Cake design vs Cake decorator

So, which one am I?

I have debated with these two terms for a while, and I´ll explain why; I understand that to talk about the world of cake decorations we call ourselves ” Cake Designers” to give us a sense of belonging to a specific group.  But how many of us really ” Design” their cakes? How many of us are absolutely 100% unique and original?

I´m not a 100% original!

I have done some original work, but not everything that I do is 100% mine.

Please, don´t take me wrong, I don´t think that being the opposite is bad. I believe there need to be a fair number of great ” Cake Decorators” and also a great number of ” Cake Designers”

Here is the thing and I don´t know if you´ll agree with me.

We all start as Cake Decorators, we simply go and do what the client wants, we might even copy parts of other cakes, we might copycat a full cake because that is what the customer wants and we bake really well and have to pay the bills at the end of the month. Is that bad? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

As long as you do not intentionally make other cake designers work and sign them as your own and you give credit to the original artist, our daily work might just be to decorate cakes with the customer’s ideas.

However, one day, after you have practiced a lot and have become absolutely confident in your work, it will be you who sais to the customer what to do. You´ll sit down with a piece of paper, or a little notebook and design that special cake with your own ideas.

You´ll challenge yourself to do new things and will be amazed. That day my friend, you will be a Cake Designer.

To go even further with this idea, the other day on a FB group I admire and which I am part of was placed a question by one of the administrators of we are real bakers or just sculptors or artists wich decided to use sugar and edible materials as their choice of expression. I debated with this question for a while, then my simple and humble answer was. I am first an artist, my choice of material is sugar paste and gelatin but I happen to bake quite well. I am a Cake decorator some times and a cake designer when I create my modeling pieces. I am just proud of everything that I know and I don´t need the title to do it, I just need to be confident!

My point with this post is to name things by their own name, is to be proud of whatever stage you are in your baking business, is to be true to what you do and what you can do.

Let´s respect everyone´s work, let´s praise the achievements of our colleagues and get inspired. Let´s challenge ourselves instead of bringing others down. Let´s start this year with great intentions and most of all respect and admiration for each other.

Hope you´ve liked this, I would love to hear your opinion. If you liked it, please,

comment, like, share and subscribe.

Love,

Cristina

 

 

 

What to do (or not) using #hashtags for a cake business

What is right and what is wrong when using #hashtags for a cake business?

A good group of #hashtags at the end of an image can make a big difference, to both bring more traffic into your account and adding more followers to your profiles and brand

As I said before, the order should be something like this, however, it is not a science, it can be flexible to your audience and your intentions.

We can play with the content of the #hashtags just like this:

Niche: #food #desserts #cakes

Theme: #cakedesign

Brand: #theartcakeexperience

Place: #cristina_theartcakeexperience /here I prefer to use my profile account than my location in order for people to follow me more easily, however, the profile of your account should include your location but that can be a topic for another post on how to use your profile Bio to grow your business.

#hashtags

 

Ideas and “Trends”:

There are many #hashtags that we can use and follow easily that will help us get in the game of social media marketing. I would like to share with you some simple ideas that can help you organize your social media posts.

However, another thing I learn about it is that there are platforms and apps that can help you do that, schedule your posts, tell you what works better in terms of #hashtags, recommends which ones to use and also what time is better to post according to your target audience.

These apps run statistics and really make your life easier. I use Tailwind and Planoly which are very good and easy to use, also Later is a great one. But there are many in the market that can really help you organize your posts.

We can use simple trend #hashtags to get our publications out there, for example:

Days of the week: #mondayfunday #transformationtuesday #wisdomwednesday #throwbackthursday #foodfriday #socialsaturday #selfiesunday

There are many ideas, don´t stop exploring and using your favorite social media platforms and don´t forget to use this to your advantage and to grow your business. But if you want a small piece of advice, don´t get too caught up in this game, it can take a lot of your time and can be very competitive and demanding, so I don´t want to add more things to your cake design business to-do list, I just want to help you get out there and show your wonderful work!

I loved writing these posts for you and I really hope you liked them too.

If you did, don´t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe!

Lots of love,

Cristina

 

 

 

 

How to write a good #hashtag for a cake business

So, let´s keep talking about #hashatgs

How to write a good (#) hashtag.

