My Food Blog in Numbers

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I have noticed lots of blog posts recently regarding various blogging achievements. I don’t think I have had this blog for long enough yet to get too excited about my progress, but reading these other posts did make me think about how I am doing so far.

On the whole, I think the blog is going really well. I am only doing this in my spare time as I work full-time and have four children. I am definitely making progress, though. As I once worked in the Maths department of a secondary school, I am a fan of numbers and statistics. I thought it would be fun to assess my progress so far in terms of numbers. Here goes!

182– Number of followers on this blog.

567– Followers on Twitter.

14- Followers on my new Facebook page that I have recently set up. Feel free to add to this number!

3,000– Number of views on my blog so far.

16– Weeks I have been posting as The Fruity Tart.

155– The number of posts I have published so far.

2,000– Likes I have received.

252– Comments on my posts.

1– Award Nominations

9– External backlinks to my blog (not including ones that I have created).

Thanks to everyone for their support so far and I am looking forward to many more months, or years, of blogging.

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I’m NOT ‘On a Diet’

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I have recently posted a few blogs about how I am trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight. It’s annoying me how many people have asked me how my diet is going or if I am struggling with being on a diet. I hate the term ‘on a diet’ and refuse to use it.
First of all, everybody has a diet, it is just that some people’s are healthier than others. A diet is simply what you eat. Second, if you refer to yourself as being ‘on a diet’, I think it gives the impression that you are depriving yourself in some way and struggling on through life. These are the reasons why I do not refer to myself as being ‘on a diet’.
I prefer to call it changing my eating habits or adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Anyway, I have hardly deprived my self of anything. I have simply made a few changes in an effort to fit back into my jeans. My biggest sacrifice, if you want to call it that, is to reduce my wine intake. Desperate times call for desperate measures! Other than that, I have replaced fizzy drinks with water, put sweeteners in my coffee, stopped eating crisps in bed and walked a bit more. That is the extent of my efforts so far.
It is already working. Making these simple changes to my eating and lifestyle habits have led to a weight loss so far of six pounds in under two weeks. Hopefully, I will have hit the half a stone mark by next week.

Catch up with my previous weight loss posts here:

My New Weight Loss Plan

A Mixed Start to My Healthy Lifestyle

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award- My Most Notable Blogging Nomination

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This morning I had a spring in my step because I had been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award. It is my most notable blogging nomination to date- mainly because it is the only one I have had! You would think I was up for an Academy Award the way I went on about it to my partner and it gave me the motivation to get on with my writing work for the rest of the day. It is just nice to get recognition for the effort you have put into creating a blog from a fellow blogger. The blogger in question is Lalas Journey.

Bizarrely, had she not been the person that nominated me, she would have been on my own list of nominations as I love reading her interesting posts. Also, we have a shared passion for wine! Thank you for my nomination.

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you in the post and the link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 8-11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award Logo on your post and/or in your blog.

My Nominees

Everything’s better when you’ve had a cuppa tea (Awkward Whale)-

Just for writing about a diverse range of topics and for getting into the spirit of the blogging community.

With Colours and Canito in the Kitchen

Just for opening my eyes to the delights of Mexican cuisine and writing about food that looks fun.

Hub City Girl

Just for writing about so many different topics with useful hints and tips.

Book Em, Jan O

Just for making me smile with her Haiku and for sharing interesting stories about ghosts.

Julienne Red

Just for having such an attractive looking blog with great photos and tasty looking recipes.

Alex’s Nibbles

Just for being brave enough to try some of my recipes and then sharing a link to a meal she had enjoyed. 

Just Another Woman with a Blog (The Beasley)

Just for giving me fond music memories with her Friday blogs about top ten hits of each year. 

A Plate of Happiness

Just for being my latest resource for Indian food.

The Questions I Was Asked

1. If you won 1-million dollars, what is the very first item you would purchase with your winnings?

Very boring, but I would pay off my mortgage to reduce my financial strain.

