Hey Girl Valentine 2016

HeyGirlLove

This is my favorite post of the year. Every Valentine’s Day I ask a group of women to write a love letter to themselves. As women we spend a lot of time discussing what we want to change about ourselves and not nearly enough time celebrating our strengths. My hope is that when you read this you see a little bit of yourself in one or more of these letters and are inspired to write your own or use it as an opportunity to express some love to a woman in your life. A giant thank you to all of the fantastic women who submitted, writing this is not an easy task. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Lisa

Hi you,

I want you to know I think you’re pretty special.

I know you’re hard on yourself and struggle with self confidence at times. You wonder where life is going to take you, but hey, you’re only human. Enjoy the ride.

I’m proud of the decisions you’ve made in life.  You have stayed true to yourself. Whether it’s a move across country, quitting your job, traveling far away by yourself or falling head over heels way too fast; you take risks.  I love that you follow your heart and your gut even if it means heartache sometimes. You wouldn’t be the wiser.   I love that you always look for the good in people. You’re loyal in every sense of the word, sometimes to a fault but hey that’s OK. You’re a good daughter and a good friend, just as they are to you.

You take life too seriously at times, but I love that you don’t take yourself too seriously.  You laugh hard, you sing terrible, your dance moves are pretty solid, and you have a great smile!

I will make sure to remind you of all these things and more. Keep smiling because you have a lot in life to smile about!

Love you!
L

Lisa is originally from Northern California and has been living in New York City for the last 14 years. Lisa works in international global hotel sales.  In her spare time she  loves be in the outdoors, loves to travel and spend time with friends and family.

Kelly

Dear Me,
Your enthusiasm for life makes every day an adventure and I just adore how you 
nerd out on science and nature. The world is an amazing place and you help others 
explore their passions by being so unapologetic about your own.

You try things that scare you like rock climbing and really big job titles and I truly admire how you act with courage every single day. I think it’s fantastic how you pursue the things you enjoy and work really hard to make the world a better place.

Keep sharing your talents, your ambition, and your personality with the world.
You’re fantastic and I love you.

Kelly Conroy is a Sacramento based blogger and half of Timber + Main, a custom furniture design company she owns with her husband. Kelly is a stellar blogger, to-do list aficionado, and a reluctant power tool user. When she’s not blogging or sanding the latest Timber + Main creation, you can usually find her hiking through the forest, drooling over Sacramento’s farm to fork scene,  or exploring her neighborhood with her husband and trusty pit bull, Piper.

Wendy

Love Letter To Myself

Sweet Pea,
Age has made you wiser
who would have believed that?
Not you.
And all those unkind words
the times on the sidelines
uninvited to the party
they didn’t kill you
and they didn’t make you stronger either
but when you pieced it back together
your heart had grown larger.

You spend your life amongst the
most poignant reminders of love’s hunger
and you feed them.
The timid creature hiding behind a curtain of hair,
the insecure prankster lighting fires with sarcasm,
those wobbly kneed with anxiety
because their desires
feel foreign, ill-fitting, dangerous.
You stand at the door daily
to say I see you.

I see the terror you can’t name,
I see your brilliance and your beauty,
I will believe in you
until you
believe
in yourself.

This year, sweet pea,
say it to yourself.

 

Wendy Rasmussen is a former coffee and tea writer who now teaches high school. She is a firm believer in the transformative power of love.

Ana

Sassafrass,
You know you have that nickname for a reason, right? There’s something about the way you throw your head back in full, unrestricted laughter that is contagious. When you get excited about something, you speak very rapidly and out come the famous Muppet Hands. Those quirks are endearing. Don’t ever stifle that fire inside you.

As much as I can’t get enough of your energetic spirit, I’m also in love with your quiet, serious side. You value thoughtful, quality conversation and truly connecting with people beyond what is on the surface. Friends confide in you for good reason; you don’t judge, you listen intently and when asked for advice, you sincerely mean what you say– Even if it’s not the message they think they want to hear. You care about the bigger picture of their health & happiness, and looking like the jerk who told the truth is worth the sacrifice in order to help a friend gain a little more clarity & peace.

Warm generosity and unwavering kindness radiate out of you like freaking rays of sunshine. Seriously, you constantly look for opportunities to help others– Not because of any personal or business gain, but because you give a damn. I mean, you were one of the few females to shave your head for kids’ cancer research and rocked the hell out of that bald head all year. Ellen would be proud.

What I most love, though, is that you put yourself out there. You’ve built your business from the ground up and haven’t thrown in the towel when it’s gotten tough. And it’s gotten real tough. You talk it out, cry it out, and do what you need to do to make shit happen. It fills me with pride when people share how inspiring your drive is to them. Since we’re being honest here, I often wish that you would drop the need to achieve this vague idea of “perfect.” Your collection of missteps make you human and show how far you’ve come since day one. I’m proud of the important work you’ve been doing these last few months to focus on what matters the most to you. It sounds like this year is already shaping up to be a big one for multiple reasons, and I know you are overjoyed for this next phase of professional and personal growth.

