Life is crazy

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Sometimes life forces us to pump the brakes. Instead of fighting it and screaming “Whyyyyyy???”, I yield. I pray. I pause. I think. I breathe. I slow down. Activity on Clumps will crawl for a bit as I grasp on to real life thangs. You understand, right?

Because seriously…life is crazy.

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Join Me At The Niche Parent Conference!

Niche ParentI love when conferences come to Orlando. It happens quite a bit because helllloooo the big Mouse lives around these parts. Yours truly is an Ambassador for the Niche Parent Conference. And wait just one second. Don’t get all huffy and puffy on me and say “But I’m not a pareeeent.” Cool. You don’t have be. In fact, many of the attendees are NOT parents. The Niche Parent Conference prides themselves on bringing together the best digital influencers for a weekend of networking, learning and good ‘ol time.

This conference will be a fantastic fit for bloggers of all genres because the content provided will be geared toward us social media junkies of all backgrounds!

“The Niche Parent Conference features a workshop-style agenda that will give digital influencers, journalists, and business owners hands-on training by top industry leaders in a peer-to-peer environment. Educational and informative continuing education workshops and sessions for attendees will cover the latest trends in blogging, social media, and entrepreneurship. The agenda will be designed to help attendees of all levels enhance their social media and marketing skills, in addition to offering entrepreneurial and business training.” (source)

Yes y’all. Good times will be had and I hope that you can make it! For more information about this very awesome conference, visit the site and to purchase your ticket, do so here!

Heading to Niche Parent and want to meet up? Let me know!

 

 

Disclosure: As Ambassador, I will receive a pass to attend the Niche Parent Conference but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. There’s an affiliate link up there so if you purchase your ticket, yours truly gets a few pennies to spend on saving up for the hotel stay during the conference. Weeee!!!

The Beauty in Washing Clothes with Safonique!

Just kidding. There is no beauty in washing clothes. It’s only the worst chore everrrr! I wash a lot of clothes, y’all. It’s unreal, really. I’m still in my baby makin’ years but I can’t see myself having more than 2 kids because with each new family member comes more loads. And honestly, washing a family of three’s loads are more than enough for me. And don’t even get me started on washing cloth diapers. It’s not a chore. It’s a lifestyle…

I received a sample of Safonique Natural Cleaning Power Eco-Friendly Lavender Sea Laundry Detergent awhile back and I’ve put it through the ringer (haha, literally) many many times. It’s hard to review a laundry detergent because so many factors come into play.


Safonique
-What kind of water do you have?
-What temperature is your water?
-How full do you load your washer?
-What kind of fabric are you washing?

Yes, girl. If you didn’t know there was a science behind washing clothes. That said, I will really only judge on its cleansing power, overall efficacy and how it smells. Developed over 15 years by Patricia A. Boswell, Safonique is a hypoallergenic detergent with pure essential oils. The ingredients are: coconut oil, palm kernels, sugar, baking soda, natural oils and natural enzyemes.

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I’m not gonna lie, it frustrates me when brands don’t go deeper with their ingredients list. WHAT natural oils? What kind of natural enzymes? These things are important to those of us with skin sensitivities. And y’know…just for overall knowledge. What Safonique does tell us is that their formula is Phosphate Free, Cruelty Free, Septic System Safe and free from Synthetic Dyes and Perfumes. Well, okay…I’m down with that.

Because of how concentrated this stuff is, you really only need about 2 ounces for regular loads. And boom…that’s it.

Those not a fan of the scent lavender won’t like this. It really is that simple. After washing and drying, my clothes smelled as if I rolled through a field of lavender and I looooved it. This is a big deal since we typically wash our clothes in detergents without fragrances. Even when I add my own drops of essential oils, I can’t get the smell to last beyond washing.

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In terms of general cleaning, this stuff works beautifully and I think it’ll be a great buy for mamas of little ones, those with sensitive skin and folx who are desirous of gently scented clothes that don’t smell too “fake”. If you’ve got a dirt slinging kiddo or serious stains throughout, you may want to reach for something a little stronger. And as much as I love Safonique, it isn’t heavy duty enough to tackle cloth diapers. Then again, very few detergents are.

Oh, and can we talk about the very cool 50 oz plastic packaging? I’d love if more brands went this route as the pouch takes up less space and looks like it’ll be easier to recycle.

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If you’re a lover of natural laundry detergents, you should definitely give Safonique a try. It is priced well under $7 at Walmart.com.

 

What do you think? Are you a naturalista when it comes to laundering the clothes or do you just use what works?

Look! I’m on YouTube…Again!

Once upon a time, long before Twitter twitted and before people posted their entire lives on Instagram, there was YouTube. Back then I used it. And pretty regularly, too. You see, I was young and free. I was 22 and 23. I lived in apartments with friends, dated losers, traveled, started a beauty blog and just…lived. YouTube was where I went to vent, talk about natural hair and showcase new beauty products that I was obsessed with.

Clumps of Mascara YouTube

And then life changed and I stopped making videos. I’d like to blame getting married and having a baby as the reason why I stopped but nope, that’s not it. I lost my confidence because I had gained some weight and it was so noticeable on video. But thanks to Esposo’s encouragement and my desire to return to something that I once loved, I started doing videos again. And dare I say it but…it’s fun!

I’ve gotten over the nerves, found some confidence and I just roll with it. Yeah, I don’t have the best camera or lighting and I’m not desirous of doing a ton of editing but I do offer something that other YouTube’rs don’t. Me. I can be me. That part is easy. That said, check me out over there. I’ll be trying to do at least 1 video a week. The topics will always be random but if you can think of anything I should cover via video, let me know!

Last week I did a video talking about some of my favorite skincare products…

 

XOXO – B

I’m In The Intel Smart Squad!

Hey y’all! So I totally forgot to tell you…yours truly is the newest member in the Intel 2 in 1 Smart Squad. Weeee! I know you’re all like “Um…okay. What is that?” Good question. Intel has hand selected some influencers who they thought would be good fits to talk about the awesomeness that are their 2 in 1 devices. This opportunity speaks to my techie heart and I couldn’t be more honored to jump on board with an awesome brand. Each influencer will receive a device to use in their daily lives and then share the device’s perks with our social media networks. Easy for me! I am so here for the not just a latop but more than a tablet convenience of an  Intel 2 in 1 .

Not gonna lie – I’ve been a Mac girl for many years now but with the ole’ MacBook gettin’ old I have been entertaining the idea of getting a Windows computer. Mainly because no way will I ever spend $1K+ on a dumb laptop again. But also because I hopped in a Windows store a few months ago and was blown away at the operating system. I’m an old school Windows kid but I can’t wait to see what it’s like to use an Intel device daily.

I’ll be sure to let you know when the new family member gets here. In the meantime, check out the video below. Maybe then you’ll understand why I’m excited about getting my Intel 2 in 1 .

If you own a 2 in 1, let me know what you think!


#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between Clumps of Mascara and Intel This could include Intel providing me with content, product, access or other forms of payment. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own.

5 Ways To NOT Gain Weight On A Cruise

Did you know that it is possible to NOT gain weight on a cruise? I had no idea, but honey, I’ve done it! I managed to cruise for 5 days and not gain an ounce. This is a big deal because if you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know that they are notorious for feeding you. The portion sizes are massive, the food is generally delectable and you can get food 24 hours a day. You can get pizza at 2am, have ice cream for breakfast and eat dinner rolls by the basket. And it doesn’t stop. You try to convince yourself that it’s okay to stuff yourself full of food because, why not? You’re on a vacation! Who cares, right?

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Well, I cared. Which is why I tried my hardest to not eat like crazy and tried to get in fitness where ever I could. And here’s how you can do it.

Utilize the ship’s track – Almost every ship has a track. Use it. And daily. Walk or run at least a mile a day. I found getting up early in the morning was the best time to do this. I could to experience beautiful sunrises, cool breezes and I had a refreshing start to my day.

Just say no to desserts – It seems like a crime, but you CAN turn down dessert. At each dinner, you are offered a 3-course meal and some nights I just skipped the sweets. If you have to have that sweetness at the end, ask for a bowl of fruit instead.

Take the stairs – I lived on the stairs. Cruise elevators are usually always packed with people and if I had to get from the 4th floor to the 11th floor, I took the stairs. I almost died each time, but hey…I got in some extra exercise and usually got to the top quicker than the folx taking the elevators.

Royal Caribbean

Drink water. And only water – Some cruises offer soda packages and you know what? You don’t need it. You really don’t. I purchased a Bobble water bottle before cruising off and only drank water during meals and in between meals. I knew I was going to be eating more than usual and it made no sense to sip calories when I knew I’d rather be eating them. And speaking of eating…

Don’t eat everything on your plate – I haaaate being wasteful. But the portion sizes I got for each meal were way more than I would have ever eaten. I never finished my plate. I ate slowly, allowed my food to digest and would always be full before I was halfway finished with my meal. Also, to prevent myself from getting full off of the carbs, I always ate my protein and veggies first.

Of course these same tricks can be applied on land, too. But I found these tidbits were so useful when I was on the ship. It was a challenge, y’all. But, for me, one screw up can change my entire fitness/diet world and I didn’t want that to happen.

Have you ever lost any weight on vacation? Share your secrets!

Disclosure: Through Brandcation, I received a press trip to travel on and explore Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.

Color Me Rad 5K – Orlando 2014

Yo. So I am all over running races. It is just a wee bit of an addiction. I’ve gone as far as to run 2 races in a weekend and sign myself up for races that aren’t for months and months. I figure this “get fit” thing has to be some kind of fun and so doing races is my way of enjoying it. Kinda.

Color Me Rad 5K

When I was offered the opportunity to score a pass for the Color Me Rad run here in Orlando on March 30th, I jumped at it. Because…obviously. A fun 5K that involves a ton of rainbow dust, loud music and doesn’t involve a huge clock that will track my time? DONE!

Color Me Rad friends

By the way…I took all of these pictures with my iPhone. If they look a bit gritty, don’t judge a sista, ok?

There are many color runs that are held in cities nationwide and since this is my first one, I can’t compare Color Me Rad to any other run. What I can do is give you fellow runners and non-runners an idea if this is the kind of race for you.

Color Me Rad

The short answer is YES! For $50, those that register for this race get a race bib, t-shit (and a VERY cool t-shirt, at that), RAD tattoo, sunglasses and a sticker. More than anything, though, you’re paying for the experience and had this race been around when I was in elementary, middle or high school, I would have sooooo tried to convince my parents to let me run. I would have also done it with my college girlfriends and boyfriends. That’s just it. This race is so much fun at all ages and I think many non-athletes will appreciate how carefree and FUN it is. In fact, many people didn’t run at all. They casually walked with friends and chatted.

Color Me Rad race

So, let’s get down to the details. What to expect at Color Me Rad…

Color Me Rad operates on a wave system. When you register, you sign up for a time and that’s when you head to the Start line. And that’s when the madness begins. Things like this happen at the Start line…

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You get to chattin’ with strangers and watchin’ them toss color bombs all over each other. It’s good time to be had and this is all before the race even starts. Unlike many races, Color Me Rad is NOT timed. I love this idea. I tend to be pretty competitive but I love not having to worry about meeting my personal record. I ran with a gal pal who keeps me motivated and so we did run but it was great not having to worry about beating a certain time.

Color Me Rad Finish line

Every half of a mile or so Color Me Rad has a color station set up that blast with you different colors of colored cornstarch or colored water. I am clearly a 7-year old trapped in a 29-year old’s body because I loved this part.

Color Me Rad finish

Color Me Rad color bomb

And at the end of each wave (and several times during), at a stage an MC will pass out color bombs to every one, a countdown begins and folx toss the bombs all over the air. Best.time.ever. It has been forever since I’ve bounced up and down with my hands in the air begging for free t-shirt. But it was a fantastic time. And I would so do it again.

Color Me Rad dust

Pros:
-When registering, you save money by signing up as a team.
-Color Me Rad is ALL kinds of high energy. Lots of music and lots of excitement.
-Registration at the event was super easy.
-Parking was well laid out (this may vary at different locations).
-The post-run party is a lot of fun with the chance to score a ton of freebies.
-Staff was helpful and plentiful.
-Bottles of water and snacks greet you at the Finish line.
-The colored cornstarch removes easily from skin, clothes and hair.

Cons:
-The race wasn’t mapped out so well. We got lost around certain parts.
-We didn’t receive our post-run color bomb.
-There aren’t any medals.
-The course was far less than 5K. In fact, I tracked it on my GPS and it was only 2.60 miles.

Color Me Rad face

But hey, you know what? The cons are practically forgettable as I think anyone that participates in this race will have an amazing time. They will be at a ton of locations in the U.S. Sign up today!

 

Disclaimer: I received a press pass for this event but all opinions are my own.

Wanna Guess My Shoe Size?

Running shoes

Girls! Oh, how I’ve missed y’all. Granted, I haven’t been away for that long, but I have been missing clicking that “Add New” post button that glows every time I log onto my WordPress dashboard. Thank you all so so much for the support and sincere comments on my Can’t Do It All post. Y’know, it really does take a village. Not just to raise a child but to continue to grow and figure out this LIFE thing. I can’t do it alone. I don’t want to do it alone. No one should. I am beyond grateful to have so many of you in my village.

In other news, guess who will be running her second 5K of the year on Saturday? Me! Woot! Best Damn Race (sorry Ma…it’s really called that) is coming to Orlando and many of the gals in my Black Girls RUN! group have been raving about this race. Apparently, serving participants cold beer after race is a great motivator to get people to sign up.

Well. Beer tastes like sour liquid bread to me so I’m not excited about that part. But I am excited about the medal. I haven’t really trained for this one. Sorry, not sorry. Between fighting this cold, not having a babysitter and being too lazy to run at work, I just haven’t really gotten a good practice run in. Oh well. A few of the girls in my running group and I will be doing intervals so that should give me a good pace.

But yes, overall…I feel so much lighter now that I don’t have the stress of getting posts up. I’ve been able to come home and just relax. It has been amazing. I guess I’m comforted by the fact that you guys aren’t going anywhere. Right?

Right? Don’t leave meeeeee!

Okay, I’m kidding. But really…thank you. And how gorgeous are my new kicks up there? Hot, right? I got them custom fitted for me by the amaziiiiiiing team at Fleet Feet in Altamonte Springs. Guess what size running shoe I wear? A freaking 11, y’all!!! Craziness. But I’ll take it. Big lips, big boobage and big feet. I’ll take it all.

Check in soon. 😉