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.

every girl's dream

Every Girl’s Dream

I came across a post on Facebook recently that read: “Every guy thinks every girl’s dream is to find the perfect guy…pssh. Every girl’s dream is to eat without getting fat.” After a good laugh, I thought yep, pretty true. Eating without getting fat would top my list. I really do love food. But alas that will forever remain a dream; we all know what reality is! When I think about tackling the struggle to be healthy in the area of eating (both physically and mentally) as a woman, two words come to mind: choice and acceptance. You may know some people who can eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce. Chances are, you are not one of those people. […]

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How to Fake Clean a House

How to Fake Clean a House

“We’re going to be in the neighborhood and thought we’d drop by” are words that strike panic in the hearts of many us. “Nooooooo!” we cry inwardly as we survey our cluttered counters and toy-littered floors and dusty tabletops. Our blood pressure rises and we start to hyperventilate as we realize we cannot possibly clean to perfection before the doorbell rings. But cover our tracks – that we can do. Here are a few tried but true tricks to making a house look tidy enough to get by when guests are welcome but completely unexpected: 1. Pile it up. Scoop the toys into a pile or basket – any corner or container where they can be corralled in as little space as

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Surviving, Some Days Even Thriving!

The women at The Grit and Grace Project have already lived through a bunch of this “getting through life” stuff. We’ve survived, thrived, then survived and thrived again. This reality becomes glaringly obvious when we are in the midst of life’s difficulties: divorce, loss of a loved one, challenging children, losing a job, financial challenges or natural catastrophe. Sometimes the need to survive and thrive can be created by great opportunities like a new job, the birth of a child, or a move to another city. There are even those days when it’s just getting out the door having successfully eaten breakfast that we count as thriving. Through many of our stories we share much of what we’ve learned through our journey.

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Be Imperfect Be Inspiring

Be Imperfect, Be Inspiring

A girlfriend and I accompanied our daughters, Julie and Amanda, on an eighth grade class trip to Universal Studios a few years ago. We had a blast, giggling together late into the night and bravely tackling every roller coaster with the girls. On our last day, we took a final wild ride on Fire & Ice, where we had been instructed to sit on our flip-flops so we wouldn’t lose them when we went upside down. As we tumbled dizzily out of our seats with our comfy rubber sandals in hand, Julie suddenly proclaimed, “Everybody has shoes!” She had looked around and discovered most of the other riders also had been sitting on their footwear. However, her mom and I thought she

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Creative Dating No Money No Problem

Creative Dating—No Money, No Problem

In our current season of raising young children, my husband and I have accepted that for the time being date nights may not look like they used to. Daily fatigue, along with the constraints of bedtimes, a tight budget and the availability of trusted sitters, are all factors to be overcome if we wish to successfully leave the house for a night on the town. Pursuing anything even vaguely resembling a date these days, calls for creativity and flexibility in how and when to make it happen. We like to think that we are perfecting the art of “dating in.” Though the location remains the same, after the children go to bed the time is ours to do with what we want.

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Artist and Mother Perfect Storm

Artist and Mother, the Perfect Storm

I would be lying if I said being an artist and a mother doesn’t often feel like the perfect storm. My selfish artist side took a hit in the gut when little people started to invade my studio space. What? I have to share? Not only my physical space, but my precious paints and brushes…and time? I don’t hear a lot of people talking about being a mother AND a practicing artist. I guess because it’s just plain hard to do. How popular is the general topic of ‘sacrifice’ anyway in our culture? Maybe some of you have seen the documentary, Who Does She Think She Is, featuring five women who navigate the sea of choosing to pursue having a family and

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The Fine Art of Aging Gracefully

The Fine Art of Aging Gracefully

Fifteen years ago when I worked in an office, I had a postcard tacked to the wall of my cubicle. It featured a quote by Major League pitcher Satchel Paige: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” I was struck by this idea then, and I continue to be today. Some days, when I wake up with an achy back and knees that pop and crack, I feel ancient. I try to run a mile, and I find myself gasping for the next breath. I visit my dentist or doctor and marvel at how they could be at least a decade younger than me. I find I’m singing along to a favorite song…and it’s playing on

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Urban Gardens a Much Needed Respite

Urban Gardens: a Much Needed Respite

My husband and I were introduced to the world of urban gardening long before it was all the rage. Rather than trying to stay on top of the newest trend in city living, we were seeking to nurse our depleted spirits. We had hit a rough patch in life which had left us both weathered and emotionally spent. Stress was high and burn out was knocking on our door. It was a wise counselor who listened to our sad state and suggested that in order to renew our joy, we should find a life-giving hobby to share in together. As we brainstormed about activities we were interested in pursuing, oddly enough gardening ended up making the final cut. Living downtown in a

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are you trying to be the perfect girl on social media

Are You Trying to Be the “Perfect Girl” You See on Social Media?

Don’t get me wrong here. I love social media, but it is ruining some of us ladies! Me included. It has created the “Perfect Girl.” This girl simply does not exist, yet we all carry the guilt of not being her. We work overtime trying to juggle more balls in our lives than one can possibly handle, dropping some of them along the way, while trying to make ourselves look like a beauty queen. Then we take pictures of our circus act and post them on social media. Pictures with the appearance of perfection, of all the awesome things we are doing, wearing, eating, crafting, etc. so all the world can see our sparkly qualities. Don’t forget the Photoshop and the filters

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