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#RealTalk: Blogging When Everything Is Day to Day

A few weeks ago, I wrote that my goal was to keep the content on Capitol Hill Style light and close to normal.  Normalcy felt like the right response at the time. Like many, I thought the pandemic would slow, offices would reopen, and, if we were lucky, things would start to return to status quo by May.  That was naive.

So I thought it was time for a frank and honest post about where I’m at, some questions I have about how to be a blogger in this uncertain time, and how I intend to handle things moving forward.

***

We’re all struggling right now.  As the meme says: You’re not working from home, you’re at home, during a crisis, trying to work.

I cry every day.  Every.single.day.  At video clips.  At news reports.  Because Kyle grew a quarantine mustache.

I find gratitude and joy where I can, but it’s fleeting because this crisis seems to have no bottom.  Sometimes taking a moment to laugh or disconnect feels refreshing, sometimes it just deepens the grief to know how rare those moments are.

I can barely sleep. I have nightmares every night.  I’m grinding my teeth so hard in my sleep that I can barely open my jaw.  My anxiety and depression are constantly barking at the door, held back with carefully rationed Xanax.

My contract work has dried up since the courts are closed.  The domestic violence legal clinic is shuttered, just when clients need it the most.  Campaigns are in a holding pattern, so consulting is too.

My family members are all experiencing various levels of professional upheaval — from furloughs, to new jobs that no longer exist, to workplaces that are still open and can’t social distance, to a family law industry in turmoil because some clients think that now is a great time for a serious custody dispute.

My mother’s health is a constant source of worry that never leaves my thoughts.  And after almost a year spent trying to have a baby, I am overwhelmed by the mixed emotions that come with being upset that I got my period, grateful to not be pregnant right now, and unsure whether we should keep trying.

But even with all of that, I am still among the privileged classes of those with an income, with health insurance, with a little bit of savings, who isn’t suddenly running a home school/daycare, who has the ability to socially distance in a warm home, and who (most importantly) is not sick.

I give money to charity where I can, buy takeout when prudent, consider every purchase more carefully, support small businesses when possible, and stay the f**k home.  But I, like everyone else, is just living hour-by-hour, day-to-day trying to get through this as best I can.

As for where things stand with regards to Capitol Hill Style, I’m still figuring that out.  Like many people who have a business or side hustle that isn’t “essential,” I’m sorting out how to move forward in socially responsible way while maintaining some income.

I intend to keep posting.  This blog has always been an outlet for me, and a source of support and consistency in uncertain times.  Many of you have said that you need the levity, but it’s hard to know what to write about or what people find helpful right now.

First, there’s a question of whether it’s okay to promote products at all.  Writing about blue-light glasses seems vapid, but if you’ve had a headache caused by too much WFH screen time, they serve a purpose.  I’m searching for a balance between promoting items I love, and knowing that all purchases, except food and medicine, are non-essential right now.

Second, while retailers are hungry for business, whose items should I promote and whose explanations can I trust?  A brand that calls a 15%-off sitewide sale “a gift for you?”  A brand that laid off most of its customer service people, allegedly using declining sales to union bust?  Retailers who mark up items and then discount them to full price?  The list of questionable behaviors grows daily and it’s hard to separate smoke from fire.

Then, there are questions about whether we should be buying items that require warehouse employees, customer service agents, and delivery people to keep working.  Some workers want to close so they can stay safe at home, others want to keep working to keep their paychecks coming and the economy moving.  And there seems to be very little leadership on how to protect and compensate these essential workers.

And lastly, there’s the question of how much is too much.  We all have various thresholds for what we consider necessary, ethical, and helpful during this crisis.  There are some obvious bright lines, the dark onyx of a black-and-white world — don’t flee to the Hamptons after testing positive, don’t make fat-phobic memes about gaining the Covid-15, don’t sell wellness products that purport to cure virus patients — but beyond that, there is so much grey.

I am bound to do something that some of you think is fine, and others find distasteful.  So after a lot of thought, here are some guidelines I intend to follow going forward.  But this situation is fluid, and things can change at any time.

Sale Content Will Be Minimal.  When big sales weren’t typical, I shared them, but that doesn’t feel like the right move when every retailer is using discounts to entice people to shop.  No more sale roundups or posts detailing weekend sales.  I may mention if something I’m already promoting happens to be on sale, but that’s as far as it will go.

More Balance. Sharing the items that fill holes in my wardrobe, improve my life with their utility, and spark joy is the foundation of my content.  But everyone’s world is changing, including mine, so I need to balance my old content with our new (hopefully temporary) reality.   I hope you can be patient with me while I sort it out.

No Panicked Promotions. CHS provides 30% of my monthly income (more in August and November) and watching that revenue dry up is scary.  But I wrote this blog without compensation for years simply for the love of doing it, so I promise that I will not start creating panicked content, constantly seeding my Insta Stories with swipe ups or over-selling mediocre items to generate sales.  Everyone has financial worries right now and will for some time to come.

New Content. Because my professional life has been a bit of a roller coaster these past few years, I got out of the habit of discussing work topics or giving advice, now feels like the right time to bring some of that back in a different format.  It also feels like the right time for more tutorials (like the Beauty at Home series) and some new features where the primary focus isn’t shopping.

***

Fashion bloggers/influencers flourished in the days of wine and roses, the entire business model is based on consumption.  But what’s important now is community, and I’m grateful for this community of women who support each other, teach me new things, offer great advice, and sometimes frustrate the hell out of me.  We’ve spent almost 12 years together through life changes, war, recession, new Administrations, new Congresses, and now an honest to God global pandemic.

I don’t know what tomorrow, next week, or next month will look like but I’ll be here for as long as you are.  Take care of yourselves.  Stay safe.  Stay sane.  If you need someone to talk to, you can find me on Instagram.  See you Monday.

LEAVE A COMMENT

    107 comments

  1. S says:

    I look forward to continuing to be a part of your community and supporting you!

    I have a post request on when to go back to post-graduate school and what to consider. It’s something some are bound to consider when job prospects are bleak, especially now with so many online Master’s programs (recession graduate here!).

    S

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  2. Jamie Stooksbury says:

    Abra, I’ve been reading your blog for almost 10 years now and while I don’t know you in person, I feel qualified to say that no matter what you write about during this time, it will be thoughtful, relatable and tasteful. No one who would criticize your posts could possibly have put as much thought into writing as you do, so their argument would be irrelevant.

    As a member of your community, I’d like to continue to support you, when possible. If there are specific links to products that would benefit you more than others, I’d like to know in the case that I do need to make a purchase. Also, as this stay at home life continues, I think it might be fun to see how you style and iterate on the pieces you already own. That seems pretty involved though, so it would definitely count as exercise and I don’t want anyone to go overboard with that right now. I saw all the push-ups going on a few weeks ago and fear “run sprints back-and-forth from the closet to living room” might become a challenge.

    Earlier this week, I read a post by the CEO of Nisolo, located in my home city of Nashville, which I thought did a great job of leading by example for retail businesses in the small/mid-size range. Would love to hear your thoughts on the post as you always seem to be able to see clarity in muddied, PR speak.

    Hoping for health and safety for you, your family and the pups.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • Lia says:

      I have also been a reader for many years, harkening back to my days as a young LA on the hill. You’re always very thoughtful about your posts which is why all these years later, besides from the NYT and WaPo your blog is something I read on the regular. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones that can stay home but also have to juggle my chhildren. If you post about a basic blouse on the LOFT that brought you joy or a cocktail you made yourself to escape a bit in these moments, trust me I am there for it. At the same time, your realness about your anxiety and stress levels right now is something I’m finally coming to terms with myself and feel a little more human and connected knowing I’m not the only one. Thanks again, this blog is a source of joy and support for so many of us and look forward to lighter days we can just marvel at Marchesa dresses and hang out w our friends and loved ones like we did pre-pandemic days.

      Lia

      April 6, 2020/Reply
    • Liz says:

      Jamie and many others here wrote comments that I totally agree with which saves me the time of having to type it all up again 🙂 Appreciate all that you share and the thoughtfulness you bring to everything. I always wish you the most and the best <3

      In terms of stuff I would actually spend money on right now, I might buy cooking/kitchen stuff or other useful (not just beautiful) items that make me feel cozy and sane at home. Home office set up with accessories could be useful. I'm barely using any makeup these days but I still do all my skincare so that type of stuff is still very relevant to me. I'm not buying any new clothes except MAYBE some stylish loungewear or mood brightening pajamas. I've gotten in to gardening and there seems to be whitespace in the millennial gardening/plant lady influencer space (not that I've ever seen you indicate interest in gardening, haha) Not trying to be prescriptive, just letting you know what I am likely to click on in case thats helpful to you, if nothing more than to validate the direction you already seem to be going.

      hugs!
      Liz

      April 6, 2020/Reply
  3. Chelsea says:

    Thank you for this post, Abra! As always, I really value your thoughtful approach.

    I would definitely appreciate the professional content—I’m struggling to deal with small but meaningful issues at work now that we are teleworking (e.g., how do you respectfully disagree with your boss over email?).

    On a personal note, I hope that you can push through the stress and anxiety during this crazy time. I have been snuggling with my puppy nonstop. Thinking of you!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • LS says:

      Not Abra, but my boss and I were not co-located pre-COVID. Regarding how to disagree over email, my advice is to try to avoid it. If you’ve already shared your perspective and have listened to theirs and still don’t agree, the discussion should move to a live video/call. Hopefully you have that time already (either weekly or daily depending on your role) and you can just add this item to your agenda.

      April 4, 2020/Reply
  4. Natalie says:

    Thank you for your thoughtfulness and candor. I am long time reader of your blog and have felt that you have always struck the right balance, never veering into consumption for consumption’ s sake. I particularly appreciate your links in this post regarding companies who are bad corporate actors right now-it is helpful to know these things as I parse though the massive increase in sale emails!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  5. Rhianna says:

    I like the approach you outlined. I also know how a hard it is when you are trying for a pregnancy. Sending you positive vibes for all of it and looking forward to continuing to be a part of this community. Another potential idea is mini interviews from followers. How are they coping, etc. maybe a five questions or something. I always enjoy seeing how regular non public women are doing life.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • CM says:

      Love the idea of interviewing readers!

      April 4, 2020/Reply
      • Kathleen says:

        I love the idea of interviews too, with readers or with other people. And possibly your interviewees have more time on their hands than usual (unless they’re homeschooling) and are more likely to agree to participate. I think a lot of us have more time than usual but that can be seen as an opportunity to take stock. Yes, if you’ve got a job right now you’re hanging on to it tightly, but still, it’s a chance to reflect and explore and see if perhaps once we’re out of this we might like to change direction or pursue something else in the longer term. And interviews might give us a chance to look at some of those other directions.

        I’m sorry you’re struggling at the moment Abra. I advise you to keep occupied as much as possible, and keep doing your normal things (where still possible) like writing this blog. You’re not on your own. You’re surrounded by all of us who are listening to what you have to say. I do think that this whole #StayAtHome thing would have been so much worse before the internet was the ever-present community it is now.

        April 6, 2020/Reply
  6. SB says:

    “Writing about blue light glasses seems vapid.” First of all, your eyesight is not vapid. Eye health is important, and it is actually women’s eye health month. Second, if your normal glasses lenses are polycarbonate, they already filter out blue light so there isn’t need to buy a pair just for that reason. Save your money, especially right now. Third, the science on blue light’s effect on our eyes is insufficient. Every 20 minutes, just look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds and go outside to look at things far away not up close. Alright, not trying to pounce here and miss the larger point. I just do eye health stuff for a living and miss normal life when things like this felt important and I’m passionate about my job that I now fear is going to disappear. Just trying to focus on each day at a time. We’ll get through this.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  7. EmIly says:

    This post is so timely well-written.
    Thank you so much for being one of the few bloggers who seems to live in reality, and for being honest. The community you have created will continue to be a valuable resource, especially now. You do you, whatever that needs to be during this time.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  8. Sarah says:

    Thank you

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  9. Faith says:

    I just want to say, I think the content you put out is very useful for a number of reasons – one, yes, it is a distraction, two – I really appreciate your voice and opinion on calling people/things out, and three – I don’t know how to navigate a lot of this stuff either, so hearing from another soul how they are, what they are wearing, comfy WFH stuff that doesn’t look schlumpy, things that make them happy – well, dang if that isn’t a good thing you are doing for the world (or at least those who read here!)

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  10. Ally says:

    I appreciate this so so much. I woke up today so completely frustrated and irritated because I just want flour and I can’t find any grocery store to deliver to me, and I’m afraid of going to the store for something so insignificant and them not even having it. We’re in a really weird time, and I’m so lucky to still have my job (for now), it’s hard to maintain some sense of normalcy. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’ve been reading this blog since the early days and continue to enjoy all your content even through this crazy time.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      If you have postmates, try postmates. Some friends needed baby formula and no one would deliver, but postmates did.

      April 4, 2020/Reply
  11. Amy Chen says:

    A thoughtful, honest post. <3

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  12. Rachel says:

    Thank you for being a thoughtful, respectful human during this insanity.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  13. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for this. You were spot on with so many of the tensions I’ve felt in this season as well. And trying to get pregnant on top of it. Thanks for being vulnerable. I know from experience how difficult it can be to share that part of your life.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  14. Nadine says:

    Thanks for all you do. I truest you to know what is or isn’t over the line in this new world, and mostly come to the website for your voice and the community. I’d love to hear more about the strategies that are working for you right now: whether that’s new ways of dressing and grooming, new tools you’re using for WFH, or ways you’re finding to keep the anxiety at bay.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  15. CLaudia says:

    Thank you for sharing the good with the difficult. I am finding it much harder to be interested in online shopping now, even with a black belt in shopping, but I still do appreciate pretty and useful things. Two things that have really helped me with stress are a daily meditation practice of 10-12 minutes (nothing too fancy here, I think the ritual itself is as helpful as the meditation and I base it on this book by Emily Fletcher, “Stress Less, Accomplish More”); and holding myself accountable to getting in touch by phone (not text) with my family members each week. I keep a daily checklist so at the end of the week i can see I have done it. Here’s to easier times for all of us, and I appreciate your willingness to continue our community.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  16. ALexis says:

    Thank you for being real. And thank you for my first cry of the day. 🙂 I’d love to hear about content you’re consuming – articles, books, music, podcasts, shows, etc. Also, I would love any advice for dealing with heavily washed and sanitized hands. My nails aren’t loving being in gloves all the time either. Just some thoughts for inspiration. You’re my happy place even in unhappy times. Much love!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  17. Megan says:

    I am grateful for your honesty and your blog and I love hearing your perspective. No matter the season in your life (and my life) I love the content you create. I’m with you.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  18. Nancy says:

    Thank you. CHS is one of the bright spots of my day.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  19. Naomi says:

    For what’s it worth, I never doubted that you would approach blogging in the midst of a pandemic in anything other than a responsible, thoughtful manner. I stop by every day, yes, for the clothes and accessories and mindless reads, but also for conversations exactly like this one. I thought your post on urban escapes into rural areas was extremely thought provoking, and a difficult one to untangle. I enjoy reading the perspectives that people have on issues like those just as much as I enjoy figuring out how in the world to stay motivated when I have no reason not to put on real pants. (By the way – blue light glasses. Do they *really* work, or is it a placebo effect? Seems like the science is still out! I’m skeptical!)

    As a content idea, you’ve given us glimpses in the past of your interior decor style. I love interior design as much as I do personal fashion. Maybe more of that, considering we’re all spending 90% of our time in our homes?

    On a personal note, I wish you nothing but the best on your journey towards motherhood. My husband and I tried for almost a year, too, before I learned I was pregnant this February. (When I did, I knew I would be coming right here to read about professional maternity suggestions.) Trying to conceive is such an intense, emotional experience; your ability to share that on this forum takes my breath away with its bravery and openness. My very, very best wishes to you.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  20. K says:

    Thank you for your post, anc sharing do much of yourself. You don’t owe it to us, so I want ti voice appreciation. My immediate family is doing well right now and it’s still scary to face the unknown. I think we’ll be financially okay, but…., i want to be generous and need yo figure out how much we can afford.

    For the content. FWIW, Your instincts are strong and good.

    For any one who has or does struggle with depression check the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression. About a week ago the host did a very sympathetic, keeping if real, short recording of empathy and support as a fellow person coping with chronic depression. It’s nice in a moment when it would help to hear from someone who gets where you’re coming from. The struggle is real.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  21. Kristen says:

    Abra – you are always so thoughtful in everything you do – which is why your blog is the first I look at whenever I think “time to look at blogs” (which is at least every day and in our world right now multiple times a day).

    Your perseverance and commitment to your community with everything you are experiencing is appreciated.

    I think your approach sounds great, and I look forward to it. If there are things we can do to support you, please let us know.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  22. LO says:

    Thank you for continuing to be honest with how you are feeling. It’s such an unsettling time in our lives and I love coming here for a distraction but it would also be weird if you weren’t addressing it. I’ve been following this blog for as long as I can remember because you are one of the few that keep it real. I think you are doing a great job!

    Also, I’m the same age as you and have also been TTC for a year. That’s been a heartbreaking journey and my heart goes out to you ❤️ It’s weird now having some mixed emotions about it given the current state of the world.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  23. HWM says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful content. I’ve been following you for years and will continue to do so. CHS is one of the bright spots in my week–now more than ever.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  24. Meghan says:

    Thank you for everything you do, Abra. This is the only style blog I follow because you are thoughtful, kind, and genuine in all things you post. Thank you for continuing to post. For me, reading this blog is a delightful break from trying to WFH and provide childcare at the same time.

    I also want to give you internet hugs for your trying to have a baby journey. My husband and I had a miscarriage before we had our baby. That miscarriage, while awful, also ended up in our successful pregnancy having much better timing (I had switched jobs). It’s weird being a little happy about something so sad.

    Thank you again for all that you do.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • Pam says:

      Dear Abra

      I am a huge fan
      1) I follow every single post
      2) this is my most visited page

      You are important
      1) value your role in this community – you are our leader
      2) you have an impact on our thoughts every day – you can make a difference

      Personally, I dont mind the sale links –
      1) looking good is important to our self esteem
      2) we need to keep the economy going if possible, but defer to you

      Finally, I wish you peace and success in your pregnancy search, I struggled too. That is hard. And caring for your mother, I worry too.

      Love
      Pam

      April 4, 2020/Reply
      • Kim says:

        This!!!

        April 4, 2020/Reply
      • Ashley says:

        This. X 100. Abra, thank you for being you. I’ve been a devoted follower for 10?! years and yours is honestly the only blog that I consistently read every word of. We all need real talk. We all need retail therapy. We all need community. Thanks for giving us all three.

        April 4, 2020/Reply
        • Ral says:

          Yes! I’ve been reading your blog for almost 10 years. I love the content and your creativity. But what I appreciate most is your voice, your perspective and the community you’ve built here. Seeing and discussing different views keeps us well rounded and open minded. And leadership requires followership. Keep being you. You are a leader.

          April 7, 2020/Reply
  25. SB says:

    Thank you for being so conscientious. Your blog/insta is a daily highlight for me during this time and when things are ‘normal’.

    I am employed (for at least a few months) and have felt guilt about buying things online that I need. I think your content has been spot on in this regard and I appreciate your transparency. We also have guilt about using extra free time to update/renovate parts of our home.We are trying to maintain normalcy as best as possible for our son and not let him see our stress and anxiety.

    This is hard but we can do hard things.

    Blog post idea – as a manager of teams who are now remote, the productivity of certain individuals is even more apparent. Any advice on motivating and addressing this problem while still giving grace given the circumstances?

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  26. Katel says:

    As always appreciate your candor and transparency. Sending you positive vibes and thanks for this community you created.

    For tutorials – an update to your at home manicure tips would be great (I know there is at least one in the archive).

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  27. Alyson says:

    Hey, from where I sit you’re doing great. The best we can ever hope to do in life – even non-pandemic life – is to put one foot in front of the other in a responsible and thoughtful way, which seems to be what you’re doing. Carry on.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  28. Leah says:

    Thank you for this. As much as I am trying to avoid the news right now (because it doesn’t help my anxiety level at all), I enjoy your carefully curated blog and it is one of the few I haven’t deleted from my blog feed in the past few weeks.

    I appreciate your honesty, and your decision not to push all the sales. I’ve also enjoyed your more thought-provoking posts, like the one about rural healthcare. That is an important topic that goes beyond what we’re living through right now.

    I have found some respites that may help you or others. Every day at 3pm EST, 10% Happier is doing a live meditation/brief talk from a meditation teacher on the website at ten percent.com/live. They have also increased their podcast frequency. I’m loving Brene Brown’s new podcast, which would be wonderful at any time, but is much needed now. And, the website karunavirus.org is a lovely place for the positive things people are doing for each other. Karuna means compassion in sanskrit.

    Much love and good vibes to you, Kyle (but not his mustache- my boyfriend grows one when he gets deployed but shaves it before coming back), and everybody else in this community. This site, your instagram, and the Facebook group have both, IMHO, struck the right balance between the serious and the frivolous we need in these trying times.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  29. kelly says:

    I’m looking forward to whatever the blog looks like through all of this. Everything is weird and kind of awful, and the longer it goes on the harder it is to imagine what the world will look like after.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  30. Hales says:

    Appreciate how thoughtful you are being – your content is definitely striking the right balance for me. <3

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  31. Rachel C says:

    I trust you to do and post what you feel is appropriate. And I love coming to your page each day to see what you are sharing and escape a little from the world.

    The blogs I’m enjoying the most are just being honest. Some days the posts are serious “I’m lost and confused” post similar to this one, other days it’s about a new dress they found that made them happy. It’s the honesty that I appreciate and that makes me come back each day.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  32. Elizabeth says:

    Abra, i already said this on Instagram, but thank you for being so genuine and giving us something to read. I share many of your thoughts on navigating this weird world – having you write them helps me process them.

    Holding space for you & yours.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  33. Julie says:

    I have followed your blog for I don’t know how many years, and have never commented before. But this post, and the one about people escaping to, and burdening, rural communities, really resonated with me. Thank you for being intelligent and genuine.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  34. s-p-c says:

    As a follower of this blog for many years, I’m here for you and what you envision the content being, in these strange times and beyond. Thank you for all you do – this blog is a bright spot and I always look forward to visiting it.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  35. Carissa says:

    I just want to say that I heart you.

    Fashion and online shopping are often a distraction for me in “normal times”—a little escape from some work stress to throw $1,000 worth of clothes in an online shopping cart, never intending to check out. This escapism now could not feel more hollow.

    I wonder, like you, if the whole influencer industry is done because it is based on consumption. But I’ve only bought stuff, when I have pushed the button, that you recommend because I trust you.

    Regardless, your integrity and honesty and openness is admirable, and I will continue to be a daily reader. Hugs. Germ-free hugs.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  36. Whitney says:

    Thank you, Abra.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  37. Lauren W. says:

    Thank you for such a well-written post! I have appreciated your continued posting in ways that acknowledge our current environment without directly discussing the pandemic, it’s symptoms, the ever-increasing numbers, etc. – we get that any time the news is on! Your content has been a refreshing way to keep some normalcy while making it relevant to the current situation.

    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability, too. I’ve been a reader since June 2010 and something I’ve always enjoyed is that you’ve always been a real person who is approachable and relatable. It’s so refreshing, even ten years later, when so many influencers out there post photos and content about their lives that are so carefully constructed and tell a specific narrative. Your style (no pun intended), or “brand”, of blogging/influencing is much more genuine.

    I wish you and Kyle the best of luck on your journey toward parenthood. Again, thank you for your honesty, but mostly for trusting your readers with that information.

    Please keep doing what you do as you! Your plans on how to proceed seem spot-on. I look forward to continue reading.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  38. Sally says:

    I’ve been a reader for a decade now so I’m here for whatever you want to post at this point! Stay safe and be well!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  39. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for this whole post, and for feeling like a safe port in a storm.
    A podcast I was listening to last week said, “I didn’t realize when you were going through a global crisis, you still have to deal with your small problems too”. So while “fashion” may look different, I so appreciate you being here to help with small problems, while still acknowledging the large.
    I can’t even tell you how many times I have searched your site when online shopping is overwhelming, and I appreciate that you will be here when everything else is overwhelming too.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  40. Lian says:

    I’ve primarily followed your blog for so many years because I love your writing and opinions (whether I agree or not, everything you write is always well thought-out). I also love the long form articles you share. Oddly enough, I find myself coming back for the non-fashion related items, so I’m all for an increase in that type of content!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  41. jENN says:

    I’ve been following the blog for years but never commented. But after reading your post, just want to send you a virtual high five for continuing on and being honest about all of it (how you’re doing, blogging, etc.)

    It isn’t easy to put yourself out there but I appreciate it. Your voice often mirrors what is in my head and reading your blog makes me feel less alone in this madness. It’s the truth when everyone else we encounter on a daily basis forces us to say “we’re fine.” Honestly who is fine??? How???

    #TeamCapHill all the way.

    And mentions of comfy stuff that is useful or self care — all still fantastic.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  42. Ellie says:

    Thank you for this. Thoughtful, generous, candid – everything I’ve come to expect from your blog after years of following it. Thanks for preserving in this space a breath of fresh air even in trying times. Very best wishes to you and your family.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  43. Tristan says:

    I wish all bloggers, influencers, brands, etc. shared your integrity and honesty.

    Hang in there and spend the money on a night guard!!!! You’ll thank me later!

    Xo

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  44. B says:

    Thanks for sharing Abra, and for your thoughtful approach to all this. It’s why I still follow your blog and not many other style blogs – because you don’t just peddle the latest trend for money, and because I love your link roundups – there’s always something interesting there!
    Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling to get pregnant. I’ve been there and it’s trying at more “normal” times, so I can only imagine how extra trying it must be during a global pandemic. Wishing you all the best!
    Also, Kyle, please do yourself and your wife a favour and get rid of the ‘stache.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  45. Kathryn w. says:

    For anyone grinding their teeth –

    I’ve been dealing with this problem for the past couple of years. Just when I think I have it under control, BAM! anxiety strikes and I wake up with tension headaches. A couple of things have helped: (i) progressive muscle relaxation videos on YouTube (my therapist walked me through the process so that my body re-learns what a non-tense state feels like so you can try and make that the new normal), (ii) meditation to try and reduce overall stress (easier said than done, but I have had some benefits), (iii) holding a cork (or lipstick tube) between my lips when it’s REALLY bad so that I can’t tense my jaw and (iv) sucking on a big piece of hard candy (just be sure not to chew on it!).

    Hopefully this is helpful to someone. I echo the previous statements that I never thought that Abra was going to commercialize COVID-19 (I mean, she doesn’t promote Veterans’ Day sales, so the ethical bar is already pretty high).

    Abra, thank you for continuing to be a source of refreshing content.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • Kathryn W says:

      Also, the $30 Oral b moldable night guard is great! You heat it in the microwave and the whole process only takes a few minutes.

      April 4, 2020/Reply
      • Jo says:

        I’ve had some teeth-clenching issues in the past year, and I just wanted to say thank you to the two above commenters for the tips. I will be giving them a try. Mine hadn’t gotten bad enough to try to see a doctor yet, but I was planning to mention it at an upcoming dentist appointment…which is of course no longer happening, sigh.

        April 4, 2020/Reply
  46. Alisha says:

    Thank you for this, for your transparency, your thoughtfulness, and creating a great community

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  47. Carolyn says:

    Thank you for such an honest post!

    First, I’m so sorry that you’ve struggled with trying for a baby the past year. Sending love.

    Next, I think you’ve done a great job navigating this craziness so far, and this post is further proof. Please keep doing what you’re doing – I love the variety you provide, it is nice to click through to a pretty outfit post or a great article round-up, no matter what is happening in the world.

    We just made the decision to cut all non-essential items from our budget. So just about the only thing I’ll be spending money on in the next few months is planting a garden. But I’m still here for the content and will have a wishlist of beautiful, timeless items to pick from once we are all through this. I would actually love to hear if your readers have any great money saving tips – from grocery shopping to fun date nights to clothes shopping or whatever else!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  48. Carrie says:

    As always, I appreciate your perspective and thoughts. You are a gifted writer and how/what you process and create is always something I look forward to and a slice of normalcy in all this, well, crazyness.

    I wish I had some soothing answer or some sort of quick fix regarding all the big stresses going on. I don’t. It’s just a really hard time. But I’m still sorry it’s hard. Wishing you the best

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  49. Anon says:

    Thanks for continuing to post. This blog is a welcome respite always, but especially now.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  50. Sarah Z says:

    I appreciate your honesty and thoughts about all this. I love your blog and Thirtyish and it’s one of my bright spots. I’m now working from home with a toddler at home, while daycare is still open, and navigating the world of mom first, wife to an essential employee second and employee third. It’s hard and stressful. I would love some posts about styling work from home outfits, that are already in my closet, and some ways to find balance when there is very little time and space to do so. I’ll support whatever you do and wish you and your family health and peace!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  51. Mered says:

    I appreciate you so much, thank you for all that you do!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  52. Renata Ko says:

    As a long time reader, I just wanted to say how deeply I appreciate the amount of thought and consideration that you put into your content. Thank you!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  53. IHL2007 says:

    Thank you. I appreciate you and what you do. We are in this together. This shall pass. Bon courage.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  54. Samantha says:

    Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it with this community. You put into words so many things I’m feeling right now and I imagine so many others who read this blog would say the same. And I’m so sorry about the non-COVID struggles you’re currently experiencing. I hope that when spring finally arrives that it helps lift even just some of the mental burden (from one depression/S.A.D.-sufferer to another!)

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  55. Sarah says:

    I’ve been reading your blog since I was a college intern and still come back to it every day as an established executive. Your authenticity and vulnerability is so comforting to me right now, when I feel almost crushed by the pressure to “keep it together” for my employees, my family, and those who aren’t as fortunate as I. We’ll be here for you through this crisis – and on the other side!

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • Pam says:

      Crushed by the pressure to keep it together for family, employees etc. yeah, that says it for me too

      April 4, 2020/Reply
  56. Laura says:

    Your ability to grapple with the complexities of this moment in such a thoughtful post took my breath away. And these comments bring tears to my eyes. Abra, you are a shining star in dark times.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  57. Gracia says:

    Abra, thank you for sharing! I’ve read your blog since it started and now I’m nearly 30. Your realistic, no-nonsense approach and community building has kept me reading this whole time. Thank you for sharing your approach to these uncertain times. My prayers are for you family in this time.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  58. CM says:

    We’re here with you Abra. Your moral compass has kept this blog an amazing space for community and respite. I hope you focus first on yourself and your health, and know we’ll still be here because of what you’ve built. It’s completely ok to talk to a doc again about how this is affecting you and whether your current plan is still working for you or not.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I am still making purchases to keep my favorite businesses going because I am so lucky to have essential work right now. I’m not buying a lot of clothing, but I am definitely buying home goods (since I just moved), home gym equipment, and personal care items. Just a thought if you’re pivoting on partnerships and affiliates.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  59. Pam says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience right now. I too feel weepy every day. Sometimes it’s just a few tears weeping through other times I am surprising big sobs or sit outside in private ( away from hubs and kids) and let my self really cry. My dog died unexpectedly on Saturday. My dad was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer with only a few months to live and starting chemo. But unable to see friends or be surrounded by family. It is heartbreaking. I feel so unlike myself usually being a bright side, can do kind of person so then I keep wondering what the heck is wrong with me. I try to feel gratitude that I have a job I can do from
    Home ( the blue light glasses were a helpful tip!) but some days feel brittle and fragile. And scared.

    I come to your blog as a respite. To hear someone being real, to indulge a bit in fashion and tips. And am loving the beauty at home idea. Please know you are not alone in feeling the struggle of who and how to be in times like this.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
    • Jo says:

      I am so sorry about your dog and your dad. Virtual hugs (the only appropriate kind these days, I guess) from this Internet stranger.

      April 4, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Oh, girl, I’m so sorry about both. I wish the every day tragedies of life could just take a damn break for a while. I wish your Dad the best, and will keep you in my thoughts.

      April 5, 2020/Reply
  60. Amanda says:

    Thanks for this – take good care. This blog is a friendly place for me to come to when I’m looking for something that feels familiar – and I appreciate that you’re coping with this, too, and I’m glad that you’re doing your best to find balance and take care of yourself.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  61. Leila says:

    Thank you so much for staying the course. On the best day, this blog is one of my favorite things, and even more vital to me now, and I’m sure I speak for other followers as well. Thank you for your hard work and honesty. Stay safe and sound.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  62. Rachel says:

    Abra, I am here for any content you want to provide! You are a constant source of enjoyment. If it makes you happy to write about it, do it! But also, if you don’t feel compelled on any day, cause this is freakin hard…take that break too.

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  63. TheLOOP says:

    Abra, write whatever the hell you want. Even if doesn’t please everyone, it’s always honest and always creates dialogue. Very few people wield that kind of power over words. And girl, start that Patreon already. I don’t want you to be worried about income right now, on top of everything else.

    And read this story for some hope: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2020/Argonne-Lab-Chicago-Coronavirus/

    April 4, 2020/Reply
  64. Anne says:

    I think it’s ok to continue sharing your content and promoting products. You’ve set a good precedence about being honest in your opinions and being rational in purchases. And you are not responsible for the purchases we end up making. It’s ok to post positive pieces, too. We need those, and it is honest to do so, because not everything is dire and terrible. A lot is, but not everything.

    April 5, 2020/Reply
  65. Anonymous says:

    Dear Abra, I wonder how readers would respond to some polls/related content about things like “how might this experience change your approach to X when this is all over” (where X is your thoughts on office life or time with family or healthcare or travel)? Thanks for your blog.

    April 5, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      That might be a good way to gauge what content people want. Thanks.

      April 5, 2020/Reply
  66. Elz says:

    Thank you for being so open. We are all handling the pandemic differently. You have to do your best with the resources and information you have available. Life is rarely a straight line, which is a tough realization as overachievers. This time of curves and twists is rough. Eventually, this too shall pass. Eventually.

    I know trying for a child is an emotionally draining process. I wish you and Kyle peace as you deal with all that is entailed with growing (or not growing) your family..

    April 5, 2020/Reply
  67. Shelley says:

    First, let me say that you have brought joy to me every weekday for many years. I appreciate your mix of fashion and political/feminist articles. Thank you.

    Second, I appreciate your honesty about how you are feeling. I am feeling the same way and I needed to hear that from someone. Thank you for speaking up — in a strange sense it makes me feel better.

    Third, post whatever you want. Fashion, interesting articles, daily musings — whatever. What you find interesting, we find interesting. Know that we appreciate whatever is on your mind, whenever you want to post.

    With gratitude — Shelley

    April 5, 2020/Reply
  68. Kristen says:

    Thank you for your honesty and transparency. As a longtime reader, I will continue to do so regardless of what you post!

    April 5, 2020/Reply
  69. Eliz says:

    Thank you for sharing and for how much you care. Lots of my friends are trying to stay positive and show the good things in their life now on social media, but I just want to be honest about how depressed I feel and how many worries I have. I got a huge pay cut and my partner lost his job in the span of two days. We were also trying to conceive but now I am filled with doubts on the timing and am questioning everything about what to do now that normalcy has shrunk to nothing.

    April 5, 2020/Reply
  70. alex says:

    The inessential concerns haven’t gone away in the crisis. They have morphed and multiplied. The technology my team is using means anyone can video call me at any time and I will pretty much have to take the call.

    So I found your recommendation for cardigan jackets last week really useful and have bought some and will be using them to look normal without actually dressing up for the duration.

    Providing solutions to small issues like that frees up your audience’s brain space for dealing with things that do matter. Your blog is useful. Not just a distraction.

    April 5, 2020/Reply
  71. Pingback: Now & Then: My Struggle with Anxiety | Politics of Pretty

  72. Jessica says:

    All.of. this. So grateful for you, your blog, and this community.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  73. Katharine says:

    Thank you for being so thoughtful during this strange, confusing, scary time. I wish more bloggers and influencers were coming at the situation with such a critical lense! Though, as you say, when posting and sharing and clicks are your income, it’s hard to let that go.

    Maybe you could share more career/job hunting advice over the next few months? I’m sure more than one reader will be in the position of needing to job hunt when we finally make it through to the other side of this mess.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  74. Laura says:

    Appreciate you and the blog!

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  75. Liz says:

    FWIW, I think you are handling this strange time as a blogger very tastefully. And I would love to see more personal/work topics and advice.

    While I understand scaling back the sale content, fashion can be about creativity vs. consumption, and is a fun distraction. Would really enjoy seeing content along the lines of remixing pieces you already own in new ways, styling a fictional character, or dreaming up outfits to wear for very specific occasions/situations once this is all over (this blog once helped me find a blouse to hide a hickey at work in the summer!)

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  76. Erin says:

    I’m much older than you, but I struggled with infertility when I was your age as well. I now have 2 kids that are a teenager and a “tween”. I wanted to let you know that I know what it is like to struggle, to mourn what would have been with every period. It took us 2 years with each kid, and we had one miscarriage between the 2 kids. I wanted to recommend the book “Take Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weischler. It’s frightening how little I knew about my own body before I read this book. While we eventually needed just a little help from a fertility specialist for each of our kids, this book provided the understanding and being able to feel a little more in control over the chaos was so helpful. Plus, thanks to the book, I was able to provide information to the fertility specialist that he needed so I didn’t have to waste more time gathering data AFTER starting with him.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  77. Shanna says:

    Thank you for this. I’m cry every day too and some days are harder than others. Yesterday was sunny and I sat, stretched, or lay on a yoga mat most of the day and the sun really helped. I live in Portland though, so those days are rare! I hope you get some stretches of sunshine soon too.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  78. e says:

    thank you so much for being so honest. I feel so much of what you lay out. Everyday is different hard. and then there is the whole question around should we be online ordering? and there has been so much disgusting behavior from big corporations. thank you for always being eloquent, real and transparent.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  79. SG says:

    First, I truly appreciate your transparency and that you share your thought process through this. Like you, I’m insanely privileged to be able to WFH (my partner as well), and not be concerned about impacts to our household income. We’re also childfree, which means no suddenly added stress of childcare needs. I’m grateful that this enables me to spend more mindfully, i.e. to use affiliate links from folks (like you!) who I want to support when they’re income is less secure than mine.

    I hope that you can find some relieve from the anxiety. It’s so hard these days! Every day I’m learning that there is something different that triggers mine, or alleviates mine. Or triggers my partners, or alleviates theirs! It’s both a fascinating and frustrating experience, and I keep trying to remind myself to be kind to and gentle with myself, and that getting through this will make me stronger in the end. Holy cow does that feel impossible some days!

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  80. sbe says:

    Thank you for this! I have always appreciated your candor, no matter the subject, and at this time it feels especially refreshing. My sister is also struggling with getting pregnant, after losing her baby to a genetic disease at 7 months old. The heartache and exhaustion are real. My heart goes out to both of you.

    Your community appreciates you, your honesty, and your content. Stay well, and I hope you find rest.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  81. Meghan says:

    I agree with all the things people here have said about trusting you, and being grateful for you. I also wanted to mention that this is the only place on the Internet I also come to read the comments. The community you build here, and on Thirtyish, is incredible. And so many women, including me, are grateful for the space YOU created for us. THANK YOU.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  82. Madeline says:

    I have read your blog for years and years and I am so glad you are still writing and sharing. I love the posts about one item worn several ways. I love your insights into the political world. If you write it, I’ll read it! Thank you for continuing to post. I hope to be able to continue purchasing through your links!

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  83. Erika says:

    As others have shared, I continue to love your content. Your content has been a nice refuge from extremely long work days. What makes your content so genuine during this time is that it hasn’t dramatically changed due to your stance on no sponsored posts. Your voice is constant and honest. You’ve always been transparent when you’re struggling, and what you are doing to work through it. It’s a guidepost to follow during these incredibly challenging times.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  84. Megan says:

    I would like to second all of the wonderful comments that precede mine. I have been reading your blog for years now, and keep coming back because of the quality of your writing, your reasonable and balanced approach to life, your honesty, and because the content consistently appeals to me as a now (gasp) almost 40 professional woman in the legal field. Thank you for continuing to do what you do so well. I appreciate thoughtful and honest posts like these.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  85. JP says:

    I sincerely appreciate how thoughtful and considerate you are of readers and genuinely strive to create the best content. And I’m showing up for it.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  86. Olivia says:

    Thank you, Abra. I have been following your blog since I was a hill staffer in 2009-2010. I have been having a difficult time processing my feelings during this time towards “influencers” and I have to say you got it right. Your writing is always thoughtful and timely and I appreciate your candor during these strange times.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  87. Nicole says:

    Thank you for the care you take in what you do and how you do it. I am trying to embrace each day as it comes but the planner in me hates that. I appreciate the tone you’ve struck between a bit of normalacy and acknowledgement that this is unprecedented.

    As a state level political staffer, I always try to remind myself that I can’t please everyone and that transparency, candor, and coming from a place of honesty go a long way. I’ve found that while someone may not like the decision I make, they are more apt to accept it or, at the very least, not create a problem since I’ve embraced that philosphy.

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  88. Sarah says:

    Although I’m a few days behind, I wanted to chime in and encourage you to keep posting whatever you feel is appropriate. For what it’s worth, I might not be buying at the moment, but am certainly window shopping with an eye to what I’ll buy when ‘this is over’ and would love your ideas. For example, I thought your Birdies post today was perfect!

    Like many, I started following you as an intern in DC, and now read your posts regularly. Nothing but good thoughts to your mom and conceiving journey!

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  89. MXJ says:

    I also have a sick mom and have been TTC for a year (after no problem w/ baby #1) – both are absolutely horrible.The two of them happening concurrently is gut-wrenching. Holding your mom’s health in my thoughts and sending you all the best for peace, patience, and a positive outcome as you build your family.

    (And thanks for your thoughtful approach to blogging during a pandemic. I’m a longtime reader and so appreciate your realness here!)

    April 6, 2020/Reply
  90. Katherine says:

    Thank you for this post. I so appreciate your honesty and thoughtful reflection. I realized that I’ve been avoiding all blogs over the last couple of weeks and finally came back here today to check out the posts I’ve missed. What a relief to read something so real and genuine. I’ll be back with you every day from now on!

    April 7, 2020/Reply
  91. Rebecca says:

    This is one of the few blogs I make a point to read, because you keep it real. Thank you.

    April 7, 2020/Reply