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A $5000 hamburger? The opportunity to be in control of the Bellagio Fountains? Here are 10 Ways to Experience the Luxurious Side of Las Vegas.

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what really happened to your loved ones on 9/11 by michael mark


To those of you who lost loved ones in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, here’s what happened in their final moments. [Read more…]

life reimagined: i’m now organized!

Life Reimagined article

Thanks to Life Reimagined, who sponsored this post and provided incredible support during my project, I have actually reached my organization goal.

I know — I’m as shocked as you!

You may remember that I was invited to try out Life Reimagined last month, and I decided that was a good time to finally tackle the crap all over my house my organizational issues. That meant I was actually going to clean out the kids’ rooms — they’re both happily ensconced in apartments on the other side of the country — and I was  going to do something about the junk room, below, that was always supposed to be my office. [Read more…]

going back to high school with classmates.com


Classmates.com logo

Thanks to Classmates.com for sponsoring this post. All opinions 
are, as always, 100% mine.

When Classmates.com invited me to test out the site and write a sponsored post about my experience, I immediately agreed. After all, I was curious to see who I remembered and what had happened in the, gulp, 40 YEARS since I graduated.

Sure enough, the first thing I noticed when I logged on was that the Class of 1976 has a reunion scheduled for November. I have never attended one of my high school reunions before – camp, yes; school, no – but now that some of these people feel familiar to me again and I remember how many of them I cared deeply about, I’m actually considering it.

In fact, I started browsing our yearbook online and got caught up in so many memories of old friends who I haven’t spoken to in years. [Read more…]

life reimagined: my organization project

Life Reimagined Too Busy

Thank goodness for Life Reimagined, who not only sponsored this post but has already made a difference in my life.

You see, since Alex and Sara left for college years ago, I’ve come to realize that the idea of an “empty nest” is not really accurate.

Yes, the kids are out of the house — but most of their stuff is still there.

Or, rather, here.

At a time in our life when we are really trying to downsize, we are drowning in things. [Read more…]

letting go when your kids leave for college

Alex and Sara on kitchen counter

Our nest has been empty for half a dozen years — yes, that picture, above, was taken a long time ago — but every time September approaches, I get nostalgic about back to school time. I wish I was still making trips to the store with my kids for notebooks and pens and backpacks, and sharing their anticipation about their new teachers and which of their friends would be in their classes.

Those Septembers come and go shockingly fast, though, and suddenly, instead of dropping your little boy off at preschool, you’re leaving a young man who’s taller than you in a strange room three thousand miles away. Instead of kissing your little girl goodbye for the day, you’re kissing her goodbye for who knows how long.

I think there are few moments in a parent’s life as emotional as sending a child off to college.

It’s such a turning point — for both of you. And it is so painful to let go.

Here a few tips for making the transition a little easier: [Read more…]

an open letter to jenny craig

No Jenny Craig

Dear Jenny,

I’ve been a loyal fan of yours for years, have sworn by and touted your program as an influencer, shared my progress online and enthusiastically sent many of my readers to you.

So it pains me deeply to learn — from some of those readers who have sent me frantic private messages — that you’re a Donald Trump supporter and are going so far as to actually host a fundraiser for him.

I am despondent at this news because it means I’m going to have to leave you. [Read more…]

three and a half hours at the apple store

Apple devices

Because Michael has been having issues with his iPhone lately, we made a Genius Bar appointment at the Apple store yesterday. This was after having spent hours on the phone with a manager trying to resolve the problem — end result: “Sorry, I can’t do anything else for you” — and a Genius Bar appointment at a different store the day before — end result: “Yeah, I wish I could fix it.” And an “Oops, sorry I accidentally deleted that information you needed.”

Our appointment was for 4:40 and I didn’t even DVR The Voice because — really? It’s on at 8:00.

Yet, there we were at 8:15, three and a half hours after we were greeted by the first of three Geniuses, a term I use loosely, finally heading to the Food Court for pho — phok you, technology — hangry, frustrated and as wiped out as Michael’s phone which had to be restored to its original factory settings. [Read more…]

why #imwithher – and elton john and katy perry are, too! by jami kelly

Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton

I got to know Jami Kelly when she emailed me after reading about our Viking cruise and wanting to share her own experiences. I really enjoyed reading her fantastic blog, Two Men and a Lady (and an RV), and invited her to submit a guest post whenever she wanted.

Well, I’m happy that the one she wanted to submit was about the I’m With Her Concert for Hillary Clinton a few nights ago — an event I would have loved to attend. I’m living it vicariously through Jami’s personal experience here. When it comes to Jami’s choice for President this year, well, I’m with her. [Read more…]

my word for 2016 — and probably the rest of my life

2016 calendar

My word, it’s that time of year again! Time to come up with the word that will guide me through 2016, that will ground me and inspire me when I need a boost.

That’s a lot of pressure to put on one little word. [Read more…]

my silver linings cook(ie)book

Betty Crocker - Michael cookies

This was supposed to be a sponsored post. Unfortunately, it’s not.

You see, against my better judgment, I agreed to write about Betty Crocker cookie mix. [Read more…]