Blurry Bliss - Dana Chirps

How on Earth has it been so long since I posted? Well, to be honest, that’s an easy question for me to answer. Life has been busy! It’s mostly been very good things…

February 22-March 19th: Brett and I had our 3-year anniversary, his 35th birthday, and my 33rd (saaay whaaaat!?). We also celebrated my cancer-free day (19 years!).

March 8th: My parents were in my neck of the woods for a hockey tournament (which my dad’s team won!), so we got to show them our home in Newburyport during this brief but wonderful visit. It was so nice to get to have a birthday dinner with my parents.

March 24th: Brett and I got to go to one of his friends wedding in Monteray, CA. It was an Indian wedding, which is something I have ALWAYS hoped to get to experience. We wore the traditional attire, ate tons of Indian food, and loved every aspect of it. It was the most spectacular and over-the-top (in the BEST way) wedding I’ve been to. The groom went to college with Brett, so it was all of his Purdue friends. It was so fun meeting them.

March 30th: My good friend from Fort Lauderdale, Angelica, visited me! It was SO nice to see her and we had a blast catching up. I’m hoping I can convince her to come up to Newburyport in the summer months someday because she saw it when it was pretty dead. Now that it’s summer, the town is vibrant and lively.

April 6th: Brett and I got together with my Nana in early April and took her to see the musical, A Bronx Tale. I had never heard of it, but Brett and Nana had! It was a really good play. I still think I prefer the classic heavy hitters, but it was nice to change it up with something less mainstream. Honestly, I was just thrilled to spend the day with Nana.

April 12th: My family suffered an unexpected and devastating loss of my “Uncle Nick”. He was technically my dad’s cousin and was his best friend in the world. It rocked our entire family. I can’t remember which family member said it, but Uncle Nick was “the best parts of Podgurski”. It was absolutely heartbreaking. And to know how sad my dad was to lose his very best life-long friend was unbearable. There is definitely a piece missing in our family, but I know he is looking down on us - especially my cousins.

April 24th: I chopped my hair off!!!!! This is something I’ve been debating literally for YEARS. I finally pulled the trigger, and did so in a bold way - I went to a different salon with a new-to-me stylist. I’m really glad I did it. I keep going back and forth on keeping or growing it back out. I like both!

May 2nd: I took a public speaking course. Normally, I feel very confident giving presentations but I had gone through a funk where I just couldn’t deliver the way I had in the past. I knew it was all in my head and I had to do something or it was going to eat me alive. I essentially used the course as a “reset button.” The instructor essentially said that I have zero issues speaking in front of people, but that I should focus on everything that happens as I am waiting to speak. He offered realistic and helpful tips. It was a good experience for me and I left feeling like my old self again.

May 4th-5th: Brett and I took a weekend trip to Providence and we both LOVED it (we hadn’t been before). PVD is a city that has been gentrifying. There are still some seedy parts, like any city, but overall we thought it was beautiful. The food scene is unreal. It’s common for chefs to graduate from Johnston and Wales and open restaurants in town. There’s also more Italians per capita than anywhere else in the country - so the restaurants in Federal Hill (think Little Italy) are as authentic (and delicious) as they come. The art scene is thriving with RISD being right there. Scenic canals run through the city. It’s a city that is funky, weird, enthusiastic, energetic, and packs a lot of punch for a small city.

May 17th: Brett got me an ebike! I had vowed to never ride a bike again after using one as a primary mode of transportation in Bermuda. But electric bikes are FUN since they provide assistance (mine has three levels of assistance). It’s still quite a workout though! I love that we can go on rides together.

June 2nd: Brett and I took another trip to Providence. Because we had such a great time when we went in May we went into this trip with a “could we live here?” mindset. We also went to a really cool rooftop bar and restaurant called Mare that I had found on “the gram”. We loved everything about it. My favorite part (other than the food itself) was that the rooftop (and killer views) is accessible all year round, too!

Weekend of June 8th: Brett and I attended a wedding in Philly! It was for our friends Kieran and Sam. They visited us while we were living in Bermuda. We had such a blast exploring city and then celebrating their marriage. It was my first time in that city and I really wanted to hate Philly (b/c I hate the Flyers). But I seriously thought Philly (the city, not their sports) was awesome. The foooooood. The walkability was topnotch too.

The Rest of June: It was a CRAZY but AWESOME month. I was gone the whole second half of it. First, I went to South Florida for a few days where I stayed with my friend Angelica (the one who came to visit me in NBPT back in March). I worked during the day and caught up with more friends at night. Then Angelica, myself, and two other girls took a long weekend to Panama. Angelica is Panamanian and graciously offered to host us - I’ll write a separate post about that trip! But we had an incredible time! After that weekend was over, we flew back into Miami and I spent a day working there before I then flew to Denver for a work conference.

Mondays and Tuesdays: I (still) take painting class twice a week. It is the highlight of my week, every week. I love both my instructor and my classmates. They’re all so brilliantly talented. It’s like a family at this point.

Bermy: He is 85lbs and about 8 months old, ha! When Brett and I both have work trips we send him to get formal training (since we’d be boarding him anyways, might as well!). He is so much more obedient! He’s really transformed into this dog that is just fun to have around. He makes Brett and I laugh on a daily basis. We’re so lucky to have such a sweet and lovable pup.

Work: It’s going great. Although the honeymoon phase is over, I still feel like my decision to join this company was a really good one. I seriously love the team I’m on - such good people, and we each carry our weight in our respective roles - no weak links in this group. One of my teammates and I went to a conference in May. It was a blast to hang with her and be back in the multifamily scene, as it was my first industry conference since moving to Bermuda! It was like a reunion in many ways. The best speaker was the CEO of Travelocity and the best “fun” part was going to event at Tom Tom and meeting both of the Toms from Vanderpump Rules. At the end of June I had another conference which was pretty good. The highlight speaker was our CEO (it was my first time hearing her speak and she was really compelling) and Mindy Kalig. The “fun” part was that one of my vendors rented out The Filmore and had The Struts and Keith Urban perform just for us! Right now I am in busy-season with a whirlwind of quick trips, but I live for the chaos.

So there you have it! I’m alive! Ha! So many more updates and news to share, but that is all for now.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Wait, it's February?

In some ways it feels like wrote my last blog post ten years ago (it was a month ago), and in other ways I feel like I just wrote it. The emotions of time sure are complicated.

So much has happened since January 1. For the month of January, I did a ton of work travel. The marketing team I’m on went to numerous regions to conduct trainings. Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Washington DC, Boston, Houston, Austin, and Dallas. It was a grind, but well worth it. And thankfully, I really enjoy the team I’m on so we had a blast. In the midst of my work travels, I also got to squeeze in time with my friends in Fort Lauderdale. I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss(ed) them and Laudy.

In January I also completed my third round of Whole30. Each round has had its own unique challenges. This time the challenge was remaining compliant with all that work travel I was doing! It took some will power at times (Root Beer Kombucha in the Denver Whole Foods - I’m looking at you!), and I packed a lot of my own snacks, but I did it. What was awesome about this round was that Brett did it with me! He made it 25 days, which is something to be very proud of! Not to mention, it meant a lot to me that he tried something that I’m “into”.

BERMY. Oh my goodness, Bermy. On January 5th Brett and I brought home a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy who we named Bermy (“Bermy” is short for Bermuda). He’s sleeping through the night, has no qualms when we tell to “go to your castle” when it’s bedtime (his crate), and is a really chill dog to be around 70% of the time. The other 30%? He’s a complete maniac. We are going to be sending him to what I call “puppy cotillion” (training) to learn some manners. But I’m starting to really love this pup… even if he makes me cuss a little.

I have yet to pick up a workout routine. I tried Crossfit several months ago, and while I absolutely loved the people, the times weren’t really fitting with my schedule. There’s another gym nearby that is tempting, and I’m willing and able to spend more than average on a fitness facility because it’s priority for me… but even I have my limits! However, in an effort to meet people, I might bite the bullet and just give it a shot. Plus, I’m just not feeling as good as I know I can when I work out. I feel very skinny-fat.

Like I alluded to in the paragraph above, my social life is total shit here. I miss having a pack of girlfriends to do things with. I understand why I don’t. It’s a culmination of living in a challenging environment to meet people around my age, not being a huge drinker, and having a demanding job and work schedule. We pretty much only hang out with Brett’s friends, who I very much like, but I wish I had my own. This was also a contributing factor in getting a puppy - to combat the loneliness.

Last week I signed up for painting classes (to meet people and to do something I enjoy). I went to my first one on Monday and loved it. It was a small class, less than 10 people or so. I was the youngest one by at least two decades, but I didn’t mind. I was so happy to be around friendly people who also enjoy painting. The instructor is incredibly talented, and one of the nicest humans I’ve met since moving to New England. The warmth she gives freely to everyone is such a breath of fresh air.

Brett and I are now approaching holiday season. Today is Valentine’s Day… we are 0/3 in spending Valentine’s (physically) together… but he still made me feel extra special today while he was in Austin, TX. He sent me beautiful roses, chocolate, and a really sweet note (that I’ll probably keep forever). February 22 is our 3 year anniversary. March 1st is Brett’s birthday. March 9th is my birthday. March 19th is my cancer-free day. Good golly. Lots to celebrate.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

New Year Resolutions - 2019 - Dana Chirps

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When I think of 2018, I can’t help but think of the lyrics “thank you, next” by Ariana Grande. I had a lot of major life changes this year and although many of them are exciting, there was a lottt of stress behind some of them. Not to mention there were also intense moments of fear, sadness, and loneliness this year. Here are some of the changes that occurred:

  • Declined a great opportunity to try something different by working at an agency as a writer.

  • Left the agency to go back to doing marketing for luxury real estate.

  • Bought a condo in Newburyport.

  • Moved into said condo and immediately went to work on it - painting, fixing, furnishing.

  • Bought a new car.

  • Bought a puppy.

  • Did I mention this was my most expensive year to date?

Although I’m very much #byefelecia towards 2018, I did have some incredible experiences that I am so very thankful for. The 2018 highlight reel:

  • I made some dear friends in Portsmouth through a boutique gym called Mission. I honestly don’t think I would have made it through this year without them (or that gym!). Each of us is so different from one another… in terms of personality, you really couldn’t have assembled a more wonderfully diverse group of gal pals.

  • I completed two rounds of Whole30! (And learned how to make some DELICIOUS food from doing so!).

  • I went to two weddings and had an absolute blast celebrating the marriages of such wonderful friends.

  • I created “The Lady Den” in our condo. I absolutely love this space and use it almost daily.

  • I had one of my all time favorite Christmas’ with my family. It was also extra special because Brett joined and so did my brother’s girlfriend (who I absolutely adore). My favorite part was when we all played Cards Against Humanity with my parents - it was HYSTERICAL and so much fun.

  • Brett and I crossed off a bucket list concert - Elton John!

  • I spent time with my niece, nephew, and sister. Those kids are remarkable and my sister has done such a good job raising them.

  • Brett and I took an amazing trip to Spain. We went to Tenerife and experienced the black sand beaches and the most over the top resort. Then we went to Madrid which I would consider my favorite culinary experience in Europe thanks to the jamon de iberico, octopus, coffee, and rioja! It was our first major vacation together and I am so thankful that we got to spend such quality time together.

  • When I went from the agency back to real estate, the people at the agency through me a goodbye party and that was one of the funnest nights I’ve had since moving back to the states.

  • I went to Portland, Maine, Hilton Head Island, Burlington, Vermont for the first time.

  • I went skiing for the first time! And I liked it!

Now for resolutions! Before I get to my resolutions for 2019, I wanted to review my resolutions from last year. My thoughts are in bold.

  1. Fitness - I just need to get back into my routine groove. I was doing a good job for a while, and then the whirlwind of the move and interviews and transitional craziness took over. But now that Brett and I are moved in, game on. I am also going to try some local fitness spots... cycle studios, yoga (you read that right), etc. It will be a great way to meet people. Nailed it! At least until around September. Then I fell off the workout wagon! BIG TIME.

  2. Make NH my own - Brett is from here, so it's all "his." His hometown, his family (who all live nearby), his friends, his spots, etc. My goal is to make my own friends, and find my own spots. This was a challenge. Ultimately, I learned that I needed to be closer to the city and that I really didn’t like living in Portsmouth. (It’s worth mentioning that I have a fantastic time spending the day in Portsmouth, I just didn’t like living there.) Moving to Newburyport has proven to be a positive change and it makes more sense for our jobs, as well.

  3. Diet - Clean.it.up. Whole 30, here we come. I have a lot more on this coming, so I'll keep it at that for now. Welllll I did great while on Whole30, and I still kept up with some of the healthy habits I developed. But starting this fall my diet and fitness went to complete garbage.

  4. Work - Contract work has been a blessing, but I am switching gears and looking for a marketing position within a company. I miss being a part of a team, and the level of work that can only be accomplished with the resources and manpower that stems from working for a company. Added bonus: this will also help with goal number 2. Fingers crossed my next endeavor involves a bit of traveling, too. This was also accomplished. Although I’m still in what I call the “honeymoon phase” of a new job - I am really happy so far. It’s challenging, involves travel, and it’s getting to market what I really love - luxury products.

  5. DanaChirps - Continue to write. Continue to photograph. Share more. I also feel ok about this. I took a hiatus from writing in this blog to some degree, but I was still using my creativity through photography and painting.

Ok! 2019 Resolutions:

  1. Get back into a fitness routine. As I mentioned above, I fell off the wagon around September. I don’t feel as good, and am grumpier and lumpier when I don’t workout. For Christmas, I asked Brett for an Apple Watch since having a fitness tracker is extremely motivating for me. My Apple Watch has already helped and I love using it!

  2. Diet. I’ve got to stop buying junk. If we don’t buy it, we don’t eat it. Brett and I are on Day 1 of Whole30 (more on this later) to hopefully reset our habits.

  3. Creative. I’ve picked up my brushes again and my goal is to paint regularly. I also want to keep up with photography and writing. Now that we are “settled” I finally feel like I have enough mental space where I can do these things again.

  4. Go to Boston more. Newburyport has a train that takes you right to North Station and Brett and I need to take advantage of this and get to really know our city.

  5. Go outside more. I think this will naturally resolve itself once we get Bermy (our puppy) on Saturday. Brett also got me a sleeping bag of a warm winter jacket to make this possible. Brett also got me skis, so I’ll be able to do that occasionally, too! Have I mentioned that I am beyond blessed to be with such a giving person that is willing to do anything to make me happy?

  6. Make new friends. This is my most challenging resolution. Most people my age are busy chasing their adorable babies, Newburyport is small, I have a demanding job and a hard time relating to your stereotypical New Englander. Making friends has never in my life been an issue, but here we are.

4 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Lady Den - DanaChirps

In my last post, I told you about the process of Brett and I buying a condo and moving to Newburyport. Although we aren’t done with our projects just yet, I’m excited to show you my favorite room in the house.

Our condo has a small, 10x10’ room at the end of the hallway on the main floor. The moment I saw it I became excited by the potential to have a dedicated room that would allow for me to do all the things I love: write, paint, and work on photos. To be fair, I told Brett he could decorate and design the living room however his heart desired as long as I could have the freedom to do whatever I wanted to this small room. It was a deal. In fact, Brett chummed that he was going to have “the greatest man cave of all time.” Little did he know that I had plans of a lady den up my sleeve. ;)

It is worth mentioning that I (recently) accepted a job offer that is a WFH (work from home) with travel arrangement. Like my passions, my job is creative in nature. I’ll be doing marketing for luxury apartments (which is what I did in South Florida) while also acting as the point person for content (aka writing). So, when there is a special project that requires a higher level of writing, I’ll lead that particular aspect of the project. All of this to say that I needed to make sure this space was designed to inspire creativity while giving me the environment to act like the #bossbabe I am on a client call.

Here is the “before” photo with the former owner’s stuff in it.

It took four coats of white paint to cover the green.

It took four coats of white paint to cover the green.

Although the green didn’t offend me, it wasn’t my style at all. I also wanted to make the space feel bigger so I opted for a bright white. Every piece of furniture was selected with the mentality of “what is the biggest size I can get away with that won’t dwarf the room size?” I chose a rug the shape of the room–again, to give the illusion the room is larger than it is.

I purchased the rug on sale for $70 on Overstock. The white center of it has colorful specks stitched throughout, which is perfect for camouflaging when (not “if”) I drop paint on it.

Lady Den Rug - DanaChirps

Like most people that paint, I have loads of supplies and tubes of paint. I searched online for creative storage ideas and stumbled upon this example. Then I went on the hunt for wood to use and was mostly looking at already finished wood signs. I saw the bull at Hobby Lobby but wasn’t sure if the wood would be strong enough so I ended up going to two other stores. But I kept thinking about that bull and Brett was confident he could make it work. So we went back so I could get it (50% off, for $30 total). Brett was kind enough to drill the hooks and set it up for me since I don’t quite have tool skills (yet). I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.

I love the easy access I have to my paint. It also helps me keep tabs on what colors I’m running low on. I keep my camera on top of the black drawers. It’s so convenient to be able to grab it and go!

I love the easy access I have to my paint. It also helps me keep tabs on what colors I’m running low on. I keep my camera on top of the black drawers. It’s so convenient to be able to grab it and go!

At Home Goods I bought the desk ($150) and the black drawers ($120). I bought the art cart online at Target for about $100 and painted it grey (we had paint leftover from our living room) to soften it up. The chair was a Pier 1 splurge at $173 due to shipping and surcharge fees (eye roll), but would have been $130 otherwise. It is mega comfy and I love the bowed mid-century modern legs.

Overall, I am so delighted with how this room has turned out. I am still on the hunt for a couple more pieces, the light fixture being the most significant. But I have already begun to do more of the things I enjoy the most, now that I have the space.

The Lady Den. My favorite room in the house.

The Lady Den. My favorite room in the house.










Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Beers are on me, Patagonia - Marketing - Dana Chirps

Patagonia has taken a stance! - Dana Chirps

Patagonia has taken a stance! - Dana Chirps

The image above is the current homepage of Patagonia. This was in response to President Trump drastically rolling back protections on the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. We're talking two.million.acres.of.land. This is the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history. 

Although tempting, this post isn't to tell you how you should feel about the matter. Instead, I'd rather address something I find to be so refreshing and hard to come by these days: a company that lives and breathes its values and brand. 

Just last night during my 1am-I-can't-sleep-Twitter-scroll, I stumbled upon an excellent quote that was something to the effect of, "There is not a single marketing tactic or strategy that will correct a company whose brand promise doesn't match their brand delivery."

That statement is the absolute truth. As a business, you can't call yourself one thing, and be another. It is confusing and deceiving for the consumer. When clients ask me what my marketing approach is, I always tell them that I feel the best marketing is honest marketing. If you're marketing a mediocre product - own it. If you're marketing towards people who smell bad - own it. But especially if your marketing is heavily geared towards your company values - you must own it. And that is what Patagonia has done so brilliantly.

The speed of which they addressed this situation is also impressive, and it's as though they are saying, "no, it is not business as usual." Now the marketer in me is reluctant to direct you off my website, but in this case, it's well worth it. Take a look at Patagonia's current homepage. First, they grab the users attention with provocative copy that is best described as straight gangster, eliciting a three-second-damn from all who reads it. They took the most valuable piece of real estate on their money-making website, their homepage, to make sure their message was clearly delivered. They did this knowing that it will likely cost them money. Message received. 

From there, the user can either carry on to their regular shopping, or click to learn more. If the user chooses to learn more, they are presented with clear information, a list of allies, and most importantly (from a branding perspective) their statement on why they are fighting to protect the land. The why is what connects the values to the actions, or the promise to the deliverables. 

Calls to action (in the form of "take action" buttons) are dispersed throughout this landing page. And if the user clicks on one of those, there are simple instructions for the user to follow. Patagonia took as much "work" out of the equation as they possibly could have. 

From start to finish this initiative has been executed perfectly. I applaud them for boldly standing up for their values, and providing effective tools for others to do so as well. They put their money where their mouth is. It's like a modern day story of David and Goliath... and we all know who won that battle... 

 

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

How to Lose a Follower in Ten Ways - Instagram - Marketing - Dana Chirps

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1. Steal content. I hate that this has even made the list. I've had people steal my content a few times. It is infuriating. Some people say that "imitation is a form of flattery," but I find it lazy and annoying. Like most content creators out there, I work really hard and spend a lot of time writing and photographing. So when someone just takes my work, it's offensive. Also, when you steal content, KNOW that the person who created it WILL find out. If you are really that desperate, talk to the person who created the content and ask for their permission - they might say no, but consider this the unwritten code of etiquette and decency. 

2. Only post selfies. You are far too interesting to only show the world that you have figured out camera angles. Show me your perspective - what you're seeing, where you are, who you've met, what you're eating. And that's not to say that if you're feeling like a million bucks that you don't take a photo to capture it, but it is to say that people are interested in a lot more than just what you look like.   

It makes me cringe that this book even exists. aim higher, folks.

It makes me cringe that this book even exists. aim higher, folks.

3. Post the same thing as everyone else. We could turn these staged photos into a drinking game. Every time you see that pic of a couple holding hands with the girl leading the guy, take a drink! Every time you see a girl casually floating on an inflatable duck or unicorn in a pool, take a drink! Except we'd all die of liver failure. 

4. Only post about your MLM. Look, I say this as an avid user of some of these products - this madness has got to stop. Oils, wraps, face creams, shakes, body wraps, supplements, nail stickers, candles, lip gloss, etc. I don't want to "join your journey," or be constantly sold to. Make no mistake, I am sincerely happy for your transformations. However, I followed you because of YOU, not for your "incredible business opportunity." I wish Instagram would create an algorithm to detect these posts, so users could have the option to filter. 

5. Use those frickin' frackin' ridiculous face filters. Use them in stories, but don't post pics of yourself with them. Unless you're 12(ish) and younger, then be the best koala bear you can be!

6. Play the Follow, Unfollow game. Lord have mercy. When I see the same person following and then unfollowing me repeatedly, I usually just end up blocking them. Folks, there is no short cut to a genuine following. You have to do the work. Try reaching out to people, and having genuine conversations about what they're posting about. Real engagement is how you earn a real follower.

7. Use auto-comments. I could literally post a photo of a giant turd, and there would be at least one auto-comment that says "Great pic!" Bots are also against Ig's policy, so I hope that Instagram continues to shut these accounts down.

Example of auto comments. this account sent me dozens of generic and rotating comments in 24 hours.

Example of auto comments. this account sent me dozens of generic and rotating comments in 24 hours.

8. Disrespect the environment, just for a photo. Don't litter because that's lazy, disrespectful, and unclassy. Don't take things that aren't yours. If there is a sign that says don't enter/cross/etc. - don't! Most people think it is a matter of safety (especially if it's a historic site), but often it is a matter of preservation. Don't take away these experiences from future generations.

9. Purchase photo likes and followers. This one shocks me. It's literally like purchasing spam. Nobody wants to follow a spammy account.

10. Participate in loops. This is one of the many tactics that people use to get phony followers. It pains me because you're not getting a quality following. In the longterm, you actually make it harder for yourself, because your rate of engagement decreases which is essentially the point. Not to mention, I don't feel like liking 10 random pages, commenting on your post, and tagging 37 friends to be entered in a raffle to win body lotion. 

Bad Marketing Example

Are you a marketer, or an aspiring marketer? If so, here is a book that I recommend you read!

1 Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

"Big Magic" - A Book Every Creative Should Read - Review - Dana Chirps

Big Magic Review DanaChirps

I recently finished reading the book, "Big Magic," by Elizabeth Gilbert. I bought the book impulsively at an airport to cure my layover boredom. The brightly colored cover caught my attention, and gave me the impression that it wasn't too heavy, which was my intent. I had heard of the author before as Gilbert has also written "Eat Pray Love," which I have not read but am familiar with its success. 

It was as though divine intervention occurred in that Hudson bookstore. "Big Magic" is a book that every creative (or aspiring creative) should read. Like Gilbert, my choice poison is writing. But I would encourage anyone with a creative soul to read this book. You know who you are.

One of the concepts I loved most about her book was how she presented ideas. "Ideas spend eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing human partners... When an idea thinks it has found somebody - say, you - who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. It will try to get your attention. Mostly, you will not notice. This is likely because you're so consumed by your own dramas, anxieties, distractions, insecurities, and duties that you aren't receptive to inspiration... The idea will try to wave you down (perhaps for a few moments; perhaps for a few months; perhaps even for a few years), but when it finally realizes that you're oblivious to its message, it will move on to someone else."

This concept removes both the ego in having an idea, since an idea is its own force (not "yours"), and also alleviates some of the pressure that many creatives face. It also ignites a fair sense of urgency to act upon those ideas.

Here are some other sentences I underlined and doodled around in "Big Magic" (all written by Gilbert unless otherwise noted):

  • He didn't quit his day job to follow his dream; he just folded his dream into his everyday life.
  • If inspiration is allowed to unexpectedly enter you, it is also allowed to unexpectedly exit you.
  • Well, yes, it probably has been done. Most things have already been done - but they have not yet been done by you.
  • If it's authentic enough, believe me - it will feel original.
  • "It ain't what they call you; it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
  • Creativity wants to flip the mundane world upside down and turn it inside out, and that's exactly what a trickster does best.
  • I believe it is our privilege as humans to keep making things for as long as we live.
  • Sometimes I think that the difference between a tormented creative life and a tranquil creative life is nothing more than the differences between the word awful and the word interesting.
  • And any motion whatsoever beats inertia, because inspiration will always be drawn to motion.
  • The outcome cannot matter.

To be honest, that sentence (bolded above) I jotted down from "Big Magic," struck a nerve. I started writing and blogging in high school, well before the term "blog" existed. Why? Because I simply loved to write, and that still holds true. I live to create. My passion for blogging began long before the monetization of blogs became a thing. Sure, I have my portfolio on here that showcases some of my work which has led to multiple contracts/jobs (i.e. paid work), that I am so grateful for. But even if that weren’t, and would never be the case, I'd still have a blog and continue to write. Writing is the path I've chosen. Or, if I'm truly embracing what Gilbert explains in her book - it chose me.

It pains me to hear people say they want to start a blog "to make money," or something to that effect. I still choose to be encouraging in those conversations, because who knows, maybe starting a blog will be the launching pad for falling in love with writing? Unlikely, especially once they learn how much work and time is involved in running a blog, and the many moving parts that go with it. But I still try to be encouraging, there are enough naysayers in the world. However, I think that in order to be successful in the longterm with anything creative, there must be unrelenting passion. Gilbert used this Richard Ford quote in her book, and I think it's on the money... "However, I will say this. If you happen to discover, after a few years away from writing, that you have found nothing that takes its place in your life - nothing that fascinates you, or moves you, or inspires you to the same degree that writing once did... well, then, sir, I'm afraid you will have no choice but to persevere."

Here's another excellent book recommendation.

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.