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  • Syle Lush
BlogHer Book Club Reviewer
August 18, 2010

Lifestyle | Life

A few months ago I tweeted something to the effect of:

Can we start recognizing the difference between "personal" and "lifestyle" blogs? Because no one's "real" life is that pretty all the time.

You know what I mean. You've been to those sites. And don't get me wrong, pretty is pretty is pretty, but that doesn't mean there aren't still "special effects" at work beyond the camera's reach--a flock of snow-white light-diffusion umbrellas, the Dooce effect, the pile of purse jetsam that usually litters the kitchen counter but has been cheerfully, serenely, shoved aside to make room for the ceramic bowl of handpicked and carefully arranged organic plums.

On Flickr that same day I posted this photo, "for my Lifestyle blog, where everything is beautiful":

Then I posted this, for my Life blog, and captioned it "But I don't WANT Cashew Chicken!"

When it comes to how we share our lives on the Internet, both are good, but I think we can now agree that each is distinct from the other.

While I was at BlogHer, I was feeling particularly cute, and so each day (and after each midday wardrobe change), I snapped a selfie in the hotel room mirror to capture the moment, as well as to commemorate the occasion of my not being accessorized with the toddler-related fluids to which I and my wardrobe have become accustomed. I also took photos every time I found myself in an elevator alone, which, trust me, was kind of a minor miracle considering the 2,400 women packed into the Hilton in addition to the poor, unsuspecting non-conference guests.

On a Lifestyle blog I might tell you where my clothing came from or how each element has special meaning to me--perhaps a memento from an impressive vacation or a beloved late relative. Through my Life blog, though, you've already read about how I totally cheat at the Working Closet, and you know that most of my Nice Clothes are from Target and TJMaxx, so there's just no fooling you anymore, is there? That's the problem with a Lifestyle blog: you always have to be on.

In that spirit, here's a Life moment for you: me in a strapless bra and shapewear (from TJMaxx!).

(There was an honest-to-goodness nudist roaming the halls at BlogHer this year, so what's the big deal, eh?)

And because I don't want to leave you here stuck with the image of me in my unmentionables, here is one more Lifestyle | Life series: me jumping on the hotel bed vs. my many failed attempts to jump on cue with the self-timer (because I'm apparently too embarrassed to ask someone to take my picture jumping on the bed but not too embarrassed to post the outtakes on the Internet, even the ones showcasing my shapewear and white-girl bed-jumping overbite).

(Even then, a little Life is peeking out from underneath my 50-percent-off-at-Kohl's dress, just to keep it real.)

32 Comments

I'm too scattered (and untalented and over-sharey) to even attempt a lifestyle blog - I am real life all the way. Love the distinction!

I love every last one of these photos but ESPECIALLY the last one of you jumping.

(See you three tonight at dinner, weeee!)

Love, love, love this!

I love you. (Also your 50 percent off at Kohl's dress - great color!) You're too funny.

An interior designer friend is coming over tonight to see if she can help me fix damage to my bathroom. I'm considering keeping all the lights off.

Shapeware question: When you sit down does the top roll down? How do you keep that from happening?

God this could not be more true. Lifestyle blogs are fun to read, and I don't necessarily find myself comparing my life to them or anything but there is only so much enjoyment you can get out of looking at things that look perfect all the time. The Real Life stuff, though? That is priceless, wildly entertaining, authentic and relatable. I want to see more of that on the internet!

God this could not be more true. Lifestyle blogs are fun to read, and I don't necessarily find myself comparing my life to them or anything but there is only so much enjoyment you can get out of looking at things that look perfect all the time. The Real Life stuff, though? That is priceless, wildly entertaining, authentic and relatable. I want to see more of that on the internet!

I have a love/hate relationship with reading lifestyle blogs. I like them but sometimes they make me feel so imperfect because their lives look so wonderful. So then I go to someone elses blog and feel normal again when they talk about having a pile of dishes in the sink :]

You are my hero. First of all - YES. There is a huge difference between a personal blog and a blog that showcases the Pretty Life Stuff.

I adore the shapewear photo, and the jumping outtakes. The final jumping photo is completely rad, too.

I love this.

I have been considering starting a lifestyle blog wherein I take beautiful, soft-edged photos of things like the horrendously large dust bunnies on my bedroom floor, or the overripe lone nectarine currently sharing the fruit bowl with a couple of sad, neglected hard candies.

YES.

I am 100% in the Life camp. Lifestyle blogs are sometimes good eye candy, but mostly they make me tired. I'd rather see your outtakes (not to mention Jive Turkey's dustbunnies) than carefully Photoshopped/flying-through-the-air-with-glee-at-all-times photos any day.

Your blue dress was the perfect shade of blue. You looked gorgeous in it, and now I am all the more sad that we don't have a Kohl's in the city (though we do have a TJ Maxx! Discount shapewear, you shall soon be mine!)

One of my favorite posts of yours ever. You are adorable!

My blog started out as a venting blog but has grown into a life with a bit of venting blog.

Do I have a lifestyle that people would want to see? I wear the same things over and over and I forget to take pictures of things half the time so a photo collage blog is out.

I am happy with my life/venting/ outlet blog.

My blog started out as venting, I don't give a damn who reads it blog. It has become a life, venting, whatever pops into my mind blog. Mainly, I still don't care who reads it and I do probably write too much about me on there but oh well.

I love you.

So fun! I love the bed jumping photos. such a fun way to have fun by yourself and not take yourself to seriously. i should try it :)

This has turned out to be one of the nicest batches of comments I've ever received. Thanks, you guys! (I was/am seriously nervous about posting the photo of my shapewear. Because WHO DOES THAT?!)

This is why you are awesome. Well, one of the many reasons.

You are seriously awesome for posting all of these photos, especially the shapeware! LET'S ALL STOP HIDING OUR LIGHTS UNDER BUSHELS, SISTERS!

Wow, I think you just pinpointed why I stopped liking so many blogs. They were Lifestyle blogs posing as Life blogs, and I didn't realize the difference. DING, DING, DING!

Viva shapewear! I recently felt very defeated that I dress I bought requires shapewear, but I suppose clingy fabric + two kids = spanx.

I know someone who is the in-person equivalent of a lifestyle blog (so happy! all the time!) and it's exhausting. We need to see the shapewear (or dust bunnies, or frozen dinners) sometimes.

You're so right, and so adorable!

(I've never tried cashew chicken, I'm partial to chicken carbonara. :))

This makes me very very happy. There should be more jumping-on-bed pictures. I think it should be required for bloggers everywhere. And...go! Pictures due by next Tuesday everyone.

My blog couldn't be farther from a lifestyle blog if it tried. Of course, my life couldn't be either, so there's that.

I love the photos: for being brave enough to post shapewear pics online and for being fun enough to jump on hotel beds and try and capture it.

This is beyond fabulous. BEYOND. I think I love you.

You're so right---it's funny to think of the pressure I feel to write things "pretty" even when the blogs I love most are real, and honest.

You are the cutest. Which is exactly why I love you.

Next year we need to do a group jump shot...though that could be dangerous. :)

See? And this is why I felt like such a dork meeting you. You're so much cooler than me.

And can rock a pair of Shapewear like no other.

Love this!

p.s. I do the same thing with you on the self-portraits. It pains me to ask people for things - even small, easy things. Need to get over that.

What in the world is a lifestyle blog? Something like The Pioneer Woman Cooks? I'm an uninformed goober who found your blog because Google Reader thought I'd like it. I like it.

10,000 awesome points for keeping it real. I enjoy lifestyle blogs, but they make me feel mildly inadequate. And my home will never look like that.

Great blog! This is the kind of information that should be displayed around the web. It is too bad that it doesn't rank higher on the serps!

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