Rewrite Beautiful Blog

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’m stoked my very own Fairy God Mother, CT is able to chat with us today considering how busy she has been over at The Folk Artist in Huntington Beach. Yet, alas the Green Fairy God Mother always shows up at just the right time! A little behind the name…Green, because all things green are awesome (yes, even green eggs and ham.) Fairy Godmother, because like Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother, CT’s presence in my life makes things very clear, magical, spiritual and GREEN! This woman is a big reason why Rewrite Beautiful even exists. She knew me back in the day when I was a hot-trottin- mess. She has taken my dramatic phone calls, invited me on hikes and welcomed me into her beautiful world. These invitations have sculpted me from a frantic little girl into a strong, rockin’ woman who can start a non-profit and see it through. For that I will never be able to thank my Fairy God Mother enough!

 Irvina: Thanks for talking to us today love! What is a fun project you’re currently working on?

CT: I am working on some pieces for Birthday gifts this year.  I love my painting class and projects.  When I paint for someone it's wonderful to think about them and imagine the gift giving process.

I paint at a wonderful shop called The Folk Artist in Huntington Beach.  I have been painting there for about 15 years.  We gather together for classes and the magic happens when we interact with each other’s lives.  It's a good night when we solve the problems of the world and get a little painting in as well!  Come join us!

Irvina: You bet I’ll come join you! That sounds a room full of artists talking about the world is my cup of coffee! CT, what are you passionate about?

CT: Oh I just love the outdoors.  Hiking, backpacking, walking, easy biking swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, camping.  I love it all.  There is something so special about hiking in the mountains when all you hear is your breathing and footsteps.  I love sitting by a lake at treeline.  The Sierra Mountains are amazing, -all that granite is magical. 

I love to do something’s out doors with my family.  Doing a hike with my daughter Whitney is really exciting for me.  I love, love, love, Whitney's little doggie, Bella.  I love to be with family.  Whenever we are together I am really WITH them.  We laugh a lot and have really fun conversations.  We cook great meals and enjoy sitting around the kitchen table for hours! 

I love my recovery!  It is only by grace that I get to have a really amazing second chance a life - one I never knew I would want.  One I love to work for.  I have amazing people in my life that help me dream of and amazing like and then help me to go get it!

Irvina: Your life is truly magical CT! I feel blessed that I’ve been able to go with you on some magically awesome hikes. I would guess you have clocked more hours on the trail than most people have clocked sleeping! You truly are the worlds Green Fairy Godmother! Tell us what you do for fun?

CT: I hang out with my friend from 7th grade, Paulie.  He is like a brother and uncle to my nieces and Whitney.  He is the biggest goofball there is.  We do a lot of stuff together.  Hike, Backpack, Kayak, Rock jump, ski, camp, walk, ride bikes, drink lots of coffee and eat lots of fro-yo!  We also see lots of movies and go to tons of concerts. We have traveled to Patagonia, Peru, Hawaii, Maui, Mexico, England and Paris together too! It a good thing to have such a long history with someone. 

I like to garden and paint and do all kinds of crafts.  I wish I could do more of it. 

Irvina: Too much talent too little time. Such a quality problem to have ;) What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

CT: I do like adventure.  I have jumped from an airplane several times. I don't need to do that again.  I have Bungee Jumped about 10 or more times.  When I was in New Zealand I jumped from a high wire tram 400 feet above a river.  It was amazing.  Also I jumped from a bridge and got dipped in the river from a Bungee cord and from a ledge up on the mountain.

I have also stood at the highest place in the contiguous US (atop Mount Whitney) and stood in the lowest place in the contiguous US (Badwater Death Valley) in the same 24 hours.   I have crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains in a one day hike. I have sat on top of Half Dome for sunrise while making my morning coffee!  I have climbed Mount Hood and Mount Rainier for Charity.

Irvina: Wow! I’m legitimately jealous. I’m writing down places to go hike as I listen to you! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

CT: Recovery is number one.  Hiking and back packing is next.  I love to teach what I know about both to others.  Both require one to be ok with self.  Both are difficult and take perseverance.  Both happen one step at a time.  Both require tools and gear and planning.  Both require follow through and taking one more step when you think you cannot go on.

Both require safety.  Protection and guidance.   Both are way more fun with others!

Irvina: Wow, what a metaphor for life. I LOVE IT! Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

CT: Well all of them of course!  Haha!  I try to be kind.  I do lots of creative things and share them with others.  It takes a lot of strength to keep on the right track.  My really negative mind can pull me down in moments.  I must be actively strong to ask for the power to be kind to myself.  Sometimes it takes creative ways to get through crazy thought that can be quite mean.  Helping others do the same gives me strength to do it another day.  My really strong God provides a path to freedom.  Finding beauty around me helps to keep me on that path.  

