Archive for Blogiversary

Your Questions Answered

Are you still pursuing an Etsy store? How is your etsy store coming along?
Yep – I’m still pursuing my Etsy store!  I’m looking into local-ish P.O. Boxes and trying out two printing places to see what’ll be the best product for a better price but it is happening :)

What are some of your big life goals for the next 5 years? Where would you like to see the blog go in the next year or two?
In the next five years, personally, I hope that Joe and I are settled (hopefully in a house) with a kiddo or two.  In terms of the blog, I would love to see it grow but for now I’m just enjoying everything it’s brought to me!

What’s your favorite book?
It is incredibly hard to me to choose just one favorite because there are so many I love!  If I had to choose, I think I would say the Harry Potter series, but there are many books that hold a spot in my heart.

Whats your favorite kind of beer?
I love me a Blue Moon with an orange twist.  Not the most original but it’s so delicious.

What’s your favorite recipe of all time, ever?
My mom’s lasagna – easily.  That’s a weird answer because I no longer eat dairy or meat (it uses a meat sauce) but it was such a huge staple growing up and I one day hope to inherit the giant pans she makes it in (the lasagnas end up being 25lbs in case you were wondering how big the pans were).

What’s your favorite place to be and to travel to?
I’ve traveled a bit but my favorite place was London, with Edinburgh in a close second.

Are you still planning on moving out of New York?  When are you and your Hubby thinking of buying a house?
Joe’s planning to finish his Master’s degree next Spring (2014) which is when the job hunt will commence.  We’re open to moving anywhere between Boston, MA and Richmond, VA but would love to find either a small city or large town – basically a place with a nice main street that’s pedestrian friendly.  Once we move, we’ll probably rent one more place for a short amount of time  and then (hopefully) buy our forever home.

How are you enjoying your new place?
We love it!  I wish we had found it when we first moved in together because this place feels the most like ‘us’ and what we want one day in a home.

What would YOU do if you won the lotto?
1) Have a dance party
2) quit my job
3) be responsible and pay off Joe’s student debt

When do you write most of your blogs? Morning, night? Do you write a bunch at once or one at a time?  How long does a typical post take to put together?
I would say that at least 85% of my posts are written at night, after I get home from work, and I spend about four hours on them.  Usually, I try to plan out what the week will look like and spend my weekends crafting, snapping photos, and potentially writing posts’ outlines.  The night before a post goes up, I’ll write it up and edit the photos (I don’t edit the photos earlier because I’m not sure what photos I’ll be using yet).

Can you share more vegetarian recipes?
I would love to!

When do you plan to have kids?
Truth be told, Joe and I are only 26 (27 by the end of the year) so we’re not in an immediate rush to have kids.  Probably after he’s done with school and we’re a little more settled.

I haven’t been reading long how did you name your blog?
You can read the long version here but the short version is that I was bouncing around the internet and found out that you could make popcorn by throwing kernels in a pan with oil.  I was intrigued so I decided to try it out.  It’s an incredibly easy and fun process – in fact, I was completely smitten with it – so when it came time to naming the blog, it seemed like the perfect idea.

What would your blog focus on if you quit your day job?
I think a lot of the same stuff – book reviews, the occasional recipe, and projects around the house.  The only difference is that  I’d have a lot more time so there’d be more of everything.

What kind of work do you do?
I’ve  avoided this question because I like to keep work and blogging separate, but since a few of you asked,  I work in the higher education field.

How does Joe feel about the blog??
Joe likes that I’m able to flex my creative skills and he likes helping out when he can. (I also help Kristen edit the blog. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now -Joe).

Posted in Blogiversary | 17 Comments

Pretty Numbers

After spending the weekend eating chocolate cake crunching numbers, I’m back with the results of my reader survey!  I was excited about this survey because there were more than double the responses from last year.  That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

Since I’m not the biggest fan of numbers, I decided to make the data look pretty.  Everyone wins!

As it turns out, the majority of you (71%) are in your twenties, just like Joe and me.  That number is higher than last year which explains why only 24% of you are in your thirties.  It was exciting for me to see that there were readers in their 40′s and 50′s – the latter is new to the blog this year.

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I suppose it’s not a big surprise that the majority of my readers are ladies but this year I gained another male reader!

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I’m always interested to see where everyone is from.  Over three-quarters of you reside in the United States.  The next most popular place to be from is Europe (12%), with Canada close behind (at 7%).  Last but not least, there are a few new readers from Australia and New Zealand.

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When it came to living situations, the majority of you are homeowners.  Joe and I are among the minority as renters.  Interestingly enough, not one person owns and rents.

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Almost all of you are in relationships – be it dating, engaged (congrats!), or married – and that makes me happy.  One of you have a bun in the over (another congrats!) while 7 of you already have kids.

blogiversary6-01 http://www.popcornonthestove.com/This year included an increase in animal lovers.  There are more dog people than cat people (17 to 11), but only two of you are pet rock people.  Almost half of you have your own blog which is pretty awesome.

Only 9 of you have ants in your pants.  Ten if you include me :)

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When it comes to winning the lottery, almost all of you indicated that you would travel the world.  The second most popular response was to quit your day job.  I’m not surprised that 15 of you would craft like it was going style (although I don’t think any of us need to wait to win the lottery for that).  Almost equal amounts said they would spend all of their time outside, host a dance party, and/or write a book.  A few mentioned that they would like to open a restaurant while one said they would start their singing career.

Turns out not a soul was interested in running for President.  
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Thank you so much to everyone who filled out the survey.  I hope you enjoyed all of the questions because I had a blast learning about you guys!

Psst – Tomorrow, I’ll be answering some of the questions you asked at the end of the survey.

Posted in Blogiversary | 9 Comments

A Day in the Life

Over the past two years, I’ve shared bits and pieces about commuting and how I break up my day but today I’m going to share what a typical day looks like for me.  Below is my Tuesday.  I apologize for being incredibly vague about what I do at work – it’s not because it’s super confidential or anything, but because I really like keeping it separate from the blog.

…………………………….

5:57 am

Alarm #1 on phone goes off; I hit snooze.

5:59 am

Alarm #2 on phone goes off; I hit snooze. Again.

6:04 am

Alarm #3 on my phone goes off.  It’s a crazy sound so I finally get out of bed.

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6:05 – 6:50 am

I get ready for work – which basically means I take over the bathroom.  My routine is pretty standard – pop in my contacts, fix my hair, put on make up, and brush my teeth.  You know, standard stuff so I don’t go out in public looking like a hot mess.  Then I go to the bedroom and try on at least 3 outfits – tossing the losing items onto the bed or dresser – before finally settling on something I like.  I end up choosing a dress I bought at TopShop (when Joe and I were on our honeymoon), a cardigan with a teal belt, leggings and my tall boots.  I’m seriously pushing the boundaries for business casual but I’m okay with this decision.  The photo above was taken at work because the shots I took in the AM were all blurry.

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6:50 am

Time to head out!  I lock the door to our apartment and start walking to my bus stop.  Today I got lucky and caught the express bus!  It is crazy bright out this morning.

7:10 am

The bus pulls into ferry terminal.  I hop off, thank the bus driver, and walk down to the waiting area.  Thankfully, the doors to the ferry are already open so I can just walk right on.

7:15 – 7:45 am

Today I’m on the John F. Kennedy, which is my least favorite boat because the seats are not the most comfortable.  Regardless, I find a seat towards the front of the boat and spend a few minutes catching up on Twitter and approving any comments from the blog on my phone.  Then I spend the remaining time napping.  On the days I don’t sleep, I’ll use this time to read, crochet, or write things down in my planner.  It really depends on how I’m feeling and my mood.

7:45 – 7:50 am

When we pass Governor’s Island, I wake up (thanks to an announcement over the loudspeaker) and head to the lower level of the boat.  It feels like the ferry takes forever to dock, but eventually it does and then I’m caught in a stampede of people.  Imagine cattle being herded because that’s exactly what it looks like during rush hour.

7:51 – 7:59 am

I catch the R train and take it uptown to my stop while trying not to take another nap.  Since it’s so early, the train travels much quicker than normal.

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8:00 – 9:00 am

I usually get to work anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour earlier than I should.  I typically have a full plate when it comes to my work load and I’ve found that it’s easier to tackle it when no one is in.  If I’m able to get the big tasks done, I proofread the day’s post for the last time before it goes live and try to catch up with blogs.

9:01 am – 12:30 pm

The mornings tend to go by quickly because I’m typically so busy.  I start by touching base with the coordinator on my team on what’s the plan for the day.  Our IT consultant stops by my desk and we talk about an issue, resolve another problem, and update my boss on the status.  At the same time, I’m doing a lot of paperwork and data entry (so much data entry).

12:30 – 1:30 pm

For my lunch hour, I quickly eat some left over noodle soup that I brought in and then head out to the local library.  I have to return two books and check out four more.  It’s nice to get outside and get a change of scenery so I spend the whole hour walking around, even if it is a little chilly out.

1:30 – 5:00 pm

Sadly, nothing glamorous – just more work.

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5:01 – 5:30 pm

I power walk to the subway and wait for the next train which pulls into the station after a minute or so.  My train is too slow so I have to wait for a few minutes before I can transfer to the 4/5.  Today I just miss the 5:15 ferry so I end up having to wait until the 5:30.  It’s not a total loss because I end up getting the Barberi, which is one of my favorite boats.  There may be no outside seating, but it’s warm in the Winter and the seats are the most comfortable.

5:30 – 6:00 pm

During my ferry ride, I spend my time reading one of my new books, but in the past, I have also used this time to nap, write down ideas for posts, and play games on my phone.  Like Doodle Jump (which is an amazing game if you don’t already have it).

20130328_dayinthelife4 http://popcornonthestove.com/

6:00 – 6:20 pm

Back in Staten Island, I hop on the bus and jump off a few blocks before my street.  It’s finally nice out so I’m excited to walk home.  This is a pretty uneventful part of day but worth mentioning because it’s one of my favorites.

6:21 – 6:22 pm

As soon as I get home, I immediately drop my bags, hang up my coat, and throw on sweats.  The whole process usually takes less than a minute.  Not that I’m planning on working out or anything… business casual is just too restricting and I’m ready to be cozy.

6:23 – 7:30 pm

Since Joe gets home so much earlier than me, he’s just about finishing making dinner at this point (we’re having salmon, broccoli, and black beans – all delicious).  We usually spend this time catching up with each other to see how the other’s day was, eating dinner, and watching How I Met Your Mother reruns.

7:30 – 11:00 pm

I hunker down on the couch and usually start working on the next day’s post while Joe is busy working on school stuff.

11:00 pm – 12:00 am

Now that my post is ready for the next day, I jump in the shower and get ready for bed.  I’m very happy to curl into bed and fall asleep very quickly.

…………………………….

Alright – now that I’ve spilled the details of my day, I’m curious about what your days look like.  Do you have seriously long commutes?  Does your commute involve mass transit or do you drive or walk in?  Anyone able to sleep past 7:00 am?  8:00 am (if so, I am forever jealous of you)?

Posted in Blogiversary, New York, Staten Island | 34 Comments

Goal Getter

Seeing as today is the official two year mark (!!), I thought it was appropriate to talk about goals – both past and present.  It only seems appropriate to review my goals from last year and see how I did.

Goal #1 – Try to Maintain a Post-a-Day Rate

Well, I gave it a good ol’ college try but after about 6 months of posting every day, I sort of burnt out.  Now-a-days, I’m on a three to four post per week schedule which it much more manageable and enjoyable.

