My Furry Valentine

My Furry Valentine

I’ve been back to blogging for about 25 days, and though Valentine’s Day was Thursday, I’m feeling especially grateful for My Furry Valentine today. Three years ago, my sweet hubby took me to our local animal shelter for the event by that name, and it was there a two year old gray beauty, Peppa, stole my heart. I added Loveday –– a character in a favorite Rosamunde Pilcher book entitled Coming Home –– and am reminded how much my husband adores me each time I say it. You see, he really wasn’t in favor of our first kitty, Skylar Belle, joining our blended family, but gave in to my needling for my kiddos to have a pet. They were my first consideration in giving her a sibling, but he confided that he really got her for me. That knowledge and Peppa Loveday’s docile spirit made her my constant companion. In fact, she now resides at the tiny house I rent for personal and professional use. And today, docile as she is, she earned her keep by serving as a mouser and dealing with an unwanted visitor. Her feline feat has endeared My Furry Valentine to me even more!

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My Furry Valentine, Peppa Loveday. At peace in my Petite Place.                                       Abbuson needlepoint rug –– found over a decade ago at TJ Maxx.

As Peppa Loveday sits at my feet while I write, she reminds me that we females can be ultra feminine, pretty, sweet, and meek. But it doesn’t mean we aren’t intrepid too. Though she is skittish –– I believe she was abused by the original owners who named her then dumped her off at the pound –– this trait has been evident in Peppa Loveday from the moment we brought her home. While Skylar hissed and growled, Peppa never once cowed to her bullying. In fact, most of the time she simply responded by sitting serenely and looking at her like, Really? 

When I tried to bring Peppa over to the tiny house, at first she wasn’t feeling it and let me know when I tried to put her the pet carrier. Not wanting me to get scratched up again, my husband got a large dog crate, put her food and water inside and trained her not to be afraid to go in. That’s how we finally got her over to what I’m beginning to think of as “My Petite Place”. Having her with me makes it feel even more like a home/office. And it makes me feel my husband’s love all over again. After all, not only did he go to great lengths to get Peppa Loveday for me in the first place, he’s gone above and beyond to bring me My Furry Valentine.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Little Gifts Given with Great Love – Part 2

Little Gifts Given with Great Love – Part 2

It’s Day 24 of being back to blogging, and since I didn’t have my kiddos on Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating now with little gifts given with great love. I went to a German bilingual school and began my lifelong love affair with Gummi Bears in first grade when our teacher gave them as a treat. The love affair with roses started shortly thereafter. My children were delighted to receive the former, specially packaged for the holiday with only the  red and white candies, and my sweet hubby surprised me with white roses lovingly arranged in an uncommon red vase. The thought and time put into finding favorite things for others not only bless the recipients but make the giver feel pretty good, too. Yet another benefit of  little gifts given with great love.

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Red & white Gummi Bears & floral arrangement make a lovely Valentines Day vignette . Bucket bench is a favorite antique store find. Simply Shabby Chic pedestal mirror. 

Besides making a holiday special, inexpensive little treats like these –– all purchased at the local grocer –– can encourage others and lift their spirits. So the next time you’re out doing the weekly shopping, why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and pick up a little something for that someone in your life? You never know, a little gift given with great love could make a BIG difference in their day.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Little Gifts Given With Great Love

Little Gifts Given With Great Love

It’s Day 23 of being back to blogging, and in preparing to celebrate Valentines Day with my hubby, I’m reminded it’s little gifts given with great love that are often the biggest blessing. Back when I was newly in love with my preppy husband, I went on an elaborate shopping spree and purchased several updated classic argyle sweaters for him. At the time, his reaction –– appreciation for the thought but NOT the gift ––  surprised and hurt me. But that was before I understood he didn’t wan’t his classic clothing and or any other aspect of his appearance updated. Over time I learned he doesn’t wear cologne, hates jewelry and doesn’t enjoy my taste in art, books or music. What he does value is quality time spent, heartfelt messages and favorite fat free foods! Armed with this knowledge, I skipped Zumba for an early date night (so we could beat tomorrow’s crowds), added a hand written note and symbol of our love story to a faith based card, and gifted him with fat free Fig Newtons. Sounds pretty simple but he was blessed by these little gifts given with great love.

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A Valentines Day Vignette – Roses, a favorite fat-free dessert tied with a handcrafted heart, a lovely hand drawn card from Dayspring, a crocheted heart and velvet ribbon –                                           All masculine versions of Shabby Chic. 

It isn’t necessary to break the bank to make Valentines Day special. Instead, with a little effort, thought and time, the holiday can be one that reflects the things that are meaningful to your relationship. When this happens, there’s a magical opportunity to create a lasting romantic memory –– which I consider priceless. Based on our sweet time together this evening, I believe my hubby agrees. Though there were no extravagant gifts or grand gestures, there was lots of laughter and lobster dinner! We enjoyed these little gifts given with love. Another thing there’s lots of.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

Abandoning Adulting

Abandoning Adulting

It’s Day 19 of being back to blogging, and personal and professional experiences in the social service field/ministry caused me to ponder abandoning adulting. Juggling my responsibilities as a women’s center director, a small business owner, a mom, a wife, a Zumba student, blogger and believer took all the energy I could muster! At times I just wanted to say, Enough! I’m done adulting for the day! And that’s before factoring in a crisis at work where the stressors of life caused a woman to literally abandon adulting. Adulting.jpg

As much as it’s tempting to judge someone else for reaching the point where they simply stop juggling all the responsibilities and just throw their hands up in the air, letting them fall where they may, I’m coming to understand how the Ds –– the personal and professional challenges women face –– can lead up to this (in this case, it’s a combination of depression, drugs and dysfunctional relationships). Perhaps we were designed with only two arms because we weren’t meant to juggle as much as we do…So rather than judging, I’m learning to support where I can. Because my own arms are too full with my own responsibilities to take on another’s, I lift them up in prayer, knowing God is the one who equips us for whatever He’s placed in our hands.

I don’t know what God makes of the term adulting, which has become popular in our culture –– often with parents. But I’m glad to know He’s our heavenly Father who never abandons His “adulting” with us, His children…

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Recharge Our Batteries and Restore Our Balance

Recharge Our Batteries and Restore Our Balance

It’s Day 16 of being back to blogging and I’m so thankful the weekend provides Pink Collar Swans with an opportunity to recharge our batteries and restore our balance. Whether you’re like me and spend your time in an emotionally intense social service/ministry setting, as a full-time homemaker or at any other job inside or outside the the office, the work week can leave us feeling run down and like we’re functioning on low power mode. When we see this happens with our phones –– when we see that red bar that indicates we need to plug in –– we drop what we’re doing and connect to a power source as quickly as possible. Conversely, when our bodies, hearts, minds, spirit and souls alert us that we’re run down, too often we ignore the warning signs and all but die…But what if we stopped this weekend and took the time time to recharge our batteries and restore our balance?

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Tonight my sweet hubby wanted to do something. As much as I love him and know how important it is to spend quality time together, I also understand I’m a better wife, mother, friend, director, life coach, and Christ follower when I’m not operating on an insufficient charge and have my balance restored. So I took a rain check for tomorrow and look forward to not just a date night but a date day.

Now I’m blogging and vegging on the sofa munching on many of my favorite snacks  while watching Ghost on cable for the first time in 20 plus years. May not be everyone’s version of an awesome Friday night, but I’m loving it. When the movie’s done, I’ll read my devotional and start a novel I picked up at the grocery store on the way home. Hey, if I’ve gotta shop, a trip down the Book and Magazine isle makes it worthwhile! After a good night’s rest and Zumba tomorrow morning, I’ll have enough energy to enjoy my husband, housework, and a host of other things like life working on the sequel to my debut novel. And coaching a new client. Writing is work but a part of the writing life I love!

