The Live By Design Podcast

Book Report: Girl, Stop Apologizing

August 17, 2020

Have you read a book that’s help shift the direction of your life? Well, that’s what this week’s Book Report did for me!

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As a type-A, enneagram 3, typical oldest child, and recovered people-pleaser, I had always found validation in striving for perfection. In being the best, but the best according to someone else’s standards or expectations. And then one day, I realized I was seeking validation from everyone else but myself. How crazy is that? And thus in 2014 began my true pursuit of self-development, and not for anyone else’s sake but my own. 

I grew by leaps and bounds through my yoga teacher training and health coach training, and all that while I listened to all the podcasts and read all the books I could get my hands on. And that’s when, in May 2018 I was listening to Christy Wright’s Business Boutique Podcast and her guest that week was none other but Rachel Hollis

This was my first introduction to Rachel, and to say that she’s helped me pivot my life in the direction of my dreams would be a vast understatement. She’s inspired and motivated me to be audacious, without seeking approval or permission from anyone else. Just for the sake of it being in my heart and having the desire to see it through. So this week we’re diving into our first of many Book Reports (because, after all, I’m a book nerd), and it’s only fitting to start with the book that’s given me the grit and gumption to call my shot and play all out. So grab a cup of coffee, and let’s go.

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Let’s Chat Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan For Embracing And Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

Welcome to our first ever book report episode! I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a voracious reader. Nowadays, I read books in actual physical copy as well as via Audible. With two little toddlers, it can be easier to listen to a book while I take them for a walk. It’s the perfect bit of fresh air for them and me-time for me!

But when I know a book is going to be impactful in my own life, I really like to read it in hard copy so I can annotate, underline, add an asterisk, and bracket off sections of impact. My copy of Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Stop Apologizing is FULL of all of this and more!

The first book I read of Rachel’s was Girl, Wash Your Face. I listened to it on Audible and was not only inspired by its message but also loved that Rachel narrates the book herself. 

When her follow-up book, Girl, Stop Apologizing dropped I knew I would want to glean as much goodness from it as possible, so I pre-ordered a physical copy and when it arrived my husband watched our boys so I could spend some alone time reading and learning at our local coffee shop (pre-pandemic, of course!). In case you’re wondering what the book is all about, here’s an excerpt from the inside cover describing the book:

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough. 

With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

I have a number of takeaways from Girl, Stop Apologizing, the chief of which are:

  • If you have a dream that’s on your heart, stop asking other people for permission to go after it. Just in having that dream, it’s of value and you’re worthy of pursuing it.
  • You have to make your dream a priority. Find the time to make incremental progress, because consistency compounds.
  • Let go of the expectations and judgement of others. Stop letting what they might think of you hold you back, and instead step fully into who you are and what you’re meant to be. If they don’t like that, then they might not be your people anyways.

To hear my biggest insights from the book, tune into Episode #6 of The Live by Design Podcast!

Challenge Corner

Read Girl, Stop Apologizing! Or even better, give it a listen on Audible. Rachel narrates her books, and they’re good. I personally really like when authors read their own work. One day, I’ll do the same! 

And if you don’t want to spend the money on a book, here’s a few free options! 

1. Get a copy from your local library, ours is doing online reservations and contact-free pick-up, so that might be an option for you as well. 

2. Listen to Rachel’s RISE Podcast. Episode 72 is the one where she details the entire Start Today Journal process, and if you’re a new listener would be a good place to start. 

3. Continue to fill your life with people and messages that inspire and encourage you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You have to guard your mind and be purposeful about when you let in. So if Rachel doesn’t resonate with you, then find someone else that does and keep learning and growing. 

And once you take action this week, tag me on instagram @livebydesignpodcast so we can all be inspired by one another, and so I can share them with our community in a future podcast episode!

Join my Weekly Podcast Newsletter!

Did you know that I now offer a weekly newsletter? It’s true! All the love, encouragement, and joy from each new podcast episode gets delivered directly to you including links to that week’s full-length and mini meditation episodes, resources mentioned during the podcast, and even some extra inspiration to boot! Sign up here for your weekly dose of inspiration. See you in your inbox!

Joyful Corner

Well friends, it’s time for Joyful Corner! My chance each week to share with you something that’s brought me joy or that I’m grateful for experiencing, so we can all learn to celebrate the good, big or small, in each and every day.

I’ve mentioned the IIN Circle of Life exercise before, and it’s because it’s an incredible tool that helps you identify the areas of your life that need a little extra love and attention. It was after doing this exercise in preparation for crafting my 2016 vision board that I realized my “Home Environment” section was looking a little out of balance. 

At that time, I hadn’t yet invested much time, energy, or finances into making our house a home, and I was feeling that. So I decided to start with something small and grow from there. And boy did I! 

I started with sprinkling spider plants throughout our home, and once I kept those alive for a while I started branching out into other easy-to-keep-alive-plants. After all, this whole exercise is to bring joy into our home, not to be sad that I’ve killed yet another plant! Fast forward to 2020 and when I do my weekly plant watering I care for 21 plants! 

Some of these are plants I’ve propagated, like my pothos which I bought as clippings off of Facebook marketplace. I propagated the original clippings in water, transferred them to soil once they rooted, and have created four more plants from this original plant. I find a lot of joy in keeping my plant babies alive, finding new ones to bring home (Dennis laughs every time I find a new one for the house because we’re starting to run out of space for them…or so he thinks!), and especially in sharing the loves of nature and the joy of tending for plants with the boys. 

Dex helps me on watering day, and he likes to tell me all about the “groots,” not to be confused with roots, and how they drink water and help the plant grow “bigger, bigger, bigger. Just like Dexter.” It’s adorable. 

If you’re looking to start adding some green to your home too, here are some resources I’ve found helpful!

Young House Love Has a Podcast – Episode #149 The Episode That Made Me A Plant Lady: John and Sherry host a weekly podcast about DIY, design, and life at home. I’ll be honest, when I first heard of a DIY podcast I was a little baffled (how does one translate the visual nature of DIY into an audio show?), but my doubts were quickly put to rest as I’ve listened to every episode of YHLHAP and loved every minute. Here’s a personal favorite episode, and then one that helped me learn even more about keeping my plants alive!

Carmeon Hamilton – Her blog inspires me with beauty and her instagram @carmeon.hamilton helps me keep my plants going strong. She’s actually the person interviewed in the above-mentioned podcast episode. She also has a plant guide you can purchase!

Shavonda Gardner – And finally, Shavonda is actually the first person to teach me about home plant care via her Instagram stories @sgardnerstyle about her own plants. She inspired me to give my first fiddle leaf fig a try, taught me how to propagate an avocado tree from a pit, and generally inspires me to create moments in my home that bring me joy and are purposeful. She’s also inspired me to create moodier interiors, which is what inspired us to paint our bathroom a deep, moody green.

Listener Voicemail

And this week’s joyful corner listener voicemail is brought to you by my friend Ashley! And I have to say, I think Ash and I were sharing a brainwave this week because I hadn’t shared with her what this episode would be about, and her Joyful Corner Voicemail literally couldn’t be any more perfect in relation to this week’s book report. Ashley’s grateful for her Start Today Journal practice, which was created by…Rachel Hollis!

Thank you again Ashley for taking the time to share with us! Your kindness and openness and joy is what this corner of the pod is all about. 

If you too feel led to share in a future Joyful Corner, then I’d love to hear from you! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it over to me at so we can continue to spread gratitude and joy together.

Let’s connect!

And if you enjoyed the episode, take a screenshot and share it on social! Tag me @livebydesignpodcast and let me know what you enjoyed most. And once you complete this week’s challenge send me an update so I can personally cheer you on and celebrate your goals!

Next Week on The Live by Design Podcast

Thanks so much for joining me this week friends, and be sure to tune in this Thursday for our Mini Meditation Episode centered around pursuing the passions of your heart, with no permission needed from anyone other than yourself. Because after all, you are incredible. And I’ll keep reminding you of that week after week. So until then friends, spread some joy, make someone smile.

PSA: Voting Reminder

Hey friends! One final thought for you today. In light of the public health emergency we find ourselves in, many of you like myself might be planning to vote by mail in order to ensure your health and safety. Because of this, you’ll need to pay close attention to deadlines and when your vote needs to be postmarked by in order to be counted. Please, choose to live by design, not default, this fall and take just ten minutes today to decide on if you’re voting in person or via an absentee ballot. Visit to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, or find your polling place. Use your democratic voice this fall. This election is too important to miss. Be intentional with your vote and how and when you cast it. Make a plan, and execute it. 

episode notes | weekly podcast newsletter | @livebydesignpodcast | girl, stop apologizing |

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I'm Kate, your #1 hype girl.

I wear many hats, but my favorites are health coach, podcast host, educator, runner, meditation junkie, mama x2, and wife to my college sweetheart. Living my most intentional, joy-filled life in the PA Countryside. 

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Health Coach. Podcast Host. Educator. Wife & Mama x2.
Living By Design, Not Default.

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