Week in Review… 3/16/12

Last week, two articles really struck a chord with me.  First there was this one, on Cup of Jo, which deals with how we spend our time… and prioritizing.  If you say “I’m Too Busy,” a lot, then you probably need to read it.  Then, there was this one on Jess Constable’s blog, followed by this one… both of which I felt I could have written – they describe how I’m feeling to a tee.

Both of these articles  made me think.  A lot.

Pretty much, I need to calm down, take a step back…. and focus on what’s really important.

Every morning, I feel like I’m stepping onto a high speed treadmill.  Up at 7:30.  Check social media and email.  Gym for an hour  Check social media and email again.  Shower.  Throw some semblance of a cute outfit on.  Go to work.  Go home.  Scarf down a healthy but boring dinner.  Stay up late working on blog & BaubleBar stuff.  Inevitably, I can’t sleep because I’m making to-do lists in my head.  I’ve always had a problem turning off, but it’s gotten especially bad this month.. especially as the boyfriend has been gone and he’s usually pretty good at helping me find a balance.  It never ends, and despite all the good, exciting things going on, I wind up feeling tired and sometimes resentful.  I’m not perfect.  I’m not a robot.  I just want to chill out and relax.  I want to sleep in, eat bad food, watch bad TV, and avoid the computer at all costs.  But if I do that, I fall so behind that I feel like I’ll never get caught up again.

For me, a big part of “calming down,” means not making so many plans…. and putting a bit less pressure on myself.  Making more me time, and more cozy nights in with the bf. Stepping away from the phone… the computer… the endless Teux Deux list.  Putting myself to bed early.  Taking more baths.  Appreciating the world around me.  Not obsessing over my stats.  Drinking more calming Yogi tea.  Focusing on creating great content, and then stepping away from the computer and doing something else.  Focusing on the important things, forgetting the little details.

It also means accepting that my life is a little crazy right now, and embracing the insanity a bit… focusing on all of the success we’re having at BaubleBar, and the joy that writing Stripes & Sequins and doing my DIY projects brings me.

Of course, all of this is easier said than done, but I’m certainly going to try.


This was a busy week. so this weekend, I have very little planned.  Sleeping in… (yes, that is an actual plan.)  A leisurely brunch with my best friend, seeing my sister, and lots and lots of crafts time.  The boyfriend wraps his film on Sunday night, and will be back for good on Monday…  (this makes me very happy.)

In keeping with tradition, here are a few favorite things from the week:

  • I adore this blog.  Sarah has such fantastic style – always creative, fresh,  + original.
  • This pitcher is my new favorite thing.   Really, such a brilliant thing.  Constantly having fruit-infused water on hand makes me feel like I live in a spa.  It really is the little things in life.  This thing rocks.
  • My sister was featured on Brynn’s blog.  I loved the interview, and it brings me so much joy to watch sister break into the blogging world and make her own blogging besties.  Her blog is awesome, BTW… a serious must.  In true sibling fashion, I’m jealous of all the cool stuff she finds!
  • J.Crew + DIY?  Yes please.  I loved Anna’s maxi-skirt DIY!
  • Lastly, this DIY bracelet on Delighted Momma is just fantastic – and made from an old cuff + rubber bands!  Completely brilliant.

What are you up to this weekend?  And what were your favorite things from the week?  And.. please, tell me… how do you beat stress and feeling overwhelmed!?

Leave a Comment


  1. Alice McGenniss-Destro says 3.16.12

    i totally agree! Social media is moving so fast right now that I have to be constantly logged on so I don’t fall out of the loop! Even jobs and competitions are being advertised through twitter now! Like you I have the hardest time switching off.. 


  2. christin says 3.16.12

    Lately I have been feeling really stressed and overwhelmed but I think that’s mostly because of my job which then spills over into  my personal life so I have been really trying, so very hard, to only do “me” things on the weekends. Leaving blogging be until Sundays, not checking social media, not being plugged in. Honestly, it’s really helping. This weekend I’ll be doing a little of that and trying to avoid the St Patty’s Day Parade that’s in my backyard on Sat and the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday. 🙂

  3. Things That Sparkle says 3.16.12

    I think thats the biggest problem with social media, it never stops, so you feel like you can’t either. It really isn’t ok. There has to be a point where we shut off. I have been working on the same thing. Truly, for me, I think the best thing I can do is take a little vacation and disconnect. Enjoy your weekend! xo

  4. Nicole says 3.16.12

    I imagine the more success you find with online ventures, the harder it is to turn off. I bet a little will go a long way…have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Alyson -- TAGG says 3.16.12

    Blech, I totally feel the same. Brutal sometimes this day to day crap I feel like never ends. Need a break. Husband and I finally picked a weekend in May for just the two of us. We desperately need it. On an up note, LOVING your new pitcher. 🙂

  6. [email protected] says 3.16.12

    I hear you.  I always feel behind, exhausted and critical of myself.  I hope you enjoy your lazy weekend.

    Thanks for the great links!  More stuff I missed 😉

  7. Emily says 3.16.12

    As silly as it sounds, I schedule down-time just like I do a meeting.  If you treat your down-time or spa treatment or visit to a new museum the same way you do a meeting, with a defined start time and an estimated end time, you force yourself to take that time to wind down and relax.  And as well all know, it is just as important!!  I hope you enjoy your weekend! x  – E


    • Grace - Stripes & Sequins says 3.20.12

      Emily, I’ve started doing the same exact thing!  I’ve been scheduling baths on Monday nights… writing it into my calendar definitely helps.  Tonight, I have actually scheduled to read my book for an hour.  It’s not fun feeling so structured… but it is so nice having the down time!  Thank you for your comment… I hope you had a wonderful weekend! xx

  8. Sam E Penner says 3.16.12

    I can completely relate, Grace!  I feel the same way.  Thank you for sharing these articles.  I definitely need them.  XOXO

  9. Jess LC says 3.16.12

    Thank you so much for sharing my posts that hit home for you! I’m so happy to hear that you are setting the intention to slow down and be more present in your personal life, it’s something that I’m working on myself as well! 

    • graceatwood says 3.16.12

      you are welcome, Jess… thank YOU for your fantastic posts. I think they really resonated with many of us in the blogging community who are trying to do too much, too fast!

  10. Viviana Carmona says 3.16.12

    I share your feelings. Taking a step back, relaxing, and sleeping in are needed every once in a while!

  11. Julie & Lauren says 3.16.12

    I read the cup of joe post too and it totally resonated. It’s good to take a step back sometimes. Xo!

  12. Jess says 3.16.12

    Great post, and I hope you take a break to relax a little this weekend! I actually just posted a similar feeling on my blog today—though it’s more a combination of having been away last weekend and a lot of stuff going on at my day job—and I’m so excited to take a break from social media and focus solely on creating content for my blog this weekend. I think I get sucked into Twitter and then it ends up taking up time, and it’s also just a distraction (and a point of comparison). I’m also planning on running both on Saturday and Sunday, and then tomorrow night the boyfriend and I are headed out to dinner and to see Steve Rannazzisi perform stand-up here. I can’t wait, especially since I feel like we’ve hardly seen each other due to travel and work schedules.

    Phew. Anyway, you should treat yo’self…sleep in, eat, create. Maybe take a hot shower and give yourself a pedicure if that’s your speed!

    • graceatwood says 3.16.12

      Thanks for the nice comment, Jess… it is good to know that I’m not alone! It sounds like you have a great weekend planned, and I’m going to do the same. Get out for a run, spend time crafting, and just relax – away from the glowing screen… 🙂

  13. Denise Atwood says 3.16.12

    You sound like you are finding a good balance.  Just recognizing it all makes you find it.  Enjoy your week-end, wish we lived closer 🙂 love you-

  14. Kristin & Megan says 3.16.12

    Finding your balance is no easy task. I’m still trying. Ha! : )

  15. Alexa says 3.16.12

    Such a great great post. I think we all feel like that at times in our lives. I’ve been trying to take a step back to and embrace each and every moment. xo

  16. Nuha says 3.16.12

    i’m seeing so many successful bloggers say how they need to take a step back and just breathe for a minute.  i would absolutely love to be as successful as these girls, so it always comes as a surprise to me that it’s not always pretty pink peonies. thanks for the reminder that these are real people with real lives.  i hope you get to unplug this weekend and truly enjoy your free time.


  17. Kate says 3.16.12

    I am on the one hand relieved that apparently many bloggers feel what you are describing, just like I do. But on the other hand it seems like the feeling never really goes away no matter how long you have been doing it or how successful you become. Even though I’ve only been doing this for a fairly short amount of time, stressing over stats and comments and such does get the better of me more than I would like to admit. Maybe there should be a set blogger holiday where everyone turns off the comps, logs out of twitter and FB and just take a nap and enjoy a peaceful meal with friends/family…thoughts??

    <3 Kate

  18. Dailycupofcouture says 3.16.12

    Have a fabulous and relaxing weekend!!!! Xx

  19. Sarah says 3.16.12

    It sounds like you have quite a few full-time jobs going on here. It’s important to breath and keep everything in perspective. I’m glad you have some plans to do nothing over the weekend. But selfishly, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes! Hang in there.

  20. Christine @ court and hudson says 3.16.12

    I know we’ve talked endlessly about being on this very same wavelength together. Just know that you have friends – online and off – that are here to listen and to commiserate with. 

    Life will always be a struggle to balance + sometimes it’s a matter of taking a step back and thinking about it this way, In 40 years what do you want to look back and be remembered for? Is the ultimate payoff for everything that you take on worth the investment?  If it’s not, then those should be the first things to go. 

    And remember, I’m always here when you need a soundboard : ) 

  21. Bettina says 3.16.12

    Thanks for sharing both the articles and how you’re feeling, it’s nice that those that I admire in the online world are so genuine.  I just started blogging a few months ago, so it’s still so exciting to me, but I am starting to feel the strains of time. I work full time and have started helping out on a start-up venture, and both of these have been picking up lately, so I’ve been finding myself staying up later and later at night, like until 2 in the morning because I can’t turn off or I feel like I need to work on something. I know it can’t keep going on this way, so I really need to re-prioritize and think about what matters and remember that not getting to something is not the end of the world. It’s comforting to see others feel this way, most of the time I see the pretty photos and posts of everyone’s lives and think wow, they can handle everything why can’t I, but maybe I’m just not seeing the “other” side of what they have to sacrifice to be able to handle everything. Thanks for sharing Grace! I think you should spend a whole weekend wandering the streets of NY, shopping and eating whatever you want, because when I try and think of what I’d want to do to relax, all I can think abou it booking a ticket to visit my friends in NY and meandering the city. 

  22. Rachael Novak says 3.16.12

    Thanks for the articles–very helpful reads 😉 I too have felt overwhelmed at many times, between a full-time job, selling artwork in local stores, blogging, and spending time with friends and family, there is not much time left for ME. And it sounds selfish, because relationships with family and loved ones is important, but nothing can compare to a little bit of time alone (although it sounds like you’re getting TOO much of that with your man gone)! It’s good that you have noticed that you need more time to relax, otherwise it can be very tough to unwind after you reach the point of breakdown. Take pleasure in the small things. And a personal tip from me: buy yourself flowers. Weekly. Always makes me smile 😉

  23. Rebecca Duvall says 3.16.12

    Scheduling a pause from life’s craziness here and there is necessary. Right now I’m juggling a full time job, looking for a new job, taking evening MBA classes and a long distance love affair. The thing that has saved me is making weekend relax time mandatory. It’s nice to know other people feel the same pressure even if it is from other things. 

  24. Jordan - Queen of LA says 3.16.12

    i completely get how you feel – i too have been overwhelmed with work, personal life, family stuff, trips, etc, that i feel incredibly guilty when blogging takes a backseat. there are simply not enough hours in the day to blog, tweet, facebook, instagram, email, gchat, and pin my heart out!

    on a plus size… i hope you take it to heart what an amazing blog role model you are for me. whenever i am struggling to think of something to write or an interesting spin to put on something, i think “what would grace do?” i really do! so keep on keepin on friend 🙂 we all love your stuff and would totally understand if you slowed it down 🙂


  25. Fasion-isha says 3.16.12

    We all have to work on forcing ourselves to slow down and relax without feeling like we’re doing nothing. We’re actually recharging so we can be more effective later! 

    Have a great weekend!

  26. Sarah Sequins says 3.16.12

    When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I like to do little things throughout the week to take care of myself — like eating my favorite foods, giving my hair some extra conditioning, and stretching after a warm shower. I also like to go somewhere without Internet, like the park, with a notebook and pen. That way, I can write blog posts or work on other things without the distraction of the million social networks we’re all supposed to be on. 😉

  27. Jessica says 3.16.12

    i totally relate. it is so hard to completely unplug when everything that keeps us busy is right at our finger tips (like is it really necessary that I have a desktop, laptop, iPhone and iPad… probably not!).
    But in other news, I am having a BaubleBar obsession right now, and am currently giving away one of my favorite necklaces on my blog this week to thank my readers for bringing me to 100 followers!

  28. Megan Zietz says 3.16.12

    Gosh, I know that feeling all too well…I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  29. Anna says 3.16.12

    I always feel so busy. I guess it’s just hard for me to move away from the computer because I work and study all day. Although I take lots of break to go to the gym and walk around my house. 

  30. Becca Atwood says 3.17.12

    Thanks so much for sharing the Q&A from Brynn’s blog!  Also, can’t wait to hang out tomorrow – I’m seriously feeling the need to be lazy and catch up!

  31. Erika [small shop] says 3.17.12

    I just read the article that Cip of Jo references. Since I work for myself, I have to track every single minute. Some days though it’s like I’m doing 15 minutes for one client, 15 for another and another and it’s tough to feel like I have a full billable day. Those days I’m definitely thinking where did my day go? It can be so frustrating when I feel like ivecworked so hard!
    I’m trying to be better about taking nights off, and creating my blog posts on Sundays and maybe 1-2 nights in the week. But I also volunteer which usually ends up being 1-2 nights a week as well.
    I hate to say it, but once you have a kid it gets worse. You are forced to let go of the control you might have over your schedule. It’s really defeating at first. And then you let it go and have to accept that there is only so much you can do! It’s ok if you don’t get back to everyone right away.
    I hate feeling resentful so I certainly understand that feeling all too well. I try to remember that I’m doing it to myself. Unless the person/client knows that what they are asking for us beyond the norm, I’m the only one to blame!

    • Erika [small shop] says 3.17.12

      Oh Grace., forgot to add a lot of times I schedule myself on only 1 or 2 projects a day. That way it makes me feel better and stay focused if I’m saying to myself, “I’ll have a productive day if I can get these things out.” otherwise everyday will be a disappointment! Lol

  32. Matter Of Style says 3.18.12

    I’m so sorry to hear you can’t sleep! You have to find some time for yourself! Gym can be like caffeine, slow things down, you’re so young you don’t need to have such a strict routine! I suggest you to reduce your workout to 3 times a week for a while and take time for  yourself , use that hour to have brekfast or a long bath. In Italy we promote slow food in opposition to fast food.  That means to take time to sit and have lunch, enjoy good food, relax and chat with a friend or family.

    • Grace - Stripes & Sequins says 3.20.12

      It certainly can.  I go in the mornings, so that helps…  I wish I had time for “slow food…”  I definitely get to on the weekends, but during the week, it can feel like I barely have time to scarf down my meal.  Not a good way to go about your day!!

  33. Necole says 3.18.12

    You just described my everyday also, go go go with my boys being a stay home mom and trying to grow my blog easily keeps me up until the wee hours! Thanks for the great post have def taken it to heart.  If you get a moment would love for you to visit my blog, I’m hosting my first giveaway and the prize compliments of Fresh Words Market is pretty awesome!  BTW, I love your blog.

    • Grace - Stripes & Sequins says 3.20.12

      Oh man, I can’t even imagine trying to blog with little ones at home to take care of!  I hope you took it to heart and were able to sneak in a little bit of you time, this weekend!!!

  34. Emily Hart says 3.19.12

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, as here I am, blogging at 1am! 🙂  Looks like I need to find some balance too.  Hope you got some much needed R&R this weekend.  Hang in there!

    • Grace - Stripes & Sequins says 3.20.12

      Thanks Emily!  I hope you got in a little bit of R&R, as well!  It can be hard, but we need to make more time for ourselves, to rest + recharge!

  35. sarah | chevrons & stripes says 3.19.12

    I’m so glad you shared these sentiments Grace! I think a lot of us can identify.  I know it seems impossible but I’ve started to force myself to take friday night through sunday night as vacation from the blogosphere.  I’ll check in on twitter here and there but I found I was making myself crazy trying to keep up with everything in addition to relaxing and having a social life.  I now wake up on Monday morning feeling refreshed and inspired.  Another thing I implemented was one: a few template based posts.  If I don’t have time to really dig into creating a new post, I’ll find a few things to fill in a template and I still love how it looks.  Two: I stopped forcing myself to post a certain number of times a day.  I now try to post once in the morning and once I’ve set it free, I feel like I can work on other projects.  If I feel particularly inspired, I don’t stop myself from posting again but I definitely don’t start frantically searching for content like I used to!  Hope this helps! 

    • graceatwood says 3.19.12

      Thank you Sarah, So very helpful! I love that you are able to take Fri – Sunday off from the blogging world. That is something I definitely aspire to do someday, but right now I’m so busy with my regular job that I use the weekends to get things done! I went for a run this weekend, took a few naps, and lounged a bit… definitely feeling much better! I really appreciate the thoughtful comment and your tips for unplugging – thank you for sharing!

  36. lara / the glossarie. says 3.22.12

    this is such a great post, grace! (sorry, i’m late to the party) i can identify with so many of your stressors and it’s great to know that i’m not alone (and neither are you :))