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.


August 16, 2018

It isn’t always easy to know how to stop overthinking things. Any worrier knows the trap of too much overthinking that can land you in the quicksand of rumination that makes you feel even worse, and stuck. Yes, worry can be productive, but it can also be dangerous. The key to being able to protect from the downward spiral of overthinking is to understand the difference between worry and rumination, and know where the tipping point lies between them.

Worry and rumination are similar, but importantly not the same. Worry is defined as, “a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” Worry is the cognitive part of anxiety, the thinking part necessary to imagine potential solutions. At its best, it is active and purposeful.

Rumination is likewise a cognitive aspect of anxiety, but instead focuses on the symptoms, causes and consequences of distress, rather than its solutions. Long associated with anxiety disorders and depression, rumination is a kind of negative circular thinking that exacerbates anxious feelings, impairs problem solving, and often erodes supportive relationships. Unlike worry that can steer toward a solution, rumination tends to embody the very worst cognitive aspect of anxiety: feeling powerless and stuck.

More simply stated, worry can lead to solutions whereas rumination can lead to depression.

When worry next tempts you into overthinking and rumination territory, keep these four points in mind.

1. Focus on what’s in your control, not what isn’t.

A sense of control has long been associated with healthy coping and positive feelings, even in the face of adversity. And while circumstances can often feel fully outside our control, we know that we can always control our attitude, and even our feelings to some extent.Research shows that the simple act of naming your emotions can deliver a sense control. How we label them, and how we think about them, is one key way we can always exert control even in the most powerless of situations.

2. Find the silver lining, and keep your mind there.  

New research suggests optimism, and the capacity to see the silver lining in situations, may be the key to protecting against ruminations ill effects, and promoting resiliency. Focusing on how badly you feel, and why you deserve to feel this way, is the mental trap of rumination. Instead of focusing on fixed attributes of you or the situation, try instead to think about the opportunities for growth and change, and what you will learn that will help you, or someone else, in the future.

3. Focus on solutions.

When worry is focused on solutions, anxiety diminishes. Research at the University of California, Riverside, found that when worry is used to plan for contingencies, it helps people cope with anticipatory anxiety. If you can’t stop worrying about a situation, make sure you are keeping your thoughts geared towards solutions. This will keep your worry productive, and helpful.

4. Distract yourself if you are still feeling stuck or overwhelmed.

Whether it’s a funny video, taking a cognitive break, or simply focusing on the furniture or physical attributes of the environment around you, distraction has been shown to have an emotionally regulating effect in people who tend toward depression. The faster you regulate your emotional response, the faster your coping skills will come online.

To use anxiety as a productive tool, we have to make sure worry doesn’t tip into the sticky swirl of rumination. With the wrong attitude and outlook, anxious worry can quickly transform itself into more dangerous overthinking. A gateway to depression, rumination is anxiety run amok, where negative feelings drive a spiral of negative thinking that leads to increased distress, and a greater sense of hopelessness.

Optimism, on the other hand, is a powerful hedge against this negative spiral, and according to science, just might be the gateway to resilience.


For more help with managing stress and anxiety, check out my anxiety blog, download my free ebook, or sign up for my newsletter.

*Original Content and Images courtesy of Alicia Clark PsyD. Take a look at her super informative website! 


July 19, 2018

FLORALS WITH SALTED BLOOMS & CULTURAL EXCHANGE – Much more than flowers. The ladies behind Salted Blooms, a Los Angeles-based floral design company, shared inspiring advice for creatives, their story, and, maybe most importantly, floral arrangement tricks. Read their interview for encouragement from female entrepreneurs and some flower accounts you’ll want to follow.

Can you share the story behind Salted Blooms Florals? 

It all started with a mama teaching her daughter how to play with flowers. The girls here at Salted Blooms share a love for design and florals, more importantly we’re part of a design community powered by women. Aiming to keep our lives simple, we decided to forge ahead with a group of like creatives and do what we love for those we care about the most, you. We are always inspired by the salty sea and a bohemian jet-set spirit. Apart from your average floral lovers, we strive to always push the boundaries of traditional floral design and create innovative and rad displays.

Salted Blooms specializes in custom floral designs and styling for all your special occasions and brands. This local business of ours is so much more than florals. Yes, florals is where it all began, but with a background in interior design, styling is our passion. Designing tablescapes, editorials, or rad storefront displays makes us feel all warm inside. We take into consideration each of our clients’ venues and personal aesthetic. We are big on details and thinking outside-of-the-box while striving to keep our pieces cohesive with the environment surrounding them.

What advice can you give to women wanting to start their own business? Any tips for aspiring florists?

The most significant piece of advice to anyone trying to ‘make it’ in the creative world would be to simply, not. Stop trying to ‘make it’ in this world full of crazy talented people who can easily cause you to doubt yourself. The sooner you learn to embrace others; creativity instead of compare it with your own, the happier your life will be. Fear is something that resonates with all of us, women especially have been given every right to be fearful in this man-dominated society. Despite social norms, we can’t let our fear paralyze us from creating. Create. Anything and everything!

