“The older you get, the better you get unless you’re a banana.”
— Betty White
Welcome to The Midst!
Are you a Grown-Ass Lady? Get on in here and help us reinvent this thing called midlife. Because over the hill is so over and done with.
You could say we’re just getting started but we’re not, really. The Midst is the new project born from Jumble & Flow, which founder Amy Cuevas Schroeder has been bootstrapping since 2019. In 2023, we kicked off a rebrand and name-change to The Midst.
If you’d like to support our work and give us the ability to produce more of it, please consider contributing $5 a month as a member (or $50 for the whole year).
Subscribe to get full access to The Midst newsletter and and blog posts.
What’s our vision?
The Midst is a media and lifestyle platform for women in their 40s and into their 50s. We are transforming the conversation about these decades in women’s lives: no one is "over the hill" — they're in the prime of their lives. We publish thoughtful content that empowers women in their 40s to reimagine this period as a time of growth, exploration, and possibility.
Read more about why we started The Midst here.
The Midst in the press
About Amy Cuevas Schroeder, founder of The Midst
I’m a writer and parent of twin girls who’s navigating the ups and downs of midlife and perimenopause. I recently moved to Phoenix from Chicago by way of Brooklyn with my husband (Martin Cuevas, a therapist) and our daughters Lydia and Isabel. In addition to The Midst (a new project that’s evolving out of Jumble & Flow), I work full time as editorial director for Unusual Ventures. I've previously worked or written for Etsy, Minted, HarperCollins, West Elm, NYLON, and Pitchfork.
I’ve been to Venus and back
I started my first business, Venus Zine, about women in music and DIY culture, as a freshman at Michigan State University. Thanks to the big hearts of hundreds of talented creative people, I scaled Venus bootstrap-style, from a fanzine into an internationally distributed magazine. After a decade of running the show, I sold my company to an independent publisher, and moved from Chicago to New York to start a new chapter.
I began building a new way of thinking about midlife empowerment about three years after having twin girls, moving from Brooklyn to the Chicago area to be near family, while holding down a full-time job and putting my husband through college. During that time, our daughter Isabel was diagnosed with Pitt Hopkins, a rare genetic syndrome that causes inability to walk and talk among many other symptoms.
To deal with the complexities of daily life, including undiagnosed perimenopause and navigating what it means to be “in my prime” at the same time, I started learning coping strategies, ranging from mindfulness and therapy to transcendental meditation and minimalism. I also created the Adventures in Perimenopause series to get to the bottom of this misunderstood state that millions of women face.
Now that I'm in my 40s, I wholeheartedly believe: I’m in my prime — that what I do now will pay off in my decades ahead. In so many ways, I feel like I’m just getting started with coming into my own. I’m on a mission to redefine, reinvent, and disrupt what midlife means, and I’ll be damned if anyone stops me.
About Gretchen Kalwinski, our managing editor
I’m a writer, Gen-Xer, mother to Pączki the dog, gluten-free baker, listmaking fanatic, feminist, and deep breather. Lately, I’m on a journey of managing chronic illness and rehabbing a 100-year old Chicago bungalow with my artist husband Rob Funderburk. I think a lot about women’s invisible labor and why so many clothing items lack pockets. Animals are my people and vulnerability is my jam.
During and post-college, I discovered feminist publications like Bitch, Bust, and (Midst founder Amy Schroeder’s) Venus Zine–and my little weirdo, Catholic-raised, Midwest white-girl perspective was forever altered. In the pages of those offbeat, snarky mags about feisty, diverse, angry, talented women, I saw parts of myself I’d never been able to articulate. I followed that instinct and eventually contributed to all three mags as a writer or editor.
I’m in awe of the women in my life; I'm also acutely aware of the burdens society places on them/us: (you know, the America Ferrara Barbie speech). In midlife, I see a lot of women around me asking the big questions, “Wait, what do *I* want?” and “How do I finally figure out how to take care of myself?”
At The Midst, where our goal is to empower midlife women, we publish informative, thoughtful stories about things like pelvic health, job negotiating, giving up the sauce, unblocking creativity, perimenopause, Botox, and more. As Managing Editor, I feel grateful all over again to be part of such extremely cool content where we're normalizing conversation about midlife experience and encouraging women to take deep care of themselves, inside and out. In a society where that’s not only de-emphasized but frowned on—where, from birth, women are encouraged to give themselves up for others and then in midlife to shut up and shrink away—I find these stories to be REVOLUTIONARY. Even at this problematic moment in time, with so many global problems, I love living in a Gen-X-women-led zeitgeist.
Career-wise, I’ve been around the block; working as a culture journalist, writer, copy director and copy manager at magazines, Fortune 20 retail health and medical organizations, and marketing agencies. As the granddaughter of refugees and daughter of activists, I try to make social justice and activism part of my life and was a core organizer of the 2017 Chicago Women’s March. Sometimes I write essays and do literary readings. If I’ve got a core belief, it’s that self-care makes care for others possible.
About Lauria Locsmondy, our beauty & wellness editor
I believe that beauty is in everyone. Everyone.
I also know that the media and advertising have long been telling us to feel bad and to look “better.” That buying a red lipstick isn’t just a boost quicker than espresso — it’s a story of liberation, a color palette of inclusion, and a finger back at the male gaze.
I bring this media literacy and feminist lens to the articles that I carefully curate. This is my angle. But we’ve come too far to not also have some fun.
Along with a personal mission to empower women, I share a lifelong love affair of the beauty industry, where decades of dedication define my profile, both literally and professionally. I’m a self-taught makeup artist, who refined her skills in the theater, on set, at the MAC counter, and with cancer survivors. Here, I’ve witnessed beauty’s power to transform.
I also love to write. I studied journalism and received my MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I founded the indie publication, PISTIL Magazine. Stories of beauty, fashion, health and even horoscopes comprise my bylines, along with a long run as Beauty and Editorial Director at Walgreens.
I share my home in Chicago with my young son, a born artist, my loving partner, and his amazing teenage daughter who visits often. My longtime wish to rescue every senior pet in the city maxes out at two pups and a cat in our fabulous rental — a constant work of art with my obsessive rotation of vintage gems — supported by my daytime gig, of course, directing copy.
What’s the best part of being in your forties? Confidence. The unwavering confidence to live contently and share my truth without fear — because living authentically is the (very hard and) very real expression of beauty.
About Asia Thomas, our business development manager
I’m a problem solver with an acute affinity for all things social media and business development. Prior to starting my career in marketing, my background was in finance and real estate where I worked at a handful of Fortune 100 companies such as The Boston Consulting Group and Berkshire Hathaway. During the later half of my college career, I decided to trade in my Excel spreadsheets for Photoshop and pursued the other half of my finance and marketing degree. Though the initial goal was just to make some extra money to get myself off the good ole ramen noodle diet, I ended up finding a career path that I loved.
After graduating at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I found myself in a difficult position. All of my job offers had been rescinded due to COVID and I was left with no choice but to start from square one. That’s when I decided to marry my passions for marketing and fashion and began selling clothes online. Throughout this time, I was showcasing my journey on social media and began to attract the attention of various business owners who asked me to lead their marketing efforts. This marked the beginning of my agency, Midmay Marketing, and now years later I’m proud to say I get to wake up and do what I love every day.
What are you most looking forward to in your forties?
Absolutely everything! What’s not to look forward to? Now in my 20s, I have no idea what I’m doing half the time. But your 40s? Honestly, I think it’s the age I look forward to most! Your 40s are a time when you know who you are, what you want, and how to get it with the confidence only experience gives you. What I love the most about The Midst is the team of GALs kicking butt and taking names every day. They are mothers, business owners, wildly talented writers, and highly decorated career women disrupting what it means to be in your 40s. Everyday I’m reminded of the strength, wisdom, and pure bad*ss behavior that comes with being 40 and I can’t wait to experience the years to come.
Email Asia regarding business partnerships at email@example.com.
About Eve Chen, our operations manager
I am many things. A reader. A writer. A wife. A mother. Honestly, I am still figuring out everything that I am and will be. In my twenties I spent most of my career in the publishing industry. After having children I paused my career for a little while, diving head-deep into the murky waters of raising multilingual and culturally diverse children in America.
In addition to helping to run the show at Jumble & Flow, I work as a freelancer, volunteer when I can, and pursue hobbies in my spare time. The superpower that comes with midlife is I care a lot less about possibly failing at something and a lot more about making the attempt.
About Carrie O’Neal Brenner, our co-social media manager
I’m a wife, mama, cat lover, award-winning graphic designer, entrepreneur, and surface pattern designer living in a 100-year-old home in Cincinnati, Ohio. From Minted greeting cards in your neighborhood Target to the logo for a new theme park in Doha, I enjoy the variety that comes with creating holiday wrapping paper to branding a new museum. My signature style is refined elegance as much of my work involves sharpening the ideas of my collaborators and clients. My work has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and in publications such as Martha Stewart, Real Simple and The Knot. However, it can also be experienced in person in exhibits and attractions for Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, the Prudential Center Observatory in Boston and on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. I received my BFA in Graphic Design from The Ohio State University in 1999 and worked at a design studio until 2001 when I had the first of two amazing children and decided to start my own company. Since the pandemic, I’ve left my downtown studio in Hamilton, Ohio and now spend most of my time providing art direction, photo styling and graphic design for my clients from my attic studio. I’m a perpetual optimist with a fierce love for creating beautiful brands, environments, and products, and am so excited to be a part of The Midst.
About Niesha Davis, our co-social media manager
I'm Niesha, a writer, editor, and the new social media manager for The-Midst. My bylines include Glamour, Mic, Business Insider, Women's Health, The Huffington Post, BUST, and many other publications.
About Dixie Laite, our columnist
I've been a second-grade teacher and mechanical bull operator, and for the past 25 years I've worked for a variety of TV networks as a writer, editorial director, trainer, advice columnist, even an on-air personality. But primarily I've trotted around New York City in one cowboy shirt or another, lurking around flea markets, gyms, and anywhere they’ll hand me French toast.
I'm currently lounging around my apartment with one husband, five parrots, and roughly 2,000 pairs of jeans.
I write two columns for The Midst: Age Against the Machine and Dear Dixie.
Crushing on: I have countless girl crushes on badass, brave women of today, and I’m inspired by so many older lady style icons, especially Linda Rodin. And of course I have lady boners for dozens of yesteryear dames for their courage, humor, and glamour — too many to name. (That's why I started Dametown.com!)
I'm currently in The Midst of learning: 1) that what I thought were bugs were actually features, 2) everyone doesn't hate you, and 3) OK, some people hate me, but that's their loss.
Now that I'm 60, I wholeheartedly believe in making gratitude the cornerstone of each day, making sure I'm always learning and moving forward, and not giving too many f**ks about what others think.
About Sally Duffin, our columnist
I am a UK-based health writer, registered nutritionist/nutritional therapist, and author of Natural Nutrition for Perimenopause: What to Eat to Feel Good and Stay Sane. I have worked in the natural health industry for over 20 years as a nutrition practitioner, writer, and educator, and loves nothing more than empowering people to take charge of their own health. Outside of the nutrition world, I enjoy creative writing, making things, and buying more books than I have time to read.