From Melinda—One of the best aspects of this amazing journey is meeting new people from all walks of life and learning about their touching stories. I recently had this opportunity at the Boomer Senior Expo on February 23 in Brevard County, FL. The Expo not only highlighted valuable senior living programs and organizations, but it also celebrated the launch of the 5th annual Boomer Senior Guide.

The idea to exhibit originally came from a wonderful lady, Jennifer East, who I recently met at a movie premeire party. After a little pre-planning and selecting which Personas to create for the display (always my favorite part!), the entire day was filled with wonderful feedback and conversations. The experience also gave me the opportunity to see, first hand, people’s reactions. It was so gratifying to see big smiles on the faces of the attendees, once again confirming that our product “puts smiles on faces.” Of course, one of the day’s favorites was Over-the-Hill Hillary, complete with her 39 AGAIN birthday hat!

I couldn’t help but take a few snapshots of my day (see below)…

From top: I learned about the expo from Jennifer East, Senior Life News…the Persona table display at the Expo…I met so many wonderful individuals like Marta Fiol from the Cancer Care Centers of Brevard…Linda Humphrey (Senior Life News) & Dave Francis (Dave Francis Entertainment) provided a welcoming smile to all Expo attendees…I loved listening to the Barber Shop quartet and seeing the ballroom dancing preformed in vintage clothing.

After the Expo, we stopped for a bite of food at a phenomenal Mexican eatery called Salsa’s Restaurant in the Downtown Historic District of Melbourne, FL. The owner/Chef Gustavo Sanchez Portia was so nice and his authentic Mexican cooking was spectacular!!!  Here is his website if you are ever in the Melbourne area! 

One final shout out to my wonderful hubby, Jude, for helping me at the expo and being the great guy that he is!


HAPPY FRIDAY! We’ve pulled together a few good luck fillers for you!

1) Turn your pail into a Pot ‘O Gold! Just add some gold-foiled chocolate coins and luck will surely be on your side! Pick them up at your local candy store or purchase on-line at Nifty Nut House.

2) Everyone loves a GOOD FORTUNE in a fortune cookie! 

3) These shamrock cookies taste as good as they look! From the amazingly talented Renee Arwood, owner of Bees Knees Creative. You must check out her website to see more designer desserts!

4) Start saving pennies and use the Persona Pail to hold your fortune!

Although we think of “the luck of the Irish” every year in March with the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day (and its a very good excuse to celebrate!), you can also wish a colleague, friend or loved one good luck throughout the year. With a new job, promotion, new home, graduation…you name it! That was the idea behind the creation of our O’ Lucky Day Persona…what would be a good name for her…maybe Lady Luck Lucy? (Whether she’s playing cards, Bunko or shopping a great sale, Lady Luck Lucy collects 4 leaf clovers and always has a little luck on her side.)

We used the GREEN pail kit to create LUCY; but you can also use the ORANGE pail to get a true Leprechaun/Irish feel. Just download the free printable note card and add a fun hair accessory or hat. Melinda found a cute jeweled bauble and pinned it on top of a green bow.  Check back later in the week for LUCKY pail filling ideas!

Download your Good Luck cards here.

Check out Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou!

Party planners, cookie & cupcake designers, product developers, bloggers, writers, photographers, entrepreneurs, moms and wives . . .

What started out as a simple tweet between Melissa from Truly Chic Inspirations and myself several months ago just blossomed and took on a life of its own. Before we knew it, 18 amazing women had joined the Sunshine State Dreamers group on Martha Stewart’s Dreamers into Doers and planned to meet in front of Planet Hollywood this past Saturday. After a simple “meet & greet” and an exchange of business cards and other goodies (see below), it’s almost as if we had known each other for years. A true sense of camaraderie took over and we all connected due to our passion for creativity and an inner drive to make our dreams come true. We also had another common thread . . . this group of ladies knows what its like to JUGGLE . . . everything from toddlers to teenagers to husbands to businesses to full-time jobs. Thanks to Melissa Chambers and Jessica Kirkland for making the day so special!

You know the saying . . . a picture is worth 1000 words, so I wanted to share the photographs below.  I think you can actually see the creative energy we all felt on that beautiful sunny day in the middle of Downtown Disney . . .

Top photo: Melissa Chambers and I became “Tweet” friends and decided to have lunch together…what started out as social media became a wonderful social event!

– Can you believe we even received a swag bag from members of Martha Stewart Doers into Dreamers? Not only did we receive the latest issues of  Martha Stewart “Living” and “Everyday Food,” but fellow Dreamers from around the country created sweet gifts for us(special thanks to Jessica for gathering and explaining all the goodies ~ she even carted a huge tray of cupcakes all the way through Downtown Disney! 🙂

Cupcake Cookies Sandy’s Baking Memories

DIY Favor Box Kit Party Starters

Cake Pops Dreamin N Details

Candy Hugs & Kisses The Sweet Spot Candy Bar

Flip Flop Gift Tag The Purple Pug

CupcakesCupcake Delights

Origami Stars & Goodies –  Origami Delights

Chocolate – Schakalod

Kandy KonesCelebrate Today the Superchick Way


Here’s the group of fantastic Sunshine State Dreamers! top row-from left: Carmen (Pom Flair), Nikki (Great Gatherings), Lisa (The SweetTalkShop), Ashley (Truly Chic Inspirations), Michele (Intrigue Designs), Jennifer (Party Dreamz), Jessica (pen n’ paperflowers), “ME” Melinda (Persona Gift Pail)

bottom row-from left: Kori (Paper & Pigtails), Debra (Titi’s Tutu’s), Staci (Lizard & Ladybug), Renee (Bee’s Knees Creative), Melissa (Truly Chic Inspirations), LaVonne (LF Events), Theresa (Lauren McKinsey), Amy (True Love Found/Buggie and Jellybean), Andrea (Pocket Full of Parties). Not pictured: Paula (Frog Prince Paperie)

Photos from top left: With 18 names to remember, I decided to create colorful nametags at the last-minute . . . cardstock, 1″ bar pins and K & C Company’s Layered Accents Flower Designs from Target did the trick!

– One of the many beautiful gifts exchanged at the event from Cupcake Delights.

 Dreamers enjoying lunch and each other’s company at Rainforest Cafe.

– Phenomenal personalized notebooks created by Intrigue Designs for all 18 of us!

– More Dreaming!

One of the day’s highlights for me was a “gift swap” with Bees Knees Creative. I created a Persona Pail for Renee and the group named her Glamorous Gloria. I was just floored when Renee then gave me these custom Persona” cookies. They are so special; I just can’t bare to eat them!  

I am just so honored to be a part of this fabulous group of women. Can’t wait for our next gathering!  —Melinda

Spring break is right around the corner…are you planning an escape to the Sunshine State? Then you absolutely need to check out this month’s issue of Orlando Magazine. The “Get out of Town” feature is full of great Florida destinations that you may have not even heard about like Amelia Island, the Hammock Beach Resort and a little town called Steinhatchee with its quaint Southern-style cottages. Here’s a link to this great travel information.

AND, you might also want to check out pg.33 and Denise Bates Enos’ article, “Gifts from the Heart.” Since Melinda’s idea for Persona Pails was “born” in Orlando, Denise was drawn to our story and included us in her feature! (see what she wrote below)

Beyond the Pail
Instead of using ribbons and wrapping paper, why not package gifts in a cute gift pail that’s a gift in itself? Persona Gift Pails come with stickers that allow you to create different character faces, including “Love Struck Lucy.” Each gift pail includes a “hair piece,” reusable stickers to create seven different “personas,” colorful shredded paper filler and a notecard. They’re $14.95 each and available at Girlie Girl Things in east Orlando (407-380-0012) and at personagiftpail.com.


On a side note, Melinda will be gathering in Downtown Disney tomorrow with a group called the Sunshine State Party Girls. What once started as a Twitter conversation and a lunch date between Melinda and Melissa from Truly Chic Inspirations has now grown to a list of 18 talented women and business owners who share a common vision of making their dreams come true. They have even formed a group on Martha Stewart’s Doers Into Dreamers on-line community! I can just imagine the buzz with that many creative ladies in one place – look out Mickey! We’ll be sure to share pics and more info next week! Have a great weekend!

This is Random Acts of Kindness Week…what KIND of ideas do you have? Here’s just a few of the 100s of great ideas from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website. Remember, no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted…(AESOP) 

Keep your spare change in a piggy bank and when it is full, donate it to a cause or charity of your choice.

The next time you pass someone on the street asking you for spare change, take a moment to talk with them. You can give them change or share any snacks you may have, but also be sure to just say hello and speak with them for a while.

We all make mistakes. The next time someone wrongs you, forgive them without hesitation. You will be amazed at how much lighter you feel when you forgive someone!Planting a tree is a great way you can give back to the environment –and your community! It’s also a wonderful way to beautify the world around you!

Our grandparents are an important part of our culture and our history. Spending time with a grandparent is a great way to learn about your heritage, your family history and even about yourself.

Small surprises and tokens of your appreciation spread throughout the year help the people in your workplace feel valued all year long. Surprise your coworkers with donuts, cookies or a homemade treat.

There are many ways to help your local food bank. Obviously, providing canned goods is a great way. But you can also be a little more hands-on and volunteer to stock shelves, clean the store, or work at the counter.

Have you ever thought of owning a pet? Before visiting a breeder, why not check out your local animal shelters? Cats and dogs of all shapes, sizes and personalities are available, ready and waiting for their forever homes!

One of the greatest things a student can do for a teacher is thank them for the time they put into their teaching. Being a teacher takes a lot of patience, so find a creative way to show your teachers know how much you appreciate them!

Though it is a common courtesy to say “Bless you!” when someone sneezes, people rarely do unless it is someone they know. The next time you hear or see someone sneeze, offer those kind words regardless of whether or not you know them.  


Awhile back, we decided to highlight Kind-Hearted Keysha this week, partly because today is Valentine’s Day, but also because we love what she stands for. Then, we soon discovered that this is also “Random Acts of Kindness” week! As a reminder, we have designed this simple “BE KIND” bookmark and framed art. It’s just a simple way to keep kindness front and center in our lives!

Throughout the week, we will highlight simple gestures and acts of kindness like thanking a teacher or planting a tree. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation keeps a top-notch website full of inspirational stories, quotes and ideas. In fact, they have a database with 100’s of Kindness Ideas.

Download the bookmark and art here.

What “Kind” of ideas do you have for this week? We would love to hear them! cast@personagiftpail.com

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