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and do things outside of the box, because let me tell you, once you let yourself create with no limits, that is when the magic happens.

Don’t take yourself too seriously, life is too short for your entire world to be consumed with your work and stressing about how society views your brand. Be true to yourself, create things you love, work hard, and be nice to people.

Salted Blooms x The Little Market

What tips or tricks can you give for the amateur arranging flowers at home?

Don’t underestimate the power of greenery! Whether it’s foraged from your neighborhood, or picked up on the side of the road, experiment with greenery as the body of any design. Not only is it cost effective, but it gives any design a lush – natural look that won’t break the bank!

My favorite thing right now is foraging seasonal fruit branches and adding them to arrangements — kumquats, persimmons, artichokes, oh my!

What are your favorite flowers to pair and style for spring and summer?

I don’t have a favorite flower, but rather I prefer to design seasonally. Similar to a chef cooking farm-to-table, I design field-to-table. For spring and summer, I love incorporating seasonal fruits and vines paired with branches and blossoms. Summertime always screams tropical, and I can never resist those baby pineapples. I think my biggest advice in designing seasonally is to use what you have, get creative, and don’t be afraid to go outside of the box in using ingredients you wouldn’t typically use. That’s how the best dishes are made, right?

Salted Blooms x The Little Market

Where do you keep baskets of flowers in your home, and what are your favorite unique ways to place and style them?

Baskets – Oh baskets. My love for baskets is undeniable. Not only can you use woven baskets for just about anything, but they also happen to complete just about any space. Fill your baskets with old books, cozy blankets, or in this case, fresh florals! Layering is key is making your design look effortless. Whether it be in your home, on a shoot, or even at a wedding, use baskets to help bring a cozy,natural atmosphere to any medium.

We’re dying to know your secret! How do you keep your bouquets fresh for as long as possible?

There’s nothing secretive to keeping florals alive, the answer is simple — water. The longer you keep your florals out of water, the shorter their life becomes. Anywhere you go, take water! Even if you’re making a bouquet for your best friend to hold as she walks down the aisle, keep those babies in a small vase of water up to the very last minute, it will keep them looking fresh and perky, I promise!

Basket Collection - The Little Market

Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have any favorite floral-inspiration accounts we need to follow on Instagram asap?

I get my inspiration from anything and everything. My passion has always been in interior styling/design, so I find that a lot of the time, my inspiration for floral design comes out depending on the environment I’m in. Something as simple as a tile floor can spark my imagination to create a certain display. Being active in nature, hiking in the mountains, or catching a long wave can inspire me to jump out of tradition and create something that makes people feel good. Different mediums and textures excite me, creating designs and displays that leave people wondering how we did it.

My favorite creative accounts to follow are @theshiftcreative, @shoppigment, and @sirenfloralco!

We had so much fun getting to know the Salted Blooms team and loved how they made our new iringa basketsblossom! If you’re feeling as inspired as we are, share your floral photos with us on Instagram!

Post Originally found on The Cultural Exchange. Find their awesome blog here!

Read more of our Dailies Collection at this link! 


June 19, 2018

Ugh, Starting Over… This past 12 months has been rough. I have talked about this couple of times on the blog, and it’s possible I am starting to sound a bit like I am dwelling, but the truth is, I am recovering.

Recovering from what? 

Recovery is an interesting word. It implies a previous illness, or a lingering physical or emotional burden, but in reality, it is so many things. This has been twelve months of losing people that I love; the same twelve months in which I made a poor business decision that cost me thousands of dollars and still has me building and restructuring to make up for it. The year that I failed and lost over and over again. But the good news, is there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I can see it, and I am moving toward it. That, my friends, is my version of recovery.

How did failure & loss effect me?

I’ll be completely honest. This past year, for the first time in a very long time, my business wasn’t my number one priority. That was a hard pill to swallow, but my priorities had shifted, not because I wanted them to shift, but because sometimes that’s just how life is. It throws you a curve ball or two (or four) and you adjust.

Add to that the fact that my business is a central part of who I am. I love what I do, every single second of it. I actually think that is why I am still here, working in the industry. I love it so much that I absolutely refuse to quit. No matter what. The idea that my business was affected during this particularly less than desirable time of life truly keeps me up at night. But what can you do? You just go on. You failed, you lost. Keep moving.

What’s Next? 

The way I see it, sometimes starting over can be the most liberating experience you will ever have. A clean slate, a bit of fresh air, the room to create the future. Freedom. And in my opinion this is when it matters most, because you get to learn from your past and make choices that will effect your new normal. You know that saying, “if I knew then what I know now…”? Now you do! Use the lessons and the feelings to let go and move on to the next phase, whatever that means for you.

I am embracing the space and the room to breathe. My business will be stronger for it and I will have a new lesson to carry with me. Cheers to starting over.



Read more about Harper Maven Design and our advice for career gals here.