I can hardly contain myself and have been so excited to share this with all you beloved readers of mine! Alright let's set the mood. One of my goals for this year was for me to be more outgoing and social around the blogosphere. I'm sort of shy around these neck of the woods. I know it's hard to believe if you know me in person, but really there are so many wonderfully talented bloggers who intimidate me. Like a lot. There, I was totally down about how much of a blog loser I am and took a chance on reaching out to a few of my favorite bloggers.
So without further ado I'd like to introduce Bree from the blog Baked Bree. Applause. Sit back, enjoy this little interview with the charming Bree Hester!!!
1\\ First things first, can you please share with my readers how your blog Baked Bree was born? How long have you been blogging for and did you ever imagine it would be what it is today?!
Baked Bree was born a little over two years ago. I was at my best friend’s house after she had her third baby. It is a long story, but I ended up starting it on her couch when we were snowed in. I thought that maybe she and my mom would read it. I had no idea that it would grow like it did.
2\\ As much as I adore Baked Bree you also have a personal blog that I swoon over too! You have such a beautiful family and two lovely blogs I've got to ask how do you do it?! Any secrets or tips on balancing family time & your blogs?
Oh, thank you. I sadly neglect my personal blog. I always say that I am going to get there, but sadly, it seems to fall low on the priority list. I started my personal blog years ago, it was the easiest way that we could stay in touch with our families. I also run another blog called The Creative Mama (http://www.thecreativemama.com/) that is a collaborative blog. I love it over there too.
I am very organized, and have a lot of lists. I also don’t sleep a whole lot. I genuinely love what I do, and I think that it helps motivate me to get it all done.
3\\ What are some of your favorite online resources for inspiration in the kitchen? Is there anyone in your life or on the world wide web that you look up to or seek encouragement from?
I get inspiration everywhere. Pinterest is becoming the place that I go when I need some inspiration. A lot of my kitchen inspiration comes from my mom. She is an amazing cook, and a lot of my childhood memories stem from her cooking, and traditions that she did with us. I also love cookbooks and magazines. I read them in bed at night like a novel. As for bloggers, Kristen Doyle from Dine and Dish (http://www.dineanddish.net) reached out to me when we moved to Kansas, and I am forever grateful for that. And my friend Alison Bickel from this homemade life, (http://www.thishomemadelife.com) she inspires me to eat better, and challenge myself with photography. Hers is stunning.
4\\ Speaking of your kitchen, what are your most beloved tools/gadgets to use when you're cooking and baking your divine creations?
I love my Kitchen-Aid mixer. I actually just had to replace my first one. I bought it for my 24th birthday and used it almost daily for 12 years. My new one does not hold a candle to that one. I also think that anyone spends time in the kitchen should invest in good knives. I honestly believe that a good cook can make an amazing meal with whatever tools they are given.
5\\ Out of everything, what are some foods that you enjoy cooking and eating the most?!
I love to make and eat a roast chicken. There is nothing more comforting than a roast chicken. And the smell is nothing short of amazing when it is wafting through the house. I also love to make bread. I don’t do it very often, but there is nothing more rewarding than starting with some flour, water, and yeast, and producing a loaf of bread.
6\\ I know you do a lot of freelance photography work. Has your love for food influenced your photography? And, because I am super curious are you a self taught photographer or schooled?
Absolutely. Food is very hard to not be inspired by, it is so beautiful. I will admit, shooting food was really hard for me to get good at. It is a lot harder than it looks. So many elements need to work together, and it took a long time for me to be comfortable shooting it.
I am a self-taught photographer for the most part. I did take a few classes in college, and on and off throughout the years, but I think that I learned by shooting all the time. Every single day. I had a portrait business for a few years, and had wonderful clients. With all of the moving that we do, it is hard to start over all the time.
The only way that anyone will get better at photography is by shooting all the time. It takes practice, lots of practice. I shoot manual 100% of the time. That helps a lot too. Your camera is a tool, you are the artist, and having complete control allows you to make the art that you want to make.
7\\ On a totally different note, other than making drool worthy goodies and taking photos, any other hobbies that you like to indulge in? Maybe something that most of us don't get to see on your blogs. Come on, dish!
I wish that I could say that it is running...
I love to read. It is such a luxury to be able to read for pleasure. But in all honesty, photography makes me the most happy. It is my hobby first and foremost. I have always had a camera in my hand, and love everything about it.
8\\ A while back I came across your Blog with Bree- Blogging 101 E-book and have bookmarked it! It's such a wonderful reference and tool that has really truly given me some great advice. I feel like you have a wonderful voice for sharing knowledge! Would you ever consider putting together an E-Book for the ins & outs of photography? Because I would totally be on that like flies on...PIE ;D
Well, thank you! I am glad that you found it helpful. Blogging changed my life, and I wanted to share what I know to help people get started. You can download it here: (http://www.bakedbree.com/blogging101.pdf)
9\\ When you first started out with Baked Bree how did you go about being social among the blog world? I find myself having a hard time becoming more outgoing and in a way feel awkward when reaching out to people. Any guidance for all of us newish bloggers?
I am terrible about this. It takes me a little while to warm up in a crowd. I think that most bloggers are just a little socially awkward. I think that it is why we are the most comfortable behind the screen. I am very fortunate to have a very loyal fan base. The same people comment all the time. If I don’t hear from them in awhile, I notice, and will look around for them. My advice. Try to leave a few thoughtful comments a day on the same blogs. It is a good way to develop relationships with other bloggers. Most people are generally good, and will help you if you ask. If someone asks me a question in a comment or email, I take the time to answer them. Build relationships with a few people, and from there, you will be able to build more relationships. Also, do not forget to network in the real world as well. In Kansas City, we have a blogger group that gets together once a month. We go out to dinner, and get to talk face to face. It has been such a good thing for me. Seek out groups like these and become involved.
I also adore instagram. I feel like I have gotten to “know” a lot of bloggers because we see the ins and outs of our daily lives. I like that it is smaller, and the conversation seems a little more personal.
10\\ Last but not least, a fun question for you Bree, take a look around you (where you are right at this very moment, probably in the kitchen! Am I right or am I right?!) Name five objects that catch your eye!
It is 1:18am on Sunday night. I am sitting in my office. The Soup is on my iPad, I am drinking out of my favorite coffee mug from Anthro. I have my son’s preschool application next to me and Joy the Baker’s cookbook is to my right. My dog is sleeping on my feet, and I headed in that direction now too.
Thank you so much for dropping by my little piece of the web and for taking the time to allow me to pick your lovely brain! Is there anything you would like to add or share with all of us that you would like us know about yourself or your blog Baked Bree??
I just want to thank all of my readers for reading, and taking the time to leave comments and send emails. I appreciate all of the support, and could not do it without them.
This was so exciting for me and loved every minute of it. Big, huge, gigantic THANKS to Bree (I swear she's the next Pioneer Woman!!). Learned a ton and the inspiration of it has me all giddy :)