One Life, A Treasure Chest of Stories

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersIn honor of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m pleased to bring you an essay written by Antoinette Truglio Martin, the author of an inspiring memoir, Hug Everyone You Know, A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer.

In 2007, when Antoinette was nearing 50, she received a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis. A speech therapist and special education teacher by training as well as a successful children’s book author, Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words, journaling and sending emails to family and friends who wanted to offer their support. The emails were addressed to ‘Her Everyone’ and she signed each email with the reminder to’hug everyone you know.’

Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of her memoir. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny. As the the press release says: “It speaks to us all.”

I hope Antoinette’s essay will touch you with the tenderness that it touched me. I give you Antoinette’s essay:

One Life, A Treasure Chest of Stories
by Antoinette Truglio Martin

Antoinette Truglio Martin; Hug Everyone You Know; SheWritesPress; breast cancer awareness month

Antoinette Truglio Martin is author of a new book “Hug Everyone You Know.”

“Stories fill our lives. We wake up, meander through our routines, and return to the day’s end. Along the way, stories collect. They are born from our observations, interactions, and adventures. The upsides of life are celebrated. The hardships are pondered and wrestled with as we attempt to steer from a dark abyss. Stories that stand out are shared. Memorable ones are retold, rewritten, remembered through the generations. We are truly the keeper of story treasure chests. Continue reading

Mindfulness, Happiness, and More Trends From the 2017 Book Expo

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenWhen I was growing up in the Bronx, NY, I loved going to the public library. My mom and I would walk across Mosholu Parkway from our home. Mom would go food shopping – which took a long time since she had to go to the butcher, the bakery and the supermarket. I went to the library, where I headed straight for the new book section, opening the crisp covers, reading the flaps, flipping the printed pages. I’d stack the books – six was the limit – check them out one at a time – and carry the pile in my arms to meet up with mom.

To this day, new books still excite me. That’s why I so enjoyed attending the 2017 Book Expo at the New York Javits Center earlier this month. The Expo is an annual event where publishers showcase new books. From Simon & Schuster to Hachette, Workman, Penguin and more, I walked every aisle to see each publisher’s offerings.

What’s Hot In The World of Books?
Now that I’ve finally finished combing through my notes and all the catalogs I collected, it’s time to share the themes and trends that caught my attention. Are you ready for what’s hot in the world of books? Note that some of these books may not be available until later in the year.

Here’s the scoop:

Mindfulness and Yoga With A Dosage of Happiness 
If you’re not being mindful or you’re not happy, not to worry because there are hundreds of books (or maybe more) to bring you into the present and make you joyful. As a yogi, I was pleased to see that these topics are trending, yet not sure how I would find time to practice if I spent all my time reading. Here are some titles to choose from:

Mindfulness On the Go – “a set of 52 cards and a 64-page illustrated book, all in a flip-top box with an easel to display your mindfulness cards.”

The Yoga Healer by Christine Burke – with “remedies for the body, mind, and spirit, from easing back pain and headaches to managing anxiety and finding joy and peace within.”
Beyond Mindfulness by Stephen Bodian – says it’s “the direct approach to lasting peace, happiness, and love.
Relax into Yoga for Seniors by Kimberly Carson, MPH, E-RYT and Carol Krucoff, E-RYT –  including a six-week program for strength, balance, flexibility and pain relief. Continue reading

Are There Advantages To Being A Woman Over 50?

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers “Are there advantages to being a single woman over 50?” I was asked this question by journalist Jackie Pilossoph, who writes the weekly “Love Essentially” column in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, a suburban paper in Chicago. Jackie, who is divorced and in her fifties, is also the author of a blog called Divorce Girl Smiling, where she offers advice and support to women going through a divorce and dating after divorce.

She was prompted to write about women over 50 after receiving an email from a 53 year old divorced male reader. He said that he would rather date a woman in her fifties than a younger woman “because we exude radiance” and “we have a sense of who we are and what we want in a relationship.”

Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press; women over 50Jackie was full of questions: ” What are the benefits of being a single woman in your fifties? What do we have that we never did in our younger days? Is it more gratitude? Is it an appreciation for life and small things? Is it that we are smarter? Do things mean more? I guess what I want to know is, what are women over 50 bringing to the table more than younger women?” Continue reading

Be Inspired: This Boomer Girl Designs Activewear For Post 50 Women

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIt’s Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Woman’s Day. According to Women@Forbes, economists and academics agree women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion. In fact, based on the 2012 U.S. Census, women own 36% of all businesses,  ‒ a jump of 30% over 2007.

This week, I’m delighted to feature an interview with a post 60 female entrepreneur from San Diego (who I might add was originally from New Jersey). Her name is Jacqueline Hook and she is the creator of Tenáz Athletics. A 62-year-old fitness fanatic (and mother to three grown children and grandmother to five), Jacqui has emerged from years of chronic back pain to enjoy all  manner of physical activity, from surfing to yoga to flying trapeze. She has run two full marathons and 13 half-marathons, all in her fifties and sixties, and recently set state and national records for powerlifting. No wonder she started an activewear company!

Tenaz Activewear; activewear for post 50 women; female entrepreneurs; Jacqueline Hook

Jacqueline Hook started an activewear company during her life after 60.

Enjoy our conversation. Hope you will be inspired by Jacqui’s story.

Q: What prompted you to start a new business during your life post 60?
Jacqui: “I was prompted by a feeling that had been gnawing at me for months. Last year I had reached 25 years at my corporate job— wonderful company, awesome people, great leadership—but the work wasn’t getting my creative juices flowing anymore. I remember this particular day when I was working from home, gazing out the window and sighing, when it occurred to me that I was craving the energized feeling I get when I’m in a creative flow. It was like needing air to breathe. Then it hit me, this idea of starting a business. In that moment I made the decision, like flipping a switch, and I perked up with excitement.” Continue reading

Women Who Inspired Me in 2016

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

I thought I’d finish off my last blog post for 2016 by honoring some of the talented speakers from the 2016 Pennsylvania Conference For Women. I’d like to share a few quotes that resonated with me from that day. Maybe they will prompt you to think or act differently in 2017.

#PENNWOMEN, Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2016

Nearly 9000 women attended the 13th annual conference in October. The theme was “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice.” It was before the historic election when our first female candidate, Hillary Clinton, was on the ballot for president of the United States. It’s interesting thinking about these quotes now — after the November results. To me, these women’s words are even more powerful and the theme more important. Maybe that’s why I signed up for the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st.

Anita Hill Inspired Me
“You are here to be part of a movement that will help all of us move forward together,” civil rights pioneer Anita Hill said. “There are direct business costs related to harassment,” Anita said, noting the need to end ongoing harassment against women in the workplace, 25 years after she testified during the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. “Time, energy and resources are diverted from work into litigation and court. So ending harassment is everybody’s business.”

Anita Hill, attorney and author; #PENNWOMEN

Anita turned 60 in July and is now a professor of law at Brandeis University. She said that despite the harsh treatment she received when she testified against Thomas, she will “continue to stand up and speak out” around equal education and employment protections for women. Quoting lawmaker and former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Anita said, “I was, am, and will always be a catalyst for change.”

Continue reading

It’s Time For My Beautiful Post 50 Beauty Makeover

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50A few months ago, I decided it was time for a post 50 beauty makeover. It was initiated during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July when I bought a Laura Mercier makeup palette and a new set of Bobbie Brown makeup brushes. I never owned a nice set of brushes. It was an important investment for my life after 50.

I brought my purchases home and put them in my vanity. I loved the brushes and the colors of the makeup, only I didn’t know how to use them or how to apply the makeup. I was excited when I heard that my local Nordstrom has a beauty stylist, Lorraine Parker, who provides complimentary makeovers. I quickly called Lorraine and set up an appointment. I told Lorraine that based on the trends I wanted to air on the side of less makeup, not more.

♥ ENTER BELOW! THIS WEEK’S GIVEAWAY IS A ZAKIA’S MOROCCAN BLACK SOAP, LOOFAH, AND ARGAN OIL GIFT SET ♥ 

Wow-o-wow! What an education I got in the span of an hour. Lorraine took me through multiple steps. I didn’t buy all the beauty products she suggested, but it was a really enjoyable afternoon. I told my boyfriend L that it is very expensive to maintain a beauty regimen post 50. He smiled.

beauty makeover for post 50 women; beauty; makeover; life after 50

Nordstrom Beauty Stylist Lorraine Parker gave me a beautiful beauty makeover.

My Magical Makeover

First, Lorraine used Clarins Cleansing and Toner Serum to clean my face, plus Clarins Moisturizer and Eye Cream as a base. She recommends Clarins for post 50 women. I liked the products. Next, came a primer for my face and a foundation. Lorraine used a Nars under-eye concealer and a Laura Mercier primer for the lids. Continue reading

A Gift Book To Inspire and Celebrate Retirement

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenAs a blogger, many books pass my desk for review. One that caught my eye this season is Hello Someday by Kobi Yamada and John Christianson. It’s a gift book to inspire and celebrate retirement. It’s from Compendium, one of my favorite publishers of motivational gifts and journals. (Note: Read to end for Rafflecopter giveaway.)

I retired from my full-time career in my mid-fifties and wish I had this book to guide me. According to the publishers at Compendium, “In the next 15 years, more than 20% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65.” That means a lot of baby boomers may be retiring. However, just because you are retiring doesn’t mean you can’t pursue other passions.

That’s where Hello Someday comes in. It offers an optimistic attitude about retirement with questions and activities to get you thinking about and designing the next chapter of your life.

Hello Someday; Compendium; NYNOW; retirement; holiday gifts

“Hello Someday” makes a great gift for a future retiree.

I enjoyed this book so much that I asked if I could interview one of the authors. I wanted to know more from those who created Hello Someday. Co-author John Christianson shared his thoughts: Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

Your Post 50 Feet Will Love These Comfortable Shoes

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIt was around the time I reached my late 40s that I started having issues with shoes. Before then, I couldn’t wait for Lord & Taylor to have their fall sale. Each year, I would race to the store to pick out three pairs so I could get 30% off. Sometimes I would buy more than three. My closet racks were filled with shoes.

As I approached my early 50s, finding shoes to fit proved more difficult. I went from heels to ballet flats. In the winter I wore Uggs for casual wear and high black leather boots when I was going to the office.

When I retired from my full-time job I started doing lots of yoga without shoes or socks.

comfortable shoes; SAS shoes; San Antonio Shoemakers; post 50 feet; boomer women

I have flat feet from aging and going barefoot so much during my life after 50.

A Visit To The Podiatrist
“I used to be able to walk all over New York City, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park and now my feet hurt after a short distance,” I told the podiatrist during my appointment last winter. “You have flat feet,” said Dr. L. “Your arches can flatten out as you age, especially if you are going barefoot all the time. You need more supportive shoes.” He also recommended orthotics.

The Hunt For Comfortable Cold Weather Shoes
I bought Dr. Scholl’s orthotic inserts which worked well in my sneakers. But I couldn’t find comfortable shoes. That’s when I turned to SAS also know as San Antonio Shoemakers. I went to the shoe store in town where I used to take my kids when they were toddlers. Unlike many department stores, the saleswoman measured my feet and brought out several pairs of shoes. I felt like Goldilocks.

“This pair is too tight,” I said about the first shoes I tried on.
“This pair is too lose,” I said about the second.
“I have narrow heels. My foot is slipping out of this pair,” I said about the third.
“The arch is too high in this shoe,” I said about the fourth.

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS shoes; SAS Freetime shoes; boomer fashions; flat feet; comfortable shoes

I wore my SAS Freetime shoes with jeans to the NY NOW Show in NYC this winter.

Finally after trying on about 15 different shoes, the saleswoman brought out a pair of SAS shoes — the Freetime style, with a removable, cushioned foot bed and a soft sole for shock absorption. I have to admit that they weren’t the most glamorous shoes I ever owned but my feet felt like they were walking on a cloud. I wore them all winter with jeans, leggings, even tights and a skirt and was able to walk all over NYC on multiple occasions. My feet were so happy and my boyfriend L said I looked cool in my Freetime black Nubuck shoes, like a fashionable hipster.

Not Just Your Nana’s and Papa’s Shoes
As the weather warmed up, I had a new dilemma. I couldn’t  wear my Freetime black Nubuck shoes during the summer months. Oh no, oh no, oh no – not another search for shoes!

Then I saw an ad on Facebook. It featured a new stylish collection of SAS shoes. Could it be possible that the same company that inspired an ardent customer-base of elderly nanas and papas was now targeting boomer women? I was so excited.

I quickly contacted the marketing team and told them I would love to learn more about their 40th anniversary line. The nice marketing manager offered to send a pair of their casual shoes to me in collaboration for a blog post.* (Did I say I love being a blogger? I do! I do!)

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS Breezy shoes; SAS Breezy Periwinkle shoes; boomer fashions; comfortable shoes; flat feet

I wore my Breezy shoes to the shore.

I picked out the Breezy casual with genuine moccasin construction in trendy Periwinkle. I liked that these shoes had side perforations to vent heat, and a foam foot bed topped with striped microfiber for all-day comfort. I bought a size 8 so I could add my orthotics. Continue reading