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

Sweet Sunday Fellowship with Family

Sweet Sunday Fellowship with Family

It’s Day 377 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and instead of attending church at a building, I spent the morning in sweet Sunday fellowship with family. Knowing  my sister-in-law, Sue, and her husband, Mark, would be in town from Atlanta for a wedding this weekend, my hubby and I made tentative plans to get together today depending on how they felt after last night’s reception. Having driven up Friday night and spending Saturday afternoon and evening at the festivities, it would have been understandable if they’d not been up for an early breakfast today before they got on the road. I was worn out myself after yesterday’s Zumba, lunch with my kiddos and hubby, Greg, hours at the pool, shopping, and then re-watching The Greatest Showman (my singing, dancing, theatrical children and I LOVE that movie)! Even so, I hoped it would work out for us to do breakfast. That being the case, I was delighted when not only Sue and Mark but baby sister, JoAnn, was able to join us. Though Sue is long distance, she and I have gotten as close as sisters over the years and JoAnn, who lives nearby made me feel welcomed into the family from day one. And since my husband is the the oldest of the siblings and the only male, he and Mark share a special bond –– like the brother  Greg never had. With all all of these special relationships, sharing a meal, laughter and love made for sweet Sunday fellowship with family.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, after breakfast/before teaching Zumba.                  No one else wanted to be in the pic – traveling/work clothes and all… I’m in head to toe pink –– short sleeve top, skinny jeans, & handbag purchased over the years from TJ Maxx. T’he flyaway cardi and scrappy heels are from Burlington! A new favorite store!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose believer, I love attending church –– be it in our living room with my ordained minister husband leading, the sweet church where we got married, or Joel Osteen’s televised sermon. But today, sitting in a Perkins booth–– with one sister-in-law on either side of me keeping me warm in the chilly AC –– and my husband/brother-in-Christ and brother-in-law sitting across from me, I felt as close to God as I do sitting in a pew. I know each person there loves God –– partly because they make their love of Him manifest in the way they love on me. I’ve gone through some really challenging times –– some Ds –– since I joined their tribe and each of these special people has communicated in words and/or deeds that they have my back. Their love surrounds me…Besides, God’s Word tells us “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 (NIV). I know it’s true because I sure felt His presence today during a time of sweet Sunday fellowship with family.

How about you? Do you have a family –– be it blood or otherwise whose fellowship is so sweet it makes you feel you’re getting a hug from God with skin on it? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about being that for someone in your small corner of the world?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Kate Spade – More Than the Handbags She Made

Kate Spade – More Than the Handbags She Made

It’s Day 370 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as my heart grieves the tragic death of 55-year-old Kate Spade, I feel compelled to share that she was so much more than the handbags she made. Though I’ve never owned or even been interested in purchasing a Kate Spade handbag or any of the other accessories, clothing, shoes, and various other items in her line, her suicide has impacted me dramatically. When I read the Linked In story of how the cleaning woman found her body hanging in her bedroom with her husband, brother of actor David Spade, home in their New York flat and her thirteen-year-old daughter at school, my heart broke for all of them. Hundreds of comments followed the article, many of them asking how someone with so much fame and fortune could take her own life. Stunned that people feel any of that matters to someone who has lost all hope and the will to live, I wanted to respond: Kate Spade was so much more than the handbags she made! 

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, after a sad conversation with my husband about Kate Spade’s death.           I’m in my usual Calvin Klein – a sheath dress, floral scarf and handbag.                                                        Now I know the label is on the outside because of her. All TJ Maxx from years ago.                                                                       The pumps are Calvin Klein, too, bought brand new at Goodwill for $8.

