A Little Life Update.


I’ve been unsure whether I was going to write this post. Alas, I ultimately decided that I am more of the straightforward type of blogger than the mysterious sort (gosh, I wish I could be more mysterious… but let’s be real: I’m just not a mysterious person when it comes down to it.)

Let’s back up a bit.

Do you ever feel like life is just moving way too fast? Like the days, weeks, months are just passing and you’re in exactly the same place? I hope you don’t ever feel like like that, because that’s kind of where I’ve been for the past six months and it hasn’t been all that fun. On this endless treadmill of working until I’d fall asleep, and then getting up as early as I could to work some more. Working, sleeping, working some more… and so on and so forth. Meanwhile, watching my friends have these major events occur in their lives and feeling like (besides work) I was in exactly the same place. I never set out to be that person who lived to work but that is exactly what I had become.

Backing up even further… I grew up with parents who drilled it into my head that I could have everything I wanted, be anything I wanted to be… as long as I was willing to work for it. They run their own business and accomplished some incredible things – but work really, really hard. So working hard was always in my blood… but I was also always a pretty fun person. Somewhere along the way things went awry and the balance shifted. I found myself rather spectacularly burnt out.

I was so tired that I was always sick. I relaunched this site, threw my launch party, and got sick for ten days. I’d go into the office, go home and write my blog post for the next day, and go straight to bed. And then I’d wake up and find ten typos in my blog post or a huge error in an email that I’d sent to my boss at midnight. Cringe. Real talk: the absolute worst thing when you are working that hard is to realize that you aren’t even doing that good of a job because you are so spread thin.

I knew that things needed to change but I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. I loved my job and I loved my blog but together, they were making me completely miserable. But here’s the thing that I tell everyone (but hadn’t really been listening to?) You are the only one who can control your happiness. Plain and simple. I say this based on general life experience, career experience, and relationship experience. You simply cannot look to anyone besides yourself to make your situation better. It has to come from within. If you get one thing out of this post, please take that with you. No one can make you happy (truly happy, not superficially happy) besides yourself. Your boyfriend isn’t going to make you happy if you aren’t already happy on your own, your boss isn’t going to see that you’re tired and offer you a vacation. It has to come from you and only you.

So, after another weekend of being too tired to do much of anything, I approached my co-founder at work on Monday morning. I had stayed home during the Superbowl to practice my “speech,” but when I sat down with her, I forgot everything that I was supposed to say and just babbled on like an idiot. The end result of the conversation (which I honestly don’t even remember because I was so scared to even have the conversation) was that she wanted to help us find a happy medium where I could stay on at BaubleBar but have more time to focus on my personal projects. It was a solution I hadn’t even thought possible.

And so effective this past week, I work at BaubleBar two days a week running our influencer program, which is/was far and away, my favorite part of the job. The other three days, I work at home, running my blog and working on some consulting projects. And it’s great. I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt so happy. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to do this. It’s the best of both worlds. I think some people thrive in a really structured environment, and others do well in a more flexible environment. I definitely am happier (and more productive) in a more flexible situation. I love that I can stay up til 2am working if I want… and sleep in the next day if it’s a work from home day. Granted, there are trade-offs… I gave up health insurance and a pretty good salary.. but it’s been 100% worth it in my opinion.

The result of the change can only be described as pure, unbridled joy. I am pretty sure that I’m actually a brand new human. I don’t remember the last time I felt so happy. Not happy because of a thing, a job, or someone else… just happy from within. I am so much more present in my relationships… and just so much more fulfilled personally. And this is all in the matter of a week and a half. I can go out for an impromptu cocktail after work if I want, or go out on a date without worrying about being home in time to write my blog post, and so on and so forth. It’s… balance, which is something I haven’t had in a really long time.

The hardest part was one I hadn’t anticipated… feeling a bit left out at work. It’s hard taking a step back from something you’ve worked so hard to build. (I was one of the first five members of BaubleBar, and as head of social media was a part of our executive team… I knew everything that was going on in the company and got to impact change across so many areas of the business.) It’s hard stepping back and not feeling as “needed” as I was before. And I know, this sounds crazy because I got exactly what I wanted. So yes, I will shut up now.

The reason that I’m telling you all of this (besides just to be honest and keep things real around here) though is to hopefully inspire you to really think hard about your own life. Maybe I’ve taken a few too many soul cycle classes, but why not figure out a way to wake up happy every day? To love every day. What makes you tick… what sort of life makes you thrive? It’s completely different for everyone. Figure it out, make a plan to get there… and do it… sooner rather than later. Life is too short to be tired all the time or to be unhappy. You get one life. There are no do-overs. People aren’t going to remember you for being a hard worker or all those late nights you pulled… they are going to remember the silly times, the heart-to-hearts… the trips, the crazy dance parties at 2am. They’ll remember you for your passions, your dreams, that stuff. I’m not saying to be irresponsible… but sit down and make a plan and write it down with goals and dates. Save up, and work towards your goals. Take calculated risks… and figure out how to get what you want.

That’s all for today. Like I said, this was hard to write. As bloggers, it’s our job to make our lives look beautiful on social media… nobody wants to admit that they were essentially falling apart behind the scenes. As far as things go around here, you’ll see a few changes to my content, but I promise you it will be a really good thing. I already run sponsored content most weeks and that will continue… but I’ll (as always!) only work with brands that fit here organically. It’s so important to me that every element of the site feel 100% authentic. But… this newfound free time means I’ll be able to get back to posting twice a day… and adding back all of those DIYs I loved so much. Lots of good stuff to come. 😉


Leave a Comment


  1. Nnenna says 2.20.15

    I love that you’re not afraid to share the good and the bad in your life. It seems like taking a step back from BaubleBar was the perfect decision for you and I’m happy that you’ve noticed such a big positive impact in your life, just over the past couple weeks. I kind of had one of those “What am I doing with my life?” moments a couple months ago and it was good for me to sit down and think about what I really want. I still have a lot of work to do on that front, but I’m going to keep at it!

  2. Kaolee says 2.20.15

    Funny that you should write about this right now! Something similar happen to me, not necessarily by choice, but by situation, and it’s forced me into a better situation! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. kat says 2.20.15

    good for you. you’re gonna kill it girl.

  4. Ellie says 2.20.15

    Thanks for keeping it real and showing that life it’s always perfection…because it’s not for anyone. Congratulations on taking the leap and listening to your heart! Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  5. Nicole says 2.20.15

    So happy for you Grace, you deserve every bit of happiness! It’s always refreshing to see bloggers offer up the flip-side to the normal sunshine and rainbow style posts. Thank you for opening up and good luck with everything 🙂

  6. Amanda says 2.20.15

    This is a great post, your honestly is so appreciated by your readers! This is encouraging me to find the perfect balance. Like you, I find that I’m tired all. the. time. Thanks for the inspiration to take a look at why and make a change!

  7. Meghan says 2.20.15

    Your joy is radiating through this post, Grace & I couldn’t be happier for you! You are one of the most dedicated, hard-working people I know and you deserve every ounce of the joy you sought out. Here’s to much more to come!

  8. Jess Zimlich says 2.20.15

    That’s so amazing that you were able to work something out so that you could feasibly do both. Feeling both mentally and physically exhausted can really take a toll on your body. I’m really happy for you and I can’t wait for more DIY’s! 🙂

  9. Juliana says 2.20.15

    Hey Grace,

    I can totally relate to you! With anything in life, there are trade offs but at the end of the day what really matters is that you are completely happy. Nothing in the world compares to one’s own happiness. When you’re happy, great things start to happen. I’m so glad you were able to find your happy medium and thanks for being honest. I love real girl talk! Have a great weekend 🙂

  10. grace // gracejoakley.com says 2.20.15

    Thank you for writing! Such a wonderful post. I’m thrilled to hear about your newfound happiness!

  11. Rebecca {at} PreppyPanache says 2.20.15

    Congrats on such a momentous event!

  12. Nikki Rappaport says 2.20.15

    Grace, I love you, and thanks for writing this. So proud of you for making a tough decision which ultimately makes you a happier person. It’s the kind of inspiration we all need. I’m definitely inspired. xoxo

  13. Lindsay says 2.20.15

    I appreciate this so much!! You are so right, in social media, we try to make everyone believe that everything is sunny, despite the storms we might be enduring. I am so glad you are in a much happier and healthier place! xox

  14. Allison + Amy | VelvetCrate says 2.20.15

    Good for you, Grace! Best of luck to you as you shift your focus and priorities. Big things to come in your future!


  15. Tamara says 2.20.15

    Thank you Grace. You are an amazing lady! I’m so glad you shared your story. I think we all struggle to balance everything in our lives, and it always helps to hear how it all works out. Keep on keeping on! Bless you!

  16. Caitlin says 2.20.15

    This post is so inspiring, thank you for being so open and honest with your readers constantly! I have no idea how you managed to keep up with such an amazing and consistent blog while being full-time at Bauble Bar, but luckily for us you did a spectacular job and your hard work definitely paid off. I’m so happy for you that you have finally found your way back to your own happiness. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Cannot wait to see all of the wonderful things to come your way in this next chapter <3
    xo, Caitlin

  17. alex says 2.20.15

    What an inspiring read! And I can totally relate. I, too worked on a team of two. We were both struggling and burnt out , making progress but missing weddings, girls weekends, and family time. We were sinking and soaring simultaneously. Last fall, we decided to add to our team to alleviate the stress. Best decision ever.
    We are the mysterious type so it’s not a story I told but I am so glad YOU did. It’s so important as a young woman to focus on goals but w/o balance, it’s a waste. I respect, appreciate , and admire your honesty. And as much as I am floored by your success, I’m more amazed that you just took a step back before your young life passed you by! The fast(er) lane is WAY overrated. Thank you for the inspiration. Blessings to you.

  18. Rose says 2.20.15

    Grace, I am SO happy for you, and so proud of you, too—for recognizing what’s going on internally and figuring out how to address it, and also for all the amazing things you’ve accomplished. Also, proud to be able to say I know you! Looking forward to catching up this spring 🙂

  19. Vianey says 2.20.15

    That’s exactly how I felt with school, full time student. Waking up really early and going to sleep really late. Having to do homework all day and still felt I could do more yet I was always burnt out. So this semester I opted for a different pace whereas before I couldn’t have been able to get a part time job to help my parents out atleast with my part of the cell phone. Now I am able to do everything with a smooth flow and not feel burnt out. Thanks for sharing this I know this feeling all too well

  20. Sarah says 2.20.15

    Love this! Obviously when you spend less time around people you’re used to seeing all the time it’s easy to feel a little bit of FOMO and I think that’s really normal (I know I’d feel the same!) but it sounds like this really is the best of both worlds – some time at BaubleBar (but not having it be all-consuming) AND more time for your own projects. Win-win 🙂

    Thanks for keeping it real. You’re truly an inspiration! Wishing you the best and I can’t wait to see how your site and career evolves over the next few years!

  21. Beth Pearlman says 2.20.15

    I am so glad I checked out your site today via Facebook. I love your honesty and frankness. I basically stopped blogging about 6 months ago because I felt overwhelmed with the pressure to grow, grow, grow my followers and also look perfectly dressed at all times, when the reality was soo far from the truth. I felt like such a poser. I took some time off, realized the blogs I love the most are the ones where they keep it real and are an open book and vowed to jump back in and do the same. To be authentic. I can only imagine how hard it was to write this post but just know how well it was received on my end and surely others. So happy for you! You go girl!!

  22. Jamie Stone says 2.20.15

    Again, big CONGRATS! This is such a great move for you 🙂

  23. Lauren Jade says 2.20.15

    LOVE this post. I was in your exact same position at the end of last year and made the same move. I took a step back and re-evaluated what I wanted. I quit my job to focus on my true passions and my HAPPINESS. Which is what my new blog is all about. Good luck with your change! Great things are ahead.
    Lauren Jade
    “Simplifying Life, Maximizing Happines”

  24. grace says 2.20.15

    YAY! This is inspiring on so many levels. I’m so happy for you following your heart – having the courage to ask for what you want, getting just that and then exposing it all over the interwebs for us to read! 🙂 That is not easy but I have to say that when I started to read this post – I took a sharp intake of breath and thought – OH I hope she isn’t going to NOT BLOG anymore!! From one Grace in the social mediasphere to another – I’m giving you a virtual fist bump! 🙂

  25. Meagn says 2.20.15

    Girl, I feel the EXACT same right now! You need to take risks to be happy and a make few sacrifices. But honestly, I’d take my flexibility over my 9-5 paycheck (most days, ha!).

    Thanks for keeping it real!

  26. Marissa says 2.20.15

    Wishing you the best! Just went through a similar situation so I completely empathize. After being at a job for four years working hard but feeling unfulfilled and realizing I was going nowhere, I became a part of a great company as a Media Director (my client snatched me up). Feels great to be appreciated and be part of something really cool too. Get it, girl!

  27. Helena says 2.20.15

    I’ve already said it, but a huge congrats!!!! What an exciting change!

  28. Katie says 2.20.15

    Thank you for writing this post, I needed to hear that advice and take it to heart!! Congrats, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

  29. Jessica says 2.20.15

    Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate the sheer vulnerability and honesty behind your post, and I think there are probably a bunch of people who can relate. I, personally, can’t at the moment, but I could see a similar situation coming up in the future if I continue being more involved with blogging. Your story is still inspiring though, and I am very happy that you have found a happy balance. 🙂

  30. Jessica says 2.21.15

    Grace, Congratulations for taking a leap of faith! I wish you all the best in finding your true happiness! Very inspirational! Xo

  31. Anna says 2.21.15

    I’m so happy for you!!! This was very inspiring <3


  32. Jess says 2.21.15

    Great post, thank you for the honesty. Something I needed to hear 🙂

  33. Aly says 2.21.15

    How crazy that you posted this yesterday and I posted that photo about loving the way we are designed etc etc… We’re worlds apart but somehow in sync. Love you and your honesty and as someone who suffered at the hands of an unbalanced life last year, I applaud you for recognising the signs before you got in even further over your head. Proud Aly. Xxx

  34. Allison says 2.21.15

    Grace, this post is exactly why I love your blog. I read a lot of blogs and yours is so unique. You are your real self on your blog and that’s what makes it great. I’m so happy for you in making this change.

  35. Bee says 2.21.15

    Congratulations!!! Why did I feel like I couldn’t take a breath while reading this post until I got to the end? LOL!! I can only imagine YOUR energy & joy that was being shared between two full time jobs!! B/B is still lucky to have you & so are we!! :). Take care of yourself!!

  36. Erin @ Thanks, I Made It says 2.21.15

    Wow! I really admire your openness, Grace, and think its inspiring that you made a decision on what’s best for you. Enjoy this next chapter! [and of course, looking forward to those DIYs! 🙂 ]

  37. Emily- Moonlight Chai says 2.21.15

    I’m glad you were able to find a balance! As someone with anxiety, I struggle to find an even balance in my life because without it I feel like everything is spinning out of control. I work in PR and try to work as home as often as possible.
    Remember you control your happiness! And I’m happy to see that you really have taken it into your own hands.

    Ps. I just found your blog. It is amazing! and the theme is fantastic!

  38. Jennifer says 2.21.15

    It took tremendous courage to be honest with yourself, your happiness, your limits and to put yourself out there and make changes. Very inspiring! A huge lesson here, however, is that your hard work and the quality of what you do at your corporate job allowed you this flexibility. If you hadn’t been such a great contributor, this option wouldn’t have been available to you. Use it as motivation to continually do your best.

  39. Jeanne says 2.21.15

    So much food for thought!

  40. Amy Giles says 2.21.15

    Wow!! I appreciate your honesty so much!!! You spoke to me and so many women!! You have been one of my major inspirations to starting my local business – Wardrobe made simple- personal styling and closet organization and clean out. I have been struggling with finding a work life balance as well (husband, twin -3 yr old girls & life), and this was a fabulous, “real” post!! I usually never comment on posts…. But I felt the need to pat you on the back and tell you how inspiring a read it was. I knew that you were the real deal, but this post just really spoke to me and I appreciate all of the hard work you put into your job and your blog. Keep up the balancing act and know that you are making a difference and motivating people. That’s why I do what I do!
    Much love!

  41. Marjorie says 2.21.15

    Great Post! Love your photo by the way 😉


  42. Heather says 2.22.15

    Read the book Lean In. I think you’ll enjoy it b

  43. Kat Smith says 2.22.15

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post! I have definitely felt that way and know that there are so many women out there struggling with the same dilemma. Your honesty is inspiring. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!


  44. Amy Anderson says 2.22.15

    SOOOO true! All of it. I went through the same thing . . . have the same type of parents . . our stories could be the exact same. I’m still working through finding my happiness with blogging, but it’s coming along. It’s just tough. People have no idea!

  45. Wishes & Reality says 2.22.15

    Good for you for choosing hppiness! This truly sounds like the best of both worlds and leaves the door open for lots of new opportunities!


  46. Jamie says 2.22.15

    I read this and instantly felt happy for you! You are so fortunate to have this opportunity to balance out your life and have the best of both worlds.

  47. Cathleen says 2.23.15

    I’ve felt run down the past week with work, personal projects, and sick parents. I could not believe how tired I was. I was definitely rethinking a few things and wanting to be more organized. Unfortunately my personal projects are not money makers, yet, so I don’t have the option of scaling back at work, although this is a goal of mine eventually. A year and a half ago I made a major career change, and paid for it dearly financially, but I had to do it. I felt like I was dying. I’m glad things worked out for you. Things always seem to work out for the best. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    • Jen says 2.23.15

      This is so awesome! I think it’s hard today to separate reality from social media and it’s so nice to see someone recognize this fact. So brave to take the leap to step back from work to regain some fun! Love your blog! Congrats!

  48. Alison says 2.25.15

    I’m late reading this because… well because a good portion of this post could have been written by me. I’ve been working hard, but I am always tired and often sick and the things I love most aren’t bringing me the joy they could if I had more time (and health, and sleep and…). Your part about people not remembering you for a hard working really hit me. I have a strong work ethic I learned from my parents, but when it comes down to it, what’s the point of hard work if you can’t enjoy the results with those you love most? I read this on a day I really needed to. I’m proud of you Grace, and I think you made a brilliant decision. My best to you <3

  49. Katie says 2.25.15

    I am a little late on this post, Grace, but congratulations! I makes me so happy to know that you are happy, and I have noticed it in your content over the past few days.

    I truly appreciate your honesty – I know this is something I have been struggling with, and as a blogger, I understand how writing personal things isn’t always the easiest. SO BRAVO!!

    Can’t wait to see some more DIY projects – those are some of my favorite posts!


  50. Nancy says 2.26.15

    I love this, Grace. Every. Single. Word.

  51. Simply Sabrina says 3.3.15

    I’m so glad that you felt comfortable enough to share your story here, I often struggle with how much sharing is the right amount. Finding the right balance for you is the most important thing, and i’m thrilled that you found it.

    Blogging is a tough job that not everyone sees, but when it becomes a chore instead of a passion thats when you have to draw the line – good for your for figuring out what works for you!

    x. Sabrina // Simply Sabrina

  52. Emily says 3.3.15

    It’s so nice when you find something that just fits, right? So happy that everything has worked out for the better! Can’t wait to see where this new opportunity takes you 🙂

  53. Rachelle says 3.3.15

    I stopped following a lot of big bloggers this year, just because they feel a little out of touch to me (not because I’m jealous of their lifestyle, but more because I am not inspired by them). I love following your blog because you are a real girl with a career etc.. hence I can relate to you. I don’t feel like you put on a show just for the blog but I’ve always wondered how you did it to be honest. Because I can imagine the times that goes into running a blog like yours and having a full-time job. I admire your work ethic and I think cutting back was a great move on your part. What’s the point of being successful if you are unhappy, so no worth it.

  54. elizabeth says 3.19.15

    Congratulations, Grace! So happy for you on this new adventure. I did the same about a year ago and can’t imagine going back. Sleep, yoga, reading, doing nothing . . . they matter just as much if not more than work. Of course I still need a daily reminder of that! As bloggers I think it IS our responsibility to report back on the messy side of life too, so thank you for sharing. Love you all the more for it!

  55. taf says 6.1.15

    New to your blog -directed over by Lemon Stripes. Really enjoyed it – however, you lost me a little with the last paragraph, especially “s bloggers, it’s our job to make our lives look beautiful on social media… nobody wants to admit that they were essentially falling apart behind the scenes.”
    I’d disagree – I’d rather – and maybe it’s just me – but read a blogger who is true to herself and authentic than one that’s just spouting off the good news. I think the best blogs are authentic where you can share a POV, but you also see her/him let their guard down a little; it’s not something you can fake either. If you are these things, I think the happiness needs to come from you statement is all the more real.
    – TAF theappreciationfactor.wordpress.com

    • graceatwood says 6.1.15

      Hi there! Thank you for stopping by and for commenting.

      I agree with you, and think that if you keep reading I always keep things super real and authentic over here. At the same time, a big part of blogging is creating beautiful imagery + producing content that is inspiring and uplifting. 🙂

  56. Maggi Ingels says 6.10.16

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling with issues like this and now I have realized I really do need to go after my dream!