Behind The Butter

from this to that

Last night I discovered that I had just written my one millionth word. Or rather, Adam discovered. I was too busy eating heath bar blondies and researching cake flour varieties online.

But one million words! It’s sorta a big deal, I guess, since I’ve been blogging now for pretty much every day now for almost three and a half years.Β  And even though I’m rather embarrassed of how my blog appeared back in December of 2007, it’s me! My words, my blog. Even if it started out as something totally 100% different than it is now, it’s still me.

I like to think ELR has come a long way but then I realize there’s still so much more I want to do (hint hint: a super fun redesign being launched in the near future!).

I get a lot of questions from people who are just starting out blogging. Usually, they want to know my best advice on how to gain readership and get their name out there. Whenever I get asked questions like that I am severely humbled because, really? I really don’t consider my blog to be a “big blog” at all! There are so many more successful and “bigger” blogs out there that I look up to on a daily basis, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside that some of you feel the same towards me.

But, my best advice for new bloggers is this.

1. Keep at it.

When I started blogging, I had two readers. My mom and dad. When my first comment came in, I was beyond thrilled and didn’t sleep at all the night fifty people commented on one post. Fifty people?! Reading MY blog? It seemed unreal. I couldn’t believe that there was anyone out there who really cared that much about what I was saying.

(note: I never knew what I was talking about back then. I still don’t know what I’m talking about).

2. Invest wisely.

You’ll want to invest in your blog if you really are looking to keep at it long term. The first thing I did three years ago (or actually what my dad did), was buy me my own domain name. I was a thrifty student and didn’t have the $160 to pay for two years of BlueHost hosting (note that I now host with DreamHost) and to be honest, it seemed ridiculously expensive and unnecessary. My dad, however, thought otherwise and gave it to me as a Christmas present. Thanks, dad!

3. Learn about photography.

Invest in a good camera if you are able to. Great photos make all the difference and (again) I turn bright red and cringe when I look back at my old photos! You definitely don’t need some super expensive camera either. You can get wonderful photos from those small Canon Powershots—I used one for years and actually want to get another because they are so handy and small. Those who think you don’t know squat about photography….guess what? Neither do I. Like, at all. I’m lucky to have a supportive (and very talented) boyfriend who has helped me a ton with my photography, but the real best way I’ve learned is by just keeping at it. Take way more photos than you ever think you’ll need and eventually, you’ll learn by trial and error.

4. Get involved.

Get involved in the community! I’m in love with how supportive, caring and passionate the blogging community is. Comment on other people’s blogs, get hooked up with Twitter, Facebook and Stumble Upon. Ask questions, be friendly and get involved.

Some fun stats:

  • I started blogging on December 9, 2007. It has been 1151 days orΒ  3 years, 1 month, 25 days.
  • 1151 days is equal to 3 years, 1 month, 24 days and can be converted to 99,446,400 seconds, 1,657,440 minutes, 27,624 hours and 164 weeks (rounded down).
  • There are 2,602 post within 36 categories.

In terms of comparing 1,000,000 words to some of my favorite works of literature (book nerd alert!), I thought this was interesting:

If you think I’m crazy for calculating all that, you’re right. I didn’t. Adam did. Lord knows where he found the time to do that but I love him for it and just fed him a cupcake to prove it.

Read my very first post here!

I know. I know. How much more different could ELR possibly be?

My absolute favorite stat is the fact that over a span of 1,000,000 words, you all have left 137,732 comments!!

I have read every one and y’all are totally the reason why I blog. Your comments never cease to make me smile even on the worst of days and I love reading them as well as your emails.

So thank you! And get ready for 1,000,000 more.

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  • Chelsea
    February 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I absolutely love your blog and I think you do an amazing job at it! Keep up the awesome work! πŸ˜€

    • Kate
      February 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      Couldnt agree more! Jenna you are fantastic! Thank you for sharing your life with us, one cupcake at a time.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    February 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Congrats Jenna! One million words IS a big deal! And thank you for all the tips! It makes me giggle a bit that you don’t consider yourself a big blogger. You’re one of my favorites!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    February 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    One million words are amazing. I wonder if Adam can calculate how many times I use the words “butter,” “bacon” and “sugar.”

  • Jenny @ Bakography
    February 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    How cool! And those all seem to be great tips! I just started blogging a few weeks ago… hopefully I’ll get the hang of it soon enough! πŸ™‚

  • hippierunner
    February 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Hurray for a million words! I have enjoyed them very much!

  • Lisa
    February 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    That’s cool! I like that you’ve kept at it and you’ve been consistent. Even though I’ve only been blogging for about a year now, I’ve learned a lot along the way. My first posts are embarrassing too. πŸ™‚

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    February 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Congrats girl! Wish I could have been reading for longer than I have, but I’m glad I found you!

  • Shannon @ Freshman Yr of Life
    February 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Congrats! What a milestone. Super looking forward to the design!

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    February 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    love to see the progression jenna! I’ve been reading for years and your blog just keeps getting better πŸ™‚

  • Jess (Sweet Potato)
    February 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Congrats to you on your 1 millionth word! What a great milestone!

  • Dixie Caviar
    February 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Congrats on your millionth word! I’ve been reading your blog for about 3 months now and love your fresh and friendly attitude (and your yummy yummy recipes). Keep it up!

  • Erin (Travel Eat Repeat)
    February 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Congrats on this major milestone! Here’s to another 1,000,000 words. πŸ˜€

  • Liz
    February 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    My blog now looks like your old blog – and now your blog is fabulous so I’m hoping to reach your standards! πŸ˜€

    I love to see how far you’ve come and thanks for posting this, it’s super helpful for us newbies.

    Congrats on 1 million words!

  • Kendel @ Eating Abroad
    February 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    This is a big deal. Congratulations. I’m so thankful for 1,000,300 words ago.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday
    February 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm


    I love looking back at the old stuff πŸ˜€

  • Caitlin
    February 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Congratulations! As a reader from about 100,000 words in, I love everything that’s progressed and especially how wonderful ELR is now. I draw a lot of inspiration from you and definitely admire you for sticking true to yourself. Love the Austin pic too πŸ™‚

  • Lisa
    February 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Congrats Jenna!!!

  • Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles
    February 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Congrats, Jenna! What a huge accomplishment!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    February 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    congratulations on 1 million words! that’s huge…and i’m so thankful being able to see you evolve through your writing πŸ™‚

  • Jessica
    February 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Congratulations Jenna! One million words is amazing! Keep up the fantastic writing!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    February 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Congrats Jenna! I’ve been reading your blog from the very beginning and I love how the blog grows and changes with your life. Its been so much fun to read πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to the next million words πŸ™‚

  • Lindsey
    February 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Congratulations! That is amazing πŸ™‚ I have loved reading your blog and I definitely look to you as one of those “big bloggers” πŸ™‚

  • Lindz @ Happy or Hungry
    February 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Congratulations on your millionth word!!!

    Thanks for that advice. I am a new blogger and it was so encouraging and helpful to read!

  • Beth
    February 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Wow – 1,000,000 words is a huge milstone! Congrats Jenna! I absolutely adore your blog and always look forward to your posts. PS. I thought your last post was Health Bar Blondies until realizing it was Heath Bar Blondies in this post – HA, guess the eye sees what it wants πŸ™‚

  • Liz
    February 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm


    And as a non-blogger, can I add, comment on other people’s blogs? Most of the commenters here leave links to their blogs, and I have found lots of great blogs by following the links. I probably would never have otherwise happened upon them. That’s how I found this one, I think! Either that, or someone listed it as a blog they follow. Both those things seem like good ways to gain readership.

    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      yes!! You can totally comment on as many blogs are you like! πŸ™‚

    • Gabrielle @ In An Envelope
      February 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      This is my favorite way to find new blogs. Sometimes I randomly click on bloggers’ links who have wrote a comment that I would have wrote instead of writing my own comment. I follow so many blogs because of it!

  • jen @ taste life
    February 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Congrats! I don’t think I’ve read all 1 million of your words, but I’ve been a faithful reader since summer 2008, so maybe 700k words? I’ll keep reading well past 1mil, I’m sure!

  • Liz
    February 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Oops, I see “comment on other blogs” buried in “get involved.”

    I also just noticed your boyfriend peeking out from among a sea of girls in that group photo. He looks happy.

  • sarah (sarah learns)
    February 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    i loved reading that first post – wow! you’ve definitely come a lot way! congrats on writing 1,000,000 words! that’s a lot of writing. πŸ™‚

  • Anna @ Acquainted With The Night
    February 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Congrats on 1 Million words! πŸ™‚
    Your blog is super lovely!
    Oh and PS The Grapes of Wrath seemed to have a lot more words than 169, 481 words!

  • Sara
    February 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Happy 1 Million Words!! That’s crazy!! And amazing!! Keep up the great work – here’s to your next million!!

  • storiesovertea
    February 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I’ll have to read your first post sometime later if I get a chance…first time checking my google reader today and too much work to do to actually read anything …boo!

    Anyway, I just started a blog and I completely admire you.
    I’ve only made 3 posts…and have a handful of commenters, ha….trouble is I don’t have time to do a lot of commenting; so I’ll have to figure that out.
    Above all, I’m trying not to pressure myself about it.
    I have no no idea what my niche is, does that make sense?
    I know your blog began as a food and exercise chronicle of sorts (I think?)…but I’m not sure where I “fit” in. Like I have nothing to really offer…
    I like taking photos and especially would love to show recipes and meals, etc…but not sure I have the time for all the photography and uploading. Its really hard to know where to fit in a healthy living community.
    I’ll take your advice and just write what I feel at that moment and let it slowly figure itself out. I hope it works that way πŸ™‚ Who knows; its all trial and error and may be something I do for a long while or find is not for me.
    But I see you have always taken joy from it; so that is really really neat to see.

    • storiesovertea
      February 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Oh, and I’ll add that I think its a nice way to practice writing….find out what I like about writing or what I might like to write, etc…that stuff takes time – so it seems like a blog is a good way to just write and see what interests a person in order to find out what kinds of writing or target audiences you might like.
      So, …that can’t be a waste of time….I hope πŸ™‚

      • Gabrielle @ In An Envelope
        February 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

        As a fellow new-er blogger, I agree that finding your blog’s “voice” can be challenging. I’ve pigeon-holed myself several times “wedding blog” “food blog” etc. but not I feel most comfortable writing about what i want to write instead of apologizing in a post if it isn’t 100% in my declared niche!

        • Baking 'n' Books
          February 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

          I love that. Instead of “apologizing”…I was feeling that way too and then realized ultimately I need to just do what’s right for me – and let it be natural. I think that’s what people want anyways – authenticity.

          And if noone wants to read me – meh. I can deal with it…although it’s dad :(…hehe πŸ™‚

          Storiesandtea – I agree too – I know other bloggers say to comment, comment, comment – but I seriously don’t have the time to be on the computer all day! I work, like to read, DO stuff, real life too y’know πŸ˜‰ – and I don’t think it’s healthy to be on the computer for eons either…I still am debating my own place or role heavily now…

          I often think my (few) readers won’t stay if I don’t comment on their blogs – but I do read them! It’s just too much to say and it takes time…boo.

          Jenna – did you ever consider a name change?

          I know getting domains are popular but I’m not sure if I really like my totally random name – or even what my real “place” or niche is…but maybe that’s okay too?

          Meh. See time! πŸ™‚

          Love this post – put in in your header!

          • storiesovertea
            February 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm

            Yes, that is the trouble. Ironically as soon as I started the blog, I find myself without time or inspiration. I don’t feel my blog name is “right”; so I won’t even consider a domain name until I 1) decide I will blog for a longer term or not, 2) have a more certain idea of name and niche.
            Its difficult to know if it is the thing for me or not; it may not be; or it may just be better served as an open one for my own self or to connect with family. Or it may be something I would actually enjoy.
            Right now, i’m dipping my toes in it. I don’t feel any pressure at all to comment or write or anything. With time, I might grow to love it or the opposite. Just feeling it through now. Perhaps not ambitious enough – but my health and my finances need to be taken care and then computer time. Too much computer time is a problem for me because I sit and work on the computer for 10 hour days, etc.

            But I used to be an exerciser and now am pretty much on rest confinement without exercise and its going to be long year + more of that…so I thought I would try to dip into a new hobby. But honestly…time will tell if its something to continue or not. For now, I’m new and have to just see if its something I enjoy or not.

          • Baking 'n' Books
            February 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

            We know about your problems – you’ve already told them.

            Sounds like you need to get out with friends, have a few drinks and dance!

          • M
            February 4, 2011 at 3:21 am


            I don;t know you but please don’t be harsh and quick to judge on other posters here as your comment below Stories Over Tea!

            Let’s treat each other as we would wish to be treated here please-
            Jenna’s blog is a kind and welcoming place and does not turn away anyone as far as I have seen

            Just my 2 cents,. thanks for reading this! Cheers and all the best.

    • Anonymous
      February 4, 2011 at 9:50 am

      I’m getting the feeling storiesovertea is the (in)famous “J.”

      • Baking 'n' Books
        February 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

        Yep. It was nothing harsh at all M! Suggesting to go out with friends??! Hardly! It is the infamous J., etc. we all know that – so no need to drag it out that’s all and rehash the same victim mode πŸ™‚

        • M
          February 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm

          Oh come on you guys!
          Why are you being so picky on someone?I honestly
          don’t understand it and I mean it in a frank yet lighthearted way-
          just let everyone be !
          Kindness really is a virtue! Let’s be kind with each other ok?No need to call anyone a victim or tell them what to do .peace out, namaste!

          Thanks all! πŸ™‚

  • Bethany @Bridezilla Bakes
    February 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Congrats! What a fun milestone to hit πŸ™‚ Definitely hope to keep you around for another 1,00,000 words.

  • Keri
    February 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Amazing. Congrats. Love this post!

  • Val @ Balancing Val
    February 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm


    As a blogger currently in culinary school, hope to even have a fraction of your blogging success one day!

    I love your blog because you stay you no matter what πŸ™‚

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    February 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Congrats on your amazing success, progress, and all the wonderful things that have happened for you as a result from your blog!

