CHSVisitorSqu

Charleston Visitors Guide

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina! Here in the lowcountry, we truly have something for everyone. In my family, we have four distinct viewpoints on what vacation should look like, but we all enjoy the Charleston area (so much that we choose to call it home). When I’m in a new city, I like to hit the streets, see the sights, and take in the culture. My oldest son likes to learn about the area’s history, while my youngest enjoys kid-friendly outdoor activities. My husband just wants directions to the nearest golf course! Below is a list of our favorite lowcountry Read more…

BookstackSquare

The Minimalist Challenge

I participated in a minimalist challenge in September. Every month, The Minimalists invite their followers to play the 30-Day Minimalism Game. On the first day of the month, you get rid of one thing. On the second day, two things. This continues day after day, and becomes more difficult when you’re releasing 15 items, then 16, then 17…you get the idea. The goal is to remove 465 items from your home in 30 days. I’ve considered accepting this challenge in the past, but I didn’t think I could do it. “This is for hard-core minimalists,” I thought, “not someone like Read more…

InfertilitySquare

Seeing My Infertility in the Rear View Mirror

My husband, Derek, and I struggled with infertility for about two years before our first child was conceived. The journey began after we’d been married for three years, when a death in our family gave us the desire to see a new life beginning. I started seeking medical advice, knowing that I likely had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and would have difficulty conceiving. After two years of various treatments and nine months of joyful anticipation, we welcomed our son in June 2007. That season of our lives was challenging, but I’m grateful for the experience because I learned valuable lessons Read more…

PeterWalshFeature

Book Review: Let it Go by Peter Walsh

Let it Go by Peter Walsh is a valuable resource for anyone who needs to downsize. Whether you are moving to a smaller home or trying to declutter your current home, Walsh offers a step-by-step plan that frames downsizing as a positive change rather than a difficult chore. He also gives helpful advice for those who are downsizing their parents’ home. You may remember Peter Walsh as the professional organizer on the TLC show, Clean Sweep. In his charming Australian accent, he challenged homeowners to empty a room onto the front lawn, separating their belongings into piles labeled KEEP, SELL, Read more…

WildCenterSquare

Adirondack Vacation: The Wild Center

Every summer, our family vacations in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. We enjoy hiking, kayaking, and exploring quiet towns nestled around cool, blue lakes that reflect the splendor of the mountains. This year, we ventured from our home base for a few day trips, including whitewater rafting, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. The Wild Center is a museum with both indoor and outdoor exhibits, including their famous Wild Walk, an elevated trail among the treetops. The trail allows you to see nature from a new perspective as if you were Read more…

Typewriter

My Simple Living Manifesto

What would it take to simplify our lives? This is a question I’ve been contemplating in the midst of ever-increasing demands on my time, money, and energy. My mind is forever preoccupied with my to-do list: chores, errands, appointments, calls to make, emails to answer, pictures to post. Not to mention the demands of 21st century parenting: Are the children vaccinated? How much screen time are they getting? Do they play outside every day? They must be supervised at all times. Their cups have to be BPA-free! Don’t let the Epi-Pens expire! And make sure the birthday cake is gluten-free!!! Read more…

Boston10Szd

A Family Weekend in Boston

I was thrilled to visit Boston with my family this summer because this city has it all – incredible sights, friendly people, and delicious food. We focused our itinerary on Boston’s North End and the surrounding historic sites, because my 6th-grader is a huge history buff, and I never wanted to be more than a few blocks from an Italian bakery. Priorities, right? On our way into the city on Thursday afternoon, we stopped for a quick tour of Fenway Park. We didn’t have time to see a game on this trip, but if we could go back for one, Read more…

LouieSquare

War Stories from my Uncle Louie

On December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor, sinking five battleships, destroying 188 aircraft, and killing 2355 U.S. servicemen. Four days later, the United States declared war against Japan, Germany, and Italy. My Uncle Louie was 20 years old at the time, living in Springfield, MA, and working at the Bosch plant there. He was engaged to his sweetheart, Betty, and they were planning a summer wedding. Louie Gentile married Betty in July 1942, and soon received his draft notice. No one in the family was particularly concerned about Louie being drafted. He was blind in his right Read more…

Space6Square

Visiting Kennedy Space Center

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to visit Kennedy Space Center. I remember watching the space shuttle launches on TV years ago and thinking how exciting it would be to watch in person from the shores of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Now that I have two boys in elementary school, this year’s spring break seemed like the perfect time for us to go and learn about NASA’s endeavors of the past, present, and future. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is huge. You could easily spend the whole day there and not even see every exhibit. Many of the attractions Read more…

DateBarSquareSzd

Soft & Chewy Date Squares

When I want to make a quick and tasty dessert, I often pull out this recipe. These yummy date squares are easy to serve to a crowd, and always get rave reviews. Often called matrimonial cake or matrimony bars, this dessert originated in Canada. No one seems to know the reason for the name. Perhaps these little squares were first served at weddings, or the name refers to the layers “married” together to form a cake. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that making them for your spouse can improve your marriage! Soft & Chewy Date Squares Read more…