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the haas machine: Wednesday's "What We Ate June 17-23, 2013"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday's "What We Ate June 17-23, 2013"

Lately I've been thinking a lot about why I write this blog. Why do I spend the hours thinking about, preparing, planning, writing, & editing these words? Why do I take so.much.time arranging the food or projects I make, to take thirty pictures of them & then use one? Why am I compelled to use sacred free time pouring out into this blog?

My whole life, I've been passionate about collaboration. I so appreciate when I post a simple recipe for homemade canned spaghetti sauce & a reader suggests an even smarter way to do it. I get excited when I learn a little bit more about you when you add stories from your life in the comments below. I love sharing ideas, failures, recipes, & those special moments that just need to be shared. I love being honest about hard things & celebrating the joys of sugary treats. And I don't think that I would get to experience this kind of collaboration if I didn't write consistently & you didn't respond. So thank you (& please keep it up!)

I also love how blogging has challenged me to grow. When I first started blogging, it was a way to stay in touch with family & friends & share some of the crazy projects that we embark on (i.e. bathroom remodeling). I've had some terrible posts with some horrible pictures & lots of type-os. Thank you for still reading past them all! (honesty note: sometimes I get a little bit of satisfaction when I see a type-o on a big blogger's site because I am reminded that they too, are in fact human!) Now I see this blog more as a tool to help me grow & improve some of the things I've always wanted to accomplish.

I believe that blogging has helped me become more intentional, more focused, more thoughtful, & more aware of how much I still would like to grow! I so desire to get better at cooking, baking, & overall project making. Over the next couple of weeks (months?), I plan to get a whole lot more specific about some of my goals so that they might become reality instead of just swimming thoughts around my brain (for example, I'd love to spend more time re-doing furniture to sell or take a french pastry class!) I want to share my goals with you so you can help keep me accountable & maybe it will inspire you a little to do the same.

Blogging about food specifically has helped me stay accountable to some of the values that we are trying to live out (eating mostly whole foods, as well as mostly organic meat & produce all while sticking to our budget). There's nothing like a weekly post on what we ate to motivate me to choose healthy, wholesome dinner options for our family. And you know what? Sometimes hotdogs are still served because, well, that's life. But other times it has really encouraged me to try a bit harder to not just give in to my feelings & wants, but what's best for our family in the long run.

I also love how blogging is my special little time where I can work at something important to me. I don't know many stay-at-home-parents who are sain without some kind of hobby. I honestly consider blogging my little piece of work & Ruby is sometimes respectful of that work time. I do my best to spend time on my blog when she's napping or in bed for the night so that I can really savor those times with her & not feel guilty for putting on Fantastic Mr. Fox because I would rather work on the blog than entertain her (not like I've ever done that before...) But I also really want writing on this blog to continue to be something that I enjoy. Even though it is work, I want to make sure that it is usually something that leaves me refreshed, energized, & motivated to keep going (not an obligation).

I'll admit that it's sometimes hard not to get my identity wrapped up into who's-reading-what & how-many-people-liked-whatever. It's always a huge bummer when I get a rejection email from Tastespotting or foodgawker, & alternately, it's hard to not get sucked into the idea that I should be getting my worth out of this blog when a recipe is accepted. I have to constantly remind myself that this blog is not what I should be getting my worth from & it shouldn't be something that meets my needs for validation.

It's strange & amusing to me that some of the posts that I thought would be a smashing success, didn't seem to be interesting to many people, but others that I wasn't particularly excited about (with the least creative pictures ever) become some of my most viewed recipes. I'm definitely still learning what people like to read & share, but I also selfishly post a lot of things that we like so that I will have an online recipe book of sorts. Finally! The truth comes out!

In the next few weeks & months, I plan to get more specific about my goals. I want to write them down where I can see them every day so that they will challenge & inspire me. You'll definitely see some changes in the blog, but just bare with me. There will still be posts about what we ate & recipes for practical things like homemade bug spray & lists of summer foods to cook that don't involve the oven. And there will be a bit more intentionality. At least, that's what I'm hoping for.

If you're a blogger, what has helped you grow your blog? If you're an avid blog reader, what do you really appreciate about your favorite blogs? Please comment below!
Thursday's dinner: mushroom pizza with a cauliflower basil crust

What We Ate June 17-23, 2013
Monday: BLT's on whole wheat toast with strawberries & carrots
Tuesday: Brats with crispy edamame & a handful of other sides (we were at a BBQ)
Wednesday: Smoked salmon salads (mixed greens, smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, & balsamic vinaigrette) with toasted baguette
Thursday: Mushroom pizza with a cauliflower basil crust, which was OK, nothing spectacular
Friday: Breaded pork chops with cheesy broccoli quinoa
Saturday: Tofu stir fry with a mix of brown & white rice
Sunday: Homemade steak & red pepper pizza

I also made a batch of whole wheat bread, crockpot yogurt, & whole wheat carrot walnut muffins this week.



At June 26, 2013 at 8:16 AM , Blogger Lindsay Moe said...

I'm excited for your blogging future! If you find a French pastry class let me know, I'm totally there! I have a ton of blog growing resources if you want to get together and talk them over some time.

At June 26, 2013 at 9:10 AM , Blogger Kathy said...

ā™„ Love reading your blog, looking forward to what comes next!

At June 26, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Blogger Angela said...

I love this, Gillian. Your honesty is inspiring. I connected with a lot of what you wrote in this post. I've been doing a lot of thinking about our blog, too, in the hopes of pushing myself to be more intentional with what I post and when, to write from my own voice, and to create a community of readers to "join us" when we move to Africa. To grow, I'm trying to read more blogs that encompass the style I would like to have for my own blog. I also just started reading Mom Blogging for Dummies, which actually has a lot of great info, as silly as it sounds. Eventually, I would love to attend a blogging conference. Maybe we could go together! :)

At June 27, 2013 at 1:23 PM , Blogger Gillian @ thehaasmachine said...

Oh yes on both accounts! We should totally do a (kid free) coffee or breakfast date sometime!!

At June 27, 2013 at 1:24 PM , Blogger Gillian @ thehaasmachine said...

Thanks Kathy!!

At June 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM , Blogger Gillian @ thehaasmachine said...

Thanks Ang! Both you & Pete are such an inspiration to me, too. I always think of you guys when I think about goals :) I love reading your blog, too & look forward to all that you guys have in store (& of course tagging along through reading your blog). I will most definitely check out that book & if you ever see a conference you're interested in, let me know, because I would LOVE to do that will you, too!!


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