Beauty, Fashion, Women

… if the shoe fits

As some of you may know, and some of you may not, yours truly has returned to my old stomping grounds. Years ago, I managed the Ladies section of a shoe store. It’s not your run of the mill shoe store – a slow day is 250 pairs. This past July, the manager and owner and I sat down and I was asked to come back, and on my terms. Four shifts a week, only one late night and no management responsibilities. Just selling. Go in, do my job, go home. I explained my long term goals for my blog, my writing, my consulting and my life. I came to realize a while ago, do what you gotta do until you can do what you want to do. Plain and simple.

I have been back in the Ladies section for 6 months now, and although it was over 8 years ago when I ran the section, one thing has not changed. Women are insecure about their feet, their shoe size, what they look like and what people think. Too many women are forcing their foot into a shoe that is too small, or refusing to try on a pump because they are “too old for those now”, or, the saddest of all, buying a shoe they do not like because their partner says they like it. I may not be able to help you out of a bad marriage, or help you get your boss off your back, or get your kids to behave. What I can do is give you the “what’s what” about shoes and footwear. Here we go;

  • the average size of shoe sold in the Ladies section in 2018 was a Ladies size 9 – 10. Yes. You read that correctly. 6 – 7 is no longer the average size. There is no longer any need to be embarrassed about your size 10’s ladies.

 

  • Many companies offer an array of sizing, from size 4 to size 13. …and yes, the size 13’s are just as cute as the size 4’s.

 

  • European Sizing – this always throws ladies for a loop.  Here’s your go to chart;

                                                                         35 = size 4 – 4.5

                                                                         36 = size 5 – 5.5

                                                                         37 = size 6 – 6.5

                                                                         38 = size 7 – 7.5

                                                                         39 = size 8 – 8.5

                                                                         40 = size 9 – 9.5 

                                                                         41 = size 10 – 10.5

                                                                         42 = size 11 – 11.5

                                                                         43 = size 12 – 12.5

                                                                         44 = size 13 – 13.5 

  • Here’s a little helpful sizing tidbit – * many children’s shoes and men’s shoes are the exact same style as Ladies shoes.

A child’s size 4 is a Ladies 6

A child’s size 5 is a Ladies 7

A child’s size 6 is a Ladies 8

A men’s size 8 is a Ladies 10

A men’s size 9 is a Ladies 11

A men’s size 10 is a Ladies 12

 

  • Unless you have always dreamed of having bunions and hammer toes, or both…NEVER purchase shoes that are too small, EVER. Think about it. If the shoe is too small, with every step you take, the joints of your toes have no where to go but up (hammer toe) and out (bunion). Unfortunately, for some of us, bunions and hammer toes may run in the family – try not to give them any more help.

 

  • Unless you are on the beach, going barefoot is a no no. The older we get, the more support our tootsies need. The tendons supporting your arch run from the base of your big toe to your heel, and then up to your knee and they need your support. If you have ever had heel pain, or gotten out of bed and felt like you stepped on broken glass – that’s your arch begging for support. I have suffered from the evil Plantar Fasciitis and quickly learned that walking barefoot around the house was no longer an option. So I wear my Birks (Birkenstock) instead of slippers.  For those of you who just can’t imagine wearing these, give this brand a go – Vionic – created by Podiatrist’s. Their selection of sandals are cute and colorful.  I have to admit…every once and a while I wear my fuzzy slippers – I’m Canadian and our winters tend to be chilly.

  • When it comes to winter boots – water proof means water proof. The boot has a water proof membrane between the soles of the boot. I want you to imagine an Oreo cookie. The cookie parts are the soles of the boots, the cream center is the water proof membrane. *** Temperature grading on a winter boot means that your foot will stay cozy and warm if you are moving or not.

 

  • We all can walk in heels. We can. You have to walk like the models on the runway. Plain and Simple. Put one foot in front of the other and sway your hips and VOILA! You are walking in heels. * Walking with your feet side to side like you do in sneakers is the reason why you waver and look like a baby deer learning to walk or feel unstable. Imagine you are on the runway in Milan and strut your stuff sister!

 

  • For those who wear Orthotics, do not fret. You are not doomed to wear “old people shoes” for the rest of your life. Many companies offer and array of Orthotic friendly foot wear, from sandals to heels, knee high boots to slippers. …and they are cute too. Clarks, Aravon, Biotime, Romika, Ugg…just to name a few.

