Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Goal Complete: Successfully Speak at HOW

I've been to countless design conferences over the course of the last 10 + years, and HOW has always been the BIG ONE.

Did I have it as a lofty goal to speak at one?


Did I get accepted?


Did I follow-through and have a great experience?!


HOW is the pinnacle of design. A top source for inspiration with top speakers in the industry, a ton of tracks and endless information. I'm not sure how long they've been doing it, but they have now merged 4 conferences into one...so it's a pretty massive event. Much different than when I went 10 years ago as an attendee in Orlando, and even different than Vegas 5 years ago.

This year it took place in Boston, where I have been to attend a DMI Seminar before and one other time for Demandware training when I was at LE. Needless to say, Boston has only been known to me as a place to go to "work". This was no exception.

I did spend a big chunk of time working on my speech, but I also got to walk the area, meet up with a good friend and spend some much needed down time.

Session Description:

How to Work With Multiple Brands In-House - HDC

It can be difficult to foster an environment conditioned to multiple brands, teams, clients and philosophies all under one roof. Get an in-depth account of how to set up a good working environment, from when to share ideas and when to work independently, from in-house expert Nicolle Mueller. You’ll learn why it’s important for design’s role to be a partnership with merchandising, marketing and production in order to consistently provide a unique and customer-engaging experience.

You’ll get:
  • recommendations on ideal team structure
  • tips on marrying design flexibility in multiple brands
  • tools and advice for developing a creative partnership
In-House Staff

I have to admit, I was NERVOUS! I had a few technical issues to sort out ahead of time, and the room was huge. Now I know what it feels like to have over 400 people fill a room that you are standing up in front of. I tried to make it as interactive as I could, and actually created a Jeopardy board so people could get up and "ask questions" from it and I gave the answers. The hope was a more fluid and open dialogue based on key points. There were quite a few people who came up and asked questions, so that was a relief! It can be a lot to fill in an hour and 15 minutes of time!

When it was all said and done 5 or 6 people came up for conversation afterwards and I had a few reach out after I made it back home. It was a huge rush!

Plus, the organization really takes care of you. All expenses paid, a stipend, great accommodations and a free ride to the entire event!

In hindsight and now that I know what to expect, is it something I would do again?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Goal Complete: 30-Day Facebook Hiatus

It hasn't been difficult to do, since I closed my facebook account several months back, for many reasons.

Do I miss keeping up with friends and family and trolling around to read the latest updates?


Do I miss looking down at my watch and realizing I just spent an hour of my time and never actually reached out to anyone or made a connection so people know I am thinking of them?


I'm sure in a few months I'll be back on the drug, spending wasted minutes reading about Jim Bob's latest pet trick and Betty Sue's vacation to France, but in the meantime, I'm perfectly fine taking the time to call and text in order to keep communication. Is a text message the equivalent of snail mail 20 years ago? I'm sure there are still more virtual things to come that will make our communication much more efficient, but does it make our communication much BETTER?

That's the question.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Goal Complete: Write a Poem

My eyes are your eyes, and your heart is my heart.
We shared so much, even unspoken, it's like we're never apart.

Strong shoulders not just to carry me, but to carry the world too.
The peace you gave me knowing your love, the kindness and happiness to others, from you.

No fear.
No judgment.
Only love.
Always near.

Would you let me see, safe in your arms untouchable it seems.
You were taken away, now it's all in my dreams.

And all that is left, are my memories of you.
I know you are with me, and in my heart, I am with you too.

I am with you too.
Forever, I am with you.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Awhile back I got an "URGENT" email from a friend....well...the email address was that of a friend, the name was accurate, but I highly doubt my good friend that I've known since I was 10 wrote me something like this:

"Hello,How are you doing?I'm sorry for not informing you about our trip to London,England.We had  to visit a resort in London,England..Unfortunately we got mugged at GUN POINT by some muggers,all cash,credit card and phone were stolen away.It was a scary experience but glad we still have our lives and passports.We've been to the Embassy but they are not been 100% supportive.Return flight leaves in few hours but having troubles sorting out the hotel bills
and the hotel manager won't allow us to leave until we settle the bill.

I was wondering if you can loan us some money to get the hotel  bills sort out and also get a cab to the airport,will definitely refund it as soon as we get back.All i need is $2000 but will appreciate
whatsoever you can afford to loan me right now.Am freaked out at the moment.You can have it wired to my name via Western..Here is the details to get it to me:

Receiver's Name : (The name was inserted in here in the email)
Location : 10b Archway Mall London, N195RG ,United Kingdom.

Here are the details needed for me to pick the money up here.

Sender's Name.........
Amount sent...........

Email me the transfer details(MTCN#) as soon as you are done with the transfer including the amount sent..Let me know if you are heading out to western union and how soon will you be back.

I owe you Alot.
Await your response."

How many people fall for this kind of SPAM?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Life Through You

My life Through You

Birth: You accepted me as your "5th" child. You let me stay in your home, you fed me bottles, you played with me, you held me, you were there for me. You were the father figure in my life from the moment I came into this world.

5 Years Old: You spent time with me and shared in your hobbies. You took me fishing out at the "lake" and on the dock. You let me watch you clean fish and bring home deer from your hunting trips. You made breakfast for the family every Christmas morning and your whistling could be heard throughout the house.

8 Years Old: You signed me up and took me to guitar lessons. You listened to me practice and encouraged me to "do my best". You helped me when my ears got infected. You played music with me and sang to me. You helped me to ride my bike and went on walks. You took me on vacation.

13 Years Old: You are coming to all of my band concerts to watch me play. You tell me it's OK to be nervous. You practice soccer with me so I'm not the one sitting on the sidelines. You continue to give nothing but encouragement, especially in school.

15 Years Old: You teach me how to drive. You are patient with me throughout parallel parking and getting on the highway. You are attending all of the football games to watch me march on the field with the band. You take me to my solo performances for concert band.

18 Years Old: You support decisions that I make as I enter the next stage in life. You watch me graduate from high school. You cry while giving objective advice about the future, all in celebration of the accomplishments over the years.

21 Years Old: You walk me down the aisle and give me away.

23 Years Old: You watch me become the first family member to graduate from college. You take us all out to celebrate after wards. You don't stand up and make a speech, but I know what you feel. You are proud and happy for the start of a career and the hard work and dedication that you taught me.

25 Years Old: You are always the person I can talk to about goals, my career and questions about life. The tables have turned and I am finally able to afford to pay for YOUR meal when we go out to dinner. You remind me what commitment and hard work will get you out of life. You are level-headed, smart and strategic. I am humbled by your experiences and ability to share but not sway.

28 Years Old: You are there for the birth of your first great-grand child. A son, who we name after you giving him the middle name "Paul". We are honored that he can carry that name. You are proud and record every moment possible. You go to every single race I've ever run, no hesitation, not a single one missed. You even break your ankle walking TO a race and you still stand on it long enough to see me finish. You are the only one that will try all of my experimental healthy meals and say every single one of them tastes good.

33 Years Old: You show nothing but unconditional love as I make the decision to move across the country for a new job. You even help me pack up my car and make the long 2 day drive. We spend hours talking about your troublemaking years, your time in Korea and your big decision to pack up the family and move to Texas over 40 years ago. We eat homemade macaroni together on the side of the road. You do most of the driving because I can't stay awake. You share your life experiences all while being a part of mine.

35 Years Old: You are surrounded by family who love you more than anything. You leave us with the peace of knowing the family you created will take care of each other, and that you have lived as one of the most caring and honorable people most will never be, and that we are so lucky to have had. At 35, I will try to continue to make you proud. Taking care of family, being a good person, always working hard, keeping healthy, trying new things, knowing it's OK to have feelings and yes, playing (holding up hands to motion) the guitar.

I will love you always.

Your Grand(daughter)