taking care

Wanna go streaking?

Hey! Do you wanna go streaking with us? No, we’re not talking about stripping off all of your clothes and running, but you’re more than welcome if to do so if you think it’s a good idea. We’re talking about the kind of streaking you may have heard Erica has been doing for over a year, almost 500 days if we want to get technical. When we say streaking, we mean committing to doing something everyday. 

What kind of something?

That’s a personal decision. It’s a commitment to yourself, to do something for you, that challenges you to be your best you, and pushes you to grow. For Erica it’s getting out there running every single day for at least one mile. For Crystal, this is a completely different ballgame. The only thing she’s been streaking of late has been the care of her family, in particular her children, rather than focusing on herself. If we’re going to be completely honest, Crystal has some decisions to make when it comes to streaking. 

What’s Erica going to do?

She’s going to keep doing what she’s been doing…Erica’s streak has been going for quite a while now, but she wants everyone to know it’s about quality (of life) and NOT quantity (of miles). Running every day is simply about finding time to do something that brings joy. Sometimes it’s a majestic journey that takes me to new destinations, sometimes it’s just a mile around the block, sometimes it’s just an excuse to listen to those new Missy Elliott tracks. It’s not about getting faster, losing weight, or being cooler than other runners who don’t streak. It’s simply a fun way to create a little time for self-care.  

What’s Crystal going to do?

She’s going to go basic and make a commitment to her own self-care. Yes, the woman who blogs and talks about self-care, is needing to make her own self a priority. Each day she will do one thing, preferably first thing in the morning, for herself that she needs. Caring for others is great, noble, and needed (particularly when you have tiny humans in your house), but your own needs are just as important. Each day Crystal will take time to exercise, read, or meditate all on her own so that she can recharge for what lays ahead of her. Once again, she’s making herself a priority so that she can be her best self, wife, mom, daughter, friend, you name it. 

How can you streak with us?

  1. Share what you are going to do. 

  2. Hold us accountable. (Ask questions about progress, call us out if we’re silent about what we’re doing,)

  3. Rejoice with us in our progress. (We hope to get incrementally better each day). 

  4. Encourage us when it’s tough (we promise to be vulnerable and share when it’s hard)

  5. Share your progress and struggles with us too

We hope that you’ll join us on this streaking journey and that we can encourage one another.



i have a confession

I have a confession…

Spring is here and there are signs of new life everywhere we turn. The trees are more green as their leaves return, flowers are in bloom, and fun outdoor events fill our calendars. In this season of newness, we would like to share something fresh with you: it’s a brand new series called, “I have a confession.”

What are we confessing?

Sometimes we feel pressure to conform or align with what is popular or hide it when we don’t. Occasionally, we attempt to hold on to something we would rather get off our chest. Whether you’re going against the grain, or you just need to sound off about something, it can feel good to get rid of that nagging guilt, shame, or confusion…We are here to invite you to reveal your truths. Silly, serious, large or small, we want to hear them all!

We’ll go first.

I, Erica, have a confession…

At the risk of making myself into a pariah, I have to admit that do not like Chicago-style pizza. Don’t get me wrong, deep-dish, cheesy, carby, goodness is usually up my alley. I tried it, I wanted to love it, but it just fell flat. I don’t blame Chicagoans or their pizza, though. In my heart i realize that this savory dish needs the spice of Italian meats! Try as they might, vegetarian varieties just aren’t as flavorful. There. I said it. And phew, don’t I feel better!

I, Crystal, have a confession…

I am a Christian, and I cuss a little. Well, maybe a lot. Many like to think that those who believe in God are better than that and don’t cuss, but I for one am not that person. I also have more Christian friends than I can count on two hands that cuss too. I won’t out them, because that’s their confession to make. BUT let’s just say, being a Christian doesn’t preclude you from dropping the “f” bomb, yelling “oh shit” when something goes wrong, or a declarative “dammit” of exasperation.

I’ll never forget meeting a friend of my husband’s when we were first dating. This friend had already learned that I was in seminary (or as my husband jokingly called “Jesus School”), and wasn’t phased by it since he had grown up Baptist. We had a great afternoon/evening hanging out as a group, but then we had a moment. At some point in the evening, the friend dropped something and things went a little like this…

Friend: OH SHIT! Oh, no. I’m so sorry.
Me: What are you sorry for?
Friend: I cussed, and you’re in school to be a pastor.
Me: You do know who I’m dating right?
Friend: Of course, I do.
Me: He cusses like a sailor.
Friend: Yeah, but you’re going to be a PASTOR.
Me: Seriously, it’s cool. Shit. Damn. Fuck. Do you feel better now?
Friend: *sighs* YES!

I have plenty of people who are afraid to cuss around me because I believe in Jesus, but I’m pretty sure he cussed too. The Bible had its own editors who told us what they wanted in their stories, but I’m pretty sure Jesus cussed when he overturned the tables in the temple or got frustrated with the dopey disciples in the Gospel of Mark.

Have something you want to share?

If so, drop us a line here. These confessions can help us let go and move forward, leaving the shame and the guilt behind. You took an extra complimentary cookie at Harris Teeter? Tell us about it. You secretly wish your mother-in-law would wax her upper lip? Let us know! You have a smelly cubicle mate? It’s safe to speak freely here.

If you’re willing to share your confessions on the blog, let us know in your submission. Each of us is different in how we want share things, some are more open and others maybe not. You are more than welcome to confess publicly; our blog is a safe space for you to be your authentically amazing and imperfect self. If you would prefer to share anonymously, and we fully respect that. Either is okay with us! Your confession, your choice.

We do have one disclaimer to add. While we fully support the airing of grievances, we have ethical responsibilities to our readership and fellow humans. If your confession involves criminal activity, don’t tell us. Tell the authorities! If you have caused irreparable pain to someone else, this may not be the venue for your confession.

These confessions can be an opportunity to apologize or voice regret for regrettable choices and actions, just not criminal ones.

Thank you for hearing our confession and we cannot wait to hear yours.


taking care

What exactly are we sorry for?

Every. Single. Day.

We hear women and girls saying, “I’m sorry.”

We are tired of the apologies because they are UNNECESSARY.  It seems women feel the need to apologize when they have done NOTHING wrong. So What exactly are we sorry for?

Our very existence matters.

When we hear someone apologize for standing where someone is walking, it’s as if they are regretting that they exist at all. We can’t read minds or know to step out of the way exactly when someone needs to move past or around us. Everyone needs to breathe, to have water, to eat, and to occupy space. Existing and filling space is NOT something we have to apologize for.

We need connection.

There are moments in life where two or more people just need to communicate voice to voice. It may be easier, save time, or help drill down to a solution. It’s beneficial, yet we apologize for interrupting. “We are sorry to bother” or “sorry we had to call.” Rather than apologizing, perhaps we could greet one another warmly. We don’t always have the ability to schedule a conversation one week in advance with a calendar invite. A simple “hello” and “how are you” is a great icebreaker and can help smooth things over without making us feel small. There’s no need to apologize for interacting with another person—even it is spontaneous or unannounced.

We want to understand.

Sometimes we need feedback. We need to ask a question to get more information. We need an example or clarification to really understand what lies before us. There is this idea that we can only do our best if we have the right tools, yet we apologize for needing access to these tools of success. That doesn’t make sense! How many times have you heard a woman say “I hate to ask you this” or “I’m sorry if this seems like a stupid question” or “I’m sorry but I don’t understand…” It is a fact that asking questions leads to better comprehension that can resonate with all involved. Those willing to ask the questions are not only brave but highly motivated. When we are sorry for needing a better understanding of something, we are essentially apologizing for doing the job to the best of our ability. How silly is that?

We have value.

When we apologize for trivial things, it diminishes who we are as people. Most people that we interact with are not unilaterally irritated with us. They are not frustrated with our existence. But when we say we are sorry for small things, we invite that response. It’s like when someone tells you they have a stain on their shirt. You didn’t notice it, but now you can’t stop thinking about it. Enough is enough already. Stop apologizing. Just stop!

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Each and every one of us is an adorable badass.

We are unique and each of us brings something special to the table. Our womanhood unites us, but our individuality helps us shine. You are not fucking sorry for existing, so don’t apologize. Save your sorries for those moments when you make an actual blunder. One that may cause a problem for another person like forgetting to do something you promised you would do or arriving late to a meeting.

Value who you are, the space you occupy, your beautiful voice FIERCELY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY. Because you my friend, are AWESOME! We are people who have feelings, desire connection, and experience emotions. We take up space. Sometimes we need to ask questions and get more information. Being human is nothing to apologize for.





pause + rewind + try again

that’s the way we’ve always done it

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” “Why ruin a good thing?” We’ve heard this before. It encourages us to let go of our desire for perfection, but does it impede our progress at the same time? It’s easy to give up on something because we feel it can’t be helped, but what if we can help it. What if the answer to what vexes us more simple. Maybe it’s because that’s the way we’ve always done it.


Have you heard the story of the Christmas ham?

A daughter was helping her mom in the kitchen as she was preparing the ham for their Christmas dinner (which was probably going to be at 2:00 PM since southerners don’t really know that dinner is in the evening). The daughter observed her mom prepare the ham and season it and even adorn it with cloves. She also noticed her mother cut off a few inches of the ham on either side before putting it in the oven and tossing the ends of the ham into the trash. That’s when the daughter began asking questions about the cooking process. She asked, “Why did you cut off the ends of the ham?”

The mother calmly responded, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

The daughter, knowing not to waste food, pushed for more, “But WHY?”

Her mom responded, “Well, that’s what my mom has always done, and I do it her way. We can call and ask if you like.”

So call grandma they did. Excitedly, grandma picked up the phone to chat about Christmas, not expecting any cooking questions. “Hey, Mom,” her daughter began, “I was making the Christmas ham, and your granddaughter asked a great question. She wants to know why we always cut off the ends of the ham before baking it?”

