This week we’re crushing on Mary Alice Monroe — New York Times bestselling author of 27 books and a favorite author of many of our Women’s Daily Post readers! Her Beach House books are set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and against that scenic coastal landscape, she tells the story of the Rutledge family – the bonds between mothers and daughters, tales of class, infidelity and domestic abuse, and of resilience and strength. Summer reads at their best! We have one in our beach bag right now. Mary Alice is also an avid conservationist and she weaves her conservation work into every novel – Bottlenose dolphins, monarch butterflies, shorebirds, and loggerhead sea turtles make important appearances. She is on the South Carolina Aquarium Board Emeritis, The Leatherback Trust, The Pat Conroy Literary Center Honorary Board, Friends of Coastal Carolina and Casting Carolinas Advisory Board. Her website has more information about her conservation…

Jennifer Nolley is no stranger to the multi-kid juggle. She also knows the joy that art brings to kids. The challenge: to make art-making accessible to own three kids while making it stress-free for parents. Her solution? Tiny Easel. An all-in-one kit filled with everything families need to create — with easy clean-up in mind! The Baltimore mom of three drinks her coffee black — unless she’s out, and then she splashes in a little cream. She can’t live without a paint set (she says watercolor travels the best) and her Nutribullet smoothie maker. “The name Tiny Easel has so much meaning behind it,” said Jennifer. “Nine years ago, I hand-painted 250 tiny easels for all of my wedding guests to be decorative centerpieces and for gifts, inspired by my love for painting and inspired by one of my favorite artist, Monet. I have since loved making tiny easels as gifts…

Not once, but twice, Maru Fava has faced a diagnosis of cancer. She looks fabulous, full of energy and has a healthy, vital, radiant glow to her. It’s hard to believe that five years ago (March 20th was her 5-year survivor date!), she was told that she had terminal liver cancer. After talking to her, you can see that not only has her body has returned to good health, she has also maintained the aura of peace, hope and spiritual growth that she found during her illness. Maru’s journey with cancer began when her best friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Maru helped her friend through diagnosis and treatment, accompanying her to chemotherapy appointments at Johns Hopkin’s Hospital. The experience gave her an introduction to the world of oncology and education in treatment protocols. When her friend successfully finished her course of chemotherapy, Maru and other girlfriends took her on…

Recently, my 12 year old daughter mentioned to me how she loved the sound of the paper in her class notebook. Not the new crisp and pristine sheets, but the ones filled with her notes, class assignments, scribbles, and names of boys she thinks are cute. She said to me, “I love the sound it makes when I turn the page.” It surprised me that she noticed the mere weight of ink gave them a different sound and tone. An interesting observation from a digitally savvy 12 year old.

Deloise Noble Strong is best known in the horse world – the Hunter Division of elite horse shows to be exact. She rides and trains inexperienced “green” horses and turns them into contenders. And she finds and matches her clients to the perfect horse to ride and show. For anyone interested in riding or showing horses, her Facebook page and her blog are informative, funny, irreverent, and inspiring.

Lola Manekin is the force of nature behind Movement Lab in Baltimore, Maryland. A native of Brazil, she became a US citizen two weeks ago. We asked about the journey that brought her to Baltimore and to her Remington studio where her movement classes are taught to the beat of drums and eclectic world music. Lola’s TedX Hampden Women talk and the answers to our questions give a glimpse into what drives and motivates this amazing woman. If you live in the Baltimore area, we encourage you to go to Movement Lab and meet her.

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