Who Told Me Who He Was?!?!

Last week, I posted a picture on my Facebook and Instagram accounts of me and NBA Hall of Famer, Dominique Wilkins. I ran into him at a restaurant in Uptown Charlotte when I was having lunch with a friend. Soon after posting the photo, I received a phone call.

It was my friend, Mary Ann.

  • Me: Hello?
  • Mary Ann: I saw that picture. Who told you who he was?
  • Me: What?!?!?!
  • Mary Ann: Who told you who that basketball player was?

And here’s where you hear that sound like brakes screeching. What?!?!?

Who told me who he was?!?!

Mary Ann should know better, but I guess she had a momentary lapse. She has been with me when I’ve spotted celebrities. She knows I have a keen eye. She knows I’m a crazy sports fan.

       Did she really think someone had to tell me who he was?!?!

My friend and I had just ordered our lunch when I saw a tall gentleman walked into the restaurant. I took one look at his face and said to my friend, “That’s Dominique Wilkins! He just walked in!”

Years ago, when I first got out of college, I was a flight attendant and lived in Atlanta. It was the late 80s/early 90s. Wilkins was a superstar for the Atlanta Hawks; he was a favored celebrity. Also known as The Human Highlight Reel, he was famous for good reason…highest scorer in NBA, slam dunk champ, All-Pro, and lots more…plus, he had played at the University of Georgia, so everyone in Atlanta loved him. He also owned a popular nightclub near my apartment, and folks were always talking about that. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2006.

One morning, on an early flight out of Milwaukee, the Atlanta Hawks walked onto my flight. That team had lots of great players: Wilkins, Spud Webb, Moses Malone, John Koncak… and I was getting to spend a couple of hours with them! For the record, they were all very gracious…Moses Malone didn’t even flinch when I stepped on his foot, and when I apologized, he smiled and said, “No problem.”

So, of course I would recognize Dominique! Even almost 30 years later, when he was wearing a beanie to shield him from the cold, and glasses because we’re all 30 years older now, I recognized him immediately. I was going to wait a little while to approach him, but my friend pretty quickly asked him if we could get photos, and he very graciously agreed. I told him I had met him before, and I went through the story from almost 30 years ago. I also told him I remembered his nightclub, and he chuckled and said several times, “Now you’re taking me waaaay back!” He was one of the sweetest celebrities I’ve ever met (and I’ve met more than a few), and he even came by our table on his way out to tell us goodbye and wish us a good afternoon. I was so excited…still am!

Who told me who he was?!?! Oh, Mary AnnBahahahahahaha!


Same Gift, Different Year

Every year of her life, our 15-yr-old daughter has received a sled for Christmas. It’s a staple. It’s just part of Christmas at our house. Without a doubt, every year, she knows she will come downstairs on Christmas morning and find a sled. She has quite a collection now.

Did any member of your family receive a yearly  gift?

When I was growing up, we always knew, without a doubt, there would be an electric train for my brother under the tree on Christmas morning. And Santa never failed. There were countless trains, but the best ones were the ones with a fat power box with a switch that just made them go forward or backward, fast or slow.

For whatever reason, it was always the most popular gift in the family. What’s so entertaining about watching a train go in a circle? But there was something about it. I think we set up little people at different “stations” around the track and pretended we were picking up the people or cargo when we made stops.

While I don’t remember the all the details of how we played, I know we played with those trains a lot…on Christmas Day.

Usually, about halfway through the afternoon, we’d smell something burning. The first couple of years, we weren’t quick to identify it, but later, we knew right away…the control box was on its last leg. It was an electrical “fire” we were smelling…inside the overheated control box, and we knew the fun of the train was almost over. It usually happened when Daddy was playing with it, but he would never admit it. As adults, we laugh about how he enjoyed the train more than any of us.

Fortunately for our daughter, a sled doesn’t cause electrical fires. And most Christmas mornings in Charlotte, there’s no snow, so no one even touches the sled that day.

But when it finally snows, it’s always the most popular gift in the house!

Because my husband and I grew up in south Alabama, we didn’t have the opportunity to go sledding when we were growing up. In fact, when my family moved into one house, my brother and I found a couple of sleds that had been left by the previous owners. We had a big, tree-filled hill behind our house, and since we rarely had snow, we would go “leaf sledding.” We’d “sled” down that leaf-covered hill, dodging trees along the way. It was fun (and dangerous), but it wasn’t snow sledding.

Sure, you can visit ski resorts, but there is nothing as much fun as “home snow.” There’s nothing like racing down the neighborhood hills on sleds in the snow…with all the neighborhood kids. We know that now, because now that I live in North Carolina, we get to go sledding. We buy lots of junk food and hot chocolate mix beforehand, and we invite friends over…young and old…and we go sledding. Our daughter now has a big collection of sleds, so there are plenty to go around, but you know what happens…we all want to take a turn (or two) on the new sled.

Generally speaking, my husband stays out for about 15 minutes. I’ll stay out for an hour or two. Our daughter stays out all day with friends. She always knows our sledding time will be short, so she doesn’t mind letting us take the new sled for a trip or two down the hill.

This year, she’ll get another sled. It’s supposed to be even faster than the super-fast one she got last year, which was faster than the super-fast one she got the year before.

And we’ll wait for snow…

***If you’re interested in a toy train for someone in your family this year, Amazon has an assortment. You can shop here. I’m not in the market for one, but if I were, I’d probably purchase this one. They also have an assortment of sleds here.***

My Favorite Fun Things To Do At Christmas

Our daughter is a teenager now. No more trips to Southpark Mall for her to sit on Santa’s lap. Oh, that used to be one of the highlights of the season…and she did it 15 or 20 times a year.

She doesn’t want to hang out with us like she used to, and we’re cool with that. She’s growing up, and I’m glad she is becoming more independent every day. During the Christmas season, she’ll join me for a few fun Christmas things, but we used to do a lot when she was younger. Every city has its own places to visit, but here are my favorite fun things to do during the holidays that can be done anywhere:

  • Neighborhood Lights. Riding around looking at Christmas lights never gets old. Image-1Fortunately, our daughter will still do this with us. She will invite a few friends, and I’ll get a mom friend, and we will drive around looking at lights. Sometimes, we might even stop for the girls to “carol” at a friend’s house, which really means they want to visit with someone for a little while.
  • Host a Cookie Swap. This is something we haven’t done in years, but when we did it, it was fun. Maybe this year, my daughter and I will pick a weekend day to invite friends over and have an old-fashioned cookie swap. We’ll make a few dozen of our favorites and ask our friends to bring their favorites, and we’ll swap them out while we drink hot chocolate or coffee…or maybe champagne for the moms!photo-1510545724575-ca1a01b0cd1e.jpeg
  • Decorate the Tree. I know, lots of people hire folks to decorate their tree and do their outdoor lighting, and that’s great if that’s what you want to do. Not me. Part of the fun of the holiday is doing that stuff! Sure, it’s frustrating at times, but it helps with the spirit of the holiday. Often, teenagers think they’re too cool to help decorate the tree or help with outdoor decor. At our house, it will be a family event…again. Besides, the best memories are made when the tree isn’t perfect! I remember when our daughter was four, we let her hang the ornaments on the tree, and they were all on the bottom third of the tree. Good times!
  • Christmas specials. Maybe I’m the only 51-yr-old mother who loves the old Christmas TV specials more than my child does. She cares nothing about watching the old animated shows I watched as a child, so I usually end up recording them and watching them by myself. My husband thinks I’m a nut, but it never really feels like the holiday season till I see some of my favorites: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming To Town, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy, and The Year Without A Santa Claus. Those were the ones we could hardly wait to see every year when I was a little girl. We’d get an early bath and get into our pajamas. Mother would turn off all the lights in the den, and we’d lie in front of the TV, watching the special of the night.
  • Christmas Movies. When I was a teenager, I still looked forward to those specials, but I loved staying up late at night with Mother, watching classic holiday movies. Our favorites were Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Holiday Inn…all on TBS. One year, when It’s a Wonderful Life was on earlier in the evening, Daddy came in and wanted to watch something else on the television in the den. I pouted, but I went upstairs to finish watching my movie. He ended up coming upstairs and telling me we’d watch the movie in the den. He watched with me, and it became one of his favorite movies of all time. His other favorite Christmas movie? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Daddy had a good sense of humor. I can remember his laugh like it was yesterday.
  • Bake, Bake, Bake! Every time I go into Target between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I pick up some baking supplies: sugar, flour, butter, Karo Syrup, or even just cookie or cake mix. I have some favorite things I like to bake for the holidays: Fudge Pecan Pie Bars, Cardamom Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Buttermilk Pie, and Beer Bread! Maybe I can get my daughter to stay home long enough one weekend afternoon to do some baking with me. I’ll share some recipes soon too!
  • Knitting. In Charlotte, December is when it starts to get a little cold, which puts me in the mood to do some knitting, and this year is no exception. I’m dragging out the yarn and knitting needles, getting ready to make a new snow beanie for my husband. He has one I made last year, and surprisingly, he loves it. He actually  requested another one. It’s very relaxing for me to knit, and it’s great to know he likes what I made him.
  • Visit Local Holiday Sites. Every city has different things to enjoy during the holidays, and every year, something is added. I love to get online and search for holiday fun in Charlotte every year. Maybe it’s a tree lighting or candlelight tour of a local attraction. There are so many fun things in Charlotte around the holidays. Lots of them are listed here. Our favorites are Winterfest at Carowinds; Christmas at the Library, Billy Graham Library, click here; Christmas in the Gardens at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens; Gingerbread Lane, Holiday Tea, Hot Chocolate and Toddies, and more at Ballantyne Hotel…see their events here; Charlotte Christmas Village (click here), and the drive-thru Nativity at Carmel Presbyterian Church located at the corner of Carmel Road and Sharonview Road (click here).


    Live Nativity at Billy Graham Library

Now, I’m getting my calendar out to schedule everything we can possibly do between now and Christmas!












Even MORE Stocking Stuffers!

Who knew?!?! Lots of folks are looking for even MORE stocking stuffers! After my recent post about stocking stuffers (see it here), I got requests for even MORE! So here’s what I’ve found:

Urban Outfitters Cat-Eye Glasses. When my nephew and his 22-yr-old female friend came to town for a concert recently, the friend was wearing some cool glasses from Urban Outfitters. Apparently, these type glasses are all the rage with the teen and 20-something set. Starting at just $16, they’re inexpensive, so they make great stocking stuffers. Get them here.

Clean Screen Wizard. My husband is always cleaning his glasses, phone screen, and iPad screen. This is a set of six cleaning cloths and one sticker screen cleaner for devices. The sticker screen cleaner is designed to adhere to the back of devices, for easy access but no sticky residue. Everybody can use these, and my husband will be grateful to find these in his stocking. Get them at for $9.90 at Amazon here.


Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette. Every year, the newest Urban Decay Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette is a popular item…especially with teens and 20-somethings. This year is no exception. This year’s palette is called Naked Cherry, and it has been very well-received. Priced at $49, it’s not a cheap gift, but my daughter thinks it’s worth every penny. Get one at Ulta here.


Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray. If you’re not familiar with Poo-Pourri, you need to be. It’s a great product. I won’t get into the details of how it keeps a bathroom smelling fresh, but if you don’t know, watch a really funny commercial here. Every time I watch it, I laugh till I cry. And the small bottles are the perfect size to carry in your handbag. To get your 2 oz. bottle of Poo-Pourri for $9.98, purchase at Amazon here.



Stainless Drinking Straws. We all know California has banned the plastic straw, and I get the reasoning behind it. Whether you have friends in Cali or not, there are lots of folks who would like to cut back on their use of plastic straws to help the environment. If you know those folks, these stainless drinking straws can be the perfect stocking stuffer. Priced at $5.35 at Amazon, they’re a good deal. Get them here.


Dry Divas Shower Cap. Earlier this year, I wrote about how much I love my Dry Divas Shower Cap…functional and pretty too! It does a great job of keeping my hair dry in the shower, which most shower caps can’t seem to do. I also use it to keep my hair off my face while I’m applying makeup. And they’re so well made that each cap should last about three years. Last year, I found these at a different store for $30, but I’ve found them at Dillards.com for $20, and they have a lot of designs! Shop them here.


AirComfy Daydreamer Inflatable Neck Travel Pillow. Priced at $21.95 on Amazon, these are a deal. I know…lots of folks have those foam travel pillows, but this one’s better, because it takes up less room in a carry-on bag! Just carry it deflated, and inflate it when you get to your seat! Plane lands…deflate the pillow and stuff it in your carry on. Shop it here.


Emergency Themed Souvenir Set of Float Pens. Because I’ve loved a good float pen since I was a kid, I always think they make good stocking stuffers. I was reminded of how much I love these things when I was cleaning out a drawer in my closet over the weekend. Priced at $19.99, this set is a fun stocking stuffer, or break it up, and drop one in each stocking. Shop it at Amazon here. And if someone in the family loves Stephen King’s It, there’s an It-themed float pen on Amazon too, but it’s priced at $15.06. See it here.

Who’s Most Likely To… Card Game. I’ve seen variations of this game on talk shows. It’s a lot of fun if you have a group of people who aren’t super sensitive. Touted as “a hilarious way to get to know your friends on a whole new level.” Decide who among the group would be “most likely to be a horrible doctor” and more. Get it on Amazon.com for $31.79 here. It’s guaranteed to bring hours of laughs for folks ages 17+.


Worldwide Travel Adaptor. Does someone on your list have an international trip planned? Take the guesswork out of travel adaptors by getting the traveler one that works everywhere! The one I like is the JOOMFEEN, because not only does it have adaptors for everywhere, it also has USB ports for your electronics. It will fit perfectly in a traveler’s Christmas stocking and luggage. Priced at $12.99 on Amazon, it’s a great buy. Shop it here.



You asked for it! You got it! More stocking stuffers! I hope these suggestions help take some of the anxiety out of your holiday shopping!


I’m Thankful for a Turkey…Drop

Thanksgiving…that time of year we all give thanks, which is something we should be doing all the time anyway.

Don’t get me wrong. I get it. Thanksgiving is a great holiday. Well, it’s an OK holiday. Lots of my friends love a traditional Thanksgiving. They say it’s a low pressure holiday. Me…not so much. The meaning behind it is great, but frankly, the traditional day…meh. Don’t judge! I don’t really like turkey. I love cornbread dressing, but I can only eat so much of the stuff. As for Thanksgiving itself…I know there’s historic significance. I know about the pilgrims and native Americans. I know, and I’m thankful for the pilgrims and the Native Americans. I just think the traditional Thanksgiving is boring. {GASP!} We spend hours cooking with family and/or friends, and the meal is over in an hour. And the cleanup! Whew! Sure, we visit with all the folks around us, but shouldn’t we be making time for them all the time anyway? If someone is important to you, shouldn’t you be putting them on your calendar? 

At the end of Thanksgiving Day, I always find myself thinking, “Is that all there is?” Frankly, there are lots of other days that I truly feel thankful.

Living in the United States, we have a lot to be thankful for: freedom being at the top of the list, I suppose. I’m thankful to God and to the veterans who have protected and continue to protect that freedom.

Obviously, I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful I had my Daddy for the first 39 years of my life, and I had my Mother for the first 50 years of my life. I’m thankful for my  brother and his awesome family. I’m thankful for family and friends near and far. And of course, I’m thankful for my husband and daughter.

But here’s a list of ten things I’m thankful for that might be a little different than the usual:

  • Waking up. I’m thankful for every day that I wake up! Every day is a gift. Yes, it sounds corny, till you think about the folks who didn’t wake up today. By thinking of how grateful I am to wake up every day, it also makes me think of those I’ve lost…those I wish were still here. They would want me to be grateful to be alive.
  • School nurses. This week, there was a medical emergency at school, and while I always appreciate our school nurses, I was especially grateful we had them on campus this week. Aside from the fact that they can save lives, they also comfort the rest of us when we need it. There is comfort in knowing they are there.
  • Sweet moments. Now that our daughter is 15, those truly sweet moments are not as plentiful. She knows I’m not a superhero. She knows I can’t sing. She knows I’m not a supermodel. But occasionally, we have those sweet moments again. She falls asleep with her head on my shoulder. Or she texts/calls me to comfort her about something. Or she holds my hand in the car. Or when I witness her helping someone else. Or she asks my opinion…and really listens. Or she and her friends sit around the kitchen table with me, talking and laughing. I’m thankful for those moments.
  • Unexpected gifts. This past Saturday, as I was walking out the door, I grabbed a coat that had been hanging in the closet since last winter. After I put it on, I reached into the pocket, and I pulled out $40! Yes! That’s a win!
  • Soap operas. Yes…particularly, The Young and The Restless. I watched it years ago, and only recently, I started recording it to watch it at night. Why am I thankful for it? I’m thankful, because it’s mindless, ongoing television. I get enough of reality, and sometimes, I get tired of it. I love a mindless distraction, and that’s what The Young and The Restless provides.
  • Other moms. What would I do without other moms? They help me survive. Teenagers are a different breed, and while I remember being 15, the lives of teenagers are different now, in some ways, than they were when we were young. Sometimes, we all need some support.
  • Modern conveniences. Oh, yes. Thank God for air-conditioners, electricity, running water, automobiles, jets, online shopping, and everything else. Survive a few days without electricity, and you’ll have a new appreciation for something we take for granted every day. My family members who live in the wake of Hurricane Michael can tell you all the modern conveniences are blessings. And yes, I’m even thankful for Facebook, because there are so many people with whom I would have never connected or re-connected without Facebook. (I just ignore the politics.)
  • Morning coffee. My husband brings me coffee in bed every single morning. He knows I’m nicer after a cup of coffee, so he facilitates that niceness. Recently, when my daughter and I were staying in a hotel for a lacrosse tournament, the coffeemaker in our room didn’t work. I knew room service would take forever, because well, it wasn’t a hotel that’s known for great service. It was a lacrosse tournament hotel. I had to schlep downstairs for a cup of coffee, and fortunately, they had it in the lobby. Whew! Day saved!
  • Memories. Yes, I’m thankful for memories, good and bad, but most thankful for the good. I’ve lost both parents, but I have great memories of them. I have great childhood memories, high school memories, and college memories. I have great memories of friends in my 20s, 30s, and 40s, and now, my 50s. Yes, sometimes I can’t remember certain events, but that’s where friends come in…their versions of stories might be different, but they’re usually good!
  • WKRP in Cincinnati‘s Turkey Drop. Thus, the title of the blog. I know it sounds trivial, but nothing makes me laugh like Les Nessman at the WKRP Turkey Drop…a great moment in 1978 television. If you’ve never seen it, you must. It was based on an event in a town that would drop turkeys from trucks, creating mayhem. But I’ve also read about a turkey drop (from an airplane!) in Yellville, Arkansas. You can read about that here. To see a clip from the episode, click here. Or watch the whole episode on Amazon Prime Video here for $1.99. It’s the 7th episode of the first season. And while you’re at Amazon, you might as well scroll through the Turkey Drop paraphernalia here.

So Happy Thanksgiving Day to all! Take a moment to be thankful for everything you have (which you should do every day). Enjoy your meal…whatever it may be. We go out with friends we love on Thanksgiving…friends who are regularly on our calendar…no cooking, no turkey, no cleanup…just good company and lots of laughter. And we thank God every day for life. As my parents used to say, “Every day is Thanksgiving at our house.”

Life is a gift. Enjoy it. Be grateful. Not just on Thanksgiving, but every single day.

My Favorite Holiday Gifts 2018, Part 4: Gifts for Men

Here we go. I’m going to cut to the chase on this one. Lots of folks offered suggestions, so here’s a compilation. We still have travel gifts, stocking stuffers, and gifts for students/teens/kids coming soon, but today, it’s all about GIFTS FOR MEN.

Desktop Teardrop Storm Glass. My husband loves keeping track of the weather. Oh, who am I kidding? I do too! I know kids and teenagers who do too, so I think this storm glass would be a great gift for weather watchers. It predicts the weather 1-2 days in advance. The “water” inside the teardrop changes to show if it will be cloudy, stormy, or clear. You can get these at a lot of different retailers, but I went with Walmart on this one, because their version, suspended in a frame, seems less likely to cause a disaster if a table is bumped. Priced at $26.98, it’s a great gift! You can order from Walmart here.


Hella Cocktail Kits. The Hella Cocktail Company, in Brooklyn, New York, sells bitters, syrups, and mixers for your home bar. My favorite thing they sell, though, is their DIY Cocktail Kits, which include everything you need to make Moscow Mules, Bloody Marys, or an Old Fashioned, except the spirits. While you’re shopping, take a look around their website too, because they offer recipes, advice, and lessons about which bar tools are used for which cocktails. The DIY kits are priced at $59.99 and include everything pictured below. Purchase here.

Fixd. Finally!  A device that shows us what’s wrong with our car! How many times has a check engine light come on in your car, and you have no idea why it’s on? Well, now you don’t have to rely entirely on the information given you by a mechanic or someone in the service department at the dealership. If your car was manufactured any time after 1996 and runs on gasoline, Fixd can help diagnose the problem. Plug the device into your car as directed, and after downloading the app on your smartphone, you can diagnose issues, keep a continuous maintenance timeline, keep vehicle history, and have continuous monitoring of your vehicle for issues. Prices start at $59 for one unit, or get discounts for multiple: 2 for $88, or 3 for $118. My dad would have loved this! Purchase direct here.3sensorsbundle-300x214

NFL Jerseys and Hoodies. I know. All men are not football fans, but for the ones who love the NFL, NFLshop.com has everything. It can make shopping easy for the spouse, sibling, or parent of an NFL fan. Popular jerseys, like the Julio Jones and Amari Cooper ones shown below (they’re popular at my house) are priced at $99.95, while hoodies start at about $34. Hats and t-shirts start even lower! Just go to nflshop.com, click on the team, then make your selections! Start shopping here.

Man Crates. I’ve mentioned Man Crates before, and I’m going to mention them again, because they are great gifts. They design crated packages for men’s interests. Your family member or friends enjoys disc golf? There’s a crate for that at $74.99. Maybe he enjoys roasting his own coffee. There’s a crate for that too, priced at $84.99. Or you can get him a personalized flask for $19.99 or a jerky crate for as little as $29.99. Seriously. If your husband has any interest at all: sports, grilling, outdoor…check out this website. You can see it here. (Collegiate Barware Crate pictured)


Ugg products. Some men enjoy lounging at home, and they love comfortable loungewear. Ugg has great stuff for men. My husband, as corny as it may sound, loves a good pair of slippers and good lounge pants. This year, he will likely get the ones pictured below. The Ugg Men’s Jakob Lounge Pants, priced at $85 at Neiman Marcus, come in blue, black, and gray…click here. Pair them with the Ugg Ascot Suede Slippers, priced at $110, and he gets a complete lounge set! For the slippers, click here.

Divvy Up Socks. All men wear socks sometimes, right? And some love crazy socks! Am I right? Lots of men love their kids and pets too! Put it all together, and what do you have? Divvy Up Socks! Customizable socks for $24 per pair. You pick the color, and pick a photo you’d like to put on them. Place the online order, and soon, you’ll have some awesome, one-of-a-kind socks to give dad, husband, or son! And know what else? Divvy Up gives back to the community…in the form of socks for the homeless! To order, click here.

Kiehl’s Products for Men. Kiehl’s makes great skincare products…no doubt about that. Their men’s line is no exception. They offer different gift sets sold through different retailers, but I love these two sold through Nordstrom.  One is the Men’s Heavy Lifters Set, sold at Nordstrom for $68. It is a collection of age defenders specially formulated for the needs of men’s skin. The other is the Men’s Grab and Go Essentials Set, priced at $48. It’s a collection of head-to-toe hydration for men. Purchase here.

Duluth Trading Company. There is so much I love about Duluth Trading Post. First, their TV commercials are always fun. Beyond that, I love their products, and I always find something for the men in my life (a husband, a brother, and five nephews). Here are some of my favorites, in a variety of price ranges: Angry Beaver T-shirts at $19.50, Angry Beaver Mult-tool at $12.95, Angry Beaver Cutting Board at $29.95, Hanger Bender Fire Hose Shirt Jac starting at $54.99, and the Men’s Shoreman Fleece Windproof Jacket priced at $49.99. I’ve given each of these items as gifts to those men in my life, and all were well-received. Duluth Trading Post makes quality products. And I can’t forget the book, My Dad Had That Car, priced at $35…perfect for any car enthusiast. Purchase here.

Mini Fridge or Portable Fridge. You’ll see these listed again in my Teens/Kids gift ideas, but I had to put it here. Everyone knows teen boys and men can eat a lot. Teen boys eat all the time. They need a fresh supply of food and beverage on hand, whether they live at home or in a dorm. These two fridges are great for young men, and both can be purchased at Walmart. One is a portable fridge that holds up to 12 cans ($49.99). Plug it into your car or home outlet. Great for tailgating! The second is a true mini fridge ($79.99)…perfect for a teen’s TV room, bedroom, or dorm room. Purchase here.

Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Wool Hoodie This hoodie is the perfect weight for winter days that will be spent indoors and outdoors, and it looks good too. Made of a high quality cashmere and wool blend, this one is one he will wear forever. It’s on the higher end of the price spectrum at $248, but it’s worth it, considering the long-term wearability. Purchase at Saks Fifth Avenue here.

Sports Tickets. At our house, sports tickets are a pretty safe gift for everyone, and my husband is the only man in the house! My daughter and I both love sports tickets too! In Charlotte, we’re fortunate to have several sports teams to follow, but we also follow some college teams. However, we opt not to get season tickets we won’t use, so when we do want to go to a game, we purchase single-game tickets. My husband probably appreciates tickets to Charlotte Hornets games most, but most men would love the gift of a sporting event.

And those are my suggestions for men. I think there’s something on this list for any time of man…even those difficult ones. Happy Shopping!







My Favorite Holiday Gifts, Part 1: Books

Christmas is two months away. I know! I know…it’s early to be thinking about it, but there was a time in life I had all my shopping done by the end of October. Those days are behind me, I’m afraid. I haven’t purchased the first gift this year. I have, however, been looking at possible gifts for a few months, and I’ve talked with friends and family about gift ideas. Because I’ve found so many awesome things, I’ve broken them into categories that I will feature over the next week or two: Books, Apparel, Accessories, Home, Travel, Men, and Stocking Stuffers…and maybe Kids & Teens. Today is BOOKS. These are nonfiction, with the exception of one, a collection of fiction short stories. I find it’s more difficult to gift fiction than nonfiction, but I have listed some popular authors’ recent fiction releases at the bottom, in case you have a friend or family member who is a fan of a particular author. I’ve read a few of these selections, but some were recommended by friends. Without further ado, here are some books, in no particular order, I think would make great gifts:


Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon. If you were lucky enough to see her when she visited Charlotte last month promoting her book, you know Ms. Witherspoon is truly southern and truly adorable. This lovely book contains some of her southern grandmother’s recipes, and some great stories behind them. She includes party hosting tips, book club info, “do gooding” info, and more. Plus, the cover looks really pretty on a coffee table! Great for friends or sisters! Purchase through Amazon.com here.


order-book-tourHungry Girl Clean and Hungry Obsessed by Lisa Lillien. It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the Hungry Girl brand. Lisa Lillien is the busiest woman I know, and she is always providing great info…by book, magazine, podcast, magazine, TV appearances, and website! And she’s really sweet too! If you need gifts for folks who want ways to cut the calories and fat in their lives, this is it. Purchase at Amazon.com here.


 bushtwavail.jpgGeorge and Barbara Bush: A Great American Love Story by Ellie LaBlond Sosa with Kelly Anne Chase. Through letters, photographs, and stories, Sosa tells the story of the enduring relationship of her grandparents, George and Barbara Bush. You can purchase on Amazon here, or *I received word that The Buttercup Gifts and Stationery in Charlotte will be hosting the author on Saturday, November 3, from 10:30am to 2:00pm for a book signing. Call The Buttercup for more information at 704-332-5329.*


510oZZ5X3DL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_-2Sean of the South, Volume 1 by Sean Dietrich. Deitrich is a humorist, storyteller, and writer with roots in south Alabama and a connection to a small town where I once lived, Brewton. He is plain-spoken, funny, and if you grew up in the south, you will relate to his experiences. If you grew up elsewhere, you’ll enjoy his stories too. Raised mostly by a hard-working single mother, he shares stories of his life and people he meets along the way. My mother loved reading Sean Dietrich, and we often talked about his Facebook posts. He has several books. This one is the first collection of short stories, so it is not newly published, but it’s a good place to start reading his work. See all his books at Amazon.com here.



caddyshack-book-cover-1-1525443738Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty. For those who were old enough to enjoy this movie in the theater or those who were too young and had to sneak to watch it on HBO, this book is a fun look behind the behind the scenes of the one of the most surprisingly beloved comedies of all time. Starring Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray, those of us who remember the film know it was comedic genius. And the candy bar will never be forgotten. I was in Target recently, and two young people ahead of me in line were discussing 1980s movies they wanted to see. I recommended a few, and Caddyshack was at the top of the list. Purchase from Amazon here.


sons-of-cain-1534874929Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers From The Stone Age To The Present by Peter Vronsky. This one was recommended by a friend who knows my fascination with serial killers. Having an interest in serial killers does not make me a serial killer.  According to my unnamed friend, the book is entertaining while examining the psychology behind serial killers and examining certain cases. She said the author includes too many statistics, but aside from that, she thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was released in August of this year. This one is on my short list for me, and I think my friend, Mary Ann, would like it too. Purchase from Amazon here.



NMHBQJZ_mzBruce W. Talamon Soul R&B Funk Photographs: 1972-1982. A collection of photographs by Bruce W. Talamon, this book features “legends such as Marvin Gaye, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder…” and more. For the music lover you know, this is a lovely gift that will likely bring back lots of memories or familiarize him/her with groups he/she has only heard and never seen. I’m getting one for my husband. Purchase at Neiman Marcus for $70 here.




You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld. Ms. Sittenfeld is a successful Charlotte author with whom I was not familiar until she interviewed Reese Witherspoon onstage last month. Though I haven’t read them yet, she has hit the bestseller lists with previous novels, including Prep and American Wife. My friends sing her praises. Her latest, You Think It, I’ll Say It, is described on her website: “With moving insight and uncanny precision, this first collection of short fiction pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life.” I can hardly wait to pick it up for some friends! Purchase all her novels and this new short story collection through her website here.


Road Swing
by Steve Rushin. I spoke with a friend about what books he would recommend for sports lovers, and this one was the first one he mentioned. An obsessed sports fan takes a road trip through the United States visiting every major sports “shrine” and shares his insight. It will make any sports fan want to do the same road trip to the same epic places.  Perfect for the sports fan on your list…especially if he/she is a fan of road trips too! Purchase through Amazon here.


41f1eA1LEoL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time by Ian O’Connor. Even if you don’t like the New England Patriots. Even if you think Deflategate was a terrible football scandal. By all accounts, this in-depth look at the most successful football coach of all time is compelling. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe called it “a must-read for football buffs and anyone who appreciates leadership.” Purchase through Amazon here.



41EQr37Py+L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_All The Way: My Life in Four Quarters by Joe Namath. Last but not least, the one I’m most looking forward to…this autobiography is actually not available yet, but you an preorder it on Amazon here. I’d be thrilled to receive a card at Christmas telling me I will be receiving this book as soon as it is released. Scheduled for release in May of 2019, this book is the football icon’s life in his own wordS. He has lived a life like no other, so I expect an exciting read. Honestly, I have to admit I don’t really care what it says…I love Joe Namath so much that I’d be happy just looking at photos of him. Till that book is released, you can gift Namath by Mark Kriegel, a biography of Broadway Joe that was released in 2005, which you can purchase here.


Jodi Picoult, A Spark of Light: A Novel, purchase here.

Nicholas Sparks, Every Breath, purchase here.

Dorothea Benton Franks, By Invitation Only, purchase here.

John Grisham, The Reckoning, purchase here.

****Next time, more gift suggestions: ACCESSORIES.****