0

…what a pleasant surprise

As you all are aware, yours truly is a hair care product guru. Self professed, but a guru none the less. For over 15 years the only products that I have allowed to touch my tresses were Salon Professional products, as those familiar with my blog know all to well. Over the years many a product have been given to me to try and I have always politely declined the offerings. Until last week. A friend of mine has started a new journey for herself and needed some insight into the products she was now attaching to her name, so I said “Give ’em to me. Let me try them and I will give you the straight goods.”. I was fully prepared to be disappointed and worried about the mess my hair would be in after using this product line. I was worried about the itch that would come after using a product containing so many natural properties – this gal has a sensitive scalp. As I began to wash my hair I was trying to think of how I would tell my friend the products were no good, until I felt the lather and felt how easily the shampoo rinsed out of my hair without leaving it in a tangled, matted mess. The treatment mask was even more of a surprise. …and don’t even get me started on the serum. The best part?!? No itch! So what are these products of which I speak? Well beauties, hold on to your hats…the products are Arbonne.

 

These babies are sulfate free, paraben free, free of artificial colors, vegan and certified gluten free. Created for all hair types from thick to thin, Arbonne Pure Vibrance line fortifies dull, chemically treated hair, restores lustre, cleanses the hair without drying out the hair, and helps to retain color vibrancy and longevity.

Lustre Fortifying Shampoo – offers a gentle lather that rinses out of the hair with ease. It contains, among other ingredients;

  • Rice extract = promotes strength, reduces breakage
  • Artichoke extract = conditioning agent, maintains shine and color and the integrity of the hair
  • White Tea extract = protection against environmental stressors (U.V. etc…).

Hair Revitalizing Masque – glides through the hair with ease. A treatment to be used 1 – 2 times a week. Leaves the hair feeling like you have just left the salon. No greasy residue or lifeless hair.

ColorLast Hair Serum – a gem of a serum. I have use countless serums in my day and this baby surpassed my expectations. Having fine hair, most serums leave my hair greasy, weighed down and lifeless – but not this one! My hair felt soft and the volume was still intact. Created for all hair types, can be applied to damp or dry hair (I prefer on dry hair). Some of the stars of this serum are;

  • Linseed extract = color preserving
  • Argan = removes brittleness and restores shine
  • Abyssinian Oil = absorbs quickly and enhances moisture to promote shine

***This gem is Humidity Resistant (helps to seal the hair cuticle) = NO FRIZZ!

So, there you have it Beauties. That Girl in the Red Coat has something to admit. I have used a non-Salon product line on my hair and my tresses and I lived to tell about it. Arbonne…what a pleasant surprise.

 

 

2

It’s not personal…it’s parenting

 

 

When I found out I was pregnant, I read What to expect when you’re expecting. Once my darling girl was born I sent out my hubby to get me What to expect The First Year. The day after her first birthday I hopped in the car with my girl in tow to Chapters for my coveted edition of What to expect The Toddler Years. Over the years I searched out answers to everything from when to introduce solid foods to how to get my child to poop….they never tell you that your child will hold onto that poop like it’s the hope diamond when it comes to getting on a toilet.

There are an endless number of books, articles and websites catering to parenting and child rearing, yet not one ever delves into the abyss of the one commonality we as parents all have and never talk about…taking it personally. Oh sure, you may be fortunate to find an article that tells you “every parent feels responsible for their child’s happiness or lack there of” or “every parent feels they should have done better”. Feeling responsible or feeling we could have done better is a hell of a lot different than taking it personally.

For those of you with children under the age of 12, I do not mean to frighten you. For those with children over the age of 12, I know you get me. All of a sudden we go from being our child’s fountain of knowledge to the douche wearing a dunce cap in the corner of the classroom. Our sense of humor that used to leave our child in stitches is now stared down with a blank stare and the occasional eye roll to prove sign of life. The begs of wanting to wear our clothes and fancy shoes are now met with mumbles of disgrace at our ensemble choice. Hurt feelings that used to be healed with a hug now are something we possibly couldn’t understand. A favorite treat brought home from the grocery store that was once greeted with squeals of delight and “thank you mommy!” are now met with shrieks of “Mom! You know I am fat! Why are you tempting me?!?!” sigh …kinda tough not to take it personally.

Ladies and gents, I am here to tell you one thing. It is not personal. Oh hell, it feels personal. Trust me, it’s not. Taking it personally not only makes you feel like shit, it feeds anger and resentment that does not need to be fed. Irrational words and behaviour from our kids met with irrational words and behaviour from us is well, irrational. … and stupid and serves no purpose. The only result is slamming doors, tears, people feeling the same way in separate rooms in the same house. Don’t get me wrong, ground rules of respect, kindness and courtesy should be in place and when those lines are crossed they should be pointed out. When your child gives you attitude, they need to be told that they are out of line. After that, you have no control over eye rolls or the silent treatment. It’s not personal…remember, no one likes it pointed out they just acted like an ass.

Your child doesn’t even realize the magnitude of their words or actions or the hurt they have just inflicted. Oh, they may realize after they have been said, they just aren’t at a place they can admit that. Yet. They will get there. Not on the schedule we need or desire, but they will get there. I promise. Being a parent of a 20 year old, I can honestly attest to this. If today’s tale stops one parent from taking it personally, I have done my job.

 

We are here to be the parent, not the friend. it’s not personal, it’s parenting.

 

 

0

…there isn’t an App for that

  My view this morning.

Over the past months, speaking with countless ladies and gents of all ages, there has been one striking commonality. Everyone seems to be wanting. Wanting appreciation. Wanting to be seen. Wanting to be heard. Wanting a better job. Wanting a better life. You name it, someone wants it. Unfortunately, all these wants are wanted NOW and most cannot understand why it doesn’t happen as fast as they can snap their fingers. Being a parent of a “millennial”, I have had many an interesting conversation, debate or all out argument over this exact phenomenon. So, today Ladies and Gents, boys and girls, I am going to tell you what I have told my daughter (I can feel the eye roll), …”there’s not an App for that.”.

Think about it for a minute. Gone are the days of the waiting list for the one encyclopedia at the library you need to complete a paper. Need facts? You can pick up your phone and Google it. No more lines at the card catalogue with pencil and scrap piece of paper in hand to write down the Dewey Decimal number to retrieve the book you need. Looking for a book? Your local library’s web site can do it for you as you pick up your pre ordered Mochachinofrappalatte. No more pining over that shirt you had to have, but were too late deciding and now it’s been sold. Hop onto amazon and have it to your door by tomorrow. Remember the weekends as a kid? Wondering if someone was home? Trying to call but the line was busy, so you kept trying every two minutes to see if it would ring through to the other end as your parents bellowed “Get off the DAMN phone!!!”. Today, surf your Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and not only can kids find out who’s home or where their friends “are at”, you can also know what they had for breakfast, what they are wearing today and how unfair they are being treated at home because their Mom asked them to ….gasp…empty the garbage.

Here’s the deal. You want something out of life? You gotta do the work. No App is going to clean your house, or change the oil in your car. No App is going to mend a broken heart or take back an unkind word. Sometimes, you will not get a text back as soon as you send it, it’s okay. Maybe the textee had a bad curry for lunch and is tormented in the bathroom and just doesn’t want to share “whassup”…yet. I am sure you will hear about it on Facebook or god help us, see it on Instagram.

They say that whenever you get a “like” or a text, dopamine in released. Guess what? It’s released in other ways too. Before you get up on your soapboxes, yes, I realize I am blogging, and yes, I realize I share this on Facebook and other sites. Yes, I post pics of the cookies I made on Instagram …I also hand deliver said cookies to share with those who see them. I physically go and see people and I look them in the eye when I speak to them, face to face…not to be confused with Facetime. Dopamine sans technology my friends.

Life gets in the way. Trains are late. Flights are delayed. Emails go unanswered. The only thing you have complete control over is yourself, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible? Set up a little corner with your favorite things that make you happy and bring back the warm fuzzies. Go outside and look around, not for anything in particular, just look. Surprise a friend with a coffee…without your phone in hand. Hand deliver a Birthday wish instead of making Facebook do all the work. Try to live every moment and laugh everyday. Plain and simple.

 

 

2

Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear

You can get back up off the floor now. Yes, yours truly is posting again. I have taken some time away, to figure out my focus and where to go from here. Five years ago, as a manager of a retail shop/Salon, I sat down and began my blogging adventures. Starting with humour and hair “how to’s” in hopes of helping the Ladies and Gents gain control of their hair. Within months, as I regained my self confidence, my blog began to take on a life of it’s own. Job opportunities arose, questions were posed, I became a Retail Consultant and the light began to shine a little brighter. Fast forward to present day. I am no longer in the Salon. Although strong ties to my beloved industry are still intact, I am no longer on the front lines so to speak. At first I didn’t know what to do or where my blog was going. So, I took a step back. I turned my focus onto my life, my family, and quite honestly, how and where I was going to earn a living. I thought my blogging days were done, the powers that be had other plans.

Whenever I spoke to friends, I would find myself thinking “I bet a lot of people feel this way…I should write about it.”. Be it marriage woes, attempting to walk the tight rope of parenting millennials, watching a loved one in pain, emotional or otherwise and having no control or say in the matter or simply feeling overwhelmed by life in general. When discussing my idea’s for my “new and improved” blog with those I trust, many who have never met each other, they all told me the same thing. “I like your blogs about hair and products, but I LOVE your blogs about life.”.

Some of the favorites have been;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/21/kindness-101/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/09/06/beware-of-yoga-pants-ponytails/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/11/02/receding-hairlines-and-muffin-tops/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/08/06/the-emily-post-of-retail/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/04/22/my-morning-coffey/

 

So Beauties, here it is, a blog to help add some humor and light into your day, about finding the beauty in everything, life, love, lifestyle and parenting a millennial …God help us.  Yes, I will still allow you to be a fly on the wall in my life and hear about the funny things I see and hear on a daily basis (well, I think they’re hilarious.). That Girl in the Red Coat Consulting services will still be available (call me.).

0

Attention

Well Beauties, yours truly is having a moment. A moment I gotta say something and those who know me know I gotta say it. I gotta.

Lately, I don’t know if has to do with my age (gonna be 44 in August) or my lack of a uterus (haven’t had to pay that monthly bill in over 7 years) or if it is as simple as I have a low, very low tolerance for bullshit, but I seem to have no room for those who lack accountability for their actions, nor do I have any room for those who are unkind.

Working in a Salon, you hear it all.  You hear about the celebrations of life, the trips, the new house and births. You hear about the not so good stuff, illnesses, divorces and deaths of which I have all the patience and time in the world to listen to. Where my attention begins to dwindle? When lack of kindness and accountability enter into the conversation.

A few  weeks ago a woman and her friend came in the shop and she was complaining that her fiancée got upset that she took out her phone as he was proposing. “I wanted to capture the moment for my Instagram and he got mad at me! He actually asked me if I could wait until he finished the question. Can you believe it?” …that he continued the proposal? (gotta admit, that was what I was thinking). She was actually mad at him. She kept going on about how he ruined the memory. Yep. He and he alone ruined it. I just stood there, trying not to show it on my face. This woman was so caught up in herself that she couldn’t see her part in any of it, well, except for her Instagram pic. She later complained that it wasn’t fair that her favorite OPI shade had been discontinued and got mad at me that there wasn’t anything I could do for her. …by the way, her phone never left her hand and with every third word spoken, her eyes looked at her phone. …sigh.

I get the importance of social media and the lure of smartphones. I am a blogger, a Retail Consultant and a Salon manager so I get it, I do. I also get that as important as they seem, there are other more important things in life, like  my loved ones, being kind, being present.

Being me, I have compiled a little list for you all, some daily reminders if you will. Feel free to share – no pun intended;

  • before you tell a story, be sure it is yours to tell
  • when you hurt someone’s feelings, apologize, to their face.
  • when someone is speaking to you, put down your phone and look at them. They are speaking to you, not texting you, there is no need to look at your phone.
  • not everything needs to be shared. I am so pleased your toddler pooed on the potty…didn’t need to see it on my timeline.
  • it is not the salesperson’s fault that your favorite polish is discontinued.
  • when you are getting your hair cut, put down your phone. You may not realize it, but when you text, your head moves.
  • do not take a selfie during your bikini wax. #toomuchinformation
  • if you wouldn’t chase someone down the street asking if they like your picture, it shouldn’t matter if they like it on facebook
  • life is not “unfair” because your fiancée wanted to share the proposal with you, and you alone.
  • you may like to crush candy, others do not. Please stop sending candy Crush invites
  • if you don’t want the opinions of others, you may want to rethink ending your post with #whatsagirltodo
  • you do not have to agree with everything you read and see on social media…you also don’t have to let everyone know that you don’t agree

Look up once and a while. Think before you post. Ask before you snap a pic. Be kind, plain and simple.

 

 

 

 

2

Long days in short years

Today marks my 3rd anniversary as That Girl in the Red Coat. I had to keep checking the date of my first blog. March 16 2012. Wow. 3 years. I remember the weeks leading up to my first post. I had no idea what I was doing. I was filled with fear and trepidation about what may or may not lay ahead. I was diving into the unknown. I began my blog in hopes of educating the masses about professional hair products, helping stylists and salon managers & owners increase their retail sales and client retention. I wanted to educate and enlighten. What I didn’t know then was how much I would be educated and enlightened, about myself.

Those familiar with my blog know that yours truly is no stranger to insecurities, on every level. I have a library of self help books. I know the “secret” and that I should harness “the power”. I know Jesus loves me. Oprah’s AHA! moments lasted for a moment or two. I tried to Martha and make everything “a good thing”. I was searching for answers and happiness everywhere but where it was, and always had been. In me. I have been the woman locked in the bathroom hating her hair. I have been the woman who had the hairstyle everyone told her she should have…and hating it. I have been the mother who worried too much about other’s opinions on my parenting. I have been the woman who after childbirth was unsure of her body and let it affect her life in the boudoir. I have been the young woman who did not like her reflection. I have been the young girl who listened to the wrong people and continued to listen to them into adulthood. I have been the young girl who thought having hips was awesome until some girl told me they made me look fat. I have also been the 5 year old girl who thought she could be anyone she wanted and do anything she wanted…and I am happy to say, at 42, I again believe this to be true. Letting go of my fear of the unknown and letting go of the fear of what people will think, I found happiness. I feel content. I am proud of my daughter and feel I am doing a good job being her mother. I look into the mirror and like what I see. I have the hairstyle that I like and that I want. I love and am in love with my husband of 20 years. I embrace my curves and from time to time can be caught shakin’ what my momma gave me.

I realized that over the past 3 years the days have been long and the years have been short. I learned some hard lessons, personally and professionally. I have suffered losses and gains. I have had to stand by and witness health issues and mental health issues of my loved ones – and all I could do was offer a soft place to fall. I have learned that it is not all about me – let me tell ya…that was a biggie. I am continuing to learn patience. I have accepted that I can’t control anything or anyone but myself…another biggie for yours truly…huge. I have learned that this too shall pass…in it’s own time.

The most important lesson I have learned is to go for it. Plain and simple. Go for it. The worse thing that can happen is nothing happens and you begin again.  I have come to embrace a line from one of my favorite tunes from the Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just  might find, you get what you need” and it is serving me well. By staying true to myself, letting the chips fall where they may and taking a chance on myself and putting myself and my Salon Tales out there, in 3 years some amazing things have happened and are continuing to happen;

– a 6 time contributor for http://www.salonmagazine.ca

– a contributing author for http://www.hairstlye-blog.com and http://www.visualmakeover.com

– a featured blogger for http://www.justpencilmein.ca

– featured on http://www.girlbodypride.com

– featured in Piidea’s Sept/Oct 2014 Buyers Guide

– featured in ViBrant Magazine

– featured on many professional hair care websites

I am proud of the above accomplishments. What I am most proud of are the personal lessons I have learned and the accomplishments in my relationships that followed – from my marriage, to my friendships, to my family, to my relationship with my lovely daughter. I have also learned to like myself. Ladies and Gents – if you can like and love yourself – everything else slowly falls into place. My anniversary gift for myself and for you is this;

Remember, in this life,

– the days are long and the years are short.

– You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need. – The Rolling Stones

– have the hair style/color YOU want

– You are enough. Plain and simple.

– Always shake what your momma gave you

 

2

The Heart of the matter

For those of you who follow my blog, you are well aware that my hubby had a heart attack. The last thing any couple expects, especially at 39. I wanted to revisit my personal tale with you all one more time. We received some terrific news, from three separate M.D.’s, that my beloved is well on his way back to a normal life. The past 9 months have been the greatest of struggles for my beloved, for my family and for me. I won’t get too deep into the details because, not to get all Rhonda Byrne on you, I no longer wish to give the negative any more power.

Over the past months, I have had to cancel plans at the last minute. I have had to say “no” a lot, to a lot of people and occasions and I didn’t always give the real reason, the reason being that my husband didn’t feel well and was in pain. I didn’t always disclose the severity of it all to everyone because it was what was happening to him, I was not going to let it start to define him. There is more to my beloved than his health/heart issues and I was going to do all I could to protect that. I also stayed home because of my lovely daughter. It was bad enough she had to see the initial heart attack. I wasn’t about to leave her home alone with her Dad not feeling well and all that entailed.

The purpose of today’s tale you ask? The point is this – you never know what someone else is going through, so try not to take their actions or their behavior so personally. As I have had to realize in my 41 years, it’s not always about you. A lesson all of us in the beauty biz and retail biz should learn. Sure, there are those who are nasty for the sake of being nasty – those Nellie Oleson’s need our pity, not our anger. I am talking about;

– the woman who comes in looking for Sebastian Shaper Plus and when you tell her it is on order, she looks through you and scowls “what a waste of my time”. Instead of getting upset, I ask her if I can have her number so I can call her when it comes in and I can hold a can for her. In this case, she just looked at me, put her hands down on the counter and said “thank you, that would be so helpful.”. – you see, she was on her way to the funeral home. Her mother had just passed away, and she had buried her brother the month before.

– a woman complaining that all the mousses and root boosts are crap and don’t work in her hair. When I ask her what other products she uses and who colors her hair, I come to find out that she is on chemo and she didn’t like her hair color so she used a box dye and didn’t like that, so used another box dye the next day. I gave her some conditioning treatment samples and explained why it isn’t a good idea to color your hair twice in two days. After 15 minutes, she calmed down and thanked me, and apologized…and purchased some product.

So, the next time someone is being nasty, or plans get cancelled with a reason you feel is an excuse, or your client starts to lose it because her favorite hairspray is on back order, take a minute and try getting down to the heart of the matter. You never know, you may be the only glimpse of kindness that person has seen all day….if they come into the shop with a faulty flat iron in their hand – still be kind. Just be sure to duck.