Who Are You and What is Your Center?

Who Are You and What is Your Center?

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.

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A pretty pink Babushka (another name for the dolls & one my children use often!).                         She looks truly at home in front of my largest Christmas house, also known as a Putz House.  They originated in Central Europe as well.  
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The intricate painting on each of the dolls is exquisite.                                                                       Another of my amazing TJ Maxx finds for under $10.                                                                               The Christmas House was a Marshall’s clearance find years ago.
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I adore this periwinkle stacking doll but almost let her go.                                                        Thankfully, she waited for me & is now a Christmas gift for a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swan.

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?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Christmas Cookies

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Christmas Cookies

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

  1. Purchase enough rolls of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough for the number of cookies you need (1 roll yields a dozen 1/2 inch cookies).
  2. Purchase enough cans of Pillsbury Funfetti icing in your preferred color (1 can covers about 3 dozen cookies)
  3.  Follow the directions for round or shaped cookies.
  4. Once cooled, ice the cookies, leaving enough room between so icing doesn’t stick.
  5. Sprinkle lightly with matching or coordinating sprinkles depending desired look.
  6. Refrigerate the cookies for at least one hour so icing can set.
  7. Transfer to a holiday plate or tin.
  8. Enjoy!
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Baking ingredients and my Keep Calm and Bake On spatula for spreading. The canister is from the English company Cooksmart. I got it on clearance years ago at TJ Maxx.
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Pink cookies on a pretty plate. The black mark to the left is a surface scratch!
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Placed in a pretty tin, they make a lovely gift.

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!).

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

It’s Time To Wrap It Up & The First Gift of Christmas – Ways To Wow With Your Wrapping

It’s Time To Wrap It Up & The First Gift of Christmas – Ways To Wow With Your Wrapping

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!

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Shabby Chic inspired gift wrapping with words and Christmas motifs like trees and candy canes but in softer colors. The tags are from Punch Studio, the paper Lady Jane, LTD, Robee, and Echo, discount store bows in assorted colors, and lovingly saved Shabby Chic ribbon from purchases over the years. Frosted Christmas flowers are replace my usual roses & dahlias. All from TJ Maxx, Home Goods, or Marshalls. Simply Shabby Chic tree skirt from Target.

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:

  1. 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).
  2. Look for paper that complements your decor or theme (Ex. Though my palette isn’t traditional, Christmas trees and candy canes are).
  3. Tie it together with common threads (i.e. Bling/glitter is featured in my bows, paper, and tags).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas – The Tree Has Been Trimmed!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas – The Tree Has Been Trimmed!

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.

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Our tree trimmed with all of my Simply Shabby Chic, Shiny Brite and vintage inspired pink and pastel ornaments. They are sharing space with my hubby’s traditional red and whimsical ones.
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Even prettier after the sun went down. Of course the NFL game is lending its own glow!

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…

Be savvy & chic,

Pink Collar Coach

 

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Dining Room

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Dining Room

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.

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My Willow Tree Cross, Nativity and figurines of an expectant mother and one of mother and child. Normally they remind me of carrying my children. At Christmas, of Mary & baby Jesus. 
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The hutch is filled with cloches containing Christmas houses. In addition to my Simply Shabby Chic Santa on the table, there’s an oversized one proclaiming the reason we celebrate. I found him after a coaching session and fell in love. If I could marry a Santa, it would be him! ; ) 
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The Simply Shabby Chic stockings were hung on the hand rail with care,                                                in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be here! The staircase is open to the dining room. A large pink gift box with an aqua bow is actually metal and sits in this spot every year. The colors tie in with the other blues in the room, like the Keep Calm and Carry On sign and the set of floral paintings leaning against the wall. Eventually I’d love to paint the stairs white…
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A Christmas house village set on top of the buffet. The lace edged Simply Shabby Chic runner beneath it looks like snow. The houses have light bulbs inside and cast a warm glow at night. Collected over time, the large house was my ultimate score several years ago.                                    My children used to beg to play with their Littlest Pet Shops here. 

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…

Be savvy & chic,

!Pink Collar Coach

 

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Library

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Library

Day 105 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was spent ticking off my list of professional and priority tasks before getting around to making it begin to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in the library. Regular readers may recall that this underutilized space was merely a landing a few months ago until I maximized it and made it a full-fledged library. What fun I had decking this hall! And I love passing through it on the way to and from our master bedroom or my children’s. With all of it’s sentimental bits, only a few strategically placed holiday decor pieces and $0 were needed to make my new library look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas.

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The landing to library transformation began with my hubby’s gift of these shelves for his bookworm wife now topped with my collection of Christmas houses from Cracker Barrel.

My father was my best friend. I lost him in 2001. I inherited my love of design (he was an architectural engineer) and other people’s castaways from him. A chair he rescued for me from one of his rental properties is imperfect, which speaks to the life it’s lived and his love for me. I’ll keep it always. It has a palace of honor in the library, so showing this spot some love is a way to have my daddy with me for Christmas. He adored dogs and tolerated my cats, so he’d probably get a kick out the fact that the kitty litter lives next to the chair! Bookshelves from my childhood are another sentimenatl nod. They conjure up fond memories of my mother. I inherited my love of reading from her.

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This sentimental chair is topped with a Simply Shabby Chic round pillow that my cat, Peppa Loveday has claimed for a napping spot. Appropriate since the chair is housed on the catwalk section of the landing that overlooks the living room. The rug is Simply Shabby Chic as well. The vintage look Pink Santa is a Hobby Lobby find from years ago. I got him for half off.
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This green bookshelf has been with me for most of my life and lived on the landing in the house I grew up in. Now it’s come full circle. I painted it this sage-y Shabby Chic green about twenty years ago. It houses books and DVD collection. The pink basket and wicker lamp are flea market finds.  This Santas twin is in my daughter’s room. They too, were half off at Hobby Lobby, so I got both for under $20. His yellow package and red presents pick up the colors in the artwork.
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This newer shadowbox houses a vintage napkin. Both are quintessentially Shabby Chic. The chest with a damask cushion is one of my few Simply Shabby Chic furniture pieces. Before my children were old enough to pick out their own clothes, I laid theirs out for school here every night. The wear and tear speaks to its usefulness.                                                                                      The soft green vintage look ornament reminds me of Shiny Brights. Nostalgic.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose decorating enthusiast, decorating is even more special for me this year because I’m documenting it. It’s yet another way blogging has enhanced my life. Climbing into my attic to retrieve much of my decor is no picnic (I couldn’t wait til this weekend for my hubby to do it) but is so worth the effort because it gives me blogging material. And it was like Christmas morning finding all of my stuff this afternoon! Sharing my finds and styling them to share with you is the icing on the cake. Having to clean in order to style and take pictures is another benefit…

I hope this series  inspires you to Savvy Chic some of your spaces at home and the office – with whatever it is you love and that speaks to you. After all, if you look around, it appears the days of Christmas being strictly red and green are behind us. So infuse your dwelling and workspace with your sentimental stuff and your style. When you do, like it did with my library, I believe they’ll begin to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Zumba Love Is Why I’m Now Heartsaver CPR and AED Certified

Zumba Love Is Why I’m Now Heartsaver CPR and AED Certified

It’s Day 203 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and my intense Zumba love is why I spent the early part of the day at my local fire department getting certified in Heartsaver CPR and AED. Though I’m a former teacher and child care center director and was required to have First Aid and CPR training in those roles, AED (automated external defibrillator) is new to me. The course has been revised to reflect advances in technology as well as the demographics and needs of the individuals served. To say times have changed in the last six years since I last attended a full course is a huge understatement! I’m so thankful becoming a certified Zumba instructor presented this professional development opportunity. Especially since I can use it in my personal life too. Because of it, I feel much more confident about my ability to help save a life during a Zumba class, or outside one, now that I’m Heartsaver CPR and AED certified. img_0617.jpg The training I attended is through the American Heart Association, which is commited to everyone being healthy in heart and mind. Their answer for why they do what they do: Life is Why. When I got home, bookish as I am, I studied the Student Workbook provided by the AHA more in-depthly. At the front of it, course participants are encouraged to discover our Why. The questions to ask ourselves are: What are the moments, people and experiences I live for? What brings me joy, wonder, and happiness? Why am I partnering with AHA to help save lives? Why is cardiovascular care important to me? On the most basic level, all of my answers have to do with Zumba, since that was the primary reason I got certified. But on a deeper level, I’m a Life Coach who believes strongly in a holistic coaching approach. As such, I’m committed to the health and wellness of every woman in my world. So, in a sense, you’re my Why.

After discovering our Why, there’s an offer to participate in the AHA’s mission and Life Is Why campaign. I accepted the offer and completed the above activity by filling in the blank with what describes my Why. The next step is sharing my “Zumba Love Is Why” with the people I love and to ask them to discover their Why. That means you!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach with Firefighter Ryan, our Heartsaver CPR and AED Instructor. The artwork is a drawing by talented Lakota East High School students.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Coach I love Zumba so much because I love life and know how much excercise can contribute to a long, healthy, happy one.  I hope that in sharing, I’ve encouraged you to think about experiencing more of life’s precious moments. Through dancing. Through taking better care of your heart and your health. Perhaps by considering your Why and then demonstrating it by sharing this post. Maybe you’ll get certified and join the Chain of Survival. In our world where heart disease, poor diet and excercise, drug abuse and other illnessess run rampant, you never know, we might just save a life…This morning I thought I was just a Zumba loving instructor getting my Heartsaver CPR and AED certification. Discovering my Why and sharing with you means I got so much more than I bargained for.

What’s your Why? What Savvy & Chic on Purpose action steps will you take because of it? How could getting certified help you in your personal life? Professionally?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach