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!

 

 

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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

 

Modern Day Mother Teresa

Modern Day Mother Teresa

It’s Day 417 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my friend and Swan Soul Sister, Julie, a Modern Day Mother Teresa, twice in the last two weeks. Though our professional worlds brought us together and that relationship has changed, we’re forever connected personally by our faith and friendship. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact my professional performance –– I’ve shared the details with only a few. Julie is one of them. When she heard what I’m going through, she did what she does so naturally –– served as Jesus’ hands, feet and heart to me in my time of need. She’s one of the most generous and humble people I know, and while she’s quick to say others are saints, she’s really the one who is a Modern Day Mother Teresa.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, and my dear Swan Sister, Julie –– a Modern Day Mother Teresa.                She’s as stylish as she is sweet and looks gorgeous in a simple black dress & statement necklace. I’m in one of my fave summer staples –– a pinky purple cold should top and jeans.                       Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.

Julie gives tirelessly of her time, talent and treasures. Her heart and home have been opened to those in need and she’s advocated for the underserved in court, helped children to be placed in loving homes and has going above and beyond by fostering the ones who would get lost in the system otherwise. Even years after her coaching assignments have officially ended, she continues to voluntarily mentor those who still benefit from her presence in their lives. And though I once provided coaching leadership for her, she now partners with me to problem solve and strategize how to move forward with my best personal and professional life. I could go on to tell many more extravagant ways she and her husband have shown extraordinary love and compassion but don’t want to overshare…I will say I believe she will be among those whom the Lord tells, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:21, NIV).

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan who tries to display a servant’s heart, I look to Julie as a role model and hope I can learn from her example. My prayer is that God will continue to bless Julie for the blessing she is to others for she truly serves as a Modern Day Mother to me and so many.

In what ways are you a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Modern Day Mother Teresa to those around you who may be dealing with Ds on the home-front and/or in the workplace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Birthday on a Budget

Birthday on a Budget

It’s Day 414 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m pleased to have pulled off my daughter’s 15th birthday on a budget. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– and that means I’m keeping a close watch on my pocket book. The great thing is, what started out as a barrier –– limited resources –– turned into an opportunity for me to minimize the barrier and maximize beauty and my best life. Given the fact that she had a party and sleepover at her dad’s on the actual day and that I would be taking her and her brother to something she’d requested a while back –– an Escape Room –– I felt she’d be happy with a few little treats. That being the case, when a dear friend  gifted me with a Walgreen’s gift card and two Larosa’s (our hometown  pizzeria) gift cards at the end of our lunch date last week, I knew how I’d use them. The former purchased some girly gifts –– Maybelline’s Baby Lips (she loves them), pink nail polish (she’d been eyeing mine), and her favorite candy bars. The latter were used for yummy pizza, salad and sodas. And because I love themed gifts ala Rachel Ashwell, I also purchased a cupcake themed bag and card from the drug store. Then I shredded a coordinating color of copy paper to make “confetti” filler. Next, a trip to Barnes and Noble, where we’re members of the Kids Birthday Club yielded a huge complimentary confetti cupcake. Finally, though there were no Groupons available, I scored a $12 a person deal for “Escape from Alpha Station” at our local entertainment spot. With that and our waitresses’ tip, I was all in $40 –– talk about a birthday on a budget!

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A birthday bag filled with favorites. My total cost – $0!
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Me, Pink Collar Coach, as  part of The Three Musketeers.                                                                               Cotton cold should top and denim shorts – Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.                                                                                                                                                 Can’t believe my baby girl’s 15! Her 13 year-old brother is taller than both of us!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic  on Purpose shopper, I’m thrilled about being able to make the most of what I had. More than that, though, making the most of the time with my children was the best part of the day. Liv truly enjoyed her gifts and promptly applied not one but both lip shades. And as all three of us shared the cupcake she poured over her card and gave me a hug far sweeter than the pastry. The Escape Room (www.funattheweb.com) was a blast. Levi displayed his high level of intelligence by deciphering one of the main clues, but alas, because we were in the room with lots of other people resulting in a bit of chaos, we didn’t escape. Still, seeing him and Liv work together so well did my mommy heart good. We shared pizza, so much laughter, and explored some ideas about the future while taking a walk. By the time the night ended, I knew though the birthday was on a budget, it was one of the best.

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about planning birthdays or other special events on a budget. At home? The office? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a large return on investment.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Cool by the Pool in Cute Coverups

Cool by the Pool in Cute Coverups

It’s Day 412 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and life has heated up to the degree that I needed some time girl time keeping cool by the pool in cute coverups.  The good news is, the life coaching side of things has been fairly consistent –– especially considering summer vacations, travel, etc. And the life clients I’m working with are truly minimizing their barriers around and maximizing their beauty (image coaching) and best lives (personal and professional). The bad news is, Consistency with my writing? –– not so much. I’m going days without posting, blogging or working on the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. Even so, due to some Ds –– personal challenges that negatively impact our professional lives –– I’m facing right now, I’m in a perpetual research mode and am gathering great material for Hold on Her Heart! Given everything going on, when one of my closets Swan Soul Sisters, Kibby, suggested a weekday lounging poolside, I was quick to put work aside and go all in keeping cool by the pool in cute coverups!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, and my Swan Soul Sister, Kibby. I’m in a clearance Calvin Klein perforated teal mini dress cover up from a few seasons ago, straw sun visor and flip flops. All TJ Maxx.                                                                                       Kibby, such a natural beauty,  is tots adorbs in her hooded eyelet coverup and beaded sandals.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, time with other females is essential to my emotional and spiritual well-being. Being able to share what’s going on in our lives –– the good, the bad and the ugly –– makes all the difference in the world. Whether we’re reminiscing about the past, pondering the present, or praying about our futures, my soul and spirit are revived by time spent with other Swans who share my faith and my fears.  Kibby does all of this in spades. In addition to all we have in common, her generosity ––– way beyond monetary –– knows few bounds and she blesses me more than I can say! Never mind the fact that we never actually swam…As long as the Earth spins around the sun, our lives will heat up with Ds. I just chose to minimize them by spending at least a few of mine maximizing beauty and my best life keeping cool by the pool in cute coverups!

Be savvy  & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

We Still Scream for Ice-cream!

We Still Scream for Ice-cream!

It’s Day 402 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and a recent outing with my teens confirms the fact that no matter how old we get, we still scream for ice-cream! Figuring out fun things to do with a thirteen and soon-to-be fifteen-year-old can be daunting. They’re both at the stage where screens hold more allure than almost anything except for hanging out with their friends instead of their mom. While that’s pretty normal, quality time with them is too important to let it fall by the wayside. Still, when I ask what they’d like to do, they fluctuate between being fairly non-responsive, resistant or downright refusing to go. But lo and behold, at the mention of a trip to The Cone –– a local family fun soft-serve ice cream stand shaped like a swirl cone, with pinball games –– and suddenly they’re all in! No matter that they’re no longer the babies who used to literally jump up and down pumping their fists in the air, or even that I’m now the almost fifty-year-old mom who has to watch my calorie, fat and sugar intake, we still scream for ice-cream!

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My Teenagers! How did this happen???
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Me, Mom –– Pink Collar Coach. Love the strawberry vanilla swirl – pink! : )                                     Print sundress, yellow handbag and flip flops all Calvin Klein acquired over time from TJ Maxx. The yellow shrug sweater was actually a clearance find at Macy’s. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom, I have to admit –– most days I wish I could turn back time to the days when things were simpler with my children. Back when everything I suggested was met with enthusiasm and being together was as good as it got. But you can’t go back and time doesn’t stand still. My babies are teens who will  quickly grow into young adults. Finding common ground isn’t as easy as it used to be but is so worth the effort. Over my daughter’s coffee flavored shake, which she couldn’t finish but ended up giving to her brother, his key lime freeze with a blueberry shell and my strawberry shortcake –– no calorie counting or weight watching there –– conversation and laughter flowed. Like the good old days…We’ve changed in so many ways both as individuals and as a unit, but I’m thankful that some things remain the same. Like the fact that we all still scream for ice cream!

What simple pleasures do you still enjoy? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose  about making sure you make the time for them?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Fundraiser Fashion

Fundraiser Fashion

It’s Day 399 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I thought it would be fun to post about yesterday’s Fundraiser Fashion. Helping Angels of Peru, a non-profit organization that supports the poverty-stricken children of Cajamarca, Peru, held its inaugural fundraiser Sunday afternoon. My dear friend and Swan Sister, Angelin Kiplinger is the organization’s founder, and I had the pleasure of being seated at the table with her son, Juan. Of course, because we’re both moms who wear that particular heart on our sleeves, I knew of him but hadn’t met him in person. I found him to be as charming as he is handsome and enjoyed watching him strut his stuff in Peruvian garb during the fashion show. Then, later in the afternoon, I was delighted to become reacquainted with Claudia, a stunning Mary Kay rep who reminds me of the African singer, Sade, and my mother who favors the performer. I first met Claudia when she mistook me for being Hispanic at a Zumba for the Cure event last year. She approached me speaking rapid fire Spanish but quickly realized I only spoke halting Spanglish! Nevertheless, we hit it off but failed to exchange contact info. I was so glad to see her and loved her gorgeous fundraiser fashion!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, with Claudia. Love her floral off the shoulder maxi dress with bell sleeves! I’m in Calvin Klein –– of course. A floral wrap style dress – $30– cinched with a goal clasp and bone shoes. Because I’m a freeze cat, my black shrug came in handy for the chilly venue.                          All TJ Maxx, except for shoes which were $8 brand new at Goodwill! 
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Juan in traditional Peruvian dress attire. My sleeveless dress without the shrug.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Fashionista (I’m actually a Maxxinista), I absolutely adore a chance to dress up and purchased this dress awhile back specifically for this event. Getting to wear it while I sang two songs to inspire giving was a treat…Much as I enjoyed that, it was awesome to be able to admire all of the beautiful women throughout the evening. Such a special occasion spent learning about the needs of the children, filling them through investment of our time, talent and treasures. To celebrate that, the event ended with most of us on the dance floor sweating out our Fundraiser Fashion to fabulous salsa music!

With so many wonderful discount options, are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about maximizing them to minimize your spending –– even for fundraising or special events?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach