Today’s “a day in the life” is the busy Kita (seriously, Kita, how do you do it all?) of Pass the Sushi and Girl Carnivore. She’s funny, talented, and I want to eat at her house every day. Can we work that out, Kita?
Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.
I started food blogging in 2010. It was a way of challenging myself to create wholesome meals for myself and my man more often than I was. I had no idea it would turn into a job and create another food blog, as well as such a great variety of friends and contacts.
By day, I run the coolest comic shop on the east coast, Captain Blue Hen Comics, and by night, I cook, snap photos, edit posts, and keep up with my families crazy active life. We are rock climbers, mountain bikers, runners, and just generally don’t do well sitting still. I starting photography on the side about a year ago and am working to expand that business as well. Food blogger photo sessions! That could be a thing, right?
I have a funky work schedule that changes depending on the day of the week, some days I open my shop, other days I close it. Either way, every day is a wee bit different. Yesterday I worked at 9, had a photo shoot at 2, was at the gym by 4 and was recording chunks of our podcast at 6 before making dinner…. it gets crazy. Routine, who needs that?
6:00AM the kitty alarm clock starts going off. followed by the puppy alarm clock and by 7 am regretting not getting up at 5 like I planned…. Exactly 2 peanut butter pretzel nuggets.
7:15 AM: If its a gym day, I’m at the gym huffing it (which means its too cold or rainy to run or ride my bike)
9:00 AM: Breakfast, one egg over multigrain toast with salsa.
10:00 AM work til 5 most days. (If not, I break my day up with a coffee shop to get online work done, then cooking and photo editing at home. )
5:30 PM home, make dinner, snap photos.
8 PM Rock gym, 3 times a week.
9 PM (if no rock gym, 10PM if climbing) social media, blog post prep for the next day *yeah, I’m way ahead like that* social shares and follow up.
What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?
My giant shiny red skillet. I use it like every single day.
What is your favorite part of your day? Why?
Kitty cuddle time. It comes directly after my shower no matter when I hit the gym that day. My cat goes nuts for a few moments of silence where we just snuggle. It’s some weird habit he picked up years ago that I can’t imagine not taking a few moments for. I do really enjoy that moment when my man skitters from the shower to the closet too… that view never get’s old.
What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?
Not waking up early. I tend to want to be a good snuggler and stay in bed. But really, if I get up and start kicking booty early, I get way more accomplished.
If you could choose one room in your house to spend the WHOLE day in, which room would it be? Why?
My teeny tiny kitchen (which is really a kitchen / dining room, so it’s not that tiny…)
If you could choose one room in your house to remodel (on an unlimited budget!) which room would it be and why?
My kitchen. It’s sooo silly shaped. We are in the process or remodeling, so hopefully it will be awesome with a ton more cabinet space when done! My man is making my custom everything, and we already have new built ins in the kitchen…. glorious I tell you.
Or… the bathroom. I mean, a tub I could swim in would be pretty sweet.
What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
All of them? I don’t work a normal schedule, so there is no ‘work week’ or ‘weekend’ for me. Every day is a little bit different. Sundays I reserve for making brunch, Wednesday is an active day at my comic shop because it’s when the new books hit. It’s always buzzing and fun.
If you had to choose one place to travel to every year, where would it be? Why? Have you been there before?
Everywhere. There isn’t a place I don’t want to go. I can’t imagine returning to the same place over and over when you could spend your days seeing all the things.
What is your favorite quote or verse?
Who can say for certain that he should live to see tomorrow. ~Tibetan Proverb
What is your favorite cookbook?
Probably my big Cook’s tomb. It’s huge and I could implement much menace with it. But really, it’s my go to when I am thinking of something. I just refer to the Cook’s Illustrated collection of all things that were ever created in the kitchen. If it’s not there, I cry a little then start to figure out which speciality book the recipe or idea may be featured in.
What recipe on your blog are you most proud of?
I like to really think of all posts as a small victory. Every time I post, it’s something that I am proud to showcase. I haven’t (in a really long time) posted a recipe or photo that I didn’t enjoy. I know that not all food photos are stunning, but I try very hard to not showcase anything but work I am proud of. It is not that I don’t think that all food is yummy, it’s that as a photographer, I was taught to curate my work.
Show your audience the images you want them to associate with you and your style, and you will cultivate the proper audience for yourself. I was looking at pinterest to see what one post really stood out at me, but I have to stay, I love all of them a little bit because I can see my work develop and really hone in on the food I want to showcase over the years.
What recipe on your blog do your readers seem to love most?
So, funny story. One night I had nothing… not a single thing to post. I was digging and digging, really struggling to come up with something. i finally decided to post those ‘ugly’ images of a family meal we grew up having and as you can guess, the post went viral. It was a facebook, pinterest, twitter success getting so much attention I really started to hate it. I couldn’t believe that this 20 minute meal with bad photos was getting more love than my hours spent stuffing my own sausage. But, really, it’s a fun family friendly pizza dinner, so I got over myself and kind of just laughed at the irony of it.
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 love to nibble on Cheez-its here and there. Something about the salty cheezy combo really hits home. But, I also have to admit that we have to keep 2 blocks of Velveeta in my house at all times. Not for me, but because my man insists macaroni and cheese can be made no other way.
What have you learned since you began blogging?
I have learned a LOT. First, it was all of the ins and outs of blogging. The etiquette, the unspoken rules. The art of styling food. How to photograph food.
Then came the community. It was awesome. When Foodbuzz was strong, we all commented and really helped one another out. Social media is an ever evolving medium though, and now that facebook is king and we are all stretched thin, I think a new sort of sharing and caring has evolved, new groups, and new ways to be supportive of one another.
When I first started, I did everything alone. It wasn’t until I put myself out there that everything really started to click for me. I never imagined Food Blogging would be a job. Let alone, take me to some of the awesome places it has or introduced me to the amazing people it has.
Then, I also needed to learn to roll with it. I became overwhelmed, bogged down. I work a full time job, do photography, and am a freakin mountain bike racer. The amount of stress I was creating for myself to keep up in the blog scene was crushing me. One night, my boyfriend said all I did was work…. I immediately shut my laptop and walked away from the computer. Food blogs are great. What we do is awesome. But real life…. the people you talk to every day. The friends you sit at a cafe with and chat with…. That is far more important than ‘likes’.
I found a happy place between the two. And some days I struggle to maintain a balance. I have learned that if a post isn’t scheduled for 6am tomorrow because you were out at a Chinese restaurant having a snowball fight in the parking lot, it’s ok. No one is going to blacklist you. They will all be there to see what awesome creation you made… when you get to them. But don’t miss out on those moments that are here right now.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?
Validating myself. I often undersell myself, ‘oh, I’m just a food blogger’. No, I am a food blogger who has provided steady content for 5 years. I am an editor and social media wizard. Realizing that what I do matters and is meaningful is very very challenging for myself.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?
Cook for those you love. Always do what you love. Because if you don’t love it it shows and you will burn out. But if you are cooking, or doing anything because you love it or for those who you love, it will shine.
Who would you like to see featured here in the future?
Seriously, everyone. I dig reading about all of us. It’s cool to get to know people this way.
Thanks Kita! I’m completely craving that bubble up pizza now.