Bonjour! My Birthday Visit To The Lovely City of Lyon

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Bonjour mes amis! It’s time to share highlights from my summer trip to lovely Lyon, the culinary capital of France.

Oui mon amis, I bet after I tell you about my first visit to this amazing city, you’ll want to book your next vacation there, especially if you’re a foodie.

 

Lyon culinary capital; Lyon patisserie

Lyon is the culinary capital of France.

Oui mon amis, I went to Lyon with my BFF L for our mutual 60th birthdays. What could be more fun than celebrating 30+ years of friendship and a 60th year with a long weekend in Lyon followed by a few days in Paris?

Lyon 60th birthday celebration

Celebrating a 30+year friendship and our 60th birthdays with a trip to Lyon and Paris.

We flew from Newark, NJ on Delta to Paris and then took a train from the Paris Gare Lyon Station to Lyon Part Dieu Station. It’s about a 90 minute train ride. Continue reading

My Foodie Adventure At The 2018 Fancy Food Show

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

My FitBit was pumping as I entered the Jacob Javits Center in New York City for my foodie adventure at the 2018 Fancy Food Show last month. Would I hit 10,000 steps by the end of the day? I had 365,000 square feet to capture with 2,400+ exhibiting companies. Better yet, would I burn off the calories I was about to consume on all the chocolates, cheeses, beverages, snacks, desserts and other delicacies from around the world?

What Are The Food Trends?
As a long-time foodie, I enjoy going to the Fancy Food Show each summer. It’s fun to see the trends and flavors unfold and sample what’s new.

#SFFS2018; Specialty Fancy Food Show

The Fancy Food Show showcases new food products each year.

According to Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) annual research, trends this year include:
Sparkling and functional beverages along with cocktail mixers
Cauliflower (I talked about cauliflower being popular with cookbooks too.)
African flavors and foods from the Philippines (Filipino cuisine is being added to more restaurant menus.)
Sustainability and upcycled products with ingredients that would otherwise go to waste
Tea infusions with tea varieties being used in ingredients
Functional foods, such as cannabis cuisine (this was a popular topic with new books too), collagen infused foods, and foods with hidden or unexpected fruits and veggies

Hemp products and supplements

Hemp products and supplements are trendy…even for your dog.(www.metahempsolutions.com)

Are Baby Boomers Big Foodies?
This year’s SFA research showed that baby boomers are not as big foodies as their millennial kids. They aren’t as inclined to order food online and have a below average purchase of specialty foods. However, boomers do cook from scratch and like to use seasonal foods. They are interested in all natural, organic and plant-based foods. And boomers read nutritional labels and desire quality ingredients.

secret spice remedy; superfood, #SFFS2018

Janice Anne Wheeler from Secrets Spice Remedy is a post 50 female who created her own superfood spice blend. (www.secretspiceremedy.com)

Let’s Go Sample The New Products
I think the best way to introduce you to some of the trends is to share the food products I tasted. I didn’t sample from every booth, it’s way too much food to consume. I did make my way around the entire show and did an extensive amount of good eating.

honeycomb honey; SFFS

Savannah Bee Company sells honey in honeycomb hand cut from the hive. It makes a nice presentation on a buffet. (www.savannahbee.com)

I was overwhelmed by the number of food products related to health and wellness. Equally so were all the decadent foods for those times one wants to indulge. As I nibbled and noshed my way around the Show, I kept reminding myself that it’s all about “balance, variety and moderation,” the nutritional guidelines I learned when I was younger.

Peekaboo Ice Cream

Peekaboo Ice Cream contains veggies! It was one of the busiest booths at the show.

If you want to purchase any of these products, ask at your local supermarket. If they don’t have the specific product, check with Whole Foods or go on Amazon and see if they sell it. Often when I asked providers where I could find their products, they shook their head and said “Amazon” or their company’s website. Continue reading

An Abundance of New Wellness Books To Better Your Life

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessFrom cannabis to collagen, ketogenics to cauliflower, clean eating to happy food, mindfulness to more sleep — one thing is for sure, new wellness books and cookbooks to better your life were in abundance at the 2018 BookExpo America (BEA), held in May at New York’s Jacob Javits Center.

Last week, I shared upcoming novels and memoirs I discovered at BEA. This week, I’m focusing on new self-care titles. The following are some of the wellness themes I found trending as I walked the exhibition floor. Note some of the titles are not available until later this year or early 2019.

BookExpo America; wellness books

Wellness and self-care books and cookbooks were trending at the BEA 2018.

Happy Titles That Will Make You Smile
If someone asked me if I’d rather be happy than sad, the answer would undoubtedly be “happy.” I bet you would answer in the affirmative too? Who doesn’t want to be happy? For those who aren’t, you can read these new happiness books:

Short Cuts To Happiness

Who knew you can find happiness at the barber shop?

Short Cuts To Happiness, Life Changing Lessons From My Barber by Tal Ben-Shahar (This title made me laugh. Maybe I should buy it for my boyfriend L.)
100 Days Happier and The Happiness Code and The Daily Promise, 100 Ways To Feel Happy About Your Life were all written by Domonique Bertolucci (I sure hope Domonique is happy.)
Happy Food – Fast, Fresh, Simple Vegan by Bettina Campolucci Bordi
Draw and Be Happy by Tim Shaw
Spark Happiness (A box of prompts to cultivate joy.)

100 Days Happier

There are many ways to achieve happiness.

Stop, Breathe and Be Mindful
As a yoga and meditation instructor, I practice mindful living. When I get stressed out I remind myself to “stop, breathe, and be” in the moment. I studied Mindfulness Meditation about 10 years ago and since then it has become more and more popular as the world gets more and more stressful. That’s likely why there are so many books on the subject and related-subjects like yoga and the previously mentioned topic of happiness: Continue reading

Great Reads And New Novels At The 2018 BookExpo

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It’s fun to attend the 2018 BookExpo America (BEA) each May where publishers introduce their new novels, memoirs, cookbooks, and non-fiction titles. The event is open to trade (and media) – although I think some consumers can participate if they run a book club. I love to stroll the aisles at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City and see what’s trending.

BookCon, a similar show for avid readers, follows BEA in the same venue and is open to all. It hosts entertaining programs with authors on the weekend after BEA.

Tony Kushner; Angels in America

I met Tony Kushner, author of “Angels in America,” at a book signing.

Setting A Goal To Do More Reading
I tend to do more reading during the summer months while relaxing at the shore. I find I read more when traveling too. One of my goals during my life after 60 is to do more reading. My boyfriend L and my BFF L are both voracious readers — they inspire me. I like reading on a Kindle because I can load several books at a time.

2018 BookExpo

Book publishers exhibit their new books at the 2018 BookExpo America (BEA).

Being a fan of chick-lit, I just finished Lauren Weisberger’s new bestseller, When Life Gives You Lululemons. If you like The Devil Wears Prada, this is a sequel and a quick read. For those who are fellow Jackie O fans, I suggest the biography by J. Randy Taborelli – Jackie, Janet & Lee – The Secret Lives of Janet Auchincloss and Her Daughters, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill. It’s a fascinating peek into the lives of these glamorous women. For other reads check out my Books page.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz; 2018 Book Expo

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz” is based on a true story.

My next book is The Tattooist of Auschwitz, based on a true story about a tattooist during WWII, who falls in love with a woman from the camp where he is forced to tattoo prisoners’ numbers on their arms. Heather Morris wrote the novel after interviewing Lale Sokolov, a very real person who decided, late in life, to share his experiences. It’s a war story and a love story. I received an advance copy — the book will be available in September.

Igniting A Reading Renaissance
There’s been more talk these days of “igniting a reading renaissance.”  Continue reading

Check Out My Interview On “Yes and Yes Blog”

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI  thought I would share my recent interview that appeared last week on the Yes and Yes Blog. The Yes and Yes Blog is produced by Sarah Von Bargen. I met Sarah when she was a speaker at the PHLbloggers Blog Connect Conference in Philadelphia in May 2018.

Sarah has been blogging since 2008. She says, “Yes and Yes grew out of my desire to read a very specific type of blog that – at the time – didn’t exist. I liked lifestyle blogs (who doesn’t?) but I wanted something with a tiny bit more depth. Interesting interviews in addition to the recipes posts; thought-provoking personal essays and ‘what to wear for a weekend away’ posts.”

Today, 12,000+ daily readers view her blog and she has been featured in places like Lifehacker, Problogger, Glamour, and Forbes.com among others. She also created an ecourse about money + happiness and another one about changing our habits. Plus she created an app, three calendars, and signed with a literary agent!

Sharing My Life Story
Sarah interviewed me about my reinvention after losing my spouse, selling my house and emptying out my nest. My interview is entitled, “True Story: I Reinvented Myself at 50” and includes answers to Qs about my life pre-50 and post-50 and the different changes I”ve made during the last 10 years.

Defining Your Success
Sarah was the keynote speaker at the PHLBloggers Blog Connect Conference. Her talk about “Defining Your Success” was inspiring. She said that “if you can’t define success, you won’t know when you get there.” She encouraged attendees to “create your own definition of success” rather than comparing your life to others. She said that success is not necessarily about how many social media followers you have or how much money you have in the bank. Continue reading

Wellness Travel: My Relaxing Visit To Le Monastère Des Augustines

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“If you like “wellness travel,” you’ll want to book a personal or girls’ getaway to Le Monastère Des Augustines, located in the historic wings of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery.  I had an opportunity to visit this 17th century cloister during the Women In Travel Summit (WITS18) in Quebec City in early May.

Women of Head and Heart
The monastery, which offers retreat packages and holistic health programs, follows in the heritage of the Augustinian Sisters who devoted themselves to caring for the body and soul. The Sisters founded the first hospital in Quebec City.

Le Monastère Des Augustines; wellness travel

Le Monastère Des Augustines is all about wellness for the body and soul.

Tourisme Manager Marie-Eve Perron told us about the Augustine Sisters as we toured the monastery’s museum. “The Augustine Sisters arrived in 1639. This was their home. They cared for the sick and were always dedicated to healing,” said Marie-Eve. “While there were 250 sisters in 1950, today there are only 10 to 12 sisters here. They gave all their artifacts to Quebec City and many volunteers helped curate the materials for display,”

Le Monastère Des Augustines; wellness travel

The Augustine Sisters were dedicated to healing.

Le Monastère Des Augustines; wellness travel

The Museum includes artifacts from the old apothecary.

A Sacred Place To Stay
In the back of the restored building is the lodging, where the focus is on enjoying peace and quiet. The stairway leading up to the rooms dates back to 1757. There are  just 64 rooms – half are authentic cells where the sisters lived. The furniture is from the 19th century – it’s like staying in a museum. There are single beds in the rooms and bathrooms are shared. The rooms are very reasonably priced from $84 – $104 per person double occupancy. Continue reading

A Feel-Good Film Giveaway For “Finding Your Feet”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

Last evening, I watched a screener of the romantic comedy Finding Your Feet. I agree with OK! Magazine when they say it’s “The Feel-Good Film OF THE YEAR!” It was just what I needed after a long day in New York City. I grabbed a cup of chamomile tea and enjoyed this British chick-flick.

Finding Your FeetThe film is about a post 50, likely post 60 or 70 female named Sandra, formerly “Lady Abbott,” who gets a new lease on life – and love – after she discovers her husband Mike is having an affair with her best friend.

Since it’s Independence Day this week and Sandra finds her independence after 40 years of marriage, I thought it would be a great time to host a giveaway for Finding Your Feet. Special thanks to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for providing the DVD. (Note: Be sure to read below and enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for the DVD. Open to USA residents only.)

Finding Your Feet

Dancing brings Sandra a new lease on life.

Continue reading

Enjoy “The Great Alone” and Enter A Giveaway

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

What are you reading this summer?

If you haven’t read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, then I’m here to convince you to add it to your reading list. In fact, I’m such a big fan of Kristin Hannah that I’m partnering with St. Martin’s Press to give away a copy of her latest novel and prize package.* (Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post or leave a comment to enter.)

The Great Alone; Kristin Hannah

“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah is a New York Times bestseller.

A Gripping Novel With Pioneering Spirit
Set in the wilderness of Alaska during the 1970s, The Great Alone tells the story of a family in crisis, a family desperate for a new beginning, and a family with a pioneering spirit. As I read this gripping novel, at times I felt like I was struggling for survival along with the Albright family — Ernt, a Vietnam vet with PTSD; his wife Cora, who loves her husband despite his abusive behavior and illness; and their coming of age daughter, Leni, who is 13 years old when we meet her. There’s also Matthew, Leni’s love interest; Large Marge, Mad Earl, and other locals who support the family. Continue reading

Popular Places To Dine On The Delicacies of Old Québec City

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Are you ready for a culinary treat? I’m going to share details about the delicacies of Old Québec City. For those who are foodies, you’ll be glad to know that in 2015 Condé Nast Traveler ranked Québec City among the top 20 world’s best food cities.

Luxury Dining At Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
If you haven’t read my previous post about my visit to Québec City you can find it here. I was in this charming Canadian province last month to attend the 2018 Women In Travel Summit, also known as WITS18.

Champlain Restaurant; Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

The Champlain Restaurant has beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River.

The conference was held at the luxurious Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the most iconic hotel in the world. Le Château Frontenac has its own collection of noteworthy restaurants, including the elegant Champlain Restaurant with its modern cuisine; The 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar with an incredible selection of cheeses; Bistro Le Sam for a casual lunch and dinner; and Place Dufferin featuring sumptuous breakfast buffets and a la carte menus with seasonal ingredients. All offer exceptional views of the St. Lawrence River –  one of the most prized features of Le Château. (Note: If you cannot view the video below click here.)

A Food Tour Of Old Québec City
I had a chance to discover the delicacies of Old Québec City during a  WITS18 excursion with Tours Voir Quebec Food Tour. The 2.5 hour walking tour took us to popular shops and restaurants where we sampled traditional and local specialties.

Tournebroche Restaurant; Old Quebec City; Quebec delicacies

Tournebroche Restaurant is known for its honey.

Our guide Robert gave us a history lesson as we strolled. “Québec is a native word and means where the river gets narrow. Canada means small village,” said Robert. Continue reading

My First Visit To Canada’s Charming Québec City

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50In early May, I visited Québec City. It was my first visit to Canada’s very charming and mostly French-speaking Québec province. I was there to attend the 2018 Women In Travel Summit, also known as WITS18. WITS is one of the world’s top events for women travel influencers to connect and build sisterhood and network with others in the travel industry.

It was fun to be in the company of 400+ females of all ages who love to travel. It was great to meet and greet fellow boomer travel bloggers face-to-face, especially those I only previously met virtually in our Facebook Group. It was amazing to stay at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the most iconic hotel in the world, and to explore the history, culture, and food of the oldest city in North America.

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

It was fun to stay in a Québec landmark like the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.

A City With Many Accolades
With so much to see and do in Québec City, coupled with the French language and European ambiance, it was a perfect spot to grab a few days away without a long flight abroad. Plus the exchange rate with the Canadian dollar is really good right now, almost a 20 percent discount!

Quebec; Samvel de Champlain, founder of Quebec

Samvel de Champlain founded Québec in 1608.

Québec City is a town with many accolades. In 2016, Leading Culture Destinations Traveller’s Awards honored Québec City with the Culture City of the Year Award which recognizes the most stimulating and imaginative cities for the cultural nomad to visit. The other nominees were Lyon (France) and Los Angeles (USA). Ooh, ooh, ooh, I’ll be heading to Lyon in a few weeks with my BFF L for our 60th celebration. Will tell you all about it when I return. Continue reading