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Let’s talk social media for a second. Because I have a confession. I used to be scared of it. I was one of the late Facebook adopters, my primary social media channel for years being Linked In. And only because my fellow business school students guilted me into getting an account. After all, isn’t that why we were all paying our hefty MBA price tags? To connect with our peers so that we’d forever have a network of contacts who would one day answer our calls about a new deal, or a new job?

And I was lousy at it, I’ll be the first to admit. I wasn’t a natural connector, I was content to get my degree, and spend the rest of my time hiking in the Berkeley hills, shopping at the farmers’ markets, and learning to cook everything from duck legs to ice cream. While I’m social and outgoing in person, I need a lot of downtime.

Apparently there’s a word for people like me, and it’s gaining popularity with the wild success of Susan Cain’s book “Quiet” (she did a killer TED talk on the subject too if you’re interested). She coined the term “ambivert” – in my case, I’m a Myers Briggs standard issue extrovert with highly introverted qualities.

Which makes social media the best thing since sliced bread. I can connect with people, which is my fundamental extroverted desire, but I can do it during quiet times. When I’m walking my dog, or standing in line at the post office. It fits into my day, seamlessly fills the cracks when I have a few minutes to spare. 

My favorite social media channel by a landslide is Instagram. While Facebook helps me stay connected with people from my past, Instagram is the ideal tool for connecting with people who share my interests today. The dog lovers, the food lovers, the lovers of all things beautiful – colored glass, approaching storms, kids in bright yellow rain boots. Every day is a visual feast.

This month I’m joining a 31 day photo challenge and linking up with friends from around the world as we tag our holiday food with #31daysofyum. We have a pretty awesome crew lined up: The smartest farm-to-table fast casual startup I’ve seen in years, Tractor Foods, the bloggers behind Eat Your Beets, The Wanderlust Kitchen, Omeletta, and Ten Thousandth Spoon, and LA catering whiz Tehra Thorp from T3 Events.

If you’re on Instagram, we’d love it if you joined us too. Just tag your food for the next 31 days with #31daysofyum. Miss a few days? No biggie, it’s just a chance to join in some holiday fever.  And if you haven’t gotten set up with an account yet, drop what you’re doing ASAP and get on it. Trust me when I say that this little app makes me light up and smile or laugh about 17 times per day. Plus or minus a few.

Here are some of my favorite food pics from Instagram over the last month, and an invitation to our challenge at the bottom. Happy December, hope to see you tagging away.

I just canceled out my vegan lunch #banana #nutella #cupcake #oops

Her croissant is eating my macaroon

Below freezing, it's an inside kind day.

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This is why I exercise #candy for #breakfast #abeautifulmess

IG Collage 3

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