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14th Blogiversary

Fourteen years ago today I began blogging. To celebrate, I’m having an easy contest, keep reading to learn more.

Here is a link to post number one. If you go to that link you’ll see that I speak about Julia Child. Ironically, I attended a birthday dinner last night with Kim Howard at Tarbell’s to celebrate what would have been Julia Child’s 111th birthday. My friend, mentor, and former boss, Barbara Fenzl was the guest speaker. Thank you, Mark Tarbell, it was a delicious and delightful evening.

The day I began blogging, Connor was a few days away from heading off to college. Not to be overly dramatic, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Having been a stay-at-home mom for over 21 years, I was feeling a bit lost. This blog was a great distraction and gave me something to look forward to each day, a purpose if you will. And I was dedicated! Posting nearly every day for 4 years!

Then in August 2013, I started taking weekends off. That pace lasted until about April 2015. It was around that time that all of my time and focus was put toward preparations for Marissa’s wedding. Ever since then, there hasn’t really been any sort of consistency. I used to beat myself up about that. As a result, the more guilty I felt, the less I wanted to post. It began to feel like a burden instead of the joy it used to be.

Thankfully, I’m over that guilt and burden now. I have my small business, Harmony Boards, to which I dedicate the majority of my time. And I make it a priority to see my grandson, Max, at least once every other month, so if they are not traveling to Arizona for a holiday or special family occasion, I am traveling to Chicago. Having your kids leave home is a hard and jarring transition but having a grandchild, well that is one of the most joyful things life has to offer. I had always been told that was true, and although I wholeheartedly believed it, when it becomes your reality … well there really is nothing better!

To celebrate 14 years of you sticking with me, I have a drawing for you. To enter the drawing, all you need to do is comment on this post. Any comment; let me know how long you’ve been reading, what recipe or story is your favorite, what you’ve been up to these last 14 years, whatever it is that you’d like to share. A week from now, on Wednesday, August 23rd at noon, I’ll put all your names in a hat and draw out the winner.

That winner will receive a small Harmony Board. We will find a mutually agreeable time for the winner to pick it up and enjoy it with their loved ones.

Happy Blogiversary to me and Many Thanks to you for coming along for the ride. xoxo

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1 David Bickford { 08.17.23 at 4:52 AM }

Congratulations. Your post made me wonder how long I’ve been blogging myself. I started in April 2007, so it has been over 16 years for me. I didn’t even realize that until you made think about it. Blogs have faded somewhat in the face of social media, but, like podcasts, I think they’re poised for a comeback because people want to make their own decisons about what to read instead of having an algorithm fed to them. The event at Tarbell’s sounds like a good memory from the old AIWF days, where we first met decades ago. In any case, I’m glad you’re still writing after nearly a decade-and-a-half.

2 David Bickford { 08.17.23 at 4:58 AM }

My first attempt at commenting didn’t appear to go through, so I’m trying again. Forgive me if my thoughts appear twice. Your post made me wonder how long I’d been blogging. I just realized it has been over 16 years since I started in April 2007.

Blogging has faded somewhat in the face of social media, but I think that, like podcasts, it is poised for a comeback as more people want to decide what they read rather than being fed by an algorithm. Persistent people like us will be rewarded, at least that’s what I tell myself.

The Tarbell’s event is a nice reminder of the old AIWF days, where we first met decades ago. In any case, I’m glad you’re still writing and that people are still reading.

3 Linda Hopkins { 08.17.23 at 9:38 AM }

David, it’s funny because Mark, Barb and I spoke about AIWF that night. I recalled how we had a board meeting at Tarbell’s while it was still under construction, right after the beautiful bar was installed. That was nearly 30 years ago! Wonderful memories! Congratulations on your 16 years!

4 Bonnie { 08.17.23 at 9:39 AM }

I have been following you since you could be followed! I am so excited that you now have the opportunity to share my joy of being a grandmother. It’s the best!!

5 Shelley { 08.17.23 at 11:26 AM }

Hi Linda!
I have been following you when Elizabeth was in elementary school and participated in your summer cooking classes. There are so many good recipes on your blog it’s hard to pick a favorite. Whenever I think of your blog, the Jamaican jerk chicken somehow always comes to mind 😉 I have also made the seafood boil multiple times. Congratulations on the 14th blogiversary, and wish you and your loved ones all the best!

6 Anne { 08.17.23 at 11:59 AM }

Congratulations my dear friend! Hard to believe 14 years?! Where does time go? So proud of you and all you have accomplished. YOU HAD AN IDEA! LOL (You and Peggy will get that. haha) What a moment. Speaking of moments, there are too many wonderful memories to share. I remember when you and I and Peggy were in CA at y our timeshare, and we each took a night making a meal for dinner. You blogged about the recipes and our time together there each day. I love looking back at those blog posts. Your recipes and stories have been inspirational and stories always heartfelt. Thank you for sharing your culinary skills, teaching all of us virgin chefs the tricks of the trade and making us feel like WE CAN DO THIS! I love cooking now more than ever and I thank you for bringing that passion to life!
Love you mucho my friend! xoxo

7 Kimberly Howard { 08.17.23 at 11:09 PM }

Congratulations, dearest Linda. Keep on doing what you do. We appreciate all of your efforts …… Look forward to your next post…..
The stories, the recipes and inspiration. Thank you .

8 Jill Walter { 08.21.23 at 6:20 PM }

Hi Linda! Let’s see…we go back to when our sweet girls were best friends together at Horizon High School. I’ve always admired your ability to throw a great party & make it look so effortless! I continue to love reading your blogs & your awesome recipes. You are amazing!

9 jan mann { 08.22.23 at 11:04 AM }

Linda, You have touched my life in ways that are miles apart from each other, certainly your recipes but also your travels (Paris, Hawaii, Canada), your life experiences that you are so willing to share, your vender references, (we use Rene from Gardens Plus to this day) and now relating to us all. how important family and our next generation is. I continue to wish you all the best in all areas of your life.
I am happy to share these words with you and certainly did not use the motivation of winning something but the opportunity to! xo

10 Betsy Storey { 08.22.23 at 2:32 PM }

not sure how long I have been following you but quite a while I know while you were still having young ones for classes in your home as I couldn’t wait until my granddaughter was old enough and then that was the year you no longer did it :))My favorite memory is doing a
charcuterie board at your beautiful home. Loved every minute. I have only done a couple since and surely not anything like yours. Congratulations to you on everything — your grandson is adorable !

11 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.23 at 11:01 AM }

Jan, your kind, sweet, loving words have warmed my heart! Thank you so much. xoxo

12 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.23 at 11:02 AM }

Betsy, that class was such fun and I’m still sorry to have missed out on teaching your granddaughter all those years ago. Thank you for your kindness and long time following!

13 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.23 at 11:03 AM }

Jill, aw, our sweet high school girls! Those were the days, but now it’s all about the grand-babies (you have so many! lucky you!) xoxo

14 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.23 at 11:04 AM }

Our time in CA, cooking, eating and blogging about it was such fun. Love YOU! xoxo

15 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.23 at 11:06 AM }

Shelley, sweet beautiful Elizabeth, one of my favorite students of all time. I still think about those gorgeous chalkboard cookies you two gave me. So generous and thoughtful. xoxo

16 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.23 at 11:08 AM }

Bonnie, nothing better! You are so fortune to spend so much time with your grands! Thank you for being here from day one! Miss the old days at Les Gourmettes and miss you.

17 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.23 at 11:08 AM }

Kim, I appreciate you on every level! oxox

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