Northwest Bagel Plate

Ok, you asked for it! And I will gladly share this recipe because it's way too simple and tasty not to share!

As some of you may know, I've been trying to decrease the amount of dairy in my diet, so I've been playing around with a lot of different nut cheeses. When I came across Kite Hill's cream cheese, I realized that going dairy-free is practically a walk in the park. There are so many great options now that will satisfy that cheesy craving.

Anyway, a loaded bagel is my weakness. I've always loved them, but usually stay away from them because it's hard to find gluten-free/dairy-free options. So, I took it upon myself to create my own. I was inspired to add smoked trout to as a replacement to smoked salmon and it was a good move. See the full "recipe" below : )

1 New Cascadia everything bagel (gluten-free)
Kite Hill chive cream cheese
thinly sliced cucumbers
smoked trout
rainbow sprouts

Assemble as you'd like!

That's it! I also like a little squeeze of lemon on top.

Enjoy : )

Officially "in my 30's"

I felt like 30 was my denial stage. Not because I didn't want to be 30, I literally just kept forgetting. I was forever 29 in my eyes. So, now that I'm 31, I'm feeling official!

For my birthday, my mom, sister and a dearest friend of mine headed out to Stoller winery and gosh, that place is stunning. We drank some rose, snacked on a charcuterie plate, laughed, talked about life and took in all beauty of Oregon wine country.

 This is 31. 

I don't know about you, but life for me just seems a bit crazy lately. Not only am I at my max capacity for what I can take in news wise (fires, hurricanes, politics, etc. etc. etc), but I'm also trying to find a life balance while running my own company.

When I get a bit burnt out on life, I'm reminded of all the important things. The things that truly matter in life like family, friends, laughter, the simple things...

Getaway: Kirkland, WA

A couple of weeks ago Tyson and I took a solo trip up to Kirkland, WA for a quick overnight getaway. Tyson is up in Seattle quite a bit for work, so any chance I get, I try to tag along. I love me some Seattle! 

This trip we took was so needed! Between moving houses and my business growing so quickly, everything just feels like a LOT lately. When I start to feel a bit burnt out, I always like to plan a quick getaway. It's my recharge! And staying in Kirkland and at the Woodmark Hotel couldn't have been a better place to do this. 

Where to Eat:

Where to Stay:

Things to do:

-Rent kayaks (free for hotel guests at the Woodmark)
-Rent a boat
-Grab lunch downtown
-Run/walk along the waterfront

Key Travel Notes:

-Boating, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding
-Tons of healthy food options
-Only 20 minutes from downtown Seattle 
-Great shopping close by 
-Good place for kids

Blogging Like It's Your Business

If it's time to for you get serious about blogging, then you are in the right place. While my full-time job is to manage successful bloggers and influencers (shout out to Parker Management) while keeping up my little blog here too, I'm still no expert. Blogging world is a very young world, and what works for one person, doesn't always work for another. However, there are always some basics to success, and that's what we are going to dive into.

You all sent me some really great questions, so I'm rolling this into a series. From branding and working from home to all things social, I'll be posting a lot of this stuff over the next few weeks. Get excited!! ; )

1. Treat it like a business. This may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but honestly, if your goal is to turn blogging into a potential business, then you have to treat it that way. That means, if you are employed full-time, you are going to be spending some late nights after your day job, working on your "other business." It might sound a bit daunting, but don't let it discourage you. That setup isn't forever!

2. Subscribe and learn. I recommend downloading podcasts to help educate you. While you drive to work, fold laundry, go for a walk... it's easier to make time for these than say, read a book. My favorites are:

The Influencer Podcast
Being Boss
Him & Her
Girl Boss
How I Built This

3. Make it look like a business. This is probably one of the most important points. If you truly hope to make this is a profitable business, it has to look that way. From your website and branding to your social media feed... it needs to look like a brand! Your own, personal, awesome brand. For something like Instagram for instance, I completely understand that "real is in" and less contrived feeds are better to some extent. However, if your goal is to profit from your business, one of the big contributors to that will be partnering with other brands. A brand needs to be able to envision their company in a post that YOU create. So in my opinion, to get paid accordingly, your images need to be top notch! Learning how to take a good photo is so important. It is also SO easy to edit photos from your phone now. And hey, if you aren't great at creating cohesive feeds with great images, then hire some help! It will be worth it.
For example, I love @bethanmenzel's Instagram. As a brand, you can easily see your product or company fitting in nicely with her feed; you know she will do a great job. But her feed is also not "too perfect." It's just simply, well done.

Remeber, a cohesive, well-edited feed doesn't need to look forced.

A Self Check-In

We are finally (mostly) settled in at our new place and I feel like I just want to let out the biggest exhale. I don't remember moving being this stressful! I think the combination of moving while sick, moving out of the first home Parker was ever in, and running a business while doing it all was a LOT. I felt like I hit pause on life (and summer) and I'm finally pressing play again.

Somewhere in between all of this, I started to take a good look at my whole life. I just started to go through everything: Am I exercising enough? Have I been taking the time to simply breathe? Have I been unplugging after 5pm most nights? I did this big evaluation, not to be hard on myself, but to just check-in. Do you ever do this? I really feel like checking in with yourself is one of the simplest, most effective things we can do. Almost as if an alarm needs to go off every few months to say "hey, let's take a good look at things."

Anyway, my internal alarm went off and I tried to think about all of the things I'd love to work on. I'm obviously not going to be able to do all of this, but it was a simple reminder of the things that are important to me and to try my best to do as many as I can. See the list I made to myself below: