Amazing Amazon Dupes

Amazing Amazon Dupes

Can you actually find good dupes for high end products on Amazon? As someone who is a self proclaimed shopaholic, I am curious to find out if you can find trendy but cheap items online that are just as good if not better than their high end counterparts. 

Now I am all about splurging on something you really love and will wear for years come, but sometimes the trend is so fleeting it feels silly to shell out the big bucks for a single season stunner. Enter to the famous influencer approved Amazon dupe! I have always been apprehensive to buy certain things on Amazon, especially fashion or beauty items because of the horror stories I have heard of people getting junk items. Recently though I have been shifting my mindset and have become more open to dupes/ faux items as a way to have fun and get creative with popular trends. 

To embark on this journey, I purchased a handful of items to test to see if you truly can find a cheap dupe on Amazon for some of the most popular items influencers swear by. Reviews are king on Amazon so for this experiment I tried to stick with items that had 4-5 stars for 90% of their reviews and worked to find items that were affordable but also cute/ versatile enough that I could style them multiple ways.

Item 1) Schoolgirl Tennis Skort –

This one was funny for me since I did wear a plaid skirt when I was in high school in NY at a girls Catholic school, so something about wearing a little plaid tennis skirt felt oddly homey. 

I was really skeptical of this one mostly because the reviews were sketchy AF on this listing, but I did some measurements and opted for a larger size based on reviews saying it ran small. 

Overall, I give this purchase a 6 – Is it a cute tennis skort that is “on trend” yes, but is it high quality and thick, no. Does it looks like a costume.. A little bit. My general verdict on this one is that it is perfect for the trend. I will wear it once or twice while the style is in and then will likely leave this skirt in my closet for Halloween next year. Not bad, but not great!

Item 2) Seamless Halo Hair Extensions – 

I have been wanting to invest in hair extensions ever since I started my hair re-growth journey. (Read more on my hair journey here – but professional grade hair extensions are not cheap and I have been on the fence on wether it is a worthy investment. For me I don’t plan to wear them every day and likely will only use them for going out or special occasions and because of this I decided it was wise to see if I could find an inexpensive set as a test run before taking the plunge into buying real ones. 

Enter my Amazon dupe quest! My goal was to find a good color match and good length/texture match and to spend less than $20. So I began combing through reviews and looking at photos and decided on a dark brown faux hair halo for under $9.99.

The verdict – Sub 10 dollar hair extensions are exactly like they sound, very cheap/fake looking however I have to give this purchase a hard 3/10 as the length and color was 100% spot on and once applied correctly I have to say it looked pretty damn good for 10 bucks. But will I wear this out for a special occasion? No, certainly not as up close/in person it is very clear that this is a fake wig/halo. In photos I think it looks fire but for in person I would say this halo did not make the cut. Overall, if you are a photographer or creative type and want some extra hair then this is perfect. If you are hoping to find date night or wedding party ready extensions then these are not them! Fun for dressing up and taking photos at home for sure, but these are not really street safe if you ask me. 

Item 3) Magnetic Eyelashes – 

I have wanted the Glamnetic or Silly George Lash kit for forever but ya girl cannot justify spending 75 plus dollars on fake lashes. So to Amazon I go!

I decided to try the Paulinrise magnetic eyelash set for less than 10 dollars because why not, even if they suck at least I did not spend 50 dollars on them. 

The verdict – These are pretty great for sub ~10 dollars! They stayed on all night, were not that terrible to apply and overall looked nice. I think these are awesome for someone who likes the option to wear false lashes for a night out or special occasion but is not a hardcore false lashes everyday type. I think for a wedding or something I would want to spend a bit more to get a better product but for random nights out I have to say this dupe did the trick!

Item 4) Oversized Vintage Crewneck – 

I have been obsessed with the vintage hoodie look and recycled crewnecks that have a good worn in look to them but I am sorry Princess Polly, 100 dollars for a sweatshirt is highway robbery. I was skeptical of finding a good dupe on Amazon as finding a sub 20 dollar vintage looking item from an online retailer is a gamble no matter how savvy you shop, but I decided to try nonetheless. 

Decided on this listing as it had a cute photo and decent reviews however I was skeptical of if this item would even end up looking like the photos and unfortunately I was right. 

The end rating – I give this purchase a 3 – Is is a long sleeve navy top that is oversized? Yes, does it look vintage or worn in at all? No, not even a little bit. I have to say this one was somewhat of an epic fail, the “sweatshirt” is really just a giant long sleeve shirt. It does not look even in the slightest “vintage” at all. Will I wear it to relax in, sure, is it the cute fashion stable I wanted, no. 

Item 5) Vintage/Hype Girl Sunglasses – 

I am so here for the vintage sunglass look that I could not wait for summer to get myself a pair of these fierce looking shades. I decided I wanted a white and black pair since why not and was shocked to find how easy it was to find the exact style I was looking for on Amazon!

The 2 pack set I found was less than 20 dollars and I cannot lie I was expecting to get a pair of super cheap plastic dollar store sunglasses. Damn was I wrong!

The verdict – These are amazing! Do not walk, run to get yourself these glasses. They are not only fly as hell but they are sturdy and decently high quality for an Amazon find. I could not be happier with these and have to say these are a solid 12/10 as they greatly exceeded my expectations! Overall, I am obsessed!

So to conclude this episode of Amazing Amazon Dupes, I have a few pieces of advice for finding trendy dupes online. 

  • Reviews, reviews, reviews – Read as many reviews as possible and look at customer photos. This will be the biggest help when it comes to choose which dupe is the best of all as there tends to be many options to choose from. Even one really bad review can get me to re-think a purchase if it is recent enough and there is good evidence to support the claims. 
  • Size up/ measure yourself – Most dupes are not going to be the same size as your traditional fast fashion finds because they are coming directly from the factory or manufacturer in most cases. Assume the sizing will be weird and be sure to look at the sizing chart and take some measurements for yourself. I typically wear a 2-4 in bottoms and I ended up measuring myself for the tennis skirt and buying a large/XL as the sizing chart was really wonky. The large fit perfectly even though it was a size 8/10. Do not assume the sizing will be normal, as chances are the item will be much larger or smaller than you are thinking it will be. 
  • Assume the quality is low – Sub 20$ sunglasses tend to get a bad wrap for being pastic-y and cheap looking, with good reason. When buying an item on Amazon that is 50-75% cheaper than a brand name version you should not assume the quality will be the same or even close to similar. Prepare yourself for a bad craft project and then be shook when the dupe is better than you thought. It is way better to be good surprised than bad surprised when your new purchase is not as cheap looking as it cost in reality.  
  • Weigh the pros /cons – Is this an item you hope to have a year from now? If so maybe re-evaluate whether you want a dupe or the real thing. Some items are worth spending on, others not so much. You have to decide if this is something you want to cherish forever or love for a season or two. Who knows, you may even love the dupe so much you decide to go all in for the real thing!

Twenty Things I Am Leaving Behind In 2020

Twenty Things I Am Leaving Behind In 2020

2020 felt like we lived 3 years in the span of 1 year. It felt like an exhausting marathon of emotions and worries, with hurdles popping up every leg of the race. I am so grateful and humbled by this year that writing this was hard, hard to reflect on a year that felt like you could just not win no matter how hard you tried. A year that spawned growth and reflection but also pain and loss. Looking back I had an incredible year of self growth and a year of leaning into my health and letting go of body/size focused athletic goals but those goals and accomplishments do not stop today. I am so ready for 2021 and all the promises it holds so here is to a clean slate and one hell of a year!

And with that here it is my list of 20 things I am leaving in 2020 and will not miss in no specific order…

  1. Broken tent stakes and broken pride – I will not miss the tent that broke in the middle of a wind storm in Telluride in the dark. If this was not a metaphor for 2020 then I do not know what is!
  2. My white BMW that was completely unsuited for snowy drives and off roading. You went on to a much better life owned by a 16 year old.
  3. A old job that made me feel less than and never good enough. Constantly struggling to find my passion and fire to be met with discouragement and judgement for dreaming too big.
  4. Not admitting when I am wrong or have hurt someone I love – 2020 has really helped me become more aware of how I react in situations and how my reactions affect others
  5. Sodas that are disguised as seltzers at WholeFoods – Another good metaphor for 2020
  6. Spending 30 dollars on Uber every weekend to go out. I have learned to find joy in staying in or walking/scootering to social events when possible!
  7. Uncomfortable jeans, pants or really any clothing. If there is one thing I am never doing again it is wearing uncomfy work clothes or outfits. None of that in 2021, comfy clothes only from now on!
  8. Eating the same 3 meals on repeat – Spending so much time at home has helped me grow my cooking skills and expand my recipe playbook, so for 2021 I will no longer be a recipe repeater!
  9. The fear of changing plans last minute or cancelling a trip
  10. The fear of NOT having plans on the weekend or not being constantly busy
  11. Constantly feeling like my body is a “work in progress” and instead focusing on living in the moment and being thankful for my able body and health.
  12. Always feeling like I need to be two steps ahead or prepared for anything and everything. You cannot predict the future and constantly trying to be ahead of time takes away from enjoying the now.
  13. Not listening to my body and never taking rest days
  14. Forcing myself to do exercises or workouts I don’t like – Running, or boring cardio is a no from me and I have learned that there are other ways to move without compromising my excitement and joy
  15. Compromising my mental and physical health for others and creating strong boundaries
  16. Worrying about small issues or inconveniences that are so small in the larger photo they are no worth my time or energy
  17. Holding on to past grudges or grievances
  18. Not making time to check in on friends. This year has taught me so much about putting in effort to check in on friends and loved ones and has helped me learn how to better support those around me both near and far in distance. Remembering to text an old friend to see how they are has been a blessing of this year I want to continue!
  19. Taking for granted my health, my family, my friends and life in general – If there is anything I learned in 2020 it is that nothing in this life is guaranteed and we need to live each day like it could be our last!
  20. Bad vibes, bad luck and bad attitudes

No more bad vibes here! Let’s go into 2021 full of love, hope and understanding

Things I Am Grateful & Thankful For This November

Things I Am Grateful & Thankful For This November

This November is starting off with some serious anxiety inducing events. Given that the world feels like it is on fire literally and figuratively at the moment I decided to take a moment to give thanks and reflect on all that I am grateful for this year so far – In no organized or particular order 🙂

  • My family and friends – I am thankful for all the love and support I am surrounded by each and everyday from everyone in my life 
  • My amazing boyfriend and apartment mate for surviving the lockdown with me and my little mischievous fur baby 
  • My health – Minus a few injuries this year, I am grateful for being COVID free and 95% healthy all year 
  • High waisted jeans and baggy sweat pants being in vogue 
  • My ability to move and exercise my body without pain or limitations – Pre and hopefully post ankle sprain!
  • Warm cat snuggles on a cold morning 
  • Being fully employed for an incredible company and influencer marketing agency and for finally finding my professional calling 
  • A tall glass of red wine after a long day
  • Fuzzy socks and shearling slippers 
  • 75 degree days in the middle of December in Denver 
  • Living in a country filled with regular citizens and activists alike committed to change, justice and equality for all 
  • Oversized sweaters 
  • Pumpkin spice everything

Grow Through What You Go Through

Grow Through What You Go Through

I firmly believe that every experience in our live serves to teach us a lesson, even if we do not see what the lesson clearly or right away. For me, I can say for certain that the tough times I experienced in the past have shaped me into the woman I am today. With that I know that often we leave things unresolved to come back later and find a big mess that we wished we had tidied up sooner. 

