Blogging is a strange beast. It’s most often a light and bubbly place where we talk about pretty things. If we get right down to it, we’re often focused on the frivolity of life. Not that what brings us joy isn’t important. I certainly champion the notion that we project the world we want through what we choose to surround ourselves with.


But Wednesday night I was reminded of some of the larger issues that also affect our world on a daily basis – issues that are too easy to ignore.

I sat in a small hotel conference room surrounded by women who had literally changed the course of American history. Women like Gloria SteinemEsta Soler {who was instrumental in passing the Violence Against Women Act} and Maria Pepe, who was the first girl to play in Little League in the 70’s.

We had gathered to toast to Makers, an initiative of PBS and AOL. The series of online videos aims to become not only the largest but also the most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled. They’re well on their way. Hearing the moving tales about these amazing women, some famous and some you likely haven’t heard of, left me in tears and also left me determined to find that inner strength to face life’s daily challenges. Because no matter how big or small, whatever you face is an enormous hurdle. We’re all fighting battles right?

I strongly encourage you check out Makers if you need a little boost today.

I’m also loving The Conversation, the brainchild of former child celebrity Amanda de Cadenet. She interviews celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Lady Gaga in her own online video series, but that’s not what’s interesting. What draws you in is the topics she discusses with them; fears, managing money, relationships, career successes, self esteem. These enlightened interviews not only humanize women who often seem untouchable, but also offer stunningly honest and helpful advice.

For example, check out what advice Amanda offers to her 14-year old self.

Amanda de Cadenet gives advice to her 14-year-old self from The Conversation with Amanda de on Vimeo.

And then I read this post by the wonderful Mackenzie of Design Darling about the joys, fears, trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship.

As someone who also took that leap this year, I too can admit to figuring a lot of things out as I go. I champion Mackenzie’s message that there is no “right way” and no “best time” to take a major risk like trying to launch your own business. When it comes right down to it, we’re all just trying to make it.  And just because success finds someone, doesn’t mean it’s going to skip you. In fact, the more successful we are, the more we’re able to help others. We would be best served by championing one another, encouraging one another and offering help, support and guidance to spread the success around. It will eventually benefit us all.


As I get down to the end of this long post, I realize my point might be a bit obtuse. I guess I was surprised to find myself craving a bit more depth, a bit more open discussion and a bit more transparency about the issues we all face. Many people do address these topics on their blogs regularly and I applaud them. I’m thinking I might start doing it on Apartment 34 too. I hope you won’t mind. And if there’s something you’d love to see talked about here I’d love to know!

If you’d like some more great food for thought this weekend I also highly recommend this, this and this.

Till Monday luvies,

image via here, quote via here

What do you think?

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  1. I am hooked on The Conversation, wonderfully empowering. Thanks for sharing it. Can’t wait to read more like this post on Apartment 34. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  2. This is so utterly wonderful.
    I still can’t believe that to this day we are still having equality issues, but it’s inspiring to see what some of those women have achieved for the rest of us.

  3. Last year I moved continents – Istanbul back home to Mississippi – and opened a blog out of sheer desperation to feel at home somewhere. I DO love the pretty blogs. But the bloggers I connect most with are artistic and design-oriented and they also talk about books and music and what it’s like to not have money. To have your heart broken. Just like we need Jazz we also need the Blues – blogs where our lonelier and more troubled thoughts can feel some company. Sorry to have written a short story but I just connected so strongly with your post. Thank you for sharing not only beautiful things but for being such an innovator in the world of blogging xx

  4. I think you’re on to something here! I, for one, would not mind seeing more bloggers get a little more serious, a little more real now and again. These topics are inspiring and are what ground us and unite us!

  5. Yes! I suport you 100% of course we all read blogs mostly to be in a good mood and draw inspiration, but it is also so refreshing to see bloggers you admire get real and share struggles and triumphs as well. I applaud you!

  6. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.Keep up the good work!

  7. Totally with you. There’s a reason why I blog about what I do and it’s because commercial blogging gives me anxiety. Do what you want. Be fulfilled here. We will, also.

  8. Here here! I think we could all use more open conversations in our lives. This is a great post, a lot of food for thought. I’m looking forward to more of these. XO!

  9. i love this. finding yourself often comes through great risk. but through the fog of fear we often get lost. thanks for the depth this morning. with honesty comes inspiration.

  10. i always love the more serious posts, they remind me that we’re not all out to seek the pretty things in life. THat can feel a little vapid at times. There is a place for it, but we need a balance. I’d love if you opened your blog up to discussions like that. I’ll be reading and participating and discussing it in my own space.

  11. I think it’s great when bloggers show a more personal side of themselves and applaud anyone who does; we are all human beings after all. We all have lives beyond fashion and beyond our blogs. I definitely plan on doing more personal posts on my blog in the future. Posts like these I think help us connect with our readers and others in the blogging community even more and on a more personal level.

    I recently have found myself being “afraid”. Afraid to take a risk to pursue what truly would make me happy. Afraid that pursuing my dreams might end up in utter disaster and failure. Afraid of what people would think of me if I failed; that pursing a career in “blogging” is unrealistic and silly.

    However, in today’s world, I think that it truly is the ones who “take a risk” and pursue their dreams, no matter how “silly” people might think it is, are the ones who truly are happy and self content. No one has the right to tell you that you don’t have the right to pursue your goals and dreams and make a difference and change in the world. No dream is “silly”. This truly has inspired me to keep on my current path and continue to pursue my dream. Thank you for this post! 🙂

    xoxo, Stephanie 🙂

  12. I absolutely love this post. It took me a long time to be able to look at the work and success of others and not feel jealous of their success and that my work wasn’t good enough. We all have something special and unique to offer that others need and want from us, we just have to focus on what brings us joy and applaud the success of others along the way. You really never know how someone you may otherwise feel jealous of can actually help you.

  13. I love this post Erin!! I felt the same way at the Maker’s event, and am also moved to take a step back and tackle some more serious issues on my blog. Not that I will stop making outfits out of food. But I’m motivated to balance out my shiny happy silliness with heavier stuff. Real life happens, let’s discuss, challenge, celebrate it. xx

  14. Thank you so much for this Erin! I am devouring the Conversation episodes right now. So heart-wrenching and yet fills so many voids. Thank you and looking forward to more insightful posts!

  15. Excellent post. Thanks for the thought provoking article!

  16. Hi Erin,
    I am a long time reader but a new commenter. Blog land certainly is a strange place to be. We have corners dedicated to all that is pink and sugary and girly and then you turn around and we have places that plunge into the depths of the human soul and ask the big questions of the universe. Both of these are important things to have, I think, in the big world of the internet and strengthen the connections we forge through the ether. Thank you for sharing some of these amazing women in your blog post today. I signed up straight away for ‘The Conversation’ newsletter it seems like a wonderful discussion of being a woman in our current world.
    I am halfway through a Master’s degree and have been thinking about where I will go next with my career path, self-employment is one area I have been considering and it is nice to know that even though it will be a hard road to tread, there are other women out there in my online community of peers and mentors who have taken the leap and found it fulfilling.
    Sorry for the long comment. Take care xx Amy.

  17. You know how MUCH I’ve been loving this post, Erin. Loving. It! This is my jam. I’ve been watching the videos both on ‘The Conversation’ and ‘Makers.’ So inspiring! (Yeah, it’s geared toward the ladies but plenty of inspiration in there for anyone.)

    This is going to be my go-to post when I need some uplifting. Brava! xo UB

  18. I would love everything unconditionally. I would allow myself to be free from all fear and to simply be what I truly am….love