THE START OF IBBEAUTIFUL April 24 2018, 0 Comments
How and Why did iBbeautiful begin?
I've had so many people and subscribers ask me how I got the idea to start iBbeautiful. Each and every time I kick myself that I haven’t ever written about the beginning of iBbeautiful because it’s such an important story. From the very first month the company and the concept just took off and all our time has been spent packing, shipping and sourcing product thereby never having the chance to write the blurb I had always envisioned writing about why I felt compelled to do what we do here at iBbeautiful.
So, here it is, 4 years late, but at least it’s here now. When my daughter was in middle school she suddenly transitioned from this very assured, happy kid to a very sad, scared and lost pre-teen. She had always felt free to talk and share the details of her day with me but suddenly I was totally shut out of her life. She started coming home from school moody, with a slight edge of anger and panic yet the only thing she would turn to was her phone. The texting was constant and so very insulating.
I knew something was wrong, that was obvious, it didn’t really take a mother’s intuition to figure that out, and I knew it had to be something that had happened at school. However trying to glean even the smallest morsel of what had happened was impossible. All of my inquires were met with “you don’t know anything so how could you possibly help”, or the ever-famous “you couldn’t possibly understand”, which was basically an insinuation that I was just simply “too old to get it”. The irony of the statement “you don’t know anything” was the most frustrating and I tried to explain how she was exactly correct in that how could I possibly know anything if she hadn’t told me anything. The logic of that statement was lost on her.
So, weeks, perhaps even months went by with me helplessly observing this little girl fall into a pit where I wasn’t allowed in while I watched her confidence sadly fade away. I tried to reason with her that if she just filled me in on what was going on that I may not fully understand but I bet that I could shed some light based on myself actually being her age once. I even tried to assure her that if she just shared with me, I would give her my thoughts and she was free to not take any of my advice but could she just give me a chance to help and maybe, just maybe, some morsel of my advice may bring some relief to what she was going through. Of course all of this was just met with a quick glance away from her phone screen and a slight scoff. How could someone as old as her mom, a whole other generation ever begin to understand what life was like now for a preteen. There wasn’t Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram when I was a kid and the thought that I could help at all was simply absurd.
As I continued to watch her she seemed so lost. She was desperately texting her pre-teen friends who I was quite confident were just as lost as her, so where was that going to get her? So if I wasn’t to be consulted or filled in on the goings on I thought my best Plan B would be to at least try to bolster her confidence by reminding her as much as possible how smart, important, clever, bright and every other attribute I could think of in the hopes that at least the confidence in herself would come back. But there was just no hearing this on her part because, of course, I was the “mom, and every mom says that about her kid”. So all of my words of encouragement and attempted empowerment just fell flat. I thought should I enlist other people to call her and tell her how great she is….my friends, aunts, her grandma, etc? Of course that would most likely be regarded as lame and honestly, a bit weird. It was at that moment that I had the idea that if there was just some outside element that could remind her of who she was, be a gentle nudge about staying true to herself and to overcome whatever was going on in her life she actually possessed all she needed right there inside of her. She just needed to tap into that inner voice of her own and then she would know what to do. If that empowering voice came from outside her own family and came consistently then maybe some of the concepts I so desperately wanted for her to embrace just might start to sink in and she could then start to see herself as the strong, smart girl that I saw her to be.
Thus, iBbeautiful was born. Within the first few months of shipping out our boxes I was delighted to see that there were others moms out there that were feeling the same as I was and that our boxes were actually helping their girls. I was honestly very surprised when emails and letters began to arrive with people sharing details of what their daughters had been going through and how the empowering monthly theme actually struck a note for their kid. Wow, we were actually making a difference. This was simply fantastic.
So, it’s been four years and there have been countless stories shared which I so appreciate. But more importantly my eyes have been opened so much wider to the fact that our young girls are really hit with a ton these days….from the totally scripted “my life is perfect” Instagram feeds, to the absolutely impossible level of pressure to be and look perfect ever second of every day aka “#I woke up this way”. These days our mission here at iBbeautiful is more needed and more important than ever. We still have a lot of work to do and more than ever we’re up for the fight to help young girls feel more confident in themselves and to realize that they are beautiful just as they as they are.
Four years is a lot of monthly themes and empowering quotes, but we haven’t even scratched the surface as far as we’re concerned. Our most important goal is to help young girls find their inner voices and learn this is the key that will be their best guide for the rest of their lives. If they can learn to tune into that they will then possess one of the most important resources they have to get them through those inevitable rough patches in life. It takes practice and constant reminders of who they are and who they can be, which is the concept behind the monthly delivery of our boxes. Hopefully our boxes are a stepping stone in getting them on the right path, helping them learn to trust that deep inside of them they actually have everything they need to be whoever and whatever they are destined to be. We want them to believe and have confidence in themselves which is where it all starts.
Thank you all for all of your kind words, love and support.
Love + Happiness - Team iBbeautiful
BEAUTY BEGINS THE MOMENT YOU DECIDE TO BE YOURSELF September 09 2017, 1 Comment
Beauty Begins the Moment You Decide to be Yourself
You've hear this phrase before, right? But you know what, it's really true. Unfortunately I don't think most of us realize how powerful it is to fully embrace who we genuinely are until much later in our lives like around our 40's or 50's. Studies show that most women do not feel comfortable in their own skin on average until the age of 42, and that our younger years, although more energetic, are filled with insecurity, worrying about what others think, and simply just trying to fit in. Who knows, maybe by age 42 we've expended so much energy on others that we finally give ourselves permission to just be who we are without the worry of what others think. Or maybe we're all just so tired by that age....I know I am....that we just say screw it, this is who I am, take it or leave it and decide it's just too exhausting to be anyone other than our true selves. But when-ever, or why-ever we come to this realization it is incredibly powerful and freeing. You can't help but look back though and wish that you had come to this revelation about yourself sooner in your life.
So, this was the thinking behind this month's iBbeautiful package. To help start a budding realization within teen and tween girls that it is incredibly important and empowering to get to know the real you. They cannot start early enough on this type of awareness of themselves. In reality this is a tall order. As kids in school they are told to "behave" a certain way, in the outside world they get criticized when they don't act like others or "fit in", and in the virtual world they are bombarded with constant images of people with perfect bodies, makeup, clothing, and seemingly no problems. How is it even possible to figure out who you really are when you're faced with all that? At least as adults we're given some room to be who we are, to have likes and dislikes and not be criticized for not acting like everyone else.
So, how do we go about helping our teen and tween girls find their real selves? Our efforts can't be obvious because they are at the age where as their parents we "don't know ANYTHING", so our efforts have to be subtle and gentle and a little bit stealth. Listen for the times they may clue you into something that happened during their day or tell you about making a decision outside of their normal tribe of friends and take that opportunity to shine a light on how it was awesome that they listened to their own inner voice in making a decision that was best for them. Sometimes they don't realize it was their inner voice prompting them to take a different path and they may need you to help them realize it. Continually nudge them to check in with themselves as to their true feelings and to make their decisions based on what their gut is telling them as opposed to the crowd.
The other day my own daughter asked me to say three compliments about her. I turned that around by telling her I wanted to hear her say three compliments about herself. The look on her face was really interesting, as if she had never thought to compliment herself, as if compliments only could come from the outside. So, she actually did come up with three compliments and I have to say the look on her face was everything. The whole experience was very affirming and empowering for her. This is the best thing we can do for our daughters by teaching them to look inside for the beauty that is within them and not to allow the outside world to dictate who they are.
We know you've all received your packages for this month already and after a lot of hard work curating and packing on our end we truly hope that not only were the packages a bit of delight for your girls, but a lot of inspiration as well.
Wishing you all self love and confidence -
XOXO - Team iBbeautiful
BE YOUR OWN SUPERHERO April 28 2017, 1 Comment
This past month (and every month really) we want to empower girls who are often expected to take a back seat to male superheros. Boys are encouraged to see themselves as heroic in everything they do. However, society often depicts girls as docile and helpless. We want to re-wire girls brains to see past this. Girls have the potential to be a superhero to others and to themselves; it's just a matter of getting them to see themselves in that light.
When girls look at themselves as superheros, they let go of self-doubt and build more self-confidence every day. At iBbeautiful, super-heroism doesn't come from flying or superhuman strength; it comes from confidence, kindness, and pushing ourselves to reach our full potential. That's why our Be Your Own Superhero Box is full of little reminders that your tween or teen girl is smart, powerful and that she is a SUPERHERO!
Go out there and be the master of your own universe girls!!!
Love + Happiness - Team iBbeautiful
FIRST LOVE YOURSELF February 16 2017, 0 Comments
This month's theme is "First Love Yourself". If I'm being honest, this theme didn't come naturally to me. It felt a little self indulgent to say "first love yourself". Wouldn't this lead to selfishness and narcissism?
I spoke to young girls to see how comfortable they are with this idea of putting themselves first, and I discovered that this is EXACTLY what they need. So many young girls simply have no idea of their worth. They don't know how to see all the good that's inside themselves. Instead of looking inward to see what's there, they were only looking outward and using others as a mirror. This type of behavior never brings confidence or a real feeling of self if you are only trying to justify your worth through others.
So, the concept of "first love yourself"....or f.l.y.....started to not only make a lot of sense, but became apparent that it is desperately needed in today's girls. Allowing ourselves to first love our own selves gives us the foundation to feel good about ourselves and then in turn be good to others because we're not constantly reaching out for those good vibes, the goodness is coming from within.
It's a concept that takes a little daily practice and a small change in perspective to give ourselves permission to go down this path. Try it, I strongly believe that it can make a great difference in your daily life.
BE YOU September 25 2016, 0 Comments
We hear this phrase all the time. However, when you're still a teen or tween how do you achieve this when you are still figuring out who YOU are?
So instead of just making BE YOU a phrase you occasionally say, see in an ad, or wear on a tee shirt make it mean something by figuring out who YOU are. As you go through your day pay attention to how you're feeling. "Do I like or not like this?" "Does this make me feel comfortable or uncomfortable?" "Does this get me closer or further away from who I ultimately see myself being?"
