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Bridesmaid for hire makes a living by being in strangers' weddings

A 29-year-old Florida woman gets paid to put on polyester dresses and walk down the aisle with complete strangers. 

But that’s not all. Holding up 18 layers of pure dress so that a bride can use the restroom with ease, catching a bouquet like a champ then following that with an “OMG, I can’t believe this” speech and always participating in the obligatory cha-cha or electric slide are just some of the ways Jen Glantz is the MVP of bridesmaids.

>> Read more trending stories  

For the past two years, she has been in more than 40 weddings. In other words, she’s made a living being a bridesmaid. Most recently, she built an entire business around her new profession and wrote a book about what it means to be a bridesmaid-for-hire.  

“I’ve seen people get married for other things -- not love. I’ve seen people completely back out of their situation. But I’ve also seen people look at each other in a way that I’ve never seen before,” she said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post in February. 

If you thought an angry, overwhelmed, hungry bride was the scariest thing anyone could experience at a wedding, you’re wrong. “Bridezilla” got nothin’ on a messy bridesmaid! Glantz has seen couples fist fight all the way to the altar and has found a bride blackout drunk behind a couch on her wedding night.

“I worked a wedding when the bridesmaids were doing everything they could to sabotage the day for the bride. One chose not to buy the bridesmaid dress and told the bride that day she was going to wear whatever she wanted,” she wrote in a blog post on

Jen even had to deal with a bridesmaid who showed up an hour late for photos -- this meant an extra hour of guests waiting for the wedding to start -- because the bridesmaid wasn’t satisfied with her own hair. 

Her crazy, one-of-a-kind career is a result of her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. 

Now she's going on tour to promote her book, "Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire): Stories on Growing Up, Looking for Love, and Walking Down the Aisle for Complete Strangers."

Read the full story at The Palm Beach Post.

One of my most favorite interviews yet ❤"Carry on even after you fail miserably. "Posted by Jenny Glantz on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

10 inspiring Dr. Seuss quotes guaranteed to make you smile

Beloved author and lifelong cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, would have turned 113 years old on Thursday.

To celebrate the life and work of Dr. Seuss, March 2 is also the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, when children across the country take part in reading events.

» RELATED: How well do you know Dr. Seuss? 

In honor of the man behind favorite children's classics like “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” here are some of our favorite book quotes, lines and rhymes sure to put a smile on your face.


  1. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
  2. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." 
  3. “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person's a person, no matter how small.” 
  4. "I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've brought a big bat, I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" 
  5. “You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
  6. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
  7. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
  8. “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
  9. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
  10. “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

Barack, Michelle Obama sign multimillion-dollar book deal with Penguin Random House

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are back from vacation and ready to get to work.

>> Read more trending stories  

After announcing that they would be taking a break from responsibilities and social media and vacationing in the Virgin Islands with billionaire businessman Richard Branson, the former first couple resumed activity stateside. 

>> Barack Obama spends post-presidency hitting the waves

>> People love pictures of Barack Obama's backwards hat in the Virgin Islands

Michelle Obama visited a Washington, D.C., school on Tuesday, and the couple has detailed plans to develop the Obama Foundation, with plans to build the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago's South Side.

>> Barack, Michelle Obama discuss post-White House plans

In addition to that, the two will write books. They signed deals with publisher Penguin Random House this week.

>> Obama says he'll write a book and 'be quiet for a while' after White House exit

Penguin Random House announced Tuesday that it will publish and acquire world rights to the Obamas' forthcoming books.

"We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama," the publisher's CEO, Markus Dohle, said in a statement. "With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and every day, with the books we publish at Penguin Random House, we strive to do the same. Now, we are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs. Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance."

The financial terms of the agreement are unclear, but according to the New York Times, "publishing industry executives with knowledge of the bidding process said it probably stretched well into eight figures." The Financial Times, citing people briefed on the auction, reported that the publisher will pay more than $65 million for the rights to two books.

According to the New York Times, opening offers for the former president's newest book alone ranged from $18 million to $20 million.

The Obamas plan to donate a "significant portion" of the proceeds from the book sales to charity, including the Obama Foundation, the Associated Press reported.

According to the Times, "Penguin Random House also plans to donate 1 million books in the Obama family's name to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books to disadvantaged children, and Open eBooks, the Washington-based partner for the 2016 White House digital education initiative."

A publishing official told the AP that Barack Obama's book will be "a straightforward memoir about his presidency," while Michelle Obama's book will be an inspirational story that draws upon her life experiences.

Titles and release dates were not immediately available. 

In 2012, Crown published Michelle Obama's "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America." Barack Obama has had books published for over a decade, including "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" and "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream."

Read more at the New York Times and the Associated Press.

How well do you know Dr. Seuss?

Theodore Geisel was a lifelong cartoonist.

In honor of Geisel's birthday, March 2, is the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, when children across the country take part in reading events.

Best known as Dr. Seuss and for his line of children’s books, Geisel inked thoughtful artwork from high school through college, while working in advertising in New York before World War II and as a political cartoonist for two years during the war.

Horton might hear a Who; The grouchy guy eventually eats green eggs and ham and star-bellied Sneetches are just as good as those with none, but how well do you know Dr. Seuss?

>> Read more trending stories

Geisel's first book “And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street,” was rejected by 27 publishers before it was printed by Vanguard Press. He eventually wrote and illustrated 44 children’s books.

Over the course of his career, Geisel spent 15 years creating advertising campaigns for Standard Oil.

He was editor of The Jack-O-Lantern, a humor magazine at Dartmouth College. When he was thrown off staff after getting caught throwing a party that served alcohol (during Prohibition) he developed the nom de plume “Seuss” and continued contributing to the magazine.

In addition to cartooning in various mediums, Geisel was an accomplished sculptor.

Geisel's definitive work, “The Cat in the Hat,” was created with the directive from publisher Houghton Mifflin to use 225 “new reader” vocabulary words.

 Among his accolades, Geisel was honored with a Pulitzer Prize, two Oscars, two Emmys and a Peabody award.

Merriam-Webster adds 1,000 words to dictionary

Reference book publisher Merriam-Webster just added more than 1,000 words to its most recent edition of the online dictionary, including "terms from recent advances in science, borrowings from foreign languages, and words from tech, medicine, pop culture, sports, and everything in between," the company said Tuesday.

>> Read more trending stories  

Before this week's additions, Merriam-Webster hadn't updated its website listings since 2014, according to the Associated Press.

"Some of these we've been watching for many years, and some of these are very new words," said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large.

>> Merriam-Webster says Kellyanne Conway described false statements as 'alternative facts'

>> 'Surreal' dubbed Merriam-Webster's 2016 word of the year

Aranciniconlangmicroaggression, ghost, prospagnosiaSeussianface-palmnet neutralityabandonwarebotnetphotobombtown halltrutherSCOTUS and FLOTUS are among the new additions.

Here are some of the new listings and their definitions: 

BINGE-WATCH (verb): "to watch many or all episodes of (a TV series) in rapid succession"

BOKEH (noun): "the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field" 

FAST FASHION (noun): "an approach to the design, creation and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers"

FOOD INSECURE (adjective): "unable to consistently access or afford adequate food"

HUMBLEBRAG (verb): "to make a seemingly modest, self-critical or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one's admirable or impressive qualities or achievements"

MUMBLECORE: (noun): "a genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action"

SANTOKU (noun): "a medium-sized, multipurpose kitchen knife of Japanese origin that has a lightweight blade with a straight or slightly curved cutting edge and a spine that curves downward to the tip" 

WAYBACK (noun): "the area in the back of a van, station wagon or SUV"

WEAK SAUCE (noun): "something inferior, ineffective or unimpressive"

WOO-WOO (adjective): "dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural or unscientific"

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false"></script> [View the story "M-W adds 1000+ words" on Storify]

Sales of George Orwell's '1984' surge after Kellyanne Conway's 'alternative facts' comments

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

During an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC's "Meet the Press," counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said White House press secretary Sean Spicer's comments about the size of the crowd that attended the inauguration of Donald Trump were "alternative facts." 

>> Merriam-Webster says Kellyanne Conway described false statements as 'alternative facts'

People quickly pointed out the problematic language, and Merriam-Webster issued a tweet to clarify the definition of the word "fact."

Many criticized the term "alternative facts," comparing it to the government propagandized "newspeak" language found in George Orwell's popular dystopian novel "1984."

According to SparkNotes, "Newspeak is engineered to remove even the possibility of rebellious thoughts -- the words by which such thoughts might be articulated have been eliminated from the language."

Orwell wrote that it "means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them."

The novel focuses on omnipresent government surveillance, propaganda and public manipulation.

As of Tuesday afternoon, sales of "1984" had increased dramatically on Amazon's bestseller list, placing the book as the No. 3 bestseller. 

It surged nearly 20 spots to No. 31 on Barnes & Noble's Top 100 book bestsellers list Tuesday afternoon.

>> Read more trending stories  

According to CNN, sales of "1984" also saw a sales spike in 2013 when Edward Snowden revealed details of the National Security Agency's surveillance program.

Similar news was made in August after Gold Star family member Khizr Khan, the father of the late American Muslim soldier Humayun Khan, asked Trump if he had ever read the Constitution.

Khan held up the document while speaking at the Democratic National Convention, saying that he would lend Trump his copy.

Sales of the U.S. Constitution skyrocketed after Khan's speech.

'Pioneer Woman' says goodbye to 'Charlie the Ranch Dog' in bittersweet blog post

Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman, is mourning the loss of her dog, Charles.

Charles, the title character in Drummond's "Charlie the Ranch Dog" children's books, died Sunday, according to Drummond's website.

>> Read the post here

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Posted by The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond on Monday, January 9, 2017

The basset hound had suffered from lymphoma over the past year. When its conditioned worsened, Drummond said she decided to have the dog put to sleep.

Many took to Twitter to tell Drummond about the dog's impact on their families.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words about Charlie. Someone told me today that friends double your joy and halve your sorrow. Thank you— Ree Drummond (@thepioneerwoman) January 9, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

In a post on her website, Drummond said she will allow parents to decide whether or not to tell their children about Charlie's death. 

"It might not be necessary if they are younger!" she added.

>> Read more trending stories

Drummond is the television personality behind Food Network's "The Pioneer Woman," which stems from her longtime blogging about ranch life and Southern living. 

She recently opened The Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where she lives.

Newly discovered spider bears striking resemblance to 'Harry Potter' sorting hat

A team of scientists thought there was something familiar about a new species of spider that they discovered in the mountains of southern India. The insect looked surprisingly like the sorting hat used in J.K. Rowling’s famed Harry Potter series.

>> Read more trending stories

The spider’s "sub-triangular abdomen" gave it a distinctive cone shape. Combined with its inconspicuous brown coloring, the spider looks remarkably like the hat used to sort students of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into the appropriate school houses.

The researchers, who told The Washington Post that they are Rowling fans particularly enamored with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” gave the arachnid a Potter-themed name: Eriovixia gryffindori.

In a paper published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology, the scientists who found the spider wrote that the name is “an ode from the authors for magic lost, and found, in an effort to draw attention to the fascinating but oft overlooked world of invertebrates and their secret lives.”

Javed Ahmed, the lead author of the paper, told the Earth Touch News Network the 7mm spider mimics dead leaves in the Western Ghats mountain range.

"Naming the spider after a beloved series icon has certainly made a lot of people take notice," Ahmed told the news site. "Once people realize just how fascinating, unique and essential these wonderful organisms are, the (unfounded) fear and loathing vanishes." 

The spider has gotten a great deal of attention online – including from Rowling herself.

On Twitter the author wrote that was "truly honored" by the name choice.

"Congratulations on discovering another 'fantastic beast!'" she wrote in a tweet to Ahmed.

Hatchimal horror: Author's plan to buy, sell popular toys backfires

An author who hatched a plan to buy, then sell thousands of dollars' worth of a popular holiday toy has learned that cashing in on a Christmas trend isn't as easy as you'd think.

According to a Philly Voice article published Monday, New York Times best-selling author Sara Gruen spent more than $23,000 on 156 Hatchimals, which she had hoped to sell to raise money for the defense of a man she believes was wrongfully convicted of murder. 

>> Can't find a Hatchimal or other hot toy? Here's what you can do

The coveted toys, which retail for $59.99, are interactive pets that hatch and can be raised "from baby to toddler to full-grown Hatchimal," learning to "walk, talk, play games and more," maker Spin Master Corp. said in a press release. As the critters sell out in stores across the country, parents everywhere are scrambling to find them.

"It never occurred to me that I'd have trouble getting rid of them," said Gruen, who ran into listing limits and other barriers while trying to sell the items on eBay and other auction sites. 

Gruen ended up listing the items, now available for $189-$219, on Shopify. Buyers also get a free copy of one of Gruen's books.

>> Hatchimals coming to Target this Sunday

According to the store's website, all of the proceeds will go toward the legal fees for the man, who was sentenced to life without parole 23 years ago.

“I have a fortune invested, only one venue to offload them, and in only three weeks they will magically transform into useless pumpkins that will take up space in my office forever, and have caused my financial ruin," she said, according to the Voice.

But Gruen has gotten some good news in the days since: In a follow-up story published Wednesday, the Voice reported that eBay gave her permission to sell "as many Hatchimals as I want." Another shopping site, Bonanza, followed suit. 

>> Read more trending stories

"As of this morning, I've sold 40 percent of the critters and given away four to needy kids," Gruen wrote on Facebook early Wednesday. 

The bad news: She also has received negative feedback and even death threats, the Voice reported.

"I'm going to put my alarm on for a few nights, but I think it's all online bluster," Gruen told the Voice. "They're blowing off the wrongfully convicted man with the argument that their children 'need' these toys."

Read more here or here.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Here's a follow-up piece by Brian Hickey (from Philly Voice). As of this morning, I've sold 40% of the critters and...Posted by Sara Gruen on Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Virginia schools ban 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' 'Huckleberry Finn' for racial slurs

A Virginia school has temporarily banned two American classics after a parent said her high school-age son was negatively impacted by the racial slurs they contain.

>> Read more trending stories 

The decision to remove "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain and "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee came after a parent filed a complaint, WAVY reported. The parent cited excessive racial slurs as the reason for wanting the books banned, Superintendent Warren Holland told the news station.

The parent, whose son is biracial, said that her concerns are "not even just a black and white thing."

"I keep hearing, 'This is a classic, This is a classic,' ... I understand this is a literature classic. But at some point, I feel that children will not -- or do not -- truly get the classic part -- the literature part, which I'm not disputing," she said at a Nov. 15 school board meeting. "This is great literature. But there (are so many) racial slurs in there and offensive wording that you can't get past that."

The parent said her son, who was reading "Huckleberry Finn" for a high school assignment, couldn't get past a certain page in that story on which the N-word appeared seven times. 

A racial slur appears 219 times in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and 48 times in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

"So what are we teaching our children? We're validating that these words are acceptable, and they are not acceptable by (any) means," the parent said, also noting psychological effects language has on children. "There is other literature they can use."

The parent proposed a committee made up of parents and teachers of different cultural backgrounds come up with a list of books that are inclusive for all students. She also offered to donate books and raise funds in the case of budgetary concerns.

The complaint, which was "a request for reconsideration of learning resources," will go before a committee made up of a principal, librarian, teacher, parent and potentially others, according to WCMH. The committee will then make a recommendation to the superintendent.

Holland said that there is no set date for when the recommendation will be made.

Read more at WAVY.

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