Listen to my conversation with Ashley Bugge on Hodge Podge Podcast HERE! Mother. Military Widow. Explorer. Speaker. Award-Winning Author. Ashley Bugge is an amazing human. In the past two years, she has risen from unimaginable challenges after losing her Naval Officer husband, the late Captain Brian J. Bugge, in a tragic deep diving accident while she was pregnant with the couple’s third child. Ashley said during our conversation on Hodge Podge Podcast that she is still healing. This resonated with me. And this is why: Ashley has refused to lie in grief. She poignantly put her grief into rich experiences and growth. All the while, acknowledging she is not okay. She is a real person. A lover of life. A fighter. A survivor. With such beautiful grace, she has utilized personal stories of turning tragedy into triumph to offer a unique perspective into what it means to overcome adversity and flourish from it.
Ashley Marie, a first-time published children’s book author and a licensed educator currently teaching young children in Thailand, pulled from her educational background, love of books, and teaching experience in multiple countries to create a timeless story, The Little, Big Rescue, that will leave a positive impact on young readers.
In 1984, following her graduation from University of Virginia, Hilary Iker packed her suitcase 🧳 of dreams and moved to New York City where she landed her first professional job at Vogue Magazine. Iker recalls catching glimpses in the elevators at Vogue headquarters of Anna Wintour, longtime Vogue Editor-in-Chief and fashion icon. The details of Iker’s young professional beginnings in NYC were as if plucked straight from the pages of The Devil Wears Prada. Iker met her husband, an award-winning sports journalist, in NYC 🌃 and followed him to Los Angeles, California in the late 80s. The writers made their home in an area of Los Angeles that attracted young artists, musicians and writers of the time. Her neighbors were budding music legends— Mike D of the Beastie Boys and Beck. Following her pilgrimage to LA, she became interested in learning Ashtanga Yoga where she started her life-changing yoga practices in the very same studio where Madonna studied yoga. For the past 20 years she has practiced Ashtanga Yoga daily, and due to her experience and knowledge she has written health and fitness articles for magazines such as Fit Yoga, Self, Fit, Prevention, and Glamour.
Debra Williams (formerly Debra Clewer), is an Australian children’s author, with three independently published Middle-Grade novels, and is a seasoned puppeteer and puppet builder. Storytelling and puppeteering have been a part of her life since she was a young child. Debra recalls that when she was a 10-year-old child, she would perform puppet plays in the street for the other neighboring children, from a makeshift theatre made of wooden fruit crates, using Punch and Judy puppets her maternal grandmother bought for her.
Sunny ☀️ Sunday afternoons call for much needed time with the greatest of friends. Slowing down the pace to prepare for the week ahead through hilarious chatter, eating delicious food, taking in the sights— and a bit of local retail therapy 🛍 on the side. This is exactly what my Sunday looked like and it was the best medicine this gal could ask for! Some dearest friends and I gathered Downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina for a ladies day out and brunch at the beloved Blue Moon Cafe 🌚 where we were treated to the tastiest delicacies and beverages.
Recently, I was invited to collaborate with Emily Adams on her fabulous and informative travel blog, The Planking Traveler.
The theme of the collaboration— 12 Unique Off The Beaten Path Destinations For Your Next Adventure.
My favorite "off the beaten path" destination instantly came to mind— The Inner Banks of the Pamlico River, North Carolina— my native Eastern North Carolina coastal home.