Everyone Wants Pretty Hands

Unfortunately, no one had found the fountain of youth yet. Today, while I was having my coffee, Clara was “Snap Chatting” me photos of her newly decorated living room. Yes, I said “snap chat”. She downloaded this app on my phone where you can send photos back and forth that only last for a couple seconds. I don’t really understand it, but she loves it. Anyway, I sent her a photo of me holding my cup of coffee and couldn’t get over how “old” my hand looks.
tips-for-pretty-hands-nancy-free-nancy
I have never really spent much time looking at my hands, but I understand why they say your hands show all the signs of aging. I couldn’t stop looking at them in awe. I know I don’t look like I have aged as much as my hands show.  So I jumped on the internet to find some ideas how to get rid of these “aged hands.”

I read that hands really do show the signs of aging more than most parts of the body. The years of sun exposure, the exposure to the elements, hard work, and constant washing and scrubbing really take a toll on our hands. The skin on hands thins with all the exposure to daily life and more veins become visible, age spots appear, and it is common for hands to become dry. All of this information was pretty much common sense to me, and I wanted to know how to reverse that aging.

I found this website saying that taking care of aging hands is similar to the skin care during menopause; a subject I am pretty knowledgeable on. It suggested exfoliating your hands to remove all the dry skin before moisturizing. Buffing your nails also helps make your hands look younger. I never really thought about moisturizing my hands specifically, I just put lotion on them when they are dry, so this was a new concept for me.

The site also said the moisturizing and protection are the most important in having beautiful youthful hands. It said to use a good quality hand cream and apply it throughout the day to rejuvenate your hands.

After reading all of these articles I have decided I need to find a good hand cream to reverse aging. Do you use anti-aging hand creams? If so what kind do you use and is it effective?

Until Next Time,

Nancy

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Wedding Decorations

This past weekend I had the opportunity to make floral arrangements and help decorate for one of the most precious wedding I have ever seen.  The couple was so sweet and had an incredibly special day.  I learned so much and had a blast making arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnière’s.

The couple had themed their wedding with lots of bright spring colors and lively plants.  They also choose to a unique flare to add to their flowers with feather accents and old costume broaches for added for sparkle.  I don’t know where she got all her ideas but they were absolutely incredible.

wedding-flowers-ringThe bride’s bouquet was unlike anything I have ever seen.  It was so much fun assisting my boss create it for her.  She used pink peonies and added white feathers and a broach to it.  It was the most unique and beautiful bouquet I have ever seen.  Her husband’s boutonnière was also accented with a white feather.  The subtitle beauty of the feather and broach added so much elegance and glamour.

Post 35-NancyBell (3)I created what I believe is my best work yet.  I worked on two of the center pieces, one of them was pink and the other one was yellow.  The bride gave me direction of what she wanted but gave me the freedom of creativity.  She wanted each centerpiece to be special and unique.  I absolutely love my two centerpieces and so did she.  I actually surprised myself with how great they turned out.  It was fun making such a bright loud arrangement.  It wasn’t hard to smile the entire time creating it because the bright flowers radiated happiness; good pick on the bride and grooms part. 🙂

I really enjoy working alongside my boss at this wedding.  She continues to teach me so much every time we begin a project.  She was very pleased with my work at the wedding and invited me to do a few events with her in the upcoming months.  Of course I said yes, after this wedding I think I prefer events over daily arrangements.  I enjoy working with someone to create their floral dreams a reality.  There was something about making wedding arrangements that brings romantic emotions.  I left feeling like it was my wedding night again.

Post 35-NancyBell (2)It has only been a few months since I began creating floral arrangements but I have grown so much as a floral designer.  I hope to continue learning and getting better.  I really think I found my passion.

Until next time,

Nancy

I GOT THE JOB AND STARTED!

As you can tell by the title of this post, I GOT THE JOB! AND I STARTED ALREADY!  The caps depict my excitement!  I got a phone call on Tuesday from the position I applied for.  They wanted me to come in for an interview on Wednesday.  I was really nervous about it, I had night sweats nonstop before my interview.  When I woke up I was oddly alert and awake, I think it was the nerves and my endorphins going crazy.

hi-5

When I walked into the flower shop I was at ease.  The flowers everywhere and the beautiful smell made me feel so much more comfortable.  The interview went so great.  I was out of interview practice for quite a few years…  it had to of gone well because I ended up getting the job.  The owner offered me it on the spot! I was speechless.  I accepted and actually stayed there a few hours learning about the shop, their store layout, and a little training.
My boss is so nice.  She was so helpful in showing me where things were and giving advice right away.  I think it is going to be a great “work-ship.”  I started on Friday in the store and worked an event yesterday with her to get the feel for what venue working involves.

floral-arrangement

I was excited I got to design a few arrangements for the party and a few for private clients in store.  Even though I have only worked two days at the flower shop, I can tell this is going to be such a good experience full of learning.  The classroom is completely different than in the store.  The store has such a huge selection of flowers and makes each arrangement specific to what the client wants.  I love it!
I really like that there are guidelines to each arrangement but the creativity and design ideas are endless.  I am so happy the way this is going! I can’t believe it is only February 1st and I am already having a great year!  The whole family is healthy, Bobby and Clara are growing into such wonderful adults, my husband and I were able to travel to New York, I am loving my life, and I just began a job that I am passionate about!  Life is good!
today-im-excited
Until next time,
Nancy

A Pinterest Addicts New Lifestyle

I have been doing so good keeping up with my exercise routine this week. I got my husband to join me three times this week to go cycling, I’ve been making a point to take the stairs more often, and I did a living room workout twice this week. I may be speaking too soon, but I am feeling healthy and active. There is just something about being active that changes your mindset and makes you have a great day.

I have been trying to eat healthy, but it is just so hard. I am used to making quick meals for the kids that were easy and not necessarily that healthy. I want to commit this upcoming week to eating healthy AND keeping up with my activity schedule.
I am aware of what makes food taste good and how to use fresh ingredients, I struggle in portion control. I need to be conscious of how much I’m eating and pacing my consumption. I read that putting the food in a different room while you are eating, makes you think about how much you’re eating and prevents you from getting seconds or even thirds. And if you do decide to get more, you have to get up and walk to get it. I think this is a great idea; I am going to try that this week and see how it works.
I feel like Pinterest is such a good place to get motivation, workout ideas, and recipes, I think it’s safe to say I’m a Pinterest addict. This morning I pinned a bunch of recipes I want to try and found some great boards on eating healthy. Better Homes and Garden has a board called healthy dinner recipes, it is so many different recipes.

pinterest-nancy-2I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted and not gain any weight, but now that I am a woman of menopausal age, it is important to be aware of what kinds of food are going into my body. If I stay motivated and keep going in the direction I am now, I will be managing a healthy lifestyle in no time.

Thanks for reading!

Nancy

A Very Proud Parent

The day I have been dreading has come, and we have gone.  We just got back from moving Bobby into his new dorm room at school.  It was an emotional rollercoaster unpacking all his clothes and dorm supplies.  I managed to sneak a family photo on his desk…he will thank me for that later.  I tried to keep it together while we were unpacking his room, but saying goodbye one last time by the car brought a river of tears to my eyes.  I had been preparing myself for that moment, so finally those tears were not just tears sadness but tears of a very proud parent.

Moving our youngest child out of the house to college is a huge milestone, not only for Bobby but for us as parents too.  We have two grown children that have had the courage to move out, continue their education, and begin growing into successful young adults.  Even though I’m sad to see them go, I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments and who’ve they become.

It is comforting knowing that I can talk to Bobby and Clara whenever I want.  I can call or text them whenever; trying not to annoy them too much. 🙂

mama hen never empty nest syndrome

We are able to talk everyday… or realistically, as much as they want to talk to their marvelous mom.  I am so anxious to hear about all the exciting things they are doing.  The power of technology is great, now I just need to figure out my phone so I actually know what I’m doing.

Knowing I will see Bobby soon makes me so excited and helps making this transition easier.  He has so much time off from school; much more than what I remember having.  From fall break, Thanksgiving break to winter break, I know he will come home for some great food and we will be able to spend time together.  Clara will also be home during the same breaks too; I can’t wait to have a full house again.

Well I guess it really is official, we are empty nesters now.  We have two grown children making a life for themselves in this world.  Even though this has been a very trying couple of months for me, the amount of pride and happiness I have is unexplainable.  I believe that as parents of two wonderful children, it is our duty to support and help them in any way as they begin a new chapter in their lives and grow into adults.  Even though I had been dreading this day, I am happy and excited for what is to come and can’t wait to get that first call from Bobby 🙂

Until that phone call,

Nancy

From Shoulder Pads to Fabulous

I have never been one to follow fashion trends, I always shop for the best deals and steals.

Because of that, my wardrobe isn’t exactly up to date…at all. I certainly have no idea what is “in” anymore. After my menopausal rant, I decided if my body wants to constantly be hot I need start dressing like a hot mature woman.

My closet hasn’t exactly changed since the 90’s. Every mother knows, especially if you have a daughter, when you go shopping it always ends up about them; five bags for them and one for you, if you’re lucky. Now that I actually have time for myself, it is time to spice up my style. I’m over my funeral home of a closet, everything I own is black. Even my family comments about my morbid hues of clothing. My go to outfit for work is a big boxy blazer, with the 90’s favorite shoulder pads, classic trousers, and a blouse. And guess what color it is…BLACK! I desperately need a pop of color to look alive.

My anniversary with the hubby is coming up, so it is the perfect excuse to go shopping for something new. I am so fashion-illiterate I had to do a quick search on how to dress 50 and fabulous. “Don’t be afraid of colors, dress for your body type, chic patterns are your friend, let go of baggy clothes that weigh you down…” flooded the search results. Well, I guess if I am going to find clothes that look good I’m going to have to try new things, bring it on! I am ready for a little change.

After I built up my courage to go to the mall, it was so freeing walking in knowing the day was all mine. Where do I start? I have always loved Talbots and Ann Taylor but have always been afraid to try things on in the store. I have this fear when I try things on nothing will fit or I will think it looks good but it actually looks terrible. Very irrational, I know.

But, today was my day, I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try things on. I constantly found myself gravitating towards the black shirts and pants…NO MORE BLACK! I had to forcefully avoid falling back into my funeral home clothes habit.

After I had an arm full of clothes I went into the dreaded dressing room. Shockingly, I loved it, the store attendant reminded me of Clara when she would help me pick out clothes, she was so sweet. The attendant was helpful getting new sizes and gave me great fashion advice for a woman my age. And the best part was we somehow got on the topic of menopause and hot flashes, she had some advice on what fabrics to wear to wick away the sweat and stay cool. Finally, someone who understands my struggles. 

I ended up with the PERFECT dress for our anniversary dinner, and it wasn’t black! A round of applause for me! I also ended up getting four more outfits that fit my personality and the style I didn’t even know I had. I guess I forgot what it feels like to go shopping and get new clothes. I feel like a whole new person; rejuvenated and sophisticated.  

I will definitely be back to the mall very soon!

Here is the website picture of the dress I got for my anniversary dinner! I love IT!

dress I got for my  anniversary dinner

Until next time,

Nancy

I don’t Sweat, I Sparkle

Right after writing my last post about my first empty-nest to do list, I was feeling so inspired and motivated to do all these great things around the house.  That was until I started cleaning the kitchen cabinets and all of the sudden the end to all hot flashes set it; such perfect timing.  I have had hot flashes for a while but none like this one, it was like being in an inferno…and no disco inferno!

The long inferno of a hot flash felt like I was speeding up the melting of the ice caps. Then, of course it decided to throw me into an erupting volcano to top off the experience.  Mother Nature sure has a cruel sense of humor.

Having menopausal symptoms isn’t anything new to me.  It is definitely really hard to get used to, if you are even supposed get used to Mother Nature’s change.  I received the “wonderful news” that I was in transition into menopause in 2012, and let me tell you, taking it day by day is the only way you can survive.

The painful PMS, missed and heavy periods are the easiest part, just wait, the best is yet to come!  The symptoms just keep appearing.  One day I realized I was very fatigued and I hadn’t even done much that week.  I thought I was wearing myself out at work and from running around with the kids, but no, good ol’ menopause makes you even more fatigued than you already are.  Forget having energy when you get home from work.  I’m on a search to find something that will help manage these wild symptoms.

You truly know you’re going through menopause when you start going through crazy mood swings and are constantly sweaty.  I feel like there hasn’t been a day that passed where I haven’t had a hot flash or a night sweat.  Like your day isn’t busy enough, washing the sheets and your pajamas every day is going to become a new chore.

Lately I’ve seen posters and pins on Pinterest that say “I don’t sweat, I sparkle,” well I have been sparkling quite a bit lately.

I don't sweat I sparkle

After dealing with these symptoms for what seems like an eternity, I think it is time to schedule an appointment with the gynecologist.  Hopefully I can figure out some way to deal with this nonsense they call menopause.

Hope you enjoyed my menopausal rant.  Any suggestions to break this sweaty streak, DO NOT hesitate to contribute!

Nancy

Quite an Ambitious List

Nancys-to-do-listAfter finally sitting down and brainstorming ideas for my first “empty nest” to-list, I realized I have a lot of things that I didn’t have time for when my kids lived at home.  My mind was going wild, in a million different directions coming up with different tasks to do. I came up with many small household tasks, office duties, and personal things I wanted to get done but haven’t had the time.  At one point I think I had fifty different things written on the to-do list… 🙂  After I felt like I had everything I wanted on the written on the list, I began eliminating tasks that I definitely knew I would do.  Here are the ten I decided to keep.  Without kids, it’s time to:

  1. Clean out the kitchen cabinets
  2. Redecorate the living room
  3. Paint our bedroom
  4. Go through and donate stuff from Bobby’s room
  5. Buy new work clothes
  6. List of things to doOrganize my work desk – at home!
  7. Organize new real estate properties
  8. Read a good book
  9. Clean out the garden
  10. Sit down for dinner with my husband during the week

When I actually begin crossing things off the list it is going to be a great feeling of accomplishment!  Knowing I’m getting things done that need to be done and helping myself at the same time, definitely worth the struggle. I have a feeling it will be difficult being in Bobby’s room without him, but I think it will be a good way to get used to him being moved out like his sister.  I know he will do excellent in the next chapter of life just like his older sister.  It is so rewarding seeing the success and achievement in everything they do. I can already tell that this list is going to be a good way to keep me busy and not worrying about my kids.  Actually siting back and reading these, there is no way that I will be able to finish them but hey, it’s worth a try. I’m going to head to the store today to pick up some cleaning supplies and a couple organizational decorating magazines for motivation.  Saturdays are the best day to clean and be inspired!   Wish me luck! Nancy

Blogging for an Empty Nester

Welcome To My Blog

Nancy Bell

Well, this first post seemed much easier before sitting down at the computer… J Well, if you read the About Me section you have an idea what is going on in my life. If you didn’t, here is a brief tidbit of what you’ve missed; I am happily married to the love of my life, I have two beautiful kids, Clara, 21, and Bobby, 18, they are beginning the next chapter of their lives and have moved out of the house. It almost seems surreal that I am an empty nester now, it’s only me and the hubby left in the house. Working at a real estate firm has allowed me to create my own schedules, making it easy to spend time with Clara and Bobby while growing up. My kids have always been my main priority and being a real estate agent was the perfect career choice for me and my family. I knew becoming an empty nester was quickly approaching when all my family and friends were constantly asking, “What are you going to do with all your free time now your kids gone?” “Are you going to visit them after they leave?” “I can’t imagine how you are dealing with your babies leaving the house.” “You and your husband should take a nice trip to take your mind off your kids leaving.” Although these words are hard to swallow, they have begun to prepare me for what is to come. And to put the icing on the cake, I am also dealing with hot flashes and all the wonderful symptoms of menopause. They always seem to happen during the most inconvenient times, women… I know you know what I mean. While chatting with a friend over coffee about how quickly our kids grow up and dealing with menopause, it dawned on me that nearly every woman has to deal with something like this at one point. Two espresso shots later, I decided I should write down all my thoughts, feelings, and experiences to share with women going through the same thing. We can go through this together! Now that my kids are beginning their own lives out of the perfect bubble I built for them, I have so much free time. It seems weird after spending nearly every day with my kids, I have all this free time do focus on myself. To fill the first couple weeks of without kids I’ve been finding things to do on Google and Pinterest. I think I want to begin by creating a dream list. I am going to write down all the things I’ve wanted to do but didn’t have time when Clara and Bobby lived in the house. It will give me ideas of things to do, now that I ACTUALLY HAVE THE TIME TO DO IT! I would love feedback on your ideas and positive ways you keep your mind off of being an empty nester and dealing with other things.   Thanks for reading, Until next time,   Nancy