Taking the Middle Seat next to Maggie McGuinness

On Episode 37, I’m talking to Maggie McGuinness with Maggie Ann Soap Co. (Facebook, Instagram). Our conversation is like the very best memoir you’ve ever read complete with a gorgeous storytelling, perseverance and resilience. Maggie talks about her history of substance use disorder and mental health issues. She also talks lovingly about her family and their struggles and triumphs with the same diseases. Maggie has an incredible family of her own and a very cool soap business. Everything she does is an expression of love for herself, her family, her community and the world.

Maggie is on the board at Cherry Health. I’d love for you to follow the link and learn more about Cherry Health’s comprehensive services. She also mentions ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), a study of how childhood trauma can affect a person throughout their lifetime.

I mention one of my favorite podcasts called Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Check. It. Out. If you have ever gone through a hard time, if you’re going through a hard time, if you have a friend/family member/neighbor/adjacent human going through a hard time, you’re going to want to listen.

Now first, go buy some soap!!! Maggie Ann Soap is the absolute best thing to have in your bathroom to impress the socks off your grubby guests or the very best thing to send to a friend or the very cutest thing to give to a new neighbor or the coolest party favor. She makes every product with care and intention. And it’s not just bar soap. She has lotions and hair care and beard care and bath bombs. Its the best. And second, go take the middle seat! Ask people questions and listen and ask again. I promise you’ll feel the magic in the middle seat.

maggie mcguinness.jpg

Taking the Middle Seat next to DaNay Tossey

On Episode 35, I’m talking to DaNay Tossey, owner of Cornerstone Coffee (Facebook, Instagram) in McBain, MI. In a town of less than 1,000 residents, DaNay saw a need for a space to connect. She has seen the magic that happens when you create a welcoming place of acceptance, openness, and…. COFFEE!

DaNay is not only a mama to 6 kids, a business owner, a physical therapy assistant, and a connector… she’s also a living kidney donor. I LOVED hearing about her experience as a living donor. If you’re interested in living donation you can reach out to me. Living donation is one of my favorite things to talk about. You can also check out the local program at Mercy Health or information at the National Kidney Foundation.

I feel like meeting DaNay was such a wonderful surprise. She is a bright light in her community and she will be a bright light in your world. Follow her on all the socials and go pick up a copy of The Turquoise Table to read at a table when you’re sipping coffee at Cornerstone Coffee or at your favorite coffee shop.

2019_560.jpg

Taking the Middle Seat next to Amber Brandt and Olivia Fitzpatrick

On Episode 32, I’m talking to Olivia Fitzpatrick of Liv Styled (Facebook and Instagram) and Amber Brandt, The Coziness Consultant (Facebook and Instagram). They are sisters who have made it their life’s work to connect people, inspire people, and love people. Olivia is a rad stylist with impeccable style and an incredible gift to make humans feel amazing. Amber works in interior design and has approximately a zillion ideas to create welcoming spaces that elevate everyone who enters them. You’ll hear us laugh A LOT and I’m telling you right this minute, I love these women to pieces. They work in spaces that could be considered surface or frivolous but they know that their work is all about connection and love.

Olivia and Amber collaborate to create events called Bright + Becoming Events. I attended their first event and that’s where I just knew they had a special magic that I hadn’t seen before. Their spring event is April 25!! Follow Bright + Becoming to get the details as soon as they’re up. I KNOW this event will sell out quickly.

They also have A Modern Wedding Event coming up on March 23 at Mod Bettie. Olivia and Amber are the keynote speakers!! If you are planning a wedding, bless you. Almost 19 years in to my marriage, I cannot even imagine planning a wedding with hashtags and themes and creativity and organization. I am certain that you’ll love this event if a wedding event is on your horizon.

Olivia and Amber talked about their favorite things including candles, cheap mascara, and dance parties at home!!

Taking the Middle Seat is officially 1 year old! As I reflect on this past year, I am so grateful for all that the podcast has given me. Chief among those gifts is the gift of connection. Listeners, if you’re looking for genuine connection, put. yourself. out. there. Just one tiny step will do it. I promise. Humans are desperate to be heard and seen in this time of division so be that person that does the seeing and the hearing. Be the person that takes the middle seat!

IMG_1036.jpg

Taking the Middle Seat next to Dustin Cornett at the Chocolat Inn and Cafe

On Episode 30, I talk to Dustin Cornett. He and his wife Mai own the Chocolat Inn and Cafe (Facebook and Instagram) in Beattyville, KY a small town in Eastern Kentucky (census stats). My family and I visited our extended family in Booneville, KY this past summer and decided to stay at Dustin and Mai’s inn (in the East and West Berlin rooms). I talk honestly in our interview about my assumptions and stereotypes before I went there. And Dustin talks about how he didn’t feel like he fit into the area even when he was growing up there. Dustin and Mai have been around the world and he talks about what brought them back to Beattyville. One of my favorite parts of Beattyville is the Woolly Worm Festival. I love a kooky festival!

Dustin talks about some of the natural gems around the Inn like the Red River Gorge and Daniel Boone National Forest with the Natural Bridge. If you’re into rock climbing or hiking, you absolutely need to visit! There is a really yummy restaurant there called Red River Rockhouse. The fries were legit. He also talks about being in Palau and how that experience made him view his home differently. He also mentions his wife’s home town of Osaka.

Our conversation really highlighted for me how we have become such a divided country. Whether those divides are geographical, technological, racial, political, or ideological they are divides we must work on. And I would argue, this can really only be done by listening, remembering that everything is nuanced, every person’s experience matters, and by taking the middle seat.

dustin and mai.jpg

Taking the Middle Seat next to Tara Jones

On Episode 27, I’m talking to Tara Jones, owner of Your Pretty Pennies (Tara on Facebook and Instagram). She is a financial success coach, entrepreneur, and single mom. You will hear her tell her powerful story of “pressing the reset button.” Honestly, I’ve never identified with a financial planner or financial coach of any kind. Taking the middle seat next to super organized, planner, dollars and cents types has me quaking in my boots! Tara is on a whole different level. She reaches out to everyone’s soul and speaks a language that makes sense for everyone to beautify their lives in their own unique way.

Tara has so many services you’ll want to check out. She has published the Ultimate Financial Planner, a customizable 12 month planner. She coaches at the Financial Reset Online Academy, a comprehensive online curriculum to “Demolish Debt. Master Your Money. Create Financial Freedom.” She also provides 1-on-1 coaching if you are getting serious about manifesting the financial life you want. Tara is a sought after speaker including my personal favorite, Young Money: 5 Things to do with a Paycheck, a workshop for teens. You guys! Can you imagine if you had that workshop as a teenager!??!! How awesome!

She’s also hosting an event coming up really SOON, January 5! Its called The Ultimate Financial Vision Board Workshop. I’m going to be there and I want you to be there too! I am absolutely certain Tara will help you start your 2019 with a clear vision and plan. I have never made a vision board (or a budget… shhh) so I am totally geeked to be treating myself to this gift. Sign up at the link above!

Tara’s favorite things include her black boots from H&M. These are some cute ones I found. In a recent video Tara also rocks a faux leather skirt and that looks a lot like this and it is one of my favorite things. I’m telling you right now. She also loves the Cranberry Woods candle from Bath & Body Works. She also loves homemaking including ironing and loading the dishwasher. And she’s a huge advocate for therapy for everyone!

I know that Tara is going to be the voice in your head calling you higher in 2019. She is incredible. So dance and sashay into 2019 with this episode playing and remember to take the middle seat! I know you’ll find your very own magic and purpose right there waiting for you.

Tara-Jones-Headshot.jpg

Taking the Middle Seat next to Topsie VandenBosch

On Episode 24, I’m talking to Topsie VandenBosch, a business mindset coach for female entrepreneurs. (Topsie on Facebook and Instagram) She is a private practice therapist and entrepreneur. And she is a firecracker and motivator. I could not love her more! I love how she speaks truth and encouragement to get us out of our stuck spaces.

Topsie’s tips for maintaining a great mindset heading into the holiday season:

  1. Remember that you will be ok no matter the season. Keep a mindset centered on abundance and not fear.

  2. Recognize that it is ok to slow down. You don’t have to keep up with the hustle and bustle that is around you. You don’t have to!

  3. Remember it is ok to NOT buy all of the things. Stay within your means.

Topsie’s tips for maintaining boundaries at the holiday season:

  1. Don’t spend time with people who drain you (or limit your time) even if they’re family.

  2. Recognize that every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. Don’t say yes out of obligation.

Topsie mentions Side Hustle Pro podcast. If you have a little baby side hustle and want some encouragement, it just might be for you. I’ve also found a lot of encouragement through GR Boss Babes and Grand Rapids Women Who, local GR groups of rad women. Don’t hate on social media. It can be a source of connection if you do it right.

If you need more Topsie-on-a-podcast-fun, be sure to catch her on Balanced Bites episode 374.

Topsie’s favorite things include an iced matcha green tea latte with almond milk from Starbucks (I *heart* her specificity here), The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson, The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix (I’m going to take her word on this. Horror - EEEK!), My Favorite Murder podcast (we’re going to the live show together!!!!), Jenna Kutcher’s podcast, and Skinny Confidential podcast. Topsie also treats herself to cold-pressed juices because they’re so freaking delicious. She loves Bodhi Tree Juice Co. and Malamiah Juice Bar.

Go take that middle seat all holiday season long!

topsie vandenbosch.jpg