Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love ice cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? Kids and adults alike enjoy a good scoop or two of that sweet treat! For me, the best time of the year is when the local mom and pop ice cream shop opens up usually in May. Because this year's weather in Cleveland has been quite exceptional, our local ice cream shop opened two months earlier!  Just seeing that ice cream store open this year has made remember such fond memories of being a child!

My sister, Anne has a sweet tooth beyond anyone I know. Her daughter, Jackie, has inherited this a bit, too! I got such a kick out of taking all of my nieces to an ice cream-like yogurt store this Spring. I watched as my health conscientious niece, Elie, prepared her tasty treat with fruit and low sugar, low sodium yogurt ice cream. In the mean time, her cousin, Jackie loaded up her cup with the most sugary, multi-flavored yogurt topped with  candy and cereal pieces galore! Luckily, Anne, Jackie and their family live right down the street from their neighborhood ice cream shop! They take a lot of walks to this store and have formed some great childhood memories, as a result!

Recently, my husband and I were at a restaurant that returned to town and located itself in the heart of where I spent a lot of my time as a child. The restaurant was a former home in this town and they had pictures of the neighborhood and former stores throughout the now restaurant. We had been there a few times, but this particular time we were seated in one of the bedrooms. Right above our table was an old picture of the Penguin Ice Cream Shop. I literally started to tear up and cry. My husband couldn't understand me at first until I finally sputtered that my parents took my older sister and I there often after night time cruises in our roadsters and dune buggies. I have such fond memories of getting the lemon ice cream  and the peppermint ice cream, as they were quite unique flavors during that time.

Ice cream brings a family together. It is used at birthday parties, social gatherings and play dates. The memories brought on by enjoying this tasty treat will stay with your children forever. Every child deserves some sweet memories!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Believe in Your Dreams

I dedicate this blog to my dear niece, Jackie Kennedy, who is 11 years old today! Happy birthday, Jackie! Five years ago she was sweet enough to spend a lot of time with me to brainstorm pages for my books.  We spent a few days & nights that summer just brainstorming. I told her my dream and she believed!  But I put the books to rest once the school year began.....

My dream to write children’s books then came to full fruition this past
year as I published my first book, “Believe” and completed the
additional four books in my Mind Over Matter Series. I am still amazed
by how fast the whole process happened once I set my mind to making this
dream a reality. Literally one year ago I shared my idea with my close
friend, Dawn....

I don’t remember stopping to think about the process, time and work that was 
going into the books throughout the next few months. I
was on automatic pilot. Within a few months I hired Jan the artist, Kim
my Graphic Designer, Halo International Publisher and unofficially made
Dawn my manager.  It all just came together. I was on a roll and nothing
was going to stop me from following this dream.

I remember the day I learned from my publisher that I was going to have
to start my own business to sell these books. My head was spinning. I
had been  in education the past 22 years…not business, and more
specifically, not marketing. This was not part of the dream! My dear husband, a successful business
owner for 27 years, saw my distress and immediately took a bottle of
wine, my book notes and me to my Ma’am cave to help me establish my
first (and only) business: Mind Over Matter Books (M.O.M). His advice, support and gentle words helped me quickly integrate this unwanted addition into my dream...and I started to really enjoy it!

In less than one year I have marketed the heck out of the first book, Believe. We have been published in several local newspapers, reviewed by several blog and book sites, interviewed by radio and tv personalities and displayed in several local libraries. We've had a few book signings and have a big book signing on  April 14th at the Avon Library! I have a full business set up in my home office including all the necessary materials for billing, mailing and marketing. I have mastered the art of marketing without ever knowing that would be part a part of my book writing dream!

Now, not all dreams work out exactly like one plans and this has been no exception. My ambitious drive to have LOVE out by Valentines, LAUGH out by April Fools Day, RELAX out by summer and DREAM out by next winter was, well, simply over ambitious and not realistic. But, hey, a girl can dream! LOVE may not get out until next Valentines and I am ok with that. The minor detail I was missing is having the thousands of dollars to go to print for the remaining 4 books. I basically have to sell enough of BELIEVE before I can afford to go to print with the next book. I am ok with that, because I BELIEVE I WILL get all of these books to print and into many hands of the children. 

I have told this story to several of my high school students who have talked about their dreams. I encourage them  to never stop believing they can follow their dream! If you have the drive and ambition, you can make it happen! There may be some roadblocks and challenges, but it is all worth the end product of having reached your dream. My book sits proudly in my high school office as a true testament that anyone can make their dreams come true...as long as they BELIEVE!!! Most importantly, I hope my experience encourages Jackie and all of my family to believe in their dreams and follow them!!

Thank you, Jackie and Team MOM for believing in my dream and helping me reach it!