January 28, 2013

An Explanation of What's to Come

This year I didn’t make any resolutions.  Mostly because when I don’t make resolutions, I don’t feel like shit come March when I haven’t followed through on any of them.  However, I have had thoughts in the back of my mind on things that I want to do and goals I want to make in the near future.  One of said goals was to stick to the budget that Patrick and I set up for ourselves right after the wedding.  The reason for this budget (other than the obvious) is because we are working towards two major purchases this year: we want to buy our own house (we rent now . . . blech) and I need a new car (Goldilocks is seriously on her last limb).  

Another budget related goal that I have personally is that I want a new camera.  I’ve been to several fashion shows and events now and feel like such a dork pulling out my trusty ole non-DSLR Canon.  Case in point, when I went to the rehearsal for the Red Ball, one of the models brought in his camera.  It was better than mine.  Like by a lot.  This cannot go on!  I’ve wanted a new camera since I started this blog almost two years ago.  It’s about time I make that happen.  And I am learning with this budgeting thing that I actually can make that happen if I stick to my budget.  Saving.  Remaining credit card debt free.  And part of sticking to that budget is to limit or better yet eliminate the purchases of new clothes.  

I’ve been really bad lately.  It started when Patrick was deployed and I would get all lonely and forlorn and go on little shopping sprees in his absence.  There was nothing crazy, but $30 here, $40 there really adds up.  This leads to a dozen or more clothing items that sit and wait and wait and wait for me to get around to wearing them.  What is the point of that?  I have so many new clothes and old clothes that don’t nearly see the light of day that they deserve.  My Stylebook app is filled to the brim with outfits just begging to be worn one day.  Not only do I not need any more clothes, but in all honesty, my closet realistically cannot handle any more clothes at the moment.  And I can’t get a new closet until we get our own house.  And we can’t do that if I am spending all my “extra” money on clothes.

I’ve actually noticed a lot of fellow bloggers seem to be on this same wavelength.  And I know a big part of it is just that it is the new year and everyone is trying to better themselves.  But there are a lot of girls I know on shopping bans right now.  I don’t want to call my little hiatus a shopping ban because as we all know, I’m a rebel at heart and if I am not supposed to do something or I’m told I can’t do it (even by myself), I get this unstoppable urge to do it anyways.  But I do have a plan.
Another thing that I have been thinking about in January for 2013 is my blog.  What do I want to do with it?  What does it mean to me?  What am I trying to accomplish with it?  Is it satisfying to me?  What do I want to improve with it for the future?

I kept coming up with the same answers.  I am actually shocked that I am still as into blogging almost two years later as I was when I started.  There hasn’t really been any time in which I felt that I “had” to blog.  I still love taking outfit photos and sharing them.  The conflict, for me, lied in the actual content of my blog. 
I’ve been struggling a lot with my content.  Do I share too much?  Should I share more?  As a person, I’m a pretty open book.  Though I’m a natural introvert, I am not really a “private” person.  I don’t mind talking about details of my life—good and bad.  I’ve always actually relished in talking about the bad parts as much as the good because those parts usually help people.  They help people feel not so all alone as if there was actually someone else who went through the same thing.  They help people to find the right path by listening to someone with experience.  They help people relate to you as someone approachable and realistic.  And I like that.  But I also feel constricted at times.  You’re not supposed to share all of that on the internet.  Anyone can read this: co-workers, ex-boyfriends, people who you don’t even know.  And trust me, truuuuust me, those people will read it.   And even though I never use my real first and last name together (or at least very sporadically and not together so that if you Google my name, this blog won’t come up) or the name of the firm that I work for, you can really never be sure of who is out there reading or listening.

All of this is to say that I had an epiphany last night.  Organization.  Control.  Follow Through.  That is what all of this budgeting and new camera and home buying and blog revamp have in common and what is needed to accomplish these goals.  So I got to thinking—how can I successfully mix up my love for the “life” portion of this blog with the “style” portion?  I love style.  I really love it.  Fashion is beautiful to me, but style is where it’s at.  There is a difference in the masterpieces that strut down the runway and being inspired by someone walking down the street.  The pieces that inspire people to buy them and the ways in which they wear them—that’s where it’s at to me.

And I believe that all the lovely bloggers I’ve met in the styleblogworld are qualified personal stylists.  Conversely, I have a lot of friends, co-workers and family that are overwhelmed by style.  They want to find their style, but they just need a little help.  These people often think that style comes with a hefty price tag, an abundant closet, a designer label and knowing what’s trending.  On the contrary, while I love to look at fashion magazines and go to fashion shows and gawk at Carrie’s Manolo collection or Serena’s Louboutins, that’s not what drives my love of style.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

All of this is to tell you about some changes that I am going to be making to my blog.  The main change?  YOU.  All of you.  

Two weeks per month, I will be hosting a link up party.  You will, should you choose to accept the challenge, be asked to give your style tips and advice on a particular topic.  I will announce the Mission on the Monday before the week of the Mission.  Then, you will have a week to prepare your answers.  The Mission will occur all week for me.  You can chose to participate the whole week, part of the week, one day or not at all.  The frequency is of no consequence.  All that is relevant is the quality of your content.  I will be making a button for you to add to the blog post that you participate in and we will hold the link up party on Friday.  Have I confused you yet?

Here’s how it will go:  On Mission Monday, you will receive your styling mission.  One week later, the Mission Week will begin and it will run from Monday to Friday.  On Friday, I will host the link up.  Again, you don’t have to participate the entire week if you don’t want to.

Some of you may be wondering what this will mean for my current content and how my blog will change.  Really, other than Mission Week, it won’t by much.  I will still do Share the Covers, but it will be on Tuesdays instead of Mondays.  I have decided that music is just too important to me to leave out altogether.  Although I may not be implementing music into every post anymore, purely for the fact that YouTube and Mixpod have frustrated me to no end with their inconsistency to show up on my actual posts.  I will still do the Thursday Mixers, where I show the different ways that I have worn a certain piece of clothing.  I think that is important for my ban, the ban of others and just self-awareness in general when purchasing a new item and calculating its price per wear.   

I am also implementing another new weekly-ish feature to my blog called Dear Frannie Fridays.  Here I am going to invite you—other bloggers, friends, family, etc.—to email me a question for me to answer.  This could be a styling question, a question on motherhood, a general question about family law (though I must premise that I am not an attorney, cannot give advice and only know Colorado family law), personal questions to me, or whatever pops into your head.  Now I am not pretentious enough to believe that I will get all these emails from all these people.  I have never played that game.  So, in the interim of getting emailed questions and sometimes when I just feel like it, I will just ask questions that other people have recently asked me in real life or something that has come to me.  Maybe I’ll share a rainy day recipe that I recently tried or a craft that I did with my kids or share some information that I recently learned.  All submissions will be anonymous unless the questioner specifically asks to be named.  And, it should go without saying, that any inappropriate questions will be deleted and their email addresses be blocked.  So, that being said, if there is a burning question or topic in your mind, feel free to email me at franniepantz@hotmail.com.

This is a long and wordy post.  But it is all to say: there will be some changes around here.  And hopefully these changes will help me to not shop and stick to my budget goals for a new camera by appreciating and utilizing the clothing that I do have.  And help others to get some style advice from all kinds of ladies.  And help you to gain some traffic to your blog and allow you to give your take on style advice.  I am personally holding myself accountable for these changes and goals.  No time like the present . . .

So, keep your eyes peeled later this evening for your very first Mission for Mission Week!

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