Something I want you to remember Ladies. If you like the shoe, buy it. Stop worrying about what others will say or think. Stop worrying you are too old to wear certain shoes. If you like sparkles on your shoes, BLING! away. If you like the way you look in stiletto’s, wear them like you’re on your way to your personal Vogue shoot. It’s like I tell my Ladies that shop in my section, if people are looking at your shoes instead of you, you need to tell them to get a new hobby.

Be your own beautiful. …and if the shoe fits, wear it.

 

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

Monday Motivator

When we hear the word December or see the month on our calendar our thoughts automatically turn to our holiday to do lists. Be it trim the tree, buy that perfect gift or lighting the menorah. In my corner of the world, December also means pulling out every toque (winter hat for my non-Canadian friends), scarf, parka, and the endless search for the lost mitten or glove, that you find in June. December can be a beautiful and magical month. Fresh fallen snow, crisp fresh air. The sun peeking through the snow clouds to remind us of the hope of spring. Running into old friends which result in impromptu dinners or drinks, the list of possibilities are endless. One thing is for certain, many of us will keep our toque’s on, for the ever present static and frizz that goes along with December weather is always waiting to make an appearance. I do believe we have Canadians to thank for the “pom pom hats are in” fashion statement. Before you scour Amazon and every apparel shop at the mall for a toque to match every outfit, I have some good news for you! Even though the calendar states it’s December, there is still humidity in the air, hence our frizz. Mix that with the dry hot air from our furnace, static is not to far behind. Combing through my archives I have compiled a list of blogs about fabulous hair products that will keep your frizz and static the furthest thing from your mind. You’re welcome.

 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2018/06/11/the-joi-of-a-monday-motivator/

 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/06/15/monday-motivator-onesta-smooth-shine/

Onesta Smooth & Shine – That Girl in the Red Coat

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2018/05/28/a-fab-monday-motivator/

 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2014/12/08/fine-and-fab-finds-that-girl-in-the-red-coat-approved/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty, Fashion, health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat

The 10 minute mani

I received a message a few weeks ago from a lovely lady I met at a motivational seminar over 6 years ago. Thanks to social media, we have stayed in touch. (…the real reason for social media, in my not so humble opinion). She let me know she enjoyed my Instagram posts and my blog. She then asked me for my professional opinion about a new gel nail polish system. …professional opinion, a lovely compliment at a much needed time. Of course I said yes, you all know how I LOVE to try new products, how I love researching new things. Without further adieu, let me introduce you to GelMoment.

GelMoment is an at home gel nail polish system, and I gotta tell you, it is FABULOUS! In 10 minutes, yours truly had her nails done. 10 minutes, from start to finish! I love a good mani, I am not a fan of waiting for my nails to dry, and since I can be a little klutzy, I usually have to retouch or redo a nail or two. …but not with GelMoment! This system cures and dries your polish in 45 – 60 seconds. It does. Select your shade, apply a coat, place your nails under the light, wait – 45-60 seconds and that’s it! After the polish had cured under the LED light I pressed down as hard as I could on each nail – no smudge, no finger print indent, nothing but a smooth, shiny finish. I did dishes, I did laundry, I cleaned the house, I even worked in the garden – no chips, no peeling, nada, just a pretty mani.

GelMoment is a DIY one step gel polish application. GelMoment is;

  • non toxic
  • made in Europe
  • Lasts up to 14 days
  • Dilbutyl Phthalate free, Toluene free, Formaldehyde free, Formaldehyde Resin free and Camphor free
  • Cruelty free – not tested on animals
  • Solvent free
  • Gluten free
  • Latex free
  • Safe to use on children

The GelMoment removal process takes a little more time, 20 minutes instead of 10. It is just as easy as the application process. Gelmoment offers remover pads and clips. You simply place the remover pad over your nail, place the clip over the pad, wait 5-10 minutes and VOILA! The gel polish is removed, no damage to your natural nail or the skin around it has occurred. …those of us familiar with acetone know how dry our fingertips can get while removing any kind of polish. If you find that there is a tad bit of polish residue left on your nail, GelMoment provided a cuticle pusher that can also be used to gently remove any remaining polish.

With the GelMoment system, there is no need for a base coat or top coat. There is a hint of a scent, no overpowering polish scent like you may find in other systems. GelMoment offers over 45 colors, so there is a shade for every taste or fashion sense. GelMoment offers an array of accessories from files to nail art gems, hand lotions to buffers.

For those of us who feel short on time due to our own schedules, our kid’s schedules, our work schedules and life in general, GelMoment is the perfect system to have on hand at home for everyone who loves a fresh, professional looking mani.

#thatgirlintheredcoatapproved

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, Business, Fashion, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat

Monday Motivator – Joico Hair Shake

It’s Monday. In my part of the world, it’s raining. It’s damp, it’s dreary, it’s Monday. As I was opening the shop this morning, I caught my reflection and noticed that although my feet were soaked, the hem of my pants now resembled a Jackson Pollock canvas and my coffee was cold, my hair looked fabulous. This got me thinking – there are many things we cannot control; the weather, our child deciding that underwear and nothing else is appropriate school attire 10 minutes before the bell rings, the driver in front of us that doesn’t understand his left blinker from his right blinker, a man asking if it’s possible to wax his own balls…you get the picture. What we can control is our hair. We can. Really. We can.

Today is the beginning of yet another theme to help ease the pain and strain of Monday mornings. (well, every morning for that matter). Let me introduce you to That Girl in the Red Coat’s Monday Motivator! Each Monday yours truly will introduce you to a FAB! product to ensure a good hair day every Monday and everyday.

Let me introduce you to the newest member of the Joico Styling family – meet HairShake!

PhotoGrid_1430752272489Only two sprays of HairShake added this volume & texture!…if you love volume and texture…you are gonna LOVE this!

Hair Shake is a liquid to powder finishing texturizer. Yep! Liquid to powder! If you like the results of volumizing powders from OSIS Dust It or SexyHair Powder Play but not a fan of the powdery mess, Joico’s HairShake is for you. HairShake offers;

– texture and lift

– touchable and moldable layering styling grip = easy to create and recreate styles.

– lift and fullness at the root

– fast drying residue free and grit free finish = no powdery residue

– created for all hair types and lengths

– the BEST scent ever – fresh and clean

HairShake is to be applied to dry hair. To apply, give the bottle a good a shake then apply as desired. This has become one of my favorite styling products and every client we use it on in the Salon buys one for themselves. Many of my customers who love their volumizing powders are now fans of HairShake. It offers hold, texture and volume. The one feature that made me a fan – if I wanted to change my style, I could brush through my hair with ease and begin again. My hair was not weighed down and there wasn’t a sticky residue.

Head on over to Joico’s Instagram @joico and their website http://www.joico.com for great styling tips and fun tutorials.

 

 

 

 

Beauty, Fashion, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Past meets Present

Today’s tale is a personal one. A glimpse into the life of That girl in the red coat. The past and present collided this weekend, and it was beautiful. Today’s tale is also for all the Mother’s out there embarking on graduation and prom season – remember to let it be about your daughter.

My beautiful girl is about to graduate high school, so this past weekend, my girl, her bestie, her beloved Amma and I all ventured out to find the perfect dress. There is a divine little shop in Waterloo Ontario that I wanted to check first. I have to admit, it is a shop that I hold dear for it was the shop that made my wedding gown and dressed my wedding party, my mother and my mother in law, or Amma as you now know. I was their first bride, 21 years ago. The shop is Kindred Spirit.

As we opened the door of the shop, memories flooded back of the first time I crossed the threshold. As we all made our way in all I heard was “Sara!”. After 21 years, they remembered me. It was like running into long lost friends and it was fabulous. I have cherished my moments at the shop for the girls made me feel like I was the only woman in their shop. I was so happy to see the same owners, Debbie and Tina, for I knew they would do the same for my daughter. I introduced my daughter and let them know we were looking for her prom dress. Their service was as impeccable as it was 21 years ago. They made sure it was all about my daughter, as it should be, for it is her prom and her dress. The ladies were kind, conscientious and present. As I watched the ladies help zip up my daughter’s dress and clasp the hooks, all of a sudden, my daughter was a woman. The little cherub who would sing a song to a dandelion had become a beautiful, poised young woman. It is prom season, so the shop was filled with Mothers and daughters, their friends and their loved ones. I could not have asked for a better day for my girl. Every time she would come out with a dress she would hear the women telling her how beautiful she looked, how fabulous her figure was, how beautiful she was. Her Amma had women complimenting her on her granddaughter’s beauty and poise – for any grandmother, especially a European grandmother -this is a big deal. My girl had her bestie there for support and honest opinions – for we all know that only the bestie’s word is true – even if it is the exact same thing the Mother says.

We found “the dress”. My girl is a true beauty and in this dress, in a word, stunning. Simply stunning. As she looked at herself in the mirror, I was watching her and was seeing her future, filled with accolades and awards. I knew that this was the first of many evening gowns she would own, and told her so. Debbie heard me say this, so I took it upon myself to have a proud Momma moment and explained my daughter’s latest achievement, that four days before her 18th. birthday, my girl became a published author. Yep! Published at 17! Her short story is one of ten short stories available for Kindle or in paperback. Being me – here is the link;

As we walked up to the counter, dress in hand, I realized how blessed I was to watch memories being made. My daughter’s eyes twinkling when we found “the dress”, my mother in law (Amma) watching strangers compliment my daughter and in turn her, my girl’s bestie being kind and courteous to my girl’s Amma, seeing the tears of pride in Amma’s eyes and the tears of happiness in my daughter’s as they hugged each other after the surprise gift that Amma would buy her dress.

As my grandmother told me, a woman I miss dearly everyday, “In this life, the days are long and the years are short.”.  In the blink of an eye I went from the bride to be to the Mother of an 18 year old graduate. I went from clasping my daughter’s onesie to clasping her evening gown. I was just watching her take her first steps and now I am watching her take her first steps towards her destiny.  Take the time to be present in every moment. Let the moments of others be about them, you will have your own moments to make about yourself, of that I am certain. Every occasion does not need to be a spectacular event – some of the best memories have been made over coffee or standing at the counter of a dress shop.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”.

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty, Business, Fashion, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized

Taking a Tour

On June 2nd., yours truly took a little tour to The Cambridge Mill in Cambridge Ontario to attend the Spring Trend Tour show sponsored by Joico and Piidea Direct.  Inspiration was promised and inspiration was delivered…from the choice of venue to the artistry displayed on stage.

I arrived to warm hospitality from the staff at the Cambridge Mill, hot coffee and a glorious view while waiting for the show to start.

20140423_140312

20140602_093508 The view from The Cambridge Mill

Once at my table the music pumping, the lights flashing, I knew I was in  for a treat. The show began with a student competition and let me tell you, these students GOT IT! Great styles and structure to the cuts and creations and color. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these young stylists and their clients.

IMG_20140602_103820    20140602_102620  Yep! Created by students!

After the student competition we were treated to some great cutting and color techniques using Joico and ISO color from Marc Galati and Darci Armstrong. True professionals and artists, who touched on all aspects of having a client in your chair, from foil placement, understanding your client, helping your client achieve their desired look and in my opinion the most important, making sure that you sell your client the proper products to protect their investment in themselves.

20140602_112340    Marc Galati

20140602_103214    Darci Armstrong

After a scrumptious lunch that included the best ever beet salad I ever had, wraps, sandwiches and tasty treats for dessert we were in for a real treat. Monika Lombardi took the stage with her creations for the gents of all ages. It was a wonderful addition to the show as, for those of you who follow my Salon Tales, our gents do not get enough attention and they are a huge market that needs more attention. Great barbering techniques were displayed and taught by Monika, as were styling techniques. Monika gave a step by step walk through of each technique she was utilizing. Another true professional and artist. I cannot wait to see what the next trend show will bring!

IMG_20140602_160233 Monika Lombardi

IMG_20140602_160044  All the creations

For those of you looking to change it up at your Salon, or are thinking of dabbling in more vibrant colors and creations, I recommend Piidea Direct and Joico. To be clear, I am not receiving any type of stipend. The reason for the recommendation? I am a manager of a Salon and retail shop which means I am also a customer. I am a customer that needs product, color and support and I receive all three from Piidea and Joico. Free education, support 24/7, samples for our back bar and our clients, even complimentary retail bags for our clients and customers…and awesome Sales Reps., like mine.

IMG_20140602_160557  Melodie Hergott – Sales Rep Extraordinaire! …and yours truly.