Irvina: I like the idea of finding beauty around you. What a good strategy! It reminds me of my morning gratitude’s! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

CT: My sister!  She is the most loyal, well balanced, kindest, funniest, person I know.  She is creative in all the right places.  She has been married for over 31 years.  She has raised 3 amazing daughters. She teaches and loves on tons of kids.  She comes up with great answers to difficult situations very easily.  She loves me!  We plan to have a gift shop together called Olive Blue in our retirement.  She makes the most amazing quilts!  I would die to be able to cook like her!  She holds a family together like glue without even noticing that she is doing it.  She takes good care of me and I would trust her with Whitney in a moment if needed (no one else I can say that about.) She had eyes that change colors and sparkle, she has beautiful hair, smile and nails!  I love her!

Irvina: Wow, I think love her too! What an outstanding earthling of woman! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

CT:  Beauty is not the size of my underwear!  It is the love that I try to show others, the fun we have together on the planet, and the peace we spread through joy, acceptance, understanding and humility.

When I realize that we are all the same (maybe a little different at times) that I am like you and you are like me, I fit best into the world.  When I remember to be grateful for the things I have and that I have a God that is my biggest cheerleader and faithful even when I am not I find love and joy in the world.  When I help another find some peace that is when I am happiest and feel useful and beautiful.  Some of my most favorite photos of me are when I am in dirty shorts, not showered in days, a couple of days in the back country with no make-up or a brush.  All that is there is a smile and shines from within. It's good for me to not be around mirrors!  Haha! 

What about CT*s beautiful life inspired you?

What are you passionate about?

What do you struggle with?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: May 29, 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 the Beautiful Lori through the Beautiful Lindsey. They met on a mission trip to Uganda with ROCKHARBOR. Beautiful world changers really do flock together! Lori is an incredibly poised, confident woman with a gentle strength. Lori’s strength isn’t something she pushes around, she just shows it in her laid back confidence. This Tennessee native turned beach girl is a sweet combo of Southern Belle and Cali chill. Which is probably the secret behind her successful, nutrition consulting business, Lori's Zanini Nutrition! Check out my chat with the newly married, Mrs. Zanini below!

Irvina: Hello Mrs. Zanini! Tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Lori: Well, for work I run an 8 week Cholesterol/Blood Pressure/Weight Management program and track the improvements that patients are able to see in their health, which is super exciting to me. It's so incredible to see how much better people feel about themselves and the increased energy they have when they focus on their health and well-being, not just their weight.

Irvina: Oooh! I like that! Health not weight, what a marvel concept ;) I’ll pass it on! That’s an inspring message to share with people. I love it! Lori, what are you passionate about?

Lori: I'm passionate about improving people's health, to help them understand the power they have to change their lives...even when it seems overwhelming.

I'm also passionate about changing the world we live in, starting with our own lives. It's incredible to see how the Lord works in both my life and all the people that I am surrounded by...it's the coolest thing in the world. I love when people follow their hearts vs. the traditional, conventional routes. I believe it makes ALL the difference!

Irvina: Word! Preach it girl! It’s so much more rewarding too when you follow your heart! You feel CONNECTED to your project. Like it’s a person! What do you do for fun?

Lori: I love spending time with my husband, going on a spontaneous adventure, eating at wonderful restaurants, trying a new recipe to make, and spending time with my great friends and family (preferably as close to the beach as possible!)

Irvina: Awe! I love it! You make me want to organize a bon fire with the peeps! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Lori: Packed all my belongs in my car and drove across the country to California from Tennessee to take a job and live in an apartment I had never seen (until I got there) and have 2 roommate’s I had never met!

Irvina: Bold! I like it! So my dear, whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Lori: Not only am I proud to have started my own nutrition consulting business, but I am really proud to have found a job that I love. I feel like I make a difference in peoples lives every day, so that they can improve their health and live successful, passionate lives themselves.

Irvina:  Nice! Giving back! Sounds incredible! Lori, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Lori: I would say it's a good combination of KINDNESS and STRENGTH. I really strive to treat everyone (especially my patients/clients) with kindness and understanding because if you start there they are usually more successful because they know that I actually care about their health also.

I think STRENGTH is also a trait I possess and use because I do try to stay true to work-place ethics, my own personal Christian morals, and I stand up and vocalize my opinion when needed. This isn't always easy, and I think it always takes STRENGTH.

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

Lori: I know so many beautiful woman, but I would have to say that my grandmother is just so, so beautiful. I truly believe when people are beautiful on the inside, it radiates outwardly. My grandmother is the backbone of our family... completely self-less, unbelievably thoughtful, strong in her faith, and at 86, completely independent and still so motivated! If I am half the incredible person she is when I am her, I will have lead an extremely blessed life.

Irvina: She sounds stunning! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Lori: I wish every young woman could understand their worth...that they each possess the power to CHANGE THE WORLD. And be seeking out their passions and developing their talents, it will make all difference in their lives. It's also important to surround yourself with other beautiful, supportive, confident friends that will cheer for you along your journey in life!

What about our interview with Lori inspired you? Would you ever start your own business? Would you like to help people focus on health rather than weight? Join the conversation below!

 

 

 

*The photos in the post are courtesy of the amazing Rich Lander of Chard Photo. You’re a rockstar Rich!

Posted: May 24, 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 of my friends joke that the character Jess, played by Zooey Deschanel from the show New Girl, resembles some major, quirky, blurty Irvinaisms. I squirm and shake my head at the often awkward truth I see on screen. Now, Annie is the complete opposite of Zooey Deschanel awkwardness; Annie is just so cool. We’re talking the legit cool of oblivious, “Huh? I’m cool?” Homegirl isn’t even aware that her relaxed style, poignant thoughts and laid back suggestions bring a fresh, calm yet exciting energy to every room and gallery she and her art enters. Making it no wonder that we featured her as an artist TELEIOS last summer. This summer she has been accepted to the Summer Painting Intensive and Temple University! If Check out my interview with beautiful Annie below!

Irvina: Annnnnnnnnnnnnnie! What’s up amazing artist, cool girl extraordinaire! Thanks for talking to me today!  Tell our beautiful peeps about  a fun project you’re currently working on?

Annie: I am excited to announce that I have been accepted to Tyler School of Art's Summer Painting Intensive at Temple University in Philadelphia. The Summer Painting Intensive (SPI) is a seven-week fully immersive studio residency that will offer me the experience to develop my work and studio practice, the chance to work with acclaimed visiting artists, and to produce a new and exciting body of work!

The work that I will create while in residency at SPI will be a development of my current series of work, which deals with the body, disfigurement, and women’s rights, and consists of large drawings and paintings on transparent materials. I plan to create a series of work that expands the current work into painting as installations.

Irvina: Jeez, what a subject to be creating on! You’ll be telling a big story through your art!  Congratulations you’re going to spread a big message, I can feel it!  So Annie, what are you passionate about?

Annie: I am passionate about (in no particular order): art, painting, women's rights and activism, poetry, yoga, baking, dogs, coffee, friendships, my family, learning, and helping others.

Irvina: I LOVE your passions! Double hi-five! Not easy to find a cookie baking, dog loving, yoga girl! What do you do for fun?

Annie: Beyond work (my work is super fun... Portola Coffee Lab) and studio practice (painting), I practice yoga, spend time with my friends, visit galleries and museums, bake goodies, and participate in a group once a month that centers around women's empowerment.

Irvina: Rad group! Let’s get more of those going! So whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Annie: I am most proud of the artwork that I produce and the voice that I have as an artist. Very briefly let me explain my work and my connection to it: I suffered a burn to 18% of my body over six years ago. My paintings use my experience being burned as a way to talk about female Afghan victims of self-immolation. My work has become a forum for me to discuss women's rights, a way for me to heal as an individual, and a place for me to ask critical questions about our country's position in global politics. I believe that the body of work that I will work on at the Summer Painting Intensive will provide me with the resources and lack of distractions to fully invest myself in my work.

Irvina: I love how you took what must have been a traumatic experience and used it as an opportunity to relate to others on a deeper level. Not just anyone either, people incredibly different from yourself. That is quite beautiful. Annie, tell us the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Annie: Hmmm... you really want to know???? I don't even know where to begin or how to qualify that. Crazy bad or crazy fun :) I have done some crazy bad things that I walked through and have come out a stronger person, and thankfully I gained perspective from experiencing all of that. Crazy fun?? You know, ever since I stopped doing all of the crazy bad stuff my life has become much more level. That sounds pretty boring but I enjoy the stability and peace.

Irvina: Well said. I’m a big fan of stability and peace too. It’s way underrated. So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Annie: In my community I believe I most exhibit KINDNESS. I felt compelled to say creativity, as I am a creative person, but I feel as though I value service to others in my community beyond creativity. I value honesty and being connected to others. I take ACTION to become more kind and compassionate towards my community, whereas I feel more intrinsically creative.

Irvina: I like that statement! Gives me a lot to ponder! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Annie: These are hard questions Irvina! The first person to come to mind is my Grandma. Her name was Rita and she passed away when I was 17 and in the depths of the "crazy bad". She had these amazingly clear, kind blue eyes and blonde hair. She always had on some bright shade of lipstick and had a radiant smile. Her physical beauty was a symptom of her loving spirit. She just oozed love and compassion. She taught my mom (the next most beautiful women) how to raise a family, and how to truly convey unconditional love. That is pretty freaking gorgeous!

Irvina: Agreed! And what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Annie:  I wish they knew that high school is not a permanent state. I know that they may "know" that, but if only they could fast forward and experience coming into their own and experiencing their passion- suddenly being a size 00 is not AS important. I wish they knew that curves are totally sexy and that men actually love that. If they suffer from an eating disorder, I wish they knew that...... it is not about the food or their body.

If you have been inspired by Annie and would like to support her painting studies at Temple University please feel free to donate to her Kickstarter Campaign HERE!

So what inspired you about Annie? What’s your take away?

Speak your mind in the comment section below!

Posted: May 17, 2012
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Our Street Art Workshop on Sunday, Let Beauty Out Of The Box was bangin’!

The Street Art is now up in front of Bold Girlz in Costa Mesa, CA.

Thank you to Board Member, Robyn Baker for sharing her home with us!

More pics of the workshop and the art can be seen HERE!

Posted: May 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!

The first time I laid eyes on Jamie I knew I was going to love her. Jamie has this gorgeous smile that is a cross between a daisy picking, tambourine shaking hippie girl and a wise and gentle Fairy God Mother. We met at a Jessica Burkhart art show and since then our friendships has filled my life with interesting books, Girls Nights, discussions about the moon, wine, and the benefits of living off the beaten path. I think my love for Jamie stems from how much respect I have for her, which I think has started with how much she respects herself. I hope you enjoy reading about this beautiful woman as much as much as I have enjoyed sitting on her couch and eating all her chocolate.  

Irvina: Hello beautiful one! Please tell all of our Rewrite Beautiful friends about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Jamie: Yoga! I'm currently getting my teaching certification, and loving every minute of it. Yoga has changed my life and opened my heart, and I can't wait to be able to share that experience, in my own way, through teaching.

Irvina: How amazing! You are going to be an INCREDIBLE teacher! I can’t wait to take a class from you! Tell us, what are you passionate about?

Jamie: I am crazy about reading. I mean, I really believe that if everyone would just turn off their TVs and computers and open a book, we could make some major changes in the world. Reading sparks your imagination, it takes you to new places, it introduces you to interesting people--it's all about expansion. I've been hosting a book club for a few years now. It's a girls-only monthly event, and it has been such a beautiful experience! We meet in the evening, and start out gathered around this one story we've all read, but the conversation gradually unfolds into an intimate dialogue about everything else--ourselves, our loved ones, our lost ones. Life. Stories bring us together and make us feel less alienated and solitary. So, yeah, I guess I'd say I'm passionate about reading.

Irvina: As one of your Book Club members I can say your passion for reading has created so many beautiful conversations and friendships! I love our Book Club, The Gypsy Snipers because we get the opportunity to hear so may perspectives on the same topic. Being open to hearing another persons point of view makes the world so much larger and exciting! Jamie, tell everyone what do you do for fun?

 

Jamie: I like to MOVE! I love to dance, ride my bike, or take a walk outside. If I can do any of those with people I love, even better!
Also, when I'm driving, I like to sing along to a good song, at the top of my lungs. This, too, is even more fun when I'm doing it with a friend.
Really, I think good company can make any good thing even better.

Irvina: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Jamie: Everything I can think of involves travel, ADVENTURE! Like zip-lining through a rainforest in Costa Rica, flying to Paris alone for a summer, road-tripping around the country with my favorite person. There's nothing as exhilarating as venturing out into new territory.

Irvina: You’ve live life BEAUTIFULLY  Jamie! You’re such an inspiration to me! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Jamie: I am proud of my relationships. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a good friend to the precious people in my life. I am grateful for love.

Irvina: Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you exhibit most and why?

Jamie: CREATE is my favorite verb. I want to create my own life. I want to build it by hand, with my own ideas and dreams and visions. And I want to open up and share my life with the world. Every day.

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

Jamie: My mama! My mother is very brave, and she is eager to learn, and leaves her heart open wide to her family and friends. My mother's voice is beautiful. It is gentle and comforting, and she always knows exactly the right thing to say.

Irvina: I can’t wait to some day soon meet your mama! She created quite a BEAUTIFUL woman with you in each and every way you can create a person. One last question, what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Jamie: Beauty is all over you! It's in your heart, and in your mind. It's in your history, and it shows up in your hands, and what they hold. It's on your feet, and where they take you. Beauty is in the music you share with your friends, and in the stories your life writes. Every woman is always only growing into her own beauty. And the work is never finished.

