Here’s a Friday Five that will get you heading toward the weekend with a smile on your face!
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You want to know a great way to beat the winter blahs? Glow your way through those gray days and skin-drying frosts! A little less sunshine and indoor exposure to heat blasts through vents doesn’t have to leave you looking dull. Here are some simple ways to get a winter glow going!
Sun up. I’ve mentioned before that I love Maybelline’s BB (Beauty Balm) foundations and the numerous reasons why, which include the dewy finish, its 30 spf skin protection, and its moisturizing effect. So, for me, it was a natural transition to the Bronze BB for my summer make-up routine. I ended up using it long after summer was over because of the sun-kissed look it gives. For the winter glow (versus I-just-got-back-from-my-virtual-tropical-location look), stick to the shade that is closest to your natural skin tone.
Baby kisses. I realize Maybelline isn’t the first brand that pops to mind when we’re talking about more mature skin, but the same qualities that make it a more youth-oriented product are the qualities that make it a great choice to add glow at any age. Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush is a favorite of mine because of the sheerness and, well. . . the instant flush you get with a quick swipe! This isn’t all-day hearty color, it’s more of quick pinch to the cheeks without the ouch-factor!
Sassy scarves. Adding a pop of color around your neck can reflect up and warm your skin tone. Try one with some metallic threads, sequined fringed, or a bit of sparkle to get the winter glow to grow!
Hair Dare. Balk at the notion that only summer hair can shimmer and winter hair needs to have warmer hues. Add some traditional highlights for a sun-kissed look. Feeling a little more adventurous? Add a playful glint with a few strands of hair tinsel or hair flare!
Effervescent earrings. I’m not talking about serious bling here – we’re going for a glint. A bit of eye-catching sparkle that seems like a dusting of new sparkly snow.
Pop eyes. We’ve been told for years that women of a certain age shouldn’t wear eyeshadow with frost in it. Pishaw! Well, maybe that baby-blue frosted eyeshadow concoction that seemed to circulate through every junior high in America during a particular decade should be avoided, but don’t shun the metallic shimmer. My favorite for a little sparkle is the bronzed Loreal duo pictured below (color 910).
Eye additions. Speaking of eyes, reading glasses come in some fun options. Bring on the glow with a smattering of sparkle across the top of the frames or a glint of glitter on the sides.
Shimmering smiles. I love Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick. Excuse me for sounding a bit like a commercial here, but it really is moisturizing and comes in great colors with finishes that range from a soft gleam to pearlized. And all for a reasonable drugstore price. I didn’t realize how many different colors I have in this line until I was rummaging through my stash looking for the correct names of my favorites to pass on to you. So, my personal top two go-tos are Rosewine (for a neutral gleam) and Toast of New York for a bit of bronzed pizzaz!
Let’s celebrate winter! Ready? Set? GLOW!
I have the perfect combination for you! Doctors have been telling us for years how stress can cause all sorts of bad stuff – health issues, emotional issues, psychological issues. Finding ways to diffuse stress is a million-dollar business (squeezy ball anybody?). But worth it, right? Because less stress equals a happier, healthier us. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to get big relief from too much stress. Studies show that thinking about positive memories can have the stress-reducing effect that many of us are in need of. So here’s that perfect combo I promised you: take a little a stress-reducing trip down memory lane with one of these nostalgic stress busters. Bonus: each one costs under five dollars!
2. Silly Putty. Yes – it’s still around! Remember how it works? We used to press it on to comics, then roll it off and the comic image would transfer to the putty – just waiting to be stretched and distorted. Newspaper ink doesn’t lift like it used to, but pencil lead still does. Grab a pencil and make a list of those stress-inducing aggravations. Roll your putty over them. Then stretch them until they are unrecognizable and do a final blot-out by squishing the mass into a ball. Now smooth out your not-so-silly-putty and return it to its egg until it’s time to take on the next stresser! (Under $2)
3. Jacks. The perfect rhythm-building distraction. For a more authentic youthful experience, sit on the floor, legs crossed in the universal kid-sit way. For those of us who might never be able to get back up from such a position, a desk top works just fine for the bounce, scoop, bounce, scoop-more stress-busting activity! (Under $5 for the metal ones – even less for plastic)
4. Paper airplane. Fly your worries away! Write down those irksome issues that are causing you anxiety on a nice cool piece of paper. Take a trip back in time and fold up your paper, creating a calming rhythm as you smooth your creases, creating your paper-problem-navigator. Once you have that nose nice and pointy, sail your problems into the closest wall for a satisfying crunch. For the grand finale? Sail your plane into a bucket or sink full of water and watch the problems literally breakdown. Now, doesn’t that feel good? (Free!)
5. Play-Doh. Craft some shapes that represent your time-wasting worries. Got them all lined up and ready for destruction? Now aggressively flatten each one with a hand, rolling pin, or (remember Mr. Bill?) your car. When those Play-Doh stressers see you coming at them, full speed ahead, they’ll say:
“Getting Fierce” doesn’t mean “total deprivation.” It’s about being strong – being our best. And sometimes our best us needs a little splurge. Let me be clear: this isn’t about health food. I’m not going to tell you about something wonderful and follow that with how you should cut out some of the good stuff from it to make it “better.” I’m not going to talk about carbs, calories, or sugar counts. Nope – we’re just talking about that once-in-a-while-I-don’t-care-no-holds-barred SPLURGE. Here are 5 of our summer favorites:
2. Coffee gets cooler. Is that even possible? Yes! With a frosty java option such as Panera’s Frozen Mocha or Starbucks’ Frappuccino. The latter offers a mini-version for those who are just wanting to dip a toe in the splurge waters; you know – kind of a splurge-lite!
3. Fair Food. I’m always on the lookout for a good Strawberry Newport. Custard on a flaky pastry bed, robed with fresh sweetened strawberries, and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. If there’s no fair in sight, my quick at-home version not only works, it makes a great company desert! The ingredients are (1) puff pastry (thawed and cut in rectangles) (2) sweetened strawberries (we often stir in a little amaretto or raspberry liquor for an adult version) (3) French Vanilla Instant Pudding (use a little less milk than called for so it’s thicker) and whipped cream. Cook your puff pastry per box directions, and split in half when cool. Just before serving: spoon in the pudding, ladel on your strawberries, and blast with whipped cream. Mmmmmm!
4. Time travel. Delicious summer treat meets blast-from-the-past with a root beer float. But not just any root beer will do here. For a true taste of yesteryear, we need the vanilla notes of A&W’s draft root beer. Add some creamy vanilla ice cream for the perfect marriage!
5. A little adult time. You don’t have to be poolside to put a tropical twist on a hot summer day. Swap out the lemonade for a fruity cocktail that will cool you down – kind of like an adult Slurpy. But make sure you avoid the adult-size brain-freeze that can come with it if you drink it too fast! Click HERE or on the picture for some fun recipes from Serious Eats – with options from the basic (frozen gin and tonic) to more the exotic (frozen Mezcal Paloma, anyone?) there’s something for everybody!
We have been absolutely remiss! Can’t believe it’s been almost five months since we sent you into the weekend with a few chuckles. Well, to make up for that we’ll add a couple of extra smile this go-round. For today’s Friday Five we’ve plucked seven of our favorite Facebook posts from the past few month that are sure to send you into the weekend with a smile on your face!
If you want to catch up on Friday Five Funnies you may have missed, here are the links for the first four:
There are great eyeglass choices out there these days – studious, whimsical, retro – something for every personality. But no matter how much pizazz your frames have, your eyes should still be the stars of your face. Often the eyes end up with a facial supporting role, the sparkle dimmed by a layer of glass and lashes that disappear behind frames. It’s time to get those orbs back to center stage! Here are 5 tips to get those peepers to POP from behind glasses:
2. Go nude. Don’t go off topic here – we’re still talking make-up, people. (Remember, we’re trying to keep the focus on the eyes.) Many of us adopted the tried-and-true Hollywood-habit of lining the inside of our lower lids with white pencil to brighten the appearance of our eyes. Unfortunately, donning glasses can turn soft emphasis into racing-stripes. To avoid the harsh effect, trade your white pencil for a nude shade like this waterproof pencil from Rimmel.
3. Modify mascara. All my make-up-wearing life I purchased only mascara that promised to add yards to my lash-length. If the lashes didn’t tickle my eyebrows, the mascara wasn’t doing its job! I hung onto that goal long after eyeglasses became part of my daily wardrobe and lash-tips were hidden behind frames. The only evidence of the impressive length was the less-than-impressive smears across the glass where my lashes bumped up against it as the day wore on. Then I saw a tip from a make-up pro who suggested focusing on lash thickness rather than length. What? That would require a whole-new mindset! Remembering my commitment to embrace change, I plunged right into a brand new way of doing things. Just take your mascara up to the half-way point of your lashes, then wiggle the wand left and right a few times. That action bulks up the middle of the lashes and creates a natural-looking frame for the eye that can be seen through the glass!
4. Tame the brows. To aovid the Groucho Marx effect, smooth scraggly brows. You don’t need to invest in brow wax or a specialized product – you’ve already got what you need for this lightweight job. Dot a little hair gel, dab a little petroleum jelly, or give a quick once-over with chapstick to smooth away anything that distracts from your smiling eyes!
5. Set the light. A shear touch of color on top of your cheek bones, directly under each eye, gives off a glow that sets of your popping peeps beautifully! I liked Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush – the name says it all!
Whether it’s for aging parents, special needs children, or relatives with health issues, providing substantial care for another can take a toll on the one providing the care. Some of you have walked – or are walking – this path and have experienced the physical, emotional, or financial challenges involved. Most of us know someone who is a caregiver and stand in awe of the commitment that goes into providing such care regardless of whether it is by choice or necessity. And many of us wonder if there is a way we can help ease the burden, even just a little, for someone we care about who is caring for another. Here are 10 ideas to give your favorite caretaker a break and put a smile on his or her face!
NOTE: AARP offers a free download of its e-manual The AARP Guide to Caregiving that can be very helpful. The manual covers topics such as health, housing, legal matters, emotional transitions, and available resources. You can also do an on-line search of the title to find a pdf version that can be downloaded directly to your computer.
It usually takes weeks – months for some of us – to drop 5 pounds. But why wait to actually lose weight when you can look 5 pounds slimmer today? I offer, finally, options for looking slimmer that exclude the crazy suggestion to don ankle-breaking high heels and wear pants long enough to give the illusion your legs are an unnatural foot longer. I’m all about looking lean – but not at the expense of comfort! Which is why I’m also not going to talk about shapewear. And, just when you think it can’t possibly get better, as an added bonus you will not see the words exercise, pill, or broccoli uttered below. Here are 5 easy ways to get your slim on – instantly!
I love Mother’s Day! Each year I treat a group of moms to a special meal and a bit of fussing over.
When I began this event 15 years ago, it was just for my mom, two aunts, and a dear friend, all of whom lived in the neighborhood. My cousins and my friend’s son lived out-of-state, so I filled in the gap. Then I began inviting other ladies whose children lived away, and now the annual number of guests is 8-10, ages 60+ to 90-something. I usually try out new recipes for the occasion, and I make sure there are options for everyone’s individual dietary needs. But my favorite thing to do is to provide some kind of inexpensive party favors, so they can take a bit of the fun home with them! Following are some of the fun finds that put a smile on my guests’ faces!
Early on, when the number of guests began growing, I bought shelf-sitters from a home décor catalog. A set of six was about $15, or $2.50 per guest. One year they were all fruit-related; another year they were different flowers.
Then shelf-sitters disappeared from the catalog,* so I began haunting dollar stores. One year I bought little glass vases for $1 each, and put a bloom in each one. There was the year of miniscule tea pots, the year of faux ceramic baskets of flowers, the year of faux tulip and daffodil planters.
One year I filled little gift bags with travel sized hand creams, tissues, and lip balms. Another time I gave each lady a small jar of artisan jam.
Two years ago, I made homemade linen spray, which I put into colorful dollar store spray bottles that also served as place markers. (Mom still requests refills when hers runs out!) And last year each guest got a flat plastic vase filled with tiny marbles and water. The marbles inflated to help keep the vases stable when flowers are added; they made the table look quite festive!
It’s an enjoyable challenge to come up with a new idea every year! Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s…
*A variety of shelf-sitters can still be found on-line from different distributors.
Guest blogger Natine Abreu-Shaw is a recalibrated woman of the Sandwich Generation, who enjoys writing and occasionally mines her mind, flexes her fingers, and publishes her pith at Write-MindedWoman.com – when she is able to take a break from some of her other pet (pun intended!) projects – such as writing as the persona of her fur-kids at their Facebook home Corgi Characters!
If knowing the weekend is right around the corner isn’t enough of a reason to put a smile on your face, let us give you five more reasons! We picked 5 favorites from our Facebook page to send you into the weekend with a chuckle!
If you want to catch up on Friday Five Funnies you may have missed, here are the links for the first three: