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Lois Joy Johnson
Beauty for bargain hunters: 10 anti-aging skin products under $20
Fashion & Beauty
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You’re a pro at finding style for less from Target to flea markets and garage sales. Getting a Prada dress marked down 80% rates a tweet from you. When it comes to beauty, nothing makes you happier than getting away with drugstore brands that mimic high-end luxury products. But let’s be honest – even skin care at your local Walmart, CVS, or Walgreen’s has gotten a lot more expensive. Some de-agers from Olay now sell for more than $45, and a RoC night cream with retinol is $25.

Still, that’s fairly cheap compared to the $500 or $1,000 some luxury brands charge for skin care!

Here’s some great news: Some bargain beauty products are pure quality – not because they mimic high-end brands, but simply because the science and technology are state-of-the-art perfect. Deservedly, some of these products have become legends. Below are the top ten you should know about. (Each costs less than a pedicure!)

10 superstar skincare and beauty products under $20

1. Aquaphor Healing Ointment by Eucerin

(about $5.00)
This is a thick, highly emollient balm that does everything. It comes in a fat jar, too, but the tube is indispensable. Dermatologists suggest it to treat all kinds of skin issues from scaly eczema to post-peel healing, and it’s ideal on chapped lips, cuticles, rough elbows, heels, and lines around the eye area.

2. Blistex Deep Renewal Lip Protectant SPF 15

(about $6.50)
Lips are vulnerable to sun and age, too. The combination of moisture-binding hyaluronic acid and coenzyme Q10 plumps up lip lines and softens them, restoring a healthy full look while protecting them from further sun damage. Slide this on as a primer to make lip pencil and lipstick application easy.

3. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion P.M.

(about $11.39)
This is simply a very nourishing, repairing, and hydrating moisturizer with all the good stuff like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), and ceramides. This new product is currently a hush-hush word-of-mouth bargain that is about to boom—get it before it sells out of stock.

4. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

(about $8.31)
I have yet to meet a dermatologist who didn’t suggest this pH-balanced, low-lather face wash. Whenever I am faced with irritation, redness, or dermatitis (a definite con side effect of being a beauty editor and trying hundreds of products a week), this comes out of the cupboard.It’s great for vulnerable, dry, sun-damaged irritated skin, especially in the morning. You’ll have to add a warm, wet, clean washcloth to gently remove makeup though in the evening.

5. CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Foundation

(about $17.99)
Formulated with Olay Regenerist Serum, this is a breakthrough in drugstore foundation. It’s build-able, so you can layer more where coverage is needed but look and feel like real skin. The texture and performance on mature skin is super — so super that I bet those ads with fabulous spokes-model Ellen DeGeneres aren’t even retouched. You may even be tempted to switch from a high-end department store brand. (Formerly coupled with CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Eye Concealer (Discontinued product – vote to bring it back here!))

6. Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Intensive Anti-Sun Damage Daily Moisture Lotion SPF 28

(about $8.11)
Lycopene, an antioxidant derived from tomatoes, jumped onto the de-aging scene a few years ago due to its ability to help protect skin from sun damage. This vitamin C- bolstered daily moisturizer also contains lycopene to reinforce the skin’s barrier and magnesium for extra hydration. It works to improve everything from excess pigmentation to wrinkles and loss of firmness.

7. L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect SPF 15 Day Cream

(about $11.99)
This product actually says it’s for mature, thinning skin right on the label. It claims to help skin that’s become more fragile due to calcium and collagen loss, and it does the job as a superb moisturizer. Let it work a few weeks and that crepey onion-paper skin will feel and gleam like Duchesse satin.

8. Nivea Visage Rich Regenerating Night Care, Dry to Sensitive Skin

(about $19.99)
The same familiar blue may stir feelings for the classic tin of Nivea Creme. This rich cream uses almond and calendula oil to enhance the lipid barrier of the skin. Don’t look for it in stores though; it’s only available online.

9. Noxzema Clean Moisture Makeup Removal Cloths

(about $8.75 for 25 cloths)
Don’t get nostalgic about using the updated Noxzema Original Deep Cleansing Cream unless your skin is oily. Opt instead for these alcohol-free, pre-saturated wipes with soothing vitamin E that are safe for the eye area. They even remove the most stubborn waterproof mascara easily along with all your face makeup and leave no residue just a soft, fresh face.

10. Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

(about $18.21)
This cream has a huge, loyal following despite the fabulousness of the Olay Professional Pro-X line, which is also fantastic and suggested in this guide. Its success is due to an amino peptide complex that really does noticeably firm your face with continued use.

Updated from March 2011.

Lisa Copeland, The Dating Coach Who Makes Finding Love After 50 Fun and Easy!
What’s the Right Timing for Sex After 50 With a New Man?
Love & Sex
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Today I am taking a question that many women have when they start dating for the first time since their teens.

Dear Lisa

Dear Lisa,

I was married for 27 years. My divorce happened about a year ago and I’m beginning to think its time to start dating.  I’m a woman over 50 with an empty nest and I haven’t dated since I was a teenager so I’m not totally sure about some of the rules at our age.  What I’d really like to know is when the right time is to have sex with a man you’re dating.  Is there a protocol I need to follow? Thanks for helping me. I really didn’t know where to turn so I am so grateful to have found you.

Thank you.  Catherine


Dear Catherine,

Thanks for your wonderful question. Before we go any further it’s important to note that STD’s in our age group are on the rise, so practicing safe sex is a must for every woman over 50 these days.  Now that worries over pregnancy are no longer an issue, we think we can be lax in this department. Don’t be. Always carry some type of protection with you so that when hormones heat up, you are protected. Sounds a lot like our teen years doesn’t it? A great place for more information is from your doctor on this topic.

Now that this is out of the way, lets get to your question about sex and dating. Let’s start with first date sex. Sometimes, we have such strong chemistry with a man that we hop into bed with him on date number 1. Hey, our hormonal urges sometimes need a good fix and there is nothing wrong with that. You just need to be aware that first date sex is usually just that – a fix that doesn’t go much further. It’s a fun fling, and the best way to avoid it is to keep a date under 2 hours so you don’t risk feeling so connected that you want to have sex with him right away.

Some say date number 3 is supposed to be the sex date. This is a great urban legend for women our age but is probably very much true for the younger crowd. Of course you can have sex on the third date if you’d like – just be sure to go with your instincts and whether or not it feels right for you. At this point, leave his feelings or pressures about moving forward into a physical relationship out of the equation until you know what it is that you want to do.

A very interesting piece of info you might want to know is that men over 50 really want to develop a friendship with you first to see if there is a connection that feels right for moving into the physical phase. Now that’s a change, isn’t it?

Yet, that being said, there are still men out there who want fast and easy sex.  So be sure your online profile doesn’t mention anything about sex or making love or how long it’s been since you’ve had sex.  This sends the wrong message to men and if it’s there in black and white for a man to read on his computer, he will assume that it is sex -not a relationship – that you are looking for.

My best advice about sex and dating is to always follow your instincts. Although if the sexual pull is super strong right away, remember that this is HOT CHEMISTRY.  Be careful here and go slow if this is the case. You want a relationship built on a foundation of friendship because once the sex wanes if friendship isn’t there, the relationship with nothing left to support it will crumble.

Take your time and don’t let a man pressure you into something you don’t want to do yet.  If he is not willing to wait for the moment you are ready, then he is probably not the right man for you.  There are plenty of other men out there who will be. I hope this helps.

Much love and joy to you, Lisa

Lisa Copeland, The Dating Coach Who Makes Finding Love After 50 Fun and Easy!
3 Steps For Filling The Empty Hole In Your Heart
Love & Sex
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Heart Puzzle with Piece MissingOften when I begin working with single women over 50, they share with me that one of the hardest parts of being alone…is the feeling they have of an empty hole inside themselves.

And they’ll tell me the only way to fill this emptiness is with a man and a relationship in their life. When you’re not in a relationship, it can feel like everywhere you go…

All you see are couples holding hands, kissing, and whispering in each other’s ear the private jokes they share.  It can make you feel as if your life is incomplete.

Want to know a secret?

A lot of those married women would love to be in your shoes.

They’d love to have the freedom you have in your life where you are only accountable to you and no one else.

In my 40’s, I can remember coming out of a long relationship feeling kind of lost and very alone.  My kids were in college and I had no family living in the same city as me. My life had been turned upside down.

Instead of being part of TWO…I was now just ONE and I was having a hard time adjusting to my new status.

I shared this with a married friend of mine…who gave me great advice when she said, “Enjoy this time of getting to know you again.  Once you’re back in a relationship, you’ll wish you’d had more of it.”

This was great advice but I was at a loss for finding me again. All I wanted to do was be part of a couple once more.

Then one day, I woke up and it’s as if while I was sleeping, I was given a message by my higher power for what to do to overcome this lack of love I was feeling in my life.

I want to share with you these 3 steps that worked so well for getting me back into life and love again. If you do them, I know they can work for you too!

Step #1

After a relationship ends, you feel like you’re missing “love” in your life…. this is happening because you’re looking outside yourself to find that love again.

Even though you may think it’s about finding the right man… he really can’t fill this part for you. He can bring love to your life but it’s up to you to find love within yourself first.

So, how do you do this?

In relationship, you can get so out of touch with what you love doing.

For years, you may have bent like a pretzel to accommodate what the man in your life wanted to do…allowing his wants and desires to trump yours.

Well, now it’s time to rediscover what excites you.

Start by making a list of all the things you love to do in life and start doing them. This may be hard at first. But I know you can do it! You’ll want to keep adding to your list as you rediscover this part of yourself again.

Step #2

Next you’ll want to make a list of all the people in your life you love.

Since you are NOW looking for love to start inside of you, this is about who you love….not about who loves you…

Otherwise you’re back to looking for love outside you again.

Here’s an example… I love my granddaughter with all my heart and it’s so easy to tap into those feelings of love inside myself when I think of her. My heart just opens up.

You’ll want to feel this type of warm fuzzy love about everyone you put on your list

Step #3

Julia Cameron created a book called “The Artist’s Way.”  In it she suggests going on “Artist’s Dates” with yourself.

What’s so cool about this exercise is you don’t have to be an artist to do it.

It’s about taking 2-4 hours weekly to do the fun things you’ve wanted to do but haven’t done yet.

I can remember going to the botanical gardens near where I live and sitting in the rain forest, listening to the water spilling over the rocks… while watching the gorgeous butterflies float from leaf to leaf.

I remember walking out of there filling renewed and refreshed.

Artist Dates are great to do whether or not you are in a relationship.

As a woman, you often over give your energy to others and this is a great way to recharge and refill the energy you’ve given away.

As you fill yourself up doing the things you love to do in life while enjoying the friends and family you love, you’ll find that empty hole closing more and more.

You’ll begin to radiate with the deepest love that shines from within you for the world to see and that’s when you’ll attract a good man into your life.

Getting a guy is pretty hard when you feel empty inside and that’s why these 3 steps are so important to incorporate into your dating life.

I would love to hear about who and what fills your heart.  I hope you’ll post a comment  and let us know.

For more about getting your heart ready to love again, check out Chapter 1 of my bestselling book, The Winning Dating Formula For Women Over 50: 7 Steps To Attracting Quality Men.

Until next time…Lots of love and hugs to you!

Much love and joy to you, Lisa

VN Editors
Want a Hotter Sex Life? Try Heated Vibrators for Women
Love & Sex
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Introduce heat into your sexual routines, quite literally, with heated vibrators for women. These devices are a bit of a strange novelty, but they provide an array of benefits to your body and your sexual routines.

Why Heat?

Heated vibrators for women seem a bit over-the-top, and a bit like a gimmick. You will find lots of different heated vibrators in novelty and sex shops, but it’s not just extra bells and whistles. Real users of heated vibrators report that there is actually a lot to be gained from this seemingly extra feature.

According to enthusiastic reviewers, the heated sensation increases sexual stimulation, which is probably true. Any extra sensory information that your body is receiving while you’re being sexually stimulated can increase your overall pleasure.

Reviewers also say that vibrator use is even more enjoyable thanks to the heat. That little bit of warmth makes it much easier to warm up — pun intended — to the idea of using a vibrator. You’re not placing a cold device on your body in an attempt to arouse yourself. It’s already warm, and that helps to create a feeling of relaxation and comfort, feelings you’re going to need to experience before you can achieve sexual release.

And of course, heated vibrators for women are just a little bit different. If you’re already a vibrator user, that extra feature can add an extra level of excitement simply because it’s new. It’s always a good idea to keep trying new things and continue to experiment sexually, both alone and with a partner when one is available. So heated vibrators? Sure, why not use them if they’re available?

Heating Things Up

Vibrators for women of all kinds allow you to experiment sexually, and they help you stay sexually active even during and after menopause. It’s not always easy to maintain a healthy level of sexual activity during this time. It’s common to experience dryness and feelings of pain during sex, which is not only disheartening but also kills the libido. Once you associate pain with sex, you’re not going to get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Healthy vibrator use can help with those problems. Vibrators create sexual stimulation that encourages natural moisture. You can use these devices alone or with a partner. Introducing vibrators into the bedroom is a good way to open the door to frank conversations about sex, and it shows your partner that you’re willing and eager to experiment. So try heated vibrators for women, or any other type that appeals to you. Why not?

VN Editors
Ordinary Medications You Take That Cause Female Dryness
Love & Sex
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Female dryness is one of those common menopause symptoms that’s widely accepted, rarely talked about and often ignored. Many women just shrug and chalk it up to the process of aging. But this is one symptom that can be treated, and it’s not always a result of your shifting hormones. Many common medications that are widely prescribed cause vaginal dryness.

Lack of Moisture

Most women notice a change in their personal lubrication when they experience menopause. Your hormone levels are changing, your body is changing, so naturally your moisture may change as well. But you don’t have to simply live with it or adjust to it. Female dryness is something you can beat, and sometimes it’s not even caused by your hormones. Many medications create this lack of lubrication. Are you taking any of them?

  • Adderall: Used to treat attention deficit disorders, Adderall can cause dryness of all mucus membranes. If you have dry eyes and dry mouth symptoms, vaginal dryness comes with the territory.
  • Acutane: Used to treat acne, Acutane dries out oily skin. In some people, it can also cause female dryness that creates painful friction. Vaginal dryness causes dyspareunia, painful sex.
  • Asthma: Certain asthma medications can cause you to experience personal dryness. You may find your medications affecting you differently as you go through menopause.
  • High cholesterol: Many medications used to treat high cholesterol can cause female dryness. In one 2002 study, women taking these medications reported a drop in sexual pleasure as their cholesterol levels dropped.
  • Blood pressure: It’s not at all uncommon to experience less personal moisture after taking blood pressure medication. Female dryness can be caused by these medications because they inhibit blood flow. Decreased blood flow to the sexual organs can result in less lubrication.
  • Antidepressants: Even if you’ve never used them before, you may be prescribed antidepressants during menopause. It’s common for your moods to change and for feelings of sadness or anxiety to overcome you during menopause. Antidepressants can affect your personal moisture and create female dryness.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Even the medications you buy at the corner store can affect your personal moisture. But common allergy and cold medications that contain antihistamine can dry you out. They’re designed to do that, dry up that runny noise and hacking cough. But they may also dry you out in other areas.

Common, ordinary medications that you don’t think twice about taking could cause you to experience female dryness. Take a second look at what you’re taking and whenever possible, consult with your physician about changing your medicine. Female dryness can be treated with water-based lubricants, among other solutions, if you can’t change your medication.

“Friends with benefits” — at our age?
Love & Sex
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Can we have a bedmate who isn’t a soulmate — or even a steady date — at our age?

Miriam, age 57, wrote me this email pondering whether or not it’s possible to have a “friend with benefits” — AKA “sex buddy” — at our age, getting the perks of sex with someone we feel comfortable with, but don’t consider a love relationship:

I read in Better Than I Ever Expected where you and others have had neighbors/friends/buddies you have sex with when in between partners. I never considered this option before and would like to explore it.

I eventually want another lifelong love. I could only consider having sex with someone I like and love. I’d like to try the sex-buddy approach, but I have a burning emotional question: Even if he’s currently a friend who is willing to be a sex-buddy and there’s not a chance between us for a long romance –how do you keep your oxytocin bonding feelings from taking over and locking onto your sex-buddy when you should be looking for a more robust, true love, like you had with Robert?

I’d love to know how to navigate this territory without getting derailed or distracted from my goal of finding a long term love. So who are good candidates? And what kind of parameters do you have with such a pillow pal? Monogamous with each other for the time being? Either one is free to have other partners? How do you end it?

I think you said in your book that you actually had a sex buddy when you first met Robert. How did you transition out of it? Any tips for how to make this successful?

I had several sex buddies during my long decades of single life. These were men who were friends first, and we genuinely liked each other. We recognized and discussed honestly that we were not each other’s true loves and we understood that our relationship would not develop in that direction.

Yet we were attracted to each other, and at the time we were not in other exclusive relationships. We did a lot of talking before we decided that we would enjoy being sex buddies.

We agreed from the beginning — and I think this is very important — that we would not be exclusive with each other, would not stop seeking that eventual soulmate, and if we started getting serious about someone else, we would terminate the sexual part of our friendship.

In my 30’s and 40’s, I had a dear sex buddy whom I enjoyed for many years, on and off (depending on whether one of us became involved in another relationship that needed to be monogamous). We were good friends in and out of bed.

But that was largely hormone-driven. Now other sexual needs drive us than our hormones — we want to be touched and held, we love our arousal and our orgasms, we love the high of sex with an enjoyable partner and the laughter and intimacy afterward. You’re right that our bonding brain chemicals could play tricks on us and convince us were’ in love when the sex is good, even though our logic says no.

The person you mention who was my buddy for two years (I was 55-57) right before Robert and I became involved was in a committed relationship with someone with disparate sexual needs. My friend and I met with his mate and discussed what would be acceptable. We agreed to do only what didn’t feel threatening to my friend’s partner. This worked out very well. But I know this is rare. We were, all three of us, unusually verbal and honest, with good communications skills and a solid friendship.

Then, when Robert and I shared our first kiss, I immediately broke things off with my buddy, who understood and wished me well. We stayed close, Platonic friends — and we still are.

Of course I was honest with Robert, who was understandably uncomfortable about the whole business — he had never had such a relationship, and didn’t understand or like this. So be aware, if you enter into such a relationship, that you might encounter this, too.

Robert eventually got to know my buddy and like him, though he continued to furrow his brow and shake his head at what seemed to him to be very odd behavior!

Miriam also asked me this:

Who are the candidates? When I think of my single male friends, overwhelmingly, I consider them like brothers, and there’s no sexual vibe at all. The only other candidates would be former lovers, if we’ve been able to separate amicably and maintain a friendship. I’d be willing to try that, but then I’m concerned about that oxytocin bonding boost. Since I have already been in love with them once, I fear I’d get too bonded to them again, and stop putting out energy to be available for anyone else, even though I know there’s no romantic long term future with them. But the sensual touch sure would be nice!

I would not return to a former lover whom I had loved for this experiment. It just seems full of potential problems, because your earlier emotions could kick in easily.

Readers, help us here. Where did you find a sex buddy who was emotionally safe? How did you approach a friend with an offer of FWB? I hope you’ll comment.

other blog entries from »

Lois Joy Johnson
Best Skincare for Women Over 50 – 12 night creams with serious anti-aging properties
Fashion & Beauty
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After 50, we need to take our skincare more seriously than ever. This means, among other things, regular use of an excellent night cream. A night cream is super-hydrating, a bit thicker than your day moisturizer, and won’t contain SPF. The best night creams are packed with anti-aging ingredients to help your skin regenerate while you sleep.

Avon Anew Ultimate Gold Emulsion Night Treatment1. Avon ANEW Ultimate Gold Emulsion Night Treatment
Gorgeous golden jar that looks like it contains a cream ten times the price—works like one too on postmenopausal dry skin. Said to stimulate proteins to increase the production of healthy cells, but it does turn your skin to silk so long as you keep on using it, which you will.

Lancome Genifique Repair Youth-activating Night Cream2. Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Skin Care Power Of 3
More like Genie in a jar. This gives mature skin a lush velvety texture. The claims say that’s due to boosting the activity of genes that stimulate proteins, but I say it works whether you wear it awake or asleep.

Drink Up Intensive3. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
If your face is so dehydrated that it looks like a road map of wrinkles, go to bed with this emergency treatment instead of your usual skin cream. Moisture-boosting sodium hyaluronate plus emollient avocado and apricot kernel oils do a quickie makeover, so your skin looks firmer and dewier, even on four hours of sleep.

jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream4. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream
If the romantic idea of a blend of eight herbs and flowers grown and hand-tended
on the Jurlique organic farm in Australia isn’t compelling enough, wait until you try this nourishing cream. It contains antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E and beech tree bud extract to increase moisture and firmness.

weleda Night Cream Wild Rose5. Weleda Wild Rose Night Cream
Weleda was an organic beauty pioneer back in 1921, but its reputation as a skin rejuvenating source is pure 2010 A-list. The whole Wild Rose line is great, but this night cream with its blend of nourishing antioxidant-rich organic rosehip seed oil, vitamins A and E, organic olive oil (also high in vitamin E), and evening primrose oil restores suppleness. P.S. If you like this, the Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil ($18.98 click here to buy) is to die for!

Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle6. Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisture Night
This retinol cream won’t have you digging into your 401K and simply, efficiently does the job—lines are diminished and skin looks firmer and clearer. I’ll say no more.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM7. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion P.M.
This is simply a very nourishing, repairing, and hydrating moisturizer with all the good stuff like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), and ceramides. This new product is currently a hush-hush word-of-mouth bargain that is about to boom—get it before it sells out of stock.

Nivea Visage Rich Regenerating Night Care, Dry to Sensitive Skin8. Nivea Visage Rich Regenerating Night Care, Dry to Sensitive Skin
The same familiar blue may stir feelings for the classic tin of Nivea Creme. This rich cream uses almond and calendula oil to enhance the lipid barrier of the skin. Don’t look for it in stores though; it’s only available online.

Cosmedicine Private Nurse Recovery & Repair Cream9. Cosmedicine Private Nurse Perfected Night Cream
Fake a good night’s sleep with this extraordinarily hydrating night cream based on sodium hyaluronate. Plumps up lines and erases dryness by dawn.

Chantecaille Biodynamic Lifting Mask10. Chantecaille Biodynamic Lifting Mask
You know when you’re so stressed out that your face starts looking like an unmade
bed? Leave this mask on overnight instead of your usual night regimen to iron it out. Or slather it on for fifteen minutes before doing your makeup.

Nuxe Nuxuriance (All Skin Type) Anti-Aging Re-Densifying Night Cream/Age 55+ Facial Night Treatments11. NUXE Anti-Aging Nuxuriance Night Cream
There’s a reason this is one of the best-selling brands for mature women in those fabulous French pharmacies you see all over Paris that function as a medi-
beauty clinic. This cream with sodium hyaluronate, natural caffeine extract, and decongesting botanicals drains that excess puffy look we get during stress and replaces it with firmer, more supple skin.

ZO Skin Health Ommerse Overnight Recovery Creme12. Zo Skin Health by Zein Obagi MD Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème
The famous Beverly Hills dermatologist’s retinol cream decreases wrinkles, evens out skin, and thickens the epidermis so that your face feels firmer and looks dewier and your skin has “body” to it, if you know what I mean.

Did your favorite night cream make the list? Recommend it below!

heart broken and in the middle
Family & Relationships
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My daughter is getting married in 2 weeks. She and her fiance and bridal party went to Vegas for bachelor/bacherlorette party this weekend. I was not happy with this decision due to so close to wedding and fear of too much alcohol. Well, my fears came true! My daughter and brother got into a bad situation where my son yelled at her because he felt his girlfriend was being left out of the activies, she is a bridesmaid and they live together. My son drank a little too much and yelled at my daughter which hurt her so bad that she was wailing and crying in the casino. She then decided to call the girlfriend telling her that she is better off with out him and that she’s being a doormat and tearing her brother down. My son contributed lots of money toward the wedding and was very hurt that his sister tryed to destroy his relationship. My daughter is not remorseful for what she did and feels he needs to apologize to her for ruining her party. My son acknowledges that he needs to apologize for his actions but feels his sister needs to apologize to his girlfriend. Sadly, I’m in in the middle and deeply hearbroken over this! I understand my daughters feelings and my sons. Just looking for some advice on how a mother shouldn’t pick sides. I’m the only one helping my daughter with the wedding and I am so mad at her and my son. I cried all night!

Dr. Pepper Schwartz
Is your partner’s attitude killing your sex drive?
Love & Sex
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Ask yourself the following questions. If you have a lot of “true” answers, this is at least part of the explanation about why you are not feeling sexy and is a necessary part of what needs to be fixed in order to get back on track in your sex life:

True or False

1. Does my partner make comments about my body or what I wear or how I look that are unflattering?
2. Is my partner generally very judgmental about me?
3. Does my partner make me feel like I am not very sexy in bed?
4. Does my partner rarely tell me how much he loves me or how happy he is to be with me?
5. Does my partner rarely do his fair share of what has to be done around the house?
6. Do I not feel deeply respected by my partner?
7. Does my partner make me feel that sex is more about his or her needs than mine?

If your partner makes hurtful comments about your body, your intelligence, or your organizational skills, etc., it depresses your ability to be sexual later on. Even little things, like not showing consideration for your needs, such as not picking up after himself or forgetting to do some small errand you requested, can shunt sexual feelings to extinction. Having a partner who acts in a way that makes you feel unattractive or unloved will certainly have an effect on your own level of sexual desire. Time to address the problem!

Divorce after 25 years?
Family & Relationships
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I’ve been married for 25 years and have two sons. One is in college and the other one has 2 years left in high school. I have told him several times that I’m unhappy. He gives 110%!to his work and hardly anything in the marriage. Once I express my feelings then he says we will work on it but then months will go by and nothing changes. Sex is not great but we can get along together, it just more like roommates than marriage. He is not abbusive or cheating, just more about himself than about our marriage. I have lost respect for him. Should I go ahead and proceed with a divorce or just keep the marriage (roommate) and just do thing that make me happy?

Dr. Tara Allmen
The Female Sex Hormones – Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone
Other Topics
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Estrogen promotes the growth and health of the female reproductive organs. It also affects practically every tissue in a woman’s body, including the heart, brain, bones, eyes, skin, colon and so forth. Fluctuating and ultimately reduced levels of estrogen can result in hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, palpitations, insomnia, fatigue, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, irregular bleeding, bone loss and heart disease. Estrogen replacement therapy is considered the gold standard for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.


Progesterone is the hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus to accept a fertilized egg. During perimenopause, ovulation becomes unpredictable and so does the production of progesterone. During perimenopause, fluctuating levels of progesterone can cause periods to become heavier, longer and irregular.

When considering the use of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms, progesterone is necessary for women who still have a uterus. If you have had a hysterectomy, you do not need to take progesterone. Progesterone has only one job, which is to protect the uterine lining from abnormal overgrowth caused by the estrogen being taken to reduce menopause symptoms. It is the estrogen that is helping with your symptoms. It is the progesterone that is protecting your uterine lining. If you have had a hysterectomy, you do not need progesterone.


Although known as the “male” hormone, you might be surprised to learn that your ovaries have been producing testosterone since you first started getting acne and having periods! Testosterone continues to be produced by your ovaries for about 5 years after you have entered menopause and stopped making estrogen. Testosterone helps with your libido, feelings of well-being, energy, and bone health.

Who should consider a trial of testosterone?

The FDA has not approved the use of testosterone in women, so the answer is complicated. With my patients, I start with estrogen first, and most of the time I can manage symptoms just fine. If you have a uterus, you will also need progesterone. After 3-6 months, if you are still complaining of a reduced libido, it is time to consider adding testosterone. Since testosterone has not been FDA approved for use in women, you must make sure your health care professional knows what to do. Testosterone is generally safe at low doses for a short period of time.

Is this a unique experience?
Family & Relationships
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On December 27, 2014 we as a family of 3 went on a ten day cruise to the Caribbean. We went with another couple plus the mother. Our fifteen year old daughter shared a cabin with the mother of the other couple. The entire time of the cruise my husband never spent time with us. We only saw him at dinner and when he came back to the cabin at 3 or 4 in the morning to sleep until noon the next day then everything would start over. we went on two land excursions and he acted pretty decently. Our third excursion was Montego Bay, Jamaica. It started off nicely, we had fun. On the way back he was detained by Jamaican officials, strip searched and put in a room for a long time. He apparently had bought a bunch of marijuana on the street of Montego Bay. He got caught. So my daughter and I waited for a long time and finally we were escorted back into the ship. We we separated and searched. Then we waited on the elevator area with my husband and he tried to run away. I think he wanted to get into our cabin first to throw away some evidence. He was caught. By then I was hiterical, while my daughter stayed calm and quiet. So we were taken to our cabin and the police and ship’s cecurity turned everything upside down. Then my daughter and I were taken to her cabin and they did the same there. Then they took us back to my cabin and told to say goodby to my husband. He had been kicked off the ship and had to stay overnight in Jamaica and he flew home the next day. So for three days my daughter and I stayed on the ship, humiliated and I was angry. I found some other stuff that the police didn’t find and promptly threw them away. He didn’t even have the decency to warn me of those. Needless to say I kicked him out of the house as soon as I got back and I will file for a divorce as soon as the separation time is satisfied. I don’t have any feelings whatsoever for him anymore. My daughter wants nothing to do with him either. By the way, he’s still doing drugs and about to lose his job.

Charmaine Coimbra
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On Saturday, April 25, 2015 a devastating earthquake hit Nepal. It disqualified me from making important decisions for a bit—it was that disruptive to my personal psyche.

Saturday was day twelve of my Nepali friend’s trek up Mt. Everest. I’m chronicling his mission, the Mt. Everest Expedition for Global Peace and Friendship—a mission to plant 193 flags from around the world to symbolize peace and friendship.

On April 23, the tenth day of Phurba Thile Sherpa’s trek with 193 flags, and a support team, he posted,”Greetings From Mt. Everest base camp.Today we held a Puja–a wishing ceremony with mountain Goddess. Early tomorrow morning planing to go set up Camp 1. (C1: 19,500’/5943m – 3-6 hours, 1.62 miles) Very exciting to walk and climbing on Khumbu Icefall. Sorry I am not able to post pictures because very weak internet here. My health condition is perfect till today.”

A man of meager means, Sherpa personally funded this very expensive expedition. This bothered me immensely. Negative feelings about his personal investment covered my inner-self like a can of spilt black paint. My suggestion to him was to put this expedition off for another year. With my husband, I incessantly talked about my feelings and this climb and expressed my very real concerns. “What if something happens and he doesn’t make the climb? Then what happens to him when the loans come due?” I clucked and worried like a mother hen.

Negativity is not my way. But I couldn’t shake this concern. “It’s not my worry,” I decided, filled with the rationale that I’m a gray-haired grandmother who calls her walks in the woods a hike. “Phurba knows what he is doing. I’ll place faith in his judgement,” I eased my twitch.

On Saturday my concern turned real and I understood this ongoing dread—it was a premonition. I’ve had these before. Some were so strong that they made my stomach turn, and others just strong enough to make me make a left turn when I had planned to turn right. Sometimes these premonitions are spot-on. Other times, not so much.

I’m hardly a wiz-bang psychic and woman of the crystal-ball sight. And I wondered if others get these premonitions that eventually impact their day-to-day life. So I asked friends on Facebook, “PREMONITIONS. Do you get them? And more importantly, how many were spot-on? Do you act upon them? Do you get them about other people? Is this silly mumbo-jumbo?”

Contrary to my other posts, this one received over 70 comments (I posed the question on two separate pages). Of the commentary, just two came from men, both in their sixties.

Ages ranged from young mothers to grandmothers. The thread wandered from “Yes, I get them (premonitions)” to discussion about angels, deja-vu, and prophetic dreams.

Totally unscientific, this discussion showed me that premonitions are not that odd, and that they are easily accepted as normal. “I have a sense when something is wrong with someone close to me…I believe in intuition.” wrote a retired special education teacher.

“Yes I get them all the time about my family. Usually when something is wrong,” confessed a California artist.

A friend from high school wrote, “I believe that premonition’s cousin is superstition. Sometimes we put our premonitions out of our mind because we are too frightened to believe them. Like Scarlett, ‘I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy! I’ll think about that tomorrow !’”

And a mother of three from Arizona wrote, “I do get some kind of sense of certain things…that I always listen to. I don’t necessarily believe its a premonition, more like me unconsciously noticing stuff that I haven’t processed that makes it feel like a prediction or premonition. Like being worried about a house fire to an uncomfortable degree and my husband discovers a smoking cord in the garage the next day…”

From this thread, it seems that premonitions come into play when something unpleasant is in the works. But for maybe one post, there were none about a premonition that something good was in the air.

For me, when I get a feeling that a sudden idea is going to work or materialize and be worth my time pursuing, I follow that gut feeling. And, yes, the majority of times success (to my standards) follows.

Accidents, injury and other unfortunate events were linked with some who harbor strong premonitions.Vibrant Nation blogger, Debi Dreksler, a retired newspaper columnist and businesswoman sent me this, “My lungs collapsed when I was born and a nurse/Nun found me lifeless in my incubator. She revived me. I have always attributed this to why I have psychic abilities… Almost everything comes to me in a dream. I have predicted robberies, illnesses and even knew how a home invasion happened when the police couldn’t figure it out…I have tried to use my abilities to help people. Last week, I delayed getting on the road to head home because I felt I needed to wait. In those extra 5 minutes there was a head on collision and the people were killed.”

Well, what did the men say? One said it would take a bottle of wine and some privacy to share his experience. (I could hear some of the ladies rustling up a good bottle of red to offer this charming man. Just kidding.) But artist Frank Ramme, is pretty much convinced premonition can be a delusion. “If you are talking about some kind of spiritual or metaphysical revelation about the future that is complete nonsense. We all have, premonitions of a kind, because we acutely perceive much more of the world unconsciously than consciously and some of that crosses the threshold of conscious awareness. Furthermore, we delude ourselves retroactively by paying attention to our successes and dismissing our many failures in prognostication.”

Paula Prober, MS, a counselor out of Oregon shared, “Science Links Anxiety To High IQ’s & Sentinel Intelligence, Social Anxiety To Very Rare Psychic Gift.”

The post included, “Empaths who have fully embraced their abilities are able to function on a purely intuition-based level. As Steve Jobs once said, ‘[Intuition] is more powerful than intellect.’”

My Nepal mountaineer friend and seeker of world peace, is marked as safe. We assume that he was at Camp 1 at the time of the earthquake. The mountain is now closed for the season. This leaves this man with a debt to lenders. No one has heard if his home and family are okay. Like much of Nepal, he has much to overcome in the immediate future. This I know from the news, not my premonition.

He walked out and won’t communicate
Love & Sex
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My husband of nearly 20 years moved out 3 weeks ago. I am 54 and he is 46. He says he isn’t sure he has enough feelings for me to fight for our marriage. He has refused to talk to me about it. He has a history of becoming very restless every couple of years and pursuing other women or wanting to move and change jobs (which we have done). This has been going on for the better part of our marriage. I know I am done at this point but would like some closure as to why he walked out suddenly….. Oh and we had just purchased our retirement home in the area of our dreams in January of this year. So now there are 2 house payments and he has blown up all we have worked for the past 20 years. I feel used and discarded.
I would really like to get through this peacefully and amicably. Heck I don’t even know what he is thinking or why. Any suggestions? Thanks ladies.