Blogging For Self-Esteem

My husband has an event lighting company and we were at a wedding vendor ‘meet and greet’ recently. He introduced me to a professional woman who spoke about her event venue very seriously and pragmatically. And as the subject turned to social media, maybe I mentioned my blog, I spoke of how I’d entered into the social media world having no idea what it was about, mostly dreading it. And that I was surprised to find my self-esteem had bloomed through its use. And her stoic face spread in a smile and she said, “Good for you.” It was an unexpected response and that’s why I valued it. Because she knew the value of adding to one’s self-esteem. And I liked her.

See there’s a lot of us “older generation” who’ve resisted this social media “trend”. We’ve needed to be beaten over the head to consider our use of  social media. It was “new fangled” and we never even had a problem with rotary dial phones. But some of us had to concede to its use as necessary. I had a blog that needed promoting. Some others have books or personal causes that need exposure and support by sharing. But those are truly small whys compared to the bigger benefit. When you are on social media, community is almost inevitable.

===Fear Fears Community”===

— Jon Acuff —

We are community oriented beings. We get a sense of worth and gratitude and grounding when we are in a community. All of my life, I had never truly felt a part of one or maybe I didn’t believe I was deserving of one. And I totally did not expect to find mine online ! Yet it turns out there are so many like-minded people all over the world and if you speak honestly and from your soul-truth, you’ll bump right into them.

I’m loud and talkative when you meet me but I wasn’t like that online at first. So when I got a little less shy and began to ask questions and comment and speak up, I became a student of socialization. I saw that most people were nice to you and would respond. I saw that if you were truly kind to people they appreciated it. And I saw that the only way to have a friend was to be one.

cobalt door in Annapolis for Blogging for self-esteem post on

And the gift I received in return was the knowledge that I have value and am worthy just because I’m here. Because I’m nice and have valuable points and views to add to the world. The people who aren’t invested in me, who aren’t my blood or need something from me, but have willingly given me validation, support, and kudos? They have been the blessing to my self-esteem and pulled me up off the ground. Them and a good therapist have taken me from a 4 to a 7 on the self-rating scale of self-esteem.

I’m at a place now where I’m ready to step out a bit more. I’d like to continue to inspire and spread kindness and support. If there’s a cause I should know and lend my support to, let me know. If there’s a question I can answer, ask. If there’s a community I can create or a service I can provide, I’d love to hear about it. I am stacking my aspirations up and next year promises to be an even better one. Thank you for reading dear people.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.


I have had a few epiphanies recently on what my life may yet have to include. And they happened on a treadmill at the YMCA. The first was a new aspiration to do public speaking. I was sparked with this concept when I read ,”Writers should speak “. I have plenty to say apparently. And people are often moved and inspired by a powerful speaker. So if you want to truly affect people, you should say something compelling enough out loud to move them.

I listened to a seminar on the subject, took notes, and wrote out my topics. Now to just get down to the actual speech writing. And practice it. And find a venue to pay me. 2016.

Meanwhile, this past week I realized that what I think I might love to do for fun and connection is host a meet-up of like-minds. Ask and invite my dear readership and fellow beloved bloggers to join me in a chatty-get-to-know-one-another and support-one-another type of thing.

Fiona and Eamon playing nicely from

So I’ll put it out to you, understanding that many may be rather far away to attend, and say, what do you say? Would you like to get together and meet up with like-minded peeps? What would that look like? What might you want to gain support or even accountability for. Is this a potluck, a restaurant back room, or lunch hour? What do you think? I have been tickled and flattered at the amount of people who have told me they really liked what I was saying and how I was saying it. Often they tell me in an almost guilty pleasure kinds way like they shouldn’t be. Well I wouldn’t be writing what I do if I minded you reading. And I truly value and appreciate every lovin’ word you’ve handed me back.

So think about it and get back to me. If you know me, email me. If you’re on Facebook, post or message me on the Shalavee Facebook page. If you can leave a comment here, please do. Find me and tell me what you think. I can’t wait to hear back from you.




And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.


Liebster Blog Award

When I started blogging, I really had no concept of what a blog was. I just started and kept going, watching and learning as I went. Somewhere after the first year, I noted bloggers often give other bloggers love in the form of award nominations. I’d seen the badges on their side bars and thought how wonderful to be nominated and celebrated and acknowledged like this. And secretly, I guess I thought it would never happen to me.

The trick to having friends is to be one. The key to being a part of a community is to join them and value whatever comes your way while showing up and being a friend. I have committed to those practices as much as I have to writing a blog. That these were and still are necessary to my soul development is undeniable. And behold, last week Claire HM, poet and blogger of the Claireylove blog, nominated me for a Liebster blog award. She’s very talented, sweet, and wise. Soul sisters from different mothers.liebster award on

The mechanics of this passing of the Liebster Award torch are as follows. Claire has asked me ten questions which I answer and then I return the karmic blog love and nominate 10 more bloggers for the award asking them ten questions of my own.

Or simply, here are The Liebster rules:

  • Link back and recognize the blogger who nominated me
  • Answer 10 questions asked by the person who nominated me.
  • Nominate 10 inspirational bloggers for the award.
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Notify your nominees

Claire’s Questions For Me

  1. What is your first memory of writing?I think my first true writing memory was the pen pal letters to my friend Nalisa who had moved away to Tennessee after fourth grade. I so looked forward to receiving her letters and to decorating the envelopes with rainbows colored with markers and sending them off. My journal writing started later at 12 and I became an avid journaller for the rest of my life. My natural voice evolves into my writing style just like that in the letters speaking about what I’m thinking and what excites me. The intimate space between friends.
  2. What is the one book you wish you’d written?I was immediately frozen by this question. My husband answered for me with, “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, as I have made reference to one particular scene several times. And I thought that was as good an answer as I could ever come up with. The themes of humanity, cruelty, and the endurance of the human spirit tied in with some of the richest characters ever. Genius.
  1. Is there a line of poetry that blows you away every time you read it? I am regularly impressed by many things in life that I read but honestly, I haven’t any time to read much but blog posts, some social media and group posts. Having my blog and a two year-old restrains my time terribly. I imagine my elder years will be spent catching up on all the soul expanding poetry I’ve missed all my life.
  2. Do you pray?Not in the traditional sense. I like to take time to consider and write about what I think about life and self betterment, humanity, hope and my faith in the future. My feeling is that however and whatever you pour your thoughts into is praying so my consideration of the well-being of my life and my children’s lives is a type of prayer.Fiona in the playhouse on
  3. Tell me about five scents that are heavenly. – Coffee brewing in the morning means hope and renewal– An apple pie baking in the oven is always my birthday wish

    – Bread baking, even just a stroll down the bread aisle at the store, is like a forbidden high

    – Fresh pine boughs when the Christmas seasonal magic has finally settled into my heart

    – Coconut suntan oil reminds me of my teen years “laying out” and obsessing over boys

  4. What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you – in a library ? I discovered I was a writer. I walked in looking for a way to connect with myself, with the world, intimidated by all those voices of published people around me. And I told myself to keep going. I was on a mission. Within the stack of books I checked out that day, I found a particular book that gave me permission to write what I had to say in my voice. And that was the moment I was empowered enough to be a writer, something I had been dying to be inside for many years.
  5. What do you think is most surprising about your reading habits? That I no longer read. Where I once always had a book going, I can no longer find the time or permission to pick one up and become enthralled. Baby’s bring very stringent routines and that mindset is hard to break. One day I keep saying.
  6. Winter boots or summer sandals? Discuss. Being so pale and needing a pedicure to enjoy my feet is a drawback to naked toes and legs. That plus shaving. But I never wear pantyhose because I’d rather the breeze on me than my legs to feel suffocated. Conversely, tights and cute boots hide all the flaws of humanity and age and can make even an old lady look kinda cute and youthful. Can’t decide.
  7. How are you planning to spend your winter evenings? Probably no differently than we do now. Making food and eating at the table with the family. Then watching movies or reading books to my two-year old. Grabbing a few minutes to write or enjoy a few tv or blog reading moments for myself ALONE before I pass out and do it all over again.
  1. Which song best reflects how the year is turning out for you so far?

    The Beatles’ Getting Better

    I used to be cruel to my woman I beat her
    And kept her apart from the things that she loved
    Man, I was mean but I’m changing my scene
    And I’m doing the best that I can”


Fiona's painted butterfly face on Shalavee.comAnd here’s my questions for my nominees:


1.) Did you have that point at almost a year into blogging when you thought of giving up but then chose to keep blogging? If yes, why did you continue?


2.) How many posts do you like to have written and scheduled ahead of time? Or do you?


3.) When do you do your best writing?


4.) Are you really irked when you are told you have a typo published in your piece? Do you tell other people when you see one in their posts?


5.) Is there a book that you’ve read twice ?


6.) What habit would you like to give up that impedes your creativity?


7.) How has the blogging/online community given you?


8.) Do you have a muse or a furry friend that is a part of your writing routine?


9.) What’s your favorite social media platform and why?


10.) What would you tell your younger self?

Fiona reading books on

And without much more adieu, here are my nominees for the Liebster Blog Award.

  • Jennifer Mullin of The Fiery Redhead blog –  Living in New York, Veggie, cat lover, Food, Wine, Photography, Joy


  • Tori Mears of the Toris Tales blog – A regular gal writing extraordinary things from her heart and building a community called the Kindred Soul Village.


  • Sam Wheatley of the Wheatley Writer blog – Mama, writer, and a life coach in training, she’s all about Empowerment. And self-love.



  • Kathy Bosin from her A Chesapeake Journal blog. Living on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland in a community on the water and photographing and writing her life. My first blogger bestie.



  • Bethany Brooke from – Mama, souls speaker,writer,  family and Kindred Soul Village community maker.


  • Heather Serody from her Big Girl Life Blog . Mama, yoga lover, healthy living, writer, Philosopher, and soul sister. Florida.


  • Sabrina Wolf from her Wolves in London blog . Mama, photographer, sewer, knitter, and landscape and plants enthusiast. London.



I owe a lot to these women on this list. The’ve shown up for me and recognized me and generally are all really devoted amazing ladies. So visit them and tell them I sent you. Congratulations to all for the wonderful jobs that you all do.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here.Yesterday’s post, go here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

You Get What You Give

This past year,when I’m creatively stuck, and need to feel the gratitude of the gift of the greater than me world, I’ve gone to the craft room and made cards to give away. I started this movement last Fall. This year, people’s gift exchanges put me in the gifting mode. I’d ask people to give me their addresses and I’d then send something hand-made, maybe a few trinkets or stickers or candy or decorations I have around.

A delivery of thoughtfulness puts your brain out into the larger world to appreciate. This practice is so healing to me because it’s being selfless and it seems to be the best excuse for me to create. And lastly, not that I really counted on this, but it’s turning the love around which is being delivered back to me. Friendship is the most precious gift ever and I am a lucky wealthy woman this month and this year.

A really sweet card from a friendship I gained through last years faraway friends card send out surprised me with one with such an affirming message inside about why we get along . That about made my month Homemeade card from Shannon on

Then there was a hand-made card made especially for me back from a new friend from Instagram.

Package from Christel on

And a package of goodies from Germany from yet another new friend, including her artwork cards, who had given me such a gift some time ago just by telling me my voice of my creative journey inspired her. Christel really was the first person who’d put their finger on my continued “why” in blogging. Because being me gives me hope. And hope and friendship and kindness are really what matter to me. I sent her this array of goodies and almost thought it got lost in the mail.Chris's presie on

And this was the fabulous post I was then rewarded with.

“YEAH, your sweet package arrived today @shalaghhogan! Thank you so much for your kind words on your beautifully handmade butterfly card. I loved all the nice details while unwrapping all your lovely gifts: a handmade garland, candies, and a toy car and those glittering robots (Nico loves them!)… You made our day! So good to have (understanding) IG-Friends For those who do not know: @shalaghhogan read about this idea to send a surprise letter/package to 5 friends just to spread joy and maybe to receive joy again.”

I now have a friend named Chris who lives in Munich. How lucky ? And she has a friend who lives in Maryland. How lucky are we ?

At first, as I watched all the love between everyone back and forth on Instagram, I felt left out. And then I realized that we often have to invite ourselves to the party we want to join. And then, when I began to feel a part of it because I had joined in the gratitudinal giving, I enjoyed watching the posts and the hopeful notes and thankfulness that the giving was giving back. Weird how that works but it just does.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

A Letter To a Friend

I am extraordinarily lucky to have made connections with so many talented passionate smart women online. And the camaraderie and supportiveness sorta blows your mind. Until you step into it and become as much of a part of it as it is becoming a part of you. Remember my Tend and Befriend post? We do this naturally and it helps us immensely with our mental health. I’m living proof of that.

So there was a young gal who I adore who asked for some support. That is something I like to do but it’s also something that everyone gives whether asked or not. So in this situation I said that I had some thoughts on the subject and if she’d like them, I’d be glad to hand them over. And she did so I did. Here they are. Chessie and Crackers on the stairs on

Hello Dear Friend,

Creatives like us know creatives like us. We’d ignore our own needs and obvious thoughts but we recognize familiar thoughts in others. And you had put out a post that contained a shotgun blast of worry. And there was something so “I know” about what you said but with so much advice and support flying back at you, I didn’t want to add to the chaos. But I think it may be good for me to hear what I have to say, own my own ways, and smooth out the path to help move through it.

I make things really hard. Often. I add more tasks and more limitations and rules and parameters that everything gets really hard suddenly. My word of the past month was Ease. Because that’s the opposite of hard. As in, I pile lots of deadlines and expectations and perfections up high until something’s bound to tumble off and then make me feel crappy.

I felt your worry about being out of school and what’s next. The ‘have to knows’ and the ‘yes buts’ and the ‘what ifs’ and the necessities of your specific expected existence all came crashing out of your brain and collapsed all the joy you may have had in your heart. Boom. And it felt familiar. Parameters and constraints. You are a vegetarian but haven’t the resources to do that well. And you need to make so much money but don’t know how. The job must be this but not that and here but not there. And I know I’ve done this too.

The poo sandwich keeps getting bigger and you feel helpless and no wonder. The enormous monstrosity that is perfectionism and fear will slam you to your knees and leave you without hope or talent or strength. I’ve done this all of my life. I’d like to disembark from the worry hurry train please. I want to get off at the stop marked Faith and Winging It. Shove past the musts and step down onto the platform of the peaceful station of Right Now. Do your best and let go of the rest. Because stuff changes so quickly and all you have to really rely on is the fact that you’ve done all this before and it always works out. You always come up with resources and leads and places to live and things to eat. Always.

I hope you are well and have had something break since that post. And I hope you find something helpful in this letter as I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to write it. It very well may become a blog post. And hey, congratulations on starting that blog back up. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as I have had to hone my craft continuously because of it. If only I could type.

Love to you,


Chessie and Crackers on the stairs on

If there’s something you want to talk about, feel free to write me here in the comments or find me on any of the social media outlets. Every lovin’ one of them has private direct messaging capabilities at this point.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me and like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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