Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Interview with Girl Warrior Mel Baird.

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Today we raise our fists high and put our hands together in celebration of our Feature Girl Warrior, mobile makeup artist Melanie Baird, a woman of character and the quintessential example of what true beauty is. For over two decades, Mel has brought her unique style to over 1000 weddings; to popular television shows, including Canadian Idol, Canada’s Next Great Chef, and Kool Countdown; the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Closing Ceremonies; countless magazine features, editorial and print ads, music videos, CD covers, movies and commercials; plus, a finalist on Canada’s Next Top Model; BITE Beauty Founder Susanne Langmuir’s Movember Sephora Video; and Lieutenant Governor Judy Guichon’s official photo.  

What makes you a Girl Warrior?

As a female business owner, it’s my ability to connect with women. I love getting to the depths of our Souls with talking and healing. Spreading my light and helping make the world a better place however I can.

We love your Feel Good Campaign. How did that come about?

I have been doing makeup on women for years and helping them feel better. Many clients have gone through cancer treatments and I would teach them how to do makeup to look and feel better. It became my passion. As I did more and more I wanted to make this a staple. I get the most joy helping people, and this merged my two passions. So myself, and Danielle Bennett King, do hair and makeup every month for a woman going through treatment or hard times.

What has been your biggest challenge – personally or professionally? 

Professionally I would say my self-doubt/anxiety! If I don’t know how to do something well I tend to not feel comfortable trying. I can be hard on myself because my personal standards are very high.

What obstacles have you overcome and walls have you broken down?

I would say my anxiety and fears; they can hold you back. I loved makeup and taught myself how to be a makeup artist the old fashioned way – through books!

What would you say to your younger Girl Warrior?

This question makes my eyes tear up. I have SO much I would of loved to say! But mainly to not worry and all of your hopes and dreams do come true. Keep being you and have an open heart and beautiful things will happen.

What would you say to future Girl Warriors looking for inspiration?

Be true to who you are. Listen to your Soul. Feed your Soul. Work on inner growth because that is the key to happiness and abundance. Everything in your life will get better when you love yourself. You will be a beam of light! I try to teach this to my 18- year old daughter, especially by leading by example.

Who is/are your Girl Warrior hero(s)?

I am constantly inspired by strong women who help others. Women are nurturers and are powerful. We teach love. Also, any woman who saves animals or run rescue organizations are my heroes too.

What’s next?  

To continue doing what I love and makes me happy. To keep growing as a person. Doing makeup. Laugh, travel, enjoy life, animals and my family.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 That’s always a funny one for me. For my career I feel I am exactly where I want to be. So then I think of other areas. I am very happy in my marriage and being a mother. So maybe travel more, do more yoga, work a bit less and spend more time with my father who recently moved here.

What message would put on your t-shirt?

There are two I love:

  • “Character is built through adversity” – Unknown
  • “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s Soul remains unawakened” – Anatole France

If you have someone you would like to nominate for Mel’s “Feel Good Campaign” please connect with her. In her words, “We would love to beautify and empower them.”

Connect with Mel on Instagram @mel_baird_makeup; through her Facebook page Melanie Baird Makeup Artist or her website http://www.melaniebaird.ca

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Set Your Intentions.

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Girl Warrior. Set your intentions. Start today. Right this minute, here and now. Don’t squander or waste another day living a life that isn’t your utmost best or reflective of your highest self.

Reach out to the Universe and express in detail exactly and precisely what it is you’d like to see manifest in your world – mentally, physically and spiritually. Body. Mind. Soul. Consider all facets including relationships, family, career, health and wellbeing. It’s goal setting on steroids.

This is the first step in creating a happy and fulfilled life or taking it to the next level. This is where you begin. Always. And it’s oh so empowering.

There are no right or wrong ways to set your intentions. You can do this through daily meditation, writing in a journal or simple wire-bound notebook, filling a mason jar with aspirational sticky notes, writing your desires in the sand while at the beach, embroidering or cross-stitching inspirational messages on a pillow, painting your plan on a canvas or mural, writing affirmations with lipstick on the mirror you face every morning, constructing a collage or vision board, talking through your objectives with someone your trust.

The ways to do this are endless, personal and as unique as the Girl Warrior expressing them. The idea is to keep things simple and clear and in a language that speaks to you. Language is key here. Everything that comes out of your mouth or that is expressed in some way shape or form is a message and instruction to the Universe.

The cautionary tale here is to speak only what you want to see happen. Your thoughts and words are filled with extraordinary energy, which becomes everything you see and feel and hear and touch around you. They have the power to transform and bring into being exactly what you tell them to. Good, bad, happy or sad. It’s equal parts self-fulfilling prophecy and laws of physics. Science colliding head-on with spirituality and faith.

So Girl Warrior, communicate all your magnificent intentions and experience firsthand how you transform energy into matter that matters. Believe and you will see.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Why You Shouldn’t Edit Yourself.

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Girl Warrior. Resist the urge to constantly edit yourself. Change, if necessary. Improve, yes. Grow, most certainly. Challenge your current state of reality, absolutely. Evolve, positively. Do all these things. Engage fully and passionately in the process of becoming.

But also remember the beautiful being you are. Right here and right now.

While you’re on the progress path, realize with every precious scrap of your consciousness that there are wonderful dear things about you that are quintessentially perfect. These are the idiosyncratic things, the singular, sometimes quirky, rare and unusual characteristics that you, and only you, possess. No one else can claim ownership of these truly marvelous qualities. Remember that.

Herein lies your X-Factor. The je ne sais quoi of you. The distinctive trademark that no one else can copy, duplicate, replicate, plagiarize, pirate, poach or clone. Your bona fide stamp, your permanent tattoo, your indelible birthmark. Don’t hold something like this back. Flaunt it.

So wear your bedazzling Lone Ranger brooch Girl Warrior, and let it shine. Loud and proud. No editing. No paring back. No curtailing. No reining in or diminishing. No not ever.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Sometimes You Have to Leave the Herd.

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Girl Warrior. Sometimes you have to leave the herd. Pull away from the pack. And step out on your own. Fly solo. Go it alone. Take on the world single-handedly and forge a path that only you can walk.

This can be a frightening proposition. Terrifying. The mere thought may paralyze you. But don’t let it. Dig down deep into your Girl Warrior heart. Let it reveal all the reasons why you need to take this solitary journey. For in this sacred and sincere examination of all the light and dark places of your marrow you will discover that this is the only way you can get to the next step. This is what you need to do before you can fly.

And fly you must.

On this soul search pilgrimage you will discover some very deep truths about who you are and what you are made of. You will learn about the full depth and breadth and height of your character, rectitude, integrity, honor, principles, virtues and pure sweet goodness.

There is so much goodness.

Walk bravely and boldly through the refiner’s fire Girl Warrior. And know that your Tribe is not only waiting for your glorious and triumphant return, but that they have been there with you every step of the way. They were in the wind and rain and dust and dirt. In the forests and the mountains and seas and deserts. In the cities and villages and small towns and whistle-stops. Their abiding spirits were with you in the sunshine and in the sorrow, in the wilderness of your purpose and the wanderlust of your desires.

And when you are done Girl Warrior, they will be there cheering while you don your cape.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Ask and You Shall Receive.

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Girl Warrior. Ask and you shall receive. On the surface this is such a simple concept. Easy peasy pudding and pie. You know this. But do you really? Do you get it right down deep in your gut and marrow? The place where your truth lives, where the things that matter most take flight, where your greatness is born.

Understanding the brilliance and pixie dust of asking is a big game changer.

Take a moment Girl Warrior and imagine the life you want to manifest. Picture all the things you want to have or do or see – all the magnificent people you want to draw into your world, all the places your soul beckons, and all the personal and professional boundaries you want to bust through. Think about all those fantastical things you wish and hope for and go to sleep dreaming about.

Is the astonishing life you want achievable on your own? Probably not. We’re all on the Good Ship Lollipop together and we need each other. Big time. The help you seek may only be one question away.

What’s stopping you? Is it fear?

Are you fearful of your requests? Fearful of your desires, your needs and your intense yearnings. Fearful of your hunger and all the things in life that you crave, covet, lust and thirst for. Are you fearful that your requests will fall on mocking ears, scornful ears, or worse yet, deaf ears? That your impassioned appeals will go unanswered. Do you fear that your gorgeous tender heart will break from the silence, rage and fury that beats within?

Do you ask who is listening? Who will answer? You will never know Girl Warrior unless you have the courage to ask. And if you don’t ask, you won’t ever get.

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All photographs courtesy of Melissa Adams.

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Don’t Be a Shrinking Violet.

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Girl Warrior. Don’t be a shrinking violet. Ever. No, not ever. Not for any reason. Not for any person. Not in any situation. Under no circumstances or conditions.

Do not make yourself small. Do not diminish, draw back or decrease in any way your presence on this planet. For it belongs to you as much as it does any other. You have a place here. A position to defend. A stand to take. A clear and resounding voice. Let it be heard. For it is utterly magnificent.

Don’t back away from the good fight. Don’t abandon your convictions. Or betray your beliefs, ideologies or principles. Don’t let fear or any other false fabrication of your imagination prevent you from being the big girl that you are. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too big for your britches. That’s impossible. Stay vigilant and ignore ludicrous comments designed to keep you in your place. Or worse yet, keep you down.

You have big things to do Girl Warrior. Brilliant things. Bright things beyond your wildest dreams. But doing these things will require you to step out boldly and bravely into every arena as the formidable force that you are.

So put on your big gutsy pants Girl Warrior and show the world what it looks like to be too damn big for your britches.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: 20 Things to Love About Yourself.

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At the end of November my beautiful daughter-in-law (DIL) sent an interesting Facebook message to my two daughters and me. This message was actually a challenge. It was something she herself had been challenged to do in her fitness class that week, and one that she found extremely difficult. When I read that, my first thought was that “if this incredible young women finds a “fitness” challenge difficult,” then I’m dead meat. No way Jose. Not going to happen for this Old Broad (OB). Then when I read “the challenge” I was even more convinced that this was something I could not do.

What was so challenging about “the challenge”?

Everything. Why? Because it requires that you take a long hard, uncompromising, honest, candid, truthful and LOVING look at yourself. Both physically and non-physically. And come up with ten things for each that you like about yourself. I’m not even talking love here. Just, like. A little nod to one of your more redeeming attributes, a mere mention of some cute little trait or charming characteristic. You know the thing I’m talking about. That endearing eccentricity that your family mutters under their collective-breath at family gatherings, “There it is.” We all have those, right. But as my DIL said in her note, “It’s amazing how in 2 seconds you can name a million things about family, friends and even people you’ve just met, but to name 20 things about yourself is HARD!”

She’s right. It’s easy-peasy to find 20 things about someone else that are admirable and praiseworthy, both physically and non-physically. But try pointing the lens back at yourself and it is damn near impossible. At least for me.

But this is a new year. And I’ve decided that this is the year that I will challenge myself more. Go out on that fragile limb and do things. Face uncertainty head-on. Take some risks. Do things a little, or a lot, differently than I have in the past. Some of these things I know are going to scare the shit right out of me. And at my age this could seriously happen.

Other things, I’m going to do because they’ll be good for me. Like eating more vegetables and less meat, especially the stuff that causes the unnecessary death of cute animals. This is a dilemma for me because I think all animals, and many plants, are cute. And if you think I’m being facetious, check out Marimos. They are freakin’ adorable. So are Baby Lichens. Then there’s Venus Flytraps. Not all that cute but extremely interesting. Like the dark-haired girl wearing uncool glasses in a roomful of Barbie’s with big boobs. I can relate to the V-Flies.

And then there are those things I’ve been putting off for years, decades even. You know the things, the “I’ll do that someday” stuff. All the stuff you make excuses for, that possibly involve some kind of weird time and space continuum. I have no idea what that is but it sounds like it may apply here, and very likely every aspect of my life to date. But I do plan to make a heroic attempt, and at the very least, confront some of these things that I’ve been putting off and maybe quite conceivably, should all the stars line up just right, get around to it. Perhaps.

As for the 10 physical things and the 10 non-physical things I like about myself? I haven’t a clue. I only know that it will require me to be as kind and loving with myself as I am with others. I will need to be as gentle and gracious, understanding and big-hearted, caring and compassionate, forgiving and magnanimous to me as I am to you and you and you, and the person I’ve just met. For this is all the great big important stuff that is at the very heart of “the challenge.” Maybe, just maybe, that’s why it’s so difficult.

And as my wise, witty and wonderful DIL said, it’s easier to come up with these things about someone else then it is about yourself. So I thought I’d do it for her.

10 Physical things that I LOVE about my DIL (in no particular order and just for starters):

  1. Big beautiful smile
  2. Gorgeous hair
  3. Killer abs
  4. Cute freckles
  5. Dazzling blue eyes
  6. Tiny waist
  7. Artistic hands
  8. Infectious laugh
  9. Melodic voice
  10. Magnificent fit figure

10 Non-Physical things that I LOVE about my DIL (in no particular order and just for starters):

  1. Loving-kindness
  2. Generosity
  3. Compassion
  4. Thoughtfulness
  5. Gentleness
  6. Intelligence
  7. Creativity
  8. Humor
  9. Courage
  10. Warmth and wonder

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Press Pause.

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Girl Warrior. Press pause. Give yourself a time out. Take a break. A breather. Remove yourself from the busy-ness of life. Especially when you feel you have no time to do so. For that is when you need it the most.

Step away from the chaos that surrounds you. Separate yourself from all the noise and nonsense. Beat a hasty retreat from the racket and wild rumpus. Clear the incessant commotion inside your head that’s tearing your fragile spirit to shreds. And wreaking havoc with your overloaded senses.

Stop the madness Girl Warrior. Check out of Hotel Crazy. Find your place of refuge. We all have a sacred space, a thinking spot, and a place where peace is waiting. Go there. If you don’t have one, find one or create one. It’s that important. And once there, take the time you need to revive, rejuvenate and refresh. Breathe new life into your weary bones.

Resist the urge to overthink or complicate things. Finding a place to rest and recover can be as easy as drawing a hot bath filled with your favorite fragrance, locking the door to the outside world, lighting a few candles, pouring a beverage that nurtures your spirit, and closing your eyes as you sink into the sweet soothing serenity of silence.

Then just let it all go Girl Warrior. Let it go.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Celebrate.

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Girl Warrior. Celebrate. Everything. And anything. You can always find a reason. Take a moment every day to honor and take pleasure in something. Even the smallest and simplest. The stuff that’s so easy to overlook. The outwardly ordinary. The seemingly run-of-the-mill. Start here and let it grow. Like a heaven-sent happiness seed.

You woke up. You’re alive. You’ve been blessed with another day to give this life your best shot. A clean slate. A fresh beginning. Another day to dream and scheme and breathe utter brilliance into every single thing you do. Take note and rejoice in that astounding thought.

Make every day a special occasion. No matter where you are or who you’re with. Enjoy every second. Whoop and holler. Party hardy. Live it up. Have a ball. Kick up your heels. Be silly and make a fabulous fool of yourself. Let things get insanely messy. Eat drink and be merry. Dress up and go out on the town. Or throw a pajama party for all your besties. Celebrate your friendship, your sisterhood, and all those you hold near and dear. Crack-open a bottle of wine or a bottle of pop. Dunk Oreos in milk. Make bread and break bread. Have big wonderful meals together. Or snuggle two-by-two. Make hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and read a good book. Celebrate your priceless alone time too.

Celebrate the holidays, special occasions and all the magnificent milestones along the way. Don’t let them slip carelessly by unnoticed. For these are the markers of your life. The things you’ll look back on that will make you smile and fill your heart with joy and gratitude. These are the essentials of memory making. The lumps in your throat, the flutter in your heart, and the shiny tears in your eyes. These are your finest happy pills.

Girl Warrior, cherish the gift of celebration all the days of your life. You will never be too old.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Listen Up.

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Girl Warrior. Listen up. Listen attentively and actively when someone is speaking to you. Listen empathically. Sympathetically. Conscientiously. Listen with your ears. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your heart. Engage all your senses. And your extra senses also.

Give all your attention to the one doing the talking. Whether they have come to pour their heart out and confide in you. Or pour you a cup of tea and all that is required is some comfortable conversation with a cookie.

Focus on the one across from you. Do not allow yourself to become distracted, diverted or drawn away. Don’t let anything trump or eclipse this moment between you. Turn off your cell phone. Close your tablet. Shut down your laptop. Turn off the TV. And tune in.

Then lean in. Look hard into their eyes. Let them know they matter. What they have to say matters. Their thoughts and feelings and fears and hopes and dreams count for something. This is important stuff Girl Warrior. Respect, regard and reverence are composed and crafted here in these everyday exchanges. These ordinary little tête-à-têtes that happen so often we take them for granted. These soulful heart-to-hearts that we assume will always be. But the truth is, they won’t. So don’t squander even one single solitary conversation by not being fully present.

Girl Warrior let the one across from you know that you have not only shown up, but you are fully engaged. And listening.

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