Oprah Dazzles in Seattle: Life You Want Weekend Tour

by Nancy Mueller
( November 14th, 2014 )

PicMonkey CollageShe came. She spoke. She dazzled.

Oprah stopped by Seattle last weekend, nearing the final leg of her “Life You Want Weekend Tour.” Her message?

“I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it.”

Oprah's Life You Want Weekend Tour in Seattle

After a previous day of torrential rain, the Friday kick-off began on a promising note: abundant Seattle sunshine with clear, blue skies, the perfect weather to accompany my tour of O Town, a “pop-up town square” on the lawn of Seattle Center, leading up to the evening’s main event.

O Town

I intended to check it out, then head back home before returning for Oprah’s evening presentation. But I ended up staying the entire day. With such a fun, festive, infectious energy surrounding the event, how could I leave just when the party was getting started – especially knowing I couldn’t make it on the second day?

First stop: a photo-op with Oprah’s life-size image.

Nancy Mueller and Oprah

Next up, the pampering tent because we wanderboomers can never have too much pampering, can we?

PicMonkey Collage

Then off to another tent to visit with a couple of Oprah’s favorite friends, like Gayle King.

Gayle King and Oprah

From the outdoor stage I picked up a few fashion tips from O Magazine’s Creative Director, Adam Glassman, e.g ways to tie a scarf, what’s trending (“Fanny packs are in, but personally I wouldn’t do it.”), what’s classic (turtlenecks) and here to stay (skinny jeans) if you can wear them.

Nancy Mueller and Adam Glassman

Once we entered Key Arena for Oprah’s evening presentation, the music playlist had us all dancing our way to our seats where we each found a gift, courtesy of Starbucks.

PicMonkey Collage


Starbucks O Quote

All of this before we even had a LIVE Oprah sighting.

Then the O moment had arrived, starting with the sound of Oprah’s voice rising in volume and energy from off stage, climaxing with her grand entrance. She brought down the house. In a mesmerizing performance sprinkled with personal anecdotes and humor over the next two hours, Oprah shared her inspirational message with the moms, daughters, aunts and sisters (along with a few brothers) who had come out to greet her. Here’s a sampling of what I heard:

You are here to honor your calling.

I am where I am because I listened to my spirit.

Your legacy is every life you’ve ever touched.

No matter what you’ve been through, if you are here, it means you have a second chance.

Invictus – “I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul.”

I learned that I could be a better Oprah than I could a pretend Barbara Walters.

I move on when I’m done growing.

We know we are all equal in spirit – but our hair? No.

When you feel not at ease, it’s life trying to move you in a new direction.

Everybody has a thread that has led you to the space that you now hold in your life.

Anything that you have, you are supposed to share it in service. Your life is validated in your service to others.

We are all asking, “Am I okay?” We are all looking for validation. We want to know that we matter.

We are all co-creating our lives.

Third Law of Motion in physics: for every action there is a reaction. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not.

You co-create your life with the energy of your Intention. Your Intention rules your life always.

All this time I didn’t say no because I didn’t want people to think I wasn’t nice.

You are responsible for your Intentions.

Your thoughts become what you believe.

Be responsible for the energy you bring into a room – Jill Bolte Taylor

You have power in your energy field. Stop meddling in other people’s energy fields.

To have the life you want, you have to choose love.

You must choose the way you think about your life.

Go Boldly

Thanks for stopping by Seattle, Oprah! Same time next year?

Wander on!


*If you liked this, be sure to check out my previous post on Oprah.

How does Oprah inspire you, wanderboomers? Please share with us here.


Ojai California: 7 Reasons to Stay and Play

by Nancy Mueller
( October 31st, 2014 )

Why do I love Ojai California? And when should you plan your own SoCal getaway, for a day, a weekend or longer retreat?  Whenever you’re in the mood for:

1) Creative Inspiration

Let’s face it. Sunshine and balmy breezes soothe the creative soul,

Ojai Palm Tree

as does the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape,

Ojai Valley Museum

 and leisurely strolls through art museums and galleries, like the Ojai Valley Museum . . .

Ojai Valley Museum Sculpture

  or the collection at The Oaks at Ojai . . .

The Oaks at Ojai Oneness Sculpture

The Oaks at Ojai Sculptures

2) Culinary Pleasures

Ojai serves up tantalizing tastes in food and wine from locally grown organic ingredients. Visit the Sunday Certified Farmers’ Market to mingle with the locals. Pick up your favorite produce, flowers or small gifts to bring home.

Stop by the Casa Barranca Winery Tasting Room in downtown Ojai to enjoy a flight of organic wines. Hint: For your wine tasting experience, take three full sips of each to get the wine’s full flavor.

For fine dining, check out Suzanne’s Cuisine for French-Italian food fare among several other restaurants serving fresh, local cuisine.

The Oaks at Ojai Salad

3) Parks & Recreation

Parks abound in Ojai and rumor has it that Ojai resident rocker Eric Burton (“House of the Rising Sun,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”) celebrated his birthday with a performance at Libbey Bowl inside Libbey Park just before my arrival.

Ojai Park

Outside of the parks, go biking or hiking along the Ojai Valley Trail for fitness fun.

4) Bart’s Books

Here’s a place to wile away the day, browsing the bookshelves, finding old favorites, discovering new treasures. I didn’t find a hammock, but no matter. The outdoor courtyard was delightful nonetheless.

Bart's Books of Ojai Bart's Books of Ojai CA

5) Boutique Shopping

With so many artists in residence, it’s easy to find unique jewelry, small gift items, house decor and fashions for everyone on your list.

Ojai CA Shopping

6) Rest & Relaxation

Unplug and unwind poolside for total rest and relaxation.

The Oaks at Ojai Pool View

7) Friendly Ojai Residents

Still searching for more information on Ojai? Friendly Ojai residents like 94-year-old Lerie Bjornstedt at the Chamber of Commerce are standing by to help and offer sage advice. After sharing travel tales (her favorites included Alaska and New Zealand), I asked the secret to her longevity. She replied without hesitation: “Optimism!”

Ojai Chamber of Commerce

Wander on!


Love Heals Ojai Shop Sign

Thanks to my host for the chance to stay and play for the day in Ojai California!

What’s your favorite way to stay and play in Ojai, wanderboomers?

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The Oaks at Ojai: Southern California Oasis

by Nancy Mueller
( October 17th, 2014 )

Santa Barbara Airport

Oh my, Ojai. Seeking new adventures and respite from my crazy-busy schedule, I headed to sunny southern California for a quick escape last May. A good friend had recommended The Oaks at Ojai as the perfect getaway sanctuary for rest, relaxation and exploration.

Santa Barbara

After a connecting flight in San Francisco, I arrived at the Santa Barbara Airport for my reserved shuttle to Ojai. Any trip that begins with sunny blue skies, warm breezes, palm trees and a welcoming driver is off to a promising start. Meandering the backroads to our destination showcased the stunning local landscape against the backdrop of the Santa Ynez mountain range.

The Oaks at Ojai

Upon arrival, just a brief glance and walk around the premises convinced me that I’d be very happy here for the next few days.

The Oaks at Ojai Entry

From the spa resort entry, to my own private courtyard . . .

The Oaks at Ojai Courtyard

that opened to my quiet haven . . .

The Oaks at Ojai Accommodations

After reviewing the wide range of activities offered during my stay, I opted to start off the next day with the 7:30AM morning stroll. An early riser, I’m used to starting my day anytime between 4:30AM and 5:30AM so I saw no need to set my alarm the night before. Oops. I woke up at 7:45AM. Happily off the hook for my walk, I chose to lounge a little longer in my cocoon before heading off to breakfast.

The Oaks at Ojai Swimming Pool

After my unintended sleep-in, I could easily see why so many guests of The Oaks at Ojai are repeat visitors. Such peaceful, unpretentious surroundings create a mindful approach to self-care. Whether you want to unplug, relax and recharge, shed stress and soak up the sun, or boost fitness through rigorous activity, the destination resort offers total comfort and support.

The Oaks at Ojai Salad

Owner Sheila Cluff founded The Oaks at Ojai to inspire guests on a path of healthful living based on her own successful career in figure skating, motivational speaking and entrepreneurship. Her mantra is “Keep moving” because “What’s the point of becoming successful and retired if you’re not fit to enjoy it?” Cluff says. Still, “Chronologically enriched guests only have to go as fast as your slowest part here.”

As a fitness expert and trailblazer in the spa industry, Cluff advocates a holistic approach to health and well-being as evidenced by the quality of programming on site.

The Oaks at Ojai Fitness Equipment

Activities range from gentle morning stretches, yoga and aqua classes to cardio, Pilates, hiking and dance. Life classes cover fun topics like handwriting analysis or thought-provoking discussions of personal journeys, reinvention and nutrition.

Wondering how you, too, can enjoy a wellness week/weekend at The Oaks at Ojai? Check out the Calendar of Events to explore the options for planning your own solo adventure, mom/daughter, girlfriend or his and her getaway.

Wander on!


Some, though not all, of my costs were covered by my host.

What’s most appealing about a stay at The Oaks for you, wanderboomers?





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