Confessions of a Fashion Blogger

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Rachel Zoe dress (gifted–last seen here) | Target belt | Wolford black tights | Kardashian Kollection boots (from this shoot) | Zara Office City Bag | Bracelets: Urban Outfitters, Shashi, Windsor

I will admit, the black and white bold stripes trend is a tough one for the vertically-challenged such as myself. And nothing is harder than wearing bold horizontal stripes. But…go big or go home, right? I dusted off this beautiful Rachel Zoe dress that they gifted to me about a year ago, and decided to “fun it up” with some knee-high boots, tights (it was a chilly day) and cinch it with a fluorescent pink studded belt. I already had all of my stuff ready to go for Monday in my work bag, so I just grabbed it, and off we went to grab some frozen yogurt. Yum. Remember to link up your posts here on Wednesday, if you’re participating in the new challenge.

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Confession: I feel like I’ve hit a ceiling with my blog. If you’re a blogger yourself, you’ve no doubt had those moments when you feel what I call the Hamster Effect: you’re spinning that wheel as hard as you can but you’re not getting anywhere. It can be discouraging, and this definitely isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way–it tends to pass with time, but inevitably I find myself getting frustrated when the needs, desires, and wishes I set for myself and my blog go unrealized.

Every blogger has a different set of priorities for what makes them feel satisfied, or acknowledged. I’m not insinuating that I don’t appreciate everywhere this blog has taken me–because trust me, I do. It’s more that I feel disappointed in myself for not continuing to see the growth I’ve become accustomed to, as smug as that may sound. Maybe there is a plateau effect. Is this the best my blog will ever be? Or do I have more in me?

Have you ever felt the same way? Tell me I’m not alone in this.

Sure, I think there’s a valid reason: I’m just a lot busier this year than I have been in previous years (thanks to a little thing called residency). I’m on a mission to reinvent myself, and I’m not sure where it will lead. New design? New venture? New direction?

We’ll see where it takes me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennyGirlPort Jennifer Willard

    I’m not a blogger, but lately I’ve been feeling the exact same way. I felt that I was growing personally, professionally, intellectually, and style wise in 2012. I really felt like I was firing on all cylinders, but as it became 2013 I felt as if it all came to a halt and that I’m a bit stagnant. I hope that if I just hang out on the ‘plateau’ for awhile and enjoy it as it is, that I’ll find that spark that will take me into the next growth spurt, so to speak. Your blogs and videoes have been so much fun to watch, not to mention informative and for me relaxing as well. Hope you find your next piece of inspiration, in the meantime, I’ll still be watching and reading.

    • http://prettyshinysparkly.com/ Pretty Shiny Sparkly™

      Thanks so much for the vote of confidence, Jennifer! I really needed to hear that despite my stagnant state, somebody out there will still be paying attention. So, thanks. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/realitychicblog Erin Flynn

    I am a fashion blogger and the co-founder of Canopi.me. I think you literally hit the nail on the head. I felt the way you’re currently feeling a while back after spending time on my blog and even doing some video as well. I was working with brands and my audience seemed to be involved, but at the same time I felt like I had hit a block, a slightly more fashionable one, but a block at that. Had I done everything I was suppose to do as blogger? Was there no way to grow or build off of what I had done in past years? There had to be a better way for bloggers and readers alike. Luckily I had my husband to vent to about my blogger woes which ultimately led me to the most creative/exciting/crazy ass part of my life. It led me to start Canopi.me, the easiest way to discover blogs and organize the ones you love, which literally just launched in beta last week! :) Anyhow, my point is not to go on about Canopi but to let you know that you’re not alone and to not put too much pressure on yourself as much as take the time to think about what is you’re really passionate about. It’s often in these times when you can give yourself a little break that you’ll end up stumbling across what to do next! Sorry for the longest comment of all time, but I wanted to let you know that you’re definitely not alone in the world of blogging. Plus if you’re kicking a** as a resident plus blogging you’re already like 9 steps ahead of everyone else! I’d also even love to chat with you more about possibly getting involved with Canopi! New venture? haha Needless to say, I can totally relate to your post and thanks for being honest and writing it! :)

  • http://www.hashdoc.com/ Amy

    I certainly get a lot of enjoyment out of your blogs; even posts like this– which are more personalized. I like a side of personality with outfit posts :) Don’t get discouraged to much… Blogging is a long-term thing, growth is a long term thing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint… Also, you fill a “gap” for me, at least in terms of your videos– an educated, busy, accomplished, professional woman who is talking beauty and makeup, instead of a teen (like most beauty videos on Youtube are). It’s easier to relate to someone close(r) to my own age, and someone with a bit more depth. So please, keep going! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001339377777 Jennifer Holmes

    I love your blog, I look forward to reading new posts & I especially like your videos (whats in my bag have to be my fav). You may feel you’ve hit a plateau but I certainly haven’t noticed. I was going to do a little cheer as you’d had time to do an outfit post but realise it may be a tad inappropriate considering your feeling a little glum. Anyway please keep it going! :-) xx

  • http://pinksole.com/ Rachelle

    You’re blog is I think the first fashion blog I started following and I have a really short attention span, so I think you are doing amazing :). I totally understand how you feel, but you have to be kinder with yourself as you have a lot going on.

    xo
    http://pinksole.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/paula.mcclelland1984 Paula McClelland

    I love your blog – you always inject such personality into your posts! Maybe you need to mix it up a bit or do some collaboration with your blogger friends to get some of their followers? Try something new maybe? I’ve only been blogging for about 2 months now but I find the posts that are the most popular are the ones I loved writing up and posting! Hope you find your mojo soon, in the mean time I’m certainly not going anywhere :-)

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
    http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://www.thestylizedwannabe.com/ ashleigh

    I think your blog is excellent! Maybe updating the design (though I love it as-is) would be the step-up you are craving? Either way. I think PSS is the fashion blog of fashion blogs. Everyone should aspire to become something like this!You seem to be at the top of the game. I don’t know if that means you’ve plateaued but perhaps you go even further via you vlogging. I like when you you show your personal side. It makes me more invested, like I really know you, so I want to come back and read more.
    -Ash
    http://www.thestylizedwannabe.com

  • http://www.thedomesticfringe.com/ Tricia Gillespie

    I am right there with you in the blogging thing. I identify with every single thing you said, everything. I don’t have the answers though, so I’m sorry for that. Hopefully we’ll see a breakthrough soon.

    I love your dress though! I also really appreciate your blog and I love watching your videos. They’re inspiring .
    ~FringeGirl
    thedomesticfringe.com

  • http://twitter.com/PPFGirl PennyPincherFashion

    First of all, I am in love with this dress – so funny that you got it a year ago and it is one of the HOTTEST trends now!
    Secondly, after 2 years of blogging, I have definitely seen that there are “seasons” – where it ebbs & flows…times when the growth is almost too much for you to keep up with and everything is going great & then there’s times when the posts are hard to write, the numbers stay the same and you have a hard time remembering what you loved about it. It is totally normal – what I try to do in those “low” times is focus on the creative process/outlet and ignore the statistics This always helps me remember that I started my site as a hobby & to help/connect with other women and so if it doesn’t grow even an ounce more, I will be happy. :)

  • styleeveryday

    I have definitely felt the blogger plateau many times and my blog is a teeny tiny piece of the Internet compared to PSS. Your blog is beautiful and inspiration and I love knowing that a girl who’s smart enough to be a doctor still finds time her crazy schedule to share fashion tips. You go, girl!

  • http://www.pandaphilia.com Angie

    you’ve got balls of steel for keeping up your online presence while doing residency, kristina. while blogging was my passion and escape during a busy undergrad, 3 months of neurology during med1 even put a screeching halt in not just blogging, but my every attempt at doing something other than studying. but every minute is another chance to turn it all around. you have an expansive readership and even if it might start to feel like you’ve outgrown some parts of your b/vlog (scary, i know) or you’re plateauing, you will always have your best reader, and that’s you! you get to look back on old posts from PSS and remember some laughs and smiles you might have forgotten with the craziness that comes with residency. i am also looking forward to your BDIB to kickstart refreshing my blog :)

  • http://twitter.com/Jax_and_Jewels Heidi

    I’m definitely a newer following (started following in the past year or so) and I absolutely love your blog. I love that you post your insecurities as well as your triumphs. Life isn’t a glossy magazine all the time and it’s refreshing when others give you the good and the bad. Plus, I am obsessed with your YouTube videos. Obsessed!

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

  • http://twitter.com/gritandglamour Grit & Glamour™

    Oh, I know how it feels to hit the wall.

    You’re such an ambitious lady, Kristina…but maybe you should not put those expectations on yourself for a little while, with regard to the blog. You already have an outstanding readership and vlog following! I say just coast, do what feels right for the moment and don’t pressure yourself to meet ANY deadlines or expectations. You’ll get your mojo back! I promise.

    I do feel, to a degree, you outgrow the desire to be as fanatic about blogging once you’ve been doing it as long as we have. Especially when you have a “real” job, a husband, and a life! Our blogs are part-time, and as dreamy as the notion would be to make decent money at it full time, for us and our careers, you know that kind of money will never happen from the blog. Just enjoy how incredibly far you HAVE come! With so many panels and presentations under your belt, you know you’ve done a LOT right.

    You have a magnificent brain, your videos are sooooooo good. They’re funny, informative, and so well-done. Throwing your medical knowledge (or history of a product) into them makes them so different from other videos. When you feel the urge, just push record. We’re going to be here to push play!

    xoxo

    • http://www.mischiefmydear.com/ Ashe @ Ash in Fashion

      “I do feel, to a degree, you outgrow the desire to be as fanatic about
      blogging once you’ve been doing it as long as we have. Especially when
      you have a “real” job, a husband, and a life! Our blogs are part-time,
      and as dreamy as the notion would be to make decent money at it full
      time, for us and our careers, you know that kind of money will never
      happen from the blog. Just enjoy how incredibly far you HAVE come! With
      so many panels and presentations under your belt, you know you’ve done a
      LOT right.”

      Yes! Vahni said it so much better than I could.

  • Shelley Zurek

    Kristina…FIrst. Major Major props on the outfit. One of your best EVER!, The pictures were exquisite. I cannot even fathom how cool those boots looked on you. I never imagined that a petite gal could wear over the knee boots and carry it off so fantabulously. Okay..enough drooling..

    As you know, I have followed you for several years. For an outside observer, I always see evolution on your blog. If you look over the last few years, you will see it too (remember all the stair poses..which I LOVED btw!). Good luck to you in your creative ideas. Don’t force it and a great idea will come!

  • Alana

    One of the reasons I really love your blog is because I connect with the fact that you have a life and job and you talk about trying to balance it all and it is honestly a breath of fresh air in the world of fashion blogs. Keep doing what you do because us gals with jobs, and bills, and life connect with you and love reading about your journey!

    Alana

    http://cheapchictraveler.com

  • http://twitter.com/GreetingsfromTX Megan Silianoff

    I feel you!!!

  • loftyappetite

    I love your blog, but I have to admit I love the new direction you’ve taken with beauty and youtube! not because I didn’t like the fashion side, but because that’s where my interest has turned lately. keep the videos coming, i look forward to those!

  • http://www.mischiefmydear.com/ Ashe @ Ash in Fashion

    “Maybe there is a plateau effect. Is this the best my blog will ever be? Or do I have more in me?” Welcome to 4 (out of 6) years of my blogging life.

    Blogging has become more saturated, people are spending more time offline (I think), and it’s totally natural to hit a plateau. A good question to ask yourself– you’ve got a successful site, a great (and still new!) marriage, and an exciting new career…. will it be that disappointing if your site stays where it’s at?

    That’s what I ask myself. “What will happen if I *don’t* get past this?” And the fact is… nothing will happen. You’ll still have your wonderful readers, your site may still grow, even if at a small rate. You and your site have accomplished a lot, especially given the fact you’ve been doing it all while in medical school/during a residency. You should be kinder to yourself and the work you CAN do, and realize that it’s all part of the natural ebb and flow of blogging.

    And naturally–you are not at ALL alone.

  • http://thosegraces.com/ Courtney

    I feel this way a lot, mostly because I have so many ideas and so little time. I come up with new blog ideas just about every other day, but there’s only 24 hours in a day, so it’s a bit frustrating.

    As for YouTube, you’ve actually managed to grow your audience A LOT in the past three months. You also have to keep in mind that a lot of big beauty vloggers have been on YouTube for 4+ years or just get lucky and hit it big. I think for someone who just amped up their videos a few short months ago, you’re doing great. It’s also hard on YT, because it’s such a young audience in a lot of cases, so you have to wait for people to find you and continue to cross post here.

  • Amanda

    Kristina, you look tall, thin and beautiful! Keep rockin’ those horizontal stripes. :)

  • http://franniepantz.blogspot.com Frannie Pantz

    I can certainly relate. I love your blog–it is one of the first ones I started following! My stats are going up slowly, but my comments are pretty minimal at best. I don’t really know why . . . .

    I love your dress so much! Horizontal stripes are great on you!

  • RunwayChef

    I can totally relate & feel exactly how you feel right about now. It’s refreshing to not only read your post, but all the comments & know that despite it all, you nor I are alone in how we feel!

  • Kinsey Michaels

    Kristina, I completely, wholeheartedly relate to this post. However, I don’t believe your blog has gone downhill or has plateaued at all (from my standpoint as a reader!) I think your YouTube videos are great, it’s fantastic to see you coming back with the Bloggers Do It Better posts again, and even though I’m not really blogging anymore, I still find myself coming back to your blog every now and then to see what you’ve posted. I have also always admired the fact that you keep up with it while working full-time. It’s impressive!!!

    My blog had a good little run for a couple of years. I think what happened is I almost outgrew my blog. I had some major transitions – one being I relocated from the Boston area all the way out to Southern California. In my head I was thinking, ‘I’m going to have so much more to write about, my life is going to be way more interesting!’ Quite the opposite happened. The content I used to write about just slipped out of my focus once I made the move. I wasn’t as concerned with posting pictures of my outfits (and feeling the pressure to put really good outfits together!), I wasn’t living the ‘fabulous’ life of going out all the time, and splurging on fancy drinks and dinners (topics I used to write about a LOT!) I basically evolved to a point where my blog didn’t feel like ‘me’ anymore, and here I am, 1 year later since I wrote a blog post. I’m still trying to decide what my next move will be in the blog-o-sphere, because I definitely don’t feel like I can leave for good!!! Not sure if you’re feeling any of these same things, but I wanted to share just in case :)

  • Emily Ehlers

    I feel the same way with my blog and I don’t come anywhere close to posting as often as you do. (Which is probably part of the problem!) You’re definitely not alone. I can’t believe you’ve kept such an active blog thru grad school, I dont know how you find enough hours of the day. You’re amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/sheblog Jenmarie

    This is one of my favorite outfits, yet! I love the RZ dress and I think it looks perfect with those boots! I am sorry you’re feeling that way about your blog, I know we all have similiar feelings at some point. I have to say though, I’ve noticed growth and consistencing on your youtube channel and I think that’s fantastic! I always enjoy your videos :)

  • Tiffanie

    I came across your blog a little over a year ago and I have not missed a post since. I love your outfit post, makeup post, product reviews, and everything else you post on. About six months ago I went back to the first year. I was shocked, overwhelmed, tremendously moved when you posted about your brother. I kept thinking every time a read your blog about what a strong woman you are, and what and inspiration!! Little did I know my beloved granny would pass the following year. She was so such much more than my Grandma. She was one of my best friends. Three weeks after she passed away and I was engulfed by grief, I felt like emotionally I was stuck in this black hole and I would NEVER see light again. Your blog post came up in my email, as I read it. I thought of your blog posting, and how life goes on if you try, if you put in the work to make it better, if you do what you love and what makes you happy you heal. From that day, I have done something every day that I love and makes me happy. I picked up hiking again, I volunteered my time again, and I’ve decided to go to cooking school because that’s one of my passions.

    I post this to say, your blog is great, you have touched my life and I just wanted to say thank you so much!!

  • April

    I think it is completely normal to feel like your “enjoyment” has reach its full potential or that maybe there is nothing left to say. When weighted down with all of life’s other jobs, issues, and directions, even our enjoyment can lose its joy for a while. We, as woman, feel the need to be all things to everyone in every department and it is often at the expense of our joy. Your feelings today hit home with me as I deleted or removed some extras that I was putting into my job which I thought was helping. Reality hit home this morning and I decided it was time to get rid of those extras cause I needed to be able to enjoy me, my family, my job, and my “enjoyment” which I was no longer doing. My prayer for you is that you find the direction you need and that God gives you peace with the decision.

    With that being said, you are my favorite blog and the one I turn to for any advice. You have never steered me wrong with your suggestions and my face and wardrobe thank you for it! Keep up the great work. We all appreciate it!!!!!

  • Lorena

    I can relate how you feel. I have been blogging since 1999, I started part time and now do it full time. I make a living from my blog/ezine. I love skin care and wellness and most of the time I do not have problem writing, but what I want to share with you is that the Internet is changing fast, and the growth is divided many people do not want to read blogs anymore they have enough with Facebook and similar services, people are surfing from their phones, there so many blogs etc, etc. These changes are making it very difficult to growth.

    I love your blog, it is one of the very few beauty blogs I really like. I like your videos and your posts. Do not get discourage, try to get more guess posting in other blogs, try to get yourself out there and keep going with your videos. I think your blog is fine as it is perhaps you need more marketing (I know that is what I am missing).

  • scunningham

    Your online presence hs been one of my favorites on the Internet. I think of your work as professional and consistent, but very relatable (to me, anyway). I wanted to put that out there, because I think it matters.

    But we all outgrow things, even things that have been nothing but good to us. When things don’t serve you anymore, so be it. Change it, replace it, make it over. It’s all good, right? xo

  • http://www.thenerdykatie.com/ Katie

    I am in love with that bag!

    And I totally get the blogger feelings. I go threw that all the time with my blog. It’s okay to take a step back & refocus & catch your breath. I know there are a lot of “rules” about blogging, but honestly, you don’t have to follow them if they are just bringing you down ya know? I’m totally over hauling my blog right now for a pick me up, maybe the same will help you!

  • http://twitter.com/AvgGirlsGuide The Avg Girl Guide

    love your level of honesty. think we’ve all been there and i often wonder/wish my blog would grow bigger. I know some of my challenges are in photography and design, but it always go back to time to teach myself these things, take classes, etc. Not sure if that will change but I am fortunate for the opportunities and experiences, and most of all, new friendships I have as a result.

  • Charly

    First, you are killing it in this outfit. Love it! Whoever said horizontal stripes are not flattering has obviously not seen this post!
    Second, I’m not a blogger, so I can’t speak to that directly. But, I have had the feeling of plateauing several times during my life. I think it’s natural – everything can’t be awesome and inspiring all the time, or you’d tire of the feeling. When this hits me, I just remember that it’s not an excuse to slack off (which I don’t think you even know the meaning of, Miss Resident ;) ), and I keep working hard at it until the next opportunity comes. And it will come. It may be different than what you’ve done or looked for in the past, but it’s out there. I just love your blog and videos and find you inspiring in my everyday life. Thanks for being you! :)

  • Call me M

    You’re not the only one. I’ve thought of it too. I think the comments below covered everything I would say myself. I don’t know what you’ll decide to do next, but be sure that we love your blog, and we’ll be around, reading your posts, whatever you do. :)

    Call me M @ Do You Speak Gossip?

  • Cait Val

    those boots are killer.
    those boots are made for walking & that’s just what you’ll do . . . work it!!!

    xo. c & v
    cake & valley

  • http://franish.blogspot.com/ Franziska

    I can understand (not relate ha) where you are coming from. I spent part of last week reading through your archives (I was really interested in seeing how you handled blogging and med school at the same time) and I think when your blog blew up, blogging was a bit different than it is now. There are so many people blogging now that it’s hard to stay on top just because there’s always someone with more time/money/connections to be reader grabby. I think it’s important for you to remember that you aren’t meant to be a full time blogger. You are a physician, you save lives, you do something to help society. Blogging is for fun :)

  • raquel

    It looks cute how you paired the pink belt with black & white. You know, I think everyone in life feels this way – blog or no blog. I feel the same fears sometimes but you are recognizing that you need/want to make a change & that is what counts.

  • Sarah

    I can completely relate. I decided to take a break from my blog in February for all of these same reasons. And I haven’t posted since. Some days I miss it, but not having te frustration has been so freeing. I hope you find peace in the next step-whatever that may be. http://www.thedailysophisticate.blogspot.com

  • http://twitter.com/VintageDanielle Danielle

    The dress is darling! I would love to see you in the dress without the tights and colorful heels. I’ve been going through some tough medical stuff so my blog had been suffering but I think as long as your honest with your readers and give them updates, all is good.

  • Ashley

    Lol. Totally not what I was expecting when I read “jailbait”. I love it anyway! I’m really glad stripes are a thing right now

    xo Ashley

    thetiniestfirecracker.com

  • http://mamaisworking.blogspot.com/ Meikah Ybañez-Delid

    Cool outfit! I’ve felt that way a thousand times, as if hitting a wall, and experiencing some writer’s block. But eventually, I’d go back. I guess it’s a form of catharsis that’s why. I’m sure you’ll overcome this feeling soon. Especially, that you have become an inspiration to many, including me. :)

  • http://fashiondivamommy.blogspot.com Fashion Confessions of a Mommy

    I think a lot of people go thru that. I honestly see my blog as a hobby and not worry when it hits a low. I love your combo especially the touch of the thin pink belt.
    Daphne.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lowe.mari Marissa Lowe

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog and that I look to this site for inperation for my own. I know when I first started I looked at your post on how to blog to help get started. I am so glad I stumbled upon this a year ago and I usually talk to my friends about your looks and posts!

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