Filmmaking

Walkers Shortbread Cookies – Celebrate Your Lucky Moments

March 24, 2015

Last week I had the opportunity to work with Walkers Shortbread cookies and the 411 Mommas to create a video highlighting their delicious cookies. I discovered their cookies at a local bookstore and they are really good! What made me even happier was that my kids, who are allergic to eggs and nuts, were able to eat them without a problem.

Walkers shortbread cookies theinspiredcafe.com
I really wanted to take the opportunity to create something unique to  highlight their product. So I forced myself to think of something awesome and mind blowing. Of course, nothing came to me. That’s usually how it works when you are trying to be creative, doesn’t it?

lemon head
So I let it go and went to bed. I knew that my brain was working on it all night because I woke up to an idea!

I jotted down my script on my phone in the wee hours of the morning and called my production team to see if we could make this happen. It took a few weeks to get everything scheduled but finally the day arrived!

walkers shortbread cookies theinspiredcafe.com

Everyone at my job agreed to help out as well as some of the other entrepreneurs at my co-working space. I couldn’t believe how generous everyone was with their time. We set up lights and cameras and really got the place buzzing.

By the afternoon I was so exhausted but we had more to film with my kids. It was a challenge to keep them focused long enough to film but they did great. I’m learning more and more that my happy place is when I can do what I love with those I love around me. That’s really my passion.

walkers shortbread cookies theinspiredcafe.com

Here’s how the video turned out. I hope that you like it. Remember that even when you feel like awesome stuff is happening for everyone else that you still have blessings to count in your own life!

A special thanks to The 411 Mommas and Walkers Shortbread Cookies for this opportunity.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship – 3 Tips to Help You Share Your Vision and Grow Your Business

March 12, 2015

grow your business - theinspiredcafe.com

For those of you that don’t know, I currently work in a co-working space for entrepreneurs. I absolutely love it! The energy there is amazing and the people are even more so. I love going to work with people who are striving every day to be there best…better than their best and dreaming fantastical dreams of success through their business ventures. Some are seasoned entrepreneurs and some are just starting out but everyone I’ve met has a really positive attitude about their work which is so refreshing after coming from the corporate world.

Entrepreneurship comes with such a unique set of challenges that it’s nice to know that the person next to you is struggling through the same things you are in one way or the other.

The other day I had the chance to sit down and chat with the founder of our co-working space, John Wechsler. He has been a family friend for almost 15 years. In fact, he gave my husband his very first job when we were engaged!

Oh how time flies.

Since those days John has started other businesses, lived in California to work on Formspring and run with the big dogs in the tech start up world (a.k.a twitter/google). What I love about John is that he is super duper positive, humble, and one of the most generous people that I’ve ever met.

I got to sit down and talk with him a little bit about my hopes and dreams to eventually act and make movies. He challenged my thinking in so many ways during that conversation. It’s been a week and I’m still mulling over the conversation. He also gave me some pointers about how to better engage with others when sharing with them my visions and goals. I wanted to share 3 practical tips that I learned with you in hopes that it might help you accomplish more when you have the opportunity to tell someone about your goals.

1. Know your ask:

  • You need to be really clear on what you need when you sit down to talk with someone. Ask yourself what is the one thing (other than money) that if you had you would feel like you could make your dream happen.

2. Share your vision:

  • Have a quick and easy way to share your vision with the other person you are talking to. John suggested that I create a 30 second video that talks about what my vision is about so that others can quickly get the jist of what I’m trying to accomplish.

3. Tell everyone:

  • Be able to tell everyone about your vision and what you want to accomplish. The more people you passionately share your vision with, the more that passion will infect others. Others will start talking to others and soon it will create a whir wind that will attract opportunities to yourself.

I think the main theme is being able to effectively and passionately communicate with others what you want, what you want to accomplish and how they can help you do that.

It’s easier for others to see how they can help you if they can clearly see your vision and where they could fit in it.

I hope these quick tips were helpful to you. If you have any more tips please share them in the comments!

God Bless.

Spread the Inspiration and join The Get Inspire(d) Link Up by linking up something that you think will inspire others or something you found inspiring this week!

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Inspiration

Make it Happen – My take on opportunity building

March 3, 2015

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” - Milton Berle

The Doors of Le Marais in Paris

I think this is the story of my life honestly.

Creating doors where there are none.

This thought process is exactly what got me blogging, youtubing, creating my own work in general.

I figured if there wasn’t any opportunity around then I would have to make it happen.  For me it’s acting. The market that I’m in is not as saturated as L.A. , Chicago or N.Y. Even though there isn’t a lot going on here in I think there is a growing independent film community of actors, writers, producers that are trying to make it happen for themselves. So that is really encouraging.

I used to actually get annoyed by this quality in myself. I know, I know…most people don’t annoy themselves. But believe me I thought it was a curse for a long time. This need to constantly create or express myself. I even think that if I lived in a place full of opportunities I would be COMPELLED to make my own way…because it would be MY OWN WAY. And all the while I would be doubting myself. It’s a strange paradox really to be compelled to build doors and at the same time question yourself.

But over time I’ve slowly begun to accept and even like the fact that I have this quality. I’ve learned to accept that it’s not a curse. It’s the way that God made me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to “make it happen” but I am trying to balance the idea that God is the one that started this work in me and that He has to be the one to finish it.

Many times when you are among the first to build a door it’s hard, scary, and full of challenges. But for those that come behind you it gets easier and easier. And in the end you get to be a huge part of building that really nice house (business, philosophy, non-for-profit) that inspires people and communities for a long time.

Maybe you are trying to write a book, or create a website or start a business? Maybe you feel alone and unsure of what the next steps are. But it’s important to see the doors and steps that are right in front of you. I wish to God in heaven that I could see the whole picture before I started something. I wanted the reassurance that things would be successful before I started. But that’s just not how things work.

It doesn’t give opportunity to grow your faith and trust God.

Not knowing the end but starting when He nudges you to start is the beginning of a faith walk. So while you are building whatever it is that you are trying to make happen you are simultaneously building your faith. While your faith is being challenged and built I believe that He is shaping the character that you will need in order to continue to walk through more and more amazing doors in your life.

What are you building now that seems really hard? What have you found inspiring to help you make it happen? Why don’t you share that by linking up!

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Crafts

Easy Asparagus Recipe

February 27, 2015

I don’t know about your kids but my kids have to be tricked into eating their vegges.

I take that back.

I wouldn’t say “tricked” I would say “manipulated”.

Wait. What?

See my kids have a TON of allergies and the foods they can eat is very limited. Many times it breaks my heart to have to say no to treats at birthday parties or events because the items have eggs and nuts or other things that could send my kids to the hospital. On top of it we can’t make dishes with too many extra ingredients unless they are whole foods that I know won’t spark an allergic reaction.

I’ve actually cried over this. I know it sounds silly. But we want our kids to be able to experience the joys that other kids get to and it’s hard when they can’t.

When I give people the list of things that my kids are allergic to they look at me wide eyed and ask me the following: “Well what do you feed them then?”

Well I feed them food. Like fruits and vegetables, lean meats (no shellfish for one and no fish for the other, the third one loves shrimp.) and certain grains. I used to have panic attacks at every meal time. It was rough for your girl for a while there. But after a while I started to get things worked out.

(Side note: For some reason the kids can have McDonald’s without a problem. hmmmm.)

As a result I try to make simple things a little bit more exciting for my little munchkinos. While going through the aisles at Costco (they always have something new and exciting to try.) I saw some pretty green things in their huge refridgerator while I was getting a box of spinach.

I looked closer. Asparagus.

I wonder if the kids would eat this?

I bought the little green trees and brought them home.

The next day I opened the crisper and thought to myself how in the world could I make these tasty. I looked up some recipes and found a recipe with prosciutto and asparagus. I didn’t have anything that fancy on hand. I looked in another draw in the fridge and found…

Turkey bacon!

YEAH! Turkey bacon makes everything better.

So that is how this easy asparagus recipe was born. I wouldn’t call it a recipe though. Maybe just an excuse to put something green and bacon-ey in front of kids to manipulate them into eating something green.

Anyway. I hope you like this super easy, allergy free, totally manipulative way to feed your kids more green stuff.

Have a great day!

Inspired Questions: What are someways you manipulate your kids into eating more green stuff?

God Bless

Humor, Mommy Life

The Truth About Mom Sleep Deprivation

February 23, 2015

As you know, being a mom can result in a lot of awesomeness with butterfly kisses, and the wonderment of living childhood out with your little ones. It can also bring on major bouts of sleep deprivation and tiredness.

I was feeling totally exhausted the other day and I didn’t have the energy to think about what I wanted to make a video on. I diagnosed myself with MSDS. Mom Sleep Deprivation Syndrome.

But then I was like:

Dija! Make a video on feeling sleepy!

And I was like:

Dija, that’s why I like you. You are such a genius. A sleepy one but a genius indeed.

And then I was like:

Remember that weird info-graphic you saw on Nick Mom’s website about sleep?

And then I responded:

Yeah sure I do.

Then I was like:

Make a video about sleep inspired by that info-graphic.

And then this video happened…

And that ladies and gentlemen is my creative process for this week’s video!

Mom Sleep deprivation does weird things to you.

get inspired link up

Guess what? I’m going to still allow for people to link up here if they want to but I think it would be easier for people just to use the hashtag #getinspired and share whatever has inspired them this week. Don’t forget to tag me!

Twitter: @inspiredindy

IG: @theinspiredcafe

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more inspiration directly to your mailbox!

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Crafts, DIY fashion

How to Make an easy Lace Peter Pan Collar Necklace

February 23, 2015

Peter Pan collars give a classy and lady like feel to any outfit. Recently this trend has come back in a unique way. I’ve always loved the look of peter pan collars and I’ve been loving the all of the tutorials for making peter pan necklaces.

Peter pan collar necklaces are awesome for so many reason. Most of all because you can choose to accessorize a simple t-shirt easily and remove them just as easily.

I was recently inspired to make when when I was trying to how I could reuse some lace from another top I had. This is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a Lace Peter Pan Collar. I hope you like it!

Materials:

Old Lace from a shirt I got from goodwill but you can buy lace at your local fabric store
needle and thread
scissors
Pearl embellishments from local craft store
Tacky Glue
Ribbon
felt

I tried to be as clear as I could with the instructions for this peter pan collar necklace but please feel free to comment below with any questions. I got all of my materials from either Joanne’s Fabric Store or Micheal’s.

Please subscribe and share if you like the video!

Humor, Mommy Life

Introducing the stay at home mom app

February 22, 2015

So I was talking with my friend the other day about the fact that when you go to work every day you have people giving you accolades or high fives for a job well done. In fact, she told me how at her sales job they were once rewarded with an all day spa treatment for meeting sales goals.

WHAT?

That’s sounds marvelous right now while I sit at home taking care of three sick kids.

When you are a stay at home mom…well there’s no one there to tell you that you did a good job changing that diaper or or making that nutritious meal. No one to marvel at how you cleaned that toilet or how you folded the laundry. You just kind of have to learn to cheer yourself on.

Theory: Maybe social media was really invented by a bunch of stay at home moms who wanted to connect with other people and were desperate for someone to just once tell them that they did a good job getting that poop stain out of her favorite blouse.

I also was inspired by another friend who is very positive all time and how he should have his own app that shares positive vibes on demand. These two inspirations combined resulted in me thinking what if there was a s.a.h.m app where moms could use it whenever they feel like they need a pick me up when they are feeling especially postpartumish, unappreciated, or sleep-deprived.

You know our messy buns aren’t done  just to be stylish. We don’t wear kimonos because they’re in style now.

We need encouragement as moms on this journey of raising our little ones. I came to the conclusion that whether or not I get Shark Tank to fund this app, we need to be this app for each other.

By the way…in case no one has told you this today…

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Hope you enjoyed a little dose of stay at home mom humor!

Link up your inspiring post here!

 

Beauty, Lifestyle

Shea Moisture Makeup Review and Tutorial

February 20, 2015

shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
I’m so excited to share with you that one of my favorite companies has released a cosmetics line! I’m already a huge fan of their hair products and I had high expectations going into this review.
Thankfully one of my good friends told me to check it out and requested I do a review on it. So I took myself over to Target and found Shea Moisture’s new cosmetics line. In this Shea Moisture Makeup review video I share my thoughts on the products, the packaging and ingredients. Here is the video for the Shea Moisture makeup review I did of the products.

shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
Shea Moisture’s products have:

  • No Parabens
  • No Phthalates
  • No Paraffin
  • No Formaldehyde
  • No Propylene Glycol
  • No Mineral Oil
  • No Synthetic Fragrance
  • No Petrolatum
  • No Synthetic Color
  • No DEA
  • No Animal Testing

Pretty sweet, huh?

Shea moisture makeup review

First of all I really liked the packaging of the products. They were very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. That is a big in for me! The products did not have any type of perfumey smell which I really appreciate. My skin and nose are pretty sensitive so I welcome that lack of fragrance. The colors were very soft and beautiful.

Lip Gloss

  • Went on very smooth and the color was beautiful with my skin tone.
  • After using the brush for a while it did seem to get a little gloppy.
  • But I’m sure this can be remedied with consistent cleaning.

Powder

  •  Nice overall feel.
  • It did the job of removing shine without breaking me out.
  • Did not make my skin dry out at all. I have naturally dry skin so if you have oily skin you might have a different thought about it.

Eye Shadow

  • Was true to color and even had a little bit of an iridescent look to it when it was applied.
  • I really liked the color with my skin tone
  • I feel like I should have purchased the cases to hold the eye shadow

Mascara 

  • Did not stand out to me as being better than any other mascara.
  • It did have an interesting shape to allow for more defined application to the lashes.
  • The product did not irritate my sensitive eyes.

Lip Stick/Blush

  • This was my absolute favorite product of them all!
  • I loved the versatility of this product that you could apply it to your lips, cheeks and even eyes.
  • The color was beautiful. It offered just the right amount and could be darkened by applying more layers.
  • I also felt like I should have purchased a case for this product.

Even though I couldn’t say this product is 100% natural and organic I can say that it mostly is according to the ingredients. I could understand the majority of what was written on the back. I would definitely purchase this item again.

Want to know how I applied everything? Check out this easy makeup tutorial. And I mean easy because I’m not a makeup guru! lol!

Adventures in Allergies, Coffee Talk, Recipes

Spice Up Your Chai Tea

February 19, 2015

chai tea

Chai tea is a type of black tea created from a blend of various spices. There are many different types of Chai recipes that you can make. Chai Tea recipes date back thousands of years in India and was created with medicinal herbs intended for healing through the practice Ayurvedic Medicine. Maybe that’s why Chai Tea has been one of my favorite drinks for the past 12 years… literally.

And cause I’m half East Indian.

I have been drinking teas faithfully since I was a child. I would remember my mom (from Jamaica) creating different types of teas for our different ailments. Ginger tea for an upset stomach, mint tea…for an upset stomach or just because it was so delicious! She would grow mint leaves in her garden. We would just go pick them, wash them and boil them for some really awesome tea. Both my parents would enjoy tea the English way with boiled milk and black teas. When my grandparents from India came to visit we had tea time at 4pm every day.

Needless to say tea was a huge part of my life.

When I was in college I took a job as a barista. There I discovered the American version of Chai tea. I literally fell in love with it! In fact, when this guy I liked would come in I would give him a free cup of chai with a little vanilla and a muffin just because. Chai is pretty powerful.

That guy and I got married, had three babies and are celebrating our 13th anniversary this year.

I never was a fan of the chai tea bags and have always preferred the Oregon Chai from the box. That is until our friend Steve  changed my perspective!


I’m going to share with you Chai tea with a little twist!Boil water and steep your tea bag

1.fill the cup 2/3 of the way full
2.add sugar, stevia, or honey for your sweetener
3.add milk, almond milk, soy, whatever you like to fill up the remainder of the cup
4.sprinkle some cinnamon on top
5.stir and enjoy!

God Bless

I linked up at We are That Family

Inspiration

Finding Your Path – Working on a Dream

February 17, 2015

find your path

Working quietly on a dream…

I’ve been doing that for years. Thinking and dreaming of the day when something takes off. Sometimes an opportunity comes up and it’s absolutely wonderful. Sometimes when it passes I’m left wondering if I’m actually building anything. I wonder what I should be doing differently.

If I should be doing something differently.

Or if I should just continue the way that I’m going.

For the first time in my life I feel like I’m “on my path”. I spent a lot of my 20’s (probably all of it) wondering if I was living in the right direction. Wondering what my path was, or if I ever got on it, would I recognize it. I wondered why when I thought I saw my path it looked so narrow. It winded around through shady overgrown trees. Wild flowers lined the path. Crazy, colorful and unkempt. Rays of sunlight would peek through the trees lighting only parts of the path at a time.

But still I resisted it.

I was afraid of it I think.

Because it was so different from everyone else’s path. I just wanted to fit in with everyone else who seemed okay with getting a job and…joining the race. That race was on the wider path, that was paved, and had lot’s of people. It even had people on the sidelines who could cheer you on or give you a cold drink. Everyone knows what way to go and what the mile markers are on that path. The path has been run millions of times, there are check in points, satellite mapping, and people waiting for you at the finish line.

Not on my path. It was still dirt. It was worn down by the feet of the few willing to travel on that path, cut down the bush, pick the flowers. Smell them even.

But I kept getting drawn to that path over the years. I was eventually forced down that path when I decided to come home to take care of my three children who had a plethora of food allergies. I was forced on that path when I chose to homeschool until their allergies were less severe. I chose that path when I started using blogging and youtube as creative outlets.

Really I chose that path when I quit my engineering major and turned to my true love – theater.

But before that as a little girl I knew that I had something special inside of me that I wanted to express through story telling. I knew that I could touch the sky. I just knew that my life was going to be different.

Maybe the path chose me.

Today I’m not where I want to be but I finally know I’m on my path. That in itself is so comforting.

If you are working on finding your path you might be wondering how I discovered mine.

I discovered my calling after reading countless books, studying my personality type and studying the gifts and talents God gave me. I will admit I tried a lot of different things and I drove my husband crazy at times with my constant experimentation but I needed it to find myself.

It’s funny the long journeys some of us have to take to find ourselves.

I still struggle now wondering when things will take off and grow. I want to give up many times. But I’ve heard a saying that says right when you want to give up is when the blessing comes.

Here are somethings that I’ve been inspired by this week that I wanted to share with you.

This blog post by Erin who writes for Design for Mankind reminded me to look differently at our cold snowy days.

This podcast by Myleik Teele the creator of Curlbox reminded me that motivation is great but discipline is what makes motivation work.

This Blogging book byJoy Deangdeelert Cho from Oh Joy reminded me why I love blogging.

I hope that you guys Get Inspire(d) by checking these little nuggets out!

I’m thinking about discontinuing the weekly link up because it’s not really gaining more traction. I’m thinking it might be easier just to use instagram to post inspiring things. You can just hashtag #getinspired and tag me at @theinspiredcafe.

What do you think? Link up your inspirational post below.

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