June Best & Worst: I’m still learning

“I am still learning”-Michelangelo

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I had a visceral reaction to reading this featured quote while at the New York Public Library. Unable to explain why exactly, but those four simple words feel so meaningful. Maybe it’s because if one is still learning, they are still willing, still striving, still living. There’s a freedom in admitting you don’t know it all. An admittance I’ve struggled with in the past, but am letting my need to know and be prepared for everything go, little by little, and it feels good. 

I’ve learned a lot this June. I also wrote my 100th post!

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Best: Turning forty. I never take a birthday for granted, but celebrating this one in New York City was a special experience I’m so grateful I had. The city was thrilling and the company and support of my friends helped make it memorable. Their friendship is so important to me and I’m still learning, each day, how to be a better friend; many thanks for their patience.

Also Best: Spending time with my husband and family on a short getaway. Visiting relatives I don’t get to see often and racking up two fun sunny days with my niece and nephews is quality time I will cherish.

Worst: My knees feel more like I’m seventy. They went kaput the day I turned forty, literally, as I sat on the wide stone steps of the NYPL and felt the cramped bus ride and endless walks through the city express itself through grinding pain. I’ve now learned what many others experience but I never understood; what it feels like to have major knee discomfort any time I bend or rise. As my friend so succinctly put it, “Welcome to forty!”

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Best: Featuring my favorite wax vendor with an in-depth post. Casey at House of Phoebe Wax is wonderful, in both blending ability and customer service relationships. I’m excited that I could spend a little time raving about her beautiful products and spreading the word.

Worst: I noticed some of my blog photos were being used on a wax vendor’s page without any notification or acknowledgement to me. Surely, it’s frowned upon to use someone’s personal photos without asking permission, even if they occur with a flattering review. That act itself wouldn’t have been too bad, if, the brand’s owner had been anywhere near apologetic when contacted. Initially surprised, yet flattered, I politely asked for photo credit. The response to my request was somewhat flippant and amounted to being told I needed to provide a photo with my name or else other photos that were sent to her would be used instead. Later, one photo was taken down and another was credited with my first name.

This was an eye-opening experience on how to handle improper conduct, personal photo violation and basic small business-customer relations. As a blogger, I’m still learning, but as a customer what is becoming clear is that I prefer vendors with integrity. No matter how large or small a company is, straightforward sincerity will always get my endorsement. There will be no more product photos forthcoming for this vendor to use in the future.

Best: Winning a candle blogger award by FeedSpot. Along with The Meltdown blog and two candle bloggers who helped inspire me to start fragrance blogging, Andy’s Yankees and Yankee Candle Sisters. I felt a little guilty over this award at first because I rarely post candle reviews any more. I do love to discuss candles anytime, however, and give many glimpses of my collection and candle accessories. With my current project wax candle depletion, I’ve been burning more than ever. Maybe this will inspire more candle content. The top 60 candle blog awards list can be viewed here.

Worst: Being out of town often this month means I’ve been unable to melt much. I feel as if I hardly got through any of my wax, but July brings a lighter schedule with more time at home. It also brings my No-Buy July, which I’ve already started last month with a wax ban. I’ll be making an extra effort to shop my stash and melt through a good portion (to make room for more of course).

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Best: My husband and I started a little vegetable garden in a plot where our swimming pool used to be. It is the first time we have tried our hands at it and I thought it would be blind luck if anything bore fruit. It might be luck, but some little tomatoes and a few soon-to-be red peppers have sprouted. What a satisfying feeling and I can’t wait to make my first salad using our own summer vegetables along with the garlic I planted last fall that’s ready to harvest soon.

Be it in blogging, gardening or life, I’m embracing the learning. I know I’m not the only one, what have you learned about yourself lately that you’re willing to share? Any new hobbies, projects or products you’ve been cultivating?

 

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8 thoughts on “June Best & Worst: I’m still learning

  1. Oh no, you’ve got to be kidding me. It seems like the wax picture taking has just gotten worse and worse as of late. I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time with it.
    Such a fun month though! And i love your little garden, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at gardening but I do not have a green thumb what-so-ever.

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  2. I’m unaware of anyone else’s photos being used w/o permission lately, but it’s surprising considering how close the wax community is. Certainly, people should realize that posted photos would be recognized by somebody. In my case, I was especially disappointed because it was a vendor. If she would have reached out, I would have been happy to share. I will give her credit in that the whole situation was resolved in about half a day. Thank you, now onward and upward, there are too many good vendor products out there to be bummed.
    It has been a fun June, but a bit of a blur. I know what you mean, Ive killed every flower plant, ever. My husband gets most of the gardening credit, but I kept it all alive while he was out of town for a week and we spent most of this afternoon adding, stabilizing, raking, weeding and pestcontrolling. Still more work to be done, hopefully it will pay off!

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  3. Oh my gosh, your veggies are so cute! I love gardening – it’s so immensely satisfying. It’s a whole lot difficult when you live up in the air with nothing but wind-swept balconies on which to grow your goodies, but I’ve tried. In years past I’ve managed to grow an actual fruit-producing raspberry bush and lots of green plants that thrive, but never actually manage to produce any flowers, but there’s construction going on around my building this year and the balconies are off limits. Boo. Then again, I don’t mind lugging a dozen bags of dirty mulch upstairs and through my apartment either! To your peppers and other delicious things!

    Also, you know my feelings on the subject of the photography thing, and I’m glad you stood your ground. The ball was in Sassy’s court to do the right thing, and they didn’t. So sometimes you just have to take a step back and keep your things for yourself. It’s baffling, though – there’s too many vendors that don’t seem to realize that if they didn’t have bloggers promoting their wares (gratis, usually) then they wouldn’t have a marketing presence, period. It would behoove them to be a bit more reasonable – you don’t need to shower me in freebies (although that would be so nice) but also please don’t steal my stuff.

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    1. Re:the photos. I didn’t really have to stand up for long. She resolved the situation the next day and informed me through email. I think my hesitation to the initial response I received caused some second thoughts, not sure.
      As a blogger, you understand the undertaking that capturing and uploading photos entails. I attempt to make it all look as good as possible and that is time-consuming, which I’m sure she realizes because the website looks to be only customer photos. I honestly never expect to receive anything for an unsolicited review and was surprised the one time I have, but heck yeah, I’ll show off all the wax anyone wants to send me, lol!

      Re:veggies. Thanks, it IS so rewarding. At least I hope so, we haven’t harvested yet and unfortunately have had one vegetable casualty:our cabbages got a condition known as “the yellows”. I guess the soil was too hot in June which causes a fungus…so many variables to consider.

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  4. I love that quote and the sentiments behind it. It speaks to the teacher’s soul. I learn so much from my students and my own kids all the time. Humility being a big one. Currently, I am working on my health and trying some natural supplements. As far as hobbies, knitting. My sister wants to learn too. I think we will tackle it together. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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    1. As I age I continue to, well, learn that learning is what life is all about. Humbling, but vital. The quote actually brought tears to my eyes when I read it.
      Knitting! I’m interested, but probably too impatient. I’ve even had a customer demonstrate to me, lace-making too (not coordinated enough for that finery). I think it’s the sweetest hobby, especially for working while watching the tv or listening to an audio book. I’ve been meaning to find a creative hobby I can do with my sis as well. Good luck, that should be fun. What do you plan to make first?

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