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

Bringing light to the dark

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

 

Lately, during conversations with friends and loved ones alike, I have found myself thinking, some times even stating out loud, “if more people spoke of the ugly, the world would be a beautiful place.”. What’s the “ugly” you ask? Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Anger. Panic. Addiction. …to name a few. The “beautiful place” being we would all realize that we have more in common then we do not. I cannot count how many times in the last few months I have heard someone say “Really? You went through this too?”, “You mean my kid isn’t the only one?”, “You mean you have had money troubles too?”, “You’ve felt like you were failing as a parent? I thought it was just me!”.

It’s time to start to bring some light to the darkness of our lives. It’s time to start talking about those things you don’t talk about at party’s. It’s time to stop being ashamed and start being empowered. I can tell you, right now, a friend is looking at your Instagram or Facebook wishing their life was as full as yours and their family as happy as yours – all the while, you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage this month, or hoping that your child finds the right therapist to help them, and no one is the wiser. After years of trying to keep up with the Joneses, the Kardashians, you name it, I was tired, mentally, emotionally and physically. So, as scary as it was, I stopped trying to be perfect, stopped acting like everything was coming up roses and just let my life be what is was. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was sad. Many days had their hiccups and many were smooth sailing. One thing was certain, I sure as hell wasn’t as tired. Life, parenting, marriage, work can be tiring enough, why add more to get less? For all of you out there;

  • it’s okay not to like your kids. You love them, you don’t always have to like how they are behaving
  • it’s okay to understand why animals sometimes eat their young
  • it’s okay if you don’t see your parents every weekend. They had kids and a life before you – they get it. Deep down, they get it
  • you are not the only parent worried about their child
  • at least two people you know have children that are struggling as yours is – be it with their studies, their friends or their mental health
  • just because your friends are world travelers does not mean they can afford it
  • more people have financial strain than don’t.
  • we have all felt like getting in our cars, changing our names and living the vida loca

 

It’s time for uncomfortable conversations – especially for those of us who chose marriage. More often than not, in my own marriage, the problems I thought we had and the problems my hubby thought we had weren’t even in the same realm.

  • your spouse is not your psychic friend. You need to tell them what you need and what you want
  • before thinking for your husband, ask him what he is thinking. Trust me, it’s never what you think it is and usually has to do with food.
  • Gents – if you think your wife is mad at you, ask her if she is. I know. I know. It’s like I am asking you to go into the snake pit. Most of the time, if your wife seems ticked – it’s not about you. Hell, he could be sitting there thinking you are sighing so much because you are mad at him all the while you are mad at windows 10 and their damn automated updates.
  • after hearing of others marriage/relationship woes, remember those are their problems, not yours. Try not to make their problems your own. …just because your bff’s hubby hides that he surf’s porn doesn’t mean yours does.
  • if you truly are not happy, you need to talk about that. Maybe you will stay together, maybe you won’t. If love, respect and honesty are there, it will always work out.
  • remember that your 10% may be their 100% and vice versa.

 

What you may see as a short coming, others may see as an achievement. Admitting your fears may help another face their own. Being true to yourself may allow another to do the same. We give children a night light so the darkness doesn’t seem as scary, so why not give ourselves a night light of our own?

 

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

Putting your best foot forward

It’s Sunday on my part of the globe. The sun is shining, the temperature is above zero, the laundry is thumping in the dryer and the dishes are drying in the rack, and I am home, alone. Yes. You read that correctly, yours truly has the house to herself. No one asking me if I have seen the remote. No one sighing “there is never anything to eat” as they stare into the full fridge and rummage through the full pantry. Not a “I’m bored” to be uttered nor heard. Feels like heaven…I swear I thought I saw J.C. himself through the sunbeam flowing through my living room blinds.

We have one bathroom in our home. After you pick yourself up off the floor over the shock of this, take this a proof that a family can exist and survive on one bathroom alone. Since I am “sans famille” for a few hours, I decided to take advantage of having the bathroom to myself. Sadly this usually means cleaning the tub, but not today. I took full advantage of the fact I could close the door without the worry of a knock or the all too well known “whatcha doin’?”. Yours truly took a moment for herself and her hard working tootsies and treated them to Arbonnes Pampermint Foot Care.

As I sit here I have the fuzzy socks on and I swear I can hear my toes and heels sighing in relief. I have sensitive skin, so most scrubs and creams add blotchy, itchy red bumps which are not soothing nor are they nice to look at…walking with itchy feet makes me look like I am doing a drunk Irish Jig…not my best look. I took a chance with Arbonnes Pampermint since I had such great results with their hair care line – see my tale “What a pleasant surprise” and their deodorant – see my tale “Pit Crew”. Let me tell you, I am so happy I gave it a shot.

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2017/06/07/what-a-pleasant-surprise/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2017/10/23/pit-crew/

 

Arbonne Pampermint is derived from natural botanicals and essential oils, it smells like a candy cane. The foot scrub gently exfoliates the soles of your feet and rinses off with ease, and doesn’t leave a residue on your tub so no fear of an at home accident. The foot cream is heavenly. It soaks into the skin with ease and again, no greasy residue = no battle with turning door knobs after you have applied the cream. Check out http://www.arbonne.com for all full ingredient listings.

If you need me, I’ll be in the living room with me feet up…for another hour at least.

 

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

Imperfection

So, it’s been a while. This I am quite aware of and thanks to my Facebook “on this day” memory feed, I was pleasantly reminded. You see, it was on this day last year I had posted my intentions for my blog and the direction it was going to go. It began as a beauty blog, a how to of sorts. Helping ladies and gents with their hair woes and educating them on hair products, hair stylists and everything related to the Salon. I began to venture into retail/business tips and advice for I found stylists and Salon owners were just as much at a loss about their business. Soon, I began to tell tales of life, of hardships, of parenting, of marriage, of friendship and most importantly about kindness.

Those of you familiar with my tales know that yours truly no longer manages a Salon/retail shop. I am still in contact with all my Beauty Biz reps and colleagues, so I feel I still have a sense of the pulse of that arena. This being said, I felt that it was time to let my blog evolve into something new. I knew it was time. I knew what to write. I knew what needed to be said. I was afraid. Yep. Afraid. All those voices in me telling me “what will people think?”, “no one will read it”, “you are known for your hair stuff and that is it”, “It was perfect before…what will it be now?” kept coming into my mind and I listened to them. It wasn’t until I went to reformat my blog that the powers that be reminded me of this gem I had written years ago “listen for the tiny whispers “yes you can”.”

2017 was a pretty good year. I began working at my friend’s shop, we laugh everyday. I have had customers tell me they love coming in to see us, that we make them feel better about life. My 20 year daughter is blossoming into quite the young woman and I cannot wait to see where she will take her life. I celebrated 23 years of marriage. My family has their health…a few hiccups, but healthy. All these positive aspects were there, yet underneath it all I was letting fear dictate my decisions. (…2017, Trump, fear….hmmm….another tale for another time). I was trying to mask my imperfections, as a Mom, as a wife, as a writer.

As my head hit the pillow last night, the word Imperfection popped into my head and literally right after I thought “Imperfection or I’m perfection, it’s up to me”. …cue inspirational elevator music. Perfection is made up of all the little imperfections coming together to create something beautiful. Friendships have their ups and downs, yet are still beautiful. Marriages have their stupid fights, you know the ones, where the fight is having you, the love is still there. Soups thicken too much so now you have a stew. Mascara runs so now your perfected cat eye is now a smoky eye. It’s so easy to fall prey to the Pinterest generation or the filtered Instagram pictures of how “life is”. Nothing in this life is going to be exactly as how you planned or pictured and that’s okay. Being true to who you are, being kind whenever possible, admitting faults, showing love, trying to see and understand the motivation behind others actions as well as your own, doing no harm but taking no shit, that to me sounds like perfection.

Embrace the imperfection. Send love and light when ill will and darkness come into your mind. It’s not easy and there will be days you will fail miserably, as I have…I’m working on it. Try to remember that the word Imperfection also can be read as I’m perfection. Plain and Simple.

 

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

Pit Crew

As you know, yours truly receives products to try, to give a test run if you will. The latest product bestowed upon yours truly was something I didn’t ever think about blogging about, although it is a key factor in every Lady’s and Gent’s daily beauty routine or regime. Deodorant. All these years I have been educating the masses on their tresses or lack there of, on self esteem and kindness and yet I had never delved into the pit …see what I did there? Body odour. It’s never spoken about until it literally fills the room. Do not fret Beauties. I have found something that can save you from those awkward side sniffs or those   stretches that have the people around you wondering why you are doing yoga at the breakfast table. Meet Pure Mint Deodorant from Arbonne.

This gem is a natural, yes, I said natural product. Free of parabens and aluminum. It is vegan and gluten free. Now, I can feel the eye rolls and know what you are thinking “Natural deodorant? They don’t work.”. Well I am here to tell you they do. I personally used Arbonne’s Pure Mint Deodorant for 3 days straight. One of those days consisted of yard work in the hot sun, another one of those days was working over a hot stove and grill for the majority of the day…and  my hubby still wanted my hugs. The neighbourhood children nor my customers shooed me away or turned up their noses. I have to say, I smelled pretty good.

There are a few key components to Arbonne’s Pure Mint Deodorant that make it work so well.

  • It is infused with spearmint, mint and antioxidants from White Tea, lemongrass, sage and tea tree extracts (these gems help to condition the delicate skin under our arms = less chafing).
  • Aloe Vera leaf juice and Witch Hazel Water soften and smooth the skin for a more comfortable application
  • Zinc = absorbs moisture
  • Vegetable enzymes = neutralizes the effects of odour causing bacteria to deliver a gentle, effective protection
  • Baking Soda in combination with the above vegetable extracts = a unique odour fighting formula.
  • It is created for Women and Men. Yep. This baby is Unisex.

One of my favorite things about Arbonne’s Pure Mint Deodorant? NO WHITE MARKS on my clothes! None! Not a one! For a gal who likes her black ensembles, let me tell ya…it’s a whole new world.

A little side note – since I began changing the direction of my blog, many opportunities have been arriving in my inbox, if you will. One of the them was from the Beauties at reviews.com. They enjoyed my tales thus far and inquired if I had ever tried natural deodorants. Since I am telling you about Arbonne’s natural deodorant, the Beauties at reviews.com have graciously sent me a link to others that may interest you, or that may be available in your part of the world.

https://www.reviews.com/natural-deodorant/

…another little side note… shout out to Jericka from reviews.com !

communication, health and wellness, lifestyle, Parenting past 15, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Baggage claim

Over the past months, yours truly has encountered many people that seemed tired. A blank stare when being spoken to. Quick to answer, even faster to object to anything anyone around them had to say. Snap decisions being made and words uttered that should have been held silent. I am starting to think the culprit to the above is holding onto baggage and trying desperately to look perfect. Now that would be exhausting.

Over time, you get to know people. You see when something has changed. Sometimes for the better, be it a new hairstyle, a new fashion sense, a spring in their step or more smiles than grimaces. Some of the time the changes you see aren’t what you hope for them. Their hair not styled, shirts untucked, their Louboutin’s have been replaced by Crocs…you get the picture. The person you once knew who had a smile for you now has a scowl or snide remark about any opinion other than theirs.

In this life, as I am well aware and those who follow my blog are well aware, things do not always go as planned. Hell, more often than not, it never goes as planned. In my 45 years in this earthly realm I have come to one absolute truth… it’s not about you. Sure, there is the chance that you were talking out of your ass and offended someone – something I am guilty of (who isn’t), but it is a safe bet that something else is going on. It’s easier to blame others, blame your boss, blame your ex, hell, blame the family dog for your life not going as planned. Guess what? Until you put some of the blame on yourself, nothing is going to change. Nothing. You gotta own your shit. You gotta. It’s your baggage sunshine, and every time you blame someone else and pass them your baggage, it just goes back to baggage claim and waits patiently for you to arrive.

Now, before you begin to throttle me with comments about there are somethings you can’t control, I totally agree. You cannot control a loved one’s illness, a hormonal teenager, a jerk for a boss, a job loss, you name it. You can however control how you deal with it and how you let it affect you and how you deal with everyone around you. Spreading anger and resentment will get you nowhere but alone and even angrier at yourself and the situation you have now found yourself in. Trying to fake your way out of your life is even a worse road. You know what I’m talking about, we do it all the time.

“Oh, I love my kids! They are perfect!” – meanwhile you aren’t speaking to your kids unless eyerolls and hand gestures constitutes conversation.

“Everything’s great! Life is wonderful” – as you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage since your spouse just lost their job but doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

“Never better!” – although it took you 1 hour to get out of bed that morning because you didn’t know how you were going to face another day.

“Let me get this” – as you cross your fingers and every available body appendage hoping your card isn’t declined.

I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture. Here’s the deal. Your life is going to be messy. Relationships are going to get messy. Parenting…Jesus, there will be days when you completely understand why someone gets in their car one day to never be heard from again. You know what? Everyone has felt the same way or is feeling the same way – most won’t admit it, but they do. Maybe, just maybe, getting real with people will help not only you but them. I know it has helped me and countless people I know, many who have become cherished friends. When my life is going down the toilet and someone asks how things are, I tell them “my life is going down the toilet”. After the initial shock of truth wears off, I usually find out their life isn’t all moonlight and roses either. We bounce experiences of each other and somehow, someway, we feel better and solutions are found. Sometimes my honesty sends people running for the hills and that’s okay. This is my journey and that is theirs.

Here’s the deal. Own your shit. Be kind when you can, and you always can. It is not your job nor your responsibility to carry other people’s baggage. If you are carrying some baggage around with you, be sure it’s your own.

 

communication, health and wellness, lifestyle, parenting, Parenting past 15, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Making time

 

Over the past year, those familiar with my tales by now have noticed that yours truly hasn’t been posting much. This is true. Last August, the Salon/retail shop I managed closed, so I no longer had my daily escapades at the shop to write about, nor was I privy to all the latest and greatest hair products coming down the turnpike. I found myself wondering where my blog was going to go…was it going to choose it’s new path or was I going to choose it? What would I write about? What do I have to say? – which is hilarious to those who know me, since I always have something to say. I went through my archives, 5 years worth and found the tales with the most impact were those of kindness, of life, of riding the rollercoaster of parenthood, of the gifts bestowed upon us when the shit hits the fan and we think “This is it. This is how it ends.”. So, yours truly has decided to change it up a bit. More often than not, my tales are going to reflect the above, and hopefully shed some light on a dull day, add some laughter to your life and to let you know that you are not alone…and hopefully, get some heads out of some asses. Here we go.

 

“People who truly care about you will make you a priority”. “If your friend is truly your friend, you would get a text back”. “People make time for people they want in their lives”. Everyday, at least once a day on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, you name it, I see the following quotes or some rendition of them. I find them to be passive aggressive and quite honestly, stupid. Yeah, I said it. Passive aggressive because if said person means so much to you, you wouldn’t be posting quotes, you would be at their front door asking them “What’s up?” or to physically check that they were alive and in good health – physically and emotionally. Stupid because, what are we, 12 years old talking shit behind the school? Come on.

