Hey there friends! I hope you're all having a great start to your week. I hope you all enjoyed last weeks Tiny Talk on Being Present. I really enjoyed chatting with all of you through our FB group and Instagram Live last week! Apologies on being a few days late with this one...time just got away from me this weekend! I'm back again this week though with another edition of Tiny Talks and this time we're going to be talking about the problems with social media. While social media can be really great, it comes with it's downfalls. I obviously love social media so much and can't picture my life without it, but is that a problem? It might be...
Social media is so addictive. Literally. We get addicted to constantly checking it. We crave that little red number to pop up on Instagram. Did you know that when you log on to Instagram or Facebook and you get those notification numbers that dopamine is actually released in your brain from them? It's true...and that is why it's so addictive. We crave that hormone release and social media is an easy way to get it. But like everything else it slowly loses its effect and you need it more and more often, which is so bad for us. We really need to do our best to control our usage for many reasons but our own health is literally one of them.
We all compare ourselves to each other...we can't help it, it's human nature. Social media makes this 1000x easier to do and that is so unhealthy. I know I look all over Instagram and find so much inspiration but at the same time you can't help but wonder how these peoples lives can be so perfect? And then you wonder why your life can't be like that? Well I'm here to tell you that you're awesome and to stop doing this. No one's life is perfect and trust me, you're missing so much of the picture in those little squares that you see on Instagram. So next time you're feeling low while scrolling, stop, kill the app, and then think of one reason why you're life is so amazing.
Spring boarded off the comparison point, social media is so fake. We all put up what we want others to see...not the whole picture. I confess that I pick and choose what I want you all to see even. I try my hardest to be real and raw as much as possible but sometimes I have to be transparent for one reason or another. For me personally, I'm not trying to hide anything but for my family's privacy sometimes I can't tell the whole story. It's that way with everyone else out on social media, too. So while it may be depressing that our lives aren't as perfect as these big time bloggers or influencers that are out there, just remember that it's not REAL. You can't even be 100% on the internet, especially through a little picture/caption or a status post on Facebook.
The Damn Algorithm
Yes of course I have to address the stupid Instagram algorithm. It sucks, it really really does. If you don't like 1 of my photos then you will start seeing less and less of them. This is really hard when you're trying to gain your following or your livelihood depends on it (thank goodness this is not the case for me). I know likes and follows don't matter but if you are trying to make money off of social media it got a whole lot harder thanks to this addition to Instagram.
So Much PRESSURE
Social media comes with a lot of pressure. This kind of goes hand in hand with the algorithm bit. There's so much pressure to have the perfect photo, the perfect theme, the perfect Instagram page. If people go to your Instagram and they don't think your grid looks pretty they do a hard pass on you. This makes me so sad. There are so many people out there who do put up amazing content that is so inspiring or informative but may not have those photography skills or editing skills to make their Instagram look perfect. I know for me personally, if I don't have a really great photo to post, I just don't post. I constantly feel pressure to post perfect photos and follow my Instagram strategy (if you want to know what this is I can do a post on it in the future). This is all so silly though and I know that. It frustrates me that I feel this way because it is my space, my photos, my way of looking back on life and how amazing it is. But because of the pressure I don't post those non-perfect photos anymore. Thankfully though I have this space to post all those amazing candids of my family and I can look back on all the amazing memories here!
Gotta love a good troll. They're everywhere these days, just lurking in the corner, waiting to come out and ruin your day. Seriously though, what is it with these people? Why does putting someone else down make them feel better? I know for me, if I were to make someone else's day worse it would make my day worse! Unfortunately though they are out there and we just have to deal with them. It's hard to shake them off when the comments roll in but we have to. Always try to be the bigger person and kill them with kindness....they obviously need some kindness in their life if they feel the need to bring others down through a screen!
How do you all feel about social media? Do you love it? Do you hate it? What is one thing you think we can do to improve the culture around social media these days? Tune in to my Instagram Live today at 1 PM CST to discuss all of this with me! I have the day off of work today and while I know many of you don't don't worry...the talk will be available on my Instagram for 24 hours! You can also join in on the conversation in the Tiny Tribe group on Facebook. Talk to you all later!
It's been awhile since I've been to NYC but nonetheless it is still one of my favorite cities in the world! Caleb and I took our first trip to NYC together after we graduated from Iowa State as my graduation gift to him! We were super in to naming our trips back then and called this was Graduation Exploration, ha! We had such a fun week though exploring all of NYC together and knocked all the touristy things out of the way. When we travel somewhere for the first time we love to hit all the tourist spots on that trip so that when we go back in the future we can concentrate on my local based adventures. For us personally we love the tourist hot spots...for us they are what initially get us excited to go somewhere for the first time! So if you're just like us then this quick guide is definitely for you! Here are our recommendations for all the fun things to do in NYC + some amazing places to eat & drink!
MTA aka the subway - If you are staying in NYC for longer than a couple of days we recommend getting the 7 day pass priced at $32 per person. This will get you unlimited rides on the subway and buses all throughout the city.
Walking - The other great way to get around NYC is to walk! Every block is blossoming with exciting things to see. If you walk a couple of miles instead of taking a cab or the subway you'll get to see so many more highlights in this city!
Cabs - To each their own but we don't recommend taking cabs or Ubers. They are way overpriced and the traffic all over the city is INSANE. You'll waste so much time and money going this route.
City Pass - If you are super in to museums like we are then we recommend getting the NYC City Pass. It's priced at $126 per adult and $104 per child It gets you in to the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, the Met, Top of the Rock or the Guggenheim Museum, Statue of Liberty + Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise, and 9/11 Memorial or Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. We purchased this on our trip for the museums alone and the Empire State Building and the Circle Line cruise were just extra perks thanks to it! You will save 42% on admission to these places, so if you are interested in even half of them then we highly suggest going this route because you will save a ton of money. You can purchase this City Pass on their website before your trip or at any of the locations that the pass includes.
American Museum of Natural History - GA: $23 per adult, $13 per child. Open from 10am - 5:45pm daily. Highlights: hall of dinosaurs, Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, hall of biodiversity, hall of ocean life, Great Canoe. The movie Night at the Museum was shot here.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) - GA: $25 per adult, children under 12 yrs old are free. Open 10am - 5:30 pm Sun-Thur and 10am - 9pm Fri-Sat. Highlights: Marilyn by Andy Warhol, Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, Water Lillies by Claude Monet, By the Seashore by Auguste Renoir, Marble statue of Eirene by Kephisdotos. The Met steps outside the front of the museum are very well known and it's fun to sit here on a nice day and eat some frozen yogurt.
Guggenheim Museum - GA: $25 per adult, children under 12 yrs old are free. Open 10am - 5:45 pm daily except Thursdays they are closed. Highlights: Thannhuser collection, Brancusi collection. They always have the coolest temporary exhibits, too. The Guggenheim building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Modern Museum of Art (MoMA) - GA: $25 per adult, children under 16 yrs old are free. Open 10am - 5:30 pm daily and open till 8pm on Fridays. Highlights: Starry Night by Vincent van Gough, Campbells Soup Cans by Andy Warhol, Girl with Ball by Roy Lichtenstein, One: Number 31 by Jackson Pollock, Girl before a Mirror by Paoblo Picasso.
Central Park - Located in Upper Manhattan. Take a walk around to all the iconic areas like The Mall, Strawberry Fields, the Zoo, and the motor boat pond. Have a picnic, read a book, go for a run, pet all the dogs!
Rockefeller Center - Located in Midtown. Go see SNL, Jimmy Fallon, or Seth Meyers. Get on the Today Show and go to the Top of the Rock (it's included in the NYC City Pass!) And of course in the winter go ice skating!
Times Square - Located in Midtown. Go see a Broadway show or all the street performers if you want to go the free route. Enjoy all the lights and if you're lucky enough to visit at New Years see the ball drop!
Brooklyn Bridge - Take a walk across this iconic bridge. Start out by taking the Subway to Brooklyn and then walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the bridge. You'll get some amazing views of the Manhattan skyline, a view of the Manhattan Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.
Empire State Building - Located in Midtown. Day or night, go up to the top for some incredible views of NYC. Daytime is great for photos and night time is great for enjoying the lights. This spot is also a part of the NYC City Pass.
Where to Eat
JG Melon - 19291 3rd Ave.
The most amazing burgers you'll ever have! The bacon cheeseburger is our recommendation along with an old fashioned.
Steve's Pizza - 110 Trinity Pl
Authentic New York style pizza! Steve's serves huge slices in lower Manhattan and has great views of the hustle and bustle of the Financial District.
Tout va Bien - 311 W 51st St.
The cutest little underground French spot! Located in the Theater District, it's the perfect spot to grab some dinner before a show or walking around Times Square. The food is so delicious but the best part is the big bowl of sangria that they bring you for free at the end of your meal! Cheers!
Laudree - 864 Madison Ave
The best macarons...EVER. Grab a big box of these delicious little cookies and walk around Central Park. This French bakery is so iconic and a must visit while you're wandering around the Upper East Side.
For all of my NYC recommendations visit my New York City Guide!
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Welcome to our first official Tiny Talk! I hope you all are having a great weekend. I've been cherishing this long Labor Day weekend as best as I can and really focusing on this weeks Tiny Talks topic for myself, which is being present. Being present is an art, in my opinion. It can be really hard. When the going gets tough I know I personally just want to "run away" via social media, deep cleaning our house, or sometimes just staring off blankly in to space. While all these things can sometimes be good or fun or inspiring when I do them to escape something or get too excessive with it they are severe time suckers. Ever since I became a mom I value my time so much more. It's so important to me that I give Kai my full attention the entire time he is awake and it's just as important that I take time for myself, my hubby, and our home while he's sleeping or playing independently. It's taken me a long time and a lot of hard work (I know that sounds silly but it's so true) to get to a place where I am proud of with being present and today I want to share this wisdom with you + find out how you all stay present with yourself and your families!
1. Cut off Phone Usage
Ha yeah you probably all guessed this would be number 1! Wasting time on our phones is seriously the biggest time sucker of all. There are nights where I tell myself I am going to check Instagram 1 more time and then shower and go to sleep but then it's somehow 1 am and I still haven't showered and am clearly not sleeping. There is just something so wrong with that! While I really love social media, taking photos, and texting our family and friends I truly believe there is a time and place for it. I've really started limiting myself with my phone to these times:
I also minimally use my phone on Sundays. It is my one day to completely shut down and spend with my family. With the exception of Tiny Talks, I do not go on social media at all and only answer texts/calls when Kai is napping or it's important. I honestly just love leaving my phone in our bedroom or in my purse these days. I have an Apple Watch, so I am still very much able to know when someone needs to reach me, but I am far less tempted to waste my life away on my phone this way.
2. Create a Good Schedule for Yourself
I know schedules and routines can be so mundane but they help me so much. I know what to expect and when I can expect it. I have daily schedules and to do lists all written out in my phone and when the clock strikes whatever time, I aim to do what I have written down on my schedule. This really helps me to maximize my time and get things done but at the same time switch off when it's time to be with Kai, Caleb, and Wrigley. My best example is we put Kai down to sleep between 8:30 and 9pm then from 9 to 9:30pm I tidy up the house, do laundry, and do dishes. As soon as the clock strikes 9:30pm though I stop, do my quick little social media check, kill all my apps, and hop in the shower so that by 10pm I can either have some personal time or time with Caleb.
3. Go With the Flow
Ok so you might be thinking how can you do this one + number 2? Well I mean "go with the flow" in 2 different ways actually. 1 being that sometimes schedules and to do lists just don't happen. You can't let this get to you though. And then 2, you need to just let the day be how it's going to be. What I mean by this is if your baby is crying nonstop and your toddler is throwing a fit that is exactly what is supposed to be happening that day. We can't always expect everything to be perfect and we need to acknowledge these times for what they are. That life is going exactly as it should. The best we can do is react to it with grace and gratitude that we have the lives we have and make the most of it. Remember everything is temporary and just go with it.
4. Make Traditions
I know for us starting traditions as a family has really made a difference with being fully present with each other. You can just tell when a moment is special and a lot of times it's something you want to come back to over and over again. Traditions don't have to be anything big...they can be ordering pizza and watching Disney movies on Friday nights or going to the Farmer's Market every week like Kai and I do. During these times though I encourage you to just take it all in. Every second of how you feel, your surroundings, and the people you're with. Traditions make amazing memories.
5. Acknowledge ALL Feelings
Circling back to running away when the going gets tough...do not do that. Being sad and hurt is a part of life and those feelings need to be acknowledged. It is so important that we learn how to cope with heart break and stress. I can honestly say when we deal with the tough times, they resolve quicker. Face things head on and allow yourself to feel the sadness. It really is ok to be sad and cry. Don't hold back and don't hide from it. You are stronger than you'll ever know.
On the flip side, truly feel and relish in your own happiness. Be proud of yourself. Think about why you're so happy and so proud and hold on to that so the next time you're sad you can acknowledge the sadness but then turn to the reasons why you should be happy and proud of yourself. There is always a bright side to everything.
How do you work on being present in your life? I would love to know! Please join me for my Instagram Live at 1 PM CST (sorry different time today!) as well as in the conversation around being present in the Tiny Tribe on Facebook. Or just simply leave me a comment below! I can't wait to discuss being present further with all of you!
Happy Monday everyone! Time to get back to the weekly grind but hopefully you all had a great weekend. We had a fun and full one. On Friday night we went to the Freshly Picked Warehouse Sale here in Chicago! They're taking their warehouse sale on the road right now and luckily Chicago was one of the stops! We got Kai a bunch of new shoes since believe it or not...he is going to start walking soon! Where has the time gone!? However, you can check out the warehouse sale schedule and see if they'll be near you soon, too! On Saturday, I had lunch with a couple of my girlfriends at the Cheesecake Factory (yum!) and then we hosted our annual fantasy football draft. It was such a fun night and I'm feeling pretty good about my team this year! Then yesterday was a really bittersweet day for us...our favorite restaurant in Chicago closed it's doors yesterday afternoon. We've been brunching at Bistrot Zinc for 5 years now and we had our final brunch there yesterday morning. We've had a lot of amazing memories there, including our wedding brunch! It was hard to walk out for the last time but we'll savor the memories and food forever!
So last Friday, Kai Bear turned 7 months old! I can't believe he's been my son for 7 months. I swear I am the luckiest mama alive to have him. I still can't believe he's mine sometimes! Here's our little monthly Kai Bear update...
Weight: 18 lbs
Height: 26 in
I feel like I can't call you my little baby anymore, Kai! You're getting so big and independent! We had a pretty big month this last month. You started eating solid foods! We started you out with oatmeal/rice cereal and then our first "real" food was sweet potatoes! You absolutely love them! They are hands down you're favorite food...just like your mama! So far you've also had peas, peaches, avocados, and carrots. You've really liked all of them but of the bunch, peas are probably you're second favorite. Surprisingly peaches seem to be your least favorite but they grow on you as you eat more of them. You're back to sleeping like a champ and your naps have been awesome, too. Like I said...you're really turning in to a "big" boy!
We had another month full of adventures, little one! We went peach picking and got so many peaches right off the tree! We ended up using them to make your very first batch of peaches, which I think is just so special. We also went to the carnival at Gurnee Days and the Renaissance Faire. You loved walking around and taking in all the lights and decorations and we had so much fun at both. We also went to the Air and Water Show and you had a blast watching all the planes and looking out at the lake. We've kept up our tradition of going to the farmer's market every week and it means so much to me to have that weekly little adventure with you.
So some more big news from this last month is you've started crawling! I guess it's more of dragging yourself forward but nonetheless, you're moving big time, bud! At first you could only go backwards and would get so confused why you were getting further away from the thing you wanted. It was pretty funny. You also got really good at going in circles, too. You like to do planks and get up on your knees and rock like you're about to go full speed ahead but then you plop back down and start dragging yourself, ha! Soon you'll be zooming around the house though and we'll be in big trouble!
You are truly incredible, Kai. You brighten every room you're in and know how to make anyone smile. You are the biggest blessing of our lives and I don't know how it's possible, but I love you more and more each day.
Happy Sunday friends! I'm so excited to be writing to you all today because I'm finally launching my newest additions to Tiny Dapper Fox today! When I started Tiny Dapper Fox, I had this vision of it being more than just a blog. I've always wanted this to be a community where we can all come to for advice, fun times, a shoulder to cry on, and just a safe place to share what is on our minds. I don't want this space to just be about me. It's about all of us. I've been trying hard to come up with ways to convey this and a couple of ideas popped in to my head that just kept growing and they are: Tiny Talks and The Tiny Tribe! Here's a little bit more about the two newest parts of Tiny Dapper Fox...
Tiny Talks will be a series done here on the blog as well as on Instagram Live every Sunday afternoon. They will be hosted by me at 2 PM CST. Every week I'll be covering a discussion topic and I'll rely on you guys to chime in with comments and questions to help me elaborate on each topic. I'll be covering things like being present, mom shaming, the problem with social media, and so much more. I'm looking to compile a good list of topics so please send me an e-mail with ideas or leave them in the comments below! My first one will be today and I'll just be elaborating in a bit more detail about what to expect from Tiny Talks.
In addition to the Instagram Live there will be a corresponding blog post that goes with whatever topic is discussed on Instagram. I'll cover the main points I go over in the live story so we can all come back to it whenever we may need it!
The Tiny Tribe
The second addition is The Tiny Tribe! This is a private Facebook I've created for us to easily communicate with each other! It will be a safe zone for us to discuss the Tiny Talks topics more in depth, ask each other questions about everything and anything (motherhood, decorating advice, travel tips, recipes, etc!) You can join the group here! You'll have to request group membership by answering a couple of questions but that's it. I'll approve your request and then you'll be able to participate in all the discussions and post in the group!
I am so excited for these additions to Tiny Dapper Fox and truly hope you are, too. I look forward to connecting with each and every one of you more! Make sure you follow me on Instagram so you can easily tune in to Tiny Talks or watch it later in the day through my Instagram stories. See you all at 2 PM!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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