A Year In the Life – Miss Allie’s Kitchen

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This time last year, Miss Allie’s Kitchen as we know it wasn’t even an afterthought. “It’s funny how quickly things can change” seems like the understatement of the century. 2016 has quite easily been the best, one of the craziest, and one of the most gratifying years of my life. So you can understand, let me give you a glimpse into what last year at this time looked like:

There I sat, in my rickety row home located in a congested (and admittedly not so nice) suburb of Philadelphia. The rent was low, okay. Half of my room was packed into boxes, two space heaters were blasting to keep the small room livable (no insulation or central heat), and none of my beloved Christmas decorations had even been unpacked that year.

I was tired – Jared and I had been in a long distance relationship for almost the past year and we spent half of the week driving the almost two hour distance to see each other (dedication y’all lol). To top things off, J had just been laid off 3 weeks prior, right before Christmas.


Things were looking up, though. I had just accepted a job 15 minutes from his hometown. My new apartment search was coming to a close and I was about to complete my 9th move in 7 years. Phew.

Flash forward 5 months with me, now. 

My new job was going great, I spent my days in the office or traveling. J was also employed (it didn’t take long after the layoff).  My new gym was next door to the office building; I was in the best shape of my life. After some trial and error, I found a horseback riding trainer I resonated with, and better yet, a new four-legged companion to brighten my Tuesdays.

I had more friends in my life than I had since college.  Finally! A group of girlfriends to drink wine with! I came home most nights, dove into Pinterest or some of my favorite blogs and whipped up a meal. Oh, and the best part, I got to see J EVERY SINGLE DAY.

What I had now was time. And if you know me, excess time is something I know how to use up well. I decided I wanted to pick up an old pipe dream of having a successful food blog. I did my research (talk about information overload), put my nose to the ground and change my life.

Here we are, back to the present.  

I’ve been blogging for almost 7 months and if I ever thought I was busy before, I was wrong. When I’m not working my office job, in the gym, or at the farm, about 50% of my time is spent recipe developing, taking pictures, on social media, emailing, networking, planning, and EATING.

Sometimes I feel crazy (I wouldn’t necessarily call myself “successful” yet), but the lessons learned, confidence I’ve gained and the people I have connected with make this entirely worth it.

Here are a few of my favorite things from 2016

Favorite blog posts:  

 

A few of my favorite recipes from there year would definitely include some of these:

Venison Shepherd's Pie

Venison Shepherd’s Pie 

Sweet Potato Oat Cups

Sneaky Sweet Potato Oat Cups 

Avocado Brownies

The Avocado Brownies 

Chorizo and Collard Green Soup

Spicy Chorizo and Collard Green Soup

Cranberry Orange Mule

Cranberry Orange Mule (HAY BUZZFEED HAY)

  

Favorite moments:  

This is TOUGH! So many wonderful moments to be grateful for. Hmmm, ok, this doesn’t even begin to sum it up but:

Watching my college roommate, Kelly, marry her BEST FRIEND (and a pretty awesome guy) Craig, in Nashville with all of my favorite girls and my favorite date.

The FIRST of my college gal pals to tie the knot!

 

and my dashing date

Touring Italy with my sweet family, and the best tour guide, my brother Matt.

Wine Festivals with my gal pals

i love these people

Camping on the COLDEST weekend ever in September in Northern. PA

you’re welcome for the no-makeup selfie 🙂

Andddd spending Christmas with J (yes, I got to unpack my decorations)

our attempt at a Christmas photo (of course there’s camo present, it’s green!)

Favorite lessons learned (to name a few):  

The happiest people are the most grateful people.

During my first month of blogging I realized that there were a lot of seriously content individuals in the mix of people I connected with. You might argue with me and say “how can you really tell if someone if happy by connecting with them over the internet, Allie?!”. Trust me, that kind of genuine positivity and encouragement just spreads itself. I started diving into business and blog building courses and SURPRISE SURPRISE, a lot of them had a common theme. “What, you can’t just look at other peoples’ success and wish it on yourself?! You have to actually be grateful and work with your personal gifts to grow as a person first and then professionally?!”. Ugh, that sounded like hogwash. Yeah, turns out it isn’t. All of us have issues in life. And I bet that if you’re lucky enough to be sitting in front of a computer using wifi (maybe on that smartphone you can afford), you have something to be grateful for. I have a tendency to get frustrated easily. You should watch me put away the dishes, not pretty. But,  I’ve noticed that since I’ve been taking the time to practice small moments of gratitude, it affects me in a big way.

Nothing worth having comes easily.

I worked hard this year to live in this happy space (mentally and physically) that God has given me. I searched high and low to find an apartment that I loved to reside in. Having a fulfilling and healthy relationship isn’t always a breeze. We’ve talked about the importance of gratitude – which is difficult. Sometimes I don’t want to meal plan or go to the gym, but being healthy is more important than my desire to watch Chopped or Fixer Upper. Being able to take care of myself if a gift. Sometimes, it is really easy to be negative, to think about how green the grass looks from someone else’s window. But if you take the time and effort and walk out your own door (and stop watching through the window) to water your own grass, you may be surprised what you see. I have a long way to go here, but in general, hard work, for the right reasons, is good work.

Nut butter and garnishing your food with fresh herbs is always a good idea.

I don’t know what else to say about that. But, it is what it is, folks. #nutbutterlove
If you made it to the bottom of this post I don’t know whether to thank you or apologize for my long-winded nature. I’m so grateful for the support of readers like you and I can’t wait to continue to share my world and my food in 2017!

xoxx,

Miss AK

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18 Comments
  • Christine | thyme & toast

    Reply

    Love this! And I’ve loved following along on your blogging journey this year. I am so happy that we’ve been able to connect and that we’ve found support in each other as fellow blogging newbies 🙂 Cheers to 2017!!
    Christine | thyme & toast recently posted…Walnut Baklava CupsMy Profile

    • Miss AK

      You read my mind!!!! I’m so grateful for you, and I’ve honestly learned so much following you, my Hummus Queen! Cheers babe!

  • Emily Weir

    Reply

    I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for 7 months! You seem like such a seasoned pro. Looks like 2016 was a much happier and healthier year for you; hopefully 2017 holds the same! 🙂

    • Miss AK

      Not at all to being a pro! And it was!! Happy New Year, girl!

  • Ashley @ The Small Town Foodie

    Reply

    I am AMAZED at all that you’ve done the past 7 months. You’ve been blogging for 5 months less than I have, but I look up to you! I’m so excited to see what else you accomplish in 2017. Happy New Year girly! 🙂

    • Miss AK

      oh gosh, I’m so glad we’ve connected – we have SOOOO much in common! I can’t wait to meet in person this year – it’s going to happen!

  • Aya @ A Healthy Story

    Reply

    LOVED this post, Allie! I’ve been blogging for about 9 months now and can totally relate to a lot of what you said. I’m so proud of what you’ve created and look forward to continuing to follow along!

    • Miss AK

      Exactly! I’m so grateful to have met you and to be able to check in with you so often!

  • Kelly @ Eat the Gains

    Reply

    You have come so far in 7 months!! And I am so excited to see where you are going to go! Blogging is def tough, but if we all help each other out, it makes it so much easier. And I didn’t know your bf and you did long distance. My bf and I drove 4 hours to see each other for 2 years until we decided to pack up and move to Austin 🙂
    Kelly @ Eat the Gains recently posted…Vegan Salted Caramel Ice Cream CupsMy Profile

    • Miss AK

      Get out I had no idea you guys started out that way, too! I feel like it definitely makes you more committed to someone when you have to work that much harder to be together! And I totally agree, I have no idea where I’d be without you!

  • Christine @ Yum and in Love

    Reply

    This is so refreshing to read! Grateful for you and the community you’ve built here. I’m a newbie blogger but I hope I can build what you’ve built in 7 months (I’m having a baby in 4 so we’all see! 😳)

    • Miss AK

      Oh my gosh you GO GIRL! So exciting for you, and I’m so grateful to have connected.

  • Emily

    Reply

    WOW AMEN, the happiest people are grateful; I’m so grateful to have met you Allie and watched you bloom this year in incredible ways; it was wonderful seeing so many bloggers go from a start-up blog to an absolutely wonderful blog that has beautiful recipes, so much sweet heart, and love for their readers. Happy New Year!

    • Miss AK

      You are truly the sweetest soul! Amen to that girl!

  • Britney @ Savour & Shine

    Reply

    Looks like we learned some similar lessons in 2016! Can’t wait to see what 2017 holds for you! Keep being an inspiring, beautiful soul! xxo
    Britney @ Savour & Shine recently posted…The Best Recipes of 2016 + More!My Profile

    • Miss AK

      I’m so grateful for you and our similar minds! Yay for 2017!

  • rachel @ athletic avocado

    Reply

    I have loved watching your blog blossom! Your recipes and pictures have gotten so good! Can’t wait to see what the future brings for you 🙂
    rachel @ athletic avocado recently posted…The Best Whole30 Chicken Recipes!My Profile

    • Miss AK

      You are the sweetest! Thank you for being such a light and source of inspo!

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