Ciera Design Studio Brand development and design solutions for creative businesses and passionate entrepreneurs - page 5

Baking A King Cake

Carnival season is in full swing here in New Orleans and king cakes are for sale everywhere! When I was living in Boston I really missed Mardi Gras and king cakes, so one year Zander and I decided to try baking one. I meant to post a recipe and photos to the blog but never got around to it even though I took pictures of the process. So I’m resurrecting the photos for y’all today! It came out pretty messy and lopsided, but it tasted great and made me miss home a little less!

Baking A King Cake From Scratch

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Colored Sugar

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Surup Cafe Branding

I saw this branding for Surup Cafe by Sergey Parfenov and just had to post for Valentine’s Day, isn’t it beautiful?! Do you guys have any plans for tonight?

Surup Cafe Branding by Sergey Parfenov

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For Bloggers: WordPress Plugins

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

I’ve been asked a few times what WordPress plugins I use to do certain things on this site, so rather than respond to individual emails, I thought I’d share with all of you guys!

First, a few notes on plugins in general: they are super easy to install and great for adding features to your blog even if you don’t know how to code BUT they can slow down your site. To prevent this, only add the ones that are necessary and delete plugins if you decide not to use them. Sometimes a plugin can cause conflicts within your site so always install one at a time and backup your site regularly.

Comments

I try to reply to every comment left on my blog to keep the conversation going so using Comment Reply Notification is a great way to make sure that the commenter sees my reply. It automatically sends an email to anyone who has received a reply to their comment. 

Pin It Button

You’ve probably seen this in action a lot by now, a pin it button that hovers over images making it convenient for readers to pin images. I use jQuery Pin It Button For Images for my pin it hover image. The reason I chose this plugin is because of the customization options and that you can use a custom image to match your branding.

Post Footers 

You may have noticed that at the bottom of each of my blog posts, I have the same call to action that points my readers to Facebook, Bloglovin etc. Instead of pasting this content separately into every post I write, I use WP Post Footer which allows you to create a library of code snippets and easily include them at the bottom of posts.

Editorial Calendar

I am a visual person so this plugin is one of my favorites to keep my posts organized. The WordPress Editorial Calendar makes it possible to see all your posts on a calendar and drag and drop them to manage your posting schedule.

Backup

This one is huge because you MUST backup your site! For backup, I use the WP Backup to Dropbox plugin, because it drops my files from scheduled backups right into a folder in Dropbox!

SEO

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my SEO but the All in One SEO Pack makes it a little easier on me. It has fields at the end of each post for you to fill in to help optimize your WordPress site for Search Engine Optimization.

 

These are just suggestions and what works best for me. There are usually several plugins that do the same thing, so do your research and some testing to see which works bests for your needs!

I hope this was helpful! Do you have any favorites that weren’t mentioned here? Please share!

plug icon designed by Ben Johnson from the Noun Project

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Snapshots of my Desk

I took these photos a while back but realized I never posted them here on the blog. So here you go, a little peek at my workspace on a clean day! A few things you can find on my desk on an average day are my glasses, a planner, notebooks and a Pantone mug filled with coffee. So now you know what I look like while blogging or working on a design project (except for the days when I work in my pajamas).

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Ciera Design Studio - Desk In Workspace

Jasmine snapped the photos of me.

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The Made In Mind Social February Meet-up and Art Market

For our February meet up, we wanted to network with creatives AND feature them so that’s exactly what we did at L’Entrepôt on Saturday night during the Julia Street Art Walk! Guests got to view work from amazing local talent while sipping on delicious Passionfruit Sangrias from Carmo CafeThanks to all of the artists and to everyone who came out to support them! Here are a few of my favorite photos from the event and you can see the full recap over on The Made In Mind Social blog!

The Made In Mind Social Art Market and Meetup 2014

The Made In Mind Social Art Market and Meetup

Emily Lovejoy at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

The Made In Mind Social Art Market and Meetup 2014

Little Eli at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

Little Eli at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

The Made In Mind Social Art Market and Meetup 2014

Laurel Buras at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

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Girls Looking at Art - The Made In Mind Social

The Elizabeth Chronicles at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

The Elizabeth Chronicles at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

The Made In Mind Social Art Market and Meetup 2014

Erik Barthels at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

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Markette at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

Markette at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

Markette at The Made In Mind Social Art Market

Be sure to follow The Made In Mind Social on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss out on upcoming events! Interested in sponsoring an event or our blog? Find details here.

Event photos by Trevor Mark.

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February Wallpaper Freebie + A Favorite Font Giveaway

Debi Sementelli just released a bold version of her beautiful Belluccia Pro font! She sent me over a copy and I was immediately inspired to create this soft, watercolor image for my desktop in February! This design is now available for free as a desktop and iphone wallpaper over on the Whimseybox blog!  

Love Is All You Need Quote - Ciera Design

Love Is All You Need Greeting Cards on Etsy

 I also added print yourself Valentine’s Day cards to the Etsy shop, including this design!

A VERY SPECIAL DEAL FOR CIERA DESIGN READERS!

All of you lucky ducks get 40% off of Belluccia Pro Bold with discount code “cieradesign” through March 15!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Debi is offering one lucky reader a free copy of Belluccia Pro Bold!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!! Have any questions, feel free to contact me. If you are in a reader click out to access the Rafflecopter entry form. Please note that your entry will be removed if you do not complete it correctly. I received a copy of Belluccia Pro Bold c/o Correspondence Ink. All opinions are my own.

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