Style

State of the Blog: Let’s Talk About Change

Snip20160517_18

***

Several of you asked for an update on my post-law school plans for my career and this blog.

Since February, I’ve been afflicted with a crippling case of burnout.  Many days, just getting out of bed was a challenge.  Some days, it was a challenge I did not meet.  By finals week, my only motivation was the fact that I had no other choice if I wanted to graduate.

During this time, I started to think seriously about taking a short break.

The bar exam is offered in July and February.  The idea of taking it in July reduced me to tears.  So I made the decision to take the winter bar.  In the interim, I’ll continue to volunteer as a student-lawyer a few days per week, but I’m putting off any real job searching.

In some ways, this feels like a failure.  However, I know myself.  I don’t want to start a new job with nothing left in the tank.  No good (professionally or psychologically) can come from that decision.

Additionally, I want to move back to D.C..  Until I met K, I intended to move back 90-seconds after I turned my tassel on graduation day.  But while he’s amenable to relocating, now isn’t the right time.

For many reasons, I think it’s wise to postpone any major decisions for a few months.  I’ll recuperate, spend more time with my family, and, hopefully, have the resources to finally put a stamp or two in my empty passport.

As for the blog…

I love this damn thing.  I want to use this time to build and grow it.

The content on this site has remained relatively unchanged for eight years.  Over the holidays, I had a burst of inspiration about alterations I wanted to make.  So for the past few weeks, my designer and I have spent a lot of time brainstorming how to take the blog in a new direction that feels more relevant to where my career and my life is now.

I’m really excited about it.

We hope to launch in early June.  Existing features like Three Ways, Work Wednesdays, The Workday Reading, etc. will remain largely unchanged.  The new features will include more career content, interviews with accomplished women from many fields and backgrounds, and (hopefully) more original photos.

While some things are changing, the policies of this blog will remain the same.  You will never see sponsored posts.  A summer outing to the lake sponsored by Venus Razors is not content I’m interested in creating.

I handle brand partnerships differently.  When a brand wants to send me free shoes or lipstick, I tell them that I’m happy to try their product, if they’re willing to risk an honest review.  Most simply aren’t.  They want to dictate everything from the number of “positive statements” to the content of social media posts.  I also don’t accept money for product posts.  It’s a slippery slope, and I’m not interested in taking the ride.

I recommend and promote products I love.  Products that, most of the time, I bought with my own money.  This is how I prefer to run things, and this is how it will stay.

So there you have it.  My career is in a holding pattern for a few months.  The good news is that I’ll have more time to build this blog.  But whether I’m blogging full-time or as a hobby, you still won’t see any posts sponsored by Oreo, free (undisclosed) trips to exotic destinations, or $2,000+ handbags in.every.post.

Questions, suggestions, concerns?  Leave them in the comments.

*image found here.

Leave a Reply to Anna · cancel comment

    90 comments

  1. Eleni says:

    LOVE your blog! It’s the only one I read religiously and trust your reviews and opinions. Excited to see it grow!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  2. Donna says:

    Congratulations on making it through your last few months. You are not a failure, you are a survivor and I salute you! Thank you for your honesty with the blog and with your life in general. It is refreshing. Yours is the only blog I look at anymore because I know that it will be “real.” If I could ask for anything different, it would be more pictures of your little fur-baby! She is precious! Job well done – Congratulations!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  3. KLC says:

    Good for you for realizing what you need and making time for that! I am a long time reader (6 years!) and will be here as long as you keep writing, I can’t wait to see where you take this blog 🙂

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  4. Melinda M says:

    YAY! I am thrilled and stoked for you! Your hard work and hustle and REST and recuperation will pay off!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  5. Erika says:

    You go girl!!! I admire you for sticking to your ethics and being a blog with a difference. My sisters and several friends subscribe to you for exactly that reason. I wish you every success…take your time getting there!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  6. AMB says:

    So glad to hear that you will be continuing and think you are being very sensible to take some time. I’ve been reading your blog since before I became a professional woman – love the idea of interviews with accomplished women, and of course, the continuing source of great fashion.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  7. KHD says:

    Belle, I was in the same position last summer and I think you’re making the right choice. I sat the July bar even though my heart and mind were not in it. I passed easily in February and I wish I would have saved the time, energy, and expense of having to sit it twice. Good for you for being honest with yourself and realistic about what is best for you!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  8. Emily says:

    Thanks Belle!! I love the blog and because of the way you handle sponsored posts I really trust your word on products. I think that’s one of my favorite aspects of your blog. Excited about this season of rest and rejuvenation for you!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  9. Monica says:

    Good for you, Belle. I honestly think the secret to happiness is to know yourself well enough, and have the healthy boundaries in place, to do what’s right for you. You’re no good to anyone if you’re broken.

    I can’t tell you how (selfishly) happy I am that you will continue the blog, and your new content ideas sound great. The realness and integrity of your voice shine through here, and it’s the reason why out of all the fashion / lifestlye type blogs I started reading many years ago, CHS is the only one that I still check daily, and look forward to. I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  10. Victoria says:

    The burnout is understandable — I don’t know how you managed to condense three years of law school into two. Taking the winter bar and using the interim to work seems reasonable to me, especially since the accelerated program leaves less time for summer associate work. Employers should be understanding, especially if your focus is going to be government or policy work rather than big law. Take the end of January and all of February off to focus on whatever Barbri tells you to do, don’t work. Are you taking Virginia? Might as well use the time to apply to the DC bar too. Good luck! I’ve loved reading about your law school experience. Welcome to the lady lawyer club.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  11. Denise says:

    I for one think it is great that you are able to take a break and carefully consider your next steps. So often we get caught up in what we ‘ought’ to be doing, what we are told we should do because we have a certain degree, etc. We work to live, we do NOT live to work! Its worth the time now to step back and determine what the next step will be.

    As a woman (and a manager) in a highly male dominated field, I have really enjoyed your blog. Look forward to seeing the changes!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  12. Cati says:

    Congratulations, I hope you do enjoy some non-sponsored trips to the lake! burnout is the worst. I’m writing this comment instead of my doctoral dissertation so you know I relate.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  13. Christine says:

    Congrats on powering through law school! And thank you for blogging with integrity. The fact that you’ve been able to balance the blog with school and a career is inspiring and creates a level of authenticity that is unmatched by the droves of “full-time bloggers”. Keep it up, Belle! Looking forward to what’s in store!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  14. PH says:

    Love your blog! I wish you all the best as you move forward. Congratulations on finishing law school!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  15. S says:

    Belle, congratulations on everything you have accomplished! Selfishly, I was nervous this post was a farewell to the blog, and I’m ecstatic to see what else you have up your sleeve. Enjoy this time with your family and friends!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  16. daryn says:

    Belle, You are the best. AND totally bad-ass. Thank you for all you do – I truly love this blog and appreciate all the effort you put forth on it. 🙂

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  17. Liz says:

    Congratulations on finishing law school!! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since moving to DC a couple of years ago and am looking forward to it continuing. Best of luck!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  18. M says:

    Congrats!! I have been reading your blog since my grad school days, working in a lab and dreaming of a day I could actually justify dressing up for work. I also had the luxury of taking a few months off between finishing my phd and starting the high paced job I have now – best decision ever. My job now requires me to go to law school, so I don’t see myself having another break for a long time! The idea of balancing high billables with part time law school scares me sometimes, but I know I love the job and it will be worth it in the long run. Thank you for sharing bits of your law school story in this blog, it makes me feel like I can also do the same.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  19. Heidi says:

    Taking a break before the bar is genius – I tried to take the bar really burned out and ended up retaking it. It’s just too important and the stakes are too high to screw up. Can’t wait to see the new content!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  20. Sam says:

    As someone who follows a lot of home design blogs that are always pushing sponsored content, I truly appreciate your policy re: sponsored posts.

    Congrats on graduating and enjoy the “break”!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  21. Pam says:

    You have accomplished an amazing amount, including finishing law school in what seems an astonishingly short amount of time – so impressive. It is not a failure to catch your breath and prepare for the bar in a considered fashion!! So glad you will keep up with the blog. As others have said it is the only one I check on a daily basis.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  22. Katie says:

    Congratulations on graduating!! You are amazing, and good luck with your next steps!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  23. D says:

    I’ve been reading you for at least 4 years, maybe longer. I’m so excited for you and the opportunities ahead of you. Good luck!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  24. Amy says:

    From a long-time reader: Thank you for all of the above – for sticking with the blog (even when it was tough), for introducing some new types of content (I’m excited!) and for sticking to your guns when it comes to your blog policies. Us readers really do appreciate these things.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  25. MT says:

    I’m so excited to hear that you’re doing what is the right next step for you! So many people get caught up in what they think they are “suppose” to do and I applaud you taking the time to think through the next step for you and your career in the long run. Also, so glad you’re not going away! (The title of the post made nervous.) Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you and tag along on these passport trips. 🙂

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  26. Lynn says:

    ALOT of people I went to law school with took some time off after graduation, so you are not alone (and certainly not a failure). And the fact that you did school in 2 years is so admirable! Looking forward to seeing the new design on the blog!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  27. Alleira says:

    First, congrats on graduating from law school. I’ve been practicing for 11 years and it’s quite a satisfying moment. There is no shame in taking a break for a few months. Most people don’t have the ability to do it either due to finances of job constraints, but I think most WOULD do it if they could.

    Second, I’ve been reading your blog off and on for a few years and I sort of fall in the “lukewarm” camp on you and your blog (you’re on my reader, but I don’t always click to read the posts and I dislike your politics pretty vehemently). Reading this post, however, was a breath of fresh air because I think bloggers are often either outright dishonest about sponsored posts or they bend the truth. For example, reading your comments about the number of required positive statements is very interesting, especially when bloggers always say “these opinions are my own”, when that simply cannot be the case. Who would ever give their product away and then simply hope that someone wrote a decent-enough post to encourage readers to buy? So I have to admit I am impressed by your decision not to accept sponsored content, and I am looking forward to seeing the redesign.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Yeah, I know some bloggers who say “these opinions are my own” and I know that’s crap because the items turn up on their eBay/Poshmark/Thredup page a few weeks later. If you loved it, why sell it so quickly?

      Other times, I think the bloggers only accept things they love, so then (of course) the opinions are theirs. But these ridiculous social posts where there 5+ hashtags and multiple shares, and they aren’t disclosing it’s an ad or a sponsor make me CRAZY. You’re telling me you’ve been to Boston, Spain, Africa, and Hong Kong all in the same three month period AND you paid for that all yourself? I don’t buy it. It’s starting to make me really nuts that so many bloggers can’t just follow the rules and put #sponsored.

      May 17, 2016/Reply
      • Jenn S. says:

        That’s a good point. It never occurred to me to check bloggers’ eBay/Thredup/etc. Very telling, indeed.

        That said, sometimes hashtag usage isn’t always the mark of a sponsored post. Personally, I use hashtags on social media to drive traffic. For instance, I recently reviewed a micellar water product – I added brand hashtags to the social media posts tied to that content, but that was just so people could more-easily find the content. It’s like micro-SEO. I imagine that not only to be the case for me but for plenty of small-time bloggers who aren’t getting sponsorship asks and whatnot.

        May 18, 2016/Reply
  28. Jennifer D says:

    Greetings Belle – Congrats on finishing law school and taking the time to recharge and really be ready for the bar and the next step after that. While “style” is in the title of your blog, it’s not an endless parade of “Here I am in my outfit”, which to me gets really old really fast and why I am a longtime reader of your posts. I look forward to new content when it’s ready. One post I remember as very intriguing was a pre-law school “insider” type commentary on the very busy lives of congress-people. This was in reaction to Seth Rogen complaining that the chamber seemed empty when he provided testimony on Alzheimers. You provided some helpful perspective on the reality of government and the hard work our elected representatives put in for us. Thanks again for all you do. Cheers – Jennifer

    May 17, 2016/Reply
    • Jennifer D says:

      P.S. But the outfit photos you do have are great. Love your professional style!

      May 17, 2016/Reply
  29. L says:

    Congratulations!! Law school in 2 years is both insane and an amazing accomplishment. I did it in 3 and still barely made it through studying for the July bar (ask the Sweetgreen employee who witnessed me burst into tears when she put the wrong dressing on my salad…), so I think you’re making the right decision! Glad to know you’re not giving up on the blog, it’s the only one I frequent.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  30. C says:

    I love that you do not do typical Sponsored Posts! Thanks for all you do, and enjoy your much deserved break.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  31. cara says:

    Way to go, Belle. You’ve accomplished lots and its very apparent that you put a lot of time and energy into your blog which is very much appreciated. Reading your site is one of my favorite parts of my day! Thank you!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  32. Jules says:

    Girl, I feel you. I also waited until the February after law school to take the bar, unfortunately that also meant that I was working FT and didn’t have the time or money for barbri. Obviously, this did not bode well for exam results (neither does a 37% pass rate, but that’s for another day).
    I think you will be okay being that you will stay in the grind of law (I am in legislative advocacy) and you’re in the habit of issue spotting and writing often.

    As for the blog- I am really excited to see how it evolves!!!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I was lucky, I used my tax refund to pay for BarBri on that early discount they do. So I already have that done. That stuff is SOO expensive.

      May 17, 2016/Reply
  33. Jen says:

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. I stumbled across it when I was living and working in DC. While I left to move back to California about four years ago, I’ve continued reading and enjoying it. While I understand most bloggers are trying to make money off their blogs, I’ve unsubscribed to a lot of sites recently that just don’t incorporate it very organically. I love that you provide honest reviews of products and enjoy your tone and content. Congrats on your recent graduation and best of luck!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  34. Amy says:

    Brava! All around: on your graduation, taking a “summer vacation”, and maintaining your integrity with the blog (that is why you are the one and only blog I read). You rock!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  35. Kristin says:

    Just want to echo what many have already said. One of the reasons I continue to read your blog (and look forward to it) is because you do not do sponsored posts. I can’t tell you the number of blogs that have dropped off my feed due to an increasing number of sponsored posts that are shoehorned into the content of the blog, often weirdly.

    Also, as an attorney working in government, your blog fills a niche for those of us that like fashion but work in very conservative offices. Many “work fashion” blogs ignore that some offices are not open to items like chambray suits, sandals, or ruffled chiffon dresses under tight, cropped blazers. They also don’t provide ideas on how to make fashion trends work for offices with conservative dress. For me, your blog consistently does this. So thank you for filling that hole in the blogosphere.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  36. Frannie says:

    I love your blog!! I have checked it daily for the last four years. I appreciate that you don’t write sponsored posts – I trust your product reviews and reference your blog before purchasing certain products. I enjoy the workday readings and am happy to hear that you will be keeping them as a regular part of your blog. Congratulations on finishing law school – and good luck studying for the bar. Hope this summer is full of rest and inspiration for you. Looking forward to the new content.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  37. K says:

    First of all, congratulations! I began reading almost 5 years ago when I started working in DC and learned so much from your posts on dressing professionally. Over the years, I have found I pass on many of the outfit posts and product reviews and focus in on the Weekday Reading lists and other posts geared toward professional women. I appreciate the work to compile these posts and lessons learned from your own experiences, both of which I find thought provoking as I navigate my own career. I am excited for more content along the same lines!

    And thank you for continuing to take the moral high ground on sponsored posts. I can’t bear to read most other blogs for unwillingness to do the same. Sponsored posts are so transparent and I find they have the opposite effect as intended.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  38. Molly says:

    I love your blog and have been reading it since a roommate introduced me to it back in 2010. I too, really appreciate the honesty and quality of your posts. I love your two/three ways posts and other style guides because your work clothes (and weekend clothes) are professional, stylistic, and realistic. I am a teacher in a conservative “corporate-y” style school and your posts on work clothes are a go-to for me when I’m trying to figure out what to wear with a strict work dress code that still feels modern and fresh. Thank you for what you give to your readers!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  39. Tori says:

    Congratulations on your graduation! It’s your job search–you do it in the way and at the pace that works for you. LOVE this blog, by the way. I start my career with the federal government next week, and this blog has been such a godsend for workwear.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  40. wilma says:

    Re: law school fugue state. I was taking 2 bar exams, NY on day 1 and NJ on day 3. with the multi- state in the middle. NJ was last. Do you believe in miracles? NJ required 2 or 3 long essays, NY required 5 shorter essays. By the time I got to the last NJ essay, I was in a fugue state. All I could do was write “hence/ on the other hand/ however/ nevertheless / thus” in a long column. Then it occurred to me to read the question. I recognized the field of law and the topic – I had been a teaching assistant in that class. I had prepared lecture notes, graded papers. I sat there and watched my hand and pen begin to move across the pages. To this day, I have no idea what I was writing, it could have been anything.

    Why am I telling you this? Because on the way out people were complimenting me on my shoes. That’s the part I remember. YOU WILL BE FINE, DARLING BELLE. You will have a great and joyful life.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  41. Clarissa says:

    Yay! I think you are one of the most sincere bloggers I follow. I’m glad you enjoy it and are keeping it up.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  42. Anna says:

    Dude, if you can take the time, good for you! I wish I could take time off to just be. My August vacation time hasn’t been approved yet, and I think I might go insane if it isn’t. Sabbaticals should be common practice in every line of work. I’ve seriously thought I’d want to have a baby sooner rather than later because I need the mental break from work. Ugh.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  43. maureen says:

    I recently sent a link to your blog to a lawyer friend in DC. Her first comment was: “how does she have time to do this and go to law school?” What you’ve done in the past two years is amazing. Congrats! Like many above, I read your blog religiously even though I haven’t been in the working world for over a decade. I first starting reading cuz I’m a native Washingtonian living in Atlanta. It made me feel wistful about my professional days there. Now I just get lots of great ideas and read lots of interesting articles that I would have missed otherwise. Good for you for maintaining your integrity. Enjoy spending free time with your family and K. It’s what’s most important!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  44. Erica says:

    Thank you for being so honest! I’ve always been told life is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes people jump complete things ASAP or within a pre-defined timeline, rather than really considering what is best for them. I also very much appreciate being so frank about sponsored posts. It’s clear you’re thoughtful, trustworthy and have a lot of integrity … basically all the qualities of a good lawyer!

    I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the evolution of the blog … I have been a loyal reader for 3 years now and am thankful you aren’t going anywhere.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  45. Jennifer says:

    I graduated from law school 17 years ago and I tend to think that people who take a straight path towards a traditional big firm job often burn out. Good for you for recognizing the danger. I love the blog and the lack of sponsored content. I appreciate the focus on professional dress and the regular posts. Good luck and I look forward to following you for many more years.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  46. Yellowrose says:

    I’m so excited for you! Congratulations on graduation! This Texan loves your political views AND all things clothing/makeup/career related 🙂 Cheers!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  47. Laura says:

    Hi Belle, your decision sounds wise and brave! Congratulations! I’ve followed the blog from my time as a new attorney in DC through my move home to Detroit! Looking forward to hearing about what is next for you and the blog!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  48. Jenn S. says:

    I feel like I’ve congratulated you on various mediums a dozen times in the last couple weeks. It’s deserved, but I’m a broken record.

    I’m excited to hear about the changes you’ve been planning for the blog, and I’m happy to hear you’re giving yourself some grace to take things slower before diving into the bar.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  49. Kellie says:

    THANK YOU for being literally the only blog that has remained honest. I’ve been with you for years, and in the back of my mind I always anticipated you would someday sell out. You’re the real deal – thanks for being a refreshing, smart read. So proud of you for everything you’ve accomplished – you’re inspiring me!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  50. Catherine says:

    Belle – congratulations! It’s so important to take time for yourself and take care of you – so I’m so glad to hear you are doing that. I’ve been a reader for many years, and your blog is now the only one I check daily. I appreciate your honesty, your ethics and sense of style. Thank you for churning out content for us even when you were in law school – I can’t imagine it being easy to manage.

    I’m so excited to see where your blog is going, and am confident that I will be there to read even more about your perspective on career and style. Thank you so much!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  51. Suzy says:

    I’m a practising lawyer, probably as old as your mother! You are doing the right thing. There are many many years to slave away and now is the time you should be preparing yourself to look after your health and happiness long term. Enjoy the volunteer work, keep your standards high and do whatever you think is right for your blog. It’s a joy.And love your puppy!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  52. Rachel says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishment, and good luck to you as you study and take any moments you are able to recuperate. Your blog is wonderful; it’s the only one I bother with anymore because you are a rare trustworthy voice in a sea of silly “lifestyle” bloggers. Thank you for continuing to produce great content throughout your changing responsibilities and locations. Really happy for you, and excited for the changes coming to the blog.

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  53. Rachel S. says:

    Congrats! I took the winter bar and I turned out just fine. I actually studied for the July Bar and burned out so bad I got sick, very sick and ended up in the hospital and was told to not take the bar about a month out from the July Bar. I had no choice but to wait til February. I wish I had seen the signs of my burnout before I pushed myself that hard.

    That is almost 4 years behind me and I am just fine. We all have our own paths. I know a bunch of unhappy lawyers. Most of them are unhappy because they make choice “because they have to” not because it is what is best for them, their careers, and their families.

    I worried I would not be able to summon the energy or gumption to start back up but it came very naturally. I crushed the California Bar as a first time taker. I have no doubts you will crush yours.

    As a first time commenter, I love your blog. Real lawyers need their style and struggles discussed somewhere because there are not very many role models. I remember googling female lawyer suits and workwear a few years back and thinking ok, I refuse to look this dowdy. You are an everyday affirmation that NO, I do not have to look that dowdy in this profession!

    Cheers!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  54. Heidi says:

    Congrats on the law school graduation!! Best of luck during your break – seriously enjoy it and recuperate! Your blog is one of the few I actively seek out through my feedly reader which has too many blogs on it that i just don’t have time for. BUT your authenticity and style have kept me reading since my own DC days 🙂 Can’t wait to see the changes to the blog 🙂

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  55. Katie says:

    Belle, I’ve been reading your blog for eight years now, since I was an 20-year-old intern on Capitol Hill. I’ve since moved back to the Midwest but always look forward to your posts.

    Especially as much of the blogosphere has turned to sponsored content, I appreciate your authenticity. I always know I can turn to your blog for great fashion recommendations (thank you for turning me onto Zella leggings and Halogen skirts), spot-on professional advice and other interesting reads.

    And, finally, congrats on finishing law school!

    May 17, 2016/Reply
  56. Tech Writer says:

    Congratulations on achieving this goal, as if going through law school wasn’t enough, but doing an accelerated program, not to mention uprooting a life you were happy with in DC. You are an inspiring woman and the world is lucky to have you. Thanks for maintaining high quality on the blog throughout, and for continuing your dedication to it. So glad you were able to assess with a clear eye what your needs are and heeding what your body and head are telling you. You’ll be better for it in the long run.

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  57. Kara says:

    Belle, out of al the blogs out there you are hands down my favorite. Congratulations on the end of law school. I look forward to the future of this blog.

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  58. Julia says:

    Brava!

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  59. Erica says:

    Belle, sounds like you’re doing the important thing of knowing yourself & limits. And I don’t mean that to read negatively, I think our culture (wrongly) frowns on accepting limits. But in reality, we are all human and not capable of doing it all, well, all of the time. Thanks for being open and vulnerable through your journey. Hope you’re enjoying some more time with your puppy – Avery I believe, your boyfriend, family & a little netflix time. 🙂

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  60. Beth Schoenbach says:

    All this sounds wonderful Belle. You just finished law school in 2 years — if anything that alone is enough for a well-deserved break. Enjoy it, you’ve earned it!!!

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  61. Liz says:

    THANK YOU for resisting the sponsored content blog. I have stopped reading so many blogs recently because I feel like it’s just a constant shill so that the blogger can get free stuff. I check your blog every day, in contrast, because I know that the things you show are legitimately things you like. Best of luck to you in your career and I hope you enjoy this moment of respite. There are so few opportunities for those moments in life, so make the most of it!!

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  62. s says:

    as a long-time reader of this blog, i could not be more excited about the new changes! good luck navigating this transition!

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  63. Sarah says:

    Congrats on making it through!!!!! Your blog got me through the end of law school (way back in 2009/2010) and it is still one of my favorites. I have been working at a PD’s office since then and it is wonderful to see options for clothes that are actually court appropriate. I commend you for recognizing the potential for burnout. Studying for the bar exam is the hardest I have ever worked at anything in my LIFE and I did it after a relatively easy last semester of law school. Good on you for realizing that trying to do that with no fuel left in the tank is a bad idea. Thank you for all the work you do keeping up this blog! Hope you are able to take some time for yourself this summer! 🙂

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  64. Ruth says:

    Thank you for your integrity. This is what has me keep coming back (along with the great content). Enjoy your time post-graduation, pre-job hunting; you have the rest of your life to work and taking some time off will allow you to replenish yourself. Looking forward to what’s next!

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  65. Amelia says:

    Seriously, I have no idea how you did law school in 2 years! I know some who did 2.5, with summer courses, but they were ALL school- no jobs, no extracurriculars. Major props.

    If anyone makes you doubt yourself about taking the Feb bar- screw ’em. I did the very typical 3 years of law school, worked a little my 2L/3L, journal, SBA etc. Ended up taking fairly easy classes my last semester…

    …And I will fully admit I had to go on antidepressants to get through the bar. I HAD to pass because I had a job waiting, and the pressure just zapped me.

    Barbri didn’t help (emotionally)- they made me feel like I would fail, but study wise- I think if you follow the program you are bound to pass. Good luck- frankly, I’m a bit jealous 😉

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  66. Cheryl says:

    Post-law school burnout is real and I commend you for acknowledging that you need time to recover. Studying for the bar is like law school on crack, and the bar exam will be there (and you will kick its butt!) when you’re ready. So glad to hear you’ll continue the blog, I appreciate your content and the integrity with which you present it. Enjoy your summer and congratulations on all of your recent accomplishments!

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  67. Deirdre says:

    Aww does this mean you won’t be doing any sponsored 10 Things I Carry in my Vera Bradley Duffle Bag posts?!

    Love your blog and commitment to keeping it real. Can’t wait to see what’s new!

    May 18, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

      But seriously, nothing is more fun than watching a blogger who touts her “clean eating” pretend the Oreo snack pack in her “What’s in my Purse?” post is something she actually eats.

      May 18, 2016/Reply
  68. Shelley says:

    I love your blog and can’t wait to see what changes you have in store! Your blog is the one I have been reading over and over again.

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  69. Carolyn says:

    Congratulations on graduation and your relationship. Your posts about the journey with both have really helped me out (I’ve actually found my own beau on tinder, using your suggestions lol)

    And I cannot thank you enough about making a point to not do ridiculous sponsored posts – blogging used to be about real life, not about what showed up in your PO box.

    Your blog is unique, helpful, and inspiring. Thank you so much again 🙂

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  70. bettyjoan says:

    Congrats and best wishes to you! Love the blog, can’t wait to see what’s up next. 🙂

    May 18, 2016/Reply
  71. Sharon says:

    Belle– congrats on getting through law school! Long-time reader since 2013, when I was a wee college junior trying to figure out what to wear as an intern at a DC lobbying firm. Your blog is honest and refreshing and I love it so. And you are quite the role model for young professional women, both stylish and classy. Best of luck with your studying, with your career, with your potential move and relationship with K, and with life in general. Can’t wait to read about all the asses you’re going to kick.

    May 19, 2016/Reply
  72. NJ says:

    My husband did the same thing after law school. He just couldn’t bring himself to take the July exam, so he waited until February. Our son wasn’t quite 1 yet when he graduated and he just couldn’t do it. Waiting until February was a genius decision. He passed without much stress or crazy preparation and we got to enjoy those months post-law school as a family! You’re doing the right thing 🙂

    May 19, 2016/Reply
  73. AT says:

    I read your blog daily and follow you on Instagram. I’ve been reading it since I landed in DC 6 years ago this July. I’ve purchased so many things you’ve recommended and I love your advice on careers, fashion, beauty and life. Whatever you decide to co, you have a loyal reader for life! If you chose to blog once a week, I wouldn’t like it, but I would happily await that one blog to reach my inbox. Best of luck for a full recovery from law school and physically mentally and emotionally healthy days ahead!

    PS. I LOVE the real interviews idea…and I’d like to offer to volunteer if you need participants!

    May 19, 2016/Reply
  74. Laura says:

    Congratulations Belle! You did it! I love that you’re taking time off to figure out your next move. I would love to see a post about how you managed to do it all during your law school career. You managed to graduate and keep up your blog along with all the other stuff you do. As someone who is juggling many hats I would love to know how you did it? Again I appreciate all you do and I wish you all the best.

    May 19, 2016/Reply
  75. Ellen says:

    Congratulations; what you have done is huge. For purely selfish reasons, I am so glad that you’re going to continue the blog now that you’re a high-powered lawyer type. I’m a government drone in the DMV, so I look forward to eventually seeing DC-related content again too!

    May 19, 2016/Reply
  76. Emily says:

    Congrats, Belle. That is in no way a failure – it’s a smart decision and you have the time right now to make it work. Never feel guilty about taking time to recharge and focus on yourself. Best of luck.

    May 19, 2016/Reply
  77. Sarah I says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have achieved something unbelievable- be kind to yourself, be your own best friend, and take the time you need to feel happy and comfortable. I love your blog, I’ve been reading for so long I’ve lost count of when I started…use this time to celebrate and recuperate!!!

    May 20, 2016/Reply
  78. Jen says:

    I admire your courage and honestly, i don’t know if I could do that. Thank you for what you do outside of your career, i love reading this blog.

    In the meantime, recharge and have a fabulous summer. You deserve it!!

    xxoo

    May 20, 2016/Reply
  79. Trisha says:

    Congratulations on finishing law school. I think you’re smart in realizing you need a break and taking it. I cannot fathom trying to go through law school while running a (wonderful) blog. I love this blog, and I’m so glad you’re keeping it fresh!

    May 20, 2016/Reply
  80. Julie says:

    I’m in the medical field & fully recommend / support the time off. Appreciate, like others, that you do not do sponsored posts. Does your blog otherwise generate income (curious to know if it’s possible to have a “liveable wage” via this type of work, especially without taking sponsorship.

    May 21, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      The links you click generate a few pennies each time. I’d rather do that than get paid to promote products that don’t make sense or I’m not wild about.

      May 23, 2016/Reply
  81. Christina says:

    SO glad you’re sticking around – I love this blog and have read it for years, even before I moved to DC. And so glad to know that we can continue to trust your opinions – it’s so refreshing to see your policy on sponsored posts. I think you might be the last one, and I love your blog even more for it. Can’t wait for the refresh in June!

    May 23, 2016/Reply
  82. Kristen says:

    Cheers! You deserve a mental re-charge and what a fantastic project to grow the blog. I love your policies!! Yay!

    May 24, 2016/Reply
  83. Jamie says:

    Hello,

    I am not a frequent comment person; however, after reading this post I wanted to tell you I appreciate your honesty and openness of your plan to both change for something new and keeping the same good content you are known for in this little corner of the internet! 🙂 I really appreciate your explanation about the sponsored posts, disclosures, and attitude to be upfront and honest with your readers. I enjoy your recommendations for one pieces multiple ways. With your changes/updates, I would appreciate more business casual classy examples–there is so much more than blue jeans and high heels or a plain T-shirt! Best of luck with the job search and the time to relax with family and friends.

    May 28, 2016/Reply
  84. Meghan says:

    Cannot wait to see all that is in store for you! Congrats on making decisions that you feel confident in and make you feel good! I hope the next few months bring you to NYC selfishly 🙂

    June 8, 2016/Reply