So I may seem like a chilled out, go with the flow, lover of everyone type of dude…but come on, we all know you can’t trust what you read on blogs and social media!! The truth is, I live a very structured life and like it that way. I’m also super picky about pretty much everything. So what’s my point? When I do love something or someone there’s usually a lot of really good reasons why and I tend to love all the way for real, like you can try and fight me to change my mind but you won’t, for real. I was thinking about this as Valentine’s Day was approaching and realizing I wanna spread a little love to some of those people, places and apps that absolutely rock my heart. So without any more boring introduction, please pucker up and give a big smooch to:
Hippie Chick Granola
Her shop is right over the bridge from where I live, but I’ve gotten to know Ilene Evans mostly through that whole social media thing. Our stories are similar in that we both just relocated to some crazy little island in North Carolina and sort of rebooted our lives. But it’s more than that, I’m watching her business grow due to sheer hard work, and dedication and vision. Each of her unique and absolutely mouth watering small batch granola flavors have a story behind them. A story of inspiration and gratitude and love. I also recently found out she has fostered more than a dozen dogs so let’s just say she can do no wrong in my book at this point.
Show Hippie Chick Granola some love!
I have Google+ to thank for introducing me to Jerry James Stone and the Cooking Stoned world. Sorry potheads, this guy may take his inspiration from the free spirit vibe of San Francisco, but the only thing you’ll get addicted to are his recipes. A self-proclaimed food pornographer, I was immediately drawn to the beauty of his food but once I realized it was all vegetarian, I was a junkie. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 4 decades now (WHAT!?!?!?) and have never seen anything as original and vibrant and as his food combinations. He has inspired me to start cooking again and shown me that boozecicles are the only way to survive a southern summer…did I mention he writes, photographs and publishes his own cookbooks?
Show Cooking Stoned some love!
With a slogan that says “Because Dogs.”, I’m quite sure you can quickly get an idea of why I love Pack. I can’t remember where or when I first heard of them but once I realized they would feed my dog photo obsession and connect me with other fanatic dog lovers, I was hooked. But as they’ve grown, they’ve become much more and even better by integrating rescue organizations and dog friendly companies, as well as a companion app they call Snack. But at their core, the mission is really to spread and live the unadulterated secret joy that is life with dogs. There’s no affiliate agenda, no shameless plugs to any dog blogs (I mean who would do such a thing anyway!?), just a whole bunch of people bursting with happiness from the mere act of being around their dog they can’t help but share it with others. If you don’t wag your tail at that there’s something wrong with you!
Show Packdog.com some love!
When I first started this whole working for myself thing I was pretty clueless about accounting, pricing, billing and invoicing. I started out using Word documents as invoices and a really crude Excel spreadsheet to track expenses. I slowly graduated to a desktop version of QuickBooks but knew there had to be something better out there. After a little research, a clear winner emerged. Sure, FreshBooks is cloud accounting software, so you ask, how could I really fall in love that much? Well I’m glad you asked – I first fell in love with their product – the interface is fresh (pun intended), and modern and mobile and as they are small business owners focused on small business clients, everything you need to stay on top of your game is at your fingertips. But it’s their customer support that is truly swoon-worthy. I am not sure how they cracked the code, but feel every company should be required to adopt their customer service training program and philosophy…and yes, I’m including my own!
Show FreshBooks some love!
And this guy
A shameless shout out to his 2014 Valentine’s Day Haiku because it’s awesome and he always reminds me to stop and smell the flowers.