Dirty Laundry or Highlight Reel?

September 10, 2013

Denim on Denim Real Chat

^^ That time I forgot my shirt for the photoshoot and looked like a John Lennon groupie? ^^

This is a question I have been mulling over in the past few weeks. This topic has been discussed over the blog world time and again and its good to think through. I see bloggers taking a stand against the perfectly curated life and revealing it all; un-edited photos, real stories from the dirty laundry pile, and honest discussions. I think it is riveting, refreshing, and important….

I also know that it is in my nature to want to uplift and encourage. I don’t like to dwell on the negative and always assume no one wants to hear it either. This is why I have fallen somewhere in the middle. I have written my fair share of One Truth or Real Chat posts, and have loved learning from you all in the process. I often wonder what is the best route to go when writing this blog. I received this note from a dear friend the other day and it came at just the right time. Its important to not hide your joys just as it is important not to hide all of your sorrows. So I would love to hear from you all. What is your perspective on the content bloggers share?….

Why do you come to a blog?

What do you look forward to reading?

Would you rather escape to a highlight reel or engage in someone’s real life scenarios?

I know I have sites I look forward to visiting that are on both spectrums. Its nice to read through stories I can personally relate to or even laugh at someone’s comical mishap. They can be encouraging on their own! However, its also nice to escape a hard day to some of my favorite style and design blogs. And there’s always pinterest…;)

The question I always ask myself which I hope translates through this blog, is how have I helped someone today? Have I promoted the good? Have I encouraged the struggling? Have I shared something I truely love? Honesty, Authenticity, and Creativity are what I value most in this space and I hope you can always sense that. Although I also hope you can smack me upside the head if I get to lofty. Sound good?

Leave a Comment

  • Anna,
    I love your blog!! I am not fashionable, but love the way your photography brings me to Atlanta to see you and your family, and someone “pulling off” styles I’ve never imagined I would enjoy seeing so much! ๐Ÿ™‚ I, too, have a mix of blogs, some for humor, some for uplifting, some for crafting, all for enjoyment! I think that your mix of Real Chat and One Truth posts mix in the perfect blend (for me) of what you are dealing with, and yet I still see that you are aspiring to the beauty!

  • I love a little of real life and a little of the highlighted reel. One of the things that attract me to Pinterest and blogs is “the possibilities”. I love looking at the perfect home, kids activities, home décor, holiday foods, perfect outfit, etc. It inspires me to try different things I wouldn’t normally try. I feel that the real life stories are important too…. When I have that bad day with my son or my perfectly planned day doesn’t go right, it is nice to know its not just me and it does not make me a bad parent/wife. I like to see other moms and women with their guards down and makeup off ๐Ÿ™‚ It reassures me no one is perfect and we are all in this crazy life together, making mistakes and supporting each other as the loved women we are.

    • Jess, I am the same way. I like to find new ideas and ways to try new things. However, its so good as a woman to hear the real life issues we all go through. Thanks for the great feedback friend!

  • I love being able to read real life scenarios that I can relate to. Even if someone’s life seems more organized or manageable, if the basics are the same it gives me ideas for me to get my life in order. That perfect balance of having a crazy life, but coming to terms with it and finding ways to cope is what I like to see most. I find that in your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Personally I don’t especially like enjoying my sad moments, but not because I want to sugar coat my life or anything like that but more because I’m not good at expressing sorrows. My blog is not much about my life either anyway so I try to keep it as light as possible, while my life isn’t necessarily as happy. Having said that when it comes to me reading blogs, I like seeing both the good and the not so good, but I tend to avoid reading nagging blogs. I like reading about the laundry, or real life but I don’t especially want to hear about every single one of everyone’s problems… I think you manage to keep the perfect balance Anna and I really enjoy your beautiful curated photography!

    • Helena, maybe that is why I avoid talking about hard issues because I don’t like to stay in those moments. And when I have a load of my own, I usually would rather spend my time reading something that will lift me out the funk. That being said, its so nice to read a post that you can relate to or learn from how others endure trials.
      Thanks for your thoughts sweet friend!

      • I’m so with you guys on this one. I consider myself a positive person and when things aren’t the greatest I don’t like to dwell on that or document it, if you will. I want my blog to be real but a happy place for me. I’m doing my best to keep it realistic without having to air all my dirt laundry, cause I don’t really want to relive that!

        Your blog is a beautiful balance, you have a very real voice and I appreciate your honesty and openness. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  • I love a good mix of both! If you are down, write about real life and how you’re getting up…If you see or do something pretty, write about that. If real life is just feeling absolutely awesome, don’t feel bad about delighting in God’s goodness in that place.

    I read blogs to learn about life in other places…So, that’s what I like to read. Whatever your life holds is what I come to read, anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • i think i try to do the same.

    i show pretty things but at the same time, i’m honest when things are scattered and messy… which they are a lot of the time ๐Ÿ™‚

    and the thing is, i know that no one’s life is perfect! i don’t know why blog readers have this tendency to harp on others’ “perfect lives” when we should know that there are seasons to life– our life and others. there are times when i do feel like yay– my house is clean! (for once!) i’m feeling good about relationships and my business… but then there are other times when i’m up to 1 a.m., the dark circles under my eyes are deepening and i haven’t done laundry in weeks… and i’m pulling things out of the hamper to wear, I’m feeling at a loss with faith or a friend– and that’s just how it is. Seasons of life! And everyone has their struggles– the older i get, the more I know how true this is!

    • Amen! Every life has its seasons, and its important to be supportive of each other when things are going well and encouraging when things are rough. That is the great thing about this blogging community, right? Thanks Erika!

  • I think you consistently perform a beautiful balancing act, Anna, and I love it. I try to find a good mix of positive/beautiful and real life in my blogging too….but I tend to think that, like you, it’s usually better to uplift and find the good even in the hard things. So when I do write about something I’m struggling with, I try to frame it in terms of my faith, and His promises, and the fact that we don’t have to face the ugly side of life on our own. That way, I think (I hope!) I’m maintaining honesty without becoming negative or gloomy. Because chances are, someone else is feeling the same way and needs to hear that exact verse that is bringing me comfort, or needs that song or activity that is bringing me peace.

    Also, I definitely don’t think you ever have to feel guilty for absolutely loving your life and proclaiming it from the rooftops! You are so blessed and you should be sharing your joy!

    Hope this feedback helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I enjoy a little of both. I think each writer that shares from the heart does a great service to us all. What I look for the most in a blog is an authentic voice and I think your trifecta of authentic, creative and honest is what draws me to blogs again and again.

  • I think you have a good combo going. I like the happy photos, thoughts, etc., and have stopped reading blogs that are constantly depressing/whiny… but I do think it’s a good idea to remind us every once in awhile that you have off days/bad parenting moments (or whatever!) just like everyone else. I know this in my head, but it’s easy to forget this when you just see everyone’s pretty moments all the time, you know?

  • I’ve wrestled with that question too and have taken a blog-break to focus on other creative outlets while I sort it out. : ) I love the mix you share here Anna, and honestly, I read blogs to simply be uplifted & gain inspiration. Everyone has their own struggles & daily battles, so it’s kind of refreshing to have an online space that can share beautiful things without apology. There is always pressure to be either perfect or imperfect, but I really believe that genuinely sharing whatever you are passionate about is a worthy thing!

  • Hi Anna,

    I like both! I think the way you do it is just right: 85% beautiful images that spark our imagination or inspire us, and then 15% (or less) of the not-so-perfect reality behind. I think it’s great to have a balance of both, because the bits of “reality” are like the grain of salt that make the rest of it somehow more real or accessible.

    I also think most readers know that none of us lives in a perfect world and that we all struggle in different ways… so we already assume it’s not always perfect all the time. Um, I guess just speaking for myself… I have zero angst about not living up to the Pinterest-worthy lifestyle, and I find it hard to understand women who beat themselves up over that. As a reader, I love seeing the beautiful things bloggers can put together or create — it inspires me and honestly, it doesn’t make me feel any worse about myself. So I do appreciate the bits of “real talk” but I don’t feel like I *must see* that the blogger’s life isn’t perfect in order to feel better about my own imperfections. I just love to see talented people sharing their gift — it’s a joy to see it and it inspires me to try new things or develop a better appreciation for good taste.

    A couple days ago I wrote up a post precisely about the issue of narcissism in blogging… and the nutshell is that I think style bloggers are basically sharing an aesthetic vision, which is an act of giving — and I’m grateful to them for it. When people have a talent, they should let it shine.

  • I forgot to include the link to the blog post about that issue: http://waronfrump.com/2013/09/08/why-fashion/

  • I love reading blogs as a reminder that we’re on this together. The good, bad, highs, lows and in between!

  • Personally, I like a mixture. I go to some blogs for inspiration and for a nice, strong dose of beauty. I go to other blogs to read about daily life—however dirty it may be. And I have to say, I actually find both uplifting. It’s obviously awesome to be able to escape into a little world filled with pretty things from time to time. But I find it equally awesome when I’m having a bad day to stumble upon someone else’s dirty laundry and be reminded that not everyone is living a highlight reel all day every day. It’s refreshing to get glimpses into a seemingly perfect world and realize the people in it struggle just as much as I do.

  • Anna,

    Just thought I’d share with you a thought I mulled over the other day regarding your blog. Its so beautiful, and your outfits are so awesome, and such great fashion sense is not something that everyone has, so its probably easy to gaze at your artistic masterpieces with a bit of envy. But that’s not my point at all. My point is, I thought about your post baby pictures and your pregnancy photos. Even though you look totally awesome, amazing actually, you have the authenticity to actually show them, and its beautiful. I tend to hide in those many many pounds over my normal figure moment, and you bring authentic and modest beauty to it. Thank you, pretty girl! keep it up!!

  • New reader here, somewhat long-time lurker. I come to a blog if I feel like there’s a connection between the blogger and myself. I also like reading blogs that offer different points of view, but I agree that promoting positive things are so much better than negative. When it comes to authenticity, I appreciate the bloggers who aren’t just about painting a beautiful picture. Yes, you deserve a beautiful life and I don’t blame you for wanting to share those parts. At the same time, I enjoy the real life scenarios along with those posts that are uplifting and inspiring. I never got into magazines much because they just seemed only skin-deep sometimes. You don’t have to air all your dirty laundry, but I like when people keep it real if they’re comfortable with it. I think you can connect more easily when the blog isn’t just a highlight reel all the time. Your blog is authentic and I love how you share something good with almost every post.

  • Anna,

    I continuously come back to your blog because it is the best mix of both. Though I have only gotten to know you through your blog, I have no doubt that if I met you in person, there wouldn’t be many surprises. You are authentic, and I like that you have your posts filled with polished, classy attire. I also like hearing your experience balancing a time for your faith, family, and business. Sorry I am not able to provide any better feedback than keep it up! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I think about this a lot too. I think it’s important to be balanced because at the end of the day even our real life isn’t just bad or just good. There are bad days and good days. I think the problem comes when we feel like we’ve watching someone’s highlight reel on our “laundry day.” Or of course when someone never seems to have a bad day, then it feels disingenuous. It’s good to get inspired and uplifted and it’s good to feel understood when you’re down too. I think you do a great job with this! That’s for starting such a great convo! xoxo

  • Great topic….and I think you need a little of both. I love reading blogs that inspire me. Pretty photos, fabulous ideas, uplifting stories all bring me to a better place in my day and make me want to live a life I am really in love with. But at the same time everyone knows life doesn’t always float along blissfully. There are bad hair days, sad days, grumpy days, tragic days and sometimes that’s the good stuff that helps you get out of you comfort zone and live a little differently.

  • i definitely like a positive blogger looking to make strides in her life that also lets us see that she’s having some struggles – not just all free celine bags and all!
    kw ladies in navy

  • I can understand how easy it is to compare ourselves to others and if people are just posting positive and happy stuff, then we think wow I wish I had her life. However, I am a positive and happy person, so that’s what I’m drawn to. Of course, if you are going through something I would love to support you, but for the most part I want to follow people who celebrate the positive and happy parts of life. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love your honesty. Your blog is stylish and honest too. Such a good blend of the things I love. I just wish I can reciprocate the same in my blog too. Great post dear.

  • The blogs I most enjoy seem to be a mix of “real” life, fun topics and posts about relevant issues. For instance, one blogger I follow might write about life with kids one day where she talks about her difficulties, another day she might address and issue like co-sleeping vs. cry-it-out and another day talk about her tips for getting laundry and housework done or decorating a new bathroom, etc. I like a mix, because not every topic is relevant to every person. If I stumble on a blog that is recommended by someone and every time I click on it, I can’t relate to the post topic, I eventually just stop reading. My favorite posts (regardless of the topic) are ones where I can see myself relating to the writer – been there too, I’m there now, I’d love to be able to do that, etc. Things that apply to me in my own life.

  • I like beautiful images and pretty things (heck, thats why I’m a designer!), but I also appreciate the reality that my favorite bloggers do laundry just like me. Over time, I’ve found that my favorite blogs are the ones where the blogger lets their readers get to know them a little bit. This doesn’t mean they are posting every problem they’ve ever had for the whole world to see… it’s more about sharing stories and experiences! An example with your blog is the fact that your husband played rugby! Mine does, too, and that was a neat little connection I felt with you. In my mind, this is why blogging communities are so awesome… there are so many niches and personalities in the blogosphere that people begin to feel connected to one another, and that is never a bad thing, right?

    Thanks for sharing, inspiring, and making me feel connected!

  • Jana Zuniga

    I always visit your blog mainly because
    1. your my sister
    2. I like to get outfit ideas from you
    3. I LOVE the photography and artistic/design aspects in your photos

    SO BASICALLY don’t change anything ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is definitely a hard one for me because some of my favorite blogs out there are the ones written with all personality and reality put out there. These are the blogs in which I can get a sense of the real person behind the scenes, stories that I can relate to and find encouragement from, and someone who shares their “dirty laundry” as you put it – it is what it is! ๐Ÿ™‚ On the opposite side of the spectrum, as much as I love these types of blogs, my own blogging style is much different as I am naturally a private person and although I would love to showcase more about me, I tend to draw a line. Maybe time will allow me to open up ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anna, I know I’m echoing everyone else’s sentiment, but you really do strike the right balance here on IHOD and that’s what keeps all of us coming back! You’re one of my “happy places” to stop by on the internet, but I’ve come to really appreciate your One Truth and Real Chat posts as well. After reading a blog for a while, if I feel like I still don’t have an idea of who the blogger truly is – or what’s authentic or not – I sort of lose interest after a while. Top-level, all rosy posy stuff is definitely fun to look at, but I’ve started craving more substance from the blogs I regularly follow now ๐Ÿ™‚ You really have done such a good job of opening up and creating a wonderful, genuine vibe here in this space. Keep it up, lady!

  • I love your blog Anna. And that you share both the good and the bad (without being overly dramatic!) I get very tired very quickly of reading about people’s AMAZINGLY PERFECT lives just as much as I don’t like constantly hearing only bad things. It’s all about balance and keeping it real. I’ve said it before, I feel like I know you via your posts! You won’t believe, I actually had a dream I came to stay with your family for a week the other night! I’ve no idea why. But Veronica seemed to like me. haha! So you must be doing something right if you’re appearing in my dreams. Lol.
    Ashleigh xxoo

  • I would say that I definitely like both spectrums. There are certain blogs that I go to because the writing is beautiful and I want to hear about real life things, and others that I go to just to see pretty pictures! So I guess my favorite kind of blog is one that does a little bit of both!
    Nicole
    http://www.younglovestyle.blogspot.com

  • Love this post. Anyone who has been blogging for a while asks themselves these questions, of that I am sure.
    I have dipped my toes in recipes and house/decor posts…but the truth is..they never felt REAL and even if someone liked them…. it always felt forced…so even though it seemed like EVERYONE was going “lifestyle” I have stayed fashion…pretty much exclusively..I realize it limits my readership but hey, its the only thing I LOVE and feel like I know about or have anything to share. SO in all that…I basically feel like we should share what feels GOOD, natural and real FOR US!
    What has been really cool is sharing more lifestyle stuff on INstagram…I am officially obsessed with it! Love little visual snippets into everyones lives!
    You look beautiful as always my dear! Hope all is well.
    C

  • Goodness, I loved this post, and also reading all of the above comments. I would say I fall more into the category of enjoying reading a highlight reel, but also when people keep it real. So a highlight real? haha. Kidddding. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am turned off by incessant complaining, but at the same time I don’t want to see a fake persona or life plastered all over a blog. A healthy medium is great…which I think you’ve definitely achieved, which is why I love reading your blog (and you!).

    Happy weekend, friend!
    xo

  • I think as a “blogger” I want to walk that nice line between being open and raw to being picture perfect. I’m always honest in my posts but do I always delve deep into the inner most parts of my heart? probably not so I say things like “my husband annoyed me today” rather than “today I seriously contemplated divorce!” lol. I think part of the reason is that fear of judgment that comes with honesty unfortunately. I enjoyed this post!

  • I tend toward more uplifting blogs (like mychildiloveyou.com) because blogs are my escape/way to wind down at the end of the night. But I do love funny/honest blogs like camppatton and goodonegod — but both those girls are really good writers so they write about everyday stuff but in a way that helps me feel good about my life. With yours, I like the fashion posts -especially with affordable alternatives, and the guest recipes from your sister Maria. And I’d like to see more about what your day-to-day mothering is like. I still remember a story you wrote from a long time ago about how the kids tracked mud all over your white carpet going back and forth from the sink to outside, and you counted to ten first. I was super impressed because my first reaction would’ve been to freak out. So more stories like that (how you deal with the crazy stuff in life) would be cool.

  • Anna, you are simply gorgeous! Keep it up!

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