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, health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat

Monday Motivator Rescue

Here we are. It’s Monday. Again. The time change back to Standard time has occurred once again and as always, if you are anything like me, you are wandering around wondering what time it is and feeling a little out of sorts. These past few months have been, in a word, interesting…that’s a tale for another time. Last night I actually had more than 2 hours to myself. No laundry to do, no errands to run, no one to drive anywhere or pick them up, I had free time. Finally a moment to complete a thought, make a plan and stick to it. Finally a moment to test out one of the latest products that has fallen into my lap for review. Let me introduce you to a FABULOUS face mask! Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask.

For those of you who follow my blog, you all are well aware of my sensitive skin. Most days, I just have to look at a face cream or mask and red welts appear on my skin. Needless to say, when I was asked “Give this a try and let me know what you think” I immediately went to my calendar to see when I had two days off in a row in case of a reaction. I thought about testing it on Halloween … if I had a bad reaction I could just tell people I was a strawberry. Back to the review at hand. So last night, I took a deep breath, sent out my good intention to the universe and applied the mask.

Proof I do test every product I review.

Let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised. Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask applies like a dream. It’s consistency is like a liquid foundation and it glides over your skin with ease. Once dry, it rinses off your skin as easily as it was applied. No rubbing, no wash cloth needed, just some warm water and your hands…easy peasy. It is recommended to keep the mask on for 15 minutes but after 5 minutes I couldn’t move my face, so I rinsed it off.

Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask’s French pink clay formula draws out all the impurities and actually leaves your pores looking smaller. Your skin looks brighter and feels smoother.

Here’s some key info. on this gem;

  • oil pulling technology helps to unclog pores by drawing out impurities like a magnet
  • visibly draws out excess sebum – you can see the mask changing color on different areas of your face
  • helps skin appear brighter and refreshed
  • promotes the look of softer, smoother skin
  • Dermatologist tested
  • For all skin types including sensitive
  • Vegan
  • Certified Gluten Free

The French pink clay attracts surface dirt and impurities like a magnet while cleansing and gently exfoliating your skin. Rosemary Oil hydrates to help maintain the look of clear skin. Boosted with 5 self neutralizing acids – mandelic acid, phytic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and azelaic acid to help clarify, refine and brighten the appearance of skin tone.

So here we are, 12 hours post mask and no reaction! No bumps. No red welts. No itchy skin. No runs to the pharmacy for Benadryl. … I’d show a picture but I have bad bed head and no one wants to see that. Arbonne Rescue & Renew Detox Face Mask truly was created for all skin types including sensitive skin.

For anyone looking for a new face mask, especially those of us with sensitive skin and a hectic schedule, give this a go. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Beauty, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Women

Brushes! Flat Irons! Blow Dryers! Oh My!

This month marks 3 years since the Salon/retail shop closed. Even though 3 years have passed, everyday I am asked about hair products. At the grocery store, in line at the bank, even at work, from coworkers and customers alike. Sure, I live in a relatively small town, 150000 people…in comparison to Toronto…it’s small, so it’s not a big surprise that the shop’s old clients & customers run into me from time to time. What is surprising is the lack of product knowledge and advice being given by their stylists. At least once a week I am approached by a woman asking about a product, how to use a product or where to purchase a product. Most of these women are at a loss because their stylist told them, I hope you are sitting down, to go to the drug store and grab shampoo or hairspray off the shelf. We all know my opinion on that. For a reminder;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2016/01/26/yes-there-is-time-for-that/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/08/15/if-you-dont-wanna-play-get-off-the-field/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2016/07/05/hair-surance/

 

Since it’s Thursday morning on my corner of the globe, I thought I would give you all some Throwback Thursday Tales about brushes, flat irons and blow dryers. A “what’s what” if you will. Feel free to share.

The Wet Brush = life changing!

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/07/20/monday-motivator-the-wet-brush/

 

A breakdown of blow dryer motors, wattage and more

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

 

There are many flat irons on the market – these 3 brands will give you what you are looking for and if you want to try a new brand, at least you’ll have the knowledge of the desired features.

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

 

For more great hair tips, just enter any key word, such as hairspray in my “What can I help you find?” search bar, up on the right hand corner of my blog, hit enter, and read away!

 

 

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

The True Trio

As you all are well aware, yours truly is a hair product junkie. I adore trying new products, learning about their ingredients, their properties and most importantly, if they deliver on their promises. I am not a licensed hair stylist. What I am is a women with over 15 years of hair care experience. I have been to color and cut classes, sat down with chemists and creators of lines to discuss their products, toured their warehouses and even spoke with presidents and decision makers of many suppliers. I have worked the floor of trade shows and been a manager of a Salon/retail shop and been a rep. on the road. That being said, I usually focus on Salon Professional products. Until today. Yours truly has come across a line that is on par with Salon Professional hair care lines. It’s been a while since a product blew my mind and left me asking perfect strangers to “touch my hair!”. Let me introduce you to Arbonne True Hair.

Arbonne True Hair

This trio is, in a word, AMAZING! Arbonne True Hair is;

  • vegan
  • cruelty free
  • gluten free
  • silicone free
  • paraben free
  • sulfate free
  • color safe
  • derived from natural & sustainably sourced ingredients

Now I know, when you read the above list, I can hear the sighs and see the eye rolls. Many of you have been led down the natural hair care path to end up with dull, lifeless hair. Not today my friends, not today. Arbonne True Hair leaves your hair soft, shiny, frizz free and bouncy. Yes, I said bouncy. I couldn’t believe the natural volume of my hair after using this fab trio. I love big hair. I love lots of volume hence my adoration for mousse and root lifts. I only used these three products, Arbonne True Hair Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave in Treatment and this was the result…

Here’s the lowdown on Arbonne True Hair. A three step process. Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave in Treatment. Created for all hair types, from fine to thick, straight to curly. It is color safe. Since it is paraben and sulfate free, it is safe to use on extensions as well. All the products contain;

  • Pea Protein – delivers moisture and prevents breakage
  • Sustainably sourced Baobob – increases hair strength and repairs hair, root to tip
  • Ashwagandha Root – contains antioxidant properties, reduces the effects of environmental stresses such as dryness and humidity.

Arbonne True Hair delivers a natural shine and leaves your hair as soft as it was when you were a preschooler.

True Hair Shampoo – Sulfate free = low lather = not a lot of suds. (want more suds, add more water to produce more lather). This shampoo effectively removes product build up, could be used as a clarifying shampoo. Rinses out with ease.

True Hair Conditioner – Lightweight, almost weightless (yet rich enough for the thickest of tresses), rinses out with ease and detangles like nobody’s business. Apply after rinsing out shampoo, leave in 1-3 minutes, then rinse.

True Hair Leave in Treatment – this little gem is a wonder! A cream leave in that is applied to towel dried hair, starting at the ends and working your way up. You can blow dry, or air dry your hair, which ever you prefer. This Leave In is humidity resistant = no frizz. It works as a thermal protectant, adds shine and prevents breakage and split ends. It is a lightweight formula that is non greasy. True Hair Leave in also contains something a little extra. Coconut and Avocado oils deliver essential hydration to nourish your hair.

You can find this fab trio online at http://www.arbonne.com , select your country and VOILA!. You can also get it through any of the fine Arbonne consultants in your area. The price may seem a little much, but it’s not. It is on par with all Salon Professional products of this caliber.

If you are looking for a more natural hair care regime, look no further. Arbonne True Hair delivers on it’s promises.

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

… not by the hair on my chinny chin chin

So it happened. There I was, applying my foundation, wondering if I should redeem my optimum points … my fellow Canadians will understand, and treat myself to Philosophy’s Renewed Hope in a Jar (my favorite face cream) when I saw it. Mocking me by peeking out behind my Beauty Blender. A hair. A thick, black hair. Standing out, proud and tall on my chin. I immediately grabbed one of the perks of your forties, a magnifying mirror, pulled it out from the wall to get a closer look, all the while convincing myself it was just a thread off my towel, my beige towel. Nope. No thread, no fuzzy, it was a hair. Shit.

As you know, I do my best to keep it real here. So here’s some reality for you. In your forties, not only does your hair change it’s texture, porosity and growth pattern, you also start to grow hair, everywhere…as I soon discovered after the new found chin hair. I put the FBI forensic lab unit to shame as I took to finding any other stray hairs. Needless to say, yours truly has invested in some tweezers. Sigh.

My discovery this morning got me to thinking of all the lovely surprises your forties bring to your door that no one ever talks about. Well, lets talk about it, shall we? In your forties;

  • hair begins to grow in places you didn’t realize had a follicle
  • your hair turns grey… all of your hair
  • one day you can strut in 4 inch stiletto heels, the very next day you cannot
  • at least once a week you feel another internal organ, just by getting out of chair
  • you are no longer silent when you bend down…hopefully the noise is a mild grunt or sigh. I work retail and have had the unfortunate witnessing of a different sound while a customer bent down, in front of me…I think you know what I mean
  • you wake up with a flat tummy, by 4 p.m. you may look like you are 5 months along
  • you begin to understand the attraction of sensible shoes
  • instead of reading clothing labels looking for “dry clean only”, you now read clothing labels looking for Lycra
  • your arms are too short …. you find yourself stretching your arms to their full extent just to read the expiry date on a carton of milk
  • you fear sneezing
  • you will spend hours, days, even weeks trying to find a piece of clothing that does make you look like your teenage daughter or your aging mother.
  • you find yourself thinking about how to go about giving yourself a pedicure, deciding how long it will take for a hip or knee to lock up
  • your idea of taking a risk is having coffee after 4 p.m.
  • you relate to and understand Archie Bunker

Don’t get me wrong, most of the forties are fabulous! I like to refer to my forties as returning to yourself. The person who was full of confidence and sass, believing she could do anything because the world hadn’t gotten to her yet and the idea that because I was a girl I was limited wasn’t even on the radar.  In your forties, your renewed confidence is combined with knowledge, depth and experience. In your forties, you begin to realize what’s important and not to sweat the small stuff.

…unless it’s a hair on your chin, then, you’re gonna sweat a little.

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

Monday Motivator

Everyday, I receive an email or a text or a phone call asking about hair products. I have friends, family and coworkers ask for hair advice on a daily basis. I have stylists asking for my advice or asking my opinion on hair products. My Monday Motivator series usually focuses on one specific product to help you with your hair woes and to make Monday a little more enjoyable. Today, I am combing through my archives to give you the links to all my hair “how tos” and what’s what of hair products and tools. It can be overwhelming, all those bottles, all those brands, all those promises of red carpet worthy hair. Once you have the information and the knowledge, it isn’t so overwhelming and you will come to find that having a good hair day everyday is possible.

 

In need of a new blowdryer? https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/03/18/blow-out/

 

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

 

Using a flat iron everyday? READ THIS! https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/04/09/you-should-hear-sizzle-at-the-stove-not-at-the-vanity/

 

Be careful where you purchase your products! https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/01/15/divert-your-attention/

 

Clarifying Shampoo’s…not for everyday https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/09/14/lets-clarify-the-situation/

 

A break down of hair products – from mousse to wax and everything in between https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/10/27/what-does-this-do/

 

Conditioning treatments are not created equal  https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/07/17/product-101-conditioning-treatments-to-heat-or-not-to-heat/

 

Hopefully these tidbits of information will help you feel less overwhelmed and more empowered. My wish for you is to have a great hair day everyday and to admire yourself and your reflection. PSST…. I have added a “what can I help you find” search engine on my site. Feel free to type what it is you’re looking for and baby, if I wrote about it, the answers and info. will appear before you.

 

 

 

 

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

Seven Year Itch

 

Yesterday as I plopped into my favorite chair with my morning cup of Joe I heard the all too familiar bottle cap notification coming from my phone. It was an email alerting me of my 7 year anniversary as a blogger. 7 years. Within seconds my mind was flooded with images from the past 7 years. Nervously circling the table, staring at the computer, deciding to just go for it and write. Coming home from work to find a laptop waiting for me, given to me by my hubby with a “Happy Birthday” screensaver (which is still my screensaver by the way). Kristen Johnston reading my blog and retweeting it. Wynonna Judd sharing my “Kindness 101” blog that ended up getting over 700 views within hours. https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/21/kindness-101/    Major hair companies following my tales. Magazine editor’s and Hollywood stars following my blog. Writing opportunities coming my way. Strangers thanking me for my hair advice. Strangers laughing at my “Tales of Truth” series. My blog being read across the globe. The list of memories is endless.

Fast forward to today. For those of you familiar with my blog, you are well aware of the struggles I have been having trying to decide which direction my blog and I should take. I began this blog while managing a Salon/retail shop and once the shop closed I felt I didn’t have a platform of which to write. Every single fear and anxiety reared it’s ugly head and I am sad to say, more often than not, they won the battle, not me. I was having coffee with a dear friend yesterday and when I told her of my blogging anniversary I received a high five. During our conversation I came to the realization that I started this blog to spread information and to educate and enlighten, not only for hair care, but for all aspects of daily life, from business to self care to parenting, speaking my truth in hopes that it may give others the courage to do the same. As a reminder that a little kindness goes a long way.

When I woke up this morning, I found myself wondering if my blog related trepidation was due to the 7 year mark. We’ve all heard of the 7 year itch where relationships/marriage is concerned. Maybe it’s the same with goals. It’s all nerves and excitement at the beginning. Lots of new and exciting things happen. Milestones are reached. Celebrations seem to be every other month. Then things slow down, hit a plateau. It doesn’t seem to be as exciting, the shine is off the diamond if you will. It begins to feel like a chore. Other avenues are catching your eye. You feel like throwing in the towel. At least that’s how it felt for me. What I have come to realize and accept is that things change. Who I was when I began this blog I will never be again, and that’s okay. 7 years have passed and I have more experience, in work and in life. I have more of an understanding of who I was, who I am and who I intend to be. I feel I am a good writer. I enjoy it. It’s cathartic. I came to realize my lack of posts for the past 12 months was due to one thing – I was trying to be something and someone I am not. Writing blogs with others opinions in mind, not my own. I began this blog without any thought of what people would think, just the hope that someone would enjoy it and get something out of it. It’s time to get back to that.

Thank you to all my readers, my followers, my family, my friends and those who have shared my tales. More are on the way… hope you enjoy them.