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

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

NaNoWriMo! – Monday – More Quality Than Quantity

NaNoWriMo! – Monday – More Quality Than Quantity

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and Monday’s NaNoWriMo –– National Novel Writer’s Month produced more quality words than quantity.

Project: Seasons of Her Soul, Lee’s Legacy, Book 2.

Goal: 50, 000 words in 30 days.

Today: 598.

Total Overall: 13, 699

Total Book Words: 26, 276

Though I would have loved to have written more, my Monday has consisted of dealing with a D – personal challenge or barrier women face –– in the form of the death of another team member’s mother. This is the 2nd death in as many months – and from the same type of cancer diagnosis –– a devastating D…

Thankfully I was able to minimize my barriers with dance fusion –– an amazing D!!! Then I came home and maximized beauty and my best life by writing a scene that is more about the quality of the words than the quantity.

Day 11 writing badge

I pray you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic this week and minimize your barriers by doing something that motivates you to achieve your goals.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll take  quality over quantity any day.

Be savvy & chic,

                                                                                                            ~Pink Collar Coach

NaNoWriMo! – 10 Days Straight & 1K Words Today!

NaNoWriMo! – 10 Days Straight & 1K Words Today!

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose.  I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo –– National Novel Writer’s Month –– 10 days straight and added 1K words today!

Project: Hold On Her Heart, Lee’s Legacy, Book Two.

Goal: 50, 000 words in 30 days.

Today: 1, 000 words.

Overall: 13, 001/50,000.

NaNoWriMo has been amazing at helping me minimize my Ds –– the personal and professional barriers and challenges women face –– this time in the form of delays. Book Two was supposed to be completed by early 2019, yet I’d delayed digging into it because of  everything going on in my life as a wife, mother and new Women’s Center Director. Then NaNoWriMo came around. I’d heard of it, but never committed. The day it began I decided –– an awesome D – to just go for it! Then in this morning’s sermon the pastor stated,”You can’t make the dream (another awesome D!) God gave you a reality unless you wake up and decide to go do something about it.” Wow. Total confirmation.

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I pray whatever dreams God has put on your heart that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic  and make the decision to go after them. You may not feel like this is the right time or that you’re equipped for the task, but if He gave you the desire, He’ll also provide all you need to make it come to pass.  Just as He’s enabled me to minimize delays and maximize beauty and my best life this 10th Day by adding a word count of 1K!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

NaNoWriMo! – Days 8 & 9 Doubled-Up

NaNoWriMo! – Days 8 & 9 Doubled-Up

 

Day 8 writing badge Day 9 writing badge

 

 

 

 

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and Days 8 and 9 of NaNoWriMo –– National Novel Writing Month ––  are doubled up in this post.

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

Goal: 50, 000 words in 30 days.

Yesterday and Today’s Doubled Up Total: 3,94.

Overall Total: 24,678/50,000.

Earned: Badge for passing the 10K mark.

Feels great to maximize Double-Up Day! Especially since I wrote yesterday but didn’t get to post due to Date Night with my hubby. It’s been a long time…The quality time with him went a long way toward minimizing my Ds –– the personal and professional challenges women face –– and maximizing beauty and my best life.

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and double-up on the things that do the same for you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

NaNoWriMo! – 7th Day and Need a Rest!

NaNoWriMo! – 7th Day and Need a Rest!

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Day and I’m on a my 7th Day of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writer’s Month – and need a rest! Not from writing –– that’s cathartic. Project: Hold on Her Heart, Book 2 in the Lee’s Legacy Series. Goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. Today: 1, 247. Total Overall: 8697/50,000.

But I could definitely use a break from dealing with the Ds –– the personal and professional challenges women face.  I’m not gonna lie, today, I dealt with some doozies! Yesterday when I spoke at a community summit and shared my story, the fact that it was impactful – that I could clearly see the purpose in the pain –– total mountaintop minute. So I shouldn’t be surprised that our advisory –– the devil –– the worst D out there and the one behind them all –– threw a heavy dose of discouragement my way today. My goldy supervisor pointed that out after praying with me and I appreciate the perspective. It reminds me that when I’m in the valley, I simply need to look up. To my Deliverer! The Best D of all time! He will give me rest.

Day 7 writing badge

I pray that if you’re anything like me and are facing Ds, you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and cling to this promise: “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him (or her in this case) from them all.” – Ps. 34:19 NIV.  He is The Deliverer who will minimize your barriers so you can maximize beauty and the best life He has for you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach