Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stress and Adrenaline... (How They Met)

As you inch up foot by foot at a 90 degree angle, head firm against the headrest, eyes closed, arms outstretched, fists clenched... heart beating like a drum, your mouth waters as it prepares for a blood curdling scream and nervous uncontrollable laughter... this is stress at it's best, a rush of epinephrine (aka adrenaline) as you plummet into the swirls and curls of the best roller coaster you have ridden all year. This type of stress is the good kind. It's the same sort of stress you experience when trying to reach a goal and you are almost there, when you are presenting something at work to land that "big deal", asking for a raise, or getting ready to have a baby for the first time. You are nervous, scared, excited and feel you could vomit at any moment but deep down you know that in the end it will all be okay. 

Life has it's ups and downs, we all know that. But what you may not have known is that there IS good stress (let's face it, we all know there is bad stress.) I recently read an article in one of my favorite Psychology magazines that talked about what happens to our bodies physically, emotionally, physiologically  and chemically during stress of different kinds and it sparked the idea to blog about it. It was a truly fascinating article, so I will share some of what I learned. For me, this article explained physiologically why in the past three years I have been able to accomplish so much and literally turn my life around after being at such a low point simply by changing my frame of mind. From this article I learned that I also inadvertently changed my type of stress and when that happened; everything changed for me. I became this unstoppable machine ready to conquer the world with both feet in and hands in the air. I began looking at everything in a different way, I looked at obstacles as challenges not as threats. I changed my outcome by doing what I had to do and decided that NOTHING was going to stop me or derail my future EVER again. I embraced adversity more than I ever had, and decided that I would WIN no matter what.

Now for the scientific explanation (the cliff note version in case you are not turned on by intellectual information like I am.) There are three chemicals in the brain that are forced into action during stress... epinephrine, nor epinephrine, and cortisol. Now here's what they mean to our stress levels.

Good stress is riding a roller coaster... having sex, giving a presentation, climbing a mountain; lots of epinephrine a little bit of nor epinephrine, and cortisol is slowly oozing in... this is challenge stress, the good kind, the kind that makes you want to wake up and roast the beans AND make the coffee. Healthy stress helps you achieve great things.

It is the day before you have to give a speech in front of tons of people, all eyes will be on you... the success of it could make or break your career. You can't sleep, you have no appetite, you worry that you will fail. The day of the presentation you are still worried and you are beginning to forget everything you were going to say, you are not focused you are lost... epinephrine runs rabid, nor epinephrine follows abruptly and begins outweigh the epinephrine which causes more constriction on your blood vessels, your heart rate increases but the blood is not flowing as freely and cortisol intrudes in a big way. Your hands go cold, you are numb... this is threat stress. NOT good!

Beyond this is the worst kind, when epinephrine is being released in the smallest amount, and cortisol is the main game player. This is where high stress, heart attack waiting to happen, anxiety attack stress sets in. DEADLY stress that you must avoid at all costs. People who have this type of stress have also been found to have trouble remembering things that have emotion attached to them. (My question is could this be what happens to Alzheimer patients? What about people who experience post traumatic stress syndrome?) You just witnessed how my mind works and how my research begins. ugh my brain never shuts off.

Okay so now that I have bored some of you you to death... let's get back to Shelley talk on this topic.

This is the cool part... everyone has a different stress threshold, in other words, how much we can handle before we snap. Some of it is psychological, some of it genetic. Some of us, (me) love challenges because they are there to conquer, so I would assume I have a higher threshold than most. (If not, I would never be writing this I can promise that!) However it is Physiologically PROVEN that how you let a situation of stress affect you has everything to do with the outcome. Here is a scenario that the article used as an example: 

You come home after a day of torrential rain, your basement is flooded and the water is till rising. Your spouse is pacing and cursing and can't think straight. You arrive the problem solver, your mind is sharp as a tack, yes you are upset, but your mind is clear and you know what to do. You run to the local hardware store and get a pump, you return home and begin pumping the water from the basement. You sigh in relief as the water level rapidly decreases, problem solved. (Your spouse is still cursing)

Okay, so do you see how changing the way things and situations affect you can change the outcome in the end? I hope so.

Shift your mindset, change your "stinkin thinkin" and things will change all around you faster than you can grasp them. I PROMISE!

Three years ago I was in a mess.... everything around me was a mess, I was an emotional basket case and could not think straight. I had NO idea WHAT I was going to do because I was clouded by all the anxiety. I guarantee my cortisol levels were OFF the charts. So what did I do? Well... personally being a girl of faith; I prayed REALLY hard. I asked God to take over and I trusted he would. I was spent, had nothing left, so I handed over the "worry" to Him. I stopped worrying about things I could not change and began changing the things I HAD control over and from that point until now my life has turned around 180 degrees. 

For you, it may not be handing worry over to God, you may not even believe in God.... and that's okay; I am not here to judge you, it's not my place now and never will be. However you must become a problem solver in your own life in order to change your outcome. Stress out in a good way, look at adversity as a challenge to do more and do it better. Don't let cortisol take over, all you have to do in order to beat defeat is to keep the adrenaline (aka Epinephrine) pumping strong.

Challenge yourself EVERY SINGLE DAY, with what comes your way naturally and with what you may be able to create to get excitement going. You will live longer, be more fulfilled and happiness will OOZE out of your pores so much everyone around you will want to smack the smile off your face... great thing is you won't even care! 

Have a great night everyone! YOU ROCK & I'LL ROLL!

xoxo
~Shells~







Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memory of Fallen Soldiers....

As this nice long weekend comes to an end, I feel rested, relaxed, and content. I am thankful that I have my family and that I have been fortunate enough to have never lost a soldier that I knew in combat. I think of the many people that have lost a father, a son, a daughter, a mother, an uncle, an aunt or a cousin and know that today was something very different for them. It was a reminder that they are gone... that they fought for our country; but lost their fight for you and I.  I am humbled by the thought that today they mourned their losses as we celebrated an extra day off of work, paraded the beaches and devoured flame-broiled burgers and patriotic themed desserts with friends and family. It makes me realize that in a sense, just like many other national holiday's, many of us forget what the day is truly about; and even when we do remember what Memorial Day is for, we have made it a day of celebration and joy. We should instead be sharing a moment of silence for those that fought and won our battle yet lost theirs. We should think of the families that are left behind, and pray for their strength in moving on.

Although I agree that we should celebrate our freedom on Memorial Day with smiles and pride, we should also never forget nor ever take for granted the many lives that have been sacrificed and changed by war both present and past.

I am happy to say that  although I have several family members that have served  and still serve in all branches of the military, I am lucky to not have lost them to war. However today, I have also remembered their courage and honor in defending what we know as FREEDOM.

Have a great night everyone, and before you go to bed... have a moment of silence for our fallen men and women.

xoxo
~Shells~


To our country's fallen soldiers...
"We have been blessed by your courage to fight for our freedom, thank you for giving of yourselves for the sake of others. May you never be forgotten and may your sacrifice never be taken for granted. May your families be blessed and may you forever be in their hearts." 

♥ Memorial Day is for YOU. ♥
©2012 Shelley Giard


Friday, May 25, 2012

Land of the Free, Home of the Fake

Is anyone REAL anymore? I remember when a picture was unable to be photo-shopped, when we grew old gracefully, when a little girl could just be a little girl and never worried about her weight or her hair being combed perfectly, when I was proud to say that although I had no boobs, I had a butt and that you could buy boobs but you couldn't buy a butt... um yeah, now you can buy a butt. We have Botox and Restalin to hide our ages, we have Photoshop and photo programs to alter how we look in pictures, we get hair plugs & extensions, we wear fake lashes, we drink muscle milk and get B12 shots, we get our lips plumped, tummies tucked, butts perked, skin peeled, fake tanned  and boobs bigger all for the sake of  what? Self Esteem? Maybe that is the initial intention.... to make ourselves happier, to be more fulfilled, to boost our self esteem, so we give in to those  "quick fixes" to"appear" perfect, but in the end if you don't fix who you are on the inside you wasted your time and money.

I am happy to say that although I do color my hair and wear makeup to enhance my natural appearance, I have never altered my body or facial structure despite all the hype. I was afraid to... and frankly decided it was not worth it. I did not want to be a statistic, I am sure I fall into other statistical categories so I did not need another notch on my belt. Instead.... I decided to work on my INSIDE, who I am, what I stand for and who I intend to be. It's what most people DON'T do. It takes being honest about your faults... taking responsibility for your mistakes and actions and fixing what you messed up or what other people messed up for you. I must say when your soul and heart are good, you become super sexy on the outside. You no longer care what people think because you are happy with YOU and THAT'S what matters. When you stop trying to impress people and just be yourself, after discovering who that is; life becomes amazing and it reflects on the outside. I work on myself and my attitude every day, I read books to help me, fill my head with positive stuff... hang around positive people and avoid toxic people and toxic situations at all costs. Oh... and I DON'T watch the news!

Once you fix the inside... you can work on the outside if you want, it's only then that it will it truly matter. I choose healthy living and THAT is happiness to me. Try it... you may like it!

" When you are ugly on the inside, it does not matter what dream cream you use on the outside; 
you are still UGLY!" ©2012 ShelleyGiard


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Drama Happens Step Right In....

It IS only Wednesday right? I am wondering if it is National call your friend Shelley the hair slinging therapist week. HA! I of course do not mind one bit, it actually makes me happy that my friends and family look to me for advice and support and I am ALWAYS eager to be there for them. This week however I have had an incredible influx of drama going on in others lives around me with sadness, anger, crying and confusion so my therapeutic mind has been sent into overload. Hence why there has been a lack of blog posts the past two days; I was mentally drained from absorbing tribulations and giving advice, when I could probably use some myself. <3

Let's face it, we all have some level of drama going on in our lives at some point or another. Dysfunction happens, life happens and well.... it's how you choose to deal with it that makes you or breaks you. We cannot always control the "happenings" but we can control what happens afterwards with the right mindset. When your life is a shambles or a situation has you wanting to jump from a cliff to ease the pain (I am figuratively speaking of the cliff jumping ;I certainly hope NONE of my readers would ever think of doing that) you just have to take the time to breathe a little bit deeper and figure out a game plan to deal with whatever has crossed your path. You have to be HONEST with yourself and think of the entire thing from ALL sides of the playing field, in other words before you can DEAL with it you have to clear your head and think straight before making any decisions of how to fix what has happened. THIS is the hard part because we ALL... yes MEN TOO, have emotions that take over us and emotions sometimes lead to VERY bad decisions. Your gut will lead you to the good ones so listen to that LOUD AND CLEAR!

As I said, we all have issues... me included; but if you just put your mind to work and listen to your gut instead of your heart better decisions will be made. Your heart may be in love with that new shiny car on the showroom floor but your gut says your bank account could be sent into a downward spiral if you give in to that skeezer car salesman making you drool and promising your car payment will be $5 a month. Your HEART is great for keeping you alive but it does not always keep you making mindful decisions. Your gut has nothing to gain but a good burp... hence make it VERY best friend!

My insight for today... 

"Life is like a lot like the wind... sometimes it flows soft and steady, other times you have sudden gusts and there are the occasional knock you on your ass windstorms and hurricanes. But just like the wind, life eventually gets soft and steady once again and all you have to do is clean up the mess and move on" ©2012 ShelleyGiard




xoxo
~Shells~

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cool Girls Rock!

All of my life I have related to guys much better than the average girl. I played with G.I Joe and army men, hated Barbie dolls, liked digging for worms, building things with my dad, playing in dirt and Tonka trucks ROCKED in my young little world! I was a cheerleader for two years in elementary school because I was not allowed to play football and because that's what girls were "supposed" to do; but ended up being more fulfilled being one of two girls on the boys baseball team instead. Girls were just too girly, too pretentious, pink and catty and I wanted NOTHING to do with them.

As I got older I wanted that "good girlfriend" and through many back stabs I am finally lucky enough to have some and most of them are JUST like me; they typically don't dig chicks. I grew up to be a tomboy in a prissy package, so when I meet cool chicks I get excited.Girls are so competitive with one another, they look at a girl and instantly "compare" themselves. I suppose it is a lack of confidence to not be able to appreciate a beautiful face, body and personality and to genuinely be excited for the accomplishments of another female and it's sad :(

This weekend I spent time with 11 BEAUTIFUL girls, making them even more beautiful for pictures in a magazine; a few have graced the covers and pages of national magazines, been on TV, and have modeling resume's that will spin your head. They were ALL amazing inside and out. I could have easily been intimidated by the beauty that surrounded me but instead I enjoyed getting to know them, admiring and appreciating how beautiful they were and was amazed at how humble and genuine they were as women. It was simply refreshing to be around them.

Speaking to the women who are reading; I am not sure I can change who you are... but I can say that finding self confidence sometimes means appreciating the beauty in others instead of being jealous of it. I used to be one of the girls who would compare myself to others and the day that I stopped doing that I was set free of many of my insecurities and probably became a little sexier. Ask any man... and they will all say the same thing; confidence is sexy and  jealousy is ALWAYS ugly!

Thanks to a great weekend with great girls I have once again been reminded that cool chicks really do exist!

xoxo 
~Shells~











Sunday, May 20, 2012

ALWAYS Mixing Business With Pleasure ;)

Now that I have grabbed your attention, I have to say that I truly & wholeheartedly believe in the title of this post. Whoever came up with the saying "don't mix business with pleasure" obviously hated their job and was probably terribly unsuccessful. Perhaps the person should have been more specific in their "quote", because I mix business with pleasure EVERY SINGLE DAY; it is one of the many reasons life is so happy for me. I LOVE my job, I am passionate about it, and that is priceless. I have blogged many times on how to improve your life and be a happier you... and one of the first things I HIGHLY recommend is to find pleasure in the business of what you do, and if you can't... do something else. I can't say it enough.

I spent the last two days working with an amazing team creating content for an online magazine. 12 beautiful models, a fabulous photographer, the magazine owner and production manager. It was a great two days and a solid reminder of how much I love what I do and how valuable that is. If I did not have to pay bills I would totally do it for free and that is the God's honest truth. Everyone has a passion, and somehow you CAN make a living feeding it if you want it bad enough and work hard to get it. Risk is something that you have to face to reap rewards worth talking about. I am sure Donald Trump has taken his share of risks and likely failed a few times, but when you live with no regrets life is always better.

I am posting TWO blogs tonight because I came up with two ideas, so this one is my short and sweet one that is likely a different delivery of stuff I have said before. However repetition is the key to making something sink in so I will say it again...


"Do what you love or find love in what you do!" Shelleygiard©2012

xoxo
~Shells~

PS> I also mixed business with pleasure in the way the quote was talking about and found a great guy because of it! I say TRUMP that saying altogether!

Here is a quick look at what mixing business with pleasure over the past few years have looked like for me



















Friday, May 18, 2012

Tonight's Inspiring Topic Is... FAMILY

Twelve hour days make me tired... but not too tired to deliver on a promise to my readers and that was a promise to blog tonight. Granted, I knew today would be long, but not twelve hours long; so when I made that promise I had no idea I would be this exhausted. Hopefully I will make sense... and be able to find an inspiring notion to talk about tonight. As you may have figured out by now with my incessant babbling it hasn't hit me yet, but if I just keep typing it will come to me... I know it will. (just bare with me and grab some coffee or something just in case) HA! Just kidding (sort of)

Luckily I have an APP for that (moments like this when I need a second brain) Tonight I will rely on my trusty notepad app on my cell phone for the topics that fly into my head when I am driving, or sleeping or doing nothing.... so thanks to my previous brainstorming tonight's topic will be... (drum-roll please)

MENDING FAMILY BRIDGES

In my many years of being a stylist and having people vent in my chair, I have come to realize how lucky I am to have such a close family. Although there are miles between us we still manage to keep in touch, talk every chance we get and of course Facebook and Skype has made day to day keeping up with one another VERY accessible. The greatest thing is, we all get along and have never really had any big spats or dramatic situations that have affected our love for one another or kept us from connecting. This holds true with immediate family, aunts, uncles, and even cousins. I had no idea how truly rare that was.

I have heard such sad stories of family bridges being burned... stories of sisters and brothers who don't speak... mothers and fathers who through divorce have never spoken again leaving this weird awkward wedge between their children who can't "pick a side" and even stories of children who do not speak to one or both of their parents. When I hear these stories I always think the same thing... what in the world would I do without my family? The answer to that is simply something I can't even comprehend, life just would not be life without my family; my family means everything to me and I know I mean the world to them too. Perhaps we hold each other so close because we know what it is like to lose an immediate family member. Teresa was killed at 16 and it was a horribly awakening event that made us all realize that it only takes one moment to change your life forever.

My mom and Dad even many, many years after divorce still remain friends. My mother was friendly with both my step-moms one of which recently passed away, and my mother's sisters and brothers were there for my dad the day of her service. (my parent's divorced in 1989) It is rare, but the core of my family is truly untouchable, and I am a better person because of that.

I realize that things happen, we get our toes stepped on when a family member is honest when we wanted  them to say what we "wanted" to hear... people argue over who is going to get material possessions when a parent dies, parents and children fight over how to raise the grand children, or how to live life "their way". There are alcoholics, drug users, cheaters, thieves and liars... but despite ALL of those things there are ways to mend those family bridges. People find it's harder to mend a strained relationship with a family member than other types of relationships because when it is "family" it cuts deeper. We are taught that family is always there... that blood is thicker than water, so when we feel betrayed or hurt by family the wound stays open allowing resentment and sore feelings to set in, and of course our stubborn nature of "I am not apologizing first." I have seen divorced parents bash the other parent in front of kids and because of that a child grows up holding the same grudge against the other parent... when it's not even their own resentful feeling; that one REALLY gets to me. With that, I will share a story I heard once and finish it off with a word of advice.

The saddest story I think I have ever heard was the story of a young boy being raised by his very bitter mother. She and the father had divorced when the boy was very young and because of her ill feelings against the father she moved she and her son away from the city where he lived. As the young boy grew up he began asking questions about his father and the mother would always say things like, "your father cares nothing about you, he is a horrible man who left us and I don't want to put you through the pain of ever having him reject you." The boy would cry with confusion and grew up longing for his father's affection and although he wanted to find him, he did not even know his name. It came time for the boy to graduate high school and once again he asked his mom if she would help him find his dad only to get the same song and dance "your father would not come if I invited him, and I don't want to put you through that pain." The boy graduated without his father there. He went off to college and met a girl that he would later marry and before his wedding day he again asked his mom about finding his father and she once again rejected his request to "protect" him from pain. He married his love and had a child, his child grew up, graduated high school and college and his father was absent through all of it. When the boy was 50 years old, his mother died and as he was going through her things... he found his fathers name and a picture tucked away in an old box. He immediately started the search and found he had a sister. He contacted her and was overjoyed! They met for lunch and he asked her if she would tell him where his dad was. She gently held his hand and said, "dad passed away last year but he looked for you until the day he died."

The irony I found in this story is that this boy went through years of pain without his father because his mother wanted to save him from "pain"... it was HER pain that she was protecting, not her son's. Think about that one for a minute.

A word of advice to anyone reading this who is estranged from a family member or who can relate to the story above... you can never get those years back. Sometimes we have to suck up our own selfish feelings and love unconditionally because THAT is what family does. My father is an alcoholic, and I love him no less, my brothers do things that annoy me, but I love them all the same. My mother CERTAINLY gives me advice that I don't always want... but she is usually right and tells me what I NEED to hear out of love. I may have had issues with my two ex husbands but I respect the fact that my children need a relationship with their dads and encourage that relationship despite my own negative feelings. It's what FAMILY is about and if you don't know what it's like to have family, maybe it is time to be the one with the bigger kahunas and start mending those bridges, because despite how dis-functional many of them are; at some point we all need our family.

Goodnight everyone! Over and OUT!

xoxo
~Shells~





Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be Selfish; But Not at the Expense of Others

As I sit here at my kitchen bar typing away in pure silence... I feel like I should be in a Peppermint Patty commercial. (if you are under 30, you may need to Google that reference) My two youngest are down for afternoon naps and my 10-year old is not home from school yet. I don't think that the house has been this quiet since we moved in a month ago, and I must say I am thrilled at the moment no matter how short it may end up being. I figured since I was in the mood to write, (it was quiet enough for me to think) I would get a jump start on my blog for today. (perhaps that will get me into bed before 1am!) My topic was spun off an event that I encountered (as my blogs typically are) and I figured many people have a hard time understanding the giver vs. the taker.

I am a giver, a kind-hearted, generous, loyal, unconditional giver who rarely puts herself before others. However at times I have had to step back to be a bit selfish in order to balance things out. We have to give ourselves permission to do this from time to time, and I must say I think I am due for a little selfish time.  Understanding the mind of a taker is something I am not sure I will ever comprehend. Given the type of person I am, it is hard to wrap my brain around those that selfishly think of themselves ALL of the time. Self-centered, often arrogant, holier-than-thou types that have conditions even when they appear to be giving of themselves and frankly, they drive me nuts.

I often think I am the way I am because I have been a mom for so long; for more than half my life I have had to put the needs of another person before my own. When I think back to life before kids, I would have to say yes... I was a bit selfish before. I have consistently worked since the age of 13, so I certainly worked for what I wanted, but I spent it on me, and spent it all on me until I had a child. Before then I do not think I knew what it meant to sacrifice for another person, it was all about me and my world. I am happy that I changed, because quite frankly I am not sure that I would like myself  if I had not shifted from that selfish young person to who I am today. I do feel however that it has made me a lot less tolerant of people who constantly do things for others only if there is a gain for them somewhere.

Do you have someone in your life who will take until the tap is dry before they ever give a thing? Do they exhaust you and frustrate you to no end?  Do you have a selfish person around you or are YOU the selfish person around others? It is healthy to be selfish in the right way; not taking time FOR yourself to be BY yourself to do whatever YOU want to do when YOU want to do it, is not healthy because in the end you will resent someone without a doubt. If my last marriage did not teach me any lessons (it actually taught me a TON of them) It taught me that if you don't take some time for yourself you will suffocate, you will lose who YOU are and what YOUR needs are and in the end all you are is what the person you are with created.

Take time for you, but never be selfish to the point of not thinking of others feelings, thoughts, wants and needs. There is a balance of give and take and once you find it, life will be much better for you and everyone around you.

"The greatest difference between givers and takers is how often takers think of their needs, wants and situations and how little givers think of theirs for the sake of others." ShelleyGiard©2012
xoxo
~Shells~

I Think I Will Stick to Cupcake Duty!

Despite the fact that I am a very busy career mom, I volunteer and chaperone at my 10-year old daughters school as much as I can throughout the year. It is a simple way to let her know that being a part of her life is important to me and I know from the reaction I get that it makes her happy too. She makes me laugh by always introducing me to her friends and the other parents by saying "this is my mom, she is 38 and does not look 38 and she does makeup and hair for models in magazines and books and tv." She is pretty modest, (NOT!) What she does not realize is that by doing this she usually alienates me immediately and nobody wants to be my "friend" for the day. I am glad that this alienation no longer leaves emotional scars as it did back in high school... if it did I think I would have to remind her not to do this.... AGAIN. The kids on the other hand love it; making the parents snarl at me even more because all of a sudden I am the "cool mom".

Yesterday however I felt FAR from the "cool mom"; I felt more like the wicked witch of the judgemental west.  This bothered me because I have never considered myself as being judgmental; except for the occasional complainer who could do better in life but won't, or stupid people... I have no patience for them.Okay, so maybe I can be a little judgmental from time to time, I don't think bad or talk bad about these people.... I just want to "crush their heads" and make them smarter. (If you don't get that reference Google "crush your head", or search it on YouTube... you will learn something new to use from time to time and it will likely make you laugh.) Moving on... although I have volunteered a million times the past 5 years, I have never gone on a field trip despite her begging me to go. It just seemed stressful with that huge responsibility to watch other people's kids who may or may not behave; being a problem solver, I would end up wanting to take all the bad ones home and FIX them so it did not sound like something I should do. I would much rather go to the class parties and pass out cupcakes, or take pictures, make them giggle, or file papers. However being that this would be her LAST field trip at this school I figured okay... you gotta suck it up and go, and I did. St. Augustine bound we were at 7 am; a caravan of 4 charter buses carting the entire 4th grade class with a three hour drive ahead of us. GOD HELP US!



I am going to try and make this a cliff note version of the events of the day... but I have to keep it interesting so bare with me.

Phase 1: Dictator Bus Driver
Once we boarded our bus, we got a lecture... the law was laid down by a handsome African American man who was dressed in black slacks, a button up white shirt, a black tie, and a cute little Jazz-inspired black- ribboned fedora on his head. He not only took his job seriously, he had style (which I appreciated of course) but when he spoke, I listened he was quite passionate (and a bit scary!) "DO NOT EAT or chew gum on MY BUS", he told us, "and if your cup does not look like this (holding up his screw top coffee mug) you DO NOT DRINK on MY bus either!" We have a bathroom, but you may NOT use it unless you are about to SOIL your pants... so essentially we DO NOT have a bathroom. In the event that you have a bathroom EMERGENCY, NO SOLIDS only LIQUIDS."  He went on with  his dictator-inspired bus rules and in the end I remembered EVERY word. It was WAY too early for this kind of thing but a man with passion always gets a thumbs up in my book. Off we went.. and now I know why HE was bus #1!

Phase 2: Redneck Yells
Thirty minutes into the drive I get a text from my friend who was on bus #2 saying that a little girl was going to be sick... barf bag was in hand and I had to laugh out loud, let the day begin! YAHOOO!!!! (30 minutes after the text we had to pull over at a rest area so this little girl could get off the bus with her mom.) We got to our destination and began our guided tour of Fort Castillo de San Marcos. I realized VERY quickly that I would still fall asleep in history class; some things NEVER change! The highlight of this tour was when we were watching the musket demonstration. A group of unguided redneck youngsters with their passive parents were YELLING from the gun desk... "JUST SHOOT THE GUN!" After about 5 loud and obnoxiously rude yells to "shoot the gun!" our tour guide yelled back at them "That's enough be quiet!!!" to which one of the kids yelled back "YOU BE QUIET!"  Ahhh... gotta love disrespectful kids and their wonderful parents (this is the kind of kid I worried about preventing me from ever going on a field trip)

Entering Fort Castillo de San Marcos



Phase 3: The Voice of Fingers on a Chalkboard!
Our next guided tour was a trolley tour through St. Augustine...and Linda was our trolley driver. A very sweaty little old lady who was as kind as could be but had the voice of a squeaky wheel. As she welcomed us aboard I could not help but look at my itinerary to see how long we would have to listen to her voice... an  hour, LOVELY! However, despite her slow motion shrill voice, she WAS the most educational tour guide of the day; she kept my interest and I actually retained some of what she said. The most upsetting part was that there were a lot of great picture opportunities that were ruined, being that we were moving and power lines, cars, and kids fuzzy heads were blocking my camera.
(Here are two pictures I managed to get from the trolley)

Memorial Presbyterian Church built by Mr. Flagler in memory of his daughter Jennie Louise 
who passed away on her way to visit him
 The famous "Magnolia Avenue"  
this exact view was used in one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump


Phase 4: If you give a kid a gift store....
We ate lunch outdoors in the Old Jail picnic area just outside the gift store which the barrage of kids swarmed like hornets as they chewed their last bites of food. You would have thought they had never seen a gift shop... never in their lives had they EVER seen a spoon with a town's name, a cheap set of handcuffs, a fake leather whip, a pirates hat, or a stuffed frog just to name a few of the things that were purchased. These kids had money and THEY WANTED TO SPEND IT! I of course, being the "Dave Ramsey mom" that I am, I told Baleigh that the only practical thing to buy would be a Christmas tree ornament that she could keep forever... and since that did not excite her at ALL, she decided to forfeit my offer to pitch in and she spent her entire $4 of her own money on a bracelet that had no meaning at all. I had a "moment" in this store as I watched these little children spend money just to spend money... thank GOD they are too young for Visa cards! It made me want to sit them down and give them a crash course in Financial Peace University. (Most of the parents there needed it too).

Phase 4: Jailtime...
It was time for the tour of the old jail... and I must say that was pretty cool. To see how they had to live and hear what the inmates had to eat and do was pretty awful. Not to mention the gallows that were in clear view... a harsh reality of what once was. Kind of creepy I must say. The kids were totally freaked out.

My daughter's teacher being arrested for cussin' and spittin' in town

Phase 5: ZZZZZZZ......
Our last event of the day was a guided tour through the Florida Heritage Museum. Once again I was reminded how much I hated history class. The most entertaining part was when the guide asked the kids if there were any questions as he finished his lesson on the first Indians to inhabit Florida and a kid raised their hand and said "Why is he naked?" of course all the kids, (and parents) laughed. It was by far for me the  most boring hour of the day. And the kids were getting antsy and harder to contain.

The Naked Indian
(covered in tattoos)


Phase 5: Dinnertime and LOAD EM UP
Subway was catered in  for all the kids and parents but being that I am now gluten and dairy free for health reasons I turned my head as I dipped my sweet potato tortilla chips in hummus, and finished with my dessert of dairy free yogurt, and was happy it was time to go home. Many of the kids went BACK into the gift shop being that they had money left, so instead of taking all their money to open a savings account... I volunteered to take the ones that were not going in back to our bus and call it a day.

Baleigh being tough... perhaps a future warden?




Final words:
As we drove down the lost and lonely highway back to Spring Hill, I witnessed the parents next to me giving their child (who was sitting with my daughter behind me) food... only to be called out by "Dictator Andre' " and had to chuckle. He literally picked up his CB intercom microphone and said... "If I catch ANYONE else eatin' on MY bus I am going to pull over" HAHA This was right after I made Baleigh come sit with me after catching her trying to eat her lays potato chips explaining to her she was not allowed to eat on the bus. I was the GOOD parent... the UN-COOL chaperone mom who would not break the rules. I beamed with pride as these parents were scolded because they left me sitting at the picnic table like I had scarlet fever after I kindly refused the dip stix candy they offered my daughter after lunch saying that she was not allowed to eat them; and when they asked me why I was eating hummus for lunch I smiled and said "life is all about the choices we make and my health is something I care about." Oh well... love me or hate me I am honest and blunt to the core, here's to thinking different! I think I will stick to passing out cupcakes from now on!

Have a great night everyone! 
xoxo
~Shells~










Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just in Case You Can't Celebrate With Your Mom Today...

Alas, it's Mother's Day, a day set aside by Hallmark to celebrate the woman who birthed you, who changed your dirty bottom, waited on you hand and foot and saw you through your teen years with a smile despite how disrespectful you were treating her like she knew nothing. I for one, KNOW that I put mine through hell when I was a raging, rebellious teenager; but in the end she still loved me nonetheless and today is by far, my VERY best friend, who just happens to be right 99.9% of the time. She has been my rock, my go-to gal... and for the last nearly two years after I moved her down to Florida when I once again became a single mom, she has been my second set of hands; taking care of my children for me as I continue to climb the ladder of success so I would not have to put my precious little ones in a daycare where they would have likely become just another face with jelly.

When I was a senior in high school, I had dreams of my future and what it would be like; none of them included the perfect man, the wedding day, children, or the white picket fence. Everything I dreamed of had to do with business, and becoming a successful hairstylist and makeup artist. I had no "visions" of family in my head at all. I suppose maybe it was because I had seen mine torn apart after my sister died... but for whatever reason it was, I did not envision having a family. Shortly after I graduated however, (four months to be exact) I found out that I was going to be a mother. I was pregnant with my daughter Cierra who is now 20 and I remember thinking how this was SO not in my plan. I was 18, and although her father was a good guy, he was young and did not want to accept the responsibility,  Despite all of that I did what I had to do, and that was have my daughter and figure the rest out later; and that is what I did. I was a young single mom who was determined to be successful regardless of the hiccups. I worked hard... REALLY hard and by the age of 19 I bought my first home, and at the age of 20, opened my first salon. I married Cierra's father when I was 21 trying to make it work but it only lasted a year. 

Full throttle, I was on my way to making my dreams a reality, but without MY mother; it would never have been possible. She cared for Cierra while I worked practically 24-7 knowing that I was doing everything I could to give my "unexpected" child a good life. 9 years later in 2001, another "unexpected" surprise arrived when my daughter Baleigh was born. Five years after that I got married again and in 2008 my son Zane was born. (the only child that was somewhat planned). This was quite the rainstorm of children for the teenager that had no kids built into her future plans, but with every delivery, I became more and more accepting that I in fact WAS a mom. After my son was born, I knew that I wanted a divorce and began to prepare for that. Then on April fool's day 2009, my most special "unexpected" news to this day was that I was going to be a mom... AGAIN. Child number 4... my precious Abrielle was born on October 16, 2009. I ended things with her dad a few months before she was born becoming a single mom of 4! 

Today, I think of how empty my life would be without my kids; they have brought so many wonderful moments to my life; they are my world. I am not the Mary Poppins, soccer-mom type... I am a career mom all the way; but they love that about me and know that I will always provide for them. It has not been easy but I am glad they were here; they gave me a reason to push myself harder. Today I am VERY proud to say that I am a MOM with children and a successful career.

However today, I not only think of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful Mom... or how great it is to be a Mom. I think of all of the people out there who may have never known their mom, who may have lost their mom to natural causes or some horrible disease. I think also of the single Dad's out their who are playing Mr. Mom, and the women who never had children; it makes me wonder how they feel on a day like today; and because of that I decided to blog not only about Mother's Day but about remembering to celebrate the people you love not just on a day that Hallmark sets aside, but each and every day you have them. 

When you have people in your life that are important, treat them as if they are. We take many things for granted but people we love should not be on that list. We all have people to love, to care about, and to cherish every moment with. Never get too busy to show them how much they mean to you. Life always ends with death, it can happen suddenly or it can occur naturally but it is inevitable, and you never want to regret not letting someone know how much you loved them. Don't wait for Hallmark to give you a "day" to do that.

To all the Mothers... Great job! You have earned many ribbons and trophy's for your years of blood sweat and tears. Happy Mother's Day!

To all you "Mr. Moms"...  Playing both roles is incredibly hard... I know firsthand, I commend you for accepting that challenge... you are awesome!

To children who never knew your mom... Hopefully you have been lucky enough to have someone that stepped into your life that loved you like a mother, but if not... be an awesome mother to your own children one day.

To those that have lost your Mother... Remember her today and all of the wonderful things she did for you. Remember her smile, her laugh and the smell of her cooking. I guarantee she is thinking of you today.

To those who never became a mother for whatever reason... I bet you have a pet who looks at you as mom... or maybe you have touched someone's life in a motherly way. You are still important, you arespecial and that is a reason to recognize you.

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!
xoxo
~Shells~

THE 4 REASONS I AM PROUD TO BE A MOM

Zane
 Cierra
 Baleigh
 Abrielle




  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Topless Mountains Excite me!

I have spoken to people I know many times about mindset and how important it is to your outcome; not only for your future, but in your every day life. What you think about typically comes to fruition. It is much harder than it seems to stay positive because we get so consumed by things that happen not as we had planned. Wrenches are hurled into our lives and we go brain dead from the blows. That my friends is adversity... it is inevitable for the successful, but only the strong will survive.

Do you ever feel like you are climbing a topless mountain? Do you feel that no matter how many ideas you get and put to work you only fail in the end? Have you ever looked at this as one step closer to the peak instead? When you have a goal and set your mind to achieve it, failure is not what is happening when you fall on your face, it is learning... gaining knowledge of how NOT to do it again. Think of adversity as being one step closer to your goal... your mission.... you dreams, and things WILL start to change. The key is to never take your mind off the prize and do whatever you have to, come hell or high water to make it happen. (but please don't streak naked for attention or embarrass yourself in any way) Don't worry about the timeline you set if it comes and goes... set another date! Just because you did not reach a certain point by a date you initially set does not mean the ride is over... it just means it's longer; and hey... the longer the roller coaster is the more euphoric you feel at the end right? It even makes you want to ride it again no matter how scared you were before you got on. Do you think Dr Seuss would have been better off throwing in the towel after his first book was rejected by 29 publishers? I think not...  because frankly, I love Green Eggs and Ham... and that is determination! To reach a goal, you must possess the determination to win. Put yourself where you want to be in your mind and make that the first thought that you wake up to and the final thought that you lay down to at night.

The other day I posted a vague Facebook update that said... "I am SUPER excited, stay tuned". My intention was to blog about why last night but after a long evening at my studio and not getting home until after 10, I was hungry, tired and had the sniffles (which I have even worse tonight) Thank you Florida pollen. Since then however, I got more good news to be even MORE excited about and well, despite my nasal drip (how sexy.. I know) I am feeling pretty awesome.

At the end of last year I set a personal goal to amp up my freelance work by 40% in 2012. It was a hefty goal, but I set hefty ones on purpose; my logic is that if you can reach the hefty ones, you can reach the small ones with your eyes closed. It has been unreal to see my initial goal already being surpassed. News I got today of being hired as the exclusive makeup artist for an online magazine shot locally here in Tampa was a happy addition to my excitement. I have invoiced more freelance work in less than 5 months than I did all of last year, putting me way me over my 40% growth goal!

Happy for me? (I hope) Want to smack me? (I can take it) Do I make you want to do something about reaching your goals? (Good! That was my point)

Have a great night and go to sleep with your goals in mind. ;)
xoxo
~Shells~


"I share my successes to inspire you, I share my failures to know that you are not alone, I share my tears so you know I am real and I share my laughs because without laughter life is really dull." 
©2012 Shelley Giard




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Scariest Encounter I Ever Had....

Being a parent has got to be the toughest job of all time. From birth till you die your children are always your biggest concern. Despite their destiny to annoy you and stress you out to no end, (especially when they hit their teens) they always have those sweet smiles, cute giggles and funny things they say and do that makes your heart melt. I have four, from 2 to 20 so I have seen my share of it all. Last night however, I had a new and frightening experience that is on the charts as the scariest encounter I have EVER had as a parent.

My nearly four-year-old son Zane is deathly allergic to several foods... when I say deathly, I am not for one moment exaggerating, we are talking off the charts Epi pen allergic. When I had him tested at age 2 after a peanut incident, I found out the severity of his issues with nuts and certain grasses and was deeply concerned, however after over a year of no incidents it was kind of out of my mind. He is fully aware of his nut allergy and understands to stay away from them and of course we monitor everything he eats.

Last night, I made a very yummy gluten free pasta dish with grilled chicken and shrimp for Corey and I and made the kids an alternative meal. I NEVER give Zane anything that I feel commonly induces allergic reactions so shellfish has been off the list since day one. Being the curious toddler he is... without my knowing, he sneaked a taste of the pasta. (we were eating around 7:30) I put he and his baby sister to bed at about 8:30 and began doing some cleaning and straightening. He came out around 9:00 telling me that he "was sick and needed medicine." I sent him back to bed thinking that he was "crying wolf" in an attempt to not go to sleep.

At 10:15, my cute little guy came out of his room into the family room wheezing and gasping for air, he was gagging like he was going to vomit but could not breathe. I was freaked out and began to panic. His cute little face began to lose color and his lips were turning blue. Corey called 911 as I tried to calm him down but being hysterical myself it was a bit counterproductive. For a brief moment I stopped as I held his little face and looked at his eyes saying "sweetie, it's going to be okay", not knowing if I was telling the truth. All of a sudden I thought... Epi pen! this must be an allergic reaction. I quickly got it out of the medicine cabinet (thanks GOD I had unpacked that box from our recent move!) I nervously read the instructions since it had never been used as he continued to gasp for air. I held it up clipped the safety and stabbed him in the leg.

Within a few minutes he was breathing easier, and my heart started beating normally again. I spoke to the dispatcher on the phone and told her that I had administered the epinephrine and he was starting to breathe better. He could not talk at all, his voice was hoarse but he was beginning to calm, and so was I. At 11:05, more than 25 minutes after the 911 call the Fire Rescue showed up and 10 minutes later the paramedics showed up. If the Epi pen had not been in reach or if I had not thought to take it out, this story would likely have had a very different end since it had taken them so long to arrive.

I learned a few obvious lessons last night, one being that the Epi pen needs to be within reach at all times and two... you can never assume that calling 911 will save your life. Something else I learned is that no matter how many times your children cry wolf, remember that it only takes one misunderstanding to change everything. When I got into the ambulance to ride to the hospital with my little guy I cried as I apologized to him for not believing he was sick... to which he whispered in his hoarse little voice "it's okay Mommy, I am going to be better now."

"Hug your little ones tight tonight and no matter how much they drive you crazy... love them more than they need you to because one day they could leave you unexpectedly"

xoxo
~Shells~
 Riding in the captain's chair in the ambulance
 Waiting for the doctor in triage
 Listening intently to what the doctor is asking just before admitting him
Enjoying his first (and hopefully last) hospital breakfast

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Don't get stuck in "The Comfort Zone"

There are many things that help people succeed in reaching their goals and achieving mental peace; however to me, the one thing that stands out among them all more than anything is the fact that every successful person made a choice to think outside the box... they colored outside the lines and have heroically left their comfort zone more than once. The comfort zone is a boring place, it harbors no adventure, no excitement, and no change which means you cannot grow without leaving it. At times it can be toxic and not "comfortable" at all, but being that it is simply what we are used to, our fears will keep us there.

I am a risk taker in business, always have been and hopefully always will be. I have scared my dear mother half to death with some of the blind leaps I have made... but after many years she has gotten used to it and knows I typically come out on top because the leaps are not as blind as they appear. Once I get an idea, I research, plan things out and take action... what I don't do is analyze things to the point of paralyzing myself since doing that would allow my fears to step in and talk me out of doing something. Fear is a VERY real, VERY annoying, VERY intrusive emotion and it often has a backwards effect on anything you are trying to do. There is a strong difference from playing it smart and playing it safe. I choose to play it smart because playing it "safe" is led by fear; be it fear of failure,  fear of doing it wrong or the fear of not making it. Think about this though; wouldn't you much rather say "been there, done that, it did not work out and I moved on" than to one day ask yourself "I wonder what could have come of that IF I had done it?" Personally, I never want to ask "what if?"

What kind of person are you? Are you a risk taker; balls to the wall kind of person? Or are you a safe player who is content where you are even if it's not where you truly want to be? Whichever it is I want you to sit back and think about it... imagine what things could be like if you had no problem stepping outside your comfort zone to try something new. It does not have to be be about business, it could be trying a new shade of lipstick or sporting a new hairstyle. It could be finally asking someone out that you have been wanting to ask out forever, it could be reconnecting with an estranged friend or family member... whatever it is, we ALL have something we can put into this scenario. Think about it, make a list if you have to, then make a plan and take action to make it happen. The cool thing is once you do it once and have a good outcome you will become addicted to change and in turn you will grow. If you have a bad experience, DON'T let it stop you from trying again... nothing is worth losing your chance to reach your goal, live that dream, or have that peace. NOTHING!

"If at first you don't succeed, head back to the drawing board, regroup and try try again... eventually never giving up will pay off!" Shelley Giard ©2012

xoxo
~Shells~



Friday, May 4, 2012

Therapy From Behind the Chair

After 21 years of being a hairstylist I have learned that I not only make hair happy, but often being a "therapist behind the chair" I tend to make brains happy too. I have had droves of clients over the years who poured their hearts out and their minds... shared their good stories, their bad stories and their dirty secrets. It's like having one of those trash gossip magazines in front of you everyday, but you actually KNOW the people. (it's probably why I don't read that stuff or watch reality TV!) Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's sad, and other times it's just plain weird; but I know that regardless of how the story goes, they need me and I am cheaper than a psychiatrist. 

I always feel blessed when a client thanks me for listening, for offering advice or for being honest (I am blunt to the core) I have had some of them tell me that I am the only person they know that will tell it like it is, and that is why they choose me when they need an honest opinion. I admit it... I am a straight shooter, the REAL DEAL, I don't candy coat or beat around the mulberry bush... if you ask me I will tell you... the TRUTH. I am the kind of girl that will tuck your shirt tag in, tell you you have remnants of lunch in your teeth and if you ask me if something makes you look fat I will say yes if it does. (isn't that why you ask?) Many people in my life have misinterpreted my honesty for rudeness... I say if honesty is rude then I am a very rude person and I am proud of it. I am diplomatic with my delivery (that was learned over the years) but bottom line is I will give you the bottom line. I will encourage and discourage depending on the situation, I will listen and give you my best judgement call. That's me... like it or not. It has done me well thus far despite the haters (who obviously love liars) so I see no need to change this quality.

With this topic in mind, I am choosing to share an excerpt from my book that will be coming out in August. This excerpt tells a story that I will never forget and a lesson I will always hold close to my heart. Being a "chic behind the chair" I have learned that what I say is very important and has impact on others; making me full aware of the advice I give... the words I say and the realization that having someone to talk to can be all that some people need. 

Enjoy your night... 
xoxo 
~Shells~


When I was twenty-two, I owned a hair and tanning salon in Lyman, SC. I had a client that used to come in every other day to tan and once a month to get her hair colored and cut. She was a very attractive lady, although she was self conscious about her weight. A week went by without me seeing her and I noticed her absence. I thought maybe I should call her but before I could she dropped in unexpectedly one day to get a shampoo and blow dry. This was really odd… she always made appointments and honestly never just got shampooed and blown out. I proceeded to shampoo her hair, asking how she had been and she claimed to be okay although I could tell something was not quite right. The last time I had seen her, her marriage was ending and she was a mess. She had begun blaming it on her weight and anything else she could put blame on herself for. I always tried to tell her how beautiful she was, and she truly was… she was a great person, and although a little depressed at times she truly had a lot to be thankful for. Now, I have no idea what I said to her that day that resonated… I was just being my normal self saying God knows what and even though I did not pry I could tell something was wrong. She was staring blankly into the mirror most of the visit; the only time she would engage in what was going on was when she would ask me what had been going on with me; which is when I would go off on some rant about the recent events in my world. My life was like a whirlwind of existence back then; after all, I was a single mother and raging entrepreneur so I always had a story to tell. I have never censored my life, and even though some people see that as a fault I know that by being transparent I create an instant comfort for people that would not normally occur. I am real… not superficial and certainly far from fake. What you see is what you get and I will give my true opinion and the whole story if you ask for it. I finished ranting… checked her out, and she made her next appointments for tanning and color. She hugged me really tight that day and walked out.
A few days later, she came in for an appointment and we were at the salon alone. She thanked me for taking her in that day at which point I casually asked, “Yeah, what was wrong, I know something was up?” This is when I realized that one moment, one breath; one phrase can really change someone’s life forever. I seriously don’t think I realized how one person could impact your entire being until this moment… she proceeded to tell me that she had planned to commit suicide that day, she had just stopped to get sleeping pills on the way home from work and my salon was also on her way home. She said that I inspired her to keep living. I think back to that day as I literally stood in shock, I remember the chills that ran down my spine, I remember an eerie sense of responsibility and how that one moment could have just as easily had the opposite effect. I could not help to think about what could have happened if I had not taken the time to “fit her in”. It was surreal… still is. She impacted me as much as I impacted her. I will never forget her, or that moment. It is exactly why I am so careful what I say. I speak only words that I know I mean… and when it is something that will be hard for the other party to hear; I am careful with the delivery. It may also very well be the reason I sometimes hold negative feelings in just to avoid the “responsibility” of what could come of it.

“The impact of a word is far greater than you think, so mean what you say, and say only what you mean… there are consequences for everything” SG 2010

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Didn't Want to Let You Down

I am tired... EXHAUSTED actually. I have worked a bit over 70 hours in the past 6 days and it has caught up with me in a FIERCE way tonight. (yawn) However getting home at 10:00 from work when I started at 8:00 this morning (yeah that is 14 hours and I suck at math) will take a toll on you all on it's own. I am not 25 anymore and my body is reminding me of that loud and clear. Despite all of that, I got home tucked my kiddos in bed and kissed their heads, kissed Corey who is in creative mode in his office working, and am now laying in bed blogging. I have a habit every night of checking stats to see how my blog audience is growing and it never fails, every night I have more and more readers... that's exciting because it was my whole reason for starting this. Spreading my positive attitude on as many people as I can because simply put... life is too short to be negative and miserable and whining is SO unattractive. I figured since you are taking the time to read and follow me I MUST not disappoint you no matter how sleepy I am.

Only thing is I probably can't think too clearly tonight so my positive affirmation for the evening will not so much involve a story but simple a quote to think about. I apologize for the short blog post but promise you that tomorrow night's will be 100% better.

"Take everything in stride until you feel the need to run; 
then run like you never have so you can win the race" 
ShelleyGiard©2012

xoxo
~Shells~




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Getting to the TOP of Your Game is a Climb....

It has been a long, exhausting, amazing 4 days of creating looks for a brilliant photographer; Frank Doorhof. Sure, I am tired; I didn't  even know what day of the week it was until mid afternoon... but hey, I was having fun working and that is all that matters as I climb to the top of my game. That's my goal... and I won't stop until I get there. I remember back in beauty college 21 years ago that I had dreams of being on the platform at hair shows being the "hot shot" and that climb was one I challenged myself to for 7 years. I got all the way to platform assistant and switched gears because the hair care company I had aligned myself with sold to Loreal... ugh, not a happy day for me and I made the choice to jump ship and I am glad I did. I quickly became enthralled in doing makeup for photo shoots and that is when I said YEAH... THIS is something I want to be a part of! I was ALL over that creative avenue... and here I am 14 years later walking all over that creative avenue with some of the best photographers in the world. How cool is that? I would say that switching gears was a good call... you have to know when to say when.

Now I would not say that I am at ALL at the top of my game... (yet) because there are some unbelievable makeup artists out there that can run circles around me, but since they are my mentors I am in good shape. I have gotten to where I am with no fancy makeup classes, courses or training other than what I learned in Cosmetology class, proactive learning and trial and error (LOTS of it!) I must say that I am proud of that. I did not get here by NOT working hard,  I have worked my BUTT off, endless hours and many years of sweat equity to be here right now. At times I even told fibs about having done certain types of makeup before just to land the job ( I have God to thank for my proactive personality, You Tube for tutorials, and Kevin Aucoin for his books.) My point is that sometimes you have to work your fanny off to get to where you want to be. The moaners and the wimps don't make it, but you can bet they will complain about not making it (ALL the time)

You must work hard to get to the top, you will have sleepless nights, short (if any) vacations for quite a while, you may miss events you want to go to and likely disappoint people that you love from time to time but if you are willing to push yourself beyond your limits you WILL make it to the top of your game and everyone will be happy in the end. Is it easy? Ummm... NO! Is it hard? Most definitely! Do you make sacrifices along the way? Yep, too many to count. The greatest reward is when you begin to see the end of that tunnel... when you want nothing more than to sprint to that finish line because you KNOW that is when you can really enjoy the triumph. THAT is when you can relax, pat yourself on the back and know that it was all worth the fight.

I take time for everything I love, you can't work yourself to death but DO work hard... love what you do and if you don't? Well, find something you love and make a career out of it someway, somehow. If you allow your passions to drive you nothing can stop you! I promise!

As I approach my last day of creating looks for a photographer I have admired the work of for years, I am smiling... it is cool, and definitely worth the sleepy eyes and tired hands I have as I lay down on this ever so fluffy pillow. I honestly cannot wait to share the pictures; the downside of doing commercial shoots is having to wait for them to pick images that they will use for the project, but as anything that's worth it... waiting is just fine with me!

" I often flinch when people say "don't work too hard" because in order to get to the top of your game it is a necessary practice. You can relax at the top... THAT is your reward for hard work and a job well done; 
so keep climbing!" 

ShelleyGiard©2012

Goodnight my avid readers, YOU ROCK!
xoxo
~Shells~