Over online exposure


It has been a very long time since I blogged (almost a year) and I am nearly at a loss for words. This is ironic, even amusing, because a lot happened in my life during my absence.. a new job, death in my family, a break up.. but I am unsure of how to adapt those experiences for online publication. I never felt this way when I would write on my site before, but perhaps the natural censorship and desire for privacy that comes along with adulthood has finally made its way into my online presence.

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I had a difficult time returning to my blog initially because my laptop crashed in May 2019 and I waited until October 2019 to purchase a new one, due to the financial burden and, quite frankly, lack of motivation. I spend 8+ hours a day on the computer at work, it was… dare I say… REFRESHING to be unable to spend even more time behind a screen. On the other hand this felt like an incredibly long hiatus to try and explain once I did have a laptop in my possession again, especially when every other influencer I followed seemed to be posting consistently. Successful bloggers and media gurus rarely expose the strain that can come along with publicly documenting so much of your life. There can be unwelcome opinions and pain from rehashing life events in front of a less than forgiving audience, that gets to hide behind the cloak of anonymity. I hope that by divulging that I have been struggling with putting out content over the past year and deciding against exposing some of my life events online another influencer will feel less ashamed for taking time off as well.

In November I made the decision not to renew my website’s hosting services, after a costly and frustrating experience with HostMetro. This decision led to my previously designed Headway layout being incompatible with WordPress’ free hosting and ultimately left me feeling disappointed. I lost my Clearing Preppy’s Name logos and branding with their cursive pink writing and pearls, as well as my clearingpreppysname@gmail email address that was hacked, giving some cyberbot contacts and connections I spent years establishing. These were symbols of my blog’s identity for just under a decade.

When I did consider writing online again I was somewhat embarrassed and kept thinking “What are my goals for this post?”  and “What am I trying to address?” instead of just ranting about whatever would come to mind like I had previously. Writing mindlessly was a wonderful escape for me and I thankfully didn’t abandon it all together, rather I switched to good old fashioned pen and paper during my time away from my blog.. keeping journals stuffed to the brim with the rants and emotional documentation of the highs and lows of the past 6 months instead. Arguably, I should have been keeping these records for myself since the formation of my site, maybe even instead of publishing it all for the online world to see. Thankfully I don’t think there’s anything too exposing out there, minus embarrassing photos and over-exaggerated opinions on preppy fashion. With a new mindset now I wonder if I have forgotten how to write publicly without considering who will be reading it though. This might not be a bad thing. The youthful naivety that once allowed me to openly post my thoughts and opinions has been slightly tainted by life lessons, but I don’t regret them. I’m just learning more about myself and my needs. I am so glad I didn’t stop writing overall, but the writing is now just for myself, as it’s an incredibly therapeutic creative outlet for me. And I simply am not willing to share everything online anymore.

 

Celebrating Galentines Day with Buffalo Gal Organics


I love lipstick. I am notorious for wearing bright shades of pink and red and coral, all year long. If I take the time to think about it, I hate that I have no idea what’s in my lipstick though. When it comes to many of the beauty products I use I plead ignorance as to what I am actually putting on my body… Unfortunately after talking with the owner of Buffalo Gal Organics Kasia Cummings I learned that I am not alone in my naive approach to beauty products and the chemicals we expose ourselves to.

Years ago Kasia’s daughter Erin suffered from rashes after using hand sanitizer frequently at school, such a commonplace formula made up of unpronounceable chemicals, that were causing her to break out in rashes. Maybe it was motherly instinct, maybe it was her background as a medicinal chemist, but regardless the hives and skin reaction drove Kasia to concoct a lotion to treat her daughter’s redness and pain. She described this experience as the catalyst that launched her towards making the high quality cruelty free, plant based organic skincare products that Buffalo Gal Organics prides themselves on today.

There is a community of strong successful women behind the doors of Buffalo Gal. When they invited myself and 4 other local bloggers into the store last Saturday for a “Galentines” party I noted a common theme (besides pink glitter and hearts!!) almost immediately. Whether I was speaking with Kristine Koch, licensed esthetician, Brittany Fruchtel massage therapist (I highly recommend her!) or Graciel Evenstorm, floral curator and tea extraordinaire, each specialist emphasized their concern with helping people to make better choices.

I had a skin consultation with Kristine of Nickel City Skin Care where she asked me about my goals for my skin and what products I am currently using to reach them. I laid down on her table and she examined my face under a black light, where she walked me through it with brand new eyes; pointing out oily patches, early signs of aging and black spots on my nose that I always shrugged off as unchangeable black heads. She recommended that I use their Skin Renew Cleanser 2-3 times a week in shower for 5-15 minutes and explained that the hyaluronic acid might be just what my skin needs. I have only used the cleanser twice since leaving the shop, but it smells and feels great! I’m going to make an appointment for a facial treatment with her next. Learning about the “science of beautiful” from each of these ladies was so interesting and informative!

Graciel, of the Soul in Bloom, and I had bonded quickly when I visited the store in the spring, sharing a common love of tea and flowers. We picked up where we left off when she started talking to me about how I could use teas to change my life. She asked about what I am experiencing or need in my life and my mind immediately went to a solution for my anxiety (read my last post for a little insight on that). Graciel gave me a loose leaf herbal tea blend of rose and peppermint, intended to help me relax. I like having this healthy option that tastes delicious, to calm down with.

Our Galentine’s Party included That Vegan Baking Betch sugar cookies, Papercraft Miracles homemade valentines and great company, but it was the education that I left with that really sticks out in my mind. I didn’t feel like anyone was trying to sell me anything, I felt like these hard working women wanted to help determine how to make my life better! What better way to celebrate Valentines Day, than by showing yourself and your skin, the love that you deserve? On that note I just booked myself a rose oil massage with Brittany… until next time ❤

Cats and cares


I’ve been volunteering at a cat shelter in Lockport since June 2018 and have wanted to have a furry friend of my own for years.. I was finally provided with the opportunity to adopt one thanks to my awesome landlord, who kindly let me bring one home just after the start of 2019. This was one New Years change that I could get behind… it’s the judgment filled resolutions on the other-hand that I’m not a fan of.

Oh January- aka the season of drastic weight-loss goals and kale smoothies… At 24 I’m in the last year of my “early twenties” and almost constantly thinking about what I am working towards/what I have to show for 2 and almost a half decades on Earth, January just seems to put a spotlight on what I haven’t amounted to. This unhealthy perception of myself, disguises itself as initially motivating and inspiring, but is ultimately harmful. I know that I have tons to be grateful for and quite a few things to be proud of, yet there is a voice in my head that tells me that I am not enough when I compare myself to the standards that I want to meet. When I read other people’s instagram captions or tweets exposing just a little bit of this self-ridicule I feel sad, but understood. One of my good friends always says that I need to stop being afraid of learning. You couldn’t walk before you could crawl… So why don’t we talk about loving ourselves while we put in the work and being proud of ourselves more and our limiting beliefs about ourselves less?

To bring this back to my new cat Bruce… he thinks I’m pretty cool almost all the time. Bruce doesn’t care that I haven’t posted on my blog for nearly 2 months. He doesn’t realize that January is known as the time of year to set unattainable intentions and wallow in self pity for allowing another year to go by without winning a Nobel Peace Prize/losing 50 pounds/moving to an island in the Caribbean. As long as he is taken care of and I give Bruce attention and Purina Cat Chow he is happy with me. This love without limitations and lack of judgment may seem like a lot of credit to give a fluffy feline, but really it just goes to show that sometimes even animals can be nicer to us than we are to ourselves.

My resolution for 2019, although delayed and something I was unaware of setting initially, is to love myself more. I am more aware than ever that I need to mute the voice that tells me that losing 10 more pounds will change everything. I fully acknowledge that going into this year I need to turn to God and ask him to help me through life’s struggles. I am going to strive to trust Him and myself enough to just let things happen, because I will love myself more. I cannot control it all or do it all and I need to just be proud of me for doing the best that I can.

I don’t completely credit social media or society as the reasons for this twisted viewpoint that I, and many others, have started to have about ourselves. I know the negative messages and constant reel of images telling me I will never be good enough contributes to my own self-judgment, but if I say it’s all them and not on me then I can’t change it. In order to really change this going forward I am going to make intentional decisions about what I expose myself to. In the past I have allowed myself to spend hours on Instagram, an alternative reality of sorts, and just compare and reprimand myself. I have allowed myself to pick apart my clothing size and hair and lack of the latest and greatest… I have chosen not to acknowledge that doing the dishes and keeping my own home clean are still accomplishments, even if they seem small.

It’s somewhat painful to write this post out because I pride myself on having confidence and try to seem like I have it together by posting the perfectly filtered curated photo online.. but I struggle. We all struggle. When my friends use self deprecating statements I like to say back to them “Be nice to (insert their name here). I like him/her.” I hate to hear the way they put themselves down, when they are such great people. Why isn’t the same true for me when I internally “talk” to myself? This needs to change, I refuse to let my orange oversized kitty love me more than I love myself.