Building A Brand: Pretty Pictures Will Only Get You So Far

If you’re using social media, specifically Instagram and Pinterest, to grow your blog or business or as a key factor in building a brand, then you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about your visual imagery. And although having compelling, distinctive, and quality imagery is a big key to success on these platforms, I want to go a little deeper.

Your Instagram and Pinterest must be more than just a pretty face. 

There I said it. There is more to these platforms than looks–it’s called engagement.

build a brand online

We’ve talked about how to increase Instagram engagement recently in response to Instagram’s new algorithm update (spoiler alert: I’m not worried about it), so I won’t get into tactics here. Engagement is what’s going to set your Instagram and Pinterest presence apart from others. Engagement is what will move the bar for your blog, brand, and business. So let’s take a moment to break down what engagement looks like on each of these platforms. (more…)

Serve It :: Pudding Parfaits

Can we agree that mini desserts are just better? These mini pudding parfaits are just so cuuuute, aren’t they? (Spoiler alert: They also taste delicious.)

parfait recipes
I actually made these dessert in mini wine tasting glasses I had on hand. They just so happen to be the perfect size for mini pudding parfaits! These mini mason jars would also work perfectly (and I love that they have lids).
parfait recipes

You can completely customize this recipe and get really creative. I used the classic Nilla Wafer cookies to make a cookie crumb crust at the bottom. Then I layered homemade vanilla pudding, jimmies (sprinkles), and whipped cream. But you can do any cookie crumble (Oreo would be so good!) and any flavor of pudding you like. You get the idea, have fun with it! (more…)

Serve It :: A Simple Variety Crostini Platter


This post is sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

If you’re looking for a quick and eye-catching and creative appetizer to serve at an impromptu get-together, these crostini appetizers will do the trick!

Crostini Appetizers

I love to serve cold appetizers because they’re really easy to prepare and you don’t have to worry about keeping them warm—perfect for casual entertaining occasions! (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…)

Serve It :: Chili Cheese Flatbread

I love recipes that are multifunctional and this Chili Cheese Flatbread is just that. Make it for a weekend lunch, prepare it for guests when entertaining, or even turn it into breakfast (yes, really … more on that later).

Flatbread-Recipe-Idea

I love experimenting with flatbread recipes because they are so versatile and simple! This recipe was inspired by HORMEL® Chili and it came together so deliciously. (more…)

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