On September 22nd, 2015, Sarah from A Saucy Kitchen nominated me for a Leibster Award. That evening, I was checking and answering comments and I happened upon Sarah’s comment in my DIY Crayons post from August 2015.
I am so grateful and humbled to be recognized as a blogger among my peers. I am thankful to have found an engaging online community of bloggers in recent months. The support that we, as bloggers, give to each other and engagement is priceless. Sarah, thank you for reading my blog and thank you for nominating me for the Leibster Award! Sending love to you now through the internet!
What is a Leibster Award?
This is a quote from Sarah’s blog A Saucy Kitchen, I think she says it well:
Liebster, from what I have recently learned, is German for friend. It’s an award given by bloggers to other bloggers as a way to support each other in growing and building their blogs. It is something that only exists on the internet as way way for us to say, “Hey, I think you’re great!”.
The Leibster Rules, as copied from A Saucy Kitchen:
- Once nominated, make a post thanking and linking the lovely person who nominated you.
- Include the Liebster Award sticker (like the one above) in your post
- Nominate other new bloggers with less than two – hundred followers who you think are worthy of this award & let them know they have been nominated. (p.s. you may nominate the person who nominated you.)
- Answer the questions asked by the person who nominated you and then make ten questions of your own for your nominees.
The Questions, a.k.a, “My Interview”:
1. Why do you blog?
What on Earth possesses me to want to write a blog post after a long day and when my child is finally in bed sleeping and all I want to do is sleep myself? At this time of night, I am doing any one or two (or three?) of these things: editing photos from earlier shoots, working over the design/layout of my website, adhering to my blogging community social media commitments and publicizing, researching, working on my own social media *engagement*(Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter), obsessing/playing with with my Instagram feed (my favorite toy;)), writing, analyzing my blogs SEO optimization all along the way, studying other bloggers techniques, or perhaps in the kitchen, testing a recipe and brainstorming. Where does this drive come from? The desire to create something unique to me, my own, to share, to engage, to participate, to record, to bring my ideas to life and finish projects, to love, to cherish those fine, sweet moments that I hold dear, those that are fleeting, the desire to record them and translate them often through food, and share.
2. What’s your least favorite thing about blogging?
Time management. I can do it but it requires effort and planning. My degree and professional experience in architecture prepared me well for this in having a clear perspective on the whole vision while orchestrating the different components of a project to bring it together. Blogging requires you to wear many different hats which all have (vastly) different skill sets, i.e. creative director, recipe developer, researcher, writer, photographer, content editor, website developer, graphic designer, social media manager – to name a few! Though I am used to it, switching between those different roles can be hard sometimes – I mean let’s be realistic, I am only human! I like to immerse myself in a project/post, be thorough and give it my best effort but sometimes being done is more important than being perfect. My tendency is to shoot for “perfection” and that is not always realistic when it comes to blogging. Let’s repeat that, perfection is an idea not based in reality. I credit my husband Eric with helping me see the importance of finishing a project even though it might not be perfect. He’s good at getting the job done when it comes to home or his own artistic projects. Over time, the idea is to get better and improve. I also want to make sure that blogging never gets in the way of my time with raising my daughter and family, for me family is first – everything’s a balance and I think there can be a peaceful coexistence.
3. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
The creative outlet. I love having a “place” to share my creativity through recipes and projects. Beyond the obvious benefit to myself of having this creative catharsis of a blog, it would bring me great joy to help and inspire others. That would be the ultimate for me. I think when people get outside themselves they are truly free and happy. A couple of examples of this from my life would be after I married Eric, focusing on building the bond in our relationship and then 2 years and 4 months into our marriage our baby Margo was born and raising her has been a benchmark in my life, the experience of having a child has given me growth as a human being, I am humbled and in awe by this experience and she’s my greatest joy.
4. Where do you find inspiration?
Okay, here’s my stream of consciousness answer, get ready for bad grammar!…I find inspiration from talented designers (and their work), artists, other bloggers, people in my life, amazing recipes that I have tried, eating out and trying something delicious…mostly from my child, nature, animals, foods that I enjoy eating, new & interesting flavors, places that I love like where I am from…New England. I used to watch a lot of films – I don’t watch a lot now because I am in mommy mode and I am just not focused on it but I do listen to the radio, I don’t watch a lot of TV (ugh, but definitely a weakness when I am exposed to a cable subscription! Media binge!) but I do have streaming media subscriptions. I’m a fan of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, that was a good show. I found Chef’s Table on Netflix and the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi inspiring; I love the artistry and sheer passion of those chefs, I identify with those creative minds and completely understand them.
5. What’s your guilty pleasure food (if you have any)?
Okay, here’s my rant! I don’t have any “guilty” pleasures because I don’t feel guilty about eating any food. If I want something, I will eat it. I think after having gone through the experience of being pregnant and then breastfeeding, I listen to my body and what it needs and I feed it. I take ownership of what I eat. I am not going to put myself through a guilt trip if I want to eat something – who has time for that? Not me! Now, that being said, If I sat and ate 5 candy bars or 2 pints of ice cream I would feel gross and sick. I feel great when I eat, for example, healthy vegan foods but I sometimes just crave calorie-dense, fat-infused (I look for the good fats like in coconut oil) foods. I just try to practice moderation, everything in moderation, enjoy, savor and practice gratitude for the food I eat. Now for a tangent: I don’t believe in diets! I hate what people put themselves through for a diet only to end up unhappy in the end after a fleeting amount of time. Just don’t put the bad food in your mouth or do and own it! Okay, done:)
6. What’s something on your bucket list?
I would just say to travel more. I feel like I am still “putting down roots” in New Jersey since I moved here in 2010 (to be exact, I am originally from Massachusetts, then I lived in NYC, then New Hampshire and also Maine). You know the old saying, “No Regrets?” Well, sometimes I tried to say that in my life
ahem, all through my 20’s but I do have a regret: not going on the Rome Semester Abroad when I was in Architecture School. Biggest. Mistake. Ever. At the time, I had just landed an internship at an architecture firm in NYC and I was all about working (um, I still am obviously!). I would have benefited so much from traveling to Italy, enjoying the food and culture for a period of time with peers from school. If anyone out there is ever on the fence about doing an abroad program and has that opportunity: GO! Go and no regrets!
So going to Italy is on my bucket list but also for another reason, I love films and my favorite film of all time (if I had to chose a favorite) would be the 1985 Merchant Ivory production, A Room With A View based on a 1908 novel of the same name by E. M. Forster (which I have read and reread). I own multiple copies (VHS, then 2 DVDs – am I dating myself??), I have seen this film countless times and it’s the only film that I never tire of. It’s like a moving painting and it’s slow pace is soothing and relaxing. I love the story and the characters. When I lived in my loft in Brooklyn, during my 5 years of architecture school at Pratt, I would just have it on playing in the background. Great music too. (I also have the soundtrack;))
7. Where’s your favorite place to be?
When I was in 4th grade, I wrote a poem about being a little fox cub “in my den” which was a metaphor for how much I loved to sleep in my comfy bed with all my soft blankets, stuffed animals and pillows. That is still true (umm, minus the stuffed animals!) but now, in 2015 – 24 years later – I am up before 7 or 8 am, when my baby is up, I am up! I dig deep, march over to my coffee machine(s)(because I am a coffee snob), and I am up, ready to start the day, I am often thinking about things to do, to be sleeping the day away! While I am doing those things to do, I can always daydream about my bed.
8. How did you get into cooking?
When I was a child, there were yummy things that I wanted to eat and the only way to get these yummy things would be for me to make them (i.e. cookies, brownies, cake, etc.). I wanted to know how, so I would read cookbooks and try out recipes – just like The Little Red Hen which is one of my favorite children’s books. Also, there are a lot of talented people who cook in my family (grandparents, both sides, parents, uncles & aunts) and I think over the years I have learned through osmosis, eaten & enjoyed their food and now through my adult years I am producing from that memory palate.
9. What are your short term blog goals?
Posting more often and regularly than my usual once per week which has been working well for me since I started the blog 7 months ago. Within the content, I want to include more of my musings and reflections – let more personality come through. I remember reading some blogs years ago when I first starting getting into blogs and being appalled at the grammar, now, I realize internet writing has a life of it’s own and I respect that. Language is always going to be evolving. I think as time goes on, I am getting more comfortable with blogging and finding my “voice”, like a favorite jacket getting broken in, more relaxed 🙂
10. Long term blog goals?
For behind the scenes, I would like to continue to grow my blog and earn a decent income from blogging which I know is completely and entirely possible (thank you, Nagi). Right now, anything I earn is just supplemental and often goes back into supporting the blog (hmm, kinda like a 2nd child?). The fact that I have earned something from it is great because when I started it I did not have any expectations. This was originally a hobby! My own, online cookbook that I use everyday and a place to express those creative ideas in the kitchen. Blogging has also led to other things like helping friends and family with their websites. One area that I need to grow is my e-mail list and I have started recently to continue that path and nurture my e-mail list subscribers <3
In terms of content of my blog, there are subjects that I would like to explore like home organization, blogging, garden and design (general, interior design and potentially tie in architecture-all relating to my home). I just want to make sure that if I take on a new topic that it fits in and it timely & intentional with my existing content on LLS. I know that it’s better to be a “niche” blog these days (from what I see other bloggers saying) – and I totally agree with this – but I want to stay true to what interests me and do it well. Fear not, I’m not going to stray too far from my main love and subject of baking. That sweet tooth I have is strong my friends! Anything I delve into will support my “theme.” I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-From THE ROAD NOT TAKEN By ROBERT FROST
My 10 Questions for the Nominees:
1. What is your favorite tool in the kitchen to use? (can be anything, for example, an appliance or small kitchen tool)
2. What is your quintessential favorite dish to make? (and why?)
3. How did you start blogging?
4. What bloggers do you enjoy following or look to for inspiration? (if any!)
5. Why do you blog?
6. What subjects would you like to address/expand on your blog in the future? (if any)
7. What’s the first time you remember being really exciting about food? A.k.a. first “foodie” moment?
8. Where do you struggle with blogging?
9. What aspect of blogging to you love the most?
10. Who is the one person (living now) that you would love to someday meet?
Thank you for reading my Leibster Award post!
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