Tough Cookies

Making the Best of Life, Each and Every Day

VIDEO | Kristen Bell Talks Anxiety & Depression

Kristen Bell opens up about her history with anxiety and depression as well as the double standards those with the condition face. “If you do decide to go on a prescription to help yourself, understand that the world wants to shame you for that, but in the medical community, you would never deny a diabetic […]


Living With Depression Pt. 6: Give Back

Depression is an energy-sucking, miserable disease. Horrid. Absolutely awful. And the stigma makes it even harder to deal with. Like being trapped in a well, if you fall into a depression, you (probably) can’t get out alone. With the stigmas surrounding mental health, it can be hard to take that step, to call out for help. […]

AZHIN, 22. From Kojo, Sinjar. Date of capture August 15, 2014. Held for 11 months

Tough Topic: Yazidi Women Enslaved by ISIS

Last week I stumbled upon a photo/story series called “Escaped” by Seivan Salim. Here is the introduction to the series: On August 3rd 2014, ISIS insurgents attacked the northern Iraqi city of Sinjar, an area largely populated by the Yazidi, whom the militants view as “devil worshippers.” The militants shot and killed tens of thousands of people and kidnapped […]

Holding Chocolate Mug on Christmas Background with Snow and Ornaments

It’s Christmas Time!!

‘Tis the season to be jolly! I realize that not everyone celebrates or likes Christmas, and I totally get it. (I’ve worked many a retail holiday. It’s true what they say…what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. ) Yet, I’m still one of those people who LOVES Christmas. Tonight I’m giving myself a little […]


Living with Depression, Pt 5: Learn to Ride the Wave

Over time, I’ve learned to endure the onslaught of self-loathing and emptiness that comes with a depressive episode. I’ve learned to brace myself against the waves of fear and sadness as they batter my spirit over and over again.  I’m glad to be in calmer waters now. And I’m learning to ride the waves, to […]


VIDEO | Rosie the Riveter

Wonderful discussion about the symbolism and cultural context of Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter.”


Words of Wisdom

“I will not be 'famous,' 'great.' I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.”
~ Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary ~

To All My Soul Sisters

It’s hard to keep up with the boys. That’s something my sister and I definitely understand. We learned how to shoot guns and hold back our tears. To this very day we’re known to be a bit “wild,” but we’ve  never given much thought to a little eyebrow-raisin’. Some people will just never get who we are. Sometimes we don’t […]


Living with Depression, Pt. 4: Embrace Your Individuality

Thanks to everyone for reading so far! 1. Reach Out. Seek Hope. 2. Stop Blaming Yourself 3. (a) Exercise Your Sense of Humor Coping with Depression, Part 3 (b) Embrace Your Individuality Did you ever make paper snowflakes in elementary school? It’s very easy. You fold a piece of paper into fourths and cut out patterns along […]


Living with Depression, Pt. 3: Exercise Your Humor

They say time heals all wounds, but I believe that saying is only half the truth. For me, finding a source of joy, against all odds, has meant being able to communicate my thoughts and feelings to those closest to me. Over a decade of depression, One of my greatest challenges has been asking for help, while also being there for […]


Living with Depression Pt. 2: Stop Blaming Yourself.

In my day-to-day life, experiencing such a deep level of sadness with “no apparent reason to be sad” often creates a bizarre and frustrating monologue. When I’m feeling tired, upset or stressed, I begin blaming myself for my symptoms. “If only I were stronger, or more in shape, or less busy – maybe then I […]


Living with Depression, Pt. 1: Reach Out. Seek Hope.

Part 1. Reach out. Seek hope.   When we were children, we were told, “If you get lost, stay where you are. Someone will find you.” I was very young when I first felt the fear of being lost. I was too small to see over the produce shelves at the local grocery store, but looking up, I could see a bunch of […]


Hands in the Soil

There is something therapeutic about handling dirt and watching things grow. Neglect, imperfection, accidents, ignorance. The beginning gardener faces many challenges, especially when the soil is foreign and your schedule is busy. But when you begin something new, you have to accept that there is always a learning curve. I’ve long since thrown out any […]


Words of Wisdom

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
~ Audrey Hepburn ~