As you know, I typically post things for you guys Mondays and Thursdays. But this week, you get a bonus post so I can share some awesome news!
A couple weeks ago, fellow food blogger, Bites of Flavor, nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I was in shock! I work so hard to give you guys incredible recipes and stories behind them so it feels great to be recognized for that hard work. Thank you, Kristine!
Ok so what is the Sunshine Blogger Award. Per Kristine:
This award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who they believe are inspiring, positive, and deserve some recognition. It’s also a great way for bloggers to get to know each other!
Now that I’ve been nominated, I’ve been asked to do the following:
- Thank the blogger who nominated them by writing a blog post about the Sunshine Blogger Award and include the nominator’s blog link in the post
- Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them and include the answers in the blog post
- Nominate 11 other blogs, ask them 11 new questions, and include those questions in the blog post
- Notify the 11 nominees and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo in the blog post (create your own logo)
So what were my questions? Let’s get started!
What is your blog niche and where did you come up with the concept?
I started this blog during my first job at a CPA Accounting Firm, where I was also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). At the time, I was all about the sweets so I decided to play around with my license designation and call the blog Certified Pastry Aficionado. Now, I post about all kinds of recipes but I still love that the blog name ties in aspects of my other life as a CPA. So the name stayed!
How long have you been blogging?
I first began blogging in 2011 but then took a 4-year hiatus to focus on work and life. I have been back at the blog for almost a year and absolutely love it. So much has changed in the blogging world since I started so, despite first entering the game long ago, I still think of myself as a newbie. This past year has been such a magical adventure so I have no plans of turning my back on this blog again! Food blogger 4 life!
How do you get inspiration to write your blog post?
So many of my recipes come from things that I’ve tried at restaurants or from friends or from my childhood that I just HAVE to share with everyone. Sometimes, I just feel like getting creative and developing something completely new based on recipes I’ve been brainstorming about or ingredients that have inspired me.
What do you like most about blogging?
I love the reactions I get from you all! Food is such a big deal to me so I love sharing it with everyone. Nothing warms my heart more than when someone tells me that they loved a recipe and it’s now become part of their family. I love it!
Where do you live and how would you describe that city to someone who has never been there?
Atlanta, GA – it’s the perfect mixture of suburban life and big-city life. Last year, we were in the hustle-and-bustle of the city but then moved 12 miles away to the suburbs. You really don’t have to move far to get the kind of community you’re looking for.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from blogging?
You have to make time for the things you’re passionate about. Like I mentioned above, I put the blog on hold for 4 years because life got into the way. But in reality, I let life distract me from my passion. Now that I’ve resurrected it, I plan to never let it go again because I know how much joy I get from it.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced when blogging?
Self-promotion. When I first started the blog, I thought people would organically stumble upon my site and read what I had to say. Fat chance. You gotta promote yourself and get the word out there about your blog! This has been hard for me because it requires lots of networking and learning about social media and putting yourself out there.
Do you blog full time, or as a hobby? If you blog as a hobby, tell us how you make time to blog while working!
Oh girl, let me tell you – it has been pretty crazy trying to balance both! I work full-time but that doesn’t mean I think of my blog as a hobby. I take it very seriously and devote most of my free time to creating new content, promoting that content, and reaching out to brands for possibilities of working together. I do this before work, after work, and on the weekends. But that doesn’t mean I don’t make time for a personal life. If I have a busy weekend planned, I’ll do more on other weekends or during the week to catch-up. I have always been great at time-management so, though it’s been tough to keep it all together, it’s definitely doable. Oh and I gotta thank my incredible husband for taking care of many of the chores around the house and helping keep me sane while I try to balance everything. He does soooo much and I am eternally grateful for that. He’s even starting to take over my Facebook to help me out too! What a saint, huh?!
What has been the best vacation you’ve been on?
Our European vacation about 2 years ago. We saw family in Madrid for my cousin’s wedding, ventured on to Paris for a few days, and then Munich. it was so great to see family and eat amazing food and do it all with my now-husband. Oh and it was pretty amazing to get engaged in the City of Light 🙂
What are your blog goals for the rest of the year?
(1) Grow my reach on Facebook, (2) Make more videos, (3) Obtain a Brand Ambassadorship with a brand I love and respect, (4) Hit 50k monthly page views
What do you want your readers to know about you that they already don’t know?
Though I only post indulgent and even sinful recipes, this is not how I eat all the time. I actually eat pretty healthy and modestly during the week. But I don’t get excited about cooking healthy foods. So I focus my recipes on the foods that make me happy and that’s what I share with you guys. Therefore, I want you to know how important it is to me that I have balance in my diet and I think it’s something you should practice, too!
Loved these questions! Now it’s time for me to name some food bloggers I admire and ask them some questions. First, the bloggers:
- Sugar Spun Run
- Celebrating Sweets
- Especially Southern Dishes
- The Chunky Chef
- The Kitchen Prep
- Kitchen Swagger
- Ready to Yumble
- Modern Honey
- Butter Your Biscuit
- Gluten Free with LB
- Let’s Eat Cake
All of these blogs have amazing recipes, great photos, and fun stories to share. They’re all growing, just like me, so give them some love and check them out!
Okay, now, let’s get to my 11 questions for them:
- What inspired you to begin your blog?
- Do you have a blogging community in your hometown that your participate in? How has it helped you?
- What are your blogging strengths?
- What is the best thing you’ve ever made? Yes, you have to pick just one!
- What recipe did you attempt to blog about, but it turned into a disaster?
- Where do you turn for food inspiration?
- What is the kitchen tool you cannot live without?
- When you’re not blogging or cooking, what do you love to do?
- What city have you traveled to that surprised you with their food? It can be a good or bad surprise.
- What’s one thing on your life bucket list?
- What do you hope to accomplish this year?
Thank you, again, to Bites of Flavor for nominating me. It is such an honor to be recognized by a fellow blogger because I think we can be the most critical of one another. But awards like these help share the love and spread encouragement in the blogging community. Therefore, I am happy that I was also able to recognize bloggers who mean a lot to me and support me and this blog. Love you all and cannot wait to read your responses!
And to my readers…thank you for being with me every week, recreating these recipes, and sharing your feedback. You are the reason I continue doing this blog!
See you on Monday! 🙂