Browsing Tag

Jen Lawrence

— Life —

Photo: dollyparton.com
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Last week I saw Dolly Parton in concert. Dolly is now 70, but like Jane Fonda, she seems to be aging in reverse. She’s a petite powerhouse, jacked up on four-inch heels with a wig to rival Marie Antoinette’s.

Her concert interweaves her songs and her hilarious storytelling. She introduced her classic song, Jolene, by talking about the girl at the bank who liked to flirt with her husband, Carl Dean, 50 years ago. She quipped that she wanted to look her up to invite her to their recent vow renewal since she’s sung about her so much over the years.

She had us all in the palm of her hand.

I think what makes Dolly so special are these four things: Continue Reading

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Some people live for the break from routine that summer offers. I live for the return of routine in the fall.

If it weren’t for routine, I’m not sure I’d ever exercise. Were I not hardwired to show up at my group blast class on Monday morning at 9:15, I might head to the mall or knock over a liquor store, depending on how my weekend unfolded.

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Source: Bravo
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I have a confession to make. I love The Real Housewives of New York City. While they’ve been derided as everything from anti-feminist to blatantly consumerist, Luann, Bethenny, Sonja, Ramona, Dorinda and Carole are my kind of gals.

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I love Caroline Leavitt’s novels. Not only are they very readable and filled with fully-rounded, memorable characters, but they also impart all of the wisdom of a good self-help book. Leavitt’s soon-to-be-released book, Cruel Beautiful World (available for pre-order), is a skilled observation of the interplay of grief, healing, and love. Below are some of the quotes that stayed with me, long after I’d finished the book, as well as the lessons I took from them.

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I’ve been sailing many times. No, that’s not true: I’ve been sailed — passive voice — many times. I suspect I’m the kind of person for whom the term “deck fluff” was coined. I can tell you all about the iguanas and gas powered blenders on tiny islands in the Bahamas. I can’t tell you much about lines or cleats.

But all of that is about to change. Now that I have moved to a lakeside town, I have decided to learn how to sail with my fiancé. Our first class was last week. Continue Reading

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I’ve been a single parent since my kids were three and five, which means I’m used to orchestrating our vacations on my own.

We’ve had some disastrous vacations, like the one to the coast where the beach house we’d rented was so creepily isolated that I ended up booking a second place. What started out as a cheap and cheerful vacation rang in at just slightly less than what it would have cost us all to fly to St Tropez and vacation aboard one of those rented yachts. The SUV we’d rented to guide us on our travels arrived in terrible condition… and without GPS, and the beach was covered in dinner plate-sized jellyfish.

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Several months ago, on the advice of some friends, I saw a well-known local medium. Either she was authentic, or she asks everyone if their grandmother has a limp, makes terrible pastry dough and is a unique force of nature. While I got a lot of gee wow moments for my two hundred bucks, what made the experience worth the price was her assertion that my years in the crucible are behind me… unless I choose to put myself back in. When I asked her to clarify, she said that if I spend my life waiting for the other shoe to drop, I will suffer.

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We just had a long holiday weekend, and my social media has been flooded with photos of people having more fun than me. Everyone from Taylor Swift–I don’t think you should be able to have Tom Hiddleston and a waterslide–to buddies from high school were posting photos of beaches and cottages and firework displays.

Oh don’t get me wrong: I’m guilty of virtual bragging too. My Instagram feed features plenty of fireworks and beaches. What my social media feed does not show is that at the DIY fireworks display, a lit bucket of fireworks tipped over and started to fire towards children who scattered in fear. Nor do my beach photos show that I’m not frolicking in Ibiza or on the Cape, but rather in a lakeside town best known for its gathering of bikers every Friday 13th and the sale of grey market cigarettes. Continue Reading

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When you are faced with some sort of setback, be it divorce, a health crisis, the death of a loved one, or a natural disaster, very often it’s accompanied by financial stress. While this sucks mightily, it doesn’t have to ruin you. Here are some tips for averting a financial crisis when the rest of your life is running off the rails. Continue Reading

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The Swiss village of Bubendorf has denied a family Swiss citizenship because they wore sweatpants outside of the house too often. While it seems somewhat harsh to deny one citizenship due to a fashion faux pas, I’m not entirely opposed to the sentiment.

I find sloppy dressing depressing. I know people like to be comfortable and, at times, it’s hard to muster the energy to put on something smart. But even if your life is going to hell in a handbasket, it does not mean you have to dress for it. Continue Reading