Shaken. Not Stirred.

Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 in aging, apparel, appearance, breast cancer, menopause, women's health | 5 comments

I have been inspired by my friend Gini Dietrich’s weekly Gin and Topics posts over at Spin Sucks, so much so that I’ve decided to up the ante and bring back a Roundup-like feature to Flashfree (if  you’re unfamiliar with the Roundup, think monthly highlight recaps. You can find them here.)

Shaken. Not Stirred is intended to highlight a few choice finds that I  believe are worthy of mention in this space. They might not warrant an entire post, but they’ve shaken me up in one way or another  to break (or pause, if you will) from our normally scheduled programming and deliver information in a format that is distinct from what you’ve come to expect. In that vein,  this feature won’t appear on a regular schedule as I do believe that into every blog should flow a bit of the erratic; after all, that’s what keeps things lively, right?

So, without further ado… I bring you the Shaken. Not Stirred.

Bottom’s up!

  1. There’s a new kid in town and you may want to get to know him better. So you chat about him online with your other online pals, weigh his pros and cons. And then decide collectively whether or not to befriend him. That’s what the new patient portal Treato is doing. Only this time, the new kid is a medication you might be considering taking for your menopause-related depression and you’re not sure about its side effects. Can you find someone just like you to talk to about it, read/hear their experiences, obtain advice from a medical expert who might be weighing in and then make a more informed decision? Treato is doing just that in one consolidated location. Granted, I’ve not thoroughly vetted the site for accuracy and like any medical information that circulates on the web, ‘whatever is received’ requires vigilance on the part of the user. But I am a huge advocate of leveling the healthcare playing field and patients should be participating in their healthcare. Check it out. And let me know what you think.
  2. Who knew that weight loss could be so easy? One pair of Zaggora HotPants can help you zap away that unsightly cellulite. How? By incorporating “a comfortable bioceramic material that emits infrared rays to help wearers naturally and efficiently amp up weight-loss regimens. The shorts’ Celu-Lite technology smoothes thighs and other dimple-prone areas by galvanizing the skin’s internal zamboni to promote a deep warming of body tissues and promote lymphatic drainage. This process boosts sweating by up to 80% and aids in eliminating the toxins responsible for cellulite. Gotta give the company props for the term ‘internal zamboni’ but  the reality is that nothing has been scientifically proven to rid the body of cellulite.
  3. Since we are on the topic of do’s and don’ts, why not end this week’s Shaken. Not Stirred with a bit of alcohol-related news? My guess is that many of you have seen the news about drinking and breast cancer and are as confused as I’ve been. My friend Elaine Shattner, over at Medical Lessons Blog, has done an excellent job distilling the facts down to ‘what you need to know,’ much better than I ever could have. Like me, Elaine (who is a trained oncologist, among other things) agrees that women no longer need to be stigmatized by their decisions, writing “Women, in my expe­rience, are gen­erally more vul­nerable to the put-​​downs of others. And so my concern about the BC-​​alcohol link is that this will, somehow, be used, or have the effect of, making sur­vivors or thrivers or women who haven’t even had breast cancer feel like they’re doing the wrong thing if they go to a party and have a drink. And then they’ll feel badly about themselves.” Do yourselves a favour: read this post.

And if you would, can you do me a favour and weigh in on Shaken. Not Stirred?

Yay, nay or meh?


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The Jeans Have It

Posted by on Aug 13, 2010 in apparel | 3 comments

After Wednesday’s post about inappropriate dress, I had to share this discovery: hot, comfortable jeans for women who want to mold their bods a bit.

I had the privilege of being included on the guest list for teh Getting Gorgeous event during last week’s BlogHer conference. (Thank you Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland!) And while there were a lot of stellar brands represented, one of the best were MiracleBody® Jeans; something that every woman who has had children or women whose bodies are changing due to menopause, hormones or middle age can appreciate.

These lovely jeans rely on a design to maximize the areas you want to and minimize the areas you don’t — namely the tummy area and the thighs.  And while I personally prefer lower cut jeans and am fortunate to have slimmer physique, I  have to admit that they do flatter the figure in ways I would have never thought possible. Hence, the hype about looking 10 lbs thinner instantly really isn’t hype at all. What’s more, these jeans are not just flattering; they are truly comfortable.

I donated my pair to a friend because I didn’t feel that I would wear them as much as they deserve to be worn. Yet, I would recommend them to any woman who is feeling a wee bit self-conscious about a figure that for whatever reason, simply isn’t pleasing to her any longer. Mind you, these jeans are not inexpensive. Yet, I am of the mindset that we all deserve to have at least one article of clothing in our closet that makes us feel like a million buckeroos. In my mind, these jeans have all that and more.

Miracle? Or just a really great product designed and produced with women in mind? You decide! In fact, the kind folks at Miracle Body are offering readers a discount through mid-September:

Enter Code “TakeTen” at checkout for 10% off all jeans, and FREE SHIPPING and FREE RETURNS for a limited time.
Offer valid on purchase from 8/15 to 9/15 only.

[Disclosure: Although I received a free pair of jeans at this event, I was not asked to write a blog post nor did I receive any money to do so. As mentioned, the jeans are no longer in my possession.]

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Sets – a Freudian Slip?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2010 in apparel, hot flash, nightsweats | 0 comments

Remember Cool Sets? Last year I was asked to try out their wicking PJs —  (sounds wicked), which rely on Cool Balance technology  — a unique weave that allows the fabric to draw moisture away from your body, speeds evaporation and leaves you cool rather than soaked and suddenly cold from that awful night sweat or hot flash. You may recall I loved the concept but wasn’t too psyched about the fashion.

Well, the folks at Cool Sets approached me again to see if they could change my mind with some of their new designs. Admittedly, when it comes to what I put on my body, I’m pretty picky, even if it’s just a tee and shorts. I was even more skeptical when the company representative wrote and described what she was sending as “sassy.” Uh-oh.

Cool Sets – I love love love what you are doing for women everywhere. But the “fun and flirty” item of clothing you sent reminds me of a vintage slip, actually, the vintage slip that I wore to a Halloween Party several years as a ‘Freudian Slip.’

Is the fashion statement behind Cool Sets a Freudian Slip? Honestly, I do believe that you are meaning one thing, and producing another. And yet again, I willing to overlook the fashion wrong to see the product right: I remain thoroughly impressed by what your product does, not how it looks.

Now, can we get you on Project Runway for a redesign?

p.s. The photo is not a close up of a Cool Sets nightgown. It is a piece of vintage lace.

[Disclosure: I received no payment from Cool Sets to write this post. They did, however, send me an article of clothing to “test drive.” No terms were expressed by other me or the company regarding what I would write or when or if I would write it.]

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Keep it cool: Sheex

Posted by on Jan 22, 2010 in apparel, hot flash, nightsweats | 2 comments


I am a huge fan of innovative solutions to keeping cool. Which is why I am a huge fan of Sheex.  Disclosure: the company did not contact me to write about them nor have I tried the sheets. However, I have written previously about alternate use of fabrics that were originally developed for athletes to promote a cooler, more comfortable sleep for flashers and sweaters.

According to the website, the technology breathes twice as well as more traditional bedding and transfers body heat twice as effectively as cotton does. It also claims to have three times the drying power of cotton. I also like the fact they’ve taken the time to develop sheets for travel, so that you can keep comfortable wherever you are. What’s more, the company is owned by two women who were former basketball coaches, so clearly they understand women’s needs.

Granted, the sheet sets are expensive. But can you really place a price on comfort and a good night’s sleep? I’d rather spend a bit more money and a bit less time changing sheets or clothing because I’m drenched.

Hat’s off Sheex! Thanks for thinking of us! And let us all “sleep fit” and not fitfully.

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Let’s talk about sets

Posted by on Oct 6, 2008 in apparel, hot flash, nightsweats | 3 comments

Cool Sets that is!

I was contacted by a consultant with Cool Sets to “test drive” some of their wicking clothing (lounge and sleepwear). You may recall that wicking fabric draws moisture away from the body and promotes absorption so you can stay cool and dry. Great for hot flashes and night sweats.

Cool Sets uses a proprietary CoolBalance moisture wicking fabric that is designed to wick away the moisture and regulate your temperature.

Okay, sounds very promising, right?

I perused the online catalog and picked out a few items. Not quite my style but a lot cuter than what I’ve seen when searching the web for wicking clothing lines. I’m also not a silk kind of girl when it comes to loungewear, even when it comes to sexy lingerie. So, admittedly, I was a bit skeptical.

Well, skeptic no more! This has got to be some of the most comfortable fabric I’ve ever worn! It’s silk like in texture but comfortable like cotton. Not cold, not hot, not scratchy, not slippery. Just right. Goldlilocks would have had a field day!

I had a rather warm evening over the weekend and the Cool Sets cami and shorts kept me dry and comfortable.

Okay, I’m starting to sound like an advert, right? But I do recommend that you take a test drive like I did.

I do have a few complaints though…

  • The sizes seem a bit “big,” so a small is well, more of a medium if you ask me.
  • The shorts, while cute, have a drawstring, which I’m not too crazy about.
  • I wish that the clothing was geared towards the fashionista in me.
  • The cami is truly adorable, but I’d lose the flower embroidery – too matronly.

Despite these minor distractions, I am thoroughly impressed. I’ve not had to wash them yet but the company recommends that you either machine or handwash. They can be laid out to dry or placed in the dryer. A note of caution however; the use of fabric softeners or dryer sheets can interfere with the fabric’s ability to absorb moisture.

Thanks Cool Sets for the test drive! Now, if somebody could only design some nice stylish clothing that looks like cotton but acts like a wicking fabric. Dare to dream!

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Not Your Mama’s Menopause

Posted by on Jul 3, 2008 in apparel | 0 comments

I’ve been searching the web lately for wicking fabric clothing and bedding. If you recall, I wrote about wicking material in an earlier post with the promise that I would continue to update you on what’s out there.

Admittedly, I’m a bit discouraged. For the most part, the clothing looks like something my mother’s generation would wear  and not something I would wear. (Sorry mom; you know I love you!) If Baby Boomer women represent the menopause generation of today, why is it that no one is accommodating our needs in the fashion department?

Designers: if you are reading, this is a HUGE marketing opportunity:

  • Women of menopause age make up the largest segment of the American population
  • 74 M women will hit menopause by the year 2010
  • Research suggests that menopause is second only to personal illness in importance and impact to women over age 40

What do you think? Isn’t it time for some good-looking, well-designed, wicking clothing for women our age? Afterall, we may ‘turn into our mamas’ in some regards but not in every way.

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