Howdy, folks! Back when I first announced I was writing a teatime cookbook, I asked if/how/when you’d like to receive updates, and many of you requested a monthly post detailing how things are coming along. Here’s the first installment! A lot has come together since I first started working on it, but here are the highlights:
February is drawing to a close, and I’m happy to say we’re settling in well with our new baby, and it looks like I’ll be able to be more active on the blog in the coming weeks. That in mind, I think the time is right for another big announcement that I’ve been waiting on for a long while:
Blogging is definitely one of those things that changes your life. Whether you monetize your blog or not, you often find yourself needing to treat your blog like a job so you can bring consistent, high-quality posts to your readers.
Personally, I love the blogging life. I love the new opportunities I’ve been able to pursue and the way blogging challenges both my creativity and my practicality. Still, I sometimes look back on my pre-blogging days with a wistful sigh as I remember the free time I used to have.
Here are a few of the thing I love best about being a blogger (and a few things I miss about life before blogging):
I think one of the best things about being a book blogger is the sense of community. Reading has traditionally been considered a solitary activity, so we readers appreciate it that much more when we meet someone who loves the same books we do. Of course, Twitter plays a huge part in maintaining the online reading community, and the 10 accounts listed below are the bookish “tweeters” I simply couldn’t do without. They’re clever, insightful, and often hilarious—a blessing to all book lovers everywhere! 🙂
This January marked my blog’s second anniversary. I like to think I’ve learned a few things about food blogging over the past couple years, and one of those things is just how powerful the proper tools can be. However, it may surprise you to know that this dish:
….was made in this kitchen:
That’s right! Up until three months ago, I was making all my food in a tiny galley kitchen. It had two squares of counter space, two drawers, and no windows. Though it was bigger than my very first kitchen (a studio kitchenette), I was worried it would be too small to handle a food blog. In fact, I’d read posts about bloggers renovating kitchens that were already bigger than mine. In the end I decided to give it my best shot and see what happened. I was pretty surprised by what I learned!
January is just about over, folks. What a month it has been! I was nominated for the Creative Blogger Award, took part in my first Top Ten Tuesday linkup, and continued taking part in the Beautiful Books/Beautiful People post series. Plus, I started two new types of posts here on AWR: reading kits and tea premieres! My plan is to post a new reading kit and custom tea blend for every Book of the Month from here on out.
But my favorite part about this month was how our King Arthur menu gave me an excuse to obsess over King Arthur for an ENTIRE MONTH. I marathoned the first three seasons of Merlin, read articles analyzing Arthurian myth (including an awesome one about the sophisticated humor in Monty Python and the Holy Grail), and posted my favorite modern King Arthur retellings. As you can imagine, I’ve been one happy Alison! 🙂
In a way, that just makes it all the harder to move on to our next menu. My one comfort is that the new menu I have in mind involves something I love just as much as King Arthur! Ready for your photo hint? Here it is!
Our new menu is going to be a Pop Culture Corner contribution: our very first TV Series of the Month! Though I don’t plan on doing many TV menus (I don’t want to depart TOO far from classic books), I just HAD to make a menu for this particular show. And once you see what it is, I think you’ll agree that it definitely falls into the “classic” category. 🙂
ANY GUESSES AT WHAT OUR NEXT MENU OF THE MONTH WILL BE?
Initially I wasn’t planning on continuing with Beautiful Books/Beautiful People posts after finishing last year’s NaNo challenge, but I liked the questions for this month’s prompt so much, I actually filled them out just for fun before I even considered making a linkup post! Maybe I’ll keep going with these linkups. Who knows? Let me know if you’re interested in seeing more! 🙂
Would you like to know how excited I was about getting this award? I was so excited that when I tried to title this post, I accidentally called it a “blooger” award. I’m not sure what a blooger is, but something tells me it’s like a blogger, just a lot more awkward…and probably hopped up on sugar. ^.^
Here are the rules for the Creative Blogger Award:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and post the link of said blog.
- Share five facts about yourself to your readers.
- Nominate 15 to 20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media or blogs. (NOTE: I decided to only nominate 4. I follow about 35 blogs total and only wanted to nominate those that I thought truly fit the award, rather than working to come up with 15 names to meet the total.)
Now that we’re starting a fresh new year, I want to give you guys a heads up on some changes you can expect to see around here:
- DOUBLE THE POSTING, DOUBLE THE FUN. I’m planning on expanding my schedule and posting twice a week. In addition to my usual weekly recipe, I’ll also post monthly reading kits, Top Ten Tuesday linkups, new tea overviews, and one random post per month. Huzzah!
- AN UPDATED THEME AND TEA PAGE. You may remember that some unexpected side effects from a theme update had me shopping for themes last August. I love the theme I found (Tweak Me by Nose Graze), but I want to change the colors and fonts, plus add an awesome header a friend made for me. Some time this month I’ll shut the site down for maintenance for a day so I can make all the updates. In the process, I’ll update our tea page so that, instead of a gallery with just names, there will be paragraph descriptions and food pairings for each tea (much like the format of our 2015 tea review).
- WHAT DO WE WANT? A CONSOLIDATED PINTEREST PAGE. WHEN DO WE WANT IT? …PROBABLY SOME TIME TODAY, ACTUALLY. Originally I organized my Pinterest profile by having a board for each menu, but now there are just too many boards. Some time this week (maybe even before this goes live), I plan to condense all my menu boards down to one.
- MAKE WAY FOR 2016 NANO! As many of you may recall, I won National Novel Writing Month last November! I’m planning on taking part this year too, so keep an eye out for writing updates when November rolls around.
- I WILL FIGURE OUT YUMMLY. I SWEAR ON A STACK OF A MILLION COOKBOOKS. I signed up for Yummly last August and was all excited about it, since it was a streamlined way for me to add printables to all my recipe posts. Unfortunately, I’ve been having trouble getting my posts to upload. When I submit my post to the Yummly database, weeks go by before it’s processed (and sometimes it never gets processed at all). I’ve been working on the problem on and off since I signed up, but now it’s time to buckle down and truly devote myself to solving it. I’m determined to fix it soon…because you beautiful Wonderlings deserve printables! 🙂
Happy 2016, folks! Is there a change you’d like to see that I didn’t mention in the list?
Leave it in a comment below, and I’ll take it into consideration! 🙂
Happy 2016, folks! Can you believe we’ve made 52 recipes this year? I can’t. I’m convinced cooking fairies came in the night and finished all these posts for me…mostly because I want to believe there are such things as cooking fairies. 😉
Last New Year, I made a review post detailing the most popular recipes of the year. Y’all seemed to like it, so I’m doing it again this year! In the spirit of the season, feel free to mix yourself up something to drink before we get started. I recommend Siren Notes on the Rocks from The Odyssey:
Do you have your drink? Ok. Time to reveal this year’s most popular posts! The winners are…