Category Archive

Drifter Rebrands: Part I

oh my drifter rebrand: part i - drifter and the gypsy blog
If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat (ohmydrifter), Pinterest or read this blog, you probably know by now I’m changing my name to Oh My Drifter in the next few months. If you didn’t know that or want to know some of the reasons why I’m name-changing, read this post.

Although the content of the blog will stay the same, the name-change allows for a few other fun changes, like a new layout and a new logo. While I’m working with a web developer on the layout, I’m designing the new logo myself. I always love looking at other people’s creative processes, so I thought it would be fun to share the process of my own logo so far.

I’m such a visual person, my heart would love nothing more than to get lost in the depths of Pinterest, pinning away brand inspiration from the get-go, but before I do ANYTHING visual, I ask myself questions: Who is my audience? What words would others use to describe the style of my blog? How would I describe my blog? How would I like my blog to be perceived? What do I want others to gain from reading my blog? Etc. etc…

I pick out a few keywords from my answers and jot them down. NOW is the time to get pin-happy. After I’ve made a Pinterest board, I open up my pinned images in Illustrator and see how they work together. I use the eyedropper tool to pick a few theme colors and use the images that seem the most cohesive and tada! A pretty lil’ moodboard:

oh my drifter rebrand: part i - drifter and the gypsy blog
From the moodboard, I identify key themes going on. Obviously I love color. Bright cheery colors and pastels, specifically. And I’ve got an affinity for vintage. And hands. And geometric, grid-like compositions. And just overall happy vibes. From here, I think some keywords are vintage, whimsical, feminine, colorful, quirky and happy.

Next, I grab a pencil and sketch out some initial logo designs. I play around with font style, font size and placement. From there, I take my favorite sketches and translate them into the computer on Illustrator.

oh my drifter rebrand: part i - drifter and the gypsy blog
These are a few of my first comps. Some of them aren’t great, some of them I like better than others, but I always start off with a large amount of options and then edit down from there. I decided to keep the logo to typography and not make an accompanying mark (aka a graphic). I still have to tweak the logos more (and maybe design a few entirely new ones) until they’re there, but I feel like I’ve gotten a good start. I’m contemplating whether or not I want to add a pop of color to part of the logo… we’ll see.

Anywho, I want to involve you as much as possible in my rebrand and what better a way to show you my work in progress! Tell me which logo(s) are your favorites, even. Writing this all out helps me see my process in a more organized fashion, so it’s a win-win for all!

On changing names

smoothies with style: please eat the daisies - drifter and the gypsy blog
Hi! Hello! So the cat’s out of the bag: If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m changing blog names.

I had contemplated changing names for the past few YEARS actually. (I touch on this in these two blog posts I wrote last year.) And while for years I’ve trucked along with Drifter & the Gypsy (a name that people have continually told me is an AWESOME name which makes me so happy to hear–thanks guys!) I was not happy with the name. I started my blog in 2008 when I was 14. I had just started high school. As with most teenagers of that age, I felt lost. I over-romanticized about life. I felt like a drifter. I wanted another word that would make an alliteration. I came up with gypsy. I liked that name. It was dreamy, ethereal. It had an aura of mystery to it. I pictured forest fairies basking in moody dappled sunlight. (Maybe not the last sentence, but you catch my drift… okay I’ll stop now ;).)

The older I got, the more comfortable in my skin I felt and the less I found myself identifying with Drifter & the Gypsy. People would ask me, “Who ARE Drifter & the Gypsy?” And really, I had nothing to say. (I actually wrote a children’s book a few years ago about a drifter and a gypsy to try to answer that question, but it didn’t seem right. It felt so contrived, like I was forcing the name to work.)

I’m still a drifter, but not in the same sense I was before. I’m a drifter in the sense I have SO MANY passions. I’m a drifter in the sense I don’t have just ONE job. I constantly have my hands in EVERYTHING possibly creative. I’m not completely fulfilled unless I’m doing A MILLION things at once. And even then I wonder, Should I start another project? But gypsy? Naw, not really. It was a phase I had simply outgrown.

What do you do when you outgrow your business name? The question plagued me for days, weeks, months and years. Surely it was all in my head since people kept complimenting me on my name. Even so, I didn’t feel right with the name. The only thing holding me back from changing my name was sheer terror. I know that seems an irrational exaggeration, but really I was terrified. Does it show a sign of weakness if the business name I chose for myself didn’t sustain me when I grew? I was afraid people would be angry, I was afraid of losing readers, losing followers, losing credibility, losing, losing, losing.

I talked to a few good blog friends about my desire to/but ultimate fear of changing my blog name and they helped me snap out of my funk. They told me if I wanted to change my blog name, change it. Don’t lose sleep over it, don’t let it occupy every waking moment of your day. People will catch on to the new name, people will adapt.

There’s a laundry list of other reasons why I wanted to change my blog name but in the interest of keeping this post as short and sweet as possible (especially since yesterday’s post was pretty heavy), I’ll touch on that another time.

Since I’m changing my blog name, within the coming months, I’m also changing my logo, blog layout, domain and social media usernames to reflect the name change.

If the domain/logo/blog layout change isn’t happening for a few months, why did I change my Facebook page name so quickly? Well, my friends, I heard changing Facebook page names is a really extensively long arduous process that can take MONTHS to propagate and in the end, it’s up to Facebook to decide whether or not they approve of the name change. It’s not unheard of for Facebook to not grant a name change request, leaving you stuck with the old name unless you have some sort of magical contact at Facebook who can pull some serious strings for you. I figured my request would take a few weeks, perhaps months to be filed & acknowledged, so I applied for a name change today.

You can imagine the HEART ATTACK I had when literally two minutes later, my new name was approved. You can only change Facebook page names once, so the secret’s out and there’s no turning back now! Perhaps the unprecedented ease of me changing page names on Facebook is a sign that this name change is the right thing to do.

There will be a bit of change going on here over the next few months but the content will. not. change. one. bit! Please please PLEASE don’t for a second think the quality will somehow take a dive for the worst and make that a reason to stop reading! My sincerest hope is that you continue on this journey with me. I’ll still be the same person, same wit, same style, just with a different name and a swanky new layout. (And really, it’s not that big of a name change!) It’ll be FUN!

Curious as to what my new name is? Gotta check out the Facebook page. 😉

 

The Stomach Diaries: Part III

This post is a continuation from my health story Part I and Part II where I wrote about the stomach issues I’ve had my entire life. In this post, I go into detail about my follow up nutritionist visits, subsequent food tests and what I’m doing with my diet right now.

the stomach diaries: part iii - drifter and the gypsy blog
My first follow-up visit with the nutritionist was one month after my initial visit. For that month, I was eating only foods I didn’t test positive for. Although I was on a strict diet, I had eaten plant-based, gluten-free and dairy-free on my own for the past three years, so I didn’t need to make huge shifts in what I ate. Avoiding the arbitrary foods my body was sensitive to–such as carrots, watermelon, rice, oranges, etc.–was a minor inconvenience, if nothing else. I swapped rice for buckwheat, oatmeal for green smoothies, oranges for grapefruit and then just avoided any other of my ‘trigger’ foods. I also took a bunch of vitamins & supplements to make sure I was getting enough nutrients.

Within the first two weeks, my acne cleared, my stomach felt less bloated and my nails got stronger. I was feeling good! The first month went by, I got skin prick tested for food allergies again and a lot of the foods that came back positive during my first visit now came back negative–exactly as the nutritionist had anticipated.

After my second visit, my nutritionist said she wanted to see me in three months to check up on me. During those three months, my job was to start re-introducing all the once positive foods that now tested negative–like rice, carrots, watermelon, etc.–one at a time, so I could pay attention to the way they made me feel. Since the nutritionist shares her office with an acupuncturist, she also suggested I get acupuncture treatment to speed up the healing process of rebuilding my gut. I was feeling good enough on my own that I decided to wait on the acupuncture. (These medical expenses aren’t cheap!) I started re-introducing food and my body seemed more accepting to the food I fed it. I wasn’t bouncing-off-the-walls great, I wasn’t nearly healed, but I felt better than I had ever felt on my own. Everything was moving in the right direction for once!… Until October.

the stomach diaries: part iii - drifter and the gypsy blog

Click through to read what happened to me in October!

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The Stomach Diaries: Part II

This post is a continuation from my health story last week where I wrote about the stomach issues I’ve had my entire life. In this post, I go into detail about my initial visit to my nutritionist.

the stomach diaries: part i - drifter and the gypsy blog
Four years ago, I was a sophomore in high school and I really wasn’t taking care of my body: Staying up too late, not exercising, not eating well, working too much, not getting enough sleep, etc. It was two years after I started this blog, I was just getting into fashion photography and I felt invincible: Fueled by passion. However, my body started giving me signs that it was time to start taking better care of myself. These signs came in the form of anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, terrible bloating and acne. Granted, yes, I was a teenager and yes, a lot of these symptoms are typically associated with the hormonal changes one goes through during puberty, but I knew something more was going on. I did my own research and tried going gluten-free and dairy-free. I’d like to say it was a miraculous recovery and I immediately felt better than I ever had in my life, but that wasn’t the case. I felt better but I still wasn’t close to being healed. Although my eczema hadn’t flared up since I was 13 and my acne subsided, I still felt bloated and anxious. But I slept like a stone, which gave me enough energy to keep on trucking for three more years.

In late 2013 / early 2014, my body went through another iteration of ailments. Some of them were the same, but some of them were new: achey muscles, perpetual coldness, brittle nails, constant thirst and the overall feeling of weakness. I loved to run, but after a while, pounding my poor, achey muscles on the pavement felt more like torture than anything else. There is a good family friend of ours that has MS and I got really scared that I might have MS too. I did online research (hello, WebMD!) and diagnosed myself with a myriad of possibilities: hypothyriodism, Crohn’s disease, IBS, MS, adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto disease, amongst many others.

the stomach diaries: part ii - drifter and the gypsy blog
I made my first appointment to see a nutritionist in July of 2014. I also started seeing a chiropractor that same month to help alleviate my tight and achey muscles. My body was badly out of alignment.

I was so nervous the day of my first visit with the nutritionist. A friend recommended me to see her. She had good Yelp reviews, but I still didn’t know what her personality would be like. In my quest to eat healthier, I was very drawn to the raw vegan high carb low fat diet. I loved the idea of eating as close to nature as possible and being able to eat in large quantities, but I knew the criticism my type of diet got: Where are you getting your protein? Where are you getting your fat? It’s not balanced to eat that much fruit, etc. My ultimate fear was the nutritionist would tell me I needed to start eating meat. The notion that maybe my body wasn’t liking my 99% vegan (I still ate eggs) diet always lingered in the dark corridors of my mind. But I knew I needed to take care of myself and I needed to see the nutritionist no matter what the outcome would be. My mom came with me for support.

Click through to read the outcome of my first visit.

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The Stomach Diaries: Part I

the stomach diaries: part i - drifter and the gypsy blog
I think it’s about time I talk to you about my health. I’ve alluded to my sensitive tummy issues here and there and you may notice that my recipes are always gluten free and vegan. Though I’m not vegan–I’ll eat eggs, honey, & drink bone broth every once and a while and I take daily fish oil supplements–I naturally gravitate towards a diet filled with fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, nuts & seeds. I’m also lactose-intolerant, so that’s that. I haven’t eaten meat or fish in seven years as a personal choice due to animal cruelty and to lessen my environmental impact on the world.

My entire life I’ve had eczema. Really bad. As in I remember coming home from preschool one day with bloody, oozy rug-burned hands because the eczema on my hands was so itchy I was started rubbing them on the rug. My mom would take me to the pediatrician and the doctor would write me a prescription for heavy duty steroid-laden ointments. The doctor would tell me, “Don’t use the ointment for more than two consecutive weeks.” Otherwise the steroids in the ointment would thin my skin and my body would develop an immunity to the prescription. The ointment would usually work its magic, but my eczema always found its way back: on my legs, behind my knees, on my arms, behind my ears, on my neck, on my hands, inside the crooks of my elbows… My mom would take me back to the pediatrician and the doctor would prescribe another ointment for me to use. It was an endless cycle.

Every now and then, well-meaning friends would cringe at my sore, rashy skin and ask me if I had ever tried a gluten-free diet. I scoffed at the idea. Maybe it was because being gluten-free wasn’t much of a ‘thing’ at the time or maybe it just wasn’t on my radar but I ate anything and everything and I felt fine… or at least so I thought. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had issues with bloating. When I was super young (around 4 years old), I thought that was just the way my body digested food. I thought my stomach was naturally shaped like the underside of a bowl. It made me self-conscious, yes, but that was life and I sure loved food. My mom fed me wholesome food, like chicken and bread and rice and vegetables and fruit and milk. I loved it all. I saw how picky my peers were with eating. I saw how they would take three bites of a sandwich and be “full.” I thought that maybe my problem was I loved food too much; maybe I was a glutton and my body was punishing me for eating so much.

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Mid-Year Reader Check-In

mid-year reader check-in - drifter and the gypsy blog
Hi guys! Happy weekend! And happy loooong weekend to those who live in the US! Is anyone else eating copious amounts of watermelon like I am?

We’re a few days into the month of July, which means we are officially halfway through the year. I made a brief little mid-year reader check-in that I would so appreciate if you could take 1-2 minutes to fill out. I know surveys aren’t fun (I actually checked the thesaurus to see if there was any other word I could possibly use besides survey) but I tried to make this one as quick & painless as possible. You don’t have to answer every question & most questions are multiple choice.

I cover a variety of different topics on the blog and it’s really helpful for me to check in with you guys & hear feedback on what you’re liking, what you’re meh so/so liking and what you’re REALLY not liking/not interested in.

Go here to complete the survey. Have a fun weekend doing something you love!

Lately

lately - drifter and the gypsy blog
Hey guys! I hope your summer is going swimmingly thus far (pun intended). This week would have been the first week of summer classes for me at SCAD, but my adviser–who I was consulting with as to what classes I should take in the summer–ended up taking an unexpected leave of office, so I decided to not take a summer course and instead concentrate more on developing content for and growing this blog. (I’m secretly happy it worked out this way. More blogging time = happy Micaela.)

I’m taking Hilary Rushford’s Instagram with Intention class as well as working my way through Food Photography School from Minimalist Baker. Both classes are amazing thus far–I find learning the science of / business behind creative entrepreneurialism fascinating, but that’s just me. #nerdalert

I’ve been working through some not-so-fun food sensitivity elimination diet stuff (well actually this has been life-long venture I’ve really concentrated on more seriously this past year), but I’ll save the details for a future post.

In other news, next week is July 1st, which marks the halfway point of 2015 (ahhhhh!). I’ll be making a mid-year mini survey to check in with you and see what content you’re liking on Drifter & the Gypsy, what you’re not liking, what you want to see more of, etc.

Anyway, I felt like I haven’t checked in with you guys in a while and just wanted to give you a little update on my life. I hope all is well with you loves!

(All photographs above from my Instagram.)

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