Happy 2018, my peeps! I wanted to pop on today to share a bit of a deeper post. I have lots on my mind, so it may seem all over the place, but I feel like maybe some of you can relate. I honestly feel like we just rang in 2017 and here we are a year later. It’s true time flies, then you have kids and I feel like time flies at warp speed. I am about to have a 9 year old and that in itself is shocking. Where did the time go?! I wanted to kick off the new year with a post that has been on my heart lately. I’m in my 6th year of blogging and I truly love what I do. Thanks to lots of hours and hardwork and amazing readers like you, this has turned into a full time job for me. I get to do what I love everyday and I am ever so grateful for that! I feel like December is no doubt the busiest, but best month of the year. But, come December 31st, most of us are breathing a sigh of relief because we’ve run ourselves ragged. It’s definitely a time of reflection as well. Did we follow through with our resolutions and goals? Did we become the better people we planned to be? It’s a lot. And yearly, I find myself pondering why I made resolutions at all because it’s so hard to keep them. I’m one of those people that makes lots and then wonders why I can’t keep them all. So, this year, I’m just not making them. I wanted to share that with you because I think it can be hard to see all the resolutions and goals swirling around on social media and feel inadequate. Like, “so and so is doing xyz” and here I am just sitting here, chilling the first week in January. I’m not hitting the ground running like I feel like I should be, but I actually feel pretty good about it. Then, I see people all over social media, already back at the gym and eating crazy healthy and I’m over here like “I’m not ready! Pass the wine and Christmas cookies, please!” Anyone else? This brings me to my next topic, comparison.
We all struggle with it, even me. Some days, I struggle with it a lot, especially with what I do for a living. As I look at my business goals from last year, one of them did not happen. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for this space, for all of you and that this is my job! I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank YOU for that!! I love my job! I can’t seem to grow my Instagram and it nags me daily. I’ve been doing this for over 6 years now, it’s been a full time job since almost the beginning and I see these girls who come in, start blogs and next thing you know, they have 100k plus followers on Instagram. Did they buy their followers? (Did you know you can buy likes and followers??) I don’t know and It’s not my place to judge, but it’s a little hard to swallow for me. It’s really hard to grow organically on Instagram these days, especially when you’ve had an account as long as I have. My goal was to get to 50K in 2016. I was literally at 49.9 and didn’t make it. A few days later, I’m down to 49.7. So, it got me thinking, why am I putting so much stock in these numbers? I have a great following and while, it’s not huge, we are still a tight knit little community here and I love it. So, I’m thinking maybe I’ll stop putting that pressure on myself. No matter how much I try, I can’t control that aspect. I can work my booty off and there’s still things like this that I can’t change. I also need to stop comparing my stomach to the girls who show their abs of steel too. They look amazing, don’t get me wrong (Go girls!!!), but after two kids, that just won’t ever be me, so I’m just going to embrace my flab, too. There’s a little mini resolution. Let go of the numbers, let go of what I can’t change and stop comparing yourself. So much easier said than done, but I really need to try that this year. Let’s make a pact to try and do that together, because I have a feeling I’m not the one comparing myself to others.
While we are on the subject of comparison, I wanted to share a bit about my thoughts on perfection because I feel like they go hand in hand. Again, we live in a world where we are seeing lots of pretty things on social media. That is the beauty of social media. Inspiration, beauty, pretty things to look at. I had a conversation with a friend of mine back in December and I chatted with you guys about it on my Instagram Stories, but I felt like I need to dedicate more to, so that everyone who missed those stories, could read it. So, my sweet friend was complementing me on how fabulous our home looked, all decorated for Christmas. Our CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR post had gone up that week and you guys, I am proud of that post. I truly love our Christmas decor and this room that we photographed is truly one of my favorite rooms in my house. I put my decorations up right after Halloween and almost 2 months later, I truly am not ready to take it down (don’t worry, it’s going away this weekend. ha!). So, after she complemented me, I laughed and said “if only you knew what went down that day!” I was sick as a dog, trying to pretend that I wasn’t. It was the only day that we could coordinate schedules to get this room photographed with our photographer and all 4 of us, so, thanks to Advil and makeup, I powered through a few hours of home pictures, then a family photo session to follow. Real life, you guys. There are no sick days in my line of work and as moms, you know there are also no actual sick days. I’ll admit, I feel like I look awful in the pictures, probably because I felt so awful. Also, in the photos, you don’t see the rest of the house, I had to move all sorts of randomness into our dining room and entryway to get these beautiful shots. Think pillows, stools, blankets, Christmas decor, all piled up in the other rooms. I honestly wish I had thought to take a picture. It was a disaster. Because I was sick, it stayed like that for another week while I was in bed! Ha! I truly loved how these photos turned out of this space. But, this whole conversation got me thinking and I wanted to make sure you guys know that my life is far from perfection. Yes, as bloggers, we post styled shoots a good amount of the time. These are meant to inspire and help us all escape from reality for a bit. I truly love putting together these shoots, whether it’s clothes, home decor, recipes, parties, etc! It is therapeutic for me! Design is a passion of mine. I truly love it and wish I could do more of it. But, deep down, I am that person who loses her phone like 6 times a day, I can never find it. Anyone else? I’m turning into my mom for real. Ha! I almost always have on mismatched socks. My house is far from spotless. I’ll be honest, I thrive in a clean and uncluttered environment. Clutter stresses me out, so I do constantly try to keep our downstairs pretty clutter free, so like our KITCHEN photos? I truly try to keep the kitchen that way on a regular basis. Moving and purging and all, I have really minimized certain aspects of life, so keeping this area clean is easier than it used to be. But, our mudroom? It’s a chaotic mess constantly. No matter how hard I try, it’s our landing area and it’s a mess a lot. I always clean our kitchen, fluff the couch pillows and pick up at night, so that we wake up to a clean space. I swear that is huge for me. A week ago, we had to purge our kids’ rooms because they had just gotten so bad. Their idea of “cleaning” is throwing all their stuff in a corner. Um, no. And yes, we are working on that. Clearly clutter does not stress them out. Ha! I guess the point that I wanted to make is, behind every styled shoot is real life. (And I do try to show my real life chaos on my Instagram Stories, so be sure to follow me to see that!) Real life, with dishes in the sink, things thrown all the counters, Teddy’s shoes everywhere (for some reason, he can’t seem to get them into his mudroom drawer…), etc. My life is far from perfection and while I would be thrilled to have a spotless house 24/7, there’s just no way, with two parents who work full time, two kids and two dogs! There is chaos, there are messes, but there is a lot of love and I think thats what’s important. I love styled shoots. I love seeing our house all spiffy and pretty. I’ve put so much thought and time in designing and decorating all aspects and I truly love sharing these things with you, but, as we begin the new year, I just wanted to give that reminder, when you see a perfectly styled shoot, imagine what the rest of my house looks like. I can gurante you, it’s probably a disaster and there are probably kids being bribed with chocolate chip cookies behind the scenes, to smile.
I came into 2017 having a couple rough years behind me. I was truly ready to move on and have a great year and I can truly say that I did and 2017 was a good one. I felt like I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. I was actually a bit bummed to see the year end, because years prior, I was basically running toward the new year in hopes that it would be better. I wanted to take a few minutes and just tell you how much you all mean to me. I’m so glad you’re here. Some of you have been here since the very beginning and to me, that is amazing. If you are newer here, welcome! We are so glad to have you! You’ll find this space a place of all sorts of things and as always, I share the pretty and the ugly parts of life, because that’s the real stuff. There will be lots of fashion, home, more recipes and more surprises this year. I plan to share more about whats on my heart as well because I think a lot of us can relate to reach other! So, again, thank YOU for being here. Thank you for following along! I truly hope this space is a place you come to feel uplifted and happy! I am grateful to have this community and truly thankful for each and every one of you! Now, lets do this 2018! Here’s to no resolutions, except to just live each day to the fullest! Love you guys! XO!