Thursday, April 24, 2014

Interview to Mary Helen from Mary Makes Pretty



(Mary Makes Pretty)

As a fan of blogging and anything that has to do with social media communication, I totally admire Mary Helen and her hability to keep up not with just one, but with multiple successful blogs! Not only she updates all her pages regularly, but all the content you can find in them is awesome. You're looking for a DIY project? Check out Mary Makes Pretty. What you're trying to find is a recipe? Then your places is Mary Makes Dinner. You are more interested in family related posts? Then make sure to check Mary Makes Babies. Such an active, awesome blogger that today you can get to know better.


INTERVIEW TO MARY HELEN FROM MARY MAKES PRETTY



1. Hi Mary Helen! We're happy to have you on the blog today!

Hi Laura. Thanks for having me. You have a beautiful blog! Your photos have convinced me that I have to visit Catalonia someday. 

2. Thanks Mary! You have a really complete blog full of great DIY and crafts projects. When and how did you decide to start posting about everything you make? 

I was raised in a very crafty household. My sisters and I grew up with lots of handmade clothes, home cooked meals, and homemade toys. Arts and crafts have remained a huge part of my life, (Even my day job is crafty!) so when it comes to sharing my life through a blog, it's only natural for DIY to creep in. I've been blogging for almost ten years, both personally and professionally. My blog's latest crafty incarnation, Mary Makes Pretty, started about 1 1/2 years ago, when I started getting restless from blogging exclusively about food on Mary Makes Dinner. 



(Mary Makes Pretty)

3. Besides your blog Mary Makes Pretty, you have other blogs specialized in cooking (Mary Makes Dinner) or babies (Mary Makes Babies). How do your organize to keep so many blogs at the same time? 

I'm an avid writer, and I hope to someday become a published author. The best advice I've received in regards to reaching that goal is to write every single day. Having an active network of blogs allows me to do that, working posts into my everyday routine. I set goals to post at least once a week on each blog, and do my best to keep them, treating the task of writing more like a job than a hobby. Keeping up a steady pace helps me stay inspired. Blogging also helps keep me motivated to live my life really well. If I take time every day to be creative, cook for myself, and meditate on becoming a mother, I'll never run out of fresh content to blog about. 


(Mary Makes Dinner)

4. If you had to give an advice to a new blogger, which would it be? 

 I'm a huge believer in creative momentum. It can be hard to get started, but if you stick to a routine, before you know it the ideas will start flowing easily. Whether you blog once a day, once a week, or once a month, your creativity will benefit from a steady rhythm. I would also say to be patient with yourself and the pace of your success. It takes time to discover your voice and to establish a style. The more you blog the better you'll become at writing, presentation, and coming up with new ideas, so just keep at it. 

5. What's on your opinion the best thing of blogging? And the worse? 

 The most rewarding thing that blogging has brought for me is opportunity. My blog has allowed me to build friendships that I have come to really cherish. What a gift it is to be able to connect with other people who share your passions! It's also helped put me in the right place and the right time to pursue things like teaching, public speaking, and activism. As for a down-side, it can sometimes be awkward to share so much of yourself online. Now and then I'll get an ugly comment online, or an unexpected reaction from someone I know in "real life". It can take you by surprise, especially with folks that you don't assume read your blog. Fortunately, the crumby moments are heavily outweighed by the positive ones. 

6. Thanks for answering these questions and opening us the doors of your blog Mary Helen!

You're welcome, Laura!



(Mary Makes Pretty)


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easy Puff Pastry Palmiers Recipe




It happens sometimes that we're going to have unexpected visitors and we might want to have something to offer them with the tea or coffee. Sometimes we can plan that in advance and we can spend hours baking for it, but other times we just can't plan that ahead, and that's when this recipe can come in handy. The best of it is that you can really get a delicious result with not much more than half an hour. And it's easy! How? Buying the puff pastry already made. The result is really good!

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 sheet of puff pastry (you can find that at the refrigerated displays of most supermarkets)
- White Sugar 
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- Baking greaseproof paper
- 1 knife
- 1 roll pin
- Plastic wrap
- 1 oven tray

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cut the sheet of puff pastry square (sometimes they're round, so cut the sides to make it edgy). It's important that the shape of the dough is square to get the final shape of the palmiers. Sprinkle sugar on it, and run a roll pin on the pastry to get the sugar into the dough.



2. Roll both sides (the left and the right) of the square dough inwards, until they meet in the center of the square. It's important that both sides have the same size, approximately. Then wrap the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about 25-30 minutes to make it easier to manipulate. Preheat the over at 200°C (aprox 425°F).



3. Now it's time to cut the pastry. With a knife cut thin strips out of the folded dough. Place a baking paper on top of the oven tray and carefully arrange the cut pastries on it. Make sure that you leave enough separation between them, because the dough is going to expans a little. 




4. Sprinkle some more sugar and the cinnamon over the pastries, and place them in the oven for around 15 minutes. When this time passes get the tray out and turn them to bake them a little on the other side if necessary. When they're baked carefully place them on a plate and let them cool down before serving.

Enjoy!







Thursday, April 17, 2014

Interview to Katrina from Katrina Illustration


One of the things I love about blogging is jumping from one blog to another, and discover new blogs and talented people by doing it. That's why I decided that one of the new sections I wanted in the blog would be dedicated to interviewing other bloggers and spread the word about what they do. I had done spotlights and interviews before, but never as a regular section of the blog.

This week I'm happy to have with us Katrina from Katrina Illustration, an illustrator and a designer who creates fashion illustrations, custom blog designs, logos and business card designs, and stationery, among other things. Personally, I love her sketches!


by Katrina


INTERVIEW TO KATRINA FROM KATRINA ILLUSTRATION


1. Hi Katrina! We're happy to have you on the blog today! 

Thank you for this opportunity, I am so excited to share the art that I love so much with all of you! 

 2. Tell us a little bit about your blog. What do you post about? 

 I use my blog as a place to share my journey as an illustrator and designer. Littered among these posts are examples of commission work that I have done, humorous or touching life experiences re-lived on paper, and peeks into my sketchbooks. 

 3. You make lovely illustrations! What's your inspiration for them? 

Thank you! Most of my inspiration comes from life, though experiences and the beautiful things I see each day in my own life or through the aid of others (via blogs, or social media). The #OOTDsketch posts are taken from what I wore on a particular day, so that is DIRECTLY from my life. However, I love commission work because I get to share creative juices with someone else—taking their vision and what they love and combining it with what I love so much—creating! 


by Katrina


 4. Do you think it is complicated to be an artist these days? Do you think the competition is hard? 

In many ways, the variety found in the art world is very freeing—I am free to both illustrate and exercise more technical design (such as web, social media and logo design), which keeps me from getting bored if nothing else! The competition can be hard, but God has provided for me in so many ways, so I am not about to start worrying now. I am fortunate enough to have a part time job that I love and run the business of my dreams the other half of the week. That way, I can be thankful for the busy times and not fret during the "slower" times. 

 5. How is Internet helping you with your career?

I would probably not be able to run a freelance business from home without it—at least not until I had served for many years at a large design firm to build up clientele (as many before me have done). Thanks to the internet and the portfolio sites that I built during my undergrad, many of the first freelance jobs that I was given just fell into my lap before I was actively seeking them. Haha, I didn't even want a job yet (adjusting to my newly married life and a move) and before I knew it, my business was born! 

 6. Spring is in the air! What do you enjoy the most about this season? 

The promise of Summer and the return of the sunshine and the warmth—it has given me new life and hope. After this particularly cold winter, I am eager to get to the heart of Summertime! 


by Katrina


 7. Thanks for answering these questions and opening us the door of your blog Katrina! 

Thank you for welcoming me into your blogging world today—if you made it all the way down to the end, I am offering all of you 20% of your entire purchase in my Etsy Shop! Feel free to check out some of the stationery, prints and you can even get your hand on a custom portrait done by yours truly! Use coupon code: CASETA20 at check out. Thank you again for giving me a chance to share what I love!



USE CUPON CODE "CASETA20" TO GET A 20% OFF 
ON KATRINA ILLUSTRATION ETSY SHOP!


Katrina is also offering free downloads on her blog (including THIS lovely April desktop calendar). You can find them HERE.


Find Katrina on:

blog / twitter / facebook / Instagram / bloglovin / Etsy 



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Seen this week on the blogsphere...




I'll be starting several sections here in the blog these days, and one of them include a weekly selection of posts that have caught my eye in the blogsphere during the week. It will be posted in Sundays, instad of the Sunday Treasuries I was posting until the moment.

It's just the first of a many changes that will occur in the blog, and I hope you'll like it!

Said that, let's start! These are the posts that have caught my eye this week in the blogsphere...

  • Planning a road trip? Lauren Conrad is sharing on her blog 10 songs for the perfect road trip. What's not to love about this post?

  • Paige from Little Nostalgia is doing some improvements at her place, and one of her goals for the year was to get more light in some areas of her home that were darker. I love what she did with their kitchen, what a great improvement!

  • These really cute Easter Egg Beanies that Tanya from Little Things Blogged made with crochet are really adorable, and the colors are so pretty!

  • Being a lover of both time management and blogging, I'm glad I caught this post by Bre from Peacoats and Plaid about how to take control of the time you're using to mantain your blog. The best of it is that the post is part of a two part series, so stay tunned for when the second one will be posted!

  • Teresa from de blog De Lunares Y Naranjas posted a delicious recipe to make Nutella at home. Delicious! (post in Spanish)

  • I love interior herb gardens, so I loved this post shared by Saxon from the blog Let's Drink Coffee, Darling. Such a great way to use the windowsill!

  • We all know that deco tape can be used to decorate almost everything! I love how Elisa from the blog Señorita Pomelo used it to give a new look to her pencils. So easy, and so pretty! (post in Spanish, but the photos are self explanatory).

On a total unrelated note, remember that that Look what I made Link Party is active during the whole month. Go there, and share your crafts, recipes, sewing projects... anything handmade goes!