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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Golden Girls Gift Guide – Top 4 Holiday Gifts for Fun with your Housemates

Celebrating the holidays with friends? We’ve found great gifts for you and your Golden Girls housemates to enjoy together! Create lasting memories and maybe even start some new traditions in your shared home!


Babbel.com – Give the gift of language! We love the idea of Golden Girls housemates learning a new language together. Babbel.com has an easy interface, engaging lessons, and relatable scenarios for 14 different languages! Plus with the Babbel app, you can learn from your ipad or phone! Best yet, babbel.com is affordable, with a 12 month subscription running as low as $6.95 per month.


Paint Nite – Take your housemates out for a unique night of painting and fun at Paint Nite, available at locations across the country! Paint Nite is the perfect gift for a group of 2015-11-25-1448465874-9326503-paintnite.jpgwomen…quality time spent together, you get to take home a masterpiece AND you get sip on cocktails! An individual ticket to a Paint Nite is on special through the end of the year for only $25 – a bargain for a night out, plus you get to bring home a beautiful painting as a memento of the evening!


Loaded Questions – Why not throw a game night at home! We are big fans of the game Loaded 2015-11-25-1448465925-5871334-loadedquestions.jpgQuestions, the hilarious game of ‘who said what?’ that tests your Golden Girls roommates on how well everyone knows each other. This game is a great ice-breaker for housemates that have just moved in together, but it’s also a ton of fun for roommates that have lived together for years. We love games that can spark laughter and create discussion and lasting memories. All that, for only $24.99!




CityPASS – Take a vacation in your own hometown with CityPASS! Living right outside Washington, DC, I know there are landmarks and tourist attractions in your own backyard that you and your Golden Girls housemates can explore together. City2015-11-25-1448465961-1667842-CityPASS.jpgPASS ticket booklets include access to a city’s top attractions in 12 North American cities while providing savings of up to 50 percent. The price per CityPASS ticket booklet varies by city, ranging from $44-$329; Boston and Dallas Golden Girls, heads up – passes are priced under $50!



We’re excited to be giving away many of the products mentioned in our Gift Guide! Enter to win at http://woobox.com/ajtnod!

Golden Girls Gift Guide – 4 Must-Shop Beauty Websites for Baby Boomers

Shopping for a special baby boomer woman in your life this holiday season? Check out our Golden Girls Gift Guide! We’ve curated some fabulous gift ideas! But be careful, you just might want to keep these gems for yourself! Our guide will feature a new category of gifts everyday for the next two weeks. So stay tuned for more great ideas tomorrow!

First up – gifts for the Beauty Buff in your life. The holidays can be a fun time of year, but travel, last-minute shopping, and family visits can also be stressful and overwhelming.  Why not give the gift of beauty and relaxation?  Every woman I know could use some special pampering time!

Survive and Thrive_CropLather.com – We love the products sold by lather.com, because they are of the highest quality and use effective natural ingredients.  Plus, their products can be grouped in easy gift packages, each targeting a specific need.  We particularly like the “Survive & Thrive” package – for only $28, you get an assortment of products, ideal for staying calm and relaxed during the holiday season.  Or, for something completely different, we recommend the “Decadent Duo” package ($36), a chocolate and vanilla treatment plan to transform dull, winter skin.



Instanatural.com – InstaNatural, a leading online distributor of a collection of nature-inspired beauty and cosmetic products, produces all of its products in small batches to ensure safety and quality.  We love the 100% natural and mineral-infused Dead Sea Mud Mask, a deep skin cleanser, pore reducer and natural moisturinstanaturalizer that benefits all skin types.  And at only $14.97, it’s an easy way to turn any home into a luxurious spa.  We also like the Rosehip Seed Oil, a multipurpose moisturizer that helps hydrate the face, skin, hair and nails. This oil hydrates dry skin and visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles and scars, not that we Golden Girls  have any! The Rosehip Seed Oil is available online for $18.97.

wonderlandWonderland Organics – For the Beauty Buff who likes her products with a side of whimsy, we suggest two products from Wonderland Organics, both retailing for under $40.  The Sublime Serum is has warm notes of brown sugar and rose, while the Soothe Serum soothes the senses with love and lavender.  These serums don’t make the skin oilier, rather they help keep aging skin more properly balanced.




Karma_Kit+GroupKarunaskin.com – Give your Golden Girl the gift of a girls night in! We love the Karuna Karma Kit, which has 4 individually wrapped Karuna sheet masks.  Create an indulgent night at home with your Golden Girls Housemates!  And at only $28, these masks are an affordable luxury!



We’re excited to be giving away many of the products mentioned in our Gift Guide!   Enter to win at http://woobox.com/nihzt6!

Are The Holidays Blue For You? How To Celebrate When You Live Alone

While Christmas might seem far off, the store shelves are already bulging. Sometimes our children and grandchildren are far away, travel is not possible, and we find ourselves left to our own devices. Time for creativity! With a bit of planning, your holiday season can be wonderful!

Plan Ahead…
If you know you are going to be alone, make some plans! Perhaps you belong to a social club – maybe you can throw a big potluck dinner for others who will also be alone for the holidays. One year, my Golden Girls household put together a Thanksgiving dinner for our single friends and it grew and grew, until we had 33 people for a sit down dinner and three turkeys! It turned into a really fabulous day with one group watching games on TV, another group handling the kitchen, and a third group setting the giant table that we put together. Another time, we gathered assorted relatives from three different families and celebrated together. Anything works as long as there is a turkey in the oven, pumpkin pie cooling somewhere, and you have dug out the tablecloth and cloth napkins!

Have a Multicultural Housemate Holiday Party!
The holiday season is a perfect excuse to throw a party! Any kind of party! Consider celebrating together and draw on each others family traditions and recipes to create a super-hybrid holiday season. One year, we had a cookie-making party…we invited friends, and made cookies all day, had cookie sheets everywhere, then gave them away. Another year, a Jewish roommate schooled us on Hanukkah tradition and we attended a musical event at a church. And of course, nothing is more magical than going to midnight mass with all of its pomp and ceremony. Honor your traditions and adopt some new ones. With the right planning and a variety of friends, you can make the holidays last from the first day of Hanukkah to Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa and finally, New Years’ Eve.

Spread the Cheer.
Don’t forget those special moments when you reach out to others. Many years ago, I participated with a group called The Holiday Project where we visited people in nursing homes on Christmas Day. It’s still around in some localities and there are similar groups. These seniors often don’t get visitors, and your few minutes with them are priceless, for you and for them. Maybe there is a Secret Santa group that needs a volunteer. Consider helping out at a local food bank or soup kitchen. It’s easy and rewarding. There are many websites, such as Volunteer Match, that are useful resources for finding these connections.

And here’s a thought… do you know a single mother who may be struggling to buy presents for her kids? Or is there someplace where you can adopt a family? You and a friend could surprise them with a bag full of goodies.

Don’t Be Shy!
Now’s the time to put yourself out in the world and try new things. Make the situation work for you. Do you have a close friend that hosts a holiday party every year?Don’t be shy – ask if you can come. I’ve done it many times, and I’ve always brought the wine or champagne. Do you know someone else who might be alone? Why don’t the two of you go to a nice restaurant? A good friend will appreciate that you want to spend the holiday with her.

My first year alone I couldn’t afford much, but I went to the Dollar Store and bought six ornaments and hung them on a plant in my living room. I still have those ornaments and each year, they remind me of how far I have come since those days.

Buy a box of old fashioned Christmas cards and write a holiday letter to everyone you know. Let the world know you are well and happy, and you will be.

Sharing Chores in a Golden Girls Home

Q: What About Chores in a Cooperative Household?

A: Cohouseholding Means Never Having to Scoop the Litter Box**

Contributed by Karen Bush, Louise Machinist and Jean McQuillin

choresThe authors lived in “Shadowlawn,” their 3-woman cooperative household for 11+ happy years until a retirement transition in 2015. Here’s a slice of life from summer 2013.

It’s a typical Sunday night at Shadowlawn– Louise on the porch, feet up, drink at hand, deep into a novel for book group next month; Karen cooking dinner; Jean scooping out Kali’s litter box in the basement. What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing’s wrong.

Everything’s right. Louise will clean up the kitchen—again. And put out the trash for collection. And she already did the daily Tweeting.

Chore sharing is the fourth most frequent subject that people ask us about. Coming right after the biggies—household conflict, romantic relationships, and money–someone usually throws in, “But who scoops the kitty box?” We used to share the scooping, taking turns on a whoever-thinks-of-it-first basis. Imagine Louise and Karen’s relief when Jean decided to take it over. Every week! And also to keep a steady supply of paper towels and toilet paper on the basement storage shelves. So Jean “owns” a specialty job category in our shared home: toileting hygiene. She has a system, a schedule, and the tasks always get done.

We’ve each adopted certain job specialties based on interest, skill or availability. Karen is always tech geek and skilled repairperson. Louise does grunt work (screens/storms, window well cleaning, scullery maid) but also has Martha Stewart home decorating moments.

We share most tasks without assigning them. Interestingly, we’ve found that we don’t need “rules,” because everyone carries a fair share of the load, balanced out over time.
Among us, we have the skills, determination or stupidity to tackle just about anything. Somehow, it seems less tiresome to do chores when it’s part of community. We’re all proactive. Nobody nags, but we might occasionally remind.

Two keys to success with chores are 1. Own responsibility, 2. Always do what you say you are going to do. We’ve got a little healthy competition going on, “Competency Competition.” In other words, I will do my fair share better than anyone else can do my fair share.

Before sharing a living situation with anyone, be sure that they have similar expectations about household lifestyle. (How neat? How clean? Who will do what?) Ed, Louise’s Dad, always said, “It’s the little things that count,” day-to-day. Consider: could an always-overflowing litter box sink your cooperative household?
**If you are lucky enough to have a housemate who chooses litter box scooping for her
own. Thank you, Jean!

Karen, Louise and Jean pioneered a new model of homesharing when they pooled resources and bought a house together in 2004. They coined the term cooperative householding: “two or more unrelated people co-owning and sharing a residence to gain financial, social, lifestyle and environmental benefits.”

Anticipating a growing wave of interest in alternative housing arrangements, they wrote My House Our House: Living Far Better for Far Less in a Cooperative Household, St. Lynn’s Press, 2013.

The authors’ professional backgrounds are in psychology, healthcare, education and consulting. They conduct informational seminars about cooperative householding. Step through the door of this cooperative household at www.facebook.com/MyHouseOurHouse and the My House Our House website: http://www.myhouseourhouse.com/.