Links That Light Us Up

9th Edition

Hi, Woman on Fire!

It’s that time again…are you ready for some amazing links?

Best Animal Ever- Did you know that immediately after elephant mothers give birth they appoint other babysitters in the herd to look after their baby?  Learn more about these amazing creatures in this article from The Huffington Post.

The Amazing Elephant- image via ShutterstockShutterstock

Best Party Planner Cheat Sheet- Never worry about not having enough food at your party again. Thank you Chickabug for this party planning lifesaver!

Party Portions from ChickabugChickabug

Best Inspiring Read- You already know that we are HUGE Anne Lamott fans, and we’ve raved about her books before! We’re serious now … if haven’t read this book yet, please buy it today!

Help Thanks Wow by Anne LamottAnne Lamott

Best Bite- This pizza screams end of summer, and looks absolutely delicious. Tracy of Shutterbean has created this amazing Peach Arugula Corn Pizza, and we couldn’t be more excited to try it out.Peach Arugula Corn Pizza- Tracy of ShutterbeanShutterbean

Best Slumber Strategies– Need help sleeping? Look no further than this article about 9 surprising reasons you can’t fall asleep from The Huffington Post.

9 reasons you can't fall asleep via Huffington Post- Getty ImageGetty Image

Best Workout Playlists- Doesn’t it always feel like you’re working out to the same songs? Spice up your exercise routine with some new tunes. Run Hundred curates the best workout playlists and delivers them to your inbox every month!

Run Hundred- amazing workout playlistsRun Hundred

Best Equal Pay PSA- Just press play on this one 🙂

Best Print- Nobody does it better than our best girl Coco. We love this classic print for an office or vanity area! Buy here from MadeByGirl.

Chanel No 5 print by MadeByGirlMadeByGirl

We hope this served as a pleasant break for you in your busy week! We’ll be back with more next week. Until then, let us know what you liked and what’s lighting you up 🙂


Women on Fire


What’s your story?

Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy Birthday!

Twice the celebration today for Lori!

Today is my younger sister Lori’s birthday.  And because it fell on Easter, she ended up with birthday cupcakes, presents AND a giant, chocolate Peter The Rabbit.

We had a wonderful weekend of “sister adventures” including going to the spa where Lori relaxed in her first Watsu with amazingly skilled Woman on Fire Tamara Caggiano.

Lounging at the Golden Door Spa in Naples, Florida

Many of you met Lori in our first Women on Fire book.

She wrote a chapter about how after 18 years of dating she met, fell in love, and married the man of her dreams — and how she coped with becoming a widow.

She was still in her 40s and a newlywed when Tom was diagnosed with Stage 4 head and neck cancer.  He died a month after their second wedding anniversary.

“Writing my story was beneficial to organize my feelings. It was the beginning of understanding the process of grieving and how to grieve,” she reflected this weekend, five years after writing her chapter.

“I worried if I wrote the truth — how I was struggling; how empty I felt; and about the anger and hurt — people would view me as weak and vulnerable. But it turned out to be quite the opposite.”

Lori’s courage to tell her story as she was going through it reminded me of the power we unleash as Women on Fire when we share our true selves — and the enormous potential benefit for others.

I was recently touched reading this thought-provoking sentence: “can you imagine if you had two paragraphs of truth written from a great-grandparent about their life?”

We feel energized and alive when we hear the truth; we feel cheated when we don’t.

“To share my story with others actually made me stronger and connect with more people,” Lori said.

“Many people thanked me for sharing it and a few said it made them look at their own relationships (with husbands, partners, boyfriends) differently. It made me feel good to know telling my story made a difference.

“If it helped one person, it was worth telling it versus being safe and keeping it inside,” she said.

Looking back now, six years after Tom’s death, Lori realizes what a long process to heal.

“Telling the story is what got the ball rolling — the beginning of the healing process — and now these many years later, I feel I am finally at the end of the process.

“I can now see my story, beginning to end.  And, the end is where I truly have started to live and feel again.”

Earlier this month, Lori took a final step in her life with Tom when she spread his ashes in Peru at Macchu Picchu, a destination that they had planned for their 5th wedding anniversary.

Lori at Macchu Picchu 

“I look forward to being in a relationship again. I can honestly say ‘I’m ready!'”

How is it for you?  Have you considered writing a chapter or a full memoir of your life?  How might it benefit your family and friends — or even a complete stranger?

Do you tell the truth about your life to those you love and care about so they can learn from your mistakes and successes?

The reluctance to share that I hear most often — and an excuse I’ve used myself:

I can’t tell my story. If I told it, it would hurt _____________ .

To that, one of my all-time favorite writers Anne Lamott says, “you own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”

This summer you will be able to read a whole new set of Women on Fire stories. Our 21 co-authors of the next Women on Fire book are hard at work crafting their own life stories to share with you.

I have read a few of the completed ones, and I must tell you I have laughed, cried, learned and been uplifted by each one!

I know you will be, too.

Recent gathering in Columbus with a few of the co-authors of Women on Fire Book 2. You’ll be able to read their empowering, courageous stories this summer!

I hope you will continue to share your true self with other women, in particular. It is the single, greatest resource we have to give each other.

Thank you for being in our powerful circle of fabulous women!

Wishing you the safety and courage to tell your own powerful story ~

*This week’s Spark PINspiration*  

Pin to Pass on the Love!


Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 8.49.29 AM


One strategy for your big dreams!

Nearly two decades ago, my brilliant friend and (of course!) a Woman on Fire Patricia Wynn Brown suggested a book she was sure I would love.

Reading it changed my life.  And I think it could change yours, too.

The book was my first taste of Anne Lamott’s funny and perceptive writing, and the beginning of my love affair with her words and wisdom. And, here’s the passage in her book that blew my mind and rewired my thinking:

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was 10 years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day.

“We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.

“Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my  brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.'”

And, that’s how Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life came to crack open my fear and resistence to take on the “big stuff.”

Before that, I would see BIG dreams and desires looming in front of me without the direction of how to fly from Point A to Point Z.  How could I get to what I really, truly wanted in my life?

And there it was, tucked into Anne Lamott’s book, the secret.   “Bird by bird” — one small, doable step after another.

All these years later, rarely a week goes by that I don’t remind myself of a daunting task toward my big dreams, by saying out loud or silently mouthing “bird by bird.”  I always know I can do it, if I take it “bird by bird.” 🙂

I’d love to hear if that resonates for you? Or, a simple strategy for how you approach an enormous dream or huge project?

I was reminded again last week of how important it is to have strategies like this for our big dreams when the co-authors of the next Women on Fire book were announced.  (If you missed it, you can read who was selected here. And if you know any of them, please feel to reach out and cheer her on!)

Each one of our co-authors is about to tackle something big:  she will reveal a personal life story and struggle and what she did to reach success, overcome an issue or accommodate her challenge into her life.

It’s one thing to tell your life story and personal struggles to a friend, it’s another to share it publicly in a book.  Our co-authors are courageous women! Revealing can be so frightening even though the rewards are tremendous.

Every single one of our co-authors is up for the challenge.  She knows in sharing she will lighten the load for another women or give comfort and direction to someone facing a similar struggle.

With Sophfronia Scott, our publisher, Kacy Cook, our editor and me, there are 24 of us in this big dream.

Together, we will fly — and we’ll take it “bird by bird.”

Photos by Rob Berkley in Naples, FL

Have a spectacular week.  And, I’ll see you mid-week for a special new feature we are launching to share more of who the women in this community are!