Every day we have a choice. We can let others dictate the way we see beautiful in ourselves and the world or we can see the beauty we inherently possess, do something to help someone else, make a person smile, lend a helping hand, change someone's world. We're committed to making this world a better place.


The purpose of this blog is to invite readers to see beautiful. See Beautiful is a lifestyle brand that creates more beautiful in the world by giving back to you.


See beautiful in yourself. See beautiful in others. Create more beautiful in the world.

VISIT US ON THE WEB: WWW.SEEBEAUTIFUL.COM

Friday, August 29, 2014

Our See Beautiful Pet Tag Story

Our See Beautiful Pet Tag Story (Even More Important):Our See Beautiful beautiful dog tags, made from recycled steel, are important products for us to share because it's our two pups, Lilly and Buddy, who bring so much beautiful into our lives. Pets are experts at seeing beautiful. Speaking from experience, there has never been a time that our two furry friends fail to bring beautiful, smiles, and laughter into our home. We knew we had to honor the way they see beautiful, and doing that with these tags is a treat! 

Further, there are so many rescued pets out there and we are grateful for their owners. We see so much beautiful in pet rescue. When you rescue a pet, you write a see beautiful story. 


 
How our See Beautiful pet tags can leave you seeing beautiful (MOST IMPORTANT):
It is our hope that every time you look at your pet you see beautiful. We hope you can take a page from your pet's book and move through the day with a zest for life and celebrate the small things like a walk in the park or a good nap in the sunlight. For those of you who have rescued your furry friend, thank you.

Part-time model. Full-time love-giver.

 
Part-time goofball. Full-time snuggler.

See Beautiful Pet Tag Specifications (Important):Sizes(s):
Small: 1 inch diameter
Large:
1 1/2 inches in diameter
Each tag is made in the U.S.A. from an ultra-strong recycled steel core about 1mm thick.  Tags come with split key rings.


SEE BEAUTIFUL WITH YOUR PET HERE.
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Forever We - How Can I Help?



I met founders of Forever We, Chantel Adams and Ginny Starr, the beginning of this year. Since meeting these two beautiful women, they have inspired and empowered me. They have helped me think differently with their vision and charge to support families. They will no doubt help countless others come to redefine what it means when you think of the two words, "Forever We" together. 
Forever We is built upon the premise of seeing and seeking beautiful, perhaps where other people have overlooked it. It's about how we can create more beautiful in the world stemming from asking a four-word question: How can I help? But I'll let Chantel tell you all about that...
The Four-Word Question
 That Changed the Way I Thought About Almost Everything
I Thought I Was Important
Written by Co-Founder of Forever We, Chantel Adams:
“If you want to be a world-changer, you have to be a noticer.”  I don’t remember who told me those words, but they stuck. So I started noticing things.
The way people stand in line at the coffee shop.
The moms in their bathrobes at the bus stop.
Without looking like a freak, I paid more attention to the things people said, as well.
As a mom, there’s always something to be paying attention to. Like first steps, and first words and first teeth, and to tell you the truth, I thought I would never forget those important milestones, but I did. After four kids, they’ve all just sort of morphed together.
You always think it’s the big things in life that you’re going to remember forever, but it’s actually the small ones that stick out for me. In my head, I hear snippets of conversations that changed my perspective. I like to write them down, so I won’t forget. Just a sentence or two a day.
The words dredge up emotion—good and bad—and sometimes the memories they evoke bring tears, as well.
I’m usually not sad, simply surprised.
Pay attention to your tears, especially unexpected ones, because they will tell you something about yourself.
That’s how I felt the day this simple four-word question began hijacking my ordinary thoughts.
Because I have a job where I spend a lot of time with 4th and 5th girls, I have the privileged opportunity to hear the kinds of conversations of which most moms can only dream. One day last year we toured a homeless shelter. They visited a 12 x 10 room where a family of five live and share a bathroom with another family. In the basement, they learned how some residents learn powerful life skills like balancing a checkbook, shopping for groceries, and disciplining their kids. They saw the room where after school almost 20 kids go to do their homework and play until their parents return home from job-hunting. They explored the kitchen where 50 people, including 35 kids share their meals every evening. Potential volunteers raised their hands to ask questions like, What percentage of your residents retain stable housing after leaving the shelter? How many of your kids are on the honor roll? How do you delegate responsibility in the house?
But our kids just had one question.
“How can I help?” they asked.
Instantly, my eyes pooled with water, and I blinked back the tears. After all the other things I saw that day, these words, uttered by a 10 year old girl, stung unexpectedly and caught me off guard.
Days passed, and my five year-old daughter was getting ready to plan her birthday. I gave her a popular doll catalog, and she circled the things she wanted most. Then she taped the page to the front of our refrigerator. As I stood in my kitchen one morning after breakfast, I noticed that she circled the glasses, braces, cast, crutches, and wheelchair. Why did she want the things that represented brokenness?
“How can I help?” she asked.
My heart filled up, and my eyes spilled over.
I sat at my computer and opened up my email. My friend, Tami, was writing down her experiences as a parent with a child who had survived cancer for a survivors’ blog. She asked me to review it before she hit the “submit” button. So I did. And I remembered the time four years ago when she called me and told me about Audrey’s cancer. Again, I was standing in my kitchen with the phone pressed to my ear as I sliced vegetables for soup. “They’re rushing us into a room now,” she said. “We don’t know what it is, but it sounds scary."
How can I help? I asked.
That question precedes so many more. It’s four words that can literally change the trajectory of a conversation, even someone’s life. The question communicates solidarity and empathy, two traits so rare in the world today. The words transform what is into what could be.
And suddenly, again just standing in my kitchen, surrounded by the morning dishes—dried scrambled eggs sitting in a pan on the stove and a sink filled with several half-full cups of chocolate milk, a hazy picture in my mind suddenly found clarity. I had a vision of my girls budding with compassion and kindness and doing what they do naturally to change the world. They wanted to help. Together what could we do? Not just, how can I help, but how can we help?
Children tell stories with their toys. 

What if we created a doll that represented real issues kids are experiencing in the world today? And what if they could not only pretend to care for their needs, but do it in real life? What would that kind of play look like?  Could we change the way kids play and literally change the world?
I wanted to try.


So we began work on our first Doll for a Cause, a cuddly companion that would represent the real issues kids are experiencing in the world today. We wrote a book and began exploring what it would like to partner with organizations that were already doing the most to support the initiatives we felt were important. 

At ForeverWE, we believe every child deserves a healthy body, a forever family, and safe housing. That’s why we would love for you to meet Jewel. In honor of my friend, Tami and her daughter, Audrey, we have partnered with the Rally Foundation for pediatric cancer research. Jewel comes with a removable wig, two outfits, a pediatric cancer awareness ribbon, and a courage bead. She’s the first in what we hope will be a long line of dolls that address important childhood issues. 

Will you help us?
Please visit www.foreverwe.org for more information about our dolls, to register for our launch party on September 25th or to pre-order Jewel, our first Doll for a Cause.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

With a Broken Wing

I just found this beautiful butterfly in our yard. It immediately reminded me that even if we have a broken wing we can still fly, we can give love, and we create more beautiful in the world. In fact, it may actually be the brokenness that makes it more beautiful.

Think about how strong this little one has to be to fly with a broken wing. And yet, I watched it fly away, carrying beauty to someone else.

Ever felt broken? We can be like the butterfly. This one. Fly. Give love. See beautiful.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Giving Me

http://www.seebeautiful.com/the-giving-me.htmlWords can't express how honored I am to share See Beautiful's latest product and my most recently published children's book, The Giving Me. Of the children's books I've written, this one is the most special because it honors the ultimate giving of an incredible man, Trey Lefler. Trey Lefler helped people see beautiful. He also created beautiful in the lives of family, friends, and total strangers; but more specifically in the people who's lives he saved.



As written on opening pages, The Giving Me, is a children's picture book “dedicated to the family and friends of Trey Lefler, whose giving saved lives.” Inspired by Trey Lefler’s giving spirit and decision to be an organ donor, I wrote this story to start conversations about the life changing act of giving.

Within each page, Readers - both young and older-ish - experience the ways giving comes full circle and ultimately saves lives. The Giving Me helps young children understand the importance of giving and empowers them to make a difference in the world.



*100% of all sales I receive from The Giving Me will be donated to one of Trey's giving initiatives.

Beyond the book itself, there is a beautiful Adult Discussion Guide thoughtfully crafted by Stephen de Groot of Getting to Better and a Children's Activity Guide designed by Orly Wahba of Life Vest Inside. These two kindness partners of See Beautiful's contributed pieces to the text that empower families and help create important memories and experiences beyond the words I had the honor of crafting. It is a continued treat to work with them!
Giving is the best,
Lydia (CEO of See Beautiful


Learn more about Trey's story HERE.
Purchase a copy of the book HERE

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To Give is to Receive

We see beautiful in giving. It's pretty much our favorite. We create beautiful by funding people's initiatives to grow more beautiful in the world! What's yours?
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We donate $5 from every $15 See Beautiful Aluminum Cuff purchase to the See Beautiful Giving Feature of your choice. Enter the CODE of the initiative you wish to support at checkout.  When they reach their goal, we send them a check. It's that simple (and beautiful)!
 
Click on any of our three current See Beautiful Giving initiatives below and learn how you can help create more beautiful in the world! Think you have a great See Beautiful Giving initiative that you need funded? Awesome! Apply HERE.

http://www.seebeautiful.com/animal-rescue.html
http://www.seebeautiful.com/unique-giving.html






Thursday, August 7, 2014

See Beautiful in Our Story and My Truth

There have been a lot of exciting changes on See Beautiful over the past month (and if you're here for the blog hop, since we last hopped together). We've worked hard to provide more transparency for our community and we're working even harder to give back - to people just like you and me.

I spent two years growing See Beautiful, pretending that sharing my story wouldn't matter to this movement (because this excuse made it easy not to share). Being vulnerable enough to put myself and my personal need to see beautiful out there isn't easy. It is my hope that others who come to See Beautiful and join this community read my words and connect. I hope they find a wonderful space within which they can see beautiful in themselves, others, and create even more beautiful in the world. I hope it makes a difference.

So with the click of my finger, and the decision to "post," (deep breath) here's why See Beautiful exists: 


When I tell people I started a company built upon “seeing beautiful” and “creating more beautiful in the world” some think I’m that girl who skips through life like I’m in a field of daisies with a sky full of rainbows, ignoring this land of reality everyone else is living in. And I get where they’re coming from.

My hope for others through See Beautiful can sound cheesy (or pie-in-the-sky-ish) on the surface:

See Beautiful in yourself. See beautiful in others. Create more beautiful in the world. 


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But it’s not all daisies and rainbows. I believe that seeing beautiful can restore confidence from doubt, hope from loss, happiness from sadness, and contentment from judgment. I believe seeing beautiful begins at birth and is the catalyst for everyone to make the world a better place. I believe this because, for me, seeing beautiful is healing, hope-giving, love-growing, and life-changing.

I believe that at some point (or many points) in our lives we arrive at an impasse. Something has happened; we have lost touch with how to see beautiful in, or about, ourselves, others, or the world in general. It is in these pivotal moments that the opportunity to see beautiful is vital in helping us grow our confidence, hope, happiness and contentment in life.



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As a former elementary school teacher and college professor, I built relationships with hundreds of children and adults negotiating what it means to see and create beautiful in their lives and the world. As an educator, I wanted to do more to empower children to see beautiful and offer some insight into doing so. I wrote a children’s book with this sentiment reflected and then I put it away. For years.

I didn’t think much about the need to see beautiful in myself and the world until I recognized I was struggling to do so. Deeply struggling. I’d been a positive, happy person all my life. En route, sure, I’d come to my own speed bumps and bounced my way over them. So when my husband and I were introduced to the world of infertility and loss and emptiness, I applied my “tried-and-true-bounce-over-the-speed-bump-and-recover” adage. This was sometimes a tortuous process of hiding grief and I came to know it well, as many “in a dark” place do. With more loss, more infertility, and more emptiness, the speed bumps started feeling more like sink holes and I didn’t care that I was wallowing in the bottom of the pit. For years.

It was in this state of blindness to the good I carried within me (and the good in the world), that I had to purposefully refocus my mindset, daily tasks, and life’s work.  I began to focus on purposefully seeking the tiny pieces of me that I could find peace in - that I deemed beautiful. I began to reacquaint myself with finding great beauty in those surrounding me – family, friends and even complete strangers. And as I made my focus intentional on seeing beautiful in myself and others, it gave me the freedom and confidence I needed to set my sights on creating more beautiful in the world. I believed there was a world-changing power in seeing beautiful – scars and all.

You see, seeing beautiful resides in your thoughts and emotions and the ways you understand yourself, but it’s so much more than that. Through setting daily intention on seeing beautiful, I came to understand more fully the hope, happiness, and beauty that resides in each of us, and our power to use that strength to do more good in the world. Children seem to be born understanding this and adulthood seems to take it out of them. I want to nurture this impeccable ability from a young age, to empower all to keep this focus. Throughout life. 

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Seeing beautiful doesn’t mean you live a perfect, flawless life of gushing at yourself every time you look in the mirror. It doesn’t mean everything you touch will turn to gold. It doesn’t mean your parenting will be perfect. It doesn’t mean you’ll even get to be a parent. To see beautiful you have to live and feel – through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the stunningly beautiful.  See Beautiful is a lifestyle. My hope for all of us is that when we allow ourselves to experience life as it comes at us, we see beautiful in the freedom you have to enjoy confidence, hope, happiness, and contentment.

My hope is that you see beautiful and that we can work together to foster a new generation of children who never forget it and adults who relearn it. Celebrate your capacity to create more beautiful in the world. Together our focus on seeing beautiful can change the world, one lens at a time.

Seeing beautiful in you,

Lydia Criss Mays (Founder of See Beautiful)





Tuesday, July 15, 2014

They Do.

Something chill-giving, tear-causing, heart-warming, and love-growing happens at every wedding I've ever attended. The moment that two people decide to give their lives to another in such a special way is such a gift. It will come as no shocker that I believe weddings are chocked full of "see beautiful" moments.

When I learned about what two beautiful women (who I happen to get to call family) did at their wedding to grow more beautiful in the world the chill-giving, tear-causing, heart-warming, love-growing emotions were at full throttle.

The night before their wedding, Alicia and Morgan joined with family and close friends and asked them to complete a seemingly simply task. They handed out paper and pens and asked those closest to them to write down a positive message to share with the world (essentially, their "see beautifuls"). Without explaining how they were going to use these special comments, they collected the paper and went on with a celebratory evening.

Fast-forward to their wedding the next day. During the ceremony, Morgan and Alicia revealed a See Beautiful bottle to those on their "wedding vessel" (Yes, it was really a ship. Yes, they're that cool.). The See Beautiful bottle was full of these hopes for the world that family and friend's had written the evening prior. As the Captain explained to family and friends that these messages of hope would be released and shared in the world, Alicia and Morgan tossed the bottle into the water. There See Beautiful floats for just the right person to find the bottle and be filled with hopes for spreading more beautiful in the world.  Hope floats, right? In this case, it does. On the heels of a wedding, in the celebration of love, and within the world, hope really does float. It leaves you seeing, well, beautiful. Right?

The fact that See Beautiful was (literally) incorporated into their wedding was a gift. The way people have translated "see beautiful" over the past couple years is incredibly inspiring. It is beautiful to see how people live it and make it their own. It is my hope that every day be filled with much beautiful for this amazingly giving, loving, couple.







Ahoy, Matey!! You can even watch the See Beautiful bottle floating with hope and waiting to spread beautiful!

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Will they see beautiful? They do.
Will they grow more beautiful in the world? They will.