Finding Your Tribe – Blog Business + Printable

some-are-the-beatIt is my favorite thing ever when Tori calls herself a blogging dinosaur. She’s this super cute blond gal, who is super business savvy and I know she just means she has been blogging a long time, but the image of a dinosaur just doesn’t fit her. Her strengths are so different from mine. Sometimes I am jealous of all the SEO and marketing knowledge she has but then I stop myself. We are all suited to certain things. And instead of spending my time wishing I could be more like Tori, I need to focus on my own strengths. The coolest part of finding your “tribe” is that they want to help you. They are willing to share their expertise and knowledge with you. Tori is there for me in a second if I need her help on something or have a question. These relationships aren’t one-sided, though. You have to bring something to the table too, but your friends will help you figure out what you are good at. They will ask you for help in certain areas that you never thought you could provide any value. They will lift you up when you are feeling down and will provide invaluable advice in all kinds of areas. And you will do the same for them. BTW, you NEED to check out all the business articles on Tori’s site. She knows what she is talking about.

If you are a blogger, and haven’t formed a community, move this to the top of your to-do list. Sometimes the relationships evolve naturally and sometimes you have to work to find them. Some of my blogging friendships (which shouldn’t be just pigeon holed as most of these relationships have grown in to full-fledged friendships with these ladies) started out with a simple email letting them know that I admire what they do and think they are doing an awesome job. Some were formed at blogging conferences. There are tons of ways to meet other bloggers. Finding your tribe won’t always be easy, but in the end it is something you will cherish.

There are so many bloggers out there and we all fall in to comparing ourselves to them from time to time. But if we can look at it in a different way, like a vast pool of potential friendships, maybe it would seem less daunting. We are all very different, but together we make beautiful music. On our own we are awesome, but together we are even better.

Do you have a “tribe”? Leave a thank you and link to their blog in the comments so we can all go say hi!

*I took this image in Palm Springs last year on our creative retreat. One of the gals, Tammy, wrote out this song lyric (Alphaville’s ‘Forever Young’) for me. She’s ridiculously talented and I consider her to be part of my tribe. Thank you, Tammy for always being there to support me and for collaborating with me on photos and with your awesome writing! I heart you!

Go check out her Letters To You site!

You can download just the lyrics here:

Build your Blogging Community and free printable.

Letters To You Lyrics

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Panoramic Sugar Eggs for Easter

Fun Easter craft: Panoramic sugar eggs.Have you ever made Panoramic Sugar Easter Eggs? My mom and I had so much fun posting about the candy bar trains we used to make at Christmas that we thought we would share these super fun Panoramic Sugar Eggs too.  They are a bit time-consuming, and pretty fragile, but the end result is so sweet, it makes the work worth it. Make sure you read through before you decide to make them as you really need to make them a day or two ahead of time to make sure they set up and harden as much as possible. Or you can pull a Sharon and read through the post halfway and then try to make them and not give yourself enough time…that’s how most of the new recipes I try work out…

Fun Easter craft idea: sugar eggs with a mini scene inside! Long story short, you make the sugar eggs ahead of time and then decorate them later.

Panoramic Sugar Eggs for EasterThese do take a few special items so you will want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time. You need the sugar egg mold like this one here. I bought mine on Amazon and since I have prime it showed up really quickly. My mom picked some larger ones up from the local cake supply store.  You will also need some miniatures to create your little scene with inside the egg. I am super lucky that I have my mom’s vintage miniatures to use. I’ve looked at my local craft stores and also online and they are really hard to come by. I pick them up whenever I see any that might work for the candy bar trains or these sugar eggs. And yes, some people make these panoramic eggs standing up and cutting out the center. That is crazy hard and we didn’t want to attempt that.

How to make sugar Easter Eggs. My mom did not keep her sugar egg instructions so she searched around online to refresh her memory of how to make the sugar. She used this post as a guide. First you make the sugar by mixing 6 cups super fine sugar (or put regular sugar in a food processor for a minute), 3 tablespoons of water and we used a touch of food coloring because I thought it would be really cute. As you may notice, the finished eggs are white sugar. That’s because my mom made the larger white eggs a few days prior so they would be ready when I needed to take the pictures. But I think I kind of adore the pink sugar and would love to make some like that as well! Once you get the sugar mixture ready, you press it in to your egg mold. And you really press it making sure it is packed really tight. After you are done compacting the sugar, use a butter knife to level the egg. It is best to do one half of the egg at a time because they are really fragile at this point and if you flop the other side out and don’t catch it correctly it will crumble.

DIY Panoramic sugar Easter Eggs craft.Hurry! Quick! While it is still soft, you want to cut the flat edge off that will be the front window to the panoramic egg. And dig out a little section which will help you  get started scooping out the middle later. And then you wait. For about 2 hours.

Pink sugar eggs for Easter. After two hours, the center will still be a bit soft but the outer shell will be harder. Using a spoon, you need to scoop out the middle, leaving enough around the outside so that it doesn’t collapse. Do a little at a time. Be extra careful near the front section, which you previously cut flat. It will be harder than the center and you may need to use a little pick or tooth pick to help get through it. A spoon might be a little too much force.

Pink sugar eggs for Easter. So the egg on the right is scooped out and the other side is not. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to scoop it out and then you will have a solid sugar egg which I think would still look pretty cool, especially if you didn’t cut off the flat edge on the front. Once it is all scooped out, let the eggs sit to harden for a day or more.

Sugar eggs for EasterOnce the eggs are hard, you can start getting really creative with them. You will need miniatures, royal icing in various colors and bright candies to decorate with. These chocolate covered sunflower seeds are super cute and look like little Easter eggs!

Sugar Easter Eggs with a miniature scene inside.My mom used to do a lot of cake decorating so she has a ton of decorative icing tips that I get to use for these fun food crafts. Here we made grass using green royal icing. The royal icing works as the glue to hold in the scene inside the eggs.

DIY sugar eggs for Easter. A great craft to do with kids. Once you scene is complete, you can then start to put your eggs together and decorate the outside.

Sugar Egg DIY for EasterOh hey there drunk bunny. I found this miniature wine bottle and glasses  at the craft store and knew I had to pick it up. I think it worked out pretty perfectly with this little guy.

Sugar Easter Eggs with panoramic scene.Next use royal icing to “glue” the two halves together.

Sugar Easter Eggs craft.Try to match it up as close as possible. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match exactly.

Easter craft idea for kids: Panoramic Sugar Eggs.You can use a nail file to file down the sugar and make the edges match up a little better. Just be careful!

Decorate sugar easter eggs. Super fun craft for kids to help with.And then the fun begins of decorating the outside. I don’t have any experience with cake decorating so I got really sweaty when my mom suggested that I do this part. Just practice a few times on a paper towel first and get the technique down. This little flower was super simple with the flower tip. The icing hides the seem in the sugar and makes it look cuter.

How to make Panoramic Sugar Easter Eggs for your brunch table.And then you finish decorating however you would like to. I piped icing all around the front and then added some pizzaz to the top in the way of sugar candies.

Sugar Easter Egg craft idea.When my kids got home from school and saw these they totally freaked out. Well, they immediately asked if they could eat them and then they told me how cool they thought these were. This project is not quite as kid friendly as the candy bar trains were but I can certainly see older kids wanting to help with these. And making funny little scenes to go inside.

Panoramic Sugar Eggs for EasterI wouldn’t suggest eating these as it is straight sugar and royal icing (which is pretty much sugar). These would be perfect for your Easter table or even as a spring centerpiece. Have you ever made these before? A BIG thank you to my mom for indulging me in this post and helping me to make the sugar eggs!

You can find a recipe for royal icing in my candy bar train post!

 

Favorite Songs of All Time : Playlist

Rose with friends.You guys. My birthday is coming up. You know, in about a month. But this is one of those years where I am really in to celebrating. Some years you just want it to pass without a lot of fanfare. But this year I’m celebrating. Over the last few months I’ve really needed to lean on my friends and they have been there for me in every way. So I just want to spend time with them. Maybe some food. Maybe some drinks. It really doesn’t matter. I just want to be with them, hug them, thank them and enjoy. My birthday is often an excuse for us to take time out and get together, it’s not all about me. And I love that. One year we took trapeze lessons. One year we celebrated at my favorite restaurant followed by an overnighter at a local hotel. What should we do this year? I have a month to figure it out!!!

And since my birthday is coming up, I thought I would give you a little insight in to who I am through a playlist of my all time favorite songs. This is not ALL of my favorite songs, but when I sat down to put this list together, these are the songs that immediately popped in to my heads. Chances are I’ll keep thinking of songs and I’ll just keep adding them to this list.

Also, this is my first time trying out Spotify. Do you guys like this better than how I’ve been sharing my other playlists on Rdio? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

This playlist is all over the place. And it’s everything I love about music. ‘Big Country’ and ‘Case of the P.T.A.’ are faves from high school. I remember listening to ‘Regret’ on my Walkman(!), on repeat, on a train heading to San Diego for volleyball camp my senior year. ‘Groove is in the Heart’ is from Junior High but still is such an awesome song. I don’t love disco but ‘Knock on Wood’ is my jam. Fast forward to my wedding day where my girls and I did a choreographed dance to Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in Love’. And I wouldn’t leave the reception until they played ‘Frontin’. I thought was a great one to end on since after hearing Pharrell sing that he wants to “tear your a** up” all the older guests would be appalled and ready to go (it was also my favorite song at the time, so it wasn’t like I was trying to drive the guests away…:). There’s a little something for everyone on this list. I hope you enjoy!

How to Have a Dirty Dancing Viewing Party

How to have a Dirty Dancing Viewing Party*This post is in conjunction with Netflix #StreamTeam. Each month I share how my family and I are enjoying what’s playing on Netflix. And since every member of my family is addicted to television, we watch a lot of Netflix.

While Netflix creates tons of original programming (if you haven’t watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet, stop what you are doing and go watch it. It’s freaking hysterical and my fave new show) they also have tons of your older movie favorites. Just this past weekend my oldest son and I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off together. It lead to a discussion on how much cursing is in that movie…oops. And he handled it really well so it was really fun to get to share one of my favorite movies with him. One of our favorite ways to explore Netflix is to look for themes that tie certain movies or shows together. In the case of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, she totally reinvents herself after coming out from 15 years in a bunker. Jack Black’s character makes some wonderful self discoveries in School of Rock and Baby comes to Kellerman’s a shy, unworldly girl in Dirty Dancing and leaves a confidant woman in love with great abs.

Life gets super busy but I think it is really necessary to have girl time and get together with friends. Here’s how to have a Dirty Dancing viewing party where your girlfriends can come over, chill out and you can talk about how you all have reinvented yourselves over the years or how you want to in the future.

Don’t make it stressful on yourself. Doing just a few special touches will set the right atmosphere and get your friends excited. Create a simple postcard for Kellerman’s Resort as the invitation. Just find a photo of a resort online, print it out and handwrite the info on the back!

I remember owning this soundtrack and listening the heck out of it. But you can also find some different versions of the songs like this version of “Love is Strange” by Wings.

You KNOW you must have a watermelon cocktail. This watermelon sangria bar is the perfect idea!

If you want to have your guests dress from the movie, there are some really easy outfits to recreate. This tulle skirt look is a fun take on the ballet skirt she pairs with a ribbed white tank for dance rehearsals. Or there is always the long cuffed jean shorts and tied white button up look or shorter rolled jean shorts paired with a coral bodysuit. But don’t make your guests dress up if you think it will stress them out. Themed dress up usually stresses me out.

There is not need to go all out and redecorate your house for one night but how amazing is this watermelon print!

You may remember a post for a while ago where I went to a Dirty Dancing themed party. It was super casual and I DID put Baby in the corner of these rice krispy treats. And check out the Hungry P”eyes” that Kristin brought to the party.

And while you don’t have to send your guests home with a favor, these orange blossom-thyme suckers would be perfect with a little tag that said “I had the thyme of my life.”

See, so easy and so fun!

image credits: Kellerman postcard . watermelon sangria . tulle skirt outfit .  watermelon print (no longer available but this one is similar) . krispy treats with baby in the corner . orange blossom-thyme suckers

Also check out Turbo and Princess Diaries 2 for shows your younger kids will love!

Thank you for supporting the brands, like Netflix, that let me watch television and bring you fun posts.

Tillamookies + Fave Links

New Tillamookies ice cream cookie sandwiches from Tillamook. So good! How delicious do these look? They taste it too! Tillamook sent me some of their new ice cream sandwiches, Tillamookies, to try out over the weekend. They each have chocolate coated waffle cookies to sandwich Tillamook’s delicious, creamy ice cream in the middle. The cookie is so crisp! These are best eaten straight out of the freezer. My youngest and I did a tasting of all four flavors at once, on a 90 degree day, and as they get softer, they start to squish out making them a bit messier, but no less tasty.

New Tillamookies ice cream cookie sandwiches from Tillamook. So good! I’m not usually a plain vanilla or strawberry ice cream fan but those were my two favorite flavors! In fact, 3/4 of our family fought over the last strawberry Tillamookies. My youngest won. Look for these in your grocery store! Thank you for sending them, Tillamook!

Here is what else I’m in to this week:

In case you missed it, my kids were interviewed over on Babble on how they would make over our house…

Are you guys shopping Paper Crush? Their stuff is super cute and it’s the first place I go for holiday themed decor and party goods!

I know St. Patrick’s Day is over now (did you get pinched?!) but I love this green party, especially the large honeycomb garland!

This post is almost a year old but I still want to live in this moon party. Scroll all the way to the end and she has some downloads for you!

It might be time to start thinking about a creative retreat for this summer. Who wants to come. Here’s what Lauren and I did last year.

OH! and I dyed my hair magenta and purple last weekend. On an interesting side note, posting this photo to facebook made me lose 40 followers. My hair and I are not taking it personally.

Have a great weekend!