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Check out my family’s wild and crazy animal interactions on USA Today‘s 10Best. Lots of photos!

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

“big stone gap” giveaway!

Big Stone Gap movie

If, like millions of readers, you’re a fan of author Adriana Trigiani, you’re probably eagerly awaiting the release of Big Stone Gap in select theaters tomorrow.

Based on her beloved novel, the movie stars Ashley Judd as Ave Maria (yes, like the song!), a 40-year-old self-proclaimed “old maid” who runs the local pharmacy in Big Stone Gap, a small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She leads a simple life, directing the annual play, borrowing books from the mobile library and dreaming of romance. read full story »

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

flying ethiopian airlines from lax – to dublin!

Ethiopian AIrlines screen

I almost turned down my invitation to The Retreat, the amazing trip I took to Ireland this summer, because I had been traveling so much and, honestly, the actual traveling part is sometimes so difficult, I wasn’t sure if I was up for another 12 hour flight even to one of my favorite places in the world.

But then Tourism Ireland offered to fly me in business class so I could test the new Ethiopian Airlines direct flight from Los Angeles to Dublin, and I was in! This is the only airline flying direct from Southern California to Dublin, so I was eager to check it out. read full story »

Monday, 5 October 2015

4 luxurious places to recharge!


Paradise Island Resort

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and have been having a love/hate relationship with my phone on every single international trip. I love that I can take photos without lugging a camera, and I love that I can check email in my hotel. But I hate that I have to worry about ridiculous charges, so I end up turning off my cellular data unless I’m in a place that has wifi. Then I have to turn it on and remember to turn it back off again before the charges start creeping in.

It becomes a source of stress, which is the last thing anyone wants on vacation.

I was complaining about this to someone on my last trip and she told me to look into Recharge.com. If you get a prepaid phone with a local carrier — which is usually pretty inexpensive — you can then buy phone credit on their site and top it up instantly whenever you need it. This seems like a great option, and one I will definitely be looking into.

While we were talking, we somehow segued into a conversation about our own favorite places to recharge! I loved hearing her suggestions, which I’m going to share here. The only one I’ve been to is Dubai but, after hearing her descriptions, I’m sold. read full story »

“pitch perfect 2” giveaway!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Pitch Perfect 2

I remember seeing Pitch Perfect at a screening before it came out, and being sucked in along with the whole audience, just grinning and laughing throughout the whole movie.

The story, about the mismatched members of a college a capella group, was hilarious but also surprisingly heartwarming and filled with great music.

Pitch Perfect 2The eagerly-awaited sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, was released earlier this year, with Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow once again leading the unlikely champions as they attempt to sing their way to world victory. Despite an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction — which occurred in front of the President and First Lady and which also stripped them of being allowed to perform — the Bellas are back.

After convincing the directors to give them one all-or-nothing chance to compete in the World Champions, they go for it in a feat of girl power. Their final number is a showstopper.

I’m giving away copies of Pitch Perfect 2 on Blu-ray Combo Pack to six lucky Midlife at the Oasis subscribers! (If you’re not a subscriber, first sign up for my weekly newsletter in the right sidebar of this page.) For a chance to win, simply leave a comment below. For a second chance, tweet this:

Contest ends on October 12 at midnight Pacific time. Winners will be notified by return email. Prizes can only be sent to a U.S. mailing address.

mazda6 grand touring edition

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Mazda6 driveway

There’s something about the Mazda6 that just makes you want to get in the car and go somewhere.

Maybe it’s the sporty look, maybe it’s the “zoom zoom” that seems to whisper every time you glance at it.

Whatever it is, it gave us a serious case of wanderlust.

Last year around this time, Michael and I took the 2015 Mazda6 on a fantastic road trip to Long Beach. This year, after serendipitously getting tickets to a taping of Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions in Los Angeles (maybe this happened because the 2016 model they gave us to review this year was Soul Red), we decided to honor the Mazda6 Grand Touring name with a grand tour of Southern California. read full story »

kids need a job? get them a personal website!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Domain. ME
This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of 
the personal URLs that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote 
thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are 
my own. ​

Both of our kids graduated college in the past three years and, despite the endless unsolicited career advice my husband and I gave them, we somehow overlooked the most obvious job-seeking tip of all: get a personal website. Not a blog, but a place to show off their resume, their experience, their interests.


Considering I have this site and my husband has his own site, this should have been a no-brainer yet it never dawned on us until we read a recent study conducted by Domain.ME that a personal website could be an effective tool for job seekers. read full story »

#theretreatireland, day 5: amoc jewellery, aunty nellies and the fortyone

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Irish coast

Although it was packed with amazing experiences, our week on The Retreat Ireland seemed to zoom by, and suddenly it was our last day.

After my final breakfast at the Marker Hotel — I had a 6:15 a.m. flight the next day (hello!) — we headed off to the village of Greystones via the beautiful Irish coastline. Just look at the photo by my fellow traveler and amazing photographer, Jessica Meade.  We got to see the magnificent homes in the seaside towns of Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey, and we even got a glimpse of Bono’s house. read full story »

dune jewelry: oh, the beaches i’ve been!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Dune Jewelry necklace

For so many of us, summer means beach. Just mention a specific beach, and you’re transported right back to very specific moments and memories.

So when Dune Jewelry offered to custom make a necklace for me, I literally went back through the sands of time to figure out which places to honor. read full story »

facing my fear by elin stebbins waldal

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Elin Stebbins Waldal

When my great friend, Elin Stebbins Waldal, told me she was finally facing her fear of the ocean by going kayaking, I was so proud of her. I think it’s awesome to overcome your fears in midlife — something I did with the encouragement of Patty Chang Anker and her must-read book, Some Nerve

I asked Elin if she would share her experience with all of you because it’s so empowering. I bet her story will inspire you to try something new, as well. Let us know what that might be.

Last October I faced my decades-old fear of the ocean by simply getting wet. You know, the up to your knees kind of wet. I had reached a point in my life where I realized that only I could redefine what getting older meant to me and I was determined not to lead a life filled with “I remember when I was able to …” stories.

Today, I can actually swim in the ocean. Although, to some, my steps may seem infantile, to me they are monumental.

In July, before I actually went swimming in the ocean, I was invited by Everyday California to go kayaking. In the ocean. read full story »

#theretreatireland, day 4: the merrion, louise kennedy and o’donoghue’s

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Trinity College

Although we were exhausted from the past three amazing days on The Retreat Ireland, my blogging soul sister Stacie Haight Connerty and I got up early to do yoga on the roof of The Marker Hotel with Mari Kennedy.

Boy, were we glad we did. read full story »

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