Great expectations – Easier said than done

j0387456 Last week I played tennis twice, each time for about an hour. And when it was over, it was sheer pride that stopped me from crawling on all fours, instead of walking, to my car. When did that happen? When did the woman who years ago, in an average week, took hour long karate classes, followed by 45 minute kick boxing classes and played tennis a few times a week and threw in a salsa class on the weekend for good measure, turn into this almost-40 year old for whom an hour of tennis renders her absolutely useless for two days? I let that other Grace become a distant memory, and I’m paying for it now.

At the beginning of this year I set out with a lofty goal of being fit at forty. I was determined to reclaim myself – my health, my time, my goals, in pursuit of a more authentic me. It started with my $25 good food challenge and a change in the way I shop for and relate to the foods I eat. It also meant a return to a time in my life when I was healthier and much more active. Three months into 2010 and I’m finding out that the authentic me is lazy, whiny and a tad arthritic. Nice to meet you – me – whatever. Continue reading Great expectations – Easier said than done

WAF’s Five for Friday – Fair trade chocolate, living large on the cheap, green gold…

Five fabulous finds we think you’ll like…

aromatherapy candles

1. Fair Trade finds – Sometimes the products we enjoy aren’t made in the best environment. And while income and location are important factors in our buying decisions, we can start making small changes that send the message that we’re against conditions that harm workers, communities and the environment, here and abroad. One way to do that is by purchasing fair trade products.

Fair Trade means an equitable and fair partnership between global marketers and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world. The Global Exchange Store can help you get started with a purchase of something as small as a chocolate bar. A case of 12, Equal Exchange Fair Trade Organic chocolate bars is just $15 and supports small farmer families who own and operate organic cocoa and sugar co-operatives in the Dominican Republic and Paraguay. The $26 Aromatherapy Candle gift pack (pictured) is a hand poured blend of essential oils and beeswax that’s made right here in the U.S.

Continue reading WAF’s Five for Friday – Fair trade chocolate, living large on the cheap, green gold…

Kalin’s Chronicles: 15 tips for smooth sailing on your next cruise

j0401305 Editors Note: In her last post, Cruising the Caribbean,  Kalin talked about cruising deals and the largest cruise ship in the world. This week she shares a few things you should know before your next cruise.

In my opinion, cruising is one of the best ways to travel – especially if it’s your first time traveling internationally, because you can visit several countries on one trip. But for those of you who are new to cruising, and even repeat cruisers, here are my tips to help make your travels smooth sailing.

  • Carry an updated passport — these days passport rules change so much that it’s best to just take it.
  • Pack light – unless you’re in a suite, cruise cabins are relatively small.
  • Carry sunscreen – even if you have dark skin, you’ll need it!
  • Carry a lot of $1 & $5 bills – it’s customary to tip all of the people who helped you at the end of your cruise (cabin steward, head waiter, etc.).

Wedded bliss? The ups – and downs – of marrying at 40

j0422245 Used to be that if a woman hit 30 and was still unmarried, at best she’d be declared an old maid. But these days it’s not at all uncommon to find women in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s getting married for the first time.

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, who married for the first time at 40, told Barbara Walters she waited because, she “just never met anyone that was bigger than me.”  Even Gloria Steinem, who once declared marriage demeaning, got married for the first time at 66.  So what are some of the ups and downs of marrying at 40 and beyond?

Continue reading Wedded bliss? The ups – and downs – of marrying at 40

Fear, the final frontier: Why women are bad at networking

j0400337 A recent UK Times Online headline read, “Why women are such bad networkers.” My knee jerk reaction was to cry foul. One problem – it’s true. Well it’s true for many of us. We’re not talking about setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts or being the life of a party when you know and like everyone there. No, we’re talking about the kind of networking that gets empires established, rules changed, and money – serious money – made.

Last week we mentioned a few things we could learn from men. Networking – effective networking – should have been on that list. The UK Times article struck a nerve because it spoke so many truths:

Continue reading Fear, the final frontier: Why women are bad at networking