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

 

 

 

 

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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

 

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

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post

 

Prepping for my daughter’s

Shabby Chic Sweet 16!

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Simply Shabby Chic gift bag, tissue and DIY banner. All from Target. Shabby Chic rug – TJ Maxx. 

The birth of my daughter coincides with me developing boundaries. In that way, it helped me to minimize my barriers and to maximize beauty and my best life. So blessed by her!

Pray you have a beautiful day leading into the weekend!

-Pink Collar Coach

Shabby Chic Shadow Box Frames

Shabby Chic Shadow Box Frames

It’s Day 30 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and feeling nostalgic because my baby girl turns Sweet 16 this weekend, I reframed her baby picture and ballet shoes using Shabby Chic shadow box frames. Shabby Chic style as made popular by Rachel Ashwell, the founder of the brand by that name, is also celebrating a birthday this year –– its 30th! And I’ve been enamored with the style for just as long. Sixteen years ago, however, the Simply Shabby Chic partnership with Target that offers her pieces at an affordable price point hadn’t been established. That came about in 2008. When my daughter was born in 2003 authentic Shabby Chic items were only available at Rachel Ashwell’s stores in select locations and weren’t accessible for me. That being the case, following in the founder of Shabby Chic’s shoes, I’d scour flea markets and antique malls for vintage pieces, like the the ornate oval gold frame I painted white and distressed to hold my daughter’s picture and a white shadow box with a carved bow detail to display her ballet shoes. They did so until recently when I scored big time at TJ Maxx and lovingly transferred both to these gorgeous Shabby Chic shadow box frames.

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Though these are actually 3D photo frames, I inserted my daughter’s pic and love the result! Using the cardboard backing that came with the frame, I pinned the shoes to it and voila! 

It may sound strange, but Shabby Chic decor has provided a one of the most consistent threads through my adult life and helped minimize the Ds ––  barriers and challenges women face ––  in the forms of death, depression, diagnosis, domestic violence, divorce, domestic court, dysfunctional relationships, and the list could go on…It has provided beauty, comfort and function –– Rachel Ashwell’s three maxims – and so much inspiration. Not only in the way I decorate my home, but in the way I live in it. She opened her first shop  as a divorced, single mother of a girl and boy. Soon it reached such success it was called, “The shop heard round the world”. Personally and professionally, this Pink Collar Savvy & Chic mother, entrepreneur and creative leader has been a blessing as one of my greatest role models and contributors to me maximizing beauty and my best life.

I pray you will be inspired by this simple task of transferring beloved keepsakes to preserve the memories in an even more meaningful way. Perhaps you’ll even be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and reframe or organize pictures of your loved ones. By doing so, we honor them and their importance in our lives. You may also find any residual Ds fade from memory and only the beautiful, best images remain. Even if you don’t use Shabby Chic shadow box frames.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Petite Retreat – Pt. 1

Pink Collar Coach’s Petite Retreat – Pt. 1

It’s Day 20 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and dealing with a D or challenge women face –– in the form of a disabled vehicle –– has made me even more thankful for my petite retreat. Although, upon seeing the place for the first time Friday night when she drove me home, one of my Swan Sisters, Sonya, pointed out that what I’ve always referred to as a tiny house isn’t actually that tiny…From the moment I saw the For Rent sign in the window of this 1905 shotgun, I knew I’d found the perfect spot to meet my personal and professional needs as a wife, mother, stepmom of a blended family with adult children, author, life coach, and entrepreneur. And this small –– relatively speaking –– space has delivered in spades! Having a peaceful place to parent and pursue creative endeavors –– like blogging (it serves as a studio) and working on Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, has been instrumental in minimizing personal and professional challenges and maximizing beauty and my best life. Having this sanctuary is both a luxury and a sacrifice. But so worth it because my sanity has been saved by this petite retreat!

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View of front side entrance. Valance in transom window above door all pillows, rugs, and many accessories Simply Shabby Chic from Target or Shabby Chic – TJ Maxx, Home Goods.

 

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Front view from the street. The picket fence needs love and Liv and I plan to give it soon!

If you’re anything like me, at times going out into the world feels like entering the fray. Having a safe place, a sanctuary, that soothes your soul can provide much needed respite. That doesn’t necessarily mean going out and renting a house or apartment. It could be converting a garage or shed into a She Space. Or simply carving out a nook inside filled with things that speak specifically to you.

Whatever it looks like, I hope you’ll figure out what works for you and that your petite retreat will allow you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic in order to minimize your challenges and maximize beauty and your best life, too.

Be savvy & chic, 

~Pink Collar Coach