Hi, everyone! Long time no chat. I’m (knock on wood) coming to the end of my job search and trying not to go crazy in the meantime. I hope all has been well with you!
This past winter, I read an article that said a significant chunk of Americans have admitted to being less productive at work since the presidential election. That totally applies to me. Not necessarily due to the winner, but because the election seemed to bring about a) a dizzying increase in the amount of vitriol spewed out all over the Internet about absolutely everything and b) a simultaneous decision that we were just, like, done considering alternate viewpoints regardless of our understanding of a particular matter.
Take the United Airlines incident where gate agents supposedly prevented two girls from boarding simply for wearing leggings. It eventually came out that the girls were flying as ‘pass travelers’ – United Airlines employees and family members who may take standby flights free of charge so long as they adhere to a dress code (which prohibits leggings), since they’re viewed as company representatives during travel. Another customer in the gate area directed a series of incensed tweets toward United without knowing about the dress code, 8 million people jumped on the outrage bandwagon without a second thought, and suddenly this perceived injustice made the national news. Over time, the discord has dragged me down.
But wait! There’s more. I’ve allowed something else to get to me lately – what sometimes feels like a steady stream of discussion of past eating disorders on food and wellness blogs. Even given my current frustrations, I’ll be the last person in line to attempt to curtail someone’s speech, and furthermore, I don’t think these bloggers are doing anything ‘wrong.’ Sharing their experiences may make a reader’s day or even save her life while potentially helping the writer to heal. And the stories are largely positive – an Instagram post captioned ‘I used to beat myself up after eating pasta, but yesterday I enjoyed this delicious meal,’ etc. But they ultimately still evoke negative emotions for me. I feel best when I can enjoy food without giving thoughts about my relationship to it – or others’ relationship to it – much space. Anyone else?
I tried quitting the Internet cold turkey for a while (.5 days) but later decided to just avoid the blogs and Instagram accounts that weren’t providing me any value. The accounts listed below make up a good part of what’s left – they’re packed with positive, useful information and entertainment. I thought I’d share them here in case anyone else is in the same boat, or just looking for fun blogs and Instagram accounts to follow. Let me know if you check them out!
A Cup Of Jo
A Cup of Jo is probably my favorite lifestyle website. Most of the posts are short and sweet and pose an interesting question at the end, upon which a large community of thoughtful readers weighs in. Topics run the gamut from fun and light – what would you do differently at your wedding? Where have you run into your ex? – to more serious ones, like how you know if you’re ready to have kids. Cup of Jo also publishes articles about style and food that air on the side of timeless, which can be refreshing when it seems like there’s a new health trend every day.
Peanut Butter Fingers
Julie’s blog shares easy-to-follow workouts and recipes, personal posts about her family’s life in Charlotte, and collections of things that bring her joy every Friday. It’s fun to read, and her bodyweight workouts that combine strength and cardio without requiring any equipment have been such a great addition to my routine (she’s a certified personal trainer, so they’re legit!). You can find my favorites on my ‘Workouts’ board on Pinterest.
Helene in Between
I read Helene’s blog and watch her Instagram stories primarily because she’s hilarious in sort of a matter-of-fact, dry way. She writes about primarily about blogging and travel – she and her husband are from Texas but recently moved to Europe to see the world.
Pumps and Iron
Nicole’s blog is another one I follow in part for pure entertainment value. She’s also a personal trainer, though, and you’ll find tons of workouts on her site. Many of the more complicated ones are accompanied by useful videos that actually allow you to follow along in real time.
The Pioneer Woman
You’ve probably heard of Ree Drummond already due to her Food Network show, but she still updates her blog regularly. There are (obviously) plenty of recipes and cooking instructions, including 16-minute meals and tips for freezer cooking, plus a category called Confessions that’s divided into sections like ‘humiliation chronicles,’ ‘gross-out stories,’ and ‘frontier follies.’ This story made me laugh out loud.
Thrifts and Threads
These last two are my favorite fashion blogs. Both feature beautiful photography and few opinions on matters other than clothes and travel. 🙂 Brittany of Thrifts and Threads lives in Southern California and has a more casual style with outfits you can actually replicate (although mine would never look as good).
Gal Meets Glam
See above! Julia shares pretty, feminine outfits among gorgeous scenery in and around Charleston, SC. I love these photos from her trip to Iceland and these from a sunlit picnic near their home in Charleston.
P.S. I took these photos at the Sunken Gardens, a botanical garden in St. Petersburg, FL. It’s worth a quick visit if you’re ever in the area!