2016 : Welcome to the Jungle

Happy New Year!! I know it isn’t Thursday yet, but with the new year, I thought it was the perfect day to reflect on 2016 … with an insightful guest post.

Once again, my beautiful, uber smart friend Kate Mansi has been generous enough to write a thoughtful, honest guest blog for us.  Her quest to probe deeper, not only in her own mind, but also to hear the collective endlessly inspires me. She teaches me to look below the surface, to root around a bit for deeper meaning in my acting (she is a superstar in my book), and more importantly in my day to day life. 

Please jump in and add your word to her list !!!

2016 : Welcome to the Jungle

by Kate Mansi

Apropos of its Chinese zodiac sign, the monkey, 2016 had moments I felt the whole world went ape sh**.

It was a year that demanded flexibility, versatility, agility and a sense of humor as we all jumped through hoops, monkeying around to stay afloat. With an astonishing number of tragedies and losses, I’ve never experienced such a collective feeling of misfortune for a particular year. The year was so widely recognized for it’s surprisingly strange and chaotic behavior it became it’s own hashtag, it’s own meme, it’s own character with a breakdown reading something like:

[2016] All Ethnicities; Mischievous, unpredictable. The one who comes to town to turn everything upside down.

Beautiful, Talented & Brave: Living with Anxiety & Depression

My beautiful friend Kate Mansi bravely shares her story to stop the stigma of depression

I remember the first day I met Kate Mansi, who would soon be my dear friend, when she joined our cast at Days of Our Lives. Truly such a vibrant, beautiful girl – inside and out.

Over the years together on the show, I have watched her grow so much as an actress and a young woman. Whenever her scenes came up on the monitor in the makeup room, I always made a point to turn up the volume, stop and watch, because I always knew they were going to be something extraordinary! She brings such depth, heart and soul to every scene.

Love, Kindness & Gratitude: Lessons Learned by a Cancer Survivor

Last week, Stephen and I had the pleasure of joining some fans for a lunch that we auctioned off earlier this year to raise money for One World Stage & Screen. The winner of the auction, Tamra, brought along her Mom and two friends – Trish and Nancy. I learned during the lunch that Nancy was the same woman, a cancer survivor, who’d recently written me a letter about her fight and the beautiful things she discovered as a result.

Katie’s Dental Humanitarian Outreach Program

As many of you know, I am a big supporter of several charities, including CASA of Los Angeles and One World Stage & Screen. I am so proud that the passion for giving back is something that my children share. My daugther, Katie, is extremely busy with dental school, but she finds time to give back – not only locally, but also in places throughout the world – through her participation in the Dental Humanitarian Outreach Program. The work this group does is amazing, and this week I asked her to share it with you.

Hi again! I am Mary Beth’s daughter, Katie, and I’m in my fourth year of dental school. For the past two years, I have been lucky to participate in my school’s Dental Humanitarian Outreach Program (DHOP), through which I had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines and Belize (see a video of last year’s trip) to provide free dental care to underserved communities.

On the Farm – Touring with Missy & Scott Reeves

I first met this beautiful gal in in 1986, when I joined the cast of Days of Our Lives, and she was (and still is) the doll baby of the universe. She was only 18, but had already been on the show for a year.

About 10 years ago, Missy and her adorable husband, Scott, decided to leave the rat race of Southern California and head to Nashville, Tenn.  Scott, who had been doing soaps for quite a while, is also an amazing singer/song writer … who had evidently always wanted to be a farmer. Nashville was a great fit.

Pulling It Together: Closet Lessons for Life

I love reading the comments sent in by readers, and I not only appreciate your willingness to share, but also I am inspired by your stories. I’m inspired by people who take life and run with it … who plow ahead without looking back. People like Dr. Christie Laming.


When I received this note from Christie, I was so moved by her story, and I can relate to so much of what this survivor talks about! (and by the way she should be writing a blog instead of me ). I thought others should also know about her brave, bold and beautiful outlook on life.


Thank you beyond words, Christie, for trusting us in the PLANK community enough to share your story.  I am proud of you! Keep reaching for all that life has to offer!

The Power of Family

When I first met my best friend, Carrie, in our very early teens, I was struck by so many things. For starters, she wore make-up, always accessorized her outfits (which she designed and made herself) perfectly and she wore nail polish … all things that, as an eclectic beach girl, I did not do.

Carrie’s Mom with all of our kids.

When I met her family, I was in love. Her mom was so poised, beautiful and warm, and she welcomed me with open arms. I instantly became one of the daughters (she had two more and a son). I adored her and she truly was family … my kids even called her grandma. Sadly, Carrie’s mom passed away a few years ago, but she left an amazing legacy of family and inclusiveness.

Carrie has an extensive family, from which love overflows! And the support that they give each other is so genuine and infectious. I am grateful not only to call Carrie my friend, but also to consider her family my family … they completely changed who I became in my life. And today, we are closer than ever, so … 42 years to infinity.