Influencing Needs to Change

Hi y’all,

I have had something weighing on my heart lately, especially with COVID-19 going on and so many people affected financially.

I’ve noticed a trend, especially recently amongst influencers/bloggers. The trend I’ve been seeing is influencers, no matter the medium in which they connect with others, are taking every sponsorship and partnership that is coming their way.

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I know that they probably receive hundreds, if not thousands, of offers they refuse every month. However, when someone reads multiple blogs by different people, and they are all promoting the same exact product, and using almost the same exact words, it seems…fake.

Last week, I was watching Youtube, and a video popped up. It was about a woman who had previously worked with a company…the one time she gave suggestions on how to better their product they dropped her. This is ridiculous. Every company should be able to handle criticism because it will come! It does not matter how perfect the company is, there will be mistakes and people will find something to nitpick at. Every item cannot be perfect or something every single person will love. This is okay. What is not okay, is pretending that it is.

I have worked in retail for at least 5 years, and never once did I have an entire store of perfectly fitting items. There was always something that could have been better, and I make sure to give suggestions based on fit to customers.

Have you noticed that when products are sent to influencers, you will typically see the same product over and over again, even if they offer different things? It’s because those are the best fitting items. I have no problem with this, but influencers really need to try a sample of every product, not just a select few items that the brand already knows will do well.

To me, the worst part of all of this is that these people constantly say “I don’t promote anything I don’t personally love”. Okay, I get that you try (or at least hope that you try) all products you promote on your blog, Instagram, YouTube channel, etc. However, if you only mention the product or brand one or two times, that makes it look really suspicious that you are only there to promote the brand.

If you didn’t know, since J.Crew filed for bankruptcy protection, they have cancelled their influencer program. This means that any products from J.Crew that an influcer shares, they are not receiving any compensation for. There have already been influencers who have said they will no longer share J.Crew product for the sole fact that they are not going to make money or receive any other compensation (most likely product).

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I get that these people are trying to make an income, and these sponsorships and partnerships are the best way to make money. However, is it worth it to promote a brand or product that is not the best, simply because they’re paying you?

Yes, influencers legally have to disclose if they are being compensated with product or money. They also have to say if it is their honest opinion. If every single product that is promoted is “the best thing ever”, at some point readers/viewers are going to stop believing that influencer.

Like any blogger, I have dreams of brands I would love to work with. If I start working with every single brand just to build myself up, I know I’ll feel like a sell-out. I know I cannot control what other people do, but I am making a promise to y’all, that I will never take a sponsorship or partnership just to make some money. Everything you will find here is going to be authentic.

There are also influencers that are doing group giveaways. I know that these influencers could probably not afford (at least not feasibly) to give away a Peloton-or 8 of them in a week unless they did it with a group of people. However, this is still “buying” likes, followers, etc. Loop giveaways and these group giveaways are essentially the same thing. I know so many people who just unfollow everyone when the giveaway is over because they weren’t interested in following the people in the first place. This is still “buying followers”, and to me, is unethical. It’s also not beneficial to grow your following for a week or so, and then lose all those people just because of a giveaway. I’m not even sure I would feel differently about this if those followers stayed even after the giveaway ended.

Now, you can probably tell that most of my concerns with influencers are based on followers and authenticity. That’s true and that leads me to my last points. Be authentically you.

I feel like so many of these influencers are just playing with trends, instead of being themselves. I see so many posts on Instagram and on blogs where they are overly promoting some new trend, and then they quickly move onto the next one. This is not worth it! I want to know who you are as a person and see the same things that are consistent. I understand that people change and find new interests, but I do not understand picking one trend after another to “commit to” just to make some money or gain popularity.

The last thing that really bothers me is how perfect these influencers feel they need to be. It is rare to find someone who is willing to be on camera without makeup, real wake ups, etc. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t sleep in a face full of makeup or look perfect every second of the day. I understand they are only sharing a snippet of their day; however, influencers can show us reality. I definitely would only think more of the influencer if they showed us who their authentic self.

On the flip side, these influencers get comments from internet trolls and people can be really rude when they show their authentic self. We have to stop allowing this behavior, if you’re one of those people that leaves rude messages to people, act as if the influencer will see it. Would you still post it? No? Then don’t send it. These influencers could (and probably would) be more authentic if people let them be who they are without criticizing their every move.

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To the influencers that have stayed true to themselves and their brand, thank you! You are the influencers that people will continue to connect with and continue to follow. You are truly appreciated. You are rare, and a true inspiration to others around you.

Am I saying that influencers cannot provide promotional links and things like that? Abolsutely not! They are a huge asset for businesses. I’m just asking they actually use and care about the products they are mentioning and promoting to the public. Don’t just promote something for the sake of a paycheck. Don’t do giveaways to gain fake followers. Promote a product because you love it, not because you’re paid for it. Be authentically you. Also, please keep doing giveaways! People love them (me too!) but don’t do them for the sake of fake followers.



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Influencing Needs to Change appeared first on


5 Blogging Accounts You Need

Hi y’all,

I keep seeing tons of posts on Pinterest about how to magically gain viewers…

Most of these posts link to something that is asking you to pay money for some service. Whether it is an ebook, virtual course, or another service.

Newsflash: in today’s day and time you don’t need to pay for anything besides the host for your website.

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You need to have the following accounts to help you out:

  1. Canva/Photoshop. These are the two best options for you to create collateral, or images for your blog, social media, etc. I even created by logo on it! You can create intros and outros for YouTube on Canva as well. Pick one of these and get good at using them. Canva offers both a free and paid version, and is very versatile.


  1. Instagram. Personally, I don’t see a need to have a separate blogger Instagram because my “personal” Instagram is already life and style, which is what my blog is. However, if you want to focus more on your work (like teaching) creating a new account can be very helpful. However, you apparently cannot have a link that asks you to sign up for something as your link in your bio. My link was solely my blog url and Instagram made it so I cannot post, comment, like, etc. when the link is in my bio. I tried doing a linktree, and it still didn’t work. Be careful! Obviously, my blog doesn’t even have a newsletter, so it isn’t like I ever ask y’all to sign up for anything….Instagram missed that memo.


  1. Pinterest. I cannot say this enough, Pinterest is KEY. It is a quick and easy way to gain views to your blog. Plus, Pinterest is fun to see all the different ideas. I know people in the past have said post 80% of someone else’s content, 20% of your own. I don’t believe in this method. Post what you want.


  1. Youtube. Everyone needs to diversify their content. Don’t overdo it, though. Keep in mind what content works well in which medium. There are certain things that are difficult to explain in a blog post, and there are things that don’t work in videos.


  1. Bloglovin’. If you follow multiple bloggers, this is a great way to keep notifications in one place instead of getting multiple emails a day when someone posts something.


Obviously, people’s livlihoods can depend on those ebooks and virtual courses they are offering; however, I would not hold any one of them as the “holy grail” that you must purchase or you will fail.

It is also important that there is no one formula that works for everyone, especially since Instagram and other social media sites keep changing their algorithms.

The most important thing, no matter what, is to be authentically yourself. When you are who you are, that will shine through. Branding will be easier; your content will flow together and so much more.



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Mother’s Day

Hi y’all,

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day! There are never enough thanks for all our moms do for us. They deserve more than one single day of recognition.

I could go on and on about the great things my mom does for me and helps me with on a daily basis. From reading papers to making sure I have food to eat (even now at 26).

Thanks for all you do!



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Shop Local: Cheatham Snail Mail

Hi y’all,

Today is another Shop Local post! Snail Mail is a family owned card business in Rockville, Va. The owner, Carrie, and I actually go all the way back to high school. We played field hockey for our respective high schools, and played together in a summer league the summer before senior year.

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Shop Local with Snail Mail!

Carrie ended up going to Randolph Macon College to play, and ended up meeting her husband!

They currently live in a beautiful 1940s home that they’re restoring with their pups and chickens.

Carrie is super passionate about serving others, and she incorporates this into her business. Every quarter, she picks a non-profit that supports immigrants for a percentage of her sales to benefit.

You can find her cards in several businesses throughout Virginia, including in Richmond and Orange.

All of her cards are hand-drawn and painted. They’re absolutely gorgeous! During the holidays this past year, she introduced handcrafted ornaments. You can order a custom family portrait, too!

Beautiful Cards

Cards start at about $6, but you can currently get a set of 6 for $30 (aka one free card) with the code BUY6 when you check out.

Carrie is the artist behind every single piece and these cards and other artisan products are a great way to continue communicating and helping others!

Her website is



If you have a small business you would like to share with me, let me know by leaving a comment below!



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This post is not sponsored in any way, I simply want to share small, locally owned businesses and the good they are doing in the world during this time.

Fitness, lifestyle

Top Tips to Handle Anxiety During Social Distancing

Hi y’all,

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through another week.

Staying inside or away from other people is often not easy. Humans are meant to be social, even if you’re an introvert (like me!). This might mean that right now you have more anxiety than you normally would.


  1. Read a book-take some time and slip away into another world. You can check out this post for some suggestions on inexpensive/free books!


  1. Go for a walk/run. Even though some trails, school tracks, and gyms are closed, you can still go for a walk or run around the neighborhood, city streets, etc.


  1. Even if you just have some cans of beans, do some simple weight lifting moves-squats, lunges, bicep curls, etc. Any form of exercise naturally gives you endorphins and endorphins are the hormone/chemical in your body that leads to natural happiness.


  1. Take some time and journal about what is making you anxious. It can really help to write it down because you might just go “wow, this is nothing”.


  1. Watch an uplifting youtuber or tv show. I’ve been loving Gretchen Geraghy and Gracie O’Connor. I have also kept the Harry Potter movies going constantly. Yes, Harry Potter can be very dark/dramatic, but it overall has very positive themes.


  1. Draw/Color. Google color pages, print it off, and color! Coloring is proven to reduce anxiety and stress. There are even apps for it on your phone.


  1. Plant a garden. If you can order plants via the phone and do a safe pick up, take the time to plant a garden! Not only will it help you in the moment, but will last for months to come as the plants bring happiness and fulfillment as they grow! My succulent terrarium has now been successfully alive for 4 weeks and they bring me so much happiness. While 4 weeks might not seem like a lot, I don’t have a green thumb and this is actually really impressive for me.


  1. Organize! Especially with COVID-19 going on, a lot of things are out of our individual control. Take control of what you can, and organize where you live! You can find some tips here.


  1. Cook or bake. Find a new recipe and try it out! You’ll find that your concentrating more on what you’re making compared to what makes you feel anxious.


  1. Talk to a friend. Pick up the phone, set up a Zoom call, etc. and make a human connection with a friend. As a teacher, I have read aloud twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday), but I then have additional meetings scattered throughout the week. Those interactions help so much! I also make sure to text my two best friends at least once a day. Even if they don’t reply that day (which happens a lot-they’re both super busy working in the healthcare industry right now), it still makes me feel better.


  1. “Window” shop online. Take a break and browse your favorite retailers’ websites. You don’t have to buy anything (if it’s tempting, put it in your cart, close out the browser-if you’re still thinking about it/it’s still available the next time you visit the site, buy it then). FYI, some retailers are not updating or releasing new items right now because of restrictions on shipping.


  1. Start a new hobby! Wanted to start a blog? Wanted to start writing a book? Youtube channel? Now is a great time to get started! I have a trial to skillshare, so I’m going to take some classes there before my Summer Term for grad school starts. Skillshare is a website where you can take different classes on different skills-like Search Engine Optimization, video editing, photo editing, etc. There are even classes on embroidery! This blog post is not sponsored, I just wanted to share about Skillshare in case you wanted to learn a new skill with a 2 month free trial!


  1. Have a movie marathon. Pick your favorite series of movies (like Harry Potter) and spend some time just watching them all!


  1. Do yoga. There are a ton of great yoga options on Youtube and a lot of local studios are offering virtual classes. You can also try meditating. There are a ton of great meditation apps.


  1. Spend time outside. Put on some sunscreen (no joke, I’ve already had my first sunburn of the year) and spend some time outside. You can workout outside, read your book outside, or just sit outside and enjoy nature.


There are also some great tele-therapy services going on right now, many of which accept insurance!

I do want to check in with y’all! How are y’all doing?



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lifestyle, teaching

Cleaning my Classroom

Hi y’all,

As you know, schools nationwide are closed for the rest of the year.

My school district recently got permission for us to come in and clean up our rooms for the end of the year.

I went on Friday last week to clean up my room and prepare it for the normal summer cleaning.

I went ahead and vlogged it. I definitely did a little more than usual (normally my kids clean out their own cubbies).




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Secrets to Organization Success

Hi y’all,

A highly requested blog post was how I stay so organized. If you know me, you know my room is always a mess, but anything else is impeccably organized. The amount of organization is almost mandatory with everything that I do.


I’m a teacher, go the gym/spin, Grad School, working on founding an alumnae association for my sorority in the area, blogger, second job, and in Junior League. Needless to say, I’m always busy or have something to do.


Tip 1: Buy a planner or Use a Digital Planner

Time management is my best friend. I have been using the Day Designer for Target planners for the past three years. All through undergrad at CNU I used Lilly Pulitzer planners. This year, I’m making the switch to a different planner and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I swear by planners, but the one I’ve bought is a regular weekly layout. I’ve gotten a lot better at figuring out time slots so I don’t feel the need for such a large planner. I cannot use a digital calendar as a planner. I’ve tried and failed many times. For teaching we have Google Calendars/Reminders for almost everything, faculty meetings, technology check out, etc. and that is the extent that I use it for. Honestly, if I don’t have a faculty meeting written in my planner chances are, I will miss it. If you can use a digital calendar like Google successfully, go ahead and use it because it’s free. It just doesn’t work for me with everything I have going on. I also have the problem that my phone will not remind me of anything in iCal. I’ve had 4 (a 4, 2 6’s and an 8) iPhones now, and none of them did it. I’ve tried changing settings and it just never worked.


Tip 2: Know your Limit

Know you limit of what you can and can’t do. I actually decided not to be an officer this upcoming year for Junior League because I knew I couldn’t handle the time commitment with grad school and everything else. I’ve also stepped down from another volunteer commitment because I don’t have the time. I will also skip spin class if I need to. It’s totally okay to say no to something!

I will be the first to say I will turn down a social obligation before anything else (I’m an introvert if you can’t tell), but I’m trying to prioritize them a little more to push myself.

Tip 3: Color Code

I love color coding. For instance, I use the different colored pens for obligations in my planner. I tend to pick “official colors” for the organization-like Junior League is red, my second job is pink, pay days/bill due dates are green, sorority is in purple, Grad School is in blue and orange (a color for each class), etc. It really helps me to use the official color of the organization because I already associate the color with it and don’t have to keep re-writing it. I will re-write the class name with the assignment that is due.

Sidenote: I did stop color coding in December because I didn’t have time.


Tip 4: Find Pens you Love

Find the pens that you love. I love both Flair pens, Staedtler pens, and Papermate ink you. I have found that Flair pens tend to bleed through, so I don’t buy them very often unless I’m using them for grading. I will also use fine tip Crayola markers for grading. While I was getting my teaching license, my advisor and professors always knew I was at class when my pens were out, even if I had left the room for something.

Tip 5: Organize your Closet/Dresser

I organize my closet by type of clothing. All my skirts are at the start of my closet, followed by short sleeve shirts, then long sleeve shirts, and then dresses by category (sundress, strap size, etc.). It’s impossible to color code by closet (so much color) so I do it this way instead. I actually have two closets and both are organized the same way. My leggings and athletic clothes are in a drawer in my dresser. Pants are in bins I got from Target. My coats are either downstairs, in the cedar closet, or packed away for summer.

My dresser is organized by color and category. Tops are by color. White, grey and black are in a drawer together, green and blue are together, pinks and purples are together. Underwear is all together in a smaller drawer, and I have two drawers of sweatshirts. In my other dressers I have Lilly Pulitzer popovers, sweaters, etc. Tank tops are in a drawer in the wardrobe that holds my tv. I have three dressers; however, two have really tiny drawers (for children’s clothes) and one is an adult’s dresser. I love my “adult” dresser, it’s from IKEA.


Tip 6: Put Like Things Together

I always put like things together. My DVDs/Blu Ray discs are all together in IKEA bins. They are in alphabetical order by title. My pleasure books are on the bookshelf, and my educational texts are on another shelf in my room. Paperwork is in a container on my desk.

Tip 7: Prepare the Night Before

When I have school, I leave around 6/6:15 to get to school by 7ish. If I don’t lay out my clothes the night before, it’s guaranteed I won’t be on time. I also try to have some of my lunch prepped the night before. I have my school bag packed the night before. I live about 45 minutes from school, so if I forget something at home, I’m not going to have time to make it back home and then back to school. My first year, I forgot my lunch at home but realized it before I passed Wal-Mart so I was able to stop and get lunch. After that, I kept extra frozen lunches in my mini fridge/freezer at school. I kept a second pair of shoes in my school bag at all times. We can’t wear flip flops, but those are the most comfortable for my feet, so I wear flip flops before and after school. I keep the second pair in my bag to make sure I always have a backup pair.

Tip 8: Be Consistent

I keep the same system in place pretty consistently. I might tweak something, but it’s rarely a major change. For instance, I don’t keep notes on my computer for classes or school. I never go back and look at notes unless they’re written down. I tried using my iPad in college for 2 days, and went right back to a notebook because I knew I would end up printing out the notes. For one class I did type notes, but wrote it all down afterward. I buy a notebook for teaching every year. This is where I write down new information at faculty meetings, meetings with parents, what copies need to be made, information from team meetings, etc. I also buy a new notebook for each semester of grad school. I buy a three subject one even though I only take 2 classes. This way, I know I have enough paper and if I need to pull from the extra section I do. I don’t like having two notebooks to keep up with, and I can never find a two subject notebook.

Tip 9: Set Aside Time for Yourself

One of the biggest tips for organization is actually to just set aside time for yourself. If you start feeling overwhelmed, you won’t be organized. My room, school, overall life is more disorganized when I don’t set aside time for myself.

Tip 10: Leave your Workspace Ready for the Next Day

Leave your space at work ready for the next day. For me, this might mean I leave a paper out that I need to copy first thing, or I leave a website up that I need to use. My chromebook and laptop are always plugged in, TV remote out on my table. If I have work for my students to do for Morning Work, I leave that out on the table spots. I even do this when I clean my classroom at the end of the year! I put things where I will find them.


Tip 11: Pick the System that Works for You

This one is the most important. I can tell you how I do things all day long; however, what works for me, might not work for you. You’ll need to try out a few of these things for yourself.



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Secrets to Organization Success appeared first on lindseyemartin.