Wednesday, July 30, 2014

some thoughts on sponsored posts



Recently, I got several emails and comments with some very candid feedback about my blog. It's nothing I hadn't read before on/about other people's blogs, but for it to be said about mine -- it bothered me. I assume that people know my heart and assume pure motives when they read this blog, but in a world of pinterest and such...maybe people hop on and choose not to hop back on. 

This is all in regards to sponsored posts. I just wanted to offer some thoughts on it to maybe have y'all think about these posts in a different way. If it comes across as feisty, it's not :) 

"We get it. You have awesome opportunities showing up at your doorstep." 
First of all, I work really hard and reach out to companies and brands that I feel I have a connection with and which a genuine partnership would be mutually beneficial. A lot of times, brands don't reach out to me. Sometimes, they do. But these partnerships and sponsored posts are usually a product of me pitching my blog, coming up with a project that I have in mind including their brand or product, coming up with a recipe, testing said recipe, photographing the end result, typing out the post,  editing photos, pumping them through social media outlets, etc. These opportunities are not just showing up on my doorstep. I'm working my rear off for them. 

"I click away anytime you do a sponsored post. They rub me the wrong way and I'm uninterested in reading about whatever you are being paid for."
I only do sponsored posts when they are genuine and applicable to my existing content. If I'm in a season where I'm doing mostly outfit posts, a sponsored post about sausage biscuit sandwiches would be  a waste of everyone's time. Give me more credit than that. I'm not going to accept a measly $150 to break up the flow of my content. Promise!

Furthermore, I do think readers should consider that sponsored posts can be and are sometimes (or usually, in my case) the best content. We have a reputation to uphold and expectations to follow through on. We are going to put our best foot forward because we want to represent that brand well and have them come back for more. Do you stop watching a tv show because a commercial comes on? Do you not purchase a magazine because half of the pages are full size ads?  I'm just saying, try and hold out. Continue to read. I promise I'm not posting crap content when a brand pays me. The disclosure up top or on bottom of those posts is simply for me to be transparent (and to uphold to legalities and such). Don't let them scare you away :)

"Stop doing sponsored posts. I realize bloggers need to get paid, but I don't want to read them. Your ((media agency)) posts are not my favorite."
Y'all. Saying you realize we need to get paid, but get frustrated when we do? That just feels like you don't value our work. And furthermore, I have only done 3 posts for this mentioned "media agency," EVER, so please don't think or believe they are a bulk of my content. They work hard to bring us campaigns and we only apply for what we want to post about. They don't assign anything we haven't requested. I can't speak for everyone that is a part of these type of groups, but I CAN say that as mentioned above, I'm not going to talk about dog food or toilet paper or frozen sausage biscuits because I know y'all could care less and it's not what you come here for. 

I consider my blog like an online magazine, of sorts. People that write articles in magazines....get paid. People whose projects are featured in print...get paid. People who take photos for those gorgeous spreads...get paid. You are coming to our spaces online and are absorbing, pinning, reading, imitating (meaning: trying diy projects or making recipes), and commenting on FREE content. Please just realize that there are worst things going on in the world than bloggers getting paid to partner with a brand every now and then. I stopped pushing and working (as hard) for my sidebar ads because I felt that genuine posts were a better way to show what brands and boutiques had to offer. It's not a crime. It's business. 

"Can you do an outfit post without a c/o item? It feels like you only do outfit posts because you're getting free things. How do we know you really wear these things?"
One: I do. ((here's one))

Two: One of the things I pride myself in is rewearing my closet. You will see items repeated over and over and that c/o (courtesy of) is sometimes, again, just me being transparent (NOT showy) that I received it for free. It could have been 6 seasons ago, but I still want to represent that brand or boutique well and be honest with y'all. I also want to show that I don't just receive items from stores, style them, and then never wear it again. I only pick items that I know I'll wear and love and be able to style multiple ways. 

I hope this helps you know my heart behind sponsored posts and free items. I hope it helps you look at these posts a different way and that you don't just write off your favorite bloggers when they work with brands. 

Love y'all! And even though it's hard to hear sometimes, I appreciate your feedback :)

love.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CAbi Fashion Show


tulle skirt // necklace ((similar here)) // flats // tank ((similar)) // clutch c/o cabi

I was recently invited to a Fashion Show in Denver for CAbi. I was only aware of CAbi because my mother-in-law is a consultant, but after browsing their website I loved how versatile their items were. One of the most frequent things I hear from readers regarding outfit posts is that they want more "work wear." Most CAbi pieces are versatile enough for work and play. 


My mom was in town, so I was able to score a couple of seats for us in the VIP section. Blogging does have it's perks ;) It was seriously so much fun! They had two sets of models that showed pieces mixed and matched and they had models of all shapes, sizes, and ages. It was pretty refreshing to see, if I can be honest. It ended with glitter confetti, so how could you go wrong there? 

Here were some photos from the fashion show and from my instagram coverage ;) That leopard swing jacket and the burgundy skinny jeans are calling my name for Fall!
lace & leopard? yes, please. 



Have you ever shopped CAbi?

love.


Monday, July 28, 2014

shop update ((read: mega summer sale + discounts))




SUMMER SALE GOING ON IN THE SHOP!
((make sure to click products at the top of the page to see everything))

Tanks $20 ($6 off)
Tote bags - $10 ($2 off)
Koozies - $3 (50% off!)
Headbands 10% off ((use code SUMMERSALE for any headband))

Our most popular poppy + stripe sets are now sold individually! Now you can purchase your favorite floral without having to pair it with a stripe. Jackpot! 

I found some hiding fabric, sewed it up and restocked some of our autumn collection favorites from last year. 

Tulle skirts now available in the shop! Gold foil Texas raglans now available in the shop, too!

PLUS
Spend $50 and use the code FREESHIP50 for free shipping!

Kimono overlays will be sold on my instagram page ((@shopohsweetjoy)) today. I only have a handful left from my market this weekend, so if you want in on these pretties, you'll have to jump on it fast!

love.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

((recipe)) honey + cinnamon latte

Last month, we were in Kentucky for my brother in law's wedding and I, no lie, had the best latte of my life at Heine Brothers Coffee. It was called the Beekeeper, and since we don't have those around here... you can bet your bottom dollar that I came home to make my own the day we got back. I've had one at least 6/7 days a week for the past month...even in the midst of my beloved iced coffee weather! It's that good. 

I've had some requests for the recipe and after it being a hit on our team retreat last week, I thought I'd share here. 



Ingredients:
1 cup strong coffee or 2 shots of espresso
2-4 oz of warm milk (depends on how diluted you prefer)
cinnamon or cinnamon+sugar blend
raw honey

Directions:
Pour hot coffee (or brew keurig over tablespoon of raw honey)
While honey is melting in coffee, warm milk for about 30 seconds in microwave or on stovetop.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and froth (you can use a milk frothed, or just use a whisk.)
Pour into coffee and spoon some of the froth on top.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 



I typically use a tablespoon of the Whole Foods Mountain Forest Raw Honey or with the Madhava whipped cinnamon honey, also found at Whole Foods. I love the more distinct honey flavor with the straight up raw honey. I've gone through two containers of the Whole Foods stuff! It's SO good, especially spread on cinnamon graham crackers. Both pictured above so you know what to look for. 

love.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vintage Cocktail Cart Upcycle

I've been wanting a cute little bar/cocktail station, but there was never any room in our previous places, so we just kept our alcohol in a kitchen island in the corner of our dining room. When I was thrifting a few weeks ago, I found an amazing/perfect condition vintage bar cart but it was a hideous green color. It was only $15 and I knew with a solid Knox naptime and a can of spray paint, I could make it look fabulous....without spending hundreds (or thousands?!) dollars on these pretties. 



one | two | three | four

For the record, that was the best thrifting/antiquing day to date. Sigh. So much good stuff! You can tell by the goofy, giddy dumb look on my face. 

In a few easy steps and hopefully only a few bucks, depending on how much you score your thrifted bar cart for, you can have your own eye-catching bar cart.


Step 1: I took it all apart, by unscrewing the nut & bolt on each corner of the trays. 
Step 2: I got my all purpose cleaner, rounded up some elbow grease went to work cleaning the tops and bottoms of the trays, as well as the metal base of the cart. 
Step 3: I used a spray paint that was primer+paint, so I didn't have to prime it. I intended on doing a light seafoam/mint color, but Chase said he liked the deeper turquoise better so I went with it. I could have lightly sanded it, but when you're dealing with something that old, I'm not sure the risk of releasing lead is a good idea. So, spray paint with nice and slow, even coats. Repeat if necessary. ((you can also spray paint the frame. I thought it would look rad a metallic gold. Chase did not, ha!))
Step 4:Take an ice cream sammy break. I mean...make sure to let the trays dry sufficiently. I got a few thumbprints on mine because we had somewhere to be and I wanted to put it together before we left ((and before Knox woke up.))
Step 5((optional)): Use a clear sealer coat.  I wanted this to be really sturdy and not scratch when a glass was dragged across it or a bottle stuck to it. However, I must have done something wrong, because it immediately started cracking. So, use at your own risk. I only did the bottom tray all the way and then decided I'd just be careful with the rest and leave it as-is. 
Step 6: Style away and fill with your favorite alcohol, simple syrups, straws etc. 

Tada!!! Here is the finished product.

Styling Tips:
1. I used a felt-bottom tray for the bottles of booze so it didn't scratch the paint. 
2. On the top, let there be plenty of open space to create your beverages. I kept it simple with a few syrups, club soda, sparkling water and finished it off with some cocktail books + flowers. 
3. I put miscellaneous glassware ((and copper mugs!)) on the middle row, but you could keep those put up safe in cabinets and put bitters, simple syrups, club sodas and such there. Up to you! It also depends on how many shelves/trays your cart has.
4. A fun addition would be an ice bucket or decanter. We're just not that fancy ;)
Elsie has a ton of great tips here for how to stock your bar cart. 


You know you've been watching too much HGTV when leaving a blog post without a before & after just seems impossible. 

And I know what you're thinking...how could you keep something like this out with a one year old? Well, we don't. We have a space in a hall closet cleared out for it and we just pull it out when hosting get-togethers and what-not. Easy peasy. 

love.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Instagram vs Blog

Hey y'all!

I just thought I'd throw out the question of - how do you prefer to follow Oh, Sweet Joy!

Twitter? Instagram? Facebook page? The good old fashioned blog? ;)

Has instagram replaced the blogs you read? Do you still carve out time to read your favorite blogs? Is instagram just an additional way to keep up with bloggers and friends? Engagement (read: commenting) here has plummeted, while my instagram feed is thriving and full of engagement. It's so fun...but it leaves me wondering why engagement here has almost completely stopped? Instagram is so much faster for me and as a mom and small business owner, that's crucial. I have a feeling it's the same for y'all. I still have some fun content up my sleeve, but sometimes I have this weird & confusing feeling/questioning of, Is anyone even reading? If not, why would I take the time to photograph this recipe and write it all out?

Anywho, here are some outfits from last week's instagram if you're into that sorta thing ;)
outfit links:


outfit links:

outfit links:
chambray top: thrifted/taken in. similar here and budget friendly here.
tulle skirt - Oh, Sweet Joy! coming SOON to the shop!

Regarding the questions above, I'd love for you to share your thoughts below. Thankful for you whether or not you pause to leave a  comment every now and again. ;) Trying to figure out the needs of my readers is a challenge, but also a joy! I'm excited to read what you have to say.

love.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

((outfit schmoutfit)) the perfect summer wrap dress


Outfit Details:
Dress: C/O seamly.co 
*((use code ohsweetjoy for 10% off))
boots, bag: C/O Riffraff 
((three things about riffraff you need to know:
1. sign up for restock notify if something you want is sold out!
2. free shipping all day, every day
3. you can use the code ohsweetjoy for 10% off your order))
Sunnies: Rayban
Belt: came with a skirt, similar here and here

In my mind, summer outfits are all about simplicity. There's not usually a need to add too much with endless accessories and such. A simple white dress, cowboy boots, and a bold lip go a long way. Need some pattern in your day? Just add a fun bag if needed. 


We all know that I'm a huge advocate of handmade and small businesses, and when they're local, it's just icing on the cake. This dress is from a Denver based company, seamly.co, and it is SO comfortable. I can't even imagine wearing anything else if I had one in each color. Layer it up with a sweater when it gets chilly and you've got a year-round dress even though it doesn't have sleeves. Want sleeves? They have that option for you too :) 


What's your go-to summer outfit? Want it to be this dress? Well it's your lucky day. Enter below to win your own summer wrap from seamly.co!


love.