Big Firsts in the Big Easy

imageIt’s our 32nd Anniversary. And we decided to celebrate with a big FIRST in New Orleans.  I’d never been.  It’s been over 20 years since Phil set foot in NOLA.

Now I believe you don’t have to spend a dime or travel anywhere to do wonderful FIRST time adventures.

But  (okay, this sounds a little nuts) I love smelling new air sometimes.  And as soon as I got off the plane in NO I knew I loved it…immediately the smell of water…the sea and then the most delicious aromas hit you.  We indulged in the fried dough of beignets of every sort.

I Dare You to Start Your Own I Dare Me Club

These are the lovely, talented , awesome members of the Damsels in Success.

imageWe call it DIS for short.  Not a great acronym but hey…it works for us.

Our fearless leader  Philadelphia Kelly Green brought us together, women from every profession and walk of life, to share, connect and unwind at a monthly dinner meeting.  What’s said at the table stays at the table.  It gets pretty interesting sometimes.

Up until last month, our main activity was talking and eating, (which I have to say are really my two favorite things.)

Mother/Daughter Like “Giving Firsts” in Tenn.

  I’ve heard from quite a few Mother/ Daughter teams taking on Firsts together.

If you read I Dare Me, you know my Year of Firsts would never have happened without my daughter Alexa pushing me.  Sometimes it really helps to have someone ready to cheer us on and join us in this personal journey.  The experience bonds us and makes us feel closer to the ones we love.  

Lynn Sykes and her daughter Taylor live in Knoxville, Tennessee and agreed to share a little of their adventure together so far .

Realtor Starts Doing Firsts, Business Goes Up

Cindy Moore is a mother, grandmother and realtor in Joplin, Missouri.

She started a year of firsts and says her Real Estate business took off.

Coincidence? She doesn’t think so.

Here she is with her grandson randomly putting encouraging notes on parked cars.    Love it.  Below is her guest blog. 






Every year, I choose a new word for the upcoming months. This year, through a series of synchronicities, the word chose me. Beyond is my theme for 2014. For me, this means moving past where I currently am, and into new areas of life. As I bump up against the edges of my comfort zone, I can choose to go beyond those self created boundaries and into freedom.

Creating Small World Under Glass Feels Big

image It’s been a long hellish week of snow, ice and freezing temperatures in Philly.  Friday night after work I had this thought that I should cancel going to my First “Build a Terrarium Class” at  City Planter.

But I know from I Dare Me experience, your whole day can be turned around by SOMETHING NEW!  So, I PUSHED myself to get there and was so glad because I was completely lifted as soon as I walked into the 4th street garden store.

A glass of wine, other first timers, and the possibility of what could be created in an empty glass container awaited me.

The I Dare Me Club!

My cousin just wrote me and said she was inspired by I Dare Me to say Yes to a party; a party she almost backed out of because she was going alone, she only knew the host and no one else, and it was snowing.

She remembered my book reminded her you have to PUSH YOURSELF sometimes to do new things….  She thought she’d endure a couple of hours and come home.

She went home FIVE HOURS later after having a wonderful time, meeting lots of interesting new people AND reconnecting with a former co-worker who is now becoming a close friend  AND she ate a TONGUE sandwich for the FIRST TIME.

Betty’s Story…Starting a Year of Firsts


Betty is from outside of Indianapolis.  She reached out to me to tell me she is doing something new every day this year and I asked her to share her story.  I love that she stood on her head. It’s silly, it’s brave and it reminds us that we need to turn our life on its head sometimes to get right side up.

Kudos Betty. I’m behind you.

Follow her at

Start the New Year with YES


It was 10 degrees last night in Philadelphia. I’d had a long, good productive day, but honestly, all I wanted to do at 7pm was curl up at home and watch some mindless tv.
BUT, I’d been invited by my friend Gina Smith to come to her home and hear her son Jake in some kind of singing group.
I knew I should say YES…I wanted to say No.
I pushed myself to bundle up and just GO.
I was rewarded at the door with light and warmth and food and new people to meet…AND the best  a cappella concert in Gina’s living room.
The Kokosingers from Kenyon College in Ohio were so wonderful and fun to watch.  I realized I was just sitting there with a big smile on my face.
I was so glad I said  YES!  It made my day.
Sure. Life would have been fine if I’d stayed home…but frankly, not as good.
Bringing new freshness and joy into life doesn’t have to be complicated.  We do have to push ourselves a little knowing most of the time we’ll be rewarded. We just have to say


Lessons from My Daughter

Yesterday, for the first time, I realized my 57 year old fairly zippy self, was having trouble keeping up with my daughter’s 26 year old speedy pace on the streets of New York in the rain.
Alexa expertly hailed cabs and navigated our path on crowded streets between interviews I was doing about I Dare Me; leading me, while I tried to remember that little girl who once tried to keep step with me saying ” I could dood it!”
What I’ve learned from her in the past few years? It’s my turn to take larger leaps now from the baby steps she taught me in 2010 as I ventured into my first blog One Year of Firsts.
Alexa taught me something her generation knows well: You don’t have to be just one thing. You CAN be a reporter AND a blogger AND a teacher AND an author AND a speaker AND a wife AND a mother AND a breast cancer survivor.

Do you PLAY? Lessons from Dodgeball.

Remember playing dodgeball as a kid? It was playground bragging rights in fourth grade if you were the last one standing in the circle; the one who dodged all the balls. I was pretty good at it….the dodging…not the throwing and hitting part. imageThat might explain why I love the idea of playing as an adult and why I recruited my co-workers at NBC10 to play in the annual Bensalem Police tournament. We often forget as adults how to play. When I was researching I Dare Me, I found studies that show some of the most creative and successful people have very full play in their lives. Why? Because fun and laughter is actually important.  Because you bond with people you play with on a team.