Blogger Recognition Award

The Blogger Recognition Award

Hello everyone and happy (late) Monday! I hope all of your weekends were lovely and filled with fun. I spent mine studying and to be perfectly honest, I had a really wonderful time doing just that. I suppose I did take breaks for brunch and some shopping and buying all my Thanksgiving supplies (which I’m super excited about), but otherwise it was a super chill time and I feel like even though I’m still extremely nervous about my upcoming tests I’m feeling a smidgen of a bit more confident.

So yes, I have a lot more studying scheduled for this week plus another post that I’m REALLY excited about to celebrate Sometimes I Cook’s most recent milestone! I may also try to squeeze in an October favorites post, but because I’ve got the CBest on the 23rd and the CSet on the 30th those are my first priorities. If I don’t get it up this week I’ll have it up next week (just in time for the end of Novembe ~yay!)

For now, let chat about the lovely Krista Kemp and her blog, From Food Stamps To A Future, who graciously nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Blogger Recognition Award

First of all, a huge THANK YOU to Krista! It was so kind of you to nominate me for this award and I’m thrilled to be able to say some fantastic things about your blog on here. I was first drawn to Krista’s blog by our mutual love of crafting and DIY projects. Krista is an incredibly talented creator and an amazing entrepreneur – she has that knack to see the greatness in what she ( and other people) can offer to others and is then able to gain a market for her talent. That alone is something I look up to so highly because I sure as hell can’t do it haha. The things that really keep me coming back to her blog though are her incredible life story and warm personality. Without giving too much away (because you really ought to read her All About Me page yourself) she has lead a life filled with the ups and downs that often crush lesser willed people. Life has been difficult for her, but instead of letting that push her down she’s learned from the obstacles she’s had to face and is sharing that knowledge with the world through her blog. Even more inspiring Krista is the type of person who will offer friendly words, encouragement, and advice without asking for anything in return – people as giving as her are rare. So I’ll finish up by saying again thank you so so much for your nomination Krista, you’re a huge inspiration to me and I hope we become even better friends!

How Sometimes I Cook got started:

I originally started this blog way back in 2011 as a place to document recipes and provide my friends some help in the cooking department. Unfortunately I wasn’t terribly motivated to post because instead of cooking and writing about it at home I could instead go to my friends houses for a night of cooking, drinking, and girl time. The competition as too good and my blog ended up severely neglected. It wasn’t until I moved from Ohio to California that I really got into blogging. I used it as a way to not only post recipes, but to keep in touch with my family and friends back home. I wanted to show everyone how weird California was and since group texts can be terribly confusing what better way to do that than write rant about it here. I’ve since become accustomed to most things, but still sometimes… Anyway, I started posting more and more until I got to where I am today! I will say it’s a little surreal to me that ANYONE outside of the people who personally know me want to read my posts, but hey you’re more than welcome!

What little advice I can offer:

I feel like I am the worst person to ask for blog advice (mostly because I consider myself a complete noob at this), but c’est la vie!

I think the best tip I can give is to not box yourself in when it comes to blog content. A huge problem I had when I first started was that not only was it easier to cook with my friends, but I kept getting writer’s block because I had barricaded myself into such a narrow focus. I know every successful blogger out there has given the mantra to make sure your blog has a defined objective – I just don’t think anyone should feel as if they are trapped writing on only one specific topic. Your blog should be your place to freely express yourself and have fun! And since almost every person I’ve met in life is more than one dimensional feel free to let your blog be that way too.

15 Blogs I would like to nominate for this award:

1. Cultivating Foodies
2. Empower Love
3. The Falling Thoughts
4. Goan Imports
5. In These Global Shoes
6. Peace from Panic
7. Peachy Tales
8. A Pinch of Sea Salt
9. Ordinary Adventures
10. The Cricket Pages
11. Robyn Christi | Things and Stuff
12. Sincerely, Kaytee
13.  Tales of Chinese Cooking
14. Teacup Talk
15. With All My Affection

I suppose that’s it then! If you’ve been nominated (or are just interested) please click on the award image to visit Edge of Night, Eve Estelle’s blog, where the originating post was published! As always, have a fantastic day!

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Coping with Depression

I don’t normally do this, but I’d like to ask everyone reading to please be kind in the comments section. Since the thought of writing this entered my head I’ve had so so many reservations surrounding whether I should even make this post. Would I be able to express myself properly? Should I really be writing about something so personal online? I think even after I post this I’ll wonder if it really was a good idea. Doubts aside, I hope by writing this I can give other people going through similar mental health issues a feeling of camaraderie as well as, hopefully, give some advice on what helped me through my most recent bout of depression.

Depression for me isn’t just a feeling of unhappiness or apathy. When I say I’m depressed I mean that I feel as if every bit of myself has been stripped from my body –  like I’m a walking shell of a human. Sometimes it feels as if someone has such a tight grip on my heart that searing pain is being strangled out of my core and I can do nothing but curl into a ball and wait for it to pass. Other times it’s as if I’m being suffocated by a pervasive cloud of self doubt and hate. During those times I’ll lay on the floor thinking that everything I have done, am doing, and will do is for nothing and that I am a useless piece of trash single-handedly dragging society down. However even with all of these terrible feelings tearing through me the absolute worst part of my depression is constant and absolute hollowness. Like I’m not a part of myself anymore. Nothing makes me happy and all I can hope for is that my depression will pass quickly.

Two weeks ago on Monday I woke up and immediately knew some sort of chemical imbalance had gone off in my brain because I was drowning in my usual symptoms.

Rationally I knew what was happening and the ways to combat it – after all I got my bachelor’s in psychology. However, there is a difference between knowing the information you were taught sitting behind a desk in a classroom and the ability to execute those coping mechanisms when you can’t be bothered to get out of bed because all you can focus on is the empty feeling that has settled into every pore of your body.

I was finally able to muster enough energy to drag myself out of bed around one in the afternoon. I brewed myself a cup of tea and began my (current) routine of grad school applications. Which went terribly because I could not get myself to focus on anything. So I decided, okay clearly this isn’t helping me – time to try something else. Which was when I thought I could try starting up on an art commission my friend had asked me to work on for his new office space. Now I’m not going to say I was immediately put back in a regular state of mind, but oh my God was planning and working on that painting essential in getting me out of the pit I’d fallen into. There was something about being able to work on a project that gave tangible results each day that helped to bring back bits of my self-esteem each day. I’m not going to lie and say it was easy to get myself out of bed each day and paint. There were definitely days I had to force myself, but I was able to because I knew each time I added a bit more to that painting a bit of my melancholy would be released and some feeling of self would return.

I finished the painting last week and, although not completely myself again, I am in such a better place.

So my advice to anyone else who may be going through similar troubles is to take something that will challenge you and POUR yourself into conquering it. Perhaps you have your own painting idea or craft project or exercise routine or recipe you want to try out. Find an activity that has a clear ending and execute it. No matter how badly you want to curl up and do nothing, no matter how pointless you think it is at the time – finish your project. Seeing that you can accomplish something, even if it’s just in small fragments, will help to clear the fog of depression and bring you back to yourself.

For anyone else who suffers from depression or any other mental health condition I want to remind you that you are not defined by your illness. The person you are and the person your ailment momentarily forces you to be are two different people. You can overcome the negative feelings pushed upon you by your brain and become the best you, you can be. And please remember if you’re feeling too overwhelmed and alone there are mental health experts out there who are more than willing to stand by you and help ♥

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September Changes

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Hello everyone! As you may have noticed, a few changes have been happening around the blog for the past two weeks. I’d like to apologize for messing with the theme so many times! I’m sure it was a little disorienting, so yes, sorry about that! Anyway, I just wanted to write a quick blurb on what’s been happening and what you can expect in the future, so grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage and let’s get to it!

First thing – the top navigation bar has expanded! This past month I made a point to use my free time more constructively –  which resulted in me spending more and more time working on my blog. And because of the extra time I was spending here I was inspired to write about more of my hobbies and activities outside of the realm of food. As much as I love posting recipes I also found posting about crafting projects, photography, and especially interesting days to be really fulfilling as well! Unfortunately, whilst I was making these posts I noticed anything not food related was being slightly thrown in a corner and broadly labeled as a ‘life’ post. So – being the compulsively organized person I am – I went through every post and re-categorized each one previously labeled ‘life’ to a more specific category. And even though that was a bit of a pain I can now honestly say – I am so happy with how everything has turned out. I feel like the new labels have not only made the blog easier to navigate, but have also allowed me to feel better about deviating from my usual recipe posts to a broader range of things that interest me.

The next change you may have noticed is quite small and nestled into the very front corner of the navigation bar. I added an about me page! To be completely honest I had the worst time deciding whether I even wanted to write one of these. Mainly because I find writing about myself terribly, terribly awkward. Then (once I finally wrote up a first draft) I obsessed over whether it gave everyone the best possible impression of me. I feel as if I never know if I’m properly conveying myself online – I’m always worried that my personality isn’t quite making it fully through or that I’m inadvertently being awkward or that I seem mean or really just any and all sorts of worst case scenarios. In the end though, I really wanted to add a personal touch to my blog and discomfort aside the best way to do that was an about me. Hopefully I didn’t completely fudge it up, but I suppose even if it’s not perfect I at least got over my weird aversion and wrote something (and can always change it later).

Now, the last thing I wanted to talk about is the new posting schedule I’ve made for myself. Sometimes I Cook has morphed into many different things for me. Originally it was just a place to catalog recipes. Then, after moving away from Cincinnati, it became a place to show my family and friends what life was like in California. Now that I’ve been talking and interacting so much more with everyone on WordPress I want it to be a place that’s interesting for a huge variety of people to visit. With that hope in mind what better way to add interest than by posting more? So I’ll now be posting three days a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The posts will mostly be the same content wise, a bit more lifestyle heavy than before I suppose, there will just be quite a bit more of them!

Well I think that’s about it,  hopefully you’re as excited as I am about the new directions the blog is heading in and I’ll see you Wednesday!

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