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

Who knew?

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

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

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

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

Beauty, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Women

Brushes! Flat Irons! Blow Dryers! Oh My!

This month marks 3 years since the Salon/retail shop closed. Even though 3 years have passed, everyday I am asked about hair products. At the grocery store, in line at the bank, even at work, from coworkers and customers alike. Sure, I live in a relatively small town, 150000 people…in comparison to Toronto…it’s small, so it’s not a big surprise that the shop’s old clients & customers run into me from time to time. What is surprising is the lack of product knowledge and advice being given by their stylists. At least once a week I am approached by a woman asking about a product, how to use a product or where to purchase a product. Most of these women are at a loss because their stylist told them, I hope you are sitting down, to go to the drug store and grab shampoo or hairspray off the shelf. We all know my opinion on that. For a reminder;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2016/01/26/yes-there-is-time-for-that/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/08/15/if-you-dont-wanna-play-get-off-the-field/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2016/07/05/hair-surance/

 

Since it’s Thursday morning on my corner of the globe, I thought I would give you all some Throwback Thursday Tales about brushes, flat irons and blow dryers. A “what’s what” if you will. Feel free to share.

The Wet Brush = life changing!

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/07/20/monday-motivator-the-wet-brush/

 

A breakdown of blow dryer motors, wattage and more

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/03/18/blow-out/

 

There are many flat irons on the market – these 3 brands will give you what you are looking for and if you want to try a new brand, at least you’ll have the knowledge of the desired features.

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

 

For more great hair tips, just enter any key word, such as hairspray in my “What can I help you find?” search bar, up on the right hand corner of my blog, hit enter, and read away!

 

 

 

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, 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.

 

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

Take the time

Yesterday yours truly was treated to a spa afternoon. My lovely friend invited me to join her for an afternoon of pampering. I put aside my reservations of an afternoon at the spa. You see, after being in the beauty biz and running a Salon, I know the health standards and the health codes, I know how spa tools are supposed to be cleaned and sanitized, hence my reservations. In the past I could never relax enough to enjoy the services, I found myself seeing the spa through the eyes of a manager instead of through the eyes of a client in dire need of some self care. I spent the morning getting myself into the proper head space so I could enjoy myself. …and let me tell you, I did.

We started with pedicures and I chose the color “self love” by SpaRitual for my toes.

Pink Salt Foot Detox

 

*FYI – SpaRitual is a Vegan polish. Cruelty free, free of any animal derived ingredients, gluten free, and free of Touline, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl tosylamide, Xylene, MEHQ/HQ, MIT and Parabens.

We followed our pedicures with a Pink Salt foot detox and a session in the healing Salt Cave. Pink Salt is a powerful tool for rebalancing, revitalizing and gently cleansing the body and the mind. Salt Caves can help with breathing disorders, sinus infections and inflammation and many other respiratory and health ailments.

Enough about the services. The point of today’s tale is to come clean about something. After our pedicures, we were guided to the Pink Salt foot detox room and offered coffee, tea or water. I planted myself down in my tub chair, placed my feet on the Pink Salt and waited for my coffee. When our lovely guide came back, she gave me my coffee and said “this service will be 45 minutes long. No worries about watching the clock, we will come get you when your time is up” and left. I felt my stomach sink and for a brief moment I felt anxious and guilty that I was just going to sit down and treat myself, just to do it. I turned to my friend and admitted my feelings. I had a huge light bulb moment. I found myself thinking about all the women that feel the same way I did. How many times they and I put the needs of others before themselves and in turn began to resent others for it. I came to realize that some of my anger towards others wasn’t completely on them, it was on me too. More often than not, people have no idea that you have put yourself on the back burner to put them first. They have no idea of what you are feeling, thinking or what you need, because they are not in your head, plain and simple.

I know all too well life gets in the way and that finances don’t always allow for a spa day or even spa session. What I have come to realize is there is always time for self care, be it 5 minutes or if your lucky, an hour. Put down your phone. Boil the kettle and steep your favorite tea and take a seat and look out the window. Run yourself a hot bath with some Epsom salts (they sell them at Walmart…I know you go there). Give yourself an at home Mani, nothing fancy. Pull a Madge and simply soak your hands in Palmolive if need be. Grab your facial scrub and use it on your hands to exfoliate, follow with your favorite hand cream. Massage the cream in for two minutes. Most importantly, when doing any of these “self treats”, breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Breathe. Let go. Be present. …and put down your phone.

We cannot possibly control every aspect of our life. Life will still be hectic. Children will cry, pets will get sick, bosses will be well, bosses. Plans will fall through, dinners will burn, spouses will be late. Sometimes you won’t be having the argument, it will be having you. No one is perfect, nor will they ever be. You are not perfect, nor will you ever be. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed. You are allowed to feel you are over your head. You are also allowed to take time for yourself. We all are. It’s time to put down the guilt baggage and leave it there. When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others. As one of my favorite Queer Eye gents ( I adore them all) Jonathan Van Ness says “It’s not vanity. It’s self care”

 

Take the time.

 

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.