I’m so pleased to be sharing my very first Cocktail Hour post with you today! Because I’m so new to blogging, I’ve been actively seeking tips and tricks from other bloggers to help me kickstart this journey. Some of the most fun moments I’ve shared with friends, fostering true connection while creating memories, have been shared over cocktails. So I thought what better way to forge new friendships than over a seasonal drink? This week I’m here with Olivia from Rio the Dreamcatcher to pick her brain about her blog experience.
What first inspired you to start your blog?
I created my blog before transferring to a four-year university, I came across other blogs and I liked the concept and decided to create my own. However, I did not know what I was doing and I had no focus whatsoever. I would say my blog when I first started was more lifestyle. I used my iPhone 4 for photos. I documented my day-to-day life, basically my likes: fashion, food, where I travelled to, and what I did. It wasn’t until my senior year in school when my professor required me to create a blog in class. She really challenged me to create a primary focus. I then selected fashion. That was the first dramatic turning point for my blog, and when it really started to become a creative outlet for me . . . to the point of obsession.
What piece of advice would you offer to a new blogger?
Just be you.
What has been your biggest challenge in this process?
Producing the quality and quantity of posts at the standard to which I hold myself. I want to do this full-time but it’s hard to juggle it all while keeping a job and attending grad school. Right now I’m prioritizing, but I would love for my blog to become my first priority.
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I have no creative boundaries.
What are you most passionate about right now?
I think the three main things I am passionate about are self-love, awareness, and equality. With self-love you seek the best for yourself and through that newfound knowledge you not only become informed, but open the doors to new possibilities. Once you are aware of yourself, your flaws, your strengths, seeking peace with yourself will allow you to find peace with others. Having peace with others creates awareness and an open mind. Having an open mind allows you to WANT to understand and learn about others, even if they are the complete opposite of you. We are all the same whether we like it or not. We hurt, we love, we feel passion, and we feel anger; we feel all of the emotions. There is no reason for us to separate ourselves from one another and every reason for us to be peaceful with one another. So all in all, self-love, self-awareness and equality are my current passions.
Grapefruit Rosemary Fizz
2.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Lime Juice
3 oz Gin
Simple Syrup to taste (I used 2 oz)
Splash of sparkling water
*Garnish with a sprig of rosemary
I come from an Irish family, so I realize this may seem pretty heavy-on-the-gin for the majority of you. If you’re a light-weight I would suggest reducing the gin to one or two ounces. If you love the rosemary, feel free to make a rosemary simple syrup (I will be trying that next time) with the recipe below which I based off a basil simple syrup recipe I have recently perfected. I used freshly squeezed juices and would highly recommend that you do the same because it’s just not worth it otherwise.
Rosemary Simple Syrup
1. Boil equal parts sugar and water.
2. Add a handful of sprigs of rosemary.
3. Take off heat, let steep 20 minutes.
4. Pour through a strainer and use at room (or lower) temperature.
For this recipe I used about 1/2 cup of simple syrup. You can transfer any extra to an airtight container and save for up to 3 weeks. I normally make at least one cup at a time, and refrigerate the rest for future use.