Fashionista Friday: Blondie

So, I used to have super blonde hair, but then like anything else I wanted a change.  I went to a darker, blonde ombré look and I feel it went pretty well for the winter.  But I can smell Spring, literally, weeks before it shows it’s face.  I have a weird sixth sense that at some point in February or March every year I put my sniffer in the air and can tell Spring is on the way.  I’m away next week and I keep telling everyone when I get back it’s going to be Spring.  This has been met with eye rolling, but I just know.  I don’t know how I know, but I just do.  Spring temperatures are going to greet me on my return.

And with Spring I decided I was due for a change.  A pretty big change.  So I’m attempting to go ultra blond today.  My hair is going to hate me afterwards but I’ve promised to take care of it.

My favourite shampoo is the Goldwell Kerasilk.  Smells amazing and really repairs my hair after I colour it.  

My favourite finishing spray is the Rusk texture spray.  It has a hold to it, but feels like you don’t have hairspray in your hair.  Also, for waves it separates them (without it my waves clump together after about 5 minutes!).

What do you think of the final product?

Funny side note about the shirt I am wearing.  It’s from RW&Co, but the collar is only attached to the shirt at the back.  When I first saw this I thought: Why would they do that?!  So I sewed the front in. Then I realized they didn’t attach the front because when attached I couldn’t get my head through the neck hole.  So then I unsewed it (<– is that a word?), but the collar kept falling out the front.  At this point I took this shirt as a challenge.  I looked for some safety pins but couldn’t find any.  Then I found some body tape that I had received from my husband the first year he did my Christmas stocking (for that disaster story click here).  You are supposed to use the tape to secure plunging fabrics to your body so you don’t have any mishaps (because, you know, I have SO many plunging necklines in my wardrobe 😉 ).  Anyways, I took it out, taped the collar to my neck and now as long as I don’t make any sudden jerky movements it stays put all day long.  Problem solved.


So this happened: A day late, I know!

Sorry, sorry, I’m late, I know.  But I spent the weekend taking my eight and five year old to an indoor waterpark hotel.  BY MYSELF.  Imagine chuck-e-cheese with water, magic wands and screaming kids running around the hall at midnight while you try to sleep.  So I feel like I can have a days leeway, no?

If you haven’t been following these posts a) umm, where have you been?, and b) you can catch up on them here and we can be on speaking terms again ;).

These past few weeks I have been sharing with you my best and worst experiences as a hairstylist.  Enjoy x

#6 (one of the worst).

A mom walked into the salon about a year ago and asked if I had time for her daughter’s haircut.

The mom spent the first ten minutes telling me that not one of the five salons she’s already taken her to has been able to cut her hair properly. Now, when people start bashing other salons I really take it with a grain of salt. If I’ve learned anything in the past ten years of being a hairstylist you just can’t please everyone. Cutting styles and techniques are different, personalities are different- sometimes it’s not necessarily a bad haircut, it just not a good fit.

The mom wanted me to cut her daughter’s hair into a chin length bob. I looked at the daughters hair as she was running around the store and I could already see it was crooked from the last haircut. I told the mom it wasn’t a problem, I could even it out, she just had to pick a chair to sit in.

The mom shook her head. “No she doesn’t really like to sit down in a chair, so you will just kind of have to chase after her and cut it.”

“Have you ever tried sitting her in a chair?” I asked, looking at the almost four year old that was pulling all of the toys that are for sale off the shelves and opening them.

“No, but I asked her and she doesn’t want to,” the mom replied. “And I’m not going to make her do something she doesn’t want to do.”

Every siren in my head was going off at this point. I get this new-age concept of children’s independence, but there comes a time that you are the adult and they are the child and sometimes they’re just going to have to do things that they don’t want to do.

“That’s a very precise haircut,” I explained. “Why don’t we try sitting her on a chair, and if she gets upset then we can go from there.”

I walked over to the little girl and asked her what chair she would like to sit in, and she pointed to one. Ok great.

I got the little girl in the chair, got the cape on, sectioned her hair and asked her to look down.

“No,” she told me and started to rip the clips out of her hair.

“No, honey, I need those in to cut your hair,” I explained taking the second clip from her hand after she threw the first one on the floor.

I turned to the mom and asked her if she could help show her daughter something by her feet so she will look down.

“No,” the mom told me. “I’m not going to make her do something she doesn’t want to do.”

“Okay, but I need her to look down for this haircut in order to make it even at the back. You want it right to her hairline, right?”

“You went to school for this right?” she asked me with the snottiest tone. “It’s not our responsibility to figure out how you do your job.”

At this point I was in shock, and just blinked at her.

“I can cut your daughter’s hair if you would like, but that’s why it isn’t even,” I tried to explain as the little girl then proceeded to throw anything she could grab while I tried to pull things out of her grasp so she wouldn’t break anything as the mom stared at me. “I think at this point I should just try and even out the longer side instead of taking it any higher because it’s going to be even more uneven.”

“Whatever,” the mom replied.

Somehow, forty-five minutes later I had evened out the one side and it looked much better. Was it perfect? Nope. The mom lifted her down half way through the haircut because the girl said she was bored.

After they left I got a text from my friend to say the mom had posted a review on a Mommy Facebook Page how I was rude and yet again, she has yet to find anyone who can cut her “really patient” daughter’s hair.

In all honesty I shouldn’t have cut her daughter’s hair, and since then I have turned a few people away. Not because the child was a challenge – I never have a problem with that. But I do turn people away now if they can’t show me an ounce of respect. For years I spent countless hours worrying over how I could have made people like her happy, now I understand that I can’t. No one can. But luckily there are hundreds of families I see every month that are very happy, and their happiness makes me happy.

And really that’s what it should be about.

#5 (one of the best).

My daughter is a character. I’ve brought her into the salon with me ever since she was a little girl. She loves it- always asking when she can come back again.

She’s the first one to greet someone as they walk through the door. She talks to everyone while they are having their haircut (between the two of us chatting away with everyone it get’s quite noisy in there!). She suggests a nail color for the little girls to go with their new haircut. She loves offering the little kids lollipops.

She wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up, but she told me last week that she wants to learn cosmetology as well so she can design the clothes but also style the model’s hair and do their makeup. She’s very ambitious and she has the gift of the gab.

I love to watch her at the salon. When she is there, she feels like she is working there. That they are our clients, and tries to make everyone feel comfortable and have a good time. I love that she knows the importance of hard work and determination, and she never shies away from it.

Also, she’s quickly getting better than me at braids!

Fashionista Friday: The Face Wand

For this week’s Fashionista Friday I have to rewind to Christmas. I love Christmas, and that is probably the understatement of a lifetime. I love the lights, carols, spending time with family. I also happen to LOVE receiving my stocking. Since I was a kid, my favorite gift on Christmas has always been my stocking. My mum would fill it with fun lip glosses, nail polish, books, rings or a piece of jewelry. It’s the thing I look forward to most on Christmas morning. When my husband got passed on the duty of my stocking, I think it was a little nerve wracking for him.

“What do you want in it?” he asked.

“Anything!” I replied. I love the surprise of the stocking, maybe that’s why it is my favorite thing. I like taking out all the little trinkets and trying them out.

The first year my husband did my stocking he went on “” and ordered everything.

Yep, you can imagine how that turned out.

The first thing I opened was a lipstick that you could write on the mirror with. When he saw my unimpressed face he commented, “Now you can leave me a note on the bathroom mirror.”

“Why would I ever do that?” I asked. “Then I would just have to clean it off.”

Another gem was a white plastic dome that you could put onto the side of anything hollow (pop can, box, garbage can, etc.) and it would turn into a speaker.

“Why would I stand next to a garbage can and listen to music?”

At the bottom of my stocking was a little pocket book: Urban Slang Dictionary.

“If young people can’t speak English, I don’t want to speak to them anyways!”

Needless to say it didn’t go down well.

After that first attempt, the hubby wised up and just walked around Shopper’s Drug Mart on Christmas Eve with all the other men and the world has returned to normal.

I tell you all of this, because my feature for this week’s Fashionista Friday is something I received in my stocking this year (and who doesn’t love a good backstory?).

My husband got me a Clinique face wand kit this year. It basically is like a big electric toothbrush for your face. You put a bit of foaming cleanser on it (it came with samples and I am still making my way through them, but you can use any facial cleanser you like), and run it over your face for thirty seconds.

Oh boy, does it ever make a difference. My skin feels so soft, and the undertone of pink in my skin on my t-zone has been reduced. I use it once a day in the evening and my skin feels fresh all throughout the next day as well. The charge on it last for about a month and then you plug it in for an hour or so and you are good to go for another month. It weighs next to nothing and comes with a cute travel pouch to take with you on holidays. The machine itself was $99.00, and I believe the replacement heads are around $20, but depending how aggressive you get with your face I would say the head should last you at least 3 months if not longer.

If you are thinking of getting one I would suggest even looking in your local department store (like the Bay or Sears) because they usually have a free gift with purchase for Clinique products. Or you can luck out like my husband did and get free movie tickets from Shopper’s Drug Mart with a Clinique purchase (can I get a woot, woot?)!

If you write it: Things are coming along nicely, if I do say so myself.

Oh, I am in full writing mode now. I’ve started June Jenson book three which has yet to be named (very excited about it, but also very sad to see the series come to an end). I’m also starting to write my Christmas novel. I’m not entirely sure how this will go, writing both of them at the same time. I don’t want to confuse any voices or tones because the two novels are very different, but if I get an inkling something isn’t right, I will stop the Christmas novel and focus on June until she is done. The June Jenson books always take longer to write than my more traditional women’s fiction novels because of the research and history that has to be woven into them. I love incorporating all the history into the novels, but it can also be very limiting. I can’t have June do anything I want her to do (as I can with my other novels) because I have to skirt the lines of history to make them come together in the end and sound credible. I’m hoping that by working on both books at the same time, I won’t feel as confined as I did writing the second June Jenson book. Or I could just be setting myself up for disaster, we’ll see! Should be fun ;).

My dad called me this week as well, and told about a dream he had that he thought would be a good plot for a story. He was right, it’s a cracker. So much so, that at the moment I want to abandon everything and write it. Unfortunately, I like order too much and can’t abandon something; I have to see it through to the end. Instead, I spent last night making piles of notes so that when I am able to write this new story I will remember all the plot points and characters that are swimming around in my head.

So this just happened: And the stories continue!

Last week I shared one of my worst and best stories from the magical world of hairstyling (click here to read).  Don’t worry, they only keep getting better and better.

#8 (one of the worst, but kind of funny after the fact!)

I got a frantic call from a mother a few years ago, and she was in tears. Her one daughter had cut her other daughter’s hair (Side note: this happens ALL the time, and let me tell you, children CAN cut hair with craft scissors!). Anyways, I told the mom to bring her daughter in and we will do what we can. Ten minutes later they come in and it was even startling to me. In some spots this little girl had no hair left. She went from shoulder length hair everywhere to the worst mullet I’d seen. The poor mom was still in tears, the daughter was really upset about her hair and the other daughter, bless her, was crying and seemed like she was in a lot of trouble. I did what I could (which unfortunately wasn’t much), and we picked out some cute headbands that luckily made it seem like the little girl had just pulled her bangs back. It’s really all that could be done at that point. After everyone had a lollipop and the mom sat down for a bit, everyone was a little calmer. I turned and asked the older sister why she had decided to cut her younger sister’s hair instead of her own, and she looked up at me with such innocent eyes and said, “Well, I didn’t want to look like that.”

#7 (one of the best)

When I first opened my own salon a little boy came in the very first week for a haircut. To say he hated it was an understatement. He’s autistic so hands, combs and scissors being in close proximity to his face always upsets him. I have been cutting his hair for a few years now, sometimes taking up to an hour with a lot of patience and Smarties. Sometimes we cut his hair while he is walking around and I follow him getting a snip of hair whenever we can. Sometimes I cut his hair while we sit on the floor. Sometimes his haircut takes a few weeks to complete with multiple visits and cutting what we can. This week he came in, gave me a hug and sat down in the chair with his iPad. He sat still for the entire haircut, even chatted with me a little (which NEVER happens). His mom was blown away. I was blown away. It was humbling to see this boy have enough faith and trust in me to sit so comfortably still during something I know makes him very uncomfortable. Moments like this is why I do what I do.

Fashionista Fridays: Oh, you pretty little things!

Fashionista Fridays:

If you follow my Instagram feed (@emilyswhitelies) you will know I am somewhat obsessed with the amazing Stella and Dot line. This week’s post is about the recent gems I have nabbed to make my ears look ever so pretty.

First is these amazing Asher earrings (link to purchase). I mean, let’s all just take a moment and admire them. Sigh…

They are pretty light and my favourite thing about them is they are a combination of silver and gold, so I can wear a combination of necklaces and rings with them. They really jazz up a pair of jeans and button down top, and I think they will really rock with a summer dress (that is, if we ever see the glorious sun again!). They come in at $54.00, but honestly they are worth every penny. They don’t irritate my ears which 99.9% of all fashion jewelry usually does- one of the main reasons I love Stella and Dot so much, as this has never happened with one of their pieces. I give them 9/10, only losing a point because I find sometimes the connection between the dangly part and the part that goes through my ear (yeah, I’m super technical in my descriptions ;)), gets caught and I have to wiggle them a little to hang free again.

Second is these super trendy ear climbers (link to purchase). I’ll admit that when I first ordered them I was a little unsure. Because they go up the side of my ears I was worried it would give me a bit of an elfish look (I don’t know why, but you know me- I worry about the weirdest things!). They actually look really chic on. I’m planning to rock then with a ponytail soon, but I desperately need my highlights done and I’ve been wearing my hair down recently to try and not bring attention to this fact, ha! I give them a full 10/10 because I don’t feel them when they are on, they look stunning and I have received a lot of compliments on them. I’m thinking of hinting to the hubby a gold pair would be a welcome Valentine’s present.

If you write it: Audiobooks

A while ago a friend told me that she loved to listen to audiobooks on her drive to work (she has quite a long drive, so she goes through a few audiobooks a month). I’d never really considered an audiobook before, but on her recommendation I gave it a go. I subscribe to, which costs me $9.99 a month and gives me a credit for one free audiobook. Sometimes I go through more than one audiobook a month depending on the length, but other times I have credits from a previous month and just use those (they accumulate so you never lose them and they don’t expire). Audiobooks usually cost around $30.00 each, so I’ve found the subscription really good value.

I’m hooked. I feel like I am actually accomplishing something on my commute now, rather than a necessity of just getting from point A to B. So far my favourites are autobiographies. I have never read an autobiography before, mainly because I am not a huge nonfiction fan. But there is just something about having the author read their own story to me that makes me feel like we are sitting down, chatting about their life. Favourite autobiography of 2016: tied between Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” and Michael McIntyre’s “Life and Laughing”.

I also really enjoy listening to literary fiction via audiobooks. Again, literary fiction isn’t something I would run to pick up myself, not because I don’t appreciate it, but because I think I am lazy. They just tend to take a little longer to fully engulf me, and I don’t seem to have time or the patience for it. Best literary fiction of 2016: Anthony Doerr’s “All The Light We Cannot See”. There is no chance I would have been able to sit down and read this book, but listening to it drew me into the world of the two main characters and I was hooked. So much so, that when I would get home in the evening, I would sometimes sit in the driveway to listen to just one more chapter. Brilliant, that’s all I can say.

Honorable mentions for 2016: I listened to all of the Harry Potter books. Okay, I know what you are thinking. This was an easier choice for me because I am kind of obsessed with Harry Potter. Well, let me tell you, I didn’t know Harry Potter could get any better until I listened to the audiobooks. The narrator, Jim Dale, turns each book into a one man play. He was simply sensational, and I fell in love with the books once more (something I hope I never stop doing with each new read).

Right now I am currently listening to the audiobook of The Light Between Oceans. I love it so far (I’m about half way through). Again, not something I think I would read curled up on the couch (those tend to be more romance or mystery books), but I am really enjoying it. It’s one of those novels that about three chapters in you think, uh oh, this isn’t going to end well. Time will tell, but I am loving the journey. And now I totally want to live in a lighthouse.

So this just happened:

I’ve owned a children’s hair salon for five years now, but I’ve been a hairstylist for over ten years. Side note: you know, on a normal day I really don’t feel old at all, but when you start putting down on paper that you have been a hairstylist for the last ten years you think- man, maybe I am getting old!

Anyways, I can tell you that as a hairstylist I have seen it all. At this point, I’m not even sure what it would take to phase me.   Especially working in a children’s hair salon (and 9 times out of 10 it’s the parents that shock me).

I thought I would spend this month’s Monday posts sharing with you my top 10 best and worst moments in the hair industry.

#10 (one of the worst)

So, it is only fitting that we start the list with my very first day roughly ten years ago at another children’s hair salon. Now, as you may or may not know most boys don’t like getting their hair cut. (And “don’t like it” is probably the understatement of a lifetime.) I’ve been kicked, punched, pinched- you name it, it’s probably happened to me. I never really mind because I understand the kids are little and they are scared. I try and make them as relaxed and as calm as possible, but sometimes they are sitting lovely and they suddenly remember what is happening and a fist comes out of nowhere. Luckily at this point I have the reflexes of a cat, so I avoid the left hooks most days!

Anyways, back to my first day. A boy came into the salon and the mom wanted his hair cut. OK, no problem, I thought. He was around six (the mom told me he was in grade one, but he was sick that day so she thought she would bring him in for a haircut- oh, lovely, cheers for that!). Well, he lost it. LIKE LOST IT! He was kicking, screaming, so much so I couldn’t even get near him with the flailing limbs. Now seeing that today wouldn’t phase me, but for my first day I was a little hesitant (so young, so naïve ;)). Anyways, I suggested to her that maybe because he wasn’t feeling well, it might be better to try another day, but no she wasn’t going to be deterred. She said, “It’s okay, I know what to do.” She then proceeded to take her six year old, and pull him onto her lap (he was almost as big as she was) and started to breastfeed him. She looked up to me and said, “Okay, cut his hair now.” I’m not sure what I was more shocked about, that this massive boy who was almost as big as her was currently being breastfed to calm him down or the fact that she wanted me to cut his hair like that.

Okay, now before you get your pitch forks out, I have no problem with breastfeeding your kids. Good for you! Breastfed, bottle fed, spoon fed, whatever! I’m just not entirely comfortable watching a six year old do it while I am trying to cut his hair. Call me crazy!

#9 (one of the best)

A dad had come in with his two daughters. The younger daughter was wearing a wooly hat, and the older daughter had beautiful ringlets. Once the older daughter had picked her chair, I turned to dad and asked, “What are we doing today with her hair?”

He looked at me and said, “We are shaving it all off.”

I paused, waiting for him to laugh thinking he was teasing his daughter (which 99.9% of dads do), but he was serious. I frowned at him and looked at the girl in the chair.

“Like all of it?” I asked. “Or you just want it shorter?”

He shook his head, “Nope, all of it.”

“Oh okay, umm, is everyone okay with this?” I asked, wondering if I was going to have a sobbing little girl in the chair after we were done.

“Yep,” he nodded and looked down at his daughter. “Do you want to tell Miss Emily why you want to shave your head?”

She nodded and looked up at me. “My sister has cancer and lost all her hair and thinks she looks ugly, but I think she looks cool. If I shave my head we can be cool together.”

Oh my god, it took everything inside of me not to fall into a sobbing mess right then and there. I looked at the younger little girl smiling at her big sister and I just nodded and smiled. It’s all I could do. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t say a single thing because I thought if I opened my mouth I would burst into tears.

The situation could have been so sad (and it was), but it was also filled with hope and love, so it totally had to make the top ten list.  We shaved the big sister’s head, and she was right. They both looked amazing.


Fashionista Fridays: The WunderBrow

Every time I go on Facebook (which is far too often), I am constantly seeing “sponsored posts” of products Facebook has decided I would like. After much resistance on my part- meaning I held out for a grand total of five days before buying it- I splurged and bought the WunderBrow.

Haven’t heard of it, you say? Well, let me tell you, I am about to change your life.

I’m not a huge makeup person. I like makeup, but my routine pretty much consists of a bit of eye shadow and mascara. Foundation I wear to weddings or special events because a) I tend to break out if I have anything on my face for more then five minutes and b) it just seems like a lot of work to put it on every day. Recently, however, I had my makeup done for headshots and the makeup artist penciled in my eyebrows. I was unsure about it at the time, but once I saw a photo of myself I realized that a defined eyebrow actually does make a huge difference for my face. Maybe because I am very fair skinned, maybe because I have lighter hair- who knows? The point is it made a difference, at least to me it did.

Fast forward a few months and I see the Wunderbrow coming up on my Facebook feed all the time. Well, I had to try it, didn’t I? The Facebook gods were practically demanding it. So, I bought it, and the results are in:


I would call it a cross between a gel and a liquid liner, but then it dries to look like an eyebrow pencil (I don’t know how it does it, so don’t ask!). I don’t use the brush that it comes with because I attempt to have a light hand when applying and the thick brush tends to be too heavy. Instead, I use my angle brush I got in one of my IPSY bags (another post for another day, I’m sure), and apply it using that. It allows me to get thin short strokes in an attempt to get it to look natural. Yes, I want my gorgeous fake eyebrows to look like they are naturally sculpted to perfection. And it works! Don’t believe me? Well, see for yourself!  

You really should try it.  It cost me around $30 including tax and shipping and I reckon there is enough in the bottle for six months use.  It’s also waterproof and if you YouTube it, there is a woman pouring all sorts of liquid over her face to prove it (forget the product, it’s worth the search just to see what else she finds to pour all over her face- we’re talking juice, milk, I was waiting for someone to bring out the garden hose!). But word to the wise: really enunciate if you plan on talking about this with anyone.  My dad was on the phone with me when it arrived in the mail and he thought I said my Wonderbra had arrived, and I was going on about how excited I was to try it out!