Staying beautiful as you age

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Staying beautiful as you age doesn’t have to involve expensive eye creams, cosmetics or spa treatments. There are simple, easy ways to maintain beauty as you age—and many are good for your health, as well:

Smile Yes—just smile! Smiling instantly makes anyone look more attractive. Studies show that people who force themselves to smile more actually do become happier over time. Even better, a good smile will get other people smiling right back at you. A smile also lifts the apples of the cheeks and engages the muscles surrounding the jaw, which helps to fight the appearance of sagging jowls on the sides of your face.

Hydrate Healthy, supple skin is possible at any age if you hydrate both inside and out. Try to drink half your bodyweight in ounces each day. If you weigh 120 pounds, for example, try to drink 60 ounces of water a day. Staying hydrated will help your skin regenerate faster, revealing healthier, brighter skin. However, just drinking water will not do the trick. Invest in a light moisturizer (with sun protection) for the daytime and a heavier one for the nighttime. You’ll be looking younger in no time.

Sleep Well The phrase “beauty rest” isn’t just a cliché. Getting enough sleep can actually brighten both your mood and your looks. Try to sleep no less than eight hours, but no more than that, either. Too much sleep or too little can make you look tired and haggard. Also, try to get comfortable sleeping on your back, if you don’t already. Sleeping on your face can actually lead to extra creases in your skin. Over time, those wrinkles will become permanent.

Brighten Your Teeth A bright, white movie star smile can make anyone look younger. Use extra-whitening toothpaste at least twice a day for two minutes, as well as a two-hour whitening treatment (such as Crest White Strips) at least twice a year. For those who wear dentures, use a whitening, polishing rinse on your dentures at night.

Exercise Often The benefits of exercise are endless, but one major perks is that positively impacts the way you carry yourself. Exercise tends to give people a boost in confidence and mood. Other benefits include a trimmer figure and added mobility.

Three DIY Autumn Wreaths For Your Door

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If you enjoy crafting and do-it-yourself projects and you’re looking for a way to spruce up your home, consider making your own fall door wreath. For those who live in an apartment building or retirement community, a colorful, distinctive wreath is an excellent way to help guests identify your door as well as bring some cheer to your days.

Fall Leaves Wreath

You could spend a lot of money on a store-bought autumn wreath—or you could make your own by using a fall garland and a Styrofoam ring, which you can pick up at any craft and décor store. Simply wrap the garland around the ring and use a hot glue gun to secure the garland to the ring. You may also like to take a short walk and gather some small twigs that you can push into the Styrofoam to make the wreath look a little more natural. You may also choose to add some ornamental pieces, like Halloween figurines, Jack-o-lanterns or Thanksgiving decorations to celebrate the fall holidays.

Grandkids Wreath

Looking for a way to spend more time with your grandkids? Recruit them to help make this sweet wreath. Trace your grandchildren’s hands and feet on a piece of cardstock paper, and then get them to trace the cut outs onto multiple pieces of paper. Use paper that comes in fall colors like orange, yellow and brown. Have the kids cut out all the paper hands and feet and glue them in a circular fashion around a Styrofoam circle until you’ve got a nice, full wreath, with the feet and hands as the “leaves.” You may also want to write their names and ages on the paper hands and feet so your grandchildren can look back at the wreath and identify their handiwork for years to come.

Yarn and Felt Wreath

Making a beautiful yarn and felt wreath is easy and should only take about an hour. You’ll need a 14-inch foam wreath core, a glue gun, selected color yarn, five paper-sized sheets of felt in different colors and ribbon for hanging. (If you’d like an autumn-themed wreath, pick out yarn and felt in autumn colors.) To start, glue one end of the yarn to the back of the foam core and begin wrapping it snugly around the foam. Every few inches, add more glue and continuing wrapping until the entire wreath has been covered in yarn. Cut the yarn and glue it to the back of the wreath so it is out of sight. Use the felt to make rosettes by cutting felt into squares and rolling them up at an angle. Secure the felt rosettes to the wreath in any pattern you like. Then, attach the ribbon to the top of the wreath for secure hanging. In an hour’s time you will have made a wreath that looks like it took masterful skill, but was actually very easy.

Four easy at-home workouts

31047040_sWorking out with large weights or machines as you age places undue stress on your muscles and joints, leading to injury. Before beginning or continuing a workout regimen, talk to your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you. Even the most seasoned of fitness experts has to modify their workouts as they age. However, there are some simple exercises you can do that don’t require expensive equipment or gym memberships. They’re so basic you may have overlooked them altogether.

Squats

Squats are the staple of many fitness programs. Strengthening your quads and glutes helps you maintain balance and mobility. The movement also helps with posture and core stability. Studies show that seniors who participate in strength training experience fewer injuries and falls. You may not be able to squat like you used to, but fortunately there are adjustments you can make to get the benefit of squats without putting your hips, knees and ankles at risk.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight and your core engaged, bend at the knees sending them outward until you come to rest on a chair or stool. Return to standing position. Repeat this process with the desired number of reps.

Sit-ups

For core strength, you can’t really beat sit-ups. They also help with balance, as strengthening your core helps fortify your center of gravity. However, you may need to make a few modifications to ensure you’re not putting too much strain on your back and neck.

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands lightly behind your head. Raise your head up off the floor, leaving your shoulders on the ground. Repeat this process with the desired number of reps.

Wall Pushups

Though pushups are often used as a punishment, they actually provide numerous benefits. Pushups help you maintain strength in your arms, chest, back and shoulders and prevent your upper body muscles from atrophying. You may not be able to get down on the ground to do traditional pushups, but using a wall for resistance is an effective adaptation.

Stand facing a wall at a distance that allows your palms to touch the wall’s surface with your arms outstretched and your feet flat on the ground. Engage your core and use your arms to push your body toward the wall. Keeping your elbows close to your body, push your body back to an upright position. Repeat this process with the desired number of reps.

Imaginary Jump Roping

Jump ropes have been used for years for cardiovascular fitness. According to the American Heart Association, jump roping for three minutes is the cardiovascular equivalent of running a mile. Don’t let the rope trip you up. “Jump rope” without using a rope. The motion has the same effect without pounding on your knees, ankles and feet.

Keep you elbows to your sides and raise your hands to a 90-degree angle. Flick your wrists and jump, skip or walk in rhythm as if you were jumping a rope. Focus on keeping your legs straight, with your knees slightly bent. Try to land softly on the balls of your feet.

Timeless Wardrobe Staples For Any Age

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It can be difficult to feel both stylish and age-appropriate as you age. The key is to invest in a few well-made classic pieces that can be worn in many different ways and that are guaranteed to stay fashionable for years to come. These are the staple items every man or woman should keep in their closet, no matter their age:

Blue Jeans

Everyone needs a basic pair of blue jeans that fit perfectly and can coordinate with most other pieces in their wardrobe. Consider paying a little more for good-quality jeans, because they last a long time and never go out of style if you take proper care of them. Consider tried-and-true brands like Levi’s. Even more important than the brand is the cut. Make sure the jeans you wear flatter your body type. The most timeless, universally flattering jeans have a dark wash with a straight cut and a waist that hits about an inch below the belly button.

White Button Down

Find a white dress shirt with a medium-size collar and which fits you well across your shoulders and around your stomach and chest. Ensure that the sleeves are not too long or short, either. You might even consider getting your shirts tailored to achieve the perfect fit. Once you’ve found your favorite white shirt, buy a few so you always have one on hand. White shirts can be layered under jackets and sweaters, tucked into skirts or simply worn with classic blue jeans for a timeless look.

Timepieces

With the rise of cell phones, many people have found they do not need to wear a watch anymore, while others use their watches as an opportunity to make a fashion statement. A beautifully made analog watch conveys style and taste as well as responsibility. Invest in a simple metal or leather-banded watch with a classic face. You’ll be surprised at the number of compliments you’ll receive.

Black, Blue or Gray

From dress pants to suits to dresses, these are the three colors you need in your closet before you buy any other earth tones or pattern variations. Black, blue and gray will never go out of style. Avoid pinstripes, houndstooth or plaid patterns as these go in and out of style. Also, be careful to coordinate the color of your suit or pants with your shirt. Never wear black with blue if you have the other color options. Wearing gray with blue creates more of a contrast, which is pleasing to the eye. Also, the white shirt rule applies here and can be worn with all three colors.

 

Best Bakeries in Dallas

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Most of us don’t like to eat the same thing every day, so why do we use the same old sliced bread with every meal? Odds are you probably have a standard loaf of grocery store bread you turn to for those quick ham sandwiches or your morning toast. Change it up by switching out your ho-hum processed bread for something fresh and local.

Dallas is fortunate enough to have several fantastic bakeries. If you’re in the mood for something special, spring for a sweet or savory pastry treat to go along with your fresh baked loaf.

Unrefined

This health-conscious all-natural bakery is run by a mother-daughter team who suffer from Celiac’s disease and food allergies. They focus on baked goods that are healthy as well as delicious—everything they produce is organic, gluten and soy-free, non-GMO and free from preservatives. They also offer nut-free, sugar-free and yeast-free options. These are carbs you can feel good about eating! Pick up some of their delicious, nutritious FoodBars for a pre-exercise boost, or a vegan cupcake if you’re feeling a bit more sinful. Visit their White Rock, Frisco or Greenville locations.

Trailercakes

Looking for an unorthodox bakery experience? Whimsical cupcake shop Trailercakes has a main brick-and-mortar location off Knox/Henderson, but they also sling cupcakes from their vintage Airstream trailer, which can be seen at Klyde Warren Park and many other hot spots around Dallas. The mobile cupcakes are heavy contenders for the best cupcakes in Dallas. They feature inventive recipes, including the “Cookie Monster:” an Oreo Cookie base, mushroom fluff filling and Oreo frosting with (of course) an Oreo stuck right on top. Just be prepared for a sugar high.

BreadHaus

For over 17 years, the two owner-bakers at BreadHaus have been churning out quality old school bread from their European-style deep deck oven. BreadHaus is known for using only quality ingredients, including cage-free eggs and organic flour and seeds. Choose from pretzels, breads and a host of desserts including some yummy brownies, cakes and cookies. If you live in Dallas proper, you’ll have a short hop, skip and a jump over to Grapevine to get your sweet fix.

Main Street Bistro

With locations in Richardson, Plano and Grapevine, you’ll find much more at Main Street Bistro than just quality baked goods. While they do have some delectable croissants, customers can also enjoy a full menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s the perfect place for a long, lazy Sunday morning breakfast or a satisfying Friday night out.

Eatzi’s

Eatzi’s‘ popularity has skyrocketed in Dallas in the past few years, and its appeal lies in its resemblance to a European market. Not only does Eatzi’s feature many breads and pastries, but also specialty items, beer and wine, sushi, sandwiches, cheeses, a salad bar and even an open grill. Enjoy their locations at Oak Lawn, Lovers Lane, Grapevine and Plano.

How to get your last will and testament in order

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Planning for your death is daunting. However, pre-planning your directives and other important decisions remove the burden from your loved ones. In many ways, a comprehensive will and testament is the last loving gesture you can provide for your family. You should spend time preparing your last will and testament before you even begin putting anything into writing.

Make a List

Make a list of all your assets, including investments, home, car, furniture, bank accounts and business holdings. Preparing a list will not only help you become more organized, you’ll also realize how much there is for your family to take care of after you pass. You will have a better understanding of how to help them.

Select an Executor of the Will

Selecting an executor can be a difficult decision. You need to pick someone who will outlive you and who you trust. Also, consider any family dynamics that could cause problems. Many people look to executors outside of the family to help minimize drama, because the executor will likely have little to no personal stake in the will. Once you’ve selected the person, you need to ask them if they’re willing. If not, find someone else.

Find an Attorney

Whether you’re writing your own will or having a professional write it for you, you need to have an attorney look it over. Writing your own will is very complicated, but there are many websites and templates to guide you. It is essential for an attorney to review the document to ensure it was done properly. Each state has a different set of requirements for wills. In some states wills have to be signed in front of witnesses. You have to make several declarations, including that you are of age, of sound mind and identify yourself with your Social Security number.

Storing the Will

Hiding your will is never a good idea, so tell your family where you keep it. Safety deposit boxes or safes are ideal places for your will. The executor will ultimately be the person to take the will and communicate your final wishes.

Handy food delivery services

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Food delivery services aren’t a new concept by any means, but that doesn’t diminish their usefulness. In fact, major retailers such as Target are launching services to ship regularly used items straight to your door.

The reality is, we just don’t have time for it all. We’re on the go constantly, juggling work, kids, parents, social obligations and volunteer commitments. Finding the time, let alone mustering the energy, to go to the store is a real obstacle.

Recipe Delivery

We’re not talking about having prepared food delivered to your home; these services deliver ingredients for recipes for you to cook. You want to feed your family healthy meals, not meals full of preservatives and unknowns that a restaurant has put in the food. By cooking, you’re able to control the quality of food you and your loved ones are putting into your bodies.

Fast Food

It’s way too easy to find a drive-thru, but a fast food habit perpetuates poor food choices. Instead of stopping at a drive-thru, consider making enough food to go beyond one sitting. For example, grilling chicken one night may be used for fajita meat the next.

Dine-in Restaurants

Again, dine-in restaurants are another easy option, but the expense adds up quickly. Like with delivery or takeout you face the challenge of not knowing the quality of the ingredients of the food, or what preservatives, additives or seasoning were used in its preparation. Also, the time spent waiting for a table, ordering, eating, paying and leaving is more than if you simply prepared the meal yourself.

Grocery Services

Google food delivery services and your ZIP code to see which ones are in your area. You might be surprised how many are available. Add groceries to your “shopping cart” just like you would in the store. You can get produce, meat and other items by either pieces or pounds. The groceries are then delivered straight to your door. Many of these services offer prepared meals that are made with the groceries from the store.

A Classic Movie Guide

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Whether you like discovering new movies on Netflix or tuning into your favorite movie channel, one thing is certain—you can’t beat a classic movie. Spending an afternoon or evening with a few classics is like watching the history of the silver screen evolve in front of your eyes, and it offers a glimpse at our country’s changing fashions, morals and trends throughout the twentieth century

Whether you’re a movie newbie or a classic film buff, use this guide to find a thrilling new-to-you film—or just use it as an excuse to re-watch an old favorite.

Top 10 Westerns

Western films focus on the wild American west, where a man was judged by how quickly he could draw his gun from its holster. Westerns sent actors like John Wayne, who appeared in nearly 250 movies, into superstardom. Other talents, like Dean Martin, hopped on the trend to broaden the scope of their work. And American filmmakers weren’t the only one to embrace Westerns—Italian filmmakers revived the genre in the 1960s and 70s with their “spaghetti Westerns.”

10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

9. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

8. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

7. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1967)

6. The Searchers (1956)

5. The Wild Bunch (1969)

4. Shane (1953)

3. High Noon (1952)

2. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

1. Red River (1948)

Top 10 War Movies

Americans have always loved to commemorate their veterans on film. These films honor the camaraderie, bravery, heroism and spirit of American veterans of wars past, as well as their enormous sacrifice.

10. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

9. Battle of Britain (1969)

8. Midway (1976)

7. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

6. Apocalypse Now (1979)

5. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

4. Zulu (1964)

3. The Longest Day (1962)

2. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

1. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Top 10 Dramas 

For a long time, Hollywood’s view of love on the silver screen was often dark, complicated and unrequited, and romance often figured into classic dramatic films like Gone With the Wind, which still stands as one of the most epic dramas of all time.

10. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

9. Laura (1944)

8. Modern Times (1936)

7. Metropolis (1927)

6. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

5. All About Eve (1950)

4. The Third Man (1949)

3. Casablanca (1942)

2. Citizen Kane (1941)

1. Gone With the Wind (1939)

How to connect with your grandkids

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There are two generations separating you and your grandchildren. It’s no surprising that you might have a hard time relating to your them, or them to you. At the end of the day you love them because they’re your own flesh and blood, but that doesn’t mean you always understand them. Both parties need to find a little common ground, and as the adult, you’ll need to make compromises and the first move.

Be Who You Are

The biggest mistake you could make when trying to connect with your grandchildren is to pretend that you’re younger or hipper than you are. Being a grandparent doesn’t mean being a best friend. Your role as a grandparent is different. You’re responsible for spoiling them with love and treats and then sending them home to Mom and Dad to deal with the aftermath. Accept that you’re their grandparent, not their best friend, and make peace with that.

Get Some One-on-One Time

It may feel like you’re leaving your other grandchildren out, but all too often grandparents spend too much time with all the grandchildren at once. Over time you may begin to see your grandchildren as a collective bunch of kids instead of as individuals. Each one has unique talents, personalities and interests that you wouldn’t necessarily discover in a group. Taking some one-on-one time with each of your grandchildren allows you to better understand who they are as people, and for them to better understand you.

Share Your Interests

Share your interests and hobbies with your grandkids. For example, if you like one kind of music and they like another, take turns listening to one another’s music. You may find they enjoy some of your songs, and you some of their songs. Or you may not—and that’s okay. The goal is to show an interest in one another’s passions and spend some quality time together.

Cooperate With Parents

This is a tough one. You raised one of your grandchildren’s parents, and in your opinion, he or she came out okay. But your children have set boundaries for their own children, and though they may differ from the ones you gave your children, you should respect them. As tempting as it may be, abide by the rules your children set forth for your grandchildren. It’s the best way to foster a relationship of trust and respect among all the generations of your family.

 

Living Well When Living Alone

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Living alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. On the contrary, people who live alone often learn to embrace their solitary time and make good use of it, whether it’s to read, write in a journal, listen to music or simply enjoy the peace and quiet through meditation.

Still, staying active and connected with others can greatly influence your outlook on life, as well as improve your overall physical and mental health. Here are several ways to maintain your wellbeing as a single-dweller:

Schedule time out with friends. Hold a weekly game night or movie night. Start a book club or set up a regular card game with friends or neighbors. Establish one night a week or month dedicated to inviting a friend or friends over for a meal—maybe it can be a potluck, or perhaps everyone can help prepare the meal together. Befriend the neighbors who live closest to you. That way, inviting someone over or spending a social evening out is only a short walk away.

Take 15-30 minutes a day to tidy up around the house. It’s easy to let things go when it’s just you at home, but a messy, disorganized home will discourage you from inviting company over. Besides, housework can be therapeutic and motivating. The simple act of cleaning can be a zen-like activity. A clean home will make you feel better about yourself and encourage you to invite friends over more often.

Go to bed on time and get up on time. Almost everyone underestimates the important of regular sleep. Getting at least eight hours a night is good for the mind and the body. Waking up refreshed and ready to go is a great way to start your day. Also, keeping a regular sleep schedule will make you more productive and active throughout the week.

Eat healthy and exercise often. Try to avoid processed foods whenever possible, and eat at least three regular meals each day with a healthy snack in between. Don’t eat too much for dinner or eat late too late at night, however. Walking and swimming are both great low-impact exercises that are enjoyable and work your entire body—plus you can invite a friend! Attending a low-impact aerobics class at a community gym is another healthy way to stay social and meet new people.

Find a hobby you can do alone or share with a friend. Whether it’s becoming the neighborhood movie buff, learning how to paint or reviewing books on a personal blog, seek out activities that will keep you occupied and stimulate your mind. Every local community center offers classes in a wide range of leisure activities, so you are sure to find something to suit your interests. It’s never to late to learn a new skill. Gourmet cooking, anyone?

Downsize and declutter. Make sure you aren’t living in a space that’s too big for you to keep up with! Also, taking the time to de-clutter your home every once in a while will change the energy in your space for the better. Getting rid of old and useless “stuff” cleanses both home and mind. The less stuff you have, the less you have to clean, move or store things, and the more time you’ll have to enjoy your home and your life.