The Battle of Anxiety: A Personal Update


Hi everyone! Every so often I share a little update on my personal mental health in hopes that it will help other people to open up and share their experiences! As many of you know, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression off and on my entire life. Unfortunately, it came to a head last year when I started a high stress job. Luckily, I left that job and started a new one in a much healthier environment. However, sometimes anxiety comes back. Here’s how I’m dealing with it and my tips and suggestions for other people that struggle.

Life Circumstances are Changing

Usually for me what brings on anxiety is a major change in life. If you saw my post announcing my engagement, you’ll know that I’m over the moon excited about getting to marry David. However, planning a wedding and preparing for such a big change has brought on some anxiety.

I’m nervous about planning and more importantly, paying for a wedding. I’m also nervous about getting in shape and dress shopping! You don’t realize how body conscious you are until you know everyone will be looking at you on your wedding day. Yikes! So yeah, life is changing for the better, but its still anxiety inducing.

How I’m Coping with Anxiety

I’ve learned that anxiety is something you have to manage all the time, regardless of how good or bad it is. I have two coping strategies: the first is seeing a therapist twice a month. The second is writing about it and sharing it with you. My therapist is amazing and if you’re worried about being able to afford it, many places have junior therapists that are still getting all of their counseling hours in and are being supervised by a therapist with several years of experience.

When it comes to writing about anxiety, it makes me feel better knowing that I can share openly about my experience so others don’t feel alone in it. Witty n Pretty started as a fashion blog and I still do blog about fashion, but I don’t have a passion for it like I used to. Writing about mental health and mixing in fun topics like style and beauty is slowly what Witty n Pretty is becoming.

How You Can Cope

Everyone’s coping mechanism is totally different. What works for me might not work for you. The first thing I would suggest however, is to do something for yourself everyday. We get so wrapped up in taking care of others that we neglect ourselves. Whether you go do some yoga, read in a lawn chair, take a hot shower, or even write a blog- take time for YOU.

I would also suggest routinely talking to a trusted friend or professional that can listen to your concerns and either provide a shoulder to cry on or advice. Its amazing how much better you feel after you just brain dump on someone else. Its like a load is off your shoulders and you can breathe again!

Reach Out to Me

If you have no one to talk to, reach out to me! I’m more than happy to talk with you and just listen if you prefer. Life’s hard but its better with a friend.

Thinking of Starting a Blog? Don’t. Here’s Why.

fall floral prints

I started blogging several years ago and I thought I’d do a little recap of my experience and advice I have for anyone wanting to start a blog! There’s so much I didn’t know when I started and sharing what I know about the blogging world is how I like to help others. Blogging isn’t my full time job but its something I do for fun on the side, so with that frame of mind, let’s get started.

Blogging Won’t Make You Money

Can you believe it? You really don’t make any money. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Many style bloggers have gotten very rich and famous from blogging but they usually have a few things in common: they had some money to begin with (or enjoyed credit card debt) and they started blogging way before everyone else did.

Blogging to eventually make money is just like starting a business, you have to spend money to make any. And there’s no guarantee you will. So unless you know something I don’t, you won’t be making any money.

Blogging Involves Smoke and Mirrors

Did you know you can buy 500 Instagram followers for $5.99? Me neither until I saw an ad for it. I decided to do it. 5 minutes later my follower count went way up and boom- I looked more popular than I was before. These services offer to deliver “followers” to your account for cheap, very cheap. Most of these accounts aren’t run by actual people but they certainly bump up your numbers quickly.

If you follow anyone with a lot of followers, take a look at how many likes and comments they’re getting on photos they post. If the engagements are low, you can bet most of those followers aren’t real. Like I said- smoke and mirrors!

Blogging is Dead

Yep, blogs are dead, or at least on their way out. Everyone and their cousin has one and its saturated the market! Traffic is hard to get and unless you’re willing to pay to promote your blog on Facebook, not many people are going to read it.

More importantly, our attention spans are dwindling and  no one wants to read an entire blog, which is why social platforms like Instagram are popular – it’s all visual. If you’re going to start anything, make it an Instagram account!

It’s Hard to Know When to Stop

I’m not going to lie- I’ve been considering shutting my blog down for awhile. Its exhausting to maintain and unless you can devote a lot of time and money to make it successful, there’s very little reward. Sure, I get free things here and there which is nice, but the amount of time it takes to photograph something, write about it, and then promote it on social media makes it far less appealing.

However, I’ve put so many years of my life into this that throwing away all of my content and hard work seems like a big mistake. So I continue writing, and perhaps, wasting more time.

Blogging Takes a Toll on Your Confidence

Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone, but it has been for me. As with anything in life, we compare ourselves to the Taylor Swifts of our industry- the rock stars at the top that are making things happen. I constantly, ask myself why I’m not as skinny, pretty, rich, or popular as some of the style bloggers I follow. It just doesn’t seem fair. And from this point its a downward spiral of constantly wondering why you aren’t good enough for other people to follow you, pay you to wear their clothes, and take lavish vacations (comped of course).

Still Thinking of Starting a Blog?

Then do it if you really want to! My experience won’t be exactly like yours. Just be prepared for everything that comes with – or maybe nothing at all. Go in with no expectations that you’ll ever get a single comment or make a single dollar. With that mindset, you might actually be successful- and that’s where I went wrong.

Beachy Waves are in and Here’s How to Get Them!

john freida air dry

john freida frizz ease review

air dry waves review

Hey lovelies! Most of the United States is mid-way through the summer months but here in Texas, summer lasts through October. Learning to style my hair in this constant heat has been difficult! I grew up in Maryland and the 85 degree days combined with humidity meant my hair just curled right up and I got great beachy waves in my hair. Texas is another story. Heat destroys my hair and it usually just lays flat and lifeless.

John Freida reached out to me and offered to send me their line of Frizz Ease products to try out on my hair! Here’s how I was able to get my beachy waves back!

My Summer Hair Routine

First of all, I try to keep the heat off my hair as much as I can. Hot showers, styling tools, and hours spent in the sun are no-goes for me. A cold shower does wonders for my hair and a simple towel dry keeps it from getting damaged.

If my hair is wet and I need to style it quickly, I use the Air-Dry Waves Styling Foam. A few pumps of this is enough to spread through my hair. I’ll scrunch it up a bit after I run it through my hair and then just let it air dry. This gives me great beachy-looking hair! Honestly, this was probably my favorite product I tried and definitely did its job. Pro tip: make sure you get the roots of your hair as well, not just the ends!

If my hair is damp, I’ll spritz the Leave-In Conditioner throughout my hair and that gives it a nice soft texture throughout the day.

The Touch-Up Cream and Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum are great for taming dry, frizzy hair. I would definitely recommend these products for anyone in a humid climate. The serum is really great for the ends of your hair as well as the annoying fly-aways that pop up all over the place!

If you want to give John Frieda a shot, you can find the product line on Amazon (Prime member baby!) Enjoy your summer hair!

 

Dressing Rooms are Scary for Some Women- I’m One of Them

Hey lovelies! On Witty n Pretty, I try to not only share my style but also what’s on my heart with all of you. Sometimes it’s my favorite trends of the season and then other times it’s a post about battling depression. Lately, my mind has centered around body image and the problem I have with my own. So today, I’d love to dive into this topic a bit and just feel free to be open about it with you!

What is Body Image?

Body image is how we perceive ourselves, whether factual or not, in the mirror. So many people struggle with negative body image, including myself. My fiancé always catches me looking in the mirror making fun of myself by doing “fat faces” or grabbing my stomach and rolling my eyes. He always tells me I’m beautiful and there’s nothing he would change about me but guess what? There’s plenty I would change about me! My negative body image ensures that whenever someone jokingly asks me if I’d ever get plastic surgery, I have a list of things I’d have fixed to spout off! How sad, right? But it’s the truth. Body image is almost always associated with negativity.

Dressing Room Anxiety

With body image issues comes shopping for clothing issues. These two go hand in hand and feed off of each other. No matter what you want to buy, the negativity in your mind will convince you that it doesn’t look good. I’ll be totally honest, trying on pants, skirts and shorts absolutely terrifies me! Every time I turn around my hips have gotten bigger and my stomach is more bloated than the day before. I value being my current size (I’m an 8) but I see myself being pushed further away from that number than ever before. And yes, I’m really bothered by it!

So trying on clothing can be a real test of will for me and I imagine many others.

Setting Realistic Expectations

This is not my forte. I like to excel in everything I do and not having the perfect body and wardrobe feels like I’m a failure. But I 100% realize how important it is for everyone to have realistic expectations about how their bodies react to better nutrition, exercise, and so on. More importantly, I know we should set realistic expectations for how we look in clothing.

J Crew is one of my favorite stores to shop in but no matter what, I’ll never be a size 8 in their shorts. In Target’s Universal Thread line, I’m an easy size 8. I have no idea why this is the case, but it is. However, I can wear a size 8 skirt in J Crew. Unfortunately, I focus in on what I can’t wear versus what I can. It’s so silly!

This isn’t a post where I tell you how to fix your body image issues, because truthfully I can’t even fix my own. But this is a post for anyone looking to see if someone else understands how they feel when they step into a dressing room full of anxiety. I do! And when I was putting on the outfit above, I was scared the shorts wouldn’t fit- but they did. Little victories matter!

PS. You can find my shorts here and a similar top to mine here!

*affiliate links present

Breaking Down a “$100 Outfit”

summers in lake highlands

light blue striped top

pink tassel earrings

Hey everyone! Hope you’ve enjoyed your first few days of summer! It’s blazing hot in Dallas and I’m so thankful for air conditioning. When I moved here, it was mid-July and I was like wow this must me the hottest month of the year, now I know June, July, and August compete for that role.

So I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and I had seen multiple posts from other style bloggers showing off their outfits that were “under $100.” Now, I’m admittedly a bargain hunter. If you brag about the shirt you got on sale for $30, I’ll mentally laugh and think if you had waited another month it would be on clearance for $15. However, browsing through even stores like Old Navy made me realize that finding clothing for cheap *not on clearance* is pretty hard. So, I tallied up how much money my outfit cost and it was over $100. Ouch. So if you’re going to spend $100 on an outfit, here’s what you should invest in.

Go for Basic Pieces

I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it again- the best things you can invest in are basic pieces you can wear with literally anything. My ripped denim shorts I’ve been wearing on repeat since April and for only $16, they weren’t even an investment! My striped ruffle top (a clearance Express find!) is something I wear to brunch and to work. Both of these pieces are totally neutral and work with a variety of other tops and bottoms.

Invest in a Fun Item

Since you’ve probably spent about $65 on your “basic pieces,” you can treat yourself to something fun like my statement earrings! I got these tassel earrings from a local boutique but they’ve been popping up all over the place from different brands. I honestly wear these earrings at least twice a week because they make any outfit way more fun!

Pick Your Go-To Summer Sandals

Normally, my go-to summer sandals are a pair of Jack Rogers. But let’s be real- they’re over $100 by themselves! So for the purpose of a budget, choose some neutral but trendy sandals or wedges you can wear all summer with a variety of outfits. My bow espadrilles are from Target and were only $24!

Style on a Budget

If you don’t think you can be fashionable on a budget, think again! Now more than ever before, you have an endless array of options in affordable clothing to take advantage of. Target has come out with so many great style options and you can also sift through thrift stores. Hint: hit up thrift stores near the nicer areas of town- you may come across some designer items at an amazing price!

Blogger Takeaways From Everything Content & Social Digital Summit


Hey everyone! Recently, I went to the Everything Content and Social: Digital Summit here in Dallas where speakers talked about, you guessed it, everything content! I like to say that by day I’m a content and SEO specialist, but by night I’m a blogger. Rarely do these two aspects of my life intersect (and I like it that way) but on the occasion that they do, I’m gonna blog about it!

I thought I’d share with you a few of my big key takeaways from the event’s speakers. Some of the takeaways surprised me and they may surprise you too!

Facebook Live is Huge

Going live on Facebook is incredibly important to engaging followers on your page. I think one of the speakers said that this kind of video performs 60% better than other videos (don’t quote me on the number but I know it was very high!) This surpised me because going live is far less predictable and certainly not as curated as other forms of content. Do people actually like this? Apparently so. Authenticity in content creation is more important than ever!

I can relate to wanting my favorite bloggers to be more authentic. I don’t want to see your perfect white home and your massive closet full of shoes. I want to see the girl that’s wearing the shoes and how she’s stepped in gum and can’t get it off her shoes because that’s my struggle too! I relate to this! Seeing it live is even better (and funnier.)

Don’t Create Crap

One of the first speakers of the day talked about how one of Thomas Edison’s first short films was attended by socialites, politicians, and other important people- all dressed to the nine’s as my grandma would say. You know what the film featured? Men shoveling garbage! Seriously. But a “moving picture” had never been done before so people loved it. After awhile, the novelty wore off and other filmmakers that tried to create similar movies didn’t get much attention.

The same thing happens with content we create. It’s not interesting to blog about the top 10 restaurants in Dallas because it’s been blogged about hundreds of times and no one cares anymore. To be successful, we have to create new, exciting content!

Work With the Facebook Algorithm

You can’t “hack” or beat Facebook’s new algorithm but you can work with it. Facebook announced it was going to go back to favoring people over brands (like the original Facebook we all loved.) This means that what you share, comment on, and react to is going to have more weight than ever before.

For example, if you’re friend shares a funny meme and you react with a “haha” and then go comment on it, Facebook is going to make sure more people see that meme. Better yet, if you and your friend have a back and forth conversation in the comments section of the meme, Facebook will value the meme even higher!

Creating content on Facebook that’s designed to get reactions and get people talking will help you work with the algorithm instead of against it!

There’s so much more I could share with you, but these were the biggest things I took away from the conference! It was awesome to be with other content marketers that understand how hard it can be to constantly create. It’s exhausting! Let me know your thoughts or experiences with any of these takeaways! 

5 Things to Love About Dallas

flower gals mobile dallas
The Flower Gals have the cutest little mobile flower shop around Dallas!

I’ve been living in Texas for two years now and it’s been quite the culture shock for me. Every single state I visit or have lived has had its own unique style, tastes, and feel. Texas is no different, in fact, the culture here is even more prevalent than say the understated culture of the midwest. Needless to say, living here as a Maryland native has left me scratching my head at times and wanting to pack my bags and run home to familiarity. BUT there are some things I’ve discovered that I like about Texas and here are my top 5!

You’ll Never Run Out of Restaurants

My Lord. There are so many places to eat in DFW its not even funny! I’m pretty sure its impossible to go to every single place in your lifetime. The Mexican food here is delicious (although my San Antonio born and raised husband to be says its better down there) and I’ll never get tired of all the chips and salsa! So yummy!

Shopping is Cardio

I read somewhere that “Paris knows how to design fashion. New York knows how to wear fashion. And Dallas knows how to buy fashion.” I think that’s the truest thing I’ve ever read! There’s more money here than I ever thought there would be and the shopping possibilities are endless. Whether you’re a “thousandaire” or a millionaire, on the weekends you’re buying something pricey.

Flights are Pretty Cheap

When you want to leave Dallas, usually in July when its unbearably hot, a flight to another part of the country is rarely more than $300 roundtrip. Dallas is centrally located and a hub for Southwest airlines. Even getting to Mexico is cheap(ish).

Job Opportunities are Endless

As a college graduate with a fair amount of debt, a city with job possibilities is important. Dallas really can’t be beat when it comes to that. I always thought I’d end up in Washington DC but the cost of living vs the pay just wouldn’t cut it. So much industry is moving to Dallas, making it a job seeker’s paradise.

Neighborhoods Have Distinct Vibes

A quick Google Street View search of Deep Ellum will make you realize that hipsters and artists can be found in this area while Uptown is full of uppity 20-somethings. I like the distinct styles and atmospheres of all the little areas around Dallas- gives it some uniqueness!

So in short, even though Texas has been hard to adjust to, I’m adjusting by finding the things I like and ignoring things I don’t (the heat and lack of ocean, just sayin’.)