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

IMG_6008.JPG

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.

The Most FAQ About My Move to Bermuda - Dana Chirps

As promised, I've compiled a list of questions that multiple people have been asking me about my move to Bermuda.

"Why did you move to Bermuda?" My boyfriend got a job based here. He's a pilot, and flies private charters all over the world, mostly in the Middle East. With much discussion, we agreed that this was a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity that we had to take advantage of.

"Will you be working?" This question always makes me laugh. My answer is yes, of course. I don't post a ton about work related stuff in general, but I assure you there's a lot of grinding in between my beach pictures. ;) 

"What will you be doing?" Marketing - forever, and always! I had started a contract earlier this year that ended up not being a great fit (they wanted someone local, and I wasn't exactly crazy about what I was doing), so I have since expanded a contract with a company I've been doing work for (primarily branding and copywriting) for a while. I'm pretty stoked because I know the players and love working with them. I'm also doing some sporadic event marketing which should yield some pretty exciting trips and experiences. I'd love to add another (part time) marketing contract to my plate, so I'm keeping my eyes and ears out. I'm a girl who likes to stay busy! :)

"Where will you live?" Brett and I are renting a furnished one bedroom apartment in St. David, which is located in the parish of St. George. It's bright, and lovely. We secured it site-unseen, and it ended up exceeding the expectations we had formulated based off the photos we received from our landlord. So we are quite happy!

"Will you have a car?" Nope. Bermuda has a strict limit on the number of cars they allow on the island. We will be walking, and biking until we get a scooter (and scooter licenses). There is also bus transportation throughout the island which I'm sure we'll use on occasion.

"Are you nervous?" Honestly, the only things that make me nervous about this experience is getting around. Many places (like our apartment for example) are not on Google maps, and the roads are not clearly marked with signage that Americans would be used to. So learning my way around, and eventually learning to ride a scooter is what makes me nervous. Other than that, I feel excited, and optimistic. 

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.