High School Sisters by Heart

High School Sisters by Heart

It’s Day 6 of being back to blogging and I’m still glowing from time spent with one of my BFFS –– we’re high school sisters by heart. In many ways, Josette saved me in the 10th grade. While in junior high I’d tested into a Walnut Hills, a college prep school , but unlike most who did, I didn’t start as a 7th grader, which meant all of the cliques had already been formed by the time I showed up as a freshman. Thirty-five years later, I can honestly say it was one of the worst periods of my life. I was bullied for being a Peppermint Patty –– black on the outside and white on the inside –– and didn’t fit in with either group of kids. Add to that the fact that my junior high boyfriend AKA best friend dumped me for an upperclassman who rallied her friends to bully me too, and there were days when I felt I’d rather die than go another day. Only my faith, family and friends outside school got me through. Beautiful, funny, sweet Josette befriending me the following year remains one of the things for which I’m forever grateful. God knit us together in so many ways that we truly became high school sisters by heart.

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High School Sisters by Heart –– Josette and Me, Pink Collar Coach.                                           Josette has always had beautiful hair and it’s growing back in that way.                                      I’m in a floral bell sleeve top and black jeggins with shorties. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. 

Thirty plus years later, though life has not afforded us very many opportunities to spend time hanging out, every interaction feels as though no time has passed. Our discussions no longer center around cute boys, Prince and challenges with our home lives. Now they’re about dealing with the Ds ( the challenges women face like divorce, diagnosis, etc.) but the level of comfort, ease and depth of connection remain the same. This was the case when I treated her to a 50th birthday dinner a few months ago. And the birthday was the best I’ve ever spent with her because she’s conquered a huge D as a one year survivor of stage 4 breast cancer and a double mastectomy. I have ALWAYS loved Josette. Now I absolutely treasure and look up to her more than ever.

The thought of losing my high school BFF has made me more intentional about not letting as much time pass between spending time with my Swan Soul Sister….Hopefully my sharing will inspire you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do the same with your old friends. After all, you can always make new friends but you can’t make old ones like high school sisters by heart.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

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Loved Being in the Library Local Author Fair

Loved Being in the Library Local Author Fair

It’s Day 5 and getting back into the routine of blogging allows me to share how I loved being in the library local author fair this fall. I’d applied to participate back in the summer and had nearly given up on it when the acceptance turned up in my inbox. Given the fact that it arrived much later than I’d anticipated, I’d sold most of my the latest box of books I’d ordered from my publisher for such events. And though I quickly ordered a box when I knew I’d be attending, it didn’t make it in time for my maiden book fair voyage. So my fifteen-year-old daughter and I packed up the the books I had on hand, along with all of my marketing materials, and headed out to set up. Since she’s more tech than I am, I put her in charge of the Square Reader and money box. The table got a lot of traffic, including a former student from my middle school teaching days and her mom, as well as fans and a few new readers. Connecting with author friends a making new ones made the time fly by. Before the end of the two hours, we’d sold out. With no more copies, we resorted to taking orders, which proved to be a great way to further engage with readers. I must say, this outcome was one of the reasons I absolutely loved being in the the library local author book fair!

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Local area authors, including my friend and coaching client, Janet on the front row, far left, Michelle, a fellow writing group member, front row, third from left, and Ms. Helen, a dear godly woman who attends another of my writing groups, second row,  third from right. She’s next to me, second row, second from right.

Besides that and those who came out to show support, having my daughter by my side is a memory I’ll cherish. Not only was she wonderful helpful with set up, customer service and sales, her pride in her mom warmed my heart –– and the hearts of those who stopped by. She let me know she’ll gladly help me out the next time I’m in a fair. I’ll take her up on that and look forward to my next event not only because I loved being in the library local book fair but because of the opportunity to experience my mini-me being there.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, and my daughter at the Midpointe Library Read Local Author Fair. Faux blush suede dress, zipper sweater cardigan and loafers all Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx.

 

If you’ve never checked out my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do so. Thank you!

Be  savvy &  chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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

Best Book Club Night

It’s Day 2 of being back to blogging, and I’ve struggled a bit to figure out what to post. Then I realized I could cover some of the things I’ve missed over the last few months.  Back in September, I was invited to facilitate a discussion of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, at the book club of a fellow YMCA member. She heard about the book from a reader who attends Zumba with me. The group rotates hosts and Debbie, the hostess of the night, welcomed me into her gorgeous home and put me at ease before the others arrived. By the time they did, I knew I was in for a delightful evening. Turns out –– at least for me –– it was the best book club night!

All of the members had read the book, which made for thoughtful questions and compelling conversation. The fact that more than one woman asked about ways to support those dealing with domestic violence –– one of the Ds or personal challenges that a women face –– dispelled any notions that abuse rears its head in suburbia much more often than one some would think. The stories shared made me even more appreciative of the opportunity to live out my purpose of using my God-given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their best lives –– all to His glory. Following up by sending all attendees a resource I’d created to supplement the book, Ten Ps to Practice When Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence ensured the ladies are equipped with the info they need whenever their loved ones are ready to receive it.

By the end of the evening, I felt as though I’d not only gained fans, but new friends as well. So far my new role as a Women’s Center Director hasn’t allowed me to make it to another meeting, but I plan to make it happen once I’ve gotten settled in. I’m motivated to return so I can further connect with these beautiful, smart, Savvy & Chic Swans! And of course I have them and other loyal readers in mind as I dive back into writing the sequel, Hold On Her Heart, which is due out this year. Once it’s done, I hope to have a repeat of the best book club night!

If you are a new reader or one who’s never checked out the book, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do so! Thank you!

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

Be Savvy & Chic,

~ Pink Collar Coach

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Best Book Club Night! Me, Pink Collar Coach, front and center.                                                          Floral dress, shrug and bone color pumps – All Calvin Klein. The clothes are from TJ Maxx. The shoes were $8 at Goodwill – brand new!

 

 

Female Friend of the Canine Kind

Female Friend of the Canine Kind

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!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, Juneau, my Female Friend of the Canine Kind, & Juneau’s dog mom, Kibby. I’m casual in green shorts, matching top & a plaid shirt with scrappy sandals &  a bone handbag. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx –– last summer.

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.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and check out www.caninesforchrist.org.

You can also check out my book here:

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

 

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

Not a Fair-weather but Forever Friend

Not a Fair-weather but Forever Friend

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.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, with Valerie. She’s as smart and sweet as she is petite! I’m in a fave summer dress and gold metallic cardi – both several summers old, and metallic sandals with a bone colored bag. I had to laugh at myself –– my usual glasses on top of my head AND sunglasses! All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx acquired over several years.

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 

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Modern Day Mother Teresa

Modern Day Mother Teresa

It’s Day 417 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my friend and Swan Soul Sister, Julie, a Modern Day Mother Teresa, twice in the last two weeks. Though our professional worlds brought us together and that relationship has changed, we’re forever connected personally by our faith and friendship. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact my professional performance –– I’ve shared the details with only a few. Julie is one of them. When she heard what I’m going through, she did what she does so naturally –– served as Jesus’ hands, feet and heart to me in my time of need. She’s one of the most generous and humble people I know, and while she’s quick to say others are saints, she’s really the one who is a Modern Day Mother Teresa.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, and my dear Swan Sister, Julie –– a Modern Day Mother Teresa.                She’s as stylish as she is sweet and looks gorgeous in a simple black dress & statement necklace. I’m in one of my fave summer staples –– a pinky purple cold should top and jeans.                       Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.

Julie gives tirelessly of her time, talent and treasures. Her heart and home have been opened to those in need and she’s advocated for the underserved in court, helped children to be placed in loving homes and has going above and beyond by fostering the ones who would get lost in the system otherwise. Even years after her coaching assignments have officially ended, she continues to voluntarily mentor those who still benefit from her presence in their lives. And though I once provided coaching leadership for her, she now partners with me to problem solve and strategize how to move forward with my best personal and professional life. I could go on to tell many more extravagant ways she and her husband have shown extraordinary love and compassion but don’t want to overshare…I will say I believe she will be among those whom the Lord tells, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:21, NIV).

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan who tries to display a servant’s heart, I look to Julie as a role model and hope I can learn from her example. My prayer is that God will continue to bless Julie for the blessing she is to others for she truly serves as a Modern Day Mother to me and so many.

In what ways are you a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Modern Day Mother Teresa to those around you who may be dealing with Ds on the home-front and/or in the workplace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Birthday on a Budget

Birthday on a Budget

It’s Day 414 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m pleased to have pulled off my daughter’s 15th birthday on a budget. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– and that means I’m keeping a close watch on my pocket book. The great thing is, what started out as a barrier –– limited resources –– turned into an opportunity for me to minimize the barrier and maximize beauty and my best life. Given the fact that she had a party and sleepover at her dad’s on the actual day and that I would be taking her and her brother to something she’d requested a while back –– an Escape Room –– I felt she’d be happy with a few little treats. That being the case, when a dear friend  gifted me with a Walgreen’s gift card and two Larosa’s (our hometown  pizzeria) gift cards at the end of our lunch date last week, I knew how I’d use them. The former purchased some girly gifts –– Maybelline’s Baby Lips (she loves them), pink nail polish (she’d been eyeing mine), and her favorite candy bars. The latter were used for yummy pizza, salad and sodas. And because I love themed gifts ala Rachel Ashwell, I also purchased a cupcake themed bag and card from the drug store. Then I shredded a coordinating color of copy paper to make “confetti” filler. Next, a trip to Barnes and Noble, where we’re members of the Kids Birthday Club yielded a huge complimentary confetti cupcake. Finally, though there were no Groupons available, I scored a $12 a person deal for “Escape from Alpha Station” at our local entertainment spot. With that and our waitresses’ tip, I was all in $40 –– talk about a birthday on a budget!

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A birthday bag filled with favorites. My total cost – $0!
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Me, Pink Collar Coach, as  part of The Three Musketeers.                                                                               Cotton cold should top and denim shorts – Calvin Klein – TJ Maxx.                                                                                                                                                 Can’t believe my baby girl’s 15! Her 13 year-old brother is taller than both of us!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic  on Purpose shopper, I’m thrilled about being able to make the most of what I had. More than that, though, making the most of the time with my children was the best part of the day. Liv truly enjoyed her gifts and promptly applied not one but both lip shades. And as all three of us shared the cupcake she poured over her card and gave me a hug far sweeter than the pastry. The Escape Room (www.funattheweb.com) was a blast. Levi displayed his high level of intelligence by deciphering one of the main clues, but alas, because we were in the room with lots of other people resulting in a bit of chaos, we didn’t escape. Still, seeing him and Liv work together so well did my mommy heart good. We shared pizza, so much laughter, and explored some ideas about the future while taking a walk. By the time the night ended, I knew though the birthday was on a budget, it was one of the best.

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about planning birthdays or other special events on a budget. At home? The office? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a large return on investment.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach