Friend Fix

Friend Fix

It’s Day 231 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I was delighted to get a friend fix. Yesterday, I put in a full day working on professional tasks so that I could take a long, leisurely lunch with one of my closest friends today. Balance is such an important part of self-care and for me it means spending time with Pink Collar Soul Sisters. My women’s networking event and her plans prevented us from hanging out last weekend. Now she’s heading out of town on vacation, which means we won’t see each other this weekend or next. That being the case, we strategically scheduled a lunch date to tide us over. By the grace of God, I’ve never been addicted to a substance (nor do I judge anyone who has), but there’s something euphoric about about a good friend fix.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, and one of my dearest Soul Sisters, Kibby. A date with a favorite friend deserves a favorite dress. Blush faux suede sheath dress and zipper cardigan with blush handbag. Wedge booties have a zipper up the back too. All Calvin Klein TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.                                                   Kibby always looks great with her fun, feminine vibe.

I love that phase! Yesterday was the first time I heard it – when a life coach I used to supervise/now friend – emailed me saying she needed a Tammi fix. Those two little words filled my heart with joy and made me realize how much I miss her too since I moved on from my last director role and she ceased her work with the organization soon thereafter. I will forever more attribute “friend fix” to her and had to smile when I heard her name in a song soon after reading her email. People often comment about some friends being for a season and others for a reason. For a season, this life coach was a close to a right hand as I had in my director role. She was phenomenal and made my job infinitely better. In turn, she often commented on how much I encouraged her and did a great job equipping her to do the work. The reason we remained connected professionally is that we felt an affinity from the beginning and that has translated into being able to communicate freely about our personal lives and shared faith. A temporary season and eternal reason…

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Soul Sister, though I understand the importance of spending time with friends, sometimes it’s a challenge. The list of those I’ve been  aiming to meet with since before the holidays are my best friend from high school without whom I wouldn’t have survived it (she’ll be thrilled about my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul!), a parent of one of my 6th grader students who was killed at age 21 in a car accident, bonding us together forever, a Kinder Care center director sister who is valiantly fighting melanoma and is a shero, a former co-worker and beloved sister in Christ who is now an empty nester, a few dear friends from my last job, the 3Gs (we began teaching in our 20s, 30s, and 40s – now we’re in our 40s, 50s, and 60s), and The Lattes (3 black + one white = coffee with leche/milk)! Considering the length of the list, I need to be very intentional about scheduling get togethers. Because as much as I need a friend fix, I know many of them could use a Tammi fix too.

How can you  be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about friend fixes? From which friends could you use a fix? Which could use a fix from you?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink    Collar Coach

To preview or purchase the print or Kindle version of Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon at:

http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9

http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj

 

 

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Presenting “Kick Up Your Networking Skills for Career Success” & Promoting Seasons of Her Soul, My Debut Novel

Presenting “Kick Up Your Networking Skills for Career Success” & Promoting Seasons of Her Soul, My Debut Novel

Today, Day 228 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, was spent presenting “Kick Up Your Networking Skills for Career Success” and promoting Seasons of Her Soul, my  debut novel, which released last week. With two of my passions in play, and with the first copy of my book in hand, the day should have been perfect, however, pain from a nasty fall getting into the shower this morning put a bit of of a pallor on it and prevented me from experiencing it as positively as I would have otherwise. That said, I’m grateful grabbing the shower curtain stopped me from doing myself a serious injury so I could still attend and for the aid of  powerful pain relievers and prayer from participants. Though stiff and shaken (the fall was scary), it was a joy to present on networking based on my own mess to success journey from social media non player to posting on purpose daily and to be able to weave Seasons of Her Soul into my storytelling.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, displaying my novel. I just received it yesterday, so this was the first time ever! 

The fact that networking is relational was the consistent theme that ran through the workshop. I’ve come to understand this through attending networking events that focus on building relationships instead of just distributing business cards. Prior to that, like many, my experiences with networking had me convinced it was about transactions or making the ask – for the contact info, the meeting, or the purchase. I’m not a natural salesperson, so even though my ultimate goal is to sell my coaching services and now my book, the latter didn’t sit well with me. On the other hand, I am naturally friendly and find it’s often easy for me to rapidly establish rapport with women, who I adore and live to serve. When I began to view networking as connecting with women I can coach, encourage and inspire through social media and face-to-face, networking no longer felt daunting but doable. Often, during blog or FB exchanges and conversations, the Ds or challenges women face on the home front and in the workplace come up, then I can be purposeful about offering support through Pink Collar Savvy & Chic services and products. Peddling my wares or living my purpose? Hmm…No contest!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author and speaker, I’m thankful that after years of partnering with High Heeled Success to present workshops and having my bio,  intro and the speaker’s page state that my novel was soon to be released, it’s finally here! Having some of the participants buy a copy was amazing. Not just because I made the sale, but because we made the connection. The women who bought the book were the ones with could relate to the main character, Lee’s story. And mine. That’s networking -and promoting – at it’s best. Fall aside, the day really was Pink Collar Savvy & Chic perfect.

How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic about networking? In your professional and/or personal life? What do have to offer? What do you need? How can you establish networking relationships that are reciprocal?

To preview or purchase the print or Kindle version of Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com:

http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9

http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj

To learn more about High Heeled Success, please visit http://www.highheeledsuccess.com.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

Encouragement Energizes

Encouragement Energizes

It’s Day 232 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and today’s Zumba class reinforced the fact that encouragement energizes. This was only my second Sunday leading Zumba fitness with a faith-based twist, and because of all of the activity surrounding the release of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, this week (available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj, I had little time to practice my playlist. As a result, a few routines were off. But rather than my class of lovely Zumba loving ladies being critical, they cheered me on. And when any of us struggled, because of asthma, a boot, foot surgery, or just getting the hang of exercising after a hiatus, each woman was shown so much support! By the end of class, we were all energized, not just from the exercise, but from the encouragement we received.

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This encouragement is even evident in the way we greet everyone as they enter the room. Because the class is at 1pm on Sunday, following church for many of us, late comers show up literally pulling dresses over their heads or stepping out of skirts with workout gear underneath. No one judges though. About that or anything else. Instead, all are greeted with welcomes and hugs. And since I take more breaks than some instructors to grab puffs on my inhaler, sometimes I have to just start the next dance to break up the cheerful chatter.

After class, a few of us stuck around talking about my book. Though I knew it from social media, it still blessed me to hear that one lady who describes herself as a critical reader who won’t read past the first chapter unless she gets hooked, is well into it. Hearing that another choosy reader is anxiously awaiting the arrival of  her copy to tomorrow was awesome and humbling at the same time. Then, like conversations amongst women tend to do, talk turned to self-deprecation. These wonderful women, who are the first to maximize my accomplishments, count themselves as last and minimize their own. The truth is, each and every woman present there today, and all Pink Collar Swans, have our own unique purpose, no matter if it is something visible that others acknowledge, or something done quietly before the audience of One. As wives, sisters, mothers, friends, full and part-time employees, leaders, and volunteers. No matter what we do, as long as we do it all to bless others and to the glory of the One who made us, we bring a smile to His face.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Zumba instructor, part of the reason I  wanted to teach a class on Sunday is so that I could hopefully live out my purpose of using my God-given strengths to encourage and inspire women – all to His glory. I hope each of you who attends my class, or who I dance with throughout the week, know you’ve done that for me. In spades. You may not realize it, but your encouragement energizes me – to keep writing and to keep growing as an instructor. And I imagine it encourages and energizes your husbands, significant others, siblings, parents, friends, coworkers, communities, church members…

So I hope you”ll continue being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose being your energizing, encouraging selves and can’t wait to dance with you next Sunday!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Minimizing Not Being Mommy & Maximizing Being Being Mimi

Minimizing Not Being Mommy & Maximizing Being Being Mimi

It’s Day 228 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’ve spent the last few days minimizing the fact that I can’t be a mommy on this trip and maximizing being Mimi to my oldest stepson’s daughter. Divorce is one of the Ds (challenges) many of us Pink Collar moms face, and that often means missed holidays with our children. Regular readers may also know I almost stayed home from our annual big fat blended family Christmas Myrtle Beach trip because it’s the first one without my kiddos. Instead, thanks to my hubby, I’m a life coach who practices what she preaches. Basically, I had to put on my big girl pants and minimize the fact that my son and daughter aren’t here and make the most of the fact that my step-grandaughter is.

Izzy (my special name for her – a shortened for of her middle name  Isabella) came into our lives not quite three years after I married her grandad. My son had just turned eight. That being the case, I was (and still am) figuring out my place as stepmom and was nowhere near ready to become a grandma. Besides that, Izzy has two other grandmas: my hubby’s ex- Tammy with a y, who is Grammy and her maternal grandma, Abuelita (granny in Spanish), or Lita, who is Puerto Rican. Two funny things about this: Tammy is taller than me, so I’m little Tammi, and I’ve known Lita, also known as Senora, to the high schoolers she’s taught for twenty-plus years for almost as long (back to my days as a middle school teacher). She gave me dishes and silverware when my wasband (was + husband) made me homeless. Now we’re in-laws!

