March 2012 Blogs

 

Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Jenn is Beautiful! Jenn is an amazing woman I know from eating disorder recovery. Since Day 1, Jenn has always tilted her head, showing the utmost imporance of listening to me, given me words of wisdom and avalanched me in the ultimate bear hug before she sent me back into the world. I knew that I respected and loved her, but what blew me away with our interview was realizing how much I didn’t know about her. This woman is even more multi-dimensional, passionate and loving than I knew. It made me think about how many other people out there I might not be “seeing” all of? Check out our interview below. I’ll be shocked if you leave uninspired.

Irvina: Hey lover face! So tell me about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Jenn: Well it’s hard to say that I am just working on one project in particular. I really enjoyed making all my Christmas presents over the past holiday with a lot of inspiration from Pintrest.com. I didn’t realize how much I truly loved making gifts for people and using my artistic ability to create presents I was truly proud of and really got to put myself into them.

A great project i was working on at Apple (where I work) was iPads for soldiers who have been deployed for multiple tours of duty. I have been given a great opportunity being an intern on the Business Team at Apple. I truly get to enrich the lives of so many diverse and unique people in the world all through technology. I have an amazing job that allows and encourages me to use all of my talents from my love of photography and art to my experiences I have had growing up as a child of a Solider. Each day is fun and exciting and filled with so many challenges and successes. It’s humbling to know all of this is possible because my eating disorder is not the center of my life anymore.

Irvina: Wow, you’re a creative girl! And you’re right, I don’t see how you could do all of that amazing work while in your eating disorder. I have been amazed myself at the things I have been able to accomplish once I’ve had that monster off my back. I can only imagine the things you’ll do in the years ahead! Can you tell our readers something you’re passionate about?

Jenn: I am passionate about loving people, especially the wonderful people I have in my life. I am the proud “Auntie Jiff” of two beautiful little girls that are MacKenzie Grace, 5 years old and Charlotte “Charlie” Joy, 1 month old. They seriously make my heart feel all aglow! Recently, I got to do a whole photo shoot with both of them for the holidays and a birth announcement for Charlie. My photography has given me a creative and healthy outlet for so much that I use to keep inside. I also love playing music and painting. I have gone through some tough and beautiful parts of my life which I can translate into music. I love seeing that my struggle with an eating disorder and alcoholism was not in vain, but was so that I could get closer to a God that loves me more than I will ever be able to understand. I’ve also seen the good nature of people in recovery from addictions. These people invested in me when I literally had nothing to give in return. I have been afforded the lesson of grace in action without which I would not be here today, plain and simple.

Irvina: Jeez girl! What a parallel between the things you love to do now and the struggle it took to get there. Thank you for sharing that. It really reminds me of the priceless gift of LIVING without an addiction. So, what do you do for fun?

Jenn: For fun I love getting to hang out with family, my handsome husband and our little pound puppy Teagan Marie Charles! She’s a 1 year old, half Lab, half PitBull, Terrier Mix who can steal your heart and your shoes with those beautiful blue eyes of hers! I love going to museums and concerts with friends as much as I love having a great cup of coffee and a chat with a friend at Portola Coffee Lab. Quality time with people I love is what I love getting to do for fun. And occasionally I like to go on photographic adventures in search of the shot of the day, which will proudly hang on my bulletin board in my art room at my home. I also love going to a great farmers market and getting great fresh foods for the week, I think even though I am Scotch/ Irish (hence the red hair and blue eye) there just might be a little Italiano in this girl. Due to the fact that I am truly inspired by many Italian chef’s and their take on food, life and love!

Irvina: Awe! I love all of that! I want a puppy soooooooo bad! I’m jealous…in a good way! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I can’t really say that I have done something crazy that I can remember standing out. But in thinking about it I have never been normal in any sense of the word, let’s face it who really is? I can remember a couple of things…

1. Being that kid in school who asked for more homework because I loved learning so much.

2. Having mini art painting sessions with my grandmother on her back veranda then having a private showing of what I had painted in the garage.  My grandfather framed and hung all of the paintings on the walls just for us to enjoy.

3. I built my first computer at age 7 because I was jealous that Doogie Howser (the kid doctor) got to use one to journal in and I didn’t.

4. I grew up loving art, soccer, hockey, running, read high school and college level science course books at age 9. I knew more about the construction and function of any army tank then most kid should ever know.

5. I also dreamed of becoming a part of the peace corp, because I wanted to travel the world helping people.

I have lead a creative and inspiring life and that is the craziest thing I have ever done. I refuse to let the world put me into a confined roll just because I am a girl and expected to act a certain way. I am a crazy one that believes I will make a difference in this world because I don’t see the world as it is, I see as I wish it will be.

Irvina: Um…Sorry, I think I lost my thought. You kind of just blew me away! I thought I knew you, but I now realize that I don’t. There is so much more to you and your story than I even know. Thank you for being so brave to be true to yourself. Thank you for being crazy-cool Jen! The world is better for it! I’m better for it! So back to the questions! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Jenn: Hard to say what exactly I contribute but I try to be kind and passionate about everything and everyone that comes my way. I am truly proud of the fact that I am described as a loyal friend. At one time I was not loyal or reliable. Now I take comfort in knowing that I have the ability to love my family and friends with my whole heart and I hold nothing back.

Irvina: Beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and why?

Jenn: My creativity comes through in my community as looking at the world through a kids eyes, I rarely act my age and absolutely cherish that about myself. I love being able to put people at ease and make them laugh because nothing in life is so serious that you can’t find time to play with a slinky or be so consumed with how a rain drop falls off a spider web after a wonderful rain shower.

I have been told that I have a kind spirit, I like to think that comes from my Grandparents on my father’s side they were great role models and are the main reason I thrive in life today. They were never unkind to anyone about anything. They loved completely and fully and I can only wish that after I am gone I will have exuded that kindness among the world I lived in.

My strength comes from my knowing that I have weaknesses and not being afraid to face them one at a time. I was never aware of my strength until I looked back after being in recovery for almost 6 years. I realized I was never supposed to live past 10 years old ( because of a heart defect I have) and here I am at 30 years of age, healthy, happy and always moving forward. I didn’t let one person determine my destiny and I didn’t give up because I may only be around a certain amount of time. I spent my time being a kid, climbing trees, surfing in Hawaii, traveling to Ireland working for a wonderful company. I have never limited myself.

Irvina: That’s incredible Jen. You are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Jenn: The most beautiful woman I knew was my grandmother Betty, she was a knock out with red hair, blue eyes and a heart of gold. She was my first best friend, art teacher, and all around super hero. She had great passion for everything she did from picking out table covers for the next church social to creating and sustaining the first arts education programs in the Glendora Unified school district and later the state of California. She always had time for everyone and could make you feel like you were the only person in the room. She had an amazing drive and confidence that stemmed from self-worth.  She helped me write a letter of concern to President Bush about the first Desert Storm War, because she and I always read the newspaper together. She reminded me constantly that I had a voice and no matter how young or old I was it should be heard. She always wore a fashionable pleated skirt and blouse with a sweater and always had her hair done and finger nails painted a blush pink, she was Pink way before Victoria Secrets ever was. She loved God her family and her civic duties to her community. I can only hope I make as much of an impact as she did on this world.

Irvina: Holy Shiz-Nick! She sounds incredible! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Jenn: My wish for women is that they understand true authentic beauty is that it simply comes from a place inside of your heart that allows you to love unconditionally. Not only others but yourself most of all. I do my best to tell my two little nieces all the time that they are absolutely precious and loved. I want them to grow up knowing that they are so loved and completely precious to their Auntie Jiff and so many others in their lives.

Irvina: I think with you around Jenn they will. Thank you for speaking with us. Your life has touched me deeply. Thank you. 

Posted: Mar 23, 2012

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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

A few years ago I worked at the Victorian, Eating Disorder Treatment home in Newport Beach, CA. While there I had the pleasure of meeting Marriage and Family Therapist, Maggie Baumann. The Victorian clients adored Maggie for her authenticity, insight and strength both in individual counseling and leading group sessions. As a co-worker I loved Maggie for how open, authentic and spiritual she is. The facility we worked in was challenging, but she brought a sense of order and calm with her wherever she was. She is one of those rare women that you feel you have known forever and could talk to for days on end. You’ll see what I mean through our interview below…. 

Irvina: Hello Mrs. Maggie! Thanks for talking to us today! I know you’re a busy, busy gal! So tell me about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Maggie: Before I recovered from anorexia, I deemed myself as someone who didn't deserve much ... that came in many areas ... like food, leisure and fun time or any special way to give to myself. I'd give to others with love freely, but not myself. As someone recovered, my perspective of who I am and what I deserve has changed drastically. I deserve to give to me in kind, healthy and compassionate ways. So I am actually doing something spectacular for myself. This may sound a little corny ... but I have lived in my beautiful house for nearly 18 years. I live a mile from the beach in a neighborhood of lovely homes with great neighbors. Although my home is very beautiful ...lots of light ... I even have a peek of the ocean which is one of the most soothing sights for me ... my home has been empty. My home wasn't really a home with the comforts of love spread throughout it. It felt empty like anorexia. I never really decorated my new home so many years ago because I felt I didn't deserve my home to be the way I wanted it to be. A sanctuary of peace and comfort for myself and my family. Yes, we have furniture but our house has never had the loving touch of making it a home that brings meaning to what makes me feel alive.

So right now, for the first time, I am in the stages of redecorating my house (with help because I am not creative in the decorating field) and making this into the home I always wanted for my family and myself. It's not about buying the most expensive furniture (because I am not), it is bringing LIFE and LOVE into my home that I thought I didn't deserve. I am even creating a Zen-meditation room in our loft. I am very excited. And of course, my theme is an ocean theme ... my most soothing environment I feel so peaceful in. Plus, my husband, an avid surfer, adores the ocean as well. So it's a perfect fit for our lives. To honor this endeavor, we will be having Christine, my oldest daughter's, wedding reception at our home this summer. Full of family and friends from the US and reaching to France. Christine married her French boyfriend last April in France by surprise. We planned the US reception for this August. I can't wait to share my new home with some of my new French family and all my American family and friends.

Irvina: Wow! That sounds like an amazing project. What a testimony to the fact that it’s never too late to “redesign” your life and the amazingness that can come from it. I can only imagine how rewarding it will feel to have a wedding reception in your home!  So besides your current flare for interior design can you tell us what are you passionate about?

Maggie: I have a strong faith and believe the light in me pushes me towards my passion to feed the souls of others who need healing in some part of their lives. I've been passionate about helping others since I was a little girl. It's engrained in my heart and the light never goes away. Some very special people were passionate about my healing and it's just like a gift for me to pay it forward to the next person, whomever that is -- my family and two adult daughters, friends, and people I don't even know that I see need a hand. One of my biggest passions I have yet to do is to volunteer in a hospital with the premie babies and touch them so they feel love. Sometimes the nurses are busy or parents may be away, but if I could just touch the skin of a little baby striving for life and let them feel a loving touch and a connection (and that they are not alone), that would be the biggest gift I could give.

As a therapist, I am living out my passion every day I work with my clients. It's really an honor to be in a position to help guide someone hurting to a place of peace they can find in themselves. Very special relationships are built in a therapist's office and it's built on full acceptance carrying no judgment of the client. And from that point working to build their trust in you so they can feel safe to do the healing work they need to do. I love my work. I admire my clients. 

Irvina: Wow, you have a huge heart. As a fellow earthling, may I just say, we are so lucky to have you! So love, what do you do for fun?

Maggie: Well, I discussed this new adventure into redecorating my house. This is really fun for me. I try to connect daily with my two daughters, one lives in NYC and the other in France. I enjoy my time connecting with them. I crave learning so I like to read books that help me be a better therapist. I also love to read medical mysteries. I love just laying on my bed with my two kitties and snuggling with them. I just call them kitties, but they are grown up cats. I enjoy the outdoors and being at the beach. I enjoy moving my body and listening to music that speaks to my heart. I enjoy watching old shows of Flipper with my husband. Dolphins are one of my favorite animals, and Flipper the dolphin always saved the day. I am wanting to learn how to stand up paddle (SUP) surfing when the weather warms up. My husband SUPs and it could be something fun we could do together in the ocean. I have a very creative side and I enjoy designing my own Christmas cards in very symbolic ways. I love photography and taking pictures of others and giving them their picture in a frame for a gift. I love to personalize my giving.

I also enjoy keeping my body healthy by exercising in a healthy way to keep my heart and bones as healthy as they can be. I enjoy running because I can put my music on and be in a space of freedom and peace as I ran past the beach or on the trails. Music is really important to making my life fun.

Although my life before I became a therapist was filled with writing stories of other people or important stories about the hospital I worked for, I never get bored of writing. I find it very therapeutic when I need to release emotions inside, and I find it fun to dialogue with others with my warped sense of humor. It's good to laugh at yourself in a loving way and laugh with others. Humor is contagious and I am quick witted about it in my writing and in my voice, although people may not always think of me as humorous.

Irvina: Your life sounds like so much fun! Gives me some great ideas to do for myself too! So Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Maggie: What I am most proud of is being a mom, a healthy mom. I was sick with my anorexia when my kids were in elementary school and older and I know even though I attended to their physical needs, my mind was not all the way there for them as a mother. It hurts me inside to know I was there but not fully because of my disease. My love for them never changed, but my ability to show the love did. The greatest gift that I am most proud of is becoming healthy and being the mom who can be there for my kids, even now as they are young adults. There is something really sweet when I get an email from with either of my girls now and they call me "Momma" ... it's such a loving, enduring way for me to know our love is solid as a rock and they know their mom is healthy. The best gift I ever received was when I turned 42 years old and one of my daughters created this framed piece of art that stated, "The 42 Reasons I Love My Mom." My contribution on a personal level goes straight back to giving to my kids and teaching them kindness and compassion. Because they each hold those wonderful qualities inside themselves and use them to contribute to their own world.

Irvina: That is so BEAUTIFUL! You’re gonna make me cry! So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and why?

Maggie: I believe "kindness" is one of my greatest assets to my community. To be a therapist, kindness to others must be part of your makeup, or you are in the wrong profession. Kindness is not something I work on being, it's just a part of me and it allows me to give to people in all different ways through work or when I volunteer and give to people I don't even know. It's important for me when I interact with others I am serving to be a safe vessel they can lean against without fear of rejection. Kindness is also something I learned I must have for myself to be authentically effective in giving to my clients. One goal of working with my clients is for them to learn to be kind to themselves. Self love is essential is any healing.

Irvina: Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Maggie: That's an easy question for me. It's my best friend Patty. We have been friends since 4th grade and I would call us soul mates. We have been there for each others triumphs and struggles for many decades. We have true, unconditional acceptance of each other. Most recently, Patty, who lives in North Carolina, had to undergo scoliosis surgery and disk repair -- 9 hours of spinal surgery. I flew out to be with her in the hospital. You ask any doctor what is one of the most painful surgeries to have -- and most will say scoliosis surgery. There is a 3 to 6 month rehab after this surgery.  My friend is always beautiful to me, but she became even more beautiful in my eyes while she was in the hospital, enduring this intense pain that even hard core medication could not relieve all of it. I slept at the hospital so I could care for her. She wanted someone who loved her to be with her at all times as she was very scared about the surgery. She had only been in the hospital 5 times and that was to give birth to her 5 children. One night during my stay in the hospital, I heard her singing softly. I realized it was a prayer to God she was singing. I thought she was singing, "Please God take away some of this pain so I can sleep." I think that's what my prayer would have been. But when I went up to her to check on her, she was singing a prayer of gratitude’s to God. Thanking Him for all she had. Her children and family. Her house. Her car. Her animals. She kept this song going for a few minutes to thanking God for just normal things most of us take for granted. I was just in awe of this woman, my best friend, who had that much strength and faith to thank God is one of her most scary and painful times in her life. That incident made me realize how even more beautiful Patty is as a human being. It touched my heart deeply and made me feel even more special that she is my best friend and how blessed I am.

Irvina: She sounds absolutely incredible. I can see hints of how you both have influenced eachother greatly. I love the idea of women helping shape each others passions and values into the beautiful women we were intended to be. What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Maggie: Beauty is complex because it represents so many things about you. Yes, you can have outside beauty but that is gift and not everyone may possess outside beauty. And those who do are often the hardest on themselves because the outside beauty can blind them to the other beauty they may possess inside. I think real beauty comes from the inside out. It starts in your soul and lights up your being. Inner beauty is kind, loving and something you wish to share with others. Inner beauty doesn't age, get wrinkles or change with time. Inner beauty can stay with you until the day you die. Do all women recognize their inner beauty? ... unfortunately not. They can be preoccupied on trying to perfect the outer beauty they lose interest in or don't recognize what is inside of them that is beautiful. I know finding the inner beauty to oneself is an outcome of over coming struggles with diseases like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or an addiction to drugs or alcohol. That's the amazing thing about true recovery is you find that behind all that chaos of the outside there lies beauty in all of us. I think that beauty varies from woman to woman because we all have our own unique talents and gifts. So inner beauty is in the eye of the beholder sometimes. The important thing is to be true to your own inner beauty and embrace it so it blooms bright, giving you the light to go out in the world and be who you are and follow your passion that is distinctly yours.  

