Category Archives: Bloggy Friends

Article Spotlight: Nerdy Girls Do Real Estate On The Godaddy Blog

Nerdy Girls Do Real Estate On The Godaddy Blog

Y’all! I’m so grateful to share with you today an article I wrote for the Godaddy Blog –  “How to increase Instagram engagement for your real estate company.” I’m not just excited about this piece because of the kickASH Instagram tips in it. Oh no. I’m excited because this piece features the ahhhhhhmazing ladies behind Nerdy Girls Real Estate. Give it a read ri’chere:

When you’re a nerdy girl in real estate, you don’t just sell houses, you sell them with flair. That’s just what the two women behind Nerdy Girls have — a whole lotta flair. It’s what has helped them not only with their Instagram engagement, but also with their real estate business in general.

Their first Instagram post went live on Dec. 28, 2016. Though it was a simple post, it turned into something that Katharine “Kate” Hickland (aka the original nerd or queen nerd, if you will) could never have predicted. It turned into a community.

The Nerdy Girls Instagram account is fun, educational and brings together people who are passionate about Tampa, Fla., in a highly entertaining fashion. Their following is considered small by “internet famous” standards at just over 6,400 followers, but it steadily grows every week and shows no signs of slowing down.

Recently, I sat down with queen nerd Kate and her business partner, Michelle James, to talk about all things real estate, Instagram engagement and, of course, nerding out. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading…

Want even more awesomeness from me? Check out some of my other posts below:

I’m available for hire!

If you have ever needed a ghost writer or a guest poster for your blog, I’m available for hire. I’ve worked with big brands, little brands, and everything in between. Hit me up via email if you want to chat about me writing for your business. I’d love to work with you!

5 Reasons to Go to FLBlogCon – And a Giveaway!!! (Ends 8/26/18)

FL Blog Con - Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference

I’m attending FLBlogCon September 29 at Full Sail University. It has become one of my favorite blogging events, and I look forward to it every year. This year I’m not only speaking, but I was given some tickets to give away!

I hosted a giveaway on Instagram recently, and two of my bloggy friends won one ticket each. Today, I’m hosting a second giveaway where two more bloggy friends will get the chance to snag a free entry to the event.

But, before we get into that, let’s chat about why you should attend whether you win tickets or not!

5 Reasons to Go to FLBlogCon

1. Meet bloggy friends in real life

This is by far my favorite reason to attend FLBlogCon!! You get to meet the people you normally just stalk, er I mean follow online up close and in the flesh! Who doesn’t love the opportunity to hang out with cool people in real life?!?

I know you can be friends online, but there is something extra special about being in the same room with them physically. Am I right, or am I right, or am I right?

2. Meet NEW bloggy friends

Networking, collaboration opportunities, the chance to simply make a new connection – you never know who will be there! I love the mystery of who will show up. It’s so exciting, isn’t it?

3. You could win some sahweet swag!

The conference peeps are giving away a Ricoh Theta 360° Camera! And, sometimes there are other freebies that float around. One year I got a back up battery pack, and a Ford Mustang Lego kit.

4. Parking, snacks, water and coffee, and the after party are all included! But wait…..there’s more!

Oh and there is a yummy lunch from Tijuana Flats included with admission as well. Wanna taco bout that?!? Because I totally wanna taco bout that. Fill up my plate please!

The after party is also going to be an amazing shin dig filled with virtual reality, augmented reality, and of course delicious adult dranks! I’ll take two, thank you!

5. You might learn something new from the speakers.

There are bloggers and content creators from all walks of life coming to speak at this event. You’re bound to learn at least one or two new tricks for your blog or social media pages. And if not, I’ll bet you weren’t paying attention. Just sayin…

I’ve added a few new tools to the old mental toolbox at past FLBlogCon events. I can’t wait to add a few more.

A bonus reason to come? I’ll be there, and speaking! Yep! I’m speaking on FREE ways to promote your blog. A little extra traffic never hurt anyone! So come on down to learn all the secrets and not so secret tips I’m revealing.

Alright, now for what you really came for…the giveaway!

Here’s how to enter to win ONE Free ticket to FL Blog Con (2 winners of one ticket each):


Enter to Win-FLBlogCon Tickets

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Open to U.S. residents 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (selected by will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. This blog is not responsible for product shipment, delivery, or fulfillment. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social media sites.

This disclosure is made in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address, and/or Facebook account. Anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.

Super Bowl Snacks Part 2

Super Bowl 2018 is fast approaching! Yesterday I posted 29 snacks perfect for game day, and today I’m back with part two of my recipe round up from my bloggy friends. They just have the best food ideas EVER, don’t you agree? Check them out below, and then let me know your favorite Game Day bites!

Super Bowl Snacks – Part 2

Bacon Wrapped Apricots
Smoked Salmon Crostini
Ricotta and Prosciutto Cracker Appetizer
Baba Ganoush Recipe | What To Buy, Cook, Use
Cucumber Salmon Appetizer | Healthy And Delicious Recipes
Game Day Fried Deviled Eggs with Chow Chow Relish
Cajun Red Beans and Andouille Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Cheesy Pumpkin Beer Soft Pretzel Twists | Feast In Thyme
The Best Tex-Mex Arrachera Fajita Recipe | Foodal
Eat Cochinita Pibil Once and You’ll Never Make Regular Pulled Pork Again
Oven Fried Garlic Parmesan Shrimp | Beauty and the Foodie
Oven Fried Chicken Taquitos
Bacon bites recipe
Sloppy joe bread bowls
Methi Jeera Puffs | Cumin Fenugreek Puffs – LET’S COOK HEALTHY…
Ultimate Slow Cooker Cocktail Sausages – The Weary Chef
Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Pork Bites – The Weary Chef
Quick Mexican Tuna Salad & Avocado Bowl Recipe {GF, DF}
21 Day Fix Mole Chicken Chili | The Foodie and The Fix
How To Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn {5 Ways}! | The Foodie and…
Game Day Recipes: Nacho Bites
Fried Pickles with Sriracha Ketchup
Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe- Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Bites Copycat Recipe
Taco Salad With Doritos
Chili Cheese Cups — A Leftover Chili Recipe!
(ad) Tyson® Game Day Recipes at Sam’s Club
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Cornbread Cups
30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chili Recipe
Pull-Apart Garlic Bread Recipe

Best Veggie Recipes Roundup – Part 3

Hi bloggy friends! I’m here with part 3 of 3 of my veggie recipes roundup sponsored by Veggie Wash! Did you miss part one? Check it out here. What about part 2? Did you miss that one too? For shame! But, fret not – You can check out part 2 here!! Part 3 of this roundup is also sponsored by Veggie Wash. Enjoy!

Best Veggie Recipes Roundup Featuring Veggie Wash – Part Three

Cabbage Carrot Slaw

Eggplant Spaghetti Sandwiches

Zucchini Squash Bake

Spinach Crepes with Pan-Roasted Vegetables

Broccoli Cheese Bake


Easy Grilled Veggie Sandwich Recipe

Healthy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Brussels Bacon and Cauliflower Side Dish

Easy Sesame Greens Side Dish

Hot Pepper Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Baked Mushrooms- a Light and Easy Side Dish

Zesty Parmesan Ranch Baked Potato Wedges

Caramelized Butternut Squash

Zucchini Ribbon Lasagna

Whole 30 Butternut Squash Carbonara with Apple and Bacon

Garlic and Broccoli Rabe Recipe

Aloo Mattar – Potato and pea curry

Crispy Oven-Baked Green Bean Fries

One Pan Ratatouille Recipe

Brown Rice Veggie Bowl

Spanish Style Omelette with Potato and Red Pepper

Carrot and Coriander Soup with a Spicy Kick

Cheesy Asparagus and Potato Casserole

Chickpea Pumpkin Biryani (Vegan + GF)

Slow Cooker Mexican Corn Dip Recipe

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Simply Sautéed Italian Green Beans Recipe

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

How to cook a fresh pumpkin

Squash and Fresh Pumpkin Cooking Tip

Best Veggie Recipes Roundup Featuring Veggie Wash – Part TWO

I’ve gathered some of the best vegetable recipes by my bloggy friends, and I wanted to share them with my readers. This is part 2 of 3 of them. Though this post is sponsored by Veggie Wash, all opinions are my own. Enjoy!

Did you miss part 1? Check those out here!

Best Veggie Recipes Roundup Featuring Veggie Wash – Part Two

The Ultimate Vegan BLT

Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Black Sesame Yogurt Sauce

Dutch Green Beans Recipe

Matbucha Recipe

Zucchini Appetizer Squares

Perfect Potato Latkes Recipe

Like Veggie Recipes? Don’t forget to wash your produce with Veggie Wash!

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Rainbow Vegetables Recipe – Easy Healthy Oven Roasted Veggies!

Spicy Garlic Oven Roasted Eggplant Slices Recipe

Simple broccoli cheddar risotto

Garlic and basil sweet potato fries

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Zesty Lemon Squash

Summery Lemon Garlic Potatoes

Veggie Noodles 3 Ways

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

Cream Cheese Cauliflower Mashers with Asiago

Roasted Root Vegetables

Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts Gratin Recipe

Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole

Spinach And Feta Stuffed Tomato Tarts

Over Roasted Vegetables

Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions

Crispy Parmesan Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Broccoli and Cauliflower Au Gratin

Easy Southern Style Green Beans

Pan Fried Potatoes and Green Beans

Parmesan Crumb Asparagus

Gluten Free Low Carb Zucchini Fries Recipe

Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cranberries

The Greatest Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan Ever

Vegetable Noodle Stir-Fry

Stay tuned for part three of this Veggie Recipes Round-up!

Bloggy Friends Spotlight – Angel Strunk

Hi guys! I’m so insanely excited because today’s Bloggy Friend Spotlight is on a blogger I’ve never met in real life. Ya know, one of my favorite things about being a blogger is virtually meeting people from all over the world. It’s one of the coolest things about my job – I never know who I’ll interact with, or become friends with.

Now, I have to tell you, I started these Bloggy Friends Spotlights hoping to meet and connect with other bloggers. I know there are sooooooooooooo many blogs out there, and I just get such an amazing kick out of learning what people are up to. Some blogs I’ve read have moved me to tears, some of made me laugh, some have simply taught me something or inspired me… But what’s the one thing they all have in common? They teach me things and entertain me.

Today’s bloggy friend is no different. Angel Strunk is the brains and beauty behind the amazing blog Next Level Blogging. You guys, her blog is pretty frikkin awesome. Each post is crafted to teach you how to take your blog to the…you guessed it…to the next level! Okay…enough already, let’s dive in!

Check out Angel’s deets:

Name: Angel Strunk

Your blog: Next Level Blogging

Can you tell me about your blog? I help bloggers make their blog’s success inevitable by providing tips and resources that will increase followers, post shares, and email subscribers. I also help bloggers find a way to monetize, and teach them the marketing strategies needed to turn their passion for blogging into profit. I am hosting a launch party on April 1st, which is when my blogger community will go live, and members will work cooperatively to promote each other’s posts, collaborate on posts, and exchange guest posts, along with so many other features! Next Level Blogging focuses on the power of generosity, and how success is inevitable when helping each other. I’m also giving away some great prizes 🙂

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

What’s your niche? Blog Tips & Marketing Strategies

Is your blog making you money? I have not implemented pricing yet, but is currently earning me play money, by way of affiliate links. (side note from Famous Ashley Grant – since doing this questionnaire, Angel’s site does have pricing and services listed on the site, and some pretty sweet courses mentioned too. Check out her site for details on all the awesomeness she offers!)

How did you get started? I have always wanted to run my own business, and had spent over a decade helping other small businesses become successful. “Someday” had been in my vocabulary all of those years, but I never took action, because I thought I would need thousands of dollars to start my own business. I was searching Pinterest for tattoo ideas, and came across a blogger’s income report. After reading that, and several similar posts by other bloggers, I knew I had found my calling, and my path to financial freedom. I was broke, so I scoured the internet for deals on a custom domain and webhosting, and started The Curvy Ginger with less than $2. I signed up with a few affiliate networks, and made over $500 in my first month of blogging. I spent countless hours, and many sleepless nights learning everything I could about blogging and how to promote it, and my sales and marketing experience was finally paying off. It wasn’t long before I knew that I should start helping other bloggers learn how to do the same thing, in February of 2017, Next Level Blogging was born!

What are your must have tools to run your blog?  Laptop, Smartphone, Canva, ConvertKit, and my blogger tribe!!

What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog? Spend a few bucks and get a custom domain and webhosting! That should be step number one.

Where can we find you on social?

If you had it to do over, is there anything you would have done differently? I wish I would have started communicating with other bloggers from the beginning. It has made such a difference in getting my posts and website noticed. So much, in fact, that engaging with other bloggers is going to be one of the core principles of success promoted by Next Level Blogging.

Who do you consider your bloggy mentors? Addi Ganley and Melyssa Griffin

When you have a blogging question, where is the first place you go for the answer?
Facebook groups for bloggers. I belong to several, and there are so many talented bloggers sharing their expertise.

What are your plans for the future of your blog? I plan to make Next Level Blogging my main source of income, and hope to make it a recognized and recommended resource for bloggers, especially those just getting started.

Is there anything you would like to add that you think people should know? I really do want to help bloggers reach their goals and be able to give up their day jobs to become career bloggers! I am one of the nicest people you will ever get to know, and I thrive on lifting people up. I love feedback from bloggers that find my posts useful, so please, send those emails! I’m a sucker for flattery 🙂

How awesome is Angel? I think she’s pretty darn awesome, and I personally just signed up for her email newsletter where she is sending free blogging tips and tools to your inbox!

Now, I want to hear from you! Do you have a blogging tip or strategy you’d like to share that can help us all take things to the next level? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

Also – Did you miss the last Bloggy Friends Spotlight on Stephanie Fields? 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 😀



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?

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 by Molly Wizenberg (and still remains my favorite blogger of all time). I also consider Ellie, from 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 😀






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 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!





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
Tracy Shaw of
Amy Freeman Courage of
Kristin Alongi of
Pickett Krayniy of
Tiffany Haywood of
Danay Escanaverino of
Marian Kicklighter of
Edith Tapia of
Maggie Lamarre of
Krayl Funch of
Tia Smith of
Denise Mestanza-Taylor of
Andrea Wolloff of
Heather Bridges Montgomery of
Caitlyn Connolly of
Liza Tolisano Ford of
Erica Acevedo of
Cricket Plunkett of
Caroline Williams of
Betty Ann Besa-Quirino of
Betsy Cohen of
Nancie McDermott of
Bess Auer of
Emerald Barnes of


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 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?
Snapchat angelinaa1888

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 😀