Georgia On My Mind

I’ve never been a devotee of Georgia O’Keeffe’s art. I like the colors in her classic flower paintings, and her realistic representation of Southwest animal bones, but I’d rather see fresh flowers on my dining table, and the only animal bones that fascinate me are those of dinosaurs. But, after spending a couple of hours at the recently mounted Georgia O’Keeffe Living Modern exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum, and learning how the artist carefully constructed her identity outside of her studio, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for her aesthetic, if not in all of her art, certainly for how she dressed and lived.

Born on a Wisconsin farm in 1887, O’Keeffe rejected the staid Victorian world into which she was born, and “absorbed the progressive principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which promoted the idea that everything a person made or chose to live with–art, clothing, home decor–should reflect a unified and visually pleasing aesthetic,” the essay continues. “Even the smallest acts of daily life, she like to say, should be done beautifully.”

Her clothing, like her art, showed her preference for simple lines, fluid silhouettes and hardly any ornamentation. She was obsessed with easy wrap dresses, for example, and had them in a virtual rainbow of colors, beautifully displayed in the exhibition. An accomplished seamstress, O’Keeffe made her clothes early in her life, with fine details and quality workmanship. Her homes also were spare, from her austere New York City apartment to her two houses in New Mexico.  

When she was an art teacher in Texas, O’Keeffe ignored the textbooks that instructed artists to copy nature, and asked them to let the beauty of pattern and design become an influence.   

Magnificent photographic portraits of O’Keeffe abound in the exhibition, and reveal how meticulously she dressed and posed for her photographers, including her husband, renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz.  She leveraged  photography to help shape and promote her public persona as a woman with “quintessential American toughness, plainness, and individualism, tempered by age into a state of grace,”  and it has played a pivotal role in establishing her as an “icon of feminism and fashion.”

The popular O’Keeffe exhibition is housed at The Brooklyn Museum until July 23.  If you can’t make it there, following are some of my favorite pieces of O’Keeffe clothing, photography and art. I even included one of her paintings of animal bones and another of flowers (above).

5 Simple-To-Do Exercises To Improve Your Joint Health

Dear FOFriends: Osteo Bi-Flex has compensated FabOverFifty for this blog. I assure you that the content is factual and valuable, and all opinions are my own!

These words may not be music to your ears, but it’s essential to exercise, especially as you age.

The reason is simple as pie, I learned from Cartilage, the smooth, rubbery connective tissue on the end of our bones, cushions our joints and helps them to move smoothly and easily, but it wears out with age, so we can’t spring up from a low chair, or the floor, like we did when we’re 20, or even 40. Decades of walking, exercising, and moving also take a toll on cartilage. Obesity puts additional stress on our joints, cartilage and bones, especially in our knees, not to mention it makes you less likely to be physically active.

That’s not all:

We lose muscle tone and bone strength the older we get, which can make physical tasks more difficult and taxing on our bodies, even those that used to be second nature. Then there’s the winter. “Anything cold causes muscles, ligaments {fibrous connective tissue that holds together a joint} and tendons {fibrous collagen tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone} to sort of tighten up, and that makes them stiffer,” said Dr. James Gladstone, co-chief of the Sports Medicine Service at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York to  

“Exercise” doesn’t mean training for the marathon or an Olympic team. Low-impact, weight-bearing and cardio exercise can help strengthen muscles, keep bones strong, and improve joint mobility, advised Dr. Peggy Yih, my internist. Yoga, bicycling and swimming are good because they’re easier on the joints.

I’ve been doing cardio and weight-training an average of three times a week, over Skype, with Vann Duke, an exceptional coach. I lost 20 pounds (could probably lose 10 more), by eating healthier (exercising helps). And, I take dietary supplements for vitamins I can’t sufficiently get from foods, including one that supports bone health.

7 Lessons On Turning 70

I turn 70 today. That’s a mountain of birthdays, and although it’s disconcerting to think how the years come and go so quickly, it got my attention when a young woman recently said to me: “It’s a blessing to turn 70.”

Yes, it is!

So, I thought I’d pass along seven of the lessons I’ve learned during the last seven decades!  

She Dares Go Where Others Fear To Tread

Some of us have happily lived the same way decade after decade. Same house. Same job. Same spouse. Same style. Same routines.

Others have been forced to change the way we live, out of necessity. Maybe our finances or health precipitated the change. A third type of woman, however, welcomes change, like beautiful and charming Gerri Shute. A Chicago resident for over 35 years, Gerri has put her spacious and gorgeous co-op apartment on the market, and is moving, lock, stock and barrel, to New York City, where she’s rented a one-bedroom apartment facing the city’s glorious Central Park. That would be a big move for a 35 year old, but it’s only natural for FOF Gerri, who calls New York her “spiritual home.”

I invited Gerri to dinner on her recent trip East, when she began to stock her new place with cleaning supplies and kitchen equipment.  We talked about where she’s lived since college, and why she’s making a big move at this stage of her life. (more…)

Your Skin Care Products Absolutely Need This One Ingredient

The same thing happened over and over again, for decades. I was a pushover when the pushy salespeople in upscale beauty departments vowed that their uber-expensive lotions and potions would work wonders on my skin. Little did I know I was paying an arm and a leg for fancy packaging, while the ingredients in the products turned out to be anything but miracle workers on my creases, wrinkles and lines.

Today, thanks to the knowledge I’ve been lucky enough to acquire while running FabOverFifty, I unequivocally can report that you must remember two words when you’re about to buy your next beauty product:

Hyaluronic acid.

HA is the single most important ingredient you’ll need in a cream, lotion or serum as you age because it supplies your skin with the essential properties that keep it looking fresh and youthful. Think soft, supple, firm and plump!


Men Don’t Make Merry Widowers

If my mom had predeceased my dad, one of my sisters or I would have asked him to move in with us. He wouldn’t have coped well with being alone.  Emotionally or physically. I never even saw him boil water to make instant coffee, no less hold a broom or turn on the washing machine. He did use an electric knife in the 1970s, to slice roast beef, but the cord repeatedly fell out of the thing so it took longer to carve the beef than if he had used a regular knife. But that’s another story!


The Italian Beauty Secret Revealed!

I started learning about the intriguing beauty and fashion habits of European women, especially Italian and French women, when I was an editor at Women’s Wear Daily and W Magazine in the early 1980s.  

I say ‘intriguing’ because these ladies not only pay painstaking attention to the way they look and dress; they make no apologies for their femininity. An Italian woman is an “enchantress, an irresistibly fascinating woman, who exudes sensual, physical, emotional and intellectual beauty–qualities that Italian women have been associated with for centuries,” writes Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, Ph.D, whose doctoral research focused on a cross-cultural study comparing Italy and the US on body image and other lifestyle factors.

“Italy’s ancient Latin culture has always encouraged the fairer sex to devote guilt-free time to their inner and outer well-being,” Dr. Mautner explains. “Even before the Roman Empire, a long soak in a thermal bath was considered as necessary to a woman’s psyche as beautiful clothes were for her social confidence.  Amiche mie, don’t wait for permission to dedicate a bit of time each day to your inner and outer bellezza.  You are worth it!” she adds.

Although you won’t find many Italian women today soaking in thermal baths, the modern Italian lady continues to meticulously care for her inner and outer beauty, including how she cleanses her body in the bath or shower. That accounts for the success of a product called Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion, not only in Italy, but throughout Europe. “Lubrigyn is a creamy lotion that cleanses, lubricates and moisturizes, and can be used every single day, in the shower, instead of soap, which is terribly drying. You even can apply it with a tissue, without water, says Sara Olmo, the chemist who helped create it.

“Lubrigyn contains all natural oils, like jojoba and olive oil, to soothe, soften and refresh. And, it’s the only product of its kind with sodium hyaluronate, used in many of today’s skin care formulas. It’s considered the ultimate moisturizer for our faces, and also helps our vaginal tissue to stay supple, moist and keep its elasticity,” adds Sara.  

I’ve been using Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion for the last two years, and my vaginal tissue became more hydrated after just a couple of weeks. 

So we created the video below to introduce this exceptional product to American women. I also use Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion on my entire body. It’s so reasonably priced, I even make sure to keep a couple of extra tubes in my vanity drawer.  I’ll never again put soap or shower gel anywhere near my vaginal area.

This post is sponsored by Lubrigyn. To learn more and receive a coupon for this special cleansing lotion, click here. Scrap the soap!

How To Tell If Someone You Know Is A Pathological Liar

I once worked with a young guy who was a pathological liar. He was such a proficient liar that everyone in the office believed his stories for almost a year, and we all chipped in to help out one of his “young twin boys,” who was “ill” back in Kalispell, Montana. We later learned that he had no kids (his sister was the one with twins, and neither of them was ill.) Besides bilking his co-workers out of hundreds of dollars, this man repeatedly lied about work-related activities, which negatively impacted the company’s business.

Not all lies wound others, but when they do, what do you do about the liar?


Win A JeNu Plus Ultrasonic Infuser!

JeNu and I are celebrating our second anniversary together, and what a partnership it’s been.

Ever since my initial rendezvous with this nifty little Ultrasonic Infuser System, it has treated me gently and safely, visibly reduced my wrinkles and lines, and put a big smile on my face. Now the company that created the JeNu Infuser has launched its Most Powerful Ultrasonic Infuser yet— the JeNu Plus– and it outperforms the original that I had been using every single day–in absorption, improvement and satisfaction.

To celebrate my two years with JeNu, we’re giving away 14 JeNu Plus Infusers over two weeks (that’s one each day). We will announce all of the winners two weeks from today, as well as a special offer from JeNu for all the entrants. Keep reading and fill out the form below!


The new JeNu Plus Infuser is 25% more powerful than the original so your creams and serums can perform even better and faster. JeNu is proven to increase the absorption of leading skin care ingredients by 6 times, giving them the power to work 6 times better than just applying your products with your fingertips.

Our skin works so well as an effective barrier against external materials that it absorbs only between 1% and 10% of skin care creams and lotions, and the rest is wasted! No matter how many “active” ingredients go into creating our serums, moisturizers and creams, and no matter how much the products cost, the majority of them are not absorbed quick enough into the skin to live up to their promises to abolish crows feet, fine lines, and more. The vast majority of them just sit on our skin’s surface, before evaporating into thin air, and while we may see some improvement, it’s invariably short term. (more…)

Well, Are You IN Or Are You OUT?

I know a married couple  (she’s 68 and he’s 70) who go out practically every evening of the week. Non-stop dinners with friends and family; parties; events of all kinds, from art openings to Broadway opening nights. They’ve been going out at a frenetic pace for decades, with no signs of letting up.  I’m not talking about going on “date nights” once or even a few times a week, where just the two of them enjoy romantic dinners or take in a movie. This couple surrounds themselves with groups of people almost everywhere they go, mostly all the time.

I don’t see this couple any more, but if I were to ask them why they go out so much, they’d most likely tell me they love doing it. I don’t doubt that they enjoy the company, but why is it constant? Don’t they like being in the company of each other, with no one else around? Do they need others to make them feel “alive?”