Speaking of #StrongGirls…


 Image taken by photographer Kate Parker of her daughter as part of her series, Strong Is The New Pretty.

you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

~Winnie the Pooh


Image via Lipstick and Politics


Our mission here is to empower girls by spreading ideas about their own abilities… Their courage, their power, their strength. And it seems we are not the only ones! Along with these personal projects, posts and independent images, my friend and writer, Amy L. Sullivan is hosting a special summer series for girls on her blog, called “Strong Girls Can”. A few posts into it and I can see already that this series will be packed with fun things for girls. So far, Amy has offered up a list of adventures, some advice for teens and tweens on social media, and a photo contest, and she’s asked me to help.


 Image by photographer Andrew Rich, via Getty Images.

Her objective is “to encourage tween and teen girls to think about the attributes which make girls strong. Is it physcial attributes? Knowledge? Loyalty? Skills? Faith? Do strong girls speak with boldness, take risks, ride skateboards, read?”  We will be looking to see if your image captures the spirit of a strong girl? In addition, theme, color, composition, and light will all be factors in determining the winning shot.


Image by photographer Jamie Moore, as part of a personal project titled  Not Just a Girl.

It’s easy to participate and Amy’s friend and photographer offers some photography tips to consider before you begin. Be sure to check them out! And even if you decide to not officially participate, you can help us spread this idea that Girls Can by using the hashtag  #StrongGirlsCan on your images on social media.

o-STRONG-GIRL-facebook Image via Huffington Post.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if you like mascara and lip gloss and pink. It’s what we have inside and what we do, not what we wear, that defines our strength.




Images via adidas, enespanol.com, and kids.nationalgeographic.com.

Good Luck!


BE Strong

#ONEcampain *

 *“This song is part of One’s poverty is sexist campaign, which calls for targeted investments to overcome the barriers that disproportionately affect women, not least in education and health.”  TheGuardian.com




Be the light.







it’s been a long winter.

we haven’t abandoned this project; we’ve just been hibernating. :)


we’ll be back soon to finished some unfinished projects and to bring you some new. meanwhile, finish the school year out well. do good. be kind. be a good friend. know you are beautiful. serve others.


8/31 :: Plan A Spa Day

Over the last three days, we’ve shared with you ideas for spending some time with your daughter over spa-type activities, including Chocolate Facials, Manicures and Nail Art, and Moisturizing Avocado Hair Mask. Put them all together and add a few things to create a spa-type atmosphere, and wah-la… Spa Day. It has been hands down the favorite day for girls who participated in Pearls For Girls Confidence Workshops over the past two summers, and it gave us the opportunity to discuss real beauty with our girls. You can read this, this and this first so that you have some ideas about real beauty to discuss with your girl. DSC_0383 Add aroma therapy candles {my favorites for Spa Day have herbal scents, like lavender, verbena, and especially sage} and new age instrumental music {try Spa Radio and other stations on Pandora} to create the perfect spa atmosphere. DSC_0403
Add cucumber slices to decrease eye puffiness, and clean, moist clothes heated in the microwave to open pores before facials. {Be careful with the heat… warm your wet clothes slowly in the microwave, increasing the time in small increments to be sure not to burn your fingers or nose!} DSC_0405
Encourage her to wear a comfy robe and hold her hair back with a fun elastic or cotton hair band. Don’t forget the fluffy slippers, or flip flops if you are planning for a pedi! DSC_0410
Take turns applying each other’s facials, nail polish and hair mask. Remember that your openness to these activities will give her the freedom to enjoy them, too. Don’t worry if your polish isn’t perfect or your hair mask has too much green goop… none of these treatments are permanent. Criticism and disapproval will destroy her confidence and trust. What matters are the moments you are sharing and the opportunities it gives you to have meaningful conversations with her… moments for you two to connect.



And even if your polish is a bit gloppy, I would encourage you to wear it anyway… Praise her. Let her overhear you praising her efforts, her work, and the time you spent together. This might be the most important part of your time spent together… that she knows you value it, that you are grateful for it, and that you look forward to doing it again.


{our models are all girls who attended our first Confidence Workshop in 2013}



7/31 :: Moisturizing Avocado Hair Mask


Spending an hour or two with your daughter doing activities that interest her is one of the best ways to connect with her. These mini spa treatments are perfect for your tween or teen, and will have the added benefit of making her feel beautiful and pampered. We already showed you how to make a Chocolate Facial and gave you some ideas for Manicures and Nail Art. Today we’ll show you how to make her hair soft and shiny.


Moisturizing Avocado Hair Mask



1  banana
1/2 avocado
2 Tbs honey
1 egg
3 Tbs olive oil

DSC_1553 Drop into blender and mix until fluffy… DSC_1554


DSC_1555 …if not somewhat foamy. DSC_1556  Apply generously, from root to tip {despite the fact that we started from tip and progressed to root}. :) DSC_1558 Twist hair up, and smooth it down on top of your head. DSC_1564 Cover with a plastic bag and let sit for 30-45 mins.

Shampoo twice to cut through the oils; condition and style as usual. Repeat once or twice monthly for smooth, silky hair.



No parent wants to believe it, so it may be really, really hard to see, but its importance cannot be overstated. Determining if your child is a bully is the first step in preventing her bullying, which not only protects her future victims, but also eliminates the negative consequences her bullying will have on her own life.

Bullying is a learned behavior. As a bully bullies, she gets something out of it… a sense of power, control, dominance. And each successful bully experience reinforces that behavior, so the idea that a bully will “outgrow” bullying is ludicrous. In fact, because the act of bullying reinforces itself, the behavior becomes stronger as the person gets older and often leads to hazing, sexual harassment, aggression and cyberbullying. Research shows that bullies harbor an excess of anger, are opinionated and judgmental, and are at greater risk of suicide. Children who develop a pattern of aggression often perpetuate family violence as adults, and their bullying eventually surfaces in dating, family and workplace relationships. In fact, bullying has been considered a “gateway” to criminal behavior, as many child bullies end up in the juvenile justice system or jail.

The first step in preventing your child from bullying is recognizing that he or she may be a bully.

Seeing your child’s behavior as bullying is difficult. It’s a hard idea to swallow in the first place, but also… Child bullies are often charming towards adults. They often display behavior that adults see as confidence, humor, intelligence. It’s especially easy to excuse bullying behavior as leadership when children are young {watch for subsequent article in this mini series, “The Difference Between a Bully and a Leader”}.

Watch how your child treats others.

Monitor your child’s social media and email accounts.

Notice how other children behave around your child. Do they avoid her?

Does she demonstrate empathy towards other, or does she seem to enjoy when others are hurt?



The following are  seven behaviors that may indicate your child is a bully.

She Is Aggressive

Dominance and power are the driving forces of a bully’s behavior. Aggressive or violent behavior is how she achieves dominance and power. Also, does she enjoy teasing others? And does she pick on siblings?

She Blames Others

Does she blame others for her problems and not take responsibility for her own actions?

She Gets Easily Frustrated

Does she have a hard time losing, and does she become easily frustrated when not winning during games?

She Is Overly Competitive

Does she resort to emotional, verbal and physical attacks- a win at all cost attitude – in order to win?

She Is Exclusive With Her Friendship

And is obsessed with social status and popularity. Does she refuse to play or hang out with some kids, calling them “losers” or other derogatory names?  She is demonstrating that her own popularity is her priority.

Her Friends Are Mean

or not nice. Kids often become friends with bullies to maintain their popularity and to avoid being bullied themselves. We tend to take on traits of those we spend time with, so be aware of who your child spends her time.

She Gets In Trouble At School

Often times, bullies get in trouble at school for fighting and acting out in class.


If after observing your child’s behavior and giving thoughtful consideration, you are suspicious {but not sure} that your child is a bully, find a teacher that you trust and schedule an appointment with her to discuss your child’s behavior. She might be able to offer insight about your child and her behavior at school or when not under your watchful eye. She might also be able to make suggestions or give you references for help for your child in your community.


Stand up to bullying

{image courtesy: jssnpcc cssp}

Please join Pearls for Girls for this summer mini series, No Bullies Here. The first post in this series can be found by clicking on the link:

What Is Bullying, and Why Do Bullies Bully?

In our next post we will describe the difference between a leader and a bully. You can read previous posts on bullying from our Thrive series by clicking on the links:

No Bullies Here 

 What’s Really Going On With Our Girls

Girls Don’t Bully… Do They?



Dear Parents

Bullying and The Witness

It Gets Better

You can also read other posts on bullying, which gave rise to Pearls For Girls, on Finding Serendipity.

Self Esteem and Bullying


Self-Esteem and The Bullied

Self-Esteem and The Bully

Self-Esteem and The Witness

How Girls Bully and Suggestions to Stop It




{ 1 comment }






gerund or present participle: bullying
  1. use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
    “a local man was bullied into helping them”
    synonyms: persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate,strong-arm, dominate;

    {image by google}

    What Is Bullying?