 

What actions make you beautiful?

Are you a reader? A club creator? A yoga lover?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Apr 24, 2012
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Over the past year my inbox on Facebook, Twitter and Email has piled up with questions from girls all over the world (World meaning, United Kingdom , Australia and Brazil wink ) Half of them want to start their own business, non-profit, magazine, writing career and want some advice from none other than Cest Moi! I’m flattered. But, often times I have found myself answering the same questions over and over again, so cue Lightbulb Moment!enlightened I decided to start a blog series called, Beautiful Courage about what it takes to have a beautiful vision and execute it. Debuting in the next couple weeks (here or procrastination there. )

The other half of girls who reach out to me are struggling. They are battling an eating disorder, depression, low self-esteem and sometimes are suicidal – never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the suicide hotline on speed dial next to my best friends. These girls are at their wits end going to therapists, counselors, acupuncturists and God, yet they’re still in pain. They don’t know what to do, so they reach out to me, the crazy Street Artist lady – Might as well give it a shot right? This weekend, I received one message through Facebook that I have seen many times before; a girl who didn’t feel beautiful and was in severe pain. With her permission she has allowed me to share our convo with you, in the hopes that maybe you can benefit from it and understand why Beauty Does Not Always Feel Beautiful. Our Facebook messages to each other are below:

Hi sweet Irvina,

This might sound weird but I need to share my truth with someone. And you were the only person that comes to my mind. I’m extremely sad and have a really low self-esteem. I feel ugly and not good enough for my boyfriend. I love him and no one’s perfect but he has said a lot of things to put me down. I feel terrible. I’m focusing so hard on trying to make myself feel beautiful that I think I’ve forgotten what it means to be and feel beautiful. Help! I f eel sad and want to be happy again. I guess this is my way of reaching out!  I don’t feel good enough period.

Love,

Anonymous

 

Hello Beautiful Girl,

Let me start with first off saying thank you so much for reaching out to me.  I know it takes a whole lot of courage to speak up when we’re not feeling so hot. It inspires me when I see girls like you being brave enough to seek a healthy way out of pain- so many girls don’t. Sadly, over the past couple years I have received several messages like yours. A lot of girls are struggling in the same way-You’re not alone in your thinking, but the problem IS in your thinking.

The more I reflected on how I would reply to you, I kept thinking about this marriage series by Tim Keller that I’ve been listening to (nope, not even close to marriage, homegirl  just has issues ;) ) The thing that made me think of you is when he said,

“We marry people because we like the FEELING of being in love. We like how they make us FEEL. But, the funny things is nowhere in the marriage vows does it talk about even being in love with the other person. The marriage vows are all about promises that say,

I PROMISE to be faithful,

I PROMISE to be there when you’re healthy and sick,

I PROMISE to be there in the good and bad times,

I PROMISE to be there in your joy and your sorrow

I PROMISE to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

These marriage vows are promising to do these acts of love even when the person DOESN’T feel loving.“

This reminds me so much of beauty because a lot of the time I don’t feel beautiful either. I’m lucky because, I actually don’t need to FEEL beautiful because I KNOW I am beautiful. Feeling and knowing are two different things. I disregard how I feel about beauty, because I get the benefit of falling back on the FACT that I KNOW I’m beautiful. How do I know?

Here’s the thing, I know I didn’t get to choose how I got on this planet. I didn’t get to choose who my parents are, the country I live in, the color of my eyes or the size of my shoes. Just like the colors in a piece of art, the circumstances and the body parts I was born into are completely out of my control and in the hands of some crazy painter. I stand under the belief that the chances that I have an eating disorder, divorced parents, a loud voice, a flare for writing and was born a brunette with green eyes, in Orange County, California are all paint strokes on a canvas that go together for a reason. I didn’t get to choose which paint strokes put me together, but I’m here and I have faith that all the parts that put me together ARE BEAUTIFUL, therefore I AM BEAUTIFUL. I understand that the dark parts of my life are just as significant as the bright parts. I appreciate that all of me is a work of art and I wouldn’t change any of it. When you can embrace your weaknesses and your strengths you can see your beauty and eventually KNOW it.

You don’t feel beautiful, because feelings are so fickle ( I love that word! Rhymes with pickle!) feelings don’t last. Just like how a marriage won’t last if two people base their relationship on how they feel. You can’t base your beauty on how you feel or you’ll be at the mercy of the weather.

Something I have found to be very effective in helping me to KNOW my beauty has been through my actions. Rewrite Beautiful says beauty is an action of creativity, kindness and strength. I’ll tell you when I am creative; I write, I get to know my beauty. When I am kind; help one of the girls I mentor, I get to know my beauty. When I am strong; tell people when they have hurt my feelings; I get to know my beauty. You said that you have really low self-esteem right now. I used to have low self-esteem too. A really wise and amazing women named Jenny J. once told me, “If you want self-esteem you have to do estimable things.” I can promise you that if you do estimable things like acting out one creative, kind and strong thing a day your self-esteem will rise. I guarantee it.

One STRONG thing you could start with is by sticking up for yourself and  telling your boyfriend that he has hurt your feelings. I’m guessing you haven’t told him that he’s hurting your feelings because most guys I know would stop if they knew they were hurting me. Sometimes we’re too scared to tell them though. You might try saying, “When you say X,Y,Z. I feel hurt and sad.” See how he responds. In my experience, most guys want to be good to their girlfriend, help her, protect her, but if we don’t show them how to help and protect us they’re left in the dark.”

I think you would benefit from our next Street Art Workshop on Sunday, May 6th from Noon to 2pm. It’s free and has lunch provided. We’ll be helping people find their own creativity, kindness and strength and then giving them the opportunity to share that message with others. You can sign-up HERE: http://www.rewritebeautiful.org/get-involved

In the meantime, remember the marriage vows. Even though two people don’t feel in love, they know they have to act in love. It doesn’t matter if you feel beautiful, remember what you know makes you beautiful. I challenge you to find your creativity, kindness and strength this week, those are the things that make you beautiful. Let me know how it goes. BTW: I’m thinking of sharing this email with you on the Rewrite Beautiful blog ( I would keep your name anonymous of course.) Your pain and willingness to be vulnerable right now could actually help a lot of girls going through the same thing. 

You’re BEautiful,

Irvina

What do you think?

Do you understand why beauty can’t be a FEELING? What do you KNOW makes you beautiful?

Join the conversation below.

Posted: Apr 23, 2012
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Hey Beautiful friends!

Here’s a new easy way to raise money for your favorite cause, Rewrite Beautiful!  Starting Monday, April 30th Rewrite Beautiful is going to be partnering with DealGooder.com to raise much needed funds.  If you haven’t heard of Dealgooder yet, you need to get up on it peeps! It’s a new website that features incredible daily discounts on fun things to do in Orange County like restaurants, spas, etc. (And it was founded by a Newport Harbor High graduate like me! Go Sailors!) The best part is that on top of offering really great deals, they give HALF of their profits back to local nonprofits. 

Please sign-up with this referral code:www.dealgooder.com/ref/rewritebeautiful We get $2 for each sign-up! (Dude, I don’t even care if you decide to unsubscribe after the week is over. I just REALLY want you to check out the deals the week of April 30th to help out Rewrite Beautiful!)

Thank you so much for your support!

You’re BEautiful!

Irvina

Posted: Apr 20, 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!

Lindsey AKA “MY LGF” is my star-crossed sister from a different mister! We met in Orange County, CA when I was at the beginning of my eating disorder recovery. Regardless of my sanity, Lindsey has been my best friend in my great moments (starting Rewrite Beautiful) and worst moments (breaking and entering). She’s one of those friends who just gets me. When I tell her my crazy thoughts she doesn’t squint her face in confusion, she nods and says, “Oh I’ve been there.” And when I asked her to help me host the TELEIOS Art Show she eagerly found quite a few 2 hour time slots in her calendar for me. Not easy for this globe trotter! Lindsey has not only taught me the value of friendship, but also about the world outside of Orange County. Our passions are quite different and create some of the most colorful conversations I’ve been blessed to have! I hope you enjoy getting to know my brave, strong, beautiful friend; you’ll be better for knowing her, I know I am.

Irvina: Hello lova! Thanks for taking a study break to chat with me! Please tell all of our fine Rewrite Beautiful peeps about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Lindsey: I am currently working on my Masters in International Public Health at Boston University. I am about to begin my second semester, so on top of working on school I am also working on getting a part-time job or internship as well as getting to know the amazing city of Boston better.

Irvina: I am gushing with pride! I am so proud of you lady! Getting into Grad School is not easy!  I remember the Saturdays we spent in Starbucks, you working on your Grad School essays, applications, rec letters and me working on all things Rewrite Beautiful. Amazing to look at us now, hard work and faith really does pay off! Who knew?!  So tell us, what are you passionate about?

Lindsey: I am passionate about a variety of things, however the one that takes the cake is my passion for Public Health (hence my decision to return to school after 6 years). I have an unquenchable desire to help people, especially in developing countries, better their quality life. I desire to help educate, empower, and equip other people to make a difference in their lives and those of their community.

Irvina: Facts – You have a head of red and a heart of gold! Good combo! So, what do you do for fun?

Lindsey: I've realized the older I get the more of a nerd at heart I am. And I love that I live in such a huge city that offers a plethora of fun for nerds of all types... That being said, I love going to museums, art shows, seminars, movies, plays, and historical monuments. I also love reading and learning, traveling and seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and food, and photography. But I've also been known to enjoy a good night out on the town with friends, dancing, laughing and people watching... all of which I consider fun.

Irvina: Pocket protector and all, I think you make a pretty interesting nerd!  I can’t wait to visit you in Boston! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Lindsey: "Crazy" is a rather subjective word... And in the last 28 years I'm sure I've done many things considered "crazy," but to just pick one to share... hmmm. I've been skydiving, twice in one day. I've been to Uganda, 3 times in 2.5 years. Most recently though... after nearly 28 years of living on the left coast, I packed up & moved to the right coast - with only 8 boxes and 3 suitcases - knowing not a single soul in the city.

Irvina: You are incredibly brave my friend! BTW: I think moving across country and not knowing a soul is much crazier than your past Vegas antics. Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Lindsey: This is a hard question. I suppose however, that I am most proud of the volunteer work I've done in Uganda. I've been 3 separate times with my church ROCKHARBOR back in Orange County. Each trip was a 2 week missions trip focused on bringing love, aid and medical clinics to remote villages in northern Uganda. On the last two trips I was fortunate to serve as a co-leader, which meant I got to not only love on the people of Uganda, but also my teammates from the US. Each trip was an amazing, hard, growing, unforgettable experience - which also highly fueled my desire to return to school.

Irvina: Amazing how a little volunteering can lead you to your purpose in life isn’t it?! How true the quote is, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be” Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you exhibit most and why?

Lindsey: I think I exhibit Strength the most in my community. Not exactly how to answer the "why" though. I suppose I say Strength because I know I am very stubborn young woman, and while this character trait can get me into some trouble, when it comes to certain things it's an asset. For example, my stubbornness in my desire for more in life has challenged me to constantly step out of my comfort zone and not live the status quote most are after. Thus, the action of Strength I portray is one of pushing forward, regardless of how many times I fall, or fail, or hit a wall.

Irvina: As someone who knows you, I can vouch that you are one of the strongest women I have ever met! And I know a whole lot of women! So being a strong chick, who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Lindsey: Thankfully today, I have so many different beautiful women in my life it makes answering this question nearly impossible. Every woman I can think of is amazingly unique and beautiful for completely different reasons. I have an amazingly beautiful best friend who has an endless amount of grace and kindness who is also courageous fighter - starting a non-profit and applying to go back to school herself. I have another friend who's greatest pleasure in life is to serve others, and who is so selfless that it often leaves me baffled. She also has a huge heart for helping people living with HIV/AIDS and is also returning to school to get further education to compliment her RN degree. And then there are the mentors and the confidants I've been fortunate enough to have had throughout my years. Again all beautiful for their unique reasons, such as passion, determination, grace, gentleness, wisdom, compassion, and creativity.

Irvina: Well said woman! You have a good eye for beauty! And one last question, what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Lindsey: I wish young women knew that beauty - TRUE beauty - has so SO little to do with the outside. I wish they knew that despite what our media says, what our world says, what they even think about themselves - THEY are beautiful! I wish they knew that when we're all old, wrinkled and looking back on our life, beauty will be evident based on the actions we took - because of what we accomplished, who we helped, & how we made our communities a better place - it will NEVER be based on our waist size, bust size or hair color... no matter what the magazines say!! I also wish they knew that they have POWER - they have the opportunity to change our culture, our media, our current messages about beauty... all they have to do is find their voice, unite, and fight.

***Update! Lindsey has most recently accepted an internship in Ghana with Vestergaard Frandsen

  Follow her journey on Twitter HERE!  (If she'd ever update the friggin' thing ;)

 

 

Posted: Apr 17, 2012
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I’m on the 3rd drafts of my book How To: Rewrite Beautiful. It’s a series of essays on how to be Creative, Kind and Strong on a daily basis. It’s a preventative and restorative book for young women.

The book is preventative in that it will be used as the curriculum in our Beautiful Action Clubs in High School’s and Colleges. It’s restorative in that it’s also an inspiring read for any woman in her 20’s and 30’s. We’re talking about issues like self talk, following your dreams, success in life, sex and relationships....the youngin's will love it because we're talking about topics that parents and teachers feel a tad awkward talking about. It's the inside real deal, in Irvina-fashion all political correctness has been thown out! For us 20 somethings it's stuff that seems to never get old chatting about and I'm a pretty funny writer wink

This project has been a ton of work and so fun! I am stoked to be working with the amazing writing coach and editor Jeannette Encinias. Not only is Jeannette push me to do my best and kick my butt into gear on my grammar, but she’s an uber fabulous inspirational person to be coaching me through this book! Jeannette is a big follower of her dreams and has definitely done her work rewriting beauty for herself in our world. Check out her site www.jeannetteencinias.com and have a BEautiufl day!

You’re Beautiful,

Irvina

Posted: Apr 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!

How do I know so many talented, creative, brave, beautiful girls? Like must attract like ;) Haha! Well Kelsey pretty much just showed up on my door step! She's an old roommate of mine who was always baking up something good for her lady friends! These days Kelsey is getting ready to bake for quite a few more and it might be you! Check out the woman behind the scrumptidy yumptious KutiePies, Kelsey! 

Irvina: Please tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Kelsey: Currently I am in Florence, Italy going to Culinary School with a focus on Baking & Pastry. I am having a wonderful time being surrounded by a new culture, making new friends, and spending the whole day doing something I love – baking! In conjunction with this, I am figuring out exactly what I want my business, KutiePies, to evolve into when I return to America. I look for inspiration and new ideas daily that I will incorporate into my own business.

Irvina: Wow! What an amazing opportunity! I can’t wait to see what direction you take KutiePies in! If you need a taste tester, I’m your girl! So besides baking delicious, adorable treats, what else are you passionate about?

Kelsey: God. Family. Friends. Creativity. I believe that God is behind every passion that stirs up in my heart. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the path He has provided me, the free will He has given me, and the friends and family he has surrounded me with as a support system. I think imagination and creativity are things that should be carried on way past childhood, but somehow we get lost in the hustle and bustle of adulthood. I have always had a huge passion to maintain that childlike imagination and encourage others to do the same.

Irvina: I love that! That’s a beautiful approach to life! So, what do you do for fun?

Kelsey: At the moment, I bake every day in school, and that is fun! Aside from that, I like to travel to new places, play tennis, hike, and journal. I love to write as it allows me to get my thoughts out. One of my favorite things to do it actually to look back at my writings from years at a time to see how much change has taken place in my life.

Irvina: Isn’t that the truth? I’m a big journaler too! I love to go back and remind myself of lessons I’ve learned. I also love to reference my journal when I’m in moments of chaos (the Latina in me can be a tid bit dramatic, so it happens often) and remind myself what I believed when I wasn’t in the middle of a crisis.  Anyways, so whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Kelsey: I am most proud of my decision to start catering while I was still working. Although I was just baking, I feel like I was able to contribute to memories that many people will have for a lifetime. A goal I have in catering events is to adapt to the theme and make eating desserts more of a full experience versus just having a sweet treat. I had the opportunity to cater weddings, baby showers, corporate events, etc., and I always made sure that the desserts not only tasted how they were expected to, but that they added a visual memory of every event I catered. I look forward to enhancing this goal as I move forward with my business.

Irvina: Wow Kelsey, you sound like a TRUE artist! The culinary world is lucky to have you! You take craft seriously! I love it! So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Kelsey: This is a tough question to answer, but I’d have to say I exhibit kindness the most. I have always had a passion of helping others, in whatever way that looks. I believe that a simple act of kindness can go a long way, and it doesn’t hurt to spread love throughout the world.

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

Kelsey: The most beautiful woman I know is my Mom, LeAnn Richards. She is the strongest woman I know; full of passion in everything she does, and could be the definition of integrity. My parents own a business with hundreds of employees, but my Mom’s passion is “growing people”. She touches every life she comes into contact with, and she has always been the voice in my head telling me to follow my dreams no matter what the world says or tries to do to stop me. She doesn’t care how hard a situation may be, she will always be honest to herself and others. I go to her on advice for all aspects of my life whether it is my business, my dreams, my relationships - I don't know what I'd do without her!

Irvina: She sounds amazing and very loved! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Kelsey: Beauty truly does come from within. Confidence shines through, and confidence comes from knowing that you are the woman God created you to be, you are exactly where He wants you in life at this exact moment, and you will get through whatever comes your way. One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. Dreams are so powerful, and I believe every woman has dreams in her heart. We are meant to follow those dreams and to pursue what we are passionate about. One question my Mom always asks me is, “why not?” Why not go after your dreams? Why not live every day to the max, full of passion, and doing what you love? Beauty shines through when you allow yourself to be the woman God called you to be, the woman who follows those dreams she has had since a child and the woman that you really are.

Irvina: I’m so INSPIRED by you and your mom! Thank you for sharing your life with us today! Ciao bella! 

Posted: Apr 4, 2012
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