Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn

Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn | dcgirlinpearls.com

The struggle with my sweet tooth is real, guys. It’s always late at night (usually when I’m writing posts and working on blog stuff…coincidence?!) and I always have to have a sweet and salty combination. It’s a package deal, you can’t have just one without the other. Like Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Baby and Johnny. Gotta have both for things to just work.

You know what else is an amazing combination that clicks and makes your heart beat so fast and suddenly it’s like you get what Al Green’s been singing about forever?

Chocolate and pretzels.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn | dcgirlinpearls.com

Sidebar: My inner marketing/advertising nerd is all kinds of hopped up on Super Bowl commercials so can we just take a moment to fawn over Lindt’s Pretzel Bites packaging?! “Hello, I’m a handful” is a) adorable and b) scarily accurate. The font, the design, the colors, gah I seriously have a crush on this packaging!! You would think by studying marketing in college, I would be totally immune to marketing gimmicks. Nope. If anything I’m worse: I see on point branding and packaging and I just feel like that has to be rewarded, you know? Okay back to regularly scheduled programming.

Peanut butter pretzel kettle corn, do your thang.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn | dcgirlinpearls.com

Kettle corn is one of those things where the moment you detect the first trace of sugary, salty goodness in the arm, your senses kick into overdrive and become heightened and you’re a woman on a mission to get to the kettle corn stand as fast as humanly possible. I hate running but I will BOOK IT to the kettle corn stand at my hometown’s county fair. And it’s always a situation where for like a quarter more, you get about an extra 2 pounds of kettle corn so it’s a no brainer. And then you drag a plastic bag of kettle corn that’s roughly the same height as you home where you promptly devour it.

Until recently, my kettle corn experience was limited strictly to county fairs and very occasionally at Eastern Market during the summer. Until I learned how ridiculously easy it is to make kettle corn at home. It’s the best/worst thing ever. Sugar + canola oil + popcorn kernels + a sprinkle of salt is all that stands between you and heavenly kettle corn. Sounds pretty amazing, right?

IT GETS BETTER!

Because as we all know, my self-control is effectively nil and I’m a sugar fiend who needs to go big or go home. So I added a silky peanut butter drizzle and a handful of Lindt’s Pretzel Bites because it just seemed like what needed to happen. The result?

Meet my Valentine…

Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn | dcgirlinpearls.com

Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn | dcgirlinpearls.com

Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 12 cup popcorn
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Lindt Pretzel Bites
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, add the oil, popcorn and sugar. Stir to thoroughly coat.
  2. As soon as one kernel starts to pop, lift the skillet gently of the burner and gently shake until all kernels have popped (bout 3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium height, combine the peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  4. Drizzle the sauce over the kettle corn and fold in the Lindt Pretzel Bites
  5. Enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Pretzel Kettle Corn | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lindt-Logo-650x307

This post was sponsored by Lindt Chocolate®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the DC Girl in Pearls party going!

Valentine’s Day Outfit Inspriation

It could be argued that with what has been called the “aggressive amount of pink” in my closet, I dress like Valentine’s Day on a regular basis. Pink’s my power color, what can I say? Next week I’m tackling Valentine’s Day eats and cocktails (spoiler alert: tequila’s involved) along with my Galentine’s Day outfits. But let’s get the party started early with some Valentine’s Day outfit inspiration for every budget to take you from desk to drinks and dinner. Or you know, comparing notes on recent dates/Hinge matches with your friends and a couple multiple bottles of wine. ‘Cuz that’s where I’ll be.

👯

Pass the candy, please!

Valentine's Day Outfits | dcgirlinpearls.com

Design Darling Tassel Earrings // Land’s End Sleeveless Ponte Sheath Dress // Talbots Bicycle and Heart Sweater // Talbots Peony Garden Scarf // Vera Bradley Bangle // Kendra Scott Danielle Earrings in Rose Quartz // Kate Spade Lily Avenue Carrigan // Talbots Edison Pointy-Toe Slingbacks // IT Cosmetic’s It Girl Lipstick // Talbots Hearts Denim Shirt  // J.Crew Factory Stripe Boatneck Sweater

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Valentine’s Day Cards, Crafts + Gifts

It may come as no surprise but I’m a total sucker for Valentine’s Day. What’s not to love? Wine, chocolates, joke cards and an opportunity to throw a theme party. The only thing better than Valentine’s Day is February 15th. Also known as “75% Off Chocolate Day,” it’s a national holiday. Or it should be. I treat it like it’s one.

Are you pro or anti-Valentine’s Day? What about Galentine’s Day?! (Second) best day of the year! Okay, I’ve professed my love for a cheesy holiday and made back-to-back Parks and Rec references. My work here is done.

So let’s get drunk in love on the punniest cards and snazziest gifts. But really, that Emoji pillow? Call me!

Valentine's Day Cards, Crafts + Gifts | dcgirlinpearls.com

Paper Lanterns // Made for Each Otter Card // There Is Nobody Else Card // Unicorn Card // Drunk in Love Wine Glass // Hearts Washi Tape // Vera Bradley Candle // Hot Dog Card // Llama Card // Heart Sunglasses // Stinkin’ Great Card // Heart Eye Emoji Pillow // XO Decor // Awesome Tea Towel // Home Door Mat // Tassel Earrings

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Podcasts for Bloggers, Creatives + Entrepreneurs

Podcasts to get the creativity going for bloggers + entrepreneurs | dcgirlinpearls.com

Have you come down from last night’s Grease Live high? I almost considered wearing a poodle skirt into work…

Last week, I chatted about tips to balancing running a blog with a full-time job and it ended up being a pretty popular post! I’m going to try to add more “Blogging Tips” content into my calendar so comment below or tweet me if you’d like to cover a specific question.

In my post last week, I mentioned how podcasts help keep me motivated to create and work through the weekend on producing fun content. It’s like having a blog support group and cheerleaders rolled into one! I listen to podcasts on my commute, running around with errands and while I’m cooking dinner at night (followed by doing the dishes). I’m still relatively new to the podcast scene so if there’s a podcast you love to listen to, let me know! Always looking to add new podcasts to my feed :)

Food Blogger Pro: While this podcast primarily is for food blogs, the strategies could easily be applied to life + style blogs and online small businesses. Bjork Ostrom covers all topics from SEO to creating a successful YouTube channel with awesome and immensely knowledgeable folks rocking the Interwebs (P.S. His guests aren’t just food bloggers)!! 

Being Boss: When I was making my list of blog resolutions for 2016, I decided the overall theme for my year would be “Kick it up a notch.” I googled podcasts for inspiration for fledgling small businesses and Being Boss was at the top of the list. Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon hold nothing back and don’t sugarcoat how much work goes into creating a successful business. But they also dish out tremendous tips and advice! A must-listen for sure.

Mixergy: Mixergy interviews startups and entrepreneurs covering all walks of life, including Wikipedia and Pixar (!!!). Andrew Warner delves into their successes and failures and it’s a no-holds barred when it comes to his questions and their answers. His energy and excitement is also extremely catchy so consider yourself warned 😉

Elise Gets Crafty: I discovered Elise Gets Crafty because she interviewed one of my favorite food bloggers + her husband, who happens to run the Food Blogger Pro podcast listed above. Small world, right? I appreciate Elise’s refreshing honesty and how she doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, it’s a great feeling knowing we’re all along for the ride together.

Raise Your Hand Say Yes: It’s no secret that women have a hard time bragging about their accomplishments or even just acknowledging them, it’s a common topic for both bloggers and professional women. Tiffany Han says her podcast is “one part kick in the pants” and she’s not joking around with that line. If you need a creative/professional development bootcamp, subscribe to this podcast.

Any ones I didn’t list? Are you a podcast person? Let me know!

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Slow Cooker Lasagna | dcgirlinpearls.com

Guys, I have a LOT of feelings about lasagna. Maybe not as many as Garfield though. Lasagna, along with mac ‘n cheese, scores high on my list of comfort food all stars. The melted, golden, bubbly cheese giving the layered noodles, creamy ricotta cheese and zesty tomato sauce a big ol’ hug. It’s a lovefest in a slow cooker. You can quote me on that.

Despite my immense love for lasagna, I never made it. Cooking for one is a tricky tightrope because I can’t stand wasting food and on the other hand, I really just don’t trust myself being alone with an entire lasagna. My lack of self-control is well documented on this blog. Case in point: Cookie Butter Bourbon Milkshake with Bacon Chocolate Sprinkles. It’s so good to be so bad. Lasagna + Snowzilla would have led to me sitting on my couch wearing my stretchiest pants while doing a swan dive into the lasagna. Not that a version of that happened last weekend or anything…

I’ll be honest, I was pretty skeptical of Snowzilla. I’ve survived blizzards before and dealing with a ridiculous amount of snow was pretty much a theme of my childhood. I didn’t really think I needed to pick up groceries until almost the weekend, when news reports started saying that the city could be essentially down for a week. I had enough groceries to last the weekend but past Monday? I would’ve had to get pretty creative with the pantry. Like, college creative. So I got the crazy idea to test out slow cooker lasagna.

Slow Cooker Lasagna | dcgirlinpearls.com

This was my first time making lasagna because of my (lack of) self-control issues and my ever-annoying smoke detector putting a serious damper on using my oven. The last time I had a craving for lasagna was a couple of years ago. My apartment building hosted a holiday party for residents to mix and mingle and eat. I completely forgot about it, despite seeing the event posters in the laundry room and mail room for about a month, until I came home from a tiring day. Grabbing a plate, I perused the catering choices and was going to load up on cookies, I saw it: LASAGNA. {Insert Heart Eyes Emoji x 100}

I loaded up my plate with heavenly lasagna and proceeded to sit in the corner and consumer an ungodly amount of lasagna while talking to virtually no one. #NoNewFriends

And then, punch drunk on lasagna, I snuck up another plate of lasagna to my apartment for the next day. I regret nothing.

Slow cooker lasagna is the bee’s knees if you’re planning to make a dish for 1 or 2 people. It’s ridiculously easy to make and the slow cooker does pretty much all the work while you watch Parks and Rec Season 7 on Netflix and cry when Ron and Leslie make up. Again, not that that happened or anything…

I’ve said too much.

Slow Cooker Lasagna | dcgirlinpearls.com

Slow Cooker Lasagna
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 jars, pasta sauce
  • 1 package, no boil lasagna noodles
  • 32 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 package shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 container baby spinach
  • Basil for garnish
Instructions
  1. Liberally coat the inside of the crockpot with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Line the bottom with an even layer of pasta sauce.
  3. Break the uncooked lasagna noodles as needed to fit in a single layer in the slow cooker.
  4. Top with ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  5. Layer baby spinach and repeat the layers.
  6. The top two layers should be tomato sauce and Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  7. Bake on high for 3 hours.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil
Notes
My slow cooker is 1.5 qts so I halved the recipe to fit the crockpot.

 

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Spring 2016 Work Wear Wish List

Phew we’re almost all dug out but for the first time since Thursday, I had to dig out my real people work clothes. Leggings and XL tshirts were the unofficial official uniform of Snowzilla 2016 but can’t cut it for 9-5. Tragically.

Over the weekend, I did a little online window shopping because let’s face it: I didn’t want to leave my warm and cozy apartment for that long. I’m currently on a shopping hiatus but hey, it never hurts to look, right? Especially when Talbots Spring 2016 collection is crushing it! So many bright colors, so many fun prints! Spring 2016, hurry up!

Spring 2016 Work Wear Wish List | dcgirlinpearls.com

J. Crew Factory Secretary Blouse // Talbots Edison Pointy-Toe Slingbacks // J.Crew Factory Ikat Jacquard Skirt // Talbots Garden Cluster Necklace // Land’s End Sleeveless Ponte Sheath Dress // J. Crew Factory Embellished Sheath Dress // Talbots Devon Knit Blazer // Land’s End Minnie Pumps 

Are you back to the grind today? I need all the chai today! And maybe a jalapeño bagel…

Also, are you interested in seeing more work style posts? I’m thinking about bringing those posts back to my weekly rotation. What do you think? Or is there another topic you’d like to see more of? I want to hear from you!

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons | dcgirlinpearls.com

Phew, that was a mouthful of a title! We’ve got a lot of tasty goodness to go into this delicious Kale Caesar salad so let’s get this kale party started.

Can we hit reset on this weekend? Snowzilla wasn’t exactly the best thing for my healthy eating resolution. General Tso’s, chicken fingers…I took full advantage of being snowed in to clean, do laundry. And eat like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone. I could really use some supervision, you guys. After the weekend, I was running low on produce but couldn’t bear the thought of eating junk food.

But then I ate tater tots. Guys, I cannot stress enough how much supervision I require.

Kale to the rescue!! Yikes. I wrote that. I actually wrote that.

I keep a big Ziploc bag of kale on hand in my fridge to toss into smoothies and soups because, you know, health. Using what I had on hand and digging into the depths of my fridge, I whipped up a Kale Caesar salad with non-dairy tahini Caesar dressing and homemade pretzel croutons. It’s times like these that having a well-stocked pantry and fridge pay off big time.

Clean-out-the-fridge meals are always the best meals, am I right?

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons | dcgirlinpearls.com

You can’t beat Trader Joe’s $1 soft pretzel bread stick for sandwiches or just eating it plain. Sliced up into cubes, tossed in olive oil and browned in a skillet, it is A-MAZING. I’d eat those croutons plain. Note to future self: They’d be baller in a panzanella salad.

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons | dcgirlinpearls.com

While you’re waiting for the croutons to cool, it’s time to whip up the vegan tahini Caesar dressing! This dressing takes about 5 minutes to make and can keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. And the ingredients can all be found in your pantry! Winner winner Kale Caesar dinner. P.S. Tahini is a pantry rockstar so get on board!!

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons | dcgirlinpearls.com

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons | dcgirlinpearls.com

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • Kale
Croutons:
  • 1 Trader Joe's Soft Pretzel Stick
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt
Non-Dairy Caesar Dressing:
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp capers
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp black better
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
Instructions
Pretzel Croutons:
  1. Slice up the soft pretzel stick into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and add the pretzel cubes. Toss to evenly coat in coconut oil and stir until browned, about 5 minutes. Let drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
Vegan Caesar Dressing:
  1. Toss all ingredients into a bowl and thoroughly mix using a blender until completely smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.
Notes
I used my immersion blender to make the dressing, it's my favorite kitchen tool!

 

Kale Caesar Salad with Non-Dairy Tahini Caesar Dressing and Pretzel Croutons | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Snowzilla Style

Navy Gingham Shirt and Cable Knit Sweater | dcgirlinpearls.com

Hell from the other side 😉 And if you’re lucky, it’s a SNOW DAY!!! I owe you one, Snowzilla/Jonas.

I spent the weekend alternating between curling up on my couch under a fuzzy blanket (with work) and exploring the neighborhood after the huuuggggeee snowfall on Saturday. It was a bit post-apocalyptic with everyone walking in the streets. Seriously, on Saturday the only car I saw driving was an Uber. All the kids were SO PUMPED to go sledding and others napped on sleds while their parents dragged them around the streets. Now that’s how you do a snow day.

Hands down, my favorite part of the snowstorm was watching the kids go sledding on the Capitol lawn (thanks, Omnibus!). And in true DC fashion, I did spot people using protest signs as impromptu sleds. Not in Western New York anymore…

I’m pretty sure my friends and I walked at least 5 miles yesterday. I swear, after this weekend’s jaunts I better have toned calves.

Navy Gingham Shirt and Cable Knit Sweater | dcgirlinpearls.com

J. Crew Factory Navy Gingham Shirt // Cable Knit Sweater (similar) // L.L. Bean Quilted Riding Jacket // J. Crew Factory Pleated Skirt // L.L. Bean Camp Socks // L.L. Bean Boots // Coach Isabelle (similar) // Kendra Scott Taylor Gold Studs // Target Boyfriend Watch // Kate Spade Necklace // Ray-Ban Aviators 

After living in crazy layers all weekend (think leggings and long sleeve tees under flannel), I’m ready to feel like a human again. But I’m easing into it with my favorite J.Crew Factory skirt, that elastic waistband is a lifesaver after a weekend sponsored by carbs, the softest gingham shirt and topped off with the coziest sweater ever. Add minimal jewelry and finish with extra-thick camp socks and Bean boots that’ll keep your feet warm ‘n happy!! Well, that was quite the run-on sentence but it’s a SNOW DAY! So all rules go right out the window, right?

Did you get a snow day today? How’d your spend your Snowzilla weekend?

Navy Gingham Shirt and Cable Knit Sweater | dcgirlinpearls.com

Navy Gingham Shirt and Cable Knit Sweater | dcgirlinpearls.com

L.L. Bean Boots to brave the winter snow | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Tangerine Bourbon Spritz

You know what goes perfectly with snow days? Bourbon.
Tangerine Bourbon Spritz | dcgirlinpearls.com

True story.

Growing up in the area of Buffalo called “The Snow Belt,” I’m no stranger to blizzards and snowstorms. So in my sophomore year of college when DC weathermen predicted a “Snowmaggedon,” I laughed off their claims of “mountains of snow.” While my California girl roommate who had never seen snow in person battled the crowds at the grocery store and emerged victoriously, I did pretty much nothing to prepare for the storm. Thankfully, when our campus and the dining hall/my source of food closed, she took pity on me and we pooled our resources together. I took her sledding and showed her how to make a snow angel, she made me delicious matzoh ball soup. Together, we made amazing chocolate cake using coconut rum that we still discuss. It was a magical time, a simpler time.

Flash forward to 2016 and I’m ready to take on this storm. Candles, matches, flashlight, non-perishable food items, and cocktail supplies. I got it all, guys!

Snowmaggedon I was all about the coconut rum. Snowmaggedon II is all about the bourbon.

Tangerine Bourbon Spritz | dcgirlinpearls.com

I’ve been working on “eating with the seasons,” which sounds kinda pretentious let’s be honest. Basically, I’m just trying to eat veggies and fruits that are in season in an attempt to expand my taste buds because I usually find something I love whether it be brussels sprouts or a TV show (*cough* Parks and Rec *cough*) and hold it close and never ever let go, Jack.

Wow. Thirsty Thursday’s turning into a #TBT real quick.

Citrus season is in full swing and the tangerines at Trader Joe’s just looked so happy, I couldn’t say no! Some people come home with a dog, I come home with a bag of tangerines. Totally normal, right?

My favorite way to add flavor into cocktails is an infused simple syrup. So easy to make and it packs a big flavor punch. Tangerine Bourbon Spritz was gonna happen pretty much as soon as I barged through my door, heavy grocery bags in tow.

Tangerine Bourbon Spritz | dcgirlinpearls.com

Now wear your PJs inside out and pray to the OPM gods that we get a snow day tomorrow. And if that’s the case, I’ll be burrowed under ALL THE BLANKETS with a Tangerine Bourbon Spritz in one hand and a good book in the other.

Tangerine Bourbon Spritz
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1 cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1 2 in. tangerine zest
  • Juice of ½ tangerine
  • 1 shot of bourbon
  • Splash of ginger ale
Tangerine Simple Syrup
  • Juice from 1 medium tangerine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. To make the simple syrup, combine all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat and whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Let it cool.
  2. In a rocks glass, place the zest at the bottom of the glass and add ice.
  3. Add the bourbon, 2 tablespoons simple syrup and top off with ginger ale.

 

Tangerine Bourbon Spritz | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

How to Balance Running a Blog with a Full-Time Job

How to Balance Running a Blog with a Full-time Job | dcgirlinpearls.com

How to run a blog with a full-time job is a topic I feel like both an expert and a novice at. Simultaneously. A couple of months ago, I fell off the blog bandwagon, big time. Being so unorganized and feeling so behind the 8 ball, I lost motivation. It was difficult to get over this but right now I feel like I’m on track and full steam ahead! I hope these tips help you whether you’re running a blog or another side hobby that you love!

Organize:

  1. Plan ahead with an editorial calendar: I keep my 6 month editorial calendar on Google Drive and without it, I’d be lost. I plan my content ahead several weeks in advance and because I have set topics for set days, it’s easy to fill in content. Of course, things do come up and I may have to bump content to another day but it still makes it so easier to see everything in one spot. It also helps keep content fresh because I can see all the posts as they relate to one another. I don’t want to bore you guys!
  2. Schedule out your social media content: After taking photos, editing photos, and writing copy, sometimes you just want to hit “Schedule” on a post and go to bed. But I’ve trained myself to immediately schedule out my social content after I finish writing a blog post. Lately, I’ve been hooked on Buffer.com for scheduling tweets and Facebook posts. It’s free (!!!) and helps you discover the optimal times to post. Work smarter, not harder, amirite?
  3. Find a planner you love: Now this part took a bit of time. Running a blog is a full-time job in of itself and I couldn’t find a planner that mapped out everything I needed to accomplish in my real life and my blog life cohesively. For a hilarious (sarcasm) week and a half this year, I tried to go paperless. That was cute of me. When it comes to to-do lists, I need to write it out and have the satisfaction of crossing off a completed task. Alicia of Alicia Tenise recommend The Day Designer on her IG, I checked it out. And you guys, I’m in L-O-V-E. There’s only a few of my planner left in stock so you better put the pedal to the metal! In case you aren’t sure if The Day Designer is right for you or you already have a planner, they also offer free printables, check it out.
  4. Set up your day for success: The very first thing I do in the morning is create a to-do list. I jot down virtually everything I need to do that day and put a star next to the items that need to be completed first thing, ASAP. If it’s a super crazy day, I’ll give myself a reasonable time limit that I can spend on each task to keep myself on track. Despite your best intentions and the most awesome to-do list ever, things can turn on a dime and sometimes I leave work accomplishing tasks that weren’t on my list but not checking off items on my actual list. And that’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up, we’re not super heroes. Or Leslie Knope.

How to Balance Running a Blog with a Full-time Job | dcgirlinpearls.com

Motivate 

Running a blog is a major labor of love. I spent about 65-70% of my weekend working on my blog, whether that’s taking photos, editing those photos, writing posts and social content, etc. I’ve sacrificed after-work happy hours to work on this little ol’ blog because I love it and it truly makes me happy. That said, it can be downright exhausting and you can get bogged down. That’s what happened to me a few months ago and it was miserable. I felt lethargic and hated every minute of that funk. Staying motivated is just as important as getting organized when it comes to balancing a blog with a full-time job. Here’s how I stay motivated:

  1. Podcasts: This weekend, I got majorly into podcasts. I had listened to the occasional podcast but just figured I was the type of person who needed to see action and video along with my audio. Until I discovered a couple of podcasts aimed at bloggers and entrepreneurs and I.am.HOOKED. I listened to a couple of Food Blogger Pro podcasts before I set down to work on my blog and guys, I haven’t felt that productive in I don’t even know how long. While this podcast primarily covers topics for food bloggers, the overall discussion addresses principles and strategies that can easily be applied to lifestyle and style blogs. Definitely worth a listen! Also recommended: Mixergy, a podcast interviewing entrepreneurs from all walks of life and all arenas.
  2. Family/Friends: Never underestimate the value of a personal cheerleaders. Or a whole human pyramid of them! From helping with taking photos to offering sage gchat wisdom, my family and friends are rockstars. They serve as my tastetesters, my bad joke editors and my sometimes much-needed reality check. Without them, I’d be completely lost. My family and friends have supported and motivated me through my blog’s best and worst times and for that I’m thankful and very motivated to keep it going.
  3. Creative Tribe: I started DC Girl in Pearls in college as a creative outlet, a fun space amid the serious policy in DC. A big factor in my motivation is simply chatting and hanging out with other creatives. I didn’t realize how much this affected me until I went to a Twitter happy hour a couple of months ago. I was still sort of in that funk but after a couple of hours talking to other people about Twitter, digital strategy and motion graphics, I left that event on cloud nine and my brain practically buzzing with ideas. If I ran, which I don’t, I’d imagine this is what a runner’s high feels like. Being able to bounce ideas off other creatives and have a sounding board is vital to staying motivated. Find your creative tribe, whether it’s in person or online.

How to Balance Running a Blog with a Full-time Job | dcgirlinpearls.com

Do you have any tips for getting organized and staying motivated? Do you want to see more blogging tips content? Let me know!!

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’