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?

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Loving This Rad Raspberry Recipe a Latte!

Loving This Rad Raspberry Recipe a Latte!

It’s Day 357 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m loving this rad raspberry recipe a latte! On St. Patty’s Day, one of my Swan Soul Sisters and I went to the Ruffles and Rust Expo and discovered a lovely lavender honey latte. Ever since, I’ve been on the prowl for affordable sugar free lavender syrups to try and recreate this scrumptious treat at home. I’d asked my local coffee shop if they could order the syrup for me, but at $11 bucks a bottle, that’s out of my price range. Even so, I became inspired to look up how to make a latte without a milk steamer and and perfected the art. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed frothy skinny vanilla lattes from the comfort of home. Because of this, I won’t be ordering any flavors I can make myself! Then, last week, while out and about, I went through the drive through and asked what other sugar free flavors they had and made a surreptitious discovery – sugar free raspberry. I ordered a latte with the Torani syrup and am a changed woman! I’ve had two more since then and figured I needed to figure out how to make my new fave drink on my own or literally go broke trying! As is so often the case, TJ Maxx came through for me. At only $3.99, I had to use great restraint not to purchase the three bottles they had – which would have been only a little more than my coffee shop’s price. The syrup is Jordan’s Skinny Syrups and I’m seriously loving the rad raspberry recipe I concocted! Now I’m sharing with you.

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My Simply Shabby Chic coffee mug, Ball Mason jar, Jordan’s Skinny Raspberry Syrup w/ pump, and fat free milk. All displayed on a crochet edged The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell table runner.  It, canisters and syrup all from TJ Maxx.                                                                                                        Coffee mug – 1 of complete dinner ware set, Target – have had about 7 years.                                       Jar – 1 of set of 4, also from Target. 
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Rad Raspberry Latte. I top off froth with a squirt of syrup for a touch of pretty pink.

Rad Raspberry Latte Recipe (for a single cup)

Ingredients/Items Needed:

Fresh pot of coffee or espresso

Fat free milk (2% or whole milk doesn’t froth as well)

Small Mason jar with lid (can use a larger one for more cups)

Syrup pump (optional – mine from Starbucks)

Coffee mug or thermos

Directions:

  1. Brew coffee
  2. Fill jar at least a third with milk
  3. Squirt 2 pumps or pour 2 capfuls of syrup into mug
  4. Fill mug with coffee, leaving room for milk and froth
  5. Twist lid onto jar tightly, then shake vigorously for at least 30-60 seconds
  6. Microwave at least 30 seconds (Time will vary – watch to avoid spilling)
  7. Use spoon to hold back froth and pour milk into mug, stir
  8. Scoop froth on top of liquid
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Repeat with remaining coffee, frothing milk as needed

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose latte lover who doesn’t love latte prices, I’m delighted to be my own barista. This is especially important, not only because I’m growing my business and want to make the most of my hard earned money, but because I want to be a good steward of my resources, no matter what I’m earning. Besides, there’s a sense of satisfaction to be had from enjoying a pleasurable experience – like my morning latte instead of just a cup of coffee, even when I’m working from home. Even more reason to love this rad raspberry recipe – a latte!

If you give this a try, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink  Collar  Coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Office

Outdoor Office

It’s Day 345 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and it’s been such a joy to spend it working on and in my outdoor office. As I posted a few days ago, while my hubby was out of town last week, I heaved all of the outdoor furniture back into place after he kindly power washed it but left it beneath the deck. Though I got all of the resin wicker pieces out, I couldn’t find where he put the dining chairs that do desk duty when I work alfresco. Nor could I hoist the nine foot sunbrella up alone. Today, I coaxed him to help me get the chairs out and he in turn enlisted my middle stepson, who is officially out on college break, to assist him with the umbrella. The glass table top received a thorough wipe down and all of the chairs got sprayed and scrubbed with bleach water. None of above is pictured here, but now from my shady seat on the freshly spring cleaned dining/desk area, I’m afforded a gorgeous vantage point to view the other side of the deck which serves as my morning lougning/reading outdoor office.

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Outdoor Office. White resin wicker from Menards. Many people want brown, but I persisted til I got what I wanted for Mother’s Day nearly a decade ago. The new Simply Shabby Chic floral pillows from Target pair with old white crochet ones & infuse blue & purple into the mix. That called for purple flowers instead of my usual pink. The birdbath was filthy when I found it at Kroger, so I offered $5 for it. Walmart rug- $20 All other accessories bought over years- TJ Maxx. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose entrepreneur who is an author, life coach and speaker, I also did post tasks from the Seasons of Her Soul Coffee & Connect Book Signing, touched base with coaching clients, scheduled appointments, worked on a call for proposal and marketed an upcoming Pink Collar Savvy & Chic/High Heeled Success workshop on “Overcoming the Fear Factor”. In addition to all of that, I took care of some personal business (with a little housework thrown in) as well. It’s only Monday, but the week is off to such a busy start, it would be easy to lose any of the relaxation I enjoyed over the weekend. But sitting with my skin kissed by the sun, the scent of honeysuckle wafting by, a scrumptious fruit smoothie in my hand, birdsong in my ears, and beauty everywhere my eyes land, I’m able to hold on to it in my outdoor office.

How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about making an outdoor office space? With a laptop, it’s easy to complete many work related tasks. Even if that’s not doable, can you  you make the grocery list or pay the bills there on the weekend?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To learn more about the upcoming workshop, please visit the events page at http://www.highheeledsuccess.com.

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

http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9.

It is also available on Barnes and Noble.com at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seasons-of-her-soul-tammi-ector/1127818446?ean=9780998966359.

 

 

 

Shabby Chic Kitchen & Dining Decor Deals

Shabby Chic Kitchen & Dining Decor Deals

It’s Day 344 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and after days of blogging about nothing but my first book signing, I’m happy to do post on Shabby Chic kitchen and dining decor deals. After the sensational Seasons of Her Soul Coffee & Connect book signing yesterday, I came home briefly, changed and then headed out to a family birthday party. Exhausted from all the excitement, I knew I wouldn’t last long and drove separate from my hubby. He suggested I park in a church parking lot and then hop in his car due to limited spaces at the house. Hesitant, I grew more skeptical when he said he’d drive me back to my car whenever I wanted. Needless to say, he wasn’t ready to do that when I was, so I ended up walking about a mile uphill in the sweltering sun. If I wasn’t ready to crash before, I certainly was by the time I finally made it to my car! At any rate, I didn’t nap but blogged and eventually fell asleep watching HGTV. Today, after watching the Royal Wedding since I missed it due to the signing (I’m an Anglophile, so thank goodness for the Internet!) church, teaching Zumba and a lengthy heart-to-heart with my neighbor, I’m settling down for the American Idol Finale. Before I do, I thought writing a lighthearted post that wasn’t too taxing would be just the ticket. Recently, I scored some Shabby Chic kitchen and dining decor deals at Easter that fit the bill perfectly.

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Ruffled Linen Blend Table Runner – The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell, Linen Apron – Shabby Chic, and Floral Apron – Simply Shabby Chic. TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Target respectively. I’ve actually had the floral apron for a while but just found the other items the night before Easter. They hang in the kitchen. 

Rachel Ashwell’s Simply Shabby Chic line for Target released around 2003 when my daughter, Liv, was born. I remember the ecstasy I felt when I discovered I could actually purchase authentic items from my design sheroe. At first, the shelves were filled with so many beautiful items I had to exercise serious restraint not to blow all the grocery money on them since I’d become a full-time homemaker after Liv’s birth. Soon, however, the supply dwindled down to mostly bedding and curtains with an occasional new or seasonal item thrown in. That being the case, when I went to Home Goods the night before Easter on a quest for something to freshen up the table to host our family gathering, I was elated to find aprons, napkins and table runners ala The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell and genuine Shabby Chic! Spoiled for choice of color – white, taupe, gray, blue – and styles – checked, ruffled, stitched, striped, all at reasonabel prices ranging $7.99 for a set of four dinner napkins to $12.99 for 100% linen table runners, of course I loaded up!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Shabby Chicophile, I’ve learned that these treasures aren’t always available. In fact, after Zumba today, I looked for any remaining and suspect others snatched them up knoiwng the same because I found none. Like me, they’re savvy and have owned their sense of style – in this case, Shabby Chic. They’re not about to let the real deal slip through their hands when it makes a rare appearance. Snatching them up doesn’t have to break the bank; when you pass on things that aren’t truly your style, you have the means to purchase what is. Like I did with my Shabby Chic kitchen and dining decor deals!

How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about scoring your sense of style, whatever it is, decor deals for home or office?

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

Restoration of Shabby Chic Mirrors and Other Shattered Things (Like Us)

Restoration of Shabby Chic Mirrors and Other Shattered Things (Like Us)

It’s Day 291 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and the restoration of a Shabby Chic mirror made me think about the restoration of other shattered things. The  mirror was purchased for a song back in the happy days when an abundance of Rachel Ashwell’s  Simply Shabby Chic line, made exclusively for Target, crowded the shelves.  In the house I brought my babies – now fourteen and thirteen – home to, it graced my bathroom vanity. I don’t recall where it lived in the townhouse I moved into, thus ending my homelessness. Much of that time is a blur…When I married my sweet hubby and moved into the home we now share almost eight years ago, I lovingly hung my prized mirror in our bedroom. It’s a heavy piece – I just didn’t realize how heavy until it fell from the wall, shattering not only the mirror itself but the beautiful carved wooden frame. Carefully, I wrapped the broken pieces and stored them until the day would come when I’d have it put back together again. More years than I can account for later, that day finally arrived in the form of a Christmas gift from my hubby. We shipped the mirror off with our window cleaners. Today, after some needed spring cleaning, I set up my beautifully restored Shabby Chic mirror. It reminds me so much of other shattered things.

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Beautifully restored Simply Shabby Chic mirror. The clock & everything on the sideboard is SSC. Replacing the brass knobs with acrylic crystal look ones echoes the glass in the lamps & mirror. All from Target. The Shabby Chic inspired floral painting and inspiration board – TJMaxx.

Generous as he is with me, my husband still balked a little at the cost to restore the mirror – $42. He could see the price tag on the frame insert – $9.99 – and wondered why I didn’t just replace it. But that’s not my style. I’ve been drawn to shabby since long before it became chic. I find beauty in broken things and experience joy in their restoration, which aligns to Shabby Chic’s principle of beauty in imperfection. Add to that the fact that the mirror is rare (that mass production of Simply Shabby Chic items for Target was short lived and now they only carry linens for the most part), and it’s not so easily replaced – at least not for me. Having an authentic mirror that is based off the one my design role model and most inspiring entrepreneur has in her home means something to me. Besides, I doubt I could find one that’s more beautiful in my eyes.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative, I see my shattered mirror the way I believe God, the Master Creator, sees us – His shattered things. We are intricately carved in His image, with his imprint and design, but our sins are heavy. So heavy that their weight sometimes causes us to fall and shatter. In our broken state, others don’t see our innate value and may feel we aren’t worth the expense of restoring. But God still sees us as beautiful, rare – a treasure. No expense – including crucifixion of His only begotten Son – is too great to bring us back to wholeness. The finished work – done on the cross – restores us. This week, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it’s not lost on me that like my Shabby Chic mirror, like us, His shattered things, He once was broken and shattered. Praise God He is restored, ensuring the restoration of those of us who trust Him, too.

How Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose are you in the you view shattered things in your personal and professional life? How could they be restored?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Spending Money to Make Money

Spending Money to Make Money

It’s Day 261 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and a chunk of it was devoted to spending money to make money. Following a life coaching session with a client at my local coffee shop, where we meet for her convenience, necessitating the purchase of a chai tea latte (with non-fat milk of course), I completed my other tasks deemed “Money Making Activities”, then set about ordering business cards. Though I sent out a Swan Logo Survey for Pink Collar Savvy & Chic this week (Thanks all who participated!), these are for marketing my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. This should have been done back in January once the cover was perfected, however, I tried but had issues with formatting. Today, Heloise, a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic customer service Swan from Vista Print, demonstrated competence coupled with consideration in helping me finally get the job done. Not only that, based on the blurb on the back of the card, she volunteered that she was going to Amazon to order her copy when we hung up! My great experience with her, including her purchase, reinforced the fact that you’ve to spend money to make it!

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Spending Money to Make Money!                                                                                                                 This vector really does look like me with her laptop and ever present cup of Joe!

Because I’m a new entrepreneur with a fledgling startup, being a good steward of my resources is more important than ever. That being the case, I try to save on things like coffee and make it at home daily vs. ordering gourmet drinks from the coffee-house. Besides, with bags of Starbucks and sugar-free syrups available for reasonable prices at TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Target, and my grocery store, Kroger, I can be my own barista! Watching for online deals and discounts on items needed for my business, such as business cards from Vista Print, is another way to get the most bang from my limited bucks. With my 41% discount, I got 250 business cards for a little over $17! Hopefully that small investment will yield great returns on book purchases. I’m pretty confident handing someone a professional looking card with the gorgeous book cover on front, an intrguing blurb from a former Cincinnati Enquirer book reviewer, and the Amazon links to the print and Kindle copies is more likely to result in a sale than me scribbling the info on a napkin!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author and entrepreneur, I recognize the necessity of putting what I earn back into marketing efforts for my novel and to build my business and brand. Even so, when you’re just getting started with something, it can feel like taking two steps forward and three steps back. But if that something is aligned with your purpose – in my case to maximize my God-given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women, all to His glory – then it feels like you’re still moving in the right direction. Hopefully one that yields rewards that are more valuable than the ones on which a monetary number can be placed. When that happens, it makes spending money to make money a worthy investment.

In what ways do you need to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about spending money to make it in your professional life (i.e. entrepreneurial efforts)? In your personal life (i.e. investinging in a retirement fund or 401K plan)?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Savvy & Chic

To preview or purchase my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon at:

http://amzn.to/2CXE6WJ for a print copy or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9 for the Kindle copy.

Thank you!