Celebrate Under a Celtic Rainbow.


Aye… ‘Tis time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Travel with me “Under the Rainbow” to discover some of our family’s St. Patrick’s Day traditions that you can also enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you are Irish; the activities are fun for families, children, grandchildren, even couples. (Just think ‘unique’ and adapt accordingly)

1.Create a “Leprechaun Trap.” Using the imaginations of the minds of toddler to teen, we recycle and use household items to construct the perfect trap. Each year we try new things, or let the youngest add her touch. We have never “caught” a leprechaun (yet) but the time we share creating the trap is a family favorite. And yes, “leprechauns” do drop in from time to time on or near St. Patrick’s Day. They leave items such as books, and gold tokens (Amazingly, the tokens work at local arcades). Sometimes they leave candy or goodies, but most of the time they create a bit of a mess. We have been awakened to chairs tipped over, and things out of place as the leprechauns scurry about the house…

DSC073552. Gold Coin Hunt. Think of this as an “egg hunt” but using gold coins. They are hidden throughout the house or whatever location we might be at around St. Patrick’s Day. (One spot looked a lot like a Disney hotel.) At the toddler stage, it was fun just to “find” and drop them in a small pot, but as the kids have grown we use the coins to “buy” time or adventures, not “stuff.” Examples: 5 gold coins for a movie and popcorn with mom and dad (Yes, they still want to do that.); 5 gold coins for a game night choice (you get the idea). To make it fair, each child is supposed to find a certain amount of coins. Once they have reached the limit, they help their siblings.


3. Rainbow Art. The projects change from year to year, but the idea remains. We use colors from the spectrum to create our own individual rainbows (paint, paper, yarn, fruit, candy — the options are endless) and then select a favorite Irish Blessing to accompany it. These simple art projects have become family “treasures.” The creativity and quality time improve each year


4. Dance, Sing or Play Music. Whether it’s using our own instruments, or air guitar, we play favorite tunes, and dance…together…on our kitchen “dance floor.” “DJ Daddy” spins tunes on holidays and/or family fun nights as he takes requests from a wide range of ages.

5. “March Madness.” Technically it has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. However, it is a March Tradition that falls just after the holiday. Create your own household “March Madness” friendly competition. Incorporate board games, maybe an indoor basketball hoop contest, snowman building (depending on YOUR weather), or anything your household enjoys together.

I will leave you with an Irish Blessing from the McCormick family to yours…


May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.

May the soft winds freshen your spirit.

May the sunshine brighten your heart.

May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you,

and may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.


Collaboration Stew – Your Recipe for Success

collaborationYour Recipe for Success.

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

Absolutely amazing things can happen when two creative minds get together. A great current example comes from Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. Together they play, sing, act and create MAGIC. #ViralMagic.

So I wonder what we can learn from their success.  #GreatExample! Sometimes collaboration begins with a simple conversation, an idea communicated among friends, even a story shared by an author to a crowd. For instance, I had a “date” with sportswriter/author Mitch Album (who penned many books including “Tuesdays with Morrie” and the latest novel “A Phone Call from Heaven”). You can read about that “date” here -> #MyTuesdaywithMitch. Although I listened more than I talked, it was a collaboration of sorts. I learned from a mentor, which in turn reignited my passion for writing and creativity.

We can all inspire each other through collaboration. For instance the Collaboration Definition from Merriam Webster: 1:  to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor — speaks volumes to the entertainment industry. So why not use it more in the business world or personal endeavors. Sometimes it can turn out widely successful, sometimes widely not, but hey, why not give a try? The best “epic fails” can be the most learned from experiences. The ones that DO work… are Amazing!

So I suggest you “Stir Up” some thought-provoking “Collaboration Stew” Recipes for Success:

  1. Who inspires you? What company? Is there a specific book or author that speaks to you? Read. Listen. Learn.
  2. Research the things that motivate you, the background behind their philosophies and the many paths they had to travel to reach the current destination.
  3. Find YOUR successful sidekick. Someone that shares your values. Or maybe not. Because if you are “challenged” in a good way then perhaps you can stretch your mind even further.
  4. Or find someone you believe in. Reach out. It only takes one question, one email, one tweet, one phone call and one hi, to start up a conversation. You’ll never know unless you ASK.
  5. Mentor someone. Share your success with others. Learn from successful people. Get creative and “collaborate” your way to new ideas.
  6. Add to this list. I’d like to collaborate with you on building this list. #CollaborationStew

Be a Spark Plug!

©2014 Dancinmoma

©2014 Dancinmoma

Crunch! Crunch! Click! Zoom!

That will generally be the sequence of sounds you’ll hear as you rush toward your dream vehicle. As you run, imagine the wind on your face, the color. Open the door. Start it up and power down the windows. Turn up the music and rev your engines! Hear the roar in your head…. Be a Spark Plug!

Everyone needs that “Spark Plug” to ignite your own internal intellectual fuel and passion to fuel IDEAS! Plug it in and rev your engines! Spark plug you ask? Hey, your creative engine won’t work without all its parts. Don’t laugh. Being a spark plug is hard work, but it helps put you in control of idea development.

I suggest that you start a meeting, a public speaking event, party or creative session with a “Spark Plug” race, an imaginary competition to REV everyone’s engines and DRIVE up sales. It can also be a game to play while promoting family or team unity. Here is how it works:

  1. Place a checkered flag on the table (Hand drawn is the best.)
  2. Designate the race official/leader. This is the person that leads you through the track, timing, announcing the turns, etc and when to stop. (Only enthusiastic people need apply.)
  3. Everyone chooses his or her own “ride.” Grab imaginary keys. (Or these days just push an imaginary button.)
  4. Toss your “ego” out the window and make some noise. Engine noise! Rev your engine. Throw away the rear view mirror. Don’t even virtually buckle up.
  5. (In your best announcer voice). “On your mark. Get set. GO!”
  6. “Drive” your car, purse your lips together make your own unique engine noises. (Are you making noise right now?!) Lift your arms, grasp your “steering wheel” and just GO. Tap into your enthusiasm FUEL and let it go! (Insert more engine sounds here.)
  7. Make a turn. Then another. Pass on the right. I CAN’T hear you!!  Faster. Faster. If you must, hop into the virtual pit stop and replace your spark plug. Then get back in the race.
  8. Faster. Pass the “vehicles” that run out of enthusiasm gas.
  9. Grab the checkered flag on table and wave it.
  10. Now brake. STOP. (Screeching sounds are encouraged here.)
  11. Grab your phone, iPad or laptop. Grab a pen.
  12. Start writing, whatever comes to mind. (For a designated amount of time.) Write Anything. I Mean Anything!

Step into the winner’s circle with your ideas. DRIVE up sales. Rev up some family fun. Soar with success. Generate new ideas. Use your own internal “spark plug” and see what happens in your business or family life.

Ladies and gentlemen, ignite your creative engine!

You will be amazed, and amazing.

The Simple Power of Play

Play Today!

©2013 Dancinmoma

A new employee walking toward the glass-walled boardroom sees people in ‘business casual’ attire knocking around brightly colored balloons. She hears them yelling joyfully and wonders, “What is going on? Are they actually …working?” The smell of freshly brewed coffee permeates the air as the art director reaches across to smack the red balloon in the air. Two giggling copywriters dive for the same green balloon to keep it off the floor. Pop! Smack! Then an orange balloon is catapulted in the air accompanied by a triumphant, “Yes!”

The “scene” just described was common in my work experience virtually every morning, particularly as we began our annual Design Book photo shoot planning sessions. After friendly exchanges among floral designers, writers, models, photographers and support staff, the creative meeting would commence. My job as Project Manager was to keep all elements on schedule, maintain quality, promote teamwork, and ensure that ideas flowed freely. The team was expected to create unique concepts and floral arrangements that had not been seen before. With a team of talented professionals eager for action, I found that starting out our day with a little play ignited creative fires within everyone. Each day had a surprise of fun that tapped into everyone’s inner child. This simple concept delivered AMAZING results for each of us professionally and for the company’s product offerings.

So I invite you to pick up a balloon.

Start batting it around.

Tap into your creativity and just PLAY.

This action works wonders within your business and family. Whether you’re trying to solve a vexing problem, come up with an idea, or create something new; enjoy the moment in front of you and eliminate the potential for negative inner thoughts. PLAY with your co-workers or family members. There may be a frown or two from employees who do not fully understand the creative process. Don’t let that stop you. If the idea produces sales, helps you write a chapter or creates a unified team, people will eventually start bouncing around their own balloons.

Many successful companies are now embracing this play in many forms, supported by open area workspaces, sports-related activities, brightly colored walls, mood lighting, and more. What creative activity can you do to improve productivity and generate new sales for your company and yourself? Start with a little balloon play and work up from there.

The power of play can enhance relationships. When it comes down to it, relationships in business and families are what LIFE is all about. Even the relationship within YOU may need some fun.


  • Create together.
  • Laugh together.
  • Jump up and down together.
  • Dance.
  • Act like a child for a moment.
  • Think.
  • Problem Solve.
  • Change the scenery and embrace… the POWER of PLAY…

Then let me know how many balloons your team manages to keep from hitting the floor.

Note: This is a post I originally wrote as a Featured Contributor for SheOwnsIt.com – it was previously published in July of 2013.

Write… (Five Minute Free Write)

The written word is a window to your soul. To write is to express, share, connect and learn.  Writing opens a door to the past and unlocks the future. It connects us with different generations. It connects us to our emotions. It helps us heal. It helps us express thoughts. Expression comes in many forms; however, when written correctly it can be a message to the future.

What will you say to future generations?

We write for different reasons, but together we are unified as human beings to share our stories.

There is peace for a moment… when the silence turns into thoughts… then words on a page. A warm feeling comes over you, something ignites from within, and there is a soft whisper that speaks to you.



Just write as you watch the story unfold. A gift has been given to you to share your thoughts on “paper.”

What will you do with the precious gift of the written word?

What will you “write” today?