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.

 

 

 

 

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

10 in 1 …say what?!?!

Here we are. March 21st. Spring has finally sprung. Just as we are about to put those pesky toque’s away (hats for my non Canadian readers) we find ourselves rethinking that notion. Winter tends to wreak havoc on our poor tresses and can leave us wondering if anyone would notice our toque at the next board meeting. Winter is not the only foe of our hair woes. Chemical and thermal damage, misuse of product, or lack of use of the proper product for our hair type can leave us reaching for the nearest hat or scarf. Until today. Beauties, let me introduce you to a lovely product from Revlon Professional. I met this gem over 8 years ago. Let me introduce you to Uniq 1.

Uniq 1 offers four delicious scents, today’s feature is Coconut.

  • Original scent – a mix of Bergamot, pineapple, peony and Patchouli… think about what Jon Bon Jovi would smell like…this is it.
  • Coconut scent – a mix of coconut, caramel and vanilla… this scent will have you thinking of  sitting on a beach chair being served a daiquiri
  • Lotus Flower scent – a mix of lily of the valley, rose and lotus flower… this scent will have you dreaming of the  warm summer sun shining on your face while a cool breeze passes over.
  • Green tea scent – a mix of lavender, lemon, green tea and sweet musk… this scent will leave you as Zen as the Dalai Lama

Uniq 1 is a multi-benefit hair product. This gem is a leave in spray mask that offers 10 benefits in one product – hence Uniq 1. Created for all hair types and safe to use daily if needed. Best results are on towel dried, clean hair, before blow drying. A little goes a long way, so for my short hair gals, use sparingly. The benefits of Uniq 1 (other than it’s FAB! scents) are;

  • repair for dry/damaged hair
  • shine & frizz control
  • heat protection
  • silkiness & smoothness
  • color protection with UVA & UVB filters
  • easier brushing and ironing
  • incredible detangler
  • long lasting hairstyle
  • split end prevention
  • adds body

Uniq 1 is the perfect product for anyone who wants a great hair day but doesn’t want to use a lot of products. I have personally been using this product off and on for over 8 years. … as you are well aware, I try A LOT of products. Uniq 1 is one product I know I can rely on when my hair needs that little extra something, or when I am running behind and may not have the time to apply a leave in, a mousse, a thermal protectant…you get the picture.

Uniq 1 delivers the results I need for a good hair day, and it will deliver results for you as well.

 

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

Seven Year Itch

 

Yesterday as I plopped into my favorite chair with my morning cup of Joe I heard the all too familiar bottle cap notification coming from my phone. It was an email alerting me of my 7 year anniversary as a blogger. 7 years. Within seconds my mind was flooded with images from the past 7 years. Nervously circling the table, staring at the computer, deciding to just go for it and write. Coming home from work to find a laptop waiting for me, given to me by my hubby with a “Happy Birthday” screensaver (which is still my screensaver by the way). Kristen Johnston reading my blog and retweeting it. Wynonna Judd sharing my “Kindness 101” blog that ended up getting over 700 views within hours. https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/21/kindness-101/    Major hair companies following my tales. Magazine editor’s and Hollywood stars following my blog. Writing opportunities coming my way. Strangers thanking me for my hair advice. Strangers laughing at my “Tales of Truth” series. My blog being read across the globe. The list of memories is endless.

Fast forward to today. For those of you familiar with my blog, you are well aware of the struggles I have been having trying to decide which direction my blog and I should take. I began this blog while managing a Salon/retail shop and once the shop closed I felt I didn’t have a platform of which to write. Every single fear and anxiety reared it’s ugly head and I am sad to say, more often than not, they won the battle, not me. I was having coffee with a dear friend yesterday and when I told her of my blogging anniversary I received a high five. During our conversation I came to the realization that I started this blog to spread information and to educate and enlighten, not only for hair care, but for all aspects of daily life, from business to self care to parenting, speaking my truth in hopes that it may give others the courage to do the same. As a reminder that a little kindness goes a long way.

When I woke up this morning, I found myself wondering if my blog related trepidation was due to the 7 year mark. We’ve all heard of the 7 year itch where relationships/marriage is concerned. Maybe it’s the same with goals. It’s all nerves and excitement at the beginning. Lots of new and exciting things happen. Milestones are reached. Celebrations seem to be every other month. Then things slow down, hit a plateau. It doesn’t seem to be as exciting, the shine is off the diamond if you will. It begins to feel like a chore. Other avenues are catching your eye. You feel like throwing in the towel. At least that’s how it felt for me. What I have come to realize and accept is that things change. Who I was when I began this blog I will never be again, and that’s okay. 7 years have passed and I have more experience, in work and in life. I have more of an understanding of who I was, who I am and who I intend to be. I feel I am a good writer. I enjoy it. It’s cathartic. I came to realize my lack of posts for the past 12 months was due to one thing – I was trying to be something and someone I am not. Writing blogs with others opinions in mind, not my own. I began this blog without any thought of what people would think, just the hope that someone would enjoy it and get something out of it. It’s time to get back to that.

Thank you to all my readers, my followers, my family, my friends and those who have shared my tales. More are on the way… hope you enjoy them.