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.).

3

…time flies when you are having fun

Today, March 8th 2016 is International Women’s Day. Today also marks my 4th year as That Girl in the Red Coat…coincidence? I think not. Today has become a significant day for my history books, for today, yours truly registered her business. Yep! It’s official. That Girl in the Red Coat, Retail Consultant is now a registered business.

 – a peek at my Business License…that’s all you get to see Beauties – privacy and all.

 

This morning around 6 a.m. as I was sipping my coffee while my loved ones were snuggled under their covers, I found myself smiling. Looking back at myself 4 years ago to where and who I am today made me smile. When I began my blogging journey I had no idea what would come of it. I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that it was something I had to do and that somehow, someway, something would come of it. …and did it ever. Over the past 4 years I have been published on http://www.salonmagazine.ca . I have been approached and wrote for http://www.hairstyle-blog.com and http://www.visualmakeover.com .  I was a featured blogger for http://www.justpencilmein.ca . My Salon Tales have been shared by Hollywood stars. My blog has been read in over 150 countries. Many of the products I have written about, the companies now follow me and share my Salon Tales. I have been invited to share a table with the beauties from Piidea Direct at many award shows and events. I have been asked to participate in a focus group closed to stylists and last but never least, I am officially a Retail Consultant.

12795559_1330081430350621_6914671737394889572_n Mirror Awards 2016 with my Joico/Piidea Beauties

My first official evening with That Girl in the Red Coat.

After I came home from my consultations, my hubby told me he was proud of me and that I had done this all on my own. At first I thought he meant that I found the locations without a nav. system (…blonde moment). The next day I realized he meant that I had started my blog four years ago and blogged, tweeted, Instagrammed, facebooked (may not be words but I think they fit) my ass off, and things started to happen. If I sound like I am tooting my own horn, I kind of am. All those familiar with me know that I don’t have a problem with that. Those familiar with me also know that I haven’t always been this comfortable with myself, my looks or my accomplishments. …and that is the purpose for today’s tale.

For anyone feeling overwhelmed with their life and their choices, for anyone who doesn’t like their reflection, for anyone who hates their hair, I am here to tell you, once you decide to live your life your way, good things start to happen. To be clear – living your life your way does not mean that you become a narcissist and believe the world owes you everything ‘cuz honey – the world doesn’t owe you one thing.  You gotta be kind and conscience of others. You gotta. What I mean by living the life you want is this – you know that little voice that tells you “go try that”, or that feeling of fluttering you get in your gut when you think of that certain something? It’s time to give it a try, and remember to be patient. Trust me, I know how difficult patience can be. I came across a great quote a few years ago that fit my perspective on patience “Why is patience a virtue? Why can’t hurry the F*!K UP be a virtue?”. Trust me, be patient and accepting. Embrace and cherish the little moments and soon the bigger moments will present themselves to you. I don’t know why or how, they just do. *Oh, when what you want doesn’t arrive when you want it to, DO NOT see this as a shortcoming and do not let it define you. EVER.

Thank you to all my followers, my friends and my loved ones for your support and honesty over these past four years. I wonder what year 5 is going to look like? From the look of the past four years, I got a feelin’ it’s gonna be FAB!

 

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

 

3

Telling Tales

It was two years ago today, after circling my dining room table a few dozen times while looking at my home computer out of the corner of my eye, that yours truly sat down at our home computer, typed “wordpress” into my Google search engine and hit enter. I selected the link to the wordpress site. My mouse hovered over the “sign up and start publishing now” icon. I had to keep taking my shaking  hand off the mouse, I was terrified I would click and start publishing before I was ready. I was terrified to begin, what if no one reads it? What if they all think this is stupid? What if I am not a writer? What if this is all a waste of time? After what seemed like an eternity, I decided to stop listening to the shouting voice of fear in my mind and to listen to the ever present whisper of hope. I took a deep breath and began. I am so happy that I did.

As I was finishing my ‘do for the day with Joico’s Power Spray (my new FAV!), I found myself thinking of that morning two years ago, and began to say thank you to my reflection. I actually welled up a bit. Yep, there I was talking to my reflection, can of hairspray in one hand, tissue in the other. No need to call the white coats, I was having a moment. A realization of how far I have come since that morning. I like my reflection. I think I am pretty. I feel beautiful both inside and out. I am proud of myself and am confident in my abilities. Now when I have an idea or want to try something new, hope shouts and fear whispers.

