10 Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman

10 Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman

By Jillian Stacia

At 5 months pregnant, I’ve had my fair share of awkward encounters with strangers wanting to discuss my pregnancy. Although many people think they’re being polite and showing interest, most of the time, it’s just plain awkward and leaves me feeling incredibly self-conscious.

Pregnancy is a very personal and emotional experience for most women, so air on the side of caution and try to avoid these questions and statements, especially if the person isn’t your close friend or family member. Continue reading

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

By Melissa Coley

Like a lot of millennial women, I spent most of my twenties striving for perfection (P90X + Pinterest + grad school + multiple jobs + the Whole 30 + the lob = a hangry, sleep-deprived perfectionist with an iron deficiency and a Master’s degree). But at thirty-one, a chronic pain condition has knocked the snot out of me and not left much room for any semblance of perfection (I rarely wear makeup, my six pack hasn’t come in, I didn’t see Beauty and the Beast in the theater, and I need a haircut badly).

In March of 2016 I injured an ankle, and what should have been your run of the mill sprain, led to a neuro-inflammatory condition that spread from the location of my injury, up that leg and into the next. When my neurologist diagnosed me with CRPS 1, she sat across from me on her roll-y stool and said I’d be on nerve regulators and pain killers for the rest of my life and that what I needed now was a “really strong support system”. I sat there next to my knee cart I’d named Wallace, feet cold-burning, rubbery, and swollen thinking, wait, what? Say that again? I’d never heard of CRPS, didn’t know anybody with it, and I was terrified. All I knew was that I couldn’t walk, my husband couldn’t touch my legs without getting kicked, and that showers, which required the sort of plastic white chair that grandmas use, felt more like water torture than relief. Continue reading

How Sansa Stark Is Redefining Feminine Power Both On And Off The Screen

How Sansa Stark Is Redefining Feminine Power Both On And Off The Screen

By Jillian Stacia

Sansa Stark is arguably one of the most divisive characters on Game of Thrones. She’s been known to repulse viewers with her naïve and immature tendencies, and she’s the character fans tend to like the least.

On the other hand, supporters of Sansa claim that she’s slowly emerging as a feminist leader and is carving out a new definition for what it means to be a strong woman in a world dominated and ruled by men. Continue reading

The One Thing I Wish I Could Give To My Former Self

The One Thing I Wish I Could Give To My Former Self

By Kate Kole

I don’t know about y’all, but my transition from college to the real world was a bit rough. Like a glass of ice water straight to the face kind of unexpected. I could tell you speech communication theories for days and give you the entire history of psychology, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to do with the degree I’d earned.

I’d spend my lunch break at the mall getting to know the self-help section at Barnes & Noble. Hiding on some corner stool, flipping through the pages of books like It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken, and then listening to Miley Cyrus belt it out about keeping my faith because life is “all about the climb.” Continue reading

The Scream In The Car

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By Eliza David

You can’t punch a keystroke these days without running into a blog post about stress and how to rid yourself of it. Unsolicited advice inundates your social media timelines. It’s plastered within the glossy pages of magazines in your doctor’s office. And, be honest: we all have that one friend who swears by the rigors of CrossFit for calm.

Almost all of these advancements in stress relief have one thing in common: a financial investment. You end up shelling out $69.95 a month for a yoga studio membership, grasping the few precious moments of om that you can fit into your over-packed schedule. Monthly rubdowns by a talkative masseuse who insists on telling you why Game of Thrones is required viewing can be pricey as well. If these options do the trick for you, by all means…but I have a suggestion.

A free suggestion. (I have your attention now, don’t I?) Continue reading

How I Took Back My Happiness

How I Took Back My Happiness And How You Can Too.jpeg

By Lauren Giles

On the surface, I was a seemingly joyful 27-year old with more to be thankful for than I could have ever imagined. When I finally admitted to myself that I was unhappy, I couldn’t just stand by and spend the best years of my life on the proverbial hamster wheel in a routine that was draining me.

Both of my parents owned small businesses and lovingly dreamed of a life for me where I never had to chase someone to settle their bill so I could get my paycheck. Raised on the idea that hard work leads to achievement, which leads to success, which in turn leads to happiness, I was collecting life experiences like bullet points to place on my resume.    Continue reading

What An Airline Encounter Taught Me About Society’s Respect for Women

Anonymous

It is a warm spring morning. I am on my way home from my honeymoon: an 11-hour flight from Honolulu to New York. I need to pee, so I walk to the restroom behind my row. Alas, it is occupied, so I stand and wait patiently.

A kind man speaks to me from across the row, gesturing for me to cut him in line at an adjacent bathroom. We are in a standoff of sorts: chivalry versus patience.

“You can go ahead of me” he says, and gestures to me a second time. I gaze and see that I must cross a row of four with two sleeping passengers. I weigh my options, and realize I can get by with plenty of space to not wake them, so I accept the kind offer to go ahead of this man. Continue reading

Life Is Now

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By Kate Kole

You know those stories your family members have told so many times, that even if you can’t fully remember them yourself, or you weren’t present for the making of the memories in the first place, it feels like you were? You can picture the people and the scene so well that you practically convince yourself that you were right there in the middle of the action, laughter, and joy. Continue reading

Camping Survival, From A Slightly Paranoid Camper

By Mari O’Grady

I am not a very outdoorsy person, and I envy those who come by it naturally. They all seem tan, fit, and oddly calm. I suppose it’s because they’ve found nature, or whatever. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I went camping for the first time. And while I love it, that love comes with a healthy dose of nerves.

If you’re more of an indoor cat like me, here’s how to make your first camping trip bearable. Continue reading

5 Vegan Meals To Make This Summer

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By Kate Kole

I’d only made it through a third of the documentary, What The Health, last month before making up my mind. I was ready to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan. Or should I say, 90% vegan, because an all-or-nothing mindset and ultra-strict lifestyle has rarely worked for me.

I rummaged through our cupboards and fridge, taking stock of what we had on hand that would work within my new plan, and which items I’d need to say sayōnara to – like beloved mac & cheese (goodbye my love)! Continue reading