The Blessing of Sponsors Part 1

Last year when DomiCile was still just a dream slowly coming to fruition, I was attending blogger conferences for the fist time. The fact that I’ve never blogged about these before is still crazy to me considering how obsessed I am with having gone. But DomiCile took over and blogging went on the back burner. And here I am a year later pining after an experience I had just a year ago. So, what has me all worked up?

 

The two conferences I attended were Blogfest and ALT Summit. Or as I like to refer to it, Blogger Heaven. Last year both were held in NYC. Blogfest was held at the Hearst Magazines headquarters which was awesome. The views from the building are some of the best in the city, and meeting Thom Filicia and Aerin Lauder was very very cool.

 

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Meanwhile ALT was held at my mecca Martha Stewart Headquarters, also with a pretty sweet view.

 

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At Blogfest I met wonderful ladies who I’ve remained friends with and who I’ve watched launch new parts of their careers in the last year. After attending ALT though, I can’t say I’ve ever been to another event where I felt as connected as I did with the bloggers I met there. And it didn’t hurt that I was in the front row when Gracey Bonney and Martha came out. Again, more pictures I’ve never posted.

 

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When I got home I was astounded by not only what I had gained in knowledge, friendships and social experience, but also what I had with me. Large and small I had collected a massive amount of sponsored goods. From bags to bottles to shower heads. Yes, that’s right. I have an extra brand new shower head lying around in my office. Blogfest is like that.

 

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Blogfest Sponsor Swag

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ALT Summit Sponsor Swag (Coincidentally there’s a lot of swag at ALT that comes from the host and the participants. The ALT bloggers bring their branding game. I’ll have to do another post about them, their swag and their amazing business card designs).

 

The thing is, I haven’t been able to bring myself to use any of these things. I have two medium size bags and a large box filled with these items that I don’t dare touch. I think I’ve taken out one thing, drawer liner paper which has a floral smell. I used this to line the mid-century nightstand I picked up at a yard sale when we first moved in our current place. It was slightly musty and the liner paper did it’s job and completely overpowered it. I only wish it was lilac scented.

 

Now that I’m between DomiCile issues and attempting to get back to blogging, I’ve decided that the best way to honor these sponsors is to show at least one if not a few items each time I post. This shows the items off and gives the sponsors a nod for what an amazing blessing they have been.

 

Why do I think they need honoring? Well, during the course of three issues of DomiCile I’ve realized that sponsors part of what make products, and some experiences, really great. They’re sometimes the difference between an 90% great time and a 120% amazing time. Sponsors donating is sometimes the difference between what images you see and those you don’t. They’re the difference between running a cool article and not running one at all. And when it comes to DomiCile they’re critical.

 

While we don’t have “sponsors” per se, we have had many products donated to us for photo shoots. While the purpose of DomiCile is to support small businesses, it’s also important to note that sometimes donations aren’t easy to come by. We scour markets, send emails and message Etsy sellers to find the best products to show. Since we only show locally made and sold goods sometimes we end up talking to vendors more than once. This can be because we really love their product or because it’s the best we’ve found in the local market. So I can’t imaging how large conferences like Blogfest and ALT decide what to give to their participants out of the million products available to them.

 

Sponsors really are a blessing, and their donations are more appreciated than they probably know. Both the sponsors at Blogfest and at ALT Summit gave the participants an overabundance of free goods, and I hope that by showing these products they’ll receive more business and continue to grow so they can support more blogging events in the future.

 

Today’s feature: Handleless Aladdin Mason Jar Plastic Tumbler

Received through: Blogfest

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This bottle is awesome for a few reasons.

1) Who doesn’t love mason jars? If you haven’t hopped on this trend then welcome aboard. Mason jars and mason jar crafts are everywhere, and are possibly the #1 crafting element on Pinterest.

2) The straw. This straw actually won’t slide all the way out and fall on the floor. IT has a little ring slightly larger than the hole to keep it safe and secure in the jar.

3) It’s double-walled thick plastic. While I wouldn’t put boiling water in this bottle, I wouldn’t be afraid to put it in the dishwasher.

That brings me to 4) The labels on the bottom say that it can in fact go in the dishwasher (not the microwave though). It’s also BPA Free which makes it cool AND safe. Plus it says it’s “Ethically Made in China.” I’m not sure who’s making the ethics call, but the fact that they think that’s important enough to print on the product is saying something in itself.

Oh and reason 5 why this water bottle is super cool) The last label says “Not for Canning”. I love it. I’d also love to see what happens if you do try to can anything in this. Please no one try this at home.

 

 

I’ll try to add at least one item each week, and when things are small I’ll double or triple them up. Did I mention that once I blog about an item I’m finally giving myself permission to use these things? So, these sponsors blessing me in more ways than one. They’re also giving me another good reason to keep blogging.

 

 

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The Months Between

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Tonight I’m feeling less than inspired, and not about this blog for once.

Our summer issue came out June first and so we’re here again in this limbo, the first of the three months in-between. Looking for writers, looking for products, looking for commitment. These three months are the hardest for me out of the year. June, September, December and March. When everything seems uncertain and the possibility of complete failure raises its brow at me, smirking.

I’m sure there are moments in every entrepreneur’s life when they consider quitting on their dreams. This moment has come more than once for me this year already, and it seems to be happening again.

The long and the short of it is that DomiCile, while a publication I love, and one that I feel others are growing to love, cannot be supported by a few $20 ads, and a staff that is on continuous burnout. Like any business it needs to be profitable to stay afloat. It also needs dedication, and currently that’s not something I’m feeling we have much of, at least on the back end of things.

I’m so thankful for our writers, those who have chosen to write consistently, and those who have written just once. And I’m so thankful for the friends who have devoted countless hours of their time to the magazine. I’m truly thankful for all of them. But the question remains, is that enough?

Unfortunately my answer tonight is that is isn’t. Maybe tomorrow I’ll change my mind. Maybe tomorrow something amazing will happen.

What I do know is that I can’t run and create an entire magazine on my own. It takes a team, and a team isn’t something I have much of anymore. It takes full dedication, from more than one person, and that isn’t something I see much of. Those things make me question my own dreams on a daily basis.

And while I’m questioning it tonight, I think of all of the small businesses that I want a publication like DomiCile to exist for. I think of businesses I want to feature, those I want to see survive, flourish, and grow. And I see DomiCile as one of those businesses at the same time.

So tonight I’m full of questions—of how to move forward, how to go on, and how to grow. And as usual, I’m open to suggestion.

 

I’ll also try to remember this (something that’s been on my desktop background for quite some time).

 

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A Birthday Wish

On this blog for my birthday I have a habit of posting products I want, but this year I want to do something a bit different.

As a huge focus of mine lately has been growing our own food, cutting back on GMOs, and getting the word out about GMOs to others. I’m asking for anyone who reads this blog to watch this video about GMOs and to take into consideration all of the points presented. Cutting out GMOs is hard, and may actually cost more, but the health benefits outweigh the sacrifices.
 

Medical Documentary on Genetically Modified Food – Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives from darth Jesus on Vimeo.

 

Who needs fast food, Starbucks, or soda anyway? Well, need is a strong word, but I certainly can’t say I’ll never have them again. This is why I choose to say I’m “cutting back”. The idea that GMOs are everywhere is a scary one, and the fact that the largest enterprises in our country are accepting of them is sad to say the least. Will I never go to Starbucks again because all of their syrups and pastries contain GMOs, probably not. Will I stop going more than twice a month? Definitely. Will I never eat from Chick-fil-A’ again or Wendys again? Probably not. I’m already trying not to eat fast food in general, but going one a month is probably the least I can do right now. Until Sweetgreen has drive thru, this is going to be an issue. Until GMOs are labeled, this is going to be a problem.

My Birthday Wish: Education for the masses of the overabundance of GMOs in our food supply, and the public’s demand to know where their food comes from and what’s in their food.

Your dollars count, Use them wisely.

Update:

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Infringement on who? Those whose right it is to know what they’re eating?

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A Fresh Start

When I decided to revamp Under A Peacock Moon I did so with a lot of trepidation. Changing my blog of five years meant a lot of things to me. It meant furthering my commitment to something I had seemed to walk away from. I meant making more design decisions; would I keep it the same or visually make a change too? It meant making a decision about my posts; would they remain categorized the same, would they become more personal, would they reflect my new line of work. And would I take this blog completely local. These were all ideas I tackled when I started thinking about UAPM, and they all were going to take some serious consideration if the revamp wasn’t going to be a waste.

 

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So Fresh & So Clean

I have long despised the blog with the white background. I’m a colorful person and I like dark things. My favorite photos are chiaroscuro. My favorite colors are cerulean, jade, charcoal and navy. And my favorite websites are dark themed. Or at least they used to be.

When the blogging millions began making their switch from highly personalized color schemes and the clean lined trend hopped from interiors to fashion and into the world of graphic design, I shuddered a little bit. Gone were the days of black backgrounds, bright fonts which were once only hard to read for those over 50, and images that didn’t look like a professional had photoshopped them before posting them. I have fought with all my might not to make the change to white, a color I scarcely wear, a true lack of color. I tried many themes, many layouts, many color palettes and have ended up with white after all. I know it isn’t a huge deal, but a little bit of me feels like I’ve joined the herd, and wonders if tiny particles of my creativity haven’t gone to slaughter.

 

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A Post By Any Other Name

I have decided to keep my post categories. The nature of my blog is my lifestyle, and while some groups might get some tweaking, I believe they’ll still exist and other posts are bound to end up fitting in one of these thought pods.

I cannot however ignore that my new work on DomiCile has effected me in more ways than I had guessed, and my posts will be more locally driven, if only to say that nothing local exists, or to compare a local product to the big box store. I won’t lie and say that my ode to Target posts are a thing of the past. I’m still buying the bulk of my clothing there (can’t seem to find a lot locally in my size), and until I can afford a high end Johnathan Adler piece from his store or an original Nate Berkus, I’ll have to settle for their low-end lines.

A definite addition in my posts will be more personal information. Usually we stray from this when it comes to the internet, but I’ve found myself in the last year really struggling to post without getting personal, and that has kept me from my blog. As I don’t want to continue treating UAPM as a place I can only go when I have a commercially interesting piece to show or something accomplished to share, I need to allow myself to open the floor to more sensitive material. This will be a big step for me, and one I have of openly taken in over 7 years via the web. So while it’s scary for me, I hope to continue in my efforts for transparency and let a few more eyes in on who I really am.

 

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Going Local

I’ve decided not to make UAPM a locally focused blog for several reasons, the main of which is that life does not occur on am island. While I do like to buy local and shop local, It doesn’t take much of a reality check to snap me back into looking for a specific product online or working on a project that requires visiting a store for which there is no local competitor. Plus, as I said, I don’t buy everything local. What I will do is mention when things are local or made by a small business. I’ll be sure to point it out, and I’ll do my best to include more locally grown, locally made, locally founded, products as my expansion into a locally focused life is not just one i dream of for DomiCile, but also for my personal life.

I hope you join me as I continue to travel under a peacock moon and find new constellations worth exploring above.

 

images via catina jane graypinterest and quaillanepress

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And We’ll All Float On

The other night as I stayed up late watching TV and working on DomiCile I got a little update on my phone calendar. “Blogiversary for Under A Peacock Moon” it said, and I thought “Oh, I should post something!”. Then something that happened that has happened for the last seven months, I didn’t post, and I kept working on my magazine. A few days later I thought back to that moment and I realized that something is going to have to change.

I miss my blog. I miss it in a way that isn’t quite conceivable to anyone who’s never journaled or shared extensively with those they don’t know personally. This little piece of the internet has been a hideout of mine for over six years, and I’m not sure I’m ready to part with it, but I am sure it’s needs a redesign. Each part of my life needs that from time to time, every relationship, every home, every room, every corner, they all need redesign, and when they don’t get it I tend to lose interest. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t been here in seven months.

So I’m going to brainstorm on this for a while. There are a great many things that could happen and I don’t want to commit to one just to change my mind. But I have to look forward, I need something new, something non-magazine, non-deadline-dependent, something of my own.

So I’ll be back, one day, hopefully soon.

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