Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Return?

Hi Guys! Wow, has it been a while since I've been on Blogger!

I honestly meant for this to be a short break from blogging that would only last during the Summer, but that obviously didn't happen as we are now well into Fall.  As much as I love to write and engage with other bloggers, though, it has been very tough for me to come back to blogging. I'm sure most bloggers at some point feel this way, like blogging has become more of a burden than an enjoyable hobby.

This little break really made me realize how much of a strain my blog had become for me. It was all "gotta catch up on the latest posts," and "gotta put up new content." It was more of a chore than anything. Now that I've had time to step back and enjoy life without my blog, and I have been able to really assess my feelings about it.

For me, I feel that I am no longer able to express myself through my blog, and I'm not sure the direction I want to take now. In general I feel that fashion and beauty blogs are a little superficial. No offense to any of my fellow bloggers out there; I am an avid reader of a few fashion and beauty blogs and find their posts very enjoyable and informative. However, the majority of the fashion blogs I follow I never even visit simply because their posts are entirely high fashion/designer oriented. I don't think there is anything wrong with that at all, but for me, it is not at all something I'm interested in, and, for my tastes at least, there is no substance to such posts. My opinion holds true for most beauty blogs out there as well.

Whenever I tried to do fashion or beauty product posts, it always felt so forced and fake for me. I don't mind sharing a few products or outfits that I really like and would recommend using, but to consistently do this is a strain to me.

I think part of my problem is that I try to pigeonhole myself into a certain "niche." I know there is a lot of advice out there on "creating your personal brand" and "finding your niche," but this all seems more like a hindrance to my blog. This advice is great if you use your blog as a way to advertise your business, or if you want to attract sponsors. I started my blog as a way to continue writing after college and to keep myself preoccupied while I was looking for a job. Of course, when I was jobless I thought about trying to create revenue with my blog. Ultimately, my blog is a personal blog, where I want to share my personal thoughts, ideas and interests, regardless of how all over the place they may be.

Lately, my main pastime has been my dolls. I joined BFC (Barbie Collectors Fan club) this year and have been able to find and connect with a great community of collectors on Flickr. I've also found several blogs devoted to dolls that I have began following. My dolls have always been a big part of my life since I was four years old. They've helped me through some distressing situations during my childhood, and have become the only creative medium where I can unapologetically express myself. But as I got older, I've always felt a little weird telling people that I still play with dolls. However, being exposed to other adults who have the same passion has actually made me more open about my collecting. Seeing what other people do with their dolls was one of the things that led me to publicly share my doll pictures on Flickr (which you can check out by clicking the "See My Photos" button in the sidebar).

Regarding this blog, I want it to be my one and only blog, but as I mentioned, I'm not sure what direction I want to take with it. Right now, I use Flickr to post my doll pictures, and this totally works for my needs. I have been toying (no pun intended) with the idea of creating doll stories since I basically do this anyway when I play with my dolls. If I do ever go this route, it will be in the future, and not anytime soon (I need to get over my fear of rejection/criticism before I start posting any stories for the world to see). Since the majority of my time and resources go to my dolls, I would love to post some doll related things on my blog, but I don't want my blog to only be about my dolls. I also don't want to have to deal with posting the same content here and on Flickr, so I want to avoid strictly photo only posts on my blog. That being said, new content is on hold until I can figure things out.

Sorry if this post turned into a rambling mass of text, but I wanted to make you, my readers, aware of what's been going on and why I haven't been posting. As I've mentioned before, I have a serious problem with people dropping off the face of the blogsphere without a word. I believe if you are busy, then say so. If you are quitting, then say so. Don't just leave people hanging and wasting their time checking for new content that will likely never come. Also, I hate being fake. I do a lot of keeping my thoughts and opinions to myself so as not to rock the boat as it is anyway, but I don't want to have to do this on my own blog. I want to let everyone know how I feel my blog should be going forward so it can be more true to me.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Taking a Break....

Hey y'all! I know a lot of you haven't seen me around the blogosphere in quite some time. Don't worry, in the words of Pink, I'm not dead, but I have been super busy with work and in my personal life. When I'm stressed and disillusioned, I usually like to spend time with my dolls, so I've been focusing on my collection a lot.

This summer, I'm going to take an official break from blogging. If you want to see what I'll be up to with my dolls, check out my Flickr album!

I plan to pick back up with my blog sometime in the Fall.

H.A.G.S (have a great summer)!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Best Albums EVER! (IMHO)

Just to warn readers, this list may seem a little wierd for a 26 year old African American female, but I can't help myself! Throw in a lot of alternative rock from the late 1990s and early 2000s (think Matchbox 20, Oasis, The Verve, Smashing Pumpkins, and Red Hot Chili Peppers), add in some emo and pop punk, and then lightly sprinkle in some Pop and Dance, and you pretty much have my entire iTunes library. I'm not counting compilation albums and greatest hits in this list, because that would be cheating.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill
The Neo Soul genre that was so big in the early 2000s was basically R&B for the new generation. But, like a lot of musical fads, this one didn't stay strong for long. Sure, Macy Grey, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and Mary J. Blige are still pretty big, but the majority of Neo Soul artists have pretty much fizzled out. Of all of the Neo Soul albums, though, this one has stood the test of time. This album sounds as good now as when it was released way back in '98. I also have to say that this is the only album that I actually like every song on. It's like when your parents say, "Back in the day you didn't need to skip tracks because every song was good." I guess that's what I'll be saying about this album when I'm 40.

Everything In Transit and The Glass Passenger by Jack's Mannequin
I had never heard of Jack's Mannequin until I was in college, and one of my roommates was playing "Dark Blue". From that moment on I was hooked. Apparently, I'm still in teenage/adolescence mental mode, so the songs on these albums still speak to me. People and Things is a little too adult for my liking.

Mad Season and More Than You Think You Are by Matchbox Twenty
The first song I ever heard from Matchbox Twenty was "Bent." Since then I have been a pretty devoted fan of their music. To me, these two albums sum up what Matchbox Twenty are all about. The new songs from Exile on Mainstream were pretty good too, but based off of the few songs I've heard on North, this latest album hasn't caught me fancy.

Don't Play With Matches by Tabitha's Secret
As much as I dislike Yourself or Someone Like You, I love Don't Play With Matches. The two additional versions of "3 A.M." and "Forever December" are definitely the high points. If you're looking for some good acoustic 90s soft rock, I definitely recommend this album.

Christina Aguilera by Christina Aguilera
I much prefer the sweet innocent Christina Aguilera over the sexed-up-dominatrix version that we have to contend with now, but that's probably just me. In my humble opinion her first album was the best. Stripped was ok, with songs like "Beautiful" and "A Voice Within," but I didn't like the whole bad-girl thing that was forced down everyone's throats. Besides, nothing can top "Genie in A Bottle" and "Come On Over Baby." Aah, those were the days!

By the Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers
I first heard of Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was in high school, but it wasn't until I was in college that I could really explore all that the Chili Peppers had to offer. Stadium Arcadium and Californication are both good, but the line up on By the Way takes all.

Poison Kiss by The Last Goodnight
Probably not the most well known band out there, The Last Goodnight had a good sound, and their first, and only, album is certainly up there with my top picks. Unfortunately, they haven't released anything since.

Boys Like Girls by Boys Like Girls
If you're in the mood for some good Punk/Pop/Emo music, this is your go to band. Whenever I listen to this album, I get all nostalgic for how teen years should be (hanging out with super cute bf in a filed of wild flowers, laughing with your friends beside a scenic lake with a wooden pier), not how they actually are, lol! Like anyone with any ambition for the rest of their life, I hated high school, but this album does a good job of sugar coating those adolescent years in a rebellious emo kind of way.

Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Prism is looking pretty good with "Roar," but Katy's second album is her best. Not to mention it's the first one I heard from her!

Simply Deep by Kelly Rowland
Compared to her hoochy, hip hop sound and image, Simply Deep would probably not be considered Kelly's best album by most people, but like I said before, I prefer the good girl image.

Sunsets and Car Crashes by The Spill Canvas
If you need some good break up music, or just want to hear some music that personifies all the emo heartache society has to offer, then Sunsets and Car Crashes is for you. The same college roommate who introduced me to Jack's Mannequin, also got me started with The Spill Canvas.