Category Archives: Latest News

Red White and Blue Fruity Mocktail

This red, white and blue fruit mocktail is a snap to put together. It’s a layered drink that is made possible by…SCIENCE!

The way this layered drink is created is by pouring the liquid that has the most sugar in it first, then the second most sugar and finally the least amount of sugar at the end. Apparently mine would have appeared more layered so you could distinctly see the red, white and blue layers if I had poured the liquids in over the back of a spoon, but I was thirsty and impatient!

I used a fruit punch, tonic water, and a calorie free blue raspberry punch to create this drink. At least the ice adds in the “white” I suppose. And, it looks patriotic enough for me to happily serve it as a quick drink for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day festivities.

If you wanted to make this drink a cocktail instead of a mocktail, all you would need to do is add liquor to each layer – for example

  1. pour 1/4 cup of fruit punch into a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 tablespoon of vodka. Then, shake what your momma gave ya!
  2. carefully strain and pour the first liquid into a cup filled with ice. I used 8 oz party cups.
  3. pour 1/4 cup of tonic water into a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 tablespoon of vodka. Then, shake it like a salt shaker!
  4. carefully strain and pour the second liquid into the cup. Again, this is probably better to do over the back of a spoon so you get more of a layered effect than I did.
  5. finally pour 1/4 cup of calorie free blue raspberry punch into a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 tablespoon of vodka. You guessed it, shake it like a Polaroid picture!
  6. again, carefully strain and pour the final liquid on top. I used 8 oz party cups.

Have you ever made layered drinks? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Bloggy Friends Spotlight – Stephanie Fields

Hey everyone! I know it’s been a long ASH time since I’ve posted one of these. The last one was nearly a month ago! YIPE!!! Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, a blogging conference – yep – all these things were happening on Sundays. Note to self – schedule ahead of time. LOL

Also – starting next week these posts will be moving to Saturday because I’m going to be reviving a series I LOVED last year, but that I cut for a while. Long story, but the important thing is Superman Sundays and Wonderwoman Wednesdays will be back in full force starting next week!!! So, now that all of that stuffs is out of the way….let’s get to today’s Bloggy Friend Spotlight – Stephanie FIELDS – this is the first blogger I’m spotlighting that had a name change in the time it took me to get this post up on the blog because she got married!!! Congratulations on your nuptials once more bloggy friend!!! Wishing you an eternity of wedded bliss.

Check out her deets:

Name: Stephanie Fields

Your blog: Orangespoken

Can you tell me about your blog? Orangespoken is where I write stories of life, love, food and fitness!

Do you post on WordPress, Blogger or Something else? WordPress

What’s your niche? Lifestyle

Is your blog making you money? No. But occasionally I will review products, experiences, etc.

How did you get started? I started my blog as a way to share my recipes that I was creating almost 10 years ago!

What are your must have tools to run your blog?  Laptop, iPhone, MiFi, & social media!

What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog? To write as if no one was reading. That is how you find your true, authentic self. And to be brave! Someone will benefit from your content. So be brave enough to put yourself out there!

Where can we find you on social?
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

If you had it to do over, is there anything you would have done differently? I wouldn’t change a thing. Over these years my blog has evolved , grown, and even changed names multiple times. With each new identity, A new layer has been added making my blog richer, honest, and more personal.

Who do you consider your bloggy mentors? The first blog that I ever started reading was Orangette.net by Molly Wizenberg (and still remains my favorite blogger of all time). I also consider Ellie, from authenticallyemmie.com a blog mentor and favorite daily read.

When you have a blogging question, where is the first place you go for the answer?
I go to the Google! 😉

What are your plans for the future of your blog? I definitely plan to keep writing at Orangespoken but I also have some projects on the side my most important being a book I’ve been writing for the past couple of years. The book is on coping with, accepting, and joyfully moving forward with life after the death of my mother. I hope to finish this within the next year or two!

Is there anything you would like to add that you think people should know? I always like my blog readers and Internet friends to know that what you read in my posts, and in my social media statuses is a direct representation of who I am in real life. I think that’s one of my most treasured attributes I keep in my pocket.

How awesome is Stephanie? I think she’s pretty darn awesome, and I personally can’t wait to read her book when it’s completed!

Now, I want to hear from you! Do you have a book that you’re working on? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

Also – Did you miss the last Bloggy Friends Spotlight on Angelina Allerton? If so, I forgive you because you can still check it out HERE!

Don’t forget – I’d love to profile you too, so if you wanna be in on this -fill out the form here!

Stay tuned for our next Bloggy Friends Spotlight! Until next time, may your page views be high, and your blogs be monetized. Big virtual hugs Bloggy Friends 😀

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Where the Cool Foodies Go – My 2017 Food Wine Conference Recap #FWCon

Although I did receive a complimentary ticket because I was a speaker, and I was a brand ambassador, all opinions below are my own.

My third year attending Food Wine Conference was eventful, exciting, emotional and educational. Alliteration aside, I’m so grateful to have had the experiences I did at the 2017 event held at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. This year’s conference was my most fun yet.

Not only was I a speaker on a panel the last day of the conference, but I stepped out of my comfort zone a little and participated in the recipe contests, forced myself to really try and learn something new, and promised myself that no matter what I would stay as positive and open-minded as possible from beginning to end. All of this resulted in one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had so far as a blogger. Here’s a recap of all that went down… Okay fine – here’s the Reader’s Digest version because to go into too much detail would take entirely too much typing, and I know you’re busy like me and you want the golden nuggets so you can get back to beating that level of Candy Crush or whatever it was you were doing 😉

Day 1

On the first day, I arrived about an hour early. I checked in, grabbed my Food Wine Conference credentials and swag bag, and proceeded to reunite with as many bloggy friends as possible. Shortly after the conference actually began with the CK Mondavi and Family Welcome Reception

They revealed their new labels, and I sampled a delicious glass of their Pinot Grigio before switching to water and Sprite for the rest of the evening.  I snapped some silly photos at the Photo Booth Fun with Florida Dairy Farmers, and then headed into the Cookbook Exchange room where I stuffed my face with latkes and salmon slathered in Intensity Academy’s  yummy Everything Sauce.

Next up was the Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek – in my opinion this year’s taste was the best one yet. Look at some of the delicious stuff I got to try:

Strawberry Shortcakes with Beignets instead of Shortcake (ohmigosh good!)

Andouille spoon bread with fried oyster and sweet corn gravy as well as a beef tenderloin baguette served medium-rare with wild mushroom relish

Caprese salad on a stick

Florida Goat Cheese salad with pickled beets, citrus, pecans and palm sugar vinaigrette

And the second most yummy item after the beignet shortcake was the Fried Lasagna. I ate it so fast, I didn’t get any decent images of it, but luckily my bloggy friend Caitlyn snapped a great shot here:

Fried Lasagna. Can I just eat this for the remainder of the weekend?! #FWCon #livesweatsleep

A post shared by Caitlyn | live.sweat.sleep (@livesweatsleep) on

Day 2

The day began too early for me, lol. However, when it’s conference weekend you put on your big girl panties and get to work! The day started with a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at Rosen Shingle Creek’s Cafe Osceola. This was the first of many eats for the day. There’s no going hungry at Food Wine Con!!!

Next up was the welcoming remarks and The State of Sunday Supper Movement with Family Foodie herself, Isabel Laessig. And right after that Ina Pinkey presented her documentary about her time running and closing a successful restaurant.

After that Dianne Jacob spilled the beans on how to get into the 1% of Accepted Book Proposals, and then it was time for eat number 2.

During our first break Duda Farm Fresh Foods gave all of us a smoothie bowl with celery, spinach, ginger, arugula and mint. What’s funny is that most of the bloggers around me, upon reading the ingredients were visibly quite nervous to try this dish. But you know what? As far as a I could tell everyone, including me, loved it. I couldn’t believe how well these ingredients came together. Here’s the bowl:

After break we jumped write into another keynote with Amanda Rettke of IamBaker.net where she spoke about Building a powerful Social Media Presence. Dude, this chick has a reach of 28 MILLION on Facebook at the time of this writing. She knows her stuffs ya’ll! In fact, just since hearing her talk, a few of my bloggy friends have been implementing the wisdom she was throwing down with awesome results. I need to work more on my own implementations STAT!

The next chat before lunch was about Enjoying your work more – Five Easy Tricks to Time Management with Denise Vivaldo. This girl cracks me up!!! LOVE listening to her talk. And because we weren’t all still full from breakfast and break, it was lunch time!

My photos of lunch didn’t do it justice, so here’s one Food Wine Conference shared:

The lunch we had was a build your own taco bar with Mann’s Fresh Vegetables. It was so yummy!!! I piled my plate as a taco salad with all the things.

Once lunch was over we headed back to the main room for a keynote with Peter Horst called A Window to the Chief Marketing Officer’s Soul: how to powerfully engage your brand. Then, believe it or not, it was time for ANOTHER eat!!!

Duda Farm Fresh Foods gave us all celery packs with an option of peanut butter or ranch. I ran to the restroom and all the ranch was gone. Those suckers went fast! But, the peanut butter was still pretty good.

Next was a panel featuring, Janice Mondavi, Debbie Lyons-Blythe, Gina Nucci, Kara Sanders and Lance Ham where they chatted on doing your work with passion. I then slipped out of the room missing the Roots & Boots presentation because I wanted to take a nap before dinner.  Needless to say my plans were thwarted by a networking opportunity, but it was a great experience.

Before I knew it it was time for dinner! The main dinner of the Food Wine Conference is always quite the affair, and this year was no exception. We were treated to yummy eats by Certified Angus Beef and the meal was paired with CK Mondavi wines. Again, my photos didn’t do the dinner justice, so here’s one from bloggy friends Christie Campbell:

Dinner ended and we were directed to the after party hosted by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association – The Strawberry Jam. I was a proud ambassador for the brand, so I got a kick out of taking loads of pictures at the party.

The party them was 50s sock hop, and it was loads of fun. We were treated to Strawberry mocktails and cocktails, cupcakes, candies, and heaps of 50s music. Here are some of the photos of the event:

Although the party wrapped later on, I left early to try to get a good night’s sleep for Sunday where I would speak at a blogging conference for the first time! WOOHOO!

Day 3

I overslept when I hit snooze. Whoops! Luckily, I made it in time to hear most of the breakfast keynote speech by the stunning and super fun Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe. I just love her!!! She spoke on “5 Social Media Strategies to Design Your Personal Brand”

Then, we broke off into different sessions. Some folks left for the Food Service Social Media Bootcamp while others hung out with Florida Dairy Farmers to learn about The Power of Dairy. Next, it was time for breakout sessions where you could go into different classrooms to learn the topic that spoke most to you.

For session 1 I went to the Turning Your Blog or Website Into a Business panel featuring Marisa Langford, April Erhard, Jorge Bravo and Heather Montgomery

For session 2 I took the class on Everything you want to know about Facebook Live!

Next was the InstaFood workshop where we learned quick food styling, photography and video tips from food content creators to help us create posts your customers will happily give their “heart” to.

After that we had lunch and the now famous Hashed Competition. For lunch we indulged in a baked potato bar. Soooo yummy. I covered mine with bacon bits, butter, steak and I don’t even recall what else. But trust me, it was good!

During the Hashed competition each table was turned into a team competing for the win. We had to take ingredients on the table and create a cocktail. Although we didn’t win, our team had loads of fun. Here’s what we came up with:

 

Finally it was time for my panel to speak. The panel I came up with was Using your Blogging Skills to Get Paid. The idea for it came from the fact that so many bloggy friends of mine are getting frustrated with the monetization thing, and wishing they could make more money to keep blogging. So, I along with my bloggy friends Caitlyn Connolly, Tracy Shaw and Lori Moreno shared how we make money because we’re bloggers, but necessarily directly from our blogs.

I must say, it was pretty cool speaking at a conference! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am excited to share that I’ll be speaking at another one in September. More details on that soon. By the end of my talk the entire weekend caught up with me, but unfortunately I couldn’t stick around to relax. I had to immediately rush home to take care of some ghostwriting work which meant that my panel was the end of my Food Wine Con fun…

All in all, the entire weekend was a remarkable experience. I loved so much of it, and can’t believe it’s already over. If you’re a blogger that does anything with food and/or wine, I highly recommend you consider attending next year.

Thank you to all of the sponsors who made this weekend possible. Thank you Isabel for believing in me enough to trust me to run a panel. I’m just so overwhelmed with gratitude right now, and can’t wait to see where my blogging career takes me next!

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Bloggy Friends Chime In – 30 Conference MUST Haves

It’s Blog Conference Season, and that means lots of packing and traveling. I’m going to Food Wine Conference, BlogHer17 and FL Blog Conference, so I asked my fellow bloggy friends to chime in on their MUST haves to survive and thrive at a blogging conference. Below is what they had to say.

1. Business Cards. One of the bloggers took this a step further and said you should bring business cards with your photo on it. I personally don’t have my photo on my cards, but I can certainly appreciate the appeal

2. Comfortable shoes. Another blogger said sneakers. I often wear sneakers for the bulk of the conference and flat dress shoes for the after parties.

3. Battery packs – hell yeah! You can’t always get to an outlet, so having back up batteries is a great way to keep your phone working in the meantime.

4. Cardigan/sweater – ohmigosh yes! Even in Florida when it’s 90 degrees, you bring a sweater because of how frequently conference rooms are FREEZING!!! BRRRR!!!

5. Phone charger – yep, for when you finally CAN plug it in!

6. Pen and pad of paper or notebook. I personally love Caitlyn Connolly’s method of note taking at conferences – she takes notes in the front of her notebook, and makes to-do lists based on aha moments at the conference in the back of the book. How cool is that? I totally have started using that idea for classes and seminars I attend.

One blogger suggested using notebooks with a hardcover back so that you can keep taking notes even while standing up. This is a great idea because some sessions get so full you won’t be able to sit to take notes!

7. Courage – YES! Some people are massive introverts, and talking to strangers all day can be hard. But, bloggy friends, you’ve got this! We’re all here to work together towards the common goal of boosting our personal brands.

8. A sense of humor – a few bloggers offered this as a must have and I whole-heartedly agree. In fact, you should have a sense of humor with EVERYTHING you attend. It’s like Van Wilder said, “You shouldn’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”

9. A willingness to learn – I confess I struggle with this one sometimes. I have a bad habit of feeling like I’ve heard many lessons before. However, I’m going to try to take in the lessons anyway at this year’s conferences because as Marie Forleo says, just because you have heard it all before doesn’t mean you’re implementing anything. And, you might hear it a different way this time that makes the knowledge-bombs finally click!

10. Your brand pitch perfected – I loved this answer! As we meet with new brands and potential clients, we must be able to spill our pitch at a moment’s notice. It could be the difference between walking away from a conference with an additional client, or walking away empty handed.

11. Slippers for the hotel room after walking on your feet all day long – Um, yes! I’ve been known to tote fuzzy socks too!

12. Your phone – Definitely. How are you going to be live on social and keep up with the picture taking without your pocket computer? Don’t you know how much sponsors LOVE when we Tweet, Instagram and Facebook live and tag them?

13. Freedom to be me – Absolutely. You have to bring the internal sense of freedom to be yourself. No one can give you permission to do that, and if you fake being something else, people will see right through it. Besides, if people don’t like you for you, that’s alright. Many conferences attract a WIDE variety of bloggers. This means that SOMEONE there will be your perfect bloggy friend. I promise.

14) A pair of slippers that fits in your bag – Yep! I love this too. I’ve seen more and more women toting foldable shoes in their purses at conferences when the “sensible shoes” and high heels become too much to wear!

15) A list of companies you want to connect with. This is GOLD! I love this answer because it gives you a game plan of attack in the craziness of a conference. Most conferences list their sponsors ahead of time, so this arms you with the knowledge you need of who will be on site that you might be able to chat up and/or work for or partner with.

16) Backpack to hold stuff – Yep, I’ve been known to carry a backpack in lieu of a purse many times for the sake of saving my back and shoulders. Though these days, I roll around a collapsible cart so that I don’t have to carry anything at all.

17) Water and your own refillable water bottle – Sadly, water sitting around in conference rooms can get pretty gross. And then, we drink it. That’s why I agree 110% with this conference must have.

18) Gum/mints – fresh breath and less likelihood that you’ll cough in the middle of a session – I’d call this conference must have a win-win!

19) Focus on why you are there and the goals for the conference – I love that my bloggy friends included so many mindset must haves in this list. Don’t you?

20) Wall charger and a long charging cable – it’s no secret that large conferences mean long distances between seats and wall outlets. Longer cords might help you sit while charging.

21) Positive attitude, a smile and confidence – Yes, yes and yes!

22) One blogger said she brings gifts for her acquaintances – I have personally done this at a conference before. It’s a fabulous way to connect/reconnect with bloggy friends or to show someone you’ve never met before that you care.

23) Travel-sized wipes – Yep, and I’ll add to this hand sanitizer.

24) A lumi light for better selfies – I don’t think I’d call this a must have, but if you have the money for this, more power to you! Then again, fashion bloggers – I would EXPECT them to have these!!

25) Business casual clothes – you have to be comfortable at a conference. Don’t dress up too much.

26) MacBook Air/ipad/tablet – enough said

27) Business purse

28) My own coffee or tea – LOVE! Call us snobby if you like, but it’s better to bring the things you want to drink, than overpay for hotel beverages!

29) Snacks like trail mix or granola bars – agreed. Sometimes there’s no good snacks to choose from, or worse – no snacks at all!

30) An extension cord and power strip – I like the idea of a power strip so much, I might add it to my packing list going forward!

Now, I want to hear from you. Do you agree with my bloggy friends? Did we miss anything? What are YOUR conference MUST HAVES? Leave a comment below, and tell me about it.

HUGE thanks to the following bloggers who helped make this post possible:

Michelle Snow of http://zengrrl.com
Tracy Shaw of http://www.havingfunsaving.com/
Amy Freeman Courage of http://www.AmyLFreeman.com
Kristin Alongi of http://www.suitsandsneaks.com
Pickett Krayniy of http://www.seasonalmemories.com
Tiffany Haywood of http://themrstee.com
Danay Escanaverino of http://danay.net
Marian Kicklighter of http://siliconvalleymom.com
Edith Tapia of http://www.cuponeandopr.net/
Maggie Lamarre of https://www.cascadeavenue.com/blog/
Krayl Funch of http://anappealingplan.com/
Tia Smith of http://penniesinmypocket.com/
Denise Mestanza-Taylor of http://deniseisrundmt.com/
Andrea Wolloff of http://andreawolloff.com
Heather Bridges Montgomery of http://heatherslookingglass.com
Caitlyn Connolly of http://livesweatsleeprepeat.com/
Liza Tolisano Ford of http://www.addictedtosaving.com/
Erica Acevedo of http://thecrumbycupcake.com/
Cricket Plunkett of http://cricketsconfections.com
Caroline Williams of http://carolinescooking.com
Betty Ann Besa-Quirino of http://asianinamericamag.com
Betsy Cohen of http://happylicious.com/
Nancie McDermott of http://nanciemcdermott.com
Bess Auer of https://www.flblogcon.com/
Emerald Barnes of http://www.sweettartbeauty.com

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#B4MH May is Mental Health Awareness Month – Bloggers for Mental Health Awareness

On December 27, 2016 my father died by his own hand. There is no doubt in my mind he suffered from mental illness. But, because of the stigma that clouds the minds of so many even today, he feared seeking help for this illness because he worried what other people would think of him. He was a very proud man, and he couldn’t cope with the idea that folks would “talk” if they learned he went to a mental health professional to get help.

I don’t talk much publicly about the sadness that plagued me before I left home. I rarely discuss how terrified I was of my father, or that I feared from the age of 9 he would take his own life. And, even writing this post, I know there are some people that will be annoyed, bothered, and/or possibly pissed off at me for writing about this. I can’t care about that anymore though. Why? Because the stigma associated with mental health and discussing mental health issues is BULLSHIT! And, by speaking up, perhaps things can change.

If my father had not been so damn afraid of how people would view him, I think he could have relinquished his pride just enough to seek help. I think my life and the lives of my other family members could have been better, more peaceful. And yes, I think he might be alive today.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

There Is No Shame In Seeking Help

I am in therapy. I see a therapist once a week, and I have since January of this year. Before my father’s death, I saw one online because I just needed an unbiased person to listen to me, and help me cope with issues I was dealing with. I’m not ashamed of this. I understand the importance of working through my crap so that I don’t go down the deep dark path of depression that ultimately lead to my father killing himself.

Please know that NO – I do not have suicidal ideation, but I did have a dark period where I thought about it. No, I do NOT condone what my father did, but as much as it hurts me, I understand it. I can see how a person can go down the rabbit hole of sadness, and get down so deep that they can’t see the light anymore. I can actually understand how easy it might have been to go to such a dark place that you feel the only way out is death.

And, that’s why I want to shout from the rooftops that the second you feel yourself going into a place of despair -CALL SOMEONE! GET HELP! YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO FACE PAIN ALONE!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

You may be wondering, why speak up now? Because I didn’t have the courage to before. I too was wrapped up in the fear of what others would say. My dad’s death jolted me, and made me see so clearly how different things could have been. I wish I could go back and tell him I was seeing a therapist, and that I was working with people that were helping me so that maybe he would feel he had permission to as well.

I wish I hadn’t bought into the stigma of working with mental health professionals meaning you were crazy when I was a child. Looking back I can see several moments where I could have stood up and said something if I hadn’t been so scared. But, I can’t go back. What’s done is done.

I couldn’t save my father’s life. Perhaps in all honesty, even if I HAD spoken up,  I never could have saved his life. But either way, now that my mouth is open, I’ll never stop myself from saying this again – If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental illness, even if you just suspect it – INTERVENE! DO SOMETHING! SAY SOMETHING! GET HELP!

Resources for Mental Health Assistance

Here in Tampa, if you are in crisis, you can call 2-1-1 to be directly connected to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.  If you’re outside of Tampa Bay, 2-1-1 will still connect you to someone local who can help. As per United Way’s website “2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need.” You can also check out MentalHealth.gov as a starting point for additional or other help.

Above is the last family photo of me, my sister, my mom and my dad as far as I know. This was their 30th wedding anniversary. I threw a surprise party for them. What people don’t see in the photo is that there was a lot of sadness, anger and heartbreak behind the smiles in this image. In fact, most people have no idea when others are in pain.

We put on brave faces and go into the world harboring our pain, suffering in silence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all deserve to be happy. We all deserve to have help for our mental struggles. We don’t have to face the sadness alone. Again, I implore you – If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental illness, even if you just suspect it – INTERVENE! DO SOMETHING! SAY SOMETHING! GET HELP!

This post was written as part of Bloggers for Mental Health Awareness. Brittany from Clumps of Mascara got a bunch of us bloggers together and inspired us to take a stand and help normalize mental health concerns, illnesses, and discussion.

Please, please, pleeeeease keep spreading the word. Share this post with the hashtags #BloggersForMentalHealth or #B4MH to help spread the message anywhere and everywhere across the net. By speaking up and making it “okay” to talk about, perhaps we can save lives, and make countless others a little easier.

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The Fastest Way to Make a CUTE Dry Erase Board

This homemade gift was Pinspired! It’s a homemade dry erase board. All I did was get 5X7 frames from the Dollar Tree and then added a piece of lined notebook paper and a hot glued flower off a $1 bouquet from Wal-Mart. To complete the gift give the recipient a black dry erase marker! Simple and cute!

Would this not make an adorable addition to your gift for Mother’s Day? You could make a DIY basket filled with awesome homemade goodies

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Bloggy Friends Spotlight – Angelina Allerton

Yay! It’s Bloggy Friends Spotlight Day!!!! I’m so excited to present today’s Bloggy Friend- Angelina Allerton!!! Angelina is the sparkly babe behind Run.Chew.Sparkle., and she is a whole bunch of fun! I think you’re just gonna love her. So, let’s jump right in, shall we?

Check out her deets:

Name: Angelina Allerton

Your blog:  Run.Chew.Sparkle.

Can you tell me about your blog? I write basically about my life and life in general..my life that through running, which I don’t do a lot of. Eating, healthy and sometimes not, and living a life filled with some extra sparkle.

Do you post on WordPress, Blogger or Something else? Blogger

What’s your niche? Lifestyle

Is your blog making you money? No, but would love to dabble more into that

How did you get started? My boyfriend inspired me to start so I can show the world me and to inspire others and follow along with my journey

What are your must have tools to run your blog? Laptop and cellphone

What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog? Just start. Grab an idea and just run with with it

Where can we find you on social?
Instagram
Facebook
Snapchat angelinaa1888
Twitter

If you had it to do over, is there anything you would have done differently? Nope

Who do you consider your bloggy mentors? Nanci at thiscrazylifeofmine (note from FamousAshley – I love Nanci too! And, she was my FIRST Bloggy Friend Spotilight. Check it out here)

When you have a blogging question, where is the first place you go for the answer?  Tampa Bay Bloggers

What are your plans for the future of your blog? Just keep writing and being me with it

Back to me, Famous Ashley lol – YES! Keep being you Angelina! And girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl! I can totally help you with monetization. Let’s do dranx and discuss! In fact, I think I’ll do a few posts here on my blog about monetizing. Bloggy friends, leave me a comment below and chime in if you want some of those types of posts.

Did you miss the last Bloggy Friends Spotlight on Jessica Spivey? If so, I forgive you because you can still check it out HERE!

Don’t forget – I’d love to profile you too, so if you wanna be in on this -fill out the form here!

Stay tuned for our next Bloggy Friends Spotlight! Until next time, may your page views be high, and your blogs be monetized. Big virtual hugs Bloggy Friends 😀

How to Make Flower Pens – Just in Time for Mother’s Day!

Materials needed:

– non-spring ink pens
– fake flowers- I got mine from the Dollar Tree
– hot glue gun
– scissors/wire cutters
– floral tape

How to Assemble:

1. Snip a flower off the bunch using scissors/wire cutters leaving about a quarter of an inch of the stem
2. Hot glue the stem to the top of one of the pens (for extra stability I usually add more glue to the side of the pen from the top to the end of the quarter inch stem)
3. Start from the top of the pen, begin wrapping the floral tape until you get to the end of the pen. There is a divot at the end of the pen before you get to the in part- that is where I typically stop. (Hope that makes sense)

4. Voila! You’ve got a flower pen. For added flair I’ve seen gals take a bunch of these pens and place them in a flower pot filled with marbles.

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Coming Soon – The 2017 Food Wine Conference! 5/19-5/21

There is an event I’m so insanely excited about, and it’s just a couple of weeks away. If you haven’t guessed by the title, it’s the 2017 Food Wine Conference.

You can Score $50 off your tickets with code AshleyG

The Food Wine Conference, if you’ve never been before, is an exciting weekend that “brings together bloggers, small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, traditional media, new media, authors and brands.”

This year will be my third year attending, and I’m thrilled to say that not only will I be attending, I’ll be speaking on a panel with my fellow bloggy friends Tracy Shaw of HavingFunSaving.com and Caitlyn Connolly of LiveSweatSleepRepeat.com

Learn more about our panel here.

I’m also a brand ambassador again this year, and that’s good news for you if you want to attend because with my code AshleyG you can score $50 off!!!


I’m looking forward to seeing all of my bloggy friends of old, and making new ones too. And, I’m looking forward to staying at the stunning Rosen Shingle Creek Convention Hotel which has hosted this event since its inception.

I’ll be posting about the conference again next week because I’m entering two recipe contests, and I am stoked to reveal the recipe I came up with.  Hint – it’s dessert!

This event is always a good time, and I can’t wait for it to be here. If you have been considering attending, I strongly suggest you join us. And, don’t forget to use code AshleyG when buying your tickets! See you all at Food Wine Conference on May 19 through the 21!

Now, I want to hear from you! Are you coming to the conference? If so, leave me a comment below and tell me what you’re most looking forward to at this year’s event?

Bloggy Friends Spotlight – Jessica Spivey

I can not even believe this is already spotlight number 4 and that today is the last day of April. Where in the actual heck did the last 4 months of 2017 go, amiright?!? It’s like I blinked and tomorrow is May! Anywho – let’s go ahead and get right into today’s Bloggy Friend Spotlight – Jessica Spivey!!!

I met Jessica in the Tampa Bay Bloggers, and if you haven’t guessed by now I’m featuring as many of my local bloggy friends first before I start going nationwide and ultimately international. I’m biased, and that’s allowed because my city, my love, my blog! So there. LOL! Still, I love sharing every blogger’s spotlight, and outside of Tampa is coming soon – so if you want in on this, fill out the form here! Okay, back to Jessica.

Check out her deets:

Name: Jessica Spivey

Your blog: Tampa Mom Runs

Can you tell me about your blog? I write about anything related to Tampa, being a mom and running – with a sprinkle of Disney! (side note from Famous Ashley – my favorite post Jessica does is a weekly feature called #DisneyTipTuesday. Each Tuesday Jessica reveals a cool insider tip, trick or travel hack for all the Disney things. I love it, love her, and if you check out her blog – I’ll bet you love her too!)

Do you post on WordPress, Blogger or Something else? WordPress

What’s your niche? Lifestyle

Is your blog making you money? Some random play money

How did you get started? I started to blog after we found out we were pregnant as a way to share our journey with family, most of which lives far away. After a miscarriage and a healthy pregnancy, it was time to loose the baby weight and Tampa Mom Runs was born. I started running and sharing my journey with others.

What are your must have tools to run your blog? iPad, iPhone and new Sony camera

What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog? Pick a unique name that really explains who you are! A cute saying can be your tag line, but make sure that your name is something clear and concise!

Where can we find you on social?
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

If you had it to do over, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have started with GoDaddy hosting and not on WordPress.com

Who do you consider your bloggy mentors?
Caitlyn of LiveSweatSleep

When you have a blogging question, where is the first place you go for the answer?
I google it! If I can’t find the answer there – I throw the question out to our local Tampa Bay Bloggers for help!

What are your plans for the future of your blog? Keep it forever. As my blog as evolved, I have become a certified Social Marketing professional through HootSuite and now run several social media accounts for local businesses.

How frikkin awesome is Jessica? I think she’s pretty darn awesome. In case you were just skimming (we all do it, it’s cool) – I want to repeat that Jessica does social media for local Tampa businesses. In other words, if you need some help with your social media management- I highly recommend checking Jessica out!

Did you miss the last Bloggy Friends Spotlight on Robert Yaniz? If so, I forgive you because you can still check it out HERE!

Don’t forget – I’d love to profile you too, so if you wanna be in on this -fill out the form here!

Stay tuned for our next Bloggy Friends Spotlight! Until next time, may your page views be high, and your blogs be monetized. Big virtual hugs Bloggy Friends 😀

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