Can I share something with you?
I’ve been feeling a little lost lately.
I think this whole new blog has left me feeling turned around and upside down.
Let me explain. I want to take you back to the humble beginnings of Joy the Baker.
See that picture up top? That’s my first site. Oooh me Oooh my. Pretty precious, right? I set this site up two years ago so I could start selling wedding cakes and wholesale baked yummies to coffee shops. I played the wholesale and wedding cake game for a hot minute. I chugged along on my own for a few months before it became clear that food costs and kitchen expenses made it hard for me to even break even. That’s when I started working in other bakeries and restaurants. Phew. That was relief.
Then a magical thing happened. It really did feel like magic. I discovered food blogs. It’s like fireworks went off in my head… as silly as that sounds. Stories plus pictures plus recipes… plus you just get to be yourself at every moment!? Holy heck! In! I wanted in!
Here are some of my very first food photos, taken when I was working as the Head Baker at a tiny bakery in Burbank. These shots? Taken on my camera phone at 4:30 in the morning. You think I’m kidding. I’m totally not kidding. That’s some good glisten on those cinnamon rolls, right? Thank you camera phone macro mode!
Want to see my first post? Ha! I know it’s around here somewhere. Here!
Above is one of the first pictures I took with a fancy camera, a Canon 40D. I propped an Ikea lamp up in the background… that’s what is creating that yellowish glow. Not exactly ideal, I now know.
Can I just say… I was beyond mortified when I discovered that someone had found my blog and left a lovely comment in the days that followed my first post.
The thought of someone finding this space and reading my words absolutely terrified me.
But it didn’t terrify me enough to actually stop posting, and posting, and posting… and posting… and posting some more.
So here I am… almost two years later, still working a day job, cooking, blogging, throwing picnics for hundreds of people like you, and introducing a whole new look with loads of new content into my space.
Can I be honest? That’s what we do here, right?
This whole redesign is a big, scary thing for me. Many, many months ago I thought I might like to start a separate blog… one about my silly life and all the silly things I do. I then thought… ‘Hey! Why not put my food and my life all together into one big ol’ fun site!?’.
Here we are many months later, I’ve hired designers and fired designers. I’ve begged coders to meet deadlines and battled hosting companies to get where I am today. It feels like I’ve built a house, then set it on fire… then had it built all over again… but, really… less dramatic than that and without the fire.
I’ve gone from taking pictures with my camera phone to running an entire site and keeping up with designers and coders and hosting and CSS and CPM and IE6 compatibility and… DUDE! This mess is complicated!!! Bourbon. Where is the Bourbon? Also doughnuts. I need doughnuts!
Am I whining? I’m totally pouting right now, aren’t I?
It’s just that sometimes things become far more than you expected… even when you’re trying to expect them.
I’m telling you all this… I’m showing you where I’ve come from and showing you how we’re right at the beginning of where we’re going, because I have an unreasonable desire to share with you the overwhelming, scary and totally exciting nature of this endeavour. Oooh Internet, how you fussy up my emotions sometimes.
So we’re in this together right? I couldn’t have nearly as much fun with this space if you weren’t here to share it with me.
Thanks for being here for as long as you have… even if it’s only for the past two minutes. Thanks for adjusting to all this change I’ve thrown at you.
Thanks for being patient as I get my footing here, yell at my hosting company, recharge the batteries on my camera…. and do some freakin’ dishes.
And hey! Let me know what’s working for you here… and what makes you sorta wanna yell and scream (in a bad way). You matter. I’m listening, unless it has anything to do with my use of the ‘…’, then I’m not really listening. Holla back.
I must say, I miss the search bar; I used to make crazy use of that thing, when I was sure you must have some wonderful recipe for what I wanted, I just couldn’t remember what post it was in, or what it was called.
I did put a box at the very top called ‘Find’. A few people have had trouble seeing it. Maybe in need to place it somewhere else.
New England Girl
This new layout is beyond beautiful. So fresh and pretty! So professional! And your writing is as whimsical and welcoming as always. I’ve recommended your blog to many friends.
I can only imagine the expense of something like this. I’m not the least bit techie so I really have no idea what that would be. That said, the ads…oh Joy, the ads. They’re jarring and, for me, ruin the aesthetic. I dread posting a negative comment (I scanned the comments and no one else appeared to mention them so I imagine I’ll be viewed as a villian. I did want to email you privately but couldn’t find an email address.) and I apologize for saying anything less than positive. But you wanted feedback and I assume you want honest feedback. It just seems a shame to create something so lovely and then have to look at someone’s yellow teeth.
Again, I apologize if this is more honesty than you wanted. Truly, you’ve done a tremendous job. If someone doesn’t offer you a book contract they’re simply crazy.
No need to apologize! I really do appreciate the feedback.
