The Mature Woman is Alive and Well!

Today I’ve added an important new category to my Blog: The Mature Woman, with sub-categories on Beauty & Makeup, and Style. For those women, like me “d’un certain age” (in their fifties, sixties and beyond), there seems to be a huge gap in the market for clothing (retailers: take note!), and articles on beauty and style.

A recent photo of me, in case you're interested.
A recent photo of me, in case you’re interested.

And, yes, just because we’re older, doesn’t mean we’ve given up the ghost. We still want to look chic and well put-together, with age-appropriate makeup.

Some posts I’ve already written, such as fit into these categories. And I’ll be writing more articles, and giving tips as we go along. I’ll repost any relevant articles I find by others. Very important to me is your Feedback. I want your take on these issues, suggestions where to shop, and your great tips.

The Mature Woman is indeed alive and well!

Genealogy Research – The Search Begins

NOTE: I originally posted this article in May 2013. Because I’m about to share my genealogy research, I felt this Post was important as background information. I intend to start with my birth family, the Schmetzers. I will follow it up with my adoptive families, the Williams’ and the Collinses.

Linwood , Ontario, is a small village deep in the heart of Mennonite country. It was a place settled  mainly by people of German extraction, and some of their descendants still live there today. So what does all this have to do with me, you ask?

This is the story of my journey to discover my roots – not so unusual in itself. What makes this story truly unique, however, is that as an adoptee, I sought not only my parents’ roots, but also those of my birth relatives.

Linwood CPR Railway Station

My grandfather Collins was Station Master & Telegrapher here before WWI.

My grandfather Collins was Station Master & Telegrapher here before WWI.

So imagine my surprise, then, when at the end of my search, all roads led back to Linwood, where both my parents, Ken Williams and Maureen Collins were born, as well as some of my birth relatives!

Here is how it all began.  When I began this search, it was in order to find my birth mother.  For that, I needed a vital piece of information: my original birth registration.  This took a lot of ingenuity on my part, as my parents would not let me see this document. This was back in the day when adoption was such a difficult process: first, you had to prove you were worthy to adopt a child, and once approved, wait for a baby to come along. So my parents were very insecure, sure that they’d lose me to a bunch of strangers.

As anyone who is adopted knows, this is totally ridiculous! You love the people who brought you up and provided you with unconditional love.

At a meeting of Adoptees, I got the tip I needed: tell the powers that be that I needed the original document for a Visa to the United States. This ruse worked like a charm. And bingo, just like that I was looking at my original birth name: Judith Anne Kuhl.

Next: The Schmetzer Family, Part I.

The Latest in Skin Care: Oxygen Facials

As a “mature” woman, I’m always on the lookout for the newest thing in skin care treatments. Yesterday, when I was in my fave beauty spa, I was offered an Oxygen Facial as an upgrade to my regular facial. As it was a special promotion (on for half price), and as I’m always ready to be a guinea pig, I thought, “What the hey” and went for it. Now for those of you who haven’t heard of this treatment, it’s something Madonna highly recommended on her website last year. Since then, a number of celebs (Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, amongst others) have tried it.

What is it exactly? This new technology uses the revitalizing power of pure oxygen to stimulate cells. Aging and free radicals reduce oxygen supply to the skin which then appears dull and shows signs of wrinkles and age spots. This treatment is supposed to accelerate cell regeneration, and to restore the skin’s hydration and plumpness.

The Machine

The Machine

What’s involved? My particular treatment involved nutrient-rich serums being misted onto the skin, followed by pure oxygen infusion to massage and stimulate the cells.

This is not me.

This is not me.

The results? Well, in my case, I was really pleased! The skin around my eyes looked as if I’d had an eyelift; my eyes were more widely open than they’d been for years. The rest of my face looked hydrated, plumped and refreshed, no longer a dull tone.

So, yes, I’m sold, and I might even purchase some anti-aging oxygen skin products.

Makeup Junkie: Skincare

As you can probably tell by now, I’m a makeup junkie. Enabled by my daughter, who edits a cosmetics magazine, I get plenty of freebies, both skin care and makeup. Today I’m going to talk about a few of my favourite Skin Care products.

It’s important for aging skin (tending to be dry)  like mine to be sufficiently hydrated. Maintaining a radiant complexion  and incorporating a good anti-wrinkle cream are also important factors.

Here goes:

My Morning Routine

My first step is to cleanse my face. Estee Lauder’s Soft Clean Tender Crème Cleanser for Dry Skin and companion Toner are so gentle on my skin and really do the job. Tender Creme Cleanser

Next step is Lancôme’s Energie de Vie Daily Cream. It promises “dullness relief” and an “energy recharge”. RenergiedeVieWith its fresh “green” scent, I adore using it in the morning for a refreshed feeling on my skin. I sometimes use an anti-wrinkle product, such as Vichy’s LiftActiv UV Moisturizing Cream. UV and SPF protection is so important , which is why I make sure an SPF factor is in my foundation (my personal favourite is Lancôme’s Renergie Lift Makeup).

There’s nothing so refreshing during a hot summer day as using a Toner right from the fridge on your skin. Ah, cool relief! Even is you have to reapply your makeup, it’s worth it.

My Evening Routine

First, the same cleansing  routine as in the morning. Next for skincare:

My favourite evening anti-wrinkle product right now is Neutrogena’s Ageless Intensives® Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer. Neutrogena Retinol It has a combination of Retinol SA and Hyaluronic Acid, two strong anti-wrinkle fighters.
Next up is Estee Lauder again: I just love their Renutriv line because my skin is fairly dry. EL Renutriv ReplenishMy daughter gifted me with the Renutriv Replenishing Crème. Love it, love it, love! It feels so luxurious on the skin, and has an Omega 3 Phyto Complex containing lipids to keep the skin hydrated and supple. This line is expensive, but to me, it is worth every penny to nurture my skin.
And, yes, I do use eye cream: my new fave is Lancôme’s Ultimate Rejuvenating Eye Contour Collection, which includes Ultimate Rejuvenating Eye Balm Elixir and Ultimate Eye Patch, again from my lovely daughter.

Well, there you have it. Just a reminder: this is my personal skincare routine. I do not endorse these products for anyone.

Organizing Your Makeup: Go Acrylic

If you’re like me, with an absolute mania about cosmetics, you’ll likely have little palettes of eye shadow, blush, and foundation scattered all over the place. That used to be me, until I read a Post from my fellow blogger, All in the Blush. She suggested organizing one’s makeup in acrylic storage cases. Well, I was sold!

There are all kinds of sizes and prices – some to about the $300.00 range as used by Kim Kardashian in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. Now, I’m no millionaire, so I wanted something that looked nice at an affordable price. I found what I wanted on eBay, and you can too. Here’s the one I bought. It’s a simple 4 drawer case, with two smaller drawers at the top, The second and third drawers run the width of the case.


Now, on to organizing my makeup. I’m going to go drawer by drawer here, so you have a visual of what I did.

First up – the top two drawers. As you can see they were both used for eyeshadow palettes. I sure do have a lot of eye shadow!


In the second long drawer, I put…OMG…more eyeshadow. Yikes!


Finally, in the last drawer, went my blushes, and eye liner and eyebrow pencils.


But what about lipsticks and foundation, you ask? Well, I had a solution for that as well. I used an acrylic lipstick container that I already had, filled it with my lipsticks, and placed it top of the Makeup Case that I had just filled. There was also room for some stand-up items, such as mascara. Placing it on the left-hand side of the case, I found I still had some room, so on top went my foundation.

Et voila! Here’s the filled case.


Genealogy: An Adoptee’s Journey, Part 4 – Reconnecting with My Birth Family

In my last Post, Mother and Child Reunion, I detailed how I met my birth mother and birth family. This was a sad story to tell, partly because I’ll never know the name of my birth father, and also because I abruptly lost contact with my birth sisters and brothers.

Ah, but now comes the happy part of the story! A few years ago, I decided to search Facebook for the names of some of the family. Now, this is where Facebook becomes a godsend, because I managed to find the two youngest right away – a brother and a sister.

I contacted my brother, Mark, right away, explaining who I was. To my surprise he got right back to me, sharing that he remembered my long-ago visits and always wondered where I was and what I was doing. Before I knew it, we had arranged to meet at my place. Naturally, we were a little awkward with each other at first, feeling each other out, but by the end of the visit we were feeling quite comfortable with each other.

I then reached out to my sister, Heather, on Facebook. She was so warm and receptive, I knew we had to meet really soon. And so we met at my cottage which was relatively close to her home. We immediately felt right at home with each other. We discussed a family visit, which turned out to be at Mark’s place. Another brother, Sam, was also there. I cannot begin to express the joy I experienced that everyone accepted me and my husband. That fall, we all met at my place for a potluck dinner, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

At the same time, my niece, April, contacted me to be a Friend on Facebook. She had also always heard about me and wanted to know more. We corresponded for a while, and this past winter, while my husband and I were vacationing in Florida, I noticed that she and her family were also coming down. I asked her if they’d like to have lunch with us one day during their holiday. And that is how I met my brother, Pete, and his wife. Again, it was a case of everyone feeling at home with each other. Now we have plans to visit them, and for them to visit us.

What a blessing everyone I have met has been to my life!

Next: My Genealogy Search