WEEK 7 Instafun Fall Camp

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Tis’ The Season

By now you have probably seen the isles of your local stores filled with holiday items. During the first few weeks of November, I try to start planning some homemade gifts for the holiday season. I am loving these Indigo Stockings from A Beautiful Mess. I also love making sugar cookies every year and decorating them with royal icing. Listen— I am going to do something I have never done before! I am going to share my coveted (took me years to perfect) sugar cookie recipe. A long, long, time ago I had a side hustle called Love Struck State Cookies (photos below) where I developed the quickest sugar cookie dough recipe with the most flavor and best texture. I sold hundreds of Kentucky cookies to brides, party planners, and even the Black and Bluegrass Roller Derby Team.

I’m sharing this with you and it’s top secret. Seriously there are so many good things about this. It doesn’t need refrigerated before rolling, it’s a little salty, and so almondy. I worked hard on this one and have never shared it before. Since I am in the giving holiday spirit I am including it here just for you. Because I think you’re amazing. If you want a KY cookie cutter you can find it on my essentials list.

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2-2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Instructions
Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and lightly mix in the flavoring. Add that to the butter sugar mixture and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, (start with 2.5 cups) baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. Add the additional flour if needed. The dough should be stuck to the paddle and should form into more of a ball. Roll out on parchment till about quarter of an inch, cut into shapes (don’t make them too thin.) Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes.

The trick to sugar cookies is to pull them out before they are brown. Transfer them carefully to a cooling rack to set. Once the are completely cool you can ice them. Insider’s trick- cookies that are at least 24-48 hours old work best for icing! Want to learn how to ice and flood cookies? I love the Brown Eyed Baker’s tutorial. Here are some tips: When mixing your icing the first batch ( for the outline) should be the consistency of toothpaste, the second batch (for flooding) should be the consistency of shampoo. If you’re just doing 1 color (like my KY cookies) you can use small squeeze bottles instead of a piping bag.

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INSTAGRAM LESSON

When Instagram (IG) first came out, I remember taking screen shots of a couch I wanted, or emailing myself a photo of a travel spot. Did you know that you can simply create boards like Pinterest on Instagram? These boards are private to you.  I started one for our new apartment where I save all of the inspirational posts I find on IG.  

Start Here

  1. Open the Instagram app

  2. Go to a post you like from someone's account

  3. Tap the flag (bookmark) icon to the bottom right on the post.

  4. Tap the plus icon to start a new collection. Name your collection.

  5. You can double tap the bookmark icon in the future to quickly add photos to your collection.

Find Your Collection

  1. Tap on your profile photo to go to your profile.

  2. Underneath your highlight bubbles you will see the bookmark flag. Tap it to see your collections.

  3. Tap "see more like this" to explore similar posts!

Save for Regrams
In addition to being inspirational, this tool can be used to save posts for regrams. Regram means to post someone else's post to your feed. This can help you by—sharing content with your audience that they may enjoy and saving you some time on creating content to post. Regramming should be used in addition to creating your own content, consider a healthy mix of both. 

  1. Create a collection titled "regrams"

  2. Add content to this collection by using your bookmark tool. Maybe you want this collection to be quotes that you like, photos of things that are orange, or inspirational interior design. Whatever your collecting, should relate to your brand!

  3. You now have a collection of posts you can go to for regramming. Consider this like a regram file folder.

How to Regram
You can do regrams a couple ways. I simply screen shot, crop, and post to my feed (old skool.) You can also use apps to do this. Instagram doesn't have a native repost feature, so instead you need to use an app. Try Repost for Instagram, or InstaRepost. Here are three rules to follow when regramming. 

  1. Always credit the original user by tagging the content creator (using the @ symbol) and saying the image is a regram. You can use "#regram."

  2. Do not add a filter to the photo. Keep the regram original.

 
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