From The Heart + Remixing Old Favorites

I started this blog in 2010 as an outlet to destress from my real estate business.  It was always an escape for me.  I never intended on ever making money much less a full time career from it.

I decided to follow my passion and go full time in 2015 and ironically that is when I got pregnant (twice).  Over the years, the market became saturated with bloggers/influencers.  Everyone is a blogger, wanna be blogger, influencer, social media star…omg it’s all just too much. It’s extremely competitive and I’m constantly trying to keep up.  Not easy to do when you have a baby and your world flips upside down (literally).  I lost touch with why I loved blogging, why I started it and why it was important to me.  It turned into how much product could I sell and how many people would click on my links and make a purchase so I could earn a small commission (this is one way I make a living in case you weren’t aware).  The constant buy this, buy that, this top is on sale, click here….OMG it’s exhausting.

It became all about selling selling selling which is one reason why I left real estate in the first place.  I was tired of the real estate game, the non-stop selling and toxic bullsh** that comes with the business.

It’s a double edge sword because this is my full time job.  Selling is part of blogging.  There’s no way of getting around it.  It’s a business just like any other business.  It’s all about numbers.  It’s hard not to sell yourself or continuously persuade people to click on your links because that is how I pay the bills.  If I don’t do that,  I can’t exactly continue doing what I love for a living.

Since 2015, my blog has been and still is my only source of income.  Finding that balance between selling and staying true to yourself while trying to keep up with the twenty-something bloggers is NO JOKE.  This is how I support my family which explains why I work until 2-3 am and even that doesn’t seem to be enough.  Why am I telling you this?  Because I’ve never really talked about this and I’ve never thanked you for making purchases from my links.  Let’s face it, blogging isn’t going to last forever.  Instagram isn’t going to last forever either so I hope that whatever adventure I go on next, you’ll join me. 🙂

I honestly have NO IDEA what I’m even saying…I’m basically running on fumes right now so if I don’t make sense, please forgive me.  I’m just writing whatever comes to my mind.  I know I haven’t been my happy, positive self lately and I most definitely don’t want this blog to turn into a pity party HOWEVER, this is life and this is me.  Although I can’t talk about the details of what’s going on, I do want to share my thoughts and feelings.  It’s helping me cope and helping me keep a strong face for Milan.  So thank you for allowing me to do so.

At the end of each day, I wonder how I’m alive.  How did I even survive today?  I know I’ve mentioned that the past four years have been SO SO difficult for me and the people closest to me know why.  I’ve never aired my dirty laundry publicly and I’ve kept basically everything private.  I’m very guarded and have always been a private person so for me to cry publicly on Instagram stories was so out of character.  First of all, I rarely cry even in private so for me to pour my heart out and let down my guard was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  I was embarrassed (still am) and humiliated.  At the same time, I felt empowered.  I felt like okay world, this is me.  This is how I feel right now, in this very moment.  Raw, real and unedited.  I’ve never felt so exposed before and was scared to death.  The outpouring of love and support you showed me literally blew me away.

Shirt: Ann Taylor striped tee (similar HERE) | Jacket: Loft denim jacket (similar HERE or HERE) | Jeans: Paige Verdugo petite olive jeans (size 24P, similar HERE) | Belt: J.Crew (similar HERE) | Hat: Sole Society (similar HERE) | Bag: Gucci soho disco bag | Shoes: J.Crew leopard flats

There are so many emotions I’m going through right now that it’s hard to process.  I’m constantly saying WTF?!  I didn’t even know some of these crazy emotions existed until now.  I have never felt this type of pain before.  It’s deep. Sharp. Numbing.  It’s almost like death or worse.  I feel like I’ve lost so much, so quickly yet I’ve gained a whole new perspective.  It’s as if everything that didn’t make sense is crystal clear now.  It’s hard to explain but that’s where I’m at right now.  As much as I want to stay in bed, cry all day and eat bags of potato chips (my weakness), I have NO CHOICE but to stay strong.  As much as I’m hurting, I have no regrets.  I know that all the events that have led up to this point happened for a reason.  I was meant to be Milan’s mommy.  She was meant to be my daughter.  Together we will get through anything. XO

P.S – my favorite leopard flats from many years ago that I’ve worn into the ground is BACK – same brand and style.  I ordered a pair and hope it’s as good as the ones I’m wearing.

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XO, Annie
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Leave a comment!

  1. Gpeg Annie, stay strong for a better tomorrow and for your daughter. I honestly know what it feels to hate life, but remember that you have an army behind you,

    • You’re going to have a nervous breakdown. Then, you won’t have a choice, your body will stop you. Before you get there, make some hard choices about what is truly important.

  2. I write books and selling ebooks is the same thing – always be selling but don’t make it sound like spam. All authors are encouraged to have a newsletter so we have a message we can control and put directly in readers’ hands, but for most, it doesn’t come easily to write them. Where it used to be fine to just post the book cover and blurb and store links, now you need to stand out. You have to connect with readers or you’re just another one of millions shouting “buy my book!”

    So I really, really get it. And the advice works. Since I’ve put more personal touches in my newsletter in recent months, there has been more engagement and book sales.

  3. Annie, your strength and honesty are so admirable. Praying for you and Milan. You will get through all of this and come out so much stronger. You are loved by so many. Big hugs. 🙏🏻❤️

  4. Annie you are an amazing woman and mother! Thank you for being so open and sharing your pain, strength and determination all at the same time. Things are going to get better! Keep smiling! The Best is yet to come!!

  5. Continue to stay atrong, Annie. Remember the darkest hour of the night is just before Dawn. Your Dawn is coming and everything will be alright. Try to focus on things that will make you happy. Hugs!

  6. I’ve read your blog and IG for years and it’s hard to see you in pain like this. Stay strong! If anyone can get through this, you can.

    I sincerely hope you how how much we appreciate your content, too! I rarely comment, but I’m 5′, so I seek out petite bloggers and IG’ers. You’re the ONLY one whose style is just 100% mine. I could buy every one of your outfits!

    I bought the leopard print flats the second you posted them the other day, been looking for a good pair for a month now and they are SURPRISINGLY hard to find. Either that or I’m picky. Anyway, glad to know after reading this post that you will hopefully make something off of that purchase and not just the click.

    Hang in there.

  7. Aw, don’t be embarrassed! Everyone needs someone & we are your “someone” you can cry with. Whatever you are going through, I am sure it will pass & you will come out that much stronger on the other side. You are right, you must be strong for Milan, she is the most important thing in your life right now & you are her role model & a very good one at that! I so enjoy your IG posts and I am so sorry you are going through this tough time. Whatever it is, hopefully not health related, it will get better, I promise! I am here for you if ever you want to talk. My daughter thinks I give great advice. 😜. Love you Annie & I’m the woman that lives on Balboa Island & I work @ Redfox Good Clothes & Bloomingdales.

  8. Remember that how we deal with stress is what our child learn from. I admire your strength as a working woman and mom. I have been trying to prepare my college daughter for the real world and want her to be a strong independent woman no matter what life throws her way. I hope your blogging career can substain your lifestyle but as you know…money isn’t everything! Blessings

  9. Hang in there. I enjoy your posts and have bought many pieces of clothes from your site and receive many compliments all thanks to you. Thank you for sharing and being real. It’s inspiring.
    (P.S. I’m 5’1 and it’s really hard to find petite stylish bloggers out there! No Joke! Your’s is the best!)

  10. Hi Annie – hang in there. I’m also going through something truly difficult and in the last week or I’ve come to your blog for inspiration so thank you for pouring your heart out. Sending you lots of positive energy and vibes. Thank you for comfort and wishing you and Milan the best.

  11. It is in our weakest moments we find our true strength. Thank you for being transparent and I pray your testimony gives someone else the courage to do the same

  12. Take care, Annie. It’s darkest before the dawn, and your new dawn is coming. Give it time.

  13. Hi Annie – I’ve followed your blog and IG for a few years now. I love your style and I’m also in OC so I love seeing your
    little Milan tooling around town. I totally understand what you are saying about blogging, “influencing” – its all so wierd and superficial! I admire the way you have opened your heart and are completely honest about your business. I for one, want to support you in your upcoming days so I will happily shop through your links (I do anyway if not directly)! When life is beyond sad, hurtful and gut-wrenching, Milan’s sweet face will get you through anything. Hugs!! 💕

  14. You have such a beautiful heart Annie. I have been praying for you and I want to thank you for opening up and sharing. I know it isn’t easy to do in front of the whole world. I, too, am going through the most difficult time of my life and it has helped me to know we all struggle. Other people’s choices can cut so deeply and leave us feeling shocked, in disbelief, and so broken. You have chosen to take the high road and be strong and grateful.That is a powerful testimony of your character. God bless you🥰

  15. Stay strong you’re an inspiration to so many! Things will get better although right it does get seem like it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  16. Annie, you have always seemed like a genuine and kind person. I’m so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time right now. You are strong and you will get through this. You are choosing to get up every day and that shows immense strength. Social media can be so harsh and unforgiving but it can be utterly amazing at the same time. I hope that you are able to utilize the support you have through your blog and Instagram to help you through this difficult time. You will not only get through this but you will thrive. My prayers are with you and sweet Milan.

  17. Annie, you’ve created a tribe, your tribe. Your blog has helped and inspired many, so draw from the community that you help encourage everyday. You’re blog is amazing and has it’s place in the blog world. Not everyone is 20 years old, your fashion style and write ups speak to many out here. You are loved by the right people. The rest, well, it’s their loss. 💕

  18. I don’t post comments much but i do follow your posts closely. I’m praying for you and Milan!

  19. Annie, please don’t be embarrassed or anything negative by being real and sharing what you did when you don’t have to, but nice to let them know why you wouldn’t reply right away. My heart is sad for you and that you are going through something so awful. Yet it’s your personal business, but Annie it would be nice if we were actual friends cuz some of what you said… I would love to get ideas of how you got to being crystal clear. I go through stuff that I won’t post publicly but it’s been 25 years now of what I’m going through. Just want to say I support you and wish you all the best and sooner than later. You’re an amazing woman for many reasons and such a loving mom. #womanboss I hope all gets better for you ❤️💐💐💐💐💐💐

  20. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and never commented. I agree that blogging has become so competitive and saturated – but what you’ve built stands out and delivers something unique and beautiful. And as a woman who has had to reinvent herself many times, I can say that the experience is not so different from the butterfly. You go into the cocoon to grieve and to process and heal. And then when you come out, you have changed into a far more beautiful creature. You got this, girl.

    P.S. and sometimes you need to eat the chips.

  21. Hi! I read your blog here and there and I hope you continue to create your quality content. You are a great blogger and us readers will follow you into your new ventures! Styling? Designing? You are really good at that! You have a great husband and beautiful daughter who will support you. Can’t wait for more of your new home updates! gorgeous mansion!

  22. Praying that whatever you’re going through has a successful ending. Life is really tough sometimes and I am also one that is prone to deal with life by myself. Praying for you to keep strength and gain even more!

  23. First time reading about you and first time following your story. What a sweet, strong woman you seem. Life is not just about the ups and the downs. Life is much more than the sufferings that may come. Life isn’t even just about the good things even tho when they do come you should embrace them to the fullest. Life for me isn’t even about myself, it’s about God and how I can live my life pointing towards him. Life can be exhausting and painful, but the love of God comes from no one but from him and fills you and lifts you up and shows you who you truly are. Living from paycheck to paycheck or trying to impress others boy that’s a rough life. Thank god in Jesus that isn’t life to the fullest at all that he offers. I’ll be praying for you and for rest that you need. I hope god gives you strength to press on.

  24. Annie “Remember no storm lasts forever. Hold on! Be brave ! Have faith! Every storm is temporary and we’re never alone. Only your strength helps you to live; only hard times make you stronger! . 🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️❤️❤️ Praying for you and Milan

  25. I’m sure the pressure is high to make sales, but don’t feel bad, it’s your job and you are great at it. I always try to go through a link from a blogger if their reviews (etc…) helped because I know that work has to go into it. I truly hope that you begin to feel better soon.

  26. I’m sorry that you are going through a rough time, but I do appreciate your honesty. It’s so easy to hide behind social media these days and only portray the picture perfect moments. But we all know the realities of life. So, it’s nice to see someone genuine blogging. I pray that things get better for you soon. For someone like me who has no time to go shopping and try out clothes, your blog is such a time saver. Thank you for doing what you do.

  27. All I can say: Been there, done that. So please do your best. Cry if you have to, try to be strong and when you feel lost, desperate or weak, know that it’s ok too. Hugs and kisses from Quebec, Canada.

  28. Annie, Milan is so, so, SO blessed to have you as a her mommy. Your deep love for her has always shone through. And I never imagined it were possible for it to shine even brighter. Yet here it is, shining brighter. You’re amazing to put her above all else.

  29. Longtime lurker and reader here to say, hang in there. Nothing out there you cannot overcome, conquer, and use to grow and thrive. You are a good woman! One day at a time, I guarantee someday you will feel so much better.

  30. I know it’s hard to see right now, but there will come a day when you realize that even these hard times were moving you to the highest good, that they turned out to be a blessing (albeit so often in disguise). Keep on keepin’ on. Struggles are what give us strength. If life were easy, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to push ourselves and ultimately flourish. Those who are successful in life, refuse to let it kick them down, no matter how hard it tries, and oh it does try. We all believe in you. Hugs and cheers for a stronger tomorrow.

  31. Hi Annie,
    I’m very sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I’m from Canada and I’ve been following you for over 2 years or so and unlike many other fashion bloggers out there, you blog about fashion that is actually affordable and stylish. I find there are too many bloggers out there who blog about high end clothes and which are most of the time not wearable on a daily basis. You, on the other hand introduce us petite women to fashion that ranges from high street shops to luxury designer. I love clothes from BR, Loft, J Crew etc for clothes and only buy luxury designer handbags (not so much clothes). I’ve bought several items that were inspired by you and Milan (for my little daughter) and I love these items! Unfortunately, your links are mainly US links, so whenever I wanna buy an item that you wore, I’m looking for them on the Canadian websites. I’d love to support your blog and Milan, so I wonder if you could post links to the same items but for us Canadians?
    Whatever it is that makes you sad right now, just remember that not only all the good things come to an end but also all the bad things. So please try to stay strong and positive for Milan.
    Hope to see you happy again real soon!

  32. Annie–you are so sweet and I love following your blog. I hope things start feeling better soon. Thank you for sharing. Also, you probably already realize this but whatever’s going on, your daughter’s dad has a responsibility to provide for her financially (esp if his real estate career was as lucrative as you’ve shared) so taking care of her shouldn’t be your sole responsibility. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way. Please know you have a whole community behind you, supporting you! You are amazing and can’t get through anything!

  33. Hi Annie– I’ve have followed you through the years. Mainly of course for fashion advice but this post was very insightful. Yes, the market is saturated with bloggers now. I hope blogging becomes blogging again. I miss reading actual content such as this post. You’re right instagram won’t be around forever. It’s just a matter of time for the next big medium to come along. I doubt writing will be replaced though. Stay true to yourself. I love your style. I hope things work out for you. Conquer one day at a time.