Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear bloggy,
Happy birthday to you!
I am so happy I have successfully maintained this blog for a year, instead of letting it fall to the wayside like so many other projects I've taken on. Silly as it might sound to non-food bloggers, I find food blogging to be a really fulfilling hobby. It allows me to get in my creative kicks through photography and writing, I learn new things all the time, and it serves the practical purpose of filling my belly.
Just over a year ago, I made my first post about Crusty Rye Bread. It was a superbly tasty loaf of bread....but, my food photography skills were...*ahem*... lacking.
Exhibit A: ....Enough said.
I had no food blog friends. My only reader was my trusty fiance, and occasionally, my mom. To get a greater online foodie community, I joined The Daring Cooks. The participants in The Daring Cooks are such a friendly, supportive, creative and uber-talented bunch. Joining this group strengthened my resolve to keep chipping away at my own efforts.
As of January 1st, I resolved (in addition to the monthly Daring Cooks challenges) to do my own challenge: 50 Countries, 1 Year. On the 4-hour car ride back from Madison on the 1st, Greg and I wrote down as many countries as we could think of that I might cook foods from--just to ensure that it was possible. Boy, was it ever.
Exhibit B: Look mom! I made my own paneer!Then, in early June, The Most Awesome Brother in the Whole World (otherwise known as TMABWW or just "Michael") gave me his old camera. To this point, I had been using a tiny, crapass point-and-shoot Kodak whose batteries were running out after 5 photos or less--and I'm not exaggerating. Yes, I agree...it was amazing that I was turning out photos of the quality above with such a camera and not much in the way of editing software.
This new camera opened up a whole new world for me. A world where beautiful macro photos were a possibility.
Exhibit C: Eggshells can be artsy. Who knew?
I won $250 and an opportunity to be showcased for a month for a 24x24 meal from Foodbuzz. I bought some paper backgrounds and a "portable light studio". I was chosen for the Foodbuzz Top 9 for the below photo (and just another time recently). Things were looking up, and I was straight up addicted to food blogging.
Exhibit D: If you pay attention to both lighting AND colors, you get a nice photo.
Then I was blessed with a little gift I like to call Photoshop. I learn more about Photoshop every time I sit down with a new set of photos. I love it all to pieces. Then there is the fact that I am buying more props (Tip: Thrift stores are a god send! Cheap props!!) and paying more attention to setting up my shots. It's a process. And I am a titch obsessed with it.
Exhibit E: I am a food blogging addict. And I love Photoshop.So, happy birthday to us, blog! I heart you.
In celebration of my blog's birthday, I would like to do my very first giveaway! While I very much wish that I had some sort of corporately sponsored swag to hand out, I don't--I have not yet attracted corporate eyes. Maybe that will be Exhibit F someday. :) Anyway, this is coming out of my own pocket--so it's meager. But delicious.
I would like to give you the chance to win two bars of Dagoba Chocolate! Dagoba chocolate is organic and comes from fair trade, sustainable sources. Dagoba makes incredibly delicious dark chocolate bars, but has many non-dark bars (with tasty goodies mixed in!) that are also fabulous. Hubby and I absolutely love Dagoba, and treat ourselves to it on a semi-regular basis. Because we are dark chocolate nuts, our favorite is the 87% Cacao Eclipse Bar.
To enter, please visit the Dagoba Products page and leave me a comment telling me which chocolate bars you'd like to try. While I will buy them locally and cannot guarantee you will get what you selected if you win, I will definitely try! Please be sure to leave a link to your blog, an email address, or similar, so that if you do win, I can contact you to get a shipping address. Due to shipping concerns, only U.S. Residents may win.
The contest closes at 11:59pm on Saturday, October 16th. A winner will be selected randomly with a number generator. Only one comment per person, please. :) Good luck!