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Blogging is and always has been a hobby for me. I am often asked, in job interviews and by potential clients, how I got into blogging, and the answer is pretty simple. I wanted to do something that I was excited about every day, and I love writing. I was working for a great textbook publishing company when I started; I saw how passionate some people were about the work they were doing in education and thought, what makes me tick?

Food, wine, travel, lifestyle. All of those things interested me, and while never hard-hitting journalism, blogging about them became important. As a fairly anxious worrywart who needs to tune the world out a little at the end of the day, a “brain candy” site sometimes provided the perfect escape for me and hopefully for my readers.

I’ve been blogging for almost seven years, and I have considered quitting  at least five times over the years, but then I remember that this space is mine and it can change and evolve as I want it to. I’ve gone from blogging twice a day some days (How I did that, I do not know.) to a pretty regular schedule of two blog posts a week, which works with my current work situation and makes me happy. Tip one – make sure blogging makes you happy!

quote on consistency - source unknown


  • Develop some sort of consistency. Even if it’s just once a week, set aside time for yourself to sit down and work on an editorial calendar and a post. My editorial calendar lives on an index card and includes posts I want to write, recipes I want to try, and a list of any travel, restaurants, wines, etc. that I plan to write about.
  • Learn to say no! When blogging, it’s easy to want to attend every event you are invited to and write every sponsored post offered to you. Who doesn’t want to make money and be recognized? But there’s a line between being an authentic blogger and a product pusher. Say no to products and sponsorships that don’t fit your content or your values. Say no to events that might drain your energy or creativity. Too many blogs have become 365 sponsored posts, and while lucrative for the blogger, no one wants to read a stream of commercials. Hint – forcing the writing isn’t fun for you either.
  • Share what you love, not what you think might get the most traffic. When I first started blogging, I was really into healthy living blogs and tried to emulate them. It turned out writing about running and dieting wasn’t fun for me. My wine blog posts are some of my lesser-viewed posts, but I love writing about wine, so I still share them. Even if just a few dozen people are seeing a post, you never know where it might end up or how you might be helping someone.
  • Let your true colors show. One of the reason blogs took off and became so influential is because they were real. No, you don’t have to share every tiny detail of your life, but being authentic and personable makes you seem like that friend who someone can depend on for recommendations, advice, and a great story. Sometimes, a stream of thought or day in the life post is all you need to add a little of your voice and a sneak peek into your life. I love reading them!
  • Read other blogs and be supportive of other bloggers. Blogging can be a great community builder. I met some wonderful lifelong friends through this blog, and though most of them have stopped blogging, we still stay in touch, and they are very important to me. Whether you’re meeting great friends or professional contacts, blogging makes your world so much bigger.
  • Live to blog, don’t blog to live. Even if your blog IS your living,  blogs written by people having vibrant, hands-on experiences are always the best to read. Again, don’t force it. The more into what you are writing about you are, the more you will shine.
  • Read your own blog. I love my old posts! There are so many recipes, wine recommendations, and travel memories that I can go look back on and that can still be useful to readers. The other day I was rereading a post about a horrible week I’d had, life-changing for sure, but now I can’t even remember what happened. Past writing = perspective.

I can go on and on with tips on keeping blogging fresh and fun, but one of the best things about blogs are the comment sections! Tell me, if you are a blogger, what is your biggest key to maintaining a long-lasting blog? And blog readers, what keeps you a fan for the long haul/what makes you close your laptop and walk away from the screen?

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Tags: blogging, blogs, lifestyle, writing

Happy Monday, and Happy Cinco de Mayo! Are you wishing this margarita-filled holiday fell on a weekend? I definitely am!

Today I am excited to be writing my part of the “My Writing Process” blog tour. I was nominated for the tour by my friend Bianca, who most of you may know from the beautiful blog Confessions of a Chocoholic. Bianca is one of my favorite bloggers due to her decadent, mouthwatering dessert recipes and even more to her heartwarming, beautiful stories that weave in food and her family and growing up in the Philippines. I have commented on Bianca’s blog many times that her food and family posts would make for a great book, and I truly hope to be able to read that book one day. I’m also lucky to call Bianca a friend; her smile and energy are infectious, and I definitely wish I saw her more often!

As part of the blog tour, I get to answer the following questions before passing the torch to other bloggers. I hope you enjoy my responses, and I would love for you to answer one of the questions in the comments!

hiking in Connemara

1) What am I working on?

Right now I am working on a lot of wine and travel writing and hoping to move the blog more into a lifestyle blog space. I’ve moved from writing recipe blog posts to focusing on things like “Wine of the Week” posts, and as we very slowly renovate our new old home, hope to share posts on gardening and my meager attempts at interior design. I haven’t been as interested in cooking as I used to be, and it’s nice not to feel pressured to cook something to blog about. Don’t worry, I’m still eating plenty, but mostly simpler, “boring” meals that aren’t super blog-worthy.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There are so many incredible blogs out there in the food, wine, travel, and lifestyle space. It’s hard to compare them at all most of them time! What I love about bloggers is that we so often let our personalities shine through, and who we are and where we are in our lives really shows up in our writing. I focus on writing about wine a bit more than other food bloggers, and the occasional running post pops up (though not lately). Because I don’t have advertisers anymore, I really feel free to write whatever and whenever I want. There have been times in my life where I envied bloggers who got to blog for a living, but I have become truly grateful and excited that this blog is all mine. I do care about whoever is reading, but I believe that writing for myself and having happy writing is what will draw in the people I want to be reading. Welcome!

3) Why do I write what I do?

It’s probably pretty clear that I love wine and food and travel, and I work in Marketing/PR/Social Media for a living. A lot of my passions, interests, and experience intersect on a daily basis, and the blog is a natural outcrop of that. This blog is almost five years old, and my writing has definitely changed as my place in life has changed. There was a time when I was working for myself when I had a lot more time to blog every day and my blog was a way of attracting business. Then I focused much more on what would draw attention from the outside world in order to create work opportunities.

4) How does your writing process work?

My writing process really heavily depends on what’s happening in my life, events I attend, time to cook, wines I have tasted, etc. I keep a running document of topics I want to write about, and I try to strategize a little bit. For example, I try to spread out travel posts about certain trips, knowing that it might be a little tedious to read post-after-post about my travels. Plus, it’s fun for me to have some content saved up; when I’m not traveling somewhere fun or don’t have events to attend, I love having something tucked away to write about.


I’m passing the My Writing Process on to Erica and Jen.

Erica is another blogger friend who I wish I saw more often. We share a love of dining out and Sonoma and Napa wine country, and she always seems to have recommendations on places I haven’t been.  I love her travel posts in general, as well as her adventurous spirit, and I especially love photos of her cute dogs. Erica appreciates a good cocktail as well as all of the great restaurants has to offer.

Jen’s blog is new to me, but it’s called Vino Travels. . . what’s not to love?! Jen focuses on Italian wine, something I don’t have too much experience with. Her love of Italian wines extends beyond just wine and into a sense of place and culture. Jen even got married in Italy!

I look forward to reading more about others’ writing process in this blog tour. Thanks for reading!

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Tags: bloggers, blogging, Food, lifestyle, Travel, wine, writing

I love food, I love wine, I love to cook, I love events and eating out, and I love to write. You probably already knew that, considering the food and wine blog and all, but while steaming artichokes, chopping lemons, and photographing the whole process last night it hit me. Months ago, my focus was blog traffic, and it made me miserable. I spent so much time trying to figure out what other people wanted to read that I forgot what I wanted to write about.

Slowly, somewhere along the way, I rediscovered the joy in writing. It may have been in Sonoma or Napa or attending various wine tasting events or delicious dinners, or it may have just been in my own kitchen. All I know is that hello, I am happy to be here and ready to do more!

As you know, today begins the Eat from Home Challenge, an effort to save money, waste less packaging, eat healthier, and in general get my kitchen mojo back after the marathon. I appreciate all of the support you offered in this challenge which I actually think will be a little difficult. I love going out. I feel like it gives me something to look forward to during the week, and it is always a great option when you are too tired. Still, recommitting myself to my kitchen is a good thing, and I can’t wait to get creative.

With ingredients like these strawberries and artichokes that we picked up at Trader Joe’s, I think it will also be a delicious challenge.




Sunday was NOT part of the challenge, so we went to the Bin Ends Fine Wine Flea Market, a magical wine tasting event which usually houses 9-10 different tables with 5-7 different wines for tasting and ordering. I have found so many wines that I love this way. (past Bin Ends posts here and here)

I will post more on our wine purchases later, but I did fall in love with a new Italian Cabernet Franc and a delicioso sparkling wine made from the Malvasia grape. I am working on my grape Century Club membership (having tasted wine from at least 100 grapes), and I am about 70 into it and tried 2 new ones today. Not too shabby. Bin Ends is a great environment for this pursuit!

After Bin Ends, all I wanted were oysters. I have actually had an oyster craving since pre-marathon but thought it prudent to avoid raw seafood for a few days prior just in case.

We tried Barbara Lynch’s B & G Oyster in the South End, a mecca for all things oyster, but they were closed for a private event. Luckily, Eastern Standard saved the day.

It was a patio kind of day, and an Anchor Steam from San Francisco hit the spot.

anchor steam beer

silly husband

enjoying an anchor steam

We also had the cheese plate which included a Manchego, a Gorgonzola Picante, and a Brie cheese along with quince paste, candied bacon, and Nicoise olives.

cheese plate


It wasn’t really lunch, and it wasn’t really dinner, so we ordered homemade potato chips and onion dip. SO GOOD.

chips and dip

We also satisfied my Island Creek oyster craving with a dozen oysters complete with cocktail sauce and mignonette. Delicious and briny, they hit the spot! I could live on oysters!

Island Creek oysters

When I got home, I decided to dive into the artichokes that I bought, so I trimmed them, boiled them, and ate every last leaf and heart, some plain and some dipped in a mix of mayonnaise, lemon, and spicy mustard.


Artichokes take forever to eat, but they are so incredibly meaty and delicious!

artichokes and lemon

We ended the night eating homemade pizza, guacamole, roasted veggies, and other treats at our friend Michael and Jill’s house. We popped open one of my birthday wines, a 1980 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, and once decanted and aerated, it was delicious! We were celebrating 2 engagements, a new job, a birthday, and the marathon, so a special wine was in order! :)

And here we are starting a brand new week full of possibilities and challenges! I hope you are all well rested and ready for the week and as excited about something as I am about blogging.

AND I hope you have entered my Cabot cheese giveaway! This giveaway closes on Wednesday, and it is too good to pass up!

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Tags: blogging, Boston, cheese, cooking, Dining out, events, Food, oysters, recipes, Restaurants, wine, wine tasting, writing

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