INTRODUCING KELLY JOHNSTON: MY MILLENNIAL PARTNER

 Kelly and Me...A Perfect Match!

Kelly and Me...A Perfect Match!

The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul. If that is the case, then Kelly Johnston’s eyes reveal a view that captures the essence of a beautiful soul.

Kelly is my millennial partner for The Bridging The Gap Campaign, which is aimed at tearing down stereotypes and building intergenerational bonds that unite women of all ages. There is no doubt that women are judged by their appearance, and that as we age, we are classified as old material, shelved with an expiration date.

This campaign is aimed at halting that trend, and creating a new one.

I was lucky enough to be able to partner with Kelly a few months ago, when I chose her from a list of millennial bloggers who would be participating in the campaign. I won’t lie to you, I went directly to her Instagram to see what she looked like, how many followers she had and the content of her IG feed. Of course I was completely struck by her beauty, but it was really the Canadian flag in her profile section that sealed the deal for me!

 People have told us that we look alike, and I take that as the highest compliment! 

People have told us that we look alike, and I take that as the highest compliment! 

  Living outside of Canada for over 2 decades has had a profound effect on my Canadian roots. Don’t get me wrong…I adore the United States, its complexities and troubles notwithstanding, it truly is the land of opportunity and freedom and I am grateful for the life that I have built here. But once a Canadian, always a Canadian, eh?

  Enough about me…I want you to meet this sweet young woman, whose infectious personality was clearly evident from her first email. Kelly was born and raised in a small town outside of Toronto. She attended school there and I imagine was very popular! After graduating from High School, she did a stint in Finland, having followed a boyfriend there. Even though she was only 19 at the time, and her parents were a little less than enthusiastic about the move, she describes it as a fantastic experience.  Once she moved back to Canada, she studied Dental Hygiene and worked as a dental hygienist for seven years. It was at the invitation of her father, who owns and runs a local private Hydro company in Ontario, that she decided to switch gears and learn the business,  which she will ultimately take over. She claims to work in very unglamorous clothing and surroundings, donning mostly work boots. Somehow, I get the feeling that she looks pretty fabulous in those boots!

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Her entry into the world of blogging on social media began a couple of years ago when she Instagrammed herself in a TRIANGL bathing suit. The Australian brand took notice of her and that, shall we say, was the beginning of something wonderful for Kelly. Her following began to soar and she was offered many partnerships. Kelly is very particular about brands with whom she will partner, and only features ones about which she is passionate. Skincare is one such area; it is something that is of utmost importance to her. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with skin cancer, something that changed her life completely. Like many of us, she spent time in the sun….(yes it gets warm enough to sun bathe in Canada), and never thought that she would fall victim to its harm, especially in her twenties. It was truly a wake up call for her. She is diligent about sunscreen application and partners with brands that promote that in their products.

  Kelly’s mom plays a key role in her career, as she is her photographer. Once you visit Kelly’s Instagram page,  @kellynicolejohnston, you will see that even though her subject, (Kelly), is a knock out, her mother has a fabulous eye and a great deal of talent!

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Kelly’s outer exquisiteness is matched and may even be surpassed by her inner beauty. She is warm, compassionate, honest and wise. And all of this comes across in her Instagram posts. She speaks form the heart in an unencumbered way. If I was asked what I have gleaned from this relationship, it is her ability to live her life in a full and meaningful way, to put everything into perspective, to have dreams and goals but not to obsess over them. I was certainly not as relaxed about myself at Kelly’s age as she seems to be. I was always concerned with what others thought of me and would I ever achieve my full potential? At the age of 58, I still struggle with some of these issues, but my friendship with Kelly helped me to not judge myself so harshly and to be less self- critical. Kelly and I are mutual admirers, and are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. I am looking forward to forging a friendship with this special woman, so wise beyond her years. Those eyes are what initially drew me (and everyone) in, but the view that they expose is something that I am certainly glad I get to see.
  To view all of the Bridging The Gap participants and their posts, please visit
https://catherinegraceo.com/bridging-gap-2017/

 

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Meet Lesley Wolman: My Bridging The Gap Partner

Character. Intelligence. Strength. Style.
That makes beauty.

It's not an age.
And that's why I am so honoured to be a part of "Bridging The Gap" campaign.
Its time to end the stigma between successful women based on a number.

Look at my gorgeous "midlife" partner, Lesley Wolman. I know, you'd think she would be on the "millennial" side. For one, I don't think she ages, she has cooler style than me, works out like a mad woman, cooks like Martha Stewart & definitely beats my shower sing alongs as if she's Beyoncé.

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Oh. Can I add a pretty BIG plus? She's Canadian! It was so refreshing to meet up with a fellow Canuck. It's just a one of a kind bond that really is something special when you meet someone from the good ol North.

Born in Winnipeg, then moved to Toronto to further her nursing degree, where she practiced in Toronto and New York.  She remained in New York while her husband received his law degree and she performed on Broadway (Yup, she really is the real deal). They later moved to LA, where she was a stay at home mom to two beautiful children (Yale & Serena) and her husband Jeff, became a business manager in the entertainment industry.    I still need to find out who these entertainers are?! Hmmm.       I'm thinking he could add his wife to his list of clients because Lesley has been pursuing her own music career herself. Recording albums and singing in her own cabaret shows... and let's not forget that she has a new album coming out titled "The Great Canadian Songbook" so we all need to check that out... I know I am! I hear she does a Michael Bublé cover.... she obviously has amazing taste in music as well.

 Lesley deep into song recording "The Great Canadian Songbook."

Lesley deep into song recording "The Great Canadian Songbook."

Lesley has the BEST advice. She's 58 (I know, I don't believe it either) and she has a few years on me but that doesn't mean a thing. Whether it's about fashion, recipes, taking care of your skin, makeup or facing the reality of our metabolism... she really does know her stuff.   I mean, she rocks a leather dress better than I EVER will. By the way, I really do want to raid her closet. Have you seen her effortless posts here on IG (@lesleywolman) she's vibrant, fashionable and totally being herself. That's what I love about her.  She doesn't define herself by a silly number.  And she rocks anything and everything with pure confidence.

I would love to hit the mall with this woman! And the spa... and and and....

If you follow her blog (www.fabulesley.com) you'll understand where I am coming from.

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She shows her compassion and total hip side of her in every post she shares. I always joke with her about adopting me (don't worry mom, you're still my #1) because we have so much in common, she's hilarious, interesting, kind, intelligent, big hearted and let's face it... we kind of look alike, don't you think?

I admire her heart. And you can recognize her big heart in how she finds it in her to always give back. She lights right up when she talks about helping out her community. She told me if there was anything valuable that I could take from her, it is to be passionate about giving back into the world. Bless her heart. We need more of these people in our world.  

 Lesley wearing her Jewish Federation Lion of Judah pin as a necklace. She is enromously proud of the work she does on behalf of The Federation.

Lesley wearing her Jewish Federation Lion of Judah pin as a necklace. She is enromously proud of the work she does on behalf of The Federation.

 

I am so so lucky to have linked up with Lesley. Not only am I proud to share and show her off, I am forever thankful for the friendship we will continue to build. This bond was meant to be and with this experience I have never looked at this as a "project", it has been a huge honour of mine to have met this wonderful woman and I only look forward to learning from one another and rooting for each other throughout our journey.
  To view all of The Bridging The Gap participants and their posts, please visit
https://catherinegraceo.com/bridging-gap-2017/ 

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