Main Street Musings

  • My Name's Howard

    By Lisa Tognola
    June 3, 2016

    “This is an unorthodox request and feel free to say no,” began my creative writing teacher, Laura, in a recent email. She went on to explain that Bridges, a non-profit organization, ...

  • How to Tame Your Teen Without Really Trying

    Recently, when I drove my teenage son home from tennis practice, I watched him spend the first half of the ride chugging a 32-ounce root beer and the rest of the drive drumming his palms on the ...

  • How to Sharpen Your Mind with Brain Workouts

    The slowing down of the brain is inevitable. What I meant to say is, the slowing down of the brain with age is inevitable.

    I’ve become absentminded lately. In fact, just ...

  • 5 Surprising Reasons I Fell in Love with Tea

    Tea used to be something I only drank to complete my meal at the local Chinese restaurant. But ever since I visited an organic tea plantation in Peru last summer, I no longer limit tea time to ...

  • Main Street Musings Celebrates its 100th Column

    Since my very first column back in 2010, I’ve been musing about life in the suburbs–the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Today marks my 100th column, and I’d like to take ...

  • A Cool Way to Stay Warm This Winter

    Shopping for a new jacket can be challenging, especially if you live in a place like I do where the temperature outside can drop faster than the NASDAQ after a Washington stalemate.

    Where is ...

  • Getting Our Just Desserts

    My Aunt Jo used to say, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” She uttered that phrase any time we complained or didn’t seem grateful for something she did for us. She ...

  • Jinxed

    He passed the interview with flying colors.

    “Why do you want to live with us? What challenges are you looking for? Where do you see yourself in five years?” We asked some tough ...

  • Finding My Inner Yogi

    When my friend Jane invited me to try a hot yoga class, I hesitated. I thought yoga was for ‘other’ people. You know, the ‘yogi’ kind who sits with her legs ...

  • A Kitchen Gadget I Can’t Live Without

    There are certain things in our kitchens we can’t live without.  I don’t mean the obvious ones—the sink, the stove, and the double chocolate fudge ice cream in the freezer.

  • Paying It Forward Can Be Priceless

     

    There’s an old joke . . .

    “Let’s eat grandpa.”

    “Let’s eat, grandpa.”

    A comma can save a person’s life.

    Just as a small ...

  • How to Get Your Mojo Back (Healthy Snacks, Baby!)

     

    Open fridge . . . nothing to eat. Open the cabinet . . .nothing to eat. Lower expectations . . .and then repeat.

    You know the drill. Your stomach is rumbling. You glance at your ...

  • How to Save Money Without Really Trying

     

    How can I save a buck? That’s the million-dollar question.

    I’ve experimented with various cost-cutting measures over the years. One time I cut my own hair rather than ...

  • Get Fresh With Me

    I recently learned a fact that in all my years of eating packaged bread I had never known. It was news that would change my life—or at least how I buy bread.

    Like most families, bread is ...

  • She’s Full of Scrap

    They say scrapbooking is a great way to cherish your favorite memories and organize photos that are lying around your home.

    When I asked my friend Andrea why she scrapbooks she ...

  • Does Your Medicine Cabinet Need a Makeover?

    I used to consider myself an organized person. Every morning I showered, toweled, and moisturized. I kept toiletries— liquid hand soap, deodorant and lotion—stored together in a single ...

  • Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Makes Thanksgivukkah!

     

    When my daughter first sent me this Buzzfeed link about a dual Thanksgiving and Hanukkah celebration, I thought it was a joke. Thanksgivukkah? I envisioned Adam Sandler ...

  • Chase to the Cut

    “You didn’t make the cut, but thanks for trying.”

    It was the story of my life, fruitlessly chasing my ambitions with Wile E. Coyote abandon. Somehow, I always fell short of ...

  • Snoring: It’s Nothing to Sneeze at

     

    My husband Chris and I have been married over twenty years and each evening after saying goodnight to our three children we sprint upstairs to the bedroom for our nightly ...

  • Nineteen Piles and Counting

    Chances are no matter how organized you are things accumulate on your kitchen counters and grow into piles, and those piles beget piles.  It’s like the Duggar family with 19 ...

  • Meet the In-Laws

     

    Marriage is a package deal. You open the package—you deal with the in-laws.  No exchange policy, no returns, no satisfaction guarantee, and if you’re lucky, no Marie ...

  • My Husband Gave Me a Complex For Our Anniversary

    An anniversary is a day of remembrance—when we remember how good we used to look when we first got married.

    It’s also inspiration for a couple’s facial.  “We can ...

  • Revelations from My First CAbi Party

    I was wary when my friend Patty invited me to a trunk show called CAbi that she was hosting.   In New Jersey a trunk show generally means a body bound and gagged in the back of ...

  • When It Doesn’t Pay to Take a Staycation

    When my husband Chris told me he wanted to take a family vacation during our children’s winter break, I resisted.

    I told him I didn’t need to spend oodles of money traveling to ...

  • Thoughts and Prayers

    In deference to the heartbreaking tragedy last Friday, I have departed from my weekly Musings to send thoughts and prayers to the community of Newtown, Connecticut.

     

    May 2013 ...

  • Five Mistakes to Avoid at Your Hanukkah Party

    Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It’s an occasion my husband and I mark by throwing an annual Hanukkah party, a fun and festive celebration where we ...