Thank you for all your questions – Connecting with readers is one of my favorite things about blogging. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that I get about myself & A Little Insanity.
WHY WOULD YOU NAME A FOOD BLOG ‘A LITTLE INSANITY’?
Haha! When I first started this blog in 2009, my life had just been flipped upside down with the adoption of 2 precious little boys (now there’s 4 of them!). They each came with some unique & serious health issues, that rocked our food world – in a good way! I started this blog wanting to share my personal experiences… But, it was my allergy friendly recipes that became the most popular, and eventually the primary focus of the blog. It turns out ‘A Little Insanity’ does a pretty good job of describing what it’s like for those of us living with Food Allergies & Special Diets. I can relate & hope my readers will feel right at home here. =)
DO YOU FOLLOW A PARTICULAR DIET?
Yes. Although I am not a Celiac, one of my sons is, so we follow a strict Gluten Free diet at our house. Because of our children’s allergies & special dietary needs, we also avoid several other foods (like eggs, dairy, soy, some nuts, excess sugar, artificial food colorings/flavors, and a few other random items). This is why many of my recipes are also considered Vegan… even though we eat meat. (Yes, I know, that’s confusing – You should see us try to order at a restaurant!). Equally important is that a we typically eat a ‘Clean’ diet of whole, unprocessed foods. We’ve experienced a miracle turn around in our family’s health since modifying our diet… I hope you will too!
WHERE DO YOU GET THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR RECIPES?
- My Kids – They constantly want to try foods they see their friends eating. So it motivates me to create & adapt recipes for their special diets.
- My Readers – You guys are constantly sending me awesome recipe ideas and requests… Thanks! I’ll do my best if you keep ’em coming!
- My Own Food Cravings – I’m nostalgic for traditional meals & comfort foods, so I love re-creating them.
- Our Health – With so many health issues & dietary restrictions in my family, it drives me to create recipes that are both healthy & healing.
- Holidays & Special Occasions – I love trying to re-create allergy friendly favorite treats & traditions for my own family
- Brands – Sometimes companies contact me about creating/adapting a recipe with their specific product(s) to make them gluten free or allergy friendly. Since I’m very protective of my readers, I only work with brands that align with our special dietary needs.
DO YOU USE OTHER PEOPLES’ RECIPES ON YOUR BLOG?
Yes & No. Some of the recipes I share are my own gluten free adaptations of an original recipe (like my Gluten Free Version of the Original Toll House Cookie Recipe). In this case I always credit back the original author whenever possible – Even my Grandma gets credit when I share her recipes! But, most of what I post are my own original recipe creations that are the result of my love for baking.
CAN I USE YOUR PHOTO OR RECIPE ON MY WEBSITE?
I’m humbled that you’ve asked, Thanks! The answer is Yes & No…
If you want to share my Recipe Photos Only, without the recipe text – then, sure! & thank you! :) I only ask that you please credit my photos with a link back to the recipe post & my site.
However, I do not allow republication of the text from my posts or recipes without prior consent. If people copy and paste my recipes and republish them onto their websites, it will negatively affect how A Little Insanity gets displayed in search results – which would be a bummer :(
If you have a specific inquiry about one of my recipes, please feel free to email me.
WHY DIDN’T YOUR RECIPE WORK FOR ME?
Gluten Free baking can be tricky, especially when you’re just getting started… So, keep trying! I do a lot of research & testing before I post a recipe in hopes you’ll have success too! Be careful when modifying the recipe in any way – I don’t always know myself how that will affect the finished product. The comment section of the recipe post is the best place to post your questions or suggestions. This way the discussion can benefit everyone.
I’M INTERESTED IN ADOPTION OR FOSTER CARE. WHERE DO I START?
That is awesome! ♥ Adoption & Foster Care is a HUGE passion of mine. I am both an adoptive mother (of 4 boys), and a licensed Resource Family for Foster Care in our state. Both are the hardest, yet most wonderful things I have ever done. A great place to start is by asking your church, local CPS office, or friends who’ve adopted/fostered how they got started. One of my favorite online resources is: AdoptUSKids.com. From there, I’d encourage you to be patient, but perseverant… It can be a lot of work up front, but if it’s meant to be, every effort will be worth it!
HOW DO I START A FOOD BLOG?
Great question! I started this blog in 2009 & have learned a LOT along the way. I go into the full details on my post How to Start a Food Blog, but here’s some of the highlights:
- Start by reading my How to Start a Food Blog post (coming soon) filled with things you’ll need to know before getting started, including the type of equipment I use, how I monetize my site, & so much more.
- You’ll need a: Domain Name & Hosting – Blue Host is a great place to start on a budget. Blue Host will also help you get a Domain Name, install WordPress (the blogging platform) & provide Hosting starting at only $3.95 per month… that’s a great place to start! Once your blog grows, I highly recommend upgrading your hosting to WP-Engine – This is who I use & they are hands down the best Word Press hosting company. With 24-hour support, daily backups & very fast speed, I never have to worry about my site.
- Word Press Template – I use WordPress with a customized version of the Foodie Pro Template with the Genesis Platform). However any of the Food Blogger Templates over at StudioPress are excellent. Once you’ve got that installed, you’ll need a Recipe Plugin for WordPress (I use Cookbook, but WP Tasty Recipes & WP Recipe Maker are great too!)
- If you’re not a photographer, then I highly recommend Food Photography School (excellent video tutorials) & Tasty Food Photography (an excellent eBook). It will be the best money you spend & your photos will turn out so much better. This also means you’ll need to get a decent camera for taking pictures/videos. I use an older Canon T3i with a 50mm fixed lens… and my iPhone too!
- I also highly recommend joining Food Blogger Pro which is a membership website for new food bloggers. It is the most comprehensive site I have ever seen for food blogging. The video lessons will walk you through each step of starting a blog from the very beginning. Plus, there’s an incredible forum where you can ask questions and hear from other food bloggers. I saved SO MUCH time & money by following the advice over there. If there’s a waiting list, be sure to get on it – I waited a few months to get in and it was worth it!
Building a blog is something that takes time & patience. If you stick with it, you’ll learn so much and your blog will eventually grow. My favorite reward for all of the hard work is the wonderful community of people I get to interact with online. So, the best advice is: don’t stress, be yourself, have lots of fun, & learn as you go!
DO YOU WORK WITH BRANDS FOR SPONSORED POSTS AND CAMPAIGNS?
Yes, as long as the brands & products align with the special dietary needs of my family & readers. I am very protective of my readers & want to maintain my opinions as my own. I love the brands I work with because they care about you too! And, not everything on my site is sponsored… Most times I’m just sharing with you products that I personally love to use. If you’re a brand looking for partnership, you can email me directly or fill out my online inquiry form to get started.
ARE YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Yep! Although Social Media can be a huge time-stealer, I do love hanging out with y’all over there. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter & YouTube. I especially love to see photos of your recipes, so be sure to tag me so I know they’re there!
CAN I EMAIL YOU?
Sure! My email address is erika (at) alittleinsanity.com. I can’t always answer everyone, but I’ll do my best! Just please don’t send me solicitations for Multi-Level Marketing products or inappropriate tips on how to enlarge my breasts! o_O
I LOVE your comments when they are respectful, friendly & on-topic! Because I want A Little Insanity to always be an encouraging environment for my readers, I will remove offensive, inappropriate, or generally rude comments. We’re all in this together, so let’s be nice & have fun!