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Lois Alter Mark
Lois Alter Mark is the founder of She won BlogHer Voices of the Year "People's Choice" Awards in 2012 and 2013 and was selected, out of 100,000 applicants, to accompany Oprah Winfrey to Australia as one of 150 Ultimate Viewers. She is the Flicks for Kids Editor at and the author of “Wonderplay,” the bestselling parent/child activity book written in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y. She was also selected as a Shot@Life Champion.

Entries by Lois Alter Mark

Anna Quindlen on Reading, Writing and Real Life

(41) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 2:54 PM


Anna Quindlen has been a huge influence on my life. Her "Life in the 30s" column in The New York Times was my bible when my kids were little and I've read every one of her books, columns and essays.

Luckily, she's...

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How A Bike Opened Up The World For One Middle-Aged Couple

(52) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 7:27 AM


Last summer, at the age of 57, Cathy Rogers and her 59-year-old husband, Paul, rode their bikes 3,300 miles from Washington State to Washington, D.C. as part of the Big Ride Across America. The ride took 50 days and covered 85...

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Exploring the Culinary Northwest With Michael Stanton, Executive Chef of The Heathman Restaurant

(52) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 2:34 PM


On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, my daughter and I ate dinner at The Heathman Restaurant. From the roasted figs with smoked feta cheese to the scallops with quail egg and cauliflower, this was a meal in which every course was full...

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Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato on Young Love and Kissing in the Rain in "The Best Of Me"

(59) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 8:51 AM

Get out the tissues. Nicholas Sparks' new movie, The Best Of Me, comes out Friday, and it's a signature story about first love and second chances.

Amanda and Dawson are high school sweethearts who are reunited, after being apart for 20 years. Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden play the...

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This Is Not Your Grandmother's Afternoon Tea

(55) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 12:40 PM

Afternoon tea is an age-old British tradition and, although it's always good, I felt it was pretty much the same almost everywhere I visited during a recent vacation in London.

And then I walked into the eye-popping candy-colored parlor at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, where the

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Robin Williams and the Under Toad

(53) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 2:12 PM

Since Robin Williams' tragic death this week, I can't stop thinking about the Under Toad.

If you're a fan of The World According to Garp, which Robin starred in back in 1978, you're probably feeling that same chill.

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How My Bucket List Changed As I Get Closer To Kicking It

(54) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 7:07 AM

I wrote my first bucket list when I was in my 20s. And it was really more of a wish list.

I wanted to visit all 50 states. All seven continents. All seven Wonders of the World.

I had my whole life ahead of me, and these were things...

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How I Endured The Perfect Storm Of Life Stages

(27) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 7:45 AM

I never thought of myself as someone who defined herself by her children. Whose life was so closely intertwined with theirs that I would feel lost once they left home.

But apparently I am.

I have always worked, even when my kids were little, but they were usually close by....

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Farm to Table With Chaminade Executive Chef Kirsten Ponza

(22) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 1:41 PM

I stayed at the beautiful Chaminade Resort and Spa in Santa Cruz, Calif., last week and was disappointed to discover I was missing the hotel's first Farm to Table Wine Dinner of the season by just one day.

Farm to table has become a popular concept over the past few...

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Sophia Grace and Rosie on Becoming Movie Stars

(38) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 10:02 AM


It could be that I miss having little kids. Or that I'm ready for grandchildren. Or that Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland are just plain irresistible.

I've been obsessed with the pair of little Brits ever since I saw their...

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Smells Like Motherhood

(5) Comments | Posted May 11, 2014 | 5:40 PM

One whiff of Chanel No. 5 and I'm back in my parents' bedroom, admiring my mom as she did her makeup to go out for a nice dinner with my dad.

Scientists will tell you that nothing brings back memories like scents. Even stronger than a song, a smell can...

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A Mom's Book of Firsts

(4) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 3:00 PM

I was really touched when my husband gave me this designed-just-for-me Mother's Day gift and, while I'm not hawking the necklace (which is made by Three Jane and is gorgeous, by the way), I am hawking what it represents. Big time.


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(5) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 3:35 PM


Let me start at the beginning.

We were on a tour bus in Amsterdam when the guide mentioned Hans Brinker.

"Who's that?" my daughter asked me.

"You never heard of Hans Brinker? The boy with the silver skates? The one who put his...

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What's So Funny About Turning 55?

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 7:32 AM

My father thinks it's hilarious that I'm turning 55 today.

Why? Don't ask me because I don't find anything funny about it.

But, the other night, when someone mentioned that my birthday was coming up, he started laughing hysterically.


To the point he could barely speak.

"What are you...

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Gaining Horse Sense at 55

(4) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 11:55 AM

We've always been taught to get our information straight from the horse's mouth.

But, as I recently learned firsthand, the deepest truths just may come from the horse's hoof.

For five years, my husband and I have been making annual trips to Miraval, a wellness resort whose signature activity...

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Lesson Learned

(5) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 6:38 AM

I've always been a magazine junkie.

I suffer from a serious Us Weekly addiction, as I described in a recent post, but my obsession goes way deeper than that.

Growing up, I devoured every type of magazine -- fashion, celebrity, travel -- carefully cutting out pages which I...

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When Winning Is a Crime

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 4:34 PM

I've spent many emotional hours in baseball dugouts. I've supported players through dry spells, celebrated underdog victories and been moved to tears by the genuine camaraderie between teammates.

I've heard players express deep yearnings to attain the same level of success their idols have and I've also heard them wonder...

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Khaled Hosseini on And the Mountains Echoed

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 6:33 PM

With his first two novels, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, becoming book club classics, Khaled Hosseini is in that rare strata of authors who are so beloved by readers that the publication of a new book becomes a major cause for celebration. Well, get ready to take...

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A Grandfather's Gift Goes Beyond Words

(6) Comments | Posted May 18, 2013 | 8:53 AM

2013-05-15-StoriesforAmanda250.jpgstyle="float: left; margin:10px" Meeting 77-year-old William Weinbrecht was one of the biggest blessings to come out of the hospice work my husband has been doing. Michael was so moved by the book Bill had written for his granddaughter that he came home and shared the...

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It's National Shrimp Day!

(8) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 3:31 PM

May 10 is National Shrimp Day, and it's a perfect time to celebrate the iconic food that so many of us tend to gravitate to at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Shrimp is the most popular seafood choice but, surprisingly, even though we fill our plates with shrimp cocktail and happily dip...

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