Category Archives: Blog and Biz

“So… are you still blogging?”

Last month, I told my husband that I was pretty sure — 101% sure, actually — that Urban Garlic was done.

The site took too much effort, too many skills that I didn’t have (or have the time to build up) and had pretty much zero payoff. My reach was dismal, and I felt pressured to constantly come up with creative cooking options when I really just wanted to eat and enjoy it. Plus, most importantly (and I still feel this way), I don’t think the world needs another vegan blogger.

I considered writing a post that I was abandoning UG, but I got too discouraged even then. No one would bother reading it, and it felt sanctimonious and martyrish (even saying “no one would bother reading it” sounds super self-pitying, but the fact is, my reader numbers are low, lower than Flo Rida’s shorty ever got).

So what’s changed? Well, not much for me, but I’ve felt more compelled to write for my own blog. Just maybe not in the same ways.

When I started Urban Garlic, it wasn’t even supposed to be a food blog. It was supposed to be a chatty lifestyle blog about what I was into at the moment, what I was doing with my time, new restaurants I’d been to and, yes, some recipes. It was largely as an escape from a job I found boring, an emotionally distant and unfulfilling relationship and a very cold and lonely social life.

Since then, things have changed. I have a new job that I am positively in love with. I married the man of my dreams. I found myself a great circle of friends, just the size I like. In other words, I didn’t feel like I needed Urban Garlic anymore. For a few years I kept it up out of sheer obligation, and I became determined to be the next Oh She Glows or It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

Even if I still worked 40 hours a week while other bloggers were able to devote themselves full-time to it.

Even if I had no discernible photography skills.

Even if I had zero room for food experimentation.

You get where I’m going here.

Anyway, Urban Garlic stood still for a very long time. And yet, instead of giving it up, I’m just going back to Urban Garlic being what it was always supposed to be: my blog.

A lot of this content will probably revolve around food, but it might be more focused on things like local eateries, vegan fashion, and generally what my life has been going like. The plan is to make blog posts shorter so they don’t seem as daunting, and to just write as I go, write when I have time, and not feel pressured to build or push a “brand” when all I should really worry about is being myself. Before committing to a specific schedule, I’ll have to build things and get used to what kind of workload I’m comfortable with. I’ll find new ways to promote UG as I see fit, but overall I need to do what I can do stop UG from stressing me out and make it into the blog I’ve always wanted it to be.

How’s that sound?

My first vlog, why I’m vlogging and what I think of YouTube!

It’s crazy to think about how different my life was one year ago. Yes, I was living in the same apartment with Jarrod and Ben. Yes, I was working in the same office — in fact, despite a couple desk changes, I’m actually only about six feet away from where I was a year ago.

But in late August of 2016, something changed: the magazine I was working for was discontinued. I lost my job. Sort of.


Breeviews: Oh She Glows Everyday

Is Angela Liddon’s follow-up cookbook a tad predictable, or a life-saving, must-have kitchen essential? Short answer: both.

officialcoverosgeverydayWhen I bought Oh She Glows in 2014, I was new-ish to veganism, but not to Angela Liddon’s work. For years, I’d followed her journey from a veggie-curious amateur cook to one of my favourite vegan authors on the web. She could make you feel like she was your girlfriend, your sister, your sweet co-worker who was always bringing oatmeal cookies in.