fifty-something

More Friday Five Funnies (Volume 6)

Here’s a Friday Five that will get you heading toward the weekend with a smile on your face!

 

 

 

 

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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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50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

You’re not going to have trouble finding something on this list for the book lover in your life, you’re going to  have trouble narrowing down your choices and deciding what not to get! You might want to print off the whole list for reference. Or to share. If you’re a book lover yourself and you just happen to leave the list laying around where the one who stuffs your stocking may stumble across it, who knows what might show up under your own Christmas tree!

Click on the words to find locations for any items pictured. Many of the options have fun variations that you can find by adding “book” to the item in a browser search. And make sure you don’t miss my favorite – the Magic Butterfly at #36!

1. Playing cards

2. Luggage tags

3. Light switch plate

4. Reading light

5. Book scarf

6. Reading glasses

7. Classic books flash drive

50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

8. Socks

9. Book coasters

10. Gift card for book store

11. Fabric book covers (book socks!)

12. Locket

13. Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch legs bookmark

50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

14. Novel teas

15. Book charm bracelet

16. Finger Print place holders

17. Book-themed magnet set

18. Bumper stickers

19. Notecards

20. Highlighters

21. Book Earrings

22. Book darts

50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

23. Glass blown book ornaments

24. Library Candle set (old book smell/new book smell!)

25. Book of the Month Club subscription

26. Copy (or subscription) of Bookmarks magazine

27. Book tote bag

28. Mousepad

29. Book Hangover Tank Top

30.  Antique Book plates

31. Earbuds for books on tape

50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

32. Reading Super Power necklace

33. Shakespeare bandaids

34. Ipad case

35. Thumb Thing book markers

36.  Magic Butterfly (fun!)

37. One Good Book Deserves Another Night shirt

38. Embosser

39. Book Nerd sports shirt

40. Phone case

50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

41. “So Many Books, Too Little Time” T-shirt

42. Book Quote Mug

43. Self-inking stamp

44. Book pins

45. Book key chain

46. Librarian Pocket Mirror

47. Book Tie 

48. Edgar Allen Poe Candy

49. Book Lover’s Journal

50. Laptop skin (cover)

50+ Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

52. A BOOK. BETTER YET, BOOKS!

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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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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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10 Ideas to Care for the Caregiver

10 Ideas to Care for the Caregiver

Whether it’s for aging parents, special needs children, or relatives with health issues, providing substantial care for another can take a toll on the one providing the care. Some of you have walked – or are walking – this path and have experienced the physical, emotional, or financial challenges involved. Most of us know someone who is a caregiver and stand in awe of the commitment that goes into providing such care regardless of whether it is by choice or necessity. And many of us wonder if there is a way we can help ease the burden, even just a little, for someone we care about who is caring for another. Here are 10 ideas to give your favorite caretaker a break and put a smile on his or her face!

  1. Let them chunk the chore. Some things just have to get done whether we want to make time for them or not – like walking the dog or cleaning the house. And sometimes less-crucial chores get put off to the point where they become crucial – mowing the lawn, weeding a garden, repairing a broken step. Pick a chore, any chore, and get it done. You may have to coordinate something like cleaning their house, but weeding, mowing, bringing the trashcan up to the house after pick-up and the like can just magically happen. And you get to be the magician!
  2. Send flowers. A delivery of something lovely gives a momentary escape. Who thought of me? How beautiful! What a fresh scent! And thereafter provides a week or so of color that will be a reminder that someone appreciates their efforts. Now notice I said flowers. No plants, please. And no handfuls of flowers handed to them that they have to go find a vase for and take time to arrange. The whole point is to give them a mini break, not create another obligation to provide care.
  3. Provide respite. If it is possible for the caregiver to leave the house if their charge is supervised, volunteer your time to do the supervising so your friend can get out of the house for a few hours and take care of some needs or wants.
  4. Provide mini-respite. If the caregiver can’t leave their charge in the care of someone who is not specially trained, you can still provide respite right in their home. Have your pal pick a time when his charge is occupied by a favorite program or napping, and come hang out while your friend takes a luxurious bath, reads for an uninterrupted hour, or hangs out with his dog in the backyard. You will have provided him a miro-vacation!
  5. Dub yourself Sir Secret Pal. Send anonymous little gifts or uplifting notes randomly, signed Your Secret Pal. Sure it may drive them a little crazy, but in a good way – a way that will have them looking forward to the run to the mailbox! I’ve been on both sides of the Secret Pal relationship, and I can tell you first-hand that sending the loot will put a smile on your face, too. And to receive unexpected pick-me-ups such as a fun mug with a box of tea, a refrigerator magnet with an inspirational saying, or a good-for-nothing-but-a-chuckle bobblehead bird provided more than one well-needed smile!
  6. Be the entertainment. Caregiving can be a lonely job. While telephone and social media provide outlets for other human contact, verbal or written exchanges are no substitute for some face-to-face time with someone who’s willing to listen, distract, or provide opportunities for laughter – whatever is needed. Schedule a time when a visit would be appreciated and bring a little fun – a humorous DVD (with some movie-food, of course!) or new boardgame you can figure out together.
  7. Organize meals on wheels. Or meals on heels. However the group wants to get them there. Get a few volunteers – maybe friends, church members, book clubbers – to each drop off one meal a month. Have a designated day so that your care-giving friend can count on Mondays “off.”
  8. Create a Spa Day. If they can’t get out for a little pampering, how about sending a credentialed massage therapist to them? There are beauticians, manicurists and facialists who can be hired for housecalls, too.
  9. Give the gift that keeps on giving. Whether you’re up for a splurge or have a group kicking in on it, a gift-of-the-month club can be a perfect answer to the question: what can we do to help? From fruit to bacon, coffee to beer, knitting to puzzling, there’s a gift-of-the-month-club match no matter what your friend’s favorite food, beverage, or hobby is.
  10. Provide special thanks. Help the recipient of care thank the caregiver themself. Guiding them through a simple craft, assisting them with writing a note, or taking dictation or cues from them to memorialize their thoughts can have multiple benefits. You may provide an outlet for the charge to express appreciation. And your favorite caregiver may receive a tangible  expression of appreciation that would not otherwise have been possible.

NOTE: AARP offers a free download of its e-manual The AARP Guide to Caregiving that can be very helpful.  The manual covers topics such as health, housing, legal matters, emotional transitions, and available resources. You can also do an on-line search of the title to find a pdf version that can be downloaded directly to your computer.

 

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Favor Your Mother’s Day Table

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

If you want to set a fun Mother’s Day Table and leave each guest with a special memory and a smile on her face, check out guest blogger Natine Abreu-Shaw’s fantastic favors for inspiration!

I love Mother’s Day!  Each year I treat a group of moms to a special meal and a bit of fussing over.

When I began this event 15 years ago, it was just for my mom, two aunts, and a dear friend, all of whom lived in the neighborhood. My cousins and my friend’s son lived out-of-state, so I filled in the gap. Then I began inviting other ladies whose children lived away, and now the annual number of guests is 8-10, ages 60+ to 90-something. I usually try out new recipes for the occasion, and I make sure there are options for everyone’s individual dietary needs. But my favorite thing to do is to provide some kind of inexpensive party favors, so they can take a bit of the fun home with them! Following are some of the fun finds that put a smile on my guests’ faces!

Early on, when the number of guests began growing, I bought shelf-sitters from a home décor catalog. A set of six was about $15, or $2.50 per guest. One year they were all fruit-related; another year they were different flowers.

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

Then shelf-sitters disappeared from the catalog,* so I began haunting dollar stores. One year I bought little glass vases for $1 each, and put a bloom in each one.  There was the year of miniscule tea pots, the year of faux ceramic baskets of flowers, the year of faux tulip and daffodil planters.

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

One year I filled little gift bags with travel sized hand creams, tissues, and lip balms. Another time I gave each lady a small jar of artisan jam.

Favor Your Mother's Day TableTwo years ago, I made homemade linen spray, which I put into colorful dollar store spray bottles that also served as place markers. (Mom still requests refills when hers runs out!) And last year each guest got a flat plastic vase filled with tiny marbles and water. The marbles inflated to help keep the vases stable when flowers are added; they made the table look quite festive!

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

It’s an enjoyable challenge to come up with a new idea every year! Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s…

Favor Your Mother's Day Table

Wishing all moms a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

*A variety of shelf-sitters can still be found on-line from different distributors.

Favor Your Mother's Day TableGuest blogger Natine Abreu-Shaw  is a recalibrated woman of the Sandwich Generation, who enjoys writing and occasionally  mines her mind, flexes her fingers, and publishes her pith at Write-MindedWoman.com – when she is able to take a break from  some of her other pet (pun intended!) projects – such as writing as the persona of her fur-kids at their Facebook home Corgi Characters!

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