I don’t regret quitting my job to focus on the blog. Quitting my job and focusing on what I have built and loved for over a decade has been hard and thrilling and scary and rewarding. I have learned so much, and have gained so much confidence. It also helped me make myself a priority. I didn’t realize how much I had put myself on the back burner for everyone and everything else. My health has improved, I’m stronger, I sleep better, I’m a better parent and partner. But damn I’m lonely.
Don’t get me wrong, I have amazing friends, the greatest husband, a fabulous relationship with my daughter, a wonderful extended family. At any minute I could call or text someone and get a response, I work from home with my husband and we see one another most of the day, and I live in a friendly community where I could start a robust conversation as the café, the library, the grocery store parking lot with a neighbor or friend or friendly stranger. What I miss is the workplace community. The longer I work for myself the more I realize how much I loved the collaboration of working on a team.
I don’t have anyone to proof my posts before they go live – sure I have Grammarly and VAs that could check for grammar and sentence structure but no one to say, hey ever think of touching on this or that in this piece? Maybe reword this one sentence, it’s a bit too aggressive or passive or remove it all together because it dilutes your point. I have no one who scrolls through the hundreds of photos taken and helps me narrow it down to the five to seven added to the post, who sees me in a different light and has a different perspective. I have ideas in my head, the ones when conditioning my hair or waiting in line that I scribble on receipts or send to myself in an email. Ones I am not sure how to get going, but know once I start that ball rolling it’s going to be good. Those critical comments or rejections from brands I dwell on far longer than I should because there’s no one telling me to get out of my head, go outside, meditate, or punch something before reacting. No one who says no Alison, that’s a fucking great idea but go back and work on it some more, you’re not there yet. And no one who I can help, inspire them, get them focused, get them great. I miss helping others.
I get so easily distracted by myself. After each paragraph of this piece I have checked email, looked to see if I have gotten a text, visited Facebook. I ordered Emerson some shorts, moved the wash to the dryer, and flipped through the latest Pendleton catalog. In an office environment, I’d go get a cup of tea or just do a circle around the cubes, maybe chat with a friend, but it would still be the same environment full of people also in the same grind, making it easier to get back into it. I joined a coworking space, a friend with an office a couple of miles away gave me a set of keys to get away from the house but neither helped, I still felt alone. I have many blogger and influencer friends and we occasionally text but we work in a field that is inherently competitive even if we have different niches and audiences and anyway, we're working on our own individual brands. I’ve made several mastermind groups of fellow bloggers, of women in my area, of people all with small businesses and they have always dissolved after a while. I have one friend who also has her own business in the style world; she’s like my work wife as we share a lot about our businesses. But we have our own separate agendas, we try to help but our primary focus is our own success. I just miss being part of a team.
Have you seen the show Songland? Karl and I have started it now that this season of Project Runway is over. Like Project Runway, it’s a competitive reality show that isn’t full of drama or trying to turn people’s lives into a viral video that tugs at the heartstrings. It focuses on talent, on craft, and pushing artists just beyond their comfort zone to make something amazing. Each week, a different famous band or singer is on the show along with three highly successful music producers. Four newbie songwriters audition with one song that they have written, one that is their baby, their passion, their pride. They perform it, the producers and the artist only provide positive feedback, constructive ideas for improvement while respecting their song. It’s so thrilling to see the collaboration, these often young adults being in a room with their heroes, Grammy winners adding their voice, their beats, their ideas to make their song better. You can feel that collaborative energy through the screen. The artist of the week picks three of the four songs, and each of three songwriters left partners with one of the producers to make their song the absolute best and the right vibe for the artist. I love seeing the work that goes into making a good song stellar and seeing how the artist puts their spin on it to make it a hit. It reminds me of working retail at 2am to get the store ready for the corporate visit, the 6am dashing around a conference room with my colleagues getting ready for a major symposium, the ride in the taxi to the client site where we’re rehearsing our pitch, even being in Odyssey of the Mind in elementary school, improv classes in high school, preparing for Rush when I was in a sorority. As my old coworker Lonnie always said, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” And I miss being on a team.
Independence Day is this coming week and you know what that means – sales sales sales!
- If you're looking for beauty with sunscreen, Colorescience is one of the best. This weekend, Dermstore is offering 20% off Colorescience. Dermstore is one of the best places to shop for skincare – the reviews are extensive, they're super picky with what brands they offer, and they have great promotion and perks for regular customers. Shop Colorescience here.
- ASOS has one of those buy more save more promotions this week. $150 get $30 off with STARS30, $200 get $50 off with STARS50, $250 get $70 off with STARS70. I took advantage of this promotion yesterday by ordering some wide-width sandals. ASOS carries a lot of popular brands like Adidas, River Island, even some products from SimplyBe. They carry plus size, petite, tall, full bust, and tall and plus options for men too. It's worth it to take a look at this sale.
- Nordstrom is also having a buy more save more promotion but it's just for cardholders (this is one of the stores where I have a card for the perks and just pay it off each month). Spend $150, get $30, spend $250, get $60, and spend $400 and get $100.
- Talbots has their red hanger sale going on and this is the BEST sale for the brand. They're offering 40% off markdowns, and this isn't tired old winter and early spring clothes – there are plenty of great summer offerings including swimwear from brands like Miraclesuit. This is the link to all the items part of this sale.
- Torrid has their semi-annual clearance sale with an extra 50% off clearance. Torrid sets their sales up great, from this page you can easily shop by size or category (dresses, jeans, etc.). Torrid offers sizes 10-30 and have great offerings in swimwear, activewear, adorable graphic tees, jeans, lingerie, and more.
- Banana Republic, my favorite place for shorts and suiting, has 40% off your order with shoes 40-60% off. I roamed around a Banana Republic this week and saw some super cute things like:
- Their red linen-cotton blazer and matching pants. I like the fit and the fabric; if I didn't already own a red pantsuit I'd purchase this one right away. I'd add this amazing zebra brooch to the lapel.
- Their essential layering cami which has a great fit, available up to XXL (I wear an L and am a busty size 14) comes in all the neutral colors you desire plus six different skin tones.
- My favorite shorts
- My leopard maxi shirtdress which is still available in some regular and tall lengths; if your size isn't available or it's too much leopard for you I also adore this midi skirt that would be chic year-round.
- If I hadn't already bought the leopard maxi I'd totally get this jumpsuit. I mean, I DIE.
- I adore these printed wide-leg pants, they're so chic. And if you add this top you get the jumpsuit effect while not ending up naked when you have to pee!
- I may buy this striped cami this weekend, I almost bought it when at the store. It's lined, nice fabric, adjustable straps, would be cute with black pants or white jeans or under a blazer or sweater.
- I have several Banana Republic graphic tees; from their current collection I'm liking this one and this one the best.
- LOFT has 40% off with promo code VACAY. I know many of you love LOFT. This week I went into LOFT, Banana, Madewell, and Gap all the same day and the store that impressed me the least was LOFT. I touched fabrics, tried things on, and the only thing in that store I would wear is this sweatshirt, which I really like. But I am not you, I am not the be all that ends all, I see many women look fab in LOFT so if you love LOFT rock the heck out of LOFT and get 40% off this weekend and I will cheer you on!
- Colleen Rothschild is offering 20% off with promo code FIREWORKS. I adore this beauty brand; click this link to read all my in-depth reviews and use this link to shop this promotion.
- In the WO2 Community we discussed towels and I shared my favorite towels and my favorite sheets are from The Company Store. I've been shopping The Company Store since college. Remember when jersey sheets were the THING? I got my first pair there! I find the quality stellar. The Company Store has 20% off plus free shipping with promo code JULY4SALE19 so get to shopping for some of the nicest bedding and linens at prices appropriate to the quality.
Ravelry is “banning support of Donald Trump and his administration” in any form, including “forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles” and more. The site stated, “We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy.” (NPR)
“I will never play any game without my lipstick,” she said. “It’s what makes me feel the most comfortable.” An interesting piece on female athletes and the different yet all valid reasons some choose to wear makeup, nails, and creative hair in games. Now we need an article about how male athletes have been making statements with their grooming and fashion for years and no one questions their masculinity or that it affects their performance. (New York Times)
As someone who changed lanes in life over the age of 40, I am loving this: over 30 under 30.
I ordered three different kinds of insoles for my boots and sneakers, and this pair was by far the best. I slipped them in my Adidas Superstar sneakers (first yanked out the thin insole that came with the shoe) and it made these shoes that left me in pain for two days after 10 hours on my feet at DC Pride comfy enough to wear two days in a row to a music festival where I walked nine miles each day. Not bad for less than $16 and with free Prime shipping and returns!
Tracey Reese has been designing gorgeous clothes since 1998 and during her career hasn't been afraid to step outside the box and with it found success. In 2018 she stopped all of it to start over. Reese's brand-new label, Hope for Flowers, is based in Detroit and is focused specifically on sustainable materials, ethical production, and handwork. (Vogue) You can see and shop the collection at Anthropologie.
With a 6-3 decision from the Supreme Court, Erik Brunetti is now free to trademark Fuct, the name of his nearly 30-year old clothing brand. That doesn't mean it won't change in the future… (GQ)
“I don’t want to name names but there are some who can’t move their faces any more. Like Cher.” A truly delightful interview by Sophie Heaywood with the fabulous Carine Roitfeld. I seriously love both of these women after reading this. (The Guardian)
I am so excited to see another retailer seeing the benefit of offering wide width shoes. Target has a great selection of shoes for weekend, dress, work, and more; see the whole selection here! (Target)
“What happens when you can’t use a bathroom because an AI lock thinks that you shouldn’t be there? What happens to medical research or clinical drug trials when a dataset misgenders or omits thousands of people? And what happens when a cop looks at your license and your machine predicted gender doesn’t match what they see? A world governed by these tools is one that erases entire populations. It’s a world where individuals have to conform to be seen.” An interesting piece about Amazon's facial recognition software. (Jezebel)
Tee shirts for a good cause and with great art on them? Sold. Once the Chuck D one in gray size Large is back in stock I'm getting it.
So many of you were interested in wide-leg pants after this blog post, I went around to find a few more that I thought were pretty fab, and at a variety of pricepoints:
For Your Entertainment
This past weekend I attended the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware with my friend Nicole. There were some artists I wanted to see, some she wanted to see, together we made a schedule that was a mix of artists we knew, didn't know, and wanted to know better. I knew of Jessie Reyez, but wasn't super familiar with her music. She totally blew me away. She had an opportunity for a record deal but was told to get it she had to have sexual relations with the producer. She found a different way to achieve fame – as a songwriter (she wrote this song for Dua Lipa). She is now a star in her own right, on her own terms, and is using her platform to speak her mind and empower others. She has a great new song out with 6LACK called “Imported” and earlier this year came out with a song with Eminem, but for those who are less familiar with her I wanted to choose a song that really showcases her amazing songwriting. If you want to see any videos of her live, visit my Instagram where I have a “Highlight” (circle on my bio page) that is called “Firefly Fest” that saved my stories including her show.