It’s Day 421 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and I feel so blessed by time I’ve been able to spend with a female friend of the canine kind. Because I’m a life coach who supports women facing Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– I often deal with diagnosis, depression, and domestic violence, etc. Recently I’ve encountered women who have service/therapy dogs who provide constant companionship and emotional support. And I just read about an accomplished fictitious character who had two English Labs who lent moral strength for her in both personal and professional settings. Seeing how richly these dogs contribute to the lives of their people, spending time with the trained therapy dog of friends this weekend proved even more meaningful than usual. Juneau is trained through Canines for Christ, a non-profit that provides pet therapy by showing Christ’s love through giving. My Swan Sister Kibby’s fiancé, Roger, takes this 120 lb. Alaskan Malamute (she looks like a baby polar bear!) to visit different events and organizations where children, the elderly, veterans and/or just people who need to be encouraged. I was one of the latter on Saturday and Juneau did this for me in in spades. Simply being in her loving presence lifted my spirits and I’m so thankful for my female friend of the canine kind!
Juneau and another friend’s dog Jezzy –– short for Jezebel –– helped me to overcome thoughts of depression, loneliness and stagnation. Since my pet therapy session, I’ve felt energized in my coaching and writing. Just today I completed needed revisions and wrote a whole scene for the sequel of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. I’ve also gotten enthused about an opportunity to speak at a book club meeting next month. Furthermore, I’ve checked many other items off of my to-do list for this week. Of course much of that can be attributed to Juneau’s people, Kibby and Roger. Kibby blesses me in some way or another almost weekly, but this time around Roger’s kindness and generosity are what touched me the most. He’d texted me last week and asked about the make and model of my car because he wanted to replace a lug nut! I didn’t know what that was, but he not only took care of that, he checked my oil, cleaned bird droppings and smudges off and suggested I go to Auto Zone for a free diagnostic. Then he told me to bring him the print out for any work that needs to be done!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Swan facing some Ds, I can truly attest to the power of pet therapy. Juneau absolutely shows Christ’s love by giving, as do Kibby and Roger. And it’s clear to me that Juneau’s giving spirit is aligned with her master’s…They say all dogs go to heaven. Well, I personally believe there will be a special doggy mansion there for Juneau, my female friend of the canine kind.
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.
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
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!
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!
It’s Day 371 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and last night our family pulled off a surprise Happy 40th Birthday Celebration and I gained some wonderful insight about a Hometown Hero – Chicago Cub, Kyle Schwarber. A few weeks ago, my husband’s niece, Kelly told us she was planning a surprise party for her big sister, Alicia. The two are very close and Kelly went to great lengths to ensure the secret remained safe with their dad’s family which consists of thirteen siblings! Furthermore, Kelly’s husband’s mom is one of twelve! Needless to say, between them and our side of the family –– my husband is the oldest and only brother with three sisters –– making sure the plans remained mum was quite the fete. And that’s not even counting more cousins and friends than I can keep track of. The head count was a conservative fifty but appeared to exceed that. Nevertheless, Kelly and her cohorts pulled it off. One of the cohort members was their brother, Kyle Schwarber, who gained well-deserved notoriety when his hit not only broke the tie between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians during the 2016 World Series, but ultimately led to them breaking the 108 year championship drought/curse! Alicia and Kelly have always been sports enthusiasts and often attend their brother’s games. In fact, Kyle’s invitation to hang out after last night’s game is what got Alicia there. While at the game she complained, “Worst birthday ever”, seeing as everyone did a good job of keeping her bday low-key. But from the moment we yelled, “Surprise!” I believe it turned into possibly the best birthday ever! I know I enjoyed Alicia’s Happy 40th Celebration and the time spent gaining some insight about her humble hometown hero brother.
Kyle is a private person and changed from his uniform into everyday clothes to avoid recognition. But I got the sense from what he and others said that he very much wanted the night to be about Alicia’s celebration with all the attention and focus on her. And though everyone there respected this, it was so apparent that Kyle took time to spend with family and fans alike –– not necessarily being well-known pro baseball player but just being Kyle. And even though I’m not into sports at all, the only baseball game I’ve ever watched start to finish was that history making World Series game. When my husband shared that with Kelly, Alicia and Kyle’s dad and mentioned I’d like a picture with him, Kyle couldn’t have been more open to it. He spent some time just talking with me and readily gave his consent for me to share on my blog. I can honestly say I’m now officially a fan. He further endeared himself to me when he spent a great deal of time letting my hubby –– who is an amazing golfer –– help him with his swing. Being a baseball hitter, it isn’t a stretch to imagine Kyle can swing a golf club. What impressed me though was his teachable spirit and willingness to take instruction. No wonder he’s at the top of his game! Kyle spend much of his night loving on his big sister, Alicia, and just being an awesome brother and nice guy.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, the thing that resonated most with me about the night was all of the love everyone has for Alicia. She’s one of the most vibrant and vivacious people I know. In fact, her bday decor had a recurring theme of confetti. Not knowing that, I selected desk decorations –– an A monogram with confetti and a sign that said, “Spread some confetti wherever you go” because they reminded me so much of her. I hope she’ll think of us fondly when she looks at them…I took a pink coaster with confetti that says “Happy 40th Birthday, Alicia” home as a reminder of the night. It truly was a Happy 40th Celebration and one I won’t forget thanks in part to a little time spent with a humble hometown hero.
It’s Day 369 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and it was one full of coincidental coordinating conversations and colors. After a busy morning teaching Zumba, I had a truly meaningful conversation with my sister-in-law’s neighbor. She read my novel, Seasons of Her Soul in about twenty-four hours and provided a valuable critique followed by an email asking if we could discuss the book. We talked for nearly an hour and when our conversation drew to a close, she asked me if I see Sue much. Her question coincided with the last leg of Sue’s journey to Cincy! We ended our call with her agreeing to write a review for Amazon and to serve as a beta reader for Book II, Hold On Her Heart. I hung up knowing I’ve got a fan, a new friend and a sister in Christ. It doesn’t get much better than that except maybe for going to meet Sue for dinner. When I arrived at the restaurant, Izzy –– my stepson’s daughter ––– ran and jumped into my arms with a heart melting, “Mimi!” Soon we both realized our colors coordinated, a coincidence that is occurs more often than not with us! Then, Sue –– one of the most generous and thoughtful people I know –– gave me my birthday gift early. She pointed out how the wrapping matched my outfit perfectly. Another coordinating color coincidence!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author by day, family member by night I absolutely love days like this. Sue has been instrumental in spreading the word about my book. So much so that she’s given away a handful of copies she purchased for herself! Consequently, she hasn’t gotten to read it yet. That being the case, she brought her latest copy for me to sign and give her tomorrow. She gave me the book as we stood outside having a meaningful conversation about it and so many other things. Then she took a picture of me with my gift wrapped in its coordinating colors. And by the time I drove away with her and my husband still deep in conversation in the parking lot, some things dawned on me: God had me write my book for Myra to read it –– hence our deep conversation. Izzy and I are connected by so much more than the colors we wear –– she’s the child I didn’t know I needed. And whether or not Sue loves the book and becomes a fan, we’ll remain sisters-in-law by marriage and friends by choice. You see, they’re all in my life –– not by coincidence but because of God’s divine coordination.
Who has been placed in your life – not by coincidence but by coordination?
It’s Day 361 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and last night I got to see how other writers brand their products and am beyond impressed with these marvelous marketing mavens! The topic for this month’s monthly writing group meeting was on marketing our materials. Authors of children’s books, devotionals, dystopian, fantasy, historical fiction, non fiction, poetry, regency romance, short stories, time travel and contemporary women’s Christian fiction like me, brought banners – little and life sized, book cards and marks, candy, crayons, giveaways, resources, stationery, stickers, stuffed animals, and any number of other materials emblazoned with our brands, logos, and names. In addition, each of of shared the social media and technology strategies we utilize from the ones that have been around for a while – like blogging and Facebook (the only gentleman in the picture but not in the group has a HUGE FB following), to software programs that can customize printed pieces as well as a Vista Print designer. In my relatively new role as secretary, I took several pics and plan to post them on our group’s Facebook page next week. I got inspired by the creativity and dedication displayed by my writing tribe and look forward to sharing more about these marvelous marketing mavens!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author, I’m so thankful to have found this group. Several members are published, many are well on their way and some are award winning. Self-published, traditionally published and e-published are among our ranks. We come together to critique one another’s work, discuss writing and publishing, to share information and just to lift one another up. It’s so obvious that we speak the same language – if not the same genre – and often talk for long after the meeting is over. Last night, five us women stood in the parking lot laughing, learning and simply loving on each other…Warm and fuzzier aside, these women know their stuff and give constructive criticism that sometimes hurts but helps much more. Because I want to make my readers’ experience the best it can possibly be, I take their feedback to heart. To give you a great reading experience, I have to get the books into your hands – or on your screens. All the more reason to maximize the knowledge of these marvelous marketing mavens.
Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about marketing your brand or business? How can you maximize the knowledge of mavens in your field?
It’s Day 357 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and after this morning’s dance class, a few of us took some time to design Zumba T-shirts. Though I’ve often admired the way Zumba instructors cut up their shirts with intricate designs and patterns, because I’m a bit OCD, I’ve never been brave enough to experiment on my own now that I’m a licensed instructor myself. So when some ladies in our Saturday class expressed interest in having our Marvelous Marina show us how it’s done, she offered to hold a workshop after our workout. We were instructed to bring shirts, chalk or soap and scissors. I dance with this group of ladies on Saturdays, but at my local Y during the week. One of my three Zumba instructor sisters there bought a pack of shirts that contained four of the same three shirt styles for us to wear when we teach together or at events. The labels say “One Size Fits Most”. For me, that means fitting like a sack…This being the case, I took advantage of today’s opportunity to add a little flair to my shirts and to even make them fit! I wasn’t as daring as some – ok, I’m more than a little bit OCD – but still made the most of this time to design my Zumba T-shirts.
With Marina and Kibby’s guidance (the picture of her shirt is too blurry and couldn’t be included), I dipped my little toe into the shirt cutting waters. For my first time out, I tentatively traced patterns based off of Marina’s designs with my soap and stuck to creating varied cold shoulder looks. Once the cold shoulder shapes had been cut out, however, I shied away from cutting the hem off of the sleeves, but because they were still huge, I eventually let Kibby do it for me. Stretching and pulling the fabric caused it to roll nicely and I felt pleased with the results. Maybe feel confident enough to eventually cut the hems off of the bottoms of the shirts and even slit them to create ties.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose self-diagnosed woman with OCD regarding things aligning, matching and being symmetrical, I had to step outside my comfort zone to take shirts I not only love but need for teaching and cut them up. In fact, there were two times when I got so stressed this morning because I cut things and they were jagged or off from the other side that I literally had to hand the scissors over to Kibby, who is fearless, researches Pinterest for ideas and then cuts with abandon. I kept saying “I’ve never cut up a shirt!” Patient with and supportive of me throughout the process – as was Marina – at one point she stopped me and said, “Now you have.” I suppose some would call me a perfectionist – and I’d have to agree considering I hesitated about even posting. But I’m glad I stretched myself – and that fabric! – and took the time to learn how to design Zumba T-shirts.
Have you ever been Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about stepping outside of your comfort zone to try something crafty? What is something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t – at home or work. Why not go for it? You may be glad you stretched yourself, too.