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

…speaking of Beauty

In the age of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it, it seems that beauty is all around us. Everyone has beautiful hair, beautiful clothes, beautiful vacation destinations, beautiful homes, hell, even beautiful pets. Being on the cusp of 46 years in this earthly realm, I know that everything you see and everything you hear may not always be true. Unfortunately , being bombarded by all these pictures, posts and hashtags on a daily basis, many women I know and hold dear to my heart are feeling less than beautiful. Feeling like they don’t measure up or feel like they are missing out or made the wrong life choices, be it marriage or their new hair style. All of this came to a head for yours truly a few days ago when I was chatting with my daughter. She is now 21 and going through what we all did at 21. Trying to figure out where our lives will lead. Wondering what path is the correct path to take. Feeling like the only person in the world going through this strife. Wondering why everyone else seems to have it all together. Wondering what’s wrong with me?

As we were chatting, the conversation came around to social media…being a parent of a millennial, this is a constant issue. I reminded her, as I have to remind myself, that people don’t post the ugly, only the pretty. I posed her the question I have posed to many others, “Wouldn’t it be lovely if more people posted and spoke of the ugly?”. One of the many reasons I am proud of my girl is she is honest with her posts, be it her achievements or her struggles. It’s a scary thing to put yourself out there, warts and all, and I for one believe people should be applauded for it. I also told her, much to her chagrin, that those feelings will pop up many times over the course of her life, that they are not only a factor of being 21. What she, and we all need to focus on is what matters most. Our inner beauty, for it doesn’t matter how coiffed our hair is or how we achieved the perfect smoky eye if our soul and our mind cannot see it, or feel the wonder that is us.

At some time in our lives, we have all felt fat. We have all felt ugly. We have all shrugged at our reflection under the horrible lighting in the change room. We have all felt our stomach drop when invited to a pool party knowing we have to put on a bathing suit. We have all burnt dinner. We have all yelled at our kids for something that was not their fault. We have all dismissed our spouses. We have all “forgotten” to call our parents. We have all lost our shit. Speaking from personal experience, all of the above happened when I was focusing outward, not inward. Think of it this way, you remodel your bathroom, it is Pinterest worthy. If the plumbing wasn’t put in correctly…it ain’t so pretty. I came across a great passage courtesy of Iain Thomas…

“…and every day. The world will drag you by the hand, yelling “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!”

And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it to your heart and say “No. This is what is important.”.

Comparison is the thief of joy Beauties. There is no comfort in that. Where there is comfort is in our commonality, in our stories of short comings and how we overcame them, in speaking of the ugliness that came along with pulling ourselves out of the mud, how we brushed off the dirt to find we were fresh and clean underneath.

As for all the pictures and posts you will see today, see them for what they are. Moments. Be happy for others achievements. Celebrate their moment of happiness. Remember, we are all just trying to get through the day, and most of all, be your own beautiful. In the end, in the wee small hours of the morning, that is all that really matters, what you think of you and how you feel about yourself.

In the immortal words of  L.M. Montgomery’s character Anne Shirley “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.”.

 

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

Share and share alike

Everywhere you look, people are sharing. Sharing “likes” on Facebook, sharing pics on Instagram, tweeting their latest opinion on Twitter, snapping a moment on Snapchat. I often find myself wondering, what is real and what is not. Over the past weeks, you may have noticed that yours truly hadn’t been sharing much on my blog. It wasn’t for lack of material or opinions…as those who know me know all too well, when it comes to opinions I have a deep well to draw from. The reason for my lack of sharing you ask? My life and the lives of those I hold dear needed some attention, some tending to if you will. I also needed some tending to. I realized I had to take a step back and take a good look at what I was doing, where I was going and where I wanted to go. Now, before you all start to create scenario’s in your head to spill at the watercooler, let me make things clear. No one is ill. No one is leaving anyone. No one has been arrested. I came to realize that the powers that be that directed me onto this road after the closure of the shop had given me a gift. That gift being time.

I used to have time. I used to make time. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 5. Back then I would make time for me. I would make time for chats with my hubby, walks, coffee with friends, well, for life, plain and simple. I would make time for me so I could enjoy the time with my daughter, so I could enjoy the multitude of questions posed by a toddler – 100 before 7:00a.m. ( I counted one day – hey it was educational…I taught my daughter to count to 100 didn’t I?). Over the past weeks, I realized that I hadn’t made time since my daughter crossed the threshold into her kindergarten class. I went right back to work, full force. Always moving on to the next thing, finding the next idea. Over coming financial struggles, dealing with plant closures and lay offs, taking any amount of hours given so we could keep our home. Those days are long gone, but the memory of them still reside. I had put myself in survivor mode and forgotten to change the record. I had become so focused on working and keeping my house, paying off debts and having money in the bank that I hadn’t realized that I still had my house, the majority of the debt is paid off and there is money in the bank.

I realized something last week. I am always telling the women I know to make time for themselves. I thought I was. It wasn’t until last night as I was painting my nails that I realized this was the first time in along time I was painting my nails, for me. Not for an Instagram shot, not for work. For me. On the weekend, I was having a really good hair day, so I took a selfie. For me. Yes, I put it on Instagram, but I put it up there for me. If no one had liked it, I would have been fine with it. People liking it was a perk. I did it for me. I have adored photo’s since I was a child. I could and can sit and look at photo’s for hours. I wanted that picture because whenever I look at it, I remember how I felt and remembering happiness is a good thing.

The moral of today’s tale? If you are going to share your moments, your opinions, your snaps and your chats, make them worth remembering, for you. Create moments worth sharing. Do not create moments just so you can share them. Plain and simple.

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

Womankind?

I want you to picture two women in a shop. Another woman walks in and recognizes her friend and stops to say hello. Pleasantries are shared. Introductions are made. “So great to see you! You look terrific! Lets catch up over coffee…soon!”. As our third lovely lass is leaving the shop, her heel not even over the threshold, the two women begin “Did you see her hair?”. “Hmmppt…doesn’t she think she is all that since losing weight.”. “I wonder who she slept with to get that job?”. “What’s with the red hair? Doesn’t she know how foolish she looks?”. “I think she drinks too much.” as they saunter up to the counter.

This is a sampling of the daily, yes daily conversations I hear and am sadly sometimes apart of, everyday. I am not proud of this and when I realize what I am a part of, I try to stop it, or at least my part in it. Once I realize what is happening, I am usually excluded from these conversations soon after they begin because I tend to call people out on their shit. The minute I ask “What makes you say that?” or “How is she doing anyway?” or “Oh good for her! That’s awesome!” most women look at me like I have 3 heads and am speaking Chinese, then begin to carry on the conversation with whomever is closest and I am slowly but surely “uninvited” to the conversation.

Ever since I was a child, I never understood meanness or bullies. In fact, I was the kid who would end up getting in a scrap with the school yard bully. I don’t know why, I just had no room for someone being mean to someone else. I would always give them fair warning about what was to come. Some listened. Some did not. Jeans were torn. Eyes were blackened. Tears were shed (of course I held my in until no one was around, had to keep up appearances). In the end, the bully started to leave more kids alone. Some times we ended up becoming friends. Fast forward 30 years and I still cannot understand nor abide meanness and bullying. On the cusp of 44, I can no longer tell the bully to meet me behind the school, but I can speak my mind and speak up for the woman who is not present for the dissection of her image, her decisions and her life. I don’t know what it is about women, we are the first to unite against any man who disrespects a woman, yet we are also the first to disrespect a fellow woman for her choice of skirt length or hair color.

A few years ago, when I saw and heard what my then 15 year old daughter and girls her age were going through, Sunday Confession was born.

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/06/09/sunday-confession/

Today’s I have some reminders for those of us over 21, who should know better and should do better. Be kind. Seriously, it really is that easy.

  • Primary school playground antics belong on the playground.
  • High School is over.
  • Life is not a popularity contest.
  • Gossip is tacky
  • Do not be two faced, with anyone. There is not enough makeup in the world to cover that up.
  • If you see someone you don’t like when you are at the grocery store, do not cower under your shopping cart in hopes that they don’t see you. Do what your mother taught you, smile and say hello as you pass them.
  • When a woman changes her hair or hair color and loves it, do not ask her “Does your husband still kiss you with that hair?” – I have had more than one woman ask me this gem…and the answer is yes, every day.
  • If you wouldn’t give another woman your opinion to her face, please refrain from tweeting it or making it your status update.
  • You do not have to agree or respect another woman’s choices, nor does she have to agree with or respect yours.
  • When the day is done, who cares if you breast feed or bottle feed your baby. All that matters is that they are being fed….and it’s no one’s business what you choose to do with your baby.
  • When a woman loses weight, do not automatically assume her marriage is in trouble – another gem of a question/accusation tossed my way.
  • Reading “50 Shades of Grey” does not mean a woman is easy. …if anything it probably means her partner is very happy.
  • No one is what they “post” to be. (cannot take credit for that one, came across it a while back and love it)
  • When you hear of another woman’s accomplishment, celebrate it and her.
  • Unless you are the Madame of a brothel, it’s really none of your business who a woman has or has not slept with.
  • If you don’t want everyone knowing your business, don’t tell them.

The next time you are about to belittle another woman’s accomplishment, her life choices, her sexual partner or her hair color, remember this…what you say about the other woman says more about you than them.

 

 

 

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

Man in the Mirror

In the age of equality, I feel I must write about this today. Today’s tale is for those who want to like their reflection. For those who want to turn heads. For those who want a compliment on their appearance. For those who feel insecure about the changes in their skin, their hair and their bodies. For those who are trying to find the person they once knew, who don’t recognize that person looking back at them in the mirror. Today’s tale is for all the Gents. Yes, for the Gents.

As of late I have realized two things. First, all gents want to look good. Second, when a gent wants to look good, more often than not, he is teased or cursed for it. …and this needs to stop.

I met a man last week that was concerned about his hairline. He was so embarrassed by it, he wouldn’t remove his hat. I let him know that no one else was in the shop, that he didn’t have to take off his hat, he just had to lift the front a little so I could see his hairline, then I would know what products would be best for him. As he raised his cap, his eyes went directly to the floor. I thanked him, I looked at his hairline and told him to remove his hat, since there was nothing to be worried about. He looked at me and said “…but my wife told me last night that my hairline was receding and I should just shave my head.”. It was then that I got out my Nioxin manual and showed him pictures of receding hair lines and hair loss and asked him “Do you look like that?”. He smirked and said “No.”. I explained that yes, maybe his hair line was finer than it used to be, then I told him so was mine and lifted up my bangs to show him. Finally, consistent eye contact! After a few minutes, we decided an updated cut may be the answer and applying some product in his hair to keep it in place. I told him my secret “Getting my hair to look like this…it’s all smoke and mirrors my friend. Smoke and mirrors!” to which he laughed, then thanked me for my time and my courtesy and for not making him feel silly or vain.

I am about to tell you something so that you will know, and someday your children will know…men want to like their reflection, for themselves. Men feel just as insecure as women about aging. Men want their spouses/partners to find them sexy and attractive and worry that they don’t measure up – no pun intended – get your mind out of the gutter. Men know that their hair line is changing, they do not need it pointed out. Think about it ladies…what would happen if a man pointed out your ever so slightly saggy neck. If you are going to tell a man to “just shave your head” because he is beginning to thin a tad, you better be ready for him to say “just get botox” when a line is spotted.  Those familiar with my blog know I have written of this before, see link below;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/11/02/receding-hairlines-and-muffin-tops/

…and from time to time, I will continue to write about this for making fun of anyone or belittling anyone who is trying to improve themselves is unkind and ugly. Plain and simple. If you want to be treated as an equal, be careful how you treat others, for you get what you give.

ThatGirlx3

 

 

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

Believe

believe – accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of

Those familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I am a believer that all things are possible. I am 42 and I still think a little pixie dust goes a long way. Today’s tale is a personal one – it’s going to be short, sweet and sassy – like yours truly.

Some great things have happened for me over the past weeks. Yours truly has been invited by sarynaKey to blog about their fabulous products and I will be a featured blogger on http://www.justpencilmein.ca .

IMG_20150112_140505      IMG_20150115_072508

Actually, some pretty fantastic things have been happening for me since I began my blog, from being published on websites like http://www.salonmagazine.ca to being invited to some pretty spectacular events, like the Contessa’s and Joico’s Spring Trend Show. Two of  the best things happened just last week. The first, as I was having coffee with an old friend. She told me that I looked fabulous – from the inside out. I agreed with her. I look in the mirror and I love what I see. I feel the spring in my step when I walk down the street or the grocery aisle.  I no longer fear the change room or trying on a new outfit. The second, my daughter told me I am laughing more. She is right, I am. I gotta admit it, once you start living the life you imagine for yourself and start believing in yourself, good things begin to happen. Not to get all “the Secret” on you, but, thoughts become things and what you focus on does become stronger….oh, and eating well and getting off your ass helps…who knew?!

To be clear, I still have melt down moments. I still lay in bed after shutting off my alarm whining that “I don’t wanna get up!”. I still get pissed off that things aren’t happening fast enough – as you all know – my patience is a work in process. I still look at my exercise bicycle and tell it “to stop mocking me”…and yes, I still venture through the drive thru. I am not as social as I once was – for now. You see, I married young and started a family and now I am focusing on my career, so my free time is precious and my daughter is about to be 18 and still likes to spend time with me and my hubby is still the cutest, sexiest and funniest guy I know – so they get first dibs.

May today’s tale give you that extra nudge you may need to go after what ever it is you want. It can happen. It can.

 

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

Deal with it.

The last month has been a real eye opener, not only at the Salon, but everywhere I look, and with every conversation I have. Maybe the planets are aligned..or misaligned for that matter. Maybe it is due to getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy). Maybe it is that I am on the cusp of my 42nd birthday…who knows. All I know is this, “If you don’t deal with your shit…your shit is gonna deal with you” (came across this a few months ago…and ain’t it the truth). From a woman who thought that becoming a blonde at home would be nice & easy and make her partner take notice, a woman thinking that a pixie cut was all she needed to make her boss see her worth for that promotion to V.P. of marketing and a woman thinking she had everything under control because she made a list everyday…I have seen it all. What did they all have in common? Masking the real issues…not dealing with their shit. No amount of box dye will fix the problems in the bedroom, or will take chocolate brown tresses to platinum blonde. A great hair cut may get you some attention, but a great head shot does not a great V.P. make. As for the list maker, sure, you may be organized, but as you check off “sew button on shirt”, your child may have hurt feelings that need mending. You checked off “pick up cupcakes” for the family celebration…but you weren’t present. “Pick up prescriptions” -checked off, listened to hubby’s response to how he was feeling – but didn’t really hear him. Ladies & Gents, I know of what I speak, for yours truly is the list maker. It took me almost 42 years, I finally realized, lists are great, for the grocery store, for daily chores. They are meant to keep your tasks organized – not your life. Big difference. HUGE.

Sorry to disappoint, I will not be sharing the personal tales of my own shit dealing with me – for not all the tales are mine to share and I respect the privacy of my beautiful girl and my lovely hubby. The purpose for today’s tale is to remind you, and myself to ease up, slow down, pay attention and be present. It is true Beauties – if you don’t deal with your shit…your shit is gonna deal with you – and your shit doesn’t care what time of day, where you are or who you are with…it’s gonna pop up and deal with you. So take it from me, it’s best to deal with it, what ever it may be. Shit ain’t always pretty – hence the fitting name – shit. It’s gotta be dealt with. It’s gotta be said. It’s gotta be hashed out, then it’s gotta be put down and left there. Not just for those you love, but for yourself.

– want to spice it up in the boudoir? Talk to your partner…sometimes renting a movie (nudge nudge, wink wink) is all you need to get new idea’s brought up…pun intended.

– if your partner thinks blondes are more fun, save yourself the cost of a color correction and buy a wig – trust me…they aren’t looking at your hair color… they’re not.

– want that new promotion? Get your credentials together. Put together a presentation about you and why they need you – not why you need them.

– when someone is speaking to you, listen to them. Really hear them. Put down your phone, look up from your laptop, mute the television and pay attention. If you aren’t listening, you can miss what is being said, and damage can be done, feelings can be hurt.

– when someone is ill or has a health issue – let them bring it up. They know what they are going through, they know how they are feeling. They do not need to be reminded of it, with every conversation.

– when your child wants to speak to you, stop and listen. It may be about the cute puppy they saw on YouTube or it may be about the funny thing their bff said. It may also be about how they are feeling about their reflection…pay attention.

 

As for lists, if you have to make a list, remember it is only a piece of paper with some things written on it. It will not explode in 10 minutes if all tasks are not crossed off by 2 p.m. …something I gotta remember.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Do no harm…but take no shit

My title for today’s tale is a quote I came across a few weeks ago, and has become a little mantra of mine. As of late, I have been seeing and hearing many things that are ugly. I don’t mean the Pajama pant/Louis Vuitton ensembles at the local market (although the look is a little gag worthy). I am talking about how people are treating each other, talking to and about each other. People taking advantage of other’s concern, compassion and kindness. It pisses me off to no end.

As you all know, I manage a retail shop/salon, so I am privy to many a conversation. I see women say to another woman’s face “You look terrific!” and the minute she leaves the shop they turn and say to whomever is in their radar (usually lucky me) “wow…what happened there?”. “You forgot to take your meds?!” is what I want to desperately say. Alas, I strap on my oxygen mask, take the high road and answer with “I don’t know what you are talking about. I thought you said she looked terrific.”. – this usually stumps them, they stare at me for a minute and before they have a second to spew another ugly remark I wish them a great day, and move on to my tasks at hand, be it inventory, helping a customer or simply walking away – hence….do no harm, but take no shit.

One of the saddest events I have witnessed is watching someone be ignored. Their stories dismissed, like a flyer handed to you on the street, or worse, not even being an after thought. There is nothing more hurtful than when someone asks how your day was and as you begin to tell them, they stare off into space, or better yet, look at their phone and then look up at you and say “What?!”. (come on…we have all done it at least once…lets hope it was just once.).

There seems to be a HUGE misunderstanding out there, that to be kind means you must be a doormat. To be kind you must be all “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”. That to be kind you must smile and be polite and take anything that comes at you and put a Pollyanna spin on it. I am here to tell you that is not the case, nor should it ever be. As defined by the Oxford Dictionary… Kind – Gentle and considerate towards others. It is not defined –  allow yourself to be kicked in the crotch, take one for the team, allow yourself to be ignored or allow yourself to lower yourself so someone else won’t feel uncomfortable or jealous. Allowing someone to mistreat your kindness not only hurts you, it hurts them – not very gentle nor considerate. Before you begin to freak out about hurting them – let me explain. It hurts them because now they are resented and don’t even know it. Not too kind my friends…kinda makes you just like them. It isn’t pretty nor is it comfortable, but when someone is being an ass to you,and you see them as a vital part of your life six months down the road, ya gotta call them out on it…the ass throwing the flat iron, let her keep all that crazy to herself. Do no harm, but take no shit.