If You’re A Germ-A-Phobe, Wash Before Reading!

Dara LevanBlog9 Comments

Germs. Does reading that word immediately prompt a pump of Purell? Did you grab the Lysol can and start spraying? Or did you take a double dose of your vitamins and perhaps supplements? If you have children, most of them spend at least seven hours a day in a cesspool of bacteria. Some call it school. I refer to it as a thought-provoking Petri dish. I have a strong immune system. I think it’s a combination of a healthy lifestyle and years of working with delightful, drippy-nosed kids. My germaphobic tendencies emerged after I had my own children. This isn’t … Read More

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A Night Out With The Girls!

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The night began with a conversation reminiscent of high school. The topic: Where to eat dinner. My hi-tech friend, Lola, brilliantly suggested linking our calls as we drove. We interrupted one another during the three-way chat because we had to figure this out quickly. The defining difference? We are all in our 40s and using cell phones rather than land lines. “I thing we’ll be late and rushed if we go to that other restaurant,” I said to Lola. “I want time to hang with you and Deb. We haven’t seen each other in a long time.” “I totally agree—I … Read More

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We’ve All Been Shaken–Teens Are Using Their Voices to Awaken!

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Let’s travel back in time and visit a town called North Miami Beach. The year is 1986. A student with thick, curly hair and curious, eager brown eyes stood with her classmates on a musty cafeteria stage. This young girl proudly sang Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All.” It is her 6th grade graduation from Sabal Palm Elementary school. That young, innocent girl was me. In the 1980s, my hometown was a sweet, serene city. Teenagers hung out at The Bagel Bar, Denny’s, the 163rd street mall, and baseball fields. You could even walk or bike home from school … Read More

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If Laughing Burned Calories, I’d Be A Waif!

Dara LevanBlog6 Comments

I’ve had friends and family ask, “So what are you going to write about this week?” And my response has been the same—I am not quite sure. I am heartbroken about the tragic, horrific massacre in Parkland. My heart and head are swirling and searing. Sitting down to compose a coherent and hopefully impactful piece has been difficult to say the least. But just minutes ago, the mental fog cleared momentarily and it hit me. Laughter. I want to giggle with you today! I think we could all use a smile and levity right now. There is so much heaviness … Read More

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The Waves of Grief: A Tide Without Warning

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It comes in waves, and there’s no pattern or warning. Sometimes it washes over you quickly. Other times it’s an unexpected, high tide that engulfs you. It leaves you gasping for air. When you grieve, it’s impossible to forecast the timing or intensity of the next emotional surge. I have lost many people during various times of my life. Some left the planet peacefully. Others exited suddenly and tragically. No matter what the age or the circumstance, losing one you love hurts in ways that transcend words. A few weeks ago, my friend Suzie passed away. The following words poured … Read More

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Sunflowers–Beauty Stems From Imperfection

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Do you ever intend to exercise but something distracts you? Motivating, stretchy leggings hugged my thighs. Socks and sneakers waited for me at the door. I even wrote “afternoon walk” in my calendar on Tuesday. So what happened? While walking through the kitchen, I noticed vibrant sunflowers. They coaxed me toward them from the transparent, purple vase in which they stood. I remembered what my daughter had said to me just the day before. “Mommy, when will the flowers that I gave you open up?” I said to her, “When they are ready.” I reached into my pocket and touched … Read More

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I SWORE I’d Never Swear

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Today is the Super Bowl. Unless you’re living on a secluded island, I’m sure you already know that. I considered writing about how I love having friends gather at our home every year. My favorite parts are watching the halftime show, the creative, costly commercials, and oh yes, the football game. I had to double check who is playing the Patriots! I’m admittedly not a sports fanatic. Then I thought F#%$ that idea! I will continue last week’s post, which is called “Parenthood: Where’s the Manual?” I swore—pun intended—I would never curse. Ever. I rarely uttered a curse word even during … Read More

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Parenthood–Where’s the Manual?

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Parenthood. Today this one word will function as a noun, verb, and adjective. I am — GASP — intentionally breaking a grammatical rule. I imagine some of you are rolling your eyes or sighing with a “get on with it” gesture. I will in a moment. I have decided that Parenthood is officially a complete sentence, and it has also earned the capital “P.” The mere mention of this word holds multiple meanings, images, and feelings. Mothers and fathers are teachers with or without formal training and degrees. Children do not arrive with a “this is how you raise me” manual. … Read More

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The Cousin Connection

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This past week reaffirmed what I have always known to be true: It’s not the quantity of the people in our lives that matter. It is the quality. It is not about the frequency we see or speak to someone we love. It is about the wholeheartedness of the moments we spend with that person. It is the vibe you sense while you’re with them and how you feel after they leave.  I am writing this post with an abundant, grateful heart. Family from across the country gathered here in Florida to celebrate my sweet nephew. When I was pondering … Read More

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.– A Lifelong and Lasting Legacy

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I stared this week at a flashing cursor and a blank page. My mind was spinning with feelings and thoughts. Quite frankly, I could have posted multiple blogs! But I got quiet and followed my heart. Hateful, unfathomable statements continue to spew from leaders across the globe. I want to be crystal clear: This is not a political statement or a partisan piece. I am referring to humanity. I am appalled at how people treat their family, friends, peers, and strangers. I am equally horrified by the leadership, or lack thereof, in our country and abroad. It’s vile. It’s frightening. … Read More

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