Hold That Thought

Thoughts and feelings are swirling right now, friends, and I’ve made some decisions. The past few years, I’ve been really inconsistent and non-committal with this blog. I didn’t give it the energy that it really needed to be properly nourished.

In the past I’ve taken long, unplanned breaks because I just didn’t feel like I had anything to say. This is different.

I wanted to let you know that I’m taking a planned, totally intentional, and completely focused break this time. There won’t be any new posts here for a couple of weeks at least. In the meantime, we’ll be doing a bit of tidying up in this space. Cleansing. Renewal.

I’m still sorting through exactly what that will look like, both literally and figuratively. Some archived recipes might disappear from the feed to give us a fresh start. Or not because you can’t erase your past. Renewal is a process, and I’m still working through it.

What I do know is that I’m committed. I want to have my own business someday, and I feel like this blog could be the key that unlocks that door, or maybe even the door itself. We’re making things happen, friends. Come along for the ride.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your feedback. What kind of content do you most enjoy? What else would you be open to reading about? Where do you like to hang out on social media? Leave a comment and let me know.

I hope those of you who read this blog will stick with me. If you visit and things look a bit wonky, extend a little patience and know that it will all pay off. I’m here for it all. It’s gonna be awesome.

Be Awesome: Take a Break

Be Awesome: Take a Break

Be Awesome: Take a Break

I took a bit of a break from blogging this week. I’m sure nobody noticed but me. I hadn’t planned it. I just woke up last Sunday feeling very anti-work. The thought of going in to my kitchen made me want to smash things. I work hard at my job all week, and for once, I wanted to have a weekend where I didn’t have to do even more work. Work for which I get paid mere pennies, I might add. I knew I wouldn’t be able to create anything special, which would only make me feel more frustrated. And I don’t want to give you guys anything that’s less than awesome.

The strange thing about it was how guilty I felt about the whole thing. No cooking and shooting over the weekend means no posts for most of the week. Taking Sunday off turned into disappearing from the internet for days. It was troubling and liberating all at the same time. I may have lost my mind.

Guilt has always been one of my biggest struggles. I’ve always had big dreams, a thirst for excellence, but with no extraordinary talent, I knew the only way to achieve it would be through hard work. Plot twist. I’m kind of lazy. I like watching movies, reading books, and eating long meals with friends and family. It’s how I recharge. None of those things move me closer to my professional goals.

And yet I wonder, when I’ve reached the end of my life, what moments will mean the most to me? It would likely feel pretty gratifying to have created a successful blog that helped people not only eat awesome food, but relax and enjoy their lives without worrying how much money they’re making. But how can I encourage people to be awesome if I can’t even allow myself to take an occasional weekend off without feeling like a total loser?

It was my daughter, one of the wisest people I know, who simply said, “Mom, it’s okay to take a day off now and then.” As always, she was right. I stepped away, tried to relax, even though it was difficult, and now I feel refreshed, inspired, and ready to share something awesome. I can go back in to my kitchen with a smile and know that the food I produce will be flavored with love and not frustration. It’s a good thing.

I missed you, friends, but I’m happy to be back. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, by all means, follow my daughter’s advice. Take a break. You don’t have to go to an expensive spa or take a fancy vacation. Just shirk a few of your lesser responsibilities with abandon. Maybe shut off your computer, or even put down your phone. Do the things that make you happy so that you can be better at your work on the other end. It may feel a bit selfish, but please, do your best no to feel guilty about it. That’s the hardest part.

We’re here to be awesome, kids. Let’s do it!

5 Ways to Love a Blogger

5 Ways to Love a Blogger

I spend a lot of time thinking about blogging. I read blogs. I write this blog and one at work. I’m no expert, but you could definitely say I’m into it. It occurs to me that there are a lot of people out there who have no idea how the business of blogging actually works. People are always asking me, “How do you make money on your blog?” Well, the answer for me is slowly. But there are a few things blog readers can do to help support a blogger’s business, and they’re all pure fun.

I’d love to become a professional blogger one day. It doesn’t seem remotely likely. I’m not going to let that stop me. If you love a blog or a blogger, and you want to help that blog take off, there are a few simple things you can do to show your love.

1. Subscribe or follow that baby

Whether you subscribe by email or follow on your favorite blog reader, make sure you never miss a post. Traffic is a big deal in the blogging business, so for goodness sake, do the fun part, and read that puppy every dang time.

2. Leave a lovely comment

Views are important, but engagement is also key. If you see something you like in a blog post, let the author know by leaving a comment at the bottom. No need to subscribe to the comment feed. Just saying you think something is awesome can be great, but it’s even more fun for us if you share a thought or question that occurred to you while reading. Interacting with readers is one of the awesomest things about blogging.

3. Share links every-freakin’-where

If you read a post that you really love, you can help by sharing the link with your friends. Tweet it, Facebook it, and especially pin it like crazy!!!  This is a great way to help bloggers grow their audience and gain new readers. If you enjoy a blog, chances are your friends will like it, too. There’s no point in keeping it a secret.

4. Show some Facebook love

Facebook keeps making it harder and harder for bloggers to reach their fans on Facebook. They want us to pay to promote our posts, so now they only show our updates with about 10% of our followers. If you want to see the posts from your favorite bloggers, make sure you’re liking, commenting, and especially sharing things from their page. The more you interact, the more you will see.

5. Go ahead and click an ad

It won’t hurt. If you see something in an ad that interests you, go ahead and click it. Blogging isn’t free. There are hosting fees, equipment and supplies to be purchased, and countless hours expended in the creation of the blogs that you love. Advertising is one of the most common sources of income for a blogger. If you want to help them keep it going, just go ahead and give those ads a clickety click every now and then.

See? Wasn’t that easy and painless? If you’re a fan of a blog, don’t hide in the shadows. Bloggers want to get to know you. Go ahead. Reach out and show some love!

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