The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful

The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful

 

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy and Chic on Purpose, and as I resume blogging in the new year, I’d like to back track and reflect on  Thanksgiving as it relates to The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful. At the homeless shelter where I’m the Women’s Center Director, we see a ton of giving  from Thanksgiving  through New Year’s Day. The ladies and children receive generous meal donations –– not just for dinner, but bounteous breakfasts, lavish lunches and fancy feasts throughout the holiday season. The abundance doesn’t stop with food but extends to gifts from small jewelry trinkets to designer clothing and handbags, to all kinds of activities and crafts, to more toys than the children can possibly play with, and everything in-between. So do the responses of the residents. Returning to work for the first time since the day before Christmas Eve (I’ve worked from home some with my broken ankle), I observed The Gobblers, The Grabbers and The Grateful.

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Shabby Chic Melamine serving platter. A steal from TJ Maxx at under $10!

No sooner had I pulled into the lot this morning than one of the residents greeted me with an offer to help with my bags and walker. While doing so, she expressed how thankful  she is for everything received throughout the holidays. As she carried my stuff, I crutched alongside her, my ankle a burden, but my heart light. The best holidays I’ve ever had. We’re so blessed! she enthused. Clearly, she’s one of The Grateful.

Soon after we got inside –– with other considerate residents holding doors for us –– the atmosphere shifted. Unlike the attitude of gratitude that met me at the car,  staff filled me in on complaints about leftovers and meal options after the bounty. This baffles me. I work hard to make a living and LOVE LEFTOVERS! And I’ve lived in a homeless shelter where there were ZERO meals provided. So I can’t imaging turning my nose up when leftovers of scrumptious food is served. Yet that’s what we’re getting now. These are The Gobblers.

Wondering how the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s spirit can evaporate by day 2 of 2020,  I encountered the saddest situation –– a woman who has complained and never been satisfied with anything during her time in shelter. Having walked in her shoes when my abusive marriage ended and I was made destitute –– a D or challenge women face –– I’d be the last one to say anyone should be made to feel beholden because of their situation. But I’d also say acting entitled –– as if collecting on what the universe somehow owes –– isn’t the way to go either. Nor is biting the hand that provides shelter, meals, clothes, support, etc. Unfortunately, this woman and so many others fit under The Grabbers.

Please don’t get me wrong, too often in my life I’ve fit under The Gobblers and The Grabbers myself. My prayer for 2020 is that I’d always be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and fall under The Grateful. That’s my prayer for you too. If we express an an attitude of gratitude, no matter the Ds we face, it goes a long way towards  minimizing our barriers and maximizing beauty and our best lives..

Be savvy & chic,

                                                                                                            ~Pink Collar Coach

 

Pretty, Plush Pillows Promote Peaceful Sleep

Pretty, Plush Pillows Promote Peaceful Sleep

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day and after lots of stress and little sleep during the work week, lying down on my sofa for a nap amidst pretty, plush pillows promoted peaceful sleep.

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

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Oldie but goody Simply Shabby Chic faux velvet plush pink pillows – Target. New Shabby Chic faux velvet pumpkins embellished with beads – TJ Maxx.

Dealing with the Ds –– the challenges women face –– on the home front and in the workplace, wore me out. After enjoying unseasonably warm fall temps in the 90s just last week here in Cincy, the sudden change in the weather wreaked havoc with my asthma. I got the diagnosis at age 26. At 50, I still wake up in the wee hours wondering why a train is outside my window before I realize it’s  me wheezing. Once I’ve taken all of my medicine, it’s difficult and sometimes impossible for me to get back to sleep. And despite my desire not to, I find myself dwelling on my Ds in the form of divorce, domestic court issues, dysfunctional relationships, etc. Doing so could plummet me into depression. But I’m determined –– a good D! –– to minimize these thoughts by maximizing my faith. Praying and literally turning on the light to dispel the darkness, I read Scripture and whatever Christian fiction is on my nightstand until I can drift off. This afternoon, I wasn’t battling depression. I’d just worked all day, danced all night at Zumba for the Cure, and then again at this morning’s class…Ah, sleep in heavenly peace!

Smart at Work (Professional Life)

This week marked the one year anniversary of my role as  a Women’s Center Director.  And boy was it a doozie! With the demographic we serve, drug addiction and mental health diagnoses can create danger. That being the case, I recently had our onsite therapist provide an in-service to equip the staff with the tools for  de-escalation of mental health crises. Without going into detail, I’ll just say, the tools were definitely needed! The interaction left me shaken and so sad. Having a safe sanctuary –– a space that represents separation of professional and personal life is essential to my sanity! The fact that I didn’t get one phone call or text (I’m always on call) while I napped made  the sleep even sweeter.

Spirit-Led (Prayer/ Putting Scripture into Practice)

My prayer for you is that you will put your trust in Him. When you do, you’ll have this assurance of what God will do: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3, NIV). And I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and surround yourself with things that help you get good rest. Whether you’re dealing with Ds in your personal and/or professional life, quality of sleep is just as important as quantity. So splurge on those sheets, or that lavender spray (I have several bottles of Shabby Chic Chamomile Lavender, available at TJ Maxx and Home Goods), or those pretty, plush pillows to promote peaceful sleep. When you do, you’ll minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

 

Rendering the Past Historical

Rendering the Past Historical

It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and my kitty, Peppa, and I are both rendering the past historical.

From the time my hubby and I adopted this petite feline from the local shelter’s My Furry Valentine as my gift four years ago when she was two, I’ve known she’s an abuse survivor. Though sweet and loving, she is suspicious and leery as well. Petting has to take place on her terms and timeframe. And when she’s done she’d done. Finally, if you don’t want to be clawed to shreds, never pick her up in your arms while standing or a frantic scramble to escape will ensue and result in bloodshed.  She suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and her maladaptive behavior when she’s triggered is her desperate attempt to keep herself safe. It’s classic fight or flight! With her PTSD from the past, it’s hard for her to feel at peace in the present. So when I found her finally sleeping in the Shabby Chic pet bed I got her months ago when I started renting the tiny house, I thought, Peppa’s rendering the past historical! 

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Being brutally honest, I get Peppa and recognize glimpses of myself in her.  Having been exposed to Ds –– the challenges women, or in Peppa’s case, females face –– like danger, distrust, domestic violence, dysfunctional relationships, etc. –– I understand why she defaults to the only way she knows how to deal. Thankfully, because she’s gotten four solid years of love, acceptance, gentleness and kindness, she’s come out of her shell a bit and seems to be getting past some of the things I suspect happened in her past. For me, it’s blogging and writing fiction based in fact (Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul is in the works!) to process my hurts and to heal. It’s also surrounding myself with supportive Swan Sisters and finding solace in my Shabby Chic sanctuary!

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Peppa Loveday Rendering the Past Historical in her Shabby Chic pet bed.   Everything in this pic is Simply Shabby Chic from Target, or Shabby Chic -from TJ Maxx or Home Goods. Wedding pic of me and my hubby.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

And it’s leaning into my faith and finding safety in a multitude of counselors.  The latter is where I learned about the concept of rendering the past historical. They’ve helped me to process my hurts of yesterday so they won’t continue to have power today. By doing so, like Peppa Loveday,  I’m able to minimize my Ds and maximize beauty and my best life.

Savvy & Chic on Purpose (Putting it into Practice)

That’s my prayer for you.  If you are dealing with the Ds, perhaps suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, there is help. The Lord cares about what you’ve gone through (personally and professionally) and has gifted counselors to grow your coping skills. I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and begin rendering your past historical to render your present and future beautiful, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

P.S. Publishing my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, has helped render the past historical. Hope you’ll check it out!

