Why I fashion blog


Sweater: Gap; Skirt: Marc Jacobs (like this one too!); Shoes: Manolo Blahnik; Scarf: Marina; Sunglasses: Prada; Earrings: Banana Republic; Watch: Michele

When I started blogging, it really started out as a challenge to myself: get a hobby and learn something new

As the months of planning and building Ginger Side of Life progressed, I began to see this “hobby” materialize and it was thrilling. All I wanted to do was shout it from the rooftops, “I, Chelsea John, followed through with what I said I would do!” I was excited, proud and driven. Then, suddenly, extremely self conscientious.




The self doubt crept in and was wrestling with my hard earned pride. I had worked with Ryan and several friends, spending hours building this blog. It was a feat to learn a completely new coding language. Considering how difficult it was for me to learn basic German and Spanish (I have since forgotten 99% of it), it was a true “W” in the win/loss column. I was just so proud but it felt overshadowed by self doubt. I kept thinking, “I spend hours working on this blog that will, what, eventually house hundreds of photos of…me?” I oscillated between being so proud of this product, to feeling silly. Like really, explaining to one of the dads I used to babysit for that my new hobby was a fashion blog, that consisted of photos of me, felt lame. He was so genuinely interested, and I felt embarrassed. It all felt trivial. So I guess my point of writing this is, why do I fashion blog? What makes me different than my peer fashion bloggers?” and honestly, this question usually stumps me most; however, I hope that as I continue to blog, I will be able to pinpoint my exact answer to that question. But for now, my answer to, “why I fashion blog” boils down to three things:

1. I love clothes

2. I love to learn

3. I love to write

I really truly love clothes. Plain and simple. I have an appreciation for clothes that parallels the treatment of rare books at Doe Library at UC Berkeley. I love looking at old photos of my mom, grandma and Mimi, and learning the stories about those evenings when they wore this outfit or that outfit. I loved going through the upstairs closets at my Mimi’s house and watching my Aunt Mali put on her Rose Parade gown and eagerly waiting for my turn to try it on. It all sounds cheesy but I really love clothes. The one caveat is, I hate to sew. I took sewing in high school and made a pretty basic purse. It was ugly. My mom was nice enough to walk around with it for about a week. She loves me. My second caveat to loving clothes comes to paying full price. Really, I just can’t. In a later post, I will have to make a few major confessions on where I get the majority of my clothes (eBay, borrowed, Crossroads/Buffalo Exchange). Overall, I love clothes and this is one reason why I blog.

I love to learn. Like I said above, I really wanted to get a hobby and usually that entails learning something. I cannot tell you how many times my dad has sent me excel tutorials on “how to become a master at excel” or “the ins and outs of photoshop,” and all those tutorials did was sit on my bookshelf. My dad would follow up, “Chelsea, did you look at that excel thing I sent you?” and sadly, I would bold face lie, “yes dad, I looked at it,” and “yes, dad, it was SO helpful.” After too many years of lying, I wanted to find a reason to learn something that would have practical, real life, outcomes. Starting Ginger Side of Life has done that for me. I will never claim to have done this on my own, because, wow, would that be a gigantic lie, and I think I am done with that lifestyle, but I will proudly admit, it has forced me into a zone that I am extremely uncomfortable and thus, I am learning.

Finally, I love to write. However, keeping a journal is too much of a commitment. My mom once told me, “Chelsea, I am not good with long term commitments after a long work day, which is why I am quitting this step class after one class.” I remember being so annoyed that she quit but now, as the years have past, I definitely inherited that trait from her. I have this extreme phobia of being committed to something after work on a consistent basis. Even a friend who wants to go on a weekly run home from work with me or go to the gym, extremely freaks me out. I am independent, and get overwhelmed when I am over committed because I feel like I cannot do whatever I want. My point for sharing this is, writing a blog is a commitment, but a commitment to something I love and would never do otherwise. Writing takes practice and without Ginger Side of Life, I simply would not do it. As Ashley S put it on the Bachelor a few weeks ago, “I am like an onion with many layers,” and I usually understand how I truly feel about things when I write. So I blog, because I get to learn about me.

Overall, probably no one will read this entire post, and that is okay. I put some thoughts to digital screen and now feel my mind can rest and sleep.



clicking schedule on this post was extremely scary

ALSO, this post was featured on IFB!

Links à la Mode: February 5th

LocationLOCATION: Fort Worth

  1. I absolutely loved reading this post! I have had my blog for just over a year now and I have finally just started telling people I know “in real life” about it. I always felt so weird about it and explaining it to other people. I still am sometimes, but I love blogging so much that I hope it shows when I tell people about it.

  2. I love your blog…look at every post and read this entire post! I hope I’m objective, but I’ve know you since you were born and I love the woman you have grown into (and your commitment to growing). The clothes, the accessories, the writing, the photos and what can I say but, beautiful Chelsea…you are amazing. Keep doing what you love doing, because I love following your blog!

    • Thank you Aunt Lisa for the support! It was a little nerve wracking to press “publish” on this post, but I was up late thinking (that is never good haha) and just felt like I wanted to say something that had been on my mind for a while :)

  3. I just started following your blog, and I think it’s always good to contemplate the “whys” in life! I think we should all answer the question “why am i doing this?” Good for you! Jodie
    P.S. Your outfit today is fabuous….I’d wear it (with 4 more inches of skirt length—because I’m old!)!!!

  4. Brava. Everything you described at the start are things I struggle with, too. Such an unexpected duality of feelings! Thanks for putting your thoughts out there.

  5. Love this! It’s so very, VERY important to keep doing things that are meaningful primarily for oneself. And I know how much this blog (and it’s content, and your strengths, and your loves) mean to you. Go, YOU. xo

  6. I read your entire post — and loved it! I totally can relate to the reasons you continue to blog — I also LOVE clothes and fashion and always have. And I love to write, too — and it helps put pay to my English undergrad degree! 😉

    I wrote a similarly themed blog post about why I continue to blog, as well as some of the ethical issues I’ve encountered since starting to blog, here at https://librarianforlifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/new-year-reflections-about-blogging/

    • Hi Jen,

      Thank you for reading the entire post! I also read your post and that slimming app was CRAZY! Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Melanie,

      Thank you. It means a lot to get support from fellow bloggers and, yes isnt that Marc Jacobs skirt so much fun. My good friend Karolina lent it to me and I feel so fortunate she trusts me with her pretty things :)

  7. I actually read and loved this entire post and I agree so much with all your three main reasons, especially the one about loving clothes. You definitely are an excellent fashionista from whom I personally learn a lot. Plus you are gorgeous, Chelsea. This outfit is no exception. That skirt is a stunner. I alweays see these great name-brands and high-end designers on you and I am happy to know that you shop sales, bargains and second-hand. I personally cannot relate to those bloggers whose entire outfits cost more than 2 months rent lol.

    Thanks so much for being so candid. Come back later today because I am sharing a lot on the blog, today. Thanks again.

    P.S. Hahaha, funny you quoted Ashley S. about the onion layers. I just started watching The Bachelor last week and as always I am hooked to that reality, fun, crazy show.

    Happy February!! Ada. =)

    • Hi Ada,

      Thank you for your kind message. It was so thoughtful of you to respond :) Also I am so happy you are also a Bachelor fan, because it is my favorite night of the week. My roommates and I have anywhere between 10-15 girls over for dinner and the Bachelor every Monday. We also have a Bachelor bracket going on! It is the best social TV! Looking forward to reading your post.


    • Hi Joanne! Thank you so much for your support and it is relieving to know that I am not the only one who has felt this duality of emotions. Looking forward to spending some time on Fabulously Average.

  8. It’s so funny because sometimes I wonder if I should be writing more than I do with my posts, but then I never think anyone will truly read it anyway! But I’m glad you put yourself out there! And to this day, I don’t really offer up to people that I have a blog. I’ve heard people say they can’t believe I spend so much of my time doing THAT. But it’s a hobby – and this community is the best! Glad our blogging paths have crossed!
    Carylee | more pieces of me

    • Hi Carylee,
      I could not have said it better myself! Thank you Carylee for your support! I love “More Pieces of me” and look forward to continuing to follow along~

    • Thanks Angela. It was definitely a little scary to put myself out there like that, but I feel so fortunate to have received so positive feedback from fellow bloggers and friends. Also, congratulations on your 1 month of blogging! It is such an accomplishment because we all know how hard it is!

  9. Well I’ve read it… down to “clicking schedule…” 😉 I kind of feel the same way about explaining to someone that I have “a” fashion blog. It’s like it’s the epitome of superficial trivialness, am I right? What could change that? Saying that I am THAT fashion blog.

    Alex – Funky Jungle

    P.S. I love to write too, I even wrote book like stories when I was younger.

    • Alex you hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much for your comment. I will be keeping a look out for your childhood book now when I go to the book store 😉

  10. Hi Chelsea,
    Contrary to what you thought, I read the whole post and loved it! I completely get your perspective and understand the concerns, moments of self-doubt and other blog related worries you expressed in the post. :)

    Keep doing what you’re doing – it’s great! :)

    P.S. I am living for your shoes, sunglasses and skirt! *hearts for eyes emoji*

    • Thank you Alice. I was definitely a little nervous to put myself out there like that, but feel like I have received such positive feedback from my peers. So thank you :)

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