My Writing Vibe & Tribe With The Dayton Christian Scribes

My Writing Vibe & Tribe With The Dayton Christian Scribes

It’s Day 216 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m grateful that I’ve found my writing vibe and tribe with the Dayton Christian Scribes. A few months ago I reached out to one of the editors who has worked with me on my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, to let her know it is finally going to be published. She rejoiced with me and then extended an invitation to attend her writing group. Knowing what a strong writer she is (I adore all three of her award-winning Regency romances), I readily accepted. Since August, I’ve attended and benefited from the critiques of other talented writers who have helped me polish my book so it shines. As much as I value the constructive criticism of my work, the camaraderie from other like-minded creatives is what keeps me coming back each month. They’ve made me feel at home from the start and never more so than at last night’s Christmas party. Because of our mutual love of writing, books, and Jesus, my writing is stonger and my heart is knit together with this special group.

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The Dayton Christian Scribes. A mix of ages, genders and writing genres.

The agenda for the party included prayer, food (of course), a cookie exchange, a White Elephant book exchange, and Christmas caroling. Though I’m a new member, I was charged with leading the carols. I’ve done this in various settings, including neighborhoods, churches, my children’s schools, nursing homes, and even at my jobs. But I can honestly say caroling with this group is on my all time Faves List!  With caroling hymn books in hand, we started going alphabetically, but pretty soon members began to call out requests. Other sopranos soured with mine, altos added their amazing voices,   tenors tuned in, and the gentlemen’s beautiful barritone and bass brought harmony to the mix. Then, our president took up her flute and accompanied us with finesse. We learned a sweet song that was new to most of us called “The Friendly Beasts”. “Silent Night” was our benediction. One of the most touching moments for me was when one of our older gents joined me in singing a verse in German, taking me back to my beloved bilingual school days.

As a Pink Collar Savvy and Chic on Purpose writer, I’m so blessed to have a lifelong creative hobby that I’m now trying to make my vocation. Having my book published after all these years is a dream come true. The fact that is has also caused me to find my vibe and tribe with the Dayton Christian Scribes is the icing on the cake.

What about you? Has a hobby or a lifelong passion caused you to join a group and the relationships turned into more? How about a professional organization where you gained personal connections? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy and Chic about seeking out these opportunities? In doing so you can grow your craft and your circle of friends.

Be be savvy and chic,

– Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Day 208 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been productive professionally and personally because once I made huge progress with the former, I was able to devote my attention to holiday decorating so that it’s beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in the living room. Of all the spaces in my house, this one has probably been the source of the most debate for my hubby and me. And unfortunately, the conflict has often increased at Christmas. Such a shame that our desire for us to have it look like our version of holiday took our focus off of the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

The issue is that he’s full on traditional and wants red and green everywhere and those colors are polar opposite of my Shabby Chic style. In all fairness to him, the first year we were married I was knee deep in Kinder Care Director mode and didn’t have the time or energy to care much about the Christmas decor. So the next year when I was in a less intense role and cared a great deal it probably came as a bit of a shock that I had such strong opinions. That was the first time we really clashed and it was a doozie! Traditionalist that he is, meeting somewhere in the middle – say simple silver and gold – was not an option for him. And while I appreciate it in other’s spaces and tried to buy muted versions of the reds and greens,  I have an almost visceral reaction to primary colors in my home and just couldn’t stomach it. Fast forward seven years and we still disagree. But we agree to do so. Below is the progression to compromise vs. my version of it beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in the living room.

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My idyllic Shabby Chic Christmas as I left it last night before Zumba.                                                         I knew I’d have to change it but wanted to enjoy it while I could. It wasn’t long…

The above wreath, trees, snow globe and pink Santa are all from Target’s 2016 Simply Shabby Chic Holiday line. I love how he’s proclaiming why we celebrate. The Christmas houses have been lovingly collected over the years. Skylar’s picture as a kitten is featured because she was my daughter’s present in 2011, the year her favorite book was “The Christmas Kitten”. The black and white photo is my hubby and his three sisters as children at Christmas time. Though there’s not a hint traditional color, the mantel, fireplace and hearth evoke the feeling of Christmas. All I’d change is the faux stone wall color. Wouldn’t painting it white and leaving the hearth alone be a good compromise?

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My attempt at incorporating just a bit of red and green ala my children’s “Cookies for Santa” plate by Pfaltzgraff and Santa hats – one of course and red for my hubby and the boys.

Marriage is about compromise, however, one of the reasons I didn’t marry mine sooner was his total man cave/Sports Central/Ralph Lauren lodge look home. I just couldn’t. He promised I’d be able to redecorate the main living areas, our bedroom and the room for my children to share until my older stepsons left the nest and my kiddos could have their own. The finished lower level, home to the the man cave, which is a fully functioning family room with sliding doors to a patio, a bedroom (former office), and full bath are off limits. And I’ve honored that. Well, I did just do the laundry room down there, but, hey, it’s a public space that I use daily…At any rate, it seems to me now that the living room is done in softer shades, throwing in all the traditional Christmas colors creates a major clash. Besides, there’s a second tree in the man cave that gets decorated traditionally, as does the entire space. That’s compromise, right?

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Meeting in the middle. My Shabby Chic coexisting with my hubby’s traditional.                            Peppa Loveday looks a bit skeptical…

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose holiday decorating enthusiast, I’m not jumping up and down about this final look. Especially when I contemplate that the HUGE green tree is not even up yet. How I’d adore a white one…That said, though I love to decorate, I love my husband more. While there’s no jumping up or down, there’s no yelling or crying either. We’ve had enough of both over the years. This year, more than anything, I want peace. So I’m focusing on what I do like about my hubby’s pieces – the vintage look of the stockings, the way the rustic nativity has some pastels and ties in with the manger. And of course, there’s sweet baby Jesus in his swaddling clothes. He’s the focal point. When I keep my eyes on Him, I’m able to be Savvy & Chic and at peace with however it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my living room.

How do you need to compromise this Christmas in order to not only be Savvy & Chic but at peace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Stocking Stuffers – British Inspired Girly Gifts Under $6

Keep Calm and Carry On Stocking Stuffers – British Inspired Girly Gifts Under $6

 

It’s Day 204 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited to share some Keep Calm and Carry On stocking stuffer gifts that are British inspired and girly, all for under $6! After a successful interior coaching session, since I was on the other side of town, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop in at Home Goods, which I don’t have near me, and the TJ Maxx next door naturally followed. As a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain), I am enamored with anything to do with English tea, (like mugs, teapots and scones!), and equally adore the Keep Calm and Carry On motivational slogan that was used to raise the morale of the British people during World War II as England awaited mass air attacks. I became aware of the posters when I fell in love with Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic style. She incorporated the them into her decorating and made the slogan, and innumerable variations, popular this side of the pond. The fact that I found three Keep Calm and Carry On stocking stuffer gifts that wrap British, girly and affordable into pretty little affordable packages is so Pink Collar Savvy & Chic! I’d love to be the girl getting this stocking!

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English tea packaged in an authentic British tin w/ the original Keep Calm and Carry On slogan. The tin is so pretty and would look great displayed on the kitchen counter. $5.99 at Home Goods.
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An inspirational Keep Calm and Pray On mug for drinking the tea. Tag has To: & From: on back.    I snap these up whenever I find them and use as decor and gifts. $2.99 at TJ Maxx.
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Fun Keep Calm Lip Balm with these variations: Keep Calm and Kiss & Keep Calm & Love.              Lip balm can wear off while drinking. Gift recipient can apply after sipping tea. $1.99 at TJ Maxx.

Giving thoughtful gifts that have a cohesive theme is one of my favorite things to do at the holidays. And I’m committed to being a good steward of my resources while I do it. It’s possible to do both. A stocking filled with small treats that speak specifically to someone’s personality and preferences, presented beautifully can be as meaningful as an expensive gift that was purchased with less intentionality. I’m always on the lookout for items that may not have much of an impact on their own but pack a punch when grouped together. The end caps are great for that! Another example is when I recently spotted some large Godiva mugs while browsing a Goodwill store with my soul sister Kibby. Her son works at a Godiva store, but is young and doesn’t have Godiva gift package funds. Kibby is giving him the mugs so he can fill them with the chocolate, wrap them in cellophane and a pretty bow, and Voila’! Two Godiva gift packages made on Goodwill funds!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose shopper, I hope these ideas inspire you to do some creative stocking stuffing. It doesn’t take a lot of money. It just requires thought and time. If you Keep Calm and Carry On, you’ll score some stocking stuffers that fit your budget and bless your family and friends. The same applies to those in your work world.

How can you be Savvy & Chic on Purpose with your shopping  and stocking stuffing this season?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

“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

 

Fashion, A Feast, And A Family Friendly Film That Left Me Feeling Full of “Wonder”

Fashion, A Feast, And A Family Friendly Film That Left Me Feeling Full of “Wonder”

It’s Day 193 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and it’s Thanksgiving Day. For a woman who’s been too sick to leave the house this week, it was packed with fashion, a feast, and a family friendly film that left me feeling full of wonder. While my immediate blended family celebrated early Thanksgiving last Sunday, today was spent with my husband’s family. I slept until eleven AM to have enough stamina to make it through the day and boy did I need the rest to make it through all the festivities!

For a lady who loves an excuse to dress up, it was so much fun donning festive holiday attire to wear to our niece’s gorgeous home which was decorated beautifully for the occassion. My sisters-in-law are all great cooks, and one of our nieces’s makes a mean mac and cheese (I try to avoid lots of dairy and didn’t indulge in that). Since I’ve been out of commission, my hubby and I provided drinks and store bought desserts – but there were no complaints! With my stepsons and children with their other parent, for once we all fit around the table and enjoyed a fabulous feast catching up with family.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach in Calvin Klein faux leather sheath dress and jacket. The rich eggplant color and green put a fresh spin on fall colors. Calvin Klein handbag and booties.
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Sheath sans jacket. Have added some layers to my hair in the front. Getting used to the look.      As much as I take pictures for the blog, I tend to hide my post-hysterectomy body behind hair… So this is a stretch.

Because our niece and nephew have young children and he still had to make it to his family’s gathering (mom stayed in with the infant and toddler), the evening ended fairly early. Having been sick and shut in for so long, I wasn’t quite ready to call it a night. Reluctantly, my hubby agreed to go see the movie “Wonder” with me. I won’t do a review here since I covered “The Star” last night, but I will say my often reticent husband had plenty to say about this film which is based on a popular children’s novel. Though I could discuss any number of emotions the film evoked for me, wonder seems the most fitting today.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom who gave birth to my children never expecting we wouldn’t spend every holiday together, I’m in wonder that Lord is gracious and merciful enough toward me that I can still enjoy the children in my life and be thankful for them today. As a divorced wife of an abusive wasband, I’m in wonder that God answered my prayer for a godly husband in the form of my best friend, for whom I am eternally grateful. As a child whose earthly father was taken far too young and whose  family is so dysfunctional that I don’t have much to do with them, I’m in wonder that God has adopted me into His family and calls me His precious daughter. Considering all of this, it’s no wonder that I’m full of wonder this Thanksgiving.

What about you? What has you full of wonder this Thanksgiving?

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

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Day 192 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on  Purpose Project was so much better than yesterday because I felt better and can see  the light at the end of the tunnel. Last night I was so sick I was ready to go back to the ER. No matter how much pain medicine I took, combined with a cold compress for my head and heat for my stomach, nothing worked. Misery is the only way to describe it. My poor hubby hated to see me suffer and was nearly beside himself. Finally I took two sleeping pills and fell into a fitful sleep. Thankfully, after one of the worst nights of my life, I woke up this morning, gingerly made my way downstairs and have been dozing on the sofa ever since. Practically pain free! That and having sunshine flood the room caused me to feel this dark season of illness will come to an end.

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Another thing that gives me hope that I’ll bounce back soon is the outpouring of prayers and well wishes from you. There’s a line from an old song we used to sing in church that says – “Somebody’s praying, I can feel it”. I felt your prayers today. Thank you. I blog because I want to encourage and inspire women. Yet I’m beyond blessed because you do that for me in spades. Sometimes it feels like I’m sharing TMI about being sick, but dealing with challenges is real life. Being able to write about my experience in an authentic, genuine, transparent way makes me feel a true connection to you.  And I hope it makes you feel as if you are getting to know me too.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose cygnet who loves blogging so much that I’d  drather do it on my phone than miss a day (I’m still too weak to go get my laptop, so please excuse poor formatting)  I’m encouraged that I’m building relationships with you- my readers. Wanting to post is such a great motivation to get well. I want to get back to my personal and professional life so I have topics to write about other than being sick! One of you responded to yesterday’s post with “You have a light that needs to shine.” Wow! So humbling. Talk about motivation. Makes that light at the end of the tunnel seem closer than it appears.

What challenges are you facing? Can you see a light at the end of the tunnel? Hold on and you’ll reach it.

Be savvy & chic,

-Pink Collar Coach