SAMSUNG CSCThis time last year I was frazzled. I was deep in the middle of one of my busiest weeks of the year at work. I was frantically getting my family organised for a three week family holiday to Thailand and Singapore. So, what better time to start a blog? Right? I reckon there’s no such thing as a good time to do anything. So, on that basis, I stopped analysing the pros and cons of starting a blog and simply took action. I’m so glad I did: The last 12 months with The Beauty Foodie blog has been a fantastic ride and I’ve found my new happy place.

I am often asked why I started blogging and what I enjoy the most about it. So, as The Beauty Foodie celebrates its first birthday this week, I thought the answers to those questions would make a great blog post!

Why did I start blogging?
Firstly, I badly needed a creative outlet. Whilst I love my chosen career, the opportunity to be truly creative is often lacking. I’m a big believer that if you aren’t getting your jollies in your 9-5 job, then you need to get those jollies outside of work. If you don’t, you could end up frustrated, stressed and full of regret.

I was already an avid blog follower and, being someone who loves to write, I kept thinking “I’d like to do that…” Then I started thinking “I could do that…” Finally I got to a point where I started thinking “I need to do that”. Bloggers everywhere such as were inspiring me daily to reach my goals and I knew it was what I wanted to do.

When I pondered what I’d like to blog about, that was fairly obvious. I’m both a foodie and beauty fanatic. I love cooking and sharing recipes. Beauty wise, I dream in eyeshadow… I felt there was a space for a (slightly more) mature beauty blogger in the age 30+ space, especially here in New Zealand. I hoped people would be able to relate to me (I have laughter lines, zits and hooded eyelids. I’m real). My friends were also regularly telling me “Lou, you need to do something with this!” This is probably as a result of my training background (and being a chatterbox): When people are in my makeup chair they always get a learning experience.

Long story short, I followed my intuition that was screaming “be creative”. One thing that my friend recommended that I use was WordPress Hosting – blazing speed, as she felt that this was something that would make starting my new blog easier. Before I started blogging, I never really understood the importance of getting a good hosting provider for all elements of a blog. Now though, I know all of the best cpanel hosting providers, and this has helped my endlessly with my blog. Not only this, I listened to my fabulous friends, and eventually, the stars aligned and I just thought “sod it. Let’s give this blogging malarkey a crack”. I figured if things went tits up I’d just pull the pin on it and chalk it up to experience.

Why did I pick beauty and food blogging?
I did ponder doing a blog about personality types (I still might someday). But I recognised that I needed to write about something ‘light’, as opposed to a serious topic, again, to give me a bit of balance. Also, I’m slightly indecisive: I couldn’t decide whether to blog about food or beauty. I figured it was my blog, why not do both? Besides, it didn’t seem like there were many other blogs that were solely about beauty and food. I felt I might have found a point of difference.

Why do I love blogging?
Blogging blends together all the things I’m super passionate about: Beauty, food and people. It also gives me the opportunity to connect with new people. I’ve met some fantastic and inspiring souls in the last year. I love surrounding myself with positive people – I feed off their energy.

Why did I call my blog The Beauty Foodie
Funnily enough, I nearly didn’t. I nearly called it Lipstick & Ladle. Finding a name that ‘nodded’ to both food and beauty kept me awake for months. Eventually I realised that every time I was describing what Lipstick & Ladle would be I’d describe it as a “beauty and foodie blog”. I was getting a bit of coaching in early 2013 and Coach Sharon said to me “why don’t you just call it The Beauty Foodie?” Bingo! Sorted (thanks Sharon!).

What have I learnt?
My biggest learning curve has been finding my way around the technology side of things. Finding the best wordpress website page builders was not easy for someone with such a basic understanding of all things internet. At times this has felt like Mt Everest. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have launched straight in, followed my nose and read no instructions. Talk about baptism by fire! I’m pleased to say I’ve muddled along, largely with the help of Aunty Google. So I’ve learnt that: When I put my mind to it – I surprise myself. I’d love to help aspiring bloggers get started one day – there’s that training background coming out again!

Oh, I also learnt I may have a shopping problem.

What was my first blog post?
Funnily enough, it was on Urban Decay Primer Potion, which is very fitting as I’m always banging on about the benefits of using eyeshadow primer. Also, whilst I fall in and out of love with a lot of products, this little baby is still an absolute favourite. You can read that post here.

Where do I see my blog/ myself in a year?
I really just want to increase my blog’s following. I’d like to do more makeup tutorials and travel posts, attend some cooking schools and blog about that. Skill wise, whilst my photography has come a long way in a year, that’s something I still need to work on. My Hot Hubby is actually a dab hand with a camera and he has taught me a lot (he also takes a few of the food photos!) I’d also love to do some makeup and cooking You Tube tutorials. Right now though I’m limited by not having the right tools: A Canon 60D DSLR camera is on the shopping list, along with some decent lighting and video editing software.

What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
The connections I’ve made with new people. That people take the time to read what I write, that they go and out buy the products I recommend, or that they cook my recipes – WOW: That warms my heart. When people come up to me and say “My Dad loves your Eggplant Stack recipe” or “I’ve been wearing makeup lately, I feel great, you inspired me, thank you”. I grin from ear to ear.

Lastly, Thanks for reading – and a HUGE thanks for the following my blog. I’m so grateful for your support.

Lou x