2.25.2021

A Quick Life Update + Brain Dump


Today is going to be a bit of a brain dump, so just bear with me. This post is a little overdue, but I just haven't been able to write about all the things I want to say. Usually with posts like this, I think about the flow and concept and then land somewhere where it would all make sense, but I'm really all over the map and I think that's part of the issue in why it's taken so long to sit down and write this.


The thing is, I love writing. I love expressing myself in thoughtful words, but I found out a while ago that it's not really why people come to the blog. Even I barely have the attention span to read an article these days. I just feel like my brain is mush. And if I have no desire to read, imagine how I'm feeling about writing. 

I think I'm just in a funk. Actually I know I am. I am and I'm not and that's my issue. 

Every time -- like clockwork -- January and February rolls around I get super blah. The weather, the gloomy/short/dark days, the exhaustion from the end of the year, the longing for spring. It just gets to me. And it has every year for as long as I can remember. Seasonal depression is very real but topped with a pandemic that has dragged on like this? I feel like I can't take it anymore.

I would love to be on a beach (or really anywhere warm) and just relax. In normal times, that's exactly what I would do. In fact this time last year, I was in Miami enjoying the wonderful warm weather on the beach with Caitlin (what a year it's been). Even thinking about it, I can feel the feeling I felt being away from a NYC winter on a vacation. 

Andrew and I have taken this past year very seriously. We've traveled a total of three times and flown only once. We drove to see my parents las May, flew to see my sister and family in September, and drove to Nantucket for our anniversary. We haven't been going out or seeing friends. We're helping do our part, and I'm proud of us, but I'm exhausted. I get so jealous when I see people online traveling and living life like nothing is wrong. I so wish nothing was wrong. 

We've been very fortunate this past year. We lived in the epicenter of a global pandemic for months and came out untouched. No one in my family has been affected by COVID thus far, and thankfully none of my friends have either. We've also been able to keep our jobs, buy a house, and live a very safe and privileged life, and that is not lost on me. 

But on top of my existing gloom-and-doom anxiety and depression, this time of year feels like a lot to bear. Around this time I always worry about the blog, my job, and my finances. The first two months of the year are notoriously slow, and having gone through it for 5+ years I know that. I know that it's always slow for me. But it never stops my anxiety from running amok day and night. Sometimes it gets the best of me, and becomes too much so I'll step away for a bit. 

I realize I'm obviously very fortunate to be able to dictate my own breaks and schedule (the joys of being self employed), but when I do that, it's not paid vacation. I don't make money. So taking time for my health -- at times -- adds to my anxiety and fear of failing. And when I step away from the blog or Instagram I don't grow, I don't make money, I don't get views, or sponsorships, or anything that helps tell me "keep going, you're doing great." And so I end up feeling worse. It's a horrible catch-22.

The guilt I feel from not posting on the blog every day is immense. But then I'll create a blog post to "check the box" and hate it. I feel shitty for putting out mediocre posts. I know you guys don't like it either. So I've tried to be more lenient with myself the past few months. I'm taking the time I need, and accepting the fact that by doing so, the paycheck is smaller.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to find that spark again. In years past it's shopping for spring and planning vacations and doing new things outside, but this year I'm not really able to do that. I'm barely getting dressed these days. It definitely doesn't help that our house is always cold, but I've been wearing sweats since Christmas. Leggings, sweatpants, sweaters, sweatshirts ... you name it, I'm wearing it. 

Where am I going? What am I doing? Nothing. I've stopped blogging about fashion, linking any clothes, and shopping overall. I've also stopped shooting content because ya girl is in sweats, and that just leads to no content to share on the blog. Again, it's a vicious cycle. I also don't even want to shop right now. I feel like all my money has been going towards house purchases and furniture, which I love, but it's expensive. So I'm hyper aware of my spending and our bills, which has slowed down other unnecessary spending (a positive).

Switching from life and style content to more life and home content excited me at first. I remember I had so many fun ideas to blog about. I thought I would take it in a different direction than most and share how we're affordably furnishing our home. I wanted to share how we're taking it slow, finding good deals, and paying retail when needed. Even now I find myself comparing other homes to my own, and thinking I'm not doing enough, or we're not doing it fast enough. And I hate how that feels. I remember thinking I wanted to provide a more realistic view for you guys. 

But that stopped about as soon as it started and I hate even admitting to it. I want to just push it under the rug and not bring it to the daylight, but I'm airing it all out now. I stopped because of the hate comments I was getting. I don't know what the fuck has gotten into people online but the level of hatefulness is at an all-time high. It's toeing the line of out of control.

I'm not new to hate comments. I've been dealing with this since middle school when an ex-friend created a MySpace group about people who hate me. I dealt with it in high school and college too. This is nothing new. But it kind of makes me an expert in knowing when the hate has gone too far. I understand that everyone out there is having a pretty rough go. We are all dealing with stuff. But as they say, hurt people hurt people. And it's never been more true.

I'd say I have a thick skin 90% of the time, and the other 10% I'd say I'm as fragile as a peach. I'm a hyper sensitive person and when I'm vulnerable the 10% comes out in a big way. So it feels like the hate has been piling on. What's weird is it's about my house. Which is wild to me because hating on someone's house just doesn't make sense. You don't live here...

The comments range from "you're spending so much money,"  "you're going into debt," to "you have no money and it's why you're buying secondhand." I get told that my house is ugly, gross, old, that promoting FBMP is embarrassing, to saying that I'm using the wrong wording when I tell people to shop there(??) and even people posting my address online. It's annoying, mean and sick. But it's gotten to me. So I stopped posting about the house. 

So no house content (which is my life right now), no fashion content (not getting dressed), and not much of anything else (not shooting content), has left this blog pretty dry lately. It doesn't make me happy. This blog is my baby. I love it here and I love having this space to connect and write to you guys. But I'm in a funk.

I've also been super busy. As you know, I started a needlepoint store near the end of last year and have been loving it. Truly, it brings me all the joy and happiness. Painting is really cathartic, and stitching has been a saving grace, especially this last year. Doing something so mindless that isn't near a phone or computer is what my brain and body have needed.

But starting a second business is no joke. It hasn't been easy and it has taken a lot more time and energy away from the blog. At times I feel like I'm trying my best, but because I'm not doing either at 100%, I feel like I'm failing at both. When I work really hard on one, the other flounders, and vice versa. 

A good example has been the past month. I gave all my time and energy to Penny Linn Designs for our restock and launch. Those efforts totally derailed any content I did have planned for the blog. But do I want to give up one for the other? No, I want to do both. I've come to the realization that I need help and have hired two very part-time people for the blog and for PLD just to have some extra hands on deck.

It should help, but I still need to work out, plan ahead, and get into a better routine to juggle both businesses at once. The needlepoint business is very hands on as it's handcrafted by yours truly. The blog business is very online, so it's not like the worlds overlap all that much. But I do have a plan (all my plans come through best late at night). I just need to do it (when morning comes I'm like nahhhh).

My plan is to take a little break. Nothing crazy, just for the week. I'm going to take a full week off social media, the blog, the needlepoint store, everything. A true vacation. Deleting apps, ignoring emails, the works. And I start on Monday. 

I'm going to come up with a schedule of my days. I'm going to clean up the house. I'm going to plan out content and make a true content calendar for both the blog and PLD. I'm going to give myself grace. I'm going to brainstorm new ideas. I'm going to buy new clothes (and start getting dressed after my weeklong vacation lol). I'm going to treat next week as a reset and refresh button and come back better than ever, and with a plan. 

And it couldn't come at a better time either. Next week I'm having surgery (nothing life threatening, and not cosmetic either). It's something I have needed to get done for a while to better my future plans. It'll be my first surgery ever, and I'm of course a little nervous about it. My anxiety likes to tell me all the different ways I can die every 30 seconds, so that's fun. And with COVID, no one can go in or be with me for it, which also makes me a little sad. 

But on the bright side (and I mean BRIGHT side), my parents are going to come out for the week. I'm so excited I could cry. I haven't seen them since May and it's been the longest we've physically been apart. Sometimes you need your parents around you to make everything better. They're going to drive out and it'll be the first time we're actually able to host them! They haven't seen the house, and I'm really looking forward to having them here. They're going to help us around the house, help in my recovery from surgery, we're going to play a lot of games and watch a lot of movies. And I am PUMPED.

I think having them here and just taking a little time off will be exactly what I need to come back ready to go; to take on 2021 for real this time. And I hope you'll come back and join me. I promise it will be better than ever. Sending you lots of love! Will see you all soon 💙

38 comments:

  1. I'm in a similar stage of life as you (around the same age, newlywed-ish, and just bought a house). It's so disappointing to hear the comments about the house because I love it! I I'm a non-blogger over here with an imperfect house that I constantly compare to other people's "perfect" homes. It was and is so refreshing to see someone more public take it slow and live with what you have and make smart choices. I know it's easier said than I done over here but hoping one day you'll be ready to share the house again. And oh, FBMP/Craiglist/family furniture all the way!!!

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  2. I am also at a similar stage in life as you, and I appreciated that you were taking the house process in stages. Yes, it may not make for the best blog content but it is also not realistic to fully furnish a house right away. My husband and I lived in a NYC studio before we bought a 4 bedroom house near DC and most of the rooms are barely furnished 1.5 years later. I hope you come back feeling refreshed.

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  3. Hi Krista! Just wanted to say that you're doing a great job. I actually really liked your "real" home blogging content. My husband and I are looking for our first home. I get really down in the comparison trap because it seems like all my friends (and don't get me started on most bloggers) have a house that looks like a show room in a week. I am so sad you are going to stop the home content because I loved it!

    On another note, I have an idea based on your description of the surgery what it might be. And if I'm right, I went through that in November 2019. It was my first surgery, too and because the reason was so near and dear to me (and my future family) it took a huge toll on me. Let me just say that is WILL ALL BE OK. Again for the people in the back, YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING AND IT WILL BE OK! God has a plan.

    Take care and enjoy your week off!

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  4. I have been following your blog for a while now. I’m 56, probably one of your older readers but I have a daughter in her 20’s and really enjoy the content. I learn all kinds of things from you younger bloggers. Today’s post made me reflect on that period of time in my life when friends were getting first houses and starting to have babies. The pressure is always there to compare and unfortunately the ugly comments as well. One phrase that stuck with me is “don’t let anyone rob your joy.” People will because of of their own insecurity. Just keep being authentic to yourself, and those people will fade away and will be replaced with more authentic people. I hope you enjoy your week off! Looking forward to reading your posts when you return!

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  5. I completely understand how you feel, Krista. Sometimes, you just need a break to refresh, and you DESERVE one too. Also, I'm incredibly sorry about all the rude, unnecessary, and downright unacceptable comments you've been receiving. I truly wish people could learn love and kindness, especially during this tough time. Like you said though, it's people who are hurting themselves, so please know that none of it is true. I know most of us are LOVING your home finds, seeing it come together, and hearing about the progress. Personally, you've given me so much inspiration to find my own gems on FB marketplace. So, THANK YOU! Wishing you all the best in the coming week! I'm so glad you're taking time to take care of YOU!

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  6. Hugs Krista <3 the past few months have been some of the worst for me during the pandemic. Last spring was a super scary and weird time, but things almost seem more intense and dismal now with it being winter and this going on for so long. I hope surgery goes well and you come back feeling so refreshed!!

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  7. I'm not sure I've ever commented here before, but I wanted to tell you that I've enjoyed all your content, from fashion to home stuff. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with shitty trolls. I don't know what is wrong with people these days, but it's not you, it's them. I hope your break leaves you refreshed and feeling better about everything. <3

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  8. Hey, I gotta tell you - I don't go to blogs - yours or anyone elses - just for the fashion content, or sponsored items, etc. I truly love reading just life updates! I'm sorry you've been struggling (tis the season, eh?), and F**K the trolls, but I am glad you are feeling ready for a refresh! Hope your surgery goes well, and you have the BEST time with your parents!

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  9. Been here for years following you and loving your content. I’m not here for fashion, not here for house content, nothing specific, just here because I enjoy you as a person!! Please take the time you need to recover both mentally and physically and I hope the surgery goes well ❤️
    I really feel you on the whole exhaustion and seasonal depression thing. Better, warmer days are ahead 🥰❤️

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  10. I think you've been doing a great job with the house!! It looks really cohesive and you really have a strong sense of style/the direction it's going in. I think we're all in a funk right now (and I mean for the last year lol). However spring is coming!! And I have hope for this summer things will be slightly better. Hope you enjoy your week off and time with your parents, it's definitely more valuable as you get older. I'm 27 and moved back home because of everything and it's been nice this time around, my mom and I have been watching Firefly Lane every night, lol. I'm excited to see your needlepoint room soon!!

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  11. I know what you mean, I'm having similar issues myself. Not getting dressed so I have nothing for the blog (unless I have my husband to take photos before we go pick up food at Target drive-up.) My instagram has become a food-filled feed instead of fashion. And I'm getting so tired of not being able to go anywhere. I'm tired of not being able to go visit family or go on trips to escape the cold. So frustrating to see people (even my own family members) going to other peoples houses (aka grandparents...) without masks, etc. *sigh* I think the fact that I know it's ALMOST over is making it even harder.
    I hope your week off rejuvenates you and your surgery goes well!

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  12. Thanks for letting us know, eager to revisit the blog when it’s back up, and just another person chiming in to say I love the house content and all your blog has brought! Best wishes and quick healing with surgery and enjoy your vacation!

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  13. Awwwwwww, definitely started to tear up towards the end..But I believe in you girl!!! It feels like we are living in an extension of 2020 and it SUCKS. I always come back here because I like the person you are (and I think we would be really good friend irl lolol)! Take this break and enjoy relaxing and enjoy your parents! AND kick that surgery's butt!! I am sending all the good vibes. You got this, also sending you a virtual hug because I feel like you need one :)

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  14. I like reading the life updates and it's also weird how much hate you're getting for the house. I like that you're actually promoting buying secondhand and it's weird how many people still don't get that there's a price for buying all new things (it's poor quality and really hurts the environment). I don't think there should be any shame at all in giving something a second life. I'm currently looking at FBMP for a faux fireplace so I can do some DIY to it! I'm sorry people don't have tact and I hope you keep talking about the house.

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  15. We love you! Take care of yourself! Enjoy your break, see you soon!

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  16. Sorry you're in a funk! I completely relate, and also for what it's worth I have always loved following you, regardless of what the content looks like. Like some of the other commenters here, I'm in a similar life stage - got married around the same time as you, bought a house same time as well, and have been taking the pandemic very seriously (have not been on an airplane at all since pre-COVID, which is so strange and sad for me as I used to fly almost weekly for work). Hang in there.. and honestly, screw the people who say mean things about your house. That's ridiculous and so uncalled for. I'm sure "just block them" is easier said than done - but honestly, I love your house content and how it is more relatable/realistic with shopping on FBMP etc. It's helped me and inspired me a lot! Excited to see what you come back with after your break - but no pressure for it to be anything fancy. I already love what you're doing. *Hugs*

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  17. Hi Krista! I just wanted to tell you that I think your house is beautiful and I loved your Instagram stories about it. You have a great eye for beautiful pieces of furniture and decor. I’m sorry that people online are so cruel. I think it’s jealousy and the continuing pandemic. It doesn’t matter or give people the right to be mean. Remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Block the people from your account that are being cruel. An Instagram account I follow Sarah Robbins, she has talked about cruel internet comments. She blocks those people.

    I found your account through Kelly in the city in Chicago. Your Instagram is one of my favorites! I love how you’re real with people. Good luck on your surgery. Happy Healing!! Enjoy having your parents around! It’s so good that you’re taking time to unplug!! I get it! I struggle with depression. It’s hard this time of year. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and it’s so gloomy here. Well other than today, it’s ☀️for once.

    Have a great day!!

    Becky Bacon

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  18. I love seeing your house updates, and that you're furnishing it via FBMP and other sources. You, in fact, inspired me to look at FBMP for my house, and that's where I snagged a wool rug and a headboard. I've been in my house since November, and still have a dining room that is entirely empty. Not a thing in it. Watching you take your time has let me know that it's ok that I have an entirely empty dining room. I hope you are able to find a way to continue to share your house and other endeavors, because they are appreciated!

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  19. You are doing a great job and I love all your content! I'm sorry people are so nasty and being nitpicky over everything. I love seeing your Facebook marketplace posts. Enjoy the week off!!

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  20. I completely understand. I have a note on my calendar next month to plan for a vacation even if it ends up just being a day trip to the beach and then spending the week reading and unplugged.

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  21. If you're looking for content ideas that aren't fashion or home related (I understand because I'm not going anywhere either lol) I'd love to know more about how you started a second business and any tips you have. I know more and more people are working on side hustles and trying to find income outside of the corporate world. It would be really interesting to hear about :)

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  22. I am so sorry that from just doing your job, you have to endure all the hateful things. Totally understandable that it would get to you! It's awful! And do not feel guilt around taking time off, especially when there's no where to go. We have to take time off to refresh and let go! The last thing is, I have so enjoyed the new house content. Partly because we too have just bought a home,but I also just love to see what other people do! Not to compare, but inspiration, tips, just general knowledge. So thank you for sticking through it and don't give up!!

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  23. I am so sorry for the hate towards your house!!! It makes no sense. I think a break will be perfect, and you have lots of people cheering you on. Thank you for being transparent and I wish nothing but comfort and happiness during your break. You can do hard things!!

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  24. I am sorry I haven't commented before this, Krista. I love, love, LOVE your home content. You are so creative and resourceful to utilize Facebook Marketplace and eBay to furnish your home. Not only do you get higher quality pieces, but you help the environment by not contributing to manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of global goods. The way you are approaching home ownership is so savvy and inspiring. We had a similar approach when we bought our home 4.5 years ago. We spent every penny on the home itself. I bought pieces from estate sales and Virtual Garage Sales. The best part of this is that I have resold a lot of those early purchases once I figured out the needs of each room, and recouped all my costs. Maybe one of your part time employees could be in charge of monitoring comments and delete the trolly, hateful ones so that you could reserve brainpower for only those that are constructive? That would both infuriate the trolls (losing their access to and power over you) and preserve your best self for those that appreciate you for YOU. Don't change - you and your approach are wonderful. I am sorry more of us don't take the time to post positive comments to counteract the trolls out there.

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  25. Krista I was so happy to see this post! Thanks for sharing with us how things are going! I have really really loved your home content. Its so real and relatable. When my husband and I first bought our home we lived several months with empty rooms and rooms that had our leftover college furniture. A "friend" came over and told me it looked like kids were playing house. I was humiliated. Its been four years and we are still tweaking this place to make it our dream home! Please don't give up the home content!! Its so fun watching you figure out your style and finding affordable pieces on FB market. I love buying and selling on FB and its such a great way to find unique items. Spring is on its way and the SAD is slowing fading. You got this!!

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  26. Good luck on the surgery. Home content is my favorite kind, it's why I first started reading blogs and before they all became more lifestyle, the ones I read were mostly home decor. Please do not stop with the home content. And i for one am glad you aren't shopping, traveling, posting fashion pics, bc THIS is real life, and THAT is the type of person I want to read about or engage with. Not this fake look at me bs which is what most blogs/ instagram has become.

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  27. Krista,

    I think I everyone can relate to the down feeling and blah you are expressing. Covid along with this time of year in the northeast is enough to cause a complete mood shift. I love your content so much! I have followed you for years and really appreciate how real you keep things. I loved your home content because it was real and different from what a lot of bloggers post. I hope to see more of that in the future because I share your decor taste. Good luck on your surgery I’m sending good thoughts and prayers your way!

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  28. I think it's been a while since I commented here, but just want to say THANK YOU for voicing what I think so many of us are feeling at this time of year AND this point in this pandemic.

    I'm pretty sure I get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder but also sad, lol) every year in late February/early March so I always plan travel during this time, usually somewhere sunny to escape the Northeast. To not have that right now because I'm trying to not contribute to this thing is driving me crazy. It's a constant pull between wanting to do something for ME (and my husband) and feeling guilty for being "selfish". We know how lucky & privileged we are but that doesn't mean we can't feel down/in a slump.

    So happy you're taking a break for YOU (and your fam) and I hope you come back refreshed and feeling a little more like yourself.

    Also, anyone taking the time to comment nasty, negative comments on the internet is usually just reflecting their own issues and insecurities. Sometimes it's good to be reminded that they're in such a terrible place that it makes them feel better to be hurtful. Keep your head up knowing you're not one of those people, and helping others by sharing the very real ups and downs of life. <3

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  29. EFF the haters!! You are my FAVORITE blogger because of how down to earth and real you are. We are at similar stages of life - my husband and I just bought our first condo together- and I totally feel the pain. Seasonal depression has been getting to me too, and the usual outlets have not been available. Enjoy the rest and time away and you will be in my prayers for the surgery.

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  31. I have always appreciated your honesty on the blog and video blogs. I am not a blogger, but have enjoyed reading your blogs and to be selfish, have found it to be personally helpful during COVID. It's my something to look forward to because taking very similar precautions. I love how real you are that it takes time to get a house in order and it isn't done in a day with entirely new stuff. I hope you take whatever time you need off and return when you're truly happy to return. Even if it's longer than a week. Wishing you a successful surgery and speedy and as painfree as possible recovery. Hope your time with your parents is absolutely the best!

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  32. You have a beautiful home and I always enjoy your blog and content. Sad to hear any hateful comments towards you. Take care of yourself and I hope we can all be kind to one another

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  33. Sorry to hear about getting hateful comments. I don't understand why anyone takes the time for that. Please keep going with the home content. It's nice to see!

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  34. Krista-- I have to say I LOVED the second hand and house content. Like next level loved, so while I'm sad I say you're a bad ass for protecting yourself and setting boundaries. People should realize that second hand is full of amazing gems, contributes to less waste, and consumerism is for the birds. I'm super excited with what you start posting in the coming months.

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  35. You're fantastic and doing such a great job with your new business and house. I wish people weren't so quick to criticism. These are tough times and I think a lot of people are taking out their sadness and frustration on others. It's not right. I hope your surgery goes well and you feel better soon. Sending positivity!

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  36. Awe, I totally feel where your are at! This year especially has been so f*cking hard and in so many ways. For the record your house is beautiful and the way you are furnishing it with beautiful, quality secondhand, sustainable furniture is so inspiring. Please don’t stop sharing! My husband and I just purchased a house over the summer and I find the most interesting places to gather inspiration are real homes that feel collected and full of things not bought quickly to fill space. I heard Johnathan Adler say this in a podcast and it rings so true “The real essence of designing a space that’s personal to you is ONLY buying things that you absolutely love and that your heirs will fight over.” Don’t let the haters keep you down, you have a real eye, great style all around and it would be a shame to let them win!

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