Marvelous Marva

Marva Laws well remembers lobbying her general manager to move from retail automotive sales to finance. She was a top car salesperson at Don White’s Car Center in Dundalk, Md., for more than two years at that point — starting the month she took the job — but hungered for a new challenge. Behind the scenes, she secretly learned the ropes of finance even as she repeatedly grabbed top sales numbers. She was enthusiastic, she was knowledgeable, and she was ready to delve in. And finally, after three requests the dealership’s general manager agreed to move her from showroom sales to finance —but with a caveat. She’d have to take a pay cut.

This is the secret to making the perfect cup of coffee

I was a coffee lover before it was cool. Back when Starbuck was best known as a character in Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick and Peet was the neighbor kid (he spelled it Pete), I was savoring coffee—and I picked up the habit from my mother. Growing up, my mother always had a percolator full of freshly-brewed coffee at the ready, and she always poured a cup before sitting down to chat: Whether she was catching up with me, my sisters, my dad, a neighbor, or anyone she called on the tele

10 things that helped me lose 100 pounds in a year

When you weigh so much you break two office chairs within a month, it’s clear you need to lose weight. At least, it was to me. The question was how? I’d tried all the “traditional” diets—Weight Watchers, Atkins, low carb, low fat, you name it. Yes, I followed them closely. Yes, I exercised. But no, they didn’t work. At least not well enough to shrink me below the chair-breaking size. What I didn’t realize, at least not well enough to lose a large amount of weight, was that there is no way to fo

9-year old Girl with Epilepsy Donates Toys to Kids in Hospitals

Gracyn Smith is only 9 years old, but she understands the mindset of sick children arguably better than any adult. That’s because the Boynton Beach, Florida, girl has spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals with epilepsy. She knows the dreariness, the fear and the sadness of longterm illness. And it had an effect on her entire family. Her brother Zakary was only 4 when Gracyn was hospitalized with the neurological disorder, but he was deeply impacted by the bleakness faced by his sister and the other hospitalized children. Tight budgets and sparse donations at many hospitals left the children with few options to play.

What Older Workers Can Learn From TV's 'Younger'

If you haven’t yet tuned into the TVLand dramedy Younger, now’s the time to binge watch and soak up the intergenerational work/life lessons mixed within each storyline. Younger is about 40-year-old, recently divorced Liza, who struggles to return to the promising publishing career she left years earlier after marriage and the birth of a daughter. The one-time whiz kid finds the young publishing bosses want to hire other Millennials, not a divorced mom with a daughter close to their age. So Liza

Designers transform outdated spaces into smart, modern destinations

Whether your home was built in the time of George Washington or George H.W. Bush, you want the kitchen to shine with contemporary cool styling, technology and functionality. And you can get what you want — if you know where to look for inspiration. “Traditional is exactly what we go against,” says Denise Davies, founder of D2 Interieurs in Weston, Conn. “When I started this business, a lot of people wanted to design their kitchens in very (traditional) ways because we’re in New England. (Creati

Kendrick Lamar Wasn't The Only Prison-Themed Grammy Nominee

Kendrick Lamar was hailed for his powerful Grammy Award performance that included a faux chain gang of convicts, African tribal dancers and freestyle rap with Trayvon Martin shout-outs. There were some real-life prisoners who were part of the Grammy nominations this year too — inmates from Malawi's Zomba Central Prison, incarcerated for everything from suspected witchcraft to murder. They call their musical group the Zomba Prison Project and their album I Have No Everything Here was up for the

5 Reasons to Watch the Rainn Wilson-Produced Impress Me Series

If you love all that behind-the-scenes, Hollywood stuff—especially when it involves watching the famous hit a few rough, but funny, bumps along the way—you’ll want to tune in to POP TV channel when Impress Me debuts tonight at 10:30 PM ET. This is the same half-hour scripted comedy by writer-director Ben Shelton that made a big splash on executive producer Rainn Wilson’s Soul Pancake channel. The six episodes that aired online will be shown on POP, followed by seven more filled with the same he

10 Things We Learned Watching Allegiance at The International Spy Museum

If you watched the premiere of Allegiance, NBC’s new spy drama, on Thursday night, you likely wonder what the creators can possibly do to top it. Modern day sex, lies and videotape—not to mention some pretty gnarly torture and a spy-within-a-spy plots—kept us on the edge of our seats when we previewed it at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Still, questions arise as to whether or not the show, which centers on a 40-something Brooklyn couple (she’s Russian-born, he’s American), is

Iowa Woman Makes Cheerleader Dreams Come True for Students with Disabilities

Sarah Cronk’s voice breaks when she recalls fans at a 2008 Pleasant Valley High School football game roaring “Let’s go Sparkles, let’s go.” She was a cheerleader at the Bettendorf, Iowa, school watching as her dream of integrating students with and without developmental disabilities into one cheer squad become a reality. Now that “The Sparkles” has grown into The Sparkle Effect – a national nonprofit with 180 teams in 29 states – Cronk still marvels at its impact. “Two team captains both told

The Road Less Traveled: Country Driving Vs. City Driving

Your driver’s license and years of behind-the-wheel experience have prepared you to face the difficulties of any road—in theory. But, driving on city roads offers very different challenges compared to driving on country roads, as urban and rural areas differ on a number of factors. For example, city roads may be well-maintained, but are often congested with vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and other obstacles, whereas country roads may be poorly maintained and very isolated. And the difference