Bake. Eat. Love. (Blogger Update!)
Ever since I quit my “real life” job in January this year to pursue blogging as my sole, full-time career, my life has been insaaaane. Lots of ups, but also lots of downs. Weeks of insanely fast-paced on-the-go projects doing this and doing that, but also weeks of uneventful, monotonous blah. It’s been some time since my last blogger update, so I thought I’d give y’all a little inside preview of these last few months as a full-time blogger.
After quitting, Desserts With Benefits seemed to be sending out the “bat-signal” of the baking world. My schedule has been nonstop craziness. Every morning when I check my email and see the big and bold (sometimes triple-digit) unread inbox number, I just sit there and stare in awe for about a minute… maybe if I bake all day and make a lot of desserts, magical elves will appear and help me?
Ummm no. That won’t happen. But coffee is kinda the same thing. I go through lots of that stuff ☕️
Every single morning, without fail, I drink a giant cup of iced coffee while I scan through my inbox. It’s my routine.
I have never and probably will never drink coffee black and unsweetened. Every time someone tries a sip of my coffee their eyes burst open because they’re surprised at how sweet it is. But really guys, c’mon now, why are you surprised? I bake for a living and I have an insane sweet tooth 😉
So what’s my schedule like as a full-time blogger? Bake nonstop. Eat nonstop. Drink coffee nonstop.
Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
America Jessica runs on Dunkin’ coffee 😉
But for real, my schedule is never the same. Some days I’m on my feet for 8+ hours in the kitchen baking multiple recipes, photographing them, cleaning up and doing dishes, running to the grocery store(s) etc. Some days I’m sitting at my desk for 8+ hours, editing photos, writing blog posts, syndicating those posts to every social media channel, responding to comments, answering emails, maintaining/updating this site, etc.
Like, just yesterday I made:
- Banana Bread Pound Cake (finally a success after 5 failed attempts)
- Hummingbird Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie
- Red Velvet Cookie Dough Dip
- Banana Peanut Butter Spread
- Funfetti French Macarons (these were a total flop so I gotta remake them)
- Lemon Lavender Marshmallows
- Raspberry Lemon Hibiscus Marshmallows
You don’t even want to know how many dishes I had to scrub yesterday. You also don’t want to know how much dessert (and coffee) I consumed yesterday…
Not everything is a home run on the first go. Recipes, especially my healthified recipes, fail time and time again. It’s not easy baking without all that sugar, butter, and white flour — those ingredients are easy to work with… what makes baking hard is making it healthy, low sugar, whole grain, and nutritionally balanced!
For example, my Healthy Bananas Foster Ice Cream took 3 trials and an insane amount of bananas to perfect:
Anyways. I’ll get to the point. Here’s a month-to-month breakdown of all that’s happened between now and when I quit my “real life” job in January (pretty sure the day I quit was the best day of my life):
- Got back into my college-days exercise routine! Now that I am my own boss, can choose my schedule, and am not working two full-time jobs anymore, I dedicate more time to working out. I even started doing cardio. Who am I??
- Joined as a board member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance as the membership chair!
- Conquered my 2nd Warrior Dash with fellow Austin blogger, Kaylin from Enticing Healthy Eating
- Took over the TheFeedFeed’s SnapChat and baked my Healthy Devil’s Food Cake with Red Velvet Frosting
- Taught a food styling/photography workshop with TheFeedFeed at their SXSW lounge. While being filmed on their Instagram live. I was so, so nervous!
- Started dating the sweetest man on the planet <3 (just had to put that out there)
- Ran into Alton Brown at a food truck here in Austin. Oh, just chatted nonchalantly with my culinary idol, no biggie 😉
- Got my 2nd and 3rd tattoos! I’m tryin’ real hard to not get addicted to ink…
- Traveled to California — witnessed my best friend of 14 years (we met in 5th grade!) get married, and I was honored to be her bridesmaid
- Traveled to Utah — first time in Utah to attend the Everything Food Conference with fellow Austin bloggers, Sharon from Street Smart Kitchen and London from Evolving Table. Also competed in a cupcake-baking competition with London, LIVE, ON STAGE, hosted by Cupcake Wars host, Justin Willman!
We made gluten-free margarita cupcakes. Like our shirts? 😉
- Traveled to Mexico — first time in Mexico, first time on a press trip to document Celebrity Pastry Chef Week, hosted by Mean Girls cutie, Jonathan Bennett. I got to meet famous pastry chef, Johnny Iuzzini!
- Traveled to Florida — 4th time attending a BlogHer conference, 1st time SPEAKING at a BlogHer conference! I was asked to be a speaker at BlogHer17 about book publishing since I have self-published two successful cookbooks — the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook and the Naughty or Nice Cookbook
- Moved to a new apartment! While it’s in a way better location, the kitchen is tiny and lighting is terrible lighting, making photography a challenge…
- Attended Bee Delightful‘s exclusive Save The Bees dinner (where everything was infused with CBD!)
- I was on LIVE TV! *gasp* Fox News invited me to their studio to do a dessert demo celebrating the recent solar eclipse. While I was seriously terrified, it was an amazing experience. Read the deets on my Instagram: Part I, Part II, Part III
I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for over 6 years now. I started at age 18, as a freshman in college. I had no specific aspirations in college, but once I created this blog, I knew that that this was what I wanted to do.
Dessert is seriously the only thing I have ever been passionate about. I am beyond blessed to be able to develop healthy dessert recipes, share them with you, connect with readers all around the globe via comments, emails, and social media. I feel like I’m living a dream come true. Even though things can get stressful and hectic, the hard times make you grateful for the good times.
I hope you stay tuned! Spoiler alert, some pretty damn amazing stuff is comin’ your way 😉
With love and good eats,
You have been a busy bee!
Congratulations on your success! You’re awesome and inspiring.
OH and I made the tofu chocolate mousse again…for like the third…forth…fifth (?) time and love it even more today than I did on day 1. Thanks <3 PS: That's my like…one hundredth comment on that mousse. It's too good!
Awww, thanks for mentioning me! I’m also thrilled you mentioned that you’re dating now. 😉 Look at all of this awesome stuff you’ve done over the past few months! I know a lot of people don’t think that blogging full time – especially as a food blogger – could really be that hard but they’re so wrong. Just the marketing alone that goes with running a blog as a business is a lot of work, not to mention all of the dishes you have to cook up…and then clean up. Anyways, you’re doing awesome and it’s so exciting to see you chasing your dream!
You’re so awesome! You’ve been hustling so hard – before and after going full-time – and your success shows through your passion of what you’re doing. If you ever need a baking assistant or bigger kitchen to use, I’m here! Congrats, Jessica!
SO SO happy for you Jess!!! I wish I lived closer, I would help you eat all that dessert! You can also send it my way ANY time you want! 😉 Can’t wait to see what’s coming next! <3
OMG!! You are now one of my blogging idols!! And I’m sure you’re a million years younger than I am! lol! Just found your blog and loving so far! I need to check out those cookbooks of yours! Congrats on all of your success!
Awwww you are TOO TOO sweet LaToya!! My heart just melted a little 🙂
I’m glad you like my blog. I hope you like all the recipes you try! Feel free to comment or email if you have any questions!
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