What Strong Women Do

None of the ladies in my family shrink back. Distinctly southern, full voices fill the room when we enter. We’re known for our loud laughs and warm embraces. We aren’t afraid to speak our minds and take the lead. We see a space and fill it. We see a need and fill it. I never […]

Back When I Knew Everything

I met Ron when I was 19. We worked together in a gym referred to as the “orange bubble” because of the giant orange covering over the outdoor tennis courts. Few people in town could recall the actual name of the gym, but everyone knew the orange bubble. It was my first job in the […]

Sisters in Mental Illness: Healing Trauma Through Self Love

“Radical self love and radical self compassion is really one of the key ways to heal yourself from trauma. You have to release yourself. You have to choose yourself.” —Grace Sandra. This month, Shaley sits down with award-winning blogger and author Grace Sandra. Grace has experienced postpartum depression, divorce and remarriage, childhood abuse, rape, miscarriages, […]

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 […]

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 […]