a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Is Blogging Dead? Can It Make a Comeback?

The other day I was curious if any of the old fashion blogs I used to read were still around. Originally finding them back in 2008/2009 was like discovering a key to another world. I would spend hours after school reading my subscription list and checking comment sections trying to find new blogs to follow. 

Almost all of the old blogs I used to read are actually still around. Many are frozen in time around 2013/2014 when Instagram really started taking off and it was easier to share over there than write a whole post. They feel almost like an abandoned house. Like the owner left in a hurry and might still come back someday where they left off. 

Others had been updated sporadically over the years (like mine), but most were updated every few weeks with sponsored posts or link lists around big sales.

Sometimes I wonder if blogs will ever make a come back. If the cultural pendulum will swing the other way and we'll all tire of the endless scroll of content. We'll desire a return to slowness. A return to human connection. 

That's why blogs have stuck with me personally over the years. It's because this used to be such a  community. I knew everyone who commented (partly because my blog was always small lol), but we had intimate conversations. I was so excited to get 10 comments on a post. I think about that now if I'm disappointed that an Instagram post doesn't receive my arbitrary benchmark of likes I've determined is successful. I still try to respond to every DM and comment because I care about the people who choose to follow what I post and share how how they connect it to their own lives.

With every new social app, we crave a deeper level of authenticity. When TikTok emerged, it scared a lot of creators because it took a new level of vulnerability to be successful on there. The whole draw of TikTok was anyone could be famous, just by being themself. That was a big departure from Instagram where it felt like you had to sell people an idealized version of yourself.

But even over the last year I've been on TikTok, I've seen content start to shift. It's hard to put my finger on it, but its started to feel like content created to feed an algorithm versus content for connection. And I say this because I've been guilty of creating content like this, so I'm sure others have felt this way, too. 

Then BeReal started gaining traction a few months ago. At 29, I felt annoyed and too old to jump on yet another social platform. But when I downloaded it, I realized it was actually pretty cool. No way to see the number of followers. Everyone is private. And you can only share once a day, nothing pre-filmed. I've been posting on it for about a month now and I have to admit, I really enjoy seeing just the average, every day lives of my friends. It makes me smile seeing them with their dog or fixing the same lunch they did yesterday. It feels normal, but also personal and intimate in a way.

That what I kinda hope to find again with blogging. I enjoy just coming back to this space and sharing with no pressure what's on my mind. Not many people are reading this, but just like the limited audience of BeReal, I like it that way. It helps me feel more secure in sharing. And if you are reading this, I hope you found a little bit of comfort in the 5 minutes (or less if we are being real) it took to go through this post. That would make me happy.

With much love,


Outfit Details

Ribbed Knit Top / thrifted
Wool Camel Blazer / thrifted
Vintage Lee Jeans / thrifted
Tan Heels Boots / thrifted
Dooney & Bourke Bucket Bag / thrifted
Autumn Leaves Silk Scarf / thrifted

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A New York Story

I've been settling back into my routine here in Brooklyn after spending time in Ohio on and off this summer. I think I finally feel like I'm falling back into the swing of things: just in time to head back to Ohio next week. 

My relationship with Ohio has evolved over the last six years in New York. Those first few years I was hell bent on making New York work and threw everything I had into creating a life here. I also just really wanted to. It was my dream and I was finally living it -- even if it was on a barely livable wage in a cockroach infested apartment. It didn't matter, it was New York or no where for me.

Somewhere around year two or three my dedication started to waver. I missed home, sometimes. A difficult roommate situation that left me feeling like a stranger in my own home pushed me towards the home I always knew. I really thought seriously about moving back to Ohio around 2018. The things that once drew me to New York didn't feel as sparkly any more. I was deeply homesick.

I gritted my teeth through years two and three and then then coasted along into four fairly easily. I found my stride in a new job with a renewed purpose and the roommates situation had shifted in my favor. I was working out consistently. Enjoying living in as a single for the first time in the city, discovering what that meant. I had friends that I finally connected with and the city didn't feel quite as lonely as it once did.

Then that all came to a screeching halt in 2020. 

Sometimes I wished I'd blogged through the beginning of the pandemic and what that was like here in New York. My experience seems so different to others who lived outside cities. Everything was so strictly shut down and I didn't leave my apartment for those first few weeks. I was too scared to even go on walks outside. Grocery lines wrapped around the block to shop through bare, ransacked aisles. Whole subway cars sat eerily empty for the first time...ever. Everyone left. I stayed.

It was a loneliness I hadn't experienced before. In a time of such unknown to be away from everyone, shifted my world. It made it so small. My roommates had left, so it was just me alone. I didn't have any family to rely on our a partner to hold me. It was just me.

When it was finally safe enough to travel again, of course the first place I went was back to Ohio. I was working from home and everything in the city was shut down, so it made sense. I spent a few months with my family in the summer of 2020 and that's when my priorities started to shift. 

I was reminded what it meant to be with family again and to have people there for you. For nearly four years, I'd battled everything out on my own. I'd gotten used to accepting surviving as going through it all myself and had forgotten that's not how life should go. It's ok to depend on people, and I was doing that for the first time in a long time.

Over the next two years, I spent time on-and-off in Ohio anywhere from two weeks to nearly two months. Some people worked from Hawaii, my choice was Ohio. Slightly less scenic, but it felt safe in a world where I needed comforting. With every trip back, I had to fight a nagging truth emerging in the back of my mind that I couldn't pretend wasn't there. I really fucking missed Ohio. 

New York began to dim for me as I spent less time there. The people I loved had all moved away. The places I'd frequented, shuttered. The feeling of magic the city had brought me dimmed. 

At what point was this worth it anymore? Being away from my family to...do all of this alone after everything I'd been through? It felt like a step backwards.

I've slowly been trying to repair my relationship with New York over the last year, but it's been hard. I'm still struggling with it, especially going home so frequently. It doesn't exactly make it easy to fall back in love with a place when you're hardly ever here. 

But like any human relationship, be it romantic or friendship, love takes work. There is still so much I do love about New York. Brooklyn, especially. 

I was coming back home this week from a day at the office in Manhattan. Sweaty, exhausted and on a N train stuck on the Manhattan bridge (with no indication of moving any time soon), I couldn't help but sit back and think about how fulfilled I still felt doing this damn thing. The way it felt to walk through Central Park or how it felt to look out the subway window and see the kind of skyline that you never quite get used to. I know I'm not done here yet. I'm just working on the next chapter for me and what that looks like, and I think that still includes Ohio and the special place its holds in my heart. My therapist always encourages me to not look at the world so black and white, and I think that applies here, too. 

You can love two places at once. 

With much love,


Outfit Details

Peasant Top | thrifted 
90s Miniskirt | thrifted
60s Etiene Aigner Messenger Bag | thrifted
Heeled Boots | thrifted
Chain Belt | thrifted
Earrings | thrifted
Gold Chain | my grandmother's

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Freezing Time

My grandma passed away on August 13th. Almost a month has passed and I've been wanting to write about it, but it feels like nothing I share would fully capture what she meant to me. Still means.

One of my biggest fears when I moved to NYC in 2016 was the thought of not getting back home if something were to happen to a family member. Every "can I call you real quick?" text from my parents over the years has caused my stomach to drop, immediately thinking the worst had happened and I wasn't there to say goodbye.

While I was in Montauk over my birthday, my grandma's health started declining and I wrestled back and forth on whether to come home. It was first year of 29 she hadn't wished me a happy a birthday. I knew in my heart things weren't going to get better.

So I flew home. So scared in the back of my mind that if I continued to wait, I wouldn't be there for the moments that mattered most. I booked a next day flight for 6AM and of all the flights over the years to miss -- I missed this one. I was wrecked with emotion, feeling like any minute ticking by was lost time to be there with her. 

Kind strangers pulled some strings to get me on the next available flight to Ohio. Relief. I boarded the plane with Tito at 9AM and touched down an hour later. 

Seeing my grandma in hospice care at her home for the first time, I bent over sobbing, unable to control my emotion. My sweet grandma. To see her so changed in just the month since I had last been home shocked me. 

I took her hand in mine and told her I was home from New York to see her. She opened her eyes and nodded her head, knowing I was there for her. That was all I wanted.

Over the next five days, I stayed there with my mom through the day and night. She had been taking care of my grandma over the last few months and it was time I took care of both of them. 

I ran and got my mom ice teas from Mcdonald's and coffees from the shop downtown. I let her take naps as I watched over grandma so she could rest without worry. I talked with her, hugged her and told her it was going to be ok.

My grandma lost consciousness soon after I arrived home, but I think she always knew I was with her. I held her hand and whispered about all the things I loved that we did throughout the years and what she meant to me. I told her the funny memories from my childhood I remembered or that she'd told me. My favorite she would always re-tell laughing is when she took me on a hayride during the fall and I proudly announced to the whole wagon that "My grandma can't have candy apples 'cause she has false teeth since she didn't brush 'em when she was younger!"

My grandma loved to smell good and she loved skincare. After I started working at Kiehl's in 2016 and brought home products, she really took a liking to them and continued to purchase them after I left. So, I made sure she was still smelling and looking good, applying hand cream to her every day and making sure to put on Midnight Recovery Oil and Super Multi-Corrective Cream every night. 

I played her favorite music for her. She loved Elton John, Dolly Parton, Josh Groban and Ed Sheeran. 

My family was by her side when she passed. It's been almost a month, but I still don't think it's fully hit me yet. There has been relief for me in her passing,  I feel better knowing that she no longer has to be in that pain.

I keep searching for signs that she's here with me. I try to look for red birds since they were her favorite or listen to the wind chimes that hang outside our house to see her dropping by.

I don't understand death, really. I'm loosely religious so I understand what comes after, but I also just still hope, despite my doubt, that it's what really does happen. I can't imagine a way to cope with her being gone if it's not.

I wanted to capture everything -- freeze time in the house -- as it was to remember. I took this series of film photographs around her house in those first long days that blurred together. I don't want to leave reality up to my memory to decide. I want to remember the warmth that existed here through her life. The small touches that show she lived a beautiful, real life.

I have a lot of thoughts still, but this was a start.

With much love,

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