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Happy MONDAY. I can’t believe it’s already Monday…the weekend just *buzzed* by. I had all sorts of other plans + ideas for today’s post, but there have been a few biggies happening behind-the-scenes at CUR headquarters, so we’re nixing those in lieu of a more chit-chatty personal post. A big piece of feedback I’ve seen from y’all in past surveys is to add more personal schtuff, so…we’re doin’ it.
Mkay? Mkay. Brace yo’self. 😉
If ya follow along on Instagram and have been keeping up with Instastories, chances are pretty good you’ve met this little guy already.
Meet the newest addition to our clan…
“Ma, YOUR INBOX…”
He actually slept like this. I kid you not.
Also slept like this.
There’s a new boss in town…
WE ADOPTED A KITTEN!!!
And we’re tickled pink. Purrcy is now 11 weeks old and has acclimated fabulously to our house and to the other cat residents, Moose + Pumpkin. It took a grand 48 hours before they were all playing, chasing each other, stealing each other’s food and smacking each other’s butts. Purrcy is SO playful, SO lovable, and also SO fearless. When we first introduced him to our house, we did so room by room to both get him comfortable with the space, and so that the others would smell him first and they’d have that closed door interaction (introducing new cats to each other can be a bit of a crapshoot depending on a million factors). We had him camping out in our room for a bit, where we have a giant mirror. Purrcy would see himself in the mirror, his tail and back hair would immediately puff up in fear, and he would sideways hop his way forward at the mirror to investigate the mysterious kitten looking back at him. If you’ve never seen a kitten hop sideways in fear – let alone hope sideways AND FORWARDS AT THE SAME TIME – oh my god. Hilarious. This baby was scared of his own reflection, but still wanted to embrace it. He is fearless.
He also kicked off his introductions to the others by running right up to them like, SURPRISE! IT’S ME! Mind you…Moose is, like, 5x his size. Moose is a 14 pound, 5-year-old Tabby, compared to Purrcy – the then-10-week-old who barely weighed a pound. No fear.
SO. Quick storytime…
We had stumbled upon him and his litter bros at our pet store through a rescue shelter – the same shelter we got Moose from, actually – but fell in love with two and couldn’t bear to separate brothers. But we weren’t exactly in the market for two cats. We said that we WOULD consider adding one more to our roost, but couldn’t bear to break them up, so we’d wait and if something was meant to be, it’d be.
Welp, I had a car inspection last weekend that turned into a three hour ordeal…right by the pet store. And turns out, one had been adopted. SO, we got the other. And he’s a cherub. A very loudly purring cherub. His name came about after much deliberation; but we realized that the second he’d find either J or I, he’d just start loudly purring, even if we weren’t holding or petting him, and it would just. keep. going. So, Purrcy it is. 😉
Her Conference is a 2-day conference in NYC run by the gals at Her Campus. I actually attended the conference a few years ago and was definitely impressed by the whole shebang; also got to meet Carly from The College Prepster and Hilary Rushford – two big inspirations to me at the time.
This year, I was invited to be a panelist on a session all about blogging full time and making your blog your career. ‘Twas SO humbling + amazing + surreal + ALL THE FEELS. I can so distinctly remember being on the opposite side o’ the table two years ago, eagerly soaking it all up + trying to learn #AllTheThings from the panels I saw, so to be trusted to bestow anything + everything I know to others is the best feeling.
But, before jumping ahead, Day 1 of the conference was fab cos I got to spend the day with one of my absolute best friends (who I just so happened to meet on le internet), Rachel. (Have you found her blog yet??? If not, you’re welcome.) It was actually our very first time meeting in person after what feels like forever of Skype sessions + phone calls (true story: our first Skype lasted four hours). That’s one of the most *amazing* things that blogging has brought into my life. I’ve got a handful of diehard girls, and we have got. each. other’s. backs. Never before had I had that tightknit of a group of girls who so genuinely, unabashedly supported + uplifted each other, in work and life and beyond, let alone girls in the exact same industry together. God has #blessed.
Anyways. Day 1 of the conference ended with a keynote Q&A with Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars, whom I adore. Fun fact: I’ve been told she’s my celebrity doppelganger. What do ya think???
The most impressive thing about Troian, I think, is her total genuineness and intellect. She’s clearly a smart cookie, and she’s clearly 100% herself. She’s just as charismatic, witty, and interesting as she seems. Some of the most stand-out tidbits she offered are in bold, and I’m adding my own two cents below…
“Everything you’re inspired by and drawn to is what you’re supposed to be drawn to.”
Meaning, don’t try and change your own natural inclinations + interests to be more like someone else. We’re all unique, and we all lovelovelove different things – which is 100% okay and GOOD. You came into this world with gifts; sitting around lusting after someone else’s set of gifts is a total waste of yours. So honor the things that you are naturally drawn to, cos chances are, it points towards your calling + higher purpose.
“The one thing artists have is a point of view.”
There’s a difference between a consumer and a creator. It can be so easy – especially in today’s day+ age – to become totally consumed with consuming. There is endless content out there; the market is totally oversaturated at this point. There are endless options for endless blog posts, online articles, YouTube videos, and social media posts. Consumption 24/7 leaves no time for creation.
Artists, contrary to consumers, know how to turn off the world and create. More importantly, they create with a point of view – a distinct opinion, aesthetic, message, etc., to reach a specific set of people who will really resonate with that. True artists are not copycats.
“You can’t sit around for someone to give you a role.”
Troian’s dad taught her this lesson, and I think it resonates whether you’re an aspiring actress or just anyone with a dream. You can’t wait around for things to be handed to you in life – you’ve gotta make it happen. You never know when or where the next role will come along, and oftentimes, there are just so many factors involved to even get to that point (namely, a lotta luck). Similarly, in blogging, you never know where the next collaboration or opportunity will come along. And in life in general, you don’t know when the next killer job opp will pop up in your career, or where or when you’ll meet the love of your life. BUT, you can definitely up your chances by being proactive. Do whatever you can do at this time in this moment to make your own dreams comes true. Your dreams are yours – no one else’s. So stop expecting someone else to make your dream come true. Someone else has their own dream. Own yours.
After the conference, we went out for a dinner double-date with Rachel + her hubby. Delish + oh so good.
Moving onto Day 2.
Yesterday was such a fun, fabulous day. It kicked off with Blogging as a Career panel, which I really just felt so honored + humbled to be a part of. Joining me were 3 other insanely amazing girls: Krystal, Cynthia, and Liz. We shared everything from how we got started blogging in the first place, to our biggest tips to turning your blog into a full time gig. A biggy to note: we ALL said that we started our blogs never intending or thinking it’d become a job. Not a one of us sat down and said, “Yannno what? I’m gonna be a full time blogger.” And we unanimously said that probably contributed to our ability to actually make it a full time gig – cos we just all really loveloveloved what we were doing and were totally okay hustling our asses off, regardless of “cool” opportunities coming our way, and even if our moms were the only ones regularly reading.
A few other points that we all really agreed on (since 4th time’s a charm…):
- It’s not nearly as glamorous as people seem to sometimes think. Heck, my besties and I have to text each other every morning to remind each other to actually eat and maybe not wear pajama’s until 2 again? HA. Our jobs are literally to make things look like not our jobs. As content creators, we’re paid to create cool content – not look like hot messes. So of COURSE the final products are oftentimes amazing-looking…it’s our job! So it’s important to remember that when you’re looking at your own favorite bloggers’ feeds and not internalize any of it, especially comparing it to yourself. Social media is only half the story.
- Creating “balance” is near-impossible, but normalization is not. I always say balance is a unicorn. If you have your own blog, you probably 100% get the total crazy insanity that can ensue when you’re the one playing creator, writer, photographer, editor, social media marketer, and manager all at the same time. It’s really friggin’ hard sometimes. What’s important is not trying to balance everything on your to-do list. Chances are, your to-do list is very long, and it might never feel truly “balanced.” Instead, balance your passions, and focus on normalizing your day-to-day. As full time bloggers, we all said one of the hardest things is self-discipline. Chances are, if you have your own business…you’re a darn ambitious chica. More often than not, the issue isn’t necessarily needing to work more – it’s needing to work less. It’s easy to wake up and grab the laptop promptly at 6 am (guilty). It’s easy to skip meals or neglect self-care to hit deadlines (guilty). It’s easy to work “just one more hour” to get more done (guilty). But there’s a cost to that – and it’s not necessarily as “normal” (or healthy) as you’d work if you weren’t your own boss. Personally, I try to normalize by keeping myself accountable and talking with my girls on the phone as often as possible. Also key: setting *realistic* goals similar to goals your boss might set with you in a more traditional 9-to-5 setting. Having regular check-in’s with yourself and holding yourself to reasonable standards (that still push + challenge ya, of course) is oh so important.
- There will always be more. But that can’t be your focal point. I found myself getting so sucked into this at one point not too very long ago, and it was so detrimental to my overall mental health. In blogging, there is always more to be had. More followers, more opportunities, more money. Focusing on the more you lack instead of the more you already have is a recipe for perpetual unhappiness. You HAVE to be able to look at what you already have, realize how very awesome it is, and appreciate + honor it wholeheartedly. Otherwise, you will never be happy. You will never feel successful. You will never truly lovelovelove what you do. Cos your focus will always be on never being good enough. No bueno.
Beyond that, it was just so absolutely amazing to get to meet so many of you guys! I was 100% blown away by the response to the panel and was over the friggin’ moon to get to meet ya 1:1 and talk. Y’all are the sweetest, most girlbossiest girls out there. Endless lovelovelove for all of ya. So many feels.
After the panel, J and I bowed out to grab lunch (if you’re in the city, try the Cock and Bull in Midtown – yummy British food + British beer!). In the morning, J had entered us into some of the Broadway ticket lotteries on a whim. Wouldn’t you know…we won one! We ended up getting $40 tickets to CATS, which I was so stoked about since I was in that production in my high school musical days. We had no clue what seats we’d be in until we showed up to the box office, but wouldn’t you know – we ended up in middle center. Snuck a peek at the woman’s tickets right in front of us – $150+ a pop. Excuse me what. So that was the quintessential addition to a rainy day in NYC – we legit won the lottery. HA. 😉
Afterwards, we headed back to our hotel with ice cream + Starbucks and hit up a train back to Philly.
Blue ruffled jumpsuit (Absolutely in LOVELOVELOVE with this jumpsuit! Jumpsuits are totally my thing when it comes to needing a “power look” that just makes ya feel like a badass. This one is super comfy + flattering (it’s got the cutest one-shoulder ruffle!), and is UNDER $20. Yup. Under $20. I was floored. Also good cos it’s basically wearable on either side, so you can put the one shoulder side on whichever side you prefer!) // Miller Sandals (mine are in “Sand Patent”) // Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM (c/o) // Valentino Rockstud DUPES that I wore all conference long – I got *so many compliments* on these, yo! Everyone thought they were the real deal. NOPE. Just $850+ cheaper. 😉 I would 100% recommend these if you lovelovelove the look of Rockstud pumps but can’t afford/don’t wanna dish out close to $1,000 on shoes. These are the pumps I have/wore all weekend! // Tory Burch Miller sandals here // Louis Vuitton here
2,000 words later and here we are…
Y’all asked for more personal – ha! Do ya like these sorta posts? Or nah? Pleasepleaseplease let me know – it’s SO helpful for me to hear from y’all directly, cos I try to cater all of my content to not just what I want, but what YOU want, too. 🙂
Have you ever been to Her Conference?
And what’s been happening in YOUR life lately? I’m kinda sorta really diggin’ just chitchatting with ya.
P.S. ICYMI The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is open to the PUBLIC! This post styles 6 of my favorite pieces 3 ways EACH, dishes the scoop on what all I bought so far, + lists some RESTOCKS of previously sold out stuff.
P.P.S. You can also still enter to win $1,000 to shop the sale – there are a few hours left!
May your Monday be coming up roses.