This past weekend I spent a lot of time reflecting on my life, my choices, things I have said and done and most importantly people I have hurt. Now I will preface this by saying that I by no means am here to say that I was some kind of horrible brat/mean girl in college and high school who tore others down leaving a wake of destruction in my past. HOWEVER, I will admit that I certainly contributed to a lot of the drama and negativity that I was wrapped up in prior to growing up and owning my mistakes as an adult. 

I think that we can all look back and find a time in our life when we were not our best selves, I know I can! With everything going on in the world, the uncertainty, the hate, the fear I felt it was time to tie up some things that I have left unresolved from my past and make amends for things I am not proud of. My existential brain spiral was screaming at me that if the world ended tomorrow would I be okay knowing that there are people I owe apologies to or who I have lost touch with and the short answer was no. So I did something bold and scary and ultimately, I feel it has helped me grow. See for us to grow we must experience things, whether those things involve pain, fear, or disappointment or all three! 

Experience and opportunity are the best teachers, so yeah, I texted someone I have not spoken to in 4 years! Yes, it was scary as hell, but ya know what? This person responded back with hope, love, and mutual respect as well as some words of regret for the unravelling of our friendship in the past. See I had walked into this conversation thinking that I did not deserve a response to my 4-year late apology, but this person surprised me in the best way. They showed me that we all have moments, hell even years of our lives where we do not do the right or the best things and damage relationships unnecessarily but that it is okay. 

I have grown up tremendously since my drama filled first two years at college and looking back has been hard for me. I have felt ashamed and upset with the way I treated not only others but also myself and can now see where I went wrong. But really the most important thing I have found is that I needed to be that person 4 years ago, I needed to experience those things because I learned from those mistakes and have grown better because of them. 

I have zero regrets about unpacking my past and my emotional baggage because I know that if I want to move forward and keep thriving, then I need to feel unburdened and mentally well. 

And that is the Thursday tea…

Keep following my Instagram for more of my daily life and insights! @who.wod.wear 

Fall Fashion Trends I Am Loving For 2020

Fall Fashion Trends I Am Loving For 2020

Break out the pumpkin spice and everything nice, it’s fall time you basic witches! With fall comes the annual blogger fashion hauls and fashion week finds and lots of shoe envy. Now as someone who is a self proclaimed shopaholic, I cannot help but get giddy at the idea of finding new fall fashion pieces to add to my wardrobe. 

I am going to round up my favorite trends for fall 2020, even if we are all still stuck indoors dreaming of a COVID free world. 

  • Oversized Graphic Tees – These have been making a comeback since the bike shorts started blowing up! The magic of the oversized graphic tee that is more of a dress is two fold; They are the perfect mix of comfort and casual cool girl that no matter how you style them they are always in vogue. Since we all became house hermits I have been living in baggy tees and now that its cooler out I am ready to add them layers!
  • Leather Mini Skirts – What is not a love about a leather mini? Perfect for date night or brunch the leather mini is your favorite over the knee boot companion for fall. I just love mixing the leather with suede boots and a sweater for a cute fall look that is effortless and a bit more grown up than a denim mini skirt. 
  • Snake Print Booties – These bad boys are not going anywhere anytime soon! Since taking the world by storm the snake boot trend is still going strong. Personally I love the black and white prints for winter and spring but shades of nude and brown are perfect for fall. Snake print boots add the right amount of wow to any monochromatic or solid color outfit. 
  • Crew Neck Sweatshirts – Lounge wear is work wear now and I am so here for it! Gone are the days were sweats are icky and not meant to see the light of day. Sweatshirts are quickly become vogue again and I know I love a good crewneck sweatshirt of layering on a chilly fall day. All around I am seeing various crewneck sweatshirts of all colors and materials. For me I gravitate towards neutral colors that can be layered easily this year and I try to find sweatshirts that can easily be dressed up or down weather I am wearing joggers and sneakers or leather leggings and booties. 

On my next fashion haul I will be discussing fashionable, yet functional winter footwear so stay tuned for more on Who WOD Wear and check out my Insta for more daily outfit inspiration! 

Falling Back Into Blogging

Falling Back Into Blogging

Ahhh Autumn, what a wonderful time. A season filled with endings and new beginnings and lots of cozy PSL and sweaters. It has been quite a few weeks since I wrote something and I will be perfectly honest it has been hard to come back to writing long form content after taking a long hiatus on here. 

When I started this blog it was because I was frustrated with the progression or lack thereof in my professional career and I thought why don’t I channel this negativity into a creative passion project. As it turns out my blogging helped me in securing my current position and with that I have had to take a step back from my blog to focus on transitioning into my new big girl job. See when I took a step back from writing it allowed me to see that my new job was igniting a new passion in me: Advocacy! 

In my new role I have the unique opportunity to be an advocate for both YouTubers and lifestyle brands as they navigate sponsorship deals and paid partnerships. I am able to advocate for the overall project vision and am the key piece in communication between the brand and creator that creates a healthy and happy strategic partnership. This has been such a big leap forward for me in responsibility and workload which has led to some creative burn out. See as I work I am charged with protecting and fighting for other influencers and because of this I have lost my own voice for a short period of time and had to pause my own influencing projects. I have been so worried about other influencers that I have had to pause my own accounts to give me the mental space to live my life in the present and savor all of the small moments that often get lost in the craze of work/life balance. 

I love my new job and I have ZERO regrets about taking some time and space to get grounded with my career so that I can come back to my blog fired up and ready to inspire once again. Fall is about change, changing seasons and leaves and changing closets (HELLO BOOTS! My old friend, we come to meet again 🙂 I have lots of exciting things happening soon including a big fall fashion haul from H&M, some new home decorating tips and a much awaited skincare sample testing for a BIG new beauty and skincare brand that I actually found through my job! 

I LIVE for spooky season so what better time to stage a comeback! While I will likely only post 1-2x a week on here I am super excited to get back to writing once again. 

Ta Ta for now friends and I am excited to bring the passion back to Who WOD Wear!

Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Review

Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Review

Finding a cute gym bag that is multi-functional is a challenge! It makes me so sad to see stylish, full-grown adults toting around old drawstring bags from high school to the gym. As someone who loves fashion but also function finding something other than an old backpack to bring to the gym has been hard. Pockets and compartments are music to my ears and multiple straps are a must for me. Doing some research, I knew I wanted a bag that could be used for more than just going to the gym, but I also didn’t need another giant tote bag.

Dagne Dover, immediately came to mind when I started listing the features that were non negotiable for me when it came to a gym bag. I already had their famous Allyn Tote for work, which is a lifesaver with all of its nifty pockets and compartments designed for my frequent traveler and commuter life. I decided my perfect gym bag was the other Dagne Dover crowd pleaser the Landon Carryall Tote. The Landon Carryall comes in a variety of sizes and colors to find any personal style aesthetic and for any and all travel needs. What I love the most about this bag is how light and water resistant it is! This carryall is so easy to stuff full of workout accessories and extra clothes without adding a ton of weight to the bag, it truly is magical.

Whether I am going on a quick overnight trip or hitting an after work WOD this bag is my go-to! I love the thoughtful details such as the way the bag can be expanded by unbuttoning the side flaps for more top space as well as the outside pocket that fits my car keys and face mask. Originally, I was not wild about the neoprene fabric but as I have gone through rainstorms and snowstorms, I have found the fabric to be perfect for protecting my bag from the elements. Spill some water? No problem, the Landon Carryall will dry fast and stain free!

Looking for your new gym partner? Look no further than the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall, this space saving ninja will fit all your workout essentials while being stylish and lite for travel!

Check out more of my fashion and gym tips on my Instagram @who.wod.wear

Macro Friendly Pizza

Macro Friendly Pizza

As a hardcore, born and raised New Yorker, nothing makes my heart sing more than a damn good slice of pizza. Pizza and I have had a complicated relationship the last few years, mostly due to my long-held belief that pizza cannot be both healthy and tasty. I used to firmly believe that pizza was a “treat” meal or only reserved for special occasions or late-night drunk binges. 

Pizza and I have tried all kinds of ways to make things work for us, however the best pizza hack came to me when I was low on money in 2019, living alone in a lacking good pizza part of Denver. Homemade pizza was the answer to my healthy/tasty struggles! The first few times I bought pizza dough at Trader Joes, I epically failed and burned the life out of my pizza leading to sad burned mess. On a separate occasion I managed to pile so many toppings on my homemade pie that it didn’t cook enough! My brother, Kevin, actually taught me the proper way to cook homemade pizza earlier this year and since then the homemade pizza has become a Friday night dinner game changer for me and my boyfriend.

So how do I make homemade pizza fit in my macros and taste good? My tip is simple, tracking your pizza first, then add protein to your pie and track backwards from there. This hack has helped me make my favorite diary free cheese dreams come true! By simply accounting for the carbs and protein first thing in my food log, I am able to accurately plan and arrange my day so that I still hit my goals and do not have to make a gross pizza just to get it to fit. 

A few of the ways that I make my pizza macro friendly, high in nutrients and tasty af are by using crushed or pureed San Marzano tomatoes instead of highly processed pizza sauces, swapping regular mozzarella for Trader Joes Almond Mozzarella alternative, and using high protein toppings such as chicken sausage and prosciutto. These three simple swaps up the protein of my pizza by 10’s of grams and makes my pie more filling and satisfying. Another healthy, high protein pizza option I have made is buffalo chicken pizza! Simply mix up some zero-calorie buffalo sauce and grilled chicken (I use premade Trader Joes Simply Grilled Strips) and top your pizza with that macro friendly goodness. 

Just because I love rolling out some homemade pizza does not mean I do not have some take out favorites in the Denver metro area! My top 3 favorite, authentic NY style thin crust pizza places definitely have to be Anthony’s near DU, Ian’s Pizza in the Ballpark area and KAOS Pizza on Pearl Street. Some other great Denver pizza joints include Sexy Pizza, Pizza Pedal and Pizzeria Local. 

My go to pizza recipe is below! 

**Pro tip – You must let the dough sit out and rest in room temperature for at least 20-40 minutes before rolling. Once the dough is rolled, floured and shaped, be sure to prebake the solo dough for 10-15 minutes before loading it up all your sauce and toppings!

  • Trader Joes Garlic and Herb Pizza Dough (1/2 A Container) 
  • 2-4 Tbs. of all-purpose flour 
  • ½ Can of San Marzano Tomato Puree 
  • 1 Oz. of Trader Joes Shredded Almond Mozzarella 
  • ½ Oz. of Trader Joes Crumbled Goat Cheese 
  • ½ of a Trader Joes Spicy Chicken Italian Sausage chopped finely 
  • 1 Oz. of Trader Joes Sliced Prosciutto 
  • 30 grams of red onion, sliced 
  • 30 grams of raw arugula 
  • 50 grams of raw baby Bella mushrooms chopped 

Go forth and pizza make your heart out! For more of my healthy eats check out my Insta stories @who.wod.wear 

Hydration Station Tips

Hydration Station Tips

True story, I got severely dehydrated earlier this summer to the point where I nearly passed out after my workout. I was so dehydrated, I threw up my entire dinner, and luckily my boyfriend drove to Walgreens at 9pm to get my Gatorade Zero so I didn’t have to go to urgent care or worst call 911. Now I would like to say that this only happened to me once this summer, however the truth is this happened to me multiple times during the month of June and only recently have I been making positive steps towards staying fully hydrated.

