Friday, September 20, 2013

Blog Roll, Part 2: The Home Ec Heroes and the Sensitive Types

Welcome back! You came back!  I am so proud of you.  Gold stars for everyone who returned after reading Wednesday’s monster containing a third of the blogs I read on a regular basis.  Wednesday I focused on Art & Design and Humor blogs, and after oohing and aahing and guffawing your way through those, I bet you’re ready for a whole new set of blogs to follow! 

So let’s get to it.  Today’s blog posts are split into two of my favorite subjects: Food and Heartfelt.  And yeah, “Heartfelt” as a category is awkward.  I guess this a good time to tell you that I’m not a professional blog categorizer.  Jeez, chill out, grammar police.

Category #3 – Food.

So I love food.  Who doesn’t?  I love new recipes, too, but more than that I love reading other people’s recipes and how they make food from those recipes.  Sometimes, very rarely, I will make those recipes in my own kitchen.  Honestly, I am more of a recipe reader than a recipe implementer, which is why I only follow a couple of food blogs.  It’s not the food bloggers fault.  I’m just not that much of a foodie, no matter how cute I look in a chef’s hat.  But you’re not here to read about how cute I think I am.  The following three blogs hold my attention regularly because they make me feel like I could be a chef, even if it’s only the hat that I’m after.

Frugal Foodie Family.  Kelly’s website is gorgeous and is all about eating well on a budget. Her recipes use ingredients that even I can find at my local warehouse market, and she provides weekly menus for dinners and how much each dinner costs.  I have not made any of her recipes but have drooled over all the pictures.  I have tried some of the wines she reviews, but I cry over them because she lives in California which is has better prices on alcoholic beverages than in my home state of Pennsylvania, which has almost prohibitively expensive prices on alcohol.

Lila’s Apron.  Comfort food, comfort food, comfort food.  If you’re into this even a little, Lila’s Apron doesn’t disappoint, and she’s funny to boot.  The last post I read, a recipe for fried green tomatoes, also included the many delicious uses for bacon fat.  And if that doesn’t get you over there then I can’t help you anymore.

One Martini at a Time.  I guess it’s telling that out of three food blogs I follow, I highlighted the wine reviews of one and the other is solely a cocktail site.  Whatever, I’m a mom.  Jessica’s cocktails are OMG AMAZING, most contain only a few ingredients, and they all look easy to make.  If you like inventive, creative cocktails that make you thirsty for vodka at ten in the morning, (apple ginger cocktail, anyone?) then go visit Jessica.  Plus her photos are among the best I’ve seen.  How does she get them that crisp and clear? 

Whew!  That was easy.  So let's keep going.

Category #4 – Heartfelt.

I have a tendency to be sensitive and reflective so it makes sense that I would follow a lot of blogs that are similar.  I do try very hard to fill my life with light and goodness and gentleness and kindness, because dark and downward navel-gazing, my go-to traits, do nothing for a person’s general mood and/or complexion.  The following bloggers showcase their thoughtful, contemplative, and kind sides, producing consistently good posts that give me the warm and fuzzies that hold me until the next wave of darkness clouds my sky.  Silver linings, people.

A Lady in France. Oh, what can I say about Jennie?  She had me at A Lady in France.  I totally began following her blog because of its name, because I love Ladies and I love France.  Like, I say “oh yes, I’ve been overseas,” but in reality I’ve only ever been to France.  Like nine times.  Anyway, Jennie published her memoir chapter by chapter a little while ago, and I got hooked on her amazing story and her poetic way of writing that makes even the darkest situations beautiful.  She takes gorgeous photos, and can make a mundane day seem otherworldly.  She has a sweet soul and a level of sensitivity and kindness that drew me to her immediately. I could go on and on, but I won’t.  I’ll leave that up to you.  Go. 

An Inch of Gray.  Anna has been recording her life in this gorgeous blog since 2008.  However, it also bears the heartrending story of the loss of her dear son Jack two years ago at age 11.  Anna’s writing today holds the pain of this loss, yet she manages to chronicle her daily life, faith, and inner musings in a clear way that allows her voice to shine.  My heart is with Anna when I read her blog, because I know her story.  I am encouraged by her strength in the face of tragedy, and am influenced by her simple style of storytelling.

Chicken Noodle Gravy.  Katie is a great writer who has an advanced degree in storytelling.  Nope, I made that up.  But she should.  Shopping mishaps, reality TV, even doing laundry warrant a well-told story, and along with the word pictures she paints, her observations and the meaning behind the telling keep me coming back.  She is working on a novel.  I can’t wait to read it.

Erin Margolin.  Erin’s name has floated around my internet consciousness for a couple of years, though I have to admit I didn’t really start following her blog until recently.  She is the co-founder of The Gay Dad Project (see below), has been published in a book, and is super sweet.  Besides this, Erin is a thoughtful and poetic writer; often her posts are reflective and emotional.  Her blog posts bring me to a place of contemplation – not a bad place to be.

Farewell Stranger. Robin is straightforward, talks openly about depression, is a survivor of post-partum depression, and even was recently featured on her local news program about it.  She writes out her feelings as a way to own them and to relate to others.  She has succeeded in this with me, and has a quiet introspective style that I love.  I could probably sit with her and have a conversation that would last for at least five pots of coffee.

Good Day, Regular People.  Alexandra is a wife and a mom of three boys, and I’ve been following her for a while now.  She draws from her life to share stories on her blog; some are funny and silly, and others are heavy with memories and reflection.  All of them – all – are written in such a style that I feel like I’m remembering them myself.  Alexandra lost her beloved mother recently, and she shares her grief, which is so, so moving. 

Grown Up, Now What?  I love the concept behind Tammy’s blog, that she is telling her life story day by day and using it to figure out who she is becoming.  Isn’t that just how life works?  Tammy shares with us her adventures in the job world, eating habit woes, and her past lives as ballroom dancer and even former wife to define who she is and brings us along for the ride.  I love how she ends each blog post asking readers how we can relate.

Holding the Distaff.  Gina reflects on life with her family made of husband and three little kids, one of whom was just born this year.  I don’t know how she finds time to blog, but she does – and does it well.  She loves her life with her littles and her man and shares it all with a grace and gentleness that is far beyond my abilities.  Reading her posts is like being warmed by a good cup of tea with two sugars.

Letters for Lucas.  Tonya writes to document her son Lucas’ life, and she describes their days and activities with an easy style that is so conversational, you almost think she is in the room with you.  She shares her parenting joys, anxieties, and milestones, all infused with the love you just know spills over to her son. And she and her husband just revealed that they are expecting baby #2, which is so exciting!  Don’t miss the post where they told Lucas about the new baby.  Seriously.  Don’t miss it.

Masala Chica.  Kiran is capital H Honest, and oh, how I appreciate that in a writer.  I love how she can’t think of any other way to live, that she writes openly about her family, her opinions, her philosophies, her affinity for The Real Housewives.  She is real.  And she is smart.  And she is responsible for Simply Om, a fair trade store for jewelry made by brands which support the jewelry-makers themselves, who live in areas that struggle socially and economically.  The jewelry she sells is beautiful, and so is Kiran. 

One-Sided Momma.  This blog reads like a dreamy novel sometimes, and that is a good thing.  I find myself pondering with OSMA the meaning of life as I gaze at her pictures and follow the inner workings of her beautiful mind as she contemplates her soft-ness, the still-raw pain of losing a beloved family member, the joys and concerns of being a mom to a couple of cuties.  And she’s funny, too, in that corner-of-the-mouth-smile sort of way that I love.

Scoops of Joy. Maureen (Mo) is optimistic, loves her son fiercely, and is currently on a blogging break.  But that doesn’t stop me from sharing her here, because she is a bright spot in the world, her hopefulness spreading across the computer screen to me even as she struggles with an ex, her fitness, her past.  She searches for and finds joy in life, a trait that I admire immensely.  The best part about her quest for joy is that she shares it, which makes all the difference.

The Gay Dad Project.  Co-founded by Erin Margolin and Amie Shea, this is a community that connects with and supports families who have had a parent come out as LGBTQ.  In a broader sense, they talk about families. The website is full of shared stories from children who have a gay parent, and what that experience is like.  I love supportive sites that connect people, and read and cry with these people as they share their love and what it was like for them as their parent came out.  The Gay Dad Project currently has a documentary in production.

The Meaning of Me.  Lisa writes about her life with Fab Hub and Kidzilla.  They are all foodies, and Lisa includes some recipes on her blog, which honestly inspire me to get creative in the kitchen and rue the day that I gave up trying to get my kids to eat a more varied diet, because her Zilla will eat just about anything.  But it’s not just a food blog.  In the midst of working, momming, cooking and picking up her CSA groceries, she shares with us, in her simple and clear way, her thoughts on just about everything that makes her who she is.  Every day is a pleasant surprise.

These Little Waves.  I started reading These Little Waves when I first started blogging, because Galit’s way with words inspired me to be a better writer.  Her posts are so polished yet easy, and somehow melodic.  Galit writes about family, being a mom, her loves, and so many other topics on several websites and her blog, and for good reason.  Galit’s voice should be heard.  By everyone.

Tread Softly.  Angela has one of those writer’s voices that is instantly calming.  I just know that when I head over to her site, any tension I might carry with me will dissipate as I read her musings on moving, life with children, running, even the books she reviews.  Her posts hold me in the moments she is describing, bringing me right there with her, seeing the beauty that she does even in the middle of everyday life circumstances.

Two Cannoli.  I have been reading Two Cannoli for a while now, and Kristin’s blog is true to her story as she shares not only her daily life with son and husband, but also parts of her past that have been painful and shaped who she is today.  Her style is that of storyteller, and her stories grip me as I read and enjoy her positive outlook and her views on the small moments and big decisions that make up a life.  Plus, she is just plain NICE.  She is just one of those bloggers that I can’t say enough how much I love, but when I try, my words are so inadequate.  Please find her.  You will love her too.

Writing, Wishing.  Alison is from Malaysia, a kick-ass photographer, and a wiz at social media, marketing, and blogging – she owns and operates Little Love Media, a social media consultancy that supports businesses (and blogs) looking to expand their social media presence.  AND the girl can write.  A mom of two little boys, she shares her daily moments, her views on being a mom, and what she learns along the way.  She is also a fierce cheerleader and encourager, and did I tell you she bakes?  Like amazing things that make me drool?  She’s pretty much the whole package.

So there you have it: the Foodies and the Moodies.  Did you know any of these blogs already?  Did you find some new ones to follow?  Well, what are you waiting for?  Click on through and start reading!  I hope you will love them as much as I do.

Come back on Monday for Part 3 and the last installment of my Blog Roll, which includes Family & Lifestyle and Faith.  And after that I’m going to take a nap.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to visit these amazing bloggers!

*******

32 comments:

  1. Oh Andrea. I am all up to my eyeballs with work and stuff and stupidfirstperiodintwoyears, and here you are, making my week. Thank you for your kind words, for your heart. I am so glad Jennie introduced me to you. Love ya, girl!

    And yes, so many good, awesome blogs here.

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    1. So happy to make you happy! And so glad that I found you, too. xoxo

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  2. Aw! So many people I love on this installment! It makes me all sorts of happy :)

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    1. Yay! That makes me smile. There's more to come on Monday; you might know a few there, too. :)

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  3. Such a great list! I love seeing what other people read. It's a great way to find new awesome content!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you find some new favorites from my list. I'm nosy in that I feel like I can really learn a lot about others from knowing what they like to read.

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  4. Awww, thank you for including me here! I am honored. And I love love love finding out which blogs people read.

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    1. You're welcome! And your blog is wonderful. xo

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  5. Thanks for all the wonderful new sources of reading ... although now I might never get another productive thing done!
    Adrienne
    mintsinmymotherspurse.blogspot.com

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    1. You're welcome... and welcome to my world. Now, who wants to come over and clean my bathrooms?

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  6. Oh my gosh...thanks for including me. :)

    Now go eat some kale.

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    1. You're welcome. And I will eat kale if you explain to me just exactly what it is. ;)

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  7. Yay!! Love this. Such lovely recaps.

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    1. Thanks, Tonya! I hope you can find some new favorites.

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  8. So, yeah, you know I giggled at "I love ladies." There are quite a few here I didn't know about, so thank you. Heading off to food mah mood.

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    1. I do. I love the ladies. Now, go forth and get some new faves.

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  9. Aw geez. Now I want to sit and have a big long conversation with you. Except I don't drink coffee. Can I have tea?

    Love this list! Thank you for featuring me on it. :) So glad we finally crossed paths!

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    1. Ha! The five pots are for me. I have lots and lots of tea for you. :)

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  10. So many of my favorites are listed here - and a few new ones to love. I really like to see what other bloggers read.

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    1. I'm not surprised we share the same favorites. I'd love to know what you read, too!

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  11. This list makes me so happy bc I'm ON IT and I love the company I'm with. Thank you so much for your kind description and for taking the time to comment on my blog. I am delurking myself around blog town as I am inspired by you to tell people that I am catching what they are throwing out there. Will be adding those blogs I've never been to on my list, how did you find all the great ones? My curious has just been ignited.

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    1. You're so welcome - I love your style of writing. I think we are a very similar type of person. :)

      I've found little-known but great blogs by checking out the blogs of regular commenters on the blogs I read. If they are regularly reading blogs that I love, it is likely that I will love theirs, too. I've also found several blogs via Mama Kat's writing workshop.

      Have fun reading!

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  12. Awesome list, Andrea! You have listed some of my favourites and some new-to-me ones, as well!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I hope you find some new favorites. :)

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  13. Thank you so much for including One Martini in this round-up! I'm a big fan of cocktails (as you can tell).

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    1. You're welcome! You inspire me to experiment in my home bar, after which I realize I should just refer to your blog for real recipes. ;)

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  14. I am so flattered that "Grown Up, Now What?" gets a shout out! Thank you so much for your readership and your recommending my little blog to others.

    I'm loving your blog roll! I've already found so many new sites to follow. If only your lists came with extra hours in the day to read them all!

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    1. I love that people are finding new favorites from my lists! I hope you gain some new followers, too! I really enjoy your blog.

      Yes, those extra hours. Now, where did I put them?

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  15. Hi Andrea, You have done such a amazing work and your kind words. You have shared such a wonderful resource with us. I would really want to explore your blog again for fresh resource. Thanks

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  16. I'm here! I'm here! You mentioned me!

    What - you mentioned other people too? Sorry. I was accidentally navel-gazing. :-D

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    1. Ha ha Jennie! You are so funny. I should have put you in the Humor category. :)

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