Fun Spring Activities for Baby Boomers

Who doesn’t love spring when longer days brighten the sky, birds sing joyfully, and trees begin sprouting bright new leaves? Even here in the California desert where I live, wildflowers bloom, jacaranda trees explode with purple flowers, and cacti burst with flowers in brilliant colors.

photo springSince a lack of sunlight during short, winter days can adversely affect older adults’ moods,  aren’t you baby boomers ready to celebrate this spectacular time of year? I’ve updated a previous blog to list six fun spring activities baby boomers can enjoy as weather permits, no matter your age.

Take A Spring Break

Who says college students are the only ones who can take a spring break? We baby boomers get itchy feet too and there are lots of sunny places to visit. U.S. News’ list of top five cheap spring break destinations included Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, New Orleans, South Padre Island, and Key West.

This is the perfect time to visit one of the National Parks before the summer crowds hit. According to AARP, baby boomers have seen more national parks than other generations – on average 14. But since there’s 58 in the U.S., there’s plenty more to see!

Need to stay closer to home? A weekend trip to a local beach or lake may be just the ticket. Or simply enjoy a Sunday drive on a road you’ve never taken before. Rent a convertible for extra fun and wind your way to a nearby town or park you’ve been meaning to explore.

Plant a Garden

One of my favorite activities is picking out seeds or plants at the garden center with my grandchildren and planting them when we get home. 

The joy of walking outside, enjoying the beauty of greenery shining in the sun, the sound of bees buzzing nearby, plopping an irresistible strawberry in your mouth, and then gathering vegetables and deliciously aromatic herbs for a recipe – what better way to celebrate spring!

If you don’t have space for a garden, visit a Farmer’s Market.

Eat Al Fresco

Spring is finally here and we have that precious extra hour’s daylight. Head outside, have a picnic at the park or some other scenic area, and enjoy eating fresh food with a view.

Or simply throw a bright and cheerful tablecloth on your patio table, add some fresh cut flowers into soup cans painted in spring colors, and a few floral napkins. Then enjoy a magical spring dinner with family or friends outside to welcome the season.

Feeling lazy? Eat outside at a local cafe. Or invite some friends over, get out your good china, and enjoy an afternoon tea party on your patio.

Bring the Outdoors In

Change out your curtains with a sheer, billowy, or natural fabric. You may even want to paint a room a vibrant spring color or bring new life to old furniture with a coat of fresh white paint. If you’re doing some spring cleaning, be sure and wash your windows so you can enjoy your view outdoors.

Install some window boxes and plant some herbs or bright spring flowers. Buy some showy tulips or daffodils with their bright, cheery colors or clip some spring blossoms and display them in your home. 

Be sure and open your windows to listen to a spring shower or simply enjoy a gentle spring breeze. Take a few calming deep breaths and enjoy all that fresh air.

Play Outside with Your Grandchildren

Oh, the fun you can have with your grandchildren during springtime! Ride bikes, play tennis, or jump on a trampoline. Enjoy some gardening or have a fancy picnic in the park.

Explore the neighborhood with a butterfly net in hand. Build a birdhouse together and attract wildlife you can enjoy watching together.

Or introduce your grandchildren to some old-fashioned outdoor games like Kick-the-Can, Red Rover, Red Light-Green Light, or Duck-Duck-Goose. They’ll love it!

Take a Hike

This is a no-brainer, but put on your hiking boots, pack up some water and snacks, and go discover the great outdoors. We all know that baby boomers need to keep moving to stay healthy and this is a fun way to do it.

As I pointed out in my blog, Hiking and Happiness, no big surprise, a new study shows that walking or hiking in nature can bring us inner peace, joy, and happiness. My husband and I have had many pleasant afternoons trying out some local hiking trails. I’d highly recommend it!

If your health does not allow a vigorous hike, take a gentle stroll on a deserted beach with your loved one or take a walk around the block. Just get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

These are just a few ideas, I’m sure you can come up with more. Whatever you choose to do, shed that winter coat as soon as the weather allows, grab a pair of scandals, and get out there and enjoy the fleeting glory of spring!

Five Anti-Aging Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

photo green teaMaybe you’ve heard all the talk about Matcha Green Tea, the latest “it” beverage that’s on everybody’s lips – literally! What’s all the fuss about? Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, but since it is made from the entire leaf, it packs in a more concentrated amount of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds.

The good news is that these powerful properties can help us baby boomers as we age. Guest blogger Erin Young is a health food writer, tea expert, and partners with sustainable tea farms in Japan as owner of Evergreen Matcha in the U.S. and Zen Green Tea Matcha in Australia. She shares five ways this trendy tea can help us stay young. Without further ado, here is her article:

Aches and pains, low energy, forgetfulness – these are just a few of the everyday annoyances and challenges that seem to add up as we get older. And while we can’t stop ourselves from aging, that doesn’t mean we have to accept everything that comes along with it.

If you’re in search of natural solutions, you may want to try matcha, a type of green tea that comes from the whole tea leaf stone ground into fine powder. More than being a delicious drink, it also happens to be packed with numerous anti-aging properties.

Here are five wonderful benefits of Matcha Green Tea:

#1 Matcha helps keep your skin looking young.

Your skin is your largest organ and it’s important to nourish and protect it from damage.

Just one cup of matcha green tea every day can protect your skin from damage because of the high concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent the collagen within your skin from being damaged by the toxins we are exposed to everyday from things like pollution and sunlight.

Additionally, matcha powder can also be applied as a face mask due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Try the following formula once a week for noticeably brighter skin:

photo matcha powderIngredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of matcha powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon moisturizer


  • Mix together in a bowl
  • Apply to the skin and leave on for 20 minutes
  • Wash off

#2 Matcha is a natural energy-booster.

If you feel tired throughout the day, it might be because of the coffee you drink. Coffee contains high levels of caffeine, which can initially boost energy levels and then cause them to crash afterwards. This leaves you feeling fatigued and often reaching for sugary snacks – which causes energy levels to spike and crash, yet again!

Unlike coffee, matcha releases energy slowly and sustainably. It contains amino acids which help your body absorb the caffeine, gradually. That means you won’t have jitters at the onset, nor an afternoon slump. It’s really been a game-changer for those looking for a sugar-free coffee replacement.

Matcha promises a four to six hour energy boost that’s just enough to perk you up. If you often feel tired by afternoon, try swapping your coffee for a matcha.

#3 Matcha improves mood and combats memory-loss.

If you find yourself forgetting where you left your keys or even the most important appointments, Matcha Green Tea has properties that can help in this department. At the same time, matcha has been known to reduce stress levels and even used to treat people with anxiety.

How? It’s the amino acid L-theanine in matcha, which stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin and improves concentration and memory. According to a study published in the journal Phytomedicine, regular consumption of green tea may even offer protection against Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

#4  Matcha detoxifies your body and can help you lose weight.

Matcha’s vibrant green color comes from a high level of chlorophyll, making it a detoxifier that helps your body get rid of heavy metals and toxins.

Apart from being a natural cleanser, matcha may also help you lose a few pounds. The major antioxidant in green tea – EGCG – is linked to potential weight loss benefits. Matcha can crank up your metabolism, helping you burn more calories every day and process food more effectively. In fact, researchers conducted a series of studies on dieters and found that those who drank green tea lost more weight than those who didn’t drink it.

Since matcha has more of EGCG than regular green tea, that makes it a unique, antioxidant-rich beverage you may want to incorporate into your weight loss plan and fitness goals.

#5 Matcha helps fend off diseases.

Matcha, loaded with antioxidants, is also known for its immunity-boosting and disease-fighting properties. According to, “including matcha in your diet could increase your antioxidant intake, which may help prevent cell damage and even lower your risk of several chronic diseases.”

What makes matcha such a super food? Once again, its key component is EGCG is a catechin linked to lowering risks to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease, among others.

Janie Zeitlin, a registered dietitian in White Plains, NY and New York City, says matcha is a “nutritional powerhouse,” and “a valuable addition to any diet,” but adds that moderation is best because of the potency. Most experts recommend drinking a cup or two a day. Since one cup of matcha contains the equivalent of multiple cups of green tea in terms of antioxidants, you’ll still reap all the health benefits.

PHOTO erinErin Young’s company, Evergreen Matcha, ensures buyers that they source 100% authentic, high quality Matcha Green Tea grown from sustainable family-owned farms in Kyoto, Japan. If you’re interested in trying matcha, she is offering  readers 10% off their first purchase and free state-wide shipping.

To take advantage of this special offer, visit Evergreen’s website and use coupon “1MATCHA” at checkout. If you’d like a free Matcha Recipe book with over 30 healthy recipes delivered to your inbox, click here.



Bloggers Unite! The Mystery Blogger Award

Thank-you to fellow author and blogger, Pearl R. Meaker, for nominating Baby Boomer Bliss for The Mystery Blogger Award. Be sure and check out her great blog, appropriately titled, Pearl’s Pearls.

blog award

As anyone who has tried blogging knows – it is not an easy road to travel. Writing a blog is a wonderful creative outlet and a rewarding opportunity to inspire others in a meaningful way. But finding an audience and building up your readership can be frustrating.

Although Pearl is a mystery writer and author of the Emory Crawford Mysteries, and despite the name of the Mystery Blogger Award, this award is not meant only for writers of that genre. Blogger Okoto Enigma, created the award “because there are a lot of amazing blogs out there that haven’t been discovered, yet…and most of these blogs deserve recognition.”

I agree with that. According to the rules, nominees are asked to reveal three things about themselves. So, here are three things you may not know about me:

  1. I hate hot dogs and Coke.
  2. I could have died while going white-water rafting in a five-plus river in New Zealand when our family’s boat flipped tossing us into the frigid raging water. In Mexico, I almost swung into a building while para-sailing. Taking a boat ride under the waterfalls in Brazil, I discovered too late that there were piranha in the water. Therefore, being the klutz that I am, I have wisely given up all thrill sports. I hate to think what might happen to me if I went sky diving!
  3. I love to dance (much safer) and can do a mean ballroom swing with my hubby.

Nominees are also asked to do a short interview for the person who nominated them. So without further ado, here are my answers to Pearl’s five excellent questions:

Does your blog have a theme? If yes, why did you choose that theme?

Yes, the theme is helping baby boomers find happiness. I chose that theme after discovering that studies show younger boomers are the unhappiest age group. I wanted to know how we could change those statistics around and maintain inner peace and happiness through what can be a challenging time in life.

Where is your favorite place to go for a vacation – or where you would like to go if you could go there?

I’ve been fortunate to travel to all the continents with the exception of Africa and Antarctica. Some of my favorite places are the Iguassu Falls on the border of Paraguay and Brazil, London, Florence, and Paris in Europe, Sydney in Australia, the Great Wall in China, and I loved recent trips to the Florida Keys and Chicago here in the states. I dream of going to Africa.

Has your favorite subject in school stayed a part of your life? 

Oh yes. Writing was my favorite subject in school, so it’s no surprise I eventually chose it as my career.

When was the last time you played a board game or a card game using real cards? 

Last week. I have three grandchildren ages 10, 8, and 6. They still like some of the games we boomers played as kids including Twister. And yes, I played it with them – and lost!

Do you read to relax? If you do, do you have a genre that is your go-to relaxation genre?

Yes indeed! If I want to truly escape, a good thriller that keeps my attention is just the ticket.

As is the tradition for this award, I nominate the following bloggers and ask that they answer the same above questions if they choose to join in:

Cat Michaels, Carmela DutraRosie RussellJames MilsonKristen LambRebecca Lyndsey, Sandra Bennett, and Tracy Bryan.

The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/ image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best posts

Thanks again to author and blogger, Pearl R. Meaker, for nominating me! To check out my best posts from last year, click here. Want to participate? Tell me three fun facts about you in the comment section. I’d love to hear!




Baby Boomers: Should You Move Your Retirement Funds Out of the Stock Market?

Earlier this week, stocks took a free fall. The Dow plunged almost 1,600 points, the worst decline in history during a trading day. At the time of this writing, the stock market had recovered about half the losses. But did that alarming drop make you baby boomers wonder if you should stay invested in the stock market?

photo stock market


If so, the short answer is that it depends on your age.

The good news: Younger baby boomers don’t have reason to worry about the correction, says Kyle Woodley, senior investing editor at Remember, the 2008 stock market crash had a recovery time of six years.

“If you’re between 50 and 60, there’s still time to recover,” Woodley says in a MarketWatch article, At What Age Should You Be Most Worried About a Stock Market Downturn? “Fifty years ago, life expectancy was much lower. You’re not investing for the next 5 or 10 years, you’re investing for the next 20. You have room to grow your nest egg and participate in that growth. Half a century ago, you would have been in two-thirds bonds in your 50s. That’s not the case anymore.”

Financial guru Suze Orman agrees. “If you are saving for retirement or another goal that is 10 or more years off in the future, you should be happy stock prices are down,” she says. “When stock prices are lower, your money buys more shares. And then you own more shares for when stock prices rebound.”

One rule of thumb for your retirement money you might consider is to keep your age in safe investments, she adds. “So if you are 60 you might have as much as 60% in CDs or short-term Treasuries, and the rest can stick with stocks.”

Keep in mind, because the market has soared the last eight years,  you may need to rebalance your retirement portfolio to ensure your investments are aligned with your risk tolerance. Otherwise, you could lose a lot more money if the market crashes.

What if you’re older and plan to retire in the next five years – or perhaps you’re already retired and drawing from your retirement funds?

Some older boomers may have more reason to worry: Jared Snider, senior wealth adviser at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Oklahoma City, says that your risk depends on how well you have prepared for a downturn. “Those folks who have not prepared are most impacted by it. It can do irreparable harm. They sell out of fear or out of necessity because they don’t have any other assets to liquidate.”

Experts generally agree that you shouldn’t invest anything you’ll need within the next five years. That way you’ll avoid pulling out all of your money during a market downturn which historically has always come back up again.

“If the market crashes, you’ll need to be able to ride the storm out rather than selling everything in a panic,” writes Katie Brockman in a CNN Money article, How to Protect Your Retirement Savings from a Crash. “By only investing money that you know you won’t need for at least five years, it will be easier for you to leave those savings untouched until the market recovers.”


10 Ways Baby Boomers Can Be Happier in 2018

How can you live your best life and be happier in 2018? I’m sharing 10  tips from Baby Boomer Bliss’ most popular articles in 2017 to help you do just that!

woman lighted umbrellaChange Careers

Studies show that up to 80 percent of baby boomers plan to do some sort of paid work until age 70 to stay mentally sharp, keep engaged socially, and achieve financial security in retirement. That leaves a couple of decades after 50 to work.

Perhaps that’s why more and more boomers are contemplating an “encore career” to pursue their passions and create a fulfilling life they can enjoy.

Which job should you choose if this is your dream? To read my list of the happiest and unhappiest careers to narrow down your choices, check out the full article here.

Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures

In 2017, International Happiness Day and the first day of spring coincided. How often does that happen? But do we really need a special day to find some bliss? I say that any ordinary day will do.

In 2018, let’s pause and enjoy all of life’s simple treasures and treats we look forward to throughout the day. Yes, we all have them! You know, the moment you open up your drapes and sunlight fills your home. The aroma of coffee in the morning. Those delightful blueberries on your cereal. The hot shower in the morning that awakens and refreshes you.

If you’re a baby boomer still working, instead of grumbling about it, enjoy your favorite song on the radio as you drive to your job. Don’t just sit there, sing along! If you’re lucky enough to be retired, enjoy some creative leisure time.

Experience happiness from the simple act of giving. Take a moment and write, text, or call a friend. Give someone a big smile to brighten their day and perk up yours as well. Make it a point to do something nice for a stranger or give someone a sincere compliment today. When you get home, give a loved one a big hug. Make your dog’s day with a walk around the neighborhood, a treat, and an extra pat on its head. Relish each bite of dinner. Watch the sunset. Enjoy your favorite comedy and laugh loudly. At the end of the day, remember each blessing and thank God in prayer.

If a gloomy thought dares to enter your head this day, usher it right out and replace it with a happy, positive thought. No groans or gripes allowed. Mentally shout “next” in your head and move right along. Relish every day of simply being alive.

Break Through Barriers

Oh, the wonderful things that can happen when we break through our self-imposed barriers!

When I wanted to become a writer, I put a lot of barriers on myself. I was afraid that people would laugh at me because I didn’t have a college degree. That my submissions would sit in a huge pile and be ignored by literary agents and editors since I didn’t know anyone in the publishing business. That friends and family would roll their eyeballs if I dared to express my dreams of becoming a writer out loud. That I would become so discouraged by the countless rejections sure to come my way, I would give up and watch my precious dreams slowly fade away. Doesn’t everyone want to be a writer, but how many actually make it?

Instead of taking action, I was comfortable just dreaming about becoming an author one day. It was fun envisioning my novel on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and my first book signing. Until a woman at a writer’s conference asked me a simple but profound question. What are you waiting for?

With the woman’s words echoing in my head, I took the first step and began submitting my short story to magazines. Of course, I received the standard rejection letter which stung, but I continued on my journey, taking writing classes and submitting my work. The road wasn’t easy. Many of my fears came true during that time. I gathered enough rejection letters to wallpaper a room. Many times, I became discouraged and swore off writing. But I tenaciously pressed forward. Six long years passed before my first short story was published. Am I happy that I persevered and finally faced down all those nagging self-doubts and fears?

You bet! I’ve been writing professionally for over 25 years now. Over the years, I’ve been published in national magazines, authored three books (one of which was published by big time publisher McGraw Hill), landed an agent, won three journalism awards, and even had my dream come true with a book signing at Barnes and Noble.

What helped me accomplish my goals? I was honored to share my story in Marquita A. Herald’s  book, Women Breaking Barriers. How did 13 other courageous women overcome their fears, persevere, and find the power to become the driver of their own lives and personal journeys? You’ll have to check out the book to find out! Each tale will give you hope and encourage you to reflect on who you are and what matters most to you in life. You can get your free copy by clicking here and subscribing to my blog.

Become Happy-Go-Lucky

The Urban Dictionary defines happy-go-lucky as a person who is cheerful about most things, has a positive view on life, and annoys the you-know-what out of their friends. Haha! Seriously, think of all the benefits of lightening up. You’ll be less stressed, have more fun, take more risks, step out of your comfort zone and because of your positive attitude have more friends and better relationships.

If you can become more of a happy-go-lucky person, I’d lay bets that you’ll find life more enjoyable and even more fulfilling. This popular article lists five ways to get you started on the path of that devil-may-care attitude.

Take a Trip

It’s no secret that I love to travel, so a new survey from AARP last year that listed baby boomers choices for top bucket list travel destinations caught my eye.

Of the 12,000 boomer participants, a whopping 99 percent said they planned to take one leisure trip last year. About half planned to travel domestically on multi-generational trips, weekend getaways, and holiday travel. Bucket lists inspired 43 percent of boomers to say they hoped to travel internationally as well.

Which places topped boomers’ bucket lists for travel? Hawaii topped the list for a dream domestic destination followed by Alaska, California, Arizona, and Nevada. The top international destinations were Australia, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom/Ireland, France, and the Caribbean. Are any of these places on your bucket list? No time like the present!

Interestingly, boomers enjoy dreaming about their trip almost as much as experiencing the trip itself. Part of the fun is planning!

Stay Positive Despite Adversities

is it possible to be happy when persistent, scary, and frustrating problems keep rising to the surface and smacking us in the face?

Adversity can make us feel stressed, upset, disappointed, powerless, angry, and depressed. Even when some or even most other aspects of our lives are going well, we tend to focus on things that are going wrong.

What can we do to change that? This popular article listed three simple ways.

Get Rid of Clutter

Whether we’ve become empty nesters or are following the latest trend of decluttering, many of us baby boomers are downsizing.

Two years ago, we moved. As I was filling up trash bags and putting aside things to donate and sell, I felt incredibly FREE. Why hadn’t I done this sooner?

Conquering clutter can clear the way for a more productive life.  Without physical obstructions like piles of unopened mail, old clothes, and Tupperware without lids in the way, you’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in your life.

Want some tips on how to get started? You can read my full article here.

Aim for Long-Term Happiness instead of Instant Gratification

Instant self-gratification rules the world today. Think about ATM machines that provide instant cash, fast food supplying instant meals, the Internet with its access to instant information and entertainment – all of which has turned us into impatient beings that can’t tolerate waiting for anything.

According to a CNN article, there are two types of well-being. One relies on self-involved instant pleasure and requires continuous action to constantly feed positive emotions. This type of satisfaction typically leaves as fast as it comes. For example, buying an expensive pair of shoes creates a temporary high but to keep that euphoric feeling we must keep shopping for the next quick fix. If something threatens our ability to seek out this kind of personal happiness – for example, all our credit cards are maxed out – our entire source of well-being is threatened.

The second type of well-being is a kind of happiness that comes, not from consuming products, but from working toward something larger than ourselves that gives true meaning to life.This type of well-being can bring long-term happiness.

That’s not to say that we should never reward ourselves with a bowl of ice cream or a great pair of shoes as a special treat every once in a while. We don’t have to wait to enjoy the present or our lives.

However, we’ll all be happier if we develop some self-control and avoid the habit of wanting everything right this second. Constantly giving into momentary desires can actually make us feel depressed in the long run. Advertisers have become experts at convincing us that instant gratification is the key to happiness. Don’t buy it. Shoot for long-term satisfaction and fulfillment instead.

Embrace Hygge like the Norwegians 

Despite frigid arctic temperatures and months of darkness, the happiest people on the planet apparently live in Nordic countries, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report

Norway jumped up three spots to claim the title of “world’s happiest country” for the first time. Denmark, the previous winner for three years in a row dropped to second. These countries were followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. In case you’re wondering, the U.S. came in 14th place, dropping down one spot from last year.

Could the reason Norwegians are so darn happy have to do with the Danish term hygge? If you want to learn what this word means and how we can adapt some into our lives to feel more joyful, check out my blog.

Retire in a Happy State

My childhood friend was visiting me last year when she asked, “Where do you want to retire?”

Interestingly, we both reside in places known to be popular for retirees. My friend is from Asheville, North Carolina. She enjoys mountain biking in the scenic Great Smoky Mountains, the robust arts community, and the live music scene that ranges from bluegrass to classical. Asheville consistently receives great rankings as a great place to retire for those reasons as well as its typically mild weather (with the exception of this winter!). In fact, recently US News & World Report named Asheville one of “10 Best Places to Retire.” My friend is currently retired and active in her volunteer work. Although she likes living in Asheville, she is considering whether that’s the spot she wants to settle in for good.

Me – I’m from the Palm Springs, California area, which has long been one of the most famous retirement communities. Snowbirds love this place with over 300 days of sunshine a year. Golfing, casinos, hiking, and cycling are popular activities. Places to shop and dine abound. In addition, a fairly strong economy and low unemployment rate make the Palm Springs area a popular destination for baby boomers and retirees.

But do I want to retire here? Not especially. Some people love the heat, but I’m not a fan of the long, hot summers with temperatures that exceed 115 degrees. However, I have time to consider my options. Like many boomers, retirement is nowhere in sight for me at the time being. But of course, a girl can dream, right?

So, what are the the best and worst states to retire? The results from a’s survey last year were interesting. Traditional retirement spots like Florida and California didn’t make the top 10 while other states, not usually considered as premier places to retire, like South Dakota and Wyoming, made the top five.

Click here if you’d like to check out the ten best and worst places to retire according to the survey and why.

There you go! Hope these 10 tips help you find your bliss in 2018! How do you plan to live your happiest life in 2018? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article and would like to join my tribe of baby boomers to be the first to receive my latest blogs, be sure and subscribe.

Wishing you all the VERY best in 2018!

A Baby Boomer’s Look Back at 2017

An old friend, who sadly passed away, used to say: “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” Now that I’m getting older, I realize just how much truth there is in that statement! Can it possibly be true that another year has quickly slipped by?

2018Before moving on to 2018, why not savor our milestone events and, since we’re never too old to learn from our mistakes, look back at 2017 to gain a bit of wisdom?

With that goal in mind, my writerly pals and I are sharing our personal moments from last year in the Looking Back at 2017 Blog Hop. 

What was my happiest and saddest moment in 2017? Most embarrassing, most challenging, most fun? Read my answers below and share my year with me, then be sure and visit the other #GR8Blogs linked at the end of this post for more memorable moments.

I encourage all of you to answer these questions as well so you can reminisce, count your blessings, and remember what you learned along the way!

So, what were my most memorable moments from 2017?

Happiest Moment

Johnni and Chris PregnantDiscovering my daughter-in-law, Johnni, was pregnant with our fourth grandchild. It’s been six years since we’ve had a baby in the family and we’re all excited! It’s a girl and is due in February 2018.

Saddest Moment

When it dawned on me I couldn’t share the happy news with my Mom. She died two years ago. Time may heal all wounds, but while the open, gaping wounds close up, the scar remains. No matter how old you are, sometimes you just want your Mommy. I love the quote by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist and author of On Death and Dying, who wisely said: “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

Most Embarrassing Moment

ScalesAt my overdue check-up, the doctor informed me that I’d gained 10 pounds since I last visited. “Weight can sneak up on you after menopause and start adding up fast,” he advised. Really? I never would have guessed. Actually, I wrote a whole blog, My Menopausal Middle, on this very subject. But, all right, all right. Then I got a mammogram – where I learned that my once dense breasts are deflated now that I’m post-menopausal. My ego deflated a bit along with my boobs.

Most Challenging Moment

After experiencing my most embarrassing moment as described above, I decided to tackle my weight. After years of stressful caregiving for my mother, I weighed a whopping 172 pounds and was edging toward the “obesity” category. Anyone over 50 can tell you what a challenge losing weight is as our metabolism slows down and muscle mass decreases. I’ve lost 11 pounds so far and am still on my journey. Of course, because I’m a writer, an eBook is in the works sharing all my secrets. Stay tuned.

Most Interesting Moment

Every once in awhile you get to enjoy perks from writing a blog. I was asked to do a book review of Bobby Rydell’s autobiography. This led to an interview, free tickets to his Golden Boys concert with Frankie Avalon and Fabian, and a backstage pass to meet Rydell in person. After listening to him sing a couple of my favorite songs, Volare and Sway, I may have swooned just a little bit!

Most Fun Moment

Family BeachAt a Billy Joel Concert, flashlights lit up like stars in the sky, and thousands swayed joyfully as Billy Joel belted out “Piano Man” at Dodger Stadium. I got goose bumps!  Thankfully, there were many fun moments in 2017. All the days spent at the beach, sailing, kayaking, watching the grandchildren catch sand crabs, and using our year-pass at Legoland were all joyful moments.

Most Romantic Moment

I have a great romantic husband and it’s a toss-up! We spent a weekend in Big Bear for our 39th anniversary. We rode bikes, drove go-carts like kids, and drank wine by the lake. Lovely. In September, we found a delightful winery in Temecula where we had a relaxing lunch, strolled through the vineyards, and then topped the day off with a couple massage.

Most Successful Moment

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing and don’t have any regrets about making my passion my career. However, it’s one wild roller coaster ride full of ups and downs. So, I was so honored when this blog was selected by Feedspot panelists as one of the top 75 baby boomer blogs. Perks like that keep you going as a writer!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my most memorable moments. How was your 2017? If you’re so inclined, share your most memorable moments in the comment section below.

For more look-back moments, visit the #Gr8Blogs below:

Carmela Dutra

Rosie Russell

Sandra Bennett

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

10 Great Gift Ideas for Baby Boomers

Below I’ve listed some great gift ideas for the baby boomer in your life – or a gift for yourself – that range in price (at the time of this writing) from $129.95 for a Fitbit tracker to $1.65 for a wool hat with a funny saying for Grandpa.

So, without further ado…

I Still Get Carded (When I Ask for a Senior Discount) T-shirt. I got carded at the Indio Date Festival last year. I thanked the woman profusely!

amazon still get carded t-shirt

TGIF This Grandma is Fabulous” Coffee Mug: Love this! Need I say more?

amazon larger this grandma is fabulous

They Call Me Nana Because Partner in Crime Sounds Like a Bad Influence T-Shirt: Okay, this one made me laugh. Amazon has a wide variety of these shirts available for Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle, Aunt, etc.

amazon nana partner in crime shirt


Amazon Echo and Echo Dot: Many savvy baby boomers are crazy about this new technology with Smart speakers that feature a voice-activated assistant, Alexa, who hears you from a distance and follows your commands to do a variety of tasks. Instructions can include playing your favorite music, receiving weather and news updates, setting timers, or answering random questions. This technology is also great for those with physical disabilities. The Amazon Echo is normally priced at $99.99, but if you want to try this new technology out for a lot less, the Amazon Echo Dot has many of the same features and benefits for a much lower price – normally 49.99. And the Echo is portable!

amazon echo

Senior-Friendly Fitness Tracker: A recent Brandeis University study notes that an estimated 20 percent of Americans own a fitness tracker, with increasing popularity among older adults. Those who are the least active get the most benefits. Fitness trackers are great for counting steps, measuring your heart rate, estimating your calorie expenditure, ensuring you’re getting enough exercise, and monitoring the quality of your sleep. Combined with online apps, you can also track your food and see how all these factors add up. You may want to check out The Fitbit Charge 2, pictured below, which is one of the bestselling fitness trackers and perfect for seniors since it’s easy to use, lightweight, and has a large easy-to-read screen.

amazon fitness tracker


(I’ve posted some Grandma stuff in honor of myself – LOL – but the first two products can also be ordered for grandpas too.)

Grandpas Are There to Help Children Get into Mischief That They Haven’t Thought of Yet Box: So true and, at the time of this writing, costs under $10, an affordable gift for Grandpa. He’ll love it!

amazon grandpa mischief box

If Papa Can’t Fix It We’re All Screwed Wool Hat: Ain’t it the truth? These are available in mugs and T-shirts but this wool hat is a steal at the time of this writing! Your’e welcome.

amazon wood hat grandpa


Zumba Fitness Gold Live it Up DVD Set for the Baby Boomer Generation: For some fun exercise.

amazon zumba

Trivial Pursuit Master Game for Baby Boomers Edition Complete Game: Just for us!

amazon trivial pursuit bb game

Disclaimer: Product prices and availability are accurate as of November 28, 2017 and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. If you click on any of the links below, as an Amazon affiliate, I will receive a small referral fee. There’s absolutely no difference in price – in fact, I’ve discovered some great bargains for you – it just helps cover the cost of publishing this website.

Baby Boomers Warned About Over-Drinking as Alcohol-Related Deaths Soar

Wine Glass

Don’t shoot the messenger, but baby boomers are hitting the bottle at alarming levels.

Just this week, baby boomers received new warnings about alcohol as people aged 50-plus deaths linked to alcohol soared. The number of deaths attributed solely to alcohol has increased 45% since 2001, according to a report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday.

While this study was based in the UK, baby boomers in America don’t fare any better. One out of every eight Americans has an alcohol disorder, according to a study published in August 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Psychiatry. While the survey showed alcohol disorders increased for the US population in general, some of the sharpest increases were among baby boomers. For example, high risk alcohol use increased 65.2 percent  and alcoholism rose 106.7 percent for the over 65 crowd during the last decade.

By 2020 the number of people receiving treatment for substance misuse problems is expected to double in Europe, and treble in the US, among those aged over 50.

This is bad news for baby boomers since alcohol is linked to more than 60 illnesses and diseases including heart disease, liver disease, cancer, and dementia.

Why Are Baby Boomers Drinking Too Much?

We were the generation famous for drinking a martini or Manhattan after work as often shown on the TV show Madmen. But is there more to this growing problem of alcohol misuse? Probably.

This blog was inspired by reports that baby boomers, especially those in their 50s and 60s, are statistically the unhappiest age group. Many boomers face stressful events such as declining health, raising teenagers, looming college tuitions, adult children moving back home, caring for aging parents, menopause, the loss of a loved one, and social isolation.

Add to that financial stress. According to a poll by AARP, baby boomers are more worried than any other age group about retirement security. Many boomers confess they didn’t put enough money aside for retirement and find themselves heading toward their golden years with mortgage and credit card debt.

All of this worry, stress, and depression can easily trigger the misuse of alcohol if not kept in check.

Another factor may go back to the disappointment of our generation that expected a better world. “What does alcohol mean to our generation?” asks Christina Fraser, a relationship counselor with Coupleworks and herself a baby boomer. “We drink to fill a void. Our parents had a job, retired and dropped dead two years later. They worked hard and had fewer opportunities. The baby boomers were given the promise of a world that was full of possibilities. Instead, we are seeing that world close in.”

What is Considered Over-Drinking?

Baby boomers who love wine o’clock may be shocked to hear what is considered over-drinking.  Moderate drinking is one drink a day for women and two drinks per day for men. So maybe you’re thinking you don’t drink everyday, mostly just on weekends.

Do the math. Women are considered “heavy drinkers” if they have eight or more drinks a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men can have 14.

A standard “drink,” by the way, is not that big wine glass filled to the tippy top, a huge frosty mug, or giant Hurricane glass. The CDC says a drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. If you pour more than these standard serving sizes, it counts for more than one drink.

While studies show that moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle for many people, those benefits quickly turn into health risks. These dangers include an increased risk of cancer, heart, and liver disease.

In fact, on the heels of the new study warning baby boomers to stop over-drinking, comes another statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) that “even light drinking increases your risk of cancer.” ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, said that alcohol has been a known human carcinogen, or known to cause cancer, for a long time within the medical community.

Moderate drinkers nearly double their risk for mouth and throat cancer and more than double the risk of esophagus cancer compared to nondrinkers. They also face elevated risks for cancer o the voice box, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

The risk for heavy drinkers is much higher and downright sobering (excuse the pun). Heavy drinkers face roughly five times the risk of mouth and throat cancers and squamous cell esophageal cancers than nondrinkers, nearly three times the risk of cancers of the voice box, double the risk of liver cancer, as well as increased risks for breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

Ways to Cut Back

So we baby boomers have been put on notice. How can we scale back on alcohol use?

  • Cut down the number of days you drink alcohol. In fact, you may want to abstain for a week or a month to see how you feel physically and emotionally without alcohol in your life.
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink at one sitting. If you normally drink two glasses of wine, make it one instead.
  • If you are drinking too much, avoid people, places, things and certain activities that trigger an urge to drink. For example, baby boomers love to splurge on dining out, but this luxury often prompts people to drink more. If this is the case, consider going out to dinner less often.
  • Find healthy alternatives for coping with stress, loneliness, or anger. For example, if you’re tempted to reach for a drink take a walk, garden, or take a long bubble bath.

Experts say that alcohol misuse among older people isn’t a problem that will simply disappear on its own. This new data should serve as a wake-up call to all baby boomers to examine their drinking habits.

Image courtesy of tiverylucky at

Baby Boomer Ponders Obsession with Body Hair Removal, Eyebrows, and Extensions

What is the obsession these days with removing body hair? I mean, what is it with painting on thick eyebrows, excruciatingly painful waxing, and obviously fake-looking hair extensions?

This baby boomer must be feeling my age because I just don’t get it.

waxed hairYes, I shave my legs, but I can’t help noticing that women are overly preoccupied with hair lately.  Were we women bamboozled into this obsession by marketers?

According to the book, Plucked: A History of Hair Removal, more than 99 percent of American women remove their body hair.

Interestingly, Gillette introduced the first razor for women in 1915 along with the message that body hair was “unsightly” and “objectionable” and thus needed to be removed. And they just so happened to have the perfect tool. The company now earns over 9 billion dollars a year in sales.

The Brazilian bikini wax was created in Manhattan by seven Brazilian sisters in the early 1990s, who now earn six million dollars a year from waxing, hair, and nail treatments.

People are profiting big time from this obsession to remove hair. Not only do women wax their legs and armpits, but suddenly it became imperative and ever-so-fashionable to wax other places as well.  I mean, OUCH! When did ripping hot wax off sensitive areas become empowering?

In fact, women spend about $10,000 and the equivalent of over four months of their lives removing hair. Those who wax once or twice a month will spend an average of $23,000 during their lifetime.

Really ladies?

Does this all seem a bit strange to you baby boomers who fought for the feminist revolution with the conviction that instead of obsessing over physical beauty, women should focus on their intelligence, careers, achievements, and making a difference? During the 60s and 70s, women felt free to make their own decisions about hair removal and many chose to go au natural. These days, women feel ashamed and somehow dirty without a bikini wax. What happened?

Not to sound old-fashioned, but aren’t there more important things to think about and do than obsess and spend time and money on removing body hair? Back in the old days (okay, now I sound ancient) people seemed more focused on spiritual matters and family. They didn’t spend all their time worrying about whether their armpits were properly waxed. And many would have donated that $150 for a full body wax – to remove hair that’s going to grow back real quick – to a good cause.

And while we’re discussing this, just when did women become so helpless? Have you baby boomers noticed that women don’t know how to pluck their own eyebrows, shave their own legs, or paint their own fingernails and toenails anymore? In addition to all the money spent on waxing, women spend about $1,300 a year on manis and pedis alone. Yes, I splurge once in a while to do my nails but it’s not rocket science to apply nail polish. Wouldn’t you rather take a trip with all that money?

We boomers didn’t go to the hair salon for a “blow dry.” Instead, I deftly wielded my own blow dryer like a pro and stuck prongs into hot rollers without burning my fingertips to look like Farrah. If we wanted our hair colored we picked up a bottle of Clairol at the drugstore. We even dared to perm our own hair! Yes, we looked like poodles but who cared? And give me a break. At least we didn’t look like a Dr. Seuss book with multi-colored rainbow hair! What’s with that crazy trend?

When women aren’t busy trying to remove every scrap of hair from their bodies, they are clipping or taping on hair extensions to look like a Real Housewife or one of the Kardashians. Some women become addicted to the more permanent type of extensions which leaves natural hair looking like a war zone. Did I mention the pain of ripping out the tape from the more permanent type of extensions? The possibility of bald spots? Does this sound like a good idea to you? Even Jennifer Aniston has admitted that her famous locks had become thin from extensions.

Okay, I must confess that in the 60s it was popular to frost hair. For those of you who don’t remember, this process involved a tight fitting rubber cap with tons of little holes. A small metal crocheting needle was then used to pull pieces of hair through the holes – one at a time. So, it was kinda tortuous and women may have lost some of their hair in the process. And we baby boomers won’t talk about the bristle rollers women somehow slept in or teasing hair until it looked like a bird’s nest. Women back combed their hair until they looked like Marge Simpson and then applied enough sticky hairspray to make hair crunch.

But that was different. Sort of. Why don’t we change the subject?

eyebrowsCan we talk a minute about those wonky eyebrows, deemed the “power brow?” These trendy fuller brows are supposed to look like works of art, but they just look silly to me. Dark brow fillers create these squared off but perfectly arched eyebrows that look anything but natural. I have nothing against eyebrows, but should these two arches on your forehead warrant this much attention, cause so much work, and cost so much money? And why wax off your eyebrows if you’re only going to draw them back on again? I’m so confused.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be too critical. My senior picture displays thin, arched eyebrows that are perhaps a tiny bit over-plucked. Actually, I can’t believe I walked around so proudly like that, but that’s beside the point. At least I plucked them proudly all by myself and it didn’t cost me a penny!

Still, this whole cultural phenomenon puzzles me. But wait a minute. Maybe armpit hair is making a comeback. There’s an Instagram account called Lady Pit Hair that features women going against social beauty norms and growing out their armpit hair and dying it bright colors.

“Today’s beauty standards really bum me out as they constantly police women’s bodies,” says Taylor Carpenter, a 23-year-old whose hot pink pits are featured on the page. Besides the issue of rebelling against norms society forces on us women, she has another reason for brightening the color of her body hair: “Honestly, I really like how they look. When I catch a glance of my hot pink pits, it makes me smile.”

Okay, I sorta like the sentiment of standing up against this cloud of disgust over any scrap of non-waxed body hair, but I’m still mystified. Is fluorescent green leg hair the next trend? Maybe I am getting old!

Images courtesy of Ambro and patrisyu at





Sleeping Like a Baby Boomer: Insane Insomnia

Maybe you baby boomers have seen the cartoon of a doctor telling a patient, “Insomnia is very common. Try not to lose any sleep over it.”

Ha,ha. I’m not laughing. Instead I’m begging for mercy from the sleep fairy.


During my worse insomnia laden nights, I’m an expert on infomercials. Just ask me anything about nose hair clippers, egg timers, chopper/shredders, and at-home laser hair removal.

When I give in to exhaustion and turn off the TV – even though I know exhaustion doesn’t equal sleep anymore – the minute my head hits the pillow, I start worrying about stupid stuff that seems downright silly in the light of day.

When I finally fall asleep, an hour later my eyes burst open and I’m wide awake, endlessly fascinated with the internal workings of my digital clock and checking to see if anyone else is miserable and awake like me on Facebook.

I’m not alone. Many baby boomers suffer from insomnia. Some have additional problems that mess with their sleep like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Others find that the simple act of sleeping which they took for granted their whole lives just got a whole lot more complicated for no apparent reason.

Oh, remember the delightful days when we baby boomers actually chose to forego sleep? Partying into the wee hours, lacing our shoes for a brisk jog at dawn, or just talking all night on the phone with our best friend? Those were the days. Now that we desperately want to sleep, it’s nowhere to be found.

Which makes us that old stereotypical cranky person the next day. So, if you’re one of those people that still sleeps like a baby – you can just leave now. I’m extremely jealous and we’re not talking. And while I’m on the subject, a note to my hubby who falls asleep the minute his head hits the pillow: I love you, but you better purchase a suit of armor soon so I don’t smack you silly for blissfully sleeping while I’m subtracting how many hours of sleep I can get if I can just fall asleep NOW. My math skills are improving but I’m feeling awfully irritable. By the way, it’s absolutely true. The one who snores always goes to sleep first.

I first shared some of these thoughts about insomnia as a writer for Hot Flash Daily. Because I always slept like a baby until menopausal madness began. The worst part of menopause was not the hot flashes you hear about it all the time. For me, it was the insomnia.

Six years have passed and I’m officially post menopausal. The insomnia isn’t as constant but it still enjoys visiting me occasionally during tortuous nights. Because it turns out menopause isn’t the only cause for insomnia. Just getting older can do the trick as well.

According to a poll by National Sleep Foundation, older people were more likely to wake up a lot during the night. Wow, you needed a survey to come up with that conclusion?

Now that I think about it, I probably should go easier on hubby, Like many older men, he does have to get up in the middle of the night to pee now. Hee, hee. Sorry, but that does make me feel better. It’s true, misery enjoys company.

In addition, to making us insomniacs cranky the next day, the malady comes with many other blessings as well. Studies show that sleep problems contribute to weight gain. Geez, isn’t it bad enough that getting older and being post menopausal are making me fat? This I don’t need. Oh goody, guess I better run out and buy some more stretch pants.

And let’s not even talk about losing the ability to concentrate. Isn’t age making me forgetful enough? As a freelance writer who needs to think straight and meet deadlines…um, where, was I…? Let’s just say insomnia is not helpful to my career.

Worse yet, I read that people with chronic insomnia have an elevated risk of death. I’m visualizing death by insomnia on my tombstone. Could life be any crueler?

Oh, everyone has a solution for me. Don’t nap during the day. Go to bed at the same time each night. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol before going to bed. Exercise regularly. Don’t you think I’ve already tried all that?

Sure, warm milk works for me – if it’s laced with Ambien.

Oh, I’ve read the horror stories of people having forgetful sex with the mailman down the street, eating a block of cheese, and driving to Vegas in their sleep after taking the drug. Which made taking my first Ambien extremely scary. Thankfully, I just slept. To my knowledge.

But since I only take Ambien on rare occasions because I don’t want to get addicted, this leaves me many loooooong nights as a sleepless sucker, forever grateful for my midnight hour friends, Netflix, Candy Crush, and Facebook.

If you’re like me and suffer from insomnia, please share your misery in the comments below. As I mentioned before, misery loves company. I’d love to hear all about it. If you don’t have insomnia, why are you still here? Oh, I’m just kidding. Please share your secrets to success. We insomniacs would love to know!

Image courtesy of debspoons at