Santa Walking In A Faux Fur Winter Wonderland – Confessions Of A Begging Blogger

Santa Walking In A Faux Fur Winter Wonderland – Confessions Of A Begging Blogger

Day 202 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been a very relaxed one, so much so that I awoke from a long nap with barely enough time to style a vignette and snap a picture of Santa walking through a faux fur winter wonderland. As a beginning blogger, I must confess I’m pleased with the photo. Though I’m doing a series on Christmas decorating and all of the pieces in this picture are actually in my She Storage Shed, because that is housed in the nook beneath our lower level stairs, I didn’t have the headroom to be able to capture the look I wanted. So I had to try something different. I scooped up all the pieces and hastily arranged them on a living room side table. As is often the case when I have to abandon my original idea and improvise, it turned out better than I planned. Had I been able to take the picture I wanted to it wouldn’t have given the effect of Santa looking as if he is walking through a faux winter wonderland.

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Set against the backdrop of a Shabby Chic inspired folding screen, a faux sheepskin rug, and surrounded by Christmas houses covered in fur snow, with his lantern, Santa looks as if he is walking through a winter wonderland. Santa is from Target’s Wondershop line, the Christmas houses by Jingles and Joy from Home Goods, and the faux Savifeh sheepskin rug is from TJMaxx.

Before I settled down for my long nap, I watched Joel Osteen whose message was on us being “Fully Loaded”. He talked about the fact that we have been given everything we need to accomplish our purpose. If we don’t have something, rather than lamenting that fact, we should realize it isn’t necessary for our success. We need not compare ourselves with others because we don’t have the same destinies. It’s amazing how the truth of that played out for me in the form of taking a picture. I didn’t have a lot of natural sunlight left because I didn’t need it. I didn’t have adequate headroom because I didn’t need it. The light I had makes Santa look as if he needs that lantern. And given enough headroom, I wouldn’t have needed to style the picture in another setting at all.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose begging blogger, I must confess at times I feel I don’t have what it takes to make an impact on readers. Is my content compelling enough to keep you coming back? Are my photographs captivating enough to capture your attention? How are other bloggers able to make a successful go of it? But then, I’m reminded that God planted the seed for me to be a writer deep in my heart when I was such a little girl. Ever since He’s given me so many opportunities to grow my writing skills, including this blog. His unique plan for it is so much better than anything I could ever dream for myself. You’d think I’d understand by now that He’s doing the same with my ability to take pictures. With my career. My life. When I focus on the light of that truth, when I trust, rather than stumbling around in the darkness, like Santa, I feel as if I’m walking in a wonderland. One filled with possibilities.

What about you? Are there times when you question whether you have what it takes to be successful in your personal and/or professional life? Know that you’re fully loaded and equipped to walk confidently into your destiny and to fulfill your purpose.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Girl’s Room – Part 2

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Girl’s Room – Part 2

It’s Day 199 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and while I would have loved to spend the early part of the day making it look a lot more like Christmas in my teen girl’s room, the bulk of the day was spent trying to catch up on all the professional tasks that went by the wayside while I was sick. Working on a giveaway for those who sign up for my mailing list (I hope you will!) and on my book launch homework were among the things I accomplished. By the time I was able to turn my attention to more decorating in my daughter’s room, the sun had begun to fade. This turned out to be a positive as it tested my newbie photography skills. Using my iPhone, I tried some new things and am must confess I’m pleasantly surprised with the nostalgic look of the photos, which lend themselves to my Shabby Chic, vintage style. With the addition of a Shabby Chic inspired wreath fashioned from pastel ornaments and a small white table tree with a Simply Shabby Chic skirt, the room looks a lot like a girl’s room from a Christmas of yesteryear.

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A quintessentially Shabby Chic girl’s room with bohemian flair. The bedding, curtains, lamps, tree skirt and wall decor are from Target’s Simply Shabby Chic line. Most of the items are no longer available, except on eBay, so I’m glad I purchased them when I did. I found the chair at an antique store, painted it, and added a Simply Shabby Chic cushion.                                                         The tree will get a few ornaments next.

Speaking of nostalgia and yesteryear, anyone who reads my posts knows I’m divorced from my children’s father. For many of us in this situation, the holidays can be hard. Even in the age of starter marriages, prenuptial agreements and blended families, most of us didn’t set out to have children with someone we loved only to have them with us only part of the time. That means there was a Christmas years ago when the future seemed bright for our family together, but it wasn’t to be. Now I’d love to have my daughter go to sleep in this lovely room every night and wake up here every morning.  That said, I believe God allows us to go through things for a reason. Mine is so I can encourage and inspire other women facing this challenge or other personal ones, to try to minimize the negative aspects of the situation and to maximize the positives. For me that means decorating the room with all the love I have for her so that my daughter will feel this is home when she is here. Also, Izzy, my stepson’s daughter, loves it in here and plays with the toys visible in the Simply Shabby Chic laundry basket turned toy box.

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This photo looks like an old one from a time gone by. So sweet and sentimental.
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The Simply Shabby Chic chandelier lends a soft glow to the wreath. Though natural light is best for photos, there’s something ethereal about this one that spoke to me. My daughter’s American Girl doll, seated in a corner of the daybed, was a Christmas present when she was ten.  

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Christmas decorating enthusiast, I love making every space in my home, even those that are not always occupied, beautiful for the holidays. Because even though it sometimes feels as if we’re premature semi-empty nesters sometimes, my husband and I are always here. You see, I’m a nest featherer who was created to feather my families’ nest, whatever it looks like, whoever it holds. That includes my office and workspace. If you’re anything like me, rather than closing doors on empty rooms, I want to see them so I can remember and pray for the vacant occupant. And who’d rather look at an undecorated, uninviting room or workspace when you can make it look a lot like Christmas, for a girl, a boy, a co-worker, or just yourself?

Maybe you’re dealing with a D – a challenge. You’re divorced, separated, single, never married, widowed, etc. Perhaps you’re an empty nester. Or you work for Ebenezer Scrooge. How can you still be Savvy & Chic on Purpose with your space to make it look a lot like Christmas?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of A Beginning Blogger: A Weekend With Artful Blogging

Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of A Beginning Blogger: A Weekend With Artful Blogging

Day 179 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose was low key day spent like much of the rest of the weekend –  with my latest copy of Artful Blogging. Though the first day of daylight savings time started out warm, it soon deteriorated into tornado and flood flash warnings accompanied by rain. And while the forecast prevented me from checking out the much anticipated roll out of “Hearth and Home with Magnolia”, Target’s new line from Fixer Upper’s Joanna and Chip Gaines, I was OK with a quiet day at home – listening to Joel Ostend’s message on bitterness, doing light housework, and lounging around watching HGTV and reading. As a new blogger, Artful Blogging has become one of my favorite magazines. In fact, it’s what inspired me to give blogging a second try.

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Artful Blogging atop a gold Moroccan pouf and Aubusson needlepoint rug.                     Magazine from Barnes and Noble, pouf from Home Goods, and rug from TJ Maxx. 

Back in 2009, when blogging took off, I started a blog: True Confessions of A Christian Girl. It was my first foray into the social media world. I’d been hesitant about putting myself out there having gone through a divorce and other devastating Ds (challenges) that made me fear judgement from the circle of people who’d been part of my life when I was married. I’d worried for nothing. The warm welcome I received made me realize I’d cut myself off from a community whose love and acceptance had nothing to do with my marital status. And though I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, my blog was well-read and grew.

At the same time, I was trying to break into publication and fired magazine articles off at a fast and furious pace. Soon, my first article was published in Inspired Women Magazine (https://www.inspiredwomenmagazine.com) and then I landed a monthly column there. Simultaneously, I was attending writing conferences and working feverishly to finish my debut novel. All while being a single mom of preschoolers and a director of a high maintenance Kinder Care Learning Center! Something had to give. It was my blog.

This weekend, as I read articles describing how various now successful bloggers started their blogs right around the time I did, I felt a moment’s regret. Had I stayed on track then, my blog may be where I’d like it to be today! Before I succumbed completely to the “if I coulda woulda shoulders”, however, I thought back to Joel’s message (it never fails to be exactly what I need), and realized I can’t be bitter about where I was back there as a mom, professional, and writer or I couldn’t have gotten here. Now.

My blog may not be as successful and have as many followers, but I’m a more experienced mom, professional and writer with a that same novel, Seasons of Her Soul, due out in January! I’m also a wife again and part of a big fat blended family. Each of these experiences have grown me as a blogger and I have to believe writing about them will grow my blog. So will including photos, something I learned from Artful Blogging. So I’m thankful for the detour.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet (a header in Artful Blogging reminded me this is the name for a young swan), and beginning blogger, I must confess I still get discouraged when I think of the amount of time it takes to grow a blog. There are so many details I have yet to master, like how to write the content you readers really want, how to increase traffic, and how to make my posts more visually appealing, etc. But I’m thankful for a magazine like Artful Blogging that informs and inspires me to make my blog the best it can be. Spending time lost in it this weekend did just that and was time well spent.

For those of you who’ve asked why I started the blog, how can you use this information to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic? Do you have a desire to blog? If so, this magazine is a great resource. I’d love to chat with you about it.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Fall Leaves Change and Nothing Remains the Same

Fall Leaves Change and Nothing Remains the Same

It’s Day 130 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and since my blogging  has been sporadic over the last few weeks, I didn’t  have any recent photos and had to go back and find one reflects the sentiment that fall leaves change and nothing remains the same. Going into the third week of being sick, I have to be honest and admit I’ve felt a bit melancholy. It seems as though time goes by too quickly and people drift in and out of our lives. Still, rather than letting that get me down, I’m trying to keep my focus on what I have, versus what I don’t. Sometimes that means being grateful for the memories, even if that time is past or those people are no longer part of the daily landscape.

If you’ve ever taken the time to observe nature in autumn, you see how the leaves first change color and eventually fall to the ground. When all of them have fallen, the landscape is left looking rather barren. If we believed things would stay that way, we’d be left feeling bleak. Instead, when we realize all of these stages are necessary for new life to emerge in spring,  we can view the season of change from a hopeful perspective.

Spring won’t be comprised of the same leaves or colors, but it will be lovely all the same. Likewise, new memories we make won’t necessarily be made up of the same people, places, or even things. That being the case, a photo that captures a window in time becomes priceless. Children grow up and pull away, friends drift apart, and couples break up. Before they do, we snap a photo in the hope of being able to revisit those people, that place and time. My children and stepchildren always give me a hard time for taking so many pics, but I’ve never regretted that. I’ve only regretted when I let a special moment slip by undocumented.

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Carver Farm, Fall 2015 – Treasured Times Gone By. Pink Collar Coach as a cat, stepson and his then girlfriend, my daughter, son, and neighborhood friends. So much change…

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose chick who has never been into scrapbooking, I’m so thankful for my blog. It’s a place to capture my hopes, dreams, plans, feelings and fears. It’s a place to chronicle life’s ups and downs and to hopefully find community with other women in the workplace and on the homefront who are going through life trying to be the best moms, wives, sisters, friends, employees, etc. that we can be.

I hope this post encourages you to grab your camera or phone and to take some pictures this fall. Because it’s not only fall leaves that change. And nothing does remain the same.

Be savvy and chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Landing to Library – Savvy Chic-ing Some Underutilized Space

Landing to Library – Savvy Chic-ing Some Underutilized Space

It’s Day 160 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited to report it’s also Best Views Ever Day for the blog! I was pleasantly surprised to learn this just now when I sat down to post. I hadn’t looked at statistics all day, so it seems the old “a watched pot never boils” saying applies to blog stats as well! This morning Joel Osteen’s message was about when the storm is at its worst, that’s when we experience a power surge. Learning that my all time views almost doubled in a day was just the power surge I needed. I appreciate all of you for taking the time to spend a little of your day with me here. Now, on to the reason I wasn’t plugged in all day: I was busy Savvy Chic-ing an underutilized space on third floor and transformed the landing into a library.

As an avid reader, I’d love to have an entire room dedicated to books, but with a big fat blended family, though our home is relatively large, it doesn’t have any vacant rooms waiting for books to take up residence! That being the case, soon after moving into the house my hubby already owned, one of the first things I did was put my childhood bookcase on the center of the long landing wall which served no purpose other than being a walkway to bedrooms, the children’s bathroom, the linen closet and the catwalk overlooking the living room. For the last seven years the bookcase has done its duty alone (once one of a set, I wish I wish I knew what happened to its twin!). But as I’ve broadened my horizons and added new authors to my favorites, my book collection has outgrown the solitary bookcase.

For a while now, I’ve had a Shabby Chic style shelving unit in mind and have half-heartedly looked for it. Then, lo and behold, yesterday, when I was at the Christian bookstore redeeming a coupon, I wandered down to Old Time Pottery and found two shelves that I thought would foot the bill stacked on top of one another to make a tall bookcase. Knowing how much it would mean to me, my sweet hubby met me, we got the van, and he went and picked them up for me without batting an eye. Yes, he wanted me to be happy but I think he also wanted avoid the towering stacks of books on the landing from tumbling down! To top it off, he took me to Endless Shrimp Fest at Red Lobster for date night. He’s a keeper. ; )

Today, while I was home alone, I spent many happy hours rearranging ALL of my books (they’re alphabetized) – the secular authors on the bookcase I painted Shabby Chic sage green back when I was married to my wasband – and my Christian authors on the new shelves, which look distressed with age. Then, I shopped the shed and rooted through all of the boxes from my old office as well as the house to decorate the shelves. With a little time and love, the landing is now a functional, beautiful library.

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Two shelving units stacked on top of one another gave me the height I wanted. It’s filled with books and has tons of room for more.  Florentine picture frames with family photos, $1 candle holders from Goodwill and some sentimental pieces, the provide Savvy Chic function and beauty.
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The new shelves and the old go well together. They are united by the books, Florentine frames and Shabby Chic sage green that is woven through both.                                                                      Brown is not my usual go-to, but I like how it plays off the brown stair railing.                                                                                                        It also makes this space, located just outside the master bedroom more palatable for my hubby. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Chick who loves maximizing her space by transforming underutilized or quirky spaces into functional, beautiful ones, I hope my project inspires you to take a look at your spaces and image them serving more of a purpose. When you do, you may be surprised to learn that instead of being the spaces you just want to rush through, they become the spaces you want to relax in. That’s what happened to me today – I spent a lot of time reading on the landing. Oh, I mean, The Library!

What landings, hallways, nooks, closets, or cubbies could you Savvy Chic to fit your home or office needs?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

~

 

Pink, Red and Pops of Purple – More Than The Colors in My Dress

Pink, Red and Pops of Purple – More Than The Colors in My Dress

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Pink Collar Coach in Calvin Klein wrap style dress with pink, reds, and pops of purple. Black cami keeps the V-neck from plunging too far. The handbag and pumps are also Calvin Klein. I don’t often wear red lipstick, but Maybelline’s On Fire Red has enough of a pink undertone to make it doable for me. If it looks as if I’m looking up, I am. My tall hubby was the photographer! All of other makeup is Maybelline as well – my go-to. Silver Moroccan pouf is one of my recent all-time best scores from Home Goods while the Aubusson needlepoint rug is a decade old TJMaxx find. Simply Shabby Chic sofa slipcover and pillows.

Day 94 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project provided an opportunity to be with family and to make new friends. Following the christening ceremony for our family’s newest member, we left church and went to celebrate at the parents’ home. There I had the pleasure of meeting a relative on the husband’s side who’s returned to town to access her support system. This amazing young woman, who I’ll call Cee, is dealing with an incredible challenge, yet from the short time I spent with her, though her body is under attack, I found her spirit to be indomitable.

I’m humbled and in awe that God continues to put women in my way. Many of them are fighting valiant emotional, physical, social and/or spiritual battles. My heart for them must show on my face because so often, even if perfect strangers, they share their stories with me and then tell me how much I’ve encouraged them. I’m always blown away by this because I’m beyond blessed by each and every encounter. Today was no exception. My new friend taught me about strength, tenacity and pursuing your dreams despite a dire prognosis.

I shared my own breast cancer scare with her and showed her pictures of the battle scar from where I had a giant growth that presented as malignant but turned out to be benign removed. We then traded stories about the changes our health challenges and hormones have wreaked on our bodies, including the need for a better bra! When Cee told me her age and I let her know I am actually two years older, she exclaimed, “Girl, you look good!”. And so does she. Three weeks past her latest chemo session and with no hair, Cee radiates true beauty.

One of the reasons I’ve come to love blogging so much is not only does it make me more mindful of  capturing meaningful moments after the fact, it makes me more so in the actual moment. So, as my time with Cee drew to a close because my big fat blended family had to go, I thought about what I was wearing and knew I’d remember it because of meeting her. The pink will remind me of my passion for women, especially those fighting health challenges, including breast cancer scare because of my own scare; the red will make me recall her valor; and the pop of purple will say, “She deserves a purple heart for positivity during her fight!”

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who wants to maximize my unique God given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women to live their best lives, all to His glory, I’m writing this blog and sending it to her as a first step in our relationship because what she said as she hugged me –  that she felt as if God had us meet – echoes my thoughts exactly. She’s a writer who writes plays about women! Wow. She’s so Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose! It just goes to show, when we live life on purpose, God puts special people in our path. Even if the original goal of the day was simply to post about wearing a dress with pink, red and pops of purple!

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of a Beginning Blogger – Categories and Tags

Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of a Beginning Blogger – Categories and Tags

It’s Day 63 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I have a confession. I’m pumped (and a little embarrassed) that after two months of blogging and at least a month reading Blogging for Writers I’ve finally figured out how to add categories and tags to posts! This shouldn’t have taken nearly this long, but I always was that child who would read assembly instructions half heartedly and then try to put complicated toys like Barbie Dream Houses and Radio Flyer wagons together without following them step-by-step. Needless to say, in the long run, rather than shortening time to accomplish a task it extended it. Not to mention the frustration! I was a smart girl and my single mother and younger brother relied on me to put the Christmas toys together. Delays led to tantrums because after opening his gifts, he just wanted to get down to playing with the toys he’d been waiting on.
This could be me with my Mac Air Book covered in a pink shell. The only difference is mine has an apple where she has heart. I looked this graphic up under royalty free images, so I hope I’m alright regarding copyright laws.
I’m still smart but am a big girl now, so knowing it would be time consuming and possibly frustrating, tonight I put on my big girl pants and not only read the instructions on adding categories and tags to posts, I meticulously did just as I was instructed. Having mastered this, the sense of accomplishment I now feel far outweighs any frustration. Tantrum avoided!  The bad news is, with seventy plus posts to go back and edit, this is way overdue and will take me some time to get caught up. Once it is, I will make adding these features a part of my blogging routine. This too reminds me of when I grew up. Cleaning my room wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but being able to find my toys made playtime so much more fun that I was happy to maintain it until some child of my mother’s friends would trash it…But I digress. My point is, hopefully readers will want to spend time here because it’s easy to locate what you want to read and it’s also fun.
As a Pink Collar Savvy and Chic on Purpose chick, this blogging journey has been one of self discovery, continuous growth and development, finding my voice and my online tribe. Still, I’ve got so much further to go that I must confess, at times I feel daunted and like I’ll never be a published book author whose work makes a huge impact on its readers. Even so, for now, I’m so thankful to those of you who stop by and visit from time to time. I hope you find the inspiration and insight for your home, work, image, and lifestyles you seek here on my blog. Being able to search by categories and tags will save time and tantrums!