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May
18

Looking for a great gift for a woman who travels – like yourself? I wrote about 10 Travel Necessities You’ll Want to Buy Immediately for USA Today!

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Why We Love Lois and Susan by Michael and Larry

Why I Love Susan by Larry

The thing I love about Susan, and have always loved about her, is her smile.  When we first met thirty-one years ago, she had me at her smile.  It’s genuine, honest, and infectious, and my day is always brighter because of it. I love seeing that smile!

Beyond her smile, Susan has amazing qualities that I admire and love, and among them are:

–  Her compassion for others

–  Her understanding of others

–  Her equanimity

–  She doesn’t look for “pain” nor does she carry “pain”

–  She doesn’t use crutches

– She does the honorable thing

– She forgives

– She never complains about the meals I prepare that are burnt offerings or appear to be sacrifices to the gods

– She knows what she is about

– She is a sterling example for our daughter, Catherine, of not being carried away by emotion, but rather how to approach things on a logical and practical basis

One thing is for sure: life with Susan is richer and makes me a happier person. 

Why I Love Lois by Michael

My favorite pizza is John’s on 64th Street in New York. Super-model-thin crust, black coal dust drifting off the bottom, hearty blends of cheeses, old-world sauces, chunks of tomatoes, basil, garlic and parsley melting, bubbling, dancing on top. You crack that slice in half and, with extreme care, wedge all those divine flavors into your lucky little mouth like Captain Sully miraculously landing his aircraft to the joy of the world. Lois makes John’s Pizza better. She enjoys pizza as much as I do and, even though we know we shouldn’t, we always order that extra slice. And split it with total abandon and happiness.

Morning’s unopened quiet is most comforting to me. In the darkness of 5 a.m.,  life’s impossibilities reveal their secrets in slow layers and tender, hopeful voices. Lois coming down the stairs as the day’s light comes up, moving lopsidedly in the kitchen, in her it’s-way-too-early slide-walk and soft sighing, “Hi, honey,” makes mornings better.

Nothing in the world stays the same. Fight as I do, I am learning this, and yet my feelings for Lois have been solid; she offers me a handle to grab on to, counter-balancing the universe’s malicious back and forths. Lois’ logical, compass-true kindness and her no-matter-what committedness calms all, soothes all, makes the inevitable human crashings against all the forces of nature harmonic.

Lois makes ice cream sundaes better. She’ll resolutely insist I get the last chocolaty, molten spoonful, and then other times she’ll scoop it up herself, smile, “Yummy!” — remorseless.  Steadfast mixed-in with surprise is Lois’ formula for world peace in our lives. California sunshine is made better, post-operative pain, walks with no destination, being stuck in traffic in a tunnel with the gauge blinking empty, personal moments of greatness, getting knocked-down, love — Lois makes them all better with her laugh that rises from a still, deep place of acceptance, practicality and celebration for the small, the now, always.

Michelangelo’s Mona Lisa is the greatest painting of all time. She is worshipped in the world’s most famous museum, in the glorious city of lights and love. Lois even makes Paris better.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Books by Men!

Here’s another nod to great books by male authors:

Step by Step: A Pedestrian Memoir by Lawrence Block

If it’s true that to get to know a man, you have to walk a mile in his shoes, this is the book that will help you do it. Bestselling author Block takes you
with him on his marathon racewalks, and the experience is exhilarating.

You or Someone Like You
by Chandler Burr

This smart and provocative novel explores the idea of what it means to belong to a group, setting the tone of the story through a high-powered Hollywood book club. Raising lots of tough issues – of faith, religion, culture and literature – it may inspire the most meaningful discussions your own book group has ever had.

Why Diet and Exercise Fail
by Daniel Matthew Korn

We’re not big on diet books but devoured this one because of its stick-to-the-facts scientific approach. We were a little shocked by Korn’s conclusion – which is, unfortunately, hard to argue with – and may be changing our own habits starting with tomorrow morning’s cup of coffee.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Anthony Logistics for Men

My husband swears by Anthony Logistics for Men because their skin and hair products are made, well, just for men. Each one is simple to use and easy to understand. There are no fussy names or ingredients, and little chance of us stealing something called Whisker Lifter (although, thanks to “A Girl’s Guide to Anthony,” we do quietly share the Ingrown Hair Treatment).

What makes Anthony even more special, though, is its commitment to men’s overall health. Because one in six men will develop prostate cancer, a percentage of all proceeds from Anthony for Men products goes to charities which support the Fight Against Prostate Cancer. You’ll find the signature blue ribbon on all Anthony for Men packaging.

In addition, the company has donated a portion of proceeds and raised money to fight leukemia and lymphoma. They recently got involved with Hope for Kai, contributing 100% of profits from Anthony for Little Men’s Foaming Hair and Body Wash to help a little boy and his father who were both diagnosed with cancer.

The Essentials Starter Kit is an ideal way to introduce the men in your life to these products that will help them look good, feel good and do good.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Check Your Balls

Women know the importance of doing monthly self-exams, but men apparently need a video titled “Check Your Balls” to, uh, get on the ball. No man should die from testicular cancer, and The Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation (named after the Emmy Award-winning sportscaster who passed away from the disease at age 37) is doing its part with its message, “Be a man … Self exam … ” Do your part by forwarding this link to the men you love, and showing them their health lies in their own hands.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Recycled Tie and Shirt Wallets

I take back everything we’ve everything said about suits and ties being boring, after seeing these unique wallets from Laura Skelton.

Handmade from thrift-store pinstripe suits and silk ties (no worries – they’re in excellent condition and fresh as a daisy), each wallet features a pocket for bills and two side pockets for cards. Stick a check in, and you have a great gift for a grad. Stick in pictures of the family, and it’s a much more personal Father’s Day present than just another tie.

We love that Laura has taken some of the most typical, ho-hum gifts for men – wallets and ties – and combined them in a totally creative and practical way.

Find them at one of our favorite shopping sites, Uncommon Goods.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Play Ball!

With all the disillusioning news being brought to light in the sport, here are some historic games to remind you why baseball is still the great American pastime.

Relive six of the Bronx Bombers’ legendary games in “New York Yankees: Perfect Games and No-Hitters,” including Don Larsen’s 1956 World Series Perfect Game, which is considered the most pressure-packed pitching performance ever. Give this as a Father’s Day gift to a pinstriped dad or grandfather (who can probably provide his own play-by-play of the game), and you’ll score major points.

Fans on the other side of the Green Monster will appreciate “The Red Sox: 2004 and 2007 World Series Gift Box,” featuring two of the team’s most miraculous seasons.

For those unmoved by the age-old Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, there are so many more classic games captured on DVD and ready to offer you hope when your team is in a slump. We love that they’re distributed by A&E Home Entertainment, giving them an extra touch of class and making them this year’s Most Valuable Presents.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.