Thursday, August 9, 2012

Things Inspiring Me Lately

Uh Oh. It's about to get sentimental in here. But really, when your blog photographer (husband) is a wedding photographer and it's the middle of his busy season, it's just not fair to ask him to shoot and edit outfit photos at the pace he used to. I regret that it leaves me with a sparser blog lately, but I'd like to see Mikhail get some sleep :).

But, I don't want to go dark here. So without further ado, here are three articles/posts/ideas that I've found to be inspiring reads in the last week. And I'll be back with an outfit soon.

1. "Techies Break a Fashion Taboo." The New York Times

It's all about women tech executives in Silicon Valley boldly embracing their fashion sense. I write about tech, work in an area with thousands of others people who work in tech, and always struggle with exactly how much of my fashion-loving self I can show at the office. I was just talking to someone about the fact that being dressed up in Silicon Valley makes you look like a not-so-serious entreprenuer, and then came back to my desk and saw this gem.

Granted, the brands mentioned in the wardrobes of these Silicon Valley power ladies are ones I will never be able to afford, but I love the sentiments expressed here. That actually paying attention to and caring about how you dress doesn't make you any less serious or qualified as a business person. It's shocking that this needs to be spelled out, but really, it does. This quote is my favorite: “It’s possible to hold your femininity and love of fashion... Now I feel not at all at risk that people would say, ‘How can she care about dressing well and run a billion-dollar company or be smart?’ ”

2. "33." Erin Gates of Elements of Style

Erin only recently came onto my radar, thanks to an awesome interview in The Everygirl that tracked her career trajectory and how she came to starting her own interior design business. I pretty much immediately considered her a rockstar. She started blogging in 2007 (pretty early on in the game), built a wonderful audience, and leveraged that to start her own interior decorating business. Her 33rd-birthday post this week talks about her experience not being a mother yet while all the friends around her are. Is it creepy that this inspires me? I find it inspiring because she is honest and open about a challenge in her life, and an area where she struggles with comparison and gets all sorts of mixed advice. I love how her post is honest about this challenge, but also brings in valuable perspective and patience: "Something in me feels like when the time is right, it’ll happen."

3. "for me. because of you." Jessica of How Sweet Eats

If I could even pick a favorite blogger, I think it would be Jessica. Yes, I get that my own blog hinges on personal style and I subscribe to maybe 50-something fashion bloggers in my Google Reader, but this is really my first love. Not only does she post the most delicious food ever, but she tells everything with such drama and stream-of-consciousness hilarity that the recipes are just so fun to read. Oh, and my family and in-laws especially think I am an amazing cook, and it's all because I pull recipes from her blog. Blueberry donuts? Brown butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? Baked buffalo chicken pasta? Oh my gosh.

Jessica posted a while back about how as a child all she wanted to do was write, that she spent hours in her off-time writing, but then high school came and she became too cool for it.  Years later, after leaving her personal trainer career for another job that she hated so much she quit and focused on the blog full time, she is yearning to write again. And she's pretty awesome at it, per her blog. I how raw and real her desire is: "I WANT TO WRITE SO BADLY I FEEL LIKE I COULD EXPLODE. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something so badly in my entire life."

Well, I can relate. All through middle school and most of high school I dreamed of being a fashion designer. I had a big art pad that I would draw misshapen figures wearing fabulous, Oscar-style gowns in, and I would spend my spare time watching runway and makeover shows on the Style Network (yes, you have permission to laugh). High school went on and I got too distracted to take the sewing and art classes that would be really beneficial in applying to fashion design school, and I decided (at the suggestion of some family) to pursue journalism, because I was very good in writing and language classes. I don't regret that decision because it brought me to Boston and brought lots of amazing people into my life as a result, and writing as my job is truly awesome, but I often wonder what it would be like to work in the fashion world. I think I would have loved to be a fashion stylist. This is why I play dress up in my own closet. It's why I started this blog. And I can't even explain about how happy it makes me happy lately when friends text me telling me about their Forever 21 hauls, or when they ask me what colors to wear together or how to accessorize an outfit for a special occasion. I feel like it's given me this little outlet for doing something I've always wanted to do. I know this is small-time stuff, but it has brought me so much joy. So, thank you all.

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