Happy To Be In Love With My Best Friend on Our Happy Anniversary

Happy To Be In Love With My Best Friend on Our Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was Day 102 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and it was also my wedding anniversary.  After making a run to Kroger after Zumba last night to load up on necessities for a much-anticipated family wedding/vacation, I rushed home to give my  hubby his card and favorite fat-free treat. We hadn’t gotten any time together because he’d left the house at the crack of dawn to watch my stepsons’ first college golf match of the season and had just beat me home. Once we were both there, after a speedy but sincere exchange of “Happy Anniversary” and “I love you”, I headed upstairs to pack while he remained at his desk wrapping up some last-minute tasks before our trip. “Honey, shouldn’t you be packing?” I asked. “It’ll take me no time,” was his quick response. Doubtful, I let him be. After over a decade together, I know him well enough to let him believe he’d pack quickly.

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A vignette on a tallboy dresser in our bedbroom. I love seeing a wedding picture from our bed. Shabby Chic style frame from Sheffield Home, distressed urn with while ranuncula roses, all reminsiscent of those I carried in my bouquet were all found at TJMaxx over the years.                   The Simply Shabby Chic ceramic night light that now serves as a decorative piece lost it’s plug – still pretty. I inherited the green paint color. hope to paint the room in my signature soft white. 

By the time my hubby did join me in our bedroom, it was in a total state of disarray. I warned him before he entered and then shoved all of my stuff to my side of our king bed so he could pack on his side. Within a short period of time, the bed was covered with men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. And I thought the room was a mess before he started! Rather than celebrating our anniversary, we spent the evening trying on clothes and asking for each other’s opinions – on color, fit, style, etc. It was So.Much.Fun. There was a time when my husband didn’t really seek my opinion on his attire, but we’ve evolved and are so much more symbiotic – in a good way. I’m looking foward to being, not matchy-matchy – heaven forbid! – but coordinated with my spouse as we hang out with our family over the next few days.

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This hangs in my daughter’s room but is SO true of her mama. And my hubby. By the time I’ve decided what to wear, it looks like a clothing warehouse, albeit a nice one, exploded! The artwork and flowers are from TJMaxx. The shade and night light are Simply Shabby Chic- Target. 

By the time we’d made all our decisions and the bed was finally cleared off, we were both too exhausted to do anything but fall into it and go to sleep. I vaguely regreted not having a romantic evening or blogging but was so happy to fall asleep with my best friend holding my hand. I realized it was romantic. And I’d have some great pics for the blog as a result of our efforts.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who is so happy to be in love with my husband and celebrating my anniversary, I know why destroying our bedroom as we packed was such a good time. It was with my best friend.

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Coach’s Prerogative to Change My Design Mind

Pink Collar Coach’s Prerogative to Change My Design Mind

It’s Day 101 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and these photos probably look familiar. A few months ago I posted when I found this peacock chair and initially styled it using the decorative plastic mats from my front deck, a bohemian inspired lapis shell end table, a shell hanging piece, and a square Simply Shabby Chic pillow. Then, a few weeks ago, I switched out the lapis table because it wasn’t holding up well under the elements (it’s been moved to my daughter’s room where it fits in well with her shabby-boho decor). I replaced the piece with a brass end table to tie in with the existing light fixture, Shabby Chic-ed some succulents and added decorative brass ones in boho-inspired pots. A thrifted brass angel pot holder and bohemian pot finished out the space. I was happy with it and appreciated that you readers liked it too.

Then, last weekend, when my husband had his jack-of-all-trades guy out to power wash the porch and decks before re-staining them, he informed me that my beautiful decorative mats were causing mold and other problems on the front porch and could not be put back down. Apparently, because the porch gets the least amount of sun and doesn’t have air circulating beneath it like the back deck and the one off our third floor bedroom, the water wasn’t drying out or evaporating but it was ruining the wood. Bummer! I thought.

But then, maybe not. I did love the way the pattern in those mats looked with the peacock chair and had searched in vain for similar ones to pair with it. So, I retrieved the mats from the garage (I was NOT happy that they’d been relegated there and may have gotten lost or thrown out if I hadn’t retrieved them quickly enough). Back on the bedroom deck, they did look great but somehow threw off the brass table and succulents. Another trip to TJMaxx and Home Goods was required. At the latter, I. Fell. In. Love. Not with one, but two of the most gorgeous garden stools I’ve ever seen. You may know where this is leading…Yep, those garden stools inspired me to redo the entire space.

Remember that commercial about decorating changes in one room leading to another room in the house and then another?  Well, that’s what happened here. The rugs led to the garden stools, the garden stools led to eliminating the brass “succulents”, angel and pot, and to rearranging the Shabby Chic-ed succulents. I added another pink succulent pot, this one geometrical, to top the garden stool that serves the chair. It’s a perfect spot to rest my coffee cup and phone while I read. The LED light I added is battery operated and lives in the plastic storage bin when not in use. Love how it keeps a bit of the brass from the existing fixture in play. Next, I went on a quest for  a wall hanging to fill the empty space above the chair. It needed to fit my beauty, comfort, function requirements: a) be Shabby-Chic, preferably macrame, and visually tie in with the other pieces, b) be inspirational or evoke a feeling of peace and tranquility, c) be weather resistant and able to hang from the overhead pipe. Last weekend I struck out at TJ’s and Home Goods, but yesterday, right after brunch, a quick trip to TJ’s yielded this dreamy dream catcher. Bingo and a major score! The final tweak was switching out the square pillow for the round one from my bed, which is also Simply Shabby Chic of course.

What, you may ask, happened to all of the other pieces I’d bought? All will be returned, except for the angel and pot that now add to the boho vibe in my daughter’s room. Good thing I always keep not only the receipts but tags for larger items in case I live with them for a few days or even weeks and then decide they’re not the right fit.

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My outdoor Shabby Chic She Space. There is a method to my madness. Note how the design of the dream catcher, the pattern in the pillow, the one in the rug  and even the geometric succulent pot tie together beautifully. The  pillow’s little pom poms mimic the dot design on the garden stools and the round motif is carried throughout. 
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My view from the peacock chair. The green in the garden stool is visible – a perfect match to the soft sage green of the chair and succulents. The brown banding on the mats makes the brown deck prettier. Funny how embracing things we hate about our homes can make us love them. Can’t say the same about the ugly dumpster that’s there for the house next door’s renovation…

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who will keep tszujing my home until it’s what I really want, I’m so glad it’s my prerogative to change my mind about my home’s interior design. (BTW – tszujing means to improve something by tweaking it to better fit what it’s meant to do functionally and artistically; pronounced zhujing). I hope me excercising my prerogative inspires you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic ladies to do the same in your home or office.

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Outdoor Office

Pink Collar Coach’s Outdoor Office

Following a morning meeting, Day 97 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was the perfect day to work outdoors. In such a beautiful setting, it’s no surprise that I had a productive day working on the front matter (everything that comes before the story actually begins) for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. I finished my dedication page and even fashioned it into a poem, completed the epigraph page, and secured an endorsement from an award winning author. It along with one from a former Cincy Enquirer book reviewer have me that much closer to being able to submit everything I need to meet the January 2018 publication target.

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My back deck served as my office today. White wicker in weather resistant resin from Menards. was a Mother’s Day gift from my hubby a few years ago. We had to search high and low for white So happy I didn’t settle! Simply Shabby Chic pillows ($5 clearance at Target) are easily tucked away in wicker look storage container from Culver. The garden stool got a fresh coat of white spray paint this weekend to hide years’ worth of wear. Sisal rug was $20 at Walmart.                                                                      The pop of bright green in the birdbath was a $2.50 clearance score from my local grocer. It was filthy and broken. Cleaned up and repaired, it fills an empty corner with color.                                                                                                My Mac Air in it’s Hot Lips Pink Speck case from Best Buy makes it so Pink Collar Savvy & Chic.  
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My youngest stepson has an interest in and a talent for photography. When I asked him to snap a pic for me, he jumped right in and took several. Me, Pink Collar Coach in a lace top and A-line skirt, both Calvin Klein. 
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My love of pink is evident amidst the beautiful greenery of the woods that is our backyard:     Pink Calvin Klein sunglasses, Timex oversized watch, geraniums and petunias,                                  and even my low calorie drink! 

I’m very  blessed to have outdoor spaces like I do, but prior to me being intentional about making them extensions of our indoor space, they were underused. Now, most days, my youngest stepson can be found with his feet propped up on the wicker catching some rays (with lots of sunscreen of course). And last week, my hubby even suggested we have dinner on the deck when my oldest stepson stopped by.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who wants to inspire others to live their best lives, I  hope these pictures will cause you to want to get outside. You can create a functional oasis in your outdoor space too. It doesn’t require a ton of money, it just takes some imagination and intentionality. Now is a great time to pick up outdoor furniture on clearance at retailers and you can always visit garage and yard sales, flea markets, and second hand stores for treasures. Once you’ve scored or repurposed your finds, take your laptop, cell phone, notepad and pen or whatever you’re working on, and try to work on it surrounded by nature.  If you’re anything like me, whether paying household bills, filling out mounds of back to school paperwork, preparing the Sunday School lesson, or a report for the next staff meeting, you’ll enjoy the task more in your outdoor office.

Use What You Do as Decor and Do it More (For Me, It’s Dance)!

Use What You Do as Decor and Do it More (For Me, It’s Dance)!

It’s Day 96 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I didn’t get to dance! Although my day started with a phone call for me to proceed with getting my Zumba certification and teaching a weekly class at my local Y, the class I’d looked forward to attending this evening was cancelled. Of course I understand that instructors have things come up, but I’m always disappointed when they do and hate to miss a day doing something I’ve loved since I was a child and have incorporated into my adult life. So, since I have dance on the brain, I figured I’d blog about it.

Surrounding myself with images of dance is inspirational and actually motivated me to pursue a lifelong dream of teaching it. Growing up, we were too poor for me to be able to take classes, but that didn’t stop me from dancing every chance I got. I used to choreograph dances for the kids in my neighborhood and we’d have talent shows and invite anyone who’d come. I was a huge fan of Fame and Flashdance and feel like I actually channeled Jennifer Beal as I’d dance my heart out in my kitchen, especially to Michael Sembello’s epic “Maniac”. Like Beal’s character, Alex Owens, even without formal training, I could just dance. I don’t say that in a boastful way, I just feel the music in every fiber of my being. The lyrics from “What a Feeling” resonate:

Well, I hear the music

Close my eyes, feel the rhythm

Wrap around 

Take a hold of my heart

And much to the surprise of a Zumba sister, who startled me when she approached me last week, I do dance with my eyes closed! As an adult, I’ve taken ballet, tap and jazz. Then I took my first Zumba class and was hooked! When I’m dancing, the world disappears and it’s just me and my Maker – no matter the type of music. Like David (2 Samuel 6:14), I dance before the Lord.

But it’s not just dancing itself that brings me joy; it’s dance itself. I love the images associated with it. This is just a sampling of dance inspired decor displayed in my home.

