Red Cami + Pressing Pause | On the Daily EXPRESS

2/5/20

Red Cami + Pressing Pause

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Last week I styled a red sweater in an outfit that I didn't end up loving, so this week I wanted to course-correct and style my red cami in my comfort zone: black on black! This is an easy top to take from day to night with just a couple of easy detail changes, so here's the 411 on my strategy for making that happen!

My favorite way to transition a look from day-to-night is by changing the "extremities" of the look. It's basically the "last on, first off approach." The last things I put on to complete an outfit are usually my jacket/cardigan and my shoes as I head out the door. Then they become the first things I change to go from day to night!

I do this because I really prefer not to start an outfit from scratch! It's too much work mentally and physically! Ha! When I keep my exact same top and pants on, it doesn't feel like I'm totally changing my entire outfit. For me personally, around the house I'd wear this outfit with a cardigan instead of a blazer, but I really liked the way this looked with a blazer and thought it would make a nice business casual outfit to share.

As for date night, in winter I'm all about the Over-the-Knee boots!

My black OTK boots have been my go-to for most of this year, but they didn't give any contrast to this look with black jeans, so I went with this grey-taupe instead. As far as sizing notes - my top is true to size (I'm wearing XS for a fitted, bodysuit type look). I'm wearing my regular size of jeans here but they are a little big at the waist and if I don't wear a belt, creep down a bit. It may be best to go one size down, especially if you're between sizes in jeans. My exact moto jacket is this one from Express, but it's been sold out since the holidays. They've been making it for years so I'll be shocked if they don't re-release it in the summer (you know...when stores are pushing people to buy fall clothes), but hey...they've discontinued other favorites so you never know!


And now it's time for a chat with you all because I have something that's been weighing on me for awhile that I'm ready to share now that I'm at peace with my decision. In the past year and half since I went back to work part-time, it's been a huge struggle to balance work, family, and blog. I've felt constantly overwhelmed and always falling behind in at least one of those areas. I kept pushing along and doing the best I could, but I couldn't ignore the constant nagging feeling that something probably needs to change in this situation. After going back and forth on the issue, I'm really feeling in my heart that yes, something needs to change and now is the time. I can't keep debating this forever - I need to make changes now and let the dust settle to see if it helps me find a healthier balance.

As I analyzed the things I'm struggling to balance, I applied the same perspective to my situation as I do to a closet clean out. When I'm looking at an item of clothing and debating whether to keep it in my closet, I consider whether it's something I would want to purchase today if I saw it in store. If not, it might be time to let it go. When I look at my work-family-blog situation the same way and consider whether these are something I'd add to my life right now, some answers were obvious and some were more complicated. The obvious one is that I'm keeping my family! But when I look at what blogging/the influencer industry is now and I ask myself, "is this something I'd want to start today?" I think the answer is no, I would not. I've changed a lot in the past six years and so has blogging, and  we're not very compatible anymore. And this is not a critique of anyone who wants to start a blog or continue to blog, because you and I are different people in different situations! I still think blogging is a fun, creative space with a great community! But there's no denying the fact that it's very time consuming, and in my life it crossed over into taking away too much time from my personal relationships once I also have a day job. For me, I think blogging was right for me for awhile and it helped me develop new skills and find some great friends. It even helped me get my job! But I only have so much time in a day and after scrambling for a year and a half to make everything work, I'm accepting that it's not working and I need to make a change.

So all of that is to say that I'm Pressing Pause on blogging. I'm not saying I'm stopping permanently because for all I know, I may miss blogging too much and come back in a month or a year. Or I may find after some time off that I really am ready to move on entirely. I simply can't know that until I get some space to reflect and some perspective that only comes from distance. What I do know is that I don't regret starting a blog, and I'm SO incredibly thankful for the friendships and support I've received here over the years! This was a difficult post to write and it made me a little teary-eyed and emotional. But I know it's the right step for me right now and I can't put it off any longer just because it's difficult and comes with some sadness. I hope you all can understand even if it is a disappointment for some. I genuinely wish you all the best, and hope that you can also find balance and contentment in your own life!


P.S. On a related note, although this will be my last week co-hosting Style on the Daily with the lovely and sweet Amy Ann, she does plan to continue hosting a link-up each week so I hope you'll continue to join her and link up via her blog.



Link Up Hosts:
 Thank you so much to all of my blogger friends for linking, commenting, and making this such a fun community!

CONVERSATION

52 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness Gina, I was not expecting this but I totally understand. I couldn't even imagine having a blog when my boys were younger. These years will never come back and you deserve to be fully present for them and not having a blog to worry about or take away that precious time. I love the analogy of purging your closet, very powerful!
    I have so enjoyed getting to know you and hope you'll stay in touch. You are a light in mu life and I wish for you all the very best - there is nothing like family!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. Thank you Kellyann!! I definitely want to stay in touch and am in the process of deciding best how to do that..but trying not to rush myself into a decision! Thank you for your amazing support over the years!

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  2. I have always enjoyed your content and style, and will miss it! I do get the struggle. It's really hard to juggle my full time job, blog and all the home responsibilities. Blogging could be a full time job, but it's not the job for me. I totally respect your decision!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I totally agree- I attempted "full time" blogging and quickly learned it was not something that was right for me as a full time thing. It is still a GREAT hobby but...just not one I think I can keep up with right now.

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  3. Oh Gina, I am going to MISS YOU in the blogging world. You have been my faithful friend and supporter for many years! I totally understand pressing pause - and taking time to enjoy your family and everything else that is going on in your life. Blogging is a HUGE amount of time. And, I am so proud of you for looking at it honestly and making that difficult decision. I will miss your insight and outfit tips - but I wish you all the best!

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

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    1. Thank you Lisa! I hope we can find a way to stay in touch and continue to share in our journeys in fashion and life!

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  4. So sorry to read that you are giving up your blog but I definitely know that feeling - I've found lately that I've been struggling to get posts out - i usually have a week or two scheduled in advance but I've fallen behind with that and can't seem to find the time to catch up. Definitely wondering if 8 years of blogging is enough.

    Hope you return to blogging and I get to hear from you soon!


    Away From Blue

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    1. Thank you Mica! I completely understand. I know your little ones are younger than mine and you work full time to boot! It's a LOT to keep up with!

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  5. Gina, I have tears just reading this and knowing how hard it was to write and make this decision. We all love you so very much! But you know what, I think we all get 110%! This is something I struggle with every single day and I told myself I’ll give it one more year but if after this year the blogging is no longer bring me joy, I’m going to be done. I’m so proud of you making the decision that you needed to make in your heart to find your balance and peace. Of course I’d be lying if I didn’t say I hope you come back someday but I wish you nothing but love and I send you lots of big hugs! xoxo

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    1. I definitely knew my blogging friends would understand. In many ways blogging still brings me joy- especially the friendships! But it's hard to justify the time on a regular basis. I know you understand since you are so committed to your space!

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  6. Hi Gina. I will miss reading your blog posts. Although I don't comment often, I'm always here, as I know you know. You have to do what feels right for you. We will miss your great posts and updates, but life goes on. Much love to you! XXOO

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    1. Thank you so much for being such a sweet supporter all of these years!! And all of the best to you as well! :)

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  7. I have always admired your commitment to family and doing the right thing for YOU. Proud of you taking this hard step. Even though I will MISS YOU in this space, I hope it is a wonderful change that helps restore some balance for you.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me!! Can't wait to see what life holds for you next!

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  8. Your reasons sound very similar to my own so I totally understand how you've been feeling about this. I've personally found that now that I've stopped, I actually feel a lot better. I have the time to devote to things that are really most important to me and my family and it's definitely been a positive change. I wish you the best of luck.

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    1. Thank you for your insight and support Julie! I did have to consult with a friend who stopped blogging before making this choice and her feelings were similar to yours. Getting the time back for family is really at the heart of this for me so I'm glad to hear it's been a positive change for you!

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  9. Ahhh, I get it for I'm struggling with this myself. Ethan turned 18 yesterday and I realized once again how short this time is. Because you are absolutely correct. Blogging is time consuming. I read some of your comments and my heart is challenged all the more. Thanks Gina for being courageous enough to do what's right for your family. You will be missed for sure. And by the way, I love that read cami. lol!

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    1. Haha, glad you liked the cami! It felt a little odd to throw some outfits in here but the photos were done so no sense wasting that effort! And I am sure you completely understand the struggle. As much fun as blogging can be it takes a toll on real life relationships. Wishing you all the best in deciding what's right for you!

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  10. I completely understand and this was exactly what went I went through when I took my year long break. It's so hard to take this step but you're going to feel so much better knowing you have the time to devote to what's important in your life right now. I am going to miss you so much!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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    1. I really admire how you were able to step back at the time you needed to do so! And I'm also impressed you found a way back! We just never know what life will bring next!

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  12. Wishing you all the very best as you step back from blogging to focus on the areas that matter most to you. You will be missed! What's the best way to keep up with you outside of your blog?

    Louisa - La Passion Voutee

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    1. Thank you Louisa!! Right now I'm not sure how to answer your question! I know I want a complete break from online life for a bit but I think I'm going to miss everyone. I may try social media again as a non-blogger to keep in touch, but I can't say that for sure at this point. :) Thanks so much for your support!

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  13. I wish you all the best! I will really miss you, especially your book reviews!

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    1. Thank you so much Betsy!! I truly appreciate your comment and support. I'm definitely going to miss the reading community too and may have to figure out another way to get that book fix!

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  14. Fabulous look. I love the OTK boots with the black jeans. I’m sorry to see you go but I totally understand. It’s hard to work outside the home, even if just part time, and care for a home and family too. I know, cause I did it for 6 years and my house just fell apart. I’ve spent the past few years trying to bring the house and yard back to its original glory before I went to work. (I have a house that’s over a hundred years old that requires a lot of maintenance plus a huge garden that went to weed when I went to work.) So enjoy your break and I hope to see you again when and if you’re ready to come back.

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    1. Thank you so much for your support Amy! And yes - just taking care of home and family is easily a full time job! Adding in a job and any hobbies means some things fall by the wayside.

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  15. You will be genuinely missed but I can completely understand your decision. Blogging is a very time consuming hobby and although it's so much fun, it can be stressful because of the time involved too. I've really enjoyed getting to know you through your blog and reading your posts. Selfishly my fingers are crossed you come back at some level one day!

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    1. Thank you so much Laura! You've been such a wonderfully sweet and supportive friend and I'm so grateful for you!

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  16. GINA❤️I think we will all come to this bridge and have to cross it at some point. I know I've already been wondering what I will do once we relocate in a few years...and I have some grandbabies.😍 I imagine my decision will be much the same. I'll sure miss you, but I totally get it and wish you all the best and much happiness. I suspect you will be able to take such a deep breath now that it will feel wonderful. Blogging really is so time consuming and I think unless you are a blogger, you have no idea what goes into it. You are such a doll!!! XOXO

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    1. Yes, it's hard to put into words how time consuming it is. It just doesn't look like it takes that long from an outsiders POV. And yes...I think especially for those of us for whom this does not become a career, life can bring changes that mean we need to make changes to our blog commitments.

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  17. Gina, I totally understand that balancing act! It is difficult to manage it all and sometimes breaks are definitely necessary. It was a pleasure getting to know you and being inspired by your fabulous style over the years. You will be missed! But like you said, who knows, you may be back at it in the future. But if not, that’s okay, too. Wishing you all the best!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words over the years and the positive light you are in the community!

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  18. A beautiful outfit as always, I'm loving the red and black with the taupe boots!
    Family is definitely the most important thing and there is plenty of time to blog again once you have more time in your life. I've been blogging for a long time but only recently got into weekly style blogging and find it so much more time consuming than craft blogging, and totally can understand your decision!
    Wishing you all the best!
    Ellibelle's Corner

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    1. That's really interesting that craft blogging was less time consuming for you than style blogging! I would never have guessed that. Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding!

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  19. I've never commented, but I've always enjoyed your posts & have made several purchases based on your recommendations. I will miss reading your email each day, but of course I understand. I just wanted to let you know you'll be missed. Wishing you the best! Sherri

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Sherri! I know it's more uncomfortable for non-bloggers to comment so I really do appreciate it. And I also appreciate your quiet support over the years! This has been a truly wonderful ride thanks to people like you!

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  20. So happy you are giving yourself the time for a break or a full stop. I guess I will have to text you more often haha.

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    1. LOL yes, there's no need for the texting to stop! Thank you SO much for your support and encouragement behind the scenes through this challenging process!

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  21. Gina, I'm going to miss you so much! I completely understand, where you're coming from. I went through the exact same thing last year and just as you said, family comes first. I'm confident you'll feel refreshed to focus on what's most important in life. I've often had to remind myself that I can always blog/work/____ but my sweet children won't always be at home and to make sure I make the most of my time with them. I know it was a really hard decision, but I totally support you! As much as I'll miss you, I'm so glad you will be able to have a better life balance and flourish and succeed in the areas that matter most! Best, Shannon

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    1. Thank you so much Shannon! I know you understand the challenges first hand! I so appreciate your kindness and support!

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  22. Gina, I will miss your posts as well! But I completely understand and hope you get some well-deserved time off and QT with your family. Best of luck to you!!

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    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your comment and support!

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  23. I am sad to hear that you are pausing on blogging, Gina! But I totally understand where you are coming from. Wishing you all the best!

    I hope you have a fabulous week!

    Amber

    Visit AvecAmber.com

    Follow Avec Amber on Bloglovin

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  24. Seriously you are looking a hot bomb it this clothes! I am really became your huge fan after this post.

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    1. Not quite sure what to make of this one but...thanks I guess!

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  25. Oh I'm sorry to hear you're taking a break, but I totally get it. Sometimes it's much needed. I hope you enjoy your break and look forward to you being back. I love those over the knee boots though. Need to get myself a pair. Hugs! :)
    Madeline at CappuccinoandFashion.com

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  26. I will miss viewing your styles. Best of luck to you!

    Stacey H.

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