How Social Media and I Broke Up (sort of)

Two weeks ago I decided to stop using Instagram.

First, let me say that I've met incredible people through social media. Many of my greatest friendships and connections have been made there and I know it can be such a rewarding platform. But, I started to realize that social media was more of a burden and causing me more unhappiness. That needed to change. 

You know those scenes in a movie where the teacher asks the class in the gym "how many of you have ever felt like...... ?" Well how many of you have ever felt like you needed to do more and more and more.... because of what you see on social media? Or your house has to look a certain way? Or you need to dress a certain way? Or your camping trip has to be more epic? Or you need more perfect colors in your grid? 

Or it wasn't good enough. You aren't good enough. No double tap. 

Well, I call bullshit.

There's so much freedom in doing something truly for yourself. When you make something beautiful for yourself and not for a photo that's going to live for a few moments for a stranger across the world to see, you create a real experience. You are making it for the pleasure of living it. Your phone is tucked away. You don't have to look every time you hear it *ding* to say someone commented on your post, taking you away from where you are. When all of that is stripped away, that is where you find true inspiration and beauty. Photos are precious of course. This is just my own struggle with distraction from the places, the people, and the very things I'm proclaiming I'm living on my device.

I sat with a friend a few weeks ago and she said to me "I realized by being on social media that I was missing out on the relationships in front of me." That really hit hard. How many times had I left a friend's conversation to take advantage of a perfect Insta-moment or had I been left by a friend. Too many. I was leaving the real connections for a few vain ones online in hopes of more followers. Here I was always talking about community and I was forgetting the most MOST precious part of it- the actual people in my life. 

So, I started to strip away all of the things that really didn't matter to me and make a list of the things that did. I started reaching out to my friend's and having more intentional conversations. When you aren't on Instagram and have a "curated" view of what is going on in their life, you have to get real. We always talk about how that look on someone's life isn't a valid snapshot but never really think that sometimes that's the only view we are getting of some of our friends. So, I vowed to really start making the effort to ask questions, to keep in touch, to call. What showed up were real answers and already my relationships were deepening.   

Don't you need to be on Instagram for your business you might ask? Probably. I'm not sure how I will navigate this moving forward. I may come back eventually. It may be in two more weeks who knows. I just know that it doesn't feel good to me and I have to listen to that. If I'm busy and it comes down to sitting with my son for 5 minutes and having a conversation about the latest Captain Underpants book he's reading or trying to figure out what photo I'm going to post and what caption to write..... I think the choice is easy. But now you have to take a proper photo (forget in the moment phone pics), whats the best time to post, what hashtags do you want to use (but not too many because you will look lame), oh and there's those people that use bots who will be more successful, and how are you going to beat the new algorithm?  

Ya'll. I don't have time for all that.

Let's be real.

A Gift Guide: For Around The Fire

The colder months bring friendship and fellowship around the fire. It's a place where tall stories are told, monsters are made, romances are born and nothing is ever forgotten.

Whether it's cabin or campground, these goods are sure to come in handy (or at least look really REALLY good). 

Rumpl - Original Puffy Blanket $65

Rumpl - Original Puffy Blanket $65

Mollyjogger- Field Bag $20

Mollyjogger- Field Bag $20

M. CROW - Bandsaw Blade Knife $65

M. CROW - Bandsaw Blade Knife $65

Danner - Ridge Dark Brown x Topo $380

Danner - Ridge Dark Brown x Topo $380

Patagonia - Women's Recycled Down Jacket $199

Patagonia - Women's Recycled Down Jacket $199

Caravan Outpost - Enamelware $20

Caravan Outpost - Enamelware $20

Hip Camp - Gift Certificate 

Hip Camp - Gift Certificate 

Quality Mending - Watch Cap $38

Quality Mending - Watch Cap $38

Third Eye Headlamps - Cactus $50

Third Eye Headlamps - Cactus $50

She Explores - Logo Tee $22

She Explores - Logo Tee $22

Iron and Resin x Arbor Pilsner - Skateboard $299

Iron and Resin x Arbor Pilsner - Skateboard $299

Westerlind - Felt Hat with Cord $98

Westerlind - Felt Hat with Cord $98

Ernest Supplies - Charcoal Bristle Bamboo Toothbrush $8

Ernest Supplies - Charcoal Bristle Bamboo Toothbrush $8

Evan Kinkel - The Bandlands 3 Print $150 

Evan Kinkel - The Bandlands 3 Print $150 

Barebones - Forest Lantern $50

Barebones - Forest Lantern $50

Tradlands - The Yukon $189

Tradlands - The Yukon $189

Blackbird Letterpress - National Parks Spinner Volvelle $10

Blackbird Letterpress - National Parks Spinner Volvelle $10

Juniper Ridge - Cascade Forest Room Spray $15

Juniper Ridge - Cascade Forest Room Spray $15

Bridge & Burn - Lined Mitten $48

Bridge & Burn - Lined Mitten $48

Wilderness. Collective - 1 Year Subscription $64

Wilderness. Collective - 1 Year Subscription $64

A Gift Guide: Everyday Beauty

It's my birthday week so I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate with a seasonal gift guide with some of my favorites in apparel, jewelry, and beauty. It's always important  for me to choose things that are simple, classic and well made- not only for myself but for others. It is always more than just shopping, it's about giving something useful and well thought out. So don't wait until the last minute! 

Click on the photos to shop these items from select makers.

Elizabeth Suzann - Georgia Dress - $215

Elizabeth Suzann - Georgia Dress - $215

Magpie & Rye - Wood Half Moon Comb $45

Magpie & Rye - Wood Half Moon Comb $45

Jungmaven - Yarn Dyed Tee $68

Jungmaven - Yarn Dyed Tee $68

Easy to Breath - Thunderbirds for Standing Rock $18

Easy to Breath - Thunderbirds for Standing Rock $18

Peter Nappi - Ludovica Boot - $595

Peter Nappi - Ludovica Boot - $595

Fat and The Moon - Dream Weaver Mist $12

Fat and The Moon - Dream Weaver Mist $12

Psyche By Nina Berenato - Connection Ear Crawler $38

Psyche By Nina Berenato - Connection Ear Crawler $38

Noto Botanics - The Essentials Kit $125

Noto Botanics - The Essentials Kit $125

Fog Linen - Graphite Linen Slippers $46

Fog Linen - Graphite Linen Slippers $46

Damn Handsome Grooming Co - Hop Flower Candle $18

Damn Handsome Grooming Co - Hop Flower Candle $18

Kaufmann Mercantile - Handmade Swedish Horsehair Bath Brush $58

Kaufmann Mercantile - Handmade Swedish Horsehair Bath Brush $58

Avocet Jewelry - Phoenix Claw Earring $185

Avocet Jewelry - Phoenix Claw Earring $185

Emilie Shapiro - Rough Diamond Halo Ring $850

Emilie Shapiro - Rough Diamond Halo Ring $850

Spartan Shop - Caravan Pacific Brass Hair Tie $32

Spartan Shop - Caravan Pacific Brass Hair Tie $32

Waltzing Matilda - Aspen Travel Bag Mini $475

Waltzing Matilda - Aspen Travel Bag Mini $475

Baserange - High Waist Bell Pants in Nude Velour $62

Baserange - High Waist Bell Pants in Nude Velour $62

Krewe - CL-10 $275

Krewe - CL-10 $275

WIldfang - Snowburst Shirt Dress $80

WIldfang - Snowburst Shirt Dress $80

Mimosa Handcrafted - Breathe Bracelet $65

Mimosa Handcrafted - Breathe Bracelet $65

Duckworth - Maverick Tee $75

Duckworth - Maverick Tee $75

The Giving Keys - Mini Key Double Layer Drop Necklace $78

The Giving Keys - Mini Key Double Layer Drop Necklace $78