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The choice is yours

A few years ago I received a sign for my office from my girl, with many positive affirmations collaged together. The one that sticks out the most to me is “Happiness is a choice you make everyday”. So very true, so easy to remember yet so easily forgotten.

Over the past weeks I have heard the following from friends, family and the people I see everyday;

  • I’d be happier if he was nicer
  • I’d be happier if I got a raise
  • I’d be happier if my child behaved in public
  • I’d be happier if people kept their opinions to themselves
  • I’d be happier if I got to see my friend’s more
  • I’d be happier if I had more help around the house
  • Etc… etc… etc…

It seems everyone wants to be happier, but doesn’t want to do the work. Trust me. I know. It is easier to put the blame of our woes on someone else’s behaviour. Been there, done that. Try my best not to do that anymore. For no one, anywhere, wants to look in the mirror, take a long hard look at themselves and admit a fault. …but darlin’, ya gotta. There is no magic happiness pill, no happiness potion, no mystery man arriving at your doorstep with your package of happiness waiting to be unwrapped, it’s all up to you. Before you get all upset or weepy, I do know that life throws curveballs, of this I am certain. There will be illnesses, job losses, flat tires, spilled coffee, baby spit up on your shoulder that you missed, but the President of the company did not. There will be bad hair days, bloated days, adult acne days ….by the way…what kind of sick cosmic joke is that? We cannot control what happens to us or around us. We can control how we decide to let it affect us. We can control how long a harsh word gets to live in our head rent free.  Have your head spin around and spew venom because the dishes weren’t done or the garbage emptied, or don’t. The decision is yours.

Happiness can be created anywhere, anytime. It can.

  • Had a hard day at work and still have to go to the grocery store? Buy an extra canned good or two and drop in it the food bank donation bin.
  • Your teenager is making you crazy and you are at your wits end over the useless arguments…go look at their baby pictures, their saved school artwork…remind yourself of the love there.
  • Just a long, stupid day? Get yourself some instant cocoa, grab your favorite mug and top that baby off with some whipped cream. …sprinkles too if it the day really kicked your ass.
  • Make a Jello. My gramma Leah always told me that. This way whenever you look in the fridge, you can be reminded that you made something that day and accomplished something.
  • Make some cookies or muffins and deliver them to a neighbour or friend, for no reason. Just to do it. Trust me, 9 out of 10 times, they are in dire need of a glimpse of happiness and a the touch of kindness.
  • Send a joke to a friend.
  • Share a you tube video with a friend, reminding them of a memory you share.
  • Post a joke on your Facebook wall in the morning…it will make someone’s day.

Doing for others is doing for yourself. Making others feel good will make you feel good. Carrying happiness with you will allow happiness to spread to those you are around. Plain and simple.

bubbles

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Wishes for a Happy New Year…and for years to come

So here it is, New Years Eve 2013 and I am calm. I am hopeful. I am…content.

In past years, this day was either filled with anxiety over not having plans or having too many plans, freaking out that my dress was too tight, hating my hair or my mind was filled with shoulda’s, coulda’s and woulda’s. This year…not so much. For the first time in I don’t know how long, a New Year approaching doesn’t seem as daunting. You see, I finally got it. I finally became accountable for myself and my actions. I finally admitted my shortcomings and moments of malcontent were down to me. Yep. Me. …trust me, ask my hubby or anyone who knows me for that matter…this was not an easy thing for me to admit. I had been known in the past to blame retailers and  Mother Nature herself for my ass not fitting into my jeans…between the store not having the exact shade of grey yoga pants I so desired that would match the treadmill and well… with the cold winds and rain I couldn’t go outside for a walk. …oh come on, like you haven’t blamed the Keebler Elves for your pant size. Back to the tale at hand.

I have a glorious truth to share…once you stop blaming others for your unhappiness and malcontent, let go of your fear and take your emotions, decisions and dreams into your own hands, great things begin to happen. They do. Take a look at yours truly.(well, it is my blog, so yeah, I’m gonna talk about me once and a while.). I took a leap of faith and let go of my fears and put that energy into believing in myself and within 18 months I have the blog I dreamed of doing, a twitter following filled with people who inspire me on a daily basis (and are pretty cool), I was invited to attend the Contessa’s.  I am a contributor to http://www.salonmagazine.ca. I am a contributing author to http://www.hairstyle-blog.com and http://www.visual-makeover.com. I am a contributor to http://www.girlbodypride.com. On a daily basis at my shop, I am helping women and men to love their hair, to find the beauty that they thought they lost, or never had. I am helping Salon owners and stylists improve their customer service skills and helping them to realize that retail is a vital part of their Salon’s experience. I no longer hold back my confidence in myself, or hold back my knowledge of product or service. *the biggest perk…since I am happier, so are my loved ones.

Hence today’s New Year’s wish for you. May the coming days and the coming years bring you peace. May serenity find its way to your door and into your hearts. May you find the courage to attempt what ever it is you want to do – from opening up your own Salon to finally being able to quit smoking. May you find the confidence to ask for that raise or to tell that special someone that you love them, or to be able to let your loved one know that they need help and that you will have their back. May you begin to find the beauty that is in your life, right now.

Wishing you a Happy New Year

With Love and Gratitude,

That girl in the red coat

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A Christmas Wish from That girl in the red coat

Hello Beauties!

A quick tale today. It’s the morning of Christmas Eve on my side of the world and I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your support of my tales. My new tales will be on hold for a few days as I take some time to spend with my loved ones, friends and family alike. Wishing you all happiness and health, serenity and peace, today and always.

– That girl in the red coat. xo

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Whatever floats your boat

Something has been playing on my mind as of late, and being me I gotta talk about it, I gotta. Working at a Salon, I hear lots of tales, of happiness, of despair, of births and deaths and everything in between. The tales that I find the most upsetting are those of shame. Grown women being ashamed of their bodies, their body image or lack there of and of their sex life. Unless you were in a convent or in a coma, I am sure you have heard of or read 50 shades of grey.  I know that most of our clientele has read it or heard about it. I read the trilogy.Twice. Yeah…I said it. Some of the women spoke openly about it and we shared some cackles and blushes. Some of the women whispered about it, afraid that if they spoke openly and loudly about their book club choice that they would be judged. Some women hid the fact they were reading it because they didn’t want their husbands or best friends judging them, they didn’t want people thinking they were a slut. One woman I know was ashamed that she liked what she read and this is why I am writing this today.

When we are young, we are always being told to be a “good girl” and “nice girls” don’t behave like that – be it wearing too much lipstick, a low cut blouse, teasing our hair, kicking boys in the shin or kissing them in the back seat. What I have come to realize is this. Grown  women forget that they are grown women now, not little girls under the ever watchful judgmental eye of society. If what you wear or how you choose to live your life makes you happy and is YOUR CHOICE, there is no shame to be had.

Forgive me ladies for what I am about to say. We prejudge our husbands/partners and don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Yeah…I said it. You know it’s true. We are all guilty of it. So many women I know that read 50 shades said “there is no way I am telling my husband I liked that book! He’ll think I am  a freak!” to which I always answered “He probably will and he will be over the moon!”. Some ladies laughed, others just stared and I could see their wheels of judgement begin to turn, to which I began to sing to myself…Big wheel keep on turnin’, Proud Mary keep on burnin’.

Too many women let the opinions (or what they think are the opinions) of the general public decide their fate. Some things you must realize. There will always be someone who will point a finger in judgement. You know the people I am talking about, the ones who would have judged Christ himself “How could the son of GOD make water into wine?!?!”. Get used to it and try your best not to let it get to you. If you want to wear thigh high boots and mini skirts because it makes you feel beautiful, do it. If having platinum blonde hair extensions makes you feel sexy and attractive, wear them. If you like how your eyes look while wearing false eyelashes, apply them and bat away. If you like to read erotica and it helps you and your better half have a more intimate relationship in and out of the bedroom, read away. If judging others floats your boat, row away. Far, far away.

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Don’t ask…don’t get.

“Every time I try to find a new hair stylist the first thing I ask them is “What cut would you give me?”. Then they always say the wrong thing so I get up and leave.”. Yes, ladies and gents, this is something I have heard not one but many women say. It has to be one of the dumbest phrases uttered in my presence and believe me, I have heard some pretty stupid stuff. These are the same women who do the same thing to their husbands/boyfriends/partners and complain that they are not happy…ever. First of all, unless your stylist is Dionne Warwick or an operator at the Psychic Network, it is impossible for them to know what cut you have envisioned in your pretty little head. Second, what is this? Third grade? Talk about setting someone up to fail. That is rude and just plain mean, and stupid. Which brings me to today’s tale or lesson if you will. I have been married over 17 years and every once and a while I fall off the wagon and start blaming my lovely hubby for my malcontent and it is not his fault. The fault is mine and I am just looking for someone else other than myself to blame. (He is LOVING that I am admitting this.).

In this life, we all want to be seen. We all want to heard. We all want to look great and feel great and have people notice us. We all want to be happy. One thing we all seem to forget is that we are in charge of our own happiness, no one else is. Every day I hear women slamming their husbands/boyfriends/partners, that they aren’t helpful enough, that they aren’t “present” or “involved” enough. I have even heard a woman complain her husband locks the bathroom door, she doesn’t understand why he feels he has to lock the bathroom door when he is taking a shit. Hey lady. Question for ya…you want the door unlocked when you are waxing your upper lip?

Ladies (and gents), if you want help, you must ask for it. If you want something, you must ask for it. There isn’t a stylist on earth that can guess you want to be a redhead, you must tell them. No man on earth is going to see a woman at a washing machine and ask if she needs help sorting the whites and the colors. Nor when he sees a bottle of Comet on the counter will he stop and think “Hey…maybe I should clean the toilet.”. It ain’t gonna happen. He will not notice that you have changed your blonde highlights from light golden brown to medium golden brown…ease up.  If at any time you have frowned at flowers or a gift, you have now solidified in his mind to never do that again. No offense to my lovely gents but you are simple creatures. Admit it, you know damn well that if you brought a woman carnations and she pouted at them, in your mental safety checklist that insures you will still get laid you put a check beside “carnations bad – never buy again”. Not to let anyone down and for future reference, here is a little list for you to refer to.

– when you want your cut a certain way, bring in a picture and ask the stylist if they can help you achieve the desired look. Do not hold the picture behind your back and offer a greater tip if they can guess what hairstyle you are holding in your hand.

– when you want to change your hair color, bring in a picture, preferably not black and white. (yep…it’s happened)

– when you are looking for a hairspray, know the hold factor you want. Do not say “any hold is fine” and then complain that the firm hold is too firm and all you wanted was a soft hold to get rid of your fly aways. See?! You knew what you wanted, you forgot you weren’t speaking with your psychic friend.

– when you want help, ask for it. Do not pout, bat your eyelashes or squeeze your cleavage together hoping he will catch on that you need help folding the laundry…all he is thinking is he’s about to get something…and it ain’t towels.

– if you are unhappy, it is not anyone else’s fault. It’s not. Sure people are asses and say and do terrible things. In the end we decide how much of a grasp we will allow said actions have a hold on our daily life and our happiness.

– if you have never told someone that what they are doing upsets you, shut up and stop whining. Yeah, I said it. We teach people how to treat us. Don’t like the treatment you receive? Change your lesson.

If you want love, you must give love. If you want kindness, you must give kindness. If you want respect, you must give respect. If you want help, you must ask for it. If you want carnations…do not pout when they are given.