This letter is long overdue. I should have written it a week ago. Or maybe a month ago. I didn’t want to force my words (as I do far too often) but this morning I woke up with a message and knew that today was the day. Can I keep it real with you all? I mean, really real with no filter or fluff? This will likely be a lengthy post so brace yourself…
Blogging is hard work. Yes, I know to many of my readers it may appear that receiving beauty products, the occasional trip and fancy experiences seems like…fun! And don’t get me wrong, it can be. But it all comes with a cost. I have been blogging since July of 2007. I was a college student who would be graduating a month later and then across to country to Los Angeles. I was young and carefree. Clumps was my passenger on this journey. I didn’t make money back then. I didn’t care about money. I just wanted to write. Clumps has been apart of my life for 7 years and together we have gone through…
-cross country moves
-residency at over 8 homes in 5 cities
-working unfulfilling jobs
-having the courage to take a different career path
-a relationship that turned into a marriage
-pregnancy and motherhood
-trips around the world
-launching a business
-sudden job layoffs
Clumps has been there. While I blog publicly, most of what is listed up there was not shared with the world. Even as a writer, I clutch tightly to my personal life. I’ve always been this way.
A few weeks ago I went through a time where I cried every single day. Every day. One morning I was crying before I even opened my eyes. The sadness enveloped me and made it difficult to blog. I didn’t care about a new mascara or NARS new lippies. I began to resent Clumps. I was so upset that my joy of a blog started to feel like an anchor.
I’m not just a blogger, guys. I am a mother first. I am a mother to a toddler and a wife to a man who works many, many hours, some of them out of the state. I am a mother, a wife and an employee at a demanding job where the only solace I get is 1 hour during lunch. I am a mother, wife, employee and do’er. I have to do. Sometimes I feel worthless if I’m not doing something. So I volunteer, I manage social clubs, I do fun activities with my daughter, I overwhelm myself so that I feel purpose.
I have many kinks within me that need to be worked out. I have gone through a stream of self-awareness these past few months and I am realizing that hey, while I want to, I can’t do it all. Someone lied to me. Or maybe I lied to myself. Where did I get the idea that I can do it all? Who said I could a be a wife, mother, full-time working employee, business owner, volunteer, blogger and attentive friend and gym go’er? Despite being a perfectionist, I am okay with failing at the inability to do “it” all. I am scaling back in my life. It is time that I push Clumps to the side.
Truthfully, this breaks my heart. Clumps is my first child. My first business. My partner in crime. My career. Clumps is my longest relationship. Clumps has given me confidence. Yes, I may work for others but Clumps showed me that my true talents and passions are within the written word, helping others and entrepreneurial ventures. But Clumps has also robbed me of something so precious. Something that I can’t get back.
Clumps is a full time job with very little pay. Yes, you may see the sponsored posts and ads on the site, but please do not be confused. These do not pay my bills and if they do, only just a small portion. A reader left a comment a few weeks ago and she said, “I miss when all of your posts weren’t sponsored posts.” That hurt my feelings. It wasn’t a mean comment. It was a true comment and it made me feel bad. My voice means everything to me. I don’t want you, my readers, to feel like I’ve lost it for a dime. I looked through my past few posts and yep, most of them were sponsored posts. I tried to justify it.
“Well,” I said…“Clumps is a job. Don’t we get paid for jobs?”
Yes. We do.
“So screw this reader. It’s not my fault that she can’t understand that. She doesn’t know the time and energy I put into this blog. She doesn’t know that even after working 8 hours a day, I go BACK to computer and work again. She doesn’t know how demanding toddlers can be? She doesn’t know how hard it is to run a household without any help because your family is all scattered about. She doesn’t know how hard it is to put so much into a craft and still feel like you aren’t making any steps ahead. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know my life.”
I became angry. That anger has subsided but what hasn’t is…time. I spend a great deal of it on Clumps. Time that could be spend on being a more hands-on mother. Time that could be spend on be’ing instead of do’ing. I haven’t read a book in months because well, I don’t have the time. When my husband comes home at 10pm, I barely give him a kiss and hello because I’m writing a blog post that needs to be up in time. I only get a 5-6 hours of sleep because I just don’t have enough time in the day.
Do you see this? I do. I want more time. I don’t want my blog to be an anchor with crazy demands. I don’t want to keep being undervalued, ignored or harassed by PR people that want me to write long and elaborate posts on their $20 product. I don’t want to apologize for not tweeting, or Instagram’ing my life or disappearing from Facebook. I don’t want the pressure. I don’t want deadlines.
I just want to write. But somehow, the ease of that has been lost.
And so I feel like I need to back away for awhile. I need this. It’s time. I never truly went on maternity leave. I’ve never really stepped away from Clumps. But I need to.
A blogger friend said to me, “This is such a scary thought, B. What happens if you don’t gain monument when you get back?”
I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Then I will do something else.”
I want Clumps to push through this 7 year itch. But I also want there to be purpose in what I do. Right now I am struggling to find the purpose. What is my mission? What are my goals? I don’t know. And I haven’t known for years. Stepping away for a few months, I believe, will grant me clarity. Maybe I will come back with a fresher look for Clumps. And maybe I won’t.
If I don’t, I will be sad but I will be proud of myself. At almost 30 years old, I have held down a 7-year old job that I created. I launched a business. I branded myself. College didn’t teach me this. I learned this all on my own and I could not be more proud of myself. But right now…life needs me. My family needs me. I need me.
And the money that I make with this blog? I’m turning a lot of it down. Which is a risk but this is why I have never believed in ONE money source. I believe in multiple sources of income. Financially, I will miss some things. But the holidays are coming up and I am so excited about doing Pinterest activities with my girl in our new home. That excites me more than the new holiday beauty collections. My life is shifting. I am okay with this.
This isn’t goodbye forever post. I really think I’ll be back. I’ll be around on social media (sometimes), I’ll be tossing up a post for the Makeup Wars in a few weeks and I’m thinking I’ll do a post a month. Just to say hi.
I love you all. I really do. Thanks for standing by me. Thanks for the encouragement.
Ta ta for now,
I think the universe was telling me that it was time to convert to PCs because shortly after my entry into the Intel Smart Squad, my MacBook decided to give up the ghost on me. It was a bittersweet end and after cleaning her up and giving her to my sister, I started showing a lot of love to my Dell Venue 11 Pro.
Beautiful, isn’t she? This tablet (or computer…or both?) is really about 10.8 inches but size wise I found it to be extremely practical for both every day use and while traveling. I am going to break my review up into categories that I think most people would be interested in if they were looking for a reliable and moderately pried 2n1 device. Keep in mind that I am a blogger so my need to ALWAYS BE CONNECTED may be a little different than yours. That said, I think if this device can satisfy my need for speed and portability, chances are it can satisfy yours.
This lightweight 2n1 feels incredibly…lightweight. It is only 1.56 lbs. I preferred this a thousand times over my 13′ MacBook and I appreciated how easy this was to whip out of my bag during TSA’s glorious security checks. The front panel of the tablet felt nice and smooth and dare I say it…slightly toddler-proof. You’ve got a USB port (hellloooo wireless mouse!) and power and volume buttons are easy to press.
And uh… every laptop and desktop should have a touch screen. I find myself randomly going from touching the mousepad to touching the screen…just because I can. Did I use the 2n1 without the keyboard? Not very often. Holding the tablet in my hands was a bit cumbersome and I really only found it useful for when Elle and I snuggled up to watch a movie. I do wish this baby had a charger cord that was longer. It’s about 3 feet long which I think is about the same length as an average cell phone charger. Womp.
This charger was painfully short and made plugging in public areas (hotels, bookstores, coffee shops) almost impossible. But the good news is the battery life is pretty fantastic. I found it lasted an entire day off of one charge. The optional keyboard also has a built-in battery, which was definitely useful!
Okay, so I know this is a review about the computer, not the operating system but this is my first time using Windows 8 on a tablet and while I know many aren’t a fan of how it works on a desktop, I think it does beautifully on a tablet. With the Venue’s 1080p display, colors are sharp and bright and browsing is niiiiice.
As a blogger and social media manager, I spend a ton of time emailing, using Microsoft Word, Photoshop and web browsing. I do occasional downloading but really I don’t need a ton of memory as this isn’t my primary computer. While the system runs well, it isn’t made for hardcore jobs. In fact, I noticed things got bogged down a bit while opening too many windows of Chrome. Opps. My web designers, graphic designers, musicians and other creatives may need a device that accommodate their workloads. However, for bloggers, casual web browsers and students, I think this device is more than perfect.
Well hmmm, let’s see…YES! Dell sells this keyboard for about $150 but you need it. While about 1.7 lbs, this keyboard weighs more than the tablet but it takes your productivity to the next level. After all, while the Venue is considered a tablet, I’m thinking that if you would spend this amount of money on it, you would want to use it like traditional computer. The screen is responsive, but the keyboard is a dream and really makes using the Venue that much more pleasurable.
Plus, the built-in battery in the keyboard gives you an extra 50% of battery life. I do wish the keyboard had a backlit display because I know I’m not the only one who likes to
browse makeup videos do work in the middle of the night.
I love this computer/tablet/2n1 so so much. I never got the appeal of these smaller devices but they are so practical for the lifestyle of busy folx. I guess you could argue that after spending $499 on this and then another $150 on the keyboard, you could have just purchased a regular sized laptop, and actually…you would be correct. But if you’re looking for something impactful that won’t take up too much space and can play nicely with your other gadgets, the Venue 11 Pro is it. This and my iPad mini are the perfect travel companions.
I also went and purchased a little case for this baby because while it is incredibly durable I’m just clumsy and oh yeah, I live with a toddler. Have you ever tried an Intel 2 in 1 device? What kind of computer are you using these days?
#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.]]>
Nidia, Su and I got gathered at a swanky hotel downtown where I chatted to them about Sally Hansen®’s newest nail polish. Have you heard about it? I’ve purchased several bottles of these already and when I got the opportunity to host a party with some gal pals to share my love of this newest line, well, I couldn’t pass it down.
Baby Toddler Clumps came with me and was such a sweet girl coloring while Mama “worked”.
Sally Hansen® Miracle Gel™ promises to give you long-lasting nail color and shine for up to 14 days. The formula makes it so that you don’t even need to use a lamp. This alone is a home run for me because that means I don’t have to spend any extra time or money sitting at a salon every few weeks. There aren’t any tricks to applying this either. It applies like a traditional nail polish and only has 2 steps.
Step 1: Apply Gel Color
Step 2: Apply Gel Top Coat
That’s it, girlfriend. No UV/LED light needed, no having to wait an hour for 1 coat to dry. None of that. This stuff is practically made for women like me who want lovely nails but don’t want to invest a ton of time in achieving them.
I love how the line has ton of different colors to fit just about everyone’s style and personality. Su loved B Girl, Nidia rocked Mad Woman but really my favorite of the collection is the burgundy goodness that is Wine Stock.
I rocked that with some of those Sally Hansen nail strips some months ago and I’m thinking about recreating that look because I LOVED it. Now in terms of longevity, I’m going to keep it real with you gals…these won’t last for 14 days. At around 8 days, I noticed both Mad Woman and Wine Stock chipping on me.
My belief is that no gel nail polish (that doesn’t require a light for hardening, that is) can last for 14 days. And this is coming from someone who cleans the house and washes dishes wearing gloves. Still, getting a good week out of nail polish from a drugstore brand is practically unheard of so I think these are stellar.
Also, the polishes don’t dry that quickly. Nidia noted that after applying her top coat, she managed to bump her nails after about an hour of application and smudged the polish. Womp. Still, I am finding these polishes are so so practical for gals who like to go some days (and maybe a week) in between applying nail polish. The shine seriously doesn’t budge, and that my girls, is awesome in itself.
Have you tried these polishes yet? Oh! But wait…Sally Hansen® has an incredible sweepstakes going on right now. My Instagram girls will love this one because all you have to do is snap a look of your current mani and you have the chance of winning the top 10 Sally Hansen® Miracle Gel™ polishes. Weee!
Sally Hansen® Miracle Gel™ At Last!
Gel without the light!
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sally Hansen® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sally Hansen®. Click here to buy more products.]]>
It’s true, y’all. By the time I get to work I am just…emotionally DONE and I’m in that Watch what you say to me mode.. But, I can’t let it show because I don’t ever want to be “The Mom” in my office. I’m a business woman and don’t let the stresses of my crazy toddler get to me at work. Gotta keep it professional, baby. Can’t let ‘em see you cry.
But venting to my blog readers who came over expecting a post about a lipgloss or something is always very therapeutic. So THANK YOU, girls. This week over at Mom.me I am sharing how I am okay with letting Elle get dirty and I am also sharing some quick beauty tips for mamas. People like to think that motherhood is an excuse to look a hot mess and um, no. It’s not. I am also not okay with leaving the house with yoga pants on because…just, no. I’m hoping that post can inspire mamas to put a little extra effort in caring for themselves on the outside, which oftentimes, can make you feel better on the inside. Sometimes.
Oh! And Scandal comes on tonight. I was such a lover of this show but I totally missed last season’s. I’ve got some catching up to do but since I am insanely behind, I will ignore Twitter and Facebook for like…a few days. Or, you know…a week.
Oh yeah. My hair. I chopped it off (again) and got a blonde taper. Which I’m lovin’. I’m also thinking of going jet black at some point, doing purple tips and maybe a gray streak. Just because. Gotta keep it cool, ya know? I hate when my hair is boring and for the past few months, it has been just that. I’ve also been wanting some new eyeglasses. A ton of my fellow beauty bloggin’ gals recommended Warby Parker and so I looked them up.
Apparently they are pretty popular! I try very hard not to wear eye glasses that look heavily hipster and “trendy”. I have a quirky look and I want my glasses to match but I don’t want them to look like I’m trying too hard. You know what I mean, don’t you? Warby Parker is cool in that they have a Home Try-On service in which you select 5 pairs of glasses and they mail them to you to try out. It’s really that easy! You get 5 days to try out the pairs of glasses, pick the ones you like, order them and then send back the demos.
And girl. You ‘best send those glasses back because if you don’t, the Warb will charge your butt. They are G’s like that. Here’s what I picked out…
But really I think my video version of these eyeglasses will best show off which ones, I think, are best for me.
Have you ever heard of Warby Parker? Own any of their glasses?]]>
The very beautiful and talented celebrity stylist Ursula Stephen shows off how to achieve one of her favorite looks using Motions products.
Okay, so yours truly isn’t able to rock any of these looks (I recently cut off/shaved my head…again) because I am just in love with short hair but if I ever get the desire to let my hair grow, I’m thinking I could easily rock a twist out. In fact, many years ago, I wore a twist out much like the one the model had in this video. Twist outs are great because they usually last for weeks at a time and I’m thinking Motions products are great for not only styling but maintaining the styles luster, as well.
This is a sponsored post for Motions through The bLink Marketing Network and Lunchbox, all opinions are 100% my own.]]>
And seriously? How is it already Fall? OMGGGahhhh!
It works great on all hair types. I’m always picky about hair produucts, because you know, everything doesn’t work for Black girl hair. Which sounds crazy but fellow kinky haired girls know what I mean. Darshana works beautifully on my natural hair and I couldn’t be more happy about it.
It isn’t greasy. Because don’t you hate when oils are just sticky and greasy? Darshana isn’t like that. It moisturizes and conditions hair without the super slip.
It doesn’t have a strong fragrance. I can’t deal with heavy scents in any kind of product but especially hair products. Darshana has a very mild and pleasant citrus’y scent but it mostly dissipates after application. So…yay!
It can be used on the body. Oh yes, girl. I have been known to slather myself in this after a shower.
You can notice an immediate difference after use. I like to use this oil on my hair at night and as a pre-condition before I wash my hair and I can always notice the difference after I’ve used it. My hair is so so silky, my girls pop and my scalp isn’t as irritated.
I can’t say enough about Darshana. So yeah. Look forward to me writing a post every time I place an order. Yeeeep. It really is THAT serious.]]>
Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!
My Beauty Bunny – Carry groceries, office supplies or your latest beauty haul in true style. Enter to win a gorgeous Thursday Friday Tote Bag from their Nautical Collection!
Nouveau Cheap – Have you seen the Halloween 2014 Limited Edition glitters from Sinful Colors yet? If not, click right here.
Prime Beauty – shares 6 Beauty Problem Solvers that will curl your lashes, remove deodorant stains, untangle your tresses and get every last drop of product out of the tube!
Phyrra – has the Best Mascaras You Seriously Need to Try Now! Don’t buy another mascara until you read this!
we heart this – Would you like to see swatches of all 30 new Milani Bella gel powder eyeshadows? (Hint: you would!)
Beauty Junkies Unite – Amber confides in us what one of her personal vulnerabilities is, and also one of her biggest beauty regrets in life.
Clumps of Mascara – puts away the beauty blogger hat for a second and gets real about some thangs.
EauMG – was curious about the Korean beauty box service, Memebox. Victoria shares her impressions of Memebox and the three Scentboxes (yes, boxes with a fragrance focus!) she ordered.
Glitter.Gloss.Garbage – Glitter.Gloss.Garbage unveils September’s hottest Glossybox ever! Plus you can win one!
Gouldylox Reviews – Need a new fall lippie to switch it up without the commitment? Makeup Wars has you covered!
(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)
B says, “Sephora’s waterproof eye makeup remover, Urban Decay’s Zero eyeliner pencil and MAC’s Vino lipliner. Those are three of my staple beauty products.”
What about you?
See you next week!]]>
I want happiness. I want money because money provides opportunity and experiences and…chances. Lately I’ve been getting discouraged in thinking I’ll have to work bOOOOooooring jobs that may pay well but that don’t touch anything. Or anyone. Deep down inside I know I was put here on this Earth to help people. Beyond giving them mascara recommendations, ya know? I’m not made to work in cubicles for companies for 40 hours a week, every week. That’s not my calling. Neither is being a stay at home mom. Could I do it? Absolutely. Do I want to? No.
I’ve spent my 20’s feeling lost and not knowing what I wanted and where I’m going. I can’t exactly pinppoint exactly what I want now but I know what I don’t want and I feel like it’s time to refine some things. And I don’t know how. It will require many prayers and some soul searching. I know I’ll get there but this is just a rough patch that I’m going through.
I may blog about it which may turn some of you off. Which I totally understand because you came here to talk about makeup. Not about the woes of a 29-year old. Am I right? But something is telling me that it’s okay to share a little. So…I’ll share.
But, in the meantime I’m going to inspire myself. And you should, too. Surely there were moments and times in your life that you thought you’d never get through. But you did. Here I am looking for inspiration when I have my own past experiences to glance at. So yeah, girlfriend. Inspire yo’self!!
I had the worst headache everrrrrr last night. It was unreal. Luckily one of my gal pals was visiting and helped me Elle (because you know…Esposo has been traveling for work for 2 weeks now) and I could not have been more grateful. I’m thinking that my life as a new mother is scaring her. Truthfully, it scares me, too. My friend is shocked at how much goes into just getting these tiny (crazy toddler) humans fed and in bed. Yes, it’s unreal. And scary. It is indeed birth control for both her and myself. None of this has anything to do with this Twitter party that I’m hosting but I thought I’d give some insight into my life. HAAAA!!!!
This party, though…
I’m excited about it. This is my second time hosting a Twitter party with Prestige Cosmetics and the first one was explosive! They brought me on board again and this time I’ll be co-hosting with my good friend and homie Erin of Scandalous Beauty and I am excitedddddd! We’re going to rap about Prestige Cosmetics’ newest collection and one lucky participant will snag a door prize. Be sure to RSVP to qualify for this door prize and join us as we chat about Prestige’s 18 new basic black products.
See you thurr!]]>