Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blogger Spotlight with Me - Angela from Joyously Domestic

I've been doing a monthly Blogger Spotlight feature here on Joyously Domestic for several months now. It's a series where I introduce you to some fabulous bloggers in an interview-style format. Last month, I featured Michelle from Counting Willows. This month, I thought why not share a little about myself and my blogging experience ? I figured it'd be an easy way for you to get to know me a little better and would be beneficial for my newer readers especially - a chance to get to know the blogger behind the blog. So, I'm interviewing myself this month and hope you'll take a few moments to take a peek into my life both inside and outside of the blog.

Tell us how you got started blogging.

Joyously Domestic, the blog, was born in June of 2012. So, I'm happy to be celebrating my two-year blogging anniversary this month. My journey into blogging began after I opened a Pinterest account. I started discovering lots of food and recipe blogs. A whole new world opened up to me. I thought I could do that. Our youngest of five children was getting ready to begin kindergarten and as a stay-at-home mom, I figured that blogging would help occupy my time while I was home alone and could supplement our income. I had an arsenal of family recipes and loved to write. I didn't have a clue what I was doing (and still don't some days), but it's been a fun, interesting journey thus far. I have a lot of "upgrades" that I want to make still and I discover new ways to improve my blog everyday. I'm slowly getting there and can't wait to see new chapters here on JD unfold. The best part of blogging for me has been the amazing people I meet on a daily basis - both readers and other bloggers.

Tell us a little about yourself and what life is like for you on a typical day.

I'm originally from Southern Michigan, but have lived in both Tennessee and Iowa during my adult life. I have been back in Michigan for twelve years. I met my husband, Steve, nineteen years ago by accidently calling the wrong number. He answered. We got to talking, I invited him to a party I was hosting later that night and we have been together ever since. (True story!) I have two "bonus" children - Christopher (24) and Marah (22). We have three children together - Allanah (15), Zayne (12) and Ayvah (7).

During the school year, my typical day begins at 5:30 a.m. when I start waking the kids up. They take off on the bus at 7:00 a.m. I usually spend some time working on the blog, then sometimes lay back down for an hour or two. (I'm a self-professed night owl and only get three or four hours of sleep at night. So, a little nap is a good thing in my life.) By lunchtime, I'm often busy working on recipes, taking photos, working on posts, answering emails, doing some cleaning/laundry and preparing for the kids to come home. Our evenings are pretty busy for a solid ten months out of the year. We're off and running to play practices, sports activities, quiz bowl practices, band concerts and wherever else the kids may need to be.

My husband works out-of-state and is gone between 80 - 90 hours each week. So, I'm thankful to be able to be a stay-at-home parent since we always have a lot going on. When we are home in the evenings and over the weekends, we enjoy playing board games, reading, goofing around outdoors, visiting family who are nearby and just hanging out together. During the summer, things are a little more laid back, but things still can get hectic with three kiddos at home. We like to do crafts, watch movies, swim, cook together, grill out, visit bigger cities outside of our area and go shopping.

How or where do you find creative inspiration for the content on your blog?

Much of the content on Joyously Domestic is based on family recipes that have been passed down through my family. But, I enjoy watching a lot of cooking shows, browsing other recipe blogs and perusing Pinterest for inspiration, too.

What are your top five favorite ingredients to use in cooking or baking?

I recently wrote a post about The Top Ten Essential Ingredients I Always Have on Hand. But, my main ones are fresh herbs, butter, olive oil, citrus and potatoes.

Have you ever had any memorable cooking "flops" or "fails?'

Absolutely! Last year, I attempted a caramel apple and cinnamon pull-bread three times. Each time, it was a total disaster. I'm talking expanded-up-and-over-the-bread-pan-and-all-over-my-oven-floor disaster. I finally gave up. Recently, I attempted a new chicken and dumplings recipe using several eggs in the dumplings. It was completely inedible. The dumplings pretty much disintegrated into a slimy goo.

What are your favorite posts on your blog?

That's a tough one. In terms of my favorite recipes, I love my "Veggie Overload" Pasta Salad, my Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée and my Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cups.

 What is your most-popular post on your blog?

Without a doubt, it is my Roasted Ranch Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese. That post has received the most page views since it went "live" in October of 2012 - like, almost one million to date. It really helped launch my blog once it took off on Pinterest and got shared like crazy on other social media sites. Recently, however, my Slow Cooker "Melt in Your Mouth" Pot Roast has been super popular with lots of shares all over social media, too.

Do you have any hobbies that you'd like to share with us that don't involve food?

I love creating party invitations and party planning. (Below you'll see the invite that I made for my daughter's recent Sweet Shoppe/Candy Land birthday party.) I play the piano and guitar. And, I love writing music and singing. I've been busy collecting home décor ideas since we're looking into moving into a bigger home soon. I'm, also, a collector of food and recipe periodicals. And, I'm a pretty darned skilled Backgammon player.

What would be on the plate for your last meal?

The Rosa Pizza (red onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, rosemary and Arizona pistachios) from Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona (the wait for a table is often 3 - 4 hours, but it's so totally worth it) and an ice cold Corona with a lime wedge to go along with it.

You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

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