5 Years a Blogger! Happy Anniversary, Blog!

My blogging story: It all started with a cookbook I made for my daughter. After she left home and about the same time she started her family, I decided to put our family recipes into a book and bind it. It turns out my daughter didn’t use it much; she was more interested in getting recipes off the internet. She said my recipes were “too expensive.”

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A light bulb went off! My daughter had left with the basics of cooking skills (although she wasn’t very interested and picked up most of it on her own later) but didn’t know how to break down a recipe, sub out expensive ingredients, how to shop for groceries or “manage” food. I had many friends in the same boat who were starting to hurt with the recession, jobs losses and financial stresses.

On a later visit, my daughter shared her couponing skills with me (I use mostly fresh ingredients and had discounted how much of a difference it could make) and showed me a few sites that she used – just a minute or two on these “budget” blogs and I could see they had it all wrong! Kids helping kids! They didn’t have a clue, poor things – and many of them still don’t! (Although several have books, now. Go figure…they are obviously smarter than I gave them credit for!)

What if a Grandma who’d been budget shopping a good part of her life and had some experience at running a household could step in with a blog and use recipes to teach the art of shopping, managing and budgeting for food? Not to make “cheap” food, but to make really good food reasonably priced by shopping well, choosing ingredients wisely and shortcutting where it didn’t really matter?

It was bound to be a “hit” right? Well, maybe not, but I’m still slogging away! Funny, it turns out my daughter doesn’t read my blog, but others do, and that’s kept me going. Thank you, all of you, those who read my blog and commented and continue to do so despite my photography! It’s really become a important part of my life. When I got the WordPress notification that five years had passed, I was a bit shocked. Wow!

I started out slow, with a lot of struggles, a crappy camera and no photography, editing, or computer skills! But I knew how to cook and I knew how to shop. And I was just naive enough to toss it all together on a blog; I know I’m not alone in this, but I really had a long learning curve!

  • In 2010, I posted five times in three months and had 1, 564 visitors.
  • In 2011, I posted 43 times in four months and had 4,623 visitors.
  • In 2012, I posted 126 times, mostly February through June and had 14,103 visitors. Excited, I “came out” as a blogger. A trusted person was very negative. I was crushed and pretty much stopped.
  • In 2013, I posted 18 times in 5 months, and had 18,645 visitors. I kept trying to improve – I was running posts by this person who continued to bash me – but people were stopping by and that kept me going! Thanks guys!
  • In 2014, bolstered by those who read my blog and commented (and I thank you!) I decided this was about what I had to share, I wasn’t going to be discouraged because I don’t have “the best” blog or because I’m not a professional grade photographer, and I posted more. 140 times more. I and had a total of 127,919 views and a handful of very smart 🙂 followers.

That was thrilling for this Grandma that came from a town of about 3,000 people and choked when she had to give a speech in front of 50 people in 9th grade communications!

It’s thrilling because each view is a person taking a peek at my blog. It makes me aware that in some small way, I might make a difference in someone’s life. It might be a hint they’ve picked up, a recipe they’ve served their family, or new insights into shopping well. It might be just a chance to share back, communicate, agree or not! In the great grand scheme of the universe, it might be small, but in a small scope, it could be huge.

The favor, though, has been returned many times over, as it’s touched me back as well. I’ve learned to “own” this blog, just as it is, and to trust myself and those who have my back. I learned to disregard naysayers, or at the very least question their motives and use them as impetus to continue to grow. I also like to think I’ve made a few friends along the way!

I hope to be around for another five years! Maybe even with a better camera! And maybe I’ll redo these three favorite recipes yet again, just to compare!

🙂 Thank you, all, for keeping me going all this time! 🙂

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Oven Braised Pork – the first recipe I ever posted. I remade the recipe in honor of my blogging anniversary!

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Turkey or Chicken Noodle Soup – 2011. While the second photo is better, I think I could do much better, now.

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Scottish Oatcakes – what a makeover! In nearly a year, it had 88 views, with new photo, 1404 views in two months.

75 thoughts on “5 Years a Blogger! Happy Anniversary, Blog!

  1. I’ve liked your blog from the first time I visited and keep coming back. I’m sure it must be hard to hear negative feedback especially when you are already doing your best. However, use that info, if applicable, to make your blog better. I wish I had someone guiding me to tell me what is wrong with my pix- angle, lighting, etc. I didn’t give myself enough time to learn everything. If we keep improving, little by little, we’ll get where we want to be.

    • Hi Joanne! I missed this comment from way back in June! Wow! And thank you for the compliments! I wish I had that kind of feedback, too. I was getting feedback more like “Uggghhhh” or “Ewwww” and nothing else! And I don’t know that most the pics warranted THAT! Oh, well! 🙂

      I specifically remember a big “dis” on this post….


      Not a great pic & lots of room for improvement, but not really gross?

      Anyway, I love the challenge, I love connecting and I just love blogging!

      I think you’re absolutely right – I try to keep improving bit by bit, but I have to say you are SO talented and do such a great job – and I love your blog, too!

      Happy New Years!!

      • Well I’ve heard you’re making it in blogging when you start getting negative comments. You are so sweet! Blogging is so hard. So much work and growth is slow. I’ve always wanted to ask you if you think I should keep blogging. Thanks for the compliments! Your pix are looking good too! You have great stuff on your blog.
        Let me know if I could do a guest post for you when your busy. Happy New Year!

        • I think a guest post is a great idea!! I’d love that! I do think my pix are getting better, for the most part! I get a great one and then I think the next one will be great, too, but it doesn’t always work out that way! 🙂

          • I’m finding som food just doesn’t photograph well. I re- photographed my conversation heart brownies yesterday and just could not get what I liked. Still better than what I had though. I’ve found shooting within a couple hours of sunset gives good color and read that somewhere.

    • lol! There is something to be said for finding your joy and keeping at it no matter what anyone says! At my age I should have known that, but sometimes we need to rediscover ourselves! 🙂

  2. Congratulations on 5 years! It was so interesting reading about your blogging journey. I could definitely relate to a lot of it. I am glad to have discovered your blog and yummy recipes and hope you continue for many years to come!

  3. Oh thatz truely great – Congratulations and happy blogiversary. …love all you recipes… look forward to more and more tips and recipes from your kitchen…. happy blogging….

  4. Congratulations! I’m glad blogging has been rewarding for you. I love seeing your posts and I personally love your realistic photography. You make food look yummy and real, I think sometimes bloggers can go a bit overboard with styling their food when I would prefer to know what it will actually look like if I make it!

    • Thanks, Heather! That means a lot! I never want to go to far, and frankly am incapable of it with my current skills! Oh well! I do admire it though! In my experiments, I’ve noticed I I’ve gotten a bit heavy on those auto adjust and contrasty buttons on some posts! haha!

      There is a little part of me that wishes that everyone in the world wasn’t so attracted to beauty (including myself, I guess) whether it’s people, animals or food…or anything else!

  5. You have an awesome site with practical info and mouthwatering recipes. I always look forward to your posts….here’s to many, many more blogiversaries!! 🙂

    • Thanks, Bonnie! I always look forward to your posts, too! They’re a breath of fresh air. I have the same anticipation for your posts that I have when I bring home something beautiful and special, like a gorgeous book. I take a beat and slowly savor! 🙂

      That coconut pudding! 🙂

  6. Wow! Happy Anniversary, five years, that’s amazing!
    Isn’t it funny, when I started my blog I thought only my friends and family would read it – and they are the people who DON’T read it!!! So now, I have new friends, as a direct result of my blog.
    Your blog is fab, keep going xxx

    • Thanks Elaine! Funny isn’t it? Lol – maybe they get enough of us in real life!!

      The down side of a food blog for my family, the ones I cook for – no, dinner isn’t ready – I have to take the pictures!!

      • Ha ha! I know that one!!!
        One day my husband did look at my blog and I got this phone call and him exclaiming: you really do photograph everything you eat don’t you???

        • LOL! Well, that you’re passionate about what you do comes through in every post! I like that you’ve found your focus and you stay so true to it, even when I’m sure you must have people all around you who don’t share your same vision.

  7. skd

    Hearty Congratulations !!! Five years is incredible. You are way ahead. We all love your recipes and look forward to them and your useful tips. 💕☺🎉🎊🎇🎆

  8. Melissa

    Dear Ms Frau I’m a relatively new follower of your blog. I love it because I’m a frugal sort of person too and I like (vegetarian) recipes that use inexpensive ingredients to achieve delicious food. Your tips aren’t always relevant to us in Australia (for example staples don’t tend to be discounted around “holidays” here, and we don’t generally have coupons), but I’ve picked up lots of great ideas. I love that you use real, not processed ingredients. Congratulations on your anniversary. It’s a great achievement.

    • Melissa, thank you so much for commenting (and following!) and it’s nice to hear. See, when I started, I didn’t ever really dream that someone across the world would see this – heck I don’t even think I thought anyone would follow. I just really wanted to show my daughter, thought she might share it with a few friends. But I am glad that you pick up some useful tips.

      I am planning on posting a LOT more vegetarian recipes and leaning back towards the healthier side of things. I just watched a few Dr. Fuhrman videos, thanks to UseYourWingstoFly: https://useyourwings2fly.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/1366/

      I realize I’ve been slipping back into a lot of old family recipes and I feel remotivated!

  9. Congratulations! 5 years, wow! You have staying power! A close friend was very negative about my blog, too, but I keep going because it’s fun and I get to meet awesome people like you, even if just online. I sure love your recipes!! 🙂

    • Angie, thank you so much! 🙂 And I love all that you do for all us bloggers! I don’t know if any one says that enough! 🙂 I try to wake up early on Fridays so I can post to Fiesta Friday! 🙂

      I didn’t know if I should mention the negative person but I figured if I had one in my life, lots of bloggers might, too – and maybe they’ll have more courage than I did and keep doing what they love if they can see they’re not alone! I’m surprised you had one because you are so talented!

      • I think she was more critical of my spending time with online friends instead of “actual” friends. She was very snarky about what I could possibly get out of it. I answered,”Ever heard of pen pals?” lol. I’ve met so many online who have touched me, including one who passed away last year. One of these days, I’ll tell the story. She touched me greatly with her kindness when I started. I’ve never met her in person but I continue to miss her.

        • Well, as my brother reminds me, there are two kinds of people when it comes to “love,” which could be more loosely interpreted.

          There are those who view things on a zero sum basis. There’s only so much to go around for them, and if it is divided, that means less for them.

          There are others who think it grows exponetially. The more there is, the more there is to go around.

          I’m in the second category, and I bet your snarky friend doesn’t turn down any great meal or dessert you got from one of your online friends! And I do think it is possible to be touched by strangers! 🙂

              • Reading your conversation is so interesting: I have this discussion regularly with my husband, and have also said exactly the same as Angie about pen pals! I believe through our blogs we all have modern day friendships, whether we ever meet in person is neither here nor there. We converse more regularly via our blogs than other people do who live near each other!

                • This is so true! You know I have a neighbor who I never even see, behind me! Maybe 3 times in 10 years. And I have many friends from different places i never get to see, but they’re still friends and always will be.

                  And I also know if I were to ever visit near any of my fave blogging friends I would be emailing and saying “Let’s get together for lunch or coffee or dinner!”

  10. Congratulations. You should be proud of your accomplishment and the value you bring to the blogging world. Glad I’ve got to know you a little. Keep it up and Happy Anniversary! Quinn

  11. Congratulations on your blog. I can see why your viewership has increased over the years … there’s something for everyone. Recipes, shopping tips/tricks to economize and cute dog pictures too. 🙂

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