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An open letter to social influencers: You have a role to play in this.

Lately I’ve been having numerous thoughts around the COVID-19 outbreak and how this global pandemic is affecting people across the U.S. in particular. Many are blaming the media, many are downplaying the severity of the virus, and many are scared out of their minds as they bunker down in their homes dreading the unknown.

While I’ve been doing my best to practice social distancing with my family, I have made a few errands to pick up a new computer, grab some grocery essentials, and even squeeze in a final workout session at the gym. I spent a lot of time debating on whether or not I should do those things, but told myself I’d get it out of the way now before locking myself indoors for the foreseeable future.

I’ve realized just how important it is for us all to practice social distancing and isolate ourselves because although we may not be in a high risk population, we all carry the responsibility of keeping the immunocompromised and elderly populations safe. By staying home and away from large crowds, you are literally saving lives.

You’ve probably seen this chart several times already, but here it is again so you don’t forget the impacts:

“If the number of cases were to continue to double every three days, there would be about a hundred million cases in the United States by May.” 

Recently, this time spent indoors has shamefully seen my time spent on social media increase. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all flooded with remarks and personal opinions about the COVID-19 outbreak. From tips and advice on how to protect ourselves to jokes and memes expressing sarcasm and insensitivity, the pandemic is currently everywhere we look.

I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen people mention that this is “all the media’s fault” and that “the media and the government are trying to control us.”

Yet, those same people who are rejecting the media and news anchors while they’re reporting scientific facts from medical professionals are tapping through Instagram stories and listening to nonsensical wellness tips from today’s top social influencers.

I even stumbled upon this Buzzfeed article about influencers sharing bad tips and information about COVID-19 and how their influence causes followers to internalize their advice and take it as gospel.

The more time I spent thinking about this, the angrier I became.

Why are we so quick to purchase an article of clothing or an expensive skincare treatment because we’ve “officially been influenced by @insertnamehere,” but when the World Health Organization tries to tell us what to do, we simply do not listen?

I’m not innocent in this game either. I’ve influenced and been influenced countless times on a digital platform. We all have a little bit of power. It’s high time we start recognizing the power of influence and how we can use it for good.

So, to the social influencers with tens and hundreds of thousands of followers and more: Please stop giving false advice, making light of this situation, and spotlighting your elegant lifestyle. When all of this is said and done, we can go back to doing what we did once before. This is serious, but it’s also temporary. And as long as we do things the right way, we’ll bounce back sooner rather than later.

As an influencer, you have a responsibility. Your voice and your influence DO matter, and it DOES make a difference. You have followers who will listen to you. It’s now more important than ever to refer people to scientific facts and advice around this pandemic instead of soliciting and offering false information.

To learn more about social distancing and the importance of staying away from large crowds, check out this Mayo Clinic article, this Washington Post article, stay vigilant, and stay informed.

I really wanted to write a love letter to my body for all of the amazing things that it has done for me. Sometimes I falter. Sometimes I just don’t love my body the way I should and I want that to be okay, too.

Every day while I scroll through social media I notice images, quotes, and infographics about self-love and all of the reasons we need to love the skin we’re in. We feel compelled to share them and add our own dialogue and opinions about how loving ourselves is the healthiest thing we can do. We leave encouraging comments and write messages or support to our fellow comrades in a harsh society that is anything but accepting. We band together and pretend like we’re all more than happy with the way we look and feel because it’s the right thing to do.

But what about those of us who just aren’t feeling it? I can’t be the only person who suffers from moments where I just don’t love my body the way that I should. Maybe it’s part of the postpartum experience. Maybe it’s aging and several years of wear and tear. All I know is I want to stand in solidarity and commend every single person who makes positive changes toward loving themselves and being body positive. I want to be that person too. But I also want to be honest with myself and share my truth. I just don’t always love you the way that I should.

dear body

Dear Body,

I love you most of the time, but other times I do not. I’m really working on that.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I respect the hell out of you. Your legs walked you through so many new places carried you through numerous adventures. Your arms have held and embraced friends and family members who needed you in desperate times. Your shoulders have been cried on. Your hands and fingers have folded together during prayer. You danced and performed your way to gold medals. You carried my daughter inside of you for 9+ months. You endured hours of painful back labor. You pushed a literal tiny human out of you so that she could be a part of this world. You have provided nourishment and comfort to her when she needs it. 

But sometimes I do things to you that are hurtful. I’ve called you names, I’ve hidden you in the back, I’ve deprived you of nourishment, I’ve exhausted you, and I’ve neglected you. 

I’m sorry for that. 

There are thighs that rub together where a gap used to be, skin that folds over my waistline, wrinkles alongside my eyes, gray hairs that peak out amongst the blonde, and scars and stretch marks that tell a story of 32+ years. 

I want you to know that I’m trying. I want to stop picking apart all of the physical traits that make me self-conscious. I want to stop looking back and wishing you looked the way you used to look. I want to give you the affirmations you need to confidently carry you through the day. 

Most importantly, I want you to know that I still love you. 

Thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you will continue to do. 

xoxo,

Laura

dear body

 

 

Whoa, it’s been a minute! I took a break from blogging but I’m back to tell you we have some big news…

We’re expecting!

That’s right, Baby D is arriving in June and we couldn’t be more excited.

We found out I was pregnant while we were overseas in London and ever since that day, time has been escaping us. The first trimester was incredibly rough on me physically. I spent a lot of time throwing up, stuck in bed, or incredibly nauseas if we did finally get out of the house. There wasn’t a whole lot of excitement for the first three months and it was difficult to not share our news and explain why I was so off-the-grid for a while.

Once the 2nd trimester came, I was so relieved. My nausea subsided, my energy came back, and I finally started to feel like myself again. I’m feeling better than I even remember being before pregnancy. It’s true what they say about the 2nd trimester… it is the honeymoon phase of pregnancy.

19 weeks pregnant

Yesterday was my 20 week ultrasound and anatomy scan. We are keeping baby’s gender a surprise and won’t know anything until he/she makes an entrance into the world! The past two weeks have been incredible as I can finally feel the baby moving around in my belly. Those little taps and kicks completely changed everything for me. I didn’t start to feel emotional until baby starting reminding me that he/she is in there and wants to say hello. It’s wild!

I think that about covers the big updates since I’ve been MIA from the blog world. I’ll be back with more pregnancy updates and finally sharing more about our trip to London, Nottingham, and Edinburgh soon!

Here’s a photo from me in London just a couple days after I found out about our little peanut.

london bridge

Thanks for sticking with me and respecting my need for Internet silence while I was experiencing some crazy life changes! I’m so happy to be back.

nashville blogger

 

So… BIG NEWS!

I quit the job I’ve loved for over two years.

I quit my job to follow my heart.

For those who know me, you probably know how attached I’ve been to my job. I was a product development manager, a content marketing manager, and a customer success manager all for the same company during my time there. I filled in positions when other employees departed, learned tons of new skills (including Infusionsoft, Web Dev, Hubspot, and more), took numerous online training programs on SEO, Conversion Funnels, Email Marketing, Copywriting, etc., connected with some incredible people in the entrepreneurial atmosphere, worked side-by-side with an amazing team, and had a total blast.

i quit my job

Every single time I considered leaving my job for a different opportunity (and I even declined a few great job offers), I kept telling myself that the grass is greener where I water it. Then I’d stick out the pain of my job a little longer. But I couldn’t do it anymore.

So why did I quit my job?

After spending a few weeks battling with the fact that I have put all of my own goals and ambitions on the back burner for a while now, I decided that I needed to make some tough decisions. Just over a month ago, I transitioned into a job position that no longer felt fulfilling or purposeful. I wasn’t waking up every morning with intention. I was unsatisfied and constantly dealing with negativity. It was taking a major toll on me. I lost sight of my own happiness.

I was losing sleep over figuring out what my next move should be and if I could even fathom leaving a company I’ve been so loyal to. I came to the realization I was sacrificing my happiness completely. I prayed about it for a couple of weeks and one morning I just knew what I had to do. It was time for me to move on. I knew it was the best thing for myself and for the company I was working for.

Although it was never a part of my ‘plan’ to walk away from my job at age 30, I had never felt more confident in a career decision. I let myself choose happiness over an unfulfilling job that no longer promised growth in my future.

i quit my job

Fortunately my husband and I are in a comfortable financial situation where I can afford to step back and recalibrate my lenses and refocus on where I want to go from here. I’m very excited for new opportunities on the horizon. I know this is going to be the start of something truly good for me.

After spending some time weighing the pros and the cons, I reached a lot of conclusions.

Here is a list of signs that it might be time to quit your job:

  1. You’re no longer excited about your job and getting out of bed feels more like a chore.
  2. You’re exhausted all the time. Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.
  3. Your personal goals and mission no longer align with the company’s vision.
  4. You’ve hit the proverbial wall at your job and don’t see any opportunity for growth.
  5. You aren’t being challenged and aren’t learning new things.

i quit my job

Now, I’m not telling anyone to walk into work in the morning and tell your boss you’re through with your job. That is not my intention with sharing this story. The intention is to make you really think about what you want in life. Not just today, not just over the next year, but over the course of your life. What awakens you? What shakes you to your core? Are you settling for mediocrity? I was.

What I am telling you is to sit with your thoughts about what really makes you tick. If you are able to pursue your passion in your current job, then BY ALL MEANS, hold onto that gem of a job and never let go! If your career still gives you enough time and mental bandwidth to work on your side hustle, KEEP GOING. But if you constantly question where you’re going in your job and if you’re even being challenged to grow anymore– just take some time to think about what you really want. You owe it to yourself to live a happy life. It only happens once.

Photos in this post were taken by the lovely and talented Lindsey of lucidlinds.com at a beautiful loft for sale in Printer’s Alley. For sale by Dee Russell.

i quit my job

…So what’s in store for me now? You’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂 That’s a post for another day.

Thanks for indulging me. Now go do what you love.

nashville blogger

Every year during the holidays, Steve and I try to host a small group of friends at our place to eat dinner, drink cocktails, play board games, and spend quality time together before departing Nashville for Christmas and the New Year. This year we’re so excited to host a dinner party at our new house. It’s going to be extra special with it being the first year hosting as homeowners. I’ve partnered with Basic Invite to show you how simple it was for me to create custom invitations and holiday cards for the occasion.

holiday cardsBasic Invite made it so easy for me to create the ideal, simple, festive holiday invitations. They allow all customers the ability to order an actual printed sample of their invitation so that you can see exactly what it looks like before you ever have to place your final order. You can’t go wrong! You’ll always end up with exactly the invitations or holiday cards you’re looking for.

holiday cardsholiday cardsBasic Invite is also incredibly colorful! They offer just as many custom colors for their envelopes as they do for their invitations. There’s a huge variety of colors to choose from. With over 40 different colors, you’ll always have the perfect custom design you’re trying to achieve. All of their envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed without licking a single one.

holiday cardsThey also have their own address capturing service that lets customers simply share a link on whichever social platform they choose to request their friends and family’s addresses. Their addresses are then stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. They make it so easy to organize everything you need to send out holiday cards!
holiday cardsPlanning your own party? Check out Basic Invite for family Christmas party invites! I cannot wait to get these invitations in the mail and have my closest friends over for a lovely holiday dinner party.

Bring on the holiday season! 🙂

nashville blogger