Friday, August 31, 2012

One Trend at a Time

Dear Claire,

The other day I saw a picture of myself in grade seven.

I'm wearing:

-short denim overalls with one of the straps undone and half the bib folded down

-white hi-top L.A. Gear shoes with multi-coloured shoelaces

-a purple fanny pack

-a Chicago Bulls hat

You can't see the back of my head in the picture, but I'm fairly certain there is a "scrunchie" back there.

This is a picture of tragedy.  Tragedy in epic proportions.

I'm pretty sure that one or two trends at a time will do. 

Try wearing the "in" colour and then one other trend and you will look stylish, on point, and like you just might know what you're doing.

Anything more than two is overkill.  You'll look like you're trying too hard.

Trying too hard in fashion is the kiss of death.  Avoid this death whenever possible.

Love you even if you mess this one're only twelve once.

p.s. - I wonder if Paris Hilton ever cries when she google-images herself?


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Don't Shit Where You Eat

Dear Claire,

My apologies honey for the foul language in the title, but hopefully it wakes you up a bit.

Unless you fall into one of these categories:

You're over twenty eight-years old (this is the age when your colleagues might begin to take you seriously).

You've been at this same workplace for three years or more (you've established some credibility).

You only have one year to live (if this is the case, you can do absolutly anything, and no one will say a word).

If none of these apply to you...then trust me...avoid the at-work relationship for now.  There are so many people in the world, why worry about running into an 'ex' each day at the photocopier.

Love ya doll,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Timeless Tuesday - Feminism

Dear Claire,

Any girl who knows anything, knows that 'Feminism' is not a dirty word. 

Hello - like to vote much?  Feel like you should be paid the same as men for doing the same job?  Think that women in other countries should be allowed equal rights if they want them (and of course they do!).  Think you should get to make decisions about your own body.   Then don't be crazy; you're a feminist.  And nothing is more timeless than equal rights.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't Lose Sleep Over It

Dear Claire,

Sometimes in life there are going to be bad days. 

I can't tell you how many times I've laid awake in bed thinking about something, somebody said, that bothered me.  Or how many times I've found myself awake at one in the morning regretting something I had said that day.  Or at three a.m. thinking about work, things to do around the house, an upcoming event that needs planning, and the list goes on.

Here's what I've learned from lying awake in bed and thinking: it accomplishes nothing.

I've never actually gotten out of bed and done any work, made any phone calls, or cleaned the house. 

So I should've just slept.  

Turn your mind off when you go to bed. 

Anything from the day can be undone tomorrow. 

If you want an apology from someone you have two choices: ask for one or get over it.  If you owe someone an apology than give it to them.

Write out a 'to do' list in the morning and cross things off it as you accomplish them; that night you will feel better knowing what you have gotten done.

But above all, sleep.  Everything looks better after a good night's rest.

Love you when you're not so tired!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Timeless Tuesday - Beautiful People Pretending to Be Beautiful Dead People

Dear Claire,

You know an actress has "made it" when she is given the opportunity to emulate a beautiful woman that came before her and is now dead.

I think this is actually every woman's dream, which is why we love seeing other people get a chance to do it.

So here you go...betcha forty years from now some gorgeous young actress will be dressed up and styled as these timeless beauties:

Gwenyth Paltrow
Anne Hathaway
Scarlett Johannsen
Selma Hayek
Penelope Cruz
Kate Moss

In the mean time...

Who did I miss and who do you think will be a beauty icon of our time????

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Don't Wing It

Dear Claire,

Life is going to throw many, many surprises at you.  Things you can't control, things you have to react to immediately, and things that nothing can prepare you for.  Whenever you encounter these surprises...just follow your heart, your gut, and use your common sense.

For everything else...prepare!

If you want to decrease stress and increase your self-confidence, then prepare for anything and everything that can be prepared for.

Test or exam - prepare.

Job interview or audition - prepare.

Going for groceries or buying a car - prepare.

I can't tell you the number of errors, mishaps, and stumbles I have witnessed only because the person simply didn't practice or prepare beforehand.

You are your own best teacher, you will learn the most from the mistakes you are able to recognize and correct on your own.

You can't recognize or correct mistakes that you don't look for ahead of time.

Some people will tell you they work best under pressure and they will procrastinate until the last second.  I always wonder how much better that person could have done if they simply gave themself the time to really work on something and to improve it before sharing it?

No one who is hugely successful at what they do, has become so on a whim or because of luck.  They have put in the time, the patience, and the willingness to improve their areas of weakness. 

And this is the thing...those surprises that life throws at'll find that the more prepared you are in your daily life, the easier it is to handle the curveballs that are thrown at you.

Love you when you're ready!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Marry Your Father - Part 1

Dear Claire,

If you decide to get married one day, 'who' you are going to marry is going to be one of the biggest decisions of your life. 

If I could offer you any advice about who you should marry, it is simply: marry your father.

Okay, obviously you're not going to actually marry your father, but seriously, try to find someone like him.

Here are the qualities that your dad has that make him a great husband...

1. He enjoys his job.  This might seem strange if you're reading this when you're fifteen, but trust me, the work week is long and you want to be with someone who is happy during those forty hours each week.  If your husband is miserable all day he'll probably be miserable when he gets home.  So look for a man who found a career he's excited (or at least content in) about.

2. He has a backbone.  At some point you may find yourself attracted to a guy who will let you do whatever you want and always lets you get your way.  This will get old fast. You'll never grow as a person or as a couple if this is the dynamic of your relationship.  Find someone who challenges you to become a better person, wife, and mother - your marriage, and your life, will be much more fulfilling this way.

3. He is responsible (but not boring!). Recklessness and craziness is great when you're young but, probably not the best qualities to look for in a husband.  I can always count on your dad to be there for us.  I know he's not going to make any big decisions without me.  I know he's going to be responsible with our finances, our health and safety, our home, and our children.  He's not going to lose our car in a poker game or forget to pick the kids up from daycare.  A responsible husband will mean you can sleep peacefully at night.

4. He's a great father!  If you want to have children, then make sure the person you marry wants them to.  Make sure they don't just want children so they can play catch or go to movies together.  Make sure they want to do all the things a father should do, even the hard stuff, and especially the 'day-in and day-out' stuff like making meals, giving baths, and changing diapers.  Your dad has gone above and beyond in this category!!!

5. He loves us.  He loves me, he loves you and he loves your brother.  That's what you need to find above all else.  Someone who will love you unconditionally, through the good, the bad and the ugly, just like your father does.

Love to see you with someone who loves you

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Timeless Tuesday - Change

Dear Claire,

Guess what girl!  Change is good and thank goodness it's timeless!  In my thirty-one years I've seen so much technological change it's crazy - I can barely keep up.

But change is good, and you should always go with it and try to learn all that is new because you know what isn't timeless?  A stale brain - so fill it up whenever you can!

Our family's first computer - the popular Commodore 64....  ,8,1 LOAD (I'll explain this to you one day)

This phone was in our house...I can still hear the sound of the dial turning back

This was the phone I wanted more than anything!  My cousin Sonja had one and it lit up when it rang.  Talk about technolgy!

We moved up to this computer in the early 90's...This is where I would "two-finger type" my high school essays and then have to print them out on that crazy paper with the peel off holes.  We thought it was great because the floppy disks were no longer floppy.

This is what my first cell phone looked like (and p.s. I didn't have one until I was twenty-four years old!) that you've had a great laugh...just know this...everything changes. And be glad or we'd still all be calling it the 'world wide web' all the time and I'd be messaging you on something called ICQ.

Love you when you can teach me how to use the newest tech device!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

No Job is Too Big or Too Little

Dear Claire,

There are certain experiences in life that almost everyone can connect with. The great thing about these experiences is that wherever you go and whoever you meet, you can bring up one of these topics and practically everyone will have something to add to the conversation.

For example - really bad part-time jobs.

That's something almost everyone has had.

Growing up, I had what feels like, a million jobs.

My first job was selling 'Regal' door to door.  Yikes.  Selling wrapping paper and weird household items is definitely not the most glamours job out there, but I think I made about $30 a month which was pretty good for being twelve.

Then I moved into the big leagues....picking strawberries.  This job was hell and I think that if for some reason, I ever get sent to purgatory, I'll be picking strawberries until the second coming.   I had to ride my bike in the sweltering heat to the patch, pick strawberries for four hours, and then ride my bike home all for only $32.  It sucked and that was pretty much the end of my days doing "hard labor".

Soon came babysitting (quite enjoyable), working at Tim Hortons (okay), selling running shoes at Joggers (great seeing all your friends at the mall and easy hours), selling Weedman lawn care over the phone (telemarketing is pretty brutal but you can't really complain when all you do is talk on the phone for three hours a day), camp counsellor (tons of fun!), working at a bar (much more fun to be at the bar than working the bar). 

I also sold women's clothing at Jacob and served up some tasty pasta at East Side Mario's.  I had an amazing job working with kids in a group home which I loved and can share many stories about that with you one day.

I learned something from all these jobs.  Sometimes I learned actual skills, but mostly I learned that I love working with people, and more than that, I love helping people find what they're looking for.  And, really that's basically what I do now as a teacher, help young people find what they're looking for.

You're probably going to have a few crappy jobs, but you'll learn something from each of them. Simply learning that you never want to do that kind of job again is a great start. 

Hopefully you'll learn what your strengths and weaknesses are and you'll surely meet a lot of interesting people.

The more places you work, the more work experiences you have, the easier it will be for you to find work that you're passionate about and truly enjoy.

So embrace each job for what it is: a way to make a bit of cash and learn a little something along the way.

Readers - what was your worst job?????

Love you when you make that money honey!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Clean Break

Dear Claire,

Unless you're one of those crazy people who marry the first guy they date, you're probably going to find yourself admist a break-up at some point in your life.

Believe it or not, there are actually some benfits to being part of a break-up.  Mainly that you'll have an instant connection with ninety-nine percent of the population and the perfect excuse (not that one is technically needed) to go out with your girlfriends to either:

a) eat lots of food that is usually only respectable in small amounts
b) drink more than you should
c) sing along to either really sad or really empowering songs
d) all af the above and probably is this order

Anyway, here's one piece of advice for surviving a break-up.

Do not get back together.

I repeat - do not get back together.

That's right, the relationship probably didn't end because it was so fantastic and amazing that you just couldn't stand it and had to be apart. It probably ended because things had been brutal for awhile and one of you finally had the guts to call it quits.

So give yourself six months. Don't communicate for six whole months. If you're really meant to be together you'll find a way back into each other's lives.

But my guess'll move on...and probably on to someone who is a better fit for you.

Love you :)