beauty as an inside job

Lake Superior Barn Retreat 2015

Ever since hosting our 10-year anniversary crafting retreat at Lake Superior Barn, I have had the desire to go bigger. Unfortunately, all of the locations that interested me had longstanding groups locked in. So I let the idea go. Until two friends gave up their spot at The Trails Retreat last February and Beautiful Girl 2018 was born!

beautiful girl 2018 retreat

But it’s really much more than that. The idea for an entire series of girl-themed retreats was born. I began with Beautiful Girl because beauty is something most women struggle with at one time or another. We are inundated with messages about what defines beauty and are promised that if we only lose a few pounds, get in shape, have surgery, use the right makeup, avoid certain foods, or purchase the perfect pair of jeans we will finally have what we are looking for.

But those messages are rooted in perfectionism and stir up nothing but continual dissatisfaction. I learned this the hard way with my eating disorder a long time ago.

While there are things that we can do to care for these lovely vessels, the key to contentment is learning the value of true beauty and coming to the realization it’s primarily an inside job. I am sure all of you can think of at least one person you know who had all of the right features, was stylish, and “the right size” BUT… was cruel, selfish, and shallow. And what is on the inside, eventually rears an UGLY head.

The same could be said for someone who is kind, encouraging, and filled with joy. Grandma Schrec is the first to come to mind. She oozed beauty. Grandma Schrec was my Social and Family Living teacher in high school. While she didn’t fit the world’s definition of beauty with gray hair, wrinkles, and long dresses she still managed to captivate the young women in her sphere of influence.


She taught us about healthy relationships, encouraged us to dig deeper, and showed us true beauty by the way she lived every day. She made an unforgettable impact on my life. I am sharing this today because her influence is about to be unleashed at Beautiful Girl 2018.


Warm Fuzzies were her thing. A way to acknowledge and connect with others – especially those you were just getting to know. I thought our girl-themed retreats would be the perfect place to introduce the Warm Fuzzy. Not without incentive, of course.


The coins pictured above will be used as a form of currency at all of our girl-themed retreats. And warm fuzzies (among other things) will provide everyone with an opportunity to earn coins. And the coins can be used to purchase an assortment of items from the “Beauty Boutique” – an adaptation of Camp Craftalata’s canteen (Kelli and Crystal provided the inspiration). A teeny tiny peek is below:


On that note, I will leave you all with a regifted Warm Fuzzy from Grandma Schrec (1985):

The more you give, the more you get;
The more you laugh, the less you’ll fret,
The more you do unselfishly,
The more you live abundantly;
The more of everything you share,
The more you’ll always have to spare;
The more you love, the more you’ll find
That life is good and friends are kind;
For only what you give away
Enriches you from day to day.

Have a great week!

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