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!

IMG_6454
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! 
Party in Pink with a Purpose

Party in Pink with a Purpose

Service on Purpose (Professional Life)

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and this weekend   I and my sister Zumba instructors led two hours of dancing for our annual Party in Pink Zumbathon with the purpose of  raising funds for the fight against breast cancer –– a major D  or challenge women face –– in the form of a diagnosis. All funds raised support the Zumba Global Research Grant for Breast Cancer Prevention managed by Susan G. Komen. As a Women’s Center Director for a homeless shelter serving women and children with one year under my belt as of last week, I still pop up every morning grateful for the opportunity to do social work –– at the boots on the ground level –– that I consider full-time ministry. Likewise, though this year marked my third Zumbathon as an instructor (I teach 2x a week and sub), I’m just just as stoked as the year I became a licensed and officially joined the battle to prevent cancer at  my first Party in Pink with the purpose.

Sense of Style (Packaging)

img_1122.jpg
 Party in Pink (and black) for the Cure! Pretty Cincy Zumba instructors.      Me, Pink Collar Coach, front row, left – plaid Calvin Klein shirt & leggings + New Balance shoes – TJ Maxx. Face glitter! : ) All Zumba Wear – zumba.com. 

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Much of the time, I feel like I deal with the Ds on the daily! Lately I’ve battled depression around dysfunctional relationships. Dancing –– a positive D ––  keeps my body fit. In fact, dancing led me to discover a 9mm tumor in my breast in 2014. It presented as stage 4 in every test. When biopsied, however, it came back benign. Either a team of physicians got it wrong or The Physician made it all right!!!  Dance also resets my emotions to an even keel and keeps me from losing my mind! That release of endorphins you’ve probably heard about? All true! And no matter what music I’m dancing to, there’s always an element of praise and worship in it for me. God created dance as a form of expression and whatever I’m dealing with is laid bare before him when I’m on the floor…I try my best to leave it there and then go home to sleep GOOD! : )

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

My prayer for you as Breast Cancer Awareness month draws to a close is that you’d be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and complete regular self-checks (that’s how I found the tumor) along with having an annual mammogram. Finally, when you have a chance, attend a Zumbathon and show support for those who have fought valiantly and others who are currently in the fight of their lives. By doing so, you’ll help minimize this barrier and maximize beauty and best lives. Because it’s more than an awesome two-hour chance to dance, it’s a Party in Pink with a purpose!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

 

 

Viewing Myself on Video

Viewing Myself on Video

It’s Day 29 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and viewing myself on video was eye opening. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, some Pink Collar Swans surprised me for my 50th bday by showing up for my Thursday class. Among them, was a Zumba mentor, Marina, who instructs elsewhere. She filmed me teaching Save the Last Dance, which is at the end of my playlist and captured me in all of my sweaty glory! Even so, because we don’t have a mirror at the Y, I feel as though she gave me the gift of being able to really see what my students do when I’m in front of them. Boy is it eye opening! It’s like the first time I heard an audio recording of myself and thought, Do I really sound like that? My voice sounded so high and had a country twang to it…And while I heard the twang loud and clear in my, Boom! Stay here!, it’s also clear to me that the joy I feel while dancing doesn’t show in my face. The smile in my heart is eclipsed by the fight to breathe through my asthma. Not the takeaway I expected from viewing myself on video.

Me, Pink Collar Coach in my Calvin Klein Performance wear and New Balance shoes.

All from TJ Maxx.

Dancing is one of the most effective strategies for me to deal with my Ds –– the barriers and challenges women face. In fact, though I’d been doing it for a few years prior to my hysterectomy, it wasn’t until I returned to Zumba after complications with surgery due to an additional diagnosis that I realized I needed the exercise to not only regain my stamina and loose the weight I put on during nine weeks in bed, its psychological benefits are tremendous. I believe my students would say I smile and bring positive energy to the class before and after, but asthma or no asthma,  I should smile some during! By doing so, I’ll be further minimizing my asthma diagnosis barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. I’ll certainly look better while sweating!

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make the most of opportunities to critique yourself. Be it through watching a video, listening to a recording, or good old-fashioned self-evaluation for a performance appraisal…But here’s the catch: So often we’re only focused on  our areas for growth. Instead, let’s focus on our strengths and maximize them. In my case, I’ve got everything going for me as a Zumba instructor because I love to dance and have been blessed with crazy good mentors who’ve helped develop this talent into a strength. Now I just need to amp up the smile factor to take my instruction to the next level. I suppose that’s the true takeaway from viewing myself on video.

What’s  yours?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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!

IMG_6264
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

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 20, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 20, 2019

Despite a recent D or challenge women face –– my car is down and in the shop –– I still got to dance this morning!  Thanks to these Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swans ––Sonya for the ride, Cherie for the Dance Fusion class, and Cookie for the photo! All such a blessing! They helped minimize my barrier to maximize beauty and my best life!

img_1057.jpg
Me, Pink Collar Coach, and Cookie front front. Sonya and Cherie back.                                        My athletic wear –– with much needed quick dry –– Calvin Klein Performance –– TJ Maxx.

Hope you are Pink Collar Savvy & Chic today and  surround yourself with a support system that helps you minimize your barriers and maximize your beauty and best life, too.

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!

IMG_1056
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

Fitness and Friendship

Fitness and Friendship

It’s Day 6 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and like most Saturdays, it was about fitness and friendship. One day early in our relationship, my now Swan Sister, Kibby, invited me to attend Zumba at her athletic club during a lunch break at work. Going on seven years later, we’re still working out. Doing fitness (sometimes food) and fitness.

While we’ve had amazing instructors come and go, Marvelous Marina is still with us and has become not only one of my Zumba mentors, but a dear friend. Dancing with her, learning from her and supporting one another –– she’s attended both book fairs for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, and I sub for her and serve as wingman whenever needed in class. This morning, she gave a shout out for my upcoming birthday on Monday. She’s filling in for another Zumba sis and invited the class to join us that evening to celebrate my 50th. I’m also looking forward to hanging out with her and another friend afterwards.

IMG_1031
Me, Pink Collar Coach and Mentor/Friend, Marina.                   A little belly dancing added a twist to this class – literally!  I’m in my Calvin Klein Performance & New Balance shoes.           Marina could be a Zumba Wear model. Wears it well! 

For me, Zumba provides so much more than a chance to exercise. It’s a chance to appreciate music, express myself through dance and connect with The One who made it all. Through fitness, I experience friendship AKA fellowship with beautiful, strong, amazing women.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and either engage in exercise you’ve neglected or find your fit –– be it dance or another form. There’s a good chance you may find friendship, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – February 16, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – February 16, 2019

Saturday Zumba with a little belly dancing thrown in makes me smile!

40727B1D-A69C-4C6A-858D-7BD0B7339390
Me, Pink Collar Coach, and Marina, my Zumba instructor sister!                                                   All of my fitness wear is Calvin Klein Performance from TJ Maxx. Plaid shirt, too.                 New Balance – my preferred footwear. The belly dancing skirt, pink of course, from a friend. 

 

Time to Design Zumba T-Shirts

Time to Design Zumba T-Shirts

It’s Day 357 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and after this morning’s dance class, a few of us took some time to design Zumba T-shirts. Though I’ve often admired the way Zumba instructors cut up their shirts with intricate designs and patterns, because I’m a bit OCD, I’ve never been brave enough to experiment on my own now that I’m a licensed instructor myself. So when some ladies in our Saturday class expressed interest in having our Marvelous Marina show us how it’s done, she offered to hold a workshop after our workout. We were instructed to bring shirts, chalk or soap and scissors. I dance with this group of ladies on Saturdays, but at my local Y during the week. One of my three Zumba instructor sisters there bought a pack of shirts that contained four of the same three shirt styles for us to wear when we teach together or at events. The labels say “One Size Fits Most”. For me, that means fitting like a sack…This being the case, I took advantage of today’s opportunity to add a little flair to my shirts and to even make them fit! I wasn’t as daring as some – ok, I’m more than a little bit OCD – but still made the most of this time to design my Zumba T-shirts.

IMG_0871
This demonstrates how big the shirt is on me even with the sleeves cut. The sleeves were cut more after this photo &               it now fits much better.                                                                      Calvin Klein Performance leggings from TJ Maxx. 
IMG_0868
The cold shoulder was my design of choice for all three of my shirts.                                                                                             My friend cut strips from the cutout pieces & tied the hole with them to create this look. 
IMG_0869
Our Marvelous Marina! She’s a Zumba instructor phenom & she wields a mean pair of scissors! Heart with horizontal and vertical slashes. 
IMG_0870
Linda quickly got the hang of weaving. An impressive 1st attempt. 

With Marina and Kibby’s guidance (the picture of her shirt is too blurry and couldn’t be included), I dipped my little toe into the shirt cutting waters. For my first time out, I tentatively traced patterns based off of Marina’s designs with my soap and stuck to creating varied cold shoulder looks. Once the cold shoulder shapes had been cut out, however, I shied away from cutting the hem off of the sleeves, but because they were still huge, I eventually let Kibby do it for me. Stretching and pulling the fabric caused it to roll nicely and I felt pleased with the results. Maybe feel confident enough to eventually cut the hems off of the bottoms of the shirts and even slit them to create ties.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose self-diagnosed woman with OCD regarding things aligning, matching and being symmetrical, I had to step outside my comfort zone to take shirts I not only love but need for teaching and cut them up. In fact, there were two times when I got so stressed this morning because I cut things and they were jagged or off from the other side that I literally had to hand the scissors over to Kibby, who is fearless, researches Pinterest for ideas and then cuts with abandon. I kept saying “I’ve never cut up a shirt!” Patient with and supportive of me throughout the process – as was Marina – at one point she stopped me and said, “Now you have.” I suppose some would call me a perfectionist – and I’d have to agree considering I hesitated about even posting. But I’m glad I stretched myself – and that fabric! – and took the time to learn how to design Zumba T-shirts.

Have you ever been Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about stepping outside of your comfort zone to try something crafty? What is something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t – at home or work. Why not go for it? You may be glad you stretched yourself, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

LipSense – Won’t Come Off During Your Workout, On Your Coffee Cup or Your Man!

LipSense – Won’t Come Off During Your Workout, On Your Coffee Cup or Your Man!

It’s Day 281 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m trying out LipSense – a great product that won’t come off during your workout, on your coffee cup or your man! I first heard about this product in January when one of the participant’s at our High Heeled Success/Pink Collar Savvy & Chic workshops shared it with me. The workshop, “Kick Up Your Networking Skills for Maximum Success”, provided the opportunity to create and share an elevator speech. Dana Enrico brought the room down with “LipSense wouldn’t come off on your man!” Not only won’t my husband kiss me on during the day for fear of a lipstick stain, neither will my son let me steal even a peck on the cheek! And the fact that it won’t come off on your coffee mug intrigued me because you can always spot my cup with its telltale lipstick smudge – a bit embarrassing when I’m in a professional setting. If these weren’t enough cause for me to be interested, I’ve been on a quest for makeup that will stay put while I teach Zumba. So when Dana, who connected me with Altrusa to present on my Seasons of Her Soul publication journey, gifted me with a pretty pink color last night after I spoke, I was thrilled. Today I’m excited to learn if LipSense won’t come off during my workout!

IMG_0767
Of course I wanted pink! The first one, Goddess, is close to my neutral everyday pink; the second, Fleur De Lisa, is the one I choose; I can’t recall the name of the third- oops!; the last is Dark Pink. The cute gift bag contained my new the Moisturizing Gloss, my new color, & Ooops! Remover.  My nail color is Otherwise Engaged by O.P.I. – Less than $3. Moroccan Pouf from Home Goods.

In order to determine which color I wanted, Dana painted my hand with four options. (BTW – This morning, I can honestly vouch for them being waterproof. Even after numerous hand washings, the colors were still vibrant enough for me to take above picture…). Initially I planned to play it safe and choose a neutral pink with a hint of purple that’s close to the Maybelline “Warm Me Up” color I wear daily. Dana gently nudged me to  go for something that really represents Pink Collar Savvy & Chic style, so I got out of my comfort zone and went with a true pink hue. I appreciate her subtle persuasion and am tickled pink with the result – literally!

IMG_0769
The younger generation takes selfies effortlessly. Me, not so much! It took me a while to get one I’m ok sharing. Love my Fleur De Lisa LipSense color! With no meetings, I’m dressed for Zumba tonight – Calvin Klein Performance soft pink sleeveless top and hoodie – TJ Maxx.

 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose life coach and lifestyle blogger who coaches women to maximize their beauty and best life, it feels great to share a new beauty product I feel positive about. LipSense is dual purpose – you can look good and feel good wearing it. Seldom do I blog before 5pm, but I’m that impressed thus far. That’s saying something considering I’m slow to try new things. If Dana hadn’t gifted it to me, I probably wouldn’t have taken the risk. I’m so glad she did! Great as it feels to share, it’s even better that I get to promote a Savvy & Chic Swan and her  product. Based on the fact that I’m holding a coffee mug with no stain on it, I’m really looking forward to trying Lip Sense out on my man – and during my workout!

If you’re interested in Lip Sense, be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and check it out at angelfountains@cinci.rr.com. Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach