Voice Over And Narration Services By Matuschka Lindo
 
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by Matuschka Lindo

The parties, the office goodies, the girls happy hours... come on it's the Holidays. I mean, you only live once. We deserve to have a good time and let our hair down. What's a few drinks? It's Christmas time... we are celebrating! The odds are against us anyway, statistics show during the holidays we are going to gain a few pounds right? So, we can take it off in January no worries! 
STOP!  STOP! STOP! I don't know about you? But this is the crap I have been telling myself for years. I give myself permission to overindulge. I actually encourage myself to do it and my friends! We all back each other up in this pursuit of holiday binging. I'm tired of doing this. It's NEVER worth it and nothing ever tastes as good as fitting into my clothes. Let's stop saying this crap to ourselves. We are 40 something and over. Ohhhh we pack it on during the holidays and it won't come off overnight no matter how much you wish it away. And I don't know about all of you... but I am getting shorter as I get older dammit and at midlife it's like pulling teeth to get even five pounds off. So let's look at this with a True Midlife New Lifestyle Mentality!

First, let's start with the mind games. We don't deserve to eat or drink whatever. Our bodies are breaking down and it can no longer handle the quick fix of January weight loss. It's time for tough love. Don't wait to diet or start eating healthy. Do it NOW! That way when you do fall of your regiment and have that cookie, extra serving, or great cocktail, you will not be adding to an already caloric day. This way you can maintain over the holidays instead of doing damage and EAT EXTRA CLEAN come January. Sugaring down after weeks of eating bad is a painful detox for the midlife body. I recommend picking your poison. If I am going to a holiday party I plan what my body is craving and what my cheat will be. For the record it's usually alcohol for me! (sad but true) Pie vs. Manhattan = Manhattan, Bread vs. Cabernet = Cab, Baked Macaroni & Cheese vs. Dirty Martini = Goose wins! But those are my choices. You need to make yours. The key is to choose and not do it all. You can't do the glass of wine, the mac & cheese and the pie. Not even for one night. It takes days to work that off and hit ground zero at midlife. If you choose alcohol like me then know your alcoholic calories. Yes, that alcoholic calorie counter can be depressing, but knowledge of food and drink is key at our age!

The really hard thing to throw into this holiday weight discipline mode is exercise. With work, taking care of household logistics, shopping, and entertaining... seriously who has time to work out. A friend of mine told me about Barre3 (Thank you Kristi). I don't have time to go to a gym right now, I am slammed. But if I can do a 10 minute workout using an app or my computer and it can help keep me toned and fit... count me in! They also have 30 minute and 50 minute work outs. All I am saying is put your mind in a positive place. You are worth more than any cookie, carb, or drink. When you tell yourself you are worth it and that you have the will power to walk away, you will start to believe it. If you are like me... you told yourself all that junk in the first paragraph for years. Therefore it will take time, be kind to yourself when you slip up. Midlife is a time to take care of yourself. Treat yourself the way you treat others. Enjoy your holidays and leave every event full of confidence instead of food! I'm struggling right there with you don't worry, we can do this!

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...

 
 
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by Matuschka Lindo

I am in such a good mood this time of year. For the most part Christmas makes me happy, excited and so thankful for my family and friends. For the most part... Then every year there are some jack asses out there that just make me want to scream. Why? Why am I even surprised at the rudeness and inconsiderate actions of others is beyond me. Seriously, nothing surprises me anymore. I think I just tend to let down my guard at Christmas time. Is it just me? Or are these some of your top 10 Christmas Pet Peeves!
Let me do the honors and vent them for us.

1. When there is a jammed packed full parking lot and the person walks to their car and gets in, knowing there are people waiting for that spot. And they know because you were stalking them for the spot. Then get into the vehicle and your blinker is on and ready. Then after they start the car, they deicide to also light a cigarette, check their phone and do whatever the hell else they need to do before pulling out. Let me  be clear here on what I am thinking when someone does this... I am wishing I had a battering ram on the front of my car.

2. The busiest shopping time of the year is not the time to have your supper at the fricking deli counter. Nor is it a time to see if your toddler wants to weigh in on what type of meat you should get by getting a sample for yourself then offering every sample to your toddler and asking them what they think as 5-7 people are waiting with numbers in their hand. Know that if you choke on a bite we will be thinking it serves you right.

3. At the post office don't pull a number if your packages aren't wrapped, addressed and ready. When you pull a number it means you are ready. Not almost ready. It's not a hold your place in line until I get my package ready number. That is not how it works. Give your ticket away and get another until you are ready, or better yet don't pull a damn ticket until you are ready.

4. When a store is about to close and you see they have locked the doors. Get your shit and get ready to check out. That's not the time to head to the dressing room or ask for gift wrapping. NO Closed means they are done working and that includes waiting on another customer. It doesn't mean walk around and mess up a few more items. That includes unfolding a sweater, or moving a hanger that has already been methodically spaced for closing. It means pack up, walk out, and start again tomorrow.

5. One of my biggest pet peeves here! It's not the time to be politically correct.(Not sure there is ever a time to not just say it like it is) It's Christmas. If you celebrate another holiday fine, I respect that, but it doesn't mean I have to water mine down. I'm not a Happy Holidays person. What does that mean anyway? Is that a trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years in one? Am I abbreviating to get them all covered in one word. When it's Thanksgiving I say Happy Thanksgiving not Happy Holidays. When it's Fourth of July I say Happy Fourth of July. Would you not look at me like I was a moron October 31st if I said Trick or Treat Happy Holidays. Ya it sounds stupid because it is! It's called Happy Halloween right? No math or science involved here we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, It's his birthday and the name of the party is Christmas. So, It's Merry Christmas because that is what it is in December. That means it's Christmas not some random holiday. You can call it whatever you are celebrating doesn't change my party. Enough with that crap.

6. I have to go back to the parking lot. A parking lot is just a haven for war during the holidays. Okay, let's be honest... you know who got there first when someone is puling out. Don't give me that dumb look like, "Oh wait where you here first?" You know I was there before you so don't even play dumb. Because I won't hesitate to call you out on it and embarrass you out loud. I will wait for you to get out of the car to correct the injustice. As I have noticed a plethora of people doing just that. You deserve to be reprimanded publicly if you steal a parking spot. Seriously grow up! 

7. Respect the elderly. That means in heavy traffic, be forgiving don't lay on your horn. In parking lots give them your space. Be patient when they are checking out. Think of how stressful it is to be out in malls and grocery stores this time of year. Add some age and fragility to that and step back and know that what goes around comes around. If anything offer to help, if they look lost take them to where they need to be. It's really easy this time of year, it's called kindness people. It can go a long way.

The last three are more annoying than rude. But still pet peeves for me! 

8. I know I am going to make some people mad here and I am so sorry. Really I don't want to be knocked off your Christmas list, but I do profess to be honest in my blogs. Ahhh you know those Christmas cards... those Christmas cards that you open and they have that long letter in there. That long letter about everything your family did through out the year... Ugh I think those should only go to family or out of town friends. They are kinda painful. I'm sorry. I will probably regret this when I am older and dying to hear about everyones family. Felling bad now...  I won't say anymore about it. Don't be mad. Maybe shorten to like 2 sentences.

9. I too leave my Christmas ornaments up way past Christmas as we celebrate the Epiphany on January 6th. But when I drive by your house in February and you still have your Christmas lights up and on...  this Griswold Family is just unacceptable. 

10. My final irritant is blow up Christmas decorations. I will say one is passable. I get one santa or one snowman scene. I just don't get throwing 20 of them onto your front lawn, How is that supposed to be more festive and bring on that holiday spirit. More lights I get more inflatables ahhh no. I mean if you did a poll, I know people drive around to look at all the lights on homes. There is something great about listening to Christmas music in your car and driving through neighborhoods to see all the lights. I will not believe you if you tell me the house with all the inflatables gives you that same feeling. It might.... I just won't believe you.

I feel much better now getting that off my chest. Again, the last three are my own problem not really a vent. My true request is this: Just try to be considerate during the Christmas season. We are all in a hurry and we all have long to do lists. When you are kind it's amazing what the parking gods will do. Try it!

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above images from www.thecluttershop.com

 
 
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by Matuschka Lindo

I am asking this question to myself more than to anyone else. I am falling into what I believe is a sad state of mind. That unmotivated feeling of not wanting to dress up when I go out. I'm asking myself... am I tired, do I not fit into anything fun, am I getting lazy, or am I just so selfish and wrapped up into how I feel that I am not even thinking about the event I am going too? Hmmm truthfully I think it might be a little of all of the above. I really notice it during the Holidays. I am so blessed to be invited to parties, events and to attend shows. What is my number one thought right before I go. "Do I have to wear a dress? Do I have to dress up? To reinforce my selfish behavior I also call a friend. "Hey, are you dressing up for this or wearing jeans?" How I went from a dress to jeans in less than five minutes is beyond me? But if I were to be honest that is really how it goes. I mean... I do like dressing up. And I don't think twice about it if it's a formal invitation. But when it's my choice like going to a restaurant, a house party, sadly even church. I fear, I think of how I feel and what mood I am in, instead of respecting the people or place I am attending. Is it wrong? I don't know is my answer. Here are some easy Holiday ideas that make dressing up simple. Key item the little black dress.

In general, society has become more casual. For me personally, I think I have gotten comfortable in my own skin. Making it okay with me to throw on a cute t-shirt and jeans and go out to eat. There is something nice about being midlife and finally saying, "Hey this is who I am and I'm good with it and to hell with you if you are not." Don't get me wrong. I don't schlep around looking like a mess. I still have on make-up, do my hair and wear my jewelry. I'm just not sporting the heels, or the dress, or suit. But I think there is a fine line. Every time I watch a show like Downton Abbey I thank the Lord above we don't have to dress up like that anymore 24/7. It's exhausting to even watch them getting dressed or re-dressing just for dinner. But when I watch that show I see some elegance that we are missing today. I say we and I truly mean me included. In many ways we have lost a respect for the person hosting us. Whether it be a house party, a wedding, going to a restaurant or going to church. And that my midlife friends, is selfishly sad. Think about it? You've planned a great Christmas Party on a Friday night. You have cleaned, had it catered and you have given it 100% for weeks. How would you feel if you knew all your guests are dreading this party as they get off work on Friday and they are tired. They are thinking, like I would be... Oh can I just go slip on something more casual then head out. I'll feel much better. Are we right to dress how we want here? Or should we be respecting the efforts of the hostess and what she would like to see walking through her doors for her grand Christmas Party? Thoughts? By the way let me clear your head so you can focus on my blog. The final season of Downton Abbey starts January 3, 2016 on PBS. Yes, that's only 25 days from today. Now pay attention to my blog and think about my question!

Are we becoming more selfish and egocentric? I mean sit back and look around the next few days. It's not just parties it's everywhere. Work, meetings, I can't even think about how inappropriate people are dressed for travel. I think there is no going back there. That is just a hot mess. No wonder Lululemon is jammed pack. That is now everyday clothing for ALL sizes. Oye'! I am not writing this blog to judge, because I am just as guilty on many facets here. No, I don't wear work out wear to travel but I have been dressing down in places I really should consider the circumstances, because I am more focused on me and how I feel. I have no answers today. I just wanted to provoke some thought. Personally, I hope I snap out of this phase. It's nice to dress up and and be well put together while out in public. I found a great article that kind of answers the question of Why we don't dress up anymore? It really made me reconsider my behavior. The author ends by saying she believes something has been lost in our world today of how we present ourselves, and that to regain it we must first reclaim a sense of gratitude. You aren't being honest with yourself it it doesn't make you think about it just a little.

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
above image by fancyfrugalfit.com

 
 
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by Matuschka Lindo

WRINKLES, also known as a rhytides, are folds, ridges or creases in the skin. I am sorry but I don't have many of these. Just not one of the major problems for women with color. Don't worry we have plenty of other problems. Wrinkles just aren't one of them. But since I have a slew of readers who complain that I have not written about wrinkles. I say ask and you shall receive! The main reason black skin does not wrinkle as fast is because of what gives us our color Melanin. It protects our skin. The lighter you are the more likely you will wrinkle. Doctors say Melanin also acts as a sunscreen and protects the skin from ultraviolet light. But hey, we have really dry skin does that make you feel better? Probably not because it doesn't make us look older, just ashy. Okay, let's talk wrinkles my Fair Ladies. The main way to figure out how bad you will wrinkle is to look at your family tree. According to studies a lot of it starts with genetics so that's the first part. But yes, habits and behaviors increase the risk of wrinkles. Click HERE to read more about how UV Rays, Smoking, Facial Expressions, Dieting, and the way you Sleep contribute to those lines on your face.

Probably nothing surprising in the article above. Those are all pretty well known causes for wrinkles. My thoughts, the real way to deal with wrinkles is to try to embrace them. I know, I know, easy for me to say... I am trying to be compassionate. Maybe that's not what you want to hear yet. I'll try another route. I mean, you aren't going to get rid of them all together. You can prevent some from coming, and you can try to reduce what you have, that's the bottom line. Pretty doubtful there is a miracle cream that provides "real results". If there were I would not be writing this blog ladies. You can walk into any drugstore and there is nothing but empty promises everywhere to get rid of wrinkles. It really just comes down to taking care of yourself and treating your skin with lots of TLC. I loved this WebMD feature article on 23 ways to reduce wrinkles - starting now!

I will tell you a secret though, black women are not the only ones that do not wrinkle. The culture of eating lots of tofu, soy and rice have many Japanese women sporting beautiful wrinkle free porcelain skin. According to MORE magazine they one up everyone by also living longer than women of other cultures. After reading the article you will realize you don't have to live in Japan to age beautifully and wrinkle free. You just have to do what the article says... steal some of their diet, lifestyle and skin care strategies. In closing, I am of the belief that you don't have to be wrinkle free to be beautiful. Coming from the woman who may not have many wrinkles, let me tell you what I see when I look at some of the amazing women I know that have a few wrinkles. I see beautiful laugh lines when we laugh together. I also see the history of their expressions that I have learned to love. Take them away and I would miss the lines of your distinct life experiences etched in your unique features that make you the beautiful women you are. Before you invest thousands of dollars in getting rid of the wrinkles, maybe look in the mirror one more time and see if you can see the beauty that I see... The beauty that shares lines from many generations of all the women you love in your family. My advice, embrace it and love it! 

Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!

Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...
Above image by BT.com