2014 is almost at a close! And while I’m very excited about what the new year will bring, I also like to take a look back at some of the highlights of the year. And lets be real, it’s not all sunshine and roses over here, so I’m also going to share some failures.
Here are some of the highlights, in no particular order because they’re all special
- Celebrating my second wedding anniversary-it’s not so much that the anniversary was great-which it was (the gift for year 2 is cotton and my husband got me the most thoughtful presents – a cotton candy machine, a cotton scented candle, and a new cotton robe, creative, right?) but it’s more the feeling of love. I honestly fall in love with my husband more and more each day. I don’t care if that sounds cheesy, because he is my biggest supporter, the best taste tester and hand model and is my all around my favorite person to spend time with. He recently did a guest post which got some great feedback (and has also quickly become one of the most visited posts on my blog), so here’s to hoping I can convince him to make more appearances, and here’s to yet another year of LOVE!
- I really worked hard on improving my blog. One of the biggest attributing factors to me being proud of my blog has been my food photography. It all changed when I finally bought a dslr camera. I saved up and stalked different listings on ebay and then finally purchased one. It has been such a fantastic learning experience! Along with my new camera, I had my first photo accepted to Foodgawker (a photo sharing site). My first photo accepted was one from the Neapolitan wood fire pizza post.
- Family and friends– I couldn’t be more grateful that I have such great family and friends. Can I throw in a #humblebrag ? They really are the best. They let me take fun photos as we have parties or get togethers or are making mini gingerbread houses. And friends…I love all my friends! My best friend got married this past September which was very special, I look forward to Tuesday evenings when I get to see my friend and her daughter, we cook together (see this delicious salad recipe), girl talk, and watch tv. And that brings us to someone else that you might have heard about a time or two. My friend Lynn. Ever since meeting at ChopedCon (a food blogger conference) we became very close. We talk constantly and she just ‘gets me’ and for that I love her! And I got to meet Liz from The Lemon Bowl, a blogger I have always looked up to when I attended BlogHer Food.
- I’ve started receiving the most lovely emails and comments with feedback from readers that have made #Sweetphiblog recipes. One of the goals of this blog is to help make dinner time easier and provide recipe inspiration, so each and every time I get an email or positive comment it just makes my day! Have you ever made a Sweetphi recipe? I follow the hashtag #Sweetphiblog and would love to see your creations!
- I got to work with amazing brands and companies, and I’m super excited to continue brand collaborations in 2015 and share a bunch of new products with you.
- I came out with my first free ecookbook. Just sign up for my email newsletter to grab your very own copy. It’s all about my series Five Ingredient Fridays and I can’t wait to share more of what’s to come in 2015!
- My blog traffic (people checking out sweetphi.com) more than tripled over last year, and that is all THANKS TO YOU, the AMAZING READERS! Thank you!!
Now on to some FAILURES:
- We’ll start with some food related failures: I dropped an entire batch of breakfast cookies, I’m pretty sure they crumbled into places I can’t even clean and I STILL to this day smell breakfast cookies when I open the oven lol. I burnt macaroons horribly and melted a ‘heat proof’ spatula while trying to make caramel sauce and had some other epic recipe failures (like making mini banana split bites that looks disgusting – the bananas browned and fell over and on top of that I made them for a friend that I found out hates bananas…oops)
- I received my first nasty comment. I took it in stride (and my spam filter threw it out), and the more I thought of it the more amusing it actually was to me. I mean, someone felt so passionately about not liking what I was doing on my blog that they took the time to enter their name, email address, and comment for me to see. The recipe they posted on was for an old recipe on my site for a diy wedding cake. The funny story about that post is that it is actually one of my most popular recipes on my site. I made the wedding cake for my older sisters back yard potluck reception, after she asked me to make a cake for her at her rehearsal dinner the night before. It was made with love, but made at 11-1am. It was the first time I had made a layer cake. It was about 90 degrees outside. Now while yes, it might not have looked that good, it tasted beyond good. I have since remade that cake, and it doesn’t receive any pins or traffic lol. So when I was telling my mom the story she sweetly said “we (or at least I) want things to look natural and real, like they do in real life – not staged and in perfect conditions that are not obtainable and like something I would never try to attempt” that made me feel so much better. Along with the fact that I get at least one email a month telling me how amazing the recipe turned out for different readers. A few readers have shared their sweet stories of how they made this cake for their 30th wedding anniversary! I also had someone share a picture of their recreation via my facebook page!
- Name fails were something very funny this year. When coming back from Blogher Food conference at the airport I spelled ‘Phi’ and my iced coffee came back with ‘Feet’ written on it. It was happened so frequently (see here here and here to name a few) that for Halloween my husband went as a Starbucks’ barista and I dressed up as a name fail.
- Since I’m still new at this whole blogging thing I definitely over extended myself in the moths of May and November/December. Why those months? I don’t know, but it is just the way it worked out. I was going a little nuts towards the end of November/December and was up WAY past midnight for weeks straight. It was awful. So here’s to finding more of a balance and planning in 2015!
What are some of the highlights/failures of your 2014? And from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for reading the Sweetphi blog!