It’s Day 34 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and my daughter and I have had such a beautiful day –– Shabby Chic & Sweet 16! This morning I woke up at 5am and assembled a Simply Shabby Chic DIY banner proclaiming “Sweet 16” then proceeded to package all her presents in coordinating Simply Shabby Chic gift bags. Next I changed the table runner to one in robin’s egg blue from Rachel Ashwell’s The Prairie and spelled out Cami Liv with extra banner medallions. By that time she’d awoken and I loved on and prayed over her for a while before serving her requested Lucky Charms –– the marshmallows just happened to go along with the pastel theme –– and Sunny D in bed. Once she was settled with her breakfast, I proceeded to bake, frost and decorate her Bday cake with sprinkles in the soft rainbow shades and placed it atop my Simply Shabby Chic cake stand. The early morning and effort were so worth it because of the look on her face when she finally saw the Shabby Chic stage set for her Sweet Sixteen!
Though I thought this milestone birthday should be celebrated with a big party, my daughter had other ideas in mind. These included a shopping trip to Plato’s Closet –– a resale shop for teens –– and to Aveda, a salon that also sells face, hair and makeup products. She wanted Subway for dinner and then to eat cake and watch LaLa Land again! To my delight, apart from the eating, she wanted to do all of this just with me…I selected a birthday card for her that states “Every perfect gift, is from above.” (James 1:17). Yes, her life is a gift. By wanting to spend such a special day just as mother and daughter, however, I feel like I was given one all over again.
Being divorced –– a D or challenge women face –– can make birthdays brutal. Next year I won’t see her at all. And this year could have been very expensive with everything she wanted to do. But by having lovely things on hand, I was able to create a sumptuous setting without breaking the bank and could use my resources for her shopping spree instead. By being Pink Collar Savvy & ChicI minimized the barriers and maximized beauty and our best lives. So blessed with lots of Shabby Chic and a very Sweet Sixteen!
It’s Day 31 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as we head toward my daughter’s Sweet 16th birthday this weekend, I’m sentimental about a lot of things, including my high school best friend and how wonderful life is while she’s in the world. My freshman year was so hard. I didn’t start at my college prep high school until freshman year while almost everyone else did 7th grade. They’d already formed their cliques and made it painfully clear there was to be no acceptance of a black girl who wasn’t “black enough” to fit in with the them. But I wasn’t white which made admittance to that group a no go as well . Add the fact that my middle school boyfriend dumped me for an upperclassman who went all the way with him right away after I hadn’t in almost three years…I became a social pariah. All of her friends bullied me to the point where there were days when I honestly wanted to die. Then sophomore year, beautiful, popular Josette did more than befriend me. In many ways she saved me. Love and gratitude for our lifelong friendship made us wrap our arms around each other and sing along as we watched Rocketman on the big screen and a young Elton John, masterfully portrayed by Taron Egerton, serenade his best friend Bernie with “How Wonderful Life Is While You’re in the World”.
Life has taken us down different paths and hasn’t always made it easy for us to get together. But when we do, the thirty-four years that have passed since we were sophomores fade away and we’re both Sweet 16 again. Connected at our core. Giggling over guys. Grateful to God for each other. And always singing songs…Part of the reason I wasn’t considered “black enough” is my love of a wide variety of music, including that of Sir Elton John. Josette and I share that and sang throughout. We also shed several tears. You see, my sweet, strong Swan Soul Sister is a recent D –– challenge women face –– survivor. In the form of a breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy. With amazing faith, positivity and reconstructive surgery, she’s minimized this barrier and is maximizing beauty and her best life. In doing so, she’s become one of my she-roes. Which makes life even more wonderful while she’s still in the world.
I pray you have a special Swan Sister who’s been in your life as long as Josette’s been in mine. And that even if you aren’t a fan of Elton John and wouldn’t want to see the movie ––- which was weird and wonderful (from my favorite “Benny and the Jets”!) –– with them, you still may want to let them know “How Wonderful Life is While You’re in the World”.
It’s Day 27 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and last night’s 50th birthday get-together put a new take on The 3 Gs. I’d just turned 26 when I started teaching with Terry and Brenda at a small Christian school. In our 20s, 30s and 40s, we became a tight trio. I dubbed us The 3 Gs –– thinking at the time we were from three different generations. Though I learned they’re both Baby Boomers and I’m Gen X, the name has stuck for two decades. Then last night, after visiting my Petite Retreat –– which Brenda pointed out is HUGE –– we went to her home where she’d prepared dinner. Our place settings had a plate that described her as Shoe Girl –– she has more than me and that’s saying A LOT; Terry as Cafe Girl –– she’s a natural foods guru and a Fresh Thyme manager; and me as Shopping Girl –– Need I say more? With that, the 50th Bday get-together was the last in a month of festivities and one of my favorite because it put a new take on The 3 Gs!
Doing nearly half of my life with these beautiful, smart, godly Pink Collar Savvy & ChicSwan Soul Sisters has contributed so significantly to me being able to minimize my Ds –– barriers women face –– in the form of domestic violence, death, divorce, domestic court issues, depression, and the list could go on. They’ve been in it with me faithfully and have loved and supported me well enough that I’ve been able to maximize beauty and my best life. Now I’m looking forward to the next Bday where we’ll officially be in our 50s, 60s and 70s. We’re already planning a trip to celebrate that. Until then, I’ll be forever blessed by my 50th get-together and how it put a new take on The 3 Gs!
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and get together with those women you’ve done life with. May you talk, pray, laugh and cry like we did last night. And may you continue to help one another minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best lives, too.
Last night probably marked the end of what has become the 50th Birthday month! Such a blessing to be with friends, true Swan Soul Sisters I’ve had for a literally half of my life –– one who knows me so well she set my place at the table with a plate that is so Pink Collar Savvy & Chic –– down to the pink & green!
Friends who really get you help to minimizing life’s Ds –– the challenges women face –– and help us maximize beauty and our best lives. Pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicchoose to surround yourself with the women who know and celebrate the Authentic You too.
As a bookish former school teacher and author who deals with a big D or challenge women face –– in the form of divorce –– the battle to balance all of the electronics and screen time they are permitted when not with me and reading. Still, committed to instilling the love of reading, last week before they left for vacation with their father, we visited the library where they each selected books for the trip. A Face Time session where my daughter informed she is barreling through her stack and my son told me he finished his on the plane and wants the others in the series makes my day! Mommy Mission to raise bookworms –– Accomplished!
All the years of reading good books to them before they were even born and exposing them to good literature over the years is paying off. The power of persistence! So blessed to be able to say I’m being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and minimizing this barrier in order to maximize beauty –– in the form of books –– and Lord willing my children’s best lives!
Pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and either raise or be a bookworm today!
It’s Day 12 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project, and after a frustrating two days of not being able to upload pics to blog, getting the issue resolved lets me share about a special relationship, reasons and seasons. In a former career incarnation as a Director at a program that provided life coaching and education to adults, enabling them to achieve sustainable success, I had the privilege of training and leading a team of life coaches. Amazing as they all were, Julie and Valerie quickly developed their skills to the degree they became lead coaches in their areas of giftedness and interest. Working together and with our team like a well-oiled machine, we served clients and provided them with optimal transformative experiences that led to permanent change. Such fulfilling, fun service on purpose! That being the case, one of the hardest things about transitioning out of my role was not getting to work with this dynamic duo on a daily basis. Since then I’ve come to more fully embrace the notion that relationships are in our lives for seasons and reasons.
You see, I dreaded a career change meant the season for these women being in my life had come to an end. Instead it marked the beginning of a new reason. They encouraged me as I dove into operating my own business full-time to focus on publishing my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. Then when life threw me another curve ball, they stepped up to the plate and helped me get to a safe place personally and professionally in the forms of a tiny house for personal and professional use and a dream job as the Director of a Women’s Center… It’s about as perfect a fit possible for me to live out my purpose which is to coach, encourage and inspire women to minimize their barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives. All to His glory.
Having Julie and Valerie, who have become my Swan Sisters, come celebrate my 50th, not only allowed them to check out the center, it provided an opportunity for us to catch up and continue our connectedness. It also proved it’s true some relationships are in our lives for a reason and others for a season. As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, I’m glad to recognize sometimes it’s both.
Who in your personal and/or professional life is in it for a reason? A season? Both?
It’s Day 9 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and last night’s birthday dinner could be described as an experience in diverse worlds and united girls. After a fabulous 50th from the residents and staff at the Women’s Center where I’m the Director, I rushed across town to a favorite Zumba instructor/friend’s class. As usual dancing proved to make a delightful day even better. Even so, the two of of quickly changed to meet a third friend for dinner. Being from Peru, Russia and the United States, we make quite a trio. We may be from three different countries, but may of our struggles and successes are the same. Our time together covered a broad range of topics and emotions with a thread of laughter running consistently throughout. And though we come from such diverse worlds, the harmony makes as a set of united girls.
Not only that, though more gifts is the last thing I expected, these generous ladies showered me with more of my favorite things – yummy scented candles, gorgeous jewelry and TJ Maxx gift cards! Yay! Just as meaningful to me is the obvious effort to package the gifts in a way that looked like me. Let me just say, “Nailed it.” The gift bag looks as if it was designed to complement my dress and all cards, wrapping paper, etc. had either pink, flowers, or some combo of the two. Such thoughtfulness. So blessed…
In a world where there are beautiful friendships to be made and cultivated, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & chic on Purpose and broaden your personal and/or professional circle. Who knows? You too may experience how you may be from different worlds. That doesn’t mean you can’t be untied girls.