Having an awareness of your inner voice is a game changer. It's the thing that keeps you on your own path. It's the thing that keeps you from straying onto someone else's path just because their vision is stronger than yours at that moment. It's the voice that keeps you true to who you are, and helps you check with your gut to make sure your daily decisions are reflecting who you want to be.
BE YOU is a worthy and inspiring phrase, but more importantly is something that we all have to work on daily to achieve. It's learning and practicing; stoping every so often to listen to how we really feel and making decisions based on that gut feeling.
Allowing ourselves to learn, get stronger and more knowledgable from making wrong decisions. It's those wrong decisions that are what will help us make the right decision next time, because through that wrong decision you just found another clue as to who YOU are. Everything YOU need, and everything YOU are is inside of you.....find that place and listen to what it is telling you.
And if there is a day that you just can't hear your own voice use ours......we know you are fantastic, unique, have a ton to contribute to this world of ours, and an endless journey in front of you where you can be anything that you set your mind to.
FOLLOW YOUR OWN INNER COMPASS - October Theme 2015 September 25 2016, 0 Comments
Our October box theme is entitled ...FOLLOW YOUR OWN INNER COMPASS.
As adults we may refer to this more familiarly as "finding your true north". Identifying what our goals are in life and staying focused on that point as we make our way towards those goals.
Interestingly, when I ran this 'true north' concept by our tween/teen focus group they identified much more with the wording of "make your own way", and "follow your own path". We talked about the concept of finding a person's true north. We explained it with a visual of being in a heavily wooden forest where you really could not see much ahead of you. In order to navigate your way you had to rely on your compass. As you walked through this forest towards your destination there would be many things that might distract you or take you off course. For instance, a cute little bunny just to the side of the trail you're on, or a really cool stream that causes you to go off course even though you are fully equipped with your own canteen of water, etc. We talked about these examples being the same as a friend that might not be the best influence, or a group of girls that you are a part of but maybe don't feel so comfortable around.
In other words, and to relate this better to our teen and tween girls lives; there are going to be many, many distractions as they make their way through life, and the key to getting to who you want to be is by having your "true north" in view. We encouraged them to use a journal from the box this month to jot down what their goals are, and to check in on themselves often to see how they're doing. Now, we're fully aware that no teen or tween is going to have a clear picture of their life goals at this point in their lives, but starting to condition themselves now to get into this mindset is a total
win-win for their future.
The other important element that goes along with this theme is realizing the things that are 'distractions' from their 'true north' or their 'own path'. As always, we encouraged them to make sure that they are doing the things that are important to THEM and not just going along with the crowd. They need to follow their hearts, get accustomed to listening to their inner voices, learning to follow their own inner compass, so that they are living their own lives, fulfilling their own dreams, and not just following the crowd.
Tough stuff to realize when you're a teen or tween? You betcha! But the earlier this seed is planted, the earlier they will start to tune into what feels right and comfortable for them and who they really are. Finding your own path and realizing the difference between what is important and what is just a distraction from your path is 'priceless' as they said in the credit card world. We want this for all our girls out there, we want them to start to put importance on finding themselves and finding their own path which will result in stronger, smarter, happier and more confident young women.
Love + Happiness,
WE ARE ALL BUTTERFLIES JUST WAITING TO HAPPEN May 15 2016, 1 Comment
August Theme 'Heads Up' for Parents and Gift Givers July 25 2015, 0 Comments
This month’s theme started out very different than it ended. As the mother of a teen I have viewed the ever-present ‘Selfie’ as a veil that my kid hides behind. I personally find the constant ‘selfie-ing’ as super annoying and simply just one more reason for my child to be constantly attached to her phone….aka the bain of my existence.
My original thought process was to call this theme…”Don’t Hide Behind Your Selfie…BE Your Selfie”, with the message to young girls to be themselves as opposed to posting pics of themselves in what I construed as something akin to vanity shots. As I was designing the tee shirt graphic, my own teen came up behind me and said, “Your theme makes no sense”. She then went on to explain that girls who feel confident about themselves are the ones taking the most selfies. That taking a selfie is by definition a statement that you are feeling good about yourself. Our conversation continued with me telling her my views on how I feel that girls are just hiding behind these photos instead of developing who they are out in the real world. My daughter then went on to explain to me that for her age group putting up a selfie of yourself doing various activities is exactly that…showing the world who you are.
So, after a lot of thought and contemplation I realized that in order to better understand the teen/tween mind I had to get more in touch with their point of view and abandon my middle-aged mind set. I think you’ll agree with me that the whole smart phone era is not something that us parents can always understand the way our kids do. Trying to put myself back in time to my teens I began to realize that if I had the technology then that these kids do now I would see the ‘selfie’ like they do. It’s not really bragging or vanity, it is about showing the world who you are and how you envision yourself. I consulted with our very astute core focus group we have over here at iBbeautiful and all of the teen/tween minded sages agreed that the selfie does, in fact, stand for confidence in oneself. So, our theme was then mindfully changed to....
“BELIEVE IN YOUR….SELFIE”.
Love + Sunshine,
BAND OF GIRLS May 31 2015, 0 Comments
I recently took a week to go visit my parents in California. It was a much-needed break from the day to day, and had been about 4 years since getting out of my working environment. I hadn't seen my parents in quite awhile, so, of course, they touted me around to friends and family to show that they did indeed have a daughter. I did the obligatory hellos and catch-ups, but one thing kept happening over and over that simply astounded me.
As parents always do, mine had filled people in on what I was doing and my career choice of closing my retail store to focus 100% of my time on iBbeautiful and the company's goal to help empower young girls. But what was so surprising to me was that each and every person that we visited would, at some point, pull me to the side to share with me a story about a granddaughter, niece, daughter of a friend, etc that was going through an extremely hard time.
The last 2 years have gone by very quickly, and has been much more all-consuming than I expected when iBbeatiful first started. The positive reception we have received right from the start, and the rapid growth of the company has pretty much kept me with my nose to the grindstone non-stop. So, on this vacation, of sorts, where I thought I would be taking a break from iBbeautiful, instead I found myself repeatedly commiserating with people about their concern for a young girl in their life. Each story was eerily similar...a young teen or tween who had been bullied and had now shut down, someone who was visibly losing confidence in herself, those that felt like they didn't fit in, or some who simply just seemed lost.
Everyone spoke about their love and concern for these young girls in their lives and wanted to talk to me about iBbeautiful and if it could help.
My use of the word "astounded" above may seem like a big word that is slightly embellishing this story, but it was true. Every person had the same type of story to tell me. Never had I felt the message of iBbeatiful to be so important, and the mission that we set out on, so vital for what is going on with young girls today.
I could write forever about all the challenges girls face in this day and age, the factors that make their lives so much harder to navigate than when we grew up. Yes, all of us remember the awkward and difficult times in school, but that pales in comparison to the pressures of the current times. Social media alone is responsible for so much. It was one thing, in our time; to not be invited to an event, sleep over, etc. But in today's world if your the one that didn't get the invite you have to witness a constant minute by minute stream of Snap Chat, Facebook, and Instagram images of the event that you were excluded from. Even as adults this would be a bit of torture and would certainly chip away at our self-confidence. How can a girl who is 8 to 14 years old have the sophistication to deal with this without it creeping into her way of looking at herself? Then, of course, you dump in all the flawless magazine shots, advertisements, movies and TV shows where everyone is perfect. It really is just too overwhelming for this age group, and the worst part is that this is exactly the age where they shut the people they need most, their parents, right out. Comments like, "You don't know anything" or, "you have no idea what's going on" are all we get when we try to intervene and help. Truly frustrating as a parent.
So, what is my point in writing this? I just had to express how big this issue of eroding confidence is with teens and tweens. Of course, this isn't news, but just confirmation for my team and me that the foundation iBbeautiful was founded on is important, necessary, and oh so vital. I returned from my vacation with a renewed commitment to expanding our reach and finding more ways to get our monthly messages of empowerment and inspiration to as many girls as possible.
We have come to realize that some of the girls that need this type of message the most do not have families that are in a financial position to subscribe to our boxes, so we are going to address that. Starting this month we are instituting a program called BAND OF GIRLS where we will sponsor a few girls each month, sending them our boxes for free and keeping in touch with them throughout the month(s) to let them know that they are loved, their situation is most likely shared by others, they are not alone, and that we and others love them. We already have quite a few girls that we will immediately be adding to this program, but we'd love to hear from you if you know of a young girl that is in a bad situation and could really benefit from a monthly dose of confidence and the knowledge that there are others out there who care. Please email us with any candidates at email@example.com.
We hope to involve our entire community of iBbeautiful girls in this effort by having all of you reach out as well with cards and letters of support that will be funneled into what is sent to these girls in need. Any girl chosen to be sponsored within our BAND OF GIRLS will be kept anonymous to help them to feel safe within their issues, our only goal here is to flood them with love and support that will come from you, our community, and iBbeautiful. We will give more details as this program starts to unfold; we ask that you follow us on our Facebook page so that you can respond when we ask for your support.
This is important work and we truly hope that you will join us in our efforts.
All The Love + Happiness in the World,
IBBEAUTIFUL GETS REVIEWED BY JOYFUL FAMILY LIFE November 10 2014, 1 Comment
Yes, it is fun to come up with new product each month for our boxes, but what really gets our hearts a-beating is when people truly connect with our message in each box. Of all the rave reviews iBbeautiful has received, this review from Nicci at Joyful Family Life really captured what our boxes are all about. Read below what she has to say.......and Nicci, you made our day over here at iBbeautiful!!
We discuss what they can do differently, how they can think differently, and how those changes would influence different feelings.
Thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are related. I've previously discussed that concept here.
With that thought in mind, I am happy to introduce a monthly box geared towards tween and teenage girls: the iBbeautiful box.
Visit their website at: http://www.ibbeautiful.com/
I love the idea of encouraging girls to think positively about themselves!
Thinking positively will help them feel empowered, which will influence daily actions of curiosity, strength, and kindness. A confident girl is also less likely to visit my counseling office.
(When I think back on my previous teenage counseling clients, higher self-esteem was on all their goal charts.)
How does iBbeautiful work?
iBbeautiful sends a monthly box with trendy items and positive messages for a tween or teenage girl to enjoy. What girl wouldn't like to receive hand-picked specialty items?
I especially like the message of their November box - to be, rather than wish.
I believe this message encourages action towards self-confidence. When I finish my maternity leave and go back to counseling appointments next year, I want to frame this quote card for my desk.
In addition to the inspirational messages about self-acceptance, the iBbeautiful box also contained:
-Two's Company Ugg Lip Gloss
-Curly Eraser Pencil
-Pink House Suede Buckle Bracelet
-Stretch Tattoo Choker
I was excited to receive this box of goodies, and I know that if I were back in middle school or high school I'd be super excited. I can totally see the younger me rocking the tattoo choker down the hallway with the felt Fox tote hanging from my backpack. I imagine writing notes to my friends with the curly pencil, while casually applying the Ugg lip gloss during class. The mittens would let me text with ease, and the buckle bracelet would be my unique accessory; no one else at school would have one!
I like the idea that a girl can feel unique and special each month after opening her box. She has her own trendy accessories, unlike everyone else around her. The more she feels confident about her looks, the more her inner self-esteem will grow (and vice-versa.) That is why I also appreciate the inspirational messages in the box. The more she feels confident inside, the more she will glow on the outside.
And even though the box is crafted specifically for tween and teenage girls, my toddler loved the items too. Grace wore the belt bracelet around the house for hours. She also enjoyed hiding the Ugg lip gloss in the felt Fox tote.
Please be sure to check out all the other topics that Nicci beautifully writes about at www.joyfulfamilylife.blogspot.com
iBbeautiful Celebrates The Day of The Girl October 10 2014, 0 Comments
On October 11th, IBbeautiful is thrilled to be a part of the international community celebrating the UN’s Day of the Girl. This Saturday, October 11th, join us in celebrating, discussing, and highlighting the women and girls who are leading the way towards gender equality. IBbeautiful will be honoring the Day of the Girl this year by coming together as an organization to develop a strategic plan for how to make the greatest impact with our boxes of inspiration.
The Day of the Girl is not devoted to one specific issue facing our girls today, but is a yearly reflection of what women and girls have achieved so far, and what still needs to be done.
How IBb helps our girls:
Empowering young girls with confidence, educational resources, and a strong sense of self is the key to creating a more equitable society. IBbeautiful boxes encourage girls to be unique, brave, and strong in the face of adversity. Some of the challenges we’ll be tackling over the next few months with our IBb subscribers include navigating friendships, breaking out of gender stereotypes, and bouncing back after making mistakes. The IBb team, as mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, understand the unique set of challenges that girls face in today’s world.
How IBb helps others help our girls:
For those of you with young daughters, nieces, or students, you know it’s not always easy to bring up these sensitive issues. That’s where IBbeautiful comes in – We give you a vehicle to discuss challenges that face our girls. Our box is full of fun, new, and exciting lifestyle items that make our message approachable to young girls. By including confidence building and empowering messages in each month’s box, we give you an opportunity to sit down with your young girls to discuss our message in a way that is both fun and rewarding.
What you can do to celebrate the Day of the Girl:
Learn about the girls in your community that are making a difference. Is there a local charity that focuses on girls’ empowerment? Do you have friends who participate in school clubs, fundraisers, or bake sales? The Day of the Girl is the perfect opportunity to reach out to those organizations and individuals who are taking action.
Get inspired by girls making an impact on a global scale. Check out some of the girls that embody the IBbeautiul message:
Malala Yousafzai, 17, author and co-founder of the Malala Fund
“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
Sara Gale, 15, co-chair of Girl Up
Girl Up gives young girls a platform to work together towards empowering the hardest-to-reach adolescent girls.
Allyson Ahlstrom, 19, Founder of Threads for Teens
Threads for Teens builds self-esteem and confidence in young girls through the gifts of clothing, support, and education.
Hope you all will join us on our journey to help empower all our young girls and to instill in them the confidence that they can be and do whatever they set their minds to do.
DON'T JUST FLY.....SOAR August 09 2014, 1 Comment
This month's iBbeautiful box is all about teaching our girls to 'fly high', 'find their wings', and to 'soar'. Yes, these are catch phrases that as teens and tweens may not make sense when they first hear it, yet the concept is so important to instill in them. By 'wings' we mean their self assuredness, the belief in themselves they can do anything and to find that self confidence that bolsters and plants this belief deep into their core.
We have a mission here at iBbeautiful with our monthly boxes of inspiration. Unlike other monthly subscription boxes for teens and tweens that use words like 'fashionista' and 'little princess', our goal is to get to the insides of your girls. We want to help them feel smart and strong and capable. Yes, we fill our boxes with goodies to keep their interest and to make it fun, but what we're most proud of is the message that each of our boxes carry. We want to deliver the message that they are smart, they are capable, and that there is no limit to what they can do with their futures. They can SOAR as high as they believe they can.
Awesome messages like the ones that are coming from fabulous companies like GoldieBlox make us want to jump up and do the happy dance. This is exactly what our girls need to hear!!
There will always be lip gloss, nail polish and tons of sparkly pink things for our girls, but now at this stage where these teens and tweens are forming their concept of who they are let's make sure we're feeding them the right words like......smart, clever, strong, intelligent, able, and of course we should tell our girls they're pretty, but maybe we should be adding a word to that from time to time.........pretty brilliant.....as seen in this video below.
So, we hope your girls enjoyed this month's box! We work really hard to make our boxes a fun treat every month, and we hope the anticipation of waiting for the box to arrive in the mailbox, combined with the process of opening it and discovering all the contents inside make them happy. But our biggest wish of all is that our message this month of 'FLY HIGH & SOAR' gets them thinking about just how truly great they are.Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry.
B UNIQUE B HAPPY B YOU
XO - Cindy Lupica + the iBbeautiful Team
Make Your Own Sunshine - May/June June 10 2014, 1 Comment
We’re absolutely loving the warmer weather here at iBbeautiful! But we’re getting into the middle of June, now... can anyone else smell summer vacation?
As excited as our girls are for the end of the school year, I know I have mixed feelings about it! Three months straight of vacations, parties, planning, organizing - to me, sometimes it sure feels like our “summer break” is more work than the rest of the year put together! Though, now that I think about it… summer probably feels so hectic simply because we no longer have that seven-hour block of “kid-free” time Monday through Friday.
Our box this month gives our girls a bit of a challenge - to make their own bucket list. I know what you’re thinking (or at least I know what I thought when I imagined having my girl do this): “No, we can’t put up a treehouse in the back yard.” “No, we are not painting your walls hot pink.”
Never fear - there’s a reason we’re calling this month’s box the sunshine box. And it’s not just about encouraging our little ladies to spend time out in the sun this summer.
We here at iBbeautiful wanted to be sure that all our girls - and their moms - know that they don’t have to wait for the stereotypical “sunny days” to get things checked off their bucket lists. I mean, sure, you can’t go to the pool when it’s raining!
But, well, let me give you an example. I had one of those ‘aha!’ moments the other day - you know, where things just sort of… hit you? I’ve always been a fan of the idea that, if you crank up some music, just about every bit of cleaning around the house can be fun. Dancing, singing along, you name it, I’ve done it. I actually look forward to it.
And it’s not because the cleaning is fun, let me tell you!! No, I decided to turn a chore into something I could enjoy; I made a decision to be happy (and embarrassing, as my girls have told me).
Isn’t that a good thing to teach our girls? Not just how to make housework fun, but how to turn a bad situation (like doing chores) into a good one (dance party!!). Who says we can’t apply the same idea to just about anything else? Let’s say… not being able to head to the pool as planned, since it’s raining. That’s a great opportunity to go to the library instead, or a museum, or even whip out the baking utensils at home and make some cookies!
I’ll tell you what. Our girls learn so much from us - both from what we go out of our way to teach them, and from how we act. How to react to situations, how to communicate, how to stay calm and positive - they learn it all from us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: us moms have a tough job!
But we have to be that source of positivity and encouragement for our daughters to learn from. Show her how to react to a bad situation. Teach her how to ‘fix’ things. Keep communicating with her, ask her questions, and listen!
Even when she’s decided that talking to mom isn’t cool - like that time she was dancing around the house with a dish towel, belting out some good ol’ Queen.
Because when both mom and daughter are so fixed on being positive that something as little as a rainy day can’t get them down, the world’s gotta watch out - there’s nothing they can’t handle!
Happy summer - may the adventures begin!
- The iBbeautiful Team
ALWAYS WEAR AN INVISIBLE CROWN May 12 2014, 0 Comments
One April snowstorm and one spring vacation checked off the list over here in New York! It’s been another busy month at iBbeautiful, but we’re excited to be getting our April boxes shipped out.
I have to admit, I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to make one single blog post. Self-confidence seems like one of the most important things we, as parents, could ever teach our kids, especially our girls - and this month’s box was the first one we’ve created about it!
Of course, there’s a huge difference between being confident in yourself and being proud or egotistical. Hence the quote on our mission cards and t-shirts this month: wear an invisibe crown.
Because that concept really gets to the core of the question of self-confidence: it’s something from the inside. There comes a point in every girl’s life - multiple points, in fact - where she’s presented with a choice between doing what she wants or thinks is right, and what her circle of friends wants or thinks is right. She might very well experience times when she’s excited about something, and shares it with her friends and family, only to realize that they’re either entirely disinterested or they - unfortunately - use her passions to mock her.
Thinking about it like that, though, ends with us realizing that self-confidence isn’t in what she says; it’s in the choices she makes.
And what our girls do when they reach decisions like these - whether she follows along with what others think she should be like, or whether she acts with confidence about herself and her abilities - stems from what we, as moms, teach them.
It gets overwhelming to think about sometimes. Here we are, struggling to balance taking care of our kids, working, maintaining some sort of social life (through school activities or outside of them)... exhausted, frazzled, downright stressed.
But our girls are watching us, constantly - what we do, how we behave, what we say, what kind of confidence we project. Can I just ask: am I the only one a little bit terrified by this?
Thankfully, I’ve been able to find a lot of “how-to’s” out there to really help focus on some of the key factors involved in helping our girls stay confident. The big three that have always stood out to me:
Celebrate success. Whatever our girls are successful at, acknowledge it! Being able to take pride in more than just looks (something our media really, really likes focusing on) means you can give her something that will last a lifetime: confidence in what she can do. And who knows how she’ll end up using those skills later in life!
Address decisions together. This one is a bit more difficult. Making that transition from “my little girl” to “semi-independent tween/teen” is difficult for our girls and for us. But including our girls in making decisions around the house, including her in discussions, and - most importantly - breaking down how to make healthy decisions for herself and others will hand her the tools she needs to be confident in what she does.
Talk. Always, always, always. Keeping communication open is vital to any relationship, especially with our daughters. Encourage them to talk about what they’re doing and what’s big to them, no matter how trivial it might seem to you! Being supportive and understanding, even constructively critical, will keep her coming back to you.
It’s a lot to ask of us moms, but the rewards? Completely worth it. Because no matter how frustrating, how exhausting, or how completely overwhelming it can be to raise daughters - we love them dearly.
And setting them on a path to self-confidence is one of the best things we, as moms, can ever do for them.
Peace!-The iBbeautiful Team
BEING THE BEST VERSION OF 'YOU' - March/April Box April 02 2014, 1 Comment
We're keeping our fingers crossed here at iBbeautiful that we've just seen the last of this winter's snow. What a doozy! But before we move into our springtime April box, let's take a moment to look back at our last box's theme: be yourself.
As moms, it's easy for us to see our daughters as the beautiful, unique girls they are. Unfortunately, it's not as easy for them! With social media sites playing a larger and larger role in their lives, our tweens and teens get bombarded on a daily basis.
So many ideas and images are just a finger-tap away: "If you look like this, you'll be beautiful!" they say. "Act this way and you'll have more friends!" Or, perhaps worst of all, "Think and feel like this and you'll be normal - and normal is good."
Of course, as parents (and as adults!) we've been through this before. We know, to an extent, that so many of those statements are false. Being different is what makes us unique - and we want the best for our girls! But it can be downright hard for them to figure out who to listen to, let alone who to be.
Some of the products we included in the February/March box really hit home with that. The message with the iBbeautiful lip balm - that it's our smiles that make us beautiful, not any amount of makeup we wear - is my personal favorite. The earring cards encourage us to keep big ideas like love, beauty, and faith in mind as we go about our day.
But it's the product statement and the t-shirt that sum it up best:
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are." - Kurt Cobain
This month, those of us here at iBbeautiful really encourage you to talk with your daughters. Be it while they're opening their boxes, relaxing after a long day at school, or taking them to their next practice, game, or party - ask them questions. Encourage them to talk. Help them find what makes them unique, and support them as they try and figure it out!
Whether they end up appreciating it is, unfortunately, another matter entirely. It's a long, hard road for our daughters, and for us. But helping them learn to be themselves in the process is a road filled with surprises and joy as well.
No matter where you are, we hope that all of you have a wonderful spring, and remember:
Be unique. Be happy. Be you.
Amazing Teens + Tweens Doing Good. July 14 2013, 1 Comment
I'd like to think I was born with an entrepreneurial gene in me. I was constantly devising ways to start a business or come up with the next great idea....or maybe it was just a way to come up with some cash? I remember selling Mary Kay cosmetics to a room full of older women when I was just 16. (Why the company allowed a 16 year old to be one of their consultants is still a mystery to me....but I did come home $200 richer that night.....but then I quit because it just felt weird selling cosmetics and skin care to older women when I, myself didn't even wear makeup).
Anyhow, over the years I have always worked for myself, mostly, and believe that this is an awareness that I have been able to instill in my own kids. I'm not saying that they will end up starting their own businesses, but I do know that at least there is a seed planted in their heads that they can be the captain of their own journey in life. There's a huge difference though, between when I was a kid and kids now. Nowadays a vast majority of them have a sense of social awareness that wasn't present when I grew up. Whether this is one plus of the internet, or we've all just done a really good job of raising our kids by making them aware that the world is bigger than just the town where they live, it has really spawned some amazing teens + tweens out there.
Since the launch of iBbeautiful I have become much more aware of teens + tweens that are making a difference. I am astounded by what kids are able to do today and their awareness of the world and people in need. I have come across SO many incredible kids who had a thought, an experience, or a yearning to make a change and have put that into effect by not only creating their own companies, but also taking the profits from those companies and sharing it with charities across the globe.
Below, are some links to these incredible and energetic teens + tweens. Look at these sites and these kids and carve out some time to share these stories with your own kids......who knows what it might just inspire in them.
Lulu Cerone founded www.lemonaidwarriors.com at the age of ten, to encourage kids to make social activism part of their social lives. She recognizes the power her generation has to have real and lasting impact in the world. She acknowledges that kids want to help, but they don’t want help doing it. So she created action plans and started a Philanthro-Party planning service that inspires kids to make “giving” a part of every-day life. She mentors kids to use the skills they already have, do the things they are already doing and create change NOW. She raised over $65,000.00 through kid driven events like rock concerts, PhilathroParties, Water:Walks and LemonAID stands.
KATIE STAGLIANO - Philanthropist
A 14 year old named, Katie Stagliano, who, at 9 years old, turned a 40 pound cabbage into an organization and opportunity to help fight hunger that she continues with today. Read her story here..http://katieskrops.com
LILY + MELANIE SANDLER - Entreprenuers
When Lily was just 10 years old, she was having trouble finding her lip balm. She said, “Mom, where's my lip blam?” Lip BLAM? Brilliant. Lily's mom said that would make a great name for a lip balm company. BLAMtastic® was born. From this Lily and her sister, Melanie, along with the help of their mom, run the company today. Check out their story .......http://www.blamtastic.com/.....and make sure to look at all the causes they contribute to.
These are just a few examples from many kids who are out there 'doing good + cool things'. We'll bring you more in the months to come. Stay tuned......and be sure to send us any that you hear about......including your own stories.
B Unique B you B Happy-
Things Get Easier??? June 16 2013, 0 Comments
Hello to all our iBbeautiful subscribers out there!
This is the first time I've had a chance to sit down and introduce myself to all of you. Saying that iBb has been a whirlwind since the first day we went 'live' would be an understatement at the least.
I am one part of the team that created and runs iBbeautiful. My name is Cindy and I am the mother of two teenagers. I have had first hand experience at witnessing just how hard it is for our tween + teen girls today......and more importantly, how very different their experiences are from the way in which us moms grew up. Every move they make, party the attend, or the parties they don't get an invite for are posted on line for all to see. This makes the natural insecurity that is built into every teen + tween tic up by about a thousand notches.
When we grew up if there was a slumber party that we were not invited to we may have heard a few things about it, but we didn't have to witness it happening live through Facebook and Instagram. Just think, as adults, if we had a group of friends that we assumed all liked us, and then we started seeing Facebook posts where they were all out for dinner and drinks but we weren't included. There are some of us who are tough enough, or secure enough to let it go. But if we had to sit through 7 hours a day (like our kids school days) with these same women, and every morning get up and sit next to them in a classroom (and eat lunch in the same room with them) knowing that we had been excluded over and over, that would be a little tough to bear.......and we're ADULTS! Imagine how hard that is for our kids.
This example is at least a tangible one for us to empathize with, but there are so many other examples that I don't think us adults even have a clue as to what our girls are going through. I have to say as a mom of a 15 year old, sometimes I just can't wrap my head around all the complexities these girls are going through in middle school and high school. And God forbid if, as moms, we react incorrectly (in their view) to a friend incident, or our response (if we're even lucky enough that they talk to us about something that's bothering them) isn't what they wanted to hear......I don't even know what to say except batten down the hatches and hold on while we wait for the emotional drama to pass.
There is an awful lot I don't know, but the one thing I do know is that we all really want to help our girls find courage, security and self-acceptance in themselves, but I'll be darned if there is an easy way to do this. All of us know that our girls are beautiful and our main job is to help them to that place in life where they know this too. This is the concept behind iBbeautiful. It is not just another subscription box that gets delivered every month, it is a box of inspiration and confirmation that they are unique and beautiful just as they are. Hopefully by the products we find for your girls it will bring a chance to bond, a chance for conversation, and a chance for you to once again make a stab at instilling the seeds in their heads that they are enough just as they are. As we say at iBbeautiful.....................B unique, B happy, B you!
As I said in the beginning of the post, the beginning of our company has been a whirlwind.....in some good ways, and some less than positive ways. We experienced some huge problems with our shopping cart provider (Network Solutions.....please don't EVER use them), this problem took many, many hours away from some very important things we wanted to do, but now we're back on track and our June box is something that we are really proud of. We will continue to develop resources and products that will give your girls mantras, strategies, and platforms to discover just how beautiful they really are.
And Moms......hang in there, we hear from a lot of moms that are past the stage that we're at that it all gets better.
Love, Peace, + Patience,
Fiona's Review June 09 2013, 0 Comments
We <3 that we got our 1st review from our iBb girl, Fiona! Great pic :)
Tee Shirt Preview June 07 2013, 0 Comments
We had so many people tell us how much they love the promo tee pic from our website...well we put an iBb spin on it for the June box. Here's a teaser of what may be coming your way (of course it will be iBbeautifulized by the time it reaches your door)!
Launch Boxes Have Arrived May 31 2013, 0 Comments
Our launch boxes started arriving - thank you for all the positive feedback! If you have a question, we are working to get everything answered within 1 day while we process a FLOOD of orders that just came through. Please be assured we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
B Unique. B Happy. B You.
iBb at the Beach May 28 2013, 1 Comment
We took iBbeautiful to the beach.