Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween...





Le temps perdu...
Once, for us, October was a month of pumpkin carving, costume creation, school parades, and traveling, flashlight in hand, door to door through the neighborhood. Our adored goblins turned into monsters and were too soon gone to college. Now our houses are haunted by these little ghosts and we are “À la recherche du temps perdu...” It is so sweet to remember.

Charmed...

From the beginning of time we have had a fascination with adornment. Even the most primitive of civilizations had jewelry fashioned from different materials some of it so intricate in design that it is always fascinating to view the museum collections. Many of these pieces were worn for protection or luck, a talisman. Do you find you always have a good day when you wear a certain piece of jewelry? You are not alone. We are always searching for our lucky charm. Many believe it is certain stones or a symbol that embodies the wearer with luck or safety or perhaps a certain necklace or bracelet or ring that was given for luck. Energy Muse http://www.energymuse.com/ is totally devoted to jewelry to bring you health, luck, energy, prosperity……and so on. Saint by Sarah Jane http://www.saintbysarahjane.com/ has an exquisite line of designer jewelry inspired by nature. I wear a beautiful turquoise bear pendant purchased on a recent trip to Sedona, Arizona. In Native American Indian lore the bear represents strength, power and healing, as well as good luck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eco Friendly Bags...

There are so many eco friendly bags available right now that you should never have to answer the question “paper or plastic?” again. They come in every price range and make a statement. We have decided that instead of using wrapping paper this year for the holidays, we would package our gifts in eco friendly bags. It is the gift that will keep on giving for the user and the environment. Cheryl Crow has designed a great, inexpensive bag. “The special edition design of Whole Foods Market’s signature “A Better Bag,” is made from 80% post-consumer plastic bottles, costs under $1 and features an artist’s rendering of a tree with the words “i love my home planet earth” written by Sheryl and woven into the design.” Enviorsax www.enviorosax has a wonderful line of bags in a range of prices that are so light and fold up into practically nothing so you will never have an excuse not to have one with you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Note From Janet And Elaine

To our friends and followers:
We will not be posting to the blog this week. Elaine has been battling a brain injury first diagnosed this summer and was hospitalized and had brain surgery on Wednesday. Elaine will be writing about this experience and how it relates to all of us over 40. Don’t be alarmed, she wants you to understand how our bodies change as we age and what we need to do to take care of ourselves. Elaine is a survivor. She is in great shape, walks miles every day with her most constant of companions, her dog, Viking. All your prayers and well wishes are truly appreciated.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." Julian of Norwich

Friday, October 24, 2008

New and Otherwise Noteworthy…

Mineral Makeup has been around a while now and there are some great ones to choose from. NEUTROGENA has a line of mineral sheers with a great little blush cleverly packaged with powder and brush all in one. It is perfect to throw in your purse. The color is sheer and natural. We like Rare Rose 40. It is just the thing to brighten up your skin, and is available in most drugstores and supermarkets.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Faith

“When you come to the end of all the light you know,
and it is time to step into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen:
Either you will be given something solid to stand on
or you will be taught to fly." Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Ounce of Prevention…

They tell us to take a Vitamin C supplement to help our immune system fight off whatever is going around this time of year. Well, vitafusion Power C Immune Boost Gummy Vitamins for Adults absolutely orange do just that. Now you can actually enjoy your vitamins! These gummy vitamins have no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and they are really yummy. Don’t miss a single holiday party, available at Target.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

World's Greatest Invention #1...

Velcro rollers are indeed magical especially if you come from the generation when the only ‘blow out” was riding around in a convertible and rollers were devices of torture worn all night.

You can give your hair body with just a few strategically placed rollers and a little spray or you can set your entire head after you blow out your hair. Use your dryer to heat the rollers up for longer lasting volume. Velcro gently and effortlessly holds the rollers in place. Goody makes three sizes available in most supermarkets and drugstores. We suggest the jumbo roller for maximum body and loose waves. In minutes you can achieve many different looks!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Changing Course...


Unemployed? Considering a career change after all these years? We have been there. This is the moment to "turn it around". Everything is transforming so rapidly, it's difficult to regain perspective. The job market is shifting and we are getting older. What to do about it? Everything! This is the second chance you have dreamed about. Anne Martindale explains that "women can have it all. We live so long we can have a family and then a career." The New York Times reviewed her story. Headline? "The Graduate, Age 87, Looks Ahead" After raising her children, this "late bloomer", a diplomat and a Senator who focused on women's rights returned to Smith College. She delayed her dream of completing her education for 70 years! At her graduation, she considered graduate school. "That would be a good ticket to a job, I suppose."

We hope to address options that are available as we face transitions. Not all of us can afford to return to school full time. But we can take a course that will lead us in a new direction. Keep yourself open. We know an attorney who became much happier after she left a lucrative law career behind to start her mobile dog grooming business. Another friend, concerned about social issues of addiction, attended college part-time for five years, (while raising her sons), and hopes to receive her masters in counseling. As we see in this economy, it isn't always about the big salary. It can be about stumbling upon that one idea that can change the direction of your life. We are offering websites here that may be helpful in your quest and will continue this conversation in future posts.

Changing Course
Art Bistro
Funding Services for Women

Book Club...



A global book club might help all of us connect the dots and feel less hopeless. According to Tom Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded and Fareed Zakaria's The Post-American World, there are positive responses to what's happening in our world that we all can address. When times get bleak, it is important to investigate alternative, imaginative solutions, they suggest. Each author lays out a clear path to restore an optimistic future and insures us that a shift in perception can be the start of reclaiming a better world. Insightful and discerning, these books will take you out of the twentieth century mindset into a twenty-first century view that puts us back in touch with the real challenges confronting us.

Click on this link for a conversation between the two authors.
Conversation

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving...

You know how when you buy your usual beauty products and the cosmetic company is doing a promotion and you decide what the heck because the cosmetic bag is cute and you could use a new one or the lipstick you use is included? Every once in a while you receive a trial size product that you actually really like, and it becomes a part of your repertoire. The Body Shop now has a gift with $25 purchase. The Aloe Soothing Day and Night Cream are wonderful. The creams are light but very effective, and there is only a hint of fragrance. We highly recommend giving them a try.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Women We Admire...



We don’t know about you, but we love Oprah. Her joyful, grateful take on life has inspired us. It’s not just her story that is compelling, but the way she looks at the present as a gift. She challenges us to be adventurers in our own lives, inviting us to investigate new ways of addressing old problems. Sharing her love of literature, her reading list invokes our interest in stories of personal courage. Her eponymous Guide to Life” is an authentic manual that helps redirect our thinking. We become more accepting of ourselves and more willing to take the risks that will open us to new experiences. Letting go of all that fear is one of her great lessons. We know because it has taken us a loooong time to
get here. Oprah has helped.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Perfect Schmerfect...

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” Anne Lamott

Ah… the quest for perfection. God knows we have tried. In retrospect we find that it is in the imperfections that so often we find our true beauty. There is nothing wrong with trying to be your best, look your best, or do your best. Keep in mind that sometimes it can be crippling. It can stop you from trying in fear that you will fail or from exploring something new because you may lose yourself. Hair grows, makeup can be redone and certainly you can change your clothes. We no longer have hobbies; you know… the notion of just doing something for the sheer fun of learning something new. We hesitate to learn to play the piano or to try watercolor painting because we might not excel.
If you hear a voice within you saying ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint…and that voice will be silenced.”- Vincent Van Gogh
Find joy in the process. We need to simply do; take the class, expand our interests or as a very dear friend of ours is so fond of saying “just leave your zip code.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sweet Dreams...

Origins Night-A-Mins, a bedtime mega mineral moisture creme, helps to repair your skin while you sleep. Fortified with extra vitamins, extra minerals and an exfoliating extract, the soothing, therapeutic aroma will have you addicted after only a few days. You will sleep better and awaken with a beautifully renewed complexion.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friendship...

"When we honestly ask which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness...makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters." Henri F.M. Nouwen

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Peak Peek...


This weekend forget about the economy. Go outside! Take a walk, get out your bike, or take a drive deep into the countryside and pick apples. The foliage in Maine, Vermont, and northern New York is peaking. With cooler mornings this week, the landscape from south of New York is just beginning its glorious color change. Visit Travel Kingdom for peak peek travel tips.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Button Up Your Overcoat...

Columbus Day with its traditional coat sales signals, to us, the beginning of thinking about winter. If you spend any time on the windy streets of New York, you will understand what a valuable purchase a down puffer coat can be. J. Crew, Eddie Bauer and Calvin Klein all offer their version of this staple. There are so many fabulous trends now you may opt for a minimalist, fitted tweed, a camel military inspired wool, an edgy faux fur, or an updated purple peacoat. (see Resources, J. Crew) A classic, lined trench coat will never let you down. Banana Republic celebrates their anniversary with a 2008 version. Consider a new coat an essential purchase. Choose wisely and it will become your go to piece all season and for years to come. It’s the one you’ll throw over your jeans when you run to the store, insulating your little jacket and wide leg pants for work, or taking your taffeta skirt to the opera. If you are always in black, a coat may be the way to add color to the coming dark season. Take good care of yourself...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New and Noteworthy...

There is a great line from the Body Shop called Total Energy with guarana, ginger and organic bergamot. The Enlivening Body Gel and Pulse Point Balm work wonders to calm the spirit and relieve tension. Not at all overpowering with just the perfect amount of fragrance, Total Energy is available online and in stores. (See Resources for web address.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vision Boards...

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will. George Bernard Shaw

It is especially important during difficult times to allow yourself to daydream. It could be your most productive activity generating innovative solutions to old problems and opening up new frontiers to explore. We have started a Vision Board, a collage, (of photographs, drawings, magazine clippings and inspiring quotes), which represents our dreams. It is a way to keep our goals in focus. A daily visual reminder of what we are working towards clarifies and reinforces our intention. What we pay attention to grows.

We have a friend who, despite a difficult job and a divorce, kept a beach house snow globe on her desk. A lifetime dream that received her attention every day was realized. She now has her morning coffee on her porch overlooking the sea. Another woman tacked pictures of a lighthouse on a beach cliff to a bulletin board over her desk. Looking at her board every day for twenty years, she always believed in the power of her vision. Today she lives in a weathered gray New England cottage perched on the cliffs of an island. From one window, there is a view of the lighthouse.

Whatever your dream, it is important to never lose sight of it, so easy to do when we are distracted. A Vision Board offers a way to identify what you want in your life and places it front and center. As you go through magazines looking for ideas, you may be inspired in a new direction

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tool Time...


Brush away the temptation to spend a lot on new make up tools. Head to Target and pick up Sonia Kashuk's purse brush set. A set of six will set you back 20 bucks, 15% of which benefits the Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Knitting as Meditation...

For us it is knitting. It could be baking or drawing or any activity that takes you out of yourself and almost mimics a Zen like state. After a long day there is something about the feel of the wool and the repetition of the stitches that soothes. Your mind works out the stresses of the day without really thinking about them. You have the added bonus of beautiful hand made scarves or blankets or whatever suits your fancy. So take a class or pick up your needles again and knit. Knit one pearl one…….

How to start?! Go to Resources: Learn to Knit for easy instructions and Knitty for patterns, ideas,...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

In the Pink...


Need a new fall lip color? A purchase from the Bobbi Brown limited edition Pink Ribbon Collection, Pink Glitter gloss and Tulle lipcolor, benefits the Breast Cancer Research Fund. Bobbi Brown is donating $35,000 from sales of this collection.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New and Otherwise Noteworthy...

Pretty in pink…OPI Pink of Hearts nail lacquer is available in stores now. Proceeds from your purchase will benefit breast cancer research. OPI is donating $25,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cause.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pink Pony...


Mix it up... Ralph Lauren reinterpreted classics by mixing fabrics and proportions, presenting them in elegant settings which we all longed to inhabit. Because his clothes are timeless, we could justify the cost, or we could implement his vision by taking items from our own closet and wearing them in a different way. Mixing velvet with denim, tweeds with taffeta, wearing a cashmere sweater over an evening dress are all examples of how Ralph has infiltrated our clothing consciousness. Somehow, he makes it modern and beautiful to dress this way. We don't feel out of our element in his ideas. He has provided his label at many price points, Black, Blue, RL Jeans, Rugby, the Lauren line and more. J.C. Penney, under the label American Living, now makes dressing in Ralph Lauren a possibility even in a difficult economic time. (A 3/4 sleeve, herringbone tweed jacket is on sale at $112.50!)

You can be stylish and charitable by purchasing an RL tee from his Pink Pony line which contributes a portion to the Pink Pony Breast Cancer Care and Prevention Fund. cause. http://www.ralphlauren.com

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Investment Strategy...

Coach is on track with their new fall bags. Their stores are being revamped in an eclectic, meandering way, which invites browsing. Their bags, modern and classic, are a good investment for years of style. They make a subtle statement, a shift away from the trendy bags of late. The colors are fresh and rich, but not over the top, and the metallics are gorgeous and practical for 24/7 wear. Coach construction, long a benchmark in perfection which has been their trademark, makes the purchase of one of their bags a wise choice. We like the Legacy bag which is available in different sizes. They also carry a selection of printed silk scarves, a look that took off this fall.

Just in time..Coach will donate $100 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation from each purchase of the pink Coach Lexington Breast Cancer Awareness watch. Check out their website: www.coach.com

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...


I know God promises not to give me more than I can handle. I wish He didn’t trust me so much.” Mother Teresa

For me it started with a routine mammogram. It was October 1999. I can still remember that I was reading the latest Princess Diana tell all. I was totally oblivious to the multiple retakes. When the technician told me the mammogram revealed calcifications in the left breast, I wasn’t concerned. They were 99% sure it was nothing, but I was advised to get it checked. The sequence of events that followed was dizzying. The next procedure found DCIS, also known as ductal carcinoma in situ, the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer. Good news, right? Not exactly. During a lumpectomy to remove the DCIS a cyst was found and removed but they also found more DCIS. The DCIS was considered multifocal. I was told to schedule a partial mastectomy. I was beside myself. It was incomprehensible to me that in the matter of a month, I had gone from 99% of nothing to losing my breast. I had the surgery with reconstruction and went home on Christmas Eve. I was angry. I wish I could tell you I had an epiphany, but I didn’t. I still haven’t 8 years later. But I can tell you what I have learned. There are things we can and cannot control. Family history falls under “cannot control”. I had a great aunt on my father’s side who died from breast cancer. What I should have tried to control was my stress level. I think that what stress does to your body can contribute to all disease. Probably not cause it, but definitely it can make it worse. So breathe. Let things go. Be kind to yourself, keep informed, and by all means get a mammogram.