Friday, May 18, 2018

Fly On The Wall In The Florida Heat

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, four bloggers are inviting you into their home for a sneak peek at what goes on behind closed doors.

     Things are starting to warm up a bit here in sunny south Florida. I break out into a sweat within the first 30 seconds of walking my dogs at noon. The heat makes us cranky, and when the folks in my family get cranky, they begin to complain. A lot.

"It's amazing that the leatherback turtle can lay her eggs and then leave them to hatch on their own."
"I wish I could have done that with our four kids during their teen years."

"Welcome back to Florida."
"You mean, welcome back to the steam bake state."

"It's Cinco de Mayo! We should drink margaritas today!"
"I can't---lime juice gives me heartburn..."
"Okay, so order a margarita with a Tums floater on top. "

"If I do this cabbage soup diet for 10 days, our house is going to explode from methane gas."

"I don't know how we're going to find out way our of these woods."
"Don't worry about being lost until you hear a banjo."
"It's either bible thumping or banjo music in these parts."

"This is a really weird county we're driving through. Why is there a random dragon statue on the hill, and what does that say about this town?"

"When you say the house is a 'fixer upper', don't you mean it's a 'fucker upper'?"

"I love it when you imitate a T-Rex."
"Yeah, but it's not fun explaining to the doctor how I got carpal tunnel from doing T-Rex arms."

"Keep sunbathing like that and your skin will look as old as the paper the Constitution was written on."

"My spirit animal is a manatee."

"You know your daughter loves you when she uses her own electric trimmer to help you pluck your eyebrows and your nose hairs."

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This past week, I had a poem featured on MERAK MAGAZINE, which you can read here:

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  https://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother           
Never Ever Give Up Hope            https://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Spatulas on Parade                   https://  

Thursday, May 17, 2018

How To Beat 6 Menopause Symptoms With Your Diet

     I've written numerous times on my blog about the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and how I am always in search of the best solutions to battle things such as hot flashes, weight gain, and fatigue.

     Today on the blog, my guest Vinay Amin, founder of Eu Natural, is here to discuss the 6 main symptoms of menopause that can be lessened with the help of supplements.

How To Beat 6 Menopause Symptoms With Your Diet

Menopause, and the changes that come along with it, can be a shock at first. You probably knew to expect it, but when it actually arrives, you may find yourself experiencing a bevy of physical symptoms. Fortunately, you can alleviate some of those symptoms with strategic diet choices. Below are six symptoms you can beat by switching up what you eat and drink.

1. Bloating

As your hormones change during menopause and pre-menopause, you might experience water retention and bloating. Surprisingly, drinking more water is often a great solution to this issue, and it also has the added benefit of reducing that skin dryness that often accompanies menopause. Keep a bottle of water nearby throughout the day, and aim to drink eight glasses per day. If you find the taste of water to be too bland, infuse it with fruit or mint. You can also stock up on H2O by eating foods that are rich in water, like watermelon or cucumber. At the same time, aim to limit your intake of salty foods and foods that are known to cause flatulence.

2. Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

As many women know, one of the hallmark symptoms of menopause is the onset of hot flashes and night sweats. (Raise your hand if youve ever caught a friend or female relative standing in front of an open freezer for relief!) These sudden rushes of heat are still somewhat mysterious to experts—we don’t know exactly why they happen, though research has found that women with high cholesterol tend to experience them more frequently. That said, there are specific foods and drinks that could potentially contribute to the issue.

If youre experiencing more hot flashes or night sweats than youd like, experiment with reducing your intake of spicy foods. Youll also want to cut back on caffeinated beverages and alcohol to see if that makes a difference. Be on the lookout for foods that could help lower your cholesterol, like oats and certain types of fish.

3. Depression And Mood Changes

Menopause is marked by hormonal changes, so it only makes sense that you might experience some changes in your mood as a result. Many women experience a decrease in serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain. This can lead to mild depression or bouts of sadness during menopause, as well as a potential increase in anxiety or frustration. To help combat this, reach for foods that are rich in carbohydrates, especially complex carbs. Whole grain bread is a great start.

4. Bone Loss

Menopause can increase the risk of osteoporosis, and bone density loss is a common issue. Help fight against this by including lots of calcium and vitamin D in your diet, and remember that the earlier you start implementing these into your eating habits, the better—no need to wait until menopause begins. Dairy options like milk and yogurt are easy calcium-rich options, but you can also enjoy calcium through foods like broccoli, almonds, and salmon. When it comes to vitamin D, you can increase your intake both through foods and through regular exposure to bright natural sunlight. Both calcium and vitamin D can also be taken as supplements if its okay with your doctor.

5. Weight Gain

As your metabolism slows down, fight off weight gain by adding nutrient-rich, low calorie foods to your diet. Fruits and veggies are a great place to start. Youll also benefit from lean protein, and from switching to simple carbs to grains like quinoa and oats.

6. Fatigue

The chemical changes your body is experiencing can lead to exhaustion. Keep these symptoms at bay with foods rich in B vitamins, like whole grains. Oatmeal and brown rice are excellent options. Resist the urge to keep increasing your caffeine intake whenever you feel tired, because that can trigger other menopause symptoms youd probably rather avoid.


Menopause doesnt have to be something to dread. With a few small habit changes, like a healthy diet, prioritizing regular movement, and taking natural supplements with science-backed ingredients, you can thrive through menopause. Hot flashes and weight gain, take a seat—youve got a fun and fulfilling life to live.


Vinay Amin is the founder of Eu Natural, a premium wellness brand that creates pure supplements formulated to empower your health.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Alvoru Clothing: Helping Hot Women Become Cooler

     During the menopause years, hot flashes and night sweats are no joke. One minute we're dressed nice, ready to go out for the evening, and the next minute we're melting into a hot mess, peeling off layers of clothing.

     Sound familiar? Today on the blog, my guest Jeanette Knittle is here with a solution to our wardrobe malfunctions during the hot menopausal years.


The middle of the night and I woke up wondering if I was swimming! Seriously, how could I be soaked? The sheets, mattress pad, me—everything was screaming wet! I thought for sure I would find a pool of water under the bed!

Maybe it was a freak incident? But wait this happened the next night, and the next, and the next! Welcome to my beginning of peri-menopause and night sweats.

While I knew that night sweats and hot flashes are a part of the aging process, I was so unprepared for the misery that would be a part of my life for years. After months of the same scenario, night after night, I decided to go online and look for sleepwear to help with the night sweats. What I found was a number of companies with wicking fabric but OMG…no way at 46 was I ready to be wearing granny gowns for the rest of my days! So much for any sex appeal in my bedroom! Still, I desperately needed sleep so I bought the best-looking option out there. Lo and behold, it helped, yet it wasn’t at all what I wanted in appearance, performance, and function.

After letting the idea percolate for a number of years (along with continued pool parties!) I decided to look into creating a line of clothing of women that would help them feel sexy, cool, confident and comfortable while struggling with hot flashes and/or night sweats. Nearly 10 years later, I launched alvöru and I’m thrilled to share my passion for my product with other women who suffer like I did (and still do!).

My brand, alvöru, is an apparel line designed for women who want FEMININE, CLASSIC, and COMFORTABLE clothes to balance career and casual while dealing with hormonal fluctuations that cause hot flashes and night sweats. Aside from menopause, many women face challenges due to increased body temperature occurring in pregnancy, chemotherapy, various medications and other illness or disease.

alvöru utilizes the technology that went into space gloves used by NASA to regulate astronauts body temperature using what’s called PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS.  Imagine ice cubes in a drink; as the ice cube changes from solid to liquid, it absorbs heat and cools the drink, keeping your drink at the desired temperature for longer. Our clothing works the same way – as the skin gets hot, the heat is absorbed, and as it cools, that heat is released. 

The alvöru collection is created using a blend of fabric that feels great against your skin. Current designs are made from a jersey knit of supima cotton, viscose and spandex. All of these components bring you the comfort of that old worn T-shirt but in a STYLISH and CLASSY design that works whether under your business suit, with jeans or even to sleep in. And, everything about our product is proudly Made in America. 

Being COOL, COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT throughout your day is so easy with alvöru.


 Jeanette Knittel never knew after graduating from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR with a B.S. in Home Economics/Child Development & Psychology, decades later that education would be integral when starting alvöru clothing. 

Prior to alvöru, Jeanette worked 10 years in the computer graphics industry owning Computer Images of Wichita and Kansas City with such clients as Pizza Hut, Inc. Sprint, AMC Theaters, and Boeing. Upon selling, Jeanette took her talents of relationship building to various sales careers – in computer-related industries and her last employment with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. 

Acceptance in 2012 into UMKC’s Entrepreneurship Scholars Program, the decision to turn a dream into a business became reality. Launching with a limited collection in March 2014, alvöru uses performance-based fabric technology that went into space garments used by NASA to regulate astronaut’s body temperature. Jeanette still considers alvöru to be in a start-up phase as she operates the business as a solopreneur.

Being COOL, COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT throughout your day and night is easy with alvöru.

Jeanette Knittel


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Simple DIY Wrinkle Cream You Can Make At Home

     I've been pampering my skin since my early twenties when I first heard about the damaging effects of the sun. Back then, I was spending a small fortune on skincare products without realizing that I could make my own wrinkle creams at home.

     Today on the blog, my guest Jennifer Scott is here to share her DIY secrets to better skincare!  

All Natural Do It Yourself Wrinkle Cream
As we grow older our skin tells the story of our lives. As laugh lines and crow’s feet begin to appear, it’s only natural to look for remedies that will reduce aging effects. There are a variety of anti-aging serums and wrinkle creams on the market today, but why spend exorbitant amounts of money on commercial products when you can make your own wrinkle cream for a fraction of the price? 

The Benefits of Making Your Own Wrinkle Cream 
There are numerous reasons beyond the cost of commercial products to make your own wrinkle cream. Many of the serums and creams on the market today claim to be able to reduce wrinkles with long-term use. The reality is that at least some of these products contain harsh ingredients that can actually damage your skin if they’re used over a long period of time. 

When making your own wrinkle cream, you know exactly what you are using on your skin. Many of the ingredients used in the recipes below are natural antioxidants that aid in the prevention of damage caused by harmful UV rays. The butters and carrier oils soften the skin after the first use, and you have the added benefit of using all natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin. As an extra bonus, these all-natural creams have a pleasant aroma, and you get to experience the pleasure of creating them yourself. With a little time and experimentation, you can eventually hand tailor a wrinkle cream that suits you specifically. Trying out the following recipes is a great way to get started. 

The Ingredients 
Most of the ingredients that you’ll need to make your wrinkle cream can be found easily online or at your local herb/health food shop. You may even already have some of them at home. Just be sure that you purchase your ingredients from a reputable location to avoid buying products that are outdated or not of a high quality. Initially, some of the essential oils may seem a bit pricey, but in the recipes, they are only used in small amounts and will last a long time so long as you store them properly. 

Butters: Cocoa butter, Shea butter, and Mango butter all make great thickeners for wrinkle creams and they have the added benefit of being excellent for your skin. Cocoa butter has a very pleasant smell and is soothing to rough skin, while Shea butter is rich in vitamins A and E, making it an ideal moisturizer and restorative. Mango butter is a pleasant, less greasy butter suitable for those with oily skin. 

Carrier Oils: Carrier oils are typically used when you are creating a blend of essential oils. They’re also used in creams to give a smooth even blend that is less likely to clump. Like the butters, carrier oils also have properties that are beneficial to your skin. Sweet Almond oil softens the skin and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil is a great moisturizer, and Jojoba oil is a great choice for overly dry skin that has been damaged due to acne or eczema. 

Essential Oils: Essential oils are pure aromatics that are distilled or pressed from the flowers, bark, roots, seeds or leaves of herbs and other plants. Pure essential oils are very concentrated and deliver a higher concentration of the beneficial properties of the plant than a simple infusion. The following are just a few essential oils that are beneficial for skincare: 

  • Frankincense oil – Repairs damaged skin and balances skin tone.
  • Calendula oil – Repairs dry damaged skin and eases any discomfort associated with chapping.
  • Lemon oil – A great antioxidant that clears and freshens the skin.
  • Pomegranate Seed oil – Acts as a natural sunscreen and reduces the effects of aging due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Lavender oil – Eases chapped skin and smoothes fine wrinkles.
  • Geranium oil – Balances combo skin that is both oily and dry. It also repairs damaged skin.
  • Carrot Seed oil – Rejuvenates the skin and smoothes wrinkles.
Both of the recipes listed below are easy to make. You will need the following items in addition to your ingredients to make these creams: 

  • A clean glass jar with a screw top lid – Essential oils will cling to plastic, so avoid plastic jars.
  • Glass eye droppers – one for each essential oil you plan to use. 
  • A small saucepan – this will act as a double boiler while making your cream.
  • A small whisk – A whisk will blend your ingredients more evenly, and it can also be used to fluff your cream.
  • Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups – Stainless steel or glass are best.
  • Beeswax – Beeswax can be purchased in pellets or blocks. It is used as a thickener.
  • A spoon – Glass is better, but you can also use stainless steel. 
  • A glass bowl – You’ll need to make sure that your bowl will fit in your saucepan for heating. Some people prefer to create their creams directly in the jar that it will be stored in, but this can make it difficult to blend the cream thoroughly.

Start by bringing about 3-4 inches of water to a simmer in your saucepan. While the water is heating, measure your butters and carrier oils into a glass bowl or jar. When the water is simmering, place the bowl or jar into the pan and heat until your base ingredients are completely melted, stirring occasionally. If you would like a thicker cream, add beeswax and allow it to thoroughly melt. 

Once your butters and carrier oils are melted, remove the bowl or jar from the pan and allow the mixture to cool until it starts to thicken. Continue to stir occasionally while it cools and when it has the consistency of a lotion add your essential oils. Using your whisk, continually whip the cream until cool to thoroughly blend the oils and to help prevent separation. If you want a really fluffy cream, you can continue to whisk your mixture by hand or you can use an electric mixer on low speed. 

When your cream has reached the desired consistency, store it in a clean glass jar. Your cream should last approximately three months. 

Anti-aging Wrinkle Cream 
¾ cup Shea Butter 
2.5 tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil 
1 teaspoon Beeswax 
8 drops Frankincense Oil 
8 drops Carrot Seed Oil 
10 drops Pomegranate Seed Oil 
4 drops Lemon Oil 
Apply to clean, dry skin in the morning and before bed. 

Rejuvenating Cream for Wrinkled and Damaged Skin 
½ cup Cocoa Butter 
½ cup Shea Butter 
3 tablespoons Coconut Oil 
1 teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil 
10 drops Pomegranate Seed Oil 
12 Drops Calendula Oil 
6 drops Geranium Oil 
10 drops Lavender Oil 
Apply to clean, dry skin in the morning and before bed. 
Beauty may only be skin deep, but first impressions can still last a lifetime. Making your own wrinkle cream is a wonderful, inexpensive way to nourish your skin so that you can face the world with a beautiful, healthy glow.


Jennifer is the beauty and brains behind Beautifully Alive! She loves eating healthy and trying new recipes.The self-proclaimed Zumba Queen has a passion for beauty products and loves reading new books. She's always down for a DIY project! 

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Message From My Closet

     My closet and I have a love-hate relationship. First of all, it's a dark abyss overstuffed with clothes from a thirty year span in fashion. You know what I'm referring to---fat clothes and the skinny clothes I just can't let go of....yet. I'm still holding out hope that this Whole 30 diet thing will make me thin. It would probably help though if I gave up my weekend wine.

     I've been body shamed before, but somehow, it's even worse when my own closet betrays me. I've tried to ignore the signs, but unlike my scale, my closet never lies. The messages it has been sending lately are coming in loud and clear:

Padded shoulder jackets are NOT coming back into style, even though stirrup pants have. 

The last time you wore stilettos, your ankle folded while stepping off a curb in front of Duffy's Bar. It's time to consider orthopedic footwear.

Boy George called. He wants his Fedora Flat Top back.

Those size six mom jeans are going to do more than cut off your circulation. When your brain becomes deprived of oxygen, it'll take four paramedics and the Jaws of Life to get you out of them.

Oversized, animal print totes are so yesterday. Do you really want to be mistaken for a middle-aged woman carrying around a dead zebra?

There's a reason why your Nike Air running shoes still look brand new.

It's time to sell the tight Y2K cocktail dress on Letgo.

Have you ever heard of control top panels?

Stop wearing the sepia coat. You look like a raw spud.

A rainbow sequined tube top. REALLY?

You might want to check out that sale on Hawaiian muumuus at Walmart this week....


     Perhaps these comments are a cry for help from my closet, or just a sign that it's time to purge the abyss. Either way, I see a major clothes shopping spree in my future.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? You can find me on Motherly this week, discussing a head lice epidemic:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How To Beat Hot Flashes: Guest Post By Alex Chavarry

     As many of you know, I have been suffering from hot flashes since I began my menopause journey eight years ago. I'm always on the lookout for products that help minimize the uncomfortable symptoms of a hot flash, and recently, I found a great product that I feel many of you will benefit from. Please welcome Alex Chavarry from Cool Links on the blog today, sharing the details of a neck wrap that is sure to beat the heat when a hot flash strikes.

Cool Links Neck Wrap: A New Way to Beat the Hot Flashes

Popsicles, frozen peas, wet towels, fans full blast; she tried everything. The hot flashes and night sweats were becoming more regular. She just turned 49 years old and didn't want to enter her 50s in discomfort. The reality of menopause was sinking in. Sometimes it was subtle or sometimes it was extreme, but either way she just wanted some relief.
My mom tried everything to beat the heat. When I was a kid, she always did everything to make sure I was taken care of and comfortable. So it was difficult to see her going through this transitional period in her life without that comfort she was so good at providing.
Those years always stuck with me. It would be winter and she would run to the freezer, seemingly sweating, just to find some short term relief. Sure, as a 20 something year old man-child, I would sometimes giggle and tease, but I knew I wanted to do something to help. 
The idea started with ice in a sock, and after many years of tinkering we did it; we created the Cool Links neck wrap.

The Cool Links was designed to be the first adaptable cooling wrap to help people beat the heat. It is created with individual links which help it contour around the body making it light and comfortable. 

It is the first product to have removable cubes so you can keep extra ones in the freezer to swap out thawed ones and extend the cooling time as long as you'd like. 

We made sure to use a wrap made of moisture wicking fabric so you can feel cool without ever getting wet; not to mention stylish and fun to wear.

Mom was the first one to test the Cool Links, and as any mother would, she said she loved it and it was "the best cooling product" she's ever seen. After launching in July of 2017 at outdoor festivals throughout California, we discovered that we can now help more people too. Many women have told us how much they love the relief they get from the Cool Links as well as all of its great features.

Every detail was carefully thought of to keep mom comfortable just like she did for me all those years (and still does). We hope you enjoy it too! Pick one up at:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fly On The Wall At A Writer's Conference

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall, hosted by Karen of Baking in A Tornado. Each month, several bloggers share posts on what would be seen if you were a fly on the wall in their homes. In my case, the fly went along on a road trip with me earlier this month.

     I recently returned from an adventure that proved to be one of the most entertaining weeks of my life. I'm not talking about a trip to Disney World or a vacation on a cruise ship. I'm talking about the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, a special conference held in Dayton, Ohio every two years for aspiring writers. This was my third EBWW conference, and I swear, they just keep getting better every time. The conference offers a multitude of classes on the craft of writing, along with the opportunity to network with other writers, editors and agents. There's also a whole slew of famous keynote speakers to inspire us on our writing journey as well.

     As much as I enjoyed helpful classes on topics such as the secrets to getting published in magazines, memoir boot camp, using humor in the dark places, and busting writer's block, to me, one of the most important aspects of the conference was the camaraderie among my writer friends. We booked hotel rooms side by side, ate all of our meals together and brainstormed ideas for books, blogs, and personal essay writing. These people are my tribe, the people who encourage me to keep going when I feel like quitting. Because of them, I'm back to working on my memoir---something I had put off for awhile during a long bout of writer's block.

     Rather than go into detail about the incredible energy and excitement I felt at the conference, I'd rather express the experience in a collection of photos taken at the event. Enjoy!

My tribe of amazing friends and writers

Sooooo much laughter.....
Getting an autograph from Rita Davenport, author of Funny Side Up

Honored to be in the company of these wonderful bloggers and authors

Apparently pink and purple hair was all the rage this year at EBWW

One of my besties and a huge reason why I attend the conference---to connect with Linda!

Found my brother from another mother. This is David Henry Sterry of the Book Doctors.

Comedian Jim Hands was crowned King James of EBWW

Two hilarious writers, Parri and Brian, who kept me laughing throughout each meal

You know you're having fun when you stay out so late with fellow writers that you close down the bar.....with the bartender. 

This Florida girl got to see SNOW in Dayton! 22 Degrees!

The stand-up comedians who put on a great show. So proud of my friends in this group!

What would a conference be without a "professional" photo at the end of the weekend?

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week I'm featured on THAT'S INAPPROPRIATE with my story on why I'm glad I'm no longer raising toddlers. You can read it here:

Buzz around, see what you think about some of these other blogs by clicking on these links for a peek into their homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  https://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother           
Never Ever Give Up Hope            https://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Spatulas on Parade                   https://spatulasonparade.blogs


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