Breaking Taboos: Stories That Shed Light on the Dark

Breaking Taboos: Stories That Shed Light on the Dark

From the beginning, we’ve strived to start honest conversations about our shared experiences as women. Because the more we open up and share, the more we let others know that they are not alone in what they’re feeling and experiencing. There’s no room for shame or judgement around these parts. Even so, there are still topics that people consider off-limits, often holding back from sharing their hearts because of fear. Well, we’re here to tell you that we’re not afraid, and this is a safe space. Always.

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A Surprise Love of Homeschooling

A Surprise Love of Homeschooling

Homeschooling seemed incredibly foreign and unusual to me, until I considered our family's already nontraditional lifestyle. My husband is in the military and tours often. We both work from home, and do small sustainable farming in our small city garden. Considering homeschooling started to seem like the next step in the lifestyle we were leaning towards. As I took the leap and dove into this different form of education, I learned an incredible amount about my sons and their interests, and also my capability.

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Body Metamorphosis: A Tool to Personal Transformation

Body Metamorphosis: A Tool to Personal Transformation

The opportunity for change, whether in body or mind, is not always apparent. For me, this lesson begins with a classic story involving New Year’s Eve, a group of friends, and an unbelievable diet and workout plan. New Year’s Resolutions have never been something I have emphasized in my life. Work out goals and their results have never stuck around for me. After being disillusioned with the many diets and workout plans I had already attempted, I was ready to let go and dive in without expectation (as if it would be that simple). My physical transformation would catalyze a deeper journey of self-discovery.

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The Forest: A Place of Knowing

The Forest: A Place of Knowing

Stepping onto the path, breathing deep, and feeling the rush of soil, green, and bark. Nature is our greatest teacher. Personally, I find myself connecting with Nature on a deeper level each time I enter a forest, more than any other ecosystem. I grew up traipsing through the forests of Western Pennsylvania, surrounded by oaks and hemlocks. Since then, I found myself living in different parts of the country. Each time, I find a forest.

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3 Ways to Support Someone Going Through a Divorce

3 Ways to Support Someone Going Through a Divorce

Divorce is a death. A death of a united family. A death of future dreams and hopes. This death brings with it a heavy grief, weighing on the parties involved like a heavy blanket. As a friend, how can you support someone you care about experiencing such an emotional loss? Your tongue gets tripped up on the words you can’t quite string together the way you wish they would. You’re not sure if you’re making matters worse or if your compassion seems genuine or coerced.

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The Tale of Many Majors

The Tale of Many Majors

Piano had been my thing since I was seven, when I’d come home to a second-hand upright in the living room and a stack of pink lesson books in the bench. In high school, I practiced for hours instead of hanging out with friends or trying out for the school musical. Occasionally, my mom let me call in sick to school so I could hammer out an hour of technique followed by two or three hours of polishing pieces for competitions. How could I major in anything else?

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Lessons Learned as a Teacher Turned Professional Artist

Lessons Learned as a Teacher Turned Professional Artist

We need to be willing to teach another person, competitor or not, something that we know about and share that knowledge willingly. The more that I have shared with members of my group and creative self-starters that I have met along the way, the more I have learned. We need to become life-long learners who crave information and are willing to educate others once we master a concept.

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Raising Strong Women

Raising Strong Women

I realized that strong women aren’t born. They are made. But when I think of what it takes to have the kind of tenacity and resilience that makes us strong, I think of overcoming failure, heartbreak, and trauma. All of my favorite women of history have their moments where they overcame adversity to find their strength. It’s the classic hero storyline.

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I Grew Up in a Cult

I Grew Up in a Cult

I was raised almost entirely alone for the whole of my childhood. I don’t just mean that as in I was a loner or kept to myself; I was raised on eight acres of land with little to no exposure to the world. Due to the teachings of the cult my mother was a member of, I was never educated. I taught myself to read, and learned all my basic writing skills on the internet. In the time between, I played alone in the woods. Whenever I did attempt to interact with kids my own age (usually by going to the town pool) I was teased mercilessly for my lack of common knowledge

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Bringing Awareness to Thyroid Cancer

Bringing Awareness to Thyroid Cancer

Have you ever tried to drive a car while it was on empty? I imagine it was difficult. Either the car didn't start at all, or it did start but stopped shortly after you started driving. Trying to drive a car with no fuel is very similar to how it feels living with a body that has a thyroid disease or imbalance. The body serves a similar function as a car. It helps take us from one place or activity to the next. Sadly a body with an imbalanced thyroid or no thyroid at all isn't getting the thyroid hormone it needs to regulate your metabolic rate which affects your energy levels, body weight, digestive function, muscle control, and bone maintenance just to name a few.

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The Life Lessons We Should Have All Been Taught

The Life Lessons We Should Have All Been Taught

As children we are taught how to solve algebraic equations and chemical formulas, yet we are never taught how to love, be kind and how to survive life.It is our duty to teach others, no matter their age or gender, how to embrace difficult situations and become a stronger person because of it. Often the most valuable lessons we learn are not easily taught in a classroom, they are learnt through experience and mistakes and through others.

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What an Eating Disorder Really Looks Like

 What an Eating Disorder Really Looks Like

What do you think when you read the word “anorexia”? High fashion models? Crazy teenage girls? Another diet? Or the latest Lily Collins movie? How about a ten-year-old girl that ended up with a lifelong journey for recovery? Eating disorders are considered addictions, but unlike the addict, who can abstain from the substance, I can’t. I must face both my fear and my “drug” every 2-5 hours, every day.

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How to Bring Music Education into Your Home as a Parent

How to Bring Music Education into Your Home as a Parent

Music education is important for so many different reasons. Children who take music lessons, or who participate in any form of music education, have better memory patterns than those children who receive no music education. Music is a universal language, and children from any part of the world can hear the same music and be moved by it in the same way. Music education helps children with their language and reasoning skills, gives them a sense of accomplishment, and helps improve math and spatial skills.

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Stories That Educate (Because Learning Never Stops)

Stories That Educate (Because Learning Never Stops)

August is “Educate” month at Holl & Lane, and we’ll be featuring stories here on the blog that relate to this theme in some way. Maybe it’s the time of year, since many people are gearing up to go back to school themselves, or sending their kids back. Maybe it’s the thought that no matter what stage of life we’re in, we never stop learning. Either way, we’re feeling the pull of knowledge and learning. So, let’s fully embrace the opportunity to expand our horizons. It’s how we continue to grow and develop mentally and emotionally.

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Life of a Former Beauty Queen

Life of a Former Beauty Queen

I have a confession to make. I’m a has-been “beauty queen”. I never considered myself one, though. After all, beauty queens are tall with flawless skin, legs a mile long, gigantic smiles, and perfect speaking skills. I always felt like I had none of those attributes. I’ve even had people act surprised when they find out that I competed in pageants. 

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Women in Music: An Inside Look at Sexism and Success

Women in Music: An Inside Look at Sexism and Success

A lot of people assume being a woman or mother in the music industry is a weakness, but I see it as a strength. When I first got in the business, I realized I just put my head down and worked hard to prove myself and make relationships. Once I did, I wasn’t focused on what I wasn’t getting because of my gender, but what I could accomplish because of it and the advantages it brought me.

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Parenting: The Twists, Turns, and Masochism

Parenting: The Twists, Turns, and Masochism

After trying for two years to get pregnant and having no luck, I wasn’t expecting anything but a big, fat negative when I tested the morning before heading down state to celebrate my birthday. I wanted to test “just in case” since I had a feeling a beautiful, blue bottle of Riesling would be in my very near future. And then, with an empty uterus, I would uncork the last year of my twenties, having high hopes for the next year in which we’d hopefully end up pregnant before thirty.

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The Intimidation of Creating

The Intimidation of Creating

Even when I managed to fire and glaze a vessel, it didn’t seem right to be proud or excited about my creations. I knew they weren’t well done, but they were mine, something made with my own two hands. Though that should be enough, somehow it wasn’t. I found myself constantly giving disclaimers when people looked at my pots – “I’ve only been doing it for 10 weeks!” or “I know these are terrible!”

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