It must be memorable, unique and relevant to the post or the image. It should be easy to memorize and not too long so followers will not lose time trying to figure out what we are saying.

Good Hashtags!    #caketopper  #cakedesign  #cakesforher

however, over this last year, I have realized that more specific hashtags even if they are too specific can have a better impact. Let me explain why…

A very trendy hashtag can have millions of followers, so if your business is new and not too famous, it will take a longer time for new followers to find, that is because your post will be lost amongst millions of other posts.

Usually, good hashtags, trendy enough, with an average of followers can be a better option for new audiences to find your product.

For example: 

#caketoppers can have 424,070 publications

but

#harrypottercaketopper 589 publications

That means that if you use the second option for your publication, your post will be placed between 589 posts and will be easily found instead of being among a sea of almost half a million posts.

Now, not so good ones:

#caketoppersforlittlekidswholikebatman #cakedesignnewtrendsofthisyear #cakesthatshewouldliketoeat

Why?… too long, too difficult to read and not enough followers for you to lose time using them.

Before using a #hashatgs, make sure to know what the words mean and if together the words won’t have a different connotation, that way we prevent ourselves from sending the wrong message.

Just imagine this:

#mywormcake followed by an image of a good looking woman in the kitchen taking a cake out of the oven… that can be miss understood and could lead to unwanted comments.

However, imagine a steamy cake fresh out of the oven, a close-up picture followed by the #freshbakedcake better right?. We avoided the word “my” and give it a less personal connotation also all the words are easy to follow and without any different meaning.

To give you an example of my own experience, let me share with you this post from my Instagram account that had a big impact due to the use of #hashtags.
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#beautyandthebeast  / First the theme of the cake  without talking about cakes to attract an audience interested in Beauty and the Beast and not just cake design

 #cakedesign/ #bolosdecorados( Usually I make my hashtags in two different languages because I live in Portugal but want a more international audience)/ Now is the niche, the specific group of people your post is intended for. In this case are cake designers or people interested in it.

#beautyandthebeastcake / #beautyandthebeastcaketoppers / even more specific to the post and the theme

#theartcakeexperience #cristina_theartcakeexperience #theartcakeschool/ finally my brand and my Instagram account so people will easily follow me.

Next time I´ll talk about what to do and what not to do when using a #hasgtag

If you liked this post, don´t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe!

See you later…

Love,

Cristina

 

Social Media Calendar (EN)

It is the beginning of a new year and I really like to take a look at my last´s year resolutions, and one of them happened to be ” More Social Media Exposure!”

Trying to be updated with all the social media posts, running an online school, recording and editing videos, teaching and baking can be a daunting task. I so much understand the work of Social Media Marketing companies and why they charge what they charge because it is a LOT OF WORK!!!!

However, this Blogging thing is kind of new to me and I can´t afford right now to pay anyone else to do the job for me so I came up with a very nice and simple to follow a calendar for social media posting.

I always have someone young to give me a ” Crash Course” on how to manage my social media accounts, this time was my gorgeous goddaughter, that gave me all the insight on how to use social media to my advantage, the best time to post and how frequently to do it.

But if you don´t have a talented Goddaughter like me, there is a lot of information on the social media platforms analytics to get you going. Pay attention to the time your followers interact with you and which of your posts are more popular, that will help you too.

There is a lot of terms and vocabulary that can make us lose our mind and patience, and since the idea is to make things easy for you I´ll try to make it simple and show you what really worked for me.

After wandering around the net, trying to find out what SEO and CCS and Plugins are, I decided to work with what I know and already have; a Facebook page ( not a profile) which is very simple to open, to use and to maintain, also the Blog ( of course) and my Instagram account. With this, I can make a lot and the idea is to get publicity, followers and promote my work.

I am no Blogger, I bake cakes and teach sugar paste modeling and gelatin art, so this social media marketing should be very simple and easy to use for me and any other cake designer.

What really works for me!

The first ( and very important) step is to post periodically, yes PERIODICALLY! This will make all the difference, and even more important is when to post. As more you post, more exposure you´ll get, and posting at the right hours will make you reach more of your target audience.

The great news is that you can schedule your posts in advance in almost all these social media platforms, some of them directly in the platform like Facebook or with the use os specialized apps like Planoly, Later and Tailwind for Instagram and Pinterest.

Let´s build our Social Media Calendar based on a few things: seasonal posts, your weekly work, quotes, and sharing. Also, it is important to know when to post, so I´ll give you an idea of what works for me.

Take in the count all the different social media platforms, groups, profiles, and pages.

So, let´s play with seasons and holidays in order to organize your yearly posts, like this:

January: News, New year´s resolutions

February: Valentine´s day

March: Spring

April: Easter

May: Mother´s day

June: Summer Break

August: Tropical themes

September: Back to School

October: Halloween

November: Fall/Thanksgiving

December: Christmas

 

Now, you should post weekly and periodically as I mentioned before, so here is my own personal calendar so you can have an idea, copy this if you want, but remember, you´ll only know what works for you and your target audience.

Use the analytics of the social media platforms and find out this: best hours for posting and the posts that had better interactions, this way you´ll know when and what to post.

Let me explain: If you have more people entering your page on Mondays and Fridays at 3:00pm, that means that is the best time for you to publish your posts. If on Instagram you had more reactions to the pictures of your decorated cakes, than the picture of you in the kitchen, it means people are more interested in seeing your finished work instead of the process, so post your finished cakes more often and in the best hours and days. This will mean more interaction en, even more, followers. 

Combine this effort together with the use of #Hashtags and it will work even better.

Check out my previous post on ” The use of #hashtags for cake business” and get some insight on how to use them in your favor.

SocialMediacalendar

My weekly Social Media Calendar:

Let´s go back to our Social Media Calendar, now for the weekly posts:

Monday/ Instagram at 18:00h e Blog between  21:00h and 22:00h.

Tuesday/ Interact with Facebook Groups, share posts and news from my work and colleagues

Wednesday / Facebook between 18:00h and 21:00h

Thursday/ Instagram Stories, Facebook posts at 19:00h and a new video every two weeks on my YouTube channel.

Friday / Instagram at 21:00h

Saturday/ Facebook between 21:00 and 22:00h

I also share on my Facebook profile, pages and groups everything I publish in other social media platforms, that is because it is the platform in which I have more followers.

There are many types of pots you can share like: your own works, announcements, stories, follow-ups, share information, share someone else´s work, quotes, inspiration, behind the scenes of your work, Blog posts sharing, promotions and add and many more. One thing to always keep in mind is to BE YOU!, be original, be yourself, don´t copycat, be authentic and true and people will react to you and your work.

I don´t know it all, but I know what works for me and what could work for a Cake Business, and most importantly what doesn´t take much of your time. If you want further information an how to post and how to schedule your posts, feel free to contact me here or through any of my Social Media profiles:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bolosdecoradosdecristina

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theartcakeexperience and https://www.facebook.com/CristinaArevaloBolosDecorados

Instagram: @cristina_theartcakeexperience

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.pt/theartcakeexperience/

YouTube: The Art Cake Experience Channel

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I´ve loved to share this with you and truly hope it helps you, so if you´d enjoyed it too, please don´t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe.

 

Love,

Cristina

 

Using #Hashtags for a cake business.

#arehashtagsreallyinportantquestionmark

Did you see that? It looks more like a tongue-twister than a #hashtag

But it got your attention, right?

Apparently, we are nothing in social media without a #hashtag, but do they really work? are they good for all social media platforms? is it worth the trouble?

I have to say that since last year I´ve been quite active on social media in order to promote my online teaching business and cake decorating business, even my personal brand. And I also have to say that I´ve learned a lot since last I wrote a post about hashtags and social media. Not because I became a master in everything that there is to know, more of a try and fail kind of situation, and be aware that by the time I finish this post, the algorithm in social platforms have changed and #hashtags too!

I found out two good things: what really work for me and what gives me less work to do.

I have a lot of information to give you, so I will divide this post into several parts.

Now, going back to the # hashtags, believe me when I say they are a big help, and I can recognize the advantages of their use, but like many or some of you, I didn´t even know what they were until last year.

So, If you are any like me, here I have for you a little crash course, a simple 101 on how to use #hashtags to your advantage for your cake business.

What is a #hashtag?transferir

It is a tool that allows us to identify and easily follow a product, place, event or personality as well as promotions and trends. Consists of using the hashtag symbol of our keyboard (#) followed by a word or words that refer to what we want to identify and they are always in lower case and without space between the words.

For business it is a great and useful tool, it helps to showcase our product, be followed or even discovered by users around the world.

What social media platforms use #hashtags?

At least the main ones, Twiter, Facebook, and Instagram are the most common ones. But also Pinterest and more Social Media platforms use them. I confess that I´m not a big Twitter user, I prefer Facebook and Instagram because they work for my business and my target audience, but that can be a different case for you. Pinterest can be a great platform for cake decorators and cake designers, but to really take advantage of it,  it should be used in a very specific way and that is for another post.
For Facebook, even though some people use the hashtags (#) I don´t recommend it. It is proven that the posts with hashtags in FB have no difference in their success. FB posts rely on images, that is what truly makes the difference, so don´t bother wasting time creating hashtags for FB, remember we as cake decorators are always short on time so we won´t want to waste it.

Now, Instagram in the other hand is the home of the hashtags. It is a must to use them!

I have seen the number of my followers grow with the use of hashtags.  The number of interactions; meaning the likes and comments, have to do not only with the use of hashtags but with the quantity, quality of the hashtags and frequency of the posts.
Instagram allows you to use a large number of hashtags, and it is proven that posts with more than 10 hashtags work even better than others with less. We can even follow hashtags instead of a person or a profile.

Now, I don´t want to bore you with a long post, so I´ll ask you to just think about what social media platform really works for you and you are willing to commit to. Then in my next post, I´ll show you how to write a good hashtag and how to use it.

If you liked this post, please comment, like, share and subscribe.

See you next time

love,

Cristina

Happy Halloween!(EN)

Why do I like Halloween so much?.

In ancient pagan traditions, Halloween, ” All Hallows Eve” or as it is known in the Wiccan religion ” Samhain” is the day all the veils between worlds are lifted and the beyond, the other side is closer to us.

It is the day to celebrate those who are no longer between us, the ones that departed to the afterlife and we miss so much and to be in contact with higher spirits. This is the main reason why I love this celebration. Besides, there is the fact of the costumes that I absolutely love.

The spooky part was our human way to cope with the beyond or the unknow.

I will not get into religious arguments, but I have to confess to being fun of the goth, dark, and unknown, not the scary movies field with blood.

So, to celebrate this Halloween week, I wish to share with you some of my latest and previous work. Spooky, sweet and fun.

Have fun this Halloween, eat lots of sweets, and be whoever you want to be!

Have a  spooky and sweet week.

Love

Cristina

 

 

Semana de Festas!(PT)

Então, Setembro começou, e adivinhem quem fez anos esta semana?

Eu!

Mas a estrela principal foi a minha pequenina que fez anos um dia antes do meu aniversário e claro que a festa foi toda para ela!

Ela escolheu o tema das Melancias, uma das tendências deste verão e a verdade é que com poucos materiais  ficou uma festa linda e colorida.

Então vou partilhar convosco tudo o que fiz esta semana e também algumas receitas que podem fazer em casa para a vossa próxima festa.

As preparações começaram na segunda-feira…

O mais importante para mim ao ter uma celebração em casa é organizar o meu tempo da melhor maneira possível, e mais ainda quando tudo coincide com a última semana de férias e um dia antes do meu aniversário.20190902_144031

Tudo começou na segunda-feira ao fazer o topo de bolo da melancia , as mini melancias para os cake pops, as bolachas, e o nome do bolo.

Mais uma das coisas que aproveitei para fazer na segunda, foram as bolinhas de bolo dos cake pops, que logo ficaram congeladas até ser decoradas na véspera da festa

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Adoro fazer pequenas lembrancinhas para as crianças, mesmo que são poucas ( época de férias, muitos amiguinhos estão  ainda fora da cidade), gosto de oferecer alguma coisa como agradecimento por terem vindo á festa.

Este ano foi muito simples, conseguimos ( a minha pequenina ajudou) fazer uns cartões em forma de pedaços de melancia e encontrei uns saquinhos as bolinhas branco e vermelho que fizeram toda a diferença.20190903_124223

As gelatinas…

Esta semana decidiu fazer todo o calor que não tivemos durante todo o mês de Agosto, portanto uma gelatina desenformada e decorada estava fora de questão. Ideia!, gelatinas individuais mas com o tema das melancias.

 

Resultado: três mini camadas de gelatina, a base verde( tuti-fruti) uma pequena camada de gelatina de leite condensado branca, e o restante com gelatina de sabor a melancia  (claro!). O toque final, colocar umas pepitas de chocolate no topo da gelatina para semelhar as sementes. A ideia não só ficou linda, todos adoraram o sabor com o pequeno toque de chocolate.

Ainda fica muito por partilhar. Na próxima segunda-feira  não podem perder a segunda parte onde vou partilhar convosco a receita dos ” green velvet cupcakes”!

Entretanto, uma olhadela ao resultado final da linda festa de melancias!

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Espero que gostem!

Beijinhos

Cristina

e não se esqueçam de gostar, comentar, partilhar e subscrever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, What is it that you do? (EN)

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Funny,

Don´t know how many times people have asked me this.

Immediately after you meet them or even if they have known you for a while. Even family that asks you with that face of not having a  clue and say:  What is it that you really do?

Has this happened to you?

And, of course, you want to network and spread the word about your job, but for me especially it is a dreaded question.

I can´t say: ” I am a lawyer” or ” I am a doctor“, or “ I am an accountant”, you know, jobs that everyone knows what they are and will be happy with a simple answer to their question, but nop….because I am so many things at the same time.

Wait, I don´t want to sound like an almighty feminist ” women power” advocate, or as an ” I can do everything at the same time ” type of person, NO!

Yes, I am a cake designer ( I have said before I don´t like to use this title), a gelatine artist, I model figures and cake toppers with sugar paste, I am a teacher…

It is really because I DO SO MUCH AT THE SAME TIME and all my jobs are equally important to me.

Do you do a lot as well? Can you relate to this?

so…

Facebook asked me the other day to present my team of all the people who make this online school possible, you know, to promote my new page with posts for my audience.

I just laughed!

Because it is just me! I AM ALL MY TEAM!

Funny, maybe I am a little OCD, or maybe very independent, or maybe it is because is MY DREAM, MY BABY and as a proud Mom, I like to be part of all the process. I can be very stubborn, and control freak but I have to confess that I enjoy it.

I only wish that a day had more hours, that is all!

So, here is the thing, my Online School might not be the most technologically advanced online school, but everything is made by ME!
From the curriculum and planning of the courses, making the cakes, gelatines, and cupcakes, to recording and editing videos, adding sound and music to videos, to uploading everything into the platform, follow up with my students and working on a social media marketing strategy, everything is ME!

So here I am, the “TEAM” behind everything in ” The Art Cake Experience School”. Making sure everything is done with LOVE, and for YOU!

So I can only ask you to join me, yes ME!, not just my online school, but share this path with me.

I by any chance you would like to know more about me…

ENROLL FOR FREE

 in any of my online courses and for sure you´ll become more than a student for me,

you ´ll become my friend.

Have a great day and an excellent week!
Love
Cristina

Please comment, like, share and subscribe!

Então, qual é que é o teu trabalho? (PT)

20190321_133517Que engraçado

Não me lembro quantas vezes já me fizeram esta pergunta.

Imediatamente depois de me conhecer, ou  depois que já me conhecem, até família quando olham para ti com aquela cara de quem não percebe e perguntam: Mas a final o que é que realmente fazes?

Já lhes aconteceu?

Claro, queremos dar a conhecer o nosso trabalho e passar a palavra para ter mais clientes e alunos, mas para mim é uma pergunta que não gosto de responder.

Pode ser dificl de responder, já que não posso dizer: ” sou uma advogada” ou ” sou médica” ou ” sou contabilista“, que são títulos que todos conhecem, o problema é tentar descrever em uma palavra todo o que faço, porque ” sou” muitas coisas ao mesmo tempo.

Só um aclaratória, não quero soar feminista, nem pro dos  ” direitos das mulheres que podem fazer tudo na vida! NÂO!

Sim, sou cake designer ( já tinha dito que não gosto de usar este título), mas também faço gelatinas decoradas, e modelagem em pasta de açúcar e sou formadora, e dou aulas online…

A realidade é que FAÇO DE TUDO AO MESMO TEMPO e tudo é igualmente importante para mim.

então…

O Facebook perguntou o outro dia para apresentar a minha ” equipa” de trabalho na escola ” The Art Cake Experience School“, sabem, para promover a interação com a minha página.

Só tive vontade de rir!

É que sou só EU! EU SOU TODA A MINHA EQUIPA!

Também vos acontece?

Posso ser por ser um bocado OCD, ou tal vez muito independente, pode ser porque este projeto é o meu bebé, meu sonho e como mãe babada gosto de fazer parte de todo o processo. Posso ser muito teimosa, e controladora, mas confesso que gosto de cada momento.

Só gostava que o dia tivesse mais horas!, quem não?

Então, esta é a questão, a minha escola online pode não ser a mais avançada tecnologicamente, pode não ter 300 formações disponíveis, mas tudo é feito por mim!

Desde a programação do curriculum e a planificação das aulas, fazer os bolos, gelatinas , cupcakes, gravar e editar os videos , adicionar áudios e música, subir tudo na plataforma online, seguir o progresso dos meus estudantes e no meio planificar estratégias de marketing nas redes sociais, tudo é feito por MIM!

Aqui estou, a ” equipa” atrás da escola online ” The Art Cake Experience School“, mas tenham a certeza de que tudo está feito com muito amor e especialmente para si!

Por isso, só posso pedir para fazer parte desta escola e partilhar esta aventura comigo.

e se por muita casualidade ainda querem saber mais alguma coisa sobre mim…

podem-se inscrever GRÁTIS em qualquer das minhas formações e não só ser o meu aluno

mas também o meu amigo!

 

Desejo-vos um lindo dia e uma excelente semana

Beijinhos

Cristina.

Admiration and Envy. (EN)

20180506_131308Recently I was invited to be part of an international cake collaboration, for the Steam Cakes- Steampunk Collaboration and loved it!. Due to this opportunity, I had the chance to interact with Cake Designers from all around the globe and receiving their feedback was a blessing for me, working from home and in a very privet way makes you think of yourself as a little tiny dot in the cake design universe, and so many talented people that I admire took a chance to say something nice about my piece that it really warmed my heart.

Feeling blessed for all that, I realized that the feedback coming from international artists and local artists was a bit different if not absent.

Sorry if I am being to forward with this comment, but couldn´t help to come to this conclusion because it is actually a fact.

So it makes me wonder…

How do we see ourselves as cake designers? How do we see other cake designers?

The answer for me is easy…

I am my biggest competition!, I have to be better than yesterday, I have to improve my skills, I have to learn more and become the best I can be.

Others are sources of inspiration, are teachers on their own way even if they don´t know it, are role models, others have to be recognized for their talent because they are doing it for us, for our admiration and entertainment.

So, what is wrong with this equation?

When we mistake admiration for envy.

Envy comes from a place of ignorance, when you are not sure about yourself, in this thought is easy to knock down others than to make yourself meet their standards and even become better ( but for your own happiness) not to become better than…

Admiration comes from a peaceful place, where you can be humble enough to recognize other´s talents and strong enough to recognize that there is always room for improvement.

My point with this post is that it has to stop. If we want to grow in any activity or as cake designers, we have to grow together!

If we all lift each other up, there will be a lot of us on the top, therefore the cake design of any country and any place will be important.

Whoever is talented will always be talented and there will always be people that will stand up from the crowd, but TOGETHER we will make our country, area, group or school important.

From all my teaching years, all the time that I´ve been making cakes and meeting so many different people, the common denominator is to be better than…to have what others have…to be above the rest. Sorry, for me that is just wrong.

But…I have also found amazing people, humble in heart, extremely talented and super friendly that has thought me to be a better version of me, that have worked together with me, that have helped me when I needed it, that today are more than fellow cake designers, they are my friends!. And for them, talented enough, everyone on their own path and pace, I have to be better.

Please, let´s bring each other to the top, let´s be the best we can be, let´s just admire the good work and effort that everyone makes.

Hope you like it, so please comment, share and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina