Category Archives: Blogging

Coffee Talk: Snapchat vs. Insta-Story

You guys!!!! It’s Thursday, my new favorite day of the week because it’s COFFEE TALK TIME!!! Last week we got a little deep talking about comparison and the week before we talked about coping with bad days. And if you’re just joining us for coffee talks, it’s basically a new series I’m working on every Thursday where I just kind of open up about whatever is relevant in my life right now, and then I ask for feedback!

Like seriously, I need your feedback. NOW! Jk. Kind of.

I got a lot of really good responses from last week’s post, too! Most people I talked to admitted to comparing themselves to others – siblings, close friends, other parents and how they raised their children, other peers and how they were performing in school, or even comparison in relationships between new friends & with GUYS (I know every girl can relate on that note).

But even better were the responses on how to deal! Most of you just said you didn’t act on it, you reminded yourself that everything happens for a reason, or it made you look inward and value your own attributes. I absolutely love those responses!

Ok. So now. Total 180 here on the topic. This one isn’t exactly a #deeptweet topic. I don’t want you to come to coffee talks and feel like you now need to go speak with a therapist or something. We can get deep every now and then but honestly I’m just not feeling that way today!

Today we are going to talk about the biggest face-off since LC & Heidi Montag (yes my mind is on The Hills because I’m still crying I didn’t see the 10 year anniversary episode, but these are the sacrifices you make when you give up cable). We’re talking SNAPCHAT VS. INSTA-STORY!!!

And I need opinions. I’m not kidding. I literally need to know everyone’s opinion on this.

Because I’m getting ready to share my pick between the two.

Drumroll please…

SNAPCHAT. I’m sorry. I just love it.

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Let explain my thoughts on this. I think what Instagram is doing is freakin’ brilliant. They saw what Snapchat was doing. It was taking over their market share. It was becoming too cool and threatening the existence of Instagram. Not everyone wants to see perfectly curated photos and fashion bloggers looking down at their feet all day. They want to see raw, real, regular LIFE. So Instagram realized this. Then they took a platform that everyone is already using and incorporated the best attributes of Snapchat, their main competitor. So now you have all the advantages of Snapchat without having to leave the app you’re in. SMART. A. F.

But. I have to give you my honest thoughts on this. I follow about 500 people on Instagram. And probably like 75-100 on Snapchat. And I like it that way. Because I can choose who I want to see on camera all day.

There are some bloggers and people I follow that are hilarious and interesting and utilize Snapchat really well. Then there are others (that I’ve realized in the last day from Insta-stories) that just don’t translate well on the Snapchat platform. They’re awkward, or they don’t look the same as they do in their super-filtered pics, or they have a voice that doesn’t translate well on camera. And then it makes me not see them the same way.

And this isn’t to be mean. But when I go to someone’s Instagram page (like a blogger or business, not a friend) I want to leave feeling something. Like, oh her photos are beautiful, how did she capture that? BRB while I go climb in the mountains like she did? But now I’m seeing the real person and it doesn’t match their Instagram vibe and now, as a follower, I’m all confused. Does this make sense?

From my perspective, too, I don’t want to annoy any of my followers away. I figure if someone wants to see the unedited TWB they will just follow me on Snapchat (cough @jillbeangreen cough). I don’t see Insta-stories helping me gain followers – which is not the only point, but obviously I want people to follow me and follow my blog and feel genuinely connected to me and feel like we’re friends. But I think that’s a slow transition and I think it would only come across as annoying right now.

And my last point: THE FILTERS. I will probably be #TeamSnapchat until Insta-story figures out how to make me into a dog, alien, festival-goer, or crying rainbow baby like my beloved Snapchat does.

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So, the point of my long-winded explanation: I’m going to stick with Snapchat for now. Maybe I’m a granny that can’t cope with change, but I’m going to hang back and wait and keep snapping for now.

Alright. Now I NEED to know your thoughts. Which one is your favorite? Do you like both? Do you think this is the end of Snapchat? Or do you think the Insta-story will eventually fade away? Tell me EVERYTHING! Right now. Text me. Comment. Snapchat me. Insta-story me. I don’t care! I have to know. Ok?!

I will be back tomorrow with a fun new post so be sure to check back! Xo.

-TWB

Coffee Talk: How Do You Compare?

YOU GUYS!!! Welcome back to the 2nd week of COFFEE TALKS! I’m so weirdly excited about these. Idk. I just want to feel like it’s just me and you, hangin’ out, drinkin’ some coffee, talking about life. Which is kind of my favorite thing to do.

So let me back up. if this is your first coffee talk, WELCOME! So glad you’re here. Grab your mug. Or your Starbucks cup. Let’s continue. Each week, I pick a topic, and I just kind of openly talk about it here on my blog. Then, you give me feedback. Either through a comment, a text, a phone call, a Snapchat (@jillbeangreen), an e-mail, a message in a corn field, I DON’T CARE! I just want to know your thoughts. Seriously.

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Last week I talked about how to cope with bad days. And I got some amazing feedback! Some of my favorite responses were…

  • Listening to some LOUD music. Sometimes alternative tunes, sometimes some instrumental jams.
  • Watching Seinfeld re-runs (Which is pretty brilliant. You can’t NOT laugh at those.)
  • READING – this was a popular one.
  • Making lists.
  • Eating a protein-packed meal to avoid emotional spikes from carbs (I get the hint, I will put down the pasta lol)
  • Andddd working out! (Yes, some of my readers actually take the healthy route)

Today I want to talk about something different. I want to talk about COMPARISON. Because I think this is pretty common for anyone in any stage of life. Whether you compare personal lives, body types, success, wealth, or all of the above, it HAPPENS. Right?

…or not right?

Because I know I compare. Maybe not blatantly or intentionally. But subconsciously. There is just a natural part of us, I think, that compares ourselves to others. We want to gauge where we are in life. And sometimes there’s no better place to look than right next to us. Our old classmates, or our friends, or our co-workers, or that ridiculously well-dressed girl on the train that looks like she might be your age but how does she afford that handbag?!

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think comparison is bad. Sometimes you have to look around to get a nice little kick in the bum and get you going in the right direction. But too much, obviously, can be really detrimental to your mental health.

Like how does she have a husband and a kid and I can’t even get a text back?

Or…

How does he get 1,455 likes on his picture, I’m way cuter?!

(These are not actual thoughts I’ve had, just examples…. I swear!!)

The funny thing about comparison is we like to compare ourselves to other people in their best categories.

Maybe that girl on the train has the coolest, most expensive handbag in the world, but she works 80 hour weeks and has a failed relationship because she always put work first.

Or maybe the girl with the kid has an amazing personal life but fills unfulfilled when she goes to the office every day.

You really never know. And that’s so important to keep in mind.

At some point, you just have to put your blinders on and remember that your path is your path. Always easier said than done. But I know I personally can improve on this aspect of my life. Sometimes I catch myself comparing my blog to other blogs, or my life to other people’s lives at this age. It’s normal.

So how do I work on it?

Any time I catch myself comparing I try to give myself the full picture and try to use it for inspiration. Like yes, her blog is great, but how long has she been doing it versus you? If you keep doing this, you could be there in 4 years, too! Or dang her bod is amazing but look at how much plastic surgery she’s had? You could look that great, too! KIDDING!!! Had to throw a little humor in there.

So tell me… do you find yourself playing the comparison game? Is there something specific in your life that you always compare to others whether you want to or not? How do you stop yourself when you catch yourself in the act? Tell me everything!!! SERIOUSLY. Call me. Beep me. TELL ME EVERYTHING!

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I will be back tomorrow with a fun new post about a TREND I’m finally catching onto! See you then! Xo.

-TWB

P.S. The craziest thing just happened because literally halfway through this post I found this video that TOTALLY hits the nail on the head. Enjoy!

Coffee Talk: How To Deal With a Bad Day

You guys. I just decided right now in this very moment that on the blog I want to start COFFEE TALKS. On Thursdays. Where you go grab a fat pour of coffee and meet me back here and I’m just going to talk about whatever is relevant right now. And then I want to hear from you guys! In the comments, or through a text, or an e-mail, or however you can respond I want to hear your thoughts. Seriously.

OK?

You got your coffee?

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Good. Let’s chat.

Y’all. Today was one for the books. I’m talking a loooooong day. And I don’t even think it was just due to the tremendous pain I’m currently in. But it was just stressful. And busy. And irritating. And long.

I know I’m not the only one who has long days. Obviously. But it made me wonder… how do you cope with an overwhelming day?

Like, how you honestly cope… not “I eat a healthy salad and go for a run!” bloggy BS. Unless that’s what you do. And in that case, please teach me your ways.

Me? I just want a big fat glass of wine and an obnoxiously large bowl of pasta. Covered in parmesan. And not even legit parmesan cheese, like Kraft, doesn’t-need-refrigeration-for-years parmesan. And honestly, that’s usually what I do.

I know that’s not healthy so today I tried to take a bath (which was a bit challenging due to the back situation). And I did the whole candles-music-ambiance thing and it did actually help quite a bit. Even though I was rolling my eyes the whole time at myself for being that girl who lights candles and puts them on the bathtub.

And you may be wondering why I am even talking about this and it’s mostly because I’m trying to blog every day now (have you noticed?!) but it makes me a little nervous because not all days are cupcakes and rainbows. And I always want to stay 100% true to myself and honest. And if I’m having a bad day, I’m going to talk about it. And not pretend I ate a healthy salad and went for a run.

You know what I mean?

I have been blogging for a little over a year now and I seriously love it and I fall more in love with it every day. So I want to keep growing and I want you guys to keep growing with me. But I know in order to do that I need to open up just a little bit more.

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With coffee talks.

And I already kind of love them.

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But for real – I want to know how you cope when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Do you have any habits – good or bad – that you fall back on when you feel like this? What does your night look like when you’ve had a long day? Tell me everything – seriously – I genuinely want to know. And also tell me your thoughts on our Thursday coffee dates! I hope you love them. Xo.

-TWB

 

The Windy Blonde Turns 1!

You guys. This week marks my 1 year anniversary of blogging! How crazy is that?! Looking back over the past year my blog has changed so much. I started off just talking about food (love me some food) but quickly learned this was adding to my waistline and taking away from my wallet. So I started just talking about whatever is on my mind. It’s an amazing creative outlet and it’s something that I always look forward to working on – even after a full year.

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How did I celebrate, you ask? Tacos and ice cream. Duh. Is there any other way to celebrate…?

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So anyway, for my 1 year post, I thought I would talk about what I’ve learned about blogging. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means. But I have learned so much, and now I have crazy respect for the mega-bloggers out there. I really don’t know how they do it.

If you’ve ever considered starting a blog my advice is to just DO IT. Look, I get it, it seems like everybody has a blog. But even if you just have a few friends who read it, or even if just your mom reads it, it honestly connects you so much to the people around you. I can’t even tell you how many meaningful conversations I’ve had with my mom or a friend about something I wrote about. And that’s the best feeling.

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Plus, I truly believe everybody has something to say. So many of us have these passions but feel embarrassed or weird if we talk about them. Who cares?! As embarrassed as you might feel, most of your friends would probably think it’s pretty cool. And if they don’t? They don’t sound like the kind of friend you want, anyway.

Have I talked you into starting one yet?! 🙂

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So without further ado, here are the biggest lessons I’ve learned about blogging:

  1. It’s not as easy as it looks. There is so much preparation that goes into a post that people really don’t think about. Coming up with the content, the photos, editing photos, finding links and adding them, the writing itself – it’s honestly pretty time consuming. I only post 2 or so days per week. The people who post every day? That’s a freakin 2nd job.
  2. When you first start, you’re not as good as you think you are. OMG I thought I was the bees knees. I thought I would become Insta-famous in a week. I thought my pics were badass. Now when I look back, it’s like looking at pics from 7th grade. You’re like what was I doing with my eyebrows? Did I not own a straightener? Did I really think my middle part was cute? LOL. But really. Looking back now I can definitely see how much I’ve grown.
  3.  Backup posts & scheduling are crucial to success. Sometimes I just literally don’t have the time to commit to a new post, but I know my readers expect something on my Tuesday & Thursday post days. That’s when I have to pull from the archives. Most of my posts are done on the weekends, and then I just publish them during the week. If you’re thinking about blogging, my advice would be to spend at least a couple of weeks working on backup posts. That way it’s a way less stressful experience.
  4. Don’t give up. even when you really really want to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just wanted to stop. Or take some time off. Or felt discouraged and just straight up wanted to throw in the towel. But life has a funny way of nudging you along. Even if you have a couple of posts that you think are mediocre, your readers probably don’t feel that way. Just keep going.
  5. Don’t get wrapped up in the likes and reassurance. If I cared about my likes or followers I would have quit a long time ago. I always promised myself not to fall into the trap of paying for followers or selling myself out for bigger numbers. Even if nobody else  knew, I would know, and that would drive me crazy. I try to just post what I like, and if nobody else likes it, that’s OK.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. You’re uniqueness is what people want to see. This kind of goes along with #5. It’s easy to think that you’re just another fish in the sea. But I think my differences are what make me stand out. I have definitely fallen into the trap of feeling like I’m going nowhere, but then someone will approach me and tell me they love my blog, and it makes it totally worth it.
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 Honestly, though, as much as I’ve learned, I wouldn’t have a blog without my amazing boyfriend Ben who is the one taking all these silly pics whilst balancing his own ice cream. Love ya, babe.
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So tell me… have you ever thought of starting a blog? Or does the idea just not interest you at all? Tell me everything! I’ll be back Tuesday with a new post! Xo.
-TWB

New Leaves

The other day I was talking to my mom on the phone like I always do on my ride home from work. We were talking about the weather, then Spring specifically, then how pretty the trees are with their new leaves. My mom said when I was younger she used to read  me a story about new leaves and she always liked that book.  It was such a quick and simple conversation but it really made me think about new leaves.

And no, I don’t mean that in some nature-freak kind of way like I’m a botanist now or something, but new leaves in life. Like, turning over a new leaf. New leaves might be different for different people – new opportunities, new interests, new beginnings. But I think all of us feel this feeling of new-ness when Spring starts. We finally get out of the house and it’s light out past 6 and the outside world is beautiful with purply-pink sunsets and bright white fluffy trees (except for here in Chicago, it’s still pretty bare to be honest).

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For me, Spring is the first real feeling of where is the rest of this year going to take me? in almost a new-years-kind-of-way.  People think that as you get older, you’re just digging deeper and deeper into your roots to find yourself, but I think getting older is about growing new leaves and figuring those out. I always thought I hated traveling and now I suddenly can’t get enough. I thought I was a dog person and now I have a crazy little cat. I thought I liked gold jewelry but it turns out I like silver now. Even the smallest pieces of yourself can suddenly sprout new legs and take you somewhere you never intended to go.

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I think ruling stuff out and immediately saying no is the fastest route to boredom. This Spring I want to make a promise to myself to try new things and not say no right away. I want to explore new things, try new things, and I want my blog to be a part of that, too!

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My 100th post the other day made me reflect on how much I’ve changed even from starting my blog last May. I feel like I sprouted a whole new TREE since I started blogging. I basically started off just talking about food, then I sprinkled in some lifestyle posts, and now I mostly talk about lifestyle and post some pics of my outfits. It’s just what I’m interested in right now. Especially since I don’t have to bundle up in 800 layers with snot running down my face every time I leave the house.

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So with that being said, I want to continue down this path. I like posting pictures of what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, and just focus a little bit more on those new leaves. 

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What is something you’ve recently become interested in or tried? Any new leaves in your Spring? Tell me everything in the comments below! My parents will be here to visit this weekend so follow me on Instagram (@thewindyblonde) or subscribe in the box to the right to keep up with my posts!

See you soon! Xo.

-TWB