The Era of Women... Lean In!

If the Mayans are right and 2012 dawns the Era of Women (and I think they are) then what does that mean for our society and world? Well I think we should follow Sheryl Sandberg's advice "Lean In".

The following is an excerpt from a huff po article by Birute Regine author of the book Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World:
     "The late Congresswoman Bella Abzug predicted that in the 21st century, power would not change women, women would change the nature of power. This is what I found in my research on women leaders. Women are changing the nature of power from power over to power with and for others. In this way, they are midwifing a new era of collaboration and cooperation, what I call a revolution hidden in plain sight. So, back to my prediction. It is my prediction that this revolution hidden in plain sight will become visible in 2012. For the past decade I have been watching women learn to collaborate and support each other in a way they have never done before -- it is revolutionary. Like smoldering coals, their behind-the-scenes work is ready to catch fire. At all levels we will see women taking their place as leaders, within organizations, as entrepreneurs, in politics. As they transform the nature of power, they transform the nature of leadership."
I, Cathy Riva, believe this to be true. Women are changing the nature of power.  In this new era both men and women will be respected and honored. I'd like to be a part of the change in the way we teach our children. Sheryl Sandberg make a compelling request to Lean In. I think that means to support and love one another more, both men and women and children.
I think Dina Kaplan, Sheryl Sandberg, Birute Regine, Margaret Nichols, Jennifer Gilmore, Anita Devlin, and so many others, are leading the charge for a more compassionate world. I am so excited to be a part of this new era and I look forward to doing my part to LEAN IN! Want to Lean In with me?

Celebrate Art

"The two artists loved to paint. They painted everywhere and everything."

This drawing is by my 5-year-old who wants to be an artist when she grows up. We were at the Museum of Modern Art Wednesday and she saw Van Gogh's Starry Night. Her friend, who is also 5, had just drawn this photo, so Riley says to me "Look it is the picture Stella painted." Van Gogh's art lives on even in the hearts of five-year-olds. I hope you can make time in your life to create your own art. 

Place your best Egg forward!

I had the pleasure of hosting a few children over for egg dying this week. I found these tips from PAAS very helpful in creating our colors, so I thought I'd share!

For ultra bright eggs use one color tablet and 3 tablespoons of vinegar to dissolve the tablet. Once the tablet has dissolved add 1/2 cup of water. (or you could just use 1/2 of vinegar here as we did.)

For traditional colored eggs use one color tablet and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Then once the tablet is dissolved add 1/2 cup of water.

For pastel eggs use 3 tablespoons of warm water to dissolve the tablet, then add 1/2 cup of water.

We also enjoyed the color crayon this year, as you can see.

We heart you! Happy Easter everyone.

Every Moment Counts

This was floating around facebook this morning. Thank you Shea Najafi for posting this zen moment by Charlotte Joko Beck. I think it sums up my Celebrate Everyday theory! Love the life you have and you will have the life you want.

A Sweet Mother's Day Gift Idea: A Cookie Stamp

I am always on the lookout for great gift ideas, and personalized presents are my favorite to give. A lovely new friend, who is French, hosted a cookie baking day. Yum. She had this marvelous cookie stamp. I love the idea of adding a family name, so I researched it online. Check out My Cookie Stamp to order your own cookie monogram, or this makes a great gift (perfect cookies for mom from the family)! If you don't want to swing for the stamp, you could also buy these inventive and educational personalized cookies online from the  Dick & Jane Baking Company. Cheers to your cookies being the sweetest on the block. Watch a video of how to stamp your own cookie here.

Celebrate FUN!

Somehow in my busy schedule I forgot about fun. I mean real Fun. Spontaneous Fun. Fun with the man I'm married to. Fun where I'm dancing down the hall. Fun where I run to where I need to be in excitement. Fun that is not results driven-but maybe that's where we obtain the best results- fun. In this busy world how do we just stop and get back to that feeling of FUN? Between the babysitters, childrens' schedules, tiny spaces, overcrowded brain... I'm working on it. Does anyone else feel this way?
Let's try this:
Step 1. Do something impromptu with no expectations!
Step 2. Include a special person(s) in your life in the above moment.
Step 3. Breathe and laugh out loud.

I want to open up a school of FUN. Shall we? Let's meditate on it. 

Magic Monday's

Monday's are sometimes very challenging for us! Getting back into our school and work routine is a challenge. I discovered if I let my 5-year-old, Riley, choose a Monday night "party"it makes our A.M. time a little easier, and it gives her something to look forward to. Usually we have "Mexican Monday" (make your own taco night)! She helps prepare the decor and food. We all win! 

This Monday happens to be passover, so it an especially fun party for Riley. Happy Passover to those who celebrate!

The Art of Balance

I struggle every day to find balance in my life. How is it I can figure out how to spear pineapple, mint and raspberries on tiny little skewers, place them in a bed of wheat grass to celebrate spring, and yet my life can be such a mess? Can I multiply myself like these pineapple squares? That would help a lot. How do you guys juggle it all? I'd love to hear your "Art of Balance" suggestions... for me it is still a work in progress!

Saturday Family Game Night!

Game night! I LOVE a great game with my family. Our favorite thing to play is UNO ATTACK. Here is a fun way to present some "dicey" food and sauces if you throw your own fun family party. Above are dominoes and chicken nuggets with sauces. To the side are cards used to hold black bean and cheese bites. Yum and fun!

Practice What You Preach...

There is a saying my friend Jen has "If you clean your side of the street others will be inspired to follow." So today I practiced what I preach. I enjoyed a full day of living in the present. My 5-year-old and I stayed home together. We watched a PBS cartoon where they made smoothies, so we made our own from strawberries. I waited patiently while she cut up our berries. Then we placed them in the freezer and about a half hour later we blended them. Then she got creative and added blueberries and almond milk along with some other fun items from our fridge. She then made out invitations for our neighbors to come to our "restaurant" and try our delicious treat. The love in my heart from today sings out that I am on the right path. I hope I can inspire you to enjoy your own present moment! Please share with me if you do!

Facebook: To post or not to post?

Photo: Only at BELENKY do you get Wonder Woman to examine your gems.
Facebook: To post of not to post?

How conscious are we with our social media? I recently found out I was not, so I thought I'd share.

What do you guys do when a great moment happens to you? Do you rush to share it online? What if there is a group of people sharing the same moment? For example; When you are at a birthday party with a group of friends it is sometimes fun to share the occassion with your Facebook friends- spread the joy, right? What if it is a children's party? Is it OK to share then? Do parents care if their child is on the Internet without their permission? Or, what if it is a personal moment like an engagement or birth?

I'm excited to just have found out I am an aunt as of yesterday! The first time I saw the baby was on Facebook. It is such a joyful moment and I'm so lucky and happy to be a part of this new beginning, but I was a little sad my first moment of joy wasn't shared in person. This world of technology opens up amazing possibilities. I hope people can find positive ways to navigate these new learning curves that pop up with each special moment.

ps: The above photo is a shot I grabbed from Facebook and dragged into my blog. This is my little one as Wonder Woman discovering the quantum theory (ha!). But.... maybe almost anyone can use your photos from your Facebook account...just one more conversation to consider before posting! Cheers to using social media consciously!

Celebrate Everyday

Heart doesn't come without ART.

On the first day of spring 2013 (today) I set a goal for myself. I have over 1000 event photos from past parties and I am pairing them with messages of meaning. I'm looking to create, for myself, a modern version of story telling. I hope you will join me on my upcoming year-long CELEBRATE EVERY DAY trial and error attempt on how I try to find something to enjoy in the present.

So, on this first day of my new story telling...HeART doesn't come without ART. I'd like to thank my mom for giving me the art of celebration as a theme of our life. In Mobile, Alabama, we did not have a lot, but man she could whip up a good kids party. I had the best coconut covered bunny cake ever (pictured below at a Hardee's birthday party when I was 6).

I now have been a party planner based in New York City for over 10 years, and I now hope to inspire you to add fun back into your every day. So cheers to my school of fun, celebrate everyday, live in the present adventure! Whoosh. And, we are off.... I'd love to hear from you. Facebook me at my Cathy Riva at Riva Events or catch me on Twitter @CathyRiva.