{a day in the life} SweetPhi

Today’s “a day in the life” is Phi of SweetPhi. Phi is so sweet, talented and creative. She’s energetic, encouraging and supportive of other bloggers. She’s one to follow, guys! Read on to learn more about Phi. 

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sweetphi

Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

Hi there! My name is Phi and I am so honored to be doing this ‘Day-In-The-Life’ post here on Rachel’s’ fabulous bog-I have been following her blog for years and love seeing all the deliciousness she creates and reading the ‘Day-In-The Life’ series!! I have a food blog called The Sweetphi blog where I share simple,
sweet & savory recipes and love to share how delicious food doesn’t have to have a bazillion ingredients or take hours to make in order for it to be great!

I’ve always loved to cook and bake for friends and family and experiment in the kitchen, but it wasn’t until the urging of one of my friends that I started my blog.  I was looking for a creative outlet and loved the idea of sharing recipes and forming community through food-something I absolutely love!

Since my nicknames Philia - Sweetphi Imagehave always been Phi (Philia is my full name, pronounced like ‘fee – lee – ah’) or Sweetphi (I even had ‘sweetphi’ as my license plate name in NC…too bad where I live now they only allow 7 letters on vanity plates, ‘swetphi’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it lol) I started a free wordpress blog. The blog was just straight up BAD! I would just make something and then write ‘I made this, you should try it’ and then would post a recipe with a horrible photo that was dark, I’m not even sure if you’d be able to tell what it was! But it’s all a learning process, right?

I was slowly plugging along on the blog without rhyme or reason, and then moved to Milwaukee, WI and met my husband.  We had one of those beautiful conversations where we were talking about hopes and dreams for the coming year, and I mentioned that I wanted to work on improving my blog. He is so supportive, and after the conversation I decided to really ‘give it a go’ and have been working very hard on improving it this past year (I moved my blog over from wordpress.com to .org, gave it a little facelift and have been working on improving it ever since.) So even though I’ve had a blog for 3 years, I’d only consider my blog 1 year old!   It is such a fantastic experience to work on improving it, and now I get so excited and energized just thinking about what is all happening and all that I’m learning and all the amazing people I get ‘meet’ through it (like you Rachel – you’re so inspiring and amazing!)

Take me through your day.

  • 5:30 AM: Hit snooze more than once and then finally wake up and get ready for the day.
  • 6:15 AM: Check emails, make sure a scheduled post is live and looks the way I want it to, and if I have time, check what’s happening on social media (sometimes I do this first lol)Sweetphi Image
  • 6:45 AM: Get lunches ready for my hubby and I, grab a quick breakfast that I’ll eat in the car on the way to work. If I have my life together enough I’ll grab some overnight vanilla oats or almond joy chia pudding (recent faves of mine) that I’ve put together the night before.
  • 6:50 AM: Complain in a joking-yet-not way to my hubby that I’m running way behind, and then he takes our dog out for her morning walk. If I’m done making lunches around this time I’ll take her, but I do have to give my hubby credit, he takes her out about 3 of 5 work days (love you babe!)
  • 7:10 AM: Leave for work and then starts the wonderful 45 minute commute (there’s tons of construction going on…and we live riiiight by all of it, yay!)
  • 7:50 AM: Get to work and then it’s work work work…until noon when I have my lunch break and get to check on all my favorite blogs and what they’ve posted!
  • 12:00 PM: Heat up lunch and take a picture of it to send to my hubby (I have a toaster oven at my work, he does not, so it’s a little joke). Then I get to my desk, open a bunch of web pages and proceed to stalk other food blogs (I do this during lunch, otherwise I’d be hungry all the time! Lol).
  • 12:30 Back to work work work
  • 4:00 PM: Get a call from my hubby who ends work earlier than I do (I’m jealous!) and we have a quick conversation where he asks if I’m going to actually leave work on time, I say ‘yes’ but then I don’t and I call on my way home and say how I lost track of time.
  • 5:30 PM: Go to the gym! This is new for me; I try and go at least 3 times a week now.
  • 6:30 PM: Get home and make dinner for my husband and I. If there is a recipe I need to photograph for the blog that I have in my fridge from the night before or part of a process I’ll be taking pictures while I’m cooking (if there’s still light). I’ve been trying to plan better and cook and photograph on the weekends more-it has really helped with my time management!
  • 7:00 PM: Eat dinner and catch up on the day
  • 8:00 PM: Work on photo editing or an upcoming post
  • 10:00 PM: My hubby will remind me it’s 10 PM and that I said I wanted to be done with what I was working on by 10, I’ll say ‘I just need 5 more minutes’
  • 11:00 PM: Finally close my computer and go to bed- wondering why time is flying!

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

It would have to be a toss-up between my knives and my food processor (although I guess one could say a food processor is like a super speedy knife, and kids don’t toss knives lol).  I took a knife skills class at one of my favorite local restaurants last year that changed the way I look at knives, now I take good care of them and use them in practically every meal and have a new appreciation of what an essential kitchen tool they are.

My fridge essentials

Share a photo of your fridge and tell me the top 5 items that are essential.

1.Hummus – I looove hummus, anytime it’s on a menu somewhere I’ll order it and then judge the restaurant based on how I like their hummus lol

2. Cheese – I live in the state of Wisconsin, need I say more?

3. Yogurt – I use yogurt all the time either as a marinade or dressings or just by itself with some fruit or granola!

4. Lemons – I might have a panic attack if there’s not a lemon around, I use them all the time and it’s one of my all-time favorite ingredients.

6. Mustard – Ok, don’t judge me, I loooove mustard, after taking this photo I counted 7 different mustards in my fridge yikes lol!

What is your favorite part of your day? Why?

Definitely in the evening when I come home and see my hubby and then get to cook followed by working on my blog!

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

Uggg, my morning commute, it takes 45 minutes to get to work – through construction!

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

My kitchen! Even though it’s really tiny and one day I hope to have a bigger one, I love cooking and baking and creating recipes! See picture of my tiny kitchen below.

Kitchen Remodel Dream

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

Because I do actually spend so much time in the kitchen, my dream would be to remodel… I have big ideas….but a few dream items include an island with storage and seating and then a window over the sink and counter space! Do you see any counter space in my kitchen now? Cause I sure don’t!  I had to get a little cart that wobbles so I can’t even use that…cue…you should feel sorry for me lol!

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

Fridays! Not only because I have a Five Ingredient Friday series on my blog where each week I share a recipe with 5 Ingredients or less, but because it is the start of a weekend and when I get to work on blog related things – like taking pictures and cooking!

If you had to choose one place to travel to every year, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?

Portland! We went to Portland and Seattle last year in September, and Portland just had this awesome vibe, was absolutely beautiful…and has THE BEST food! Every place we went was amazing!

What is your favorite quote or verse?

I heard this quote when I attended my first food blogger conference and it really resonated with me “never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle” I loved that, and so I googled it and found the whole quote:

Wherever you are in life with whatever you’re doing – you’re going to be ahead of some and behind others. That’s okay. Own where you are. Take time to embrace and celebrate that. Continue moving forward.

And never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

To make it better, it’s from a website called Life Without Pants, lol!

What is your favorite cookbook?

Ahh, there are so many, I have a whole bookshelf full of cookbooks, but if I HAD to choose:

The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook I see it on amazon for 1 penny (so it’s definitely worth the money lol)…my friend gave it to me when she was cleaning out her house years ago so it’s an oldie but goodie, every single thing I’ve ever made out of the book has come out great!

Another favorite of mine that I just recently got and need to finish is Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook. I love anything Martha Stewart!

5 Ingredient Goat cheese stuffed chicken and whole wheat spaghetti

What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?

The savory recipes I’m most proud of would have to be 5 Ingredient goat cheese stuffed chicken with whole wheat spaghetti because it’s super simple and totally delicious…and only has 5 Ingredients!

Triple Chocolate Oreo Cookies

The sweet recipe I’m most proud of (and that I make all the time now) are these Triple Chocolate Oreo Cookies! I mean, three chocolates AND oreos? Yes please! These cookies are starting to be requested ‘when you come over later could you bring some of those chocolate oreo cookies?’

Whole bowl tali sauce recipe

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

My version of The Whole Bowl-Tali Sauce (based on a food truck meal from Portland), the bowl is said to be like ‘eating a hug’ and has more views than any other page on my blog combined! It is definitely delicious and I’ve made it quite a few times so I can see why it is my most popular post!

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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, so I’m really going to ask you not to judge because whenever the rare occasion is that I do enjoy this, my husband always says ‘I AM judging you right now’ lol. My favorite guilty food pleasure is dipping salted pretzels in cold butter! That’s right…the little hard pretzels that one would normally give a kid for lunch, image those, then scraped through butter.

Trust me, I know it sounds odd, but it is SOOOO good. I probably love this snack so much because on one Sunday a month my mom would go to this European specialty grocery store and buy soft pretzel buns (before they were a ‘thing’) and we’d have the buns, toasted with a little butter for lunch!

The other thing I’m absolutely in love with that people think I’m crazy for is canned green beans!  As a food blogger we love fancy things and learning all about the coolest ‘new’ food products, right? Well, up until this year, I had never had canned green beans and when I had them I asked my mother in law – ‘what did you do to these green beans? They’re amazing!’ She looked at me like I was nuts and everyone at the table started laughing. But seriously, I cannot get enough of them; they’re the best thing ever!!! So that’s kind of embarrassing too, we’re still not judging, right?

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

Not comparing myself to others (there are so many amazing food blogs, but this internet space is definitely big enough for everyone and I keep having to remind myself ‘don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle’) and trying to get it all done. I have a very busy day job and then after work and weekends are spent working on recipe development, photographing recipes, etc. Sometimes I feel like I’m not getting everything done that I would like. It’s at those times that I like to remember the reason I’m blogging – which is that I love sharing recipes and it’s a fantastic creative outlet,  and that even if I do 1 small thing a day, it’s helping me work towards my goals I set!

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

Yes, DO IT! If you like food and want to share it with the world, definitely go for it, it is soooo much fun and so rewarding to work on a blog that you have created, but keep in mind it takes a ton of time, so it’s always nice to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint, and if that is something that you think sounds interesting and fun, you should start a blog!

Who would you like to see featured here in the future?

I’d love to see Abby from The Frosted Vegan and Karis from Karis’ Kitchen. I attended BlogHer with these two lovely ladies and they are both super cool!

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Thanks Phi! I need to try pretzels + butter, stat.  

You can find more of Phi on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

 

 

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

9 comments

  1. Pingback: Sweetphi is on A Day in the Life on Rachel Cooks! - Sweetphi

  2. Thank you so much for featuring me and for all your hard work Rachel! And side note: you definitely need to try pretzels and butter, they’re amazing, you’ll fall in love !!

  3. I love this day in the life because I can so relate to the working all day and trying to shoot photos in what little light there is when I get home (in the summer at least!). Definitely checking Sweet Phi out!

  4. Phi is truly the sweetest. Love her and seeing her here!

  5. Love that you featured Phi! Such a sweetheart (and those Oreo chocolate cookies, UHHHYES).

  6. I have the same salad dressing in my fridge–found it at Target in the refrigerated section.

  7. Pingback: How to Roast a Chicken (step-by-step!) - Rachel Cooks

  8. Pingback: How to Roast a Chicken (step-by-step!) - Sweetphi

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