My Thoughts and Frustrations with Self Promotion.

If you have ever participated in the internet in any capacity you may have found yourself in a situation where you have to self promote via social media. Personally, I think self promotion is the absolute worst part of internetting for profit. Why you may ask? Well I’ll tell ya, selling yourself on the internet sucks…that’s it…it’s terrible and it can be a soul sucking process, especially if you pour all of yourself into your work to begin with, that messes with your head in ways that seem crazy to people who have never self promoted, or have no interest in doing .

Famous

I have had at least four years of social media self promotion experience under my belt with an internet store, this blog, my fathers business and general tumblr narcissism (I’m not ashamed) and for me it has not gotten better, a little easier-ish maybe, but no less soul sucking. Perhaps it is because I am not a person, who in normal conversation, likes to brag or really even talk about myself (unless you’re my family…in which case try and get me to shut up about me…) or perhaps it is because I’m a pretty introverted person who really struggles with being social in real life so it carries over into internet land…if you are neither of these do you still struggle like me??

Is it just me? Am I doing it wrong? Why am I not famous yet? These are all questions that I have legitimately asked myself at one time or another after I have spent two hours on a blog post and five hours setting up the social media for it only to receive nary a like or a <3. Social media self promotion makes you crazy (or is it really just me??),  and it is an illogical crazy, does this not make sense? Well let me regale you with some tales of how I have thought said crazy things due to self promotion:

I used to have an online thrift store, this store was my baby, I spent countless hours working on/thinking about it; I had a facebook page, blog, tumblr, polyvore, fashiolista, lookbook, pinterest….literally everything I could think of/sign up for I had in order to get the word out about my thrift store, it felt like I was banging my head against the wall with self promotion, I posted everyday and got very little in return….or at least it felt like that…it felt like that because I was being made crazy by promotion. At one point my store was very successful, I was getting at least three orders a day (it was a one woman show), I was shipping internationally, I was being featured on big websites and I even had a spot on the HLN network…it was great…but I didn’t see it because I was trapped by the fact that some of my closest friends hadn’t liked my Facebook page even though they gave me positive feedback in person they wouldn’t give it to me on social media and I let this bother me to no end (and sometimes still to this day).

That was a maybe two years ago and even though I see how crazy I was then…I’m still crazy: I run the social media for my Father’s small aviation business, I spend hours looking at aviation articles, pictures etc. to make for good active engagement but alas I can only get one person to consistently “like” the posts (and that one guy makes my day literally every day with his little “like” (Thank you sir!) A couple days ago my Dad gave me some positive feedback he had gotten from someone about how great the page looks and instead of thinking “wow thank you, It looks like my hard work has paid off and people enjoy what I do” I  instead thought “THEN WHY DON’T THEY CLICK THE STUPID LIKE BUTTON!!!!!”

The moral of this story is that internet self promotion is difficult and I am sure that anyone who has ever taken on the task for their own purposes (there are people you can hire to do the crazy for you…but who has that kind of money?) has found it difficult so if you take nothing away from this crazy rant about self promotion take this away: Do your friend a favor and just “like” their page, project, picture, follow them, or even get crazy and share it….it’s a simple thing but it really does lessen the crazy and frustration of feeling like you are doing it all for nothing.

Thank you for reading all the way down to these words….
Do you/have you felt the same way? Am I really just doing it wrong?

TBT: Summertime Camping.

IMG_20150721_0003

We got our beloved RV “Fred” when I was in second? third? grade and every summer (and some winter and spring) break we would go on a big camping trip. These are some of the memories I look fondly back at and appreciate that my parents were able to do this for my brother and I, we saw the whole western United States with Fred and we all have stories from our crazy adventures.

2

Lovingly improvised rain coats.

IMG_20150721_0007

Just chillen on a Glacier at Glacier National Park in Montana.

IMG_20150721_0002

Swimming in the Colorado River…we had a no go zone in this cove because my mom was worried that we were going to get swept away by the huge river behind us.

1

Hiking Devils Postpile in California and looking for dolphins on the Ferry in Seattle.

IMG_20150721_0002 (2)

Catching a stagecoach in Tombstone, AZ.

IMG_20150721_0005

Visiting Mesa Verde in Colorado.

IMG_20150721_0006

It looks like I’m getting blown away but I’m actually pointing at Mt. Whitney in California.

Life According to my Phone.

I’ve been having a hard time remembering to carry my real camera with me…but thankfully I always have my phone camera.

2

1

These pictures were taken 1 minute apart.

3

Piano Recital.

4

Rain in LA is a HUGE deal…

5

The current dogs of my life.

Places I’ve Been: Fes, Morocco.

Mor (81)

Bab Bou Jeloud, The Blue Gate

Morocco was probably one of the most overwhelming places I have been, I mostly remember it as a whirlwind of color, sound, smells, Arabic, French, and bottled water. We paid to sleep on roofs on rented mats under questionable blankets, we wandered the Medina’s with no plan and no understanding of the language…it was a real adventure.

Mor (25)

On the plane we met a German who had a guide book and was willing to travel with us for a bit, with his help (basic knowledge of French) he got the taxi driver to drive us from the airport to the gate of the Medina, we ended up sleeping in a Hostel just inside the gate.Mor (21)

We woke up to the sound of the call to prayer (I wasn’t kidding about the roof)…

Mor (29)

…and the sounds of the street vendors morning routines.

1

Mor (35)

Mor (49)

Street Life.

I only took my DSLR camera with a fish eye lens with me because I wanted to capture as much as I could as quickly as possible, I didn’t wan to be waving my big camera around making people uncomfortable or making myself more conspicuous as a red headed woman wearing pants and a t-shirt (I wore a pashmina around my neck the entire time).

Mor (47)

Mor (56)

An eight year old boy tried to hustle us on this roof after we made the mistake of wandering into a rug market.

Mor (77)

Chouara Tannery is an 11th century tannery that is still in operation.

Mor (22)

Day View from our roof.

Mor (12)

Night View.

Mor (89)

When I first moved to Germany my Mom asked that I didn’t go to Africa while I was there….Morocco was the first trip I booked when I had a chance to start travelling and I regret nothing. I would never trade the experiences I had in Morocco but If I were to do it again I would most definitely make a plan and do a little more research….and if you are a female planning on travelling to Morocco to wander the old Medina’s I would most definitely go with a man or at least two other women…it is not the most comfortable place for a single (or even two) woman who don’t blend in. [Most people are wonderful, but it’s the small percentage of people who decide that they don’t want to leave you alone that make it uncomfortable.]

My Vegetarian Skin Care Routine.

I have been a vegetarian for 8 years now (technically lacto-ovo-pescatarian but who is really keeping score?) and about two years ago I decided that I wanted to move my bathroom product use more towards a vegan way of life, because of this choice, I have tried a number of different skin care products and I have finally landed on my perfect skin care (and tooth care) product routine (the jury is still out on Shampoo and Conditioner…and deodorant).

IMG_2508

Ta da!!!

I like to keep it simple.

IMG_2516

Alba Botanica: AcneDote

This is one of my favorite face cleaners I have ever used. It has Salicylic Acid (naturally derived from Willow Bark Extract) to keep the pimples at bay AND ground walnut shell scrubbies to get deep into those pores so you are not polluting the water with those stupid plastic micro-beads.

(This specific product says it is “vegetarian” so I’m not sure where they couldn’t classify it as vegan.)

IMG_2509

Alaffia Everyday Coconut Day and Night Cream

I love both these creams for a number of reasons; the first being that they are nice and light, don’t dry out, and don’t make me break out. I like the day cream because it has SPF 15 in it so I don’t get sunburns in minimal sun exposure (I say the word “sun” and I get sunburned). I actually mix the night with the day cream just to add a little more hydration in the daytime. The second reason I love these creams is because they are a vegan, sustainable and fair trade. The ingredients are sustainably harvested, the workers are provided fair wages and 10% of the proceeds go to community enhancement in West African communities. How could you not like that??

IMG_2513

Neosporin

You might wonder why Neosporin is in my skin care routine but I have found that if I apply a tiny amount of neosporin to pimples (picked at or not) they go away much faster. Its really just a magic ointment that also works well on razor burn, cuts, and burns.

(I am 98% sure that Neosporin is vegan, everywhere I looked said yes but I did not find an explicit confirmation.)

IMG_2512

Toms of Maine: Antiplaque & Whitening

When I first switched to this toothpaste I had to get used to the lack of chemical fresh burning sensation you get with traditional toothpastes but I assure this works just as well. I like fluoride free because I am sure I am getting my fair dose of it from the water I drink. I like Tom’s in general because they focus on natural, sustainable, and responsible products.

IMG_2518

Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap

I was introduced to this soap by a college roommate, he used this soap and our whole house smelled like peppermint, it was great, so I have warm attachments to the smell of it but I also love it for its general cleaning power. I appreciate that the soap is made by 5th generation soap makers working to carry on “Emanuel Bronner’s urgent message to realize our transcendent unity across religious and ethnic divides.” Also, there is a whole lot of text to read on the bottle during shower time.

There you have it, my vegetarian/vegan skin care product routine, this was not a commercial for these products (all opinions are my own) nor is it a call to action for you to give up your meat eating animal testing ways (you do you) it is simply and ode to fulfilling some of my personal consumption goals.
[Full Disclosure: Vegan to me means zero animal products and no animal testing in the specific product I’m using {unfortunately some companies that have products with vegan ingredients still test on animals…like Burt’s Bees being owned by Clorox which still conducts animal testing on their other products]} …yup….Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox…

Window Shopping: July Edition.

6

Look with your eyes not with your wallet!

1

1. This Notebook Set combines my love of notebooks, vintage posters, and anatomy…so good.

2. I want to stick a String of Pearls succulent plant in this octopuses head to give him a crazy hairdo.

2

3. This Ice Bucket though….

3

4. If I went camping I’d take this mug.

5. I was originally going to post only the copper french press but then I found a whole set of mugs, sugar and creamer and french press…I want it, I need it!

4

6. Much like my scratch map I thought this would be a great idea to document your National Parks adventures!

5

7. This water bottle would be a perfect fit in my bag for casual outings when I don’t need 32 oz of water on my back!

8. Florence Welch is my number 1 lady, I am currently listening to How Big How Blue How Beautiful on repeat (I listened to Lungs and Ceremonials on repeat for probably 3 years) and I need her new album on vinyl for my LP wall display.

Organized Neatly: 5 Pairs of Wildly Impractical Shoes

I am going to start this post off with admitting a fact about myself…it’s not super scandalous or outrageous but it has forced my hand into buying some crazy things.

— I love impractical shoes —

Whew, it feels good to say out loud…or in text rather. I love impractical shoes not because I go out a lot and I need to dress to impress, I merely love the shape and the idea of them, honestly I almost never go out (and I’m not ashamed of that) but even if I did go out I would have to be invited to an awards show or be Lady Gaga to make these shoes make sense. Admittedly, I have worn all of these shoes at least once (and maybe twice) so the money was well worth it and it proved that I did in fact need them, obviously.

IMG_2474

I am writing this post not to shame myself, or promise that I’m going to put an end to this impractical love (because let’s be honest…I NEED more crazy shoes…..ammiright???) I am writing this post to give these poor beautiful shoes, which have been relegated to the “display” section of my closet, a chance to see the light of day and to receive the love that they deserve.
IMG_2492

These guys *might* be the most practical mostly because they are easy to walk in and they are simple enough to be acceptable….but measuring in with a six inch heel “practical” may not be the best descriptor.

IMG_2488

I actually find these to be my most practical because I’ve worn them the most, they are easy to walk and they look pretty cool, I like the little rhino horn. I wore them in this outfit post.

IMG_2497

I love these shoes and when I wore them in this post I had a blogger actually offer to buy them from me (I politely declined), the reason I deem them impractical is the wooden sole, I HATE the sound of wood soles clacking…I am not a little Dutch girl wearing wooden shoes…..I’m a person testing the ankle breaking gods.

IMG_2485

These shoes demonstrate my desire to be Lady Gaga, her heel-less shoes were all I could think about for a hot minute (it made studying in my last year of college very difficult). Yes, these are Jeffrey Campbell knockoffs but there was no way I was paying such high prices for such highly impractical shoes.
In case you are wondering, you do not teeter backwards when you wear these…they are quite stable.

IMG_2503

These guys right here are the pièce de résistance of my impractical shoe collection. These are REAL Jeffrey Campbell Damsel Gold Spike Shoes…I found them at a consignment store in almost new condition (in which they remain because they are absolutely insane) and I paid a fraction of a fraction of the price….I was seriously having heart palpitations when I was waiting in line to buy them. The heel on these guys is almost 7 inches tall and if that isn’t enough impracticality for you the spikes are actually SUPER sharp AND they weigh about 4 pounds each. I have worn these once…to dinner on my birthday…and I had to sit the whole time. I love them but my ankles are deathly afraid of them.

If you have made it this far I thank you for reading my crazy love letter to my crazy shoes, I feel they have received the credit they deserve and now I will put them back into my closet, look upon them every time I reach for flats and wish that I had the fashion life of Lady Gaga.