Shopping habits: Reflections of a somewhat reformed shopaholic

JellyR__Harbourfront_HR-18Photo: Cassandra McD.

Let me set the scene and you can tell me if this sounds all too familiar to you.

You get a text message from your BFF. 2 images: (1) A new backpack and (2) two new pairs of shoes – one pair, a sexy open-toed high-heeled sandals with metallic gold heels – LIT!! and the other a red hot pair of flats with an oversized bow, very Valentino-esque.

You: [send  multiple fire emojis]. Wait, r you gonna sneak those into the house so ur mom won’t c them?

Her: [smiling emoji with halo] Of course! Aren’t they cute tho? I just had to have them!!!

JellyR__Harbourfront_HR-24Photo: Cassandra McD.

Makes totally sense to you, right? They were indeed cute and def worth having.

Then you get the follow-up text.

Her: Argh. I think I may need rehab!

It’s meant as a joke but underneath it, can there be some element of truth?

My initial reaction at getting a text of pretty shoes would be a jolt of excitement. Then an instant desire to run out and have a “browse” through the shoe aisles of Winners…then maybe take a stroll through the mall, you know, just to see what’s in the stores. You guys know what I’m talking about!

The thing is, I only need look to my right, at the stack of boxes in my bedroom to be reminded of new boots and unopened Nine West shoebox housing a pair of mohair leopard-print wedges lying on the floor.

Or open the closet and look up at the stack of new workout gear! What? It was January and Gap was having a sale and I needed some new colourful tanks! New Year New Fabulously Stylish-Going-to-the-gym-soonish Me!

Realizing that I’m a weapon of massive consumption is a hard pill to swallow. I don’t think I’ve ever gone an entire day without spending money on something whether it’s little things like coffee or snacks to large items of clothing. Thankfully I’m not a huge online shopper so I’ve dodged that bullet. Phew?!

JellyR__Harbourfront_HR-34Photo: Cassandra McD.

Maybe they need a “patch’ or a little pink pill to help curb the yearnings felt when you spot the perfect heels or that LBD and for dealing with the withdrawal symptoms when we realize your size is sold out or the credit cards are maxed out.

The first months of the year, in particular January is when we hear all about dieting, working out and quitting smoking – the most popular of New Year’s resolutions. Where are the segments about kicking the shopping habit? Is there a pill for that?

It’s a new year and new, more responsible me…hopefully. So as part of my embracing self-care I’ll be committing to making more effort to shop less on items and focus on experiences, like dinner with my friends, brunch with my aunties and planning a trip to Iceland with my cousin. After all, those experiences are worth way more than any pairs of shoes in my book!

JellyR__Harbourfront_HR-54Photo: Cassandra McD.

How have you put a handle on your bad shopping habits this year?

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Book Style Inspo: Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

well read: 'never look away' inspired style
The Deal: Wife disappears from an amusement park and this sets off a not so fun series of events for hubster who may or may not be implicated in her disappearance….or murder…
I’d work this look to an amusement park, wouldn’t you (especially if you planned to do a runner!)?
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Lifestyle: How I set myself up for fitness success, a skinny bi*ch’s story

working out at home

When I was approaching my 30th birthday, a friend of mine told me that once I hit 30 “it was down hill”. He, yes he, was speaking of weight gain. I didn’t take offence at the time. He was older than I was and appeared to be speaking from experience (hehehe).

I also knew that gaining weight for most people was natural as we age. I had read somewhere that woman will put some pounds on in the mid-section in preparation for menopause but since I was nowhere near those years, that didn’t bother me.

Sticks and Stones

Stronger than Yesterday

The thing is, growing up I was subjected to name-calling and negative comments like, “omg, you’re soooo skinny!”, “what are you a size zero!”, comments about my long legs, skinny arms, or I’d get the “joke” when trying on something in the store “you’re such a skinny bi*ch!”

Oh, if I could do that all over again with the confidence that comes with age, I’d flaunt it like nobody’s business instead of hiding behind baggy jeans and oversized sweats, and wearing a lot of pants suits to parties, yes, I did!

So as I approached 30, I was secretly looking forward to gaining a few pounds if that meant perhaps fuller hips and bigger booty, and maybe even bigger boobs. I led an somewhat active lifestyle and made a conscious decision to keep fit so, really I didn’t think I would have a thing to worry about. Little did I know

Slow and Steady is the name of the weight gain game

Sweat Equity

I didn’t really start putting on a few noticeable pounds until about 5 years later and much to my disappointment the weight “centered” quit literally in my mid-section. I could def pinch more than a few inches and my once nicely fitted button-down shirts now sat snuggly over my love-handles. This was really not what I was looking forward to at all.

In the years that followed I inched my way slowly up past the 140 lbs mark. A first for me and a grounding reality into feeling yet a different way about my body – still not a good way.

I know what you’re probably saying. So what? 140lbs OMG, cry me a freaking river!!  You’re still sooooo skinny! Are you seriously bitching about 140lbs pounds? Really?! Shut the f$@%k up!

That’s cool. I get it. Stop Judging Me!!! Ha! Seriously tho, don’t misunderstand me, this wasn’t cause for alarm for me, nor was I super upset about it. My point is that, I DIDN’T FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF. I hated looking at myself in the mirror. Sitting on my bed and notice the folds in my stomach. Like how did that happen?!

Like I said, I’ve always been active and I’d “let myself go” and as I was entering my 40s no less. I’d never done before. Stopped being active. Stopped caring about staying active and in shape for my overall health (more about this upcoming up).

Initially I told myself my lack of physical activity was was because of my migraines, then I was too busy at work and then it was “I hate going to the gym” (and the many excuses that flow from that). My body (and mind) responded to all of this rather appropriately. I felt like crap, tired, lazy, unmotivated, just not myself.

The Tight Pants Meltdown

Working on my fitness

In December 2016, I found myself sitting, slumped over and close to tears, with four pairs of my newish Banana Republic dress pants (I bought the winter before). They were all, in a  word, TIIIIGHT!Tight in the thighs, tight in the hips, and no way to button- them up. None.

I mean, like seriously, there was no getting around it! I’d spent about $400 on new pants a year before and now they were unwearable!

I needed new pants [cue: look of stunned disbelief] But wait… if my pants can’t fit, what other items in my closet would no longer fit?! Let the meltdown sesh really begin!

The Truth Staring Back at Me in the Mirror 

As I stood up, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and froze. This woman was staring back at me and I didn’t recognize her. She looked old and tired and that once taught stomach, and toned arms were nowhere to be seen. How did I get here? I confess, I nearly cried. I was that unhappy.

Staying active was a commitment I made to myself in my 20s for some very practical reasons. Being a Jamaican woman there was no shortage of reminders in my own family of the fact that I was at a high risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Also:

  • In retirement, I wanted to be a healthy and an active senior, yoga in the morning, tennis with the crew at lunch, weekend walks with the ladies (I’m gonna a silver-haired fox livin’ la vida loca baby!)
  • I’ve always enjoyed being sporty to some extent (lessons in boxing, kick boxing, yoga, tennis and running a 5k. I’ve tried them all) – I’m not particularly competitive tho. which brings me to my next point,
  • I enjoy the social aspects of an active lifestyle. I was never a star athlete but I may have been the one to laugh the loudest of the team, always.

Not bad insight for a twenty-something right?!

But then somehow I lost sight of that. Well, I was a twenty-something in the city! It was bound to happen. I didn’t realize it would years later and last for years to come.

The commitment I made for myself that got me on back on track

Physical and Mental Toughness Game On

I needed a change and with a new year around the corner. I did just that.

I started weekend bootcamps at my local gym. When asked what my fitness goal was I said, to “SHOW UP!”– that was it.

I committed to showing up for every class I could and decided that the rest, in terms of results, would take care of itself!

I didn’t want to over complicated things or set myself up for failure. I merely wanted to show up.

The simple steps I took to achieving this goal:

  1. Goal 1: Show up to the first class (this was brutal and humiliating. I basically had to rest after 15 minutes because I couldn’t keep up. I was out of breath and I felt sick. I had barely got started.
  2. Goal 2: Show up to the 2nd class. Honestly wanted to quit after the first class. Not lying. I hadn’t realized how hard it was and what getting older can do to your body as well as your mindset!
  3. Goal 3: The next goal was to finish out the 6 weeks of the round of classes. Just stick with it and then reassess how I felt.
  4. Goal 4: Nearing the end of the class we were given the chance to sign-up for the next round. I signed up! and it was again, a simple goal. Get through the next 6 weekends of classes. That’s it.
  5. Goal 5: Then I said ok, you got the first for 3 months. Can you do another 3 months? and I would move the benchmark every 3 months.

Before I realized it I’d been showing up for 12 months.!!

My Michelle Obama Arms or so I’m told (I’ll take that compliment!)

I can honestly say I feel stronger, younger, and far healthier than I’ve been in over three years! Bonus – I met a group of people that keep me motivated to keep going in the process.

I did lose some weight of course but I still haven’t been able to find my old six-pack and THAT’S OK (I love my brunches and burgers and fries too much! Check out me out on Instagram: This Girl With Camera and you’ll see what I mean.)

When three friends, on different occasions, said “you’ve got Michelle Obama arms!” well, my one commitment to “just show up” was well worth it. I’m feeling so much better about myself now than I have in a long time.

For me it started with one simple commitment to myself. What kinds of simple ways do you find to stay active?

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Portugal, Self-Care Made Me Do It: My Solo Travel Story

barrio_alto_HR-20 copyLisbon Rooftops   

I was exhausted, both psychically and mentally and looking forward to a much needed staycation. Basically, I planned on firmly planting myself on my sofa with a bag of sweet potatoes chips and binge-watching British dramas on Netflix.

That was the plan until a colleague told me about her recent trip to Lisbon. She mentioned that it was less expensive than other European cities so my Canadian dollars would go further, the weather was incredible, the people were nice and the pastries and wine were delicious.

Self-care made me do it (…or could it have been the promise of sunshine and pastries?). In any event, I managed to get the last seat on a flight to Lisbon using my Aeroplan travel rewards points. Now that’s what I call serendipity!

HatandCamera_Chaido_MNAC

Table at Spleen Cafe inside Museum of Contemporary Art – MNAC  

As a solo traveller, I try to book my trips well in advance, do a bit of research and pull together an itinerary with top places to see and restaurants to check out.

Not having plans would normally stress me out. However, I was already stressed out and truly exhausted and in desperate need of some self-care. That meant being strategic in my effort to spend as little energy as possible to find ways to make this last minute trip as stress-free as possible.

Lunchcrowd_Porto

Here’s what I did:

(1) I spoke with colleagues about their recent trips and asked for and received recommendations that formed the basis for an itinerary.

 

Hotel Carris Ribeira – Porto   

(2) I contacted my local Flight Centre and worked with them to pre-book some parts of my trip including hotel stays in Lisbon and Porto, a few sightseeing tours and a train ticket to Porto.

Bonus: This also provided a great opportunity to get some travel info from the travel associate who had been to a number of cities in Portugal.

Sintra_HR-4 copyGuided Tour of the Palace in Sintra  – Swan Room

(3) Leveraged the knowledge of hotel and restaurant staff for recommendations on where to shop, things to do and places to eat.

 

Days 1 – 4 in Lisbon:

My first four days in Lisbon was spent learning about its history, getting to know some of the locals, enjoying the famous pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts), and learning to say “thank you” in Portuguese. (I will save the mishaps of this trip for another post. What I will say, is that I felt like I was being tested for sure!)

I learned through my tours that the city is made of seven hills (or so it is said). I believe it, as the muscles in my legs burned as hot as the sun that was beating down on me as I explored the cobbled stoned, narrow streets of Alfama, Chaido, Barrio Alto and Alfama neighbourhoods.

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I had nothing but time on my hands. So I stood more still, and for longer periods of time than I ever have, simply taking in the Instagram-worthy panoramic views of the city with its clay-coloured rooftops dotting the horizon from different vantage points.

There were some very familiar-looking monuments too, including the towering Christos Rei statute, inspired by the famous Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 25 de Abril Bridge, which bares a striking resemblance to San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge.

 

Photos: Christos Rei grounds and 25 de Abril Bridge

My sightseeing tours took me to the famous Coach Museum in Belem, a royal palace in Sintra and a tiny beach and fishing village in Cascais. I also stood at the end of the earth, well, maybe it wasn’t the end of the earth but Cabo da Roca, the famous landmark identifying the westernmost extent of continental Europe, had a pretty stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean and nothing else as far as the eye could see.

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Cascais_HR-32 copyPhoto: Cascais

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Days 5 – 7 in Porto: On the fifth day, I boarded a train at Lisbon’s architecturally impressive train station to the coastal city of Porto (known for port wine and Dom Luis Bridge) and where I spent the remainder of stay roaming the streets with my camera, popping into shops, sipping espresso, eating more pastries and finishing the novel I had brought with me. It was, in a word, relaxing.

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Streets of Porto

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Boutique_Porto_PortugalA little boutique shopping for unique souvenirs  

One of my favourite solo travel tips:

If you are anything like me, limited experience as a solo traveller, and one who sucks at reading maps and is slightly directionally challenged, then consider adding tours to your trip. I found it to always be a great way to familiarize myself with a city in the first few days and get to learn about the history, culture and visit key landmarks without needing to read a guidebook.

womaninhat_coachmusuem_belem-1

If you’re not into tour groups then you may want to consider an individualized tour like those offered by With Locals as an option or a Hop-On-Hop Off bus tour.

MAAT_Museum_Belem_

Two cities in seven days was just the right self-care remedy for me. It was enough time to get a taste of what Portugal has to offer and for me to feel a lot more calm and well rested than before I arrived. There were a lot of places in Lisbon I didn’t get the chance to visit and there are a number of other cities in Portugal I’d love to see. You know what that means? I’ll just have to plan (or not plan) another self-care travel trip to Portugal soon!

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Racking up the Points & Reaping Rewards: 5 reasons I love using points cards

beauty_skicare1

I’m now a believer in points cards! I was always one of those people who would get coupons for, I dunno McDonald’s and think, great, going to get a free Sundae with my Quarter-Pounder with Cheese for lunch….one of these days. Then I would forget and the coupon would sit in my handbag well past its expiry date. So, when points cards came along, I was like “whatever”or, I’d  collect points so infrequently, a lot of time I wouldn’t even have the card on me, I would rarely end up reaping any rewards.

That was until I was paying for groceries at Loblaws and I was told I had racked up $70 in PCpoints (President’s Choice Loyalty Program) that I could use toward my purchase: cue image of dancing emoji! The amount seemed to have accumulated rather quickly, probably because I’m a regular shopper and did spend a little more time paying attention to what items would provide additional points when it was time to go shopping (this effort is minimal, trust me, I quicklly scroll through the offers on the app for a few seconds and that’s all it takes for me).

Since then, I’ve come to appreciate a good points card. I recently saved enough Optimum Points from Shoppers Drug Mart to replace my bottle of J’adore  by Christian Dior which is the only fragrance I wear on account of the fact that I’m a migraine suffer so I don’t mess with perfumes much. I know, that’s pretty tragic, but if you’ve ever tried J’adore, you wouldn’t feel to bad for me on the fragrance front!

Maybe it’s just me but I think retailers have gotten better with rewarding their loyal customers and I for one appreciate it. Here are a few more reasons why I love points cards and why I think you should too:

  1. They are often FREE 
  2. Some of them are customized to your shopping habits so you may get points on the same items you buy regularly and not just featured items
  3. There’s usually an App for that – if they have an App this will allow you to leave the cards at home and lighten the bulk in your wallet
  4. You get rewarded for being a loyal shopper which I think we all deserve to be!
  5. Your entire purchase can be free sometimes, if you save up enough points (think of how you’d feel walking up to the cash and hearing these words, “you’ve got enough points to pay for everything, would you like to redeem them? HECK YEAH!)

 

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Bonus tip: Consider using your points to save a few bucks over the holidays. We all know how expensive Christmas can be and we can all use more tips to spend less. Here’s how I used my points last year during the Christmas holidays:

  • Free food – I saved up about $100 PCpoints at Loblaws and used that towards the big holiday grocery shopping list – you know when you have to buy the turkey, the pie, the flowers etc. It was great to cut that bill substantially. I even gave this tip to a couple in line one day who was debating whether to get the card. They were sold!
  • Free Beauty Products – I had quiet a few points as part of Sephora’s Beauty Insider (VIB) program but again with my migraine issue I have to be careful. I saw some cute mini gift sets, you know the ones that have like 3 different lipsticks and a mini mascara, or something. I redeemed some of my points and got one for my cousin’s gift. I paired it with her main gift which was a set of makeup brushes for a more fun surprise. Lets just say, she loves me!
  • Free Movies – I was able to treat my niece to a movie after an afternoon of gift buying because I had enough Cineplex Scene Card  points for two movies. Yes, she loves me too, in case you were wondering.

If you’ve not really been into points cards before, maybe its time to revisit the idea and look out for ones for retailers you are constantly shopping in.

I’m now looking at figuring out how to get a free flight for 2017! #vacaygoals

What points programs are you lovin’?

Cass McD.

 

 

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Change is ‘Natural’: Feeling my hair fears and doing it anyway!

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Change.”

About a year ago I decided to stop relaxing my hair. Relaxing my hair meant going to the hair salon every  6 – 8 weeks to get my hair chemically straightened. If you’ve read my previous post Hair Story: Good Hair Takes Some Time, you’ll know that the hours spent at the hair salon, although sometimes entertaining, was oftentimes excessive.

Long hours at the salon aside, what really drove me to decide it was time for a change? Well, a couple years ago, I had a bad relaxer experience that left me with some minor damage – there was a patch of hair that was substantially shorter than the rest of my hair and didn’t seem to be growing back.  It was time to give my hair a break. I thought perhaps for only for a few months so that I could focus on getting it healthy again. That was last spring.

I will admit, I was pretty nervous about what going natural could mean and sat on the fence for a little while without committing. After all, I didn’t have the sassy flair and uber funky fashion sense of the big-hair-don’t-care trendsetter Solange Knowles, or close-cropped ‘do of Tamu McPherson of All the Pretty Birds or the untamed fabulous main of Frédérique Tietcheu of I Go By Frankie (if only!).

Nor do I work in the fashion industry or a creative field where embracing my natural hair might be a little easier, if not even more fun, transition. How was this new natural me going to jive with the rather corporate (ahem, yet still stylish) self ? Did I need to wear braids or get a weave to make the transition? Would my hair fall out once I stop relaxing it? Was I really ready to make this of big change? Could I pull it off?

This wasn’t like getting a new haircut or dying my hair red. It would require years of allowing my naturally curly roots to get reacquainted with a very unfamiliar terrain, my scalp. That relationship would require some serious nurturing and a long, likely difficult, period of adjustment while I figured out how to manage things.

In the end I decided I would give it a try because what I learned from watching those beautiful naturlistas do their thang is that they do it with such confidence and style that is bigger than their hair. They embrace it, love it and make it work for them in their own unique ways. I admire and found strength in this.

So, I had a rather nervous chat with my hairstylist who repeatedly reassured me that things would be fine. Turns out I didn’t have to undergo much of change at all.  No weaves, braids, wigs or drastic cuts as I know some women have done.I am managing to transition by simply going for regular deep conditioning treatments and trims while flat ironing my hair as usual.

I also didn’t have to redefine my style and start wearing red lipsticks in an attempt  to embrace my potential new Fro and Flygirl fierceness that I imagine would magically result. And yes, I realize that none of this is a prerequisite for going natural but as the saying goes, go big or go home! I was prepared to embrace the look completely, whatever that look happened to be for me, because that’s another lesson I learned, there are so many options available to me, just look three women I’ve mentioned above and there are so many others to find inspiration from.

Although my change has not been transformative in the physical sense, it has made me keenly aware that change, whether it’s adapting a new hair style, landing a new job or making a career change, can be very scary but as the popular self-help book says, you simply have to feel the fear and do it anyways! Add a healthy dose of confidence and a dash of style to the mix and you may just have the recipe for success.

I did buy some red lipstick and I’m always working on finding my Flygirl fierceness (sans Fro)!

Cheers,

Cassandra

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My Hair Story: Good hair takes some time

Big Hair

There is something about a hair salon. The place has its own rhythm, it’s own life. From the sounds of R&B on the radio, to the whooshing sounds of the hot air from the hair dryers, to the splashing of the water and the flipping of pages as women sit, magazines in hand, awaiting there turn.

For some salon visits can be a very social and fun experience. Lots of laughter, sharing stories and yes, lots of over-sharing. For me, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with salon visits. I’m sharing this Hair Story for my ladies who have ever survived a day at the hair salon in the quest for good hair. Whip your hair back and joy.

9:15 am        

I arrive for my 9:00 am appointment. To my surprise (not) there are 4 clients already there. Waiting.

There’s a client in the stylist’s chair she’s getting a weave (let’s call her Ms. Weave). Another is under the dryer (we’ll call her Dryer Lady).

The assistant is in the back shampooing someone at the sink.

The hot topic of discussion is about the demise of music at the hands of explicit lyrics and BET.

I sigh heavily. It’s going to be a long morning.

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10:00 am

Ms. Weave is finally finished. She heads over to a mirror to check out her new do.

“I’m going on my first date!” says another client (let’s call her, First Date Girl). Although this was meant for the stylist, the blow dryer is going so basically it’s an announcement to the entire room (its a small space). I sense the excitement like a brilliant spark of electricity. Some of us sit up a little straighter, some lean a little forward, ears, like antennae, at the ready.

Ms. Weave, who has not yet finished with the mirror, is apparently in a bit of dilemma. “Should I wear her hair straight or should I have it curled just or a bit or maybe I should have it layered? I don’t knooow” she whines.

She turns her head this way and that, then smoothens her freshly done hair with her hands. She examines her profile.

‘Leave it straight. You look HOT!” a client reassures her.

Ms. Weave pauses for one final look and a perfect hair flip before she deciding she does indeed look HOT. She makes her way, hips swinging and hair bouncing out the door.

One down…and a whole lot more to go. I give another internal sigh.

10:15 am

Dryer Lady, her head bowed and chin resting on her chest, has fallen asleep.

Your Love is My Drug is playing on the radio and someone comments that Ke$ha looks like she needs a bath and a serious shampoo. There’s general agreement.

The stylist’s phone rings. It’s a client who’s on her way and wants to know if she can bring the stylist anything.

“Does anyone want anything?” the stylist shouts. One large cornmeal porridge, some fried plantain and a small order of fried dumplings and ackee and saltfish. Orders are taken.

10:20 am

Two new clients have arrived but not in time to place an order.

The discussion has shifted from first dates and bad music to where to get good Jamaican food. No consensus is reached.

For what seems like the 100th time, I yawn and check my watch.

10:26 am

Two clients are finished and out the door.

Dryer Lady is tapped on the shoulder. She springs awake, eyes wild. It takes her a few seconds to catch her bearings before she makes her way slowly to The Chair.

10:40 am

Two more clients arrive.

We’re running out of chairs.

My stomach growls. I should’ve placed an order when I had the chance.

Lady Gaga’s Alejandro is playing and everyone is in agreement that it is a rip-off of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and some Ace of Base song.

10:46 am

Dryer lady is done. She does a quick check in the mirror before heading out the door.

First Date Girl is next.

Another client has arrived. She takes a seat, well almost. She is perched, back straight, eyes scanning around the room. She frowns then stands up, head held high, shoulders square and announces to the room, “I have a few errands to run. I’ve gotta pick up my dry cleaning, go to the bank, and run to the mall. I’ll be back!” It was as she was addressing her royal subjects. Her Ladyship doesn’t wait for a response before gliding out the door.

My butt is now numb. I shift in my seat then check my watch.

10:50 am

Breakfast has arrived. The stylist and her assistant take a break…fast.

Locked Up by Akon is playing on the radio. To my disappointment, no one comments.

I continue flipping through my third fashion magazine and ponder how many must-haves one must one have to be ready for the summer. Good Lord, this chair is hard.

10:55 am

First Date Girl is done. She does a quick check in the mirror. With a satisfied smile, she got great first date hair going on! She sashays out the door, her hair bouncing almost playfully on her head, like a happy puppy trailing behind her.

The assistant motions me over. Yes!

She drapes the black cape on me. Progress!

I’m the ushered along into The Chair. OMG! I’m so excited I’m practically doing the Running Man, mentally.

11:10 am

The relaxer has been applied to my hair and I’m asked to sit at the sink for a shampoo.

11:20 am

Another client has arrived.

It’s the sister of Your Ladyship. Like her sister, she takes one look at the now crowded room and announces to the stylist – and everyone – that she is going for breakfast and will return in an hour. She too breezes through the door.

11:50 am

I’m under the dryer. I check my phone, read some emails and send a few text messages.

“Heeeey Everyone!” There’s a sudden shift in the energy in the room. It’s filled with momentary excitement. Greetings, hugs, air kisses, and laughter. This one is a popular client – practically a salon celebrity.

Things settle down rather quickly. Unfortunately Celebrity was out partying the night before and hadn’t quite recovered. She is uncharacteristically quiet.

11:56 am

Another client arrives. “Wow! Full house!” she exclaims.

The stylist asks her if she has any errands to run….

I’m back in “The Chair” for styling. Finally.

12:16 pm

I’m finally finished.

I don’t do a mirror check. I don’t care at this point.

A client compliments me on my do, which I barely hear because I’m too focused on paying and getting out.

As a grab my belongings, Celebrity tells me my looks “Great!”. I smile. I’m a fan.

I give a general “Goodbye” to the room and race for the door.

As I exit the salon, a woman getting out of her car, stops and says “Wow, really nice hair!” My smile is even bigger this time. I may have whipped my hair back, just a little and stepped with a bit more sass.

I’m tired as heck, really irritated and very relieved to finally be on my way home but I’ve had three compliments in the span of about two minutes. It’s almost enough to make me forget that I just spent half my day getting my hair did. Almost.

Cassandra McD.

**Disclaimer: The events and clients are fictitious and loosely based on my many years of salon visits. Not all salons are like this – I discovered this later in life.

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How to work: the plaid skirt

How to work: the plaid skirt


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Book Style Inspo: Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

well read: 'never look away' inspired style
The Deal: Wife disappears from an amusement park and this sets off a not so fun series of events for hubster who may or may not be implicated in her disappearance….or murder…
I’d work this look to an amusement park, wouldn’t you (especially if you planned to do a runner!)?
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how to work: a little plaid

the-fashion-alba:

make life easier

How to work: the plaid shirt and little skirt

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