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As someone that has suffered with both anxiety and depression for many years, I can tell you that there are signs that your loved one is suffering. While not everyone who exhibits these characteristics is having mental health issues, it's quite possible that those who are, exhibit many symptoms as a result of their anxiety and/or depression. Today on the blog, I’m discussing those symptoms and what to look for if you suspect you or your loved one is suffering with anxiety and/or depression. .
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As someone that has suffered...

#ad Let’s get real for a moment. While they play a large part in us becoming Mothers, periods are no fun. They also weren’t something that I knew a whole lot about up until a couple of months ago, if I’m being honest. But results from a recent survey got my attention.  3 in 5 women surveyed reported at least one symptom of heavy periods – and among those respondents, over half had not discussed them with a doctor (57%) Why? Most women have resigned to heavy periods as their reality, with 43% saying “it’s just normal for me” and 36% saying “I’ve just learned to live with it.” Sound familiar? I must have said those exact statements plenty of times over the last 30 years. 
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#ad Let’s get real for...

In just about a month or so, we will start to look for our dream home. #ad I’m excited at the opportunities and better rates we can get because of the bump in my credit score. I’m so grateful for the @lendingtree app, which has helped me to monitor my credit score closely, so I know what needed to be improved. The LendingTree app provides all the tools you need for a better financial health. No matter where you are in your life or what big milestone is coming up, your credit is important and should always be a priority. The LendingTree app is free and signing up doesn’t affect your credit score. You can download it in the App Store (click on the #linkinbio and then on “LendingTree”). Why is your credit score important to you? .
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In just about a month...

Thinking back to last month and our stay in that cute little airbnb, it makes me so grateful for the opportunity to blog full-time. Not only do I get to work closely with companies that I love, but occasionally I get the opportunity to take our family on a little, but much needed vacation. It really is the best job I’ve ever had. Today on the blog, I’m continuing my series for bloggers and influencers and discussing what might be the scariest part of this job… pitching companies and applying to campaigns. Head over and check out my suggestions to nail those pitches. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! .
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Thinking back to last month...

Today I had a plan. Wake up early, get the girls ready for their first day of school and then take the perfect first day of school picture to post on Instagram, where I would talk about how bittersweet it is to watch my girls grow up into these incredible young women. 
But things don’t always go as we plan. Instead, Falynn and Iyla woke up at 3:30am, got ready for school and then came downstairs at 5:00am to let us know they were ready. 5:00am... two and a half hours before they actually needed to be at school. I rolled myself out of bed at around 6:50am, Super Dad made me some coffee and I quickly shooed them outside so I could take a picture and realized that Falynn was in a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, jeans and old sneakers. I’m pretty sure her hair wasn’t brushed either. Lucia wasn’t awake yet so it would be the first year without a first day of school picture of all three of them. 😫 Whatever. I was tired. So I quickly took a picture (swipe to see) and got them off to school. Lucia woke up late and I couldn’t take a picture of her because my camera lens kept fogging up. When we walked back into the house, the dog escaped, making her even later. 🤦🏻‍♀️ And my coffee’s cold. Anyway, since I couldn’t get the perfect first day of school picture, I hope you enjoy this shot of the girls and Super Dad in their @swimzip.
How was your first day of school? #firstdayofschool #backtoschool #backtoschoolshopping #backtoschoolstyle #mycrazylife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #motherhoodmoments #momlife #momsofinstagram #swimzip #girlsswimwear #familyswimwear #worldoflittles #myeverydaymagic #sharetheeverymom #rawmotherhood #momswithcameras #cameramama #mommybloggers #oldnavystyle #oldnavy #mytinymoments #ourcandidlife #momentsinmotherhood #momentsofmine #thehappynow #watchthemgrow #momstyle #momgoals

Today I had a plan....

My girls are snackers. When they get home from school, they want to be able to grab a quick snack to take with them on the way to after-school activities, or to enjoy while they do their homework. #ad Peanut Butter is a huge hit in our home, but it can get messy, so when I found out about Windstone Farms Creamy Peanut Butter Portable Packets, I couldn't wait to grab some. Instead of making a huge mess (and forgetting to close the lid) with a regular container of peanut butter, the girls can grab one packet and easily add it to just about anything. Some of our favorites are bananas, apples, pretzels, celery or crackers. They have fun creating new combinations and I love that they come in convenient 1.15oz squeezable packets. So much less mess! They are also perfect for their lunchboxes. The peanut butter is so creamy and delicious! BTW, they are naturally gluten-free! @windstonefarms peanut butter packets are now available at your local @walmart. Make sure to pick some up, and check out our stories for a special offer from Ibotta! What will you put #WindstoneFarmsPB on?
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My girls are snackers. When...

When people find out that I’m a full-time blogger, the first thing they always ask me is what a typical day looks like. #sponsored My answer usually includes one or more of the following words: crazy, busy, hectic, long and almost always includes either my laptop or my phone, in my face. By the end of the day, my eyeballs are exhausted and I can’t wait to get to sleep (as soon as I check my phone one last time). So at the risk of sounding vague and having people believe that I am just playing around on social media all day long, I thought it would be fun to show you what a day in the life of this super mom blogger is like…. Summer edition (because when the girls are in school, it’s a lot more hectic) as well as how I help my eyes filter blue light, thanks to @quantumnatural. Head to the blog to read all about it! #digitalblue #eyehealth #eyehealthmatters #bluelight #raedunnlove #raedunnfinds #raedunnmugs #targetdoesitagain #targetfinds #dayinthelife #adayinthelife #bloggersofinstagram #mentalhealthblogger #supermom #blogginglife #healthblogger #supplements #healthyme #healthymom #quantumhealth #selfcare

When people find out that...

AD: Back-to-school time is a favorite in our house. I'm excited to get back to the daily peace and quiet, and the girls are excited to get back to their friends! While our excitement lies in very different places, one thing we can always agree on is that it's super fun to shop for back-to-school supplies. Especially when we can do it from the comfort of our own home! After going to multiple stores last year and not being able to find a school approved backpack for Lucia, this year, we made the smart move and got it (and her wireless headphones) on @eBay. They offer a money back gurantee, FREE shipping, save your gas ⛽️ and time ⏰ and do your back-to-school shopping on eBay this year! #eBayBackToSchool #HappeningOnEBay #eBay https://lnk2.io/wytbcWl
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I’m not sure what I miss more... sleep or going to the bathroom without being interrupted. 🤷🏻‍♀️ What do you miss most?
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I’m not sure what I...

Make Instagram Great Again

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It all started with a post on Instagram earlier this week.

After all of the encouraging comments and DMs, I decided to elaborate on the recent issues we are all facing with Instagram.

Believe it or not, not all influencers are millennials who are running around the city, trying to get free things and taking pics of their coffee every morning. To some of us, it’s not about how many likes we get on our last selfie or how cute we look with that new Louis Vuitton bag that we can’t afford. So let’s squash that stereotype right now, shall we?

I didn’t sign up for Instagram to become a blogger or influencer, but it has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve always loved to write and found a love for photography over the years, so what started as a hobby, actually saved our family. In 2018, our lives were turned upside down. After over 10 years with the same company, my husband lost his job. That was basically our only source of income. After leaving my job at the end of 2014, I had been dealing with a vicious anxiety disorder that kept me in the house most days, afraid to leave. Due to circumstances beyond our control, Super Dad wasn’t going to be able to get another job and it just wasn’t an option for me to try to find work outside of the house because the thought of it alone sent me into a panic.

If it wasn’t for Instagram, the connections I made and the tools I learned, I honestly believe we would have been homeless.

Many influencers and bloggers are like me. We are just regular people. We are parents. We are people who are unable to find work outside of the home. We are dreamers. We are entrepreneurs. We are regular people who found this fun, almost magical hobby, that we have somehow turned into a way to support our families. Not a day that goes by that I don’t include social media in my list of things I’m grateful for, Instagram at the top of that list.

But things have changed. Much like the changes that were made to Facebook, where it seems to be more about the advertising dollar, Instagram is becoming harder and harder to connect with people in a genuine way. I get it… social media is a free tool that was not intended for us to use for free advertising, but it was intended as a place for us to connect with people, whether it’s people we know or people we admire or people who have a struggle that they need to share. These days, with the algorithm and long list of things we can’t do, it’s become nearly impossible to connect with anyone.

I often wonder what the people at Instagram think about influencers. Are they just as annoyed by us as that ice cream truck owner in CA that went viral for threatening to charge influencers double?

Why do they assume that people liking, commenting or following others very quickly, are all participating in suspicious activity? Maybe they should consider that a lot of those users are getting a 5 minute break from their crying babies or daily chores or day job to escape reality and have to hurry up before anyone notices they are gone.

This Super Mom-influencer and blogger discusses the issues we currently face on Instagram and suggests a solution to make this popular social network, social again.

What Can Instagram Do?

I think it would be incredible for Instagram to connect with all types of users (celebs, influencers, businesses and people who use it to connect with friends and family throughout the world). Find out what we love about Instagram and what would make it a better experience for us. Find out what stops us from connecting and what makes this popular social network, not so social anymore.

For starters…

THE ALGORITHM: I understand that algorithms are necessary. But, what if it’s it’s causing the most issues? When we follow someone, it means we want to see what they post. The algorithm has made that nearly impossible, unless we follow less than 20 people. Currently, my feed consists of 20 or so posts from the same account (whom I’ve never engaged), a couple of sponsored posts and a post from my husband’s distant cousin. They range from an hour ago to 4 days ago and then jump back to yesterday. It’s confusing. I missed so many important events because I don’t see the post until a week later. So if the algorithm is supposed to show us what we want to see, why is it doing the exact opposite? It’s not showing me the most popular posts. It’s showing me things it thinks I want to see and I can tell you that of the top 25 posts on my feed, I only really wanted to see 1.
The Result: Since I can’t possibly remember all of the accounts I want to catch up on, I wind up missing all of their new posts and becoming “that friend” that is always on Instagram but doesn’t like or comment on their posts, ever.
Possible Solution: Bring back the chronological feed! Take a poll. Ask how many people want the chronological feed back. I’d be willing to guess most, if not all. I know there is a .00001% chance that Instagram will go back to the chronological feed, but a girl can dream.

OVER-ENGAGING: I want to engage with my audience, so I used to go through my recent posts and like each of the comments and try to reply to as many as I can. Engagement is the whole point of social media, isn’t it? Well, I got blocked. Blocked from liking the comments that were made on my own post. Maybe I was going too fast? Well, I have a family and a life outside of social media, so I have limited time to engage with my followers, but was I wrong for liking those comments? I thought that’s why they added those little hearts to begin with. Should I have been blocked for a week because of it? Should I have had over 700 of my posts disappear in what seemed like some sort of punishment for engaging? Luckily the posts re-appeared after my week of timeout but it definitely stressed me out and hurt my business. There was also the time that I hurt my finger and couldn’t type, so I was using my voice-to-text, to comment and I got blocked because apparently I was commenting too quickly. More time out for me.
The result? I’ve stopped liking the comments on my posts and I reply to just a few. I’m much less engaging and I find I lose followers because of it.
Possible Solution: Set limits based on account type. Note that occasionally, we use that little microphone instead of typing, to save time. We are not all spammers and shouldn’t be treated as such.

FOCUS ON THE REAL PROBLEM: I recently saw something that really disturbed me and I will never be able to unsee… a video of a man dancing around naked with his junk flopping all over the dang place. I reported the video right away and got a response saying “the post you reported does not violate our Community Guidelines…” But apparently, my liking the comments on my own post too fast, did violate those same guidelines.
The result? I am still trying to figure out how my likes are more offensive than a man’s genitals doing the wave.
Possible Solution: Focus on the spammers, hackers, pedophiles, cyber-bullies and exhibitionists that are making everyone’s experience worse. Once that’s been taken care of, then you can come back to us normal folk who are just trying to make a living (especially those of us that pay to promote our posts whenever we can).

Instagram, if you happen to come across this blog post, I hope you take this one user’s thoughts into consideration. Imagine how much more powerful Instagram could be, if the users had a say in their own experience?

Oh… and please don’t delete my account.

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  • Elizabeth O
    July 12, 2019

    Don’t get me started Heather! The whole thing is wearing on us all. My celeb buddies are immune from all of these restrictions but, that’s the way the cookie is crumbling now. Ugh 🙁

  • Shannon Gurnee
    July 11, 2019

    I still love and use Instagram. This is some really interesting information. Thanks for sharing.

  • Louisa
    July 10, 2019

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve taken weeks off from Instagram to focus on me. But I find it hard to leave since most of the brands I work with want at least an Instagram post. I love blogging so much more but I understand the importance of Instagram too. I love the points you raised about Instagram. Sadly, I think they care about their bottomline just as much as we care about putting food on our table. So Instagram will do what Instagram wants to do.

  • rika
    July 10, 2019

    I am not a big fan of Instagram anymore. I used to spend hours browsing, but now, maybe 10 minutes max.

  • Ruth I
    July 10, 2019

    It’s really frustrating these days. I really hope Instagram will wake up soon and come up with a solution.

  • stacie
    July 10, 2019

    Agreed. Very thoughtful and well said article filled with great information. great read.

  • Kathy
    July 10, 2019

    You’ve got some really good info here. I honestly use to hate Instagram. I know it’s so big right now though, so I try to use it as much as possible.

  • Chef Dennis
    July 10, 2019

    This blog is really great. You have delivered your message very well about Instagram and how we could make it great again. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Heather
    July 9, 2019

    It sucks that social media is so controlled like that. Just like you I reported something really disturbing that I didn’t think should have been on facebook. It was a lady pole dancing in a flesh-toned thong wearing a cut up t-shirt that showed “under boob”. I mean come on! Not appropriate, but I got the same message back and like you I’ve been blocked from facebook for liking too fast.
    Heather recently posted Ephesians 3:20-21 His Power is at Work Within UsMy Profile

  • Kim
    July 9, 2019

    It sounds like you’ve really thought about solutions to make IG better. Good luck with all your posts; you’re doing a great job.
    Kim recently posted Peace, Love and Kombucha…(and some yoga too!)My Profile

  • GiGi Eats
    July 9, 2019

    I believe that social media and blogging has taken a negative turn. I stay positive and post on my blog and social media because I love it and don’t take it too seriously and really just enjoy meeting like-minded people… But man oh man is there a lot of negative in this world all over social media. I choose to not see it, and rarely do I ever – BUT I HEAR about it. And it breaks my heart!

  • REna
    July 9, 2019

    I think that FB & Instagram even Pinterest is becoming all about making money and not enough about the people who actually use it.
    REna recently posted What Will Be Your Child’s Inheritance?My Profile

  • cait
    July 9, 2019

    omg heather yes- you were SO spot on with this- i got punished too last week bc i was liking to many things at once which is ridiculous- thank you for sharing- def going to share w/ everyone!

  • Jeanette
    July 9, 2019

    I know it can be so hard to make a living with social media. They make it difficult with all their Algorithms. Just keep plucking away at it and I think we have some great suggestions to make it easier again.
    Jeanette recently posted Grilled Stuffed Sweet PeppersMy Profile

  • Janet
    July 9, 2019

    Oh man….I can SOOOO relate! I have a FB page of close to 400K that is now dead and sadly I see IG going the same route.
    Janet recently posted How To Travel Like A Local (Wherever You Go)My Profile

  • Alli Smith
    July 9, 2019

    I totally agree that Instagram needs to go back to being great again. I love Instagram. I’m definitely not a millennial and I just want the people who follow me to see my posts. And to grow. I want to grow on Instagram. 🙂
    Alli Smith recently posted Overnight French Toast With Praline ToppingMy Profile

  • I kkknnoooowwwwww….it’s so frustrating to put in all this effort and get back trash for your work. Personally, I am an activist and on numerous occassions, I have had my content flagged for no reason, really. Plus, I am also irritated by the entire algorithm arrangement. I hope the team at Instagram picks it.
    Ntensibe Edgar Michael recently posted Here came troubleMy Profile

  • Swathi
    July 8, 2019

    Thanks for sharing this useful post. I am still struggling with instagram. I need to concentrate more on that.
    Swathi recently posted Watermelon Moscow MuleMy Profile

  • I agree with you. Moms like us have to engage very quickly with our followers. Instagram should really take it into consideration.
    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen recently posted Summer Inspired DrinksMy Profile

  • Nikka Shae
    July 7, 2019

    This post was so needed! I agree with you on this! I can’t wait for the algorithm to change for the better!

  • Lavern Moore
    July 7, 2019

    This is an interesting perspective on tha changes that are going on with instagram. Very informative while offering your unique thoughts

  • Lynndee
    July 7, 2019

    Instagram can be frustrating at times. I used to get a good amount of followers a day then all of a sudden it just slowed down and now I’m stuck. Grrr!
    Lynndee recently posted Getting the Job Done…FINALLY!My Profile

  • Nicole
    July 7, 2019

    OK, this is really helpful. I agree, let’s make it great again. And not only did I bookmark this page, but I can’t wait to follow you.
    Nicole recently posted Spaghetti Squash Pad ThaiMy Profile

  • Catalina
    July 7, 2019

    I’ve found here a lot of new interesting things about Instagram changes! I’ve heard something about… I do love chronological feed, it’s exactly what I want to see!

  • rika
    July 7, 2019

    I used to spend hours daily on Instagram, but not anymore! Instagram is no longer a fun social platform for me.

  • Mica
    July 7, 2019

    Instagram has been frustrating recently! I’m lucky my online stuff is just a hobby, not an income, so I can just keep doing what I’m doing and wait for the algorithm to change again or something, haha!

    I just get annoyed when I scroll through my feed and it’s posts from 2 or 3 days ago when I know people have posted more recently, grr!

    Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend 🙂 It’s been a quiet one for us, with the rain!
    Mica recently posted Tee Dresses Layered For Winter: Anniversary WeekendMy Profile

  • Chava
    July 6, 2019

    Instagram is no longer fun for me, but at least my only use for it has been entertainment. For those who depend on it for their living, it must be that much worse.

  • Vanessa Delia
    July 6, 2019

    Instagram and Facebook are the worst for not removing content that’s actually really disgusting. However, they’ll remove something if someone says something they don’t like. It’s annoying and I don’t let my kids on it.

  • Carly
    July 6, 2019

    I love this post and really connect with it! I became active on social media for similar reasons- physical and mental health issues that kept me homebound a lot. Since then, Instagram has opened a lot of doors for me and my family! I hope we can continue to do what we love.

  • Wendy Polisi
    July 6, 2019

    Instagram is pretty picky anymore, so is Facebook. It kind of has taken a lot of the joy out of it for many of us.

  • Theresa
    July 6, 2019

    Just like Facebook, Instagram is slowly becoming a platform that I dislike using. My engagement has dropped by more than 30% since these changes started taking place. I really hope they start listening to their users, but sadly I don’t see that happening.
    Theresa recently posted Homemade Chocolate Cherry Sundae ToppingMy Profile

  • Melissa Balgobin
    July 6, 2019

    I agree 100%. Instagram is one of my fave social platforms, but I don’t agree with a lot of their changes. I definitely would love chronological order coming back! IG was amazing in like 2014-16.

  • Kita Bryant
    July 6, 2019

    I have a love hate relationship with insta. I like it but I don’t love it. I will say that what I do is all my favorites I have their blog in my feedly so I will read their blog and then go like a few pics on insta so I can see what I want to see. I also think Insta should get like twitter let us group who we ant to see in a group so I can stay off the main feed and just go to my groups

    • Heather
      July 6, 2019

      I love the idea of being able to create groups! They do have the “close friends” option, but that tends to show my things to only those people for some reason.

  • Emman Damian
    July 6, 2019

    I really believe Instagram is a good tool to launch your advocacies and post your hobbies. It’s not about being popular or getting the most likes/comments, it’s about engagements and how you showcase yourself to the world.
    Emman Damian recently posted Top 10 Summer in the City Survival TipsMy Profile

  • Janel
    July 5, 2019

    I so miss the chronological feed!! Please bring that back!
    Janel recently posted 5 Tips to Manage Tech Time this SummerMy Profile

    July 5, 2019

    YES YES YES!!! I remember once upon a time I loved it because it was FUN and made me feel good! Now it is just another place of judgement and making me feel awful!

  • Anne Marie
    July 5, 2019

    You get a big thumbs up from me for a very honest and well-reasoned assessment of what’s going on. AND you offer some really great solutions!

  • Porsha Carr
    July 5, 2019

    Been waiting forever everything we all want to Say and I absolutely love it.

    • Heather
      July 5, 2019

      You’re the best and I appreciate you giving me the courage to post!

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    July 5, 2019

    Heather, I totally agree with your points made, clearly and crisply well.
    Instagram has become my “vicious anxiety disorder.” It does not treat its users like it has promised. We know why.
    I still post on Insta, but engagement has gone with the wind. While it’s still at where it is, I am focusing on other ways that work for me.
    Thank you for sharing and voicing these points that we face daily and know too well.

  • Tara Pittman
    July 5, 2019

    I need to work on Instagram. My views and numbers sure do need some help in this area
    Tara Pittman recently posted The Best Safety Product For Female TravelersMy Profile

  • Rena
    July 5, 2019

    I couldn’t agree more! I love IG, but it’s depressing to work so hard to be seen by so few. I think they are all getting this way even Pinterest!
    Rena recently posted A Bend In The River – Secret Subject SwapMy Profile

  • Tammy Adams
    July 5, 2019

    I’m having a terrible time growing Instagram and I don’t over post. Probably don’t post enough if the truth be known. I’m finding out now that when I am on my desktop, I can’t like posts or follow anyone but can on my app. Weird.

  • Amber Myers
    July 5, 2019

    Instagram is one of my toughest accounts to grow. I’ll get a ton of followers, and then they’ll all leave. So it’s a constant yo yo with numbers. Also, right now, they are preventing some people to like photos via the app (I am included!) so I think that’s why likes are lower right now. People might not even realize their likes aren’t sticking, because it allows you to like, but when you go back and check the photo, the like hasn’t stuck. It is SO frustrating!

    • Heather
      July 5, 2019

      That’s definitely happening to a lot of people I know! I’m hoping that’s just a temporary glitch though.

  • Liz Mays
    July 5, 2019

    I always have to take it slow on Instagram because I’m afraid of being temporarily locked. It’s a fun platform but the changes on social media sites can really catch me off guard.

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