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

 

 

Sadie Hawkins Shopping Success

Sadie Hawkins Shopping Success

It’s Day 18 of being back to blogging, and though I’ve missed over a week posting due to being sick, I’m excited to share about this weekend’s Sadie Hawkins shopping success. In this day and age when the traditional dynamics of this dance –– where the girls ask the guys –– are so much more complex, I have to confess I’m relieved to report that my 15-year-old is “going doe” and the most challenging piece of the equation was the quest for the dress. Though I’d been down with bronchitis and flu, my teen made it clear she wanted to go looking with me. Getting up proved to be worth the effort because after she futilely searched for just the right thing, I spotted it and knew I’d hit gold the minute she laid eyes on a youthful yellow number that could have been tailor made for her petite frame. Not only that, despite her doubts that I could help her secure just the right type of bra for the dress’ cut, I nailed that and she now owns her most flattering, and therefore favorite ever. All in all, I’d say our Sadie Hawkins shopping was a success!

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Sadie Hawkins Shopping Success! A flirty floral in her favorite – yellow. Dress from TJ Maxx. 

As a divorced mom (a D or challenge women face) and Maxxinista, this shopping expedition proved to be a positive experience on many levels. There was a time in the not so distant past where stepmom’s influence and preferences carried far more weight than mine. And I’d have been alright with that had said stepmom not usurped my place as Mom and had her tastes been a little more refined and budget friendly. Stepmom is now out of the picture, which is sad in some ways, however, I’m relieved that the balance has been restored to my relationship with my daughter. Had stepmom still been around, I’m almost certain this mom-daughter experience would have been yet another we missed out on because she stepped in and shopped with her before we got the chance to do it together.

Now I’m thankful my daughter has a dress she not only plans to wear to the dance –– with combat boots –– and over leggings or jeans like above, we have a bonding memory to look back on. Plus it doesn’t hurt that Liv learned that her mom is has a great eye for style on a shoe string! It makes me hopeful that she’ll grow up to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic... Based on this weekend’s Sadie Hawkins shopping success, it may well turn out to be a case of like mother, like daughter!

How about you? What special shopping experiences do you share with your daughter? Mother? Other females? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and maximize them to strengthen your bond?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

When It Snows It Pours

When It Snows It Pours

It’s Day 14 of being back to blogging and from start to finish this weekend was a case of when it snows it pours. With the weather forecasting a wintry mix of hail, sleet and 4-6″ of snow Saturday evening, I shopped for groceries to feed my growing kiddos for a long three day weekend. Knowing they eat lots of food and generate lots of laundry, after much deliberation my hubby and I decided not to have the vintage stackable at my tiny house repaired but to bite the bullet and replace it. Before that could happen the full drum of water in the washer had to be scooped out so it wouldn’t flood the floor when the unit was removed. After that, everything in the area had to be moved so side by side machines could be fitted into the laundry closet. In the deluge of rain that preceded the wintry mix, two burly men traipsed watery mud through the house while installing. Talk about when it snows it pours!

In the meantime, the things that had been moved included a gallon of paint that somehow tipped and spilled all over the floor without any of us being aware. By the time my son found it and my hubby flew out the door to Walmart for paint remover, the power had gone out at the store, causing them to refuse him admittance. Next he went to what we call “The Big House” for it but slipped, slid and helped others in a ditch only to get back and have the battery of our van die, stranding my hubby here and blocking me in.  when it snows it really pours!

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With all of these disasters (another D challenge that can negatively impact women’s personal or professional lives) occurring one after the other, there were moments when the weekend felt incredibly stressful, exhausting and expensive! And that’s not to mention how the smart TV, then gaming bundle wouldn’t allow my son to play Fortnite, which was the whole reason we bought all of it. This snafu necessitated unplanned Play Station purchase…

But instead of focusing only on the things that seemed to be negatives –– the snow, hail and sleet, the washer going out, the muddy house, the spilled paint, or the electronics issues, I was able to see the blessings. Safety and shelter from the storm and a strong man able and willing to shovel, a husband who is supportive of my dream of having this tiny house for personal and professional use, a daughter who initiated clean up, not only of the muddy kitchen but the spilled paint as well, and a son who picked up where she left off and scrubbed every ounce of paint up –– making the paint thinner my husband eventually returned with almost, but not quite, unnecessary….

I’m so thankful that God is still working on me and making me more Pink Collar Savvy & Chic so that I’m able to minimize barriers and maximize beauty and my best life.  Rather than the snow, I see the blessings falling all around me…Even after the microwave decided to go on the fritz! How is He still working on you? How do you view the personal and professional disasters that come your way?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

The Trouble with Triangulation x Three

The Trouble with Triangulation x Three

It’s Day 11 of being back to blogging and its recurring theme could have been “The Trouble with Triangulation x Three “. First, listening to my favorite Christian radio morning show hosts, Brandt and Sherry, on the commute in, Brandt asked her if she’d ever noticed two people arguing on social media and considered jumping in and telling them to stop having a go at each other. He went on to say that would break up the argument because they would both turn on her! Sherry laughed her infectious laugh and answered that she hadn’t intervened that way, however, she  shared how she’d private messaged them and suggested they deal with the situation 1:1 vs. publicly. The segment ended humorously, but the message about the trouble with triangulation is a serious one.

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Once at work, I encountered my second instance of triangulation when I spoke with someone who needed transportation. It was an unusually hectic day and while I didn’t mind taking the time to make the arrangements, it wasn’t time I had to spare. We agreed that they’d contact me when they were ready to be picked up. When I didn’t hear back from her, I learned that a third party had secured a ride for her! Neither she nor the woman I’d been trying to help thought to inform me that she no longer needed my assistance. This triangulation resulted in a waste of time and a breakdown in communication.

Finally, this evening I witnessed my fifteen-year-old daughter, Liv, get caught up in a triangulation web. One of her high school friends moved to another city but is still dating her boyfriend who’s in classes with my daughter. Apparently not only did  the guy cheat on her several times while she was here, now he manages to prevent her from even talking to any boys at her new school while he flirts with whoever he likes in front of my daughter. In her attempt to be a good friend, my daughter put her in the know. Now she’s caught in the middle of their long distance dating disaster. I cautioned her to try to stay out of it because if and when her bestie takes him back, she won’t want to hear a  word about his poor behavior, which will put a strain on their friendship. Triangulation collateral damage.

Knowing how God works in my life, the fact that God let me be a part of three different scenarios regarding triangulation means He’s trying to teach me something. Disputes, discussions, dating and so many other things are best handled 1:1. I’m going to try to put this principle into practice in my personal and professional life…And I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, do the same, and avoid the trouble with triangulation, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – January 12, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – January 12, 2019

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Wishing on Wings

So blessed to be his daughter,

So proud to bear his name.

So thankful for his friendship

And love that never changed.

Been missing him for 18 years,

Longing for an eternity more.

Praying I’ll see my hero’s face

As I walk through heaven’s door.

Days spent wishing –– for that very thing,

Not a single one of them has passed

Without his wind beneath my wings.

I’ll love you forever Daddy,

~Pink Collar Coach