What to Know When Making A Cheese Board (and Why it’s Perfect for a Party)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
what to know when making a cheese board
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I know I’ve been singing the praises of the Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan for a while now, so temporarily ignore everything I said about that so we can have a real, honest discussion about one of life’s greatest joys: cheese.

Now we aren’t talking Velveeta. Or string cheese. Or queso. I’m talking about fancy cheese—the kind that gets its own stage when its served. The type that’s displayed with a little fanfare on a cheese board. Hungry yet? continue reading

How one widow’s rituals helped her navigate the stages of grief and healing process

Healing and Hope
grief and healing
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A note from Marie:

During the three years I served on the board of the Quilt Alliance, I met many remarkable and gifted people. Many have become cherished friends. Among them was board president Meg Cox, a talented journalist, author, and quilter. She’s also an expert in the rituals that enhance and celebrate the passages of life—the joyous as well as the sorrowful.  

In response to reader requests on the subject, I asked Meg to share her two-year journey as a widow and what she has learned about grief and healing. She has done so with wisdom, transparency, and enormous generosity. 

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The Best Carry On Bag (That’s Completely Fierce) 

Adventure and Travel
best carry on bag
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The second I saw it, I was pretty sure that the Travelon Underseat Carry-on was going to be my new favorite travel accessory. Now, after three weeks, six states, five flights, and so many hotels that I’ve lost count, I can state unequivocally that my instincts were spot-on.

This bag is fierce, fabulous, and basically the greatest piece of luggage I have ever owned. And I’ve owned a LOT. continue reading

How to Improve Memory and Boost your Brain After Fifty, According to Science

Health and Fitness
how to improve memory

Our brains have been with us for the long-haul. Think of all they have been through! They’ve put up with a lot. They’ve worked really hard. And more importantly, they need to keep working for obvious reasons!

As women over fifty, we all find ourselves losing our glasses. Or our cars. Or our credit card (don’t tell my husband!).

I’ve got good news for you. There are things we can do to sharpen our minds. And no, it doesn’t involve magic.

Here’s how to improve memory and boost your brain, according to yours truly and science. continue reading

What To Eat for Brain Fog, Gut Health, and Mental Sharpness over Fifty

Health and Fitness
how to fix brain fog
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I had a light bulb moment last week. Not a bright, electric flash of brilliance but more of a foggy, faint glow.

While I was rummaging around my purse looking for my reading glasses for the tenth time that day, I started thinking to myself. I normally blame my missing glasses or car keys or forgotten passwords on my husband, but I have been on book tour. That means he isn’t around to blame.

I gasped.

Maybe it’s me after all. Maybe it’s my brain. Or my age. continue reading

Lemony Gremolata Crostini with Ricotta

Food for Grownups
lemony gremolata
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Italian food has been on my mind for months. Why? Because one of the unsung heroes in my latest novel, JUST IN TIME, is Italian food. It resurges in every chapter of the book from Monica’s little Italian restaurant, Cafe Allegro. Food is a character. It’s a setting. It’s a theme. It basically has its own storyline.

Cannoli. Bolognese. Manicotti. Peppercorn fettuccine. Eggplant parmesan. Hungry yet?  continue reading

Starting (or Joining) a Bookclub: Friends, Food, and Fellowship

Books, Friends and Community
how to start or join a book club
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One of the biggest pleasures of reading a good book is discussing it with other readers.  There’s no better place to do that than a book club.

There really aren’t any downsides to joining a book club. I mean, sure every now and then you might not love one of the books. But even that can have its benefits.  Sometimes, discussing a book or character you didn’t care for can be even more fun than talking about one you did! Who doesn’t love trash talking the villain you love to hate? continue reading

Finding Time to Read More Books (And Why It’s Important)

Books, Nurture Your Soul
finding time to read more books
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How often have you heard somebody say, “Gosh, I just have so much extra time on my hands that I have no idea what to do with it”?

Pretty much never, right? These days, it seems like we’re so busy with the things we have to do, we can’t find time for the things we want to do – like read.

That’s a shame. Reading adds so much to life.  And, especially for those of us in the years beyond 50, reading is important.

Reading helps keep our minds sharp but also elastic. Reading exposes us to new ideas and keeps us informed about changes in culture.  Also, reading is an important form of relaxation, giving us a mental break when life becomes too chaotic. continue reading

DIY Flower Arrangements for your Easter Table Decorations

Creativity and Crafts
DIY Floral Arrangements for Easter Table Decorations
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Is there any surprise quite as wonderful as answering the doorbell and finding the delivery person from the local florist standing on the stoop, holding a beautiful bouquet with your name on it?

Not for me!

If I could afford it, I’d have flowers delivered to my home every week.  Unfortunately, my budget simply doesn’t stretch far enough to allow for such civilized luxuries. Chances are, you’re in the same boat.

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