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Welcome to This is Your Best Year!!!

Welcome to thisisyourbestyear!  You and I are on this journey together.  Together and collectively, we will give suggestions on living life to the fullest.  This is a blog for women who thought that when they reached this age, life was over.  This is for all of those women who thought their mothers were old at this age–well they may have been, but that’s not the case anymore.

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We will discuss everything from health, beauty, faith, life, children, grandchildren, exercise, careers, retirement, starting all over again in love and/or career. We will talk about learning the word no, taking time to be who we are.  With this blog we will have fun, we will talk fashion, food,travel and all kinds of products–in other words, we’re going to talk about us.

You can always email us at: thisisyourbestyear@gmail.com and see all the things we are doing by visiting us on Facebook–(thisisyourbestyear).  We can also be found on Twitter–thisisyoubestyear@mariciajohns

Let’s get excited ladies, and stay tuned.  Remember–“THIS IS YOUR BEST YEAR”!

Letting The Silver Shine In My Hair

I finally decided to do it.  It wasn’t easy to let it go, but somewhere deep down inside I knew it was time.

India Arie told me that I was not my hair, but did I believe her?  I can remember to the date that my hair color changed from dark brown to red.  It was about the week after I graduated from high school.  I know this because my mother and I had discussed it for what seemed liked years.  Back then my Aunt Bonnie and my mother both colored their hair, and since I wanted to be them, I wanted to color mine.  My mother said that after high school graduation I could do just that.  From that week on my hair was some variety of red.  Most of the time I colored it a medium red, but occasionally it got a little light.  I was never fond of the darker shades, but I loved my red hair.

After I informed my daughters that I was going to stop coloring my hair, my youngest daughter suggested that I go natural too.  I told her one step at a time, and letting the silver shine through was the first step.  When the gray started to come in, I can honestly say I really didn’t remember what I looked like with my natural hair color.  It made laugh when my hubby told me he married a redhead, and I reminded him that I married a man with an afro–a big afro, and he was now sporting a ball head.

I’m not going to say I will never color my hair again–I am a woman of a certain age, and I can change my mind.  For now I have decided to let the silver shine through.  Who knows natural and blonde may be my next adventure.  Besides I can be a redhead whenever I want–I have enough alternative hair (wigs) to be almost every shade of red they make.

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 Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, you are not your hair.

 

 

Shop Small Today And Everyday

shop-small2You can find some of the best deals, unique products and much more when you support the local small businesses.

Do You Have Enough To Retire?

The article below is an interesting article on how much the average household nearing retirement has in savings for the retirement years. How much do you have in your retirement account?

Take a look at the article written by Austin Smith for Motley Fool.  Can you really retire comfortably?

The Average American Household Approaching Retirement Has This Amount Saved Up

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Save and invest for a comfortable retirement.

Cocktails, MUSIC, Dining And Of Course Great ART

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has just announced two great dates for the fantastic “First Friday” series. They’ve always been great, and these two will be even better. Mark your calendar for December 2, 2016 and January 6, 2017. The Modern has joined forces with Shipping & Receiving (the Near Southside music and night-life venue) to showcase great local musicians in the grand lobby from 6 to 11 pm on these dates.

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On these two dates you can explore the outstanding KAWS, WHERE THE END STARTS with extended, late-night hours and also enjoy great music, cocktails and food. You can also enjoy a full menu in Café Modern.

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The price is $10 and does include gallery admission. Modern members and Star-Telegram Press Pass holders will get free admission. These dates will go fast, you can get tickets at Shipping and Receiving.  You can also join the Modern as a member at joining the Modern.

There will also be a 20 minute docent led tour of the galleries at 6:30 pm. The bands playing are:  December 2–The Burning Hotels and January 6–ISHI and Sudie.

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For more about this event and others at the Modern which includes the schedule of the films of the Magnolia at the Modern films, visit The Modern.

Can’t make it to Fort Worth, Texas–check your local area for programs.  They are out there, and remember “thisisyourbestyear” .  There is even room to dance! 

 

The Simple Things

My favorite season is Fall. I absolutely love being outside during this time of year and seeing all the beauty God has created. Today my college roommate and I decided to stroll through the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden with a tour of the DeGolyer House. The coolness of the weather, the brightness of the sunshine and friendship made it simple and beautiful.

 Remember  “thisisyourbestyear”.  Enjoy the beauty of nature and friendships.

There Is Nothing Wrong With A Little Help

I must confess, that I could do rich very well.  I would be very nice to the people who worked for me–the housekeeper, landscaper (yes, I would have someone to plant the pretty flowers), the driver, the one who purchases the groceries, everyone.  But since it does not seem to be in the cards that I will ever be wealthy, I have decided that I deserve some help some of the time.

You can ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you that I am a very good cook. When my children were young, I tried everything and had fun doing it.  Then one day they said the dreaded words “I don’t like that”.  Even then it was still fun, and I still enjoyed it.  As time has gone on, I have fallen in love with cooking shows.  If you ever watch the movie “Chef”, I even made his pasta dish after I went grocery shopping the following day.

There in part lies part of the problem that I face when it comes to cooking now.  There are basically three problems that make cooking unpleasant for me now.

  • Cooking the same thing time and time again.  It is easy to do.  It is just a habit that is hard to break and it makes everyone happy.
  • Grocery shopping is a job in itself.  When you do find a new recipe that you like, you have to go to the grocery store because there is a spice that it calls for, and you don’t have it.  Oh you can leave it out–it’s only a teaspoon, but that teaspoon matters. Then there are the questions, do I buy regular apples or organic apples?  What makes Central Market organic apples cost so much more than Walmart organic apples?  Are they even organic or is that just a fancy way to say pay more?
  • Cooking for two is so much harder than cooking for four.  There are recipes that are for two, but most are for at least a family of four.

I found the not so perfect solution to all three concerns.  I found *Blue Apron or my oldest daughter found it.  It does work.  First of all I noticed that she and my favorite son-in-law had lost weight.  She informed me that Blue Apron was portion controlled, and it did fill you up.  More importantly to me was the fact that all of the ingredients come with it, and the cost is reasonable.

I have enjoyed cooking new recipes for my hubby and myself, and even the girls like it.  I love the sides that come with it more than anything.  They are quick and easy.  The sides use ingredients that I usually have, but have never thought about putting together. My daughter wishes they would go one step further by chopping the ingredients too–that doesn’t bother me.  The meals are very tasty and the presentation is great too. The recipes are easy to follow–they have pictures to aid in this.  I have enjoyed every one of the meals with a few things that I would tweek if I did them again.

Since I can’t hire a chef, Blue Apron has become my personal chef, and it is worth it. I am not cooking the same things over and over and even going to the grocery store is more enjoyable.

*Blue Apron is not the only meal delivery service, I have friends who use others including Home Chef, Hello Fresh and Plated.  You might want to give one of them a try.  You do not have to receive a shipment every week, and there are vegetarian meals to choose from.

Everyone deserves a little help.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Bon appetit!

 

The Texas Conference For Women Is Sold Out–But!

The amazing Texas Conference for Women in Austin, Texas on November 15, 2016 is officially sold out.

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As luck would have it, there may be a way to get tickets to attend this sold out event. You can put your name on a list to grab tickets if they become available. If you want to hear great speakers, be inspired, attend wonderful workshops, network with women who are on the move and so much more, you need to try as hard as possible to attend this event. To try for tickets click please let me get a ticket. Hope you are lucky!  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

 

 

Christmas In October–Why Not?

As “women of a certain age” we can do whatever we want when it comes to celebrating special days and times.  We can drink that champagne at lunch if we so desire. Deciding to eat cake for breakfast is one of my favorites.  Who say’s we can’t do it?  So why not have Christmas in October, or at least the memories of Christmas past.

We can skip over Columbus Day, Halloween and even Thanksgiving, and go directly to Christmas and all of the joy that it brings.  No matter who you are, the sights and sounds of Christmas will always somehow put you in a better mood.  I’m not talking about Christmas shopping, malls, discounts that aren’t discounts–I’m talking about Christmas trees, nutcrackers and of course Santa himself.

As a child in Longview, Texas McIntosh Drug Store would open up a Christmas store next to their downtown pharmacy every year.  I can’t really remember if it opened in October or November, but I do remember the excitement that I had visiting it each year.  The sights, sounds and even the smells always seemed to work magic on everyone who went inside those magical doors.  As with everything, there is no McIntosh Drug Store anymore, there are only pharmacies.  Their magical Christmas store is just a memory for those of us who were fortunate enough to have lived it as children–children who believed in Santa long after they should.

To my surprise and delight in Tyler, Texas they have a Christmas store appropriately named The Christmas Store.  It is complete with the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of happiness. When I visited it recently, I knew that Christmas was still some time away, but the magic had me at the first blinking light.

My Christmas in October bought back childhood memories which always warm my heart. Who cares if it’s too early to start to think about the joys of Christmas?  As women of a certain age, we can have Christmas whenever we want.

Celebrate each day.  Why wait?  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

The Christmas Store is located at 121 E. 8th St., Tyler, TX 75701

Breast Cancer Awareness–Prayers For Paulette And Her 8 Children

Paulette Leaphart McKenzie is not only a “survivor”, she is a “warrior”. She is fighting cancer for everyone who has been touched by it. Just google her name, and see how hard she works–walking from Biloxi to Washington, DC to talk with Congress about healthcare. She will amaze you.

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Bishop T. D. Jakes says it’s your Destiny, you know that happening that was not planned. Rev. Jerome B. Price said it is God talking to you. Who knew that browsing Facebook would lead to something thought-provoking for me, and hopefully for you.

Paulette 19I came upon this site–Prayers For Paulette8Children.  Well you know me, I am assuming there is a mistype, and it should read Prayers for Paulette & Children.  Don’t ask me why I thought that, I just did.  Maybe because I saw this beautiful. bright-eyed young lady with the gorgeous smile smiling at us on most pictures, and besides who has 8 children?  As I read more, I found out this beautiful lady was Paulette McKenzie Leaphart, and yes she has 8 children, and yes they do need our prayers.   Paulette is a breast cancer survivor, she is a fighter, a warrior whose faith continues to keep her, but…

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The Ladder Alliance–The Ladder To Independence

When most people think of domestic violence they generally think of black eyes, concussions, broken arms and more.  They think of a man and a woman physically fighting with the children crying. This falsehood tends to make all of us think that we don’t know anyone who is being abused, but we do.  There is emotional abuse.  Remember when our mother would tell us that “words hurt”.  They do, and so many victims (usually women) are victims of a verbal and emotional domestic abuse, not physical abuse. Most victims think there is no one out there to help them, but there are a number of places that are available

Even as the victims seek assistance, they seek a way for a fulfilled life after leaving the abuser.  They are looking for a ladder to help them climb out of a life that has left them with little or no job skills to support themselves and sometimes their children.  They are looking for the The Laddder Alliance.

The Ladder Alliance provides women domestic violence victims or low-income women with employment skills that will enable them to be self-reliant, independent and to lead successful lives. They are enrolled in classes that are taught by professional educators and business people. Their classes cover computer, professional and life skills that include Excel, professional writing and customer service.

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Sharon Cox, Executive Director and Founder leading a lunch and learn event.

This program offers a full size clothing boutique with new and gently used professional clothing that are “purchased” by the students not with money, but earned professional rewards (being on time, assignments, etc.). There is also childcare assistance and even homework assistance for the children if needed.

The Ladder Alliance offers several programs.  They offer basic computer skills training and professional office skills training. The cost for this is $20 or less covering all course material.

To find out more about any of the programs, the sites where classes are available and any other questions, call 817.834.2100 or go to Ladder Alliance.  There are several volunteer opportunities available.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–climb your ladder to success, then extend a hand to help someone else.

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