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Runs from 7/17, 7:30pm CST to 7/20, 7:30pm CST. W i n n e r will be announced on @giving.with.grace stories immediately following confirmation. This is in no way affiliated with I G. Items open to anyone in the Continental US, 18+. C A S H option open worldwide to anyone 18+. Account must be public. .
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🌿Have you always wanted a...

Who wants to win an iPad?! Falynn loves to learn, especially when it’s done in a fun and exciting way. #sponsored We recently discovered the @khanacademykids app and she absolutely loves it! The songs and activities keep her entertained while she’s learning and she can’t get enough.  Khan Academy Kids is a FREE app for young learners, ages 2-6.  They offer thousands of activities, books, videos and coloring pages, which allow kids to learn at their own pace. Khan Academy Kids is currently celebrating their 1st birthday by giving away prizes all month, including iPads with limited edition Khan Academy Kids cases, family passes to National Parks, and road trip kits to inspire learning while traveling. It’s easy (and free) to enter. Just click on the link in our bio and then on the Khan Academy Kids logo at the top! Don’t forget to download the app. Your kids will love it as much as we do! #educationaltechnology #backtoschoolshopping #backtoschool #educational #educationaltoys #educationmatters #educationiskey #educationforall #learningathome #learnandplay #learnthroughplay #toddleractivities #toddlermomlife #khanacademykids

Who wants to win an...

Having lived with anxiety for over 13 years, speaking publicly about it for almost 3 and having finally been officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder recently, I've heard just about everything. While my family and friends mean well, so many of them have a knack for saying the wrong thing when my anxiety is at its highest. It occurred to me that they aren't trying to be hurtful, they are really just trying to help me to get over that "moment". So instead of getting upset, I figured I'd share the 5 things you should never say to someone with anxiety, on the blog today. Can you think of any I’ve missed? .
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#anxietyrelief #anxious #socialanxiety #anxietyhelp #anxietyattack #anxietysucks #panicattack #panicattacks #panicdisorder #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthwarrior #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealthday #mindbodygram #mindandbody #mindofmine #mindsetmatters #endthestigma #stopthehate #motherhoodinspired #igmotherhood #thisismotherhood #momentsinmotherhood

Having lived with anxiety for...

#ad Ladies, how much do you really know about your #periodhealth? Even in my 40’s, I can honestly say that I am still learning about my body and what it should and shouldn’t do every month. And the truth is, most women don’t know what is normal vs. abnormal when it comes to their #period. In a recent survey, 85% of women agreed that heavy periods were “normal” - and 69% agreed that pain is “something to be expected”. FACT: Heavy periods do not have to be your normal – know your options: http://www.WeHateHeavyPeriods.com #WeHateHeavyPeriods #linkinbio @changethecycle #empoweredwomenempowerwomen #healthandwellness #empowerwomen #healthfirst #healyourself #healthytips #empoweryourself #periodproblems #womenhealth #nourishyourself #periodpositive #empowerothers #workingmomlife #healthjourney #womenpower #empoweringwomen #empoweredwomen #epcotflowerandgardenfestival #epcotcenter #butterflys

#ad Ladies, how much do...

We partnered with @disneybooks to celebrate the release of a brand new Pigeon book: The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems. Since Mo Willems is Falynn’s favorite author of all time, we had to throw a pigeon themed party, featuring Pigeon’s favorite, HOT DOGS!  And we couldn’t stop there. Falynn thought it would be fun to create the ultimate kids hot dog bar, with lots of unusual, but kid-friendly toppings. Check out the blog today to hear all about it and learn how you can throw your own Pigeon-themed party for your little Mo Willems fan! #ReadMoWillems #disneyblogger #disneylifestyle #bookclub #bookobsessed #bookpic #booksbooksbooks #booklife #bookworms #bookstoread #summerjam #summer19 #pigeon #partytheme #hotdogs #kidspartyideas #childrensparties #kidsparty #partykids

We partnered with @disneybooks to...

I mean... I worked so hard at it too. 🤦🏻‍♀️
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I mean... I worked so...

When people find out that I’m a full-time blogger and have been solely supporting our family since April of 2018, they have so many questions. But the question I get asked the most is, 🍃 “How do I get started as a blogger?” My answer always starts the same. I want you to ask yourself one simple question. 🌸 Do I have the time to dedicate to a blog?  I’m not talking about an hour every other Saturday, or when it’s convenient. I’m talking about full-time job kinda time. If not, you’re probably not ready. Starting and maintaining a blog is A LOT of work and it requires a lot of dedication. Like everything in this world, if you can commit the time, and you put your all into it, you too can support your family this way. If I can do it, anyone can. 
Today on the blog, I’m sharing the first 5 steps you need to take to start making money as a blogger. It’s the beginning of a series of posts I’ll be sharing, that will hopefully help more people to get to where they want to be. 
#howtostartablog #bloggersofinstagram #socialmediaqueen #socialmediaexpert #floridablogger #southfloridablogger #westpalmbeachblogger #girlbossmagic #growthhacking #workfromwherever #workfromhomejob #sayyestosuccess #businesscoachforwomen #businesscoaching #contentcreator #womeninbiz #girlbosslife #girlbosses #bossbabes #womenempoweringwomen #empoweredwomen

When people find out that...

Summer is flying by, isn’t it? Not only have the girls been keeping up with their Summer reading, but they had read all of the books I got them by the end of June! Luckily, we partnered with @disneybooks and were able to get Serafina and the Seven Stars prior to its release today! Lucia had been anticipating the new book from the Serafina series and couldn’t wait to start reading it, and now you can grab a copy too! The #SerafinaSeries by Robert Beatty has been one of her favorites. In the new book, our heroine must confront deceptively dark and terrifying forces. Of all the books, this one is probably her favorite! You can get Serafina and the Seven Stars in stores now! You can also click on the link in our bio, where we’ve added the link to the new book, on Amazon.
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#disneyblogger #disneylifestyle #bookclub #bookobsessed #bookpic #booksbooksbooks #booklife #bookworms #bookstoread #teenmom #summerjam #summer19 #readingisfun #readinglist #readingtime #readersofinstagram #ilovereading #instaread

Summer is flying by, isn’t...

No, your IG isn’t broken. Every time I talk openly about my anxiety disorder, I get the same response, from so many people.
“You're not broken.”
They're right, I'm not broken. It's not that I can't be fixed. It's not that I can't overcome my anxiety. It's not that there is no hope and I should just be thrown out like the pieces of my favorite porcelain mug that I accidentally dropped. I can be put back together and there's a great possibility that I will one day return to my former, non-anxiety-filled self.
Read more on today’s blog... I'm not broken, but I'm definitely glitching. (Link in bio or swipe up in stories)
#anxietyrelief #anxious #socialanxiety #anxietyhelp #anxietyattack #anxietysucks #panicattack #panicattacks #panicdisorder #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthwarrior #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealthday #mindbodygram #mindandbody #mindofmine #mindsetmatters #endthestigma #stopthehate #motherhoodinspired #igmotherhood #thisismotherhood #momentsinmotherhood

No, your IG isn’t broken....

Falynn is my hero. On a daily basis, she faces her fears head on. She lets us know that she’s a little afraid but always does it anyway, with very little to no push from me or Super Dad. You can often find her jumping up and down and yelling “I did it!” after she’s conquered another one. At 6 years old, she is my inspiration. Whenever anxiety gets the best of me, I need to replay every one of those moments where she didn’t let her fear and the unknown stop her from living her best life. .
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#momswithanxiety #anxietywarrior #anxietysucks #panicattack #panicattacks #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealthadvocate #worldoflittles #myeverydaymagic #sharetheeverymom #rawmotherhood #momsofinstagram #momswithcameras #cameramama #mommybloggers  #mytinymoments #mommyandme #mommyandmegoals #ourcandidlife #pursuepretty #momentsinmotherhood #momentsofmine #thehappynow #watchthemgrow #momstyle #momgoals

Falynn is my hero. On...

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.

XOXO
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47 Comments
  • 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

  • Reesa LEWANDOWSKI
    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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