Akiko Kato is a freelance illustrator who currently lives in Huntington Beach, CA, where she enjoys nice weather and the beautiful atmosphere. Akiko was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, and after graduating from Women's College of Fine Arts in Kanagawa, Japan with a degree in graphic design, headed to Southern California. After working as a graphic designer for several years, Akiko began her true love career in illustration. Akiko's art is inspired by fashion, nature and food. You can also find her blogging at Style Imported, where she shares her love of fashion, nature, and food thorough illustration and photography.

Alice Peretti lives in Milan, Italy. A few days after earning her degree in Modern Literature, she packed her stuff and moved to the United States, where she taught Italian as a lecturer in Washington DC and New York City. She irreparably fell in love with Brooklyn - in fact we suspect she will move back there pretty soon. Brooklynite by heart, she now lives in Milan, where she works as a copy editor in a big publishing house. Alice is an avid traveler, and she likes to immortalize places and faces with her camera. She’s in love with books, and could spend the days reading and doing not much else. She loves tasting new dishes from around the world, and gets thrilled when she finds a unique and unmissable vintage piece. She runs the “Alice + Wonderland” blog, and if you’d like to tag along on her wonderland adventures, you can find her on Twitter or Instagram (@pluswonderland), too. She will be happy to see you there and get in touch.

Alison Schramm is a lawyer-turned-account manager, and is still figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband. An English major in a prior life, she started writing again after her mom passed away this past February, and is more than humbled to be sharing her stories here. Her friends and family make her world go round, yoga makes her a better person, a good plate of nachos makes her smile, and she’s always looking for an excuse to throw a party. Find her keeping her mom’s memory alive over at www.afewgoodlaughs.com.

Amanda is a writer and wanderer. She will write for you. She owns Bold Types, a copywriting and private writing instruction service. She loves classic rock, the open road and writing in bars with Amy Turn Sharp. Kick back with coffee and a weekly update at bold-types.com.

Amy Turn Sharp is writing a poem each day this year. She also owns Little Alouette, a charming wood toy company in Ohio. Her favorite beer is Stella Artois + she loves to dance. She loves to sing Fleetwood Mac with Amanda. She's a total rebel. Check her out at amyturnsharp.com.

Ania Krasniewska went to school to study diplomacy but took up a career in business consulting, and married a business consultant who took up diplomacy.  She is mother to one diplo-tot, and writes about their adventures at home and abroad at The New Diplomat's Wife.  She recently returned from her last post in Vienna, Austria, for a rotation to Washington, DC, where she currently lives and works.

Anne Sage is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Rue Magazine; the blogger at the The City Sage; and a freelance digital media and lifestyle branding strategist. A graduate of Stanford University, Anne is blessed with an all-consuming interest in almost everything: fashion, interior design, music, pop culture, history, fruits, vegetables....the list goes on. Last summer she rented a camel as a tax write-off, and at Christmas she tied a sequined horn to a pony's head. She hopes to cross another animal off her exotic menagerie list soon.

We don't know Anna well, but from what we can tell she's hysterical, she drinks bourbon, and she has a diorama of Tim Riggins on her desk.  In her spare time, it appears Anna enjoys playing fantasy baseball with a bunch of dudes and being in weddings.  Miya only saw her in one, but she seemed very experienced.  We also suspect she knows Jude Law.

Freelance writer and book editor Ashley Muir Bruhn is co-author of Hither & Thither--a lifestyle and travel blog she shares with her husband Aron. There she has spent the past four years chronicling a love affair with New York City (first with its restaurants and now with its playgrounds), and anticipates sharing that feeling of butterflies all over again when she rekindles a romance with California this fall. Her writing has appeared most recently in Manhattan and Kinfolk magazines and on the online food guide Serious Eats New York.

Brooke of Brookelyn Photography is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, NY, but she calls the world home.  She mostly gets to make a living taking photos of people in love.  When not working she can be found enjoying a strong cup of coffee, seeking out good food, + hanging out with her daughter, Aven + portuguese water dog, Rio.  Visual storyteller, world traveler, + lover of all things adventuresome...

Cheri Lucas focuses on literary nonfiction and memoir on her blog, Writing Through the Fog, and is preoccupied with topics on the self, relationships, memory, and home in a physical-digital world. You can follow her on Twitter @cherilucas, where she shares her favorite reads on culture/technology, social media, photography, and writing. She currently lives in San Francisco.

