My Furry Valentine

My Furry Valentine

I’ve been back to blogging for about 25 days, and though Valentine’s Day was Thursday, I’m feeling especially grateful for My Furry Valentine today. Three years ago, my sweet hubby took me to our local animal shelter for the event by that name, and it was there a two year old gray beauty, Peppa, stole my heart. I added Loveday –– a character in a favorite Rosamunde Pilcher book entitled Coming Home –– and am reminded how much my husband adores me each time I say it. You see, he really wasn’t in favor of our first kitty, Skylar Belle, joining our blended family, but gave in to my needling for my kiddos to have a pet. They were my first consideration in giving her a sibling, but he confided that he really got her for me. That knowledge and Peppa Loveday’s docile spirit made her my constant companion. In fact, she now resides at the tiny house I rent for personal and professional use. And today, docile as she is, she earned her keep by serving as a mouser and dealing with an unwanted visitor. Her feline feat has endeared My Furry Valentine to me even more!

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My Furry Valentine, Peppa Loveday. At peace in my Petite Place.                                       Abbuson needlepoint rug –– found over a decade ago at TJ Maxx.

As Peppa Loveday sits at my feet while I write, she reminds me that we females can be ultra feminine, pretty, sweet, and meek. But it doesn’t mean we aren’t intrepid too. Though she is skittish –– I believe she was abused by the original owners who named her then dumped her off at the pound –– this trait has been evident in Peppa Loveday from the moment we brought her home. While Skylar hissed and growled, Peppa never once cowed to her bullying. In fact, most of the time she simply responded by sitting serenely and looking at her like, Really? 

When I tried to bring Peppa over to the tiny house, at first she wasn’t feeling it and let me know when I tried to put her the pet carrier. Not wanting me to get scratched up again, my husband got a large dog crate, put her food and water inside and trained her not to be afraid to go in. That’s how we finally got her over to what I’m beginning to think of as “My Petite Place”. Having her with me makes it feel even more like a home/office. And it makes me feel my husband’s love all over again. After all, not only did he go to great lengths to get Peppa Loveday for me in the first place, he’s gone above and beyond to bring me My Furry Valentine.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Little Gifts Given with Great Love – Part 2

Little Gifts Given with Great Love – Part 2

It’s Day 24 of being back to blogging, and since I didn’t have my kiddos on Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating now with little gifts given with great love. I went to a German bilingual school and began my lifelong love affair with Gummi Bears in first grade when our teacher gave them as a treat. The love affair with roses started shortly thereafter. My children were delighted to receive the former, specially packaged for the holiday with only the  red and white candies, and my sweet hubby surprised me with white roses lovingly arranged in an uncommon red vase. The thought and time put into finding favorite things for others not only bless the recipients but make the giver feel pretty good, too. Yet another benefit of  little gifts given with great love.

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Red & white Gummi Bears & floral arrangement make a lovely Valentines Day vignette . Bucket bench is a favorite antique store find. Simply Shabby Chic pedestal mirror. 

Besides making a holiday special, inexpensive little treats like these –– all purchased at the local grocer –– can encourage others and lift their spirits. So the next time you’re out doing the weekly shopping, why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and pick up a little something for that someone in your life? You never know, a little gift given with great love could make a BIG difference in their day.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Little Gifts Given With Great Love

Little Gifts Given With Great Love

It’s Day 23 of being back to blogging, and in preparing to celebrate Valentines Day with my hubby, I’m reminded it’s little gifts given with great love that are often the biggest blessing. Back when I was newly in love with my preppy husband, I went on an elaborate shopping spree and purchased several updated classic argyle sweaters for him. At the time, his reaction –– appreciation for the thought but NOT the gift ––  surprised and hurt me. But that was before I understood he didn’t wan’t his classic clothing and or any other aspect of his appearance updated. Over time I learned he doesn’t wear cologne, hates jewelry and doesn’t enjoy my taste in art, books or music. What he does value is quality time spent, heartfelt messages and favorite fat free foods! Armed with this knowledge, I skipped Zumba for an early date night (so we could beat tomorrow’s crowds), added a hand written note and symbol of our love story to a faith based card, and gifted him with fat free Fig Newtons. Sounds pretty simple but he was blessed by these little gifts given with great love.

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A Valentines Day Vignette – Roses, a favorite fat-free dessert tied with a handcrafted heart, a lovely hand drawn card from Dayspring, a crocheted heart and velvet ribbon –                                           All masculine versions of Shabby Chic. 

It isn’t necessary to break the bank to make Valentines Day special. Instead, with a little effort, thought and time, the holiday can be one that reflects the things that are meaningful to your relationship. When this happens, there’s a magical opportunity to create a lasting romantic memory –– which I consider priceless. Based on our sweet time together this evening, I believe my hubby agrees. Though there were no extravagant gifts or grand gestures, there was lots of laughter and lobster dinner! We enjoyed these little gifts given with love. Another thing there’s lots of.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

Give Me Your Heart

Give Me Your Heart

It’s Day 22 of being back to blogging, and as Valentine’s Day approaches, many are asking others, Give me your heart. Most often, this is a romantic request. For me, working in the social service industry as a Women’s Center Director for a homeless shelter for women and children, my prayer has been that God give me His heart –– for the hurting. Daily I work with those the world considers “the least of these” and am learning such valuable lessons on servant leadership. The most impactful one is viewing them from His perspective. The addicts, those with developmental disabilities, the mentally ill, the poverty stricken, the promiscuous, the traumatized.   I look at them and see them as God’s beloved daughters and precious children. They are beautiful and lovely to me. Because God has somehow answered my prayer and given me His heart.

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 A heart pocket. A shabby chic antique store find, filled with my favorite flowers – roses. 

Not only do I feel as though my prayer has been answered, I’m humbled to know that others see it as well. In dealing with a situation regarding one of the non-compliant residents, I basically expressed what my dear Aunt Birdy used to –– If not for the grace of God, there go I. That realization allowed  me to move from a place of judgement to one of empathy. Witnessing this, one of the amazing staff members I inherited teared up and said something that let me know I’ve been granted what I really desire this Valentine’s Day.  “You really do have a heart for them.”

My prayer is that all of us who work in social service/ministry would be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and demonstrate our Father’s heart for the ones we serve. What a beautiful expression of His love…

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

I Heart My Hubby! (And Ideas to Show Your Significant Other You Do Too)

I Heart My Hubby! (And Ideas to Show Your Significant Other You Do Too)

It’s Day 252 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and though I had an uber productive work day, and then Zumba, I switched gears afterward to prepare for Valentine’s Day tomorrow because I heart my hubby! When I was in school for my Masters in Leadership and Coaching, one of the things that excited me most was learning  how to build a coaching toolkit. Putting that knowledge into practice today in order to customize coaching tools to fit Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, my holistic coaching agency, was such an enjoyable task that the day flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to put work away, go dance, and then shop for a few items that will show my sweet husband how much I heart him!

I Heart Woman in Pink

Pink Collar Valentine’s Day Planning – You don’t have to break the bank to get bang for your buck. All of these items and others can be found at your local grocer. Add a shopper’s discount card and you may have $ left over for a romantic dinner date! Hope you’re inspired!

A Meaningful Message

Faith is the foundation of our relationship, so I appreciate the fact that Hallmark and Dayspring offer a small selection of faith-based/Christian cards. This evening I found one with all the elements I look for: A hint of pink amidst the red (a pink envelope is a bonus!), a message that captures the essence of our life together, including the ups and downs, and gratitude that God blessed me with the one my heart adores. Tonight’s find even has a touch of humor. It features two squirrels in love, which is appropriate because my handy hubby works diligently to keep the ones that inhabit our yard (the woods basically), from eating the grass on the side of the house. Every year after he lays new sod, we watch from our kitchen window as they make short work of his hard work!

A Tasty Treat or Two

Food and drink are usually part of my husband’s gift. Because he’s very health conscious, I try to avoid giving him something super sweet and was pleased to find fruit juice/veggie drinks in red and pink that he’ll enjoy. All the pleasure, none of the guilt! Well, a little guilt because I got him a cake pop – pink of course!

Setting the Mood

Finally, creating a romantic atmosphere with decor is one of my fave parts of the holiday, so a pink glitter “LOVE” sign – set amongst the brie cheese of all places – was a serendipitous find! Apparently Kroger, our local grocery store, likes creating atmosphere too because many of the wedges wore glittery hearts…Then again, perhaps the marketers just know the way to our hearts is through our tummies – with yummy cheese!

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A Dayspring Christian card w/pink, including the pink envelope. V8 Strawberry Banana juice, a pink cake pop (from Starbucks in the store), and a pink, glittery “LOVE” sign.                                     All from the grocery store – About $20 total.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose woman for whom God blessed the broken road, I’m truly thankful to have someone special this holiday. That said, I never want to forget those who don’t. My prayer for you is that you will experience the love of friends and family in a way that it seems God is giving you a hug with skin on it. And for those of you who are in a romantic relationship, I pray you don’t take it for granted, especially because of longevity. You never know if this Valentine’s Day will be your last..That’s why I want my hubby to know how very much I heart him!

I won’t be blogging tomorrow so I can spend the evening with my sweetheart. So, on Valentine’s Day, and always, I hope you are Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and fully comprehend this this: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NIV).  Jesus did that – because He hearts you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach