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

Leap In Leopard

Leap In Leopard

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and last night when I put together my professional packaging for today,  hopeful that it would transition into my personal life in the form of date night with my hubby, I selected an animal print sweater –– a  leap in leopard on my part! Pun intended. While the big cats can leap over 20 feet and jump 10 feet in the air, at age 50, rather than prancing around covered in an animal print like its a second skin, donning even a little feels like a big stretch. So, for me, buying and then actually wearing something I’m not totally comfortable in is literally a leap in leopard!

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Leap in Leopard! Calvin Klein leopard print sweater – TJ Maxx.                Shabby Chic floor lamp – Home Goods.

And speaking of prancing around in faux fur, recent catastrophic (yeah, I did it again) reviews of the film CATS –– not only made me nix it for tonight’s movie selection, it made me wonder whether my feline inspired fashion choice would elicit similar feedback. Instead, my prayer partner/morning coffee meeting stated, “You look so pretty in animal print!” The resident who helped me out to my car after work at the Women’s Center where I’m the director exclaimed, “I love your outfit!”, and the doctor covering for my primary care physician at today’s appointment to address my asthma –– a D or challenge women face –– this one in the form of a diagnosis –– walked into the office, introduced herself and gushed, “I love your sweater.” Even in her lab coat she appeared chic clad in plaid pants and suede booties. I confessed how I  always hesitate with animal prints.  “Not me! I wear them as a neutral and mix them with other prints.” Wow! No leopard leaping for her!

This young woman’s response is exactly what I mean about owning our sense of style. She feels confident enough not only in her clothing choices but in herself to bold. Which brings me back to my prayer partner. After she complimented me, we went on discuss bold choices. In clothing –– she wore hot pink, a bold choice, because it’s my color, though she admittedly plays it safe in subdued colors most of the time. We talked about how this translates into life. We women often shy away from speaking with a bold voice. Even when we’re led by God and should be filled with holy boldness.

All that to say, like the chic physician, we, too,  need to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and feel confident enough to be bold in  our clothing choices so we can own our professional and personal sense of style…My prayer for all of us is that we would be confident enough in God’s leading in our lives that we stop doubting ourselves –– another D –– and have holy boldness. When we do, we’ll be able to minimize our barriers and maximize beauty and our best lives.  Enough to make giant leaps in life and in leopard. 

Be savvy & chic ,

~Pink Collar Coach

My Book, My Boot and My Blog

My Book, My Boot and My Blog

It’s 2020 (Happy New Year and Blessings)!, another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose, and a chance to finally catch you up on my book, my boot and my blog!  To do so, I have to back track to November and NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writer’s Month. The goal was to write 50,000 words of Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul,  in  30 days. I  wrote faithfully everyday, however, I stopped posting  progress halfway through when it dawned on me time spent blogging could go toward word count! So I eliminated the post but acquired a viral infection, asthma complications that led to sleep deprivation –– another D or challenge women face – and a broken ankle! Then a team member’s mother lost her battle with cancer and died. Such a heart-wrenching D! With those additional barriers in place, I feel even better about finishing strong at 42,514 words for the challenge and approximately 55,000 words of my book!

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the last day of the challenge, I planned to write as close to 8,000 words as doable. The plan didn’t include breaking my ankle while leading the 2nd song of Zumba class. Seriously, I thought I’d just get up and keep dancing! Instead the squad came but I refused to go and waited for my hubby to transport. A champion through the ordeal, he waited on me hand and foot as I  puked my guts out and couldn’t do a thing for myself  while in a cast with crutches. He even expedited my orthopedic followup appointment where I got a walker and my boot! It provides mobility, the ability to shower ––  independence! I can even dance in it (I went right back to class the next Saturday and co-lead my classes with another instructor’s assistance). Oh, how blessed I am by my boot!

