Spring Break–Take A Break

Every time women of a certain age talk about Spring Break, we automatically think of Spring Cleaning.  We think of putting away winter clothing, changing the comforter, clearing out the pantry, deep cleaning this and that.  Why do we do that?  Is there an unwritten rule that we have to use our time away from the office working while everyone else is enjoying their time off?  What’s to keep us from doing the Spring Cleaning a little at a time after Spring Break?  This year I decided to do just that.

When I left work on the Friday before Spring Break, I went home and did my weekend cleaning that night–I was determined that this would be my Spring Break.  There would be no deep cleaning this Spring Break.  There would be the day to day cleaning, but nothing that would take all day and/or all week.

Here is my week of during Spring Break. What was yours like?

  • Sunday–great church service at Carter Metropolitan CME Church, and then dinner with my husband and our youngest daughter.  Then I did a movie (Creed) in my pajamas with my husband and popcorn and wine.
  • Monday–massage at Perfect Touch with Katie that made me want to lay there for a couple of hours.  Went walking with my sorority sister and made my steps then coffee at Starbucks afterwards. Then I decided to make homemade peanut butter cookies.  The kitchen was smelling good.  We ate them while we watched the movie again (it was rented for 2 days).
  • Tuesday–my guilty pleasure of a facial.  I absolutely love getting facials especially at my favorite place Ageless Perfection Skincare.  Miss Ruby is the best. Started reading “Natchez Burning” by Greg Iles for a book club I just joined. It is a very exciting read.
  • Wednesday–my best friend since second grade and I went to the Amon Carter Musuem of American Art to check out their latest exhibition–American Epics (Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood).  Yes, it is very good and educational.  Then we were off to West 7th Street to have lunch outside because the weather was just perfect.  We tried our tastebuds at Mash’d, a place we had never gone to.  The best lemonade bar none.  I like mine tart, my friend likes hers sweet, we were both happy. Then my daughter cancelled our walk, but I went anyway–got my steps in.
  • Thursday–manicure and pedicure at Zizi’s.  Even decided to have a glass of wine while I was getting serviced.
  • Friday–going to a networking event for women sponsored by the women’s division of the Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.  Got my TABC certification so that I can volunteer for the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival.
  • Saturday–meeting with volunteer coordinator for Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival to get my assignment.  Then on to Fair Park to cover BeautyCon so that I can report about it to you, and see what they have for women of a certain age.

I started each morning with my prayers and coffee in my pj’s, and ended each night with wine and prayers in my pj’s. The house is still clean, yes the sweaters still need to go to the cleaners and be put away (well maybe, this is Texas weather). I’ll just drop them off on my way to work after Spring Break.

Spring Break is not for Spring Cleaning, it is for taking a Break during the Spring.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–you can clean next week.

Following Doctor’s Orders?

So your doctor has told you to do certain things for “your” health.  She has told you that for you to maintain or regain a good quality of life that you must make some changes.  Of course you have agreed while sitting in her office, and you have the very best intentions as we all do. Let’s go over a few of her instructions and see if there are some simple solutions.

smoking1.  Stop smoking.  This is one of the hardest habits to stop.  I have never had this one, but my best friend, my parents and others have. My father was able to stop cold turkey–no weight gain or anything, but then again he was my dad.  My mother never attempted to stop.  After two heart attacks, my best friend did stop, but her husband still smokes.  There are many products out there that will assist you in not smoking.

2.  Exercise more.  Well the gym cost money, and we all know that money is tight. There are not enough hours in the day for us to walking at workexercise.  My favorite excuse is “I don’t like to exercise”.  Why not take the stairs at work–no stairs just walk around the office a couple of times. If the weather is nice go outside and walk.  No one said we had to do cross training.  Why not take a dance class?  Just get to moving.

3.  Eat better.  Stop eating in the car.  We don’t know childs portionwhat we eat when we are in the car; it can’t be healthy because we can hold it in one hand and it is not a piece of fruit.  Why don’t we eat better?  Convenience is part of the problem, and I am guilty of this sin.  Remember when we were children, and we got a hamburger, it was about half the size of the ones they give us today, and we still eat the entire thing plus fries and a soda.  Get the kids’ portion at the fast food place, they don’t know it’s for you.  Not a cook, keep fruits and veggies on hand.  There ought to be some fruit or veggie that you like.  Don’t buy soda.  Remember when a can of soda was considered two servings, now it’s one.  Simple steps.  Have some cake, just not every day.

4.  Cut back on caffeine. You don’t drink coffee, but you drink soda, energy drinks and eat chocolate.  I love coffee–absolutely love it, but I have cut back to  just about a cup and a half a day if that.  I drink it in 1/4 cup increments, because I don’t like cold coffee. I detest decaffeinated, but I will do half and half.Starbucks

**Speaking of coffee when my girlfriends and I meet at the local Starbucks, we typically just have coffee and/or tea.  We are there mostly for the conversation so most of the time the higher calorie drinks are not ordered.

glass of wine5. Follow your doctor’s advice, it does help.  Way back when, my then doctor, Dr. Perkins, instructed me to have a glass of wine each night, and so many years later I am still following his instructions. I can follow the doctor’s orders.

Will these suggestions guarantee you perfect health–probably not, but they won’t hurt either.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Let’s take care of ourselves so that we can continue to help others take care of themselves.

Coffee Cupping

If you know me, you know I love good coffee. I recently attended a coffee cupping class held at Central Market in Ft. Worth. The other participants and I had a wonderful learning experience. It was sort of like a wine tasting class with smelling, sipping and spitting.

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Mr. Wilbert Benitez from Katz Coffee was a very interesting teacher who made our experience even better.

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A special thanks to Central Market of Fort Worth for making this class wonderful. Their staff is the best.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Mama’s Office–Where Life Long Decisions Were Made

Everything was done in the kitchen of our home. When were younger, we practiced our reading at the kitchen table. Mama would be cooking and we would be reading out loud. I still wonder how she knew the words before we did. As we continued our education even college homework would be done at that table.

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When my sister and I did our 4-H projects, the kitchen table became our workshop with everything from sewing machines to podiums. Mama was a leader in our 4-H club so we practiced everything there.

I remember the day we got a new dishwasher. Everyone was excited, even me. I had turned about 12 and thought that making pretend milkshakes in the soapy water was fun. Little did I know that I would forever be the dishwasher in our family. I remember that I would wash and mama would dry while my sister did her homework at the table. If my dad was home from work, he would be watching the Huntley Brinkley report while we did the dishes. My brother got out of washing dishes because mama believed that cleanliness was indeed next to Godliness. I remember the day that he popped me on the behind with the towel that he was drying the dishes with; it was the last time he was allowed to do anything in the kitchen except eat.

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The smell of cooking was always prevalent in our kitchen even though both my parents worked full-time as educators. Mama had been a home economics major in college so everything was homemade from potato chips, wonderful cakes and pies and all that was in between.

One of my fondest memories is when my mother became my friend. She drank coffee every morning and some evenings at the kitchen table. I had always drank a milking cup of coffee as a child. One Saturday as she sat at the kitchen table reading the paper, I joined her for what would become “our time”. For the rest of her life, if I was home, I would make coffee and we would talk, sometimes our neighbors Miss Callie and Miss Adell would join us. Over the years to come at that table, we talked about high school graduation, going off to college, the death of daddy, how would she cope, my sister going off to college-mama in the house alone. My husband even asked her for my hand in marriage at the kitchen table. Grandchildren learned what the word “no” really meant at that table.

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As I think back over these times, it is amazing that people now have to have libraries, great rooms, offices, etc., to do different activities. Mama did it all at the kitchen table.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who solve all the problems of today at the kitchen table. Remember, “thisisyourbestyear”.

Pearly Whites Need to be Kept Bright

There are many different suggested ways that are said to turn back the aging clock; from creams, to pills, to injections to much more.  This week we’re going to share one solution that is easy and cost-effective, and most of all–it works.

A smile can make or break a first impression, and it is one of the first things to age on us.  To be exact, our teeth age a lot faster than most of the rest of our ody.

My mother always told me to keep my hair and my teeth up.  Once on Oprah, cosmetics queen Bobbi Brown said that teeth were one of the things that aged us first.  She was the first person that I heard suggest that we whiten our teeth to help with our appearance.  Back then you had to go to the dentist for this procedure.  Now all you need to do is go into any store where they sell toothpaste and you are on your way.

Whitening teeth is like anything else, you can overdo it.  Think back to people who have the whitest teeth.  The ones that I think of are usually people who live in third world countries with poor and/or no nutrition.  Their teeth are so white because their bodies are lacking something nutritionally.  So please do not overdo it.

There are many reasons that our pearly whites lose their luster–from the water we drink to coffee, tea, smoking and much more.  Very few of us brush every time we eat.

There are many products out there that will give you some degree of whitening.  I personally went to the dentist and had the tray made.  I take the tray out, put a small amount of whitener in it and wear the tray for about 15 to 20 minutes every three to four weeks.  I love coffee, no I mean I love coffee, but I know that it can stain teeth, so I follow this routine to keep my smile bright.

You may only need to whiten your top teeth and/or bottom teeth.  While looking in the mirror, smile–do you smile wide enough to see upper and lower teeth, if not why whiten them?  Remember, anything that you do that is not natural, and bleaching is not natural will harm you in the long run.

It is so much easier now to whiten teeth.  Any store that sells regular toothpaste, sells whitener.  Some toothpaste such as Colgate Optic White, Crest 3D White Vivid Mint and many more are easily available.  There are strips such as Crest Whitestrips and more.  You can do the at home kits.  If you have the time and money you can even do the veneers which are what most celebrities have.

Take your time and decide what’s best for you.  I will guarantee you that people will notice your new smile.  When they ask you what is different, just tell them “this is your best year.”  Notice my friend Nedra and I showing off our pearly whites above.

Which products do you use to enhance your smile–share with us.  See you next week.  Thisisyourbestyear.

Getting Ready for the Day

As women we tend to think that we have to be all to everyone.  We sometimes, well most of the time tend to forget that we must take care of ourselves.

It is so important that we start the day in a way that allows us to be at our best.  Let’s talk about routines that keep us in the right frame of mind.

I find that starting the day with prayer is one of the best things that help me.  No matter how little sleep I’ve gotten, I wake up thanking God for the new day.  After doing all the morning things like brushing teeth, washing face and putting on the coffee  (yes, I have to have my coffee), I do a series of stretches to get the body warmed up.

A daily devotional is a must for me.  I’m now reading “Through the Year with Jimmy Carter–366 Daily Meditations from the 39th President”.  I read my devotional with a cup of coffee.  Then I have something for breakfast.

Usually I will watch the local news and weather to start my day.  I only watch about 10 minutes of the morning shows just to see what is going on in the world.  They tend to not be news, but opinions, and there is no need to get upset that early in the morning so why watch.  Don’t start your day with negativity.

I believe that I need to laugh before I leave for work so I turn on something that makes me laugh which is usually a rerun of some sitcom.  After I have laughed, I’m on my way hopefully to a good day.  Start your day with a smile.

How do you start your day?

Remember “Thisisyourbestyear”, and have a good week.