Friend Friday: Authentically FRIED…blogging is hard work.

It’s Friday. So why am I not thrilled? I’ll tell you why: I wrote this at the end of a looooong and hellish Thursday. After a week of no fresh content on G&G because there simply was no time. And I think that bites. Because I so love blogging. And I miss you guys.

My absence must be rather obvious—on my last post, Sacramento left this comment, after already having commented on the post:

“Are you OK?”

My lovely Sacramento, thank you for asking. I am OK, and then not. Nothing serious, just the most severe case of unintended lack of blog time I’ve ever experienced. The last seven days went kind of like this:

Stitch up NY hotel arrangements Publish post Hike in the snow 1.5 hours* Wake up take an hour walk Have a nerf gun shootout with my niece and nephew Discover the truth about people and loyalty Stressful family dinner Escape by seeing a movie Wake up take a 1.5 hour walk Draft blogger spotlight content Install activate and deactivate 20+ plugins Fight for the sheets Wake at 6:30am Drive to work 45 minutes Check email Do content dev on 40+ pages more than once Get approvals Update sharepoint site navigation and record Draft instructional copy with screen captures Calls Meetings Drive home 45 minutes Grab a snack Go to the gym for an hour Watch TV Try to help a fave blogger out with some tips Repeat day Spend four hours creating and launching a new blog header Tweet thanks and messages Respond to comments Try to visit other blogs but there is no time Repeat day Promise to watch a rented DVD and fall asleep through half  Try to respond to questions and inquiries Google code to change template multiple times on multiple days Repeat day Hand-hold through the tough stuff Drive home 45 minutes No food in the fridge Order Chinese Draft a post…


Is that rundown authentic enough? Is my admission that blogging is HARD WORK—especially when you have a lot of other things to do—real enough? Because blogging with purpose and with quality really is hard work. I haven’t posted since Sunday, but in between all the other life stuff, I’ve been working frantically behind-the-scenes to try to find one decent sharing plugin that meets my needs (to be continued), the right code to change my template by myself (getting there), and wishing I could get an outfit shot in before nightfall (maybe next week). That’s hours of stuff that you never see, though I’m sure many of you feel my pain.

So I am authentically, genuinely, most definitely fried, people. A little burned out from life, and my blogging is bearing the brunt. But being fried is not this week’s Friend Friday** topic. It’s actually authenticity. So let us commence.

My fortune cookie reading from last night's Chinese takeout—at least it was good! I AM confident...that tomorrow will be better.

How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?
How do you infuse your blog with that true/authentic feeling?

Blogger authenticity is nothing more than being yourself. It’s not about what you own, what you wear, or how you look—but owning who you are, today—not who you want to be or who you were. Authenticity is truth. Attempting to claim any truth other than the real truth will get you every time.

As far as G&G goes, as demonstrated above, I confess that I am a mere human and not a super-blogging-machine. I write very informally, and although I don’t share all aspects of my life, I think I share enough to allow my readers to see the real me. I think video is especially important in that regard. Photos are lovely, but can be contrived. Video is so much more revealing and a better representation of a person, in my opinion. There are aspects of me that come across in my vlogs that wouldn’t in print alone. My Friend Friday: Am I a narcissist? vlog is a good example of this.

I’ve written this a gazillion times before, but I also believe that genuine, frequent interactions with readers establishes authenticity better than anything else. When you write back to readers or visit their blogs, you share your voice and perspective even more informally. And readers can see that you actually care, that you are a real human being. That is huge to me. So many of us adore celebs and designers, but because we rarely interact with them on a personal level, sometimes they almost don’t seem real.

It’s human interaction that creates connectedness. Without it, we are simply photos on a page. Or worse, talking heads.

Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months?
What made you lose interest?

Yes, actually. I’ve stopped following several. I tend to lose interest in:

  • Bloggers who don’t show the love back. One recently had the audacity to tweet me and ask for a contest vote when she never comments on my blog, tweets me, or interacts with me at all. I’m mean, not even a #FF tweet, for crying out loud. Nothing. I’m like, who the hell are you? I only vote for people I don’t know in political elections.
  • Blogs that are more like online journals. Unless you’re Garance Doré, I don’t really want to read that stuff. No offense. Life is challenging enough. I prefer to escape.
  • Cheesy outfits, mediocre photos, and bad grammar. We can all spell-check…that’s no biggie. But as far as the photos and outfits, I don’t have any more advice on this; I do think some bloggers excel in the composition and production of outfit posts. But the ones that don’t…gah. They are so bad. I don’t have to have the same style to appreciate a blogger’s shots; I suppose what I appreciate is the art of it, more than anything. You can be totally opposite of me, but if you are unique, fun, kind, and real, I will like you. And your blog.

We can’t communicate effectively on our blogs what we don’t live in real life.
What are some ways you try to live an authentic life?

I don’t know how not to live an authentic life. Seriously. I am who I am, and truth be told, people either love me or loathe me. That’s OK.

I’m a little bit of a lot of stuff. I’m complex and contradictory. I have to go out, explore, keep learning, travel, make mistakes, get dolled up, sweat like crazy in the gym, party hard, work hard. That’s just who I am. Part of my journey is documented here. The fun stuff, mostly. But even the things you don’t see inform me as a person. I’ve found that admitting my weaknesses and strengths goes a long way in establishing authenticity and credibility. Nobody’s perfect. People can’t deal with even the illusion of it.

Give a shout-out…which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why?

Oh, there are so many I just love, that are so very authentic. Bella of The Citizen Rosebud. B of Beautifully Invisible. Brooke of Center Sage. Jemina. Sacramento of Mis Papelicos. Anika of By Anika. Christina of Profresh Style. Meg of The Jersey Gem. Kristina of Pretty Shiny Sparkly. Erika of Style Activist. Suze of Miss Vinyl Ahoy. And so many more!

*Yes, I really did hike in the snow…I told y’all I’m not all glam. (I survived, Anika!) Here’s a snippet of video, and it’s tiny because it was shot with my iPhone. You can hear Mr. Stylist’s Aussie-infused narration.


**The Friend Friday project by Modly Chic is a way for fashion bloggers to share more about themselves and create a friendly connection with other bloggers. Join the conversation by joining the Fashion Beauty Friend Friday Google Group.


