The Font Feast Presents Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Nutella Strawberry Crepes Recipe

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! Luckily, my husband is a pro at breakfast-making. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes, crisp, golden waffles, savory scrambled eggs, hearty biscuits and gravy–you name it, he can make it. One of my favorite things that he makes for us is crepes! Crepes filled with apples and cinnamon and butter, crepes filled with lemon and powdered sugar, crepes filled with homemade berry jam. And the creme de la creme of crepes, at least at our house, crepes filled with Nutella, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. They’re really easy to make, but they seem so fancy and indulgent, and are so delicious! They make even regular weekend breakfasts an event to remember!

The font I chose to go with our fancy French crepes is called Little Lord Fontleroy, and the moment I saw it, I knew it was the perfect French-inspired font for this month’s post. It’s just beautiful! 

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries inspired by Little Lord Fontleroy

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
a splash of vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
nutella
strawberries
whipped cream
powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, salt, and vanilla. Add flour and cinnamon sugar and whisk until smooth. Spray a crepe pan or large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the center of the pan and gently swirl the pan to spread the batter out into a thin circle. Allow to cook until golden on the bottom. Using a large spatula, turn the crepe over and continue to cook until golden on both sides. Stack finished crepes on a large plate until ready to serve. Fill crepes with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream before serving, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 12 crepes.

Blogging With Intention

Quality Over Quantity - Blogging With Intention Tips Plus Free Worksheet

With the new year comes a new set of goals you promise yourself you’re going to reach this year – you’re going to simplify, organize your life, grow your business and make time for what matters most. 

But when you’re trying to expand your small business, you can get stuck in the everyday muck of catching up on emails, putting together proposals, planning your blogging calendar and putting the finishing touches on that blog post you wanted to have up yesterday. It’s hard to keep up with the everyday stuff and make time for the big things you want to accomplish too. 

While blogging is an important aspect of growing your small business, blogging without passion just to have a post up on your site is the wrong way to go about growing. Lucky for us, there’s a trending idea in the blogging world: blogging with intention. 

It’s writing posts that contain all original content, it’s researching the topic and coming to your own conclusion and it’s blogging only when you devote the time and passion it takes to write a great post, even if it’s only once a week or once a month. 

Here are some ways to craft a quality, well thought out, intentional blog post: 

1. Do Your Research

When planning out your posts, draw up an outline and schedule in time to do some research behind the topic you’re writing about. The more you can share with your readers, the more they’ll feel like they got something out of your post.

For example, if you’re featuring a certain artist on your blog, do some research on their story – share how they got started, the idea behind their brand and what their design process is. If they use a particular technique with their work, research the technique and share that with your readers as well. Reach out to them to get the answers to those questions, or do your own research to find those answers.

Anyone can share an image of the artist’s work, but if you can get the story behind that particular piece, you’ll add more value to your post. Make sure you cite where you found your information and give credit wherever you can. 

When you add research to your process, the quality of your posts will increase and you’ll be providing your readers with real information they’ll want to bookmark and share. 

2. Only Write About Topics That Inspire You

If you’re not inspired by the posts you’re writing, it’s time to take a look at the type of content you’re blogging about. One way to fix this is to go back to the beginning of your business and ask yourself some questions. Why did you want to get started? What inspired you back then? Has that inspiration grown or changed at all?

If you go back to the root of why you started and what inspired you most back then, you might be able to come up with some great blog post ideas that won’t leave you procrastinating to get the post written. Focus on just writing about topics you like to talk about or are interested in exploring more, and go from there.  

3. Use Your Own Photos

One way to really slow down and take your time with blogging is to create an entirely original post – sharing both your own ideas and your own photographs. While throwing together recap posts or inspiration boards with other people’s images or post content (while properly crediting them, of course) is still very popular, when you create an original post you’re putting something out on the web that hasn’t been seen before.

I’ve noticed that the posts I’ve provided original content for have been pinned and re-pinned more times than any of my themed inspiration boards or style posts – pinned DIY projects and design projects I’m working on bring more people to my website than just about any other source. 

THE WORKSHEET

Download the blogging with intention worksheet here to help you get started!

 Coming up with all original content for your posts definitely takes more time, but your readers will be able to tell that you spent more time on the post and it will hopefully bring some additional traffic back to your website after it gets shared around the web.

When you’re blogging with purpose about topics you really want to talk about, you’ll add value to your brand, contribute some amazing new things to the internet and save yourself the stress from trying to throw together 5 posts a week.

The first few months of the new year are a great time for starting new habits, slowing down and focusing on what you really want to accomplish this year. If you’re blogging with intention you’ll have better chance of accomplishing your goals, and you’ll enjoy blogging even more.

What are your blogging goals for this year? How will you slow down and blog with more passion and intention? Share your ideas in the comments! 

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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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

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.

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

Girl Looking at Art The Made In Mind Social

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.

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.

Back To Basics

I’ve been working to clean out my closet and create a more streamlined and cohesive wardrobe. My wardrobe has been neglecting for too long now! My sister and I had a huge garage sale last weekend and set up a shop my closet account on Instagram to clear old stuff out of our closets. When doing this, I realized that I’m missing a lot of simple black basics that would really help to tie my other pieces together! My black jeans have faded, I have never owned a leather jacket even though I’ve always wanted one and I’m in desperate need of a little black dress! Here are a few basics that need to make it into my closet ASAP! Do you have any basic items that you can’t live without?

Black Wardrobe Basics

Leather Biker Jacket / Studded Leather Crossbody Purse / Oversized Cashmere Scart / Wayfarer Sunglasses / Box Pleat Leather Skirt / Ponti Ruched Dress / Black Skinny Jeans / Leather Kinsey Boots / Scoop Tee

This post was sponsored by Scoop NYC but all opinions are my own. Scoop NYC is now an Ultimate Closet Warehouse Sale where some items are up to 80% off!