Happy New Year everyone!
2013 flew by so quickly. It was very eventful and full of milestones for my husband and myself and we are so thankful for all the blessings that God has given us.
Today, I am celebrating a 2 year blogiversary. Hip, hip, hooray!
January 1, 2012 was a big day for me, the day that I officially started this blog. It has been such a wonderful experience. Technically, I started the blog a few months before that, but I wanted to have more than 1 post for people to read, so I kept it all in draft stage and then finally published several posts and made the big announcement on January 1, 2012. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that I enjoyed cooking and sharing my recipes, cooking tips and most of all, stories, with others.
Why did I start blogging?
I’ve loved to write since I was a little girl. In fact, when we first came to America, I hated school, because I didn’t know any English and my schoolwork was horrible. I was only 6 years old, I could read and write in Russian, but English was hard. I remember getting my papers back from the teacher with red pen all over my hard work.
One day, we started a new project – writing a book. Every day after lunch, we would work on our stories – first writing the story, then copying it into a book made from construction paper and illustrating every page. It was the first time that I actually looked forward to school, and after that book project, I made significant improvement in my schoolwork and by 3rd grade, I was easily making A’s in my classes.
Cooking has always been a passion of mine as well. I was fascinated with cooking since I was old enough to be in the kitchen and I’ve enjoyed it my whole life.
For Christmas one year, I decided to compile a cookbook for my sisters of all our family favorite recipes. Well, I was absolutely shocked at how much more work it was than I had expected. I was content to make a cookbook of a small collection of favorites, instead of making it a novel, like I had first dreamed.
I made a discovery with that project of mine, though, and it turned out that even though it was so much work, I loved it and just thrived documenting my work in the kitchen.
From then on, it became a dream of mine to write a cook book someday, and after I started seeing so many wonderful cooking websites and blogs, I knew that was the way to go, even though it took me awhile to figure out what in the world “blogging” was.
Starting to Blog:
I am not gifted with technical brilliance by any means, and I only have basic computer skills, so the technical aspects of the blog definitely scared me. I discovered Blogging with Amy and her blog about blogging was a HUGE help. I’ve learned SO much during these past 2 years, that I surprised even myself. Often, I would feel like my brain must be smoking from all the new information that I was cramming into it.
The first year of blogging for me was kind of like going to school; I learned a lot about blogging in general. The second year, I focused more on trying to make the blog better and molding it to fit my personality.
Olga’s Flavor Factory Today:
I know that I’m not a food blogging guru and my blog is very small compared to the blogging pros, but I am so thankful for the way this blog has grown. During these 2 years, I’ve written 385 posts. Overall, there have been more than 2 million views on this blog and more than 5,000 comments. 80% of you are from the United States, and the rest are from so many other countries, it amazes me, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, India, Phillipines, Netherlands, etc. I am so thankful for all of you. Thank you so much for visiting my little kitchen on the internet.
This year, I am excited to share more great recipes with all of you, as well as start filming recipes on a regular basis.
One of the biggest personal benefits of blogging is that most of my recipes are written down and have specific measurements. I don’t know how many times I would cook something delicious and then not be able to recreate it, because I had just added a bit of this, a handful of that, etc. Most everything I cooked, I never measured or counted. It’s so much easier to cook that way, but the results will vary every time. There were many times that I couldn’t remember which method I used to cook something, what ingredients I used, how long I cooked it or how much the recipe yielded. Another benefit along the same lines, is that it’s so much easier to share recipes. Before I started blogging and someone would ask me for a recipe, 95% of the time, it was very hard to do, since I didn’t have a recipe, or it was very vague.
My husband, Sergi, has been so supportive in my blog adventure. Not only does he listen to my brainstorming, thoughts and ideas, he is always willing to lend a hand. He’s has built me background boards for pictures, helps take pictures and learned about food photography. He lends a hand in the kitchen as well, helping clean up, wash dishes and sometimes watching the baby (or babies) while I am busy in the kitchen. He believes in my dreams and wholeheartedly supports them. Any success that I have, I owe to him. I am by nature a very driven, persistent and task oriented person. Sergi makes sure that I keep life somewhat balanced and don’t turn into a workaholic, because I definitely have a tendency to go in that direction.
Of course, the ultimate satisfaction that I get from this blog is from ALL OF YOU. I am so thankful to have “met” so many wonderful people online. Thank you so much for trying my recipes, for sharing them with your friends and family, for coming back to read my stories, trusting my tips and suggestions. I feel a huge responsibility to share the best recipes with you and to make sure that the recipe will turn out well for you too. It’s always my goal to have clear and detailed instructions and that’s why it’s so important for me to include step by step pictures. I love you guys and have really enjoyed getting to know you in the comments section of this blog, by e-mail, Face book and Instagram. I really appreciate all the love and support that I get from all of you.
Thank you SO MUCH to those of you who take the time to write comments and e-mail messages. I am so humbled by your kind words and encouragement.
I want to hear from all of you. What do you want to see this coming year?
To show my appreciation for you, I am hosting a giveaway of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen, a Kitchenaid stand mixer. This is the same one that I have had for more than a year and I use it all the time. There are many other colors to choose from, so whoever wins will be able to choose.
To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.
This giveaway is now CLOSED.