Friday, January 12, 2018

New Year's Resolutions I Will Most Likely Never Keep

     When I was young, it was easy to make New Year's resolutions and actually stick to them (well, for at least six months. Give me some credit here, folks. Swearing off chocolate for an entire year is unreasonable). Now that I'm older (sigh), I realize that New Year's resolutions are not for the faint of heart, and basically, I'm just too lazy to stick to them. My intentions are always good at the start of the year, but then life gets in the way, and I find myself slapping the snooze button on the alarm way too often just to avoid my resolutions.

     This year I'm going into 2018 with more positivity....meaning that I'm pretty positive the following New Year's Resolutions are ones I will most likely never keep:

STICK TO A DIET: Losing weight and eating healthy is always at the top of my list each year before the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. This time, I was off to a great start, existing solely on celery and a bald chicken breast on the first day. But on January 2nd, I caved and split a pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food with my husband. Can I have a Dec. 31st do-over?

EXERCISE MORE: I love my Zumba classes, but the downside to this workout is the personal reward system I use. "Hey, I just burned 600 calories, so that means I can eat Taco Bell tonight!" It doesn't work that way. I know this because I'm sitting here with too many tacos and not enough sweat to burn them all off.

GET ORGANIZED: This is a wonderful concept, and I have no problem doing it, especially in the kitchen. I clean out all of the shelves, throw away expired foods, and pawn all the junk food off on my adult kids. But inevitably, someone gets lazy and shuffles stuff around in the pantry. The peanut butter ends up next to the dog food, and the Basmati rice sits on the floor behind two bottles of cooking sherry. My husband is certain we have pantry gnomes and blames them for our disorganized mess. Do gnomes like Basmati rice? 

TURN OFF THE TV: Let's be honest----this isn't gonna happen. I was never a fan of spending hours in front of the television, mostly because I had four young children that needed to be fed, bathed, and put to bed. But now that I'm am empty nester, I suffer from this mysterious condition that hits me every night after dinner. It's called, "This-couch-feels-really-good-and-I'm-not-moving-for-two-hours-until-I-digest-my-food." It's also known as the "I've-discovered-Netflix-and-I'm-never-going-back-to-regular-tv-again" syndrome. 
MORE MEDITATION & YOGA:  I started yoga about six months ago and I'm trying to make more time for it in my schedule. However, even though I have advanced, I've noticed that my stomach really gets in the way of my progress. Try doing the "Extended Puppy Pose" with a tire strapped around your waistline and you'll see what I'm talking about. I also love the concept of meditation, but when I put it into practice, I fall asleep and then wake up three hours later wondering what century I'm in.

BE MORE ATTENTIVE TO MY SPOUSE: There is a reason I bought a hot tub, but even the promise of playing "sexy mermaid" in the hot, bubbly water (in my case, it's more like a boiling lobster in a pot) is not enough to distract my husband from an NBA playoff. If only I could learn to love the game, but let's face it; I'd rather have my tonsils removed than sit through a two-hour sporting event.

WORK HARDER: I'm a freelancer, so this resolution is difficult to stick to. Why? Because I work from home, where EVERYTHING becomes a distraction: dogs barking at the slightest sound (yes, they can hear an ant sneeze), my daughter calling to vent about work, the neighbor who sunbathes nude (wait---what??), the little pings on my cell phone alerting me of Facebook and Instagram notifications (I'm easily sucked into the social media vortex), and that damn piece of cherry cobbler sitting in the back of my fridge.

USE THAT EXPENSIVE KITCHEN GADGET I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS: I have this device that shreds, dices, squeezes, and for all I know, possibly changes my incontinent dog's diaper pads, but I have yet to try the gadget. It has too many buttons and knobs and blades, and I'm fearful that I might lose a finger if I experiment with it.  

STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF:  If sweating the small stuff really worked, I'd be as thin as a chopstick. I need to accept that it's not a big deal if someone likes the toilet paper folded under the roll instead of over it, or that people in my home prefer to squeeze a tube of toothpaste from the middle instead of from the bottom like a NORMAL human being. Sure, I can deal, but no one better say a word about my habit of baby-talking to my pugs (don't judge---I'm an empty nester remember?).  

      I really feel optimistic about 2018 because I'm going into the new year with my eyes wide open....and my hands full of tacos.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week I was featured on HER VIEW FROM HOME with my husband's poignant adoption story, "How Being Adopted Made My Husband A Better Father." You can read it here: 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Get The Perfect Hair With Addwigs

   Have you ever wanted to switch up your looks without doing anything permanent to alter your appearance? A change of hairstyle can make a big difference, but rather than risking a bad haircut or dye job, why not try a wig? Today on the blog I'm sharing a post from Addwigs to help you find your perfect look for the new year!

              Get the perfect hair with Addwigs
Say goodbye to damaged hair from over styling. Say goodbye to the same boring look you’ve had years. Say goodbye to the insecurity you’ve had when you suffered from hair loss.

And say hello to Addwigs.

Addwigs is a one-stop-shop for human hair wigs. You can choose from a variety of hair textures, lengths, and styles they offer. And the best part--- their products are made 100% from only the best quality human hairs. 
It is true that beauty is only skin deep. A woman’s character is far more important than how she looks. But our character is also what makes us want to experiment and achieve the best version of ourselves. It is where we get the urge to get creative and improve our appearance.

Wanting to change your hair color, length, and other aspects of your hair can sometimes come with uncertainty and anxiety. Many women go out of a salon happy with their new look only to be disappointed and frustrated weeks or months later because the expensive hair treatment they paid for didn’t hold up to its promise. Let’s face it; repeated exposure to heat and harsh chemicals cause hair damage. I’ve been there; we’ve all been there. And hair takes months if not years to regrow. Damaged hair does not look good and only shakes ones confidence.
That’s where Addwigs come in.  
Addwigs helps you explore your dream hairstyle with natural-looking wigs. Their wigs come with pre-plucked hairlines, which means you will have a hairline with natural baby hairs. People will never even notice you are actually wearing a wig, but only that you look so much better!
Many people buy the cheaper lace front wigs but are left disappointed because they can only part their new wig for about three inches. But not with Addwigs, their amazing lace front wig collection can be parted up to six inches! 

Addwigs’ products are also reasonably priced. I also love how their wig cap is made of soft and breathable material. This is especially important for people who suffer from hair loss. This means the wigs can be worn for long hours with comfort and ease. 

I love that the Addwigs website also posts realistic photos of their products, so you really know what you are going to get. There’s so much room for flexibility when you order a wig-- you can choose the hair length, volume, color and which lace color you prefer. If you have any additional request, they will gladly accommodate them too.

There is an expression that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory. A beautiful hair does upgrade a person’s overall look. But the pursuit of beauty should neither be so expensive nor damaging. That’s what Addwigs offers, the perfect hair day without hurting your pocket and your healthy hair. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Winter Writer Series: Guest Post By Molly Stevens

     I'm so pleased to have Molly Stevens back on the blog today! She has a new book out that I know my readers will love. Boomer on the Ledge is described by Molly as "a little doll whose daily surprises reminded her how being a boomer is both harrowing and hilarious."

     A few months ago, Molly gave a full description of the book on her blog, Shallow Reflections. Today she is sharing an interview with the doll, Boomer in the Ledge, which is hysterical.

     If you're familiar with "Elf On A Shelf" (who isn't??) then you understand why we Boomers need someone like this little doll watching over our antics as we age. Check out Molly's website from the info below and be sure to grab a copy of her new book!

         It's a book! It's a doll! It's Boomer on the Ledge!

I had some apprehension when Boomer on the Ledge™ - the book and doll - came to life on 10/17/17. I worried about how the world would treat them. I wondered if they could live up to my hopes and dreams. 

What were my hopes and dreams? 

I could write a treatise, but I decided to interview Boomer on the Ledge to give you her perspective. 

Me: Do you think people like the book?
BOTL: It has me in it, so duh! Of course, they like the book. I’m hilarious. 

Me: Do you think they grasp the concept of the Boomer on the Ledge?
BOTL: My new owners are having a blast posing and photographing me. So I’d say they understand what Boomer on the Ledge is all about. 

Me: What are you all about?
BOTL: I help people view aging as something that includes fun and laughter. And I inspire creativity when people pose me in their daily lives. Here’s what I overheard Marcella say, “My doll is doing what I would love to do. Because of Molly’s imagination, mine has been restored!”

                              Marcella’s doll overindulged on Halloween 

Me: Are you surprised at how much people like you?
BOTL: Not at all. I know you had apprehension, but I was confident that once people saw how adorable I was, everyone would want me. I don’t have the same insecurities that you have.

Brenda DeRoche, the seamstress whose skills brought BOTL to life posed the doll on her sewing machine

Me: Why do you think boomers relate to you so well? 
BOTL: Hanging on a ledge is symbolic of an aging boomer – perched between danger and adventure. When you are younger, it is a shock if an illness or injury strikes someone you know. But as you age, a disaster can be around the next bend. Conversely, this age is a fabulous time of self-discovery, creativity, and adventure.

Me: How have you helped people who need encouragement? 
BOTL: Michele, who is coping with her husband’s illness, said when she feels down all she has to is look at me to feel better. Sue, a new widow, kept me by her side when she found it difficult to address her Christmas cards.  And I went to the hospital with Cynthia when she had surgery.

Me: What are your ambitions for 2018? 
BOTL: I like being handmade and numbered, but I wish there were more of me to go around. I'd love it if everyone who purchases a book could buy a doll, too. Of course, I can’t belong to anyone who doesn’t own a book, since the pictures in the book spark ideas.

Me: Where can people buy you and the book? 
BOTL: You can buy the book on Amazon. I’m available with the book at my online shop: People who order me will need to be patient as there is a waiting list. But I am anxious to get into the hands of more people who can enjoy my antics.

                                     Boomer on the Ledge book and doll 

Me: We’ve had a good time since the book launch, haven’t we? 
BOTL: We have indeed. I’ve laughed so hard I’ve peed my pants. 
Me: You do use bladder protection, right?
BOTL: (Rolled her painted eyes)

Posed atop a package of adult incontinence aids (we don’t like to call them diapers.)


Molly Stevens arrived late to the writing desk but is forever grateful her second act took this direction instead of karaoke or trampling competitors at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Molly believes humor is the emollient that soothes life’s rough patches and promotes these convictions in her blog: Shallow Reflections. She won third place in the 2017 National Society of Newspaper Columnists writing contest and is a contributing author for These Summer Months: Stories from the Late Orphan Project, edited by Anne Born. She is a featured contributor for Humor Outcasts and part of the Bangor Daily News blogging network. Her guest posts have appeared on: Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, Better after 50, Sizzling Towards 60, Mostly Blogging, Menopausal Mother, and Sixty and Me. Molly grew up on a potato farm in northern Maine, where she wore a snowsuit over both her Halloween costume and her Easter dress. She lives in central Maine, and when she’s not writing, working or watching the New England Patriots win super bowls, she and her husband, Patrick, love to spend time with their son, daughter-in-law and two perfect grandsons. This is Molly's first book.

Amazon links to book and author page:

Social media and blog links:

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fly On The Wall In St. Nick's House

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

     The fly in my house has seen all the craziness going on lately that we fondly refer to as "Christmas Chaos" while we prepare for the big day. We have been shopping for special gifts, stringing lights inside and outside the house, party hopping, trimming our Christmas tree, wrapping gifts until our fingers ache, sharing a few cozy nights around the fire pit, and then (my favorite) baking dozens of different kinds of holiday cookies together. This is a special tradition in my family, passed down from my mother. Most of the recipes are quite old, and when I stand in the kitchen covered in confectioner's sugar with my daughters and granddaughter, I feel as if my mum is standing right there beside me.

     Rather than just writing about the fun things we did this month, I'm sharing it in a series of photos that capture the joy of the holiday season for the Doyle family.

From our family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Last week I was featured on Zest Now, sharing my story on how to make a marriage work after being together for many, MANY years! You can read it here:

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

Baking In A Tornado                  http://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother          
Searching for Sanity                   https://singlemumplusone.
Spatulas on Parade                    https://spatulasonparade.
Never Ever Give Up Hope             https://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Bookworm in the Kitchen             http://www.bookwormkitchen. com/   
The Blogging 911              
Go Mama O                                                                                                                                                                           

Friday, December 15, 2017

Reclaiming My Holiday Joy: Guest Post By Emily Gaffney

     Today I'm happy once again to share another heartfelt essay written from by Emily Gaffney on the changes we experience during the holidays when our grown children are no longer home to celebrate with us. Luckily for Emily, her Christmases are about to become quite a bit brighter.....

                      Reclaiming My Holiday Joy

I use to have Christmas Spirit... enough to make everyone in my family feel warm and fuzzy about Santa’s impending visit... enough to spare actually. But over the last few years, I’ve felt a waning of sorts... like I just can’t get it up for Christmas.  
With the aging of my kids, I’ve reined it in. I no longer feel the need to achieve Pinterest perfection. These days, I fashion a little garland with some white lights on the stairs (okay... a lot of white lights...), erect the Christmas village, hang a wreath on the door, and call it a day. Without children to enjoy it (and a comparatively limited social calendar...), there’s just no reason to go all out.  
And that’s okay. My five children express happy holiday memories of festive winter days at our home, filled with bright lights, silver bells and pine tree smells. They remember stairs festooned with boughs of holly and reams of garland... twinkling colored bulbs and a warm crackling fire... advent calendars filled with candy... carols playing in the background all day, and cider literally mulling on the stove. 
It was all there (as evidenced in a library of videos), and my kids ate it up. Who wouldn’t? 
I still think about making cookies... I think about adding more garland... I think about gathering friends for spiked egg nog and caroling... I think about buying new wrapping paper (like a tree falling in the woods - does paper from 2013 matter if there’s no one to question the existence of Santa?)... I think, I think, I think... But I rarely actually do
It feels like a lot of work for a family where the youngest is now 22. Honestly, the kids would rather have a wad of cash from Santa to spend frivolously on whatever they don’t actually need. And this year, two of our brood will be elsewhere, further diminishing my personal holiday cheer. No... Christmas morning is just not the same without the excitement and awe of young children there to enjoy it. 

But a big change is on the horizon for next year, and I believe I’ll have ample opportunity to reclaim my lost Christmas Spirit. My husband and I finally met our two grandkids for the first time on December 1st (a long story, but with a decidedly happy ending). Henry is “almost four” and Lily is 5 months old. Their visit came during our town’s annual Christmas Walk. Henry got to see Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive off the harbor in a lobster boat. He saw holiday dancers, and heard costumed carolers. He viewed a parade, complete with dancing elves throwing candy. Seeing Henry watch the festivities was inspiring, and kindled a little fire under my holiday spirit. 
Now - as “Poppy” and “Mimi” – we’re already making plans for next year when Santa will find Henry and Lily at our house on December 25th. Our grandkids will have to go over the river and through the woods to get here, but we’ll make it worth their while with a full-on holiday assault. 
We’ll buy a gargantuan tree and cover it with blinking colored lights (not those tiny, sensible white lights)... We’ll shop our way through Toys R Us and Target - our cart overflowing with the latest in trendy toys, trinkets and gadgets... We’ll stock up on the ingredients needed to make colorful Christmas cookies... We’ll play Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (over and over)... 
Poppy and I will dash through the snow with our grandkids, (if it snows - Boston can be iffy)... We’ll build a frosty snowman... We’ll jingle our bells and roast some chestnuts on an open fire... And on Christmas morning, 12 drummers drumming will wake the kids so they can open their stockings which were hung with care... And finally, they’ll open brown paper packages tied up with string, which will definitely contain some of their favorite things. 
Oh, what fun it is to think about next Christmas with Henry and Lily! I guess I’d forgotten how much having children around can brighten the holiday season. Only 344 more days, and we’ll have ourselves a Merry Little Christmas – once again! 


Emily Gaffney is a Baby-Booming, Empty Nester who’s living life-on-hold, while caring for her 91 year old mother (Right.Next.Door.) She writes, with humor, about the emotional baggage that often accompanies caretaking an aging parent. Find her (and Mom) at her website 50 Shades of Aging and on Facebook

Friday, December 1, 2017

12 People To Avoid At The Gym

     I'm an avid fan of the gym and its benefits, but sometimes I find it less stressful to do my workouts at home. There are quite a few people out there who make the exercise experience an unhealthy one for all the wrong reasons, which explains why some mornings I'm not too eager to pack my gym bag... 

1.) The overzealous spin teacher who keeps the thermostat at 85 degrees in a small, dark room that smells of sweat and the tears of unshed Starbuck's calories.

2.) Anyone named Mindy, Brittney, or Gustavo.

3.) The older gentleman known for flatulence problems who stands next to you in yoga class. Move your mat before he goes into the downward dog position.

4.) The personal trainer/health enthusiast/protein shake junkie who calls you, "Bro" and "Dude" during your 60 minute, $85 session.

5.) Excessive sweaters who blatantly ignore the box of antibiotic wipes after leaving a pool of their DNA on the elliptical machine.

6.) Women in Lululemon leggings.

7.) People who "save" their spot in Zumba class fifteen minutes early by leaving a water bottle and a towel on the floor to mark their territory in front of the mirror.

8.) The perky, twenty-something vegan pushing overly priced kale and flaxseed smoothies at the juice bar.

9.) Men who wear toupees and lurk by the inner thigh trimming machine to observe your press and squeeze technique.

10.) The grunting weight lifter who ate two, double-stuffed bean burritos last night.

11.) People who hog the treadmill while reading text messages or taking gym selfies #werkit #fierce #slay #fitbitch

12.) Anyone listening to Miley Cyrus.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fly On The Wall In November

     Welcome to another edition of Fly In The Wall group blog postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, seven bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you'd see if you were a fly on the wall in their homes.

     The fly buzzing around my house can easily see that this is my absolute FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR! Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve---I love it all. It's a special time to share with family and close friends, to reflect on all the wonderful moments in our lives, and to be thankful for our blessings.

     But let's be real......I'm also pretty damn pumped about the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, not to mention a few games of cornhole in the backyard and listening to my kids sing and play their guitars around the fire pit after dinner. I strive to make each holiday better than the last, because the three empty chairs at my table remind me how precious our time here on earth really is. As always, I miss my father, mother, and sister, when the holidays roll around, but I'm incredibly grateful for my children and husband, who continue the tradition of love and laughter around the dinner table.

Speaking of laughter, there was plenty of it around the house this past month with conversations like this going on:

"You walked the dogs, right? Did everyone poop outside?
"Well, the dogs did, but I haven't yet."

"We've got the whole crew coming over again this year for Thanksgiving dinner."
"You mean we've got all the 'gobblers' coming over for dinner."

"Don't mix the good red wine with the cheap stuff that's left in your glass."
"I'd NEVER do that. What do you think I am---some sort of red wine savage??"

"Insomnia again, huh? Can't get your brain to shut off?"
"What brain?"

"I have to pick up the company donuts on Friday morning for the meeting. There might be several missing by the time I get to the office."

"We should keep dental floss in the kitchen. It would make things easier after dinner."
"Screw that---we need to keep dental floss in every room."

"I accidentally put tanning lotion on my toothbrush."
" I don't think your molars would look good with a tan."

"Milton's Paradise Lost was required reading for you in high school? I'm from the sticks, and the only sophisticated, required reading we had was Green Eggs And Ham."

"Thanksgiving is the best holiday......I love watching the Macy's Day Parade, sharing the day with our family, gathering around the table for dinner, and counting all of our blessings."
"You're not fooling anyone. It's the biggest feast day of the year, and other than Christmas, it's the only time you get a free pass on calories!"

     Have a lovely Thanksgiving, everyone. I'll see you again once all the turkey leftovers have been devoured.

****WANT MORE MENO MAMA? Halloween marked the 8th anniversary of my sister's death. I wrote something new recently to honor her memory, and I'd love to share it with you. It is one of my most favorite pieces that I've ever written, so I hope you'll take the time to read it. Please check out The Fury Of Bereavement, published by Purple Clover. 

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

Baking In A Tornado                  http://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother           
Searching for Sanity                 http://singlemumplusone.
Spatulas on Parade                    http://spatulasonparade.
Never Ever Give Up Hope                   https://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Bookworm in the Kitchen             http://www.    
The Blogging 911              blog


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