If I had listened to fear that morning, I would not be a guest blogger for http://www.salonmagazine.ca , I wouldn’t be a contributing author for http://www.hairstyle-blog.com , I never would have been invited to the Contessa’s. If I had let my fear make my decision I wouldn’t have all the fabulous connections on Twitter, many who inspire me or make me laugh on a daily basis. I wouldn’t have my lovely laptop on which I tell my tales – a beautiful birthday gift from my husband and daughter, because they believed in what I was doing. I wouldn’t have had all those evenings of bursting through the back door exclaiming to my husband and daughter about the retweet or follow I received from some pretty snazzy people, or the utter excitement to share a published article with them. If I had listened to fear, I wouldn’t have been able to show my daughter that her mom was published on not one, but four websites. I wouldn’t have been able to prove to her…and myself, that hard work, taking a chance or two and faith in yourself pays off. If I had let fear control my decision I never would have found people like myself – people that celebrate each other, people that want to raise each other up and help each other out.

In celebration of my 2nd Anniversary, I have a wish. A wish that you will find your passion, that you will chase your dream, that what was once lost will be found, that your shouts of fear will be silenced and your whispers of hope become the song you sing in your mind and in your heart. More tales are on their way Beauties. Thank you for your support. Thank you for sticking around when tales were few and far between. Thank you for the love.

5

Be the star you wish upon

Over the past weeks I have met many women who have all said the same thing “Oh, I could never do that!” – from leaving their resented career to follow their dream to coloring their hair red, like they always dreamed. One woman stands out the most. She came in the shop looking at the demo display of flat irons. I went over to her and asked if she wanted to try one, to which she answered “Oh no! I am just looking. I am too stupid to work one of these things. I am looking for my daughter. I’m too old to care about such things.”. I just stood there for a moment, feeling so sad for her. I think I actually frowned. Being me, I had to say something. So I took a breath (said a silent prayer to the powers that be the flat iron would stay on the table) and asked her why she thought she was too old to care about her hair. I told her I thought she had lovely hair and if she straightened it, it would look even better. She just stared at me. I asked her if she ironed shirts at home. She did. So I told her “Honey, if you can iron a shirt, you can flat iron your hair”, to which she laughed. I asked her if I could show her how, she nodded and smiled. After I finished one side of her head, I gave her the iron to do the other side. When she was done, she stared at her reflection and said “I haven’t looked like this in a long time.”. We got to chatting and I came to find out she left University to get married and have a family. She had always wanted to have a shop of her own, but thought she had missed her time, that all she knew was how to be a mom, that it was too late.

As women, we’ve all been there. So have the Gents. We have all had the moment when we realize that 15 years have passed and not much has changed and for some reason, at that exact same moment, we think that  it is too late to do what we always wanted to do. We have been going through the motions, changing diapers, balancing cheque books, cleaning the gutters, keeping our son’s out of jail and our daughter’s off the pole (yeah, I said it) and forgotten about ourselves, from our dreams to our roots. – back to the tale at hand. I smiled at my customer and told her it was never too late to which she responded “easy for you to say, you are young”. I told her I was 41 to which she responded “So am I.”. I smiled again and handed her my card. (it’s a lovely card…my That girl in the Red Coat card. Check out my Facebook page to see it). I let her know That girl in the red coat is my blog. I let her know that I had wanted to write a blog for years but was too afraid of what people would think, too afraid it was too late. I let her know that once I let go of the fear and allowed myself to focus on myself that a whole new world opened up to me. (….now you have the  Aladdin theme in your head…sorry).  I let her know that all those slogans plastered all over Facebook and Pinterest are true – follow your passion, thoughts become things, that good things happen when you work your ass off and never give up. I let her know that I may be a girl standing in a shop, but I am also a woman who has been published on http://www.salonmagazine.com (A HUGE deal for yours truly), that I am a woman who is a contributing author to http://www.hairstyle-blog.com and http://www.visual-makeover.com and that it all happened within 18 months of deciding I was worth the risk.  I told her that she was worth the risk too.

Here’s the deal. Life is short. It is never too late. Those who say it is…well it is too late, for them. Do what you want. If you want to be a blonde, go for it! (SOMA Blonde/Silver Shampoo…’nuf said).  Always wanted that cute pixie cut? Go for it! (…KMS Molding Paste will be your new best friend). Always loved hair and wanted to be a stylist? Go back to school – there are awesome programs that accommodate all schedules and lifestyles. Wishes do come true…with hard work, they do come true. When you are wishing upon a star, make sure that star is you.

2

Fool on the hill

I woke up this morning with “The Fool on the Hill” by the Beatles in my head – so clearly that I actually checked my clock radio to see if it was on. (Yes, I still have a clock radio. It was my grandfather’s. He got it free with his “Maclean’s” subscription and when I saw it I thought it was pretty cool, so he gave it to me and it has been at my bedside for 25 years). Needless to say, the radio was off. I got up, made some coffee and the song still played in my head.

It got me to thinking about the past few weeks of my life, and the lives of those I love and cherish. You see, for me, most of my life is pretty awesome. I have been a  guest blogger on http://www.salonmagazine.com . I have been invited to blog on another website – which one you ask? Well for that one you are gonna have to wait – it’s a surprise! I have a 16 year old daughter who still wants to be seen in public with me ( A HUGE deal if you ask me.) and I have the love of a great man, who has loved me for over 20 years. My lovely hubby is why I said “most” of my life is pretty awesome. You see, his health has not been the greatest as of late, by no fault of his own. Those familiar with my blog know that my love had a heart attack back in 2011. His heart is well on the mend, alas the medication to keep his heart healthy is not so nice to the rest of his body.The kick in the ass is everyday he feels different, he doesn’t know until he gets out of bed what the day will hold for him. Some of the medication makes his skin super sensitive to touch, some of the medication causes acid reflux and chest pressure – the latter is a another  kick in the ass since chest pressure is how his heart attack felt. – AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL SEGUE! – not all heart attacks present with a pain shooting down your left arm and a red face followed with a collapse to the floor. If you are not feeling well, pain or pressure in your chest area/upper back that won’t subside, pain that goes up your neck into your jaw – go to the hospital. As the Doctor’s say to us – they would rather everyone come and it be nothing then wait too long and nothing can be done. Back to the tale at hand.

So, I looked up the lyrics to the fool on the hill, and as with any piece of music or literature everyone seems to have their own vision of what the song means, myself included. You see, I am an optimist. I can’t help myself. I always seem to find something good in something bad, it’s what I do. Many times because of this I find I am ignored or not listened to, and that is okay. It used to hurt my feelings, now I realize that it is either because I over stepped my bounds (which I know I tend to do) or that the person I am speaking to is not ready to be happy or ready to have hope – I have found that giving over to hope and happiness is one of the scariest things for people to do – it sure as hell was for me. So the lyrics, “but nobody ever hears him, or the sound he appears to make, and he never seems to notice, but the fool on the hill, sees the sun going down. and the eyes in his head, see the world spinning round” comfort me. They do. I saw myself in the lyrics – the woman who always sees the bright side of life and is seen as a fool on the hill.

I also found a new perspective about my hubby. You see, he looks fine but feels like shit most of the time. As with any health issue, when the person looks fine people don’t always believe you when you say you are not well, so you begin to feel like “fool on the hill” and begin to doubt yourself and how you are feeling. Another great compliment is when people doubt that he is taking his medication properly, or accuse him of not taking care of himself properly. This used to make me mad, but after watching a few episodes of Honey Boo Boo and some other so called reality T.V. shows, I now understand why some people are, well, assholes where the health of my beloved is concerned. (if you have seen the above – no explanation needed).

Here’s the deal. In the immortal words of Bob Dylan “don’t criticize what you can’t understand”. Everyone is going through something, or has a loved one on their mind. Sometimes it shows, most often it does not. If you don’t know what to say, say nothing at all. Be careful not to judge too severely, for one day you may be the fool on the hill…and I will be more than happy to sit with you.

1

What’s your sign?

Today marks my 1 year anniversary in the blogging world. 1 year. Wow. Last year at this time I sat at our home computer with a quivering hand hovering over the “publish” icon…so afraid that I would fail, that no one would read my silly opinions or think I was funny. What I really was afraid of was succeeding. Yep. Afraid to succeed and not for the reasons you think. I wasn’t fearful of people now expecting better of me, I was scared shitless that success would make me look back on my past 20 years and realize I should have been doing this all along and my world would come crumbling down. Then I realized that the only reason I was able to do this was because of my past 20 years. – I say 20 years because quite honestly before the age of 21, we don’t know a damn thing. One of my favorite quotes (now) is by Mark Twain – “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.”.

Back to the tale at hand. In past blogs I have written about kindness, about taking the time to listen, to take the time to see, really see the person in front of you. We all have struggles and stresses in this life – Christ – this past year I feel like I have lived 5 years in the span of 12 months. There were days I wanted to wear a sign around my neck to let the world know what I was going through that day and then maybe I wouldn’t get a flat iron thrown at me. (It happened more than once – I have witnesses). One day the sign would have read “Father in hospital”. Another day it would have read “Husband’s heart medication is working against him”. Another day it would have read “My daughter has to deal with a sick parent way before she should have to.”.

The one thing the past year has taught me is this…DO NOT WAIT. In the blink of an eye your life can and will change – it may feel like for the worse but the best comes out soon enough. Take your kids to the park – even when you are tired and bored. Take the time for your spouse – for cuddles on the couch or romps in the boudoir. Leave the crumbs on the kitchen floor for a couple of hours and watch the movie with your kids. When your hubby comes up from behind and hugs you while you are doing the dishes, let the dishes soak and hug him back and be sure not to be the one who stops hugging first. Start your blog – tell your story.

I have also learned we all have our own signs, some are harder to see, but are always able to be read if we take the time and pay attention and show a little kindness.