So how did I, a 24-year-old adult female, forget to stay hydrated on a 100-degree day during a dry Colorado summer? Simple, I was not setting myself up for hydration success. I was not being mindful of how much water I was drinking throughout the day and was barely hitting 50 ounces of water because I was forgetting to sip throughout my workday. By the time my 5 or 6pm workout rolled around I was already too dehydrated to be completing my WOD outside, yet I was still pushing myself to work out because I didn’t want to miss the WOD or change my workout schedule for the week.

What changes have I made to my hydration schedule to avoid severe summer dehydration?

  • I bought a gallon water jug for days I plan to exercise outside. Now I make sure I drink at least 2-3 gallons BEFORE I even think about exercising.
  • I check in with myself before I drive to the box. I take a moment now to reflect and assess whether I am properly fed and hydrated before I hit up the WOD. If I am already feeling dehydrated or hangry before my workout, I adapt my schedule and sit that day out. No workout is worth going to the hospital for especially when we are in the midst of a public health crisis.
  • More water = Better skin, better workout and better life. I have recently re-framed the importance of water in my daily life and make hitting my water goals a non-negotiable for me. No amount of soda water or Gatorade can make up for importance of water in your daily life so stop seeing water as the “boring” drink option and instead view it as a vital piece in your wellness and life tool kit!

Hydration is so important and while it is not as sexy of topic to discuss as deadlifts or macro tracking, it still is a valuable topic that deserves to be talked about! Go forth and get hydrated this summer my friends, your skin and your stomach with thank you later.

Be Bold! Be A First Texter

Be Bold! Be A First Texter

I love texting first! I used to be terrified to reach out to people first via text to initiate plans. I hated being the one who was always texting people and was constantly worried I was being “needy” or a bother to my friends. Not anymore!

Post college life has taught me so much, and two of the most important lessons I have learned is how to not give a damn what other people think and to let go of the fear of rejection. Looking back, I missed out on so many social events because I was worried about what people would think if I invited myself somewhere or tried to initiate plans first. I would never text people first or try to plan things from scratch simply because I felt like it was uncool to text my friends first. It wasn’t until I was thrust into the adult world that I realized that I would never see my friends if I didn’t start exerting more effort into planning social gatherings.

As friends moved away post-graduation, I also had to confront a whole new fear – making new friends without the safety net of college. Making friends as an adult was hard work! Meeting new people and expanding my social circle demanded more effort from me as well as more confidence. One of the closer friendships I have made post college actually came from my first office job and had I not started forcing conversations and inviting myself to hang out with this person I never would have ended up joining her kickball league and making even more social connections! Much to my surprise, the more I got comfortable with putting myself out there socially the easier it became for me to do and less uncomfortable it felt.

Now I am the self-proclaimed “social chair” of my friend group because I am constantly sending the first text or trying to rally the crew to make moves on a Friday night. I have learned that none really cares if you send the first text, what they care about is the fact that you were thinking of them enough to reach out and make the first move.

So often I find that when I am a busy bee, I am on hyperdrive, constantly cranking and hustling while completely forgetting to water my friendships with love and attention. I can go for months without touching base with some of my friends, others a few days, however I have made it my business to no longer feel shame or guilt sending that first “Hey, I know it’s been a while since we spoke….” text or call. Taking that step forward can be scary and putting yourself out there vulnerable to the judgement of others is nerve-wracking, but if you want to grow stronger relationships someone has to make that move.

Relationships are a two-way street. They take both parties coming to the table to make memories and magic happen. For me, I cannot sleep knowing I did not hold up my end of friendship. That lingering fear of friendship disappointment is what drives me to show up and reach out to my connections first! Maybe your college bestie feels bad you have lost touch, or maybe that friend from work is secretly hoping you invite them to happy hour next week. You never know who in your network is just waiting for you to make their day with a text or call!

So, I challenge you…be bold! Text first and text often, you may be shocked to find out how quickly your social anxiety melts away the more you put yourself out there to shine.