Archive of ‘Life & Work’ category

Coffee break + chocolate sprinkle stir spoons

It’s really no secret around my house that I love coffee. Morning, afternoon, evening … I can’t resist a delicious, steamy mug.

chocolate spoons

I recently shared how the Mr. and I are taking back our weekends (or at least Saturday mornings) by having our own standing coffee date. And while that plan is still going strong, I, of course, find several other times throughout the week to enjoy some me-time with a little coffee break.

make chocolate spoons

The new Starbucks® Caffé Latte K-Cup® pods have really become my new favorite thing. They taste so delicious that I find myself looking for moments throughout the day to brew a cup and just take a break. Perhaps we should all do more of that–step away from work and take a moment to just reflect and hit the pause button.

chocolate spoon for stirring

coffee spoons

Over the weekend, I made these chocolate + sprinkle spoons with my girls. They love to use them to stir their hot cocoa, and I’ve discovered they are the perfect addition to my afternoon coffee. What says “perk me up” better than coffee and chocolate?

coffee-spoons

To make them, you simply dip a spoon into melted chocolate and then top with some sprinkles. Once they set (about 15 minutes on the counter) you can store them in an airtight container to use during the week. When you’re ready, just stir it in your Caffè Latte and enjoy!

Stir, Sip, Enjoy. Signature Starbucks® latte flavors, now available in a K-Cup®

Slowing down the weekend

Weekends around here feel somewhat like a blur sometimes. We work all week, run around with school, sports, and activities, and then BAM–we have two “free” days to pack in all the other commitments, grocery shopping, and household chores. Before we know it, we’re staring Monday right in the face again. Can you relate at all? Surely I can’t be the only one who feels like she blinks and the weekend vanishes. 

Starbucks latte at home

I’ve come to accept that I cannot technically make the weekend last longer, but I can maybe slow it down (even for just a moment). In an effort to slow down for a few minutes at the start of each weekend, the Mr. and I started have a Saturday morning coffee date–in our pajamas, while at home. No rushing out the door, no scrambling to get ready or be somewhere special. Just the two of us holding hands at the Keurig® machine (okay maybe it’s not that cheesy, but you get the idea).

make a starbucks latte

This is a whole new idea to us because typically you’d find us scurrying through the nearest Starbucks drive-thru window on our way somewhere. But with the new Starbucks® Caffé Latte K-Cup® pods, we now have our favorite coffee at our fingertips. This, my friends, is worth celebrating. It’s such a nice time to enjoy our favorite flavors and spend some quality time together–He loves the Caramel Caffè Latte and I typically go for the Vanilla Caffè Latte!

how to make a starbucks latte

These Caffè Latte K-Cups® come in three delicious flavors, which means you can have a little variety. Although vanilla is my go-to, I do like to change things up between all three (mocha, vanilla, and caramel) while the Mr. sticks with his favorite, caramel.

starbucks-latte-keruig

I also like to add a little breakfast treat to our routine. We just have to wake up early enough so the kids don’t get to them before we do! What do you think? Could your weekends use a slow-down plan?

Stir, Sip, Enjoy. Signature Starbucks® latte flavors, now available in a K-Cup®

Social Media Overwhelm And How To Avoid It

Raise your hand if you feel like you’re doing #AllTheThings and yet somehow you still feel like you’re not doing enough. Oh boy, I know that feeling. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of trying to build your brand online, reach your audience, grow your following, research new marketing ideas, explore the newest shiny platform to come on the scene, take killer photos, do the actual work your business requires … I could keep going but you get the point. Heck, you’re living it. Social media overwhelm can derail you from growing your brand online.

Sometimes being an online entrepreneur feels like running on a hamster wheel (and I’m guessing you’d agree). I think that’s okay–for a season. But ultimately we need to get to a place where we’re confident that we’re focusing on what matters. We should be spending quality time on the things that will move the bar for our blog, brand, and business. It’s hard to really know what those things are though when we’re running on that wheel.

How to avoid social media overwhelm

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • You feel overwhelmed by all the things you have to do daily and all the things you want to do that you can’t seem to get to.
  • You’re watching your peers’ businesses take off and you’re starting to feel defeated.
  • You’re Googling, everything. Reading everything you can, and learning a lot. You’re in a handful of Facebook groups trying to figure it all out. BUT you still  not confident that you know where to start or what to focus on first.
  • You’re afraid if you don’t “do it all” that you’ll be hurting your chances of succeeding.
  • You’re tired. And beginning to feel uninspired about your business.

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The Case For Being A Quitter

No, It’s not the Pinterest or Instagram quote you’d expect but I’m making the case for quitting. Quitting in the sense of making a purposeful decision to let something go or move in a new direction. I don’t mean simply giving up because something is hard, you’re stuck, or experiencing a challenging time. However, I do think we all need permission to quit spinning our wheels on something that isn’t a good fit.

quit your day job

 

I have a little experience with this myself. In fact, if I wouldn’t have been a quitter I probably wouldn’t have a career I love and a creative outlet (this blog) that fuels my passions. In 2007 I started a stationery company selling personalized stationery online and in retail locations across the country. I went all in for one solid year. And then, in spite of having built a profitable little business, I quit. I shut down the printers and closed all of my accounts. Took my little “Good Thoughts Paper Co.” offline. (more…)

Food Photography Tips for Bloggers

If you’re looking for a few simple, but effective, food photography tips you’re in the right place. If you’re a blogger looking to take photos worthy of your killer recipe, creative styling, and personal flair, you’ll want to dig in. Personally, I’ve been blogging here for seven years and that means well, I’ve published a lot of images that are not that great. But that’s okay, let them live on–because well, improving is part of the journey (right?). Just don’t judge too harshly when you stumble upon a old post. HA.

Food Photography Tips for Bloggers

Photography has always been one of those areas that I vow to do better, take a class, learn how to “use my big girl camera” … etc. Can you relate at all? I bought some books, studied some Youtube editing classes, but at the end of the day it all still seemed overwhelming. Guys, I was even using my PHONE’s photo apps to edit my images that I would take with my nice camera. Aside from not being quality I was proud of, it was taking me FOREVER. That’s a little embarrassing to share but I’m just being real here. (more…)

What Bloggers and Brands Need to Know About Instagram’s Update

Instagram announced that they will soon roll out an algorithm that will affect the way you see images in your feed.

It happened. You know what else happened? People freaked out (you might be freaking out right now, but don’t worry too much friend). I want you to know it’s really going to be okay. People are going to be mad. Just like they were in 2009 with Facebook’s change. Just like were when Pinterest announced last fall that they were rolling out a “Smart Feed.” But the smarties of the group learned how to optimize their Pins and actually leverage this new change. And from a user perspective, I think many of us agree we’re seeing more relevant pins when we log into our accounts (I know I am!).

Instagram Updates

Personally, I welcome the shift on Instagram. The change will mean instead of seeing your feed in chronological order, you will first see the images that Instagram believes you will care about most (this is based on like count and how often you engage with a user’s content). As a user I am excited about this. I’ve often wished Instagram had ‘lists’ like Twitter does. I want to be able to sort my following by family, my besties, brands I love, etc. I want to quickly see the photos from the people I am most engaged with. This feels like a nice solution and experience. (more…)

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