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October 31, 2018

How to Make It

Step 1

Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Step 2

Stir together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Step 3

Crack 3 Large eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the following to the bowl:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Fold in the shredded carrot and add the following ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

Pour batter into previously prepared cake pans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once removed, cool still in the pans on wire racks 15 minutes.

Step 5

After 15 minutes, remove cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 6

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Leave it plain or delicately decorate with walnuts, pistachios,  piped frosting,  or sprinkled nutmeg.

 

** Looking to add a bit of flair to your cake, no matter the season or weather? Add extra spice, rum, or brown butter during the cold months. During the spring or Summer, don’t be afraid to decorate it with gorgeous floral elements or maybe even hints of seasonal fruit.

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August 13, 2018

I HOPE YOU DANCE – No, I really do. In a literal way, not so much in a “life goals” kind of way; although I am 100 percent behind that as well.

A couple of weeks ago, a close friend who I hadn’t seen for a few months (she left NYC for Atlanta shortly after her wedding, so we were having a bit of a catchup sesh) asked me how the different areas of my business were coming along and if I was up to anything new. I filled her in briefly on the new online business courses I was offering as well as the expansion of my speaking and writing engagement services and how I was fitting it all together. After a bit of a rundown on the ins and outs of these services, she said, “so, are you just loving it?”

Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer that question. I LOVED creating the courses, I LOVED interacting with other super awesome creative entrepreneurs, I LOVED telling my story and helping others become the best them that they can be. I was madly in love with every single aspect of providing these courses from start to finish, except for one small thing. I hate public speaking. And, as is frequently the case when it comes to things we fear, that one, small, scary aspect puts an enormous black cloud over the parts that I love. Isn’t that just the pits?

My friend’s response? Then why are you doing it?

If I am being real with you, this is always my favorite question when it comes to each aspect of my life, especially the ones that include facing my fears head on. Don’t other people do this on the daily? Is this not what it means to be a human? Doesn’t EVERYONE do the things they fear as long as it’s something they think is important to do? Unfortunately, the answer is no in some cases, and I think that has to change.

How do I do the things that absolutely scare me, but that I know are the things that are going to be best for me in the end? I dance it out. Before each and every public speaking engagement, class or workshop, or even just sharing my “close to the heart” creative work, I flip on the Britany or the Marvin Gaye or The Cure (usually The Cure) and I dance. There is no doubt in mind that I look silly, I am the product of a Father who has zero rhythm and fast dances at weddings by wiggling his heel around on the ground while he swings his hips in the opposite direction. There is no possible way that I look awesome when I am dancing, but I do it, because that is how I get out the negative, scary energy and relax my mind enough to push through the fear.

My suggestion isn’t necessarily that you dance it out if that isn’t your thing (or you are in the airport FREAKING OUT over flying); I am simply suggesting that when you are terrified of something that you want to do,  instead of walking away, try doing something that will change your energy and will make your impossible possible.  There is really nothing that feels better in life than doing something you didn’t think you could do. It resets  your power and teaches you that you are unstoppable.

Those are things everyone needs.

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July 30, 2018

Doesn’t it always seems that when one thing in your life goes wrong, every other part of your experience seems to follow closely behind? You know what they say, “when it rains, it pours.” I have recently begun to wonder if it is me causing the ball to continue rolling downhill or if it is a natural occurrence that happens in the universe (mercury in retrograde?). Honestly, I think it is me. Here is why: Mindset

Sure, my theory isn’t exactly scientific, however; I think there is something to be said for the energy that you put into the world, and I think that the mind is where that energy originates. Think about it this way: if you could magically adjust your mindset when things are on the downslide, would it make a difference to your lifestyle, business, or relationships? Is it possible that your positive vibes would stop that negativity in its tracks and set you on the path to happier days? I think so.

So, when times are tough and you can’t seem to find a light at the end of the tunnel, how can you make a mindset change that will keep you positive and moving forward?

  1. LISTEN TO YOURSELF – If you have had a series of negative experiences and you’re feeling defeated, listen to yourself and know when to rest. We aren’t big on quitting here at The Art Of, but we do adore a good R & R session now and then, and it seems especially needed when its “pouring.” Instead of flashing a fake smile and trying to push through the situation, give yourself a mental health day. Allow yourself to feel the feelings that you are experiencing, but decide that you are going to wash it away at the end of the day and start fresh. Trying to fight your sadness, anger, or negative feelings will only make it harder to set them aside.
  2. EXPRESS GRATITUDE – If you are feeling any level of gratitude you can’t possibly hang onto anger. By definition gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” There is nothing negative in having grace for what you already have in your life that makes you happy. If you are feeling gratitude, express it. Tell your husband why he is so incredibly important to you, call your sister and let her know that she has changed your life just by being born, send flowers, comment positively on a social media post, make a list of all of the things that made you smile today. I could go on and on, but the moral of the story is that if you focus on being thankful, it takes a bit of the sting out of the struggle.
  3. BE BRAVE – I have said this numerous times on this blog and elsewhere, and I still believe it wholeheartedly. One of the very best ways to get your mojo back is to do something that you didn’t think you could do. Go ahead, prove yourself wrong and get some of that power and control back in your life. It’s funny how much easier life feels as a whole when you know that you are capable of enormous courage.
  4. INDULGE IN A GUILTY PLEASURE – Mine is really terrible reality TV. When I am having a bad morning, nothing resets my mind like The Bachelor or Teen Mom (1 & 2). I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Bachelor in Paradise to start up in August. Whatever the small,  joy inducing pleasure, give yourself permission to indulge and enjoy it! You’ll feel immediately better, if only superficially, which isn’t a necessarily a negative thing if you are attempting to reverse a bad mood or attitude.
  5. MAKE A DECISION – Sometimes, the simple act of thinking through a problem and making a decision one way or another can alleviate a good amount of stress. Too often we agonize over decisions or “next steps” because we aren’t sure we are doing the right thing or making the right choice. But, if you make it a point to think through the situation as well as the  pro’s and con’s you can start making moves toward a resolution. There is freedom and strength in taking control of the situation and doing something to make it better. Just make the decision and start.

Gorgeous photography courtesy of Julia Trotti. Find her brilliant work here! 

View more of our Creative Lifestyle posts in the archives!

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July 9, 2018

Let’s be honest, checking your social media networks can sometimes put quite a damper one your self esteem. Even the most experienced and confident users are guilty of posting a gorgeous image of their work or a life event only to second guess it as soon as they see another accounts carefully curated and well thought out feed.

It is incredibly easy to fall into a comparison trap, becoming obsessed with how your life appears to others and overly conscious of every move you make online. And, even though your feed is be getting a good amount of followers or likes, you may still be concerned that it’s not as good as the others out there. We know, we know. We’ve all been there at one time or another.

So, what can you do when you love the thrill that you get from viewing and sharing posts with users from around the world, but you also get a pit in your stomach the minute you start scrolling through the perfection that is your follow list? These 5 tips will give you the ability to fulfill your social media craving while keeping your self esteem perfectly in tact.

5 WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA & PROTECT YOUR SELF ESTEEM

  1. DETERMINE YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC – When you are looking through your newsfeed, it is easy to forget that you may be “speaking” to a different demographic than someone else who posts only color coded, pre-planned perfection. Think about the purpose of your feed and who is meant to see it? If you are a Mama who loves sharing pics of your kids with far away loved ones, you absolutely should not feel the pressure to do it the same way as the Mommy Blogger with 60,000 followers and multiple sponsors. Keep in mind that the Mommy Blogger more than likely has an extensive knowledge of photography and photoshop due to YEARS of curating their content. Some of these users even have professional hairstylists, makeup artists and photographers that help them with each and every photoshoot.
  2. DEFINE YOUR CONTENT STYLE – Now that you know who your demographic is, start thinking about the best way to reach them and to have them take notice of your content. Some followers adore a heavily photoshopped image with a magical format and gorgeous colors, while others truly want to see raw, real life. For instance, a travel blogger may have the goal of giving their followers a glimpse into their lives, the good and bad, so they will most likely opt for a less edited and more realistic photo collage. But, a children’s photographer who specializes in fine art or creatively set up portrait photography may have a much more planned composition and a more defined edit. Determine which works best for your personal style and the purpose of your feed and run with it. Don’t worry about what another user is posting if the style doesn’t line up. (Master Tip: Check out these social media planning tools that will help you to style your content as needed!)
  3. TAKE A BREAK  – This may seem counterproductive to your ultimate goal, but trust me, it’s not. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “take care of yourself first”, and it absolutely applies to social media. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, are in hardcore comparison mode, or are just exhausted with the whole thing, take a little break. When you make the conscious choice to return to tending your feed, you will feel replenished and revived, and you will make better choices about how to handle and manage your networks. Sometimes, you need to listen to that little voice telling you that it’s time to step back.
  4. ENGAGE – The more that I engage with others on social media, the better I feel. There is nothing more confidence boosting than giving a compliment and making someone else day, so I try to do it often. See an instagram image that blows your mind? Tell the user! Can’t get enough of the design work you came across on a business feed? Let the user know that you are obsessed! They will appreciate the boost and before you know it, you’ll have built a community of like minded friends on social media that will take care to send positive vibes one another’s way!
  5. CREATE VISUAL CONTENT THAT YOU LOVE – It is hard to hear, mainly because we all want to fit in and hang out with the popular crowd, but at the end of the day, your parents were right. The only person that has to like it is you. Don’t feel the need to share everything with everybody, but make sure that the content that you do post gives you flutters in your heart. If you love it, there is nothing to compare. Just do you and let the others do them.

Interested in learning how we curate, manage, and plan our own business and personal social media networks. Check out our online course here!  We would love to see you there!

 

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