5 Follow-Worthy Insta Friends

5 Follow-Worthy Insta Friends

Beautiful art from beautiful people.

I’m a big fan of Instagram. It’s uncluttered, simple and streamlined; you only see who and what you’re interested in. Unlike Facebook, you don’t have the constant and meaningless stream of event notifications and “Like this or else” images. It’s easy to navigate and manageable even for those who are new to social media — my grandmother even curates an Insta! That being said, if you frequent Instagram like I do or you’ve thought about doing so recently, you should check out some of my favorite friends to follow:


Seeking some southern comfort (with a twist)? Check out @samanthabrownx. Her airy, vibrant glimpses into island life will leave you craving warmer weather. While Sam paints and draws amazing art herself, she also is able to turn the world around her into artwork. Through her keen eye and an even more powerful imagination, Sam has the ability to capture beautiful moments and then make them her own. She's brilliant at embellishing and taking a photo to the next level, even going so far as to add stories to her various images that take the follower into another realm completely. Her work is dreamy, fantastic, and inspiring, to say the least.


If you love puppies and the Midwest, you should check out @johnconlin. His beautiful dogs, Stella and Tazz, know how to model — be it with intense, smoldering stares or playful grins — and John definitely has an incredible ability to capture their candid and distinct personalities. Each picture is saturated with the wisdom, curiosity, and comfort of his dogs. Moreover, his Insta photos are always backgrounded by the ever-changing hues of Wisconsin nature — sometimes earthy, sometimes vibrant, and always gorgeous.


If your interests include art and the east coast, you should follow @ajgregornik. Amanda does some evocative, engrossing origami-like paintings with lines and colors. She’s a teacher, a newly emerging artist, and an old soul. Her Instagram is spotted with artfully constructed work spaces (#deskgoals) and beautiful little glimpses into her creative, pastel, home-made wonderland. She also has a really cute dog (and great taste in tights).


Want a more global, adventuresome perspective? Follow @erikaholum. Erika has a wandering soul that has taken her around the world — and an eye for aesthetics that has led her to capture it beautifully for those who can’t travel with her. She loves street art, interesting people and their stories, great food and even greater spaces. Her Instagram allows you to tag along for her adventures from her sunny, engaging perspective, which makes the journey all the more rich.


Interested in a glimpse at new places around the US? Hit up @alistair.murray. Alistair is a dear friend of mine and an insatiable lover of beauty. Be it in art, the environment, or the everyday faces of those around him, Alistair constantly captures stunning little moments: the awe of a child looking into an ice cream truck, the simple, sunny brilliance of a farmer’s market, the well-known ritual of shared coffee. He is also very fond of architecture (he dreams in it) and has a really strong and engrossing perspective.

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Brown

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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