A reformed catholic schoolgirl with a penchant for gelato breakfasts and neutral-colored fashion statements, I have been referred to as a cross between Audrey Hepburn and the Energizer Bunny. Born and raised in NY (Home, Sweet Home), I currently reside in the beautiful OC! I am the mother of two incredible women, Amanda and Jenna—my heroes, and Nanni Boo Boo to my little man cub and love of my life, Charlie. A life-long learner who would rather buy a book than food, I was an elementary school teacher in my first life and went on to launch an award-winning design and communications firm with four Fortune 500 companies as clients. Concurrently, I have always taught design at local universities and my students have been one of the highlights of my life. Inspired and challenged by them, I ventured into the world of entrepreneurship in 2007 and created my first line of characters, the Alphabotz and their Superphonic Decoder Cards, winner of 12 national awards including Dr. Toys 100 Best Toys.
In 2014, my life turned on a dime, as lives do—we all have our turn. Just about everything I had—I believed in, was gone. One particularly bad day poised on the precipice of the Dark Side, it dawned on me, “When you have lost everything, there is nothing left to lose. OMG, for the first time in my life, I could go anywhere—could be anything or anyone! I could do the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing and move to Rome, or Australia, or Timbuktu!
Fast forward through numerous exotic and imaginary scenarios, I chose to be ME . . . for the first time in my life. ME—Wabi Sabi flaws and all, and it was the best decision of my life. I didn’t need to move. I just needed to restart—reboot and redesign! I saw this quote, “Growing is mandatory, growing up is optional,” and it resonated with me. Growing into oneself, REALLY knowing oneself, and most critically, loving oneself unconditionally was the key for me. Remind me to tell you about the Viking Funeral I held for all of my “Crazy.” No more guilt, no more beating myself up—I used what I knew—design thinking, or what I now call DESIGN INTERVENTION to develop the tools to dig myself out of all of the trauma. I will share these with you in the days to come. One of the biggest challenges I faced was that though I had all of this life and work experience, education, ideas, vigor and passion—I could not get arrested. Translation—finding a full time job with benefits proved daunting. WTF!!! I SO bonded with Grace and Frankie in the episode when Grace says, “I refuse to be irrelevant!”
(My daughter, Jenna says that I am SO Grace even though I claim that I can be warm and wacky like Frankie. Funny enough, Jenna is so much like Grace’s daughter, Brianna, I am wondering if there is a camera in my house.
So I put on my big girl panties and put my Design Intervention tools to the test. A year of trauma, took a year of rebuilding and I am now on a maintenance program as we are always “Works in Progress.”
My current creative projects include:
- CutzandPastes – a blog for the prime time girl who, like me, is just beginning—who can finally focus all of her energy on her own interests and wants to reboot, learn, create, build a business, love, laugh and live life out loud!!!
- Phonix Comix – a gamified approach to English Language Learning for kids
AND . . . WAIT FOR IT . . .
- Happytrac:) – A 30-Day Happiness Challenge in which you can participate. I share all the tools that worked for me. Email me if you would like to be notified when it starts
- Teaching Intermediate Design and Branding & Advertising at Chapman University
- Design, Communications & Branding Consultant
- Loving, honoring and treasuring my family and my soulmate, first and foremost
Goal for 2017
Find my artistic voice—my Flowjo (stay tuned)
DESIGN INTERVENTION WORKSHOPS in fabulous locales like Cinque Terre, Prague, Berlin, Tokyo, Bora Bora . . .
For the Girl with a purpose or burning desire to redesign her life, make a plan, create, meditate, exercise, eat, drink, laugh, share, AND DID I SAY LAUGH!
I am finally growing into myself, but still a child at heart. Join me as we restart, reboot, and redesign our lives!
Let’s run with scissors and make some magic!!