Cindy Baldwin is a Southern girl who is (slowly) learning to love the arid intermountain West. A freelance writer and homemaker, her poetry and prose have appeared in several publications. Diagnosed as a baby with Cystic Fibrosis, and in high school with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, Cindy spends a lot of her time negotiating the demands of her health and finding ways to live a vibrant, joyful life despite her physical challenges. She is a lover of great books, beautiful sunsets, really dark chocolate, and hand-written letters. She blogs regularly at Being Cindy (http://beingcindy.blogspot.com), and e-mails (cindyraybaldwin@gmail.comalways make her day.

Erin Boyle is a freelance writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She writes the lifestyle blog, Reading My Tea Leaves, where she tells sometimes-stories with an emphasis on sustainability, simplicity, and adventures around the neighborhood. Erin has an undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied history and learned how to think and a graduate degree from Brown University where she studied public humanities and learned how to do. A background in oral history informs her interest in using people’s stories to explore the past and document the present. This has mostly been an excuse to listen to stories told by people older than she is. When Erin’s not busy blogging or chasing down a good yarn, she can be found strolling along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, her favorite spot in the city.

Jen Altman is a photographer and writer. Her work has been exhibited throughout North America and is held in private collections across the globe; her photography can be seen in publications by Chronicle Books, Kinfolk Magazine, Somerset Studio, Small Magazine and online at Oprah Magazine and Epicurious.com. Her first book, Instant Love: How to Make Magic and Memories with Polaroids for Chronicle Books publishes May 2012 while her second title, a fine art book, Gem and Stone: Jewels of the Earth, Sea and Sky will be available from Chronicle in September 2012. Jen lives in Asheville, NC with her three daughters, husband and a Schnoodle they call King Ludwig.

After several years in the corporate world, Judy took a leap of faith to pursue her passion for photography.  She is married to her best friend and has two adorable boys who are 17 months apart.  Karley is married to her Jamaican opposite and tries to keep their two bambinos alive and balanced while also connecting to people through her love of photography.  The two met amid that often infamous and redefining stage of beginning motherhood.  Finding an immediate connection through common quirky behavior and appreciating a similarly self-deprecating humor, their friendship developed into affordable therapy and mutual cheerleading. Using the other as sounding boards to express their creative, selfish, spiritual, selfless and even flawed desires, they continue to motivate each other toward taking positive action. Sharing an enthusiasm for photography, they strive to combine their passion with purpose and become a part of something much bigger than themselves.

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Judy Rae has called New York City her home since 2003 where she works full-time and raises her son.  She is a graduate of Communication Studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where she contributed to the first Spanish-language insert in the campus newspaper.  She also holds a M.A. in Sociology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University where she served as an editorial assistant for the Teachers College Record.  Judy currently is an administrator and part-time faculty member at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts.  As a foodie and cultural observer, Judy blogs about life, motherhood, culinary pursuits and her soul searching journey towards living into a more authentic and honest self.  You can find her musings at vidavozverdad.tumblr.com.

Most days, Karey Mackin dreams of being be a shopkeeper who stocks only shiny objects, but she finally realized she's a writer and now sells her best words to those who need them. It kind of changed her life when she read that we all walk past a thousand stories every day, and that the best writers among us see about six. At last count on Tuesday, she's up to three. She's hoping that number increases when her family moves to Indonesia this summer, but is hoping harder that her new stories don't include Komodo dragons, tsunamis, or Dengue. She's never in her life complained about the number of emails in her inbox, so feel free to write her about anything. And if you’d like to follow along on her Southeast Asia adventures, find her on Instagram or Twitter (@mackinink) or her blog. And, as always, she'd like to thank you for reading her words.

Lisa Sanchez is a freelance writer and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and then studied English at Harvard College and Religion and Literature at Harvard Divinity School. She wonders most about simplicity and creativity and is inspired by everyday rituals. When she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her in the kitchen, baking challah or concocting a new cupcake recipe. Lately, her French is better than her Spanish, and her Hebrew is much better than her French. Lisa is a future dog-owner and soon-to-be wife. She takes both of these roles very seriously.

Even though her full name is gloriously Shakespearean, Olivia offhandedly decided to go by Liv when she finished high school and hasn't looked back. She just graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in comparative literature and French — a fitting combination, since she wants to be a travel writer and has spent the last 15 or so years cultivating a kind of love/hate (but mostly love) relationship with France. Along with travel and collecting postcards, she's a huge fan of running, the fashion in Downton Abbey, listening to This American Life, mooning over Pride and Prejudice, and trying to figure out what to do with all the damn cabbage she gets from her CSA. She's spending this first post-grad year still in Oberlin living with her boyfriend, a barista/chef, and working as an editorial fellow for the college communications office. Come next July, she hopes to be road-tripping across the U.S. on her way to San Francisco. Social media that she actually maintains is forthcoming.

