disclosure: a heartfelt thank you to eliza j for gifting the dresses and chelsea yaley designs for the handmade clutches featured in today’s post. as per usual, all opinions are my own!
happy end of december, everyone!
as year-end approaches—2018, where did you go?—i find it therapeutic to reflect back on the year’s happenings. 2018 was a year of growth, both personally and professionally. a few highlights include turning 30 in march, visiting hawaii with my family, graduating from my certificate program, traveling to europe with greg, enrolling in an adult ballet class, and of course, celebrating the holiday season with loved ones.
in addition to many new, fun memories, 2018 will forever be marked as the year i learned to juggle. and no, not juggling literally, but learning to balance working a full-time job, supporting
four three freelance clients, babysitting in much of my free time, and of course, creating content for and maintaining my website and social media platforms. (sheesh, i’m tired just typing this lol.) staying organized has been the name of my game, and while i’m perpetually exhausted, i wouldn’t trade my current “balancing act” for anything!
as 2019 nears, i thought it would be fun to compile five lessons i’ve learned while blogging. (many of you already know this, but i started diary of this girl in 2011 as a creative outlet; i still derive great pleasure from sharing posts like this!) and like many hobbies, blogging is accompanied by a learning curve—i swear i continue to learn and be challenged by incidents in the blogging sphere on the daily!
without further ado, five things they don’t tell you about blogging—
one (1): don’t underestimate the time commitment
when i first began blogging, i could take photos and draft a new blog post within an hour or two. (however, the photos were crappy phone pictures, and the posts were hardly inspiring.) today, i strive to create content that is thoughtful and informative. this takes time—duh—and i sometimes sit on a post for a week or more as i brainstorm.
in general, it takes one–two hours (a few times monthly) to shoot photos and another hour+ to write copy and import the photos into my wordpress site. i typically work with a photographer, so i am spared the time that goes into editing photos.
and then there’s the social media component, but i’ll save that rant for later. #whathappenedtomyinstagram
two (2): it is costly to maintain a fashion blog
as a fashion blogger, you must purchase your blog domain and host site, in addition to photography equipment and any editing software. or, if you’re like me, you pay someone to help take your photos. (this, too, can be costly, but i find it saves me time and alleviates stress in the long run. in 2019, however, i hope to learn how to use my dslr camera.)
in addition to your website, there’s the cost associated with creating new, inspiring content. as a fashion blogger, that means clothes. and more clothes. my current job doesn’t afford me the ability to shop at boutiques and luxury stores. however, it is important for me to stay apprised of trends and wear items that are new **or seemingly new** when posting on my blog.
i’ve purchased a large chunk of my clothing, shoes, and accessories secondhand. i enjoy shopping larger retailers—zara, asos, and nordstrom are among my favorites—but try to limit these purchases. many of my thrifted items are from goodwill and buffalo exchange.
three (3): the comparison game is hard to escape
“why can’t i look like that?” “why don’t i have that brand partnership?” “why can’t my website look like hers?” “why don’t i have that many followers?” just a few things that run through my mind on the daily.
when you spend a large portion of your time looking at photos of yourself—and trying to write captivating copy to describe said photos—it can be difficult to stay positive. (i also spend a great deal of time looking at and reading fashion blogs.) while i haven’t yet mastered this “stay positive” mindset, i remind myself that i work hard, i do my best, and eventually, my efforts will pay off.
i often hear the sentiment “community over competition,” and this, too, can be a helpful reminder.
four (4): you’ll learn a great deal about yourself
my blogging career has taught me a great deal about myself. over the past few years, i’ve grown and changed; subsequently, my blog has also evolved. it’s fun—and sometimes frightening—to look back on my early posts to see how far i’ve come.
blogging has challenged me to think outside the box, style clothing in seemingly unique ways, and create content that is appealing to my readers. the ultimate goal is to drive traffic to your website, and to do that, you need content that is memorable. i’ve also enhanced my writing skills and knowledge of grammar, and i’ve been forced to learn better time management skills. (because, you know, blogging takes time, as previously stated.)
five (5): you’ll likely meet some incredible women along the way
perhaps the best, and most rewarding, part of blogging is the relationships this creative process has helped cultivate! over the past seven years, i’ve been introduced to numerous talented, inspirational women. i’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of them in person, and there are others i’ve only spoken with online. (it’s wild to think we live in a world in which we feel connected to people we’ve only “met” via social media.)
i’m fortunate to have befriended a core group of local blogger—some of whom are featured in today’s post. we get together and bounce ideas off one another, take photos, and vent about the costs + time commitment + frustrations associated with the blogging sphere. i appreciate how patient and supportive these women are, and i feel blessed to call them friends!
today’s photos were taken just before the holidays. our incredible host, jenn from hello rigby, held a small party in her home. we enjoyed a delicious brunch, and the girls and i brought sides, treats, and seasonal decor. we had a wonderful time catching up and shooting photos throughout the morning!
each of our dresses were graciously gifted by eliza j, and i love seeing how each gal styled her chosen piece. (can i steal jenn’s coat and ana luiza’s shoes, please? i also adore asa’s faux-fur vest and sahily’s darling booties.) it was difficult to select just one item from eliza j, as they offer numerous dress options!
i opted to style the navy jumpsuit. it’s perfectly tapered at the waist, with a flared hem. (i hope to have it shortened later this winter.) for a bit of warmth—and to look festive—i added my faux-fur jacket from zara. i kept my accessories to a minimum with delicate rings, a handmade necklace from lace & pearls jewelry, and of course, my fuzzy clutch by local designer, chelsea yaley designs!
photos by jenn from hello rigby
jumpsuit: c/o eliza j, heels: cole haan, jacket: zara, necklace: “the bonnie” via lace & pearls jewelry, rings: forever 21, clutch: c/o chelsea yaley designs
shop my look:
the girls and i had a wonderful morning together, and we can’t wait to wear our dresses in the new year. pop over to jenn, ana luiza, asa, and sahily’s blog posts to read up on their outfit details!
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