The Detox Series Part 3: Only Positive Influences In 2021

Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul. Proverbs 16:24

Hello Lovelies!

I have been slow to share more of the detox series since my closet clean out, as these next areas take significantly more time. There are still two more parts to this series, but for now I would like to share with you how I chose to leave behind negative social influences in this new year.

What am I getting at exactly? It’s simply the people with whom you surround yourself and choosing those people wisely. From friends to family to strangers on the internet, you have full control over who you let in.

In 2020 I experienced some of my biggest lows socially. I had people in my life who (I realized) were not meant to be there forever. The reason why I am writing about all of this is because it took me such a long time to not only let go of these relationships but also to accept that it’s all ok. So here is what I did to set healthy boundaries because ultimately what matters is your space and how you manage it.

First I will say this: the relationships I am referring to were a mix of intimate, professional, and distant therefore I intend to keep my advice general as it does apply to all scenarios. These situations were all toxic and I do not call them that because the people were toxic (they were not at all) but because the relationships added negative energy to my life and impacted my struggles with anxiety and other issues. Now for some concrete advice:

Detox Your Social Media

If you really don’t like an account but feel guilted into following or whatever, let go. Personally I used to feel connected to too many people I didn’t really know that well, but I never unfollowed because I would feel so stressed over how they would react. This year I realized that in the grand scheme of things this sort of worry really does not matter. If there are things you do not want on your news feed, literally remove it. If you worry about what people think like I do, maybe try muting things that upset you. Trust me, you feel so much freedom when your news feed is actually for you.

Set Boundaries

This sounds super vague, but if someone I love upsets me (and I mean in a big concerning way), I change my personal boundaries. This can apply to a situation you confront or do not confront, but ultimately you get to decide how you interact with this person and how often you see them. For me, limited interaction helps me when I care about someone but need space from the relationship. You can then use that space to cultivate other relationships or the relationship you have with yourself, and just grow!

It is never a bad thing to want space and you are not a bad person for setting boundaries. Needing to work on yourself is not a reflection on the other person and has everything to do with your energy and your growth.

There Is No Need To Ghost

Unless we are talking about Joe Goldberg, then great idea! If there is someone who you do not want in your life if is ok to explain why, especially if they ask. Ghosting someone is rude and only causes unnecessary damage.

Stand Up For Yourself

I feel like this one applies more to familial or work relationships, but it is still very important. If you have a problem with someone I recommend handling the situation directly and kindly. Explain how you feel and structure your point so you are easily understood. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself because that fear may only hurt you. This circles back to the idea of letting someone know you need space from them. It may feel weird, but as long as you are vocal about what you need and keep conversations kind and respectful, you can accomplish a lot more than you think!

Pray

Whether you have faith or not, taking time to meditate on your relationships is a really good thing. This reflection will help you find peace and understanding if you are going through a tough time. And with this kind of calm thinking you can find the best course of action for you.

Do Not Get Petty

I feel like I have already said this but just because a relationship is toxic doesn’t mean either party is toxic. Therefore if you do need to reevaluate a relationship in your life, you do not need to be unkind in making space for yourself.

Look For The Good

Here’s the good part and this is where I am in 2021 (keep in mind I spent a solid 6 weeks detoxing socially): find good influences FOR YOU. Now that you have made space from things that do not bring you joy, you can seek new things to help you grow into a better person! Sounds cheesy or whatever but follow people who encourage you, find groups of people who act how you want to act, and put out positivity while you wait for all the good things coming your way!

I know this sounds simple but look for the good things and people you want and go after them!

xx,

A

Fall Date Ideas: 2020 Edition

Hello Lovelies!

I realize it has been a few years since I have talked date ideas, bu this might be my most requested article right now! Since I have shared 50 ideas here already, I figured I would mainly cover fall-themed dates and my new favorite quarantine dates!

I met Con barely two weeks into quarantine so most of our dates have been all about staying in. Seriously though, this brings me to my first favorite date.

The Quarantine Date

Cook a new recipe, let Netflix pick a movie at random (or start a classic Disney marathon), maybe take a walk to work off all that pasta, and just relax! This date is both sweet and affordable!

The Grocery Date

How domestic! You may think this is super boring, but before a quarantine date you can pick out what you need for that new dish you are trying! Maybe check out cheeses together or grab flowers on your way out!

Visit A Farm Together!

(for my Midwest friends) getting out of the boring at home dates, you cannot go through fall without carving some pumpkins, going through a corn maze, or cozying up on a hay ride! There are still ways to have this kind of fun with COVID, so get out there and pick up some cider while you are at it!

Host A Bonfire

This can be really fun for a group of friends! Do not forget the marshmallows!

Make Haloween Costumes Together

This can be really fun depending on how creative you are – visit a thrift store or two and see if you can create a couples costume together! This can be extra fun if you do not know what you want to do yet and bonus points if you find each others costume!

Tour Your City

Ok this last one is less fall themed but still something fun to do each season! If you plan on going out, see what is new or newly reopened in your area and finally have a night out!

Thank you for reading! I hope this sparked some fun ideas for yourself in your dating life!

xx,

A

Why You Should Have A List Before You Even Meet Someone

Hello Lovelies!

I’ll be getting personal with this post, but I am excited to open up even more with y’all on an important topic: dating! I have shared a few things about my dating life, but overall I would like to think I am an open book and will always be real and raw with you. You will see more content regarding my relationship and I am so excited that Con is interested in sharing in that content! I also intend to share with you the insight I have found in my own dating journey over the years: the good, the bad, whatever can encourage you or speak to your life. Let’s get into today’s thoughts: the list!

The List

What is this list? I feel like a lot of women (anyone really) already have one, but it is an actual list, written down, of a person’s desires in their future spouse. This list could include physical attributes, dating styles, core beliefs and values, and just other do’s and don’t’s. This seems simple but (trust me) it is not. I made my first list while sitting down to coffee with my best friend the summer after high school. I was hopeful at the idea of moving across the country and potentially finding the love of my life, and I just wanted to dream a little about who that person could be. Here is that list (not kidding here it is):

So it has been a couple years since I pulled this out (btw it says LAR bc those are my initials). There are a few inapplicable comments, and some things I could add. But a whole lot of this list remains true. The person I want to marry is someone I would not want to hide from my parents, someone who pursues me, respects my body, the way I look, and my boundaries, someone who is honest, and someone who shares my faith. I did not realize at the time how important this list would be to me, but when I went through my dating hardships, I remembered what I deserve, what I am worth, and what I really want out of a partnership.

Why Is This Important

Manifestation? Sure! By writing down what you want for your future, you can better focus your energy towards those goals – and this does not apply to relationships alone, but you can also manifest your career goals as well! When you write down that you want old fashioned pursuit it becomes easier to ignore trolls who offer you less than you deserve!

Standards? Ya! There is nothing wrong with having high standards for yourself or the people around you. Similarly to manifestation, you are setting yourself up to avoid whatever does not fit what you want. People say it can be harder to date this way, but I say it is worth it!

Dating With Intention

Here is the big kicker! Y’all have heard me discuss dating with intention before, and this is where it starts! Maybe you are praying for your future spouse, or maybe you’re just a badass boss babe and you want to only date seriously if they are the one. Whenever I explain my philosophy of dating with intention to anyone they get super confused at first but hear me out – I would rather not date at all than go out with a bunch of people who are no good for me. In that time I spend not dating, I am learning about myself and growing into the person I want to be. And when I find someone who I truly like, I only choose to date them because the intentions of the relationship are serious on both sides.

I hope this post served to encourage you in your life to grow into the person you want to be, beginning with self-love and intentionality!

xx,

A

When His Sweatshirts Are Not Even Oversized On You

Hello Lovelies!!

Ok I have no idea how to title this blog post, but I felt like getting personal with y’all after an exciting conversation with an Instagram friend! So long story short this person asked me (in a broad general sense) how I have felt about or handled being in a relationship with someone who is more fit or smaller than I am. I feel like this is a loaded question so how about we break it down!

First off, we all know that society teaches women to be cute and little, especially compared to their partner. I see Twitter posts and TikTok videos from girls complaining that their boyfriend (for example) cannot pick them up like “everyone else” or maybe his sweatshirt “isn’t even oversized on you.” To all the people that teach women to desire these things: please stop. Not every relationship physically looks like what you see on social media and that is ok. Women over 250 pounds exist and so do men under 5 foot 3. Those people are just as deserving of a loving, goals-worthy relationship as anyone else.

