Hip Hip Hooray! It’s Marin Mama Cook’s 1-year celebration. Can you believe that this blog has only been alive for a year? I can’t, because honestly this blog has become such a huge part of my life and has really transformed me. I now have a hobby and passion that I adore. This post is going to be a bit long, so grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and settle in.
Why did I start a blog?
Yes, why did I start this exhausting hobby, I often ask myself this question. A year ago I struggled with finding a passion, something creative that I could do while the kids were in school. I thought about going back to school, getting a part-time job or possibly getting back into interior design. All of those options sounded great, but I wasn’t really passionate about any of them, and going back to school would mean that I would be compromising my job at home. I was envious of people who got out of bed with a passion for the day. They just had that extra spark because they were doing something that excited them and brought them joy. I loved reading blogs and secretly wanted to have a blog of my own, but wasn’t sure I was ready to put myself out there, and I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to blog about. One day I got up and decided to create a cooking blog for my friends and family with all of my favorite recipes. A cooking blog seemed like a natural fit, as I was always cooking up something new, and my friends would often ask me to email them the recipe. I thought, why not take some photos, write out some recipes, and have my friends and family just come to my blog to get a recipe. It would be way easier than emailing them all separately. So, I had a blog idea and now I just needed a name. All of the sudden, the name Marin Mama Cooks came into my mind. I LOVED it and it was a perfect fit. I’m a mom who cooks and I live in Marin. It couldn’t get any easier than that, right? At first, I posted about 3-4 times a week. I had so many recipes that I loved and I wanted to get them out there. I soon learned that I needed to set some limits, as posting 3-4 times a week was not something I could maintain if I wanted to have a quality blog and basically a quality of life. I slowly worked down to posting 2 times a week and I feel like that is the perfect amount for me.
Highlights from my first year:
- The biggest and most exciting thing that has happened (for my family and I anyway) is that I have become such a better cook over the past year. I have tried so many new recipes and learned so many new cooking techniques and skills. The best way to become a better cook is to cook often and try new recipes. You should also try a recipe that intimidates you once in a while, because you will feel such a sense of pride when you’re finished. I have definitely had my share of failures as well as successes, but I don’t fret over the failures, because I know that its just part of the learning curve. Luckily, my family has been kind and eaten some of the recipes that we’re not so palatable. Below is an example of one of my failures. It’s a photo of a s’more cupcake that never made it to the blog. Hmmm… I wonder why?
- My kids become such adventurous eaters. They have tried so many new dishes and so many spices that their taste buds have changed. Zoe is such a foodie now. She requests kale salad weekly, and sometimes I catch her and Eli battling it out over the last piece of kale, I kid you not! When the kids were younger, I use to make 2 separate meals, one for John and I, and one for the kids. That was so labor intensive and my kids ended up eating the same dish over and over, boring! A few years ago, I started feeding my family the same meal at dinnertime, and you know what, my kids adapted and starting liking and appreciating new foods. Now, when we have a week off from trying new recipes, my kids get bummed out. They truly love exploring new recipes as well as John and I. Below is a picture of the kale salad that turned us all in to kale lovers!
- Our diets have changed as well. We use to consume much more meat, but since starting this blog, we have cut back considerably. I have learned how to cook amazing meatless meals. Our daily veggie intake has gone up considerably as well. These days we find ourselves craving these refried bean tacos way more than our standby buffalo tacos.
- I have not only become a better cook, but a better photographer and writer as well. My spiritual coach told me 10 years back that she didn’t see me doing just one thing. She said she saw me writing, doing something creative and artistic, as well as working and connecting with other people. It’s truly amazing because with this blog, I’m doing all of those things. I love that!
- This blog has also connected me with people I would not have met otherwise. I love the new friendships and relationships I have built, and the blogging community I have become a part of. I love helping and connecting with people, and I really get to do that with this blog. I love being out and about and having someone recognize me from the blog and come up and say hello. It makes my day meeting someone that has randomly found my blog. Most of the time I’m recognized at the grocery store when I’m grabbing a head of kale (kale obsessed mama) or when I’m with one of the kids. So, if you see me out and about, please say hi!
This was my first header. I love that I have a random shot of a half eaten sandwich; I don’t know what I was thinking there.
That tangerine bundt cake was such a production, but so good. All of my photos of the cake were overexposed as I had the camera on the wrong setting, so I had to really edit them. I think that is another recipe that should get updated. Whoopie pies, yum!
This was the last header I did before the current design. This one had a much better flow than the previous headers. It also looks a bit healthier as it’s showcasing a kale salad and smoothie as well as this whole-grain skillet corn bread.