I am so excited about today’s “a day in the life.”
I am just so excited about this series in general, and I’m glad to have gotten some positive feedback last week. Thanks for being the greatest readers ever, as always!
Aggie from Aggie’s Kitchen is one of the nicest people I have ever “met.” (Hope to meet some day!) She is so down-to-earth, friendly, and supportive of “smaller” bloggers. She even asked me to guest post on her site waaaaay back in the day when I was known as “Not Rachael Ray.”
Aggie features tons of great recipes on her site, many of which are for very figure-friendly foods…goodness knows we could all use more of those! She is clearly very passionate not only about her family and friends, but also food, health and fitness.
I can’t say enough good things about her, but I’ll let her tell you more about herself and what a typical day looks like in her life!
Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.
I’m a 30-something mom of 2, married and living in Central Florida. I’m Italian (first born in the States in the family) and grew up around food (my family had a restaurant most of my life) but didn’t really start cooking until I really had to (between my grandparents house and the restaurant I never had to!). Once I started cooking (and watching cooking shows) I realized how much I loved feeding people…and myself. Over the years, nutrition became even more important to me so the food that I cook and eat started to evolve. I love learning, so food became my subject.
I started Aggie’s Kitchen on a whim one afternoon 4 years ago after a nudge from my niece who knew more about blogs than I did. I started taking pictures of what I made for dinner and posting recipes online. It became a creative outlet for me, and I began to create friendships with other “foodies”…it opened up a whole new world of people for me. Some of my best friends today are people I’ve met through food blogging and I’m so grateful for that.
Take me through your day.
- 6:30 am-ish – COFFEE, time to get kids ready for school
- 7 am – breakfasts for kids, morning routines, bag’s packed, more coffee
- 8 am – off to school! (with smoothie in hand, breakfast on the go)
- 8:45 – time to work out (run or walk the trail by kid’s school or hit gym) or run errands (grocery store or Target!)
- 10 am – snack (usually an apple or yogurt or hard boiled egg), housework and online time (blog posts, social media, email)
- 1 pm – LUNCH (salad, veggie burger, tuna sandwich, new recipe for blog post), recipe testing and more online time
- 3 pm – time to pick up the kids from school and maybe run an errand on way home
- 4 pm – Play Time with the kids (could be one of the following activities: park, basketball practice, dance class, library, backyard, front yard, bike riding, swimming)
- 5:30 – 6 pm – dinner prep then time to eat!
- 7 pm – kids in bath, homework checked, kitchen cleaned, lunches made, TV time (as a family we like to watch Wheel of Fortune, Cake Boss, American Idol, Muppet Show)
- 8 pm – bedtime stories
- 9 pm – Mommy Time! (TV time with hubby, TV time for me, reading)
- 11 pm – zzzzzzzzzzz
What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?
I absolutely have to have a good sharp knife when I’m cooking. I get cranky when I don’t. I cut myself very badly last year because I was using a dull knife, so lesson learned.
What is your favorite part of your day? Why?
Any time of day that is quiet is my favorite. I’ve learned that over the years.
What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?
When the alarm clock goes off. I love my sleep and I love my cozy bed.
If you could choose one room in your house to remodel (on an unlimited budget!) which room would it be and why?
I would love to remodel my kitchen. Nice granite countertops and new appliances would be nice, a new dishwasher a must…and I want a nice big sink with antique looking faucets. And a pretty tile backsplash. I have always wanted a Tuscan-style kitchen.
And to be clear…not saying I don’t love my kitchen as is. I do love it. But it could always be better :)
What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
I love Fridays. Nothing can go wrong on Fridays. Friday nights usually mean pizza (and wine) and relaxing with the family and I look forward to it all day.
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 have to say Sanibel Island, FL. My husband and I were there for our 1 year anniversary and then again as a family a few years ago. We stayed at a simple condo on the beach with a screened in porch with a view of the Gulf, a quiet pool and easy access to the beach. We spent our days by the water. The beaches are very natural, peaceful and not crowded just as I think beaches should be. The shells and sea life are spectacular and the sunsets are just perfect. And the seafood is fresh. Ahhh… I love Sanibel.
If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?
I would love to visit Sicily and Greece. We would have to be staying near the water and all summer long.
Favorite quote or verse?
The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
What is your favorite cookbook?
The Barefoot Contessa cookbook. It was one of the first cookbooks I purchased for myself and I have cooked so many recipes out of it. Some of the pages are smudged which makes me love it even more.
What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?
Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Burritos were a game changer for me. I remember after eating them (and my husband loving them) realizing that I really really enjoyed meatless meals. I made them around the time that I started to cut back a lot of meat in my diet so it was fun to experiment with new flavors. I never would have thought my husband would have liked these – I was so proud that he did. :)
What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?
This Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Sautéed Chickpeas and Spinach has been a very popular recipe on the blog and I’ve received a lot of comments and feedback from people who have made it themselves (that always makes me happy!!)
What have you learned since you began blogging?
I’ve learned so many things! I’ve learned that you will be successful as long as you are being authentic. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not be perfect and to not compare yourself to others (this is very important). I’ve learned to take better pictures, though that is still a work in progress. I’ve learned that variety and trying new things (recipes, style of posting, topics) will keep you out of a blogging rut. I’ve learned to learn from others.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?
Keeping up with a schedule. I’ve never put my blog on a schedule, and sometimes that shows. Lately I’ve been writing ideas/recipes for blog posts on a blank calendar and it’s really kept me on track to post more consistently. I love blogging and I miss it when a few days (or more!) go by in between posts.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?
Take baby steps. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when starting either. For cooking, I say pick a new recipe to try each week. Do it on a day where you aren’t pressed for time and you can focus. Keep it simple at first and grow from there. Enjoy the whole process of cooking, even the mess ups.
For blogging, I always say, just start posting! I think a lot of people who want to start blogging have big expectations and it keeps them from starting. The reality is, no one is reading your blog when you start it, unless you send it to them. So your mom, your sister and your significant other will be your first readers. Maybe a few friends. That’s great! It gives you time to figure out all the techie stuff that you have to learn when you first start publishing posts (photos being off center or missing, words scrolling off the page, etc etc). Once you start posting, start commenting on other blogs. This is how you get the ball rolling as far as getting “readers”. Don’t expect a lot of comments or readers up front, it’s such a building process – and it does not need to be perfect! That is the beautiful part about blogging…it’s all YOU, embrace the good and the flaws. :)
Thanks for letting us get a peek of your life, Aggie! I want to dig into both of those dishes you gave me pictures of….and then go for a walk on the beach! Ahhh…
If you could ask your favorite food blogger any question, what would it be?