So let us say that your body is different than your partners and that makes you insecure. Your main problem is not your body or their body, but your insecurity. Remember the importance of body positivity and self love. You like and appreciate yourself the way you are, and your partner probably does too. Why would you worry that they did not like you that way? Or why would you worry about how other people saw you together? To put it simply, you should have enough confidence in yourself that your partner’s physique does not change anything for you! If you really like someone, you are not going to be contemplating rules regarding heel hight or how to pose in photos etc etc.

Another important question I have unfortunately had to face is: do they really like you the way you are? Way back when I dated someone who was not bigger than I was. When we met I was relatively fit for my normal ranges, then a few months in I started to gain significant weight due to stress. Not only did his person negatively point out this change but they also noted how they did not like my size upon meeting me and assumed I would eventually be motivated to change. This situation has forever changed how I date.

If you are working on the whole “being confident enough that size differences in relationships do not matter to me thing” here is a BIG TIP I recommend for while you are dating. When you meet someone and decide you like them enough to keep dating, have a conversation about this early on. Similarly to how it is important to discuss faith, goals, and personal history, asking someone about their body preferences or standards in a partner is extremely important. Personally I have said, “hey, body positivity and personal health are very important to me. This is what my body looks like now, sure I may wish to be at a healthier fitness level than I am now, but if this does not change is that ok with you and would you still like me?” This might sound super strange but to me this conversation is really important and most of the time it reminds me to focus on positive things like healthy habits or just simply being happy with the person you are dating without the distraction of petty insecurity.

I love sharing super personal things like this with you all! To be clear, this blog post is intended to positively encourage you in your lives, and to remind y’all to LOVE YOURSELVES and let all the happy elements of your lives flow from that!

xx,

A

Your Best Valentine’s Day. Alone.

Hello Lovelies!!

Last year was a wild time around V Day. I remember writing a blog post about how Ariana Grande and Ellen Pompeo taught me the joy of being single and not needing a man. At the time I was newly single and navigating a whole lot with school and who knows what else. This year is a bit different. I am still preaching self-love, but having really learned how to be alone this year, I have a few ideas of how to really enjoy this season when you do not have someone to do all the super cheesy stuff with.

1. Pretend it aint Happening

Seriously. It is just Friday. You will wear your jeans to work and be home in time to swipe on all your dating apps while catching up on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

2. Add Ice Cream

Think of this as a treat for all the bs love stories you have had to sit through. Walk down the street or whatever, pick up a gallon of Homemade (my fav) and tell yourself, “I deserve this.”

3. Take Yourself On A Date

I am extra excited for this one because this morning I did exactly that! Well I took myself on a photoshoot, but it felt like a date! Take yourself to the movies, a new coffee shop, read some books at a local thrift store, or anything! Aside from tandem biking, think of that one activity you always wanted to do but could not because whatever, and do it!

4. See Some Friends

Chances are you are not the only single weirdo out there, so find some other weirdos and be weird together! This year I already got to celebrate Galentine’s Day with a style swap party and later today I will be eating some spaghetti thanks to the brilliant idea of one new friend!

5. Write A Letter

Show someone in your life why you love them. They will appreciate it.

xx,

A

I Fricken Bought Myself A Ring

Hello Lovelies!!

I feel like I’ve said this a few times, but this blog post is going to be a little different.

So last year as I started to get more serious in my career and figuring out my future plans, I set a reward for myself that once I reached a certain number in my earnings that I would invest in what I called “my first big blogger purchase”

At first I remember thinking I wanted a designer bag as an investment piece like many other bloggers, but now I have different ethical convictions regarding certain brands and markets (more on that later) and set my sights on an unusual purchase for a 22-year-old.

One day I was at a fun event and saw this adorable, subtle, over-priced eternity band. I new I was not going to purchase it any time soon, but it gave me a good idea.

Why wait for love or commitment from another person before wearing a diamond ring? Why should it symbolize marriage when it can symbolize so many other important things?

I mentioned that I call this my first big blogger purchase, but the ring itself I call my “I don’t need a man” ring. For me this symbolizes dedication and hard work, but more importantly it symbolizes the fact that I am worthy of so much no matter my relationship status.

If love is something I am seeking in the end, I can still be perfectly content focusing on myself. This object signifies my worth as a boss babe and reminds me that my life and the season I am in is not a season of lack. This is not a time of feeling incomplete and this is not a time of waiting. This is rather a time of recognizing ones worth and celebrating personal growth.

I encourage you to create big goals like this for yourself and do something nice as a form of self love rather than waiting for someone else to love you first.

xx,

A

Thank You Notes

Hello Lovelies!!

We have all already gone around the Thanksgiving table and shared what we are thankful for this year, but thankfulness itself isn’t an annual ritual.

As I reflect on the past year, I remember all the people I want to thank for just random kindness. Then I am suddenly disappointed at how often I kept those thoughts to myself.

This is definitely a shorter blog post, but this is certainly an important topic for this season, and I hope that in sharing these thoughts and new resolutions, you can be encouraged to do the same!

Growing up our parents would sit us down at the kitchen table around the new year, and have us write and mail thank you cards to the many relatives that gifted us that season. Some kids are even told that Santa may not come back if you do not thank him. This was a chore. This was the thing you did even though you would rather play or concentrate on something selfish.

Over the years I continued the ritual, adding in a spirit of pridefulness in purchasing the latest Kate Spade stationary with the words “Thank You” printed in a colorful yet abstract way.

But this year something changed. For me, this new spirit of thankfulness developed back in January, when I realized how incredibly lucky I am to have friends who are willing to have me over for a fun visit or who let me take a million Instagram photos. When I had my very public breakup, I was LITERALLY AWESTRUCK at the number of strangers who would send me messages every day asking if I am ok, telling me I am worthy, or just being incredibly supportive. It is moments like these when we receive something we do not deserve that make us thankful for not just specific people, but humanity.

I hope this makes sense bc I am just word vomiting and tearing up over here.

Anyway – here is how you can find this post useful. From now on, every Sunday, I am going to make a point to sit down and write my thank you notes – as many as I can, on paper and online, until my gratitude and positivity surpasses the love I do not deserve.

Write your thank you notes.

xx,

A

How To Not Be A Clueless Idiot When Dating From Said Clueless Idiot

Hello Lovelies!

It’s been a while since I have shared a lighthearted, creative post on this page and as I tease this dating content I figure there is no better time to start releasing it! I have wanted to share various dating horror stories but I have remained hesitant to do so as those stories do not involve only me and I try to respect others privacy. With that being said, here are my recent experiences, to show you what not to do. You are welcome!

Dating Apps

By this point I have no idea how many dating apps are out there but there are certainly some top contenders and at least there is something for everyone! No matter what app you prefer, here are some helpful tips!

Instead of calling yourself an “Instagram Model” or “Lifestyle Blogger,” make that job title more convincing with words like creative, entrepreneur, or self-employed.

Do not swipe right on people you do not like. And do not stay matched with them after they send 10+ intro messages.

Do not forget to mention some of your top deal breakers in your bio. This way you do not end up talking to a criminal (or a fan of illegal activity) for weeks or months or years.

DO let people know what you are looking for, even if you do not know. Someone who explicitly asks for apples is much less likely to receive oranges.

Snapchat

I have a personal vendetta against this app and have honestly deleted it after many failed attempts to flirt with other humans. I am not saying to never use this app, but maybe do not give out your username if you do not want creepy messages from strangers.

Do not bombard your crush with literally every detail of your day in picture form.

But do not be afraid to message first.

If you do not like someone, stop sending photos of your face and switch to photos of the ceiling… maybe they’ll get the hint but also maybe not.

Do not use this app to say “I love you,” whether you have met the person or not.

Do not creep on someones location or snap score for literally any reason especially in the context of dating.

And never answer a “u up” text with an actual detailed description of what you are doing or how you are feeling at that hour.

First Dates

Ok Imma just dive into these tips:

DO NOT follow a stranger into the woods just because they say it is cooler than getting coffee. Coffee is great, the atmosphere is wonderful and all those people in that public place are your friends.

At least check if they have a mugshot before going to the woods or a mall or his parents house.

Do not say you are available all afternoon and then disappear 15 minutes in.

Here’s an icebreaker that has worked only one time: pretend you’re afraid of something and see if they hug you.

If the date is bad, do not act like it is not.

Meeting People Not On An App (aka IRL)

Do not stalk their Instagram and later pretend you have never seen it when it comes up in conversation.

Do hold extended eye contact with them as you make them more and more uncomfortable to be around you. This will make you memorable.

DO NOT pretend to be on the phone with someone just to get out of a potentially bland/awkward conversation with your crush. Not a good idea.

Do enlist a friends help when deep stalking – ask them to view the person’s story or investigate their age – this way you are much less creepy for not doing it yourself.

Ok I think that’s enough for now! I hope you all enjoy this very random post and you remember that it is designed to be funny and not to be taken seriously!

xx,

A

50 Random (And Fun) Date Ideas

Hello Lovelies!

I have been wanting to write this blog post for SO LONG! I do not know about y’all, but I spend so much time on Pinterest searching for the perfect date idea, and I end up reading these crazy long and crazy specific lists of dates that may seem nice but are not that realistic. Personally, I am perfectly content spending every date night eating home-cooked spaghetti and getting into a new show, but still (just in case I have someone to do these with me), I have compiled a list of my top date ideas, organized categorically, and including a collection of budget-friendly (if not free) options! Enjoy!

Any Day Date Ideas

1. Go to a farmer’s market together. Try to snag as many free samples and pick up some romantic, local flowers!

2. Complete a DIY craft together.

3. Go bowling together or with friends.

4. Visit a drive-in movie theater.

5. Go to an art studio and paint something for each other.

6. Find your local kitten café and play with the cutest creatures while you sip some coffee!

7. Go to an escape room.

Seasonal Date Ideas

8. Make your own scary movie night!

9. Go on a hay ride.

10. Visit a haunted house and play Ghostbusters.

11. Go to a pumpkin patch then carve your pumpkins together!

12. Make a bonfire and host some friends.

13. Attend a local harvest festival.

Holiday Date Ideas

14. Go costume shopping for Halloween.

15. Host a Friendsgiving party.

16. Have a pie baking night.

17. Go ice skating together.

18. Attend a hockey game.

19. See a local performance of The Nutcracker.

20. Drive around the neighborhood and look at all the holiday lights.

21. Go window shopping.

22. Get in a snowball fight or go sledding.

Budget Date Ideas

23. Take each other thrift shopping and wear each other’s picks to an event.

24. Go on an adventure and try to get lost on purpose!

25. Visit a local art gallery.

26. Go to a museum and complete a fun scavenger hunt together.

27. Volunteer together.

28. Go people-watching at a busy place, maybe even make a game out of it!

29. Get dressed up and pretend to be shopping for an expensive home together just to get into an interesting house tour.

30. Visit a bookstore and share your favorite works with each other, or try to find something the other person might like!

31. Go anywhere and just draw.

32. Have a photoshoot! Walk around town and pretend you’re a blogger or something (lol).

33. Attend a local open mic night or student performance together. Bonus points if you prepare a piece to share!

34. Go to the gym together.

Rainy Day Date Ideas

35. Movie night at home – make this one extra fun with blanket forts and homemade popcorn!

36. Find new music together and create a couples playlist.

37. Learn to play a new card game, or make your own!

38. Have a spa day – get some bath bombs, add some face masks, and learn to give great massages!

39. Make a time capsule – place some of your favorite memories in a jar and read them when you are older or anytime you need something to brighten your day 🙂

40. Create a house cleaning challenge. Each person picks a task and whoever is more efficient wins a prize.

41. Have a cooking competition at home: compete to see who can make the best dish with what you have in the fridge.

42. Play Scrabble, but instead make up your own words and corresponding definitions!

43. Plan out your dream vacation together!

44. Make a scrapbook of your relationship.

45. Have an ‘unplugged’ day. Spend the day together like you normally would but turn off your phones!

Outdoor Date Ideas

46. Have a fun picnic together and make it extra fancy with wine and cheese.

47. Learn  a new skill together like biking or rock climbing

48. Go to the beach. Make it relaxing with a stroll or some sunbathing, and make it more exciting by renting beach cruisers or having a sand castle competition!

49. Take your laptop outside and find a cozy spot to sit and watch something (preferably in a hammock).

50. Stargaze.

Thank you all for reading!! I hope this article gave you all some inspiration in your relationships! If you are new here, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and follow my instagram here!

xx,

A

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