I got hacked!

I got hacked a few weeks ago and wanted to share some important information with you so you can avoid what happened to me…twice. Bottom line is…back up your sites! Pay a backup service to take daily backups of your site. I am using Vaultpress now. Take time to listen to what happened to me, so it doesn’t happen to you too!

For more information please, please, please check out Katy Widrick’s post on How to Back up and Restore your site after a hack.

P.S. I’ll be announcing the Food Entrepreneur summit SUPERRRRR soon. I’ve got an amazing line up of speakers, topics and the chance to connect with the bloggers and entrepreneurs you look up to! I REALLY can’t wait!

My Blog is for the Reader with BGB Community Founders

Georgie and Christina are the founders of the healthy living and food blogging community, Bloggers Gonna Blog. What began as a small Facebook group has transformed into a growing tribe of hardworking, inspiring ladies with an increasingly popular hashtag on Instagram. The community has become a family that teaches, learns, grows and connects together.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Georgie and Christina started their blogs/businesses
  • Created a thriving, engaged Facebook community
  • Unexpected things that have happened since starting their businesses

Tell us a little bit about each of you and the BGB Community.

Georgie: I’m the blogger from In It For the Long Run. I started my blog as a way to entertain myself through a not so challenging internship and I quickly realized, “Oh, wait. This combines everything that I love.” The more time I spent on my blog the more I really enjoyed it. I really hit a turning point when I started actually conversing with the people who were reading the blog and who were creating blogs like mine and that’s when Christina came into life.

Christina: My blog is the Blissful Balance and I started it because I had struggled with my relationship with food and after overcoming that battle. I wanted to inspire people who might be struggling with the same issue and I always loved writing. I’d already been cooking a lot and sharing my photos on Instagram, so it kind of naturally become something that I fell into. For the longest time it was just kind of a hobby. I wasn’t really doing everything to my fullest potential and it wasn’t until I was connecting with other bloggers that I started to really learned and grow with them. That’s when I met Georgie online.

create a facebook community

Tell us a little bit about the Bloggers Gonna Blog community.

It was around April, last year in 2015. I’d been commenting back and forth on a small group of blogs and I had been making, what I felt like, were good connections. I was like, “You know what, I’d love some way to make it a little bit more personal vs. like wait 3 days to comment back and forth. I used Facebook groups a lot in college to work on group projects so I thought, this could be a really fun way to just communicate and see if we are having similar issues. Maybe we can just talk about fun things that we’re doing and it could be just a better way to stay in touch. I didn’t really have huge high hopes for the group because I wasn’t sure if people would be interested in working with each other. From day one people have been so supportive and it’s just grown really organically and that’s when Christina kind of saw what was going on.

We pretty had much the same exact idea when I reached out to Georgie about the group. I told her my vision and what I’d been thinking and she pretty much agreed.  It was perfect.

bgb community

 

How did you make the connection from going, “This is a Facebook group. This is great, we’re friends, we’re helping each other but now this is going to be a website and we’re actually going to help people grow their businesses.”

I think one of the big pieces of that was we would get various similar questions. I have 5 or 6 different emails like drafts for when people ask me very specific questions like, “How do you update your Instagram? How do you start a blog? What do you use? Is it WordPress.com or WordPress.org?” I had all these questions that I kept getting asked and Christina was the same way. She’s figured out we should make a resource so it makes our lives easier, their lives easier and this can become something much bigger than ourselves ideally with  our community. On our blog, we’d love for more people to contribute as we grow. It’s really not just us but a bunch of different vary perspectives. That’s how we made the transition from a supportive group to something that was a more of a resource.

My blog is for the reader with @bgbcommunity #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet

Share an unexpected moment since you started the Bloggers gonna Blog community.

We did an Instagram challenge in January and we got such a wonderful response. It was a 17 day challenge and we kind of just did it to get more people active on Instagram and so many people came to us telling us that, “That really helped them…” Something that we hear a lot is that people struggle with consistency and frequency on Instagram and they said it helped so much. They got into the habit of posting on Instagram and it was a fun challenge. We were kind of blown away by the response that we received with that challenge.

That was one of my biggest highlights so far. We would think that a launch of a website would be a highlight. That was great but it’s honestly seeing someone in the community get featured on a big publication and it’s usually the other community members who point it out. Stuff like that where people are celebrating each other it’s just so exciting.

What is one thing that you wished you knew when you were starting out as a blogger?

Georgie: I think one of the biggest things I learned probably a year in is don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Christina: I wish I would have the perspective that my blog was for the reader because in the very beginning I was sort of using it as a diary or journal. Now I’ve learned that everything I post is something that I’m using to benefit the reader.

 

Find Georgie + Christina + BGB Community! Join the BGB Community HERE!

Georgie – In It 4 The Long Run 

Christina – The Blissful Balance

Georgie Morley is the avocado-obsessed co-founder of the BGB Community, as well as the blogger behind the In it 4 the Long Run. She started her blog as a way to pass the time in a less-than-challenging internship, but quickly realized that blogging was the perfect way to combine her love of food, health, design, social media, writing and photography into one project. Her blog soon became her biggest passion and now operates as small business. Along the way she discovered that one of the keys to blogging was connecting with a community of passionate, supportive, hard-working women and that’s when the BGB Community was born. What started as a five person Facebook group, has now grown into a vibrant community of healthy living and food bloggers, a website, a popular hashtag on Instagram, and most importantly a movement that believes in collaboration over competition. Use code BLISSFUL for 25% off BGB CommunityGeorgie’s ebook The Blogger’s Guide to Instagram Photography. 

Christina Valenziano is the blogger behind The Blissful Balance, a food and lifestyle blog dedicated to simplifying the relationship between food, fitness, health, and happiness. After a battle with her relationship with food, Christina started The Blissful Balance with the hopes of inspiring others who have gone through the same struggle, or are currently dealing with something similar. She shares a mix of healthy and indulgent recipes, and whole-heartedly believes in a lifestyle of wholesome moderation. Get Christina’s e-book,  The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Weeknight Cooking: Meals You Don’t Need a Recipe.

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 3 pack from Healthy Human Life, sample pack from My Super Foods, CLEAR by Annick Magac.) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

Blissful Bites Podcast Giveaway

 

Our Needs Grow and Change with Samantha, Emmy’s Organics

Samantha Abrams is the co-founder of Emmy’s Organics. Emmy’s is a home grown family oriented company committed to spreading the good word about healthy snacking as well as social and environmental responsibilities. Emmy’s organic products are made in a wind-solar powered building and much attention is placed in reducing their carbon footprint. They like to summarize their commitment into 3 words: Ingredients, transparency and trust.

Tell us a little bit about you and Emmy’s Organics.

Emmy’s was founded by me and Ian. We started Emmy’s at the very end of 2008. We started this company in Ian’s mother’s home kitchen. We had been experimenting with vegan gluten-free raw macaroons that Ian developed many years prior and he was teaching me the recipe. We realized there isn’t really  anything like this available and this was the type of food that we really wanted to share

I grew up very active. I was a dancer and very into health, especially when I was in college. I experimented a lot with raw foods and different ways of keeping my body really healthy. Raw foods were really inspiring to me and when I originally met Ian he had a lot of experience in that world because he actually had worked in a number of raw vegan kitchens in New York and San Francisco. He end up teaching me so many skills in the kitchen and that’s how it all got started. Ian has grown up with a lot of food allergies; he doesn’t eat gluten or dairy. At that time he was just like, “Wow! There really isn’t anything like this”. It tasted so good and is so clean. It’s just really exciting for us so we really wanted to share those recipes.

Tell us what has been your most proud moment so far.

There are so many. I think that when we rebranded our company, we actually did a crowd funding campaign. This was back in 2010. We raised money to hire a real packaging designer and have our bags printed. It was a very proud moment to move in to this newer branding because it really spoke to our values a lot more. There was really something amazing about showing off the brand in that way. I think another one is when we got our loan with Whole Foods Market to expand our product line. That was really exciting just because it really shows that they believed in us as a company. Every time we get into new retailer whether it’s a large chain or an independent chain or a one-single store it’s really cool. It’s just really exciting when people are on board and excited about what you’re doing.

What is something you learned from crowd funding?

It was a little different then because it was very new actually. It was also very risky and we were like, “Do people really know what this is? There is sort of an educational component. Now I think it’s competitive and you need to put in a lot more work into getting your message out. I would say get really clear on what your budget is. Realistically you need a budget for whatever your project is and also be able to budget in the gifts that you’re giving people if that’s the route your taking. If someone gives $50 and you get an Emmy’s gift box, make sure you understand the cost associated with that. A video is really important. If you know someone who can help you edit and make a nice clear video that says this is who we are, this is what were asking for and this is where the money’s going. There’s a crazy statistic about campaigns with videos vs. without and how the ones with videos get funded better.

samantha abrams

Can you share a specific flop or disappointment with us?

There was one time when we signed a contract without getting it reviewed by a lawyer and there was just something that slipped in there that put us in a stressful position. I really wished that we had spent the money on paying a lawyer because we really weren’t savvy with reading contracts at that time. Another flop is in the very beginning we made a mistake on our nutrition fact. The reason why there was a mistake was because the woman who was generating the nutrition facts for us completely misunderstood our product. She actually said there was a gram less of sugar per serving in our product. There were a few months when there was incorrect nutrition facts on there and finally I had them redone by someone else.The woman who did them the second time really understood it. It was a really emotional experience because I’m really all about transparency and trust and it was terrifying to me that we could lose the trust of a lot of customers.

How did you come up with your sales strategy?

We really just figured it out. I studied some business in college but I was not a business major and Ian had no experience as well. We’ve really just kind of figured it out as we’ve been going along. We’ve been lucky enough to have friends in the industry and mentors that we can ask questions.

Is there something you really wished you knew when you were starting out?

I’m happy for exactly the experience that we have had but there’s so many things that you do learn when you’re getting into larger retailers about how distributors work. You learn about all the numbers involved, giving discounts or refills when you get into a large retailer. We didn’t know about that in the very beginning and so when we started learning we really had to hone in on our budget and make sure we could afford that. It’s expensive.

What was a successful marketing technique for Emmy’s?

We do a lot of giveaways with other companies. We do have some really great friends in the industry and its fun to do giveaways with them. Instagram is our strongest social media medium. I think that actually probably one of the best ways that we’ve gotten ourselves out there is by using a lot of independent distributors in New York City. There’s a lot of benefits of working with independent distributors. It’s not always as expensive to work with them especially if you are just getting started. They go into intricate places like a lot of bodegas in Brooklyn.

Our needs grow and change, Samantha from @emmysorganics on #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet
Do you have a specific company or business owner that you looked up to?

Yes. I think Terces Engelhart, who is one of the founders of Cafe Gratitude which is a vegan restaurant chain out here on the west coast and we’re friends their family and I’ve always looked up to Terces and how she grown and changed her business model overtime. She’s written books, cookbooks, all very value driven I would say she would definitely be one of my role models. I just love how their brand has evolved overtime to move with the current trend. There’s something special about people who are able to pivot and morph their business to really align with who they are.

What would you say your biggest piece of advice is to someone who is just starting out?

I think what I said before, “Start before you’re ready.”

Where do you see Emmy’s 5 years from now?

I really see it as a national brand in 5 years. I would say we’re almost national now but there’s definitely a lot more we need to do to really get there. At that point that we would be established as a national brand and that’s what we are really going for.

Do you believe in balance? And if you do, how do you stay balanced?

I do believe in balance. Actually, a piece of advice we got early on was that there is no separation between work and your home life, for example, and that is true because I bring my work home a lot and I also bring my life to work and there’s something nice about just making it just one thing.

Can you share one thing in your day that you do to make sure it’s successful?

I really, really like sitting down to have coffee or tea. I try to have that one cup coffee or tea at home, not in a mug to go and that is something that I really, really love.

Share one thing that you want your customers and our listeners to know about you that you think they don’t know already.

In the very beginning when Ian and I started on Emmy’s we’re very stuck on this raw foods lifestyle. We both were eating that way and after a while, we started feeling like the rigidity of this diet is impacting our happiness in general. That is something I really learned personally and with my business. Our needs grow and change like I was just saying with balance. It’s also with whatever we’re eating and taking care of ourselves. I’m much less rigid as I used to be.  I feel we become a lot more flexible and I think that that’s something I’m really excited about promoting through Emmy’s.

Find Samantha + Emmy’s Organics

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 3 pack from Healthy Human Life, sample pack from My Super Foods, CLEAR by Annick Magac.) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

 

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Setting Up Systems for Social Media and Content Creation

Creating content, they say, is king. We basically all know this, but how do you keep coming up with content if you’re spending hours and hours in social media every day and week? It can be the biggest time suck. I hear you! Here are a few different things that I do to help repurpose content and manage social media accounts.

To subscribe to the Blissful Bites Podcast and listen in iTunes click here! 

I am definitely not a pro but I do have 2 different social media accounts for Blissful Eats (@blissful_eats) and Nicole Culver.  I have two blogs and two websites and it’s a lot of work honestly. I’m all about working smarter, not harder…and this is an on going process. I’m not perfect and I have so much to learn but there are a few things I’ve implemented to help me streamline things so I am not spending hours and hours on social media. I try to say the MAX I spend on social media in a day is one hour, usually that goes into responding, communicating and building relationships with my audience.

How do I do this? I joined Meet Edgar about 6 weeks ago. It is a paid service and I am paying for it. Some people feel like that’s a lot of money which I totally understand but here’s the way I look at it: I was spending about 2 hours a week just scheduling out my Facebook because I have 2 Facebook pages. Now with meet edgar I am spending about 15 minutes at a time just loading things into meetedgar. You can set up different categories and if you run out of things to post it will just pull from your library.  It takes care of both social media channels, Blissful Eats and Nicole Culver on Facebook and on Twitter. It is very customizable as well.  It is a huge time saver. I know what I value an hour of my time, money wise, so $50 a month seems like a total steal.

The second thing is Theme Days. It has really, really helped me to make themes for every single day. I know I talked about it before but it’s really huge for me. I spend Mondays doing podcast, Tuesdays doing Blissful Eats, Wednesdays doing blog work and so on. Sometimes in the week it will change a little bit and I’ll swap things around. Being able to batch really makes me stay focused and gets rid of things that are distracting to me because everything else is away. It has saved me a lot of time. If you can sit down one day a week or one day every other week and just batch your blog posts it will save you a lot of time. As far as taking pictures, if you can take a bunch of pictures at one time it will save you a lot of time in the long run. When I’m getting ready to take a picture of a bowl of granola, I will take a bunch of different shots, I will swap out different granolas and I’ll use different props.

I make sure it will go a long way and I will get at least like 5-10 great pictures from one photo shoot because otherwise it takes a long time to set up. Batching work is going to save you a lot of time.

Repurpose your content and batch your work. #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet

The next thing is, which I’m really big one is repurposing your content. Let’s take a podcast for example. My podcast is where all my content comes from. I have interviews and I the Fast Friday episodes, so now I have content in one place. From that one podcast what I’m going to do is I’m going to create a blog post from it. That means I’m sending it off to my VA to transcribe it. Now from that transcription it becomes a blog post from that transcription it’s going to become different Tweets. You can make little Tweetable quotes from your one blog post. Pull out three lines that are really great content and Tweet those out. From the blog post you can create 1-2 Facebook posts. You don’t have to just post on Facebook your links to your blog post you can actually lift great quotes from the transcription and post that directly on Facebook. A lot of times that will give you a better reach as opposed to just linking to your blog post. You can also make pinterest images on your blog post and then link directly back to your blog post.

You can create images, maybe you said a great one liner or maybe you can make a video from there. I do that a lot. I make 15 second videos for Instagram and I make 1 minute videos for Facebook. If you can use one piece of content and repurpose it, you can spread it across your different platforms. It is a huge time saver! Use Meet Edgar, Hootsuite or Co-schedule. and just take things from your one blog post it will help you repurpose, it will help you save a lot of time and it’ll just go a lot further.

Click to listen to Repurpose on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes.

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Sponsored by: Make Media Over. Get 10% off your online package with code BLISSFUL. 

I want to hear what you think! Do you repurpose your content?

Just be Genuinely Helpful with Prerna Malik

Prerna Malik is the gourmet copywriter and community manager for time starved entrepreneurs for Content Bistro. She loves crafting great content, reading good books and drinking gallons of coffee which is probably why I feel a strong connection to her.

Tell us a little bit about you and what you do.

I’m an SEO copywriter, a business blogger, a community manager and I’m also a mom, wife and I bake very good brownies. I also work with entrepreneurs to help them craft strategy for their blog, to help monetize it for their business, to help grow it; I’m a consultant as well.

Why are you so passionate about helping women in business?

It would be easy for me to say because I’m one. Here’s the thing, I work with my husband, were very blessed in that way that we can both work together on this business and together we gotten this where we essentially we want to help both men and women entrepreneurs who feeling stuck or slow down because they may not have the time or even the budget to grow their businesses. We’re passionate about helping women or men so that they can reach the full potential of their business without feeling that they need to mortgage their house or max out their credit cards.

I love your story about how you got started really on a budget. Can you talk a little bit about that? And then why it’s so important to help people to save time and money?

When we started, my husband and I, I’ve been blogging at my personal blog for a while and we had few clients who started reaching out to us via that blog asking if we can help manage their social media or write blogs for them. We have a few clients, not many, and my husband got really, really sick. He had this chronic inflammation and was really painful and he had to quit work and he was our sole honor at that time. We had medical bills and we had nowhere else also to take him and so we talked, “Let’s just do this.” We had really very little money to spend. The only things we invested in were hosting for the site because we wanted like a self-hosted site and not like a wordpress.com or something like that and paying for the domain. Our site was designed probono by a friend and it wasn’t the prettiest, I’m sorry for listening, but it did its worth. We stuck to that budget and we discussed this with each other and we said that our focus is going to be delivering great work and just getting the word out there about ourselves and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a fancy website. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not done any high-end courses or we’re not making enough great big mastermind, groups or something like that but we just need to focus on doing great work. We started investing 10% of what we would earn back into our business so we stuck to that since. You shouldn’t let a budget stop you it’s what we believe in.

What do you think every website needs on it to drive traffic and convert customers?

Personality and authenticity. Good SEO always help.

Do you have 2 or 3 tips on how that can actually translate to your website or your social media channels?

First, just start by being who you are. Sharing parts of yourself that you would want to share with someone you will meet in person. One of the things that I would say is social media is all about being social. How would you interact with someone if you would meet them in person? You are not just going to whip out business card and say you already give them your product and say you need to buy this. Similarly I don’t see why people on social media will always go buy this… Instead of really taking out the time to engage and connect. Start by engaging and connecting your audience, start by finding out who they are, what they want and sharing more of who you are as well. Letting yourself be open, letting yourself be real, letting yourself be just out there and it may not work with everyone and that’s okay. You want to essentially hang out with people who actually get you. The second thing I would tell someone who would say starting out and wondering how do you start by being authentic or showing that you’re passionate of what you’re doing is by genuinely helpful with your content, with your posts on whether it’s on Facebook groups or whether it’s on commenting in other people’s blogs. Just be genuinely helpful it works wonders. And finally focus on building relationships. Relationships where you may or may not get anything in return.

Just be genuinely helpful with @content_bistro #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet

Prerna Malik

Tell us why great content is so important.

Great content is a lot like your legacy online. It’s what you’re putting out there, it’s what going to remain for a very long time unless of course you have decided to just leave your site to something like that but great content on social and great content on your site is how people get to know who you are. It’s how people get to trust you. It’s how people come to respect what you do. I’m not just talking about the written word I’m talking about podcast, video blogs; great content is what sets you apart from the rest. You would add your own personality to it, you would add you own unique spin to it, you would add your own special value to it, great content is pretty much an essential for any business, any blog.

What does every product description need to have?

Benefits. Product description need to showcase how a product is going to change someone’s life or how a product is going to make a difference to them, how a product is going to make things easy for them, how a product is going to solve a problem that they’ve been struggling with and you do that to benefits.

Tell us about your Facebook Mastermind group.

We have a Facebook Mastermind group for Parent entrepreneurs actually call the bistrol. The reason why we created it it’s because parent entrepreneur is facing unique challenges that entrepreneurs may or may not. You have to juggle meal planning and school pick up and drops and volunteer work and projects along with planning you marketing strategy, launching a product, the usual entrepreneurial stuff as parent entrepreneurs ourselves we realized that a Mastermind group where we could discuss things that make life simpler both at home and business hold each other accountable for whether making a personal change or achieving a professional milestone would be just so perfect.

What has it done for our business?

A lot. It’s big but intimate. We know each other, people are helpful and from a business perspective it’s really helped us build relationships with entrepreneurs all across the world.

Would you say that the mastermind has been a game changer in your business then?

The greatest game changer, I would think being out there and building relationships.

What would be some advice on how to get started with guest posting/blogging?

Start by being who you are, identifying blogs that would be a great fit for you. If you’re just starting out I would advise you to not just go straight for this really big blogs but start by places that feels like more comfortable to you, smaller blogs probably the same size as yours or slightly bigger than yours and then just reaching out to them.

Tell me your favorite social media platform for entrepreneurs building a business.

Contrary to popular opinion I would go to Facebook.

Do you have a secret online tool?

My latest love is ConvertKit.

Tell us one thing you do in your day that contributes to your success.

I use a planner. A real paper planner. I’m using a passion planner to be precise. I’m so much more productive, I’m more focused, and I have a clear idea of how my goals are getting accomplished.

Share one thing that you want our listeners and your audience to know about you that you think they don’t know yet.

My 8-year-old daughter and I have the same shoe size. I have tiny feet.

 

Find Prerna and the Content Bistro

Prerna Malik is a gourmet content chef, copywriter and community manager. She is the co-founder of Content Bistro , a full service
content marketing agency serving up scrumptious SEO, social media and content solutions to time-starved entrepreneurs. Prerna has worked with over 200 clients, in the last 5 years, helping them to double and even, triple the sales and traffic they get from social and search. She brings with her a wealth of “kitchen-tested” experience and strategies that guarantee results. 

Click to listen to Prerna Malik Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes.

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 3 pack from Healthy Human Life, sample pack from My Super Foods, CLEAR by Annick Magac.) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

Blissful Bites Podcast Giveaway


Best of Blissful Bites: 20k Download Episode!

Hi! I’m just popping in here to share my BEST OF episode! I reached a HUGE milestone of 20,000 downloads last week because of YOUR support! I’m immensely grateful. Each episode has been an absolute joy. Connecting with these women and listeners has been so much fun and SUCH a learning experience.

Please fill out the listener survey here.

20k downloads and counting! Listen to the best quotes from the #blissfulbitespodcast! Click To Tweet

I hope you enjoy. I want to get to know YOU better. Please fill out the listener survey here.

I have SO much more fun on the way! Stay tuned for more from guests and a deeper dive into some awesome content! Who would you want to see back? I want to hear!

Anyone Can be an Entrepreneur with Danielle from Nuttzo

When Danielle started Nuttzo she wasn’t thinking small. She thought why not blend a bunch of nutritiously dense nuts and seeds together to maximize the vitamins, minerals and protiens that these little bodies need? Nuttzo’s mission is to inspire a new way of eating, living and being on this planet. Plus sales of every jar of Nuttzo help support Nuttzo’s nonprofit of choice, Project Left Behind helping orphaned children around the world.

