Winter Fruit Salsa by Chronicles Of An Almost RD

11.30.2014

You know you have a true friend when she sticks by your side through the awkward years of middle school, high school and now that we live 700 miles apart she still takes time to send me packages and daily texts. Since my best friend is basically superwoman, she is here today to share a winter fruit salsa recipe that looks amazing. I'm always finding out new things through Leah's blog. My favorite posts include: apple pie granola, homemade mint tea, and the sweet truthSo head on over to Leah's blog here for recipes and nutritional insights. 




I’m so excited that Courtney is handing over her blog to me today! I’m Leah Wilkes, a dietetic intern at The University of Alabama and in about five months I’ll be a registered dietitian/nutritionist, so needless to say – food is my thing. With the holidays coming up very soon, we’ll all be attending dinners and parties with lots of temptation and mountains of starchy carbs. One of my favorite tips to give people who are stressed about overdoing it at holiday parties is this: contribute to the party by bringing a dish that you know is healthy and nutritious! Duh! It’s a very simple idea really. Sure – there will be other not-so-healthy options there, but it’s really great to have the peace that you know there is a nutritious option that won’t leave you feeling cranky and stuffed. Today I’m going to share an awesome fruit salsa recipe that fits the bill perfectly.
Fruit salsa is one of my favorite things. In the summer, I make a mango/peach variation that I could eat by the pound. However, fruit salsas tend to take the backburner during the fall and winter months. But I have good news – they don’t have to! A festive salsa made with in-season produce like pomegranate, pear, and brussels sprouts (yes, I said brussels sprouts) is super easy to make & full of antioxidants, plus it’s really pretty to look at. Here’s the how-to:


Ingredients


1 pomegranate, de-seeded (easy way to de-seed it)
1 pear, cored & diced (Anjou is my favorite variety)
1 granny smith apple, cored & diced
¼ cup diced red onion
½ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup shredded Brussels sprouts leaves (buy fresh, peel off the layers, chop)
juice of half a lime
cilantro, chopped {how much you use is up to you}


Directions


Mix everything together except the apple, lime, and cilantro. The apple will bruise easily, so add it after everything else is well mixed. Then add in your cilantro and lime juice, give it a quick stir, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve! Dish this up with some whole-grain tortilla chips and you’re good to go! *{ps – this is also amazing over salad greens with some grilled chicken}



I’m a big believer in real, whole foods. I’m a big believer in listening to your body and not obsessing over calories and fat. Guess what, we need fat! This recipe is mostly carbohydrate, but I’m also a big believer in consuming carbohydrates from predominately fruit & veggie sources as opposed to grains, for maximum nutritional benefit. This salsa gives hefty amounts of: Vitamin C, Fiber, and Vitamin B-6, as well as some antioxidants from the pomegranate and onion! So basically, you should make this for a party this upcoming holiday season. I mean… It’s Christmas colored so why not!

*Don't forget to follow Leah's blog, Chronicles of an almost RD here.

Tips On Starting Your Own Etsy Shop

11.19.2014


So you want to start your own Etsy shop? Great idea! I get a lot of emails from people asking for advice on starting their own Etsy so I have compiled a list of great blogs and resources that can help you out on your new journey no matter if it is a side project or you are hoping to turn it into a full time gig. There are SO many great resources out there to help you get started and to motivate you along the way. To know that we live in a time where we have complete access to follow our dreams no matter how big they are and no matter how small we feel at the starting line is exhilarating. I am always finding story after story of people that found success through Etsy and that could be your story as well.

I'm a huge fan of Etsy because it has been the reason I've been able to do what I love this past year and to take hold of opportunities I never thought I would be able to have. So dive into these blogs, take notes and leave a comment with your own Etsy shop!
Basic beginning tips:
-Successful start.
-Setting up your shop tips.
-Quick tips (be sure to read on to the inspiring comments added to the end of the post)
-21 ways to increase your Etsy sales.
-Great insight from a first year of selling on Etsy.
-Awesome infograph!
-Set an Etsy goal. VERY useful info here.
-Why done is better than perfect.
-Why your products aren't selling on Etsy.

Organization:
-Tools for small business organization
-This looks like a great tool for daily organization! Writing down lists is my favorite.

Pricing:
-Setting prices here
"Don’t compete for the low price.  Focus on selling awesome things for a price that is fair to you!"
-Pricing for handmade goods.
-Are your prices too low?

Photography:
-4 Photos you need for your listings
-Here's a video showing you how to take great product photos
-How to make a light box for under $20

SEO:
-SEO can be scary business and overwhelming, but this blog breaks it down.
-SEO in detail.

Shipping:
-Small business shipping tips here.
-Doing what is best for you tips.
-4 Steps to shipping success.

Social Media:
-Tips straight from an Etsy expert!
-How to market your shop with instagram.

Customer Satisfaction:
-Create a positive experience through online shopping tips
-Think like a buyer
-Branding on Etsy

Etsy Seller Handbook Archive:
Follow this link to the archive of all archives. The Etsy seller handbook. I've gone through most of this, printed it out, highlighted, underlined and took notes all over these pages. So much info packed into these lessons and if you want to take Etsy seriously, carve out time and dive into this! Be intentional about evaluating and learning more about your Etsy business. Etsy wants you to win - they lay it all out here. Take advice from them, they know what they are talking about ;)

A lot of these tips I'm still trying to implement in my shop, it is an evolving process! Even if you spent hours upon hours reading, studying, planning and strategizing how your Etsy will succeed, to really learn is to just do it. Don't get me wrong, I believe you should be prepared but I also believe that part of it is figuring it out for yourself and seeing what works best for you. Every shop is different, make it your own!

Don't forget to leave a comment to your shop or let me know of any specific questions you may have! I'd love to hear about your own Etsy journey as well and if you just do it as a hobby or a full-time job. 

Breakfast In The Afternoon + Uncommon Goods

11.04.2014


I love breakfast. More specifically, breakfast for lunch or dinner. It is my go-to and never seems to disappoint. I'm an avid Waffle House customer (what can I say...they know how to make a dang good waffle), but sometimes I enjoy a good home cooked breakfast meal. What makes breakfast so sweet is the way you can make it so comfortable. By the atmosphere you create, breakfast is more than just a delicious meal but a fun activity. It is the perfect thing for a relaxing day off and to pop in a good movie on Netflix or listen to some laid back music.
I recently heard of the online shop, Uncommon Goods, and found it so difficult to just pick one item I liked best. These personalized mugs are perfect for a relaxing day off with the fluffiest pancakes and fresh orange juice. You can shop the mugs and other personalized items here.

As I got to know the brand and people behind Uncommon Goods, I was pretty impressed by the way they work. They are a company that work to sell items that are environmentally friendly and support handmade makers. Most goods they carry are made in the USA and shipped out of their historic warehouse building in Brooklyn. I definitely can stand behind a business like that! With holidays finally coming up, I have quite the list going of gift ideas from Uncommon Goods like personalized jewelry and gifts for my bridesmaids. You can shop jewelry here and gifts for her here.








My fiancé, Jordan and I have been enjoying breaking out our personalized mugs during our afternoon breakfast dates. To see more handmade and quirky gifts, you can visit the Uncommon Goods website!

Thanks Uncommon Goods for sending these our way!