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DIY Custom Sprinkles Mix

Do you know makes blogging better? I’ll give you the answer! Sprinkes! Yes, sprinkles make blogging better! Well, actually any sugar makes writing tons and and tons of blog post just a little bit easier to deal with. Today I’m going to show you exactly how I made a custom sprinkle mix as a favor for my most recent small business blogging workshop. I was looking for a fun and affordable favor for the blogging workshop and I wanted it to go with my theme. Most of all, I needed this swag to be easy to source, simple to assemble and a breeze to set up.

This is not quite the inspiration post about my stylish wedding garters that you are used to seeing here on my blog, but you know I love a good DIY project! So, let me tell you the story of how I came up with the custom sprinkles mix for the blogging workshop and pulled it off easily and affordably…

Photo credit: Red October Photography

First the idea.

This small business blogging workshop was held at Sprinkles, a cupcake bakery here in Washington DC. Given that the workshop was at Sprinkles, I thought it would be really fun to use sprinkles as a theme for the favors. As it turns out, the custom sprinkles mixes were fun, unique, attendees loved them!

I looked around quite a bit to find a mix of custom colored sprinkles to go with my theme of gray and yellow, but I had a really hard time finding exactly the perfect sprinkle mix for my favors. I wanted just the right colors and I didn’t want it to be too expensive. After all, it was a favor to take home, certainly not something that was necessary, but rather nice to have! Plus, attendees came to the workshop learn how to blog for their small business, not to get favors and swag, as fun as it is!

Photo credit: Red October Photography

Next was the phrase.

Again, given that the blogging workshop was at a place named Sprinkles, I really wanted to use the word “sprinkles” in the favor tag. I came up with, “Sprinkles make blogging better” and then added my workshop hashtag #byobworskhop at the bottom of the sticker label.

I’m a sugar fanatic and anything fun and sweet, like sprinkles, makes writing blog posts that much easier. It can be hard to sit down and crank through blog posts and to learn all there is to know about blogging. (If you are looking for tips on blogging, be sure to look through my posts!) A fun and festive favorite of a custom sprinkle mix makes blogging just a little bit better! Wouldn’t you agree?

Photo credit: Red October Photography

Now comes finding the sprinkles.

Finding just the right sprinkles is not easy, friends. No, it is not! (But, then again neither is writing lots of blog posts!) I searched high and low for the right sprinkles in the colors that I wanted. I also had to look for sprinkles that weren’t too expensive. You can find lots of sprinkles out there, but many of them are really pricey. Since I need quite a bit of sprinkles to make the favors, I needed it all to not be too expensive. If you look hard enough and long enough, you can find affordable sprinkles. Then, when you make own mix, it looks just how you want it and it so much less expensive!

I went to A.C. Moore, Michael’s, Party City, several different groceries stores and looked online endlessly (including Amazon). I picked up a few different styles and sizes of sprinkles, sugar crystals, pearls, jimmies, cake decorating pieces, small bits of candy and more. Everytime I was out, I’d look for more sprinkles to add to my collection. I was going for eclectic in the sprinkle mix, so the more unique the better! I tried to get a mix of colors, but all within my gray, white and yellow theme. I was looking for unique sizes and textures of the sprinkles.

Online, I was able to find solid color jimmies at Nuts In Bulk and I ordered the jimmies in white and yellow. (But, you have to be careful, there were a few other colors mixed in with my plain colors and I had to sift through to take out the random bright green jimmies!) I used the white and the yellow jimmies as the main component of the sprinkle mix and then the other colors and styles, aka the more expensive sprinkles, were the filler that just added little pops of fun throughout the custom mix.

Once I gathered all the different sprinkles, it was a matter of throwing them all into a big bowl and mixing them together to make my own custom sprinkle mix!

Photo credit: Red October Photography

Last the container.

Originally, I wanted to put the custom sprinkle mix into little zip-top plastic bags and stick the label on the outside of the bags. But, then I was walking through Michael’s craft store and they had little jars with silver and yellow lids. Could there be a more perfect favor jar for my blogging workshop?!

