WAF’s Five for Friday: The “Artist’s Date” Edition

00399469Whether a) You need some “me time”  b) You need to recapture your creativity c) Are on a tight budget, or d) All the above, today’s edition might be what you need. Mani/Pedis are great for a little pampering, but we also need to make time for the pampering of our creativity, mind and spirit.

The Artist’s Way calls this time an Artist’s Date, but you don’t have to be the next J.K. Rowling or Picasso to find these excursions helpful. All they involve is spending an hour away from the noise and bustle of every day life to focus on just about anything else. There’s nothing to buy and no agenda to follow. It’s just you, your thoughts and an hour of exploring something new. To get you started, here are five suggestions for your own artist’s date. A few caveats – turn your cell phone off, leave your wallet at home, make the artist’s date with you, and only you, and try to do it at least once a month.

1. Empty Church – Have you ever been inside a beautiful Catholic Church? Alone? Believer or not, the architecture alone is enough to get your mind off your problems for a while. Many church doors remain unlocked during weekdays. The next time you drive by one in between errands, run inside and sit for a while.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: Touring Famous Cemeteries

Tomb of Eva PeronAs we celebrate Veteran’s Day, many in the United States will visit the gravesites of fallen soldiers. But some people find cemeteries creepy. I used to feel that way until I took an official tour of one, years ago. Now whenever I visit a city, I never turn down a chance to tour a cemetery. They are beautiful, peaceful places where you can learn about the people and the history of a city. I’ve chosen four of my favorite cemetery tours to share with you – along with some of the famous women who lie there.

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina is where the body of the infamous Eva “Evita” Peron lies. The cemeteries most famous resident, Peron served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. On the tour, hear the engrossing story about how her body was shipped to Italy and then Spain, before it was returned to Argentina for burial. Though she was supposed to represent the working class of Argentina, she’s buried where most of the city’s wealthiest deceased lie. Today her tomb is the most visited in the cemetery, and is lavished with flowers left by visitors (including myself) from around the world. The cemetery’s beautiful architecture and sculptures alone are worth the visit.  (Image: Burial Site of Eva Peron)

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All the single ladies: Why aren’t we dating interracially?

Battle of the Hands SeriesI opened up a can of worms yesterday by talking about an article that’s getting a lot of buzz. The title: 8 reasons black women should date white men. The title is misleading because what the article is really offering is reasons “successful/educated” black women shouldn’t date black men. A friend’s comment sums the article up best, “full of the typical stereotypes with no added value.”

As someone who’s known plenty of black men who look and act nothing like the men portrayed in this piece, I’ve been able to take it for what it is, an oversimplified swipe at a targeted group of men who aren’t handling their business, at the benefit of another group of men who aren’t always (as the article would suggest) handling theirs either. Who’s left out in the missive are the drones of women who continue to allow the men in their lives to mistreat them, perpetuating a kind of “if she won’t, I’ll find another who will” mentality, leaving those of us who refuse to put up with bulls**t single for the long-haul.

Side note to the article’s writer: I’ve had the pleasure of working with and befriending women of all nationalities, ethnic groups, and races, believe me, I’ve heard the same sweeping generalizations made about men of all races and nationalities. Continue reading All the single ladies: Why aren’t we dating interracially?

So, what if you’re not all gung-ho about 40?

turning 40When I launched Women at Forty I was very honest about my own “struggles” with turning 40. I wasn’t anywhere near where I’d hoped to be in my career, my relationships or with my health. But, I was determined to use my 40th year as a building block for the future I’d always dreamed about. So far, so…myeh. Creatively, my mind is firing on all pistons. The rest of me, not so much. This comment I received over the weekend confirms I’m not the only one:

I just don’t feel it. This great feeling of being 40. 🙁 I turned 40 last July and ran a great marathon one day after my birthday. I am going back to school to finish my degree, and I always hear stories from women how wonderful they felt when they were 40. Why do I just feel old and depressed and think my life is practically over? What’s wrong with me?

There are many women out there just loving 40. They’re advancing in their careers, having babies, and running conglomerates from within the confines of their suburban homes. There are many women who feel like the one above – they’re just not feeling it. And then they’re the women, like myself, who fall somewhere in the middle. There are days that my vision is clear and I embrace 40 as a gift. And then there are days when I’m looking for the receipt to return the “gift” for a full refund.

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WAF’s Five for Friday- The “Encore Presentation”

Welcome to Jones Soda WeddingYou know how marketers jazz everything up? “Used cars” become “Previously Owned Vehicles”, free tap water gets boiled and becomes “purified” water, and Hollywood turns television repeats into “Encore Presentations”? Well welcome to Hollywood. Today’s Five for Friday is a mashup of a few of my favorite Fives – an “Encore Presentation” if you will…

1. From the Do You Edition Personalize your pop! Personalized soda bottles are a great treat for your 40th birthday party. My Jones lets you choose from flavors like berry lemonade, green apple and vanilla bean, and then adds text and images of your choosing. A 3-pack sampler kit starts at just $3.99.

2. From The Facebook Edition –  Revolution of Real Women – is a global movement advocating the empowerment of females in reclaiming their freedom of individuality, self-esteem and unique beauty. Why do we love RORW? This was a recent Facebook status “Skinny isn’t out. Curves aren’t in. One type of body isn’t more REAL than another. The ‘in’ body is the one YOU were born with.” Who can argue with that? You can follow RORW on Facebook or check out images of real women on Flickr. Update: They’ve recently re-launched their website. Check it out here.

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