Today’s “a day in the life” is the hilarious Shelly of Cookies and Cups. Shelly has an unbelievable talent for creating incredible sweets that, even if I slept at night, I could never dream up. She presents these sweets through gorgeous photography and stories that will have you rolling on the floor in laughter.
I first started my blog at the very end of 2008, when my kiddo went to kindergarten. I still had a little one at home, but having one vs two home all day, certainly it less time consuming! So during naptime I would sit down at the computer and play around. I originally started it to share pictures of things I had made, thinking that I might want to bake for people to make a little extra money. After doing that for like 6 weeks, I found that I enjoyed the blogging experience far more than the order taking business, so my site really started becoming a blog in 2009.
Take me through your day.
- 6:30 AM: I usually get up between 6:30 and 7:00. First things first, I make coffee.
- 7:00 AM: Always revolves around getting the kids ready for school…breakfast, lunches packed, catching the school bus and inevitably a lot of wrangling. Also the Today show.
- 8:00-9:00 AM: The bus comes, and my day begins. I usually sit down at the computer and check emails. This is when I try and catch up on any blog reading, commenting, pinning, tweeting etc. I am a horrible tweeter, so I try and carve out a little bit of time in the mornings dedicated to tweeting.
- 9:00-10:00 AM: This is when I really devise my plan for the day…what I’m going to bake, where I need to go, do I need milk? I generally use this hour to game-plan. I get my bed made and heck, sometimes I even try to shower. Ok, I kid…kinda.
- 10:00-12:00: This is bake time at least 3 days a week. If I’m all caught up on that, I usually food shop, or fine, shoe shop around now. If I’m baking I’m also taking pictures of the process. I have decent light in my kitchen at this time of day, so I try and use it while I can! If I’m home I’m always watching The View now as background noise. Or Access Hollywood Live. When the house is silent I get creeped out.
- 12:00-12:30 PM: I normally try and pause for lunch and a Diet Dr. Pepper. I’m not the best at sitting down for lunch, so this might mean a handful of Smarties or a few tablespoons of peanut butter. I certainly can’t keep up with my instagram friends who eat marvelously healthy avocado-ey lunches. I tried that once and it didn’t feel right.
- 1:00 – 2:00 PM: I usually sit back at the computer and edit pictures or write a post for my other site, That’s What WE Said that I have with my BFF Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.
- 2:00 – 3:00 PM: This is when I start to scramble…the kids will be home soon, so I need to get the dishwasher unloaded, the laundry folded and the house generally put together. When I bake and shoot, my kitchen has a tendency of becoming a disaster zone, so for the most part I try and get this picked up.
- 3:00 – 4:00 PM: My kiddos get home during this hour, so we’re focused on after school snacks, homework and folder emptying during this hour. Pretty standard stuff.
- 4:00 – 7:00 PM: This time is about the time I turn the computer off and start dinner planning and after school activity doing. Most nights we have some sort of practice: soccer, baseball or karate, so basically this time is just about the kids. Either my husband or me will get dinner together and we do our best to sit down and eat together. Doesn’t happen every night, depending on what we have, but we do our best.
- 7:00 – 8:00 PM: It’s get the kids ready for bed and chat with the husband time.
- 8:00 – 8:30 PM: Kids go to bed during this time. They are great about reading in bed, so they have lights out around 9:00, but they always like to read for a while, which is a nice way to unwind.
- 8:30 – 10:30 PM: My husband and I usually sit down in the evenings and watch some TV or a movie.
- 10:30 – 11:00 PM: Bed time, wash face. I always read before bed. Right now I’m reading The Autobiography of Us for my book club, but I can’t fall asleep if I don’t read. I’m weird.
What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?
Boring, but I’m a baker, so it has to be my Kitchen Aid. Also, my good, sharp Santoku knife. I use it for everything, from chopping to scaring the bejeezus out of my husband.
What is the most important part of your day? Why?
I am a morning person, I think. I don’t mind getting up, usually and seeing my kids sweet faces in the morning tops my day. Oh, that and when they go to bed :)
What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?
Least favorite part of my day is simple…putting laundry away. Laundry is my arch nemesis.
If you could choose one room in your house to spend the WHOLE day in, which room would it be? Why?
In my dreams it’s on the couch watching movies all day long, but we all know that isn’t reality. Plus I also know myself well enough that I would be happy doing that for about 2 minutes and then I would get bored. SO I guess my kitchen, because honestly I spend the vast majority of my day in there anyway, and I kinda love my life.
If you could choose one room in your house to remodel (on an unlimited budget!) which room would it be and why?
We just remodeled our kitchen recently, but we certainly didn’t have an unlimited budget…so if that were an option, I would totally redo it again, bumping out walls, adding a huge island…my list would be vast and extensive!
What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
Favorite day is Friday. NO homework to mess with. I have decided I hate homework more as an adult than I ever did as a kid.
If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?
I’d probably travel to Italy, I guess. Kinda boring, but my husband went to Naples on business a few years ago and he LOVED it. So much so that when he came home we put in a Brick Pizza oven in our backyard…so I trust his judgment on travel, and honestly it all comes down to the food, so yeah, Italy.
I’m not sure where I first heard this quote…it might have been from Kristen (Dine and Dish) or maybe it was Kristan (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen) but it’s, “Choose Awkward over Resentment”. So it’s sort of a quote and also a little life lesson that really resonated with me. Choosing that awkward moment where you say no to something, rather than doing something that you didn’t want to do and be resentful the entire time has really become an important lesson for me. It’s tough, but it’s completely freeing.
And also, “expectations are premeditated resentments” …that’s another one I try and remember around my anniversary ;) Love you, honey!
What is your favorite cookbook?
I have so many favorites, and they’re constantly changing, but if I had to pick just one that I go back to time and time again it would have to be Ina’s, The Barefoot Contessa. I have a bunch of her books and honestly you can’t go wrong with any of them, but TBC is the one I probably reference the most. Also, her new Foolproof is amazing too.
What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?
Probably my Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread. People just love peanut butter cups!
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!
Totally, without a doubt, unabashedly Kraft Mac and Cheese. No shame.
What have you learned since you began blogging?
I’ve learned to set small goals for myself and stay focused on them. Sometimes it’s easy to become distracted, especially in a community with so many talented people. But everyone has a value, so it’s important to recognize yours and stay true to what your passion is. Ugh, I can’t believe I said passion. Annoying.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?
Challenging for me is trying to stay true to myself, but also to continue growing. It’s a fine line sometimes.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?
Do it. And turn off your flash.
Ha! Your last answer cracked me up, Shelly. But really–you nailed it. Thanks for telling us about yourself. I’ll join you in the Kraft mac & cheese lovers group.