ON FINDING MY IDENTITY AS A BLOGGER

me: a self portrait {me: a self portrait – taken in Galle, Sri Lanka, April 2016}

It’s easy to look at someone’s presence on social media and assume you know what their life is like. I know this is probably starting to read a bit like one of those it’s-not-all-perfect-rainbows-and-smoothie-bowls-and-flowers-and-beach-vacation posts, but what I want to do is tell you about my experience, why I’m falling a little bit out of love with social media, and how I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I started this blog in 2009. Back then there were only a handful of people writing about food, and it was most definitely not a trendy thing to do. I felt like I nerd, and my self-consciousness meant that I kept this blog anonymous. Believe it or not, I started the blog for fun. Fun. Social media was practically non-existent, I had no grand plans to turn my blog into a business, and ‘likes’, ‘followers’, and ‘user engagement’ weren’t things I thought about. I was grateful that people sometimes read my blog, and sometimes left thoughtful comments on my posts. I wrote when I wanted to because I wanted to, and I didn’t give two sh*ts about whether it sounded pretty or elegant or whether my posts were “a good fit for my core audience”. It was just fun and a way to stay busy and out of trouble.

Fast-forward to now, seven years later, and I’m starting from scratch trying to figure out what it is I want to blog about. The truth is, I don’t know. I’m caught in the smoothie-bowl dilemma: my Instagram followers like me for my smoothie bowls. My smoothie bowls generate followers. My smoothie bowls have become my brand. But are they really me? No, not really. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good smoothie bowl as much as the next person, and because of certain dietary issues, I tend to have a smoothie bowl for breakfast more often than not. But is that all I eat? No. Do I think the hashtag ‘cleaneats’ sets the right tone for how we want to be talking about food? No. Do I still use it? Yes, sometimes (because: followers! Likes!). Am I always cheerful and happy and excited about my smoothie bowls? No. I’m a generally positive person, but my life is far from perfect. I sometimes tell my Instagram followers my weekend plans, and they sound like something out of a Jane Austen novel (“I’m going to buy fabrics to make summer-y linen dresses, bake a cake, read a book, and cuddle my cat”). EYEROLL. Yes, it sounds lovely. Yes, it’s sort of what I’m going to be doing. What I don’t mention is how I still haven’t unpacked from the holiday I took in July (it’s now November) because I’m heartbroken about it, how one of my cats keeps puking on my duvet (she’s fine, she just thinks it’s fun), and how some of the people I have to work with make me so mad I sometimes come home and scream into a pillow. So. Not glamorous, huh? Not quite the caption you want to read under a hashtag foodinspo post, is it? It’s much easier to be positive! And happy! And talk about everything that is good and nice and beautiful!

The thing is this: my life is a mix of things that are beautiful, and things that aren’t. Things that work out, and things that don’t. Things that are perfect (yes, my breakfasts really do look like that), and things that aren’t (sometimes my dinners are delicious, but look like slop). Most of the time I’m happy but sometimes I’m heart-achingly sad. My cats are generally cute, but most of the time they’re furry little beasts that shed everywhere and get in the way when I try to take photos for the blog. It’s a life of balance and contrasts, and I’m trying to figure out a way to talk about it in a way that’s honest. Honest to myself, about myself.

I’m also trying to figure out my place in the world of food, and I still don’t know what that is. Do I want to write about food? Style food? Take photos of food? Do a little bit of all three? I have no idea. Am I only interested in food? No, there’s more out there that I’m curious about. What else is important to me? These are all questions I’m trying to answer.

So, as I fumble my way through the realm of food blogging and what it means to me, here’s what you’ll be seeing more of on Everyday Feasts:

  • Food that isn’t smoothies
  • Food that isn’t “clean” (and at some point a bit of a rant on why I don’t like that word in reference to food)
  • Recipes that I actually make in real life (pastaaaaaaa!)
  • Stories about me, my life, and my relationship with food (some of them will be boring)
  • Travel! What I get up to when I, uh, travel
  • Posts that I feel like writing that aren’t accompanied by glossy photos, and that don’t look like they’re trying to fit into a magazine
  • Photos of my cats (they’re cute, I can’t help it)

If these are things you’re not into, that’s ok. I don’t expect everyone to like me or be interested in what I have to say, and I’m ok with that. I’d rather be honest with myself than try to be universally accepted.

On that note: have a gorgeous day, lovelies x

-S

p.s. I’d love to hear your stories of how you found your voice as a blogger.

        

BITS & PIECES | 29.05.16

{a bonnet full of roses in Old Dubai} The past couple of weeks have been absolutely manic. I got the chance to work on a big, fancy food shoot (which was scary and exhilarating at the same time), I said goodbye to one of my coolest friends (Anna, who is now off on a new adventure), and I’ve started piecing together what my summer and fall are going to look like. There are so many exciting things happening that it’s been hard not to feel overwhelmed; my eating and exercise routines have definitely suffered because of all ... Read More
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MY FRIEND YASMINE

A couple of years ago, I decided I needed an inspiring girl gang; a lot of my friends had moved away and I was left with a gaping hole in my life when it came to having girl-friends who I could look up to and talk to about adult things, like what we want to be when we grow up. Since then, I’ve met so many incredible women (in the food world and out of it) who have made me a better person, and who have inspired me with their passion and creativity. Yasmine is one of those people, and here are some of ... Read More
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WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS

…it’s ok to be sad, or frustrated, or angry, or all three. And when you’re done nursing your broken heart and wounded soul, dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and make some darn good lemonade. Also: make this, bake this, drink this, listen to this. x -S ... Read More
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BITS & PIECES | 27.04.16

This week was one of the busiest weeks I’ve had this year. I had work projects due right, left, and center, and I’ve been nursing a melancholy heart after my trip to Sri Lanka (I was so sad to come back). Despite all of the busy-ness—a welcome distraction, for which I am grateful— I managed to carve out a few quiet moments for myself to relax and recuperate. I’ve got a lot on this weekend and over the coming week, and then I’ll be switching gears into summer mode and getting ready to tak ... Read More
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