Archive for the ‘Blog Stuff’ Category

Something new in every day

I know I just wrote a post about change, but I feel the need to return to the topic for a bit. I know I rarely post anymore, and I think one of the reasons is that I’ve been living in Tallinn and working at the same job for 4.5 years now. Although new things do occasionally come up, there are very few aspects of Estonian life that surprise me anymore. It all feels so routine now.

All around me I see people experiencing something new. Blog reader Meg has lived in Sweden for a few months and writes about her new Swedish life. I have a few friends who just recently moved to Estonia and fill Facebook with breathless status updates about how fun and exciting it is. My own fiance just got a new job, as did my good friend in the USA– both of them are now in exciting positions that offer amazing opportunities. Seeing everyone else’s changes somehow makes my life seem stagnant… but I refuse to let myself feel negatively about it.

For one thing, I still love my job! I work as a translator, and while I don’t get paid a lot, I enjoy my flexible workplace, my great colleagues, and learning more about the languages I use every single day. So there’s that. Also, it’s not as if nothing in my life is changing– I am, after all, getting married in September! And I’m planning a wedding in Estonia, which is not something I ever would’ve guessed I’d ever do (but I’m so happy that I am).

What I’m trying to say is, I won’t allow myself to think that my life has somehow become complacent or boring. New and interesting things are going on all the time– I just have to notice them! There are aspects of Estonian culture I’ve still never addressed on the blog. I cook new things all the time. And then there’s the once-in-a-lifetime adventure of wedding planning! I haven’t run out of material– for some reason I just haven’t been thinking of my life as fun and interesting lately. Seeing other people discover something new has inspired me to adopt a fresh perspective and find something new and exciting in each day.

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Happy Nutella Day!

Happy World Nutella Day!

I’m not submitting a recipe to the roundup this year, but I still wanted to take a minute to remind everyone that today’s the day to celebrate the delicious chocolate and hazelnutty goodness of Nutella. Go ahead, eat some during the Super Bowl!

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A new year

At the beginning of 2011 I made the following food and blog-related resolutions. Let’s see how I did, shall we?

  • Cook from my cookbooks. I did try some new Jamie Oliver recipes this year, but in general a lot of my recipes still came from the internet, not books.
  • Eat dinner at the table at least twice a week. Total fail. We att at the kitchen table when we had company, but other than that we sat and ate together at the table very rarely.
  • Try eating vegan for at least 5 days and raw vegan for at least 3 days. I kind of fulfilled this one. You can read my adventures in raw eating starting here, although I didn’t go full raw because I didn’t need added stress in my life. I never did the 5 days vegan, even though I think that one would be easier. Not sure why I never got around to it!
  • Visit at least six new (to us) restaurants/bars/cafes in Tallinn. Success! We actually visited a ton of new places this year and found some new favorites. I’m really happy we broke out of our restaurant rut!

But now… what to do this year? Here are a few food- and blog-related goals that come to mind right now; I may add more later.

  • Try eating vegan for at least 5 days. I didn’t do it last year but I’d still like to try!
  • Prepare something for our wedding reception in September. I’ve mentioned this goal to J and he said I shouldn’t do it. Perhaps in the week before our wedding when I’m tearing my hair out I’ll agree with him, but right now I feel that I’d like to prepare something like cookies to add to the dessert table or share as favors. I love cooking and baking for people so much that it just feels right to have something homemade to share with our guests.
  • Write blog posts in Estonian and in Finnish. This ties into my overall goal to spend more time working on both languages.

I honestly can’t think of anything else right now! I usually have an idea of what kind of new cooking or baking project I’d like to attempt, but I haven’t had any inspiration recently. Any suggestions? And are you tackling any kitchen goals this year?

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Little busy right now

I hate to break my streak of actual posts. but I’m working on a sewing project right now that is killing me. I don’t sew often and I don’t do it well, so it’s taking me forever… but I just keep plugging along. I’ll show you the finished product tomorrow!

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It’s that time of year again!

Before going to bed on October 31st, I wasn’t planning on participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) this year. Then I realized that the challenge of posting every day is just the incentive I need to finally get caught up (people are starting to think about the holidays, and I’m still recapping my summer vacation!). However, I’m not sure if I will be able to do the whole month, as I’ll be going away for work for two whole weeks (!) and I don’t know how things will be then time and internet-wise. It would of course be cool to put up short posts every day during my work travel, even if it’s just a photo or something, so I will try. But at any rate, for the first two weeks of November you can definitely expect a post every day!

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My (triumphant?) return

I always planned to come back, I just never got around to telling you. I figured I already have so many apologies on this blog– a look at the archives from every summer in this blog’s life shows I’ve never been very good at consistent posting during those busy months– that I should just let it go. Not apologize. Not worry. And I didn’t. I just gave myself a little break, gave myself permission to not stress over the blog, to get to bed on time rather than stay up late writing, to spend time with visitors, and to take a 5-week trip to the States at the end of the summer. When I was with friends and family there I occasionally mentioned, “Yeah, I haven’t updated my blog in a while…” and the response was always “I know.” Which means, you know… people actually read my blog! Check back to see if I’ve posted! That helped give me the motivation I needed to get back into it, not leave my blog cold and alone. Thanks for sticking with me, loved ones and blog-reading strangers! I appreciate it. And I hope I’m able to entertain you just a little bit.

Now I’m back and quite happy that I get to recap those beautiful warm summer months just as the temperature here in Tallinn starts to creep a little closer to zero degrees with every passing day. And I have so much food to write about! I went to New Orleans, and New York City! Oh, and I had a chocolate chip cookie bake-off with my sister! You will hear about all of it soon… I promise!

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Thoughts on the blog

Every once in a while I get to contemplating the state of my blog — why I do this, is it worth it, should I change something…  should I change everything? I’ve been blogging for a pretty damn long time (since the summer of 2007!), and yet I don’t feel that “well-established”. I know that’s because I don’t post regularly and I also don’t go to great lengths to gain readers. After almost four years this blog still feels like something I do just for myself, and most days, I’m really OK with that. But the fact that this blog is my own little project is also the reason I struggle with the idea of changing it. I’ve thought about starting a whole new blog with a slightly different focus and new structure. A clean slate, plus I could get rid of all those awkward old posts I’m embarrassed about. But at the same time, those posts have documented parts of my life since I started living in Estonia three and half years ago, and I absolutely don’t want to lose them! (This may be a stupid question, but is there a way to un-publish posts, but still preserve them in some kind of archive?). I think starting anew would make me feel lost, rather than more confident.

Then there’s the name of my blog. I know having a foreign word in the name is somewhat impractical, and people change the names of their blogs all the time — it’s no big deal. But it took me so long to think of this one in the first place, and I’m indecisive, so picking a new name that I don’t think is lame would take approximately forever. If I decide that a new name is needed to feel more confident in my blogging space, I’ll do it, but until then my good old Strawberry/Maasikas is staying.

One blogging friend recently started a new blog, and two other friends recently started blogs as well. That’s part of the reason I’ve had all this blog stuff on my mind. But even before that, I thought about change. With your permission, dear readers, I think I’d like to expand the focus of my blog just a tiny bit past food and travel. Without becoming a fitness blog, I want to write more about running and life in general. I’m never going to write about everything — I’ve realized that I’m a private person and the thought of sharing too much of my life on a blog REALLY freaks me out — but I may start to share a little bit more. And perhaps the natural progression of things will lead to a name change. We’ll have to see. If anybody reading is a blogger who changed the name of their blog: was changing the name a hard decision to make? Did you feel better about your blog after you did it?

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