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

2020 Vision

Here we are. The first day of a new year and a new decade. Every time I scroll through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter I see post after post of the decade challenge, descriptions and memories of the past ten years. Achievements, celebrations, life changing moments, you name it, it’s been posted. Few posts celebrate the lows, the struggles, the set backs.

Over the past week, all I could think about was writing again. All I could think about was how I started this blog, all that had transpired in my life, professionally and personally that steered me away from writing. No matter how hard I tried to place blame on any and all events, I came to one irrefutable truth. I was the reason I wasn’t following my gut, my passion, my calling…name it what you will, it was me and me alone that allowed my circumstances to control my life, my actions or lack there of.

I look back on myself and my life 10 years ago. It began selling shoes, missing the beauty industry I adored and the shop I had run for many years. Then the powers that be gave me an opportunity and I grabbed it! Managing the Salon/Shop I adored. Soon after, I began my blog and opportunity after opportunity came my way. Writing for beauty sites and online magazines, consulting Salons on how to improve their retail presence and sales. Being invited to Beauty industry galas. Things kept falling into my lap. Sadly, in 2016, the shop closed. I tried to keep writing, but the fire within was slowly growing dim. A dear friend of mine had a cheese shop and she was looking for some help over the lunch hours. I thought it would be fun, so I said yes. 15 hours a week turned into 40 and I was enjoying it. Learning new things, helping increase the retail presence and forging relationships with the regulars. Yet I was still longing for something. I felt like the world was spinning around me and I was standing still. Sadly, the shop closed. I took a few months off from working. My husband has supported my writing and my drive from the start. He said “take this time to focus on your blog, your consulting, whatever it is you want.”. I found myself staring at my computer, re posting old blogs. I had no idea which road to take. Do I continue to consult? Do I continue to write about Beauty? Do I continue to review products? Do I write about parenting? Do I write about lifestyle? Do I write about kindness? Do I write about how not to be an asshole? …. exhausting reading this huh? Try thinking it all…the…time.  All the while having real life staring me in the face. Husband having a heart attack in 2012 at 39. Father having a heart attack a week later. ( I told them both to stop competing for my attention). My lovely, beautiful, intelligent daughter struggling with mental health issues and trying to get her the help she needed. Be a good wife. Be a good daughter. Be a good Mother. Laundry to be done, child to raise, marriage to keep intact, pay the bills, get the groceries. …this is how I know there is a higher power…god, the universe, the smurfs, whatever you call it, it’s real. I know it’s real because I firmly believe that is how I got through this past decade. There was many a morning I did not want to get out of bed, many a day I did not want to leave the house, but something helped me. Something got me moving, and I may think I’m all that, but even I’m not that good.

Even though I had the support of my family to focus on me, there were bills to be paid. My old employer at the shoe store heard I was free and offered me a job. Whatever hours or days I could give. So here I am, 10 years later, back where I started from. Funny thing, most people find that sad. I get many a “Oh…so you’re back there again huh?” comments. To be honest, I felt the same way for the first few months. Once again, a higher power knew what I did not. That this is exactly where I was and am supposed to be right now. My life for the last 18 months was turned upside down and all around. … a tale for another time.  Being back at this job allowed me to change my day off at a moments notice. Being able to tell my boss “I gotta go” in the middle of a shift and him responding “Do what you gotta do, see you tomorrow.”. It also gave me the time for me. I had time to read, to educate myself, to take a hard look at my life and my responsibilities. To take a hard look at myself, to be accountable about my part in how my life was going, professionally and personally, to own my shit if you will. I may physically be back where I started, emotionally and mentally, far from it.

I have no idea where my feet will land next. I do know this. It is up to me and me alone to decide. To do the work. To put forth the intentions AND the effort. No one, I mean no one is going to do it for me, nor is it anyone’s fault I am unfulfilled but my own. It is up to you and you alone to fill your cup, and today, it may just be a small drop, but my cup is beginning to fill.

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

Monday Motivator

It’s the first Monday of 2019. The holidays are officially over. The kids are back in school. For those of us in retail, holiday hours have come to and end. Our schedules are no longer filled with office Christmas parties and Holiday open houses. Life, for the most part, is getting back to normal, back to the daily grind.

All our Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram feeds are filled with “New Year! New Me!” quotes and memes. Many a fine lady and gentleman are seeking something new, be it a diet plan, a fitness regime, and as always, a new hair style. I began this blog, 6 years ago, to educate the masses about their hair. Which products to use, which products were for specific hair types and most importantly, how to use them. From pomades to flat irons, I tried to cover all the bases and answer any and all questions. As I sat down with my trusty laptop with my coffee in hand, I decided today would be a great day to go through my archives and share my what’s what of hair products, styling tools, etc. . Knowledge is power my friends, and with the proper tools and know how, the one thing you will be sure of is your hair. With all the happenings in the world today, it may seem silly and trivial to be worried about your hair. The way I see it, if you feel good about yourself, when you like your reflection and feel confident in yourself, you tend not to worry about the little things like split ends and are more aware of what is going on around you… it gets you out of your own way. So without further adieu here are a few articles to help you have a better understanding of your hair, your hair products and maybe, just maybe, a better understanding of yourself.

 

Thinking of an at home color experience?

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/17/proceed-with-caution/

 

All flat irons are not meant for all hair types…

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

 

Before you pick up your favorite shampoo at the discount store…

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/01/15/divert-your-attention/

 

A what’s what of hair products 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/10/27/what-does-this-do/

 

AC/DC isn’t just a band…not all blow dryers are created equal 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

New Intentions

… a little New Years tale.

 

Intention(noun) a determination to act in a certain way  – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

Here we are. January 2, 2019. Our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with everyone’s New Year resolution of “New year! New me!”, usually accompanied with a meme. Many have asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were for 2019. My answer was always the same. I do not have any. In the past, whenever I uttered a resolution, made my list of New Year’s to do, I always fell short and ended up feeling like a fool or worse, a failure. So, I no longer make resolutions, I create intentions. My New Year’s Intentions… it just feels better, sounds better to have intentions. The word itself, for me at least, has a positive power to it. It comes from a place of gratitude and grace. It brings with it a sense of hope. Something I have for myself, my friends and love ones.

This year, and all the years to come, my wish for you is intention. To find what it is that brings a smile to your face, a warmth to your soul. To find what it is that makes you want to see your own reflection. Once we set an intention, and truly believe it, the world, the universe, God, the smurfs – take your pick, will be drawn to it. It may not happen overnight or even in 6 months, but know this. It will happen. It ain’t gonna be pretty, there will be many days of doubt, ugly face cries, stomps and tantrums that would put a toddler to shame. There will also be moments of pure peace, of joy, of laughter. You will feel that same pride that you felt when you mastered your bicycle without training wheels, or the first time you hit a home run. You will begin to remember who you really are, and once you remember that, the world is your oyster darling.

Create the world you want to see – That Girl in the Red Coat

 

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

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

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Place your bets

So here we are. It is the beginning of yet another year and with it’s commencement comes the resolutions. Working at a Salon I am privy to many such resolutions, from “I’m gonna finally leave his sorry ass!” to the old stand by “This is the year I am going to the gym EVERY day!”. Myself, I no longer make resolutions. I gave up losing my money at that carnival game years ago. Too much pressure and quiet honestly, who needs the stress? Between working full time, being a wife and mother, bff, blogger and all around awesome gal (if I do say so myself…you should know by now, I am quite good at tooting my own horn), if I am going to stress over something it’s gonna be about the health and well being of a loved one, not if I am keeping my resolution to only have 1 coffee a day.

Over the past few days I have heard the resolutions of many of our clients and customers. One thing they all had in common was this, they all said they “had to.”. Had to?!?! When you were 10 you “had to”. If you are over the age of 18 and no longer living under your parents roof, resolutions, choices -take your pick, should be “want to”. By the way if you are over the age of 25 and still living with mommy and daddy, I think they have a resolution in mind for you. Where was I? Oh yes, ladies and gents, if you must make a resolution this year, how about you try to live a “want to” life instead of a “have to” life. This is not a new idea, I know. I was reminded of this back in the fall of 2012. I was fortunate enough to win a ticket to hear a great speaker, Mark Gaylard (Google him). Long story short -the message of the evening was do you want a “have to” or “want to” life, and baby, I want a “want to” life. Now to today’s tale.

I hear the familiar chirp of the shop’s door chime and look up to see a mother and daughter duo. I say hello and ask if I can help them find what they are looking for. The mom blurts out as she points to her daughter “Help her. I am beyond help.”. Oh, how I love a challenge. “Why do you say that?” I ask. She  then begins to tell me “I am no longer in my 20’s and I have to get used to it. Even my husband says so.”. So I asked her if she wanted to get used to it. The woman just looked at me and her daughter’s jaw dropped. I explained I meant no offense, I wanted to be sure she was okay with getting used to it, because I thought she had great hair. “You like my hair?” she said. I said that I did and that I could help her make it look even better if she wanted my help. I ended up giving her and her daughter some samples and the Salon’s price list. As she was leaving she said she would be calling for an appointment because she wanted one, then winked at me.

It is a new year and with it new possibilities lurk around every corner. This can be the year you quit smoking, muster up the courage to ask for help and go to rehab, let go of your fear of being attractive and go and try a new hair color and style, lose that weight that you have carried around long enough – pounds or people. Go and have a “want to” life. You are a safe bet and worth the wager.