Eat some cupcakes, light some candles, blow them out, and make a wish – it’s Ate by Ate’s 1ST BIRTHDAY today! I’m so happy and excited that I made it this far and that I actually have a “blogiversary” to celebrate. I spent a relaxing day reading another one of my favourite Joanne Fluke foodie murder mysteries, taking photos of scrapbook layouts, watching The Chew, and watching the first snowfall of the season float through the sky as I reminisced about all the wonderful things the blog has gone through. One year ago today, I went live and launched this blog after spending weeks and months planning out the perfect entry into the blogging world and here we are now, 343 posts and 63 scrapbook layouts later!
Even though the aspirations I’ve had for myself have always been different from the ones my parents have had for me, I have my dad to thank for this. He gave me that nudge when he said to me, “you’re always taking photos of food, you need to share this with the world!” I hemmed and hawwed for months before taking the plunge and finally, I decided I would start a food and scrapbooking blog. I started making lists of food categories in my doodle notebook, I put the pedal the metal on the scrapbooking, and I spent hours fiddling with wordpress picking out background colours, header images, and learning the ins and outs of widgets, codes, and tags.
I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I was excited! I couldn’t wait to start posting scrapbook layouts, photos of cupcakes, and write-ups about sushi. The blog was not only my way of sharing my exploration of food, but it was also my creative outlet and I wanted everyone to enjoy it as much as I loved doing it. I wanted everyone to see the pockets of Toronto and the city I call home, and all the ways I could enjoy food in my beloved city. When I first started the blog, the focus was much more narrow. I started off with scrapbook layouts, posts about yummy meals and places in the city, and some of my own baking and mum’s home cooking. It’s grown so much over the past year with the addition of the food calendar, farmers’ markets, a number of different series, kitchen and cooking boutique fun, and a Facebook page to boot!
Part of the reason it’s been so much fun is because I get to use all of you as my inspiration. I have so many friends who are cupcake lovers, chocolate lovers, tea lovers, vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerant, and everything in between, and I love being able to share my passion knowing that others will get excited over a new discovery or a delicious meal. I know many people wonder how I manage to write and post almost every day and sometimes I’ve wondered the same thing myself. Writing this blog has pushed me to push myself. There have been many times where I’ve blogged through migraines and there have been times when I’ve felt too tired to blog but I would push myself to go on anyway because it meant that much to me. Even though it seems like a lot of work to mainstain such a constant stream of posts, this is truly fun for me and I love knowing that there’s always something to look forward to.
A year ago, I wasn’t a farmers’ market fiend, I wasn’t a contributing staff member to Food Bloggers of Canada, I was still in grad school pulling my hair over my thesis, and I had yet to discover my favourite cupcake shop in the city among many other things. So much has changed over the past year and even though I feel the pressures of job-hunting and planning my future weighing down on me at times, I feel so happy and fulfilled and all I want is to see, do, and learn more. I am so grateful for everything I’ve learned and for everything this blog has given me.
Many of the friendships I made with others over the past year wouldn’t have been possible without the blog. I signed up for a Twitter account which led me to Le Dolci and Food Bloggers of Canada, I made friends with other food bloggers and fellow foodies and scrapbookers, I got to know wonderful people who were the faces of their own business, and I met some of the nicest, generous, selfless people just by exploring the city and sharing my love of scrapbooking and food. For those who read and follow Ate by Ate, thank you so much for being so supportive and for letting me know you enjoy the photos, scrapbooking, and writing. The blog has been through an amazingly fun year and I can’t wait to see it grow and reach its 2nd birthday next year. I’m so looking forward to it.