Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

My cup runneth over

More often than not, when you read the phrase “My cup runneth over” you immediately picture abundance. A happy, fulfilled life filled with blessing. As of late, when I hear “My cup runneth over” I picture an overwhelmed woman , emotionally, mentally and physically. Why do I picture such a woman? I picture her because I am her.

The last few years, especially the last 6 months, my life has been turned around, flopped upside down and all around. The events in my life have been affecting me 100%, unfortunately most of the reasons have nothing to do with me personally. That’s a tough thing to deal with – things in your life that affect you and you have to deal with that really don’t have anything to do with you. * my blog today may seem vague in some ways, that is because some of the stories are not mine to tell and I do not want to break confidences or name names, without permission to do so.

Someone I hold dear is battling an addiction, winning that battle these past few months, but battling none the less. Addiction is a ninja. It creeps in without you seeing it until it’s directly in front of you. It’s a thief too. It steals your trust, your self awareness, your sense of reality, your sense of truth… and this is what it does to those of us dealing with an addict…I can not imagine what it must be like for the addict themselves. I have gone through so many emotions, from empathy, to sympathy, to resentment, to anger, to rage, to despair. You name it, I felt it. With help from my circle, I am beginning to let the past go. I still have moments of all these emotions, usually one at a time. When they all congregate at the same time, well that’s a fun time.

The point of today’s tale is not to invite you to join my pity party, or to feel sorry for me, or to send me hug emojis. My goal for this blog is to keep it real. So here I am keeping it real. I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend who lets her cup runneth over, and that is the one thing that is on me and me alone. Taking on everything is on me. That’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s so much easier to blame everything and everyone else, or so we think. At the end of the day, the decisions, actions and reactions you make are on you and you alone.

My hope is this will bring someone some clarity or serenity to their day. To know that they are not alone. To know it’s okay to be angry, to be resentful, to grieve for the life you had planned that didn’t turn out. What’s not okay is to live in it. Let yourself feel it, let it sit with you a while, then say your goodbyes. There is no shame is life’s ugliness. There is only shame in hiding it. …and remember, pain is pain. You have your pain. Others have theirs. It’s not about competition, it’s about compassion.

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

Monday Motivator Rescue

Here we are. It’s Monday. Again. The time change back to Standard time has occurred once again and as always, if you are anything like me, you are wandering around wondering what time it is and feeling a little out of sorts. These past few months have been, in a word, interesting…that’s a tale for another time. Last night I actually had more than 2 hours to myself. No laundry to do, no errands to run, no one to drive anywhere or pick them up, I had free time. Finally a moment to complete a thought, make a plan and stick to it. Finally a moment to test out one of the latest products that has fallen into my lap for review. Let me introduce you to a FABULOUS face mask! Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask.

For those of you who follow my blog, you all are well aware of my sensitive skin. Most days, I just have to look at a face cream or mask and red welts appear on my skin. Needless to say, when I was asked “Give this a try and let me know what you think” I immediately went to my calendar to see when I had two days off in a row in case of a reaction. I thought about testing it on Halloween … if I had a bad reaction I could just tell people I was a strawberry. Back to the review at hand. So last night, I took a deep breath, sent out my good intention to the universe and applied the mask.

Proof I do test every product I review.

Let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised. Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask applies like a dream. It’s consistency is like a liquid foundation and it glides over your skin with ease. Once dry, it rinses off your skin as easily as it was applied. No rubbing, no wash cloth needed, just some warm water and your hands…easy peasy. It is recommended to keep the mask on for 15 minutes but after 5 minutes I couldn’t move my face, so I rinsed it off.

Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask’s French pink clay formula draws out all the impurities and actually leaves your pores looking smaller. Your skin looks brighter and feels smoother.

Here’s some key info. on this gem;

  • oil pulling technology helps to unclog pores by drawing out impurities like a magnet
  • visibly draws out excess sebum – you can see the mask changing color on different areas of your face
  • helps skin appear brighter and refreshed
  • promotes the look of softer, smoother skin
  • Dermatologist tested
  • For all skin types including sensitive
  • Vegan
  • Certified Gluten Free

The French pink clay attracts surface dirt and impurities like a magnet while cleansing and gently exfoliating your skin. Rosemary Oil hydrates to help maintain the look of clear skin. Boosted with 5 self neutralizing acids – mandelic acid, phytic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and azelaic acid to help clarify, refine and brighten the appearance of skin tone.

So here we are, 12 hours post mask and no reaction! No bumps. No red welts. No itchy skin. No runs to the pharmacy for Benadryl. … I’d show a picture but I have bad bed head and no one wants to see that. Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask truly was created for all skin types including sensitive skin.

For anyone looking for a new face mask, especially those of us with sensitive skin and a hectic schedule, give this a go. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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, 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, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, Women

Buttering up your Monday Motivator

It’s Monday. It’s January. The February “blahs” are just around the corner. The view from my window…snow storms are threatening, skies are cloudy, the gleaming white snow has lost it’s sparkle and lays there, dull and grey. Before you pull down the shades and crawl back under the covers, I have a little something to help add a pop of color to your daily life and remind you that Spring will rise from her Winter slumber soon enough. Let me introduce you to Joico Color Butter.

From pink to purple, red to blue, Joico has created a color for you. Joico Color Butter allows you to try the vibrant shade you have always wanted, without the commitment! The color lasts up to 10 shampoo’s. Joico Color Butter is the perfect product to touch up vibrant ends, or to restore your existing vibrant shade until your next Salon visit. Here’s a few key features of this FAB! product;

  • Joico Color Butter is a nourishing color treatment. Yes. I said treatment. Color Butter both moisturizes and strengthens the hair. *Reduces breakage up to 44%.
  • Joico Color Butter is free of peroxide, ammonia, MEA and PPD.
  • Hair is instantly more vibrant and strong with healthy and glossy strands.
  • Washes out in 10 shampoo’s *Depending on the porosity of your hair.
  • The perfect product to refresh existing semi permanent pastel/vibrant colors.

To use;

  • ALWAYS wear gloves and cover your clothing to avoid staining. If you happen to spill a little, wipe off counters and floors as soon as possible to avoid stains.
  • best results are on pre-lightened hair.
  • for a pastel/lighter effect, apply to damp hair. Leave on for 5-15 minutes, then rinse. You can follow up with a shampoo – Joico Kpak Color Therapy is suggested.
  • for true vibrancy, apply to dry hair. Leave on for 5 – 15 minutes, then rinse. Follow with Joico Kpak Color Therapy Shampoo.
  • for bolder results – apply Joico Color Butter 2 -3 times. *always rinse and blow dry in between each application.

Visit http://www.joico.com for more information on Color Butter. Their FAQ sheet answers any and all questions, for stylists and their clients alike.

I know there are many of you out there who scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and vibrant hair color peaks your interest. I also know many are fearful of the commitment to color and worry about the judgement that may follow. Thanks to Joico Color Butter, you can have commitment free color. Who knows, you may find that you can’t stop smiling at your reflection. You may find yourself hearing “I love your hair” as you are in the produce aisle. Take a chance. Try something new. …you know what they say… Everything is better with butter.

 

health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

Sunday Confessions

A friend of mine posted something on Facebook this morning that caught my eye and lifted a weight off my shoulders. The post read ” Don’t let people guilt you for not visiting them. They’re not visiting you either”.

I know I am not the only one who carries this guilt. We miss our friends, we may even miss our family. We want to be present for all the happenings and celebrations of our loved ones lives. Nothing beats an hour long chat, face to face over a chardonnay with our dearest friends, or collecting wisdom from our elders over a pot of tea kept warm by their knitted tea cozy. If it was up to me, these events would happen every day. More often than not, it’s not up to me. Life gets busy and can tend to get in the way of best laid plans. Children get the flu, the dog eats chocolate and an emergency trip to the vet takes priority. Work schedules to do not line up with anyone else’s … those of us in retail know this all too well. Anxiety decides to rear it’s ugly mug and the idea of driving on the highway with snow in the forecast is just too much to handle. Sometimes, we are just tired, plain and simple. Tired from work, tired from our endless “to-do’s”, tired of being everything to everyone, and although we miss our friends and family, we just can’t muster up the energy for one more thing. If you are visiting people because you have to, like it’s another chore on your daily “to-do” list – there is no honor in that, for them or for you.

I have friends and family all over the globe. Some live 10 minutes away, some live 12 hours away. I would love to see them all, whenever I had a free moment. I know this is not possible, as much as I wish it was. So, I send a quick text to let them know I am thinking of them. When I find an old photo, I send it to them, so we can share the memory. I make sure that every January 1st. I mark down everyone’s birthday on my calendar, from January to December, so they are not forgotten.  When I can, I call them to have a chat. Yes. I use my phone like a phone. When I see them post good news, I call to congratulate. Some I will text, for I know how hectic their schedules are. When I see them post sad news, whenever possible I arrive at their door.

There are times in our lives that others have to be takers and we have to be the givers. There are also times we are the takers and others are the givers. There should be times we are the visitor. There should also be times that we are visited. Relationships should be an equal amount of give and take. So, stop feeling guilty, plain and simple.