Today my blog is a year old! Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned so much would happen over such a short year! I never dreamed I would have become a brand ambassador for Popsicle or Walkers Shortbread. Never imagined that I’d go to conferences, seminars and events, and meet so many people and work with such amazing brands and companies! Just the other day I was going realizing how much the brands I’ve worked with have influenced my every day life! I also never thought that when I’d meet a fellow blogger or company representative that they would already tell me they’ve already been read my blog! In the beginning I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to read what I wrote. I purposely didn’t tell a lot of people in my life about my blog when I first started, because I wanted to see if I could garner my own readership without the help of friends and family to spread the word. Surprisingly, I did! Pinterest was a huge part of my early readership, and I really wanted to build something solid with substantial content before I passed the word on to family and friends to share. It’s funny, because some people in my life are still barely finding out that I blog!
Exactly a year ago from today my blog went live and I posted my very first blog entry, which I immediately followed up with my very first recipe entry. I had actually been designing and working on my blog for a few days at this point, and had started all of my social media pages to go with it. Those first posts literally took me HOURS to post, especially the one with the recipe. I’m not sure why I chose the cheesecake to be my very first recipe post, I didn’t really write out the recipe too well (talk about information overload!) but I’ve planned on redoing that recipe and a few of my other very first ones with better photos and better instructions.
In the beginning I only had a handful of people reading. That would be my mom, my husband and kids, and my friend Alicia! She is the one who really pushed for me to start a blog, and gave me the nickname of Mama Harris. In the beginning she would read my daily posts and re-pin them on Pinterest, and she was the one who convinced me to start my blog when I was talking myself out of it! (Big G had a large hand in this as well!) It’s unbelievable to me how fear almost prevented me from even beginning this journey! Sometimes we are our own worst enemies!
|Some of my favorite memories over the past year!
I have some pretty awesome memories that have been made over this past year, I’ve met big name bloggers, celebrity chefs and business owners. They have all been so nice, helpful and such a pleasure to meet. Really the blessing has been meeting my fellow bloggers. Learning so much from my peers, hearing their stories and sitting with them as we can understand one another. Although my family and friends are so supportive, often they still don’t understand the ins and outs of what I do, and they get exasperated when we have to take “just one more picture” of our food before we can eat! HA! So it’s a special treat to talk to fellow bloggers who totally get what I do and share that commonality. To me, that’s the biggest payback of going to conferences and meet-ups. This blogging community is powerful, and there’s such a variety of different bloggers out there that have their own voice. I just feel blessed to be able to share the same platform.
|Just a few of my favorite memories with my fellow bloggers! <3
The best experience of all is to be able to go through this with two friends I’ve know for a very long time. We’ve been friends for much longer than we’ve been bloggers, and to be able to go through this experience with them and learn from has been so helpful. Going to BlogHer Food with Xenia and the various local events with Sabz has been unforgettable! Our lives got busy with marriage and babies, and we became closer sharing the bond of blogging, that makes me so happy!
Now that I’ve gotten to that one year mark, I have plenty of changes in store. I’ve completely outgrown the design of my blog, which is what I’ve had since day one – aside from small changes here and there. I’ve enlisted the help of Kat Robertson of eDesign-Pro Company to redesign my website and change hosts! It’s going to be a huge change and I am looking forward to it in the next few weeks! I’ve also purchased my amazing new camera, as I’ve become increasingly frustrated with my photographs and the editing process. I may be adding a few new tabs for life outside of the kitchen, possibly including events, and family life of course. I have so many ideas and routes I’d like to take this platform I’ve built, but really I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this if my posts were going unread. I see month after month all of the page views get larger, increased followers and more and more shared links. I still am awed at the fact people really want to read what I have to say or see and share the things I cook and prepare.
This year has changed my life, and I honestly don’t think I could ever stop what I started a year ago. At times this blog has been cathartic for me, a place to write my feelings or share memories of something we all love.. FOOD! Sometimes I overwork myself, I expect too much of myself and I’m a procrastinator (hey, just being real!) so I’ll wait till the last minute to reach a deadline. I’m working on that and my family has been so supportive and patient through this journey! My daughter brags about my blog to her friends and gives them my business cards so they can see my recipes or share them with their own mothers. My husband has talked about my blog to his coworkers who would then ask for my cards to give their own wives. I’m so thankful and blessed to have such amazing support from my family, and now my own daughter will be debuting her own blog in the next few weeks! It’s amazing to be able to do something I love and inspire my own family as well. I’ve worked my whole life, was babysitting at 12 and earning my own money to get my hair done and buy my own clothes, then got my own job at worked since I was 14 years old. So when I became a stay at home mom, I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt guilty that I couldn’t contribute to the bills, and help support my household. There truly is a reason for everything, all of those experiences have led me to this point in my life and gave me the lessons and ability to know how to even run this blog.
At the end of the day, comments like this are what makes it all worthwhile. They remind me why I decided to start this blog in the first place and they keep me humble. So many of my own happy memories as a child are surrounded by food. Family gatherings, holidays, rainy days. The little customs my family had when I was growing up and my own family has continued or even the new ones we’ve begun. So much of that is food-related and if one of my own recipes can conjure up a wonderful memory for someone else, then my job is done. Happy eating! 🙂