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Blessed by My Boot! Swan Soul Sisters, Kibby and Marina flanking me,   Pink Collar Coach, with my walker and boot in the center.                                   Performance wear, Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.                  New Balance shoe, singular! : – )

 

Even with the aid of the boot, navigating the holidays has sometimes felt like an obstacle course that requires tremendous endurance and strength (Try crutching through a crowded store!). Putting up the tree and decorating personal and professional spaces, shopping for and wrapping gifts, hosting my staff’s Christmas party, attending lots of others and leaving laden down with more stuff than I can possibly carry, going to see holiday movies… All while serving as a Women’s Center Director (I worked from home the first week after spending several hours catching up from Thanksgiving vacay) at the busiest time of year and during a center renovation has been a bit extra! But my hubby’s heroic efforts,  Zumba instructors subbing for me, Marina (and Sonya) not only teaching with me, but accompanying me to shop and getting my lunch, staff and residents bending over backwards to help, and perfect strangers going out of their way to be kind has made it one of my most blessed Christmases yet! Now I’m so thankful I get to share it with you on my blog.

My prayer for you is that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and reflect on all the ways your holiday and the last year have been a blessing to you –– like my book, my boot and my blog. When you do, you’ll be able to minimizing your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life 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 
 
Hold on Her Heart is in the works, and should be available Spring 2020! 
Wearing Winter White with Roses

Wearing Winter White with Roses

It’s about Day 27 of being back to blogging, and today I wore winter white with roses. After subbing for Saturday’s Zumba class, I looked forward to warming up in a cozy sweater and accenting it with a gorgeous new creamy handbag embellished with my favorite flower. After lunch with one of my Swan Sisters I asked her to snap the pic beneath a tree barren of leaves to show the juxtaposition between it and the bag’s colorful embroidered petals. The one speaks to the season we’re in; the other to spring that’s just around the corner. By wearing winter white with roses, I’m embracing the beauty of both.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, wearing a winter white sweater with a rose patterned handbag.           All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx.

 

Many people find this time of year bleak. With the winter holidays behind us, Easter and spring break can feel a long way off. Though I’ve never really struggled with the winter doldrums –– a D or challenge women face –– I’m not a fan of the cold and can do without snow. Consequently I’m thankful that other than a little extreme winter weather, for the most part, it’s been fairly mild. Even so, I look forward to spring, warmer temps, flowers blooming and Easter. And now that I have a tiny house for personal and professional use, it seems an open house/Easter brunch is in order…

Just as we look forward to get togethers, holidays and parties, spring is a time of new beginnings, celebration of new life and the Resurrection.  As we prepare for it, let’s be mindful of the winter beauty that still surrounds us, which can chase away those doldrums… If  you’re Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and look closely enough, beauty can be seen in the barren trees and overcast skies.  It can even be found in a wearing winter white with roses.

Pink Collar Service on Purpose

Pink Collar Service on Purpose

It’s Day 26 of being back to blogging, and though I’m unsure about a lot of things right now, one thing I’m certain of is that I’m fully living Pink Collar Service on Purpose. That’s basically my version of At Work on Purpose –– for women. To be perfectly honest, there are days now that I’ve transitioned from running my business –– Pink Collar Savvy & Chic –– full-time to my new role as a Women’s Center Director that make me wonder how I’m going to do it all. Be a wife, mother, author, blogger, life coach, leader, Zumba teacher and maintain my walk with Christ. Then, in the midst of serving all these ways, in ministering to others, I feel that Every. Single. Thing. on my own journey is being put to use blessing another woman and know to the very core of my being that I’m doing exactly what God created me to do in just the way He designed me to do it. And I’m in awe and wonder that I’m fully living my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, in a some fun finds. Sweater dress, a $20 clearance steal at Christmas. The scarf was found last week – with the same gorgeous floral motif.                                  Handbag is  one of my oldest. I chose it based on the orange lettering in the scarf.                                  All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. 

Am I still exhausted and a bit overwhelmed? Yes, but it’s the best kind of worn out. I want my life to be poured out and used up serving and showing others the love of Christ so that they too can live their best lives. I got to do that for a woman over the last two days in a way that will impact me forever and Lord willing her for an eternity. Thinking on that restores me and inspires me to serve another day….That doesn’t mean I’m not ready for bed, though!

What about you? Are you giving of your time, talent and treasure to bless and minister to others? Through work, volunteering or in another capacity? If you are, chances are you may end up  like me –– too zonked to go to Zumba and too done for a date night with your significant other –– but you’ll sleep well knowing you’ve been emptied out to fill someone else’s cup by living Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Service on Purpose.

