Blogging


For my birthday this year, my Mom promised to take me to tour P. Allen Smith’s garden home at Moss Mountain Farm.

sign

I have had the opportunity to meet and miss Allen several times. Click here.

Having seen my blogger pals talk about going to Moss Mountain on many different occasions, I was very excited to finally get to go for myself!

I didn’t exactly know what to expect from the tour. I knew there would be lunch and a house and chickens. I had no idea what the “dress code” for such an event was.  I decided to consult my ARWB friends for advice.

I’m going to Moss Mountain Farm tomorrow. It’s my first time. How should I dress?

  • Debbie Horton Arnold-Is it for one of their luncheon/tours?
  • Stephanie Crampton Buckley-Cute and comfy. Comfy because there’s a lot of walking around and cute because you will take a lot, and will want to be in, photos.
  • Sarah E. White-Rain boots since it will be muddy?
  • Debbie Horton Arnold-Cute but not dressy. I’ve worn nice jeans, cropped pants, and slacks before. Always with shoes you can walk around in a yard and garden with. (no heels) I hope you have a beautiful, fun-filled day. It’s a beautiful place. Take an apple for the donkey:)
  • Peggy Cox Bayer-Thanks, y’all. For my birthday my Mom bought us tickets for the luncheon/tour. We are just now finding/making time to go. Pray the rain holds off!
  • Peggy Cox Bayer-Thanks for the “donkey tip” Debbie Horton Arnold
  • Paige Ray-You ladies have fun today!!
    After all of that I was even more perplexed!
    That morning I thought I had the a perfectly cute and comfortable outfit picked out for the day. The weather man was calling for rain, so I knew rain boots were a possibility.
    light blue gingham with floral skirt
    Cute enough–but I felt all fidgety in the skirt for some reason. Perhaps a different skirt was the answer.
    light blue gingham with denim
    No. This just was not right.
    Then I remembered a springy green dress.
    green dress
    I wore this to take the kids to school. It really needed to be ironed. My white sneakers were not so white. I WAS GOING TO A FARM! WHY DID I WANT TO WEAR A DRESS?!
    purple gingham
    Next up was my purple gingham shirt with jeans. Jeans would be much more comfy if I ended up wearing my boots. That was it! I would wear my Converse sneakers and take my boots.
    Wrong!
    Don’t you HATE those days when nothing seems to be the right outfit?! UGH!
    I was running out of time AND patience. I knew the next outfit had to be “it” whether it was or not.
    I needed something on my arms because I tend to get cold. Apparently I was in a gingham mood, since I had already tried two gingham shirts.
    A gingham jacket was the winner! (I picked it up for 50¢ at Goodwill last summer.)
    gingham, converse, rain boots
    Hooray! Decision made. I wore the sneakers and threw the boots in the backseat.
    gingham jacket with converse

    As soon as we parked the car, my cute little sneakers went into my purse and on went the boots.
    I didn’t know if I would need to change shoes to go inside or not.
    stuffing shoes in my purse
    So, here is how I dressed to go to Moss Mountain Farm.
    arriving at the farm
    Jeans and rain boots turned out to be the perfect pairing for the day. No, they didn’t make me leave my boots at the door. I hauled my sneakers around unnecessarily. I was glad to have a jacket though.
    Stay tuned for more about the actual trip.
    Oh, in case you are wondering, I took all those clothing pictures days later. I wish I had actually taken a picture that day.  My bed looked like my closet exploded. I was not really planning to include a fashion post with my Moss Mountain adventures. However, when I relayed my fashion dilemma to my husband later that day, he got a huge kick out of it. I just thought y’all might, too!

Yes, I realize we are more than half way through January! I guess it isn’t “cool” to say Happy New Year at this stage in the game.

This is the first time I have actually sat down at the computer to write a blog post all year. I’ve been thinking about doing it. For some reason it just has not happened.  I just have not been able to get in the groove.

I have enjoyed everyone else’s posts about how they are cutting back on their social media time, mostly Facebook and Twitter. I have seen all the obligatory “Best of 2013” posts. I have heard about your goals and resolutions for 2014. All the while, I have written nothing! I have made new recipes, taken pictures, even loaded the pictures! Still nothing.

You know blogging is a funny thing. When it was new, everyone was excited to just share. Now, like anything, folks have discovered there is money to be made in the blog world. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with people making money off of their blogs. It is, however, a different approach to blogging.

In my “time off” I have been considering why I blog anyway. To start with, it wasn’t even my idea! My husband talked me into it to share recipes and such. While that is what I do here, I wanted, and still want, more. I want that COMMUNITY feeling. I don’t want the sharing to be a one-way street.

I really like Pinterest. Ironically, most of my traffic comes from Pinterest. I have read recently that it is not as “shiny and new” for some bloggers. I still like it! For one thing, I can see people whose tastes are similar to mine. However, if I am in “Pinterest Mode” I am bad about just pinning something to my board and not leaving a comment for the blogger. I do try to go back and leave a comment once I have tried their recipe, project or whatever.

I’m not very good at Facebook and Twitter, especially Twitter.

Mentally, I am still back in the fall. Did the holidays ZOOM by as fast for y’all? I suppose I have just been in a rut. Well, here at Pork Chop Tuesday we are all about rut-bustin’!

I think this is the most I have written in a blog post without adding a picture. Weird.

I realize I rambled a bit here today. That is just where I am. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, maybe I will be able to actually do some “normal” blogging.

Obligatory Most Popular Post of 2013 (click for link):

Amazing Banana Pudding

Well, I learned one important bit of information at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference. Everyone is on Twitter! The bloggers at the conference were in “hashtag heaven”!

hashtag

Every time a new speaker came to the front of the room, that person’s Twitter handle was announced. All the bloggers were encouraged to use a certain # for tweets about the conference.

Wow! Was I feeling behind the times.  As I looked around the room, I seemed to be in the minority as a non-tweeter.

No, I don’t have a smart phone. I don’t have my ears pierced either. No tattoos. And I drive a sedan, not an SUV. I guess I march to the beat of my own drum.

The whole social media monster is much bigger than I realized. It’s not that I didn’t realize it. I just had never seen it in action like I did at the blog conference.

It took me a long time to get on Facebook. Since I got my Facebook page, I have enjoyed keeping up with people form the past.  I really like the first day of school when everyone posts pictures of their kids. I eventually even got a Facebook page for Pork Chop Tuesday.

I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I love it because it is like getting hundreds of magazines on my computer every day. I hate it because it is like getting hundreds of magazines on my computer every day. It is really more of an addiction than anything–visual addiction.

Twitter-Logo-Background-HD-Wallpaper

So, Twitter. I had no clue how to “do” Twitter. Saturday night I chatted with my new room mates about all things Twitter.

They were all such sweet ladies who had just gone through a spider crisis when we met. (Something about a nest of baby brown recluse spiders hatching and scattering all over the cabin! We got a new cabin.)

Here we are just after breakfast. I was trying to show off my cool new tee shirt! l-to-r me, Alicia, Jeanetta, Cyndi, and Katie.

Here we are just after breakfast. I was trying to show off my cool new tee shirt!
l-to-r me, Alicia, Jeanetta, Cyndi, and Katie.

They were all “tweeters”. I started asking questions and they tried to answer. Finally, I said, will one of y’all SHOW me what it looks like?! So Jeanetta and I sat down and surfed around her feed.

After encouraging words from my new friends, I decided to give it a try. They suggested I just “follow” for a while.

I came home and signed up for my Twitter account. My camp buddies immediately showed support by following me.

Twitter moves really fast! Today I saw a friend giving a “tweet-cast” while she was at a cooking demonstration!

I’m not sure how I like it just yet. You know, the common thread of the conference was to “be authentic” “be yourself”. Did I cave to peer pressure or am I exploring who “I might be”? The jury’s still out on that one. (Boy, I have used a lot of quotation marks in this post.)

If you would like to see my tweets, you can follow me @PorkChopTuesday. Don’t expect a lot of awe-inspiring tweets just yet.

I’d be happy to hear any suggestions you might have. Are you constantly plugged in or do you check your feed only a couple of times a day? Do I add #s to my blog posts? Do you follow just people you know or celebrities?

twitter-follow-me-icon copy

Has it already been a week since I was at AWBU Foodie Friday? Wow! Time really gets by in a hurry!

Look at these adorable little recipe books that greeted us as we arrived. Julie from Eggs and Herbs made them for us! We each had our own blog name on our own notebook. Thanks, Julie. I know that was time consuming.

handstamped recipe books

After spending a bit of time socializing we started the program.

First we heard from Greg Patterson from Farm Bureau. You can find Greg over at Taste Arkansas.

He is also in charge of Front Porch Magazine. As a Farm Bureau member, I enjoy getting this magazine in my mailbox.

Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 5.41.17 PM

Next up was Chef Donnie Ferneau. You can read about his newest restaurant, Cellar 220, here.

Chef Donnie Ferneau

Chef Ferneau gave us some chefly advise:

•Buy fresh, in season, and local

•Practice your knife skills

•Planning-everything has its place. Do some pre-cutting to make your meal prep. go more smoothly.
• Menu-Choose your menu wisely.
•Cook everything at 500˚
Dr. Meenakshi Budhraja aka Dr. B talked about healthy eating.
Dr. Meenakshi Budhraja aka Dr. B
I loved how she said you choose your health. “You choose health or you choose disease.”
Big take-aways from Dr. B:
•Only drink water
•No snacks
•Cook at home with great recipes you read on Pork Chop Tuesday. Okay, I added some of those words.
Kelly Brant, food editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, spoke about some legal matters concerning recipes and food.
Kelly Brant-AR Democrat-Gazette
•ALWAYS give credit to the original source. Say something like “adapted from” or “inspired by”, otherwise you are plagiarizing!
•If using a cookbook, link to the author’s website or publishing house or a local bookstore.
•A recipe is considered a list. A list can not be under copyright protection.  Photographs ARE protected under copyright laws.
Liz Bray is a personal chef from Benton, AR. She was very fun and energetic. Plus she gave us some samples!
Liz Bray-Just Leave it to Liz
•FAT IS BACK! I know you are all glad to hear that! Gone are the days of “fat-free” this and that. Our bodies need fat!
•Flax seed, a natural laxative, is also helpful with keeping hot flashes in check. I think I’ll tuck that little tidbit back for later use!
•Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has the same healthy properties as breast milk. Hmmmm.
•She also had this fancy pressure cooker. Now, she was not selling these cookers. She just happened to be using hers for her demonstration.
It was at this  point I had to leave the Foodie Friday event. I had such mixed emotions about leaving. Perhaps that contributed to my nervousness. I really didn’t want to miss a minute of the conference. The Foodie Friday was a bonus event. The actual kick-off of the conference was that evening.
I missed out on getting to meet Stephanie from the Plain Chicken blog.
pen_logo
I have been stalking her blog for a while now. She gave a talk entitled “The Business of Food Blogging”. I hated to miss that!
I also had to miss the Big Event Challenge and the Kick-Off and reception with P. Allen Smith. That was a bummer. That makes TWICE I’ve missed hanging out with him. I did, however, get to meet him at a Blue Cross event one Saturday morning. He just seems like such a nice guy!
with P.Allen Smith
Why did I have to miss all this good stuff?
My daughter has the privilege of being the drum major of the band this year! That night was her very first game. There was no way I was going to miss out on that!
So, I drove an hour back home, then close to two hours to the away game. It was hot, so the band didn’t wear their full uniform.
I was so proud of my girl! I was also very happy she didn’t fall off the drum major stand!
drum major
So, Saturday morning I got up really early and drove back to the conference. I got to see a beautiful sunrise.
When it came time to go to the break-out sessions, there was one called “Being a Mom and a Writer”. I’m sure there was some fabulous information in that session. However, I felt like I had LIVED that experience the previous night.
Blogging is fun. I enjoy it. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even make some money somehow. However, for now my family has to come first. Your daughter only has ONE first time directing the band. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

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