Making new connections

Today I am waking up to a pile of new opportunities because I am surrounded by unfamiliarity (oh thats a fancy fun big word). I am away from home, surrounded by many people I’ve never seen let alone met before, yet we all have one thing in common… business online. We are coming together for a conference, each of us at different levels of knowledge and involvement on the topic. We all have different, yet possibly similar, goals and expectations for this experience. And, we’re all here to make new friends.

I Love My Job Penguin

At least, thats what the end result is whether we intend it that way or not. It is after all, a business function… who makes friends in business, right? We’re here for business. To do business. To expand our business horizons and make our bosses or our bottom lines a little happier. Business friends are usually called coworkers or colleagues aren’t they? I am mean this isn’t the place for making real long lasting friendships is it? – there isn’t time for that kind of socializing

Not in my world!

Some of my absolute dearest friends are people I’ve met through the commonality of what we do to pay our bills. Here at Affiliate Summit, there is no exception. Once again I have met more wonderful people. Hear more fantastic stories; been greeted with more smiles and hugs and happy hellos… from people I’ve just met in the last 72 hours. This is why I keep coming back!

Sure, some people are here to network, not make friends. Meet new faces, add new names to the list and connect on a professional, gotta get things done, kind of agenda. Good for them! If it works, keep plugging along. Sometimes, when you aren’t looking, there’s more. Always keep an eyeball open for it…

Meeting new people means more to me. Connecting with old friends is something I treasure. I am delighted to wake up to such a great opportunity as I have today… to make new connections that could last a lifetime. I’ve made many new friends and am overjoyed that I can returned home tomorrow with new faces and names on my Christmas card list. – I can’t wait for “tomorrow” to share and grow together!

Tuesday's Topic: Encouragement

Today’s topic comes to mind after a few particularly rough weeks… for me? No, not necessarily. It occurred to me how important it is to encourage others – not only so they can succeed but so we can succeed as well. While talking with others, sharing views, insights, and support I found myself hearing myself echo in my own head. Sometimes that’s due to too much allergy medicine.. but this week I needed to hear what I was saying as much as the other person did.

Encouragement is sharing, helping,
walking along side, holding a hand…
comfort and wisdom combined with sincerity and compassion.

Smiley Sunflower

Encouragement is “the act of giving hope or support to someone”.

The whole concept of “I need to listen to my own advice” has been an oning battle for me. I’ve always had a difficult time really seeing what I need… asking for it is another obstacle all together.

The point here is… helping others to be the best they can be, helping them strive for and reach their goals… listening to their needs and taking the time to really point out (with lots of love) where there is room for improvement can help us all grow. I think the hardest conversations I’ve had in the last few weeks are the ones where I’m critisizing in areas that need to be changed. Makes me feel horrible to point out unhappiness. But really, when we stop to think about it – change isn’t bad.

Floral Art

As long as your intent is there to be helpful, the message will come out as it’s suppose to. It takes a lot of strength, courage and love to stop and tell someone the changes they can make to improve whatever it is they need to improve. It’s so much easier to tell people that what they are doing is great… when maybe it’s only 75% of the greatness they are hoping to achieve. No one really wants to hear “wow thats fantastic!” when improvements can be made to make it truly amazing. We need one another to see that extra bit of growth we are capable of achieving.

Floral Art

So get out there and encourage someone to do something fabulous today – you know, you might need to hear it too… I know you can do and you’ll do it wonderfully!

Featured Designs: Smiley Sunflower, Little Daisy, Pansies

Business on the go

This year has been a very busy year for me as far as traveling for business goes. Usually I do all of my work right from home… oh sure, I might move from the office to the kitchen table, to the couch and back again, but my traveling rarely includes leaving the house — this year has been so different. I’m loving the new adventure opportunities.

Not only am I going to various planned conferences and meetings, I am also traveling quite a bit with family and enjoying the benefits of photography and blogging my adventures as a part of my business. So, everywhere I go now becomes a business opportunity. I love my job!

Te Grand Tetons

I’m learning quite a bit about my business traveling skills… they’re nearly non-exsistant. Oh sure, I can pack just fine. I know to bring business cards and clean shirts… possibly a hair brush. However, it’s one thing to travel by yourself, you, a little carry-on and your laptop… maybe a camera. It’s entirely different to be me, my little carry-on, my laptop, my camera bag, my 3 kids, their backpacks and snack packs and plushie poohbear playpacks and my husband, and his gum and books and maps he won’t think he needs…. and our 900 checked suitcases, the rental car and OMG, did you bring the tickets, I can’t find the tickets, where ARE the tickets…. who HAS the TICKETS?!

Bridge in Vancouver BC

“Honey, we’re driving”.

So when I do end up on a trip by myself, I keep doing 360s trying to figure out who I just left or what I just put down that I didn’t bring to begin with. I also found, no matter how well I pack things, I end up taking at least 5 of those little bins, that you put your stuff in, while walking barefoot through security. Eww yeah, I know its barefeet or smiley face socks – you pick. Don’t worry… I strip myself of all belongings in 30 seconds or less. I refuse to be a line holder upper girl. I’m sure I’m quite the site.

I’ve now come to realize, it’s mind boggling how much easier it is to travel in a herd than alone… we can lose our things and our minds together. Not to mention, 12 hands are better than my 3.

I have to say, I am so glad I’m getting out and about this year. I’m meeting more interesting people, that many times have a lot in common with myself, and I’m learning more than I ever imagined. New sights and sounds and flavors just add fuel to my creative fire that is finally starting to burn again.

And… It’s nice to give my brain something to chew on.

More topics for Tuesday…Today is also:

• National Lasagna Day.
• NASA Day. On this day in 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act which created NASA.
• National Photograph Your Children When They’re Not Looking Day.
• Single Working Women’s Week begins today (

View more photos from our most recent trip

Read about more interesting people and places by following My Penguin Travels

Hot dogs are heaven on a bun

Tomorrow is National Hot Dog Day – sponsored or encouraged or bribed by the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. Do you know what they put in hot dogs…  so then what does the council sit around approving??? I dare not stop to think.. eek!

Originally, today, I was going to focus on the fact that my favorite fun trivia sight seems to be officially broken. There’s been no new trivia since July 1st. Such a sad thing when one can’t find fun trivia to fill the void.

But then I discovered the hog dog happiness and I had to share…

My family and I recently went on a 12 day road trip. We spent time with family and time on our own adventuring and exploring. I’m pretty sure, as a family, we ate more hot dogs in one week than any small army should eat in a year — and we loved it! (It’s best not to think of the ingredients when consuming). The funny thing, when you think about it… I don’t think we even varied the hot dog accessorizing. I mean, you can have corn dogs or chili dogs or dogs on a bun… naked dogs, dogs and kraut… and the list goes on. We have your standard hot dog on a bun with ketchup and mustard… viola! If anything, we’re consistent.

Hot Dogs are Happiness

So my thought on all this… sometimes yuckie ingredients make for spendid memories.


Have a Happy Hot Dog Day!

Tuesday's Topic: Draw your day

I’ve said all along that my doodles are inspired by my “every day”. Every experience in any day can be and idea sparker for a design… for any of us. I’m fairly reactionary when it comes to creating new images. Sometimes I’ll sit and think about an idea for a while, but for the most part I tend to think “wow, that’s a neat picture” and I create it right then. Which is why lately I haven’t created much of anything. I think “wow – neat” and then rush off to the next whatever it is I need to handle.

Big raspberry pfffft – yeah right!
is what my “available drawing time” says to me now.

Keep in mind,
It’s always good advice to stop and think before you act. Don’t be reactionary is the general rule. However, I have a new suggestion for you:

Be reactionary about your idea process. If something sparks a thought, write it down, make yourself a note to think about it and consider it. Don’t necessarily act on it right then in the sense of making something happen.. but do let your ideas flow and allow them to flourish. Don’t discount an idea right at the moment you have it… you never know when it might be an idea that goes somewhere. besides, there’s nothing wrong with having a idea book of thoughts that do nothing but sit there and spark new thoughts —

This is what I call long lifetime brainstorming.

Maybe when you have enough ideas piled up, you’ll need a new bag to carry them around… Here’s my favorite idea bag:

Butterfly & Ladybug Tote Bag

What inspired this design idea? A lil’ love, a little sunshine and a lot of fluttering around with smelly yumminess I suppose.

What neat idea did you think up today?

Tuesdays Topic: scrumptiously cute veggies

Today is eat all your vegetables day – oh yay!

We love vegetables in my house, so that won’t be a difficult thing to do for any of us. I don’t know how I got so lucky with my kids… they all love salad and a huge variety of cooked veggies. They’ve even tried some not so typical flavors – at least not typical in our town.

Some of our favorites include:
Corn on the cob – I think its just fun to chomp on something.
Broccoli with melted cheese
Peas and Carrots with a little butter and garlic salt
and of course loaded veggies salad – don’t forget the croutons!

So today’s featured doodle is Veggie Girl with smilie peas, corn, lettuce and a rather happy carrot… eat happy!

Today is also, National Apple Streudel Day, so when you finish all those veggies, give yourself a yummy treat! ~win

The Veggie Girl design is also available in a variety of t-shirts, buttons and more.

Tuesday's Topic: Commonalities in vibrant colors

It seems to me, when there is an opportunity to sit and chat with people that have a single common interest with yourself… there is always an abunance of sharing to be had. Sometimes the conversation goes for a twisty ride and you’ll find yourself discovering topics you didn’t know you had an interest in. other times you’ll find your shared liked experiences are so similar you can’t believe someone else can related on such a close level.

I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people and hanging out with friends. I love finding out what others enjoy and why or where or what they like most. I always gain an appreciation for exploring areas I might not have known of before.

Over the past week I have had a number of opportunities to talk with people face-to-face that I otherwise only spoke with online via email or chat. I’ve strengthened current friendships, gained new friendships, gained new appreciations and understandings for people I hardly new and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it all.

I went to San Francisco over the weekend to meet up with peers and collegues. We talked, we laughed and debated… we listened and learned and brainstormed. I was able to talk one-on-one with a few people whom I only knew of as a screen name. I heard stories of how people got to where they are today and I “talked shop” in chaotic spurts.

The energy level was both invigorating and tiring, but absolutely well worth the trip. It’s a fabulous thing, when one works alone from home, to sit in a room full of like minds. There’s a new found motivation after leaving this type of event.

I returned home Sunday with new ideas and new friends.


Last night I hosted a little bbq dinner party. There were old and new friends… We ate, we chatted, we talked business. Our kids played together as if they had already been friends for a while and we all enjoyed eachothers company. A few of my guests I only met as they arrived at my door. Other friends I have known for years. We come from different areas of the country, have different backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common as a group… The internet. Each of us has some kind of work related connection to the internet; we’re affiliate marketers, designers and retail merchants and internet sales gurus.

As the night went on, we shared ideas, experiences, swapped stories about all kinds of things – work or not. By 10:30 or so we all began to call it night. I’m pretty sure if the need for sleep after a long day hadn’t kicked in, we would have all stayed up until the wee hours gabbing away.

I had a great time.

It amazes me how diverse our own little worlds are, and I often wonder how anyone can go walking through life without learning as much about people as I do… daily. The creative energy, determination and passion for one’s work that many I’ve met have… it’s truly inspiring. I wonder how I can do more or be better… without passing out from exhaustion first.

I think a great image for today’s thoughts is this scrumptious Banana Split We all bring different yummy flavors to the same fabulously delightful dish.