Fashion,  Life,  Pregnancy

Real life versus blog life

Real life versus blog life | www.eccentricowl.comReal life versus blog life | www.eccentricowl.comWe have deer that just hang out in our yard. They were out today. I love them.

Do you ever find that, reading back through blog posts or looking at pictures, your blog life seems much more beautiful than your real life? I read on one of those forums I mentioned earlier (GOMI, if you’re curious, which provides some great insight, a lot of laughter (for me), and maybe some hurt if you’re one to take offense easily) that several people have seen fashion bloggers “in the wild” and they dress nothing like their blogging selves, or act nothing like their online persona.

On one hand, I want to semi-defend bloggers, since the two times I met someone who reads my blog or follows my Instagram, it was a last-minute errand at the end of the day and I had already changed into my yoga pants for the evening. (One instance, I put on jeans and a nerdy tee; the other instance, I was in yoga pants, boots, hadn’t washed my makeup after an emotional episode, and badly needed to wash my hair. Ahem.). Really, especially with the “fancier” blogs, those people probably don’t dress that way every single day. I don’t post outfits I hate, and sometimes I post lazy jeans-and-tees, but only rarely because in a way my style is aspirational to myself. I blog how I want to look all the time.Real life versus blog life | Real life versus blog life | On the other hand, though, I try hard to post what I’m actually wearing on a daily basis, with the occasional dream outfits just for fun, because… that’s what this is. I definitely don’t understand consistently wearing clothes for a blog that you wouldn’t wear in real life, unless you’ve stated that you’re blogging purely for the costumery.

As for personality on the blog versus real life, well… I hope I come across the same way in either situation (I am probably chattier and laugh more in real life, which is something harder to convey in blogging…). I do get curious, though, whether people envision my life as it really is, because I have no qualms bringing up anything in my life whether it’s good or bad, or if it’s some softer, dreamier version of how I live.

Real life versus blog life | Real life versus blog life | www.eccentricowl.comIn my blog life, if you haven’t read far back enough, it looks like I have an endless closet (true), I live in a gorgeous area (I do), I have no issues finding clothes during pregnancy (well…), and life is pretty good (it’s not bad.) In real life, we live in my parents’ unfinished basement (we do pay rent) because my husband’s work can’t (or won’t…?) pay him quite enough for us to survive on our own, most of my clothes no longer fit, and many non-blog days are spent in yoga pants because I don’t have a car and can’t go anywhere anyway.

Put bluntly, life isn’t quite enchanting, but it’s not bad. There are new opportunities for my husband at work that will hopefully give us the bump we need to find our own space again, I get to start a garden here and reap the benefits of home-grown foods, and my parents are really wonderful people. I would love to have my own house right now, especially with the second baby on the way and nesting kicking in, but work is not an option for me, so here we are.  Real life versus blog life |

Dress, ASOS maternity | cardigan, Target | boots, Kohl’s | belt, from this skirt

Do you find that your blog life unintentionally seems dreamier than real life (or, if you’re not a blogger, do you ever find your perception of a blogger’s life changes when they reveal more about themselves?) I think even sharing on Facebook amongst friends can become an “edited” version of real life.

What sticks out to me the most, though, is that lately I’ve noticed many bloggers (usually more popular ones) who stage so. many. shots on Instagram, or who have an overall color scheme (when you scroll through an Instagram feed and it’s all go the same look…), or who only use images from professional cameras transferred to a device to share on Instagram. I totally understand wanting life to look perfect online, especially if you have followers who expect a certain quality of posting from you. I considered trying to streamline my Insta-shares to have a better “look” at one time purely for aesthetics, but then I thought… what for? My entire theme, so to speak, is real life. I don’t want to be fake. (That’s not to say that the feeds of those whose entire aesthetic melds is fake — some people just live pastel lives –, but sometimes it can be)

And right after I noticed the overall theme of “blogger feeds” on Instagram (and read about it on GOMI), I saw three different bloggers post the “magazine, coffee, flowers, sparkly something” staged picture in a row in my feed. And it made me laugh. And realize that I’d rather be myself than a certain type of blogger.

I may not always have pretty words or perfect pictures to share, but that’s a-ok with me. Someday I’ll make a “day in the life” video so y’all can see just how not-perfect life is, and maybe share yours with me. Because the imperfect people are the ones I like the most. Real life is pretty fascinating, isn’t it?

I’m going to end this ramble before it becomes another blog post entirely. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday! (I forgot it was St. Patrick’s day. I am not wearing green (yet), but I wore this yesterday grocery shopping, so… here, have an outfit that is not festive!)

(Edit: I see nothing wrong with cultivating what you share online, at all! I forgot to say until someone commented, choosing what you share and what you keep to yourself is fine. I just think when a blog gets to that place where everything is perfect and there’s no more personality in it, it starts to feel staged, and perhaps fake. Not that I don’t enjoy pretty pictures and positive, perfect blogging; it’s just more interesting to me to read reality as well as see pretty things.)


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  • Michelle Warren

    I LOVE this post! I don’t blog, but have considered it for a while because I think I would enjoy it. But I often see other blogs and think I don’t have an interesting enough life, or enough money to support the types of “fashion” posts that people would like, etc. But my life is simple, but amazing and quirky on its own way. I’m also a stay at home mom and I think your blog is amazing- and real. I have seen a few bloggers that have small children and post daily fashion/lifestyle posts, and sometimes think that can’t be real all the time. Babies are messy and life is too sometimes. And normal people can’t afford $1,000 strollers and $100 onesies for their babies to wear once. At least I cant. It’s refreshing to see bloggers that are real and down to earth. And still bring whimsy and style to normal life.

    • Eccentric Owl

      You should, Michelle! And then tell me so I can come read it! I think that the people who post about things they love in a genuine, real-life way are always the most fun, interesting blogs. Blogs don’t have to be perfect — we’re not magazines or models — and I think sincerity and a true love for your blog’s subjects really goes a long way. I mean, things like fairly decent photography (natural lighting and focus, mainly) also help, but being some amazing photographer isn’t a must for blogging!

      Hahahaha our onesies cost like five dollars. Yeah. I don’t get buying a baby a $100 garment because babies grow FAST.

  • Emily

    I totally know what you mean about real life v. blog life. That is definitely one of the things I enjoy about your blog – the fact that it isn’t all sunshine and roses and unicorn farts. That it feels real, like a real person who lives a real life that isn’t SO. DARN. PERFECT. There are some blogs I had to stop reading because the unrelentingly chipper tone (“I’m so blessed! Today was so perfect!”, etc.) just made me feel angry and bitter. And I recognize that that’s more about me than about them – but I still enjoy some down-to-earth talk about the aspects of life that aren’t filled with joy. I like reading things that are thoughtful, that provoke conversation and discussion. And lipstick reviews and pictures of pretty clothes! Who says we can’t have it all?

    • Eccentric Owl

      Ha! “sunshine and roses and unicorn farts” made me laugh kind of hard. I’m really glad to know my blog portrays life more realistically; sometimes I feel like it doesn’t show my REAL real life, probably more because I don’t post pictures of our half-torn-apart house (my parents are remodeling the ENTIRE house at the same time. It’s fun) and I do choose to share prettier pictures rather than messier ones. But writing about real life is the other half of the blog, I’ve realized, so I’m trying really hard to get better at journaling my thoughts (I’ve always been REALLY bad at that) so that it’s not just “oh look at my clothes, aren’t they pretty?” all the time.

      And I know what you mean about blogs whose posts are all about how blessed they are. I go through phases with certain blogs where I just can’t read them because my life is NOT perfect like theirs, and I literally cannot do things here to make it a prettier, more organized life like the tips they give. (A Beautiful Mess is one — I love that blog in general for the fun ideas and prettiness, and I think they really are great, but all of the contributors have lives that I am not able to have, and sometimes jealousy rears its head so I have to take breaks.)

      And the more I read forums on GOMI, the more I feel urged to share more of my life, and not just the happy thoughts. I like having a positive blog, but sometimes I know that I feel more encouraged reading posts from other women who are having the same issues I am. So I want to share those, too.

      • Jean

        Yes. A beautiful mess is a bit of a challenge for me. Though I bet they would love to have their own Asa 😉

      • Emily

        Lol, I was TOTALLY thinking of A Beautiful Mess when I wrote my comment but didn’t want to call them out … 🙂

        • Eccentric Owl

          Haha, I don’t mind mentioning them because I truly do love gazing at their blog and I think they are just really sweet people, but I do have to take breaks due to not having a house that I can prettify.

  • Alison

    Love it and agree with you. My days are mostly spent in jeans, long sleeve t-shirts and cardigans, but I try to add a personal touch here and there, so I feel somewhat human. But I’ll confess, if what I’m wearing is totally daggy, I’m not going to post a photo to Instagram… maybe I should! 😉 If I’m doing a fashion theme or challenge post, usually I won’t wear it that day (just against the blank wall of our spare room) but if it’s in my wardrobe, I will wear it say to dinner a special occasion etc. There’s nothing in my wardrobe that I don’t wear. Does that make sense? I read a post from a blogger about the “perfect selfie”. She said she never does a reflection, phone in hand shot. She uses a wifi camera on a tripod and uploads her image from her camera to phone to Instagram. Who had got time to do that!?! And it’s kind of missing the point of Instagram. We’re all not models, with endless bank accounts and professional photographers on hand. We’re real people, with lives, husbands, babies and/or pets. With washing, cooking and cleaning to do. Slightly off topic, I try to keep weekends blog free. Mainly because I find it hard to live online all the time. Sometimes I just need a break and I wonder how the bloggers who seem to be “on” all the time, how it affects their personal lives and relationships. I think it is hard to sometimes separate the online from the real life. And I guess it comes down to how much does each individual want to share. Ahhhh blogging, who would’ve thought it would raise so many questions! 😉

    • Eccentric Owl

      I think there’s a fine line between sharing what you love in your life while editing out the not-so-pretty things, and having a completely staged blog. I forgot to talk about that (as I do, heh), but I think to some degree the point of a blog is to share the beauty of every day life rather than the mess just as it is (sometimes, though, it’s nice to see the mess too). But when it begins to get staged and bloggers begin to wear clothes they wouldn’t actually wear in real life, that’s when I think there’s a problem! Unless they disclose that their blogging is purely aspirational, anyway!

      That sounds like SO much work the perfect selfie. Ack! The most trouble I’ll go through for a selfie is to stand in good light with a fairly blank background.

      I try hard not to work on blogging on the weekends, too, and I need to be better about doing more than just blog-free, but maybe internet-free at least one day of the weekend. I tend to get really attached to responses and interactions from blog friends, and totally miss what’s going on in real life.

      I think if a blogger blogs as work, it probably takes up a LOT more time in their lives! I can’t imagine doing that; at one time I thought I’d love to have my blog bring in enough money to replace a work job, but now… I don’t think so. It would add so much pressure and remove so much joy from blogging!

      • Alison

        Agree re blogging interactions. As I don’t really know anyone in Washington, blogging friends have been a great help, both here and in Australia. Not quite sure what I would’ve done before the internet was invented… perhaps have a pen pal?

        • Eccentric Owl

          Right? I think my world has opened up SO much more because of blogging friends, and I see more areas that I want to visit now because I know bloggers in Washington. It’s my goal to one day visit ALL the WA bloggers on that page!

  • Salazar

    You know what, if anything, my blog life is more boring than my real life, not because I want to keep my privacy or anything, but because I think there is not much in my real life that is worth sharing on the blog! I think the idea of looking “perfect” online doesn’t make much sense. But then again, maybe that’s because I’m not trying to sell anything.

    • Eccentric Owl

      I feel like that with my blog. My life is my life, and it’s not a boring one to ME, but I feel like to others it would just be really blah to read about what I do every day (change a million diapers, play many, many games of blocks…).

      I never understood why bloggers feel the need to be perfect; nobody expects perfection. Actually what I’ve read critique-wise is that people dislike when a blog gets TOO perfect, and the person starts looking staged. The whole idea of having a fashion blog, to me, was always about real-life people wearing real-life clothes and sharing… you know, real life.

  • By The Shore, Life & Style

    Haha, truth, as I sit here in my pj’s and messy home… yup, I’m gonna have to say my blog life definitely looks fancier. But I’m with you, I love showing the outfits that are favourites, and they’re all looks I love and wear! And speaking of outfits?!! I LOVE yours. Gorgeous! xo

    • Eccentric Owl

      I think to some degree, blog life is always fancier! But your blogging always feels real to me, Veronika! You don’t seem really really staged or like you only get dressed to blog (which I’ll admit, sometimes I get dressed to take pictures, but then I STAY in those clothes). Even your (beautiful!!!) house never seemed unrealistically “perfect” to me. It feels very much YOU while still being a gorgeous home!

      And ha! I’m sitting here with wet hair, no makeup, wearing a sweater dress because it’s the most comfortable thing I could find. 😉

  • skye

    I don’t consider myself easily offended, but what gets to me about GOMI is the overstepping. A blogger’s work is, and should be, fair game. But snarking on her body or her family, or speculating about her personal life (I’ve seen comments like “she must have been abused as a child to act this way”), is unacceptable to me. I believe strongly in not hitting below the belt, and even though a lot of GOMI’s criticisms can be accurate, it’s too enmeshed with the awful stuff for me to take it seriously on the whole.

    As for curating one’s blog, I’m all for it. I think there’s a great power in choosing what you want to present to the world. If you want to show the messy stuff, that is perfectly fine, but I don’t see anything wrong with just showing the good stuff, either. My blog is my public face, and I think everyone is entitled to keep private what they wish.

    • Eccentric Owl

      I forgot to say I see nothing wrong with choosing what you share, but there becomes a point when a blog is touted as real life yet obviously paid/staged/branded, and then it’s no longer their real life as they claim, and that’s when it bothers me. Or copycat blogging, where the blogger is blogging according to what they think will make money, yet are not forthright about that. (Nothing wrong with making money blogging, again. But acting as if you’re not…)

      Most blogs are an edited version of life in some way, and that’s ok. It’s nearly impossible to represent yourself online 100% truly; photographs and words are never quite enough to cover the infinite facets of a person’s life. But insincerity or covering up that you get money or received something c/o, and constantly staging shots or photoshopping and saying it’s the real you and your real life is not.

      And yes, sometimes GOMI oversteps their bounds. I mostly scroll the threads that aren’t critiquing one blogger but blogs in general, and they can get pretty funny. But specific blog threads have gotten a bit petty at times.

      • skye

        Yeah, the c/o stuff does grate on me, especially when it’s not something the blogger would ordinarily wear. It *especially* gets to me when they try to resell the items at almost full price afterward.

        Our disparity in GOMI experience makes a lot of sense if you’re just reading the general threads. I find that those do often have good advice. The more targeted ones, though…I always come away from those feeling like I’m complicit in someone’s humiliation.

        • Eccentric Owl

          I would NEVER sell a c/o item; that just seems dishonest and rude. And I have a few c/o things that I loved when I got them (while I was pregnant…) but now I’m not sure I want them in my forever wardrobe, so I can’t decide whether to do a giveaway with them, or just donate to the thrift store. But sell something I got for free? Yeah, no.

          Haha, yes, it does! I did get ticked that someone was body-bashing a pretty famous blogger because she’d gained weight, but thankfully another GOMI reader jumped in and said “Hey, that seems lowbrow to be bashing her weight, who cares if she’s gained?” Mainly I click on the threads of blogs I read to see what they have to say, and some points I can totally see, but others just seem petty and like… if you don’t like this facet of that person, go somewhere else. You know?

  • Marie McGrath

    This is a fantastic post Kristina, I really enjoyed reading it. I must admit I follow a loooot of bloggers, some that are more real and down to earth, and others that are super duper popular and live (what would look like) fabulous lives. I’ve always looked at the famous fashion bloggers and wonder how their lives can actually be that picture perfect all the time. It would seem that all they do is travel, see the world, and look amazing while they are at it…. living the dream. But I agree with you that this is probably not the way their lives REALLY are. I too prefer showing my best outfits on my blog, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have days were I slip into my favorite pair of jeans, some converse, and a sweater. I think its normal to have dressy days and casual days. I do find it very interesting though to see people on blogs and then meet them in person.

    • Eccentric Owl

      Thank you Marie! I follow a lot of bloggers too, and I think I tend to gloss over the bloggers whose lives just seem SO fabulous as to be unreal — I like looking at their pictures, but the posts themselves become so one-note that it’s not fun to read any more! That’s something I love about your blog, though; you always look so fantastic, but your posts are always so YOU and so fun to read, even if they are short, that I’m always coming back for more! You really do bring joy to fashion, and it shows through in pictures and what you write! And you never come across as fake or contrived, but always friendly and sweet. (It’s why you’re one of my favorite blogs.)

      And, I see nothing wrong with cultivating what you share online (I forgot to say in my post, oops!) so long as it doesn’t become a completely staged, fake life that you say is real, you know?

  • Melissa McBride

    Kristina- so refreshing to read this. 🙂 I like you just how you are. That’s what MAKES your blog unique and fun. Life is all about finding beauty in the everyday things (sometimes mundane?). Good grief, in this time in history it’s a wonder anyone knows who they ‘really’ are. We rely on the internet, Instagram, and everything else to validate our self-worth. But I hear you girl, I hear you. I resonate with what you’re saying.

    I think that more and more people are craving the REAL DEAL. People like you who are willing to get real and share the day-to-day life stuff together. Have you ever read anything by Shauna Niequist? She’s amazing. I got to meet her a while back. Genuine, genuine, genuine. I love her books and it sounds like you might too.


  • ebhendrian

    I really enjoyed reading this. I think you were very fair and understanding of both sides of the equation, which is really neat! Sometimes I can’t help rolling my eyes at the “perfect” lives of certain bloggers, but providing images of lovely things might be the purpose of their blog, as you said. I’m sure they have rough days too, being human, but it’s their choice whether to share them or not. I think your blog strikes the perfect balance between beauty and looking on the bright side while also being real and honest and relatable – which is why I love reading it! 🙂

    • Eccentric Owl

      I think on the internet it’s both easy to put on a mask, and also hard to remember that even the super-perfect bloggers are real people. And I totally get wanting to only share perfection — who doesn’t want to do that? People do that in real life, on Facebook, on any social media account anywhere; I think it’s just human nature to want to look good. But I always admire people who aren’t afraid to share the less perfect side of life, too, even if it’s just by what they write. Those really are my favorite blogs and bloggers, for sure!

      And thank you! I’m so glad to hear it!

  • Lublyou

    Oh, I can write a whole long blog post in response to this, or it would be even better to go for a long walk with you and chat about it, or do it over some tea. This is all very interesting and I’ve also been thinking about it. As for me, I posted a few years ago that I came to a realization with myself that I want to blog about my life, not live for my blog. So I’m trying to be honest with myself when I post on Lublyou. Of course, my taste and aesthetics make me focus on certain aspects of my life more than others, and completely ignore some things that I do in daily life but personally can’t care much for them.
    I also want to wish your husband some great job opportunities! There is nothing wrong about living closer to your family, though. We spent some time living with Ben’s parents, too, when we first moved to the U.S. and I have the warmest and fondest memories of the family times we had. Now we live alone across the country and I’m glad we’ve had those experiences.
    Instagram is another long story, yes, you’re so right! OK, this is getting super wordy and confusing, probably – I really do have too much to say))
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    Katie // Lublyou

    • Eccentric Owl

      Katie, I know what you mean! It really is a discussion worth chatting over tea! (I would LOVE that, by the way; if only New York was closer to Gig Harbor!) I think you hit the nail on the head — to blog about your life rather than living FOR your blog. I used to fall down the rabbit hole of staging my life to look good on my blog rather than blogging honestly about life, but then I realized through reading others’ blogs that what I really love ARE the blogs who feel as though you’re chatting to a friend rather than staring at a magazine.

      Living with family definitely is a blessing; Asa (my son) gets to spend lots of time with his grandparents, which I think is great! It has its challenges, mainly having two families and only one kitchen and bathroom, but overall it’s something I’m very grateful for!

      And I always love the long, thoughtful comments!

  • Jamie Rose // Petite Panoply

    I understand that people carefully choose how to present their lives online and that there’s no reason to share ugly/sad/whatever things if they don’t want to. I never understand people who assume certain bloggers have perfect lives just because they only share the good stuff. That’s just ridiculous to me. Everyone has problems! If they want to share, I’m happy to read. If not, I’m just as happy to see pretty things and hear happy things! I honestly don’t think people think my life is perfect because I don’t present it as such. I think it’s pretty easy to tell who leaves out crappy life things because they don’t feel like sharing those and who is pretending they’re perfect. Though I don’t really read blogs where I feel like the person is pretending! You’re always real and I enjoy it! Life doesn’t have to be perfect to share it but a blogger shouldn’t feel the need to share less than perfect things just to make people feel like that blogger is “real” because most bloggers are indeed “real.”
    Sorry that was very ramble-y!

  • Hannah Rupp

    I’ve been guilty of posting just-for-fun outfits because I really don’t get out much. I actually talked to Lyndsey (of Dressed in Mascara) about this and how I defend myself is that the outfits I post are still my own original ideas and thoughts. At the end of the day, I look at blogging as a way to inspire others and express myself. Sometimes I get to wear the outfits (yay!) and other times they only live on my blog. But hey, it’s not like I’m wearing ball gowns every day and trying to pass them off as a casual running errands look! lol I really question the integrity of those kind of bloggers..

    I think it’s kind of cool when people have coordinating instagram feeds. I don’t know how they pull it off because nothing about me is one note or one feeling. My life is colorful and all over the place! I guess I don’t mind staged photos so much because again it’s another way someone might use their creativity. Styling a photo is sort of an art in itself. (What am I saying, of course it is! Magazines have stylists that get paid to do it!)

    Anyway, I love this string of thoughts you had. It’s a really interesting post and I love thinking about this kind of stuff!

    -Hannah | The Outfit Repeater

  • Crissy

    People are just too quick to judge and it would be silly to do that based off a one time meeting haha. You never truly know how a person is in real life based off blog posts. Fashion bloggers always have to keep it up but some of them just love to dress up for the day for fun and pictures 😀

    I’ve seen people do those color schemes –it’s personally not my taste but I suppose it’s great that they are sticking with their brand/style. Staged shots can be nice too but I think I like that because I was a photographer lol Different people, different things. I like real and more personality online but not everyone is down to open up about everything. Totally fine though!

    People will judge over anything and everything so I don’t see a point in trying to limit things. I saw some posts complaining about sharing perfect/happy things and also the negative/real life.

  • Mariah Alysz

    You brought up so many good points in this post! The perfect and themed Instagram feeds completely hit home with me. I try to keep my feed mixed with real life photos and blog photos (which are obviously real life, but in better resolution), but I lately I’ve really been admiring the feeds that just look so perfect and nice. I found myself wondering if my feed was undesirable because all my photos don’t perfectly mesh and some are just iPhone photos from my daily life (mostly of Chai, let’s be honest). At one point, after being followed by a blogger who’ve I’ve been following for years who has a perfect an beautiful feed, I sat debating whether I should post a random skin care photo and whether or not she’d like the aesthetic…then I realized how ridiculous this was! My feed should make me happy, and I like sharing read day-to-day moments without extensively arranging things and getting out my DSLR. While I adore gorgeous feeds, I agree that I like a glimpse into the “real” life of someone.
    Ok that was so long, my bad. But I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this!
    <3 Mariah Alysz