Beauty, communication, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women

It’s the little things

It’s 5 days before Christmas and yours truly is able to enjoy some time off before the big day. The last time I had time off at Christmas was because I had the stupid cut out (hysterectomy)…7 years ago. Sure, I had “time off” at the holidays when my daughter was a toddler, but those of us with children know that although the world may see it as time off, time with a toddler is a 24/7 job with no pay, with a boss who can’t find their shoe and cries because you gave them the wrong colored cup with their lunch…so “time off” is a relative term.

As I was running errands yesterday, I found myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I almost succumbed to the Grinch and Scrooge mentality. Almost.  Hearing everyone around me sighing, complaining that the lines were taking too long, or honking at each other in the parking lot because they needed that parking space, it’s hard not to get sucked in to it all. As I was listening to the ladies complain about having people over for dinner as they were about to start a rumble over the biggest pot roast in the meat department, I looked over to see an elderly woman with her little basket with a few items in it and I thought to myself “she probably wishes her biggest problem was getting a big enough roast to feed her guests.”. …and that’s when I began to hum a Christmas carol, carry on with my shopping and tune out the sighs and complaints that passed me through the aisles.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no angel as my daughter can attest to. I cuss like a sailor if you are riding my tail end too close in traffic – when I have my kid in the car, her safety comes first so all bets are off. I have been known to use a certain finger when the snowplow comes by just as I have dug out their first visit’s mound of snow and I may have pretended not to speak English when a telemarketer just wouldn’t get “take me off your calling list”. There have been times throughout the days of Christmas past when I pouted even though I knew Santa saw me. There were times I started to Scrooge out or felt the Grinch was onto something complaining about the noise of Christmas, but I always remembered something that others seem to forget. At the end of both these Christmas stories, Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch gave over to the magic and the spirit of Christmas. If they could do it, you can too.

  • give to the Salvation army. If they are giving out candy canes for each donation, do what I do. Ask them to give it to the next child that walks by.

 

  • wave to Santa at the mall. Trust me, he is having a harder day than you.

 

  • don’t fight over a parking space. If the other person is gunning for it, let them have it. If you have to park further away, the fresh air will do you good.

 

  • If the grocery store is out of the size of turkey you need, your family and guests will survive. I promise, the sky will not turn black and the world will not swallow you whole.

 

  • when you make eye contact with someone, say hello or wish them a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays for those weary of offending.

 

  • give to every toy drive you can find. Any toy will do. The dollar store has coloring books and crayons for a dollar a piece. …psst…you spent more than that on the mocha frappe latte concoction you have in your hand.

 

  • give to your local food bank. If you can, a monetary donation is best – the food bank can stretch a dollar farther than you can imagine.

Take a moment to remember how snow once made you squeal with glee, how hours would pass as you wondered how Santa got to every house. Remember the smell of your Gramma’s perfume as she reached out to hug you, or the cackle of your Grampa’s laugh when he got your joke. Think back to the smiles on your parents faces on Christmas morning, thinking they were so happy Santa brought you your favorite toy, only to now know, the smile was for them and you, not Santa and you. When you take a moment to remember the magic and spirit of Christmas, you too will realize it’s not having the perfectly trimmed tree or the biggest turkey that you remember, it’s all the little things that mattered the most.

 

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

The choice is yours

A few years ago I received a sign for my office from my girl, with many positive affirmations collaged together. The one that sticks out the most to me is “Happiness is a choice you make everyday”. So very true, so easy to remember yet so easily forgotten.

Over the past weeks I have heard the following from friends, family and the people I see everyday;

  • I’d be happier if he was nicer
  • I’d be happier if I got a raise
  • I’d be happier if my child behaved in public
  • I’d be happier if people kept their opinions to themselves
  • I’d be happier if I got to see my friend’s more
  • I’d be happier if I had more help around the house
  • Etc… etc… etc…

It seems everyone wants to be happier, but doesn’t want to do the work. Trust me. I know. It is easier to put the blame of our woes on someone else’s behaviour. Been there, done that. Try my best not to do that anymore. For no one, anywhere, wants to look in the mirror, take a long hard look at themselves and admit a fault. …but darlin’, ya gotta. There is no magic happiness pill, no happiness potion, no mystery man arriving at your doorstep with your package of happiness waiting to be unwrapped, it’s all up to you. Before you get all upset or weepy, I do know that life throws curveballs, of this I am certain. There will be illnesses, job losses, flat tires, spilled coffee, baby spit up on your shoulder that you missed, but the President of the company did not. There will be bad hair days, bloated days, adult acne days ….by the way…what kind of sick cosmic joke is that? We cannot control what happens to us or around us. We can control how we decide to let it affect us. We can control how long a harsh word gets to live in our head rent free.  Have your head spin around and spew venom because the dishes weren’t done or the garbage emptied, or don’t. The decision is yours.

Happiness can be created anywhere, anytime. It can.

  • Had a hard day at work and still have to go to the grocery store? Buy an extra canned good or two and drop in it the food bank donation bin.
  • Your teenager is making you crazy and you are at your wits end over the useless arguments…go look at their baby pictures, their saved school artwork…remind yourself of the love there.
  • Just a long, stupid day? Get yourself some instant cocoa, grab your favorite mug and top that baby off with some whipped cream. …sprinkles too if it the day really kicked your ass.
  • Make a Jello. My gramma Leah always told me that. This way whenever you look in the fridge, you can be reminded that you made something that day and accomplished something.
  • Make some cookies or muffins and deliver them to a neighbour or friend, for no reason. Just to do it. Trust me, 9 out of 10 times, they are in dire need of a glimpse of happiness and a the touch of kindness.
  • Send a joke to a friend.
  • Share a you tube video with a friend, reminding them of a memory you share.
  • Post a joke on your Facebook wall in the morning…it will make someone’s day.

Doing for others is doing for yourself. Making others feel good will make you feel good. Carrying happiness with you will allow happiness to spread to those you are around. Plain and simple.

bubbles

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Share and share alike

Everywhere you look, people are sharing. Sharing “likes” on Facebook, sharing pics on Instagram, tweeting their latest opinion on Twitter, snapping a moment on Snapchat. I often find myself wondering, what is real and what is not. Over the past weeks, you may have noticed that yours truly hadn’t been sharing much on my blog. It wasn’t for lack of material or opinions…as those who know me know all too well, when it comes to opinions I have a deep well to draw from. The reason for my lack of sharing you ask? My life and the lives of those I hold dear needed some attention, some tending to if you will. I also needed some tending to. I realized I had to take a step back and take a good look at what I was doing, where I was going and where I wanted to go. Now, before you all start to create scenario’s in your head to spill at the watercooler, let me make things clear. No one is ill. No one is leaving anyone. No one has been arrested. I came to realize that the powers that be that directed me onto this road after the closure of the shop had given me a gift. That gift being time.

I used to have time. I used to make time. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 5. Back then I would make time for me. I would make time for chats with my hubby, walks, coffee with friends, well, for life, plain and simple. I would make time for me so I could enjoy the time with my daughter, so I could enjoy the multitude of questions posed by a toddler – 100 before 7:00a.m. ( I counted one day – hey it was educational…I taught my daughter to count to 100 didn’t I?). Over the past weeks, I realized that I hadn’t made time since my daughter crossed the threshold into her kindergarten class. I went right back to work, full force. Always moving on to the next thing, finding the next idea. Over coming financial struggles, dealing with plant closures and lay offs, taking any amount of hours given so we could keep our home. Those days are long gone, but the memory of them still reside. I had put myself in survivor mode and forgotten to change the record. I had become so focused on working and keeping my house, paying off debts and having money in the bank that I hadn’t realized that I still had my house, the majority of the debt is paid off and there is money in the bank.

I realized something last week. I am always telling the women I know to make time for themselves. I thought I was. It wasn’t until last night as I was painting my nails that I realized this was the first time in along time I was painting my nails, for me. Not for an Instagram shot, not for work. For me. On the weekend, I was having a really good hair day, so I took a selfie. For me. Yes, I put it on Instagram, but I put it up there for me. If no one had liked it, I would have been fine with it. People liking it was a perk. I did it for me. I have adored photo’s since I was a child. I could and can sit and look at photo’s for hours. I wanted that picture because whenever I look at it, I remember how I felt and remembering happiness is a good thing.

The moral of today’s tale? If you are going to share your moments, your opinions, your snaps and your chats, make them worth remembering, for you. Create moments worth sharing. Do not create moments just so you can share them. Plain and simple.

Beauty, communication, Fashion, Hair Care, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women

Lost and Found

I hear the all too familiar chirp of the shop’s door, I look up from my orders to say hello and before I can utter a sound I hear “Well! Look at you!”. …with the right side of my head being shaved and a magenta swoop down the side, it is safe to say I am quite used to this… I smiled and said “Hey! Nice to see you again.”. I asked my customer if she needed my help. She did, so I showed her where the product was that she was looking for, carried it to the counter, asked if there was anything else she needed that day and began to ring through her purchases, all the while she was staring at my head and when I would catch her eye, her smirk would disappear. As we were waiting for her debit to connect, she looked me straight in the eye and said “Wow. Your Hair. Aren’t you looking very Neapolitan.”. I just smiled, reminded myself not to show it on my face, and told her to have a nice afternoon.

Now, in a perfect world, she would have meant I resembled a Mediterranean beauty, but knowing that my skin is whiter than preschool paste, and she was sporting a ponytail and yoga pants (with not a yoga studio within 20kms) I knew it was a crack at my hair color. For those of you a little lost …my hair is blonde, pink and brown and some find it to resemble Neapolitan ice cream. After she left, I found myself giggling. Yes, a little at her small view of the world and herself, but mostly at me and how far I had come. Before the age of 24, I was head strong and quite opinionated yet always fair and kind. I was referred to as “spunky” on more than one occasion and also as a tough broad – a true compliment in my book. You see, somewhere between 24 and 37 I lost myself.  I used to be the woman that after hearing that wise crack about my hair would have been floored and would have run to the closest mirror trying to see what she saw and thinking I should change my hair, and think I was stupid for even trying something new. I used to let the opinions of others control my decisions and would allow their words to hurt me. I wore my hair short because everyone told me to, it made my face “slimmer”. I wore clothes that were clothes “Mother’s should wear”…what ever the hell that means…I still don’t know. Hell, I even carried a purse I hated and wore shoes that weren’t cute and sparkly like I wanted to, because of some dumb ass comment someone made.

I remember when it began to change, or when I began to change. Actually, I didn’t change. I returned to myself. I was 37. It was December 2009 and I had my hysterectomy. That Christmas was low key, as I was physically unable to perform my yearly Christmas miracles. No cookies were made. Gifts were at a minimum. The only Christmas décor to be seen was our tree. Many had an opinion about my lack of Christmas spirit. Some actually were put out that they wouldn’t be receiving my cookies that year. You know what? I really didn’t care about what they thought. I was too relieved knowing that the 11cm x 21cm x 14cm fibroid was not cancer, and that it had not attached itself to any vital organs. I was too happy to have a week with my husband – our girl still had a week before Christmas vacation and hubby was able to be home with me. I still remember the two of us laughing at the fact we had just had an hour long conversation without an interruption – the first time in 12 years. In those conversations I started to feel like myself, and started to remember who I was. It’s amazing what you realize when you take a moment to be still. …try to do it without having to have surgery.

Fast forward to present day. I dress how I want. I own cute shoes with sparkly bows. I wear heels whenever and wherever I want. I have a cute purse. I own more than one red coat – depending on the weather and the season, a girl has to be prepared. I try new things – be it a new flavour of coffee or a new route home. I say yes to my life more than I say no. I no longer give my time away. I color my hair the way I like. I cut my hair and style my hair the way I like. Today, my wish for you, is that you begin to say yes to you, more than you say no. If you are lost, you begin to be found.

I would rather be Neapolitan than vanilla any day 😉

 

Beauty, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Timing

I came across an interesting quote a few weeks ago and it crossed my path again this weekend, on Valentine’s Day as a matter of fact. “You will be married 7 times in your lifetime…hopefully to the same person”. When I first found this quote…or as I like to think, it found me, my mind shifted and I began to see my marriage differently. All of a sudden, things just made sense. It also reminded me of some wise words bestowed on yours truly by my grandmother Leah. My grandparents had been married over 50 years so I asked her one evening what was the secret to a long and happy marriage. “Never fall out of love with each other at the same time – that’s the secret”. Words I have cradled and held tight ever since.

Everyday at the Salon I meet or chat with a woman who thinks her marriage is falling apart. Seriously. Everyday. Most of these confessions happen as she is looking at hair color swatches. She thinks her husband has lost interest in her. She thinks he is having an affair. She thinks he thinks she isn’t as pretty as she once was. She thinks they have nothing in common anymore. She has noticed that things are just…different. Another constant – she has never discussed any of these thoughts or feelings with her husband and has usually drawn her own conclusions and has played out the divorce court proceedings in her head. Ladies, for the love of all that is good and holy, take a breath. Take another. Yes, your hubby may have changed…guess what? You have as well. Think about it. Look back at how you saw the world 10 years ago, how you dressed, how you viewed yourself. See? You’re different. You are still you, the same person, you’ve just… evolved, and that’s okay.

I am 42 years old and I have been married 20 years. I have known my husband longer than I haven’t known him. Looking back, I realize how much the above quote and my grandmother’s beautiful words ring true – I am sure due in part to my forties and getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy). Over the past 20 years I became a mother. I have lost loved ones dear to my heart. I have been witness to loved ones losing a parent. I have had health issues and scares. I have witnessed health scares and issues of my loved ones. I have been a stay at home mom. I have been a working mom. I have had financial difficulties -some my own fault, some the fault of others. I have had short hair, red hair, brown hair, permed hair  – you name it – I’ve done it. Experiences and life changed me, changed my views and my perspectives. Over the past 20 years, I have been many women – always myself – yet depending on the situation at hand, a selected version of myself. I have also been that woman standing in a Salon, staring down at the color swatch book, believing that the right hair color choice would end the search for answers to the never ending stream of questions about her marriage running through her mind.

I am not a hair stylist. I am not a marriage counselor nor am I a therapist. What I am is a woman who has been married over 20 years and is not afraid to talk about those things that people don’t talk about at parties. I am a woman who doubted herself so much that the doubt began to seep into all aspects of her life – her marriage, her parenting, her career, her abilities…you name it – I doubted it. I was afraid of the hard conversations. I was afraid to ask my husband certain questions for fear of his answer. I also was unhappy – with myself – it was easier to blame my marriage, my job, my stylist for giving me the wrong cut, the scale for being broken…you get the picture. In my experience, the majority of doubts of my marriage were of my own making. Yes, gentlemen, you can get up…a woman has admitted her fault…lets move on, shall we? Looking back, many of my doubts were not mine, but the doubts of others. All day long I heard negative after negative about men and marriage and I began to let all those negatives reside rent free in my mind and then the moment an action matched a negative, all hell broke loose…proof it’s love. I am sure there were moments my husband was waiting for my head to spin around.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, for some. For me, I try to make it everyday. A stolen kiss in the kitchen while my daughter is watching T.V., saying I love you and meaning it with each goodbye every morning and kiss goodnight, giving space or a helping hand when it’s needed. Remembering that when my husband is quiet, maybe he is just quiet. Remembering not to take everything personally and reminding myself it’s not all about me…still a toughie, but I am working on it. Ironing the bed sheets for a comfy slumber (yes, I iron my sheets. It takes 20 minutes out of my week and it feels divine and makes the love of my life happy). Remembering that although we may not agree or like each other’s behavior, we still love each other. Remembering that having separate lives (work, friends, etc…) and separate interests does not mean we are separate – it actually brings us closer together, and always remembering that although the road may get bumpy and words may get ugly and life will tirelessly try to get in the way, love is always waiting for us, if we take the time to find it once more.

 

ThatGirlx3

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Year End Review

As the end of 2014 creeps forward and the glimpse of 2015 is on the horizon, my Facebook news feed is flooded with everyone’s “year review” and my Twitter feed is flooded with everyone’s “New Years Resolutweet” …(my word…I like it.). I have women coming in the shop proclaiming their resolution to be a better friend, to be a better parent, to be a better wife, to make more time for others. I have yet to hear anyone tell me what they are going to do for themselves. Yeah, I said it, for themselves. It may seem like the above resolutions are for ourselves, depending on the intention, most of the time, they are not. Becoming a better friend for your friend’s sake, becoming a better parent like Susie’s mom or becoming a better wife – a wife you think your spouse wants is not making a resolution for yourself.  Ladies and Gents, if you do not make yourself priority #1, no matter what you may resolve to do in 2015 and the years there after, it will never seem like enough, you will always feel like you came up short. For those of you familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I know of what I speak. I was that woman. The woman who put everyone and everything ahead of herself. The woman who made everyone’s problems and woes her own – be it her husband’s issues with his boss to her child’s issues with the mean girls, if a problem arose, yours truly would swoop in, take it on and fix it…and I was empty and exhausted. 

Now, I am not an expert by any means. I am not a prophet nor the guru on the mount. I am  a woman who has struggled with self image and self esteem. I have been a woman who tried to live up to the Norman Rockwell images only to end up feeling like I had more in common with Norman Bates. I have been the woman who truly believed Martha Stewart, that if I had the right flatware that all would be right in the world. I was the woman who bought every exercise VHS tape and DVD proclaiming “I will be one of their success stories!” only to be sitting in front of the TV screen, winded and giving the chipper barbie instructor the finger. A few years ago, after getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy) and removing my head from my ass, I realized that resolutions are stupid and instead of making a resolution, I would make a change.

Making a change can be scary, down right terrifying actually. I remember one early morning, my hubby and girl were still asleep. I was sipping my morning coffee and thinking of the petty remarks about my weight loss, like “Oh…trying to become a cougar?”, my blog “what a cute hobby for you” and my professional achievements “she’s just the manager” when I came across this quote “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal”. – Paulo Coelho.  I realized that all the changes I had made for myself – be it my weight loss, chasing my dream of blogging and consulting and taking pride in my position at the shop were the right changes to make. I realized that I was receiving more positive feed back and support than negative. I was surrounded by those who wanted to see me thrive and I them. I realized that those who made me feel selfish for making myself a priority were upset because they were no longer my first priority.

A little proof that making yourself a priority is worth it…since making myself a priority I have been featured on http://www.salonmagazine.ca  – my most viewed article to date

http://www.salonmagazine.ca/en/news/1282-3-salon-fails-sales-rep-sees-don-t-tell-you-about.html

and have been fortunate enough to be featured in their magazine

20140430_115847-1   IMG_20140917_112135

I have been featured in Piidea’s September/October buyers guide

 

20140827_143459    20140827_144009

 

I was invited to the Contessa’s once again by the Beauties at Piidea

Contessa 2014 8   Contessa 2014 4

My pictures have been featured on Joico’s Instagram feed

IMG_20140915_105303  20140924_110256-1

 

 

…not to mention some pretty FAB! connections and followers on Twitter – check it out @grlintheredcoat

 

 

Now, before you think that there is no way you can make yourself a priority and be a good mother, wife, friend, employee – take your pick…give your head a shake. It is possible. If you want it all RIGHT NOW! – give your head another shake. It’s going to take some time. The events mentioned above took over 2 years. Be patient. Make a plan and stick to it. Let your loved ones know, keep them in the loop – not doing so is mean and unthoughtful – plain and simple. Think about it – how can they support you if they do not know what they are supporting? Remember that others are trying to make themselves a priority too and, it is not all about you. Just because you didn’t get a text back 2 seconds after you sent it doesn’t mean you are unloved. Having dinner plans cancelled or altered doesn’t mean you are getting the brush off – sometimes life really does get in the way.

Be kind. Be thoughtful. Take a minute for yourself. Make a change.

 

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, writing

Tales of Truth Part…oh I give up

Gather ’round ladies and gents, boys and girls, it’s that time once again! Time for That Girl in the Red Coat’s Tales of Truth. Now, I don’t know if the planets are misaligned, or if their is a glitch in the Matrix, lately, I have been privy to some interesting events and antics. Maybe the public at large has gotten wind of my Tales of Truth series and is hoping to be mentioned…sweet baby Jesus, I hope so.

– I heard a bang on the front window of the shop. As I looked over to see what it was, I saw a Mother applying hand sanitizer after touching the trash can lid outside the neighboring shop, all the while her toddler was banging her fists on the window as she was licking it. ….wait for it…there you go.

– A woman came in for some hairspray. As I was ringing through her purchase, she farted. Then farted again. Then again. She just stared at me, didn’t even blink. No “excuse me”. No “too much Sushi I guess”. Nothing, Just stared at me.

– I had a woman ask me if I sold a “less toxic” hairspray. So I asked her if she meant a more environmentally friendly or vegan hairspray. She answered “I just need a hairspray that will stop my son from growing breasts.”. Before I spoke, I silently told myself “don’t show it on your face” and said “Pardon me?” to which she said, “Yes, he is a teen boy getting breasts.”. I asked her if she had seen his doctor and she told me she had taken him and the doctor thought her son should become more active and cut out the junk food, but she wanted to be on the safe side and make sure his hair product wasn’t adding to the problem. …sigh

– at our shop we focus our retail on hair products and nail products. We do not carry cosmetics. I had a woman come in looking for lipstick, I let her know I do not sell lipstick or any cosmetics and gave her the name of a few shops where she could find what she was looking for. She asked me if she gave me a list, could I call around to those shops for her and find out if they had what she wanted. I politely told her I could not, but offered to find the phone numbers for her and she could call. I was told I offered poor customer service and she left.

– We sell human hair extensions. The brand we sell has pictures of women on the package that are of mixed descent – Asian, African, Indian, you name it. I had a woman ask me why I didn’t sell hair for white people. I shit you not – it’s 2014 and people like this still exist. After I checked for the hooded white sheet (yeah, I said it), I let her know that the hair I sell is for every woman, of every color and creed.

– A woman asked if she could put her toddler on the back counter as she shopped. I told her no, and that it wasn’t store policy. She tried to assure me he would sit still if I was worried he’d fall off the counter. ….double sigh.

That’s it Beauties…that’s all I got for today…makes me tired 😉

 

Dad's laugh

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Breathe

breathe – (verb) – to take air, oxygen into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire. – to pause, as for breath; take rest.

Breathing. Something we do everyday. We inhale. We exhale. … but what about that pause and take rest part? From what I am seeing and hearing everyday, many of us, including yours truly, remember to breathe in and out but forget about pausing, and taking rest.

The shop opened at 9:30 a.m.. By 10 a.m. I had 6 phone calls, all of which were women looking for a certain product and before I could answer their questions all of them were either panicking, yelling at their kids in the background or speaking over me and telling me;

– why they couldn’t get in today because they had to get their kids to camp, the groceries, the dentist appointments…you name it.

– why they didn’t come by on the weekend – too busy, too much to do.

– that they were too busy to call any other time – too busy, too many other calls to make.

– that their family was over for a vacation and they had been too busy taking care of everyone else and forgot about their hairspray

– that they were too stupid to notice they were out of shampoo – yes…a woman with a shaky voice actually said those words to me.

My rep. was in the shop as all these calls were coming in. In between each ring of the phone, I would put my hand up, tell my rep.”Excuse me for a minute” and take a deep breath, in and out, and would tell myself, “Breathe Sara…it’s not about you.”. – a hard learned lesson for yours truly. Learning that it is not all about you may be the hardest lesson to learn – with the greatest reward. This past week was a hard one. Not going to get into the details for it is not all about me. I thought I was present, thought I was hearing what was being said, thought I had removed my head from my ass, seems I hadn’t. It is safe to say that it is now completely removed, and I learned a hard lesson – I may have been listening to those around me, but I wasn’t hearing them. I was too busy thinking of the next task at hand, or what my opinion was about what they were saying. I wasn’t completely present. I wasn’t taking a moment to pause.

“…the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.” – Brooks Hatlen, The Shawshank Redemption. I am not sure when it happened,  all of a sudden every moment became so dire. Everyday I meet women who are in a hurry. In a panic. I can’t tell you how many times their purchases, their keys or their kids are left at the front desk, or how many times I see;

– Sighing at the debit machine because it is too slow.

– Yelling at their child because they want to take a moment and look at the pretty nail polishes.

– Almost yanking their child’s arm out of it’s socket because they stopped to look at the candies in the candy dish and asked if they could please have one.

– Their lip starting to tremble as they are texting with one hand and entering their PIN with the other.

