the ordeal, he waited on me hand and foot as I  puked my guts out and couldn’t do a thing for myself  while in a cast with crutches. He even expedited my orthopedic followup appointment where I got a walker and my boot! It provides mobility, the ability to shower ––  independence! I can even dance in it (I went right back to class the next Saturday and co-lead my classes with another instructor’s assistance). Oh, how blessed I am by my boot!

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Blessed by My Boot! Swan Soul Sisters, Kibby and Marina flanking me,   Pink Collar Coach, with my walker and boot in the center.                                   Performance wear, Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.                  New Balance shoe, singular! : – )

 

Even with the aid of the boot, navigating the holidays has sometimes felt like an obstacle course that requires tremendous endurance and strength (Try crutching through a crowded store!). Putting up the tree and decorating personal and professional spaces, shopping for and wrapping gifts, hosting my staff’s Christmas party, attending lots of others and leaving laden down with more stuff than I can possibly carry, going to see holiday movies… All while serving as a Women’s Center Director (I worked from home the first week after spending several hours catching up from Thanksgiving vacay) at the busiest time of year and during a center renovation has been a bit extra! But my hubby’s heroic efforts,  Zumba instructors subbing for me, Marina (and Sonya) not only teaching with me, but accompanying me to shop and getting my lunch, staff and residents bending over backwards to help, and perfect strangers going out of their way to be kind has made it one of my most blessed Christmases yet! Now I’m so thankful I get to share it with you on my blog.

My prayer for you is that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and reflect on all the ways your holiday and the last year have been a blessing to you –– like my book, my boot and my blog. When you do, you’ll be able to minimizing your 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 
 
Hold on Her Heart is in the works, and should be available Spring 2020! 
NaNoWriMo! – Friday & Finding Time to Write on Date Night

NaNoWriMo! – Friday & Finding Time to Write on Date Night

Day 14 writing badge  Day 15 writing badge

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose, and Day 15 of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writer’s Month. It’s also Friday &  I’m finding time to write on Date Night.

Project: Hold on Her Heart, Lee’s Legacy, Book 2

Goal: 50, 000 words in 30 days

Thursday and Friday total: 3,172

Overall Total: 18, 810

Book Total: 31, 339

Dealing with the Ds –– the personal and professional challenges and barriers women  face –– in the form of death of staff member’s mother and visitation/funeral today. Have also battled some serious diagnosis issues with my asthma, and depression. Thankfully, date night  –– an awesome D! –– with my hubby and double days and weeks (2 straight, earned a badge) of writing help me to minimize them and maximize beauty and my best life.

I pray your’e being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and finding time for the whatever helps you do the same!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

NaNoWriMo! – Writing Group Trumped Writing!

NaNoWriMo! – Writing Group Trumped Writing!

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and though it’s  the 12th straight of NaNoWriMo –– National Novel Writer’s Month, attending my writing group trumped writing.

Project: Hold on Her Heart, Lee’s Legacy, Book 2

Goal: 50, 000 in 30 days.

Today: 297.

Overall: 13, 996

Book: 26, 573

It’s not that I didn’t write at all. I just wrote a little because I needed a little feedback on what I’ve done so far. And attending was worth it. Not only was the first comment from the scene I read, “Powerful!”, the reading generated conversation about domestic violence. By writing about that D –– a personal or professional challenge women face –– I’m rendering it historical and minimizing it to maximize beauty and my best life.

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I’m pray that whatever Ds you’re facing,  you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and able to do something that helps to render them historical –– in the past/in your rearview mirror. Even if that means participation in it has to trump something else…When you do, you can keep your focus on the present and keep moving forward into the future God has in store for you!

Be savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach