Happy 6th Birthday to Clearing Preppy’s Name

I have a theory that life is in constant transition… mine is at least. Every time I feel some level of consistency with my job, living situation or social dynamic there is an impending curve ball. I don’t hate it, but I once thought these changes were a phase, where as I now see them as different seasons of my life.

When I started my blog 6 years ago I was in my last stint of childhood (although I didn’t see it that way at the time). I was 17, naively ambitious and open to everything beyond high school. My style involved glitter headbands and knee high socks, with direct inspiration from Gossip Girl. My blog was titled after how I identified with “preppy” style… There are a surplus of embarrassing posts in the archives of my site, if you dare dig for them.

age 17. I think this picture was taken on my Dare.


I turned 18 and started attending Canisius College nearly simultaneously. It was my first taste of living away from home and my first reality check of the astronomical cost of college. I learned that I hate beer. I learned I can be incredibly indecisive. I learned so much. I transferred back to community college, rushed through my Associate’s Degree online and moved back into my parents’ house. It wasn’t always easy.

age 19, one of these girls works for Kate Spade now.

When I was 19 I transferred to University at Buffalo. I moved out -again. I was working part time at Coach. I started expanding my blog to be more “Western New York Lifestyle”, which is how I would describe it today. I went to a blog conference in Toronto and attended local fashion shows where I met some of the first bloggers in the area. I interned with a local bridal show group and a publication that owns 3 newspapers. I realized that although I love to write, AP style articles that didn’t involve my opinion were a completely different beast. I thought this was the field that I was destined to work in, I’m not sure about that now.

age 19, I met one of my best friends Sandy at this networking function for my internship

I moved to Leicester, England for 3 months, a week after I turned 20. I made some of the most amazing friends and suddenly appreciated WNY so much more. Studying abroad is my favorite memory from my college years -even though I was very home sick. The amazing people I met while in Europe gave me the opportunity to travel when I returned. The relationship I have with them is so special; who else can you gush about the British boys, crazy English language differences (queue, cheers, 50p) and absurd exchange rate issues with. I love that I can pick up where I left off with them 3 years ago, as if it was just yesterday. When I came back home it was a somewhat shocking adjustment. I started waitressing and finished off my Bachelor’s degree at UB, commuting again from my parents’ house. I leased my first car just after graduation, bringing me a little closer to downtown Buffalo and all it has to offer.

age 20, at Buckingham Palace in London

I rang in 21 in a horrifically hungover state, so I guess you could say that it was successful. I had graduated only months before and decided to continue the tradition of trying out something brand new every September -I moved to Maryland. I worked as a nanny for 6 weeks and then worked for even less than that in wedding advertising. My corporate hours were based on the pacific coast time zone, 11-8pm, and my commute was an hour and a half+ via car and metro. The company was amazing, everything I thought I previously wanted on paper, but I didn’t want the DC area (its costs and traffic) and I missed my family and friends.. I moved home before the new year. I went back to retail, working at David’s Tea, freelancing for local papers and waitressing occasionally. It was humbling and a difficult time to blog about.

age 21, during my brunch collaboration with Templeton Landing

I moved into management at Lindt Chocolate the week of my 22nd birthday. I was originally assistant manager, but within 6 weeks inherited the responsibilities of running the store. It was quite trying, but also showed me I was capable of way more than I imagined. Constantly being concerned with the operations of the store, even on my occasional days off, made me so much more appreciative of a real work-life balance afterwards. If you enjoy a holiday with your friends and family, thank a retail associate.

age 22, photoshoot at the Art Alley in Niagara Falls

I had been working in a completely different field for 2 months when I turned 23. After spending May and June diligently searching for my next career move I found the law firm I currently work at. I started commuting nearly an hour from my parents’ home Monday through Friday for the “9 to 5” I never knew I needed. I am a legal assistant and I write updates on non-litigated cases for attorneys appearing on hearings and conferences. Who would have ever thought that’s where my degrees in Fashion Merchandising and English were taking me? Since every other plan I was trying to force into place wasn’t working out, I decided why not? That was a great decision.

age 23, gushing over Perry’s Pumpkin Pie ice cream

So, although a chronology of blog posts over the last 6 years may have been more of what one would expect when celebrating a blog’s 6th birthday, I think the above summary is more accurately what my blog has covered these last 6 years. In between the OOTD and favorite brunch locations is the story of my life. Thank you for reading my public diary, also known as Clearing Preppy’s Name. It may have become more professional and polished over time, but it’s really it’s just Allison on display in all of her chaos and glitter.

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