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

 

 

 

 

Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day & I’ve been pondering replacing vs. repairing broken things. Happy fall decorating recently ended in destruction –– another D or challenge women face. Peppa Loveday –– a My Furry Valentine gift from my hubby, hence the name ––  scrambled off the dining table when I scolded her for jumping on the harvest themed table runner I’d just laid out, taking my Simply Shabby Chic cloche (glass dome)  with her. When it crashed to the floor and shattered to pieces, I felt a piece of my heart break too. Of all my Simply Shabby Chic decor, the cloche covered floral arrangement was the item I’ve displayed in a spot that has seen daily use over fifteen years –– for meals, homework and as the desk where I ran my business full-time for a while, wrote my book and blogged consistently for a year. Emotion flooded me –– rage, regret and remorse. I Did Not Love my Valentine kitty for a few days and let her know we’d broken up over her breaking my cloche! The search to replicate it began immediately after clean up and it wasn’t until I found another as close to the original as I could get that my emotions ebbed. Below is what I learned about replacing vs. repairing broken things.

Serene at Home (Personal Style) 

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Original Simply Shabby Chic cloche covered floral arrangement.                                      Everything except dining chairs is Simply Shabby Chic from Target.         Dining Chairs are Shabby Chic inspired from a local antique mall. 

Because of the great value I placed on the cloche, had it been possible, I would have painstakingly pieced it back together. But some things are broken beyond repair. No amount of glue, patience or time could restore the cloche. Rather than continue to despair, however, I set out on a quest to replace it. Online searches proved futile –– the choices were not the right either in  look, size  or cost, and that was without shipping.  Next I scoured my go-to shops –– TJ Maxx & Home Goods –– but came up empty handed. Rare! Then I checked  Stein Mart. Tuesday Morning. Both to no avail.  By this time I felt like Goldilocks when I tried Hobby Lobby where the cloche seemed to be too big and At Home where it was too small. Desperate, I finally returned to Hobby Lobby –– the day after the 1/2 off sale and overpaid for one that is most similar and almost but not quite the right size…Nevertheless, all the time, travel plus trial and error it took to find a cloche to replicate the look of the original  was worth it. The old one couldn’t be repaired, so a beautiful new one has replaced it.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Like my cloche, at times we feel  too broken for God to fix or use us. Yet He can do anything including mend a life that has been dealt so many Ds that the damage seems beyond repair. Even so, sometimes it is. But this experience has shown me that doesn’t have to be the end of our usefulness. He can take a broken life and replace it with one that’s not only brand new, but one that’s more beautiful than before.  That’s my prayer for you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Life Lesson from Loads of Laundry

Life Lesson from Loads of Laundry

It’s Day 49 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and this busy weekend has taught me a life lesson from my loads of laundry. For many of us, this week was Back to School. As the mother of an 11th and 10th grader who is divorced –– a D or challenge women face –– from their father, I had them this weekend and a lot of the time went into school-related activities and making sure they were set to return for the first full week tomorrow. Between a trip to the library, running my daughter to a birthday sleepover, feeding my ravenous son and keeping him entertained Friday, I did laundry. Same thing Saturday before and after I picked her up, fought construction to make it to Zumba, did the grocery shopping and banking, then made lunch and finally dinner, all while tossing loads in and pulling them out. This morning, as I listened to Joel Osteen –– I folded and put clothes and linens away prior to taking Liv out for last minute school supplies. (What ever happened to getting the list before classes started?). Though there were moments when I felt like I’d either been put through the wringer or the spin cycle –– this is my first time blogging since Thursday! –– there wasn’t one where I didn’t feel blessed to have these tasks to do for my children and home. That’s the life lesson I’ve learned from my loads of  laundry.

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DIY Simply Shabby Chic “Laundry” banner on Shabby Chic bulletin board. For years I looked for a laundry sign. When I came across this board strung with wire and clothes pins, I was able to create my dream sign.                     DIY letters – Target. Bulletin Board –– TJ Maxx.

You see, though sometimes I look at all of the bath towels and face cloths to be washed, at all the bedding and more clothes than I can keep up with, I’m often reminded of a story  I once heard a story about a woman who sat all alone in her immaculate house and longed for it to be cluttered with the chaos of children…Because I don’t have mine all of the time, I can relate. When they’re here, it’s more joy than drudgery doing the mundane things for –– and with –– them. I touch the towels and am thankful they take care of themselves the way I taught them to. I look at the linens and love that they lie in them and sleep luxuriously when living under my roof. And I cuddle the clothes and am conscious of how quickly their time as children will cease. Each time I’m immensely grateful that despite a divorce,  the Lord has –– for now –– blessed me to serve them. Yes, on purpose. Focusing on that allows me to minimize my D and to maximize beauty and my best life.

One day, they’ll be grow up and away and my washer and dryer will get a lot less use. Til then, I’m taking my life lesson from the laundry to heart and am determined to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and to treasure the loads.

Be Savvy & Chic, 

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 13, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 13, 2019

My sweet Sister-in-law, Sue and my Zumba mentor/Swan Sister, Marina, both blessed me with TJ Maxx gift cards for my birthday last month.  I spent them both well and had a few dollars left over, so I snapped up these Rachel Ashwell tumblers from the clearance aisle for $2 a piece. They now serve as Shabby Chic medicine cabinet storage. Shabby Chic Room Spray bottles (also from TJ’s) are too beautiful to be tucked away and line the top. It may sound silly, but my Shabby Chic medicine cabinet made my morning and getting ready for work lovely!

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My Shabby Chic Medicine Cabinet Storage Makes Makes My Morning!

Stylish storage solutions can help minimize disorganization –– a D or challenge women face –– and will help you maximize beauty and your best life! I pray your day is Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, organized and filled with things that make it for you, too!

Be Savvy & Chic,

~ Pink Collar Coach

Sweet 16 in Light Of Dayton Shooting

Sweet 16 in Light Of Dayton Shooting

It’s Day 35 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and while I’m still savoring my daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday yesterday, it’s in light of today’s Dayton shooting. Shortly after we finally wrapped up the special day right around midnight, the 250th shooting in the US occurred an hour later, just 45 minutes away. For a brief period I  worked a few exits north of Dayton for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and drove through it daily. And now that I’m the director of a homeless shelter for women and children whose executive director pastors a church the residents attend twice a week, this shooting felt very close to home personally and professionally. To fall asleep chatting with my birthday girl about the already fond memories made  –– we share a room at what I now think of as the Savvy & Chic sanctuary ––  and to wake up to the fearsome news that nowhere seems safe anymore shakes me to the core. So, after spending time praying for the situation, we continued the Sweet 16 celebration but did it in light of the Dayton shooting.

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Shabby Chic Sweet 16 sumptuous setting. DIY Simply Shabby Chic banner. All decor also Simply Shabby Chic from Target except for The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell table runner, which is from TJ Maxx. 

As if the above wasn’t bad enough, my new 16-year-old discovered the other mass shooting that occurred in El Paso, Texas not a day earlier. What kind of world do we live in where an innocent girl’s milestone birthday memories will be forever marred by back-to-back mass shootings? She and her brother are eighteen months apart, almost the same span as the sister murdered  in Dayton at the hands of her brother? Death is one of the Ds –– challenges not only women but that we all face. And while I blog about how to minimize barriers in order to maximize beauty and our best lives, the only suggestion I have for this one is that we put faith over fear and pray. For our country. For the families and loved ones of the victims. For my Sweet 16 year-old daughter in light of both of these shootings.

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and join me in praying for our land to be healed. God’s Word tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV).  God bless you and bless the USA.

Be savvy &  chic,

~Pink Collar Coach