I am still working on getting the Ad situation sorted out. I saw the ugly tooth ad as well and I was mortified. I have asked my Ad company to exclude it from the rotation, if possible. Yuck! I hope it’s gone soon.
Thanks for letting me know. Really.
I love your blog and your writing. Keep on posting!
Joy, your new site is so poppin` wonderful, I almost want to give you flowers.
I`m a farmer growing flowers up in Norcal and I look forward to reading your quirky posts after a grueling day in the greenhouse. Your posts give me great joy and something to be excited about.
I can`t wait to read about all the awesomely exciting things you`ll be doing next.
(and pray to Buddah that the pancakes recipe won`t end up on my belly…)
Joy- oh, joy, you know your a GEM- I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, and have brought a whole slew of followers with me- (friends who now loooove your blog too) but the only complaint I have is that it take FOR EVER to load on my high speed new macbook- that takes split seconds to load everything, including facebook on a sunday afternoon! sooo thats my complaint- its not as nice as your old strait forward blog- but I still love you, and will continue to read your blog, though do to the slow loading, I must confess exiting out before it loaded (i have 3 kids under 5 and time is PRECIOUS;)
Joy, I love your blog! I only found it recently too, but I love reading it, you are so honest, warm, friendly and love your attitude and outlook on life. It’s a real treat when I see a new post and can’t wait to read it. Of all the food blogs I’ve read, yours is def one of my favourites..and a fast favourite too as I haven’t been reading it long! haha I think I bookmarked your site after reading the first post!!
I also like how you interact more with your readers (such as the picnic, awesome idea!) and here in your comments too. Not a lot of food bloggers actually reply or give feedback in their comment section, so that’s a refreshing change. And I’ll bet you’re crazy busy too, so I’m very impressed!!
Although I really do love your new layout, it takes a bit longer to ‘get around’ so to speak, not as simple as your old layout. But it just takes some getting used to, that’s all. I really like this new layout and its a fun idea to break things into different categories.
keep up the great work! :)
Joy! I love your new site! I Miss you dearly, in a platonic kind of way. I hope you’re doing great, and it looks like you definitely are! You ow me a call woman! Take care and god bless!
Good morning Joy,
Your writing is just wonderfully warm and funny; I read all of your archives just recently. The new site is a bit more trying and complex to navigate though.
For your new site, could you put a link to your “previous” and “next” posts so that if we miss a few we can easily click to them?
Also, are you able to create a subscription field so that readers can receive email notices when you have posted something new?
With thanks, Ruby
Oh wow. Those captures of the original site are pretty awesomesauce. Just wow. And… you’ve come so far!!! ;-)
la vie est belle
I’ve been following for over a year, indulge in your blog everyday – it’s so inspiring. My kids even ask for those “Joy pancakes” by name.
While on holiday in Poland, I saw some cute little plates and thought, “bet Joy would love these little beauties.”
I love the personal anecdotes – make me smile. The new blog is really cute – just wish I could see the latest post first.
Thanks for being out there and inspiring!!
Joy, your blog is my absolute favorite–not just because of your delectable recipes, but also because of your honesty, sense of humor, and overall adorable nature.
The funny thing about the Internet is, you can’t feel all the readers who are made happier by your blog posts. But look at all the comments! We’re here! You make us smile, and want to bake up a storm. So let’s all be invisible friends; and we’ll all help each other when we get overwhelmed. You shall conquer!
I too love the adorable new site (and can appreciate the modern and SEO-friendly redesign) but I also don’t like having to click around and go exploring. I feel like the most recent post being the first thing on the page was somehow greeting and welcoming me in the old layout.
However, I LOVE you and your site and I’m sure that it will just take (and be well worth) some getting used to.
I sure hope it’s easy to get used to Aimee!
I promise that I’ll always have the latest post as the first slide show picture, and the top link in the little blerb of writing directly below the slide show… deal?
Sounds like fun, can I come on this ride too? I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.
I just want to say that your little blog makes me smile. I will never forget a while ago, I was sitting at my desk at work, having a pretty not-so-nice day and took a break. I found your blog that day and it was about your bank. That was so funny, I forgot about my issues for a minute, and it felt like I had a laugh with a friend. That , my friend, is why I keep reading…
Oh my, may I chime in with my adoration and thanks?! I discovered your site only a few days ago, but it was bookmarked immediately. I think I may be in love!
While I agree that the site takes a bit to load, I am willing to stick it out. You are a great photographer, talented baker, and witty writer. Seriously, I think I may be in love!
I enjoy baking and find this site to be inspirational and generally freaking fantastic! Just what I needed to set aside work and study for a moment and create something wonderful for my friends and family.
I thank you… as does my cake lovin’ husband.
Thanks for being so patient! I’m workin’ on the speed issues… boy am I!