Jennifer Blake

5 years

September 14, 2016

I started this blog exactly 5 years from today. Time has flown. When I started this little space, I had a different name, lived in a different city and was in a completely different chapter of my life. I was recently out of college, I was recently engaged and was in school finishing up pre-requisites for graduate school. Since then we have moved 4 times, got married, started and finished my masters degree, and passed my occupational therapy licensing exam. We are both working full time and currently settled in the little town of Newmarket enjoy life as 2. This blog has been a labor of love and I cannot believe 5 years later I am still blogging, but I am so glad I am.

I have loved meeting people through blogging and I have learned a lot about myself along the way. I thought I would share 5 things I have learned since I started.

1. It takes work- blogging is a combination of hustle & love. 
When I started this blog, I blogged when I felt like it, sometimes twice a day, sometimes once a week. There was no schedule, no plan, no editorial calendar, just writing when I had something to share. After a while I made it a goal to put content up every day, it was exhausting and draining. I finally have found a balance of planning out at least three posts per week and if I have more to share then I do it, if not I don't stress about it. Writing consistently certainly draws in more of an audience and has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. If I had not spent a few years putting up so much content I am not sure my blog would be where it is today. This happy balance has allowed me to stress less and have a somewhat life/work balance.

2. You cannot stop dreaming. 
I have always had big dreams for this space. This space where I get to share exactly what I want and no one can tell me not to. I get to do all the things I love in this space. I get to create, photograph, write and connect with others. Every year I set big goals for this space and every month I look at those goals and set small ones for the month. 2016 has been amazing for growing this space and it all started with one dream which spiraled into others and I continue to keep dreaming big for this little space.

3. Numbers mean nothing. 
In the beginning you wish you had more followers, more readers, you wish the number on Google analytics said people stayed and read more of your hard work. You wish there were more comments and more people reaching out to answer questions at the end of your post. You wish people shared more and showed more love. Well, I could care less about numbers at this point. I simply love sweet little comments and connecting with others. The stress of numbers is too much, there is so much more!

4. It is okay to change your writing style and content- as you grow, your blog grows. 
I still blog about a lot of the same topics as when I started this blog. However, I have definitely  grown into this space more and have found things I love to share and how to share them. I know that I love posts that include Aaron's thoughts, my job, photography and books. I have a lot of trouble posting very personal posts and posts about controversial topics, but those tend to spark the most interest so I am getting more confident in those areas! But honestly, as my life has changed, so has this blog and it's okay, your blog can grow with you.

5. Consistency matters, but taking breaks is okay. 
Like I said above posting frequently and expectedly will show results. People like to know what to expect and people will like to know that content will be coming. However, mental blocks happen, life happens, busyness happens and it is okay to take a step back. This is not my full time job, but it takes a lot of time. From the photographing, planning, writing and editing, you can get burnt out and sometimes a break is what you need from it all. I took a few unintentional months off, was struggling to come up with content and after a few months off I came back completely refreshed. Breaks are needed, don't feel bad about taking a break.

Him & Her September

September 8, 2016

Him // The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothless & From Hell by Alan Moore 
Her // Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Him // Broadchurch Season 2
Her // Gilmore Girls (for like the 8th time)

Working On 
Him // Perfecting my fantasy football team
Her // Fall mini sessions for October! 

Him // Macarons 
Her // Chocolate covered pretzel bites

Him // Too many to list, find me on UNTAPPD: Millerad89
Her // Dark Horse Rose wine & Vodka Tonics 

Excited For
Him // Listening to the new bayside album when I get 5 minutes free.
Her // Reach the Beach in a little over a week! 

Why I Love New Hampshire

September 2, 2016

I was born in the sunny state of Florida but I was raised in the beautiful state of NH. We moved to NH when I was 1, so it is all I remember. NH is known as the granite state, but I know it for so much more. From the beautiful oceans to the breathtaking mountains, we get the best of it all. I also love that it is a small state, I know backroads and scenic routes to almost everywhere in NH which makes it really great on summer weekends when the highways are a mess! We have some adorable towns and some of my favorite shops. You can typically find me getting lost in a bookstore in our states capital city or finding more prints for my office wall in downtown Portsmouth at my favorite little store. If I am not out shopping I can be found reading on the beach or hanging out with the horses. When my husband and I left NH to go to MA for college, I remember specifically saying "I am never moving back to NH." I wanted to get out so bad, I had been here my whole life and I wanted to go somewhere new. Well, I couldn't be happier that we came back to NH, by the time we finished up living in MA, I was saying "I cannot wait to move back to NH." 

Today I am excited to be teaming up with Old Navy to share how New Hampshire does style. We get four very drastic seasons in NH, spring tends to be cool and rainy, summer is hot and humid, Fall is cool and typically dry, winter is snow filled and cold. However, the weather is never consistent day-to-day in NH which means you need to be prepared for anything. A Fall day can start of being 50 in the morning and 90 by mid-afternoon. 

Jeans c/o // Sweater c/o

New Hampshire has certainly impacted my style, I have become an expert at layering so that as the temperatures warm up I can still be comfortable. Old Navy's jeans are perfect for last minute outdoor adventure, the perfect amount of stretch and comfort. The sweater is warm enough, but the knit allows for some airflow during those warmer fall afternoons. New Hampshire is known for its gorgeous Fall foliage and even though I love summer, Fall has my heart. From the Fall activities like apple picking to driving up North to look at the Fall foliage, it is one of my most favorite times of the year. 

dress c/o // shirt c/o

A cute Fall inspired dress with a warmer utility shirt on top is the perfect outfit to layer together. Fashionable but practical for the constant changing weather. We got married in September and the colors on this dress remind me of our wedding. There is nothing prettier than a burnt orange, burgundy and dark purple. All I need now is a pumpkin spiced latte. 

 scarf c/o // jeans c/o // shirt c/o 

Another casual but cute Fall look is pairing a scarf over a short sleeve shirt. The scarf adds extra warmth, but can easily be taken off once the sun is out and it warms up! Great for meeting a friend for coffee in the morning and walking around downtown Portsmouth for some shopping in the afternoon!

Old Navy fits my style and my budget with cute and trendy clothing. People featured a blogger from each state so go check out more State Styles, visit the 50 Styles 50 States site here and submit your own #50Styles50States outfit on social media so I can see your unique state style too.  

How does your state influence your style?