Next month will mark my four year blogging anniversary. I can hardly believe it’s been that long. And definitely find it hard to comprehend how much I’ve learned – and changed – since my first post went live in 2009. When Andrew and I both moved to Chicago in early January of that same year, we had both just graduated from University and certainly had high hopes for a new start in a new place together. Andrew had accepted his first full time gig as a sales engineer at an HVAC company and I was determined to find my first job too within the journalism industry. Armed with a boatload of determination, over 50 addressed demo reels headed out to any and every news station, and a heavily loaded resume sparkling with numerous impressive internships, I didn’t think it would be tough to find my groove in the career world. Yet sometimes our plans in life sort of fall through, falling a bit short of our expectations don’t they?

What I never anticipated was how hard and unlikely it would be for a fresh out of college journalism grad to find a job in the second best journalism market in the country; in the middle of an economic crisis. Throw my Canadian citizenship and restrictive Visa status into the mix and I literally felt like I couldn’t catch a break. Slowly but surely I started to blow through my savings account as I tried so hard to be a loving and supportive fiance, who handled the groceries and made home cooked meals just waiting on the table for when Andrew arrived home from work. I tried to make our little one bedroom apartment feel cozy and inviting. But I felt helpless, unmotivated, unencouraged and most of all, sure that this lifestyle would fall through sooner than later. I hated tapping into my savings account to buy things that I thought would give us the life we were supposed to be living, but wanted so badly to have some sort of supposed normalcy.

Before Andrew and I officially moved to Chicago, I had set up a part time internship as a writer at a tiny magazine called College News. You can check it out here. I really thought this would be my big break and if all else failed, would be something to at least fall back on until I landed a job I really wanted. Except when I started to settle into my internship schedule I learned really quickly, this wasn’t the gig for me. Between the long unpaid hours and the ‘newsroom’ that was far too quiet and predictable in contrast to a lively, bustling never-know-what-you’re-going-to-get telvisions newsroom, I found myself absolutely bored out of my mind and uninspired with my daily duties. I remember so clearly having to write a story for the CN blog about the Chris Brown and Rihanna incident when it first broke, and I thought to myself, if this is the kind of work I’m destined to do forever, then I must be selling myself short.

Eventually my lack of fulfillment at my internship, led me to pursue personal interests at home. And all at once in between job searching and emailing news editors until my fingers were blistered, I found myself up to my eyeballs in cookbooks, baking soda and cupcake pans. One day at the internship while writing a story for the College News blog, it dawned on me that I too could have a blog! One that would highlight my favorite recipes, along with a little commentary in my tone of voice and it would hands down be much more fun than writing about celebrity gossip or trivial things that I had no interest in. It would allow me to be creative (bonus), in control (double bonus) and if the blog ended up falling short of my expectations there was the option to quit and move on. With that Pink Sugar Desserts was born. Along with a plan to open a storefront. All at once I had these big ideas and even bigger plans to do something.

I eventually said good bye to the College News internship, and instead stayed home to juggle the ongoing and exhausting job search with the obsessive amount of baking in our tiny little kitchen. I soon after discovered Bakerella and decided I too needed a Canon Rebel to document my kitchen creations so I went out (spent more money) and bought one from a camera retailer who was going out of business. I started to realize that in putting a little effort into my posts (like well thought out images) and a little personality (like a conversational tone of voice) led to very slow but sure increases in traffic. People other than Andrew and my Mom started to read. And at once I was hooked on blogging.

You can read Part II here.
You can read Part III here.
You can read Part IV here.

This was written in January of 2013.