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

Family Ties

For those of you familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I give credit where credit is due and am grateful for inspiration. From the Ladies & Gents I meet on a daily basis, to my dear ol’ Dad, to Tabatha Coffey to darling Grandmother Leah, who I miss dearly, everyday, to name a few. Today’s tale is to share another person of inspiration, a P.O.I. if you will. Let me introduce you to my Aunt Pat.

My Dad was adopted and had been on a search for his birth parents. In the 70’s public record was unheard of, so all records were sealed. No google. No internet. Zip. Every call my Dad made left all clues covered and every question unanswered. My Dad made one more call. The powers that be made sure this would be the last call he would need to make to uncover his past. The woman on the phone let my father know that she couldn’t tell my father the information on record, but she could let him know if the information he had collected was correct. Within  minutes my Dad’s history began to come to light and I had another Aunt, Uncle and cousins.

I first met my Aunt Pat when I was 7. My parents had invited Pat and her family to dinner at our house in Kitchener. Dinner was planned, the table was set and we waited. I remember my Aunt Pat when she came in the door. She seemed to float. She had such an easy breezy vibe about her, a pretty smile and her eyes sparkled. I liked her right away. I knew my Aunt Pat was a cool cat because I knocked her kid out and she still liked me. Yep. First time meeting my Dad’s long lost family and what does Sara do? Oh, she plays Frisbee with her new cousin, hits him square in the face with said Frisbee and he goes down like a sack of potatoes while the blood pours out of this lip. Did I mention that they had been at our house maybe all of 90 minutes? Over the years, there were dinners and visits to their cottage, rides on their boat, trivial pursuit show downs and throw downs and never a word mentioned of the Frisbee massacre of 1979. …told you she is a cool cat.

Fast forward to the summer yours truly was 19. I had just graduated high school and been dumped a month before prom. I was broken hearted, pissed off that I hadn’t broken up with the boy first and in an all around “what the F*#K! am I gonna do with my life” mood.  My parents had been invited to my Aunt Pat’s cottage and I was invited along. We took the boat over to the island the cottage was on…did I say cottage? Let me clear…it was an oasis. Once the boat docked, there was my Aunt Pat waiting on the dock with her killer smile, sparkling eyes and open arms. That weekend was just what the doctor ordered. Good food, rides on the boat – laying on the front of the boat with my Aunt Pat, sunning ourselves on the way to drink some beer on the local patio’s, long, restful naps, game nights and laughter. My Aunt Pat, like my Grandma Leah, had a way of making everything seem effortless and making everyone feel like they were the only person in the room.

A little fact about my Aunt Pat- she was a teacher. Now she is an actress. Yep. An actress. On stage and on screen. A little known fact about yours truly – I think of my Aunt Pat pursuing her dreams and making them come true when I am in unfamiliar territory and feeling the butterflies fluttering in my stomach. My Aunt Pat has always been my cheerleader and has followed my blog from the start. Her words of encouragement and her comments on my blog mean more to me than she will ever know. So today’s tale is dedicated to my Aunt Pat, her smile, her sparkling eyes, her awesomeness and her inspiration.

 

 

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

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.

Beauty, Business, entertainment, Fashion, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, writing

The Contessa and the Castle

Today’s tale is one of a personal nature. Today’s tale is for all the Beauties who are chasing their dreams and feeling like they are on a treadmill. Today’s tale is to reassure you all that when you follow your passion and listen to your own voice, the path towards your dreams will reveal itself  to you. On November 10th. 2013, yours truly had a moment. Actually, more like 100 moments. The powers that be and my lovely rep. Melodie from Piidea Direct shone a light my way and invited me to attend the Contessa’s. – for those of you not blessed to be in the Beauty Biz – being invited to the Contessa’s, in my eyes, is like being invited to the Academy Awards.

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First of all…HELLO! I was invited to the Contessa’s! Second…I was to stay at the Westin Harbour Castle….Hair, Beauty, Contessa’s and a castle…oh my! It was also my chance to meet the online editor of  www.salonmagazine.com –  Jillian Wood – a woman for whom I will be forever grateful, for she noticed my blog and in turn asked if I would share my Salon tales on their website – a day I will always remember and cherish. (little did she know that I every time I read Salon magazine I would say to whomever would listen “one day maybe my blog will be a part of this magazine”.). Jillian – Thank you.

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We arrived mid afternoon to a warm welcome from our valet. (I highly recommend valet service – for $10.00 more your vehicle is taken care of and you don’t have to walk a Toronto city block in stilletto’s.). Check in was a breeze and all the hotel staff were very professional and helpful. Warm welcomes and smiling faces at every turn. Fast forward to 5:30 p.m.. As I rode the elevator down to the lobby I couldn’t help myself and contain my giggles. As the elevator doors opened, the smell of cologne, perfume and hairspray filled the air…I was in heaven. At every turn I could see great shoes, beautiful dresses and ensembles and the most awesome hair styles. It was living and moving art in motion. I had arrived. I was surrounded by men and women who got me, who loved hair, who got giddy over a new curl or styling technique. I was surrounded by men and women who saw the beauty in the abilities of their fellow stylists, managers and educator’s, and celebrated it. I was honored to be seated at the ISO table, right up front with a perfect view of the main stage. (moment number 55…but who’s counting).

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The award ceremony was filled with cheers, music and great stage shows, my words cannot do it justice. Check out http://www.salonmagazine.com to see the webcast brought to us by CND Vinylux. After the celebrations ended at “The Castle” as I like to call it, a new celebration began at Brassaii night club for the after party. As for the after party…well…what happens at the after party stays at the after party.

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

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.