Simple Ways To Stay “Skin Smart” In The Sun

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50I’m gearing up for summer. Bright sunshine is a welcome relief after the cold and snowy winter. My boots are packed away and now it’s time for swimsuits and shorts.

I love being outdoors, especially at the beach. I have fond memories of going to Long Beach, N.Y. My family rented a flat there each July and August. Who knew from SPF during the 60s? My mom used to slather greasy orange Ban d’Soleil over her body and my dad’s too. Sometimes my sister N would sit with a metallic reflector near her face to catch more rays.

Long Beach, skin cancer prevention, life after 50

I have great memories of my summers at Long Beach, N.Y.

Sadly, later in life my mom ended up with melanoma and had to have surgery on her leg. That’s why I try to cover up when in the sun and wear sunscreen with SPF 50+, especially on my face. I also get regular checkups at the dermatologist.

Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing
Since I have to be extra careful when out in the sun, I was interested to learn about Coolibar sun protective clothing. Coolibar offers a wide variety of stylish activewear made with UPF 50+ fabrics that block 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation.

Caliber clothing, Zella activewear

I wear my Coolibar tops with my Zella leggings.

Being a 50+ fashionista, Coolibar sent along some complimentary samples.* I packed two of the items when I traveled to St. Thomas, V.I. last week for my niece’s wedding. I wore the cute Antigua Tunic over my bathing suit at the pool and the Basic Tank with my capris while walking around town. I plan to take the zip-up jacket with me this weekend when I go biking near my “condo on the corner” at the Jersey shore.

Caliber sun protective clothing, life after 50, skin cancer prevention

I wore my Coolibar tunic over my swimsuit in St. Thomas, V.I.

Skin Smart Tips For Summer

skin cancer, Coolibar sun protective clothing, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, life after 50In honor of May’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Coolibar has partnered with The American Cancer Society to create a #SkinSmart campaign aimed at sharing tips on how to keep skin protected from UV exposure:

Use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours, especially after swimming and lots of sweating. (Have to remind my boyfriend L and my son D about the importance of sunscreen. They aren’t as faithful about applying as I am.)

T-shirts do not block UV rays! Wear clothing with a UV protection factor of 50. (You mean all those years my mom told me to “put on a t-shirt” when I was getting red at the beach — it really didn’t make a difference? Wish I could turn back the clock 50 years and reapply!)

Wear a hat! For every inch of brim, you reduce your risk of skin cancer 10%. (My son D and daughter A were making fun of my white floppy hat at the pool this weekend. They said I looked like I was wearing a baby’s hat. I’ll show them, I’m going to go get a bigger brimmed hat now that I know these risk-factors.)

Take regular breaks from the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. Set your phone alarm to remind you. (Ooh, ooh, ooh, this is a challenge. I usually go to the beach around 2:00 p.m. so I better take lots of sun protective gear. Hope my boyfriend L – aka cabana boy L – can carry everything.)

Bring your own. Sunscreen prices peak at resorts and parks, and some don’t sell sunscreen. (Here are the best sunscreens according to Consumer Reports.)

A Sweet Deal
To celebrate its mission to eliminate cancer, Coolibar is giving American Cancer Society $1 for EVERY order placed at Coolibar.com during the month of May—up to a $25,000 donation! To sweeten the deal, Coolibar has offered a special code, ACS15, which gives a 15% discount on all orders. Hurry, the offer ends soon!

Judi

*Disclosure of Material Connection: Coolibar provided me with complimentary clothing. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. My opinions on the clothing are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments toward Coolibar or their clothing.

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Talking About Menopause: “Enabling The Change”

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLast week, I participated in my first-ever Google Hangout with a group of fabulous female boomer bloggers. None of us knew each other beforehand, but we chatted up a storm. We were talking about menopause with Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Minkin is also a partner in private practice in the New Haven, CT, area and has written several books on the subject. She had much to share with us (and we with her) about the challenges that women face as they age. The Hangout was sponsored by Replens vaginal moisturizer.

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, menopause, perimenopause, Replens

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin is Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine.

A Large Demographic Of Women
According to Time magazine, “One of the largest demographics in America is women in their 40s to 60s, and by 2020 there will be nearly 60 million peri- and post-menopausal women living in the U.S. Because women’s average life expectancy is currently 81 years, we’re easily spending a third of our lives post-menopausal.” So listen up boomer girls, because you need to know about your body during these times of change.

A Chat About “Enabling The Change”
My fellow bloggers featured Parri from Her Royal Thighness, Shannon from The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful, Laura from I’m So Vintage, and Claudia from Mockingbird Hill Cottage.

I don’t want to reveal too much about our chat since you can watch us in action in the taped segment. We all agreed that our years of declining estrogen have made an impact with newfound emotions, middle-aged middles, night and day hot-flashes, bouts of insomnia, plus dry eyes, dry skin, dry vaginas, and a whole lot more.

Dr. Minkin talked about things we could and should do to deal with matters surrounding menopause. For example, she encouraged us to consume foods with vitamin D and to do weight bearing exercises to build bone strength during our life after 50. I especially took note of these tips since Dr. Minkin said that “slim women tend to have more bone issues.”

Don’t worry, it’s not all bad. We had quite a few positives to add about our post-menopausal years, with more gratitude for all that we have and greater authenticity, wisdom, and openness to accept ourselves for all that we are.

post-menopause, menopause, life after 50

I plan to stay strong during my post-menopausal years so I can continue to climb new mountains.

Resources On Menopause For Midlife Women Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., menopause, perimenopause

Regardless of whatever stage of menopause you are going through, Dr. Minkin reminded us to “talk with your gynecologist about your changes and ask questions.” She offered resources at menopause.org, where you can find menopause practitioners and mentioned Red Hot Mamas®, a menopause education program, where she is on the Advisory Board.

I recommend either of Dr. Minkin’s books: A Woman’s Guide to Menopause & Perimenopause and A Woman’s Guide To Sexual Health. Both are comprehensive guides.    

One more thing about dryness down under, here’s the scoop and a product that can help: Replens is the clinically tested, doctor recommended brand of long-lasting vaginal moisturizer. As with dry skin that you experience on your face and hands, regular moisturizing treatment with Replens Long-Lasting vaginal moisturizer may be necessary to prevent dryness from recurring. Replens Long-Lasting vaginal moisturizer is different from most other lotions or lubricants because it contains a patented bio-adhesive ingredient that allows it to attach to dry vaginal cells and deliver continuous moisture for up to three days. Click here to learn more. Click on the video below to view our full conversation:

The opinions expressed in this video are those of the participants and are not those of Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

How are you coping with peri- meno- or post-menopause? Leave a comment and let me know any helpful hints. By leaving a comment below you’ll also be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Judi

Entry Instructions: 

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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“IRIS” – A Delightful Documentary About A 93 Year Old Style-Maven

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenI’ve always adored the style-maven Iris Apfel. I’ve followed her flamboyant fashions and over-sized iconic eyewear since I was in college in the 70s. As a student of textile and clothing design, it was a treat to see what avant-garde outfit and costume jewelry Iris was wearing on the fashion pages or around the streets of New York City.

Now at 93 (the same age my mom would have been if she was alive), she is the subject of a new documentary called IRIS. If you are a fashionista or creative spirit like me, you won’t want to miss this fabulous film directed by the legendary documentarian Albert Maysles (who sadly passed away in March).

Iris Apfel, IRIS, aging, fashionista

Iris Apfel in IRIS, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo credit: (c) Bruce Weber.

Who Is Iris Apfel?
For those of you who don’t know Iris, let me tell you about her. “While Iris Apfel has been an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades, her life is more than just about glamour,” as the press release states. “She continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. Her enthusiasm for fashion, art and people, reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment.” Her fun-loving attitude, abundant creativity, and tireless energy are what make Iris so inspiring and the film IRIS so endearing.

Continue reading

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An Eye-Opening Day At Sixth Annual “Women in the World Summit”

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLast Thursday, I attended the sixth annual “Women in the World Summit” at Lincoln Center in New York City. It was an emotional and eye-opening day as I learned about issues facing women and girls around the world.

“Together, we’re going to parachute behind the frontline of the news. We’ll experience dramatic stories through the eyes of some extraordinary women and the men who champion them. Our guides are activists, artists, entrepreneurs, fighters, journalists, peacemakers, and rabble-rousers.,” said Tina Brown, Founder and CEO, Women in the World/Tina Brown Live Media.

#WITW, Tina Brown's Women in the World,

A Galvanizing Agenda
Each discussion was more stirring than the next, with subject matters ranging from gender inequities and women’s health to sexual violence and mutilation, to the importance of human rights and education for women and girls. The growing impact of climate change, caregiving, cyber-bullying, maternal mortality was also on the agenda. You can watch many of the presentations at the “Women In the World” website (co-produced with The New York Times) or by clicking on the links throughout the post.

For now, here are some of my takeaways from the day:

Cofounder of Bring Back Our Girls, Obiageli Ezekwesili, talked about the 276 Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped last year by Boko Haram terrorists. “Everyone must use your influence to bring back our girls, these girls are not back yet,” said Obiageli. “Nobody has the right to make you have to decide between education and being alive.” (Hearing this story made me really appreciate the educational opportunities we have in America.)

#WITW, Tina Brown's Women in the World Summit, life after 50, Obiageli Ezekwesilli, #bringbackourgirls

Obiageli Ezekwesili (left) is Cofounder of Bring Back Our Girls, seated with panelist Alexis Okeowo, Writer, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker.

Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, moderated a panel on caregiving. “Forty percent of working moms are single. In 2000, 30 million people were over 65. By 2030, that number will double. Sixty-two percent of caregivers are women,” said Valerie. Panelist Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO, Care.com, echoed these concerns. “Caregiving is the #1 budgetary item for working families. Investing in care drives economic growth. We have a crisis coming if we don’t take care of caregiving.” (Having been a part of the AARP Kitchen Cabinet of Caregivers, I am very passionate about this issue. Valerie asked for help: “What more should we be doing to spotlight caregiving? Send suggestions to me on Twitter at @vj44.”) Continue reading

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A Dynamic Mother & Daughter Duo

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers“I noticed that you’ve posted interviews of women over 50 pursuing new career paths and I was hoping I could submit my mom as a future subject. My mom is Diane Yeager and she is 60 years young. Every time we think it’s time for her to slow down and retire, it’s as if she starts another life.” said Nikki.

What a nice lead-in to an inspiring story. I like to hear about positive family relationships, especially when a daughter is proud of her mom. I wanted to learn more about how Diane, a former full-time nurse and now owner of EHR Tutor, navigated entrepreneurship. I also was curious to hear Nikki’s perspective — to understand how her mom has influenced her own success.

Here are excerpts from my interviews. Perhaps Diane’s story may motivate you to become an entrepreneur during your second act. 

Mother's Day, entrepreneur  post 50, reinvention, aging, life after 50

Nikki (left) was inspired to succeed by her strong mom Diane.

A Conversation With Diane Yeager
Q: What spurred you to start a company during your life after 50?
Diane: “In my 50s, I was working as a consultant for a healthcare software company and found myself working increasingly longer hours. Having a 100 hour work week at the beginning of a job is something I can do, especially when I’m excited about the work. However, when I was doing overnight support shifts on a regular basis after writing training curriculum, I realized I was well into my 50s and losing time at my job instead of gaining anything meaningful in my life. Continue reading

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I Need To “Sleep Better”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessWhen I was in my 20s, I was a great sleeper. I’d hit the pillow after a long day at work and I was out for the count. I remember my roommate W was envious of how quickly I would nod off. Not anymore. These days as a “post menopausal woman,” I rarely fall asleep even after 30 minutes of relaxing music. Some nights I feel like I barely get any shut-eye at all.

I’ve tried many remedies — from warm milk to warm bathes, from Valerian (ooh, ooh, ooh, cannot stomach that herb in any form) to Melatonin — without much success. Most evenings, I usually enjoy a cup of Chamomile tea and douse myself with lavender oil. Yet some nights nothing seems to work.

AARP Life Reimagined, Sleep Better, AARP, sleep, insomnia,

While I do see a sleep doctor about twice a year, I’m always open to any and all sleep experts. That’s why when the team at AARP invited me to interview Life Reimagined Thought Leader and psychiatrist, Dr. Janet Taylor, and try out her new “Sleep Better” activity created for LifeReimagined.org, I said “yes.”

The “Sleep Better” Program
The program was quick to complete at only four steps: Continue reading

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Forecast For Spring 2015 Fashion Trends

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50Happy spring! It’s time for my fashion forecast. After reading a total of 2000+ pages including Vogue, InStyle, MORE, O Oprah magazines, plus countless Nordstrom catalogs, and my favorite T Magazine and weekly Style sections of The New York Times, I’m ready to give you the lowdown on this season’s trends.

The good news is that I just de-cluttered my closet so there’s plenty of empty space waiting to be filled. It’s been two years since leaving my full-time job — out went all my tailored suits, skirts, dresses, and heels. While I’m still a fashionista, my semi-retired lifestyle demands more casual attire. As for the corporate gig – I now enjoy helping my daughter A establish her career-building wardrobe.

Fashion mags

Spring 2015 Fashion Trends To Rock The Season
Here are highlights along with pix from my recent purchases and some candid commentary. There are so many trends that it sometimes feels like anything goes: Continue reading

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My Post 50 Yoga Journey – The First Step

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIn January I started training to become a yoga instructor. I thought I would share my transformative journey as it unfolds. For fellow yogis – my stories will remind you of why you practice. For non-yogis – come along for the ride – maybe I’ll entice you to try a class or two.

Why Do I Love Yoga
I began my yoga practice about seven years ago, shortly after losing my husband. It was a way to physically and mentally focus and relax. Yoga and mindfulness meditation helped me heal through stages of grief. According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as interpreted by Mukunda Stiles, “Yoga is experienced in that mind which has ceased to identify itself with its vacillating waves of perception. When this happens, then the Seer is revealed resting in its own essential nature, and one realizes the true Self.”

In some ways you could say I lost my soulmate and found my “soulmat”. Yoga was my ticket to wellness after many months of dealing with my husband’s progressive illness and eventual death. It helped me to stop, to breathe, and to be in the moment.

During the past two years since leaving my full-time job, I’ve grown to love going to my weekly yoga classes. Instead of resisting, I am more open to change. Yoga has shown me how to slow down and find greater balance. I have developed a sense of gratitude for all that I can do.

I am growing and improving each day. An inspiring quote touches my heart. A fellow yogi strikes up a conversation. A perfect pose or an imperfect pose invigorates my body.  Plus, I’m starting to take the goodness of yoga off the mat and bring yogic philosophy into my overall lifestyle. (My friend W says I’ve become very “zen.”)

Last fall, I decided to take a big leap. I went to an open house at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies and signed up for their 200 Hour Yoga Training Program.

Welcome to Anatomy + Physiology

yoga, transformation, boomer wellness, anatomy + physiology

I learned a lot from yoga instructor N and her companion Raja.

I’m proud to say that I just finished my first 20 hours of anatomy and physiology. I learned a whole lot from my amazing instructor N and her skeleton companion Raja. It was much better than any high school or college biology class. Perhaps I am a more eager student during my life after 50. Continue reading

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9 Things People Who Retire Early Do

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis week, I’m pleased to highlight a blog post that originally appeared in WiseBread, all about living large on a small budget. The piece was written by  Mikey Rox, an award-winning writer/journalist from New York City. Mikey writes about the “9 Things People Who Retire Early Do.” Take a read, you might find someone you know who retired early and is now enjoying her passions – like blogging and yoga. Moi, moi, moi!

Take it away Mikey: 

wisebread.com, Mikey Rox

Mikey Rox is an award-winning writer/journalist.

We all dream of retiring early (at least I do), but for most of us that’s all it is — a dream. It doesn’t necessarily have to be, however, and you don’t need to strike it rich to start enjoying the finer things in life well before age 67. (Yep, that’s the government-acknowledged age for full retirement — and it stinks.) To provide some much-needed motivation to kick your hustle into high gear, here are nine things people who retire early do — and you should, too.

1. Live Relatively Modestly and Save, Save, Save
If you weren’t born into one of those famous family dynasties that provided you a trust fund at birth or otherwise have won some sort of lottery, you’ve got to work hard for your money. If you want to retire early, live modestly and save like your life depends on it. The truth is your life does depend on it — at least the one you want, anyway. Continue reading

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New Additions To Timeless Breakfast Cereals

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenI’m a breakfast eater. I never miss my morning meal. So when the team at Kellogg Company asked me if I wanted to sample their new Kellogg’s® Raisin Bran with Cranberries® cereal, I agreed to do a taste test. They sent a package my way. Inside was a box of the new cereal, a shiny red cereal bowl, a pedometer, and a small gift card.*

 

Raisins and Cranberries In One Cereal

Kellogg's Raisin Bran with Cranberries Cereal; boomer wellness, nutritious breakfast, life after 50I’ve been trying to be gluten-free, but since I don’t have celiac disease I gave in to my raisin and cranberry cravings. My mom used to pack individual-sized boxes of SunMaid raisins in my school lunch. As for cranberries, I enjoy these tart berries whether they are served fresh in Thanksgiving cranberry orange relish or dried as a garnish atop salads.

It had been a long while since I had eaten Kellogg’s® Raisin Bran® cereal. I rather remember the flakes being soggy in milk when I was a kid. Not anymore. These bran flakes with whole grain wheat were crisp after a few minutes soaking in almond milk. Plus, I like the extra kick of sweet and tart flavors.

Is it nutritious as well as a delicious? I asked my BFF L, who is a registered dietitian, for her opinion: “Overall, it’s a good choice for breakfast. It tastes great. The flakes are light with a crunchy texture. The cranberries are tender – I like them in the cereal. It’s a larger portion (1-1/4 cups per serving) than most cereals. It contains antioxidants and potassium and is an excellent source of fiber. However, those who are diabetic and watching their carbs should be aware that this cereal does contain added sugar.”

Now that my BFF L had given the cereal her stamp of approval, I asked my boyfriend L (BFL) to try some. “I haven’t had Kellogg’s® Raisin Bran® cereal in a really long time,”  he said as he munched on the flakes. “It’s really good. The cranberries add a nice texture. I like it.”

Verdict complete! Kellogg’s® Raisin Bran with Cranberries® cereal gets a thumbs up. Continue reading

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