Archive for June, 2015

Start of Summer for Peku

Monday, June 29th, 2015

rsz_peku_penguin_printAs I typed the title of this post, I wondered how many people would notice the capitalization of Peku. I am keenly aware of it, but I think for others it isn’t obvious. This company, of which I am the CEO and Editor-in-Chief, is PeKu. Our mascot, the ever adorable penguin, is Peku. Thus, today’s post is focused on her.

As I sat down to write this morning, I didn’t have a topic in mind. It’s the fifth Monday of the month, which means there is no assigned category, providing more freedom for topics. My mind drew a blank. I searched Monday hashtags for inspiration and stumbled upon #MotivationMonday. What motivation could I find for today?

For us in NH, this is the first full week of summer, as school just ended last Wednesday. Summer led to thoughts of travel and family get-togethers. I’ll be spending some time in Kentucky, Florida, and Canada. Most of these are quick weekend trips, but they will give me time to see new-to-me locations. Next week I’ll enjoy some time with family at a mini-reunion. As I thought about these events, I realized it was time to get Peku back on the road.

Peku was created as a symbol of PeKu Publications about two years ago. Last fall we had an intern that created a #WheresPeku campaign. When his internship ended, I continued her journey for a few months but have let it wane in the past few months. As I thought about motivation this morning, I thought about reinvigorating Peku.

While I don’t have a tremendous amount of travel ahead, it’s time to get Peku on the road with me again. Be sure to follow Peku on Twitter and Instagram to see her journeys, near and far, over the coming weeks and months.  And, of course, be sure to follow PeKu for our latest articles. We are sure to inspire, inform, and engage you!

Meet the Team- Marnie Bii

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

rsz_marnieToday’s interview features one of our columnists, Marnie Bii. Marnie has been writing for PeKu since April of 2014. In this time she has covered a number of topics for us, including pets, travel, fitness, shopping, and home decor. I have found her articles to be both inspiring and informative. In fact, on many a Monday after reading her bargain article, I have gone in search of these shopping steals!

Rather than embarking on a list of the fashion buys I’ve bought, let me introduce you to Marnie!

MPKWhen you aren’t writing articles, what do you like to do with your free time?

MBAs a mom of two young kids, I don’t have a lot of actual free time. Luckily, I love taking them to the park, doing crafts, playing games, helping with homework and teaching them how to cook. Whenever possible, I like to go on road trips and attend local races and car shows. I spend the late evening hours catching up on my favorite TV shows, playing video games and reading books.

MPKYou write for a handful of our publications. Do you have a favorite?

MBAs an anthropology major, I absolutely love to write about venues and events found throughout the world for Good Life Review. The research and writing process gives me a glimpse into those locations that I would not have enjoyed otherwise. With each new article I write, I add another venue to the long bucket list of places to visit as soon as traveling becomes a possibility. Feathers, Fins and Fur is a close second because I love helping people care for their companions.  

MPKYou write about pet products and caring for a variety of pets. Do you have any pets in your home?

MBYes, we have one black cat named Rocket. Since we nursed him back to health from four weeks on, he thinks he is more people than cat. He loves to curl up in the kids’ arms like a baby and play chase games throughout the house. When the kids are not home, he slowly stalks through the house alternately calling for the kids and pouting on his cat tree.

MPKIn your bio, you note that you enjoy the automotive and gaming communities in Seattle. Are you a gamer?

MBWhen time allows, yes, I love to play video games alone and with the family. Since I’ve recently turned my attention to the games we have for our consoles, I have uncompleted PC games piling up from the last few Steam sales. I am also slowly working my way through the Pokemon world on my 3DS. I am excited to start up Fantasy Life as soon as I complete the main story on Pokemon. As a family, we frequently build new worlds together on Space Engineers and Terraria.

MPKWhat fun facts would our readers be surprised to learn about you?

MBJust a few things:

  • For the last year, I have closely followed the LCHF keto diet to improve my health.
  • I enjoy the challenge of piloting RC cars on pavement, dirt and grass surfaces.
  • I recently obtained a couple new RC cars, a HPI Sprint 2 Drift 350Z and Tamiya XV-01 Lancia.
  • I have only been to two states, Washington and Michigan, and never out of the country.
  • I am planning to go back to school for my Master’s in Library Sciences degree in the near future.

End of the School Year Nostalgia

Monday, June 15th, 2015

grad capIn my previous career I was an elementary level teacher. I taught second, third, and fourth grades over a ten-year period. I left that career to build PeKu Publications. Although it has been seven years since my last class, June always makes me think about end of the school year. I don’t miss being in the classroom, but I do have many fond memories of this time of year. Witnessing the amazing amount of growth in your students and the strong community you have built is always pleasing.

In this role, I don’t have the same feelings in June. However, yesterday as I was cleaning a corner of our basement, I went through some of my teaching bins. I found things that could be discarded, such as outdated science texts. I also found things that made me smile: class pictures, plan books from all of my teaching years, cherished read aloud books.

As I was looking at the pictures, I found group shots from the class that currently is graduating from high school. You see, there’s another piece to my previous career. I taught in the town in which I live, which means that I still have some level of connection. With a recent high school graduate and a current high school junior, I attend many school events and see my former students. So, although I no longer teach, I still have the advantage of watching many of them grow up.

These same students are also connected, as PeKu provides a scholarship to one graduating senior. Being a former teacher and the head of a publishing company, they have to submit an essay. My editors (who aren’t locally based) review and score the essays to determine the winner.

This Wednesday I will attend Senior Night at my local high school. I have been asked to be the speaker at the NH Scholars ceremony and then will present my scholarship during Senior Awards. I am truly honored to be part of these events. I feel privileged to speak to this group of top students. I am proud of PeKu being successful enough to give back; while the scholarship isn’t large, it is great to know that PeKu is helping kids from my local community.

I’m sure when I stand in front of the seniors of Wednesday, I’ll have a little of that old, end of the school year feeling. I’ll be proud of who these students have become and where they are headed next.

PeKu News- All Remains Quiet

Monday, June 8th, 2015

calendarLast week I wrote about the quietness at PeKu. No changes to publications, no new features, just a differently calm month was had in May. Apparently, the quietness is becoming a pattern, as this week there are no recognitions to be made. No new team members were added. No one moved on to new ventures over the past month. No anniversaries are being celebrated.

This, too, has a slight sense of oddness to it. With a team of 16 writers, 2 engineering members, a video creator, and an editor, we almost always have an anniversary to celebrate. However, if I reflect, it really isn’t that strange. When I worked as an elementary teacher, we would chart the birthdays by month. In some classes, there were months without a single birthday. Even with 20-25 students, it’s possible to have a birthday-free month. So, why not an anniversary-free month?

While I miss not being able to celebrate any team member’s anniversary, there are perks to this quiet. As the CEO, it means I didn’t have to spend time in May searching for new team members. It also means that I didn’t have to say goodbye to someone. Sometimes quiet can be good.

Behind the scenes, there’s definitely plenty going on at PeKu. July’s highlights and news will be filled with notes of change. No sneak peeks here! Be sure to return in July to read about all of the exciting things happening at PeKu!

What’s Different Here?

Monday, June 1st, 2015

EY_June-Highlights_2015My home contains a blended family, our own little version of the Brady Bunch. I have two children, and my husband has two children, which makes us a family of six. As there are other sets of parents and our oldest is in college, most of the time we have only one teen in the family nest. So, every night as I walk the stairs to our bedroom, my mind, on some subconscious level, checks the box that she is home and in bed.

I describe it as being at a subconscious level because I truly am not thinking about whether or not she’s bed; I’m usually thinking about the next day’s schedule or whether the dishwasher needed to be run. The reason that I’m aware of this checking is that when she isn’t home and in bed, I have this moment of something’s wrong. If she’s spending the night at a friend’s, I have this quick moment of thinking about where she is and know everything is fine.

You might be wondering what does this odd/interesting evening ritual have to do with PeKu? The connection is that I had a similar occurrence this morning. As I was thinking about the new features for PeKu this month, I realized that there aren’t any. My mind thought, That can’t possibly be.

So, I looked at all of May’s projects and the June calendar. Yes, we did work on new things over the past 31 days, but they’re all behind the scenes kind of items, and they aren’t even behind the scenes that affect our readers’ experiences. They make PeKu run better and help organize our team more efficiently.

June is starting off quietly, which isn’t a bad thing; it’s just different.