It’s Day 217 of the Pink Collar Savvy Chic on Purpose Project and watching one of my favorite Christmas movies, Rise of the Guardians, has me wondering Who are you and what is your center? Yesterday evening, before the family was due to go see the Christmas lights, I took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some of my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Christmas cookies and milk with Izzy (my stepson’s daughter) while we watched the movie. It’s an animated and speaks to my inner child in a profound way. The premise of the movie is that all of us who believe in Santa, Jack Frost (the main character) and the other guardians, are guardians too. I do believe and am proud to be a guardian who keeps the magic of Christmas, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, etc. alive for children. But that’s not the only reason I was compelled to purchase it after I saw it in the theater with my own kiddos. The scene where Santa asks, “Who are you, Jack Frost? What is your center?” presents the perfect Pink Collar Savvy & Chic professional development opportunity.
A Russian Santa uses Russian nesting dolls as a visual aid. You may be familiar with these stacking dolls, which according to Wikipedia are “a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the another”. The largest doll shows Santa is fierce and intimidating, the next shows he’s fearless, and the next depicts that he’s jolly. The final one has big eyes that are “full of wonder”. Santa explains that he has always seen the wonder in everything – lights in the trees, magic in the air, everything – and that he puts it back into the world and also protects it in children. “It is my center,” he finishes. Then he repeats his question to Jack: “What is your center?” Jack admits he doesn’t know. But by the end of the movie he does. Long before Jack discovered his center, I knew I’d use Santa’s illustration someday. Today is that day. Recently, I was delighted to find my own visual aid in the form of a pink Russian nesting doll.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Coach, my center is encouragement. Encouraging others and protecting them from discouragement is who I am. As a child I started a club to encourage other children. I gave my first public speech and sung my first solo at eight to encourage my church congregation. I got my own Sunday School class at thirteen to encourage preschoolers, which led me to become a teacher so I could encourage more children. My role as a child care center director allowed me to encourage my staff, parents and you guessed it – even more children. I fell in love with training because I could encourage workshop participants. My debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, was written to encourage women, as is this blog. When I got promoted to a Leadership Coach position encouraging program leaders, I knew I’d finally found my dream career. So, at age forty-six I earned a Masters of Leadership and Coaching degree and an Executive Coaching Certificate. These accomplishments didn’t make me a Coach – an encourager – they just put an official title on my center.
What were you created to do? Who are you? What is your center? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and put it back into the world? In your home? At work? How can you protect it in others?
It’s Day 216 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m grateful that I’ve found my writing vibe and tribe with the Dayton Christian Scribes. A few months ago I reached out to one of the editors who has worked with me on my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, to let her know it is finally going to be published. She rejoiced with me and then extended an invitation to attend her writing group. Knowing what a strong writer she is (I adore all three of her award-winning Regency romances), I readily accepted. Since August, I’ve attended and benefited from the critiques of other talented writers who have helped me polish my book so it shines. As much as I value the constructive criticism of my work, the camaraderie from other like-minded creatives is what keeps me coming back each month. They’ve made me feel at home from the start and never more so than at last night’s Christmas party. Because of our mutual love of writing, books, and Jesus, my writing is stonger and my heart is knit together with this special group.
The agenda for the party included prayer, food (of course), a cookie exchange, a White Elephant book exchange, and Christmas caroling. Though I’m a new member, I was charged with leading the carols. I’ve done this in various settings, including neighborhoods, churches, my children’s schools, nursing homes, and even at my jobs. But I can honestly say caroling with this group is on my all time Faves List! With caroling hymn books in hand, we started going alphabetically, but pretty soon members began to call out requests. Other sopranos soured with mine, altos added their amazing voices, tenors tuned in, and the gentlemen’s beautiful barritone and bass brought harmony to the mix. Then, our president took up her flute and accompanied us with finesse. We learned a sweet song that was new to most of us called “The Friendly Beasts”. “Silent Night” was our benediction. One of the most touching moments for me was when one of our older gents joined me in singing a verse in German, taking me back to my beloved bilingual school days.
As a Pink Collar Savvy and Chic on Purpose writer, I’m so blessed to have a lifelong creative hobby that I’m now trying to make my vocation. Having my book published after all these years is a dream come true. The fact that is has also caused me to find my vibe and tribe with the Dayton Christian Scribes is the icing on the cake.
What about you? Has a hobby or a lifelong passion caused you to join a group and the relationships turned into more? How about a professional organization where you gained personal connections? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy and Chic about seeking out these opportunities? In doing so you can grow your craft and your circle of friends.
It’s Day 215 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I just baked some Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Christmas cookies for my writing group’s party. We were asked to provide copies of the recipe, so I’m blogging and including it here since I won’t get home until late. It’s been a crazy busy week with the fast approach of the January 20th release date for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. With that and other professional and personal obligations pressing, baking from scratch wasn’t an option…Inspired by one of my favorite movies for working moms, I Don’t Know How She Does It, I tore a page from Sarah Jessica Parker’s book and got a little help from Pillsbury. Using their frozen cookie dough and can icing, I improvised and made the cookies my own. Here’s the recipe:
Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Christmas Cookies
Purchase enough rolls of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough for the number of cookies you need (1 roll yields a dozen 1/2 inch cookies).
Purchase enough cans of Pillsbury Funfetti icing in your preferred color (1 can covers about 3 dozen cookies)
Follow the directions for round or shaped cookies.
Once cooled, ice the cookies, leaving enough room between so icing doesn’t stick.
Sprinkle lightly with matching or coordinating sprinkles depending desired look.
Refrigerate the cookies for at least one hour so icing can set.
Transfer to a holiday plate or tin.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who believes you don’t have to do everything from scratch, you can still be creative and make items your family, friends and co-workers will enjoy. I hope this inspires you for your gatherings at home or the office. After all, thanks to Pillsbury, we can all be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic with our Christmas cookies (no matter the color icing and sprinkles you choose!).
It’s Day 214 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and since I have a Christmas party tomorrow night, it’s time to wrap it up – the first gift of Christmas that is. Yesterday was a work whopper and I didn’t get to blog, so today, I’m killing two birds with one stone by getting out gorgeous gift bows, paper, and tags in preparation for wrapping a package for my writing group’s book exchange. We were to select a gently used but loved book someone else would enjoy reading. Mine is a modern day version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Jimmy Stewart – Oh, be still my heart!). In keeping with my Shabby Chic vintage take on Christmas decor, I use mostly white, classic silver and gold, and a profusion of pink. Pops of purple and light blue are thrown in for the guys in my life. In addition to leading the caroling, I’m singing some solos and still have to bake cookies. With all of that other prep on my plate, it really is time to wrap it up & get the first gift of Christmas done!
Shabby Chic may not be your style, but with a little effort you can coordinate your gift wrap with your Christmas decor.
Ways To Wow With Your Wrapping:
Choose bows, paper, and tag colors that coordinate with your ornaments, tree skirt and even the present (Ex. My pink and white skirt with paper in the same colors and a blue bow for the blue book).
Look for paper that complements your decor or theme (Ex. Though my palette isn’t traditional, Christmas trees and candy canes are).
Tie it together with common threads (i.e. Bling/glitter is featured in my bows, paper, and tags).
Shop early in the season for the best selection and after the season for the best prices and save items for reuse when you can (Ex. I seldom use all of my paper and carry it over to the next year and recycle nice bows and gift toppers).
Be Savvy & Chic by owing your style and doing what you love even if it’s not conventional. (Ex. I use silk and fabric flowers on gifts).
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose gift wrapping enthusiast, I’ve always loved gift paper and still drive people mad by painstakingly removing it from my presents. And there’s just something about a sweetly tied bow that makes me want to preserve it. It shows the person who wrapped the gift probably took a lot of effort and time to make it special. And you can make your wrapping special too. Even if you use burlap or cardboard boxes with pre-made bows instead of artfully tied ones, you’ve already put your special mark on it just by making or selecting the present for the person in the first place. So, whether you’re like me and haven’t wrapped a thing yet or are on your way to having it all tied up, it’s time to wrap it up – the first, or last gift of Christmas!
Hosting in your home? The office party? I hope you’re inspired to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose with your gift wrapping.
Much of Day 211 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was spent at my desk/dining room table working on to dos for my debut novel, and since I have a female reindeer who reminds me of Rudolf’s love sitting there, she put me in mind of a doe-eyed girl named Dani in my book. She’s a best friend of the heroine, Lee. She may be doe-eyed and innocent in the best way, but she’s far from naive. In fact she’s one of those peculiar young women whose looks are rivaled only by her sweet nature and her smarts. Dani also has the qualities most of us want in a BFF. She’s no fair-weather friend and sticks with Lee through the thick of her domestic violence journey. Daniella exemplifies what I refer to in coaching as backbone and heart, meaning she brings out the best in Lee and gently nudges her by speaking the truth in love when Lee would settle for less. If she wasn’t fictitious, haters would definitely hate her. But she’s just flawed enough that it’s impossible to. I love this supporting character. Hopefully you will too when you read my debut novel and meet this doe-eyed girl named Dani.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose writer, I can’t express how excited I am that my lifelong dream of being a published author is about to come true. In some ways, I remind myself of a doe-eyed girl when I consider how naive I was when I set out to write a novel. At the time I thought I’d write during the summers while I was off from teaching and finish it in a few years. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about writing or publishing…After all of the revising, rewriting and editing that original novel no longer exists. Dani, however has lived on from one version to this final one. I’m incredibly proud of it and shine a special spotlight on Dani in the final chapter. She’s a doe-eyed girl named Dani but she’s also an original Pink Collar Savvy & Chic swan.
If you’d like to meet Dani before Seasons of Her Soul releases and are willing to serve as a beta (test) reader and to write a short review that will show up on Amazon the day of the release (January 20, 2018), please email me at with “Seasons of Her Soul Beta Reader” in the subject line and I will send you a PDF. If you’ve already agreed to be a reader, your copy is coming soon. Thank you!
I can honestly say Day 210 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been one of my all-time favorites because not only is it beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in the living room with the tree trimmed – my hubby and I did it together! We’ve been married for seven years and each prior holiday season has had us disagreeing on how to decorate the house overall with the tree being one of the biggest bones of contention. Not so this year. I suspect it has a little to do with the fact that our twenty-five, twenty-two, twenty, fourteen and twelve-year-olds have either grown up and/or are growing away. As bittersweet as that is, it has brought my husband and I closer together. Last night, at our tree trimming gathering, no one but four-year-old Izzy (daughter of my oldest step-son) showed much interest in hanging ornaments. So, this morning, for the first time, we worked side by side, listening to Christmas carols, and did it in tandem. It really does look a lot like Christmas in the living room now that the tree is trimmed and it’s beyond beautiful, not just because of the way it looks but because of the heavenly time we spent in harmony.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose cygnet (a baby swan), I have to admit, the children aren’t the only ones who are growing up. Anyone who has had to listen to me lament the conflict over the years knows it not being an issue this year is HUGE. It’s nothing short of a miracle. If you’re a regular reader, you know Joel Osteen’s message often lines up with my life. Today, it was about all of us having two sides and how the positive one can be prevalent most of the time, but how every once in a while, the negative one can rear it’s ugly head. That has certainly been true for me regarding Christmas decorating. But this morning, after I read my devotion, I prayed and decided I wasn’t going to let the ugly me rule the day. And I’m so thankful that I surrendered to Him and for how it turned out. Joyous, peaceful and romantic too. The Lord heard me and honored me BIG time. He never ceases to amaze me! I never would have imagined instead of it beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in the living room and tree trimming being a heartache He would turn it into a a holiday miracle.
How about you? Is there something or someone at the holidays that causes you heartache? In your personal life? Professionally? Be Savvy & Chic by surrendering your attitude about it to God. I’m proof that He can surprise you when you do…
Day 209 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been packed with leading warm up for Zumba, cleaning the house and decorating another space so that it’s beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas – in the dining room this time around. Now we’re getting ready for dinner and a little tree trimming get together, so I’m trying to post before it gets too late. The dining room looks beautiful tonight (maybe I’ll be able to get a few shots). For now, I’ll just share the way it looked today after it got a little Christmas Savvy Chic-ing.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose holiday decorating enthusiast, I’m having such a great time getting ready for Christmas. I love doing things around my home, for my home, and those who live here and visit. It fills my heart with such joy that the house is full right now with family and friends (I’m with four-year-old Izzy right now, finishing up my post and playing while everyone else watches sports of course). Whether or not they appreciate the aesthetics and the way the everything looks isn’t the point so much as that they feel the welcome and love. And I hope you feel inspired to show your spaces some Savvy & Chic Christmas attention, whatever that looks like and feels like for you. Whoever will sit at your table this season, my prayer is that you’ll enjoy each other’s company and that they’ll appreciate your efforts to make it look a lot like Christmas in your dining room, or even the office break room too.
How are you making it look like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in your home? Or maybe you’re hosting the office Christmas party. I’d love to hear from you. Who knows. You may even win a giveaway…