One Year Later

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Things were not going so well one year ago. Remember then? Life seemed to be falling apart at the seams. To much change was going on, and none of it good. It all was lacking focus and effort. You got bored, so you started to wander the internet during your lunch breaks.

You stumbled onto a little something called The Julie/Julia Project, and it was amazing. Life changing. You read the entire thing in 3 days, shirking responsibilities at work and home to voraciously digest this woman's misadventures. Then you looked for more. You found The Restaurant Whore and she made you laugh, Becks and Posh who made you think, Cooking with Amy who grabbed your attention, and Eggbeater who pulled you in with her prose.

You wanted to start your own blog. Something permanent. So that no matter how much change kept happening or how bad it got, you had one constant in your life. But all the blogs were based in San Francisco. You would be the food blog of Sacramento and Yolo. You would call it Vanilla Garlic (as 14 Eggs was already taken at the time). You would have an excuse to get out of the house and live life. You would give a personal look at restaurants and events in the areas. And no recipes. You didn't want to be a recipe blog.

On your first day, 4 people read your blog. You were floored. Now, you hit over 120,000 page views.

You then started to meet people and e-mail people. You made new friends. Truly wonderful, crazy about love, life, and food people. You started to get together and go out. Raising money for those in need. Volunteering. Having pot lucks and parties. People you didn't know even wrote for restaurant suggestions. You had readers in Europe, Australia, and Asia and your readership kept growing.

People actually cared about what you wrote.

Then one day, you discovered another blog, and you decided to give baking another go. It worked, so you tried again. And then again. And then you decided to try baking your own recipe and it was a success. Then people actually started to make your recipe.

It soon became an addiction. Cupcake recipes sprang forth from you. You were a non-stop flour force, armed with a cup of sugar and a stick of butter. Not to mention a whole lot of gusto. Sure the oven would earn your temerity once in a while, but you loved it. You couldn't bake before, but you started to take classes, read books, educate yourself. You could give baking advice with confidence and teach friends. The blog partially became a recipe blog. A cupcake blog.

The blog became a site of notice, you were mentioned in print. Then one day you achieved a dream. You were asked to write. About food. By a magazine. You achieved a goal you had been after for years.

The blog became a cupcake blog. A restaurant review blog. A blog to write your essays in. A blog to share with friends and family about your life. It was a space for you where you could put your soul into print.

What started as a safe haven, a constant that still persists, is now a home.

To anyone who has ever read Vanilla Garlic, to all the friends I've made, and people I've met, THANK YOU.

One year later. Happy Birthday, Vanilla Garlic.
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I'll be posting every single day for a week to celebrate this. Hope you drop by and see what's in the oven.

34 comments:

  1. Congratulations.
    May your other dreams come true as well.
    And may you continue to create cupcakes to copy.

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  2. Happy Blog Anniversary Garrett, I always love reading your posts!!

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  3. Happy Bloggy Birthday! Reading about your journey as a blogger, food lover, writer and individual sent shivers down my spine. What a tremendous success you've created on this site! Congrats Garrett!

    Ari (Baking and Books)

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  4. A very happy blogiversary to you. It's amazing how something so seemingly ephemeral as an internet based community can in all actuality provide such an anchor.

    Looking forward to more of your recipes, reviews and posts!

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  5. Happy blog-birthday, Garrett!

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  6. Happy Birthday!
    Because of your blog, I have my blog and my own jewelry business. So no, thank YOU!

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  7. Garrett - thank YOU for a great year! May I add my congratulations to the rest. I look forward to more witty posts and cupcake recipes, all written in your unique voice. xox

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  8. Congrats! That is absolutely fantastic!

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  9. Happy blog day! Can't wait to see what you'll cook up next.

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  10. Congratulations Garrett! We'll continue to tune in and look forward to the new advances in the next year of writing, eating, baking and growing. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

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  11. Happy Birthday Vanilla Garlic!!!! <333

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  12. I'm crazy for your blog! First- its funny! and your recipes always are interesting, unique and OH MY YUM! thank you for being my mid day work vacation.
    and please, More Eat Beast stories, I love that cat.

    stacey in miami beach.

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  13. I've only recently come across your blog, and wish that I'd found it sooner. Heck, I'm not even really partial to cupcakes, but you've got me hooked!

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  14. One year that's great. Even though I have been reading only a few weeks, it seems like your food career is snowballing or more appropriately, blossoming :)

    See you around!

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  15. One year congrats! In the past few weeks your food career seems to be blossoming or more appropriately souffleing. Keep it it up!

    See you around!

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  16. Happy Birthday to you and your blog! Hope you celebrate it with some wonderful cupcakes and champagne! Here's to the next year and beyond!

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  17. Congratulations Garrett, that is quite an achievement. Your blog is one of a handful that I check out every evening.

    It is definitely worth the read and updates are always eagerly anticipated so knowing you will be posting daily for the next week is great news!

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  18. Happy Birthday/Anniversary!The essay was beautiful, like the cupcakes you create. Here's to many more years of beautiful posts and cupcakes, cheers!

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  19. I've enjoyed reading your blog from the time I found it...and thanks to people like you, Cakegrrl, Sher (What Did You Eat?), and others, I was brought back into a world I long forgotten- writing.

    Happy Blog Anniversary and keep up the wonderful work!

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  20. Great story, Garrett. May there be many more years to come :)

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  21. Happy Vanilla Garlic Birthday :-)

    Really enjoyed the foodytainment that you garnish my life with week in week out.

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  22. Congratulations! I love you blog site..and your cupcake recipies.

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  23. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR SWEET LOVIN' AND SUPPORT!
    *HUGGLES*

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  24. congrats! i always enjoy it around here.

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  25. Happy Birthday, Vanilla Garlic! And congratulations for making this site such a huge success. I hope things stay good for you through the next year too.

    (Actually this reminds me that my site's birthday is coming up in a few days. I hadn't noticed. :s)

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  26. Aw we love you too Garrett! You inspire us with your crazy cupcakes and your joyful enthusiasm.

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  27. What a fabulous year you have had! Keep up the good work. :)

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  28. I love Vanilla Garlic. I haven't attempted any of the recipes yet, but I'm determined to one day. I've got a few bookmarked for future reference. But right now, as a poor college student who's in school during the day and rehearsal at night...baking's not a priority. But I love this blog, I really do. It's one of my favorites to just sit and peruse. Congratulations on the anniversary! I'm glad things are going well for you. :o)

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  29. Kendall - thanks, and no worries on the baking, I've been there, feel ya', and am going back to school soon myself. LOL

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  30. I just found your blog through What Did You Eat and have made a date to giddily peruse every page. Happy Blog-iversary!

    cheers!
    BB
    buttabuns.wordpress.com

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  31. Hello Garrett! Congratulations on your achievement. This is my first time visit to your blog and I am truly inspired. Thanks.

    Perseverance, hard work always pays. Continue the good job

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  32. I bookmarked this to read 'later'... not realizing at the time how very late 'later' would turn out to be.

    So add my belated congratulations to the pile, and thank YOU... the food blog world as I know it wouldn't be the same without you and your voice.

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Hey, you're leaving a comment! That's pretty darn cool, so thanks. If you have any questions or have found an error on the site or with a recipe, please e-mail me and I will reply as soon as possible.
~Garrett

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