Tell us a little bit about you and Nuttzo

We adopted 2 boys two different times not biological but of course they’re brothers. The first little boy we adopted was in 2002 and Romania closed down unfortunately so you couldn’t adopt internationally. We went into Ukraine and we said that we wanted a child that was under the age of 4.  Greg was 3 and half years old. He spent his entire time in an orphanage. I’d heard about different scenarios and he didn’t seem to any of those. He wasn’t a hoarder. He actually didn’t like to eat. It was this big stressor because he was in the 5 percentile in height and weight. He would refuse to eat and so he would just chew, chew and chew. Being a lover of food I was trying to wrap my brains on how to create these flavorful meals where they would be super nutritional and as well as giving him all of his minerals and vitamins. The hardest one for me is protein because he didn’t like anything. I got this idea because my sister and I loved Jiff when we were growing up, we would eat it so much that we would have a stomachache afterwards. I never saw a nut butter that I did not like and I got into organic and the natural nut butter. I knew that if I combine peanuts because they have an amazing source of protein, almonds and Brazil nuts and other nuts and seeds it would have a wide variety.

I was creating this masterful piece of nut butter spread in my food processor. I was making it frequently in my food processor and one day my husband was like, “Danielle, why don’t you just buy this stuff?” I would make these great meals and he would do the dishes. I guess cleaning a food processor, nut butter out of a food processor is quite lengthy. So anyway that was the “Aha!” moment because I was like, “Of course you can’t find this seven nut seed butter. It doesn’t exist.” So that was the kind of the “Aha!” moment and really catapulted us to start my company.

How do you think having that strong why helps your company?

For me, like it has to be more than just making nut butter or like making money. We can put it all into one thing but you have to love what you do. For me such a bigger purpose because when we launched Nuttzo, my husband and I had this tax guy actually try to deter us from starting our own 501C3, but we really wanted to take that on because we wanted to really be able to control that 100% of the donations from Nuttzo would go to the kids. I wanted to create a nonprofit so we could go in and help 50 children with their education, with food, with primary things but education being the key component to help them lift themselves up to the next level and kind of break that cycle. Project Left Behind and helping orphans is what I’m meant to do.

If anybody comes to me and says they don’t have a passion, they do. They just have to dig deep. What makes you on fire during the day? What makes you just want to go out and call ten people and tell them the story. For me it’s helping orphans because I think they don’t have a voice. It’s a shame and we’re all just lucky where we were born.

I read on your website that you brought your sister on to work with you. How did that kind of come about and how does that work for you?

It’s just my sister and I we grew up on 140 acres together and survive. We’re extremely close and what’s awesome about working with somebody that you’re that close to you don’t even have to worry about things. I don’t even have to worry if she working, I don’t have to worry what is she doing, she’s always got my best interest at heart and what’s awesome when we’re so much alike it’s almost like having myself on the east coast because she lives in Philadelphia as well and when we go to events because we have some big expose that we have to go to it’s like a force.

What has been your most proud moment so far?

There’s nothing that can take away the Dr. Oz moment.That was pretty phenomenal and I was really blessed by that. It was in 2011. It was just a lot of tenacity on my part and kind of big dream thinking because I had reached out to Dr. Oz in 2009 before he even had a show and kind of connected with him. I had big idea thinking and then I reached back out to him 2 years later because he had his own show. I saw that he was featuring items on the show and he featured it on September of 2011. I didn’t know what it was going to be, how big it was going to be featured and it was phenomenal. It blew us up and put us in the east coast because he was doing a feature that was the top 10 things you can’t live without. They kept teasing the show of the number one thing you can’t live without and that was Nuttzo.

It's all about your tenacity and willingness to succeed @eatnuttzo #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet

What do you we can learn from you actually just reaching out to someone?

Don’t be risk adverse, for sure.

Danielle from Nuttzo

What has been your biggest flop or disappointment to date?

When I first started Nuttzo, I really had this idea that I was going to put them in single serving packets and that’s was the way I wanted to launch it. I was not doing any 16 oz, no jars, nothing because I really felt like I was always on the go and I wanted to put nut butter in this little to go thing. I did some research and I was little deflated because I found out that Justin’s had been already putting them in single serving packets in Colorado. It still didn’t deter me. I was like, “This is a great idea and he wasn’t that big yet,” and so I found a co-packer but the thing that just couldn’t work out was the minimum and the amount of money that it would take. The product that would be spoiling because it was just a crazy amount, (250,000 single serving packets) that you had to order. I eventually was like, “Well, either I’m not doing it or I’m going to switch gears,”.  I decided to put it into 16 oz jars but I thought about something to do differently. That’s when I got the idea because anyone that knows natural nut butter, knows if you put it upside down in your pantry the oils separates to the bottom of the jar. To make it easier to stir, you store it upside down, so that’s how the label went on, upside down. It was kind of just changing our path but still moving forward.

How did you come up with your sales strategy?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in business, which definitely helped, but my background is really in sales and marketing. I’ve been doing that my whole life before I started my company. I do believe a sales background is huge and it also helps you to be successful. There’s so many elements of being in sales that you have to be able to do on your own business. I honestly think it’s getting good consultants; people that are already been there. It’s brainstorming with likeminded entrepreneurs in the same stage or maybe a little bit above you. It’s a bunch of things but to me the number one thing that was super helpful is sales and being able to problem solve because every day, trust me, is a new problem.

How did you decide to do a co-packer vs. starting your own commercial kitchen and doing it all yourself?

I live in Southern California and to be honest, you can’t ever make food you sell in your home. If you didn’t use a copacker you would have to be in a commercial kitchen and you really need equipment for grinding the nut butters special equipment. Just to do it on a food processor that would just be ridiculously time consuming. The hardest part of finding a co-packer is finding someone that will work with you and be small enough to meet your minimum so that you can actually afford it, fortunately for me I did.

Tell about the moment when it went from hobby to business.

That was probably when I quit my full time job. I still wasn’t on the shelf at all. I was just kind of at my wits end of being able to be mom,  trying to launch my own business and still be doing an A+ job at my sales job. I have a great husband who was supper supportive and he was able to say, “Listen, the worst case we downsize and the other worst case is you’re going to have to go back into your sales position that I knew I could get if I needed to. That was the moment of jumping in 110%.

What would you say your biggest piece of advice is to someone who is just starting out?

My biggest piece of advice is just to try. Just push it forward and be open to changing your ideas slightly but never giving up.

How do you find a way to stay balanced?

It’s kind of like brushing my teeth. I need to do something whether it’s yoga, hiking, I’m big into weight lifting or boot camps or running. Just something almost every day. Just carving out that moment so that I can go and recharge. It’s super powerful because I think as entrepreneurs a lot of times we’re going 24/7 and it’s no joke really. You have to be able to disconnect even if it just for 45 minutes and be able to have me time.

What has been a successful marketing technique for Nuttzo?

Partnering with company is always fun. It kind of introduces your consumer with somebody else’s product that probably has the same integrity.  The one thing that we’ve seen a lot of success with is when we have followers tag a friend on a giveaway. The other thing that’s really been super popular is to have ambassadors.

Share one thing you want your customers about you that you think they don’t know.

Just the fact I came from this place with my sister and my parents on 140 acres on a mountain top, spending my summers barefoot and daydreaming big and climbing trees and look at me. This is where I am now. My point is those experiences helped me to be able to be where I am now.

Find Danielle and Nuttzo:

Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi is revolutionizing the nut butter category, Danielle has developed and implemented the strategic rollout of the NuttZo™ brand, as well as, managed NuttZo™’s rapid growth over the paste 6 years.  Danielle has more than 20+ years of sales and marketing experience. Previously, Danielle held the position as Senior Account Manager and Director of New Business where she Founder of Nuttzomanaged station accounts in advertising sales. Danielle is also the Founder of Project Left Behind; a project-based 501-c3 non-profit that supports the educational endeavors and health/nutrition needs of orphaned children worldwide.  She is an avid runner, health nut, traveler and yogini and resides with her family in San Diego, CA.

Click to listen to Danielle Dietz LiVolsi on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes.

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 3 pack of Healthy Human Water Bottles, 3 jars of Nuttzo, variety pack from My Super Foods and CLEAR by Annick Magac  by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

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Get rid of the overwhelm and SIMPLIFY!

Let’s talk about simplifying your life. So often I feel overwhelmed and like life is super chaotic. I’ve been working on simplifying things. We have so much information delivered to us. It’s information overload. Everywhere you look there’s an amazing freebie to download, or a business development course to take. I get it. I’ve been there and totally fallen into the I NEED MORE EDUCATION trap. It’s so tempting. My inbox was overflowing with offers, PDFs, courses and more. I wanted to know how to grow my blog, social media following, email list, how to get more clicks on videos and MORE MORE MORE. If I’m doing this, then I bet you are doing this too.

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Let’s simplify. It will help us in our personal life AND our business. We need a clear path and direction. Let’s pair down and get rid of things that drive us crazy in our life. How can we take control of the overwhelm.

If you have the mindset of “I could never”. I could never buy a house in that community. I could never have a 6 figure business. If you’re thinking that then you are putting constraints on your business. By simplifying your thinking…and you’re life, you will hopefully change your mindset.

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How can we simplify?

Let’s take those negative constraints and use it in a positive way. Todd Herman talks about the Prada Protocol, which is basically just simplifying. What are frustrations you have? Is it your inbox? Laundry? The piles of paper in your house? ‘

Write down 5-10 things that really bring you overwhelm. Start with one of those things, reduce it down and simplify it. Something that has made me crazy is setting up interviews for my podcast. My fix was setting up calendly. Now I just send my scheduler and they pick from my available times.

Other examples: set up streak in gmail.

simplify

Make systems, streamline things for you and make life easier! If it’s a pile of paper, make a system for filing and disposing of mail right away. What else?

  • I implemented theme days! Every day of the week has a specific theme. It made my life a lot simpler. I was al over the place. Theme days made me way more effective.
  • Set your priorities. Say no more than you say yes. If you have your priorities in place it’s easier to say no.
  • Simplify colors on your website or pictures on your instagram.
  • Simplify the social media platforms you use. If twitter isn’t working for you, give it up. Use MeetEdgar.
  • Batch work. Take a ton of pictures at once for your platforms. Batch blog posts.
  • Meal plan and prep once a week.
  • DO things that are going to make your life EASIER.

Focus on what’s going well and do more of that. 

Go to your list of things that are frustration you and think HOW can I simplify this. THINK about your constraints and use them in a positive way. Set up systems and SIMPLIFY. Take control of the overwhelm!

Click here to listen to Get rid of Overwhelm and Simplify on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

I want to hear from you! What are you going to simplify?

This episode was sponsored by Make Media Over. Use code BLISSFUL to get 10% off your package.

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

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Success isn’t about fortune with Ashley Horner

Ashley Horner is an absolute power house she has a lot of roles wife, mother, works with body building.com, has a training facility, editor-in-chief for train for her magazine, has a clothing line ebook and it keeps on going. Besides having complete training plan she offers inspiration and motivation on the daily on Instagram. I had to have Ashley on to really ask her how she does it all.

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Tell us a little bit about Ashley Horner and what you do.

Right now I’m in Virginia Beach and I have a training facility out here called American Sled dogs. It’s a free training facility we offer classes and it’s an open gym membership availability and we offer this facility to anyone who has a deployed spouse. They can come train here for free and really let out their emotions out on the gym. We kind of guide them and walk them through that deployment. I’m a mother, I have 3 little boys, I’m a tri athlete, power lifter, ultra runner, pro body builder. I have the Unbroken Foundation which is a foundation that helps battered and abused women find beauty in their strength once again and I have a clothing line called Valkerie.

I love that you’re so passionate about helping women and helping military spouses. How did you get the idea to go in that direction?

It’s awesome that I have the platform that I have in social media and to be able to be that voice not only in the fitness industry but on a broader aspect internationally but I don’t just do it for likes or for follows. I feel like there’s a bigger purpose of what I’ve been building for the past couple of years some might like to call it my empire. I feel like in the last year I’ve been searching for that greater purpose. Not just being a fitness person or just a trainer but how I can reach the broken people who truly need help and military is close to my heart. I’ve always been a huge supporter of the military. I have tons of friends who are spouses of the military and not only that the battered and abused women. I have no personal stories or scars that could even compare to what they have been through but I know there is some building blocks that have to happen from the moment they reached these shelters to building themselves up, to be whole again and to really feel beautiful once again and find beauty in their strength.

To be able to have an impact on people’s lives, that’s true success. No matter what anybody wants to do, as far as an entrepreneur, if they’re passionate about it they will be successful and they’ll realize along that journey that success isn’t just about fortune, it’s not about fame but at the end of the day it’s going to bed knowing you gave 100% that you’re fulfilling your passion, you’re changing lives.

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ashley horner interview

How did you actually start out and how did you take the leap to start so many different businesses?

I literally was broke. I had no money and I had just $5000 saved up. I put most of that into creating an online business and online store. I wrote my first ebook, Becoming Extraordinary. I was so nervous when I first launched that because who’s going to believe in my training and my philosophy.  I was using social media as the platform in terms of marketing myself and showing these trainers bits and pieces of it but I was so scared and I kept telling myself, “Ashley, you just have to trust yourself, you have to trust your vision, wanting to help other people. You have to trust what you have believed in this entire time.” And so I did.

I think there’s a difference, people can have dreams and they can sit on them and think about them for years or they can go and chase down that dream and never stop until they have reached it. That’s what I do. I don’t just like think about something in my head and think, “Oh. Maybe that will work…” I find a way I want to do that. I am going to find a way to make that work.

Can you share specific moment where you just felt super proud of your business and all the things you’ve grown?

It’s been awesome working with bodybuilding.com in creating the training program, Charlie Mike which is something that I wanted to do with them from day 1. On launching that training program, going out to the bodybuilding.com headquarters and standing in front of the entire staff and facility of bodybuilding.com, members and people who have been with me from day 1, like my managers and Daniel and Keith. To be able to stand up and tell them thank you for always supporting me. That was a surreal moment, to stand up in front of all those people. Another one was I recently signed with Reebok. I have 2 girls that work with me directly and they help answer emails and correspondence with some of my bigger companies that I represent, and Reebok was super impressed with the professionalism of my team that I have.

Can you share a disappointment or flop?

One of the things I really struggled with was finding individuals who have the same work ethic as I have.

 How do you even to manage an account like Instagram that has 380,000 followers?

There’s really no rhyme or reason to my Instagram or my social media feed. I just try to post and be as transparent as I can and real to my followers. To really try to self reflect and remember why I started in the first place and I let my viewers really try to see that through social media.

What would you say your best tip for growing your Instagram?

I would just say make sure to at least post three times a day. Being transparent is always key as far as branding, in a world full of gold fish, how will you stand out? How are going to stand out as an individual? And what makes you different and what makes you unique? I think that is really important and what people are forgetting. They think that just because they take a picture, have a professional photographer take their photo, they’re automatically a fitness model.

What is the one thing you do in your day that contributes to your success?

Well, definitely the quiet time I have in the morning is really important. I try to have open communication with my team. There’s not one specific thing that contributes to my success. I think it’s important to have weekly team meetings. That’s something that we do in the gym that’s with my coaches.

How do you juggle everything?

Every moment of my day is my planner. I use my time very wisely. Every moment of my day is scheduled and I am very busy.  I don’t think there’s a specific formula for balance. You just have to play everything as the week comes and stick to that schedule but you also have to be really flexible and know that it’s okay if you missed a training session or if you have a meeting you absolutely cannot miss. There’s ways around things just to make everything flow together.

Do you believe in balance?

Yes. I definitely believe in balance. I have a specific time where I’m not on my phone anymore. Whenever I get my boys I shut off work until they go to bed.

Tell us a little bit about your Unbroken Foundation.

The Unbroken Foundation is a brand new foundation.  I will be running from Virginia Beach down to North Carolina which will be 280 miles in efforts to raise $15,000 to 20,000 to rebuild them a house. Hopefully their house will be fixed and then I can come in there and build them basically like a weight training room with one of my training programs Breaking Boundaries or Recreating New and help them with that.

Click here to listen to Ashley Horner on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

Connect with Ashley:

Ashley Horner is a wife, mother, and unbelievably talented athlete. She also owns a training facility in Virginia named American Sled Dogs and is the Editor-In-Chief of “Train For Her” magazine. Ashley is also the founder of the Unbroken Movement Foundation, owner of the Valkyrie clothing line, and author of 13 ebook trainers. Ashley is undoubtedlyone of the most well-known and respected female voices in the fitness industry.

This episode was sponsored by Make Media Over. Use code BLISSFUL for 10% off your package! 

NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

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ashley horner interview

Attitude is Everything with Bitsy’s Brain Food

bitsys brain food smart crackers

Bitsy’s brain food is on a mission to make great food that’s start with a simple belief: Healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected and learning to eat smart should be fun. Every day they work to make mega delicious, ultra nutritious foods to nurture little bodies, minds and imagination and to inspire them to learn and grow. For Maggie and Alex it has always been all about the health of kids from your family to theirs.

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Tell us a little bit about Bitsy’s brain food.

We met working together in non-profit over 10 years ago. We both just have always had a lot of shared passion that comes back to the health and well being of kids. We spend a lot the early part of our career working with schools with different after school organizations, running a national youth organization together that the mission was to empower kids to make the world a better place with their own actions Through volunteering and service we ran a child obesity program together that was one of the first federally funded programs to address the issue of children’s health and wellness in terms of their physical fitness. That program really inspired us. We have been working to try to take the angle of making it fun and thinking like kids. We felt there weren’t really many foods out there that were made for kids. They need their own brands. We just felt that someone needed to do a better job making organic, healthy eating, fun and  live in the place of reality that we moms all live in. Not every moment do you have fresh fruits and vegetables on hand.

How did you get the idea for your products?

Our idea actually first started out in the belief that every moment in a child’s day is a chance for learning. We felt there was a lot of mindless eating that went on. The idea for our product actually initially came out of trying to come up with clever ways to weave education into snack time. We thought of this whole idea of brain food and making food that is smart for kids to eat. We said, “Well, if it’s going to be something that they’re learning while they eat, it should be packed with the nutrition that’s good for their brains and bodies. We want that nutrition to come naturally from fruits and vegetables, so we bake fruits and vegetables into the product.

How was it starting a business with your friend?

Alex: It’s a real gift I think to have a partner especially both just being busy moms. Sometimes we joke that for us, one plus one equals one in terms of arguably to get things done and really function effectively.

Maggie: I just read Amy Polar’s book and she talked about her work wife and Alex is definitely my work wife. We’re each other’s work wives. I was talking to a friend at pre-school drop off this morning who was just saying how she has to take time right now and make time to see her friends and see other people. I said, “Well, actually Alex fills that need for me…” It’s actually still amazing because it makes it easier to do the job and to do business, but it also like really fulfills that side I think that every mom feels where that need for friendship. I think we get the best of both worlds.

bitsys brain food

Do you have a clear delegation?

We have the best team in the Universe, so it actually starts there. Our team focuses a lot on the operations and distributions side of the business.  Alex and I divide up; I usually focus more on sales. Alex’s focuses a lot on working with the rest of the team in terms of our finances, legal and our marketing. Like we said we’re kind of one brain and the team is really everything.

 

Tell us your proudest moment so far in running Bitsy’s.

Maggie: I think our proud moment was really was learning that we had become part of the made-to-matter program that target for 2016.

Target’s Made to Matter program focuses on innovation, design and wellness. The brands that you see part of the program are really handpicked by Target. You have to meet a lot of standards around organic, non GMO, non toxic. It’s really the best of the best in health and wellness. There are products that you’ll only find launching at Target initially.

Can you share the product that you’re launching with that mission?

We’re launching a product called smart crackers. They are actually crackers that weave in our whole educational mission. They’re puzzle piece shaped crackers that are made in the shape of tan grams.  They’re organic and what’s really special about them is that they’re made with a half serving of vegetables per serving which is really unique. I don’t think any other product out there for kids in terms of a cracker  has that much vegetable baked into it.

Can you share something where you have a flop or a disappointment?

So many of our mistakes when you look at it, have been the result of our failing to follow our instincts. In the moments where we listened to an outside expert or some piece of logic that seemed to make a little sense, but we had a gut instinct in the other direction and we didn’t follow it. You need to trust your instincts.

Early on, I think one of the most painful moments, was when we ended up hundreds of pounds of organic carrot and we were not able to use them because we had too many. That was really painful. We tried to sell them.

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone who is just starting out?

I think one of the biggest things we learned is that there are so many people out there who have more experience and want to help. It’s been really amazing how willing people have been to share their stories and their experiences and that’s been a real gift.

Do you have a company or business owner that you really looked up to?

We actually met one of our favorite entrepreneurs at our trade show booth when we were very first starting. Daniel Lubetzky who started Kind Snacks. He has young children and took an interest in our brand. He was kind enough to really offer advice to us and take time to sit and talk with us. He just believed in us and I think that that has been really wonderful.

Where do you see yourself and Bitsy’s Brain food in 5 years?

The big transition that we want to happen is that more families really understand what our company is about because I think that’s what really makes this company special.

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How do you stay balanced?

Balance to me is a tricky word because I think parts of our lives are balanced from time to time, but the whole landscape of what we’re trying to get through rarely feels that way.

Is there something that each of you do to make sure your day is successful?

My kids are my happiness. The big thing is perception and realizing we have this one life to live. Enjoy it, be happy and stuff is not going to go your way but either you let it get you down or you stay an optimist. Attitude is everything.

What has been a successful marketing technique that you guys have tried?

We did a really fun program this summer with Alex’s lemonade stand. We sent kids lemonade stand kits and gave them the cookies to sell as well. They raised money for Alex’s lemonade foundation and it was great because families posted pictures on Instagram that had our cookie boxes in it that talked about Bitsy’s. It showed families what our company is about and we were able to raise money for pediatric cancer.

Share one thing that you want your customers to know about you that you think they don’t know.

There’s definitely not a day or moment that every single person that works at Bitsy’s isn’t doing their best to try to do right by kids and to do right by our customers. Things don’t always go perfect, but we’re really trying to make better products over what is out there and to do something good. I hope that people know that we care and that were definitely giving a thousand percent every day to try to bring people the best we can.

Click here to Listen to Bitsy’s Brain Food on the Blissful Bites Podcast in iTunes

Bitsy’s brain food is on a mission to make great food that’s start with a simple belief: Healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected and learning to eat smart should be fun. Every day they work to make mega delicious, ultra nutritious foods to nurture little bodies, minds and imagination and to inspire them to learn and grow. For Maggie and Alex it has always been all about the health of kids from your family to theirs.

Maggie and Alex are the co-founders of Bitsy’s Brainfood, a natural foods company that believes that healthy and fun go together like Bitsy's Brain Foodkids and playgrounds. Before becoming moms, they spent a lot of years working with kids and schools, studying child development and education. Together, they built nationally recognized programs that empower young people to live healthy, successful lives.  One of the biggest issues they saw affecting kids was the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, and that’s when the light bulb when on. Wouldn’t it be better, they thought, if instead of teaching kids how NOT to make the wrong choices, we made it a little easier for them to make the right ones? Then they became moms and said, SOMEONE had better do this.  And no one did.  So… they launched Bitsy’s. Making healthy fun! Both Maggie and Alex live in New York City with their families– featuring the four kids between them, who range in age from 2 to 5.

Connect with Bitsy’s Brain Food:

This episode was sponsored by the Bloggers Gonna Blog Community! Join here! 

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NEW podcast giveaway! (2 Bags Blissful Eats granola, 5 Pack of Not Ketchup, sample pack the Granilla Bar and variety pack of mixes from Among Friends and Smart Cookies from Bitsy’s Brain Food) by filling out the form below AND/OR writing an iTunes review and sending a screen shot of it in an email to me!

Blissful Bites Podcast Giveaway