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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

Shabby Chic & Sweet Sixteen!

Shabby Chic & Sweet Sixteen!

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!

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Cami Liv – Sweet 16! We didn’t plan it, but she dressed in floral pink, blue and green!              All table decor Shabby Chic, Simply Shabby Chic and The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell –Purchased over time from Target and TJ Maxx since shortly after my daughter’s birth. 

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 & Chic I minimized the barriers and maximized beauty and our best lives. So blessed with lots of Shabby Chic and a very Sweet Sixteen!

Be savvy &  chic,

~Pink  Collar Coach

Tiny House Tour – Front Porch Pt. 1

Tiny House Tour – Front Porch Pt. 1

It’s Day 2 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited to begin a tiny house tour series starting with the front porch (pt.  1). Yesterday I read a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt in my old school planner that challenges to do something every day that scares me. So I dove back into blogging despite my fears that I’ve let mine sit stagnant too long, that I won’t have the discipline or time to get back to posting faithfully, and that I won’t be able to balance my personal and professional lives in a way to manage writing daily. But I did it scared and immediately the site’s stats spiked letting me know there are still readers out there watching and waiting for posts. Thank you for that! Today, my scary thing is to post a less than perfect pic of furniture that still needs to be cleaned after its move from the big house and of area rugs soiled from last week’s yard mowing. I took it last weekend just to document the outdoor space’s transformation and am now I’m so pleased that I already have it ready to share –– imperfections and all –– to kick off part 1 of this tiny house tour of the front porch!

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Peaceful porch embraces the beauty of imperfection. All-weather wicker topped with a Simply Shabby Chic quilt and quilt patterned plush pillows atop a pink and cream tasseled Shabby Chic area rug. Simply Shabby Rosalie pattern curtain in the background hangs in my office and makes the best serendipitous backdrop. Cement bird and vase flanking door, anti-fatigue door mat, citronella candles and beverage station turned planter, drinks dispenser and glasses all Shabby Chic as well. All items purchased at Target, TJ Maxx and Home Goods. 

Not only is the space picture perfect, it’s a perfectly pretty, comfortable, functional perch for me to curl up to rest, relax and rejuvenate after work. Finances won’t permit a vacation this year, but with such a lovely staycation spot, I don’t need another destination! This point was proven last week my my 15-year-old chatted, read and watched videos out here til almost 11pm on a Wednesday night! Loving your porch so much that you hate abandoning it to go inside on a work night is great problem to have!

Hopefully you’ve been inspired by this tiny house tour of the front porch, part 1,  and  will come back for part 2. I also hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and do something that scares you, 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

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