I’m a self-proclaimed fashionista – a true Maxxinista – and adore handbags. But it wasn’t until I read the above article that I realized prior to launching her line, Kate Spade made the last minute decision to display her name on the outside of the handbags and forever changed the world of fashion. Other than Vera Bradley, I know of no other female designer whose name is synonymous with gorgeous handbag. So while I’ve never carried one of her bags, her influence is seen in the Coach bags I once carried and the Calvin Klein bags I prefer now. As a matter of fact, the former was so impressed by the Kate Spade line that they acquired it about a decade ago. And apparently Kate Spade launched another line under a different name but didn’t experience a modicum of the success of her original line. Speculation is that disappointment over this may have contributed to the suicide. Another theory is that her desperate act was tied to her husband wanting a divorce. The note left stated that their daughter was not to blame herself. Poor girl.

All of the above not to feed the rumor weed but to make a point. Even at the height of the original Kate Spade line success, it didn’t define her. She was a gifted artist, creator and designer, but those are titles and don’ t begin to touch the essence of a person. She was a smart, beautiful woman, wife and mother. But those were her gender and relationship roles. In so many ways, Kate Spade was Pink Collar Savvy & Chic…Yet she gave in to despair – a D – or personal barrier.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose woman of faith, one who has and continues to struggle with bouts of depression – another D – at times, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the most important part of who Kate Spade was: A beloved child of The Most High God. He created her, loves her, and has a plan for her life. Still. Sadly, she either never knew this or lost sight of it. She made a fatal decision that will have long-lasting ramifications for those she left behind and our sympathies go out to them. But because she was a prominent, well-known figure, her suicide is raising awareness about depression and mental health issues for all of us. Lord willing, it may keep others from making the same drastic decision. So many Ds…My prayer is that this dearly departed soul is resting in peace and safe in the arms of our heavenly Father. Because Kate Spade was and will always be more than the handbags she made.

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and talk to someone if you struggle with depression or that you’ll be there for someone else who does. And please remember, God loves you and cares about your pain and suffering. Blessings.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink  Collar Coach 

 

Dinner and Dancing the Ds Away

Dinner and Dancing the Ds Away

It’s Day 322 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and after a morning meeting then teaching Zumba, I got to have dinner and dance the Ds – the personal and professional challenges we face, i.e. discouragement –  away. I’ve been doing Saturday Zumba with my Swan Sister, Kibby, for six years, and when we learned we were losing our longtime instructor, Liz, we were concerned about who’d replace her. From her first class, everyone knew our fears were unfounded from Marina’s first routine. Since then, she and I have bonded over me becoming a licensed instructor. She  mentors me and lets me lead warm up, do a little something in the middle and a cool down. Spending part of my weekend with these two amazing ladies was already a highlight of my week. But things got even better when Angelin, who attends one of Marina’s classes elsewhere became a regular in our class. Kibby, ever the connector, suggested we all hang out. We got to know one another over a delicious meal and then hit the dance floor. My Ds were obliterated by our discussion, dinner and dancing them away.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, Angelina, Kibby & Marina. We’re a diverse group from inner city Cincy, Peru, the hills of West Virginia, & Russia – brought together by dancing, bonded by so much more. Me in my Calvin Klein of course – a floral top from the end of last summer, a faux suede skirt, leather and suede open-toe shooties, & a cross body handbag for ease of dancing. All TJ Maxx.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, no matter what I’m going through, I always feel better when I’m dancing. Even so, our dinner and dessert conversation lasted for nearly three hours (with gorgeous live vocals accompanied by a baby grand in the background) before the dancing began. And I never thought of my troubles once during that time. Guess that means I feel better when I’m doing life with other Swans – and dancing with them, too!

How about you? How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about spending time with other women enjoying shared passions? How intentional are you about doing that when you’re facing the Ds?

Be savvy & chic,

~ Pink Collar Coach

How the Ds Derail Talent and Cause Professional Train Wrecks (Pt. 1)

How the Ds Derail Talent and Cause Professional Train Wrecks (Pt. 1)

It’s Day 317 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m sharing “How the Ds (personal and professional challenges that negatively impact work performance) Derail Talent and Cause Professional Train Wrecks. I’m doing so in preparation for speaking at  at DisruptHR Cincinnati this week. To learn more about it, please click on the link https://disrupthr.co > cincinnati. The actual title of my presentation is “HR Superheroes to the Rescue! – Don’t Let the Ds Derail Your Talent! – Keep Them on Track”,  but I’m sharing half of the scenarios (only 15 seconds to speak on the content/correlating slide) here in hopes of getting feedback. I’ll share the other half and what can done to prevent the Ds from derailing in tomorrow’s post. Thanks!

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The Ds Derail Careers! 

Grabber: Don’t let the Ds – the personal and/or professional challenges that negatively impact workplace performance – derail your talent! Instead, be an HR Superhero and keep them on track! Given your roles, I suspect you’re familiar with the Ds. But let me share some of the train wrecks I’ve witnessed because of them. Details have been changed to protect the victims – and the perpetrators.

Death – A mid level leader and single mom whose brother had terminal cancer. She’d been expecting his death for months. What she didn’t expect was to bury her brother only to have her healthy mother fall ill a few months later. She experienced two deaths in as many months and got buried under her workload after burying two of the people  closest to her.

Debt – An administrative assistant who returned to the workforce to supplement her husband’s income. When he lost his job and she became the sole bread winner, they felt into debt so harmful to their family it required intensive care through a financial freedom training program to resuscitate her finances. Her job couldn’t be saved.

Delinquent Teens – An education specialist just started a promising new position when her teenager was arrested for assault. She had to take off time she didn’t have to attend the arraignment, subsequent meetings at the juvenile detention center and family counseling. Stress caused her to make a serious mistake that resulted in her being fired on the spot.

Depression – A nurse who experienced severe postpartum depression following the birth of her first child. Eventually she had a breakdown, was placed on the psychiatric ward, and on heavy anti-depressants to return to work. Her career suffered as much from the stigma about her depression as she did from the episode itself.

Diet & Fitness – A nutrition specialist at a prominent pediatric hospital was dangerously overweight herself. Teenage patients often commented on it and parents complained to her supervisor about her ability to advise them around best practices when they felt there was a disconnect between her suggestions and her own diet and fitness practices.

Differing Abilities – A data analyst for a health test results company whose childhood meningitis rendered her 80% deaf in one ear and 40% in the other. Though a proficient lip reader, team members consistently turned away from her when discussing tasks and then reported her for not completing them in a timely manner, which was reflected in her performance reviews.

Disasters – An event planner and single mom in transition out of poverty had landed her dream job and was steadily building her client list. But when a plumbing issue caused sewage to flood her home, the threat of children’s services getting involved and the cost of the repairs prevented her from being fully present at work and nearly took her under.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Life Coach whose seen all of the above and experienced  much of it myself and as a Speaker who wants to deliver great content for the 200 attendees.

I hope you’ll  be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and weigh in. Did this intro grab your attention? Are these short scenarios compelling? Have you or anyone you know experienced any of these Ds? Did they derail you? Anything else? Thanks!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Heads Are Better Than One

Two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Heads Are Better Than One

It’s Day 220 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and the last two days have reminded me how two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic heads are better than one. Yesterday was one of my soul sister’s birthday, so we planned a Girls Day Out. In order to play all afternoon Monday, I worked the day before and all morning and was then free to do lunch, some light Christmas shopping, our gift exchange and a chick flick with her. (Then, after Zumba I fell into bed too exhausted to blog!). Food, fun and fellowship make every get together special. Meals last for hours because we never run out of things to talk about. We laugh so hard that strangers comment on what a good time we’re having. And our fellowship is sweet; we’re more than friends or even BFFs. Our faith has knit our hearts together and made us family. As such, we’re able to be transparent and talk about the tough stuff too. Whenever either of us faces a challenge, the other is there to listen actively without judgement, to encourage, to offer insight, and to pray. Two heads are so much better than one in that way.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach and my Soul Sister, Kibby. She’s truly beautiful – from the inside out.

A couple of other Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Soul Sisters reiterated this tonight in a very visible way. During class two of my Zumba mentors led a handful of songs in a double-headed elf/Santa sweater. I guess you could say they were knit together too! It was AWESOME! This dancing duo attended Zumba certification training together a few years ago and have been leading class as a pair ever since. But never dressed in one piece of clothing! Naturally, at the beginning, there were a few missteps, but by the last song, they’d found their rhythm and were dancing in sync. Knowing how close they are outside of class, this isn’t a surprise. Though they don’t usually dance as one, they do in tandem. They’re a great tag  teaching team. I suspect they’ve had each other’s back during challenging times off the dance floor too…Again, two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic heads are better than one. Literally.

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Not only are these ladies a dynamic dancing duo by night,                                                                         they’re a teacher and rocket scientist by night.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who lives in a household full of men and who is currently working from home, I love the time I have with other adult females. And there’s something even more special about it during the holidays. It’s like the line in a song from The Polar Express says,

It’s so much fun when Christmas comes to town

Christmas came to town for me yesterday in the form of celebrating my sweet Soul Sister’s bday beneath our tree. And tonight it came again in the form of a fabulously funny dancing elf/Santa. Thankful as I am for these good times, I’m even more so when the hard ones hit because I’ve experienced how two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic heads truly are better than one.

How about you? Do you have a Soul Sister you can turn to in those times when two heads would be better than one? In your personal life? Your professional world? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about establishing or engaging in such a relationship?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Savvy & Chic Smart Food Choices – Panera’s New Ancient Grain, Arugula & Chicken Salad Review

Savvy & Chic Smart Food Choices – Panera’s New Ancient Grain, Arugula & Chicken Salad Review

It’s Day 177 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and seeing as I spent Day 176 in the ER again, today I had to make some savvy & chic food choices. As many of you know, I’ve been going through it with my health for going on a month now. After several misdiagnoses, I was in such excruciating abdominal pain Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that my labor contractions paled in comparison. I’ve never cried during childbirth but this pain had me bawling like a baby! After receiving morphine and undergoing more tests, I have a few more answers about what’s going on with me, but am in for more early next week. Hopefully I’ll receive a conclusive diagnosis and treatment plan so I can get back to living my life. In the meantime, though I tend to eat a balanced diet – equal parts healthy and junk – I’m trying to be smarter about my food choices to avoid more pain.

After I got home from the hospital yesterday afternoon, I slept until 8pm, hence no blog post last night. I was only up a few hours, then thanks to the right medications, got the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages. Today, I dosed on and off while watching HGTV. This evening, after having a good catch up phone chat with my friend Kibby (I haven’t done our Saturday Zumba in a month!), I felt energized enough to actually shower (yay!) and to run some errands. While out picking up a new novel to tide me over until I’m back to full functioning, I decided I’d treat myself to dinner since I haven’t had real food in days.

As I pulled out of Barnes and Noble and saw the neon sign for Red Robin, I heard a burger calling my name. I seldom eat them but sometimes feel as if my body is craving a little red meat. Tuckered out from being out and about, I pulled around the lot to the non-existent drive thru. Shucks! Foiled again! So I pulled back out and turned right into the drive thru Panera where I made a smarter selection: the new Ancient Grain, Arugula & Chicken Salad. The grains, which include barely, quinoa, faro, and freekah, provided the fiber my body needs and they are supposed to make you feel fuller longer. The salad delivered on that as I could only eat half. And boy did it hit the spot! All the pleasure. None of the guilt or pain from a burger. I guess it was actually the grains the were calling my name!

Woman Choosing Between Salad and Burger

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who needs to be more intentional about what I put into my body, I’m thankful that my illness is a wake up call to take better care of myself. Because I do eat a lot of fruits and veggies and exercise several times a week, I felt like eating sweets (mostly Gummy Bears, a weakness since childhood when I attended a German bilingual school), was justified. A month of being out of commission has reminded me that I need to apply my holistic coaching approach to myself. All that to say, I hope I can blog about my journey toward holistic health and have some accountability with you. Diet is a new D (challenge)! Who knows, maybe you’ll join me as I try to make more savvy & chic smart food choices.

If you want to be more savvy & chic about your food choices, I’d love to hear from you. We can be holistically healthy together!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach