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5 Books as Rich as Dark Chocolate

You know how sometimes you greedily snarf down a bag of M&M's and hope no one is watching you? But sometimes you sip on some red wine and slowly nibble and savor a nice square of dark chocolate? Books can be like that.  For me at least! Sometimes I binge read my set of the Twilight novels... which some in the literary world would call "junk food," but I love nonetheless! (Full disclosure, I'm 100% Team Edward and yes I'm almost 30 and no I don't care.) But sometimes. Sometimes I read a book and the words, phrases, concepts, or imagery just beg to be chewed on.     Those are the "dark chocolate" books.  The ones that I underline favorite sections in. The ones I beg my buds to read so we can gush to each other about who amazingly rich and complex they are! The ones I reread over and over again. So think of this as me giving you a list of a couple favorite types of dark chocolate bars. I hope you read them and I hope you get as many

Why You Need a Fancy Salad Bowl

Last year I spent some time living with a dear friend who is a few decades my senior. I really loved taking long walks with her and chatting about life... also chatting about life as we lingered over dinner or sipped our morning coffee or watched the sun set on her back balcony in Germany. We did a lot of chatting ;-)  She had a lot of wisdom and a lot of love for life.     And I will always think of her when I whip up a quick salad. Because a favorite little tidbit of life wisdom she shared was to get a collection of pretty salad bowls. She said, "Even the most boring side salad looks more appetizing in a pretty bowl!"      So, got a boring salad? No problem! Dress it up with a lovely bowl! Please pin this on your lifehack board to share my friend's neat trick with the rest of the

5 Reasons You Should Shop at Imagine That this Christmas

Some of the very organized among us are already thinking of their holiday shopping. I happen to be thinking of holiday shopping mainly because I have two little girls who have birthdays right before Christmas... so that helps get me thinking of the holidays a little early ;-) I'm pretty pumped about some of the awesome stuff Imagine That has in stock right now. So I wanted to encourage everyone to check out the local toy store scene this fall! And here are five reasons why...     1. The many benefits of speaking to a real person.  I love going into Imagine That to talk toys. Ginny and her staff are so amazingly friendly! Plus they know what cool stuff you need to check out for whatever age kid or occasion you're buying for. I am always amazed at the level of customer service and I certainly can report high customer satisfaction. Sometimes you just get into a present-buying-rut and Imagine That is the best way I know to find out what's hot in toys,

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Lessons Learned from Little Fashionistas

I've never called myself fashionable. I have my own sense of "style" I suppose, but you'd certainly be stretching it to call it fashion. Sometimes I pay attention to what the cool kids are wearing, and sometimes I wear too many colors. Or too many patterns. Or just something weird. But that's pretty much always been me. It's especially helpful that I'm an artist so I can pass off any questionable fashion choices on my "artistic flair." ;-)  I bet everyone, no matter how confident they seem, has doubts about their sense of fashion. I know I do.     I think we could all learn a lot from watching a kid who dresses themselves.  It's always been a conscious parenting choice for me to allow my girls to dress themselves for most days.     But generally speaking, my kids have pretty free access to whatever is in their drawers and closets. Sometimes the results are hilarious and I have to stifle my