Given that I’ve had a full-time job her whole life, I’ve only spent a few hours at a time with Izzy. This trip has changed that. We’ve played at the mall, swam, gone to see Ferdinand (super cute!), read books and taken the singing and dancing we usually do at home to the next level. And, as four-year-old precocious Izzy would say – “Wait for it” – we took our first Uber to and from the movie theater today! Suburbanite I’ve become, I drive everywhere, so when the guys had a tee time at a course in the opposite direction right when our movie started, I downloaded the app, secured a ride, grabbed the car seat and then enlisted a brawny guy to lug it through concessions right to our seats. I reversed that process on the way home and even had our Uber driver swing by a burger joint for our “linner” (late lunch/early dinner). Who says you can’t teach a middle aged Mimi new tricks? Izzy and I had a blast!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Maximizer, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve missed my children something fierce this trip. Movies and the lazy river are our special things. But if I’d allowed myself to dwell on that, another D, depression, would have set in so bad I’d have missed out on the child God gave me, not just for this trip, but for a lifetime. Now we have our special things- movies and the lazy river included. The adoration, affection, hugs and kisses she’s lavished on me have been a balm for my mommy heart. So much so that though I’m still not ready to take on the title Grandma, I might try Grandmimi on for size.

(Just hear Izzy yell “Mimi!”. Gonna go join her in the pool. 💕).

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Me, Mimi and Izzy. We did obey the rule to only have one in a tube  and only shared for the pic. 

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Tethered – Umbilical Cords and Heartstrings

Tethered – Umbilical Cords and Heartstrings

It’s Day 221 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and one of the best times I’ve had with my children in a long time reminded me that though umbilical cords are cut at birth, our heartstrings are tethered forever. From the time I woke up early this morning, the ravages of divorce were at the forefront of my mind. It’s not natural for a mom to be apart from her babies at Christmas, but alas, that’s where divorce has us…Before rushing out the door to spend time with them, rather than doing my daily devotional, I glanced at the dedication in a new book, Perennials, by a favorite Christian author, Julie Cantrell. It reads:

“For my children

and for all children

and for the child in all of us —

May you always know the truth: you are loved.”

Wow. I’m amazed by God. Even when I don’t slow down enough to take the time to read His Word, He still speaks to me and reveals exactly what I need in that moment. In his infinite wisdom and omniscience (the state of knowing everything), He had the author put those particular words to paper and then allowed me to see the page right when I needed them most. If I wasn’t already a believer and in love with God, this would have sealed the deal for me.

And I believe my children experienced the deep, abiding truth of my love for them today. We reminisced and relieved shared experiences that make it apparent how alike we are. We sang, and quoted lines from books, movies, and plays. We laughed so hard it hurt! Time flew by and all too soon it was time to say goodbye until the New Year. After hugging and kissing me, Levi turned and backed away, never breaking eye contact before he had to in order to go out the door. I sense, like me, he didn’t want the connection to end.

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Levi finally caught up to his big sis – and passed her up in the height department.                     They’re both taller than me. How’d that happen???

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom, parenting children where divorce ( a major D or challenge), can rob and steal time, I wonder how my babies have both outgrown me. It seems like only yesterday when they operated to remove her after she’d reportedly died intra-uterine. Post surgery I learned she was alive but a miscarriage was supposedly imminent. Cameron Liv (her name was and still is my prayer for her) is doing just that fourteen years later. And Levi (if you rearrange the letters in his name, they spell “live” also) came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times. His mouth, fingers and toes were already blue. He not only lived but did everything fast in his efforts to keep up with his big sissy, hence my nickname for him: Dash. Whenever I say his name, I’m affirming him to live and make the most of the dash between the date when he entered the world and when he’ll leave it.

Thankfully the doctor finally got Levi’s umbilical cord unwrapped. And like he did with Liv’s, he cut it. But unlike my twelve-year-old son as he hesitated to turn away today, perhaps fearing the broken eye contact would cut off the connection, I fully know the truth that I’m loved by my heavenly Father and understand that NOTHING can separate me from it (Romans 8:31-39, NIV).  Not broken contact, or a physical separation. I pray my children will one day fully understand this truth about our relationship too. Because even though the cord was cut all those years ago, the strings to our hearts are tethered together forever.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose this Christmas and remember me and my children in your prayers and thoughts as we spend the holidays apart. Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Heads Are Better Than One

Two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Heads Are Better Than One

It’s Day 220 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and the last two days have reminded me how two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic heads are better than one. Yesterday was one of my soul sister’s birthday, so we planned a Girls Day Out. In order to play all afternoon Monday, I worked the day before and all morning and was then free to do lunch, some light Christmas shopping, our gift exchange and a chick flick with her. (Then, after Zumba I fell into bed too exhausted to blog!). Food, fun and fellowship make every get together special. Meals last for hours because we never run out of things to talk about. We laugh so hard that strangers comment on what a good time we’re having. And our fellowship is sweet; we’re more than friends or even BFFs. Our faith has knit our hearts together and made us family. As such, we’re able to be transparent and talk about the tough stuff too. Whenever either of us faces a challenge, the other is there to listen actively without judgement, to encourage, to offer insight, and to pray. Two heads are so much better than one in that way.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach and my Soul Sister, Kibby. She’s truly beautiful – from the inside out.

A couple of other Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Soul Sisters reiterated this tonight in a very visible way. During class two of my Zumba mentors led a handful of songs in a double-headed elf/Santa sweater. I guess you could say they were knit together too! It was AWESOME! This dancing duo attended Zumba certification training together a few years ago and have been leading class as a pair ever since. But never dressed in one piece of clothing! Naturally, at the beginning, there were a few missteps, but by the last song, they’d found their rhythm and were dancing in sync. Knowing how close they are outside of class, this isn’t a surprise. Though they don’t usually dance as one, they do in tandem. They’re a great tag  teaching team. I suspect they’ve had each other’s back during challenging times off the dance floor too…Again, two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic heads are better than one. Literally.

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Not only are these ladies a dynamic dancing duo by night,                                                                         they’re a teacher and rocket scientist by night.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who lives in a household full of men and who is currently working from home, I love the time I have with other adult females. And there’s something even more special about it during the holidays. It’s like the line in a song from The Polar Express says,

It’s so much fun when Christmas comes to town

Christmas came to town for me yesterday in the form of celebrating my sweet Soul Sister’s bday beneath our tree. And tonight it came again in the form of a fabulously funny dancing elf/Santa. Thankful as I am for these good times, I’m even more so when the hard ones hit because I’ve experienced how two Pink Collar Savvy & Chic heads truly are better than one.

How about you? Do you have a Soul Sister you can turn to in those times when two heads would be better than one? In your personal life? Your professional world? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about establishing or engaging in such a relationship?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

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

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

Day 218 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been an unusual Sunday for me in that I spent the entire day working on professional tasks, however, because I’d taken pictures earlier in the week that depict how it’s beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in the master bedroom, I’m happy to be able to post. I’m still like a child myself when it comes to Christmas, and my tall, handsome, sweet hubby reminds me of the cutest little boy. Our room is a beautiful, romantic space and serves as a sanctuary from the world. Filling it with little touches that remind us it’s Christmas makes it an even more inviting retreat. Between all of my pink Shabby Chic and vintage inspired touches and his traditional red and green (not visible in my photo of course!), it really does look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in our bedroom.

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Our huge four-poster with all  it’s sumptuous Simply Shabby Chic bedding. A perfect spot to hang green & pink His and Her stockings. Sunlight streaming in makes it hard to see His…My nightstand holds a tiny frosted pale green tree with pink pom-pom ornaments; his is green.
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You may recognize this Simply Shabby Chic Santa. He’s not like Elf on the Shelf getting moved around; He’s actually a triplet! After searching for years, I scooped up three at Target last year. The candle holder is one of my faves – pink and rhinestone bling!                                                        The runner is a treasured piece from my beloved Aunt Bertie. Can’t recall life w/o it on a dresser.
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This busy corner makes me happy. A pic of my hubby and me on our big day, a Shabby Chic inspired mannequin decked out in Christmas finery in the form of pins from Simply Shabby Chic stockings. More Christmas Houses in pastel colors & my side of the bed reflected in the mirror.
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Another candle holder with bling that complements this bottle brush tree encased in a dome. One of my sisters-in-law embroidered the handkerchief with my name as a wedding gift. I framed it in a shadow box, which are a recurring theme in our room, as are roses evidenced in this Shabby Chic inspired painting on wood. I got it at the grocery store soon after I got my own place after being homeless.

Still, the day itself really has been unusual. No church. No Joel Osteen sermon. Just getting work I’d normally do on a weekday done today so I can spend the bulk of tomorrow with a soul sister for her birthday. But something that wasn’t unusual is the tender love and care my husband showed me today. Every day he does something that reminds me how blessed I am. When I went through my rock bottom stage, my prayer was that God would give me a godly husband. Boy did He deliver! If you’re familiar with the Bible story of Ruth and Boaz, you know, like me, she’d lost everything. But then Boaz, who was a man of means and also a distant relative, let her glean from his fields. Essentially, he told his workers to leave extra wheat on the ground for her to pick up when they were done. Eventually they married. Ruth referred to him as her kinsman-redeemer, which is a picture of Christ.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose wife, I too, feel as though I was grafted into my husband’s family. He’s more than my hubby. He’s kin. And he’s redeemed me in so many ways…Not only am I happy to be in love with my best friend, I’m happy that it’s beginnning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in our master bedroom.

Whether you’re married or single, I hope you’re inspired to bring your own Savvy & Chic Christmas style into your bedroom too. Sweet sugarplum dreams…

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach