Category Archives: Uncategorized

Me Want Cookie.

As Cookie Monster would say…”me want cookie”…and the LA Cookie Con is about to deliver, big-time.  As someone who has eternally been in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, I can’t wait to see what is in store.  My friend and baker supreme invited me to join her this year and I’m beyond excited.

Taking place at the LA Convention Center, Saturday headliner is Ron Ben-Israel,  star of Food Network’s “Sweet Genius” and known as the “King of Cakes” for his cake-decorating acumen.

On Sunday, the show’s headliner is Rosanna Pansino,  of “Nerdy Nummies” (YouTube), a popular baking show.

But whether you are an amateur (me), or a superbaker (my companion), this is a fun event and not to be missed.  Tickets are sold out for Saturday, with some VIP tickets still available, and afternoon tickets on Sunday.

http://www.lacookiecon.com/

Keeping a Psychotherapist in your Back Pocket

Wouldn’t you love to have an on-call psychotherapist…someone who when you are having a stuck moment in your day can give you a 30-second reset?  Well that is what Catherine Aumen’s book, “Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth” is all about.  

Nationally recognized mental health expert, Auman, has collected her observations and tips over the years and collated them into a handy dandy guide for those of us look longingly at the self-help aisle in the bookstores and online.

What this is not?  A deep foray into your psyche.  What it is?  A delightful collection of her observations and thoughts from a psychotherapist perspective.  Who wouldn’t love to understand their and everyone else’s subtext?  We all need a boost and these small boosts pack a wallop.  If you are like me, you’ll flip through and land on the one that catches your eye.  When it does, it is guaranteed to resonate.

Her short essays are great for our fast-paced lives.  Feeling down in the dumps about your existing relationship?  Bored of each other in bed after too many years?   Flip to “The Quickest Route to Tantric Sex” for a 1 minute primer on perking up your love life.

Don’t have a therapist, but could benefit from some stress-busting time?  In her page and half essay “There’s an App for That” Aumen delivers a handful of apps that can head you on the right direction for your day/week/year.

Fun, fast, fits in your pocket (or on your Kindle or e-reader) and will boost your spirit as often as it needs a lift.

Head to her website for more info or to see her other publications.  http://catherineauman.com/catherine-auman-books-and-cds/

Hiatus

Hi all…as you’ve noticed, I’ve gone “walkabout”.  Yes, I’m on a writing hiatus.

My business commitments are heavy (entrepreneur, growing service business) and my focus is on my business at the moment rather than blogging. I still consult on social media, however my main focus is on my daily business.

As for writing,  I’m  waiting to see what the latest and greatest new iteration of online communication holds.  I have my own ideas of what I want to generate, but I’m not ready to launch yet. You’ll still find me on Facebook and Twitter from time to time, although I have to admit to FB fatigue at the moment.

I’ll be back online writing away in whatever the new format will be and I’ll let  you know via this blog as well.  Feel free to leave comments with issues you’d like me to look at down the road.  The Gen Plus blog will stay posted and active.  The thousands of articles from over the years are filled with some great goodies and strategies for challenging job seeking issues.

Thanks for being a great readership.  It’s been a pleasure getting to virtually know so many of you over the years.  Ciao for now!

“Mom, what do you want for Mother’s Day?”

Every year a week or so before Mother’s Day my daughter asks me what I’d like for my special day. Usually I tell her that every day is Mother’s Day. That I’d like a beautiful card & maybe breakfast in bed.

This year my kidlet headed me off at the pass. “Mom, don’t tell me that my love for you its good enough. I want to buy you a GIFT!”

So, now  just days before Mother’s Day, I have to think of what my daughter can get me that won’t break her little bank.  I’ve received tons of press releases with suggestions/promos but none personally float my boat (I’ll post them later).

I’m taking her to La Boheme the following week, so I thought about suggesting she treat for our lunch. Or perhaps a joint mani-pedi, but I think I may want to go back to our earlier years & ask her to make me a coffee mug. The one she made me 4 years ago is a bit cracked & definitely worse for the wear, but I’ve enjoyed every sip of coffee I’ve ever taken from that mug.

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Rites of Passage — Bra On, Bra Off

I’m going to tell you about Good Night Gilda, a lingerie line designed by Whitney Galitz, that caught my attention.  But first I want to share with you what looking at the styles evoked in my memory circuits.  When I was a young woman, my girlfriends and I went through the rite of passage known as “shopping for your first bra.”  Men have spent decades trying to figure out best ways to get them off us, but we spend hours looking for the ones we want to put on.  I was a bit of a late bloomer in relation to my friends.  I had skipped an early grade and with my summer birthdate I was almost 2 years younger than most of  my classmates.  It made me last to the finish line, last to get chosen for sports, and even being one of the brightest kids in class did little to convince my breasts to show themselves.  By the time I was in a training bra (end of Grade 6), most of my friends were in those beautiful white brassieres that I could barely glimpse through their white school outfit blouses, but every boy in class knew in a millisecond when someone came to class with thin straps showing.  Our initiation into womanhood was having boys running behind you all day long, pulling your bra closure and snapping it back – hard — while shouting out “Robin Hood”! 

Never you mind.   As girls we had our own rite of passage.  It was all about getting fitted for our first (or second…or third) bra.  In my case, it was a trip with my best friend to Ogilvy’s department store in downtown Montreal.  At 11 I had already been walking to school and taking short local bus trips on my own, or with friends since about 8 or 9…it was the norm in my safe neighborhood…but being given permission to go downtown, with my friend, by OURSELVES? Well, that was the be all and end all of transitioning to a tween. 

I’ll never forget that particular day.  Since I was in a training bra, the fitting was for my friend.  I remember being all aflutter taking the Metro (subway) downtown and going through the underground til we exited just feet away from Ogilvy’s.  Ogilvy’s was (and still is) one of the finest department stores with savvy (snobby) sales women peppered all through the store, bagpipers serenading shoppers over the lunch hour, and their famed and now iconic Christmas windows.  The lingerie section was magnificent.  The smell of silk and cotton, perfume and powdered noses was almost overpowering.  My friend was whisked away into the private curtained area that was reserved for modest chest measuring, while I just ran my fingers over the forest of undergarments (frankly, I was terrified.)  But within the half-hour, out came my beaming friend, boxed bra ready for payment. 

What brought about this overwhelming nostalgia?  Last week I was send  a release about a new woman-designed lingerie line.  So, of course, it caught my eye when I saw the beautiful vintage inspired collection.  The products are manufactured in Los Angeles, CA  (yay), and high end in style and price points ($148-$392), but a lovely collection it appears to be.  I’ve not seen the products or felt them, so I’m going on what I’ve gathered online, but I do like Galitz’ inspiration for Good Night Gilda:

“I’ve always been drawn to classic lines and silhouettes. As a girl I grew up watching Hollywood icons such as Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, and Vivien Leigh. These women, the power, grace and sex appeal they projected had a profound affect on me. I later started my costume career in theater and film because of my love for old Hollywood, and now pass the influence of it on to the line.
Good Night Gilda is actually named for my affection wih Gilda the movie. Rita Hayworth was truly a force to be reckoned with in that film and possessed a prowess that I idolized as a girl. I want to recognize female empowerment and grace and beauty in my lingerie just like she did in her films.”
A woman-owned business, good-looking product, made in the USA, can handle our boomer appendages.  I’ve already become a Facebook fan and look for this line to take off.

Holiday guests coming to LA? Look no further than a Melting Pot Tour to keep them coming back for more

Whoooeeee.  Did I have a blast a couple of weeks ago, joining a group of LA tourists on a walking tour of the famous Farmers’ Market and 3rd street.  Walking?  In LA?  Yup.  Dynamic sister duo of Lisa and Diane Scalia started their food/walking tour outfit, Melting Pot Tours, because they saw a need for strongly themes guided walking tours in Los Angeles.  They focused on two fantastic areas — Old Town Pasadena, and Farmers’ Market, both areas with some great food, deep history, and architecture and shops for the visual palate, too.  They keep group sizes small so that you enjoy a truly intimate experience.  Our group was about 10 people and much larger than that would have been a bit unwieldy. Diane made sure to take the time to walk with different tourists along the way to get to know us all a bit better and pointed out tidbits of info that pinpointed each of our interests.

I don’t want to give away their “set list”, but I will tell you that they started us off with history of the market itself, followed by coffee and donuts at the Farmers Market and kept us going through to chicken salad at Joan’s (including meeting and chatting with chef/owner Joan McNamara) and ending up with sushi on 3rd street!  All the shop owners, chefs, and owners were truly pleased to see us, they knew our tour guide  (Diane Scalia) very well, and she went out of her way to share the colorful history of each of the businesses in the market and along our walk. 

Because of the number of places that we stopped to taste at along our tour, portions were fairly small, but I’m telling you that I was stuffed half way through the tour (and I NEVER have trouble eating!)  But the best part of the feast was learning history behind each restaurant, feeling like VIPs at each stop, and enjoying a really good stroll with an amiable tour guide.

Whenever I travel abroad, I make walking tours part of the visits because the history of the city, from the vantage point of the street, brings you right into the culture.  Los Angeles, which truly is a driving city, generally has some pretty limited walking tour offerings.  Melting Pot Tours saw the promise of offering walking tours in LA, and in a sense, has brought some of European style travel culture to LA.  Enjoy the photo album below and if you have guests heading to LA for the holidays, or just want to do something really fun and really different in this car-centric city, get yourself booked into a tour.  Don’t wait for the last minute, especially if you have a set time you prefer.  Tours sell out, particularly in heavy tourist seasons. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ve given you another 29,000 words, and likely 3,000 calories, to savor in the pics I took along our tour (kind of a virtual walking tour for you!)  Just click on the pic or on the album title (Melting Pot Tours) and you’ll feel a little like you had a slice of doughnut, chicken salad, sushi, and brazillian meat right along with us!

Melting Pot Tours

A walking tour of the Farmers' Market

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The new “man” in my life

He’s dark and lean, speaks to me in a deep, dangerous voice and dares me to adventure where I’ve never dared before. He’s Droid X and he’s the new love in my life. I shouted out my love on my personal Facebook page and now I must shout it out to the Gen Plus world. If you are into the “smartphone” technology, or even if you are a cell phone user, by now, you’ve heard something about the new Droid X. Seriously, I have no clue how it works, but it is a piece of genius and gives you a glimpse into what the future holds in handhelds.

What is being hailed as fantastic are the video capabilities (yes, great), the larger screen, the HD camera (really good), the ability to upload to your television set, plus a lot of the features that the iPhone boasts — touch technology that is really, really good and makes you feel like YOU are the reporter on CNN playing with the interactive flat panel.

But there a couple of features that I’m insane over. You can have an app for just about anything and more are being created by the minute — which means that any glitches will have a fix-it app in about a heartbeat. (There is a big challenge with searching and sorting email other than GMail, and I’m not too keen on the apps out there yet, but there will be a better one soon, I’m positive.)

And there is a feature called “Swype”, where you drag your finger from letter to letter to type your text or email rather than finger-type it. It’s extremely cool once you get the hang of it and it is pretty fast.

There are SEVEN home screens so you can order your life just the way you like it. It can almost function like a laptop on the road and certainly, for someone like me, who is away from the desk most of the day, yet needs to stay connected to my team in the field and clients trying to reach me, this is the perfect smartphone.

Short of creating long documents or complicated spreadsheets, I can do pretty much anything else with this sleek machine. Now if only he could dance.

Here’s a CNET preview pre-release:

Life Coaching — why all the fuss?

I used to turn up my nose at the concept of life coaching.  After all, in my mid-40’s I had it all together — successful career, happy home life, a future I could envision.  I’d been through couples therapy (during the end of my marriage), individual therapy, survived traumatic events in my life, enjoyed a fairly happy existence.  In my late 40’s, I went through the “change” (as we all do — men and women), and found myself re-engineering my future.  So I decided to try life coaching vs. therapy, to see what I’d find out about myself and my unknown (LOL) issues.

And…wow.  It has been an eye-opening, astoundingly positive experience.  Unlike therapy, where you dig into yourself, your past, interrelationship communications, family history and patterns, etc, etc, in life coaching you explore issues from the perspective of what you can control, vs. what you cannot control…and then act upon, move forward with, what you CAN control, in the most positive of ways.  For a Boomer, used to controlling my destiny, it is a powerful, fun and enlightening experience — even thorny issues end up revealing the positive directions I can take.  Every coaching session has left me with a result that helps me take another step forward (and some of them have been huge steps!)

So when a life change is on the horizon, or when you want a life change to show up on the horizon, there are two great paths to take — you can find a wonderful life coach and reinvent your direction; or you can BECOME a life coach (you go through a coaching experience along the way) and recareer.  The training school that MY life coach attended is Erickson College and Guido Furlani, Regional Program Organizer for Erickson College, in Vancouver BC and Los Angeles, has passed along the info for their upcoming Los Angeles training program.  Titled “The Art & Science of Coaching “, this intensive training takes place in 4 modules (April 8 through May 23) , all held at the beautiful Marina del Rey hotel in Los Angeles.

The program builds a foundation for mastery in coaching and assists people and teams to connect with, live and work from a place of deep alignment and motivation.

 

Completion of the program also gives you the minimum certification requirement to be a member of the International Coach Federation.  For more info on Erickson, www.erickson.edu, and for this particular series of sessions, contact GUIDO FURLANI, Regional Program Organizer at (323) 282.7887 or gfurlani@erickson.edu