Tag Archives: Health

Age and Beauty

I’ll be fifty later this year. When I say that aloud, it still shocks me. I don’t feel a day over thirty-five—until I look in the mirror.

Sometimes my heart aches a little when I take stock of my thinning hair, my saggy middle (no, not the one plaguing the first draft of my current manuscript), my wrinkles and age spots. Of course, there are other things I love about being this age, most significantly my experiential wisdom. There’s nothing quite as reliable as education acquired through the school of hard knocks. It yields hard-earned knowledge, which in turn inspires a sturdy kind of confidence. The kind that awakens a different kind of beauty: the beauty of empowerment.

Sure, by every objective measure, I was physically prettier at twenty-five than I am today. Yet, I wouldn’t trade a tighter body (or even my thicker hair) for the self-assurance, courage, and freedom I know at this age. I’m still a daughter and a sister and a friend, but I’m also a wife and a mother. I’ve learned to persevere, to let go when I must, to grab for what I want, and to handle rejection. I’ve learned that I am not defined by the way that I look, but rather by the limits my own fears and doubts impose. That understanding makes it easier to clear away doubt when it crops up (which, of course, it still does, although with less frequency).

And what I think I’m finally accepting, despite the reflection in the mirror, is that I am more beautiful as this woman than I ever was when my muscles were taut, my hair glossy, and my skin still wrinkle-free. I hope my daughter (and other young women) learn this secret much sooner than I have, because then they can waste less time blowing out their hair and more time dedicated to the things that bring them genuine fulfillment.

xo-Jamie

 

 

Natural Inspiration

I’ve just returned from a week in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. We packed a house full with three generations of family, loads of skis and snowboards, and more than a few bottles of wine.

Top of Collins toward Sugarloaf, Alta

Top of Collins toward Sugarloaf, Alta

No setting makes me happier—heart and soul—than being amid majestic, snowcapped mountains. To me, the stark beauty of ragged peaks and white powder is unparalleled by any blue ocean, emerald forest, or blazing orange desert.

Top of Supreme lift, Alta

Top of Supreme lift, Alta

The heady combination of crisp air, heart-pounding activity, and my kids’ pride and laughter with each new trick they accomplish gets all my juices flowing. My mind unlocks, problem solving becomes easier, story ideas flow naturally. I envy those who get to enjoy this experience on a more regular basis, and I always leave the Rockies convinced it will be where I retire.

Snowbird from the Alta Bypass Road

Snowbird from the Alta Bypass Road

Writing View

Writing View

Until then, I’ll have to rely on my photos and memories to sustain me through the long months in between these vacations. Of course, I’m currently working on a romance series involving a fictional ski town and three super-hot ski pro heroes, so perhaps I’ll have to take a few “research” trips during the next year. Now there’s an inspired idea!

Alta/Snowbird Crossing Point

Alta/Snowbird Crossing Point

Where is your favorite vacation destination, and does that setting inspire you?

XO-Jamie

Mental Strength

Lots of people make fitness resolutions in January, but 99% of the time they’re talking strictly about physical fitness.  Perhaps most of us fail to think about mental fitness because we believe we’re doing okay, or, if we’re not, we assume we can’t help the way we think.  Either way, when we ignore our mental health, we’re setting ourselves up trouble.

http://www.123rf.com/profile_fberti

http://www.123rf.com/profile_fberti

I read this interesting article in Psychology Today, by licensed social worker Amy Morin, about mental strength.  She discusses thirteen things mentally strong people don’t do.  Nothing on the list is particularly novel advice, but it serves as a good reminder for us all.

The article is worth reading in its entirety, but here’s a list of the 13 things to avoid doing in 2015:

  1. Wasting time feeling sorry for yourself
  2. Giving away your power
  3. Shying away from change
  4. Wasting energy on things you can’t control
  5. Worrying about pleasing others
  6. Fearing taking calculated risks
  7. Dwelling on the past
  8. Repeating the same mistakes
  9. Resenting other people’s success
  10. Giving up after failure
  11. Fearing alone time
  12. Expecting the world to owe you something
  13. Expecting immediate results

When I read through this list, I can identify at least one area where I could improve (point number 4).  I’m also prone to succumb to numbers 3 and 13, too.  Self-awareness is the first step toward improvement, so I’ll embrace the introspection and think about ways to break bad habits this year.

How about you?  Do any of these items make you say “doh!”?  Care to share, or offer tips on how to overcome these weaknesses?

xo-Jamie

Diet Drink of the Summer… Wine O’Clock Spritzer!

Katherine here, ready to share my latest recommendation.

Those who know me well know I enjoy a glass or two of vino in the evening.  What Southern gal doesn’t?  Unfortunately, I’ve struggled the past year or two with additional pounds that creep onto my mid-section.  I doubt the nightly wine helps, so I’ve worked hard to resist the evening drink during the weeknights.  This is much harder during the summer, when we’ve been at the beach or pool all day and don’t have to run off to sports or other kids’ activities in the evenings.  And when I do drink, it makes waking up in time for the 5:15 a.m. exercise class I’ve been taking darn hard.

But I think I’ve found a solution to my woes thanks to a cocktail recipe I found on the Martha Stewart website.   Now, before I go on, you should note I’ve long believed the wine spritzer was a drink only my mother and her friends would enjoy.  But maybe they’re on to something.  This tasty white wine spritzer is wonderfully refreshing, and perfect for a lazy summer night.  Oh—I can also still get up in the morning for my workout.  Saving calories at night while still having a bit of wine, and burning it all off in the morning.  Win-Win!

Here’s the super-simple recipe:DSC_0008

½ cup of ice cubes
5 ounces of your favorite chilled white wine
3 ounces of chilled seltzer
A few watermelon or cantaloupe balls (cute and festive)

For other summer drink ideas, visit Martha Stewart’s Everyday Blog.

Now it’s your turn to share with us and others…what’s your favorite summer drink?

XO-KATHERINE

Protect Your Health and Immune System

How is this romantic?  It isn’t, unless you consider that fewer household illnesses means a less exhausted set of parents…which increases the odds of being in the mood to….you know….

So let me share this important information. images-4 Through my work with CARES, I was fortunate enough to hear the authors of A Compromised Generation give an amazing, if somewhat frightening, presentation about how our current lifestyle choices and food supplies are adversely affecting our health.  But don’t panic, even a few simple changes can make a big difference!  Check out my article about how to Protect Your Family’s Health and Immune System.

xo-jamie