Half Light

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Top: Anthropologie Light on Petals Cami

Jeans: Pilcro Straight Leg Jeans

Belt: Anthropologie

Shoes: Kensie Girl

Necklace: Target

"And the houses hide so much, but in the half light none of us can tell. They hide the ocean in a shell." - Arcade Fire

I seemed to have caused quite the stir with yesterday's grocery store story. Some of you came to the conclusion that I had chosen fashion over food. Normally, I don't try to defend myself and just let the naysayers spout off their negativity unchallenged. However, I feel like setting the record straight about the grocery store. First of all, this was food just for me and my boyfriend, not my kids. I always purchase the kid's groceries a couple of days after I get paid. So, my children are not starving because mommy needed a new dress. Yes, I suck at finances and need to learn to budget better, but if I choose to eat Cheerios all week because I rather have a pretty dress that doesn't make me a bad person. Stupid and oh so sad to some maybe, but I tend to look at it this way: I lose weight and get a new dress. Winning! LOL!

I do need to save more for emergencies and plan on doing so, but my dad is rich, so my kids have a safety net if anything serious should arise. I don't take lavious vacations, I don't go to the beach every weekend like so many people in this area do (hell, I haven't been to the beach in 4 years), I don't give money to a church, and I don't collect knickknacks or have what society deems a "normal" hobby. I just love fashion, it makes me happy, and that's what I choose to spend around 10% of my income on. I am no longer using credit cards, so it's going to take awhile to get used to "living within my means." I wonder how many people in this day and age can say they live within their means?

It still surprises me how quickly people judge others based on something they've heard or read. We all perceive the world in a half light. None of us truly know what goes on behind closed doors. People only show the world what they want them to see. Most of the time it's just the positive aspects of their life due to fear of judgement. I choose to share some of the negative aspects of my life, not because I want someone to tell me what I'm doing wrong. I'm human, and I do quite a bit wrong. Rather, I want people who are going through something similar behind their "social mask" and behind closed doors to know they are not alone. So the next time you think about judging someone think about this: "Have you got the guts to put the negative aspects of YOUR life in a half light?"

Arcade Fire - Half Light I

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  1. No, I don't think people are judging you for choosing to splurge on a dress. It's just that in your situation with your parents, you really cannot rely on them, regardless if your father is rich or no. Nothing is given away for free, and do you really want to go to him to ask him for anything after all the things he has called you?

    It's not a matter of spending 10% or 50%, but maybe not spending anything for a little bit while you build a little cushion.

    Do I use credit cards? Absolutely. I also pay my balance IN FULL every month and use the points and rewards I own toward things like vacations and the likes. We also live way under our means, and have a lot in our savings and retirement accounts. It's not about credit cards being bad, it's about the ability to use them responsibly.

    But we also do not have three kids nor are we going through a divorce.

    Your parents have not been supportive or very respectful. It's time to show them that Bonnie is her own woman and can handle herself. You need to demand respect from them. You certainly won't be able to get it if you need to go ask your dad for money for your kids because you overspent your budget on clothes.

  2. Wow! Bonnie I think that you are really brave that you don`t affraid to write about your life, mistakes, problems, struggles, new relationship, and happines, even budget learning. Especially after those nasty comments.

    And it seems like you are learning a lot. And it`s good that you don`t care aymore what people say. Why? Because it is Your life. And only you know what is going on at closed doors.

    And if you are going to spend your money on clothes rather than food it may be even better for you :) Last time when I was in US (I live in Europe) I was horrified seeing how much you people in US spent on food, it`s not healthy :)

  3. Anon @ 2:03: "Judge: to form an opinion or evaluation." I think it's safe to say that's what you and others have been doing. I would never ask my dad for money because I overspent on a dress. I'm simply stating that my kids have a safety net if the need arise, like a medical emergency or something unexpected. I would love to tell you, "Yeah, I'm not going to spend anything and build some cushion", but I know myself and I know that is not going to come easily. I've cut back alot already and hope to continue doing so. I'm happy that you are so financially responsible. I think that's great, and I wish I could be like that, but I'm not. Maybe one day I can be, but I'm not there yet.

    Monika: Thanks for the support! LOL @ the food comment! I agree!

  4. Bonnie, I love all the colors in your tank, so pretty and feminine. It looks like you are getting a lot of use from your new belt, it seems to go with everything, great purchase!

  5. Yes, but if your kids need emergency money right now, the fact is, you would not be able to provide the money because you spent it on clothes. You would have to go to your dad and ask him for it.

    I am not trying to be cruel or mean. I think what you are doing is great and you should not have to stay in a relationship because others expect you to.

    Form an outsider's perspective, I see you buying $200 items almost on a weekly basis, and then selling your clothes for a lot less than what you paid. Meanwhile, there is no savings. It would just break my heart to see that you had to ask your dad for money after all those horrible things he has called you.

    I have a lot of respect for you, but I honestly do not care for your parents. They are hypocrites. The situation would be different if your parents had supported you from the very beginning, but they didn't. And I just don't want to see you have to struggle or starve because of some bad habits. I really hope you understand that this isn't said to be nasty, but there is genuine concern for you. I never want to see you return to a situation because you have to. I hope your life from here on out is about you doing the things you want, but also realizing you have three very young children who will need a lot of support from a financially secure mother.

  6. It just seems concerning to me that missing out on eating good, nutritious food and establishing a safety plan for your own children and yourself would be compromised for the short-term thrill of buying new clothes. Fashion is not buying new clothes but having style and being creative with what you already own.
    I would pose the following question and ask you to genuinely consider: did you buy clothes and accessories this often before you started the blog and when you do buy new clothes, who is it for and for how long does the thrill last?

  7. Oh wow, Bonnie, I didn't think your story was such a big deal either!! I've done the exact same thing with my groceries too! There's no shame in telling it like it is - tons of people do the same each day. People need to not judge so readily - it's so easy to judge someone, as you say, through the "half light" of an internet blog post, but the fact is that we don't know you or your life at all.

    You are so refreshingly honest and open on this beautiful blog, and that's why I read (not to mention that I love the gorgeous outfits and stunning pictures!) - you're an inspiration. Keep it up, chica!

  8. Oh for Pete's sakes...Here's what we now know:
    Bonnie is not perfect
    Bonnie is trying to make a better life for her and her children
    Bonnie wants to be happy. Things have been very difficult lately, and her fashion
    hobby makes her happy. She doesn't spend money on other hobbies or past-
    Bonnie is not that good with budgeting, but she is trying to improve
    In the event of an emergency- Bonnie has a plan
    Some people would not make the same choices as Bonnie. We are all different
    Enough sadid....

  9. Your blog is one of my favorites because you are so honest and fearless. I'd love to see these Judgy McJudgersons open up their lives to whoever would like to comment and show the world some of their deepest fears and weaknesses. I think you are doing a great job trying to save more and spend less, and I know you will continue to do so. Coming from a hostile parental relationship, I know that it can be extremely hard to break away from them.

    I think if you can try to keep doing what you've been doing and get a little better at saving each month, it will really help you feel independent from them. They sound toxic to your life, and you definitely don't need them. Maybe when saving money gets tough, think about how much better you'll feel when you know you'd never have to ask them for help. That's something that keeps me going because I absolutely can't stand being at my parents' mercy.

    I'd also like to mention that I've definitely eaten the "cheap spaghetti" a few times in my life in order to be able to afford something awesome. As long as it doesn't become a habit and isn't hurting your kids, I don't see a problem with choosing your indulgences. Sometimes I want to eat steak. Sometimes I want to buy a pretty top. I can pick and choose because I'm an adult like that (and so are you -- and these anons need to remember that!).

    Also, sometimes I want to jump out of planes, which is where my money has been going lately. ;)

    Please know that I care about you and wish you every happiness. I think about you and your struggles often.

  10. I can tell you that being "rich" is never a safety net in any sense of the word. I've known too many people who have lost their life savings and ended up with nothing due to serious and unplanned illness, or lost all of their finances due to an accident, job loss or economy. I personally have a neighbor who used to earn over 100k and has lost everything and he and his family are struggling. Your planning is poor and every, I mean every statement you make comes across as "every decision you make is fine and there is nothing wrong with it."

  11. I think sometimes it's easy to forget that people who blog and choose to share their lives are real people, not perfect, idealized people. Nobody overhauls their entire lifestyle in one night. Guilt-inducing snark solves nothing-- real, practical suggestions do.

  12. you are so honest and transparent. i mean that in the BEST way. meaning, that you are upfront and talk about your life in straightforward terms.

    i definitely am still figuring out budgeting myself, and it's a long process, because jobs change, income changes, situations change. and i have to change my approach to keeping within my budget each time.

    i don't feel that we can judge others based on a blog. it's such a small sliver of one's life, and doesn't show everything. it's a creative slice, and it's meant to be an outlet to our sometimes stressful lives.

    i dislike it when anonymous commenters are so judgmental and critical, when they don't even know the full story. its like judging an entire novel simply after reading one randomly selected page.

    our priorities and life situations are all different, we should support each other and motivate each other, not tear each other down.

  13. Why didn't the boyfriend pay for the groceries?

  14. So you, on one hand, are spending with quite some freedom and relying on your dad for emergencies, and on the other, have criticized him for being unsupportive towards your life goals and desire to be 'free'. I wonder why he would be unsupportive judging by your behavior! It's no longer enough to just say, people judge you while seeing you in a half light. That excuse only goes so far. After awhile you have to consider precisely why people would judge you thus. You seem to think -- and others encourage this -- that you can just do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy. While I'm glad that your posts have been happier of late, I'm not sure such a message is the right one. It's not, I-can-do-whatever-I-want-as-long-as-it-makes-me-happy, it is also (and yes it may suck but it's part of life) what makes others happy? You might say that you've spent too much of your life doing just that, and perhaps that is so, but I say... strike the right balance! Don't be a selfish mother who doesn't save for her children. Don't be someone parading her new boyfriend after dumping her husband, alienating her family and tearing her children's world apart. Sorry to sound harsh and I'm sure you will say I don't understand and am just being judgmental, but it's really time you take into account what others are saying instead of just saying that we don't understand and don't have the full picture!

  15. I must say this blog is extremely interesting.

    People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    While I don't necessarily agree with the choices Bonnie has appeared to make, we really don't know the whole story.

    I think it is incredible that your parents are so mad at you, when they themselves are divorced.

    Sometimes I think that the people who are the most critical are the ones who should have the most empathy.

    And we all care what people think, no matter how hard that we try to convince ourselves we don't. We don't know the demons we are fighting and we should all try to love each other just a little bit more.

  16. I was wondering why the boyfriend did not pay for the groceries too. Sounds like a disaster situation in the making.

  17. This blog has become fun to read to watch strangers go batshit crazy about the life of someone they don't even know. Stop masking your judgement as "concern", you don't know this woman. She's not your sister or your best friend who you would speak to more candidly. Honestly, if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all. This furor is more about validating your own choices than "helping" Bonnie. She seems to be doing great, leave the woman alone. If you don't agree with her choices, keep your comments to talking about Anthro. Geez.

  18. Yes, why didn't the boyfriend pay for the groceries? He would allow you to go through that? Do you love him more than he loves you? Think about that.

  19. For the Pete's sake, please stop quoting from the dictionary. It is bad writing. You can do better than that!

  20. It occurred to me that this has become a great blog. The topics Bonnie discusses and the struggles she shares elicit lots of comments and thoughtful (well, not always) discussion. Whether one agrees with her, or not- she causes us to think about how we would act if we were in her position. What would I do? What should I do? What is the "right" thing to do? I want to take a minute to congratulate Bonnie for sharing her story and creating this place for all of us. You are a great writer and an introspective journalist!

  21. ewwwwww.people are so mean....I've read you forever and never commented.I LOve your taste AND i AM SORRY FOR ALL YOUR HEARTBREAK LATELY. I am a conservative christian who thinks these other judgemental people sound awful...Who would say these hateful things to somone they dont even know? Oh yeah,they dont use their names so we will never know....REAL BRAVE!!! NOT!! Peace to you,

  22. Anon @ 5:21: I don't think I make it seem like every decision I make is fine and there is nothing wrong with it. I feel I'm always the first to admit it when I'm making bad decisions, especially financially. My point is that they are my bad decisions to make, and I don't think it's right for people to judge me on those decisions. Making bad decisions is how we learn to make better ones in the future.

    Anon @ 5:18: I'll stop quoting from the dictionary when you stop using cliche', unoriginal phrases like "For the Pete's sake." LOL!

    Thanks for all the comments, positive and negative! I've enjoyed reading each one. You all have given me a lot to think about.

    For the record, my boyfriend did pay for the groceries.

  23. So why did you put the groceries back if he paid for them?

  24. Touche on the "Pete's Sake" comment! How's this? You seem like a very intelligent woman. You have some deep, introspective thoughts that you have the ability to relay into sometimes beautiful metaphors. I think if you work on the writing, your blog has the potential to be great. Also, lose some of the "posey" aspects to your pictures (which are beautiful by the way- maybe try a more fluid, less posed approach as it starts to look the same quite a bit and a bit forced). You don't have to try so hard, is my point. It is all there. You just don't need to spell it out for your readers so much, both from the writing standpoint and the picture standpoint.

  25. Everybody who has an opinion on Bonnie's situation has made a judgement, whether in her favor or not. Judgement doesn't have to be negative, and I just hate they way people throw around the judgemental card. That said, I don't think she is looking for help, Anon@4:19, she is looking for attention. SHe clearly feeds off of the attention she gets on her blog(why else does somebody take a dozen pictures of herself daily and post them on the internet!) She puts the info out there to get a response and I suspect she doesn't care if it's positive or negative.

  26. Why does the boyfriend need to pay for Bonnie's grocery? If women want to be equal to men, shouldn't we be responsible enough to pay for our own groceries and be able to take care of ourselves?

  27. It was for the two of them. That's why.

  28. Well I knew Bonnie in college, she is a brilliant lady. I fully believe she is capable of accomplishing anything she chooses. She could easily be making well of six figures, I have no doubt of that. She has expressed in many instances on this blog that she made some regrettable choices in her past...ie., playing it safe, getting married and moving home. Her life was dominated by those who did not recognize her free spirit and brilliance, her failure was listening. She has shown how fear was sown early in her life concerning stepping beyond the "normal". She awoke and found herself miserable, she decided to change that and now she has broken away. She obviously loves fashion, writing and modeling. She is great at all three, although my favorite is the latter. Heck, I would follow the blog if she modeled the latest from Walmart.

  29. I discovered this blog a few months ago on accident. I am an avid reader, but a first-time commenter.

    Bonnie, I won't judge you positively or negatively for your choices or your words. What I will say is I agree with Anon@5:50. This blog has made me THINK and question my own values and bearings. Thanks for that, and best of luck.

  30. And by the way, after some thought, let me add on:

    The reason I don't try to judge is because, at the age of 40, I have finally really learned (I hope) that there but for the Grace of God go I.

    Ten years ago my husband and I used to comment about other people's rocky marriages, with pride in the solidity of our own. Five years ago I read a popular novel about a woman who spent money wildly on expensive bags on the internet, and could not identify at all with her character. I am, by most standards, an intelligent, accomplished, working mother. I am self-aware and most would think self-confident. But I am now, a few years later, in a relationship I question and in $3,000 worth of credit card debt in part because of my clothes-buying habit. I've read the books, I've seen the shows--I know this is due to all sorts of things and I know I should have the tools to address it.

    So, folks, in a lot of ways I am Bonnie, and in fact, we all are. No one is perfect. And yes, one shouldn't throw stones in glass houses. I have a tremendous amount of compassion for her and for all of us. No one's life is a picnic. We all have our problems. And what goes around comes around. Some people are just more open with themselves and others about it. Thanks again to Bonnie for sharing her story.

  31. I would just like to say that for all of you people defending Bonnie and throwing off on people who are "judging" her need to take into account that fact that some of the people who do post on here might actually live in the same "small town" as the Fashionista and might ACTUALLY know more about the situation than the rest of you. Some people might ACTUALLY know her, her ex-husband, AND her boyfriend. There are two sides to every story, and on this blog you are only getting one!

  32. fashion models are supposed to make you want to buy the clothes.

    this blog is like one huge long running joke.

    i love it.
    it's crazytown.

    bless your poor husbands heart for putting up with you and your shopping addiction. and hopefully he has enough sense not to read this crap because you obviously couldn't care less about him and the fact that you dumped him for a greasy fatty.

    you're about as much a "gypsy" as charlie sheen and i assure you NEITHER of you are "WINNING."

  33. "Don't judge me" is the indignent battle cry typically of a rebellious teenager figuring out freedom for the first time.

    A time that most of us got to experience with the safety nets of family and youth. It seems that she did not get the chance to do so then. Living in fear will make you not take the risk, I know this. In some ways, she was never forced to grow up because of it.

    And like most of us, Bonnie is trying to be a better person, to mature, and will figure out her balance in time.

    Bonnie, people will judge you no matter what, be it for you or against you. They may change their mind at one point. It's human nature.

    It seems like your skin is toughening up a bit and that's good. Don't get so tough that you can't hear when there is real concern and not just harshness. And yes, you can have real concern for "people you don't really know." It's also called compassion.

    It's OK for people to want the best for you. Not everyone has the same idea of what 'the best' should be. It's NOT OK for people to be cruel to you, or take an arugmentive tone on YOUR blog. Anon at 3:42 hit the mark for me.

    Wishing you a healthy life,

  34. Karen: Yes, I just love getting all these hate filled comments. You've got me all figured out. They make my day!

    Anon @ 12:46: If you know me, ACTUALLY have the balls to say who you are. I would love to know!

    Anon @ 12:49: I may be a crazy shopaholic, but at least I don't call people names behind an anonymous comment. LOSING!

    Erica: You have hit the nail on the head. I 100% agree with you. Thanks for your comment!

  35. YOWZA!

    This is turning into a train-wreck. Crazytown indeed! The comments are the best part.

  36. Bonnie may, or may not, be in the midst of making some bad choices and decisions that she will later regret. Or she may be making some difficult changes that are for the best in the long run. I can' fathom how insulting her is helpful, in any way... Are you expressing your concern, or trying to hurt her?

  37. Bonnie, I can only assume that if a person is going to air her dirty laundry on a blog and open herself as well as her husband, parents and children up to gossip/speculation/pity/ridicule/sympathy/support, then she is getting something out of it. Let's face it, the point of a blog is to attract readers, and controversy is a great way to do that! No shame in that. A little drama can go a long way in increasing a blog's popularity. Which I assume is something you want, no?

  38. When you're an adult with children, it's just not a good excuse to say you never learned how to budget and thus blow a lot of money on clothes. It's time to be the responsible mom, set the example, and build a life that shows planning for the future.

    I think a few people on here believe that any comment that doesn't wholeheartedly agree with Bonnie's actions is a judgment, when many times, people will mention these things as a reality check or a wake-up call. Sometimes that kind of wake-up call or reality check really helps move a person to the next level.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I'm just thinking about this and what I might do in your situation...Are you stringing your husband along? Like, is he dating others too or are you keeping his dick in a jar waiting to see how this other relationship will "work out"? Is the hubs still your back burner safety net incase you find this affair isn't what you really want? Just curious?

    Will your husband take you back when you realize what a colossal mistake you've made? When you realize the new man can't keep you in the lifestyle you're used too? Honey, poverty and hard work and seeing kids every other week gets old real fast. Short term pleasure does not equal long term gratification or happiness. Make your best deal in this life!

  41. Hate on haterz!
    This blog is so multi-faceted! One crowd is like "la la la not listening! Let's talk fashion! Thnx for the belt advice" and the other crowd is saying "Hello, I'm your new neighbor at Melrose Place! Drama Time!" It's actually kind of funny to watch go down?

    Poor Bonnie!

  42. looking at your photos they make me want to move a small town! :) another thing it's very refreshing to see photos of a "normal" woman wearing Anthto clothes vs. skinny models with altered clothing. Anyhow thanks to the person in front of the camera and big thanks to the person behind the lens.



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