Monday, July 31, 2017

Most Asked Personal Questions

Striped Tank (also here, under $100)// White Jeans (my favorite pair ever)
Basket Bag (on sale under $50)// Sunglasses

So I know a lot of you love the more personal posts. I totally get that and I love to share and try to share as much as I am comfortable with. 

But, at the end of the day, this is a public website and once it goes out onto the internet, I am fully aware I can never take anything back once I hit 'publish'. I also know Summer Wind is available for my parents, family, friends, coworkers, ex boyfriends, old bosses, and anyone else who wants to stop by. I love that, but always keeping that in the back of my mind keeps me in check on what type of information I share.

You are all SO respectful of this and I can't thank you enough. I've said this time and time again, but all of you that stop by are truly class acts. You all give me such quality, eloquent feedback, you send me the kindest e-mails, have excellent taste and always recommend such quality products. I can never be thankful enough for the community that is present here! You are all so wonderful and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by all of you- a smart, wonderful bunch, that's for sure! 

I've touched on this topic before in several blog posts, but haven't touched on it recently, so I thought it was about time for a post. The internet is so public and sharing parts of my life for all to see is fun, but I also like to keep parts of my life off of the internet. Whether it's because I respect others around me and their right to privacy or it's because I want relationships and events to be special and savored by me in real life and real time. And most of all, I keep certain things off the internet for my own personal safety. Having a little bit of privacy helps to keep my sanity.

I always receive a lot of questions in regard to more personal topics. Some of them are great and turn out to be great posting topics! But, I'm also asked a lot of questions that I do not feel comfortable sharing on the internet. 

So, I am going to address some of the questions today as I don't think I can write a full blog post on each topic (it would bore you all), but I'll give you a bit of an answer on some of these topics. I've grouped them together and kind of paraphrased the ask so I can cover more questions in one answer (if that makes sense). 

Love Life/Dating
This is my number one most asked question. All. The. Time. I don't think this is an inappropriate question at all, and I totally get the curiosity here. You can read all about my mentality, here, which still to this day (it was published 3 years ago) covers all my feelings about this. I will say that although I don't post about specifics, I do try to incorporate little things here and there like date night outfits, Valentine's Day date ideas, I'll post dinners/what I'm doing for dates on snapchat/insta stories, etc. I try to include it as much as possible within my comfort zone. But it's just something that I don't want to blast on the internet. My 2017 addition to my post from 2014 is: if you know me personally, then you know, and with this topic, that's what is most important to me! 

How do you deal with all of the negativity online?
I truly ignore it. If it is constructive criticism, I'm more than open to learning from it. But if it is just down right mean-spirited and hurtful, I completely and entirely ignore it. I'm not everyone's cup of tea, and I'm more than ok with that! I'm not forcing anyone to be here and I respect that everyone has different tastes and opinions. I am who I am and I'm not here to try and please everyone. Keeping the negativity out of my life helps me to live a life full of happiness. If you are ever faced with negativity in any facet of your life, I really urge you to rid yourself of it if at all possible, because I promise you, you'll live a happier and more optimistic life! 

How do you always seem so happy?
I am happy. I love this quote: although every day is not a good day, there is some good in every day. My life isn't perfect. I have bad days just like every other person. But my biggest efforts are to focus on the good in life and focus on the positivity. I try to be positive towards those around me and encourage happiness. And I try to surround myself with people whom I love and who bring happiness to my life. I love to find the silver lining in even the toughest of situations. And I also try to practice gratitude every single day (which sounds cheesy, I know, but I promise you, it works!!). 

Finances: Do you budget, save, plan for retirement?
This is one of those 'iffy' topics but I get asked about it all the time. It's a bit of a taboo topic, in general, in society, but I've also never wanted to post about it because I am not an expert and don't want to give unprofessional advice. Also, every single person's financial circumstances are different and I don't want anything I would say to be misconstrued as insensitive or unaware or possibly offend anyone. I will say that personally, saving is one of my top priorities. I am a big saver in all aspects and am trying to work for a nice life for myself once I retire. My biggest tip was taught to me by my parents: live below your means. 

Why Did You Choose to Live At Home?
This is not for everyone and I am fully aware that not everyone has this luxury or ability. I lived at home for several years after college. Like I said, a solid savings is very important to me and one of my top priorities. By living at home and not having to pay rent, I was able to save a nest egg without sacrificing the lifestyle that I am used to. This sounds simple, but that meant I made the decision to a) live at home with my parents which wasn't without its cons (but seriously, I'm very lucky because they're amazing), 2) live where I grew up (quite literally in my childhood bedroom) and not move to a new city. I don't regret it for one second. I think it was one of the best decisions I have ever made and am so thankful to my parents for providing me with the luxury to do so. I'll also say that I received a lot of 'judgment' from peers and even here on Summer Wind. I can kind of see why- but I also knew I was doing something that was right and important for me and at the end of the day, that is all that matters. When I was in middle school, I learned that sometimes making an 'uncool' or unpopular choice will benefit you in the long run. I was given the opportunity to take honors math, but all my friends were in regular math. My parents urged me to choose the 'unpopular' choice and do I have regrets about it? Nope. With living at home, it was a very 'uncool' choice, but again, no regrets! 

Instagram vs. Real Life
Instagram is 110% my highlight reel. I don't have any personal social media except for Facebook, which nowadays, I barely ever even post. If you want more 'real life' unfiltered, I share some of that on Snapchat and Insta Stories, although more so Snapchat (although I've been neglecting that for Instastories lately). I feel like with Snapchat it feels more personal and less 'pretty' so I'm able to share more real moments with you all. I also work hard to share some real life in every Thursday's Lately posts. But to be honest, my everyday is a lot like anyone else's everyday. I'm not doing exciting things all day everyday (mostly sitting at a computer) and don't want to flood your feeds with boring/mundane day to day chatter and ultimately annoy you.

I'm not sure if you all have noticed, too, but I've really made an effort to include iPhone photos/totally non-staged images in blog posts and instagrams. They're less professional which in turn, I feel like they're a lot more personal and more like what I am actually seeing out of my own eyes. I love high quality photos, don't get me wrong, and brands want to see those, so I try to keep a nice balance, but I really do make a conscious effort to include less professional imagery and more 'hey I just shot this on my iPhone'. 

Another thing on this topic that I really want to mention: you can judge someone's instagram or blog all you want and think you know someone, but you don't. It amazes me to read some super popular instagrammer's comments that they receive and see such hurtful and judgmental commentary. I am not perfect, and of course, I judge, but you definitely don't know someone that you've never even met. It's something to always keep in mind when you are looking at social media. Even with personal Facebook profiles... you can see a perfectly happy person on social media and in reality, they could be dealing with something very serious. Don't compare yourself to others, but also don't judge other people too harshly or read too much into a social media post. That's been a really big/great lesson for me in the 8+ years I've been blogging!

Are you going to get a dog?
I'm actually surprised by how many people ask me this- It's usually when I share Mac on Instastories/Snapchat! Oh gosh do I want one!!! I miss not seeing Mac everyday so so much. But, I love seeing him every time I go home! My building allows pets, but at this stage in my life I think I am going to hold off. First of all, I travel a lot. Second of all, there's nowhere immediately outside of my building to take a dog to the bathroom.. So I don't feel safe going on a walk outside in the middle of the night by myself. Third of all, my carpet, walls, bedding, etc. are all white aka not dog-friendly. I know once I get a dog (which will happen sooner than later), I'll have to get over that or choose some new bedding/fabrics, but for now, the dog would just ruin everything and make my small apartment a disaster. Third of all, I want a big dog (50+ pounds maybe)  and I think it would be selfish for him/her to have to live in this small of an apartment!

What do you do to stay fit?
I get asked this a ton- especially after I post several unhealthy food pics in a row on instastories/snapchat. I'm flattered that anyone thinks I'm fit- I am not a fitness buff at all, I don't workout everyday, I don't do fad diets, I don't limit myself, I'm not a health nut. I personally find that everything in moderation works best for me. For example, if I indulged a little too much over the weekend, I kick my butt into gear during the week eating healthy, fresh foods, make sure I am getting plenty of steps in during the day, etc. I'm sorry to disappoint, but I don't have any secret fit tips- but if you do, let me know ;) 

Why do you do sponsored posts?
I get e-mails from PR companies and brands daily. I spend more time fielding emails/responding and managing my inbox than I do anything else. I'm grateful for so many opportunities and fun collaborations but I ultimately say no to most, which is something I think a lot of people don't realize. I only ever accept brands that I use, believe in, and like. So although 'sponsored' is like a dirty word to readers of blogs and I sometimes get hateful comments because I do sponsored posts, it's a great opportunity for me to expand my portfolio, share brands and products I stand behind/truly love, and to get paid. I also always disclose that it is a sponsored post, so if you are ever in question, unless it clearly states that it is a sponsored post, then it is organic. 

What is your biggest fear?
Only a few of you have asked this, but I thought I would share this. To a lot of you, this is going to sound really dumb. But my biggest fear in the world are needles. In general, sharp objects scare me, but it's not something that disrupts my life (I'm totally fine handling knives in the kitchen, etc.). But with needles, it's a very, very legitimate fear (in my mind). It's an irrational fear, I know, but I've dealt with it since I can remember. Ironically enough, I've gotten more stitches in life than (probably) a lot of people. It's something I continuously have to work on.

Why did you choose to live downtown?
This is not super personal, but I get asked this a lot from out of town readers and those who are thinking about moving to Pittsburgh. If you asked me if I would live downtown 5 years ago, I would have said 'ew, no way, you couldn't even pay me to live downtown'. Downtown Pittsburgh used to be populated from 9-5 during weekdays and emptied out after work/on weekends. There weren't many restaurants or things to do. Just as I graduated college, Pittsburgh's downtown area has done a complete 180. Major news outlets have done many articles on this Renaissance. Downtown is bustling at all hours of the day and night (on any day). It's actually crowded most of the time (which I admit, is a bit annoying). It's hard to get into restaurants on a random Wednesday night. There are even restaurants that require reservations months in advance. I feel safe walking everywhere and can walk to anywhere (like Heinz Field, PNC Park, Market Square, The Strip District, etc.). It's a quick $7ish Uber ride to pretty much anywhere else that I frequent (ie. Shadyside). I'm 10 minutes away from my parents and 3 of my best friends live in my building. There is so much going on downtown now, it often gets overwhelming. When I was deciding where to live, I was between Shadyside and downtown. I definitely made the right decision for me and highly recommend it to anyone else moving to Pittsburgh!

Do you have any bad habits?
I think my biggest bad habit is that I bite/pick at my nails. I've always had this problem ever since I can remember. I think it's a nervous/anxious tick that I have. I really dislike that I do it- it's so unattractive! The only thing that really helps is that I'm a lot less likely to pick if my nails are manicured. Because of that, I get a gel manicure every two weeks. My favorite polish colors are: love is in the bare, big apple red, let's be friends, and I've got the blues for red (all by OPI).


betsybreck said...

I liked this post!
I would add that finding the humor in EVERYTHING also makes a person feel a little more happier, especially when life takes a turn for the worst. I have a young daughter and if she needed to come back home after college and save some money, I'm pretty sure my Hubs and I would jump up and down with joy and do backflips at having our Girl back home with us for a while! I'm sure your parents were over the moon about it too;-)

You do a fantastic job on this blog and even though we are probably a good 20 years in age difference, I can relate to a lot of the clothes you post on here. Also, I hate shopping so it's nice to have someone else do it for me!

One last thing, I'm also a JMU alum, now living in Colorado and I'm pretty sure I lived in the sorority house next to you on the Row!

Katie M said...

Loved getting to know you a bit better through this post! I have this top too and LOVE it!


Sara said...

I am a long time reader, but I have never commented before. The reason I keep coming back to Summer Wind is that you seem so bright and cheery and kind. It is hard to find people like that and I really appreciate you sharing your life with us.


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