Getting together with family during the holidays almost always includes some movie time. We all know the classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, but there are several Christmas movies that are sure to warm your heart and please grandparents (and grandkids) alike.
1. A Christmas Story
Routinely played during Thanksgiving weekend, this American classic never loses its place in any holiday movie list. Every son and every daughter can relate to that one toy that they wanted for Christmas but couldn’t get, while every mom and dad can relate to the chaos of holiday moments and making the best out of the hardest of situations.
2. Miracle on 34th Street
This movie spices up the spirit of the holidays by bringing a little magic and imagination to the soul. It’s perfect to watch with your grandchildren yet mature enough to enjoy with fellow adults.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
Set in black and white, yet still relevant to the modern world, this movie shows us all what true Christmas is about and what family means.
4. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1951)
This oldie yet goodie is a wonderful way to remind us of the preciousness of life. That each soul is important. That each interaction has significance. That we all matter.
5. We’re No Angels (1955)
This movie takes a twist on the traditional feel-good Christmas movies by showcasing three escaped convicts who go out and literally ruin the holidays for others with their selfish ambitions, but have a change of heart after fixing up a delicious Christmas meal for their neighbors.
6. Christmas with the Kranks
A tale of empty-nesters trying to dodge the Christmas bullet by setting off on a cruise, this Christmas movie is easily relatable for boomers who are switching gears with their kids who have grown up and left home.
7. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Steve Martin is comical as ever in this hit movie. As he tries to make his way home for Christmas, a series of hilariously wrong events spiral out of control. We all can relate to him as he desperately tries to reach home in time for the holidays but is side swiped by one mishap after another.
8. White Christmas
Just a beautiful movie inside and out. Every scene is wrapped in detail and evokes the spirit of the holidays.
This movie is one that you can easily watch with your grandchild over and over again. Filled with humorous moments and life teaching moments, this movie definitely warms the heart.
Movies have a way of bringing us closer together as family. The moments that we laugh at funny situations during the show remind us of the importance of family and being able to celebrate good times with each other. It’s also a time to let go of the serious moments and to relax and enjoy each other’s company. After all, some people (like the ones in the movies listed above) may have it worse than you! Enjoy the season with these heart-warming movies.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas !
Kevin, Rob & Dean
Recipe By: ashbeth
“This is so easy, so good, and so versatile! I’ve used pork chops with and without bones, pork loin, and pork roast. You can sprinkle the brown sugar, salt, and pepper on the different layers or all at the end, as mentioned in the recipe. Play around with the brown sugar and spices to your taste.”
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 4 pork chops
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 onions, sliced into rings
- 2 sweet potatoes, sliced
- 2 apples – peeled, cored, and sliced into rings
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a medium oven safe skillet. Top pork chops with onions, sweet potatoes, and apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Season with 2 teaspoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Cover, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until sweet potatoes are tender and pork chops have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2019 Allrecipes.com
Printed From Allrecipes.com 11/21/2019
Thanks to fast fashion, we’re buying more clothes than ever and keeping them for less time. A better, money-saving approach: Extend the life of your clothes and build a wardrobe that lasts.
DO A MINDFUL CLEAN OUT. “Textiles are one of the fastest-growing categories of waste in U.S. landfills,” says Elizabeth Cline, author of The Conscious Closet. Tired of having a closet stuffed with disposable clothes you don’t love? Go through your items one by one and decide what to keep and what to part with. But then take a careful look at the “toss” pile. “Ask yourself, ‘What did I buy that never got worn or that wore out really quickly? What materials were uncomfortable? What materials were uncomfortable? What brands did I buy and not wear?’” suggests Cline. Notice, too, what you kept—what brands, colors, and materials do you truly love? “Reflect on how you’ve been buying clothes and figure out ways to shop smarter moving forward.”
RENT OR BORROW. “I always ask whether my need has to be solved by buying something,” says sustainable-fashion expert Jessica Marati Padparvar, founder of the social-impact consulting firm Reconsidered. “You can shop a friend’s closet for a wedding, or have a stylish friend help you style pieces in your wardrobe in different and creative ways.” Services like Rent the Runway keep clothes in use as long as possible, “allowing clothes to be given a second, third, fourth life, she says.
PASS IT ALONG. The resale market can extend the life of your clothes once you’re done with them, and you could make a little money out of it. Sites like ThredUp and, for luxury items, The RealReal will send you a bag or label to mail in your clothes and then give you cash or credit for accepted items (they recycle the rest). If you’re getting rid of something out of style or in poor condition, consider textile recycling—some farmers’ markets have drop-off sites, and retailers like H&M accept old items. These clothes typically get sold into the second-hand industry: Companies generally export wearable items overseas, and worn-out goods are shredded for insulation or rags, says Cline. It’s considered downcycling because the value is diminished, but it’s preferable to sending textiles to landfills.
CLEAN and REPAIR. “Remove stains, sew that loose button back on—do your part to keep clothes in good condition and pass them on in good condition,” says Cline. When you ensure an items will be worn longer, you minimize its impact on the environment.
(Real Simple, September 2019)
Invest a month’s paycheck without feeling it….. Many people are paid over 26 pay periods. That means, twice a year, you could receive three paychecks a month instead of the typical two. Mark these extra paychecks on your calendar and arrange to put them in an investment, retirement or high-interest savings account.
Budget with a gift card…..If you have a splurge-type item in your budget (like eating lunch out) and find yourself overspending, buy a gift card at the beginning of the month for the allotted amount. Once the gift card is spent, you’re cut off from shelling out any more.
Ditch Auto Insurance Fees…..Call your insurance agent and ask if you’re being charged a fee for paying your bill monthly. If so, you can save on insurance costs by opting to pay for six months or one year at a time (if you can afford to do so)—whatever is necessary to stop paying the monthly fee.
Declare No-Spend Days…..Whether for a month, a week, or just a few days, it’s beneficial to reset and find a way to recommit to your savings goals. Some people have saved more than $3,000 a month with this trick.
Get a Tax Credit on some Home Improvements…..Researching state and federal tax credits or rebates when you’re remodeling can be really valuable. Check out dsireusa.org for a list of possible savings.
(Real Simple, September 2019)
PERFECT FALL DAY IN OCTOBER 2019!
Is a 55+ senior living community right for You?
The concept of 55+ senior living community is simple: people 55 or older live in a planned community with a variety of amenities that cater to the senior resident. These residents usually live an active and healthy lifestyle so the amenities are geared toward that.
What defines an active adult community?
Active adult communities aren’t much different than any other residential community, aside from their age requirements, but most are designed with a retirement-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle in mind
The pros of choosing an active adult community
When looking at the many different senior living options that are out there, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of your various choices. And while the advantages and disadvantages of any decision are in the eye of the beholder, for active adult communities, here are a few key points you may want to consider…
- Low- or no-maintenance exteriors: This is possibly the top selling point for people who choose an active adult community. After years of mowing, snow-blowing, raking, and painting, ditching exterior maintenance is very appealing! Many residents are downsizing from the home they raised their family in, and the smaller interior square-footage to keep clean is attractive as well.
- Opportunities to make friends with other retirees: When you move someplace new, there’s something to be said for having a conveniently located group of potential friends. In active adult communities, residents are all pretty much in the same place in life, having worked hard for many years, raised a family, and now looking to enjoy a relaxed retirement, so it is easy to find people with whom you have much in common and wonderful friendships can result.
- A quiet, mostly kid-free environment: While adult children and grandchildren are of course welcome to visit, the 55+ age requirement for residents means that active adult communities are usually nice, quiet places to live. Younger visitors are usually encouraged to be considerate of this expectation.
- Amenities: An active adult community will provide you with many opportunities to get exercise, socialize, and stay spry into your retirement years. In addition to the aforementioned amenities like pools and fitness centers, these communities’ residents will often organize social events, affinity clubs, volunteer groups, and other ways to stay active and involved.
As the Baby Boomers reach retirement age, active adult communities are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. These new retirees don’t see themselves as “old folks,” so the idea of a senior living community that offers—even facilitates—an active lifestyle is appealing to them. Ditching exterior home maintenance chores frees residents of active adult communities to enjoy their retirement years and do more of the things they love.
In the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving next week. That usually means overindulging in food, football, and family. It’s also a time to increase our gratitude for the many blessings we have.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” -Cicero
Gratitude helps us:
- Reduce depression
- Get promotions at work
- Improve our self esteem
- Increase our energy
- Develop a strong immune system
- Decrease blood pressure
- Increase sleep quality
- Reduce and cope with negative stress
- Eat healthier
- Have deeper friendships
- Increase productivity
- Improve job performance
- Become more likable
- Reach goals faster
- Increase feelings of happiness and wellbeing
- Reduce negative emotions such as envy, hatred, and anger
- Increase positive emotions such as love and empathy
While we are all getting excited about the upcoming year ahead, it’s important to think about gratitude.
Gratitude is one of the most important elements for success. It’s the key to experiencing life at its best.
Many will tell you that hard work and dedication produce success. However, being grateful for your blessings in life is arguably what opens the door to a life of success and prosperity.
Gratitude is a powerful practice that can revolutionize your life forever! Here’s why:
The Importance Of Gratitude
1. Gratitude flows from a heart of “thanksgiving.”
Thanksgiving is not just a date on the calendar. Thanksgiving is a daily discipline that we should all develop in our lives.
Years ago, I made a conscious decision to write down three to five things that I am grateful for every single night. I have done this for almost twenty years, and it changed my life.
I found myself being thankful for the beautiful trees and moments of silence—for adversity and even painful experiences.
This exercise in gratitude empowered me to be thankful in all circumstances. It shifted my outlook about life and opened me up to a level of living that I did not even know was possible.
2. Gratitude shifts the narrative of your life.
So many people in the world today are battling through toxic thoughts and negative words. These thoughts and words create negative cycles in your lifes.
Being grateful changes the sequencing of words and the processing of your thoughts. It seasons your words and focuses your thoughts creating new possibilities for your life.
Your story changes, and therefore, the seasons of your life change. You are able to have the right perspective and understand the value that each cycle of life brings. You go from a life of complaining to a life of compassion and appreciation. Changing your story empowers you to create success in every area of your life.
3. Gratitude changes us for the better.
Humanity is in a constant state of evolution. We are all on a journey to become the highest expression of ourselves.
As a soul coach, I know that becoming your best self begins with cultivating a lifestyle of gratitude.
The moment I made gratitude a daily practice in my life, I noticed remarkable changes. I noticed that my heart was more open, and I found myself being more compassionate in life. I was unshaken when things did not go according to plan. Most of all, I was able to process my experiences differently and find the good in everything.
Gratitude is an advanced practice, but it yields abundant possibilities. The more grateful you are, the more authentic you become. Gratitude will change you into a peaceful, conscious, and sacrificial person. You will be able to be present, and you will be able to live in the flow of life.
4. Gratitude produces a more meaningful life.
When it comes to life meaning, nothing compares to living a life of gratitude. When you are truly grateful, you find yourself living with greater purpose and passion.
Being grateful will give you meaning because it allows you to capture the full essence of every moment. It takes the burden out of life while adding a dimension of beauty, and it allows you to find contentment even in moments of crisis.
Too Much Chocolate Cake
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
- 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2019 Allrecipes.com
Printed From Allrecipes.com 11/7/2019
Bailey Park is more than a place to live. It’s an exciting community that invites you to try new things, connect with others, and experience real community. Because it’s more than just having fun in the moment – at Bailey Park you have the chance to find deeper happiness in your life, today and every day!
Give us a call at 570-925-2077 to schedule a first-hand tour of Bailey Park!
Staying “Hip” after 55: The Ultimate Guide to Avoid the Mid-Life Crisis
by Rafael Henriquez for After55.com
April 4, 2018
So you reached the point where you’re after 55 and maybe getting the itch to define yourself all over again. But before you go buying the new Audi S5 (fire-engine red, of course) or finally take that Eat-Pray-Love sabbatical, know that you’re in good company. Check out these names who are turning 55 in 2018: Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Moore, Paula Abdul, and James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of the heavy metal band Metallica just to name a few. Those guys are cool!
By now you’re well aware of your body’s betrayal. Yet you can turn it around. Listen to your doctor, eat healthier, but most importantly, get moving and stay moving. You don’t have to kill yourself with side bends or sit-ups. Go dancing, take a swim class, golf, do yoga or go on a gentle hike at the park. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get your heart and blood pumping. You only need 30 minutes a day, the same amount of time it takes to find the remote control.
Give Yourself a Makeover
What’s fun about today’s fashion is that it’s not really new. Fads are always coming and going and repeating. Was there a style you wanted to try when you were younger but didn’t feel sophisticated enough? Men, it’s a perfect time for a swanky hat like a Po’ Boy cap or a Panama Fedora. And ladies, bigger is better: big scarves; long, flowing open sweaters; 3-piece layers. And be bold; accentuate earth tones with bright accessories. By changing your paradigm alone, you’d be surprised just how “not old” you’ll feel.
No, I’m not talking about with each other … although, if you’re looking to rekindle that flame or starting anew, go for it! Love is ageless. What I mean here, though, is flirt with your dreams and your desires. Do you have goals you never found time to get accomplished? Is there a hobby you wanted to do but were too nervous to try? It’s never too late. Be fearless again. Having something to work towards and look forward to every morning that brings you joy and fills your heart will keep you feeling young.
Get a “Second” Job
Much like those hobbies you never got around to doing, this is the time to spread your wings, especially if you’re retired. Now is the time to write that great American novel, sell those nature photos, get the band back together and book gigs, or dust off your point shoes and teach a dance class. Everyone is good at something; we all have our talents. Turn your passions into a career. You’ll want the extra pocket change for some of the tips below.
Go Get Lost
Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither. (Tolkien). If you have the means, pull out a map and randomly pick a retirement travel destination to visit within the next 6 months just because. If you’re on a tighter budget, ask yourself: How well do you know the city or town that you live in? There are always hidden gems where you live: new eateries popping up, traveling shows stopping through, or historical sites you may have driven past but never stopped to learn about. Look up your town’s department of tourism, or go on a real-world treasure hunt by geocaching in your very own community.
Peter Pan was able to fly by thinking happy thoughts. He was also a grown man in a young boy’s body. That’s because he stayed away from those who constantly complained about how old they were getting or just had negative energy in general. Never think you’re too old for anything that brings you happiness. If you want to eat cereal for breakfast, do it! If you want to have a house party with music and dancing friends, go for it! Don’t act your age, act your essence.
Do What You Want
Remember when you didn’t have a care in the world? It’s OK to live like that again. Like the 62-years-young Dee Snider or Twisted Sister once said, “I wanna rock!” Don’t feel ashamed to splurge on yourself a little or eat the big piece of 7-layer chocolate cake. Want to remake yourself but don’t know how? Go ahead and do something that shocks or even scares you like getting a Mohawk (my grandmother once accidentally dyed her hair purple … the first time; the second time was to touch up her roots) or buy a round of drinks at a watering hole you’ve never been to. Have fun by simply being spontaneous and extravagant. Even if you only do it once, consider it practice for your retirement bucket list. Rock on!
Ditch the Planner
This goes along with being spontaneous and doing what you want. Sometimes we get so caught up in a routine that we often give ourselves anxiety if we don’t stay on schedule. So what? You spent your whole life making plans; now plan not to. It’s perfectly acceptable to give yourself a break and veer off the beaten path. Take a nap on a Tuesday right before dinner, or even right after you first wake up. Miss a day at the gym if you want. Put on your favorite music, take a walk, and see where you end up instead. There’s a thrill in being disobedient, even if you’re disobeying yourself.
Embrace Your Age
Look around you. Chances are you are in the “sandwich years” where you have children – who, although they are going out into the world, still need your help – along with aging parents who may need you more than your children. Pay attention to how the youth live every day as an adventure and how the older generation takes it easy. Be excited that you have some wisdom but still have years to live freely. Accept who you are and who you can still become. So what if you don’t have a six-pack or are balding, gentlemen. Wear it as a badge; dad bods and a sleek skull are in. And, women, girls’ night out is 18 and up, not 18 and until, so go live it up and take too many selfies! “Old” is a word used for comparison, not a state of being.
When my wife, Ann, 71, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, we charted a course about how we were going to handle things.
Holding hands, we stared at the computer, and it was through AARP’s website that I found a wealth of resources like the local Area Agency on Aging.
I had to learn to use the washing machine and apply her makeup. I help her get dressed.
We resolved that Alzheimer’s was not going to steal our joy. It really tried, and almost beat me several times. One thing that helps is keeping Ann as social as possible. I take her to a local restaurant where she has breakfast with her women’s club.
People still want to participate in activities and know they are valued as human beings.
If I’m playing piano for her, which I do every day, the look on her face is just absolutely amazing.
(written by Bruce Williams for AARP Bulletin, July/August 2019)
‘Just a few hours does wonders’
I was a caregiver for eight years before I discovered respite care. Even before my husband, Matt, received a dementia diagnosis in 2011, he was becoming forgetful and needed my assistance.
I didn’t know how our relationship would eventually change. We couldn’t banter anymore, and he was forgetting the names of family and friends. Because change makes him anxious, we stay home more. It’s been isolating.
I learned about respite care from an AARP staffer. The first day I dropped Matt off for four hours at Bethany Village, an adult care facility with a respite program called Day Club. I was so relieved. I went and got a massage with a gift certificate I’d been given. I’d never had time to do that before.
I know Matt is safe at Day Club, because the people there are so incredibly competent and caring. He sits with a bunch of men, fellow veterans in their military caps. They have lunch, socialize.
When Matt is there, I can run errands, come home or have lunch with a friend. It’s wonderful to have four hours to myself to do what I wish, even if it’s mundane things on my own.
Just a few hours does wonders in restoring my energy and perspective. No one likes to ask for help, but getting respite time is critical to surviving as a caregiver.
(written by Joy Perry for AARP Bulletin, July/August 2019)
Did you know that AARP is working to help making countless towns a better place to grow older? Yep, Look around. AARP’s Livable Communities program is sprucing up America. By 2035, the 65-plus population in the USA will outnumber those under age 18—and AARP is working to help everyone adapt.
Already more than 370 communities nationwide and four states have become members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States & Communities.
Members consider every facet of life for older residents—transportation, access to technology, business and tax incentives, appropriate housing (a big issue), access to health care, living costs & hiring practices. The process is as individual as the needs of each community.
AARP also has funded more than $2 million worth of Community Challenge grants. Within two years, these quick-action grants went to 217 communities.
The results: artistic bike racks in Annapolis, MD, an outdoor storytelling space on Blackfeet Nation tribal land in Montana, and an intergenerational community garden in the Florida Keys.
If it makes life easier, AARP walks the walk—complete with nicer sidewalks.