Birds Of A Feather, Shop Together

This afternoon my 12 year old wanted to go to the mall with a friend. Suffice to say, there were other ways I wanted to spend my day.

I often seem to struggle around what I want to do vs what she wants to do. Today I had a list of “should dos” as long as our driveway.  However,  as she approaches independence, I try to be sensitive to how tethered she still is to us and how much I liked the things she likes when I was her age.

Thus,  I used this afternoon as an opportunity to turn my attitude into gratitude. We had a budget to spend (how lucky to have extra spending money), she still wanted me around and really, my ” should do” list could wait. As such, I grabbed my camera and decided that while they were in Abercrombie and Fitch, I’d sit on the comfy chairs, with all the guys waiting for their ladies, and see what creative pics came to me.

It didn’t take long before I noticed a trend. Teen girls shopping in packs. Everywhere I looked, I saw them. Walking together, talking together, texting together. It was as if once I noticed them, they were everywhere!

I started snapping pictures. From 10 years of age to who knows how old, they crawled the mall. I didn’t notice any boys poking in and out of the stores. Only girls. Any guys I saw were with girls or waiting for them. For 3 hours I sat there, and there was only one lone boy.

What is up with this? Why do so many young girls shop in groups?   Let us know your theory. My mind is full of reasons. What are yours?

p.s. My clothes still smell like store perfume…

What Are You Reading?

I am prone to hormonal insomnia and one of the best ways to lull myself to sleep is with a good book. I am always asking my friends, “What are you reading?”

Such the question also dovetails with my other standard question, “How did you get to be where you are in your work?” And the two fit like hand in glove with my long time pal, Carol Snow.

True confessions. I adore Carol. Haven’t seen her in years, but she and her husband hold a special place in our lives. They were our sidekicks when the guys were in graduate school. We summered at the Cape and came way too close to buying a small home together on the beach, before losing it in a tug of war with another family. We still lament.

Carol is one of those friends who is witty and intelligent, but doesn’t lord it over you. She simply uses it to write contemporary fiction for teens and adults.

How cool is that?

Carol held a variety of jobs post-college and during the early years of raising a family. One constant thread wove itself into Carol’s life – a love of writing. As Carol says, “ Eventually, I decided that I could accept failing as a writer, but I couldn’t live with myself unless I at least gave it a shot. I wrote nonfiction for awhile: articles for Park City Magazine and essays for Salon. One of my essays, about a night spent with my vomiting toddler, was nationally syndicated. If you Google “Carol Snow” and “puke,” you can still find it. Finally, I finished a novel, found an agent, and landed a publishing contract. That was five years and six books ago.”

She lives what I wish for us all to know. If there is something you do well, try and make it yours. If you want to make a living, give it a shot.

Carol’s latest book has just been published. Just Like Me, Only Better Carol Snow. Berkley, $14 paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-23248-4. And she was reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly, 2/15/10!

A divorced Orange County suburbanite’s life gets a delicious jolt in Snow’s superb romantic comedy. After Veronica Czaplicki’s husband leaves her for a mega-rich realtor, she scrapes by, substitute teaching at her son Ben’s elementary school and renting a guest house from an overbearing couple. In a fun twist of fate, Veronica’s resemblance to young superstar Haley Rush (think: Miley Cyrus meets Lindsay Lohan) attracts Haley’s manager, who offers Veronica $100 an hour to pretend to be Haley for photo ops. At first Veronica loves getting a makeover and “dating” Brady Ellis, Haley’s hot ex-boyfriend and co-star. The good times, of course, can’t last, and romantic treachery lurks. Snow (Here Today, Gone to Maui) turns what could’ve been just another single mom mope fest into a wonderfully witty reminder that celebrity always carries a price tag. (Apr.)

My daughter is currently reading, Been There, Done That, one of Carol’s earlier books. Last night she asked for an extra 15 minutes before bed to read. Carol’s books are also awesome travel companions, but be prepared- folks shoot quizzical looks when you chuckle out loud.

I am in a book club. We have been meeting for six years. Some months we love the book and others we simply ignore and turn our attention toward the food. Carol is in a book club, too. Can you imagine how fun it is? Check out their picture. While she says they don’t always dress like this, I find their spirit infectious. I’m defiantly going to bring this to my book club on Thursday!

If you choose to read one of Carol’s books with your book club, it comes with discussion questions. If you are interested in having an author chat, Carol would be happy to join your meeting via speakerphone. Just drop her a line at carolsnow@roadrunner.com

This week, check out one of Carol’s books at www.carolsnow.com and settle in for a good read. Use her stories, and her story,  to ponder your own tale. If Carol can turn her love of writing into something she enjoys doing for a living, what would you like to do?

Think mindFULLy and remember, you are the author of your own story.

Hearing Ourselves In A Whole New Way

For some kooky reason, yesterday’s post did not get out to those of you who subscribe. It posted as an RSS feed, but no direct email. Ironic, given the post was about mistakes and learning as I go!

Seems to me, this is a learning moment.

While today is Tuesday, and not MindFULL Monday,  I am sharing this bonus post as a way to test whether or not you receive this posting. It’s also a fun way to share a new learning – Blog Radio, Flip camera video postings, Skype. All ways we can hear and see each other over a static machine.

And in that Spirit, the learning continues! My friend, and creative inspiration, Tamara Kleinberg, Chief Imaginator of Imaginibbles (www.imaginibbles.com) interviewed me on Blog Radio, this morning. If you have a few minutes, give a listen.

http://tinyurl.com/ye86zgu

I was super nervous, but Tamara guided me through the interview with her usual humor and ease. It was also fun to see Blog Radio as a site and to imagine all of the uses for this amazing medium.

Who did you see, hear or read about today that filled your mind with a new idea? Let us know!

It’s All About Learning

Yes, I know this picture is blurry. However, I am using it anyway. To me, it’s a metaphor for this crazy new world of social media and blogging. It reminds me that it is about the creative process and not having to do it all perfectly.  I could get hung up on having to understand everything before embarking, but I have decided to swim against my natural inclination and plunge into learning along the way.  I hope by checking into The MindFULL Creative every so often, you, too, will learn something new!

Some friends have asked me what the difference is between a blog and a website. In my new favorite resource book, Blogging for Bliss, Tara Frey describes them as:

A blog is a type of website supported by a content management system that provides a collection of features including a home page where the latest content automatically appears on top and earlier posts appear in backwards order. Blogs allow users to do much more than just write and share text. You can include photos, audio, video, and other interactive tools.  Blogs allow for comments and interaction with the reader. Historically, websites were more static.

If you’re not into reading books, but like the old world, person-to-person kind of help, try  Marc Farmer.  Marc came to me through my friend Nancy Sharp (stay tuned for an entry on Nancy’s beautiful blog). Marc owns Internet by Demand. Even tho’ I built my own blog on WordPress and designed my own logo, Marc helped me understand nuance and made my logo easy to use across mediums.  Marc is an invaluable resource for those of you who don’t have the time or the inclination to muddle through and design your own website or blog.  He makes everything so easy and he uncomplicates this complicated world.

You can reach him at mfarmer@internetbydemand.com

As I meander along this path, I also spend a lot of time talking with my friend, Jill, about what it means to be relevant in the social media world. There is so much to know and it is rapidly transforming old paradigms. We learn something and then…It’s on to next! Jill sent me this social media cheat sheet. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I have no idea what half of them are. However, in our effort to learn how to navigate this crazy new world, I put it out to you. Maybe you’ll discover something useful and find a way to add it your everyday life.

Here’s to filling our minds with new understandings and “aha” moments!

______________________________________________________

Aggregation Tools: FriendFeed, Lifestream.fm, Lijit, Ping.fm, Socializr, Socialthing!

Blogs: Blogger, Typepad, WordPress*

Bookmarks: Delicious, Digg*, LivejournalMixx, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit StumbleUpon, Technorati*, Yahoo! Buzz

Post Documents: Google Docs, Scribd

Post PowerPoint Presentations: AuthorSTREAM, Google Docs, Myplick, Slideshare

Post Videos: Vimeo, YouTube

Social Networks: Crowdvine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Twitter Tools: MyTweeple, TweetDeck, TweetLater, Twibes, Twitter


74 Harley Street

Let’s say after last week’s entry on jewelry swapping with your friends, you started looking at your accessories in a different light. Perhaps you came across a piece of jewelry that you inherited from a relative. You’ve never really worn it and you’re not quite sure what to do with it…

Well, saunter on over to 74 Harley Street (www.74harleystreet.com), a jewelry line that takes vintage treasures and gives them new life. Dress clips are re-fashioned into show-stopping necklaces, skeleton keys combine with pearls and sparklies on vintage chains, broken or single earrings find new life on charm bracelets, etc.

74 Harley Street is the stunning creation of Susan Mayer, mom of four boys under age 7. Carpool, PTA  and playdates by day, jewelry designer by night, Susan brings her dramatic taste to bear on re-purposed trinkles.

Much of Susan’s business is custom. Friends and their friends are now bringing her boxes of old family jewelry they inherited from mom/great-aunt/grandma and don’t know what to do with. Some of it is gorgeous, but doesn’t fit the style of today, so it sits… until they collaborate on how to bring them to life. Even the most unsuspecting pieces look great jazzed up with pearls and sparklies.

Susan also scouts out estate sales and antiques dealers…and she keeps her prices reasonable so she can keep shopping. She loves the hunt and is growing to appreciate even the oldest and oddest of baubles.

The next time you eye that broach that’s been sitting in the bottom of your jewelry box, contact Susan at www.74harleystreet.com. She can help you turn drab into dazzling!  And who couldn’t use a little dazzle these days?

One Girl’s Junk Is Another Girl’s Treasure

Several Friday nights ago, my daughter was at a school social. The social was oddly timed – Friday night, 630-830pm. By the time you dropped them off, you had to turn around and go back to get them. Hmmm… how to spend the time?

The few hours seemed like a great opportunity to get together with school mom/friends I don’t often have a chance to see. Rather than sit around and compare notes on kids and school, I thought it could be fun if we stepped outside of our mom lives and stepped into our girlfriend lives instead!

Now, many of these women have great taste. I appreciate how some of them wear really fun accessories. And when I comment on their style, some say, ““Oh, this old thing?” Well, I personally would love their old things. So, I suggested we clean out our jewelry/accessory drawers, meet for drinks and swap “old things”. This way, we could clean out our drawers (something all of us could easily do) and walk away feeling as if we had something new.

It was a blast! 14 of us gathered at the local pub and set our treasures up on a table (and a few chairs). We drew numbers from a hat and went in order. We agreed that we would choose two items at a time and continue to go around, for as many items and as much time as we had.

I couldn’t believe what some girls brought. Wow! There was so much, that we had the added bonus of donating jewelry, bags and scarves to the local women’s shelter at the end of the evening.  It was heart warming to see how happy everyone was with their finds. I personally walked away with a fabulous pair of earrings to match some bangles I had just bought. A total score!

Capital One asks, “what’s in your wallet?” However, I encourage you to think about, “what’s in your drawer?” How can you mindfully generate opportunities to spend time with friends and re-purpose what you have? The possibilities are endless!  Leave your ideas below and let us know what you create!

Imaginibbles

Now is that a clever word or what? It doesn’t even begin to describe the creative, thoughtful and fun website and its creator.

Imaginibbles  is the brainchild of Tamara Kleinberg. Some of you may recognize Tamara’s name. I thanked her in my first blog entry for encouraging me to step into The MindFULL Creative. Actually, in my minds eye I wear a t-shirt that says , “Thanks Tamara!” This lady really knows how to inspire others.

I had the amazing grace to cross paths with Tamara several years ago when she was a VP in a local marketing agency and hired me to be part of a creative brainstorm session.  She saw and validated a creative spirit that I had been eager to unleash. And scared to death.

Lucky for us, Tamara laughs in the face of fear and holds out her hand to you while you leap.

And she does it with her own experience and  well-researched creative methodologies. She’s turned her experience and knowledge into Imaginibbles:  Little Ideas for Big Imaginations. As you’ll learn on her blog, Imaginibbles provides “ toe tickling ways to ignite the mojo; and state-of-the-imagination exercises, ideas and inspirations”. Whether you personally want to expand your comfort zone (vs stepping outside of it), create a vision and take action or find fun and creative activities to do with your kids, Imaginibbles has something for you.

Wander over and check her out. Experiencing Tamara is like taking a bite out of the juiciest and ripest piece of summer fruit. For just a moment you are transformed to another world. And you’ll be the better for the world of possibility you visit.

http://imaginibbles.com/

The Catch 24

Barbara and Vikki. They’re Best Friends. They do so many things together and figured, why not work together? After both starting small businesses, these dynamic and sassy women decided to focus on something that they could do… together. They believed, that regardless of  their success financially, they would get to learn and explore whole new realms  together – way more fun to do with a best friend!

Their early morning exercise dates turned into business meetings (and inspite of having young children at home, they found creative ways to make time!). Their first business, designing and selling  rhinestone tees profiting charities, didn’t really fly. Sitting on a pile of unsold tees forced them to get creative and led them to a new business, the Catch 24, an internet-based, timed sale of hugely discounted accessories.

Get it?  Shoppers have 24 hours to catch the deal and then, it’s gone!

http://www.thecatch24.com

Subscribe to their mailing list and get free shipping on your first order!

While the accessories they find and sell are hot and fun, their “can-do” spirit is worn like a colorful cashmere sweater.  It makes you admire where they got it.

Let Barbara and Vikki’s story fill your mind with ways to be creative with your best friend…

A Mind Full of Thoughts

Welcome to my blog, The MindFULL Creative! The idea for this blog came from wanting to share years of accumulated information I have gathered (tips, insights, personal musings and awesome folks doing wonderful work, etc.) and to have a place for you to share with me. We have to share. The news is unsettling. However, finding new ways of living can become a creative challenge.

For example, last Winter I heard Jean Chatsky speak and she helped me re-frame my spending habits. Jean said, “It’s not about feeling deprived, it’s about re-framing how you are saving — save ‘towards‘ what you want.” Now, I pass on buying another pair of black shoes and think of how I am saving towards a beach house. It was so helpful and led me to realize how my mind is so FULL of inspirational stories and creative ideas I have heard through the years, as well as how I try and use what I’ve learned to be more mind-fully creative. It’s a way of navigating a new world and a new way of thinking.

I’m hoping The MindFULL Creative will become a space where we can share what we discover along the way. Perhaps you have a recipe that everyone asks you to bring when you’re on deck for dessert.  Maybe you read a book, found a website or heard a song that shifted the way you saw things – or simply loved. Maybe some of you have ideas on how we can shop our own closets and recycle what we have into new and creative uses (stay tuned for a future entry on my jewelry swapping party!). My  hope is that, together, we’ll find new ways of understanding who we are and have fun finding out what’s going on — and that we will be the better for having been here.

Please send me what you’ve learned. Share your tips and insights. Pass on stories and websites of folks doing something that makes you smile. Together we can circumvent the bad news, and focus on filling our minds with information, tips and ideas that make us the better for being and at the same time, becoming mind-FULLy creative.

Many thanks to my MindFULLY Creative friend, Tamara, who inspired me to create this site. YOU ROCK!