Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York

The view of Manhattan from Greenpoint. Like a postcard!
   I always say the anticipation of a journey is almost as fun as the trip itself, especially since the Internet came along and made the research part so freaking easy. Next week's destination is Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and I've been scouting must-do's on hyper-local websites, including one called Greenpointers, because that's the best way to find out what's happening in the neighborhood. I've found that if you Google the name of your travel destination along with the word "local," "best-kept secrets" or "neighborhood," you'll typically find a great site full of insider tips, including the all-important restaurant recommendations. (Fortunately, we have a couple of food-loving locals who are eager to show us around, so my research is more fun than necessity.)
Greenpoint is known as the location for HBO's "Girls" and for its large Polish population. As a collector of Polish pottery, this makes me happy although most Polish food is long on gluten. Oh, well. I'll take my probiotics and hope for the best.
 Despite a half dozen trips to Manhattan, I've never been to Brooklyn the Burrough before, so this site run by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Explore Brooklyn, has been helpful, as well. There will be at least one Saturday trip to Manhattan to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch (starring new lead, Darren Criss of Glee) followed by a myriad of cultural experiences NOT planned by me. And, that's great, too. I'm the kind of traveler who likes surprises around every corner. As long as they're good ones.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Blonde Angel by Kevin Murphy

I stopped coloring my hair almost ten years ago and never looked back. I love not having to spend that two extra hours in the beauty salon every 6-8 weeks. I love saving the money I would have spent on highlights and lowlights. I love not putting chemicals on my head on a regular basis. And, I love the compliments I get on my silver hair, which I'm growing to my shoulders so I can achieve the perfect ponytail come summertime. The only real challenge with gray hair, for me, is keeping it shiny. I've tried all the purple shampoos on the market and my favorite, hands-down, is from Kevin Murphy. Blonde Angel Wash gives my hair a lovely sheen, keeps the yellowing at bay, is gentle enough to use every time (but I alternate it with Kevin Murphy's Hydrate Me Wash) and it smells freaking fantastic which is HUGE in my book.

I don't use the Blonde Angel Rinse because I find the combo too drying, so I use the Hydrate Me Rinse as my go-to conditioner. KM can be pricey since it's available only at salons, but my daughter is in "the industry" and can get it for me at her cost which helps ease the pain. Still, I'd pay full price for this one...and that's saying a lot for a penny-pincher like me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Vitamin D-3 Softgels from Trader Joe's

I had my annual physical yesterday and it was one of the best in recent memory. Blood pressure on the low side of normal, weight down 14 pounds from last year (a triumph I celebrated with a huge lunch and dinner) and blood work nothing short of stellar. Except for my Vitamin D levels which were slightly low. I suspect they were a lot lower a month or so ago before I started taking supplements.  I had a bad winter, people: Dark mood, low energy, overall malaise.  It got bad enough that, in late February, I broke out the Happy Light and invested in some Vitamin D.  D is the "sunshine vitamin," the deficiency of which is tied to depression, bone weakness, heart problems, stroke and more. My doctor recommended 1000-2000 I.U.s per day. Supplements can get pricey, which is why I tend to buy mine at Costco or  Trader Joe's. For $4.99, I can get a 90-day supply of happiness in a bottle and - bonus! - the softgels are small enough to pass my ultra-sensitive gag reflex test.  By the way, Vitamin D is the only supplement my physician recommended for me. She said studies have shown baby aspirin, fish oil, glucosamine and others to be largely ineffective.  I will still take magnesium to fight muscle cramps and valerian root to help me sleep. But, I'm about to free up a helluva lot of space in my medicine cabinet!

Monday, April 6, 2015

True Match by L'Oreal + Body Shop Vit. E Oil

I've had a love-hate relationship with foundation my whole life. Blessed with acne-free skin but cursed with freckles, I used it reluctantly as a teen until the freckles faded. Later, when I got into TV reporting, foundation (aka warpaint) became a part of my daily routine. After I moved out of the camera's glare and into print (adopting a delightful new 'who gives an eff?' attitude about my appearance) those freckles came back in the form of sun spots and makeup was again desired, on occasion. I won't say I've tried every foundation known to woman but I've tried all the types including mineral powders and, most recently, BB creams. This is my current favorite. Old school liquid makeup AND it's only six bucks at Target!
My mom turned me on to True Match a few years ago. I liked it for it's blend-ability and "true matched" color to my pale (some might say ghostly) skin - C2, Natural Ivory. Sometimes, it feels a little heavy for my whole face so I'll use it full-strength on my darker spots, then mix it with a drop or two of Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil (The Body Shop) for a lighter dewy finish with coverage that's good enough.
And, I say 'good enough' because, like the leopard, I don't mind a few spots showing through anymore.
"A leopard does not change (her) spots, or (her) feeling that spots are rather a credit." - Ivy Compton-Burnett

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New name, new focus, same old BoomerGirl

    With this post comes a wholesale change: A new format on BoomerGirl featuring my unabashedly subjective reviews of products, services, destinations, trends and other things that are of interest to boomer-aged women. For those who remember the early days when BoomerGirl debuted as an online magazine (winning the 2007 EPpy Award for best newspaper-affiliated Web Site!!) this move is almost coming full circle.
    BoomerGirls continue to reign as the "power consumers" of the planet. We make buying decisions for ourselves, our partners, our children and grandchildren AND, in many cases, our parents. We control 70% of disposable income in the United States and spend more money than any other generation. Impressive, aren't we?
    What this will NOT be is an "anti-aging" product review site. (Aging. What a stupid thing to be 'anti' about.) I will not be trying Botox or the latest injectable cheek filler or a jawline lift. Nope, needles are out. As is hair color, because that ship sailed nine years ago and I couldn't be happier with my silver locks. Purple shampoo, on the other hand, is on the table.
    Some of the things I review will be of my own choosing; others will be suggested or sent to me by the brand or their PR team. I will be sure to make that distinction in each review.
   Most importantly, I would like your reviews as well. I encourage everyone to leave comments - good, bad or indifferent. Go ahead and name the brands, the product lines, prices, your favorite (or least favorite) colors and flavors. Who knows? The marketers of the world might actually start paying attention. Did you know that less than ten percent of all advertising is targeted at baby boomers? Did I mention there are 77 million of us?
  There may still be a few tidbits about Mom's move out of my childhood home (it's done) or my son's wedding in the fall. (Heck, I could write a whole week of posts on the prevalence of matronly mother-of-the-groom gowns.) But, essentially, BoomerGirl is changing. And, despite what you've heard, change is good.

Boomer Girl Review: Ultimate Oriole Feeder

I've still got a way to go before I'm feeding pigeons on the steps of St. Paul's (which I never thought was a bad thing to do ...