{a day in the life} Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Today’s “a day in the life” is the hilarious Kristan of Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. Kristan is ridiculously talented and creative (if you need proof, see Lego Rice Krispie Treats, Brains in a Jar, and Junior Mint Cupcakes). She’s also mom to Lucy (and Jon David), who is very close in age to my little man N, so I love seeing what Lucy is up to. 

Plus she watches The Bachelor and writes recaps that are funnier than the show itself.

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confessions

Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

I started blogging in January of 2010. I was a stay at home mom and my son was going to be starting Kindergarten later in the year. I wanted to go back to work, but I also wanted the flexibility of being home when my son was home. I’d been decorating cakes out of my home (shhh…yes, I was a blackmarket birthday cake baker!) for about a year and I loved reading blogs – mainly Bakerella. I decided to try a blog of my own. I’d love to say that it started as a hobby, but I honestly wanted it to be a career. We needed the money!!

Take me through your day. me (1)

6 am: Wake up, get up and around, and go get breakfast. I am one of those crazy people who wakes up starving! I make some hot tea, pop a couple of waffles in the toaster oven, then spread some jelly on them and bring it back to my bedroom. I sit in bed and eat and do a bit of work on my laptop until 6:50 when I go wake up my son who is now 10. Once Jon David is awake and his clothes are laid out, I go hop in the shower. My 2 year old Lucy usually wakes up soon and if I don’t shower before she’s up, it isn’t going to happen!

7:40am: My husband and son leave and Lucy is usually up. I get her changed and fix her hair, then get her breakfast, which is usually waffles or fruit or yogurt or toast. If I have any other emails to respond to or anything I didn’t finish earlier in the morning, I’ll hop on my desktop computer and do that while she eats and watches television.

8:30 – 12:45: If I have baking to do for my blog, I’ll try to get a bit of that done, depending on Lucy’s mood. Usually she will bring some toys in the kitchen and we will listen to the Frozen soundtrack while I bake. And I let her taste test, of course!! If we have errands to run or grocery shopping to do, we take care of that, and I usually throw in a load of laundry and pick up the house. I have a wonderful woman named Rufina come twice a month and do all the deep cleaning, so I just pick up, wipe down bathrooms, vacuum, make beds…easy stuff. If the weather is nice, Lucy and I will walk to the park. She’s at a tough age for going out, so we mostly stay home. At about noon I’ll make Lucy lunch (peanut butter sandwich or cheese and crackers with an applesauce pouch, usually) and then lay her down for a nap.

1 – 2:45 pm: This is when I do the majority of my blog work for the day. Lucy’s naps are super unpredictable – she’s always been my light sleeper. So I get started immediately in case she doesn’t sleep long! I’ll usually work on photographing anything I need for the blog, then editing those photos and answering emails, etc. Rufina comes every Thursday morning and stays through afternoon and that is the day I close myself in the office and do all my blog post writing for an entire week. So all the other days are just baking, photography, social media, emails…stuff like that. It’s honestly a great system and I don’t know what I’d do if Rufina ever quit!! She makes my life a trillion percent easier. Lucy and I just love her and are incredibly thankful for her.

3 pm: Lucy and I go pick Jon David up from school. If it’s nice, we walk because it’s close.

3:15 – 5:30: I help Jon David with homework, make him clean his room, and get the kids a snack. I’ll usually fold laundry or play with Lucy while he does his work, then he’s allowed time on his electronics (laptop or PlayStation or iPod) until dinner. I pack his lunch for the next day and usually fold and put away the laundry I threw in earlier.

5:30 – 6ish: I make dinner. My husband gets home around 6 or a little after and we all eat together. Afterwards, we all help clean up. If Lucy is being particularly crazy, my husband and I will clean up while Jon David plays with her and keeps her occupied. On the rare occasion I have sponsored work on a deadline that I did not complete, I will use this time to get that wrapped up on my computer while my husband cleans up and gets Lucy a bath. We do a great job of working together and it makes me really proud. Our marriage has grown a lot over the past 10 years!

8pm: Lucy goes to bed and Jon David gets showered and ready to lay down at 8:30. I make my list for the next day. I write everything down – phone calls I need to make, a load of laundry, a reminder to pack lunch. I lay that out on my desk for the next day and tuck Jon David in.

8:30pm: I pour a glass of wine and then my husband and I will watch TV and I’ll knit or crochet, or sometimes I’ll just sit with him and read while he watches something or works on his lap top. We are usually in bed by 1030.

What is your favorite part of your day? Why?

When I go get Lucy out of her crib every morning. There is nothing better than a toddler who is happy to see you!

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

Probably the part where I make dinner. I love when we all EAT dinner together, but making dinner and toddlers don’t always mix! So it can be a struggle to get it on the table.

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

My living room. I put a lot of care into making my house feel warm and inviting, and it really does! Our living room is where I nursed Lucy and slept in the recliner when she was a newborn. It’s where we put our Christmas tree and where we have family movie night every Friday. It’s just my favorite.

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

Friday. I don’t cook dinner – we always order dinner in and watch a movie together.

What is your favorite quote or verse?

Choose discomfort over resentment. I heard that at the first blogging conference I ever went to, and it’s what I tell myself every time I feel obligated to say yes to something I don’t want to do.

What is your favorite cookbook?

Well, my best friend Shelly from Cookies and Cups is writing one, and it’s already my favorite. Because I know it will be perfection. And I love her.

What recipe on your blog are you most proud of? 

Do my kids count? When I think about the day that I’m no longer blogging, it’s the posts I shared about my kids that are the ones I know I’ll look back on fondly. Even now, I go read the posts I wrote right after Lucy was born and it makes me so happy to have that written down.

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

My Raspberry Zinger Cake always gets rave reviews. And it’s so pretty!

raspberry zinger cake

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!

I eat everything with no shame. Twinkies, Ramen Noodles, Fruit Roll-Ups, canned frosting with a spoon. I’m beyond saving.

What have you learned since you began blogging?

That working from home is a huge blessing but also a huge challenge. You never leave your job!! It’s important to set boundaries so your work doesn’t creep into your down time or time with your kids.

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

The social part!! I’m not good at crowds and I’m not always good at fitting in. I usually feel like I’m on the verge of saying the wrong thing. All the time.

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Thanks Kristan! I loved learning more about you and I completely agree with your thoughts on working from home. 

You can find more of Kristan 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!

20 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing! It’s fun to see how bloggers juggle their day! I just don’t think I could have done it when my girls were so little!

  2. This was a great read! I love how Kristan draws lines between work and home life and has a great balance. That’s something I’ve been really, really bad at!

  3. I absolutely LOVE seeing how other bloggers spend their days! this was so much fun to read

  4. What a good schedule you have gotten. I am not a morning person so just the thought of getting up at 6am blows my mind. We get up at 6:50 and for some reason that extra 50 minutes sounds like a long time to sleep. You are motivating me to get more done!

  5. I love this {a day in the life} series! I love getting a “behind the scenes” look at some of my favorite bloggers.

  6. I LOVE Kristan. Lucy is a hoot. I am in awe that anyone with toddlers can get any work done during the day. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  7. Isn’t it funny how most recipe developers love to eat OUT! I look forward to those breaks, too!

  8. a) I’mone steal Rufina.

    b) we do the same every Friday night!

    c) I like you.

  9. What a fun interview, I love hearing how other bloggers live/work and I’m sure that Raspberry Zinger Cakes tastes as good as it looks!

  10. I just found your page and just love it! I was looking for some different variations on vegetables and found your roasted broccoli. Thank you so much ! Enjoying looking through your recipes. :)

  11. “I eat everything with no shame. Twinkies, Ramen Noodles, Fruit Roll-Ups, canned frosting with a spoon. I’m beyond saving.” <<< just another reason why I love her so.

  12. cake looks yummy

  13. It is so fun to read these! I love seeing how others balance work/kids/life. I’m not always good at fitting in either. Being a SAHM is seriously turning me into an antisocial hermit.

  14. I love Kristan’s blog! It was one of the first food blogs I came across. Seeing how other stay at home moms spend their day never gets old.

  15. Love this! This girl is the real deal…also dinner time is HARD man! xo

  16. I loved comparing how I run my day in comparison and how similar things can be. I agree with setting limits though, otherwise nothing gets done or you get overwhelmed! well written! :)

  17. Pingback: A Day In the Life

  18. Kristan is my favorite! Loved this!!

  19. Ever since I had a baby, I’ve been wondering how moms are moms and bloggers at the same time. Nice to read things like this. :)

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