“I Can Only Imagine” at IMAX – Movie Review

“I Can Only Imagine” at IMAX – Movie Review

It’s Day 293 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and yesterday was one of my rare break from blogging days because my hubby took me on a date to see I Can Only Imagine at IMAX. Initially he invited me to join him for breakfast to finally put a Cracker Barrel gift card from Christmas to use. Though a sweet offer, two things prevented me from taking him up on it: a) I’m not a breakfast person until after 10am, and b) I maximize work days by refraining from other activities during work hours. You may be thinking, When a tall, good-looking guy asks you out, you go! I requested a rain check and mentioned seeing the movie. Too late I realized I could have taken an early lunch or the time due to Spring Break. Oops! Mental note to self: Do not to make the same mistake twice…So when he circled back around that evening and asked me to dinner, I grabbed the chance to redeem myself. And I was pleasantly surprised to learn date night included a late showing of the movie. It seems all was forgiven. In fact, as we watched it at IMAX on a Wednesday night two days before Good Friday, I realized forgiveness was a theme that ran through I Can Only Imagine.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach in blue – sweater, socks, and jeans. Couldn’t resist wearing sandals to show off my sock color! The floral handbag is an attempt to bring some spring to our rainy, cold day. All Calvin Klein from TJMaxx.                                               The sandals were on clearance at – wait for it – Steinmart!

Whether or not you’re a fan of Christian music, you’ve probably heard the group Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine”, the all-time most played single. The movie with the same name is based on the true life story of lead singer Bart Millard. Millard’s father, played by Dennis Quaid, was extremely abusive, and the domestic violence he suffered is depicted on the big screen. The physical and emotional pain is almost palpable. This is what propels Millard’s music career and him turning that pain into purpose in the writing of the song. While the storyline and music are compelling, even with big names such as musician, Trace Adkins and Christian author, Priscilla Shirer, the acting seemed mediocre at best. And as critics of Christian films often describe their production, it appeared to be “low budget” without the fancy cinematography, bells and whistles. That said, the message of forgiveness being available to all, no matter what they’ve done, is loud, clear, and as beautiful as the rendition of I Can Only Imagine performed by Millard’s character near the end of the film.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose music lover and soloist, though this film didn’t appear to have a billion-dollar budget, it packed a billion-dollar punch that drove home not only the power of the song, but that pain serves a purpose in our lives. Countless lives have been impacted by the lyrics and Millard’s voice. Because the song is about hope. Its message is this – because Jesus Christ died, was buried, rose from the grave, and went to prepare a place for us, one day we’ll see it. And see Him. I had a baby resurrected to new life one Easter 17 years ago and will meet my child for the first time… As we celebrate Easter and the Resurrection, I’m so thankful my hubby took me to IMAX to see the movie, for it reminded me of that glorious day. I can only imagine.

If you’re Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and plan to see/see the movie as part of your Easter celebration, I’d love to hear from you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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A Wrinkle In Time – Movie Review

A Wrinkle In Time – Movie Review

The book cover from my childhood and teaching days. So deserving of the Newberry medal!

It’s Day 278 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited that I got to see Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time and that I can share a review of the movie with you. I’ve been a book nerd since I learned to read at the age of three, and by the time I was in middle school, I absolutely devoured novels. Second only to Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson, which was written the same year I was born – 1969, A Wrinkle in Time, written by Madeline L’Engle in 1962, is an all-time favorite children’s novel. Given my love of books, it was no surprise that I became a school teacher. With the exception of Kindergarten and 4th grade, I taught every grade and loved them all. Still, there was something special about teaching Middle School and 6th grade in particular. Heeding my Teaching Children’s Literature professor’s admonition that it was a crime to bore children with bad books when there were so many great ones from which to choose, I of course turned to this classic, which was awarded the Newberry award for the “most outstanding contribution to children’s literature” in 1963 (Bridge to Terabithia also won). Exposing my 6th graders to A Wrinkle in Time was a highlight every school year. Watching even the most reluctant readers become entranced by the words on the pages was magical, as was being transported on the adventure unfolding on the big screen tonight.

The science fantasy is the saga of a troubled middle school-age sister Meg, an early elementary-age prodigy brother, Charles Wallace, and a popular middle-school friend, Calvin, whose life isn’t as perfect as it first seems, all on a quest to find the siblings’ missing scientist father. Mr. Murry disappeared while researching time travel, leaving behind a confused wife and bereft children. Though I haven’t read the book in years, the plot remained true enough to the original that memory kicked in and I recalled much of the storyline. The adventure starts out on Earth but then visits numerous fictitious planets as the children, along with celestial beings, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling) “tesser” from one location to the next on their search. In a true battle of light vs. darkness, all of the characters are faced with internal and external struggles that ultimately mean their journey is also one of self-discovery and proof that love can overcome hatred.

Stunning cinematography, a star studded cast, and stellar performances from all make this a great film. But I must say it was Storm Reid, who played Meg, who stole the show. At only fourteen, she was able to portray defiance, stubbornness, vulnerability, devotion, loyalty, self-doubt, and such raw sacrificial love that it took my breath away. She reminds me of Zendaya and I’m excited to see what she’ll do in the future.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose reader, I have to admit I was afraid that Hollywood might not get this right. I’m relieved to say they did. My only criticism is I feel the thematic content is too emotionally wrenching for children under thirteen. It’s rated PG, however, the separation of the family and the battle against the evil force may be overwhelming to some children…On the other hand, I absolutely love the portrayal of strong women in the movie and give A Wrinkle in Time a positive movie review.

Hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and check it out.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greatest Showman – Movie Review

The Greatest Showman – Movie Review

It’s Day 226 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I finally saw The Greatest Showman and am excited to write a review of the movie I’ve been trying to get to since it’s release December 20th. Myrtle Beach was rainy today, so I walked to Starbucks this morning and spent the day there finishing a wonderful novel – bliss. Then, after a meal and the mall with my family, I opted to stay at the latter and take in the movie while they hit another bowling alley this evening (we bowled in Cincy before leaving – my hubby says it’s a tradition but I can only take so much!). I have no skill, so they were fine leaving me behind and I was thrilled to stay back and see the movie.
The film is a musical written by the same lyricists as LaLa Land. It depicts the the story of P.T. Barnum, the creator of the circus. Barnum is played by Hugh Jackman, of Wolverine fame. Seeing as that’s not my cup of tea, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him in anything until now. To say I was pleasantly surprised by his acting, singing and even dancing is putting it mildly. Captivated from the very first moment is more like it. Having come from humble beginnings, his desire to provide a better life for his family drive him to the point that even after he’s exceeded all expectations with his circus, he wants more. His insecurities and need to be more cause him to nearly lose not only his circus but his motivation for building it in the first place.
Somewhere along the line, Barnum decides his show needs to appeal to the “high brow” society crowd, so he enlists Phillip Carlise (Zac Efron) a socialite who is also a performer, as a partner. From the moment Phillip lays eyes on Ann (Zendaya), a trapeze artist, sparks fly, but the star-crossed couple struggles to come together due to the fact that she’s not only a “circus freak” but a black one at that! No spoiler alert needed here – I won’t give away what happens, but I will say a scene where the two dance and work the ropes to demonstrate the push and pull of their romance is pure magic. I’ve not seen many Zac Efron movies, but I predict Zendaya (her last name is Collins but she’s already known by her first name only) is going to surpass all the other Disney Channel stars that have gone before her…
Phillip and Ann before a beautifully choreographed star-crossed lovers dance.                               Photo credit below.
Niko Tavernise/Fox
As much as I enjoyed the performances of the big name stars, it was the cast of circus “curiosities” that really spoke to my spirit. Having been a misfit for much of my life – because I’m a Christian, creative, a minority, my marriages have been biracial, etc, etc. – the ragtag team Barnum assembled seem like the my kind of people. They don’t look like most people and possess backbone and heart that make them truly unique. Their resilience, talent, and indomitable spirits made the movie for me. Like the Susan Boyle Britain’s Got Talent audition that went viral on steroids! I LOVE when the “curious” people shock the world with what others think they can’t do!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative, I believe you’ll enjoy this movie. This musical is about creativity, imagination, and making the impossible possible. If you like real life rags to riches stories about the underdogs who win because of their hard work and ingenuity, then this film is for you. Or maybe you just want to be entertained. It delivers that in spades. P.T. Barnum wanted a better world where people could forget about their cares, so without the aid of electronics and technology, he designed it. Considering that, he may very well have been The Greatest Showman.
Be savvy & chic,
                                                                                                                                 ~Pink Collar Coach

 

“Wonder” Review – Wonderful Children’s Movie We’d All Do Well To Watch, With Or Without Them

“Wonder” Review – Wonderful Children’s Movie We’d All Do Well To Watch, With Or Without Them

It’s Day 195 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited to review “Wonder”, a wonderful children’s movie we’d all do well to watch, with or without children. My daughter read it when she was in seventh grade last year, and while I used to read most of the great children’s literature books in order to cover them when I was a teacher, I haven’t been able to keep up the practice and am glad this one was made into a film. I anticipated the movie would be good based on the acclaim the novel received, but didn’t expect to be transported back to the days when I was bullied for being different myself.
Apparently the novel is based on the experience of the author’s child when they attended middle school with a student who had the same rare facial condition as Auggie Pullman, the main character. Auggie’s symptoms are extreme and cause his face to be severely distorted. He also suffers a degree of hearing loss. The young actor who plays Auggie does an outstanding job portraying the physical, emotional, and social challenges he faces transitioning from being homeschooled his whole life to attending school with other children for  the first time in fifth grade. Though ostracized from day one, Auggie soon makes it clear he doesn’t struggle cognitively. He’s exceptional.
While Auggie is a star in the role, the cast of supporting characters that orbit his universe are the ones who make his performance and the movie shine. His supportive parents and sister are in his corner to a degree that Auggie is the center of their world. Their struggles to let Auggie navigate the complexities of middle school on his own coincide with their own quests to find out who they are apart from him and together as a healthier family. And the friends/frenemies Auggie makes at school demonstrate how difficult it is to choose kind in the midst of mob mentality where the popular kids are anything but. In the end, not only does Auggie emerge a hero, his courageous heart calls out the best in those around him – adults, teens, children, and in the unexpected. Moviegoers as well.
Hope you see the movie! I’d love to hear what you think of it and how you can be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose with the lessons it teaches.
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach

 

“The Star” Movie Review and a Lesson on Lamb Leadership

“The Star” Movie Review and a Lesson on Lamb Leadership

It’s Day 193 of The Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and after sleeping all day,  I’m feeling well enough  to post a review of “The Star” movie, which I saw the day it released. There are many delightful things about this movie. While it takes a lot of creative license, the plot remains fairly true to the Biblical account of the events that led up to the birth of Jesus and the film even credits it as the greatest story ever told. With it’s whimsical animation the stage was set for the miraculous story to unfold in Nazareth and Bethlehem. From the moment the film begins rolling, viewers are swept back to the time where a humble, kind Mary and a loving, protective Joseph are a frightened young couple entrusted with the greatest responsibility ever – bringing the Son of God into the world. Monumentally important as their roles are, the movie focuses more on the part a small donkey and his animal friends play in ensuring the safe birth of baby Jesus. After overcoming several life-threatening challenges, the cast of characters come together under The Star to celebrate the Christ Child. If you’re looking for a great family friendly movie, this movie is entertaining for children and could be considered enlightening for adults whose hearts are open are open to the true meaning of Christmas. Adults can even learn a leadership lesson from a lamb.

Ruth, though only a little lamb, proved herself to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic. Petite,  feminine, and with a small voice, Ruth didn’t necessarily look or sound like a leader. But she was also resourceful, strong, smart, and hardworking. Despite these leadership attributes, her previous attempt to lead her flock had been unsuccessful. Undeterred, she believed in her cause and followed The Star through to the end. Along the way Ruth tapped into her strengths and contributed meaningfully to the mission. She even won the support of her former naysayers and caused them to rally around her efforts. Ultimately, her leadership enabled them to collectively achieve more than they ever could on their own. That being the case Ruth’s lamb leadership could also be called transformational.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose “Lamb Leader”, I can relate to Ruth. Sometimes I feel I’m too small, too insignificant, too lots of things to leave a lasting leadership legacy.  But like Ruth, I believe in my cause and have to follow where I’m led. I’m compelled to live out my purpose which is to coach, encourage and inspire Pink Collar women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their beauty and best personal and professional lives – all to the glory of God. Though none went with her at first, Ruth still chose to follow The Star. Now she’ll go down in fictionalized history (at least for some children and possibly a few adults) as a lamb leader who had a part in leading others to The Star. Like her, I have decided to follow and pray I’ll leave a lamb leadership legacy of pointing others to The Bright and Morning Star as well.

In what ways are you a lamb leader? How can you maximize your strengths to contribute in meaningful ways? At home? In the workplace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Day 180 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one spent having procedures to determine why I’ve been so sick for the past month and giving thanks to the Lord for good test results! Now I’m looking forward to getting back to life and reality. And while the doctor’s orders were that today be a lazy day, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have read about my medical challenges/Ds and reached out with well wishes and prayers. You readers are part of my resilience strategy and the blog has helped me bounce back. Both have played a role in me getting better because I didn’t want to renege on my promise to post daily (I did miss a few…). Nor did I want to lose those of you who have been kind enough to stick with me while I’ve been sick, even if you were sick of hearing about it!

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Shabby Chic inspired Thanksgiving decor from TJMaxx – last season.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! So while I’m thankful for today’s test results and hopeful the rest of them will come back good, I’m ready for a new day. I’m not 100%, but I’m laying claim to the verse in a song I used to teach in Kids Club:

And now let the sick say I am healed

Because of what the Lord has done for us!

That being the case, tomorrow, I plan to get back to life and back to reality. Completing revisions for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul in order for it to be released in January, focusing on my business, including rescheduling and scheduling coaching sessions, returning to Zumba and starting to teach (yes!), and planning for my next workshops are only a few of the things while I was down. Excited as I am about all that, being able to get out and about to post pictures to accompany what content I hope you love is what motivates me. That and glorifying  the Lord to whom I owe, and give, so much thanks.

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Give Thanks to the Lord pumpkins flank front porch stairs.                                                         Not only are they pretty and welcoming, they remind others to have grateful hearts.

What situation have you come through, medical, personal, professional or otherwise, for which you are thankful? How can you be savvy & chic on purpose about expressing that thanks?

 

Time To Talk Turkey Thanksgiving Decor and Trusting Our Decisions More

Time To Talk Turkey Thanksgiving Decor and Trusting Our Decisions More

It’s Day 180 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and since I’m restricted to a clear liquid diet and am sipping on my chicken bouillon supper, I’ve got poultry, and Thanksgiving turkey decor on the brain. Because of my lifelong natural affinity for pink and pastels and my twenty-plus year love affair with all things Shabby Chic, I’ve never been a fan of traditional Thanksgiving colors or decor.  Thankfully for me, (pun intended), in recent years the retail market has experienced a shift and now offers a selection of holiday decor in non-traditional colors. That being the case, I have to take some time to talk turkey thanksgiving decor.

Before I do, I’ll explain my train of thought. In order to get to the bottom of the abdominal pain that landed me in the ER twice in the last week and a half, tomorrow I must undergo some tests, hence the dietary restrictions. Having missed out on the chance to check out Target’s new “Hand and Hearth” line from HGTV’s Fixer Uppers Joanna and Chip Gaines yesterday because of the tornado watch, I used the need to pick up Jello as an excuse to do so today. Surprisingly underwhelmed, instead of having to chose between several items I thought I’d love, I purchased nothing which is great for my pocketbook!

Housebound for almost a month, I wasn’t ready to go home and wandered over to TJMaxx. I’d spotted a carved wooden turkey a while back and was intrigued but didn’t buy her. Then, while purusing a blog I discovered while reading Artful Blogging this weekend, I spotted the same turkey in a Thanksgiving feature. Feeling as if it wasn’t a coincidence, I made a mental note to see if she was still there whenever I made it back in.  She was. Given the two sightings, I usually would have snatched her right up, but hesitated. After some deliberation and consulting a store manager who’s become a friend and the sales associate at check out, I bought the inexpensive piece thinking, I can always return her…Then I got her home and Fell. In. Love.

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Lovely light teal turkey surrounded by Simply Shabby Chic candle lanterns, plates, and a birthday cake piggy bank that live in the dining room. The Shabby Chic French style sideboard was one of the first pieces I splurged on for my townhouse after being homeless. 
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I love adding touches of whimsy in my home and imagine the approach of Thanksgiving would be a time where this lady turkey would need this reminder!                                             BTW – If you haven’t seen Free Birds, it’s a fun movie animated movie about the lengths to which turkeys will go to avoid the Thanksgiving Table!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet (a young swan), who has been posting quotes from The Smile Jar for a few months now, seldom has one aligned so well with my blog post. Today’s was: “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” – Erica Jong. Knowing how much I love the softer side of Thanksgiving decor, I still wrestled with whether to purchase a unique piece that spoke to me from the beginning to the degree that I solicited advice from two other people. I strive to be a good steward over my resources, so I suppose the hesitation was whether or not I needed her or wanted her. The answer is that I wanted her. And while I won’t condone instant gratification of our wants, I am grateful that I went with mine. The fact that the curved edge of the sideboard caught my eye the minute I walked in the door and fit the piece perfectly was confirmation. Not  only that I made the right choice, but that I should trust my decisions and not doubt them.

What about you? Do you seek advice when you know the answer? About home or office decor? Personal and/or professional decisions? How can you be more Pink Collar Savvy & Chic in these areas of your life?

Be savvy &  chic,

~Pink Collar Coach