A Penny For Your Thoughts

I realized the other day that it’s been eight years since I started my blog! My how far we have come as an industry and how rad it’s been being a part of something so new and exciting. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel lucky to have stumbled on a career that came so naturally and drove me to dedicate endless hours, just because I loved it. I’ve literally grown up on this blog, shared the major milestones of my life and in the process gained you as my friends, soundboards and inspiration. At the end of the day I love my job like my second child. With that said, I do have my days when I question EVERYTHING. 

What seemed like such an organic growth when I started now feels like an uphill climb at times. Growing, evolving and being the vision of myself in this space (as it grows at lightening speed) seems harder than ever now. I’m my toughest critic and sometimes I get so wrapped up in being “that better version of myself” (and my business) that I get blinded by my own doubt and insecurities. My confidence dwindles and a shower of anxiety sets in over where or what I should be doing. Have you ever scrolled through instagram and hated the way it made you feel? Or the complete opposite, pumped up and inspired? It’s incredibly powerful and somehow I let it take the reins to my emotions too often.

I made a decision to change my approach to this constant stream of information and keep my own goals and passions in check by not obsessively checking my social media (it’s weird how it becomes a nervous habit!) and stepping away from my plugged-in devices as much as possible. It’s pretty amazing what a walk, solo drive or conversation with someone can do to your brain. All I know is that I feel 10 times better and 10 times more inspired these days to continue on.

As I’m diving into the subject, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you navigate the world of social media, what you love about it, hate about it. And even past that what you love (or don’t love) to see me post here and on my channels.
On another note, I can’t stop wearing this Isabel Marant jacket… more details on my look below. Amo jeans, Stuart Weitzman boots, Celine bag, Jennifer Fisher Burnished Cuff, Oliver People’s Sunglasses.

Photography by Sara Prince

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  1. I’ve always loved your blog. I’ve been following it for years. I do love when you post some more accessible items. I just about died one day when I saw you wearing Old Navy. I loved it!

    Social media is so tough. I think some of the most annoying stuff is out of our control, like the fairly new algorithm. I feel like I’m missing so many people’s content. That being said, I love when you post more candid things, especially on stories. I loved that you shared that you had Invisalign the other day. I too have Invisalign and it was so fun to hear about someone else’s experience. Thanks for responding to my DM about it! I love it when my favorite bloggers are easy to interact with.

  2. When we look at the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts of our friends, we are unconsciously comparing our lives to theirs. This leads to disaster, as our mental peace is at stake. We need to understand that this constant stream of information or whatever we see on social media, almost 70 percent of it is NOT TRUE!
    Excessive use of social media results in increased levels of stress, anxiety, and tension. Sometimes we just need to disconnect to connect again.
    Stay focus keep your path, because you are beautiful with your own unique styles and you are REAL! 🙂

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  3. I love following your blog. It’s positive and inspirational.
    Life has changed in recent years with all the division
    we are experiencing. Social media has also become a place of division. It has been negative and hurtful, and I don’t find pleasure in participating in any of that! I try and add positive and uplifting messages always.

  4. What a great idea to ask people what they think! Kudos to you, Samantha.
    I’ll give you a couple thoughts here:
    – First of all, I love your blog. You have great style, create amazing images, and have a fun voice.
    – Social media is really a mixed bag. I can understand how it can start to affect you, since you’re constantly putting yourself out there. It’s your job, so you can’t exactly go cold turkey and walk away from it like some of us can. But I do think we can all relate to the need to step away from it, because it’s already been amply demonstrated that social media use beyond a certain threshold can cause anxiety and depression. It’s not just you; it’s everyone. So I think one strategy could be to set firm limits — have times of the day when your phone is not within reach and when you are completely offline. (The world won’t end!) As a mom, sometimes I have to do that when I’m with my kids, because The Struggle Is Real. It’s hard to be fully present in the moment when your phone is calling you to split your attention… but I think we really need to be in the moment with our loved ones in order to feel whole and also to give them our whole hearts. So… maybe “tech free” times can help. I also wonder if you could hire someone to manage some of the social media monitoring, or even to quantify responses to various posts so you can get a more analytical view of how people respond to them. Maybe your biggest “hits” that generate the most positive comments are certain types of outfits, or home decor posts, or who knows what. Hiring someone to monitor that and give you an analytical-quantitative (and also qualitative!) view could give you a more objective sense of reader feedback, and perhaps it could also free you from the need to be checking your Instagram comments or your blog comments… you could also delegate the “thanks so much” comments to someone else. Maybe just respond to the first dozen yourself and then let the assistant take over. You can’t be expected to be online all the time. You have to have a life and you need time to yourself as well. We all know running a blog is really hard work and that you probably put in more than 8 hours a day, so I think we can cut you a break if you don’t respond to every single comment.

    – Regarding suggestions for content: I think you post fabulous images and of course a lot of it is driven by your brand idea (Could I have that?), which is fun. I’d keep on doing what feels true to you. But I must admit that when I, as a reader, see a blogger admitting in a title that certain things are hard for her, I tend to click to read the rest. I think because you seem so perfect, many of us are relieved to see that you have your own struggles too. I’m not talking about super personal stuff that should be kept for the therapist, but about other things that are quite common. For example, Gal Meets Glam recently posted something about struggling to get to bed on time, and also something about dealing with anxiety and fear of failure as she runs what looks to the rest of us like a very successful blog. It gave me a new perspective to see how much we are all alike, and I respected her honesty in showing us that behind the effortless images there is a whole lot of hard work. I think Anna Liesemeyer at In Honor of Design also shares a lot of the “real” stuff — but it never gets burdensome or overdone because she balances it with a lot of the good and beautiful and inspiring content that also helps me (as a mom) want to be better. As a reader, I feel more connected to both bloggers because of that combination of real talk and inspirational content. Keep the images gorgeous, but don’t be afraid to share your heart with your readers, because our basic response to that is love and empathy.

    – Don’t worry about the haters. Haters gonna hate. You put yourself out there and people will project onto you all the things they hate about themselves. Don’t let it affect you or seep under your skin. The vast majority of your readers look at you and your blog with interest, admiration, respect, and affection. Don’t be afraid to show your heart. In the end, we help no one if we hide who we really are.

    I wish you the best!

    1. Wow, this is amazing thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here and the encouragement. So many good suggestions here and I love the idea of “tech free time” so important and I’m getting better at it. I always get the best response when I put myself out there more but I have to admit it’s intimidating every time, so thank you for giving me such a thoughtful candid response!

  5. I dropped all my social media alost 2 years ago as a New Year’s resolution and I don’t miss one second of it! That being said, it’s not for everyone to cut social media out of their life. For some it is literally their livelihood and I completely respect that and applaud the hustle! For me, it was the realization that I was living my lif behind my phone screen and almost making my kids “perform” to get that perfect shot. I found missakingyyself out of the moment too many times. And then I was missing crucial life experiences of my good friends because they were only posting the good times and I used social media to “communicate” and to avoid the heavy convos. I respect that you’be found your balance and applaud your success! I’m so glad I found your blog because I REALLY wanted that Joie Paisley dress! 🙂 keep on keeping on! Your content and style is perfection!

    1. That is amazing good for you! I definitely have my moments when I feel like I’m expecting too much of my daughter. It’s amazing how much more present I am with her when I’m not “worrying” about getting an instagram up. It’s a tough balance for sure. Thanks for the kind note!!!

  6. I’m feeling exactly the same like you do… Some days I’m so “down” and not feeling motivated or proud of what I’ve achieved by far and then I have days when I’m so happy and feel very accomplished.
    To feel the need to compare ourselves with others is inevitable, we’re all human and that’s just how we are but nowadays more than ever is hard not to let somebody’s “success” stories and life make us feel like our story or success isn’t enough… Only ourselves can put a limit to everything, also to the amount of how much we will let the social media affect the quality of our lives and work.


    1. Such a great point! It’s so easy to get carried away with “comparing ourselves” with others on social media. It’s this weird emotion that creeps in no matter what. I have to step away to shake it sometimes. So great to hear you feel the same way. I always remind myself to make realistic goals and measure my own success. Easier said then done 🙂 we’re all in it together though! xx

  7. I love your blog, it was one of the first that I started following years ago. I’m glad that your blog has evolved with you because as a mother of a toddler I can still relate to it and enjoy all your motherhood posts, home and cooking posts as well as your great sense of style! Your pregnancy posts were also such an inspiration to me as I became pregnant around the time Elin was born and it was great to see such stylish maternity looks.

    1. Awe this makes me so happy to hear. Thank you so much for your note and that’s so great to hear you love the motherhood updates. I need to do more of them! xx

  8. Don’t be afraid to not post every day. Your readers will get that you’re still posting content and wait for it to appear two or three times a week, or whatever you decide. Less is more!

  9. Social media is a blessing and a curse! I love it for keeping in touch with people I otherwise wouldn’t but like you I find myself feeling down or scrutinizing myself somethings after a scroll through Instagram. It’s important to always know that people are only putting a curated version of their lives online and often times it’s fake/not representative of their actual life. I unfortunately lost a friend who was battling depression this year and after she passed, so many people from our childhood were like “she seemed so happy on facebook” and it was really a wake up call for me that what we see on the internet isn’t always what it seems.

  10. I started following you after I met you in the shop on Coast Village Road. I think your readers have grown up with you too. I would love to see more baby/child and household items that young moms can relate to and actually buy. Reducing the number of blog posts per week and less social media would be okay too. You know you have gone too far when your life is lived to capture the photo instead of living your life and catch a glimpse now and then with a pic.

    1. So great to hear that you’d like to see more baby/child and home posts, always wondering if that’s what people really want to see. And such a great reminder and refreshing to hear that it’s quality not quantity with content. Thank you so much for your note and hope to bump into you again!

  11. I feel this way ALL the time, I started blogging back in 2012 and missed the boat of “making it” but still love it. But since I missed the boat I question what TF I am doing everyday, why am i doing it?! Then ONE person responds to my insta story and it reminds me that even if I am only touching a handful of people those people are getting something that they wouldn’t get if I werent doing this. You were one of the first blogs I started following and still follow and I constiently LOVE what your put out there. Actually the other day I was thinking about how you “introduced” me to mother and current elliott jeans. There was an interview at Nord right after college and was whipping my favorite brands out of my ass and they were all because I read your blog…now they are my favorite denim brands. So with that keep doing what you love because it translated beautiful and I consistently send your pictures to my photographer friends saying GOALS!

    1. So great to hear I’m not alone 🙂 And as long as you love blogging, I think that’s all you need to concentrate on -everything else will fall into place. Thank you for the sweet note and encouragement! xx

  12. Thank you for being so open. I appreciate it, as I just started my own blog. I was hesitant for year, because there are so many blogs ‘out there’ and I didn’t know how I would ‘fit in’. After having my first child eight months ago, I had this surge of confidence and energy to just do it for me. It’s exactly why I wanted to start a blog in the first place. It feels good, granted, I only have two posts up, but I think i need to stick to the mentality of, it is just for me. Social media is a friend and foe. I totally understand the highs and lows you mention, and you just gave me an important reminder to step back and remember my own goals. Love your beautifully curated blog!

  13. This is a great post ! I love the jacket !
    This is my first visit to your blog , congratulations
    on your success ! I am that rare mystical creature a-man
    who writes a fashion blog for women . I am always looking for
    collaborations , partnerships, friendships and inspiration!
    Visit me and leave a comment!

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