Liz Matsushita is a web editor and freelance writer living in quirky Berkeley, California with her hyper dog and her laid-back boyfriend. She grew up in San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, and has a graduate degree in history and an abiding love for language, which manifests itself in an overdependence on blogging. Her book blog, My Beautiful Bookshelf, chronicles the adventures of being a bibliophile by the San Francisco Bay and is chock full of her favorite things: big words, alliteration, and Vladimir Nabokov. Her other favorite things include macaroni and cheese, musical theater, mountain hikes, espresso drinks, used bookstores, basic cable, trivia games, puppies, pretty dresses, and exploring her favorite cities on foot (San Francisco, New York, and Paris; not necessarily in that order). Liz is also a culture junkie who, casually and formally, makes inquiries into racism and sexism, identity and representation, and knowledge and power in society, and likes to combine the high-brow of her academic training with the low-brow of her obsession with pop culture.

Liz Moody, a freelance writer and former newspaper columnist, now runs a lifestyle blog, Things That Make Us.  Her posts about sex, love, travel and being a 20something in this crazy world can be found at http://www.thingsthatmakeus.com.  Follow her on Twitter at @lizcmoody.

Mara Kofoed, a Brooklynite of 12 years, is founder of A BLOG ABOUT LOVE.  She writes her heart out daily sharing real stories about love, marriage, divorce, life, trials, with the main theme being choosing happiness & facing obstacles with more love & more joy in the journey.  After a previous divorce and 8 years of infertility, she wants to share how she learned to truly be happy, regardless of her circumstances, and how she has found the most empowerment ever by living a life motivated by love.  She is delighted by good style, good friends, & her adorable husband.  She believes lipstick and the world are both better BRIGHT.

Mairead Shaw currently lives in London but will always call San Francisco home. Though her friends and family will quickly say she's a pint sized ball of sarcasm, she does have a caring side. She's been an Oncology Nurse for 10 years, but her ultimate career goal has always been to work abroad in resource poor areas with an NGO. She's traveled to over 20 countries and has thoroughly enjoyed the adventures and WTF! moments that come with stepping out of one's comfort zone.  She came to London in 2011 to do a course in Tropical Medicine for Nursing to further reach her goal. She brought along her most trusted sidekick Mr. Squishy Butt, her English Bulldog. They plan on staying in London till an NGO takes her, Squishy's dog modelling career takes off, or they get kicked out.

Marissa Lippert is a nutritionist, culinary consultant and food writer; the founder of Nourish; and the author of The Cheater’s Diet.  She loves a good meal -- in her own home or halfway across the globe.  You can find her wandering through farmers markets with absolute joy, getting lost in flea markets, traveling, scouting hidden-gem restaurants and boutiques, or watching football at a dive bar.  With a history degree from the University of Virginia and nutrition masters from NYU, she adores a mix of things old, things modern, and all things with a fresh outlook. She lives in NYC’s East Village and will never pass up a lemon tart, an old fashioned, or a killer pair of heels.  She’s currently working to launch Nourish Kitchen + Table, a takeaway food shop and tableware boutique in downtown Manhattan.

A user experience lead by day, Meg Blocker is the author of the food and travel blog Queenie Takes Manhattan by night (and weekend afternoon, and occasional early morning). She spends what little free time she has left visiting the Greenmarket, drinking cocktails (preferably made with Bourbon or gin) and reading anything she can get her hands on - especially anything by Margaret Atwood. A confirmed Manhattanite (Ten years, baby!), Meg nevertheless loves exploring the outer boroughs, and even the world beyond. (Strasbourg is a particular favorite.) She has a weakness for letterpress stationery and vintage brass, and sticky toffee pudding.

“Nature, travel and art serve as my muses.” An avid traveler, Morgan Carper is constantly inspired by the native sights and cultures she has experienced in her trips through Central America, India, East Asia and beyond. It’s while spending time alongside and learning from local artisans that Morgan begins to craft concepts for her collections. The region’s cultural landscape and terrain have an integral role in her work.A fascination with the elements of design led her to study textile design, where she developed skills in all areas of visual art including silk screening, drawing, and photography. Through it all she never lost sight of her true love---fashion. And this passion for it took her to practice in London, Florence and ultimately New York.Inspired by the philosophies of her studies and travel experiences, Carper launched her namesake womenswear collection in 2010. Her dedication to the craft and integrity of design resulted in a smart and versatile collection. Morgan Carper’s chic sensibility and effortless sexiness easily transition from day to night with each piece striking the perfect balance between tender and tough, classic and stylish, delicate and edgy. Carper’s one-of-a-kind aesthetic reflects the sensibility of forward-thinking women with a cultivated sense of style.A hand draped dress, an intricately beaded detail, a custom print, these are characteristics of Morgan Carper, as is practicality and wearability. Carper resides in Brooklyn and is inspired daily by the simple objects that surrounds her.

Raised in a tiny town in West Virginia, Nora Landon holds an undergraduate degree in Latin from Bryn Mawr and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching English from Smith.  She currently teaches high school English and serves as department chair at an independent school. Nora loves the fact that her job allows her to reread Mrs. Dalloway every year, keep mildly in touch with what the young whippersnappers are up to, and be regularly energized by the important distinction between gerunds and participles. Nora lives in mid-state New York with her wife and infant son, and since his birth has developed a new appreciation for being up at dawn.

Renee Pepmiller stumbled upon writing quite by accident while living in Bangladesh, where her skills as a native English speaker and her academic background in Art History were prized by tourism companies.  She launched into an editing and writing career and fell in love with words all over again.  She still writes about Bangladesh, and dreams of the day she can get back and buy as many textiles as her pretty little heart desires.  After spending last year living in Dhaka, one of the busiest cities in the world, Renee has shifted 180 degrees and is spending 2012 in a small mid-western town.  She lives with her husband whom she adores and tries to see the adventure in everyday life.  She enjoys glitter, great books, bright nail polish, handwritten notes, and delicious coffee.  She writes about the things she loves and those that make her laugh at RBsquared and enjoys making friends on the internet, so please feel free to say hello!

Roxanne Krystalli's passion for gender advocacy, conflict management, and international development has brought her to communities affected by conflict worldwide, where she has designed programs that benefit women in affiliation with international and community-based organizations. This journey has stretched from Egypt to Colombia, from Uganda to Guatemala, from the Balkans to Jerusalem. Roxanne is intrigued by questions of memory and forgetting, attachment and loss, home and away. She is a Joan Didion fanatic and, perhaps relatedly, a perpetual nostalgic. A fervent believer in the power of storytelling, Roxanne documents her journey on Stories of Conflict and Love.

Sarah Brysk Cohen, owner of Blossom and Branch is obsessed with flowers. She has been working in flower shops on the cutting edge of floral design, from New York to California, for 20 years and opened the Blossom and Branch studio in Brooklyn, New York in 2009. Her designs have been featured in various online and print publications, including Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, Brooklyn Bride, Brides Magazine, The Knot, New York Magazine Weddings and The New York Times, as well as in the San Diego Museum of Art.  In addition to providing event florals and decor, Sarah teaches floral design classes and is a regular contributor on the internationally renowned blog, Design*Sponge. Before launching her design career, she obtained an MSW and worked as a licensed clinical social worker in two states.  Sarah currently lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with her husband, newborn daughter and English Bulldog.

Shannon Leigh Oertle (rhymes with shortly) is a freelance writer and photographer living in a small coastal town in Florida. After receiving her B.A. in fiction writing she promptly moved south and started a family. Nowadays she generally writes the truth, but her life feels like a story. She blogs when she can, but spends most of her time instagramming and tweeting. Send her an email if you would like to chat.

Shoko Wanger lives in Brooklyn, New York. She loves apple pie with cheese, the smell of seawater, Polaroid cameras, and playing air-guitar, Pete Townshend style. Nothing makes her happier than family, friends, or a great last sentence in a book. Travel’s up there, too (India and Japan are favorite destinations; with London, Paris, and Berlin next on the agenda). Shoko was born in Los Angeles, raised in Honolulu, and college-educated in Santa Cruz. She misses all of these places so much it makes her heart hurt but the bustle of New York keeps her cheerful and focused when life seems anything but. She's currently a freelance writer but hasn’t given up on fulfilling her childhood dreams of becoming a ballerina, a chef, or the lead singer in a rock band (she figures there’s still time). For now, you can follow her progress every weekday on her blog, Sho & Tell. She’ll delighted to meet you.