Create Your Own Case with CaseApp and EXCLUSIVE Discount!

If you'll recall, last summer, I did a collaboration with CaseApp for my old iPhone highlighting how it easy it is to create your own case cover. They contacted be again this Christmas, which was perfect timing as I purchased the 6S Plus since and could no longer use my old case.

Since I was feeling in the festive mood, I decided to design a Christmassy case, with water color designs I purchased off of Etsy. It is incredibly simple to make your own case, and even if you don't have a huge creative streak, you can use one of their vast collections of clipart to create your perfect look.

In order to kickstart your Christmas shopping, they are generously giving my readers a 20% discount off of their orders! Use the code: WONDERLANDCASEAPP20

Please be aware that cases ship from Sweden and may take a while to get to your country, so order as soon as possible to receive your case in time for Christmas!

Disclaimer: The case was complimentary. All opinions are my own. 

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Travelling with a Dog on a Train

With the holiday season beginning and travelling getting into full-swing, many people will worry about how to transport their pets with them on the train. Since I've done it about a bazillion times, let me be your guide!

Travelling with a dog on a train is pretty simple if you're in the UK. Despite having almost as many rules and regs as in the US, travelling with a dog is pretty damn straightforward. Here's some of the rundown:

-Dogs are always permitted, as long as they are on a lead and not aggressive or a nuisance.
-They do not have to be in a carrier and can sit on the seat if they are on a bed or towel. Naturally, they will need to be moved if the train is full.
-They do not require an extra ticket
-They are not allowed in restaurant or cafe cars

There are some things to be mindful of, however, if you're taking a dog onboard. These include:

-If your dog is very large, check with the train company you're travelling on first before getting on with him.
-If you're travelling on a Sleeper (such as from London to Inverness), bringing your dog is allowed, but subject to a charge and you'll need to notify the train company 48 hours before you board.

Remember, if your dog isn't well-behaved, they do reserve the right to chuck you off. 

Here are all the rules for the UK.

Otherwise it's pretty straightforward.

Things to Remember on the Train

-a towel for your dog to sit on
-a dog pad if the trip is especially long. Do you expect to go 7 hours without peeing?
-a collapsible water bowl
-treats/a meal if the journey is particularly long
-If you're changing trains, remember that some stations have trains that pass at a very high speed. I hate this, but it can also alarm your dog. Keep him close to you at all times.

Here's Eugene on the train, breaking the rules. He should be on a towel. I'm not sure if we got told off or not.

Dog Train Travel in the USA

You can take a dog (up to 20lbs) in the US on certain Amtrak lines, but it is subject to a wide range of restrictions. I've never done this before, so I invite you to defer to the Amtrak Pets on Train guidelines. The program is still very new and subject to lots of regulations, but it is awesome that you can now take your furry friend with you in the US!

Once You Get to Your Destination

Check with each city and its policies on pets on public transport. London allows leashed dogs on the tube, as long as they are not taken on escalators down to the trains. New York City, and I imagine most cities in the US, are a bit more stringent and often require that animals be in carriers in order to board the train.

Some buses in the UK allow dogs, but they may be subject to a child's fee and can be refused at the driver's discretion. In the US, they are typically allowed as long as they are in a carrier.

Taxis are typically up to the driver's discretion as well. Small dogs are usually okay on a lap or towel, however sometimes drivers will be reluctant to let them in. Other times, they will request that the dog be in a carrier, though this is more of a US rule.

However, I would strongly suggest that you research all of this before you travel to avoid upset once you arrive.

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Pawsome Box Unboxing--Eugene's Corner

Well, hello there one and all. It's that time of the month again when Eugene shows you what he got in his Pawsome Subscription Box.  Definitely one of the best times of the month, In Eugene's opinion anyway.

First on the menu (sorry for the glare) are these wipes by Trixie. As Eugene sometimes (very rarely though!) steps through the mud, these are perfect to keep handy. With the wet season approaching, this is something every dog owner needs (though can't say Euge will appreciate this one!).

Next are these yummy chicken and liver treats, which are definitely Euge approved. (Sorry for the glare). Oven baked, they have no added sugar. Bonus, they're made in the UK, so they're homegrown! This is the featured product this month, and rightly so, as Eugene gobbled them up rather quickly. Delicious and nutritious, eh? What more could a pup want?

Since Eugene is pretty intellectual for a dog, he will actually really enjoy this toy. It's one of them where you fill it with treats and he has to figure out how to get them out. Perfect for a boy like Eugene.

Perhaps not the best picture in the world of his new soft toy, but I couldn't really get a great one. Why? Because the moment I squeeze it pulling it out of the box, Eugene knew he needed it right away. I felt cruel saying no, so he slobbered all over it before I could get a decent photo. So, here is his unslobbered on head.

The box also came with a chicken balls, which actually went down quite well for Eugene when the delivery people came in to bring in our new bed. Perfect distraction to keep him out of the way.

And the piece de resistance? This snuggly little blanket. Eugene has a place by the radiator that he loves to go to to keep warm, so this will, no doubt, help keep him so. What a beauty.

Want to try a Pawsome box yourself? Use the code blg9b4vr to nab 25% off yours. Check out Pawsome here. 

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored, however I received the items herein as a gift. All opinions are my own. 

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Let's Chat About: The Syrian Refugee Crisis

There was someone who felt this video was offensive to Christians and was wildly offended, and I have to state that isn't my intent. I am using it as an example because it is the predominant religion where refugees are attempting to gain asylum.

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8 Things I Would Tell My 20-year-old Self

Recently, I read an article where a 40-year-old woman gave advice to her 30-year-old self. Being sufficiently elderly at 31 (I guess women are elderly most of our lives?), I decided I would give some advice to my 20-year-old self. 

But before I begin, I will say that I try to live life without regrets. Because of living with lupus and facing many disappointments due to the illness, I've learned that you can wish things turned out differently, but as they didn't, there is no use to dwell on the past. Instead, all we can do is move forward and use what we have learned. Indeed, I am pretty fulfilled and happy with how I have spent the past 10 years of my life--though there are some words of wisdom I would pass down to my younger self.

Oh, here she is in Grenoble, France on a night out: 

1) You are worth more than the sum of your relationships. 
In my teens and early 20s, I didn't really date all that much. I don't really know why, but I just didn't really have a serious boyfriend until I was 23, my first boyfriend until I was 20. Looking back, it seems so ridiculous to have worried so much about that, but at the time, I took it as a symbol that something was wrong with me.

My first boyfriend dumped me for another woman, my second boyfriend and I strung out our relationship far after it was over and then I was subsequently dumped two other times by two other men before settling down with my current boyfriend. I was wildly convinced I was un-relationshipable (which is not a word, but we're going with it). When people got to know me, there was something in there that was so terrible that it turned them off and made them run the other way.

But I finally met someone who I have been in a stable relationship with for two years and with whom I see a future. If it doesn't work out in the long run, I at least know that it isn't a product of me being impossible to be with. Instead, my dating resume before was filled with a combination of low self-esteem, inability to take charge, and bad luck.

2) Don't be afraid to take charge. I have always been somewhat of a risk taker in the form of being quite fearless over moving to new places and meeting new people. However, when it came to dating, I was far too scared to ever make the first move. While I'm very content with how my life turned out, I would tell my younger self not to be afraid to strike up a conversation with a crush or even ask him out. If he says no, on to the next one--it's a reflection more on what he's looking for than you.

3) Don't obsess over ex-boyfriends. For reals. WHO CARES? Why did you spend so much time doing this, self. You wasted so much time! Of course, you needed time to grieve after relationships end, but for godssake woman, pull yourself together and stop over analyzing everything. You could have been out there meeting new guys and enjoying all of your new experiences instead of thinking about a guy that dumped you in the back of your mind.

Here I am also in France. I think I was 21 or 22 here. Cheated, but close enough. 
4) You're not as fat as you think you are. Pretty much sums that one up.

5) Seriously, screw what other people think. Even if they are friends or family members, you are living your life for yourself. If they don't like it, they can do something different with their own lives. You also don't have to put up with people's BS if you don't want to...unless you're working with them or you don't want to get into a family fight over Christmas dinner. Then, yeah, you do a little bit.

You also have the right not to listen to people who criticize your body or make sexual comments about it uninvited. Despite what people will say, you don't have to put up with it.

6) Stop being paralyzed by fear about the future. This is something I think my 40-year-old self will also tell my 30-year-old self. This is something I'm continually trying to work on--but as someone with a chronic illness, I find myself sometimes scared of what the future brings. I've made it okay thus far, so I think I'm going to be okay. I hope.

7) Learn the value of a dollar/pound. I grew up pretty privileged, I will admit that and am not apologetic about it. But I would tell my 20-year-old self to get my head out of my ass on that one. Money isn't going to come as easy and has a lot more value when you're making it yourself.

8) Don't set up unrealistic expectations for yourself.  No, you didn't win an Academy Award at 14, nor did you publish a critically acclaimed novel by 25. Nor were you a millionaire by 30. Instead, focus on fulfilling yourself and achieving realistic things. If any of those things happen in the next 10 years, I'm not going to be mad, but I'm also not expecting it.

What would you tell your younger self?

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What I've Learned from Not Being Anna Saccone

So I have a confession to make. I'm not Anna Saccone. Phew, I'm so glad I got that off my chest.

Okay, so most of you who read my blog already know that and you're already well aware of my being a completely separate person from Anna, however, it seems as I have gained followers on Instagram and Twitter, well, a lot of people tend to confuse the two of us. Maybe because we have similar names and are both blondes, but that's kind of where the similarities stop. Anna is probably about 30lbs lighter than I am. She's also mega-rich, has two children and over a million followers on Instagram. Me? Well, I'm just me...yet the fawning messages for Anna Saccone keep coming in on my Twitter and Instagram and have got me thinking a bit.

So, I forgive people if they are following both of us on Instagram and see a random photo on their feed with no people in it and suddenly think it is Anna Saccone. I mean, realistically, she would have far more likes on a picture in a matter of seconds than I would altogether, but since most of her fans are quite young, it seems that thought process isn't really a thing for them. Okay, I get it.

But sometimes it is just downright scary how much her fans want to believe they're on Anna Saccone's Instagram:

This has also happened to me on Twitter, but not as much as on Insta. And the fawning makes me slightly uncomfortable, even though it's not directed at me.

Once, I opened a direct message I got on Instagram, which came from a young girl thinking I was Anna Saccone. It read like this:

"I love your videos you give me insperation to make videos of my own tell emilia she is really cut  and i get to no you even better when I'm older I won't to be thank you for showing me what life is like [name redacted] xxx" (sic)

Looking at her profile, I saw immediately that she was an 11-year-old girl who was clearly enamoured with the lifestyle of the SacconeJoly's. But what struck me the most was not that she felt like she knew them, that's rather common with these bigger YouTubers, but that she thought she would be getting to know them one day and that their life is normal. In a way, YouTubers and bloggers are normal folks who happen to live extraordinary lives, but the way that they live is by no means a "normal" existence. This isn't to put them down, as I do sometimes enjoy watching their videos, but do we, as social media influencers, have an obligation to show kids that how the SacconeJoly family lives is likely not how they will live one day? That going on holiday all of the time at fancy hotels isn't really normal?

The way kids idolize bloggers and YouTubers is a bit strange, if I'm honest and makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable. I've already had a few young kids telling me how much they love me since my Instagram got a little bit bigger (AFTER clarifying I wasn't Anna Saccone), and I wonder why? I have written books and am in the midst of getting a PhD, yet no child has told me they love me for that. Instead, they love me because they think I am pretty or because I run a blog and an Instagram--skills which anyone can learn...

What do you guys think?

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How to Pick a Holiday Dress (with a Big Bust)

With Thanksgiving just next week (what?), your social calendar is likely an endless string of work, friends and family socials until the morning of January 1st. This means that it's also time to start thinking about your winter wardrobe.

Those of us with big boobs (why does it sound so weird in my head when I type it? Like I'm supposed to write some code like "bust" or something) may find it challenging to find a holiday dress that both fits well and is flattering, however I've got a few tips to help ease your shopping anxieties.

The Dos

I'll start off a bit more positively with things to look for in a dress.

You should always look for a dress that has a waist or at least definition. Dresses without waists will make you look like a potato sack. However, some dresses will have darting and tailoring so that they are form fitting without a proper waist. You can't always tell by looking online (models with A cups make every dress look the same, sorry to say!), so you may have to actually go in and try things on. Ugh, I know.

Bonus tip: If you fall in love with a dress that doesn't have a waist, you can add one with a belt or ribbon. However, be cautious of this because if the dress is too flowy, the material will gather and look weird.

Look for a dress with straps or invest in a really good strapless bra. Strapless bras don't always work when you've got big girls, and double sided tape is out of the question, unless you've been surgically enhanced (no hate here, just stating the facts). Unless you've got a strapless bra you can swear by, pick a dress with straps big enough to cover your bra straps. However, if the dress fits really, really well, you can get away with strapless, sometimes even without a bra.

Get it tailored If you're going to a big event, look into getting your dress tailored specifically for you. This can make it easier to wear a strapless dress or a dress with thin straps. If it fits you like a glove, there are usually no wardrobe malfunctions.

The Don'ts 

Avoid boatneck and turtleneck dresses. These only accentuate your breasts, and usually not in a good way. Instead, opt for a round neck or V-neck. High necks are also okay, as long as it's not too high. Dresses with a cut out at the bust are also not going to work well unless you've got surgically enhanced breasts and/or a team of dedicated dressers.

Avoid dresses with too much going on at the bust area. If the dress has an overall beading or pattern, that's one thing. But don't get a dress that just has a pattern on the breast area. For a girl with big boobs, it just doesn't look good.

Proceed with caution with capped sleeves. They can sometimes be unflattering, but it depends largely on the fit.

Below I've listed several dresses in this widget to help get you started. The price points are all over the place for a ton of different budgets, so keep that in mind.


Wear some fancy pants! This is probably the only time of year you can get away with sequin trousers without looking like you're in an early '90s dance recital. H&M has released these for £30, which are perfect for a holiday party.

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Announcing Grow Your Social Media Courses!

Missed the webinar yesterday? No worries, it's live online for a week over at my YouTube ( You can watch the live version, or the redo I did here (due to the technical difficulties): (THE WEBINAR IS NOW OFFLINE).

Find out more information about the courses here.

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Don't Forget My Free Webinar is Tonight!

Join me tonight for a free webinar over at my YouTube channel, TheAnnainWonderland at 8PM GMT. If you can't make it, there will be a replay on my channel for a full week. Make sure you're signed in to your Google account so you can ask questions during the Q&A!

You don't have to sign up for the mailing list, but if you do, you will get notified when the course is live, Q&A questions you may have missed, the replay link and all links mentioned in the webinar.

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No, I Don't Want to Join Your MLM Scheme/How to Spot an MLM from a Genuine Opportunity

I've heard it said (anyone else immediately start singing that song from Wicked in their head after that sentence?) that being recruited to an MLM (or Multi-Level Marketing) group is a rite of passage. From Avon to Tupperware to YouNique to Arbonne to Stella and Dot to Scentsy, these enterprises are everywhere offering the promise of great products and financial freedom. Some of the products are fantastic, some are meh, but that's not the issue I'm discussing today. I'm not going to debate the merit of these products or joining the programs (indeed, my boyfriend and I sell products from a MLM on a very casual basis and we do know people who make good livings from them...hence this post could be construed as hypocritical, but highlights a bit why I've not made much of a time investment despite liking the products), because everyone's just trying to make a better life for their families. I get it.

But this is what I don't get: why MLMs have infiltrated the blogging community. I don't mean corporate offices reaching out to bloggers, but individual distributors hounding bloggers by disguising themselves as "blogger opportunities." The people that do this seem blind to how absolutely obnoxious this is and are constantly preying on people's misconceptions. And what happens when you call them out? The majority of people get angry. I had one distributor harass me online for a couple of days after I commented on her "opportunity" that she wasn't being completely honest (she was telling people she was giving free make-up, but it was really free make-up*  *make-up to be redeemed after being told to hound your friends to buy the make-up from her and meet a quota).

I get that it's not fun to get called out. I also get that sometimes I'm probably more aggressive online than I am in person as I seem to have a knack for making people angry via the Internet. But maybe you should be more honest. If someone tried to sell me make-up/whatever MLM honestly, I think I'd be mildly annoyed for 3 seconds, or sometimes possibly even interested, as opposed to being pissed that my time was wasted. 

How to Spot an MLM from a Genuine Blogging Opportunity 

1) MLM "opportunities" often don't say who they are with and are very evasive about the brand name. They'll simply say "a company" whereas most genuine opportunities will say the name of the company straight up.

2) One of the key catch phrases is, "Can I get you to try some products and give me feedback?" You're not a product tester, so why would you be giving feedback?

3) They'll be quite aggressive and ask to call you immediately.

4) They will email you from addresses @gmail/@hotmail, etc. or from Twitter accounts not from a genuine PR company/company. Sometimes companies make initial contact via Twitter, but often they will move to email and will always contact you through an official company account.

5) They are very evasive about what it entails for you. If you ask if they are asking you to sell a product, they will often respond that they just want you to "recommend."

6) You may be asked right off the bat to watch a video about MLMing, which is clearly a red flag.

7) In some cases, they may even pose as "agents" or people trying to hook you up with a sponsorship "deal." I had this happen to me very recently, and when she realized I already distributed what she was trying to get me to sell, she made up some crazy story about how she wants people who have brand exclusivity. No legit blogging opportunity will turn you down because you have worked (non-promotion) with a competing company in the past (i.e. someone would not be turned down for a partnership with The Gap because they have worked or currently work at Abercrombie and Fitch in a sales role). It is very rare for you to enter an exclusivity clause, and this only happens to very big actors, bloggers and influencers or if you are chosen to be the "face" of a brand or in national commercial spots. Do not let people fool you into thinking otherwise. 

8) If you question their motives or suggest that they may be evading the truth or misrepresenting the opportunity, many people get very hostile and defensive. You may even find yourself blocked.

9) Make sure to research anyone who claims to be a talent agent, blogger agent, etc. Don't be afraid to ask other bloggers if the email/DM/whatever you've seen looks legit or like an MLM pitch.

If you want to buy MLM products or participate in an MLM, I am in no way discouraging you. However, please respect bloggers and our time. And maybe if you're a consumer, stick to working with people you already know and respect. 

No one wants to do business with someone who seems dishonest.

What are your thoughts on this trend in the blogging world?

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How to Travel with a Dog on Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Automobiles Edition)

My dog (Eugene, pictured above), has travelled more places than many humans. His resume includes having lived in New York City, Atlanta and now here in the UK. He's been to Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, all over Manhattan, London, Leeds, Nottingham and Canterbury, to name a few. So, I know a fair bit about taking my little lad away with me. And since most people will be going somewhere in a plane, train or automobile this holiday season, I thought I'd kick it off with a few tips for bringing your best friend with you.

Car Anxiety

Firstly, many dogs who don't go on joy rides with their owners, or ride to anywhere fun, are anxious in cars. If the only thing on the other side of the car trip is the vet, there can be serious anxiety. Eugene actually used to vomit when I first got him and we rode in the car. He became desensitized over time by taking him for a ride just because, bringing him to the park and so on. Now, he begs us to get in the car. Be mindful of this before you shove your pup in a car for a long trip. Unless it's a emergency and you have no choice, you need to start small and work him up.

The Journey

Most owners overlook seat belts or car harnesses for their dog. But, this really helps your dog feel secure and will ensure that he (or she) doesn't slip and slide all over the seat during the trip. Eugene has one very similar to this one , and it actually works quite well for him. They're very easy to fit and just clip into the seat belt buckle in the car.

If the trip is particularly long, bring some comfort items for your dog. This can include his bed, towels and toys. If your dog is comfortable, he'll probably just go to sleep after a while, but make this the easiest possible.

Safety Concerns

It may be common knowledge to some, but it is worth repeating. NEVER leave your dog unattended in a car. This can lead to overheating (and even death) and perhaps even theft of your BFF.

Have water with you at all times. I usually will pour some from a bottle into a cup and let him sip every so often. You can also get a collapsible dog bowl for a few bucks that can be, well, collapsed and easily taken with you.

Make sure to walk your dog at rest stops. If you're stopping for the bathroom, chances are your dog needs to go as well.

I will talk about my tips for planes and trains in another post in the future. Have fun travelling with your best mate!

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Paris Je t'aime

"There are moments 
When words are not enough...
When words are 
Mere pebbles
That we chisel
Out of the mountain
Of our emotions."
-T.H. Tessema

There are moments when even writers are at a loss for words.

Paris, je t'aime.

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Holiday Outfit WishLyst

Now that the holidays are fast approaching (I know!), it is time to start thinking about what exactly it is you're going to wear. I've teamed up with Lyst to make my very own Winter Wish Lyst of dresses that I would love to wear to a holiday gathering--or just anywhere this winter.

Here are some of the lovely items I chose:

Chi Chi London Multicolor Metallic Floral Dress- £60

Chi Chi London is one of my favorite brands for party wear, as it ties in vintage style with a modern twist.

ASOS Red Skater Dress with Metalwork and Lace Detail £45

I absolutely love this red flirty skater dress from ASOS. The color is perfect for the holiday season, but can be worn again later on in the year (think Valentine's Day!).

ASOS Beige Sequin Kimono Mini-Dress £65 

Going somewhere special this New Year's Eve? This little number, with its sparkly sequins, is a perfect dress to ring in 2016 (I can't believe I just typed that!)

H&M Pink Brocade Dress £50

I particularly love this dress because it is a perfect transition from day-to-night. You can easily wear this one to work, then for a holiday party afterward or for drinks with friends after your day is over. 
Topshop Black Swing Dress £45

If you're looking for something a little more free-flowing and laid back, try this Topshop dress which works quite well for casual cocktails and fancier parties.

You can head over to my Lyst and see the rest of my winter picks for some holiday themed inspiration! 

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Endometriosis/Lupus Surgery Vlog

Well, I haven't vlogged in absolutely AGES because I've felt like butt for so long. So, if you want to go on my surgery journey with me, look no further. Here we go. 

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Free Webinar Sign Up!

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Join me for my free (and first!) webinar on Wednesday November 18 at 8PM GMT. Course will be available for a replay for 1 week afterward, so no worries if you can't make it.

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Exposing Myself, Essena ONeill Style

Since this Essena ONeill thing has gone viral, I thought I would expose myself in the same way that she did. You know, by giving you a behind the scenes look at what makes my most popular Instagram shots truly great. Though I only have 11.5K followers, a good 550K behind Essena (makes all my hard work seem paltry!), I am not immune to all of the hard work necessary to get that perfect Insta shot. I mean, like Essena, I am only one person and I can only be so perfect for so long. So let's get real.

Let's examine:

Firstly, I found out what my most popular Instagram shots were through an app called Sponsta. Sponsta allows those of us who are Instafamous (*ahem*) to find companies to sponsor us. I mean, I have to be real, guys. I will sometimes accept money for Instagram shots....but isn't that part of the livelihood of blogging? Anyway, let's examine how soul sucking it was to get these most liked and validated shots.

Total Likes: 267

Real backstory: I was walking my dog in a moment between rain (as it always is in England). I saw that the neighbors hadn't raked their leaves yet. I was wearing my new boots, so I snapped a photo of my feet. Then we went on for our walk. I spent about 5 laboring minutes in VSCO and then Instagram for the perfect filter. 

Likes: 217

Real backstory: This was for a post I did for Pawesome Box, in which they had the audacity to give me a free box to review. I kind of cruelly dangled this in front of my dog and took a picture before he ate it. And then he enjoyed the rest of his treats. He really did enjoy the box. Thanks, Pawesome! 

Likes: 221
Real Backstory: Actually none. I pulled it off of and gave them credit.

Likes: 214
Real Backstory: I made cupcakes for this blog post. Then I took a picture of them with my pancake lens on my DSLR. It probably took me another 5 minutes to upload it to my phone, edit it in VSCO and then get it up on Instagram. 

Likes: 235

Real Backstory: I was getting ready to go to a birthday party and was super excited I got my extensions to blend (though they didn't stay that way all night, REAL TALK). I had trouble taking the hoodie off afterward and putting my party dress on, though.

Likes: 262
Real Backstory: My boyfriend is going to be an uncle, so I bought these for the baby. I thought they were really cute, so I put them on my tiny fur rug that I use for photos. I put it by the front door, because that's where we get the best natural light. I think I just used my phone. I get paid if someone downloads Shopstyle's version of and "likes" the photo, but only a few cents. I don't have enough followers for and not many people have the knockoff version. I think I've gotten maybe about 5 pence from this photo. Also, the baby's mother saw this photo just before she got the presents. :( I should have been stealthier. 

Likes: 210

Real Backstory: I was staying at this hotel in Manchester for my real person job that was kind of quirky, so I took some pictures of the lobby/restaurant area while the bar staff kind of looked at me funny. I also felt really sick while I was taking these pictures, just so YOU KNOW, mostly because I was still waiting for my surgery. I edited this on VSCO and posted it on my blog and on Instagram. 

Okay, so obviously this post is a bit of a kick in the teeth to Essena. I'm not sure if her whole thing was a clever scam or she really thinks blogging is ~super fake~, but I still don't get all the applause over it. Yes, social media can be contrived, yes it is a highlight real of everyone's lives. I don't think anyone actually thought Essena's Instagram pictures were all candids or that it was actually what her daily life looked like, did they? 

If you look through your Instagram feeds, what kind of people do you follow? Do you follow people who are showing the good, bad and ugly of their daily lives, or do you follow more aesthetically pleasing Instagram accounts? Why or why not? 

As with anything, the media and product marketers want to get your attention. They want to figure out where you hang out most and they want to put their products in a place where it is most likely to get seen. That's why in these past few years, bloggers and Instagrammers and social influencers have become some of the go-to people to help get their products out there.

But here's the thing: you can choose if you want to do that or not. No, it isn't going to bring you happiness, but nothing is if you're not happy with yourself. You also have total control over the brands you work with. No one put a gun to Essena's head and told her she had to shill these products, she agreed to it. And personally, I only work with brands that I would use anyway. I don't recommend products that I've never tried (even though some brands will oddly try and get you to do that). And as I've grown, I've been turning down offers I just don't believe in in order to maintain trust and integrity with my audience and readership. 

So, what's your take on this Essena stuff? I know by now it is a bit of old news, but as the grandma on the Internet trudging along late, I was curious as to your take. 

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