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My First Blog Post

Just Be Brave….

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

GOAL SETTING FOR THE NEW YEAR 2021

The day we all have been waiting for is finally here. It’s time to say goodbye and farewell to “2020”!! Yes, 2020 may have been a year where your goals got sidelined. It’s okay to acknowledge that things didn’t go so well. The point is not to stay in that negative space. Goal setting for 2021 is just what we all need to do!

2021 is fresh and new and yes it’s time to give some thought to the next 365 days. While COVID19 restrictions may not have changed yet, they will! There is hope in the new year. Having goals creates a sense that you have choice in your life.

We need focus and goal setting provides a positive outlet so that we aren’t simply wandering through each day or week with no real end in mind. Setting goals that stretch us and call us to action are crucial to our mental and physical health.

It’s time to take a look at where you’ve been and where you want to go. What goals do you want to achieve in 2021? Some worthy topics for thought are: personal growth, health, finances, learning new skills, and spiritual growth. All of these areas can be the starting point for goal setting.

Tips for Goal Setting

1. Be Specific

Vague or broad goals are not achievable. Those kinds of goals will only leave you feeling defeated. Be very specific with your goals. You can’t just say “I want to exercise more.” But you can say “I want to walk 30 minutes at lunch Monday through Friday.” That is a very specific goal.

2. Goals Must Be Measurable

Any goal must be measured. How can you recognize your progress if you can’t track it. Set up daily and weekly means by which you can track your progress. Oh yeah, it’s okay to “miss the mark”. Simply pick up where you are and get back on the routine.

3. Set A Time Limit

A goal with no end in sight can feel overwhelming. Create a deadline for your goals. Doing this will allow you to create a plan of action and measure your progress. This is the best way reach the end result and fulfill your goal.

4. Write It Down

Writing down your goals creates a mental commitment in your mind. It also gives you a visual that you can look at each day. Seeing your goals before you will help you stay motivated and follow through.

Goal Ideas

If you are having a little trouble getting started, then here are some ideas for 2021 goal setting:

  • Begin a new devotion or church group
  • Eat veggies with dinner each night
  • Drink X amount of water each day
  • Read books or take courses to improve your work skills
  • Set a budget and save $X amount each month
  • Pursue deeper connection with friends through texts, calls and visits

Final Thoughts

Always remember that life will throw you a few curves. Don’t let a few “hiccups” get you frustrated and wanting to give up. Stay the course. Get back on it by pursuing your goals. Your daily habits over time will take you to your desired success.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE RIESLING – MY FAVORITE WHITE WINE

It is no secret that I am a wine lover. Specifically, I am a white wine lover. Riesling is my favorite type of wine and Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling is one of my favorite brands.

I haven’t always liked wine. In my late 20’s I discovered the different varieties and tastes of wine and there began my love. My “go to” wines are always a Chardonnay or a Riesling. I find both are smooth and easy on the palette.

Origin of Riesling

The origin of Riesling wine is German. Many consider it to be the finest white grape variety in the world. If you want to read more about the history of this wine, click here. Of note, German and Californian Rieslings tend to be sweeter. French and New York brands are more dry.

Chateau Ste. Michelle

One of my all time favorite brands of Riesling wine is Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Sweet Riesling from Columbia Valley Washington.

The Harvest select is slightly sweeter than their other Riesling. You will taste the peaches but they will be balanced by the acidity from the Washington area. The Riesling wine often reflects where it is grown. The grape grown for Riesling is very versatile and can be very sweet or dry and still enjoyable.

Chateau Ste. Michelle History

Here is a little history about Chateau Ste. Michelle. It is the oldest winery in Washington and was founded in 1934.

The winery combines old world style with new world innovation. This winery is known for its award winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Chateau Ste. Michelle has two wineries. One winery is dedicated to white wines and the other to only reds.

Food Pairings

Because the Riesling is such a versatile wine, it pairs well with many different kinds of foods. Pair fish, or salty, fried foods with a drier variety of Riesling. The sweet variety is an excellent choice for spicy foods.

Wine.com has a great offering of Riesling wines including Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Sweet Riesling. Click here to give it a try. You will not be disappointed.

Take a peak at my other article “Wine Gift Baskets – The Perfect Holiday Gift“.

Cheers to a great New Year!

LIQUID OR POWDER – THE RIGHT FOUNDATION FOR THE MATURE WOMAN

Living in the season of “over 50” leads you to reconsider many things. Your makeup routine for the past decade may no longer be working. It’s time to consider what is the right foundation for this season. The big question is whether to use liquid or powder foundation.

Skin Type

The first order of business is to determine your skin type. Keep in mind that as you age, your skin type can change. The three basic categories are dry, normal or oily.

1. Dry Skin

Dry skin will look best with a liquid foundation. The liquid foundation will help to hydrate the skin and minimize the visibility of wrinkles. Your skin will look healthy and glowing. To use a powder foundation on dry skin will only accentuate the wrinkles and dry skin. Not the look you want!

2. Normal Skin

You are fortunate to have this skin type. Actually, you can use either powder or liquid foundation. The key is that your skin type only needs light coverage to give you a natural look. Choose a foundation that will hydrate your skin and not be greasy.

3. Oily Skin

This category fits me personally. I have always had oily, sensitive skin. Oily skin looks best with a powder foundation. This kind of foundation will help absorb some of the oil. You will also want to look for a “matte” finish so that “shine” won’t be a problem.

Wrinkles and The Right Foundation

Well, let’s keep it real. Wrinkles eventually show up on all of us. If you don’t use a serum on your face already, now is the time to start! You may want to check out my post “Affordable Wrinkle and Fine Line Reducing Face Serum“.

Use of a primer before applying your foundation will help keep the foundation in place. It will prevent makeup from settling into pores, fine lines and wrinkles. In other words, a good foundation before you apply foundation will give you the best results.

Final Thoughts

We are all so uniquely different that it may take some trial and error to find the right foundation that works best for you. Check out Sephora.com’s products and give some a try today. Click here to view Sephora.com’s foundation options.

TIPS FOR HOW WOMEN OVER 50 CAN IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

Women over 50 often find that their sleep patterns have changed. Many women find it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. The good news is that there are solutions to improve your sleep. See HelpGuide.org’s article for more information on sleep and aging.

Why Sleep Matters

Getting enough sleep matters because it directly impacts your overall health and weight gain. Not getting enough sleep increases your risks for heart disease, diabetes, lack of focus and obesity.

Too little sleep has been shown to impact how much you eat and what you eat. One of the main cravings is for food high in carbohydrates. Obviously these foods promote weight gain.

white bed comforter
Improve Your Sleep

Ways To Improve Your Sleep

  • Shut off electronics including the tv at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Develop a consistent bedtime routine. This might include a bath, reading or preparing for the next day.
  • Exercise is a must during the day. It is proven that physically active people sleep better than those who are not active.
  • Avoid caffeine in the evening. Caffeine can remain in your system for up to 8 hours. This can cause sleep interruption well into the night.
  • Naps are great as long as you take them early in the afternoon. Avoid napping after 3:00p.m.
  • Maintain a cool and dark atmosphere in your bedroom when it is time to sleep. You simply sleep better in this kind of environment.

These tips can greatly improve your ability to sleep well. If you still have problems, then speak with your doctor about potential use of sleep aid medication or natural products such as melatonin and valerian.

The Vitamin Shoppe offers a wide variety of supplements to help improve your sleep. Click here to see a full list of their sleep/mood supplements.

For more detailed information, check out Catch zzzs, Drop Lbs” from Prime Women Magazine.

You may also want to check out my latest “Wise Word Wednesday” post “Be Your Own Best Friend“. Taking care of yourself is an invest in yourself!

4 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HAND CARE ROUTINE

I believe everyone will agree that 2020 is the year of clean hands. We are all washing our hands more than ever and that means they deserve a little extra care. Keeping your hands clean and healthy can be tricky. Here are some easy hand care tips to help you develop a great routine.

1. Don’t Use Hot Water

It is not necessary to wash you hands in HOT water to get them clean. A mild temperature or cool water works just fine as long as the water is clean. Washing your hands in hot water actually strips the skin of moisture. Now consider that we are all doing this multiple times a day and the result will be dry skin.

While it is necessary to repeatedly wash our hands, using a soap with moisturizer can help with dryness. Also, don’t forget to always dry your hands. Germs love to grab onto a wet surface so get those hands nice and dry.

2. Use A Moisturizer

The only way to combat dry skin and nails is with a moisturizer. Applying a quality moisturizer every time you wash your hands will help protect your skin. You may want to consider a brand without a fragrances. These additives can often cause further irritation.

It may seem like a lot of trouble to apply moisturizer every time you wash your hands. Keeping a small bottle or tube of moisturizer near the sink or in your purse will keep it simple to accomplish.

3. Take Care of Your Nails

Increased hand washing can lead to damaged cuticles. The cuticle is the protective seal for the nail. Keeping it healthy is important to your nail health. A damaged or dry cuticle is painful, often red and can lead to infection.

The best way to maintain the cuticle is by pushing them back. Never cut your cuticles. The best time to do this is after you shower. Another option is to use a cuticle cream to keep them soft and pliable.

4. Nail Polish

Keeping your nails polished gives your hands a whole new look. There are many brands of polish and colors to suit every mood. If you are not so skilled at applying polish, then try some press-on nails. You can get that “salon” look without the cost. Today’s press-on nails generally last about a week with regular hand washing.

Final Thoughts

Your hands say a lot about you. Other than your face, people see your hands more than anything else. Don’t let dry cracked skin be your “calling card”. Give your hands some extra love and take your hand care to a new level. Check out Sephora.com for all your skin care needs. Keep washing and keep moisturizing!

A DOUBLE DOSE OF CHRISTMAS 2020

Well Christmas 2020 has come and gone. The decorations are packed and stored away. And now I have a moment to reflect. It was GOOD! 2020 has been a tough year, however, this Christmas season was easy going and relaxing.

Our family celebrated Christmas on two different days. Our daughter in Savannah was unable to come home on Christmas day, so we decided to have two celebrations! I love watching the Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies where everyone comes home and celebrates Christmas together. This just isn’t the reality for our family, so we make it work!

Christmas Day – Celebration #1

Since Christmas Day was Friday, Robby and I stuck to our regular weekday routine. I got up at 5:00 and got on the treadmill for my 20 minute wake-up walk. We proceeded to drink coffee and read for a bit, then open presents.

This was the first year that our nest has been empty on Christmas Day. It was a little strange with just Robby and I opening gifts, but we enjoyed the moment and reflected on times past. It was good to simply enjoy each other and talk about our fondest Christmas memories when the girls were little. P.S. we don’t miss dealing with the toy packaging and garbage from those days! LOL

We had decided to wear matching Christmas pajamas all day and force complete relaxation upon ourselves! I did shower and fix my hair and makeup so I wouldn’t look like I had just rolled out of bed.

After getting myself together, I started preparing the breakfast casserole that I would be taking to our daughter and son-in-law’s house. I miscalculated the cooking time but managed to get everything ready anyway. At 11:00a.m. we drove the 2 miles to my daughter’s house and jumped into Christmas fun with our grandchildren.

They were waiting with smiling faces and we were ready for a little bit of chaos. The girls are 7 and 3 this year, so unwrapping their gifts from us took all of about 10 minutes total. Wow, they have learned to be very efficient unwrappers!

Pictures were taken, toys were unpackaged and hugs and kisses were abundant! It was so lovely to be able to participate in the joy of Christmas through the eyes of our grandchildren and to leave all the garbage with their parents!

Now it was time for the breakfast casserole! Time at the table has always been my favorite. The conversations that take place while sharing a meal (especially with children) are priceless. We told stories, talked about our favorite gifts and reminisced with our daughter about Christmas past.

With stomachs now full, it was time to try out some toys and games. The bow and arrow set (suction tips) was a hit. The glass storm door was the perfect target. “Jake the Rattlesnake” was the favorite game. No spoilers, but everyone needs to play this game. It is hysterical!

As the fun began to turn into “tired”, Mimi and Popi headed home full of joy and ready for naps! As we planned, Robby and I spent the rest of the day just “chillin” and it was good.

Christmas – Celebration #2

Our daughter from Savannah arrived on Sunday after Christmas and was able to spend the night and return Monday afternoon. I prepared two pans of a one-dish chicken dinner and upon her arrival at noon, we headed over to her sister’s house with food and gifts to celebrate once again.

Our grandchildren were so excited to see “Aunt Tata”. She is the coolest one in the family of course! Even though it was two days later, there was no lack in Christmas Spirit. The girls dove right in to opening gifts from their aunt. My two daughters enjoyed some much needed time together exchanging thoughtful gifts. Robby and I simply enjoyed it all!

Once all the gift chaos was over, we headed to the table once again to share a meal and more stories. Just like me, my daughters love to sit and talk around the table. It was so much fun to remember the old and embrace the new with the little girls in our family.

The grandchildren could hardly wait to get Aunt Tata to shoot some arrows and play some games. Let’s just say she wins the award for best reaction to “Jake the Rattlesnake”!!! It was so good for her to have some time with her nieces and sister. It just never seems long enough.

A full stomach and all games having been played, it was time to leave and seek out the perfect spot for a nap. And that is exactly what we did.

Robby and Victoria spent some time by the outdoor fireplace and then we headed out for a quick dinner bite. The time was going by too quickly and we wanted to make the most her visit. The meal was delicious and the company even better. At home we did our favorite thing and engaged in a “friendly” game of Scrabble. Yes, we did keep score and I did WIN!!!

Victoria left the next day. Work and her life in Savannah were calling.

Reflections

Our Christmas may not have looked like a Hallmark movie, but that was not our goal. Spending time with our daughters and grandchildren is always the priority. Being flexible and making it work has become our moto. Who knows what next year’s Christmas will look like but as for Christmas 2020, it was GOOD!

MENTAL HEALTH

I think we all agree that 2020 has been a tough year! Even the most sound of mind have likely struggled with their mental health at some point during this year.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. In fact your physical and mental well being absolutely impact each other. I encourage everyone to check in with how they are doing and don’t hesitate to take steps to improve your mental health.

WARDROBE ESSENTIALS FOR WOMEN OVER 50

The end of the year is a great time to consider purging your closet. With Christmas gifts waiting to be put away, it’s the perfect time to consider what you really need to keep. There are a few wardrobe essentials that every women must have in her closet.

First, stick to the basics. Straight leg jeans, blazer, and a white button down blouse are classic closet essentials. Add accessories and seasonal items to elevate the look and you now have a foundational wardrobe to work with.

Some other additions to consider are print separates, leather jackets, crew neck and cardigan sweaters. These pieces will create a chic look.

1. Straight Leg Jeans

A great pair of straight leg jeans can take you from running errands in the morning to an evening out with no problem. Paired with the right shoes, flats or heels, jeans are extremely versatile. They are both casual and classy!

2. White Button Down Blouse

A beautiful white button down blouse says fresh and clean about your look. I believe you can never have enough white blouses or tops. After all, white matches everything. You can wear them tucked, French tucked or loose.

How you pair the blouse will determine whether it’s casual or formal. My personal favorite is a simple white t-shirt with jeans, blazer and a great pair of shoes. This is definitely a wardrobe essential you cannot do without.

3. The Blazer

The blazer is a must have for every woman. Blazers are versatile because they come in so many different styles, cuts and lengths.

The classic black blazer can be worn with jeans and a shirt or blouse to go from casual to chic. Having multiple styles is a bonus in achieving different looks. Whether fitted or loose, the blazer goes a long way in reflecting your personal style.

You should also consider trying on men’s blazers. The cut may better suit your body type. Just find the fit that works for you and your style.

4. Crew Neck Sweaters/Cardigans

Crew neck sweaters say cozy about your style. Nothing feels better than a soft comfy sweater. The best news is that you can wear it with jeans, dress pants or skirts.

Cardigan sweaters are so easy to wear with jeans or leggings. The boyfriend cardigan is an easy style that flatters most body types. This sweater can be comfy casual or jazzed up with slacks and heels. Having a few in basic colors will help expand your wardrobe.

5. Patterned Separates

Patterned pieces such as blouses in an animal print add flare to your foundation pieces. Adding a patterned piece with jeans and a blazer or cardigan will elevate your look instantly. Using animal prints as an accent will give you that chic look without being “too much”!

Final Thoughts

Remember that your style is just that – YOUR STYLE! Wear clothes that are comfortable and make you feel confident. Mix patterns, wear sneakers, and try on that men’s jacket. Don’t get stuck in a fashion box. If you feel great, everyone else will see you that way too!

Now get rid of all that stuff you haven’t worn in a decade and fill your closet with classic wardrobe essentials that will stand the test of time.