Aggie's Kitchen

Sharing is Caring…the spirit of blogging revisited {and a chocolate snack}

I’ve been in a weird place lately. I can’t really pinpoint what’s bugging me, but I’ve heard myself say this out loud a couple times this week to friends (who also happen to be bloggers) – I feel like I’ve lost my voice.

Not literally, of course…but in a sense, lately I am just finding it hard to do something that has always come to me pretty easily – write about the food that I love to eat. I started this blog 3 and a half years ago and it’s pretty much changed me. I know that sounds dramatic, but I’m thinking some of you who also blog or have found something you can call your own can relate. At the time I started ‘writing’ I was a fairly new mom, at home taking care of two adorable little ones who pretty much lovingly demanded all of my time and attention, whether it was for a feeding, a changing, or just a playing…and that was okay. That’s what being a mom is and I felt incredibly blessed that I was able to stay home and do all of those things all day. But I’m thinking other’s might be able to relate when I say this, sometimes being a mommy gets kind of lonely. I personally needed something to do other than mommy stuff, and blogging about food opened up a whole new world for me. What’s funny is that when you start a blog you really have no idea if anyone is actually reading it, and that’s okay. Eventually someone starts to read it, and in my case those that started reading my blog 3 and a half years ago have actually become pretty good ‘real life friends’ today and I absolutely cherish that.

Anyway…excuse my ramblings here today, I guess I just felt like I had to process what I was feeling out loud. I think part of the reason I lost my voice is that I have been in a cooking rut. It happens to all of us and I’ll get through it…like today. Once I have food to talk about all will be good, especially because I have decided that I’m going to get over a few things when it comes to blogging… like having perfect pictures for instance. One of my huge hangups lately is getting good photos of my food…the whole process, from snapping the photo to uploading it onto my computer to going through the several shots of one dish then picking your favorite one, just really zaps all my creative energy sometimes! Sometimes my favorite photos are taken from my iphone, and after a quick edit with fun camera apps, I’m set…just look at this post I did almost instantly after I cooked my meal. I said it then, and I’ll say it now, that is my kind of blogging! Learning about photography has definitely been fun, I knew NOTHING about taking pictures when I started, so I just need to let. it. goooooo.

So here’s my point today…the spirit of blogging, to me, has always been about sharing. Sharing ideas, sharing photos, sharing recipes, sharing bits and pieces of myself. I truly enjoy visiting other blogs and experiencing their ‘shares’ too…it’s something I’ve been doing a lot less of lately due to too many distractions (read: Facebook and Twitter) and I’m making it a point to get back to reading and visiting more often. It’s back to the basics I guess. Back to what I love to do…talk about food.

This week a couple of my blogging friends shared things with me that I think are worthy of sharing with you…all three of these blog posts really stuck with me and I’m thankful they were shared with me…

Sandy sent me a note the other day sharing this thoughtful post about ‘perfectionism’: Confessions of Perfectionists: Finding Contentment and Peace in the Home and Life You Have

Kim shared a great interview on her blog about getting organized before the holiday craziness hits…I took away so many things from this post, especially that I NEED to start meal planning a couple days at a time (for the sake of sanity people!!): Interview With “I’m an Organizing Junkie”

And I’m so glad Julie sent me a note to read this post from Wenderly, it’s very touching and just beautiful (just like Miss Wendy)…go read it: Delivery Day Flowers

…and of course, after all these words written here I can’t just leave you without something to eat right? And what’s even better is that it’s a SWEET! I haven’t made a sweet in my kitchen in I have no idea how long, I think my kitchen and this blog may just go into shock!

I’m sharing this yummy Chocolate Crunch snack mix with friends tonight at a chili party…us Floridians are in for a treat with our little cold front this weekend! Brrr….I love it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sea Salted Chocolate Crunch Snack Mix

Recipe adapted from Eating Well

3 cups wheat cereal (such as Chex)
3 cups pretzels, broken in pieces
2 cups roasted almonds
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1 bar bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli’s)
2-3 big pinches of sea salt

Combine cereal, pretzels, almonds and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. In a heat proof bowl, break chocolate up in to small chunks and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Take out and stir. Continue to heat for 20-30 seconds and stirring until chocolate is completely melted.
Spoon chocolate over snack mix and gently stir until all coated. Lay chocolate coated snack mix out on a large piece of parchment paper on your counter or in a baking sheet. While chocolate is still soft, generously sprinkle 2-3 pinches of sea salt over snack mix. Set out to harden, about 30 minutes.

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75 comments on “Sharing is Caring…the spirit of blogging revisited {and a chocolate snack}”

  1. I love you, Aggie. I love that you’re so honest, I love your food, your blog and I love that you’re my friend. Hugs to you. Thank you for sharing with me the post that Sandy shared with you. It resonates with me too. Wendy’s post was so beautiful and made me cry.

    Your crunch snack looks awesome and what a great idea to add sea salt!

  2. Yay Aggie! I think you’re so on point. Thanks for saying it out loud. And thanks for sharing too. ; ) Love ya!

  3. blogger friends somehow know exactly what you need ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s a strange thing how that happens!

    thanks for sharing the links – and this chocolate snack looks awesome!

    • you are so right!! Thank you…and I’m practicing a lot of restraint right now not munching on that chocolate snack here on the counter ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great post Aggie. We all love you, your food, your writing, and your photos. I read the post from Wenderly yesterday (cried), and am headed over to read the other two now.
    Also–that is some mighty delicious looking snack mix! Yum!

    • that post brought a tear to my eye too Rachel. I’m so happy I met you through blogging!! Have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Great post! I’ve totally been in a blogging rut myself! The harder I try to take decent photos the worse they seem to come out so I’ve gone off the reservation. I hope it starts clicking again. Im glad to hear I’m not the only one who goes through these little ruts!

    • Ha, I feel the same way Kathleen! The harder I try the worse they are…it’s like I need a reset button or something. Too much thinking or something, lol. You aren’t alone and your photos are always beautiful!!

  6. I can totally relate. Some days it is easier than others but I agree with you that there are just so many distractions! I love the way that we are able to share in this community! Have a great weekend!

  7. Ohhhh I just love you! You’re amazing. I needed to hear this. You make me happy.

    And that chocolate crunch snack makes me hor…..WHOA. WHAT? Wow. …Just….wow.

  8. Thank you for being so real and upfront. I love this post and am sorry you’ve had a struggle with things that used to come naturally. I think anyone who’s been blogging awhile can relate. And also about the photography piece..I went from knowing nothing to obsessing and yes, it can just zap all the mojo right out of you if you let it.

    Yes you said to being a mommy, finding an outlet, and connecting with others…not just changing diapers. I can relate ๐Ÿ™‚

    Here’s to you finding your mojo and thanks for the great recipe!

    • Avery, thanks so much for your comment…it kind of feels like a big hug!! I miss my mojo!! I love that this is what I do, but when it’s a struggle it makes me kinda sad! Maybe I just needed to say it outloud…get reconnected or something ๐Ÿ™‚

      I love that you started from knowing nothing about photography! Your photos are amazing … there is a lot to learn and I’m hoping to get a 50mm for Christmas so I’m thinking that it might spark some photography fun in my world ๐Ÿ™‚

      Glad we can relate ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a great weekend!!

  9. Your blog is so wonderful aggie! And i totally understand your reasons for starting it-all moms need and deserve something that is their own. This crunchy snack sounds amazinggg

  10. This chocolate treat looks perfect…salty and sweet! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Oh Aggie, you have hit the nail on the head! Have you been reading my mind? I’ve been feeling the exact same way, and you’ll certainly see it from how many posts I’ve done over the past year! And when I do get to it I’ve been trying to update my blog in many ways, lose patience with perfection then end up starting all over again. And don’t get me started on taking photos! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings Aggie, and just know that you’re not the only one who goes through these ups and downs. We, your followers, love your blog and how you share ๐Ÿ™‚

    • thank you so much for your note Sarah. Glad to know I’m not alone! I think you’ll get back to blogging when the time is right…right ? ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Oh Aggie you are a gem. I just love you to pieces.

  13. I understand, and couldn’t agree more! We get so caught up in the perfect picture and yes it does drain you out. Thanks for sharing your thought and this great chocolate snack!

    A fan from overseas ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I think our writing evolves just like our cooking over the years, and goes through peaks and valleys. It all changes when we find that “next best recipe” that we want to share with our friends. We are glad that you still enjoy blogging Addie!

    • *Aggie, a sleepy headed typo:D

      • ๐Ÿ™‚

        yes, I’m with ya on the peaks and valleys…and honestly I haven’t been cooking anything that has knocked my socks off lately. It’s been a lot of ‘getting it on the table’ kind of food if you know what I mean. Thanks Val ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Awwww, you are such a darling. What a lovely post. I find that sometimes I need to take a step back and let my eyes refocus. Sounds like that’s exactly what you’re doing. Big warm hugs to you sweet friend. And thank you so much for including my post, I am so touched and flattered. xo

    • YES! I am feeling totally cross-eyed right now Wendy! lol. Thank you for that post this week, it was heartwarming and I loved it. xo

  16. Ohhhh girl…you know I have been in this place several several SEVERAL times. I cant tell you how many times I have wanted to quit my blog. I probably cant even count. But then I think about all of the wonderful friendships I have formed and all of the amazing opportunities it has brought my way. And then I think..welll hell, if I stop my blog what else will I do? Cooking is the only good thing I know how to do do. It has somewhat become part of my identity….but then sometimes that depresses me too. Is cooking really the only thing I know how to do….goodness, that sucks. Also, as a food blogger, we all put toooooo much pressure on ourselves. We obsess about stats, uniques,payouts(which I cant even pay my cell phone bill with mine). Oh and the many comments= how successful you are. Yeah, what ever, I gave up on the notion a LONG time ago. know I love you and I love your blog, we started up at the same I get you girl! Blog when you want to, dont fret if your photo isnt right. Do it for you and do what feels right!!!!

    • all those little things def do add up Leslie, I know you can relate. You are one of my first bloggy buddies, I love that!! (Now if we can just meet in person!!!!)
      I think of it as a gift that I fell into this…b/c like you said, what would I do if I didn’t…b/c if you think about it, some people can live a whole life without something to be passionate about. At least we have our food ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I’m letting it all go girl! I love ya!! Thanks so much for being there.

  17. I’m so glad you wrote this. I can totally relate to what you’re experiencing. Also? I’m so thankful we are friends and that you’re writing this blog — otherwise, we never would have met. Hugs to you, Aggie. Big hugs.

    • seriously, although I have a love/hate relationship with twitter…the love always wins b/c I’ve met so many good good people, you are one of them. You are the best MJ, can’t wait to see you again!

  18. How did you know I needed to hear this today? You truly just made my morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think so many of us feel the same way. (At least I know I do!) As women, as moms, as bloggers, we strive to be the best and can be really hard on ourselves. Sometimes you have to just let the hang ups gooooooooo and just do what you love be who you are. Easier said then done sometimes but I’m taking your words and carrying them with me today!! I hope you have a GREAT weekend, lady!! Hugs, xoxo

    • We are so stinkin hard on ouselves Kelley! I know it. I’m so glad I published this post, and that we are on the same page. We need to work together on letting it all go and just being the best version of us right? Love ya!!!!! Wish I was hanging in PC w ya this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Aggie, A big hug for you! It seems you started “feeling weird” a few months ago. I Love your blog and your ramblings and your honesty. You are just going through a “growth spurt”. There are times in a woman’s life that she reflects, reprioritizes, and regroups to go forward. This is one of those times, embrace it. And keep being You

    • oh my gosh Linda, yes a growth spurt! A dear friend said something similar to recently…and I see it. Lots of reflection, reprioritizing and regrouping going on here…and it’s all GOOD…all for the better. Thank you so much for your comment, you lifted me up!!

  20. Aww, I think this happens to all of us sometimes. Maybe take a little break – I’m sure inspiration will come again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I need a good day in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚ a break doesn’t sound bad either though ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you are having a nice weekend Kerstin!

  21. Great post Aggie! Sometimes its easy to kind of get in a rut, but with time one normally comes back to what their passionate about. The Chocolate covered Snack Mix looks tasty. This week I bought my first Salted Chocolate Bar I heard so many people rave about them so I decided to break down and give it a try!

    • I’m such a sucker for salted chocolate! And chili chocolate, have you tried that? I have admitted that I am not a huge lover of chocolate…UNLESS it’s paired with something salty (like PB!!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you are having a great weekend Karriann!

      • I can’t say I’ve had chili chocolate? Who makes that? I am a huge fan of chocolate ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wish there was a dark chocolate diet cause I’d be on that bandwagon ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Love Chocolate and PB….especially ice cream. Cheers to YOU!

  22. I can totally relate…and need to step back and breathe now and again. Good food for thought. I’m so glad to have discovered your wonderful blog this year ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Can I just add a hug? And a thanks so much for encouraging me along the way ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh Merry!!! I’ve been thinking of you! I saw your 31 days and it put a smile on my face!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I felt that hug!! Sending one back!

  24. I totally understand where you are coming from, Aggie! I’ve been in such a rut that I only just posted something for November yesterday! Sometimes I think taking a step back and just letting things like life happen as they need to… it all will come back into balance. I had some time the last couple of days to relax and cook a bit, not necessarily just to fill the blog, but to enjoy some time in the kitchen again. It seems to be helping me get my “mojo” back.

  25. Aggie,
    Obviously from the comments above your thoughts and feelings are not just you. It happens to everyone….getting in a rut. It could be blogging, our jobs, our family life. I know your blog has taken you places you have never dreamed of. Be proud of what you have accomplished. We can’t be perfect with every photo or every recipe or every word written. I get burned out with my blog all the time and mine is just a hobby. But for me, it is about the sharing and motivating others to try a new recipe that could become a family favorite. We have to find a balance in all parts of our lives. I struggle with this all the time. You are a fabulous person Aggie. Keep doing what you are doing.

    PS….that is probably the healthiest chocolate crunch I have ever seen.

  26. Hi Aggie
    I can totally relate to your thoughts. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with my blog but then I remember how much I enjoy blogging.
    I too have to find the balance between Facebook/SU/Pinterest (thank God I’m not a twitter fan) and actually work for my blog.
    I hope you’ll keep writing, it’s always a pleasure to read you ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. These look delicious! So glad to read what you shared today, I can totally relate!

  28. Great post, Aggie. We’ve all been there, and the good news, at least in my experience, is that getting over that hump makes for better blogging when the time is right. In the meantime I really enjoyed getting to know a little more about you. Hope you had a great weekend!

  29. Well said. I’ve been there, and I thought it was just me. Learning as I go!

  30. well written! i think all bloggers go through this from time to time!

    ps. i can’t wait to try this snack mix…love the chocolate-salt combo here!

  31. This is such a heartfelt and honest post, Aggie. I always enjoy visiting your blog because I feel that a piece of your generous personality shines through in every post. Keep doing what you’re doing, Aggie. You know I love you!


  33. Great post Aggie. You know, I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering why I hadn’t seen a post from you via SU in a while. I figured you were jetsetting here or there. I’m glad you bared your soul to us….the people who care about you and don’t worry, you’re not alone. I lose my voice a lot too, and for whatever reason once you get off the blogging horse, it’s hard to get back on sometimes. Keep up the great work Aggie. I love reading your words and seeing your photos, iPhone or not!


  34. I hear you Aggie, I think we all get into a rut at some point (and at multiple times). It’s like writer’s block in a way. When that happens to me, I try to refocus on why I started my blog in the first place.

  35. Oh can I ever relate. Life gets in the way of my creativity so very often that I have become a bit inconsistent with my blogging and it plagues me. I don’t like being fallible. Thank you so much for sharing luv ๐Ÿ˜€

  36. Pingback: Roasted Chilie and Cheddar Corn Muffins | Aggie's Kitchen

  37. There must be something in the air!! I have been going through so many different emotions when it comes to my blog lately. Some days I love it, and some days I hate that it feels like it takes so much of my time, and time away from my kids. I think I’m going to be having some changes come the first of the year – and yes, letting go of some of that perfectionism is definitely part of it. I love what you do here and will continue to read no matter what!!

  38. You’ve obviously said something that resonates with many. I started a recipe website almost 17 years ago with one sole purpose. To have a resource, a place where I could store all of my favorite dishes. No photos, no stories, just the foods I loved. I started to share the site with friends and family and no one was more surprised than me that others gravitated there too.

    Fast forward all these years to the world of food blogging. Where I had to hope that my creative touch could translate to both photography and writing; not necessarily a given when your passion is really about cooking and feeding family and friends.

    The expectations can be wearisome sometimes and so I cut back from 3 posts a week to 2; reminding myself this was started for me as a way to share what I love, not as a way to gain readers, comments or revenue. Keeping that focus helps me a lot because this can be such a competitive environment and I don’t do it to compete!

    You do a lovely job Aggie…it’s evident a lot enjoy visiting your kitchen and I’m sure your voice will be there for you each and every time you share something because you want to; not because you have to. In the meantime? Well, you’ve got those adorable children to keep you busy, right? Take good care.

  39. Oh Aggie, I have felt this way my whole life. That is why it has been scary for me to take the first step into blogging. I have spent my entire life afraid to move and I know it’s because of my childhood. You are extraordinary to share so openly in this way. There are tears in my eyes now just trying to get this to you. Wow, how can have a voice to blog if I am having a difficult time finding a voice to send this to you. I truly admire you for your beautiful spirit. You truly know how to be.

  40. It can be really tricky to keep our enthusiasm, drive and spunk sometimes. I had one of those days today where I “lost” my voice. Hopefully it will return tomorrow. Sounds like we got into this whole deal in quite the same way ๐Ÿ™‚ xxoo

  41. Hey you know, it is like the tide or the waves. Sometimes they are really big and high and crashing in with full force, and sometimes they are just low and light and far out there from the shoreline. Blogging is like the tide, it can come in cycles, and once you embrace that then you will not feel so pressured to always pump out a post a day, or even a week.

    Bon appetit!

  42. XO Aggie! I think we need to get together for a girl’s weekend of fun and talk and wine and shopping, and that’s bound to get you all pumped up and enthusiastic again!! Big hugs!

  43. I loved reading about your rut. It happens, and it’s inspiring to hear how you’re dealing with it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep at it! You are talented ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. I hate that I’m showing up late to this amazing post…. but you know that I LOVE your heart here. We’ve already chatted about this, but I wanted to write a quick note here to tell you that I LOVE this post. Those pictures in this post? LOVE them! And I love that you’re getting back to what got you blogging in the first place. Me too. Just uploaded pics of food from my iPhone today. ha. So proud of you GirlFriend! Luv ya’!

  45. A cooking rut? Never heard of it. I jest, I jest! We’ve all had them and like you, I get frustrated by the photography side of things too. Sometimes it comes together beautifully, but it can be disheartening when it doesn’t. It can drag the whole process down.
    I remember Wendy’s post, it made me cry. Thanks for sharing everything you are going through!

  46. Aggie!!!

    Oh wow…can I relate! I’m finally getting a chance to visit my favorite blogs via my blogroll instead of what just comes my way via stumble…lots of the same peeps, but not all my bloggy friends share via stumble so I’ve been missing you!

    I was on a huge creative peak all summer with my blog and really found my groove. September I had my biggest traffic month ever and it felt great. My site got hacked, my traffic took a hit because of it, and then in my husband got laid off. It was a blessing in disguise because as an attorney….he opened up his own law practice. It’s been amazing, and doors have been opening up left in right.

    All that to say (unfortunately) my blogging has had to take a back seat! I built him a websited, started him with social media (FB and Twitter) and became his office manager/administrative assistant/marketer. It’s been SO great to use what I learned through food blogging in the business world for hubby!! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been great to work together. But my blog hasn’t recovered yet….it’s okay….I’ll get there.

    What it did do was help reclaim my focus…..sharing good food with friends, and the fun of whipping up a post instead of the PERFECTION that was taking over my posts. Or the promoting of posts which really had started eating up a lot of time. I felt married to promoting blog posts and wasn’t liking that. So if my blog traffic never recovers, and I never have a banner month like I did in September…at least I’ve reclaimed my life, and am back to “just blogging” for fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And about pics…..I felt like I turned a learning curve, and then only a month off the new camera can really affect what you’ve learned. I feel like I forgot everything. LOL!

    MISS YOU!!! and all my blogging friends….and I really fell off the face of the earth on Twitter.

  47. Today feels like old times….sitting down in rare few minutes of quiet in the house…my hot tea and reading my favorite blogs!! Of course my 3 year old has been barking orders here and there so it’s not as peaceful as it sounds. It’s just been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to read my faves!!

  48. Hi there… Love your site, just found this recipe. What do you think about substituting the wheat chex for rice or corn? I have Celiacs Abe am always looking for good gluten free options. I love the idea of the bittersweet chocolate and may even add a touch of red pepper flakes!

    Thanks again!