I have just celebrated my 45th. year in this earthly realm. On my Birthday I found myself looking back on the past 5 years – not just reflecting on my blog, but on my life. Over the past 5 – 6 years, my beloved hubby had a heart attack, my dear ol’ Dad had a heart attack, both suffered from Afib (atrial fibrillation), both had health issues and physical issues due to their heart medication, I was raising a teenager who was facing obstacles of her own with self image, mental health etc… . I was (and still am) building my brand, the business I managed for 5 years closed, oh yes, and I still had a household to run and all that entails – making sure bills were paid, mouths were fed and clothes were clean, just to name a few. Any spare time I had, I used to go to the bathroom. So yeah, the quotes about those who are important you make time for kinda piss me off because I was making time for those who were important to me. Yes, many of my friendships fell on the backburner. Just because I cancelled plans or didn’t text back the exact second I received their text did not mean I wasn’t thinking of them, wondering how they were. It didn’t mean I loved them any less. I was a little overwhelmed and sometimes just keeping my head above water. As a Mom, you have to be strong for your child, even when you think you have no strength left. As a wife who still adores her husband after 23 years, you must be calm and reassuring when all you want to do is cry and freak out when the love of your life is on his 10th hospital visit to the E.R. because of chest pain. (the upside to all those visits was I was able to help my Mom and my Dad when he went through the same thing).

More often than not, when someone isn’t keeping in touch as much as you would like, it has nothing to do with you. Many of my dearest friends have admitted to me that they weren’t telling me their problems, or were “keeping it light” because they knew how busy I was and how emotionally and physically spent I was and didn’t want to add to my load. To me, that is one of the kindest actions – to realize someone you care about is carrying as much as they can handle, so why add more weight.

Here’s the deal. Life is messy and gets in the way. Sometimes you get a call, sometimes you gotta make the call. Some texts are answered, some are not. If you miss someone – call them, go to their house with a coffee and a smile. If you feel out of touch with someone, decide this – do you see them in your life 5 years from now? If the answer is yes – seek them out and rectify the situation. If the answer is no, well, there’s your answer. Leave well enough alone and hope for the best. It’s all you can do. Plain and Simple.

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

Pumping up the Volume

First and foremost, thank you all for your reaction to my “…what a pleasant surprise” tale of Arbonne. Due to the attention yours truly has been given more products to try and review, so keep your eyes peeled for more reviews of Arbonne – not only hair care but skin care and more. Now, on to today’s tale.

For those familiar with my tales, you know how I love big hair. Yep. You can take this girl out of the 80’s but you can’t take the 80’s out of this girl. My hair appears to be thick, it is not. It is baby fine, I happen to have lots of it. Since it is baby fine, many volumizing products end up weighing down my tresses and in turn, weigh down my mood. We all know the difference between a good hair day and a bad hair day … our poor husbands, children and coworkers can attest to this…you know it. I know it. Lets except it and move on. I have been experimenting with and using a mousse for the past few weeks and I gotta say, I am a fan. Let me introduce you to Arbonne Pure Vibrance Texturizing Mousse.

This gem is a non aerosol mousse, so it does not foam up like whipped cream in your hand. Don’t fret, it still offers the same volume that your favorite aerosol mousse delivers. It is created for all hair types and can be applied to damp or dry hair, depending on the desired style. Applied to damp hair, it adds volume and lift wherever it is applied – Arbonne recommends 2-4 pumps. I personally found 6 -8 pumps worked best for the best volume. ( 2-4 pumps applied to hair, after worked through the hair, add 2- 4 more pumps, then blow dry) *pump the product into your hand, not directly on your hair. On dry hair, 2 – 4 pumps will suffice and will give you a more tousled, beachy wave.

Thanks to Arbonne’s botanical blend of Hawaiian White Ginger Root extract, Sage Leaf extract, Artichoke Leaf extract and White tea extract, your hair is hydrated, breakage is prevented, your investment in your color is protected and your color is maintained and to top it all off, your hair has a natural shine and sheen. Another plus – your hair is protected from sun damage.

Arbonne Pure Vibrance Texturizing Mousse is certified Gluten Free. It is also Vegan with no artificial colors added and is free of sulfates and parabens. It is also cruelty free = no bunnies were harmed in the creation of this FAB! mousse.

Great hair day. Heights of volume. Happy hopping bunnies. What more could you ask for?