Holly Nielsen

I'm a single parent, doing my best, which at times seems nowhere near sufficient, but most of the time I'm pretty content. I have two teens, two dogs and two cats and somehow manage to keep all of the plates spinning at the same time, except for when I don't, lol.
I'm passionate about social networking, accessibility, volunteering, running and dancing. :-)

Will Your Life be Celebrated as One Well-Lived?

Memorial services and funerals have always been for the living -- a way for family and friends of the recently passed to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate the life of their loved one.I attended a memorial service today for the husband of a friend. We’re not close friends – but she’s a woman I like and admire, who had been very supportive when I started running, and I wanted to show my support in her time of loss....more

The Zen of Washing Dishes

Last summer my barely three year old dishwasher stopped getting the dishes clean. First it was just the dishes on the top rack not coming out clean, so we loaded dishes only on the bottom rack, and ran half loads. After a couple of weeks of that, the dishwasher stopped getting anything clean. I called a highly recommended appliance service repairman and he came by to see what he could do. He listened to my story, turned the dishwasher on, then off, and pronounced the sprayer motor dead. He would charge $200 to install a new one,....more

Create a Vision Board to Help You Recognize Your Dreams

Spending a week in bed between the holidays with a sinus infection gives you a different perspective on things. All of the chores and tasks and obligations that “have” to get done go by the wayside. Christmas is over; thank goodness, because the body is not leaving the bed anytime soon. A shower feels like an impossible dream. When I’m feeling this badly, I can sleep 16 hours a day – spending much of the time drifting in and out of sleep – a few hours here, a few hours there....more
I have been helping women create their own vision boards for several years now and I can tell ...more

The Power of Girls’ Weekends

I can think of few things more let-your-hair-down relaxing than a girls’ weekend or week.There’s something about stepping out of your ‘real’ life for a while and having the time and leisure to get caught up with each other’s lives, laugh yourselves silly, spend time in your pajamas, skip wearing makeup and not worry about counting calories or glasses of wine, that is so soothing to the soul. There’s no one to nag about unloading the dishwasher or taking out the garbage, and no one requiring anything from you....more

So What if You Really Did Win the Publisher's Clearinghouse $10 Million Prize?

I'm sure you've thought about it a time or two. What it would be like to win one of the big prizes -- more money than you could ever imagine. ...more
@hollynielsen A beautiful dream!more

Are You a Dog Person or a Cat Person?

People love their pets – 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes. Those 72.9 million homes have 86.4 million cats and 78.2 million dogs. And U.S. pet owners are spending money on those beloved pets – to the tune of $48.35 billion in 2010 – according to the 2011-2012 APPA National Pet Owners Survey.That's a lot of dogs and cats. And the majority of their people can be easily classified:...more

Missing My Dad

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of losing my dad suddenly to a heart attack. I’m dreading going through the day, and yet somehow relieved and more than a little amazed that life does really go on – somehow we’ve all managed to live an entire year of our lives – our annual trips to Yosemite, Lake Siskiyou, the beach house in Aptos, and a year’s worth of birthdays – without him....more

Why I Love My Book Club

I’m a voracious reader – I usually devour two to three books a week. People wonder how I read that many, but I read quickly and I don’t watch TV – so there’s 10 – 20 hours available hours a week....more

The 5 Reasons I Volunteer

 Two and a half years ago I decided volunteering and giving back to the community might help me acquire more balance in my often-frantic and frequently unbalanced life of corporate employee, single parent, homeowner, pet guardian and all of the other roles I fulfill....more
I seriously heart that. Bravo to all the volunteers out there, you ARE what makes a community a ...more

8 Things “They” Don’t Tell You About Being a Mother

 I always wondered if there was a secret mothers club. You know the one I’m talking about. When you’re young and foolish and in love, and just beginning those “are we ready to start a family?” discussions, and you’re in a group that includes mothers. And they have that look….it’s almost like a secret sorority handshake that takes place in a fleeting exchange of glances. And you’re thinking, What? What is it? What don’t I know? And even more, How do I join? How do I find out what you know, and become a member of that club?...more
Jenna, I can't even imagine what you went through relinquishing your child. {{Hugs}} for your ...more