Give Me Your Heart

Give Me Your Heart

It’s Day 22 of being back to blogging, and as Valentine’s Day approaches, many are asking others, Give me your heart. Most often, this is a romantic request. For me, working in the social service industry as a Women’s Center Director for a homeless shelter for women and children, my prayer has been that God give me His heart –– for the hurting. Daily I work with those the world considers “the least of these” and am learning such valuable lessons on servant leadership. The most impactful one is viewing them from His perspective. The addicts, those with developmental disabilities, the mentally ill, the poverty stricken, the promiscuous, the traumatized.   I look at them and see them as God’s beloved daughters and precious children. They are beautiful and lovely to me. Because God has somehow answered my prayer and given me His heart.

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 A heart pocket. A shabby chic antique store find, filled with my favorite flowers – roses. 

Not only do I feel as though my prayer has been answered, I’m humbled to know that others see it as well. In dealing with a situation regarding one of the non-compliant residents, I basically expressed what my dear Aunt Birdy used to –– If not for the grace of God, there go I. That realization allowed  me to move from a place of judgement to one of empathy. Witnessing this, one of the amazing staff members I inherited teared up and said something that let me know I’ve been granted what I really desire this Valentine’s Day.  “You really do have a heart for them.”

My prayer is that all of us who work in social service/ministry would be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and demonstrate our Father’s heart for the ones we serve. What a beautiful expression of His love…

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

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Photo Op

Photo Op

It’s Day 20 of being back to blogging, and while scrolling through pictures on my phone searching post inspiration, I came across one the perfect photo op. The term, short for photograph opportunity, was originally coined to indicate the opportunity to take a picture with a celebrity or of an event. But as I looked at this picture, it took on new meaning for me. You see, it’s of a corner in bedroom I share with my fifteen-year-old daughter at our tiny house and was designed to fulfill her request  for a vanity area. I began renting the house for personal and professional to run my business, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, and to have a special place to spend time with my children.

At first my husband wasn’t on board with it, which caused some discord –– another D or challenge women face. Following a particularly rough patch, he brought the beautiful bouquet of my favorite pink roses to my new job as a repair attempt. Originally I took the picture in a fit of I don’t want flowers, I want to resolve the issue! Eventually I got over myself and can now look back and see my husband’s heart. It makes me mindful of the chance to be prayerful about all it represents –– a true photo op.

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A beautiful, comfortable and functional vanity area. The painted wood cafe table and chairs were purchased at TJ Maxx for outdoors, but I hated them weathering. Now they have a new purpose. The lamp and wicker mirror/basket are two of my early thrift store finds. Large Ball mason jar from Goodwill. Simply Shabby Chic pillows & laundry basket –  Target. 

In a world where cameras on our phones make snapping a picture something that often occurs several times a day, I still want to make it special. Through blogging it’s become a way for me to chronicle the simple and significant in my life. Being intentional about maximizing photography opportunities by attaching prayers of ACTS –– adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication –– to my reminiscing over  pictures elevates them from simply snapping away to powerful photo ops.

So the next time you hit that button to capture that perfect picture, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and not miss out on the photo opportunity that’s present too…

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

RX for Kitchen Cabinets

RX for Kitchen Cabinets

It’s Day 6 of being back to blogging and I’m thrilled to share my RX for my tiny house’s tired kitchen cabinets. This past summer I began renting a tiny house for personal and professional use. It actually lives quite large at about 1,000 square feet. And I love every inch of this gorgeous 1905 shotgun boasting incredibly high ceilings, tall windows with original transoms, thick white-painted hardwood trim and character to spare. With all those vintage details going for it, the apartment grade refurbished oak kitchen cabinets were the only thing that weren’t pretty. Good thing my landlords were up for letting this DIYer give them a much needed facelift. They even provided the paint and supplies for the RX for my kitchen cabinets!

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Creamy semi gloss paint from Sherwin Williams partners perfectly with Shabby Chic decor! The mug rack, mugs, crystal lamps with lace shades, blue glass caddy/glasses, recipe box, cake stand, & cake piggy bank are all treasures from Target’s Simply Shabby Chic line.

 

After two weekends of sanding, removing knobs and pulls, priming, painting and then reapplying the knobs and pulls (I did the top cabinets first, took a break then attacked the lower with renewed vigor!) the kitchen looks like it goes with the rest of the house. All of the time and elbow grease were well worth it. Not only because the room is now aesthetically pleasing but because of the sense of satisfaction that comes with having done it myself.

And you can too. Have cabinets in your home or office that need a refresh? Why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and tackle them yourself? You don’t need lots of money, just the will and the work ethic. As a first timer painting cabinets, I can tell you from experience , it will be worth your while if you give provide a little RX for your cabinets!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Go Big Boho And Stay Home

Go Big Boho And Stay Home

It’s Day 376 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’ve been trying some new outdoor floor mats that have my sweet hubby questioning my tastes (Those are a little much for me) but since I’m the only one who sits on the porch and deck all the time –– for work and pleasure –– I figure I should go big boho and stay home! It’s no surprise I fell in love with the look of bohemian inspired floor mates while pursuing Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic website http://www.shabbychic.com, but it wasn’t the design maven who introduced me to them. It was actually her designer daughter, Lily Ashwell, whose company, of the same name, is one of the brands in the  Shabby Chic family ––www.lilyashwell.com. Last summer, I reimagined my utilitarian laundry room using similar foam mats, and adore not only the look but functionality of the pieces. When my hubby questioned covering the floor drain back then, I simply cut around it. The foam feels great under your feet and is impervious to water, laundry detergent spills, etc. That being the case, when the mat outside the sliders on the deck deteriorated, the search began for something that would hold up to the heat and rain. The search ended once I found large scale bohemian inspired floor mats in colors that complement our decor. So despite some questioning looks from my better half, I’ve decided it’s my office space, so I should just go big boho and stay home.

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Front porch with gray, brown, red, and white boho foam mat by Nicole Miller – TJ Maxx. The red is a little bold, but in the same color family as pink, and the grays and browns pick up the Simply Shabby Chic pillow colors (from Target) the flower pot hues and deck stain.                                                                  All of the other decor is TJ Maxx as well. Resin wicker – Home Depot.
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The back deck patio dining set is about 25 years old & the cushions are original. Love the white, but the dark green cabana stripe is not my fave. The bohemian floor mat by Nicole Miller from TJ Maxx has the same saturated color & finally ties the two sides of the deck together. The Simply Shabby Chic pillow on the resin wicker has the same blue and medallion as the floor mat.
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Simply Shabby Chic pillow inspired blue and purple outdoor color scheme. Target.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Shabbychicophile, one of the things I enjoy most about this style of decorating is the curated feel. Pieces influenced by different countries –– England, France, Morocco –– and different design aesthetics –– English Country, French Country, bohemian, etc. blend together beautifully. The look is not for everyone and I’m OK with that. Personal style and taste are just that. Personal. I live fully in our home and work inside –– and outside –– it, too. Considering that I’m thankful even though my sweet husband may not appreciate my design choices, he gets me and knows they are an expression of my creative, nest-feathering side. Besides, he usually closes the window coverings to conserve energy and keep the house cool, so he doesn’t really have to look at the floor mats. Good thing since I’m committed to going big boho and staying home!

Like the look of big, bold bohemian inspired designs? Why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about incorporating them into your home or office?

Fitting a Florentine Frame with a Favorite Family Photo

Fitting a Florentine Frame with a Favorite Family Photo

It’s Day 311 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and when I received a sweet surprise package from my sister in law, Sue, it provided the perfect opportunity to fit a Florentine frame with a favorite family photo. Sue’s son got married last August and regular readers may recall how I excited I was about the wedding in Alpharetta, Georgia. With a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and a barn reception, it was country chic at its best. When Sue texted today to ask if I’d received the package I realized it had been sitting in the foyer with the label turned face down for over a week because I thought it was my hubby’s! I hadn’t been expecting anything, so receiving a box filled with photos, magazines, some sweet home decor, and a note absolutely Made. My. Day. And opening it wasn’t the only thing I finally got to do. Sometime last year I found a black 8×7 Florentine frame – not the standard size for family pictures – and have been waiting for the right one for it. With many of family members wearing black or navy in this photograph, the frame complemented the colors and was just the right fit!

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Favorite Family Photo in a Florentine frame by Sicura. Purchased at Home Goods for $7.99.           Me, Pink Collar Coach, front row, peach floral dress & strappy heels. Calvin Klein- TJ Maxx. 

I fell in love with Florentine frames about ten years ago when I first saw them on Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic website. As with so many other things, she informed my design style and taught me to keep an eye out for these Italian beauties. Over the years I’ve found frames in an assortment of colors, shapes and sizes, as well as three Florentine vanity trays at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Home Goods. People always comment on them and they’ve become a consistent theme that runs throughout my home. Any time I pop a picture into one, it elevates the visual impact and makes what was already valued for its sentiment a treasure aesthetically, too.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose nest featherer, I’m delighted whenever I can add a small thing of beauty to enhance my home. Florentine frames add it in spades and are featured in practically every room. Sometime in the future I’ll do a post featuring my collection, but for now, I I hope you’ll enjoy this one piece as much as I do. It’s been a good day for me simply because I finally got to open a thoughtful package from my sister-in-law and was inspired to fit a favorite family photo that she sent into a Florentine frame (and to blog about it!).

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about fitting your favorite photos into frames that elevate them and display how much you value the picture? Try doing this in your home or work space and you’ll find yourself surrounded by special memories – framed to last.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

DIY Weekend Warrior – Wall Whitewashing

DIY Weekend Warrior – Wall Whitewashing

It’s Day 303 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’ve had an unplanned three-day break as a blogger to become a weekend warrior who completed a massive wall whitewashing. As many of you regular readers know, I’ve carried around a disgust (another D!)  with our living room’s large faux stone wall that was equally massive. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve held strong views on interior decorating, including a deep-seated desire for things to be light and airy. This has only grown over time and manifested itself in dramatic DIY acts like whitewashing my bedroom furniture in the middle of the night to give it an English country feel when I was thirteen. My mother responded part angry, part in awe and ended up buying me Laura Ashley bedding and curtains to complete the look. I ended up with the teenage room of my dreams – all because I took matters – a paintbrush – into my own hands. The love of decor led me to earn a degree in Interior Design, jobs in the field, and clients to this day. And I was blessed to have free reign in decorating all of my homes… Until eight years ago when I remarried and moved into the home my hubby already owned. I only agreed to when he assured me I could redecorate any rooms except for his three boys’ and the man cave. With that understanding, I didn’t expect to have a battle on my hands regarding painting the faux stone. Attempting to avoid conflict, I tried to make  peace with the wall by adding white folding screens, architectural pieces, etc. All in vain. Finally, on Friday afternoon, I decided to minimize the D and to maximize the potential beauty of the room. I went weekend warrior mode, took up my painting supplies and whitewashed the wall.

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DIY Weekend Warrior Shabby Chic wall.

Though labor intensive – as in 15 hours with another touch up one to go – my spontaneous project wasn’t expensive. Our handyman, Mark, painted the first floor, stairwell and landing turned library creamy white a few years ago and had gallons of paint left over. Like me, he thought the wall looked out of place with the room’s lighter paint and decor. The home used to look like a lodge where a ginormous dark wall fit in. But now? It’s Shabby Chic cottage and needed to reflect that. So we conspired for him to put the leftovers to good use on the stone wall. Sadly, he was killed in a lawn mower accident last fall and never got the chance. Instead, I took it. My husband’s response was less than pleased. Still, I hope Mark would be –  that I finished what he started.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose DIYer, I’m proud of my work and think the transformation is magical. I just wish my hubby could appreciate it. He and my adult stepsons (one has his own house, one has an apartment, and one lives here PT) have the man cave which is truly a second living room for watching sports, violent/scary movies, etc. My kiddos, both gamers,  love it down there, too. I have zero say in its decor and am restricted from adding even add a throw pillow to make it possible for me to sit on the oversized sectional without my feet dangling in the air. It seems what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander when it comes to the living room where I read, write, watch HGTV chick flicks and movies with my kids, listen to music, etc. Though it’s the main living room, it’s also my she space. Though the guys in my life don’t approve of my decorating taste, it’s a lifelong part of who I am and one I didn’t think I’d have to give up because I was told I could redo the living room. Last I checked, that meant all four walls. That being the case, I won’t fight about it, but I will hold my weekend warrior ground and defend whitewashing the wall.

Any Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose perspective appreciated. Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink  Collar Coach

 

 

My Floral Affair – Review of Rachel Ashwell’s Newest Decor Book

My Floral Affair – Review of Rachel Ashwell’s Newest Decor Book

It’s Day 298 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and because I’m in love with My Floral Affair, Shabby Chic founder Rachel Ashwell’s newest decor book, I’m excited to write a review about it. My own romance with Shabby Chic began in the 90s and will soon celebrate its 30th anniversary. Sometime in my youth I became an Anglophile (probably due to devouring all that Jane Austen). In college, where I majored in English Lit of course, I pledged a sorority whose colors are pastel pink and green which only fed my preference for the colors. Then in my early 20s I became a bit obsessed with design and developed a a deep, abiding love of flowers and pink roses in particular. The combination of the above is what initially drew me to English Country decor with its prevalence of large scale cabbage roses on chintz fabrics. When I opened a copy of Victoria magazine and saw a spread of Rachel Ashwell’s Malibu home and her Shabby Chic style – a mix of English cottage, California beach cottage and romantic French influences, with white and pastel painted furnishings set against white walls – all with a profusion of pink flowers – I fell SO hard and have been devoted ever since. I own all the Shabby Chic books, and couldn’t wait for the eleventh, knowing My Floral Affair wouldn’t disappoint.

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A quintessentially Shabby Chic corner of my dining room/office. This buffet with a restored Simply Shabby Chic mirror, clock, lamps & crochet edge table runner. Decor -Target. Book – B&N.                                                   The addition of Easter flowers from my sweet hubby & My Floral Affair make it even more lovely. Stoneware water pitcher used as vase – TJ Maxx. 

The timing of the book’s release is ideal. March came in like a lion and it’s gone out like one too! Here in the midwest, we had the threat of twelve inches of snow toward the end of the month (it turned out to be much ado about nothing) and got a blanketing of it the day after a frigid Easter/April Fool’s Day. No joke! (I couldn’t resist). Worst case scenario I probably suffer from a bit of Seasonal Effective Disorder, and don’t enjoy winter all that much at the least. Between the cold, rain and snow, Spring Cleaning didn’t hold much appeal until I got ahold of a much anticipated copy of My Floral Affair. Pages of gorgeous, yummy decorating from Rachel Ashwell’s own homes as well as those of others in England, France, and Norway, all with flowers as the focus, make for tantalizing visual eye candy, and have inspired me to freshen up my Shabby Chic space in many ways, including with flowers.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose ShabbyChicophile, I’ve been a one-decorating style kinda woman for a while and I like it that way. My style is not trendy and it’s definitely not modern as my hubby and stepsons like to point out. I’m fine with their ribbing though because I realize they’re not accustomed to homes that don’t look as if the showroom display was shipped to the house and set up. I’d go mad in a space like that. Instead, I’ll take Shabby Chic, timeworn and timeless for life. Oh, and filled with flowers.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to freshen up your home or office this spring, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose inspiration is abloom in My Floral Affair, available at http://www.shabbychic.com or http://www.barnesandnoble.com.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach