A Text With My Mom

I was feeling particularly blah this day. On my way home from work while on the bus the following texts ensued:

Me: Mom-my menopausal weight gain is driving me crazy! I hate it!

I think I have gained weight since the party!

Mom: Is it around your middle?

Me: Yes!

I can’t stand it.

Granted I have been drinking more then usual this summer (which still isn’t a lot                because I have a low tolerance) but still I don’t think I eat unhealthy.

Chips and crackers are my weaknesses.

Mom: There is nothing you can do about it except starve. Your body will change when                  menopausal event is over.

Me: Will it change back?

Mom: As long as you eat healthy and exercise and I know its hard. You never again have a skinny waist but you are a curvy girl. I think you look great( side note-God love our moms!). Just don’t develop the sagging stomach down to my knees like I have (another side note-it isnot down to her knees-just a little exaggeration, lol).

These last few weeks I have definitely noticed the weight gain and it has not been fun. My clothes don’t fit the same so I am always a little uncomfortable (especially at work) and the clothes that I have that would cover up my mid-section are limited, so finding something to wear to work in the morning has been a struggle! Ugh.

I guess I will continue being active and try to cut back on carbs a little (less crackers and chips).  I always appreciate this kind of advice from my mom and she has two more daughters that will seek her menopause advice eventually. Thanks Mom!!!!

(That’s me in the black dress, my mom and my sisters)


Fifty is Fabulous and This is Why……

I can’t believe it. I just turned 50.  I definitely don’t feel fifty and I hope I don’t look fifty (at least what fifty look liked back in the day).  Birthdays have always been a little depressing for me because it just means I am getting older ( and that much closer to the end of my life. I know, a little morbid. Can’t help it) but I am working hard on having a different outlook on birthdays and aging.  One defining moment that helped me in this process was in graduate school several years ago when one of my professors said  he felt life really begins at 50.  When he said this I felt a wave of relief and inspiration.  He explained that by 50 you are reaping the rewards spent being a parent,  your career is well established and you are still young enough to live an active and full life.  Now that I have hit this milestone, I totally agree.  My children are young adults living their lives, I enjoy my job and I am earning the most I ever have (social worker so not rich, but thats okay) and aside from a few weird age-related aches on occasion I feel like I am not a day over thirty.  And as a bonus, I have the best, supportive, good looking and loving boyfriend.  Life is good :).

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As I enter this new decade I have vowed to myself that I am going to enjoy every minute of it and do things that I would not have normally been able to do ten years ago when I was in full blown parent mode, lack of funds and time.  Along with one of my bff’s (I know, 50 and still using that acronym. I did say I still feel like I am in my 20’s, right?) we made a list of just fun things to do, so I wanted to share this list in hopes it inspires you to go out an enjoy life.  It’s good to be 50 🙂

  1. Pine Street Market
  2. Hike through Forest Park
  3. Beach
  4. Walk the waterfront
  5. Electric bike rental
  6. Movie
  7. Visit museum
  8. Segway
  9. Sauvie’s Island
  10. Top Golf
  11. Farmington Garden-Unger Farms
  12. Zoo
  13. Speedboats
  14. Stern Wheeler-80’s dancing
  15. Hood River
  16. Go see Hit Machine and Big Yellow Taxi
  17. Harvey’s Comedy Club
  18. Train to Seattle
  19. Line dancing lessons
  20. Edgefield Ruby’s Spa

Just for fun I added a few photos I have title, “Since turning 50emoticons-01-512.”

 image  Top Golf with family

And a little bit of this…….

So much fun at my 50th bday dance party!

15th Annual Girls Weekend. Love my Tribeheart-ngsversion-1396531395268

One of my favorite things to do……spending time with this one!

Ilani Casino, Amy Shumer show and jello shots that we snuck in!

Party at Cook Park with the band Hit Machine and my hot bfheart-ngsversion-1396531395268.


The Perfect Day Off……

Every once in awhile I will take a day off during the week, just cuz.  Last week we had the fourth of July holiday on a Wednesday, which was nice to have a little break mid-week but because I had to reschedule my massage for July 5th at 3:00pm, I thought why not just take the whole day off? And so I did Image result for clip art smiley face.

My hot bf and I had decided to go on a hike that day. Living in the Pacific Northwest there is no shortage of wilderness hikes along lakes, streams and rivers with gorgeous views.  I don’t know if she knows it but I am following one of my cousins on Instagram and she had posted a few weeks ago that she had gone on a hike on Hamilton Mountain.  It is near Cascade Locks near Stevenson Washington.  Have you read the book or seen the movie Wild? She comes to the end of her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail at the Bridge of the Gods.  To get to Hamilton Mountain from Portland, you cross the Bridge of the Gods and its just a few miles west (just so you have a point of reference).

The other great part of the day was that my son and his girlfriend joined us.  I love my time with my kids so I was so happy he and his gf wanted to come with us.  Before the hike I read a little bit about the details of the trail and I will say that it was rated as “strenuous,” but that’s relative, right?  Wrong! Oh my gosh, it was a hike all up hill!  We made lots of pit stops for the views ( a few of the views below):

We took snack breaks and I took many “slow down my heart rate” stops but eventually we made it to one of the tops of the hike that had an incredible view.

A pic of my son and his girlfriend (left) and my significant other and I (right).


The hike took us two hours to get to the top and only 45 minutes to make it back down.  I was exhausted, dirty and enjoyed every minute of it and couldn’t wait to get my massage!

I was way overdue for a massage and thanks to Groupon I got a great deal on an hour full body massage with Magnolia Massage and Reflexology. I decided to give it a try since the price was right and it was close to my house.   Samantha, the massage therapist did a wonderful job. I was comfortable, the atmosphere was relaxing and my tense shoulders and neck felt so much better! I highly recommend her!

Every summer I put up our above ground pool.  It can be a lot of work with the maintenance of keeping the water clean, changing the filter, scooping out leaves from the trees, etc. So far this summer the weather here has not been all that great to take a dip in the pool, but on July 5th it was finally hot enough to take that first plunge into the non-heated water.  So as soon as I got home from my massage I put on my one piece and slowly stepped into the very cold water.  You get used to the cold water after awhile and it was actually very refreshing :).


The day ended with a beverage, a yummy dinner made by my hot bf and then watching one of our favorite shows (Justified with Timothy Olyphant) and then falling asleep early.

It was the perfect day off Image result for clip art heart


P.S. I went to work on Friday and all day long wondered why I didn’t take it off also.


Some of my favorite hairstyles…….

I am currently growing my hair out so I have been looking at a lot of hair styles lately. For the longest time I wore my hair just past my shoulders and straightened it.  Then about three or four years ago I felt like I was getting too old for that style so decided to go a little bit shorter and went a la natural.  Now once again it is time for a change and I decided to go longer and straight again. This is the hairstyle that inspired me, so cute isn’t it?

Shoulder Length                                                                                                                                                      More

I am getting close but still have to grow out some of my layers and I will admit styling my bangs has always been a challenge, a cowlick always splits them in two sections.  Below are also some of my favorite hairstyles I have saved over the last few years.

Medium Wavy Hairstyle: Summer Haircuts for Women Over 30- 40

So cute, right?  This is Jennifer Nettles from the duo Sugarland. Check out her video Stay, it is a tear jerker.

A little bit of a sexy look, don’t think I can pull it off but love it!


I would never grow my hair out this long but I think it is such a cute hairstyle and I love her bangs.


Love her red hair.  I think this is how my bangs would work the best.

the cut!

And last but not least……….

So those are my faves. Would love to know what you think and would be interested to see pics of your favorite do’s (that’s short for hairdo’s).


Sex Trafficking:

Sex trafficking.  It’s sad. It’s ugly. It’s real and it’s closer to you then you may realize.  For so long this horrific exploitation of children and women has been swept under the rug in an attempt to be ignored and forgotten.  We as a society tend to think that it only affects marginalized populations AND there is definitely the stereotype of the trafficker or pimp as a young black man driving around in a fancy car.  It’s true, children with a history of sexual abuse, physical abuse, involved with the child welfare system are more susceptible but the reality is children from all walks of life are vulnerable to sex trafficking.  It should also be known that traffickers are not just young black men portrayed in the media, but traffickers also come from every ethnic background.

Sex trafficking is a complex issue.  How does a child or young person get pulled into sex trafficking? How do you know if a child is being trafficked? What are the signs? Several years ago I wrote a resource guide to answer these questions. The guide is specific to Portland, Oregon ( for years known as the “hub” for trafficking on the west coast) but the information pertains to everyone.  There are pictures of tattoos that indicate trafficking both on victims and pimps.  There is also a letter from a victim to a pimp describing how she got involved in trafficking and basically asking the pimp if she can work for him.  Educate yourself and others, we need to be aware of the issue in order to eradicate it.

Please click on the link below to view the guide.

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