Thursday, May 26, 2016


Is learning a new language on your to-do list?  Are you planning a trip and could really use some foreign language skills.  I wanted to share something awesome that I found, and best of all its 100% FREE.  An online language program called Duolingo. 

With Duolingo, you can learn Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and many other languages.   There’s a mobile app and a website, and the courses are completely free. 

I took French way back in high school, but I have forgotten most of what I learned.  Last summer my husband and I had the privilege of hosting a foreign exchange student from France.  It was a wonderful opportunity and it rekindled my interesting in speaking French.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a Rosetta Stone program.  A friend told me about Duolingo and I love it. 
I have the app on my phone and I spend just a few minutes each day to practice some French.  Through a variety of speaking, reading and writing, I practice French.  The lessons are quick and easy in a game-like format, usually taking less than 5 minutes to complete.  Duolingo even keeps track of your lessons and lets you post your ‘fluency’ in a language on your LinkedIn profile.  Right now I am 25% fluent in French. 

The best part of using Duolingo is that it doesn’t have any annoying pop-up ads. By using the site individual users are helping to translate sections of the internet. Created by Luis von Ahn, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Forbes magazine describes how Duolingo uses a crowdsourcing model to translate content from Buzzfeed and CNN, which generates the revenue to keep the program free. 

If learning a language is one of your goals – I recommend you check out Duolingo. 

Monday, May 23, 2016


It's harder than you think.... No using Google!!!! Every answer must start with the first letter of your name. Its fun...Who doesn't love the game of Scattergories? Come on! Try it!!!

Name - Laurie
Boys name - Lyle
Girls name - Lisa
Animal - Lemming

Movie –Lion King
Color – Lavendar

Something you wear – Leggings

Drink – Long Island Ice Tea

Food –Lobster

Item in the bathroom - Lotion
Place - Lexington

Reason to be late - laziness

Car – Lexus
Sport - Lacross

Copy & paste your answers in the comments below

Friday, May 20, 2016

National Get Caught Up with Reading month

I’m not sure who had the idea of National Get Caught Up with Reading month, but this is an event that I really need.  I am seriously addicted to books, I have so many books that I “plan on reading soon”. 
·      There are piles of books next to my bed. 
·      There are three full bookcases of books, and there is another crate of books on the floor in my office closet that I have been meaning to read.
·       I have hundreds of books downloaded onto my kindle. 
·      I have over 1000 books on my Goodreads ‘to-read’ list
·      I have a serious problem. 

I read books for my book club.  I read books that other authors have asked me to review.  I read new books that my favorite authors release.  I read new best-seller books that sound fun.  I re-read some of my favorite childhood classics.  I read books that people are talking about.  I read books that I won on Goodread’s giveaways.  I read books to keep learning even more about history.  I read books that just look interesting for some reason. I have a serious book addiction. 

I am so excited for the summer months because during the lazy days of summer I spend much more time reading, but honestly if I did nothing but read full time for the next year I am not sure if I could finish the all the books I own. 

Excuse me – I’m going to go do some reading now – and hopefully make a small dent in my pile of books to be read.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Comments section A.K.A the cesspool of humanity

I try not to read them, I really do, but every once in a while I make the mistake of clicking to view the comments section on various articles and Facebook posts.  I am almost always baffled by the amount of anger and hatred spewed out at total strangers.  I simply do not understand why people feel the need to demean and belittle others.  These angry comments don’t just happen on controversial stories.  I expect a certain amount of contention on political articles; we all know that politics does not always bring out the best in people, and our political system is as broken and dysfunctional as possible but I am talking about all of the non-controversial topics that still manage to get angry comments. 
When TV personality Chrissy Teigen went out with her husband a few weeks after giving birth to their daughter, her Twitter and Instagram followers attacked her for her poor parenting skills.  It was baffling how people on social media felt the need to tell her how to raise her child, and scold her for having the nerve to actually go out on a date with her husband. 

Another particularly strange criticism surfaced on Youtube, where another highly successful episode of James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke featured Gwyn Stefani and the segment included picking up passengers George Clooney and Julia Roberts so the car could go in the carpool lane.  The whole segment was hilarious, especially watching Clooney and Roberts sing along to Hollaback Girl, but the comment section included various insults to George & Julia, complaining that “George Clooney had really wet sweaty arms pits when he got in the car ” or how Julia Roberts kept trying to hog the camera.  Really?  A fun, silly segment that these two famous actors were willing to participate in, why would there be any reason to make mean comments. 
I can’t even describe the comments on any political posts; they’re so angry and hate-filled.  For some reason social media seems to give people the feeling that they have the right to say anything without regard to the feelings of others.  I think it is so sad to see people treat others like that. 

I have made a conscious effort to only share positive things on my social media.  I know that doesn’t stop the haters, but it does help my own sanity.  I think back to the rule we learned when we grew up, if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.  I think that rule is more important today than it has ever been. 

I will continue to avoid the comments section, but I hope that this tsunami of hate will eventually recede and we can go back to being a more civil society, and if you think I am being naïve or stupid – do me a favor and don’t share that in the comments because I don’t need to know that, it doesn’t help anyone and to be honest, I just don’t want to read that.