Goal #2 - Open an Etsy Shop.

#Fail.  Rather than make a laundry list of excuses, I’m just going to let you know that I’m working on it.  Now that Joe and I are settled in our new place, I’m going to look into getting a local PO Box and find a print shop.  I have quite a few prints designed and I’m very excited to share them.

Goal #3 – Learn CSS.

I’m no pro when it comes to CSS (I’m far more comfortable with HTML) but I was able to tweak the blog’s theme to what I wanted after my switch to wordpress.org.  Do I have a complete idea about what I’m doing?  Absolutely not.  Am I able to figure things out?  Eventually, sure.  I do think that I am headed in the right direction.  One day, I hope to build a layout from scratch, but until that day I am forever thankful for Google.

Goal #4 – Tackle More Projects. 

This past year definitely included a decent amount of projects, which I’m glad about, but I wish I shared more.  I would give myself a B-/C+ for this one.

Goal #5 – Add more to the Reading List.  

This past year, my library card got quite the workout.  While the reading list isn’t huge, I think it’s off to a great start and that this goal was accomplished.  I also think it’s important that I diversify the books shared.

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Clearly I did not win at all of my goals for the past year, but I think I did fairly well.  It’s all for the best because there should always be room for improvement.  If nothing else, it gets me all fired up for year three.

And without further ado, in addition to trying to accomplish the goals above, here are my goals for the upcoming year:

Goal 1: Stay consistent, but go where the wind takes me

With my current work & commute schedule, it’s difficult for me to publish 5 quality posts per week.  Rather than focus on quantity, I’m going to focus on quality and really try to nail down a post schedule.  This means more book on the reading list, more recipes, and more projects.

Goal 2: Giveaways

I’m not sure that this needs an explanation but I think it’s high time to host some giveaways.

Goal 3: Open that Etsy shop for reals

Like I stated before, I’m going to get a local PO Box and get some prints made.  I have a few made already and they’re ready to go – and I’m beyond excited to share them with all of you.

Goal 4: Make it pretty

Since I’m more comfortable with CSS, I’m going to work on tightening up the design of the blog (you know, get rid of awkward spaces and what not).  I’m also going to work on making sure I upload nicer pictures, and by that I mean making sure they’re properly edited in Photoshop.  Nice eye candy means everybody wins.

……..

Psst – if you haven’t taken my blogiversary survey, you can do so here!

Posted in Blogiversary | 6 Comments

Can I Get Your Digits?

First off – today is my sister’s birthday (Happy birthday Laura!).  Since she is a wiz at all things math related, it’s only fitting that I share the blog’s numbers this morning.  Since I am not a math wiz (those numbers and me are frenemies), these numbers are as of Sunday night.  Clearly it takes me some time to do the math.

144,393 : Total number of hits to date, with 76,613 from just the last year

465 : Number of published posts, which is less than last year seeing as I lost about a month of blogging after Hurricane Sandy.  #sadface

64 : Number of categories that have been created to organize the posts

3,917: The most page views on a single day, thanks to this post being Freshly Pressed on WordPress.com

172: The most comments ever received in one day, thanks in part to being Freshly Pressed.

1,848: Number of images uploaded to the blog so far

143: The number of countries that people have visited from, which is over double from last year!

3,755: The total number of comments that have been left to date, which is also over double from last year!

15,905: The number of spam comments (most of which are about shoes – go figure) that have been blocked.  It’s an insanely high number – three times higher than last year! – so thank goodness for spam blockers!

1.5: The number of months Joe and I have spent in our current apartment.

3: Number of apartments we have shared

17: The number of months we’ve been married, which is pretty darn cool.

 

I’m no fan of doing the math, but I love seeing and comparing the numbers between years.  Now I want to know – are you pro or anti numbers?

And in case you’re curious about last year’s numbers, here they are!

 

Posted in Blogiversary | 8 Comments
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