My goal was to have my Old Town Alexandria travel guide up live for you guys today, but since I was out of town at a wedding in Richmond this weekend (and had an amazing time!), I ran out of time to edit the photos and pull together all the content. So I tabled that idea until next weekend, and thought about what else I might be able to write about this week.
Truthfully, there are some times of the year where content comes really easily. I’ve always found these first few weeks after summer is over to be a bit of a struggle. I usually move apartments around this time of year, and that definitely takes up a lot of my free time and mental space. Then, once the physical move is over, it’s always my priority to get settled as soon as possible. A cluttered space really clutters my mind, so I like to get back in my routine sans moving boxes as soon as possible. On top of that, it’s always a busier season at my day job, I typically travel less (meaning a dip in content in that vertical I have to substitute with other topics), and I’m usually just physically tired after a fun summer spent in the sun. What I’m left with is less headspace to come up with creative ideas and less time to execute on them in a way that’s up to my standards.
Lately, I’ve been in somewhat of a creative rut, and when my time is so limited—especially my time at the end of the day to decompress—blogging is the first thing to go. Sometimes I just want to sit on my couch and watch tv or read my book or bake cookies without feeling tied to my computer. I do really love blogging, and have no plans to quit anytime soon. I think I’m really close to turning the corner and pulling myself out of this creative rut because of a few thoughts that I had after a conversation with my friend Alyssa on our car ride to Richmond this weekend. I met Alyssa in spin class—she was the instructor, and I rode her classes every Monday/Wednesday after work. We were talking about class, specifically, how we stay motivated to continue going week after week and making our best effort while we’re on the bikes. We came to the conclusion that you have to remember why you started in the first place—and I think that concept holds true in my blogging life, too.
When I started my blog in 2014, I started it for a few reasons. I wanted a creative outlet outside of my day job that was completely my own—no one else could edit it, no one else could choose the branding, no one else could tell me they liked that Pantone better than the one I had chosen. I wanted a place where I could write and publish my work, similar to the awesome experiences I had through both student and professional journalism in high school and college. I wanted a place where I could learn and test new skills, and improve them over time—photography, social media, digital marketing, SEO, WordPress. And, most importantly, I wanted a place where I could share things that I loved—not to “influence” anyone into buying anything, just simply as a way to share cool ideas, companies, places, articles, things, etc. When I think about those whys, it always easier for me to brainstorm new content and write the blog I’d want to read.
I didn’t do a full reader survey this year, but what I always found most valuable from those surveys were the post ideas y’all had and any constructive feedback for improvement, so I set up a one-question, anonymous Typeform where you can drop me a line to let me know what you’d like to see on TOT in the coming months. Thank you in advance for your feedback! > https://atouchofteal.typeform.com/to/e0EHnR
In the spirit of my why, I also wanted to share a few random things I’ve been loving lately:
+ My new Kauri Stone Tree Runners by All Birds. I’ve been eyeing a pair of All Birds sneakers for months, and finally ordered them a few weeks ago. They arrived on Sunday, and I could not be more happy with them—they are seriously so soft, and I love that I can wear them without socks. I think these are going to get a lot of use this fall for commuting, running errands, walking around the neighborhood, etc.
+ The Cut’s Ask Polly column. My friend Emma recently sent me the column Polly wrote entitled, “I Like Myself, But I Hate Being Single,” and it was my gateway drug into the rest of her advice columns. They are all so real—and often, hilarious—that I find myself reading ones that don’t even directly relate to my life. There’s some solid wisdom in all of them!
+ Stay Here on Netflix. If you love Trading Spaces, Genevieve Gorder, and/or a great home design show, this one’s for you. In this show, she and co-host Peter Lorimer help short-term rental owners redesign their guest homes/apartments/boats to be more accommodating to guests, and, ultimately, more profitable. A great mindless show to unwind to on a weekday!
+ My Fato M. Gemi flats. I’ve long admired M. Gemi—a popular Italian shoemaker known for their quality—so when they dropped the price of their Fato flats I’d been eyeing for a while from $228 down to $125, I knew it was time to invest. I grabbed the size 37 in the blush color, and was blown away by the packaging they showed up in and the quality of the shoes themselves. I grabbed the blush color, which I really like a lot, however, I wish there was a little less purple in the color—I think the third picture of the shoes on the website best shows their true color if you’re in the market!
+ The Sweetleaf Malibu Melt breakfast sandwich. You know how any financial planner worth their weight in salt will tell you to cut out the daily coffee or breakfast you’re buying out? I really need to take that advice, but this sandwich is so good. It’s multi-grain toast, provolone, turkey bacon, 1/3 of an avocado, and an egg. I have them add a little bit of their chipotle chili sauce to give it a bit of a kick. I can’t describe how much joy this sandwich brings to my morning. It also keeps me filled well into the day—until 2pm usually. I do try to only treat myself to this sandwich 1-2x a week, but when I do, it’s worth every dollar I should be saving.
I’d love to know what you’ve been obsessed with lately—it can be anything! Drop me a note below—and as always, thanks for reading! x