I am over-the-moon excited right now because I’ve officially begun my Instagram Takeover of the TODAY Show Food account!
Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of LLB, and what a year it has been! What started as a virtual place to write down my stories, ideas and recipes, has turned into an entrepreneurial culinary endeavor.
Over the past year my top two posts were A Girl with a Plan, a Blog and a Craving for Adventure and my Summer Adventure Travel Schedule. I’m so excited that people were interested in my “Summer Adventure” and got involved! Look for an upcoming post re-capping the entire adventure! Coming in at number three was my post on How to Make Canvas Wall Art. Leave it to Pinterest to make one of the top posts on a food blog, a post about a DIY project!
My top recipe posts were my Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes and my re-creation of Sonic’s Strawberry Kiwi Slush. Um I’m seeing a trend here, maybe I should just stick with Strawberry Kiwi recipes from now on 😉
The top search terms for my blog were little leopard book (that one’s pretty obvious!), strawberry kiwi cupcakes (the above now makes more sense!) and Russell Westbrook Girlfriend. Um, what? Yes, due to the popularity of the OKC Thunder, one young stud player and an infamous cake I made for my brother’s girlfriends birthday, the number three search term used to find my blog is “Russell Westbrook Girlfriend”!
A year ago I was living in Los Angeles, attending college for Broadcast Journalism and dreaming of one day being on the Food Network. Since then I completed my degree in Broadcast Journalism, spent the summer on an adventure across the United States and moved back to San Diego.
I have turned my little blog into a little business with the hopes of growing into a big blog and a big business in the near future! I have returned to school, once again, to study the art and business of food and nutrition. I am pursuing a second degree in Culinary Entrepreneurship and could not be more excited to share everything I learn on the little leopard book!
On the business side of the blog, I am now offering my blogging and social media services to bars and restaurants. I have a unique approach when it comes to bringing new followers to the business, as well as capturing the attention of current social media followers. I am also combining my previous years of experience in event planning and ever-expanding knowledge in the kitchen to offer small catering party options, cooking classes and event planning services.
All of my services offered are detailed on my personal page www.WhitneyBond.com.
I am also adding a couple of new features to the LLB that I am SUPER excited about!
The first is “Single Sundays“. This is where I will post simple recipe options for those of you cooking for one. I always hear my friends complaining to me that they don’t want to go through all the effort just to cook for themselves. Well, Sunday’s are now dedicated to you. Simple, quick meals that can be made throughout the week and enjoyed in the comfort of your own company with complete control of the remote!
The second is “Chopped Challenge Thursdays“. I am completely obsessed with the show “Chopped” on the Food Network. If you are not a foodie and don’t have the Food Network on 24/7 at your house you might have missed the show, so let me give you a 1 line run-down of the concept. One basket, four mystery ingredients, one dish. The ingredients range anywhere from cherry cola to sardines and jelly beans to lamb chops. Here’s where you all come in! (Yay, fun, you get to play!) On Monday, I will make an announcement on my Facebook page (if you haven’t yet, just quickly slide your finger over your mouse and to the right, up a little, a little more and click the like button, see wasn’t that easy? 😉 ) I will be asking for the four “mystery” ingredients for my “Chopped Challenge Basket” that week. The first four people to respond will have their ingredients turned into a dish for my “Chopped Challenge Thursday” recipe post! Fun, interactive, challenging, exciting!
Thank you all for reading and sharing in the LLB experience with me!
“You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump. Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had.” – Don Kel
I’m jumping into a new social experiment in blogging that involves a summer of travel and I need your help, read below to find out just what this all means!
As I approached (and gracefully passed) my quarter life mark the usual life events began to occur, friends got married (Congratulations Marin!), friends had babies (Love you Eli!),
friends graduated college, friends got new jobs, friends advanced in their careers, friends moved away and friends moved closer and I…. made food!
My life is an ever-changing adventure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Growing up, my parents (the greatest in the world in my book!) always told me to go for it, to live my dreams and to never miss out on an opportunity. I took their advice, probably even further than they expected (and maybe wanted me to) sometimes!
When I was 21 I started my first business and I loved every minute of it, but at a certain point I realized that it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That is when the crazy adventure that is, my life in LA, began.
I really had no plans in LA, but just to try something new. And something new is what I got. I went back to school, I traveled, I made new friends and I began the ever amazing journey that is the Little Leopard Book.
The Little Leopard Book began as an actual notebook I wrote in when I first moved to LA. I wrote in the book about things that made me happy, what my goals were and what I was doing to achieve each of those goals.
Today’s post is a culmination of all those things. Over the last year I’ve realized that the things that make me the happiest and most fulfilled are:
- People – meeting them, talking to them, being around them. I love fun people, people with interesting stories, adventurous people and my favorite, the positive people 🙂
- Traveling – “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustin
- Adventures – Everything from half marathons in the mountains to hiking at the beach to camping in the woods, I’m always up for a new adventure!
- Food – I’m pretty sure if you’ve ever read my blog before, you can pretty much figure this one out!
- Cooking – This is my escape, when I’m in the kitchen I’m the most creative, the happiest and the most at peace than anywhere else!
- Writing – What a release! Writing for me is therapy. Everything from jotting down notes, to writing stories, writing recipes and writing about my adventures, I love the way the written word can resonate with people so uniquely and reach people on different levels!
I have combined all of these and come up with my latest plan for life.
I will be traveling to cities everywhere from the US, to Mexico, to Canada and anywhere else someone invites me! I will be staying with friends, family, friends of friends and cooking for them. Yup, you heard me right, I stay at your house = I cook for you! I would say the trade-off works pretty well right? In each city I want to experience a new adventure, whether it be sky diving, mud runs, swimming with dolphins or anything in between, I’m up for it! I’ll be interviewing chefs, bloggers and interesting people in each city and trying the best and most intriguing restaurants each one has to offer!
Here’s where you come in:
- Where should I go? Tell me where you live or where you’ve visited that I must go and see!
- What should I do? What adventure should I experience in this city? Do you all have the largest Jazz festival outside of New Orleans, do you have a beer festival that would put Oktoberfest to shame, do you have a secret adventure spot that only the locals know about?
- Where should I eat? Who has the best pizza, most interesting menu, biggest pancake I’ve ever seen?
- Who should I interview? Are you a chef, do you know a chef, do you own a restaurant, are you a fellow blogger, are you “in” with the chef at your favorite restaurant or are you just an interesting person with a story to tell? Tell me who to talk to!
The good news:
I’ll be recording everything on the Little Leopard Book (not the original, this one, the virtual one 😉 ) and sharing my adventures, recipes, interviews and restaurant reviews with all of you!
- The book. At the end of the summer I will publish my first “food and travel” book!
- The people. I want to meet you! You can view a calendar of my travel here! If I’m coming to a city near you, lets meet for coffee or a pint! I’d love to hear your story!
- The adventures. Adventures = Stories and “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself. They are the currency of human contact.” — Robert McKee Join in the adventure by helping me complete one of my Summer Bucket List items!
- The food. In the words of my girlfriends OBVI!
I need your help in this adventure!!! Comment below, message me on Facebook, tweet me on the Twitter, Instagram me (@whitneybond), tag me on Pinterest in a destination or adventure picture I have to try, befriend me on Yelp so I can see your reviews of places, share this with your friends, family, fellow bloggers, join the adventure with me!
In the end, my goal is to say this every day of the summer:
“Each day I am thankful for friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” – Unknown