– Watching their worry about getting home in time for their favorite T.V. show.

– Demanding I tell them why their favorite product was discontinued and told “I don’t know why you are doing this to me! What am I going to do?”.

Ladies and gents…it’s time to take a breath. It’s time to take a moment to pause, to rest.

– When the debit machine is slow, take it as permission to take a little break in your day.

– When your child is looking at the pretty nail polishes, look with them. Ask them what they think is the prettiest color.

– When your child spies a candy dish and asks politely if they may have one – do not yank their little arm. Thank them for using their manners.

– When paying for a purchase, put down your phone. If the call cannot wait, ask the cashier if you could have a moment. Trying to do these two things at once, in my experience, in front of the counter and behind it…it never ends well.

– Worried about missing the next episode of The Real Housewives of where ever? – that is what on demand, PVR and Netflix is for.

– We all feel cheated when our favorite products are discontinued. Try to remember that stylists and sales people are only the messenger’s. Tell us what you liked about your beloved product and we may be able to find you a suitable replacement. … and trust me, it may feel personal – the company did not discontinue the product to ruin your life. They didn’t.

Take a breath. Take rest. Pay attention to those around you. Pay attention to your surroundings. Set your PVR and take a look at the pretty polishes. Take the time to really listen…it’s amazing what you will hear.

 

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women

Can you fix this?

“The bottle promised bright pink hair! Can you fix this?”. “All I asked for was a bob, I didn’t want to look like a Bob! Can you fix this?”. “I was told if I used 40 volume peroxide that my hair would be platinum blonde! Can you fix this?”. These, among others, are common questions posed to me and my stylists at least once a day. At some point in our lives, we have taken our hair into our own hands and realized, oh…that’s why I am not a hair stylist. The great thing about all hair mishaps? They can be fixed. Color can be corrected. Damage from over processing can be repaired with conditioning treatments. Curls can be defined and their frizz controlled. With time and proper products, even the most botched of cuts can look good. That’s the great thing about the Salon, we can help repair the damage. Sometimes, we can even help repair the damage that isn’t seen.

Unfortunately, there are some things I cannot fix. “Look at her scalp! It’s soooo oily! Can you fix this?”. “She decided to try to color her own hair and now looks like she should be on a street corner! Can you fix this?”. “HMMPPT! He thinks he needs gel for his hair…what a diva I have for a son! Can you fix this?”. Yes, I am sad to say, these are phrases that parents have said, about their children, in front of their children, to me. It is usually at this moment I look the child straight in the eye and tell them “I may not be able to fix everything for you, but I can help you with your hair.” and I give them a wink. Once and for all, to all the parents and care givers out there;

– STOP pointing at your child’s oily scalp and proclaiming it as an injustice against you. The only injustice is against your child’s self esteem

– Do not, I repeat, do not refer to your daughter in a derogatory manner. EVER. How is she ever going to know her self worth if all she hears is worthless remarks.

– Young men want to like their reflection too. To make fun of a young man who wants his hair styled just so is mean,plain and simple. I don’t know where it began, teasing men that take pride in their appearance, but I know where it is going to end. Right here. Right now.

– When your teen wants to try a new hairstyle, let them. It’s only hair. It will grow back. Here’s a thought…if the only struggle you are facing with your teen is that they want a mohawk…this is a good problem to have.

– If your child wants to have pink hair, I highly recommend trying hair chalk – Kevin Murphy Color Bug or Joico Structure Pigment Pencils – the color washes out after one wash. It’s a win/win. Your child gets to have fun colors in their hair without the damage and you get to have a tantrum free day.

– For your curly haired cherubs – First, stop referring to their head as a tangled horrible mess. Second, invest in Salon Professional products. DevaCurl is an amazing product line, created for curls of every type. Check out the awesome tutorials on their website http://www.mydevacurl.com

– If your son wants long hair – do not tell him long hair is for girls. If your daughter wants short hair – do not tell her short hair is for boys. If you are worried about what people will think, sorry to tell you this, that is your problem – not your child’s. *this being said, as their parent, be sure to help them style their hair, or have the stylist teach them.

I am a mother and I have put my foot in it many times, of that I am certain. Another certainty…that I have needed to apologize on many an occasion, not necessarily for what I said, but how I said it. As parents, we teach our children to think before they speak. I think it’s time we taught ourselves the same lesson.

