{Quiz} Can you match the FOF celeb with her favorite book?

When they’re not tooling around Tinseltown, writing bestsellers, filming blockbusters or sun-tanning in Bora Bora, some FOF celebs find time to… *gasp* read. Can you match the FOF celeb with her favorite book?


{Giveaway} A 30-minute conversation with a renowned psychic

Win a 30-minute conversation with world-renowned psychic, FOF Echo Bodine, plus win The Gift, her bestseller about understanding and developing your pyschic abilities, and A Small, Still Voice, her book about intuition. To enter, comment below and answer: Have you ever had a psychic reading?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

When we first discovered FOF Echo Bodine, a world-renowned psychic, we were surprised how “un-psychic-like” she was. “I don’t dress the way people expect me too. My house is just a normal house — it’s not full of cats,” says Echo. “Many of my students and clients tell me that they chose me because I look normal and I don’t scare them.”

Echo has been a practicing psychic for over thirty years. She’s written 11 books on the subject, many published by New World Library (the publishing powerhouse behind spiritual blockbusters such as The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle). She’s also made numerous TV appearances including on The View and NBC’s Later Today. Here, she sets us straight on some of the misconceptions about psychics and offers a few predictions for the year to come….

Is Echo your real name?

What made you realize you had psychic abilities?
At the age of 17, I was with my family at the dinner table. My brother, who was 14 years old at the time, was in the basement practicing his drums. He was just learning how to play and sounded pretty rough. Then suddenly, the drumming sounded really nice. My brother flew up the stairs–hysterical. He said that a white figure that floated up to him, and its hands came down on top of his and played the music. My mom consulted a psychic who told her that my brother had met his guardian angel. She said, ‘you have some very gifted children and I’d like to see you and your oldest daughter for a psychic reading.’

[Watch a YouTube video where Echo Bodine describes in more detail how she discovered her psychic abilities.]

Did you go for a reading?
Yes. She said I was born with all four of the psychic abilities and the gift of healing.

Did you believe her?
No. I said to her, ‘I don’t have any of this stuff, and I don’t want any of this stuff. I just want a nice, normal life.’ I had already been accepted to the University of Minnesota to become a social worker.

So, what ended up happening?
I ignored it and went on to college for three years. I was going to live my life the way I wanted to live it. But, my psychic abilities kept getting stronger and stronger. It took baby steps for me to accept these abilities and find a way of having a normal life.

What are the four psychic abilities?
There’s clairvoyance, which is the gift of seeing – visions or pictures. There’s clairaudience–the gift of hearing, which is like mental telepathy. For instance, you think about someone and then he or she calls you on the phone. Another ability is clairsentience, the gift of sensing, where you can pick up the energy in a room. A lot of us have this ability. The last is called clairgustance, the gift of smell. It sounds pretty goofy, but it’s real. It works the best when a deceased loved one comes to visit us. When my dad comes to visit, I get one of two smells–cigarette smoke (he was a smoker) or Old Spice cologne.

A person can have some psychic abilities but not others?
That’s correct.

Can you learn to be psychic or do you have to have an innate ability?
We can learn to develop the psychic abilities we already have. In my classes, I teach people how to use their abilities to help them through their lives. I would say that 90 percent of my students don’t want to become professional psychics. A lot of nurses and realtors take my classes. The nurses want to use their abilities to work with their patients. The realtors want to use their abilities to match the right houses with the right clients.

What’s the difference between being spiritual and psychic? Do you have to be spiritual to be psychic?
No, you don’t. Being psychic is an ability. We all have different abilities, such as musical ability. For me, being spiritual is having my own relationship with God, not necessarily based on religion. There are two common misconceptions about psychics and religion. One is that people think all psychics are evil or work for Satan. The other is that all psychics are on a spiritual path. Not all psychics are on a spiritual path.

What do you say to people who are skeptical of psychics?
I’m glad people have a healthy skepticism. If someone’s on the fence, I’ll say, ” If it’s interesting to you, why don’t you explore it? Read some books about it rather than just accepting that it’s not real.”

Do you think maybe it’s hard for people who haven’t experienced it to believe it?
I do. Even people who are very close to me say, ‘Echo, I don’t know what you are talking about. This doesn’t make sense to me.’ It’s tough, especially for people who are very intellectual or logical. A dear friend of mine, for example, says ‘I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t believe it. It boggles my mind that you’ve been doing it for forty years.’

Do you think people get more or less skeptical with age?
Less. When we’re younger, we think we know it all. When we get older–50 and up–we realize we don’t have all the answers and go on a quest to find the real answers.

Are there good psychics and bad psychics?
The bummer is that there are psychics out there who take advantage of people. Someone once came up to my dad at a football game and said she saw several dark clouds around him and could get rid of them for $5,000. That kind of stuff really irritates me.

So how do you know if someone is good?
I ask my intuition. When I was younger I went to a lot of different psychics. I learned a lot from what I call the ‘half-developed psychics.’ Some people see pictures in their head and think they’re ready to go, ready to read people’s futures. I went to college, I had other careers and I practiced for 12 years before I really truly, felt I could do this as a full-time career.

What do women over fifty ask you about the most?
They want to know about improving their health, their spirituality, second careers and some are asking about second marriages. The word that comes to me is freedom. It’s no longer about what they can do for others, it’s about what they can do for themselves.

What services do you provide?
I teach online psychic development classes and in-person psychic development classes. I’ve written 11 books about healing, intuition and psychic abilities. I also have a Healing Penpals Program. We match healers with people in need. We’ve done absentee healings on over 7,000 people for free. We get letters from all over the world saying things such as, “My stage 4 cancer is gone. My doctor wants to know what you did.”

Any predictions for the coming year?
The rest of 2011 and 2012 are going to continue to be intense. For many years people have been fulfilling their emptiness with material things. The blessing of this economy is that people’s buttons are going to get pushed so they are going to look at their values and priorities differently and find their spirituality. What concerns me for 2012 is the weather–it will be calm one day and erratic the next. We need to check in with our intuition before making any outdoor plans.

Enter to win a 30-minute phone conversation with Echo plus her books, The Gift and A Small, Still Voice. One FOF will win a phone reading plus Echo’s books. Two runners up will win Echo’s books. To enter, comment below and answer: Have you ever had a psychic reading?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. One winner is chosen at random from all those who ask a question. Contest closes July 14, 2011.)

{Giveaway} Custom photo mementos from Pinhole Press

FOF is giving away 3 bundles of custom photo mementos from Pinhole Press. Each bundle includes a brag book, 50 customizable stationery cards and 9 wine bottle labels. To enter, answer in the comments below: Do you keep a photo in your wallet? Who is it of?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

Have digital cameras killed the old-school photo album? Not according to Pinhole Press, a company that makes simple, elegant photo mementos from your digital prints. They’re easy to create — you just upload your favorite photos (grandchildren, daughter or son’s wedding, anniversary) and choose from dozens of gorgeous products– like framed prints, wine labels and notebooks. Our friends at Pinhole are giving 3 lucky FOFs the chance to win a bundle of their bestsellers!

Enter to win a trio of custom photo mementos from Pinhole Press. 3 FOFs will win. To enter, answer in the comments below: Do you keep a photo in your wallet? Who is it of?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. One winner is chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes June 23, 2011.)

{Video} Were you a “Tiger Mom?”

It’s the year of the “Tiger Mom.”

In January, author Amy Chua released her Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother to both roaring criticism and acclaim. In the book, Amy contrasts the traditional, strict “Chinese” approach of parenting with what she calls the “Western” style of child rearing. She includes vivid anecdotes of the extreme disciplinary tactics she used raising her own children including calling her daughters names, like “lazy” or” garbage,” and even threatening to burn their stuffed animals if they performed below expectations. Some have called her parenting tactics alarming and even abusive. Others have praised her, such as Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, who said that “large numbers of talented children everywhere would profit from Chua’s approach, and instead are frittering away their gifts.”

Whatever you believe, there’s no question the “tiger mom” phenom struck a chord. Here, FOF video bloggers The Boomer Broads ask their own kids, “Was I tiger mom? Should I have been?”

Tell us, were you a “Tiger Mom”?

{Fabulous Things of 2010} The results are in… Vote!

Last month, we asked FOFs to fill out a survey about the fabulous things they discovered in 2010, from foodie finds and beauty products to to exercise routines and tech gadgets. Hundreds of women responded, and we’ve got their top three picks in each category. Now it’s a run-off: the Number 1 winner in each group is up to you.  Vote now!

Plus, ENTER TO WIN a gift basket containing 6 of the nominees (including an e-reader, perfume and beauty product) by leaving a comment, below!

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Contest and voting close on March 26, 2011. See complete contest rules, here. See all our past winners, here.

{Poll} Which book would you bring to a deserted island?

Imagine this: You have been castaway to a deserted island–indefinitely. You have ten minutes to pack and (oh no!) room in your suitcase for ONLY one of these books: The Bible, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Harry Potter Collection and a compendium with every back issue of US Weekly. Which would you pack?

Take our poll and see what other FOFs picked. Then, comment below and tell us about your choice.

Which would you bring to a deserted island?

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Image for collage via Found in Mom’s Basement

{Inspiration} Scholarly Love

A little bookish, a little vintage, and completely FOF.

Images via Hats Off The Movie and Juniper Books

{Reading} 6 Spiritual Books That Changed Their Lives

“A good book has no ending,” said author R.D. Cumming. The best books provoke, inspire and stay with us long after the last page. Here, FOFs share 6 life-changing spiritual books and the lessons they learned from them. Has a book profoundly impacted your life?

1. FOF Rosanne Henrickson: Be All That You Can Be by John C. Maxwell

“This book is about how to reach our potential and to help others. I’m on my fifth reading! We all have challenges on our journey toward our goals and dreams. This book has helped me to become a better person and to reach my God-given potential by helping me take positive action, have discipline, take risks, be committed, embrace challenges and help others pursue their goals and dreams.”

2. FOF Cheryl Savage: Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

“Sometimes people are looking for a ‘sign’ from God. This book challenges that. It’s argues that communication with God can occur within yourself–your intuition. I am a very spiritual person. There is nobody else responsible for our journey in our life but us. My mother used to always say, ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps and you get back on that horse.’ Conversations With God talks a lot about that.”

3. FOF Mary Nedvins: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

“The book is about how to live life to the fullest and to pay attention to everything around you. Tolle would say, next time you wash your hands, pay attention to the way the soap and water feel on your skin. Don’t just wash your hands. It’s life-changing.”

4. FOF Jan Melk: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

“This book teaches you to be aware of the present. It taught me not to spend a lot of time thinking about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow, but to be really aware of what’s happening NOW. With that awareness you feel in control, peace and grounding.”

5. FOF Sherry DeRosa: The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles by Bruce Lipton

“This book provides scientific evidence that our DNA is not determined at birth but instead, is determined by our belief system. In the past, I sought science as an alternative to accepting spiritual truths. The book revealed that life was not an issue of science OR spirituality, it was an amalgam of science AND spirituality.”

6. FOF Kathy Gheen: You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism by Brad Hirschfield

“This book is by an Orthodox Rabbi who was a fanatic as a young man and realized the peril of thinking that there is only one truth. Hirschfield shares his own personal insights regarding Judaism, Islamic and Christian perspectives and how we can learn to discuss our differences rather than clash over them. I believe his message that ‘conflict is an opportunity to learn and grow — and often to grow closer to one another’ can be life-changing and maybe one day world-changing. He has devoted his life to spreading the messages of inclusiveness, tolerance and peace.”

{Reading} Beach Book Bingo

7 FOF authors reveal their all-time favorite summer reads.


1. Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom (2010)

“Well-written stories of love that will make you read the entire book in one sitting. Order two glasses of wine and get going.”

–FOF Kris Radish, best-selling Bantam-Dell author who writes about friendship, sisters and celebrating life. Check out her just-released novel Hearts on a String.


2. Going to Extremes by Joe McGinnis (1980)

“This book was written during the building of the oil pipelines in Alaska in the ’70s, but is resonating now, especially since Joe, the author is currently renting the house next to Sarah Palin while he does research for a new book about her! One of my favorite books ever.”

–FOF Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More (2010), a compilation of expert advice on how to stay fabulous after fifty.


3. Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1955)

“Ms. Lindbergh wrote this book 55 years ago. Amazingly, the messages are as pertinent to a woman’s life today as they were then. She wrote the book in a period of retreat by the sea, and she assigns a different seashell as a metaphor for each stage of a woman’s life. A few years ago, for the holidays, I gave it to each of my female clients along with a unique shell that I felt represented her.”

–FOF Jaki Scarcello, author of Fifty and Fabulous, a series of interviews conducted with women around the world who hit their stride after fifty.


4. Letters to Our Daughters by Kristin Van Raden & Molly Davis

“I lost my mom a year ago and it brings me great joy and comfort reading this gorgeous, gorgeous collection of letters and photos of mothers and daughters who share their courage and triumph, pain and loss, wisdom and love.”

–FOF Amy Ferris, author of the bare-it-all, Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis, a book chronicling every one of her funny, sad, down-and-dirty stories about mid-life.


5. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and 6. The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

“I love stories of women’s lives–friendship, family–and the relationships that are most critical to our well being and the ones that sustain us through the ups and downs of life and love.”

–FOF Virginia DeBerry, a New York Times best-selling author and former plus-size model. Her most recent book, What Doesn’t Kill You, came out in 2009. You can see all her books, here.


7. Mystic Grits: A Southern Girl’s Journey to Wisdom by Darelyn DJ Mitsch

“This book will make you laugh, cry, reflect and love your friends and family even more. It’s a fabulous journey through a southern girl’s life as she becomes an incredibly wise and successful woman. I can’t wait for the movie!”

–FOF Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, studies the factors the help and hinder high-achieving women in the workplace. Her latest book Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction came out this June.


8. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

“One of the most truly charming and hilarious books I’ve ever read. This is the memoir of writer/naturalist/zookeeper, Gerald Durrell, who writes about his family’s years in Corfu, where he began to collect local animals as pets. His brother was famous travel writer, Lawrence Durrell. I laughed out loud.”

–FOF Jill Jonnes, historian and author of Eiffel’s Tower about Belle Epoque Paris.


Images via Kris Radish, Barbara Hannah Grufferman, Fifty and Fabulous, FabOverFifty, Simon & Schuster, Outsmart Your Brain, and Jill Jonnes