Newest Blog Entries


Set Realistic Expectations: Lower the Bar and Lift Your Spirits High

May 10, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

We’re in our Mom-centric mode. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we’re both thinking a lot about our grown children and the wonderful time we invested through the years to raise them. We hoped all would turn out well, but we had no grandiose expectations that we were raising little Einstein geniuses, future Presidents, musical prodigies or super athletes. Our wish was to turn out decent human beings who might do some good in the world, find their own paths to happiness and independence, want to be with us periodically and remember to call home occasionally, especially on Mother’s Day! This...


SPA: A Place to Chill & Aah, Om to Your Heart’s Content

May 03, 2019 Barbara Ballinger

The word “spa” may conjure up images of a mindless getaway—meditation, yoga, Pilates, hikes, healthy food in healthy portions, massages, facials, pedicures, manicures and whatever else can be shared with willing guests. And some also offer a menu of spiritual pursuits, from learning to accept loss to having your future read by a clairvoyant. At the same time, it may suggest big dollars needed to afford such special treatments, often in a stunning location since outdoor greenery can be a healer of mind and body, we now know from scientific research. It’s not unheard of for a visit to cost...


Doing Good: Single Guy, Chef & Caterer Donates Time to Teach Healthy, Inexpensive Cooking to Inner-City Girls

April 26, 2019 Margaret Crane

We love happy stories that make others’ lives better with good honest hard work and a big dose of heart. David Schwartz, caterer and chef for 42 years, exemplifies that model. A few weeks ago, he stood in the classroom of a St. Louis inner-city charter school where he set up a makeshift kitchen in preparation for a cooking class he was teaching. The room was a small dimly-lit space with several tables, chairs and a large teacher’s desk at the back near a window. David was donating his time to teach healthy, inexpensive cooking to 12, 10th grade-inner-city girls....


Passover 2019: The script gets revised, the table becomes more crowded & everything’s fine

April 19, 2019 Barbara Ballinger

Passover or Pesach is an emotional and nostalgic Jewish holiday that celebrates the exodus of the Israelites as slaves in Egypt. For years, our family has gathered as many people around our Seder table as possible. This reflects our open-door policy of welcoming family, friends and almost-strangers who had never been to a Seder. In fact, it’s the most beloved of all our Jewish holidays with more than 70 percent of Jews participating in a family or community Seder versus only 23 percent attending religious services monthly, according to one Pew Research Center study.   I’m not surprised. Part of...


Part II: Two Successful Female Business Partnerships

April 12, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

We talked in last week's blog about the challenges and successes of a female business partnership through the lens of Betsy Polk and Maggie Ellis Chotas, business partners and co-presidents of Mulberry Partners. We know the subject well from our own partnership in writing together for more than 30 years, far longer than many marriages. But we wanted to hear how other women achieved work nirvana, so here are two other teams that show how to manage the formula well. Co-Executive Directors Linda Popky and Lisa Anderson Linda Popky, a strategic marketing expert with her own business, Leverage2Market Associates, and...