Little Things To Be Grateful For This Thanksgiving

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By Becky Houdesheldt

I love the fall. The leaves start to change, the temperature starts to drop, and I can feel the change in the air. It’s the season for football, sweatshirts, potlucks, and pumpkin-flavored everything. Cool crisp air, beautiful colors, bonfires with s’smores and hot drinks. It is, by far, my favorite time of year.

Fall can get a bad reputation – either it is too warm or too cold, it doesn’t last long enough, it’s a precursor to winter or it’s the end of summer. But when I think of fall on its own – everything about it is wonderful. It is also called the “start of the holiday season” which, I think, is a bit absurd because quite frankly there’s a whole month from the time fall starts to the first fall holiday (hello Halloween). Continue reading

7 Recipes For A Vegan Holiday Feast

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By Katie Lemons

Being a vegan can be hard, especially when living in a small town in the South. Lack of convenience is one of the biggest drawbacks. I can’t just go to a drive-thru and grab a vegan-friendly (albeit unhealthy) lunch and the selection of vegan/vegetarian foods at our local grocery stores is downright laughable.

The holidays are another time when being a vegan is challenging. Family members are confused about why you won’t eat these delicious mashed potatoes they spent so long making, drowning in butter and cheese. “You can eat this. It doesn’t have any meat.” Continue reading

4 Beauty Mistakes To Avoid Making Again

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By Brigitte Evans

Whether they were an act of rebellion at a given moment, or a result of naïve following of current trends, we’ve all done things we’re not proud of – beauty wise. Perhaps we were too young to know better, but those formative years during which we’re learning how to grow into our looks aren’t the only times we make mistakes. Even the best, most mature of us make them, sometimes in pursuit of change, other times because we took a cue from magazines or favorite celebrities. The point is – mistakes were made, and there are probably numerous photos that make you cringe every time you see them; you know, the ones that make you say ‘what was I thinking?’ The best way to make sure history never repeats itself is to document these poor choices, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Continue reading

One Year In Trump’s America: Why I’m Raising My Son To Be A Feminist

By Catherine Miele

My beautiful son, my first and only (so far) child, is three.

He is too young to understand the current political climate or the fact that one year ago our country elected a man who wore his sexist comments, allegations of groping women, and desire to divide like badges of honor.

Too young to know the meaning of words and phrases like “misogyny,” “reproductive rights,” “hypocrisy,” and “consent.” Continue reading

10 Things To Know When Buying Your First Home

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By Chelsea O’Neal

Buying a new home, as we all know, is a crazy, hectic process. Not only do you spend endless hours searching online through listings, but you eventually have to start physically looking at houses you’ve picked out. You go from this house to that house to a thousand more (not literally but it feels like it) only to be let down as reality isn’t anything like what the pictures have showcased. Maybe the house isn’t as nice as you thought it’d be. Maybe the layout is downright awful. The yard is too small. The neighborhood isn’t want you wanted. The list goes on. Having just purchased a home myself, let’s look at ways to take the stress out of buying your first home (or any home for that matter). Continue reading

I’m Done Crunching Numbers

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By Christie Page

Standing in the middle of a path lined with wild flowers with the sun blazing unforgiving on my face I took the deepest breath of my life. I inhaled pine and palm, sky and lake. I concentrated on the beads of sweat dripping into the small of my back and acknowledged the pain in my right calf after too many fractures and Achilles ruptures.

I gave thanks to my body for surviving me. I gave thanks to my mind for surviving me. I gave thanks that I was able to stand in this place, at this time and take in that deep breath and I exhaled and forgave myself for the last year, for my failures, for everything I put myself through, because I seem so fundamentally broken at times. Continue reading

Aiming For Perfection: Beauty & Style Expectations vs. Reality

Aiming for Perfection Expectations vs. Reality

By Brigitte Evans

The universe surely has one heck of a sense of humor. How else to explain all those times we took it upon ourselves to achieve greatness and ended up looking like something you would find in a meme. Yes, our lack of skill may have something to do with it, but how is it that things look so good when we see them on someone else, and then when we try them, it’s a wretched mess? It has to be the universe standing in our way, it simply has to. Among numerous life fails, we have handpicked the ones that are the most relatable, and once you see one of them you can’t help but laugh along thinking ‘well, at least I’m not alone’. Continue reading

Real Talk: How Becoming A Mom Is The Ultimate Life Changing Experience

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By Chelsea O’Neal

Life changes. Life changes are those that come swooping in, turning your life upside down, right side up, and every which way.  They change your routines causing you to create almost a new way of living or being. Sure, situations like moving, starting a new job or even going through a divorce are all life changing events but let’s face it. Is there anything more life changing than having a baby? Think about it.

First, you start off with pregnancy. You try and try and finally get a positive result and jump around for joy, crying your eyes out with happiness. Then you go through the phase of actually being pregnant. Not only are you pregnant for what seems like an eternity, you get to deal with all its glory. (And we all know it’s not a glamorous thing to go through). Welcome to the days of an aching back, sore boobs, constant exhaustion, pregnancy brain (yes it’s real), and the question of if you’ll ever be able to function again without peeing on yourself a little when you cough or sneeze. Continue reading

Stop Apologizing For Being Yourself

Stop Apologizing For Being Yourself

By Kate Kole

I’m a crier. I cry when I’m laughing, scared, frustrated and sad. I cry over good news, and bad news, and the news on TV. I even cry when I see the 2-minute preview for the upcoming episode of This Is Us. I used to habitually fight back my emotions and I think my body is still making up for lost time.

It’s often during Subaru commercials that move me to tears, or, when I’m reading an article aloud to my husband and start to feel the waterworks welling up, that I find myself apologizing. I excuse my emotions as hormonal, or due to the fact that I’m tired, or simply because I’m just too sensitive. I sheepishly acknowledge that something must be wrong with me, because I simply feel things too deeply. Continue reading

Choosing Presence Instead Of Comparison

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By Becky Houdesheldt

This morning, as my son was entertaining himself in the living room while I made a quick cup of coffee, I thought to myself, maybe he’s behind. Maybe he’s not being challenged enough at home. My friends who have babies around the same age are crawling, or sitting without any assistance at all, or making clearly articulated sounds. Maybe I’m doing something wrong.

How often I have felt this way the past 19 months. I say this because my whole pregnancy I doubted myself, the actions I took, the way I handled everything. I gained too much weight. I didn’t read enough. I didn’t go to enough classes. And now that Carson is here, my doubts have shifted. I still worry about myself, I haven’t lost any weight post pregnancy, I don’t feel like I look or behave like other moms. Continue reading