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4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day

Sometimes without warning, life can become incredibly busy and chaotic causing stress not only on your day, but on your body as well. Using these 4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day will help you unwind, regroup, and regain focus.

Photos by the uber-talented Frenchly Photography.

My personal life has had it’s share of ups and downs creating times of chaos and calmness. Let’s be real here though… there’s definitely been more chaos than calm.

Since moving from Germany to the United States, I’ve found myself yearning for balance and peace in my life. Through the community of friends, colleagues, and military caregivers here in Washington, DC, I have learned so much about being mindful and the importance of self-care.

These tips are what work for me to decompress from a stressful day.

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day

1: Drink Water

Do you get headaches? Feel tired all the time? Is your mouth dry and you just feel thirsty? These are all signs that you probably need more water in your life.

Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!

I have constant headaches, but I find that drinking water helps relieve and prevent those headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration. I have even gone as far as to look into something like a lower back pain chiropractor, to see if I can get any help with these pains. They can be a lot to deal with at times, so I’m sure this will make all the difference. My back pain affects my life in many different ways. I had to contact a lawyers like Aston Knight Solicitors in Bury to make sure I got the correct compensation for my personal injury. It’s all sorted out now though and I’m so glad!!
There also those that look for phenibut HCL for sale as it could also help give stress relief.

Tips for Incorporating Water into Your Day

  • Instead of your second cup of coffee in the morning – fill your favorite water bottle and sip on that.
  • Speaking of favorite water bottles, mine is my teal Camelbak. Go to Target, Walmart or wherever and pick out a bottle, glass, cup that you love and will enjoy drinking from!
  • If you have the taste of water, try adding lemon or other citrus wedges to it for flavor. Not only will your water taste good, but the lemon aids in digestion.
  • Stop bringing the sugary drinks into the home or workplace. If you only have water to choose from, you’re more likely to drink it.

2: Practice Mindfulness & Meditation

In 2016, I was introduced to mindfulness for the first time by my husband who was in therapy for his PTSD at Fort Belvoir. The concept was instantly intriguing to me but I didn’t immediately do anything to learn more about it until I was a Fellow in the Dog Tag, Inc. Fellowship Program.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

In a mindful state your mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, and to the space you’re moving through. Too often our minds veer from the moment and what we’re trying to accomplish and our mind takes flight.

We lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something else and in turn those new thoughts tend to distract us and make us anxious.

Mindfulness can be practiced by simply incorporating a few proven techniques into every day life. When we meditate it doesn’t help to fixate on the benefits, but rather to just do the practice, and yet there are benefits or no one would do it.

When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.

Mindful meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

As I find myself being stressed during my day, I take 5 minutes to breathe and become centered by practicing minute mindful meditation.

5 Minute Mindful Meditation

  1. Find a relaxed, comfortable position. You could be seated on a chair or on the floor on a cushion. Keep your back upright, but not too tight. Hands resting wherever they’re comfortable. Tongue on the roof of your mouth or wherever it’s comfortable.
  2. Notice and relax your body. Try to notice the shape of your body, its weight. Let yourself relax and become curious about your body seated here—the sensations it experiences, the touch, the connection with the floor or the chair. Relax any areas of tightness or tension. Just breathe.
  3. Tune into your breath. Feel the natural flow of breath—in, out. You don’t need to do anything to your breath. Not long, not short, just natural. Notice where you feel your breath in your body. It might be in your abdomen. It may be in your chest or throat or in your nostrils. See if you can feel the sensations of breath, one breath at a time. When one breath ends, the next breath begins.
  4. Be kind to your wandering mind. Now as you do this, you might notice that your mind may start to wander. You may start thinking about other things. If this happens, it is not a problem. It’s very natural. Just notice that your mind has wandered. You can say “thinking” or “wandering” in your head softly. And then gently redirect your attention right back to the breathing.
  5. Stay here for five to seven minutes. Notice your breath, in silence. From time to time, you’ll get lost in thought, then return to your breath.
  6. Check in before you check out. After a few minutes, once again notice your body, your whole body, seated here. Let yourself relax even more deeply and then offer yourself some appreciation for doing this practice today.

From Mindful: Taking time for what matters

3: Stretch Your Pectoral Muscles

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I sit at a desk most days for several hours at a time and find myself hunched over with my shoulders rounded in toward my chest. Constantly, I’m reminding myself to sit tall and roll my shoulders back, however the pain and discomfort I feel in my neck, chest and shoulders is undeniable after sitting at my desk.

Last year, I went to a holistic physical therapist, Megan Anderson, for my back and neck pain along with headaches. She explained to me that the muscles in my chest were constricting, pulling tighter as I sat hunched at my desk.

To alleviate the pain associated with this, Megan my pain was to stretch my pectoral muscles at least once day.

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

How to Stretch your Pectoral Muscles

  1. Find a 90 degree corner wall in your work space or home.
  2. Stand about a foot away from the wall with one foot forward and one back and gently bend your front knee.
  3. Lift both arms so they are shoulder height and bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle.
  4. Place your hands into the wall in front of you – one hand on each wall – and press your body forward. Keep your chin/head up. You should feel the stretch in your pectoral muscle. Hold this for 10-20 seconds.
  5. Switch positions of your feet and repeat the stretch.
  6. You can change the position of your hands up or down or how much you press into the stretch depending on what feels good for you body.

*I am not an expert physical therapist. This is just what has worked for me to ease stress. Please consult your doctor for a routine that’s right for you.

4: Practice Yoga

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I ever saw myself practicing yoga, I would have laughed at you. However, having witnessed the benefits personally I am a believer in the benefits and power of yoga today!

The benefits of yoga provide both instant gratification and lasting transformation. The practice of yoga will allow you to find stillness, peace and tranquility as well as helping to relieve stress and declutter the mind, allowing you to become more focused.

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The benefits of yoga aren’t limited to the mind, in fact the physical benefits of yoga have drastically changed my life for the better.

Physical Health Benefits of Yoga

  • Better Flexibility
  • Improve Posture
  • Better Balance
  • More Strength
  • Tones the Body
  • Better Sleep
  • More Energy
  • Decreases Chronic Pain

I have struggled with lower back pain my entire life with little help from my primary care doctors at my family clinic. My local USO was holding free yoga classes and I decided to attend several.

It changed my life so much that the USO asked me to film a video for them about my experience with yoga at their center.

After that first yoga practice at the USO, my body had never felt that amazing before. My muscles and joints stretched and moved, cracked and made noise that sounded like I was falling apart. However that couldn’t be further from the truth… my body was healing and growing strong.

After a quick search online, I found Yoga with Adreiene… a YouTube channel with hundreds of videos that tackled issues in every part of the body. Adriene’s approach to teaching the practice of yoga makes it feel as though she’s in the room with you, reading your mind and saying the exact right thing and the exact right time.

4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

My favorite videos with Adriene for back pain are:

Even if I don’t have time to do a full yoga session, I take time almost every day to a few stretches for my back. This usually happens in the shower… crazily enough!

Just to recap, these 4 Ways to Decompress a Stressful Day are the tips that I’ve picked up along the way that help me.

There are so many ways to take time to recharge, destress, and feel better and I hope that these four ideas inspire you to help yourself feel better.

Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

Smartphone Photography Workflow

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

Recently, I hosted a Smartphone Photography Workshop for a small event planning firm in the DC area.  While getting ready to host this workshop, I realized a few things about my process of taking and editing photos that I thought would be really fun to share with my fellow foodies!

Not only are these smartphone photography workflow tips great for event planners, but they are excellent for foodies, bloggers, and entrepreneurs!

Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

Smartphone

Before I can take amazing photos, I must have the best tools for the job.  Although any smartphone can take photos, starting with a phone like an unlocked Samsung Galaxy GS8 will guarantee quality photos every time!

I’ve been a Samsung Galaxy user since the S5, my daughter has the S6 and my husband is chomping at the bit to get his hands on the new Note 8.  So yeah, when Samsung asked if I wanted a GS8 use and write about I said absolutely yes!

Purchasing an unlocked GS8 was so easy on the Walmart website.   I was so excited that I could buy the GS8 online unlocked because you can choose your carrier, data plan, services, features and apps, so you can get your phone exactly the way you want it! ¹

Here’s what I love most about the GS8…

  • The Infinity Screen: The GS8 display stretches from edge to edge meaning there is no wasted space on your screen.
  • Water Resistance:  This is my favorite thing about the GS8 because I know that no matter rain, a spill, or drop… my phone will be protected from water!
  • Micro SD Card: I take a TON of pictures so being able to expand my storage up to 256GB with a microSD makes all the difference. MicroSD card sold separately.

Smartphone Photography Workflow

Taking photos for social media is a part of my job as a blogger.  Over the years with changing technology it’s gotten easier to take the best possible photos using my smartphone.  Following along with my Smartphone Photography Workflow and you’ll be on your way to amazing photos!

1: Take your Time; Set up the Shot

If you only have a moment to snap a photo, use the most of that time by thinking about composition and lighting before you snap the photo.  Taking the time to do that, will make sure you produce photos worthy of being the industry standard.

2: Clear the Clutter

Is there food spilled on the table?  What is in the background – is there an ugly trash can or an eye sore?   Clear all the unnecessary out of the frame before you take the photo.   Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

3: Horizontal or Vertical?

Horizontal images are best used when:

  • When the subject is horizontal
  • When your subject is wider than it is tall, a horizontal image compliments the subject.
  • To convey a sense of space
  • Horizontal images can be used to suggest a sense of largeness in landscapes. If a small subject is placed in a large field, it can also be used to suggest loneliness.Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias
    Vertical images are best used when:
  • When the subject is vertical
  • When your subject is taller than it is wide, a vertical image compliments the subject.
  • To focus attention
  • Vertical images can be used to focus a viewer’s attention on a single subject by removing almost all sense of peripheral vision. This is the theory behind portraits and other single-object compositions and can be combined with either the rule of thirds or centering to intensify impact.If you are unsure, take the photo both ways

4: Get Close and Fill the Viewfinder

Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

Details, details, details – always take shots of the small things! Sometimes when you try to capture the big, all-encompassing picture you miss out on a really great photo.

When you’re too far away from your subject, you get a tiny, unrecognizable figure and far too much background. Instead, make sure you get close and fill the viewfinder. Avoid zoom, which can cut the image quality.

5: Take Photos with Native Camera

There are a lot of editing apps out there that will enable you to fine tune your photos.  However, I’ve found that with the Samsung S8, the photos are already such high quality using the native camera that I have found myself only using the editing tools in the Instagram app.

6:  Edit Photos

The GS8 comes with some great photos editing tools.  However, I really loving that I can download any app I want with this smartphone and use that to edit.

100% of the time,  I use the tools in the Instagram app to edit my photos.   The tools are easy to use and pretty straight forward.

Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBias

My Instagram Editing Workflow: 

  1. Brightness: Brighten up a dark image and darken an image that is too bright.
  2. Contrast: When turned up, it exaggerates the dark and light in an image, and softens them when turned down.  I use this when I have black/dark areas I really want to pop.
  3. Saturation: Increasing this adds strength/intensity to the colors in your image, and vice versa.
  4. Warmth: Turning this up brings out “warm” colors (oranges, red, and yellows, generally); turning it down brings out “cool” colors (like blues, purples, and greens).   I typically use this tool when there is too much light come a bulb and it makes my photo yellow.
  5. Smartphone Photography Workflow for Instagram | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #SamsungUnlocked #CollectiveBiasHighlights: Adjusting this will affect all of the brightest parts of your image — bumping it up will make the brightest parts of your image even more vibrant, and moving it down will bring down the brightness in those sections to reveal more detail in them that may have been washed out by excessive light. This can be a huge help if a particular section of your image is blown out by a too-bright light source or the sun.
  6. Shadows: This does essentially the same thing as Highlights, but for the dark areas of an image. So turn it up to see what’s hiding in the shadows, or turn it down to darken.
  7. Sharpen: Turning this up focuses and clarifies your image and makes everything a little crisper.

7: Share on Social Media

Finally, share your perfect photo on social media!  Since I use the Instagram app to edit, I typically share there first then to the other platforms.  Here’s my final shot!

Following these simple tips, you’ll be able to share your smartphone photos like a pro!

Photos of me taking photos by Frenchly Photography.

Disclaimers

¹ Wireless voice, data and messaging services on Samsung Unlocked Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge devices are compatible with most major U.S. GSM and CDMA networks. For these devices, wireless services are available on GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile and CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular®. Visit www.samsung.com for more information on your device. Support for certain features and services such as VoWiFi and hotspot, vary by wireless service provider. Wireless voice, data and messaging services on Samsung Unlocked Galaxy S6 and Galaxy J3 devices are compatible with most major U.S. GSM networks. For these devices, wireless services are available on GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile. Visit www.samsung.com for more information on your device. Support for certain features and services such as VoWiFi and hotspot, vary by wireless service provider.

SIM card must be compatible with area’s available networks. International calling, data services and coverage vary by network provider. Contact provider for details.

.² This Samsung Unlocked phone will work on any GSM or CDMA compatible network. For these devices, wireless services are available on GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile and CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular®. Support for certain rate plans, features, and services such as VoWiFi and hotspot vary by wireless service provider. SIM card must be compatible with area’s available networks. International calling, data services and coverage vary by network provider. Contact provider for details.

³ For more information on Samsung standard U.S. limited warranty, go to samsung.com/customersupport/xxx

Welcome to the Team!

Since 2009, I’ve been running JavaCupcake completely on my own.  I’ve had a few amazing friends and fellow bloggers helping me out from time to time with guests post, but I’ve never hired anyone to help out long-term.  Until now!

Photographer & Videographer

I’m so excited to introduce to you Fanette Rickert of Fanette Rickert Photography! Fanny, as I call her, is amazing at what she does and I’m so excited to bring her on as my official photographer and videographer!

Fanny is originally from France which means I instantly loved her.  I mean, you all know that I would have stayed in Europe forever if the Army would have let us! She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and baby boy where she has grown her photography business.

http://www.fanetterickert.com/

The style of photography that Fanny has is what I have always aspired my photos to be so I know that you’re going to love her work as much as I do!

http://www.fanetterickert.com/

From this point forward, all new recipes will be photographed by Fanny!  We’re also working on creating videos together too!  It’s a match made in Heaven!

http://www.fanetterickert.com/

Social Media Assistant

Keeping up with social media can be a full time job itself so I am so excited to announce that my daughter Emily has joined the JavaCupcake team as my Social Media Assistant!

Emily has taken over my Facebook and Twitter accounts and will be posting 90% of the time for me.  She is the one person who knows JavaCupcake almost as much as I do so I know that they will be in good hands with her!

Can you believe how much my little blog has grown since 2009?  I’m now a team of 3! I’m so excited to see where javacupcake goes in the next 10 year!!!

Thanks to everyone who has stuck around for all these years.  I love you and appreciate you all so much!!

How to Dice an Onion (video tutorial) | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

How to Dice an Onion

Do you dread dicing onions? Does it drive you nuts when you can’t make small, even little squares? I’ve got the perfect video tutorial for you to help you with that… “How to Dice an Onion”!

How to Dice an Onion (video tutorial) | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com
I’m baaaaaaaaaack! Well, sorta. Back in August while in the Dog Tag, Inc. Fellowship Program, I had a 5 week rotation in the kitchen of the Dog Tag Bakery learning from the Executive Pastry Chef Rebecca Clerget and her amazing staff. One afternoon, we had the privilege of learning basic knife skills from “Kitchen” Kyle Wronsky, head of the savory menu at Dog Tag Bakery.

how-to-cut-an-onion-00_00_31_17-still006

Kyle taught us how to dice an onion in a way that I had never seen before and my mind was blown! His technique, which I am sure is only new to me, was not only simple, but it created a small, uniform dice of the onion.

I knew I had to turn it into a video tutorial so I could share this with all of you!

Enjoy!

How to Dice an Onion | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

How to Dice an Onion with “Kitchen” Kyle Wronsky

  1. Prepare Your Work Surface: Place a wet cloth flat under your cutting board.  This will ensure that your board does not slide around while you are dicing the onion.
  2. Sharpen and Hone Your Knife: Not only must you start with a sharp knife, but you must keep your knife sharp.  Hone your knife before & after each use to keep it sharp.
  3. Trim the Gangly Bits: Trim the extra gangly bits off the root of the onion, making sure to keep the root in tact.
  4. Cut the Top Flat: The opposite end from the root, slice off the top creating a flat surface to set the onion on.
  5. Slice the Onion in half: Cutting through the root, slice the onion in half.onion-cut
  6. Make Horizontal Cuts:  Cutting 80% through the onion making sure not to penetrate the root, make horizontal slices about 1/4″ apart starting at the bottom and moving to the top.how-to-cut-an-onion-00_01_05_29-still002
  7. Make Vertical Cuts: Again, cutting 80% through the onion making sure not to penetrate the root, turn the onion 45 degrees and make vertical slices about 1/4″ apart.  Start at one side and move to the other.how-to-cut-an-onion-00_01_07_23-still003
  8. Make Vertical Cuts again:  This cut creates the dice.  Turn the onion 45 degrees again, and make vertical cuts 1/4″ apart creating an even dice of the onion. how-to-cut-an-onion-00_01_09_17-still004
  9. Repeat: Repeat this process with the other half of your onion!

Big THANK YOU goes to Rebecca of Dog Tag Bakery for allowing us to use her kitchen to shoot this video!  Bigger thanks to “Kitchen Kyle” for sharing his skills!

Learn more about Dog Tag, Inc and Dog Tag Bakery by clicking on their links!

Interview with Hot Chocolate Hits

A few months ago I was interviewed by Vedika from Hot Chocolate Hits as a part of her Phenomenal Foodies series!  Vedika recently shared the interview on HCH and I’m excited to share it all with you today!

In this video I share how my love for baking began and tons of behind the blog details about my life… check out the video!

Make sure to check out Hot Chocolate Hits for tons of fun baking videos, interviews and so much more!

Thanks for the feature Vedika!

Secrets from your Favorite Food Bloggers - Real life stories about the mess-ups, mistakes and mishaps that happen behind the scenes of your favorite food bloggers! | JavaCupcake.com

Secrets from your Favorite Food Bloggers

Secrets from your Favorite Food Bloggers  - Real life stories about the mess-ups, mistakes and mishaps that happen behind the scenes of your favorite food bloggers! | JavaCupcake.comOne morning as I was baking, I realized that my stand mixer was still dirty from the last time I used it and I thought to myself, my readers would probably be surprised to see my kitchen such a mess right now.  I, like most food bloggers, work really hard to produce incredibly beautiful photos of food, presented perfectly to inspire our readers.

What all of us bloggers don’t want you know to… all those pictures we post on our blog, well they took a whole lot of time, energy and usually a big mess to create!  Our homes never look as nice as they do in the pictures, our food isn’t always perfectly staged and I can guarantee you that our family is getting a cake with a big slice taken out of it!

Here are a few Secrets from your Favorite Food Bloggers that will remind us all that the blogger behind the beautiful picture is just like you!

Betsy Eves – JavaCupcake

There are times my stand mixer doesn’t get cleaned and the next time I go to use it, it still has cookie dough or cake batter still stuck on it.  Also, I’m kinda a klutz when it comes to dropping things in the kitchen.  As long as my family is the only one eating whatever I’m baking, if I drop the whisk/spatula/spoon on the floor, I usually just pick it up and start using it with washing it off.  I mean, my floor is clean, right?

Kayle Blogna – The Cooking Actress

Sometimes I end up with butter in my hair and don’t even realize it until my fiancé points it out.  I rarely clean my kitchen because I know I’m just going to get it dirty again.  Sometimes there’s no actual food in the house because I cannot figure out what to make for dinner (but there are cookies!).

Liz Weber Berg – That Skinny Chick Can Bake

If you wear yoga clothes every single day, there is no need for an apron! I leave ALL my dirty dishes for the hubby to clean – we have a deal as if he baked and I did dishes, we’d both be in trouble!

Nichelle Stephens – Cupcakes Take the Cake

I have used French Vanilla Creamer instead of milk when baking.

Amanda Rettke – i am baker

(From Amanda’s blog post “Cleaning Up“) And this is what my kitchen looked like ALL WEEK. Well, all month maybe. I am not sure. It’s been bad for a while. I mean, I get in there and do a few dishes and try to keep the clutter to a minimum… but yeah. It’s been a total disaster. And so have I. At least, emotionally.

kitchen

Carla Cardello – Chocolate Moosey

Ohhh I’m with Kayle – even though there may be food in the house, usually I’m shooting cakes or dips or a drink and then when it’s actually dinner time, I have no clue (or energy) to make dinner.

Dani Meyer – The Adventure Bite

Recipe developing for a living means that at least 1/3 of our dinners are barely edible….and the other 1/3 are so so and the final 1/3 are really good. There are times when a shipment of product comes in from a brand and it’s all we eat for a week because I’m too tired to go grocery shopping.

Carolyn Ketchum – All Day I Dream About Food

My butter is almost never properly softened because I always forget to take it out on time. But I will always tell YOU to make sure it’s properly softened.  Oh, and sometimes I let the bowl sit over the heating vent to get it more softened. Same with cream cheese.

Brianne Izzo – Cupcakes and Kale Chips

For my son’s 2nd birthday, I made two cakes for two different family parties, both of which I sliced, photographed, re-assembled, filled in the cracks with frosting, and added decorations and happy birthday messages to hide the evidence.

Lindsay Ann – Lindsay Ann Bakes

I always make a batch and a half of frosting “just in case” I run out, but really because I have a tendency to go a little overboard on the “taste testing” while making it, without fail every time. After all, what would I eat the cake scraps with after leveling to tops! My second trick, when I am trying to “be good”,  is to chew a fruity flavored gum so I can’t shove everything in my mouth.

Susan Lightfoot Moran – The View from Great Island

One time we were experiencing an ant invasion, and I thought I had it under control, but ended up rolling some of the little fellas right into my pie crust – I didn’t want to do the whole thing over, so I used it and never said a word — a little bit of extra protein can’t hurt, right?

Gwen Wilson – Simply Healthy Family

When I first started baking I thought almond butter meant to mix almond extract with real butter. Those were some buttery cookies!  More often than not I dump the entire ingredient list in my KitchenAid instead of separating dry from wet and adding gradually, whipping in butter, etc (I hope Liz Weber Berg doesn’t see this!).

Liz Della Croce – The Lemon Bowl

Baking with yeast scares me to death.

Hayley Parker – The Domestic Rebel

1) I’ve never used a candy thermometer and I refuse to get one – they freak me out!
2) There’s probably dog hair in nearly everything I bake (sorry).
3) Sometimes I’ll get this intense need to bake and will do so, but the following day I don’t feel like photographing soooo I let the stuff sit around for days until I get my motivation to photograph it. There are numbers of things on my blog that are days old, rotten, etc. but look good for pics still so I shoot them.

Amy Winning Flanigan – Very Culinary

I cut mold off of cheese and bread and salvage the rest. Lord, that sounds gross just writing it. But hell, my Nan lived to be 98 and I know she ate moldy food, so there’s that.

Amy also posted a picture on Instagram of a little spaghetti fiasco she had last month.  Doesn’t get much more real than this!

😭😦😠👎

A photo posted by Amy Flanigan (@veryculinary) on

Mindy Boyce Cone – Creative Juice

All the photos on my blog show our food and desserts on pretty plates and platters with fabric napkins. But in reality my family has been eating on paper plates and using paper napkins for the last year because after cooking and baking so much the sink is filled with bowls, spatulas, and measuring cups and I needed to eliminate more dishes piling up in the sink to keep it under control! But hey – I let them use real utensils so that’s something right?

Katrina Bahl – In Katrina’s Kitchen

I rarely try to wipe butter or shortening of my hands. I just rub it in like lotion. It’s much easier and kind of awesome.

Ashley Presciutti – Wishes and Dishes

I wait until midnight or later the night before a holiday to test out new recipes to bring to wherever I’m going or to serve to dinner guests. Then I cry when they turn out to be disasters. I never learn my lesson! I’ll do it the next holiday, too.

Joan Hayes – Chocolate, Chocolate and More

My kids love it when I have a baking fail (like a cake sticking to the pan) then they don’t have to wait until I photograph it to eat it!

Carrie Fields – Fields of Cake and Other Good Stuff

When photographing the majority of my food, all the mess from the previous meal, school work and other completely random things are usually pushed behind the backdrop or over to the side where you can’t see it. There is RARELY a clean moment in my house.

Secrets from your Favorite Food Bloggers

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