A Little Blog Vacay

Hey there, long time no talk. I know it's been awhile since I posted here, but sometimes a little R&R is just what you need to get refreshed and gain a little perspective, am I right?

So here I am with a little update, but first let's go back to the beginning.....when I started this blog, it was honestly because I was hoping to simply increase SEO on my apparel site and promote my own designs, but after a friend encouraged me to model my own pieces and then being contacted by a couple of online retailers about wearing some of their items (I mean what girl is gonna turn down free clothes??), it turned into a little fashion blog that I love. And I know fashion is not exactly rocket science and with so many other meaningful and important things going on in our world, it may seem a little frivolous at times, but that fact is that it's something I really enjoy and is a creative outlet that feeds my artistic needs. (I personally feel that fashion is one of many ways to express creativity....a kind of art form in itself) Plus it allows me to connect with people both in person and online that I may not have the chance to meet otherwise. And I think there's value in that.

BUT (yes, here's the "but"), unfortunately I have allowed the blog and social media to make me a little crazy lately. Yeah, you'd think I'd be old enough to focus on what really matters and not let something as insignificant as fewer "likes" and losing "followers" stress me out, but as much as I hate to admit it, I have. I've always been an undeniable people-pleaser, so when I feel like I'm not doing a good job pleasing people, I get kinda discouraged. So needless to say, the changing IG algorithm, lower engagement on my posts and wondering whether fashion alone is something people want to see....it's gotten me down a bit and has left me a little less motivated than normal. And before you say it, yes I am fully aware that worrying about this stuff is a waste of time and that I should have enough internal confidence to put out content that I'm proud of and leave it at that with little to no major concern as to what others think. But when you're doing something you really enjoy, you hope others will enjoy it too, right?

So all that to say, I've been kind of unmotivated lately and have not felt much like creating new blog posts. Truth be told, while they are a lot of fun to create and I do feel grateful and extremely fortunate to be able to do something I love, blog posts (and even social media posts) do involve a lot of work and there's a great deal that goes on behind the scenes. Styling outfits and accessories, taking photos, writing the post, linking products (or searching for similar and currently available ones), publishing and promoting on social media.....it all takes time, effort and often money (i.e paying a photographer for the images). And that doesn't take into account the additional time it takes to respond to emails, work out collaborations with companies and curate a pretty feed both on the blog and IG to get the attention of your target audience. So when the response is lower than you'd like or you just feel unmotivated in general, it can be disappointing and feel like the work you're putting in isn't paying off (of course, I can't speak for anyone else, just personally how I've been feeling). And like anything, when you feel like the time and work isn't paying off (and is often taking time away from other things that are important like family, friends, pets etc), it kinda makes you wonder if it's all worth it.

BUT (yes, another "but"), the more I've been thinking about it, the more I realize that if this is a creative outlet that I truly love (and it really is!), then I do need to continue to pursue it for myself rather than anyone else. Because it does let me get my feelings down on (virtual) paper and express myself artistically, and that is a valuable thing. And it's also teaching me a few things too. Things like.... do your best and be confident in that, regardless of the response....be thankful for work that's really fun and creative....try to offer something that adds value to someone's life (even something as simple as an easy style tip or an uplifting quote)....and probably most important, stop comparing. Like they say, "just do you." That's a reminder I need often when I find myself comparing myself and my work to others and inevitably feeling like I'm falling short. (Again, not proud to admit that I often fall victim to the comparison game and it also makes me a little crazy....but I'm working on that too.)

So I hope this post wasn't too much of a downer (I really do try to stay positive, upbeat and grateful), but I wanted to be honest as to why I haven't posted on here in awhile. And I also want to ask you all a couple of things....first, what kinds of things do you do to help you refocus and gain perspective when you need a little break? And secondly, what kind of content would you like to see from me going forward? Obviously, I do have a fashion-focus but I've also been feeling like (while fashion is a big interest of mine) is fashion alone enough to sustain a blog? Another blogger babe that I greatly admire and find inspo from, Leah Behr (@leah_behr, eatpraywearlove.com) put it so well in an IG post recently when she said that we all crave meaning and connection, and that really got me thinking. I do want to be able to offer you more than just fashion, but also something you connect with and that does add value to your life (maybe things like DIYs, more personal posts, bargain shopping tips, inspirational articles or quotes?)....so if you have questions or suggestions, please reach out and let me know!

Also, I'd love to start giving back and collaborating with companies that give so if you have suggestions of companies or organizations that you love and admire who are doing good, comment and let me know about them. And finally, let me just say how appreciative I am to those of you who take the time to read my posts, follow me on social media, like and comment on my pics.... it's really affirming and does mean a ton! Oh and on that note, I have not been much of an active Twitter or Pinterest user (other than searching for quotes and baking recipes), but I am trying to change that so if you'd like to follow me on either of those platforms, I"m Allison Ruchaber/@peachandpepper_ on Twitter and @peachandpepper on Pinterest.

And I do have more blog posts in the works so stay tuned for a few coming up over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks as always for reading and for your support! Wishing you all a wonderful week!



PS. This flamingo print maxi dress is one of my peach & pepper designs (available for custom order) and I love it paired with this great olive moto jacket to add a little edge to the sweetness of the ruffles.