I lost track of time in September. I don’t know if it was because of the changing weather or being ready for the holiday season and all the fun family time ahead; I have no idea where it went.
So here are some of the high and low lights from the past two months.
A Milestone Anniversary
Dwight and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in September. It is crazy to even think about it. During this time, we lived in 3 countries, moved 11 times, traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world. Oh, and we bought a house!
He is still living and working in Maine, but we have made it work, and our marriage is stronger than ever. 🧿 He is coming home right before Thanksgiving and will be here throughout the holidays. To say that I am excited would be the understatement of the year.
I love this man with all my heart and cannot wait to see what life has in store for us in the years to come.
A Quick Trip To Virginia
You might remember me mentioning that I was invited as an ambassador for Beko’s Healthy Kitchen initiative. They kicked off their campaign with an event in a gorgeous resort in Virginia.
If you are not familiar with Beko, they are one of the world leaders in home appliances. A part of Arcelik, they are one of the largest companies in Turkey. Here in the US market, they consider themselves “affordable luxury.”
With this Healthy Kitchen campaign, they are redefining our understanding of what a healthy kitchen means and how we can use design and technology together to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
The Healthy Kitchen Council is made up of kitchen and bath designers and health-focused content creators like me. We were invited there to share our experiences and help them create products that will help promote a healthy kitchen.
In addition to spending time in a spectacular backdrop, I was truly honored to meet the executives behind the brand. In the new year, I will be joining them for KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) in Orlando, where they will share their latest products. Perhaps, I will bring one home so that I can share it with you as well.
Their appliances are lovely, and I cannot wait to learn more about them and share them with you.
Yearly Reader Survey
You probably saw that I did a reader survey last month if you are on my email list. My goal was to understand your pain points and ways that I could help you in the kitchen.
Over 1000 of you filled out the survey, and other than two “constructive” comments, you all said something nice, making me feel SO special. If you have taken the time to fill it out, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you haven’t, no worries. I will do another one next year.
Needless to say, it was SO helpful to learn more about you and your needs in the kitchen. I now know what you need and plan on creating recipes and related content based on your needs.
Getting Back Into Making Videos
I will be honest, making how-to recipe videos takes a lot of time. Between recipe creation, photography & editing, writing, and promoting, I spent over 10 hours publishing a recipe. When you add a video to the equation, it takes close to 15 hours. Hence, why I haven’t had a video for the last 5 months.
To make matters worse, every social media platform wants a different format of video adding more to the workload.
However, now that I know that you enjoy these videos and actually find them helpful, I am getting back into making them. I am changing the format to make it more efficient for my workflow, but they are coming.
Lowlights – What Is Not Working
Living In The US Without Speaking The Language:
If you have been around for a while, you know that my dad moved in with us last year. He is a retired dentist who has always wanted to experience a life abroad. While he enjoys being here, the fact that he doesn’t speak English makes things very hard.
Plus, the changes in technology and the fast-paced life we live make it challenging for him to adapt. It makes it harder for me because he is tied to me for everything he needs.
He takes English classes online during the day, but it is not enough to help him speak with confidence. We decided that it was time to sign him up for ESL (English As Second Language) classes. He will start in January with classes three times a week. I know it is not easy to learn a new language after 74, but I am looking forward to seeing him learn and use English.
Updating Old Recipes
I started Foolproof Living back in 2013. There are over 500 recipes on this website. As it is with everything else, so much has changed over the years.
Back when I started, recipe posts were more like a daily diary. We were all writing about our lives and why we make and share the recipes we make.
It is funny to think about it now, but there were many people following me to read about my adventures in living in the Caribbean.
Since then, things have changed a lot. We don’t write about our lives anymore. Nowadays, it is strictly about recipes and how to make them. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with this new format, but I can’t update all of the old recipes overnight.
I am doing my best to update 2-3 recipes every week, but getting all of the 500+ recipes updated will take a lot of time.
Reading through your comments in the reader survey, I realized that some of you are aware of my efforts and appreciate the positive improvements, which made me SO happy.
But in the end, I am faced with eight years of hard work against the changes in the online world. Honestly, I sometimes feel like deleting them all and starting over, but of course, that would not be smart.
I just need to be patient and do my best, but boy, it is easier said than done.
I Leave You With This
- A simple tomato salad made with the tomatoes I grew this summer
- My current favorite social media account: I recently found Lennie on Instagram, and I love her so much. If you need a morale boost, check her out. This and this video put a smile on my face when I am feeling down.
Until next month, I am sending you hugs from ATL.