Addressing Your Feedback

Happy Monday guys! I’m going in a bit of a different direction with today’s post so bear with me.

Over the weekend I received a long email from a reader with some valuable feedback and constructive criticism. After reading her email and going back and forth with her a few times, I visited an anonymous forum (you know the one) to see if she was the only one with these sentiments. Turns out, she wasn’t. I’ve been trying to stay away from reading these because it can be a hard pill to swallow, but I looked at 5 or 6 comments and a few of them made a big impact on me.

Instead of feeling anxious or sorry for myself in this whole situation, I realized that a lot of it is completely valid. So I decided to scrap today’s post in order to address a few things. That being said, I’ll never support or address any mean/nasty comments.

Before I get into it I want to reiterate that while this blog is fun for me to write and I love doing it so much, I would be nowhere in this business without your support and your readership. Keeping things authentic is my number one priority because your trust means the world to me.

I pride myself on writing about tough subjects and being very honest, and I intend to keep it that way in this post and every post.

Below are a few of the comments from the email (the reader asked me not to mention her name when I quoted her) and other places, with my responses to them.

I hope that they don’t come across as defensive. The overall message that I want to get across is: I hear you and I’m now aware of some things that I wasn’t before… I’ll work on those things on my end, pinky swear.

“It seems lately that you’ve taken on so many sponsorships and have become less true to yourself… {It} feels like you’re being dishonest with readers and taking on these sponsorships… with brands that are not known for being organic or clean.” – Email from reader
Like I mentioned above, I never ever want you guys to feel like I’m being dishonest with you, so reading this really broke my heart. At the end of the day, my authenticity matters most, and although I try to always keep it real, sometimes the business of blogging can be tricky, and I’m still trying to navigate that.

She specifically referenced two partnerships I’ve done recently with orange juice brands. I’m going to stick behind these because I really do drink a ton of OJ on the reg. Truth be told, I usually mix it with seltzer (currently obsessed with passionfruit La Croix mixed with orange juice as a mocktail), but I drink it nonetheless.

I’m not really sure why these partnerships rubbed people the wrong way (I saw multiple comments about them), but I’d love to hear from you below why you think they missed the mark. I’m guessing it was in the way that I wrote them or just how out of the blue they felt because it wasn’t something that I’ve talked about before.

Either way, with projects like that, I’ll be more aware of organically and authentically weaving the content into my real life instead of it being a stark and seemingly out of the blue partnership.

The other sponsored post she referenced was an Instagram campaign that I did with a snack brand. The snack had whey in it which I’ve talked about being allergic to before. I agree that this partnership probably seemed way off brand, and I should have addressed my dairy situation before posting it. The situation is: Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve eaten cheese without any problems. Every. Single. Day. I have no idea what happened but my doctor said that sometimes allergies change with pregnancy hormones.

Total side bar but one of Anel’s favorite stories to tell about me is how one time during my first trimester he came home to me sitting on the couch taking bites from a baguette and a block of cheese, on and off. Sadly, that wasn’t a one time thing!

I digress, but the overall message I’m hearing is that I’m taking on a lot of sponsorships lately that feel off brand. I’ll own that and keep it in mind for the future, being both picky in what I say yes to and more diligent about creating sponsored content that speaks to you.

That being said, I want to know that I truly do like every brand that I work with and never write anything untrue. Ever. You can read more about how I decide what sponsorships to take on, how they work, and more here.

While we’re on this topic, I’m going to give you a heads up now that I just partnered in a very big way with a beauty brand that is not organic or natural,  but the product I’ll be talking about over the next few months is one that I use and LOVE.

I’m not 100% nautral by any means (How do you think my hair gets so blonde and my nails are always painted?), so just want to be clear on that too! I definitely try but it’s not always realistic. Again, I digress. Sorry!

“I find it really strange you’ve redone the same spaces of your house on several occasions. I bought my house a year before you and we have updated a lot but not overhauled individual rooms multiple times.” – Email from reader
She continued by saying that she questions my trust because I keep changing what I like.

Ok this one I hear loud and clear. I have definitely redecorated a lot… too much. It’s a problem I have always had and my husband will definitely agrees with you. We had this one apartment in New York for two years which I redecorated three times. Talk about psychotic! I can see how sharing the same spaces over and over can be confusing on your end.

I had never thought about how that might come across as me being ungrateful for the original design or furniture within it. I promise you that is not where I’m coming from, but definitely see now how it might seem that way.

Although I’ll probably never get over my serial decorating bug, I want you all to know that every time I redo a room or a space, I love it at the time which is why I share it. My lifelong problem is that I get sick of things quickly. Anel jokes every time we put a carpet down that it will be up again in six months.

Luckily, I’m at a place now where I feel really happy with everything we’ve done in the house so far and I promised Anel that I’m going to take a break for a while. The only exception is the nursery which I’m finishing up as we speak. I look forward to sharing that with you soon. It’s already feeling like the most magical room in the house.

“Can you please stop hiding your face in photos? It’s weird.” – Instagram follower
Ha! Fair point. I’m not really sure why I do this strange blogger habit on Instagram, but if you’ve noticed that I’m doing it more in the last few months, it’s probably because sometimes my face has been getting really bloated and puffy lately, and when that falls on a shoot day, I feel really self conscious about it. I will be more aware of this, and try to show you my pearly whites more often though. Deal?

“You were so authentic and relatable in your Snapchat Q&As but then you stopped. I don’t feel connected to you anymore.” – Instagram and Snapchat followers (I paraphrased a few different comments)
I actually really miss doing Q&As, but I kind of fell off the Snapchat bandwagon when Instagram Stories came along. But thank you for the nudge, because I’ll be doing my first ever Instagram Q&A tonight!

Be sure to stop by and ask a question if you haven’t already but DMing me. I probably won’t make it a weekly thing but monthly is highly likely if this one goes well.

Note (added 9:46pm): I want to be really clear that the reader who emailed me was kind and respectful. She was coming from a good place and I have no hard feelings towards her!

In the spirit of transparency, I’ll let it be known that I had to take exactly 32 photos standing on my desk chair, to get the shot above!

  • Ashley Vickney

    Julia I love this! Thanks so much for telling us why you partnered with certain brands. I know pregnancy can be exhausting, so thank you so much for posting regularly and not just about mama content (but I actually do like it even though I’m not there yet!) This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read from a blogger, and on of the reasons you quickly became my favorite one!
    xx
    Ashley

  • Julie

    Thanks for addressing concerns like this. So many other bloggers need to do this. It is getting old where bloggers only show the great and make readers believe that their lives are so perfect and great. It is just so unrealistic and annoying. So I love when bloggers (like you) break up the pretty photos and remind readers that life is much more than a pretty perfect kitchen or outfit.

  • I commend you for answering such hard-hitting questions with honesty and understanding. I recently did a Q&A on my blog and while some of the questions were tough, I know a lot of them came from a place of curiosity, and others came from a place of not understanding blogging as a business. Looking forward to more on Instagram tonight 🙂 I hope your Monday is off to a great start!

    26 and Not Counting

    • Thanks! I know they’re not all coming from a bad place, which is why I addressed them. The mean ones? Forget it! I refuse to even comment on those anymore because people are just nuts 🙂

  • Lillie

    Oh for the love of all that is good and holy… do people not have anything better to do??
    As I recall, you got to stay at the freaking Sarasota Ritz when you did the OJ thing. Who wouldn’t say yes to that? And why do people feel the need to question whether you actually drink OJ or not. And a lot of times your room redecorating has partnerships along with them. Of course you are going to share that. It’s how you make your living! You can’t just feature the same products over and over and make money at it. We all have the choice to read or not read various blogs or individual posts. I don’t read every word you write. I’m sorry, but haters gonna hate. By the way, I do miss your Q&A’s. I just figured you were overwhelmed with pregnancy.

  • Brittany Olander

    this is so awesome of you- but also, people can be crazy judgemental behind their keyboards so don’t take it to heart too much! i love your blog, and appreciate all the thought and effort that goes into it!

    xo, brittany
    my budget friendly porch makeover is on my blog today!
    http://www.notablob.com

  • Ilana

    I felt a need to comment after reading this post. I was in shock to hear about some of the negative feedback you got. People can be so harsh!! You are brave enough to put your life out on display in an honest, authentic way and I just cannot wrap my head around the criticism? I love you more bc even though you’re “healthy” you’ll still drink orange juice. (Which id hardly call unhealthy. It’s just not kale ha).

    My feelings were hurt for you. Keep being yourself and doing what you do. Never apologize for it! When you bring a baby into the world, everyone will have a thought abt what they perceive you are doing “wrong.” You do so much right and you do everything w honesty and integrity.

    • Thanks Ilana! I so appreciate that. I think that the girl who wrote me the email was coming from a good place. But the others… not always so nice 🙂

  • Love how honest you are in posts like this, Julia! It makes you so relatable and I can’t wait to see your Q & A!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

  • Leighzies

    People are so petty about the FREE content they consume. You do you, girl. Redecorate all you want. Drink all the juice and eat all the cheese.

    • Hahaha eating all the cheese will not be a problem. Trust!

  • I love you and your blog Julia! You have always been one of my favorites to read and part of that is because I think you are so authentic. Please know that you have an incredible blog and business, and those comments are definitely valid, but also coming from what I would not believe to be the majority of your readers. If everyone felt this way about you and your brand, you wouldn’t have something so amazing going on! You’re incredible to write this post and I admire that so much. Don’t worry about it too much and don’t try to change for what other people don’t like.

    Also… I can totally relate to the 32 pictures, haha! You’re the best.

    xoxo,
    Fran
    franacciardo.com

    • Thanks Frannie! I really appreciate that 🙂

  • Anytime I no longer appreciate a blog’s content I quit reading it. If a post looks inauthentically sponsored or something I’m insecure about, I skip that post. For example, because I would personally love to have your ‘before’ kitchen, I didn’t read the post about your remodel. I guess I’m saying I don’t understand the need to call you out about that stuff. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s your blog, you get to decide what to talk about. Although, I will say I appreciate the full transparency!

    • That makes total sense! I’m the same way with the blogs I read but it seems like not everyone is like us 🙂

  • Virginia Merati

    I loved reading your responses taking on the tough critics! I really enjoy your blog but have to say it did feel a little off when you were gushing over a natural/organic OJ on your instastories this weekend, knowing you were just sponsored to gush about Tropicana a few weeks ago.

    Your typical transparency and the fact that you are so approachable are two of the reasons why I keep coming back. Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

    • Hi Virginia! Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. Just want to ask a question because I’m curious, not because I’m disagreeing with you:

      In my Instastory, I mentioned that I drink OJ with seltzer but happened to have a different brand… like you said. Is it expected that after I do a sponsored post with a brand (any kind of brand) that I only use them going forward? That doesn’t feel realistic for me, but wondering why it bothers readers on your end!

      Thank you for continuing to come back to read. It makes me happier than you can know 🙂

      • Virginia Merati

        Absolutely, ask away – I love OJ and the idea of adding it to seltzer for a mocktail, and I even happened to previously work for one of those brands you featured, so it’s near and dear to my heart!

        As a reader, I think that it was just the timing of things that felt a bit off to me. If I recall, you did the sponsored posts just a few weeks ago (that you mentioned the emailer felt was a little off-brand for you already because it’s so processed) and in such quick succession featured another brand on your instastories this weekend while that sponsorship is still fresh in readers’ minds, without really addressing why you would pick this brand over the other. Your wallet, your discretion of course, I think it’s just because the sponsorship was so recent that it stood out.

        Totally understand this is your primary source of income, and that readers need to understand that it’s a business, not just a personal outlet for your feelings and outfits! It really wasn’t a big deal, it just came back to me as I was reading this post and thought I would share. Thanks for caring what readers think, and for responding to feedback!

        • That makes sense, thank you for explaining! It’s nice to be able to understand things from a reader’s perspective. Thank you for being so nice in the way you expressed yourself 🙂 xo

  • Dana Mannarino

    I totally appreciate this post Julia! While I can understand some people’s ignorance about blogging as a business, some people are just SO rude. It’s your blog, your content and although people may not love or agree with everything you post – it’s still YOUR space. I’ve always thought you were one of the more authentic bloggers out there, so I really see some of those comments as ignorance, misunderstanding, and jealousy.

    Keep up the great work, lady! Xx

    Pink Champagne Problems

    • Thanks Dana! Just FYI the girl who wrote the email was not rude at all, but some of the other commenters. Yikes!!!

  • Kasey

    People felt you were inauthentic because you drank orange juice?! Seriously! I enjoy your blog so much! And I have to say we are in completely different points in our lives (I’m a mom of 3, done being pregnant, etc.) but my point is I enjoy SO much of your content. I love learning new things and have picked up some great tips on food, etc. As another reader put it, if a particular topic doesn’t pertain to an individual.. don’t read and move on. Once the baby comes, you’ll understand that negative feedback on your OJ or cheese eating is just plain silly. Thanks for your work.

    • Yes! I think having a baby will put a lot into perspective. That being said, I respect my readers a lot, so I want to make sure I’m addressing any potential issues. So glad you’re loving my content. That means a lot to me!

  • Bee

    I really admire you for taking the high road and viewing this feedback as an opportunity for growth. Without knowing you, that alone tells me that you are a very sweet and authentic person. However, I have regrettably read some of the threads on the forum you referenced (not yours in particular) and have seen nothing but nastiness there. I think that if someone has constructive criticism they would like to offer, they need to be an adult and say it directly to you. Posting nasty comments on an anonymous forum is not the way to go about it. I hope you won’t take their comments to heart too much.

    Keep doing you! I’m a relatively new reader and I absolutely love your content 🙂

    • Thank you Bee, that is so nice of you to say! I agree that GOMI is hurtful… And I don’t fully understand it to be honest. I try to avoid it at all costs, especially now because when I’m stressed, the baby gets stressed (seriously she kicks so hard!).

      The email was actually kind and respectful, which is why I addressed it!

      • Bee

        I’m glad to hear that last part 🙂 Hope you’re feeling less stressed.

  • Alyssa Thomas

    I think it’s great that you’re addressing feedback so openly! At the same time, I have to tell you that I think you’re the most authentic blogger out there! Thank you for sharing all that you do. I love your content!

  • BeaJG

    I gotta say whoever sent you that email seems extremely petty to me… I mean honestly… I love reading different kinds of blogs (I love yours in particular because it feels really relatable to me, like Im reading about one of my friend’s life)…but I would never take offense or feel ‘betrayed’ (sort of speak) because you choose to advertise whatever you like/use… If she really dislikes that many things about your blog, here’s a suggestion: don’t read it!! There’s plenty of content out there that Im sure will please her…
    Anyway, kudos on taking the high road and actually addressing it head on and with your signature honesty…
    Greetings from Mexico (let me tell you, you have gathered quite the readership fanbase around here) and congrats on your baby girl!!
    PS STOP READING THOSE HATEFUL BLOGS, THE ONLY REASON THEY EXIST IS SO THAT PETTY, HATEFUL PEOPLE HAVE A PLACE TO VENT.

    • She was actually very kind and respectful! She was coming from a good place, and as a long time reader was concerned about some changes. That’s why I decided to address it in the end.

      I so appreciate that you follow along and LOVE that I’m relatable to you. That makes me so happy!

      And yes, I’ll stop reading GOMI now, I promise xoxo

  • Molly

    Absorbing and responding to feedback is SO hard sometimes! Kudos to you for taking it on! I get a lot of written feedback in my work as well and I feel like it doesn’t get easier. I once heard someone say that they have a trusted friend read the comments and feedback (like on that nasty forum you reference) and then that friend will pick out the things that are constructive and say, “Ok THIS comment has some helpful feedback” or be able to recognize overall themes. Then you don’t get stuck in the nasty spiral, but you can still use the feedback to improve!

    And cheers to you for putting yourself out there to begin with. A lot of these critics would be too afraid to share their thoughts and ideas with the world when their real name and likeness are behind it. I feel like that takes a lot of guts!

    PS – I LOVED the Q&As but I’ve also fallen off the Snapchat wagon, so glad you’re doing one on Instagram!

  • Lindsay

    Do you have a post about your whey allergy – symptoms, how you discovered, any concrete medical diagnosis? Or if you have a post already, can you tag it here? I have increasing food allergies/intolerance as the years go on which I know because I eliminate things from my diet, not because the doctor tells me I’m sick (they all say I’m healthy and should feel fine!) But I too don’t have the issues while pregnant – gluten is a big one that I can’t handle any more but when I’m pregnant bring on all the breads! haha I’m thinking the root is my immune system and it’s suppressed to a certain degree when prego, but that’s a longer conversation. Anyway – any info on how you discovered your Whey allergy would be great! (and you totally need a candid shot of you sitting on the sofa, feet up, cheese and bread in hand with an “oh no, he caught” me expression posted) 🙂 Love your stuff!

    • Hi Lindsay! I don’t have a post like that, no. I’ve always had pretty severe stomach issues and when I finally tried cutting dairy (about 10 years ago), they went away completely. Lactaid never worked but cutting the dairy did so turns out it was whey the whole time. Crazy.

      I suggest trying elimination diets to see what makes you feel better or worse. I know how hard it can be to not be sure what’s making you not feel great. Good luck!

      • Hey babe! Just wanted to chime in that it could also be the casein in the dairy (casein = the protein whereas lactose = the sugar in the dairy). For me, that’s why I have to be gluten free and dairy free (their molecular structure is very similar and also very similar to thyroid hormone, causing the immune system to attack and make everything worse and causing leaky gut/stomach issues).

        Your experience and Lindsay’s comment here is really interesting because I know that hormones are playing a huge part every month in making things worse for me with my Hashimoto’s. And now here the two of you are saying something that leads me to believe that indeed hormones are such a huge factor in all of this. Let’s put our heads together and win the Nobel Peace Prize or something for our group discovery. 😉

        p.s. You rock at how address the feedback, but your content is 100%. Don’t sweat the few haters.

  • Hadassah Starken

    Literally EVERYONE with a job has to do things sometimes that they aren’t 100% thrilled about or that don’t feel are completely, authentically “them”. I ghostwrite fiction as a freelancer, and I can guarantee every project that comes across my desk isn’t necessarily something I would read on my own. But money does not grow on trees, and this is my income. No one tells a lawyer they can only take cases that they completely believe in, or tell a doctor they must only treat the type of patient that interests them the most, or insist that teachers love every single facet of the material they cover. But for some reason, when your work is unconventional or artistic, you’re suddenly expected to produce only things that are completely “authentic”…whatever that means.

    Girl, just do you. You have a gorgeous life and the freedom that comes with creating your own career, and people will always be jealous of or criticize that. When they pay your bills (and I don’t mean just click on things, I mean actually cut you a check) then they can complain about you drinking more than one kind of orange juice. I mean really. How ridiculous.

  • graceatwood

    Aw sending hugs from Brooklyn.

    You do such an amazing job with your blog Julia (and work so hard at it), I know it’s hard to hear criticism. I think you are killing it with your content – sponsored and non (and doing such a good job staying authentic) but think it’s so admirable how you are addressing criticism.

    I really think that we can learn a lot from negative (constructive) feedback (as hard as it is… I know I have learned!) and actually think it’s kind of awesome that a reader took the time to email you and have a conversation with you (as opposed to anon commenting on your blog or posting in a forum, ha ha)

    Love you! xoxo

  • WOw you are brave …KUDOS to you for responding! I know about said forum….luckily i haven’t been a victim yet ::fingers crossed:: i think people dont understand sometimes….no one is perfect…..but we are human and when we feel less than stellar we dont always want to post our face online…….I really just dont get why there are forums like this bashing people though

    Erica Valentin
    http://www.ericavalentin.com

  • Anne

    Julia,
    I don’t have feedback about your performance lately, but I wanted to mention how I appreciate your transparent, critical approach to feedback. Even if you don’t change your tactics or business plans because of feedback (and honestly, I don’t think you SHOULD change everything solely based on readership opinions – that seems like a surefire way to run your business into the ground), I appreciate how you thoughtfully consider why you do things the way you do. In engaging in this exercise, it seems that you either solidify your rationale for your actions, or, if your rationale is weaker than the feedback, you make changes that fit your business and your readership (and don’t compromise your business philosophy). I’m impressed with your willingness to listen, reflect, and THEN either make changes or stand firm in your practices.

  • Sandy Mahler

    I love that you wrote this post. Your honesty and love of authenticity comes across to me in your blog in every post! I don’t mind when you do sponsored posts (how else would you pay the bills? 🙂 ) but sometimes I scroll through those posts a little quicker than others. None of your posts have ever bothered me, so don’t let the haters get you down! Your posts are gorgeous, and I love reading them. And, I love cheese, but cheese doesn’t always love me. So I totally feel you on that one! <3

  • Rachel Machen

    Really appreciate this post. I’m an avid blog follower and I have to say that I’ve started to agree with some of the criticism that you’re receiving-mostly because it feels like you have really switched gears from the girl I could relate to so much to another girl who I don’t share the same outlook anymore. For me personally, I think the biggest issue that you receive negative feedback for is the constant talk about pregnancy. As a woman struggling with infertility, I related so much to you last year when you were so honest and transparent about your struggles. You seemed so sensitive to the difficulties that come with the infertility journey and I’m sure you gained a lot of followers along the way because of this (that’s how I started closely following you). The unfortunate side is now the dialogue is 100% in the other direction. While I am so happy for you that you are pregnant, it feels like every post and every IG is focused on Baby Baby Baby. I just truly can’t relate anymore. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your pregnancy, excited for your future and posting some about that. But don’t forget all of us that were in the same club of struggle that rallied with you in your hard times. We can’t buy maternity clothes or strollers or read books about pregnancy but we still can relate to posts about de-cluttering your life, relieving stress, career advice, etc. I hope this comes off as genuine and sincere because I think you have such an awesome opportunity to really impact women’s lives and you’ve done that so much already.

    • Hi Rachel! Thank you so much for this comment. I’m so sorry if I’ve come across as insensitive to anyone trying to conceive. As you can imagine, that is something that I would never want to do. I appreciate your honesty and the way you stated our opinion in a kind and respectful way.

      I hear you that I can be over the top in talking about pregnancy and I’ll keep it in mind for the future, weaving in more non-baby/prego related content to keep a good balance.

      I also want to say that I’m so sorry that you’re struggling with infertility, and I’m sending you prayers and good vibes from Connecticut. I know what a difficult time it can be, and I hope you’re able to stay hopeful and positive. Hang in there!

      Much love, xo

      • If I may chime in here, I would just like to say that it seems the number one thing readers want from bloggers is authenticity (and this certainly seems to be the primary feedback you’ve been receiving). If that’s the case, they have to also accept that what is authentic for you right now is excitement about motherhood. It’s just not possible to be all things to all people, and I started reading when you announced your pregnancy and look forward to every bit of pregnancy and motherhood content. I’m not saying you should write any more for me than you do the ladies struggling with infertility, but I am saying that readers have to be reasonable about you creating content about your actual life.

        • Rachel Machen

          I agree with you, which is why I said there’s nothing wrong with posting some about it. But a year or so ago, Julia had posts about how difficult it was to hear friends go on and on about their pregnancies and talked about how she stays positive with all of this. And like it or not, but the statistics show that 1 in 8 women in her age range are dealing with Fertility struggles. That’s significant enough to be sensitive to the group she used to be a part of. Her miscarriage post went viral and so much of her story for a while was about her struggles with getting pregnant. It was a part of her life at the time. I think its wonderful that she is enjoying her pregnancy – she absolutely deserves it! I know that when you wait so long for something you desire, you have an even deeper appreciation when you get it. As a woman that truly relates to the struggles she went through, I am more than elated for her. I think the point I was trying to make is that at one point, she was struggling with how to manage all the Pregnancy and baby talk she was surrounded by and I just had hopes that she would not completely switch gears, simply out of sensitivity to the feelings she once shared with a large portion of her followers.

          • Hi Rachel! Just want to chime in one more time here with some advice. I know how hard this time in life can be, and my advice is to avoid ANYTHING that makes you feel sad or anxious… One of my best friends in the whole world had a baby at around the time when my first one was due and I literally couldn’t visit her for a full year.

            She totally understood, of course, but I knew for my own sanity, I had to avoid the situation.

            As much as it pains me to say it because you seem so great, I would suggest not reading blogs where the blogger is pregnant or has a baby for a little while. I did that because it just hurt too much. I felt better, not seeing all they were going through.

            I’m not sure if that helps, and obviously do what is right for you!

  • Bravo, you for this post! It’s so hard to read criticism and a real exercise to think critically about it and then address it. You do an incredible job with your content & are an ongoing inspiration to me!

  • Katelin Desai

    I think was a very brave post – it can be so difficult to receive constructive feedback, and I can only imagine how much harder that becomes in such a public forum!

    I would like to offer one twist on some of the feedback you received. Your blog is definitely one of my go to places when I want a recommendation for a clean and natural product. That being said, I really appreciate the fact that not ever.y.thing. you post is clean or natural. In my opinion that would feel so un-relatable and unattainable! It’s a great goal and something I certainly work toward, but to me it feels more “real” and genuine to have a mixture. Just my opinion 🙂

    Also, I really sympathize with how difficult it must be to balance your content as you go through your pregnancy. I too struggled to get pregnant and am now about 31 weeks (just behind you). In my personal life it can be such a struggle to balance my desire to sensitive to those struggling, while also wanting to celebrate this new life and my own excitement. Once again, I can only imagine how much harder that becomes when you are putting yourself out there on the internet. Kudos on doing your best!

    Very excited you are brining back Q&A!!!

  • Ashley

    I sat here nodding my head as I read this and empathize with what you’re going through Julia but am SO proud of your response. I’ve had some readers email me about the whole natural thing because, during pregnancy, I discussed making it more of a focus. However, more of a focus doesn’t mean 100% in any way! Keep on doing what you’re doing! xo

  • lisa

    You’re one of the most realest bloggers out here! I guess the above should be taken as “tips” to further enhance your blog. But, I think you could give most if not all bloggers a run for their money in terms of honesty, transparency, written content and realistic photos. I find you totally relatable. Keep doing you Julia because you’re doing a great job!

    • Thank you so much Lisa! I really appreciate that.

  • Julie Beattie

    Very well said! For what it’s worth, I’ve been a reader for a few years now and I’ve never felt you were taking on too many sponsorships or being inauthentic. This is your job! It’s obviously quite intertwined with your personal life, but there are still business decisions to consider. As for the redecorating, I’m right there with you! I actually love that you post decoration posts fairly regularly, it’s easier to find inspiration if I happen to be working on a similar room in my home. (Much to my husband’s dismay!)

    • Thanks Julie! I’m glad someone shares my redecorating problem and I’m not the only crazy one haha. Our poor husbands 🙂

  • Taylor Martin

    Thanks so much for deciding to share this with us!

    I’m a (part time) yoga teacher and the biggest part of teaching yoga is receiving feedback from students. While blogging and yoga are clearly not related (hah), I always remember this advice I got from my leader during our training – feedback is like trying on clothes on in a store. Some things might fit you and some items won’t fit you at all. You leave with what you chose to leave with, the items that fit you.

    I think that’s so important to remember, especially here. You don’t have to conform to fit what ever negative reader says. You may adjust your content slightly but if it’s not who you are, or doesn’t fit your personality then whatever! It’s your blog at the end of the day. You’ll still have plenty of readers who still support you and the content you choose.

    Another note just because I saw this in the comments here, I love reading your blog and we’re in completely two stages of our lives – I’m 25, single, living in Chicago! I love reading blogs of people who have lives so different from mine, just as a little escape throughout the day 🙂

    Thanks again Julia! Have a wonderful week.

    XO,
    Taylor

  • Claire Hayes

    You are the only blogger I follow and I adore your authenticy and all of your content. I did do an eyebrow lift to your Tropicana endeavor, but who would turn down that opportunity?! Plus, what people neglect to see are the hidden positives that some of these “non organic” brands offer! Enjoy your successes and partnerships-it’s very inspiring to watch your business evolve. Keep doing you, girl! And we will keep reading.

  • Julia Zaborowski-Casper

    Hey Julia…I don’t read your blog super regularly but have found myself reading it more since I started watching your Insta stories. I am newish NYC mama to a one year old little girl and have loved following along during your pregnancy. While I don’t know you personally I have always thought your blog feels completely authentic and it pains me that you have people emailing you directly and criticizing you and your work. Your blog is your space that you create and share with all of us. As you become a mother please don’t listen to this noise, choose the projects that sound interesting to you, share the pictures you feel most confident in and make your home exactly how you want it! These people have too much time on their hands if they’re going out of their way to criticize you. They should use that time to figure out why they are doing that. Enjoy this last part of your pregnancy (as much as possible I know it’s not the most comfortable stretch), you’re going to be a wonderful mother! xo

  • Christine

    I admit I was a bit surprised by the OJ partnerships, because I feel like anything but cold pressed juice is considered unhealthy now. I’m an RD so I understand it’s loaded with sugar and calories, but I personally love juice in moderation. I enjoyed seeing you promote it and I love the tip to mix it with seltzer water. It’s a recommendation I frequently make to my patients and I can’t wait to try mixing it with passion fruit! Yum! Honestly, when I read your most recent post my main take away was a reminder that it’s a great source of folate while pregnant or trying to get pregnant!

  • Haha maybe I should start doing other peoples’ homes so mine gets a break LOL 🙂

  • kottavio

    This post bums me out (specifically the feedback). I like to stick with the old adage: if you don’t like it, go somewhere else. Truthfully, I personally can’t relate to everything you write, so I pick and choose from your posts which I’d like to read. Will I learn something new that would be useful to me? Does the subject matter, or photo entice me? Yes? Then I read through. If I don’t, I bypass. I’ve read and found a lot of fantastic stuff here! Obviously your readers are who you ultimately write for, but none of us stay the exact same as we grow older. Our preferences change. Our lives change. Our allergies change for the love! Live your life, build your empire, share what you’d like, and if people don’t like it, that’s says much more about them than it does of you.

  • Jessica

    Julia, You are so authentic and insightful. I really do appreciate you addressing everyone here, and even taking the time to read GOMI. Even though there are some hateful comments in that site, it is entertaining because many of the things that people observe are truly the things that bother them the most, and if people portray themselves on a blog that way, that is how readers will see them.

    I want you to know that I actually found your site through Cupcakes and Cashmere many years ago, and used to be a huge fan of Emily’s. However, I no longer am because of how I don’t feel that she appreciates her fans like you do. I also feel like her content is too fake and she does not address genuine concerns- she is too flippant to criticism and instead hides them, even if they are not hateful or mean. To be a blogger is to put your words/and interests in a public forum, and with that you have to take the negative with the positive. It is how we all grow.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I really see how YOU have grown over the years. I am over the moon for your pregnancy, and I wish you genuine joy and blessings in your upcoming journeys. You are an inspiration and I wish more bloggers would follow your lead.

  • Valliere

    Though I 100% support freedom of speech and have always found constructive criticism to be a good thing as it is a way to learn and grow in a direction i might not have followed, I find forums like GOMI to be nothing but a site for people to pick apart and be nasty and critical about others whom are out there doing, creating and just being them. No one forces anyone to read a blog. If you are not enjoying the content, then move on. Julia you are so honest and open and this blog is your job. You don’t need to please everyone with what sponsors you accept or justify your decisions. You have created a wonderful blog, that might not be for everyone, but as you can see there are a lot of readers whom look forward to reading it everyday.

  • Julia, I admire you for directly addressing the feedback you’ve been receiving and being open and honest about it. It’s not easy to put yourself out there knowing that you risk being criticized and misunderstood. I think you handled this situation with grace and humility and I’m sure your readers truly appreciate that. Keep doing you! You’re one of the most authentic and kind bloggers out there!

    Taffeta & Tulips

  • Christina

    While receiving constructive criticism can be difficult, especially if the tone around it is negative, it really is the best way to learn how others perceive you and how well you are doing your job in the eyes of others. I can speak from experience here. In a previous job I was at for nearly 10 years each year for our annual review peer reviews were a part of it and were sent to everyone we worked with in the company. These were anonymous and there was a part where they (my colleagues) could write in open-ended feedback (the company also did this with each client I handled as well). There were years I got some harsh feedback that was difficult to read and was delivered in a mean-spirited way. At first I was hurt and would get defensive but every year I always made it a point to go back and read each previous year’s remarks and sure enough as time passed by, and the sting from the harshness of the delivery softened, I could usually see where the criticism was coming from and I would use it as a way to continue to improve my performance.

    I know you are getting a lot of positive support here, and that is great that you have a community that loves and supports you so much, but I do think taking constructive criticism into account when it is part of your job is always a good thing. Not everyone always delivers it in the nicest way, but I have always learned from it.

  • Jennifer Peden

    I love your blog and all other forms of social! I don’t think you are inauthentic at all! I love all of your recommendations and just bought all the baby books you recommended as I am 13 weeks pregnant! Thank you so much for sharing your journey! I can’t wait to hear your recommendations on baby gear! 🙂

  • Verhanika

    Thank you for doing this. I don’t share all the sentiments the email brought up, but it reminds me of a similar thing I did with another blogger I adored, The Fitnessista. She totally blew me off, citing how haters are going to hate and missing the point about reader feedback and ultimately lost readers and customers in me and my friend group. It known it’s hard to address these sorts of things when you do have legitimate assholes writing things about you for lots of dumb reasons. To sort out the valuable feedback is hard, but reading this made me just that much more happy to stay a Lemon Stripes reader. Thanks for being an example of how to take criticism well, Julia. I look forward to all of your posts on subjects like this.

  • Elspeth Fergusson

    Hi Julia!
    I actually never comment on blog posts, but felt SUPER compelled to throw in my 2 cents here. I just can’t get over how nit-picky people are (really? OJ and home décor?). I don’t know why I am surprised anymore, but somehow EVERY. TIME. I. AM.
    You are a HUMAN who is ever-changing and evolving, as we all are! Opinions change, styles change, feelings change – that’s called life and growing up – that’s the BEAUTY of life! You have every right to change the way you eat, or the way you decorate your house and it’s crazy to me that that translates to “in-authentic” for some people as if they have never changed or evolved themselves. As another reader commented, everyone is absorbing your content for FREE, they should feel grateful that they get a peek into your fun-filled life and should loosen up! If blogs are the be-all-end-all gospel to their lives then they need to get out and explore more!
    Keep doing you – the people who come to your site for great travel content, fun shopping tip-offs, baby watch and just to get a nice break from the work day (me) appreciate you!
    PS I work in interior design and I am CONSTANTLY changing up my home. If that makes me “in-authentic” then so be it! 🙂
    Elle
    MinkSunday.com

  • you know what, girl? I’ve only just come across your blog but you seem more transparent than some of the other ‘big bloggers’ out there. Instead of just ignoring constructive criticism or taking it personally, you’ve addressed it & seem to be genuinely trying to make things right. for that, I commend you!

    xo, kaeleen
    http://www.withdignityandcoffee.com

  • Hey there, Evan here! I really love a glass of good OJ right after a glass of milk xd Is that unusual?