On August 1, 2007, I made my very first posting as CakeSpy. I know. 9 years. There are functioning small people in society who haven't even been alive for that long, like my nephew.
NINE YEARS! THIS BLOG HAS BEEN ALIVE AND KICKING FOR 9 YEARS!
Since August 1 is my "blog birthday" and August 26 is my human birthday, I like to claim the whole month for ME.
Want to celebrate ME? Start by looking back at nine incredible moments from the 9 years I've had this site. No particular order, and by no means the only 9 incredible moments, but gosh, it's fun to revisit these.
Nine amazing moments in the life of CakeSpy
1. When I dissed Martha Stewart but embraced the Pillsbury Doughboy.
The first time I attended the Pillsbury Bake-Off, Martha Stewart was the host. Everyone wanted a photo with Martha. Not me, man. I totally played it cool. I was gonna be fine without a Martha Stewart photo, because I'm not bowled over by celebrities.
And then the Pillsbury Doughboy walked by. "I NEED A PHOTO WITH THIS DOUGHBOY!" I shrieked, and then promptly almost broke the costume by clutching him too hard. It was truly a glorious moment, and I think you can the true joy in my face.
2. When I got a bunch of book deals and wrote a bunch of books.
There is no feeling like getting a book deal - it truly is truly a Big Life Moment, and I am so fortunate to have gotten not one, not two, but three book deals. I have published two books of my own: CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life, The Secret Lives of Baked Goods, plus a Unicorn Coloring Book, and now I am at work on a third cookbook, along with Andris of Baking Steel. I feel so fortunate to have been able to share my talents with the world in the printed form. My blog has been the gateway to making the books possible -- so thanks, CakeSpy!
3. When I got to meet Jay and Silent Bob, and they ate my Nanaimo bars.
On my first book tour, I was booked on a morning TV program in San Francisco. The other guests on the show? A bunch of zombies from Six Flags (it was around Halloween), Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, and JAY AND FREAKING SILENT BOB. Being from New Jersey, these two are like royalty to me. Now, the former two sets of guests (me and the zombies) were less big deals, so we had our own mini green room, whereas the Actual Stars had an Actual Green Room. However, I asked the green room attendant if he would be willing to tell Jay and Silent Bob that a fan from the Jersey Shore wanted to say hi, and they immediately said yes and I was granted entry. Antonio and Salma were having their segment, so I didn't get to meet them, but seriously, who cares? I GOT TO MEET JAY AND SILENT BOB!
4. When I had a store.
It's hard to believe sometimes, but I actually owned a CakeSpy Shop for a while! It was a little gallery in Seattle, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It was a sweet little spot, and I had such great customers. I had to close when I decided to move to Philadelphia following a breakup, which was bittersweet. I still think fondly of my customers and my sweet little storefront on 415 E. Pine Street. It was the site of my book launch, it was the site of my 30th birthday party, there was even a wedding there once. It's in my heart forever. But I don't miss the over $2,000 per month rent!
5. When I quit my job.
When I started CakeSpy, I had no idea what it was going to be or how it would evolve. But very quickly, I gained the support and following of some very cool people, who bought stuff from my online shop and clicked on my site so I was able to generate ad revenue. When I started my blog, I had a full time job at a refrigerator magnet company; in less than a year, I quit my job to pursue full time freelancing.
Well, it's been 9 years of CakeSpy and 8+ of full time freelancing, and I have done all sorts of stuff, from painting murals to teaching baking classes to kids and then some...and I haven't looked back! Yes, I make less money, but the benefits outweigh that many times over.
6. When I mailed an ice cream cone to myself.
Sometimes, I impress even me. I made myself laugh so hard working on this experimental post that it remains a high point of my blogging career. Full post here.
7. When I nailed the Whole Foods style chocolate cake.
My sweetheart loves Whole Foods' flourless chocolate cake. I do too, but I don't love paying $30 for it. So I made a version myself, and it came out even better than theirs, if I do say so myself. It was a very proud moment as a baker. Recipe here.
8. Becoming an eating disorder recovery activist.
In 2014 I wrote an article which talked about CakeSpy's role in my ongoing eating disorder recovery. The post was well-received, and acted as the gateway for me starting a section of my site called Unicorn Love (you can see it on the top panel under the website header) in which I talk about eating disorder recovery.
While the readership for that part of the site is small, it's a very meaningful project for me, because I know that it has the ability to help people. I'm very thankful that in a weird way, my desert blog has led me to become an eating disorder recovery activist of sorts.
9. My Ben & Jerry's adventure.
I was invited to Vermont, where I got to kick it with Ben (sorry, Jerry was out of town), try snowshoeing for the first time, and got to meet the real, live, actual cows which help create Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It was magical, and I feel so fortunate that I have had that life experience!