Blog Name: Penelope’s Oasis
Penelope Guzman was one of the first bloggers I ever had the privilege of meeting in person. She’s one of two of the most influential bloggers in my life and has taught me so very much about how to turn blogging into a serious career, without sacrificing the actual content that I love to share so much. She’s way too sweet for her own good, and her husband’s a big comic book fanboy too. Like me, she’s a fellow New Yorker, and has two adorable sons. Hope you enjoy this peek into Penelope’s world, because I certainly wouldn’t be here without her.
How did you get started blogging?
I started blogging after I got married and planned to have children to connect to other women in the same life stage. None of my friends were newlyweds or planning to start a family, and I wanted to find comradeship.
What do you love most about blogging?
I love writing and connecting to other women, which is what blogging started out as for me. It evolved into my being paid to write for other sites, and learning about photography, which was always a hobby of mine, but which I didn’t really have a great deal of knowledge about in terms of skills, how to make an image look like what you see in your mind before you take out your camera, etc. Blogging opens doors to allowing us to pursue our passions and be creative.
What’s the worst part about blogging?
The worst part of blogging is staying up late to complete assignments after everyone has gone to sleep. I can concentrate when no one is calling for me, but I don’t get a lot of sleep as a result.
Why do you blog?
I blog to write, to share pictures of our life, and to help support my family.
Does your family read your blog? Ever get in trouble because of it?
My family reads my blog, and over the last year or so my entire offline community has discovered it. Never got in trouble for it, but a lot of surprise by people at my “double, online life” that they had no idea about.
How has blogging affected your life?
Blogging allowed me to make a living doing my two favorite things: writing and photography. Blogging is the best thing that ever happened to me career-wise.
Have you met other bloggers in person? Is it awkward?
I’ve met other bloggers in person, it’s awesome! I want to meet more!
What’s the best and worst part of raising 2 boys?
The best part of raising two boys is EVERYTHING…. Andrew states it all perfectly. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I didn’t even pay Penelope to say that! No, really!] They are fun, they are my gentlemen, they love their mama so much, I get to do boy stuff I never did growing up (I was all about dolls and making jewelry crafts and dressing up). The worst part? None yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s your secret to an overall happy family?
My secret to an overall happy family is to always, always make them #1. I don’t put anything before my family, and I think the mom/wife of the family really sets the tone, so I really can determine if my 3 dudes have a great day or a stressful day. I try to always make sure they have a happy day and know someone is at home who is supportive of them and loves them.
You’re famous! You’ve been in magazines and on TV! What was that like?
Being in print was great fun, and I love Aveeno and I love that they gave me the opportunity. At 5’2″, being a “model” was never even on my bucket list, and being in a commercial later in the year was also something that I never expected to happen (co-starting with Kelly Ripa in it either… how do these things happen??). I loved being prepped in make-up, being directed by photographers, and later seeing it in PEOPLE or on TV.
And when I taped the MOTRIN Mom commercial with my son, THAT was fun because it was something we did together. He was in a commercial too! We have some great relationships with a few networks, and they reached out to me, and I love them even more for it- they allowed me to experience things that are pretty amazing.
Where is Penelope’s Oasis?
Penelope’s Oasis is my home. A very wise lady once told me that the home you create for your family needs to be an Oasis, because the world is tough and your loved ones need to be able to come to a place where they are safe and loved, a place to encourage them to hit the ground running as they start their day, and a soft place to land at the end of the day.
An Oasis rejuvenates them, and is a place they feel relaxed and filled. She said that as a wife and mom, I have to be an “Oasis Girl”, a source of love and support for my family. It doesn’t matter what they deal with “out there”… they come home to an oasis from the world.
And be sure to tell Penelope that Andrew from Mommy’s Busy, Go Ask Daddy sent ya!