bonjour, new changes

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Let's talk, shall we? 

Oh, Passionfruit. How I loved thee. How happy was I when I found your easy to use advertising. Alas, the time has come when I will need to break up with you, though. It's sad, I know. But let's be frank: as a very, very small blogger who mostly only uses free ad swaps, paying a monthly fee is just not worth it. It's time for me to be a responsible, independent woman again and use my humble HTML skills. 

Okay, great. Moving on then....
How is this going to work, you ask? 
Swapping ads again this past month has been fairly great. I've met some new bloggers and supported some old friends, but to be honest, it's not working for me. 
After reading some feedback from bloggers on Sarah's post, I realized as whole, none of us really like ads all that much. They're distracting. Sometimes annoying. They take away from the aesthetic, personality and authenticity of our blogs when there's too many. And in most cases for most people, they aren't worth the money it seems. 

That being said, I don't want to do away with them entirely. I love supporting my blogger friends--which was my purpose when I started swapping. Starting September 1st, I'll be doing 5 ad swaps a month with those I know and enjoy reading on a daily basis. Obviously, I read more than 5 blogs a day (in fact I counted the other day and I visit 63 blogs daily! Whoa!), so every month allows for a new round of friendly faces. 

About paid ads: Because my blog is so so small, I don't really feel it's fair for me to ask for money from bloggers. However, that kind of ruins things for new bloggers or businesses who would like to advertise with me (as I'm only swapping with friends). 

To compromise, I'm going to offer one paid ad spot a month for that small business or growing blogger who wants to make an investment and gain exposure with the Milk + Crown audience. This paid spot will be the biggest ad spot at the top of the column, and automatically includes a monthly guest post, giveaway, or feature of your choosing, weekly individual Twitter shout-outs, and any other marketing or promotion you'd like me to do--for a cost of $8. Whatever YOU think helps. Want me to retweet or recommend a blogpost of yours to my followers? Check. Want me to direct people to your blog on my Loving Lately weekly posts? Check. You name it, I'll do it. (within reason, that is....)

So. That's that.

In other news, I go back to Flagler in a few weeks. Which means, less time for blogging, more time studying. This summer, I've really enjoyed blogging nearly 7 days a week, but I just won't be able to do that once school start again. So I'm going to start focusing this blog more by getting into a weekly groove of 4 posts. A rotation of Insta-Recaps, Wonderfully Made features, Loving Lately, Fiction Fridays, What To Wear, Recent Reads, and On My Heart posts. 

And no more weekend posts. I need to use my weekends more intentionally for quality time, exploration and self-renewal. Do I sound like I'm parenting myself? :)

And lastly, some news about the shop: 

I've sold 1 piece so far in August--a step in the right direction! Please continue to spread the word about my 30 necklaces in 30 days project for Mocha Club; if I reach 30 sales, that means 10 orphans in Africa will gain access to clean water. And, I will add 10 new designs to my jewelry shop. A win for everyone! Please, don't forget to spread the word, or buy a little necklace :)

All of my earrings are now 14kt gold filled French wires! No more surgical steel--this 14kt gold will stay beautiful and last forever. That now means every single piece in my collection is 14kt gold filled! I'm so happy to make the final transition into quality materials.

If you've stuck with me through all of this, congrats! And thank you. I hope you all are having a beautiful weekend, friends.