CHOCOLATE CAKE & BASIL LEMONADE

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It's been over 6 months since I started teaching and let me tell you guys, I love to teach.

I love that I get to share with others what I know and to see how much it helps them grow. I love to build community and see each student interact with each other. I love the relationships that lasts after the class - I've made so many friends and clients from teaching!

One of my favorite things lately, that I love about teaching, it how the small little things like fresh home-made basil lemonade, chocolate cake and flowers from my garden can welcome and celebrate the students and the class. It celebrates their commitment to learning and growing. Making it feel more like a gathering, an event, a celebration.

If you're thinking about teaching your own class, check out these 10 easy steps.

The cake I made was simple and so delicious - it was also gluten, dairy and sugar-free. The basil lemonade was so fresh and summery.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 ts of baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tb of coconut oil
  • 2 ts of vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the dates and water in a food processor or strong blender and blend until it forms a smooth paste.
  4. Mix the date paste with the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, vanilla), and mix until smooth.
  5. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
  6. Grease an 8" round cake pan and pour in batter.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving so that it has time to set.

Strawberries & Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 4 Tb of coconut oil, melted
  • 4 Tb of maple syrup
  • 4-5 strawberries
  1. Slice strawberries thin and cover the entire top of the cake.
  2. Mix the first 3 ingredients well in blender.
  3. Drizzle over cake. Let cool in fridge for more a hardened chocolate glaze.

 

Basil Lemonade

  • 6-8 lemons
  • 8-10 cups of filtered, cold water
  • agave or maple syrup
  • hand full (8-10 sprigs) of fresh basil leaves
  1. Roll each lemon to release the juice.
  2. Cut lemons in half and squeeze into pitcher.
  3. Fill pitcher with water till it tastes slightly tangy. You can always add more water afterwords.
  4. Add sweetener to taste. I usually add 1/4-1/2 cup of agave sweetener.
  5. Chop basil and mix in.
  6. Slice a few lemons, coin style, to garnish.
  7. Serve over ice and keep chilled.

COLLECTIVE CALLIGRAPHY

Collective-Calligraphy Imagine a calligraphy class. Now imagine it in a beautifully curated home, with amazing food and drinks, with a bunch of people gathered together. Sounds amazing right? My thought exactly.

We're calling it Collective Calligraphy because it's more than just a class. It's about being social, gathering around food and drinks and learning new things.

Hosted and created by Amber Turner, this event will be held in East Nashville on May 21st from 6:30-8:30pm at Amber's beautiful rental home. For a $110 per person, you receive 2 hours of socializing, food & drinks, a full calligraphy lesson and a calligraphy kit to use that night and bring home with you. Not only will you receive the full calligraphy class - like the ones I  typically teach with The Skillery (BTW those classes are all sold out!) - you also get the opportunity to interact with me (and 15 others) and receive one-on-one tips and guidance throughout the event. Register here.

Food will be catered by the talented Evie Coates, known for her events here in Nashville.

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Amber's goal is to create a community in which we can develop an exciting skill, relax in a beautiful environment with delicious food and drinks, and make connections with others that will travel outside the doors of the workshop. This event being her first, Amber plans to infuse each event with thoughtful details to create an experience for all your senses.

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For those of you who don't know me, I moved to Nashville September 2013 and began teaching calligraphy and other creative classes shortly after. I love to explore and learn ways to create and enjoy sharing what I've learned with creatives like you. Read more about what I do on the daily here.

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I can't wait to share a toast, food and calligraphy skills with you! Register here for the event and feel free to send me an email if you have any questions. Cheers!

photo credits (from the top): 1, 2, 4 & 6 Q Avenue Photo  |  #5 Claudia Kay Photo  |  #7, 8 & 9 Airbnb 

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BLOG

10 Reasons Why You Should Blog I always recommend blogging to any creative or entrepreneur who wants to grow their business, make money and attract their dream clients.

5 years ago when I started to blog, I had no clue that it'd be one of my favorite things to do each week. Blogging has helped me promote my work, build relationships, grow my expertise, find clarity, attract my dream clients and more.

Here are 10 reasons why you should blog:

1. To become a better writer I'm slightly embarrassed at how terrible my writing was when I started blogging over 5 years ago. But as the years passed and my reasons for blogging and expertise grew, I found my voice and learned how to write better and better. Not because I was forced, but because practice made it better. Writing is communication so the better we can communicate the better our relationships, life and message will be. Writing is also a valuable asset for future endeavours like writing a book, letters and public speaking.

2. To gain confidence Just like my skills for writing grew, my confidence did too. The more I shared my work, blogged about it, received comments and sales because of it, the more my confidence grew. I've learned that what I say here does matter and people listen.

3. To connect with others Everyday someone new reads my blog and gets to know me a little more than before. And every once in a while one of those readers will reach out and either comment on the blog or email me. Sometimes it's because they read something that really resonated with them, other times it's to simply say hello. No matter the reason, blogging allows me to meet new people from all over the world, building relationships and community that gives me purpose and support.

4. To find your voice Finding your voice is finding your take on things. It's what makes you, you. For a long time I didn't know how to write or how I wanted to sound or what I really wanted to write about. But over the years I discovered what topics are significant and meaningful to me and my opinions on them. This has helped me discover my writing style, why I wanted to write, who I am writing for and what exactly I wanted to write about.

5. To share yours and others work My third blog was to share my work. But after a while, I got bored with just my own work and started interviewing other creatives and showcasing my favorite music and artists. This was a huge revelation for me because I thought I should only share my own work. But once I started sharing other creatives work, I connected more with people who inspired me, felt good because I knew I was helping them promote their work and ultimately it helped me build my brand and my voice by showcasing only the best artwork and music I loved. To this day I still love to share other creatives work.

6. To position yourself as an expert Your blog is your zone, your platform, your classroom to share your expertise. Consider what you know how to do really well and what you love, then start sharing it on your blog. The more problems you solve for your readers, the more they'll come back again and again. They will view you as an expert in that particular field and you will build your expertise the more you write about it. It's a win, win.

7. To attract new clients Your blog is like a magnet in the ever-growing community of experts and online resources. If you're looking to attract your dream clients, then write about something they're interested in or help them solve a challenge they've encountered. With the right tags, social-media shares and title, your blog posts will float to the top when your dream clients are searching for you.

8. To have documentation of your life Today we live in a digital world and rarely take the time to write anything down on paper. This is something I personally would like to change about myself, but for now I'm grateful I have my blog to look back on. It has pictures I've longed lost and thoughts relevant to each moment in my life and business.

9. To find clarity around your thoughts and intentions I have thousands of thoughts and ideas swarming through my head daily and find clarity by jotting them down on paper and writing about them here. Writing about my life, my business and the thoughts that shape it, allows me to think more intentionally about what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and if I like what I see.

10. To help and inspire others Perhaps one of the most important reason why I blog is to help and inspire others like you. I've dug deep and discovered my mission is to help creatives envision, start and grow their ideas, expertise and businesses so they can make money doing what they love. I want readers to know they can come to me to find answers, solve their problems and find inspiration.

Are you blogging and not sure what to write about? Check out this post here and here