As you've probably noticed, there have been some changes around here. And they've been a long time coming!
This month marks the start of my fifth year blogging on Alajode(!) and I wanted to do something special for it. As I've mentioned time and time again - both on here, social media and in real life - this little blog has given me a wealth of experiences over the years.
As well as the obvious perks of getting to travel to cool new places, hear about the hottest new collabs and even walk the red carpet, it's brought me so much more. Blogging has taught me so many new skills, got me three jobs, introduced me to some new hobbies and, most importantly of all, led me to cross paths with some amazing guys and gals - many of whom I now consider some of my nearest and dearest.
I guess, in a way, this new look is as much about me saying thank you to my blog (even though that sounds totally lame!) and finally giving something back to it. 2016 was by far my best year in blogging yet, so at the start of 2017 I decided to invest in the two things I've always dreamed of having: a Canon 5D Mark III camera and a custom blog theme.
They've certainly set me back a few pennies, but I have no doubt that they're worth every single one. The experiences and friendships that I've gained from this blog over the last few years are certainly worth a whole lot more - because you just can't put a price on that.
Sadly - and as much as I hate to admit it - it's also partly a way for me to sustain my love for this blog. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love blogging and missed it SO much when I had no internet access for 10 days in Cuba. Even though the break did me a world of good, it felt like a part of my life was missing. I missed the creativity, I missed the routine and, most of all, I missed the community.
It's safe to say I'm going nowhere, but I know lots of bloggers are feeling a bit drained right now and I'd be lying if I said I haven't felt the same way recently. As some of my friends and favourite bloggers abandoned their sites - some after thinking long and hard and others on a whim - I started to wonder if I should do the same. Is there any point to it? What else would I love to spend my time doing?
In the end, it was a pretty easy decision for me to stay. Sure, blogging, just like anything, isn't all sunshine and rainbows; there's bitchiness, there's jealousy and there's a whole lot of insecurity floating around the bloggersphere. But I still think there's a lot more good than bad: the new friendships that are formed, the solidarity that's hard to beat and the fact that a bunch of young people are now using the internet to get ahead in their careers and build the lives they want, and having a load of fun with it along the way. It's pretty amazing really, isn't it?
So as I said, I'll be sticking around. And from now on I'm going to be even pickier with the posts I share, fully enjoy the creative process and not give myself a hard time if I miss a post or two. I guess you could say that I'm bringing the fun back to my blogging journey, and I hope that, in the process, you'll enjoy spending time here more than ever too.
I also really hope you love the new look as much as I do. You can still expect all the same fashion, travel and lifestyle content - with a tighter focus on affordable luxury than before. You can also expect a trickle of posts on blogging and my blogging journey as it's something I've wanted to share with you for a while, plus a few other new sections including a shopping page to explore.
Overall, I want to make Alajode an experience you can enjoy. I really hope you like the new site and I'd love to hear any feedback, so please let me know what you think!