Happy Second Anniversary, PLANK!

In a couple days, we’ll mark the second anniversary of the launch of PLANK. If you would have asked me two years ago if we’d be able to publish a blog every week for two years, I’m pretty sure my answer would have been no.

But with your feedback and engagement, we’ve covered everything from acting and fitness, to skin care and closet maintenance. We’ve cooked, decorated, gardened and volunteered. We’ve laughed, cried, motivated and inspired each other. We’ve shared stories, ideas and pieces of our lives. 1699 comments, 105 weeks, 48 recipes, 30 videos and 21 guest blogs … and we’re still going strong!

With your suggestions and ideas for future topics, Mandy and I are excited about the year to come! We’ve got some fun ideas and look forward to the ongoing conversation we’ve started here.

Speaking of ideas … several of you suggested this, so for our anniversary, we’re giving you a little peek into how we put together PLANK each week. 


  1. Marnessa

    Congratulations on 2nd year of PLANK! Such an inspiration! Look forward to know more on body image. The one thing that makes me curious is that when I wear sunscreen, I tend to gain a freckle or brown spot on my face, legs, arms & back. When I don’t wear sunscreen, I don’t gain freckles or brown spots. I’ve tried many different sunscreens but nothing.Granted I’m not getting burned but.. I did have 2 brown spots frozen off my cheeks in 2014. Dr. said it was just sunspots & to use lot of sunscreen,& even a hat especially when I’m going to be in the sun all day, so I do. Just don’t understand gaining spots when wearing sunscreen & how I can prevent that.
    Also my hair. As a child I had straight, fine, thin hair but when I turned 16 it got wavy & thicker & now its just curly. I love my hair but I don’t know what I can use to enjoy leaving my hair down & looking great. I do straighten it once in a blue moon (because I don’t want to fry it). When I do go curly, it either stays flat with no volume OR its really frizzy (usually humid or rainy days). So I usually keep it in a pony tail, headband, or wear a hat.
    Oh & btw, I know that everyone has insecurities but U R A GORGEOUS WOMAN INSIDE & OUT. Be proud & confident in everything you have & all that you are, even your so called hambone arms (There is NOTHING wrong with your arms)!
    Thank You Mary Beth & Mandy for all that you do!

  2. Terri from Cincinnati, OH

    Happy 2nd Anniversary PLANK! Thank you both for your huge efforts and time that go into doing this each week. I can’t imagine how you faithfully fit this into your busy schedules. I never thought I’d actually look forward to a weekly anything, but I do! I’m certain that if you both sat there and only talked about the weather, it would be entertaining… I haven’t read a topic yet that wasn’t relevant and informative, and the vlogs are just the best!! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll eventually have an “ah ha” moment, and be able to submit a great blog idea… the meantime, thanks again for this weekly gift.

  3. Stacey AKA BraveWidowMama

    Mary Beth and Mandy,

    I have enjoyed every single blog/vlog. I am a big fan of women empowering women. It’s been fun “meeting” many of you through Facebook/Instagram. Mandy and I had a great adventure involving lavender and a bottle of vodka over the holidays.

    I’m sure that my comments have shocked some people. I decided a long time ago that I would never allow anyone to make me feel ashamed of the fact that I am a suicide survivor. Believe me, there are people out there who would prefer that survivors shut the Hell up. My children will never see me hanging my head in shame.

    Social media has helped me to connect with other survivors to create a Sisterhood of the strongest women I’ve ever met. Guiding children through grief is the hardest job any mother could have. Finding other moms who understand is a gift. Having a Sister who will answer the phone at 3am on a hard night has saved me.

    Widowhood is such a scary concept for most married women. They don’t want to think about it. Often, that means that widows are shunned. No one wants to hear about it and, eventually, people drift away. You lose friends who miss who you used to be. You end up having to build a new life.

    I want to thank all of the women I’ve met through this blog who have listened to me and heard my story. Those who’ve followed me on FB know that I am far from the sad widow in black.

    Thank you Mary Beth and Mandy for providing a platform for my rambling.

    • Barbara levy

      We share a similar experience in surviving a horrible life experience. I lost my son at age 29 years old. I was shocked on the ‘friends’ who disappeared. There were times I wish I could scream – cancer is not contagious. Friends who did not like be to discuss him because it was too upsetting to think about. Flip side I discovered some wonderful friends who really stepped up. We are survivors!! Survivors can still have sad times but we have survived what would destroy other folks.

  4. Congratulations on two years! I can’t thank you both enough for putting this blog out every week. I look forward to it & absolutely love it!

    My input on body image: Find what you love & focus on it. And then do your best to forget what you don’t love. I absolutely hate how short I am. (I do make it up with volume though, haha) So how do I forget about it? I focus on my hair! I so love messing with it (obviously!)! I’ve learned so much having crazy colored hair. I have never cared what people thought of my looks so as I’ve dyed my hair funky colors & had nontraditional haircuts, I’ve never wondered what others think about it. I think I’ve mentioned this before in comments but I’ll repeat it here. I have a lot of people tell me: “I could never do that. I would never dare to do that. It wouldn’t look good on me. I’d be too afraid.” I honestly get really bummed hearing that. I tell them to go for it! There’s nothing scary about it & you don’t know how it will look until you try! I wrote a FB post about it a year or so ago. The end of the post said: “You get one shot at this life. Be YOU!” So that is the moral of my story. Who cares what others think about your image, be you & rock it because you only get one shot at this thing called life! #lifeisshortiwanttoliveitwell

  5. Nancy McCarthy

    Mary Beth and Mandy, Congratulations on Year 2 of PLANK! I have been a loyal reader since the beginning & look forward every week to see what you have in store for us! I truly enjoy whatever it is that inspires you to write about. I have tried recipes & incorporated decorating tips. I love hearing BTS stories about Days and The Bay, and was honored when you asked me to be a guest blogger (btw, one more surgery & one more treatment to go!). Thank you for letting us in to your life & inspiring us all with the way you live it!

  6. Jennifer

    Mary Beth and Mandy Congrats on 2 years of Plank Blog I look forward to it all the time! Mary Beth you are such an inspirationton me and to all your fans!!! ❤

  7. I love reading your blog, Mary Beth. You are so funny, and I love your personality! You have a way of laughing at yourself and not taking things too seriously. I admire that, and I look forward to reading more in the future.

  8. Hi MB
    Thank you so much for this post. I am all for the body image topic(s) for Feb., but I’d like to add to that. I think there are quite a few of us who have young children, girls specifically, and I’d like to discuss ways of keeping their self-esteem intact as they age. Mine are still young, but that time will be here sooner than I’m ready. I specifically remember an event that happened to me in junior high – the time when most of us are super awkward and in the hideous transition years. The event scarred me deeply; and at times, I still feel the insecurity that it caused. It scarred me to the point where, even into college I found it near impossible to believe that a boy thought I was pretty or wanted to go out with me – I’d just think he had a little too much cerveza or something, and I’d walk away thinking he didn’t mean his complement and was being a smart ass. It took one mean comment, from one mean girl I met at one shitty week of summer camp to do this to me, and I don’t ever want my girls to feel that way. So, how ’bout we talk about ways to raise our girls up to be better than this, to not let others get them down? I’d like to know how to champion for my kiddos in this way. I have some ideas for my kids, but realize that quotes/sayings will only get me so far.

    I too, write like I’m writing to a friend, though I have never met anyone here (yet), but listening to your video, that you see these comments and just what you said today made me comfortable enough to share this story that I’ve never told a single other person. I guess anonymity makes it easier too 🙂

    Final thought, your arms are not ham bones. WTH woman? We know you’re beautiful inside and out, so show the damn arms! It was a great scene. Stay proud of who you are… all of you. But also thank you for sharing that you, this person we all adore and believe to be as beautiful as they come, also has her little insecurities as well.

    • Stacey AKA BraveWidowMama

      Preach! I tell my 12-year old that she is beautiful at least once every day. I want her to have a self-image so bullet-proof that no hater can EVER damage it…

      • That’s great! My daughter has never been told anything other than how cute or pretty she is (she’s still very young) but she’ll ask me from time to time “am I pretty now?” WTH did she get this – why is she asking this? Scares the daylights out of me. At 7, she’s too young to ask that question. I always tell her, of course, she is pretty but what is most important is that she is pretty on the inside b/c she is so kind and caring of others.

  9. Thanks so much to both of you for sharing. It’s so nice to hear all about how this comes together every week. I always look forward to my weekly PLANK fix, and I know that a lot of work goes in to it. I’m not a person of many words, but know that I am grateful for a platform such as this.

  10. Jennifer Luisi

    Mary Beth🌼 you are freaking Amazing! I love your hoopla in todays blog. #casa #hambone #embrace #bodyimage
    I love and adore your spirit #pisces are the greatest😂

  11. Tamra P.

    Mary Beth & Mandy – Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes process of creating Plank. I enjoyed watching you discuss the details together, chatting like the wonderful friends that you are. Oh to be a bug in that amazing garden of yours Mary Beth (hopefully not an aphid :)) It still amazes me that you dedicate yourselves to bringing us this wonderful blog every week, all while handling a full schedule of work and life … it is clearly a labor of love for you both and it shows in the quality of each Plank post.

    I love the mention again of your work with CASA … I have learned so much about this wonderful organization thanks to both of you and I support them every chance I get. I admire you and Mandy for volunteering your time to make a difference in children’s lives. There is no more worthy cause than that.

    Congrats on your 2nd Anniversary!! I truly can’t wait to see what the next year of Plank has in store for us!!

  12. Barbara levy

    Congrats on your second anniversary!! How about a video blog of MB interviewing Mandy? How did you meet and become friends would be a great starting point. I am sure the other plankers would love to know more about Mandy. Would love to see how Mandy does some of the technical sides of the blog? Could this turn into a business for Mandy? Mandy, this seems to be one of your talents. Apple pie business — technical director for future bloggers- keep an open mind.

    Body image. Yes, that would be a great topic for February. I am 68.5 years old and I certainly have some body issues but I also agree with MB. There are some things as you age you go the $&!! Now occasionally, from at least 3 feet (4-5 feet) from the mirror I can say not bad for someone getting close to seventy. But being truthful some parts of the body bother me a lot. Post radiation for thyroid cancer I am cancer free but have had so many rare and permanent side effects (peripheral neuropathy, loss of smell and taste, burning mouth syndrome, moderate loss of hearing) but what hurts the most is loss of hair. I have accepted the other permanent Changes – as long as I am independent I can accept anything ….(do biotin and rogaine ) but this one knocks my self confidence–it is the worst. If you go back to the spa if they have any suggestion I think a lot of woman would love to learn.

    One of the first things I noticed about aging and enjoyed was the ability to say ‘no’ to certain requests and not feel like you have to justify your decision. Yes, I remember Mary Beth stating she would say yes, then get annoyed, but later enjoy having said yes. That has happened to me too. I am talking about folks who ask for stuff who aren’t friends and get folks to take on their responsibilities. There is a sense of taking control of your life when you set some boundaries and do not look to others to reinforce your decision.

    I would love to learn how to take a good picture. MB, every picture I see of you look relaxed and know where to look so your pics are beautiful. Mandy, I looked at your Instagram and your new head shots are so beautiful. Twice in my life I was so happy ( my boys weddings) I didn’t think about being photographed . When I look at those photos I just see love and joy. As actresses did’ you have to learn how to take good pictures? Share what you learned Please…Pretty Please!!

    I guess the one thing I have in common with MB is not staying on topic . Thanks for listening.

    We all appreciate the hard work you both do for the fans! Happy 2nd anniversary!


  13. Christie L

    This is my favorite quote when I’m feeling self-conscious.
    “You wouldn’t worry so much about what people think about you if you realized how seldom they did.”

    It helps😉
    Thanks for the inside look at plank! It’ll be exciting to see what this year has in store for us!

  14. Susan Nolen (Suzzy1969)

    Congratulations Mary Beth and Mandy on the 2nd Anniversary of plankblog!….thank you both for all your hard work to bring us fans a blog every week! You ladies are so talented and creative and just plain awesome!….I look forward to many more plankblogs!….thanks MB & Mandy!

  15. Jacquie Sallemi

    Mary Beth and Mandy thank you so much. This was fantastic. Happy 2nd Anniversary! I discovered Plank last year. I watch sporadically because…just because of all my stuff and getting things done. But, I binge watch and I love all of the stuff that you’ve been putting out there and just being real. Real life. Thank you for sharing and creating this community. I look forward to more of the wonderful blogs and everything else. Thank you again. Happy Anniversary.

  16. First of all congratulations on your two year anniversary! Such a huge accomplishment; it really is so impressive to know that you guys did it every single week without fail for two years. It’s not like you both have nothing else to do in your lives, you have very busy, full schedules, yet put something real out there every week. I have always found PLANK so meaningful in every post that’s made. Whether it’s a recipe or it’s about relief work, there’s always something very meaningful behind it. But I think what I love most about PLANK is that you are so relatable, Mary Beth, as are the great guest bloggers you’ve chosen. It’s hard to get any real personal meaning from something that you can’t really identify with. But the topics that you write about really do inspire. You forge a real connection with your readers through this relatability, and you have absolutely made a difference in so many people’s lives.

    I really love the idea for February about positive body image. Really any body image is going to be something I can understand. I have spent my entire life with the subtext of body image driving pretty much everything I do. It is literally always there, part of my decision-making process about every little thing. Your comments about where people stand when they take group photographs and how they hold their heads profile or no profile, approve the photo or say, no no no let’s do it again, it all ties right into that. I never know how many chins I’m going to end up with and have so much anxiety about every shot. I put it all out there often, too, but you seem so at peace with your self-image, whereas I’m a good actress and fake it more often than not. I don’t want to give my little boy a complex so he ends up with the same anxiety, so I try not to appear to need to control the image but I’m not sure I’m doing the best job. Anyway, it’s a great topic, however you end up doing that, I look really forward to reading those blogs of perspectives!

    MB, Mander, thank you for PLANK, much deserved adoration to you both for it!

  17. Karoline

    Congratulations Mary Beth and Mandy! 2 years of amazing work and dedication! I love the «Body image» idea, and it got me thinking…I am from Norway my self, and I know that Mary Beth and Plank has dedicated fans worldwide! Maybe you could do something with this? «Body image across the world» or something along those lines? It would be really interesting to see and read how we view this topic in different parts of the world 😊 Just a thought! Keep up to good work! -Karoline.

  18. Kelley Garner

    Good afternoon ladies! Let me just say you two make a great team! You both are so very talented in more ways than one! Mid February will be one year since I found Plank! I’ve gone back and watched them all and I love everything y’all do!! I look so forward to Thursday and what Plank will bring! Congratulations on year 2!! I’m sure y’all will only get bigger and better this year! Things sound exciting already!
    Secondly, let me just go ahead and spit this out… MB, girlfriend, sista, DO NOT be self conscious about your hambone, lol, you are rocking a beautiful body at 55!! Oh my God and I can promise you, none of your Snk fan club was thinking you had a hambone in the love scene yesterday! You and SN were about as good as it could get!! You are both beautiful and rocking it, as always! I only hope to look half as good when I’m 55. So you just keep rocking those love scenes and we’ll keep thinking ” how beautiful” you are!
    I’ll confessed I watched this on my computer at school today during my study hall class, I literally laughed out loud a couple of times, my kids gave me funny looks but you two just have a way of making people laugh! I also have a shirt that I wear often, it says ” it is what it is” maybe I’ll let You borrow it Mary Beth!!
    You ladies keep up the good work! We love you both and Plank too!!

  19. Michelle

    Hi Mary Beth, I love your positive attitude and they idea for next month on body image etc.. As a mum of an eleven year old girl who’s body is just starting to change I continually tell her how beautiful she is and to be herself. A few tips on getting though the next stage of her life would be great. You can read books and get information from the internet but having had a daughter yourself I like to hear your experiences. It is hard for me to remember my experience as times have changed so much from then even though it was only 25 years ago or so…. Trying to be independent, be positive, build confidence and make good choices are things I hope for for my girls. Thanks for your blogs every week. It is Friday morning here and I love waking up to them. Keep up the great work 😘

  20. Traci Whiting

    We were all so excited to see your arms MB! Hambone!! Lol 😂 I’m dying over here! You’re the greatest and you never fail to make me laugh!

  21. Good afternoon Happy Anniversary Mary Beth Evans have fun Family happy Thursday

  22. Krista Buerster

    Mary Beth, ya crazy kuala! You crack me up with your “hambone”. Your arms are perfect, just like the rest of you, silly girl. Loved the vlog today. Enjoyed getting to see Mandy too! It was fun to see you just sitting and talking as friends. Would love to see more vlogs just chilling with friends. So happy for your two year anniversary and super excited for more years to come. Thank you for sharing your lives with us, and thank you Mandy for using your talent to make it happen!! Love you ladies! Krista

  23. Michelle

    MB, we love your positive attitude.

    I’m still laughing at your reaction to the love scene.

  24. You two are amazing to do this every week with your busy schedules! I am so happy you decided to explain the process because I have been wondering how that works every week. You can definitely tell how much you admire and respect each other through this video! So excited to see what’s next. I look forward to every week. I just have to say, since hearing about CASA from Mary Beth, I have had more and more calling me or showing up at my visits with clients…which has been different! Thank you both for giving your time to these children. It is eye opening to see what these children go through and they need positive influences like you both!

  25. Whoops make that Friday morning midnight ish..

  26. Mary Beth & Mandy,

    It was so enjoyable listening
    to both of you detailing the blog process. You both work so hard on it for us. Thank you!! We love it & look forward to it.

    I’m always inspired by your blogs. I love your recipes & like reading guest blogs, too!

    Happy 2nd Anniversary & wishing you & Mandy many more. 🎉

  27. Wow, 2 years. Congratulations Mary Beth and Mandy. Like many others, I look forward to my weekly email to let me know about the new Plank Blog. My “process” is it usually arrives about midnight ish Thursday morning for me here in Australia. There have been countless times I have waited up to read Plank. This one came just after 1am..I really should be strong and wait, but I didn’t want to…..I really do enjoy it so much. You and Mandy are a great team and I can imagine the fun conversations you both have that probably take off in 100 different directions. But it is clear you are dear friends and that helps to make Plank so great. A warm conversation between friends. (You and us). Thank you for Plank. It is a quality blog and something I really look forward to every week.

  28. Angela T

    Congratulations Mary Beth and Mandy on 2 FABULOUS years of PLANK blog! It has been a staple in my weekly reading and I truly love it. You created a fun, inspirational and a very informative voice and community for us all. Thank you! : )
    Wishing you many more years of success!

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