So that’s the plan. Now I just need to implement it. What’s yours? To recharge personally and/or professionally? I hope we’ll all be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and put it into place so we can recharge our batteries and restore our balance!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Bad Move, Good Man

Bad Move, Good Man

It’s Day 13/14 of being back to blogging and tonight I witnessed a driver make a bad move that a good man turned around. Literally. Taking the highway exit to pick up my children tonight, as I neared the turn signal, I was startled to see a man standing on the busy road, which is no place for pedestrians in broad daylight, let alone after dark! The dark clothing he wore made his position even more precarious. Confused as I was by his presence, it definitely prevented me from turning from the far right lane. He must be insane, intoxicated or both, I thought before wondering if there’d been an accident or if his vehicle was disabled. That’s when I noticed a minivan whose driver had gotten into a mess by either purposely trying to make a U turn at the exit or by attempting to do so erroneously. Their bad move, however, didn’t end up as tragically as it could have thanks to the courageous act of what I now understood must be a good man.

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After halting traffic and directing the van to make the turn safely, he jogged back to his car, then merged onto the road. I could finally turn right, but I couldn’t get him off of my mind. At first all I could think was, God bless Him for putting his own safety at sake to be of service to someone else. Much like the Good Samaritan…Next, as I continued on to my destination, I pondered how what I’d just witnessed would make a great blog post. And that made me more appreciative of blogging –– the mindfulness and intentionality it adds to my personal and professional life. It’s such a joy to share these meaningful moments as they happen…One day, I’ll be able to look back on them through this blog. When I do, I’ll smile, as I did the rest of my drive, understanding how someone’s bad move was salvaged by a good man.

What Good Samaritan acts have you experienced on the home front or in the workplace? How can you be a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and commit random acts of kindness for someone in need of help?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Little Laundry Luxury

Little Laundry Luxury

It’s Day 12 of being back to blogging and I’m missing my little laundry luxury. This fall I began renting a tiny house for personal and professional use. Thanks to a  surplus of decor and furnishings from my marital home as well as so many generous house warming gifts from family and friends, it’s  now equipped it with all the necessities to make it function fully for me, my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic business and my kiddos.  And I’ve barely spent a penny on it! The fact that a closet in the kitchen was plumbed for a stackable washer dryer made it an even better fit for our needs, however, a new unit was not in my budget. Thankfully, my dear friend, Julie, owns a plumbing company with her husband. They not only supplied a vintage unit, they delivered and installed it. It’s run perfectly up until recently, but sadly the washer has given out. While I decide whether to try and have it repaired before purchasing replacing it, I’m sure missing this little laundry luxury!

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Little Laundry Luxury -Stackable concealed behind a Shabby Chic-inspired screen – TJ Maxx. Shabby Chic apron (lt.) – Home Goods, Simply Shabby Chic apron (rt.) – Target.

Like so many things in life, it’s easy to take the little things for granted. I’m happy to say, however, this wasn’t the case with my stackable. Receiving it blessed me so much –– yes, because I needed it, but also because it was so aesthetically pleasing and Shabby Chic. My fifteen-year-old daughter loves it, too and actually wanted to do her laundry as well as her brother’s just because it was cute and a novelty to use.

As I figure out what to do, and how –– the tub and then throw it in the dryer ––  to do laundry, I believe the experience will make me even more mindful about all of the small things that simplify life by saving time and so much of my energy. It makes me think of the women throughout time who didn’t and/or still don’t know the convenience of throwing a load of in the washer and letting it do the work so they could get on with theirs. It may sound crazy, but this perspective makes me more grateful than ever for the stackable and for the loss of this little laundry luxury.

What about you? What little luxury do you appreciate? Or take for granted? On the home front or the workplace? I hope reading this post inspires you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about your personal or professional life’s little luxuries.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach