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Handmade gifts are the best, so check out the 10 Charleston artisans creating goods with a Southern accent I wrote about for USA Today 10Best and get your holiday shopping done!

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“lady bird” movie review

Lady Bird

If you are a mother or a daughter, you will absolutely love and relate to Lady Bird. In fact, it just may be the mother of all mother-daughter movies.

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are perfection in this relationship which writer/director Greta Gerwig nails with dialogue that rings so true, you just may be transported back to one of the (many) times when you had a similar conversation/fight/lovefest with your own mother or daughter. [Read more…]

In honor of Season 5 of The History Channel’s popular Vikings series, I wrote about my favorite Vikings — Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises — for USA Today 10Best. Read 10 Ways to Explore the World Like a True Viking (but with more amenities)!


win a copy of “wonder”


Every time I see the trailer for Wonder, starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, I get teary so I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the movie — which opens today, by the way.

I’m in the middle of the book, and it’s a must-read. [Read more…]

I met the most amazing craftspeople when I was in Portland last week. Read my USA Today piece, 10 Portland makers who will make you say, “Please take my money!” and get all your holiday shopping done early!


a special gift from the crafted cup company

The Crafted Cup

Thanks to The Crafted Cup Company for sponsoring this post. 
All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

I have no problem finding great gifts for the women in my life, yet it seems like I’m always struggling to find something interesting for the guys.

I want a gift that’s unique yet practical – something personal that makes the recipient feel like I picked it out just for him.

So I was excited when The Crafted Cup Company, makers of the finest handmade tankards and mugs, invited me to review one of their gorgeous pewter tankards – because as soon as I saw them, I knew they would be perfect for our friend Dan. [Read more…]

“goodbye christopher robin” movie review

goodbye christopher robin

Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends are sacred to my family.

My son was obsessed with them when he was little, greeting Tigger at Disneyworld as though he were a long-lost friend.

We quoted the characters and discussed them in great detail, laughing about how one of us was acting like an Eeyore when we complained too much.

My son might even have been a smidge envious of Christopher Robin.

Well, although he’s now 27, I hesitate to recommend Goodbye Christopher Robin (which I loved) to him because it just may traumatize him. He will certainly never wish to be Christopher Robin again, and he may actually feel guilty for all the attention he gave to the real boy’s beloved stuffed animals.

I had no idea of the story behind Winnie-the-Pooh, which is dark and sad and completely at odds with how the hunny-loving bear made us all feel. [Read more…]

“victoria and abdul” movie review

Victoria and Abdul

Well, I was going to write all about how much I enjoyed Victoria & Abdul, the true-ish story of the unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and the young Indian man (Ali Fazal) who becomes her confidante and spiritual advisor.

But, as I was looking for photos to accompany my review, I came across some articles lambasting the movie for its dismissal of the horrors of British colonialism.

Since I don’t know enough about this period of history, I will have to leave that criticism to the experts. I can only take Victoria & Abdul at face value, although that new context does give me pause. [Read more…]

Check out these gorgeous paintings and see why The Blackstone Hotel’s art collection is better than a museum – and how you can spend the night surrounded by it!


tena intimates let you keep on laughing


Thanks to TENA for sponsoring this post and starting this important 
conversation. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

As you know, I am a big believer in laughter.

I have laughed until I cried, I have laughed until my stomach hurt and, more recently, I have laughed until tears started running down my leg.

Yes, as I’ve gotten older, gravity seems to have forced everything down, including those happy tears.

And, well, that’s not really funny. [Read more…]

“the compassion code” by laura jack

The Compassion Code

If there’s one thing we can all agree that the world needs right now, it’s compassion.

So many of us are hurting, and we need to find ways to help each other heal.

When I saw that Laura Jack had written a book, The Compassion Code: How to say the right thing when the wrong thing happens — and that it had already become a bestseller — I kind of felt better about the future. [Read more…]