Today Brian and I headed towards the coast in hopes of spotting some winter birds and hitting up one of our favorite vegan spots in NJ - Seed to Sprout!
Seed to Sprout has a few locations. We've visited two - the Fairhaven location right outside of Redbank NJ and the Avon by the Sea location, which, as of today is also equipped with it's own vegan pantry / convenience store right next store.
One of the things Seed to Sprout is known for is their homemade coconut (completely non-dairy!) butter. It's delicious as is Seed to Sprout's homemade fresh fruit / strawberry jam. We've learned to order the vegan biscuits before our meal as they come with both. So very tasty. That coconut butter and strawberry fruit topping - You'd have to taste this stuff to believe how much better it is than regular store-bought butter (of any kind) and jelly. Pair the biscuits with some coffee and or juice as well as blueberry pancakes and you've got yourself a brunch most anybody would love. Another Seed to Sprout trip well worth it.
Ah... and another bonus, the opening of the new pantry will make an Excellent news article for Bucks County Vegan. The pantry was packed while we were there but we were able to survey the new inventory and take a few snapshots to ensure some good coverage! The coast is a pretty common destination for Pennsylvanian's in the summer (or anytime) and the new pantry will absolutely be a worthwhile stop.
We also spotted two or three hawks, a variety of local black birds and sparrows as well as migrating geese and of course seagulls.
What a fab way to spend the morning / afternoon indeed.
You can follow Bucks County Vegan on Instagram for more info / the upcoming article.
...or Check me out on Instagram @melissa_elizabeth_insta.
Ever wonder where you should 'Start sharing your content & messages first?' ...or even "What IS my message anyway?" Perhaps you know what your message is overall and you can feel it, but you would love to see it hashed out a little bit better... but in the meantime, you feel that you don't want to waste precious time when it comes to posting and sharing!
The answer to these sorts of questions isn't the same for everybody... However, If you are the creative/quietly expressive type and OR Really & truly brand new, just starting out (to get your message out there)... this idea is for you. . .
"Create where you feel inspired to create and then... syndicate."
By doing so, you both ascertain more of your message... get to literally hash out the wording as you feel inspired AND post in the meantime. You can always reuse those posts, the wording you liked, and syndicate those messages on other channels later. Don't get wrapped up in worrying about 'the latest platform where 'all the people are.' Post where you feel inspired first! Post through the medium or platform that is easiest and or gives you the most comfort and inspiration first. If it's your perfected message to share you're after, worry about numbers and viewer count only secondly.
This is the principal behind my composition first method. It's the method I use & the one I highly recommend to #artists , #writers , #teachers , #counselors , #mission based #leaders, and other #creatives . If you have had trouble finding your flow look no further and try this method. Numbers come second to your message.
You must do this if you are camera shy. This tip works on the basic psychological principal of 'de-sensitization' which means it bypasses and 'confidence' barriers, thoughts about your own looks (whether you love them or don't love them so much) etc!
Here it is... straight from my original post on Instagram:
This is my biggest tip for overcoming camera-shyness or even audio recorder shyness / fear of your own voice. It may not sound like much... but there is great psychology to it... BUT here's the key: once you do this you MUST force yourself to listen to it or watch it fully no matter how 'bad' it is or uncomfortable you feel. This is the most important psychological piece (in my opinion). It's desensitizing or formally called desensitization. ... and no matter what your 'reason(s)' are for hiding or staying quiet... it's a way around them without over-focusing on them (which can sometimes only make things even tougher!) Hope you enjoyed this tip. Remember, just one little bit at a time. We're not going for speed here.
For more, check out my post on The Everyday Life Stories Challenge... to help you overcome your camera shyness and fear of video!
Confidence can be fleeting. Love isn't.
SO if you're Choosing to wait to share that post, your message or screenshot or whatever it is Because... 'You're kind of so-called rough around the edges' ..OR 'You come from an odd background' SO 'Oh You know, Nobody would -get- you' ..OR Because 'You're hair isn't dyed the right color yet' or something else is jussst out of place. ...OR maybe because you're Afraid or embarrassed it 'won't be worth it?' (Let's be honest Have you ever Really been motivated by the 'six figures' the ads tell you 'you're supposed to make' by sharing your message anyway?) Believe in yourself. Believe in you. Here is my tip.
If you want to keep going with something, anything... Take yourself (and whatever you might happen to think about yourself at the moment) OUT of the equation. Remember your message at the forefront & whatever is holding you back...
Float above it.
Love. Choose love.
This is one of my favorite photos! Here you see the photogenic and gorgeous Ms. Little along with the sleeve of my 15+ year old thrift store sweater. Wait, did I mention, that was When I got it in the thrift store. It's probably some 10 years older than that at least with the kind of tag that only comes from the fashion world of the 70s or 80s. True vintage. True thrift! Right from the Goodwill.
You don't need to be that 'strong' 'sassy' or 'powerful' to get started... and you don't have to find your 'swagger' or 'brand' first either.
I started out speaking the truth and sharing the truth using Instagram and Instagram stories... I started by creating few second clips that I could handle and practicing for about five minutes everyday. Making the first few clips, and looking at them I cried because I 'hated' seeing myself and hearing myself due to past trauma. If I can change this, you can change this too. I still had quite a bit of work to do (and still and always do), but this is what got me started - slow, steady, and committed and using the principal of 'densensitization,' which has a whether-you-like-it-or-not natural effect on human psychology and can work for even the most hurt among us. (In ways both good AND bad, but that's another story! - I found a way to use it for good!)
The following is wording for the post:
This is an outtake from Insider Tips here on #instagramstorieswith Melissa Elizabeth (2017)
"When I grew up, it wasn't common for many of us to have acting classes, public speaking training, or real mentorship... and to boot, there was no internet (the great equalizer), until later. However, if you've got a message you've been wanting to speak from the heart... I've got a message for you. Maybe you've had no real mentorship, no public speaking training. I want you to know that it doesn't matter. You can do SO much more than you think you can. You can trust me on this one. If there's a message in your heart (doesn't matter what it is), if you meet it with some bravery it will compel you... and ensure you're not (and your message is not) left behind."
P.S. Check out my heart necklace by Pernilla Designs on @etsy. The story behind that coming soon!
#diy #mentor #mentorship #artist #brand#heart #creative #video #awesomeness#publicspeaking #confidencetips#pernillasdesign
I just love this photo of graybie and I. This guy wants to be in the show, loves singing and I tell you can sing. This photo reminded me of Jim Henson's muppets where Kermit the Frog sang 'Some day we'll find it, the rainbow connection... the lovers, the dreamers and me!"
melissa_elizabeth_instaMy husband in his happy place photographing the #mountainsin #colorado. I have taken to photographing photographers really expertly. ;). Next stop #moab... Get the latest on Instagram Stories. Stay tuned for tomorrow: view from the canyons! #nature #instagramstories#sanjuanmountains #fallfolliage #marketing#melissaelizabeth
P.S. love to photography others taking photographs... especially this guy. In general, however I find such an artfulness to it... to see what 'you' see. How it makes you feel. How you see it.
For more, follow me @melissa_elizabeth_insta on Instagram.
Stop, drop & take the Everyday Life Stories Challenge
I affectionately call the Everyday Life Stories Challenge the 'un-challenge' ...because it's not a challenge given 'to you' by anyone else. I'm not challenging you. I'm just telling and showing you How to take the challenge. This is not meant to be a 'viral' challenge. The true spirit of the Everyday Life Stories Challenge is to exist as a challenge that you get to make your own. (Jump to the How-To.)
When you decide to take the Everyday Life Stories Challenge, you're challenging yourself. In a way, The Everyday Life Stories Challenge is actually a methodology for healing in disguise. I've used and benefitted from it myself so how could I not share?
It's a methodology for Re-building and Re-hearing your own voice ...your wants, needs and hopes. You'd be surprised how you can hear them through the simple words you use to share & explain for example, a sight you see on the way to work in the morning.
If you feel even a little discouraged about talking or have even a little trouble speaking aloud to others about anything other than your job role, yourself or other 'usual' topics... you've tuned some of yourself out.
The methodology itself might sound heavy... but the application of this 'challenge' is truly about Nothing but FUN! In fact, that's what it's all about - practicing being true & having fun again. So who is the Everyday Life Stories Challenge for? Someone who wants to use their voice (maybe even to eventually effect change) and to have fun!
Here are the specifics of applying this methodology... AKA 'Rules of the Everyday Life Stories Challenge.'
HOW TO TAKE THE EVERYDAY LIFE STORIES CHALLENGE
1) Choose a platform. Choose a platform that supports short social video clips to take the Everyday Life Stories Challenge on. Some suggestions are Instagram Stories, Snapchat, or FB stories. Only choose one.
2) Pick a schedule. Decide whether your schedule makes it practical to post one clip everyday for the full 30 days or once every other day for 30 days. No matter which you choose, doing the challenge for the full 30 days is key!
3) Generate a 'quick list.' Jot down a list of 'mundane' things from your everyday life that you might be able to share. Even if you don't have a full 30, no worries... it's ok to make up some later on the fly and more will come to you. (More ideas coming March 14) These 'mundane' things should simply fit in a clip of a few minutes or a few seconds. A share of 5 seconds counts as does a share of 15 minutes, though no more than 15 minutes per day is recommended.
4) Start sharing! You might want to make Everyday Life Stories a calendar item but you don't have to. Nor do you have to post during the same time every day. You don't have to video yourself everyday either, you simply need to either talk or write over your clips. Refer to your list in no particular order to see what inspires you that day and just share it.
Helpful Tips: There is flexibility here! To get the full effect though try narrating or telling others a little about your clip or photo... using your real voice! You can talk while using the front facing cam when you're ready or simply use your voice over a video a scene you're looking at etc. Having a rough day? Need a little 'cheat?' You can post a photo that day with some text.
At a loss for what to share one day? Not feeling inspired by an item from your brainstormed quick-list? Pause & Look up, down, and all around for quick inspiration.
It's your choice whether you want to tell other people you're taking this challenge, to share it or to use the hashtag! #EverydayLifeStoriesChallenge
For more 'rules,' inspiration and helpful guides click here. [coming soon]
Sharing comes naturally. Many of us are scared to share. Not anymore. #Everydaylifestorieschallenge