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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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happy birthday, mom!

Mom and me

My mom, a.k.a. The Cute Tomato, turns 85 today.

She has always been my biggest cheerleader (she joined Facebook just so she could “like” all my posts) so I thought I would turn the tables today and rave about her for a few minutes. [Read more…]

it’s the year of quitters and losers! #healthyourself

MinuteClinic quit smoking

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

Because I vividly remember my Uncle Jack dying from emphysema, it meant a lot to me when CVS/Pharmacy stores announced, earlier this year, they were no longer selling tobacco.

That was a huge business decision, and I hope it will encourage consumers to make a huge personal decision — to stop smoking. And to make it easier to kick the habit, MinuteClinic — the medical clinic in CVS/Pharmacy stores — is offering vital support through its medically-based Start to Stop® smoking cessation program.

I wish it had been around when my uncle needed it. [Read more…]

my mom, style icon?

It’s a total shock to the system the first time you realize your mother had a life before you were born.

So you can only imagine how my sister and I felt, at ages 7 and 10, when we were grocery shopping with our mom one afternoon and were stopped in the cereal aisle by a nice-looking man who looked up from his cart and said, “Edith?” My mom smiled, greeted him enthusiastically and introduced him to us as someone she used to work with. “She was a cute tomato,” he grinned, and I can’t tell you anything that happened after that because I was transfixed by those words.

CUTE TOMATO? My mom was a cute tomato? [Read more…]

throwback thursday: puppy love

Sophie puppyJessie puppy







It’s been a long time since we had puppies. [Read more…]

happy birthday, mom!

Baby Lois and EdithAlthough it was taken a very long time ago (!), this photo  is one of my favorite pictures of my mom and me.

Just look at how content I am, leaning in and holding onto her, while she pulls me close and makes sure I know how loved I am.

It is exactly how she’s always made me feel.

And, trust me, there are days I wish I could still climb on her lap like that. [Read more…]


Amsterdam sign

Let me start at the beginning.

We were on a tour bus in Amsterdam when the guide mentioned Hans Brinker.

“Who’s that?” my daughter asked me.

“You never heard of Hans Brinker? The boy who put his finger in the dyke?”

There was a pause as the kids looked at me in horror, then looked at each other and burst into the kind of obnoxiously loud, hysterical, can’t-catch-your-breath laughter that is absolutely inappropriate in public places – and impossible to control.

kids laughing

“Put his finger in the dyke?!” spurted my son, gasping for air.

“Oh, my God, you guys, you know what I’m talking about,” I said, rolling my eyes and trying to shush them while the other passengers gave us dirty looks and my husband pushed his Earbuds in deeper.

And so began another Mark family vacation. [Read more…]

my family travel stories: a guide through the forest


One of the biggest takeaways from the amazing TMS Family Travel Conference I recently attended in Niagara Falls was an impassioned quote from Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler, who stood up and declared, “Passports are the new diplomas.” [Read more…]

the mother of all storms

The biggest storm in history is hitting the East Coast, my children are in the middle of it and I’m 3000 miles away from them. This bothers me way more than it bothers them.

Hurricane Sandy

[Read more…]