Coffee Talk 09.11.16


Good morning! It’s still dark outside as I sit here typing with my first cup of coffee by my side. It’s weird that it’s dark after 6AM. Even though the weather is still decidedly summer, sitting here with the shroud of darkness around me, I’m starting to feel like fall is setting in. I miss those bright, early mornings. I always feel so energetic when I wake up at 5:30 to bright sunshine and birds chirping outside my window. It’s harder for me to get going in the dark.

Today we’re getting back to all of our regularly scheduled programs at church. Sunday School starts up again (we break over the summer) and tonight the kids have their first youth group meeting of the year. The means less time for me to putter this morning, so I need to be sure to leave myself plenty of time to get ready.

I was supposed to go to NYC this afternoon for NYFW (New York Fashion Week) but I cancelled a week ago. I’ve been watching the flurry of activity on Snapchat and Instagram as other bloggers are flitting around, attending fashion shows and parties, and all I feel is relief. I enjoy watching their adventures, but I have no desire to be there. And I won’t lie, going to NYC on September 11th did not appeal to me. Maybe that’s silly, but I’d rather stay in my safe little suburb and watch from afar.

But it’s not just the September 11th thing that makes me relieved that I’m not there. It’s all the stress over what to wear and which events to attend and how to maneuver the city streets in high heels and getting the great pictures, and it all just makes me feel like Country Mouse when she got to the big city and realized she didn’t belong.

I’m not a 25-year-old fashion blogger with no responsibilities at home and a photographer in tow and a suitcase full of Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent, and I’m willing to bet very few of you even care about what is happening on the runway in NYC. I’m a 40-something suburban wife and mom who blogs fashion for other suburban moms who are juggling jobs and kids and aging parents and trying not to lose all sense of style and self in the midst of it.

It’s easy to get caught up in what others are doing and feel like you should be doing it too just because you’re part of the same space, but this is a good reminder of who I am and who my audience is. In this biz, I’ve learned that I need a gut check from time to time to make sure I’m staying true to myself and serving my audience.

I’ve had a lot of opportunities to travel and do cool things over the last 10 years of blogging, and I have a few other things in the pipeline that are a good fit for me, but I don’t need to be at Fashion Week. And that’s not to say I’ll never go… but this year, I’m happy to be staying put.

Speaking of staying put, things on the homefront are finally getting back to normal — or getting to our new normal. Cyber school is going better than I ever expected. My daughter is pretty much completely self sufficient, and it hasn’t affected my ability to work much at all. Only time will tell if she is going to be happy with e-learning and doing all of her schooling at home, but for now it is going well. It’s more personal than I expected. There’s a chatroom for every grade level that is always open, and she pops in when she needs help or has a question, and a teacher always responds right away.

She started her dance classes yesterday, and she’s been hanging with friends in the evenings and over the weekend, so I have no concern for her socialization. It kind of cracks me up that people always bring up socialization when you mention a child schooling at home. In this day and age, kids are typically involved in so many activities, plus there’s the church and the neighborhood, it’s really not an issue — especially at this age when friendships are already established.

The other two kids are finally recovered from that nasty virus. My son was able to participate in marching band Friday night at the high school football game (he is a drummer, and those drums are HEAVY, so even though he was back in school this week, he wasn’t going to band practice.) My little one has been fine since I got her back into school on Thursday. I think anxiety was playing a larger part than the virus, and because both involved stomach aches, it was hard to tell if she was sick or just worked up over going back to school and missing so much so early in the year. I had a feeling that’s what was going on, but I wasn’t sure, and now I know that I probably should have pushed her to go back to school earlier, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

All’s well that ends well, I suppose; but man, what a week!

I’m behind on shooting outfits, and I wasted some photo opportunities yesterday because I couldn’t seem to get the outfits I was working on to come together. I have to admit, I’m a little frustrated by that at the moment. It’s easy to put together new combinations of sweaters and jeans, but I really want to show more variety than that. I’ve ordered so much stuff that is mostly all going back because it’s just not quite right.

I probably should go to the mall this week so I can try things on and don’t need to mess with so much ordering and returning. Plus, I could use a day out of the house. I’m a homebody, but it always feels good to get out — it’s just hard for me to get motivated to go somewhere. I’m always glad I did, though.

Well, I’ve rambled long enough. I need to get moving if we’re going to get to church on time. I’m teaching the preschool Sunday School class, so I can’t be late!

I hope you all have a lovely day!

Join The Conversation

48 Responses

  1. You are right, this suburban mom has no interest in what’s going on in fashion week. Thank you for the efforts you put into bringing us style that works in our world. Glad you and your family are settling back into your fall routine. 🙂

  2. We are much more alike than I originally thought! I am such a homebody and homeschool my girls. Their social lives are robust to say the least, while I am happy to be home having coffee and enjoying your coffee talk. Thanks for always bringing “big-city” fashion to my home. Glad your family is healthy again! Blessings!

  3. LOL! Yes I would agree to feeling like Country Mouse if I was in NYC for Fashion week. The closest I have come to Fashion week is watching Project Runway each season. It’s one of those shows I started watching with my now grown up daughter years ago. But I will say a prayer or two today for all those men and women who lost their lives and family members on 9/11 fifteen years ago. God Bless.

  4. Such a great decision to stay home! I also have no interest in fashion week and it seems that many bloggers attend because it is the “it” thing to do! Bravo for staying true to yourself!
    I absolutely love fall… My favorite season by far… I love the smells, the fall fashion, and the food associated with fall!! #bringonthepumpkin!

    I was wondering how you daughter is doing – good to hear! We know some children in our city who are home-schooled and who are not involved with any groups in the community and it is hard for them to relate to other kids their age so I do think this is a concern for some families. Glad it is not a concern for your daughter though!

  5. Love your posts and how transparent you are with your feelings; not an easy task! I look forward to seeing you each day! As for fashion week….how you see it made me think of devil wears prada with the “clackers”, too funny!!

  6. Thank you for your blog today and everyday! I’m a 53 year old mom of three, 2 out of the nest and 1 (14 yrs old) still here. I also like Cyndi Spivey’s blog. I’ve tried a few “Over 50” blogs but they took a sudden turn into “old lady” look! I’m not ready for that! I also love that you are a believer but still care about fashion. After all the Proverbs 31 lady was “clothed in fine linen and purple”! Peace to you today!

  7. Having googled articles in the past about Fashion Week, I can understand a bit about what you’re saying. You don’t need to go be a part of that “world” to relate fashionable trends to us! In my opinion, your time is much more well-spent teaching the preschool Sunday School class and being with your family. Time passes so quickly. In my mid-sixties, I realize more and more how true that statement is. Spend your time on what’s most important, and you’ll never be sorry!

  8. I agree with you, I have no desire t go to NYFW and the posts I am seeing and the pics on Instagram do no interest me in the least! Home is the best place to be!

  9. It’s already been said better, but I echo the above sentiments – I follow you because you help me improve my fashion sense and are so relatable. Thank you for staying true to yourself and being open with us!

  10. Well done. A brilliant read and very honest. As a mum of grown up children and being a suburban working lady in the UK the runway in NYC has little I can relate to. Stay as you are. Thats why we love you.

  11. Although I enjoy seeing fashion week on tv, it’s so far from what I would or could ever wear. You do awesome keeping us stylish but real.

  12. No FOMO here on NYFW! Thanks for keeping it real and sharing your style sense abilities. Appreciate all your efforts…it all looks great in the pics but the “behind the scenes” commitments…family, work, food shopping, appts, planning, etc. are, I’m sure, not always running smoothly and make what you deliver to us no easy task. Thanks Jolynne and enjoy your Sunday.

  13. Fashion week what?!?! Keep keeping it real JoLynn. Thank you for sharing your difficulty in putting outfits together at times. It doesn’t always come together like we plan mentally. I can relate to so much of what you wrote today!

  14. I totally get not going to Fashion Week, but in a way, I was looking forward to your trip! I think it would be fun to see your perspective on it all and how it does/doesn’t relate to those of us like you. I can see a great post now: “The Suburban Mom’s Take on NYFW” — it would be fun! Only if it is fun for YOU, of course. I guess I am saying, if you want to go to Fashion week, go and be YOU — and give us your take on it. We don’t want to read a 25-year-old’s thoughts about Fashion Week, but I would be interested in yours!

    All that to say, you have to go with your gut and it sounds like you made the right decision!

    1. It would be fun, and I would like to go sometime. This just wasn’t the right year/time. It’s a shame it’s always at Back to School time. Maybe a spring fashion week would be more doable for me. And like I said to someone else, if I go, I’d want to go with a friend. I’ve been before, but not really as a fashion blogger. I’ve never been to the shows.

  15. I’m so glad to hear all is looking up for you all. I only have one kiddo, and it’s still overwhelming when he is sick or our routine gets out of whack. Happy to hear the homeschooling is going well too. I actually home schooled my 8th grade year -well part of it. It would have been so helpful had some of today’s resources been available to me back then. It is much more accepted and supported these days too. I hope all goes well and this turns out to be exactly what she has needed!
    Oh, and good call on NYFW. I’m sure it would be a unique experience, but staying true to yourself and your audience is much more relatable. I, for one, have no desire to follow it and will be so relieved when it’s off my feeds, lol.

  16. I have zero desire to know what’s going on at Fashion Week! Whenever I see people walking down the runway, my first thought is always,”Who’s going to wear that in real life??”” I appreciate the fact that your clothes are wearable and realistic and suburb friendly!! Keep doing what you are doing – your audience appreciates you!!

  17. Thanks for sharing real life! You’re right…no need to bother with fashion week.. The older I get, the more I have to be comfortable-high heals are not my thing anymore., at all! Hugs & enjoyed having a cup o’ Joe with you????

  18. Glad you didn’t go to NYC as well. You have a great head on your shoulders. Your gut instinct was right. As a stay at home mom, I’m not going to put a Valentino dress and YSL shoes to pick my son up from school. ????
    My son has also stayed home a day from anxiety. It makes you feel helpless that you can’t help them.

    Enjoy your day and your family today! They are what matter.

  19. The more I read here, the more I like you! I appreciate your honesty. I have no desire to see what’s going on at Fashion Week in NYC! lol!
    I’m glad too that all of your children are doing well. I totally understand what you’re talking about with socialization. I’ve always homeschooled all 3 of mine (2 have graduated). They all happen to be social butterflies! It didn’t hurt them one bit by staying home. Keep doing what’s right for her.

  20. I wish there was a Suburban Fashion Week that featured
    Fall Trends that are wearable for us! So glad to see that your kids are on the mend and settling in! Love your blog!

    1. There probably is – or at least I know some dept stores at the mall do them occasionally. But yeah, something bigger like NYFW but for affordable and wearable looks would be so fun!

  21. Great post Jo-Lynne! At times others may question our decision on various matters, but each of us need to do what it best for us and our family, and that’s what you did! As you stated, I’m not really interested in what’s on the run way because it does not fit my budget, my lifestyle, my body, or my almost 60 year old self. So glad the family is all back healthy. I love the drums, so watching your son in the band would be a blast. I was on drill team for 4 years in high school, so the band was very important for us.

    God bless America!

  22. Good morning Jolynne! I was drawn in immediately to your blog this morning. Not only was it extremely well written but I am sure it touched a cord in all of us. Throughout our lives we have these push/pull moments; with each of these moment, we make the decision on where is the best place for us? With who? At what costs? We don’t always make the right decisions but through experiences we come to know in our hearts the better choice . My job is very different from yours, but I have grappled with some of the same choices. It is so easy to get caught up with the flurry. I won’t lie, there have been times when it was invigorating and gave me a sense of accomplishment and that is ok, but it is nice to take a step back also. I would love to attend the NYC Fashion Week (at least as an observer), but I too would feel like a Country Mouse! LOL
    I like Cindy’s idea of a Suburban Fashion Week!
    I love hearing about your family, love your blog.

    1. I once attended a fashion show at NYFW that was for moms. It was all realistic, wearable fashion – put on by some of my fashionable mom blogger friends. It was SO COOL. I wish they continued doing it.

  23. Great read this morning! You know your audience well in making the decision to skip Fashion week. You have great style as it is and I have learned lots from following your blog. I doubt I would learn anything from Fasion Week. I’m so glad your daughter is doing well with cyber school and the other two are feeling well and back in their routine. Isn’t it nice when things settle down?

  24. Just chiming in to agree with everyone else…I have no real interest in NYFW other than to gawk at the insanity. 🙂 I honestly don’t understand why most fashion bloggers bother going. Unless the blog is full of the high end brands (in which case I wouldn’t be following them anyway!) it seems like a lot of stress and expense to bring your readers something that doesn’t even apply to their lives. Good for you for letting yourself off the hook! I think your relief at getting that off your plate is a good sign that you made the right call. Glad everyone is feeling better and things are getting somewhat back to normal.

  25. I’ve been following you a long time now. I’ve stopped following so many bloggers anymore,but the reason I continue here is I love your candor, your “real lifeness “. I’m older than you (and we discovered in your survey that many of your followers are) so I appreciate you thinking about your audience. Most of all I’m glad you listened to your inner voice!
    Your style is a great mix but I really love the time you take in things like coffee talk to share who you are behind the fashion aspect! I think many of your readers would agree with me when I say you feel like a friend????
    Have a lovely day!

  26. You’re right! I follow you for casual outfits. I have other favorite bloggers I follow for work outfits. Occasionally I pop over and look what high fashion is doing, but not often. Still, I would absolutely LOVE to go to fashion week! I’ve never been, and it seems like it would be such an adventure for this suburban working mom! Do you get invited because of this blog?
    Thanks for staying true to you!

    1. I was invited to a party, and I got a couple other random invites to parties and shows, but none that really resonate with me. I would have paid my own travel and hotel and food. Some bloggers do get invited and expense paid trips, I am sure. I would love to go sometime IF I had a friend to hang with (going alone does NOT appeal to me; Cyndi talked about coming up, but it didn’t work out) and if I had invites to shows that I would really enjoy, i.e. retailers and brands I use and like. I’ve been to NYC DURING NYFW before, and it is fun to see from afar, but the pressure of being a part of it and the outfits and all just makes me tired thinking about it. Haha!

  27. I can’t really say anything that hasn’t already been said. Just, thank you for being you. You make your audience feel like your friends. I’m glad all of your children are healthy, and school is going well for all of them.
    Hope you’re having a great day!

  28. Thank you for another great post and being so open and honest. You do such a great job for us that you don’t need NYFW anyway! Love your blog more and more each day!

  29. Hi JoLynne,

    You have created a great niche in the fashion blogger world, and from the sounds of all the comments your “fans” don’t want you to be like the 20 or 30 something gals. I’ll bet that none of those bloggers have transformed a late 50’s grandma into looking stylish & hip! You’ve taught me so much and I know it keeps me looking younger.

  30. JoLynne, thanks for sharing your “real” self with your followers. I have only been at this since February and I keep reminding myself that it isn’t so much about becoming some great blogger with a ton of followers as it is touching my little part of the world and sharing real life with people who are living real lives as well. You’ve been at this for much longer and you are a pro, but it is nice to know that you struggle as well with getting up, doing your photo’s, picking out outfits and so on. Life is about so much more that fashion and blogging. That is a good aspect of life and I am glad I am doing it, but it’s definitely not ALL we are about. Thanks again. – Amy

  31. I read your blog for all of the reasons you said! No need for NYFW! If it’s not too personal I would love to hear more about your daughter who is doing the online schooling. How old is she and why you guys decided to go this route etc.. Or did you share in another post? Thank you for all you do. I’m a homebody too. I feel like we have so much in common ???? I agree about the trip to the mall too. Ordering online and the returning stuff can be exhausting!

    1. I’ve shared a little here and a little there. 🙂 Basically, she’s never liked school, and it’s become more of an issue in middle school so we decided to give her a year to try something different. And yes, the online ordering and returning IS exhausting, but it doesn’t require hair and makeup and getting dressed… so there’s that. Ha!

  32. My personal opinion about Fashion week is that I would rather have someone like you translate and interpret what is the latest after fashion week is over. I think that many of the clothes on the runway are meant for women six feet tall and 130 pounds. Thanks for using your talent to let us know what is trendy and translating it into wearable clothing for suburban moms!

  33. Lovely Post (as usual) Jo-Lynne. I’m with you on the jeans and sweater rut! Just a couple of things I would love your style take on:
    – Blazers
    – Button up shirts
    – Skirts/dresses when it gets cooler
    – Pants that aren’t jeans (either trousers or something more fitted like ON Pixie’s)

    Thanks for being such a great resource!

  34. JoLynne, thanks for your very relatable fashion advice and thanks for sharing some of your day to day life. Just wondering how you went about deciding on a cyber school for your daughter. We are considering home school for our younger daughter and I feel overwhelmed with all the choices.

    1. Hey Tricia. So yeah, it was overwhelming. It didn’t help that we decided to do this about two weeks before school started in our area! I asked in a mom group that I’m a part of for recommendations. I got a lot of scoop in a very short period of time from consulting them. In the end, the school that we picked wasn’t one that I know someone using but it looked really good online, and I liked the people I spoke with there. My best advice is to ask around. I think word of mouth is usually the way to go with decisions like this. Good luck!

  35. Thanks for getting back to me. I know that’s sort of personal. Got a list of accredited online schools. She is in high school and is also taking a class at the community college. Just need to go for it and stop changing my mind. Thanks again!

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