I’ve noticed a trend in a lot of the Instagram posts I’m seeing with all the bloggers, fashion girls and creatives I follow. Their posts are…all starting…to look…the same…! Daniel Wellington watches, styled bar carts, throwing mimosa brunch parties, staged pretty-things photos, beachy travels and hotel vacations, how to’s on all the femme stuff (makeup, nesting, decorating, entertaining)…they’re all the same picture, with the same captions, with the same products. Eek.
Now don’t get me wrong, these posts are great and lovely and obviously are popular things to post about, because each photo gets hundreds to thousands of likes. And some people can afford to live that blogger-chic lifestyle, but then again some can’t. Or don’t want to 😉
So what about the rest of us? What about the other girls who blog and who are creative with their lifestyles, but want to do it in a way that stands out? What about those who don’t get to frequent fashion week, take yacht vacays with coconuts, or own the 10lb Chanel coffee table book? What about the girls who don’t have space or time to throw mimosa brunch parties, fit a styled bar cart into their tiny apartment and purchase the dranks, AND make a pretty video about perfectly entertaining guests…?
Well here’s to THE REAL GIRLS! ❤ To the creatives who don’t have the space for a home office. To the girls next door who don’t care for macaroons, donut pool floaties, or drinking from coconuts. Here’s to the girls who love to write and blog about things other than fashion and style, doing make up, styling your coffee table, and being the hostess with the mostess. Here’s to the originals, here’s to the regular girls, here’s to the ones who want to be different...here’s to the rest of us. ❤
Read on for how to be a cool-girl blogger in a real-girl way 🙂
1. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER HAS: THE CHIC WHITE DESK
Do you see a pattern in all of these photos..? 99.7% of the time the white desk will make a debut on a blogger’s site. It will showcase a bouquet of flowers (most likely hydrangeas, peonies or roses), a pretty mug full of coffee (most likely monogrammed), an iMac computer, some sort of gold-accented accessories, several inspirational-quote photo frames on the desk/wall like these, and a patchouli candle. I don’t know why the white desk and black/pink/gold accessories have become such a staple if you’re going to be a lifestyle blogger girl…I don’t have a white desk, and you may not either. Heck, you may not even have a desk at all! But it doesn’t mean you’re any less chic 🙂
WHAT REAL-GIRLS HAVE: THE “I-DON’T-HAVE-A-DESK-SO-I’LL-CAMP-OUT-HERE-INSTEAD” SPACE.
In my last apartment, I had a pretty sizable room in which I comfortably fit my full size bed, two dressers, a chair, and a desk. And yes, it was white. But do note that I did not buy it to fit in as a white desk blogger, because I wasn’t aware of this epidemic back then (hehe). Moving back home, I had to ditch the desk along with other prized pieces I had acquired (foxed mirrored coffee tables, pretty side tables, my dressers, etc. SAD!) and make do with what I could fit in my old room at home (which is 10×10′).
Here are my alternatives to the white desk if you would rather do something different:
>> The DIY Rolling Storage Cart
I LOVE this rolling storage cart. I assembled it myself (thanks to Home Depot). It’s SO functional: I have a shelf for my books, a shelf for my yarn and cameras, and another shelf for all my art supplies and stationary. So if you’re looking for a fully functional piece for your living space, and if you have more of a DIY free-spirit style, this desk alternative is my top pick. Plus it’s all eco-friendly and organic! It was fairly easy to build, and is something that will last for a looong time.
>> The Mini Reading Nook
I recently bought this sweet little woven bench from Target. It was the last one AND it was on sale, aaaand so my style! I like sitting here when I want extra light or to feel a breeze from my window. I love that it has a storage space underneath (where I keep my magazines and inspiration binders), and underneath the bench itself I store the materials I use to make the scarves and tassels for my etsy shop in these cuuute vintage patterned boxes I found at Michaels!
^I used to have a bigger dresser here but I sold it before I moved. Oh well! So I grabbed this one instead. It’s made of natural, unfinished wood and has a ton of storage space despite its small size. I sit here when I want somewhere to sit somewhere other than my mini reading nook, because I can easily turn to my mini dresser and jot down some notes if I’m blogging or set my drink down. Plus it faces the window and I love seeing the sky while I work inside 🙂
Ahh the bed…the most heavenly place to hangout. Real-girls use their bed for more than just a bed! Sometimes us real-girls don’t have adequate hangout areas (living at home with mom again while I’m in my masters program, saving on rent..whats up). I don’t really have a lot of seating options in my room, so you’ll almost always find me sitting, lying, standing, or rolling around on my bed reading, blogging, doing homework, watching netflix, and hanging out with my cats. Wanna make your bed a real-girl bed? Go out and purchase some new, brightly patterned sheets and fun throw pillows to turn your bed into a fun hangout space when you don’t feel like hanging out anywhere else 🙂
2. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER DISPLAYS: THE DESK ACCESSORIES + FLOWERS
The desk flowers, the monogram mug, the Dyptyque candles (you should see the prices…ouch), the gold office accents…NOW try telling me you’re not seeing a trend! You can hardly tell one bloggers desk from the next. These definitely are pretty photos, but they’re all the same. Plus I’m not about to go spend $30-$60 buck a pop on a candle, and I doubt you’re willing to, too. Shoot.
WHAT THE REAL-GIRLS DISPLAY: PERSONAL ITEMS THAT TELL A STORY
Spaces that have items such as the ones shown above seldom say anything personal about the person displaying them. Sure they’re pretty to look at, but there’s no depth and they look just like every other blogger’s! To be different and display real-girl style, showcase things that are meaningful to you and that speak about your adventures and memories. Mix it up a bit! Life is not a perfectly staged photo on clean furniture. And who really has a naturally nice enough home interior 24-7 to give a home tour online every day (can I get a stinkin’ AMEN)? No, life is messy and full of color and chaos and memories! Show off that side of you, the real side, instead 🙂
>> I house my pens and pencils in a monogram mug from Anthropologie and a vintage glass creamer (note that I got that mug forever ago, before it was cool to have monogrammed things. I’m just obsessed with Anthro). I keep my oil paints in a pretty IKEA planter, and my beads for my tassels a vintage glass sugar holder in small Anthropologie bowls.
>> I used small dishes and trays I’ve purchased over the seasons to hold bobby pins, small earrings, ponytails, and seashells.
>> I re-purposed two Kate Spade boxes to house other jewelry, and use a blue floral ceramic berry crate to hold my bracelets. I got the tray in the back from urban outfitters freshman year of college, and on it sits a cute mini vase thing that hold all my lipsticks, and a ring holder to hold my jeweled hair clips.
>> On my next shelf, I have the next size up of the blue floral berry crate to hold all my sunnies. It’s sitting on a pretty birds and blooms book I bought because I loved the illustrations. Next to that is a calendar I made at Paper Source, and in the back are two journals I use plus a valentine’s card from John.
>> On the top shelf, I have one of my photographs framed with another cute seashell display, and two out of the three book from my favorite series, Wildwood.
>> There’s a window nook in my room that used to be a window to the backyard. I use it to display some of my necklaces, vintage wooden bracelets I’ve collected, vintage cameras, and used some sweet notes from John as a backdrop.
>> I hung this camera painting I bought from World Market (I’m a photographer, in case you haven’t caught on by now) on my other bedroom door.
>> These are a few of my favorite lifestyle books that I have stacked on the bottom shelf of the tower from the images above.
>>This mirror hangs above my bed and it has photos of special memories and family.
>> I have a huge gallery wall of all my favorite photographs that I’ve taken on this wall, plus some sweet ornaments I got myself during my first Christmas in the Northwest.
>> More jewelry on my mini dresser, a bracelet tray, plus a floral calendar (because I LOVE anything floral print!).
>> I hung two DIY shelves on my room, made from Oak boards. I put together a bunch of objects that define my life. I loved doing this DIY shelving project..since I don’t have a ton of wall or floor space, I decided to build UP and add in these shelves when I moved back home and it was sooo fun.
Take a look around your room or apartment and think about how you can style it differently so it better displays your personality 🙂 Add color! Get a blue desk instead of a white desk! Add some natural wood! Re-paint the walls! Weeeee!
3. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER DRINKS: COCONUTS, POOLSIDE
What is UP with drinking from coconuts and sitting poolside/beachside? It’s everywhere! Coconut-anything is the latest health craze, and it’s looking like drinking them while on vacay is the latest craze too. I know coconuts are yummy and all, but there are plenty of other drinks and foods to try whether you’re on vacation or not! In real life, I’m not going to grab a coconut, shove a straw through it, and pose on the beach sippin’ away. Drinking out of coconuts is like an exotic beach vacation thing, like a right of passage to traveling. I live right next to several beaches, and I never see anyone sitting around drinking out of coconuts.
WHAT THE REAL-GIRLS DRINK: TEAS, REGULAR WATER, AND SMOOTHIES.
Hey real-girls, there are SO MANY ways to infuse water with fruits and veggies to get the same if not better detoxifying and energetic effects that coconut water/juice/milk does. Plus, the options are limitless when creating flavors! So grab some of your favorite fruits and veggies and throw together an amazing smoothie. Or add your favorite fruits and herbs to a pretty pitcher of water for a pretty (and different) drink of choice! I have several pitches from Anthrpologie, and Target also has some cute ones too. Make a few mixed fruit water drinks and post those on Instagram instead.
4. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER IS OBSESSED WITH: PINEAPPLES
WHAT REAL-GIRLS ARE OBSESSED WITH: NOT PINEAPPLES
I don’t know what’s so cool about pineapple right now, but I think I’ll pass on that bandwagon. Granted It’s a yummy fruit and I love using it for desserts, but seeing everyone post about it and the print popping up everywhere makes me not as enthused! Be a real-girl by starting a new food trend, and discovering new fruits that are just as pretty and yummy as pineapple in desserts or smoothies such as: dragon fruit, monstereo fruit, blowfish fruit, passion fruit, rambutan, or cherimoya. If you really don’t want to give up your pineapple fetish, then find new ways to use it (like grilled with cinnamon and added to a scoop of vanilla ice cream like I did, above) instead of putting it…on…your..head. Um.
5. HOW EVERY BLOGGER ENTERTAINS: THE STYLED BAR CART + BRUNCH AND MIMOSA BARS
Bottles of Pelegrino. Champagne and bottomless mimosa parties. Pretty glasses, striped straws, DIY drink mixers, designer and Chanel books for looks, and oh don’t forget the flowers. They’re always ready for some brunch entertaining or late night pop-fizz-clink fest! …But us real-girls? Unfortunately, not too much.
Not like we wouldn’t mind entertaining with all the best drinks and mixers, but really who has the time for that or the space to house a bar cart? How often is it even used? How many of us even drink that often?! Let’s switch to a more fun way the rest of us can do…BYOGDAHAP! (Bring Your Own Girl Drinks And Have A Party) ❤
HOW THE REAL-GIRL ENTERTAINS: POTLUCK STYLE AND N O T A L W A Y S DRINKING
When I was living in my old apartment, I entertained all the time. I was always having people over for pancake breakfasts (complete with an assortment of fruit toppings and cute plates/glasses), and did several themed parties such as a DIY hot coco night complete with a gift exchange, a wine night, and a peanut butter burger night with a movie (if you haven’t tried peanut butter burgers, you SHOULD). Not just “drinks out on the deck” for every entertaining opportunity you get.
And that whole time, I never had a bar cart. It’s more fun to involve everyone in bringing stuff for a cute party rather than having everything ready yourself all the time 🙂 Plus if space is limited, store your pretty dinnerware things inside your cabinets. No one will scold you for it. Pus you won’t have to keep dusting them when they’re sitting on your bar cart not in use 😉
6. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER DOES: TAKES PICTURES OF THEIR LEGS + COFFEE
Have you tried taking this picture of yourself? I have, just out of curiosity, and it’s ridiculous. 😀 Not only do you have to take the picture 59 times to get the right angle, but you’re in the most uncomfortable position because you have to sit awkwardly to take the photo. Plus, your coffee could spill. Like mine did. Twice.
The real-girl captures her experiences and the outside world, not just herself. And if she does take pictures of herself they’re few and far between. They’re not scandalous, they don’t look like everyone else’s photo of themselves, and they don’t come with “hashtag selfie” (shudder). The real-girl also doesn’t super stage her photos to make her life appear perfecto. And speaking of staged photos…
7. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER DOES: TAKE STAGED PHOTOS OF ALL THEIR PRETTY THINGS
WHAT THE REAL-GIRL DOES: SHE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT SHOWCASING HER PRETTY THINGS
Real-girls may not be down to shell out $36 bucks on lipstick, they’re just fine with their revlon lip stain from Target + chapstick. Real-girls might be more interested in reading books rather than diving into the biggest fashion magazines. And real-girls are more concerned with being in the moment and being present rather than documenting everything they’re doing/wearing/buying in their day. Set your phone down for a few hours and do cool things without documenting it! See how your perspective changes 🙂 And if you’re a lifestyle blogger, consider shifting your focus from yourself to the world around you.
8. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER EATS: MACAROONS. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY.
Ah, the macaroon. So very french, so very chic, so very..overdone? They’re everywhere! They’re the thing to
take a picture of and gush about how you stood in line forever to get eat, and are being featured online all the time as the “it” party dessert. I’ve had macaroons before, and they’re nothing too special…yes they’re yummy and yes they make you feel so very fwench and chic, but why not branch out a little and try something N E W for dessert?
WHAT REAL-GIRLS EAT: HOME BAKED THINGS BAR NONE
I loooove LOVE to bake. I’d rather eat something someone baked homemade over an overpriced macaroon any day! 😀 Real-girls, show off your cray baking skills at your next get together (or just for fun at home when you’re bored) and wow yourself with how yummy so many other dessert treats are.
For example, learn how to make these Maple Pecan Drops, Cherry Bars, Apple Cake, and Smore’s Brownies and give them out to your friends and family! The Maple Pecan Drops are one of my signature cookie recipes, and taste just as UH MAY ZING the second and third and fifth days as they did right out of the oven. Branch out and make stuff no one else is making! Or, host a baking party with the girls and make 4-5 yummy treats for everyone to share. It will be so much more fun than having a macaroon party.
9. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER HAS: THE DONUT FLOATIE (PLUS A DONUT OBSESSION)
Suddenly these little babies are turning up on every other post on Instagram. Donuts are everywhere, everyone has this floatie, and everyone is raving about pink sprinkled donuts. It’s cute and all, but if everyone has something why would you want to have it too? Maybe I’m just speaking from someone who doesn’t like to follow trends 😉
WHAT EVERY REAL-GIRL HAS: THE ABILITY TO NOT BUY SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE HAS IT
This mentality can be said for pretty much everything in this post, but I’ll stick to the donut trend for now. If you R E A L L Y want to be in on the donut party, why not THROW a donut party? There are tons of cute donut-themed party ideas on pinterest, and it can be a fun way for you to get creative with your party themed side. Also, not all real-girls have a pool or go to a pool often enough to invest in floaties. But hey if you’re a real-girl and you have a pool in your backyard, then more power to ya 🙂 just maybe skip out on the donut floatie trend and stick to being original.
10. WHAT EVERY BLOGGER DOES: POST ABOUT WEEKEND GETAWAYS + VACAYS TO EXOTIC PLACES
I WISH I could travel often and on a whim and visit countries I’ve never been to. But there’s a difference in traveling to explore and be present, and in making sure everyone knows you’re traveling and just how fabulous of a time you’re having by posting about every single second while on vacation. Yes, we get that you can travel and have all the cute travel accessories and made your own “tips on what to pack” list…But there’s no need to overly gush!
10. WHAT EVERY REAL-GIRL DOES: EXPLORES HER OWN CITY FOR NEW + EXCITING SPOTS
The majority of us real-girls don’t have the luxury of traveling all over the world before we hit 30. Sometimes, the wedding honeymoon is all we’ll really get due to finances or our jobs, or um, LIFE HAPPENING. But don’t fret girls…there’s always day trips and overnighters to fun spots within driving distance of your city 🙂 There are always new restaurants to try, new beaches to explore, new hidden boutiques to discover, and new things to photograph.
Trust me, I’ve lived in San Diego for all my life (except for 2 years when I moved to the northwest to adventure), and feel like I have seen and done it ALL. But there are always new fun little gems to explore if you know where to look 🙂 Traveling does not have to always mean “in style,” via planes, boats and trains. It doesn’t mean having to invest in fancy headphones and techy gadgets and a ton of money to get the most out of your trip. Real-girls know how to work their city and surrounding areas to have a fun time, and know the difference between posting about travels that focus on themselves being there, and being present in travels without constant posts. They’re humble about how they share their experiences while traveling. And, they know how to get the most out of their experiences without overly posting about how decadent their trip was.
Well there you have it, 10 hilariously true alternatives to living the chic blogger lifestyle as a real-girl blogger. If you have any other silly or alternative things to add to this post, comment with them below 🙂 I hope this post will inspire all the real-girls to stay true to themselves, to keep blogging about unique stuff, and that you’ll remember it’s O K A Y to not be like everyone else. Even if you don’t instantly get a million likes and followers. Be unique! Be different! Be the change, and encourage others to do the same.