Just remember a few things, mama: You are always enough. You’re doing a frickin’ great job. And you totally kill it in those red Power Trousers.

Shake it,
A

Ana Manzano is owner and creative director for the children’s clothing brand Ana Apple. Her team proudly creates “tricked-out threads. Crafted with a conscience” in Sacramento, CA. Because they believe in the strength of community, $1 per bib and $2 per garment from the Ana Apple collection sold online or in-store will is contributed to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento.

Rosaura

Hey you,

Long time no talk. About that- let’s make more time for us this year. You work so hard to give joy to everyone around you and I want you to have more fun too.

You have really impressed me with your capacity for growth & love in the past few years. I am so relieved you went to therapy and got all the shit worked out that you needed to in order to be happy. High fives for getting your shit together!!

Keep surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you. That includes your inner self. If your inner self starts hating on you again- tell that bitch BYE FELICIA… we don’t have time or energy in our life for that nonsense anymore.

I’m proud of you for doing the hard stuff too. It sucks sometimes editing people out of our life but you’re adulting really well by not clinging to unhealthy relationships anymore.

Keep doing that even when it’s hard.

That’s what she said.

Also, keep acting like a 12 year old boy, I love that you’re absolutely ridiculous.

Here’s what you have my total permission to always have time for: your ridiculous laugh, game nights, traveling, dinner parties, impromptu singing at the top of your lungs & lots more ocean time. You deserve it- you work hard & you do good. Treat yo’self.

Keep growing, keep loving. You’re changing the world by making other people feel loved & valued.

Love you,
Rosaura

Rosaura is the owner and artist behind Pigment & Parchment. She is a proud cat lady, secret mermaid & sentimental Renaissance woman. Her life is devoted to seeing, creating, learning, & helping. She has been honing her illustration skills for over two decades in Northern California.

Maria

Hey Girl,
I know sometimes it seems like the only constant in your life is that it is always changing, but I love your ability to adapt. Just when I thought you would sit still for a while in LA you went and fell in love and changed cities again. You weren’t done there though you also got married, bought a house, and started a business. At times you also questioned your knowledge, abilities, and sanity. Thanks for not giving up on yourself.

I’m so proud of you for learning to shut down the fearful voice inside of your brain, choosing happiness, and surrounding yourself with people who refuse to let you become complacent. You have worked hard to get where you are but remember to take time for yourself too. Get outside of your home office, hide your phone, and spend time with people that make you laugh (you have a lot of these people).

I love your playful attitude that sometimes boarders on immature, don’t ever lose that because life is for enjoying. Also keep converting people to hugging, we need more love in the universe. Above all, remember most of adulting is pretending like you have it together, you are doing a GREAT job.

I know you thought you couldn’t exist anywhere outside of LA, but you are doing it and I have never seen you happier. Keep that shit up.
M

Maria is a Sacramento based social media consultant and lifestyle blogger. She believes in the power of collaboration, hugging, and saying yes to new experiences (especially if they scare you). Her love languages are donuts, coffee and craft beer. When she is not working or writing she can be usually be found exploring Sacramento with her husband.

 

Hey Girl, Be Your Own Valentine

HeyGirlValentine

A few years ago, when I was single, I decided that Valentines Day needs to be a more inclusive holiday. Instead of celebrating traditional ideas of love I think the entire day should be dedicated to putting as much love into the universe as possible. When it comes to spreading the love, start with yourself first.

Last year for Valentines Day I challenged myself, and some of the women in my life, to write love letters to themselves and the results were amazing. While it may seem like a simple task at first I found it very difficult to write. I felt like I was bragging, but then I thought “well why shouldn’t I brag? I am pretty kick ass” and from there it turned into an exercise in confidence building. The letters these women wrote, and shared with my blog readers, were brave, inspiring, and made me tear up a little. Now on days where that negative voice creeps into my head I pull up that post  as a reminder to breathe, accept, and believe in myself.

This year I am back with new letters from new kick ass women. I hope their words inspire you to write your own letter, because there is no shame in proclaiming your awesomeness.

Happy Valentines Day Girl

xoxo
Maria


Kristin, Owner Semi Sweet Press

Hey there,

I just wanted to say that I love you, even though I don’t say it enough. I love that you get bored easily, which drives you to take risks, even when you’re scared. I love that you never settle for mediocrity. You’re super picky, even when it comes to friends, but that only means that your friends are the most amazing people on the planet.

I love that you know when to ignore logic and trust your guts. Like getting married at 18. Who would have thought you’d still be married after 16 years? Well, you did.

I love that you’ve made a conscious decision to learn from your mistakes and be a better person for it. It’s gotten you where you are today, and I’m so proud of you.

Love,
KristinP.S. The hair that you once hated because it was so different than everyone else, well, I love that too. 🙂

Stephanie, Blogger at Musings of a Girly Tomboy

Hi You!

You’re smile is what first attracts most people, but it’s your wit and ability to be genuine that keeps them around. Remember to be kind to yourself, I love and embrace every wiggle and jiggle on that strong body of yours. Don’t put yourself down, because you don’t always meet the crazy high expectation you have for yourself and your body.

Say thank you to compliments, you deserve them. Don’t apologize for being yourself, wholeheartedly. Those that love you, and there are plenty, appreciate that part of your personality.

Your body is strong and can be pushed to limits you have yet to test it. When your motivation is down, remember those good moments in a race or a during a soccer game that you are being the best version of yourself. It is okay to care about your appearance, but remember to work on yourself from the inside out. You are an amazing person, but know that not everyone will have the chance to realize this. Keep being honest and putting yourself out there, that’s what makes you the best version of yourself.

I love how you go out of your way to make sure those you love are taken care of, big or small gestures alike. Your passion for writing handwritten notes and cards is your trademark, don’t ever give it up. I love how open you are to meeting new people and making them feel instantly comfortable. I appreciate your passion for writing and hope you don’t lose that, ever. Your voice is strong and you should express yourself in any way that makes you smile.

Keep being the best friend, daughter, sister, and woman you can be. There is always someone who you can inspire, even if you don’t see or hear from them. These words shouldn’t be so hard, but I love you. I love the woman you have become! I promise to say this to you more often; you definitely deserve to hear it.

Xoxo,

Me

Mallory, Blogger at Chase The Flavors

Hey!

I love that you love lists and daily/weekly/monthly plans. It’s great for time management and it help you make the most of this very precious life. That said, don’t freak out about uncertainty and do you best to relax when plans shift and disintegrate. Chaos is really beautiful too, you know.

I love that your singing voice is far from lovely, but you sing anyway. The same holds true for your ability to dance and do most coordinated sports.

You’ll always be a long distance runner.

I love that you’re creative and unafraid to take on new projects, too many projects and massive ideas. You’re a dreamer with a heart for enriching the community around you and connecting people with things and people they’ll love.

Embrace your missteps and learn from them, but don’t ever let shame or fear of failure keep you from trying.

Love,

Mallory

Hey Girl Valentine

Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 10.48.46 AM

For me Valentines Day has never been about flowers or restaurant reservations. Instead I use it as a day to tell people in my life how much I love and appreciate them because love is one of those feelings we don’t vocalize nearly enough. We assume if we love somebody that they should  just know, well that is kind of bullshit. I say if you love someone you should tell them every single chance you get. I also think the most important kind of love in the universe is self-love. Have you ever thought about what you love about yourself? It is kind of terrifying. That is exactly why I decided that for Valentines Day I would write a love letter to myself. But I didn’t stop there, I reached out to some amazing women with beautiful souls that I am lucky to know and asked them to write a letter to themselves. I don’t think it was easy for any of us, I got emotional during the writing process and had to keep walking away and coming back. In the end it was one of the best exercises I have ever undertaken.  Here are the love letters that I collected, I love these women:

Amber Letter

When Amber is not working full time, going to law school and mastering home improvement projects she likes to spend time on her patio with friends, wine,  and her beautiful basset hound Elenore.

Trish Letter

Trish roasts coffee for Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters and says a lot of funny and interesting things on twitter.

Rebecca Letter

Rebecca is Co-Founder of The Honey Agency, a fearless black wall painter, and mom to two beautiful beagles.

Savanah Letter

Savanah reluctantly lives  in Wisconsin (just kidding, Milwaukee’s not that bad). She is mom to puppy Hannah, partner to Cody, and enjoys pancakes, and Will Smith movies. She blogs about mental health here

Mayra Letter

After graduating from college Mayra fearlessly picked up and moved from Arizona to New York to pursue acting and writing, you can learn more about her career here and follow her adventures on twitter here.

Elaine Letter

Elaine loves a good theme party, good friends, and making everyone around her laugh. She is the first non coffee friend I made in California and one of my favorite people in the universe.

Tracy Letter

Tracy is Director of Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility for S&D Coffee, world traveler, and laughter inspirer ( I made this word up, I’m just going with it). She likes to organize and label untidiness with a glass of bubbly in her hand. She was my first real woman mentor in LA and I am grateful for that, you can follow her here.

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 4.36.06 PM

Jacqui has a creative mind that sees art, beauty, and light in about every situation. She shares her passion as a teacher in Colorado and is mom to a curious and vibrant little man named Blake.

Maria Letter

What do you love about yourself? Share it in the comments.

Happy Valentines Day Girl