5 Ways to Improve Your Instagram Photos


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We’ve all been there, looking through someone else’s Instagram, wondering HOW they managed to take such a great photo with just  their phone camera. I used to be that girl too! But after a few trial and errors, I finally figured out my style for taking great Instagram photos. Here are my 5 ways to improve your Instagram photos:

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Brief Hiatus

Things have been pretty quiet around my blog for the last couple weeks. On July 14, I unexpectedly lost my father Gregory Monroe. Between planning the funeral, taking care of his estate and going through the grieving cycle, I had to step away from blogging temporarily. A death this close in the family is never something I would imagine would happen THIS early in my life, but it did and we are trying to make it through this one day at a time.

My dad was a loving, caring, selfless and wise man who knew the right things to say at the right times, always had a smile on his face and was SO supportive of everything I’ve done, regardless of what it was (between my military career and my blogging and photography.) The world truly lost a great man and I am blessed to of had him in my life.

I have big things planned for this blog, including some new opportunities, for August and September. Due to my temporary location, I don’t have my camera yet but it will be something I will get back in the near future. I also am in the process of having my blog redesigned (I can’t wait to reveal my Kate-Spade inspired design and my lovely designer.)

In the near future, I will be updating with fresh content and posts. For now, follow my Instagram to keep updated on what I’m cooking, baking, making or craving!

Thank you for your support.

-Cassandra Monroe



Rest In Peace Dad. 1956-2014

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake

When life gives you carrots, you make homemade whole wheat carrot cake!

A long while ago, (back in my deployment days when I first started this blog) I made a individual chicken pot pies. At the time, my boyfriend was back in the states while I was still overseas, so he was REALLY jealous that he couldn’t have any of the pies I had made.

Flash forward to today- I finally made those chicken pot pies for him! (In case you’re wondering, he’s a fan and wants me to make them once a week!) Along with making those delicious pot pies, I had an abundance of leftover carrots. So, when life gives your carrots, you make carrot cake!

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See what I bought with my West Elm gift card!


A couple weeks ago, I was on a flight heading to Des Moines, Iowa to visit friends and attend a couple weddings. I logged into my email before taking off and read these magic words:

Hi Cassandra, Congratulations! You are dwellinggawker’s Follow & Win Contest winner for the $500 West Elm gift card!”

I literally was so over joyed, I even told the flight attendant! I’m already a huge fan of West Elm and now I was getting a gift card to one of my favorite stores!? I think the last time I won something was in 5th grade- I won the chance to take the class guinea pig home for a week. I immediately logged onto West Elm and started looking through each category, carefully deciding which items I wanted.

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Thursday Favorites

Thursday Favorites Header


This week’s Thursday Favorites:

1. I’m LOVING this Farmhouse Jam Summer Cocktail recipe from A Pair and a Spare.

2. Love this Tory Burch ensemble from Jesse Afshin (The Darling Detail) – (Psst, there are still two days left in her Tory Burch Marion hobo bag giveaway so enter to win!)

3. How cute is this head scarf tutorial from  Joëlle for The Wonder Forest?

4. Totally loving this guide on growing your brand on instagram from Rachel (The Crafted Life.) I found it helpful and I came across it at the perfect time!

5. There’s never a recipe I don’t like from Chung-Ah (Damn Delicious.) I’m currently swooning over this one pot bbq chicken pasta recipe- perfect for weekend get togethers with your friends!

6. Did you know that honey can soothe irritated skin and reduce redness? See more skin cleansing tips from Stephanie (Henry Happened.)