Author Archives: kristinsmithwrites

About kristinsmithwrites

I've been writing web and marketing copy for the past nine years. I enjoy figuring out what a client wants, what they need, what they are afraid of, and creating communications that effectively convey their message. One of the hardest classes I took in college was a grammar class taught by second-year law students, who are stickers for accuracy (I got an A!).

Paleo/primal treats

The most difficult part of going paleo/primal with children has to be snacks and treats.  They get tired of celery and apples after having so many years of goldfish and cookies!  I’ve tried many paleo recipes I’ve found on pinterest, and most of them are a big, fat, fail.  I’ve found the most reliable sources for paleo/primal recipes are:  Nom Nom Paleo, PaleOMG and Elana’s Pantry.

Here are two delicious recipes that work every time:

Double layer fudge from PaleOMG:  The first time I made it with paleo no-no peanut butter and it was delicious.  The next time I made it with almond butter, and it was equally yummy.  Just make sure your almond butter is salted – you need the salty to balance the sweet of the chocolate.

No-bake energy bars from dramaticpancake.com:  The first time I made these, I used dried blueberries instead of cherries, and they were awesome.  Parker requested that I make the next batch without chia, since he doesn’t like the texture.  My latest batch subbed chopped hazelnuts for the chia, and I used dried cherries.  I regret having even one little taste of this version, because I am finding it hard to restrain myself from eating it!  Tip – make sure you grease the wax paper with coconut oil before you press in the bars.

http://www.dramaticpancake.com

Here’s another win:  I made my kind bar hack this week with dried apples and toasted walnuts (omit the chocolate) – double yum!  The boys loved it and Parker couldn’t stop eating it!  It is very easy to make variations on this recipe – next I’m going to make a southern pecan version!

 All of these recipes are very easy to make, and even easier to eat.  Hope you enjoy!

 

Gluten-free waffles

Here is a recipe for gluten-free bread or waffles that no one complains about.  I originally made a Mark Sisson recipe for coconut bread, but the boys didn’t like the texture.  The next time I made it, I replaced the coconut flour with almond flour (they really aren’t substitutes because they behave so differently in recipes).  When this recipe is made with coconut flour, it is very dense.  When almond flour is used, it turns out very light and buttery, much like challah.  To make it like a bread, I use an 8″ cake pan and cook it for about 10 minutes until it browns a bit on top.  It is great with chili, eating it with almond butter and jelly or just plain with butter.  When we use the recipe to make waffles, I always make a double batch to feed our family of five. Here is the recipe that we use to make great waffles and bread:

 

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/2 cups ghee (or melted butter)
1-2 tablespoon honey, depending on taste
1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup almond flour

Method:
Whisk it all together, or blend in a food processor until all lumps are gone. Grease your waffle iron with butter or coconut oil and pour your batter in. Cook until golden brown and top with grade B maple syrup.

 

Packing a primal/paleo lunch for school

In general, we eat primal at our house, but I’m not super hard-core about being grain- and legume-free with my boys. If they have pizza at a party, or waffles with their grandparents, I’ve made peace with it. I tend to follow the 80/20 rule with my boys and their diet – if they eat fresh whole food most of the time, I’m ok.

Eliminating grains and legumes for breakfast and dinner has been easy at our house, but lunch can still be a challenge. What can you pack that is gluten-free and doesn’t rely on GF packaged foods?

Well, for me it has been more about changing how I view lunch. You have to get away from thinking that everything has to be put in bread. Once you get over the sandwich bias, there’s a lot you can pack. Now that it’s colder, my boys like hot leftovers like chili or stir fry in their thermoses.

Our standby lunch for my oldest son is a salad with a bunch of veggies and protein. He is not a big fan of dairy or veggies – so he is more of a challenge. Thankfully he likes luncheon meet, so he gets lettuce and nitrite-free turkey wraps often.

Here is a typical lunch that they bring to school: mixed green salad with tomato, mozzarella (make it paleo by taking out the dairy products), and cucumber; ranch dressing, clementine and primal brownie (I made the brownies w/ almond and coconut flour).

 

Tell the unique story of your business

Each of your clients has different needs and expectations, and you create custom solutions for them. Why should your website be any different?

Studies have shown that first impressions last much longer than we think is logical. When meeting a new person or hearing about a new business, the first thing most of us do is look at their website. If their website does not look seamless and professional, or looks like it was made 15 years ago, does this give you confidence in their professional abilities?  They may be the most competent person for the job, but if that competence does not flow through everything they do, you probably don’t feel like you can count on them to deliver.  Your website is a powerful tool that communicates your business’s values – don’t you want to give the best first impression possible?

So what does your website say about you?  Are there blurry out of focus head shots made with a point and shoot camera? Is your site filled generic stock images that are available to anyone?  How do you take your website up to the next level?

We have a solution for you, and we call it Custom Stock. We guide you through the whole process: we meet with you and talk about your business, your goals, the message you want to communicate. With this input, we review your website and make recommendations for imagery.  We then create custom photographs of your employees, your offices, your products, and your customers so you can tell the unique story of your business.  These images are licensed exclusively to you. No need to worry that competitor down the street has the same boring stock image on their website!

Communicate the uniqueness and professionalism of your business with our custom stock images.

 

Five tips for mama-razzis

Love photography, but scared to get off program mode?  Here are five tips that can help any mom make better pictures of her kids.

1. If you are outside, move your subject(s) into light shade. When your subject is in bright sun, you get squinty eyes and dark shadows around the eyes. When you move everyone into even shade (no dappled light), everyone looks better.

2. Turn off your flash! A flash creates really hard shadows, the evil red-eye and makes the background dark.  Also, the flash tends to wash out skin tones.  If you are inside, turn on all the lights, and/or go next to a window that has a lot of light streaming in. Unless it is night, you will not need a flash outside at all. You will be surprised how much better your photos look!

3. Pay attention to what is in the background.  Are there any people photo-bombing your picture?  Is there a tree or pole growing out of your subject’s head?  If so, you need to move either to the right or left (keeping your subject in the same spot) until you find a good composition.

4. Get in close. Have your family get in close together, and then you get close to them. A nice, tightly framed photo makes your family the center of attention, and removes any distractions in the environment.

5. Set your white balance! Most amateur photographers don’t know how to set the white balance, and the color of their pictures is off.  Look at your camera’s manual, and learn how to set your custom white balance. Clear, true to nature colors will make an amazing difference in your photos.

An effective Executive Portrait communicates your leadership and your company’s core values

You have worked hard to get to this point in your career. As an expert in your field, your employees and customers rely on you to make the correct decisions. The images you put out into the world need to communicate your professionalism as well as your company’s values. With the proliferation of images on the internet, people are becoming more visually literate, and the power of images as a communication tool continues to increase.

It is critical that you work with an experienced photographer who cares about making you and your company look your best. With our experience working with executives in leadership positions, we value your time:  you can can count on us to manage the production so that you have a minimum amount of time in front of the camera.  You can trust us to get the job done.

Your headshot is your virtual handshake (web copy)

With potential clients, your headshot is your virtual handshake.

What does your headshot say about you?

You work hard to be the best at what you do, and you want your first impression to be a strong one.

Your portrait should communicate that you are a professional, and you take your career seriously.

Malcolm Gladwell discusses the stickiness of first impressions in his book, “Blink.”  People will make a very quick decision about the quality of a product or service, and that impression lasts. With the importance of the internet to business, visual imagery becomes more important each day as we increasingly communicate through social media.  Whether it’s on LinkedIn or on your website, your professional portrait is someone’s first impression of you and your career.  Is that impression a good one?