  1. Great answers!!! I didn’t have time to do FBFF this week, so I was glad to see yours had already posted while I was doing my nightly read of all my fave blogs. 🙂 The mountain looks so pretty!! I wouldn’t have minded hiking with all the beautiful scenery. 🙂

    1. Charee, thank you! I know what you mean about no time, as you just read. So thanks for taking the time to comment here.

      PS: Still loving your stripes + white winter look. So fantastic!

  2. Aw v your life sounds so incredibly hectic right now don’t you worry about not blogging so often, I think everyone realises how hard it is and that your real life should be priority right now! I hope you manage to have a nice relaxing weekend, maybe hubby can treat you to a spa day or something 😉
    I miss your presence but I know you’re not gone forever, we will still be here if you need a break! 🙂

  3. I so agree with you about blogs and blogging being an escape! I mean occasionally other stuff gets in if it’s big enough that I need/want to talk about what’s going on but for the most part – nope. Blogging is for fun 🙂

    1. Thanks Kaite! I know…blogging IS fun for me. Even when I’m banging my head against the wall trying to learn code and stuff. It’s such a good challenge. I just wish I could devote more time to it.

    1. HAAAAA! Hubby’s accent is pretty hot. So is he. (Well, at least I think so).. Maybe one day you’ll get to see him.

      Thanks…come back if you have time, if not, it’s all good. Hey, what did you end up cooking for your power lunch?

  4. Aw, the video isn’t working 🙁 But I read the post and I love your honesty! And the new header is HOT. Out of curiosity, what type of work do you do? It sounds computer-related, which is probably why you’re so savvy with this stuff… 🙂

    1. Eeek! Maybe try to play it again? No biggie. Just a nature scene.

      Thanks for your comment, doll. And so glad to know the new header is going over. I totally agonized over it!

      To answer your question, I am a Web content developer. I basically do kind of the same thing…a little writing, a little dev, a little tweet research…for large organization.

  5. Holy moley, that first paragraph was mentally exhausting just reading it! Blogging IS hard work, especially when there are other things going on in real-life, and if that isn’t enough, a few odd curveballs of cr*p thrown in happens from time to time for some of us…

    V-as usual the brutal honesty is what I love most about G&G… Blimey girl, you do hike!
    Wishing you a fabulous weekend!
    p.s love the header doll. Maroon/aubergine tones just rock!

    1. Hey sweets! Yeah, what a week. But it’s sunshine now!

      Thanks so much for your comment…I like knowing how people perceive me and G&G. And if it’s good, even better! Thanks also about the header. Another labor of love. But worth it.

      Have a great weekend!

  6. haha, i was going to say “good on you” as well. I’m happy to read that it’s not really affecting your drive to blog, that your real life is filled with what does sound a bit lovely from time to time! the new header looks great 😉 now take some time off for the weekend! lots of love!

    1. Thank you lovely! My drive to blog is so strong…I just need more than 24 hours in a day!

      Glad you like the header…lots of love to you too!

  7. It can be tough, can’t it. My day sometimes becomes so amazingly stressful because although I am already busy I feel I must get a post out. Totally understand these kinds of weeks.

    Great to hear another Aussie accent too (lol at Bella’s comment). I’m originally from Oz but in the UK now and most of my friends are British so I rarely hear an accent like mine anymore. Of course my Scottish boyfriend does delight in imitating me, so that is usually the nearest thing I can get 😉

    1. Thanks Penny…and glad you enjoyed hearing Hubby’s accent. I enjoy it daily! And I imitate him a lot. Probably more than I should. But in a good way.

      I do feel pressure to get a post out even during busy weeks, mostly because it’s a release for me and I love it. But sometimes it has to take the backburner!

  8. I’m really digging the honesty of your blog. Seriously blogging isn’t easy to do, I should know I still feel like a novice after 1+ years of doing it! I’ve definitely unfollowed a blogger due do a variety of reasons… mostly self promotion and un-originial content were my top two reasons.

    I think it’s great that you have a life and make time for your blog, but I don’t expect you to make your blog your life! 🙂

  9. And now, fried and overcooked, are you a bit back on track? 🙂 I hope this moment will go away soon, I know what it means, It’s hell also for me (at work) these days…

    I love to read your posts, I don’t know why but they always put order in my head and give me the strength to make good propositions for me and my blog. I am very messy and I change mind tons of times. Needless to say that also with my blog I change path a hundred of times. It’s because, as you said, I want to be completely myself and talk only about what interests me and show the drawings and the pictures I like the most without thinking too much about the “consequences” or the overall feeling of my blog. But I think that when you decide to write to the world what you think or show it your work you should also organize a bit and stop to think how you would like your blog to be.
    That’s why your posts help me: they give me order and clear views and I feel more able to give a balance to everything.

    I also think that what you say it’s true: I interact a lot with the people who pass by my blog and in this way I also made a couple of nice new friends. It makes you feel good and part of something so I think I’ll never stop to interact with my readers, it’s the best thing ever in having a blog 🙂 (and I think that one of the first places where I read this suggestion of interaction even before opening my blog was one of your posts!)

    I don’t like the people that spam you with follow me/vote me comments and messages either… I mean, what’s the point in following each other if we DON’T LIKE each other?? Are really numbers that important?

    One thing I wanted to ask you: you often talk about grammar and spelling, and this is my biggest concern. English is not my mother tongue (I am Italian) and I always try to double, triple check everything before posting. Still, I know I have my limits. Do you think that it’s very very ugly, even if almost all my readers know that I’m not an English-speaker? I mean, is it “forgivable”? I don’t want to write my blog in Italian: I don’t live in Italy anymore and half of my friends don’t even know what “Ciao” means! How should I behave in your opinion? 🙁

    Oh my god, I am sorry, this comment is a flood of words!!
    It’s just that I was so interested in what you wrote… your posts always sound like a dialogue, not a monologue, and it stimulates a lot comments and replies I think, I mean, you make people feel free to give you their opinion 🙂

    And I couldn’t even watch the video (I am at work), I can’t imagine how much I could have written if I saw it!

    A kiss, try to rest and don’t stress for the blog: we won’t stop to follow you and we’ll patiently wait until you’re back for good 😉


    1. Thanks for the wonderful comment, Al! I agree with so much of what you wrote.

      To answer your question regarding grammar and English, I certainly do not hold those who speak English as a second language accountable in the same manner as I do native speakers. I’m sure others do too! I would have a hell of a time trying to write even in Greek…and I speak it! So I don’t expect foreigners to have the same command of the English language.

      1. Oh thanks for answering looooong booooring comment, both of you! I feel a bit “relieved” and more confident concerning my language issue 🙂

        V I love Greek, my best friend here in Belgium is from Thessaloniki and I love to hear him talk! You should make a video with you speaking this beautiful language once 😀 (if you already did it I apologize, I think I missed it!)

        Thanks again 🙂

        1. Al, glad to put your mind at ease. How fascinating that you love to hear Greek. I actually always wonder how it sounds to other people. You ever wonder that, what Italian sounds like? Well, it sounds just lovely, actually. I bet you already do know that!

  10. I am so glad that you were just busy. For a moment, I thought you might be ill…
    Thank you sooooooooooooooo much for liking me, and my blog. To me, you are not only witty, kind, generous and inspiring; you are nealy family.
    Have a fabulous day!!!!
    Mil besos corazón.

    1. Awwwwww! Thank you too, my lovely. You are so sweet and I just absolutely adore you! I’m good, and I hope the same for you.

  11. Love your responses V. Your voice is always true and while you might not sugar coat things, it is always upbeat which I think is so important – we all have enough going on in our own lives without having to be brought down by negative bloggers.

    This week’s topic really made me think. That’s great! 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you Emily…I enjoyed your responses as well.

      “we all have enough going on in our own lives without having to be brought down by negative bloggers”…and people…AMEN, sista!

  12. I’m glad you’ve surfaced! I was hoping you were OK. Your week sounds crazy, but at least now you can tell the story of how you survived!

    I think everyone in FBFF should just start reading your blog for the most thought-out answers each week. Without fail, you always seem to put into words what I am trying to say 🙂

    1. Suze! So thrilled to see your name. Thank you for your sweet comment. You are too kind. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just too wordy and in-your-face in my responses, but when I read comments like yours, it reinforces that being me is a good thing. That people appreciate my particular approach to all this. That’s good. Even when dealing with negative topics or emotions, I want to find a positive outcome.

      I hope you are OK. I know that it might be a long time before you are. Just know that we’re all here for you.

      1. Thanks V 🙂 I’m still not fully OK. Working on it, with the knowledge it’s going to take some time to get used to things.
        Thanks for all the support these past few weeks- it means a lot.

  13. Hi sweetie. I really want to have you seated in my sofa, so we can kick back, have some wine/coctails/brownies/sushi and laugh and share and be knackered together. The doorbell will ring and in a massage-therapist will come (its a tale of magic realism, I have no idea really who has invited him, but nevermind), and as we enjoy massages we can exchange frustrations before a full mani/pedi (and mustachremoval for me lol) before our natural good spirits take over and we laugh at the crazyness of it all :).

    You are absolutely authentic, like I have said before, even though we haven`t met I feel you, distinctively YOU. You are a lovely friend, I trust you, care about you, think about you often, and feel touched by your other va va VOOOM (hello girlcrush ;D) but even more so by your inner beauty and integrity and sass and smarts and funny and voulnerability and HIKING (so glad you made it lol, loved chatting with you), and all the rest of you that I love discovering. I hope you take care and rest up. I know I need to too, def need to balance some things in my life. Soon you will be back to blogging feeling energized my love. Sending you big kisses and hugs, and say hi to the hubby. <3

    1. Please, Anika, I WANT to be on your sofa, now. Girl talk and massages…yes! Thank you for that little escape. No matter that it’s fictional, it suited the purpose!

      And thank you for your words of support, today and always. I ALWAYS smile when I see ANIKA! I truly do. A big hug to you, sweetpea. Mwah!

      1. It did the trick for me too darling <3! I understand your dilemma with answering to all of our comments love, not easy when it is so time consuming, but I so love you for wanting to interact with us all. Just know that we all understand I am sure, hope you don`t spread yourself to thin. Today I am working on diciplining my self to not worry so much (big changes may be coming in my life, or I need to create them with regards to my marriage and worklife), but worrying is such a waste, so I am trying to be in the moment, and vizualise lovely things that give me strength, like us arm in arm somewhere fun! <3 lots of love and kisses!

  14. it’s like i love you even more with every blog post and i didn’t even know that was possible.

    your week sounds INSANE. and it sounds a lot like some of the weeks i had during the blog off. so i know how you feel.

    but as always, you never fail to impress. your opinions are so smart, so logical, and so beautifully articulated that i marvel at them every time. i actually like your writing so much i never skim. i always read every word you write and often go back to read certain entries more than once. and your posts therefore stick in my head and months later i still recall my favorites and am able to link them when i’m talking about a topic that would just be incomplete without an inclusion to one of your posts.

    as it so happens, i’m working on something right now that is going to link you a bunch of times. so stay tuned for that. =P

    Kristy Eléna – Full Time Fabulous
    Vogue Gone Rogue

    1. You, you, you! Gah. Your comments always make me feel like I’m on top of the world. Thank you, koukla. I could very easily copy your comment and paste it back on a post of yours, and it would absolutely apply.

      It’s comforting to me to know that my ramblings are actually read by many people, that the length doesn’t scare them off. That tells me I’m applying all that stuff I learned in school accutrately. Yay! But seriously, thank you. It really means the world to me, especially coming from you!

      And another post that references me?! You’re a doll. Thank you in advance, for that too. And OMG, I CANNOT WAIT TO MEET YOU WOMAN!


  15. Oh my so much to say!! I am SORRY you are fried!!! I feel ya and I hate that our blogs sometimes suffer but I hope you get a little break soon!! You do have QUITE a commute! So Thank goodness it’s FRIDAY!!!
    I LOVE doing and watching vlogs and I couldn’t agree more that you REALLY get to see a person in video! And your hubby’s accent is AWESOME! I might watch the video again just to hear it! HA
    And what a beautiful hike! I am from Texas, so the closest thing we have to a mountain here is a semi-steep hill. Its true, it is sooooo flat. I guess it makes for a good running outside trail considering there will never be an incline!
    Happy Friday Lady!!!!

    1. Thank you Angela! I’m totally OK…it’s Saturday now and I just watched your Austin vid and it sets a nice tone form my day! Smiles and fun! Nothing better on a Saturday, or any day, for that matter.

  16. Sometimes the pressures of blogging are out there but I think that you can recover. You should also not worry about it. Life comes before blogging I always say!

  17. OMG Mr. grit and glamour has a beautiful accent!

    I’m glad you posted today. I was wondering if you would! Hope your upcoming week slows down a bit and allows you to catch a breath.

  18. Oh sending you many hugs! Yay for being “only human,” I’d hate to read the blog of someone who was more than human. Perfect blogs are just tooo boring!

    I LOVE hiking. I would love to do it in North Carolina someday. It looked gorgeous, and not nearly as much snow as we have here in Rochester.

    1. Hi Ashley, thank you. Yes, the snow in that shot wasn’t too much. But as we ascended, it was full-on. We actually had to turn back before we made it to the top of the mountain because it was so slippery and we didn’t have the right shoes on. Still, I know it’s comprehensively less snow than Rochester. That’s one great thing about NC…it’s not really too extreme in any of the seasons.

      Thanks for your comment!

  19. Amen! Blogger/Life burnout is very real and I hope you’ll take this weekend to recharge your battery.
    “Authenticity is truth. Attempting to claim any truth other than the real truth will get you every time” Love this V!

  20. I got flack recently for reccording a video saying that bloggers weren’t perfect… and I had to take a vacay from it all to “refresh”
    I love your FIRE… your “grit” is real… and I am a HUGE fan of real bloggers… great post

    Love this…


    1. Thank you so much, Yoli! Wanted to leave you a comment on your blog, but it seems you have comments disabled, which I can certainly understand. Welcome to G&G!

  21. I know what you mean. This semester I’m teaching (real job) and teaching (hobby), and I have a book contract for a very large book that’s due March 2012 that we have to get moving, and no less than five research publications either in my hands for editing or imminent, and a journal editor gig that’s sucking my time, and two conferences and two major dance workshops coming up. Plus the usual committee work. And keeping everything on track so after this batch of publications there will be another batch. Plus, it would be nice to exercise, and actually have substantial time to snuggle my cats, and read a novel once in a while, and go thrifting. When does blogging FIT INTO THAT???

    1. Lord, and I thought I had it bad! I don’t know how those in academia do it, really. You’re never allowed to just chill…you’re always writing and researching and editing in addition to your JOB! It’s madness! No one can accuse you all of being under-achievers, that’s for sure. Hope you can carve some time out for you, hon.

  22. V – glad you are back in action after that horrible week. And I totally understand what you are saying about so much of blogging that happens behind the scenes that no one knows about and therefore it’s easy for people to think you are totally MIA from the blogging world. This is hella hard.
    And of course, you are authentic. Between your videos and posts I’m sure if we ever get to meet you will end up being exactly as you portray yourself to be here.
    Thanks for taking the time to answer this week’s Friend Friday, especially since your week was so insane. Enjoy the weekend.

  23. Oh man, you poor thing. Life gets a bit mad like that sometimes! Have a nice relaxing weekend!

    I’ll have to watch the video at home (am at work, which is blocking). i am intrigued about the accent!

    and i loved your post, of course!

  24. Girl, if anyone can understand being completely fried it’s me (the queen of mutli-tasking! LOL) So no worries because there was enough awesomeness on this blog to hold us over until you’re return! 🙂

    You made a great point about the vlogs. I think that is an excellent tool in relating to your readers and having them see you as you really are. And at the end of the day it’s all about being yourself that will make you stand out from the millions of other bloggers out there!

    1. Hey sweetie, thank you! You always leave me such kind comments, and I do appreciate it! Going over to see you now.

  25. Totally agree with all you have to say on blogger authenticity. I actually got repeated messages from a blogger asking me to vote for her (on twitter, IFB, email, etc) and she NEVER commented back on any of my posts and hasn’t otherwise acknowledged my existence. It was pretty hard for me to see all the posts rallying support for her during the competition because I was like ‘what? she only got in touch with me to ask for votes!’ Anyway…

    Hope life calms down for you soon! My last *month* has been sort of like that, with event after event to attend, barely any time to sleep, and somehow getting launched into the role of Family Secretary which isn’t easy since my family is HUGE and I have to be everything to everyone and help them all with their actual office work (and they all work in different sectors/businesses/offices) GAH! The only way I keep up with the blogging world is by staying up late at night!

    1. Hi lovely! Thank you for your comment. I know what you mean about staying up late to keep up. I used to do that. A lot. But with all the other stuff, I just have to let it go sometimes. I know you know how I feel too!

  26. I absolutely adore this post! As a new blogger myself I find it hard sometimes to really hone in on what MY blog will be about. I do not want to just post photos of myself or just talk about runway shows. I wanted to somehow incorporate my love for dance, philosophy, fashion and beauty all into one universal open book! I agree with what you are saying about authenticity. There will always be 100hundred Glamourais but there can only be one YvonnaLivianna and my job as a blogger is to find who that person really is and bring her out. With the help of bloggers such as yourself and Kristy new bloggers like me do not have to feel pressured to write about the “typical fashion world”. We can venture out and really talk about anything and everything as long as it is true to us! Thank you for being that inspiration!!

    Twitter: @YvonnaLivianna

    1. Thank you so much, honey! I love knowing that new bloggers are being exposed to the realities of blogging, with a positive spin, of course. As you said…there is NO ONE LIKE YOU! Just keep being yourself and you will be just fine!

  27. Wow, V!!! What a crazy, hectic schedule you’ve had. In a weird way, I envy you for that because my job is SO SLOW right now, I’m sick of looking at the computer screen playing solitaire. I’m glad to see you back!! I always enjoy reading your blog. I totally agree with you that communication and interaction is so important. How else can you feel a sense of community and get to know who your readers are if you don’t?? Your new header looks amazing 🙂


    1. Thank you Kirstin! Communication is key for me…but I wish I could clone myself because I can’t keep up with all the amazing comments you and so many leave here. I feel the need to respond substantially to each. Y’all aren’t giving me one-liners, you know? So I’m trying to figure it out the best that I can. Anyway, thank you, and glad you like the header!

  28. Vahni –
    What an honest post – as usual. Blogging is time-consuming, some days more than others. My posts are never as verbose as yours and sometimes it takes me forever to get the words out and on the page. Your prose always seems to flow and is so well-thought out > you amaze me.
    Thank you for the effort and time you put into your blog. You make me aspire to be better and do more with my own blog. I have yet to do a FF post – I keep telling myself “Yeah – I need to do this next week.” The week goes by and there the tweets are going wild with everyone’s FF post. I am left kicking myself for getting caught up in my life and forgetting about FF! Got a mind like a steel sieve! 🙂
    I think your authenticity shines out like a beacon in your writing – you seem to be such a strong personality, I don’t think you could hide YOU if you tried. And I mean that in the BEST of ways!
    Have a relaxing weekend and I hope next workweek is easier on you!

    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne. I think you have summed up my personality pretty well, actually.

      As far as making time…well, Missy, you’re kind of one of those Type A people (like me), and you set the bar high. So sometimes it’s hard to get it all in. So you do what you can, right?

  29. I know where you are coming from V. For a while I was saying there is not enough hours in the day because if you have a life outside of blogging it’s easy to say you will schedule time to do this or that with your blog and then something comes up. It really is okay, even though it gets hectic I have been trying to put posts in the hopper so to speak but that’s easier said than done.
    It snowed here in Missouri yesterday and we had about 9 to 10 inches, so beautiful. My hubby and I had so much fun with the doggies so I know that your hike was cool. I enjoy hiking, we do not have mountains but we have parks that have cliffs and steep terrain.

    1. Hi JT, thank you! Wow…that’s a lot of snow. People here would freak!

      I agree with using scheduled posts…if only I had time to write them up so I could schedule them!

      Need to come see you. Long overdue.

  30. Fantastic post I wondered why when I kept checking back I had noticed there had been no update now I know why. I feel I can relate to your post quite well. I’ve been finding it tough recently to juggle blogging, work life and also spending time with my girlfriend. There is always something I could be doing on my blog that sometimes it ends up getting put off. The latest being my plan for a facebook page.

    In terms of your friend friday questions, again I actually like the fact that you stop following someone if they don’t interact with you. I have a similar stance, I love helping others grow and spreading the love but if it ends up consistently getting ignored in the end I’d take my love, wrap it up and give it to someone that appreciates it. I guess thats why I like commenting on blogs that are quite lowkey because I know the author really appreciates the comment where as on some of the bigger blogs, your comment just gets lost in the crowd.

    Keep doing your thang


    1. HAAAAAAAA! Love it. I’m gonna keep doing my thang! Thanks, Arash. I can always count on you to be real and say straight up what you are thinking. That’s the great thing about a guy’s voice here…no B.S., and I appreciate it!

      And I’d take my love, wrap it up and give it to someone that appreciates it too. I love that. Cheers!

  31. I’m sorry to hear that you are so slammed with crazy busyness right now, V! I hope things calm down for you soon, so that we can see more of your gorgeous outfits and read more of your fantastic posts, but mainly for your stress level.

    I enjoyed your take on these questions, and there are few things that irk me more about blogging than people who don’t reciprocate.

    1. Thank, doll! I’ve finally got an outfit queued. for this week. Nothing fancy…but I finally got a second to shoot photos without potentially breaking my neck on ice and snow!

  32. Wow, and I thought I had a bad week. It was mentally exhausting just reading the “week in review” paragraph. Mine was quite similar, except you can replace each of those “walk 1.5 hour” comments with “eat a pint of Ben and Cherry’s Cherry Garcia (in the evening – not first thing in the AM!) and the crazy work items with government proposals. Hence, like you, not much time for blogging, and what I have done, like you, has been mostly behind the scenes!

    As usual, I agree with your points on authenticity. I think when a blogger is authentic their personality informs their content, good or bad. I don’t hide who I am in real life, and I don’t hide it on my blog either (well, except for my face, does that count?!) Great answers, V!

    As for your social media… that looks like Digg Digg that you finally settled on, is that right? I added it earlier this week as well, not sure how I feel about it yet. I still love Sexy Bookmarks!

      1. Thank you, B! We’re always in agreement, aren’t we? I love that. Are you a Cancer, by chance?

        RE: social sharing plugins. Just after that post went live, I finally found something I’m 95% happy with: Socialize. It is the cleanest, most predictable format I’ve tried yet. I like Digg Digg, but it was just too spotty. Sexy Bookmarks was very, very good. But I’m kind of digging being able to see where and how many people are sharing posts, so I’ve chosen to go with counters. I wish Sexy Bookmarks offered that option.

        Anyway, thanks again for the tweets and your comment. And yeah, that Aussie accent is pretty killer!

        A lovely weekend to you!

  33. I know that regardless of how fried my brain is that I will be sure to find some sense on your blog. And once again, you prove me right… I wonder sometimes how some can manage to be so inauthentic yet remain blind to the fact; wondering why their page views are diminishing or subscribers withdrawing. I realise how easy it must be/seem to fabricate an image for one’s online persona but this devalues the ideals of commune that we bloggers often mention. I could happily spend all day reading magazines without noticing the lack of a personal voice but I sure notice it when I am faced with someone’s personal blog. If I am investing my time in you, either brain-frazzled or freshly awoken, I want some authentic content back as pay-off.

    I am of course out not pointing a finger at a certain type of blogger. This is applicable to all and not just those with a journalistic leaning, those of us who mainly posts OTD cannot escape. We all need to remember that what we do should be borne out of what we desire to do whilst being true to our authentic voice.

    Get some rest V and as an aside as someone with what one could call toxic family members, I try not to schedule more than one stressful family dinner a season – no-one deserves that much stress 😉

    1. Aw, thank you Milly! What a sweet comment.

      “If I am investing my time in you, either brain-frazzled or freshly awoken, I want some authentic content back as pay-off.” AMEN. And some love on occasion too!

      You are right with the stressful family stuff. To be avoided at all costs!

  34. Great post, love the honesty! I agree, I dislike when someone wants something and they NEVER visit my blog, tweet at me, etc.. so annoying. And I dislike generic comments on my blog just to get a visit, so weird. And sometimes, yes, the cheesy outfits can be alarming, but I usually see the effort they put in and I think that can be kind of cute. Bad grammar all over the place, yeah I’m usually not interested anymore, unless it’s a translation thing, then all is forgiven. Have a great weekend, get some hikes in so you can destress!

    1. Hi sweetpea, thank you! You are right in that there is something to be said for the effort and intent of a blogger. Even if something’s off or not particularly to my liking I try to find one positive thing to say. I don’t mean to sound harsh, though it is true that I have a short attention span. But I try to be open minded. If they’re trying and conversing with me, then I try to show them the same respect.

  35. V, I was wondering where you were! Glad to hear everything is okay.

    “So many of us adore celebs and designers, but because we rarely interact with them on a personal level, sometimes they almost don’t seem real.” – Totally agree! One of the things that I love about reading style blogs vs. magazines is the ability to get to know the person who’s behind the blog. The more the blogger’s personality shows in their writing/photos, the more I tend to come back to read. I applaud your honesty in this post. I have such admiration for people who are versed in photography. One of the things on my 2011 to-do list is to invest in a DSLR & learn more about photography.

    Enjoy your weekend! Take some time for you. It sounds like you need some R&R.
    Take care,

    1. Thank you Melissa! I have admiration for those versed in photography too…I have no clue what I’m doing half the time! But I will tell you that a DSLR is a very good investment.

      Thanks for your comment, honey!

  36. Oh “V,’
    What a wonderful and very truthful post! I entirely understand how you feel about some bloggers who don’t show the love back, I had the same incident happen to me about one asking repeatedly about contests!

    As for style photos for blogs, I agree with what you said. WOW! There’s so many blogs like that out there, but for some of those blogs all that is posted sadly are little or no text other than the brand name… I like seeing different ways people wear items, but I truly appreciate reading a blog like yours with mixed media, good content, & unique style, etc.
    These past weeks I’ve been a bit out of of the blogosphere, because of work related chaos, it is quite difficult to get back into the swing of blogging regularly! But, I simply love reading your posts and many other bloggers as well!

    Thanks for this, Rock-star blogger, “V.” 🙂

    1. Wow, thank you Madison! You are so sweet. What a fantastic comment. Thank you so much!

      It is tough to maintain the blogging momentum when life is throwing you curveballs. But that’s the lovely thing about blogging. When you connect with your readers, they stick around!

  37. Sounds like a crazy week. My crazy week has been snowed out…but next week, it will hit. A couple of bloggers have commented on the disconnect between a person’s tweets and their blogs. I’m still figuring Twitter out and it makes me a bit afraid of it now.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Terri. I can’t imagine that you have anything to worry about on Twitter. I find all my interactions with you and all your comments to be genuine and uplifting.

      1. Ha! No worries. I totally know how you feel, digitally and literally. But I loved your comment…made me smile! Thanks, Kristina! And I am counting down the days, doll! Countin’ em down!

        Rest up. Life is hard for overachievers, this I know. But the reward is sweet!

  38. Not going to lie, I feel slightly intimidated by this post, by why you stop following blogs. 🙁

    I’m sorry you feel burnt out. I definitely agree with your idea that admitting weakness’s and strengths make bloggers seem more real.

    1. Aw sweetie, please don’t feel intimidated. I mean no harm…I was just speaking my truth. I left you a comment on your blog. I really try to be as supportive as I can of everyone I meet in the blogosphere. I’ve just made so many new connections, it’s hard to keep up. But when someone shows me kindness and attention, I always respond, because I really do appreciate it.

  39. Hi girlie… said it…blogging IS hard work. Your hard work definitely shows here on your blog. It is always looking great . I totally agree with all of your answers….and you are right…it’s not that hard to stop by and acknowledge someone who leaves you a post every now and again. I’m with you babe!
    Have a great night!!

    1. Thanks Collette! That is so sweet of you! And yeah, the blog love MUST be reciprocal in my book. Who likes unrequited love?

  40. If it wasn’t already obvious that you’re a rockstar that paragraph about your week certainly proved it. And the hiking video. You might just be my hero.

    I totally agree re: blogger authenticity. It sounds like such an easy thing, but it’s amazing how wrapped up one can get in the perfection of it all, this blogging thing. There’s that temptation to fake it out and just build your dream life and pretend everything is rainbows and friggin’ butterflies, but I think there’s bound to be an emptiness in that. I get sucked into it now and then, but mostly I think it stems from my desire to make my blog my ultimate Happy Place. I don’t want to go there and be faced with a bunch of ranting sessions about some irrelevant drama or another going on in my life. But I also don’t want to see something that isn’t completely me, my life and my true self. I think it takes a lot of fine-tuning to find that perfect balance.

    Anyway, thank you for yet another insightful and honest post. xo

    1. Thank you, Casee! You are so right…it is very easy to get wrapped up in the perfection of blogging. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t constantly wishing I had a BF/photog who had nothing better to do than take pictures of me…perfect ones! Not that I want someone other than Hubby, but you know, he’s got his own life and feeding MY blog ain’t it.

      Like you, I have come to accept what my blog is and what my intentions are. And like you, I want it to be a happy and INCLUSIVE place. I think you’re doing an amazing job in that department, doll!

  41. You have an excellent written voice and the overall compositional flow of the text in your posts (breaks, emphasis, links, etc.) always makes your information a joy to digest. Honestly, you are one of the very few bloggers that could write a mammoth post without photos and I would keep reading. Like you mention, you don’t delve too far into your personals but the real you always bubbles to the surface. You keep it fun and you’re very gracious, but you demand respect and don’t succumb to the BS – you’ll ALWAYS have a great following. I don’t always hold up my end of the bargain on commenting, but I’m always following your every post. But you don’t know how much I appreciate your responses and unlike myself, you never fail to make your presence known in my blogging life. This is a long comment and it really matters not if you respond, but in my book if someone is doing a great job at something they should be told about it.

    Also, after reading some of the above comments I see that I can safely admit that you fella’s accent is hotness!! I need to exercise my right as a passport owner stat! AND you made me realize that I need to upgrade from Iphone 3G to 4G – the video quality is really great!! I know that you mentioned before that you wanted to focus more on the video-editing aspect of things, but I do find that un-edited random snippets are nice to see too.

    If you’re that overwhelmed with life at the moment AND people are asking about you after a few days absence, then girl you are doing something right! Enjoy that ride 🙂

    1. Raven…thank you so very much. You comment means a lot to me. It tells me that the stuff I’ve learned in school and in conference and on the job is right and effective! I am verbose by nature, as a writer. And I’m a skimmer online, I have to admit…but that’s the ART of communicating on the Web. And there is a method to it, little things like all that chunking and subheading that is done for a reason: to keep readers actually READING!

      So I sincerely appreciate the time you did take to tell me that, and of course, I adore your vivaciousness and creativity!

      PS: Yes, I must admit the iPhone 4 is fantastic. My only beef with the video is that it’s too small on YouTube. I need to figure out if there is a way to change that. And I’m with you on not-so-click video. It’s actually a LOT of work. So I’d rather slap it up and get it out there than toil for hours on a cinematic masterpiece!

  42. Whew! Just reading about your week is making me tired…and I just woke up! Glad to have you back V. We missed you this week! The new header is gorgeous.
    I can’t thank you enough for the shout. That is truly one of the greatest compliments.

    I love when you wrote this:
    “Blogger authenticity is nothing more than being yourself. It’s not about what you own, what you wear, or how you look—but owning who you are, today—not who you want to be or who you were.”

    That’s exactly what I was trying to say to someone the other day but couldn’t find the right words. Thanks for summing it up so eloquently for me.

    P.S. I loved the shout out to the Canadian Rockies. Whoop! It was especially nice in that cute Aussie accent 😉 xx

    1. Hey you! Thanks, babe! HA! I forgot about the Canadian shout. Hubby and I are just dying to visit Canada. One day…I’m coming to see YOU!

      And of course I had to give a shout out to you. I find your voice to be one of the most authentic in my little circle. You aren’t afraid to own your beliefs and share them. Eloquently, of course.

  43. I’m so with you, blogging is totally fun and yet can be such hard work sometimes. It felt like hard work after being gone all weekend, coming back to a bout with food poisoning, trying to work on a more in-depth post, going back to work a day too soon… Bleh! That’s all I have to say. Then, I got a good night’s sleep, woke up refreshed and energized and it all came back together somehow. Being tired is the killer for me. If I’m not blogging well, I’m probably not doing anything else well, either. Lol!

    Eh, we’re all human, yeah? You win some, you lose some… Never forget to give yourself a free pass when you need it. (I tell myself this all the time.) Now if only I could get the Christmas ornaments put away. Sigh 😛

    1. Fabienne, thank you for your comment. Ouch! Food poisoning? I hope you are feeling better.

      I absolutely loved your last post, “Too close for comfort.” Are you on Twitter? Have you followed me under a name I can’t remember? I want to share your posts, and include your Twitter handle. Please let me know if I’m missing something!

  44. Finding the time to blog can be a hard task sometimes i may not have a job but i do have 3 lil ones under 9 so i feel your pain. As for autheticity you’d be one of the most authentic bloggers i know 🙂 keep up the good work girly 🙂

  45. I think you are doing an amazing job – I used to work in financial services too and regularly did crazy 100 hour weeks so I’m really amazed you get to blog at all and manage to maintain such a high standard. I love blogging but I just can’t do it 24 / 7 and need to keep it in perspective. I didn’t do this weeks FF post precisely because I was flat out doing other things that just needed to get done and I haven’t been able to read and comment as much as I have before. I think other bloggers who have more time to read, comment and post need to be more understanding too, that this is not possible for everyone and sometimes we go a bit quiet because our real lives outside blogging need living.

    1. Thank you my dear! It is tough getting to it, but I try to balance it all. The issue is that I WANT to be able to spend more time on it, because I love blogging and commenting! I think most bloggers are pretty understanding, but I think it does take time to build that loyalty and understanding.

      We all have times when we must pull back a bit. That’s OK. That said, when bloggers pull waaaaay back and don’t post for weeks or months, it leaves me scratching my head. I kind of wish they’d at least let their readers know that they’re going on hiatus, or never coming back. Lately I’ve noticed a lot of attrition.

  46. Hi V, thanks dear for the mention, and you know I LOVE you…
    Btw, I’ve been feeling so weird lately, yesterday night I had one of the worst anxiety attack ever, so please pardon if this comment is jumbled up.

    Blogging is indeed hard work, and I think I will take time off it for a while, at least until I’m more my self and not “crazy” anymore…

    Thank you Sweetie for being such a good friend, I hope we can be in touch and btw, your hubby’s OZ accent made me miss Sydney so much. I might go there again in June or July 🙂

    Love u Sweetie


    1. Jemina, you know I’ve told you this before: we’re here for you! Take the time you need. Nothing is more important than your health.

  47. I have been thinking of you when The Weather Channel and CNN tell me about all the snow in the Carolinas. Hope you’re surviving!

    When I was growing up in Michigan, to tell someone “it’s snowing down South” meant their slip was showing beneath the hem of their skirt or dress. It makes me giggle these days to think to myself, “it’s snowing down South. No really. It is!”

    I am sorry that my outfit shots continue to be pretty mediocre. I am really hoping to work on that in 2011. I don’t know what it is. I think I take some great pictures of small things that stay still, with me behind the camera so I can force the focus point. But even with a remote, I have trouble getting a clear shot, correct lighting, and a flattering angle when I photograph myself.

    1. Ha! Thanks, Sarah. We actually get snow almost every year, just not a ton of it. Enough to enjoy it and then two days later, it’s gone.

      I’ve found with outfit shots, I like a timer better than a remote. And you’ll notice I rarely look at the camera. I’m not comfortable looking at the camera, really. I feel kind of stupid. Maybe try a different approach, location, camera height? I continue to experiment.

  48. Bad grammar and sloppy quality irks me as well. I think that it shows a lack of care or pride in what you do. Sounds dramatic but it’s my pet peeve. Sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling to find a balance between juggling life/blog life lately, hang in there! We all have those days.

    1. Thanks, honey! I can see from the lovely organization and well-written copy on your blog that you take this seriously…that is fantastic! And half the battle. You would think it’s a given, right?

  49. The Nerf battle sounds like fun!
    I admire how you put yourself out there, especially in video format. For some reason, while I post dozens of photos of myself a month, I’m still not comfortable with video. I think it’s because I know I’ll have that horrible, inauthentic phone voice and use obscene amounts of hand gestures as I narrate. (But not obscene hand gestures. I’m fairly confident I can avoid those!)

    1. Thank you Vanessa! The Nerf battle was fun. We have automatic guns and something like 300 rounds of ammo in a belt. It is a BLAST, and I end up finding Nerf bullets around the house long after the guns have been put away til next time. They always make me smile.

      I can understand your reluctance with video…it’s not for everyone, and that’s OK. Video is tricky…I personally can’t take it unless I find the blogger really compelling, or the editing is top-notch.

  50. I cannot relate MORE with this post. I was all set up to do my first Friend Friday this week – but it just didn’t happen. I try not to beat myself up too much for seemingly being SO behind on just about every area in my life, but it really gets to me.

    You are so sweet for mentioning me! Seriously, you have no idea how flattered I am with your constant compliments and kindness. You rock at this blogging thing, and you are totally on my Most Geniune/Most Authentic list. Rock on, girl!

    And Mr. Stylish’s accent is more dreamy than I had imagined! And how do you ALWAYS look gorgeous? Even while hiking? I think I would die up on those mountains 😉 Seriously.

    Cannot wait for New York! I realize I say this every comment, but I just can’t contain my excitement! Woops 😉


    1. Thank you Erika…you know that just happens…sometimes life gets in the way. There have been weeks I’ve missed #FBFF for that very reason.

      Gorgeous while hiking? Lord, in an Old Navy vest and track pants? Oh well, thank you, doll. And HOLLA for NYC!

  51. V,

    Your blog never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes, I stop by to see one of your fabb outfits, to receive instead insightful words about yourself, that cause some self-reflection. As a reader of your blog (and newbie blogger), just want you to know that readers understand when life interferes with blogging and doesn’t make us think of unfollowing your blog. Though I am a wedding blogger, that tries to use fashion and style as a means of wedding inspiration, I find your blog to be a great resource. Hope this week allows you to do more blogging, and if not I will check back next week 🙂


    1. Thank you so very much, Roquelle. I appreciate your kind comment and am elated to know you find G&G worthy of your time!

  52. geez! well, i hope your weekend was an improvement!
    you are right; blogging is a lot of work. i have two blogs- my “fun” one (the style blog) and a serious one for my profession (artist). that’s not to say that the art blog isn’t fun, nor am i saying the style blog isn’t serious. they are. but i have to remember why i’m doing these blogs, and for whom. through trial and error and being organized, i’ve found a way to keep both going- but yes, it is time-consuming!
    i think you look pretty stylish, V, for climbing the mountains of NC!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! Yeah, my weekend was better.

      Clearly, you’re a busy lady too, so I’m thankful for the time you take to comment here on G&G.

  53. Gorgeous gorgeous girl, thank you for including me on this. You are one amazing blogger and not only am I so excited to meet you in person but I’ve really got to commend you for being such a strong and personable blogger. We all get the opportunity to relate to you, feel with and for you and learn from you as a wise woman! I’ve loved following your journey and you have become my blog hero, being true to herself and never doing things out of selfishness. There is something to be said for a woman of that caliber.


    1. Aw, thank you sweetpea. What a lovely comment…I am honored. I think you have a lot of wisdom, in life and blogging, and I must that your photos of late have been uncommonly good. You’re doing all the right stuff…I’m learning from YOU!

      And as I said to Erika above, can I get a HOLLA for NYC! Wooo hoo!

  54. i JUST discovered yours, and its so wonderful and refreshing to read! I totally know what you mean about unsubscribing and quality of blog posts! AND seeking out genuine personal style blogs…. I love to see fashion bloggers in outfits they actually wear, not just expensive garb contrived for 15 minutes of fame, but i digress! GREAT POST!

  55. I so totally feel your pain. I feel like this all the time. I have two kids, one of whom I am still trying to finish potty training, so trying to find time, for anything, is completely impossible (or feels that way). But when I get a chance to visit your blog I am always inspired and always learn something new. So I know you are insanely busy but keep up the excellent work! And hey, your audience loves you, we will wait for your next post, even if it’s a few days more than you intended in coming!

    1. Hi Jill, thank you! I cannot imagine trying to juggle two kids…you’re right. Time for anything is almost impossible. I have spent a LOT of time with my niece and nephew who are 3 and 6, and it is hard work. Hats off, mama!

      Thanks again for your sweet comment. I do sincerely appreciate it.

  56. I must say…there is always a reason why I love going back to your blog and read them…I love how it can improve your blogging styles and things that are totally wrong when you are blogging…I must admit I have some flaws…but I am trying to make things as neatly as possible….

    Being yourself is the best thing you can offer to your readers…because for me, most of the blogs have the same ideas, topics, photos and trends to show…I even saw some photos on big sites…so it would be fun to make something out of the ordinary…

    Thank you V for always inspiring a lot of us…


  57. I also want to add up…that we are in the same boat…when it comes being fried from you personal life…I have been trying to be productive lately but workloads are insane and the travel from work to home is totally not easy…so I have to add up to this…by saying…just hang on there…


    1. Thank you sweetie! Remember one thing: WE ALL HAVE FLAWS! I learn as much from so many of you as you do from me! I am flattered by both your support and comment. Thanks again.

  58. I feel for you! I’ve been pretty on top of mine recently, but it’s just because I’ve been able to take photos of things to post. I get panicky when I have nothing to say or post. Anyway, I’m glad you’re back from your week from hell. I do so love your blog and I miss you when you don’t post.


    1. Aw, thanks, Heather! I’m hangin’ in there. I have so many posts to write swirling around in my head. Hopefully I’ll get to them soon!

  59. boy oh boy, do I know the “fried” feeling. I have posted TWICE in the past two weeks and now that life is slowing down all I wanna do is sit in my bed and do nothing. (insert whining and moaning about wishing I could be a full time blogger here instead of spending “all my good days” working for some one else). Instead of writing my own crappy posts, I think I might just need to take a week of and catch up on all my favorite blogs! After two weeks, one more won’t hurt, right?

    Anyway, the hike looks lovely! I love hiking but Fabrice is not the outdoors type at all, so I have to brave those adventures with my girls.

    Oh, and I agree with you on the vlogs. You, in particular, have such a strong presence and your vlogs really capture it! They are what really drew me into your blog this past summer and I have been die hard fan ever since.

    1. Hey sugar…I have missed you! Clearly, I know how you feel! But we’re here for you, whenever you get a moment to post something.

      And thanks for the compliment about the vlogs. I do appreciate it! I seriously wonder often if I’m making a fool of myself on those things or not. At least I know I have one fan!

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