Today I am happy to be spending time with Kim Davis to find out a little more about her and her blog. I would like to thank her for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure to stop by her blog and see what she is cooking up. I am sure that you will come away hungry and ready to try you hand at cooking up a sweet treat.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
I’m a stay-at-home grandmother living with my very supportive husband in coastal Southern California. I retired when my first granddaughter, Jaidyn, was born 14 years ago so I could be a part of her life. I have another 11-year-old granddaughter, Emory, so between the two I kept extremely busy for many, many years (and loved every second!) Jaidyn was born with Rett Syndrome and requires constant care so it’s been a blessing that I’m able to spend so much time with her…it does take a village… Once Emory started upper elementary school, my life quieted down a lot. Her classrooms didn’t need me to volunteer anymore; dance, gymnastics, and homework consumes most of her time, so I started looking for a hobby, and settled on blogging. I’d done some writing when Jaidyn was an infant and have had several articles published in children’s nature magazines, but the road to being published is for those with lots of patience. Blogging has allowed me to write (with immediate feedback) as well as learn other creative “arts”, such as photography and food styling to make my blog something I love to do.
Where did the idea for your blog and the name of your blog come from?
My blog’s name, Cinnamon & Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder, came to me in the middle of one of my many insomniac nights about 1-1/2 years before I started blogging. Initially I thought my blog would be 100% about food but then I came across a couple book review bloggers and thought I could incorporate sharing a blurb about the mystery book I was reading as well. So, my blog name needed to incorporate both a reference to food and to mysteries. As soon as I “found” my name in the middle of the night, I immediately got up and created my Facebook page. Over the last fourteen months that my blog has been in existence, it’s evolved quite a bit from what I first thought it would be.
What would you say the most challenging thing about blogging is?
Managing my time is a huge issue for me. I realize part of blogging, especially when working with authors, is promoting extensively for them on social media. My problem is that I get sucked into Pinterest, YouTube, and other sites doing “research” and before I know it I’ve lost several hours.
What would you say the most rewarding thing about blogging is?
I’ve loved connecting with so many incredibly talented and NICE authors along with other bloggers and being able to direct readers to connect to them. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to be a small part of the cozy community, helping promote the books that bring us so much entertainment and joy! And, of course, my blog would be a flop if I didn’t have such wonderful followers! I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to “know” them a bit via their comments and shares.
The cooking portion of my blog has also allowed me to spend a lot more time in the kitchen with my granddaughter, Emory. She is super excited about my site, especially the dessert posts, and when she has a rare free weekend or is on a holiday break she wants to spend a day or two cooking with me and taking the photographs. She also loves being my taste tester
Would you say that you are an avid reader? If so, what is your favorite genre to read?
I would consider myself an avid reader, although I don’t hold a candle to some of the other book bloggers I typically read 2 books a week and then often read about 1 book a day when on vacation. My favorite genre since I was a young girl has been mysteries (I read ALL the Nancy Drew books by the time I was 12!), and for the last few years a focus on cozy mysteries, especially culinary cozies. I also greatly enjoy historical fiction from ancient Rome up through the British Tudor period.
Where would you like your blog to be in three years?
Tough question, Mary! I’m thrilled with the direction my blog has taken this past year and I will continue to share posts about food and books, which feeds both body and spirit, creating bonds between people. I feel like I’m still trying to find my way in making my blog as professional as possible and I know that there’s a ton for me to learn with just the photography and videography alone! But that’s what keeps my site challenging and interesting as I continue on.
How do you motivate yourself to keep your blog going?
I think because I combine so many components to my blog between the cooking, the photography, the videography, the reading, and the writing, I don’t have time to be bored or need to look for motivation. There’s always a recipe I want to try be it from a culinary cozy or a magazine or from Pinterest, and if I’m trying it and it turns out really yummy then I want to share it. The same thing goes for books…I always have a book or two nearby and if I like what I’m reading then I want to recommend it.
How much time would you say you spend on your blog?
I spend about 20 hours on each blog post, which is why I have to limit it to 2 posts a week. That time includes reading, cooking AND cleaning up the dishes. I’d love to hire someone to clean up the myriads of pots, pans, and bowls I go thru for just one dish…guess I’d better play the lotto if I want to make that wish come true…lol! Then it takes quite a bit of time to edit my photos and videos, and write my text. And as Lisa K. mentioned in your interview with her last week, we don’t get paid for this. It’s a labor of love.
Do you have a specific time that you work on your blog?
I like to spend a couple hours early in the morning working at my computer and then do all my cooking in the late morning. The late afternoon/early evening sun is best for my photography so I try to work around that. But basically, I squeeze it in throughout the day whenever I have a spare moment. I still have Jaidyn at least two afternoons and evenings a week when school is in session and then 2 full days a week (or more) when she breaks for holidays and summer. I spend a lot of really late nights and early mornings working on my blog during the summer.
Do you have a specific place that you work on your blog?
I divide my time between my kitchen and a dedicated home office for my hobbies complete with a huge wine cork board (I had a lot of contributors…lol!) a whiteboard and a magnetic board…just because they’re fun. Emory picked out the fabric for my window covering because she said it felt like it made her want to paint and create. There’s lots of hot pink and bright colors in my office and yes, it does make me feel creative!
What would you most like the readers to know about you?
I guess I’ll let my secret out…I have to eat completely gluten-free…which makes it a bit difficult when cooking for my blog, to say the least. However, I do taste everything before gluten is introduced to the dish so I have an idea of how to describe it. I also have tons of taste tasters who willingly sacrifice their taste buds and waistlines to give me honest opinions and descriptions of the dishes. Of course I’m thrilled when I come across recipes that are naturally gluten-free or can easily be tweaked to mimic the original dish.
Where can readers follow your blog?
Thanks so much, Mary, for having me on your blog! I love reading your reviews and it’s been a great way to find new authors and books I’m unfamiliar with!