About Heather McPhaul

Creator of AgingGal.com. When I'm not fretting about getting older, I am acting on TV shows and writing books.

Cyber Monday Deal

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for L’Oreal Age Perfect. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with L’Oreal Age Perfect and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

For those who opted out of Black Friday or just want some great deals today, Cyber Monday, then read on. L’Oreal has a gift so perfect for us Aging Gals that “perfect” is even in its name: L’Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renewal.

AP-CELL-RENEW-ASSETS-04-440x471I’ve been using their products for a couple of months now and love them. My skin is softer, firmer, and younger looking. Click here for your coupon.

Splurge on a gift for yourself this holiday season (start now and see results before those holiday parties!). And if you’re a mensch, then buy some cell renewal products for your friends. After all, you’re worth it… and they are too!

 

 

 

10 Reasons I’m Embracing Aging

the-health-benefits-of-red-wine1.  A glass of red wine a night can add five years to my life.

2.  Brain games on the computer to help my memory.

3.  My gray hair looks like those expensive highlights I used to pay for, but it’s free!

4.  “Good times and bum times, I’ve seen ‘em all, and, my dear, I’m still here.” (Thank you, Stephen Sondheim. And Elaine Stritch.)

5.  No more pimples.

6.  I’m closer to being a cool old broad like Judy Dench:

7.  Fuck it. What’s the alternative?

8.  At long last, chocolate is proven to be good for me.

9.  Brain games on the computer to help my memory.

10. Finally, I’ve aged into my muffin top.

 

Who Wouldn’t Want to Look like Julianne Moore?

I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for L’Oreal Age Perfect. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with L’Oreal Age Perfect and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

When L’Oreal approached this Aging Gal through Vibrant Nation to try out their new line of skin renewal products, who was I to say “no”? If the products are good enough for their spokeperson, actress Julianne Moore, they’re good enough for me.

CNY_M14SK009MD_R2_02-440x298

After a couple weeks of trying L’Oreal’s triad of cell renewal products — Day Cream with SPF 15, Night Cream, and Golden Serum — I feel younger enough to approach my upcoming fifty-second birthday with the optimism that I might pass for forty-five!

IMG_2611

The recommended regimen is to apply the Age Perfect Cell Renewal Golden Serum morning and night followed by the respective day and night creams.

As I am a genuine “make-up free” Californian, I was a bit worried about greasiness or oiliness from the products. But I am pleased to say that the formula is light enough to feel natural, yet productive enough to add softness to my skin.

I appreciate the SPF 15 in the day cream, but was a bit worried that the somewhat strong scent would bother me throughout the day. The good news is that the scent dissipates rather quickly.

The night cream is slightly thicker than the day version, and while I was worried about clogged pores, it seems to wear nicely as I sleep. And I wake with refreshed skin in the morning.

Again, I’ve only used these products for a couple of weeks, but, so far, I am impressed with their ability to renew my cells and subtract some time from my skin. I am going to continue using this skin care regimen and will be back in a month with an update.

Who knows? Maybe by year’s end I’ll look like a thirty year old…

 

 

How a Pet can Save your Life

No, I’m not talking about Lassie pulling Timmy from the well. I’m referring to how animals can reduce stress and lower blood pressure, by stemming loneliness and depression. Pets can give us a purpose and even stimulate learning (gotta read up on how to take care of your new “baby”!).

Senior_pets“Dogs — and other pets — live very much in the here and now. They don’t worry about tomorrow. And tomorrow can be very scary for an older person. By having an animal with that sense of now, it tends to rub off on people,” says Dr. Jay P. Granat, a New Jersey psychotherapist.

That said, it’s important to choose the right pet. Here are some tips:

1. The pet owner should be involved in this decision. Do not just pick a random pet for your older parent and call the deal done. That could — and has — led to disaster. For example, active puppies can scratch and jump and wreck havoc on elderly skin.

2. Consider the personality traits of the older person. Is she set in her ways? Has he been a pet owner before? Dog lover or cat person? Is your senior disabled? Homebodies may appreciate a cat who doesn’t need to be walked as does a dog. On the other hand, if social interaction is desired, find a dog who matches the pace of the future owner.

3. Then consider the pet. Puppies are tons of work (just like human babies are loads of work). An older dog has already calmed from its puppy phase. A three-year-old dog is twenty-one in human years, isn’t that better than raising a toddler and teenager again?

4. If finances are an issue, think about less costly pets like a fish or a bird. Or if you need the cuddliness of a dog or cat, rescue a pet and contact the local humane society for help in paying vet fees. Lastly, consider looking into therapy animal programs and see if they’ll visit.

As Jack T. Dog would say, “Arrffff.” Which means, “Enjoy your pet and thank you for adopting!”

Aging Gal and Jack T. Dog

Aging Gal and Jack T. Dog

 

 

How to be an Inspirational Ager

As many of you know, Bitty is a social worker — a do-gooder. She sees patients of all ages, but, as we live in an aging society, she has many patients of a more mature age.

And they kick ass.oap-yoga-teacher

This week, for example, she began seeing a 96 year old whose quick wit and humor is reminiscent of a Catskills comic. Another client decided months ago that it was time to live her dream and enroll in the Fashion Institute of Technology… at the age of 68.

My point? It’s never to late. Follow your dreams. Live your life. Here are some pointers:

1. Embrace Aging. We’re getting older, yes, but we’re not dead. And regular activity — physical and mental — is proven to make us healthier. So go for coffee with friends, join a book club, walk or gym on a daily basis.

2. Don’t hesitate to laugh at the Aging process. Are some changes that happen to our bodies mortifying or, even, horrifying? Absolutely. Go to the doctor when necessary, screen for illnesses as warranted, ask questions of professionals and, even, friends. Then give in to the amusement when you can and laugh. We’re all in the same boat and this is why God, hopefully, gave us all senses of humor.

3. Set Goals. Always wanted to take an improv class? Go do it! Time to write that long-thought-about novel? Go for it! Hankering to travel, work with animals, make a movie? Then (to steal from Nike) Just Do It! Take advantage of all that technology has brought us in the last decade and learn to self-publish your book, make a video with your smartphone, or paint that masterpiece with an assist from computer software.

4. Maintain Relationships. Stay in touch with friends and family who love you for you and will help find the humor in the silliness of life (see Tip 2).

5. Be Prepared. Get all your ducks in a row. Last will and testament? Check. Advance directive? Done. Medical and financial power of attorney? Yes and yes. Talk to those closest to you so everyone is clear on what steps to take if and when the time comes. Then — Whew! — that’s over.

Now go live the rest of your life.

Grow Back Your Hair — And Your Confidence

While I’ve made many confessions on this blog, none may be more embarrassing than this: I am bald.

densefx-and-texture-effect-122x350Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. But in all honesty, I have battled bald spots throughout my scalp since my early 30s. (I remember visiting my doctor in those days and begging for a solution… a solution that never came.) I’ve always had baby fine hair… after I finally grew hair (until I was eighteen months I was fat and bald and nicknamed Mussolini). In high school and college, stylists would comment that they’d never seen such fine, thin, soft hair — and mean it as a compliment — but my hair and I were already mortal enemies. It refused to hold any styling even with 80s-era hairspray.

Little did I know that my hair would up the ante in my 30s and 40s by falling out in baseball-sized clumps with every shampoo. For twenty years, I have been my own shedding Golden Retriever.

By my 50s, I had given up.

And then my knight in shining armor galloped up in the form of Cerafill Defy by Redken.

Now I’m going to show you some photographic evidence, so don’t run away screaming. (Yes, I know, my bald spots light up the front of my crown like a shiny hood ornament; I am constantly self-conscious.) Witness this BEFORE photo:

BEFORE

BEFORE

Ignore all the wiry gray hairs and focus on the hairless cue ball above my left eye. To me, that clump of white skin is mortifying.

So when I learned that I could participate in this promotion for hair-thickening products from Redken, I jumped at the chance.

Redken sent 100 bloggers four samples of their products including Defy shampoo and conditioner, and Maximize Dense Fx thickening treatment and texture effect. I was asked to use the products for two weeks and then share the results.

As for the shampoo and conditioner, I must say they were somewhat medicinal. The shampoo did not lather enough for me, and the conditioner left my hair stiffer than usual. After towel drying my hair, but while it was still damp, I applied the Dense Fx thickening treatment to the roots and massaged it through my scalp. Lastly, I sprayed on the texture effect before styling. Both the thickening and texture products are to be used between shampoos to keep that hair growing.

Now, Redken advertises “up to 9,000 more hairs after one use!” I’m not sure about that, but, yes, I did see some buds growing (albeit my fuzzy little fine hairs — why can’t I have Barbie-esque locks?). For me, it took the majority of the two weeks to witness a difference in hair growth. I also relied on their tips to maximize your hair, including using a diffuser on my blowdryer, crimping my hair, and creating a zigzag part to disguise my thin spots.

And here (again, please don’t run screaming) is the AFTER photo:

AFTER

AFTER

Between the products and the tips, I do feel my hair is thicker. If there’s one product I will continue to use it is the Dense Fx thickening treatment. It seems to be the crux of the product line and, honestly, there are menthol-infused Tea Tree shampoos and conditioners out there that I prefer.

But check out Redken’s products — and tips — for yourself:

Redken Cerafill website

Redken Salon Finder

The bottom line is that this experience helped give this 50-Something back a little confidence. Maybe I’ll never have the exact hair I want, but I can have more of it and I can style it better. That alone makes this Aging Gal content.

Here’s the skinny: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Cerafill powered by Redken. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Redken and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

 

Nursing Care: Turn to the Best

Recently, I started volunteering as a “friendly visitor” and spending time with a lovely new older friend named Dorothy. Dorothy recently broke a hip, and I only visit for an hour once a week, so she spends a lot of time with her round-the-clock nurse, Christy.

Nurse-and-Elderly-PatientNow Dorothy is a sweetheart, and Christy is her angel. Christy monitors Dorothy’s health and behavior, administers her medications, assists with sanitary needs, and offers overall companionship. Dorothy is fortunate to live at home, but that may not be the case for everyone later in life.

So, if it’s not possible to remain at home, then where do we turn? Turn to professionals who are not only qualified, but who love their jobs. Turn to the award-winning best: Barchester Healthcare.

Visit one of their care homes, and you’ll notice the difference immediately. From the warmth of the people to the quality of the service, Barchester ensures its staff is happy so the staff ensures the clients are happy.

When it’s time to seek out nursing care, follow this link and be secure in your choice: Barchester.

 

Friends You Can Depend On

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for Depend. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Depend and do not earn a commission or percent of sales

Okay, gals, I’m gonna go there: What happens when we start to leak?

I’ve certainly had occasions of laughing with friends or trekking a strenuous hike when I wondered, “Did I just pee a little?”

main_exerciseWell, our friends at Depend® are here to help. Aging Gals everywhere can continue to lead active lives — laughing and hiking and more — thanks to Depend Underwear with new Fit-Flex Protection.

In fact, this underwear feels just like that — underwear. It flexes with our legs’ movements, has Lycra® strands for a smooth fit, and is reinforced with a soft underwear-like waistband for comfort. Plus, it absorbs and traps in odor, so we don’t have to lose our confidence.

Check out the Depend website and see for yourself. Watch the Real People videos. And, if you’re still not convinced, request a free sample to try on your own!

Plus, you can find tips on managing your condition. They have advice that leads to better health for all of us, such as pay attention to your diet and drink six to seven 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Some foods — citrus fruits — and drinks — caffeine, alcohol — can irritate the bladder; learn what triggers your leakage and eliminate them from your diet. Not only can staying hydrated keep the lining of the bladder from getting irritated, but it dilutes urine and prevents that strong smell.

Above all, don’t let leakage keep you from living your life. Keep moving, learning, and thriving and let Depend® assist when necessary. After all, isn’t that what friends are for?

 

I Am Always Ready for Reddi-wip

Time to fess up, Aging Gals: Aren’t we all watching our weight these days? Well, that doesn’t mean we have to miss the most important meal of the day — dessert!

My favorite spring and summer time dessert is fresh berries top with a dollop (or two) of Reddi-wip®. My recipe is so easy even a non-cook like me can make it: wash berries and top with Reddi-wip!

In this photo I spooned raspberries together with blueberries and finished it all off with my favorite: Fat-Free Reddi-wip®.get-attachment

It’s a perfectly patriotic dessert for July 4th… or everyday! (I call it Aging Gal’s Antioxidants with Cream.) The Fat-Free Reddi-wip has only five — yes, five! — calories per serving. I must use more calories than that just eating this delicious treat!

Reddi-wip® tastes so good because it has always been made with real dairy cream — never hydrogenated oils like some other whipped toppings. You can also try Original, Extra Creamy and Chocolate Reddi-wip; each has just 15 calories per serving.

Redd-wipAnd — as if the joy of eating Reddi-wip isn’t reward enough — now through July 7, 2014, consumers can share their everyday Reddi-wip® berry-licious moments on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for the chance to win a trip for two as well as weekly prizes! Simply Share, Tweet or Tag a pic with #BerryJoyfulSweeps!

If you’re more of a gourmet than me, check out this link for recipe inspiration using Reddi-wip®: http://bit.ly/1lRfDUD

And here’s where to share your love for Reddi-wip® on social media:

reddi-wip-sweepsNow excuse me, but after all this writing about my favorite guilt-free treat, I’m going to indulge in those heavenly berries and Reddi-wip. Who’s with me?

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Reddi-wip. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Reddi-wip and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

Last Gun in America

Twelve year old Casey Wilcott was declared the winner today. By default.

gun-control“He was always most comfortable with a gun in his hand,” Casey’s proud mother would have said if she was still here.

“Casey is clearly the best shooter in the 6th grade, probably in the whole school. Nobody handles an Uzi like Casey.” These were the last words of Principal Miller of Williamette Middle School before being gunned down.

If Casey’s classmates were still alive, they would give Casey one last wedgie and tease him about mining for gold up his nose. Alas, Casey made sure they can tease no more.

Of course, Casey will now be forever attached to his reviled braces after shooting his dentist dead during his last orthodontic adjustment. Casey should have pulled the trigger after his orthodontia was removed. But then hindsight, like Casey’s aim, is 20/20.

Now Casey has literally no one to bully him, love him, worry over him, or fix his overbite. But no matter, like some old episode of The Twilight Zone or Grimm’s Fairy Tale, he is the last man/boy standing. He is the king of the world. Or at least of America.

As he ages and his hormones get the best of him, Casey could try to make his way to Canada, or swim an ocean to Australia or Europe with the intention of procreating, but he would, sadly, have to leave his arsenal — and his talent for wielding it — at home.

Again, no worries. No doubt whatever Casey decides will be the right decision. The best choice for him. Because, now, he is all that matters.