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Posts Tagged ‘blouse’

Enchanted forest

21 Nov

{ personal: }

This time last year I had just turned 44 and I wanted so badly for everything to change. I had no idea where to start or what needed to happen so I moved on and forward, like the adventurer that I am, trusting that it would. I spent the last 365 days taking baby steps daily to alter my course. Today I can look back and am proud of where I came from. I look forward and know the path is good. It wasn’t easy, most necessary things aren’t.

I had been feeling a little like this:

Yes, that really is me, dressed as BabyDoll for Halloween. What else could I do with new braces but have fun with it?

Through the turmoil, I found my peace regularly in the woods by my house. I’ve run, hiked and walked them regularly for several years now. I have spent hours daydreaming about my future, crying about sick friends, running long and hard and pushing myself to the limit. It is therefore befitting that I recently had a photo shoot in my enchanted forest right before my 45th birthday. I’m still moving forward, and still celebrating changes.

See you soon!

xo, f

{ photos: }

These photos were beautifully shot with film by Vanessa Solis of Vade Photography in Redwood Park, in Oakland, CA.

{ deets: }

Red blouse/Old Navy, royal blue pants/Urban Outfitters, scarf/thrifted, hand-carved earrings/Braindrops, beaded necklace/Anthropologie.

 
 

Show & Tell

27 Dec

{ the story: }

There are those days when nothing seems to go right. Then, there are days when every single little detail falls into place, when the universe conspires to help you get everything right; it was one of those days. In my last post I wore I a navy blue pencil skirt that I picked up from a small, independently-owned shop that had just opened by my work in Downtown Oakland. I mentioned wanting to make more mindful purchasing decisions. I’m not looking for a revolution but I believe that paying just a little more attention will present opportunities for me to make the small changes necessary to live more closely to my heart, while looking fabulous the whole time, of course.

Let’s see exactly what happened on that fateful day. I happened to be in the dressing room of Show & Tell when I overheard the owner talk about their store’s philosophy to another customer. I loved what I heard, that they support local designers and fair trade practices with a focus on being paperless and sustainable; I wanted to help them thrive. It didn’t hurt that their clothes were really cute and the owners really nice. That stuck with me all day until I came up with the idea of taking pictures of different outfits in their store to promote them on The House in the Clouds. Nothing fancy, just me, my tripod and the overhead fluorescent lights. I approached them with the idea, they seemed happy and pleasantly surprised. I had the green light.

That same afternoon, I was directing a photo shoot at work and was telling the photographer of my plan. He offered to do an entire fashion shoot on location for us for the same reasons I wanted to do it: for support and for fun. I let the the shop owners Alyah and Nichole know, this suddenly went up a few notches and we were all totally thrilled. The very next Sunday, or as I like to refer to it, on the coldest day of the year so far, four of us walked around Downtown Oakland and had a blast taking pictures while curious onlookers checked out the scene.

The following is the result of our collective enthusiasm. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, stop by the shop sometime and check out what they have. It goes without saying the clothes are adorable and flattering.

Daily outfit, wearing grey pencil skirt, long black tunic, downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing grey and pink floral skirt, pink t-shirt, pink infinity scarf in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing blue and white checked skirt, lavender button-down shirt, colorful bowtie, in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing purple lace detail black sheer blouse, black tulip mini skirt, over-the-knee-boots, in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing purple lace detail black sheer blouse, black tulip mini skirt, over-the-knee-boots, in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing purple lace detail black sheer blouse, black tulip mini skirt, over-the-knee-boots, in downtown Oakland

{ info: }

Show & Tell is owned by Alyah Baker and Nichole Payton and is located at 500 12th Street in the Oakland City Center Plaza. All clothes shown are from their store; jewelry, tights and shoes are my own. Check out their facebook page for updates. These fantastic photos were taken by Ron Essex in beautiful Downtown Oakland, California.

 
 

Personal shopper

17 Oct

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit, wearing watercolor mauve, grey, black sheer blouse over skinny jeans

Daily outfit, Daily outfit, wearing watercolor mauve, grey, black sheer blouse, Alexis Bittar necklace

{ personal: }

On Monday, October 10 at 7:03pm I received a text from a friend. I was sitting at a hair salon with violet, magenta and mahogany in my hair while my husband was getting his hair cut. She wanted to know if I would wear a fully lined, chartreuse jacket with ruffles. TJMaxx had one in my size for $29.99 and she thought of me. Several texts followed announcing other miscellaneous items that were apparently perfect for me. Not quite knowing what I was in for I gave her the green light. I didn’t ask for pictures, I like surprises.

The next morning I arrived at a photo studio at the crack of dawn to be greeted by smiling faces and a bag very full with clothes. While the first shot was getting set up I modeled my new finds. Almost everything fit flatteringly. For perspective, I will add that she’s at least four or five inches taller than me, very lean with fair skin and blond hair. We could not look more different, yet she was incredibly successful with her choices. That’s quite a talent. As I wrote her a check I realized how special this was. Not only did she think of me, she acted without hesitation and had made peace in advance with handling any returns. She was surprised that I kept most of her finds, I was surprised at her thoughtfulness.

How often do we think of our friends? How often does a certain life magic occur that allows us to act on that thought? Perhaps a text or an email. Sometimes that thought results in a purchase, a card or a gift. Some of those thoughts graduate from words to action. I had been feeling a little down recently. A lot of work and some minor, yet chronic, health issues had been sapping my energy. I stated loud and clear to myself that feeling depleted had given the clarity to realize that at this time I must only put energy into relationships that give back.

Another friend of mine has made the forty-five minute drive to have lunch with me several times in the last year. She checks in with me regularly, it always takes me too long to get back to her. I’ve never gone to meet her in her neck of the woods. She’s a musician and composer yet I had never seen her play. Something has always come up. Maybe I have never made the effort. Last week I drove after work to see her perform for the first time. I had made an agreement with myself that I would not flake.

I drove by myself into the sunset, Mill Valley is west from where I live. The black silhouette of Mt. Tamalpais against the green-hued sunset was surrounded by the icy blue reflection of the San Francisco Bay. I drove over the Richmond bridge during my favorite time of day. The imprint of dusk filled me with peace, I arrived at my destination forty-five minutes later. At eight, she and her band-mates took the stage. She’s a small woman with a very calm energy, this was her band, these were songs. This was her moment.

The first thing I realized is that I had not been a particularly good friend to her. I had not been bad but I could not claim to have been good. I had dismissed the effort it had taken her to keep us connected regularly. The second thing I realized is that she is incredibly talented, her complex timing and melodic jazz compositions were enveloping me, body and soul. Fortunately, bad behavior, once recognized, can be amended. I left the performance lifted.

A couple years ago, ready to celebrate another friend’s birthday, I found myself presented with a gift instead. The birthday girl’s sister had sent her a t-shirt. She liked so much she bought me an identical one. Random, unexpected, unabashed love. Driving home from the performance that night I was warmed by the thoughts of love and friendship in my life. I have thoughtful friends everywhere, in and outside work, in my sisters, in my husband, in the blogosphere. When arrived home last Tuesday after the photo shoot, the first thing I did was try on my new clothes all over again. I enthusiastically assembled outfits, as I am fond of doing, deciding to wear a diaphanous mauve, grey and black patterned blouse over black skinny jeans the very next day.

The May before last, I salvaged a bright pink t-shirt with black kitties all over it from a bag on its way to the nearest Goodwill. One of my friends had talked me into running Bay to Breakers with her in the sunny spin of a margarita-filled afternoon the day before. After crossing the finish line, we walked back to her car, sweaty, filled with adrenaline and a sense of completion. She offered me a t-shirt as the coastal winds picked up, I grabbed the one that had been a favorite of hers a few years back and I gave it a new home.

I wear it with my raspberry pink pajama bottoms when I’m drinking coffee in the mornings. Not a single wear goes by that I don’t think of her. Friendships are fluid, constantly shifting and evolving. Sometimes they happen while we’re not paying attention, such as with my lunchtime friend, others delight and surprise when we least expect it. The common thread that connects and strengthens friendships, that creates relationships that give back, is a thoughtfulness that extends beyond expectations, such as when a friend randomly decides to act as your personal shopper. It would seem that I need not look further than my own closet for a little love.

{ hair: }

Daily outfit, violet and magenta haircolor

It was time to touch up the roots so I did what any respectable adventurous, color-loving girl would do. I had my friend and stylist, Nicole,  add violet and magenta. And as my father-in-law, unknowingly quoting Ministry, said, “every day is Halloween.”

{ deets: }

Watercolor pattern blouse/TJMaxx, black skinny jeans/Urban Outfitters, black camisole/unknown, cocktail ring/Ariella, watch/DKNY gifted, Alexis Bittar necklace/gifted, black sandals/Dansko.

 
 

Missoni and me.

27 Sep

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing Missoni for Target blouse, black skinny jeans

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing Missoni for Target blouse, black skinny jeans

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing Missoni for Target blouse, black skinny jeans, Jillery ring

A couple of weeks ago I walked down the sunny plaza where I work to pick up the September issue of Vogue. Sitting quietly with my lunch in Oakland’s historic Rotunda building, I methodically flipped through, dog-earring pages of interest with predictability. The launch of Missoni for Target caught my eye, I made a mental note to drive over the following week at lunch.

On September 14 I had lunch with a friend whose baby girl was stylishly sporting a violet knit dress with the trademark zig-zag in citron yellow and green. Over soup I heard a first-hand account of items maddeningly becoming out of stock in her shopping cart while online two days earlier. A visit to the store provided further proof of the mayhem in process. In my naïveté I had believed I could casually swing by Target in the following week or two and decide in person which knit dress I would buy for myself.

Against my desire to succumb to the frenzy I still found myself online a few hours later scanning every item until I could find something not yet out of stock. I found two blouses in my size. I did not hesitate. I bought both of them with the precision maneuver of a professional online shopper. I would decide later if I liked them. Now was not the time to waffle and question whether I needed either, both or whether they even matched anything else I owned. I had gotten caught up in the moment I had been trying to avoid. Why?

I later found myself reflecting on what had happened. I will most likely never be able to afford a full-priced Missoni dress. I’ve walked by them in Nordstrom’s, I’ve touched the knit, the combination of silky and nubby calls to me. The patterns and colors remind me of my childhood, my mother crocheted and knitted her fair share of little dresses and sweaters for us girls in the 70′s. I love color, I love good and unexpected color combinations, I’ve coveted Missoni dresses for years. I could save up for one, sure, but I’m better off paying a bill or taking a vacation.

Target gave me and others like me the opportunity to have a little something special. The playing field, however competitive, was leveled briefly. This doesn’t cheapen the brand, it allows the rest of us to touch the untouchable. My new blouses are polyester, not silk. The hem is unfinished as a reminder that I may own a little part of a dream but I don’t have the real thing. That’s fine by me, I’m not out to fool anyone.

The decision for a designer label to choose to be more accessible is in part economic. But the idealistic dreamer in me also hopes that there is a nobler goal; that letting the rest of us get a taste of something usually reserved for the elite not only brings us pleasure, it is also sharing its art and vision with us. My economic status doesn’t drive how and what I am able to appreciate, it only affects what I can call my own. Hype or not, the blouses are beautiful. I’m keeping them both.

{ style tip: }

Missoni has always been a pioneer of bold color combinations. Deep rust, pale chick yellow, aqua blue, soft peach, sandy beige. Reflex blue, grey, ivory, bright minty green, soft purple, brown, cream. It’s absolute madness! While most of us are inclined to leave these color combinations to the experts, here’s a hint why they work: The values and hues compliment each other.

I encourage everyone to play with color, my trick is that I assess whether certain shades look good together in daylight, in advance of getting dressed. Indoor lighting can be misleading but indirect daylight provides the perfect lighting environment to determine how well colors work together.

{ deets: }

Multicolored blouse/Missoni for Target, black skinny jeans/Urban Outfitters, black studded belt/unknown, black sandals/Dansko, spike ring/Jillery.

 
15 Comments

Posted in Fashion

 

Show me your shorts! – A blog event

01 Aug

{ blog event: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing ivory shorts, peach blazer, blue suede platform sandals

Now, get your mind out of the gutter! This is my story. I have never worn shorts except for running, outdoor park and beach days or hanging around the house. This is relatively new to me, I was initially inspired by a picture that Stephanie of The Loudmouth posted of herself some months back. All of a sudden, it seemed like everyone was wearing shorts but me. Alright, not everyone but it was my perception at the time. I decided to give it a shot.

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing white shorts and vintage ivory blouse

I first wore them on a date with my hubby, it seemed like a pretty safe way to dip my toes. Next, I wore them to a friend’s party. One thing led to another and next thing you know, I finally did the unthinkable, I wore a pair to work last week. I had attempted the week before and chickened out. Yes, I do that sometimes.

It might come as a surprise that I had to really push myself to do this given that my outfit choices are not particularly conservative. I wear a lot of bright colors and I have tattoos but this was just new to me. I saw it as a way to step outside my comfort zone, something I’m actually comfortable doing. What I mean is that I like the challenge of pushing myself to do something new, something different. There’s a lot of personal growth to gain from taking chances. It’s easy to play it safe, I fall prey to complacency often.

Then I see someone wearing shorts and I’m intrigued and inspired; I know I must push myself repeatedly in this life and step up. It is only through trial and error that we get to realize our potential.

It isn’t the initial fear or hesitation, it isn’t the discomfort that defines us, it’s what we do with it when we experience it. How are you defining yourself?

There’s a song on Paul Simon’s Graceland album called “Further to Fly”. I think of it as my personal anthem. As long as I can dream, as long as the cycle of life continues, there is further to fly. Now I’m wearing shorts with the sass of someone who’s done it all along. You know I’m keeping an eye out for that next challenge. Whether it be sartorial, physical or professional, it will inevitable be very personal.

Won’t you join me?

Send me your photos of how you’re rockin’ the shorts and in two weeks, on Monday, August 15, I will post them and link back to you. My goal is to inspire you to challenge yourself and share with others how you’ve done it. Every time we push ourselves, even doing something as simple as wearing something we don’t typically wear, we grow as individuals. You’re helping me grow, let’s do this together.

I’m calling out to all you lovelies who are already wearing shorts to show us how you do it and I’m calling on those of you who don’t wear shorts to go for it, dip your toes in that water, the temperature is just right. Send me your photos at flyingfabu [at] gmail [dot] com by Friday, August 12, with a little blurb either about your outfit or the experience of wearing the shorts. Let’s make this happen!

{ deets: }

Top: Ivory shorts/H&M, ivory lace top/Nordstrom’s, peach blazer/Nordstrom’s, long beaded necklace/Nordstrom’s, orange skinny belt/thrifted, blue suede platform sandals/Barcelona. 

Bottom: White cotton eyelet shorts/H&M, vintage Bergdorf Goodman blouse/thrifted, ochre elastic belt/Anthropologie, gold shimmer tights/Urban Outfitters, steampunk dragonfly necklace/gifted, hand-carved wood earrings/Braindrops.

 

FBFF Q&A: Outside influences

13 May

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing beige skirt and dusty rose blouse with black boyfriend blazer
Schoolgirl
Daily outfit and style tip, wearing beige skirt and dusty rose blouse with black belt
Better defined

{ fbff: }

What made you think of putting these pieces together? What keeps you coveting that particular brand? The topic this week on Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is outside influences. We draw inspiration from other style bloggers but that can’t be all. What gives?

FBFF: What magazines do you subscribe to?

FJ: Vogue, Lucky, More, O, The New Yorker. I like Vogue for the interpretive and artistic element of the themed pictorials most. I like Lucky because it speaks to the average gal out there, that’s me! More and O focus more on lifestyle topics specific to women over forty, (yes, life goes on!), and developing a stronger mind-to-heart connection in your daily life, respectively. The New Yorker is a pillar, I can be captivated by a topic that holds no interest to me because it is written so well, I lose myself in each story.

FBFF: Do you watch any fashion TV shows?

FJ: I watch almost no television, believe or not, just a few Showtime and HBO shows.

FBFF: Beyond blogs, what websites do you frequent for fashion inspiration?

FJ: None for specific fashion inspiration. I’m in a creative field so my ordinary day probably exposes me to a lot of stimuli most don’t get without specifically seeking it out. I’ve also just always played “dress up” on my own. I observe everything around me, I’m primarily a visual person with a strong analytical streak. I notice what other people do with their style and let it inspire me.

FBFF: Advertisements play a huge role in forming public opinion about a product or brand… what ads do you like and why?

FJ: Chanel comes to mind. They’ve always been consistent and their related media reaffirms my belief that they have high standards and deliver a quality product. I realize that without facts it’s an assumption based on impression. But they do such a good job selling me on that idea, that’s the consistent part that draws me in. I can attest to the quality since becoming a consumer. Old Navy does a great job really targeting their audience in a way that is ownable to them.

FBFF: Do you own any fashion books?

JF: A few, I’m just now starting to buy them. (Is it too early to starting putting in a request, Santa?) I only recently acknowledged my fascination with fashion. I know how absurd that sounds but I was raised to believe it was frivolous. While I spent money of fashion and read fashion magazines, I subconsciously believed that spending any money outside of the practical aspects of this particular passion was out of the question. I’m pretty sure I was the last one to acknowledge the obvious. I’ve always been more into fashion and personal style than most people I interact with.

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!

{ style tip: }

Made a blunder? Own to it and fix it. I took the first photo in the morning. I had the cute little black bow, the boyfriend blazer, basically, I looked like an oversized kid. The proportions of the baggy top over the baggy skirt with a bow looked all wrong. I got to work cursing myself for ever getting dressed without giving a trial run the day before. Yes, sometimes I do that. It’s not always sunshine and roses in my closet.

Emergency action plan: I took a quick break to run to the trusty Dress Barn around the corner from where I work and picked up a big black wide belt. I tucked the blouse in, lost the jacket and bow and voila! A figure better defined. Never be afraid to rethink an outfit if it’s not sitting well with you. You’re going to look great when you feel great!

Have you saved an outfit on the fly? What was the problem and what solution did you come up with?

{ deets: }

Dusty rose blouse/ModCloth, beige skirt/Urban Outfitters, black boyfriend blazer/BDG, Urban Outfitters, floral pattern tights/Nordstrom’s, black ballet flats/Ecco, silver and mother-of-pearl cuff/Lois Hill, cat eye sunglasses/Michael Kors.

 

 
 

Confession

02 May

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing white shorts and vintage ivory blouse
A sophomore attempt

I have a confession to make. I have never before in my life dressed up a pair of shorts. Not until last month, anyway. After seeing Stephanie of The Loudmouth and her friend Bryn rock the shorts in Vegas, I knew I had to try it. I dipped my toes, so to speak, at my friend’s birthday party knowing I was in a safe place should things start feeling awkward. As it turns out everything worked out just fine. I’m always amazed at how trying something new can feel so daunting.

I figured if I could pull it off once, I can pull off again.

I picked up these litte babies a few weeks ago, the eyelets and the fact that they’re made of organic cotton did me in. I had a vision of wearing them out on a date. We were invited to a tequila tasting in San Francisco on Saturday, which we followed up with dinner at a new restaurant. It was a fairly warm late afternoon and I had my coat with me. For those of you who don’t know San Francisco’s weather, it rarely gets hot and often gets chilly in the evenings, hence the precautionary coat. My outfit was incredibly comfortable—of course it was—I was wearing shorts! I was even complimented which is always a nice treat.

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing white shorts and gold tights
The gold tights are very shimmery

We tasted about six brands of tequila; starting with blanco, continuing with reposado and finishing with añejo. If they offered a special reserve of some sort we tasted those also at the end. The concept behind tasting the blanco first is that it’s still young and the forward flavor is representative of what will be the foundation which carries into the more aged reposado and añejo. If you don’t like the blanco at all, it’s likely that you won’t enjoy the more aged tequila of that harvest either.

And you thought this blog was just about fashion.

This is what happens when you’re married to a man who knows his spirits. A little is bound to rub off. My favorite tequila of the night was the Casa 7 Leguas. As much fun as it was to taste tequila there was only so much stimulation my palate could handle before calling it quits. As you can imagine, we had a lovely time.

{ style tip: }

Go for it! Be adventurous and daring, try something new! If it feels daunting, give it a trial run when visiting close friends just like I did. You’ll be more comfortable and should there be a wardrobe malfunction you can all have a good laugh.

{ deets: }

White organic cotton eyelet shorts/H&M, vintage ivory blouse/thrifted, gold tights/Urban Outfitters, ochre yellow elastic belt/Anthropologie, suede khaki shoes/Earthies, steampunk dragonfly necklace/gifted.

 
16 Comments

Posted in Fashion

 

Freedom from words

06 Apr

{ my world: }

A visual representation of myself through photography
Freedom
A visual representation of myself through photography
Illegal
A visual representation of myself through photography
Heart
A visual representation of myself through photography
Heaven

{ full time fabulous blog event: }

This is my first Full Time Fabulous blog event. The theme is to create a visual representation of how our location in the world influences us. As a citizen of the world, I chose to express myself solely through pictures I’ve taken over the past couple of years. I wanted to create a story without words and deliberately left it open to interpretation. For more information, check out Kristy Eléna’s blog.

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing Pantone's color of the year, honeysuckle, with jeans
Honeysuckle and cedar, from Pantone’s colors of the year palette

I realized this morning that I have become so accustomed to wearing dresses everyday that pants, especially jeans, have become a novelty. I’ve had this blouse for a few months and was itching to wear it.

{ style tip: }

Wearing denim to work requires some attention to detail so as not to appear unprofessional, even in a casual atmosphere. A soft blouse is comfortable but still looks polished. Dressier shoes with a low or medium heel in a similar color palette add an unpredictable touch.

How do you wear your denim to work? Do you choose fun tops and funky flats, or do you dress them up with a structured shirt, heels and a blazer? Or do you pick something in between?

{ deets: }

Cedar green blouse/Modcloth, honeysuckle infinity scarf/Urban Outfitters, jeans/Calvin Klein, sage green shoes/Tsubo, necklace/Linkel Designs.

 

 

FBFF Q&A: The rules of engagement

31 Mar
Official facebook House in the Clouds page
Check out The House in the Clouds on facebook

 

Guess what? I’m really excited about this, I finally set up an official facebook page for The House in the Clouds. I’m still trying to figure out how to integrate a widget in a way that I find aesthetically pleasing. It feels painfully slow to be hindered by the reality of a full-time job and personal life, not to mention the stack of laundry decorating my office space, formerly known as the dining room. Check it out!

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing blue and coral pattern blouse with navy skirt and gold belt
Snuck away from a desk for a few to snap these on a beautiful afternoon
Daily outfit and style tips, wearing blue and coral pattern blouse with navy skirt and gold belt
We call this pose “looking for snails”

 

{ friend friday: }

We want our blogs to succeed however we have chosen to define that success. Most likely, we want to gain followers, fans, loyalty, even acclaim of some sort. We want to be recognized, we want to influence. It’s a daunting task at best, completely overwhelming to digest as a whole.

Our mothers warned us not to be too boastful, to play nice and to say “thank you.” Where is that fine line that we are supposed to ride, one that engages and encourages without becoming as annoying as a late night infomercial? How do we get there? What are the rules?

This is this weeks Fashion Beauty Friend Friday’s topic. Read on.

FBFF: Guest posts are a good way to gain exposure. What do you think is the appropriate way to go about securing a spot?

FJ: Personally, I’m a big fan of developing and nurturing connections. I make the most effort with those whose persona and voice appeal to me, those I would have just as likely been inclined to get to know in person. Once I feel that I have this type of rapport, discussing anything is easy. A dialogue and friendship already exists. I treat my online friendships with the same courtesy I extend everyone else, I don’t really have a specific tactic.

FBFF: Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog. But how can you leave a comment without coming across as “Follow Me. Follow Me!”?

FJ: Don’t make it your objective. It’s assumed you want to grow your blog but be cool, be genuine. People can tell when you’re not really into what their blog is about. Honestly, it’s just plain ol’ weird. We’re not little kids anymore. I would never walk up to a total stranger and ask them to be my friend and offer to be their friend. Where else in life is this acceptable for adults? It strips integrity from the action.

FBFF: We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work. How do you make your email stand out from the crowd?

FJ: There’s a huge difference between spam and a conversation. An email blast purely to promote my blog is marketing, more specifically, the worst kind of spam. I care to foster community or have a conversations, not be detached or irrelevant in the context of a group. It would be disrespectful in that context. Tweeting to people who have independently chosen to follow my blog is acceptable. Spamming within the confines of a group is using that group disrespectfully.

Here’s an example of how I did recently ask for support from some friends for my facebook page. Firstly, I had an easy, realistic goal: to reach over 25 “likes” in order to claim my name. Secondly, I sent an email to my best friends. Not everyone in my address book, that would have been really uncool. I sent an email to my absolute closest friends, those who have a vested interest in my success and would not be put out in helping me out in this fashion. I don’t make it a habit to do this so I didn’t worry that my actions would be interpreted as annoying and careless. They came through. Fantastic!

Why did this work? They know me, they like me, they support me. I laid out what I was hoping to achieve and how they could help. I made it clear and I only sent out one email. Why would a group of people who don’t know me want to help me? What’s in it for them if I have not made any attempt at developing a rapport with them? That’s reality. If I want support, I create and become an active participant in that group or community. Being purely self-serving is shallow and easy to ignore, it’s certainly not a likable trait.

FBFF: In interacting with other bloggers, where do you draw the line between seeking support and begging for exposure?

FJ: Seeking support is valid, we all benefit from a helping hand. We help, we get help, it’s a nice way for the world to go around. There’s really no line to draw, they may seem similar from afar but I know the difference between the two and I would never confuse one for the other. My actions speak to that very clear distinction.

I’ll speak loudly on this: there’s no integrity in begging. DON’T. GO. THERE. Don’t beg, Don’t plead. You want advice or support, just ask for it. Be genuine with your request. One hundred people is no more or less valuable than a single one. That is my absolute truth. It’s easy to get caught up, it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others’ successes and failures in order to assess ourselves. Every follower, every person who digs what I’m doing is an individual with their own worth, they’re not lumped in some category and boxed up to go. So why beg for exposure? I have it. It’s right here. If only two folks read my blog today, guess what? That’s two valuable humans. People aren’t numbers. There’s never a good reason to compromise ones self-esteem over anything.

FBFF: What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you remedied that?

FJ: I don’t recall making any. I took my time observing and learning before dipping my toes in the water. That just happens to be the kind of person I am. I might be all kinds of things but one would be hard-pressed to call me clueless. I pay attention, listen to others and I learn well. And no, I’m not going to point out my flaws to counterbalance that statement.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting these questions. 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!

 

{ style tip: }

I matched my belt and tights to one of the colors in the pattern of my blouse. It provided contrast nicely without being jarring or too matchy-matchy. It was a way to keep the outfit colorful without introducing yet another color. The somewhat sheer tights are a sparkly ochre yellow which made them fun, but the sheerness kept the sparkle from becoming overwhelming.

 

{ deets: }

Blouse/ModCloth, navy blue skirt/MaxStudio, elastic belt/Anthropologie, sparkly tights/Urban Outfitters, brown vegan suede boots/Munro, necklace/Linkel Designs.

Photos: Filip Jach