A whole year, where’s it gone? But then I’m always thinking that these days. People told me that as soon as you have kids life speeds up. And they’re not wrong. So it’s been a year since I started my foodie blogging and nearly two years since the Family Foti arrived in France. Life’s certainly whizzing by.
I’d been hoping to mark my Blogiversary with a special celebratory cake baked in my new oven but as the oven hasn’t actually arrived yet I can’t manage that one (2 days delivery time turned into 21 days and now ‘within 45 days’, that’s France for you). So we’ll celebrate with cake when it finally arrives. But for now I’m offering my thoughts on blogging one year on and my Top 5 posts of the year.
I LOVE blogging and the longer I blog the more addictive I’m finding it. It gives me a creative space that I don’t have elsewhere in my life these days. Somewhere that’s all mine, a little bolt hole for the mind and soul if that makes sense. And when you have two very small children I think a little escapism is really important!. I love my private blogging time, and if I could find the time each and every day I would.
I’ve met lots of lovely people through blogging, tweeting and facebooking. People I would never normally have come into contact with. And next year I’m going to make every effort to get out there and meet some of them for real, with the aim of getting to at least one blog event. My eye’s very definitely on Food Blogger Connect, but would welcome any advice on other must attend events?
I’m definitely becoming a more adventurous and confident home cook, always feeling the need to try something new and experiment with different ingredients. Growing most of our own veggies has also helped with this and I’ve loved finding new ways to use up the various gluts and goodies we have at Chez Foti. When I set out a year ago I remember saying to Mr F that if nothing else comes of the blogging at least we’ll eat well from it. And I wasn’t wrong.
Getting to grips with photography has also been a wonderful, and steep, learning curve for me. I really was rubbish when I first set out and in all honesty I’m pretty ashamed of my first few blogs! I’m definitely in a very different more creative space now.
In all honesty I’m trying to devise a way to make a career out of my blog, or at least in food writing or recipe development. But I fear this is going to be exceptionally tricky on many levels and especially due to my geographical location i.e. not being UK based (though most of my readers are). But we will see. Having said that any career in extremely rural SW France is going to be tricky!.
My Top 5 Blog Posts of the Year:
1) Interestingly my most popular blog so far, at least statistically anyway, was my Two Baby Pasta & Puree Recipes, which so happened to my own littlies’ favourite weaning foods. It was a recipe I wrote for my friend Sam who designs and sells the gorgeous Oogaa brand of silicone baby and young child feeding equipment. We’re just in the process of launching a new Oogaa Recipe Site featuring lots of my baby, toddler and young children’s recipes.
2) And my second most popular blog on the stats is a super-healthy and vegan Potato, Cauliflower and Pumpkin Curry (Aloo Gobi Kaddu) that I made last year on several occasions. It’s one of my favourites too, and one I must re-make now we’re well into the Pumpkin season. Perhaps for dinner tonight, though without the cauliflower as they’re not yet in season at Chez Foti.
3) My 3rd most read post was Jacques’s Chocolate Birthday Cake I made earlier in the year for his second birthday. It also so happens to be one of the very few non-vegetable based cakes to survive The Oven without a very burnt bum. Probably because it was a very liquid cake mix. The cream and plain chocolate icing was divine, and again divinely simple!.
4) Now for my favourite posts! I really enjoyed making, photographing and writing the Chocolate Pumpkin Cake post, which coincidentally has also been my most popular recent post. An (almost) healthy choccie cake, what could be better! It’s also evidence of how my photography has come on since I so cluelessly set out a year ago!
5) I couldn’t make a favourites list without some mention of the Chez Foti Summer of Tomatoes, so my final blogiversary fave has to be my Tomato Veg of the Month post. And I will further reiterate here that I will one hundred percent, absolutely most definitely not be growing so many tomatoes EVER again (unless for commercial gain obviously!). As lovely as my store cupboards and freezer now look by heck they took up my precious time these last few months!
So that’s it for my Blogiversary Special! I so wonder what this next exciting year will bring? Any careers advice and/or job offers gratefully received!
November 2nd, 2012 at 5:19 pm
Happy Anniversary Louisa! 🙂
November 2nd, 2012 at 7:51 pm
November 2nd, 2012 at 6:26 pm
Happy blogiversary, your blog is fab, well done you.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, is 4pm ok, as Chris needs to work a little.
Sent from my iPad
November 2nd, 2012 at 7:54 pm
Thanks Lucy! 4pm v gd. Looking forward to the first pizzas in the bread oven of the winter! L x
November 2nd, 2012 at 6:51 pm
Happy blog anniversary! Great blog, you have done brilliantly for your first year!
November 2nd, 2012 at 7:54 pm
Thanks Jayne, loved every blog of it!
November 2nd, 2012 at 7:03 pm
Happy 1st anniversary Louisa! Great blog – I’m looking forward to the next 12 months!
November 2nd, 2012 at 7:56 pm
Thanks Sarah, will be making your squash pizza on Sunday, have the first pizza night of the winter planned!
November 2nd, 2012 at 7:50 pm
Happy Blogiversary! You do have a lovely blog. I like your cauli curry, too. Have you said how the chestnut jam worked out?
November 2nd, 2012 at 8:01 pm
It worked out really well actually, totally delicious. Pretty good on toast (for breakie this morning!) but it’s really supposed to be for sandwiching in cakes or meringues…. so will be trialled properly once the new oven arrives. It was a lot of hard work though, in prepping the fiddly chestnuts. I’ll email you the recipe if you want?
November 2nd, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Keep up the good work! I do look forward to seeing what you are up to in the kitchen!
November 3rd, 2012 at 12:55 pm
Ahr thank you! Shall do.
November 4th, 2012 at 11:56 pm
Happy anniversary Louisa! I adore your blog and love your recipes. Look forward to seeing the blog go from strength to strength, and maybe also getting to meet up at a bloggers’ event next year?
November 5th, 2012 at 9:18 pm
Thanks Vanesther! Would be so lovely to meet up wouldn’t it? I’m thinking Food Blogger Connect?
November 5th, 2012 at 9:25 pm
I really like to the look of Food Blogger Connect but would have to talk very sweetly to my other half to get a long weekend off! Do you already have an early bird partner for the discount?
November 6th, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Me too! Although I’ll have to do some even sweeter talking as I’ll have to get there from France too, yikes!. I don’t have an early bird partner so would love to hook up if we both decide to go …..and get the green light!. Let the talking commence…have ’till the end of November I think?
November 5th, 2012 at 3:38 pm
Happy anniversary, Louisa!
I found some nice recipes on your blog, surely, i’ll try some of them soon!
November 5th, 2012 at 9:16 pm
Thank you. Please try some!
November 6th, 2012 at 1:20 pm
Happy Anniversary. May this be the first of many. 🙂
November 7th, 2012 at 8:11 pm
Thanks Spencer. Hoping it really is the first of many 🙂