 

 

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness, parenting, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

…it just isn’t practical

Last week as I was scrolling through my twitter feed, I came across a link to a commencement speech delivered by Jim Carrey. Something he said has resonated in me ever since… “so many of us choose our path out of fear…disguised as practicality.”.

As you all know, I am the manager of a Salon/retail shop. I am also a wife, a mother and a daughter. I am also a person who used to think I was making the responsible choices, the practical choices when it came to my life decisions, be it a new hair style, a new hair color, what car to buy, what job to take, hell…even when was the proper time to introduce my child to the horror movie genre. Since entering my forties and getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy) I have come to realize most of my decisions were not based on practicality. They were based on fear of judgement, fear of ridicule, fear of non acceptance. They were made by fear, disguised as practicality. ( I will be forever grateful to Jim Carrey for putting into words a thought that I could not articulate). I am also a person who no longer allows fear to make my decisions and am here to tell you that you also can be such a person.

Everyday at the shop, I am sad to say, I hear someone, man , woman or child – take your pick, give up and give into fear, disguised as practicality. A few people stand out in my mind.They have since become customers of the shop and some have become clients of our Salon. Here are their tales.

A  woman came in the shop and stood staring at the display of the Babyliss Miracurl. (an awesome styling tool – full head of curls in 10 minutes!). I asked her if she had any questions or if she needed a hand finding something. She let me know that she had always wanted to have curly hair. I asked her if she wanted to try our demo model to which she said “I better not. I have been told in the past that curls will make my face look fatter than it already is. …and people would just think I am trying to look younger than I am.”. So I asked her “Do you think that your face will look fatter?”. She said no. So I told her to go ahead and curl her hair and not give anyone else’s negative opinions a second thought. Then I pulled my hair back to the side and showed her how I shaved the underside of my hair…because I like it. She smiled and bought a curling iron.

A gentleman came into the shop. He asked me if anyone else was in the shop because he wanted to speak to me about his receding hairline and didn’t want anyone else to know about it. I let him know it was just him and I. He let me know that he had been concerned about his hair loss for a while, but thought trying to do something about it would make him seem vain and that he would be seen as an old man wasting his money. I reassured him that it was not vain – wanting to be happy and wanting to like your reflection is not vain, he was not wasting his money – Nioxin is an award winning system to help prevent hair loss and promote a healthy scalp and that he was not old – 100 is old, not 62. We spent 20 minutes going over the products and I showed him their website. He thanked me for my professionalism, and for not laughing at him, like others before me had done. He left with product in hand and a spring in his step.

A young woman came in the shop to buy some shampoo. We got to chatting and she told me how she had a chance to move out west and go to school. I congratulated her and asked when she was leaving. She said she wasn’t going to go. I asked her “Why not?”. She told me that she didn’t know anyone out there and wouldn’t know how to get around the city. I asked her “In a perfect world…would you go?” to which she said “Yes.”. I told her “There’s your answer. You gotta go. You will meet people. You can use the GPS on your phone to find your way around.” to which she smirked a little. I reminded her this is the perfect time to go and try something for herself – no kids, no marriage, no mortgage, no ties. I reminded her, she can always come back. I am happy to say, she came in last week to stock up on her favorite hairspray, in case they don’t have it in Vancouver.

Ladies and gents, it’s time to become a little more impractical. It is time to let go of the fear of the unknown, the fear of judgement, the fear of ridicule. It is time to remove all the excuses from your mind’s itinerary – the excuses that shout; What will people think? What will the neighbors say? I can’t because of the kids, I can’t because of my parents, I am too old, I am too young, I can’t. …we all have ’em. It’s time to begin listening for the whispers of; I can. Go for it. Try. …those whispers are there. Once you remove the shouts, and remove the practicality, remove the fear, the whispers are heard.

If I was being practical, I wouldn’t be telling you this tale, I wouldn’t be married to the love of my life, I wouldn’t be the mother to a fantastic and beautiful daughter, I wouldn’t be the manager of a Salon/retail shop, I wouldn’t be me. I would be the version of me that fear dictated…and quiet frankly, it just isn’t practical.