Irvina: Thank you for speaking with us Maggie! Your interview truly touched me. I will most likely be back to read it again. You’re are an absolutely stunning human being!  

 

Posted: Mar 16, 2012

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Rewrite Beautiful kicked off National Eating Disorder Awareness Week by holding a School Programs at Ensign Jr.High School. Founder, Irvina Kanarek, Creative Director and Founder spoke in the Life Skills classes of Mr. Tucker and Mrs.Wagner. The students heard an eating disorder recovery story, the physical trauma of eating disorders, participated in a Q&A panel and the opportunity to Rewrite Beautiful about themselves!

Then we headed over to Costa Mesa High School to talk with the Cheerleaders! There our Board Member, Robyn Baker joined us to share her own recovery story with the group. The group had great questions to ask Robyn about the disease and her recovery. 

We finished off the week with a Street Art Workshop! The workshop was led by another wonderful Board Member, Sunny Siu, MFA! He taugh the workshop using recycled CD's and CD covers as materials! Everyone left knowning where their Creativity, Kindness and Strength lie! 

We were stoked to put the Street Art up in front of Newport Harbor High School and have their students also continue our mission to Rewrite Beautiuful! 

To see more photo's of our celebration of NEDAwareness week check out our Facebook page HERE! 

Posted: Mar 9, 2012
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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

I met Emily of www.emilycobett.com while we taught art together at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. If you hang out with me you’ll quickly notice that Emily is the artist behind my awesome Rewrite Beautiful Vans and was the artist painting on the surfboard at the TELEIOS Art Show. Everyone loves Emily for her galactically awesome art lessons balanced with her gentle demeanor. Having her amount of talent you would imagine she would be a TAD full of herself, but she’s completely down to earth! Whether you’re an 8 year old with ADD or an 80 year who can’t find their way to the Ceramic Studio, Emily gives the utmost love, care and resptect to both. You’ll see from our interview that this woman is incredibly multi-dimensional! Enjoy beautifuls!

Irvina: Emily love! Thanks for talking to us today my honey bunny! So tell our Rewriter’s, what is a fun project you’re currently working on?

Emily: I'm constantly trying to better myself as an artist and as an entrepreneur. When I'm not working on an art piece for a client, I work on projects for myself. I try to think of challenging projects that will help me learn and will better my skills. Soon, I'll be painting a large mural in my living room. It's been a while since I've painted on such a large scale, and I'm excited to see how it will transform my living space. Aside from my artsy endeavors, I'm also in the midst of planning my totally awesome backyard wedding to my love of 8 years. We're excited to have a celebration that is unique to us with our closest loved ones by our sides.

Irvina: Awwwwwwwwwwwwe! Congratulations! Tell Shawn that I say “You’re one lucky dude! So Em, what are you passionate about?

Emily: My 3 favorite things in life are art, music, and nature. These three things are so important to me and help me stay true to who I am. Art: Having been an artist my whole life, I'm in my most happiest 'happy spot' when I've got all my tools out and my creative ideas are flowing. I could be enameling on a surfboard, or just doodling on my shopping list. When I'm creating art, I have a warmth in my heart that is so comforting. Music: I don't know about you, but for me, everyday has a soundtrack. I usually feel like I can't function unless there's music playing. My 'soundtrack' is an eclectic mix of all types. Somedays are driven by the easy sway of a reggae beat, whereas other days need a little more 'oomph' from the quick double bass of something a little more hardcore. Playing drums used to be a big part of my life. Absorbing and putting out music is a whole different type of art, and is something I'm very passionate about. Lastly, Nature: Nature is my reset button. We all get overwhelmed and stressed from time to time. Some more than others. When I feel like this, I say it's time for a 'nature fix'. Nothing clears my mind and rearranges my thoughts better than some quality time with the earth. I see all of the beauty that's just lying there, waiting to be seen, and it reminds me of how simple life can be. It's reminds me to appreciate the little things, and how 'big issues' really aren't that big. Mother nature = my therapy of choice.

Irvina: Wow Em, you are my favorite hippy girl! I looooooooove nature too. We are so friggin’ blessed to live right on the coast! It’s crazy amazing what we get to experience right outside our door! So love, what do you do for fun?

Emily:  I love to paint. I love creating art of all types. I'm grateful to have a career that stems from my passion, but when I have a day off and I have the option to create art for myself, being ANYTHING I want, that's the best. When I get the opportunity to just create freely, that's when my art evolves, and new ideas pop up that turn into bigger projects.

Irvina: Seriously! I can’t wait to see this mural you’re doing in your living room! So exciting! So, kind of random, but what is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Emily: The craziest thing I've ever done? MAN. Well, I almost gave up doing art. Like, completely stopped creating, and tried to force myself to change into someone else. Crazy huh? I went through a time where I thought I couldn't stay true to who I was if I ever wanted to 'make it' in the world. I thought, there's no way I could continue doing art like I do, and manage to actually move out of my parents house before I'm 89563 years old. So, I went to find a job for my alternate self. I got a job at the local Vet's office. I LOVE animals, always have, sometimes more than humans. I thought that could be a fitting alternative to my dream world as an artist. I only lasted about 3 months before I broke down. The longer I lied to myself, and tried to force something that wasn't meant to be, the more miserable I became. It was nothing against the job, it was the fact that I was repressing my true self. I ended up crying in my bosses office, blubbering about how I loved animals, but I loved art more than anything. He was gracious, and I'm grateful that he listened and understood my change of heart. I quit that day, with nothing else lined up. But I still felt ok, because it was a step in the right direction of being true to myself again. About a month later I found a job as an art instructor. I gave it a shot, and I've been doing that now for almost 4 years. I felt whole again. I don't regret trying an alternative career, I gained A LOT of knowledge that I'm grateful for. But I was CRAZY to think I had to completely change who I was to succeed in any way.

Irvina: Wow, that is a HUGE lesson to learn. You have so much gifting in art, I can’t imagine you doing anything else. I guess it goes to show that even very, very talented people doubt themselves at time too. That makes me feel a little less crazy ;) So Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Emily: I contribute my talent of art to the world. I believe that art should be accessible by anyone, anytime. I try to create pieces that can be used/enjoyed on an everyday basis, while also keeping prices reasonable. I don't think anyone should cash out their life savings for a painting. As artists, we are given our talent to share with the world, not to put a hefty price tag on it and dangle it like a carrot. I enjoy working with clients to come up with totally original ideas while creating unique pieces of art, that hold a special meaning to them. You can see examples of my work at www.emilycobett.com.

Irvina: Jeez, talk about showing us all up! So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Emily: I try my best to exhibit creativity and kindness on a day to day basis. As an art instructor teaching children 3-12 years old, I meet so many young ones who are afraid they're going to make a mistake, or execute something incorrectly. I have the opportunity to teach my favorite lesson everyday, and that is 'THERE ARE NO MISTAKES IN ART'. I work with the children, and teach them to not be so hard on themselves. Art is to be created freely, with no boundaries. Once they understand how limitless art can be, they blow us all away with their masterpieces. Through my own experiences, I've learned how hard it can be to follow your dreams, and be true to yourself. It's something you have to constantly be aware of and strive for. Working with the youth of my community, I'm given a voice to teach about how possible it IS to be whatever you want when you grow up. I had a conversation with a little girl who was about 6 years old a few weeks ago, and we were speaking about jobs. She asked if painting was my favorite thing to do, and I assured her "OH YES, It's most definitely my favorite thing!" And she was quick to understand that it's how I earned a living as well. I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she started to say she could be a doctor, or maybe a dentist. She was telling me what her parents wanted her to be. She was stuck and couldn't tell me what she wanted to be, so I asked her, "what are you good at, and like to do the most?". And she loudly screamed "JUMPROPE", I'M REALLY REALLY GOOD AT JUMPROPE".... and she lit up with a spark of excitement! I told her maybe she could be a professional jump roper! She looked at me with so much hope. She had never been told before that she had options. Maybe she will grow up to be a doctor, or a dentist, or a stay at home mommy, but in the meantime she will jump rope like she has never jumped rope before! {You GO girl!}

Irvina: Awe! That’s an adorable story! Wow! Who knows where that could lead!? Thank you. Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Emily: Mommy. My mom raised me serving the perfect cocktail of guidance, and freedom, that enabled me to grow up with morals, and a sense of self that I'm blessed to know. She, alongside my father showed me 'the way' to be. They are both so LOVING. Not just loving towards family, but friends and neighbors too. If there was ever a friend in need, they showed me to have compassion. If there were hard times, they showed me to stay positive and strong. My mom is still a rock that I can lean on whenever I need it. She may not understand me at times, but she shows acceptance and compassion no matter what. She may not agree with me always, but she still loves me for who I am. THAT is beautiful.

Irvina: Indeed VERY Beautiful. What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

I wish young women understood that their beauty is not defined by the color of their skin, or the size of their jeans. It's not defined by freckles or stretch marks. What is beautiful, is being true to who you really are, and allowing others in to be a part of it. I wish young women realized that life is not about pleasing others. And it's not about being totally selfish and conceited either. It's a balance, of being your true self, LOVING your true self, and sharing what you have to offer with others.

Irvina: Thank you for speaking with us Em! You’re a truly BEAUTIFUL Girl! Xoxo 

Posted: Mar 9, 2012
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Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions!  We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!

Judie is the kind of woman I consider a Guardian Angel. She seems to pop up at the exact moment you need to fall in someone’s arms for a hug, a prayer,  a word of wisdom, a meal or a celebratory hug.  I know that I am always in her thoughts and prayers even if I go weeks without seeing her. Similar to the feeling many have about their own mothers. I am comforted to know that Judie is in my corner. Judie is a mother to many. It comes naturally to her. It’s her gifting. One of my favorite things about Judie is watching her with her grandchildren or “Grands” as she calls them. When I see the care, love and methodical planning out of activities and fun I remember what a GINORMOUS job it is being a parent. That raising children truly is sculpting the direction of our world. All of us who have been touched by Judie can agree that our time with her has sculpted us into more BEAUTIFUL human beings. I hope you enjoy my interview with her.  

Irvina: Judie! Thank you for talking the time to speak with us today love! So tell us, what is a fun project you’re currently working on?

Judie: Being a Grandmother - a Nana - is my Number 1 project.  I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to love on them as they grow and develop into their own little beings. Their ages range from 3 to 18, and I have been fortunate enough to be around them at every stage.

Irvina: I have been lucky enough to meet your beautiful, Grands and they are a privilege to be with, as are you! Tell us Judie, what are you passionate about?

Judie: Being there for others is the gift that God has given me, whether they are family, friends, acquaintances or the homeless.  I have a heart for those in need and delight in being a good listener, hand holder, meal provider and giver of my time.

Irvina: You are an AMAZING hand holder! Tell us, what do you do for fun?

Judie: Laugh and play with my Grands, work in my garden, walk and talk with my friends and my husband.  And, I love to read good books, biographies and history.

Irvina: You live a very charmed life! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Judie: Learn to roller blade when I was in my late 40's and continue into my 50's.  I would roller blade up to 80 miles on my days off from work at the Concierge at the Hyatt Newporter, from Hermosa Beach to the end of the path in Venice, and back to Hermosa.

Irvina: 80 Miles! Jeez! Talk about drive! That’s awesome! I’m sure the beach by your side wasn’t too bad either! So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Judie: I hope that Kindness would be the answer, in that I consistently share my time on Wednesdays and on Saturdays with the homeless, being a part of a community that prepares home-cooked meals and provides showers and laundry trailers for their use.

Irvina: Excellent! I have been able to see you work with the homeless and (this may sound weird but,) you totally fit right in! You’re like their forever friend Judie. It’s truly beautiful. Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Judie: Dorothy Ruff - a 90 year old women who is avid about her Father God, and has given me a path I hope to follow.

Irvina: Awesome. What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Judie: That only inward beauty lasts, no matter how hard you work on the outward facade.

Irvina: Love it! And you! You’re BEAUTIFUL! Xoxo 

Posted: Mar 2, 2012

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