Hi friends! How’s it going? It’s been a pretty crazy past couple of weeks. If you don’t follow me along on Instagram. I’ll give you a short little synopsis of how my life has been. I have been stupid crazy sick for the basically the last half of February. I didn’t plan it and it REALLY put a damper on things. I was diagnosed with influenza strain b which apparently is the uncommon strain of the flu, so whoever gave that to me. I don’t really like you. At all. To say I was struggling is the understatement of the year. I won’t go into detail because this is a food blog and I feel as if it may be a bit unappetizing, but just know that is the reason I haven’t been delivering any deliciously lightened up recipes recently. I am a little bummed because I had some fun things in mind to celebrate my first year of blogging and not ripping my hairs out when trying to understand the basis of HTML. (Side note: You web designers out there deserve all of the chocolate chip cookies. Seriously. This stuff is not a walk in the park!)
To celebrate I’m going to do one of the things that I am still a little wary of when It comes to blogging. I’m going to talk about life this past year and how much I love it.
For those of you who haven’t been on the DDOP train since the beginning. I’ll tell you all about how this little thing got started. It starts with my daughter. My perfect little 21 month old. Yes. I’m that mom who is saying 21 months old. My sister called me out on it a few weeks ago. Yes I know it sounds so lame. I used to make fun of the mom’s who did it, but that was when I wasn’t a first time mom. I now see why so many of those moms do it. You do it because saying “She’s two.” is way too hard and if you say “She’s one.” You know you’re lying to yourself and you also think that the person who you’re telling this to is going to think, “whoa she’s huge. what do you feed her?” I get it. I’m here for you. Here’s a tissue. And some chocolate chip cookies. It’s gonna be okay. I’ve got a few more months until she’s two and I promise when she turns two I will stop, just give me these last few months of being kind of lame.
Here she is when she didn’t even have a name yet. Here she is just an hour or two old. This will forever be my favorite photograph of our family. My fingers look like little sausages and I am SO swollen from all of the fluids that they filled me up with, but it’s perfect in my heart. This was the moment when I knew I would do everything in my power to make sure this sweet girl grew up with all the love in the world. This was also the moment I knew that I was going to do something with my life that I wanted to because I now had this little being who would look up to me. Pass me the tissues. I can’t even handle she’s not a tiny babe any longer.
And then there’s this photo from when she was 6 or 7 days old. I never slept back then, but she was totally worth it.
Most of you probably know, Pepper is my sweet girl’s name. (Please don’t ever ask me what I am going to do if/when we have another child because I haven’t thought that through and trust me it bothers me sometimes!) On one sleepless night shortly after we brought her home. I mentioned to Eric randomly that “Daily Dose of Pepper” would be a pretty great name for a blog, if I ever got around to having a blog. Eric knew I wanted to be a food blogger for years. I loved taking photographs of food whether I made it myself or we were out to dinner and I loved creating new recipes. I have looked up to many food bloggers and always thought to myself. “Ha! That will never ever happen for me. I wouldn’t know where to begin.” Honestly, I didn’t even know how to buy web address name. (Which now I know is called a domain name!) However, Eric knew how and he believed in me and he bought me this little ol’ domain name for my birthday exactly one month after having sweet Pepper. What a gift, huh? It was the most thoughtful gift I think I have ever received. It was also the most overwhelming gift I have ever received. I was struggling with postpartum depression. I was struggling with being a first time mom. I was struggling with breastfeeding my baby and feeding myself anything more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was a serious chore. How in the heck would I EVER thoughtfully write out recipes, photograph them, and share them with oh say maybe two people who would read this? I shut the computer after all of these thoughts and I didn’t open it again for almost 6 months. For those of you who aren’t aware, In October of 2015, I decided to join Weight Watchers in effort to help with my postpartum and the self confidence that I had lost after having my sweet girl, This also meant that I joined a community on Instagram of amazing woman who share their weight loss tips, tricks, and eats all of the time. (I really do mean all the time.) I was already in love with Instagram before that and I would post random photos of life and food a lot, but when I decided to start sharing my daily eats more people started following along on my journey and started making different foods I was sharing. I decided shortly after the new year that my new years resolution would be to launch the blog at some point in 2016.. and I did in March 2016 with A LOT OF HELP. I had lots and lots of help from my mama who would lend a hand with Pepper as I worked on photographing recipes and writing. And Eric, who basically learned everything that needed to be learned when it came to starting a blog because I didn’t understand the language and honestly, there were some tears while trying to understand it. I still don’t, but I try. Without these two people, there would never be this site. They are the driving force behind what makes me, me. They believe in me when I completely forget how to, they are always there to taste test and give honest opinions, and reel me in when I’m going a little off course. I love them so much I could burst. I also want to give a little shout out to my baby cakes, Pepper, who makes my life so full and is such a good little girl. She dances around my feet as I am cooking and cleaning the kitchen without very much whining whatsoever even on the busier days with new recipes and photographing. She makes working from home a breeze and I love her so much for that. I want her to stay little forever, but I also can’t wait until I can teach her to do dishes because the worst part about having a food blog is the dishes.
This year has been full of learning, growing, loving, laughing, moving to a new home, and dishes. Always with the dishes. I wouldn’t have it any other way! (well except for the dishes.) I can’t wait to get started on year two of Daily Dose of Pepper. I have a lot of goals this year and I am itching to get started as soon as possible. I’ll be sharing a lot of my lightened up versions of old recipes, creations that come out of random stuff I find in the back of my freezer and pantry, basics in the kitchen of DDOP, and maybe even branch out into some fun DIY type of stuff. I’m also putting together a give away in the near future to celebrate the birthday of DDOP!
I just want to say thank you. Honestly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. A huge reason I didn’t want to start writing a blog was because I didn’t think anyone would read it and I didn’t have the extra time to pour my heart and soul into something that no one was going to read. I am a very all or nothing type of person so I knew If I was going to do this that I would be giving it my all. I remember when I first posted my Biscuits N’ Gravy Bake I would check the statistics almost every other minute and I would get so excited when I would see 12 people had viewed it in one day. Even though I was probably at least 8 of those 12 views. Thank you to those few, because you made my freakin’ day. Now, when I look at my statistics, I see 3-5k views on a normal day and sometimes up to 10k on a really, really good day. To this day, I STILL screen shot my best days and send them to all my close friends and family. I jump up and down with excitement because I am so happy to be doing something that I love in my life and I am so grateful to every single person who reads, enjoys, makes, and gets inspired by the recipes I share. I am not the best at replying to every single message and email in a timely manner, but that is because it is just me doing it. I won’t ever hire anyone else to do that part because it’s important to me to thank each of you who take the time out of your busy lives to tell me how much you enjoy a recipe of mine. I really do give it my all when it comes to my recipes. When I am lightening one up or just throwing something new together there are times we will have the same type of meal for three weeks in a row because I absolutely refuse to put it on the blog unless I feel like it is the most perfect version I can make at that point in time. I stand behind my recipes 100%. I don’t always know how they freeze. (I am a terrible food freezer!) But I always know they will taste pretty dang delicious if you make’m how I make’m!
I’m going to wrap this up, because honestly, I get a little anxious when typing too much without a recipe or very many pictures. I’m pretty sure you aren’t here to read a 10 page auto biography about my life, but if you made it this far, thanks for reading!
Cheers to my second year of blogging. I can’t wait to keep on sharing!
With love from my kitchen to yours,
P.S. Be on the look out for a fun giveaway soon!