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!






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.








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


What To Do, What To Do



It’s that time of year that we have some decisions to make… how to spend our summer, what jobs we hope to work, what colleges to choose, {what majors to declare}… Even for those lucky enough, we need to decide how do we spend our leisure time.

We’ll have some ideas and suggestions here at Pearls for Girls over the next couple of weeks, but for now, we’d like you to sit with this thought.

Do Only What Your Heart Tells You

Princess Diana had it right… She knew that the world needs people who are passionate in what they do, whatEVER that might be… Because when you are passionate about what you do, you tend to do it really, really well.

So think about it.  Share with us in the comments or on Facebook what you decide, in case there are some of us out there who are indecisive. You might inspire someone.

And as for us?  So far?   :)

This summer, we will work side-by-side with a new intern, a graduate student in Public Health who is completing her practicum with us, as she tackles pediatric obesity in the underserved. We will also be conducting a Leadership Workshop and repeating our Confidence Workshops. And lastly, we will be planning a 5K run for the fall… If you live locally, we hope you will join us.

Enjoy your last days of school, bast in the joy of your accomplishments and know that we are proud of you.


We Day

We Day is an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.”


Valentine’s Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

 I have a few Valentine’s Day inspired hair tutorials to share with you this holiday.  The first is the Heart Twist. My youngest who is modeling the hairstyle for me came up with the quite simple name.  I love it!  That’s what it basically is :: twisting the hair into a heart.

Heart Twist Hair Tutorial


Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Step 1: Brush hair back and gather it into two half up ponytails.  Make sure they are close together and the front of the hair is smoothed back.  I like to use clear elastics (so they will blend with the hair).

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Step 2: Take one ponytail and twist.  If taking from the right side, make sure you twist it to the right.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Step 3: As you twist, start to form a loop and bobby pin as you go to create the shape of the heart.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Continue bobby pinning until you finish the one side of the heart.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Step 4: Complete the other side the same way.  If grabbing the left ponytail, make sure you twist to the left.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

A cute and simple heart twist is the finish product.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

The next Valentine’s Day inspired hair tutorial is a Dutch Laced Heart Braid.  I will show you the steps for the half up version and then give you you another option as well.  I have done this the night before a school day to save time in the morning.

Dutch Laced Heart Braid Hair Tutorial

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Step 1:: Part hair down the middle.  Starting on the right side, outline with the comb the shape of one side of the heart.  Clip away any hair that may get in your way.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Step 2: Start with three strands of hair at the back of the part and begin to dutch (reverse french braid) lace (only picking up and added hair from one side :: outside the heart) braid the entire right side until you reach the ear.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

 Then, continue with a regular braid to finish that side.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Step 3: Do the left side the same way and tie off with a clear elastic.  You can add your favorite accessory.  I just added ribbon attached to a bobby pin to finish it off.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Bonus:  You can part the heart on the side of the head and follow the same steps above.  Gather all the hair to the side after finishing the side dutch laced heart braid for a Heart Braided Side Ponytail.

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair Tutorials

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Comment below for any questions or share any ideas with us.

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*a special thank you to dawn for sharing this video with us!

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