grlife writing

About GRLife

My name is Dawn Highhouse and I am the owner of GRLife. I am also the Vice President of Customer Experience for MHVillage, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. MHVillage is an online classified ads platform for manufactured and mobile homes. My role is in customer relations, marketing, and writing. I work to make sure we are communicating clearly with our multi-million dollar customers as well as the regular homeowner.

In my spare time, I am also a freelance writer, Certified Personal Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer.

How GRLife Began

Dawn Highhouse, GRLife
Me carrying a sandbag in a Spartan Beast in Texas.

Several years ago, I lost over 70 pounds through healthy and mindful eating. I loved the way I looked and felt. So to keep the weight off, I decided to start working out. To my surprise, I discovered a love for physical fitness, health, and wellness that I never knew I had. I went from being someone who refused to consider running to completing over 20 Obstacle Course races (Spartan Races and Tough Mudders), and even a trail marathon!

Then Obstacle Course racing led to CrossFit which led to Olympic Style Weightlifting. Now I am a member of USA Weightlifting and West Michigan Barbell Club. I was honored to be one of the women lifting in the Michigan State Weightlifting Championships in 2019.

dawn highhouse

Time to Give Back

I knew I had to share my passions with others. So much so that I decided to start GRLife. GRlife is a place to help others like myself: people in Grand Rapids who are busy professionals but want to get healthy. In particular, I wanted to focus on folks, who like me, who didn’t grow up as athletes (or even liking exercise) and who were at a loss on where to start.

First, I obtained my certifications to be a Personal Nutrition Coach. I am a Level One Certified Personal Coach through Precision Nutrition.

Next, I studied through the International Sports Sciences Association to become a certified fitness trainer. These certifications have taught me so much. And, as a lifelong learner, I keep going back to learn more.

GRLife Freelance Writing

I love being a Coach, but also I found another way to help people. That is in using my 25 years of writing and marketing experience to create content around getting and staying healthy. So I have become a freelance writer, specializing in health and wellness.

Some of the projects I have worked on recently are:

Articles for 200,000 member gym in Las Vegas that has an online blog and a printed magazine. I have been creating monthly content for them, including the article “The Surprising Supplement that Increases Performance,” which was all about getting enough sleep. The club published it in their most recent magazine. Their demographic is 30-50-year-old gym-goers, who are predominately women.

I’ve been creating long-form, evergreen content pieces (over 1,000 words) for a fellow nutritional coach who specializes in low inflammation diets and healthy eating. Examples of articles I have written for her are “Lifestyle Choices for Stress,” “Alcohol and Inflammation,” and “How to Read Food Labels.” Her demographic is 50-70-year-olds who are not highly knowledgable about modern health science. I help her take very complicated subjects and break them down to make them engaging and easy to understand.

And Then There are the Dogs

I also have one other passion – I foster and adopt senior dogs. One of the things that I love is how being more fit has helped me with my senior pooches. In fact, I write about that quite a bit on my blog. Getting healthy isn’t about visible abs or running marathons. Sometimes it is just about being able to do the things you love to do.

Here are some other ways you can connect with me:

GRLife’s Facebook Page

Find Dawn on Linkedin

Find GRLife on Instagram

Follow GRLife on Twitter



  1. You look as though you might be related to a couple of classmates of mine from the 50’s – Carol and Don Highhouse. We all went to Central High School.

      1. You say, “Don was.” Is he no longer with us? Carol was a year behind me and Don, I believe, was two years behind her. Carol and Don were both rather shy individuals if I remember correctly. I did not know them well but I am not one to forget a name or a face.

        I saw a post about you on the Facebook Group, “If You Grew Up in Grand Rapids/Kent County, then you remember….” I read it and then paid close attention to your name and your facial features – connection. What you wrote also sent me into somewhat of a memory fugue. I left Grand Rapids in 1961 for college and never returned except to visit. Two of my children now live nearby – daughter in Comstock Park and son in White Hall.

        I am looking forward to visiting your site to see what else you have to offer up. Congratulations on your success so far and continued good wishes for your future.

        William Morrison

      2. Thank you so much William! Don passed away in 2002. (I lost my dad far too early.) However, I see Carol regularly and she is doing well.

        It’s good to hear that you still get a chance to visit your old stomping grounds now and again, and it is so nice to hear from you, I am glad you took the time to comment!

  2. Did Carol marry? If so, how many children?

    Also, if you are ever in need of a very professional photographer may I suggest Jim Gebben. I have seen some of his work in that Grand Rapids promotional magazine and then there is his noticeable touch to the Bissell Advertisements. Take a look around for him.


  3. I also notice that you are active in theater. Both my wife and I have been active in Alpena Civic Theatre for over 30 years. Also, one of my high school classmates was Cedric Ward who had a black theater group in Grand Rapids.

    Gobs to talk about.


    1. Hello again –

      Carol did marry and she had one daughter.

      I knew Cedric. He was a very influential and beloved man in our theatre community. His group, Robeson Players, has been missed. We do have a new group starting up, Ebony Road Players, that looks like they will be carrying on that legacy.

      The theatre is a wonderful community, as it sounds like you know.

      Take care,

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