Life & Culture

life • cul·ture

/līf/   /ˈkəlCHər/

Every experience we walk through that affects our very existence; the external influences of the world we live in that shape us and impact our thoughts, actions, and daily routines.

Do All Strong Women Hate Men?

Do All Strong Women Hate Men?

I am so very weary of the notion that the sure sign of a strong woman is that she is angry with men. Outspoken or implied, this utter nonsense is everywhere. I’m not saying I’m not angry with some men. Those who think faithfulness is selective, the men who have their tail ends glued to the sofa while constantly playing video games, or the men who make promises they optionally keep … I can be really angry with those guys. But I am certainly not angry just because they have a Y chromosome that makes them what they are: men. Men really are pretty great! A few days ago I was in the grocery store parking lot searching my purse for my keys when […]

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Do You Travel for Work? 5 Ways to Be Safe as a Woman

My career in the music business often required days out of town. Because I was the artists’ manager, I juggled a workload in the office as well as hitting the road with the bands. When I wasn’t on a tour bus, I usually traveled solo from airport to rental car to auditorium to hotel and back to the airport the following day to trek to the next destination. I not only traveled with my bands but also attended out of town meetings, working with other business partners to achieve our career goals. As a female traveling by myself, I took a few extra precautions. It’s not that I’m not adventuresome, nor am I unnecessarily paranoid. But I had two daughters and a

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When You Can’t Do an Island Vacation, Bring One to You

When You Can’t Do an Island Vacation, Bring One to You!

As we settle into summer and the tans of spring break have faded, we start longing for our next sandy, sunshiny getaway. While many of us are putting the finishing touches on summer travel plans, some of us may feel trapped by circumstances that limit our vacation time. We yearn for quiet days and salty hair but are ever pressed by to-do lists and tight budgets. I know routine and lack of adventure can easily bog me down, especially when my newsfeed seems to be filled with pictures of extravagant trips that I can’t take. I was lucky to get an unexpected getaway to the Bahamas this spring, but due to family changes, our full time jobs, and time needed to devote

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5 Things We All Do, But Need to Stop! (Video)

1. Need some pointers on how to de-clutter? Read 5 Ways to Rid Your Life of Clutter! 2. Struggling with comparison? Check out Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not. 3. Are you saying yes to everything and accomplishing nothing? You need to read Setting Goals and Meeting Them. 4. Do you want to please everyone? 5 Things You Need to Quit Right Now will walk you through that! 5. Gut check: are you putting your man down? Girl, you need to read Take It Easy—On Your Man! — You’ll also like5 Things You Need to Quit Right Now and 5 Things You Need to Stop Doing Right Now! (Video) #gritandgracelife

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The Best Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, so we’ve compiled a list of 11 gifts that range in price, simplicity, and style. Perfect for every guy on your list! 1. The basics. You can’t go wrong with getting him a new belt, tie, undershirts, or dress socks. They’re used daily, so getting a new set is always appreciated! Plus, it’s a super affordable option. 2. A toiletry bag. This is something he’s not likely to purchase himself but will appreciate once he has it. Check out this waxed canvas option by Overlap Sewing Studio. 3. A beard kit. Some dudes love their beards. Why not encourage him to make it smell good and feel nice? Try this shampoo, conditioner, and oil set for $30 from

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Your Identity Is Not What You Do, but Who You Are (Video)

Be sure to read a few of our favorite articles on what makes a woman strong, beautiful, and full of purpose: Anatomy of a Strong Woman True Beauty is Found in a Woman’s Strength A Woman of Grit Without a Hard Heart 9 Marks of a Beautiful Woman (on the Inside) Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not 7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Now How to Get Honest About Your Dreams and Thrive! Freedom from the Glass Ceiling and the Glass Slipper — #gritandgracelife

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The Art and the Heart of Hospitality

I have learned a lot about the art of hospitality, not because I am a master of it, but because I have been the recipient of it. My mother in law is the very model of a gracious host. If you are fortunate enough to be welcomed into her home, chances are you will be met with a smorgasbord of food, you’ll be told to use the nicest towels, and you’ll leave feeling rested and refueled. Every time I leave her home, I find myself inspired and soon lost in a Pinterest-induced coma so that I might craft and bake my way into deserving the title of Hostess-with-the-Mostest. In these Pinterest wanderings, I found myself inundated with images of the trendy pineapple.

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Want to Help Foster Kids? How to Become an Advocate

I first heard about the Guardian ad Litem program when I moved to Florida 20 years ago. There were frequent commercials about it on TV and I always thought, “That is a really neat program…maybe one day I’ll volunteer!” About 17 years went by, during which time I homeschooled my daughter, lost my husband and went back into the workplace, transitioning through a series of pretty challenging jobs. After nine years as a single mom, I got remarried and was able to start working part-time from home, freeing up my days for personal pursuits I had put on hold for many years. A good friend who owns a small newspaper in town asked me to do a story on the Guardian ad Litem (GAL)

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Is It Really So Bad to Want to Be a Princess?

Disney Princesses have become a much-discussed and polarizing subject in today’s culture. There is the pro-princess group that still believes in Prince Charming and dancing at the ball. Then there are those who want to throw the princess loving ladies to the dragons, believing they have been lied to about real life. Fortunately for all of us, realism has not been a part of the Disney brand for decades. If it had, cars couldn’t talk, magical nannies wouldn’t appear with umbrella in hand, children would never fly, mops couldn’t dance and toys would be left on their shelf…never leaving the house for their own adventure. We don’t usually go to the movies for realism, there’s enough of that outside the theater walls, so

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Applying Grace and Understanding in the world of Autism

Applying Grace and Understanding in the World of Autism

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” said Susan Pieples, quoting autism advocate Dr. Stephen Shore. Pieples has 25 years of experience working with and advocating for families living with autism. What she meant by that statement is that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) truly is a broad spectrum due to the wide range in both challenges and strengths possessed by individuals with ASD. Although it’s important not to make any assumptions, it would be beneficial for all of us to understand a few things about ASD. Especially since The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 1 in 68 children are now living with ASD as of 2015.1 With Autism Awareness Month in mind, I reached out

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Why We’ll Be in Line to See The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Grit and Grace Project is a place for strong women and those who want to be. We know that stories of women who display great strength help inspire more women to do the same. With that in mind, we love to highlight these women—women who do brave things, make hard decisions, keep going when they should collapse, and, more than any other quality, we love women who value life so very much that they are willing to risk their own for the sake of another. That is exactly what Antonina Zabinski did in Poland during the height of the Nazi Reich, and that is why we will be lining up at the box office to see The Zookeepers Wife. “A lovely story about the Holocaust might seem like

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5 Ways to Rid Your Life of Clutter

5 Ways to Rid Your Life of Clutter

I recently helped my mother move from a three bedroom home into a one bedroom apartment. Shortly after that my husband and I also spent several days sorting through his father’s life’s possessions. After returning home from these exhausting endeavors I looked at the things that filled my closets, drawers, and cabinets and realized that as we live life, we accumulate clutter. It’s inevitable. It took about 13 seconds for me to have a complete mental freak out over the future workload I’ve created! This mess would be mine to deal with during the next move we make. Suddenly a new resolution—I will spend the rest of this year tackling this weighty job before it becomes necessary. Here are the 5 things I resolved: 1. If I haven’t used it in two

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Florence Nightingale, Denying Wealth for the Good of Others

Named after the city she was born in—Florence, Italy—Florence Nightingale lived her life in England. Her inspiration crossed oceans and ignited change within the community of nursing throughout the entire world. She was reared in enormous affluence and wealth, an extremely educated young woman.1 Florence’s mother was so enamored with social life that when launching her daughters into society she added six bedrooms to their home to accommodate the entertaining she desired. Maids, footmen, and valets, often traveling between two mansions in England, cared for the two Nightingale daughters. There was nothing Florence either needed or desired that was not provided for her easily, elaborately, and with no consideration of the cost. However, though Florence traveled with all economic opportunity, she found herself fascinated

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Margaret Thatcher A Woman Made of Iron, Grit, and Grace

Margaret Thatcher: A Woman Made of Iron, Grit, and Grace

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day set aside to acknowledge the political, economic, and social achievements of women around the world. With that in mind, we couldn’t help but take the opportunity to recognize a woman who so powerfully embodied grit and grace that she was nicknamed the “Iron Lady.” She left a legacy that extends far beyond her country, Great Britain, and the time in which she held power. She achieved things a woman had never achieved before, but that’s no surprise when she’s the one who said, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” Margaret Thatcher was born to Alfred and Beatrice Roberts, who lived above the corner grocery

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2-Minute Read on How to Create a Wedding Registry

2-Minute Read on How to Create a Wedding Registry

The engagement season is full of decisions and deadlines. Juggling details, proper etiquette, timelines, and relationships is a lot to handle all at once. For many reasons, creating a wedding registry was one of the most intimidating tasks to me. However, I received a few pieces of advice along the way, each of which was a true gift of relief. Here are 8 tips for tackling a wedding registry: 1. Dreadin’s Worse Than Doin’. Any time I feel overwhelmed by a big project ahead, I recall my grandmother’s coined phrase: “dreadin’s worse than doin’!” It’s so true. Have you ever noticed that once you start chipping away at a big project, it’s oftentimes not nearly as difficult as you anticipated? And once you finish—or even make

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Women’s History Month Celebrating Strong Women

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Strong Women

We all know that women impact the world every single day, but we love the fact that the United States has deemed the month of March Women’s History Month. Here at The Grit and Grace Project, we are eager and thankful for the opportunity to recognize, along with our country, the contributions women have made to culture, history, and society. Throughout the month, we will honor some of our favorite strong women of history by posting articles highlighting them and their achievements. Through The Grit and Grace Project, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know women who have encountered life’s challenges and walked through them, not around them. Because they’ve chosen this brave path, they’ve done so much more than simply endure difficulty—they’ve transformed it into something

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