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

 

Rendering the Past Historical

Rendering the Past Historical

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and my kitty, Peppa, and I are both rendering the past historical.

From the time my hubby and I adopted this petite feline from the local shelter’s My Furry Valentine as my gift four years ago when she was two, I’ve known she’s an abuse survivor. Though sweet and loving, she is suspicious and leery as well. Petting has to take place on her terms and timeframe. And when she’s done she’d done. Finally, if you don’t want to be clawed to shreds, never pick her up in your arms while standing or a frantic scramble to escape will ensue and result in bloodshed.  She suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and her maladaptive behavior when she’s triggered is her desperate attempt to keep herself safe. It’s classic fight or flight! With her PTSD from the past, it’s hard for her to feel at peace in the present. So when I found her finally sleeping in the Shabby Chic pet bed I got her months ago when I started renting the tiny house, I thought, Peppa’s rendering the past historical! 

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Being brutally honest, I get Peppa and recognize glimpses of myself in her.  Having been exposed to Ds –– the challenges women, or in Peppa’s case, females face –– like danger, distrust, domestic violence, dysfunctional relationships, etc. –– I understand why she defaults to the only way she knows how to deal. Thankfully, because she’s gotten four solid years of love, acceptance, gentleness and kindness, she’s come out of her shell a bit and seems to be getting past some of the things I suspect happened in her past. For me, it’s blogging and writing fiction based in fact (Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul is in the works!) to process my hurts and to heal. It’s also surrounding myself with supportive Swan Sisters and finding solace in my Shabby Chic sanctuary!

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Peppa Loveday Rendering the Past Historical in her Shabby Chic pet bed.   Everything in this pic is Simply Shabby Chic from Target, or Shabby Chic -from TJ Maxx or Home Goods. Wedding pic of me and my hubby.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

And it’s leaning into my faith and finding safety in a multitude of counselors.  The latter is where I learned about the concept of rendering the past historical. They’ve helped me to process my hurts of yesterday so they won’t continue to have power today. By doing so, like Peppa Loveday,  I’m able to minimize my Ds and maximize beauty and my best life.

Savvy & Chic on Purpose (Putting it into Practice)

That’s my prayer for you.  If you are dealing with the Ds, perhaps suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, there is help. The Lord cares about what you’ve gone through (personally and professionally) and has gifted counselors to grow your coping skills. I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and begin rendering your past historical to render your present and future beautiful, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

P.S. Publishing my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, has helped render the past historical. Hope you’ll check it out!

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 

 

 

 

 

Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day & I’ve been pondering replacing vs. repairing broken things. Happy fall decorating recently ended in destruction –– another D or challenge women face. Peppa Loveday –– a My Furry Valentine gift from my hubby, hence the name ––  scrambled off the dining table when I scolded her for jumping on the harvest themed table runner I’d just laid out, taking my Simply Shabby Chic cloche (glass dome)  with her. When it crashed to the floor and shattered to pieces, I felt a piece of my heart break too. Of all my Simply Shabby Chic decor, the cloche covered floral arrangement was the item I’ve displayed in a spot that has seen daily use over fifteen years –– for meals, homework and as the desk where I ran my business full-time for a while, wrote my book and blogged consistently for a year. Emotion flooded me –– rage, regret and remorse. I Did Not Love my Valentine kitty for a few days and let her know we’d broken up over her breaking my cloche! The search to replicate it began immediately after clean up and it wasn’t until I found another as close to the original as I could get that my emotions ebbed. Below is what I learned about replacing vs. repairing broken things.

Serene at Home (Personal Style) 

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Original Simply Shabby Chic cloche covered floral arrangement.                                      Everything except dining chairs is Simply Shabby Chic from Target.         Dining Chairs are Shabby Chic inspired from a local antique mall. 

Because of the great value I placed on the cloche, had it been possible, I would have painstakingly pieced it back together. But some things are broken beyond repair. No amount of glue, patience or time could restore the cloche. Rather than continue to despair, however, I set out on a quest to replace it. Online searches proved futile –– the choices were not the right either in  look, size  or cost, and that was without shipping.  Next I scoured my go-to shops –– TJ Maxx & Home Goods –– but came up empty handed. Rare! Then I checked  Stein Mart. Tuesday Morning. Both to no avail.  By this time I felt like Goldilocks when I tried Hobby Lobby where the cloche seemed to be too big and At Home where it was too small. Desperate, I finally returned to Hobby Lobby –– the day after the 1/2 off sale and overpaid for one that is most similar and almost but not quite the right size…Nevertheless, all the time, travel plus trial and error it took to find a cloche to replicate the look of the original  was worth it. The old one couldn’t be repaired, so a beautiful new one has replaced it.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Like my cloche, at times we feel  too broken for God to fix or use us. Yet He can do anything including mend a life that has been dealt so many Ds that the damage seems beyond repair. Even so, sometimes it is. But this experience has shown me that doesn’t have to be the end of our usefulness. He can take a broken life and replace it with one that’s not only brand new, but one that’s more beautiful than before.  That’s my prayer for you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

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….

 

 

 

 

Back in The Saddle

Back in The Saddle

It’s Day 428 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and though life has thrown me for some loops and prevented me from blogging for an entire week (the longest lapse since I started in May of 2017), I’m back in the saddle! Some of my loops have been Ds – personal challenges that can negatively impact my professional life –– but many of the loops have been good ones. Last week I wrote a few scenes for the sequel of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, promoted the book, scheduled to speak at a book club, had great life coaching sessions with two clients, advocated for myself and others effectively, and indulged in some much needed self-care. Not only that, I did some temp work that has continued into this week. Hence any lapses this week…So while I didn’t post or blog consistently, I’m thrilled that I’m still minimizing my barriers and maximizing my best life, including getting back in the blogging saddle!

Back in the Saddle
Total props to the amazing photographer of this shot.                                                                               The pink accents –– even on the horse’s back are everything!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose entrepreneur and beginning blogger who is monetizing my blog, weeks where life has me hitting the rails can be tough on my bottom line. Even so, there are life lessons to be learned from most situations and often they’re applicable personally and professionally. Facing barriers myself makes me more empathetic, knowledgeable about resources, resilient, and connected to other women and opportunities. Besides, while I wasn’t able to blog or teach my Zumba class Friday, I made up for it in other lucrative and overall productive ways. Always, the trade off of not working on what you planned to work vs. the plan God has for us is so worthwhile. We Pink Collar Swans should remember that when Satan tries to buck us. Because even when he’s successful, God is right there to dust us off and get us back in the saddle again.

If you’ve been thrown lately, be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and get back in the saddle, 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 
Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 6, 2018

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 6, 2018

Dealing with some hard Ds. Good thing what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!