Year Four.

How did we even get here? Seriously.


It kind of blows my mind that exactly four years ago today I figured out how start a free blog in WordPress – which is a feat in itself since I barely know how to upload an attachment to my email. Four years ago, I actually created three blogs: each aptly named a different James Taylor song. Why I stuck with “how sweet it is” is still beyond me, but it probably had something to do with a current chocolate craving and the fact that it didn’t sound quite as depressing as “like everyone she knows.” Mid-twenties drama. You know it.

Doing stuff (so professional, I know) on this blog yanked me out of that quarter-life crisis (which wasn’t too much of a crisis, but um, have we met?) and completely changed my life. So cliche. But so true. It’s kind of odd and crazy and awe-inspiring when what you’re doing as a hobby turns into a dream job. And while it isn’t exactly my dream job, it has led me even closer to my actual dream job and let’s be real: it’s pretty dreamy.

I don’t take for granted one second that I am lucky enough to do this as “work,” and yes, even though it brings in an income for me, it is not at all why I do what I do. Four years ago, I started posting recipes at 7am every morning. I didn’t make a dime for a loooong time. And four years later, I still do the same. Because I freaking love it. I freaking love YOU. I cannot thank you enough for stopping by here every day and reading the obnoxious and often inappropriate and sometimes embarrassing and possibly even offensive sentences that I spew on this little space on the internet. I am so insanely grateful that some of you have been here since the days when my pictures looked like this and that some of you may be landing here today, for the first time. As weird as it may seem (and trust me, if I was reading this as a nonblogger, it would be weird, like get-a-real-life weird), blogging is a whirlwind and it’s hectic and it’s easy to get caught up in what it all means. But at the end of the day, it’s the real life stuff that counts. It’s why I treasure every single one of you and the relationships (too much?) we’ve built and this nutso community that we’ve created out of our invisible internet friendship. It means the world to me that we can bond over sprinkles or denim vests or neon nail polish and things that are way too immature for us  – and that we can even respectfully disagree on things and be honest and real. It warms my soul that you actually read large walls of text like the one I just wrote.


I appreciate you so, so much. Beyond comprehension. I appreciate every single comment you leave or every tweet you tweet. (twit?)

Four years ago, I was in my twenties and well, now… I’m not. