Sunday, December 3, 2017

, , , , , , , ,   |  No comments  |  

My Year In Review 2017 & Eco-Update 6

This year went by fast huh? How is it possible that 2017 is coming to an end? Time flies when you're having fun I guess. Anyways, here's my yearly recap of my ups and downs to this eco-friendly lifestyle.

Chatty Collaborations

My year for collaborations was so much better than 2016. I'm all about collaboration over competition. I really enjoy twitter chats. I enjoy them so much that I started my own. It all started when I did this this challenge. I got a few questions about it and that's when I had a lightbulb moment. I started hosting monthly chats surrounding topics that has helped me along my journey.

What is a twitter chat? It's a real time virtual conversation with a specific topic. There are guest(s) and a moderator meeting at a scheduled date and time to chat. The moderator asks questions that the guest(s) and/or participants answers. There's also a unique hashtag to go along so that everyone can see the virtual conversation anywhere in the world.

The planning, scheduling, and executing gave me a natural high. Did everything go as planned? Nope! There were a few bumps in the road. But I enjoyed and believed in what I was doing so much that I didn't give up. I simply worked with what I have and go from there. Thanks to all that participated in my "clueless" chats. If you missed the chats, check out the recaps below.

#CluelessFinance- #CluelessFitness- #CluelessBeauty- #CluelessEating- #CluelessTravels- #CluelessLiving

My First Conference

I went to one of the largest conference for women content creators, social media influencers, and entrepreneurs in the world. BlogHer17 took place in Orlando and I made sure to be a part of it. This year's conference was lucky number 13 and Blog Her first time in my home state of Florida.

There were over 2000 in attendance. I got to connect with a few familiar faces and meeting new ones for the first time. I heard from some extraordinary keynote speakers. Women like Chelsea Clinton, Cecile Richards, Serena Williams, Ana Navarro, Joy Ann Reid, Gabrielle Reece, and more. Before the start of each keynote there was a meditation session with Starr Barbour, Ananda Leeke, and Latham Thomas which I really liked.

There was an expo hall where attendees can have a one-on-one with sponsors of the conference. I was able to meet with a few of them. One of my favorites was Day Owl Rose. I visited them often and knew how to get to their booth with my eyes closed. I also met, took a pic, and got a signed copy of celebrity chef Carla Hall's cookbook.


-Break Out Sessions. Trends in Health, Fitness, Wellness, and Nutrition session. If you've been following my blog for a while, then you know why I attended. It was a no brainer for me to attend this session. The topics being covered were on nutrition, meditation, self-care, mindfulness, and cannabis.

Another session I enjoyed was Intimate Writing: How To Balance Your Private and Public Personas. I walked out of this session very pleased. I knew I wasn't crazy for sharing what I share on my blog. Deciding how much or little to share is up to the individual without any added pressure. There was also talks about online safety and I was nodding my head in agreement every step of the way.

-Networking. I got out of my comfort zone and introduced myself to a few people. I met some new bloggers and I was enjoying the energy. I also attended the black bloggers meet up and kept the networking going. I was chatting it up with a blogger I met at the newbie breakfast earlier in the day. I think it was the most chatty I've ever been.

Y'all should have seen me fan-girling when I saw a blogger that was featured on my Green Light Features. Whew! I didn't scare her away. After that moment, we hugged and parted ways. That was a super cool moment. I saw her several times afterwards and I let her be. I know I'm not always going to have that kind of moment with everyone I meet. (this will all make sense at the end of this post)

-Wifi/App. Gotta give credit where it's due. As bloggers good internet connection is a must and Blog Her was on top of it. They had a wifi zone area that easily connects to the internet. There was also charging stations in the expo hall if you needed to charge your gadgets. Dope! I didn't have any problems with my connections. Last but not least, Blog Her had their very own app that I downloaded for FREE. With this app you can connect with other bloggers, set your schedule, and follow along with what was coming up next during the conference. I believe you can also tweet directly from the app but I didn't utilize that part of it. I think that app was beautifully designed and I truly enjoyed the user friendly features.


-Swag Bag. It was a miss for me. That's it! Moving right along...

-$$$$. It wasn't cheap. I did take advantage of the early bird pricing for the full 2 day conference. Thankfully, the conference was a few hours away from me and all I had to do was drive there. Can you guess what part of this trip was the most expensive? The hotel. When it came time to my hotel stay I was like... this gon' cost me how much?

FYI: I didn't stay at the host hotel which was the Hilton Bonnet Creek. What had happen was.... by the time I was ready to book, it was SOLD OUT for the Blog Her rate. I started biting my nails debating if I should stay at a cheaper hotel away from the resort. But as many times as I visit the Orlando area, I stay getting lost so to avoid that I stayed across the street at the Wyndham Grand.

It is literally walking distance from the Hilton. I did my price comparison and it was about the same. There were other bloggers staying at the Wyndham so I didn't feel too bad. Be prepared to be paying extra fees on top of your stay. These resort hotels have a fee for everything per day. The price for hotel food and drinks is astronomical. They have a trapped audience so they can do whatever.

BlogHer did give us breakfast and lunch during the conference. But outside of that you're on your own. I did bring some spending money but the way my "I don't really need it" was set up, I didn't end up spending all of it. So if you plan on going save up your coins NOW!!!

-Break Out Sessions (Part 2). I know I know. I have my reasons. I was underwhelmed at one of the sessions I went too. I commend the panelist for sharing their knowledge. But a good portion of the session was just general information. I thought I was going to get new tangible information and I didn't. So what I'm saying is as a newbie don't have high expectations.

-Meeting Bloggers/Influencers. I'm not going to sugar coat this part at all. I'm just telling MY truth.

FACT: You will come in contact with people who you've been following/engaging with for years and they will act like they don't know you when they see you in person. Some just don't want to be bothered and you know what? Let.Them.Be. Keep it moving and maybe hit the unfollow button. I'm just sayin'.

True story (this is the part I was talking about above). I saw an influencer but I didn't know who she was exactly. I smiled at her and she just seemed focused on getting to her destination. I knew she was well known because of what was going on at the time. I'm standing there like... Where have I seen her before? Answer: Twitter timeline. My "clueless" self just happened to be in the area checking things out so that I won't miss out on where I need to be.

It wasn't until one of the keynotes, she walks out on stage and I'm sitting there like... oh ok, that's the girl I smiled at earlier... and now I know why she was like that. What's the lesson here? Don't take it personal if your fave isn't always "ON". Everybody has their moments.

Overall, this introvert enjoyed her time at the conference and would go to another depending on the cost and location. I didn't have any major issues getting in and out of the conference area. My goal was to learn as much as possible and make genuine connections. It can be overwhelming but with proper planning it won't feel like it. My experience is my experience and I shared what it was like for ME. I don't want to discourage anyone looking to connect, learn, and grow.

Check out some of the other events that I went to. 

Clueless Travels

Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection. -Lawrence Durrell

That quote tells no lies. This year I traveled more than I did than any other year. I got my stamps to Budapest and Oslo. I do plan on going back and looking forward to other international destinations. When I'm not traveling abroad, I'm exploring more of my home state of Florida. I've been mostly traveling the southern part of the state. One of my goals is to do the entire state. Like... there are other cities besides Miami and Orlando to explore. One of my new favorite city is Sarasota. I look forward to seeing what other Florida city becomes a fave.

Working With Brands, Bloggers, and/or Network Communities

FACT: A good majority of bloggers (especially when starting out) have worked with brands for FREE whether they admit it or not. *raises hand* I have. We all have to start somewhere. However, I'm in no way saying that once you're established you should continue working for free.

This year I've gotten a few brands (and some individuals) in my inbox wanting to "collaborate". These are brands/individuals that claim to be a "fan" of my blog but have never engaged or follow me on social media. Some of these brands align with my journey, others do not. I've had some reaching out to me as if I've already agreed to promote their brand on my site. Then there are the ones that's a perfect match but won't pay or the offer is just not worth it.

Like when this one brand reached out to me and I declined because they claimed to not have the "budget". At the time, I just so happened to know of another blogger who worked with that brand and it appears that this blogger was paid. It was noted by the blogger that the post was sponsored. The same brand that told me they didn't have the "budget" flat out lied to me. I was like...

It was clear to me that this brand was trying to use me to promote their brand and I was so glad I was not in desperate mode. My advice for bloggers is DON'T BELIEVE THESE BRANDS WHEN THEY TELL YOU THEY DON'T HAVE THE BUDGET. I want to build working relationships (I'm pretty much done with just doing reviews) but a lot of brands don't care enough to do so.

So I hear that it's the year of micro-influencer's but a lot of these brands continue to just work with those who are well known and/or have "the look". These brands promote the be yourself mantra but in order for them to work with you, they want you to be more like (insert well known blogger/influencer here). *sighs* Which one is it? The stories I've heard surrounding some of these brands is really disheartening. It took me years to get out of my comfort zone and be myself but in order to work with me, I'm expected to go back to that comfort zone so that XYZ brand can tell me how to be me. No thank you!

Exactly how I feel.

Don't get me started with some of these blogging communities. I don't care if I get blacklisted, unfollowed, and/or muted for what I'm about to say. I really don't get the muted part. I seriously rather be unfollowed than muted. Why torture yourself if you know you don't like me? If you know how to use your critical thinking skills, keep reading this part. If not, I could care less about your feels.

Anywhoo, a good portion of the black blogging community is VERY cutthroat. We say we're united but we're not. We say it's not a competition but it is. I'm just keeping it real. A lot of us know this put choose to stay quiet just so we don't lose followers. Unlike most, I don't let the numbers, likes, and RT's validate me. Almost every other day I see another blogger sharing his/her story of being used/betrayed by someone they trusted. A lot of the time, that someone looks just like them. I've been there and all I can say is learn from that experience and try again.

Do I look like I do blind loyalty?

I've come across some spaces that started out with humble beginnings and welcomed you to the table. But as soon as they gain popularity, they flip the script and you're no longer welcomed. But guess what? You're still expected to blindly support their projects. People are very funny on social media. I'm a point where I started distancing myself from certain spaces. I'll go on pages that promote empowerment, sisterhood, support, and I have to pick my mouth off the floor at some of the toxic messages being promoted.

FYI: I believe in empowerment, sisterhood, support, and more but I'm not going to act like I don't smell the bullshit with some communities. So I follow that gut feeling and quickly X out, unfollow, or block that page. I shouldn't be 😡 every time I see your ish on my timeline. Even with a lot of the negativity, I've still been able to connect with some dope ass people on and offline. I focus and support those that I trust. I'm no longer blindly supporting those that don't support me.

Clueless Eating

Earlier this year I went plant based for a month and I enjoyed the experience. My goal was to find easy and delicious plant based recipes that are not boring or bland. Happy to say that I've found a few. Having the right seasonings makes all the difference. Did you know that there is a difference between being plant based and vegan? Yeah, I thought they were interchangeable and they're not. 

Related Reading: Defining Different Strokes

Vegans: Eat no animal products some even go as far as not wearing clothes made from animals such as leather. Most might even be animal rights activist. It's a way of life. (I've met some vegans in person and quite a few of them have told me they went vegan for health reasons and not necessarily for the animals)

Plant Based: Eats whole fruits and vegetables, grains, and non-processed foods as possible. Most likely wear clothing made from animals and are not necessarily animal rights activist. 

I also watched the documentary What The Health and people left and right were going vegan. That's cool and all but I'm going to be completely honest. After watching it, I was not moved to be a vegan. I'm not looking for cool points with the vegan/plant-based community. Listen... I gave up fried chicken but baked chicken is here to stay. 

I'm aware of what's going on in the food and health industry. I truly believe there is a link to keep us sick. A plant based diet I can do and I've reduce my consumption but not 100%. The Haitian in me ain't ready. I try to be mostly plant based during the day but come dinner time... it's on. To each their own. 

I finally made it to Instagram y'all. I know, I know... I'm forever late. I don't know how some of y'all do it being on every outlet. The thought of managing another account... LordT! The way my simplicity is set up. Anyways, I made it and you can stay "clueless" with me there. I share a lot of my travels, fitness, minimalism, events, and more there before it hits the blog. Why am I bout ready to delete it though? That explore tab is a total mindfuck.

Top 10 Blog Post 2017:

Overall Popular Blog Post- My Minimalist Natural Hair Care Routine

CluelessChats- #CluelessEating

DIY- "Clueless" How To- 3 Easy To Make Salad Dressings

Green Light Features- Kristie

Vegan Bruh- Kurtis

Meatless Dish- Easy Vegan Pumpkin Waffles

Health News- My "Clueless" Tips To Stay Fit & Active

Clueless Reviews- "Clueless" Benefits Of Kombucha 

Clueless Travels- "Clueless" In Budapest

Uncatergorized- My Plant Based Experience

               My "Clueless"  Journey STILL Continues....


Post a Comment