Defining bullying is important because we have become desensitized by violence and bullying disguised as humor in media and news outlets. Some believe that bullying is a rite of passage, a normal developmental stage – both of which are untrue. Bullying in the workplace is sometimes hard to see because bullies of higher rank might just be seen as mean managers or bosses. But bullying is bullying, whether one is 11 or 43, male or female, dominant or subordinate, and should not be tolerated.

Bullying can be defined as an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power¹. Others define it as a purposeful attempt to control another person² through unwanted verbal or physical abuse. It can be actions that occur repeatedly or just once¹·², and can occur in almost any setting including home, school and work. Bullying can include but is not limited to one or any combination of the following:

  • making threats
  • physical or verbal intimidation
  • exclusion
  • physical (hitting, punching, pushing or any unwanted touch) or verbal (criticizing, teasing, name-calling, mocking, insulting, demeaning) attacks
  • spreading lies or rumors
  • cyber bullying (unwanted sharing of pictures, posing as someone on social media, spreading rumors or lies, harassment)

The two common aspects included in most definitions of bullying are:

  • imbalance of power
  • intent to cause harm

and to a lesser extent

  • repetition


A bully can be:

  • a classmate
  • a workmate (a colleague, manager or boss)
  • a parent or sibling
  • a neighbor or stranger


A bully might demonstrate the following behaviors³:

  • aggression, nastiness, spitefulness and combativeness
  • impulsiveness, quick to anger
  • controlling and manipulative
  • defiance and pushiness
  • unfeeling towards victims


Why Do Bullies Bully?

There are several different reasons why a bully bullies, but usually when someone bullies, he or she is seeking power {and domination}, or the demonstration of power. Many times a bully was either bullied himself, or has experienced failure in some other area of his or her life. Sometimes, people who have power want to show others that they have it, or they don’t possess leadership skills to use with their power {watch for our subsequent article, “The Difference Between Leaders and Bullies”}. And some bullies do so to keep from becoming bullied themselves. This type of bully is known as a Secondary Bully².

Regardless of why a bully bullies, the damaging and destructive results of his behaviors are the same.


Stand up to bullying

{image courtesy: jssnpcc cssp}


Please join Pearls for Girls for this summer mini series, No Bullies Here. In our next post we will describe the difference between a leader and a bully. You can read previous posts on bullying from our Thrive series by clicking on the links:

No Bullies Here 

 What’s Really Going On With Our Girls

Girls Don’t Bully… Do They?



Dear Parents

Bullying and The Witness

It Gets Better

You can also read other posts on bullying, which gave rise to Pearls For Girls, on Finding Serendipity.

Self Esteem and Bullying


Self-Esteem and The Bullied

Self-Esteem and The Bully

Self-Esteem and The Witness

How Girls Bully and Suggestions to Stop It



1. www.stopbullying.gov
2. www.bullyingstatistics.org
3. www.pbs.org


No Bullies Here Summer Mini-Series


I was recently sitting with a small group of girls. When another girl came over and tried to join in, there was some taunting and general expression of discontent about her joining us. The little girl sat down, and after a few moments, I noticed her sitting hunched over, turning into herself, tears rolling her cheeks.

I thought {only for a moment} ::

This isn’t my place – it’s not my right to say anything about this.

My second thought was

If I don’t, who will?


Can I really let this opportunity to have an impact on a whole group of girls pass?

No. I absolutely cannot. 

It’s been said that it takes a village and I’m here to tell you that it really does. I told the girls that I needed to interrupt. I told them that what I had to say had nothing to do with what they were doing there, but it needed to be said. Plus, I told them, this issue is really big with me.

I told them they will have enough meanness in their lifetimes from outside sources, from other people, from their workplaces and unfortunately at school, that they do not have to be mean to each other. They need to look out for each other. They need to support each other. Even if they don’t know someone new to their group, or for whatever reason, don’t feel drawn to be friends with them, they don’t need to be unwelcoming, and they certainly don’t need to make negative comments to or about them. I told them to be kind, to be welcoming, or at the very least, just be quiet. I told them they are on Team Girls. To support each other just because they are girls. And although I really hope not, someday, they might need some girls to be supportive of them.

Go, Team Girls.


no bullies here

We’ve talked about bullying here before, and you can find a plethora of information on the internet. This is an injustice that just about every single person has experienced or witnessed, so it really can’t be addressed enough. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be hosting a summer mini-series to continue our discussion from October 2013 called,

No Bullies Here.

The following posts will be added to the series:

  • What Is Bullying and Why Bullies Do It
  • The Difference Between a Bully and a Leader
  • How To Parent A Bully
  • When A Bully Grows Up :: Adult Bullies
  • How To Stand Up To An Adult Bully

We hope you will join us and become a part of the solution.