And Now For a Word from Our Sponsor

Have you seen the little YouTube screens at the end of some people’s blogs that are labeled as a WordAd?

Maybe you have one.

If you’re like me, whenever an ad pops up to interrupt whatever you’re doing online, you look for the fastest way to close, end, exit, getthisthingouttahere, turn it off, block it, why does everything have to have an ad?

But when it comes to these ads and seeing them on your posts, well, those are okay with me and I’ll tell you why.

I set up WordAd for my blog because I can get money back when people click to watch and I thought it might be a good way to earn enough to pay for my domain name and a few custom features that I subscribe to on WordPress.

So after each month, I can see how much I’ve earned.  So far, after several months, less than $20. And this $20 is “pending” because I have to earn $100 in order to receive my payment.  At this rate WordAds might pay for my blogging expenses once every four years or so!

So obviously it’s not a big money-making scheme, but it can be a way to support a blogger. And most of the ads are really clever and humorous or catchy or entertaining! So I’ve taken to watching these ads on blogs I visit because I know it may help that blogger support their writing habit.

You never know what ad will show up on your post!  If you don’t think you’ll like the ad then by all means, don’t bother watching it. But some of them are pretty good and I’m no blogging snob so I can admit to liking some of these—especially the ones that make me laugh.

I’m watching your ads if you have them and I’m asking, “Please watch mine!”

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Doompocalyptic-Resolution in the Kitchen

First of all,  I never paid a lick of attention to the Mayan Calendar, I don’t agree I am headed for a tumble over the “Fiscal Cliff,” and I have a very definite opinion about why people cling to any type of “doomsday” prediction.

We people just love, LOVE, L O V E drama. And getting all excited and worried about doomsday or cliffs or devastation by meteorite seems a lot more exciting sometimes than the challenge of facing our lives and making the moment by moment decisions in which we are actually creating our own futures and navigating through our own personal doomsday.

But in the spirit of the New Year and the tradition of making resolutions, I’m joining in on WordPress’ DPChallenge and I’m going to tell you about three things I’d like to change in my life.

My cooking life, that is!

The secret to a good resolution is to have a definite plan on how you are going to accomplish it and then lay out your targets which will lead to your goal. Don’t defeat your own goal before you’re hardly started by deciding it is not big enough, important enough, worthwhile enough, etc., or adopt the consideration that you’ll probably fail to reach your goal.

Cake made of chocolate mousse.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.  I’m going to learn how to make the best, most excellent dark chocolate mousse.  I resolve to make a different dark chocolate mousse recipe every month this year and find out which one is the best.  I’m pretty sure my husband will agree to be my guinea pig taste tester and I’ll post my research findings for you to see.  Stay tuned for the first “Dark Chocolate Mousse of the Month.”

2.  I’m going to learn how to take great pictures of food (for your viewing pleasure when you read my blog).  For this I have purchased Food Photography for Dummies even though I absolutely dislike being referred to as a
“Dummy” and have avoided purchasing any book with this theme in the title until now.

3. I’m going to find and feature six guest authors to contribute to mycookinglife.com  I’ve invited two and have more in mind!

Nope.  Not much doom and gloom here in my kitchen!  What do you resolve to do this year in YOUR cooking life?

Everything Has Not Already Been Said

I discovered a new plus-side to my competitive spirit.

I’m a competitive person.  I don’t express this in the area of sports particularly, but I sure do love a game!  And I play to win. (Is there any other way?)  I’m a very friendly competitor and I enjoy playing with people who also appreciate good game-playing.

Funny, as a person who loves cooking I’ve never directed my impulse toward competing in anything like a bake-off, a cooking contest, a recipe contest, a hot dog/watermelon/pie eating contest.  Nothing like that.

I had a game called “Stump the Cashier.”  This is where I would go to a food store and buy produce and see if the cashier knows the name of the vegetable I’m buying.  This used to be a better game before everything came with bar-coded labels glued right to the food item.  Once in a while I can still stump someone if there’s no label or if they’re interested enough to ask what something is.

The problem was, it was a game only I knew about and the unfortunate cashiers were never in on the rules.  That’s not really a game! I would try to educate them about what the vegetable is and how I prepare it if they wanted to know.  But they never knew that while putting my items on the counter for checkout I was thinking, “Can I stump the cashier with this daikon radish?”

So petty.

Then there’s the whole blogging game which could be viewed as a competition about stats and how many hits your blog gets and if you got “Freshly Pressed.”  Don’t get me wrong – I would love to be “discovered” sipping an ice cream soda on my corner of WordPress City and get Freshly Pressed. And I admit, I check my stats daily–just to see.  This definitely stems from my competitive side.  Even if it’s only me competing with myself.

I read almost all the Freshly Pressed blogs and usually it is quite obvious why they achieved that status.  They’re usually excellent work and they well deserve the acknowledgement.  I would like to be one of those.

So you bloggers all know that there are techniques for getting more hits such as visiting other blogs and posting comments and publicizing your blog on social networks, yada yada yada.  Competitive me has been doing that and I am getting more hits, a few more comments, a few more followers. Yay me!

But I discovered while doing this that there are many, many wonderful blogs to read and so many talented bloggers who are great writers, great photographers and more.  The more blogs I read, the more I have realized that reading blogs is a great way to keep your “finger on the pulse” of the world and the diverse viewpoints out there.

I am an extremely busy person and though I love to read, my personal hardcopy reading time is very limited to only a few minutes a day or less.  I am still working my way through David McCullough’s The Greater Journey that I bought when it came out last May.  But reading blogs is quick and short and I follow quite a few of them.  This is now one of my favorite forms of entertainment!

Some of the best reading available is on blog sites!  Some of the best humor, insight, adventure stories, “drama,” –whatever you’re looking for.  You are usually getting these stories direct from the person experiencing them, too. And, when you exchange comments, it’s interactive.  For me, as far as home entertainment goes, this beats television and a lot of other things by a mile.  I’m even starting to make blog friendships which I love doing.

Blogs do not take months to publish.  They are up-to-the-minute expressions of what’s going on.  So I say, if you want to get in some great reading and be entertained, read blogs.  If you want to be at the top of your game with what people are talking about, thinking about, concerned about, etc., read blogs.  If you want some fuel for your own creative endeavors, read blogs.  If you want to reassure yourself that yes, there are brand new ideas and no, everything has not already been said, read blogs. If you simply want a cache of fascinating topics to bring up at your next party, read blogs.

Some of you might be thinking, “What century has this woman been living in?”  Maybe you have been genned in to blogs and blogging for years.  But for me it is new and I’m enjoying the hell out of it.  No doubt this is the WordPress strategy and it works for me.

And yes I am writing, commenting, “liking,” social networking and stat checking.  But I’m also admiring.

Much Love, Patty