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.

3 Healthy Hand Sanitizer Options You Need to Try

3 Healthy Hand Sanitizer Options You Need to Try

It’s flu season, and you know what that means? Germs—everywhere! So, what is the best way to keep those flu and cold viruses at bay? As we become more aware of what we are putting into our bodies, we must also consider what we put on our skin. It’s always a good idea to try healthier, effective alternatives. Hand sanitizer is a quick and easy way to get instant germ protection in the absence of water. The popularity of this convenient method has made its way into hospital rooms, clinics, and emergency waiting areas across the nation. Even though I fully support anti-germ awareness in this form, I have found that there are other, non-toxic ways to get the same protection while saving […]

3 Healthy Hand Sanitizer Options You Need to Try 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 »

29 Life-Changing Books for Your Reading List

January waltzes in, dreamy and ambitious. Whispers permission to shred your list of what you haven’t finished, haven’t even started, from last year. She’s a bright new start and welcome friend. Me? Just a girl who loves books, like you. I’ve handpicked my favorites from my bookshelf and I offer to you 29 of the most wonderful books sure to change your life. Let’s meander through my color-organized stacks and stop at these: 29 Life-Changing Books to Add to Your Reading List This Year 1. For the one holding her breath, walking faster, feeling the pressure to do more, balance it all, let no one down: Permission to slow and savor and grow. Growing Slow: Lessons on Un-Hurrying Your Heart from an

29 Life-Changing Books for Your Reading List Read More »

How to Eat Vegetarian Without Making it Weird

How to Eat Vegetarian Without Making it Weird

Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, Venison steak, and fried chicken—as a Midwest gal, I grew up with these hearty dishes. Savory emanating from the floor boards like the smell of beef chili on game day. Baskets of carbs and real, salted butter. Tall, frothy glasses of milk. Fireworks of bouillon. Moats of gravy. We never thought to eat vegetarian. Don’t even get me started on dessert.  I love food and it’s always loved me. My closet proves this. I have pants that range a handful of sizes. Depending on the season and the frequency of my workout routines, what needs covering melts away like an ice cream cone in summer or swirls into a nice peak and expands like homemade whipping cream. Thankfully,

How to Eat Vegetarian Without Making it Weird Read More »

If You Want To Get Healthy Do These 5 Things

If You Want To Get Healthy Do These 5 Things

For a girl whose dietary and lifestyle choices once included generous amounts of Cheez-Its, menthol cigarettes, and energy drinks mixed with vodka, doing a massive overhaul on my (not-so-healthy) habits was overwhelming at first. I’m not going to lie… it was downright hard. I wasn’t sure what foods my body would benefit from, so I tested popular diets and eliminated trigger foods. I wanted to find cost-effective ways to incorporate more organic produce to get healthy. So I found good deals and discounted products I could add to my recipe rotation. I began exercising on a consistent basis, and instead of automatically reaching for my former go-to substances during times of stress, I explored spiritual practices that seemed to calm my mental

If You Want To Get Healthy Do These 5 Things Read More »

Instagram-Envy-During-the-Holidays-Beware-of-the-Pitfall

Instagram Envy During the Holidays: Beware of the Pitfall

Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words; other times, they are total liars. So before we fall victim to Instagram envy during the holidays, let’s look at things a little more realistically. Yes, photos can capture the most beautiful moments in one’s life. Sometimes they are spontaneous, and sometimes they are planned with color-coordinated outfits and contoured faces. I’m reminded of how wildly popular the mall-based Glamor Shots used to be before selfies and filters made that business obsolete. One year I was gifted this experience and now have too many photos of myself in a Blossom-style denim vest and floral floppy hat. (For those of you who weren’t stylistically influenced by this 90s sitcom character, you dodged a bullet.) My point

Instagram Envy During the Holidays: Beware of the Pitfall Read More »

There's Hope for the Holidays After Divorce

There’s Hope for the Holidays After Divorce

That Christmas, the first one without my kids, the first one that I had to pack them up after opening gifts and send them off to visit their father, is one I will always remember. Especially the moment I sat on a wooden chair in a dimly lit hallway with the phone to my ear. Handly holidays after divorce wasn’t something I had ever expected. I was perched between a family gathering in the next room and my kid’s laughter funneling through the receiver. I couldn’t understand how I ended up here, the place of shattered dreams, of holiday disillusionment. It was as if I held the blueprint for a magical, memorable Christmas, but was unable to build anything tangible from it.

There’s Hope for the Holidays After Divorce Read More »

How to Pick the Perfect Shade of Red for Every Skin Tone

How to Pick the Perfect Shade of Red for Every Skin Tone

I work part-time at a clothing store, and when I use the word “red” with “shirt” or “dress” in the same sentence while suggesting a stylish article of clothing to try on, some women’s eyes bug out, and they start to frown. They don’t believe there’s a perfect shade of red, even for them. I don’t even think they realize it! In short, they have an internal freakout. When I mention the color red, many women instantly picture a bright, candy red, as you can see in the pictured color palette below (courtesy of Digital Synopsis). However, as a color fanatic, I love any shade of red. So my two-part goal in this article is: 1. to expand your shades of red

How to Pick the Perfect Shade of Red for Every Skin Tone Read More »

10 Women Share Christmas Memories that Will Warm Your Heart

10 Women Share Christmas Memories That Will Warm Your Heart

Each Christmas usually arrives with the same lineup of gifts: the big-ticket item you really wanted, some poorly constructed but heartfelt crafts made by your children (macaroni ornaments, anyone?) and the random pairs of socks that someone decided you needed. But occasionally, there’s that one gift you never forget. It might have made you laugh or even cry, but whether you still physically have it or not, it’s never left your mind. Some of Grit and Grace Life‘s staff and writers share their favorite Christmas memories and gifts: When I was 18, I had my first “real” boyfriend. I worked at the mall at the time, and I remember he came in to say hi and then went off to shop. A

10 Women Share Christmas Memories That Will Warm Your Heart Read More »

Stuck in a Toxic Work Culture? 6 Ways to Make it Better

Stuck in a Toxic Work Culture? 6 Ways to Make it Better

Several years ago I left a job I loved with a team of people that I adored to pursue an opportunity that looked like an amazing next step for me. The new role would stretch me and I was certain I would grow from the challenge. While I learned a lot, it was not the exciting endeavor that I had dreamed of. It turned out to be one of the most difficult seasons of my career. The work itself wasn’t the issue. The fact that my husband and I had relocated and were adjusting to a new community, while challenging, wasn’t the worst. The agony was that I had catapulted myself into a toxic work culture that was draining the life out

Stuck in a Toxic Work Culture? 6 Ways to Make it Better Read More »

man pouring wine into a glass on a holiday dinner table, a potential dilemma for those needing a sober holiday survival guide

Your Sober Holiday Survival Guide

The holidays can be stressful, especially for those of us in recovery. Whether that is recovery from substance use, food addiction, co-dependent relationships, or pretty much anything at all (I believe that we are all in recovery from something), the holidays can put a stress on our recovery journeys. Even good stress can be challenging. Because of this, I wanted to create a resource that can help guide your journey in recovery through the holiday season—or any season—you might find yourself in. In these pages, you will find a quick sober holiday survival guide that will walk with you through the challenges of the season. In this guide, you will learn to: Understand your holiday triggers  Respond in 4 healthy ways Support

Your Sober Holiday Survival Guide Read More »

7 Unique Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Family

One of the very best things about the holidays is not the calorie-heavy, “guilt-free” food intake, the gifts, the family gatherings, or even the “you have outdone yourself” decorating. It’s the holiday traditions you create for your family and then repeat each year, ensuring lasting memories in the hearts of all you love. Looking to start some family traditions? Here are a few to get you started: 1. Fill a jar from Thanksgiving to January 1 with special notes for each family member. Write one note a week to tell them something about them you treasure. On January 1, each member takes the notes written to them to begin the new year knowing their worth. 2. Decorate your tree with ornaments purchased from

7 Unique Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Family Read More »

Celebrating Advent as a Family

This Is My Favorite Family Tradition: Celebrating Advent

For children and adults, the anticipation of the holidays is always exciting. Much of the joy the season brings is in the waiting and anticipation of Christmas morning. Advent is the season leading up to Christmas morning. “Advent” is defined as “the arrival of a notable thing, person, or event” or “the coming or second coming of Christ.” It’s in the waiting that we can find hope and joy. This is metaphorical for any time or circumstance in our life, but a tangible example is the way that we wait and prepare for Christmas.  I want to create a great sense of anticipation for something beautiful in our home. With so much pain in the world, it fills me with hope to

This Is My Favorite Family Tradition: Celebrating Advent Read More »

10-Life-Lessons-From-Christmas-Classics-That-Will-Make-You-Think

10 Life Lessons From Christmas Classics That Will Make You Think

Being an English teacher, I always look for the meaning behind the words. A song is not just a song, and a movie isn’t just a movie; it’s a script dripping with images and symbols to represent something deeper and is written to reveal something tender to the heart of the author. It drives my husband and students crazy! “Why can’t the wall just be yellow,” they might ask about a story. Nope. For me, there is always a reason. Even the authors of the most anticipated Christmas classics had a goal, a purpose. We can learn a thing or two from these 10 Christmas classics! The Santa Claus: A story of forgiveness and second chances. Divorced dad, Scott, has custody of

10 Life Lessons From Christmas Classics That Will Make You Think Read More »

Thank-Sarah-Hale-(One-Strong-Woman)-for-Thanksgiving-Day

Thank Sarah Hale (One Strong Woman) for Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving became a national holiday at the height of the Civil War—a most unlikely time to set a day aside for reflection and proclamation of one’s thankfulness. Yet President Abraham Lincoln did exactly that. Indeed, he was a brave man to declare this celebration in a season that seemed to have very little to be thankful for. But what is often overlooked is the woman behind the effort to make this a holiday worth celebrating. As is often true in life there is a “behind the scenes” lady of persuasion, a humble yet determined crusader of a concept. Sarah Josepha Hale’s Pursuit of Education Sarah Josepha Hale was born in 1788 to Captain Gordon Buell and Martha Whittlesay Buell. Having been educated

Thank Sarah Hale (One Strong Woman) for Thanksgiving Day Read More »

feeling stressed out? 5 tips to stay calm

Feeling Stressed Out? Here Are 5 Tips to Stay Calm

What are the life events that can leave you stressed out or assessing your life as a whole? Presently for me, it’s the milestone birthday quickly headed my way. It has caused me to dwell on the concept of time and the warp speed at which it seems to be running. Based on recent conversations I’ve had with others on the cusp of milestones or new seasons, I know I’m not alone with this realization. It makes no difference if we’re referring to the actual seasons of the year, a particular age, or the seasons by which we categorize our lives (think of labels such as singlehood, parenthood, empty nester, divorce, illness, etc.). A by-product of living in our modern age are seasons that are fluid,

Feeling Stressed Out? Here Are 5 Tips to Stay Calm Read More »

woman dabbing lotion on her face after a shower as one of the recommended skincare hacks for women

Want to Look Younger? 5 Skincare Hacks for Women of Every Age

My son looked up from his car seat, legs like noodles. “Mommy?” “Yes, sweetheart?” “What are those bumps on your face?” I looked in the rearview mirror and touched my cheek and realized that I had broken out. Yes, I still get pimples in middle age. It’s one of the many hideous things no one tells you about until you are living it. Similar to perimenopause (please look this up), forehead 11’s (also look this up if you are under 35), and any number of physical things that happen as we age. Since turning 40, I’ve become obsessed with skincare hacks. Still not sold on the whole “medical spa” thing, I’m relying on other methods to get that youthful glow back along

Want to Look Younger? 5 Skincare Hacks for Women of Every Age Read More »

Scroll to Top