Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When I started blogging in 2009, it was a lot easier to connect with others who were just starting out too. Everyone appeared to be on a level playing field, meaning none of us seemed to know what we were doing or where blogging would take us. I didn't think it would take me anywhere frankly. It was a genuinely supportive community, and this was all before social media blew up and took over hours of our days. There was no Instagram (at least not that I was aware of) and affiliate linking was barely a thing either. We blogged because we loved it and wanted to share our finds, and it didn't matter if you were tech savvy or not. Most of us took pictures with a point and shoot, or our phones. Yes some ladies had already delved into the professional side, but it wasn't nearly as common as it is now. There was no air of snobbery either.

Today, the blogging world is saturated. I mean completely drenched. And don't get me wrong, there is room for everyone. I think it's great that people feel comfortable sharing their lives (or at least their style) with anyone who's interested on the web, but I can't help but wonder where some of the ladies I started out with have gone. Where did they go?

Wearing //

It's like having a friend that just stops calling you out of the blue. I often wonder how they are doing, if their lives have changed in a way that blogging just doesn't suit them anymore. Busy schedules, children, lack of time, maybe they just moved onto bigger and better things...But can't you break-up with your readers first? I mean, do we as bloggers owe that to people? Is it anyone's business? I don't care if I only have one person interested in the gibberish I have to say, I feel like I would owe it to that one person to be like, "hey. I don't plan on doing this for awhile. I'm taking a long break. Check back in a couple months". Or, "you know, this just doesn't interest me anymore, it's been fun though and thank you for sticking it out with me!"

Am I wrong? I tend to over-analyze so yes is a strong possibility. But I do miss my old blogging friends. I won't call them here by name because that's not my place and they probably want their privacy now that they don't blog, but they know who they are.

I also often wonder if Instagram has taken the place of even having a blog. It's definitely more convenient and less time consuming. However, I like to write. So therefore, I'd rather have a place where I can blather on and on without taking over people's Instagram feeds. Plus, I have friends on my IG that don't give a crap what I wear. They'd rather see pictures of Nettie or places I'm going to. And I'm certainly not making a separate account or carefully "curating" anything because that's just not what I want to do.

So anyway, I don't plan on stopping anytime soon but if I do, I'll let you know. I'll write a proper goodbye, even if no one cares to read it. And to those ladies who gave up blogging, I miss you! I hope you are all well :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

For the last part of our "ten take on Fall" series, I want to talk about two trends in particular that I'm loving. Although I've mentioned several times that I gravitate towards more classic silhouettes, fashion should be fun! And that definitely includes experimenting with what's "in" each season. Just a few pieces and little tweaks can make your wardrobe feel more current, and you don't have to spend a fortune. 

I have this bell sleeved mini dress in two colors, but this one is distinctly Fall due to the beautiful plum shade. I think my mom owned a similar version in the 60's and 70's which cracks me up! The overall shape is a risk because it's well...shapeless. It's not for everyone, and I understand some of you may not like it. A selling point for me is that the sleeves add movement and float around as you walk and talk. I'll say it - they make me feel flirty. I love little dresses and own several, but this trend is unique to my closet and one that doesn't take me out of my comfort zone. 

Wearing //
Stella & Dot cuff, love this one

Another trend I've had on my radar has been in the shoe department. I love flats and pumps, but lace-up shoes combine the best of both worlds - the comfort of a flat, yet the height of a pump. Most of these styles come with a chunky heel, which provides plenty of stability. I'm like a baby giraffe when I walk, so I can appreciate the support. I like to wear mine with dresses for an elongated look, but I've seen ladies pair them with skinny jeans. I'll have to try that next! 

Other trends I'm trying:

1) Chokers - I just placed my samples for Stella & Dot and I included this beauty. I'm a child of the 90's so this is a fun way to pay homage to that period.

2) Off the shoulder - This one is still going strong! I have two off the shoulder tops left over from Summer and I plan on wearing them on warmer Fall days. Love this option!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

The million dollar question I get asked most often is, "So when are you guys having children?" This is usually followed by me staring up at the ceiling, feeling sheepish and uncomfortable. If Nate is present, I then stare awkwardly at him, praying he answers for the both of us. When you've been married for a couple years and when you reach a certain age (hello 32), it's to be expected that this is a genuine concern. And not only does it come from my mother and in-laws, but also from friends. Hell even strangers ask me, as if my uterus is public fodder. Most of my friends do have children, and I think they would like us to just get it over with already and join the married with children club. In that sense, I would love to be a member. My friends are wonderful parents and I want nothing more than for our kids to grow up alongside theirs.

But there's just one little problem, as is most problems I face in my life - I'm scared beyond belief. Like the kind of scared that gives me nightmares almost every single night. The kind of fear I used to get before giving a speech or presentation in my college classes. That kind of irrational fear that makes zero sense, but that feels SO real. Even now just typing this, I have a pit in my stomach (not a baby might I add).

Why am I so terrified? Who knows. Maybe it's because I'm an only child? Nah, that doesn't stop most only children. In fact, I think only children go on to have larger families. Don't quote me on that but I'm sure if I bothered to research I could look up some study. Maybe it's because I saw some horrible examples when I was working with foster youth? Nah, I wanted to adopt each and every one of those kiddos. They broke my heart.

I think I'm afraid of the actual pregnancy. I know some women say they loved being pregnant, but I'm almost 100 percent positive that will not be me. I'm also afraid of giving birth. Yes it is life's greatest miracle and I truly believe that. But considering I can't even deal with a migraine, my childbirth might actually look like one of those romantic comedies where the woman is sweating, swearing, and screaming like she's dying and the husband is running around like a chicken with his head cut off. I mean that doesn't really happen, does it? That's just the movies?

Then there's the whole losing your identity thing. I know it's possible to be a loving, present parent while still maintaining a semblance of who you were before children. I just know it's difficult at times. Priorities shift, as they naturally should! But I'm also afraid of being a crazy neurotic parent. I already struggle with worry, so it could get even worse after having a baby. Or it could get better! I guess I won't know until I'm a mother. These are all things I think about a lot, but keep my mouth shut for fear of judgment. I don't want to offend anyone. Many women can't have children, so I don't want to sound like motherhood is some sort of obligation.

Back to the question, when are we having kids? Not sure exactly. But probably next year, God willing. Just don't quote me on that either ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

For the second part of the Fall style series (see part one here), I am sharing what I consider "must-haves". You know, the pieces you'll be seeing frequently around here. Every Fall, my outfits tend to revolve around a simple formula: camisole + blazer + denim + pumps. Sometimes I'll vary by switching my shoes and bag but otherwise, I adhere to this style because it's classic, polished, and easy. It works for almost any occasion, casual or dressy. Of course if you're in an office, a pair of tailored pants or a pencil skirt can replace the denim. I swear this is what I go for every year! I don't care what is considered trendy at the moment, when I think of Fall, I immediately grab the classics.

Let's dissect this a little bit:

1. Cami - Every one has a camisole or tank in their wardrobe right? I love layering one underneath a little blazer, cardigan, or jacket. It's a great canvas for pretty necklaces, and you aren't sacrificing style for comfort. It's been chilly in the mornings, but then gets really warm during the afternoon so it's a nice in-between piece for this fickle time of year that a lot of us face.

2. Blazer - I recently bought this ruched sleeve blazer at H&M and I'm really happy with the fit and light color. A blazer always looks good, no matter your shape or size and no matter the occasion. It adds a lot of polish to an outfit.

3. Denim - This is a no-brainer. Dark skinny jeans are flattering and can be dressed up or down. I wear mine constantly year-round, but especially in Fall. 

4. Pumps - Nothing looks as polished as a great pair of pointy pumps. They elongate your legs and depending on the color or print, they can really take a simple outfit from boring to fun. I have a few pairs of these in different colors, and I love the way they make my legs look when I'm wearing jeans. Perfect for a night out! 

Wearing //
H&M blazer, check stores
J.Crew pumps, similar for less!
Kendra Scott necklace and bracelet

Other must-haves for me this year:

Mixed metals - I used to be OCD about my jewelry choices, and I never imagined I would be into mixing my metals. But ever since becoming a Stella & Dot stylist, I actually have really been enjoying wearing both silver AND gold! It's chic and a little less expected than wearing all one metal. Plus with so many options, it's hard to choose so why not wear it all?

Suede shoulder bag - This bag is a total must-have for me. I bought it while on vacation over the Summer, but the pretty lilac color seems appropriate now as well.