Be savvy &  chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Best Book Club Night

Best Book Club Night

It’s Day 2 of being back to blogging, and I’ve struggled a bit to figure out what to post. Then I realized I could cover some of the things I’ve missed over the last few months.  Back in September, I was invited to facilitate a discussion of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, at the book club of a fellow YMCA member. She heard about the book from a reader who attends Zumba with me. The group rotates hosts and Debbie, the hostess of the night, welcomed me into her gorgeous home and put me at ease before the others arrived. By the time they did, I knew I was in for a delightful evening. Turns out –– at least for me –– it was the best book club night!

All of the members had read the book, which made for thoughtful questions and compelling conversation. The fact that more than one woman asked about ways to support those dealing with domestic violence –– one of the Ds or personal challenges that a women face –– dispelled any notions that abuse rears its head in suburbia much more often than one some would think. The stories shared made me even more appreciative of the opportunity to live out my purpose of using my God-given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their best lives –– all to His glory. Following up by sending all attendees a resource I’d created to supplement the book, Ten Ps to Practice When Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence ensured the ladies are equipped with the info they need whenever their loved ones are ready to receive it.

By the end of the evening, I felt as though I’d not only gained fans, but new friends as well. So far my new role as a Women’s Center Director hasn’t allowed me to make it to another meeting, but I plan to make it happen once I’ve gotten settled in. I’m motivated to return so I can further connect with these beautiful, smart, Savvy & Chic Swans! And of course I have them and other loyal readers in mind as I dive back into writing the sequel, Hold On Her Heart, which is due out this year. Once it’s done, I hope to have a repeat of the best book club night!

If you are a new reader or one who’s never checked out the book, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do so! Thank you!

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

Be Savvy & Chic,

~ Pink Collar Coach

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Best Book Club Night! Me, Pink Collar Coach, front and center.                                                          Floral dress, shrug and bone color pumps – All Calvin Klein. The clothes are from TJ Maxx. The shoes were $8 at Goodwill – brand new!

 

 

Not a Fair-weather but Forever Friend

Not a Fair-weather but Forever Friend

It’s Day 420 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and while I was too busy to blog about it yesterday, Friday night showed me how a dear Swan Sister, Valerie, is not a fair-weather but forever friend. I originally came to know Valerie through our professional relationship. I had the joy of training her to become one of the best life coaches I’d ever led, and she in turn became a trainer of other coaches. She’s as smart as they come and is passionate about connecting others to the information and resources they need to minimize their barriers and to maximize their best lives. Add to that the fact that she’s bookish like me –– but with a library science degree to boot ––– and she’s a girl after my own heart. Given the strong working connection we formed then, I’m thrilled that it didn’t cease when I left that director role…And now, as I’m dealing with some Ds of my own –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– I’m so thankful she’s proven herself not to be a fair-weather friend, but a forever one.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, with Valerie. She’s as smart and sweet as she is petite! I’m in a fave summer dress and gold metallic cardi – both several summers old, and metallic sandals with a bone colored bag. I had to laugh at myself –– my usual glasses on top of my head AND sunglasses! All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx acquired over several years.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, I won’t lie and say I enjoy facing Ds /challenges. But I did enjoy hearing from Valerie because of them. She took me to dinner and for three hours we caught up, laughed, reminisced and strategized. Though we hadn’t seen each other for over a year, it was like no time had passed at all…She’s also going to get a copy of my book, Seasons of Her Soul. Bonus! Leaving Buffalo Wild Wings –– one of my all time favorites ––– I felt full of good food and even more satisfied with the fact that our professional worlds may have brought us together initially, but it’s our faith that has made us true friends and sisters in Him. The time spent with Valerie made me feel lighter as though my burdens had been lifted. After all, though I was once her supervisor, the love she showed me on Friday assured me she’s not a fair-weather but my forever friend.

What about you? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about not just being there for friends –– personal and professional –– during the good times but the bad times, too? Who could you reach out to today to show your love and support?

If you’re like Valerie and would like to check out my book, please see below. Thanks!

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

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach