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VN Featured Comment
How to recreate brows from scratch with makeup
Fashion & Beauty
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Today’s Featured Comment

From Lois Joy Johnson

Former beauty and fashion director of More magazine Lois Joy Johnson shares the following tips in her Vibrant Nation Beauty Guide, Great Hair After 50:

  1. In general, a medium, full brow with a gentle arch and extended elongated shape is youthful and attractive on most women.
  2. When you create a new brow with makeup, allow time for your eye to adjust to seeing your face with more brow definition.
  3. Don’t aim for symmetry since one brow is always higher or fuller or arched differently.
  4. Brow powders make filling in bald areas and creating a natural-looking shape where hairs are missing easier. You can use a brush-on brow powder applied to a waxy balm base (they often come in kits together), using a firm, flat-tip, angled brow brush to feather in hairs.
  5. You can also try a powder pencil for a similar and faster effect.
  6. Brush any brow makeup pencils or powders through with a spiral brush to soften and blend the makeup for a more natural look.
  7. I recommend Lancôme Le Crayon Poudre Powder Pencil for Brows ($24 click here to buy), Dior Powder Brow Pencil ($28 click here to buy), and Clarins Pro Palette Eyebrow Kit ($35 click here to buy), which has powder filler, wax, and brushes in one mirrored compact.

[This advice was orginally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]

Guess Who Made the List?
Healthy Living, Work & Money
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Yoga Anita is honored and excited to be part of this list!

Popexpert is excited to recognize the Top 20 Mindful Life Coaches to Watch for 2015, chosen for their meaningful contributions to the mindful living movement and dedication to creating online learning opportunities for people around the world. These coaches are on a mission to help the world live, work and be more mindful in all aspects of life.

The list is comprised of distinguished popexpert experts, authors, business owners, contributors, and speakers across diverse categories of life. From nutrition to fitness, meditation, relationships, parenting, yoga, happiness, and more, all of these coaches have in common a dedication to teaching their clients a more mindful approach to living.

These coaches are all known for:

  • Contributing significant thought leadership to the mindful living community
  • Creating and facilitating incredible education opportunities through speaking engagements, blogging, and teaching
  • Bringing awareness of the conversation around mindful living styles to the forefront of the health & wellness industry

As we rapidly enter a new era of mindful living, we’ve seen a large trend toward people, businesses, and governments around the world acknowledging the importance of living a well-balanced, meaningful life. The landscape continues to evolve at an increasingly fast pace with the proliferation of online education opportunities. Through their involvement in the professional community, whether speaking, blogging, or teaching, these leaders are empowering people to learn and grow.

In conjunction with this announcement, we asked these top emerging mindfulness leaders to share the single most important focus area that will help anyone at any level live more mindfully in 2015. We’ll be releasing their insights in a series of upcoming blog posts over the next few weeks.

See story here.


VN Editors
Why You Need a Blow Dryer to Create Hairstyles for Thin Hair
Fashion & Beauty
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If your hair looks flat and lifeless and dull and thin, it’s probably because you aren’t using a blow dryer to give yourself fuller, prettier hairstyles for thin hair. If you’ve got thinning hair, it’s time to meet your new favorite hair tool.

Thinning Hair, Women?

If you’ve noticed more hairs falling out of your head as more candles grace your birthday cake, you’re a very normal vibrant woman. Lots of women notice changes in their hair as they go through “the change” of life, meaning menopause. It’s common for hair follicles themselves to shrink, resulting in finer shafts of hair. You may also notice more hair shedding, a process the leaves you with thinning hair all over.

There are tons and tons of products out there designed to treat thinning hair. Women can use volumizing sprays and special shampoos. They can get extensions and wear wigs. But the most important tool in your hair arsenal is the blow dryer. When it comes to creating hairstyles for fine hair and looks for thinning hair, women can’t find a better piece of equipment.

Why You Need a Good Blow Dryer

When it comes to getting a blow dryer for your hair, don’t be too frugal. Get a durable but lightweight design that’s easy to hold, and get yourself a round styling brush. A good blow dryer is a versatile tool that helps you create lots of great hairstyles for thin hair. What can a blow dryer do for your hair?

  • Dries product: When you have thinning hair issues, you’re going to be using various products on your hair. Moisturizing oils, thermal protecting sprays, styling mousse and volumizing gels dry evenly and beautifully when you use a hair dryer. If you put product on your hair and let it air dry, your hair is going to look heavy and coated.
  • Dries your roots: If you’re using your blow dryer the right way, your roots will dry so that they’re up and off your scalp. This makes your hair look full.
  • Volume: The main reason you want to use a blow dryer is for the volume. If you know how to wield this tool, your hair will look thicker, fuller and livelier.

To use your hair dryer, treat your hair with any product first. Now part and comb your hair. Take your blow dryer in one hand and your round brush in the other. Beginning with the top layers, lift three-inch sections of your hair with the round brush from the underside. Hold the dryer to the underside of hair, and move it and the brush slowly down the length of the entire section. Repeat one or twice more, until the section is dry. Work around the head this way, drying hair in layers. Don’t get in a hurry and grab big sections. Work slowly and always from the roots down, moving from the underside of hair down the length. Your style will be softer, fuller and look healthier.

VN Editors
Get a Good Cut to Create Hairstyles for Fine Hair
Fashion & Beauty
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There’s an art to creating good-looking hairstyles for fine hair, and it all starts with the right haircut. If you haven’t got that, you’re going to have trouble getting the thicker, fuller look that you really want.

Hairstyles for Fine Hair

When you have fine hair and/or female thinning hair problems, you may feel very limited. It seems that your options are slim because your hair doesn’t have the volume that you want. But there are actually many different haircuts that will work beautifully with hairstyles for fine hair.

  • Uneven layers: Instead of straight, symmetrical layers, have your stylist cut somewhat uneven layers. This creates more depth and movement in your hair, and that equals volume. Layers help to create lift all over, so you get that look of thickness. When it comes to hairstyles for thinning hair or fine hair, layers are versatile. Add waves or curls to your hair, and it will look a whole lot thicker.
  • Wisp bangs: Cut just a slight fringe of very thin, wispy bangs. This helps to cover any thinning near the front of your scalp, where it commonly manifests itself, and it creates that movement that makes hair look more full and lively.
  • Blowout: Use a hair dryer to blow out your locks. Celebrities do this all the time to get that full look. The trick is to dry hair at the root and then move up and out to the tip of hair. Lift the hair as you dry it. By lifting the roots and pulling them up and away from the scalp, you’ll be loosening your hair and making it look much fuller.
  • Side-swept bangs: Give the front of your hair a boost with side-swept bangs. A deep side part and bangs that sweep down across the forehead creates lift right in front, and that will help create the illusion that you’ve got much thicker, fuller hair. This look is great for creating casual or more formal hairstyles for fine hair.

Once you’ve got a great haircut, it’s a lot easier to experiment with hairstyles for fine hair that will help you get that thicker look you want. Use layers and other cutting tricks to lift hair and give it movement. You need to maintain that life and movement even after styling. Use lightweight mousse, instead of heavy gels, to set your style. Treat your hair with volumizing spray to give it a boost. And get your hair cut regularly to maintain that great look. If you take care of your style, it will look amazing for you all the time.

Be a Curator
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Every year I pick a new daily reader book to start my morning spiritual practices with.  This year I decided to revisit Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance.

On January 1st she wrote about being “the curator of your own contentment.”  I have fallen in love with this phrase.  A curator (from Latin: curare meaning “take care”) is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator works for an institution like a gallery, or museum,  and is a content specialist responsible for the institution’s collections as well as being involved with the interpretation of the material.

So Sarah is saying:  Be the one who “takes care of” your contentment – be a content specialist responsible for your own contentment.

I imagine my mind as my own museum.   I see rows and rows of display cases and filing cabinets.  Some cases and cabinets are old and dusty and some have been visited often.  Each is filled with memories of events – who was there, where we were, what we were doing, The colors, sounds and the feelings those events evoked.   

These are the stories of my life.  As the curator, I honor all the stories, the good and the bad, and as the curator it is up to me to interpret those stories as to how they applied to my life when they happened, and how they fit into the context of today.  As I examine my collection I have to ask myself – Are the ones that have been visited often filled with tales of woe and victimization or love and happiness?  What about the dusty ones?

As curator, I get to choose what’s on display at every moment.  I get to name my collection – and right now, I choose to name my current gallery showing “Contentment.”   How delightful this is!  I know that what I focus on I get to experience more of, so I eagerly anticipate new stories for my collection. 
How about you?


How grateful I am to remember there’s only One Life – that Life is Divine Energy moving through me, responding to my thoughts and feelings, setting the Law of Attraction in action, creating new memories – new stories of my Life – at every moment. 

I am the curator of my contentment.  Knowing this, I now declare that every experience I have fills me with contentment.  In my family life, my work life, my social life, my activities are geared to making new stories of happiness and well-being.  As I declare this, every corner of the Universe is working for me in the highest ways possible to make this so!

I am so grateful for all I have ever had, all I have now, and all I will have.  I recognize it all as the workings of the Divine in, as and through me, even when I didn’t think it was.  I am now experiencing greater good, greater God.  Joyfully I release these words into the Law of Mind, knowing they are so now. 
And so it is.  

Liz Kitchens
The Yin And Yang of 2014
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Today is the first day of 2015.  New Year’s Day tends to be a day of reflection as we review the joys and ordeals of the previous year.  And what a complex and complicated year it was.  First to the joys:

On one hand, I’m filled with gratitude and delight over…

-The impending birth of my granddaughter-to-be, Maya Rose, to my precious David and Katie.

-My daughter Tracy created her Wripen business and works full time as a writer, away from the soul wrenching life of an inner city high school teacher.

-The sale of our home of 32 years and moving to what seems a world away to a fun, urban area where we can walk and bike to restaurants, grocery stores, and other retail businesses.

-For a full year of unmitigated joy with Austin, our first grandchild.

-For health and surgeries which contribute to a better quality of life at age 61.

-For so much love in my kind and romantic husband, children, and many treasured friendships.

Ok so enough with the schlocky stuff, now to the sucky stuff…

-Our impromptu and impulsive decision to list our house brought its share of heartache as one potential buyer after another rejected the crimson red kitchen with its seven color mosaic back-splash, and the fact we “only” had two bathrooms.

-The dryer fire prompting a late night phone call from my neighbor informing me firefighters were in the process of breaking down my front door as we vacationed in Chicago.

-The Noah’s Arc-like flood that engulfed my husband and our newly leased car for two hours last summer.  The car was subsequently totaled, as was my husband’s psyche.  The ensuing weeks of drowning nightmares plaguing his sleep.

– The financial hit on our bank accounts from homeowner’s, car, and medical insurance deductibles resulting from the above cited calamities.

So yes, every year plays host to sweet and sour moments. As a former Humanities major, I know life is comprised of a series of dualities- light and dark, fire and water, male and female. But I prefer to think of these Yin and Yang moments as complimentary, rather than opposite forces, thus creating a whole. Everything has yin and yang aspects. For instance shadow cannot exist without light.

So while the shadows of 2014 seemed a little dark at times, the light moments were positively luminescent.

Happy New Year
Happy New Year



Dr. Anna Garrett
The Number 1 Way to Have THE Best New Year
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Ever feel like your life is a great-big ping-pong match (and you’re the ball)? You know what I’m talking about…living in reactive mode 24/7 just trying to keep all the plates in the air. It’s exhausting!

I get it. Believe me.

Maybe it’s time for a different approach in 2015.

If you’d rather spend more time creating your life instead of reacting, you need to be clear on one thing.

How you want to feel every day.

I didn’t always understand how powerful this kind of clarity could be. But I was fortunate to work with a coach a few years ago who gave me this exercise to do during one of our first calls.

I’d gotten myself to a point in my business where I really couldn’t see which direction I wanted to go in and I felt stuck. I was going on and on in our conversation about different opportunities and how I didn’t know what to do or whether any of them were a good idea….on and on, blah, blah, blah.

In the middle of the conversation, she stopped me and said, “How do you want to feel every day?”

Deer. Headlights.

I had never stopped to consider that this might be important to know. So, my assignment from the call was to choose 3-5 feeling states that I want to have every day.

I started writing. And the list was long. Very, very long. But as I studied it, groups of words started to fit together. From each group, I picked the one word that resonated with me the most.

I made my list of 5 words.

If you’re wondering why this is so important, here’s the deal. Now, when anything comes my way (an opportunity, a request, an unhealthy choice), I’m able to consider it and see how it measures up against my 5 words. If it doesn’t align with the Fab 5 (that’s what I call them), I don’t do it.

Plain. Simple. No drama. Maximum mojo!

I no longer allow my life be a ping pong match. I let Ease, Generous, Healthy, Powerful and Joy do the heavy lifting for me!

How about you? How would you like to feel every day? I invite you to spend some time with this…then pop over to the comments on my blog page and let me know what words will help YOU create your best year ever.

Ellen Dolgen
Menopause and Holiday Meal Planning—Send Stress Packing
Healthy Living
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This season, you committed to hosting the holiday dinner. So, in between frenetic shopping, cookie baking, house decorating and an endless round of parties, how do you keep it together, so that when the doorbell rings, you’re not wishing you had a ticket to Tahiti?

First of all that ‘I’ve got to be perfect,’ mantra needs to take a hike because sometimes good enough is perfect.

Give Yourself a KISS

Don’t let your Type-A personality take over. My motto for holiday hosting is: KISS: Keep it Simple Sistah!

Creating an innovative theme for your holiday meal can change things up a bit and not over tax you or your wallet. One year, I only made the turkey and asked everyone to bring a favorite dish (along with their partner)! I asked the guests not to tell me what they were making! I wanted it to be a surprise. The guests brought their surprise food offering covered with tin foil. Once I put all the dishes on the buffet table, cocktail in hand, we unveiled the dishes and guessed who made them. Can’t get any more KISS than this!

I have to admit, that at most holiday dinners I do find myself over eating (shocker!) Usually, sneaking off to my bedroom to rip off those pesky Spanx! So one year, my holiday gathering was a Pajama Party. Everyone came comfy and relaxed. That holiday dinner was a huge hit! Warning: it was hard to get everyone to leave! I had to remind them it was not a slumber party.

Manage your stress

Any psychologist will tell you that striving to be perfect relates back to the fear of failure…needing to please everyone…and is a critical anxiety trigger.

There are already cognitive changes in your brain during menopause due to hormonal fluctuations. These can result in brain fog, which anxiety only serves to exasperate.

Since stress can be contagious, take some measures to help make this a stress free holiday. If you are enjoying your holiday dinner, so will your guests.

To help manage holiday stress, try to maintain your healthy routine during the days leading up to the holidays. Oh, we all fall off the wagon when it comes to diet and drinking, but at least make the attempt to eat clean for the most part. Try to curb your overwhelming taste for alcohol at this time of year and remember to exercise to burn off those pesky stress hormones caused by frequent bursts of adrenaline. Scientists now say it will likely lead to stubborn belly fat, which is really unhealthy for your heart, particularly during menopause.

However, there’s always time for a little fun! One study in Oregon found that a drink every now and again is good for your bones. As if you need an excuse for a good Merlot!

Schedule in some “me” time.

Your schedule is crazy busy, but if you put yourself on your own “To Do List”, you can make time for a casual walk, a bike ride, or some yoga. Having a few quiet moments with no TV or email for some quiet meditation is critical to your wellbeing and will provide you the reboot you’ll need to pull off a successful, peaceful family gathering.

While you are decking the halls with holly remember to set the mood for a good night’s sleep. Sleeplessness can be a real problem for women who are going through menopause – the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) lists trouble falling asleep as one of their main five symptoms of menopause.

Before you hit the sack try some tricks to help relax your body and get you in the sleeping mode. For example, do something calming like reading a book while sipping on some chamomile tea, enjoying a candlelight bath, or just closing your eyes and listening to some soft music. As it gets closer to sleep time, prepare your bedroom so there are no distractions — eliminate as much light and sound as possible.

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so leave that ever-present cell phone charging on the kitchen counter.

Researchers will tell you that being on electronics right before bedtime lights up your brain, at just the time you need those receptors in your gray matter to be winding down.

A Little Social Time

Laughter is good for the soul! Encourage your family members to try out their best jokes between courses. Realize, too, that life will always get crazy. It’s how you respond to the bumps in the road that separates the girls from the women.

So, this year, enjoy the pleasure of your own company…and theirs! Happy Holidays!

Dr. Anna Garrett
Cookies and Candy and Pie, Oh My! Dr. Anna’s 9-Step Healthy Holiday Survival Guide
Other Topics
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Navigating holiday parties and the Christmas cookie dumping ground in the office break room can feel like walking through a minefield for those of us who have some serious wellness goals we’re working on. It doesn’t have to be this way!

The key to success lies in being conscious of your decisions at every moment and asking yourself if your choices align with whatever you are creating. That’s a simple yes or no, right (if you’re clear on the outcome you want)? It doesn’t mean being perfect, it just means consciously choosing instead of being on autopilot.

Ready to have a different holiday experience this year? Here are 9 steps to get you started:

  1. If you’re experiencing holiday anxiety, consider cutting back on or eliminating caffeine. It only adds to that jittery feeling! Try substituting decaf, water, herbal teas, mineral water with lemon, or coconut water.
  2. Eat before you head out to a party. That way you’ll be less tempted to graze through all the “nervous food” (as my friend Christine calls it).
  3. If you’re drinking alcohol, alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You’re less likely to become “over-served”. Drinking too much is also likely to lower your resolve to stay away from the nervous food. Not to mention that it contributes greatly to HOT FLASHES!
  4. Keep up with your exercise plan. Make sure it is scheduled on your calendar!
  5. Enjoy a treat or two, but be selective. Most of the foods you’re going to be tempted by are NOT things you’ve never tasted before, right?

So, decide which treats are REALLY worth the calories (like my mom’s sugar cookies) and skip the ones that aren’t your faves.

  1. Wash up. Germs are easily spread in crowds and indoor environments. Keep your hands away from your face (cold germs are often introduced into your body through your eyes, nose and mouth) and wash your hands often.
  2. Drink up. Make sure you’re drinking enough water. Indoor heat is drying and it’s easy to become dehydrated.
  3. Sleep! It’s tempting to say yes to every invitation that arrives. This only leads to exhaustion, higher cortisol levels and weight gain. Make sleep a priority and you’ll reap the benefits of increased energy and enjoyment of the holidays.
  4. Cut yourself some slack. The holidays are stressful enough without adding in a big dose of perfectionism or guilt. Do the best you can, but above all…have FUN!
Lisa Copeland, The Dating Coach Who Makes Finding Love After 50 Fun and Easy!
Is Religion An Issue For An Over 50′s Relationship?
Love & Sex
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Dear LisaDear Lisa,

How much should a common religion factor into identifying and ensuring a long term relationship? (After all, one’s religion lasts a lifetime and can also be community-involvement that fosters an LTR [long term relationship], right?) Fred


I’m so happy to hear from a male member of our community. You ask a great question. When it comes to religious differences and how they will affect a relationship, a lot is dependent on the role your particular religion plays in each of your lives.

If you are actively involved in your church or synagogue and this type of community is important to you, then you’ll probably want a committed partner who shares similar religious values.

If you are spiritual but not religious, you’ll probably want someone in your life who will share this type of belief system.

That being said, relationships involving two different religions can work as long as the two of you are accepting of your differences, supportive when you’re partner asks you to be and non-judgmental about any aspect of their religious or spiritual beliefs.

Dear Lisa,

I’ve been divorced for six months. And the only interest I have gotten from men is from creepy and/or much older men. And those have just been on dating sites. I go to church occasionally but other than that there is not much in the way of meeting someone nice to just go on a date with where I live. I’m attractive, smart, funny with a few extra pounds but I’ve ”still got it.” I just don’t get it and feel sad miserable and lonely most of the time. I really don’t have extra money for self help at the moment. I sometimes feel like trying to get back with my ex-husband just so I won’t be alone. I know there are good men are out there, who aren’t just after sex, but I’m losing hope fast. I suffer from depression and I have MS. Needless to say I’m not enjoying my life. I’d rather be at work than come home to spend yet another night alone. Jennifer


The first thing I would suggest is to stop dating for a bit and start creating a single life you love. Take classes, go to meet-ups in your area, ask your friends if they know other single women and head to dinner or movies with them.

You want to create a single life you love. The passion this creates makes you both attractive and interesting to a man. And when you’re living the fun life you’ve created, you are in the position of wanting a man…not needing a man in your life. Your energy shows up totally differently in each of these situations.

When you need a man, your energy comes across as desperation. Men sense this and back away. On the other hand, when you want a man, you come across as relaxed, which draws men towards you and allows you to have far more choices in your life.

As for going back with your ex, ask yourself if whatever bothered you in the first place has changed between the two of you. If it has, it might be worth a try. If nothing has changed, you’ll want to decide what will make you happier…going back to a relationship that wasn’t working for you or creating a single life that could be fun. Good luck with this!

Dear Lisa,

I’m a mid 40s, never married woman, no kids, in pretty good shape (not overweight) with nice hair and a good personality. I’d like to meet a great guy around age 50, (not concerned with appearances myself, but with character and personality), but am concerned as I have a chronic skin disorder.

I’m afraid to date, as I’ve read and heard that men of all ages are visual first and foremost and I’m thinking with my skin disorder (I can’t wear makeup as my skin is super sensitive, so it’s right there on my face front and center) I’ll be rejected from the get-go. I have been reading your blog and appreciate your intelligent and thoughtful responses to other reader questions, so would like to know what you think. Should I give dating a try or not? Thanks and best wishes, Katie


Dating in this type of situation is more challenging and requires persistence on your part, plus a willingness to put yourself into the dating world. It can feel really scary and it does put you in the position of being rejected for something you have no control over.

That being said, it is possible to find a man who will love you. Women around the world have been burned, disfigured and disabled, and yet they have still found men who wanted a life with them.

The key is coming to a place of accepting yourself for who you are…exactly how you are. What you may not realize is that everyone has qualities they want to hide…their’s are just not as immediately visible like yours are.

Start by getting in touch with your very best you. Like every woman, you’ll need to feel and know what a great catch you are. Then if your dream is a relationship, and you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, then go for it.

I’d stay off of the dating sites. They are way too one dimensional with everyone choosing people based on pictures.

Instead, consider getting involved in activities where men are as well. Volunteer, check out spiritual centers, go to meet ups and let your personality shine bright. Get to know people and let them get to know you. And remember, you want a man who will love you for you but…this starts from inside you first.

Download my free report for more ways to meet men in real life, 5 Little Known Ways To Find A Quality Man, at

I hope you’ll keep me posted on how you are doing in the comments below.

Much love and joy to you, Lisa

Ellen Dolgen
Don’t Let Stress Invade Your Holidays
Healthy Living
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Stress is stress.

We’re deciding what to cook/which cookies to bake and how much/many, whom to invite (or not), when to hold the event, whether invitations are necessary, how to decorate, what to wear, where out-of-town family members will sleep, who’s at the children’s table, etc., etc.


One thing that we don’t plan for, is the stress that surrounds holiday time. Unfortunately, women are more susceptible to holiday stress than their male counterparts. During this time of year there’s also often more stress at work, which is compounded with the seasonal rush to find the time to get everything done.

Add to the holiday hubbub all the haywire hormones of perimenopause or menopause, and you’ll need to call in the troops. Here’s some ammunition you can add to your pre-holiday arsenal:


Don’t overspend. I say “Bah, humbug!” to the commercialism of the season. You shouldn’t feel pressured to spend a lot of money. When it comes to gift giving, start saving early. Set a budget. Find non-monetary gifts to give to the special people in your life (a weekend of babysitting for a relative, for example). The gift of your time is the best gift

Go easy on yourself. Divide your projects into smaller tasks. For instance, don’t try to decorate the entire house in one day. Start with the tree, or your mantle. You won’t be so overwhelmed if you break up the tasks.

Surround yourself with reinforcements

Don’t go it alone. Enlist the support of your family and friends. By including your children in the holiday preparations, you’ll give yourself a break and ensure that they carry on favorite family traditions for years to come. If you’re planning a really big gathering, think about hiring some professional help with either the cooking or the cleanup – or both. That way, you’ll actually be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Make a truce with tradition

Don’t be a stickler for tradition. Just because you’ve done things the same way for decades, doesn’t mean you can’t change them now. I’m not saying you should abandon tradition. But be open to the idea of creating new traditions that fit with your current lifestyle. Shortcuts can take a lot of pressure off of you and no one will even notice. For instance, if you simply don’t have time to bake cookies from scratch, use a mix or even the refrigerator slice-and-bake cookies. (I’ll never tell. You can even mess up the edges a bit so they don’t look so cookie-cutter perfect!)

Surround yourself with reinforcements

Don’t fall victim to depression. In addition to being a stressful time, the holidays also can be a lonely time for many. Try to surround yourself with family, friends or co-workers who care about your wellbeing.

But don’t overdo it. While the holidays are the perfect time to socialize, don’t feel obligated to accept every invitation. Allow yourself some downtime to recharge and re-energize.

Don’t raid the refrigerator

Don’t surrender to your food cravings. They could be just a result of all the stress.

It’s easy to binge during the holidays, especially when you constantly seem to be around food. Keep healthy snacks on hand. Stock the fridge with cut-up veggies and fruit so you can grab and go if you’re crunched for time. Make it just as easy to reach in the fridge as it is to reach in the cookie jar, and you’ve won half the battle.

Declare a ceasefire

Do take a break. Put down the gift wrap, the cookie sheet, the tangled tinsel and take a deep breath. Take a half hour to exercise. Releasing those endorphins may be just what you need. I find 20 minutes of meditation to be quite calming. You can raise the white flag… and raise a glass of wine or your fav eggnog to your lips. Enjoy a little R&R. There are lots of choices to help you say goodbye to seasonal stress.

Be sure to practice moderation. Excessive alcohol (or even caffeine), can produce the opposite of the intended effect, and actually exacerbate anxiety.

We tend to be very hard on ourselves. It’s time to eliminate the pressure and lower the bar, along with our expectations. To be honest, no one really cares if your soufflé is perfect. Focus instead on what’s really important: spending time with loved ones and creating holiday memories to last a lifetime.

This holiday season, your home doesn’t have to be a war zone. You can win the war on stress. All it takes is a little planning, and you’ll be able to put the peace back in your holiday planning – and in your holiday.

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

VN Editors
Partially Coloring Grey Hair Creates Pretty Style
Fashion & Beauty
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Instead of completely coloring grey hair, use a partial treatment to create a multi-faceted style. There are many dyes that look amazing with natural grey hair color, particularly when the two are displayed side-by-side.

Partial Grey Hair Color

If you keep coloring grey hair completely, you’re going to feel stress every few weeks when your roots have to be covered up again. When your hair is completely dyed, it’s much easier to notice those ugly roots. But when you use a partial grey hairstyle, grey hair coexists with dyed hair beautifully on your scalp. Certain hairstyle and techniques lend themselves to this look very well.

  • Hombre: The hombre style is still popular, and it’s a great way to show off a little grey. To create it, the ends of your hair must be darker than hair close to the scalp. If you allow your grey hair color to show at the top of your scalp, you never have to stress out about covering roots again.
  • Highlights: Use your natural grey hair coloring as highlights. Leave thick or thin chunks of hair undyed, and grey becomes a pretty accent rather than a problem you’ve got to completely cover up.
  • Lowlights: Grey hair color comes in a lot of shades, and your grey may already be darker than you like. Use it instead of hiding it, turning greys into pretty lowlights. Add lighter highlights in large sections to hair, and the grey becomes a gorgeous accent that gives your hair a lot of depth and life.

Flattering Your Natural Grey Hair Color

A partial grey hair dye job can create amazing style for your head, but only if you choose the right colors. If you’re going to wear your grey with other colors, make sure the overall effect looks amazing. Certain colors look much better with grey than others.

  • Bright blonde: A bright blonde shade, like the one worn by Betty White or Marilyn Monroe, looks pretty with a darker grey hair color.
  • Deep black: There’s something stunning about the salt-and-pepper contrast of silvery grey hair with rich, deep black tresses.
  • Reddish-purple: The bluish undertones of purple are a pretty complement to many different shades of grey.
  • Light copper: The contrast of light copper against natural grey hair coloring creates a stunning, multi-faceted effect.

Embrace the beauty of your natural grey, at least partially, by creating a unique look using what you’ve already got. A partial grey hairstyle is much easier to maintain, and it will make it easier to transition to an all-grey hair color look if you decide to make this leap in the future.

VN Editors
Make These Lifestyle Changes to Treat Dyspareunia
Love & Sex
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A majority of women have experienced, or will experience, dyspareunia at some point in their lives. A majority of these women will experience it during and after menopause. Don’t rely on medicines alone to treat the problem. Make lifestyle changes, manage that pain much more successfully.

Living with Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia is the fancier way of saying painful sex. This type of pain can be caused by any number of factors. Among menopausal women, it’s usually caused by female dryness. Your natural lubrication begins to lessen as you go through menopause, a side effect of the lowering estrogen in your body. This type of vaginal dryness makes friction feel painful instead of pleasant, and that can really take you out of a sexual mood.

There are many types of short-term treatments available for dyspareunia. Over-the-counter lubricants can be applied in the moment, when you’re about to engage in sexual activity, to supplement your own natural moisture. Vaginal estrogen cream can be used to deliver estrogen into your system. The cream is applied directly to the vagina to increase moisture and thicken vaginal walls. You have to be cautious about using this type of cream, however, as it can rub off on a sexual partner.

Changing Your Life

You don’t have to rely on medication. Dyspareunia can be treated with lifestyle changes. Make them, and you’ll start enjoying sex again.

  • Change your position: Try sex in different positions. You may find that some configurations hurt you less than others.
  • Vibrators for women: Incorporate vibrator use into the bedroom. Vibrators can be used with a partner. Some models are even designed just for this purpose. Vibrators and extended foreplay can get your natural juices flowing again.
  • Drink more fluids: Start drinking more, especially more water. This will keep your body hydrated, and that helps prevent dyspareunia. You should also stay away from alcohol and fried foods, which dry out the body.
  • Get regular exercise: You should exercise regularly to get your blood flowing. Increased blood flow keeps sexual organs healthy, and that keeps you better lubricated.
  • Kegel exercises for women: Practice Kegels regularly, too. These exercises are targeted to the vaginal muscles. Strong vaginal muscles are healthy muscles, and that gives you a better chance of creating your own lubrication.

Don’t live with dyspareunia. Change your lifestyle instead, and start enjoying sex again. There are many ways to manage female dryness without resorting to medication.

What happened to dreams and passion?
Other Topics
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Hello, I’ve been a member for over a year but have been preoccupied with personal business matters that took up all my time. It is just now that I am able to resume thinking about some things that I needed to put down in order in order to address these more pressing issues.

I am 67. Yikes…67!!!! Due to decisions made along the way, some not so good, and circumstances beyond our control…like the economic collapse a few years ago…my husband and I are not in a very good financial position. We basically have no retirement saved and who knows how much, if any, we will be able to sell our business for. So that leads me to think about what I can do to bring in extra income at my age and for the next 10 or 15 (assuming I stay in well health!), that is not too difficult to manage.

I’ve thought of a few things but what is important to me at this age is to not…once again…compromise those dreams that I had from the past of creating the kind of life I want. And part of that is income that is residual in nature…like writing, real estate, etc.

But then the pragmatic, practical side of me takes over and says something like “why don’t you just continue to do bookkeeping temp work” (what I’m trained at and really don’t like very well).

There is this part of me that SCREAMS…do what I’ve always wanted to (part of that is writing)…and this other part that doubts “what if you can’t make any money???”. Heck, I’m 67 and don’t have a lot of years in front of me!!

There is a lot more to it then this as I’d like to be in a financial position to be able to give more of my money away to help others, but what I’m interested in hearing from some of you is….
what have you laid down in exchange for raising children, working at a less than satisfying job (because it “pays the bills”), perhaps taking care of aging parents? And…do you think about this much? If you had the chance to fulfill some of your dreams/passions at a later age…knowing this probably requires a fair amount of effort on your side, would you do it? Are they still important enough to you to put forth the effort or would you rather just let it all go and take life easier?

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from some of you on this topic.