And More-Ziplist and my new Virtual Assistant

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It’s time for another And More post! I made a lot of changes to the site when I moved from Blogger over to self hosted WordPress.

Ziplist Recipe Box tab

Let me just tell you all, I’m a technophobe. I’m the person that has to turn on the living room TV with the power button on the television because I can’t figure out how to do it with the 4 remotes sitting on the table. And forget watching a DVD, I have to call one of the kids in to turn it on for me.

So, when I started my little site, I never even considered trying to do something like setting up a recipe index or using a recipe plug-in to make it easy for my readers to save my recipes, create shopping lists and also find great sales at their local stores. It wasn’t that I don’t love you all for visiting with me, I do, I really do love you all.

I just didn’t have a clue how to do it.

Then Erin from Ziplist contacted me. She made it sound so easy. She was always there, through every e-mail and baby step I took, she and her team held my hand to get it set up. And she didn’t push me. It was almost as if she knew, I had to go slow with this new fangled tech thing that I was setting up and learning to use on my site.

Ziplist site

I lOVE my Ziplist. I knew I would eventually come to love being on WordPress, but can I tell you the best feature that came with moving to wordpress was installing Ziplist.

recipe box

Have you noticed how clean my recipes are? So easy to either print or Save to Your Recipe Box.

If you’re like me, you probably just want to hit that print button and you’re done but you have to trust me on this. Ziplist is so cool. I love all the features.

First off, it’s not just my site you can use it with, there’s like a gazillion other sites that have Ziplist so you can save all your favorite recipes from all of us in one spot. Click on the Add to Recipe Box

Save Box

My recipe Box


All your favorites in one spot. You can create a weekly meal plan and even shopping lists!

List with deal

I love when I create a list and it shows me where the deals are for my area.

you can also access it all from your smart phone.


Everytime I click on My Recipe Box I find a new reason to love it. Have you tried Ziplist before? What’s your favorite Feature?

So the second thing I wanted to tell you about is my new Virtual Assistant. (ok, she’s not virtual, she’s in my house with me)

Cassie profile photo reduced

Meet Cassie.

I’ve heard in groups about people not being able to do everything they want to do related to blogging. The Social Media, the commenting, the Pinning, linking up to link parties. For each person it’s different. And I’m sure, like many of you out there, I’m a  control freak. You’d love help, but figuring out what you’d let someone else do is hard.

Let me tell you what Cassie’s job currently entails. First, she’s now a contributor to my site, doing roundup posts. She’s got her own Pinterest account so it’s easy, She gets to choose the category for the roundup then she goes to my boards first and finds the posts she wants to include. She’ll then repin them to her boards for easy tracking. Her first round up post will be up next week. She did awesome. I sat next to her and showed her how to save the photos, then create the entire post on my site. She really did an awesome job.

She’s also my new commentor. Now don’t think if you leave me a comment that the reply isn’t my thought. It is, it just may get typed up by someone sitting next to me on a laptop. She does pinning for me. She’s also learning about Google Plus so she can get on there and have “me” active, sharing and commenting. Again, it’s still me, just not my fingers doing the work.

Here’s the win, win, really win for everyone about this.

For my young Assistant –

  1.  try finding a decent paying job when you’re 14. heck, try finding one when you’re 16. Not as easy as it used to be.
  2. the hours are really flexible and work well with her/my/our family’s schedule.
  3.  This is going to look amazing on her college applications.
  4. I am paying her, a pretty good rate, based on the work she does.

Here’s the win for me-

  1. I still have all the control! Everything get’s done my way. I taught/am teaching her everything she knows!
  2. She’s still pretty cheap labor and I’ll write off her salary at the end of the year as a blogging expense.
  3. She is learning a skill. Social Media, Communications, Advertising, Promotions, Analytics. She may not use any of it later in life but then lets just think how often we all use fractions. yup, you never know.
  4. We’re spending time together and enjoying it.

Cassie is my daughter but if you don’t have a willing high school aged person in your home, you might consider finding one. Think of the kids willing to babysit. You’d trust them with your children, you can probably trust them to help out on your blog. You’ll have to completely train them but guess what, they’ll do things exactly the way you want them done!

Be sure to come back Friday to check out Cassie’s first official post.

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Chocolate, Chocolate and more earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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About Joan Hayes

Mom to 3 teens, sweets and travel are her passions. Joan really does love her chocolate. She has a secret stash she hides from the kids and she has at least one bite of something chocolatey every day. She creates easy recipes any skill level can achieve to satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone!


  1. That is so cute and sweet and amazing that your daughter is your new assistant!

  2. Love Ziplist and Erin is so sweet there 🙂 What an awesome idea with your new assistant..I’m headed off to have a chat w/my daughter!

  3. Love Ziplist! I spent several weeks researching before I started blogging and I knew that was what I wanted the minute I saw it! Makes things so much easier for you and your readers! Congratulations on the new assistant!

  4. That’s so great that your daughter is your assistant; it’s a wonderful opportunity for both of you! She’s learning about business and blogging, and you have an assistant! I can’t wait to go self-hosted so I can start using ziplist or another way of archiving my recipes/ making them easier to read, save, and print.

  5. Love, love, love this idea! She’s an adorable assistant too…fractions I use, long algebraic equations, no ~ although I did create an algebraic equation once for a job application which involved a couple hundred math question…all I had to do after was to plug the numbers in the proper positions and voila! I had the answer in 1/3 the time everyone else took- so that served me well, once…with the world she’s heading out into the skills you are teaching will probably serve her more so than some of what she will learn in school. Best to both of you!

  6. This is not fair. I don’t have children, much less a cute and willing 14 year old. You have more than one kid, right? Can I have one of yours??

  7. I’m certainly envious! Congratulations to you both! Now, only if my boys were willing to help…. I love ZipList and need to write my post as well. Is Cassie available? 😉

    • Debi, your boys will be able to help you soon enough. Teach them to pin while you are cleaning or cooking, then they can create roundup boards for you, or just pin from the link party 🙂

  8. Wish I could train my 6 yr old. I think it is awesome your daughter wants to be involved and it is a great way to spend time together. I can totally see it being a win-win situation. I’ve been very hesitant about zip list. You are making me think twice about it now,

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