The Setting of the Sun

The Setting of the Sun

It’s Day 223 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to take pictures or post in 2018, so I’m using some photos from Myrtle Beach as inspiration to write briefly about the setting of the sun. While on vacation, as I lay in bed reading, I noticed God was in the midst of painting the sky my favorite shade. The hazy pink hue made me think I could catch the sun setting, so I grabbed my phone and captured this view before ever getting up. Then I stepped outside just in time to see the sun dip below the horizon. On one side it pierced the water with a brilliant shaft of orange light that stretched across rooftops and nearly reached our condo. On the other, it created a lovely pastel ombre effect of sky, sun, and surf that rippled gently to the sand. Close to weeping with the sheer beauty of it all, I sang a song of praise to the Master Creator of this masterpiece, for in all my forty-eight years, I have never seen such a magnificent setting of the sun.

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Penthouse view of the approaching sunset from the master bedroom suite.
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The setting of the sun.
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The sun shaded by sky.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose writer, I’ve always been enamored with words. But I must confess, I had little interest taking photos, other than those of family gatherings or those related to image and interior design. Because of that I’ve not always been mindful of the natural beauty around me. Now I’m so thankful my desire to capture images to complement my writing has made me more mindful of my surroundings. Before, I would have noticed the sunset, but may not have been intentional about taking pictures of it. Seeing these, the experience will live on. Furthermore, I’ve found more times than not that rather than photos enhancing my words, they inspire them. I’m still a novice photographer, but I appreciate the opportunity to grow and develop, personally and professionally. Especially when it that causes me to bask in the setting of the sun.

How about you? How has being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose with an interest or passtime caused you to discover a new passion, personal or professional development opportunity? What new skills would you like to gain or hone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Fall Leaves Change and Nothing Remains the Same

Fall Leaves Change and Nothing Remains the Same

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be savvy and chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Savvy & Chic Strategies to Build Your Bounce Series – Relationships

Savvy & Chic Strategies to Build Your Bounce Series – Relationships

It’s Day 165 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m diving a little deeper into this series on resilience by providing some practical tips you can use to build your bounce through relationships. As I discussed in yesterday’s post, Reflecting on Resilience as I Recover & Strategies to Build Your Bounce Series Kickoff, relationships are one of the adult resiliency protective factors that enable us to bounce back from life’s ups and downs. They are the long-lasting, mutual, reciprocal interactions we have with others in our lives. According to Mary Mackrain and Nefertiti Bruce, the authors of the adult resiliency journal pictured below, relationships support us in laughing more, feeling healthy, nurturing hope, feeling supported, having fun, sharing our emotions, and being honest.

Being down with diverticulitis has given me a lot of time to not only think about the truth of the above but to experience how having supportive relationships contributes to a healthy life overall. That’s what prompted me to suggest you reflect on each of the protective factors, what they comprise, and whether they are areas of strength or opportunity for you. Now, considering that, I’d like to share some ways to build your bounce around relationships.

Building Your Relationships Bounce 

1. Having good friends who support you. – By surrounding yourself with positive people, you create your own safety net. It’s important to know what you need from another person, which requires reconnecting with what you want and need from the relationships in your life.

Strategy: Be Intentional About Your Relationship Needs, Wants and Expectations. Answer below.

In a relationship I need a person who is:

I want a person in my life who accepts me when I:

When I am with the person I expect to:

From time to time reflect on this and determine whether you need more of this in your life and how you can go about getting it.

2. Having a mentor who helps guide you. Mentors offer support and encouragement in specific areas of your life such as your career. They improve your self-confidence, increase your motivation, and encourage you to be optimistic about the future and its opportunities.

Strategy: Coffee and Connect. Imagine meeting with someone who has achieved what you want to achieve and who inspires you.

My mentor looks like:

My mentor and I can have meaningful conversations about:

My mentor has already achieved ____________________, and I am hopeful they will play a role in helping me to do the same.

Now invite that person to coffee, meet and plan to meet again.

3. Being able to provide support to others. Helping others not only benefits them, it’s beneficial to you as well. By being supportive and listening, you can experience enhanced energy, self-worth, hopefulness and happiness.

Strategy: Show Some Love. Demonstrate your appreciation for a mentor or someone who has been influential in a positive way. Update them on how you are doing and let them know what role they’ve played in your life. 

4. Being able to empathize with others. Unlike sympathy where you feel the same as someone, empathy is when you understand and are accurate about what another person feels. This creates a strong connection and deeper relationships.

Strategy: Relate vs. Debate. When listening to a friend tell a story about something that happened to them, instead of debating how you are different, make an effort to let them know how you can relate to them. This will bring you closer.

5. Trusting close friends. Trust is a cornerstone of healthy relationships because it allows us to be ourselves. Though we can’t control how others respond to us, their reactions affect us. Having “safe” people who treat us well and give us positive feedback ensures us their love will not waver when we have a bad day.

Strategy: Circle of Trust. Reflect on the people in your life you feel safe telling anything. They listen when you’ve had a hard day and don’t offer excessive unsolicited advice. They are consistently there for you. Draw a large circle and jot down their names inside it. This is your Circle of Trust.

Remember that these are very special people who will be there through thick and thin. Reciprocate that by listening to and supporting them. Reach out.

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Coach, I hope you’ll not only read this information but apply it to build your relationship bounce. Thank you!

All information was adapted from the above. You can also visit http://www.devereuxearlychildhood.com for more strategies.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Selfie and Self-Reflection

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Selfie and Self-Reflection

It’s Day 120 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m writing a brief post so I can return to self-reflecting. I’ve been blogging consecutively for four months now, and I’m still trying to figure out my voice and blogging style. I’m also researching how to post on the most appropriate sites to engage readers who are interested in the content I share.
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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who doesn’t take selfies and has never posted one, I’m posting this one because it captures the joy I felt immediately following this week’s image consultation. That joy comes from living out my purpose which is to maximize my unique God-given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women – whether on the home front or in the workplace – to live their best personal and professional lives.

That being the case, I must confess that as a new blogger, sometimes I get discouraged when I feel my posts fall short. Then, out of the blue, someone will comment that I’m a good writer, or they’re reading the blog and it’s a daily treat, or that they enjoy my posts. Today, just when I needed it, I got a request for image coaching as a result of a post I shared and it reinforced that she’s the girl who needs to show up. On purpose. Even when I wonder if my blog will ever really take off. When I’ve touched a woman enough through blogging that she’d like to schedule time with me, well, I like that blogger to keep at it. And enough to post a selfie.

What about you? What are you self-reflecting on right now? Who do you want to show up as at home or work?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach