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

When there’s a will, there’s a way

As I was sitting in my kitchen this morning, staring at my blank screen, contemplating my life, wondering if I was making the right choices, a shadow flickered out of the corner of my eye. I looked out my window to see a bird perched on my rose bush. It’s been blooming for over a month now and until this morning I never noticed the  single rose blooming on a branch that was connected to a dead branch. Way up above the rest of the blooms, there it was, a rose blooming from a dead branch that is over 4 feet long, has a rose, in full bloom, it all it’s glory.

That’s when it hit me. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Always. If this rose could figure out a way to grow and bloom from a dead branch, anything is possible.

Since the shop closed, 2 years ago now, I have been trying to figure out my next step. Well, that is what I said I was doing, honestly,I was coasting along hoping my next step would just arrive at my front door along with my Amazon orders. It wasn’t until this past April, when, once again, I was faced with another small business closure and in turn, a job loss. I saw it as a nudge from the universe to focus on my writing,my consulting and my brand. You see, I thought I could only do one or the other, either work or write/consult. Over the past 6 weeks, I have been networking, blogging, making things happen if you will, all the while taking care of everything “household” from dishes to cooking to cleaning the gutters…yes, I cleaned the gutters. I bought a new ladder and everything. A little scared about how excited I was about a new ladder…must have something to do with my forties. I had many job offers come my way, even an old employer asking if I was interested in coming back. I turned down the offers, except one. My old employer’s offer. I met with him and offered my services on a on-call basis. He was happy with that, although it felt he had hoped for more. For the next 10 days, it kept playing on my mind. Last week a situation that I thought forced my hand made me call my old boss and tell him I would take the job, four days a week and gave him the hours I was comfortable with. He agreed and I left the meeting with smiles from employees, the owner and a hug from my old manager saying “So happy to have you back.”. The situation that I thought forced my hand isn’t important. What is important is I realized my hand wasn’t forced, I just needed a big push to make a decision, and that was it. I had been contemplating the offer for over a week, wavering over the opinions of others, fear it would end up being the same experience as it had been 8 years ago, worrying that I would lose myself and in turn my writing. Deep down I knew it was the best move for me right now. Have a job that provides an income for the household while still having 3 days to focus on and build my blog and brand.

When I saw the rose this morning, I literally had an Oprah AHA! moment. Here I was worrying I couldn’t do both, when all the while I have been doing both. Actually, I have been doing more than two things at once. Depending on the day, I can have four to six tasks at hand and sooner or later, they all get done and done well. I started my blog and my brand while working 40 – 44 hours a week running a Salon/retail shop and everything that entailed, running a household and raising a teenage millennial…if I could do that, hell, this will be a walk in the park.

What you want in life comes to you, if you let it. You gotta put in the time, the work, the sweat, the tears. When doubt and fear rear their ugly mugs, tell’em to shove it and keep going. It won’t always be pretty. It may not happen when you want it to happen, it will when you need it to happen. Many times  we feel everything is going to pot. It’s not, it’s just that we are in the middle of our story. When there’s a will, there’s a way. If a rose can figure that out, I think we can too.

 

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

….another Moroccan’ Monday Motivator

It was inevitable, Monday has arrived. I for one have been known to put on my best pout around 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening, knowing that Monday morning was mocking me with every tick of the clock. Since we cannot control time, nor the calendar, why not embrace Monday and make the best of it. We cannot control that a toddler thinks a snowsuit in June is appropriate daycare wear, the sighs, grunts and the all too familiar “UGH!” from our teens, every morning, nor can we control our spouse staring at us, stating over and over “Where are my keys?”…FYI…how about instead of staring at us, move your eyes around and help find them. You all get the picture, Monday morning can be, interesting. Today, I have a treat for you! This gem will bring a smile to your face and relief to your mind. A pot on the stove could be boiling over, a child and dog running through your legs playing tag, a teenager blaming you for their “horrible wardrobe” and with one application of this Mondays Motivator, bliss will surround you and for a moment the chaos of your morning will melt away. Let me introduce you to Moroccanoil Body Hand Cream

For those who may not know, Moroccanoil has a body line. It offers everything body, from Body Oils, Shower Milks, Bar Soaps, Body Scrubs and creams. I receieved a sample of the hand cream in a gift pack a year ago, and immediately called my rep. and ordered 6. I gave a few as gifts and selfishly kept some for myself. I have one in my purse, at my computer and by my bed. The scent is heavenly…it just makes me smile. With every application, I sigh and smile. What I find the most exciting is I have sensitive skin and I can use this hand cream. I have given Moroccanoil Body Hand Cream to friends with skin more sensitive than mine and they were elated! They could use it too.

Moroccanoil Body Hand Cream offers Moroccanoil’s original scent. It is a Paraben free cream. This gem absorbs quickly, so no worry of being locked in the bathroom because your hands keep slipping of the doorknob. Your hands are left soft and silky. The secret is in that sauce, so to speak. Moroccanoil Body Hand Cream is formulated with nutrient rich argon oil, avocado oil, cocoa, shea butter and mango butter. This combo delivers a luxurious, moisturizing effect and helps to repair dry hands. Here’s a break down for you;

  • Argan Oil helps to hydrate and nourish skin = improved texture and tone
  • Shea Butter is rich in essential fatty acids = increased moisture and strength for the skin barrier
  • Avacado Oil contains powerful antioxidants  = helps build skins natural defenses and restores moisture

You are going to adore this cream. The only warning I have for you is you may be referred to as Mary Katherine Gallagher because you will be smelling your hands so often.

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Parenting past 15, That girl in the red coat

Sunday Confessions

 

This August, yours truly will be 46. I have found my forties to be quite liberating. It is as if I have returned to my 8 year old self. I thought I was pretty cool. I could throw a football like a boy, I could double dutch like no one’s business, I never worried about what others thought of me, if you liked me, YAY! …if you didn’t, that was okay too. I had a 64 pack of Crayola crayons (with the built-in sharpener), I could make my parents laugh, life was good. Remember that person? Before the world got to you. You woke up everyday excited for the day, wondering what was around the next corner. Waking up with intention, be it to ride your bike without holding onto the handle bars or getting to the arcade in time to be the first in line for PacMan. Being picked first for basketball or coming home to a fresh pack of Oreo’s waiting for you on the kitchen table made you feel like you could conquer the world. Making a friend was as easy as saying “I like the color blue” and another person saying “Me too.”. If you argued with a friend and feelings were hurt, saying sorry was enough. If an explanation was needed and given, it was believed and words were forgiven. We didn’t hold grudges, and even if we tried, by the end of the day we literally forgot what happened and simply carried on.

I know many women who are 35 and under, and I see them struggling, with their self image, their friendships, their marriages, their parenting, you name it, the struggle is real. Today’s Sunday Confession is to help ease the anguish, to help women of any age to ease up on themselves and know that they are not alone.

  • there will be days you will look in the mirror and wonder “Where did I go?”and that’s ok. It happens to us all. I am here to tell you, you are still there, life is getting in the way. Take a breath and remember a time as a young girl you accomplished something on your own. Feel that memory. Take a moment to really feel it. Open your eyes.I promise when you look in the mirror you will see yourself.
  • do not be ashamed if you are not relishing being pregnant. I was sick from the moment of conception to the moment my daughter was delivered. When I say I was sick, I was sick. I threw up at least 15 times a day…if you need a washroom in the Kitchener Waterloo and surrounding area, I know where they ALL are. I am here to give you permission to not find your pregnancy magical. I am here to give you permission to find pregnancy weird, uncomfortable and down right gross at moments.
  • it is just fine if you like living on your own.
  • it is just fine if you do not want to have children…trust me, all the people telling you “it’s life changing” or “you’ll regret it” have probably yelled at their little miracles 10 times that day and are wondering who smells like spit up, them or the baby.
  • your thirties are your twenties, just with more financial stability (mostly). It’s okay to feel like you have know idea what you are doing. Trust me, the majority of us are winging it, or trying to mimic what we saw our parents do, who were probably mimicking their parents….see, we are all just trying to do our best.
  • the life you dreamed for yourself may not come to fruition. It’s gonna hurt. You’re going to feel like a failure. You are not. Pout for a while, throw a temper tantrum, have some chardonnay if needed, then let it go. In my experience, when life threw me curve ball and I felt like I just kept swinging and missing, sooner or later, I ended up hitting it out of the park.
  • try your best not to compare your life with your friend’s lives. Sure they may go on more trips then you, or have a better car or apartment, maybe they even have a house. More often than not, they are mortgaged to the hilt, credit cards are at their max and they are living paycheck to paycheck. Remember – Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • some kids eat paste, some wet the bed until they are 6, they will interrupt every single one of your conversations, they will ask 20000 questions before 10 a.m. on a Sunday. Being annoyed with them does not make you a bad parent.
  • there is no such thing as a perfect marriage, so stop knocking yourself out. It will be messy, there will be tears, arguments, resentment, laughs, embraces, every emotion under the sun. As my Gramma Leah said “the secret to a good marriage is not to fall out of love with each other at the same time”.
  • if you have to work full time and have your kids in daycare until they are in school, that’s what needs to be done, plain and simple. Let the “looks” from the neighbourhood Moms roll off your back. The opinions of others doesn’t pay the bills.
  • Your 30’s will have many bumps in the road, the journey is worth it

 

In my forties I have found I feel comfortable in my own skin, I like my reflection, and with each passing month, I find that the opinions of others do not mean as much to me as they used to and when asked my opinion, I give it. It isn’t always what one wants to hear, my opinion is honest. I have come to realize that if the intention behind your actions or words is not honest and true, there is no honor in them, to yourself or others and sooner rather than later, feelings are hurt and trust is lost.

For those struggling today, let me tell you, like a fine wine, life gets better with age. It may not pretty or what you hoped for. The way I see it, if you are fortunate enough to rekindle a spark within yourself, are able to realize your true value and let things go, learn from your mistakes and leave that baggage at the door, life is pretty good.

 

 

Beauty, health and wellness, Parenting past 15, That girl in the red coat

Sunday Confessions

 

 

“Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about the most?” – Charles Lindbergh

I am a lover of quotes. I have been for as long as I can remember. Quotes and sayings that grabbed my attention or the attention of others were and still are my favorites. I fondly remember shopping with my mother in a gift shop in Elora Ontario. I was 8 years old and fancy shoe laces were all the rage. The shop had a display of them and as I was looking at them and planning my performance to my mother in hopes of getting her to buy me a pair, my eyes landed on a pair of laces that I thought were the letters of the alphabet…they weren’t the letters of the alphabet…they read “BULLSHIT”. I giggled and gasped at the same time. My mother came over and I threw caution to the wind and told her I found a pair I liked. I pointed them out to her, she read them and laughed out loud, took them off the display and bought them for me. I wore my “BULLSHIT” shoelaces with pride, to school, to the playground, even to my grandparents house. Back to the tale at hand.

The above quote I came across a few days ago on Instagram and have not been able to stop thinking about it. It made me think of all the things that I think about, but do not say. Sure I make a sarcastic quip to lighten the mood, and will give my honest opinion when asked, I do not however always talk about what is going on behind the scenes. I put on my game face and head on out the door. Over the past weeks, being given time to actually complete a thought and do some soul searching via conversations with friends and finding a fabulous book -Rising Strong by Brene Brown, I have been able to, slowly but surely, leave the house without my game face. What you see is what you get. I have been able to shed my skin of shame (as I like to call it) and just be me. Becoming honest with myself is allowing me to become honest with those around me. So many of us are dealing with some type of pain or anguish yet feel shame for doing so. Let the shame go, it’s a waste of energy, it serves no purpose. Sharing your stories will set you free, your stories may even set someone else free for they will realize they are not alone. For the naysayers out there I have a perfect example, a personal one.

My daughter deals with anxiety and depression. Her high school years were not gentle and kind. Over the years we tried to get her some help to deal with her thoughts and feelings, to no avail. It was frustrating to say the least, not only for her, but as her Mother for it is my job to protect her, to show her there is good in the world. How was I to get her to believe that when one door closes another opens when every door seemed to slam in her face? Over the years we did our best to support her, all the while telling her to speak to someone. She didn’t trust the system for it had failed her so many times before. Finally, God, the powers that be, the Smurfs, whichever you want to believe in heard our plea, saw our efforts and a door opened, my daughter was heard, was taken seriously and is slowly but surely gaining control of herself, her emotions and her anxiety. I know, I hear you …”what’s your point? Where’s your example?”. Here it is. Last year while working with my friend at her shop, a friend of hers came in for her morning Matcha. She looked exhausted. She looked distraught. She was on the verge of tears. I overheard her conversation with my friend, it was about her daughter. She was 17, not eating, depressed, anxious, couldn’t make it through the day at high school. Her Mother was at a loss and didn’t know what to do. I went over, excused myself for entering the conversation and told her I felt I needed to. My voice was shaking as I told her about my daughter. Why was my voice shaking? What was so wrong about speaking the truth? It was at that moment I realized that I was blaming myself for my daughter’s anxieties and in turn by doing so was making her issues about me, which serves no purpose and does not help my daughter in any way, shape or form. As I was speaking to this woman, her tears slowed, her breathing calmed, my voice stopped shaking and we both felt lighter. I told her “Don’t do what I did. This is not your fault and we have to remember this is not about us. I am here to tell you there is light at the end of this tunnel. It will get better”. I went home that day and told my daughter about the conversation and I apologized to her. I apologized for always trying to fix it, that I realized all the while I was trying to make it better for her, because of my fear and shame of being seen as a bad Mother, I was not helping at all. By speaking my truth to another, I let go of my feelings of shame I hadn’t even realized I was carrying and I released another of their feelings of shame.

We all have stories that ain’t so pretty. We all know someone, or are ourselves dealing with;

  • loss
  • divorce
  • addiction
  • mental health issues
  • parenting issues – form having your toddler ripping off it’s diaper to having to put a parent in diapers.
  • are we doing enough
  • are we doing too much
  • bad hair day meltdown

…the list is endless. Here’s the deal Beauties. There is no shame in speaking your truth, what ever it may be. In the immortal words of Dr. Suess ” Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”.

 

 

 

 

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

Sunday Confessions

 

At least once a day, I have the thought or hear myself saying out loud “I should blog about that.”. Many of the topics did not pertain to beauty per say, so I wasn’t quite sure on how to go about it.  Yesterday, I was thinking of one of my most popular posts  https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/06/09/sunday-confession/

and yours truly had another AHA! moment….don’t you just love when that happens? Start a Sunday Confessions series…funny how the universe works, since I wrote Sunday Confession in June of 2013, and 5 years later, the idea for Sunday Confessions came about in June. My goal for Sunday Confessions is to bring light to the dark, to talk about all those things that people don’t talk about at parties. We all, at one point or another have felt tired, scared, unworthy, ugly, you name it, we have all felt it. By no means I am the guru on the mount, I am a woman who is, in the words of June Carter Cash, “just trying to matter.”.

I know that owning your truth will set you free, and I gotta practice what I preach. My Sunday confession this week is, yours truly is smoking again. Yes, it’s true. Since the tender age of 16, I have been a smoker. On and off for over 30 years. A crutch that I put away in the closet, that I bring out from time to time. I quit smoking when I was pregnant (24 years old) and gave it up completely until my daughter was 6 months old. My Grandpa Jack passed away when my daughter was 2 months old and my Grandpa Clarence passed away when my daughter was 4 months old, my husband was helping his mother with his father’s estate, we were buying our first home and well, I needed a crutch. Fast forward 3 years, at 28 I quit smoking when going through my first thyroid cyst scare…finding a lump will do that. I stayed smoke free for over 12 years…I did have a few during the funeral when my beloved Gramma Leah passed away, other than that, not a drag for over 12 years. Those familiar with my tales know of my hubby’s heart attack and health issues, and the obstacles my beautiful daughter has faced. That accompanied with financial stresses, loss a job, gain of a job followed by another loss of a job, loved ones health struggles, hell, life in general, I opened up the closet door and pulled out my old crutch. By no means am I putting the blame on them for puffing away again – the decision to smoke is completely on me. I know I may be receiving some calls and messages from my friends and loved ones after admitting this, of this I am sure. I am hoping for these notes of concern will be ones of support, not ridicule, for I am a firm believer of not kicking someone when they are down. I am well aware that smoking is bad for me, for my health, the major reason I know I have to quit, and not put that crutch back in the closet, but burn that sucker. One of the reasons for this confession is by no longer hiding the fact I am smoking will in turn help me to quit. Making myself accountable for my own actions, plain and simple.

The purpose for this Sunday Confession is to, pardon my french, own my shit, because if don’t own your shit, your shit is going to own you. Also, to give myself and you permission to admit a fault or a fall without guilt or shame. We all have struggles and insecurities. Some, like me mask it with a cigarette. Some mask it with alcohol, some with gambling. For some it’s posting only the perfect pictures to Facebook and Instagram. Maybe for you it’s always redecorating your home, or having your hair and makeup picture perfect before you dare leave your house. What ever it may be, we all have crutch, and there is no shame in owning that we do. The only shame to be felt is when you are not being honest with yourself – there is no beauty in that. We are all on a journey, we are all in search of something, we all are just trying to matter. We need to focus on what matters to ourselves, and I believe once we do that, everything will fall into place and be as it should. Whatever is bringing you shame, admit it, own it and it will no longer own you. Plain and Simple.

 

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

…a FAB Monday Motivator

Here we are, it is once again Monday. On my part of the globe, the sun is shining and the humidex is on the rise, and we all are well aware that humidity and hair, they just don’t mix. With the summer temperatures on the rise and humidity in the air, our hair can tend to look stringy, fuzzy, dry or all three. …not the best news for our selfie generation. Well Beauties, do I have some motivation for you on this finest of Mondays. Let me introduce you to Design Me FAB ME, a leave in spray that can mend 18 of your hair woes. Yes, you read that correctly, 18 benefits in one bottle!

This little green bottle is quite honestly a magic potion for your hair. I have fine hair, lots of it, but fine. Many leave in sprays leave my hair greasy,lifeless and weighed down. Design Me FAB ME does not. After using this spray, my hair was soft, silky with volume to boot!

Now, back to these 18 benefits I told you of. Design Me FAB ME offers;

  • protection against color fading – perfect for vibrant colors
  • smooths split ends
  • gives your hair a silky feel
  • helps to prevent damage
  • offers thermal protection against the heat of your blow dryer
  • revitalizes your hair’s natural protective layer
  • offers protection against environmental damage
  • detangles
  • helps hair become more manageable
  • reduces blow drying time
  • helps reduce static
  • offers frizz control
  • offers porosity control
  • adds shine
  • offers light conditioning
  • hydrates your hair
  • strengthens your hair
  • enhances volume

This gem is created for all hair types. For best results, apply to damp, freshly washed hair. Spray throughout, comb through, then blow dry and style. I have applied to damp hair and let my hair air dry. The major difference was blow drying added more volume. As with all Design Me hair products, this gem is cruelty free (no harm to the bunnies), vegan, sulphate free, paraben free, gluten free and the scent is pure heaven.

Design Me hair FAB ME can motivate you to have a FAB! Monday, or any day that ends in “y”.

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