Journaling with Brahmin

Stephanie Hill speaks on Journaling with Brahmin on The Style Bungalow

Style Blogger Stephanie Hill speaks on Journaling with Brahmin on The Style Bungalow

I do one of two things when I’m stressed: move and write. 

If I’m lucky, that means clutching a familiar wooden barre, easing into a stretch with my toes already wrapped and warmed up for ballet class. I love the feeling of leaping across a large dance studio. The music that fills the space (carries you to another place), the amount of creativity it invites…and the challenge it beautifully presents. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot of time to attend classes regularly, but this change of pace has allowed me to livestream sessions from my living room (or balcony), which I admit has been an interesting blessing in disguise. In more ways than one, it’s helped me cope with feelings of uncertainty and fear. 

At other times I write, which brings me to this moment. I want to dive deeper and touch on a slightly different frame of thought with you. However, I must start by saying how grateful I am to be working alongside Brahmin again this season. Having worked closely with the brand for nearly a year now, with quality and integrity at their forefront, I feel so fortunate to have the creativity and room to write these types of posts. It’s not often you find a brand partner who does this, and for that I am so thankful.  

I usually start with a question when I don’t know what to write about. A simple, “How are you feeling today” or “How are your relationships going with your friends, family and fiancé?” Another favorite is, “What’s one thing I need to work on right now?” That enough will spark inspiration and create quite a thought path. Then, by the time I’m done writing in my journal, I feel as if I’ve just confided in my best friend with endless emotions revealed; I don’t feel as heavy inside…I can breathe again… 

It’s also a great outlet when you’re going through a slump. When I go back and read journal entries from years ago a cathartic feeling comes over me. You realize how far you’ve come and how icky those ex-boyfriends truly were, lol. (Some of them were great, but let’s be real we’ve all had one bad relationship!)  

So today, I’m opening up with this question, “What makes me feel most alive?” Because I believe by the time you read this or do it yourself, you will gradually feel better… 

Fashion Blogger Stephanie Hill on Journaling with Brahmin on The Style Bungalow

*Jen, just so you know, is my best friend here in Florida — she knows everything about me.

Dear Journal, 

Me again. 

No major update; everything has come to a screeching halt. Uncertainty continues to loom over us from one day to the next. Yesterday, I felt strong. Today, I feel anxious and overwhelmed. I guess this is normal when you’re experiencing “too much, too fast…,” as a fellow Instagram follower suggested. I know hard times, but this time it feels different and I’m trying my best to stay positive which is a struggle for me at times. Rather than go down a rabbit hole of emotions, I want to write about what makes me feel the most alive. Stirring up positive memories, that will add a bit of hope and light.

Starting with… 

Love. I feel most alive when I’m in love. My favorite memory of being in love? The first time we kissed. It was a complete surprise. I was leaning against his car doing that, “play-it-cool-because-I-kind-of-like-you-thing” when truthfully, my heart was pounding and the butterflies in my stomach were doing a full-length ballet, grande pas de deux included. He pulled me in, kissed me softly, but with so much passion, intensity and subtly. I dropped my purse to the ground. Minutes went by…maybe an hour? I can’t remember; it was a while. I called Jen as soon as I got into my car and immediately greeted her, “Oh-my-goodness…” she bursted out in laughter knowing in that exact moment that I had fallen helplessly in love and there was no way back.  

Overcoming obstacles. I’ve practically dedicated this entire journal to the many times I’ve had to overcome obstacles. From being told I would never dance and dancing anyway, to starting this blog when a former boss told me I was a terrible writer and ultimately discovering a new passion. Or remembering that one time a former Vogue stylist told me I had a “great eye” and knew what I was doing in front of an entire production crew. Or Jen telling me to get out of “that” one bad relationship. Feeling alive is not just about the highs, but also the lows, as you – my dear journal – know all too well about me. Living life and taking it in, documenting as many memories as possible so I can reflect back on this exact moment and remember that I was (and am) grateful to be full of life. 

Fashion. It’s no secret that I love fashion (I know, *eyeroll) but outside of grabbing a ballet barre in a dance studio, there’s one other place on this planet that makes me feel most at home and alive…my closet. When I first moved into my 350 sq-ft studio apartment, and totally broke, I would sometimes buy magazines and clothing over necessities like laundry detergent. When Hurricane Matthew hit Florida, and I received “that one” break-up text (talk about timing…), without hesitation I took shelter in my closet, nestled against my handbags and cried. (After we broke up, I cried for weeks, and then I realized I would one day meet someone who would be sure I was the one. Insert fiancé here.)  And when I style outfits late at night with music playing in the background and a glass of red wine resting on the ledge of my window — grabbing-tossing one handbag after the next (gravitating to designs similar to this Caroline Chatham) — I find myself so alive and full of energy. I have to force myself to go to bed, otherwise I’ll accomplish nothing the next day. Fashion forever fuels me. 

Love, S

And now it’s time to turn the tables and ask you what makes you feel most alive… 

Journaling with Brahmin on The Style Bungalow by Stephanie Hill

Phew! Feel better? I already feel a million times better and I hope that brought a smile. 

As Carrie Bradshaw (one of my absolute favorite characters) famously said in Sex and the City, “Maybe the best any of us can do is not quit, play the hand we’ve been given and accessorize the outfit we got…” I have faith everything will fall back into place and we’ll come out stronger and more unified. Until then, I’m living for the moment and know, just like the aching, yet soothing feeling I had in my closet with handbags cushioned against me during Hurricane Matthew, I will be alright. And so will you. 

Xo, Stephanie

Blouse: Free People (similar style here)

Pants: (very very old) Zara, similar here

Sandals: Simon Miller (similar style here)

Earrings: Kenneth Jay Lane

Please continue to support small American brands, like Brahmin, throughout this time. Its discerning taste in luxury, timelessness and understanding is what makes the core of the brand unique and memorable. Thank you, Brahmin, for sponsoring today’s post… 


  • This is so great, thank you for sharing! I def feel most alive when I feel I’ve accomplished something- And Lord knows that ‘accomplishment’ comes in many colors these days. The accomplishments I used to celebrate from work or social activities have today been replaced with things like making home cooked meals, helping neighbors, staying organized, and finding new & creative ways to kill at work from home in my bunny slippers. What’s happening now is so scary & awful, that it’s sometimes just an accomplishment to stay positive & moving forward- and I’ll welcome the opportunity to celebrate the heck out of that as often as possible 😉

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