Today’s “a day in the life” is the darling Lauren of Keep It Sweet Desserts. I’ve seen Lauren transform her blog into a very successful business and I could not be more impressed. Seeing pictures around the holidays of boxes upon boxes of sweet goodies to be shipped out made me so proud of Lauren and everything she has accomplished.
It’s a serious follow-your-heart and do what you love success story and I could not be happier for Lauren. But you’ll see from her schedule below that it takes a lot of hard work on her part! She’s so dedicated to doing what she loves.
PS: She has a Cookie of the Month Club. ‘Nuff said.
Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.
I started blogging the summer after I got married. I had hit a point in my life where I felt a little lost with where I was going career-wise and happened to finally have some free time. My sister suggested I started a food blog to document all of my dessert creations and help me find a place for myself outside of work. I had no idea it would help me find a business or that I would decide to open an online bakery just a year and a half later!
Take me through your day.
Wow, this really depends on the time of year and how crazy business is. During the holidays, I spent my entire day at the commercial kitchen (10 am – 8 pm or so) and barely took any breaks (I literally would snack on cookies for my lunch). Hours before and after that were set aside for packaging. I guess a more “typical” day is something like this:
6:00 am wake up, spend the next two hours catching up on emails, reading some blogs, eating breakfast and saying hi to friends on Twitter. I’ll also take a look at orders in my pipeline and see what I need to start baking and map out my day.
8:00 am Packaging time! If it is a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, I am likely putting together any of the packages that go out for the day. That literally means I am wrapping, packaging, writing gift notes, making UPS shipping labels, all that fun stuff. Depending on how many packages I have, that can be anywhere from two to six hours.
10 am If I’m not crazy busy, I’ll take a break for the gym. I used to go to the gym early in the mornings but lately I’m liking this time of day. One of the perks of running my own business is that I can actually make my own schedule. This could be a run, weight circuit, Insanity DVD or Supreme 90 Day DVD. I’m really lucky that my gym is in my apartment building! After my workout is a snack and then back to work.
11 am – 1 pm Possibly more packaging, likely a trip to the UPS store, Trader Joes and/or Costco.
1 pm LUNCH. When I’m not substituting cookies for lunch I actually eat a salad for lunch. Shocking, right?
The afternoon is all about baking. If I have orders that I need to prepare for, I’m baking for them. If things are slow and I actually have the option, I’ll take some time to experiment with new recipes for the blog or my next Cookie of the Month. Those are my fun daysJ I’ll break in the afternoon for a snack (yes, I eat a lot), and then work until at least 5 or 6.
If things aren’t crazy I’ll actually cook dinner, though usually I try to make a lot on the weekends to carry us through a few days.
7 pm – Hopefully Matt will be home and we can sit down to dinner together. The rest of the night is a combination of catching up with Matt, relaxing in front of the TV, reading blogs/browsing Pinterest, catching up on emails. Most of my day is pretty active on my feet so I am always exhausted.
9 pm – I actually love to get into bed at 9 and watch TV for an hour or so but usually this is more like 10. Normally the strategy is to go to bed and get AWAY from the kitchen and extra cookies calling my name.
What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?
Cookie dough scoop. All of my big scoops broke during the holiday rush and I didn’t know what to do! Oh, and my kitchen scale… ok, and a mixer, can’t live without any of those!
What is the most important part of your day? Why?
I love my time for breakfast, coffee and online catch up. No matter how busy I am, I give myself that time to relax to sort of set a non-stressful tone for the day. Besides, you don’t want me skipping breakfast, I will be one unhappy lady.
What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?
Every once and a while it takes me FOREVER to get my packages out the door. When it gets to be 4/5:00 and I am scrambling to get to UPS in time for that day’s shipment deadline I get really anxious.
What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
I love Fridays and Saturdays. Since I ship during the first half of the week, Sundays are more like my Mondays. I’m often working 7 days a week, but it is always more relaxed on Friday and Saturday. Plus, Friday night and Saturday morning are the best times for Matt and I to have to ourselves.
If you had to choose one place to travel to every year over and over, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?
That is so hard, as long as there is good food and wine, I’m in. Maybe Napa since I’ve been there twice in the last few years?
If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?
I would LOVE to go to the Greek Islands. My husband and I were supposed to go there on our honeymoon but actually changed plans three weeks before because of the chaos happening in Greece at the time. We are waiting to go when we have a honeymoon-type budget again.
What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?
I was really excited when I got out of my cookie funk and made these Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cinnamon Ginger Buttercream and Ginger Cookie Pecan Brittle.
What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?
Probably the Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing and the Sweet and Salty Candy Bar Blondies.
What have you learned since you began blogging?
I really just found myself. I don’t know if I ever would have started Keep It Sweet Desserts if I wasn’t blogging. I feel so incredibly lucky to be a part of such an incredible community that has supported me so much in that endeavor.
Who would you like to see featured here in the future?
Thanks Lauren! Take me to the Greek Islands with you, k? I’ll bring Ben along so it won’t be a weird third-wheel situation.