House Envy: A Victorian renovation with heart & soul

Several months ago, I was walking in an area near my home and I saw the most beautiful house. I’d walked past this old Victorian home on many occasions, and had even been inside during an open house … but on this day it was like looking at a new house!

As someone who loves architecture and is constantly considering a remodeling of my own, I had to know more. So, I knocked on the door and met the sweetest woman, Kelly, who was responsible for this house’s unbelievable transformation. A former prosecutor who shares my love of architecture, design, gardening and more, Kelly was so inspiring … and a perfect fit for PLANK!

Celebrating 30 years with Banana Cake

My son, Danny, has never liked sweets, including cake (how did that happen?). So this past weekend, as we celebrated his 30th birthday, I made this banana cake recipe.

I make this in round cake pans, and this year I doubled the recipe and did four layers, with frosting and sliced bananas in between each layer. Then, I chopped walnuts and, using my hands, I covered the side of the cake.

Be Kind.

Some people might say I am a Pollyanna, but I prefer to believe in the good in people. I have always gravitated toward good-hearted, honest, NO DRAMA people. I have no interest in gossiping about others and I deplore that “sport” in others. 

As my children were growing up, I never accepted the invitations to “Margarita Mondays” with other mothers of their classmates because I didn’t want to participate in talking about the kids or their families.

The gossip mill is toxic and I refused to be a part of it.

My summer on the move: How surfboards, drumsticks and goats inspired me

As I’ve shared in the past, I always feel better when I exercise regularly. But, life can get in the way easily; and once I’m out of the habit, it’s so hard to get back into it. But a little inspiration goes a long way, and that’s what this week’s guest blog, by PLANK editor Mandy, is all about.  

Mandy is one of those people who is always game to try something new … to say “what they heck,” let’s give it a shot. I find that inspiring in all things, but especially in the area of fitness – an area which I think many of us struggle. This summer, Mandy took on a little exercise exploration, and I think you’ll agree that it’s both fun and inspiring.  


My summer on the move: How goats, drumsticks and surfboards inspired me 
by Mandy Denaux

More often than not, when it comes to getting started on a new exercise routine, the toughest part isn’t physical … it’s mental. Sure, there’s usually some commitment of time and money; but for me, even once I’ve made up my mind to take on some goal or plan, actually getting started is still a big hurdle.

Because, let’s be honest, going to a new gym or workout class can feel like your first day at a new school. Where do I go? Where is the bathroom? What if I mess up and the other kids laugh at me? Okay, so perhaps it’s not that bad, but it can feel like it. Especially when you’ve been “out of the game” for a while!

PLANK Headed to “Summer Camp”

After 125 blog posts – and not having missed a week since we started, thanks to Mandy’s encouragement – I feel like it’s time for me and PLANK to take the summer off. I want to find new inspirations and interesting things to share with all of you loyal followers, so we’re going away to “summer camp.” But, don’t go far … PLANK will be back in the fall!

Weddings, Rosie Memories and Sharing Recipes

I was at a wedding last week, sitting next to a nice couple who I had never met. So to make introductory conversation, I asked the woman if they have kids (often a good place for me to find common ground) and the flood gates opened. We talked all about her FOUR teenagers and my now adult children. I could relate to so many tales she shared about their successes and struggles. 

It is funny how life works, or maybe it’s MY brain … but now, as I look back on those years, I have these rosie memories and think it was a breeze. Haha, I know that is not exactly the reality, but it seems to be a nice way to remember it.  And what I have found to be true is that you realize, in hindsight, that many of the things we angst over as parents were really not that big a deal.