May 2012 Archives

Dig This

5 Easy Paths to Great Gardens

By Charlotte on May 31, 2012 6:24 AM | Read More

My mother spends tons of time working outside. Blessed with a natural green thumb, she gets gorgeous results from almost everything she plants.

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Here's the Dish

Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Breasts

By Charlotte on May 30, 2012 6:25 AM | Read More

Bob and I have a thing for spicy foods. To turn up the heat, he adds Tabasco to ketchup; I figure pizza, hamburgers, most everything is better when covered with jalapenos.

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Don't Try This At Home

Blue By You

By Bob on May 29, 2012 4:28 AM | Read More

Summer is making its way down to the ranch. We hit the upper 90s last week and it'll be triple digits soon. Made me wish all the more for Spring when the bluebonnets were still in bloom. I took this bluebonnet picture and Photoshopped it to remind me of the cooler days -- way back, I dunno, maybe 5 days ago.


Ranch Bluebonnets - Up Close - Art-650.jpgIf you like your native Texas flora Au Naturale...check this out.  

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Daily Distraction

He's Nothing But Hands...Seriously

By Bob on May 29, 2012 2:49 AM | Read More

Don't Flash the Octopus-300.jpg

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In the Mirror

amika Clip-Free Tourmaline Curler

By Charlotte on May 28, 2012 6:36 AM | Read More

Curls can be a girl's best friend, especially if you have fine, thin hair like mine. Besides being right on trend, they bring limp locks to life, making them look lush and full.

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Catching Up With..

Catching Up With...Guy Gallo

By Bob on May 25, 2012 5:04 AM | Read More

Guy Gallo is a Big City Boomer who teaches screenwriting at New York's Columbia University and Barnard College. This Manhattanite is a married (Jeannine) father of two, Dominy (10) and Whitmore (5).

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By Bob on May 24, 2012 1:18 AM | Read More

Drive, the new thriller from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn is classic film noir masquerading as a hip indie action film. It's high-octane fun that literally growls with excitement, purrs with intrigue and tears up the screen with hang-on-to-your-seat thrills.

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Guest Room

7 Ways to Boom a Career Bust

By Charlotte on May 23, 2012 6:03 AM | Read More

By Darrell W. Gurney

A great jobs report came out recently-- the best numbers in the last four years--quickly followed by a crummy one. The jury is obviously still out on the direction we're going.

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Daily Distraction

I Don't Know Why These Cakes Aren't Selling

By Bob on May 22, 2012 2:42 AM | Read More

Cake for sale-499.jpg

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Don't Try This At Home

34 Years Ago Today

By Bob on May 21, 2012 3:07 AM | Read More

Remember what you were doing 34 years ago? I do. The morning of May 21, 1978, Charlotte and I were having breakfast at the Café Du Monde in New Orleans beginning our first day as husband and wife.


Looking back, I can't remember why we did that. We're not big on breakfast. But, somehow I reasoned that a beignet and a cup of coffee strong enough to melt a spoon was a good way to start our journey. As it turned out, that breakfast proved to be a pretty good forecast of the years ahead.


Coffee & Beignets at the Cafe Du Monde

Cafe Du Monde Beignet-650.jpg

I was immune to the Yin/Yang symbolism of that FIRST MEAL on the FIRST DAY. I mean, the bitter coffee balanced by the sweet beignet. Dude, it was damn near poetic. Zen like, even. All lost on me. I just wanted a donut and the legendary Café was within walking distance of our hotel. Call me romantic. Or not. Let's go with not, OK?


I blame it on the times we lived in. It was, after all, the Disco Era.


In 1978, the Bee Gees and assorted Brothers Gibb had 5 - that's right, 5 songs -- in the TOP 10. Oh, the humanity. Remember Shadow Dancing from the movie Saturday Night Fever? NUMBER ONE in '78. Night Fever from the same soundtrack was #2. Poor ol' Debby Boone had to settle for #3 that year with You Light Up My Life.


Got those songs stuck in your head? Glad I could hook you up with some Disco fever.


Our 1978 wedding reception was a low key affair

Reception-650.jpgAn easy metaphor here (Wow Bob, that Word-of-the-Day Calendar is really paying off) would be to tell y'all that Charlotte and I "danced" our way through the last 34 years. Makes for a great transition, but it's not even close to the truth.


First of all, I don't dance (my ballroom skills look like what would happen if Seinfeld's Elaine mated with Lurch from the Addams Family). Second, it's trended more along the lines of that first meal. Bitter followed by sweet. Sometimes it was bitter, followed by Geez that's really bitter, followed by sweet.


Truth is some Baby Boomer marriages make it. Some don't. The stats are sobering. In the decade we were married, only 13% of adults over 50 were divorced, separated or never married. Today, that number is 33%.  


What makes us special? Absolutely nothing. I'd guess that we're a lot like our reader millions of readers.



You want to know the secret to a three-plus-decade marriage? 


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Scoop Up 3 Skincare Superstars ... Free

By Charlotte on May 18, 2012 6:02 AM | Read More

photo_Fiafini_group_products_hr 400.jpgSaving our faces can be a struggle for us Boomers. Besides worrying about lines and wrinkles, we have EXTREME moisture issues. Why did all that oil we complained about in high school have to do a vanishing act?


Sure, there're plenty of face creams out there but if your skin is on the sensitive side like mine choosing can be complicated. Anything too harsh just brings on breakouts, redness and even more dryness. Not a pretty picture!  


That's why I was happy to check out Fiafini Skincare. Clinically proven to be safe for all skin types - including seriously sensitive, this 100% natural solution protects skin from environmental and free radical damage, dehydration and irritation. It uses the antioxidant power of South African Marula beauty oil (from trees said to be a source of health, healing and nutritional support) to promise anti-aging benefits you can see and feel.


And you just might have a chance to try it for yourself (whose feeling lucky?!). We've teamed up with Fiafini to give away their three, skin-friendly superstars: Delicate Cleansing Emulsion (4 ounces; $28), Divine Hydration Moisturizer (1.7 ounces; $40) and Deluxe Anti-Aging Eye Cream (.5 ounces; $38.50).



Fiafini Skincare uses South African Marula beauty oil (no harsh chemicals) to provide anti-aging benefits you can see and feel without risking irritation. This 100% natural brand is offering one lucky Boomer Babe the chance to win these face-saving superstars (a $106 value):


  • Delicate Cleansing Emulsion
  • Divine Hydration Moisturizer
  • Deluxe Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest ends May 31!


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Remotely Possible

Improving Your Vacation Videos

By Bob on May 17, 2012 4:28 AM | Read More

With the popularity of smartphones, vacation videos have never been easier to take - or harder to watch. Let's face it, most videos are BORING. The majesty of the Grand Canyon is really something to behold, until it's beheld on a 3.5" screen.

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Don't Try This At Home

Step Into The Arboretum Zone

By Bob on May 17, 2012 4:17 AM | Read More

While Charlotte and I were walking around the Dallas Arboretum the other day, I came across this beautiful slate fountain and focused my camera directly over it. I didn't think about the picture until we came back to Boomer HQ and I got a good look at it.

Dallas Arboretum Fountain - 650.jpgDoesn't it remind you of a famous TV show? Know which one?

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Here's the Dish

Celebration-Worthy Flourless Chocolate Cake

By Charlotte on May 16, 2012 6:31 AM | Read More

You can turn any day into a special occasion with Capital Grille's Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake.

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Don't Try This At Home

Ducking Out

By Bob on May 15, 2012 3:00 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I visited the Dallas Arboretum for the very first time a couple of weeks ago. After lunch at the DeGolyer Mansion we stepped around back to the Women's Garden and I snapped this picture of a duck - apparently swimming up hill.

Dallas Arboretum Duck & Statue - 650.jpgThere's so much going on in this picture that it almost looks like it came from one of the Small Houses of Great Artists currently on display. Have you seen the Picasso House?

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Daily Distraction

Ised Be Thinking You Don't Know How To Spell

By Bob on May 15, 2012 2:36 AM | Read More

Ised thinking you don't know how to spell-500.jpg

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In the Mirror

Match Game

By Charlotte on May 14, 2012 6:16 AM | Read More

For Bob and me, Sunday nights mean pepperoni pizza, red wine and the latest episode of AMC's Mad Men. In the ad/pr game since the '80s, Bob says been there-done that to the multiple-martini lunches, late-night brainstorming and crazy client demands at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Me, I'm in it for the fashions.

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Catching Up With..

Catching Up With...Judith Hannan

By Bob on May 11, 2012 5:26 AM | Read More

Judith Hannan is one of those Boomers with an indomitable spirit and a passion for helping people. She's an author, mother, music educator and volunteer who lives in Manhattan with a view overlooking Central Park.

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The Descendants

By Bob on May 10, 2012 4:16 AM | Read More

There's an early scene in Alexander Payne's The Descendants where Matt, the disheveled dad played by George Clooney, confesses that he's the "backup parent," the "understudy". It's a confession that telegraphs all you need to know about the fragile father. He's a fish out of water gasping for breath.

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Guest Room

Living in the Moment: A definition that really works

By Bob on May 9, 2012 4:06 AM | Read More

By Amy Wood, Psy.D.

I need to start living in the moment. If I had a dime for every time I've heard a wiped out, over-extended Boomer say that to me, I really would be the wealthiest psychologist this side of the Mississippi!

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Daily Distraction

They Don't Take Crap From Anybody...Beginning Tomorrow

By Bob on May 8, 2012 2:27 AM | Read More


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Don't Try This At Home

A Walk in the Park

By Bob on May 7, 2012 5:34 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I have lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area all our lives. Except for that brief stint down in Aggieland (Whoop!), we've been lifelong residents. You'd think we'd know all there is to know about our home...but you'd be WRONG.


In almost three decades of living in Dallas, we'd never been to the Dallas Arboretum. Since Charlotte's got the green thumb at Boomer HQ and loves to plant (so long as I do the heavy lifting and kill all reptiles), we were happy when Arboretum spokesperson extraordinaire Wendy Holman offered to mend our misspent ways by taking us on a tour. Charlotte was looking forward to seeing the beautiful gardens. I was looking forward to seeing beautiful gardens I didn't have to plant and water. Seemed like a win-win all around.


Dallas Arboretum Landscape - 650.jpgThe Arboretum is 66 of the prettiest acres in Dallas. Located on a bluff overlooking White Rock Lake, it's an urban oasis featuring spectacular gardens with incredible seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees and plant collections. So why had we never been? You might as well ask why Johnny Depp speaks in a British accent when he was born in Kentucky. Boomers, some things we'll just never know.


In addition to the spectacular display gardens, the Arboretum is home to seasonal outdoor festivals, concerts, art shows and more. Its centerpiece is the historic DeGolyer House (built in 1939) which you can tour and there's an adjoining restaurant with a lovely terrace that offers indoor and outdoor dining. There's a whole lot to like about this place. Check it out here:



What do we like about The Dallas Arboretum? That's a long list, but here are our picks for things you can enjoy now - and some you can enjoy very soon...


I'll apologize now for my bad Tom Petty impersonation

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A Time to Heal

By Charlotte on May 4, 2012 6:30 AM | Read More

Book Lover 200.jpgA new friend's faith in her work helps a wannabe novelist find success in real estate broker-turned writer Maryann McFadden's The Book Lover (Three Women Press; May 2012). An ode to writers and small book shops, The Book Lover is a heart-felt tale of two, determined women who must get creative to live out their dreams.


When her lawyer husband's betrayal ends life as she's known it, young author Lucy Barnett looses herself in selling her new, self-published novel. Alone and broke, Lucy's determined to get her book in the hands of readers, even if it means traveling state to state, one book store to the next promoting her cause.


Meeting Ruth Hardaway, a bookseller with troubles of her own, is Lucy's first big break. A genuine fan of Lucy's writing, Ruth goes all out to support her new friend. Besides encouraging Lucy's book sales, Ruth listens to her troubles (she's been there; done that) and insists Lucy move into her family's unused lake cabin while sorting things out.


In exchange, Ruth asks that Lucy check on her son Collin from time to time. The take-your-breath-away handsome, ex-soldier who lives in the cabin next door is recovering from a devastating injury in the Iraq war, and Ruth worries about him being isolated.



We're giving away five, autographed copies of Maryann McFadden's terrific, third novel, The Book Lover. An ode to writers and small book shops, The Book Lover is a heart-felt story of two, determined women who must get creative to live out their dreams.


When her husband's betrayal ends life as she's known it, self-published author Lucy Barnett looses herself in selling her new novel. Meeting Ruth Hardaway, a 60ish bookseller with troubles of her own, is Lucy's first big break. Bonding immediately, the pair find healing in unexpected friendships, imperfect love and coming clean about little white lies.

Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest ends May 17!



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Don't Try This At Home

Caution: Blogger At Work

By Bob on May 3, 2012 5:24 AM | Read More

We're always looking for beautiful pictures we can share with our reader millions of fans here at The Brief. Sometimes we find things we weren't really looking for - like these wild daisies we found when we were really trying to take bluebonnet pictures. 

Caution - Blogger At Work-650.jpgCharlotte's got a keen eye for this sort of thing and she doesn't mind getting up close and personal with some roadside flora.

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How to Make Strawberry/Jalapeno Tequila

By Bob on May 3, 2012 4:25 AM | Read More

I tried infused tequilas for the very first time when Charlotte and I were down at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa a few weeks ago. I have to tell you boomers, I fell HARD for these wonderful concoctions.

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Here's the Dish

Low-Cal Enchilada Casserole

By Charlotte on May 2, 2012 6:03 AM | Read More

Welcome Cinco de Mayo without guilt by serving this skinny enchilada casserole.

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Don't Try This At Home

Arbor Daze

By Bob on May 1, 2012 6:04 AM | Read More

When we built our Colleywood house, Charlotte wanted an arbor for her Don Juan climbing roses. It took some talking, but I was finally able to convince the fence guy to build one for us.  

Rose Trellis - 650.jpg

I figured that since he was so good at building metal fence, an arbor would be pretty easy. 

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Daily Distraction

A Father's Worst Nightmare

By Bob on May 1, 2012 2:09 AM | Read More

Check out the small sign on the right-hand side...

Don't Laugh-500.jpg

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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