2. What is the one place you have always wanted to travel and why?

I would love to go to India. I think it is an interesting culture and seems like a beautiful and diverse country. Indian cuisine is also my favourite type of food!

3. What is your biggest fear?

Something happening to my children.

4. What animal/insect are you most afraid of?

I am not afraid of any animals, as such, but rats and cockroaches make me cringe. Also, I can’t bear the thought of a moth’s wings touching me but I love butterflies.

5. What is one accomplishment in your life that you are most proud of?

Giving birth to four beautiful children. After that, it would be putting myself through a degree while I was a single mum who worked full-time.

6. Would you rather be stranded on a deserted tropical island or lost in the woods?

Tricky one as there are pros and cons to both. I think I would have more hope of getting back out of the woods if I kept walking in a straight line.

7. Baths or showers?

Baths as I hardly ever use my shower at home. I like the idea of long relaxing baths. Unfortunately, I am not very good at it. If my partner runs me a bath with bubbles and candles, I am instructed to take my time and relax. I start by washing my hair and then shaving all the bits that need shaving and then lie back. I soon get bored and get out only for my partner to tell me I have only been in the bath for seven minutes start to finish.

8. Are you a night owl or morning person? Why?

Without a doubt, a night owl. I think it is because I was a dancer when I was younger and would perform at night. It always seems like a more exciting time of the day. On saying that, if I get an early night and a decent night’s sleep, I actually function better in the mornings than the evenings and get lots done.

9. Favorite television show?

I am a big fan of cooking competitions. However, my favourite television series of all-time is Casualty. It is a British medical drama series that is aired on Saturday nights in the UK and I haven’t missed a single episode since it started when I was a child.

10. What would be your signature cocktail? This could be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Well, it certainly wouldn’t be one without alcohol in it! I will say sex on the beach because it sounds like fun!

My Questions to My Nominees

  1. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
  2. Who is your favourite author and why?
  3. If you were on death row, what would you choose for your last meal?
  4. What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
  5. On holiday, do you prefer sunbathing on the beach, strolling around historic areas, or trying new and daring activities?
  6. What was the last movie you watched?
  7. Do you believe there is life on another planet?
  8. If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would you choose?
  9. Who is your biggest inspiration?
  10. What is the best gift you have ever received?
  11. When was the last time you danced in the kitchen just for the sake of it?

Are You An Elaborate Chef or a Simple Cook?

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Everyone has their own style of cooking and there are several factors that contribute to this. I think one of the main factors is an individual’s thoughts on the process of cooking. Some people see it simply as a means to an end while others consider it as one of their hobbies as it is something they love so much. The former will generally just choose something that is easy to cook while the latter prefers to carefully select their ingredients, spend time using a variety of cooking techniques, and presenting plates of food in a visually appealing manner.

Life experiences can also impact on your style of cooking and the types of food you like to cook. If you cooked with your parents or grandparents as a child, then they are probably a major influence on how you cook today. Similarly, if you have traveled to various locations across the globe and sampled a variety of cuisine, then it is likely that you are more willing to experiment with different flavours in the kitchen to recreate the dishes you have experienced during your travels.

Lifestyle factors can also play an important role. For example, I have worked in the catering industry, grew up cooking, and have international influences, so I am fairly experienced in the kitchen and have the capacity to cook elaborate dishes. However, I am also a working mother of a large family and a house that still needs a lot of work. Therefore, I regularly make simple dishes just to feed everyone in the limited amount of time available.

Overall, I would say I am somewhere in between an elaborate chef and a simple cook, depending on the situation and my mood. I am interested to know, which best describes you?

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Elaborate’ on The Daily Post.

Making a Vague Plan for My Food Blog

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I have previously written about my grand plans for my food blog, The Fruity Tart, and about all the things I want to include on the blog. Although the main aim is to post lots of recipes, I also want to include restaurant and product reviews, lifestyle posts, fun articles, factual lists, health blogs that relate to food, and food news pieces. Basically, I have grand ideas that are far beyond what I am capable of in the time I have available.

