Friday, November 18, 2016

3 Months Later: What I've Learned About Blogging

Hello Friends and a very Happy Friday!  Today marks 3 months since I hit "publish" on my very first post to this little blog of mine.  If you have followed me for a while now then you know this blog was the missing piece for me.  I have long been wanting a place to showcase my outfits, talk more indepthly about style and provide information on the clothes I wear and buy.   I thought it would be appropriate to talk about my blogging journey thus far, the things I have learned and whether or not this is what I had expected it to be.  But before I dig into all of that I want to take a moment to say thank you.   To those of you reading this, you have likely been following me all along.  For the texts, emails, comments, likes, loves, shares and messages over these past 3 months, I sincerely can not put into words what that all means to me.  

With that being said, here is the realist I have been so far since I started my journey on August 17th...

Blogging is Hard
I thought the "hard" part of blogging would be learning how to make a blog.  After all, that was the hurdle that kept me from doing this years ago.  I didn't know how or where to start.  It turns out starting was actually the easy part.  Following youtube tutorials, creating domains, templates, coding, all of that was no problem.  What I didn't fully understand was how much work goes into getting ready, figuring out outfits, finding time to shoot when my "photographer" is barely home, editing pictures, finding my exact items or similar ones to link, what the heck to write each post and creating good content.  Let's throw in the Facebook page, the Instagram account, the Twitter feed, Snapchat and Youtube channel.  Prepping for videos, shooting and editing takes more time than I had ever anticipated.  This doesn't even take into consideration all the engagement that needs to take place in order for any of this to be successful.  The key piece that most people do not realize when it comes to blogging is you have to be active with your audience.  Posting is simply not good enough and people don't just find you, you have to go out and find them.  (truly this is the hardest part for me, but I am getting better!)  

Self Doubt
 "Are people liking this? Are they clicking through?"
"Why did this post perform better than this one? Should I try something new?"
"They liked the tutorial so let's do more!  Oh wait no one liked the other 3 I made. Were they bad?!"
"Let me edit this photo. (20 minutes later) Perfect! I think this will look great on my IG account.  Ok, maybe not"
"Why am I even doing this"
"OMG my ankles look awful in this picture" 

The list goes on and on but I thought you would at least get a chuckle at all the things that go through my head on a daily basis :)  

The Haters
Yup, this one is real and essentially the worst to try and overcome.  For every 1 person that loves your posts there are 2 more who don't.  I have found out quickly who is genuinely happy for me, who tries to be and who thinks this is all quite dumb.  I still find it hard to tell people when I first meet them that I have a style blog because of the stigma that comes with it.  The perception that it's a silly hobby and full of vanity.  That I am simply a bored stay at home wife.  While I would love to say I don't care what the haters have to say, I am still human and find myself with hurt feelings from time to time.  

Each day I post pretty pictures with a cute smile on my face, a happy dog, a cute quote or something light, breezy and fun.  I am constantly seeing what others in this arena are doing and I can't help but compare myself to them.  It's really hard to focus and stay in your own lane.  Everything they do just looks so perfect but sometimes I just want to post the normal, the real and the natural.  However, in this "business" you simply can't always do that.   There is a certain perception you have to maintain in the clothing, fashion and beauty industry.    BUT let me please go on the record and say that it's not always rainbows and sunshine.  And that 90% of those pictures you see are edited, even all of mine!  I have bad days.  Lots of them.  My life is not perfect and it's pretty far from it.  I deal with all the emotions and struggles of married life, being 1100 miles away from my family, missing the place I called home for the past 6 years, missing "my kids" and my cheer gym, being resentful, being bitter and being unsatisfied with certain aspects of my life.   I am human.  I make mistakes.  I cry.  I whine.  I complain.  #icanbecrazy 
Again, don't let Sandy Toes & Stilettos fool you, 70% of the time I am a hot freaking mess!! :)))

I am blessed beyond belief and some days I don't think I deserve half of what I have.  
I am healthy.  I have a husband who would move mountains for me and shows me so much love each day.  I have a beautiful home and live in a picture perfect setting.  I have dogs that cuddle me, family that loves me and so many friends who complete me.  I am beyond grateful for the fact that I  was able to take the time over the past 5 months to slow down and channel my energy into something new and exciting.   

This blog has made me a better version of myself.  I am stronger, wiser and more "me" because of it.  

I found the most amazing "job" recently that would not have happened had I not taken this little leap 3 months ago.  I am on a career path that I have been wanting to be on for years but was too set in my ways to make it happen.  

I am helping empower woman, even if it is one outfit at a time.  I am making a difference and that alone is the reason I keep going.  That alone outweighs all the bad (and all the haters!) All of those likes, loves, comments, emails and messages do not go unnoticed.  They are the fuel that keep me energized and inspired to keep going!

Last but not least, I have fun doing this.  Sure it's a lot of work and it's stressful but that's only because I care about it and I want it to succeed.  

Feel free to send me a message, comment below or shoot me an email.  I know there are a lot of silent followers out there, but I promise I love hearing from all of you!   
Thank you for letting me get so personal today and I promise it's back to the rainbow and sunshine posts  on Monday!  
p.s. I hope you enjoy my outtake photos.  I thought it would be fun to show you what I'm actually like when I am out shooting with Drew.  There's No editing to these images and they are a 100% accurate depiction of my crazy <3
(why was I not told that my shirt was see through and my bra was showing everywhere?!?!)


  1. you're so cute!! keep doing what you're doing, I enjoy reading/seeing everything!! Though I do think you should designate at least 1 post to the most fashionable uniform you've ever worn.... our outfits from bahama (; lol
    xoxo Brittany

  2. Thanks so much Brittany! I think all those palm tree shirts could come in handy down here in sunny florida! ;) xoxo

  3. You go girl!! No win in comparison!
    I just read "the Comarison Trap" and there's an app too with that devotional - super short and digestible that puts comparing into perspective. Good read to keep making you stronger And keep on doing what you love despite the haters!

  4. Rachel, I think you are an absolutely beautiful person inside and out. I love your honesty in this blog and I adore your personality. It shines through each outfit you put together. Keep doing what you're doing. You definitely inspire me. Thank you