Christmas Playlist: Let the Bells Ring, vol. 1

If you ask for something to something cancel -or establish- your festive nostalgia, a companion to the "special" reindeer jumpers, the New Year's Eve with friends and families, the sweets' smell and all the bad words that you think when you recognize the first note of "all i want for Christmas is you" in the speakers, perhaps this list is more than necessary. Christmas Is All Around Us!

{ Η λίστα τούτη είναι από τους "When Harry met Julia", δες τες όλες εδώ }

Welcome the In Whirl of Inspiration Shop: Colors & Textures!

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After  a lot of organizing and set ups, I am so excited to announce you the opening of In Whirl of Inspiration Shop: Colors and Textures!

Wow, where this came from, you may wonder. This blog was born back in 2011 from my need to share stories and culinary and artistic concerns. Coming to today, I put some thought in it and I decided that sharing snippets (of mine) inspiration wasn't enough, I wanted to share a bit of tangible creativity. Such one, that you could use in your daily life. Thus, In Whirl of Inspiration Shop: Colors and Textures was born.

For now, we have developed the section of Colors in collaboration with my awesome dad and we offer watercolor and pencil  portraits for yourself or your loved ones. Great personal gifts for holidays if you ask me. [The section of Textures will be announced soon (I can only say that this has to do with crafts :))]. For now (because we still work on our shipping strategy), the portraits will available digital form. Explaining: we will create a portrait based on the photo that you will send us, scan it at high dpi resolution and send it to your email address. You can use it as you desire after this (printed or digital use)*.

In order to celebrate our opening, we offer 2 free portraits in 2 lovely readers.

To enter just use the widget below:

Credits | Author: Debbie Kortes, Watercolor portrait: Stratos Kortesidis, Media Sponsors: ediaginosmoi and kerdiseto.


(*) all rights reserved, copyright non-transferable with sale

Crunchy chicken and brussel sprouts in the oven with a melted cheese and wine sauce

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Don't you feel that we are going through a "I want to eat only comfort food" phase? You know, these days that you return at home and only the though of cooking kills you and that you want to eat only chocolate? And you make the food that requires the minimum fuss and energy. Sometimes you make pasta and sometimes you eat the previous day's leftovers. What about turning your leftovers in something really tasty and not eating pasta (again)?

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Ingredients (1 serving):

:: 250 gr. brussels sprouts

:: chicken breast in little pieces (leftovers)

:: 200 gr. of melting cheese (I used goat and Brie cheese)

:: 2 tbsp. red wine

:: 2 tbsp. raspberry or pomegranate juice

:: 1/2 tbsp. flour

:: olive oil

:: rosemary, salt, pepper

Procedure:

Clean the brussels sprouts and cut them in 4 pieces. Cut the meat and stir it with the sprouts (If you only have raw fresh meat, give it a boil for 15' before continuing.). Then drizzle the sprouts and the meat lightly with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper and put them in the oven at 180C for 20'-30'. Stir frequently so all parts get golden brown; you want crunching meat and sprouts.

In the meantime, take a pan and over low heat, add the wine and chopped cheese and start to stir. Mix it the juice with the flour and pour this uniform batter in the mixture that lightly boils. Continue to stir, season and add 2-3 chopped leaves of rosemary.

Remove the food from the oven, pour your thick delicious sauceand enjoy while warm.

Turkey with brussel sprouts in the oven with a sauce of melted cheese and wine 3.jpg

Here's a comfort breakfast: savory "cupcakes" with bacon and fried egg in the oven and the most delicious soup I have ever (probably) made. || Enjoy!

Credits | Photos & Writing: Debbie Kortes

Less is More No 2: Organize your feed according to the different social media platforms

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In this post I will make an effort to help you organize accounts that you follow in the various social media platforms and to separate the business ones (related to your 9-5 job) from the pleasure ones (related to your blog/shop). What do I mean? I imagine that most of you have a 9-5 job while running a creative project/blog /shop, right? Also, I assume that you follow various accounts to follow the latest developments in your work field, to catch up with the news etc. From this time on I will refer to these accounts as the "business" ones. As for your creative side, well it needs ideas and inspiration to make all these great things; delicious delicacies, interior design tricks, your next be graphic design project. Some of these ides come right from the accounts that you follow in various social media platforms. And these accounts will be referred as "pleasure" ones.

It's important to remember that each platform is designed for specific use and it is advisable to take advantage of its unique functions, for the optimum use. So:

  • Facebook: Its main purpose is to help you connect with friends and loved ones.  Maybe to learn some news too and spy (sometimes) that cute classmate/colleague of yours. I will, therefore, propose you it like so. If you also follow diverse business/pleasure accounts with your fb, I would suggest using a different platform for this. If you have a page for your blog/shop, I recommend to follow other accounts through the page (for mutual support), but to really catch up with their content through other platforms (eg Twitter,Bloglovin'). The platform that you will choose for this depends on the business/pleasure categorization that the accounts that you follow fall in for you.
  • Twitter: Twitter is the ultimo online newsstand. It is used by me and you and by large companies and organizations, for one simple reason; the direct broadcasting and update. You can use it several times during the day, posting the new post of your blog (if you are a blogger), writing something clever, retweeting something interesting or starting conversations. Create lists to separate the people who follow, if they belong in different fiends of interest. For me my twitter is used mainly to follow business accounts: there is a primate science/neurobiology list (the 9-5 job that you were discussing) and some other for information or online friends. So, depending on my needs I scroll down the appropriate list and see only what I need to without distraction (as you would have in fb).
  • Bloglovin': Bloglovin', on the other had, is the creative asylum of all the pleasure sites that I follow. They have to do with: books reviews, crafts, photography, recipes, interior and graphic design, lifestyle, everything else. Be sure to follow pages that you give you something to learn back and not just beautiful lifestyle ones whose life and photos you simply admire and (slightly) envy. Daily you receive tons of gigabytes of info, wouldn't be amazing if you made this info count? Another bunch of 20 beautiful photos will be forgotten, but two photographs accompanied by a fair amount of bright text will stick to our head and make a difference.
  • Pinterest: Use this platform as an inspiration board for your next project, a way to share photos from your latest DIY, graphic design, culinary adventure or trip, with a link back to your site. Here you can pin selectively photos of food, craft, interior/graphic design, fashion, interesting articles and craved objects and generally use the platform as a tidy inspiration index, for whenever you need it. Pinterest can replace broad categories of your bookmarks, because the visual categorization of information makes finding easier. Also remember that the vertical photos are more attractive to the eye.
  • Instagram: The joy of (guilty) pleasure scrolling. Here you will probably follow people that you follow on Bloglovin ', Pinterest and/or Facebook, with some additional celebrity or fashion accounts possibly. Prefer accounts with beautiful, well weighted, saturated color images that will inspire you to take better photos. The #hashtags are very important to categorize the photos in online lists, in order to find people with similar interests as you. Just make sure you don't overdo it.

 

So you organized your feed in your various platforms. Now here are some tricks to keep them from falling into chaos:

  • Every 1-2 months scroll through your following list and unfollow those who stopped inspiring you as they did in the first place. This isn't bad mean at all, the world is evolving rapidly and you and your taste evolve with it. It is totally normal not to be interested in something as much as before.
  • Do not follow back anyone who follows you. I know that this is a golden rule if you want to grow rapidly in the online world, but resist this temptation. You may grow quicker, but your feed will be cluttered and full of uninspiring/unfiltered/useless information.
  • Keep lists of people that you follow small and neat. These are the accounts that really admire their work and the fewer you have, the more easily you will be able to interact with them and be active on various platforms.
  • If you have a site/shop: Because you simple don't know how everyone uses the capabilities of each platform, it's better that you publish your fresh stuff in all social media platforms that you operate. However, I would advise you to stay really active (check feed systematically, respond to comments regularly and connect with others) on 2-3 (4 maximum) platforms. The online socialization is perfect, as if it doesn't consume too much of your time and doesn't reduce your productivity.

To sum up, this post aims people like me who run through various directions in life ans so do their online feeds. So, if you don;t want everything mixed in one platform, these were some of the tricks that I use. This doesn't mean that this method works for everybody. So, what method do you use to organize the accounts that follow?

PS. Check now how to built the perfect post in each platform.

PS 2. Obviously, I didn't mention several networks such as Google+, Youtube, Dribble, Behance and more. But I can only speak to you about what I know and I use regularly.

 

Credits | Author: Debbie Kortes, Photo: here