Monday, October 10, 2016

hello 27 (goodbye poverty luxe.)

assuming you have fast enough internet that the picture loaded before the words (is slow internet still a thing?), youre probably like, "WHAT THE HELL, VICTORIA?!?!", but just in case it didnt, im going to type it right here: tonight, on the eve of my twenty seventh birthday, im ending my "career" as a blogger here on poverty luxe. i know this may come as a shock to the approximately three people that still read here, especially since my last few sporadic posts made sure to include something about "definitely wanting to continue blogging", but... for me, right now, it feels like the natural next step given whats been going on lately. 

and i couldnt possibly pick a more perfect time to do it than my last night of being 26. 

i started 26 at by far the lowest low that id ever seen. thankfully i didnt stay there, but obviously in order for that to happen there needed to be a considerable amount of growth and change. which there was, and im both incredibly proud and incredibly grateful for all the ways ive changed this year and all the things weve accomplished. 26 started off terrible but ive been joking for a while (mainly to myself because i dont have any friends) that 26 was the year that all my dreams came true: i bought an actual car, found (and worked) my dream job, finally got my teenage crush to pay attention to me (in real life!), and (just last month) moved into a not-terrible apartment with TWO BEDROOMS. meaning, the kids can go to sleep and james can watch tv (because we have one now) and i can do whatever i want and NOBODY IS BOTHERING ANYBODY. its amazing. life isnt perfect, and it never will be, but 26 is one of those years that was definitely full in a good way. 

but ive also changed a lot. im not who i was a year ago and im DEFINITELY not who i was when i started this blog three and a half years ago: when i started this blog, i was in a really bad place, and i needed an outlet to be creative and to distract me from how miserable i was with everything that was going on in my life at the time. blogging gave me a place to pretend that i had it all together and for a while it really did help me to feel happier. but it wasnt real happiness so much as it was the illusion of happiness, and what i didnt realize (until just a couple days ago when i was wrestling with how and when i was going to write this post) was that because i spent so much time on crafting the illusion of happiness, i had tricked myself into thinking that i was actually working on making myself happier. but i wasnt. happiness (for me) doesnt come from the things i do online, whether its sharing a craft or a recipe or a listicle about minimalism, it comes from the things im actually doing in actual real life, and i can honestly say, that this year of not really blogging anymore has been one of the happiest of my entire life. 

theres also the branding issue. branding in the blogging world is a really tricky thing, and, not that i did a great job at branding poverty luxe, its still a pretty specific brand with a pretty specific connotation. and its a brand that im just not sure i identify with anymore. i mean, we dont have that much money than we did when i started this whole thing, but im not letting that define us and our lifestyle anymore. any time ive had an idea for new content lately ive had to really stretch myself to make it fit into the poverty luxe brand and by time i can make it work im over it. so i was left with two choices: i could rebrand this site, or i could start fresh somewhere new. 

which brings us to my last point: my personal/career goals have changed so much, that maintaining a lifestyle blog of crafts and recipes and listicles about minimalism just isnt a productive use of my time and energy. the older i get and the closer i get to graduating and the more i get to do my weird little jobs in the creative sphere the more i realize that my original intention of having a million babies and staying home with an etsy shop or something just isnt where my life is headed. it turns out that freelance teaching/pattern making is a way more viable path for us, given my recently discovered need to be not at home sometimes and my not so recently discovered but recently begrudgingly accepted as not ever going away expensive tastes. 

even though i really feel like my time as a blogger is over (and i genuinely do feel really good about this decision), i am definitely too much of a self absorbed insecure millennial to not maintain an internet presence (also theres that aspiring freelancer thing), so if you want to stay in touch, there are a few options for you: 1. instagram is basically like a blog anyway that i just happen to update a lot more frequently, 2. twitter is where i say a lot of hilarious things mostly about my kids, and 3. you are always more than welcome to send me an email ( also, ill probably have a new, not-branded website up soon thats a bit more relevant to the direction ive been heading in, which will be announced on social media when that happens. also, because i really do genuinely enjoy writing im probably going to actually start working on that memoir i was going to write when i was 19 and then forgot about until my internet friend carrie anne tweeted about writing a memoir (why did i think i could write a memoir at 19? youll see when you read the memoir). 

as for the content here, im probably going to stop renewing my domain name but leave the old posts up since it seems like a lot of people need help making fitted sheets (thats one of the few posts that still gets traffic). 

and before i close the chapter of my life that revolved around this little blog, and move on to whats next, i just want to say thank you to the internet for being so kind and letting me do my thing here and being mostly supportive and not starting a GOMI thread about me. youre the best, internet. 

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

embroideries and epiphanies.

a few semesters ago i took a fashion illustration class from the most wonderfully insane woman who really pushed me out of my comfort zone as an artist and was unbelievably encouraging the entire semester, despite the fact that my drawings are mediocre at best. any time my drawings got wonky with messed up proportions or hideous faces (im the worst at faces. i wont draw figures with faces anymore) she would always say i was "in transition". by that she meant that in order for me to move forward with my drawing skills, things were going to get awkward and my drawings were going to get worse before they got better. i always hated when shed point out that my drawings were "in transition", but she was right, the transitions were necessary in order for my drawings to improve. 

long story short, this all happened about two years ago and i havent done much drawing since, but it recently hit me that what miss baizer said about drawing was true about real life too: everything is in a constant state of transition and those transitions are messy, but things do get better over time. and my response to what ms baizer said about drawings is still true in regards to real life: i hate transitions. 

im a very black and white person, i want things to be here OR there, not somewhere in between, and, well, ive spent a lot of the past few years living in the "in between", and well, ive always hated it. i hated being engaged, i hated being pregnant, ive hated every time weve been between jobs or houses or there was any kind of unknown going on around us. i feel like most people are really into the thrill of the anticipation and i am just not. in all honesty, it just stresses me out. 

i used to think this meant that something was wrong with me and that i was a miserable unhappy person that would never be satisfied with anything in life, but then i had a major epiphany: different people thrive in different environments. i thrive in routine, predictability, stability, and well, thats just not the life ive had lately. and thats totally ok. its ok that these last few years have been hard for me because theyve been chock full of big transitions and i do not do well with transitions. (that was bolded mainly for me)

and even though im not a fan of prolonged transitional phases, a lot of ours are coming to an end: mainly, i graduate next may and james should have a year or less before he journeys out of his apprenticeship. so everythings going to be ok. 

i want to say i had that breakthrough a month or so ago and since then, ive been on a roll with epiphany after epiphany and since this recent outpouring of clarity is going to (probably drastically) change what happens here on the blog, i thought id take some time to let them all out at once (instead of dragging them all out or having to explain myself overtime something changes. also, yes i realize its been forever since i posted last, ill get to that later). so here we go: 

1. my "public persona" and "blogging voice" are so not who i really am. 

im not exactly sure how it happened (and how it happened isnt really important anymore), but ive spent the past few years trying to be the kind of person i thought i was "supposed" to be, the kind of person that other people would like since i didnt have any friends. what that meant was that in an attempt to gloss over all my flaws and the serious trials i was going through, i created this laid-back, easygoing, overly cheerful persona that is just so not me. of course this totally backfired because since i wasnt ever really honest with anyone, i still had a hard time making friends, and it got to the point where i wasnt really sure what i was even actually like anymore. so now im working on not doing that, and while its a been a challenge, i feel like its a step in the right direction.  

2. i want to keep blogging but i hate what the blogging scene has become. 

all this time ive been not-blogging ive been thinking about blogging, i swear. but i havent been able to actually start typing because... well... i am just OVER the blogging "scene". im sick of this whole "brand yourself as an expert in your niche" thing (which i totally fell for and started writing posts that i totally hate because branding), and the way that blogs now are just fronts to get emails to promote webinars to sell courses that cost WAY too much money. im sorry if ive offended anyone but thats what the majority of lifestyle blogging has become, and im over here just wanting to write blog posts...

3. i HAVE to stop being so afraid of everything. 

i have a really bad habit of not even trying things just in case i might fail. for example: you may or may not know that i majored in fine arts in college. i spent FOUR YEARS making art in a fairly serious manner. i have shared approximately none of it. why? because i was afraid to. i dont know exactly what i was afraid of but i have portfolio after portfolio of art that i never showed anyone, and because i never did i never got any feedback and because i never got any feedback i assumed i was terrible and eventually just quit making art together. well in an effort to be more "me" i bought some embroidery supplies last week to make some embroideries because i freaking love doing embroidery. even though i was super excited to start this project it took me DAYS to share my first piece on instagram because i was so self-consious about it (like, i was finishing up the third one and still hadnt posted the first). you know what happened after i posted it? i got a ton of really nice and encouraging comments from not just my friends, but also from the person who wrote the song it was based on. obviously that made my day and i had a super nerd freak out about it, but also i realized how stupid it was that i never show off the things i make. 

what does this all add up to? i dont know, honestly. so far i know it means that im definitely ditching all the things ive been doing that just arent me and trying not to be afraid of failing at that. which is... a lot easier said than done...

so yeah... that was a lot of navel gazing and i applaud anyone that made it all the way down here to the bottom, i know it sucked but i really feel like i needed to get all this out of the way if i want to write any actual blog posts anytime soon. so thanks for sticking things out with my most vulnerable blog post yet!

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

mothers day with the akola project.

we all want to treat our moms to something special for mothers day, dont we? well what if by treating our moms to a little gift could do big things for other moms around the world? how great would that be? pretty great, right? 

with the akola project, you can do exactly that. 

every piece of akola jewelry is beautifully handcrafted in uganda from local materials by women who live in rural poverty and have never been educated. akola not only employs these women, giving them the means to provide for and educate their children, but they also provide holistic education programs and vocational training to these women to empower them to become business owners and leaders in their communities. the akola project is a nonprofit whos model goes beyond merely providing aid to bring lasting, sustainable income for the over 400 women they employ both in uganda as well as dallas. 

akola jewelry not only does amazing things for the women who make it, its also beautiful, versatile, and amazing quality. akola has four different lines that feature different locally produced materials: paper, glass, metal, and horn. akola was kind enough to send me the vela necklace in onyx, which i wear nearly every day. this necklace has a mixture of hand rolled paper beads and small metal beads, and because of its extra-long length, it is incredibly versatile: i can wear it as a long necklace (as i styled it on instagram), doubled as a short necklace (as ive styled it here), or wrapped several times around my wrist as a bracelet. its the perfect accessory piece for my minimal wardrobe. 

if you want to gift your mom with some amazing akola jewelry (which.... um... i may have gotten for both mine and jamess moms, but... shhhh... dont tell), order quickly because their last day for guaranteed delivery in time for mothers day is this coming tuesday! and be sure to use the code MEYERS30 for 30% off your entire order!

one of my favorite things about akola jewelry is how with all their different collections, they really do have something for everyone. what's your favorite akola style? what are you getting your mom for mothers day? 

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