Thursday, February 25, 2016

RHS Roaring 20's Virtual Facebook Party

In honor of International Women's Day, the RHS will hold this virtual roaring 20's party! Queens, Supporting Members and the general public are invited to step into our virtual 20's world of FUN and experience just how exciting playing with the RHS can be! All are invited to share this group with their friends. The more the merrier. 

This timing allows women from around the world to jump in for as long as they would like. Our world of Hatting gets a bit smaller. New to RHS? Looking for a new fun way to play? Been thinking about joining but wanted to get to know what it was all about first? This virtual party will satisfy all of those individuals. Let the party begin! 

Here's the skinny: Keep watching as Ruby posts an official agenda for the day of the event. Every hour, on the hour, she will pin a new post. One of the Hatquarters team usually comes behind her and announces to everyone that they need to refresh their page and find the latest post. The agendas are fun and do change from event to event. We've found that many Hatters plan IN PERSON parties with their friends and post pics in real time, while still others find photos online that represent how they would be playing in our "virtual world."

9AM PDT: Introductions! What kind of party would we be hosting if we didn’t let everyone get to know one another? Okay all you dapper dames, chime in and tell us about yourself. Who are you, why have you joined us today and are you an RHS Member (yet)? If you are new to RHS, we want to be the first to welcome you to the party! We’ll use the COMMENT section of this particular post to share our answers.

10AM PDT: This Speakeasy needs to be decorated! Let’s set the mood for a 20’s party we’ll never forget! If you are new to a virtual party, all you need to do is find your favorite 20’s themed party image online and share it in the COMMENT section of the post. If you are hosting a LIVE party today and want to post those photos of how you’ve decorated, we want to see those, too!

11AM PDT: Roaring 20’s Trivia Time-Join us for this hour of 20’s inspired trivia. The attendee with the most correct answers will win a prize! At 5pm today, we’ll be awarding our winner! How to play: In the COMMENT section of the 11AM post, Ruby RedHat will be asking questions. You are invited to give it your best answer, but be quick! Some of these attendees are trivia buffs! Ruby will share who the winner is within the COMMENT section. Once the correct answer is given, she’ll ask the next question within the thread.

12PM PDT: Time for our Luncheon! F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby painted a beautiful picture of what a 20’s style feast would look like. “On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.” What will we be dining on? In the COMMENT section of the post, share your photos of what we’ll be enjoying! Whether they be images you plucked from the internet or snapped at a luncheon you are partaking in, all are welcome and we can’t wait to see them!

1PM PDT: Roaring 20’s Fashion Show! All guests are invited to join us for an hour of fashion and frolick! In the COMMENT section of this post, post a photo of you in your best 20’s attire. That placement automatically enters you in the contest to win a prize at the end of our party!

2PM PDT: Dancing and all that Jazz Dance Party

3PM PDT: RHS Virtual 20’s Photo booth. We want to see your best 20’s themed photo booth props. We’ve got the photo booth ready for you! You’ll want to start downloading your favorite photo props now from the internet or create them from scratch, then snap a pic. There will be a prize for the best photo prop image posted in the COMMENT section of this post.

4PM PDT: Dazzling Dames with Decadent Desserts. No party is complete without enjoying our dessert! Let’s share with one another what decadent desserts we’ll be enjoying this afternoon. Share photos in the COMMENT section of this post. Yum!

5PM PDT: Firework Finale! We’ll end our party with a huge firework show and announce the winners from the party in the COMMENT section of this post. The categories are: 

1. Most correct answers during the trivia hour

2. Best Dressed
3. Best Photo Booth Prop Photo

Not a Member of the Red Hat Society?  There's only one, join the fun!

Ready to attend the greatest, most joyful event for women in the world?  Let this serve as your official invitation to Eat Dessert First at the Red Hat Society's 2016 Remember the a la Mode International Convention in San Antonio, Texas. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Red Hat Society: Restoring Confidence

This is the scene: My diminutive, white-haired, almost-70 mother walking through a hotel parking lot in San Diego one morning in a purple satin kimono with ostrich feather trim over boxer shorts and a t-shirt that says, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!" Plus, red cowboy boots and a red cowboy hat.

Add several other "older" ladies dressed equally outrageously. Off to one side, a group of French tourists stunned and gawking at the show, taking pictures like paparazzi. When my mom and her friends saw they were on Candid Camera, they stopped to pose. You don't see this kind of thing in France. French ladies tend not to make spectacles of themselves. (Poor dignified creatures don't know what they're missing.)

These women are Members of The Red Hat Society, of course. Are you cringing? Embarrassed for them? Sorry for them? Well, cut it out.

At a certain point in their lives, women can start to feel invisible. I've experienced it myself. My closest girlfriend and I (both of us 50) have noticed that when we're casually dressed and not made-up, we'll often be acknowledged by waitstaff or sales clerks after younger people or men (of any age), even if we arrived before they did. Women of a certain age can begin to lose confidence in themselves -- particularly in societies that prize youthful beauty. They can lose their sense of purpose after the kids leave, or after they stop working. They can feel rudderless after divorce or widowhood or other major upheaval.

The Red Hat Society puts older women back on the radar and helps them get their groove back. That said, the organization is open to women of all ages. You just have to wear a pink hat/lavender dress combo till you're 50, at which point you can graduate to red and purple.

That particular morning in San Diego, my mom and the ladies of her Red Hat Society chapter were on their way to join hundreds of others in the hotel's huge dining room for a Pajama Breakfast, one of many events that draw Red (and Pink!) Hatters from cities far and wide. She's also taken annual trips to Laughlin, Nevada and had high tea on the Queen Mary (California).

When she went on a three-day cruise to Ensenada with one of her chapters (she belongs to two), some bikers outside the restaurant where they had lunch invited them to take pictures of each other sitting on their vintage Harleys. Which of course they did.

These are girls who really want to have fun. And that's what the Red Hat Society is all about. I take both that mission and the organization itself very seriously. So does this Penn State study 

In the late 90s, my mother was forced to retire early after a mild stroke. She had to move to a retirement community near my brother's home, leaving behind her friends, colleagues, the condo she'd bought in the city where she'd lived half her life -- everything familiar and cherished. She could no longer drive. She had a hard time cooking for herself. It was a brutal lifestyle change. The Red Hat Society helped her adjust and move forward. It helped her circumvent despair.

Fortunately, her mild disability doesn't keep her from being completely independent and active, but last summer, she ran into another bump in the road. Cancer and months of chemo. She stopped socializing, including all her Red Hat activities (except each chapter's Christmas party), though she never did stop shopping for purple and red stuff, which kept me reassured.

The Red Hats offer my mother not only companionship and fun, but also a significant creative outlet. You should see the outfits she concocts! I always had the best Halloween costumes. She would spend hours digging through remnant bins, scouring thrift stores, bent over her sewing machine to create them for me. Now she gets to be her own dress-up doll and go out for treats.

I knew she was finally back on track after her cancer treatment when, just a few weeks ago, she told me she was going to start getting together with her Red Hat friends again.

Maybe you think you (or your mom, or sister, or aunt...) are not cut out for this kind of thing, but there's a great deal of flexibility in Red Hat activities. Some chapters choose to focus on high culture, others on charitable projects, others on lunching or movie-going. It can be what you want it to be. And it can do you or someone you love a lot of good.

Excerpt from article written by Pamela Poole, 
Writer, translator, cofounder of Cowgirl App!

Not a Member of the Red Hat Society?  There's only one, join the fun!

Ready to attend the greatest, most joyful event for women in the world?  Let this serve as your official invitation to Eat Dessert First at the Red Hat Society's 2016 Remember the a la Mode International Convention in San Antonio, Texas. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Good Relationships Keep Us Happier and Healthier!

Happiness is one of the most important things in life, yet it's also one of the hardest to study.

Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger is the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the longest and most complete studies of adult life ever conducted. Waldinger described some of the secrets to happiness revealed by the study in a recent TED talk.

Here is the major finding: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

Waldinger pointed out these three key lessons about happiness:

1. Close relationships
Participants the Harvard study who reported being closer to their family, friends, or community tended to be happier and healthier than their less social counterparts. They also tended to live longer.

2. Quality (not quantity) of relationships
It's not just being in a relationship that matters. Also noted was the effect of relationship quality seems to depend somewhat on age. A 2015 study published in the journal Psychology and Aging that followed people for 30 years found that the number of relationships people had was, in fact, more important for people in their 20s, but the quality of relationships had a bigger effect on social and psychological well-being when people were in their 30s and beyond.

3. Stable, supportive relationships
Being socially connected to others isn't just good for our physical health. It also helps stave off mental decline. Society places a lot of emphasis on wealth and "leaning in" to our work, Waldinger said. "But over and over, over these 75 years, our study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned in to relationships, with family, with friends, with community."

[Excerpt from Waldinger interview on TED talk.]

A wonderful way to make new friends; The Red Hat Society.

There’s only one. Join the Fun!

Ready to attend the greatest, most joyful event for women in the world?  Let this serve as your official invitation to Eat Dessert First at the Red Hat Society's 2016 Remember the a la Mode International Convention in San Antonio, Texas.