Dr. Zoe Shaw, A Year of Self-Care

Meaghan Dawson

Meaghan is the most extroverted introvert you’ll ever meet. An East Coast transplant living in Texas, she spends most of her time wrangling 3 kids, her husband, and a giant dog. When she finally gets a free minute you can either find her tucked in on the couch with a good book or in the kitchen, attempting to create magical meals (and sometimes succeeding).

My Life Isn't Insta-Worthy, But I Love It All the More

My Life Isn’t Insta-Worthy, But I Love It All the More

If I could choose one phrase to perfectly sum up my stage of life, it would be “in the trenches.” I’m in the trenches of motherhood, playing carpool taxi, housemaid clean up, chief organizational officer, head referee, and principal disciplinarian every day. My life isn’t Insta-worthy. I’m in the trenches in my marriage, fighting for even a simple date night, fighting for connection in the busy, fighting to stay together through the hard stuff of parenting. I’m in the trenches in my life too, my own personal time of trying to grow my dream project from the ground up, putting in hours of blood, sweat, and tears often to little or no applause or grandeur. Yes, the trenches are where I dwell. […]

My Life Isn’t Insta-Worthy, But I Love It All the More Read More »

5 Ways to Make Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child Easier

5 Ways to Make Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child Easier

Friends, I like to think that I have a black belt in strong-willed child parenting. My oldest child is one for the record books. He’s loving, he’s kind, and he’s a joy to be around. Unless he’s ready to lock horns, at which point all bets are off and it’s game on. Parenting him has been a joy and a challenge. And after doing life with him for the past 10 years, I feel like I know at least a thing or two about how to handle him and maintain a relative amount of peace in our household. I have even managed to keep my own sanity, which as you may know is no small feat when you have a headstrong child.

5 Ways to Make Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child Easier Read More »

soft-pretzels-with-beer-cheese

18 Recipes for the Best Super Bowl Party on the Block

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am not a big sports fan. I couldn’t tell a touchdown from a jump shot from a home run. I tried faking it for years because I’m married to the biggest sports fan ever, but recently decided to give up the ghost and let my true non-sports fan flag fly. Luckily that’s not why he loves me, and 15 years in I guess it’s a little too late for him to bolt over a silly game anyway. But there is one thing I love from the wide world of sports, one event I look forward to every year… The Super Bowl. Clearly I don’t look forward to it because of the game.

18 Recipes for the Best Super Bowl Party on the Block Read More »

6 Job Interview Tips to Help You Get the Offer

6 Job Interview Tips to Help You Get the Offer

No matter where you are in your career or how long you’ve been in the business world, interviewing for a new job is intimidating. Just the word alone is enough to strike anxiety right into the hearts of job seekers. And the actual act of interviewing, forget about it. It is a palm-sweating, heart palpitation-inducing nightmare for most of us. And that’s even when it goes well. Everyone needs job interview tips to keep that heart rate down. But here’s the deal: interviews are a part of life. You won’t land the job of your dreams without going through an interview process of some type. (Unless your life is like a romantic comedy where dream jobs fall into your lap. In which

6 Job Interview Tips to Help You Get the Offer Read More »

growing plants taught me 4 lessons for a satisfying life

Growing Plants Taught Me 4 Lessons for a Satisfying Life

During the height of Covid quarantine, I, like many people, developed some new obsessions. Partly as a way to pass the time and partly as a way to distract myself from the horrors of a pandemic, I took up some very strange hobbies. I dabbled in sourdough. But, as one can only have so many carbs, I let that starter go after a while. I remodeled a few rooms and was happy doing it until my killjoy husband put a kibosh on the spending. And I even went through an unfortunate period of time where I wanted to learn an instrument despite being, for lack of a better word, completely talentless. Luckily for all of us, that was short. The one hobby,

Growing Plants Taught Me 4 Lessons for a Satisfying Life Read More »

Making Peace Not War With the Elf on the Shelf

To the Mom Who Loathes Elf on the Shelf

I want to have a very serious conversation with you today, friends. I want to talk about something I hate with the passion of 10,000 blazing suns. Something that is, for all intents and purposes, supposed to bring joy to the hearts of children everywhere. A newfound holiday tradition that should be yet another joyous addition to our Christmas repertoire. But I hate it. And I’m going to go ahead and go out on a limb and say that parents everywhere are with me on this one. I hate that blasted Elf on the Shelf. I hate him. I get the concept. It was birthed from a stroke of mom genius that morphed into marketing brilliance and has since become a parenting nightmare.

To the Mom Who Loathes Elf on the Shelf Read More »

9 Easy Holiday Recipes for People Who Hate to Cook

9 Easy Holiday Recipes for People Who Hate to Cook

We all love the holiday season. It’s filled with fun, friends, and family. Oh yes, and food. We all love the holiday food. But what happens when you get an invitation to a party that says “Bring a Dish to Share” and you hate to cook? Sure, you can just run by the grocery store and grab a quick pre-made vegetable platter. It’s always an easy and pain-free option, but it’s also not the tastiest or the most festive, is it? Lucky for you, there are some amazingly simple and delicious holiday recipes out there for even the most reluctant of cooks. And to ease the pain of adding one more thing to your to-do list this busy holiday season, here at

9 Easy Holiday Recipes for People Who Hate to Cook Read More »

10 of the Best Pumpkin Recipes to Taste Fall Now

10 of the Best Pumpkin Recipes to Taste Fall Now

Oh, fall, we just love you for so many reasons. After summer’s heat and humidity, your cool, crisp air is a glorious change of pace. Your colors are astounding, bringing perspective each day as you turn the leaves into gorgeous shades of crimson and gold. Bundling up in sweaters and boots is exciting and new after a season of sweating it out in swimsuits and shorts. But nowhere is our love for fall displayed greater than in the explosion of pumpkin everything in the past few years. Long gone are the days when pumpkin made a single appearance in the pie at Thanksgiving. Now, pumpkin is the marker by which we usher in the entire season, with the release of the Pumpkin

10 of the Best Pumpkin Recipes to Taste Fall Now Read More »

Goodbye Skinny Jeans, This is Why I’m Breaking up With You

Goodbye Skinny Jeans, This Is Why I’m Breaking up With You

Dear Skinny Jeans, I’m breaking up with you. Please don’t be mad. So many others still love you. You have devoted fans everywhere. It’s just, I’m no longer one of them. But today I’m saying goodbye Skinny Jeans. We had a good run, didn’t we? We partnered on so many different occasions, in so many different ways. We went casual-cool, with riding boots, flats, and tennies. We were sophisticated and classy, all dark denim and heels for our date nights and girls’ nights. We went from ripped and rocker to high-waisted and mom-jean-esque. We even had a very unfortunate foray into the Ugg-trend in the mid 2000s. We’ve done it all. But, see, things have changed. I’m different now. I’ve grown. No

Goodbye Skinny Jeans, This Is Why I’m Breaking up With You Read More »

To the Christian Woman with a Crooked Past

To the Christian Woman With a Crooked Past

As I sat in that stuffy, little room listening to the woman on stage, I looked around at the other women—some nodding along, some with eyes glistening with unshed tears—all with rapt attention. I listened to her testimony, heard her words, walked through her journey with the Lord. And with a bitter inward sigh, I thought to myself, “That’s it? That’s the best you’ve got?” Her story, it was beautiful. Her faith, it was unwavering and strong through the peaks and valleys of her life. I should have felt inspired by her testimony. I knew it took courage and strength for her to sit up there, in front of her peers, and bare her soul in words as personal as any words

To the Christian Woman With a Crooked Past Read More »

The Perfect Blended Mocha Recipe That Will Help Save You Money

The Perfect Blended Mocha Recipe That Will Help Save You Money

My how we love our coffee. Our afternoon lattes. Our morning Joes. Our triple shot, soy, extra whip, hold-the-foam, caramel macchiato espressos. Whatever your drink, however you order it—there’s no doubt that you do. Americans are addicted to their coffee. And not just any coffee, though: I’m talking coffee-shop coffees. Those fancy ones, with the mermaid on the cup? Those, yes; we love them. What started as a social occasion has worked its way into our regular routines. A daily Starbucks habit isn’t even really considered a habit in many circles; it’s just a way of life. Brewing coffee at home isn’t quite as glamorous or even as convenient, and we’ve gotten out of the practice as a whole. The average American,

The Perfect Blended Mocha Recipe That Will Help Save You Money Read More »

15 Easy Slow Cooker Meals to Make in the Summer

15 Easy Slow Cooker Meals to Make in the Summer

I’m not sure how it is for you, but by the time summer break rolls around, I am absolutely drooling for a slower pace of life. I’m looking for some easy answers, like what I do well, easy slow cooker meals, Between the inevitable crunch of end-of-year activities at school, spring sports seasons coming to a wrap, and trying to keep up with life in general. I am flat-out worn out when summer arrives. During this season, I always find myself breathing a gigantic sigh of relief. I welcome this change, and I fully prepare my children for the shift in my mindset, telling them that we will be slowing down and living a more mindful life during the lazy days of

15 Easy Slow Cooker Meals to Make in the Summer Read More »

5 Ways I Learned to Love My Middle-Aged Body

5 Ways I Learned to Love My Middle-Aged Body

The other day, as I was participating in my daily scroll on social media, a Facebook memory popped up on my feed. It was a heartwarming throwback of me and my youngest when she was just a baby. I looked tired, yes, but also had that new-mom glow as I held my daughter in her “Baby’s First Christmas” outfit. She was three months old and this was, sadly, quite a few years ago. I remember that picture well. We were at my in-laws’ house after church, and it was the first time I had gotten “dressed up” since giving birth. And I remember being wildly insecure about my new, mom-of-three body. I felt frumpy, overweight, and gross. I didn’t want to go,

5 Ways I Learned to Love My Middle-Aged Body Read More »

When Hope is Your Bravest Choice

Hope. It’s a four-letter word.  It’s dangerous. Daring. Subversive.  Hope can seem foolish, naive, and blind. With all of the hurting in the world, what is there possibly to hope for? It can seem defiant, hoping even when things are dark and the world seems broken. But hope, on a more personal level, can be very hard. How do you hope when you receive the diagnosis no one wants to hear? Or when your marriage is in tatters and your heart is only holding on by a thread? Is hope possible when your child is in the depths of addiction and you expect the worst with every phone call? Is hope even alive when depression hits and the simple act of getting

When Hope is Your Bravest Choice Read More »

women get better with age and this is why

Women Get Better With Age, and This Is Why

We stood in a little, clustered semi-circle. Three women, not quite yet friends, but acquaintances testing the waters of friendship with tentative toes. Asking ourselves silently, “Will this work? Will she accept me for me? Could we possibly become friends?” We were waiting for our daughters to get out of gymnastics, a captive time frame, one where there is no easy escape if the conversation turns south or gets awkward. At least not until practice is over. So caution was taken, nothing overly controversial was broached, nothing daring or too revealing. We were still feeling each other out, waiting to see if our weirdness matched up with one another. It’s dangerous waters when you’re making new friends as an adult. Somehow, though,

Women Get Better With Age, and This Is Why Read More »

the best moments of my life dont belong on instagram

The Best Moments of My Life Don’t Belong on Instagram

Sometimes I feel like this is Instagram’s world, and I’m just living in it. Don’t you? I mean, I can fight hard against it and lecture my kids on the dangers of social media all day long. Yet, still, I find myself on the lookout for the best moments. You know the ones… Where the lighting is just right and everyone is smiling just so. Where my skin is blissfully clear of pimples and wrinkles and my hair has just the right amount of bounce. These moments have me on high alert, poised and ready to capture them, filter them, hashtag them, and then post them so I can preserve these memories of my #bestlifeever for all to see. Because that’s what

The Best Moments of My Life Don’t Belong on Instagram Read More »

5 Ways I Learned to Love My Middle-Aged Body

5 Ways I Learned to Love My Middle-Aged Body

The other day, as I was participating in my daily scroll on social media, a Facebook memory popped up on my feed. It was a heartwarming throwback of me and my youngest when she was just a baby. I looked tired, yes, but also had that new-mom glow as I held my daughter in her “Baby’s First Christmas” outfit. She was three months old and this was, sadly, quite a few years ago. I remember that picture well. We were at my in-laws’ house after church, and it was the first time I had gotten “dressed up” since giving birth. And I remember being wildly insecure about my new, mom-of-three body. I felt frumpy, overweight, and gross. I didn’t want to go,

5 Ways I Learned to Love My Middle-Aged Body Read More »

Scroll to Top