Love and Olive Oil

Celebrating 8 Years & a Reader Survey!

Eight years.

I like to say that’s like 120 in blog years. Pretty old for a blog when you think about.

Back when I started this blog in 2007, I wasn’t really aware of the food blog community, and didn’t know or follow many other food blogs. I started this blog, basically, to record and share all of the recipes Taylor and I were making. That and I really wanted an excuse to play with my new macro lens.

I knew nothing about food photography. Recipe development was a completely foreign concept (though throwing shit together and calling it dinner, was pretty darn good at THAT). I followed recipes. I posted recipes. I ate instant mashed potatoes. I photographed things as close as humanly possible.

And I grew.

Slowly but surely, this blog grew into something I never could have imagined back there in our dumpy little college apartment.

I never imagined it’d become, not only a source of income (seriously? they are paying me to bake cake?!) but also a source of constant inspiration and a connection with a community so much greater than myself and this little blog of mine. I’ve met my best friends through this  blog. I’ve sustained my business because of this blog. I’ve challenged and pushed myself to my creative limits (and beyond) because of this here blog. Oh, and I’ve bought A LOT of spoons (did I mention I have a thing for spoons?)

Sure, it has its frustrating moments, moments when that stupid napkin isn’t cooperating or the ice cream is melting or the soup simply looks unappetizing; moments when I wanted to throw the cake across the room and see it smash into the wall; moments when I dump my fourth batch of fudge into the garbage can and think I’ll never get it right.

I can count those moments on one hand.

Ok, maybe two. And one of Taylor’s. (Seriously, food blogging is hard sometimes!)

But what’s amazing to me is that the moments that make me smile vastly outnumber the frustrating ones. Like the comment from a reader who admits to a legitimate fear of her oven, and yet, by following the recipe and the instructions that I wrote, was able to produce something amazing. Like the artist who tells me that she’s made my red wine chocolate cake dozens of times and that it is by far the best they’ve ever tasted (I have to agree!) Like when I finally meet another food blogger I’ve followed for years and we talk about nothing but cake and cameras for 2 1/2 hours. Or like when I get tagged in an instagram photo by someone half way around the world who’s made one of the recipes from our book and loved it enough to share it.

It’s moments like these that truly make it all worth while.

In the past, to commemorate that Valentine’s day back in 2007 when I published the first post on this blog, I’ve remade those first recipes. I’ve given away fun goodies to show my appreciation. I’ve dredged up old photos to show just how bad they used to be. I’ve even thrown an honest-to-goodness birthday party (yes, a party for a blog).

This year, in addition to waxing poetic a bit on what this blog really means to me, I thought I’d give you an opportunity to speak your mind, in the 1st Annual L&OO Reader Survey! I’ve assembled a series of questions to gather insight from you, my lovely readers, that will help me make this blog even better and more enjoyable for all of us.

If you have a moment or two to spare today (or tomorrow, or sometime this week even) to fill out the survey, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Go ahead, don’t be shy:

Complete the Reader Survey »

But first, let’s take a little trip down memory lane?

Love & Olive Oil Through the Years

As a graphic designer by trade, it’s no surprise that the design of this blog is ever changing. In fact, I’ve gone through 5 distinct redesigns since 2007 and a few subtle ones too. Somehow, in the black hole that is my computer hard drive, I managed to dig up screenshots of what it used to look like.

We’ve come a long way, eh?

While I’m proud that I’ve resisted the urge to undertake a major redesign since 2012, I have a feeling that probably won’t last long. Another reason I’m so excited about getting your thoughts and opinions through this reader survey, is if (when) I start down the redesign rabbit hole yet again, I know that I won’t be going it alone. I’m really my own worst client, second guessing every design decision and variation I come up with. This blog has become as much about you as it is about me, and that’s why I wouldn’t dare undertake yet another redesign without your opinions. Because I value them, I truly do!

So? What are you waiting for? Give it to me straight! No, really, I am anxiously awaiting your responses, good and bad. Because making this blog better, giving you what you want to see while at the same time making what I want to make, is really what this whole thing is about.

Complete the Reader Survey »
(and psst… there may be a little bonus in it for you if you do!)

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  1. Congratulations! 8 years sounds lucky to me. Cheers to another 8, and many more after that….sending hugs, and love to you both. xoxo

  2. Congratulations on 8 years! What are your goals going forward?

  3. Congrats on 8 years, Lindsey! Your blog was one of the very first that I read and I have loved following along! Thanks so much for everything that you share, you are such an inspiration and I can’t wait to follow along for many more years and see your new redesign!

  4. What a marathon you’ve run, Lindsay! I’ve been following forever… in fact, L&OO was the first food blog I started following way back then. The post that I remember most, long ago, is your and Taylor’s engagement cupcakes! It was the sweetest…  Thank you for your inspiration, beautiful photography, sweet cat antics and your creativity! Congratulations to you for all you’ve accomplished! Looking forward to the next eight! 

  5. Congrats on 8 years, Lindsay! I echo everything you said about the food blogging experience — the bad and the good. I’m so glad to have followed your adventures all these years and can’t wait to see where you go from here. :)

  6. Congrats!!! Definitely a long time in blog years but I think the blog is aging quite well ;-). 

  7. Congratulations! 

  8. Congrats, my best friend!!! Love you and so glad I finally met you a few years ago…I still can’t believe that at our first blogging conference we didn’t meet in person. I think I started following you on the 3rd design you have up there…with the olive oil writing. Seriously, so proud of you and proud to have you as a friend. You’re the best partner in crime anyone can ask for!! xoxoxo

  9. <3 <3 Congrats Lindsay!! Best damn lookin' blog around!! 

  10. Congrats to you! I think I’ve been a subscriber for most of your 8 years. I really enjoy your blog and your enthusiasm for all of your endeavors.

  11. Well congratulations!! What a journey for you. I’m new to your great blog and I love to cook. I’m looking forward to trying your braided cherry pastry. Love those cherries!  I’m soon to be 68 so you’ve reached the baby boom generation definitely.  Thanks for your beautiful photos. There is nothing like gorgeous, easy to follow pics of how to do it!  

  12. Congratulations, Lindsay! I’m coming up on 9 years, and I agree that’s at least 120 in blogging years! It’s fun-slash-terrifying to look back on the early years, but it’s pretty great to see even little ways we all get better from one post to the next. 

  13. Congrats on 8 years! That’s such an accomplishment, and I know you work so hard! I love the fact that you have screenshots of what your blog used to look like…makes those trips down memory lane even sweeter :)

  14. Congratulations Lindsay!!! Such a huge accomplishment. Love the citrus backgrounds too! I’m so happy to have finally met you this past year, hope we cross paths again in 2015–in the mean time, I’ll just bug you constantly via email, OK?! Just kidding ;) 

  15. Wow, what an incredible milestone! Congratulations on 8 delicious years!

  16. Congratulations on such an amazing landmark! xx

  17. Congrats on 8 tasty years!

  18. Happy 8 years! Wow. That’s such a wonderful accomplishment. Love these screen shots. A fantastic idea (I’m going to start doing that right now!). Looking forward to many more years of deliciousness!

  19. Happy birthday/anniversary! That is a long time when you think of it, so kudos to you on keeping up with it for so long. Looking forward to many more years of your recipes and photos, and cookie swaps! :)

  20. Thanks for the citrus background!  Pretty !

  21. Congrats on 8 years! I am coming up on 6 and the other day I was thinking that it feels like a long time in this world and you’ve got me beat! I love the trip down memory lane in this post, seeing how things have evolved. Congrats on a huge anniversary!!!

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