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Category Archives for "Personal Life"

FREE Facebook Live Webinar: Your Unique Inner Beauty

IMBUE The Beautiful You - with gray hair

Did you miss the live webinar? Don’t worry – you can still catch the replay here!

Join Alexandra Levin, Co-Founder of The Back Forty and Caren Taubman Glasser Founder of The Little White Lie for a live co-creation webinar of “IMBUE Your Beautiful You”. This beauty “town hall” will take place today (Tuesday, March 21) at 2:30 pm PST on Facebook Live (you can RSVP here).

On this webinar you will learn:

  • The power of accepting your most unacceptable unique attribute
  • The door to freedom you open when you simply can’t but then do anyhow
  • The infinite inner beauty blooming of self-appreciation once you take time to plant the seed

On this webinar you will offer:

  • Your own insights as to the issues and challenges women face around beauty
  • Your thoughts on how women can most embrace their fullest self-expressions
  • Your participation in a movement to free women up from societal norms and assumptions

We invite you to join not only to hear our ideas of how to “IMBUE Your Beautiful You” but to get yours!

Our program is in development, and we need your input!

Come join us to co-create this work, and let’s enjoy the freedom it offers together.

Either before, during or after the webinar we would love to get your feedback on our program by filling out the survey here (we also have some freebies to give away if you complete the survey).

RSVP here by clicking the reminder button and we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Finding Your Unique Style and More for Midlife

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Today I found a new YouTube vlogger that I have absolutely fallen in love with.

Meet Melissa55.

Melissa is a 60-something wife, mother, and grandmother living in Tennesse. She has been posting on her Youtube channel each week for roughly 3 years with topics surrounding midlife beauty. While I was trying to find out more about Melissa, I stumbled across a quote of hers that I absolutely love:

“I feel like if we stick together in this aging journey, we can lift up each other and grow older gracefully and beautifully.”

– Melissa55

She creates tons of wonderful content surrounding the conversation of aging and how to feel beautiful while doing it. However, my favorite video series of hers is The Aging Woman and in this video series, she covers everything from fashion and exercise to friendships and marriage. Today I am going to share a few of my favorite (initial) videos of hers that I am loving and maybe you will love them too!

The Aging Woman: Finding Your Style

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvH9QSjPSPs]

This is the perfect example of what Melissa is all about. She uses her own experiences from finding her way through midlife to help other women abandon the stigmas surrounding aging and beauty and really embrace themselves. So, if you’ve watched the video, what’s your style and how has it changed as you have moved through midlife?

Craving more Melissa? Here are some of my other instant favorites:

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Poll: What is Your Favorite Thing to Read About?

Poll - Read

At The Back Forty, we have been blogging for roughly eight months and during that time have posted over 130 different articles across more than nine different topics. We do our best to come up with lots of unique content to share with you!

Today, I would love to get some feedback about your favorite things to read about! Do you enjoy reading about funny midlife stories? Do you like to be inspired? Are you looking to learn more about different aspects of midlife?

Just pick a topic below and see how your favorite topic compares to the favorite topics of some of our other readers!

[polldaddy poll=9690895]

Do You Know How to Shop for Your Wife? A Midlife Perspective

Shopping forYour Wife

Today, while searching through midlife videos on YouTube, I found a new channel that intrigued me. The channel is called RedGreenTV and “Red Green” is the star. “Red” is played by Steve Smith. He was the handyman from The Red Green Show which was a Canadian TV comedy that aired from 1991 to 2006. Even though the comedy has been off the air for over 10 years, Steve still posts videos to his YouTube channel regularly and performs live a few times a year.

If you’re looking for a laugh, take a minute to watch Red as he shares his midlife “wisdom” with the world. His video about shopping for your wife is below:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K42n5HW5JI]

So remember, even if you’ve been “buying her gifts for 25 or 30 years and you think you’re getting pretty good at it, well you’re not.”

Let me know what you think. Regardless of if you are a husband or wife, do you think your gifts have gotten better or worse over the years?

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5 Easy Ways You Can Make More Money In Midlife

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We recently created a survey to figure out what our community members’ biggest fears are. Now, our survey isn’t complete yet (you can still put in your own two cents by clicking here), but our initial feedback is overwhelming.

What is the most popular fear?

Finances.

Of all of the fears brought up by people responding to our survey, money-related fears made up a shocking 45% of all of the fears!

Because of this, I have chosen to devote this blog post to helping you at least minimize your fears. And, even if money isn’t your biggest fear, a little extra income is never a bad thing, right?

So, without further ado, here are five easy ways you can make more money in midlife – today!

Online Surveys

One of the most common ways to make some extra money online these days is to take part in online surveys. Not only do you get paid for your time, but you also get to give your opinion on different things like politics, new products, movies, TV advertisements, and the list goes on and on.

Some people will claim that you can make thousand of dollars per month by answering online surveys, and that might be true, if you are spending all your time doing surveys. That being said, expect to make anywhere between $30 and $300 extra each month if you fill out at least one survey a day. So, which online surveys should you sign up for. Here are some of the best options out there:

  • Swagbucks – This website is the most popular survey website. It’s very easy to sign up and you can earn an average of $0.20 to $1.00 per survey and surveys can last seconds or 20 minutes. You can also earn Swagbucks for watching videos, shopping online, and playing games (each Swagbuck equals about one cent).
    swagbucks

    I signed up for Swagbucks today and you can see that I’ve earned about a dollar in the first five minutes of playing with the website.

  • MySurvey – This website is another popular option. You can make as much as $0.50 to $1.25 per survey you answer.
  • Pinecone Research – This website specifically focuses on the research side of surveys. You earn $3.00 per survey and surveys last an average of 30 minutes each.

Website Testing

Another option is website testing from home. You visit a website, complete a series of tests, and then get paid $10. The downside (if you aren’t very outspoken) is that you have to speak all of your thoughts out loud. If this doesn’t deter you – it’s an easy way to make some extra cash. Check out UserTesting.com for more details.

Get Paid to Shop

This is my favorite suggestion. After all, who doesn’t love shopping? And who doesn’t love getting good deals when they shop? There are a few different options, but I can tell you that I have personally tried and approved both of the options I’m about to give you.

  • Honey – If you enjoy shopping online then this web extension is perfect for you. All
    you do is install Honey on your web browser and suddenly you get pop-ups whenever you are about to purchase an item. These are the best type of pop-ups. Honey will check every coupon code on the internet for you to get you the biggest discount possible. Before I started using honey I would spend at least 10 minutes searching for coupon codes before purchasing things online (when I remembered). Now I don’t have to spend the time and I always get the deal!
  • Paribus – Here is a reason to opt into getting your receipts digitally. Not only do you save paper, but now you can also get money for it! If you shop at Amazon.com, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Staples, Target, Nordstrom, Old Navy, or 22 of their other participating stores (see them all here), then you can be saving money. Paribus keeps track of your purchases through your email receipts. When a price goes down, they will submit the paperwork necessary for those “money-back guarantees” and give you the money. They do take 25% of your discount as a fee, but if you don’t normally scour your receipts for discrepancies months after the purchase, then you are still getting way more money than you would have without Paribus.

Sell Old Things

If you are anything like me, then you have a pile of things waiting to be sold at a garage sale or taken to be donated. These days there is no reason to wait. You can get rid of your items now, you don’t have to leave your house, and you can make money doing it. Here are some of the best ways to get money for your old stuff you wanted to get rid of anyway:

  • eBay – If you want to upload some pictures onto a traditional website, eBay is the way to go. eBay is the perfect way to sell old toys, collectibles, and electronics.
  • Facebook Groups – These days, almost every town has their own “Garage Sale” Facebook Group. Go to Facebook, type “garage sale” into the search bar, click on groups, and then pick the garage sale group that is closest to you. It’s that simple. Then you can simply post things you want to get rid of on the group page and tell people where to pick them up.
  • OfferUp or LetGo: If you would prefer to use an app. Both OfferUp and LetGo are great options. You simply download the app, upload what you’re selling, and message others to finalize the sale all through the app. If you’re concerned about strangers being able to look at your Facebook profile or texting your personal number, this is the right option for you.

Lose Weight

This last idea is probably the most surprising, but I promise you that this is real. You can actually get paid to lose weight! There is a website called DietBet where you can earn money by betting that you will lose weight. What is actually happening is that you are betting against a bunch of other people that you will lose weight. Whoever reaches the group goal gets to split the earnings and those who don’t make it lose their entry fee. If you want to lose weight, stay motivated, and make money doing it. DietBet is the perfect solution.

Bonus Tip!

Download your FREE Top Ten Tips for a Radical Second Half eBook by clicking the image below! This 19-page eBook is full of tips for making your life the best it can be in every aspect (not just financially). So go ahead and get started!

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3 Opportunities to KISS Happy

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“If you want to be happy, be.”

-Leo Tolstoy

If we wanted, we could just keep-it-simple-stupid (KISS) the quote above and that would be that.

But sometimes the simplest of truths call forth our complication-making machinery.

We entertain this reason or that, compelling “evidence” that it’s just not possible. The more legitimate the reason, the more we negate the simple truth.

For example, I woke up this morning with that nagging feeling that something just wasn’t right.

First, I looked to see if there was some hold-over issue from yesterday that I may have carried into my today.

Then, I looked to see if I could remember my dreams: was there something that went through my mind during the night still in my head?

Or – and here’s an even deeper cut to take: since our dreams access our most subconscious thoughts and feelings, IF I DID HAVE A BAD DREAM which left its remnants, what does that mean? Should I be worried about what’s going on in my subconscious?

It’s truly amazing how far down the rabbit hole one can go!

Harvard Business Review described a study in which folks were monitored for how their morning mood impacted the rest of their day.

And there’s some evidence that one of many external factors can play a part in the setting up of one’s mood at the outset of the day.

Yet, outside of any external factors, the real value is in the development of internal happiness control.

Aside from a healthy self-awareness and any good life-skills techniques we employ to embrace living, maybe it’s as simple as the choice to be happy.

At least 3 Points to KISS Happy daily are (feel free to add more):

1. Morning – Choosing to Be Happy Anyway

Despite the rabbit hole of quandary as to what could be the culprit behind the questionable mood, exercise the power of your will and choose to be in a good mood today anyway.

Some therapists suggest anchoring the thought with 5 deep breaths…and then finding times throughout the day to take those 5 deep breaths again and remember that choice.

2. Daily Reason Points – Choosing to Be Happy Anyway

The day will no doubt present as many viable reasons as possible to choose to go to the dark side.  In the face of the reasons, it adds so much to our inner confidence and sense of power over our life every time we can choose to choose a happy thought anyway.

What technique can you employ to pivot? Step away from the machine for a moment and do your 5 breaths? Play a mind game of counting of your blessings?

Here’s a little mind trick I like: Envision the Negative!

Think back to one of the best things that ever happened to you – a fortunate break, an unexpected gift, a chance meeting, a wonderful opportunity, an amazing relationship – and then imagine for a moment that it HADN’T happened…and where you’d be now.  Sounds like it’s pointing toward the negative, but it’s a great way to jettison yourself into humongous gratitude and happiness in short order!

3. Evening – Choosing to Be Happy Anyway

When it’s all said and done for the day, if you worked your KISS Happy muscle, a lot of “evidence” might already be in place to justify going to bed happy.  However, if any slip-ups occurred, you might engage in a late-night, rest-prep workout.

What were the BEST things that DID happen today? How did they make you feel?

How DID you grow and expand today, and what are your intentions for doing so tomorrow?

I like the thought that the way to be happy is to choose every morning that I’m in a good mood, and to keep choosing that choice throughout the day.

I also like the thought that sometimes happiness is a feeling, and sometimes it’s a choice.

All feelings aside, what’s the biggest choice you can make today?

Choose KISS Happy.

“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.”

-Ralph Marston

DIY Valentine’s Day Ideas That Will Make You Feel the Love

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I don’t know about you, but when it comes to thinking of the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for my husband (or even the perfect things to do on Valentine’s Day), it often feels impossible.

First, there is the question of if I even want to attempt to brave the crazy world of reservations and official activities. Then it’s the question of if I want to celebrate on Valentine’s Day or if I want to celebrate the previous or following weekend. By that point, thinking of an actual gift is absolutely exhausting. It seems as if we’ve done everything already. Romantic dinner? Check. Flowers? Check. Chocolates? Check. By the time you are in the midst of midlife it often feels like the day is hardly worth it and (usually) pretty unsurprising. But, with the right commitment and a little time, you can create the perfect DIY Valentine’s Day present to show your significant other exactly how much you appreciate them – regardless of the day of the year (which brings me to today’s post).

How to create the perfect DIY Valentine’s Day gift to make you (and your significant other) feel the love!

Today I am going to bring you four DIY Valentine’s gifts for him (although, these gifts would also be perfect for her). My inspiration? The DIY Valentine’s Day gifts I created for my husband five years ago (to this day, this is my favorite DIY Valentine’s Day gift I have ever made).

Take a look at my assembled gift below, and then I’ll go through all of the DIY ideas you can choose to re-create!

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The gift included (1) a pop-up Valentine card, (2) paper fortune cookies, (3), a paper rose, and (4) a pop-out memory box.

I’m going to start with the easiest and quickest parts of my gift and work my way up to the more complicated/time-consuming ideas. Pick and choose the ideas that you like the most and then make them your own!

1. Paper Fortune Cookies

As I mentioned above, these are the easiest part of the gift. All you need is paper, scissors, and glue! Quickly fold the fortune cookies, write whatever fortunes you would like about the love of your life and your future together, and slide your fortunes into the cookies. Voila! You have cute little fortunes to share with your significant other!

See how I made them by clicking on this link!

2. Pop-Up Valentine Card

dsc00250This card is a little more complicated than the fortune cookies, but not much. You will need paper, scissors, and glue like the last craft, as well as a ruler, pencil, and stencil knife (and of course a pen to write your own love letter inside). My tip? Use a light pencil and have a good eraser on hand so that you can erase all of your lines you made to know where to cut your great pop-up design. Also, pay attention to the colors you use (for example, I had to create paper cut-outs of the letters for the front of my card because pen didn’t show up very well on the red background. So, start thinking about what you want to write because you will be done with this craft before you know it!

Make your own by following the directions at this link!

3. Paper Rosedsc00247

This is my favorite part of my gift to this day! This rose is still wrapped around the edge of our standing mirror in our bedroom today. That being said, this is also the gift that caused me the most stress. I carefully picked out pages from an old dictionary where words like “love” and “kiss” were defined and then carefully cut out the petals to make sure the right words were visible…and then I completely failed my first attempt making the flower. Turns out, it’s pretty hard to make a rose out of nothing but paper, hot glue, ribbon, wire, and scissors. That being said, after a few failed attempts, I finally got it right and I still find it absolutely gorgeous. If you’re ready to put in some time and effort, I can guarantee that this gift is something that you significant other will cherish for years to come. Plus, it lasts much longer than regular roses!

Get the tutorial here!

4. Pop-Out Memory Box

This gift idea is the most time-consuming, and the most personal. This is a box that you make from scratch and is actually almost like 3 boxes in one. As your significant other opens the box, they will be unfolding the story of your life together. On each side of the box, I put a story or a picture of me and my husband and as he unfolded the box more and more, he went further and further back into our past together. It is a thoughtful gift that takes so much time to make simply because you are putting so much time into picking the right moments of your life together to remember.

For step-by-step directions (and pictures) click here!

So, there you go! Four DIY ideas for making your Valentine’s Day gifts extra special this year!

However, if you’re reading through these ideas and you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t have time for this,” don’t fear, below are a couple easy Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him (and gift ideas for her) that you can complete in an instant (no shipping required)!

For Him

For Her

For Both of You!

  • Go out! Now, I’m not saying to brave the crowds on Valentine’s day, but use the previous or following weekend to go out on a date (dinner and a movie? I know it’s cliche, but it’s always fun) or book a room (get the romance package) at a nice hotel in town for a night. You don’t have to go far to make the holiday special.
  • Stay in! Sometimes staying in the house is just as nice as going out. Cook a special dinner, pull out a favorite movie, change into your comfiest PJs and cuddle on the couch. If your kids are still at home, don’t forget to find an overnight activity for them (my local Zoo even has an overnight scheduled for children on Valentine’s Day)!

 

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The Most Popular Midlife Names in America – Did You Make the List?

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Today we are going to have a little fun!

I took the top five baby names (for men and women) between the years of 1952 and 1977 and turned them into the below fun graphs. Which names were the most popular? The least? And most importantly, is your name on the list?

First, let’s start with the boys:

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David, James, and Michael made the top 5 list every single year in those 26 years!

John made the list 21 times. Robert made the list 20 times, Christopher made the list 6 times and Jason made the list 5 times.

But the most impressive statistic when it comes to these 26 years? The above 7 baby names were the ONLY names to make the top 5 list in all those years!

Now, let’s take a look at the girls:

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First of all, can I say wow? While only 7 names made the list for boys, the girls have 16 names on the list!

We have Mary in the lead, getting on the list 16 times in 26 years. Susan made the list 15 times, Lisa got listed 13 times, Linda 12 times, Jennifer and Karen 10 times, Kimberly and Michelle 9 times, Amy and Deborah/Debra 8 times, and Melissa and Patricia 5 times. Heather, Angela, Donna, and Jessica pull up the rear with 4, 3, 2, and 1 mentions on the list, respectively.

So, did your name make the list?

Let us know by responding in the comments below!

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When Was the Last Time You Gave Your BRAIN a Workout?

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In today’s world, technology is always at our fingertips. From smartphones and iPads to laptops and smartwatches, technology is almost never more than a finger tap away. Unfortunately, with all of this technology at our fingertips, we are spending less and less time actively engaging our brain. We play mindless games on our phone or watch mindless TV before bed, we aren’t working out our brains nearly as much as we used to.

On Monday, a study was published in the JAMA Neurology Journal reinforcing the importance of doing activities to stimulate your brain. It was found that even after the age of 70, taking part in simple activities like playing games, socializing, and using the internet can help prevent mental decline.

Not to say that in your 40s and 50s you are suffering from extreme mental decline, but the phrase “use it or lose it” comes to mind.

What does this have to do with technology you might ask? Everything.

The other day I realized that I grab my phone first thing each morning and check it each night before bed. I’m completely tied to it. And what am I doing when I grab it at 5:45 each morning? I’m scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest. I’m playing mindless games through different apps. I’m scanning my emails. The problem is, I’m not using my brain. And even worse, I’m not really enjoying playing the games or scrolling through social media, I’m just doing it to wake my brain up.

So I decided to make a change, I deleted all of my mindless games and replaced them with apps specifically created to give your brain a workout. Now, at this point, I’ve only been using the apps for 3 days, so I can’t claim any astounding results. However, I know that I’m working on different skills and that the “games” are created to get my brain to work in different ways.

I downloaded a bunch of different apps to try out, but so far there are two that are really standing out to me. Today, I want to share these apps with you, in case you wanted a to make a mini brain workout part of your daily routine!

Lumosity

Lumosity is a website as well as an app (although I am currently solely enjoying their lumosity app.png
app). When you make a profile, the first thing they have you do is take a “Fit Test” to see where you already fall. After you complete your test, they create daily tasks for you to give your brain a workout! Right now I’m unlocking new games each day to help me with my attention, flexibility, memory, speed, and problem-solving skills. With the free version, you get 3 new games each day to play. The more you play, the better your scores get and the more of a workout your brain gets! If you want to unlock more games (beyond the ones you get each day) you can always pick up a pro membership for as low as $3.75/month.

Peak

Peak is an app that also gives your brain a workout through games that help you with peak app.pngdifferent skills like focus, problem-solving, coordination, memory, and mental agility. Each day they give you more games to play and keep detailed track of your brain score in the above categories and more. The downside is that you can’t play your daily games an unlimited amount of times without a membership. The good news is that it is cheaper than Lumosity with subscriptions as low as $2.92/month. Also, they have family plans so you can help everyone in your family keep their mind sharp (and compare progress if you’re competitive like me)!

P.S. If you click here – you can get a free week of Peak Pro!

If you are even thinking that you might be interested in giving your brain a workout, then go ahead and download one (or both) of these apps. They both have free versions, and who doesn’t want to improve their mental skills? After all, use it or lose it!

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