Archive for April, 2011

Meanwhile Back in L.A. …

Posted by at 20 April, 2011, 6:27 pm

Have I mentioned how happy I am living back in Los Angeles? If not, let me just say it…I am sooooo flippin’ happy living in LA!

There. I said it. And I know it won’t be the last time.

I have been on such a “happiness high” – especially in the last two days – that today I actually feel “hungover.” I am exhausted from all the happy. And it keeps coming.

Who would have ever known that back in November, selling our 3800 sq. ft. house, selling most of our belongings, leaving Omaha, moving back to Los Angeles, downsizing to one car and a 1100 sq. ft., 2 bedroom apartment, and writing music full time would turn out to be the best thing we could have ever done? I am delirious!

There really is something to be said for following our hearts and pursuing our passions. I just never knew that letting go of all the safety nets could be so exhilarating. And freeing.

I’ve been pulling some all nighters, (well, nearly all nighters) writing music with the intent of getting them placed in film, television and ads. I am having to learn lots of new things, like how to record the music on new equipment, how to play instruments “virtually” on a keyboard, learning to play new “live” instruments, and how to create – without the help of the people I am so dependent upon, like my sweet brother Gene, who is still in Omaha, and “Omaha Tom” who owns the studio we would use to record at in Omaha. But in doing so, it feels so good to know that I finished a song yesterday, where I played all the live and virtual instruments, wrote the music/lyrics, recorded all the vocals – lead and background, female AND male (I can sing pretty low if I have to ;) ). I even did all the whistling. (My mom said, “I didn’t know you could whistle!”) And I even got to include my hubby and son on the hand claps, finger snaps, and thigh slaps, so it is becoming a family project. I also have a new, extremely talented engineering/writing partner who loves music as much as I do, who brings absolute magic to the final product, which is an art in itself.

So, when the song was submitted, with only seconds to spare before the deadline, my palms were sweaty, my feet were clammy, and we got it done. And I gotta admit, it turned out really fun! And I felt, well, really proud.

Will this be the song that gets used for this particular commercial? It’s out of my hands at this point, but WOW, did it ever feel good accomplishing what I set out to do and creating a song that didn’t exist 3 days earlier. And I will continue to do this because this is my true passion.

I feel more empowered than ever before, and I feel so ALIVE!! I am following my heart – completely. And I am soo happy being back in L.A. There – I said it again.

Category : Uncategorized

Leap of Faith

Posted by at 18 April, 2011, 9:47 pm

Before having children, I had dreams – BIG, lofty dreams. I was going to do it all! Actually being a mom was never a part of this girl’s agenda. It was going to be me, a loft apartment, a big city view and a dream career.

I sit here now writing as my 6-year old plays in the bathtub. Me has turned into 3; the loft is a place in my home filled with dolls, dolls and more dolls; the view is of the beautiful Rocky Mountains and the career…..well it turns out that the dream career still made the cut but the path to get there was certainly not what I expected.

I had years of freedom and zero responsibility. Looking back, I wish I had taken more chances then but then again, I guess I wouldn’t be where I am now. It’s not like I just sat and watched the world go by however I didn’t push myself to the limits I could have and should have done. It wasn’t until my girls were born that I began seeing myself through my Mother’s eyes. I realized the wishes I held for my own daughters were not unlike the wishes she held for me. She has always been my number one supporter while I questioned her sanity. I always felt she gave me way more credit than I deserved but it made sense once I became a mother myself. A mother sees the truth even if no one else can.

Our children learn by watching our actions, and reactions to the world. I did not want to pass my fears and limitations down to them. The thought crossed my mind when my first child was just days old that I can’t expect her to live to her fullest potential when I know I hadn’t lived up to mine. I embarked on my first toy, the Color Bug, without fear of failure even though part of me expected it. If anything, I could teach the girls that failure comes in not trying.

I am grateful to have a mother who always pushed me to be my best. I’m even more grateful that she never gave up on me even during the moments and years I gave up on myself. As mothers, we have the important task to help foster our children’s dreams into reality. Sometimes the best way to do that is by nurturing our own dreams. As the years go by, I continue to push myself to learn new things and take new risks. My children continue to inspire me to reach further. Originally I did it to be a good example for them but now I do it for me too.

Today I watched as my 6-year-old jumped off the diving board into the deep end of the pool for the first time. She looked down and said “wow, that’s deep”; then climbed up the ladder without any hesitation. She had faith in herself and she had faith that I would be there if she needed me. It is in these moments that I am reminded just how much joy can be achieved from trying something new. When is the last time you took a leap of faith into uncharted waters?

Category : Inspirational Stories | Toy Mom | Uncategorized

Free Webcast 4/21: “Wild About WordPress”

Posted by at 18 April, 2011, 11:32 am

mouseYou need a website these days if you’re in business, right?

The truth is, hanging out on sites like Facebook and Twitter are just NOT enough.  You need to have a place to send your friends and followers OUTSIDE of those social media sites if you want the best results.

If your current website or blog stresses you out (or you don’t even have one at all yet), then you do not want to miss my next upcoming FREE webcast THIS Thursday 4/21 at 8 pm EDT:

“Wild About WordPress: 7 Reasons Why it’s Now Super Simple to Create Your Own Customer and Client-Attracting Website—FAST, Without HEADACHES, and for FREE!”

On this webcast, I’ll be sharing my tips on the number one website and blog platform in the world–WordPress.  Oh, and I‘m not going to be sharing theory or fluff–I’ve been using WordPress myself for over 4 years, have created countless sites using it and have taught many others who now have their own business sites and blogs working for them online as well.

In other words, YOU–the small business owner or solopreneur–can learn a lot from the important, updated information I’ll be sharing on how to get maximum results in minimum time using this powerful tool.

On this webcast you’ll learn:

  • Why you don’t have to be a techie (really!) to get your site up and running in less than a day
  • The one very important thing you want to be sure to look for when choosing a webhost for your WordPress site
  • Why WordPress isn’t just for blogs–and how you can easily set it up as a full-blown, simple-to-use website
  • What WordPress has–right out-of-the-box–that means you won’t have to hire an expensive SEO firm to get your site to rank in the search engines
  • Why customizing your site is a lot easier (and more fun!) than you probably think
  • Why answers to (even your toughest) WordPress questions are always just a click away
  • Exciting new details about my upcoming LIVE course “Website Without Worry: Step-by-Step Strategies to Using WordPress, the Number One FREE Web Platform to Gain Clients and Customers FAST!”

You’ll want to sign up NOW before you forget.  Here’s the link: FREE Webcast on WordPress!

Hope to have you there!

Category : Social Media

Cultural Creating

Posted by at 1 April, 2011, 12:01 pm

I read a blog today regarding the ever-changing face of the American child.  It was written by Richard Gottlieb, a man who is well respected in the toy industry and by all who meet him.   He writes:

I continue to be amazed by the rapid change in the American child population. In a New York Times article entitled, “Among Nation’s Youngest, Analysis Finds Fewer Whites,” we learn that “whites continued to decline as a share of the American population … [now representing] less than half of all 3-year-olds….”  Not only that but “whites [are] now in the minority in nursery schools, preschools and kindergartens in eight states — Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.”  Maryland, Georgia and Louisiana are close behind.

I don’t know for sure but I would bet that the average member of the American toy industry is mid-40 and white.   Not only that, but most of the people that that person sees in their community and their workplace look pretty much the same.

It is for that reasons that it will be no easy task for the industry to intuit the changes that are taking place in America.  Whether we can or cannot, we better start sensitizing ourselves and the rest of our industry to the reality that the kid in our heads (probably white and blonde) is not the kid who is playing with our products.

Look around.  It’s a different world.


Like all who know him, I think highly of Richard so it’s with all due respect that I am going to challenge this thought.  I absolutely agree that the world around us has morphed into the melting pot we have always claimed to be.  Perhaps the word minority will be stripped out of the language and we will come to understand that we are simply just people with similar hopes and dreams.  The cultural differences are no longer held in the color of our skin but in the culture of our homes.

This piece made me take note of my creative process.  Do I put a specific child in the picture?  Am I targeting a demographic?  The answer was no.  I create from my 5-year old mind.  That mind does not hold judgment on race, age, or tax brackets.  That mind thinks simply about what is fun.  I understand completely that the new toy industry looks at the bottom line, the target market and what is the newest licensed figure they can exploit.  However I believe what is lost in boardroom decisions of what to put on a shelf is the magic of the industry.

My children and I could spend an afternoon with a deck of UNO cards and a lot of laughter.  This is an example of the purity of the toy industry from days gone by.  It’s a game that can be enjoyed by everyone.   It is why the old games are still the most popular games.  They were created simply for the fun of play without the need to become the next big thing.

So I ask my fellow inventors, what is your creative process?  At what point does culture and or race come into the picture?  Or is this the beauty of the small company that we just get to create from the dream world as opposed to needing to hit our numbers.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw

Category : For Inventors | Inventing | Product Development | Toy Mom