March 27, 2015

RAMBLINGS | VOL 42


These past few days I've been hit with a new awareness how easy it is to get lost in tasks and things that seem (or sometimes are) really important. But I've been challenged personally to "unplug" and cherish the present. Instead of checking that last thing off my list, I choose to go on that walk when someone asks. It has been challenging but so rewarding. Needless to say I might be a little inconstant here, but I wanted to keep you all posted because I love you all and I cherish this space and the relationships I've made. 

A Few Happenings: 

- Heading to Washington in 8 days for 5 wks!!! Going on an extended trip to be there for my sister's first baby and help out on some exciting design projects Ill keeping you posted on on FB & my Art & Design Instagram 

- I am now offering Interior Design services for those of you living near or far. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I would love to help you out, even if feels small to you. A consultation is always something I love to do 

- I Added these two recipes into the mix: Homemade Enchilada Sauce & Cranberry Bran Muffins 

- Sponsorship news: If you have a business or blog you want to get some more exposure to Im offering 50% off Lg spots now through the end of the month. Just use code "JUSTCUZ" 

* Keep Updated on my happenings for the next few weeks on 




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March 25, 2015

A FAVORITE | BRAN MUFFIN RECIPE

Here in Colorado it is now officially Spring, but that hasn't stopped the weather from being all finicky and giving us batches of cold. To offset my annoyance that it isn't summer yet I have been baking up some of these tasty treats. Bran muffins are one of my favorites because I never feel bad eating them for a snack or grabbing one for a breakfast on the go. This time around I threw in some cranberries because I needed a little color and tang in my life :) 
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½  cup water
  • 1cup applesauce (sugar free)
  • ½ cup buttermilk or plain low- or non-fat yogurt
  • a few swipes of fresh orange zest
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
INSTRUCTION:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for six to eight minutes, stirring a few times so it cooks evenly. Let cool.
  3. While the bran is toasting, heat 1 cup of the raisins with ½ cup of the water. Simmer for ten minutes, or until the water is all absorbed. Puree the raisins in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the toasted bran, buttermilk or yogurt, 1 cup applesauce, then mix in the raisin puree, orange zest, and brown sugar. Stir in the oil, and eggs.
  5. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and sift directly into the wet ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are just combined, then mix in the  ½ cup dried cranberries.
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, making sure the batter is mounded slightly in each one. Because muffin tins can very in size, if your tins are larger, make fewer muffins. Sprinkle a little of your wheat bran on top if desired.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins feel set in the center.

* adapted from Broma Bakery 



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March 23, 2015

BLOG BETTER | USING PHOTOSHOP TO CREATE TALL IMAGES FOR PINTEREST

Pinterest is such a great tool for bloggers and if used properly it can become a great tool to help drive traffic to your blog. If you already have an account you have probably noticed that some pins that catch your attention right away, chances are those images are tall, vertical ones. The reason for this is that sometimes the smaller horizontal images can get lost on your screen, where as the "tall" or vertical images take up more real-estate on your screen and therefore grab your attention. 

I tend to take a lot of horizontal images for my blog, so one way that I create vertical images for Pinterest is through Photoshop. Photoshop is such a great resources, however if you don't have it I'll be sharing some great free photo editing tools later on, but for now I'll focus on Photoshop. 
Step 1. Open up Photoshop and go to File. New. 
Step 2. Name your image and enter in your desired Height & Width. 600 x 1200px is a good size if you are using 3 horizontal images.
How To Create Tall Images for Pinterest using PHOTOSHOP | click through for steps
Step 3. Open up 3 images that you would like to use for you Pinnable image.
Step 4. Once you have you images open go to Image, than Image Size.
Step 5. Now you want to resize your image so that it is the width is the same as the vertical blank canvas you created in step 2. Since my width is 600px on my blank canvas I will resize all of my opened images to 600px wide (make sure to have the "constrain proportions" clicked so that your images will not become distorted)
Step 6. Once you have resized your images you are going to use the Marquee tool (it looks like a dashed box in your tool bar). Using this tool you will select your image (this will create a dashed box around your image). Then right click copy or use "Command C" to copy your selected image.
How To Create Tall Images for Pinterest using PHOTOSHOP | click through for steps
Step 7. Now you will click back over to your blank canvas and paste your copied image (shortcut: "Command V" on a Mac). Continue copy and pasting all of your desired images onto your blank canvas. *Don't worry about where they are being pasted, you can use your "Move Tool" to select an image that you pasted and place it where you want. 
Step 8. Adding text to allow viewers to know what your pin is about is very important. So in this step you want to place your images in a way that give you space to add some informational text. I like to leave space somewhere near the top of my image. 
Step 9. Add your text by selecting the "T" tool in your tool bar. This will automatically create a new layer for you to add text to. Add your text (play around with different fonts or placement by using your Move Tool & Text editing palette. 
Step 10. Now you can see that you have created many different layers to this image. If you were to save your image right now it wouldn't save as a jpeg but rather a photoshop image file (which isn't helpful to our needs). So once everything looks the way you want we are going to "Flatten" our image. Go to Layer, then all the way down at the bottom you will click Flatten. Now you can see that you only have one layer, creating a nice compact image! 
How To Create Tall Images for Pinterest using PHOTOSHOP | click through for steps
Step 11. Time to Save our image. Go to File, Save As. Now you can give your image a name and select where you want your image saved.

I hope this is helpful! I'd love to get to know you better, you can find me over on Pinterest Here and leave your links in the comments so I can give you a follow :)

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