Monday, January 31, 2011

Tell Her She's Beautiful

I’m not going to lie, I love Facebook. Yes it may control our souls, a lot of time can be wasted scrolling through pictures and Mark Zuckerberg’s servers definitely know way too much about my life, but good can come from it too. I’ve personally reconnected with friends around the world, shared good laughs, and learned a lot more than “oooo Steve and Susie are in a complicated relationship.” Every once in a while I stumble across a new event or fanpage that I just want to share with everyone (besides Guiltless-are you a fan yet??) Yesterday I got an inviteto an event called “Tell Her She’s Beautiful” and of course I was intrigued.

What is Tell her she’s beautiful?

The point of the event is to tell someone that you believe is beautiful that they are beautiful, and I mean anyone. Mother, father, brother, sister, dog, cat, girlfriend, boyfriend. Remind someone who you truly believe is beautiful that they are beautiful because even just saying it will make that moment of their day that much happier. So go out, and tell someone that they are beautiful, you can change a day or even a life.

And we aren’t just talking about appearance. Beauty emanates from within, for both men and women. If you prefer to call the beautiful males in your life handsome, so be it, but you get the picture.

I love that Josh chose February for this month of beauty because it shares the love the comes around the 14th (good ol’ V-Day) with everyone, and it is also National Eating Disorder Awareness Month. While not all eating disorders come from a place of wanting to be more beautiful, doing so can increase the self-confidence of those around you and help them feel better about themselves, just the way they are, right now. We can all use a reminder, and the self-esteem boost that comes from being told "you're beautiful!"

Remember everyone, you ARE beautiful.

Join on Facebook

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Love my Red Wine Mouth!

"I Love my Red Wine Mouth." -Mike

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Body is a Vehicle

I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament. -Alanis Morissette

Your body is powerful and skilled, beautiful and smart.
Focus not on what it looks like - but what it can do.

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You can train your body to do amazing things.
It's your vehicle for fun, exercise, leisure, and love.

The longest relationship you will ever have is the one with your body. It lasts from birth until death and is the one who knows you best.

The body can surprise you...It has incredible strength and life within.

Photo Source

Show your body a little love today!

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What will you today today to show yourself appreciation?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Make-up- Friend or Foe?

I’ve been thinking a lot about make-up lately. Stephanie’s post last week on the price of beauty prompted me to put some thoughts onto digital “paper”. I love makeup. I remember the first piece of makeup I ever bought like it was yesterday. In celebration of my rising womanhood, my mom decided to let me go to the cosmetic’s department of Nordstroms and get a mini-makeover at Stilla, and select 4 of my favorite products. A beautiful violet, and silver eyeliner, black mascara, and shimmer power seemed like treasure in my 12 year old hands. I never doubted my appearance, but these new toys were so fun and sparkly-who wouldn’t love them? I went through stages of blue eye shadow and rancoon eyeliner in middle school, and experimented with winged liquid eyeliner in highschool. Eventually tinted moisturizer and black eyeliner became my staples and it began to feel strange to see my reflection in the mirror without those two. It was a grown-up extension of playing “dress-up” with the ability to enhance features and cover up flaws.

But I also am trying to learn that it is ok to go without makeup. I skip it when going to the gym (don’t want to clog those pores) and linger on Saturday mornings without “my face on.” But it is a learning curve, especially in a culture where beauty & perfection is so idolized. The Daily Mail is reporting that a survey of 3,000 women has found that 1/3 of them wouldn't not go out to the grocery store without make-up on. One in ten women said they wouldn't allow their boyfriends to see them without makeup. Your boyfriend who is supposed to love and care for you and you wouldn’t let him see you without your makeup on-ever?

Alexis Wolfer of The Beauty Bean has started a movement called Makeup Free Monday which basically describes itself-going sans make-up on Mondays. She says that it’s “ about empowerment. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about being beautiful just the way you are. It’s about doing all of this on your own terms. It’s about promoting confidence.”

So on this topic I try to ride the line of balance. I enjoy getting made-up, playing with new beauty products and having fun with it. Today I swear by bare minerals, love my Benefit BADgal mascara, and adore tarte’s long-lasting (and paraban free!) eggplant eyeliner.But I also remind myself that I don’t need make-up to be me, that I am still Elizabeth without foundation, mascara and eyeliner. True radiance comes from inside. (oh and fyi- vegetables make your skin glow more than tanning, just so you know!) I will never burn my brushes and swear off makeup forever, but I am learning to be comfortable in my own, bare, skin.

The Glamour article that highlighted these results received over 100 comments of women fighting both sides-never without, never wearing and everywhere in between. What are your thoughts on makeup? Makeup Addict, Artist, or Abstainer?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Feel Good About Who You Are On The Inside

By: Sara Patterson,

image source

I’ve never been a great writer but I always thought I was ok. When I was a kid, I thought that I wanted to write children’s books when I grew up. I used to write short stories and even sent a few to publishers. As often is the case, all of them were rejected.

Thus, my dreams of becoming a writer went down the tubes.

Self confidence is the key to everything. If you feel good about yourself, everything else will fall into place. It took me a long time to realize that important point. In fact, it’s still something I struggle with on a daily basis.

Recently, I started a new job, bringing with it new expectations, new people and new experiences. All of these things can be incredibly exciting and potentially overwhelming. I’ve learned that not everyone is going to love what you do or embrace your newness wholeheartedly. It may take people a while to get to know the real you.

Sometimes at work we feel that others’ expectations are not in line with our own abilities. That’s a tough thing to deal with and a situation over which we have little control. All of these things can take a toll on a person’s valuable self esteem. When you’re starting to feel down on yourself, it’s easy to let things spiral into a place from which it’s difficult to recover. A situation can go from one irritating email to an argument with a coworker in minutes, leaving you feeling down in the dumps. It’s easy to get discouraged.

I’ve learned that when I get frustrated with my own performance or with others’ expectations to sit back, take a deep breath and try to think clearly before I take the next step. You don’t have to be great at any one thing; you just have to love what you’re doing. Having the self esteem to be who you are and stand up for what you believe in is one of the most valuable feelings in the world. What do you love about your life?

It only took a little push and some kind words from my good friend Steph to get me to write this, my first ever, blog post. A little encouragement from friends and family goes a long way.

Be who you are and do your best. That should be good enough for everyone.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. -Buddha

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cash for Beauty

Taking joy in living is a woman's best cosmetic. ~Rosalind Russell

By: Stephanie Horton

Over the weekend, I was putting on make-up and came to a realization: As I get older, I spend more money on my appearance with almost every year. "Is this true for everyone?" I anxiously thought.

My hair appointments have increased in expense by about $75 every 6-8 weeks compared to 1 year ago. My eye-brow grooming has increased by approximately $25 every 4-5 weeks compared to 1 year ago. My shampoo & conditioner went from Alba to Bumble & Bumble (about a $25 increase) over last summer. My lotions and perfumes are much more expensive now compared to two years ago. My make-up quality has drastically improved over time, but with that comes a drastic increase in price ($35 for mascara, $90 for primer and foundation combined, $25 for eye-liner, etc.) My gym membership and personal training preferences have increased by about $100 per month as of three weeks ago! My clothes cost more. My food costs more. And on top of all that, I've grown accustomed to getting weekly or biweekly manicures and pedicures. And lately, I've been considering fitting routine facials into my schedule. The list goes on and on!

I wonder if most women can relate with what I am saying or if I sound like a complete lunatic. After all, who would pay over $25 for shampoo?! Apparently, I of Guiltless, advocate of self-love, preacher of self-acceptance. And of course, I can rationalize each and every single one of these price increases, and I feel anxious and somewhat fearful when I consider changing even one of them! On one hand, this is comedic. But let's face it, it's also a little scary. Does my taste in beauty products and salon services have a cap on expense or will I continue to fork it over more and more as I age?

Something about the expensive products and services makes me feel sexier, more professional, pretty and polished, aware and in-tune. It's somewhat of an addiction, and one that I have been completely unwilling to admit to as a potential problem until this moment. Some things, I still believe, are worth the extra cash. For example, a gym membership that inspires your workouts or fresh produce that gets you in the kitchen - these are things I will not sacrifice (along with my eye brow shaping, because let's face it, Italian eye brows require true professional care). But the lotions and perfumes, make-up and nail appointments are a bit excessive.

I want to challenge myself to spend just a little less on my appearance, which I feel will be a step toward self-acceptance. I won't sacrifice the things that I believe are actually worth it, but a few changes here in there can't hurt! I am ready to take the plunge!

First step: Purchase cheaper shampoo and conditioner.

Any recommendations?

Do you relate with this problem?
How much of our bank accounts are we willing to sacrifice to perceived beauty?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Power of Positivity

I’m not going to lie-I am a very positive person. I am often described as optimistic and upbeat, always full of energy. So when I saw the book “Positivity” by Barbara Fredrickson PhD in the public library I knew I wanted to read it-as it claimed to provide a scientific explanation of why positive emotions are so important and how they can be used to overcome negativity and flourish in life. Fredrickson has the neat job of being a professor and “principal investigator of positive emotion and psychophysiology laboratory of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill”

She does not adapt the “Pollyanna view” of 100% positivity 100% of the time. Rather she acknowledges the entire spectrum of human emotions and says life is sweetest when your positivity to negativity ratio is 3 to 1. So for every negative emotion you have you have at least 3 positive emotions. This ratio does not have to be achieved at all moments, or even once a day, but rather when looking at the larger scheme of things.

Positivity is a renewable resource. You can seed more of it in your life, and as those seeds grow you flourish.

There are 10 main forms of positivity: Joy, Gratitude, Serenity, Interest, Hope, Pride, Amusement, Inspiration, Awe and Love. Everyone experiences them slightly differently, and different actions/events/items can lead to these emotions, but they are universal.

When you think about these emotions, ask yourself: “When was the last time you felt one of these emotions? Where was I? What was I doing? What gives me this feeling?” recognizing these things can help to bring awareness to what fills you with positivity.

I agree with her tips to increase positivity, including:

Count Your Blessings-What do you appreciate, and feel truly grateful for? Expressing that graditude in words or actions will help boost both your mood and their giver of such blessings.

Follow Your Passions: If you are living a passionate life, where you follow activities that you find fun and enjoyable you are more likely to have more positive thoughts.

Dream about your Future: Think of the best possible outcome of the next couple years. Where would you like to be in 5 years? Visualizing this wonderful future can help you bring these dreams into reality

Connect with Others: You don’t have to do this alone. Building trusting, warm relationships with others will help you grow as a person. I know if I’m having a bad day, even if all I want to do is crawl back to my room, seeing someone I care about and who supports me always makes things better.

Connect with Nature: There’s nothing like fresh air, trees, even just plain green grass to ground you back to the present. Stop to smell the flowers. Take a walk around the block, even if it’s snowing.

Make Gratitude a Ritual- Notice the gifts that you are given daily by taking the time to record them, in a gratitude journal, or even just creating a word document of things to be grateful for.

Practice Loving-Kindness meditation: Taking 10 minutes a day to project positive aspirations and thoughts out into the world is way to increase mindfulness and positivity. Read the post I wrote for the Me Movement on Meditation.

If you want to know what your positivity ratio is right now, head over to and take a few moments to reflect over your day. I also recommend the website which helps to identify your top strengths and how you can help them grow.

I challenge you to this week notice more positive things about your life. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your body or your relationship with food, accentuate the positive. Now is the time to flourish! Remember this quote by Diane Ackerman:

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

What fills you with Joy, Gratitude, Serenity, Interest, Hope, Pride, Amusement, Inspiration, Awe and Love today?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Your flaws are flawless.

Thank you, Caitlin Crosby for creating this beautiful song and video.

We couldn't agree more!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Be Good to your Temple

"Our body is a vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” - Buddha

by: Stephanie Horton

Body Image is powerful thought processes that can either bring you joy or present you with struggle. Negative body image has the potential to result in life-threatening conditions such as eating disorders, and today, millions of Americans are unhappy with their bodies. In fact, 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance, and even scarier, 80% of children who are ten years old are afraid of being fat. 80%!!!! That is an incredibly large and disheartening number. We are living in a time when poor body image is eating us alive as it causes many to live without eating.

