Monday, November 30, 2015

Mature Fashion: Relieving Stress

Season's Greetings, Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

We all want to enjoy our holiday season as much as possible, yet every year it seems more and more people I know look with some sense of dread to this busy time of year.  In the interest of making the season as enjoyable as possible, here are some tips you may or may not know or remember to help maximize the pleasure and minimize the dread.

(1) Maintain your diet, exercise, and sleep routines.  Excess blood sugar readings create havoc with our temperaments and emotional well being.  Twenty minutes of exercise will automatically reduce stress levels by releasing the "feel good" endorphins.  Conversely, too much sugar, alchohol, smoking, and caffeine acerbate anxieties.  Maintaining a healthy diet, sleep, and exercise routines are the best things you can do to keep stress at a manageable level.  Ignoring them is the worst.

(2) Unplug  by taking a relaxation break twice a day, if possible.  For one of the breaks, get some fresh air by walking for at least 20 minutes, in a pastoral area if at all possible; a nearby park, better yet if you live in the in a rural or wooded area.  For your second break, "get hot" by taking a relaxing bath, or a sauna, if you have access to a sauna room.   If neither of these, bundle up warm and have a hot cup of tea, or even hot water.  The idea is to raise your body temperature. According to some experts, you will automatically reduce your level of stress.  According to others, chamomile tea, lemon tea, and green tea also has calming and relaxing effects (remember, if taking prescription medicines, consult with your physician for possible interactions, etc.)

(3) Meditation of any form is enormously effective in releasing stress.  It does not matter which form you choose, prayer, prayer beads, chants, mindful meditation, cognitive re-framing, focus on anything, then ask yourself a question about it. think about it, etc.)  yoga breathing, (breathe in to count of 4, hold for count of 7, release to count of 8) etc. It is especially helpful if you can evaluate your life for areas of which you are thankful and can express gratitude for the positive in your life rather than a focus on the negative. (The proliferation of gratitude and thankful statements on Facebook, etc. is pleasing because those individuals sharing those thoughts know what they are doing).  Self evaluations and positive  conversations with "self" are also beneficial.  It is okay to pat yourself on the back!

(4) Relaxing routines such as knitting,baking, and other "hands on" focus tasks can help reduce stress levels. Try to maintain any you may have at this time of year; it may be when you need it the most.

(5)  Aroma therapy works!! especially lavender.  Use scented candles (providing you are not allergic!), hang bows of evergreen, lavender sprigs, spiced cones, etc.  Whatever scents that you like.  They will boost your spirit and are known to have positive mental effects.

May your holiday season be as relaxed as

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mature Fashion: Holiday Fitness

Hello Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

The holiday season is the time we face the most challenging obstacles to our health; at best the season is stressful, we often are presented with far too many edible temptations, we may drink more fattening beverages, and the weather is uncomfortable for performing our usual physical activities. In addition, we are faced with guilt because we succumb to the temptations, which in itself, is bad for our health!!

In my "illusion diet", we use our garments themselves to create an illusion of weight loss (or gain).  That will suffice generally if you do not gain over 1-3 pounds. (more than that, the garments may not fit).  Considering the average American eats between 3,500-5000 calories on Thanksgiving day alone, it is important to find ways to limit or prevent excessive indulgence on these temptation wrought occasions.
Step Machine plus Hallmark

I am not going to bore you with all the helpful hints (eat before going to the party, only eat vegetables as appetizers, no seconds, etc.) Any or all of these suggestions work-we all know that, but too often it is difficult to resist, especially if we are drinking any alcoholic beverage at the time).  I can only share with you some little tricks I have found that work for me.

I break up my festivities on a major holiday; I always eat a rather hearty breakfast with more protein and fiber than usual on these days. I make it festive and I find that the more substantial breakfast keeps me from getting too hungry before the main holiday meal.  I do drink a lot of water and tea with the meal.  l do munch on fruits and veggies liberally before leaving my home.  I  do find this is a pleasant way to feel indulgent for far less calories.  If I do this, I find it rather easy to have just a small portion of all the goodies.  If offered a cocktail or wine with appetizers before dinner, I usually drink sparkling water with lemon or lime during this time to cut down on both calories and temptation. (I find sparkling water, especially with a big of juice or lemon or lime gives me a festive feeling).  I try to limit myself to one glass of wine during dinner because, for me, I know I am likely to eat more if I have more wine. I always make sure I drink two glasses of water for every one glass of wine.  It means going to the bathroom a bit more, but it is worth it. I t makes it easier to remember most medicines you take regularly do not want you to consume much alcohol.

 All of this assumes you are leaving your home for the occasion; at our ages, many of us are hosting the dinner, etc.  If so, it is a double edged sword.  You have the additional temptations of sampling the goodies before serving, and time constraints that can make it more difficult. The only thing I have found that works for me is to make as much ahead of time as possible. Spreading the calorie overload from sampling is easier (for me) over several days prior to the big dinner.  I also try to send as many high fat/high sugar left overs as possible home with guests. I freeze as much of remaining left overs as soon as possible.

More importantly, to me at least; I try to not sit for long periods of time during the day.  I want to keep my metabolism up.  It is also a great time to bond with family members you might not see frequently.  I usually find someone is game for a walk around the block soon after dinner; I try to include standing in conversations, rather than just sitting.  If you are the hostess, you probably are getting your exercise in "housework Aerobics"!

I have a party to attend next weekend that I know will have almost all the same tempting choices as Thanksgiving dinner. I am going to try to practice diligently each of my own tips; my sugar level was up a bit this morning just from sampling my own cooking and less exercise because of the bitterly cold and rainy weather. (hence the stepper)..not complaining!  We need the rain desperately. We would then have snow as it is expected to freeze tonight. (we get snow about once every twenty-five years).

In the mean time, if you have the time, happy

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mature Fashion: Rocking Skincare

A face Mask needed for almost all types
Good Morning Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

Today we are discussing the largest organ in your body; your skin. Most of us concentrate on caring for the skin on our face, however the skin of the entire body needs regular loving care.

You know there are five body shapes and the areas on which we focus will vary depending upon our shape.  The same principle holds true for our skin; our skin may be dry, it may be oily, it may be sensitive to scent or other chemicals, and it can be any combination of those above.  It also may need special handling because of its color.  Black skin can become ashy with or without use of certain products; some skin has large pores, some skin has fine pores.  As you can see, the combinations can be very specific.  It is up to you to first identify your skin type before you can choose the right products for you. As always, if you believe you are caring for your skin properly, and are still having problems, you should visit a dermatologist.

However, there are a few basics that apply to all skin and should be practiced by all, no matter the skin type.  It is important to identify the degree of attention and the type necessary.

There are four things any mature woman must NEVER neglect:

 1) Keep your skin moisturized; most mature women have large dry skin areas on legs, etc. that are not properly moisturized, especially in winter. The neckline area is another often neglected extension of the face.

It is important to apply an appropriate  skin lotion religiously all over the body.  Make sure to are use a moisturizer that has just the right ingredients to keep the skin moisturized. There is no "one size fits all".  Just like in fashion, each person is an individual and must seek out the very best products for  her skin. It is also important to realize that our winter skin products usually need to be different than those we wear in the summer; the weather, the activities, etc. in which we participate are often very different.  Usually the same time to wear cold weather clothing is the time to change, and the reverse in  early summer or spring, depending upon the climate. One of the most effective procedures I have found is both inexpensive, and messy.  When my skin is very dry, once a month I slather a heavy cream product mixed with a little almond oil all over my body, put on sweat shirt, sweat pants, and socks, and wear it overnite.  By morning most of it has soaked into the skin.

It is important to remember that hydration, moisturizing, begins within.  You may not be getting enough water to keep your skin healthy. Getting sick, exercising, dry heat sources, all can deplete moisture from your skin.  The recommended 8 to 10 glasses of water per day helps keep you skin hydrated.  Eating lots of fruits and vegetables also aids in keeping your skin moisturized.  In addition water dense fruits containing lots of vitamins A and C are believed to promote natural collagen production and replenish nutrition. Fruits such as bananas and avocados also supply natural "good" fats to our bodies. Berries, melons, and citrus fruits help promotes healthy skin; and of course, there is always spinach. (Do you notice how all the same foods keep popping up when we discuss health?-that's why I am a Nutritarian.)

2) Cleanse the face thoroughly every single night before sleeping. Many times removing the make-up, etc. Is not thorough enough and needs a second cleansing.  It is important to know the ingredients to determine the harshness of the cleansing product.  If it has added color, fragrance, bubbles, or anything saying "anti-bacterial", it may not be suitable for your skin.  

Cleanse again upon arising because you want to remove any dead cells, etc. generated during the night ( If you have used an exfoliating product of any kind, you want to rinse them away, not trap them under the skin)

3) Avoid exposing your skin to excess sunlight by using sunscreen, or at least wear a hat that covers the face, and sleeves. Wear cotton gloves, if necessary to cover hands and arms, and avoid, if possible performing errands, etc. In the central part of the day when the sun's rays are the most harmful. Melanin (the natural  pigment that allows us to get a tan rather than burn) ,declines as we age, and by the time we are "mature" women, it is vital we get some protection from the sun.

For those of you who do not wish to apply some of the chemical ingredients of commercial products, you still need sun protection., especially with the depletion of the ozone layers. Even if you don't wear sunscreen on your face, you should consider wearing it on your hands and arms; fortunately, many women prefer long sleeved garments because of less toned upper arms, etc.  The back of the hands is usually the most neglected areas.

4) Exfoliate.  We all know our skin cells do not reproduce as quickly as when we were younger.  It is vital to remove dead skin before it can clog the pores.  We must cleanse gently and thoroughly to keep our skin clear.

There are many strategies and conflicting information regarding proper exfoliation.  Some women can get by just by lightly scrubbing their face with a rough washcloth.  Some people (certainly almost all product manufacturers!) want you to use an exfoliation product every single day), and of course, there are suggestions varying all numbers in between. (personally, I find I cannot use any product daily)  Face masks also come into this category. They should be used regularly, but the frequency will vary from person to person.

If your budget allows, spas offer every conceivable type of body wrap to exfoliate, apply facials, etc.  But, like almost all beauty routines, there are marvelous OTC versions of scrubs and the internet has dozens more do it yourself concoctions that are safe, effective, and budget friendly.  Once a month I try to have a professional pedicure, callous removal, and exfoliation of my heels.

My monthly Pedicure and foot care routine.
One other consideration must be taken if you wish to have beautiful skin; you must pay attention to what goes IN your body.  More than one glass of alcohol, smoking in any amount, excess sugar and the wrong kind of fats can reek havoc on your skin.  Another consideration is the amount of exercise you get; the blood circulation both feeds the skin and removes toxins.  Good skin needs good health practices.

Always remembering that our face and skin is usually the "first" of the first impressions we wish to be positive, we must take good care of it.  We will post more in depth articles on skin care as it relates to products, skin types and care, and skin nutrition as time goes on.

Personally, (and this just applies to me-like styling, all skin care is individual) I am a nutritarian in my skin care as well as in my diet.  At this time I am exploring more plant and animal based skin products.  

For example, I have found a blend of yogurt and honey to be the best skin cleanser for my face.and I use it almost every day.  If I have foundation on that day, (I do not wear foundation at home) I cleanse first with a gentle OTC cleanser called Cetaphil (for sensitive skin) which works well for me (good reports from all sources I have read over many years), then use my yogurt cleanser after that.  I also gently steam my face for a few minutes.  I then apply whichever night product I am wearing that night and gently rub that into my skin until fully absorbed.  I rub a little almond oil directly into the skin of arms, legs, and chest area. My skin has been going through another change and I am experimenting with some new and hopefully, more effective products.  I am a bit skeptical over some of the newer serums because of long term effects of use.  Cosmetics are not as regulated as I would like and I don't believe everything I see or hear.

By The Way, I DO NOT recommend these high speed brush cleansers; unless your dermatologist specifically believes you should use one, I believe most of them are too harsh for more mature skin.  I also believe a professional skill is needed to be used properly.

Take inventory of your beauty products; if you are using the same products you used over a decade ago, you probably need to consider better options.  If you have not changed, you can bet your skin has.

.......Happy Thanksgiving,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mature Fashion: Rocking "Sleep"

I need it, don't I?.....
Hello Fashionistas & Stylinistas;

Today we are going to discuss sleep and the amount we need to "rock" anything.  If you are a young woman you can recover from  a certain amount of abuse to your mind and body by staying up almost all night.  You can also use a bit of under eye concealer, a splash of cold water on your face, and look like you had your usual eight hours.  Not so when you reach a certain age. (effects do vary from person to person).  In addition, there is a mountain of evidence that cognitive decay is very much affected by lack of sleep.

It is normal for our sleep patterns to change as we age; most people's do. We may have trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, and have more interruptions during our sleep.  What is even more important the REM sleep patterns that are so necessary for our health are also diminished.  Many times this may occur because of side effects of necessary medicines that have been prescribed to us because of health conditions.

Hopefully, anyone with severe problems in sleeping is already seeking treatment from a doctor.  Here, however, are a few tips I use from articles I have read and  found to be somewhat effective when I am able (or motivated enough) to use them. 

Of course, we all know we should not drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or eat a meal  for several hours before bed, but drinking a soothing hot drink such as chamomile or pure mint teas is reported to be calming.  Drinking cherry juice is also reported to be effective, however, acidity and sugar content must be considered.  There are some reports that drinking warmed milk at the same sitting as drinking cherry juice increases the benefits of the melatonin in the cherry juice and the calcium in the milk. (wasn't  drinking warm milk an old fashioned nightcap?)  Personally, I never drink juice because of the sugar content, and rarely drink milk for its fat and sugar content because I am diabetic and I don't need that sugar content just before bed.  I do take melatonin in pill form occasionally, a practice endorsed by my doctor.  I am trying to work more cherries in my diet to get the natural ingredient.  I also take a high grade magnesium tablet and the ubiquinol (CQ10), also endorsed by my doctor.  AS ALWAYS, consult your own doctor before taking any supplement or following any diet.  As you know, inter-drug conflicts can occur with most drugs, herbs, supplements, and certain foods.  Just because my doctor believes the above regimen is safe for me does not mean it is safe for you!

I believe very much in keeping away from television, computer, and other high intensity artificial light just before bed. (I tape the late evening shows and watch them the next day, if possible). I do believe that playing environmental and other calming music helps me to sleep earlier and better. (Because I have now made this statement in writing to you, I trust I will be more consistent about this!)

Other treatments such as aromatherapy, over the counter herbal tablets are highly recommended by some, using a rocking chair or glider, if you have one;   I have yet to try them all. One other no-no for getting deep sleep is not to let your animals sleep with you; I have two indoor cats and they do NOT take kindly to this suggestion.  Fortunately, they don't like my restlessness, so they don't crowd me (very much).

I do try to do my exercise routine (when I force myself to do the routines) earlier in the day. There have been some studies that report the exercise in the morning helps relieve stress during the day, thereby relieving anxiety at night.  I am also trying to get into a regular yoga session every evening before my "power down". (Ditto to the posting statement!)

"Power Down" is a routine I read about a few weeks ago.  The routine suggests one hour before you plan on going to bed.  In other words, turn on calming music, perform any last minute "have to" chores for 15 to 20 minutes (relieves mind of thinking about them), spend 30 minutes getting ready for bed (removing make-up, brushing teeth, un-dressing, etc.) and the remaining 10 minutes just meditating and listening to nothing but your breathing.

I am not sure how successful I will be, but I am giving it a try because I know I am not getting enough sleep.  It is recommended 8-10 hours; I have trouble getting six hours.  I am hoping to force myself into an acceptable routine while I am doing the research for this blog.

Remember, if you look good, you feel good; if you don't feel good, it is hard to have the energy to look good.  Getting enough rest is vital to "rocking" age.  This is especially important to all of us "mature women'

Sleep well this evening..........Happy styling today.................Geneva

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mature Fashion: Rocking Exercise

Good Morning, Fashionistas and Stylinistas:

Lets face it-there is no way you can "rock your age" unless you have some degree of physical fitness. Although this statement is true for persons of any age, I believe it is absolutely necessary for a mature women. We simply cannot have any "quality of life" without it.  As mentioned in my initial post, I am not giving any form of medical advice as to what specifics one should take with health, but passing on information that has been helpful to keep me looking and feeling my best; to "rockmyages", so to speak.

I am going to pass on three routines that I believe have helped me maintain my physical fitness adequately for the past several years. 

The first rountine I call my "housework aerobics".  I simply combine many of my regular household chores with light exercise.  When I am cleaning my kitchen counters, rinsing dishes in the sink, cleaning bathrooms, etc., I make sure I am marching in step rather than just standing.  I try and do this for any activity that requires me to stand in place.  I try to use a feather duster every day to lightly sweep over surfaces.  I am stretching and lifting my arms while keeping my home dust free.  I also vacuum at least twice a week (I have cats) and use the motions to "keep me movin"".

The second principle I apply to myself ; I try to limit any sit down activity to no more than 20 minutes before rising and moving my body for at least five minutes before resuming any sit down activity. (you can always do this when watching television; there is never more than 20 minutes before at least a few minutes worth of commercials, usually at least 5 minutes of mulltiple commercials!!)_

I really believe in this exercise routine; One of the most effective and easiest workouts I have seen was published by AARP, called the AARP 15-minute Workout.  It is the only really regular fitness routine I have been able to stick with. (I am trying to improve, but I am not there yet-future posts!!-another reason for me to write this blog).  

It is a quick interval combination of six exercises combining body weight exercises and blood pumping aerobic activity.  It has been the only one I have been able to stick to and that I can fit into my daily schedule on a regular basis. Each of these exercises have 3 repetitions, exercise increasing with each repetition.  If you cannot complete all of them, give yourself permission to stop at any time and/or not do all of them.  Remember, any number you perform is better than not doing any.

1.  High Step-March in place.  On every fifth step, lift one of your legs up high (I always assume they mean to alternate). first set for 15 seconds, second set for 45 seconds, and final set for 60 seconds.  Rest for 30 seconds after each set.

2.  Presses-Hold a soup can (or light weights) in each hand.  Press them straight over your head and bring them back down.. 6 reps, then 9 reps, then 12 reps with 30 seconds rest in between sets.

3.  Squats-Squat down as though you were sitting on a chair.  Lift and repeat. 8 reps, then 12 reps, then 15 reps.  Rest 30 seconds in between each set of reps.

4.  Walk in place-15 seconds; 30 seconds; 45 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between.

5.  Toe Touch-Bend forward at the waist.  Reaching for your toes, hold and release.  Try and hold for 30 seconds each of 3 times.

6. Crunches-Lie on your back, feet on the floor with knees bent.  Bring your shoulders off the floor; hold and release. Hold for 15 seconds each of 3 times. 

NOTE:  If you are doing this routine where you can't lay on the floor, you can do a modified one sitting in a stable chair using your elbows to reach knees. Consult and exercise guru for exact details. I am no fitness expert.

According to the article, performance of this routine regularly will build a solid base of general and basic physical fitness. As always, consult your health professional before engaging in any physical routine. (disclaimer,you know..I have been a business professional for many years prior to my "retirement"). I did find one site I really thought were helpful for mature women and men:

I have to admit; I hate regular conventional exercise programs.  I have never successfully been able to attend regular gym classes.  I dislike the feeling of failure if I can't keep up with the rather public routine, and I don't like the whole dressing, showering, etc. environments; I also do not like the frequency of infections, etc. that seem to proliferate regularly at these establishments

I have found the only way I can really "keep moving" (number one rule for a diabetic according to my doctor) is to incorporate continuous physical actiivity into my daily routines. I have a part time job at a patio furniture store; the nature of the work requires one to be somewhat active and perform physical activities on a regular basis. I have reached an age where it is difficult to do too many days in a row, and I cannot perform all of the physical activity I could a few years ago.  I have decreased work hours to the level I can comfortably handle, and probably will not remain in that work for many more years.  I do wish to keep it as long as I am able because of the enforced physical work, and I love the interaction with my customers and co-workers.  I also try and do chores around my home that are commensurate with my physical abilities.  It is not that I dislike office work; I love it, but I am living proof of the dangers of spending too much time behind the desk.  I am working right now on regulating the time I sit at the computer writing this blog and its associated activities.

I am searching out easy routines for mature women and other suggestions to help us feel good physically as we are living our decades.  My next personal goal is to find a simplified stretch program that works for me.  Please send any suggestions to or comment directly to the blog (if you can; some of my readers have said there are problems getting on without divulging private information, etc.

BTW, the picture in the upper left hand corner is me doing a few leg lifts while waiting for a friend to attend to some business.  I try to take advantage of opportunity to keep myself healthy.

Remember to read "" and "" for new styling tips and general fashion information.......Have a great day...........Geneva

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mature Fashion: Rocking "Diet"

Hello Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

Let's begin with general health;

I am lucky enough to have only diabetes type 2 as a current health condition; I say "lucky" because although I can never "reverse" it (no matter the ads), I can at least control my numbers and minimize the side effects.  Thanks to Public Television (PBS), I discovered a few very reputable doctors who have written authoritative books, etc. on diets that really do help.  Dr. Mark Hyman, (Blood Sugar Solution,) Dr. Joel Fuhrman, (End of Diabetes), Dr. Robert Lustig (Fat Chance & Sweet Revenge), and Dr. Steven Masley ( Heart Tune-up & Ten Years Younger).  I have watched their PBS shows several times, and have even read the books.  Most nutritionists I have met know who they are and recommend their diets.

Now, before I go on, I have never met any of these doctors, nor do they know who I am.  I receive absolutely no compensation of any sort from or on behalf of them, but I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am that PBS introduced me to their work.  I do not follow to the letter every thing they advise me to do, but I do as much as fits in with my life style.  I truly do feel much better and my health is great compared to most of my friends and acquaintance and family members.

I do have a horrible genetics history (father and aunt died before age 60) concerning cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, all of which run rampant in my family.  I try to make sure I remain reasonably heart healthy, although I refuse (at this time, anyway) to continue to take the statins that have been prescribed to me for many years.  I had an angiogram about ten years ago that was clear; I consistently run high numbers with medicine, diet that limits animal products, and reasonable exercise.  I refuse to take more medicine, especially since there have been repeated multiple studies that show there is only a correlation between heart disease and cholesterol rather than a causal effect.  

As a result of the PBS shows, purchase of the books of the authors, and repeated use of the suggestions, I have become a "nutritarian" treating my food as medicine.  I do take a single Metformin table, a low dose Lisinopril, and a low dose thyroid medicine but use lifestyle to "Rock My Age". I try to eat no more than 10 servings per week of any animal product, and try as much as possible to eat organic foods.  I buy no packaged or prepared foods except high grade whole grain breads, and the occasional Cosco organic frozen Ravioli.  My numbers and health has never been better.

Probably more information here than you want or need; I only post it to demonstrate how seriously I believe that just a little change here and there can really help provide the quality of life we all want in our older age; qualify as I will be 73 in April.

Please share with me your tips and suggestions to use diet to help "rock my age"; and share with others who might benefit.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mature Fashion; You Gotta Be Fit!

Hello Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

Welcome from the newest member of the "Rockmy..."  series, (,, and  Rock My Fitness is a blog dedicated to the idea that if you do not feel good, you probably are not looking so good. You note the theme through the other blogs that is you" look good, you will feel good", unfortunately, if your general fitness is so bad that you do not have the energy to even get dressed, much less choose a flattering outfit, put on make-up, etc., it will be difficult to accomplish any level of feeling good about  oneself.

Fortunately, most people can feel much better physically than they do with just a very few steps. This blog is all about tips and suggestions that are relatively easy to fit into anyone's lifestyle.  It will focus on diet, relaxation,  and exercise tips that will help us "rock"...Geneva