March: How We Did on Creativity


For the month of March, we committed to setting aside more time for creative activities.  This was tougher than we thought! Read how we did on our creativity goals:


Intention #1: Put aside one hour each week to create art.

Setting aside time and space to be creative was a lot more difficult than I anticipated.  I always seemed to find something more important to do than sit down and draw or paint or write. That’s what is so great about setting time-based goals and having you, our blog followers, to report back to!

While I did get in three creative sessions this month, I found that they happened more spontaneously than by schedule.  For example, one night when I couldn’t fall asleep, I got out of bed and burned the midnight oil at the kitchen table creating two birthday cards for friends.

birthday card3birthday card2

While I had wanted to try my hand at watercolor this month, setting out my art supplies and deciding what to paint proved to be too great an obstacle. Until I’m retired and have whole days to do what I want, I’m going to have to stick to a tried and true strategy – sign up for a class. As with exercise, I do much better in a class environment or scheduled event than doing it on my own at home.  So, I’m happy to say that I registered for a watercolor class beginning next week.  While it’s a big time commitment for me (Wednesdays from 9 am – Noon), I know that joining an art class is the only way that I’ll finally learn watercolor, something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while.  I’m really looking forward to it!

By the way, I know that Jenna didn’t identify dance as a creative endeavor for March, but after seeing her dance Bhangra (Indian hip-hop) last week in a spectacular Wharton dance performance, my hat’s off to her in trying a creative endeavor in which she had very little experience.  Jenna practiced with her dance group twice a week for 2 months to perfect their choreographed piece, and their performance was amazing!  Take a look: Bhangra Video


Intention #1: Write a poem!

Well, I was fully prepared to report back and say that I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and write this month. Similar to my mom, I found it extremely difficult to carve out time to be creative when I always have a to-do list looming in the back of my head filled with group projects, club meetings, and errands to run.

However, late last night I decided to pull out my journal and write. I agree with my mom: the power of accountability and goal setting is truly powerful! I just didn’t like the feeling of failing to live up to my commitment. So I grabbed my pen and wrote probably the worst 8 lines of poetry that I have ever written in my life! No, it was not eloquent or profound, but it did feel great to write poems again. For me, the greatest challenge of writing Is just sitting down, working through the writer’s block, and allowing myself to let things flow. While I am not very pleased with what I wrote (or willing to share it!), I am really proud of myself for taking the time to write again – and not beating myself up with the results!

Joint-Intention: Write an e-book together about mother-daughter relationships.

We were together for two days last week in Philadelphia and we set aside a few hours in a coffee shop to figure out how we wanted to approach our e-book project.  We decided to write an article, “Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Mother-Daughter Relationship,” where we will summarize what we learned  about mother-daughter relationships after a year of blogging.  We now have our “top ten” topics and decided to divide and conquer the writing. We’re excited about this project that is allowing us to be creative in a way that expands beyond our weekly posts – stay tuned!

philly.marathon grill

Mother-Daughter Entrepreneurs

anne and sarah

  Meet Anne and Sarah: Sarah's dream is to do retail and Anne's dream is to help young women balance their personal and professional lives. Find out how their dreams converged and this mother-daughter pair became business partners. What is Venable? Venable is a fun, light-hearted, simple way to shop. We curate the collection for a woman who wants to mix trendy and classic, but most … [Continue reading...]

March: Creativity


There are all sorts of ways to express creativity – some of our favorites include creating art, playing music, writing or even brainstorming new product or business ideas. But creativity primarily boils down to two things: either creating new things or thinking up new ideas. In this post, we share how we get our creative juices flowing together and why we chose to spur our creativity this … [Continue reading...]

February: How We Did on Optimism

For the month of February, we chose optimism as a character trait we wanted to focus on to improve ourselves and our relationship. This week, we report back on our experiences and lessons learned from this experiment. Check out how well we stacked up to our goals! Ellen… Intention #1: Start each day with a positive mindset.  While I had a tough time getting up early to meditate, I did do it … [Continue reading...]

My Rent-A-Kid

Diana and Autumn

Not every mother-daughter relationship is a biological one.  After all, the American household is very diverse with grandparents, same sex parents and adoptive parents raising children as their own. Here we interview Diana who, along with her husband Dave, enrolled in the Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) program and has enjoyed a mother-daughter relationship with her match, Autumn, for 26 … [Continue reading...]

Meet Devora and Chava

Chava and Devora

Meet my mom, Devora. My mother is a very nurturing and dedicated mother and wife. She is a fabulous homemaker who always made our house into a home. She loves to cook and bake and try new recipes. One of her favorite hobbies is to go to cooking and baking classes. She loves to have an open house and to entertain and cook for her guests. My mom has a lot of passion for things she believes in and … [Continue reading...]

Optimism: Is your glass half-full or half empty?

Half full1

Optimism is a general positive orientation toward the future or being hopeful and confident in the successful outcome of something in particular. In this post, we explore how optimistic we are in our mother-daughter interactions and in different situations, and we make commitments to become more positive this month.  Ellen… If there were a hopefulness test, I think I’d probably come out in … [Continue reading...]

January: How we chose to be more generous

For the month of January, we chose generosity as a character trait we wanted to focus on to improve ourselves and our relationship.  This week, we report back on our experiences and lessons learned from this experiment. Check out how well we stacked up to our goals! Ellen… Intention #1:  Ask Jenna what she needs from me at this stage of her life, so I can be sure I’m giving in ways she finds … [Continue reading...]

Meet Susan and Liz

Susan and Liz

Meet my mom, Susan. She is a blast with a contagious laugh, never-ending ideas of new fun things to discover/do and overflowing with self-confidence. What I admire most about her is… With a background in political campaigns, she is uniquely skilled at identifying employee strengths and putting these to their most efficient use. With this skill and her ability to motivate, three years ago she … [Continue reading...]

Replaying Our Argument

Angry woman on phone

  It was a phone call right before Jenna boarded a plane to India – there was anger, hurt feelings and an abrupt goodbye.  This week we examine the conversation to learn how to avoid similar arguments in the future. REPLAY… Jenna:  Hi Mom.  I’m about to board the plane and I wanted to say good-bye.  Sorry I haven’t had a chance to call earlier, but things have been really … [Continue reading...]