Dang, guys. It doesn’t feel like a whole year has passed since I wrote my five-year-bloggiversary post, but here we are. SIX WHOPPING YEARS of blogging under my belt. Last year, I reminisced on starting the blog and how over the past five years my blog has become my wing man of sorts. A support system, really. A crutch. Who woulda guessed year six would be one for the record books?
I had a few cool media spotlights this year, including being listed as one of Charlotte’s 16 food accounts to follow on Instagram on Charlotte Agenda, and a fun introduction on #weloveclt written by my pal Vanessa Smith: Have you met Mary Cowx?
I was also selected as a Design Charlotte Influencer and got to talk all about how cool Charlotte is in this video:
My most popular post over the last 365 days was my Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe (originally posted in 2010, most popular blog post, six years running), dangit… Followed closely by my Charlotte Foodie Guide and this HIGHLY informative post on how to make leftover pizza taste like it was just delivered.
This year, I travelled to Seattle for the my third International Food Bloggers Conference and spent time with two gals (Suki of Super Duper Fantastic and Andie Mitchell of Can You Stay for Dinner) who I met at my very first blogger conference (Healthy Living Summit 2010 in Chicago).
Then I drove all the way to Greensboro, NC for the Bright Blog Bash where I met (in real life) an inspiring group of ladies from across the Carolinas, including Kimi Pace of The Whiskey Women Charlotte, Nicole of NC Made, and Amanda of EDIA Maps. Without fail, the blogging community opens me up to several opportunities like this each year. Without my blog, I honestly don’t know how I’d meet new people.
This year, the CLT Food Bloggers EXPLODED (finally!). I’d been a part of this grass-roots organization since I moved to Charlotte, but our efforts to elevate the group never saw much traction. That is until Susannah of Feast and West, LeAndra of Love and Flour, Chrissie of Off the Eaten Path, and Ashley of The Olive and the Sea voluntarily stepped up to the plate. It is so very inspiring to be surrounded by passionate people, and these girls KILLED IT this year, taking the Charlotte Food Bloggers group farther than I thought possible. Power in numbers, people.
Food bloggers sorority squat ON POINT.
Throughout the year, each of the five brains behind the CLT Food Bloggers took turns planning monthly meetups. We sampled salt at Savory Spice Shop, did an oyster tasting at Sea Level, learned how to make burrata at Crepe Cellar, learned all about balsamic and olive oil at Olive This!, ate at countless restaurants, and delighted in Uptown Charlotte’s food scene on a Feast Food Tour.
In July, I appeared on the morning news for my THIRD (and final) sausage segment (video clip here: 3 Bangin Brat Relishes).
In August, I accidentally became a pescetarian. Coincidence?
Throughout the year, I worked on lots of fun projects, including recipe development, recipe testing, and recipe videos for Our State Magazine. As a solid Type A personality, collaboration helps spark my creative side. It’s like sitting down to write with a blank piece of paper (cue brain freeze!) or sitting down with a prompt question. I learned so much this year, and I hope to continue to build this aspect of my food blogging in the future.
I also served as the Treasurer for Green Teacher Network (a nonprofit focused on advancing health and education through the use of school gardens), and thus secured my first non-sausage related appearance on the morning news. LIFE GOALS.
Throughout the year, I continued to work on my food photography, specifically focusing on composition, negative space, and (minimalist) props. Baby steps, folks.
This year I learned to make kimchi and kombucha from scratch–both much easier than anticipated. Gut health is now my favorite topic of conversation.
Fitness and health have been underlying themes on the blog since day one, though my thoughts on “healthy living” continue to shift and grow. This year, I mastered the headstand in yoga, attended Body Pump training and decided I never-the-heck-ever want to be a Body Pump instructor, and did not run a single race. (My old lady knees are VERY pleased.)
On a professional note, this year I switched careers!
And then I switched careers AGAIN.
And THEN I left Charlotte and moved cross country.
And here I am, in good ole Columbus, Ohio for the next 4-5 years while I pursue my PhD in Accounting, after which time I will demand all of you call me Doctor. Deal?
My five years in Charlotte were pivotal. I became more “me” than I’d ever been before. Sort of like adding salt to a dish that’s missing a little something–Charlotte was my salt. I’m leaving lots behind, including good friends and a great city.
When I moved to Charlotte, I made myself a new motto: say yes to lunch. If someone asked me to lunch (or coffee or dinner or drinks, whatever) I just said YES. Even if I didn’t know the person, or thought we had nothing in common, and ESPECIALLY when I really just didn’t want to go, I just said yes. That is how I built a circle of friends and colleagues from scratch in Charlotte. I haven’t been in Columbus very long, but from what I can tell, Columbus is down for some lunching. And I really like that about her.