Today’s “a day in the life” is someone famous! That’s right–famous. She’s been on the Dr. Oz show! I’m so happy to have Brandi of BranAppetit here today. I just love her. Some day we’re going to hang out and eat popcorn. It’s going to happen, Brandi! 

Brandi is a complete sweetheart, and if you don’t know her–you should remedy that asap! 

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Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

Hi everyone! My name is Brandi and I blog, cook, and do the dishes over at BranAppetit! It’s still a mystery to me how I ended up having a food blog – I couldn’t cook at all 9 years ago when I got married. But I started learning and got hooked on Food Network and cookbooks, and I’ve never looked back. I started my blog on a cold, cold winter night almost 4 years ago and I’ve loved every minute.

Take me through your day. 

      • 6:30 AM: Wake up. This should be earlier…but I just can’t get out of bed in the morning.
      • 7:00 AM: Find something fast for breakfast – we’re usually in a rush to leave for work
      • 7:15 AM: Leave for work (OR 2 days a week, I work from home, so I don’t leave with Nick).
      • 8:00 AM: working! I’ve got a full time job, so my days are full of that job from 8-5 every day.
      • 12:00 PM: lunch break! In the office, this means I’m eating lunch with Nick and we’re probably running errands (getting a snack) or watching random youtube videos. On the days that I’m home, I usually make myself some lunch and try to get some other things made for the blog during that hour.
      • 1:00 PM – 5 PM: work, work work.
      • 5:45 PM: get home from work! Routine is usually: get home, get mail, let the dog out, feed the dog and cats, wash dishes, get dinner started.
      • 6-7 PM: eat dinner at some point, whenever dinner is ready.
      • 7:30 PM: clean up from dinner, pack lunches for the next day, get in pajamas!
      • 8 – 11 PM: This is such a random mix of things in this time slot. Some is watching the shows that we like. Sometimes, we’re playing music/practicing guitar, banjo, keyboard. My blogging time is always in this time slot, too, with my laptop perched on a blanket, on my lap, on the couch, while I watch Friends reruns or something on HGTV.
      • 11 PM: Bed!

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

I love, love, love my KitchenAid mixer, mostly because of the bread hook. I love that I can let it knead the dough for me when I don’t feel like getting the counter dirty or have other things to do.

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

The most important part of every day, I think, is the commute to and from work. Nick and I ride together, so we’re either talking about something, figuring out a problem, or listening to good music. I love that time because we have with no other distractions.

What is your favorite part of your day? Why?

My favorite part would definitely be coming home to Maggie. She’s always so happy to see us, no matter what.

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

Um…the 8 hours that I’m at work?

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

When the weather is nice, I would definitely say our screened in porch. I love it out there. When it’s nicer (spring, summer, fall), we eat on the porch, have parties, and drink our coffee on the porch whenever we can.

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

Oy. So, so many. Our house is a 80+ year old farm house, with the original latham plaster walls, so that means that our entire house is wallpapered. Yup…wallpapered. We’ve pulled down the fruit wallpaper that was in the kitchen and took down the fancy shimmery-pink wallpaper that was in the dining room, too. We’ve actually got 2 rooms in the queue for this winter: our den and the master bedroom. But if I could choose one to do with an unlimited budget…I think I would either do our bedroom OR redo the kitchen and open it up a little more to the rest of the house.

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

I love Saturdays. No alarm clocks, easy wake-ups, big breakfasts at home in pajamas, and lots of coffee. Plus, in the fall, there’s football!

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?

I would say somewhere in Europe, but I’m not sure where. I’ve only been to Spain, and I loved it, but I want to go everywhere. Maybe Italy? I could go there every year, probably.

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

I would go all over the place, for months, until I saw everything I wanted to see.

What is your favorite cookbook?

That’s a tie between anything Barefoot Contessa and Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I use both of those the most.

What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?

Definitely my farmhouse bread, because I finally made a good loaf of bread after years of working at it.

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

My mom’s Breakfast Casserole is the most popular recipe on the blog, and I’m not surprised! It’s easy, it’s what we have for breakfast every holiday, and it’s definitely a family favorite.

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!

Oh, so sooooo many. I think my worst offender is probably those mini chocolate covered donuts in the shrink wrap from gas stations. They’re not anywhere near fresh, but I love them anyway.

What have you learned since you began blogging?

I’ve learned so much from blogging over the past 4 years, it’s almost hard to explain. I’ve grown in my writing, my recipe development, and my failures (and successes) in the kitchen. I’ve learned to just write what I want to write and not worry about anything else. That some bloggers are crazy…sometimes, including me. More than anything else, though, I’ve found a group of people online that love food as much as I do, and I’ve made some incredible friends through blogging that I never would have otherwise. 

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

My most challenging part is just balance. Since I do work full time, coming home to get on a computer again to write a post is not usually what I want do every night. Finding that balance between working / living / cuddling / reading / cooking is tough, and it’s a daily struggle.

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

Don’t get into food blogging for the money ;) If you’re interested in cooking or food – at all – I think blogging is a great creative outlet, especially for those of us who aren’t in the food industry. And the biggest piece of advice I have for bloggers, or those who want to be bloggers, is to join in the community. There are some incredible bloggers out there – meet them, find people in your area, go to conferences, shake hands or hug, make face to face friendships. You won’t be sorry. Also – forget the numbers. If you want to blog, blog. If you want to cook and take pictures and write….do it. Don’t do it to see how many views you can get and don’t be sad unless something goes viral. Your audience will find you, and if you’re doing things that you love, everything will happen as it should.

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

Kristen – Dine & Dish

Cassie – Bake your Day

Ali – Gimme Some Oven 

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about yourself?

I’m left handed, but use scissors with my right. I’m learning how to play the banjo. My dream of all dreams is to be the official blogger for my favorite band. We’ll see what happens…

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Thanks Brandi! I loved learning more about you. Love your porch, too! 

You can also find Brandi on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest