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

 

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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

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

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

 

 

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

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Children’s Bathroom & Childlike Faith

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like A Savvy & Chic Christmas Series – Children’s Bathroom & Childlike Faith

It’s Day 201 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and though I didn’t post yesterday, I’m still making it begin to look a lot like Christmas in my children’s bathroom while exercising childlike faith. While my Friday was productive, spent primarily working on professional tasks and meeting with my book launch coach, I felt discouraged (another D or challenge) about some personal matters. Then, after wrapping up my work, I finally got around to doing my daily devotional. It was entitled “Childlike Faith” and spoke specifically to discouragement. It stated that a child’s faith in God knows no doubt. The prayer at the end asked that God give the kind of faith that doesn’t give up despite discouragement, and that trusts like a child would. I’ve always had that kind of faith but yesterday I felt it waver. After praying that God would renew it, my spirits lifted immediately! I should know by now not to delay doing my devotion! With my childlike faith restored, I set a Santa with silver glitter on top of a cabinet and his smiling presence made it look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in my children’s bathroom.

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Santa fits in perfectly in my daughter and son’s bathroom. The room has putty colored walls, but with the addition of lots of white, silver, and Shabby Chic touches, I’ve learned to live with it. 
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This standard builder grade light fixture came with the house. I always intended to replace it, but somehow the addition of vintage style Edison style bulbs modernized it. Now I love it! The Spode Vintage Denim pattern plate and matching bowl ended up mysteriously broken. Rather than toss them, I Gorilla glued. The plate hangs above the light & the bowl sits nearby where Santa stands. 

Today, I remained in good spirits. For one thing, I  not only got to dance, I got to lead class. Our wonderful instructor had car problems, so I got the class warmed up with two songs. Invigorating and excruciating is how I’d describe it! I’m still not back to full strength…But more than anything, it was just pure joy. I ALWAYS feel better, at least emotionally, when I’m dancing. : ) And no matter what my body feels like during, I never regret pushing through the pain. Hanging out with my hubby tonight was good for me too. From the beginning, he’s admired my childlike faith, so when I’m with him, I try to focus on the positive. He truly brings out the best in me.

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A sign from my She Storage Shed. It was a TJMaxx find about a quarter century ago. 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose holiday decorating enthusiast, a through and through Zumba lover, and a child of God, I thought blogging about holiday decor would be a lighthearted endeavor. But it has called up some emotions I try hard to suppress. Dancing really does help. Still, the truth of it is, the holidays can be hard. I admit that not to discourage, but to encourage. Sometimes, we have to acknowledge our feelings and cry out for help  during the hard (I cried buckets yesterday) in order to get the encouragement we need. Because just as we parents and lovers of the children in our lives long to give them good things, like a bathroom that’s beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas, God longs to bless us, His precious children. Call out to him with the faith of a child. He’s a good, good Father, and will answer.

Are you facing the D of discouragement this holiday season? Be of good courage – the opposite of discouraged – it’s the season of good tidings of great joy! Baby Jesus was born!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

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