enjoying life

How to Get Your Winter Glow On

How to Get Your Winter Glow On

You want to know a great way to beat the winter blahs? Glow your way through those gray days and skin-drying frosts! A little less sunshine and indoor exposure to heat blasts through vents doesn’t have to leave you looking dull. Here are some simple ways to get a winter glow going!

Sun up. I’ve mentioned before that I love Maybelline’s BB (Beauty Balm) foundations and the numerous reasons why, which include the dewy finish, its 30 spf skin protection, and its moisturizing effect. So, for me, it was a natural transition to the Bronze BB for my summer make-up routine. I ended up using it long after summer was over because of the sun-kissed look it gives.  For the winter glow (versus I-just-got-back-from-my-virtual-tropical-location look), stick to the shade that is closest to your natural skin tone.

Baby kisses. I realize Maybelline isn’t the first brand that pops to mind when we’re talking about more mature skin, but the same qualities that make it a more youth-oriented product are the qualities that make it a great choice to add glow at any age. Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush is a favorite of mine because of the sheerness and, well. . . the instant flush you get with a quick swipe! This isn’t all-day hearty color, it’s more of quick pinch to the cheeks without the ouch-factor!

How to Get Your Winter Glow On

Sassy scarves. Adding a pop of color around your neck can reflect up and warm your skin tone. Try one with some metallic threads, sequined fringed, or a bit of sparkle to get the winter glow to grow!

Hair Dare. Balk at the notion that only summer hair can shimmer and winter hair needs to have warmer hues. Add some traditional highlights for a sun-kissed look. Feeling a little more adventurous?  Add a playful glint with a few strands of hair tinsel or hair flare!

Effervescent earrings. I’m not talking about serious bling here – we’re going for a glint. A bit of eye-catching sparkle that seems like a dusting of new sparkly snow.

How to Get Your Winter Glow On

Pop eyes. We’ve been told for years that women of a certain age shouldn’t wear eyeshadow with frost in it. Pishaw! Well, maybe that baby-blue frosted eyeshadow concoction that seemed to circulate through every junior high in America during a particular decade should be avoided, but don’t shun the metallic shimmer. My favorite for a little sparkle is the bronzed Loreal duo pictured below (color 910).

Eye additions. Speaking of eyes, reading glasses come in some fun options. Bring on the glow with a smattering of sparkle across the top of the frames or a glint of glitter on the sides.

How to Get Your Winter Glow On

Shimmering smiles. I love Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick. Excuse me for sounding a bit like a commercial here, but it really is moisturizing and comes in great colors with finishes that range  from a soft gleam to pearlized. And all for a reasonable drugstore price. I didn’t realize how many different colors I have in this line until I was rummaging through my stash looking for the correct names of my favorites to pass on to you. So, my personal top two go-tos are Rosewine (for a neutral gleam) and Toast of New York for a bit of bronzed pizzaz!

Let’s celebrate winter! Ready? Set? GLOW!

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5 Ways to Reduce Stress with a Blast-From-Your-Past

5 Ways to Reduce Stress with a Blast From Your Past!

I have the perfect combination for you! Doctors have been telling us for years how stress can cause all sorts of bad stuff – health issues, emotional issues, psychological issues. Finding ways to diffuse stress is a million-dollar business (squeezy ball anybody?). But worth it, right? Because less stress equals a happier, healthier us. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to get big relief from too much stress. Studies show that thinking about positive memories can have the stress-reducing effect that many of us are in need of. So here’s that perfect combo I  promised you: take a little a stress-reducing trip down memory lane with one of these nostalgic stress busters. Bonus: each one costs under five dollars!

  1. Bubbles. Blow your irritations away. The act of dipping a wand into soapy suds and waving it through the air, leaving a trail of delightful bubbles is sure to put a smile on your face. The 5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Pastdrifting bubbles soothe as they glide around you. Try naming a few of the bigger ones: Guilt Trip, Rude Person (you get the idea) and watch them pop into oblivion! (Under $2)

2. Silly Putty. Yes – it’s still around! Remember how it works? We used to press it on to comics, then roll it off and the comic image would transfer to the putty – just waiting to be stretched and distorted. Newspaper ink doesn’t lift like it used to, but pencil lead still does. Grab a pencil and make a list of those stress-inducing aggravations. Roll your putty over them. Then stretch them until they are unrecognizable and do a final blot-out by squishing the mass into a ball. Now smooth out your not-so-silly-putty and return it to its egg until it’s time to take on the next stresser! (Under $2)5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Past

3. Jacks. The perfect rhythm-building distraction. For a more authentic youthful experience, sit on the floor, legs crossed in the universal kid-sit way. For those of us who might never be able to get back up from such a position, a desk top works just fine for the bounce, scoop, bounce, scoop-more stress-busting activity! (Under $5 for the metal ones – even less for plastic)5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Past

4. Paper airplane. Fly your worries away! Write down those irksome issues that are causing you anxiety on a nice cool piece of paper. Take a trip back in time and fold up your paper, creating a calming rhythm as you smooth your creases, creating your paper-problem-navigator. Once you have that nose nice and pointy, 5 Ways to Reduce Stress With a Blast-From-Your-Pastsail your problems into the closest wall for a satisfying crunch. For the grand finale? Sail your plane into a bucket or sink full of water and watch the problems literally breakdown. Now, doesn’t that feel good? (Free!)

5. Play-Doh. Craft some shapes that represent your time-wasting worries. Got them all lined up and ready for destruction? Now aggressively flatten each one with a hand, rolling pin, or (remember Mr. Bill?) your car. When those Play-Doh stressers see you coming at them, full speed ahead, they’ll say:

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Friday Five – Edible Summer Splurges

 

Friday Five - Edible Summer Splurges

“Getting Fierce” doesn’t mean “total deprivation.” It’s about being strong – being our best. And sometimes our best us needs a little splurge. Let me be clear: this isn’t about health food. I’m not going to tell you about something wonderful and follow that with how you should cut out some of the good stuff from it to make it “better.” I’m not going to talk about carbs, calories, or sugar counts. Nope – we’re just talking about that once-in-a-while-I-don’t-care-no-holds-barred SPLURGE. Here are 5 of our summer favorites:

  1. Core flavors. Just when you think Ben & Jerry have maxed out ice cream flavor options, they add a little core to the cream. Each Core option has two flavors of   ice cream, add ins (think nuts, chocolate chunks, candy crunch) and and an ooey gooey center such as caramel, fudge or raspberry – a complete pint-sized Sundae!

Friday Five - Summer Splurge

2. Coffee gets cooler. Is that even possible? Yes! With a frosty java option such as Panera’s Frozen Mocha or Starbucks’ Frappuccino. The latter offers a mini-version for those who are just wanting to dip a toe in the splurge waters; you know – kind of a splurge-lite!

Friday Five - Summer Splurges

3. Fair Food. I’m always on the lookout for a good Strawberry Newport. Custard on a flaky pastry bed, robed with fresh sweetened strawberries, and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. If there’s no fair in sight, my quick at-home version not only works, it makes a great company desert! The ingredients are (1) puff pastry (thawed and cut in rectangles) (2) sweetened strawberries (we often stir in a little amaretto or raspberry liquor for an adult version) (3) French Vanilla Instant Pudding (use a little less milk than called for so it’s thicker) and whipped cream. Cook your puff pastry per box directions, and split in half when cool. Just before serving: spoon in the pudding, ladel on your strawberries, and blast with whipped cream. Mmmmmm!

Friday Five - Summer Splurges

4. Time travel. Delicious summer treat meets blast-from-the-past with a root beer float. But not just any root beer will do here. For a true taste of yesteryear, we need the vanilla notes of A&W’s draft root beer. Add some creamy vanilla ice cream for the perfect marriage!

Friday five - Summer Splurges

5. A little adult time. You don’t have to be poolside to put a tropical twist on a hot summer day. Swap out the lemonade for a fruity cocktail that will cool you down – kind of like an adult Slurpy. But make sure you avoid the adult-size brain-freeze that can come with it if you drink it too fast! Click HERE or on the picture for some fun recipes from Serious Eats – with options from the basic (frozen gin and tonic) to more the exotic (frozen Mezcal Paloma, anyone?) there’s something for everybody!

Friday Five - Edible Summer Splurges

Friday Five - Edbile Summer Splurges

 

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More Friday Five Funnies – Volume 5

More Friday Funnies -Vol 5

We have been absolutely remiss! Can’t believe it’s been almost five months since we sent you into the weekend with a few chuckles. Well, to make up for that we’ll add a couple of extra smile this go-round. For today’s Friday Five we’ve plucked seven of our favorite Facebook posts from the past few month that are sure to send you into the weekend with a smile on your face!

More Friday Five Funnies - Vol 5

More Friday Five Funnies - Vol 5

More Friday Five Funnies - Vol 5

More Friday Five Funnies - Vol 5

fb fbf frying bacon old apr 16 edit

More Friday Five Funnies - Vol 5

More Friday Five Funnies - Vol 5

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Facebook page yet, drop by for a visit. We hope you LIKE it!

If you want to catch up on Friday Five Funnies you may have missed, here are the links for the first four:

Facebook Funnies    More Friday Funnies   More Friday Funnies (Vol 3)  

More Friday Funnies (Vol 4)

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More Friday Five Funnies (Vol. 4)

More Friday Five Funnies (Vol 4)

If  knowing the weekend is right around the corner isn’t enough of a reason to put a smile on your face, let us give you five more reasons! We picked 5 favorites from our Facebook page to send you into the weekend with a chuckle!

More Friday Funnies (Vol 4)

 

More Friday Five Funnies (Vol 4)

 

More Friday Funnies (Vol 4)

 

More Friday Funnies (Vol 4)

 

More Friday Five Funnies (Vol 4)

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Facebook page yet, drop by for a visit. We hope you LIKE it!

If you want to catch up on Friday Five Funnies you may have missed, here are the links for the first three:

Facebook Funnies             More Friday Funnies          More Friday Funnies (Vol 3)

 

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

A healthy-hot breakfast and crazy-busy schedule are no longer incompatible concepts. Fast food chains have heard the cry of the multitudes and there are more options available than ever before to eat well – even when you’re in a hurry. So if you don’t have the time, or the ingredients, to put together something warm and tasty before you head out the door, here are 5 breakfasts to try from one of the fast-food chains you pass on your way to your busy day. Click on the pictures for the nutrition details.

1. Starbucks – it’s not just for coffee anymore. Skip the sugary beverages and filler-up with the Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich. A whole-wheat English muffin with egg and cheese satisfies for about 280 calories. Add a plain cup of coffee or tea and breakfast is served!

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

2.  Fast doesn’t have to equal sandwich. McDonald’s offers Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. Ordered without the brown sugar, it’s still sweet from the fresh and dried fruits as well as the light cream. It’s a great vegetarian option!

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

3. Coffee and no donuts. But you won’t feel deprived with Dunkin’ Donut’s Egg White and Cheese Wake-up Wrap. Amp it up with an iced Caramel Latte Lite on the side and you’re still under 360 calories! The wrap is just one of the under-400 calorie options on the new DD Smart menu.

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly4.  Get your sweet on. If you’re looking for something sweet without breaking the calorie bank, try the French Toast Sticks at Burger King. With it’s 1-oz syrup mate it comes in at about 350 calories and a surprisingly low (275mg) sodium count.

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5. If you have a bit more time, Panera has some good choices. An interesting 300-calorie option is the Almond Quinoa Oatmeal. Steel-cut oats are topped with quinoa, honey, cinnamon and the satisfying crunch of toasted almond slices.

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5 Last Minute No-Eat Treats for Your Valentine

5 Last Minute No-Eat Treats for Your Valentine

Whether you lost track of time or you just added a new Valentine-recipient to your list, you are not stuck with sugary snacks or overpriced flowers as gift options. It doesn’t matter if  your Valentine is 5 or 50, there’s a little something on this no-eat sweet treat list that you still  have time to get!

  1. Gummy Bear Scented Blueberry Earbuds. Toys R Us sells them for under $8.

Last Minute Valentines

2. Conversation Heart Pillow. The one pictured was found online (click picture for site), but variations can be found at Barnes and Noble, Target, Claire’s, and Nordstroms.

Last Minute Valentines

3. Cupcakes that serve a purpose. Memo pads, sticky notes, and notepads come in a variety of cupcake options that are perfect for some sweet notes! Shop party supply stores, dollar stores, toy stores and big box stores. While you’re at the party store, pick up a bag of Valentine pencils. Gift alone, add a few to accompany your memo pad offering, or divide into ribbon-tied bundles to be presented to multiple Valentines.

Last Minute Valentines

 

Last Minute Valentines

4.  Sweet socks. Not to be confused with “sweat socks.” The pictured trio is from Kohls.

Last Minute Valentines

5. Soaps that look good enough to eat.  You can find delicious-looking soaps in stores that sell bath and kitchen supplies, but if you’re feeling crafty, check out this video to whip up your own batch of not-to-eat sweet treats!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce

Last Minute Valentines

Friday Flash – Motivation

As you head into the weekend, keep heading toward that goal you have set for yourself. Don’t let slow progress discourage you. Little steps add up for big results! It’s about always moving forward – you can’t achieve a goal without first moving toward it. The thing to remind yourself is to

Friday Flash - Motivation

National Pie Day – January 23

National Pie DayThere are actually two annual pie days in our calendar – how lucky are we!!! Pi Day, the celebration of the mathematical constant π, takes place on March 14 as 3, 1 and 4 are the first three digits of π. OK all you Math Lovers – mark this day on the calendar for some wacky Pi fun!!!

The other national pie day is celebrated tomorrow, January 23 and was created simply to celebrate the edible pie. As near as we can tell, this day became a ‘holiday’ in the mid-1970s when Charlie Papazian, from Boulder CO declared it so. The American Pie Company took up sponsorship of this national day in 1986.

For more pie history, check out these two sites for starters – Time’s history of Pies and the Pie Council. You may find yourself wandering all through the annuls of pie history if you are part-time foodies like we are.

January is a perfect time to enjoy the comfort of either a savory or a sweet pie. The weather outside (at least here in Michigan) is frightful! A warm, delicious smelling and tasting dinner, or dessert, is welcome relief.

022I recently made my first homemade, from scratch, pie crust and all, chicken pot pie. I was going to be out-of-town for the weekend and this was something that could be re-heated for those left at home. I was surprised at how wonderfully delicious it was. The kitchen was an absolute disaster, but I learned a few things that will make it easier next time – because this pie was fabulous and there will definitely be a next time!!

I used Ina Garten’s recipe with a few adaptations. She also has a version that uses lobster – yes please!!! You can personalize your pie as well and include veggies you know your family will enjoy if they turn up their noses at peas and carrots (although Forest Gump believes they are a natural and perfect combination – just like him and Jenny).

Here are a few other ideas for celebrating whether savory or sweet suits your fancy! Click on the pictures to get recipes from the sites in which we found these delicious items.

  • Fried Green Tomato Pie: Made the summer before last when I was left with way too many unripe tomatoes in my garden. This was WONDERFUL!!!Fried Green Tomatoe Pie
  • Classic Sour Cherry Pie : I usually have some cherries left over from summer time picking to allow for out of season enjoyment.

Classic Sour Cherry Pie

  • Empanadas: Some would argue that these are not true pies as they are fried and not baked. However, they do involve dough and filling and could even be baked if one desired so….pie it is – say we!

EmpinadaPicture by Stu Spivak

  • Greek Chicken Phylo Dough Pie: I believe this would also be good with beef or pork – yummy!

Greek Chicken Phyllo Pie

  • St. Patty’s Apple Pie: This one could be saved for use in March for a Pi Day Celebration in combination with St. Patty’s Day!

St. Patty's Day Apple Pie

With the variety of pies listed above, it would seem that pies really do allow for creativity and ownership. As we start the new year, we certainly encourage celebrations of each of those traits.

Enjoy your weekend and may you find time for pie eating at its finest!

3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Make – and Keep!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

There are two types of New Year’s Resolutions. First, the ones that you are making again (lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, get organized, stop procrastinating, blah, blah, blah) Second, the ever popular I-resolve-NOT-to-make-New-Year’s-Resolutions resolution. Both categories are so tired, they should be permanently retired! We are ready for a new-and-improved New Year’s Resolution category – resolutions we look forward to keeping! Here are three that fit nicely into our new category.

  1. The Jar. This idea has been circulating in various forms for the past couple of years and I expect it will be around for years to come – because the results are so positive. The simple premise is you leave a container in a place that you see often and drop in notes throughout the year to commemorate moments, events, thoughts  – whatever you want. At the end of the year you read your notes. I did it this year for the first time, and my husband and I will read through the notes as part of our stay-at-home New Year’s Eve celebration. Our jar was a simple quart canning jar that I left on the kitchen counter – in spite of the fact that it matched nothing! I put a couple of mini notepads inside as well as a pen so that it was convenient to write our notes. I remember some of the notes I dropped in over the past year – a surprise visit from a dear friend, a stupid joke that had us laughing until our eyes watered, the trio of goats that showed up in our back yard. What I’m really looking forward to is reading over the notes I forgot about – and appreciating the moments all over again! As the months went on we found ourselves talking about “a laugh that will make the jar” and referring to events as a “jar moment.” Writing the notes not only magnify the appreciation of what is good or special in the moment, it records a memory to be enjoyed again later. And all for zero cost and a time investment of occasional minutes!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

2. A year of Christmas Spirit. One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is it seems to soften hearts and promote generosity. Giving and acts of kindness are at an all-time high during the month of December. Soup kitchens are overrun with volunteers wanting to help serve and an abundance of carolers cheer up nursing home residents. Then comes January, and everyone is all niced-out. But the needs of others don’t get put on hold until the next holiday. And our own need to get outside of ourselves and help others (which can put our own problems and challenges in perspective) doesn’t end when the last holiday decoration is boxed up. Calendar in a monthly act of kindness, generosity, or encouragement. Whether it is twelve months of support for a specific charity (rocking babies, sorting books, serving food, . . . ), twelve different selections (sending a note of encouragement to somebody, mowing another’s lawn, putting a potted plant on a neighbor’s porch . . . ) or something in between, it’s all good. Not only do others benefit from your resolution, but studies show that such acts of kindness benefit the doer physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The ultimate win-win!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll Want to Make - AND Keep

3. Blast back to your past. Commit to a year of lightening up, letting your inner child have a playdate, and go retro. Make a monthly date with yourself (or with a pal) to take a step back in time with something you enjoyed from the past. Whether you  schedule an activity (bowling? swinging at a playground?), watching a movie from “the day” (anybody remember Parent Trap?) or indulging in that blast-from-the-past treat (helloooooo Sander’s Bumpy Cake!!), be intentional about staying young at heart!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

Set yourself up for success and productivity by making a New Year’s resolution (or three!) that you will look forward to keeping!

 HERE’S WISHING YOU YOUR BEST YEAR EVER! HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!