confessions of a blogger on apartment 34

Hi Friends. It’s been a little quiet around Apt34 this past week (though this home tour is so good). Apologies for that. If you’ve been following on Instagram you might have seen that I’m currently spending some overdue time with family and friends in my hometown of Seattle. While it wasn’t my intention to go silent, sometimes life just jumps in the way.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about this space lately – really assessing how it serves both you and me. SO much has changed in the past decade of being a blogger. What once seemed like a tight knit family is now a sea of millions. These days individual voices just blend together in a blurry, cacophonous scroll of the Instagram feed. While blogging became my career accidentally, now peeps grow up with the goal of being an “influencer.” Yet, I’ve never been particularly comfortable with the mantle. I didn’t even use my name or show my face on this site for the first five years! Talk about a cultural shift.

If you’ve ever wondered how I managed to create this brand, or wonder how I “keep it all together,” or look at me like I’ve “made it,” don’t be fooled. I aspire to achieve the elevated lifestyle upon which Apt34 is based on the daily. I rarely succeed.

I certainly don’t have it all together. I feel as if I have a split personality most days, jumping between mom (and a reluctant one – details here if you missed it), wife, friend, entrepreneur, writer, stylist etc etc, regularly racked by pangs of inadequacy and self-doubt in each role.

I’ve also had many a struggle that are certainly not Instagram-worthy. A devastating death in my immediate family. A lay off from a full time role (that I’d stupidly taken while doing Apt34 and having a baby but hindsight is 20/20). While I was miserable in that job, the blow of being let go shattered my self-confidence and caused me to question my value, my knowledge-base and self worth.

And don’t get me started on politics. Suffice it to say election night was on my birthday. Whomp.

Oh and I’ve also spent four years working on a house I’ve yet to finish. You better believe I feel massive guilt about that one.

I read constantly that social media has a negative effect on our self esteem (this article is particularly interesting. Also this one about how much on social media is fake). I certainly regularly fall victim. I suspect you do too? I rarely feel confident about what I’m putting out in the world. I feel like a doof on Instagram Stories. I agonize over likes and wonder why one thing resonates when another doesn’t, when really it’s all probably the algorithm and we have way better things to do with our time anyway – phew.

And am I pulled together? Ha! Many days I don’t make it out of workout clothes (nor manage to actually work out). My bed is rarely made. My closet often a mess. The whole fake it till you make it thing is my mantra, but half the time I feel as if I’m fakin’ it more than makin’ it! (I very much enjoyed this piece advocating for self-compassion vs self-confidence btw).

But I want to do more. Share more. Help more. Have more of an impact. For you and for me. I constantly have ideas of new content for you, new series, a podcast, videos, a weekly Insta-live, but the daily grind just seems to get in the way of bringing things to fruition.

I also shifted Apt34’s focus to “inspiring tips & ideas for an intentional approach to modern living” this year. But what does that even really mean? Do more face masks, meditate and buy less stuff? Those are all positive things, but in world that has a lot of really messed up stuff going on in it right now, I’m not sure switching to matcha goes deep enough.

So for the first time in the more than 10 years of Apt34’s existence, we’re going on hiatus for the month of August. I’m going to use this month to reflect and invest, both in myself and in this site to give you the absolute best content you deserve. Other things are going to happen. My kid will start school for the first time. I plan to read a book from start to finish. It will be earth shattering.

In all seriousness, I’m actually super inspired by Erica’s post from a few months back. If you’re struggling with a similar feeling of stuck (I‘m turning stuck into a noun. The state of stuck), I highly recommend you check it out. She offers some very practical tips and a good ole fashioned to-do list for trying to get out of the muck. I’ve cribbed a few of her ideas;  I’m going to be working hard on a quality morning routine, a daily practice of creative input (vs constant output!) and some good old fashioned exercise. Have I not done cardio in three years? Yeah, maybe not. Whoops.

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. Everyday I’m going to share some of our greatest hits from the past decade. Content I loved that maybe never got seen and some posts you’ve probably seen plastered all over Pinterest. I’ll still be on Instagram and Stories but with no set schedule and no goal in sight. And I won’t let myself scroll for the first 30 mins every morning! Bad Erin. No phone for you!

Obviously if there are things you’d love to see, questions you have or past posts or series you’ve loved, I would be thrilled to hear it. Definitely feel free to comment below! It can be easy to put things out into the ethos thinking only your mother pays attention but Apt34 is a place for you almost more than it’s a place for me.

The last 10 years have been a crazy ride and I certainly feel optimistic about what’s next. I am excited to dig in and do the work to find out what that will be.

art by brittany teng

What do you think?

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34 Comments

  1. I really appreciate all that you do, and I have very much enjoyed every time you’ve written about the reality of life. 🙂

    1. Thanks Kaitlyn – I appreciate that. I like doing those kinds of posts a lot too.

  2. Hey Erin,

    thank you for those insights! Just keep on doing your amazing work and enjoy the journey 🙂 Looking forward to everything you share with us.

    Best,
    Andreas

    1. Thank you for the kind words Andreas. That’s really sweet of you to take the time to comment.

  3. I think we all need a reboot sometimes… being perfect is not only overrated it is impossible. Glad you are taking this time for yourself and enjoying the heatstroke weather of the PNW. I will look forword to your next adventure.

  4. Hear hear. Revitilization of heart, body and spirit. Timely and so worth it.. you are on the right track.

    Love you

  5. I really enjoy and am inspired by your blog. More importantly, I appreciate your honesty with this post. THANK YOU! Creatives need recharging – its so important! I Look forward to what the future brings!

    1. I appreciate that Julie! I’m excited to take a step back from the computer and fill my cup wiht some other things for a bit. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  6. I just wanted to send a big, fat *good for you* your way for taking the hiatus! I think it’s so wonderful that you’ve recognized what you need and are actually doing it. I also want to thank you for your motherhood article on My Domaine — I had tears reading it because I’ve never related to anything so closely when it comes to my experience as a mom, though my little guy is only a year old. Thank you, thank you.

    1. I’m so glad you found the article helpful Laura. I think SO many women feel that way but think no else does and are afraid to share!

  7. Have an absolutely beautiful August! Taking time for yourself is so immensely important – especially when we’re inundated on a daily basis by social media, comparison, and obligation.

    “See” you in September xx

  8. Yay Erin for your honesty, your strength and your will to take things into your hands! Sending you lots of love from a little village up on the mountains of Crete (were I’ll be trying to do something similar even for a couple of weeks )

    1. That means the world coming from you Eleni! Wish I could jet away to Crete to see you.

  9. Wishing you rejuvenating time off. I hope you feel renewed and reinspired as you decide how to move forward. Yours was one of the first blogs I came across that to read regularly. I know I didn’t say it enough then, but thank you for all of the effort you put into creating this site (and your other content like on Instagram). I’ve always appreciated and valued both the style-related and the realty posts.

  10. I love hearing your authentic voice on here, and so much of what you say resonates with me as a mom with a pretty full life–I’m a blogger and work full time. Because I teach at a college, I get almost 3 months off in the summer, and I looooove the time off. Please take the whole month and just do what feels good and give yourself what you need. More bloggers should take vacations! 🙂

  11. Good for you! Take the time. Take the space. Been around most of these 10 years, will still be here whenever you come back. <3

  12. I think time to reflect is good. Sometimes the constant burn means the quality of content suffers!

    I have to go back to your reluctant motherhood post – it’s so me and I’m so glad to read it. I’m 18 weeks pregnant which was sort of on purpose (my husband really wanted kids – I agreed to one) and though I think I’ll be reasonably good at it, I’m not looking forward to it at all. Thank you for your article, your honesty, not all of us are eager and want to be defined by this. Really appreciate it.

  13. I think you’re awesome Erin! Good for you! And a house remodel is never done. Enjoy your month off and have been enjoying you telling it how it really is in such a thoughtful way.

    Warmly,
    Sheri

  14. Erin,
    Thank you for contributing all that you have to this field. I have enjoyed following all your adventures and beautiful creations, and look forward to what you will bring back to the table. I champion your break. Most other cultures take a several week long vacation in the summer and it’s high time we all start that habit! I have found that what gives me most peace these days, is to remember that most of the people I have looked up to in my life (parents, grandparents, co-workers, etc), lived amazing lives without the internet. It’s time for all of us to remember that. Happy resting!
    xo – Betsy

  15. Long time reader and Insta follower here. Kudos on making a decision that feels right for you and for being real with us and yourself. I’m nowhere near an influencer but I also find myself struggling to keep up with taking care of myself, taking care of my kid, and trying to get a business going. Wanted to say this year a few things have worked for me. Paying for a personal trainer to come to my house, Keeps me accountable and helped me make exercise a habit. keeping a wunderlist list of every book I’ve read this year has motivated to do more of something I love. And I started listening to the forever35 podcast which is lots of self care tips and good girl talk. It’s both informative and fun and you might like it. Enjoy your break!

    1. ooh thank you so much for the tips Sam – I’ve been looking for podcasts to listen to!

  16. Feeling this moment of PAUSE! Way to go, Erin! Enjoy it!

  17. Although I love following your Instagram design posts too, this is probably the post that hit home most with me. I’m not a mom, but I can definitely relate to some of the other feelings of inadequacy and I can most definitely relate to letting the daily grind prevent me from doing the things I really want to do and think would be more valuable to my own life and to others in my life. I don’t even know you but I’m excited for you, for this coming journey. I wish you the best in achieving your goals and I hope I will learn to do the same. Enjoy Seattle while you are here! Xoxo

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Hallie. I think sometimes you just have to press the pause button to really figure out your place in the world. And I’m loving Seattle! I will be hard to go back to SF after this visit!

  18. Erin, your honesty is refreshing. While raising my children in the ’80’s and ’90’s I never gave myself permission to self talk about how motherhood affected me. I was too busy working, raising 3 daughters, being a wife, single Mom, wife and taking care of a daughter with terminal health issues. I am grateful that you can reach so many women, giving them permission to feel and voice what you just wrote. I will think of you frequently during your month of sabbatical and discovery and wish you well. We need more voices like yours.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to both read and comment Kate. I think a lot of women struggle with these issues but we’re never given permission to voice them. I’m hoping my experience might help others feel a little more empowered.

  19. Bravo mama!! You must feel so free! Thank you for sharing. Seriously proud of you!

  20. Thank you for being honest and real and sharing the struggles. They may not be “instagram worthy” but they are helping those of us who don’t have “instagram worthy” lives. It might be hard but I so appreciate the realness you write about. It may not be measurable but you are helping people. It’s so relieving to know we are not alone, and more often than not we don’t feel that in social. It actually makes us feel more alone because we can’t attain “that life.” It’s encouraging to see someone else go through the same thing or struggle or just be mad at the world/politics/life in general. Yes, it’s great to see happy things and pretty decor but sometimes we just need people to be real with us. Thank you for being real. It means more than the clicks and likes can provide.