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of Western NC

Pucker Up Buttercup | Livin’ La Vida Cocoa | Follow Your Heart 50pluslivingWNC.com

February 2021


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Taylor’d with Style Lilly’s Legacy

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By JeanAnn Taylor

illiner Lilly Daché has an intriguing life story beginning with questions about her age and place of birth. It’s been reported that she was born in both France and Poland, in 1893 and in 1904. There are also questions about her marriage— or marriages. Research shows that she was married only once to Jean Després, but there is also an earlier account of marriage to a man who helped her gain American citizenship. Regardless of these details, with only thirteen dollars in her pocket and determination to make a name for herself, Lilly Daché came to America when she was a young woman, maybe as young as sixteen. Lilly was infatuated with hats at an early age, so when she reached America, she looked for employment where she could pursue her interest. She soon found a job selling hats at Macy’s in New York City. She worked there for only a short time because she found it difficult to sell hats to ladies if they were ill-suited to her face or body proportions. She preferred to sell hats that flattered their features. This concept did not bode well with management. So Lilly left Macy’s to work at The Bonnet Shop on Broadway. There, she was able to work diligently. She also lived within her means and was able to save money. Soon, she and a coworker/ friend were able to buy the shop from the shop owner. Lilly’s gregarious and confident personality—along

with her passion for hats—contributed to her success. She later bought the shop from her friend. Lilly Daché shaped the way women in the 1930s and 1940s adorned themselves. Under her influence, hats became the centerpiece of a lady’s wardrobe. During wartime, women didn’t always have fabric or money for new frocks, so hats were used to update their outfits. It was common for a woman to select her hat before her dress. Lilly became known for making a variety of styles. She created snoods—a type of hat that holds hair in a thread or yarn netting, brimmed hats, half-hats, flower-shaped hats, cone-tipped berets, and turbans—which she was particularly known for. She even created visored caps for women who worked in the factories during the War. She designed for Hollywood stars Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, and many others. She created the fruit-laden turbans worn by Carmen Miranda. She draped fabric right on her customer’s head and created turbans to emphasize positive aspects, while downplaying the negative. In the 1940s, she also began designing and creating other accessories, costume jewelry, and her own perfume. ”I made everything with love, affection, and excitement,” she said. She and her husband Després, lived in a nine story building on East 56th Street where she was able to combine her home with her business—including the retail shop, design, and workrooms. The circular fitting room in the retail section was known for its tufted, pink satin walls. She insisted that all customers who came into her shop were to be introduced to her. Soon, everyone wanted to meet this exciting and eccentric lady—and to wear her fashionable hats. Lilly’s vibrant style was also reflected in her personal life. She was known to conduct business meetings in her bathroom while she soaked in a bubble bath or while she sat on her bed wrapped in a leopard-skin blanket. She wore bells on her slippers and jingling bangles on her arms to announce her entrance into a room. “I like beautiful shoes in gay colors, with thick platforms and high heels. I like splashy jewelry that clinks when I walk, and I like my earrings big. I am Lilly Daché, milliner de luxe.” Lilly’s passion for hat-making and her out-going personality led to the success of her career. In the prime of her business, she was producing 30,000 hats each year. She closed her business in 1968 and later died in France in 1989. Her legacy lives on in her quote, “Glamour is what makes a man ask for your phone number, and a woman ask about your dressmaker.” February 2021 | 50+ Living | 3


A Note From the Editor Several years ago someone told me that the way to discover one’s passion was to think about what made you happy as a child—the years before we were told by others what we are to like, what we want to do, and what we should do. When we were young children, we knew what we liked—and what we didn’t. I’ve thought about that conversation quite often through the years—in an effort to find my own passion. While “discovering our passion” may be a contemporary pursuit, knowing who we are and what makes us feel alive is critical to our general happiness and sense of purpose. Some of us are fortunate to have been born with clear goals and aspirations. I have friends who, at a young age, knew they wanted to be a teacher, artist, or join the military. I know others who had mentors who led them—opening doors and making for a smooth ride into their dreams. Then, there are those of us who traveled along many paths to find our own unique purpose in life. As February is generally considered the month of passion, my wish for you is to find what makes you feel vibrant and enthusiastic, to notice what makes you happy and to listen to your heart. Claiming what you love—what you are passionate about—can change your life. Many years ago, I discovered ballroom dancing competitions on TV. I watched in wonder as glamorous women, wearing sparkly, colorful ball gowns, waltzed around the competition floor. At the time, I couldn’t imagine that I might myself wear a beautiful ball gown and enter a dance competition one day. I also never dreamed that I would meet the handsome co-host of the show, dance champion Ron Montez. But I have, and all because I risked failure to find my passion. Dancing gives me joy, it makes me feel like “me.” When you search for, discover, and embrace your passion, you create magic. I’m fortunate to have discovered my passion for dancing. I’ve also embraced sewing, dollmaking, writing, painting, needlework, and crochet. Because of this, my daughter recently convinced me to start an Instagram account to share my many passions. If you wish, you can follow me at jeananns.taylord.life.

By JeanAnn Taylor 4 | 50+ Living | February 2021


50+Living of Western NC

To see your ad here contact: Mike Demos 828.273.0098 mikedemos@aol.com Trish Luzzi 828.423.0248 wnccreations@gmail.com Terri Wells 828.776.8886 twells.avlmedia@gmail.com for advertising rates and information.

AVL Media Inc. P.O. Box 18416 Asheville, NC 28814 828.230.7537 50pluslivingWNC.com February 2021 | 50+ Living | 5


50+Living of Western NC

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” ~ Hebbel

CONTENTS 3 8 9

Taylor’d with Style . . . Lilly’s Legacy Midwinter Musings The Particulars of Perfume Calling All Bluebirds

10

A Healthy Heart The Magical Little Earthworm

11

Behold the Hat The Tussie Mussie

12 14

Oh Sherry Discover Your Passion Lip Tips for the Perfect Pout

15

Germs, Germs, Everywhere Winter Survival Kit for Your Car

16 Chocolate Delights 17 The History of Valentine Cards

PUBLISHER Tammy Sheppard publisherofsofia@gmail.com EDITOR JeanAnn Taylor GRAPHIC ARTIST Joan Hutt WEB DESIGN Alphie Hyorth ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Mike Demos 828.273.0098 mikedemos@aol.com Trish Luzzi 828.423.0248 wnccreations@gmail.com Terri Wells 828-776-8886 twells.avlmedia@gmail.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Debi Manfre Gigi Steel Gina Trippi AVL Media Inc. P.O. Box 18416 | Asheville, NC 28814 828.230.7537 50pluslivingWNC.com All advertising published in 50+Living of Western NC is believed to be truthful and accurate. However AVL Media, Inc. assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability whatsoever for errors, including without limitation, typographical errors or omissions in 50+Living of Western NC. Any reference made to AVL Media, Inc. is not to be construed as making any representation, warranty or guarantee concerning the information on properties advertised in 50+Living of Western NC. The content of all ads contained herein are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. The opinions and statements contained in advertising or elsewhere in this publication are those of the authors of such opinions and are not necessarily those of AVL Media, Inc. AVL Media, Inc. reserves the right to edit or refuse any advertising submitted to this publication.

6 | 50+ Living | February 2021


Arden 4 Long Shoals Rd. 828-333-4366 Woodfin 50 N. Merrimon Ave. 828-210-9544

Fletcher 3445 Hendersonville Rd. 828-376-3711

February 2021 | 50+ Living | 7


Midwinter Musings

uman beings are emotional creatures. Our feelings can go from elation to despair all within a few minutes depending on the circumstances of our environment. On days that feel dark and dreary, here are a few things we can do to improve our mood.

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Put on a pair of socks. Sounds too simple, right? However, warm toes are directly linked to feeling content and relaxed. A pair of soft, cozy socks can give your psyche an instant boost. Have a cup of chamomile tea. The soothing act of sipping tea and the warmth it gives your body will help to settle your soul.

The Best Bra

Do you know that nearly 75% of women wear the wrong size bra? It’s common for women to wear bras with a too-large band and a toosmall cup size. The result is poor posture and sagging breasts. It is a common belief that the straps of a bra are what offers support, however, support actually comes from the bra band. Our bra bands should fit snugly around our body with little room to stretch out when pulled. The cups should fit with no overflow at the

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Turn the TV off. Turn the music on. Listen to music while you paint, read, or dance! Stretching cannot be overstated. Simple stretching exercises can elevate your mood by making your entire body feel better. You don’t have to get on the floor and turn into a pretzel; just stretch your arms, bend at your waist, flex your feet and point your toes. Anything is better than nothing to get blood moving and oxygen to your brain. Breathe. Slow breaths in and slow breaths out can calm your spirit when you are feeling stressed. Take time to take care of yourself and your spirit will feel better. top or at the sides. It’s important to be measured every couple of years by a bra-specialist as our breasts change throughout our lives, especially after menopause. With so many colors and styles, finding a satisfactory bra can be achieved. Just remember that the best bra is a well-fitting bra.


Calling All

Bluebirds

The Particulars of Perfume We’ve probably all walked by someone and thought, Oh, she smells delightful! Or, we’ve walked by someone and turned our head in repugnance. Our sense of smell is a powerful force—and how we smell to others can define our reputation. Aromas can bring back memories, attract a mate, and influence us to buy a product. How this works is extremely complicated and scientific, but here are a few facts you may find interesting. Fragrances fall into four categories: fruity, floral, oriental, and woody. Fruity scents are light, energizing, and often have citrus undertones. Floral scents are elegant, feminine, and often have rose, jasmine, or gardenia bouquets. Oriental fragrances are for the confident and sophisticated woman. This spicy scent holds vanilla, amber, and musk flavors.The woodsy woman is a sensual free spirit who looks for the aroma of patchouli and sandalwood. Fragrances can be purchased in four different forms: Parfum is the most expensive concentration. It is the purest, containing the highest concentration of oil. This selection will last longer than the other options. Eau De Parfum has slightly less oil than perfume. It is less expensive, yet will still last a fairly long time. Eau de toilette is usually an economical spray. It has approximately half the concentration of oil. Cologne is the lightest of all fragrances. The scent won’t linger, so it will need to be reapplied several times throughout the day. All fragrances will last longer when they are layered. Using a body wash, lotion, and fragrance—all of the same scent—will ensure that you smell delightful all day.

While Eastern bluebirds live in Western North Carolina yearround, February is the month to prepare new accommodations for your bluebird friends. During February and March, male bluebirds begin their search for potential nesting sites. After searching for the perfect spot, they then begin searching for the perfect mate. The chivalrous male will then let his partner make the final decision on where to call home. Bluebirds are pretty particular about their nesting location. Their nesting boxes should be placed in an open area facing a lawn or a field with trees nearby for safety and security. The entrance hole must be exactly one and a half inches in diameter to keep other birds, squirrels, and small animals out. There should also be no perch on the box to minimize intruders. The territorial bluebird also requires that houses be placed at least 300 feet apart from each other. 0 If you are fortunate enough to attract bluebirds to your backyard, the female will lay four to six pale blue eggs in her nest, and two weeks later, baby bluebirds will hatch. Both the mama and dada bluebirds share parenting responsibilities. The male is primarily responsible for feeding while the female wastes no time in preparing for the next brood. Bluebirds may have up to three broods each summer. Bluebirds are a unique variety of birds as they are exceptionally family and community conscious. If one parent dies, the other will work twice as hard to feed and care for the baby birds. Another quality of bluebirds is that unattached, single bluebirds—male and female—will help care for the babies if needed. Bluebirds eat berries during the winter and insects during the summer. Plant dogwoods and hollies to entice them to your garden. These colorful and endearing songbirds are a beauty to watch. By giving them a reason to come to your backyard, with the correct size nesting-box and appropriate food source, you can enjoy them all year long.

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A HEALTHY HEART February is American Heart Health Month. According to the most recent information from the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, there is a heart-related death every 36 seconds, making for a toll of approximately 655,000 heart-related deaths each year. To put this in perspective, heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths, cancer is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths, and covid-19 is responsible for 1 in 1000 deaths. Heart disease is an equal opportunity health problem affecting both men and women of all ages and ethnicities. The good news is that we can reduce our risk of heart disease by adopting heart-healthy habits. First, get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to a host of physical and mental ailments, including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Avoid smoking. Smoking cigarettes, even as few as two per day, can affect your circulation. This causes your heart to work harder and your blood pressure to rise. Smoking, even secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and strokes. Monitor your health. Keeping an eye on your cholesterol, weight, and blood pressure can help you make smart decisions. Keep your teeth and gums healthy. Daily flossing and brushing helps to prevent gum disease, which is linked to heart attacks and strokes. There is also a possible correlation to excess plaque on teeth and excess plaque in arteries. Regular visits to the dentist may not seem important to your heart, but they can make a big difference to your overall health. Stay at a healthy weight. Obesity is linked with numerous health conditions including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes—all affecting heart health.

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS: *Pain, pressure, or an uncomfortable fullness in the middle of your chest. *Sharp pain in your shoulders and neck spreading into your arms. *A tight feeling in your chest accompanied by dizziness, sweating, difficulty in breathing, and feeling nauseous. *Sudden weakness and palpitations without obvious cause. You may need to make lifestyle changes to improve your health. Walking for at least thirty minutes each day and practicing yoga each week, along with healthy diet changes, may be all you need to turn your health outlook around. 10 | 50+ Living | February 2021

The Magical Little

EARTHWORM

Once upon a time, during the dead of winter, something unseen and magical was happening. It appeared that the backyard garden lay quiet and dormant, yet underneath a blanket of brown, crunchy leaves, little miracle workers were busily turning the leaves that fell to the ground in autumn, into rich, black soil. The next spring, when the seeds sprouted into flowers, they were bigger and more beautiful than ever!

While this may seem like a fairytale, the “little miracle workers” are actually earthworms—and these tenacious little workers require very little to make their magic happen. Like all organisms, they need food, water, and shelter, but their standards are fairly low. Dead leaves along with fruit and vegetable scraps are the food of choice for worms. They also love used coffee grounds. To create a haven for worms, you can simply begin by putting food scraps on a small area in your garden. Place a layer of newspaper over the food to help to insulate and create a safe space for them to live and do their magic. Soak the paper with water or let rain and snow do the work for you. You may need to begin by purchasing a few starter-worms. The little crawlers will create a fortress underneath the newspaper. When spring has finally sprung, the result of their work throughout the winter will be rich soil you can use in planting flowers or vegetables. Taking a few worms to their new location will help to keep the soil aerated and healthy.


Behold the Hat By JeanAnn Taylor

The Tussie-Mussie

Hats are an accessory that consistently floats in and out of fashion. The history of hats is an interesting subject; they began as functional items and evolved into art pieces and status symbols. Today, hats are worn sparingly, but when worn, they make a strong style statement. One reason women often choose to go hat-less is because we aren’t sure how to choose a flattering hat or how to wear it or what to wear with it. If you feel timid about hat-wearing, begin with something understated. Wear the hat for a short period of time or to a casual function—maybe to a coffee shop or for a nighttime stroll. To achieve a flattering look, your hat should complement the form of your face. You may need to try on several styles to determine which shape best flatters your face and reflects your personality. Hats can change the spirit of your outfit. You can choose a playful, dramatic, sophisticated, serious, cozy, or glamorous vibe. There are many, many styles of hats. Beanies are crocheted or knitted, and worn tightly on the head for warmth. They often have a pom-pom attached to the top. Baseball caps have a round crown with a forward-projecting bill. They may be made from fabric or leather and often express the interest of the wearer. The cloche is a bell-shaped hat made popular by Coco Chanel. She wore this style to flatter her short haircut. The fedora comes in many shapes and sizes, with medium or wide brims. It is defined by the crease in the crown. The French style beret is often made with wool. It is rimless with one flattened side. The pillbox hat has small upright sides, a flat crown, and no brim. A cowboy hat can express personal style with added buckles, bows, or tassels. Hats that are not currently in fashion include the half-hat, the halo hat, and the mushroom hat. Another interesting hat-of-thepast is the lingerie hat. Worn during the Edwardian era, it was made of lightweight muslin in white or ivory. It was a symbol of wealth as it had to be washed after each wear—which required maids. These hats were worn to garden parties and other fancy affairs. They were adorned with large cabbage roses, daisies, poppies, birds and their nests. Ribbon streamers were attached to flow behind the lady as she walked. Hats no longer reflect our social status, but they do reflect our sense of style. Don’t let hat-wearing intimidate you. Hats are appropriate for all occasions: walks in the park, church services, formal gatherings, trips to the market, and afternoon soireés. In addition to the functionality of keeping your head warm in the winter and protected from the sun in the summer, wearing a hat will give you instant panache.

Using flowers to communicate was a common Victorian-era way of announcing feelings. The “tussiemussie” is a small bundle of flowers and herbs used to express coded messages— usually about love and affection. If you want to bring back this sweet custom, here are a few things you should know about what flowers say. As you can see, different colors can send very different messages.

ROSES Red - True love White - Eternal love Yellow - Friendship or jealousy Light Pink - Grace Dark Pink - Gratitude Coral or orange - Desire and passion Red and white together - Unity Red and yellow together Joy and happiness Thornless roses - Love at first sight

CARNATIONS Pink - A woman’s love White - Disdain Purple - Whimsical Red - Longing Yellow - Disappointment Striped - Rejection

February 2021 | 50+ Living | 11


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Oh Sherry

herry has a bad name. Not with everyone, but there remains a significant number of consumers who believe sherry is a thing of the past, something grandmother “nipped” before bed. This thinking could not be further from the truth! The truth is that Sherry is not a sweet wine, certainly not all the time. Sherry is a fortified wine from southern Spain, Andalucia, and it has been made there for centuries. Are you sitting down? Sherry is dry and meant for food! There are some versions, mostly made for the American market in the mid 20th century that favored sweeter wines, while the British and the Spaniards kept the good stuff for themselves! Sherry is made differently than most table wines. Old barrels of Sherry are blended with a younger version each year with the oldest barrel being bottled. This is known as the Solera System and it adds complexity each year as new wines are added to the blend. Through this process, a wine could be made from as many as 100 vintages!

By Gina Trippi

Oloroso is the most oxidized of the Sherry styles meaning all the flavor in the wine comes from the interaction of wine and air. Oloroso is dark in the glass and made for heavier flavors such as beef, bitter chocolate and bleu cheese. Some compare the aromatics, and spicy, smooth palate of Oloroso to a finely aged Bourbon making it a transitional wine from brown spirits to the varieties and styles of the wine world. Sherry is comforting in a glass on a cold night in front of the fireplace and equally at home on the table with dinner. Just remember that because Sherry has a slightly higher alcoholic content, about 15 to 20%, serve half what you would serve in a glass of table wine!

Let’s talk about some of the styles of Sherry we have in the shop. We like Sherry from Lustau for their exception quality for the price. All three styles are $19.99. While producers in other parts of the world have tried to make Sherry, the truth is that it can only be made in Andalucia. Why? The wind, the humidity, the soil and the seasons in Andalucia produce this unique aromatic profile and the characteristic salty and nutty palate. First, Fino. This is the lightest style of Sherry. The wine ages from two years to ten years. When bottled, Fino is ready and meant to be consumed. Pair Fino with olives and Marcona Almonds! The importer says “Fino is the Pinot Noir of Sherry.” Amontillado is next. Intentionally fortified and oxidized, Amontillado is essentially aged Fino. Darker in color, Amontillado has a salty bite with a richer palate presenting a smooth and nutty taste making it a perfect pair for seafood and cheese. And Amontillado made famous in the Edgar Allen Poe story, The Cask of Amontillado, comes with a story for the table! 12 | 50+ Living | February 2021

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Discover Your Passion Passion is defined as a powerful emotion or feeling. It ignites enthusiasm and gives us a sense of purpose. Finding our passion can be a pivotal element in living a full life. When we have passion, we have determination and a strong desire to do something amazing. If you are searching for your passion, answer these four questions. What are you doing when you lose track of time? What are you doing when you forget to eat? What gives you physical and mental energy? What would you do if you had no fear of failure? Discovering our passion can be a lifelong journey. As we travel, there may be many twists and turns rather than a straight line to success. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt at a goal doesn’t work out as planned. This “failure” may lead to a path where you find success. As you search, reflect on what comes naturally to you, what makes you smile. Learn something new. Remember, you don’t know you can until you try. Following your passion takes work and commitment, but the effort is worth the journey. Whether your passion becomes your career or remains a hobby, embracing who you are as you celebrate your passion will give you a harmonious and fulfilled life. Magic is what happens when you follow your heart.

Lip Tips for the Perfect Pout By Gigi Steel Cold air and hot furnaces can make keeping our lips soft and hydrated in the winter a constant pursuit. Lips have no oil glands to prevent chapping, so extra care is needed. To avoid cracked and dry lips, try these tips . . . • First, drink plenty of water. Water is needed to produce saliva and hydrate your mouth and lips. Eating water-rich foods such as oranges and apples is also helpful. • Sleep with a humidifier. This will help to keep the moisture in your skin from evaporating. • Look for lip products that contain healing ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, jojoba and coconut oil. Pure petroleum jelly will also work to hold in moisture. • Exfoliation can help to remove cracked and unsightly dead skin cells. You can use a soft toothbrush to massage your lips or rub them gently with a honey and sugar mixture. • Don’t lick your lips. This habit will quickly dry them out. • Cover your face with a scarf to protect your lips against the cold winter winds. • Wear lip balm with SPF whenever you are outside. The sun can reflect UV rays off the snow and burn your skin. • Use a lip product that locks in moisture. There are many products containing ingredients that do more to dry your lips out than to moisturize them. Avoid excessive colors, dyes, and flavors. Look for coconut and moringa oils for moisture and protection. • Avoid “matte” or “long-lasting” lipsticks. These products can be especially drying as they draw moisture from your lips. The color may also settle into the furrows bringing attention to cracks. • Quit smoking. Smoking dehydrates skin and leads to cracked lips. • Always wear a lip balm to bed. This can simply be a little coconut or olive oil. Of course it’s also important to care for the rest of your face. Wash your face every night before bed. Cleansing removes the dirt, pollution, and dead skin cells that accumulate during the day, allowing fresh skin cells to rise to the surface while you sleep. A nighttime moisturizer should be applied to lock in the moisture. Keeping your lips soft and chappedfree will allow lipstick to glide on smoothly; keeping your face clean will give you a radiant glow.

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Germs, Germs, Everywhere

Although it’s impossible to avoid these little bugs, we can take precautions to steer clear of unnecessary

encounters. The first step is acknowledging where germs are quietly waiting to interact with us. While it’s not recommended that we avoid activities or live in a bubble, it is smart to be as safe and clean as possible. Fast food trays - These are not typically washed each time they are used. It’s best to wash your hands after handling one, or at least use hand sanitizer before touching your food. Menus and salt & pepper shakers - Some restaurants use paper menus that are thrown away after handled by each customer. If the restaurant you are visiting is using community menus, wash your hands after ordering your food. Salt & pepper shakers not only get germy from hands, they are fed by tiny bits of food left on the shaker. Rarely cleaned, use at your own risk!

Public restrooms - There is no way toilet handles, faucets, soap dispensers, and doorknobs can be sanitized after each use. These germy transfer stations are best untouched whenever possible. Soap dispensers can be so germy, the soap itself can become contaminated. Use a paper towel to flush, turn off the faucet, and open doors. Hot air blowers may seem like the answer to a no-touching goal, however these nasty machines forcibly blow and spread germs all over the room—and you—as they dry your hands. Hotels - As soon as you set your belongings down, wipe off light switches, the television remote, door knobs, and other surfaces you think need cleaning. If you don’t have disinfectant wipes, use a hot washcloth with soap and water. It’s also recommended that you wear shoes in your room and flip-flops when you shower. Carpet, bathroom floors, and showers can hold germs that get on your feet, in your toenails, and cause fungus growth. Grocery cart handles - Some grocery stores wipe the handles off when you enter their store, however, since the same towel is used over and over, germs can actually be transported from one cart to another more easily. In addition, the wipes supplied by most stores are made with mostly water. It’s best to bring your own alcohol-based wipes and do the task yourself. Alcohol is needed to kill the germs that make us sick. And speaking of groceries, before putting products in the refrigerator or cabinets, rinse or wipe them off. They’ve been touched by at least three people . . . the stock person, the cashier, and the bagger. These simple precautions can help to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

WINTER SURVIVAL KIT FOR YOUR CAR Baby, it’s cold outside. Use this checklist for indispensable items in case you find yourself stranded in the snow. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Blanket. Gloves and scarf. First Aid Kit containing a few antibacterial wipes and bandaids. Ice Scraper. Took Kit. Water - Fill up a container each time you leave your home just in case your trip takes longer than expected. 7. Food - Carry along granola or another high protein food to sustain you— and chocolate. Always, chocolate. 8. Flashlight and extra batteries. 9. Small or collapsible shovel. 10. A bag of sand or kitty litter may be helpful if you get your car stuck in an icy patch. February 2021 | 50+ Living | 15


CHOCOLATE DELIGHTS By Debi Manfre Indulge your Valentine’s sweet tooth with these irresistible, easy-to-make chocolate delights.

BROWNIE BATTER DIP A luscious dip that tastes just like brownie batter! INGREDIENTS: 8 oz cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature 1/4 cup softened butter 2 cups powdered sugar 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 5 tablespoons cocoa powder 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 2-4 tablespoons of milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Pretzels, strawberries, graham crackers, animal crackers, etc. for dipping DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Mix well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix until fluffy and smooth. Add additional powdered sugar and/or milk, if needed, until desired consistency is reached. The dip should be soft enough to easily dip a pretzel in without breaking it, but not so soft that it spreads out instead of holding its shape. The texture should be like a slightly stiff whip cream. Put the dip in a decorative bowl. Put the bowl on a platter and place dipping items around the bowl.

16 | 50+ Living | February 2021

MARBLED-CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD Give your standard banana bread recipe the boot and try this chocolate-swirled version. Yield: 1 loaf

INGREDIENTS: 2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup softened butter 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas) 1/2 cup egg substitute 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Cooking spray DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl. Stir to combine. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add mashed bananas, egg substitute and yogurt, beat until blended. Add flour mixture, beat at low speed just until moist. Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at medium power 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup of the plain batter to the melted chocolate. Stir until well combined. Coat a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with the plain batter. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake bread at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the loaf pan. Cool completely before serving.


CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY HEARTS A favorite treat to make for Valentine’s Day is chocolate covered strawberries. Instead of making them the traditional way, be creative and make chocolate covered strawberry hearts.

The History of

Valentine Cards Valentine greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages. At that time, affectionate feelings were expressed with songs or poems. In the 1400s, written love messages appeared. The oldest known valentine was made in the 1400s and is held in the British Museum. Paper valentines were especially popular in England, where in the early 1800s, black and white cards were assembled in factories and illustrated by hand. Fancy valentines were adorned with lace and ribbons. Valentines Day continues to be a popular holiday with greetings sent to sweethearts, children, and friends.

INGREDIENTS: 10 strawberries Parchment paper Toothpicks 1/2 cup chocolate chips (any flavor) 1 tablespoon coconut oil Optional: Colored or chocolate sprinkles, melted white chocolate DIRECTIONS: Cut the stems off the strawberries and slice in half. Take a toothpick and poke it through both strawberry halves to get a heart shape. You may need to cut a little off of one half of the berry to get a good heart shape. Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwavesafe container. Place the container in the microwave oven at medium power (50%) for about 1 minute. Remove and stir. If chocolate is not melted, return to the microwave for about 30 seconds more. Line your strawberry hearts on parchment paper, halved side up. Pour a thin layer of the melted chocolate on top. Optional: Get creative. While chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with colored or chocolate sprinkles. Melt white chocolate and drizzle chocolate. Place strawberry hearts in the fridge until the chocolate hardens. Carefully remove toothpicks before serving. February 2021 | 50+ Living | 17

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50+Living FEBRUARY 2020  

Based in Asheville, NC 50+ Living is a lifestyle magazine for 50+ active lifestyle adults showcasing news, information, tips and tools. Whet...

50+Living FEBRUARY 2020  

Based in Asheville, NC 50+ Living is a lifestyle magazine for 50+ active lifestyle adults showcasing news, information, tips and tools. Whet...