Grateful for My Full Plate

I should warn you … today’s blog is going to be all over the place … just like I’ve been for the past week, lol.

Between memorizing lines, working and helping my husband with a renovation project at his office, I’ve been stressed out and just plain bogged down. At times like this, my gut instinct is to say “let’s find something easy to do for the blog.” But then I realize that my life is probably like many of yours in that way, and this is one of the many reasons I started PLANK – to share and discuss this juggling act called life. And maybe, in doing so, we can help each other out.

I’ll start by backing up to last week. I was scheduled to work at Days of Our Lives the first part of the week, and was then planning to head off on a long weekend vacation with our East Coast family. On Monday, I got my final schedule, which included an added day of shooting on Friday. There went my vacation.

I was disappointed I couldn’t join my husband and children; but in the end, I was so happy to be present on set for what turned out to be one of the most exciting weeks yet.

First, there was the YahooTV Instagram takeover. Now you all know I’m still pretty new to this whole social media thing – and while I love Instagram, committing to a whole day of entertaining posts was a little intimidating. But OMG, we had the best time!! If you missed it, check out a recap of our takeover here. It was a whirlwind of a day (because we were working during all of that too), but it truly was an opportunity to share the love and excitement we feel on set with all of you. And thank you all for your response – it was amazing!!


During all of this work excitement, my husband’s office was undergoing a renovation, and since he was out of town, I agreed to look in on things. He has a wonderful staff, so I didn’t have to do much; but I like renovation projects and decorating, so they let me come along for the ride.

He is opening an extension of his medspa, Skin Deep Laser Medspa, in his cosmetic surgery office. The new extension, Skin Deep Body, will focus on integrated wellness to achieve full body rejuvenation, including everything from SmartLipo, SculpSure and “Mommy Makeover Surgery,” to the newest treatment for cellulite,  and intravenous vitamins and antioxidants.

They did the whole project, start to finish, in just 10 days! While the construction crew was moving walls, putting in new flooring, painting, etc., I got to help with furniture shopping and cleaning up the aftermath so it was ready to reopen this week. It was an ambitious, fast-moving project, but the result is beautiful and I couldn’t wait for him to see what they’d accomplished!


I worked most of the week, so squeezing in my new “recommitment to me” exercise proved to be difficult, but I’m happy to say I did it. Sure, some days I really wanted to let “I’m too busy” be my excuse, but I pushed myself and found time in the mornings before work (lucky for me, I can show up to work with wet hair and let the hair and make-up crew perform their miracles) or in the afternoon after we wrapped. I feel so much better because of it, and I honestly think the exercise gave me some of the energy I needed to carry me through the week!

blog33_2Then came the end of the week – and what an amazing end it was!! As many of you know, Friday was Stephen Nichols’ first airdate and the real kickoff to all the new stuff on the show. I’ve been saying how much fun we’re having, but Friday took it all to a new level … the air at the studio was so full of excitement! To show our appreciation to everyone, Stephen and I brought in cupcakes. Then, before we left, Stephen brought me onstage and gave me flowers. I was taken aback as he shared with me (and everyone) how glad he was to be back and working together, and how he couldn’t do it without me. He was so serious and even kind of choked up … it was so darn sweet!!

When I got home that night, I sat down and watched the whole show (my family did the same from their vacation) … and seriously, I couldn’t believe how different and amazing it looks! I’m so proud, and I’m so excited for all of you to see what’s coming down the line!

Coming down from the adrenaline high of the week, I could have easily just hung out all weekend, but I forced myself to go to Core Power Yoga on Saturday. I love yoga, but when you couple it with weights and a 98 degree room, it’s just crazy insane. I sweat out of every pore during this class, which I dread and love at the same time. Again, when I’m done I’m always so happy I went!

sn&mbeSunday came and there was still no rest, lol. Running lines with Stephen, checking in on the renovation and welcoming my family back home.

And life keeps moving this week, so looking back now it all seems like a blur. But in doing so, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming since of gratitude for it all. Gratitude for my health, which allows me to maintain such a hectic schedule. Gratitude for the chance to be a part of the Days 50th celebration – working with such an inspiring cast & crew and revisiting the love story of Steve & Kayla. Gratitude for my family and the support they give me (even when it means I’m missing out on vacation time with them). And gratitude for you – for sticking around for all this time!

Here’s to the exciting, whirlwind of life!

P.S. – My good friend and talented stylist Cynthia Carr Gardner was just featured in a New Boston Post article. It’s about how she helps her clients find the perfect style, and includes some great tips on “closet editing,” — a concept I love! Specifically, she makes some great recommendations on how to create a basic canvas to dress your best for every occasion. In this busy time, tips like these help! Take a look, and if you’re in the Boston area, go see her at Saks, in the Fifth Avenue Club.



  1. Wonderful beat! Thank you for every other magnificent post.

  2. Wow! You’re so busy! I hope things have slowed down a little!

  3. Your first love scene on DOOL with Stephen, featured on Glamour Online is to die for! Hope they use your “theme song” when you’re reunited (truly) this time ! “If Your Heart Comes Out Tonight”.

  4. I always look forward to your blog. It always amazes me how much you do, esp now that you’re back to Days fulltime. Not only the hours you work but as you said, the prep time to memorize lines & last minute calls to work a day you weren’t planning on. I’m sorry you had to cancel a trip with your family. I know how much you love your job & we’re so grateful to have Kayla back.
    The Yahootv day was so much fun for us, I hope it was as much fun for you & Stephen, too. His flowers to you on Friday was so thoughtful. Love the special bond you both share. Thank you MaryBeth for another great blog & sharing a little part of your life with us.

  5. Yayyy you survived it. Amazing and exciting to watch. It’s like that summer book you just couldn’t put down and didn’t want to end. You may not have a cape and mask but wow you have the gusto of a Super Hero!!!!!

  6. Social media can be very time consuming. I often get bogged down by my presences and social media “commitments.” but I said this on Instagram – you’re truly setting the gold standard for how a daytime performer, writer, etc., should do social media. And you’ve maintained it for months. Gold standard for tenacity, too, I think.

  7. Mommy makeover. Hmm…

  8. Mary Beth, the only thing I have ever been jealous of with you is your unbounding energy. You deserve all the credit for a wonderful family life and a great career. But that energy to do what you do. THAT is what I wish I could bottle and use. Thanks for inspiring us. It really does make a difference. x

  9. Thank you for another interesting and informative blog. I got a little choked up when you talked about Stephen’s speech with the flowers because I am loving your scenes with him and his scenes with the other actors. I truly believe the new writers have injected New energy into the show and it is 1000% better than the previous regime that we endured. I do miss some of the characters that have been pulled to the side (Will/Paul) to make way for some of the other veteran characters to have airtime (Andre, Beau, etc) but this murder mystery Storyline is heating up & is interesting so far. Anyway, back to your blog – it is refreshing to read all the things you are involved with and excited about. Your enthusiasm is very refreshing and I love your excitement and insight. Thank you so much.

  10. Jean Bradley

    I have been watching off and on for at least 30 years and love that you are still one of the main characters. You are the sweetest one of the bunch left. I am so happy to have Steve back with you and hope it turns out the way us fans want it. Can’t wait until the next day! Can’t wait now for Bo to be back where he belongs! God bless all the wonderful cast!

  11. For all that you had to tackle last week and missing out on your family vacation, we fans truly appreciate how exhausted you are. You power through and give us something to discuss, laugh about and something amazing to look forward to. We are racing to our TV’s everyday to escape our worlds and step into a story we have adored for years. Thank you.

  12. Ali Black

    Hello, Mary Beth–Though I am a new reader of your Plank blog, I have been watching DAYS since the Summer of 1988, really watching/taping daily since Summer 1989 [those exec producers are smart–waiting until summer to reel the teenagers in] when Jack & Jennifer’s love story started up. (I don’t think I would have liked Matthew Ashford [the (fourteenth?) actor hired to play Jack Harcourt Deveraux] very much if I had seen the ‘Jack Rapes Kayla’ storyline before watching & falling in love with Matt’s performance as a hopelessly devoted date-rapist/ newspaperman (how weird that sounds, and yet GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Luke started off as a date rapist too) which I never saw because I watched GUIDING LIGHT from 1981 until its cancellation in 2009 (and I always said I would never watch GENERAL HOSPITAL as a rule because I have spent quite a bit of time in the hospital in general in the last 43 years) and I miss GL terribly. Now I watch DAYS again (when Steve returned in 2006, I was so stunned and confused…I remember watching him die in Kayla’s arms in 1990 and in my strabismic, never-ending river-of-snot grief, I ordered the Australian ‘Patch!’ magazine while nearly causing my dear old dad to have an aortic dissection when he heard about my monetary lapse in judgement–oops. ‘Oh, Father,’ I said, channeling Sylvester the Cat’s son Junior, ‘have you never been in despair?’ (Needless to say, my pop failed to find the humanity or humor in my predicament–see also: Irizarry, Vincent. December 2, 1985: it was a dark day in my heart and head..)

    Anyhoo, I am so excited that Steve and Kayla are together again on DAYS! I loved their 2008 run–I was so sad when you & Stephen were not treated well. I am hoping Jack returns for his brother (the chemistry between Matt & Stephen is great & I really hope the actors get the chance to be as cherished & treasured as they should be and not treated like trash) and when Vincent Irizarry joins DAYS in January 2016, might he be paired again with Adrienne Johnson Kiriakis, played by (Emmy winner) Judi Evans? Like Steve and Kayla, GUIDING LIGHT’s Lujack & Beth had a soul healing aura surrounding them as well…hopefully, Kayla will found her way back to Steve (I have blocked out the Shane/Kayla love story; the very thought of the two of them together makes me need a thorough Silkwood shower; I can’t scrub the memory away fast enough {shudder} and luckily there’s YouTube today, chock full of healing Jack/Jennifer/Lujack/Beth/Steve/Kayla scenes to recover by.

    What a lovely blog you write, Mary Beth! It is an honor to be able to leave a note and to have watched you & Stephen Nichols together while being healed by you at the same time for all these years. As much as I love Steve & Kayla, I also like you & Stephen Nichols as GH’s Stefan & Katherine. The blatantly obvious & quietly subtle differences SN gives Stefan: his breathing and carriage is different and you can see both eyes (which have to be easier on him) and his beautiful face which you don’t see often on DAYS because of Steve’s patch & facial scar (as a CP-afflicted strabismic hydrocephalic right-side hemiplegic with no peripheral vision and zero depth perception, I wonder if SN’s vision has been compromised over the years–corneal abrasions, eye infections, etc. over the years–due to his most famous role? That patch he wears looks migraine-inducingly tight but that’s just me (I hope it’s more comfortable than it looks) I am so happy Steve Johnson is back & Stephen Nichols continues his sexy strut/swagger/that “Sweetness/oh, baby” voice…I have a craving for The Plane Crash Parts I & II (Steve Falls From the Sky) today…I love the way Kayla searches Steve’s face, disbelieving at first & then “I thought I lost you” at home–Good God, CLUNK–getting ready to fry a heating pad or three in his honor…ahem…

    Thank you for sharing & writing your blog–and thanks for letting me prattle on about you & Steve Johnson & Stephen Nichols & DAYS OF OUR LIVES for a while. Looking forward to your next installment…

    –Ali Black
    Rockville, MD

  13. I love reading your blogs. You write very well. It’s like I can imagine you talking what you’re writing (if that makes sense). I’ve said before that I’m amazed at the schedule you keep, the amount of work you do & how much energy you must have to keep up. Ironically, you said you thought of writing about something easy this week, but that’s just not you. You challenge your self to not take the easy rode & I can tell that you feel better for it. I get the impression that PLANK Blog is therapeutic for you. I love that! Thank you for sharing.

  14. You are truly an inspiration. You are an amazing actress, mother, business woman and friend. I love your blogs. I am thrilled that you and Stephen are back together again on Days. Patch and Kayla forever!

  15. Mary Beth,

    New to your blog, and loving it !! You’re a tad younger than I, but not by much, and it’s inspiring to hear you share some of the challenges you face as a working woman with a family, trying to remain healthy and fit, and having a modicum of fame as well! The recent changes on DOOL are palpable! The new writing, faster pace, return of beloved characters, and more “intimacy” (not just physical but on-screen chemistry) are truly enjoyable. I’ve hung in there with the show for all 50 years. I started watching with my mom (now 85) when I was 9. Yes, I’ve missed a LOT of shows over the years, but I’ve never tuned out completely. The love story of Steve and Kayla was one of my favorites of all time. Your friendship and love for one another as people and actors shines through. If our middle child had been a girl, we would’ve named it Kayla (but, he’s Christopher). Anytime I meet a girl named Kayla I tell her I love her name, and invariably she replies “yeah, my mom watches this soap called DOOL” !! Keep up the blog if you can fit it in to your busy schedule. We DO appreciate you !!

  16. I’m exhausted just reading what you do in one week! I’m now motivated to ger up early and exercise! Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us and your honesty. Love it!!!

  17. Extremely enjoyed reading your blog. You inspire me! You are so beautiful and so smart and live this busy life and you don’t let yourself down. In my eyes you are Perfect! (You are probably saying, yea, right but really you are). Truly you give me strength. THANK YOU! Sincerely….

  18. So happy to see so much more of you on DOOL as it should be. Love your blog and I so look forward to it every week♥

  19. Susan Nolen

    Great Blog as usual Mary Beth!…I just love your energy with everything you do!…you are definitely one busy lady! As always you inspire me so much! Thanks for another great positive blog!…I always feel better after I’ve read one of your blogs!

  20. Thank you so much for another amazing blog. You truly inspire me every week from exercise, volunteering, positive attitude, and the fun you have. I loved the Instagram takeover. Felt like I was there with you. I started watching You and SNwhen I was 12 and have loved every minute of it.

  21. Goodness gracious. I’m tired after reading this blog post. You’ve earned a nap!

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