Still Need Holiday Gifts? Here Are Some of My Favorites.

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenEach summer I attend the NY NOW Show – The Market for Lifestyle, Home + Gift – at the Javits Center in New York City. It’s fun to walk the aisles filled with jewelry, housewares, artisan crafts, paper goods, and a whole lot more. Since it’s the gift giving season, I thought I would share some of my favorite things from the show. I’ve included items only where I know you can purchase them online.

Also included in this year’s gift guide, are a few products from my basket of blogger swag — I receive so many different and unusual items throughout the year.

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, perhaps you’ll find an idea for the perfect gift for a loved one or maybe a treat for yourself. Plus read down all the way, as I’m giving away some holiday gifts during JudiBoomergirl’s December giveaways! Be sure to enter this week’s Rafflecopter for Camille Beckman English Lavender Glycerine Hand Therapy!

For Those Who Love Jewelry
 These necklaces from bennyandezra.com will inspire you with their wearable mantras that evoke determination, self-worth and grace.

Benny and Ezra jewelry; holiday gifts; NYNOW

Benny & Ezra jewelry.

 Maya Angelou: The Legacy Collection caught my interest at the show. You can order the jewelry at dogeared.com. There are bracelets, necklaces, and totes with Angelou quotes such as “One must nurture the joy in one’s life so that it reaches full bloom.”

dogeared jewelry; holiday gifts; NYNOW

Maya Angelou inspired jewelry and gifts.

Founded by actress and singer/songwriter, Caitlin Crosby, thegivingkeys.com tells you to “embrace your word, then pass it on to a person who needs it more than you.” Words like brave, courage, faith, are engraved on keys. There are gender neutral necklaces, keychains, bracelets and more. Each sale helps the homeless.
 The love code charms in the lulu dk love letters collection contain a cryptic message that is visible only when spun.

luludk jewelry; holiday gifts; NYNOW

The Love Letters Collection.

 Need to keep time? I like Tokyobay stylish watches with affordable prices.

TokyoBay; watches; holiday gifts

Tokyobay stylish watches.

For Carrying Your Stuff
♥ Awamaki woven textile totes are made by Andean women artisans using traditional back-strap looms.
 Bags and accessories from Pixie Mood are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. Check out the neat cork collection. Continue reading

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Learning How To Browse and Binge In A Great Big TV World

I’m pleased to be working with Comcast on this sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenI remember when I was growing up in the Bronx, NY, and my family used to watch TV shows on a small black and white (and eventually color) television. Back in the 1960s there were primarily three networks ABC, CBS, and NBC. My dad would watch the evening news and then we would watch variety shows with hosts like Dean Martin, Carol Burnett, and Ed Sullivan. (The cute mouse puppet Topo Gigio was my favorite guest.)


(Note: If you cannot see the video of Topo Gigio on The Ed Sullivan Show, click here.)

Rarely would there be an evening where we would watch with ease. There was no remote so either I or my sister would get up off the couch to change the station. Oftentimes the picture would start flipping – yes, just flipping around. My mom would adjust the antenna atop the television, moving it in one direction or another to see if she could stop the flip. Or she might wrap the antenna in aluminum foil to improve connectivity. Sometimes it worked, other times it proved futile.

A Great Big TV World
Wow-o-wow has life changed since I was a kid. Now there are hundreds of networks, multiple streaming services, and content can be viewed on computers, tablets and mobile phones.  Plus with my Comcast X1 Xfinity subscription, for which I pay a hefty price, I can:

#XfinityMoms; #XfinityApp

tape my favorite shows via DVR so I can watch at my convenience and fast-forward through commercials;
binge shows On Demand any time of day (wish I could use the fast-forward feature here too);
download my taped shows to my iPad via an Xfinity TV app to watch while I’m traveling; (Note: I downloaded SNL and a few episodes of Indian Summers, a PBS Masterpiece series about British rulers in India during the 1930s, to my iPad for my trip home from Los Angeles last week. It was so easy to do with the app and it made the long flight much more enjoyable.)
browse new shows — even if I don’t know the exact names — with my voice remote. (Every time I talk into my remote I feel like I’m in The Jetsons cartoon – a top kid pick of mine.)

With all this great content what more do I need?

Netflix; Xfinity; Comcast; Big TV Comcast To Launch Netflix on X1 To Millions of Customers Nationwide
“Good morning,” said the the nice Comcast PR Manager Alexandra via email a few weeks ago. “Wanted to share some big news for Netflix fans!  Starting next week, the service will be fully integrated and available for X1 customers. Imagine having the Netflix catalog available on X1 and being able to search for shows and movies all in one place.” Continue reading

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My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” – A Beautiful Day in the Black Forest

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It had been a glorious week on the Viking EIR, (courtesy of Viking River Cruises).* Our voyage on the “Rhineland Discovery” river cruise would soon be coming to an end. There was one last day to savor — with a morning excursion to the medieval village of Colmar, France and an afternoon exploring the beauty of Germany’s fabled Black Forest.

A Walking Tour Of Colmar, France
“Welcome aboard,” said our tour guide Rhona as we readied for the bus trip to Colmar. It was a brief ride and Rhona provided a history lesson on the way. She told us that this area of France was occupied by Germany during WWI and WWII.

Colmar, France; VIking River Cruises; river cruises

Colmar, France is a quaint village.

As we neared the roundabout there was a replica of the Statue of Liberty. “We have a tiny bit of New York City here,” said Rhona. “In 2004 an honorary statue was placed at the entrance of Colmar to honor it’s hometown creator Bartholdi, who designed the original monument as a thank you to Americans for their help in WWII.” Continue reading

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Stay Healthy and Happy This Winter: Go Get Your Flu Shot

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“I’m reaching out to see if you are interested in pulling together a piece on how to prevent the flu,” said the nice account executive S from the team that works on CVS Pharmacy. “Sure,” I replied. “I definitely want to encourage my readers to go get their flu shot. I want them to stay healthy and happy this winter.”*

According to a survey from CVS Health: Over two-thirds of adults in the Northeast (68 percent) get a flu vaccine every year or plan to get one this year, which is significantly higher than those in the South (60 percent), Midwest (56 percent) and West (54 percent). (That’s good. Glad I live in the Northeast!) In fact, nearly two in three (64 percent) employed Americans would still go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms. (That’s not good! See why you need the flu shot?)¹

CVS MinuteClinic; flu shot; flu vaccine; boomer wellness; life after 50

I usually go to CVS Minute Clinic for my flu vaccine.

A Simple and Convenient Way To Get Your Flu Shot
“Have you gotten your flu shot?” I asked my boyfriend L. “Uh huh,” said L. “Did you get your flu shot?” said L. “Uh huh,” I replied. I get the flu shot every year, because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine. Continue reading

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My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” – A Best-Ever Full-Day Feast in Strasbourg

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Are you ready to join me for my best-ever day in Strasbourg? If you are hungry now, you’ll be ravenous when you’re done reading about and viewing all the pictures from the “Taste the Best of Alsace” excursion I went on during my “Rhineland Discovery” river cruise (courtesy of Viking River Cruises).* Better yet, I guarantee you’ll want to book a visit to the Alsace region of France during your life after 50.

Arriving In The Alsace Region of France
It was the next to last day of our cruise on the Rhine and activities were reaching a peak. Following visits to Bruges, Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, Cologne, Heidelberg, and Rudesheim, the Viking EIR arrived outside Strasbourg, the largest port on the Upper Rhine and the center of France’s Alsace region. Since Strasbourg borders on France and Germany, it boasts a unique cultural blend of both countries.

Strasbourg; Alsace Region of France; boomer travel; Viking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery

Food and City Tour of Strasbourg
While my boyfriend L stayed back and rested, I departed our ship early morning with five fellow female foodies for what would be the most ah-may-zing day of eating — literally ever, ever, ever from 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. — with Food and City Tours Strasbourg.

Strasbourg; Food and City Tours Strasbourg; Viking River Cruises; boomer travel; baby boomer women

Bonjour,” said our guide Virginie as she greeted us for our bus trip into town. We each were given a shopping bag to fill with foods for our lunch at a local wine shop. Continue reading

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My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” – The Great Castles of Germany

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It’s a raining and cold outside. But my thoughts are elsewhere. I’m thinking about my river cruise on the Rhine this past summer on the Viking EIR (courtesy of Viking River Cruises).* The days on “Rhineland Discovery” were sunny, tranquil, and full of dramatic and awe-inspiring scenery — from our time in Bruges, to our stay in Amsterdam, to our visit to the windmills of Kinderdijk and the vibrant city of Cologne. Each day was better than the next.

Conquering the Marksburg Castle
“Are you ready to conquer the castle?” asked our program director Daniel as we arrived for our tour of the Marksburg Castle in Koblenz, Germany. My boyfriend L and I climbed the cobblestone steps up to the hilltop.

Marks burg Castle, Germany's castles; Rhineland Discovery, Viking River Cruise

Marksburg Castle was high up on the hill

Our guide Sasha opened the gates and led us through the rooms. We saw the wine cellar, the kitchen where big oxen were cooked centuries ago, the chapel, and the seated chamber or living quarters. “People in the Middle Ages were smaller,” said Sasha. “They slept sitting up because it was superstitious to sleep lying down, which was the position of death. They drank a lot of wine. It was safer to drink the wine than the water.”

Marks burg Castle, Germany, Rhine river, Viking River Cruise, Rhineland Discovery

We toured the rooms in Marksburg Castle.

We maneuvered up narrow staircases. Sasha told us that these slim passageways were built to slow the enemy so only one person could go up at a time. We toured a room filled with heavy armory from the different time periods. “Would anyone like to try on a helmet to test how heavy it is?” Sasha asked. My Lancelot’s head was too large to fit, so guess who offered hers? That helmet was really heavy!

Marks burg Castle; Germany; Rhine river; Viking River Cruise; castles; Rhineland Discovery

Guess who?

Sailing to Rudesheim
We spent a relaxing afternoon sailing along the Middle Rhine, one of Germany’s most scenic regions. According to Viking, “castles and wines take center stage, particularly along the Middle Rhine, brimming with remarkable beauty, history and culture.” L and I had a chance to partake in the best Rieslings during our dinner in Rüdesheim that evening. Continue reading

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Janes Wellness Gowns Cover With Comfort For The Medical Journey

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“My note is to tell you about Janes Wellness Gowns, something wonderful, that offers women over 50 comfort, style, and dignity when they need it most,” wrote Sharon Linder, the founder of GetJanes.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would take Sharon up on her offer to showcase her social entrepreneurial efforts that help women during their medical journey. (And offer a giveaway for a Janes, see below!)

It’s also an approrpriate time to remind you, dear reader, to make your appointment (if you haven’t had one) for your yearly mammogram. Boomer women are often caregivers to others, yet when it comes to nurturing themselves – they tend to let it fall to the bottom of the list. Am I right? Admit it! Last week, I wrote about getting a bone density scan to help take care of your bone health. That’s important too.

GetJanes; Janes Wellness Gowns; Sharon Linder; life after 50; boomer women

Female entrepreneur Sharon Linder created Janes Wellness Gowns.

I like to feature female entrepreneurs like Sharon who are doing interesting things during their life after 50. I interviewed Sharon to find out more about why she created GetJanes. Here’s what she said: Continue reading

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Help Prevent Osteoporosis: “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Did you have your bone density scan?” asked Dr. S during my annual gynecological examination earlier this year. “Yep, I had my last scan in February 2015 and it indicated that I had osteopenia, a lesser degree of bone loss, which may lead to osteoporosis.”

“Okay,” said Dr. S, “No medication is indicated at this time.” Dr. S recommended that I get a DXA scan every two years to check my bone health.

I felt relieved but wanted to know more about how I could help prevent osteoporosis, a chronic disease of the bones, during my life after 50. That’s why when Hologic, Inc., a leading global healthcare and diagnostics company with a focus on women’s consumer health, asked if I would participate in their sponsored campaign, I said “yes.”

The Statistics Are Startling
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Furthermore, estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. (Isn’t it enough that I have sleepless nights due to my lack of estrogen, now my bones are less protected too!)

osteoporosis; National Osteoporosis Foundation; World Osteoporosis Day

In addition, figures from a recent Harris Poll, Omnibus Survey on Osteoporosis (April 7-11,2016) reveal 71 percent of Americans say they are aware of the effects that osteoporosis can have on their health, yet only 52 percent report taking any steps to prevent it.

Wow-o-wow! These are startling statistics. And the sad part is that many women (and men too) can help prevent this disease by following some simple tips.

Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day
While World Osteoporosis Day 2016 is October 20th, and National Osteoporosis Month is in May, it’s the theme of this year’s campaign that is especially important. It calls for individuals to “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future.” Continue reading

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My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” – Welcome to Kinderdijk and Cologne

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50After a fabulous five days on the “Rhineland Discovery” pre-trip to Bruges, Ghent, and Amsterdam, it was time to set sail aboard the Viking EIR (courtesy of Viking River Cruises).*

Welcome to Kinderdijk
By Saturday morning we arrived in Kinderdijk, a village community in the Dutch countryside, home to the largest concentration of windmills in The Netherlands. My boyfriend L and I were ready to go exploring.

“I’m very proud to have you in this area,” said our guide Hans as he led our group across the dike to the windmills. “There are 19 mills. Everything is automatic with computer systems. The pump stations do what the windmills used to do,” said Hans. “However, the windmills are in working condition if needed.”

Kinderdijk; windmills; Viking River Cruise; Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel

There are 19 windmills in Kinderdijk.

He told us about the millers, who live in the mills. “They must complete schooling to operate the mills. The millers have regular jobs and maintain the mills,” said Hans. After touring outside, we went inside, climbing up narrow ladders to reach each floor. It was amazing to think that centuries ago a family of 13 lived in such a tiny space.

Kinderdijk; windmills; Viking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery; Travel and Leisure; Boomer Travel

A very large family lived in the mill centuries ago.

Before leaving Kinderdijk, I bought a few delft blue china souvenirs and made L take a picture of me with my feet in the big wooden clogs nearby the gift shop.

Kinderdijk; Viking River Cruise; Rhineland Discovery; Boomer Travel;

I had big shoes to fill.

Setting Sail For Germany
I spent the afternoon on deck while we cruised to Germany. The Rhine was just as the Viking brochure had described it, “bucolic waters, lush landscapes, Friesian cows, and tidy villages with their neatly laid farmhouses.” It was a very relaxing ride.

Germany; Rhineland Discovery; Viking River Cruises; boomer travel; travel and leisure

Bucolic views on the Rhine.

Continue reading

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My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” – A Lovely Last Day in Amsterdam

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It was hard to believe that almost a week had passed on our pre-trip on “Rhineland Discovery” (courtesy of Viking River Cruises). We had enjoyed our time in Bruges, our stop in Ghent, and our stay in Amsterdam.* Soon we would board the ship for our week-long river cruise on the Rhine.

“We have a few hours before we have to check out of the hotel,” I said to my boyfriend L. “I’m going to squeeze in another museum. Then we can grab lunch at De Bakkerswinkel cafe before we leave.” L packed while I spent the morning navigating my way to the museum area where the “i am amsterdam” sculpture stands tall.

Amsterdam; i am amsterdam; Viking River Cruises;  Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel; travel

The “I am amsterdam” sculpture welcomes visitors to the Dutch capital.

There are so many fabulous sights and attractions to see in Amsterdam and I had 120 minutes to spare. I deliberated. Do I visit, as the Viking brochure says, “the remarkable light-infused building that venerates the short and productive career of tortured 19th-century artist Vincent Van Gogh?” Or do I go see the “lush paintings of Rembrandt and other Dutch masters that adorn the Rijksmuseum?”

Rijksmuseum; Amsterdam; Viking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel; travel

The Rijksmuseum houses the paintings of the Dutch masters.

A Visit To The Van Gogh Museum
I chose Van Gogh Museum and am so glad I did. I purchased my ticket in advance so I didn’t have to wait on line. (Note: I highly recommend you visit this museum when in Amsterdam and definitely buy your ticket online or in advance.) Continue reading

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