Summer Reading List

I’m not at a desk in a large corporation with an entire marketing team or editing team to help me with my research and blog posts – it’s just me at a desk in a dedicated home office corner of my living room when I can steal away time from motherhood, life, and my day job (usually on weekends or late at night). Each post comes from my thinking that I’d like more information on something or want to make something or learn a new craft or try a project, then creating a blog post with what I find. It’s that simple and surely it’s a familiar setting for others. And in the course of all I do, I bookmark A LOT of websites and blogs and articles. Today, I’m sharing a very random collection of links. From business tips on productivity and collaboration to style and attitude, this eclectic collection of articles is what I’ve been bookmarking lately. Some are old, some are new, but all are fairly interesting or useful.

Want Significance? Then Do Something Significant by Baldwin H. Tom

Why Self-Esteem and Success Go Hand-In-Hand by Damon Jennings

Personal branding, accountability, and how to just be yourself already by Rebecca Thorman

Fantastic post about Saying No by @chrisgarrett

“Should I work for free?” A helpful flowchart

My most interesting discovery about debts & living within your means… from Allan Cuthbert

7 Quick Ways To Turn A Bad Day Into A Good Day from SOCIALMEDIAINF0

9 Helpful Tips To Deal With Negative People in Life and Business from SOCIALMEDIAINF0

Mattress Stitch Tips to Help You Finish! – Knitting Daily

How To Pick Up and Knit Stitches – 2 Ways | KNITFreedom

Working With Double-Point Needles

Test Pattern TV Cover: Matt Richardson @ Make: Online writes: When Jason received a flat screen TV for Chris.


Growing up in the States, I was accustomed to the usual first question… What do you do? Or if you’re still in school… What’s your major? It only irked me when I considered that my answer alone may be a reason for this person to want to know me or write me off as not worth talking with. It was my husband who first told me that I am not my job and to try not to perceive the question as someone asking me what I do for a living or what I do from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week, but what I DO with my time, talents, enthusiasm, and life. After all, it may not be my day job that would spark a vibrant conversation or networking relationship (though my day job is pretty awesome to be fair), it may be a hobby that has us chatting away like reunited school chums. But no one would know about it if I didn’t share what I really do with myself and my resources. Of course, telling someone what you do goes a long way when you actually know how to share it without having it be the conversational equivalent to watching film slides of someone else’s vacation.

So What Do You Do? By Baldwin H. Tom

What Do You Do? (What’s Your Answer?) by Brian Casel

Thoughts When Asked: “What Do YOU Do?” by Jeff Pulver


I’m a huge supporter and lover of art. I earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and communications so an environment without artwork seems devoid of soul to me. My living room is filled with paintings, many of which I created myself (like these two landscapes I painted as gifts for my husband). These inspirational portfolios and articles focus on the importance of art and art therapy (which I took several classes in at university) in life:

Nesting, Branding, and Why Office Murals are on the Rise via

Art Matters by John Tusa

Portfolio of Restaurant Design Work That’ll Knock Your Socks Off by Swatchroom in Washington, D.C.

Focusing and art therapy: tools for working through post-traumatic stress by Laury Rappaport, Focusing Folio


Social media may be most popular for keeping in touch with friends, having fun, or promoting business, but what about the middle ground? For those of us who are not with a big company or just out for a good time online, social media resources can help us aim higher – and reach higher while building a brand identity. So, let’s narrow the gap in knowledge and get in there. Here are some interesting articles, blog posts, and resources I found:

10 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips

The Art of Creating a Social Media Press Release — SocialFish

A Template For A Small Business Social Media Presence

12-Step Social Media Guide: Put your Local Business on the Map

Personal Branding in Social Media | The New School (88-MIN VIDEO)

Social Media Marketing to Small Businesses

30 Valuable Lessons Learned Using Social Media for Small Business

Cincinnati State launches social media program | Business Courier

Opening Up Social Media for Local Small Business – Danny Brown

8 Social Media Sites for Local Networking

How to Use Social Media for Personal Branding » Techipedia

Personal Branding and Social Media Optimization in Action | Social …

HOW TO: Leverage Social Media for Career Success

5-Steps for Creating a Social Media Marketing Campaign for Your Brand

Can Social Media Save a Local Business?

5 Ways to Grow Your Local Business with Social Media

10 Ways To Build Your Local Twitter Community

Social Media, Blogging and Why It’s Perfect for Local Small and Local Businesses

How to Drive More Customers to Your Local Business With Social Media

Building Community and Driving Local Business with Social Media

Importance of Business Cards And Social Media

Let’s Talk: Social Media for Small Business – Duct Tape Marketing

Social Media Marketing for Small Business –


In this day and age when an Internet survey asks personal questions, many of us do not hesitate to answer questions, no matter the topic. But really, the question asker should have no expectation of response given it is your right to retain your information at any given time. Even if you just don’t feel like telling someone what color socks you are wearing, they have no valid recourse to get upset.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners from All Experts

Facebook Etiquette Rules People Still Break from Sherweb blog


There are many wonderful people out there, but accepting or initiating a new friend request means you will have one more person who sends you updates in your News Feed. Would you rather hear about this nearly-a-stranger is doing on Farmville or see updates on your best buds back home?

Facebook Etiquette: 10 Rules for Better Socializing from PCWorld

Loose Gravel: Facebook Etiquette: To friend or to ignore?


Games are for your entertainment and, honestly, they are much more fun to play than to read about someone else playing so consider limiting what you share so your friends don’t block you from their News Feeds. Because one day you may share that you are a grandmother and no one will still be listening.

Game Etiquette from Facebook

Farmville social gaming etiquette

Understanding the Unofficial Mafia Wars Etiquette

Facebook Etiquette 11: Game Notifications | The Bucking Hoarse

Etiquette | facebook games

Rules of FarmVille Etiquette | Facebook


Working with others is often a necessarily evil, but it can also be really fun and productive. These articles target hot issues with collaborative work environments and how to resolve them gentle and conflict-free as well as other fun office hacks. These are mostly from the same blog since it is focused on teamwork in the workplace – and it’s also where I work so I’m a fan.

10 Ways to Strengthen Your Team Relationships via (my day job)

Create Positive New Hire Experiences via

Let a Timer Schedule Your Day with The Pomodoro Technique via

The 3 Secrets to Building a Winning Team via

Death, Open Plan Offices, Taxes, and All Things Ugly via

9 Ways to Thank Your Team for Being Awesome via

You Never Thought of Theses 7 Ways to Use Dry Erase Boards via

Dabbawalas: Teamwork within a System via

Disagreeing & The Sandwich Technique via

Chasing Work Life Balance via

Important & Urgent – How to Focus on Things That Matter via

The Myth of Multitasking via

Growing up, my parents were the kind that supported, encouraged, and loved me no matter what. With that came the suggestion that I could do anything I set my mind to and if I do what I love the rest will fall into place. Believe in ourselves, know ourselves, and it all works out – at least that’s the theory (and hope). When I finished my BA, I knew I wanted to be a writer and use my creativity in a visual way, but I was fearful. I love putting words together and designing shapes and colors to be something interesting, so what happens when I must do it in a certain way in a specific place for a set number of hours every day? Would my passion lose its allure or would it dampen the joy it brings to make it my ‘day job’? In the end, I chose to pursue work that would allow me to use my creative skills without relying solely on them for my livelihood so when I got done at the office I would still have interest in doing it for myself. After a day of answering emails, we all know how we dread looking at our personal emails right? Well, I had the same idea. It seemed to work and now I use my skills for consulting so my ‘day job’ is balanced with my ‘true love’ and, of course, actually having a life. I don’t know if my path was the right one, but since I am happy it must have been the right one for ME for that time in my life. Here are a few interesting blog posts somewhat related to the fork in the road we all face when we wonder how to channel our true love and passion into a career:

Maybe you can’t make money doing what you love by Seth Godin

Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow by Robbie Vorhaus

Without Passion, You May Be A Successful Failure by Baldwin H. Tom

Quit Your Day Job, a series of profiles and posts from’s blog The Storque

Balancing Practicality with Passion by Christopher McCann

Linking Passion and Career: The Perils of Nonprofit Recruiting from Knowledge@Wharton


Hopefully, these resources will help you find a new perspective and help you find your point, your voice, or your comfort when it comes to speaking and presenting.

Make the Point or Explain Yourself by Baldwin H. Tom

Speechwriting Articles from Six Minutes

Ten Tips for Public Speaking from Toastmasters International

Conquer Your Fear with Preparation by Ben Wilson


In the teen years, identity is about fashion, attitude, extracurriculars, and friends – but mostly the idea that it’s not about those things as self-discovery is muddled with discovering the world from the safe enclave of youth. In college, identity is linked to course of study, friends (again), and extracurriculars. Sometimes even a year off to backpack your way tofinding yourself. Then the real world hopes that you’ve figured out what’s inside because identity becomes about what the world sees of you – a Social Security Number, a user name, an avatar, a career (FYI, you are not your job), and the accessories of life (home, car, clothes, OS). These days it seems identity is wrapped up in technology more than ever before. I know I am not alone in experiencing the modern introduction – having my pertinent user name given to explain who I am to someone at a real life social event. Sometimes it feels like so much time is spent interacting (dare I say, living) online that the little moments in life are changing. In my mind, the essential part of balancing a virtual life and a real one is keeping a bit of it just for you and your loved ones though — since not everyone needs to know everything about who you are. What counts is that you know who you are. As I go back to my real life, I’ll leave you with some interesting links about online identity:

In the Battle for Online Identity, Privacy is the Casualty from Simply Converged

Online Identity Privacy – Users Don’t Take Precautions from Matt Flynn’s Identity Management Blog

Career Truth #1: Brand or Be Branded (Are YOU Willing to Risk What Shows on the Top Fold?) from CareerRealism

Creating a Positive Professional Image from Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Career Identity Crisis from Employment Digest

EFF’s Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy by Stanton McCandlish of Electronic Frontier Foundation


These are just a few of my favourite articles and blog posts that have nuggets of wisdom and insight. What is one of yours?

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