Highlights from 2013

Happy New Year! It’s time to reflect on what I’ve been up to over the past year.

I started the year about 8 months pregnant with my third child.

I had gestational diabetes, like I did with my previous pregnancies, so I began writing a blog called the GD Diaries to document my experience. I had to watch my carb intake quite carefully and I experimented with a lot of low-carb recipes. This No-Noodle Lasagna was a favourite of mine.

 

On February 8th, my baby girl Ayla was born.

Needless to say, February was a quiet month on the blogging front. Actually, March was pretty quiet too.  I gradually found my groove as a new mother of three, and had a little more time for blogging again.
By May, I was in the running for Circle of Moms Top Foodie Moms. Thanks to my amazing followers, I made it into the top 25!
In June, I became a Life Made Delicious ambassador for General Mills. I’ve never been a blogger ambassador before, but it’s been a great experience so far.  It’s given focus and inspiration to many of my posts, from Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Meals to Crockpot Berry Pudding Cake.
I branched out from my blog to write for other sites. I wrote a Halloween recipe for Green Monster Guacamole at Popsugar, and an article at YMC about How to Get Your Kids to Make Their Own Lunches in 4 easy steps (this has been a life-saver to me since having another baby!).
Somehow I stumbled across a lovely group of bloggers called the West Coast Parent Bloggers and participated in a “Day in the Life” blog post train, where I shared a day in my crazy life as a mom of three.
I shared a lot of recipes, but the most popular one by far this year was an oldie: “Baked” Oatmeal in a Mug. The reason for it’s popularity was due to an article at Buzzfeed: 18 Microwavable Snacks You Can Cook in a Mug.
It’s been a pretty good year for my blog. In fact, it’s been a great 4 years. Today, Food and Whine turns 4 years old! I started it as sort of a new year’s resolution to write more. I chose to focus on food because I love to cook and I figured I was more likely to keep writing about something that really interested me. It was also a great way to keep track of the recipes I made up in my head. There were so many times that I made something delicious and couldn’t remember what I had done to create it. This blog has helped me to be more organized, to eat healthier, and to expose my children to a wide variety of foods.  I started it for myself and my family, never expecting that 4 years later it would have more than a million and a half views from readers from all over the world.  It’s funny to look back at the photos from when I first started out.
Belgian Beef Stew January 2 2010
I don’t claim to be an excellent food photographer even now, but I think it’s fair to say I’ve come a long way since the first photos I took 4 years ago.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala July 2013
Most of what I’ve learned about food photography and blogging has come from other blogs. Before I began blogging, I knew very little about the blogging world (and I think I still have a lot to learn). I had no idea of the immense wealth of talent out there in the blogosphere. It blows me away.  I’m honoured to be a part of it and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow as a blogger.
Happy 2014 from our family to yours. I hope this year is a good one for all of you!
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