A grandmother's promise proves key to helping a devastated dancer recover in Wildflower Hill: A Novel (Touchstone Books/A Simon & Schuster Trade Paperback; Aug. 23, 2011). Spanning three generations and two continents, this heart-touching, gotta-have-it by Aussie Kimberley Freeman involves long-hidden family secrets, life-derailing losses, and finding strength and love in the most unexpected places.
An easy read, Wildflower Hill alternates between the viewpoints of prima ballerina Emma Blaxland-Hunter and her gutsy grandmother Beattie. Present day Emma finds her London world ending when shortly after being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, she suffers a career-ending fall. The admittedly self-absorbed dancer has no choice but to return to her parents' home in Australia. There she learns she's inherited a sheep farm in isolated Tasmania from her beloved Grandma Beattie.
We're giving away two copies of Kimberley Freeman's generation-bonding novel, Wildflower Hill.
Spanning several decades and two continents, it is a sweeping story of prima ballerina Emma Blaxland-Hunter and her gutsy grandmother Beattie. These two unconventional women share a legacy of surprising secrets, heartbreak, courage and love.
Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest ends Jan. 12!
Whether you're planning a New Year's bash or just LOVE snacks (guilty!), you're sure to find something to tempt your taste buds in 750 Best Appetizers - From Dips and Salsas to Spreads and Shooters (Robert Rose; October 2011).
When the time came, her kids knew what to do...and so did her sole mate.
I'm VERY particular about lip gloss. Although my smile cries for color and shine, it tends to rebel if I'm not careful. Besides battling chapped lips, I have to contend with those fine lines that creep up on us Boomers as we age.
But I couldn't resist trying Lip Savvy!, the new do-it-all gloss that promises to plump, moisturize AND promote younger-looking skin.
Fueled by the recession, Lauren and Gigi took their knowledge of scents and Boomers and designed a fabulous fragrance made with natural oils. It's called Cocktail and it's about as intoxicating as its namesake. Fueled with a mix of violet leaves, jasmine and amber, the light fresh scent is subtle while being memorable.
We caught up with the Chicago-area Boomers as they were taking a breather from launching Cocktail. Since we found Lauren first, we jumped at the chance to ask her a few questions...
This is just about my favorite time of the year.
It's when I get to look back on the year we just
endured enjoyed and (in my next column) make predictions on what's coming in 2012. For a blogger like me, 2011 was filled with plenty of snark-bait. Let's go to the tape...
Best Idea a TV Executive Ever Had
Cancelling The Playboy Club, Pan-Am and the God-awfulest show ever, Prime Suspect.
Did you know Maria Belo was cool? Me neither. Don't you know that anybody who wears a hat and kicks thugs in the nuts is super-cool? Me neither. You weren't sorry to see this show get cancelled? Me neither.
Movies We Hearted
There were plenty of bad movies this year and a couple were even, dare I say it, unwatchable (I'm talking about you, Tree of Life). Charlotte and I saw a few we really DID like, including Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling (confession, Charlotte LIKES ANYTHING with Ryan Gosling) but I'll admit to liking it, too. A Little Help with America's sweetheart
Pam Jenna Fischer. Beautiful Boy with the non-hat wearing Maria Bello (she's a whole lot better when she's not acting "cool".) We also loved Cyrus - but then, anything with John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei has GOT to be good - and you know what? It was.
Didn't See That One Coming
I totally missed predicting Charlotte's star turn on HGTV's Donna Decorates Dallas. Of course, this means that any predictions I make for 2012 should be set on fire and burned to a fine, gray ash.
Our beloved Texas Rangers blew an entire season due to their inability to throw One. More. Strike. This is how I'm rewarded for watching a sport that's as exciting as watching GRASS GROW? C'mon...I'm going back to watching the Latvian Curling Championship Series on ESPN 7.
If you don't see a post from me for a couple of weeks,
send help with armor-piercing ammo.
Kick up the flavor of your holiday turkey and dressing with this tart, make-ahead relish based on a recipe from Southern Living's classic "Christmas Family Favorites" (2000; Oxmoor House). It's a long-standing favorite around our house.
Maybe the worst plumber's advertising ever...no if's, and's or butt's about it...
Boomers, I get asked technical, computer-type questions from my Dad from time to time. I'll admit that it's fun to diagnose and fix an easy tech problem and look like a freakin'
My un-handyman ways are legendary.
Yes, I had to have my car towed the one and only time I tried to change the oil (it was a Ford Pinto which could have exploded while I was underneath it, so I was really just trying to save my life). I've also voided more warranties than I can remember because I loathe reading instructions.
This brilliant move is what I call the "reverse doctor." I simply treat the patient first and then take a history.
It's easy to please my guys at Christmas. I pick up a classic movie (preferably black-and-white film noir) for Bob; a Guitar Center gift card for our music-journalist son Cole, and anything football for my sports-buff brother David. Then color me done.
What to get the important women in my life can be a little more complicated. But the most time-consuming part of my shopping just became a cinch thanks to these great gotta-have-ums. They're sure to delight any mom, sister, BFF, wife or special someone.
Mary's a hospice nurse by night and a lot of things during the day - dog lover, fitness buff, gardener (she confesses to being Mary, Mary quite contrary, after all!) and fan of American Idol. She lives in the Texas Hill Country (a slice of heaven that stretches from about Waco to just south of San Antonio) and is always active with friends, family or her beloved dog, "Pumpkin".
We caught up with Mary as she was enjoying a rare break in her busy schedule. She agreed to kick back, pour herself a glass of wine and answer a few questions...
Sequins, silk and all that shimmers. Tis the season for parties!
It would be nice to buy a trendy holiday outfit for everything from my book club birthday celebration to candlelight Christmas Eve communion. I do LOVE to shop but we all know that's simply not happening.
Let's face it. Certain parts of getting older REALLY suck, especially for us girls.
I'm talkin' hot flashes so intense your skin flushes, your heart races and you're instantly covered in sweat. LOOOOOOOONG nights spent waiting for the ever-elusive sandman while your partner finds peace as soon as his head touches the pillow (lucky Bob!). And night sweats that leave you so drenched you'd almost think you'd been in the shower ... not under the covers!
What's happening here? I asked women's wellness advocate Ellen Saver Dolgen, who under the penname "E" authored Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness (Hyperion, 2011), to give us Boomer babes some tips for recognizing and managing our midlife mire. Her funny, no-nonsense guide to menopause and its symptoms helps make both our frustrations and options much easier to understand.
Making Sense of Menopause
A Guest Blog by "E"
Every Boomer babe will go through menopause someday. Basically, menopause is the tampon-free time in a woman's life. Sounds breezy, right? Who wouldn't want to live without their period? Well, the transition from the tampon-wearing time to the tampon-free time can get quite rocky and extremely challenging.
Calling all Boomer Babes: Help is on the way! We're giving away five gifts great for making sense of your midlife issues. Each includes:
You could win this enlightening set ... FREE. Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest* ends Dec. 15!