Jollywood Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Christmas season has officially kicked off at Walt Disney World and this year it includes a new Christmas party! Jollywood Nights is a new, separately ticketed event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on select nights from Nov 11th – Dec 20th. We attended Sat night and enjoyed an array of holiday sights, sips, shows, and spectacles.

Here are some tips from our experience at Jollywood Nights.

There are two spots that you can get your wristband/lanyard for the party. One is upon entering the park at the entrance and the other is in the Vacation Fun building (next to Frozen sing a long). Be warned that the lines are long but they move fast. You can of course enter the park before the party and use either option for obtaining your band/lanyard. The fun begins at 8:30 but make note that some virtual queues open at 8:00. The two virtual queues to be aware of are Rise of the Resistance and Brown Derby Cafe (yes, there is a queue to try the food here).

First and foremost, the lights were wonderful! The sparkling Christmas tree in the center of Echo Lake was beautiful and the lights on Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd were festive and fun. Part of the enjoyment, at least for me, is to just sit and enjoy the lights which there was no lack of here at DHS.

One of the highlights of the night, and a do not miss event, is Holidays in Hollywood featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, Tiana, Belle, Mickey, Minnie, and a talented cast of singers and dancers. This is such a lovely, holiday show and a great way to kick off the party. There are four shows in total for the night with the first starting at 8:45. I highly recommend this one. Other shows include Nightmare Before Christmas sing a long and Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! (at the end of the night). You can also experience Latin holiday music at Holiday Fiesta en la Calle on Comissary Lane.

In my opinion, the food options were lacking. There were only a handful of places open to get a bite to eat and of those, most were only serving a small, select holiday menu. While places like Brown Derby had food and drinks, it was only available with a virtual queue (which I was too late to get). Pizze Rizzo had small bites available and street tacos and empanadas were available at ABC Commissary. Dockside Diner had a few options and we tried the Sandy Claws hot chocolate and Vanilla Cookie stack (not a fan). This was almost a disaster as the handle on plastic cocoa cup broke and I almost spilled the entire drink on myself. There were a few other places but these are the ones we tried. Another option, but with limited capacity, was the Twilight Soiree at the Tip Top club in the courtyard of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

If you wanted low wait times on rides, with the exception of Rise of the Resistance, this was the night to go. Wait times for Slinky Dog and Smugglers Run were 15 min at any given time. We were even invited into Oga’s Cantina as we were walking by and there was no queue and no reservations needed! My son and I love this place so we stopped in.

There were also new character greetings and plenty of places for photo shoots. Disney invited people to dress up for the event and there were lots of people decked out in their holiday finest. There were even a couple of ball gowns and heels!

We enjoyed the event but I thought there could have been more entertainment and food options. Advertising two cocktail parties for the event and then limiting capacity is not acceptable to me. These events should have been well planned for and everyone who bought a ticket should be allowed to go. The queues for these events opened before the party started so if you did not know that, you were out of luck. Take those two events away and you only had a few options of other holiday activities to choose from. So, while it was fun and the lights, rides, and handful of shows were readily available, the other activities were quickly filled.

I was also not a fan of this party starting and ending so late. This party was targeted for an older crowd, which I get, but a lot of people were heading out by 11:00, including us. Again, there wasn’t enough to keep us there that we hadn’t done before. Final grade is a C+ or B -.

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. We had such a simple, Happy Halloween and with lots of trick-or-treaters and fun block party on our street.

Before the fun began, dinner was a not so healthy meal of mummy dogs and Halloween ‘charcuterie’. I certainly didn’t hear anyone complaining about this!

Only one of my teenage boys dressed up to help pass out candy, while the other one went to a friends house. I have to say, I do miss the days when they were little and looked forward to dressing up for a night of trick-or-treating.

Our neighborhood is pretty big and we got quite a few trick-or-treaters. The biggest hit was my dog, Delilha, who was dressed up as Cinderella. She had quite a few pictures taken with some of the kids last night. I think she won, paws down, for best doggie costume.

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween.

Queuing at Wimbledon

July in London is synonymous with Wimbledon. If you’ve ever wanted to attend a match you know that tickets to the actual tennis matches can be pricey. However, there are still ways to enjoy all that Wimbledon has to offer even without the high price tag. You just have to stand in a long line to get there.

On a recent trip to London, we visited Wimbledon on the day of the men’s final, which happened to be Djokovic vs. Alcaraz (if you don’t know, Alcaraz won). While tickets to the actual match were more than I was willing to pay, I was just as excited to experience being there, soaking up the tennis scene, and enjoying some strawberries and cream.

We knew the line to get into Wimbledon on the day of the final would be long but I had no idea how long! We took one look and started to head back to the tube assuming that it would be impossible to gain entry at this point. As luck would have it, my hubs just happened to ask a security guard how long the line was, mostly out of curiosity, and he told us that it wasn’t too bad and we’d likely get in. This was incredible given the fact that it snaked through a few open fields. But, we decided to give it a go and line up we did. A nice, very British feature of this queue is that you are given a card which acts as a placeholder for space in line. That way, no one can skip in front of you nor will you lose your place if you need to leave and go to the bathroom.

We decided to buy the grounds pass for entry into Wimbledon, which at this point, was the only type of ticket left to buy. The Grounds Pass gives access to Wimbledon village, shops, restaurants, court 3, court 12, court 18, and Henman Hill. First stop, of course, was to the gift shop to buy the official Wimbledon t-shirt and other tennis souvenirs. If you are looking for Wimbledon merch this is the only place to get it as far as I know. We assumed local stores close to Wimbledon would sell their merch but we were informed that this is not the case. If you want a Wimbledon tee, you buy it at Wimbledon.

After exiting the gift shop, we stopped to get a Pimm’s cup, a gin based, lemony flavored Wimbledon staple, and proceeded to take a walk around the grounds. While we did not pass any celebrities on our stroll around the grounds, they were definitely there. We thought we spotted Brad Pitt (who was actually there but alas, my hubs said it was only his reflection in the window ; ) There were several junior matches being played on the outer courts and we watched several players who we will no doubt eventually see on Centre Court in the future. We also saw Djokovic practicing on Court 18 prior to the final.

The Sunday of the men’s final is crowded. Those without tickets to Centre Court opt to enjoy a picnic lunch while sitting on Henman Hill to watch the matches on the big screen. Be advised, the hill gets packed! I mean, there is barely any room to walk to find a grassy spot. While you can buy lunch at Winbledon, we noticed that most people brought their own food and drink to enjoy while watching the match.

Since we did not bring a picnic lunch, we ate in one of the local restaurants in Wimbledon village, Wingfield Cafe. The lines were long but the food was good, mostly sandwiches and salads here. Still, I could not leave Wimbledon without trying the famous strawberries and cream and the strawberries and cream were just that…. strawberries floating in a box of cream. Underwhelming but at least I can say that I tried it.

My afternoon at Wimbledon was lovely and I could have stayed all day soaking up the beautiful weather and exciting tennis being played. If ever get the chance to go back, I know not to be intimidated by that loooong line and to next time, bring my lunch.

How to Navigate Walt Disney World in the Summertime ~ A local’s perspective

Walt Disney in the summertime. What can I say? It’s hot! Disney World’s peak time used to be summertime but as people realize just how hot it can be in Central Florida, many fans have opted to visit during the winter months where the weather in Florida can be glorious. But for locals, it’s hard to get Lightening Lanes for popular rides and even just a hotel room on property for that matter. It’s tempting to see lower waits and hotel discounts in summer and pass it up. So, we brave the heat and go when crowds are less. But we need the make the time there valuable and magical. Below are some of my ideas for making the most of your summer stay at Walt Disney World.

Ride the indoor rides like Little Mermaid

I recently went to the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday in June and in the middle of the day. I will be quite honest, I struggled with the heat and I live in Florida! There are some parks that have more tree coverage (Animal Kingdom) and some where the sun can just beat you down (Hello Hollywood Studios and MK – Frontierland/Tomorrowland). During this trip, we decided to stay on property for a night at Pop Century Resort so we left early and headed to the hotel pool. The heat was taking it out of me, several rides were down, and frankly, I was getting a little cranky in the heat.

Our plan was to skip the main parks the next day and head to Typhoon Lagoon and so did everyone else! It was packed. I’ve never had to park so far from the entrance which seemed like we were parking in Disney Springs.

Try going to a water park like Typhoon Lagoon

The trip felt rushed and as I stated above, hot. I feel like we didn’t make the most of our time and even forfeited our coveted Tron Lightcycle virtual group time (b/c we weren’t in the hot park). But, we live here and can visit whenever we want, right?

Having said this, next time we will have a better plan for the summer heat. While the above 1 night stay may be good if you are not going to a water park and the temps are cooler, I don’t recommend it for summer. The next trip will include a 2 night stay so that we have time to relax, escape the heat, and enjoy more of what Disney World has to offer.

Check out some of the shaded trails at the resorts

The best option, in my opinion, is to arrive on a Friday night around 5:00 to the resort hotel. This time should ensure that your room is ready and you can go straight there without checking your bags. Using online checkin via the My Disney App is super simple and I would recommend it. Prior to arrival, check Disney Genie + and reserve any lightening lanes or ride reservations at this time for later in the evening.

After you’ve settled in your room, plan to take a few minutes to explore the hotel and grab some dinner at the restaurant or food court. At this point, Annual Passholders can go to any park of their choice, so plan to head to the park of your choice around 6:30-7:00. Another thing to keep in mind with Florida summers is that is can usually rain in the late afternoons and you won’t want to get soaked. If you are in the park though, stay. The rain is a good thing in that it cools everything down and you can be at the front of the line for the outdoor rides once it opens back up. By the evening, things have cooled off, the sun is going down, and there may be nice breeze. The parks can be very pleasant at this time. Plan to spend some time at the parks until closing and head back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Go to the parks at night

Don’t rush to leave during a rain storm. Let it pass. It’s cools everything off and you can get in line quickly after rides reopen

The next day would consist of a park in the morning, until the heat gets too intense, and then back to the hotel for a swim or a rest. This time could also include a massage at one of the Disney spas or a nice lunch at Disney Springs. I also like checking out different resorts so maybe a quick trip to one of the deluxe resorts for a drink and stroll around the grounds. If you do decide to go to lunch at a hotel or in Disney Springs, I recommend making reservations in advance. This is a good time to relax, cool off, and plan your evening. I have personally fallen victim to too much over planning and have felt at times, that I am running through the parks to make lightening lane times or dinner reservations on time. The point of the relaxed afternoon, is to relax. Don’t rush. Give yourself time to enjoy the resorts, Disney Springs, the pool, the spa, the gardens. At some resorts, you can take a carriage ride or a boat ride. That might be a nice option as well. There are many options outside of the parks to choose from.

Ahhhh…. the hotel pool

Hang out and relax at the Disney Beach

That evening, your choices are open to visit another park, maybe check out the Drawn to Life Cirque Du Soleil show at Disney Springs or Hoop De Doo Revue. This will require some planning and reservations but there is more to do at Disney than just the theme parks. Besides, when you are local and can visit the theme parks anytime, it might be a nice change to do some other activities at the resort. Most hotels have a marshmallow roast and poolside movies. There is also mini-golf at Fantasia Gardens and Fairways and fun activities at Disney’s Boardwalk. This past trip, my son and I decided to just relax and ride the Disney Skyliner from Pop Century to Epcot. We didn’t even go into Epcot and just turned right around and rode it back. It was breezy and relaxing and that was all we wanted to do.

Roast marshmallows at your resort in the evening

Ride the Skyliner in the evening, over and over again

On your final morning, you may want to check out another park and sneak in some lightening lane passes in the morning. Check out for hotels is usually 11:00 so you can always just pack your bags and leave them in your car or with baggage services or try to make it back to the hotel prior to check out time. It’s up to you but you will want to take advantage of Sunday mornings in the park and prioritize those rides, parades, or character meets given that you can snag some reserved times once Disney Genie opens for hotel guests at 7:00AM.

Snag early Lightening Lanes on Sunday morning

Regardless of how much heat you can handle at Disney World, there are a few thing you should always remember to do such as :

  • Wear sunscreen
  • Eat cool treats. Indulge in those Mickey bars and icy drinks
  • Wear lightweight clothing that dries quickly
  • Plan to ride those rides with an indoor queue and AC
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Invest in the neck fan
  • Leave before you get too overwhelmed and cranky from the heat

    There are many options to try at the Walt Disney World resort that can help you beat the heat. Again, some of this requires some planning. So, yes, you can have a fun, relaxing time at Disney World in the summer without rushing around in the heat. The good part about this is that if you didn’t see something or ride something that you wanted, remember…. you’re a local. You can come back next weekend and ride it then!

Salmon Peri Peri with Tomato Salsa and Chickpea Salad

Tasty and delicious. This is a simple yet healthy dinner option that offers exotic flavors with half the calories. Salmon Peri Peri (Swahili for Pepper Pepper) is spicy and flavorful while the chickpea salad is cool and refreshing. I don’t eat much red meat but I do order salmon quite a bit and enjoy trying it in a variety of ways. This one is a must keep in my recipe book.

The chickpea salad can be served as a side dish as it is here but also as an appetizer. Pair this meal with a crisp Chardonnay and it’s the perfect summer dinner.

Salmon Peri Per


  • 1/4 cup sambal chili sauce
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salmon

  1. Whisk the chili sauce, oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl
  2. Coat the salmon in the mixture and let is sit in small bowl to soak up the flavors for 2 hours in the refridgerator.
  3. Heat the oil mixture in a skillet over medium heat and cook approx 4 min per side or until done (your preference).

For the Tomato Topping

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and spoon over salmon when read to serve.

Chickpea Salad


  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs minced ginger
  • 1/2 small jalepeno pepper, minced and seeds removed
  • 1 Tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 Tbs of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 Tbs parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a small saute pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. cook until the garlic is slightly gold. Set aside until the mixture is room temp.
  2. Mix the tamarind paste into the mixture.
  3. Add the onion to the mix and refrigerate until cold.
  4. Pour chickpeas into a medium bowl and add the spice mixture, tossing to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for an hour.
  5. Right before serving, add the cucumber, tomato, lime juice, and parsley.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Kona Cafe is a long time favorite of many Disney fans. Located on the second level of the Polynesian Resort, this cafe infuses Asian flare into traditional American dishes. It’s an open-air restaurant that exposes restaurant patrons to the beautiful atrium of the Great Ceremonial House. So if you like people watching, this is your place. This restaurant is considered a table service meal if you use the dining plan. It’s a hidden gem that should not be missed and I believe it’s a good value for the money (and cheaper than Ohana).

Welcome to the Polynesian Village Resort Hotel

Kona Cafe

Inside Kona Cafe

Tonga Toast

Kona Cafe has an excellent breakfast menu and yes, you can order the famous Tonga Toast here. This resturant is known for their breakfast but offers a separate lunch and dinner menu as well. I went for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed my meal. The options are fewer but no less delicious. I ordered the Keiki Lemonade (a non alcoholic drink), the Kona Stir Fry with chicken, and Key Lime dessert. A bread service is provided for both the lunch and dinner meals.

Keiki Lemonade

Bread Service

Kona Stir Fry

I actually took my dessert to go and enjoyed it later that day as the stir fry meal and bread left little room for dessert at that time. However, if you do decide on dessert at the restaurant, I recommend the pineapple coconut bread pudding. It is the same one you would order at Ohana so if you can’t get a reservation at that restaurant, fear not. You can still eat this wonderful dessert at Kona Cafe.

I would highly recommend Kona Cafe as a table service option on your next visit to the Disney parks. It’s easy to get to via the monorail and once you are at the Polynesian Hotel, you can take advantage of the beautiful walkways next to Seven Seas Lagoon after your meal.

Sedona, AZ and the Grand Canyon

I’ve never spent much time in Arizona except for the occasional work trip to Phoenix which never allowed for any exploration outside of the immediate area. If I saw a cactus, I felt like my trip was complete. How wrong my misconceptions were of this beautiful area, specifically Sedona and the awe inspiring Grand Canyon. I was amazed at how the climate and landscape changed just 2-4 hours north of the Phoenix metropolis. From the desert, to forests, to snow capped peaks, and the gigantic hole in the Earth. What a lovely area of the country to explore.

Sedona Arizona

Sedona, AZ was my location of choice. Situated in the Coconino National Forest, this beautiful spot consists of incredible rock formations, hiking/biking trails through Pinyon pine and Juniper forests, and incredible sunsets which illuminate the surrounding red rocks in this area. It is also known as a spiritual place due to the vortex energy associated with the area. A vortex is described as the natural intersections of electromagnetic earth energy. Some say that the forces can be felt physically and spiritually. These energy centers are located in known sites around Sedona such as Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. It is a wellness destination for many due to its healing energy and most hotels offer some type of yoga and meditation classes.

Sedona also has a lively arts scene with more than 80 art galleries and international film and wine festivals. There are also many shops/spas that offer workshops and tools for wellness and enlightenment.

Day 1

Our first day consisted of a hike to Cathedral Rock and a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. While I love to hike and usually do not mind heights, I was a little unsure about hiking to the top of Cathedral Rock. The path plateaus with a panoramic view of the area and that is a good place to stop, relax, and take in the beautiful views of the area. Word of warning if you plan to go to the top: you will be climbing up a sharp incline with no path and nothing to hold onto. I tried it but was too scared that I would slip and fall so I ended up coming back down very carefully… on my butt!

After our hike we stopped by the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Catholic church carved into the red rocks. A service was beginning so we were not allowed in at that time but what a beautiful place to worship and see God’s creation!

Afterwards, we headed to our hotel, The Sky Rock Inn, and got settled in before heading to dinner for the evening. The hotel has the most amazing views of Sedona. The hotel offers outdoor yoga and meditation classes each morning and live music every evening by the bar. There is a also a healthy continental breakfast served each morning to fuel you up for your hikes and excursions and don’t forget about the pool to cool you off afterwards. Sky Rock also offers a variety of alternative healing and complementary therapies such as Vortex healing, Chakra readings, and even star gazing. This hotel is is also within walking distance of several hiking trails in the area. The rooms are a bit dark but there are plans to update and renovate the guest rooms within the next year. There is also a free shuttle that runs every 30 minutes to take guests from the hotel to the uptown shopping district. I highly recommend this hotel as it adds to the overall Sedona experience and the views are spectacular.

Day 2

Our next hike was Boyton Canyon. This hike was originally supposed to be 10 miles but we cut it short to 6.5. The views are wonderful but the intense sun was beginning to wear on us so it was back to the hotel for a quick lunch and dip in the pool. Time to relax before dinner at Soundbites (dinner with a view).

Note* Always bring water, a snack, and sunscreen. While the weather may be in the 70’s, the sun is intense and you are in it all day when hiking these trails. Be prepared.

Day 3

Today consisted of an excursion to the Grand Canyon. I have never been there before and I must say that there are no pictures that can do it justice. This is a place than should be experienced in person because it is so vast and awe inspiring. We stopped at several lookout points along the south rim of the canyon to take the obligatory photos but again, the view was incredible and one that is hard to describe. I will say that there are some very “brave” (ignorant in my opinion) people who feel like they must take selfies at the edge of the cliff or the experience must not be real. Please, don’t be one of those people! Accidents happen and it’s the second leading cause of death in the Canyon.

We stopped for lunch at the El Tovar Hotel, located in the Grand Canyon. Set in a lovely dining room overlooking the Canyon, our lunch was relaxing and leisurely. This would be an excellent place to stay if you plan to spend a day or two exploring the Grand Canyon.

Day 4

Our final day included a short hike along the Adobe Jack trail (within walking distance from the hotel), some pool time, shopping time, and the Pink Jeep tour. Let me just say that I had no idea what to expect from the jeep tour and I was not prepared for that excursion whatsoever. The jeep tour is off road (expected) but along a route where you will ride over extremely large rocks as you bounce your way to the top of the overlook (not expected). This ride wasn’t just bouncy, it was extremely rough! I did not expect us to ride over the amount of rocks along this trail and all I can say is thank goodness I did not have any nausea, back problems, neck problems, or a pregnancy to contend with. I would advise anyone who does have those issues to not go on this tour. It states as much in the waiver that you sign before getting in the jeep. Mind you, the views at the top are exquisite but they are views that you can get on some of your more relaxing hikes were you don’t need a back brace after the excursion ends. In retrospect, I would have skipped this tour as this is not my cup of tea. But, if it is your thing, go for it. It’s quite the wild ride.

Our trip wrapped up with a lovely dinner at The Cowboy Club and then it was back to the hotel for a cocktail around the fire pit while overlooking this view one more time.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Sedona and would happily return for another visit, maybe with a few more spa treatments included (especially after that jeep ride : )

Jaleo Restaurant – Disney Springs

I am a huge fan of Spanish Tapas since discovering this cuisine in my 20’s in Chicago. Therefore, I couldn’t possibly pass up trying Jaleo at Disney Springs. My reservation was for lunch during the middle of the week so the crowds were a bit less.

For those of you not familiar with Tapas, the plates are designed to be shared with others at the table. Savory paellas, superb sangria, Spanish cheeses, wines and sherries are just a few of the delicious Spanish dishes and drinks you will enjoy with Tapas.

Per Jaleo’s website: Jaleo at Disney Springs®, is located in a one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment district located in the heart of Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This Jaleo is the biggest and most spectacular location yet, housed in a dynamic, multi-level space. The menu features an extensive variety of tapas reflecting the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine in addition to a variety of authentic paellas cooked over a wood fire in the restaurant.

Jaleo was created by Jose Andres, an internationally recognized chef and holder of two Michelin stars. So, I pretty much assumed this was going to be a delish meal and I was not disappointed.

This was my first time visiting Jaleo so I stuck with the dishes that I knew and loved. Here’s what I tried:


Is it possible to eat tapas and not get Sangria? I didn’t think so. The hardest decision here is deciding between the white sangria or red sangria. I opted for the red sangria.

Pan con Tomate

Toasted slices of crispy bread brushed with fresh tomato. My first dish was the Pan con Tomate topped with manchego. This bread is brushed with tomato and extra virgin olive oil and topped with a slice of manchego. I could have eaten this by itself and been perfectly content. Simple. Flavorful. Wonderful.

Patatas Bravas

A plate of fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and aioli. These cripy on the outside, soft in the middle potatoes sit atop a spicy tomato sauce dotted with a garlic flavored aioli. Again, it can be a bit spicy but this is a must try at Jaleo. (If you do not like too much spice, you can always ask for the sauce on the side.)

Gambas al ajillo

The very famous tapa of shrimp sautéed with garlic. Such a simple dish packed with intense flavor. Shrimp are cooked and served in a rich, garlic flavored olive oil sprinkled with a pinch of red pepper flakes and parsley. The best part of this dish is dunking a piece of crusty bread into the sauce. Order this one and enjoy.


A classic Spanish custard with ‘espuma’ of Catalan cream and oranges. An elegant Spanish dessert that is not to be missed, if you have any room left.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Jaleo. There are so many different menu items that I want to try and I am certain that I will go back soon to enjoy more.

25 Ways to Age with Grace

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

~Sophia Loren

elderly woman carrying shopping bags
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on
  1. Practice yoga, stretching or Pilates to stay flexible, and prevent the aches and stiffness that are often erroneously attributed to aging.
  2. Take a new class; never stop learning.
  3. Travel often. Visit the places you’ve always wanted to see. Don’t feel guilty about it.
  4. Keep up your appearance.
  5. Forget what you’re “supposed to do”. You do YOU.
  6. Learn a foreign language now. It’s makes you more interesting and keeps your mind sharp.
  7. Mentor someone younger. It’s a great way to help one another understand a different generation.
  8. Have regular facials, massages, acupuncture, etc. Self care is important at any age.
  9. Get dressed up and go out at least once a week. Make the effort. Raise your style standards and show up as the elegant woman that you are.
  10. Find role models to follow. Even as we age, we still need someone to admire and look up to.
  11. Find the balance between trying to look 20 and giving up on your appearance. Don’t worry about the latest Hollywood celeb who is 50 trying to look 20. Be and look elegant. You want respect not gossip.
  12. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. It’s never too late.
  13. Don’t dress in a frumpy manner. Age is not an excuse to let yourself “go”.
  14. Keep an air of mystery. Let the younger generation put their lives on social media, not us.
  15. Sleep on quality mattresses.
  16. Continue volunteering. Those who are the happiest are those who give back the most. Find an organization you want to support and give your time and support to the cause.
  17. Realize that you’re more than just a mother/grandmother, father/grandfather and live where you want to live and do what you’ve always dreamed of doing
  18. Remember that age does not give you the right to say whatever is on your mind, courtesy still counts.
  19. Buy classic clothing of the best quality you can afford
  20. Tell people about the good things in your life, rather than the aches and pains. Trust me, no one wants to hear this.
  21. Drink champagne more often. You’ve earned it.
  22. Attempt one thing every year that you never thought you could do.
  23. Go for walks after dinner.
  24. Tell your children how proud you are of them and why.
  25. Learn the art of graciousness

Chocolate Chip Brown Butter Cookies

These cookies are delicious and never fail to please. They were gone in a jiffy, lasting no more than 3 days in our house. They were such a hit, that the boys requested that I make them again. I think the secret ingredient that makes these cookies so delicious is the browned butter. I mean, nothing tastes bad with a little extra butter, right? Add in the chocolate and it’s cookie paradise.


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned oat
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks or chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Let cool 5 minutes or so. How to Brown Butter.
  3. After the butter has cooled, mix in the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Then, fold in the chocolate.
  4. Roll the dough into rounded tablespoon size balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to set on the edges.
  5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaky salt (if desired).
  6. Enjoy!