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

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!