It’s time we start a body image revolution.

As many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life or death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia. Even though eating disorders are the leading killers among the mental illnesses, they receive the least amount of funding compared to other psychological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Schizophrenia. If you'd like to get involved and help in the fight against eating disorders, visit The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) website for more information.

The path to self-love is no well-traveled road with signs and lane dividers. It can be dark at times, bright at others, but it’s always easy to get lost. We all encounter obstacles during the ride, but the destination remains the same: The point at which we treat ourselves with respect and gratitude.
Here are a few tips for celebrating yourself and your body:

  1. Be committed to yourself - Everything starts at home, so work on loving yourself first.
  2. View popular media with a critical eye, and remember that media is a story - not reality.
  3. Write a letter to a company you think is doing a great job with advertising by providing inspiring messages that encourage the natural diversity of human beings. One of my favorites is Dove!
  4. List 5 things about yourself that make you smile.
  5. Look in the mirror and say, “I love my -fill in the blank-.”

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Secrets of Attractiveness

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness, For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people, For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry, For Beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day, For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”-Audrey Hepburn

I love this quote by the lovely Miss Hepburn, because as much as I believe in treating yourself well, I believe it is equally important to share that love with others. Service, to those you love, or total strangers, helps to build your strength, and appreciation for what you have even more. It takes you out of any current obsession you might have with your body or food, and brings you back to the bigger picture. It’s hard to worry about the shape of your thighs when they are helping you carry huge crates of donated food in a soup kitchen. Worries about jiggling arms disappear when you are hugging a crying friend. So while we make 2011 a year of self-care, let’s also think about those who made need our help a little. If you need some jumping off points start here:

· Donate a few hours a week to a local children’s hospital

· Bag donations at a food shelter

· Volunteer on a suicide or eating disorder hotline

· Play with abandoned animals at your local shelter

· Offer to listen to a friend who may be struggling right now

By caring for others I hope that you will also learn how to care for yourself. Here’s to self-discovery through service.

Have you ever found that volunteering helps to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence?

Friday, January 7, 2011

I love my sore legs!

"I love my sore legs" - Missy Giordiano

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fall Seven Times - Stand up Eight

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! -H.D. Thoreau

By: Stephanie Horton

I never used to make New Year's resolutions. Not because I thought I had nothing to improve upon, absolutely not. But because I was extremely afraid of failing, which would undoubtedly cause even more pain than the characteristic I was initially trying to resolve.

What is it about failure that causes such fear and angst? Is it the the way we feel failure portrays us to others? Or is it the reflection we encounter each morning? Why is failure so scary when in fact it can be so incredibly educational?

For every single achievement, I have made at least one mistake. And with that thought in mind, I am going to allow myself to set a few goals for the New Year without fear of failing. My first and foremost goal is to remain positive about myself and my life through whatever may come my way whether it be luck or struggle. If we let fear of failure take the reigns of our lives, surely only destruction will follow. Failure is inevitable, but defeat is optional.

Be guiltless this year. Make these 365 days ones of risk & triumph, trial & error, and of course, enjoy the days and be well!

What will you do today that scares you a little?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Celebrate Achievements

While I may not be a fan of New Years resolutions, I do believe one thing we can all bring into 2011 is the ability to celebrate and acknowledge our achievements. Acknowledging achievement on a daily basis is a fantastic way to develop self esteem. You are great, and it's time to let the world know
  • Reflect Take a moment to relax and write down your achievements of the day. Can be small like getting to work on time, walking the dog.

  • Shout it! Tell your friends, tell the twitterverse, post it on facebook, write a blog post, write a letter to an old friend and supporter!
  • Take a compliment-instead of shrugging away a compliment, say thank you.
  • Celebrate the little things: Change happens one step at a time, you won’t reach your goals within a matter of days. Appreciate and celebrate every step you take no matter how small it may be.
  • Don't forget to take care of you. Give yourself rest and take time for yourself.
Now's your time to shine! What are you proud of today?