Birthday on a Budget

Birthday on a Budget

It’s Day 414 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m pleased to have pulled off my daughter’s 15th birthday on a budget. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– and that means I’m keeping a close watch on my pocket book. The great thing is, what started out as a barrier –– limited resources –– turned into an opportunity for me to minimize the barrier and maximize beauty and my best life. Given the fact that she had a party and sleepover at her dad’s on the actual day and that I would be taking her and her brother to something she’d requested a while back –– an Escape Room –– I felt she’d be happy with a few little treats. That being the case, when a dear friend  gifted me with a Walgreen’s gift card and two Larosa’s (our hometown  pizzeria) gift cards at the end of our lunch date last week, I knew how I’d use them. The former purchased some girly gifts –– Maybelline’s Baby Lips (she loves them), pink nail polish (she’d been eyeing mine), and her favorite candy bars. The latter were used for yummy pizza, salad and sodas. And because I love themed gifts ala Rachel Ashwell, I also purchased a cupcake themed bag and card from the drug store. Then I shredded a coordinating color of copy paper to make “confetti” filler. Next, a trip to Barnes and Noble, where we’re members of the Kids Birthday Club yielded a huge complimentary confetti cupcake. Finally, though there were no Groupons available, I scored a $12 a person deal for “Escape from Alpha Station” at our local entertainment spot. With that and our waitresses’ tip, I was all in $40 –– talk about a birthday on a budget!

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A birthday bag filled with favorites. My total cost – $0!
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Me, Pink Collar Coach, as  part of The Three Musketeers.                                                                               Cotton cold should top and denim shorts – Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.                                                                                                                                                 Can’t believe my baby girl’s 15! Her 13 year-old brother is taller than both of us!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic  on Purpose shopper, I’m thrilled about being able to make the most of what I had. More than that, though, making the most of the time with my children was the best part of the day. Liv truly enjoyed her gifts and promptly applied not one but both lip shades. And as all three of us shared the cupcake she poured over her card and gave me a hug far sweeter than the pastry. The Escape Room (www.funattheweb.com) was a blast. Levi displayed his high level of intelligence by deciphering one of the main clues, but alas, because we were in the room with lots of other people resulting in a bit of chaos, we didn’t escape. Still, seeing him and Liv work together so well did my mommy heart good. We shared pizza, so much laughter, and explored some ideas about the future while taking a walk. By the time the night ended, I knew though the birthday was on a budget, it was one of the best.

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about planning birthdays or other special events on a budget. At home? The office? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a large return on investment.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Minimizing Challenges & Maximizing Chances

Minimizing Challenges & Maximizing Chances

It’s Day 309 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Challenge and I’ve spent the last few days practicing what I preach – as in minimizing my challenges and maximizing every chance I get. I’m not gonna lie about it – the devil has been busy throwing every D he can my way – dysfunctional relationships, discouragement, discrimination. It’s like what I say about coaching around the Ds – You name it, I deal with it in coaching. Well, you name it and I’ve dealt with it in my personal or professional life recently.  But rather than letting the Ds get me down, I’ve let push me forward – to promote the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic brand, to grow the coaching  agency and to promote my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, while working on the sequel, Hold On Her Heart. It feels good to be able to accomplish what I encourage my coaching clients to do: Minimize the challenges and maximize the chances!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach – Minimizing barriers and maximizing my best life in another oldie but goodie Calvin Klein jersey dress, infinity scarf, handbag, boots,                          & fun two-tone tights that tie the colors together.                                                                                       All TJ Maxx except for the boots found at Goodwill for $11 – brand spanking new!

After teaching Zumba yesterday, I did a complimentary life coaching session with a potential client and she found it so beneficial I didn’t have to ask for the commitment – she initiated. It’s exciting to see my list of clients grow slowly but surely – and they’re truly my target audience – professional women who are facing personal barriers that negatively impact their performance. By addressing their Ds, I prevent derailing and support them in living their best lives and being the best savvy and chic version of themselves. And I try to do it all to His glory. When there are tears during a session – often tears of release – because they can finally talk about their struggles – I know I’m living my purpose. Wonderful as it is that coaching clients “make the cash register ring”, that knowledge that I’m serving women is what I value as priceless.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose entrepreneur, getting a business up and going is not for the faint of heart. I probably work harder now than I did in my highest level position working for others. Though I’m sometimes viewed as someone who might not have gumption – that has more to do with my shorter stature and softer speaking voice than anything else – I do show initiative to make things happen. That characteristic is serving me well in trying to make Pink Collar Savvy & Chic work. And I need all the get up and go I can muster when the Ds threaten to make me feel like giving in instead. On my own, I can do nothing. But when I take my eyes off of the challenges, and focus on the chances I have to live the personal and professional life God has for me, I’m able to minimize and maximize on.

How about you? How are you being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose to minimize the challenges you’ve faced in your personal or professional life lately? How are you maximizing the chances your’e been given on the home-front or in the workplace?

To preview or purchase the print or Kindle version of Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. It can also be purchased at Barnes and Noble.com at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seasons-of-her-soul-tammi-ector/1127818446?ean=9780998966359. Thank you!

Be savvy &   chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

The Creative Writing Process & Progress on Sequel to Seasons of Her Soul

The Creative Writing Process & Progress on Sequel to Seasons of Her Soul

Day 305 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project had me blissfully immersed in the creative writing process so that I made tons of progress on the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. The day got started on a high when I learned that it is now available on Barnes and Noble.com. It’s been on Amazon since January, however, getting into B&N has taken more time, so I’m thrilled. Then, in preparation for Thursday night’s writing group critique, I worked off of the feedback from last month’s critique to revise the outline for Hold On Her Heart –  Book II in the Lee’s Legacy series and created a preface of sorts to re-acquaint readers of the first book with the characters and to introduce them to new readers. The group suggested that I read some sequels to see how to write one effectively, so I turned to the work of Karen Kingsbury, the Queen of Christian Fiction, and Francine Rivers, who I want to be when I grow up as a writer. All of these actions are considered Prewriting –  the first step of the 5-Step Writing Process. Time flew by, as it always does, when I’m in my zone AKA the creative writing process. It’s no wonder I made such great progress on my first novel’s secret!

Creative Writing

Sharing the creative writing process with was one of my favorite things about being a middle school teacher. Not only did I get to do this with my students; I got to equip fellow teachers to teach by writing and presenting a creative writing workshop. The creative writing process I use is only a skeleton – and each writer fleshes it out to build a process that works for them. For the purpose of this blog post, I’ll list all of the steps in the process but will only explain the first that I’m currently working through on how I use it.
The Creative Writing Process
1. Prewriting – This includes finding and building an idea, then planning and structuring the story around it. Keeping notes on new ideas is important. This can be done with pen and paper or electronically. (I type them into my laptop or phone when on the run or even in the middle of the night – they get lost otherwise). And I can’t emphasize how critical it is to keep the notes from a previous book when planning to  write a sequel or even a non-related book. Though you won’t use all of them, NEVER throw out the baby or the bathwater! The book – your baby – may be born from the notes you keep; your next one may be conceived from the ones you set aside and fertilize later! Finally, this step often involves some type of research.
2. Writing 
3. Revision
4. Editing
5. Publishing
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author, this writing life is like a crazy roller coaster ride. There are days when I experience extreme highs and then I get plunged into steep lows. Sometimes it can be terrifying. Other times it’s exhilarating. Like today when I not only learned that I reached a goal I set for my first book but when I maximized the creative writing process to make progress on its sequel.
I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and check on the book below. Also, I’d love to hear about your creative writing process. Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~ Pink  Collar Coach

My Floral Affair – Review of Rachel Ashwell’s Newest Decor Book

My Floral Affair – Review of Rachel Ashwell’s Newest Decor Book

It’s Day 298 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and because I’m in love with My Floral Affair, Shabby Chic founder Rachel Ashwell’s newest decor book, I’m excited to write a review about it. My own romance with Shabby Chic began in the 90s and will soon celebrate its 30th anniversary. Sometime in my youth I became an Anglophile (probably due to devouring all that Jane Austen). In college, where I majored in English Lit of course, I pledged a sorority whose colors are pastel pink and green which only fed my preference for the colors. Then in my early 20s I became a bit obsessed with design and developed a a deep, abiding love of flowers and pink roses in particular. The combination of the above is what initially drew me to English Country decor with its prevalence of large scale cabbage roses on chintz fabrics. When I opened a copy of Victoria magazine and saw a spread of Rachel Ashwell’s Malibu home and her Shabby Chic style – a mix of English cottage, California beach cottage and romantic French influences, with white and pastel painted furnishings set against white walls – all with a profusion of pink flowers – I fell SO hard and have been devoted ever since. I own all the Shabby Chic books, and couldn’t wait for the eleventh, knowing My Floral Affair wouldn’t disappoint.

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A quintessentially Shabby Chic corner of my dining room/office. This buffet with a restored Simply Shabby Chic mirror, clock, lamps & crochet edge table runner. Decor -Target. Book – B&N.                                                   The addition of Easter flowers from my sweet hubby & My Floral Affair make it even more lovely. Stoneware water pitcher used as vase – TJ Maxx. 

The timing of the book’s release is ideal. March came in like a lion and it’s gone out like one too! Here in the midwest, we had the threat of twelve inches of snow toward the end of the month (it turned out to be much ado about nothing) and got a blanketing of it the day after a frigid Easter/April Fool’s Day. No joke! (I couldn’t resist). Worst case scenario I probably suffer from a bit of Seasonal Effective Disorder, and don’t enjoy winter all that much at the least. Between the cold, rain and snow, Spring Cleaning didn’t hold much appeal until I got ahold of a much anticipated copy of My Floral Affair. Pages of gorgeous, yummy decorating from Rachel Ashwell’s own homes as well as those of others in England, France, and Norway, all with flowers as the focus, make for tantalizing visual eye candy, and have inspired me to freshen up my Shabby Chic space in many ways, including with flowers.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose ShabbyChicophile, I’ve been a one-decorating style kinda woman for a while and I like it that way. My style is not trendy and it’s definitely not modern as my hubby and stepsons like to point out. I’m fine with their ribbing though because I realize they’re not accustomed to homes that don’t look as if the showroom display was shipped to the house and set up. I’d go mad in a space like that. Instead, I’ll take Shabby Chic, timeworn and timeless for life. Oh, and filled with flowers.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to freshen up your home or office this spring, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose inspiration is abloom in My Floral Affair, available at http://www.shabbychic.com or http://www.barnesandnoble.com.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Working on a Book Signing for Seasons of Her Soul!

Working on a Book Signing for Seasons of Her Soul!

It’s Day 240 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I spent some time this evening in one of my favorite places on earth -Barnes and Noble – working on a book signing for Seasons of Her Soul. Some of you readers have asked about this and I’m pleased to let you know it should be a reality soon. I’m also in the process with LifeWay Christian Bookstore, one of the few brick and mortar booksellers still in operation here in the Cincinnati area. Being a debut novelist makes it challenging to break through giant brick and mortar stores like B&N, and even the ones that seem like little mom and pop ventures in comparison. But you know me – I’m all about minimizing barriers and maximizing beauty and women’s best personal and professional lives, so now that I know both of these support local authors, I’m going after it with a sledge hammer and won’t stop working until I’ve scheduled some Seasons of Her Soul book signings!

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While there, I picked up one of my favorite sources of inspiration, Artful Blogging, and browsed through some other decorating magazines. Then I made my usual perusal of the Christian fiction section and was delighted to find an author I’ve never read. I’ve always devoured books and consume a healthy diet of authors with different styles as a way to feed my creativity. Trying new ones helps me broaden my horizons and hone my craft. Feeling as satisfied as could be because I was in a bookstore with a copy of Seasons of Her Soul, I couldn’t resist laying it on the coffee table along with these other delectable treats. Twas so sweet to imagine someone discovering it and plopping down in a comfy chair with a latte to savor it and my novel!

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose debut novelist, I’m savoring this sweet season in my journey. I say that not to flaunt it, but to encourage you. While this evening was blissful, the work day was fraught with Ds brought on by one dastardly dude! But I’m determined not to be derailed. I’ve worked too hard to build a life I love, including becoming a published author. No hater or saboteur is going to knock that down. Barnes and Noble isn’t the only thing built of brick and mortar! In fact, I’ll even say I’m stronger and more sturdy because I’m built on the Firm Foundation, the Solid Rock. That will hold me in good stead as I continue working on book signings for Seasons of Her Soul!

What Pink Collar Ds or challenges are you facing that feel as impenetrable as a solid structure? Perhaps it’s that personal situation where you can’t make a breakthrough? Or maybe you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall in your professional life… How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose to minimize those barriers and to maximize your best life on the home-front and in the workplace?

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach