Photo Op

Photo Op

It’s Day 20 of being back to blogging, and while scrolling through pictures on my phone searching post inspiration, I came across one the perfect photo op. The term, short for photograph opportunity, was originally coined to indicate the opportunity to take a picture with a celebrity or of an event. But as I looked at this picture, it took on new meaning for me. You see, it’s of a corner in bedroom I share with my fifteen-year-old daughter at our tiny house and was designed to fulfill her request  for a vanity area. I began renting the house for personal and professional to run my business, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, and to have a special place to spend time with my children.

At first my husband wasn’t on board with it, which caused some discord –– another D or challenge women face. Following a particularly rough patch, he brought the beautiful bouquet of my favorite pink roses to my new job as a repair attempt. Originally I took the picture in a fit of I don’t want flowers, I want to resolve the issue! Eventually I got over myself and can now look back and see my husband’s heart. It makes me mindful of the chance to be prayerful about all it represents –– a true photo op.

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A beautiful, comfortable and functional vanity area. The painted wood cafe table and chairs were purchased at TJ Maxx for outdoors, but I hated them weathering. Now they have a new purpose. The lamp and wicker mirror/basket are two of my early thrift store finds. Large Ball mason jar from Goodwill. Simply Shabby Chic pillows & laundry basket –  Target. 

In a world where cameras on our phones make snapping a picture something that often occurs several times a day, I still want to make it special. Through blogging it’s become a way for me to chronicle the simple and significant in my life. Being intentional about maximizing photography opportunities by attaching prayers of ACTS –– adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication –– to my reminiscing over  pictures elevates them from simply snapping away to powerful photo ops.

So the next time you hit that button to capture that perfect picture, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and not miss out on the photo opportunity that’s present too…

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Recharge Our Batteries and Restore Our Balance

Recharge Our Batteries and Restore Our Balance

It’s Day 16 of being back to blogging and I’m so thankful the weekend provides Pink Collar Swans with an opportunity to recharge our batteries and restore our balance. Whether you’re like me and spend your time in an emotionally intense social service/ministry setting, as a full-time homemaker or at any other job inside or outside the the office, the work week can leave us feeling run down and like we’re functioning on low power mode. When we see this happens with our phones –– when we see that red bar that indicates we need to plug in –– we drop what we’re doing and connect to a power source as quickly as possible. Conversely, when our bodies, hearts, minds, spirit and souls alert us that we’re run down, too often we ignore the warning signs and all but die…But what if we stopped this weekend and took the time time to recharge our batteries and restore our balance?

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Tonight my sweet hubby wanted to do something. As much as I love him and know how important it is to spend quality time together, I also understand I’m a better wife, mother, friend, director, life coach, and Christ follower when I’m not operating on an insufficient charge and have my balance restored. So I took a rain check for tomorrow and look forward to not just a date night but a date day.

Now I’m blogging and vegging on the sofa munching on many of my favorite snacks  while watching Ghost on cable for the first time in 20 plus years. May not be everyone’s version of an awesome Friday night, but I’m loving it. When the movie’s done, I’ll read my devotional and start a novel I picked up at the grocery store on the way home. Hey, if I’ve gotta shop, a trip down the Book and Magazine isle makes it worthwhile! After a good night’s rest and Zumba tomorrow morning, I’ll have enough energy to enjoy my husband, housework, and a host of other things like life working on the sequel to my debut novel. And coaching a new client. Writing is work but a part of the writing life I love!

So that’s the plan. Now I just need to implement it. What’s yours? To recharge personally and/or professionally? I hope we’ll all be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and put it into place so we can recharge our batteries and restore our balance!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Winter Weather Writing Weekend

Winter Weather Writing Weekend

It’s Day 10 of being back to blogging and thanks to 13″ of snow here in Cincy, I’ve enjoyed a winter weather writing weekend! Since starting my position as a Women’s Center Director back in October, I hadn’t written a word of Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. Yesterday and today, however, due to being snowed in, I not only made wonderful progress, I did it on my first book’s one year anniversary! Being a God-thing girl, the significance of that isn’t lost on me. I’m humbled and amazed that He continues to bless me with the will and the way to live my purpose of coaching, encouraging and inspiring women. This time in the form of a winter weather writing weekend!

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Balancing personal and professional responsibilities can feel daunting, but when they’re aligned, rather than conflicting, they can complement each other. In my situation, my first novel is drawn from personal experiences with domestic violence that led me to become involved in supporting other women to overcome it and other challenges. I call them Ds –– as in DV, divorce, dysfunction, depression, death, diagnosis, etc. (So much of life’s icky stuff starts with a D!) Twelve years after breaking out of the cycle of abuse with my wasband (he was my husband) and being homeless, my vocation is as the leader of a homeless shelter.  And my avocation allows me to run a life coaching agency, blog and write books. It’s all interconnected and part of the perfect plan God has for my life. Total God-thing!

Whether you are an aspiring author or a full-time homemaker who wants to be more intentional about the time you spend with your family, my prayer is that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and maximize the opportunities God provides for you to do what feeds your soul and blesses others. On your lunch break. While the kids nap. In the still of the night. During the wee morning hours.  When He provides a winter weather writing weekend.

Hope you’ll check out my book on it’s anniversary!

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 

 

 

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!

 

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – Happy New Year & Beginning to Blog Again!

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – Happy New Year & Beginning to Blog Again!

It’s Day 1 of 2019 and the first day since I started my new role as a Women’s Center Director that I’ve posted. I’m not exactly sure how to manage being a wife, mother, Life Coach, author and blogger, but I’ve missed this –– I’ve missed you –– and am determined to get back to writing regularly. I did it consecutively for over a year after all! Recently, a conversation with a dear friend, Valerie, has inspired me to get incorporate servant leadership and social service into the blog, but I’ve yet to work out the details. And of course I still want to feature style and Shabby Chic decor –– like my tree! Now that I’m renting a tiny house for personal and professional use, there are lots of fresh photos to share. Then there’s faith, the foundation of everything I do. Though I’ve been at it for a bit now, I must confess I still feel like a novice/beginning blogger and am somewhat overwhelmed…

This morning’s devotion, however, entitled Something New, spoke to God’s work in our lives and encouraged me: “I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness, I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19 NLT. How exciting is that! I don’t know what 2019 holds, but it’s so good to know Who holds 2019! Can’t wait to see what He does in my family, my career, my writing –– my life! And yours!

Blessings for your best year yet!

~Pink Collar Coach

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A Shabby Chic Christmas! All ornaments, tree skirt, ribbon topper and valance are from the           Simply Shabby Chic line at Target. The ribbon came with a quilt and got repurposed. The white tree –– my fantasy finally realized was $40 from Walmart. Who knew?
Feedback on My Fiction – Seasons of Her Soul

Feedback on My Fiction – Seasons of Her Soul

It’s Day 368 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I received some feedback on my fiction –– Seasons of Her Soul. A family member shared the book with a someone and she in turn shared the feedback with me. I’m keeping the names anonymous but would really like to hear your thoughts if you’ve read the book. That’s it really since I’m way beyond my work day limit –– I worked on the sequel, Hold On Her Heart, until almost 8pm! That’s so not adhering to the 5pm quitting time I set for myself! Still, I’ll probably take a peek at any responses to feedback on below and your own thoughts on my first fiction attempt – Seasons of Her Soul.

Sooo. The book! The cover threw me off as it looked like it would be a lightweight, yucky, typical romance novel. I know that a TON of people LOVE romances but I’m not a fan of the genre. So, I was pleasantly surprised with the book! It had depth and true to life scenarios that were more real than trite. ( a pleasant surprise!) I thought Tammi dealt honestly with the Christian life. We who claim to be saved are certainly not perfect and we are all very complicated beings. She managed to depict the duplicity in Christian hearts without being too Goody Two Shoes or fake. It’s certainly a different life than that of a worldly person seeking to satisfy only the here and now. So, yes! I appreciated and enjoyed the book! Thank you!         ( the one thing I felt a negative was what I perceived to be a change in writing style toward the end of the book….when Keith appeared on site  to help Lee after her surgery. That portion seemed to be more syrupy than the other parts…but I really think it probably appealed most of all to lovers of Christian Romance. She has a niche and kind of has to be in tune to what her readers want. Also she had to end the book! I just found her writing style at that point to feel more rushed and gushy. BUT?…kudos to Tammi for eliminating all sex! So many writers feel the need to throw in a scene or two just because they’ve been told that sex sells books. I disagree. Don’t get me wrong….I’m not opposed to sex in books when it is a necessary and integral part of the story. I just have an aversion to sex scenes that are obviously included only to sell a book.) Ok…I know …you didn’t ask for a critique …but you got one! Thanks much for the loan. 

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose debut novelist, I can’t express how much I appreciate everything in this critique. In fact, the author reached out and we’re having a phone meeting to discuss. I look forward to her elaborating…And just so you know, I agree for the most part. The end is a little rushed because my publisher and I were trying to shorten the length, and if it does get “syrupy” in the end that’s because the beginning was full of heartache and hurt and I wanted it to finish full of healing and hope. Restoration and redemption. That said, even if I didn’t agree at all, I truly want to continue to grow, learn and improve…all for His glory.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and shoot me a line with your feedback if you’ve read the book. If you haven’t please check it out below and let me know what you think. Thanks so much!

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
Balancing Blogging and Book Writing

Balancing Blogging and Book Writing

It’s Day 366 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’ve spent the last few months balancing blogging and book writing. In January I published my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul and last month, I celebrated my one year blogiversary. Reaching both goals has brought so much fulfillment and joy to my personal and professional lives. And they’ve both been a lot of work! In That being the case, now that I’m embarking on Book Two of the three-part Lee’s Legacy Series, I’m trying to find the sweet spot that allows me to continue devote fair amounts of time to each of my writing projects ––all while growing a holistic life coaching business ––preferably during work hours and not after 6pm at the latest. Take today for instance –– I worked on the novel for hours today, which cut into the time to blog, which is why I’m writing still writing it at almost 9pm, bring my work day to about 10 hours if you figure in a few breaks and Zumba. If ever there was a Pink Collar Swan in need of balancing, it’s me with blogging and book writing!

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author, beginning blogger, life coach, Zumba instructor/enthusiast, wife and mother, I must confess something’s gotta give. Tonight, it’s cutting this post short so I can take a little me time and watch Good Bones on HGTV. But that’s just a short term solution – literally. Then again, I probably need to stick to under 500 words moving forward. That would not only shorten my time writing but make for easier reading for you, too. In addition to that, tomorrow, I’m going to try setting my alarm an hour before “quitting time/5pm” so I don’t sentence myself to anymore twelve hour days. That’s when I plan to switch over to blogging, whether I’m in the creative writing zone or not! I’ll keep you posted on my progress––pun intended! Seriously though, I really do want to get this under control because I believe balancing blogging and book writing will ensure I continue to love doing both.

I’d love to hear your Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose strategies for balancing your time at work so you can relax and rejuvenate during your personal life. 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