Month: April 2020

An Iceland Adventure Keeps My Travel Memory on a Dopamine High

senior tours iceland

Even though we cannot travel right now, I can relive the trip I took to Iceland in February. My photos and imagination easily take me there. Oh, what fun we had with our tour guide, Fee, from Reykjavik Outventure Tours.

She was great at sharing fascinating stories and history with our group. Not only is it not all about the destination but for me travel is about the people you meet along the way.

Day 1 – Let’s Get Started

We arrived in Iceland in the early AM. Since our hotel rooms weren’t yet ready to accommodate our large group, we decided to get on with the tour. We boarded our tour bus and were off to the Reykjanes Peninsula by 6:30AM.

First, we visited the oldest lighthouse in Iceland and then the oldest village on the Peninsula, Hafir. My favorite stop was the old black church.

We then left the North American part of Iceland to enter the European part via the bridge between these two continents. Amazingly, you can see how the two tectonic plates are moving apart from each other.

Day 2 – Reykjavik, a City of Wonders

On the next day we were allowed to relax and explore the city of Reykjavik. My first stop was a walk to Hallgrímskirkja church. Taking the elevator to the top of the tower revealed a breath-taking view of the city.

From the church, I went on to a cafe for a delicious, heart-warming bowl of soup. The main street of Reykjavik, Laugavegur, is great if you like shopping in boutiques and unique stores. I took my time, then went back to the hotel to prepare for the big night.

If you are planning a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, I strongly suggest you book one on a yacht, not one on a jeep. The experience is so much more intense and if there is cloud cover, the boat can easily move out from under the clouds making it possible to see the lights.

Here’s a tip: Do not go out to see the lights on a full moon. Complete darkness and a clear sky will help you see the lights September through April.

Day 3 – Exploring Nature

On the third day of this adventure, we were all up early, ready to head out on a tour of the Golden Circle and the Secret Lagoon. Our first stop had us taking a magical walk through Thingvellir National Park.

Next, we went on to see the Geysirs, which are a part of the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley. I loved watching them explode hot water into the air.

The Gullfoss Waterfall was our next stop. I really take my time around waterfalls, and this one literally took my breath away. I could stand there all day just staring at it.

At that point, I was pretty much sure that the day could not possibly get any better, but it did with our last stop – the Secret Lagoon. This beautiful thermal pool is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland and is located in the heart of an area with high geothermal activity, with steam rising from natural hot springs.

Little pathways, geothermal hot spots, and a small geyser, which erupts around every five minutes, are bonus attractions easily observed from the pool. 

Day 4 – A Peninsula with Wondrous cliff formations

Our tour to Snæfellsnes Peninsula was my favorite day on this adventure. We stopped in the small fishing village of Buoir located on the ocean and surrounded by lava fields, then went on to Arnarstapi, one of Iceland’s most beautiful natural harbours. The extraordinary columnar basalt and cliff formations left us in awe of their beauty.

We continued on to Black Lava Pearl Beach, a dream location for photographers because of its mysterious rock formations. As always, our tour guide saved the best locations for last – the Kirkjufell mountain and the incredible Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall.

Day 5 – Caves and Waterfalls

I was super excited to go to the South Coast and Katla Ice Cave. We started the day will a tour of the Seljalandsfossis and Skogafoss waterfalls, walking under Skogafoss to find hidden treasure – a walking trail up to the top of the glacier. I felt on top of the world looking down on the beauty of Iceland.

But the culmination of this day – and the entire week – was the Katla Ice Cave. Located off the typical tourist trail, the cave requires a super jeep to take you there as the terrain is very rugged. Inside this ice cave I felt as if I was experiencing Disney’s Frozen in person.

Day 6 – Heading Back

Despite the grand time I had on this tour, it was time to return home. This was my second visit to Iceland and most certainly not my last. I am ready to plan two follow-up trips in 2021 – one in the winter and one in the summer. In all honesty, I will never get tired of this wonderland.

Are you planning your next trip while you have the time to thoroughly investigate all the beauties in your chosen location? Have you been to Iceland? Which were your favorite places to visit? Please share your thoughts and experiences with the community.

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Turn to Your Inner Fashionista and Re-Boot Your Personal Style at 60 and Beyond (Photos)

Inner Fashionista and Re-Boot Your Personal Style at 60

Over the years, the American ideal of a woman’s body has shifted between curvy, thin, athletic, and every possibility in between. But we know that each woman is unique, and now, more than ever before, we see that every body shape needs to be celebrated.

Getting dressed with confidence and style every day is a great way to celebrate your own body and more importantly, the person you are as an individual.

Inner Fashionista and Re-Boot Your Personal Style at 60

Attitude and Intention

Clothing can transform your attitude because feeling good in what you’re wearing makes a difference in how you feel about yourself and the world around you. The fun part is, there’s no wrong or right way to do this!

It’s about what feels best to you! Taking intentional command of how you dress is empowering. It helps you feel confident in your abilities and brings a zest to life.

The Right Questions

What do you ask yourself when you get ready in the morning? “Does this smell okay? Does it have any holes or stains? Does this fit?” Maybe these questions should shift to “Who am I? How do I want to show up today, confident, or sluggish? Do I feel great in this?”

Dressing with intention is one small thing that can make a big difference in your entire demeanor. We all know how different it feels to be “put-together” for the day versus settling for whatever we happen to grab in the morning!

The Role of a Stylist

How do you take charge of your personal style? One option is consulting a stylist who has the knowledge and education to help you embrace your unique body and make the most of the shapes and colors you love.

You know yourself best, and a good stylist can help you align your clothing choices and how you present yourself to the world in accordance with the best inner you.

There are many options for finding a stylist. Some services invite you to email a stylist who then sends a box of clothes right to your door based on your profile where you specify preferred fit and style. How convenient!

If you want to try our box of clothes and receive a 20% discount to anything you choose to keep, please visit AshleyCole Boutique, and send us an e-mail!

In addition, there are many amazing brands that promote body positivity and make every design in a full range of sizes. Some notable brands include: Good American, Eileen Fischer, and Johnny Was.

Even if you don’t need a closet full of new clothes, stylists are a great resource to help you understand how different brands fit different body types, how to integrate the latest fashion trends into your wardrobe, and above all – help you express your unique self!

Quick Tips

Here are some everyday tips you can use when choosing your outfits:

  • Straight leg pants make your legs look longer.
  • Pant length can be an issue for tall women so knowing your inseam length will help guarantee a perfect fit.
  • Larger chested women may try scoop and V-necks but also consider a high neck tank or a lightly lined wrap top for a different look.
Inner Fashionista and Re-Boot Your Personal Style at 60
Inner Fashionista and Re-Boot Your Personal Style at 60
  • Belts can make all the difference in an outfit by drawing attention to a specific area. Waist belts, for example, draw attention to the smallest part of your body for a slimming look.
  • A tip for every body type would be to invest in good shape wear, such as Commando.
  • Bring a pop of color into your wardrobe! Try red – it’s a bright, powerful color that conveys energy and passion.
Inner Fashionista and Re-Boot Your Personal Style at 60
Inner Fashionista and Re-Boot Your Personal Style at 60

Build Confidence

Society’s idea of beauty is subject to change, but personal confidence is always in style. Now is a great time to give your closet an intentional makeover. When you get back out there, you’ll be rocking your own personal style!

Dressing for your best self can change your outlook, and with a little help from a stylist, you and your wardrobe can be unstoppable.

Which outfit do you most often reach for when going out for a special evening? What do you like most about this outfit? Have you ever consulted a stylist?

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K-Pop Star Jessica Jung Just Landed a Major Beauty Deal

She’s already a singer, author, actress, model and designer, and now Jessica Jung can add Revlon ambassador to her impressive resume. Jung gained popularity as a member of the Korean group Girls’ Generation at age 18 and went on to slay K-pop for the next seven years. She branched out on her own in 2014 and it’s been nothing but up from there. Though she has her own beauty and fashion line, Blanc & Eclare, this Revlon gig is her biggest with a beauty brand in the US to date.

“Revlon has always represented the epitome of glamour for me. As a young girl growing up in San Francisco, I couldn’t help but be dazzled by the bold imagery of iconic women wearing Revlon makeup,” Jung said in a statement. “To now be part of these legendary Revlon ambassadors is a thrill and an honor.” Jung joins an incredible group of women including Gal Gadot, Sofia Carson, Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah and Eniola Abioro. You’ll start seeing her in Revlon ads in Spring 2020.

“We were drawn to Jessica because she is a force of nature, channeling her positive energy and entrepreneurial mindset into achieving her goals and breaking boundaries all along the way,” said Silvia Galfo, Revlon Global Brand President. “She loves to experiment with beauty and has an unapologetic spirit that helps her transcend convention, perfectly capturing our Live Boldly ethos. We’re thrilled to have her as part of the Revlon family.”

jessica jung revlon

Image: Revlon.

Jung will appear in global campaigns for the Super Lustrous and ColorStay franchises along with other new launches such as Total Color permanent hair color. She announced the gig to her more than nine million Instagram followers who are collectively freaking out for her. Of course, they’re also wondering when her next album is coming out but let’s let the girl enjoy this big moment first.

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3 Tips for Taking Care of Your Dry Hands and Cuticles After 60


One common problem every woman battles as they age are dry hands and cuticles. We’ve used our hands in a variety of ways for decades and regardless of how carefully we might have taken care of them, age causes our skin to change.

Add weather conditions, dry climates, and heating, or air conditioning to the mix we’ve got a real problem. How can mature women take care of their hands without that heavy, greasy feeling?

Professional makeup artist Ariane Poole generously offers her three best tips on how mature women can have healthy, beautiful hands, even if you use those drying hand sanitizers.

Use a Hand Mask

While most of us think of masks as something for our hair or face, there are a variety of hand masks that are very inexpensive and are loaded with healthy ingredients your hands need. Hand masks are simple gloves that you slip on and wear from 10-60 minutes.

Ariane highly recommends these and even goes so far as to call these “Transformational!” That’s quite a powerful word for a beauty product, so if you haven’t used one before, we bet you will now!

Overnight Products

When you don’t want to wear gloves to bed, you can still get the benefits of overnight conditioning through a variety of products. Ariane recommends Balance Me brand Super Moisturizing Hand Cream. This cream is too thick for regular daytime use, but apply it before bed for an incredible overnight treatment that really works!

For dry cuticles, one brand Ariane talks about is CND SolarOil Cuticle Care. This yummy smelling oil applied to your cuticles at night will prevent them from getting dry and causing those painful hang nails.

Avoid the Sun or Use This

Whenever possible, of course, you should avoid the sun as it causes wrinkles, as well as those aging giveaways known as sunspots or age spots. Women will remember to put sunscreen on their face and wear hats to avoid the sun, but how many of us truly remember to use sunscreen on other parts of our body, such as our hands?

Of course, you can’t avoid the sun always, but you can carry a purse-sized sunscreen product, so you never have to be without. Always use a high-value sunscreen of at least 50 or possibly even 80 to prevent your hands from the worst enemy of beautiful skin – the sun!

The Bottom Line

We avoid the sun, put expensive lotions on our face, use makeup to hide flaws and wrinkles, but our hands give away our age. Ariane and Margaret talk about a variety of other products you can use, especially when traveling, to keep your hands and cuticles looking their best, as well as other valuable advice. This video was a hoot to watch!

What is your regular routine for protecting your hands and cuticles? What are your favorite products for hand care? What products do you use for hiding or fading age spots on your hands? We want to hear your thoughts on this! Let’s have a conversation!

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How Accepting Hardships Helps Us Grow Wiser in the Years After 60


I don’t know about you, but I didn’t really get the concept of acceptance until I hit 59. At that point, I could finally see that my senior years were inevitable. I wasn’t thrilled, but I was willing to put up with them. Mainly because I had no choice.

What I hadn’t counted on were the remarkable benefits.

As I age, a new patina has settled over my life – a comforting smudge of acceptance on all my old anxieties. It occurred to me that this is actually the gift of our senior years.

We can develop new, helpful mindsets that can help us tackle any crisis and surmount any hurdle. I say we are far better positioned to do this than our younger cohorts. For one thing, we can accept hard things in life with greater ease.

I know this because in 2012, my 22-year-old daughter Teal dropped dead from a medically unexplainable cardiac arrest.

That single event knocked me from being driven, type A workaholic with a relentless drive to succeed to… well… an inert blob, for several years. I spent those years writing, examining, and learning as I went.

When I emerged from my grief, I found I was wiser and far better off because of the experience of real, enduring loss. Turns out that somewhere in all that acceptance, I’d found my wisdom.

Here are the takeaway mindsets that have helped me navigate my 60s with a new, unexpected joy. Hopefully, you’ll find them useful as well.

It’s All Good

I’ve always hated the pat little phrase, “It’s all good” – but it turns out there is some truth to it. There really is some kind of humbling, or empowering, or love-provoking, reason for pretty much everything that happens to us. If you look hard enough, you can usually find it.

An unexpected benefit of my daughter’s death was that it helped me strip away the masks of illusion I’d lived with for so long. Finally, I had to let go of that old, overworking false persona – and with it, all my prickly defensive behaviors.

I was left a vulnerable pussy cat who didn’t work nearly so hard – and enjoyed life more. That’s when, quite unexpectedly, I met the love of my life. We are now quite happily married.

We Are Not Alone

After Teal died, I was more alone than I’d ever been in my life. My 25-year marriage had ended, and I was still relatively new to San Francisco. The one family member who lived near me was now dead, and I had few friends.

I dreaded that first miserable Thanksgiving because I had no place to go. Yet that weekend I found my way to a church where a hilarious, highly-organized group of drag queens were serving Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of homeless people.

I joined in the fun, and that afternoon made my first real friends in California.

Willing and friendly people are out there – and you may have to go looking for them.

It’s Fine to Ask for and Get Help

I’m thinking of how I learned to ask for help after Teal’s death. I’d always been the stoic lone wolf – the powerful one-woman show who needed no one’s support.

The minute I let go of that narrative, in came remarkable resources. Free grief support groups, caring friends and family, and even a pair of pals who advised me wisely on my finances, all showed up. This support emerged naturally and easily, simply because I asked for help.

There are no two ways about it. As we age, we need more support. The opportunity is to surrender, ask for it, and enjoy what comes.

We’ve Become Street Smart

You know all those little tricks you’ve figured out along the way? From opening jars to learning how to console a distraught friend, we’ve learned a lot in our decades on this planet. This is not wisdom you can read in a book or learn from a teacher (though that can help.)

Mostly, we’ve learned these things by doing. For instance, when my spouse is in pain, I’ve found I can provide the same loving comfort I did when I was a mom, anxiously leaning over my feverish toddler.

I’ve learned how to move towards what works, and drift away from what doesn’t. And since my daughter’s death, I’ve learned how to tune into my own needs and meet them.

The lessons life gives us every day really are our greatest teachers. The longer we live, the more of them we’ve learned.

We Know We Deserve Good Care

Do you remember when we were younger, how hard it could be to get ourselves to exercise – or diet? To ask for help when we need it? Perhaps we were too busy then, working, and possibly even raising children. Now, however, we have time on our hands. We can finally become our highest priority.

That’s true even – or perhaps especially – if we are also caregivers to an ailing spouse. For without adequate self-care, we simply can’t get the job done.

Not only do we realize we need to take excellent care of ourselves – we know we deserve it. We finally know how to “put on the oxygen mask first,” as flight attendants always advise us. Because now we get it.

We deserve the best possible health, comfort, and ease we can give ourselves. No matter what our circumstances.

The gift of hard things – and aging – is this basic return to our own intrinsic power. It’s a power based on great love and self-compassion, and it can make the last quarter of your life sing instead of moan.

What techniques have you been able to use to turn life’s hard lessons into gold of your own? Can you give us examples of what worked for you and why? Please share in the comments below.

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