Hey Babes....

So as you know, I recently got a tattoo. It’s the logo of the key for the shop. Maybe it totally makes sense to you why I chose this or maybe you’re like.....Girl....Are you actually, literally branding yourself??
I guess yes, and no. I got this tattoo and the words grit and grace, because I feel like those words describe the last 4.5 years of my life.

I can’t lie to you guys. These past 4 years have come with some incredible highs and some terrible lows. I had no idea that I was a workaholic.
And not like, yeah girl....hustle, hustle!!
But more like.....extreme anxiety that I will fail and lose everything I have built unless I am literally working myself sick. And this is no joke, I actually recently was diagnosed and am still recovering from Shingles.


What??? Isn’t that what old people get? This is what I asked my doctor. She said, yes the elderly and young people who are very stressed out and have a low immune system.

Are you stressed Michelle?

A simple question.

I waited until I had reached the safety of my car and I burst into tears.
I’m hardly holding my head above the water. These days it’s quite normal for me to get light headed around 6pm and realize it’s because I haven’t actually eaten anything yet that day.
It’s normal for me to run off of 4 hours of sleep and 4 extra large coffees throughout out the day, then a few glasses of wine at night to help fall asleep because my body is jittering from caffeine.
This is not a healthy life. My body is incredibly angry at me. My mind is sad because being a workaholic is actually very hard. It makes my mom guilt go through the roof. In my head I know I have to put the laptop away and spend quality time with my precious girls. But the truth is, I feel better at working than I do at momming. Which in turn makes me hate myself a little. I’m good at working, I enjoy it, it’s satisfying, and people are actually quite impressed by what I do.
Momming.....I feel like a constant failure 24/7. I’m not making healthy enough food, their bedtimes aren’t on a proper schedule, Gabby cries every morning she has to go to school because she misses me, because I am a bad mom.
These are things that I put on me. They are not entirely true, but for some reason I like to beat myself up about them.

You might ask why I am being so transparent and admitting all of this to you? I’m sort of unsure of why I am too. But, I think it’s because I know a lot of you see my daily outfit pics and my cute photos of my girls and think, how does she do it all???? How does she have it together everyday?

Babes, I’m not doing it all. I am riding the struggle bus on the daily. On. The. Daily!!!

Working and being a mom is epically hard. I think in this day and age even more so because there is that constant pressure to be better. To look in control and to look like it’s all perfect.
I have recently started talking to a life coach out of Vancouver. While I am proud of my hard work, grit and determination. I also know it will hurt me in other areas of my life if I don’t learn how to control it. My marriage suffers, and my family suffers. Not to mention my friends, I feel like I never have time for them anymore.
I need help finding balance. I also recently hired a nanny so when I do get home from work, I can dedicate those few precious hours to my girls instead of trying to work, parent and be a good housekeeper.
These are a few of the things I am starting to do to take better care of myself. And please, feel free to comment any other things that have helped you. I am all ears babes!

So I am telling you this because I know there are many of you that are reading this, that can completely relate. I want you to know that you are so not alone!
And I don’t just mean working moms but also stay at home moms. I can not fathom the responsibility of being the perfect stay at home mom. I feel like I get a bit of a pass in some ways.....”Oh Michelle bought cookies for the bake sale, well it’s because she’s so busy.”
I know all you moms are just as busy but in different ways. So try find your balance mamas. I am trying. I am failing most days, but I’m learning to ask for help and try not to beat myself up if I don’t do it all everyday.

So the tattoo. The tattoo is a daily reminder of what I have built. With extreme grit and as much grace as I can muster. I have built myself a dream job! A job that makes my heart so happy it could burst. I have built a beautiful family. The tattoo is a reminder to enjoy it, to slow down a second and take it all in. My mind constantly wants to wander to what’s next?? A 3rd store..... a bigger 1st store.

What next??? What next????

Calm Michelle. Live right now. What’s next will come, but you need to enjoy your accomplishments as they happen.
We all do. We all need to enjoy what we have and appreciate the now.
So that’s the story behind my tattoo. That’s the story of me these days. A dang hot mess that is just trying to make it all work.
So please, know in those days that you want to scream and pull your hair out and wonder why you can’t do it all....you are not alone.

And you are doing the best you can do.

You are enough.

You are full of grit and grace, believe it.

Tattoo Done By: SaraKim Terrero @ Gold Ocean Studios




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  • Jennifer : December 21, 2018
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    Your amazing 🌈 I’m so glad I read this , Cus it is easy to judge isn’t it , that someone is just riding the success train and just doing it all , super human ! Kerry had me check you out ( our mutual love Kerry Lawrence) Cus he said you we’re killing the insta game and from a smaller town like me . I too, put everything in my shop. It’s my confidence, my anxiety, my I’m not good enough , my constant question of I’m doing it right . Small tourist town, mountain town, and I’m trying to sell Rails? 😝 haha – trying to be true to me and what I’m all about and what inspires me …. but it’s sadly a bit different than what the town prob wants. Rollercoaster .
    You inspire me even more now that I’ve read this 💕 Cus your doing it . Along with struggle, your doing it . And your doing amazing , and being a strong woman role model for your girls . A boss babe doesn’t have to mean your super woman , I think it’s quite the opposite . Admitting that is fng hard, bit doing it anyway 🤛 not everyone has that kind of Steele 💪 you got this 💋 , love Jenn from velvet moss

  • Colleen: October 22, 2018
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    You are an inspiration. I love your insta story’s. You never come across as nothing but brave and successful. This story is heartfelt. Congratulations to your success, and to your family!!

  • Jessica : October 20, 2018
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    LOVE ❤️
    Mad respect babe!

  • Elise: October 19, 2018
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    Thank you for being real!

  • Joy : October 19, 2018
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    Thanks for being so open and sharing your story. Since I have found your boutique I have loved following you and your stories. It is so great to see someone real. As a business owner and Mom I understand your story completely. My son is grown and works for us and it is a daily struggle to make sure that the company prospers for our employees. Most people don’t understand the pressure of being a business owner and having so many people relying on you. You are a strong, beautiful woman and things will keep getting better!!

  • Karen: October 19, 2018
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    Incredible, open, and vulnerable share. Connection helps all of us realize we are not alone in the ways we beat ourselves up.
    Love that u have a coach, I have found this so helpful myself. Meditation, mindfulness, consciously taking a few deep breaths and asking what is important now, have also all been helpful,
    I reasonate so much about loving work and feeling like the mom part isn’t as easy. But you’re an amazing mom, so choose your boundaries for work and family and you’ll feel less guilt. No such thing as balance…I call it Startegically unbalanced! Way easier to achieve that! Much love …you got this. I healed from shingles last year too after much stress…missed my 40th surprise party :( boo

  • Grace : October 19, 2018
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    I’m inspired by your honesty and desire to comfort a community full of people who can relate. There’s no perfect fix and everything takes time. One of the most difficult parts (at least for me) of dealing with stress is sleeping. I find even when I’m extremely exhausted and know that without sleep I will be unable to do any of the things I need to do I lay in bed unable to turn off my brain or stay asleep. A HUGE reccomendation that has changed my sleeping life has been magnesium oil. I have never slept so well since adding this natural supplement to my life. You can purchase it at Red Ribbon a store close to your Edmonton location. I promise it will transform your sleep. I have gone from 5/6 coffees a day to drinking a tea. It is a must have. I wish you luck on your journey 💗

  • Julia: October 19, 2018
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    Your are amazing Michelle. You should be so proud of yourself. You are teaching your girls such a value lesson that hard work pays off and dreams do come true. Keep doing what you’re doing, you are such an inspiration to those around you xoxoxo

  • Cameo : October 19, 2018
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    wow. thank you for sharing the honesty! I relate to you in so many ways and I am not even a mom yet. I owned a store and was in school. Then got a job as a sales rep! —my idea of my dream job at that point in my life! and of course I hit a wall, the wake up call wall. We are all in the boat together. The more we talk about it, the better we all feel. Take care of yourself ♥️♥️

  • Linda: October 19, 2018
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    That was a big and very brave share Michelle. Congratulations on the first step of your wellness journey.

    There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel like a failure for my three miscarriages from the year 2000. I was juggling work (trying to have a career) while caring for my terminally ill father (monthly trips to the Mayo Clinic), to reassuring my mom that things will be alright, to loving my husband.

    My health came crashing down three years ago with a diagnosis of Lupus and then a rare lung disease (life span of five years from time of diagnosis) compounded by other diseases associated to Lupus. I had to quit my job just shy of a full retirement pension. I finally had my dream job, but I didn’t listen to my body’s warnings.

    The good news is my husband and I sold our home and moved halfway across Canada to our dream of living in Kelowna.

    I too added ink to my body in my late 50’s. A lotus flower to remind me that like the lotus who grows in mud, and in the toughest of conditions I will rise up and blossom. The tattoo in on the back of my neck to help me push forward.

    Look often at your key and take that moment to reflect on all the positives in your life. Then, silence your mind and move forward.

    Wishing you peace and love

  • Joanna Schipper: October 19, 2018
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    Thank you for sharing a story that so many working moms feel! Your journey is one I share with you. Be gentle and honest with yourself as you are! I have 3 books I think might interest you. “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis, “Imperfect Courage” by Jessica Honegger and Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist. They really helped me to feel less quilt about doing less to do more well. It might also be time to start training/hiring someone to do the parts of your job that don’t fill you with passion. Again, listening to Rachel Hollis’ podcast/experience where she gave up being CEO of her company to become Chief Creative Officer and how it’s actually allowed her business to grow exponentially. Best of luck!!

  • Nicole: October 19, 2018
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    Hey Michelle, I loved your honesty in this post! I just wanted to share something that helped me with frazzled nerves. Check out your local health food store for adrena smart by lorna vanderhaeghe. Also rhodiola is great too and passion flower for sleep! These supplements have been life changing for me!

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