Rachel Cooks

{a day in the life} Dine & Dish

Today’s “a day in the life” is Kristen of Dine & Dish. I really can’t say enough good things about Kristen. Not only is her blog one of my favorites, but she is also one of the most kind and generous food bloggers I have “met.”  Her blog remains one of my favorites because of her lovely writing style, her gorgeous photos (I especially love the pictures of her family), and of course her amazing food. 

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Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

I’m a mom of 4 young kids and began blogging in 2006 as a way to keep my parents updated on what was happening with our family. They used to live close but then moved in 2006 to south Texas, which is 16 hours away from us.

Dine & Dish quickly evolved into what was my current passion… food and photography and continues to be a way I connect with loved ones far away!

Take me through your day.

I wish I could say my routine was routine down to the half hour, but it isn’t. With 4 kids and 6 different schedules to adhere to, each and every day around my house is completely different.

  • 6:00 AM: Hubby leaves for work and wakes me up on his way out. I pick up my phone and check email, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
  • 6:30 AM: Take shower and get myself ready.
  • 7:00 – 9:00 AM: Wake the kids up and begin our morning shuffle of getting everyone dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast, 3 different drop off times for school, etc.
  • 9:00AM MAKE COFFEE and planning time / reflection time
  • On days Leah is home (MWF) my day is spent cooking with her and photographing things. Occasionally checking Twitter, Facebook, Email, but mostly doing things with Leah.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have 2 hours in the morning to myself. I tend to do all of my invoicing, blog reading, planning, email answering, etc. on those two mornings.
  • 4pm – 8:30pm The bigger kids get home from school at 4pm. Our evenings are filled with homework, driving people to sports practices, girl scouts, gymnastics, football, etc. We always try, no matter what, to sit down and have dinner as a family. I’ve discovered that to make this happen we have to be flexible about when we eat. Sometimes its at 5:30 when Nick gets home, other times its not until 8. It is really important to us that we have that time to connect each day though.
  • At night after the kids go to bed is when I do my photo editing and blog post and freelance writing. I tend to do that from around 8:30-11pm, then go to bed around 11pm, where I’ll read a book for about ½ hour or until I fall asleep!

What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?

I love my electric skillet for pancakes, hamburgers, quesadillas, eggs and more! It’s really a lifesaver when I need to cook large batches of things.

What is the most important part of your day? Why?

Dinner time. We’ve made family meal time a priority since day one. When we don’t have that time together, we tend to not get the chance to really connect about our days.

What is your favorite part of your day? Why? 

I love when I have time to sit down with my cup of coffee, my notebook/pen and plan / reflect. It’s just about the only real peaceful time during my days and I savor it!

What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?

I hate getting ready in the morning – showers, makeup, hair. Not sure why, I just do.

If you could choose one room in your house to spend the WHOLE day in, which room would it be? Why?

My office. I recently renovated my dining room and turned it into my home office and I love the look and feel of it.  It’s nice and centrally located in our house so serves as a “command central”, it has a great view of the outside and has a little reading nook I can sit in and relax when I have time.

 

If you could choose one room in your house to remodel (on an unlimited budget!) which room would it be and why?

My bedroom! I would love to turn my bedroom into a comfy oasis. Right now it’s purely functional and tends to be the room we give the least amount of attention to when it comes to decorating.

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

I actually really like Monday’s – they tend to be a great day to get things done!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?

I would actually love to just have unlimited funds and time to go on a cross country road trip.

What is your favorite quote or verse?

This is one of my favorites, but I don’t know who it is by. “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel” I think this is a favorite because I believe we all spend way too much time and energy comparing ourselves to others, when in reality, the glimpse of what we see of everyone else is not always an authentic view of their life. 

What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?

Right now it seems to be this Frozen White Chocolate Hot Chocolate

What is your guilty food pleasure that you’re embarrassed to fess up to? Kraft Mac & Cheese? Spagetti-o’s? Canned cheese? We promise not to judge! 

OK – Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies and Fudge Rounds!

What have you learned since you began blogging?

I’ve learned that no matter what drives traffic, it is never ok to compromise who you are to try and become bigger and better. Stay true to yourself and the good things will come along!

What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?

The above. It’s tempting to change who you are, how you blog, etc. to try and become more popular or “pinteresting”. In the end, none of that is worth the cost!

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?  

Just do it and know ahead of time that it is a lot of work! Find someone you admire and respect and ask them to mentor you… I am a firm believer in the power of having someone as a mentor.

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Thanks Kristen! I love that quote too. I try to remind myself of it often.

And…I’m totally envious of your office–gorgeous!

You can also find Kristen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

   
When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!

27 Responses to “{a day in the life} Dine & Dish”

  1. Kathryn — November 20, 2012 at 6:54 am

    So lovely to see Kristen here! I’m such a big fan of her blog, her writing and her amazing photography. She is one seriously talented lady and is so generous with that talent.

    Plus I’m totally in love with her office!

  2. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — November 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I’m with you Rachel – I love Kristen’s writing style. Whenever I read her blog I feel like I’m sitting with a girlfriend with a cup of coffee.

  3. bridget {bake at 350} — November 20, 2012 at 8:20 am

    This is great! Kristen’s blog was one of the first I ever read and I love getting this peek into her life! :)

  4. Ali | Gimme Some Oven — November 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Love that quote! And love Kristen. She has been such an encouragement to me over the years, and her blog just continues to get more and more beautiful. I’m so thankful for her!

  5. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — November 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I’m a huge fan of Kristen’s too! I love her heartfelt posts, and seeing photos of her beautiful family. Another lovely feature! :)

  6. brandi — November 20, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I love this – Kristen is definitely one blogger I hope to meet in real life. And you too, Rachel! Great interview :)

  7. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama — November 20, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Love Kristen’s office! Great quote too. I definitely have to remind myself of this.

  8. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — November 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

    My day can be hectic sometimes with just 1 kid, can’t imagine 4!

  9. Pat Wogan — November 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I am Kristen’s Mom. I am so proud of what she has accomplished. I am also proud of the person she is. You all are right, she is a sweet, kind, helpful person.

  10. Bev @ Bev Cooks — November 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Looooooooved this!

  11. Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — November 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Love the office! It would be nice to work there every day! :)

  12. Michelle @ Taste As You Go — November 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I love this spotlight on Kristen. I absolutely love her blog, and it’s one of the first I check for new updates. Great post, Rachel!

  13. Kristen — November 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    So honored to be featured. Thanks Rachel!

  14. Shaina — November 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I love how authentic Kristen is. Her blog is a joy to read, and how fun to see her featured here!

  15. Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) — November 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I love Kristen! Loved this interview. She’s been one of my favorites for a long time.

  16. Aviva Goldfarb — November 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I love that Kristen’s favorite time of day is family dinner–that’s mine too. My least favorite is also doing the whole hair/makeup/etc. routine. I love the days when I can stay in sweats all day. So much fun to get a peek into how she gets it all done and stays true to who she is.

  17. JulieD — November 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Love you, Kristen!! :)

  18. Bree — November 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I love her blog too! Another great interview Rachel!

  19. Melissa @ Bless This Mess — November 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Oooh I just love these! Wonderful to see a new light on some of the favorites. Go Kristen!

  20. kelley {mountain mama cooks} — November 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I just love Kristin! Her office is beautiful and it’s always nice to learn more about her!!

  21. Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Kristen is the best, so kind and beautiful inside and out. This is a great interview. And I love that the electric skillet is her favorite…my mom used one all the time but I don’t have one. Adding that to my list!

  22. Kim Bee — November 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    This is such a great interview. I adore Kristen. I recently won a mentorship with her and she’s been so amazing at getting me to really look at what I like and what speaks to me. It’s been so life changing in such a short time. She is as down to earth as she seems.

    Digging her office. I’m just getting ready to redo mine. It’s tiny but hopefully it will be as functional as Kristen’s.

  23. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — November 22, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Kristen is always so giving and nice and willing to help. Her blog is a big inspiration to me, great interview, so glad you are doing this!

  24. shelly (cookies and cups) — December 4, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I love this! Kristen is one of my favorites and she really gives me perspective on what matters. Love her!

  25. Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds — February 27, 2013 at 11:09 am

    First, I wanted to say that I haven reading the archives of your blog and am really enjoying it. Hopefully, I’ll be caught up in the next day or so. Also, can you let Kristen know that her favorite quote is by a pastor named Steve Furtick.

    • Rachel Gurk — February 27th, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

      Thanks so much! Glad to have you here. :) I’ll pass that info on to Kristen, thanks for sharing!

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