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Charcoal sketch I recently purchased for under $10 at TJMaxx. I first saw a similar one in a Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic book.      It hangs in my living room & draws the eye up to the cathedral ceiling.
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Photograph of a ballerina that sits on the floor opposite above. I love the similarities in the poses and the juxtaposition of the artworks’ placement. When coming down the stairs, you can see this ballerina peeking out from between the end table and the Shabby Chic style chair.                        Her pose draws the eye down. 
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If you look closely, this oil canvas says, “Vivir con Passion”, Spanish for “Live with Passion”. This beauty used to occupy my cubicle a few jobs back but now inspires me every time I sit at the kitchen table. The plate rack I inherited when I married my hubby is one of the few decorative pieces I kept and it houses my collection of Simply Shabby Chic plates. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who believes in decorating with the things you do, I encourage you to fill your home and office with images or objects that reflect your passions. Be it animals (i.e. photos of pets in pet-themed frames), bicycling (I’ve seen an antique bike hung on the wall), gardening (tools set out on surfaces), flowers (real or artificial bring life to every room), a hobby (decorate with sewing or crafting paraphernalia), and sports (my hubby has golf trophies and newspaper clippings from tournaments on display, including a pink golf ball I added). Love to travel? Blow up pictures to re-live the experience. You get the idea…Use what you love as decor and you’ll be inspired to do more of it!

Can’t wait for Zumba tomorrow. : )

~Pink  Collar Coach

 

Savvy & Chic Shopping Series – For Working Women Who Love Home & Hearth

Savvy & Chic Shopping Series – For Working Women Who Love Home & Hearth

Day 89 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project still has me trying to figure out my true blog target audience and my blogging voice. To be honest, I’m throwing everything I’ve got out there, and trying to learn what sticks. From what I’m reading, this is a normal process that can feel lonely at times. Especially those times where I share things I’m passionate about and that I hope will resonate with readers and they fall flat. Regardless, I’m determined to keep posting for what I realized today may be my target: Women in the workplace who have a heart for home. And though my writing definitely has a faith-based component, I’m hopeful that it will inspire women, whatever your religious beliefs. If men like it, then that’s a bonus, even though you aren’t pink collar!
That being the case, I’m going to continue with this series, sharing my finds from resale shopping this weekend. If it falls totally flat, I’ll know the social and professional sites where I’m posting may not be the right ones for this type of content. But hey, I won’t know unless I try, right? Besides, I need to practice taking quality pictures that not only look good on my phone but on screen. So here it goes with treasures that speak to home and hearth (historically, the latter was where the cooking was done). I used them as kitchen decor.
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Yardlong (horizontal print) of cooking herbs in a muted green frame. Love the pink & soft teal.
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The same $4 picture can be hung vertically and came with a hook for either option. It isn’t crooked but my aim is. Please don’t judge!
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More wonky photography! I hung the print in the kitchen above the door that leads to our finished walkout basement AKA the Mancave. I love how it picks up the pinks and blues in the heart picture frame and the Simply Shabby Chic apron, as well as the greens in the wall hooks and garden inspired mirror. The mirror is one of the few pieces inherited from my hubby’s first wife that I actually kept.
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This $1 plaque reminders to slow down and try to share a few meals around the table. As busy women on the home-front and in the workplace, visual reminders are needed. When you work hard, breaking bread together provides sustenance for body and soul.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick, who is still trying to find my niche, my reader tribe, and my photo mojo, I hope I don’t turn readers off with my imperfect home-y posts. I’m biased of course, but I view each post as beautiful because they are my childhood dream of a magazine for Christian women that would cover fashion, interior design and short stories come true. I wouldn’t post unless I believed someone else would see the beauty too and be motivated to recreate for themselves. Rather than turning off, I hope I can connect with women who relate to my love of home, career, style, and faith. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to make the most of your home. Your hearth. And your life.
~Pink Collar Coach
Savvy Shopping Series – A Few of My Favorite Faith-based Finds

Savvy Shopping Series – A Few of My Favorite Faith-based Finds

It’s Day 88 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and it may be the earliest I’ve ever posted. I’ve looked forward to sharing some of the resale items I scored Saturday, and after taking advantage of the daylight to photograph them, I couldn’t wait to post. Though I spent little money, I got a lot of stuff, so I’m sharing them in a short series. All of these lovingly curated treasures have a few things in common: faith-based/spiritual theme, gold or bronze accents, and found a home in my bedroom. The fact that they’re Shabby Chic inspired is a given!

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This is one of my favorite finds of the day. The girl’s attire is quintessentially Shabby Chic.       The boy and girl remind me of my son and daughter. They now live on my dresser. The faith-based piece? Seeing them is a reminder to pray for my children. I used a Sharpie to cover the word Viet Nam. That it’s still visible is ok, since my father was a veteran. 

 

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Though I shared the photo of the praying hands and mug yesterday, I wanted to capture the entire vignette to demonstrate how resale items can be incorporated with what you already have. The shadow box is a TJMaxx find I’ve had for years and the hankie was a wedding gift from my sister-in-law, who embroidered my name. The Shabby Chic vintage-look sign with the bronze lettering was purchased at my local grocery store for $12 when I was newly divorced.    Savvy & Chic style on shoe string!
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Again, though I’ve shared photos of my Shabby-Chic-ed succulents, I was thrilled to find this angel to replace one I lost when I married my husband and moved. At $2, the fact that she is brass ties in perfectly with the other brass accents. And the $1 pot with the flowers fit the stand perfectly, even though I didn’t intend to use it that way.                                                                       Being open to new uses is key to resale /repurposing success. Now, she’s Angel of the Succulents. 

 

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At $1, this beauty was a steal. The pink and purple make it very Shabby Chic, however, the brown outline makes it a tad masculine. I found a home for it above my hubby’s night stand. He’s an amazing man of faith and doesn’t need the reminder, but can appreciate it all the same.      Besides, call me old fashioned, but I still love to hang plates on the wall as decor. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who believes women crave beauty, comfort and function, not only in our homes, but in our work spaces as well, I hope you are inspired to scout out some inspirational decor for your home or office. Work on the home-front or in the workplace can drive us to our knees. If we surround ourselves with beautiful, inspirational things, rather than loose our minds, we’ll be able to keep the faith.

 

Savvy & Chic Resale Retail Therapy

Savvy & Chic Resale Retail Therapy

Day 86 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project whizzed by yesterday and ended with me nodding off before I could post. That was actually a good thing because it meant the girl time spent with one of my dearest friends did the trick. Early morning Zumba, breakfast, a long treasure hunt at Goodwill, and hosting a small alfresco family dinner on my back deck freed my mind from some of the things that have been troubling me enough that I could sleep.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach seeing life through rose colored glasses – literally. Time me with a true Shopping Soul Sister reminded me that the thrill of the hunt should still include resale shops,    my first home decor shopping love, not just TJ Maxx! Calvin Klein glasses, dress, belt, handbag and comfortable slides for power treasure hunting.

After a good night’s rest, I awoke on Day 87 thankful for my friend and my finds! I love taking someone else’s trash and turning it into treasure. God does too, as Joel Osteen reminded me this morning. He can turn a great mess into greatness. So, I got it from my Daddy!

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Beautiful vignette I created – ceramic praying hands with small rose buds – $2 at my local Goodwill. So Shabby Chic! As is the mug with  a  spiritual spin on Keep Calm and Carry On.
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kibby in her fun cowgirl chic. Rachel Ashwell, the founder of Shabby Chic, who often sports a cowgirl hat and boots while treasure hunting would approve. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick whose long-time dream is to curate inspirational items that inspire women’s home and work spaces, yesterday was a return to my decorating roots. Though I’ve come a long way from the young woman who scoured resale shops and flea markets out of necessity and love, I’m still the same woman who has always found true beauty in the things that others have discarded or not noticed.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been discarded by some or not noticed by others. It makes me thankful that I was sought and lovingly found by my heavenly Father. My husband. And my friends, like Kibby who invited me to lunch when I was new girl in the office. Instantaneously we learned that we’re kindred spirits in the truest sense. We love the Lord, our families, our friends, and a good healthy session of resale retail therapy.