Hi friends! Wow. I am so blown away by everyone's love and support after Monday's post. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in these feelings of "not enough." It's always terrifying to be so vulnerable (I must have rewritten my post three times) but I'm always amazed to hear the positive feedback when I pull back the facade. It's funny that I was just talking about how Instagram can get me down when I start comparing myself to others, but on the flip side, it can also be an amazing source of encouragement. So thank you!!

But hearing everyone's responses made me realize that we NEED to talk about the real parts of life. The messes, the insecurities, the piles of dirty laundry, the fights, the tears, the never-ending to-do list. These things are normal and real. But when we deal with these ordinary, not-glamorous (and often frustrating) details alone, and then see ONLY the gorgeous moments of everyone else's life posted online, it can quickly make you feel like you don't measure up.

In terms of social media, I'm still not sure what the right balance is, because, like everyone else – I only want to post the prettiest moments. I really doubt anyone wants to see the enormous pile of dishes in my sink right now from yesterday's photo shoot, or me sitting, un-showered in my PJ's at my laptop typing away. I figure people would rather see pictures of, say, this pretty sesame-miso-glazed salmon with red cabbage slaw. (Recipe below!)


BUT I have to share with you all a brilliant idea that a couple girlfriends and I came up with last night. We were talking about all of this (the comparison, the social media, self worth, etc.) and we were laughing about how different our "real lives" look day-to-day vs. the pretty lives we portray online. My friend Meg joked that we should start a private account called "Hotmesstagram" just for our girlfriends, where we share real life pics. We laughed as we thought of all the possible scenarios we could post, but then we decided we'd just start group-texting our #hotmess pictures instead. So this morning, I woke up to a stream of texts depicting a messy bedroom piled high with laundry, a tale of a screaming toddler, and I texted back a picture of my massive pile of dirty dishes. And you know what? Just this simple act of being real – and having friends agree to be real right alongside me – made me feel so much less less alone in my not-perfect life!

So my challenge to you all is this: find friends who you can be real with! Friends who love you in even in your hot mess moments, and who can laugh with you along the way. I'd love to hear how you keep it real with your friends, or if you have other ways of maintaining perspective. I'll leave you with a quote from the brilliant Oscar Wilde: "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." Let's commit to be ourselves – not the perfect selves we aspire to be (with yoga bodies and blown-out hair) – but our real, honest-to-goodness, sometimes–messy–but–incredibly–lovable selves.

But now, let's cook. Here's a really delicious salmon recipe I developed recently that's healthy, simple, and truly takes less than 30 minutes to make. You can serve it with or without rice, and – if you'd rather not have the slaw – it's great with roasted broccoli. Weeknight dinner, coming right up!

xo, Anna

(Photos by Olivia Funk)