4th of July Food Decor and Saluting Our Heroes

This special blog post is part of the Coffee-mate #CMSalutingHeroes #Shop hosted by the social shopper media community Collective Bias®.

coffee mate post

We all enjoy celebrating the 4th of July with bbq food, family gatherings, fireworks and fun décor, but this year join me in taking time to recognize what the Holiday means and show love to those we are honoring.

As you know I love a great cup of coffee and enjoy coffee dates on the regular. This year I’m sharing my coffee moment with my amazing friends and family who have served and are still actively serving our country. I’ve dressed up some festive holiday cookies with 4th of July ribbon wands paired with a fresh cup of coffee to spread the love to my military heroes.

I have a connection with a handful of individuals in the military including a close friend and family members. Continue reading

6 Photo Editing and Social Sharing iPhone Apps for Bloggers

6 photo editing and social sharing iphone apps for bloggers

I’ve been asked a bazillion times what apps I use on my iPhone so it was time to share a few of my favorites. These apps are super easy to use and have been my go-to apps for a while now. My biggest secret when it comes to photos is that 80% of the photos I share via social media are taken with my dslr camera. I shoot myself an email of the images I want to use and download them to my phone for the best quality. Now you know my secret. Wink.

  • A Beautiful Mess – This phone app is a fun one. It allows you to add designs to photos, add bold text to photos and adjust the lighting with a couple of unique options. This app I use often for the Blog Fete Instagram and Facebook page. The boldness makes for a fun photo that totally grabs attention.
  • Facebook Pages App- When I’m away from my desktop and want to share something on my Facebook pages or reply to comments I use the Facebook Pages app. It’s so handy and especially for those who juggle a few Facebook page accounts.
  • Instagram- IG is by far my fave social media channel. The photo editing rocks and it’s the perfect way to boost those blog posts in a natural way without giving off a spam vibe. IG also allows you to get a little personal with your readers and give them a little look at upcoming projects, your weekend outings and fun events you don’t share on your blog.
  • Hootsuite- I don’t utilize Hootsuite by phone as much as I do by desktop but it’s definitely a handy app to have. Hootsuite allows you to schedule social media shares on multiple platforms. I’ve used the app to adjust outgoing social media shares or to push a few blog posts over the weekend while I’m away.
  • Rhonna Designs- Similar to the A Beautiful Mess app this is another fun photo editing app. Rhonna Designs has more of a vintage vibe to it and from time to time I use it to share announcements and ticket sale status updates for Blog Fete. It’s a fun way to dress up photos and share exciting news.
  • VSCOCam- This app is more of a basic photo editing app. If I’m not thrilled with the brightness of a photos I’ll head over to this app and adjust the lighting. I know a handful of bloggers that prefer to take their photos and edit directly through this app.

What are a few of your fave photo editing and social sharing apps? You find more blogging tips here.

Local Coffee Date at Achilles Art Cafe

coffee shop door menu

Friday I wrapped up a long week filled with back to back meetings with one last meeting, a local coffee date at Achilles Art Cafe. I’ve decided the Friday work day should end with a coffee shop visit, it just feels right.

I met two of my online pals, Meli and Angel, for a coffee date with my camera in hand. These two sweet ladies live on another side of town so our middle point is the Metrowest area where this quaint coffee shop can be found. This was our first Achilles experience and we all loved the scenery. I wasn’t able to capture the beauty inside this shop due to warm lighting but made sure to snap a few shots of the impressive lush entrance.  Continue reading

Entertaining: Outdoor Summer Dinner Party

Simple Summer Entertaining

Outdoor dinner parties is one of the best ways to kick off the summer with your favorite people. I co-hosted an annual outdoor Italian themed dinner party for a few years and loved it! This August we have a big backyard celebration planned and I have a super fabulous picnic party planned with a few local bloggers. I can’t wait to share our summer parties and projects with you!

Entertaining: Outdoor Summer Dinner Party Tips-

  • Add fabric and floral arrangements to a basic bench or outdoor table to dress it up. The black and white stripe runner on this table display by Glitter Guide has me in awe.
  • Whip up a fun and colorful drink. This orange cream cocktail recipe I created for the Mortal Instruments movie party is a great summer drink!
  • DIY it up! Make a fun backyard game such as this giant Jenga created by A Beautiful Mess. The husband is currently working on making transformer themed corn hole boards for our upcoming backyard bash in August.
  • Create simple dishes for your guests that make a statement such as these summer cheese plates by A Fabulous Fete. This is better than a personal pan pizza, right?

Easy Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip

buffalo cheese chicken dip

Hi, my name is Melissa and I’m addicted to buffalo chicken dip.

I made this easy cheesy buffalo chicken dip for a party last year and find myself making it often just for my me and my husband to enjoy. This is the appetizer that turns into dinner and tomorrows lunch. It’s perfect party food, perfect for a party of two and it’s great for those unexpected gatherings too. Grab the recipe below and file this one under easy apps.  Continue reading

Star Wars Inspired Wall Decor DIY

wood DIY signs

Lately I’ve been pretending that I’m a painter. I might have a little craftiness in my bones but in the painting department I lack. When I created this Start Wars inspired wall decor DIY I knew I wanted to achieve a truly handmade item and my painting skill set was more than sufficient for the look I was aiming for. Subtle ways to incorporate your favorite quotes, songs and movies is the best way to dress up a space and showcase your personal style. Who doesn’t love Star Wars? wink.

I’ve been wanting to add pieces of wood art in our home and my husband introduced me to balsa wood after I made a trip to the home improvement store and left overwhelmed by all the wood options. This home decor project is perfect for anyone looking for a unique way to add a DIY piece to their home!  Continue reading