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Hello, my name is Gina. I am a photographer, lifestyle blogger and coach for creative entrepreneurs living in Houston, TX. You can contact me at info@georginalongoria.com

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever visit Japan. It just wasn’t on my bucket list, but one day as I was helping my mother go through her credit card statements I came across a strange charge. I asked her “What’s this?” To which she joyfully exclaimed “Oh yes! I bought a trip to Japan and I need you to come with me.” I said “What?!?!” Not once did she even mention the thought. It turns out that the insurance company she works with invites their employees and their families on international trips every six months so my mother thought it would be a great idea to visit.

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how to take better food pictures with phone

Food is one of the fastest growing categories on social media. It’s a huge business and average folks are cashing in on it. But whether you’re a professional food blogger or someone who just likes to take pictures of their latest dinner creation, you can learn how to take better food pictures with your phone.

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If you find yourself in Houston with nothing to do why not head out to visit Battleship Texas? I’ve been there twice and still haven’t explored the whole ship. The story of the ship is fascinating. It’s the only surviving battleship that’s been in both world wars and now rests on the waters of Buffalo Bayou, about 30 minutes east of downtown Houston. Grab a bite at the nearby Monument Inn Restaurant where one can enjoy a meal and watch boats, cargo ships, and ferries go by.

Tips:

  • Ladies, don’t wear skirts. You’ll have to climb a lot of steep steps.
  • Although open every season, I suggest going during cooler months since there is no a/c in most of the ship. It gets incredibly hot and humid during the summer.
  • Carry a bottle of water. You’ll thank me.

battleship texas

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Ever heard of a snow grown? It’s Sweet Ride’s snow cones for adults. For a little extra you’ll get a mini bottle of rum or vodka. Yaaaaas! What better way to enjoy Houston’s unforgiving heat than with some delicious cold desserts?

Follow Sweet Ride’s updates on where they’ll be parked around Houston so you can swing by and grab a treat! One of the perks of taking pictures of food is you get to try some of it. I have a couple favorites, their strawberry Italian ice and the coconut sorbet in the coconut shell.

 

sweet ride houston

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It’s hot. Really hot and that calls for ice cream. So, on my latest grocery run I scouted all the flavors. I typically get plain vanilla when I go to an ice cream parlor and dress it up with toppings and maybe even some warm praline syrup (yasss!), but I needed something I could keep at home for when cravings hit.

And then I came across Talenti’s Coconut Almond Chocolate Gelato. I’m not usually a coconut type of girl, but this is SO GOOD!!

It’s a light vanilla flavor. The coconut isn’t overwhelming. In fact, the shreds add a nice chewy texture to the mix and it tastes so fresh. None of that artificial coconut stuff.

I did manage to practice self control the first couple of times I ate it, but I’m not gonna lie, I ate the rest straight out of the pint.

Have you tried it? What’s your favorite ice cream/gelato?

talenti gelato coconut almond chocolate

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road trip louisiana

Just got back from visiting friends in Slidell, LA, a quiet city around 30 miles northeast of New Orleans. We went to NOLA a few times, walked through the French Quarter as the Essence festival was underway, went to The Ritz for the restroom, saw an actress chase after Patti LaBelle who zoomed past us into the elevator (all I saw was her yellow outfit and her hair, ha!), ate some macarons at Sucré, and enjoyed people watching. I had to take a picture of a lady with her cute little hat.

The crowd favorite at Sucré is the salted caramel macarons. As a chocolate lover, I bought couple of each and I was won over by the salted caramel. If you’re ever in the French Quarter, this dessert spot is a must try.

macarons sucre

sucre new orleans

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get business noticed

I’ve seen it way too often, people like you who have talent and are too stuck in the belief that they don’t have what it takes to be a professional so you end up giving away your skills for free. Let me tell you, if people are asking how much you charge for your work then you have what it takes to earn money doing what you like.

The truth is that entrepreneurs with years of experience never stop learning either. So, if you’re thinking of making your hobby a business (even a side one) or if your goal is to get more eyes and ears on your work I’ve put together five basic ways to get started in promoting your business.

Most of these are quite obvious, but it’s surprising how many new entrepreneurs undervalue the tools available to them for free. Some may just need a little extra help in how to use these tools better so be sure to download my free worksheets!

It takes time and commitment especially when you’re the only one running the show. Life will get in the way and at times you may feel discouraged, but when you slack off a little, take a breath and get moving again no matter how long it takes. Read more to get started…

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Lesson learned. Don’t go to a craft store when you’re supposed to help with wedding invitations. We got completely sidetracked and ended up putting the wedding stuff aside and made a wreath for my front door. Wedding invitations rescheduled!

I wish we would’ve gone to the arts and crafts store the week before when we were forced to stay inside due to rain. Cabin fever was getting to us. This would’ve been excellent for a rainy day activity and there are so many creative ideas on Pinterest. I went with putting my address on the side of the wreath…makes it easier for the pizza man to find me. Haha

Things I learned:

  1. Put the snacks on a different table unless you want wire in your guacamole.
  2. Have some band-aids nearby. Flower wire will cut you.
  3. Buying an already made wreath is probably less expensive than making one yourself, BUT it’s a lot more fun to make your own wreath.

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