It’s All At the Airport

Every few months I travel for work and one of my favorite parts is actually time spent in an airport. Really. It’s kinda  inevitable, so why fight it? Looking at travel time  as “found time”, I use it to become more MindFULLY Creative.

I always carry a small notebook in my bag to capture ideas that come to me. Then I use the pages as “check lists to create” and gain the added bonus of checking off creative to-dos. Whether it is from a magazine I splurged on, a display in the store window, or an “aha” when I am forced to sit quietly on the plane for two hours, I always find something that I would have never found.

I also carry my handy-dandy travel journal craft kit. It’s a little pouch with my travel journal, a glue stick, a great pen and water color pencils. I plug in my iPod and for two hours, I am in a creative zone. I write about my trip or anything else that comes to mind. Ripping out pics and gluing them in, using the water from my cup to smear the colored pencils across the page and then adding some text, gives me the satisfaction of having done something when there is nothing to do. When we are delayed, it helps me focus on something other than my annoyance.  And when I get home, I am a happier Robin.

I also love to see what other women around the country are wearing and have gotten some great ideas. In Philadelphia, I saw an elegant woman wearing all black and silver. Now my favorite travel wear is to dress in all black and then wrap a colorful pashmina, like turquoise, around my neck. Throw some silver jewelry on and you have a classy and comfortable travel ensemble.  My friend Tracey is repping a line of affordable jewelry that can spiff up travel basics and add a skip to your step! Check out

Another way I use the time is by catching up on collected magazines and the Sunday NYTs. I don’t always have time during the week to read the whole paper, so I stash the parts I am interested in and pull them out at the gate. If my flight is delayed, I’m still gathering ideas. I also like to buy the paper of the town I’m in. I’m bound to learn something or find some idea that gives me pause.

I hate the phrase, “we have some time to kill”. Why would anyone ever want to kill something so precious?

What have you discovered sitting in the airport that has filled your mind with new ideas and energy? Let us know!

Follow Your Thread

So excited! On Saturday my new stationary arrived.        

I love stationary. There is something about the crisp clean card, the feel of the pen gliding across the paper and the sense of grace as I seal the envelope.

When I was a kid, whenever I received a gift, my parents made me write a thank you note immediately. I hated it. Now, I love it. Moreover, I appreciate it when someone writes to me. So few people use paper these days. It’s an era gone by.

I also learned that in addition to writing personal thank you notes, handwritten professional thank you notes are also treasured. When I was young, I worked at the Illinois Lottery and Desiree Rogers was my boss. Desiree used to write us thank you notes for jobs well done on her personal stationary. I saved mine and learned to do the same as I moved through my own career. I think it is elegant. Maybe that’s why Obama tagged her to be the Social Secretary!

Now I collect stationary and one of my favorite places to buy it is at The Little Monogram Shop

LMS is owned by our friend, Dori Loomis. She is as cute as her store. Creative and light-hearted, Dori’s spirit is only surpassed by her taste in gifts and goodies. Lucky for us, when her girls were in Kindergarten and 2nd grade, she was itching to do something that utilized her creativity. One evening after a glass or two of wine with friends, Dori casually mentioned how perfect some vacant space in town would be for a little monogram shop.

She’d been sewing since she was 7, loved computer graphics and design (which made learning the specialized embroidery software fairly easy), had managed the volunteer non-profit stationery business for The Junior League of Chicago in her 20’s and understood buying and managing inventory. Lastly, she’d handled all the finances for her family’s Funeral Home business.

They loved the idea. So did her husband. So, she set about gathering information about start-up costs and created a business plan.

Dori is a perfect example of when you are thinking about work you’d like to do, “build on what you know.”

Looking back, she found a way for her crazy unrelated jobs to make sense! She’s been around for 8 years, has 5 part-time employees and lots of new ideas still hatching every day. No matter what you may need, LMS is brimming with stationary and gifts that will inspire a thank you.

Check out

Reflect on your own mind full of experiences. What thread weaves through the years?

Birds Of A Feather, Shop Together

This afternoon my 12 year old wanted to go to the mall with a friend. Suffice to say, there were other ways I wanted to spend my day.

I often seem to struggle around what I want to do vs what she wants to do. Today I had a list of “should dos” as long as our driveway.  However,  as she approaches independence, I try to be sensitive to how tethered she still is to us and how much I liked the things she likes when I was her age.

Thus,  I used this afternoon as an opportunity to turn my attitude into gratitude. We had a budget to spend (how lucky to have extra spending money), she still wanted me around and really, my ” should do” list could wait. As such, I grabbed my camera and decided that while they were in Abercrombie and Fitch, I’d sit on the comfy chairs, with all the guys waiting for their ladies, and see what creative pics came to me.

It didn’t take long before I noticed a trend. Teen girls shopping in packs. Everywhere I looked, I saw them. Walking together, talking together, texting together. It was as if once I noticed them, they were everywhere!

I started snapping pictures. From 10 years of age to who knows how old, they crawled the mall. I didn’t notice any boys poking in and out of the stores. Only girls. Any guys I saw were with girls or waiting for them. For 3 hours I sat there, and there was only one lone boy.

What is up with this? Why do so many young girls shop in groups?   Let us know your theory. My mind is full of reasons. What are yours?

p.s. My clothes still smell like store perfume…

What Are You Reading?

I am prone to hormonal insomnia and one of the best ways to lull myself to sleep is with a good book. I am always asking my friends, “What are you reading?”

Such the question also dovetails with my other standard question, “How did you get to be where you are in your work?” And the two fit like hand in glove with my long time pal, Carol Snow.

True confessions. I adore Carol. Haven’t seen her in years, but she and her husband hold a special place in our lives. They were our sidekicks when the guys were in graduate school. We summered at the Cape and came way too close to buying a small home together on the beach, before losing it in a tug of war with another family. We still lament.

Carol is one of those friends who is witty and intelligent, but doesn’t lord it over you. She simply uses it to write contemporary fiction for teens and adults.

How cool is that?

Carol held a variety of jobs post-college and during the early years of raising a family. One constant thread wove itself into Carol’s life – a love of writing. As Carol says, “ Eventually, I decided that I could accept failing as a writer, but I couldn’t live with myself unless I at least gave it a shot. I wrote nonfiction for awhile: articles for Park City Magazine and essays for Salon. One of my essays, about a night spent with my vomiting toddler, was nationally syndicated. If you Google “Carol Snow” and “puke,” you can still find it. Finally, I finished a novel, found an agent, and landed a publishing contract. That was five years and six books ago.”

She lives what I wish for us all to know. If there is something you do well, try and make it yours. If you want to make a living, give it a shot.

Carol’s latest book has just been published. Just Like Me, Only Better Carol Snow. Berkley, $14 paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-23248-4. And she was reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly, 2/15/10!

A divorced Orange County suburbanite’s life gets a delicious jolt in Snow’s superb romantic comedy. After Veronica Czaplicki’s husband leaves her for a mega-rich realtor, she scrapes by, substitute teaching at her son Ben’s elementary school and renting a guest house from an overbearing couple. In a fun twist of fate, Veronica’s resemblance to young superstar Haley Rush (think: Miley Cyrus meets Lindsay Lohan) attracts Haley’s manager, who offers Veronica $100 an hour to pretend to be Haley for photo ops. At first Veronica loves getting a makeover and “dating” Brady Ellis, Haley’s hot ex-boyfriend and co-star. The good times, of course, can’t last, and romantic treachery lurks. Snow (Here Today, Gone to Maui) turns what could’ve been just another single mom mope fest into a wonderfully witty reminder that celebrity always carries a price tag. (Apr.)

My daughter is currently reading, Been There, Done That, one of Carol’s earlier books. Last night she asked for an extra 15 minutes before bed to read. Carol’s books are also awesome travel companions, but be prepared- folks shoot quizzical looks when you chuckle out loud.

I am in a book club. We have been meeting for six years. Some months we love the book and others we simply ignore and turn our attention toward the food. Carol is in a book club, too. Can you imagine how fun it is? Check out their picture. While she says they don’t always dress like this, I find their spirit infectious. I’m defiantly going to bring this to my book club on Thursday!

If you choose to read one of Carol’s books with your book club, it comes with discussion questions. If you are interested in having an author chat, Carol would be happy to join your meeting via speakerphone. Just drop her a line at

This week, check out one of Carol’s books at and settle in for a good read. Use her stories, and her story,  to ponder your own tale. If Carol can turn her love of writing into something she enjoys doing for a living, what would you like to do?

Think mindFULLy and remember, you are the author of your own story.

Hearing Ourselves In A Whole New Way

For some kooky reason, yesterday’s post did not get out to those of you who subscribe. It posted as an RSS feed, but no direct email. Ironic, given the post was about mistakes and learning as I go!

Seems to me, this is a learning moment.

While today is Tuesday, and not MindFULL Monday,  I am sharing this bonus post as a way to test whether or not you receive this posting. It’s also a fun way to share a new learning – Blog Radio, Flip camera video postings, Skype. All ways we can hear and see each other over a static machine.

And in that Spirit, the learning continues! My friend, and creative inspiration, Tamara Kleinberg, Chief Imaginator of Imaginibbles ( interviewed me on Blog Radio, this morning. If you have a few minutes, give a listen.

I was super nervous, but Tamara guided me through the interview with her usual humor and ease. It was also fun to see Blog Radio as a site and to imagine all of the uses for this amazing medium.

Who did you see, hear or read about today that filled your mind with a new idea? Let us know!

It’s All About Learning

Yes, I know this picture is blurry. However, I am using it anyway. To me, it’s a metaphor for this crazy new world of social media and blogging. It reminds me that it is about the creative process and not having to do it all perfectly.  I could get hung up on having to understand everything before embarking, but I have decided to swim against my natural inclination and plunge into learning along the way.  I hope by checking into The MindFULL Creative every so often, you, too, will learn something new!

Some friends have asked me what the difference is between a blog and a website. In my new favorite resource book, Blogging for Bliss, Tara Frey describes them as:

A blog is a type of website supported by a content management system that provides a collection of features including a home page where the latest content automatically appears on top and earlier posts appear in backwards order. Blogs allow users to do much more than just write and share text. You can include photos, audio, video, and other interactive tools.  Blogs allow for comments and interaction with the reader. Historically, websites were more static.

If you’re not into reading books, but like the old world, person-to-person kind of help, try  Marc Farmer.  Marc came to me through my friend Nancy Sharp (stay tuned for an entry on Nancy’s beautiful blog). Marc owns Internet by Demand. Even tho’ I built my own blog on WordPress and designed my own logo, Marc helped me understand nuance and made my logo easy to use across mediums.  Marc is an invaluable resource for those of you who don’t have the time or the inclination to muddle through and design your own website or blog.  He makes everything so easy and he uncomplicates this complicated world.

You can reach him at

As I meander along this path, I also spend a lot of time talking with my friend, Jill, about what it means to be relevant in the social media world. There is so much to know and it is rapidly transforming old paradigms. We learn something and then…It’s on to next! Jill sent me this social media cheat sheet. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I have no idea what half of them are. However, in our effort to learn how to navigate this crazy new world, I put it out to you. Maybe you’ll discover something useful and find a way to add it your everyday life.

Here’s to filling our minds with new understandings and “aha” moments!


Aggregation Tools: FriendFeed,, Lijit,, Socializr, Socialthing!

Blogs: Blogger, Typepad, WordPress*

Bookmarks: Delicious, Digg*, LivejournalMixx, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit StumbleUpon, Technorati*, Yahoo! Buzz

Post Documents: Google Docs, Scribd

Post PowerPoint Presentations: AuthorSTREAM, Google Docs, Myplick, Slideshare

Post Videos: Vimeo, YouTube

Social Networks: Crowdvine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Twitter Tools: MyTweeple, TweetDeck, TweetLater, Twibes, Twitter