Grandma thought for a minute and then began to laugh. Through her giggles she says, “Because my oven is too small, I have to cut the ends off the ham to make it fit.”

There’s a danger in doing things the same way we’ve always done it

So many years of wasted ham! It’s a pity. You see, there’s a danger in doing things the same way we’ve always done it. Sometimes it’s just a waste of ham, but sometimes there’s an outdated approach that’s in desperate need of an upgrade. If you have a question about the why, ask it! (Even if you have to dig a little.) Knowing why isn’t a bad thing. There could be a valid reason OR it could be time to rethink the way moving forward.

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thankful, grateful, restful

As we approach the holiday season, things get hectic. We are rushing here, there, and everywhere. We feel compelled to attend all gatherings, see everyone, and not miss anything. It’s a tall order to fill and leaves many feeling anxious…How will it ever come together? Today we have an idea to help you enjoy the season without feeling depleted. Rather than try to do it all, maybe we can slow down and allow ourselves to feel thankful, grateful and restful.

We are taking time off to enjoy our families.

It will be a challenge to get as much time as we would like with our loved ones; my brother and Erica’s dad both work in retail, which means after the Thanksgiving table is cleared, it’s time for these men to go back to work. Many of us are aware that retail stores do not take any breaks this time of year. For so many retailers, the holiday season as their last big sales push to end the fiscal year on a positive note. (They don’t call it #BlackFriday for nothing!) With that in mind, we invite you to share in our show of support for the retail industry by NOT SHOPPING ON THANKSGIVING! Last we checked, Thanksgiving was about gathering with those you love to celebrate gratefulness, not getting a “sweet deal”.

We all deserve a rest.

When we do finally have a break in our regularly scheduled lives, we are quick to fill the space with activities; maybe things we have put off, maybe things we are excited about, maybe obligatory things…we see our days off not as a restful break, but a chance to make up for lost productivity. We constantly overextend ourselves. You are entitled to a break every now and then. Maybe this will be the year that you leave your day off open like “free space” on a bingo card.

Choose to be present.

Even if the time we have with our “people” is short, we can make it count. We vow to unplug, we choose to be present, we desire to create a holiday that is as restorative as it is enjoyable. We hope you’ll do the same, so we can all be as thankful, grateful, and restful as possible.

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pause + rewind + try again

Pay it Forward

About two months ago I was struggling from a breakup with a man I adored. Our relationship wasn’t perfect but I loved him wholeheartedly. After it ended, I was sad, my self-esteem was at an all-time low, and I felt empty and exhausted emotionally. I gave so much to that relationship that I lost myself along the way. I lost my joy, my self-confidence, and my ability to laugh. I’m used to feeling confident and light and instead I wanted to hide and questioned my worth.

One of the things I always wanted was for my partner to compliment me.

If I had a pretty dress on or if I took the time to get dressed up for a date, I would wait for him to notice and hopefully tell me he appreciated the effort or even just me as a whole. Sadly, words were not his strong suit and in the year we dated, I yearned for a compliment or kind word. After we broke up, I wondered how many other people have the same yearning for those kind words or a genuine compliment that I did. I decided I didn’t want to wait for another man to fulfill that need and sought to fulfill it for others instead. I noticed more when someone would post a pretty selfie on Instagram and began taking the time to let people know I thought they were hilarious, that they glowed, that they were strong, and that they had a sweet smile. I shared how amazing their new haircut looked, or that I loved their outfit, or how radiantly happy they looked. I decided to pay it forward and sought to look for the beauty in others that I wanted someone to recognize in me.

In the time that I started giving love rather than asking for it I have witnessed so much joy.

The reactions﹘warmth and happiness﹘that I’ve received in response to a sincere compliment have given me so much more than I anticipated. Seeing women revel in their strength, beauty, courage, intelligence, and grace has been a gift. I treasure knowing that such an easy gesture can bring so much joy to others. By shifting my focus, I have been able to rely on myself for the things I need but also to be a source of love and light for others who might be struggling like I was. Mark Twain said you could live for two months on a good compliment and I truly believe that.

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Sharing kindness and love is free..

In the time I started to sprinkle it, those seeds have grown. Grown into my own confidence, my own joy, and my ability to bring joy and light to others. I would like to challenge those struggling to pause for a moment and instead of looking for something, look to give something. A kind word, an act of kindness, a small token of affection, be the light for others. If I have learned anything these past two months is that we get more by giving than by receiving. So go out and sprinkle a little love today, light it up!

Thanks for checking out this post by our guest contributor, Rhea!

We are so inspired by her effort to #payitforward that we have created a challenge that will help each of us keep an attitude of gratitude. Using the hashtag #sharingkindnesschallenge, we want to hear your stories about sharing compliments, thoughtful words, smiles, good vibes, and other random acts of kindness with your community!

Rhea is a writer, marathoner, and run streaker. She is currently on an almost 5 year run streak and you can see her out and about Raleigh on her daily run. She is also the proud dog mom to two rescue beagles, Jack and Benson.