Beautiful Girl of the Week

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!

Julie is a writer, spiritual director, friend and SoCal girl looking to live outside the siren song of materialism and consumerism. Within the first few minutes of meeting Julie I knew I felt totally comfortable in her presence. As you read our interview you’ll see why. Julie is a confident, loving, earth mama who knows how to get the most out of living simply in this world!

Irvina: Tell our beautiful friends about a fun project you’re currently working on…

Julie: I am working on a blog called The Twenty Pieces Project. My friend Cate and I have committed to wearing only twenty items of clothing for 2012.  It is a little experiment in curating, spiritual discipline, and fashion. Who would think all of those things would go together?!

Irvina: Oh my goodness! I checked out The Twenty Pieces Project and it is incredible! So rad! Having only 20 pieces in my closet would be difficult, but also so freeing! I’m really inspired by what you’re learning from this project! Julie, what are you passionate about?

Julie: I am really passionate about helping people "gain sight."  I think that is the best way I could put it.  We are all so limited in what we can actually see based on our life experiences, family, and culture of origin.  We all need some help seeing, identifying our blind spot, and challenging some ideas that can be quite toxic in our lives.  All of my work as a spiritual director, artist, and blogger has this common theme.

Irvina: I love seeing people weave a common theme into their passions. It just goes to show why we each one of us has our own unique mission! What do you do for fun?

Julie: So many things I do are fun for me.  I love painting, good conversations with friends, cooking, taking walks, grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, visiting the turtle that lives in the pond across the street from my house, and when it is warm enough, swimming in the ocean, sometimes I even get in when it's really cold because I love it so much.

Irvina: Yikes! I can’t stand cold water! You really are a warrior! From bone to bathing suit! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Julie: Ever!? Oh My. It does not feel crazy to me, but I have been called crazy for co-founding the Twenty Pieces Project and committing to 20 items of clothing for a year.  I was once in a parade in Japan.  I lived in an army tent for a while after Hurricane Katrina while I was there as a long term relief worker.  I decided to pursue being an entrepreneur in a slump economy.  All of those things are a bit crazy. 

Irvina: They sound pretty EXCITING to me! Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Julie: I think I am most creatively expressive as a painter and a spiritual director.  Both crafts require me to lean into unknown territory and navigate new ways of communicating my own heart and helping others communicate theirs.  I think there is an inherent kindness in this craft because it is a discipline of giving voice to voiceless parts of the soul, whether mine or others.  This is a way to consider another higher than myself.  When I give space to another to express their heart in their own way, I show them that they are worthy of being known and loved and hopefully they feel loved in the process.

Irvina: I never thought of that particular benefit of allowing others to express themselves. Totally makes sense and is so interesting! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Julie: The one who comes to mind is a little nun I studied under.  Her name is Sister Barbara.  I studied under her for 3 years and have never met a woman so kind, gracious, strong, loving, and gentle.  It was amazing to watch people open their hearts in her presence.  Her kindness made us all feel so safe and inspired us to live with the same kind of open heart.

Irvina: “Her kindness made us feel safe and inspired!” I love that! And what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Julie: What I wish young women new is the same thing I wish I knew better.  I wish I knew that inner beauty is more powerful than outer beauty.  Norms of outer beauty are very powerful in their ability to destroy, but inner beauty has the ability to heal and bring back to life what seemed dead.  That is an incredible power!

What about Julie inspired you?

Could you commit to living for one year with 20 pieces of clothing and no shopping?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Jul 17, 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!

They say, “In New York, you either sink or you swim.” Considering that Ashley is a part of the highly anticipated, rave reviewed, new magazine, Verily I’m gonna guess that Ashley is a swimmer! Verily is an INCREDIBLE magazine for young women who want to make wise choices, build their character and create their dreams! Seriously, I’ve never seen another one like it! Every article I read leaves me optimistic, strong and empowered. As the Relationship Editor of this trend setting mag Ashley, has many looking to her for advice, but by the looks of the strength of her inner beauty, this power house can handle it.

Irvina: Tell our sweet peeps about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Ashley: This summer, I'm so excited to head to Ireland with my sister and speak at an international conference to college students about beauty and healthy relationships! I'm so excited to explore the countryside with my sister and maybe even live one of my dreams - to ride a horse on a beach! But, wish me luck - I have a lot of writing to do before then!

Irvina: Rock on woman! Rock on! I love that you’re giving back this summer and taking time to explore yourself. So important to keep those even! What are you passionate about?

