Advice + Discussions

New Year, New Beginnings

Goodbye, 2017.  Hello, 2018.

I postponed the start of my New Year by a few days.  I’m never ready for fresh starts on the 1st; I need a little time to gather my thoughts and make plans.

Back Like I Never Left.  I’m headed back to D.C. in the early spring.  The search for employment and housing has already begun.  Moving cross-country is an endeavor, so it’ll take a while to sort it out.

The quiet life doesn’t really suit me.  I need a sense of purpose.  Since making this decision, I’ve felt more like myself than I have in months.

#FridayFitClub.  A month of being sick (sinus infection) has erased any fitness gains I made before the New Year.  I’m restarting my journey to get healthy and fit in the New Year, and I hope you’ll join me.  We’ll all be more successful if we stick together.

The Work Edit.  A lot of my fellow bloggers have been talking over the past few weeks how things have changed in the blog business.  Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, none of these things existed when we started and we’re all a little burnt out from trying to keep up.  Add to that the constant pressure to make profit and take on sponsorships, and it’s sucking the joy out of what used to be a creative passion.

But no more.

What made this blog successful was that I loved writing it.  When you ladies helped me build this great community, it made blogging so fulfilling.  So I’m going to harness what I love about blogging and leave the rest behind.  I don’t need a million followers or sponsored trips to the beach.  I need to write the posts I’d want to read and build something I’m proud of.

Embracing New Beginnings.  In honor of my impending move and my recommitment to making this blog great again, I thought about changing the name back to Capitol Hill Style.  But I decided against it.

I loved the name Cap Hill Style, and I still do.  But I changed it to make the blog more inclusive for women who don’t work on the Hill, and I still want that.  So I’m returning to CHS ethos under the current name.  Look for new features, oldies but goodies, career advice, and more opportunities to connect with your fellow readers.  Stay tuned.

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    39 comments

  1. Susan says:

    Excited for the new year updates! And congrats! Don’t worry about the multiple social media outlets thing…as a long time reader, I first and foremost look forward to the blog posts. While I’ve appreciated your efforts w giveaways and IG stuff, the truth is, as a working mom, I don’t have a ton of time for that. Videos and such are hard to watch in office space. Stick with what you’re good at, don’t worry, we OG stans will be thrilled!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  2. Shannon says:

    Thank you for sharing honestly (as always). I’m selfishly happy you’re remaining in the blogging space. It would be lesser without you. Yet, I would be sad if you did it while hating it. Aren’t we all trying to find our own, personal happy place and help each other find theirs as well?

    …so you do you but keep it fresh for yourself also, to continue inspiring the rest of us. Looking forward to the future updates!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  3. Emily says:

    I love your blog and appreciate that you have kept it up and stick to your real themes – it is what has kept me as a long daily time reader.

    This is none of my business, but I’m also curious – are you and Kyle staying together? My boyfriend is moving away for work and we are going to do the LDR. I’d love to hear your advice, if applicable, on how to maintain the relationship. I’m sorry if that’s too personal of a question.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
    • anna says:

      I’m in year three of a cross country relationship. He’s actually near Spokane. It sucks, especially since there aren’t direct flights, so weekend trips are nearly impossible unless we meet in Seattle, and our work schedules are pretty much opposite. Technology helps, also the fact that we were together for a while before he moved out there. It was also much easier when work was kind of crazy, because there were so many distractions. It’s really hard when I have more free time or when things are tough, and I want to just go home and be in his arms. Ultimately, having him in my life but far away is better than not having him in it, and I know we’ll be together eventually, it’s just a matter of logistics.

      January 8, 2018/Reply
      • Belle says:

        Two friends of mine were apart for two years of dating and one year of marriage. He was in Chicago, she in Boston. They’ve been married almost a decade. Some couples just make it work. Good luck to you.

        January 8, 2018/Reply
      • emILY says:

        Thank you for the comment, Anna. I really appreciate how a blog like this can bring so many women together. Sending warm wishes to you as you go through the LDR <3

        January 8, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      He is currently planning to move to DC as well, but that obviously depends on ability to find a job. So some things are still up in the air.

      January 8, 2018/Reply
      • emILY says:

        Thank you for the honesty, Belle – yet another reason I love this blog as its a real woman and not just a fantasy world like some of the other blogs. Well wishes as you return to DC – I’m rooting for you!

        January 8, 2018/Reply
  4. Shannon says:

    Belle (I will always call you Belle),
    This post made my day. I truly understand getting burnt out and just wanted to let you know how much this space means to me. It also means a lot because so much of what I’ve bought the past few years came from recommendations found here! Happy to hear you’re headed back to D.C. – I don’t know you personally but it seems to suit you more. While the world may rage on about Instagram, Pinterest, and whatever else – I still read the really great blogs religiously and wish there were more of them. I get burnt out following everything else. Thanks again for what you do.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  5. anna says:

    I don’t feel particularly strongly about the name change either way, but I am consistently amused that whenever I type “the work edit” in the url, I read it as the “the worked it.”

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  6. HMS says:

    I echo others by saying this is the only blog I follow daily and appreciate your honesty over beach photos that make me depressed as I sit at my desk. Could you go more into your job search and move process to DC? In the middle of doing the same and looking for any advice on the entire process. Thanks!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  7. Sof says:

    Congrats on the decision, and welcome back to DC!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  8. s-p-c says:

    Sounds great – love the blog, and it should be exactly what you want it to be. It’s one of my favorite places on the internet. Best of luck and looking forward to your return to D.C.!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  9. AK says:

    Pls don’t feel pressured to keep up. Your advice is practical, smart, and is applicable to REAL LIFE, not a three day trip to Cabo that was put on an almost maxed out credit card. Thank you for being an adult with the rest of us who also are!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
    • HH says:

      This.

      January 8, 2018/Reply
  10. M says:

    Congratulations on the impending move! I have been reading your blog for years and I’m sure whatever content you love writing, I’ll love reading.

    I’m still in for Friday Fit Club too. I was also sick in December and it really slowed me down. But now I’m starting again — slowly but surely.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  11. Kate says:

    Welcome back to DC! Excited to see what 2018 brings for you and the blog!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  12. Sarah E Sabshon says:

    Congrats! Lots of exciting developments for you–we’re looking forward to cheering you on.

    I’ll echo another commenter–would love to hear the details about apartment and job hunting, and some lessons learned/tips/advice.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  13. MOnica T says:

    Happy New Year! Blogging in all those arenas does make it seem like a full time job, I hope that you are to continue the blog for as long as you truly enjoy it. Good luck on all your New Year endeavors!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  14. Emily says:

    So excited for all these new things for you in 2018 and looking forward to following along!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  15. Mae says:

    As a fellow Washingtonian I am excited to hear that you are moving back! I have followed your blog for more then four years now. Are you planning on doing any meetups once you get settled? I would love an opportunity to meet in person.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m planning one or two in March. I’ll post more about them later.

      January 8, 2018/Reply
  16. Rachel says:

    I second the request for a post about your move back to DC! I am currently here for a rotation and trying to decide if I’d like to come back permanently in the near future. The cost-of-living increase (I didn’t think it could get more expensive than Chicago!) and unique job market are giving me second thoughts. I hope the best for you in 2018!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  17. Emily says:

    This is outstanding news. So happy for you and the blog! I’ve been an avid reader for years now and I can feel how excited you are through the post. Looking forward to more updates and great advice as usual. Thanks for reminding us all to find our purpose and that it’ll bring us joy.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  18. Sarah says:

    Happy 2018 Abra. Be proud and stick true. Your blog was something I read on occasion, but as a non DC cap hill working attorney, I didn’t think it was for me. But it is for me and now it is my go-to. And I am grateful for your lack of sponsorships. As an advertising law attorney, I know how bogus this is. I appreciate your unvarnished advice. I have learned so much from you – keep it up!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m considering three partnerships in the New Year, all with brands I already know, love, and promote. But there will be NO one-off sponsorships. Zero, ever.

      January 8, 2018/Reply
      • Sue says:

        As a long-time reader, I think you’ve got a great balance on sponsorships and partnerships vs independent content. You’re always clear when it’s sponsored, up-front about whatever arrangement you may have made, and not too heavy on the advertiser copy. Keep it up!

        January 9, 2018/Reply
  19. Kris says:

    Congratulations on making some big decisions! Happy for you to be doing what makes you happy. I’m excited to for continued great content in the new year. My favorite blog! I look forward to reading each day.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  20. Rachel C says:

    Good luck on your move and refinding your love of blogging in 2018. I’ve committed to trying to be my best self and live my best life in 2018. A big portion of that is learning to be healthish (thanks you Franish http://www.franishtheblog.com for the phrase) and accepting that I’m not going back to my college size 2. At 33, I’m ok with that. I’m looking forward to FridayFitClub and everything else in store for the year!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  21. Rhianna says:

    Congrats on the move back. I am happy for the name staying the same. I am not, nor ever plan to be, in DC or in politics, but I love the career advice. Of all of your social, the one I like best is insta-stories. That said, I subscribe to your blog in Bloglovin and if you never did another insta, fb, or anything I would still follow and stay up to date.

    Thanks for all the hard work and keeping us fashionable and aware.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  22. Charlotte says:

    As a fellow DC-boomerang, welcome back! I remember reading some sci-fi novel that described the sensation of returning to your homeworld, to the gravity and atmospheric mix you were born for, and coming back to DC felt like that.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  23. Kristen says:

    Congratulations on your move! Sounds exciting.

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  24. Rachael says:

    Thank you for being honest; that is the main reason why I read your blog! In a world where nearly everything is sponsored, it is refreshing to have your genuine, intelligent insights. I’ve used dozens of the articles that you have shared to start stimulating conversations, and I have purchased many items that you’ve recommended -much to my husband’s chagrin. 😉 Keep it up, and keep it real!

    January 8, 2018/Reply
  25. Jenette says:

    I can’t wait to hear about your journey moving back to DC! I’m taking the risk and not taking the bar exam in my home state where I’m in law school to move down to DC. I got bit by the bug twice, once during an internship in undergrad and once during a clerkship in law school. My brother lives in Fairfax, but still. My friends/family sometimes psych me out (“But what if you can’t find a job?!” “You don’t know anyone!”) but I too get Zillow updates for DC/NoVa emailed to me. When I heard you say that on your Instagram story, i felt relieved I wasn’t the only one! You are such an inspiration in more ways than one!

    January 9, 2018/Reply
  26. Beatriz says:

    Wishing you the best for 2018! I look forward to another year of following your blog. And welcome back to DC! 🙂

    January 9, 2018/Reply
  27. Meghan says:

    Congratulations, Belle. I have been reading your blog for a long time and echo the sentiment of many commenters on this post – yours is one of the only blogs I still read daily because I cannot stand sponsored posts. The false sincerity drives me bonkers. I wish you lots of success, health and happiness in 2018. Looking forward to the 2018 Work Edit!

    January 9, 2018/Reply
  28. Katie says:

    Combining the first two things, when you get back to DC you might look into StarFit Studio. It offers women-only, small group personal training in a small studio setting with locations in Arlington and Alexandria. Very supportive environment and fun workouts. Each class has no more than 4 women, with another class of 4 in the slot ahead of/behind you that you overlap with for half the workout. Women of all ages, abilities, sizes, backgrounds, intensity, etc. It’s been the only thing that I’ve stuck with – and enjoyed – for more than a short time. It may be less convenient if you’re planning to be in DC proper, but if you’re considering NoVa and will have wheels… $19/session. Easy booking through the app.

    January 9, 2018/Reply
  29. Joan says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for years but this is my first comment ever. I really appreciate how true to your own voice and opinion you’ve stayed over the years. It makes me sad to see other style bloggers I follow sell out and lose that authenticity that originally attracted me to their aesthetic. I enjoy your honest take on things, peppered with just the right hint of sarcasm. Love what you’re doing and I can’t wait to see more from you! 🙂

    January 10, 2018/Reply
  30. Meghan says:

    Ahhh you’re going back to DC!!! Congrats!! Will be happy to have you back on the east coast!

    January 11, 2018/Reply