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Monday, June 18, 2012

One Year



So many colors in my closet compared to a year ago...

This month marks one year since I started this blog!  It's weird to say that because on one hand it feels like I started it just yesterday.  On the other hand, as I look back on the journey I recognize that it's been substantial.

I had some personal goals when I started, namely 1) to redefine my style and find a balance between casual and chic, 2) to build a mix-and-match wardrobe, and 3) if I could in any way, I hoped to maybe help anyone out there who felt frustrated with getting dressed in the morning and maybe even anyone who felt frustrated with themselves as a result.

It’s been a fun journey so far, both in superficial and profound ways.  On a superficial level, some of the ways my closet has changed are:

  • Went from a closet of “one-hit wonders” to a mix-and-match wardrobe.  I’m still trying to get better at this, but I’m proud of where I’m at right now.
  • I started wearing skirts again
  • There’s significantly more color in my closet.  My mom used to say to me on repeat, “You always wear dark colors.”  Those days are gone, Mom.
  • I own colored pants.  I actually know they exist now...
  • I discovered accessories beyond earrings
  • I think I found a balance of casual and chic that I’m happy with.  As long as I'm not mistaken for a college student (at nearly 30 years old) I'm happy.  But when I turn 40 I want you all to tell me I look 30.  Deal?

Beyond the closet changes, style blogging, as superficial as it can be, has actually caused a significant internal shift in me.  Yeah, I've learned a lot about building a wardrobe and how to wear colors and how to accessorize, but the most significant thing I've learned from style blogging was to be more myself.

Where do I even start?  Even though overall I've really enjoyed blogging about clothes, and even though the goals I had for the blog were personal, it was hard sometimes to keep all of that in sight.  Especially near the beginning, but even at times through out the whole year, there'd be a little voice inside of me that made me think that I needed to dress a certain way to be accepted in this silly world of style blogging.  I wanted to be like other people whose style I admired, and while I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing since we all need to be inspired somehow, sometimes I desired to be like others so much and in such a way that it kept me from being free to be who I am.  

But thank God for Pinterest.  I kept seeing pins such as the ones below, and while sometimes I think sayings like these are cheesy, this year they spoke to me loudly and led me to a sort of mantra for me this year: Be who you are.
On those ugly, lame days when I was consumed by what people--you all!--would think, like that an outfit was "too simple" or boring or that it wouldn't be liked because it wasn't awesome like how so-and-so dresses, I just told myself, "Stop being dumb silly about it.  Just be who you are."  While it wasn't necessarily easy to post the outfit after one of those conversations with myself, afterwards I'd feel an inkling of more freedom to just be who I am and nothing more or nothing less.

The funny thing is that I started saying that to myself in the context of posting outfits, but I found myself saying it in all other areas of life, too.  In my professional life, in social settings, in everything.  Whenever I had to do something and got caught up in how I'd be perceived, I said, "Just be who you are."  In a post a while back, when I turned 29 I alluded to how I feel the most rooted in myself that I've ever felt, and this is largely why.  I mean, I don't think I was marked by insecurity before this year, though of course I have things that I get insecure about, but I definitely feel a greater freedom than ever to just be who I am, whatever that means, to whoever.

I didn't expect a style blog to do that for me, but it's a pleasant and welcome surprise.  And I know I'll probably forever be learning to be more and more myself, but I'm thankful for this blog for having pushed me to this point.

I'm also extremely and sincerely grateful for all of you who read this blog and to those of you who take the time to comment.  I do read and appreciate every comment, and it's your comments that affirm and encourage me to "be who I am" especially on those days when I'm being dumb and it feels like a struggle to do so.

Like I said, it's not just about the clothes.  You guys have affected every part of my life and you encourage me to more fully be who I am and whatever it is that I have to offer the world.  Thank you.  Seriously.

I don't know what to expect from this next year of keeping up with this blog, but I can only hope that it'll be half as good as this year!



you are you
this is truer than true
there is no one alive
who is youer than you.
- dr. seuss

61 comments:

  1. WOW! I love your closet organization! I have got to get my closet looking more like yours!!

    adoredlife.blogspot.com

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  2. Congrats on one year of blogging! You are doing a great job and I love your mix and match posts :-)

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  3. Congrats on your blog anniversary! I really appreciated your post, at times I felt the same way as you did where I had to remind myself to just be myself in my blog... not to buy everything at the store as soon as it came out to keep up with all of the other bloggers and what not. It's good to always have that constant reminder that if you stay true to yourself, there's no one out there like you :) 
    ~Pau
    www.lilbitsofchic.com

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  4. congrats on one year of blogging!! and what a great reflection of what you've learned too!

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  5. This was such a great reflection! I've only been blogging 4 months and have noticed such a huge difference in my closet! I loved the part about discovering accessories more than just earrings! This is so inspiring and I can't wait to see what 8 more months will change for me!

    Britt
    The Secondhand Magpie

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  6. Happy blogiversary! I think it's wonderful how much blogging has helped you changed for the better in so many areas of your life!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart 

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  7. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary, and on all the personal breakthoughs you've had throughout the year!  I really empathize with you and struggling with some of those insecurities ... when I started my blog it was just "for fun" and to keep track of how my own style evolved ... I still believe that and remind myself of it constantly, but it's hard to not compare sometimes.  Your blog is one of my absolute favorites and I'm so glad you've stayed true to yourself, because that's what makes it so fabulous and unique.  Congrats again, lady! 

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  8. Kemi SorinmadeMonday, June 18, 2012

    Lovely and congrats. You've done very well in just one year. Need to get those hangers. I hear they help with maximizing space.

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  9. Aw, this was the sweetest post to read!  I'm very excited to hear about everything you've gained from your experience!  And your blog is a delight to me as well...keep it up.
    <3 Cambriajupefashion.blogspot.com

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  10. Congrats! I haven't commented on your blog before but I have been a faithful follower for quite a little while. Your honest and humble attitude shines through here and the very thing I like about your blog is the "realness" of your style. Your "Building a Remixable Wardrobe" series was so practical and helpful for me, and I love the "1 Piece Different Ways" series for the same reason. Keep up the great work, I really appreciate it.

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  11. This is such a sweet post! Congratulations on one year--what an awesome one it's been too! I love how you stay true to yourself. It sounds easy, but that is such a difficult thing to do. I'm so glad I found your blog this year, it's such an inspiration! Here's to many more years :) 

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  12. Congrats on one year blogging!  And thank you for being so brave to put everything (your emotions, doubts, successes) out for all the world to see. It is refreshing and it gives a voice to those (like me) not brave enough to do it. I definitely understand about feeling uncertain about being "you". My sis is a glamazon and fashion just comes naturally to her.  I, on the other hand, struggle with just putting a t-shirt and jeans together. But with your encouragement, I have started expand my horizons and went on a mini shopping spree. The outfits I'm putting together may not be to my sister's or anyone else's standards but I think they are a perfect reflection of me.  And this is me being true to me.  :-)  

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  13. LindsayJEverydayMonday, June 18, 2012

    What a wonderful way to look back and see how you have grown over the past year! Through inner struggles, you have grown and congratulations on staying true to you.
    I can't speak for everyone, but I know you have inspired me to look outside of my usual style "box" so, thank you Audrey!


    Lindsay @
    LindsayJEVeryday.blogspot.com

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  14. You are adorable- I love your blog and your style is put together (get it?:)) and attainable and I LOVE that! Thanks for being awesome!

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  15. Kelsey WilburnMonday, June 18, 2012

    that closet looks amazing! and congrats on cataloging your growth!
    kw, ladiesinnavy

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  16. congratulations on one year sweetie!!! i love all that you have accomplished and am looking forward to you blogging for many years to come! :)

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  17. I'm still in the process of really finding my style and turning my closet from a collection of one-hit wonders/hidden thrifted-and-yet-to-be-altered clothes to one that I am content with &makes me feel good. It's really inspiring to see how far you've come and that to remind me to keep pushing through. Thank you :)

    Judy
    SecondGlimpses.blogspot.com

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  18. Happy anniversary!!  Birthday? Milestone!  I'm so glad I found you today, then!  I love your blog, and being that I found you through Pinterest...that makes it even better!  I just started a closet/style makeover and your series on remixing has given me such a spark!  I can't wait to put the kids to nap and tackle the closet!  Thanks for all the inspiration and you have a new follower in me!

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  19. I just started following your blog a few weeks ago.  I've loved seeing all of your different CUTE and stylish combinations, and that you strive to be modest at the same time.  AND, I LOVED this post about being yourself.  Thank you!!

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  20. Congrats on one year of blogging!  I just celebrated one year of blogging too!  Must be something about June! :)

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  21. Congrats on one year! And my, how your blog has grown and your style blossomed :) here's to an even better year ahead!

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  22. Natasha CampbellMonday, June 18, 2012

    That's the best realization to come to. I'm striving to get there, both in my closet and my life. Thanks for the inspiration. Congratulations! 

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  23. It's my first time on your blog and I love it :) New follower!

    xo,
    janmloves.blogspot.com
    I'm having a $50 Shabby Apple Gift Card Giveaway on my blog!

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  24. What an amazing blog post!!! I love it- and you. It's amazing how much a blog about clothes can change it. It makes you more conscious of things. It makes you believe in yourself, and have confidence, even on days when you really don't! I love this post. Seriously. I am keeping it pulled up so I can reread it tonight!

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  25. Thank you, Bonnie!  Style blogging can really make you think some weird things, sometimes, can't it?  You always look fabulous, though.

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  26. Thanks, Kemi!  I got the hangers from Costco, but they have them at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, etc. too.

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  27. Wow, thank you so much for all that you've said.  And thank you for having followed along this whole time!  :)

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  28. I love hearing that you're feeling more confident about the outfits you're putting together!  

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  29. Hahaha I love: "annivesary...birthday? Milestone!" because I didn't really know what to call it either.  I liked the word you landed on--milestone.  Anyway, thanks for your encouragement, and good luck with your closet!

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  30. Congratulations on your one year mark. (: You seem to have done amazingly well for your first year and I can only imagine the next one will also be great! Also... that's one of the best Dr. Seuss quotes ever.

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  31. Happy one year!!! 

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  32. CCs_Cheap_ChicMonday, June 18, 2012

    Congrats!
    You've done such a great job on your blog over the last year, can't wait to continue to see your style progress. I've had much the same experience in that some how blogging has given me more confidence. A completely unexpected, but most welcome side effect. 

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  33. Hooray for one year of Putting Me Together! I've enjoyed following you for much of this year and learning about remixing - LOVED the Remixable Wardrobe series! You inspired me to take a good look at my closet and re-assess my style (I'm still a work in progress for sure!) - and I just completed my first 30-in-30 remix challenge. Looking forward to another awesome year. And, I like you because you are YOU. :)

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  34. Congratulations on your one year anniversary!! I discovered your blog recently and I have to tell you that I just love it -- it's probably the most relatable, down-to-earth, effortless style blog that I read. I love getting inspiration from different sources but your blog is the most applicable to my own budget and style. I especially love your remixable wardrobe series; you've given me so many awesome ideas to strive for with my own slowly evolving closet! So please know that there are lots of people out there who appreciate you for you :)

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  35. Congrats on one year!!! You have inspired me to buy more colored bottoms. Before you, it was just dark wash jeans in my closet. Thanks for the inspiration in both fashion and in staying true to who I am :)

    www.daisyraeboutique.com
    www.kacieskloset.blogspot.com

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  36. Wow, congratulations on blogging outfits & sharing your evolving style for a whole year! What great lessons you've learned along the way. Your style help wardrobe series is a stand-out for me!  

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  37. Congrats, and thanks for this lovely post! I love your blog, and your sense of style :)

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  38. Yay for you! I just recently started following your blog, but I have to say I love it already. I'm not a big risk taker when it comes to fashion, but your blog is helping me to slowly break out of my fashion shell. Your style seems realistic and gives me something to aspire to! So thanks... :)

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  39. Oh Audrey, you're so awesome. I'm glad you started your blog and we became blog buddies :)

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  40. Congrats on the 1 year anniversary! Im so glad that you are you :)

    xo Teresa
    www.delightfullydarling.com

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  41. I can't tell you how much I love this post. I think I start most of my comments off by saying that, but wow. I love this. Happy blog-birthday! :) I can so relate, blogging can be so full of craziness, but I feel like I've been on the same journey as you...learning to be more myself, be more rooted in myself as you put it. I love reading your blog!!

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  42. I've been reflecting on what blogging brings to my life lately too - and came up with similar conclusions. Sometimes I feel like having a blog might be a superficial or self-centered thing to do, but figuring out who I am as a blogger has really contributed to figuring out who I am as a person, and gaining confidence in that person. And that's awesome. Reading blogs and being part of the community has helped too - including yours, big-time! So it's great to hear how it's brought growth to your life too. Looking forward to seeing what you've got in store for the next year :)

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  43. Congratulations! I hope you continue blogging for a long time!

    backtofive.blogspot.com

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  44. Congratulations on your 1 year blog anniversary! I throughly enjoy your style and blog!

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  45. you are beautiful (inside and outside)

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  46. Happy One Year! I've really enjoyed seeing your style evolve and I've learned a lot in reading - thanks for sharing this part of you :)

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  47. yourfaceislikethesunshineTuesday, June 19, 2012

    lovely post!

    and happy birthday!

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  48. i love who you are! and i love reading about your style. it's helped my wardrobe too. 

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  49. I just came across your blog today, but I am very glad I did.  Happy Blogiversary!  I just celebrated my own about a month ago and can definitely relate to many of your points.

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  50. Happy one year!! Your posts are inspiring!

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  51. Congrats Audrey...love your blog!

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  52. Hi Audrey, I chanced upon your blog about 3 months ago, and it's changed the way I shop. I'm more intentional about my purchases now, and the concept of remixing has been nothing short of a revelation. I used to constantly feel like I didn't have anything to wear since I used to pair all my tops with dark blue/black jeans. Now that I have more versatile bottoms, I see so many more options when I open my wardrobe. I can't believe you just began a year ago! What a journey, and how glad I am that I found you! And like you said, the new found confidence spreads to other areas of life as well. I'm comfortable with going on a shopping diet now that I see how many outfits it's possible to put together with what I have. So here's to you, to inspiration and positive change! Thank you! :)

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  53. Happy 1 year!  Time for some boba to celebrate! :)  I found your blog a few months after you started it and I've enjoyed reading ever since!  Looking forward to your future posts!

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  54. Celebrate with boba! I like how you think.

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  55. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I'm in love! The fact that you're real and honest is really what keeps me reading. It may be a simple outfit, or a way to wear a scarf or whatever, but it helps me look at my wardrobe in a new way. For someone living on a law school spouse budget but who also loves shopping, this is really helpful! I can't wait to see more outfits from you in the next year! Congrats on the anniversary!

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  56. It is truly amazing what one year can do in this bloggity world, isn't it? Happy 1 year bolg-oversary! 

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  57. HAPPY ONE YEAR, Audrey!!!!!!! I love you, your heart, and of course, your remixing skills! So glad that we get to be blog friends :) 

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  58. Happy anniversary!  Your approach to style has completely changed how I think about clothes. I've always felt less than stylish, but I found your blog a few months ago and I'm starting to actually like my wardrobe. I shop differently, and think differently about putting outfits together, and that's thanks to you. I even bought a belt that wasn't just to hold my pants up! Please don't feel like you're somehow inferior to other style blogs. I LOVE your practical, economical, and casual approach to style.

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  59. Katie, that's awesome! I love hearing how your wardrobe has been changing!

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  60. After I read this post, I felt an "ahhhh" moment (not to be confused with an "aha" moment but practically as blissful). I just started my blog and love the creative outlet but find myself trapped in guilt and competitive inner musings. I will keep at it though and take your words to heart. Thank you for telling your story!

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  61. Yes!  The greatest gift you have to offer the world is yourself.  I'm reminding myself of that often!

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