Month: November 2023

Aromatherapy for Menopause Relief: A Natural Approach to Managing Symptoms

aromatherapy for menopause

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles. It is diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. While it’s a natural part of aging, the transition to menopause can be challenging, with symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances often causing discomfort.

However, a growing body of research suggests that aromatherapy, the therapeutic use of essential oils, can provide significant relief from these symptoms.

How to Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. It uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.

Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption, using products like diffusers, aromatic spritzers, inhalers, bathing salts, body oils, creams, or lotions for topical application.

Essential Oils for Menopause Aromatherapy

When it comes to menopause, certain essential oils have been found to be particularly effective in managing symptoms. Here are some of the most beneficial ones:

Clary Sage

Known for its calming properties, clary sage is often used to help manage mood swings and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. It also has a cooling effect, which can help alleviate hot flashes.


Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils in aromatherapy. It is known for its calming and relaxing properties, making it an excellent choice for managing sleep disturbances. It can also help reduce anxiety and mood swings.


Peppermint oil is a refreshing essential oil that can help reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. It can also boost energy levels, which can be beneficial as fatigue is a common symptom of menopause.


Geranium oil can help balance hormones, making it a useful tool for managing mood swings. It also has a calming effect, which can help improve sleep quality.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm oil is known for its calming properties, making it an excellent choice for managing anxiety and promoting sleep.

Use Essential Oils Safely

While these essential oils can provide relief, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s also crucial to use essential oils safely. They should be diluted in a carrier oil before topical application, and some oils may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals.

Moreover, while aromatherapy can provide symptom relief, it should not replace traditional medical treatments for menopause. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen, including aromatherapy.

In Conclusion:

Menopause is a significant transition in a woman’s life that can bring about uncomfortable symptoms. However, natural therapies like aromatherapy can offer a complementary approach to managing these symptoms. Essential oils like clary sage, lavender, peppermint, geranium, and lemon balm can provide relief from hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. With their calming and balancing properties, these oils can help make the journey through menopause a little more comfortable.


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you use aromatherapy? What for? Has it helped you alleviate certain symptoms? Have you tried aromatherapy for symptoms of menopause? Which oils have helped you the most?

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Two Men Reveal Their Thoughts and Strategies About Online Dating

online dating strategies; advice from men

All day long, I help my clients with online dating and hear some interesting perspectives. Today, I am featuring two men who went through the online coaching program with me and who agreed to an interview to share their thoughts, ideas, misgivings, feelings, and advice to others on online dating and the best approach.

But Wait – I’m a Woman!

I’ve heard an interesting observation from many female clients regarding potential dating partners. It goes like this: “Oh, no, Andrea, not him. I’ve seen him online for 5 years.” First, let me say this: you’ve been online looking for 5 years yourself – with no success – yet you won’t reach out to a man in similar straits??? Well, just wait!

Back to My Interviewees

These two men, just like many of my clients, had one thing in common – they wanted results, and they didn’t want to spend much time messaging women online. One commented he’d rather be on the golf course than on a dating app; the other has an intense career and in his free time he plays basketball – neither’s idea of fun was online dating.

Surprise, surprise, right?

I’ve changed their names, of course, and for simplicity, here are the facts:

Mark, 64, a business executive from Dallas who travels 85% of the time and so has serious time constraints.

Tim, 68, Silicon Valley, technopreneur and founder who lives primarily in New York City.

Here we go with the interview:

Why Did You Decide on Online Dating?

Mark: I realized I wasn’t going to meet anyone where I worked. I was highly discouraged plus I was a high-ranking executive at a Fortune 100 company. I’d been divorced for 5 years – had two teens at home – and I was just ready to date (not a serious relationship, I thought). I knew nothing about online dating but had seen commercials.

Tim: I didn’t see any other choice. Everyone is doing it! I looked at the company you founded, Andrea, It’s Just Lunch, and just couldn’t imagine they had a large enough pool compared to the internet. Seemed a no-brainer when I researched the numbers on the online dating pool.

Feelings About Going Online?

Mark: Hesitant; fearful of people recognizing me, and it happened twice – a woman from my neighborhood who I actually went on a date with and a woman from my company who I did not go on a date with). At this point, I got over my fear of people recognizing me. I thought, “Hey, our senior VP of Marketing is online.” So I got over it!

Tim: My hesitation was privacy – people will see you unless you choose the option where they only see you if you select them, but then you are limiting your options. Another drawback was time; not to get caught up looking at these damn sites all day long. Well, I did do that until I hired you and you wouldn’t let me. (He laughs).

How Long Were You on the Sites/Apps Before Reaching Out to a Coach?

Mark: 5 years. I just had no time and would check it once a month – which of course was not optimizing my dating life. I went on maybe 4-5 dates a year, but wasn’t putting much effort in. Then my kids went off to college, and I hired you and got more serious. I didn’t even know someone like you – a dating coach – existed five years ago. Hey, I was married a long time!

Tim: I was married for 24 years and initially got lucky online and was in a relationship for 9 months. I then went on 3 sites/apps for three months which was overwhelming and that’s when I decided I needed help and hired you to vet these women and show me a more efficient way to use online dating.

How Often Did You Check the Dating Site/App?

Mark: Once a month.

Tim: Every day before you. I’m super organized and tend to check emails constantly too – but I quickly got swamped with the dating thing and got discouraged/frustrated with the time and energy it took.

What Three Things Make a Woman Attractive to You So You’d Want to Reach Out? And, How Did You Respond – Message, Phone, Straight to a Meet?

Mark: Her photos, and if something in her profile made me laugh, or we had a commonality (like one woman also was from Boston where I grew up and visited the Cape often, as I do). A message on the app, then a text on the phone, then a short phone call. I did the phone because I’m a bit reticent and shy – so by hearing their voice first it made the in-real-life meet really feel more comfortable and almost like a second date.

Tim: All the things you preach: multiple photos, a complete profile, and listing things that are truly unique to them – no generic platitudes. As far as the first date, I think women want to feel safe, so I’d take the lead from them – I’d say 50% we just agreed via text to meet at a restaurant and the other 50% we had a short phone call after a couple of texts. It just depended on them.

Did You Ever Think About Using a Matchmaker or Doing Group Single Events?

Mark: Definitely not my style at all. I wasn’t comfortable with either of those.

Tim: No. In today’s world, it makes no sense. It’s like travel. Do you really need a “travel agent” these days or can you book your own hotel and flights? Now having someone write your profile, select photos, set me up online and help choose dates – that’s cost effective.

What About Your Photos?

Mark: Initially, I just picked a couple – one with family and friends also to show I was social. Full body. A few women told me men misled on height (I’m 6’2”), so I made sure there was a full body shot too. And I was smiling. You had me add more – no baseball cap and only one with shades on!

Tim: Typically, 5. Headshot, activity (at a football game or concert), hiking. Wanted to show full body in maybe shorts and t-shirt.

Any Advice You’d Give Women Who Are Online Dating?

Mark: Stand-out by saying unique or quirky things about you. I liked this one woman who said she loved hosting Thanksgiving each year for 40 people, and she did all the cooking herself – I was impressed as she sounded fun and ambitious with entertaining! Have a full body photo for sure – I did look for that. And make sure your photos are current, so men aren’t surprised. Oh, and be honest about your age too.

Tim: I frankly got mad when I met someone where it was obvious that they were using old photos. My advice to women: always date your photos.

Anything Else We Should Know?

Mark: Hire someone like you. It saves time and you’ll be on the right track.

Tim: My dog photo got a lot of comments! So did the one playing pickleball with my 15-year-old granddaughter though I covered her face. It’s just showing the real you.

Thanks, Mark and Tim

Ok, so want to know their outcomes? Mark’s in a serious relationship – as he told me early on, never say that you’d never marry again! Tim – he’s been seeing Gail for almost a year; they don’t live together nor plan marriage – but it’s a committed relationship.

My oddball career to family and friends for the past 30 years began in my 20s – I feel so lucky to have many wonderful clients – and I’m happiest when I hear people fall back into dating or love.

Happy Holidays all! It’s a happy and fun time of the year to date!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How did you feel about the male point of view when it comes to online dating? Did you agree or disagree? How would you respond to the questions posed to the two interviewed men?

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Consider Tackling Just One Goal in 2024

just one goal in 2024

Have you ever started the year with a sizable list of goals to complete by the next time the ball drops in Time Square? Goals are great. They are hard work and take repetition. If you don’t have a goal, you tend to live life haphazardly. Whatever life brings, you react and go with it.

I lived most of my life without a focus and reacting to life challenges. In some unpredictable circumstances it’s how we must be. I’m challenging you as you read this article to explore making goals by intentional design.

The Old Way May Not Work for You

We all have tried New Year’s Resolutions. When you look back on them, how far has that gotten you? I know some friends that have accomplished their resolutions. I’m impressed by those friends.

Most of us think back to when we made resolutions and get an overwhelming feeling of failure. One year my supervisor at work had us write down where we wanted to be at the same time, one year in the future. We sealed the envelopes, and she kept them for us, handing them back when the year was up.

Most of us couldn’t remember what we had written down, nor had we made much progress toward accomplishing the goal. We hadn’t made it a priority, so it became forgotten. Goals for the new year can start out a priority, but then what happens?

Try a New Way

Here’s a new twist to New Year’s Resolutions 2024. What if you took one goal that meant a lot to you and decided that was it for the year?

Start by defining it clearly. When you get to the end of the year, what is it that you want to be different in your life? Get as specific as possible. Saying “I want to eat healthy by next Christmas” is too broad. How about chunking it way down to something like…

“I will research and then put into action limiting my sugar intake daily until next Christmas.”

If you had that as your ONE and only goal, would you feel more motivated? Having one goal prioritizes it and helps you remember to work on it throughout the year.

What Does Research Say

Did I mention that accomplishing goals and making them permanent is hard work? One goal at a time will help you focus and work hard toward it.

Researchers found that people who tried to accomplish multiple goals were less committed and less likely to succeed than those who focused on a single goal. If you accomplish your ONE goal before the end of the year, good for you! Then it’s time to set ONE goal going forward until you feel you have accomplished that one.

Visually Create the Picture

Another way to do this is with your vision board. Every year, my friends and I get together to construct a visual of what we would like life to look like at the end of that year. Visually, it helps us stay on track. We have a glass of wine, search through magazines for phrases or pictures that depict our best year ahead.

These tag boards showcase pictures of vacations, travel spots, exercise clothes, couples enjoying dinner, pictures of money and so much more. Every tag board has a different look by the time we are finished searching, cutting, and pasting our personal visuals.

We share with the group what each picture or phrase means to us. Yes, some pictures carry over to the next vision board party because they have yet to be attained. Surprisingly, we all have hit the mark on most of our vision board goals. This is a powerful way of approaching the year ahead.

A Vision Board with One Goal

This year, I’m encouraging my friends to give thought to expound on ONE goal with pictures and phrases about that one thing. It would laser focus and clarify everything. Let’s take the goal of eating healthy by next Christmas. The pictures would show heathy food choices, sugar with an X over it, cookbooks, meals at restaurants, all centered around the goal.

James Clear, author of the bestseller Atomic Habits, says it so well:

“The best way to change your entire life is by not changing your entire life. Focus on one specific habit, work on it until you master it, and make it an automatic part of your daily life. Then, repeat this process on the next habit.”

Focus Creates a Change 

My son recently shared with me that his marriage changed when he took this phrase to heart, “Where your focus is, your heart will be.” He said he began to focus on his wife. He thought about what she needed, what would help her, and how much he loved her. This changed their relationship, and as an outsider looking in, it shows. His heart followed his focus.

Can we apply this to our one goal? Yes, absolutely. George Lucas put it this way, “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”

Change at the One Year Mark

Our world is overwhelming if we let it be. Work, kids, home, food, money… it’s a balancing act to keep everything straight and organized in our brains. Be sure to take time to slow down enough to think about ONE thing you want to achieve in the year 2024. One important life changing thing.

Then set your path and take a whole year to get there. This can be as simple as getting up a half hour earlier to enjoy the calm before your day starts. It can be as complex as finding a new job.

If you do a vision board, keep it handy to view. Remind yourself that you have ONE goal, and you are taking steps to get there. You will thank yourself for being so smart when you once again watch the ball drop at Time Square.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Are you a goals and resolutions person? What are your goals for 2024? Have you considered focusing on only ONE goal for an entire year? If you’d like to give it a try, what would your one goal be?

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6 Books to Give – or Keep!

giving books as gifts

I love it when a friend or family member gifts me a book. With so many choices in bookshops and online stores, it’s a fun way to discover new authors or subject matter that might not otherwise appear on my radar. Here are a few favorites I’ve read recently, recommend, and plan to wrap up for a recipient or two on my holiday list. I hope you spot one you wish to give – or keep for yourself!

Where the Grass Grows Blue by Hope Gibbs

Debut novelist Hope Gibbs garnered a mound of awards for this charming Southern romance novel. With its references to Nashville, Atlanta, and northwest coastal Florida, readers may recognize friends, family, or themselves among the pages.

Penny has had a year… Her husband cheated on her with a much younger woman. After their quick marriage, her ex and his new wife take an extended vacation with Penny’s three young sons in tow. And then her beloved grandmother dies.

When Penny returns to Kentucky to settle the estate, all sorts of memories – and people – come flooding back to her. A breezy read about the beauty of going home.

Grab a copy and settle in with a glass of sweet tea!

The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen

Maggie is 60, a retired spy, and raising chickens on Blackberry Farm in Purity, Maine. Sixteen years ago, a mission went horribly wrong, forcing Maggie to walk away from a career she loved and disappear into the Maine countryside. She adores her new, ordinary life – “quiet and unobtrusive and safe.” Until she discovers a dead woman sprawled on her driveway.

She knows the body is a message from someone connected to her past. Maggie and a handful of former colleagues, who are now neighbors, band together to hunt down the past’s demons and salvage the new life Maggie’s created for herself.

I raced through this fun page-turner and my first book by the author, who boasts quite a loyal following. I was a fan of the Rizzoli and Isles TV series, which is based on books by Gerritsen.

One con of the novel? The story presents the likable and talented CIA operatives in their 60s and 70s as invisible (author’s word, not mine) washed-up senior citizens who crave naps and relief from aching joints. Since I am older than Maggie (!), I grew tired of those reminders scattered throughout the book.

Pickleball Is Life by Erin McHugh

In 1965, three dads in Bainbridge Island, Washington, devised a game to entertain their kids for an afternoon. Thus began the craze now sweeping the world – pickleball.

The game picked up serious steam in the early 2000s, mainly from folks seeking fun and exercise whose knees could no longer handle tennis and downhill skiing. Youngsters don’t pooh-pooh the game anymore and have joined the fray. Today’s median player is 30-something.

For those considering pickleball, McHugh’s introduction to the fast-paced game is a good place to begin. After speaking with her on Episode 24 of my podcast, I cannot imagine anyone more well-versed in the sport. With a dose of humor, Erin presents everything you need to know before you step on a pickleball court – the quirky rules, what sort of paddle to buy, and her trick for keeping score.

All in a quick-paced, accessible format.

The House Is on Fire by Rachel Beanland

Ladies and gentlemen, “The house is on fire.”

Be prepared for short chapters, quick pacing – and a delayed bedtime! In December 1811 – during a packed performance – a three-story Richmond, Virginia theater caught fire and burned to the ground. At the time, it was the most significant loss of life in U.S. history. Today, a church memorializes the tragic event.

Chapters alternated between four characters, Cecily, Gilbert, Jack, and Sally. Although all survived the fire, their lives were forever changed. The novel carefully explores the difficult history of the time and examines human nature’s good – and bad – sides. Well-written and researched, I enjoyed the entertaining, thought-provoking glimpse into an event I knew nothing about.

Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone

How well do we know our partners? Or anyone in our lives, for that matter?

I planned to read this novel until my plane reached cruising altitude. Then I would tuck the book away and move on to other – more productive – reading and writing. But I couldn’t stop reading.

In their honeymoon hotel, Ariel wakes up to no husband. He didn’t slip out for coffee, he wasn’t reading the newspaper in the cafe downstairs, he hadn’t stepped out for a walk. He was gone, and Ariel suspects something is very wrong. When Portuguese detectives and police officers don’t offer as much help as she’d like to solve the case – and uncover secrets about the couple’s past – Ariel takes matters into her own hands.

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Many of our kids have a hard time imagining that we – their parents, of all people – led full and exciting lives before they came along.

In her quiet, absorbing way, international bestselling novelist and bookshop owner Ann Patchett weaves a tale of three grown daughters and the mom they never knew. The mom who existed before the girls were born.

During the pandemic, while picking cherries on their idyllic Michigan farm, Lara tells her daughters about the summer she dated Peter Duke. The girls beg to hear all the juicy details about her acting days, dating a Hollywood superstar, and meeting their dad.

Note: Patchett references Our Town by Thornton Wilder in this novel. Although I am unfamiliar with the play and still enjoyed Tom Lake, my reading experience would have been richer had I known the story by Wilder.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you like to receive books as gifts? Do you like to give books? Do you have a favorite book you’ve gifted over and over?

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Lisa Barlow’s Red Outfit

Lisa Barlow’s Red Outfit / Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 4 Episode 12 Fashion

Lisa Barlow owned the red carpet (or technically the carpet, in red) on last night’s Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Her matching red sweater, pants, and bag meeting Meredith Marks put my lunch date outfits to shame! While there may be some low-hanging fruit circling, ruuuuumors here at Big Blonde Hair suggest that you can easily snag her fabulous look below.

Best In Blonde,


Click Here for Additional Stock in Her Sweater

Click Here for Additional Stock in Her Pants / Here For More Stock

Click Here for Additional Stock in Her Bag

Photo + ID: @lisabarlow14

Originally posted at: Lisa Barlow’s Red Outfit

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