What Creepy Vans Taught Me About Safe Driving

creepy van

The first time my son got behind the wheel, I felt no apprehension whatsoever. He’s always been a cautious rule follower and I expected no less when he was sitting in the driver’s seat. Our first trip started off innocently enough and then he started veering off the road. Then he overcorrected and we slammed […]

Cinderella Reimagined: Living Up to a Little Girl’s Fantasy

Ella and the Prince

When I was growing up, princesses weren’t the cultural phenomenon that they are today. Dressing up as a princess didn’t require an itchy $40 dress from the Disney store. It only requires things like my mother’s slip, some fancy clip-on earrings, and a paper crown. And a lot of imagination. When I was growing up, […]

A Disney Girl Does Universal Orlando

Disney family at UNIVERSAL

If I’m going to Orlando, it’s probably going to be for one purpose: to visit Disney World. Well, that and maybe visit my dad who lives about an hour away from there. A lot of time we’re simply piggybacking on another trip and we turn it into a mini-vacation. It’s easy for us to do […]

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Overcoming Post-Vacation Anxiety

SOC Sunday 2015

For probably the 4th year in a row, we were able to plan a weeklong escape to Florida right when winter seemed to have us in its clutches. I know I’ll be going back to it but I feel ready to face the inevitable end of winter. I cam practically hear the robins singing and see […]

4 Valentine’s Day Activities for Non-Crafty Parents

Happy Valentine's Surprise

By the time you read this, I’ll be getting ready for a live television appearance the morning show on Fox45, a local station in the Baltimore area. Or I will have already made the appearance and hopefully conveyed successfully that I am NOT a crafty parent but if the crafts and instructions are easy enough, I […]

How Obstetricians Can Be Jerks

In the hospital

When I first moved to Raleigh, I needed to find a good doctor. Not a specialist or anything but just someone that would take the time to listen to me. I can’t remember how I found him but I made my first appointment with Dr. Karam and was a little apprehensive on my first visit. […]

How to Have the Best and Worst Kids’ New Year’s Eve

NYE noisemakers

The year was 1978 (or so, but that sounds about right). My parents were headed out to a party on New Year’s Eve. It was one of the very few times I remember my parents going out together as adults. My dad was dressed in a suit, probably his three-piece gray, pin-striped suit with wide lapels. And […]

The Best In-Between-Holiday Meals

spaghetti and Johnsonville meatballs

I made a delicious and easy dinner using Johnsonville® Meatballs as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. #MeatballMasters There reaches a point sometime between November and January where you’re just done with the cooking. The novelty of baking has worn off. The excitement of a large family dinner is now sitting in the kitchen […]

Philadelphia: The City of Holiday Love

Philly menorah

When I booked a weekend getaway for the family, I mainly wanted a change of scenery, access to some fun holiday activities, and a short drive from home. I got all of that when I took advantage of a Kimpton special and planned two nights at the Hotel Monaco. While food was a big part […]

Remember the Furry Ones at Christmas

Layla loves Christmas

It’s less than a week until Christmas. I hope you’re finished your shopping for everyone. Little girls and little boys, husbands and wives. Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Sue. And the fur babies. You did remember the fur babies, right? Contrary to popular belief, pets DO love Christmas. Cats and dogs love the shiny, dangly things from […]

Find Your Tidings of Comfort and Joy

How to handle stress during the holidays

The holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year. With all the wonderful smells of cookies baking and ham roasting, families gathering round the Christmas tree, and enjoying evenings with hot chocolate watching our favorite Christmas movies, what’s not to love? Apparently, a lot. Over the past few months, I’ve been asking many […]