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

Who knew?

Those of you who follow my blog and those of you who know me personally know all too well I always look for the positive in everything. I search for the underlying lessons. I seek out the light in the darkness. These past few months have been a true test to this. Someone dear and precious to me has been struggling…a story that is not mine to tell. Watching them struggle, seeing what it was doing to them and in turn to me and others was getting too much to bear. I found myself not being myself, or feeling like myself. Knots in my stomach, sleepless nights, lack of appetite…you name it, I had it. After a night of almost no sleep I reached a breaking point. Here I was, sleepless, bed head to the tenth degree, having a mental breakdown and it wasn’t even 7:30 a.m. I had been reading everything I could get my hands on to help spark my pilot light. I even reached for my bible…to no avail. Seriously, someone has to write a cliff notes for the bible. I scoured that sucker and couldn’t find any comfort. I am a spiritual person. I do believe in a higher power, and energy. There is something or someone greater than us. Call it God, the universe, the Smurfs, whatever. It’s there. In my frustration and down right tantrum I almost threw it across the room. Instead, I reached out to the husband of one of my best friends. He is a pastor. I asked him for guidance, for a scripture that may help me regain perspective. Within minutes, I mean minutes, I had a response. This was it,

“Don’t worry about anything;instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Well, let me tell you. The tears ran down my face, ugly face, snot nosed crying for over 30 minutes. A peace came over me. I cannot explain it, nor do I feel I have to. All I can tell you is reading that passage catapulted me back to myself. After I stopped crying and somewhat regained my composure, I started to feel that knot in my stomach again. I literally stopped walking through my living room, took a deep breath, and said a prayer about what I was worried about. I asked for strength and courage. I stated what I wanted for myself and others. I made myself picture it in my mind before I took another step…if I have a peeping Tom, he got quite a show. The knot went away. On my way to work that day, as I pulled into my parking spot, the knot came back and my mind flooded with all the what if’s and the memories of the past events. I put my car in park, shut of the engine and stated out loud to myself, the universe and the dude waiting at the bus stop what I needed. The knot went away. It’s been over 2 months now, and guess what? The knot went away.

I am not a guru on the mount, nor am I an expert. In the words of the beloved June Carter Cash, I am a woman who is “just trying to matter”. Praying, positive affirmations, whatever it is, only work if you do. Yes, the scripture made me feel better. Yes, praying made the knot go away. I also had to do the work, walk the walk and talk the talk if you will. I had to own my shit. Own my part in all the craziness going on. When you are honest with yourself, it may not be pretty, but trust me, you will feel beautiful.

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

The “Key” to softer skin

September is upon us. The days are getting shorter. The temperature is getting cooler. Tans are beginning to fade. If you are anything like me, you may have realized that with the fading of your tan, your usual skin tone looks a little dull and dry. Well, do I have news for you!

A little back story before I get to the tale at hand. A few years ago, the Beauties at sarynaKEY Canada approached me to review their hair care lines, and of course I said yes! I had used their oil and was curious to see if their other products delivered…and yes, they did. Since then, I have always shared their product launches, contests and such via Instagram. Well, a week after my 47th birthday, yours truly won a prize! I won the body care line, sarynaKEY’s latest addition to the sarynaKEY line. Let me introduce you to Body Therapy by sarynaKEY. 

This luxurious line is, in a word, FABULOUS! I have dry, sensitive skin, so most scented products are not my friend. One of the pleasant surprises of this line is that I had no reaction to the scent…cue angels singing. Those of you with sensitive skin get me.

Body Therapy by sarynaKEY is paraben free, SLS/SLES free, mineral oil free and cruelty free. The packaging is recyclable as well. The line consists of 4 products, one of which is the first body mask treatment of it’s kind!

Naked Break Body Shampoo – gently cleanses your skin, restores moisture and glow. Enriched with shea butter, jojoba oil and camellia plant extracts. Apply a generous amount into your palm, emulsify then apply all over your body – avoid contact with your face and eyes…just in case.

Naked Break Body Mask – yes, you read that right. A mask for your body! This gem renews your skin’s appearance, nourishing from the inside out. Increases natural glow and elasticity while providing a protective layer to protect against the elements. Apply while in the shower, after using Naked Break Body Shampoo. Apply all over, then rinse off! Literally only need a few seconds to treat and smooth your skin. *** this product can be a tad slippery so avoid using on the soles of your feet and rinse the shower after using so your significant other doesn’t slip.

Body Lotion – a light weight lotion that absorbs quickly. Rich with Shea Butter and a special combination of oils from high quality fruit packs this lotion with antioxidants, leaving your skin smooth and soft. For best results, apply to damp skin. …I have uses this on my feet. Works wonders on dry heels!

Hands Butter – my new favorite hand cream. The scent is heavenly. This hand cream has a nutrient rich combination of shea butter, vitamin E, jojoba oil, aloe vera juice, grape seed oil and chamomille extract that repairs dry hands in almost an instant. A rich cream that absorbs quickly, so no more slippery door knobs.

This body care line does not disappoint, nor does the hair care line. Here’s a few links to my review of sarynaKEY.

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/01/26/a-brand-new-key/

 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2018/07/09/monday-motivator-vs-monday-motivator-battle-of-the-oils/

 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2016/10/25/the-key-to-damage-repair/

 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/10/08/the-key-to-curls/

 

To put it simply, Body Therapy by sarynaKEY is “That Girl in the Red Coat approved!”.

 

 

 

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, writing

Merciful Monday

Mercy – noun;

 

compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

 

I came across a beautiful sentiment yesterday. I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday with Elizabeth Gilbert and one of her beautiful insights into life was mercy. Mercy for others, most importantly, mercy for yourself. Her statement about showing mercy towards yourself about your failures, your short comings, your bad decisions resonated within me. I felt a calmness wash over me the instant she uttered that word. Mercy.

It got me thinking. How often we forgive others, show mercy to them and for them, yet we seldom offer ourselves the same gift. When someone we hold dear stumbles and falls, we offer a hand to help them up. When we hear of a friend’s failure, personal or professional, we listen with an open heart and open mind. We try to help them figure out where a wrong turn was made and help them get back to the right road. Funny thing is, when we stumble and fall, we continue to kick ourselves when we are down. When we fail in life and love, we stop looking for a way out. Why is it what we will do for others, we seldom do for ourselves?

Over the years, there are many regrets. I found myself wondering “what if”, or “I should have” or “why didn’t I”. Who knew that a five letter word would clear all those thoughts away. Mercy. I gave myself some mercy. It was 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday night. I went outside, sat in my backyard, looked up to the heavens and got myself some mercy. When I woke up this morning, I have to admit some of my regrets woke up with me. Today was a little different. My regrets were followed by “you did the best you could at the time”. One of my favorite quotes is by the beloved Dr. Maya Angelou “When you know better, you do better.”. I came to realize that I couldn’t have done better in the past, I didn’t have the tools, I didn’t have the belief in myself, I let fear and ego drive my decisions and reactions. I didn’t have mercy. I now know that I do know better, so I can do better.

We all make mistakes. We all have dreams that didn’t come true. We all have been a pain in the ass teenager to our parents. We all have made mistakes as parents. We have all hurt people. We have all hurt ourselves. We all deserve to show ourselves some mercy.

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

The True Trio

As you all are well aware, yours truly is a hair product junkie. I adore trying new products, learning about their ingredients, their properties and most importantly, if they deliver on their promises. I am not a licensed hair stylist. What I am is a women with over 15 years of hair care experience. I have been to color and cut classes, sat down with chemists and creators of lines to discuss their products, toured their warehouses and even spoke with presidents and decision makers of many suppliers. I have worked the floor of trade shows and been a manager of a Salon/retail shop and been a rep. on the road. That being said, I usually focus on Salon Professional products. Until today. Yours truly has come across a line that is on par with Salon Professional hair care lines. It’s been a while since a product blew my mind and left me asking perfect strangers to “touch my hair!”. Let me introduce you to Arbonne True Hair.

Arbonne True Hair

This trio is, in a word, AMAZING! Arbonne True Hair is;

  • vegan
  • cruelty free
  • gluten free
  • silicone free
  • paraben free
  • sulfate free
  • color safe
  • derived from natural & sustainably sourced ingredients

Now I know, when you read the above list, I can hear the sighs and see the eye rolls. Many of you have been led down the natural hair care path to end up with dull, lifeless hair. Not today my friends, not today. Arbonne True Hair leaves your hair soft, shiny, frizz free and bouncy. Yes, I said bouncy. I couldn’t believe the natural volume of my hair after using this fab trio. I love big hair. I love lots of volume hence my adoration for mousse and root lifts. I only used these three products, Arbonne True Hair Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave in Treatment and this was the result…

Here’s the lowdown on Arbonne True Hair. A three step process. Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave in Treatment. Created for all hair types, from fine to thick, straight to curly. It is color safe. Since it is paraben and sulfate free, it is safe to use on extensions as well. All the products contain;

  • Pea Protein – delivers moisture and prevents breakage
  • Sustainably sourced Baobob – increases hair strength and repairs hair, root to tip
  • Ashwagandha Root – contains antioxidant properties, reduces the effects of environmental stresses such as dryness and humidity.

Arbonne True Hair delivers a natural shine and leaves your hair as soft as it was when you were a preschooler.

True Hair Shampoo – Sulfate free = low lather = not a lot of suds. (want more suds, add more water to produce more lather). This shampoo effectively removes product build up, could be used as a clarifying shampoo. Rinses out with ease.

True Hair Conditioner – Lightweight, almost weightless (yet rich enough for the thickest of tresses), rinses out with ease and detangles like nobody’s business. Apply after rinsing out shampoo, leave in 1-3 minutes, then rinse.

True Hair Leave in Treatment – this little gem is a wonder! A cream leave in that is applied to towel dried hair, starting at the ends and working your way up. You can blow dry, or air dry your hair, which ever you prefer. This Leave In is humidity resistant = no frizz. It works as a thermal protectant, adds shine and prevents breakage and split ends. It is a lightweight formula that is non greasy. True Hair Leave in also contains something a little extra. Coconut and Avocado oils deliver essential hydration to nourish your hair.

You can find this fab trio online at http://www.arbonne.com , select your country and VOILA!. You can also get it through any of the fine Arbonne consultants in your area. The price may seem a little much, but it’s not. It is on par with all Salon Professional products of this caliber.

If you are looking for a more natural hair care regime, look no further. Arbonne True Hair delivers on it’s promises.

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

… not by the hair on my chinny chin chin

So it happened. There I was, applying my foundation, wondering if I should redeem my optimum points … my fellow Canadians will understand, and treat myself to Philosophy’s Renewed Hope in a Jar (my favorite face cream) when I saw it. Mocking me by peeking out behind my Beauty Blender. A hair. A thick, black hair. Standing out, proud and tall on my chin. I immediately grabbed one of the perks of your forties, a magnifying mirror, pulled it out from the wall to get a closer look, all the while convincing myself it was just a thread off my towel, my beige towel. Nope. No thread, no fuzzy, it was a hair. Shit.

As you know, I do my best to keep it real here. So here’s some reality for you. In your forties, not only does your hair change it’s texture, porosity and growth pattern, you also start to grow hair, everywhere…as I soon discovered after the new found chin hair. I put the FBI forensic lab unit to shame as I took to finding any other stray hairs. Needless to say, yours truly has invested in some tweezers. Sigh.

My discovery this morning got me to thinking of all the lovely surprises your forties bring to your door that no one ever talks about. Well, lets talk about it, shall we? In your forties;

  • hair begins to grow in places you didn’t realize had a follicle
  • your hair turns grey… all of your hair
  • one day you can strut in 4 inch stiletto heels, the very next day you cannot
  • at least once a week you feel another internal organ, just by getting out of chair
  • you are no longer silent when you bend down…hopefully the noise is a mild grunt or sigh. I work retail and have had the unfortunate witnessing of a different sound while a customer bent down, in front of me…I think you know what I mean
  • you wake up with a flat tummy, by 4 p.m. you may look like you are 5 months along
  • you begin to understand the attraction of sensible shoes
  • instead of reading clothing labels looking for “dry clean only”, you now read clothing labels looking for Lycra
  • your arms are too short …. you find yourself stretching your arms to their full extent just to read the expiry date on a carton of milk
  • you fear sneezing
  • you will spend hours, days, even weeks trying to find a piece of clothing that does make you look like your teenage daughter or your aging mother.
  • you find yourself thinking about how to go about giving yourself a pedicure, deciding how long it will take for a hip or knee to lock up
  • your idea of taking a risk is having coffee after 4 p.m.
  • you relate to and understand Archie Bunker

Don’t get me wrong, most of the forties are fabulous! I like to refer to my forties as returning to yourself. The person who was full of confidence and sass, believing she could do anything because the world hadn’t gotten to her yet and the idea that because I was a girl I was limited wasn’t even on the radar.  In your forties, your renewed confidence is combined with knowledge, depth and experience. In your forties, you begin to realize what’s important and not to sweat the small stuff.

…unless it’s a hair on your chin, then, you’re gonna sweat a little.

health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, writing

Reminder

I woke up this morning with words and phrases swirling around in my head. Conversations I’ve had with friends, words that were spoken out of haste or anger, from me and directed at me from strangers, family and friends. Snapshots of memories, past and present playing like an after school special. I’ve been reading more than one book at at time this past month before bed, jumping between Unfu*k yourself! – Gary John Bishop, The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson, Life will be the death of me – Chelsea Handler and Girl Stop Apologizing – Rachel Hollis, which is probably the reason for this morning’s array of thoughts, visions and emotions, all before 8 a.m..

As I shuffled into the kitchen for my first of many morning cups of coffee, I went to my “mug shelf “. Yes, I have a mug shelf. There’s just something wonderful about pretty mugs, or a mug that makes you smile or says something sassy or inspirational. Say what you want, side eye me if you will, we all have that something that we like. I like pretty things to look at when I start my day, because you never know what life is going to throw at you, so why not start your day your way. Enough about my mugs, As I reached for my “you did not wake up to mediocre” mug, a story that is not mine to tell popped into my head. Then another, and another. What I realized is all my stories and the stories from friends and family alike all had two things in common. #1 = Fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear of not being loved. Fear of not being able to love. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of the opinions of others. Fear of not measuring up. The list of fears is endless. #2 = we all have the same fears. Not always at the same time or to the same extent, but we all feel the same way. The sad part of this commonality? More often than not, no one talks about it. We all are guilty of acting like everything’s fine, everything’s great, nothing to see here. Instagram posts with the “fun in the sun” hashtag, but the fight before the picture and the silent treatment after the picture didn’t happen. The “love your spouse” posts on Facebook, all the while your husband is sleeping on the couch. I am not the guru on the mount, nor am I an expert, but I’ve been around the block a time or two, and in my not so humble opinion, everyone showing the highlight reel of their life adds to everyone’s fear.

Life can be easy, beautiful and wondrous. It can also be hard and a shit show. We cannot control anything or anyone but ourselves. Most importantly, almost everything that is happening in your life is not about you. Your boss is a jerk to you, your child is struggling with life, your parents didn’t hug you enough, your friend isn’t texting you back, plans are cancelled – whatever it is, more often than not, I’m sorry to say, it’s not about you, it just feels like it is. You are overweight and don’t like your body? That is about you. Your friend is overweight and doesn’t like their body? That is not about you. In the past, and sorry to say even in the present I have been and am guilty of making the reactions and words of others personal. Hearing their words and automatically thinking about myself instead of listening and thinking about them. I would hear the words that fit my mood or my fear if you will, to solidify my reasoning of self doubt and to prove my fear was relevant. In the end, all that was left was two or more people feeling frustrated, ignored and scared.

What I have learned and am continuing to learn is this. It is okay to have fear, it is not okay to let that fear define you. Let yourself feel it, then face it. If you can’t do it on your own, ask for help, from a friend, a coworker, a counselor, your minister – take your pick. We all make mistakes, we all fear making them. Mistakes are going to happen. You will stumble, you will fail, you will forget to pick your kids up after school, you will miss a deadline. It may feel like the end of the world, trust me, it’s not. Take a breath. Take a hard look at the situation. Assess it. Look to see where there may be another answer or room for improvement. Ask yourself “what am I to learn from this?” instead of asking “why is this happening to me?”. I know, easier said then done. Trust me, I know. I. Know. One other thing I know, you and I did not wake up to be mediocre.

 

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

Monday Motivator

Everyday, I receive an email or a text or a phone call asking about hair products. I have friends, family and coworkers ask for hair advice on a daily basis. I have stylists asking for my advice or asking my opinion on hair products. My Monday Motivator series usually focuses on one specific product to help you with your hair woes and to make Monday a little more enjoyable. Today, I am combing through my archives to give you the links to all my hair “how tos” and what’s what of hair products and tools. It can be overwhelming, all those bottles, all those brands, all those promises of red carpet worthy hair. Once you have the information and the knowledge, it isn’t so overwhelming and you will come to find that having a good hair day everyday is possible.

 

In need of a new blowdryer? https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/03/18/blow-out/

 

In need of a flat iron? https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/11/would-a-flat-iron-by-any-other-name-still-be-as-good/

 

Using a flat iron everyday? READ THIS! https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/04/09/you-should-hear-sizzle-at-the-stove-not-at-the-vanity/

 

Be careful where you purchase your products! https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/01/15/divert-your-attention/

 

Clarifying Shampoo’s…not for everyday https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/09/14/lets-clarify-the-situation/

 

A break down of hair products – from mousse to wax and everything in between https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/10/27/what-does-this-do/

 

Conditioning treatments are not created equal  https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/07/17/product-101-conditioning-treatments-to-heat-or-not-to-heat/

 

Hopefully these tidbits of information will help you feel less overwhelmed and more empowered. My wish for you is to have a great hair day everyday and to admire yourself and your reflection. PSST…. I have added a “what can I help you find” search engine on my site. Feel free to type what it is you’re looking for and baby, if I wrote about it, the answers and info. will appear before you.