Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The REAL Beauty Queens

Just to prove Cinderella really made it to the fancy ball, here’s a photo of Mindy and me at the Word Awards in Toronto on June 15. My novel, Maggie’s War, took the award for Best Historical Novel. I was also surprised to bring home the prize in the Column Series category for a pair of columns that ran in the Herald Leader last fall: “Practically a Spa Day” and “A Bone to Pick.” (which you can also find on this blog by clicking on the titles.) What an honor! 

Thank you, Word Guild. And thank you, friends and readers, for all your support and encouragement!

But now for what you really want to hear about: the glamour and glitz. Not to brag or anything, but it only takes five people to make me look this good. Let me introduce these drop-dead gorgeous women.

Jodi Boldt Knox runs a boutique out of her home called The Lovely Pink Chair. She buys high-end clothing and accessories from consignment shops and rents or sells them to her clients. The real beauty lies in her full-service specialty. You don’t simply browse through racks of clothes and pick something out. When I showed up at the appointed time, several pre-assembled outfits already hung around the room, waiting for my perusal. For the next forty minutes Jodi treated me like a queen to her lady’s maid. Once we settled on this fabulous dress, we experimented with shoes, jewelry, and handbags—all to rent! The whole experience was nearly as special as the gala itself—and cheaper. You can contact Jodi at

Doreen Klippenstein has been untangling my mop of hair for twenty years, regaling me with her funny and wise stories. These days, she is often joined in her shop by her daughter Genevieve Webber. When an out-of-province wedding forced Doreen to change my pre-gala appointment, I felt a moment of panic. Who could I trust with this mess of hair? Long story short, I got two talented hairdressers for the price of one. Doreen performed a cut and color earlier in the week, before she had to leave; then I returned two days later to have Genevieve style it for me before I left. What a team! I don’t know if they’re taking any new clients, but you can email me if you want the shop’s phone number.

Even though I’m not a frequent customer, Rachel Utz graciously works me into her appointment book to do my nails for special occasions. She’s fast, she’s good, she’s reasonably priced, and she’s wonderful to chat with while she transforms hands into objects of beauty. You leave feeling wonderful, thanks to her loving spirit and artistry. Alas, Rachel is having a baby in a few months and is not taking new clients. I’ll keep her phone number to myself.

My daughter Mindy Erickson is not technically in the beauty business, but her years of helping young women discover their potential as loved children of God makes her someone you love to hang out with. As my gala date, she provided moral support as we texted each other photos of our outfits leading up to the event, then helped me with my makeup in our hotel room. Besides, she makes me laugh, and laughing is like cosmetic surgery for the face.

So, I guess it’s official. I have become one of those high maintenance women. But I think the biggest beauty secret all these women share is their love for Jesus, which shines through their countenance and settles onto the people they serve. Whoever said beauty is only skin deep has not met these five.

Here’s to the professionals who make this ol’ world a more beautiful place, and this ol’ gal a little more glamorous every now and then!

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