116 episodes

Author Melanie Dale is perpetually trying to figure out how we can all calm the heck down about parenting, friendship, getting older, and the world around us. Each episode she chats with a friend about ways we can let go and lighten up.

Lighten Up with Melanie Dale Melanie Dale

    • Kids & Family

Author Melanie Dale is perpetually trying to figure out how we can all calm the heck down about parenting, friendship, getting older, and the world around us. Each episode she chats with a friend about ways we can let go and lighten up.

    Lighten Up #116: Kelly Minter

    Lighten Up #116: Kelly Minter

    Today I'm talking with Kelly Minter, Bible teacher and author of the beautiful new cookbook, A Place at the Table. Years ago I went to a group for moms where we went through Kelly's study of the book of Nehemiah, which was about this guy who goes back to his hometown to lead his people to rebuild their security wall that had fallen down. It's this ancient Hebrew scripture about leading a big group project and all the challenges along the way. And anyway, at the end of each chapter of this really cool book about leadership, Kelly shared a recipe. And they were good recipes, and pretty easy to pull off. So when her new cookbook landed on my desk, I got excited and knew I wanted to have her on the show to wrap up our series on hospitality. We are going to talk charcuterie boards, potlucks, and how cooking is the hope for community. As a single woman, Kelly gives great insight about how couples with or without kids can be inclusive for our single friends, so listen in and lighten up!

    Links from the show:
    A Place at the Table Kelly's Nehemiah study Find Kelly on Instagram

    • 28 min
    Lighten Up #115: Polly Conner

    Lighten Up #115: Polly Conner

    Today I'm talking with Polly Conner, who is half of the team of wizards over at Thriving Home. Polly and Rachel have a new cookbook out, From Freezer to Cooker, and today Polly is on the show to help us feed our people and the people our people bring home. Polly kicks us off with a hilarious recipe fail, then she gives us a ton of ideas to help us lighten up about hospitality. We chat about her go-to things for feeding big groups of teens and tweens, what she buys in bulk, how freezing meals has revolutionized how she preps for dinner, and how she uses her Instant Pot for hands-free meals. After talking with Polly, I have so many new ideas for meal planning and prepping, and I'll have links to everything she shares in the show notes, so grab a snack, kick back, listen in, and lighten up.
    Links from the show:
    Polly made us a Lighten Up page with all the recipes and ideas from the show! From Freezer to Table From Freezer to Cooker Polly's website, Thriving Home Find Polly on Instagram

    • 32 min
    Lighten Up #114: Chantel Adams

    Lighten Up #114: Chantel Adams

    I'm talking with my good friend Chantel Adams about practicing hospitality to our families. Chantel has four kids, some who are grown and some who are growing and she is chock full of practical, creative ways to show hospitality to the people we're raising. We chat about fun ideas for the family dinner table, how family time has changed as her kids have grown up, and our biggest struggles with showing hospitality to our kids. No matter how old your kids are, there's something for you in this episode, so listen in, and lighten up!

    Links from the show:
    Karen Ehman's A Life that Says Welcome Chantel's site and Instagram A Vindication of the Rights of Women

    • 27 min
    Lighten Up #113: Melissa Camara Wilkins

    Lighten Up #113: Melissa Camara Wilkins

    We're in the middle of our series, Lighten Up about Hospitality, and today I'm chatting with Melissa Camara Wilkins, author of Permission Granted: Be Who You Were Made to Be and Let Go of the Rest. She tells the story of the time she wore jeans to a yoga class and actually learned kind of a profound lesson through it. Melissa extends to us an invitation to soul-level simplicity, giving yourself permission to be who you really are. We chat about making life simpler and how we apply simplicity to hospitality. She shares her Three Breaths Rule, we talk about our go-to hacks for having people over, and as a bonus, I pick her brain about her number one practical piece of advice for launching kids to college, and it's a good one. Whether you're joining us from your commute or your treadmill, your laundry room or your kitchen, listen in and lighten up!

    Links from the Show:
    Melissa's book, Permission Granted: Be Who You Were Made to Be and Let Go of the Rest

    Find her on Instagram Three Breaths Rule Yogi Green Tea Electric Kettle

    • 31 min
    Lighten Up #112: Leslie Verner

    Lighten Up #112: Leslie Verner

    Today I'm kicking off a new series, Lighten Up about Hospitality, with a conversation with Leslie Verner, the author of Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness. We talk about why we're lonely, how smartphones and our culture of independence are contributing to loneliness. Leslie lived in China and Uganda, studied the differences in culture, and talks about what she's learned from other cultures, like putting people above tasks. We chat about how we can cultivate a love of strangers and actively put ourselves in the path of strangers to meet. And then we talk practically about prepping before people come over, what doesn't matter to us when inviting people over, and how the practice of solitude is important for filling up in order to provide hospitality. Whether you love meeting people and practicing hospitality or would rather live deep in the woods by yourself surrounded by woodland animals, there's something here for everyone, so listen in and lighten up!
    Links from the show:
    Check out Leslie's book, Invited Find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook Leslie's site, Scraping Raisins (On the show, she shares the really cool reason she named her site this!)

    • 30 min
    Lighten Up #111: Melanie Shankle

    Lighten Up #111: Melanie Shankle

    Today we're wrapping up our Friendship Over 40 series with New York Times bestselling author Melanie Shankle! Ahh, you guys, she's so funny. I laughed my way through this whole thing. We chat about her 30-year friendship with her best friend Gully and how it's hard making new friends during this stage of life, as well as the things we're talking about with our friends, sexy things like waning eyesight and needing readers to see a menu, the joys of perimenopause, and our 40-something periods. (Women in their forties are so hot, and I do mean literally.) Between her funny memoirs, Big Mama blog, and Big Boo podcast, Melanie has kept me laughing for years, and today we're hanging out right here, so pull up a chair, listen in, and lighten up!
    Links from the show: Sparkly Green Earrings Check out all of Melanie's books! Find Melanie on Instagram or Twitter Listen to the Big Boo Cast Read the Big Mama Blog Where the Crawdads Sing Little Fires Everywhere Dark Matter _____________________________________________
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    • 31 min

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