Honest To Blog -- Proud vs. Boastful

This week's Honest To Blog is probably going to be a scattered one. I've had this topic in mind for over a month already and I just can't seem to find the words to communicate what I'm thinking when I sit down to type it. Anyway, this one is about sharing your life online and the thin line between being proud (but in a sincere way) and being "braggy" and boastful. We all share these sides of our lives for different reasons. There isn't a questionnaire that deems you acceptable for the internet (though sometimes I think that'd be really helpful!). But as a blogger, do you ever feel like you're "showing off" sometimes? 

I do. And it makes me very uncomfortable. It's never my intention, of course. But sometimes I'll share something and then go back and read/see it a little while later and cringe, so I delete it. Obviously everything on the internet is forever (Seriously. Be mindful before you post things!) but sometimes things I say/do just irk me and I feel like I need to retract the entire situation. I'll give you an example...
Around Christmas I received several pairs of Jeffrey Campbell shoes... I was elated! My blog tagline says it right there... "ugly shoes" and I love 'em! We all have our collections! Anyway, I shared a picture on Instagram of the shoes I got for Christmas with the tagline saying something like "Looks like Santa is a shoe man!" It received several "likes" and no negative comments luckily, but not even 10 minutes after posting it I instantly felt a pang of shame at boasting about something so trivial and silly. I deleted it from every platform that IG posts to. I felt so strange, and so naive honestly! It could be just that I'm ultra sensitive sometimes or that I'm manic, but still. The current economic climate doesn't exactly lend itself to hoards of expensive, totally unnecessary and inappropriate shoes. How could I honestly sit there and post that so openly?! I've said it once and I'll say it again, I'm a huge fan of sales. I buy mostly everything on discount and I try to be a smart shopper, but my habits probably still come off as "excessive" to some. While we can never really know what life is like for other bloggers (this is a topic for another day!), we all try to piece the puzzle together to figure it out. (C'mon. I know I'm not the only one who speculates!) That's getting off on a tangent but still, I all of a sudden felt like I was sharing my shoe haul for the wrong reason. I think that's my one concern with "haul videos" that became popular on YouTube some years ago. So many people in your audience may genuinely be interested in what you picked out and added to your personal wardrobe, but how do you stay on the right side of the line between sharing and boasting? I suppose outfit posts could fall into the same category as well. Granted I don't wear high end, designer duds so I don't feel like my wardrobe is out of reach for the majority of my readers, but I still second-guess myself when I post them. I've been asked countless times to share haul videos or a video/blog post of my Jeffrey collection and I'd be more than happy to, but I'm so afraid I'd come off as insincere or like I'm just bragging. As I said earlier, that's never my intention with my blog. I'm this shy Nashvillian who spends more than her fair share of time in a UTC sweatshirt and leggings (and furry houseboots. Are you rethinking following me for my fashion posts yet?!) I love finding more gals who "get" the JC hype and don't mind my often repetitive outfits. 

I've also received my fair share of (both sincere and straight up accusatory) questions like "How do you afford all of that? Do you feel like you're a compulsive shopper? How does Mike feel about all of your shopping?" That' is still another topic for another day, but it helps put it into perspective for me as a blogger. A lot of my dresses in my closet are less than $10 and picked straight off the rack at Ross. I am so not ashamed to admit that. I have a slightly extravagant looking closet only because I'm cheap cheap cheap and I keep things for years! It doesn't feel weird for me to look over and see that hanging in my office but I understand that it can be so far fetched for others. They may not know my shopping habits or how I love wear and tear on items. They just see lots of "stuff" and may think I acquired it overnight. Is it our duty as bloggers to reign in the consumerism or "I can wear something new everyday" attitude of a lot of blogs, or is it normal and does it provide a sense of escapism for readers? Ah, escapism! I use that to describe my love affair for a lot of blogs... Not just ones who wear designer details top to bottom (that's really not my style anyway), but also for mom blogs, gals who blog about their world travel, etc. Things that aren't exactly pertinent to my life right now, but I still aspire to. It absolutely does provide me with an escape from my day. But with that being said, I have a hard time discerning my personal feelings toward my blog being seen as an escape for some. What I mean by that is I don't feel like I have/do anything that is outside the realm of possible for any other girl. Guys, I am as basic/normal as they come. Okay, big hair, really ugly shoes and some tattoos too (tagline!), but I'm no superhero haha I just want to share bits and pieces of my life without coming off as some uppity shoe hoarder! haha And yes, these are things that I actively think about. Though I suppose if you're more reserved/conservative with your "look" then you may like to see someone who is a little more out there. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I just think about blogging too much (but if I didn't, Honest to Blog wouldn't exist!). Instead of over-analyzing everything I do (along with the actions of others), maybe I should just write and go with it. I've definitely always fancied myself as someone who isn't too terribly wrapped up in what others think, but I absolutely hate the feeling of being misunderstood. Someone might read something on my blog and take it the wrong way and I hate that feeling of failure while trying to convey something (much like this blog post!) 

I've read blogs in the past that are nothing but "c/o" outfits and partnership schpiels and honestly, those weren't the blogs for me. I did feel a sense of entitlement coming from the blog author and I decided to just purge them from my reader. Life seems like one big competition and the blog world is no exception. I just strive to be sincere in everything I do and I hope y'all understand where I'm coming from. I definitely do some things that warrant me a side eye and maybe even an audible scoff, but I promise my intentions always come from the best of places. I guess this is just a thought that has been plaguing my mind since around the holidays and even more so now that we've moved into a new house. I want to show y'all absolutely everything we've picked out for it and how I've organized all of those ugly shoes, but I don't want to be perceived as a giant ego. It's so easy to interpret things in a way they weren't meant but hopefully y'all kind of get where I'm coming from and I don't sound like a total crazy lady!

Anyway, this is a much longer than intended post but I'm glad I was able to get (most of) it off of my chest. I definitely didn't deliver it in a way that I had hoped for but I'm at a loss for how to make sentences on most Sunday mornings! Work wears me out! Alright... what are your thoughts? How do you draw the line between being proud and being boastful? What do you do, as a blogger, to stay on the right side? Or how do you feel, as a reader, when you see bloggers post things like I mentioned? All discussion is welcome!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Honest To Blog is a weekly free-writing series on LCH where I share my thoughts, feelings and frustrations with all of my readers. 100% unedited, unbiased, and sometimes unpopular, you can often find a boatload of typos just by glancing at it. Click here to read the rest of the series!


  1. You've said before that you hang everything up because if you can't see it in your wardrobe then you won't wear it. I've just moved house and didn't realise how many clothes I had until I looked in all my drawers. I'm sure if I hung up every single thing I owned, my closet would look just as big.
    If you buy dresses cheap and know websites where you can get your JCs cheap, then why not show us your stuff? There's nothing to be ashamed of. As you've said, it's not like you wear anything designer. xx

  2. I really loved that you touched on this topic. I actually stopped reading a few blogs because the author came across as super materialistic. They were always showing off their "stuff" but never posted anything real. I love love love that you don't do that. I know in the beginning I read your blog to see "what kind of shoes that crazy lady is wearing today" but now I come back because you are stuffed to the top with all kinds of inspiration!

  3. Kaelah,

    People come to your blog because of you and what you have made. I started reading because I was inspired by how you have made nothing into something. I have a mere 20-somthing subscribers and you have thousands. While I love my little group, it really shows what you have done and how motivated you are to make something big. I admire that. With that being said people subscribe because of you and what you have to say, so don't be afraid to say or share whatever you want. This blog should be the one place were you don't feel like you need to sensor yourself. People don't have to read or follow you if they don't want to. Shame on them for making you second guess yourself. I'm sorry this is so long, but in short I'm saying I like your "ugly" shoes and I feel like I can Identify with you (style wise, I'm young and married, and your dorkieness)so be you and say what you want. You only live once, share your shit, your a blogger! :)

  4. People should use their resources in a way that brings them joy:

    Some people get regular mani-pedis and/or massages

    Some people regularly dine at fancy restaurants

    Some people go to the movies every weekend

    Your shoe collection seems to bring you joy! Glad you found your thing!

  5. Admittedly I love seeing your collection of clothes and shoes because they are definitely something I cannot afford, but I am more happy for you than I am sitting here envying!

  6. I, personally, adore your outfit posts and have NEVER EVER once thought you came off as boastful. I am also a gal on a budget (I work for a non-profit organization), but have found that if one shops smartly, one can, well, dress smartly for very cheap. For me, wearing a fun outfit brightens my day, and your oufits RADIATE fun!! So, thanks. :)
    My blog is a place where I go to sort out my feelings and seek wisdom (I'm a big fan of quotes and such). Sometimes, I worry that I am coming off as preachy or full-of-myself when, really, I am just desperately trying to become a better person. I am lucky that I have a very small readership who are mostly my real-life friends. YOU, girl, are such an example to so many of how to gracefully handle a large readership. Thanks for being a bright spot in my days and in the days of so many others!!

  7. I love seeing your clothing collection, because its inspiring and beautiful! Its inspirational that you're so thrifty, yet have such amazing things. I think that it only motivates others to strive for more, whether its just to make themselves feel better by wearing a pretty dress or by working hard everyday for the things they want like you do.

  8. LOVE this post. I'm usually a lurker and this post made me like you so much more, I'll admit it. There is a fine line between inspiration and jealously and it's one of the main reasons I unfollow some bloggers. You do seem to have more than most, but it's great to hear that you are thrifty and hold onto things for a long time... That is something you should write more about, perhaps. How to slowly cultivate style, from a great wardrobe to amazing home decor.

  9. I think you put that into words perfectly! No one likes being misunderstood and it's especially difficult in the blogging world. Your readers don't interact with you in person ever, so there's so much about your life that can be assumed. People will always be judgmental, it's human nature unfortunately.

    I'm so happy you touched on the "c/o" subject. It makes a difference to me as a reader knowing that you bought your shoes yourself. You don't get paid to have an image and that's what I love about your blog. As far as I can tell, you earn what you have, and as a hard working girl myself, I appreciate that. It's relatable and honest - which is refreshing in the blogging world. I love your Honest to Blog posts, they help me realize that bloggers are real people too, even if they're hiding behind all the free clothes in the world.

  10. The way I see it is.....
    "Is my way of living hurting anyone else"?
    If no, keep doing what your doing. If yes, THEN change it.

    What people forget is the fact that this is YOUR life. It isn't hurting anyone to post on the cool things that you have. We all love to show off our stuff. Anyone who says they don't ever show anyone anything is probably a liar of some sort, in my opinion.

    If it doesn't hurt anyone, then it shouldn't matter what you have or do with your life. It is YOUR life in fact. :)

    All of us that follow you know and see that you aren't the chick who just brags about her cool things and great life. You let us see it all, good, bad, and ugly. We are constantly reminded just by your personal posts (not excluding other types of posts) that you are just like us. :)

    Remember, if you have haters you must be doing something right! There will always be people who don't "get" or live your way of life, but that is why its yours and not there's. :)

    I hope this made sense.

    Just keep doing you girlfriend!!!

  11. I feel the same way sometimes--not with clothing or things, but with sharing my travel photos and stories about my trips. I feel like sometimes it comes across as "showing off", which isn't my intention. Yes, I got to work in an amazing place and travel a lot--but the job was awful, most of my trips involved sleeping in cheap hostels/airports/cars and while I had a great time, it certainly wasn't always rainbows!

    There is a popular blogger who I feel is really fake and is always showing off. People are really enamored with her though... So maybe it's just me. Her closet makes yours look miniscule though!

    I think you are honest and open and while I am envious of your clothing, I don't feel like you paint yourself as having such a ridiculously unattainable life or that you are showing off. I think it's all about how it's presented, and you do very well with showing us what you have/do without showing off!

  12. I really like what you had to say in todays post. I stumbled across your blog maybe a month or so ago, and I instantly liked what I saw. I love the fact that you shop sales, and adore ugly shoes. And whats best of all, you got it all on sale, and YOU paid for it. So, maybe some of the items come from C/O. Big deal! You are more down to earth and more with it then you give yourself credit for. I can relate more to your blog than the blogs that ooze Chirstian Dior, Prada, and all those other names that dont roll off my tongue quite so easily. Do not stop posting the goods! Show em' and be proud!

  13. I love your honest to blog features. You're an awesome lady, completely real and if we didn't live so far I'd totally try to make friends with you :)

  14. I love these HTB posts so much, just genuine writing that is heartfelt and not at all contrived. I love your style and am seriously impressed by your JC collection, it's not really similar to my style, but that's what makes you unique and interesting! Also, I dont see it as showing off in any way, anyone who reads your blog knows how hard you work and how you kind of never stop working, so I think you deserve to buy yourself treats if that's what makes you happy. :)

  15. i'm an ultra sensitive crazy person too haha and i mean that in the best way possible! i'm always wondering how i come across to others and hoping they don't get the wrong impression. i think if you had gotten all of the jc's c/o it would be different but we know you work hard for the money haha show em off! that's the best part about blogs, seeing a little into people's lives/personalities...we know what you love!


  16. You are so introspective and thoughtful Kaelah, and I think that's part of the reason people love reading your blog so much. You are genuine.

    I think that one of the unfortunate things about "putting yourself out there" on the internet - which is something that ALL of us who blog do - is that it's only showing a glimpse of a bigger picture. Someone could live in a tent in a their parent's backyard and post a picture of a pretty necklace they received as a gift, and suddenly, it's assumed that they have money. Or someone could have a really, really rough life but only post about the happy moments, and the assumption is that they "must have it so easy." On a smaller level, it's similar to how we look at celebrities and make assumptions about who they are by one picture of them, or a character they played, or one thing they said in an interview. It's rough. Most of us don't make assumptions because we're bad people - it's a subconscious reaction. And on the other side of it, some people DO brag. Usually it's not hard to tell the difference though. (And I think it's pretty obvious that you work hard, are thrifty, and don't have a huge ego. I think it's awesome when you post a new pair of Jeffrey Campbells).

    On a personal note, I've gotten comments and emails from people telling me how lucky I am because my husband is the stage manager for a band that tours the world, and I get to travel and see exciting places and get backstage passes for shows and festivals. I've also read comments on the band's fan message board about me (and the other wives) and how we must not have jobs because we tour full-time with the band (furthest thing from the truth!!!). This has definitely made me more hesitant about posting pictures or tales of these adventures. It's partly because I start to second guess myself and wonder if I'm coming off as bragging. But even moreso, it's because having your husband far away from you for half the year sucks. Bad. It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. I could choose to post about how awful it can be, but people don't want to hear that. Or I could choose never to mention my adventures - but it's a huge part of my life or marriage.

    As I said, I think it's pretty easy to tell who comes across as bragging and who is just genuinely sharing. And even when it comes to the braggers, we don't know the full story. I think we can all agree that seeing someone constantly post pictures of the boxes of free clothing and shoes they receive from companies who want them to advertise their products gets annoying after a while. But when I find myself assuming that they live a certain way or that they're narcissistic, I also try to stop and think about the fact that they're only sharing part of picture.

    You are one of my favorite bloggers, and I think it's totally bad ass that you share your concerns like this, and totally bad ass that you share your collections of dresses and shoes. The end.


  17. Girl, I have never once ever felt or had a feeling from you of being boastful. To me you honestly come off as the least bit boastful.
    I personally have struggled a lot with blogging and being a reader of almost a feeling of not feeling good enough because I dont have constanrt c/o posts

    I dont know if this has something I have created from my own insecurities.
    But I really dont like and stop reading posts that are constantly c/o c/o c/o.
    Everything just becomes a walking advertisement. I dont know I cant really find the words to explain why I dont like it. They just make me feel uncomfortable but all I can do for myself is stop reading.

    sorry for the ramble

  18. It's really refreshing to see someone honestly thinking and blogging about this! For what it's worth, you've never come across as boastful to me. I think your outfit posts are adorable and unique, but they're usually full of attainable items available at a pretty "average" budget. I see a lot of outfit posts out there that amount to easily $1200 worth of clothes and accessories, and the vast majority of them were a lot more boring and lacking individual style than your bargains! You can make an enviable outfit with $100 or $10,000 but you can't buy style.

    You work hard for the things that you have, and I think you deserve to be proud of what you do, and you should continue celebrating your big hair, [not so] ugly shoes, and tattoos!

  19. I feel like I'm showing off whenever I post anything crafty; I'm not a craft blogger and I feel like people will think I'm trying to pass myself off as one. But I still do it because I'm genuinely excited about what I've made; I think people respond well to a real voice of excitement.

    Would it help if you did some "how to look good on a budget" style posts? Like, wear whatever you were going to wear but with annotations about how long you've had something or how cheap it was on sale? I mean, I know you sometimes point people in the direction of discount sites, but I'm thinking out-blog-loud here...

    Oh, and I would LOVE to see the sweatshirt, leggings and furry houseboots style post - I love "what I really wore" posts!

  20. Ego and boastful are literally the last words that come to mind when I read your blog Kaelah. Don't ever be ashamed to be you. If you have an ugly shoe collection and love it, then flaunt it! I know I'll never be able to afford JC shoes, but that's okay, because I live vicariously through you! ;) Be proud of how you have accumulated your things. Don't ever be afraid of hurting peoples' feelings that way. It is very rare for a person to feel bitter towards what another person has, in which case they need to grow up and deal with the card they are dealt. Stand up and be proud of you! :)

  21. You have seriously never come across as boastful! I think sometimes I can get really excited about things, and my excitement comes off as offensive s -- like, recently we moved into a new house, so we're very blessed... but I don't want to sound spoiled or anything by showing pictures. Honestly, though, I usually just go with my gut feeling and post stuff and people can think what they want. Sometimes I definitely get caught up wayyyy to much in blogging. Anyways, loved this post! Your honest to blog posts are always so much fun to read :)

  22. Kaelah--

    I am so glad you've posted about this. I am a pretty long time reader of your blog. It always amazes me when people ask how you afford your clothes. First--how far from ANYONES business is that? And second--you are SO open about where you buy your clothes from and your sale shopping. I don't have a blog (trying to work up the courage), but I have experienced something similar just minding my own business in real life. I do buy a lot of clothes--I am a very creative person, but not necessarily skilled at creative things, if that makes sense. I can't draw, sing, write music, sew, etc, so my clothes are really the only way I can properly express myself creatively. They are my "hobby". So to some, my shopping may seem excessive, but like a previous commenter said, some people choose to eat out a lot, some people go on lots of vacations, buy expensive cars. If you can do it all, kudos, but if you can't, you have to pick what's important. I pick having a few extra pretty things to put on because I know they make me happy and feel good about myself. Honestly, I look up to you--I pay attention to your WORDS and not just your pictures of you in new clothes or your closet. I know from being a dedicated reader of your blog that you shop sales and have NO debt and that you're thankful for your ability to make a living for yourself. Kudos to you, you're doing it right. You've NEVER seemed boastful to me in the least, which is something I've been seeing quite a bit in the blogosphere lately.

  23. I COMPLETELY agree with this. It's so hard to know where to draw the line between being humble and boastful online. I actually wrote a post about this a while back in regards to fashion bloggers in my area... (although I wasn't nearly as nice as you). I find that especially with fashion blogging it's really easy to get carried away, and sometimes it's not even just how these people are on the internet. It's actually real life, and it makes them look (for lack of a better word) very douchey. It's like yes, I'm happy for your success, the fact that you're getting free things because your blog is doing well, but can you please not act like you're the greatest thing to walk the earth? I could go on for days and days about this, but I'll stop here.

    I really, really enjoyed reading this post.

  24. i'm just putting it out there but i'll be so sad if you don't post your new house all dolled up! haha i love your style and see it more as inspiration than a person trying to say "look at me! look at me! i have all of these things!" i wouldn't worry too much at all!

    lacey :)

  25. If you don't or can't post about what you love then your blog wouldn't be YOUR blog. You're over thinking it, Kaelah! If people don't like what you post then they won't hang around. I love seeing your outfits and shoes and the only things I tend to think are 'Oooh, lovely' or 'Damn. Must organise my wardrobe to look like that'. Keep doing what you're doing, honey! It's what we stick around for :) xx

  26. I totally understand the fear of seeming like you're bragging. I get really pumped about showing my friends things I currently really love or bought for a great deal or am interested in & then seeing their stuff in return. But sometimes I worry it comes off as "look what i have and you don't!" when really I just want them to like it too and be excited and maybe buy it so we can be twinsies.

    But since the format of blogging is rather one sided, it feels like bragging (which I don't think you are) when really, if things were ideal, you'd be sharing and posting things and people with similar interests would be responding with the things they've collected or are interested in. I imagine that's why you probably enjoy having a relationship with the bloggers who you really like and relate to. It feels less like bragging and more like friendly banter about things you love or are excited about.

    Plus, it's hard to write every post with a disclaimer telling everyone that most of the things you own are discount and you're just thrifty with your money.

    But I also think you shouldn't have to explain yourself either.

    I might be totally off-base but that's how I feel. Most of the reason I made a blog was to meet people I could relate to. Granted, I don't have a large audience like you do, but I understand how it feels to be painfully aware of every move you make. Sorry for the short novel, this just struck a chord with me.

  27. I really love and appreciate this post! As a very new blogger, I keep feeling like any of my outfit posts (which I love doing) are "lacking" because I don't necessarily have an enormous closet with extravagant items in it. I wear simple dresses, and half the time I'm either barefoot or in the same couple pairs of shoes over and over. I feel like maybe people won't like my outfits as much because I don't have as expensive of things, or as many pieces to make outfits from! I have several fashion blogs that I follow where the girls are very down to earth and real, and wear clothes I could totally get my hands on, but then I happen upon more popular blogs and their entire outfit is free from shops I only wish I could afford...

    I feel like I'm just babbling now, but basically I love this post, and I too worry about gloating. Heck, I felt guilty the other day for mentioning the nice things my boyfriend bought for me for Valentine's Day! It's sad that I have to worry about feeling bad! I was just excited and afterwards I just felt like I was a spoiled snob! Bleh..

    xo Heather

  28. I've been following your blog for over a year now, and I don't think you've ever come across as being boastful. You do very well in conveying your personality, and I can tell that you're not that kind of person :) You are honestly one of three "fashion" bloggers I've continued to follow, just because the majority of the others out there seem so pretentious and holier-than-thou. They're portraying glamorous, perfect lives. Things that really don't exist for most of us.. and probably not even them. I love your blog because you're very relatable, and I love seeing bits and pieces of your life. If readers want to comment with negativity, they can get to steppin'. You work hard, and you should spend your money on things you like. It's okay to be proud if you work hard for something! What's not cool is bragging about things that were given to you (i.e.: aforementioned snob bloggers) lol

    As a beauty blogger myself, I've always been opposed to all the super, crazy haul videos on YouTube. It's different if you're showing things you've bought with your own money and products you will actually use, but there's definitely a line people cross when all they're doing is haul videos, and there's always a huge disclaimer of how the video was sponsored. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now.. but just keep up the positivity! You bring joy to so many.
    Xo, Rachel

  29. This is such a great post. Reading everyone's reactions is so helpful. xo, rv


  30. I follow you because I can tell you are a kind, genuine person. It's easy as pie to spot the boastful. (And I had to start avoiding those blogs) That being said, I totally know what you mean. I've written things down, and said things out load that I could just kick myself over. We make mistakes, and it's lame. But, I try to learn from my foibles and go forward.

    Thanks for sharing.


  31. I'd love to see more of your closet. My clothes and shoes are all jammed into smaller closets, and it's fun to see what you've done with your space. As for the rest: a lot of your blog is in the words, not just photos of STUFF, and you come across as super down to earth and not at all boastful. That goes a really long way. When you show off an outfit or new shoes, you don't do it in a braggy way, and I think that most people who follow you already understand that.

  32. This is what I think: If I'm about to post something, and I'm not trying to be boastful, then I shouldn't be ashamed to post it! Everything is up to interpretation, and there will always be someone who doesn't like what you write, but that's just how it is. I don't have time (and neither do you) to analyze everything you post. I think you're one of the best bloggers out there, and obviously you have lots of readers who love you, so don't worry about it. :)

  33. I only started regularly reading your blog for the past couple of months, and I follow you on Instagram, and never once have I felt you were "boasting" about your insane shoe/clothing collection. I actually remember that Instagram post with your shoes and didn't think you were bragging at all.

    I follow a lot of style blogs, and personally, I find you to be one of the more down-to-earth style/lifestyle bloggers out there. You're outfits aren't all "c/o" and like another commenter said, you say more with your words and I think the majority of us notice that.

    Lastly, what I like about you is that you *recognize* what you might see as faults in yourself and acknowledge them. That right there shows how much you care. :)

  34. Thank you for this post. These sort of thoughts pass through my mind as well. When I read your posts I don't ever see you as being boastful, but now, in retrospect, I hope I don't come off that way either. I work very hard full time and feel like I deserve the vacations I give myself, but I can see how that could get misconstrued. I suppose it's all in the presentation. And you do a fine job at that :)

  35. So far I haven't seen others show off [yet] but I wonder if I'm doing the same thing. Which makes blogging difficult sometimes.

    As for the /how do you afford all of that/ bit... I really don't understand why people are so quick to question/judge without considering that maybe you're a good shopper and you've had those items for awhile. Compulsive? Maybe because hey, sales/discounts are AWESOME. Cheap means you get to buy in bulk! haha

    I also hate being misunderstood but a friend told me that I don't NEED to explain myself. It's challenging but true.

    The c/o does bother me a little if the blog is mostly on giveaways/sponsors/guest posts.. and there's not much content from the actual blog owner. I followed blogs to get to know someone else and see into their world.. not have constant sponsor posts shoved down my throat.

  36. Okay so I really love this post. As I mentioned on twitter, I have such a hard time with this. I think it's only human to be proud of the things you love that you've acquired - whatever they may be - and to want to share the happiness those things bring you with others. But I totally understand where you're coming from. When I started my 365 Days of Marriage project I tried really hard to make sure I always mentioned that our life isn't picture perfect all of the time. Not even close! I've always feared being misunderstood, especially on that topic, becausemarriage is (of course) hard and not always rainbows and cupcakes! But I felt like people still didn't believe me sometimes, no matter how honest I tried to be.

    I've spent some time feeling jealous of bloggers with tons of followers or sponsors, or hoards of awesome shoes. ;) But then I realize that there are people who come to my blog and feel jealous of the things I have based on how I share small pieces of my life. It made me realize, as bloggers we are all in this together. Not rivals or competitors. I am a regular ol' person and I'd like to think we're all equal with our own share of real life problems and personal trials.

    So I say, share away! If someone wants to be negative - they will. They will look for something to misunderstand. So be mindful of course but post what you want to share and be proud. You deserve that!

    So I say, share away. If someone wants to be negative they will find a way, no matter what you sensor or how you word something.

  37. Sigh, I struggle with this as well... Being a pretty new blogger I feel the need to try and "keep up" with others (heck in real life as well). So I am constantly cringing at the things I post but in all honesty, I absolutely love designer and vintage clothing but I NEVER pay retail prices for anything. I show off finding $900 shoes for $30 and it may still sound stuck up but it's an art to show a purchase off and still sound sincere and humble, an art I definitely haven't mastered yet.


  38. i read your blog all the time and i don't see you as being braggy or boastfull your excited and you want to share with your readers. there are alot of blogs who constantly post oo look at my new designer outfit and $800 pair of shoes ect ect and then ontop of that they are getting free designer things as well lol. personally when i blog about things that i got when i do its more of the fact i want to share with people who actually enjoy the same things as i do . Most of my friends don't really have alot in common with me so having a blog where people actually care about the same things as i do and are interested in reading about it makes me really happy

  39. Hey Kaelah, I can understand all the concerns with the blog drama. My site is new (www.cosmeticsbycortney.com) but i've had other blogs before and it's hard to escape the drama. All you can do is be you and everyone just has to deal with it! :D Keep up the great blogging <3

  40. This post is incredible! Thank you so much for posting it. Tonight I wanted to focus on doing a blog post for my blog recapping a recent trip I went on, and I was having trouble starting it because I didn't want to come across as bragging. I decided to just blog hop for a bit to help me get inspired. This post was exactly what I needed to hear.

    There truly is a fine line between being excited about something and bragging, and (like you) I HATE being misunderstood. I often over think blogging and what I want to post (I recently stopped a weekly topic because I felt that people were taking it the wrong way.

    I have come to your blog multiple times for inspiration for many things (cocktails, cute clothes ideas, and writing style tips - I totally dig your writing "voice" btw!!) Your honesty and sincerity is very endearing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  41. MTE! This is so well written and honest! thank you.

  42. I just wrote a piece very similar to this for my own blog a few days ago! Although, you've put what I was trying to say across much more eloquently.

    I really think there is such a fine line between bragging and just being proud when it comes to blogging. I think some blogs create unrealistic expectations in the minds of their readers about what their lives are like and what their own lives should be like. However I don't think it's totally down to the blogger to think about how the present themselves: in many cases I think those reading the blog should readjust their attitudes when reading a blog; for example remembering that a blogger might not share ALL of themselves on their blogs.

    Great post! xx

  43. I've said this to you before and I'll say it again... Personally, I read your blog because I've been reading since the LJ days. I like your sense of style, I usually admire your sense of self and attitude about life (NGL, sometimes I DO indeed side-eye at things...that's life), and overall it's just interesting watching you grow and change as a person (is that creepy to hear from a stranger?). Never do you come off as deliberately braggadocios or ungrateful for the things you have and that's a quality that is particularly admirable.

  44. I just LOVE your blog. You are so honest refreshing and real. I adore your OoTD shots and all your other eclectic posts.Thanks for continuing to be your awesome self!! I'll keep coming back every day and recommending you to everyone.

  45. I'm probably going to be shunned for this, but I am that one person who did find it boastful. I never thought you meant it, but it did come off that way.

    Growing up, I was very very poor. Not food stamp poor, my family was "one dollar to buy groceries for the entire week to feed 6 people" poor. We didn't have electricity in our home, we didn't have food for days on end. And our clothes came from donations people would drop on our doorstep (no knock on the door. They literally just flung trash bags full of clothes on our doorstep and took off and assumed we'd find it and be instantly grateful). Don't get me wrong, we were grateful for the clothes, not the attitude.

    Since then I've obviously come a long way (I must have if I'm using a computer, right!?). But because I was raised so dirt poor I've come to appreciate the value of a dollar, and the alternative uses for a dollar. Whenever I see bloggers with new clothes "I scored these at XXXXX they were only XXX!" it honestly makes me sad more than excited. I'm no fashionista, but I have seen several blogs where girls shop at thrift stores and then do remix posts where they wear that piece several different ways (thrift store. not vintage boutique). It's a waste-not want-not attitude that I appreciate in a blogger.

    I'm not saying you are boastful, I am just saying that it is sad to see a new dress everyday when there are people who do not have even one. It's just a thought, instead of buying new furniture or a new dress or shoes (that you claim you have a bounty of) maybe put it away in some savings jar and pull it out when there is a real need for it (for yourself or for someone else. But not on frivolities).

    Or think of this as a challenge to do a remix post. :) That is, if i haven't already gotten boo-ed off the stage.

  46. I'm a new follower of yours, I've been subscribed via bloglovin for about three weeks and I can already tell I like your personality and style! I do NOT think you're boastful or anything... Just helpful by providing new ideas about how to mix& match clothes! And I can't WAIT to see your new place. I will be eager to see a photo tour once you're all settled in.

  47. @ Anon: I was waiting for a comment like this. You're totally entitled to it and you won't be shunned or booed in any way. Not from me at least. I do have two "issues" (for the lack of a bette word) with your arguement however: 1) your feelings are a projection. you're projecting from how YOU grew up. i very well may have grown up the same way (spoiler alert: i did, may never to that extent, but still. i come from a single parent household where my mom worked multiple jobs to support me, never receiving government assistance, etc). i've worked for absolutely everything i have, just like she, and there's no shame in that. 2) you say things like "put it in savings"... not going to lie, this actually annoys the living daylights out of me as just a human being. you cannot possibly know how much money i have in savings. you can't. you don't know what my bank account looks like. you don't know how much money i make a week/month/year from my multiple jobs. it's so easy to say a comment like that offhand but you don't really realize what you're saying. i'm VERY smart with my money because i know what it's like to not have any. does it feel nice to have new things? absolutely. can it help put a pep in my step? sure. am i trying to show off or make consumerism fashionable? never on purpose. i'm glad you shared your piece and i commend you for it (there really was no reason to be anonymous. we're all cordial here!). but i also have to "challenge" your thought patterns. i wear + rewear things over and over and over. i don't share new things every day and i don't share outfit posts everyday. there are so many things/days you don't see. you can't take my blog at face value ya know? i urge you to maybe think about the context you're reading things in. i'm not an oversharer. you will never find vivid detailed accounts of my day to day life on my blog. i share the surface stuff but never the nitty gritty. it's just not my style. as a person, it bothers me that people get so invested in what other people spend their money on or how much they save, donate, etc. i do all of those things, but don't find it necessary to write on my blog. i have a feeling many bloggers are smart with their money and generous to the less fortunate (and just as many who arent). but you don't normally read style/lifestyle blogs to find that kind of information. it's not relevant. my blog is just that: a life + style blog. people come for the outfits and the backstory. if it causes you any negative feelings, then this blog might not be for you! i say this with the utmost sincerity and not a tinge of anger in my tone, i promise. i've never viewed my life as extravagant, because it's not. but i'm also going to be proud of what i've accomplished + what i have to show for it, because i've done it on my own :) thanks for sharing xo

  48. I don't find you boastful...even with the new JC shoe post you did on Instagram. I saw it as excitement. I love seeing what your closet looks like and have been waiting for shots of the new house. I love seeing how people decorate & arrange things. Plus, I LOVE seeing all your JC shoes! =)

    I've never once thought you were bragging or doing anything but sharing your love for what you have. As a "style" blogger I think it's totally appropriate to show your closet every once in a while. At least, that's my view on it. You are very vocal about how & where you shop. You have Kaelah's closet so it's not like you are totally hording every piece of clothing you have. You constantly remix things so whoever sees you as wearing new stuff all the time isn't paying attention.

    No matter what any blogger does there is always going to be those who have something negative to say or to pick. As a whole though I think all the comments you've gotten show that your intentions are taken how you mean them and people who read you get where you are coming from.

    I definitely think you over think things but I think it would be hard for you not to. Just make sure you don't do it too much so you stop sharing who you are and what you want to share.

    Thank you for being so honest!!

  49. This is good to read.. Just today I was talking about after reading blogs, I feel like there's all these people out there who look cute and put together all the time, and until I can be that person, there's no point in trying. Thanks for the reminder, that at some point we all run around in sweatshirts and leggings ;)

  50. I think it's funny people can find bloggers boastful or feel they are showing off when they have a fashion blog. It's like, come on, what do you expect to see? Bloggers wearing the same dress every day? I don't think you come across as intentionally bragging at all. I know you work hard for what you have and if people have a problem with your success and how you choose to spend your money, then boo them.

  51. So so true. I do think a lot of that goes with people either understanding FASHION blogging or not. It's a whole thing, and I can tell some people look at me funny when I tell them that I "post outfits that Ive worn" on my blog. I totally get how they see that as weird and show-off-y because they don't understand that it's all about being inspired and everything else that comes with style blogging.
    I tend to not tell people about my blog for this reason, and just hope that people who come across it via others' blogs or however else, will just understand what it is already.

    Great post!

  52. This post was really good! I dabbled in blogging for a few months. I thought it would be fun to share my outfits/recipes/garden, but I just felt uncomfortable, and that feeling never went away. I can't really pin down WHY I felt so uneasy, but I think it had something to do with the things you wrote about. It was hard for me to share my enthusiasm about certain things without feeling like I was coming across as taking myself too seriously. One of the reasons I love your blog is that you seem so authentic and not braggy at all. I read several style/lifestyle blogs whose aesthetic appeals to me, and while I enjoy them, sometimes I feel like I need to take them with a grain of salt because they seem so contrived. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when it's apparent that the person lives for their blog, and not the other way around. I'm like, really? If you didn't have a blog would you REALLY have baked 5 different types of ombre cupcakes and spent 5 hours decorating your living room with handmade paper flowers and taken 28 pictures of your artfully arranged dessert plates and your vintage apron just because your friend from college was coming over for lunch? Obviously I enjoy reading about that kind of stuff, but sometimes it makes my eyes roll right out of my head. I think of it as "Tweeporn." But I have to say that i never get annoyed or feel cynical reading your blog because for some reason you DON'T come across that way to me... although as a former "blogger (I had 3 followers lol)" I can understand why you're concerned about it.

  53. I guess I'm in the minority, but I've never had a problem with the bloggers that wear a lot of designer stuff. I don't really pay attention to it either, though. Most of the style blogs I follow, I like because of how they put things together...I usually follow bloggers that I draw inspiration from. Even if their clothes are high end designer clothes, I can usually find similar look in my cheapy stuff :)

    I may have just never stumbled upon boastful bloggers though, and I've certainly never thought your posts come off as braggish (raise your hand if you like making up words). I will say, I stop visiting blogs as often when every other post is a sponsored giveaway. I mean...it's nice that someone's going to win $20 from Shopadoodledo, but I read blogs for content, not ads.

  54. Haha. I liked this post.

    Well as a blogger, I actually deleted my Blogger account. I started it in 2010 as a way to make me feel better about a crappy situation.. but then as I started following more and more bloggers, I started feeling the pressures to be great and I started feeling like my little blog was inadequate..which is sad and I'm not so proud of that.. but it's the reality. So I deleted it because I was thinking "why is my blog making me feel so bad? why am i not good enough like these amazing bloggers? why don't people want to read my stuff?" and then i started realizing that i didn't like feeling pressured to take pictures of my life all the time just to "keep up" so yeah. i deleted it.
    however, i really love blogging and realized that TUMBLR is a great place to blog but not feel "pressure" ... no one knows how many followers you have (not usually) and you can just post what you want without being "formal" and i like that.. and i discovered that's more for me.. :)


  55. I've certainly had that twinge of jealousy/sadness from other bloggers - the ones that can wear something new everyday - the insanely skinny ones that can wear a size 2 vintage dress or own an endless amount of vintage treasures (that I certainly can not afford)- the ones that can travel to different locations everyday to take photos for their blog. I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm not them and I can't be them. I can only afford to shop at thrift stores on a $0 budget when Josh or my mom are willing to buy clothes for me. I can't work because of my illness and I can't drive.. so I can't travel every day to take photos in different locations. (I feel like such a burden on others a lot these days.) But I am still pushing forward in the blogging game because I want to become a remix expert/full hand maker. I want to start making 100% of all of my dresses and accessories. That's one of my absolute main blogging goals.. and I think that's totally the only reason I'm really sticking around in the blogosphere. I think that making something and showing it off is completely different than BUYING something JUST to show it off. But that's just my opinion.

    Not once have you ever come off as "boastful" or "bragging". I know that you work for every single thing that you own. You have like 473819043 different jobs/sources of income that you work for. You put your time and hard work into everything you do, so that's the main reason that I see it as a treat rather than bragging. ♥

  56. I never thought of you of a boastful blogger! The post with the Jeffrey Campbell shoes was one of excitement and you are entitled to feeling that way for you earned them by having an exceptional blog that you worked hard on. Nothing at all wrong with that. Tis true that there is a fine line between blogging and showing off, sometimes I straddle that line and its difficult to tell the difference. However for some people that is their only way of gaining followers and you can't blame em. With so much competition out there one has to find a way in which they bring in readers. Again this isn't for everyone but for those who feel this way that is perfectly fine in my opinion. There is so much more to this whole blogging thing that people don't see in general. Anywhoo great post I look forward to more, awesome blog! Stay sweet!

  57. I'm going through my reader and I just caught this along with this discussion here http://www.designsponge.com/2012/02/bernhard-willhelm-nail-polish.html

    I know the subtopics are different, but the topic is the same. Maybe because I'm biased as a blogger, I don't think it's braggy. I can look back at my older posts and see how I made a thrifted item sound like i was shopping at Cartier (seriously, i'm so ashamed) but when I read your blog posts on your closet, I may not always agree with the style (i'm still scared of anything above 2"!) but it's more of an admiration. You're one of the hardest working women i know, and it's silly for me to question what you do with your money and even more so what you decide to share. As for people that come off and see it as braggy, maybe i'm on my soapbox, but I think it's an underlining conviction for them. what is it about a pair of shoes (or with grace's situation, a nail polish) that brings out the judgement in people? Well, I'm not sure how my comment would add to the discussion but i hope it did!


HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB