Mundane Monday, Vol. I: A Rant and Some Pictures of My Weekend & Food

Monday, March 11, 2013
You know, I think it's about time I made this blog a little more personal. I've always included snippets of my life but recently I've really wanted to take it a step further. What triggered this change? Well, I've been getting a ton of emails from people wanting to wanting to use my blog as a vehicle to promote their company, website, brand etc. I'm not talking about brands interested in my unbiased reviews or friendly beauty bloggers looking to exchange posts, I'm talking about emails that go a little something like this:

Hi makeupwithdrawal, (Yes that's right. Sometimes they don't even bother to use my name. That's not rude or anything. I'm sure that'll definitely put me in a great mood and susceptible to what ever you are proposing.)

We here at MadeUpCompany enjoy your blog. (Oh, is that right? At this point, I can already tell if I want to ever work with this brand. A good tactic is to actually name a post I wrote and what was enjoyable about it. It makes me feel like I am communicating with someone who is familiar with my blogging style and more importantly not a robot.) We would like you to do a link exchange with our website, Hair Plugs for Pets. We make very high quality dog toupees and other hair loss products for canine friends. (Ok, this is a made up example. But seriously I have gotten inquiries from websites who sell products that do not relate to beauty in the least bit.)

Email us back. (Yeah, right.)

Thank you. 

There are variations on this email, of course. Sometimes it is from people I have never communicated with who want to write for my blog. I'm sure that they would make great writers but I'm not exactly going to hand the reins of my blog over. 

I put a lot of time and energy into this blog. A lot of trial and error to see what blogging style fit me the best, hours spent taking and editing photographs. Yet when a stranger (not always polite ones either) comes knocking,  they expect me to just pimp out my blog? Oh wait. Pimping my blog would imply payment, the best part is that some companies think that I'd do it for free. 

I have never intended to make money off blogging, it's just not my cup of tea. Never received payment for a review, paid content, etc. Never will.  However, someone having the gall to think that I would be ok with not having any compensation for using my blog as a platform to their products or promote their brand is just downright insulting. 

So how do I deal with these people? At first I wrote back politely, declining their offer. However lately I'm bombarded with these emails every single day. I thought about just sending back a generic copy-and-paste reply but lately I've been so fed up (and felt rather insulted about the whole thing) that I tend to just ignore the emails. As a part of my refusal to let someone occupy my blog as a part of a shilling scheme, I wanted to make this blog more personal. So here's some pictures from my weekend.

 By the Golden Gate Bridge. Hazy day, you can barely see Alcatraz.

My sister visited us from Minnesota and we went to the Bay area to look at colleges. She's a junior in high school right now and not only is she ridiculously smart, she is also a very diligent student. So I have high hopes for her (and dragged her to every school in the area). 

I love food, did you know that? I also love a good dim sum place, so we tried a pretty popular spot out. 

Their coconut milk pudding was very sweet, but pretty good. It melted in your mouth, literally. 

My favorite breakfast food, xiao long bao. Basically little steamed buns filled with meat and soup. I'm really picky about them because I've had a lot of great ones in Shanghai. Given the chance, I'll have like four orders to myself (or like 16-20 buns depending on the restaurant).

Chicken feet! I say it's an acquired taste. Morgan argues that no individual would willingly acquire such a taste. His loss, and I guess I'm lucky because I don't have to share with him.

Soft sticky sweet buns with a sweet black sesame filling, topped with a light sweet peanut dusting. Really good when hot, but impossible to eat in a dignified/clean manner. 

We visited Stanford (as well as UC Davis and UC Berkeley). It's such a beautiful campus, it made me wish I hadn't screwed up my senior year of high school and it made Morgan want to get his PhD there. I love all the arched walkways. 

That's Morgan. He doesn't like having his picture taken, so I respect that by only posting "Big Foot" pictures of him. By that I mean, pictures where you can barely see him or he's out of focus.

Finally, a tranquil walk through Muir Woods. Beautiful, astonishingly high redwoods! Apparently some of them there are over 300 ft. I loved being there, I only wish we had more time so that I could have seen more.

So that's my weekend in a few pictures. Look forward to more weekly (or maybe every other week) un-makeup related posts. Let me know what you think, yay or nay on more personal stuff? I like to think that I'm more than just a face full of makeup and a hand full of polish!

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