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Tomorrow marks ONE YEAR since I began this blog and what a fun year it's been!!! On Monday I'll be hosting an AWESOME giveaway to celebrate...but first, I wanted to share a little about how my blog evolved. This is going to be one of those long wordy posts, but I hope you'll indulge me as I have a few special people I wanted to give thanks to!! Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or a bloody Mary if that's your thing ;)
This is actually my FOURTH blog...but I think a total of 5 people read my previous ones LOL!! My very first attempt at blogging was Adventures of Glitter Mommy. I wanted to share the fun crafts I did with my daughter. But after a few months, I realized it was just too hard to document everything with a 3 year old and newborn! And man...I was so TIRED!
Then I thought I'd share all the yummy recipes I was baking up in Adventures in Baking! But I didn't have time to bake enough to sustain a blog, so I gave that one up too! This is a picture of a YUMMY blueberry cheesecake I made and posted...
Then I really got into cake decorating and started yet ANOTHER blog...this time to showcase my cakes. It was called I Love Cake! But it was just a place to post pictures of cakes and not much else so I felt it was too limiting.
But I REALLY loved having a blog and wanted to create THE ONE! That's when I finally realized that I needed a blog where I could share crafts, recipes AND show case cakes I'd made....so then Love & Sugar Kisses was born! And it's become more than I ever imagined. It's my happy place...a place to share not only MY creative side, but to share all the other amazing things I find that other people are doing too!
But what's been the completely UNEXPECTED bonus of being a blogger is the awesome people I've met along the way...
About a month after I posted my very first post, my daughter's Minnie Mouse 2nd Birthday, I was contacted by Jillian of Catch My Party! I had uploaded my party onto her site and she just LOVED the party hats I'd made. She asked me to share the tutorial I had created with her readers on her site. I was pretty stunned!! The party was done "pre-blog" so I didn't have a whole lot of pictures to show off, but she liked what she saw anyway. I was in DISBELIEF and completely THRILLED that someone other than a friend or family thought anything about something I'd created!
I can't say enough wonderful things about Catch My Party! It's such an amazing site. So many blogs are filled with gorgeous, but professional or high dollar parties. Catch My Party gives non-bloggers or non-professionals a chance to show off their creativity too and for others to gain so much inspiration from! And Jillian is so incredibly sweet and quick to share & highlight a detail of a party (be it a cake or decoration or the like) on her Facebook page! And being part of her "Party of the Day" is such a fun honor and one I've been the happy recipient of a few times! Thank you Jillian for letting ANYONE show off and SHINE no matter who they are! You are awesome!!!
Later in the year, I started planning my oldest daughter's Puppy Party. I had been a fan of Nothing but Country for awhile and discovered Mary Beth was planning a Puppy Party for her daughter around the same time. We chatted back and forth about our ideas and plans. And before I knew it...I had made my first bloggy friend! Mary Beth was the first person who asked me to create a guest post on their blog. I SWEATED coming up for an idea. I was so stressed not wanting to write a lousy post for someone else!!! Of course the first person to write a guest post on MY blog was Mary Beth! She is not only a fun creative person, but genuinely kind and sweet too! No matter what happens with my blog in the future, Mary Beth will always have a special place in my heart as the first person I made a real connection with in the blogging world!!
Another site I had been following for awhile was Piggy Bank Parties! I loved how they threw fun & creative parties on a budget and I got alot of inspiration from that. Then late last summer, they put out a "casting call" for contributing writers. I thought about it for DAYS. I wanted to apply, but I was afraid of being disappointed. Finally, I bit the bullet and applied anyway. I honestly did not expect to be hired. What I had hoped is to maybe gain a new fan and supporter for my blog. Of course that's not at all how it worked out!!! Piggy Bank Parties DID hire me and I about fell out of my chair the day I got that email.
My entire blogging world changed DRAMATICALLY after that! Suddenly I was part of something bigger than just my blog. If you would have asked me a year ago if I would consider anyone I'd never met face to face a friend, I would've told you NO WAY!!! But now, I can tell you that I DO have friends I've never met. Do Driver, the pun slinging cheery leader of Piggy Bank Parties, is one of those friends. She has supported me, encouraged me and celebrated my successes from the day I joined her team. She has become a business mentor, giving me much needed advice as I struggle to develop and grow my business...with positive real world advice that has been so incredibly helpful!! She is just a talented, funny, sweet and kind person and I'm so happy to know her! And when Do brought me onto the Piggy Bank Crew, she created the opportunity for me to meet the rest of the crew....all AMAZING LADIES!!!
Cineca of Dreamin N Details, Jenny of Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line, Aimee of Project:Aimee, Mariah of Giggles Galore, Mayra of In Flight, Tara the Shindig Diva and Dort of Life is Sweet in Michigan....these are all amazing women! They are creative, talented, inspiring and fun to get to know!
In our private "pig pen", I've enjoyed laughs with these great ladies. But they have also been the people I have turned to share my fears with when I began to grow my business...when I got completely overwhelmed and struggled to figure out how to be a wife, mom and business owner. When I thought I was drowning...they threw me a lifeline of supportive advice and shared experiences. In short, I learned that they were real people behind their successful businesses and blogs. They made me feel so much better about myself when I learned that they struggled with some of the same issues too. Being a part of the crew makes me feel like I am part of this special club, this fun band of party sisters!! Before the year is over, I hope to finally meet them all in person for what I'm sure is going to be one HECK OF A PARTY!!! Love you ALL ladies!!
After I began to focus on selling fondant decorations, I began to meet more amazing people. A few ladies who are SUGAR ARTISTS have been particularly inspiring to me. Lynlee of Lynlee's Petite Cakes, Brittany of Edible Details and Brenda of Sugar High, Inc are 3 incredibly talented women who's amazing skill and creativity INSPIRE ME and push me to work harder on my craft...to learn more and do more! What has been especially wonderful to discover is that they are also incredibly supportive of others, including me! Their kind words and comments about my work has made my day many times and means the world to me!!
While I've focused on all the fabulous people I've met online, I cannot talk about this past year without mentioning someone that I've met in person. A person who has helped my local cake business GROW...Wendy Updegraff of Wendy Updegraff Photography! Wendy is an amazingly talented photographer who throws equally amazing parties. I mean, she's so fabulous Kara's Party Ideas dedicated a whole day to feature nothing but her work! Creating a cake for one of Wendy's party is a thrill because I know it will end up all over the blogging world and it's an honor to be a part of anything she does. Between Wendy and her equally talented sister Jamie (who may not have a blog, but should because her eye for design is AMAZING), I have received so many referrals for new customers. Both Wendy and Jamie have been so wonderfully supportive and I'm happy to say that they have grown from being customers to being friends and are genuinely sweet & kind people!!
Well if I were giving an acceptance speech at the Oscars...the music would've started playing LONG AGO. Wait...do they give out Oscars in blogging??? LOL! There are so many other fun, inspiring people I've grown to adore that I could go on and on, but I gotta stop somewhere. Although I do have to mention ONE more person. She's a creative, sweet, crafty mom who I do adore...Staci of Lizard & Ladybug. Not only do I love Staci because she's COOL, I love her because on the days when I swear I could hear crickets chirping on my FB page, Staci will come along with a "like" or sweet comment. Staci you've made my day on those days and I appreciate your sweet support!
Ok...if you've stuck with me this long I THANK YOU!!! Thank you for reading my blog, following along on my Facebook page...giving me a "like" or a comment. That really means more than you know!! I'm still amazed and in awe that anyone outside of my friends and family give a hoot about anything I do and that fact that I've surpassed 1,000 fans on my Facebook page is just mind blowing!!! From the crazy mom who is sitting in her often chaotic home in her pjs, with too many dishes in the sink, often too much Dora on the TV, dreaming in sugar...I thank you!
Check back on Monday, where I'll be thanking you with an AWESOME Giveaway you won't want to miss!!
Have a great weekend and keep it FABULOUS!!!