November 24th was Thanksgiving this year, a very special day in and of itself. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
November 24th is momentous for me for another reason as well, but I wanted to wait until today to celebrate with you all. One year ago on November 24th, I started this blog.
In the past year I have written 206 posts, included 101 recipes, and blathered on about many things, from the awesomeness of chia seeds to the terror of trans fats, and gushed incessantly about my adventures with my family, all while encouraging everyone to eat more kale and fewer processed foods.
And some of you are still here! Wow.
It has been quite the journey. I’ve learned a lot, have had many opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had, and I’ve discovered my unrealized love for writing and photography. It has allowed me to share my passion of nutrition and healthy living in a way that feels most comfortable to me. I put it out there, and if people are open to reading it, it is their choice to do so. If I have made even just one person more aware about the foods they consume, then all the time, effort and lukewarm meals due to photography sessions will have been worth it. I have also made many connections with people I might never otherwise have the opportunity to. I have even begun to form virtual friendships with some I have a lot in common with. (I didn’t think they existed, but it turns out they do!)
It hasn’t been all unicorns and rainbows though, I have to admit. There have been several times when I thought to myself, Why am I doing this? Is it really worth all this effort? Does anyone really care about what I have to say? Do I really have time for this? Is anyone even out there reading?
And then I get even just a single comment or I run into an aquaintance at the grocery store and they tell me how much they liked such and such post, or they tried quinoa for the first time in one of my recipes, and instantly I know, (and I blush). Yes. It is totally worth it. All of you who read this blog make it worth it to me. Google Analytics tells me that there have been over 13,000 visits to my blog over the past year. What the WHAT? (Granted, probably 12,000 of those are from my sister and husband, but still.)
Whether you are a regular reader and comment on every post, or just someone who lurks and stops in once in awhile, I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you.
To celebrate this milestone, I want to give something to you. This is not sponsored by any company or promoting anything other than my love for you. I have compiled a box of some of my favorite things that I want to share. I’m sorry, I couldn’t include anything fancy like tickets to a broadway musical or a library of cookbooks, as much as I would love to. These are just little things that I love that make me happy.
Here’s a sneek peek:
I wish I could send something to each and every one of you, but sadly, there can only be one winner. I need your feedback, so to be eligible for this fabulous goody box, I would like you to tell me what you like about the blog and what you don’t like. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings. I am just curious of what most people like so I know where to focus my energy for the next year of blogging. Right now I can only go on what people comment on, and I currently get the most comments on my ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ posts. I know that can’t be the most interesting content here, so please let me know. Do the ‘Peek of the Weeks’ bore you? (Those seem to get the least comments.) Do you like the recipes? Personal stories? More or fewer photos? Something else? Do you love/hate the design?
For each suggestion you give you will be entered to win the box of ‘A Few of My Favorite Things’ (sung just like Julie Andrews, of course–another of my favorites!). If you don’t feel comfortable commenting publicly, you can always email me privately at candyland (at) nventure (dot) com–either method will have equal opportunity to win. A winner will be chosen on Friday, December 2nd.
And, in case you need further incentive, here’s a little close up:
Need I say more?