OMG!!!!

So we all have our off days. Today was mine. It all started from last night. I asked my daughter, who is 9 (and mind you, 9 is the new 12 or 13) to borrow her bottle of shampoo.  I get her the good stuff as she has a full curly mane that requires lots of hydration. Between her and her sister, I spare myself and sometimes use the drug store brands once in a while with my short do’s (I’m in the salon regularly anyway), so anyway – I ask her for her shampoo. With this nervous look on her face she tells me that both her shampoo and conditoner – both JUMBO bottles of Biolage that I bought TWO MONTHS AGO – are finished. This is 9 year old code for “I don’t know where it is” or more like “I think I left them in the change room at the pool”…it’s late.  No time to interrogate, I settle for my little tyke’s (she’s 3 going on 23) L’Oreal 2 and 1 Shampoo and Conditioner…no tears. When shower time was over I was even more perplexed to find  that I had next to NO hair products remaining.  No leave in, no styling foam, no NOTHING.  I already knew the sleek look I have been rocking for the past two weeks, which I love (low maintenance, lots of compliments) would NOT be happening the following morning.  I knew then that it was quick to bed, for I will be up at 530 am flat ironing poofy hair.

Did I not miss the 530 wake up call??? 620 I jump out of bed realizing I have 40 mins to shower, style, dress, get the girls together and fly out the door.  Cleverly, I remembered saving the last little emergency bit of styling foam just incase I had to wear the sleek look…but when I exit the shower..the bottle is gone.  It’s the 9 year old! She’s done it again! The moment she hears the water turn on she will come in like a thief in the night and snag mommy’s hair products (as if she does not already have her own!!!)…I swear it’s like living with a teenager already. If it weren’t for the bright red streaks in my hair, I would truly look like a HOT mess.  The red gives the appearance of a more shagged or the “bed head” look (luckily for me), but it’s not the look I would have wanted to go for. So, what did I do? No hair products – bed head hair. I went very light and clean with the make up.  I didn’t want to over do it.  I went for wild/punky/tossled hair; soft in the face (so clear complexion, light make up with a touch of mascara on the upper and lower lashes and shimmery lip gloss).  I kept the blouse and the trousers in-sync (BLACK), a constrast belt around the waste and a soft taupe-rose coloured cardi.  Yes, I mastered this look in 15 minutes.  You get use to it after awhile.  I even opted for no earrings.  The plain, tomboy – yet chic, look.  Problem solved, but could have been well avoided.

So what did I learn from all of this?  

1. Follow my own advice to always wake up 20 mins earlier because you never know what you will have to improvise in the morning.

2. Keep hair products well stocked (I should know better)

3. I am going to take my 9 year old shopping, yet again, for the hair products she feels she might need – to preserve MINE!

4. Keep an emergency stash of all the extras in a drawer at work 😉

Aaand this is me, signing off!

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The Eleventh Commandment – Ameliorate Thyself

You’ve landed the job, you’ve been there 6 months –  a year – two years,  but you’ve suddenly become bored.  Suddenly you start to question how you managed to slave through an undergrad program (possibly a graduate program), bust your butt to land the entry level position you are sitting in, and are now wondering, is this it????

No.  That’s not it.  For there is so much more.  I mean, if you’re arriving on time everyday, doing your work and signing off at 5 pm, well then that might be it.  Eventually (maybe) in about ten or so years, someone may realize that you still work there and might suggest (“suggest”) another position that may interest you.  IF you are looking to move up within a company, however, you need to ensure that you stand out among the rest.  How do YOU stand out from everyone else?   What separates YOU from your fellow peers and co-workers??  This isn’t a time for you to become snakey or competitive (not the bad competitive, anyway), but it is a time for you start thinking about what you can do with yourself to keep ahead of the crowd.  Remember that every year you are sitting in your current position, seemingly comfortable, there are a fresh batch of graduates graduating every three or four months.  You need to stay fresh, educated and with the times – keyboarding skills sharp; communication and language skills on point; attire nice and professional, and while you’re at it, learn a new language or two.

If you’re walking hand and hand with everyone else, and a very attractive offer or position comes to the table, how are you so sure you even have a fighting chance to secure that position?   Think about being at the grocery store .  You’re looking for apples.  You’re going to pick the freshest, healthiest looking apples of the bunch.  The ripest of the bunch.  When they all look just as dull and young (the apples, I mean) as the rest, you tend to have a very hard time choosing one, or might even bypass them altogether, opting for an orange.

So your homework – your challenge is to sit down and write what steps you will take to keep ameliorating your performance.  What positive steps will you take to keep yourself afloat and a head of the crowd.  Enroll in some courses.  If your work offers free continuing education programs, take advantage of one.  All of these extras can be added to the resume and can work wonders for you.  If your resume is outdated and it’s because you haven’t been doing anything to improve your skills in the last little while, you need to get crackin!

Not Sure if He’s the One?…Talk Less, listen more

A lot more.  Dating isn’t easy, much less relationships.  We seem to have this natural ability to embellish upon our qualities, making ourselves seem to offer a lot more than we can – almost like a job interview, except this is more like a “relationship” interview or a “can I get you in bed?” interview, but here’s the problem with these tiny little white lies that we tell….they always come to light.  How long can one really keep up a charade for?  How long can he keep insisting that it’s his mom that lives with him (and not the other way around), until you go there one day and she is trying to kick him out…of his own house? (and of course this makes no sense to you, BECAUSE IT’S NOT HIS HOUSE!!!)

So how can we tell if he’s lying, and when he seems so perfect and you think he might just be relationship material, how do you know he’s the one??? The answer? Talk less and listen more.  This is a concept we often use in law.  You want to get people talking, you have to stop talking and just listen.  I guarantee you he will talk himself into a circle.  Really pay attention to the things he says and how he’s saying it.  You may find some contradictions a long the way or alas, he may just be sincere.

Secondly, does his talk match his actions?  Is he saying one thing and then completely doing another? – The infamous “I donno, I wanna leave my job but I gotta start looking for something…”, follow-up in two weeks.  Has he started or is he still on “gotta start” mode?  If you find that he is always in “gotta start” mode, he is a lazy #%$@#$ and you need to kick his butt to the curb.  A tell-tale sign that he does not have the drive or motivation to do anything for himself, let alone for you or the relationship.

Bear in mind, however, that with all this being said, you yourself need to make sure that you too are being honest about what you can bring to the table in a relationship.  The man doesn’t meet you at 90 percent and you meet him at 10.  You want it to be 50/50 because you want to be valued as an equal partner in a relationship.  Ladies, how do you expect a man to respect you if you cannot do for yourself?  Men who are dating or looking for relationships are shopping for certain qualities of interest in a woman too.  It stretches far beyond physical appearance sometimes (remember your inner beauty reflects your outer and vice versa).

Here’s a tip I will leave with you.  It is true that nice guys always finish last.  There are a lot of attractive, nice, respectable, career-oriented men out there that just don’t get the time of day because we, as women, tend to like “bad boys”.  Here’s some homework for you, however.  The next time you are approached by one of these attractive, nice, respectable, career-oriented men, think about your last few relationships or love-trysts and why they ended; the things you promised yourself (while in those relationships) that you will never allow yourself to succumb to again, and finally what you are genuinely looking for overall.  I’m sure it isn’t a good-looking guy, with a nice body and a criminal record…I can almost guarantee you 🙂

How to Throw A Successful Dinner Party

You don’t have to be MASTER ENTERTAINER to pull this one off, and size of the venue doesn’t really matter either.  Whether you are working with an entire house space, apartment, condo or loft space, these following few tips can help you plan a successful dinner party.

1. Make a list and check it TWICE (a GUESS LIST that is)

Know who you’re inviting and how many people you are working with.  Don’t invite more people than you can accommodate, especially if you’re encouraging your guests to bring guests.  You will want to ensure that there is adequate seating for everyone.  At no given time should any one really have to stand and eat.

2. Theme?

Although this is not necessary (at all), a theme can make a dinner party more interesting.  Whether it is a themed menu (Italian, Mediterranean, West Indian, Vegetarian, Everything Tofu) or themed decor (Hawaiian, The beach, Summer, Winter, Christmas, Colour Scheme, etc).

3. Entertainment

Must have entertainment.  You cannot solely expect your guests to carry the life of the party with conversation.  Especially if you happen to be one of those people who moved every summer as a kid/teen; went to 8 or 9 different schools; and has friends from all different walks of life, who DON’T know each other, might I add.  Background music or music music is a good idea (please do not rely on TV alone).  Games are also fun, although bear in mind that not everyone is going to want to play games, which is okay – as long as the idea is there and there is some sort of entertainment.

4. Be a Good Hostess

Don’t just sit on your a** and expect your guests to help themselves.  It may also help if you have a good friend who can help you host the party, then you won’t feel so depleted by the end of the night and you, too, will be able to enjoy yourself and your guests.

5. Ample Food is a MUST

There should be more food than guests.  DO NOT throw a party with the idea that it is on a first come, first serve basis.  It is always better to have more food left over by the end of the night than to run out before everyone arrives or before everyone has eaten.  If ever you have to choose between a food or decor budget, choose food. It’s a “Dinner” party, not a “Decor” party.

6. Take Food Allergies Into Account

When sending out your invites, it is always a good idea to inquire as to whether any of your guests have any dietary intolerance; peanuts, dairy, wheat/gluten – just to name a few.  Bear in mind you may have a guest who is on a strict vegetarian/vegan diet or does not eat red meat or pork.  These are just a few things to consider.  As “hassling” as it may seem, it is best to accommodate everyone.  It is always better to avoid any potential hazard or danger, or any unwanted trips to the hospital.

7. Put A Muzzle on the Dog/Lock Up the Cat

Yes, the pets live there too and yes it’s their home, but not all your guests may be animal lovers.  Some people are straight terrified of pets.  If you have animals, it is probably better to keep them in a separate room (with a door) for the night.  For allergy purposes, get rid of any dander that may be stuck to cloth furniture and carpet…and for goodness sakes; febreeze, febreeze, febreeze!!!

8. Call A Babysitter

Some (very few) are able to pull off the dinner party after the kids have gone to bed.  Lord knows all of our parents were able to do it in the 70s and 80s, but if you know your child is the type to get out of bed and wander, it might be better to call up Grandma and Grandpa for him to have a visit for the night.  Having your child in his/her pajamas, around a bunch of adults in the wee hours of the morning is not a good look.  Neither is the disappearing act you will have to pull just about every ten minutes trying to put the kid back to bed.

9. Keep the Party Drama Freeee

If you know you have two friends who do not get along anywhere at anytime, then why invite both of them?  Sorry, but you’re going to have to choose.  For the sake of everyone else and for the time you invested in putting this lovely evening together, why put yourself through it?  You don’t want to have to be playing referee at any point during the evening.

10. Clean House – A MUST

Do not invite anyone to an untidy house or apartment.  Your house should be spic and span.  Powder room stocked with toilet paper, tissue, soap, lotion, hand towel and whatever else you deem necessary.

11. Serving Alcohol

Whether you choose to serve alcohol, ask others to bring and what you decide to serve as alcohol is entirely up to you.  Just remember you will want to monitor your guests’ consumption to some degree, and not have anyone driving home while under the influence.

12. Relax

If you have taken the time to plan this evening properly, everything will go smoothly.   If you’ve become a pro at this, you may find some of these hints useful or you may already be taking heed to all of them 😉

The SHAME in borrowing one’s clothes

If you are a grown a** woman, you DO NOT want to be caught in this mess.  Under extreme and dire circumstances, maybe, and if it’s from a bestfriend you have known from childhood who has become more than a sister to you, then perhaps – otherwise you do not want to make this a habit.

You are employed; over the age of 25; a self-respecting woman – you don’t need to borrow clothes from anybody.  Let’s face it, the contours of a woman’s figure vary from woman to woman.  Sometimes it can be very obvious when someone is wearing a “borrowed” dress or suit.  It just doesn’t fit them properly and it looks a lot worse than had they just opted for something recycled.

Always remember that just because you guys are friends, doesn’t mean you guys will look good in the same styles.  What’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander, and what’s worse, the drama that ensues afterward.  What happens when one friend doesn’t want to return the item or there is some sort of falling out?  I’ve seen it time and again and there is nothing worse than being called out in the street about wearing something that does not belong to you, and being asked to take it off….

Oh wait! I know what’s worse – how about the double borrow???  What’s that? You ask.  The double borrow, for example, is when you lend a blouse to a friend, who turns around and lends it to another friend.  You happen to run into the friend of the friend on the street three weeks later, to see her wearing YOUR blouse…C’mon ladies, this is so high school and should not be happening AT ALL.  As a matter of fact, if my daughter was high school age, I would certainly advise her NOT to borrow any clothes from ANYBODY.  Wear what’s yours.

Lastly, I’m sure we all know that regardless of how dire the situation may be, there are just certain items you do not lend out or borrow from others…I will name a few:

BRAS

PANTIES

PANTIES

BRAS

Am  I clear?

The Lonely Finger Syndrome

I have heard this debate time and again, amongst women and men, and it’s a heavy topic amongst my own circle of friends as well. ARE MEN INTIMIDATED BY ATTRACTIVE AND INDEPENDENT WOMEN?  We can probably beat this conversation dead into the ground and still, no outcome.  The fact still remains that people will have their own individual opinion when it comes to this topic.

Ladies (single ladies), I’m sure you have seen it time again – the woman who appears to put no effort or pride in her physical appearance, has a very ordinary job, no sense of style, flare or sense of humour (no sex appeal), yet is sporting the biggest rock on her ring finger, along with a band.  She’s married, clearly.  You wonder how she even landed a proposal.  Then you start to wonder, ‘Did she always look this way or did she just get comfortable?’  And then you begin to pity her and swear to yourself that when you meet Prince Charming and finally marry him one day, that you will NEVER…EVER let yourself go.

So the question is, how do these pre-ball Cinderella-looking women even land a proposal, when there are millions of attractive and intelligent women, with a great career, who are still single?  Are men simply intimidated by the career-oriented woman or is it something about the career oriented woman that is far too complex that she appears to be a turn off for the average man???  Are men intimated by overly attractive women or are overly attractive women too demanding and (perhaps) shallow???  

I will point out that I conducted a rather informal survey amongst different social groups.  The results were cut down the middle. There were many men who admitted to being intimidated by beautiful women with high paying jobs or successful careers.  Those very same men admitted to preferring to date a more “average” looking woman with an “average” job; less headache and lower maintenance.  There were a large amount of successful women who admitted to finding the dating scene very difficult, as they found the people they were dating to feel very insecure and almost uninterested in what they do.  

Interestingly enough, there were an equal amount of men who admitted they prefer to date an attractive and successful woman and found that to be an added bonus.  One thing I happened to notice (and you can agree to disagree) was that the men who do not find an attractive and successful woman intimidating are the men who are quite successful themselves.  I also found that the men who did admit to finding these women intimidating, were men that were facing their own financial or job-related challenges.  Maybe it’s safe to say that, we as women – if we want to find a partner that will compliment our lifestyle – he needs to be on par.  It could definitely have something to do with how he views himself and whether or not he feels as though he measures up.

Ladies, men are not intimidated by our beauty or our success – at least, the RIGHT man will never be.  Be patient and just keep doing whatever it is you are doing, for he will come along.  Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to another woman and asking what she may have that you don’t, because you have no idea what she has to go home to everyday 😉