Sisters in Mental Illness: Shaley Hoogendoorn Talks to Jessica Birak of Mint & Birch

[ Trigger Warning: Mention of abuse, as well as an eating disorder.] This month, Shaley Hoogendoorn talks to Jessica Birak, founder of the jewelry company Mint & Birch, who is also a vulnerable and honest advocate for mental health. They talk about topics related to anxiety, depression, postpartum, hypochondria, eating disorders and healing from childhood […]

Hosting a Human, And Other Lessons in Hospitality

I love hosting people around our table. I love trying new recipes and anticipating the conversation that will unfold throughout the evening. I love the surprising connections that always seem to be made and the scattering of empty, wine-smudged glasses at the end of the night. I love exchanging hugs as people leave—less awkward than […]

We Make Room When We Want To

I often forget that I’m an immigrant. I have two flag pillows on my couch—one Canadian, one British—but when I sing the national anthem, it’s “Oh, Canada” not “God Save the Queen.” When asked, I say that I am Canadian. This is home. We moved to Canada on New Year’s Eve 1981, right in the middle of […]

Stories that Change Generations

I have always known I was a storyteller. From a very early age, I created worlds in my mind. I had an imagination that ran wild. My third grade teacher Mrs. Knollinger, called me a liar. That is what old school Catholic teachers were told to teach: the law; not the truth. Thankfully my mother […]

Why I Call Myself A Writer

by Lydia Mikkael | twitter: @lydiamikkael | blog: thenakedbeing.com My bags were packed, the hotel was booked, and the childcare was in place. I had never done this before, and I was equal parts nervous and excited. Drawn by something I couldn’t quite articulate, I was attending my first writer’s conference. I’d long dreamed of […]