A quick recap of 2016 and my 2017 Culinary and Blog Goals
2016 is a year I personally would not like to repeat. From The Jr. Sous Pug’s diabetes diagnosis and wrestling with the diabetes monster yet again to get him onto a somewhat manageable schedule to my Aunt Peg’s death and all the chaos in between – quite frankly, 2016 needs a swift stiletto kick. I have built bridges and also burned a few that should have been torched years ago. There have been so many changes. Add to that with losing many of our beloved musical and film icons, a beyond divisive election that has exposed so many sides of ugly, a changed career landscape and it’s just been a heck of the year.
I’m approaching 2017 with a sense of optimism because, as I learned early on in life, you have two choices – you can either laugh or cry and dammit, I know I much rather prefer to laugh and look at life with a “glass half full” mindset.
2016 saw a career change for me personally as I left the legal eagle 9to9 behind. My last firm had some amazing people but some of the characters that I personally worked for that departed – well, let’s just say they left a lasting impression that was not good along with some severe stress and anxiety and health issues that were exacerbated by it. So, after 20+ years working in the legal field, quite frankly, I decided that it was time for a career change. I will forever be grateful for the experience and knowledge that I gained working at some of the best law firms in the country but sometimes you just need to switch it up a bit.
With Cooking In Stilettos and my writing, I finally took the leap and made it full time and while it’s been an adjustment, I am happy to say I know I made the right decision. I am able to take on projects that I love, work with clients that I adore and trust and am able to do what I love. I just needed to jump off the ledge.
Personally, I do not believe in New Year’s Resolutions and much rather prefer to set goals. Resolutions tend to carry this guilt factor and goals have a more positive spin, don’t you think? Last year, I did not set any major culinary or blog goals so, for this coming year year, I decided to set a few goals, both short and long term with the hope that at the end of 2017, they will be crossed off my list. This blog has grown by leaps and bounds and this year, there is a whole list of goals I have written down in my notebook, a few of which I’ll share here.
For 2017, I am hoping to attend a couple blogging conferences or trips with bloggers I adore like Kim, Kita and Dionne. One of the best virtual blog conferences I know is the Online Blogging Conference which is something I swear by every year. If you are interested in joining up this January to give your blog a new start, they have a great deal going on. There are some seriously fabulous sessions planned, including sessions on video. Totally disclosure – I’m honored to be working with OBC this year and it’s got a lot for the new, novice and intermediate blogger.
I am also tempted to go to BlogHerFood again this year – we will see as they haven’t announced the dates or venue yet. I cannot recommend going to conferences and the learning at these conferences enough. If you told me 8 years ago that I would be doing what I do, I’d probably shake my head in disbelief and shove my head back in my legal books.
On the travel front, I will be hopefully checking out the Sun Wine & Food Fest this year as my gal Manouschka from Single Serving Bytes is one of the chefs presenting again this year. As it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from the cottage, I think it will be fun this January. Possibly, there might be other events, but it all depends on the Jr. Sous Pug and things at home.
Things have changed so much in the blogging landscape with not only blogs, but different social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter so you might see some different content on each depending on the day. It seems like things change on the regular.
Also, I hope to experiment more with video. Having been on camera when I was younger many moons ago and the aversion to mix camera work with my legal work, the camera and I have not always been the best of friends. There is something about working in a trial and a juror possibly seeing you “from somewhere” that could be a bit of a distraction. I’m hoping to change that more in 2017.
This year, I will be bringing you new and updated recipes that I know you are going to love. I am going on a bit of a healthier journey regarding some recipes and I hope you will join me for dishes that deliver in taste but hopefully are better for you. Don’t get me wrong, there will be indulgences from time to time and of course cocktails and boozy bites, but all in moderation, right? Of course we will have our favorite brunch, tailgate and entertaining recipes along with quick recipes perfect for those busy weeknights and more.
I will be taking some cooking classes if all goes well – whether in Philadelphia or Connecticut – it all depends on schedule. I will be going back and forth to the cottage this year as I work on the kitchen there and the Jr. Sous Pug and the evil minx both have a love for the cottage life. The cat keeps gazing at the lake like she’s about to go fishing for dinner or something.
This year I’m also hoping to start crossing things off my culinary bucket list like making things like fresh pasta, bread (with and without the bread machine) and learning how to use the Instapot and AirFryer that have been glaring at me from their boxes in my office. With all of the upheaval, I haven’t had time to learn how to use either yet – but this year, it’s all about facing the fears, right?
The blog is going to have some “work done” mostly on the backend to make things easier for y’all to navigate, including, I hope, a visual recipe index. It’s hard to believe that this little blog that started eons ago has grown to have so many recipes – many of which need updated photos and recipe tweaking. If there is something you want to see or have a question on, you can always feel free to contact me!
Finally, I hope to have a few fun things planned for you in 2017 including a few fun giveaways. Without you, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do what I love and know that I am thankful for your visiting every single day. So – with that, thank you and please join me for a fun-filled 2017 here on Cooking In Stilettos.
Happy New Year!
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