    Love your tips. I just moved to Self Hosted WP and use Bluehost. Almost did Dreamhost.

    Can’t wait to see your new site!

    And yes, point and shoots CAN take great pics. But lots of pics and practice are the best teachers, i agree!

  • Stephanie @ Thorns Have Roses
    February 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    This was SOOO inspiring!

  • Stephanie @ Living and Loving
    February 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Congrats!!! This is so awesome! I love your blog and it gives me warm fuzzies every day πŸ™‚

    I’m just starting the process of learning how to change my blog from to my own domain name and I’m kind of scared!! I have no idea what to expect but I’m hoping by the end of March I will have the guts to do it!! I know it will be good for me to do it, I’m just … scared.

    I can’t wait to read the next 1 million words!!! Congrats again!!

  • Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen
    February 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Love! and congrats on your 1,000,000th! Seriously – Canon Powershots can do crazy things with the right lighting!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In
    February 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Hey Jenna! So neat to see the crazy progression of ELR. I have a couple of questions about my own new blog. I would like to buy my own domain name, and would consider self-hosting at the same time. What are the benefits of being self-hosted through DreamHost and do you think that doing it all at once is a good idea?

    Also, if I want to do a blog redesign is there a way to do that all at once through the same company?


    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      I’m not sure what the benefits of self-hosting are because I don’t have any experience with that. I’ve used Dreamhost for a few years now and have been pretty happy with them. There’s a bunch of different server options you can choose from , so that’s nice!

      And for a redesign, you need to get with a website designer! They can usually do the whole thing for you.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    February 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Wow, a huge congratulations to you, Jenna! I think you deserve some nutella on those heath bar blondies just for that πŸ™‚

  • Eliz@The Sweet Life
    February 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Congratulations on such a great accomplishment!

  • Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy
    February 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I’m a relatively newer blogger who is always trying to get more involved and up readership and it’s nice to see that we all have to start somewhere!

  • brandy
    February 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Umm, I just love Heidi’s. Every time we go to Lake Tahoe, eating breakfast at Heidi’s is a MUST! I love the last picture!!! Congrats on the huge accomplishment. Looking forward to many more words πŸ™‚

  • Courtney
    February 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I remember thinking how LONG Little Women looked when I was a kid! Congrats on being over 5x as long. πŸ˜€ yay!

  • Ameena
    February 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Congratulations Jenna! You have an amazing blog – I really love your style.

  • Alexis
    February 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Can I just say how awesome I think you are? Congrats on 1 million words…so crazy. But I just want to say that as a college student who has a relatively healthy body image, but still struggles sometimes, the direction your blog has gone recently is so helpful to me. I read your first post, and it’s cool to see how far you’ve come in understanding how a relationship with any food, whether it’s chocolate, full fat butter, or bacon, can be healthy. I see a lot of the things I know are wrong about the way my friends and I sometimes think about food in your first post. The way you’ve changed is so refreshing. It’s great to see that everyone goes through that phase where food consumption becomes more of a job than a pleasure, and it’s good to have your current attitude as something to aspire to. And you’re food is delicious πŸ™‚

  • SAhar
    February 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Congrats! I just read your first post – you were beyond cute! The blog has come a long way since then and I think the progression of it (and you!) is so inspiring. Starting to seriously think about starting my own blog, just to be able to see my own progress in life. You are so awesome.

  • Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher
    February 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Yayyy! :)))), jenna!

  • Gabrielle @ In An Envelope
    February 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Like many others above, this is encouraging for someone whose blog is still new. I hope I am as happy with my blogging in three years as you!

  • Natalie @ Will Jog For Food
    February 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    What an awesome post Jenna!! Those are great tip! I definitely need to work on my photography skills fo sho.

    The comparison of 1,000,000 words really puts it into perspective. Keep up the GREAT work πŸ™‚

  • Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland
    February 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Holy Cow! That’s a lot of words! I just had my one year milestone last week. I hope my blog can be half as successful as yours! Congrats!

  • laurie
    February 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Even though I’m mainly a lurker, I’ve read your posts everyday for the past 3 1/2 years and want you to know that you totally make my day!!!

  • lindsay
    February 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    SO awesome! Huge congratulations.

  • Alison
    February 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Congratulations on such a successful blog. I’ve been following you for about 2 years and love how the blog has transformed. You take such good pictures. I just got my first DSLR camera in December and am still trying to figure out what to do with it.

    I had a my first blog post with 50+ comments a few weeks ago and am still over the moon about it. I had another one the other day with 30 comments and I’m thrilled. It’s the discussion posts that really get people’a attention.

    I think a really important thing is a nice blog design. I had mine professionally done in December and it’s made a big difference. I’m considering whether or not to get my own domain name. Blogspot is working well for me now, but it might be nice to have an easier site name.

  • Michelle
    February 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Congrats!! It’s crazy to think that for as long as you’ve been writing this blog, I’ve been reading it! Has 3.5 years really gone by that fast?!

    • Sarah
      February 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      I was just thinking this! I have been reading since Jenna’s first or second week of blogging! I was an undergrad in college and working part-time then, and now I have a Master’s degree, am married, live in a completely different state, and have a job! It’s CRAZY to think about all the changes, and how fast they seem to have happened!

      • jenna
        February 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm

        that is crazy to think about! Our lives are so different now..I can’t even imagine where I’ll be three years from right now!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith
    February 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I love this advice. I think my advice would be similar to that “sing like nobody’s listening, dance like nobody’s watching” phrase – blog like nobody’s reading. When you’re blogging for yourself, that’s when your true self emerges.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    February 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I definitely think of your blog as one of the big ones. It also is one of my favorites πŸ˜€ Your recipes are always so fantastic and non-fussy. Like-that nutella hot chocolate? Sort of genius!!

    Great tips here for gaining a readership πŸ˜€

  • Rochel @ barefootandcooking
    February 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Congrats Jenna! I’m one of the one who reads your blog daily (for at least 2 years now). I absolutely love it. Your personality shines through on each blog and always makes me smile. Thanks for doing what you do. I can’t wait to see the redesign.

  • Mallory
    February 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I remember finding your blog in the comments of Eat Like Me on the website. I read your very first post that day and have been hooked ever since! I love the way your blog has transitioned and hope to keep reading for 1,000,000 more words!

  • JaniceP
    February 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Looking forward to the re-do of your site. I do have a suggestion, if I may?! Maybe you have already thought this through, but the RUN part of Eat Live Run is somewhat passe!
    How about Eat Live FUN or Eat Live BREATHE or Eat Live COOK.. Eat Live YOGA… something better to reflect your current being.
    I apologize if this discussion has already occurred, but I am dabbler at your site and realize that this topic may have been covered.
    My best to ya!

    • Baking 'n' Books
      February 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Interesting point – BUT, if I may – you said something to reflect on her “current” situation…

      BUT THAT’S JUST IT!! We are always changing and evolving as human beings! Her yoga now could turn into running or rock climbing or …sewing or something years from now …;) Sometimes you just gotta go with it.

    • M
      February 4, 2011 at 3:30 am

      Yes this was covered before-can’t remember when! πŸ™‚
      I interpret the Run from EatLiveRun as Jenna running through life as an expression- yes, she is a yogini/hiker at this point in time .but she still
      is emracing life and running like the wind-run in my mind representing motion
      and zipping along!

      I guess it all depends how one interprets the meaning ! Cheers!

    • Errign
      February 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

      I think this has also been touched on as run=being active in any way – whether it’s hiking, running, yoga, going for a walk. πŸ™‚

  • Lindsey
    February 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I absolutely love your blog and definitely use it as inspiration. You are so true to yourself, not to mention hysterical and an amazing chef. So keep doing what you do because I’m definitely going to keep reading!
    Btw- I’m making your triple chocolate smore brownies for my bday tomorrow and couldn’t be more excited πŸ˜‰

    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      awesome and happy (early) birthday! Let me know how you like the brownies–I love them!

  • Harriet
    February 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Hi, I’ve never left a comment before but I am an avid reader (and have been for a while now!) And I love this blog! I’m living in France at the moment; suffering from having a slightly dodgy oven (kitchen in general really) and shops filled with croissants, eclairs, tarts and chocolates right at every corner so I don’t really bake anymore. But I am living vicariously through your (million) words! πŸ™‚

  • Lindsey
    February 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    love you, Jenna! Can’t wait for 1,000,000 more!! Six degrees of separation – I was good friends with Patrick Barrett in college and I remember seeing his face in some posts – love that we live in such a small world.

    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      wow crazy! You probably also knew my boyfriend then! πŸ™‚

  • linda
    February 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I went back and read all of your archives. It is amazing to read about your journey. Congratulations on the million words. I hope there many more to come. I love your blog.

  • Sara (Miles and Manhattan)
    February 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you for this post!! I adore your blog and do hope to invest in a good camera soon. And take some pictures πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    February 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    That is awesome! Congrats girl!

  • Stephanie Rose
    February 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I love when you put posts like this up! But don’t get me wrong, those heath bar brownies made me drool in class. And I love reading your old posts as much I love reading the new ones. Cheers to butter, bacon, chocolate, and ELR!

    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      butter, bacon, chocolate and ELR! I like it πŸ™‚

  • mary (what's cookin' with mary)
    February 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Very cool Jenna …. VERY cool! πŸ˜€

  • Kayla @ An Honest Girl's Guide to Life
    February 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    HAHA! I loved rereading your first ever post! It’s crazy how much we can change in just a few short years πŸ™‚

    I’m so glad you’ve been true to yourself and your blog for the last million+ words, and I can’t wait to see where the future takes you!

  • Kristen
    February 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Way to go! Exciting for you and inspiring for me πŸ™‚ I just started (like literally, 2 weeks ago) and am having a great time learning. You might think you “know nothing,” but your nothing is impressive, fun to read, and – from what I have tried in the past – delicious πŸ™‚

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    February 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Aww a million words is crazy! Congrats and thanks for being in business this long!

  • megan @ blackberries for jam
    February 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I absolutely love your blog. I’ve been reading for years, and your writing, food and photography serve as a constant source of inspiration. You definitely seem to have found your “happy place” here, and in life. It gives me such a warm and fuzzy feeling to follow along!

    Thanks for the great tips too! I just started blogging and I never imagined how difficult it would be to attract readers. I guess persistence is the key and just allowing your voice to develop.

  • Amber K
    February 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    While I hate math I’m a HUGE number nerd, so I beyond loved this post. It is amazing, and so are you. πŸ™‚

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    February 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Congrats Jenna! You and your blog totally rock πŸ™‚

  • Fancy
    February 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Congratulations Jenna! That is so cool! I have been reading you for years now and I think you are a wonderful and sweet person. I’m REALLY hoping that your redesign that you mentioned will be that you are going back to your old way of blogging. My friends and I all agree that we miss your day to day life and your day to day food! You are adorable and we just miss being a part of your daily life….and it was so insipiring to see how you ate each day. We vote to bring back the old blog!

    • Tracey
      February 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      That is eery and disturbing that you want to live through someone else’s life and see everything she eats and does.

      • Fancy
        February 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm

        Hey Tracey,
        Oh no—That is not how I meant it at all! I just meant that Jenna is very inspiring in how she lives a healthy lifestyle and it was very inspiring for me and others to see how she deals with remaining healthy in real life with real life situations, etc. I would never want to live through someone else’s life (I have a great life of my own), I just enjoyed seeing more of her healthy lifestyle and being inspired to incorporate some of her healthy habits into my own life.

        • jenna
          February 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm


          aww you’re sweet. Unfortunately though the blog has turned into more of a food blog than a healthy lifestyle blog and, no, the redesign won’t be going back to my old style of food journaling. It’s just not me! I’m much more into developing new interesting recipes than I am documenting healthy food and exercise. (ps–I’m really not all that healthy). There are tons of other awesome inspiring food journal-type blogs out there though!

          • Fancy
            February 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

            Hey Jenna!
            I hope my comment didn’t come across the wrong way! I think you are great and of course I’m still a fan of your blog! Congratulations on all of your hard work πŸ™‚ I look forward to continue reading!

  • Marie-JourneytoBodyZen
    February 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    That is so cool Jenna! Congrats on your one millionth word! I love your blog and have enjoyed learning cooking and especially baking tips that I would have never learned before. Anytime there is a holiday (or the superbowl, or my anniversary!) I look to your blog for recipe ideas ;). And thanks for the words of wisdom for us new bloggers!

  • Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free
    February 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Your blog is my favorite. I say to my boyfriend all the time, “I want to be Jenna, she bakes and cooks awesome things and then we get to see!” Keep blogging girl!

  • Imwaytoobusy
    February 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    You are the best! Your food blog is one of the very first food blogs I ever discovered. The first granola bars I ever made were also based on one of your recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Theresa
    February 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Congrats on the 1,000,000 words! Like many others, I can’t believe I’ve been reading since around March of your first year. My life has changed so much since then, and its amazing that you have a photo/post journal and diary of your life. I remember your relationship back then, and your old hostess job, your crazy school schedule-it’s nuts! And now that I sound like a stalker, I’ll just say, keep it up! You have loyal and dedicated readers =) It’s been fun to see you and your blog throughout the years.

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}
    February 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Congratulations on 1,000,000 words!!! That’s amazing. πŸ™‚

  • Raya
    February 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Congratulations Jenna!! And yes, I do look up to you as one of the “bigger” bloggers out there! I know that my blogging skills have improved in the almost 2 years I’ve been blogging and I can only hope that one day my writing (and my pictures??) will reach people the way that I think you do. Thanks for writing all those words to us!!!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl)
    February 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Congrats lady! Those are great tips too.. gracias!

  • Helen
    February 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Wow, such a milestone! You are an inspiration. I have been bloggin since October and I get a few comments, and I have a few regular reader. Thanks for encouraging me. I did think about giving it up, but I do love my little hobby!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    February 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Congratulations! That is such a big accomplishment. I can’t wai tot see the new blog design soon!

  • Jen
    February 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Congrats! And I love your blog, its one of my favorites. I read every day! πŸ™‚

  • Stacey
    February 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Jenna, I’ve been a reader for about a year now and just love your blog and the direction you have been taking things in recent months. Congrats on 1,000,000! I can’t wait to see what the next million brings! Keep up the great work!!

    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      thank you!

  • Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef
    February 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    what a cute first post! i love it! and congrats on 1 million. how amazing πŸ™‚ great job!

  • Kelly Lawrence
    February 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Stumbled across your blog a couple months ago…now I read it daily. If I didn’t live on the opposite side of the country, I think we’d be friends πŸ™‚ Congrats on the success of ELR!

  • Tammy @ Palm Trees and Manatees
    February 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Wow, Jenna. Congratulations — this is awesome! Thanks so much giving us less known bloggers your tips; that’s very generous of you!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence
    February 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    that is so cool- congrats!

  • Kay @ The Church Cook
    February 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Happy 1 Million, Jenna! I love how you connect so well with your readers! It’s your beautiful personality that shines through. πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      thank you, Kay!! I’m looking forward to our much belated tea date (someday soon!)!

  • Tracy @ Commit To Fit
    February 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Great post! Building a blog takes work, time, patience and involvement! Congrats on breaking a million words!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    February 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    That’s so awesome!!!! Can’t wait til I pass the 1 million mark πŸ™‚

  • The Healthy Apple
    February 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Congrats, Jenna….I’m so happy for you. Keep up the beautiful bloggin’…

  • Kim @ The Excellent Adventures
    February 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Congrats Jenna!! This is my first time posting… but I have been following your blog for a couple of months now… AND I have LOVED every second of it! You are very talented and inspiring and down to earth. Thank you for all the hard work you put in to making this blog a success!
    And by the way, I’m making your Buffalo Chicken Dip for a couples’ baby shower this weekend. I realize it is not a normal baby shower dish… but I’m from a small town in South Carolina… so, it works!
    Have a great weekend!

  • Camille
    February 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Those are incredible stats! Congrats on your millionth word!

  • Baking Serendipity
    February 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    That’s a lot of words and comments and love! Impressive work by your husband and you! Love the site πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      February 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      Lol! He’s not my husband πŸ˜‰

  • Coco
    February 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    aww this is SO cool. you started blogging when you were a “youngin” like me–i’m 22 now!

    p.s. don’t change the content of your blog too much. you are by far my fav blog to read because of your sense of humor, but mostly because of the fact that you aren’t obsessed with exercise and calorie counting. you live a healthy, active lifestyle without putting in hours at the gym and only allowing yourself one treat a week like some other bloggers. kudos, girl. life’s WAY too short to cook with FAKE BUTTER. seriously.

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    February 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Where did you get those stats at the very top of this post?

    This was a fun post – thanks to Adam for those silly conversions πŸ™‚

  • Lena
    February 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Yeah! congrats on your millionth word!!!! i really love your posts coz it embraces life! a pity i’m in another part of the world or i would love to meet up with so many of you bloggers! πŸ™‚ really admire your photography, bakes, stamina and creativity! keep writing and i’ll definitely keep reading!!! πŸ™‚ thanks a million!

  • Lorin
    February 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I just read your first post and you definitely have changed, not in a bad way though. I feel like your attitude towards food is more relaxed. : )

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    February 4, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Your blog has grown, but I’ve loved it since the beginning. It’s been fun seeing your style change. LOVE your blog…keep on at it, because you have many faithful readers! πŸ˜€

  • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner
    February 4, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Congratulations! That’s awesome!

  • rebecca
    February 4, 2011 at 5:26 am

    A million published words! How fun!

    (And we have the exact same blog birthdates! How fun!)

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal
    February 4, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Whoa what a milestone!! Keep at it, Jenna – you’re great at it πŸ™‚

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble)
    February 4, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Congrats on 1,000,000 words, that is amazing! I’ve loved your blog for nearly three years now, keep doing what you’re doing, I’ve loved all the amazing changes πŸ™‚

  • Emily
    February 4, 2011 at 6:10 am

    1 million words is quite amazing! I just wrote my 100th post last week and was proud of that haha. I’m sure I’m still in the very embarrassing and novice stages of my blog, but I really love doing it, so that’s what counts. And you are the #1 blog that I read – I really love all of your amazing recipes, pictures, and ideas! So thank you πŸ™‚

  • Mackenzie
    February 4, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Oh man, this is sort of a blast from the past! I remember reading all of those old posts and remember how cool I thought you were (You are still cool in my eyes. A different brand of cool) and how weird it was that you lived in Orlando and legit worked at the restaurant next to my mom’s (She works at Season’s 52). Is that creepy of me?! Possibly. But I’m so glad you still blog. I’ve loved coming along for the ride. πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      February 4, 2011 at 7:58 am

      crazy! And I’m really not that cool!

  • Stacey (The Home-Cooked Vegan)
    February 4, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Congrats on your one millionth word! What a milestone πŸ™‚ I love reading your blog, it’s witty and very down to earth. Keep up the great work!

    PS. I know what you mean, when I look back to my material from 2008 I get so embarrased! Like, who was that person! But it is a part of me πŸ™‚

  • Aliza @ Baker By Night
    February 4, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I love this post and I love your blog! I have only been blogging for a short time and it really helps me to hear where you started from and see how far you have come. It is very motivating. Thank you for the tips too!

  • Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner
    February 4, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Hi Jenna,
    Congratulations!!! I have been following your blog for awhile now and I love it! You inspire me to try new things in the kitchen and take a risk with different recipes that I wouldn’t normally do.
    I just started a blog a couple weeks ago, so it was nice to read this post… it can be a bit discouraging when you only have a few followers lol but you’re right it’s all with time. hopefully I will get comments sooner or later, right?! haha Thanks for the advice to new bloggers!
    Congrats on all your success!! Cheers to 1,000,000 more words!

  • Melissa
    February 4, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Congrats Jenna! I’ve been following your blog for years and have probably read every post. I love the direction it’s going and love that your personality shines through in every post.

    Just wanted to let you know that I made your chocolate chip cookies last night (the ones where you brown the butter) and they are more delicious than I ever imagined they would be. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    I can’t wait to read your next million words!

  • Karen
    February 4, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Congrats on the 1 million words!! That’s an amazing milestone!

  • Laura @ prettylittlewords
    February 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Congrats!!! I am new to the health/food/fitness ladyblogger world, and always enjoy your posts as a daily dose of inspiration! πŸ™‚

  • Teri @BeePie Runs
    February 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

    What a great post and CONGRATULATIONS on 1,000,000 words! That is amazing! I love reading your blog and can’t wait to read more.

  • Jennifer
    February 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Congrats! What a huge milestone. I feel like I’m beginning to get my blog legs and my blog has evolved a lot over time too. I think it’s a good thing! It shows our own personal growth. I’ve loved reading your blog and have learned a lot. I just need to get better at photography because your pics always make my mouth water!!

  • Karen
    February 4, 2011 at 10:16 am


    I so admire your humility as always. You are more than deserving of your success. Thank you for providing us a ray of sunshine each and every day.

    Hugs, Karen

  • Cookin' Canuck
    February 4, 2011 at 10:22 am

    What a fun post! Congratulations on your 1 millionth word. That is certainly an accomplishment

  • Errign
    February 4, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for probably close to three years now & it’s one of my favorites (and no, I’m not just saying that). I love that you’re so real with your readers, honest, approachable, and it doesn’t hurt that you come up with some awesome recipes. I loved your blog just as much when it was a food blog & you were stricter with your eats, but I think the newest phase of ELR is my favorite. πŸ™‚ Seeing you “lighten up” on the so-called rules of food blogging has inspired me to reconsider my own food philosophy & I’m happily including fancy cocktails and chocolaty desserts!

    Basically, I’m just trying to say – you’re awesome & I’m glad you blog! Congratulations on your million-word-milestone!

  • dee
    February 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

    wow… this is SO cool! Congrats on such a major accomplishment Jenna!

  • Maria @ the Fitted Apron
    February 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Congratulations Jenna! Your blog was the very first blog I had ever read. I learned about a year or so ago from and article on Thank you for introducing me into this wonderful blog community.

  • Jaime
    February 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I would just like you to know that since i have started reading your blog (my friend showed it to me) i have become obsessed with searching for recipes and trying them. I read your blog everyday…

    For my birthday I received a kitchen-aid mixer…

    my secret dream is to be a food blogger…

    Sometimes when i am talking with my friend who showed me your blog we refer to you by name as if you are one of our friends…

  • Kim
    February 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Congrats on 1,000,000 words! I’ve loved reading the blog over the last 18 months. I can’t believe how long that seems even. I love the direction your blog’s gone in and can’t wait to see it continue to progress.

  • Becky C.
    February 7, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I just stumbled across your blog today. Contracts on all the words and the comments. I look forward to reading what comes next.

  • Amy Walters
    February 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    My friend mentioned how she just loves reading your blog. Since she knew I had recently launched a design blog, she thought I might like this article. She was right! Thank you so much for the great tips! I can’t wait to continue following your blog πŸ™‚


  • A bowl full of simple
    June 29, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I am in that stage right now where I’m always thinking “how do I get from to there?” I am a very bust mother of three, but am committed to posting at least 3 posts a week. Thats my goal. Im such a rookie, but the more I write, design, post, & photograph the more I learn. You have one of the best blogs out there. You stay true to your topic & the site is clean and easy to navigate. That why people keep coming back! Great job!