One Year In.

A year ago today my life completely changed.

Which is really funny to say, because nothing in my life is different today besides the fact that I write this blog. I still work a full-time job and I still hate vegetables.

But a year ago something made me start this blog and it has been nothing short of a blessing. To say I’m a passionate person is quite the understatement. When I love something, I really, really, really love it. And I’m not sure where or when my love for writing dwindled, but it happened somewhere in between my awkward adolescence and my bratty teenage years. Two paisley vests, one silk shirt and a B.U.M equipment hoody later… my priorities were elsewhere.

How Sweet It Is brought back that passion for me – times ten million. I am absolutely positive that every step I’ve taken in the last 15 months led me to begin this blog, to find myself again, to feel that passion, and to open up in ways I had forgotten were possible.

You helped me – with your constant encouragement and thoughtful comments and lovely words. With your helpful suggestions for cooking vegetables (which, I’m sorry – have all failed) and the way that you still visit after I post about bacon 3 days in a row.

At some point this week, I may do a post on what I’ve learned this last year, but for now, this is enough mush. Don’t you think?

I just want to say…


I tried to pick out my top 10 recipes, but I’m a head case. I change my mind more than I change my socks. I know that’s gross, but it’s true.

So as of today, here are my top 10 favorites.

My Top 10 Favorite Recipes

Salted Chocolate Pecan Butter

Fresh Fruit Bruschetta

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Chip Waffles

Healthy Crispy BBQ Chicken Fingers

Kiwi Mango Salsa

Ice Cream Crepes

Tropical Avocado Smoothie

Better-Than-Crack Brownies

Macaroon Granola

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Do you have a favorite How Sweet recipe?


Nothing much is going to change ’round these parts, but there is one thing changing. For the last 9 months I have also been blogging under my Fit Bites page – mostly about fitness and a little about life. See, the thing is, I talked about fitness for the last 6 years of my life every single day. Actually, I’ve probably talked about it every day since 2001, when I started teaching in college. I love to work out, but I don’t want it to be the only thing I talk about there. So from now on, I’ll be gettin’ a bit more personal, writing about life, rambling about whatever I see fit, still talking about our meals, and showing you that (believe it or not) there is more to me than just food.

How Sweet It Is was never meant to solely be a food blog. I started it with intentions of talking about my life, my family, and my deep passion for writing, but somewhere along the way I fell into this trap of blogging about stylized food every single day. And let’s be honest – it can get a bit boring, can’t it?

I’m still going to be blogging about my newest recipe creation/attempt, but I also want to share so much more of myself with you.

And of course, I’ll still be blogging about fitness because it is a part of my life, but it’s not the only thing in my life.

You won’t know if I update that section unless you subscribe to my feed or subscribe by email. And if you don’t want to do either one of those things, just check out Fit Bites daily to see what I’m up to.

Do some good!

Head on over to Tina’s blog today to bid on a batch of my muffins!

Thanks to each and everyone one of you for reading my rambles! I can’t even tell you how much it means to me.

Now tell me – what would you like to see more of on How Sweet It Is?

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138 Responses to “One Year In.”

  1. #
    Kristie — September 14, 2010 @ 10:51 am

    Happy One Year! Your blog is always incredible (and makes me want to eat my weight in your delicious goods on the regular) but I’m excited to see more variety in amongst all of the incredible recipes and food pics. Keep it coming!


  2. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — September 14, 2010 @ 10:51 am

    happy 1 year!! i am so happy that i ‘met’ you! you are such a great person and friend and I cannot wait to see wht this next year holds for you! I would also give up my left arm for that better than crack brownie


  3. #
    The Duo Dishes — September 14, 2010 @ 11:00 am

    Congrats on a year! It’s a big feat. :)


  4. #
    Holly — September 14, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    Hey Jess :D CONGRATS!
    You are SUCH an amazing writer, I honestly look forward to reading EACH & every one of your posts. Even if I don’t comment daily, I still read them & laugh @ just about all of them :)
    You are such a great cook, I LOVE all of your recipes & head straight to your site when coming up with my weekly recipe plans!!
    Can’t wait to see the new changes- looking forward to them!


  5. #
    Ellen@FirednFabulous — September 14, 2010 @ 11:22 am

    This is seriously one of my favorite blogs and as you know, I can’t cook for sh*t! Honestly, I wouldn’t change too much. I envy your blog because it has such a focus, it’s consistent…something I think mine lacks a bit. People LOVE all of the components that make your blog: FOOD, pretty pictures, good recipes and HUMOR. You can’t go wrong with that recipe, so I say just keep doing what you’re doing!


  6. #
    Mellissa — September 14, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    Happy Anniversary! It is amazing all the great things that blogging brings into our lives.


  7. #
    Katie @ Health for the Whole Self — September 14, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    Congrats, again! I don’t know if I can choose a favorite recipe, but that sweet and sour chicken was a huge hit in my home!


  8. #
    Lara (Thinspired) — September 14, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    Congratulations on one year, Jessica! You have definitely made your mark on blog world with your wonderful recipes and beautiful photos. I can’t wait to try the crispy BBQ chicken fingers now that I have returned to the kitchen!


  9. #
    Erica — September 14, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    Ah! happy blog birthday! You know i love your blog and your delicious creations. I am glad you’ll be sharing more about yourself too! I look forward to your upcoming posts!!


  10. #
    Evan Thomas — September 14, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    Happy blogiversary!


  11. #
    Biz — September 14, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

    Happy #1! I think its funny that you still don’t like veggies, but I applaud your love of bacon!


  12. #
    Joe @ Eden Kitchen — September 14, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

    Congratulations – i’m constantly amazed at how many posts you can do in a week. You put me to shame!


  13. #
    Marg — September 14, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

    Congrats on a year, I love your blog and recipes! I’m excited about the changes and would love to learn more about Pittsburgh – my boyfriend is from the area and went to college there. I’ve mostly gotten to know about the Steelers, Penguins, and Permenttis (I know I spelled that wrong!)


  14. #
    Layla — September 14, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

    B.U.M. Equipment, heck yes!

    Happy one year blogiversary!


  15. #
    Chicago Cuisine Critique — September 14, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

    Congrats! Happy 1 year! :)


  16. #
    Jill Wolfe — September 14, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    Congrats on your blog anniversary from a new blogger. (just 3 months old) Thanks for admitting that you hate veggies. I do to! Hard to admit in a healthy blog forum! Thanks, Jill


  17. #
    Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) — September 14, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

    YAY for your one year!!

    Your top ten recipes all look really freaking good… and I’m not just sayin that to be nice. ;) Love your blog and love how you want to change it… I’m pretty much along for the ride. I like your writing style and am excited about seeing how things change around here!


  18. #
    Megan (Braise The Roof) — September 14, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    I love that you’re going to add a little more personal stuff to the blog- it’s very evident that you have a fantastic personality and I can’t wait to read more! And no- bacon doesn’t get boring. Ever. :)


  19. #
    Nicole, RD — September 14, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    I think more on you would be great :) And I, for one, LOVE your recipes! Adore, really :) Happy blogiversary!


  20. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — September 14, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

    Happy blogiversary!!!! One day, we’ll have to meet in person and celebrate :-)


  21. #
    Tina — September 14, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

    Happy one year!!! I love the idea of getting to know you a little bit more. I love reading blogs for the essence of the person behind the blog. And you’re a fab person so it will just make for an even more fab blog. :D I even wrote about something similar in my post that’s going up in about…15 minutes? LOL All about being true to myself as well as the other topics my blog discusses. I feel the same as you where when I love something I REALLY love it.

    Anyhoo, love your blog and love you!


  22. #
    homecookedem — September 14, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

    Your blog is definitely one of my FAAAAAVORITES!! I’m so glad I found you… I’m pretty sure I found you around November or December of 2009. I remember all of your amazing holiday baking and was hooked!! Love you lots!! Happy One Year!! You and your blog are awesome!!!!!!


  23. #
    Jennifer@ knackfornutrition — September 14, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

    Congratulations on your 1 year blogoversairy! Looking at your top ten favorite recipes (for today) makes my mouth water! I wish you could move in here and cook for me~ :)


  24. #
    Jessica — September 14, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

    Happy blog birthday!

    I am excited for the changes that you are going to bring to the blog. I adore the recipes, but it will be great to get an inside view on the How Sweet Life because you are so dang unique and inspiring.



    • Jessica — September 14th, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

      That means so much to me – thank you!


  25. #
    Bianca @ south bay rants n raves — September 14, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    I said it on Twitter & I will say it here, Congratulations! I find your blog to be one of the most well written. I always look forward to new posts. Keep it up girl!


    • Jessica — September 14th, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

      Thank you so much!


  26. #
    Lisa @ I'm an Oie — September 14, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    whoohoo! happy 1 year! cnat wait to see the changes. your blog is great as is, with changes on content i can imagine it will be even better.


  27. #
    Lisa @bakebikeblog — September 14, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

    Happy One Year anniversary!!!! Congrats :)


  28. #
    Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen — September 14, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

    Congratulations!!! I love your blog, your food, and your witty sense of humor! Looking forward to many more years of How Sweet It Is!


  29. #
    Wei-Wei — September 14, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    Happy blog anniversary! I’m proud to be reading such an amazing blog and being part of it all. And I love your recipes so so much. :D


  30. #
    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) — September 14, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    No….Thank YOU!!! Your blog always makes me smile!


  31. #
    Melissa — September 14, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    YAY for you! Congrats, Jessica! Keep ’em coming :)


  32. #
    Katie — September 14, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

    Happy Blog birthday!! You are so loved, and I can’t wait to keep reading about all of your creations…and more of you! :-)


  33. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — September 14, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    Happy Blogiversary!!!!! I love reading How Sweet It Is, but sort of forgot about FitBites so I’m headed there now! :)


  34. #
    Val @ Balancing Val — September 14, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

    Congrats! That is a wonderful thing that you are able to express yourself and you definitely do it well :)

    I hope to feel like that in the future as well.


  35. #
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — September 14, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    Happy blog anniversary, Jessica!! You have one of the most unique and well-written food blogs around. It’s been a pleasure to visit, I love just about everything that you make and look forward to seeing so much more!! :D



  36. #
    Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon — September 14, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

    Congratulations on your 1 year blog-iversary! I always enjoy reading your recipes and thoughtful commentary. Thanks so much for sharing :)


  37. #
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black — September 14, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

    Your blog is one of my (many!) favorites. I live for your recipes and the humor you add to each of them. Your blog is perfect already- change NOTHING!!!!!!


  38. #
    Erin — September 14, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

    So far my fave recipes are carrot cake cookies and a salmon recipe, which I’ve forgotten the name of…but so delicious!


  39. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — September 14, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    Congrats on the 1 year!!

    I really like your recipes – they are original, and fabulous!


  40. #
    Paige @ Running Around Normal — September 14, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

    What a great year of writing for you:) Love your blog and I look forward to continue reading and getting to know you!


  41. #
    mags — September 14, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

    Jessica, of course I come here daily to see what delicious recipes you’re cooking, but what keeps me coming back is your style of writing. I love your sense of humor and your quick wit. Whatever you decide to include on your blog, I’ll be back to read it.


  42. #
    Sues — September 14, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

    I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for a year! Your blog is amazing!! Congrats on the one year :)


  43. #
    Jodie — September 14, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

    Congrats on 1 year of an incredible blog! You are an inspiration, especially to me because i am extremely passionate about 1. SWEETS 2. EXERCISE and 3. BAKING…how perfect that i stumbled upon your blog. The first time I read it I thought to myself…”WOW, someone who also has a passion for being fit and enjoying dessert!” :)

    I just started my own blog this month, and I agree with what you wrote in this post wholeheartedly. After getting married at 20 and having 4 kids, I really needed something for myself. The creative outlet my own blog has given me has been a blessing.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog and a beautifully written post!


  44. #
    Mary (A Merry Life) — September 14, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    Congrats on reaching the one year mark! I’m excited to see where your blog goes. You are definitely one of my fav bloggers and I love reading about your life and the food. :)


  45. #
    chefrenee — September 14, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

    Found your blog when I was looking for goat cheese salad ideas. Loved the salad! You do a wonderful job, very witty and fresh, I will be back!


  46. #
    Rachel — September 14, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

    Happy 1-year Anniversary, Jessica! I subscribe to your feeds, and every morning when I check my e-mail I open it up to see some fabulous looking recipe that has me counting down the hours till lunch. :) Your recipes keep me drooling! Keep up the great blogging work!


  47. #
    Jessica @ The Process of Healing — September 14, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

    Congrats on your 1 year girlie!!! :D


  48. #
    Caitlin — September 14, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

    Happy day for you! I don’t think I need to go on about how this little blog has saved me in a pinch when I’ve had to actually cook half a dozen times in the last year, or how you were the go-to person when I had big news – my was there some BIG news this year, or how you are one of the only people I can just lay it all on and you just GET it and continue to be there for me. I am SO glad to have “met” and met you through this crazy (stupid?) thing we do. When you get tired of the snow, please come here and eat barbecue and cake with me. I love you!!!


  49. #
    Angela — September 14, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    I’m a long time reader of your blog and have never commented, but I just had to say happy anniversary! What an accomplishment – I’m so glad blogging has allowed you to explore your passion; keep it coming!


    • Jessica — September 15th, 2010 @ 3:49 am

      Thank you Angela!


  50. #
    Kimber — September 14, 2010 @ 11:28 pm


    I just found your site from IAm Baker, and I think you and these recipes/pictures just completed my life!



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