The Uncommon Life

Mango Ginger Salsa by Colleen of Inspired to Share

February 25, 2013


Hi there! I’m Colleen, a blogger, stylist, photographer, and all around creative. I write about food, DIY, lifestyle, and I love to find joy and creativity in each day. I’ve worked in marketing, event planning, design, and photography, but I’m now a freelance blogger sharing my journey on my blog, Inspired to Share. I live in the Midwest with my husband, where we enjoy flavorful home-cooked meals and simple living.

Now I love a good salsa…so this was a fun challenge for me. I’ve been enjoying fresh fruits so much this winter that I thought it would be fun to create a delicious fruit salsa. This recipe is incredibly fresh and has an unexpected twist with grated ginger. It works especially well with the mango, tomato, lime, and sweet peppers. Adding some cilantro, onion, and jalapeno gives it a kick, while the creamy diced avocado brings a nice balance! The key to this recipe is the freshest, perfectly ripe ingredients and while there is a good amount of prep required, it is worth every sweet and tangy bite!

Mango Ginger Salsa
(serves 4; 45 minutes)

4 sweet peppers, diced
1 jalapeño, finely diced, seeds excluded
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
4 roma tomatoes, diced, seeds excluded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 lime, freshly squeezed, plus a few extra wedges
1 avocado*, pitted and diced
1 mango*, pitted and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

*for ripeness, the mango should be soft (but not mushy) and the avocado should be slightly soft to touch

Combine all prepared ingredients (see above), excluding the avocado. Toss the mixture thoroughly. Add diced avocado and toss a couple times, gently. Serve salsa immediately with lime wedges, corn chips, tacos, or really any Mexican dish. Enjoy! 🙂

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Moodboard Tutorial from Inspired to Share

May 21, 2012
image by Woodnote Photography


My name is Colleen and I am the creator of design and lifestyle Inspired to Share. I’ve been blogging for three years now and it has continually sparked my interest and desire to learn more about graphic design. I now find myself playing in Photoshop every day and I love experimenting in design to create original blog content. One of my favorite posts to create is a mood board. Lately, every Monday I’ve been posting a “Monday Mood Board” blog post as a way to share inspiration that I’ve discovered around the web. Mood boards are a great way to do more than just look at inspiration, but to really make it your own. I also find they can help with developing projects and concepts. I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. Sometimes I want to look at multiple pins of images at the same time, so that I can see them all together. Or maybe I want to show my own interpretation of the images. For example, say I’m creating a concept for a new style post, a mood board can help serve to refine my ideas and vision. I like to gather inspiration everywhere, including everything from art, interiors, photography, styling to design and typography. Mood boards bring all of these areas together while formulating my overall aesthetic and color scheme. It’s really quite fun! Plus, I know I love looking at others’ designed mood boards, and they always inspire in new ways.

So now that you know why mood boards are so great, let’s create one!

1. The very first step is also the longest: selecting inspiration photos for the mood board. I like to turn music on that inspires me (lately I’m obsessed with this website) while I look. There are endless sources of inspiration on the Internet, and I think we all could spend days looking for cool and creative finds! I usually peruse other blogs and Pinterest to look for photos that catch my eye, doing my best to hunt down the original sources. I usually select anywhere from 5-10 photos.

2. Next, drag all the photos into Photoshop and put them on one canvas. Simply dragging the photos from your browser into Photoshop saves the step of saving each individual file and reopening it in Photoshop! And putting them on one canvas begins the process of designing the images together. I’ve found it’s helpful to work on a square canvas in Photoshop so that I don’t feel confined to the narrow dimensions for my blog.

3. Begin to arrange the photos and create your own layout. One technique I recommend is to fit images inside shapes according to the size and area you need to fill. That way you can fit all of the photos even if they don’t match the exact dimensions of your canvas.The options are endless. You can add borders, numbers, shapes, textures, type, and writing or drawing (I like to use my Wacom tablet!). This is the fun part! Be creative and have fun with it. There are no rules! Below are some screen shots of my mood boards in progress.

4. If you decide to share your mood board anywhere online, make sure you credit the original photo sources and link to where you found each image. This is an important step not to be overlooked! I try to find the original source of all photos, if possible (Pinterest doesn’t count!). Original sources so helpful when reading other blogs and it’s important to give credit where credit is due.
I always try to add a little something new in my designs to keep it fresh. Below is an example of a finished mood board that I made recently.

(sources: art by Andrew Bannecker, design by Nick Tibbetts, typewriter from joe vintage, photo via mr. serio, sfgirlbybay’s home by bonnie tsang, sign by Rizon Parein)

I hope you’re inspired to make your own mood board! I’d love to hear if you have any tips or tricks as well.
A big thanks to UncommonGoods for having me! Now go get inspired! xo

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