Category: Fabulous women

How I got unstuck from a table in a beauty salon

Customer Service

This is a two part blog post.  The first part is how I got myself stuck on a table in a beauty salon, and the second a tribute to excellent customer service.

I was really excited on Saturday morning, I was returning to Westport for a day of visiting old friends and haunts.  The Hair and Beauty Rooms in Westport is a ‘haunt’ and a place where I have made some very good friends.  I wanted to treat myself to a few treatments including a leg wax.  I honestly believe that every fabulous woman should where possible have salon days (and if money is tight, treat yourself in your own home).

I digress…

I woke up on Saturday morning bright and breezy and simply sat on the sofa.  Pop – my back went out.  Excruciating pain.  It hasn’t happened for years, but it happened on a day when I didn’t want it to happen.  I tried lying on the floor and doing a manoeuvre to pop it back in.  The only thing that happened was that the dog was worried about me and tried to lick me better.  I struggled up, took a pain killer and set off to Westport. Thankfully I was not driving.

It eased up a bit and I struggled up the stairs of the salon eager to begin my treats.  It all went very well.  I lay there and was pampered by Lindsay, chatting away and thinking that my back wasn’t really that bad.  We got to the part where she asked me to turn over to wax the back of my legs. Eeek – out it went again.  I was stuck I couldn’t move one way or another.

Now in a way this was a funny situation, but in another it was awkward. Here I was bent double with half my legs waxed.

I cannot applaud the customer service I received loudly enough.  Lindsay was determined that I would leave the salon all beautifully waxed.  She finished the job with me bent double – I first for us all.  The awkwardness then increased as I realised I couldn’t reach my trousers which had slipped to the floor, never mind get dressed.  Lindsay kindly helped me to dress and sent me off to my favourite Westport pharmacy where again I was welcomed and given both great advice and the right medication to relieve the pain and enjoy the time with my friends.

This is a shout out to all those who give amazing customer service as part of their job. They are heroes.

Thank you for reading.  If you would like to leave a comment, please do and tell me about your customer service hero.

Kerry xx

The ICA and Me – Great way to make friends

ica imageThe Irish Country Woman’s Association (ICA) has been going for 105 years.  I heard about it soon after I arrived in Ireland, but never got around to joining, mostly due the fact that I was living far out in the country.  I can honestly I wish I had joined years ago.

A week after moving to Westport I saw a little piece in the local paper about ICA.  I picked up the phone and got straight through to our chairwoman Ann – and a few days later, I joined the ICA family.

Just recently my son had two work related social occasions.  I excitedly asked him what he had learnt.  I was expecting to hear about the power of twitter, or the something new to do with gaming.  His answer surprised me.  ‘More than anything, I  learnt that I can walk into a room full of strangers and act like I can fit it’.

I think that when I moved to Westport this is exactly what I had to do.  I am a very bubbly outgoing person, but it is still hard to start over and make new friends.

Joining the Westport ICA Guild was one of the best things I ever did.  I walked into a room full of  fabulous ladies who have now become friends.  I was welcomed warmly and I have never for a minute felt like I was a stranger.

I learnt loads of new skills including how to crochet, and I was given an opportunity to share my own crafting skills, but more than anything I have learnt about life.  About the town where I live, and about the lives of my ICA friends.

I think a lot of people don’t really know about the ICA.  Ask me out on a Tuesday night and my standard answer will be – sorry, I have ICA.  I get some strange looks and questions about what we actually do. It is a lot more than knitting I can tell you!

Yes, there are craft skills that are shared but there are also other activities such as quiz nights, sporty evenings, charity activities and visiting speakers.  Mostly though ICA is about people.  About making friends and connecting with the lives of others.  All ICA meetings end with a good natter over tea – a truly special time and not to be missed.

In some of my other blog posts I have talked about balance.  ICA balances my life.  It is a commitment to attend on a Tuesday night, and that is important in itself.  It gets you out and gets you motivated to say farewell to the TV and the sofa for a few hours.   Many evenings I have walked home still giggling away at something that has been shared.

Thank you Westport ICA – you are a great bunch of ladies and I am super proud to be a member.

Almost every country has a version of ICA – I would encourage anyone to join – it is the support of fabulous woman who quietly work away doing amazing work.  Think of the now famous ‘Calender Girls’.  The aim of the ICA is to provide a welcoming and fun organisation which offers support, friendship, personal development, education and live long learning.  It has certainly done exactly that for me.

The photos in this article are of the Federation meeting held here in Westport.  The craft display was an amazing display of work completed by members, and the cake display was a work of art and tasted even more delicious than it looked.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to leave a comment if you have your own woman’s group stories you would like to share.

Kerry xx

 

Online friends are real friends – especially ITWBN bloggers

 

itwbn

There is some debate online as to whether online friends are real friends.

I am going to come right out and say that these are real friends.  And this, to me is the theme of the Into the West Blogger Network (ITWBN)

Yesterday I attended my second event.  I was greeted with hugs and kisses and genuine compliments from people who I have only really seen on ‘screen’.  I recognised faces and straight away associated the real live people with the beautiful bloggers that I know from reading about them online and swopping comments on Facebook and Twitter.

All bloggers are brave.  We write about ourselves, our thoughts and our lives.  Bravery deserves respect and I know that the bloggers in the network and beyond respect each other.

We are all at different stages of our lives, and I was so humbled to realise how many people were actually reading my blog and knew about my journey.

I blog because I love writing and I feel like I have stories to tell.  I think this is true of so many bloggers.  And many of us pour our hearts out to our online readers, who kindly come back with comments, on the blog or on facebook.

Yesterday was fabulous.  Gorgeous venue at the G Hotel, my very favourite hotel, lots of sparkle and a beautiful welcome.  Food was yummy.  And the glamour of the ladies and gents was top class!  Everyone had made a real effort to celebrate this very important 1st birthday party.  The most fabulous part of the day was the real warmth and obvious friendship around the room, and I know that many people had not met in ‘real life’ before.

In this very special blogger network there is no judgement, only encouragement from a very nice bunch of people.  Being part of the network has given me the kickstart to get my blog going, and to start writing my book.

There is going to have to be a part 2 to this post because I haven’t even started on the motivational speakers, the amazing people I met at the exhibition tables, the goody bags and most of all the most fabulicious Saibh and Sinead.

Tonight I will read a few blogs before bedtime and know that my friendship circle is bigger and richer because of ITWBN.

Thanks for reading

Kerry xx

A recipe for friendship

friendship

I am rich!  In friendship.  Over my life I have made some really special friends and what really makes me rich is that I have kept these friends.

Through the teenage years, the turbulent twenties, marriages, separations, children, careers and a move halfway across the world my friendships have survived.  I am really blessed because I am still making friends.

A big shout out and a thank you to communication platforms like Skype and Facebook which make it easy to bridge the gap.

All this got me thinking about what ingredients make a good friendship

Ingredients: (in no particular order)

Positivity

We can’t always be positive, but it does help.  In a friendship this is really important especially when you are listening and being supportive.  We all go through hard times, and when your friend is having a tough time, this is your chance to balance out with some positive vibes, thoughts and actions

Being a giver

This is really big.  Give of yourself, give of your time, and give from your heart.  On my birthday I received a crazy parcel from South Africa.  Lots and lots of little goodies, each with a memory or thought.  It isn’t about value, but it is about thought.  Looking around me now, my friends are reflected in little goodies all around my siting room.

One of my special friends often brings me a tiny gift from a day out, and I do the same in return.  It isn’t about money, it is about thought and making your friend feel special.

Communication

Best case scenario, sitting face to face sharing a cup of tea and a piece of cake.  This isn’t always possible, but in today’s world we have so many extra options open to us.  Facebook, Skype, Email.  Even the old fashioned letter or parcel.  Keep in touch!

Meaningful communication is soul food.

Listening

In every friendship there is a time to talk and a time to listen.  Listening is so very important.  Sometimes all a friend needs is someone to listen, I know I do.  Thoughts jumble around my brain and fall out.  Knowing that they are falling onto ears that care means a huge amount.

Empathy

The first time I heard about the concept of empathy, the whole world made sense to me.  The Greater Good defines empathy like this.  The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Loyalty and respect

Loyalty in friendship is essential.  Listen, but don’t speak.  and respect our friends feelings.  Imagine yourself back on the playground and ‘stick-up’ for your friend.  My friends that have stood by me, especially in the last couple of years have made a huge difference in how I have coped with live’s little curve balls.

Honesty – sometimes

Really honesty is good all the time.  You need to have people in your life who will tell you the truth, but with empathy and understanding.  I rely on my friends to tell me if I am badly dressed or not seeing things straight.  It isn’t always easy to hear, but if you are going to hear it let it be from a good friend.

Be there

Such an important one.  True friends are simply there, and especially when it counts.  As you know i have some health issues, and I am so grateful to the friends who have simply been there for me.  Listen to your friend cry.  Be there to celebrate the good times with a sparkling glass of prosecco.  Be there, to enourage them when they are climbing mountains.  I can think of so many occassions when friends of mine have been there for me – those are moments that are treasures.

Share

From a simple meal shared to sharing of your thoughts and moments.  Sharing is a true basic ingredient of friendship.  Like sharing your cookie on the playground, for me it is all about giving of yourself.  Now if you have two people sharing, you have such a cool friendship.

Method:

Listen to your heart, be consistent and yes, you have to work at it.  Schedule calls, send emails, set up tea dates.  Our lives get so busy it is easy enough to let things slip.  A true friend will always be there, even after ages of no communication, but it is so much better to be a good friend, and keep in touch.

This blog post goes out to all my friends. Fabulous Woman who are so special to me.  You know who you are xx

Friendship is so important so please feel free to share!

Kerry xx

Fabulous Woman – #bizpartyinspires conference and the power of twitter!

Photo credit: Rafal Kostrzewa @dublinheadshot

I went off to the Bizpartyinspires conference in Dublin not really knowing what to expect.  I came away with so much, having learnt, networked and become inspired.  Especially by lots of fabulous women.

As you all know I am fascinated by fabulousness, and meeting fabulous woman was a real gift.  I attended the conference for work, but was gifted with so much more.

Let me start my story with the night I arrived.  I reached the hotel and was so very very tired, with sore feet.  After checking into my room, I sat on the bed and realised that my first priority was to quench my thirst and eat something.  I wondered about going down to the bar area on my own.  Being a new twitter addict I checked twitter, and there it was, a tweet from the Tweeting Goddess herself, along with a photo of smiley people inviting anyone arriving to join them.  How nice is that?

I was welcomed warmly and made to feel like I had immediately made good friends.  That evening I met three woman who inspired me right off, and continued to do so the next day.  I would like to tell you about these fabulous ladies.

Samantha Kelly, the founder of Irishbizparty is so down to earth and genuine.  After a few minutes in her company, and you know that Sam has great empathy.  She is a connector, and has helped so many individuals and companies.  I know this, not because I read it on the website, but because I saw it in the way Samantha interacts with people, and in the amazing success of the event.  A fabulous woman who started a twitter tidal wave in her pyjamas!  She truly is a Tweeting Goddess.

Mairead Healy, the second of the fabulous woman I met is a singer extrodinaire!  I didn’t know this when I met her, we started chatting, and then she mentioned that she sang.  Nice, I thought in my head.  Mairead is a wonderful woman, a teacher and a monther, who started using Twitter before allowing her daughter a twitter account.  Just after lunch, a new Mairead appeared, beautifully dressed in singing clothes, she stood before us. The most magnificent soprano voice filled the room, and transported me.  I always say that art and music is judged on how it makes you feel.  This touched my heart and soul.   Take a listen here.

Carol Brill, was the third fabulous woman I met.  I could probably dedicate a full blog post to Carol’s story and how inspirational this lady is.  When I met her in the pub, I simply met a beautiful woman.  As the evening went on, I discovered that Carol has Usher syndrome – Usher syndrome is a genetic condition that causes both hearing loss and progressive deterioration in vision due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP).  Over my visit I got to know Carol and although at this stage I hadn’t heard her presentation, I was already inspired by this brave woman who put her daughter first.  Carol only has 3 percent of her vision left, and the Irishbizparty has raised funds so that Carol and her daughter Sara can see Disney in July this year!

Carol’s presentation at the conference blew me away.  In fact it blew everyone away.  As she spoke about being diagnosed with Usher Syndrome and the journey she has travelled on, there were a few sniffles around the room.  Carol does not ask for sympathy or attention, she simply tells a story with sincerity, humour and humility.  Please visit her website at Seeing Disney.

I went to the conference to learn about social media and especially Twitter.  I learnt all of that but I also came away inspired by these woman.  Being honest, there were many other fabulous woman too, but these three stood out for me.

Thanks for reading, and please visit the links.

Thanks for reading

Kerry

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