Ashley: I am passionate about so many things. But, in my heart of hearts, I am most passionate about helping women see and understand their inherent worth, and then live it out in thriving, loving relationships with others. For example, I have seen in my own life and in the lives of my friends that sometimes women don't believe they are truly beautiful or truly worthy of love, and so they unfortunately sabotage themselves from having loving relationships or settle for less than they were made for. I would love to see women truly understand how much they are loved by their Creator in a personal way. I would love to see women transformed by this knowledge and be able to truly love themselves and others in healthy, happy relationships.

Irvina: Are you my long lost sister?! Wow! We have very similar passions! I’m stoked to hear that because we’re pretty awesome! What do you do for fun?

Ashley: Fun is the spice of life and New York City has endless opportunities for it. I love finding fun and beauty in the everyday elements of life, from a conversation with friends, to an afternoon spent reading in Central Park with a latte in hand, to a spontaneous trip to a museum or fashion show featuring a new designer. Currently, I am trying to teach myself to play the guitar and learn to surf. But, I'm always up for a weekend trip away for camping and hiking, or an excursion to a new restaurant to check out a great new cuisine - Greek food is excellent!

Irvina: You’re definitely an explorer! Life is so much more fun that way! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Ashley: "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." This past year, I have been swept up in an incredible adventure, working with four outstanding women and dear friends to launch a fashion and lifestyle magazine called Verily. Studies show that after just 3 minutes of looking at an average fashion magazine, women walk away feeling worse about themselves. But, Verily offers something different. It is a fashion and lifestyle magazine exploring how to thrive as authentic, modern women. We are daring to start fresh conversations -- style that complements rather than compromises, real relationship coverage that goes beyond sex tips, engaging articles that surpass tired rhetoric -- to discover the beauty in everyday life through fashion, relationships, lifestyle, and culture. We are trying to combine smart content, inspiration, beautiful design, and real stories that engage women from all walks of life in conversation. We want to present a magazine that speaks to real women - all of the interviews and journalism provide practical and valuable information with interesting perspectives on fashion, relationships, lifestyle, and culture not heard in other magazines. The website also has a blog that is meaty and thought-provoking with interesting tidbits every day throughout the week, too. Overall, we are trying to offer a positive, uplifting magazine that is a breath of fresh air and leaves women feeling affirmed and motivated. It has forced me to grow and embark on new challenges I never would have guessed I would be doing – but I'm holding on for the ride!

Irvina: I love Verily! I have been reading it since it was published and I’m seriously one of your biggest fans! It is like no other magazine I’ve read. Definitely for our generation of girls who want to grow to be strong women of character. Bravo! It’s a beautiful concept! Ashley, what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Ashley: Women are called to bring beauty into the world in a very unique and specific way. Each woman has a role to play in bringing this beauty into the communities around her, whether through friendship, as a sister or daughter, as a girlfriend, coworker, or wife. Without her contribution, the world will be a little less beautiful. A woman brings beauty into the world through her loving relationships with those in her life - where two people are genuine and real with one another, and authentically helping each other to become the best version of themselves. The best way that a woman can come to understand her own beauty is by entering into a loving and personal relationship with her Creator and receiving His love into her heart, so that she radiates it outwards to others in whatever path she takes in life. Being beautiful is about daily making the choice "Today, I'm going to love."

What about Ashleys beauty inspired you?

Do you want to encourage the women around you to live well?

How would you do it?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Jun 25, 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!

ROCKHARBOR is one of Rewrite Beautiful’s BFF’s and awesome donors! They have an amazing team of people on staff and Brooke is one of them. Brooke is the Pastoral Care Associate at ROCKHARBOR. Brooke plays a big role in leading and supporting multiple teams. However, our interview with Brooke today shows who she is outside of her job. It’s quite apparent that the strong woman who shows up for her co-workers, friends and family spends a lot of time being an authentic, honest, caring human being. Practice makes Brooke! Check this beauty out!

Irvina: Brooke tell us what you are passionate about?

Brooke: I am passionate about community and about the church. I genuinely believe that the church, when done well was a wonderful plan for the kingdom of God. I believe that healthy communities can prevent so much brokenness and can lead to beautiful growth in people. 

Irvina: Funny, it sounds like we have similar passions! We believe when the world has healthy girls we can have healthy communities. It’s like we’re piggy backing off each other!  Love it! What do you do for fun?

Brooke: I enjoy baking, although I hardly ever make time for it. I play the piano and I love a good book. My husband and I have a bad habit of getting addicted to TV shows and watching entire seasons in one night and spending countless hours with family and friends.

Irvina: Awe! That doesn’t sound so bad! It’s beautiful thing to have family you want to hang with. I’ve done the whole season thing before too. Can you say Pushing Daisy’s?  What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? 

Brooke: I went white water rafting in Switzerland...it doesn't sound that crazy, but it was.

Irvina: I think you’re the second Beautiful Girl of the Week who has gone white water rafting! I want to go so bad! I’m gonna make it happen! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Brooke: I'm most proud of my relationships. Some of them are casual friendships, some of them deep intimate relationships and others are counseling relationships.  In all I come in contact with the hope to be the person that they know will listen rather than always give advice and that when I do give advice that it would be sound and Biblical wisdom.  I put a lot of effort in my relationships and I hope that people are blessed by me. 

Irvina: I bet they are Brooke! Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Brooke: I think that I most exhibit kindness, or at least I try to. I try and understand people as they are, love them where they are at and encourage them towards grace and wisdom. Unfortunately I'm far from perfect in this area.

Irvina: Haha! As am I! At least we’re trying! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Brooke: My mother is a very beautiful woman to me.  She is a counselor to many, and loyal friend, a women of GREAT faith, and she is overflowing with character.  I am grateful to have a wonderful role model to live up to.

 Irvina: She sounds lovely. Brooke, what do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Brooke: I wish they knew that physical beauty fades, and it won't do anything for them in the long run.  Time is much better used developing our character, personality, creativity, kindness and relationships.

What about Brooke inspires you?

Are you proud of your relationships?

Do you make time to be there for the people you love?

Do you make time for people who need to be loved?

Join the conversation below!

 

Posted: Jun 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!

I met Elana on a trip to India in 2010. We both went to learn more about the work being done by the non-profit Harvest India and to see how we could use our talents to help once we returned to the states. Being the creative woman Elana is she saw TONS of ways she could get involved and got right to it. For one she partnered with her friend and created an annual art show that benefits Harvest India. Elana has gone on to partner with other non-profit organizations involved in India sharing her gifts of photography, painting and writing. I’m constantly inspired by this talented and brave girl and know you will be too!   

Irvina: Hey lady! Tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?

Elana: I am currently working on a very important project...myself! I have spent the last several months working on an art show, Da:lit that benefits people in southern India. I put it together with my good friend, but after the show was over I decided to take a season of my life to better myself and allow myself rest and rejuvenation. It's important to take time for self-care and growth so that we can be effective and healthy participants in the world.
 

Irvina: Word! I’m a big fan of self care! We can’t help anyone if we’re not rested, relaxed and ready to rock! What are you passionate about?

Elana: So, SO many things...creating art, photography, India, traveling, music, finding the perfect soy cappuccino, art history and museums, exotic cuisine, communing with nature, loving others well, learning and growing...and of course, Jesus.

Irvina: Awe, so much exploring! I love it! I’m personally on a mission to get rice milk cappuccinos carried in the local coffee shops! Wish me luck! What do you do for fun?

Elana: Lots of creating, traveling, yoga, running, spending quality time with people I love, reading (insatiably), scuba diving, trying new things, trivia, and taking long drives.

Irvina: Quality time! That’s a good Love Language! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Elana: The craziest thing I have ever done (that I'm at liberty to discuss!) is lived in India for 9 months...because India, though AMAZING, is the absolute craziest place I have ever visited (and I've traveled quite a bit).

Irvina: Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Elana: I am proud to say that I have channeled my creativity and passion for other cultures into 2 major milestones in my life. The first of those was starting my own business as a wedding and event photographer, Elana Grace Photography. After graduating college with a degree in photography, I knew I wanted to tell the stories of others through a medium I had come to feel extremely passionate about. The art of capturing stills is the perfect marriage of technical know-how and artistic vision, both areas I love to challenge myself in.

Irvina: I love a woman whose up for a challenge! I’m constantly inspired by your work Elana, so please keep up with the challenges! Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Elana: I am an inherently creative person (for which I am grateful!) and everything I do encompasses my love for the arts. Recently, I planned and hosted a benefit art show that raised money for Harvest India. It was the least I could do to raise community awareness of an amazing cause in India. Raising awareness and action through the arts and through creativity is something I absolutely live for! If I can spur people on through art to a worthy cause and inspire them to affect change in the world, then I feel I have lived up to a purpose greater than myself.

Irvina: “Spur people on through art to a worthy cause and inspire them” Shiz! I’m gonna use that! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Elana: Easy, my mother. She has not only raised me (which was more than a slight challenge at times), but she did so with grace, love, and creativity, all while inspiring me to be a better human being. My mother is extremely artistic and has a beautiful spirit that is fueled by challenge and adventure. She has the most amazing green thumb of anyone I know and is truly at peace in the midst of her abundant garden. She constantly aligns herself with what she believes is God's best and has kept a strong spirit through some extremely difficult trials in her life. She seeks to serve, love, and champion those in her life and accomplishes that in ways that constantly blow me away.

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

Elana:  I wish that young women were aware of the power, passion, and internal beauty they possess that could literally change the world if they let them. Beauty has become associated to a very narrow view that encompasses only superficial looks, youth, and visual presentation. The idea of what's truly beautiful does not lie in what we see in the mirror but what our Creator sees in us...and we can be confident that we all have beautiful attributes to contribute to this life.

What about Elanas creativity inspired you?

What talents can you use to bring attention to a cause?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Jun 13, 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!

When I chose to throw a dramatic teenage huff and run away from home, I threw my jeans, a couple T-Shirts and a bottle of perfume in my backpack and  ended up down the street at Rebecca’s house. Two hours later when I called my mom, apologized and asked for a ride to the OC Fair, Rebecca shrugged her shoulders and got in the car. In almost 15  years of friendship Rebecca has been there while I have run from and toward lot of things. I’m blessed to have had such a patient, genuinely caring and generous friend like Rebecca who helped me through those times. There is a verse in the bible that says, “To those who much has been given, much will be required.” I think of Rebecca as one of those people. She has numerous gifts of creativity, generosity and passion that are equally matched with her ability to kindly give those gifts to others. I have learned so much from Rebecca over the past few years about being a friend, a creative human and a good woman. I hope you learn some of the same in our interview today…

Irvina: Thanks for talking to us today friend! So tell us, what is a fun project you’re currently working on?

Rebecca: Well, I recently quit my full time office job in order to pursue two dreams: my own creative business, Sleepy Dreamer Designs and becoming a mom. It has been fun to spend some time deciding which direction I want my business to go in. I am currently working on graphic design projects including: wedding invitations, logo designs, blog headers, web ads and some work for Rewrite Beautiful! I am also just diving into the new and scary goal of starting my own accessory line. Wish me luck!

Irvina: You are uber talented my friend! I’m sure you’ll be super duper successful at anything you put your mind and computer mouse grease to! Tell our readers what are you passionate about?

Rebecca: I am passionate about so many things. It is a quality I love about myself, but it can also get overwhelming sometimes when you want to do everything. Just to name a few, I am passionate about my faith, being kind to others, and being creative. I find that if I am not spending some portion of my time being creative I start to feel antsy. It is also so satisfying to be nice to people, especially when they least expect it!

Irvina: Now that I think about it your many passions are what I love about you too! You’re creative brain is always going! I love hearing you talk about being an FBI agent one minute and designing dolls the next! You’re not the average Goldie Locks and I like it! What do you do for fun?

Rebecca: Lately for fun I have been taking naps. But when I'm not pregnant I love to play guitar, sing, take photos, hike and try to surf!

Irvina: A nap after surfing sounds soooooooo nice! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Rebecca: Skydiving was pretty crazy, I guess. I also had some adventures while backpacking through Europe, like participating in the biggest food fight in the world in Bunol, Spain and "canyoning" in the beautiful mountains and waterfalls of Slovenia.

Irvina: Yeah travel! So fun! Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?

Rebecca: I think the greatest things we can contribute to the world are the things that most positively affect others. I would love to say that I made some big change in the world with one of my creative or design endeavors, however I think that the little acts of kindness we perform throughout our lives add up to the most good. I also think trying to be the best mom I can be will probably be the biggest contribution I will ever make.

Irvina: I think your little acts of kindness have ALREADY impacted the world. You’ve been super nice to me and look how I turned out wink So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?

Rebecca: Creativity through my blog and Etsy site. I also recently taught a fashion design class to students in the little North Shore community of Hawaii I live in. Sharing my knowledge and working to inspire others to be creative and peruse their dreams was so fulfilling!

Irvina: Yeah! That’s what I like to hear! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?

Rebecca: I have been blessed with a beautiful mother. She is full of kindness, generosity, patience, hard work and a sincere love for others. She raised and supported our family of 5 basically on her own and just retired from 30 or more years of teaching special education. She has contributed so much to the world so far in her life and I hope to be half as beautiful as her when I am her age.

Irvina: Your mama is a pretty amazing lady! I see where you get it from! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?

Rebecca: I want them all to know something I learned the hard way. Beauty is not defined by how the world reacts to your outward appearance. Beauty isn't handed to you by someone else who thinks your beautiful. Beauty's source is from within. We all inherently have so much worth that might be hard for us to recognize at times, but we must keep reminding ourselves of our true value. When we realize our true beauty, we can exude that inner confidence that allows us to make the best out of our circumstances, opportunities and talents.

What about Rebeccas beautiful life inspired you to be creative?

What is a goal you have?

What are you passionate about?

Join the conversation below!

Posted: Jun 5, 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’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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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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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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