The Weekend Send-Off

February 25th, 2011 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

It’s almost Waits’ birthday! Holy CRAP, this year flew by and my little baby is, well, no longer a baby. It’s crazy to think that a year ago I was *so very* pregnant, I had put the site on baby watch, and I was doing everything in my power to become un-pregnant. What a world of difference in one little trip around the sun!

Where were you a year ago? Is it very different than where you are now?

And speaking of differences . . .


So I’ve been doing a lot of meditating lately, about this website, its future, and how to make it viable. As of right now I’m doing this for free, and let me tell you – it’s a *lot* of work. I do it because I love it and it’s important, and I think of it as activism. Some people table or talk to their congressperson, some people write letters and some organize outreach. Me? I blog. But nobody *volunteers* as a full-time job. In order to continue to give Bonzai the attention that I think it deserves, I need it to be more sustainable, financially.

Ideally doing what you love to do, and doing what makes you money, will be one in the same. That’s the dream, right? So it’s time for me to jump in.

An opportunity has arisen that I’m excited to take advantage of. A new Ad Network featuring exclusively vegan advertisers. Yes! Now this is something I can get behind! I’m all about promoting cool vegan companies – you know that I believe in the power of “pro-cott” as much as the power of boycott. So I’ve signed up for a trial period, and starting at some point in March, a revolving ad will appear in the Bonzai sidebar.

I feel good about this. I’m actually excited about this. In order to be my best for you, I need to view this website as a vehicle that’s moving me forward in my life and in my dreams. This is an excellent step!

But I want to know what you guys think. Please share your feelings, because you know I value them (you guys make this site!) and I’d never want my integrity to be compromised in your eyes. So please please – feedback!

Le Love List!
And now, for my favorite part of Friday. And I’ve got a whole lot to love this week:

1. Planning Waits’ birthday party! It’s happening later in the month, a joint venture with the two other vegan babies (!!) who were also born last March. Waits & Amelie & Clementine will be hosting a farm animal party (ha!), and we’re asking that in lieu of gifts, people donate to Farm Sanctuary. I’m making a raw caramel tart with chocolate ganache and I promise to write down the recipe this time. (sorry guys!) Yeah, it’s going to be SO FUN.
2. Green Things: wheat grass shots which make me feel SO GOOD, I love you Sip and I’m thrilled to have finally found fresh wheat grass in P-town!
3. Green Things: matcha lattes, oh lordy this is a new obsession. So. Effing. Delicious.
4. Green Things: fresh-picked nettles for my infusion, from the year-round Farmer’s Market. They make such a smooth infusion (but be careful, um, they sting!!!)
5. Snow. Waits wide-eyed and grabbing at snow flakes. *heart melt*

Now it’s your turn! What do you love this week?

My darlings, this happy little post will stay at the top of the page all weekend, so stop by any time to leave your Love List, ask a question, or offer some feedback! Or if you’re new, please introduce yourself and say ‘Oi!’! This is your community, so get involved!

Enjoy a spectacular weekend!

  • Lindsay

    Don’t feel bad about advertising on your blog. I think it is a necessary step when your blog gets so busy, you are answering emails all the time, following up on comments, doing research for blog posts—that can be a full time job like you say! A little ad revenue will probably encourage you to keep making this blog the best it can be. Although I’m a recent follower, I love it.
    If you are incorporating vegan ads I’m ALL for it. I was on a vegan blog the other day and saw an ad for yogurt. All I could think was…What is this person thinking advertising dairy on a vegan blog!? So strange…”
    If anything your readers will be interested in the vegan products so pick your ads wisely and all will be good!

  • Sandra

    I think the advertising is a good thing, Sayward! Especially since they are all vegan :) I am new to many things vegan, and I am hoping I might see something advertised that I just have to buy!

  • Tenise Rae

    No arguments here!!! Do it!! :D

    Rad jacket btw, mama! :D

  • Katie

    Good for you! I think advertising is a smart financial decision, and I applaud you for finding a vegan-only ad network. It’s in line with who you are, and what this blog is. For the great service you provide your readers, you absolutely deserve a bit of income!

  • clara

    I think it’s not only okay but good to give vegan (or vegan-friendly) companies the opportunity to advertise on your blog. Not only for them but maybe also for your readers to discover somthing new and great!

  • Sayward

    Aw guys, you make me all melty! I’m touched, and I should have trusted that you would be understanding. Thank you for being always rad!

  • emma

    I think advertising is a great idea! If it makes it easier for you to carry on blogging even more so :) I’m a new reader but most certainly wouldn’t want you to leave blogland.

  • emma

    …Oh and this week I’m loving: 3 hours off studying for gardening this Sunday, vegan waffles with a friend for breakfast, spring flowers coming up and cocoa-date-almond truffles!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Do it! Ditto to everything stated above.

    1. Nori-infused sea salt
    2. Finding out that nettles make an awesome cover crop – I’ll have enough nettles for my entire town by summer’s end. :D
    3. Starting seeds in my greenhouse this weekend!

  • Lenn

    I agree, matcha is heaven…I’ve been hooked on it since I worked for a local coffee joint, about 4 years now, especially smoothies!

    1. U-haul who will be making our life so much easier.
    2. TUESDAY! Because we will be moving to the new place in the mountains.
    3. Packaging tape and sharpies because without them my life would be a living hell right now.

  • Sara

    Do it! you deserve the money. I look forward to reading every post! :)
    Love List:
    1-making nut butter (with your instructions!)
    2- homemade ratatouille
    3-finding Kombucha in Paris

  • maidenoregon

    Advertising??? Do WHATEVER you gotta do , just don’t leave us! LOL

    Love list:
    1. Kefir water…..I had never heard of it before and now I am drinking a batch a day! YAY!
    2. Home School……I LOVE spending my days with my son, teaching him anything and everything.
    3.Giving away Tie Dye Jeans that I made. People LOVE them.

  • Corinne Bowen

    Of course you should advertise! And it’s so kick ass that you’re using a vegan ad company. Looking forward to seeing who they promote. Your posts make me so excited for motherhood (only 11 weeks to go!). You’ve also made me feel more comfortable as a vegan mother. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. xoxo

  • Amanda

    I think this new, all-vegan (!) advertising is a smile-making, toe-tapping, spine-tingling step! We welcome it (=

    I’ve been with you for two months now, during which time I have frequently bookmarked and re-read posts to keep the flame of my vegan fire burning ;) I’m about ten weeks vegan now, and I have never felt better! I’m cooking more, eating healthier, feeling more energetic, and even a few pounds lighter — a welcome side effect. I’ve also learned that while some of my friends and family members don’t want to hear about this new part of my life, I am surrounded with supportive, magnificent folks who are gung-ho about things that make me happy.

    Basically, you and your blog rock my vegan world, and I fully support anything that helps you/it out!

  • Annelise

    I’m really excited about this! I love your blog, and I’d love for you to make money doing it! I think it’ll also be good for your readers, because now we’ll have some ideas for where to get some vegan stuff and support those businesses trying to make a difference. So, basically a win for everyone! I hope it works out well!

    Love list:
    1. I went vegan this week, and it’s been awesome! I thought it’d be hard, but honestly it’s been so easy and I can’t believe I waited this long.
    2. My husband, who is an omnivore, but supports my decision completely and is currently cooking a vegan recipe he found for dinner.
    3. Snow plows!

    PS: Waits’ jacket is freaking adorable.

  • Neysa

    As long as they are companies you are comfortable supporting, I say go for it! We all have to make a crust afterall, and I think we all love you enough to at least click on some advertising banners occasionally.

    1) My very nut allergic housemate/best friend telling telling me that I can have nut butter back in the house (as long as it’s well sealed!).
    2) Finally being able to use my shoulder properly after dislocating it a month ago
    3) My gorgeous partner who surprised me with choc-dipped strawberries, then insisted it was only because he likes them (he wouldn’t eat one until I practically had it smeared all over his face)

  • Jay

    No one will mind the advertising! It’s way worth the content you give us, and you deserve to make money for this!

    (But there is one person out here who is volunteering full time – at least until a legal aid job opens up in Eastern WA!)

  • liz

    i have been reading your blog for a whiled but i have never commented….just wanted to say that i enjoy it and would like for you to continue! also, i would love to be exposed to new products :)

  • jenny b

    long overdue :) You’re amazing!

  • aaandlovingit

    Advertising sounds like a great solution! Totally worth it if it keeps you here! :) I too am obsessed with matcha lattes they are amaaaaaazing!!

  • Vicki

    I’m not vegan… but there is still a lot that I have learned from this site. I enjoy it very much and look forward to each new post…and who knows what direction my diet will head in the future. I think it’s a great idea to have vegan advertising to keep your site going!! :)

  • Generic Jen B

    I think it’s great that you will advertise; no one is obligated to buy from the companies that have an ad on your sidebar and if they do, they’ll be supporting ethical business so it’s win win.

    P.S.: I adore your blog. I’ve always loved lifestyle blogs but I can’t get behind 100% people who wear fur or gloat over chicken burgers. Finally, I’ve got a favorite little lifestyle blog xx

  • MorganInJapan

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am simply mad about this site! Your writing is informative and entertaining. And I love that everyone is welcome to express their opinion. It’s a fantastic community. You totally deserve to get paid for all your hard work!

    1. My husband comes home tomorrow! Yay!
    2. My step-daughter wishing me a happy birthday and saying I’m “the best step-mom in the world.” So sweet!
    3. New posts on B.A. :)

  • Angela

    You do so much for your readers, I highly doubt any of us would object to some vegan ads on your site. Do what helps you get to where you need to be (and keeps you blogging)!
    I would looove to have a matcha latte. I don’t know any place near me that makes them, though.

    Love list:
    1) This delicious wine I am drinking

    2) My tiny dog snoring next to me

    3) The fact that even if I don’t have any vegan friends irl (which gets lonely, I’m not gonna lie) there is an amazing network of vegans online <3

  • Allison

    Love list:
    1. Guacamole Bowl tomorrow. A 30 guacamole contest. Holy yum.
    2. Dessert Hummus.
    3. Being a crazy cat lady. Is it my fault they follow me up my stairs and hang out on my porch? Is it their fault that they are so loving and adorable?

    I can’t believe it’s been a year since you were pregnant! I loved your writing on being pregnant/having a baby. I have never heard someone actually talk about what that process is like. Have a great week!

  • cassie.

    all about getting the word out on vegan companies, no advertising objections here!

    1. having a week all to myself, no obligations to anyone else.
    2. rearranging everything, from pictures to priorities.
    3. sprouting basil!

  • erosan

    Remember how you had already asked for our opinion on the advertisement? IIRC, the general consensus was everyone was OK with it, especially if you found a way to find advertisers whom you could support. I think you just found a way.

    love list:
    1. Spring is here. I mean, not really, but everything is blooming already here in Merida. I am starting to see the tamarinds ripening and I just found a couple of baby mangoes on the floor today. I’m so exited that urban foraging season will start in a couple of weeks!

    2. I got a package on the mail today. I just love snail mail. Getting a letter or a package makes you feel so special, ain’t it right?

    3. I’m just glad that you found a way to monetize this lil project, so that you can keep posting…

  • Amy Petz

    Live the dream Sayward. Get paid to do what you love.

  • Pat

    go for the ads! you deserve to get paid for all your great work! you do a great job, and I love coming back reading your posts!

    I know what you mean with time flew by last year, one year ago I was 4 months pregnant, not able to work, and soooo missing my job, but also very excited of what was ahead of me! Now I still sometimes miss my work, but I very much enjoy motherhood, even today after only 2h sleep last night.I think time passes as a parent so much faster because of the fast changes the wee ones make, and how fast they learn new things, and not so much with being very busy (I was that before, too…)

    Love list:
    1) the spring like warmth and sun we had over the past few days, so filled up my Vit D tank!
    2) so excited we are going to book our Australia trip today, we have been planing that for years, and had to be putting it off so many times, now finally it will come true..
    3)having a peaceful weekend ahead of me, for once with no appointments

  • Robin

    I think its a great idea! No worries!
    love List:
    1) This blog!
    2) Vegan Ads!
    3) Spring is near!

  • Theresa

    I don’t think the ads are going to bother me. I’m certainly a lot more comfortable with it knowing it’s something you made a conscious decision about instead of a rash “I NEED MONEY, GIMME ADS!” I’m impressed you’ve held out for so long :) Also, bonus points for the Seu Jorge reference. Love that soundtrack!

    My list:
    1) Supportive friends and family. So far 2011 isn’t my friend, but all the folks close to me are helping me keep a positive perspective.
    2) Water Kefir! Just finished up the first batch, yum.
    3) Toddler vocab. I often wonder how on earth one little person could talk so much/ask so many questions but it’s those same questions that make me smile every day.

  • Meghan

    I don’t mind ads at all. I’ll make sure to visit your site without ad-block on, too. :-)

    Love List:

    1. SAUERKRAUT OMG!!!!!!
    2. The Harney and Sons Winter White Earl Grey tea that I got for my birthday.
    3. SEEEEEEDS! I got my seeds in the mail this week, my husband has my planting table all built, and I have a starter mix. I’m just waiting a few days to plant them because Aaron ordered some light fixtures that won’t be in until next week, and I don’t want my seedlings to get grumpy if they germinate to find that they don’t have light on them yet!

    Possible future post suggestion: I note that several people in the comments to day have mentioned recently starting water kefir (add me to the list!). I was thinking that sometime in the future you could have a post where in the comments we can post various recipe/fruit combinations or whatever that we’ve used. What has worked really well, what has turned out kinda funky, etc. Could also work for sauerkraut. I know I’ll be doing a lot of experimenting in the coming weeks!

  • Felicia D.

    I’ve been with this blog almost two years, rarely commenting but loving ever minute. You deserve to make a living doing what you love and I think this is an excellent step in that direction. I love your blog, and hope to be with it another two years!

  • Regina

    I think that you should absolutely do this if it will help you remain the dedicated blogger that you are. Especially since it is something you believe in- it doesn’t seem like your selling out at all.

    Love list;
    1. Chicago
    2. Multi-nut butter: OMG ITS SO GOOD I CAN”T EVEN UNDERSTAND IT!

  • Courtney

    I think that advertising, especially the way you’re going to do it, is a necessary part of the internet being free. I’m glad you’re able to have ads that reflect what you believe in and you’re able to have them on the sidebar. It’s a great thing for you!

    Love list:
    1. Hemp milk!!
    2. Friends
    3. Columbus Recycling (they take everything!!!)

  • ayla

    Advertise it up!

    1. Waking up to surprise snow
    2. Working with my drop spindle
    3. Jean Luc Picard

  • Tara

    Of course the advertising is fine! You deserve to get paid for what you do and made this decision ethically and well intentioned. No one can begrudge you an opportunity to grow the site. Sometimes on blogs the advertisements can become overwhelming and seemingly antithetical to what the site itself is promoting, but that is not a concern at all here. You clearly care a great deal about this site and it’s community. That thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.
    1. Feeling lots of kicks and punches from the belly babe this week.
    2. The amazing and unexpected deal I found on beautiful slumber wear that can double as awesome maternity duds.
    3. Lazy snow days with the hubby.

  • Mandie

    You deserve it! Get it girrrrl.

    Love list:
    1. Making new friends, catching up with old ones, spending quality time with my parents.
    2. My first adventure in gluten free baking was an absolute delicious success!
    3. My dad isn’t talkative, but today in our short conversation he complimented me (and my sister) like only he could. And told me I could keep bees on the farm, even though he and my sister are allergic! <3 <3 <3

  • Betsy

    Matcha lattes? I am intrigued! What are they? Are they something you’re making yourself? I just got a little tin of matcha the other day, that I’ve been making mochi with. Mmm, homemade green tea & red bean mochi are definitely something I’ve been loving this week!

    Also, on the subject of ads, I always find that relevant, non-obnoxious ads can be rather interesting.

  • Mz_K

    1. planning my new spring garden (container for now as I am about to move…)
    2. discovering the sunday guided meditation at a local yoga studio
    3. my new GIANT flower press my husband made me
    4. vintage clothes shopping for my kids

  • @tishushu

    I think adverts will be good! Income for you and opportunities for us to see vegan companies we’ve not heard of!

    My love list:
    1. Starting a couch to 5k program with my daughter and my girlfriend. We’ve become a tight trio!

    2. Farmers Market shopping!

    3. The awesome weather in Atl this weekend! 70′s, baby!

    4. Bike riding with my girlfriend. I’m slowly overcoming my fear of riding in traffic.

    5. Opportunities! My resume has been viewed by a couple engineering firms, woohoo!


  • Rea

    Honestly? I’d be fracked if you DIDN’T put up these vegan ads! As you know, I live in the middle of BFE and it can be really, really hard for me to find some of these companies and products! My wife, myself, and close friend are the ONLY vegans that I personally know, and that close friend happens to live about a thousand miles away right now. Bring it on, you wonderful beyotch! You know we all so trust your judgment and we all think you deserve the money and financial stability! You gots yourself a cute little family to take care of!

    Le Love List~
    1. Delighting aforementioned wife with some wonderful vegan recipes. I never really realized that I have a knack for cooking until we lived together.
    2. The chocolate chip cookies that I am about to make, despite my diet. :D:
    3. Transplanting some sprouts and starting more seeds. My garden shall groweth. I got potatoes, spinach, green onions, sweet onions, kale, peas, dill, parsley, cayennes, bell peppers, strawberries, garlic, shallots, and so much more. Siiiiigh, the excitement!

  • GrowingRaw

    An ad banner wouldn’t bother me. I’m in the same situation where I have a site that I continue to put long hours into researching and writing for. It’s not sustainable without financial incentive, mainly because of the time it takes away from family. And housework – forget it!

    If you chose to include a affiliate links so you could earn some commission that wouldn’t bother me either. I’m sure you’d only recommend products you believed in.

    I’d be very disappointed if Bonzai Aphrodite folded – it’s my favourite, first on my feed list. So do what you need to do, no problem. Thanks for even asking!

  • Jen

    Go for it! Sheesh, I thought you were going to say you were going to stop blogging! Definitely do ads. I mean seriously, you have to do what you have to do and I always value ads from people I respect.

  • Natalie

    Hi Sawyard,

    I am a fairly new reader–but your blog has already made a serious impact on my life. I have been a back-and-forth vegetarian to vegan for the past 3 years, and your tips and in depth information about food and lifestyle have really given me the boost I need to see out my lifestyle ambitions. Living in Washington, DC, your posts brighten my week. I ABSOLUTELY endorse the use of vegan ads on your blog. I am excited to learn about reputable products. I have recently started blogging myself, but it is so time consuming, I rarely post! The fact that you execute such a creative and quality blog for us on a regular basis–you deserve serious financial compensation. It is not selling out–it is saying “YES” to yourself, and thus, “YES” to your loyal readers. =)

    Have a beautiful week!


  • Sayward

    Thanks everybody, so much, for all the support. And I’m glad so many of you are on the same page as I am regarding the ads – I’m actually really looking forward to seeing and exploring a bunch of new vegan businesses! =D

    @ emma – hello new reader! Welcome. =)

    @ Monika – ooh I’m jealous of your home grown nettles. I wish I had room, the fresh ones I’ve been using for my infusions make it sooo delicious and smooth.

    @ Lenn – Good luck with your move!

    @ Sara – Kombucha in Paris = rad

    @ maidenoregon – So glad you’re loving the kefir water, ain’t it tasty?

    @ Corinne Bowen – WOO-HOO 11 weeks!!!

    @ Amanda – Congrats on your vegan adventure and wow, that’s SO wonderful that your friends and family are so supportive. Lucky lady!

    @ Annelise – Yay vegan, good luck (not that you’ll need it), me0w!

    @ Neysa – Mmm, choco strawberries you lucky girl.

    @ jay, liz, jenny b, aaandlovingit, Vicki, & Generic Jen B – Aww, thanks guys!

    @ MorganInJapan – Hope the homecoming was wonderful (I’m sure it was)

    @ Angela – Well, love it or hate it Starbucks does have them if there’s one of those in your area . . .

    @ Allison – Guacamole Bowl sounds AWESOME

    @ cassie – Ooh, enjoy your week of solitude, sounds heavenly.

    @ erosan – So. Much. Jealous. I want spring and I want your urban foraging landscape even more.

    @ Amy Petz – Working on it! =D

    @ Pat – they’re going to be teenagers soon, I swear! ;-)

    @ Robin – Aw, thanks!

    @ Theresa – w00t Seu Jorge! I <3 him.

    @ Meghan – Aw, your comment is so full of happy! I bought all my seeds this weekend and sorting through them and planning out my beds (color-coded sketches because I am ubergeek) was SO MUCH GLEE

    @ Felicia D – *cheers* to two (and MANY) more, ha! =D

    Regina – I KNOW RIGHT!? why is it so good???

    @ Courtney – Re: ads being a necessary part of the internet being free, I never thought about it quite like that and I think that’s a really valid point. Thanks for the food for thought. =)

    @ ayla – Riker was one of my first crushes on a grown up dude, ha! (but I agree Jean Luc is the win)

    @ Tara – Aww, I love that feeling of baby kicking inside. Savor that. =)

    @ Mandie – Congrats on the gluten-free success, that’s not easy!

    @ Betsy – It’s just like a regular latte (I get almond milk) but instead of espresso, you dissolve matcha in the equivalent shot size of very hot water. It makes a green, tea flavored latte that is DIVINE

    @ Mz_k – Ooh, good luck with the patio garden. I’m chomping at the bit as well!

    @ tishushu – That’s an awesome list! Love it all! =D

    @ Rea – Aw, thank you SO MUCH lady. As always, much love to adorable you and your adorable wife. =)

    @ Growing Raw – Bonzai WILL NOT fold! I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure of that, you have my word.

    @ Jen – Thanks darlin’!

    @ Natalie – What an awesome comment, thank you so much!

  • Beth Wakefield

    I love your website and advertising is not going to detract from that. Its important that keeping a website like this going is sustainable-for you financially as well as emotionally, spiritually etc. Anyone who has a problem with that ought to try working without pay day in day out without other sources of income.