The Greatest Showman – Movie Review

The Greatest Showman – Movie Review

It’s Day 226 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I finally saw The Greatest Showman and am excited to write a review of the movie I’ve been trying to get to since it’s release December 20th. Myrtle Beach was rainy today, so I walked to Starbucks this morning and spent the day there finishing a wonderful novel – bliss. Then, after a meal and the mall with my family, I opted to stay at the latter and take in the movie while they hit another bowling alley this evening (we bowled in Cincy before leaving – my hubby says it’s a tradition but I can only take so much!). I have no skill, so they were fine leaving me behind and I was thrilled to stay back and see the movie.
The film is a musical written by the same lyricists as LaLa Land. It depicts the the story of P.T. Barnum, the creator of the circus. Barnum is played by Hugh Jackman, of Wolverine fame. Seeing as that’s not my cup of tea, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him in anything until now. To say I was pleasantly surprised by his acting, singing and even dancing is putting it mildly. Captivated from the very first moment is more like it. Having come from humble beginnings, his desire to provide a better life for his family drive him to the point that even after he’s exceeded all expectations with his circus, he wants more. His insecurities and need to be more cause him to nearly lose not only his circus but his motivation for building it in the first place.
Somewhere along the line, Barnum decides his show needs to appeal to the “high brow” society crowd, so he enlists Phillip Carlise (Zac Efron) a socialite who is also a performer, as a partner. From the moment Phillip lays eyes on Ann (Zendaya), a trapeze artist, sparks fly, but the star-crossed couple struggles to come together due to the fact that she’s not only a “circus freak” but a black one at that! No spoiler alert needed here – I won’t give away what happens, but I will say a scene where the two dance and work the ropes to demonstrate the push and pull of their romance is pure magic. I’ve not seen many Zac Efron movies, but I predict Zendaya (her last name is Collins but she’s already known by her first name only) is going to surpass all the other Disney Channel stars that have gone before her…
Phillip and Ann before a beautifully choreographed star-crossed lovers dance.                               Photo credit below.
Niko Tavernise/Fox
As much as I enjoyed the performances of the big name stars, it was the cast of circus “curiosities” that really spoke to my spirit. Having been a misfit for much of my life – because I’m a Christian, creative, a minority, my marriages have been biracial, etc, etc. – the ragtag team Barnum assembled seem like the my kind of people. They don’t look like most people and possess backbone and heart that make them truly unique. Their resilience, talent, and indomitable spirits made the movie for me. Like the Susan Boyle Britain’s Got Talent audition that went viral on steroids! I LOVE when the “curious” people shock the world with what others think they can’t do!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative, I believe you’ll enjoy this movie. This musical is about creativity, imagination, and making the impossible possible. If you like real life rags to riches stories about the underdogs who win because of their hard work and ingenuity, then this film is for you. Or maybe you just want to be entertained. It delivers that in spades. P.T. Barnum wanted a better world where people could forget about their cares, so without the aid of electronics and technology, he designed it. Considering that, he may very well have been The Greatest Showman.
Be savvy & chic,
                                                                                                                                 ~Pink Collar Coach

 

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“Wonder” Review – Wonderful Children’s Movie We’d All Do Well To Watch, With Or Without Them

“Wonder” Review – Wonderful Children’s Movie We’d All Do Well To Watch, With Or Without Them

It’s Day 195 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited to review “Wonder”, a wonderful children’s movie we’d all do well to watch, with or without children. My daughter read it when she was in seventh grade last year, and while I used to read most of the great children’s literature books in order to cover them when I was a teacher, I haven’t been able to keep up the practice and am glad this one was made into a film. I anticipated the movie would be good based on the acclaim the novel received, but didn’t expect to be transported back to the days when I was bullied for being different myself.
Apparently the novel is based on the experience of the author’s child when they attended middle school with a student who had the same rare facial condition as Auggie Pullman, the main character. Auggie’s symptoms are extreme and cause his face to be severely distorted. He also suffers a degree of hearing loss. The young actor who plays Auggie does an outstanding job portraying the physical, emotional, and social challenges he faces transitioning from being homeschooled his whole life to attending school with other children for  the first time in fifth grade. Though ostracized from day one, Auggie soon makes it clear he doesn’t struggle cognitively. He’s exceptional.
While Auggie is a star in the role, the cast of supporting characters that orbit his universe are the ones who make his performance and the movie shine. His supportive parents and sister are in his corner to a degree that Auggie is the center of their world. Their struggles to let Auggie navigate the complexities of middle school on his own coincide with their own quests to find out who they are apart from him and together as a healthier family. And the friends/frenemies Auggie makes at school demonstrate how difficult it is to choose kind in the midst of mob mentality where the popular kids are anything but. In the end, not only does Auggie emerge a hero, his courageous heart calls out the best in those around him – adults, teens, children, and in the unexpected. Moviegoers as well.
Hope you see the movie! I’d love to hear what you think of it and how you can be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose with the lessons it teaches.
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach

 

“The Star” Movie Review and a Lesson on Lamb Leadership

“The Star” Movie Review and a Lesson on Lamb Leadership

It’s Day 193 of The Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and after sleeping all day,  I’m feeling well enough  to post a review of “The Star” movie, which I saw the day it released. There are many delightful things about this movie. While it takes a lot of creative license, the plot remains fairly true to the Biblical account of the events that led up to the birth of Jesus and the film even credits it as the greatest story ever told. With it’s whimsical animation the stage was set for the miraculous story to unfold in Nazareth and Bethlehem. From the moment the film begins rolling, viewers are swept back to the time where a humble, kind Mary and a loving, protective Joseph are a frightened young couple entrusted with the greatest responsibility ever – bringing the Son of God into the world. Monumentally important as their roles are, the movie focuses more on the part a small donkey and his animal friends play in ensuring the safe birth of baby Jesus. After overcoming several life-threatening challenges, the cast of characters come together under The Star to celebrate the Christ Child. If you’re looking for a great family friendly movie, this movie is entertaining for children and could be considered enlightening for adults whose hearts are open are open to the true meaning of Christmas. Adults can even learn a leadership lesson from a lamb.

Ruth, though only a little lamb, proved herself to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic. Petite,  feminine, and with a small voice, Ruth didn’t necessarily look or sound like a leader. But she was also resourceful, strong, smart, and hardworking. Despite these leadership attributes, her previous attempt to lead her flock had been unsuccessful. Undeterred, she believed in her cause and followed The Star through to the end. Along the way Ruth tapped into her strengths and contributed meaningfully to the mission. She even won the support of her former naysayers and caused them to rally around her efforts. Ultimately, her leadership enabled them to collectively achieve more than they ever could on their own. That being the case Ruth’s lamb leadership could also be called transformational.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose “Lamb Leader”, I can relate to Ruth. Sometimes I feel I’m too small, too insignificant, too lots of things to leave a lasting leadership legacy.  But like Ruth, I believe in my cause and have to follow where I’m led. I’m compelled to live out my purpose which is to coach, encourage and inspire Pink Collar women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their beauty and best personal and professional lives – all to the glory of God. Though none went with her at first, Ruth still chose to follow The Star. Now she’ll go down in fictionalized history (at least for some children and possibly a few adults) as a lamb leader who had a part in leading others to The Star. Like her, I have decided to follow and pray I’ll leave a lamb leadership legacy of pointing others to The Bright and Morning Star as well.

In what ways are you a lamb leader? How can you maximize your strengths to contribute in meaningful ways? At home? In the workplace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Giving Thanks to the Lord for Good Test Results and Looking Forward to Getting Back to Life and Reality

Day 180 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one spent having procedures to determine why I’ve been so sick for the past month and giving thanks to the Lord for good test results! Now I’m looking forward to getting back to life and reality. And while the doctor’s orders were that today be a lazy day, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have read about my medical challenges/Ds and reached out with well wishes and prayers. You readers are part of my resilience strategy and the blog has helped me bounce back. Both have played a role in me getting better because I didn’t want to renege on my promise to post daily (I did miss a few…). Nor did I want to lose those of you who have been kind enough to stick with me while I’ve been sick, even if you were sick of hearing about it!

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Shabby Chic inspired Thanksgiving decor from TJMaxx – last season.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! So while I’m thankful for today’s test results and hopeful the rest of them will come back good, I’m ready for a new day. I’m not 100%, but I’m laying claim to the verse in a song I used to teach in Kids Club:

And now let the sick say I am healed

Because of what the Lord has done for us!

That being the case, tomorrow, I plan to get back to life and back to reality. Completing revisions for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul in order for it to be released in January, focusing on my business, including rescheduling and scheduling coaching sessions, returning to Zumba and starting to teach (yes!), and planning for my next workshops are only a few of the things while I was down. Excited as I am about all that, being able to get out and about to post pictures to accompany what content I hope you love is what motivates me. That and glorifying  the Lord to whom I owe, and give, so much thanks.

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Give Thanks to the Lord pumpkins flank front porch stairs.                                                         Not only are they pretty and welcoming, they remind others to have grateful hearts.

What situation have you come through, medical, personal, professional or otherwise, for which you are thankful? How can you be savvy & chic on purpose about expressing that thanks?

 

Time To Talk Turkey Thanksgiving Decor and Trusting Our Decisions More

Time To Talk Turkey Thanksgiving Decor and Trusting Our Decisions More

It’s Day 180 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and since I’m restricted to a clear liquid diet and am sipping on my chicken bouillon supper, I’ve got poultry, and Thanksgiving turkey decor on the brain. Because of my lifelong natural affinity for pink and pastels and my twenty-plus year love affair with all things Shabby Chic, I’ve never been a fan of traditional Thanksgiving colors or decor.  Thankfully for me, (pun intended), in recent years the retail market has experienced a shift and now offers a selection of holiday decor in non-traditional colors. That being the case, I have to take some time to talk turkey thanksgiving decor.

Before I do, I’ll explain my train of thought. In order to get to the bottom of the abdominal pain that landed me in the ER twice in the last week and a half, tomorrow I must undergo some tests, hence the dietary restrictions. Having missed out on the chance to check out Target’s new “Hand and Hearth” line from HGTV’s Fixer Uppers Joanna and Chip Gaines yesterday because of the tornado watch, I used the need to pick up Jello as an excuse to do so today. Surprisingly underwhelmed, instead of having to chose between several items I thought I’d love, I purchased nothing which is great for my pocketbook!

Housebound for almost a month, I wasn’t ready to go home and wandered over to TJMaxx. I’d spotted a carved wooden turkey a while back and was intrigued but didn’t buy her. Then, while purusing a blog I discovered while reading Artful Blogging this weekend, I spotted the same turkey in a Thanksgiving feature. Feeling as if it wasn’t a coincidence, I made a mental note to see if she was still there whenever I made it back in.  She was. Given the two sightings, I usually would have snatched her right up, but hesitated. After some deliberation and consulting a store manager who’s become a friend and the sales associate at check out, I bought the inexpensive piece thinking, I can always return her…Then I got her home and Fell. In. Love.

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Lovely light teal turkey surrounded by Simply Shabby Chic candle lanterns, plates, and a birthday cake piggy bank that live in the dining room. The Shabby Chic French style sideboard was one of the first pieces I splurged on for my townhouse after being homeless. 
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I love adding touches of whimsy in my home and imagine the approach of Thanksgiving would be a time where this lady turkey would need this reminder!                                             BTW – If you haven’t seen Free Birds, it’s a fun movie animated movie about the lengths to which turkeys will go to avoid the Thanksgiving Table!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet (a young swan), who has been posting quotes from The Smile Jar for a few months now, seldom has one aligned so well with my blog post. Today’s was: “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” – Erica Jong. Knowing how much I love the softer side of Thanksgiving decor, I still wrestled with whether to purchase a unique piece that spoke to me from the beginning to the degree that I solicited advice from two other people. I strive to be a good steward over my resources, so I suppose the hesitation was whether or not I needed her or wanted her. The answer is that I wanted her. And while I won’t condone instant gratification of our wants, I am grateful that I went with mine. The fact that the curved edge of the sideboard caught my eye the minute I walked in the door and fit the piece perfectly was confirmation. Not  only that I made the right choice, but that I should trust my decisions and not doubt them.

What about you? Do you seek advice when you know the answer? About home or office decor? Personal and/or professional decisions? How can you be more Pink Collar Savvy & Chic in these areas of your life?

Be savvy &  chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

“Leap” for Labor Day – Movie Review – Truly Family Friendly

“Leap” for Labor Day – Movie Review – Truly Family Friendly

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Felicia Milliner. Fictitious heroine in “Leap”.
 Image courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes (ironically).
Though I actually saw “Leap” yesterday, I’m writing a review of it for Day 121 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project. It’s received some rotten tomatoes from critics, but I believe I offer a fresh perspective, so please bare with me a) in case you’re wondering why I’m reviewing a children’s movie, and b) in case you’ve heard bad things/haven’t heard of it at all. Regarding the former, there are some lessons in this kids’ computer animated movie about holding on to our dreams that we adults can all use in real time. The latter was the case with me until my dear friend, Kibby, mentioned it. With my love of children’s movies, I was surprised I hadn’t seen one advertisement for it.
Most people know I love dance and am all about following your dreams, so the fact that the plot revolves around a tween orphan, Felicie, who wants to be a dancer more than anything in the world, and her best friend, Victor, who longs to be a famous inventor, and I was all in. The setting is Brittany, France, that is until the ambitious duo run away from the orphanage to Paris in hot pursuit of their dreams. Of course, their adventure is fraught with conflict and challenges, such as archenemies, wicked witch-like adult saboteurs, bad guys turned good, and even a prepubecent love interest. As if just being orphan children on the run in a huge city with nothing but the rags on their backs isn’t enough! The tactics these two employ to make their elusive dreams come true are unconventional to say the least… Some secondary characters offer both children opportunities and play a large part in making their individual pursuits possible. Some have compared the plot to “Flashdance” but have been very unkind about its weaknesses. I won’t give the ending away, but will ask that you give the movie chance. You will laugh, maybe tear up a little, and be uplifted.
This inspiring story is naive in a lighthearted, refreshing way. And by naive, I mean innocent in a truly family friendly way. From what I can tell, the critics are compairing this children’s movie to the other big name producers who pack so much adult innuendo into the movies to sell to the parents that I’ve often been embarrassed while watching with my kiddos. You know it’s bad when you’re eleven-year-old blushes and says, “Well, that was inappropriate.” Other than a little potty humor, there is none of that in this film. Instead, this little girl, on the verge of becoming a young woman, has always carried a candle for dancing in her heart, from the cradle. Literally, since a music box with a ballerina was the only thing her birth mother left there with her at the orgphanage. A postcard from a ballet academy in Paris fans the flame, and Felicie does light up the stage, something most little girls (and big ones) only dream of doing.
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Liv – Ballet Class.
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Liv – Tap Class.
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Liv’s ballet shoes hang in my room. I’ll keep them always.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick whose dream of my daughter loving dance didn’t come true due to divorce (it wasn’t encouraged), I’ll still support her in whatever her dreams are. She is a talented artist and has a gorgeous voice. At one point, she wanted to be the next American Idol. Sound lofty? Dreams are. But like the movie demonstrated, you’ll never know how high you can get if you don’t leap.

And you’ll never know if “Leap” deserves rotten tomatoes or is being reviewed by those sucking on lemons. Hope you’ll find out for yourself. Happy Labor Day!

Be  savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach