Keeping it Real ... Feedback Friday

This is going to be a hard one, but I want you to really try. I encourage you to be honest and everything will be okay! Are you afraid of what I'm about to ask you to do?

I've been talking with some friend bloggers over the past few weeks about honesty in blogging. We all show our beautiful decor and we want the best photos for our blogs and there is nothing wrong with that - but we also need to acknowledge that sometimes those photos are staged for the moment and aren't real life.

We all feel the need, as women, to try to be perfect and a blog is the perfect place to attempt to show that to the outside world. What we don't always think about is the effect that can have on others. We are all real people here, we don't live perfect lives and don't always have perfect houses. I have a built in "blog cop" in my husband who calls me out if he feels like I'm not living the life I blog, so that keeps me on my toes.

In talking to some friends about some of the big name home/decor/decorating blogs I discovered a common desire to try to live up to their standards and a resulting feeling of inadequacy when that doesn't happen. Let's face it - even THEY don't live up to their standards when it comes to clean houses, perfect dinners, beautiful rooms all the time!

So, I want all of you to take a deep breath and grab your camera...I'll wait.

Walk to your bedroom/laundry room/messiest room and take a picture right now and post it for all the world to see. Blog it, Flickr it I don't care - just link it up here. Be proud that you are normal. Be proud that you are NOT perfect. Be proud that you are letting all the other women out there see that side of you and take comfort in the fact that we are all in the same boat here.

My heart is palpating here, and I'm totally honest about my shortcomings when it comes to housecleaning! I hope no one actually dies doing this :)

My "real" master bedroom on many days of the month:

My "real" study during our basement renovation (and lots of other times during the year when I've let it go):


  1. I'll take a picture of my kitchen tomorrow after work...it's currently a mess right now but I'll want you to have the full effect of the mad dash in the morning of breakfast dishes and lunch prep mess...ha!

  2. Your house is beautiful even in a mess!

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  3. i would take your beautiful mess any day! there is just no way to make my mess beautiful...no photoshop is that good!

  4. OH Jennifer,

    You have no idea how timely this post is. I just had lunch with a fellow blogger the other day and I went on a rampage about this very thing!!!!!!

    I think what got me going was a blog post by a very prominent blogger who confessed that she staged all her photos of her spotless, perfectly styled home.

    What bothered me was that I was feeling such pangs of inadequacy everytime I visited her blog. I wondered if she realized how she was making many of us out there feel about our own less than perfect homes.

    I appreciated her 'coming clean' about the staging, but the damage was already done. And what if I missed that confession post and never knew about the staging.

    I just posted about my new kitchen and many commented on the magazine quality of the photos. I had to laugh when I looked at the pic of the full finished room...I had forgotten to remove the pot on the stove that I had just heated up a can of soup in..Ha!

    I did not retake the photo...hey you cook in a kitchen..right?

    Right now you should see my laundry room....YIKES!!!

    I LOVED this post. Running to get a pic of my worst room.

    Janet xox

  5. I LOVE LOVE this post!!
    I so very much agree with you
    that is why I have posted my
    messy closet awhile back
    that needed to be cleaned really bad ~ That is why I post
    pictures of me that my wrinkles
    aren't photoshopped out
    and well I look not so pretty ~

    I will be linking back to you very soon since it will be quite easy to find a real messy room ~


  6. There are few people that I know who actually live day to day like some of the blogs you mentioned.

    You're right. We can clean up our house and make it look nice when it's picture time. But the reality is that I know I don't live that way day to day.

    One friend of mine does live this way. And all of us call refer to his house as "The Museum." It is immaculate all the time - not one thing out of place.

    I'm all about being clean, but it sucks to live in house-show mode all the time.

  7. Man.... I put all of my photos in flickr, but for some reason it won't let me link those up correctly. So here are the links:

    The Kitchen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20445559@N07/5517557932/

    The Master Bedroom: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20445559@N07/5517565384/

    The Living Room: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20445559@N07/5516978709/

  8. Janet - it was our email talks about this very subject that sparked this post. Let's keep it real, sister!

  9. So nice to know I'm not the only one with messes :) And today is actually a good mess day ~ we have friends coming over in about an hour so I've done some picking up..... Great post Jen!!!!!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! I have often felt like many of the photos probably are staged. I mean when you know they have 5 or 6 kids how can they possibly have that clean of a house?! Even knowing they are staged is still inspiring to me. I don't strive for perfection in my home because I do like it to feel like home. I want my kids, husband and visitors to feel welcome. I love even the staged photos because it's beautiful to see a perfectly presented room and appreciate it for what it is. A moment in a life. Not the moments. I can imagine that room with people and pets. A dirty dish or two. A magazine or book on the floor...etc...but it's still beautiful because someone took the time to beautify their space that they live in. Don't feel intimidated ladies. Be inspired and encouraged and when you have a moment in life when you find something is perfectly presentable, take a picture of it!

  11. Halleluiah! Thank you for posting! I am looking at everyone’s photos everyday thinking ‘How in the world do you all stay on top of family, home, cleaning, shopping, the DIY projects, and in some cases careers AND always have picture perfect homes?’ I wouldn’t get ANY sleep. As it is I get 6 hours or less!
    Extreme Personal Measures

  12. I don't have any pics to post of the mess here, but that doesn't mean there isn't one...I'm a little OCD about cleaning, but as for staging a pic or a post, I don't do that. I just take a pic of whatever I'm talking about in teh post and try not to worry about it being perfect. So maybe I keep it real always? It's not exciting, but it's genuine and I agree that women can get so wrapped up in the appearance of the perfect home/family/life that they lose a little piece of themselves in the process.

  13. Aw, that ain't so bad! I had to add my studio which is probably the messiest - the house is for sale. Therefore it has to be somewhat controllable. I have to add that I thought your topic was going to be "keeping it natural - no botox, plastic surgery, etc. Hee Hee.

  14. LOL, oh Jen, you made my day! So happy to hear, and see, I'm not alone.
    xo Cathy

  15. I'm so embarrassed posting my photo. Oh well, it IS my real life.

  16. Oh man! I wish I was home, but I'm out of town. My craft room/office/guest room looks like a tornado hit it.

  17. Thank you! No blog, just kids and animals. The other day my college age daughter had to let a school staff member in to talk to my son. Younger daughter had left panties and bra in the living room (as well as other assorted crap). I was at work and apologized for my house the ****hole! I'm glad we're "normal".

  18. I've actually been showing a lot of "keeping it real" pictures on my blog lately as a part of a series I am writing about redoing/swapping around our bedrooms...but decided to link up a post I wrote a while ago about just this topic. Thanks for hosting... and keeping it real yourself :)


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