My posting has been very random in many ways as I have been adding recipes as and when I am cooking them or if they pop into my head. This means I have found it difficult to keep track of whether I have a good variety of different types of recipes posted and I cannot remember what I have done without looking down my list of blog posts

The perfect example of this came this morning when a recipe I occasionally make popped into my head and I added it to the blog. When I came to add a photograph, I realized that I had a photo of the dish already on the saved pictures section on WordPress, so didn’t need to find it from my phone or Google Images. I thought this was odd but I do sometimes add photos to WordPress as I take them ready to use at a later date. It was only after I posted it that I realised I have already posted that recipe about a month ago.

Just a few days ago, I decided to keep a spreadsheet with ideas for different aspects of the blog that I can add to whenever I want and highlight them as I have added them. I am quite a visual person, so having a colour coded worksheet is good for me and helps me to get organized. It’s just a shame I didn’t look at it this morning!

Of course, my planning is only vague and not a strict regime. I will still add things as I make them as the instructions are clear in your head and you don’t have to search through photos on your phone if you upload them straight away. I definitely think that a bit of forward planning will help me to get more organised and to make sure that I don’t double up on things again in the future. 

 

This post was in part inspired by the Daily Prompt ‘Vague’ on The Daily Post

I’m In It for the Long Haul

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Although I have been working as a freelance writer for seven years now, this blog is a relatively new venture. In fact, as I am writing this, it is just eight weeks old. I started off with big ambitions, but I have found it more challenging than I thought and I have not produced anywhere enough content. 

However, this hasn’t deterred me from keeping going. This week, I have had so much paid work that I had planned not to write anything on my food blog at all. I was going to concentrate solely on my paid work and sorting out the house. I don’t know how, but at the end of each working day, I have found myself taking my laptop to bed with me as I couldn’t resist the urge to sit and post something on The Fruity Tart

I have decided that there is something very addictive about blogging. I love checking my views, my likes and who is now following my blog. However, this isn’t the only addictive part of having a blog. I have also become addicted to checking out the reader section of WordPress to see what other people have posted. I am now following a wide range of blogs, so my reading material is diverse. While some are fellow food bloggers, I am also enjoying reading poetry, historical and factual information, personal experiences and blogs about all sorts of niche subjects. 

Regardless of how successful my own blog is, blogging is so addictive that I am definitely in this for the long haul. 

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Haul’ on The Daily Post

REVIEW: Whitegate Inn Beefeater, Manchester

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The other day I posted that I was excited that I was going out for a meal with my in-laws as it was a while since I had eaten out. You can read that post here. As promised, I can now review the restaurant in which we ate. 

whitegateWe visited the Whitegate Inn which is part of the Beefeater chain of restaurants in Failsworth, Manchester. There were ten of us eating and we hadn’t booked in advance. As a result, we didn’t have a table straight away but we were happy to wait and enjoy a drink in the bar area. 

Once we were seated, our lovely waitress quickly took our order. My partner and I both ordered the sirloin steak with chips and pepper sauce. Most others around the table also ordered various steak options, although two of our party opted for burgers. 

As the restaurant was so busy, it took a while for the food to arrive. This gave me time to assess the restaurant better. Everyone in the place seemed to be having a good time and I couldn’t see any food being returned- always a good sign. The place had a comfortable and fun vibe and there were several families with children eating at the restaurant. Our waitress kept us topped up with drinks until our food arrived.me and mike fail

 

When the food arrived, the steaks were cooked perfectly as requested. Everyone at our table was happy with the meal they received. Some went on to order puddings, but I was full. 

Overall, the food was what you would expect from a chain steakhouse and the prices were reasonable. The waitress was friendly and helpful, answering all our questions and bringing us extras and sauces. A good time was had by all.