I ended up returning the plastic favor bags and went with the clear glass jars. They looked like little cookie jars and were ideal for this favor! For $0.50 per jar, I was able to get one jar per person and I got a mix of silver and bright yellow lids for the jars. They were the most perfect sprinkle jars! (At the same time, I even was able to get little glass milk jars and I added a little sticker that said, “Blog. Sip. Repeat.” But, that’s another DIY post for another day!)

On the outside of the sprinkle jar, I printed out stickers on sticker paper and stuck them onto the jar. These jars had a flat front so that I could put the sticker.



And, there you have it! The story of how I DIY-d my own custom sprinkle mix for a blogging workshop favor! What about you? Will you make your own sprinkle mix??

If you want more small business blogging advice, you can check out my posts on the topics and you can see more of my DIY projects on my blog, too! You can also sign up for my email newsletter to get tips and be the first to find out about my next workshop.

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When You Don’t Know What To Blog About

Are you struggling with what to write about on your blog for your small business? I’m going to give you a little tip today for what to write about when you just don’t know what to blog about! Maybe you are feeling a bit lost for blog topics or are feeling unfocused. Do you put off writing blog post until you can come up with that perfect thing to blog about? I see many small business owners struggling with generating content for their blog for their creative small business. The conversation is always the same:

Me: Why did you write this blog post?

Them: I have no idea, I was just looking for something to blog about.

Does this empty feeling regarding your blog sound familiar to you too? Do you sit down as your computer and just stare at a blank screen? Do you keep putting off writing blog posts, because you feel like you have nothing to write about? Does blogging just keep getting shoved farther and farther down the list of things to do?

Photo Credit: Red October Photography

Blogging As A Business

Before we get started, there is one point to make clear. I’m not talking about blogging as a business. I’m talking about blogging when you earn a living doing something else. You are a creative small business entrepreneur, and you have a blog to support whatever that other business is that you do. In my case, I design stylish wedding garters and I have a blog, which you are reading right now, that supports my wedding garter design business. My blog is where I talk about things that are going on in business, I share new garter styles and more about my business. (I also share lots of small business blogging tips like this one you are reading right now!)

Hey, This Is What I Do!

OK, so to the topic at hand: blogging struggles. What should you blog about when you just don’t know what to blog about on your small business blog? When you don’t know what to blog about: Blog about what you want to get hired for.

Yes, it is truly that simple: blog about what you want to be paid for. Ding, ding! Hello, light bub! Your blog for your business should be about the business that you do, the business that makes you money and pays your bills.

I know that blogging about what you want to be hired to do seems like a really simple solution and I don’t mean to be flip. So stick with me as I attempt to explain why blogging about your business is so important.

When you write a blog post, it says to the world and the Internet: Hey, this is what I do! If you don’t tell the world what it is that you do, how will the world know to hire you to do that job? In life and on the Internet, you must put out there what you want to get back. Your blog is one of the greatest vehicles for you to tell the story of your business. You can and should use your blog to promote your business and talk about topics relevant to your business and the work that you do.

Stay On Message

If you want to be hired to design flowers for a wedding, well then, blog about designing flowers for weddings. If you want to be hired to do branding for other creative small businesses, well then blog about branding for creative small business. If you are a wedding planner and you blog about a favorite new recipe that you just tried, that tells the world that you want to be hired for testing out new recipes. Why would you do that?

Why would you blog about something way off of your topics when they chances are high that you might not have time to write another blog post again for another six months?

Sure, you might have just learned a new skill or you might be really excited about your home renovation project and you just want to share it with the world! Sharing personal stories or off-brand topics is what Facebook and other social media sites are for. You might even want to start a new blog about your new found topic! But, stay on track with your blog for your small business and keep it to posts about your business and what you want to be hired to do.

The goal of any small business owner with a blog is to write long-lasting blog posts that are going to deliver for you over and over and over again. We know that what you want to be hired for is going to deliver for you, because it is what you do. Its just that simple!

I see many small business owners struggle with content generation and it forces them off track. You are not a professional blogger, you don’t need to general new and different types of content. You own a small business doing what you love, so you already have a built in topic for your blog. Blog about your business. Stick to the topics of your business and what you want others to hire you to do.

Again And Again

With your blog for your business, stay on message. Don’t look to create new things or new ideas, unless you want to be hired for those new things or new ideas. Blog about what you know, what you want to get hired for. And then when you are done blogging about your business topics, do it again, and again and then again. Just keep asking yourself: What do I want to get hired for? That’s what I’m going to blog about.

Now, there are creative ways to give the similar advice in new ways, or provide new content within the same categories or come up with creative solutions to repetitive blog posts, but those advice posts and tricks to the trade are for other days!

If you stay on track and dig a little deeper, I bet you’ll be shocked at the number of blog posts and topics that you can generate on just what it is that you do. I am still amazed at all the different topics and ways that I can tell my wedding garter story through my blog and I’m not even close to being done yet!

In summary, when you don’t know what to blog about: blog about what you want to be hired for.

For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject. You can sign up for my email newsletter to get more blogging tips and be the first person to know about any blogging workshops that I have coming up.

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The 2nd B.Y.O.B. Workshop Photos & Recap

I can no tell you how excited I am to share the pictures from my second small business blogging workshop that I recently held here in Washington, DC. At The B.Y.O.B. (Blog Your Own Business) Workshop, I took a little break from sewing my stylish wedding garters and hosted 13 creative small business owners from the DC area at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown and we talked about all things blogging, like how to start your blog, why blogging matters, what to blog about, how to blog the right away, how to grow your business through your blog and so much more! It was a jammed packed day full of cupcakes and lots of blogging. The attendees left with tons of blogging knowledge, a huge to-do list and lots of fun swag to make it all better!

Here are the photographs from Anna at Red October Photography. Let’ start with one of me in the room all set up, because why not!?



At the workshop, we talked about all things blogging, but what I was most excited to share was my tips and advice on how to fit blogging to your work day. Attendees also had the honor of hearing from my friend Myrna of Mezzohead Media. Myrna talked about SEO (search engine optimization) and the world of online marketing and what all of it means for those of in the creative small industry space. The online world is changing so fast and the old, marketing techniques don’t always apply in the age of social media. It was truly a gift to talk with Myrna, hear her perspective and listen to her talk about SEO in a language that we all could understand!


The room at Sprinkles was very modern with its white tables and chairs and pink floor. So, I went with the same gray and yellow theme as my first blogging workshop in Maryland and I loved how it all turned out! It was so bright and fresh, perfect for blogging all day! For each attendee, I made them a tote bag to take home all of their swag and blogging materials. (These tote bags were the same that I made at my last blogging workshop and you can find the DIY tote swag bag instructions right here!) On each bag, I made the name tags using my new (and very rough!) brush stroke skills that I learned from Michelle at Meant To Be Calligraphy at her modern brush stroke calligraphy class.

At each attendee’s place setting, they received my custom blogging workbook to take notes and follow along with the presentation, a few pencils, a blank notebook, and their personalized blog and website review in a gray folder. For the favors, I made a custom yellow, gray and white sprinkle mix in a jar with a sticker that said “Sprinkles Make Blogging Better,” because well, they do! (Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing my DIY instructions for how to make your own custom sprinkles mix!) Each guest also received a little glass milk bottle with a sticker that said, “Blog. Sip. Repeat.” I also put little signs in the bowls of chocolate kisses that said, “Kiss Your Blogging Mistakes Away.” As a little to-go treat, the guests also received custom cookies made by Tiffany at Sugar Studio Co. She was able to hand pipe the icing onto the cookies in the different blogging phrases of “Your Blog Is Like Really Pretty,” “Blog It Like Its Hot,” and “You Can Totally Blog With Me.”

Running your small business and your blog, it all about the sugar and hydration! Here are the rest of the pictures…




















Photo Credit: Red October Photography

So, there you have it! You can clearly see that I’m all about the sweets, the hydration and the blogging!

Thank you so much to Red October Photography for taking such beautiful pictures and really capturing the workshop. A special thanks to my friend and DC area wedding planner, Janice, at Bellwether Events, for helping me to plan and execute the workshop. It takes a village!

If you want more small business blogging advice, you can check out my posts on the topics. You can also sign up for my email newsletter to get tips and be the first to find out about my next workshop.

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Help: I’m Embarrassed By My Blog

Are you embarrassed by the blog for your creative small business? Do you hate your blog so much and wish it would just go away? Or maybe you actually do love blogging for your business, you just can’t ever seem to find the time to do it! Regardless of the reason, if you are embarrassed by the blog you maintain for your creative small business, you’ve come to the right place! All judgement aside for how it got your blog got to this point, the goal of this post is to move your blog forward! I’m going to give you a few practical things that you can do right now, as in today, to get your small business blog back on track and not allow it to be something that you are embarrassed to share with the world.

As I’m prepping for my upcoming small business blogging workshop here in Washington, DC, I’ve been to many, many business blogs. And, I get the “I’m embarrassed” reaction quite a bit from small business owners about their blog. They don’t want anyone to see their blog. Maybe they have neglected for months, even years, and it so it is horribly out-of-date. Maybe they don’t like design of their blog or maybe the posts that they do have up on their blog isn’t the best reflection of their work. Yet, their blog is still linked on their website, right up there in their website’s main navigation with the about their business page and the page about the services that they offer.

something blue lace wedding garter

Photo Credit: Red October Photography, Styling: Marigold & Grey

I hear hear often from business owners when I say that I’ve been to their blog to check out their work. They respond with, “Oh please don’t look at my blog, I’m so embarrassed!” If you are embarrassed by your blog for your business, what kind of message are you sending to potential clients? Are you going to tell them not to look at your blog? That you are embarrassed about your blog? Are you going to be embarrassed about the work that you do for them? How are they supposed to trust you, if you show them things (i.e. your blog!) that you are embarrassed about?

What Your Blog Says

If your blog is linked up on your website and visible to the world it says to your potential clients: Look here! A blog on your website says:  Come check out this page out as a representation of my work and get to know more about me and my business.

You don’t get to tell website visitors what pages to go to or not on our websites. So, if you have a blog up on your website and you are embarrassed about it, I’d suggest doing something about it. Fix it, solve the blog embasrassment! And, quickly. If you are a wedding florist and you created flowers for a couple’s wedding would you walk out of that reception room with work that you are embarrassed about? No! You’d stay there until you fixed it and got it right. Why? Because your work is a reflection of you and of your business. Just the same, your blog is a reflection of your work and of your business.

If you are embarrassed by the blog for your small business, it is important to recognize your situation. Don’t spend to much time thinking about the past and how you got to this point, instead use the solutions I’m about to provide as a motivation for the future. Here are few quick things that you can do to cure those horrible blog feelings. Your blog is your businesses’ biggest cheerleader, give your blog a little love and it will love your business right back!

Here are four things that you can do to cure blog embarrassment:

#1 Take Your Blog Down

If you are truly embarrassed by your blog and you can find no other solution, take it down. You shouldn’t have anything on your website that isn’t the best reflection of your work and if your blog isn’t where you want it to be, then consider taking it down. I don’t mean delete your blog, that’s a whole other post for a whole other day, rather, I mean unlink your blog from your website. If you unlink your, the blog is still live out there on the Internet, but it isn’t associated with your website’s homepage. So, new potential clients coming to you website won’t be able to easily find your blog.

You’ll need to fully weigh the options with unlinking your blog to determine if ultimately it is the right solution for your business. But, unlinking it might give you a little breathing room to develop a solution. And, can’t we all use a little less pressure on our shoulders a business owners?!

#2 Update Your Blog

If your small business blog is horribly out-of-date and you are embarrassed by it, update it. It sounds so simple, I know, but maybe it really is that simple. Just update your blog. Write a blog post and get it up there. Stop what you are doing, stop with the social media, stop with the emails, stop with the excuses and take 15 minutes to write blog post. You’ll feel so much better after you’ve updated your blog.

Start with an easy blog post, maybe about a press feature that you had recently. Your blog doesn’t have to be epic, it just has to be updated. Epic can come later when you have some time to think about a schedule and defining your blog’s voice.

If your blog is out of date, for now just focus on getting your blog updated. One simple blog post will help to alleviate those feelings of guilt that small business owners tend to feel when their plate gets too full.

For more on how to get your blog going quickly and easily, check out this post that I wrote about the 10 blog posts that you already have written. And, also check out my three best blogging tips.

#3 Admit Why You Are Embarrassed

If you are embarrassed by your blog, take a minute or two think about why it is embarrassing to you. What exactly is the source of your embarrassment? Once you know what the problem is, it might be easier to get your blog under control.

Give your business a hard look to the inside and try to find out what is frustrating you about your blog. Is it because your blog is out of date? Do you not like the design of your blog? Are you frustrated with having nothing to write about on your blog? Do you love blogging, but you can never seem to find the time to blog? Do you just not like writing at all? These are all curable situations. You can solve all of these blogging problems.

There are so many reasons why business owners let their blog slip and allow their blog to develop into something that they aren’t proud of. If you are better able to determine what it is that you don’t like about your blog, then you’ll be that much closer to solving the problem.

#4 Develop A Realistic Schedule

Sometimes business owners have an blog that they are embarrassed about because they just don’t know where to start to fix it. I see it often that the business owner is overwhelmed about where to start and so they just leave the blog empty or out-of-date. Not knowing where to start or not knowing how to fix is a problem is a very real feeling and it can be paralyzing.

If your blog hasn’t been updated it a while, and you don’t know where to start, I suggest starting with a schedule. That’s right, come up with a schedule for your blog that is manageable for you that you know you’ll stick to. Blogging is like trying to drastically change yourself after the new year with an unrealistic resolution that you know you’ll never keep.

Give your business a “win” and commit to a blog schedule that you know you’ll keep. Is that one blog post a month? Is it two blog posts a month? Can you manage more blog posts than that? Maybe not, and that’s OK! You don’t have to blog every day to have a blog that is successful for your business. Your blog schedule must be unique to you, to your business and what is possible for you. Once you have a realistic schedule, it will be easier to stay on track.


Those are my four tips for what to do if you are embarrassed about your blog for your creative small business. What did I miss? What do you to avoid having a blog that you aren’t proud of? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Your blog can do so much for your business. If you give your blog just a little bit of attention, and your blog will give that back to you and so much more!

If you want to learn how to blog for your small business, check out my upcoming workshop in Washington, DC on February 28th. I’d love to see you there! I will be talking all about how to build a blog that you are proud of, and also how to blog properly, what to blog about and so much more!

For more small business blogging tips and advice, be sure to check out my blog series on the subject.

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Blogging Words & Phrases To Avoid

It is the off season in the wedding and creative industry and this is the time that we are all writing and pre-scheduling blog posts. Off season blogging is so important and I’ve written so many blog posts about stylish wedding garters in the past few weeks – even I can’t believe it! Before you write too many posts though, I wanted to share a few phrases and words to avoid using in your posts and in your writing. Hopefully, this list will help you write smarter blog posts that reach more potential clients!

Are you writing blog posts for your creative small business, but you don’t consider yourself a writer? Maybe you are a floral designer by trade or a wedding photographer and writing isn’t your strong suit. I see common writing mistakes in blog posts, especially when the post is written by creative business owner who is an expert in something other than writing and search engine optimization (SEO). And, I’m not talking about writing mistakes such as grammatical errors or missing pronouns and commas. I’m talking about writing mistakes specifically for blog posts, like using general words or slang that a reader won’t understand. Let me explain…


Photo Credit: Red October Photography
Bridal Garter: Pretty wedding garter style; Macarons: Olivia Macaron

There are certain words and phrases that might be fine for conversations in person, but aren’t great for writing blog posts. Furthermore, sometime we all get stuck in our work and need to take a step back and be reminded to write for our readers. With that in mind, here is my list of worlds and phrases to avoid when writing blog posts:

General Words

When writing blog posts, descriptive words matter to your reader and they matter to search engines. You should avoid general words, especially those that have other meanings. For example, did you make a bouquet or a bridal bouquet? Do you design flowers or wedding flowers? Another example, did you design an invitation or a bridal shower invitation? For my business, I try to call my products wedding garters or bridal garters, not just garters. It is good to use as many descriptive words as possible so that your readers, and search engines know exactly what you are talking about in your post.

Misunderstood Phrases

Are you dying to use a certain type of flower? Would you just kill to for one of your clients to wear a certain wedding dress? “Dying to” do something and “killing” for something are slang phrases that are generally fine to say in verbal conversation, but when written down they are harsh, misunderstood phrases. When you write harsh phrases down in a blog post, it can be a little too casual and confusing to a reader and a search engine.

Words With More Than One Meaning

When you write blog posts, avoid words with more than one meaning. For example, are you featuring an engagement on your blog? What is an engagement? In the wedding world an “engagement” is short for a photography session for two people who just got engaged to be married. Outside of the wedding world, an engagement can be a meeting. Just using the word “engagement” without the word “wedding” in front of it is confusing to your readers and to a search engine.

Another example is, did you shoot today? Shoot, what? In every other sense of the word, shoot means to use a gun and shoot someone or something. But, in the wedding, photography and creative world, “shoot” means to photograph something. Shoot is slang, insider talk and it can be easily confused by an unknowing audience. So, if you mean to say that you took a photo of something, then say what you mean.

Search engines search your blog posts for the words that you have written on them. Do you want to be known for the word “shoot” or the word “photograph.” My guess is you probably want to be known for wedding photography. (See above for more on using descriptive words in blog posts!) Write the exact words and phrases that you mean and you’ll be just fine in your blog posts.

Inside Baseball Words

When you write a blog post, consider your audience and use words that your audience would know. If your audience has never planned a wedding before, then using words like “rentals” and “day of” are industry inside baseball type of terms that they might not know. You don’t have to talk down to your audience, they are smart. They just aren’t in your industry. Use words that people outside of your industry would know. Write blog posts with words that you use when you are talking to friends and family who are not in your line or work.


So, that’s my list of blogging phrases and words to avoid. What did I miss? Is there anything not on this list that should be avoided when writing a blog post? Leave a comment and let us know!

If you want to learn more about blogging, be sure to check out my small business blogging workshop on February 7th and 28th in Washington DC and Maryland. I’d love to see you there and help you blog smarter, harder and faster!

For more small business blogging tips, check out my blog series on the subject.

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Featured: Rising Tide Society

OK, so not really stylish wedding garters, but more small business ownership, which as you know is something that I’m passionate about in addition to the garters! In addition to sharing tips for small business blogging, I recently wrote an advice article for other creative small business owners about positive promotion. The article was featured over on the Rising Tide Society blog and I wanted to share it here too! This is advice for other small business owners on positive promotion and the importance of talking about our businesses in a way that doesn’t bring others down. How we talk about your business and promote our business can impact others and we don’t even know it!

rising-tide-society-logo pretty-wedding-garter-the-garter-girl-red-october-photography

Photo Credit: Red October Photography

If you are small business owner or want to learn more about how to start your own business, go checkout the Rising Tide Society. They really serve to support other small business owners. And, even though I’ve been around sewing my wedding garters for a long time, there is always room to grow and learn more. The job of a small business owner is never done!

Check out my blog posts on the topic or find more small business blogging tips too!