On a Monday afternoon, while following the lead of our combined four children, my sister and I found ourselves at the local Kwik Trip. The kiddos had far more energy than either of us by this point and I was doing my best to maintain my laid-back, calm, cool and collected self as my three year old begged for rice crispy treats, juice and sunglasses and then insisted that she be the door opener and closer of the bathroom (as I changed my four-month old's diaper) and my sister waited somewhat (understandably) impatiently with her two-year old and five-year old. As I stood outside of the bathroom waiting for my daughter to open the door (this is her greatest life pleasure for some reason) smiling as I reflected on what my life has become, a flyer advertising painting classes caught my eye. The next evening, after taking our kids to a dairy farm (as my teacher-sister thought it would be important for the kids to understand where milk comes from scheduled a visit), and we peeled our children off of our legs (convincing them that grandma would take good care of them for two hours), we found ourselves sipping wine and water in the Schaefer-Miles studio. As we painted along and chatted, I became intrigued with the artist-couple's unique story and knew they were a perfect fit for my next book. In true form, I invited myself back to their studio for an interview. Here is a snippet of their intriguing story.
June 14th, 2015
May 30th, 2015
Lisa Kivirist and her husband traded in a life and workstyle that many of us have become very familiar with---long hours, stress and take-out dinners--for something much simpler. They learned the ropes of sustainability and food (from growing it to preparing it) one step at a time and turned their passion with purpose into a bed and breakfast called Inn Serendipity. The key to making substantial change, Lisa says, is making small, bite-size changes.
If you're in the midwest this summer, it may be worth checking this out.
May 30th, 2015
When I co-interviewed Gloria Steinem, I was struck by her response to my colleague's question. My colleague asked 'what is it in your bones that makes you believe you can accomplish anything?' Gloria paused a moment before humbling explaining that she doesn't believe that. She suggested that we may be setting girls up for failure by telling them that they can accomplish anythig, because, as she explained, change takes time.
August 21st, 2014
As people around the United States stand in solidarity with Michael Brown and the people of Missouri, the mothers of Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford and others who have lost their lives to police brutality took to the streets of Oakland demanding justice.
July 4th, 2014
Malalai Joya considers herself a member of the war generation in Afghanistan. Because she says the women in her country can't afford to stay silent, complacent and uneducated, she is dedicating her entire life to the cause of fighting for democracy through education.
June 10th, 2014
Eric Velesquez is a children's illustrator. His mom began reading him illustrated books when he was a child in hopes of inspiring him to learn English. In time, he learned English, but fell in deep love with the illustrations!
April 7th, 2014
No matter where in the world we end up or take ourselves, we are in charge of our own happiness and our life will be what we make of it. While working on my first book, The Journey of Life: 100 Lessons from Around the World, my mother suggested that I talk with her Scottish friend who wound up in what I had considered, "The-Middle-of-Nowhere, Wisconsin." I was deeply inspired by my interviewee's 'can-do,' 'life is what you make of it,' attitude and I'm sure you will be too.
March 26th, 2014
A little over five-years ago, I took on my first field assignment for KPFA. I covered the Women's Multicultural Conference at UC Berkeley and did my very first on-the-spot field interview with a woman who has become an icon for women around the world, Gloria Steinem! Here's a clip of my interview with Gloria that I did along with Elisa Parker from KVMR in Nevada City, California! Thanks for fighting to make the world a better place Gloria! Keep fighting for justice and we'll keep fighting along with you:)
February 26th, 2014
February 3rd, 2014
This episode of the Women's Magazine shows what is possible when you combine a passion for social justice with art and love! Learn about an up and coming people's yoga studio in East Los Angeles with the aim of transforming the community. Find out about the play The House That Will Not Stand that is premiering at the Berkeley Rep Theater. Finally, get to know the members of the amazing collective called Las Cafeteras!