Why I Am Taking a Break From Instagram

Why I Am Taking a Break From Instagram

Hey y’all! I hope that you are all having a great start to this new week! So today I am going to be talking about social media. There are pros and cons, and for me personally the cons have been outweighing the pros these past few months. I’m talking about like I have been getting seriously depressed and finding myself losing a part of me that I don’t want to lose, so for that reason I will not be using Instagram again until New Years. The struggles of social media can very from person to person. For me Facebook does not have that affect on me, but for others Facebook may be their biggest weakness. So how can you know when It’s time to step back from the social media platform? Here are three ways that you can know when to take a break, or if it’s serious enough get rid of it completely. 

1. If you find yourself getting lost on social media for hours.

Social media can be really time-consuming, and if I am not careful I can allow it to take over my life. Obsessing over social media Isn’t healthy or beneficial. Once I found myself checking my Instagram every five minutes I knew that I needed a change.

2. When you allow it to affect your relationships.

The other night I had some lovely company over at my house, and instead of being fully present with them I found myself editing a picture to post on Instagram. And later I thought to myself, “Wow, Lauren, quality friends are few and you choose to spend time on your phone with people who probably could care less about you, rather than spending time with the ones who made an effort to be there for you.” If you can relate to this, then maybe it’s time to realize how toxic social media can be, if you allow it.  Personally, I don’t think social media is worth hurting my relationships. 

Photo by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

3. Comparison 

I can never say this enough. Comparison is the thief of joy. When you can compare yourself and your relationships to other people it can cause so much damage to yourself and to others. Here are a few ways it has affected me in a negative way.

. It made me lose my self-confidence. This was a wake up call that helped me to see that I needed to take a break from social media. 

. It caused me to be someone I’m not. Losing yourself on social media can be very easy to do. Instagram can be a people pleasing platform if you are not careful. Just don’t lose sight of who you are, and don’t lower your values just to get an extra like. It’s not worth it. 

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

. It hurt my relationships. I would compare my relationship with my spouse to other relationships. A great way to destroy your man is by telling him what another man is doing right, and what he isn’t doing right. Don’t do that. So what that guy bought flowers every week for his girlfriend. Your man stayed up with you all night when you lost your pet. Did you forget about that? I know it happens, but don’t let it. Realize what you already have before it’s too late. 

If any of these things sound like what you are experiencing, please take serious consideration about what you are gaining and what you are losing from social media. Do the pros outweigh the cons? If not, then maybe it’s time for a break. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic, and feel free to share it by using one of the shareable buttons! Thank you,

Lauren S. Watkins

Four Things That I Have Learned From Experience About Long Distance Relationships

Four Things That I Have Learned From Experience About Long Distance Relationships

Hey everyone, I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend. I have my Sweater Weather Playlist on Spotify playing in the background, and my Pumpkin Pie French Pressed Coffee sitting next to me. I think this is going to be a good weekend. Tonight I am planning a Halloween Party at my house, so I’m pretty stoked about that! So with that being said I would love to hear about your weekend feel free to talk about it in the comments below. Now to get into what this blog post is really about. Most of you know that my husband has been away for a little over two months training for basics for the US National Army, and he has informed me in his last letter sent to me that he is now officially a US Army Soldier, So Yay! I couldn’t be more proud of him. He graduates this week from basics and will transfer to his actual training for what he wants to do in the military, so it’s going to be another long three months, but I can say that without a doubt long distance is not easy, but it is very doable with the right person. Here are four things that I have learned from my experience of being in a long distance relationship. 

1. Leave room for grace and understanding.

This is probably my biggest tip to those who are going into a long distance relationship, or are already in one. Leave room for Grace. The only way that my husband and I can correspond to each other is through letters, and there have been many times where I would ask him something and he didn’t give me an answer. Not that he did it on purpose, but he’s exhausted, and has a lot on his mind trying to get through a lot of high stress obstacles. So I had the chance to either get mad about it, or have understanding and show him grace the way that I knew that I should do. Now I can’t say that there weren’t times that I wouldn’t get frustrated, but I can say that this experience had made me feel more compassion and love towards my husband and everything he has been doing. So maybe your SO forgot to call you back, or seemed to respond too late. Think about what occupation they have, and how their time is being spent. They probably aren’t ignoring you. Life just gets busy, so leave a little room for grace and understanding. You will be happier and so will your soulmate.

Photo by Hyunwon Jang on Unsplash

2. Stay Positive and Busy.

It’s hard to have negative thoughts if you are staying busy, and getting creative with your time. Don’t focus on the negative. It will only hurt you, especially if there’s no real reason to. A lot of times when I would get caught up in a negative way of thinking I knew it was the enemy trying to get inside my head. I didn’t let him for long. I would always find something to do. Philippians 4:8 is the perfect verse that I can think of when it comes to thinking positively.  When you find yourself getting wrapped up in your thoughts don’t dwell on them. Call an old friend and have some coffee. You may be surprised at what coffee with an old friend will do for you. 

Photo by Savs on Unsplash

3. Grow.

One of the best things that you can do for yourself and your SO is to grow while they’re away. Don’t sit there in your self pity. I know it’s hard, and there were days when I just wanted someone to cuddle with, and hold my hand, but it’s not healthy to stay stagnant. I have continued to pursue my dreams by learning how to market online, and doing things for the first time that I have never done before. It’s a beautiful thing to watch a rose bloom. You are that rose. Blossom and grow where you are planted. God has great plans for you, and we need to believe that. (Jeremiah 29:11) Cook a new meal, start an online course of something you have always wanted to learn, meet a new friend do things for you, or if your a mom like me try new crafts and projects with your kids. 

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you. 

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4. Stop comparing yourself to other couples. 

I found myself comparing my relationship to another couples relationship whose long distance didn’t work out that great. I literally got sad thinking, “Yep, that’s going to be my luck.” Or I would catch myself looking at all the happy perfect relationships on Instagram, and feel worried that maybe I did need my husband to be with me 24/7 to be happy. What a terrible way to think. No relationship is the same, and no relationship is going to be perfect, but yours is yours, and God gave you that SO, so enjoy your love story, and don’t compare yours to someone else’s. Song of Songs 3:4 ,”I have found the one whom my soul loves.” 

Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

This quote is how a long distance relationship made me feel, and I love it. Long distance relationships are not a set back they are an opportunity to reflect and become the best version of yourself. I hope you all enjoyed this post. Feel free to share your comments on the topic in the comment box below, and don’t forget to share it! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my journey with you all. -Lauren S. Watkins

My setback was a blessing! I survived what was meant to destroy me. I came back like a boss…fabulous, wiser and stronger than ever.

Quote I found on Pintrest

An Apology Letter to My Husband

An Apology Letter to My Husband

Dear Husband, I apologize for failing you as your wife. These last three months that you have been gone training to serve our country, I have had time to reflect on the wife that I have become. There are things that I have done that have hurt you, and I just need you to know that this is not the wife I want to be. So to begin with I want to say I’m sorry for using my words as a weapon against you. I realize that words can be powerful, and yet many times  I have used them to discourage you rather then to build you up. Words can either bring life or death, and one too many times I have only brought destruction, but how easy it is, when something upsets me to spill words out without even thinking about what happens after I say those words. So today I want to change that. I want to start by encouraging you and bring the best out of you with my words. Second I want to stop putting pressure on you to meet my high expectations. I’m sorry, that when I took on this journey with you I thought I understood what I was saying, when I told you, “for better or for worst,” but in reality I thought that marriage was always going to be eating cake and laughter, so when the bills started pilling up, our child kept us up until 2AM, and you forgot to take out the trash my reaction proved that I didn’t truly mean the promise I made to you. Today I want to give God all of my expectations, and be grateful for the days when you did take the trash out for me. For the time I got sick, and you stopped working just to bring me Chicken Noodle Soup, and for the days that you cooked dinner for me, because you knew how tired I was as a young mother of a 3 month old boy. I want to cherish those moments, the beautiful and the ugly. Last of all I want to apologize for not protecting our marriage the way that God wants me too, and the way you need me too. Days get shorter, and so do my prayers for you. What God has given me I have taken for granted. So starting today I will pray for our marriage, and I will fight for us until my last breath. And when I look back on this day of reflection I want to be able to say, that I love you more then I did when I wrote this for you.

Ivan’s First Birthday

Ivan’s First Birthday

Hey, Y’all! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! This Saturday my son turned one. I have mixed feelings about this as a mom. It feels like just yesterday I was holding him in my arms for the first time. Now my sweet baby boy is turning into a toddler, and is walking, and saying new words every day it seems. I love this boy with all of my heart, and a special thanks to, “Jessica Trammell Photography,” for taking these photos for us. Also for those of you who don’t know, my husband is away at basics, and wasn’t able to be there on Ivan’s first birthday, so these were just a small surprise to send to him, so he can see how much our son has grown over the past few months since he’s been away. 

Five Money Saving Apps to Start Using Now

Five Money Saving Apps to Start Using Now

Hey Y’all! I hope you are all having a fantastic week. It’s that time of the year where we start to do most of our shopping. From decorating our home and buying a new wardrobe to fit the season to Holiday shopping. So today,  I am going to be sharing with you five apps that I use daily or at least weekly. I love finding new ways to save money and to help minimize my savings, and I also enjoy helping others to cut costs too. We live in an expensive world, so why not help a sistah or brothah out. There’s no reason to live on Roman Noodles when we have resources available to us that can help us budget and spend our money well. On a side note if you do decide to use these apps as well, please help support me while I help support you, and use the referral links below. When you refer someone you get an amount of money for doing that, so who wouldn’t want to do that?

1. Ebates

If you love online shopping as much as I do, then this an app that you will definitely get some use out of. I used to love going to stores and shopping, but now that I’m a mom and don’t have as much time on my hands I find this an easier alternative to get the things I need. With this app it will tell you how much of a percentage you will earn with each store. I have only had this app for about a month and I have already made eleven dollars from just a few purchases. That’s without the referrals. For every referral that signs up you make $25!! How crazy awesome is that?? Click the referral link below to refer me, and tell your friends about it too, so you can start profiting from your online shopping too!

https://www.ebates.com/r/MOMMAF215?eeid=28187

2. The Walmart App

I promise this isn’t a post just for me to earn a profit off of. I actually really enjoy helping other people save money. Walmart is one of those apps that won’t profit me any, but it will profit you. I use this every single time I go grocery shopping. When you download the app there will be a button that says, “Savings Catcher,” and all you do is once you are done shopping you can take a picture of your receipt, and if there is another Walmart that is selling something at a cheaper price, then you will get your money back. I received more than $2 back on the first receipt that I scanned. Plus they also have other benefits of using this app. I use it to create my grocery list too! No more having to bring a pen and paper. You can create the list on the app and check off the items on your list as you go!

3. Ibotta

Ibotta is a great app to use for going grocery shopping. Every now and then they will have great deals on there, and it works a lot like the way the Walmart app does, however on this app you can choose from different stores, but you have to get what they are offering to get money back. Once you buy $20 worth of food you will receive $20 back. Plus you get a percentage back on anyone you refer. Just like with the Ebates app.

If you want to get started with this app today, then you can use my referral code: dogdsyb to get an automatic $10 welcome bonus!

4. Facebook

The Facebook app is a great way to declutter your life and get rid of the junk that’s in your home and make a little side cash too! If you need to make room for the Holidays and changing seasons just put yourself on the market. Just be sure to meet in a secure place where you will fill safe. Or you can always use the Paypal option and just ship the items to the person.

5. Poshmark

I cannot get over how obsessed I have become with this app. I love reselling clothes, and going through my closet, and I also enjoy shopping on there as much as I love selling. So if you are wanting to find a way to sell your new clothes then this is the way to do so! Also for every friend you refer they earn $5 and once they make a purchase off of the app then you will make $5 too!

If you would like to download this app then use my referral code: KOUNTRYGAL18 to get your first $5! And you can check out my closet if you want to get the general idea of how Poshmark works!