• How To,  Travels

    First Time Going to Maui? Here Are 12 Travel Tips from a (Former) First Timer.

    Are you headed to Maui? Exciting! I’m sitting in the airport like a sad sack, on the way home from our first-but-definitely-not-our-last trip, and I thought I’d write up some suggestions for other first-timers. Hopefully you’ll find this list helpful and, even if Maui isn’t in your future right now, you can use many of these tips when heading to other destinations as well. With that, here we go, in random order: 1. Book your flights early. When we first started checking out our options many months ago, we found some that were only two flights: Knoxville to Dallas or LA, and then right to Maui. Because we waited too…

  • How To

    Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash Program: Find Your Unclaimed Money Today!

    This post is sponsored by the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash Program. Messaging and images were provided but anecdotes and opinions are mine, as usual. When I was a kid, two of my very favorite board games were Payday and Monopoly. Both games were based on the ability to get ahead financially, and I suppose it might be a little weird for a kid to be so attracted to such a grown-up thing (I loved the game of “Life”, too!), it is what it is. I liked money. Don’t judge: I bet you do too. Payday was similar to Monopoly in that it had its own version of “Free Parking”, the Lottery.…

  • How To,  Motivation,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Do Something.

    It’s been a rough couple of days in America. Upset, anger, confusion, and sadness are only some of the emotions that people are dealing with after Hillary Clinton’s loss (or, rather, Donald Trump’s win) on Tuesday, not to mention the feelings of panic about the future. This election was different from others: it was the nastiest, ugliest, meanest cycle in our lifetime and in the end the Democratic loss/Republican win wasn’t upsetting simply because it was a loss. It was (is) upsetting because the racist, misogynistic, and anti-LGBT comments made by Donald Trump during the campaign along with his promises to rid the country of immigrants, build a wall, and…

  • Amazing People,  How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  UGH.

    Safety Saves.

    The last 24 hours have been upsetting, terrifying, shocking, anger-inducing, and all kinds of other descriptors I’m too tired to list. Late yesterday afternoon, my husband Jim was riding his bike down a country road in west Knoxville, Tennessee when he was hit by some kind of vehicle. We’re not sure if it was a car or a truck because whomever hit him just kept on driving. They kept on driving. He or she drove off, leaving my husband on the side of the road. He was unresponsive when someone else happened to drive by and notice him lying there. That someone happened to be the pilot of one of…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Level the College Admissions Playing Field with inli.ne!

    This post is sponsored by inli.ne. It’s getting pretty exciting all up in here! Our younger son J will be completing his college studies this December, one semester early. Three and a half years to a Bachelor’s degree? Boo-yah! We hear so often that college can take four and a half years, five years, or more…but it’s also possible to graduate early. Everyone has his own plan but in J’s case, he stuck with his originally declared major, had some AP test credits, took two summer classes, and got credit for his first year of German after testing out of it. It’s amazing to me that we’re at the end…

  • How To,  Random Thoughts

    Actively Remembering on the National Day of Remembrance

    In 2012, I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance. I had visited the National September 11 Memorial when I was in Manhattan for BlogHer ’12, and was extremely moved by the experience (massive understatement). It occurred to me that, rather than passively watch the televised tributes and read what the rest of the internet had to say about 9/11, each year I would involve myself by actively remembering and learning about a couple of the victims of that terrible day. First Responder Officer Paul Talty had been a member of the New York City Police Department for nine years. He had worked as an electrician…