Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Back from the burn, part 2

14 Sep

{ personal: }

Daily outfit and style tips, self-portrait in mirror, burning man 2011

Self reflection.

In November it will have been one full year, barring holidays and sick days. I will have been blogging regularly for the first time, seven days in a row at first, now down to three times weekly.

Monday’s pictorial effort barely scratched the surface of what Burning Man is, or does, to one’s soul. It’s full of noise and music and parties and people, it’s hot and dusty and never truly gets quiet. There’s no escape. Worse yet, there’s no schedule. Routine is abandoned and one is left with an unbelievable amount of distractions on one hand and absolutely nothing to do but kill time on the other. The result is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced outside of it.

Last week, I told my husband it was too soon to tell whether I had a good time or what I got out of it. Honestly, I was exhausted. I’d been fighting a persistent virus for six weeks and the resulting sleep awkwardness and depravation from breaking down camp and the subsequent caravan of thirteen camp-mates got the best of me. I had the minimum vim and vigor necessary to perform at work and complete sentences eloquently. Everything else succumbed to exhaustion.

I’m well-rested and have regained my health once more. Simple tasks no longer feel daunting. I pressed my face into the sage in the garden tonight before watering it and breathed in the satisfaction that comes from growing something yourself. Nurturing life. I watered the plants and continued the stream of consciousness that has been playing out it in my mind since this weekend. What is becoming of me? What is becoming of my blog? What do I want? And really, what do I need?

Seven days among friends fussing about with nothing to do but explore and experience gave me the platform to sit with my thoughts. My heightened awareness of everything I experienced is not singular to me, Burning Man provides a unique setting for contemplation. It has destroyed romantic relationships, it has strengthened them. It is what you intend it to be. I had been growing increasingly fidgety with myself and needed to pay attention. What am I feeling when I’m not distracted by the hundreds of emails and tweets and updates I see every day? What does my body feel like when I’m not up against yet another deadline before noon?

My re-entry here at The House in the Clouds has been purposefully gentle. By last week I had grown anxious, overwhelmed and increasingly guilty. Yes, guilty that I haven’t been keeping up on every blog I love to read, guilty that I’m neglecting online friendships, concerned that my presence as a human that desires to do good is being compromised. I decided to sit with these emotions and give them a voice today.

As I get nearer to this blog’s one year anniversary, I’m contemplating what’s next. What’s been working? Writing regularly, my favorite being the more in-depth pieces, reading other blogs that inspire me and draw out a better version of myself for the world to see, publicly committing to giving my creative energy time and space, making friends. What’s not working? Feeling that I might let someone down by not posting regularly, neglecting my personal relationship at times, neglecting my solid running schedule, feeling like I’m behind on everything and not knowing how to catch up.

My husband said to me the other day, “your blog will still be successful even if you only blog once a week as long as your content is good.” I know that, of course. Yet there’s a part of me that feels some obligation to be here, every day, with the unbridled energy of a twenty-two year old. I’m going to be forty-four soon. I’m athletic. I’m married, I have a demanding job and really can no longer get by on five or six hours of sleep. Who is it I’m competing against? Myself, of course.

And why do I feel like I have to compete? It’s primal, really. I’ve always claimed to be an underachieving overachiever. Perhaps I’m not underachieving. Perhaps very few of us can actually do, or appear to do, it all. I know better. I’ve said it before. There’s enough space for each of us to shine. So, how is it that I want to shine? Will I give myself permission to shine or will I worry myself into failure. This is what comes next. I’m inviting you on my journey as I test things out here and there until the fit is just right, until it no longer is and I re-evaluate everything again. Because that’s what life is about, isn’t it? Growing, learning, moving on. Repeat.

I will continue to do what I love doing, the outfits, the style tips, the vignettes of my day. But what else? How will it differ from how things are now? How will my schedule evolve? What more will I bring to the table. This, my friends, is uncharted. You’re welcome to join me as I shake the dust off and move forward.

xo, f


Posted in Personal


Back from the burn

12 Sep

{ personal: }

That’s right, I’m back from Burning Man. While it’s unlike any other life experience and it provides an insurmountable of fun, let no one tell you it’s easy. There’s a ton of prepping involved and just as much effort into settling back in. I must have done at least eight loads of laundry in the last three days. Seven days, two people, two sets of clothes, one for the heat and one for the cold. The back yard is host to two dusty bikes and the remaining five bins that need to be emptied upon which all contents will then be thoroughly washed.

But was it fun? Was it worth it? I’ll let the pictures do the talking. In the meantime, I’m starting to test out the Fall colors.

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing black blazer, pumpkin tights, black flower dress

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing pumpkin tights, black flower dress

I love that the days are still long enough to catch the golden light when I get home from work. I did some gardening this past Sunday for sanity’s sake. I’m standing in front of what used to be a tiny little flower garden less than a year ago. Watch those cannas grow!

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing branch and skull earrings from

I couldn’t resist wearing these earrings from I love the play on nature between the branch and the tiny skull. I can’t resist a little edge amongst the flowers.

{ burning man: }

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

Burning Man 2011

This is just a visual sampling of the landscape and scene. Want to see more? Say the word and I’ll share my flickr album.

{ deets: }

Black flower pattern dress/H&M, pumpkin tights/, black ballet flats/Ecco, dragonfly steampunk necklace/gifted, branch and skull earrings/courtesy of, teal wood cuff/Costa Brava, silver three kitties ring/gifted.


Bye bye, blondie!

26 Aug

{ personal: }

That’s right, I’m going on vacation and will out next week but I’ve got some great bloggers to represent in my absence. Do come by for a visit and say “hi”. In the meantime, say “hello” to my new hair.

It’s not so blonde anymore. It’s blonde, pink and orange.

I had to do it. Nicole of Graph Paper Heart did this beautiful color for me, I’d been wanting to add pink into my hair for so long and had chickened out for fear of ruining it.

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing salmon ruffle tank and cardigan

No more fear! I love it. We’ve been darkening the roots with a deep mahogany recently for contrast. She weaved in the bright orange and pink alternately around my face and a little on the sides, leaving the utmost top layer blonde. It all blends well for a really beautiful effect. And if I really feel like going wild, I can pin the blonde part back leaving a shock of color.

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing salmon ruffle tank and cardigan, grey ankle pants, black sandals

I’m posing quite proudly next to my new and improved flower bed, the dahlias have come back to life since I fearlessly captured their aggressors: The snails.

{ style tip: }

To offset the shock of  my newfound hair color at work, I played down the style of both my hair and my outfit slightly. In fact, I barely wore any jewelry. It helped me ease into it gently—at least as gently as one can go with bright orange and pink streaks in their hair. I still opted for a bright top, wearing neutrals would only have drawn more attention to the contrasting color of my hair.

When trying something new, it’s not a bad idea to create a little more comfort for yourself by underplaying other elements. Sometimes having everything be in the spotlight can feel like too much. Find your comfort zone and ease into it. You want to have fun with it, after all.

Your personal style should be fun for you, you’re beautiful when you’re happy!

{ deets: }

Hair/Nicole, Sakura Salon, (Oakland, Ca.), salmon ruffle top/Urban Outfitters, salmon cardigan/Nordstrom’s, grey ankle pants/Express, black sandals/Dansko, black pearl necklace/gifted.

{ special guest appearance: }

Mr. House in the Clouds also got a little color. In fact, he was the instigator.


Gone campin’

05 Aug

{ personal: }

Daily outfit and style tips, white dahlia

I took this photo of a dahlia growing in my garden. I’m off to where it feels like summer, have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!

PS: Don’t forget about my “Show me your shorts!” blog event, there’s one more week to submit your photos to me. It’s going to be fun!




Posted in Personal


FBFF: It’s in the bag, baby

21 Jul

{ fbff: }

Daily outfit and style tip, oversize pink bag


Daily outfit and style tip, purse contents

What is? Well, everything. These are, apparently, the things I cannot do without when I leave my house in the morning. There’s been a slight change in Fashion Beauty Friend Friday. Katy, of FBFF fame, has evolved the schedule of the question and answer series from weekly to bi-monthly so that we may have more time to ruminate on each topic. The gap in the schedule provided an unforeseen opportunity. FBFF members can suggest any type of blog event for that week. This week’s event, “What’s in your bag?” is brought to you by Marie-Eve of A Pretty Nest.

At first I thought, why would anyone want to see the contents of my purse? Probably for the same reasons that I jumped on the chance to see the contents of Vahni of Grit & Glamour’s bag just a few days ago. This, to me, is beyond voyeurism. This is female history. Let me explain.

When I tell my husband to get something out of my purse, he returns with purse in hand, holding it with the kind of reticent disdain reserved for perhaps a soiled baby diaper and makes me fish it out.

I kid you not. He does not look through my purse. In fact, no male partner I’ve had has ever cared to. I think it scares them, there are girlie things in there. We women, on the other hand, love seeing what’s lurking within. Oh the mysterious things. What is that? I love that lipstick, let me try on your sunglasses. I have the same blotting papers! We bond over those mystery items. Do you remember your first purse? Back in the day when you and your BFF experimented with the content of said purses?

I’m reminded of a time when I was no more than a wee tot foraging through my mother’s purse for a stick of gum and getting lost in the fantasy, the Mary Poppins-ness of it all. There are secrets in there. Am I organized? (Not too much.) Am I prepared? (You have no idea how truly prepared I am.) Am I practical? (Mostly.) I bring you the moment of truth:

- Graph paper notebook. I love making lists and checking things off. I also sketch.

- Small notebook. My coworker custom made this one for me. I asked her to sew “slut” on the cover.

- Micron pen. Hubby turned me on to those pens with the graph paper notebook. I’m just pimpin’ his style.

- Michael Kors purple cat eye sunglasses. I squint at the slightest hint of sunlight. Like Miss Mole.

- LaFont purple reading glasses. Don’t laugh. You’ll turn 40 someday and will need a cool pair of your own.

- Ice gum. I chew for all of three minutes sometimes after a meal. I hate chewing gum. I’d rather eat food.

- Pink penguin coin purse. Miscellaneous cards go in there, like my Anthro and Sephora cards.

- Cheap fake patent leather wallet. Love the fact that it barely holds anything. That’s my wallet.

- Work security badge. I’ve been told I’m the only person who comes in once a year and updates her photo. I’ve been at my job 8 years, I don’t really want a picture of me with short spiky platinum hair looking 8 years younger now when I don’t look like that anymore.

- Green Chinese coin purse. Contains: clippers, nail file, knife, (yes, really. I told you I was prepared.), safety pins, eye drops, medication, ibuprofen, allergy pills and the like.

- Pink multi zipper bag. Contents: Girlie things, (you know what I’m talking about), toothbrush, dental picks, glasses wiping cloth, tissues, spare pen that I hope never to use because I hate it. A lot of Lactaid because someone wasn’t designed to eat dairy. Big comb for big hair.

- 3G iPhone. I’ve waited this long for the 5, I can keep using the sloPhone for a couple more months. The skin was a gift from my girl, Teenie.

- Skull Candy earbuds. Checking into Foursquare while at Radio Shack got me a fat discount on these. I know, they’re Skull Candy. The name alone made me feel like I should be buying them for the teenage son I don’t have. I sat there with my phone and read all the reviews before buying them. They’re great, actually.

- Keys on a bag keychain. I only have three keys on me: car, postal box, house. I hate keychains, they’re too big and make too much noise.

- Hammi the hamster pocket mirror. He matches Hammi the stuffed animal who hangs out in my closet. Hammi is short for Hamilton.

- Blotting papers. Useful impulse buy from Sephora.

- Burt’s Bees lip balm. I’ve always been a big fan and have about 10 lip balms strewn throughout the house and in assorted jacket pockets.

- Chanel lipstick. Love.

- Sephora lipstick. Also love and discovered recently.

- Hair clip and 2 hair pins. You never know.

- “Happy” bag. Most small things go in there.

- Unseen items: Checkbook, which needs to be refilled, camera, which I was using, iPod, which is still in gym bag.

- Additional miscellaneous visiting items: Scarf, book, lunch, magazines.

I’ve given away all my secrets. The 2 hair pins, chewing gum and the knife probably give away that I’m a female MacGyver. What’s in your bag?

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for encouraging this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

{ deets: }

Bag, (and did you see the size of that bag?)/ModCloth, “Happy” clutch/Whole Foods, pink zippers bag/gifted, green Chinese coin purse/gifted from China, hot pink penguin coin purse/Claire’s, fake patent leather wallet/H&M.


Happy Pride weekend!

26 Jun

{ from my garden: }

Day Lilly

In honor of everyone’s right to love. Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend with those you love.


Posted in Personal


Packing for vacation, part 2

23 Jun

{ personal: }

I posted the first part of packing for vacation yesterday when I found my missing Friend Friday piece. Here lies the moment of truth. If you didn’t catch my updates on The House in the Clouds’ facebook page, following is a quick recap of the last three weeks.

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in ParisDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Paris











We started our honeymoon in Paris and stayed with one of our best friends for five days. (I’m going to be writing about my observation of Parisian style on Style Pint’s blog soon and will keep you posted, check her out in the meantime.) Paris was warm, we walked a lot as expected. It was an easy city to dress for. Our schedule was nicely paced and our dinners were fantastic.

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Calellea

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in CalelleaDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Calellea






We then flew to Barcelona, picked up our rental car and drove to Calellea, in Costa Brava. The bed and breakfast run by British ex-pats was absolutely charming, I think of this as our first honeymoon suite. The small coastal town was beautiful and dreamy, there’s nothing better to me than the Mediterranean Sea and coastline. Light rains fell intermittently though the days were still warm. We spent one day exploring a coastline trail and subsequent little pockets of beaches.

Daily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in the PyreneesDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in the PyreneesDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in the PyreneesDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in GasconyDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in GasconyDaily outfit and style tips, honeymoon in Bilbao











After Costa Brava, we hit the road and spent the next week driving through the Pyrenees. The temperature cooled as most of Europe was hit with a cold and wet spell. The rain didn’t stop us from hiking twice but it did get us sopping wet! I dressed for comfort on days mostly spent in the car.

We wrapped up our northernly drive with a few days in Gascony for some Armagnac tasting. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in a former mansion. The food was divine and the service was attentive and inviting. One day was devoted to visiting a couple local producers and tasting their wares. This experience was truly unique, the proprietors were warm and welcoming, spending hours showing us around. The weather was still cool and drizzly throughout, I found it challenging to dress in my summer clothes and kept bundling up with scarves.

Daily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in BarcelonaDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in BarcelonaDaily outfit and style tip, honeymoon in Barcelona






Hitting the Basque country, we made a quick detour to see the Guggenheim in Bilbao before dropping off our car at the airport and returning to Barcelona. The next four days were spent walking the city, taking in the sights and being enthralled with Gaudi’s architectural genius along with staying up late. The weather was hot and the style was casual. The cool and wet spell was finally over.

After four days, we caught a plane back to Paris, had one last mind-blowing dinner with our friend and flew home the next day.

Here’s what made it into the suitcase:

  • Dresses, 3: 2 short, 1 maxi. Report: the purple stretch jersey dress was perfect for wearing alone in Barcelona and layering with leggings on a cooler day in Gascony. The lightweight orange summer dress was perfect for Calellea and Barcelona, it was pretty but casual enough for the coast. I’m sad to report the maxi dress never made an appearance. It was too casual for nice evening dinners and would have been great for Barcelona. I admit I forgot about it on the couple days it would have been perfect for.

  • Shorts, 1: Dressy cotton. Report: I dressed up these shorts a few times, they worked well for days in Paris and Barcelona, and again on our last night’s dinner in Barcelona.


  • Pants, 3: Cargo, seersucker, stretchy. Report: The cargo pants were worn numerous times in Paris and through the cooler days. The seersucker pants were so versatile that I wore them in every city. The stretchy wide-leg pants were my go-to pants for the day-long drives and long flights because they were so comfortable with their four-way stretch.


  • Tank tops, 2: 1 plain solid, 1 dressy. Report: The casual solid salmon tank got a lot of wear, both alone and under one of the looser-fitting tops. The dressy pink lace tank top was only worn once.


  • Scarves, 2: 1 warm, 1 lacy. Report: I got a lot of mileage out of the warmer shawl but only wore the lacy scarf once or twice.


  • Tops, 3: 1 print t-shirt, 1 over-size sequined t-shirt, 1 tunic. Report: The white t-shirt with a blue floral print was a favorite. I washed it twice, it looked good with practically everything. The over-size sequined t-shirt was worn numerous times, too. Same with the tunic. I kept rotating shirts during the cold wet week through the Pyrenees, it was just too cold to wear dresses.


  • Cardigans, 3: 1 lightweight lacy, 1 cashmere, 1 cotton kimono style. Report: The lightweight salmon cardi got plenty of wear but I only wore the orange kimono style once. The cashmere aqua cardi was worn every day that it wasn’t hot. How am I not sick of it yet? You’ve probably seen me wear it all winter, it’s the softest, warmest thing.


  • Shoes, 4: 1 sandal, 1 dressy shoe, 1 flat comfort shoe, 1 flat stylish shoe. Report: The flat stylish sequined shoe gave me a blister on day one which made wearing the dressy shoe really painful, I tucked the dressy shoes away for the rest of the trip. The black Dansko sandals were my favorites, the straps across the tops were adjusted according to the heat factor and foot swelling. The flat comfort shoes were the warmest to wear during the cold spell but were too hot and binding on the hot days.

There you have it. Overall, I did very well and got a lot of wear out of almost everything. At the last minute I threw a pair of thick black yoga pants into my suitcase, I still had so much room to spare. They turned out to play a very crucial role when hiking in the rain, I had only brought a pair of lightweight hiking capris and would have been freezing all day. I also added a couple nicer dresses which I wore several times.

The winners: The purple jersey and orange lightweight dresses were tied. The seersucker and stretchy pants were tied, also. The white t-shirt won out over the other t’s, it was polyester and dried very quickly after being hand-washed which kept it fresh. Overall, the cashmere aqua cardi and black sandals took the prize.

The losers: The maxi dress, the dressy high heels and the lacy scarf were lowest on the totem pole. I wouldn’t have missed them. Not too shabby for trying to plan for so much diversity in activities and weather.

For more general and location photos of our travels, check out The Husband’s blog. He painstakingly documented regularly with a brief description and a handful of photos. It was truly incredible!

I also want to extend a special thanks to my guest bloggers, it was such a relief knowing you were in good hands in my absence. I hope they’ve made new fans out of you!

{ photos: }

Filip Jach



From me to you 6.19

19 Jun

{ from my home: }

sunset of the San Francisco bay
A view of the San Francisco Bay from my window


Happy Father’s Day!


Posted in Personal


Bon Voyage!

25 May

{ personal: }

F2 wedding
F2 ties the knot


On October 3, 2009, my husband Fil and I got married. This Saturday we’re taking our honeymoon. We’ll be spending the following three weeks traveling through France and Spain: Paris, the Pyrenees, Barcelona and Costa Brava. Do I sound excited yet? Well, I’m excited! I’m really excited!

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit, style tip, black skinny jeans, black blazer, pink 3D petal boxy top
Too excited to sit still. Can you blame a girl?
Daily outfit, style tip, black skinny jeans, black blazer, pink 3D petal boxy top
Dimensional petal detail


{ bloggers: }

Some of my favorite bloggers have agreed to do guest posts for me in my absence, you’ll be in good hands. I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you and hope you enjoy their company as much as I do. I read a lot of blogs, at least as much as time allows, and over time some have stuck with me.

I found myself returning again and again.

It’s been a long time coming but I’ve also updated my blogroll to reflect those blogs dearest to me.
In time I hope to feature more of the bloggers on my blogroll, you deserve to know who they are and what makes them so fantastic. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come:

Anika of by Anika – A self-worth activist and budding designer. Her beauty and love crosses the Atlantic and shines on my life. I think she single-handedly makes Oslo awesome.

Arash of Arash Mazinani – He blogs for both men and women. Not one to shy away from hot topics, he gets the conversation going across several continents.

Gracey of Fashion for Giants – Her smile radiates through her camera, over the internet and out of my monitor and lights up my day. I can’t help but want to smile back. In fact, I’m pretty sure I do.

Sarah of Cloud of Secrets – Do you ever want to be transported elsewhere? Whether it’s a land of textures or colors, Sarah takes my imagination out to a happier place. And she does it while still maintaining a beautiful, human connection.

I intend to feature these following bloggers after I return because I just can’t keep them a secret:

Casee Marie of The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower – She’s intelligent and captivating, I can’t just scan anything she writes, I have to read the entire post. Every time.

Kristy Eléna of Kristy Eléna – Not just Sunglass Hut’s Blogger of the Year, she’s the heart and brains behind Full Time Fabulous, a community fostering inspiration and support to fashion bloggers.

Lee of Lee Oliveira – A street style photographer whose photos make me want to dress up and wander the streets of Sydney until he “accidentally” spots me! His photos capture much more than the outfit, it’s always a pleasure to be shown how he sees others through his lens.

Ofelia of My Intended Life – I dare you to peruse her blog and not feel compelled to move to south Florida, or at least go visit. Colors and wonderful aromas lift from the pictures of the fresh fruit and vegetables from her local farmers market, her thrift store treasures on display beckoning us all to look twice around us, hidden gems are everywhere.

Sacramento of Mis Papelicos – Sacramento is the sky-diver of fashion; she’s bold and romantic and lady-like and creative. This woman loves her world and her world loves her back. Don’t you want to live in it? I do.

Check back every few days to see who will make an appearance. In the meantime, I will see you again in three weeks, my friends. Happy spring!

{ style tip: }

On my wedding day I only had to do two things: look good and say “I do”. Some things don’t have to be complicated. The same applies for getting dressed.

I almost penned today “Midriff Tuesday” after putting on my clothes. The boxy top sat about four inches above the waist of these black pants. (No one needs to see that unless I’m at the beach.) Enter the long tank top to save the day. Over the years, I have amassed a nice variety of tank tops, both plain and lacy, for such occasions. The black and neutral ones are staples in my wardrobe. If you can only have two, those are the ones to start with. You’ll be glad you did.

{ deets: }

Black ankle cigarette pants/BDG, Urban Outfitters, pink dimensional petal boxy top/H&M, taupe tank top/Nordstrom’s, black boyfriend blazer/Urban Outfitters, black sandals/Dansko.

{ photos: }

Wedding – Ron Essex, other – Filip Jach


FBFF Q&A: Learning the ways, young grasshopper

20 May

{ personal: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing tweed coat and beige pashmina shawl
A family affair: Fil, me, Liliana, Kurt


My husband’s mother (and my friend), Liliana, and her husband, Kurt were visiting us from Sandpoint, Idaho this past week and a half. They moved to Idaho to retire with their two dogs. They’ve since added a cat and a part-time moose to Daisy Ranch, the latter being inadvertent.

Have you ever tried to move a moose?

They’re both ski instructors at Schweitzer Mountain Resort which sounds like a lot of fun but it doesn’t sound much like retirement to me. All that skiing agrees with them, don’t you think? I’ve been blessed with a wonderful extended family; now that they’ve left I’ll be missing my “sister” Lil.

{ fbff: }

Blog pet peeves? Don’t get me started, I’ve got very strong opinions. Mind you, they are opinions not judgements. I reckon offending parties have yet to learn the ways of the wise owl. I love saying “reckon”. I’m going to say it again. I reckon as bloggers learn how others feel about their offense they will correct their ways. This is the topic being discussed this week on Fashion Beauty Friend Friday.

How am I driven bananas? Let me count the ways:

1. Too many photos. Especially too many bad and/or blurry photos. Edit, people! No one needs to see every single angle of that outfit. Do you really think I only take two pictures a day? Pick the best, feature the differences, put some time into learning how to use that camera and improve. Ever been forced to sit through a gazillion vacation or family photos at someone’s house. Yeah, you get me.

2. Music. I don’t like your music. Well, I don’t like your music coming on while I’m already listening to music. It’s cacophonous at best, irritating at worst. I won’t come back, I read blogs to relax not to freak out my ears. Besides, I really may not like your music. No offense.

3. Low contrast color font. I’m artsy, I actually get paid to make judgement calls on big brands you’ve heard of. There’s no aisle in a supermarket that doesn’t carry a product I’ve been involved in. That said, (hold please, I need to get off my high horse pony because it’s no fun up there), I have never thought that compromising legibility in the name of creativity was a good idea. I want to read your content, no squint and readjust the angle and contrast of my monitor. Being able to read your content is a good thing.

4. The secret comment section. I just read your post. Coolio! Now I want to say something but, uh, wait. I can’t locate the comment mystery zone. I’m going to wave my cursor around like a magic wand and see if something happens. I really want to tell you that I loved what you wore and it suited you so well, that tying in that story about your day made me smile. But I gotta run, I’m trying to read a few more blogs before the sandman calls me and, well, I’m sure it’s around here somewhere but I haven’t found it. Maybe I’ll find it next time. Want to engage your readers? Make it easy for them to do so.

5. Typos. You probably graduated from High School. You might be in College or those years might be behind you. Guess what? Unless you did not grow up in a country where English is the primary language you have no excuse. The accidental typo from being so passionate about the topic that your fingers couldn’t keep up with your mind is okay. It’s been known to happen to the best of us. But people, every single program offers some kind of spell check. If that’s not enough, there’s that crazy mountain of information to steer you straight called The Internet. (Or as my mom calls it, the internet-world-wide-web-AOL.) Look, in my day you had to go to the local public library. Yeah, I pulled a “in my day” on you. You’ve got the internet so what’s your excuse?

(Folds pop-up soapbox, puts it away.) We now return the kinder, gentler House in the Clouds. I warned you, I’m pretty forgiving but it doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions. Listen, if you’re not willing to put time into learning and improving you should quit. I know it’s time consuming but plenty of people work really, really hard at putting together a quality blog.

Don’t blog because everyone else is doing it, blog because you love it and it shows. Let the quality speak to how much you care.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

I see you’re still here, reading, and you want to continue being told, check out what drives Beautifully Invisible crazy. (It’s good solid advice, I would never steer you wrong.) By the way, I have re-read this post about four times on different days. I might have missed something but I know I tried my best to catch every missing word or typo. You should too.

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Every couple of years I invest in a nice statement coat. There’s nothing better to cheer up a dreary winter day than a fun coat paired with a good scarf – or two. Having fun with style shouldn’t be limited to what lies beneath the cover-up, why not have a good time with everything you wear?

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Tweed coat/ModCloth, beige pashmina shawl/Nordstrom’s.