7 Things I’ve Learned About Aging


Beauty has no age

I became aware of my age, or better said, my mortality, when Joel- my boyfriend from the 1970’s died. In my mind, the two of us would forever remain nineteen. His death left me depressed and grieving beyond what seemed appropriate, given our brief relationship over thirty-five years earlier. It’s been more than three years since Joel’s death- still the sad and untimely news of his passing at only fifty-three years old remains a shock and a great loss. I’ve come to appreciate that in grieving Joel, I am also grieving my own youth. The rhetorical question, where have the years gone, takes on new meaning for me.

The fear of aging is really the fear of being irrelevant or worse yet, dead. Even after all of the remnants of the years—failing eyesight, grey hair and saggy skin are lifted and tummy-tucked away, the fear of no longer being relevant remains. We come to understand as I did through the jolt of Joel’s passing, that we are entering the last trimester of our lives. And even though we tend to focus on the external changes, it’s what’s happening inside of our heads that frighten us most—the thoughts and feelings that we’re working hard to avoid. Rather than looking inward for grace and enlightenment, we focus on superficial changes through procedures that are no more than diversions- like facelifts and fillers. The truth is, until our fears are reconciled on a spiritual level, we will never come to terms with aging. Never mind aging gracefully.

If you read my book, The French Twist, Twelve Secrets of Decadent Dining and Natural Weight Management, some of this philosophy may […]

By |October 7th, 2014|Blog|1 Comment

Aging Gracefully

Devil Wears Prada

“Joy is the Best Make-Up.”

-Anne Lamott

I’ll never forget the time that I appeared on television to promote my first book. I arrived at the station feeling self-conscious, and in more make-up than usual, armed with a whole tool kit of concealers, eyeliners, bronzers and blushes. But still, nothing could have prepared me for when I sat down with the lovely young anchor who was interviewing me that morning. I paled by comparison. Her lashes—thick, black and false—were glued against her upper lids. In reality, her makeup was completely overdone, but when the monitor turned on us, she looked radiant. I looked like a washed out, beady-eyed lab rat. Despite the heavy eyeliner and mascara, my natural lashes couldn’t stand up to the harsh studio lighting.

Lesson learned. In the interviews that followed, I made sure to layer the makeup on thick, and invested in something even better than glued-on lashes—eyelash extensions. For the next several months I scheduled my life around the twice-monthly eyelash fills required to keep my lashes visible and fluttering. But it wasn’t long before I dreaded juggling my calendar to include the lash fills amongst my other ongoing upkeeps such as hair color and smoothing treatments, brow tints, manicures, pedicures and facials.

The vulnerability of on-camera work is one thing, but facing it at fifty-something is another beast entirely. ‘It’s not the way I look, but how I deliver my message,’ I reasoned. Still, only half joking, I asked my PR professionals to book me for some radio spots, where make-up, lighting, and age would […]

By |September 24th, 2014|Blog, Uncategorized|3 Comments

A Day in the Life of Central Park

Central Park

A few weeks back I had dinner with Shannon Ables, founder of The Simply Luxurious Life blog, along with our mutual editor, Pat Fogarty. Shannon lives on the West coast and was spending the week in New York City. During our meal together Shannon asked, “What’s your favorite part of living in the city?” Simultaneously, Pat and I answered, “Central Park!”

That night, I had a hard time articulating just what it is about Central Park that I love so much. There’s no argument that in a city the size of Manhattan, the park serves as a refuge from the manic pace and hustle of New York. But that’s not enough said. Central Park is a dichotomy of enchantment and disillusion—and always promises the unexpected.

I walk my dogs every morning in the park, and like them, each day I see, hear and smell something different, even though we take the same familiar route. The children’s zoo is part of our daily outing; we move past the seal pool and then the musical clock, and on through a tunnel passage where every day, without fail, a musician plays the saxophone. The echo of the tunnel broadens every note, and I never tire of the repertoire. Today, I noticed a man heading toward the black, velvet-lined music case placed open on the ground in front of the saxophonist. Digging into his pocket, the man pulled out a few coins and dropped them into the case. It was then that I recognized him as a homeless man from our neighborhood. Lugging a Duane Reade shopping bag—filled with what I can only assume are […]

By |August 26th, 2014|Blog|5 Comments

A Hair Love Affair in NYC


I’ve been seeing Mr. Good Enough for a couple of years now.

He doesn’t have the best personality; he’s downright moody, egocentric and perpetually late—but he’s never seriously messed up my hair.  There have been times it’s a bit darker than I might like, but I’ve reasoned that it’s probably fixable with a few extra shampoos.  Plus, he’s been able to manage my ‘baby-boomer’ red highlights—a trademark of my former salon.  Even though Mr. Good Enough isn’t exactly Mr. Right, I stick it out with him cause breaking up with your hairdresser, is so very hard to do.

Until you find another man.  In my case, an extremely handsome—one could even say pretty—Frenchman.  Was it love at first sight?  You bet.

I first met Julien Farel for coffee with my friend, Costa.  Costa had warned me that Julien was a sight to behold, but still, I was a bit taken aback. Julien is dreamy—a man who looks you in the eye, hangs on your every word, all while responding thoughtfully in a demure French accent.  I was so captivated that I forgot to be self-conscious about whether or not he approved of my hair.

Julien FarelJulien Farel, regarded as one of the top hairstylists in the world, offered me a tour of his new 10,000 square foot anti-aging beauty destination, Restore Salon & Spa on Park Avenue at 61st Street.  As we entered the destination, occupying the entire second floor of The Loews Regency, I picked up the buzz of energy within the refined space.  Hmm…most salons and businesses are quiet in the summer months in Manhattan.   As […]

By |August 5th, 2014|Blog|4 Comments

The Ultimate Key to Loving the Self You’re In


“The way out is in. The path to freedom from dieting, or anything that weighs you down, is to return to your source- to love the self you’re already in.”

—from The French Twist

In dieting we resist our true nature—our tastes and preferences, right alongside the food we are craving. We become as frightened of food as we are of our dark thoughts and emotions. That’s why we spend most of our time distracting ourselves with addictions like shopping, eating, working, social media and dieting. We are afraid that our hunger is bottomless, that we’re unworthy of love, a healthy body and a happy life. And even if we do summon the courage to take a look, that door is slammed shut. We have lost the key and just don’t know how to get inside. There’s no reason to live behind closed doors anymore. It’s not working anyway, is it?

The way in is as easy as knowing how to pick the lock. With a little practice and some patience you’ll crack the bolt and ease the door open. Gradually and softly you’ll take a look inside. Instead of binge eating you’ll be breathing. Meditation—this is the path to freedom and self-love I’m talking about.

Meditation! It’s a scary thought, and doing it is really hard, you’ve heard. You have to be Hindu or something to grasp it. Plus, there are rules. Sit straight for twenty minutes, legs crossed, head high and breathe through one nostril at a time. Learn a mantra, sit in front of an alter, follow a light, and don’t think. It’s foreign, that’s for sure. And uncomfortable.

That’s what I thought too. […]

By |July 27th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

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