Movies that can make you feel young again

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If the saying “you’re as young as you feel” is true, movies may be the secret to stopping aging in its tracks. Have you ever re-watched a favorite movie and remembered the exact moment you first saw it? Movies seem to remove us from our current reality and transport us back in time. It’s easy to lose ourselves in their story, drama and passion.

Here are a few movies that just might make you feel young again:

Casablanca: Escape to World War II-era French Morocco, which was then essentially a purgatory for European refugees awaiting their ticket to freedom. The film follows jaded American expat Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a bar in Casablanca and is accompanied by his longtime companion and piano player, Sam. His life is changed when his Norwegian ex-lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) walks into his bar. This WWII-era love triangle makes for a timeless classic.

Gone With the Wind: This historical fiction movie made history as the first full-scale color movie ever made. It came out at a time when nothing else like it existed in the world, and it left its viewers stunned. In Atlanta during the Civil War, Scarlett O’Hara, brought to life by actress Vivian Lee, is a troublesome flirt who uses her good looks and sass to help her family save their beloved Tara plantation. The iconic classic has had a huge impact on American culture, and it has been spoofed countless times—think of the famous Carol Burnett Show comedy bit in which Scarlett wears a curtain for a dress.

The Bucket List: This is a contemporary film starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. The legendary actors play two best friends who set out to complete the items on their “bucket lists,” or list of things they want to do before they die. It’s a touching drama that tells us it is never too late to start living your life or accomplish new things. The movie is too new to be a classic, but it’s sure become one with time.

Young at HeartYet another classic, this film starring Doris Day and Frank Sinatra centers on three musical sisters and a twisted, cynical composer. The musical produced a few well-known songs, but Sinatra’s “Moonbeam” went on to sell over a million records and has been used in many movies since. 

Something’s Gotta Give: Jack Nicholson (who essentially plays himself in this romantic comedy) plays Harry Sanborn, a womanizing record label owner. As Harry continues to get older, the young women he picks up just seem to stay the same age—that is, until he finally meets an age-appropriate older woman (Diane Keaton) who changes his outlook on love and life.

 

 

 

Our favorite North Texas day trips

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Seniors in North Texas are lucky because they’re surrounded by plenty of opportunities for entertaining day trips. Many native Dallasites do not realize that the Dallas Arts District is the largest arts district on the North American continent—yes, even over New York. There are people who have lived in the DFW area all their lives and still don’t take advantage of all the activities and entertainment to area offers. Take some time to explore your home, and make it a family affair by inviting your kids or grandkids along.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Go on a safari right here in North Texas without ever leaving your car. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is located in Glen Rose, Texas, which is about an hour south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Fossil Rim boasts a variety of animals including giraffes, ostriches, flamingos, zebras and much more. The best part? Guests can tour the park in their cars and feed the animals as they go. The animals are so used to human interaction that they often stop at each guest, expecting them to dole out food.

The Harbor at Rockwall

Just 20 minutes east of Dallas on Lake Ray Hubbard sits The Harbor at Rockwall. The Harbor is a wonderful fall or spring activity, because the weather is not too hot or cold. The Harbor features fantastic restaurants with patios and live music right on the lake. Boaters often pull their boats right into the docks along the Harbor to visit the restaurants and shops. Take a leisurely stroll out to the lighthouse and admire the sunset on the lake, or go to the theatre to catch a movie. The Harbor offers something for everyone in the family to do.

Downtown Dallas

After years of neglect, the Downtown Dallas area is coming alive again. Downtown is full of shops and restaurants, and many of them are not franchises or chains but family-owned establishments just waiting to be explored. Not to mention that legendary arts district—check out an exhibit or two at the Dallas Museum of Art, wander through the Nasher Sculpture Center or perhaps take in some music at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra or the Dallas Opera.

Ft. Worth Stockyards

If big, bustling cities aren’t your thing, perhaps Ft. Worth is more your speed. From amazing restaurants like the Cowtown Diner and Joe T. Garcia’s to the shops, music, world-class museums and entertainment, Fort Worth has all the excitement of Dallas without the huge-city feel. The Fort Worth Stockyards are sure to please every member of your family. Visit while the cattle hands move the cattle from the stockyards to the corral, and even take a picture on a live bull.

The importance of routines

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Some may call you set in your ways, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a daily routine. In fact, a routine is a proven way to keep you on task, healthy and productive. Think about it this way: regular habits are easier for your body, mind and sometimes even your stomach to process than chaos and uncertainty because you become conditioned to doing the same thing over and over again.

Here are a couple of routines you should plan to stick to for a healthier, more productive lifestyle:

Morning Routine

What time do you wake up? Is it the same time every day? If not, you could be damaging your sleep cycle, which can lead to a number of health problems associated with poor or broken sleep. Set an alarm and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. When you don’t have a job to wake up early for every day, it can be tempting to oversleep, but set an early alarm and commit to getting a full eight hours of sleep before your alarm goes off. It may take a few weeks before you really begin to feel the benefits, but better sleep can lead to a clearer mind and healthier body.

Though there are plenty of people who prefer to skip breakfast, breakfast is really the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism, which helps you to process the rest of you food you eat throughout the rest of the day. You also shouldn’t take a multivitamin or any medication on an empty stomach. 

Finally, get dressed in a new outfit every day, even if you don’t plan to leave the house that day. You’ll be surprised how this simple step can make you feel energized and prepared to take on the day.

Exercise Routine

Have you ever had difficulty sleeping because you just didn’t perform enough activity in the day to make you tired? That is just one of the many things that regular exercise can fix. A gentle walk through the neighborhood or park or something strength-focused like dumbbell curls and chair sits (modified squats) are a great way to stay in motion as you age.

Two out of three seniors fall every year. Many of these falls cause serious injury, and a whopping 12 percent of them are fatal. Exercise is one proven way to improve balance, stability and agility, all of which lead to fewer falls. Outside of improving quality of life because of maintained mobility, you’ll also receive the more obvious benefits of exercise, like improved mood and overall health. 

How long things keep in the fridge

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The sniff test, the shake test and even the taste test are common methods for checking to see if the food in your refrigerator is spoiled—but you should never taste food to check if it is spoiled. Do you really want to risk food poisoning for something that is probably fairly cheap to replace in the first place?

A refrigerator should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly less, but still above freezing. According to foodsafety.gov, it is important to discard any meats, fish or poultry that have in an environment above 40 degrees for more than four hours. In the event of a power outage, it is also a good idea to keep the door of the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible to help trap in the cool air.

Dairy

Have you ever taken a big sip of milk to find that it has soured? Some people will tell you the date on the carton is a “sell by” date, which means it has to be out of the store by that date, but it’s not necessarily spoiled. But with milk, it really is an expiration date. If you’ve not finished the milk by that date, it’s time to dispose of it.

Some say that since cheese is a mold, it is okay to cut the mold from the outside of the cheese and eat the cheese on the inside. This is another food myth. Hard cheese (like parmesan) can typically can last up to six months. Soft cheese (like brie or mozzarella) lasts only last three to four weeks if unopened, and lasts closer to one or two weeks if they’ve been opened.

Meats, Fish and Poultry

If you neglect to keep track of the meats in your fridge, you may be adding a side of E. coli with your meal. Cooked meats and chicken can last up to three to four days in the refrigerator before spoiling. Anything that’s been kept beyond four days should be discarded. Fresh fish or turkey only lasts one to two days in the fridge, which means you shouldn’t thaw it from the freezer until you know for sure that you are going to eat it within that time period. 

Other Tips

When storing leftover food in your refrigerator, it is a good idea to write a “use by” date on the package, carton or container as a visual cue. If you’re caring for a senior, help them maintain the food in their fridge and clean it out regularly. If you’re ever in doubt about the safety of a food item, check foodsafety.gov and always err on the side of caution.

Cooking tips for seniors who live alone

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Cooking for just one or two people can be difficult. When seniors live alone or with a single spouse or roommate, they often get tired of eating leftovers for days after cooking a meal. They’ve probably spent decades cooking for an entire family, and the recipes they’ve collected over the years may not be conducive to cooking for less than an army.

Here are a few of the best ways seniors can cook for just one or two people:

Invest in a crockpot

Putting a lot of effort into a big meal to just feed one or two people can grow to feel like a waste of time. Crockpot recipes, however, require a minimum of effort and can easily be found online or in special crockpot cookbooks. Just put all the ingredients into the pot, set it to the correct temperature and walk away. While you may have leftovers, one thing is for sure: you didn’t have to spend much time to prepare the meal. Plus, most crockpot recipes are hardy enough that the leftovers can be frozen to be eaten at a later date.

Use meat in multiple recipes

It’s a great idea for seniors just cooking for themselves to buy a big batch of meat all at once and save the leftovers for use in other recipes. For example, maybe you’re craving a pot roast, but you know you’ll have way too much leftover to eat on your own. Use the leftover roast to use in a beef stew, in tacos or on top of a salad in the days ahead.

Chicken is another extremely versatile meat. Enjoy a nice piece of roasted chicken breast on a bed of rice with some seasonal vegetables. While you’re cooking the chicken, throw in a few extra pieces, slice up the remainder and later on, prepare a chicken salad or throw the pieces in with some of your favorite pasta.

When buying meat in bulk, it is important to have a plan. Purchase your desired meat, and don’t be afraid to spring for that family-sized package, since you’ll be freezing it. Use plastic storage bags to divide up the portions appropriate to the number of people you need to feed, write the name of the meat and the day’s date on the bag and put the meat in the freezer. Now you’ve got a stockpile of meat to thaw and use whenever you want! You can even save yourself an extra step by freezing the meat with your favorite marinade in the freezer bag.

Make the most of beverages

When someone lives alone, it’s hard to finish a whole gallon of a beverage before it spoils. Have you ever tried to think of all the ways you could use up milk just so it wouldn’t go to waste? You could always just buy a half-gallon, but that may just send you back to the grocery store in a few short days. A more practical alternative is to begin drinking a milk alternative, such as almond milk, coconut milk or even rice milk. All of these milks are delicious, healthy and will stay fresh in the fridge for over a month.

Coffee is another beverage that often goes to waste in one or two-person households. If you don’t drink all of the coffee you’ve made that morning, don’t pour it out. Instead, pour the coffee into ice cube trays and freeze it. Use the coffee cubes and your milk of choice to enjoy a ready-made iced latte without the expensive trip to the coffee shop.

The best thing about cooking for one or two is you have the opportunity to be creative. Don’t be afraid to try something new or different. Experiment with you food and recipes. If the attempt is a failure, there’s no harm done; just keep trying new things.

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.