Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Five : New Year's Resolutions and Reflections 2013 edition

          Two thousand twelve was a whirlwind year here at Cute and Mundane. Wind filled the wings of my fledgeling blog, taking me on new adventures that I could have scarcely imagined just a year ago. A last minute submission to a casting call led to a place in the first ever Allure Beauty Blogger Awards. I came out from behind my camera for the first time, made my first video, and experienced the intensity of competitive blogging. I was beyond fortunate to have been chosen as one of the winners; I flew to New York, took part in a 'real' magazine photo shoot, and ended up on the pages of Allure's October 2012 Best of Beauty Issue (see here). It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, made possible by family, friends, and most importantly, you, the readers. I'm so grateful for the support you've given me since the very beginning; none of this would have been possible without you.

          The past year was exhilarating, but also exhausting. I was determined to make the most of the opportunity offered to me and blogged almost daily for months. I worked round-the-clock; if I wasn't at my day job, I was busy blogging. I didn't have time for anything else; in a way, I had been pulled under a tide of my own making. I also faced my fair share of hostility and unkind words; let it suffice to say that there was some paradise lost. Despite all this, I still feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to experience so much so fast; even the growing pains were invaluable learning experiences.

           As I face the new year, I feel it's become more important than ever to examine my priorities and find a sense of renewal. Last year I put the pedal to the metal and really churned out material for the blog, at the expense of almost everything else. Now that I'm near my third year, I realize that now is the time to slow down, enjoy the scenery, and nurture ideas. My personal life will also be taking a new turn soon, so I have to prepare for that as well. I'm giving myself a chance to reclaim my original ideas and sentiments, and regain my creativity and positivity. There is a niche for me in the blogosphere, and this year I hope to build upon it using these five New Year's resolutions:

1. Stay Inspired
My favorite posts result from explorations in color and how I experience the world. I love weaving stories about art, nature, life, and travels into my posts. I hope to devote more time to my Inspired by Art (and Nature) series, as well as other related endeavors.

2. Follow my nose
I began a very fragrant journey this year. A self-imposed perfume buy ban (see here) led to a rewarding and successful exploration of a passion. Even though fragrances are not the most popular reads on this blog, I have received a lot of encouraging and thoughtful feedback from readers. Connecting with other fragrance lovers has brought much joy to my experience. I'm looking forward to continuing these explorations next year!

3. Make more time for myself
I'd love to focus more on family, friends, and other important things in life. It's important for my mental and physical health, and I believe it will feed back positively on my blogging as well.

4. Review old favorites
There are so many old, but well-loved products in my personal makeup collection that have yet to be reviewed. I hope to devote more time to featuring my favorite brands, including NARS, Bobbi Brown, and others.

5. Experiment with new ideas
In my first ever post on Cute and Mundane (see here), I wrote that I hoped for this blog to be an experimental and creative outlet. This is very much at the core of my blogging philosophy today. I still hope to contribute new ideas to  the beauty community, whether it be through writing, photography, or something else entirely.

           And so, in this New Year, I don my proverbial lab coat, and will get back to work with a renewed sense of purpose. Thank you so much for reading; it has truly been an honor to share my experiences with you. It is you, the readers, that give me courage to continue on this journey.

Love, Dovey.


  1. Hey Dovey, I really enjoyed reading this thoughtful post. I have been pushing hard in terms of blogging, and sometimes I let it run my life. I also hope I can do different types of posts this year. I just have to learn how to compose photos better so I can take group shots! I keep wanting to group certain products together for a post, but thinking about having to do group shots is so daunting!

    Anyways, I hope you'll have a fantastic 2013 finding more balance and happiness in life :) I've always enjoyed your blog and I can't wait to see it evolve!

  2. hope to see more of your voice in the blog.

  3. Happy New Year Dovey! I want to revisit old products this year too!

  4. These sound like wonderful goals! :) I think you're right, it is important to keep boundaries and enjoy our time off the blogs, too :)

  5. Those are really great goals Dovey! And I love your photo of the lion sculpture. I find that the posts I enjoy doing most are my color-themed posts and nature photography, although they aren't always as popular as other subjects. I feel it's important to do what inspires you in order to keep blogging fun rather than work -- especially for those with full-time jobs! :)
    Best wishes for 2013!

  6. Great resolutions, Dovey! I always love your posts and photography and I can't wait to see what you create in 2013!

  7. Happy New Year and great resolutions Dovey! I wish you continued success!

  8. Great resolutions Dovey :) I'm looking forward to reading all your posts already :)

  9. Wonderful goals Dovey! I am very excited abt the prospect of more "Inspired by" posts - love those! New products are fun & exciting but I'm always interested into what 'workhorse' products & every day favorites others have found - especially if they are still available (not LE).

  10. I'm eager to see what 2013 has in store for Cute and Mundane, Dovey! Congratulations on a BIG BIG year.

    ♥ Jessica

  11. Happy new year Dovey. You had a great year and I don't doubt the future years will be exponentially great! Glad to hear one of your resolutions is to focus on yourself and needs because I like a happy healthy Dovey :)

  12. Michelle TeixeiraJanuary 05, 2013

    I just love the look of this oxidised old statue against the skyscraper background. It makes me feel nostalgic of my visits to the city.

  13. Hi Dovey, I loved reading this post! I especially like your 'inspired by art post', since I love art and photography myself, it is nice to see it from another perspective - makeup, beauty and art + your wonderful pictures (be it makeup or travel pics). I think it is very important to be 'real' nowadays, when it comes to blogging. I think you deserve the attention and I still think you are beeing honest and that you are doing it 'your way', despite all the attention and awards. Keep up the good work and I can't wait for more post in 2013, happy new year Dovey :) / Claire

  14. Love this post and your resolutions. I've been noticing you get a head start on these resolutions recently and know that 2013 is going to be just as amazing as 2012! :)

  15. This was such a lovely, thoughtful post. Using the blog as a creative outlet is definitely my philosophy too! Happy New Year Dovey! May your 2013 and the years beyond be just as awesome as 2012. :)

  16. Sounds like you have really worked your ass off in the last year - you deserve to give yourself a slower pace. I'm not sure how this translates to blog stats but I find it hard to keep up with daily blog posts even if I love the blog alot. Hope you find your sweet spot and I'm looking forward to your posts in 2013.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I truly enjoy hearing your thoughts!

Comments are moderated to prevent spam. Please note that links, promotions, and offensive / irrelevant / questionable comments will be deleted at my discretion.