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VN Editors
The Cheapest Days to Fly During the Holidays
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Cheapest days to fly

Traveling over the holidays? You might want to start booking now to ensure that you’re flying on the best day for the lowest price.

Here’s what those shaded boxes mean:

  • Light blue are “good” days to travel
  • Darker blue are “better” days to travel
  • Green = “best” (cheapest) days to fly during the holidays

TVZ Holiday Far Calendar-v06

More flight info on Travelzoo

VN members
Women 50+ Know: Jeans that fit us now
Fashion & Beauty
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1. Cambio
Dianne Morris, in Jeans that fit our figures now
“The middle area of our bodies seems to have changed a bit so we can’t buy just any brands. They can’t be too low below the belly button and not too tight but still cut straight, tailored well with good sturdy fabric… Cambio is one of my favorite brands. The ‘Sharon’ version is a little bit more forgiving than the others. ‘Nora’ comes in several lightly different leg widths and lengths, and they’re a little more fitted.”

2. Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans
Karen Lentini in Jeans that fit our figures now
“You don’t really have to spend a fortune for nice jeans. Gloria Vanderbilt puts out the ‘Amanda’ style which fits women’s curves quite well.”

Sunblossom in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I have very good luck with Gloria Vanderbilt also. Not pricey at all!”

MirrorWoman in Dreamy Jeans
“Gloria Vanderbilt is back in style! After several years of the same ‘unflattering but they fit okay’ pants, they’ve brought better fabrics – lightweight for spring – (with a bit of Spandex to keep their shape) and definite shapes to market. Check out bootcut ‘Allyson’ in the dark wash. Flattering boot cut balances my wider hips, a bit of tummy control with reinforced stitching in wide front pockets, a comfortable rise that almost comes to the waist (and looks smoother with overblouses or great with tuck-ins) and minimal stitching on back pockets. Plus they’re really inexpensive! I paid less than $20 on sale a few months ago.”

Golfwidow4everr in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I love the Chico’s Platinum jeans for more dressy occasions, but for everyday wear, I like the Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans.”

3. CABi (Carol Anderson by Invitation) Jeans
Jan Cullinane in Jeans that fit our figures now
“If anyone you know sells CAbi (Carol Anderson by Invitation), their jeans are great – comfortable, stylish, and flattering. I’ve attended a few CAbi parties – their clothing is sold in the home.”

AprilDiva in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I also love anything CABi. The styles are cut for our age and shape. My 23 year old daughter always comments on how young I look in these clothes. I am about to host my third CABi party and can’t wait to save on their new line. I live in Los Angeles and there is now at CABi outlet near downtown at the Citadel outlets. Great savings if you’re in the area!”

4. Reitmann’s Jeans
Irish77 in Jeans that fit our figures now
“Reitman’s of Canada’s comfort fit jeans are amazing. I have access to all the jeans out there and for anyone with a few extra pounds on them, these fit like a glove. No zippers or buttons and they are styled so you just pull them on like a pair of leggings. The waistband is about 2 1/2 inches wide so it fits flat on your hips and meets your waist just in the right spot so there is no muffin top ever. They are so comfortable to wear and I always look well put together. The price: just $36.00, even better.”

5. Wrangler Jeans
Carolyne in Jeans that fit our figures now
“Wrangler Aura’s have fit me well for a few years. They have 3 rise lengths and come in lots of leg lengths. And I have just found another Wrangler that I love — the Jet. It has a little elastic hidden in the waistband, and long enough for me to wear heels with them. This is a first! (I have no booty, no curves, short waist length, and very long legs.) And the price is reasonable.”

6. Citizen’s Jeans
AgelessJen in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I have splurged on a pair of Citizen’s. I get compliments every time I wear them.”

7. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans
Judi50+ in My New White Jeans
“According to NYDJ, their jeans with the ‘Flatten Your Tummy’ double criss-cross feature also lifts my buttocks and allows me to look and feel one size smaller.” I am a size 4, so the one size smaller isn’t the biggest benefit, but the buttocks lift is a definite plus. These jeans are the best. I will have to purchase another pair of these jeans in blue denim and maybe black denim too.”

Dianne Morris, in Jeans that fit our figures now
“Cut just a little bit looser, comfortable.”

Judy Steinberg, in My New White Jeans
“I, too, stumbled unknowingly into the dressing room with a pair of NYDJ. Mine were blue denim, but a very soft denim, not the cardboard fabric most jeans seem to be made of. When I caught a glimpse of myself in the 3-way mirror and realized that I looked like I’d had a recent butt lift, I immediately ran back out to the rack where I found them, desperate already for a whole closet full of these miracle jeans, and was lucky enough to score the same lightweight blue denim with a gold lurex thread running through. Bonanza! A dress-up pair of jeans! This is my new favorite label, for sure. Best news of all….my daughter wouldn’t be caught dead in these jeans. Yesssss!!!”

Vibrantspirit in My New White Jeans
“I too have recently found NYDJ and I love the way they fit. I am petite and it’s always been so hard to find jeans that fit me. So I am extremely happy to have found this brand and I highly recommend them. The material is high-quality and the workmanship too. I don’t pay retail for them since they are so expensive but I have been lucky to find them discounted on e-bay or in a consignment store.”

Kiki12 in My New White Jeans
“I went to Zappos and ordered a pair of dark denim NYDJ – OMG as the kids say, what a terrific fit, I absolutely love them and will be my jean of choice from now on. A little pricey for my taste, yet, I think they are worth it!”

8. CJ by Cookie Johnson
oneshiela in My New White Jeans
“A good fit for women with larger hips and behinds. I actually receive compliments when I wear them. The best compliment came when I was in a clothing store in New York and a very young salesperson came up to me and expressed how much she really liked my jeans. I was elated that at 58 years old, young women were complimented me on of all things, jeans.”

9. DG2 Jeans (HSN)
SavageGrace in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I am very curvy and petite, and often have trouble with gapping at the waist because my hips are large, but DG2 on work great! Also, 2-way stretch jeans! Both are under $50.”

Auddie in Jeans that fit our figures now
“DG2 (Diane Gilman) jeans sold on HSN (are the best for jeans!”

10. Miraclebody Jeans
Dianne Morris, in Jeans that fit our figures now
“They claim you will ‘look 10 lbs lighter in 10 seconds.’ Not sure about that, but since they are cut looser you might take a smaller size and feel better.”

11. J. Jill Jeans
Malarkey in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I really like J Jill’s ‘boyfriend’ jeans right now. Great fit for my bod, very comfortable and soft fabrics. Comes in both corduroy and denim.”

Munz in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I bought a pair of white jeans from J.Jill last fall, then another pair just last week, because the fit was excellent and I wanted a dark-wash pair. They’re called J. Jill skinny jeans, and you cuff the bottom to the length you need, so no tailoring needed! They have a bit of stretch and are full and high enough in the waist to accommodate my 5’1″ 130-pound body perfectly!”

12. Dreamer Jeans (Old Navy)
KarenT in Dreamy Jeans
“I don’t usually shop for myself at Old Navy – their target customer is of course younger than I am. However, I was there over the holidays and saw jeans called “Dreamer.” The description: tummy panel and bottom lift, plus a bit higher rise to keep things covered in back. I tried on a pair and bought two on the spot. They make me feel fashionable and comfortable in my size 12′s!”

13. Talbot’s Trouser Jeans
Debbie-deb in Dreamy Jeans
“Cut so that my ‘muffin top’ isn’t bulging. No pockets on the tush, more of a relaxed boot cut and a little more tailored, but cool-looking. The final judgment came from my 26-year-old daughter who stopped by this afternoon. I tried them on and she gave them two thumbs up! Definitely not ‘Mom’ jeans!”

What’s your favorite jeans brand now? Recommend it below!

VN members
Best makeup over 50: Mineral makeup we love
Fashion & Beauty
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Why is mineral makeup great for women over 50?

Susan Posnick, who has her own line of makeup, says that mineral makeup is the best for women over 50 for several reasons.

First, mineral makeup allows your skin to breathe. Traditional foundation and powder “blocks the skin so that it can’t breathe,” Posnick explained. “And especially today, many of the liquid foundations use silicone which makes for a beautiful liquid foundation, but doesn’t let the skin breathe in the same way.”

Secondly, mineral makeup has light-diffusing properties that help soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles. And finally, minerals don’t settle into lines and wrinkles the way traditional liquid foundations and powders might. “…What you see is that the powder settles into fine lines and can make the skin look dry. And as we age, those lines of character can become a little stronger, a little more obvious–you don’t want your makeup settling in,” Posnick said.

Certainly, mineral makeup has gained popularity in the last few years. As member Jeannie Smith said, “There are so many out there. I started with Bare Minerals and am now with Smashbox because it seems less drying.”

Riaholz agreed, saying, “I know how hard it can be to find a mineral makeup that works for you. I had tried many, and was about to give up when I found a brand called 24-7. I found it at CVS and decided to give it a try. It is reasonably priced and at least on my skin goes on beautifully. Of course the problem with this is you can’t try samples because it is the drugstore. The store assured me I could bring back anything with my receipt that did not work.”

Mineral makeup products most recommended by women over 50

What follows are some recommendations for mineral makeup from Vibrant Nation members – women over 50 who’ve tried the mineral makeup trend and reported back on what helps them look their best day to day.

VN member Lois Joy Johnson is a writer and author and a leading expert on the looks and lifestyles of women 50 +. Former Beauty and Fashion Director of MORE magazine, her The Makeup Wakeup has guided many members to try new things with their beauty routines. She has two favorites when it comes to mineral makeup:

La Bella Donna Compressed Mineral Foundation

“It’s more expensive than most mineral foundations, but this soothing pressed powder is amazing for covering blemished skin,” Johnson said. “The bonus is you won’t end up with a cakey, flaky look. It can be applied dry or with a damp sponge and works well for rosacea and blotchy or sun-damaged skin. You can even use this base over tinted moisturizer for a hint more coverage or to mask flushed areas.”

Bare Escentuals BareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation

If you don’t like the feeling liquid makeups and creams leave, but want subtle coverage and sun protection, Johnson suggests this loose mineral powder that buffs on fast. “It leaves your skin feeling naked, and the original formula (not the newer matte one) gives a radiant look to dry skin—hard to believe powder does this until you try it,” she promises. “There are no parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes or fragrances, petro chemicals, talc, oil, waxes, or preservatives to think about either.

damselfly09 says
I don’t often sing the praises of any makeup because I’m 63 and when it comes to wrinkles, I’ve got my share. They are more like gutters than wrinkles. They come from spending years in the sun and tanning bed and not properly caring for my skin.

Well, the same beautiful daughter-in-law who turned me on to the “Soothing Care” by Monistat [as a primer for the face], also turned me on to the best mineral makeup I have ever used in my entire life. The Signature Minerals are the softest, smoothest minerals I have ever used. I also have never seen another mineral makeup that completely covered everything including shadow, concealer, and all in mineral form. Everything I need to do my face except my mascara is made by Signature Minerals and is in one little pouch. It has never been easier than it is now to look great.

Mineral makeup is the best thing for older skin as it makes your skin look smooth and flawless. I cannot tell I have this mineral makeup on my skin but it makes my skin look smooth and youthful. I always get compliments about how I don’t look like I’m 63 years old.

The best part about these minerals is that they give away free samples at their website. I love getting “free” samples anytime! That is the base coat, eye shadow, concealer, blush and all. The samples they give away of the foundation powder are not small samples either. You just pick your colors. You can get your samples of Signature Minerals at

Pamela4 says
I use Jane Iredale and it is the best I have found. I get a lot of compliments when I wear it. I use the makeup and the bronzer together.

Mo Brock says
Ditto on the Motives by Loren Ridinger. The Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation is the absolute best!! Try it; I think you’ll like it. I’m not a cosmetics guru … but finding this foundation has made me a believer.

Cheryl Bowman says
My favorite is Mary Kay Mineral Makeup. Great deal for the money, feels fantastically light! easy to match color! Great brush you can take with you for touchups if you like!

MySunnyFlorida says
I love Bare Minerals – using the Skin Rever Upper 1st takes care of any dryness!

carolyne49 says
Jane Iredale. I am a beauty professional and love this line. Jane has rosacea and that is why she started her own makeup. Look into this line. It is not drying and does not settle in the creases.

FancyFrancie says
I’ve used Bare Minerals for at least ten years; have turned others onto it; I love it. Occasionally have tried others, but none compare, in my book. If you use a moisturizer, dryness shouldn’t be an issue.

birdiebabe says
Arbonne’s mineral powder gives a flawless-looking finish with realistic coverage. The formula contains minerals and pigments that are blended into a light reflecting powder. Provides sun protection – SPF 15 – available in 15 shades. Totally love it!!

VintageIsVogue says
I LOVE Bare Minerals. They were one of the first – the original – and they are simply the best. I’ve tried other brands to save [money], but I’d rather purchase Bare Minerals – and know I always look my best. Ulta 3 usually carries gift sets for about $60 which should last several months depending on how often you apply your makeup. Like any good makeup application – make sure you moisturize (and tone if necessary for us oily gals).

Susan Lide says
I use Lauren Hutton Mineral Make up. It’s great for my skin as it has moisturizers in it and does not irritate my skin. There are also other products in this line that I use – she specializes in products for our demographic group.

Anonymous says
I use Bare Minerals Foundation with SPF 15. It is a loose powder you apply with a brush and you control the amount you apply. I apply it very lightly and it covers fine lines, pores, and evens skin tone. It buffs beautifully and is light and looks very natural. I think it is lighter than liquid foundation and I will never go back to liquid again.

grammayumyum says
LOVED Bare Minerals, especially their Mineral Veil that makes your face just glow. I found them to be a bit expensive, and have supplemented with over the counter Physician’s Formula mineral makeup, but nothing compares to the quality of Bare Minerals. I sound like an ad, and I never could be a salesperson, but this stuff sells itself.

Be sure to start with a good moisturizer, and, yes, apply lightly. Their ads show how much the brushes have to be tapped free of excess minerals before applying to your face.

For more great tips and tricks for applying mineral makeup,
see Best Makeup Over 50: Tips and tricks for applying mineral makeup

VN Editors
Buying Vibrators for Women? Get a Groupon First
Love & Sex
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Like bargain shopping? Need to get some new vibrators for women? Turn to Groupon to find great deals, and discover vibrator models you never knew existed.

A Penny Saved

Groupon is a website that specializes in coupons, discounts and various money-saving deals. The site rose to fame by offering discounts and deals on activities, but now you can find coupons for any number of retail items as well – including lots of different vibrators for women.

Before you go shopping for your next new vibrator, browse Groupon to see how much you can save. There are several types of vibrators you can expect to find on the site:

  • Rabbits: Several different brands of rabbit vibrators offer coupons on Groupon. The rabbit vibrator is one of the world’s most famous designs. It stimulates you in multiple ways, and has a classic vibrator look.
  • Bullets: Small, handheld bullet vibrators are very popular on Groupon and in general. Little bullets are made to be discreet. They’re used to deliver targeted pleasure.
  • Pocket rockets: Small but powerful, pocket rockets are available in a wide array of colors.
  • Voice activated: If hands-free control is what you like, use Groupon to find voice-activated vibrators for women. These devices allow you to enjoy pleasure without even pushing buttons.
  • G-spot vibrators: Find affordable g-spot vibrators at Groupon, too. These vibrators target the elusive g-spot, an erotic area that’s so mysterious some scientists aren’t even sure it exists.
  • Finger vibrators: You don’t have to let the device do all the work. Groupon is a good place to find finger vibrators for women, too. These little devices are slipped on over your fingers to turn your own digits into vibrators.

Finding Vibrators for Women

Don’t know exactly what you want to buy? Groupon is a good place to find vibrators for women and see what different types of models are available. Browsing through the site may introduce you to new types of vibrators. If you’re going to experiment and shop around, it only makes sense to do it when you’ve got a good discount. Groupon coupons can help you feel a little less guilty about spending money on vibrators.

Groupon is a good place to start, but it’s not the only website that offers discounts on vibrators for women. When you buy vibrators online, you have several different money-saving options. Sites like RetailMeNot offer coupon codes for online shoppers. If you’re shopping anyway, why not save money, too?

VN Editors
sex after menopause: using a vibrator can increase your pleasure
Love & Sex
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Talking about self stimulation and vibrators is not something many women are comfortable doing. There is an entire generation of women who were taught that talking about masturbation, let alone using something like a vibrator, was something proper women just shouldn’t do. This is unfortunate since using a vibrator and self stimulation are easy ways to ease the uncomfortable sex after menopause caused by female dryness.

Even a few women who are comfortable talking about having sex after menopause still have reservations about using a vibrator for self stimulation. Some women are afraid to use a vibrator for stimulation because they’ve heard that it will decrease their sensitivity over time and affect their ability to orgasm more naturally.

This is untrue – a vibrator will never take away the intimacy you can achieve with a live partner.  According to Dr. Pepper Schwarz, “Sometimes we need stronger stimulation than a hand can give without it becoming irritating. And sometimes we just need a different kind of stimulation for the sheer eroticism of it.”

The fact is that vibrators can help many women over come vaginal dryness and enjoy sex after menopause. Using a vibrator helps a woman achieve increased natural lubrication and reach orgasms faster. While you won’t find many women so open about sex that they are willing to display their vibrator collection on an open shelf in the living room, it’s true that most women need to be more comfortable with expressing their sexual needs.

Women who are shy about introducing a device into their relationships can save the vibrator for private use. Many women are also shy about shopping for vibrators or other sex toys. Be not afraid – thanks to the Internet there are many women friendly online retailers like Good Vibrations and A Woman’s Touch.

If you’re unsure where to start, try a couple of vibrators favored by women over 50:

  • The Eroscillator (recommended by Dr. Ruth)
  • The Hitachi Magic Wand; or
  • Any of the various “Rabbit” devices.

Don’t give up if the first one (or two) you try don’t work for you; every woman’s dimensions and senses are different.

The Makeover Guy
8 lessons from 8 makeovers of women over 50
Fashion & Beauty
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As women age, the more beautiful they become–but often, the less attractive they feel. Who they are isn’t coming across in how they look. And so, they feel invisible.

I wrote a makeover book for women over 45 because I like them. We “get” each other. Younger women tend to gravitate towards the trendy and trivial whereas women who’ve sort of “been there, done that,” like I have, are impatient with hype. My clients are smart and they’re ready to hear it. I wrote my book, Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45, as a labor of love–focusing on techniques I’ve used for over 20 years in my professional career, and addressing the specific challenges women face as they grow older and as their bodies change.

Here are some of the lessons women 50+ can learn from makeovers in my book:

1. Growing old is optional

Rici is the perfect illustration of what happens when you do next to nothing because “it’s just too much work.” Looking natural does not mean doing nothing, especially after 60! It takes makeup to look naturally attractive.

Rici’s “before” look evoked granny in the rocking chair with the knitting–but that image simply didn’t match the Rici I met. With a great hairstyle and highlights, shaped brows, and yes, makeup–we see the true Rici, a woman who wants more from life, who wants to live.

2. Your hair speaks volumes

Nancy has a great personality that her “before” look didn’t come close to capturing. Technically, there was nothing wrong with Nancy’s look–but, as I suggested, she might want to save it till she’s 70.

Much of Nancy’s transformation had to do with simply getting rid of her grey and going for a cut that truly suits her. Short, blond, and bangs all promote a youthful look. The spirit of who Nancy really is radiates in her “after” photo, and that’s what any makeover is all about.

3. Classic doesn’t have to mean boring

Linda’s “before” look was classic to the point of failure. Her hair and clothes were shapeless, her makeup colorless, her workbag completely lacking style. Did someone say “schoolmarm”?

Her “after” look is still classic, but it lets Linda’s vibrant personality shine through. To me there is nothing sexier than a woman in a straight black skirt, a beautiful silk blouse opened one extra button with a killer pair of heels. Plus, the matching hem, hose, and heel work together to elongate her legs. Bam!

4. Give yourself a liftBy age 40, about 40% of women have experienced some hair loss, and the hair loss accelerates during menopause. The right haircut and styling can make a big difference.

For example, Carol thought she needed shorter layers on top for height. In truth, she needed color for texture and more length on top for support. Take control: Give yourself some lift and keep it there by back-combing and using a fine mist hairspray, preferably aerosol.

5. Dress the woman you are today

As you try to find the balance between growing older and looking modern, don’t fall into the trap of becoming “mutton dressed as lamb.” You won’t look younger, you’ll simply look vulnerable and insecure.

Cheryl’s transformation shows the importance of dressing age-appropriately. Rather than tell a story about our past, our image must declare the person we’ve become. In her “after” photo, Cheryl shows just a hint of cleavage (all that’s needed!) and her skirt length, just below the knee, is flattering as well as sexy.

6. Build a foundation

Maybe in the 1960’s and ’70s you burned your bra and let it all hang out, but as time passes, the spirit may still be willing, but the flesh does become weak. It’s time to recognize that the single, most important garment you can wear under slim-fitting clothing is the appropriate foundation.

Lynette’s makeover shows how the right shapewear smooths, slims, and firms. Also, choosing an outfit that creates a monochromatic line slenderizes and balances.

7. Minimize

Lynda told me she hadn’t really “gone out” since the 1980’s because she’d been self-conscious about her weight. But after weight-loss surgery, she lost 155 pounds. And although I thought Lynda was beautiful, she couldn’t seem to see it.

In Lynda’s makeover, warm colors brighten her face while monochromatic color blocking is slenderizing. The lapels draw the eye up and out, away from her midsection. The V-neck elongates, and the necklace draws the eye to Lynda’s face. Finally, fuller leg pants help balance a bigger top.

8. Keep it current

Gail started out with home hair color from hell and a dated hairstyle, plus dark makeup that was aging–and a little scary. Part of the problem was that Gail had spent her life spending money on her children’s clothing, makeup, and haircuts–but had trouble feeling that she deserved those things for herself.

Gail’s makeover stayed true to her beauty buzzwords–simple, clean, and natural–but the softer hair and makeup are much more feminine and the trapeze silhouette works well for her A-shape body.

VN Editors
Sex after menopause: Treat vaginal dryness and dyspareunia by reawakening the clitoris and G-spot
Love & Sex
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Many women who suffer from female dryness often wonder how they can have better sex after menopause if their body won’t cooperate. Unfortunately, a woman’s body produces less natural lubrication as it ages, resulting in vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, a nasty word for post-menopausal thinning of your vaginal walls.

While female dryness at this stage of life can result in intercourse pain, the good news is, effective treatments exist for vaginal dryness and dyspareunia.

Many women help relieve female dryness and overcome painful intercourse with their own hands. Your body can be retrained to maximize its natural lubrication by “waking up” your clitoris and G-spot to relieve vaginal dryness and dyspareunia for better sex after menopause.

Here are some examples of how to do just that.

Awakening the clitoris for better sex after menopause

You’re undoubtedly aware of the nub of the clitoris — the glans — but did you know that the structure of the clitoris extends beneath the surface? It’s true: the clitoris and its thousands of nerve endings extend far and wide beneath the surface of your body.

The clitoris is the only part of the human body that has no function other than giving pleasure. Women who suffer painful intercourse, or have lost sensitivity due to aging and hormonal changes, or who experience vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, might experiment with self-touch, partner-touch, and/or vibrator-touch, using pressure all around the visible part of the clitoris, not just directly on the glans.

Be prepared for this process to take some time. As Dr. Pepper Schwartz says in Great Sex After 50: A Woman’s Guide to Getting Her Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure, “Masturbation, with our without a partner, takes some exploration in order to find out what works for you. Some women have not stuck with it long enough to figure it out. And they have made some mistakes. The most common one is to directly stimulate the head of the clitoris for too long. The clitoris is a very sensitive organ and can be come irritated relatively quickly.”  This may be something you need to address openly with your partner as well: “You are touching my clitoris too directly. I need you to stroke the outside area and not directly on the top of the clitoris.”

Remember, even if you learned how to masturbate effectively long ago, those techniques may not be work as well today because of the change in hormones , blood floor, lining of the vagina and sensitivity of breasts. As Dr. Schwartz says, “Your body may have changed and so you might have to re-think how your body wants to be treated now.”

Defeating female dryness with the vibrator

Many women are afraid to treat female dryness with a vibrator for stimulation because they’ve heard that it will decrease their sensitivity over time and affect their ability to orgasm. This is untrue, as is the myth that a vibrator will turn you against real, live sex. As Dr. Schwarz says in Great Sex After 50, “Sometimes we need  stronger stimulation than a hand can give without it becoming irritating. And sometimes we just need a different kind of stimulation for the sheer eroticism of it.”

While vibrators can help many women over come vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, and achieve natural lubrication and orgasms faster, the vibrator will never take away the intimacy you can achieve with a live partner.

Women shy about introducing a device into their relationships can either save the vibrator for private time or encourage their male partners to give their vibrator a name. Our favorite name from BOB (for “battery operated boyfriend”).

Many women are also shy about shopping for vibrators or other sex toys. Be not afraid of that either, and be sure to check out women-friendly, online retailers like Good Vibrations and A Woman’s Touch.  If you’re unsure where to start, try a couple of vibrators favored by women 50+:

And don’t give up if the first one (or two) you try don’t work for you; every woman’s dimensions and senses are different.

Finding the G spot for better sex after menopause

The Gräfenberg Spot (aka the G-Spot) is one of those little mysteries that have confounded scientists. Although it has been the subject of research since 1981, arguments over its very existence continue. But many women over 50 declare that not only do they know it exists; they’ve found it and are using it to their advantage!

With the right technique and a bit of practice, stimulating the G-spot has been reported to provide orgasm, multiple orgasms, and female ejaculation. Not all women find G-spot stimulation to be pleasurable. There are many ways to experiment with stimulation to find the technique that is right for you.

The G-spot is a zone about two or three inches inside the vagina on the front wall, closest to the clitoris or pubic bone. The best way to locate it is to extend your first two fingers (index and middle fingers) and make a “come here” motion. If you were to do that inside your vagina, that is the approximate location of your G spot. Many G-spot toys have been created with a curve intended to stimulate this sensitive area.

In an interview with, renowned author and women’s health specialist Dr. Christiane Northrup explained, “Women have as much erogenous erectile tissue in their pelvis as men do in their penis; it’s just all inside and no one teaches them this. All that tissue is created for pleasure and to create increased nitric oxide. And you can learn to wake this area up.”

In her Vibrant Nation interview, Dr. Northrup recommended practicing finding your G-spot twice a week, either alone or with your partner. “It’s a whole new world that couples can get into together, and the man never even has to have an erection.”

How does all this result in relief from vaginal dryness and dyspareunia and better sex after menopause?

How exactly can exploring your own pleasure spots undo the effects of vaginal dryness and dyspareunia? As author, advocate for ageless sexuality, and Vibrant Nation Blogger Joan Price says, “As we age, we get less blood flow to the clitoris and vagina, and the vaginal walls get thinner. Most of us need more arousal time and more time to reach orgasm after we’re aroused.”

Learning how to increase blood flow to your genitals faster and more powerfully will give you more pleasure and the confidence that such pleasure is within your reach again..

VN members
Women 50+ Know: Hair color that covers the gray
Fashion & Beauty
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1. Aveda
From gardenangel in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I go to an Aveda Spa for my hair. It seems less harsh than other hair colors and looks very natural. It does take upkeep, but it’s worth it.”

From amy phillips in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“May not be the cheapest avenue but my hairdresser uses Aveda hair color. She uses foils and two colors. Works really well for about two months.”

2. Clairol Beautiful Collection
From martijoyce in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use Clairol Beautiful Collection Dark Warm Brown, found at beauty supply stores, not at drugstores, Target, etc. It’s not a dye but a semi-permanent color. I wash my hair every day so I have to color my hair every week cause it fades. But it’s not hard on your hair and doesn’t have ammonia, etc. in it but things that are good for your hair…aloe vera, jojoba and vitamin E…and my hair feels great after!”

Clairol Natural Instincts
From bhc in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use Clairol Natural Instincts. I like it because it looks natural, leaving the greyest hairs a bit lighter – like multi shades. However, it is not that permanent. I have to use it often to keep my hair looking its best.”

Clairol Nice ‘n Easy GraySolutions
From KariNYC in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
Nice ‘n Easy GraySolution really works for me. My hair is about 80% gray and it really covers better than anything I have tried.”

3. Garnier Nutrisse
From nancyen in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I have been coloring my hair for years. I’m 60, and a 40-year-old asked me why I’m not grey. I told her that I color my hair and she said that in a million years she never would be able to tell. I use Garnier Nutrisse and I vary the colors. I’m a light brunette and sometimes I use a dark blonde, sometimes a light brunette. I do only the roots, leaving it on for about 40 minutes and cover the remainder of my hair for the last 5-10 minutes. My hair has a lovely texture which I attribute to the coloring. Once in a while I use a root touch-up product if I’m in a hurry. I definitely don’t agree with the “don’t try this on your own” comment as I’m proof that you can do it and succeed.”

Garnier Nutrisse
From Raffila in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I started to cover the grey twenty years ago. For many years I went to a professional stylist/colorist. In between visits I experimented. For the past ten years I have been on my own and tried every hair color product on the market. Yes, I actually tried to work my way through every brand, even some I found in health stores. Also tried mixing my own chemicals in the same way as my stylist did.

In the end I became a staunch believer in Garnier Nutrisse. It gives even coverage, lots of shine, does not damage hair and most importantly does NOT fade. Some dyes from L’Oreal which look great fade away. Others tend to change color to brassy notes with each hair wash. Garnier promises 100 percent grey coverage and delivers.

Read the directions and follow exactly. They recommend you leave on longer. The directions explain how to dye the first time and how to handle root coverage. Follow those directions to the letter.

Do part your hair in small sections and use the bottle to drip down the part and your gloved finger to lightly spread the dye cream onto the hair on each side of part to cover the roots. This is key to having an allover even job. in the front. Be sure to go around the hairline with the creme and use finger to cover the roots (this tip is Not in the directions.) If you do it this way you won’t miss any spot in the front, which is critical. I wish you good luck…and add that I have no connection with this product line. It is simply the Best!

(A small vial of avocado oil goes into the dye mix, and I think it’s one reason why your hair shines and feels soft–you can save some of the included conditioner too, to add in a few weeks.) I also use their shampoo/conditioner. My daughter’s hair grows slower than mine so she dyes every 7-8 week and I do mine every six. Don’t let these pros scare you into salon color. I honestly look better with longer lasting Garnier color than I did with my stylist’s formulas. Now that I have practice in application, I feel confident I look terrific.”

4. L’Oreal
From comgal in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“L’Oreal has been my choice since it came out. I had my hair burned off in a flash fire when I was 16 and started coloring it to add body when it was growing back. I guess I have tried every brand there is and keep coming back to L’Oreal. There are some greys that won’t color but try putting the color on the worst of the grey a few minutes before adding the remainder to the rest of the hair.”

L’Oreal Excellence
From REDHEAD57 in I‘m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I like L’oreal Excellence products. It has the color that most matches my previous strawberry blonde color and leaves my hair silkie. I for sure am not ready to not be a redhead yet!”

L’Oreal Excellence To Go
From maggiel52 in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use L’Oreal To Go. It’s fast (10 minutes) and covers all my gray.”

L’Oreal Féria
From debbie in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use Féria. It leaves your hair nice and soft, covers your gray and leaves highlights in your hair so it doesn’t look like it’s colored. Good stuff.”

L’Oreal Natural Match
From Tink in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I’ve used L’Oreal Natural Match for quite some time now, and I like the results. I have found that going one shade lighter gives me better results. I especially like this one because of its no ammonia formula, since I have a sensitive scalp.”

L’Oreal Preference
From Sherrie Mathieson in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I like the L’Oreal Preference product line to achieve gray coverage.”

5. Redken
From suzy in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“If you want natural looking color, ask your hair dresser to use Redken. Professional color always looks better or maybe it’s because you paid for it. And always color a shade or two lighter than your natural color.”

Redken Shades EQ
From steelmagnolia in I‘m not ready to let my hair go gray
“My hair has been going gray for years and for years, I have gone to the salon & they use Redken Shades EQ. I have not had any problem with it. It covers the gray & leaves my hair feeling very healthy and in great condition.”

6. Revlon Color Silk
From Lynnette in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I have been coloring my hair for the last 20 years. Basically any hair color will cover gray. I use ColorSilk from Revlon because i am all gray and have to do it every 3 weeks or so. I did the salon thing for a while, but could not afford it anymore and it was every 3 weeks just the same. Hair color products are amazing nowadays.”

VN Editors
Vibrator use after 50: A vibrant woman’s guide to Toys for grown women
Love & Sex
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Most of us long ago learned how to have great sex. Then we arrived at midlife and found ourselves wondering why those techniques suddenly don’t work quite as well today.

The fact is, whether because of menopause or aging, our bodies are different now. As Dr. Pepper Schwartz points out, “Our bodies have changed – for example, in terms of hormones, blood floor, lining of the vagina and sensitivity of breasts. If we want great sex after 50, we may need to re-think how our bodies want to be treated now.”

The good news is, we can regain control of our changing bodies – and have better sex than ever after 50. And something as simple and pleasurable as a vibrator can help.

In fact, VN blogger and menopause specialist Dr. Barb DePree often recommends that her patients use vibrators and other devices to aid sexual health. “What came without trying when we were young – reading the small print, responding to sexual stimuli – may now require assistive devices,” she says. Incorporating a vibrator into your sex life (with or without a partner) can make a tremendous difference, especially now.

The key, Barb says, is to find – not just any vibrator – but a vibrator “with more power and endurance than a young girl needs. Clitoral stimulation at our age needs to overcome the sluggish circulation in a clitoris that, if unused, will go dormant, pulling up into the body. Our vibrators need more power, over a longer period, to replace that circulation and encourage a clitoris to come out to play.”

But choosing a great vibrator at our age can sometimes seem like a daunting task, especially given the myriad of choices available today. Fortunately, the smart, health-conscious members of Vibrant Nation aren’t shy about sharing what does – and doesn’t – work for them. Here are their tips on choosing and enjoying the best toys for grown women.

Fact vs. fiction
If you’re relatively new to the world of vibrators, you may have some concerns to start. It helps to separate myth from fact.

  1. Myth: A vibrator will desensitize your body
    Fact: Many women are afraid to treat female dryness with a vibrator for stimulation because they’ve heard that it will decrease their sensitivity over time and affect their ability to orgasm – but this is untrue. “Sometimes we need stronger stimulation than a hand can give without it becoming irritating. And sometimes we just need a different kind of stimulation for the sheer eroticism of it,” Dr. Schwarz says.
  2. Myth: A vibrator will turn you against “real” sexFact: According to Dr. Schwartz, it’s a myth that a vibrator will turn you against real, live sex. Vibrators can help many women over 50 achieve natural lubrication and orgasms faster, but they will never take away the intimacy you can achieve with a live partner.
  3. Myth: A vibrator will alienate your partnerFact: A confident sex partner won’t be put off by a sex toy; in fact, many will welcome it as part of normal sex play as a couple. As one VN member said, “My partner loves to watch me get my orgasm(s) on while I’m using my Hitachi.” Another member adds, “A vibrator can be used as an integral part of intimacy when you have a partner. If you let your partner use it on you, it can really enhance the experience together.”If you’re shy about introducing a device into your relationship, you can save the vibrator for private time. Perhaps encourage your male partner to personalize the vibrator by giving it a name. Our favorite name from the Vibrant Nation community: BOB (for “battery operated boyfriend”).

Choose your weapon!

Ready to shop? Here are some toys vibrant women love:

  1. The Celebrator. “If you are looking for a powerful clitoral stimulator, this is it. It costs $50, runs on two AA batteries and is quiet. I love it. It looks just like an electric toothbrush. (In fact, I keep it on my bathroom counter next to my toothbrush.) It has two speed settings and they are amazing!”
  2. A muscle massager. “I use a simple muscle massager. It’s a jet engine compared to the vibrate setting on my cell phone, which I can barely feel when the phone is in my pocket.”
  3. The Rabbit. Some women are satisfied with either clitoral or vaginal stimulation, but some women require both at once. If you’re in the latter category, the Rabbit may be for you. “It does both!”
  4. Hitachi Magic Wand. One VN member kept breaking her battery-operated vibrators, so she switched to the Hitachi. “I needed an industrial-strength vibrator. Have had one for four years and will never go back! My first Hitachi died this summer, may the dear thing RIP. I just ordered my second one – with three attachments. Girlfriends, the Hitachi Magic Wand is the only way to go. I have orgasms with it until I literally can’t breathe. Who’s afraid of turning 60 this year? Not me!”
  5. The Eroscillator. Looking for power with less noise? One VN member says, “The most high powered, low sound – not silent, but a lot less noisy then the Hitachi – is the Eroscillator. It is also expensive, but well worth the $$$.” VN member and sex blogger Joan Price also raves about the Eroscillator, “especially the ‘marshmallow’ attachment.'” A third VN member says the Eroscillator “gives one the most amazing orgasm ever! My husband is constantly amazed at the magic that happens when he uses it on me. Batteries never run down because it plugs in. We consider it to be the best $100 we ever spent.” (It also happens to be the only vibrator endorsed by Dr. Ruth!)
  6. Femblossom and Womolia. Dr. Barb DePree recommends these two models from Emotional Bliss. “They have great intensity and are quiet too. Plus, they have recharging batteries. They warm so no cold surfaces and are made of great materials.”
  7. The Gigi. Joan Price says, “The Gigi is my favorite for internal stimulation. It’s slim, which I appreciate, and shaped to rub the G-spot just right.”
  8. The Silver Bullet. “It goes wherever I go.”
  9. Aquasaki. This waterproof vibrator “makes bath time lots of fun.”
  10. Mystic Wand. Joan Price counts the Vibratex Mystic Wand Silicone Vibrator among her three all-time favorites because it “has power of a Hitachi Magic Wand (the former king of powerful vibrators)” while also being “lighter, more comfortable to hold, more versatile, cordless, and smaller for travel and storage. Plus its waterproof.”

Start your engines! 4 tips about using vibrators

  1. Take your time.
    Dr. Pepper Schwartz says, “Masturbation, with our without a partner, takes some exploration in order to find out what your body needs.” When learning how your body responds to a particular vibrator after 50, be sure to stick with it long enough to figure out what works for you now.
  2. Be indirect.
    One of the most common mistakes women make is to directly stimulate the head of the clitoris for too long. According to Dr. Schwartz, “The clitoris is a very sensitive organ and can be come irritated relatively quickly.” Try indirect stimulation instead.
  3. More is better.
    VN blogger and menopause specialist Dr. Barb DePree often prescribes vibrators to her patients. According to Barb, “The secret to keeping sex alive after menopause is more.” So take advantage of the additional stimulation that ready access to a vibrator can give.
  4. If one vibrator doesn’t do it for you, try another.
    Don’t give up if the first one (or two) you try don’t work for you; every woman’s dimensions and senses are different. Shop around, experiment, have fun!

Where to shop

  1. Woman-friendly specialty shops in your area
    If you have access to a woman-friendly boutique store for sex toys in your neighborhood, don’t miss the opportunity to examine the product selection in person and ask questions of the knowledgeable sales staff. As one VN member said, “I didn’t know what to pick, as I am 68 years old, so I asked the sales lady at the store. She was very kind, and compassionate, and she showed me different kinds. Wow! There are so many to choose from. Now I just need to start using the one I chose!”
  2. Trusted online retailers
    If your neighborhood lacks a woman-friendly sex shop, or if you’re shy about visiting the ones in your area, you can check out these trusted retailers online:

    One advantage is that you can spend as much time as you want exploring these private, online retailers. The websites offer lots of valuable information, and employ sensitive, devoted telephone salespeople for women like us.

  3. If quiet operation is important to you
    If you are looking for a particularly discreet device, keep in mind that brand and price can make a difference. Dr. Barb DePree says that “Lelo products are probably the quietest.” Joan Price includes both Lelo and JimmyJane, on her list of quiet vibrator brands. Because models do vary within a brand, read ads carefully. If a vibrator features quiet operation, the ad will usually specify this. And as a rule, remember: “cheaper vibrators won’t be quiet.”


Erica Manfred
10 mistakes that guarantee you’ll get screwed in your divorce settlement
Family & Relationships, Love & Sex, Work & Money
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1. Fail to plan ahead.
Men who are planning to leave tend to clean out bank accounts and hide assets, which are extremely difficult to recover. Women need to pre-plan for divorce just as men do. When the marriage starts to go bad, when he stops having sex with you or stops coming home at night, don’t make excuses, go to a lawyer and find out how to protect yourself.If you’re the one who wants a divorce, figure out the family finances before you even tell your husband you want out. If your husband has been handling your finances, you may not know enough about what you have. Visit a divorce lawyer and a financial planner (preferably one who specializes in divorce planning) and get your financial ducks in a row before you even ask for a divorce.

2. Assume your lawyer will take care of everything.
For many women in our generation, getting taken care of was the norm. So when divorce strikes, our first inclination is to put our fate in the hands of a white knight, another protector, our lawyer. Yes, you need a lawyer, but before you even walk into that lawyer’s office, you must educate yourself about divorce law in general and your state’s laws in particular. Get on the Internet or buy a book and start researching. If you’re not fully educated and proactive, you will wind up with a settlement you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

3. Choose the wrong lawyer.
Don’t let desperation lead you to settle for the first lawyer you consult. When choosing a lawyer, consider his or her experience. You want a lawyer who specializes in divorce in your jurisdiction. The best way to get a good divorce lawyer is through a recommendation from a satisfied customer, preferably another older woman. So many women end up hating their attorneys that a satisfied customer is your best source of recommendations.

4. Fail to consult a lawyer at all.
If you can’t afford a lawyer, but your husband has substantial assets, you can ask the court to order that he pay your legal fees, which is not unusual in cases of extreme inequality of assets. If there is a possibility that you may get a substantial settlement from a wealthy husband but can’t pay your lawyer a retainer up front, an attorney may agree to accept payment on contingency, as with a personal injury case.

5. Rely on a mediator.
Mediators are supposed to resolve issues without conflict and save legal fees, but savvy divorce lawyers are adamant that you should not go to mediation unless the playing field is totally level between you and your husband. In order to get a settlement, mediators push the person most likely to agree – and that’s usually the woman. Mediators are supposed to be impartial and also inform both parties of their rights, but mediators are human and sometimes inadequately trained. If there are any contested financial issues, you may lose out big-time in mediation.

6. Fail to ask for enough alimony.
Marriage is a legal and economic partnership and should be viewed in the same way as a business partnership. A woman who stayed home has invested in the skills of her husband for twenty years. Instead of putting money in the bank, she put it into a person. Women need to calculate what that investment was and negotiate from that. Run the numbers: what would it have cost your husband to pay someone to take care of the children, clean the house, cook the meals, and facilitate his ability to work overtime and get better training? Project the numbers outward so you know what your income is likely to be in the future, before and after you start collecting Social Security and/or your husband’s pension. If you can’t run the numbers yourself, see a certified financial planner who specializes in divorce.

7. Insist on keeping the house.
Some houses can be more of a liability than an asset. Older divorcees need to run the numbers again before deciding to stay in the house. You may be better off selling the house and splitting the proceeds with your husband. Emotionally, it may also make sense to get out of a place you’ve lived in with him for twenty years and start fresh in an apartment or condo, where the maintenance is taken care of.

8. Get bogged down in the Tchotchke Wars.
Too many older women get obsessed with fighting over furniture, antiques, knickknacks, and other possessions, losing the big picture in the process. It’s easy to waste your time and worse, your attorney’s time, in petty battles, but fighting over minor possessions just makes negotiations on the important issues, like the house and support, more difficult. Follow the usual rule for splitting possessions: you both get what you came into the marriage with, and split the rest. As for things that you acquired jointly that you really want, be a savvy negotiator. Make a list of your must-haves, making sure to include some less important items that you’re willing to let go. Then “compromise” on the non-essentials.

9. Be overly anxious to get closure.
As attorney Elizabeth Bennett says, “If a woman hasn’t expected the divorce, she has a three-year learning process to deal with the three major issues: relationship and identity; home; and career. It can’t be done in six months and she can’t be pushed.” Too many women rush into divorce settlements that might be ill-advised because they’re seeking “closure,” but sometimes the desire for closure can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and a marginal one. Remember, a piece of paper does not give you closure. Only time and working on yourself can do that.

10. Believe your husband about his assets.
Women who have let their husbands handle the finances for twenty-five years have enormous resistance to finding out what the family’s assets really are. It may seem easier just to believe what your husband tells you, but as attorney Lynn Gold-Biken says, “When he decides to leave, he’s been to a lawyer and taken the financial documents out of the house.” She recommends not signing anything you don’t have a copy of, ever. Don’t sign anything without legal representation either. If you suspect your husband is hiding assets, talk to your lawyer about your options. You may be able to order him to produce financial documentation in court, or you may have to consult a forensic accountant to uncover his assets.

VN Editors
How much does breast reduction and lift surgery cost?
Fashion & Beauty
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Breast reduction and lift surgery is beneficial to emotional and physical health for many recipients. Women may choose to reduce their breast size to relieve pain or improve the aesthetics of their bodies, or for some combination of both. But health insurance companies may not cover the costs of what many consider to be an elective surgery, and plastic surgery is expensive. Is breast reduction and lift surgery at all an affordable option for you?

Surgery costs

Plastic surgery is not cheap, but breast reduction and lift surgeries are very common procedures. Statistics show that mature, older women are getting more plastic surgeries than ever before. As plastic surgery techniques become more common and technology becomes more affordable, the price of the surgeries adjusts accordingly. Nationally in 2010, a breast reduction for women costs around $5,500. A breast lift procedure costs around $4,000. However, many different factors go into the cost of individual breast reduction and lift surgeries.

  • Size of breast. The size and shape of the breasts will affect the procedure and the outcome, which of course will affect the cost. More time may be used in an operation involving extremely large breasts, for instance.
  • Procedures. Having a breast reduction and lift surgery at the same time may increase the total cost. By most plastic surgery catalogs, breast reduction surgery and breast lift surgery are two different procedures.
  • Geography. A breast reduction and lift surgery in a posh clinic in the heart of Manhattan is likely to cost more than the same procedure at a facility that caters to moderate-income patients in the middle of Des Moines, Iowa. Where you live and where you choose to have your surgery will factor into the overall cost.
  • Type of procedure. More than one type of breast reduction and lift surgery is possible. The most traditional method involves making a 12-inch incision around each breast. Newer techniques use liposuction to reduce the size of the breast, making much smaller cuts into the skin to facilitate the procedure. Women over the age of 50 make some of the best candidates for this type of breast reduction, which may be slightly more affordable than more traditional techniques.
  • The surgeon. A world-renown plastic surgeon has the reputation to charge more for his or her surgeries. Physicians’ fees make up a huge chunk of breast reduction and lift surgery cost. By no means should you choose to go with a more inexperienced surgeon in order to save money; do this, and you may be unsatisfied with the final results. However, always use good judgment. You do not necessarily need to have a plastic surgeon fly in from Edinburgh because he pioneered the plastic surgery movement.
  • After care. If you have additional surgery to address scarring from the procedure, this will cost extra unless it is initially included as part of the surgical agreement.
The unsinkable became the unthinkable and …
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that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

The experts were wrong...


I am not sure why, but for whatever reason, The TITANIC has taken up space in my realm of awareness; I keep seeing pictures of it, hearing references to it, and its storyline came up in a Facebook game I play. So when it showed up in the game” Criminal Case”,  I decided it’s time for me to take a closer look at the messages, lessons, or nudges that I’ve ignored .

I have been drawn to and watched several documentaries on its maiden and only voyage, the finding of what still exist of the wreckage still on the ocean floor. I’ve watched with my eyes wide open, ears perked, and gel pens in my hands taking notes.

If you only knew how much I hate and fear large bodies of water you would understand why I’m surprised and confused about why all of this has been in my energy field for a while now. OMG, is that why I hate large bodies of water and the thought of going on a cruise ship makes me cringe and want to upchuck – was I a victim on the Titanic in another lifetime??? LOL – Anyway….

I want to share with you a few things that make me go MMMM:

  • Warnings were ignored – Jack Phillips, the wireless telegraph operator didn’t pass on the messages he received from other ships about The Titanic being in the path of an iceberg and entering an ice field – he decided he would take those messages to the bridge at a later time. Nudge – sometimes later is too late…
  • It was called the Ship of Dreams BUT became the ship of Nightmares even for those who survived. I’m sure they had lots of nightmares after being safely in their homes because near death experiences aren’t something you just get over quickly. Nudge – someone else’s dream can become your nightmare and some things are too good to be true…
  • For many immigrants who were leaving the poorest of conditions in their home country for the promise of AMERICA; that voyage was the best time of their life. Nudge – sometimes living for the moment as if there will be no tomorrow is not by choice…

5 lessons I learned from the Titanic:

  1. Non-negotiable – the ice field and iceberg were non-negotiable and 37 seconds warning was not enough time to change course for the Titanic. We all have -ice-fields and icebergs ahead because there just are things in our life that are beyond our control and the sooner we recognize that truth “we” can decide what is negotiable.
  2. Experts can be wrong – The best ship experts of the day believed and stated often – it is the biggest, the best, and safest ever – it is unsinkable. Whelp, they were wrong – it took only 2 hrs and 40 min for it to sink.
  3. Be prepared – the ship’s captain, crew, and passengers believed the experts’ opinion that their ship was unsinkable – so The Titanic was not ready with enough life jackets or lifeboats to save its passengers. The passengers trusted that they were on the best possible ship and in the best possible care. Trust but verify…
  4. Take nothing for granted – Enjoy the moment – because the moments become hours and hours may be all we have – who knows… There are no guarantees for tomorrow.
  5. Trust your instincts – I wonder how many people ignored their gut when it said, “Don’t go on that voyage”? Intuition trumps logic every time.

It is Your turn: Please leave your answers below.

A.  Where in your life is something non-negotiable?

B.  Where in your life are/were the experts wrong?

C.  When did you trust or mistrust your instincts and lived to celebrate or regret it?

I’ll start us off.

Mistrust: In July of 2006 my gut/instincts kept telling me to NOT go on a road trip to Oklahoma from Georgia – I ignored my gut and went anyway. Whelp, we were in a terrible car wreck flipped in the air 4 times landing 600 feet from highway – it could have been life ending but God showed us favor.

I even had a dream about being in a car wreck a couple of weeks before we left and went anyway. In my dream I died and in real-life in my suitcase, I had the outfit that I died I in my dream, but chose not to wear that day.  Trust me when I say trust your gut instincts!

Come back soon for another cup of comfort!

Dr. Anna Garrett
5 Ways to Make Peace with Skin Changes in Menopause
Healthy Living
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One of my Hormone Harmony Club members recently had a hysterectomy. Within 4 weeks, she was posting questions about how to address the skin changes she was already starting to notice…wrinkles, sagging and dryness.

With the exception of puberty, there is no more challenging time for your skin than when you go through menopause (or in this case, instant menopause caused by the hysterectomy). Roller coaster hormones make all kinds of skin problems fair game in this time of your life.

With estrogen on the wane as menopause progresses, testosterone steps up to wreak havoc when it comes to what’s happening on your face. Surges of testosterone cause acne on your face, neck, back and chest. Stress also creates contributes to changing hormone levels and may make you more likely to break out.

While testosterone muscles up on the acne front, decreasing estrogen is working to break down your collagen and elastin and thin the dermis, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. You may also notice that your skin lacks the glow that it once had and that broken capillaries are appearing just below the surface of your skin. Hair becomes thinner and nails may break more easily.

So, what’s a gal to do? While these problems may seem like big obstacles to overcome, there are some simple things you can do to restore balance to your body and your skin.


Exercise increases your circulation and gets oxygen to your tissues. Not only will you feel better, but your skin will thank you.

Eat Clean

Approximately 30 percent the calories you consume should be from carbohydrates, and of those carbohydrates, the majority should come from fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals. Forty percent of your diet should be in the form of lean protein, and 30 percent from healthy fats. Keep salt to a minimum to avoid fluid retention.


Our bodies are mostly water. And our skin is our biggest organ. Makes sense, then, that you need lots of water to keep your skin healthy. Aim for at least ½ oz. per pound of body weight. This will flush your system and help your skin reclaim its glow.


The likelihood of skin cancer goes up as you age, especially if you were an “iodine and baby oil” teenager (you know who you are). Daily use of a broad-spectrum SPF is a must in all skincare regimens, but avoid sunscreen that contains hormone disruptors (avobenzone and oxybenzone).

Choose Cosmetics and Skin Care Wisely

As important as what goes into your body is what goes on your body. Choosing a skincare regimen that is right for you is vital. Look for products that use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients. You can find out more about the safety of your cosmetic products at

I also recommend having a consultation with a holistic aesthetician who can guide you in the use of herbs and oils for your skin. This can save you a LOT of money in the long run AND keep your skin looking beautiful.

Leaving a Spouse with a Mental Illness
Family & Relationships
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I haven’t spoken a lot why my marriage broke up but I think it is time now.


It will be 2 years in August that the papers where signed and the assets split 50/50. It took another year for the ex to comply and a Motion for Contempt filed for him to do so.


During our marriage of roughly eight years the ex lost 7 jobs and refused to take several not so grand positions since as he would scream for any to hear “I’m to good to work at that place.”


He had been diagnosed with major depression, panic attacks and paranoia.


He refused any treatment although he did take Wellbutrin for a while but it did no good.


I finally gave up trying to get him to accept mental health counseling when he kept me in our house, on the bed for two hours until I promised I would not leave him.


How was he able to keep me in the house. He lay on top of me (all 260 pounds of him) and held my wrists in a hold that did not give bruises (recall he is a doctor and knows how to do these things). I fought him like a she cat and when he finally let me lose since I promised not to leave I ran down the stairs, out the door and made it to a neighbor that did not even know me. They called the police, he was not arrested because I was not showing any cuts or bruises (I still could have filed but then he would have lost his license to practice medicine because of domestic abuse) I know, I know. It was just such a big mess and I was still trying to save our marriage and protect him from himself or so I thought.


It took another year, another job loss and a move to another place and his incessant need to scream at me telling me I don’t do anything for me to finally up and leave.


So why after all that and more that I won’t bore you with do I still feel like I should not have left, I still have the happily ever after blues, and I think about him almost daily although I have gone completely no contact.


As far as I know he did not kill himself and has a high paying job in CA. It is like it took the divorce for him to finally lose the weight (but too much weight), keep a job, keep a job at a place that he swore he was never going to work because he was too good for it (he now works in a county hospital basically caring for the poor.


Its funny, I tried to get him to volunteer his time but he refused until we were not speaking. Treating poor people was not good enough for him.


But the question remains, if the marriage was so horrible, why do I still think of him in the happily ever after. There was nothing happily ever after about it.


Don’t get me wrong. I am doing OK. My bills are paid, my job sucks but I still work at it because I am trying to save my settlement for my retirement, I am pretty healthy with a healthy weight, I have started volunteering at our center for the performing arts, and I haven’t been doing major things to damage myself in my grief.


So why am I still so wrapped up in him?


Just how long does it take to get over someone. It seems like some get out and move on quick and others, like me, are in some sort of suspension.


I don’t get it. Been in therapy. So I have done what I needed to do there.


Am I just stuck in the happily ever after?


Any opinion based on real life experience I would be grateful.


From the road,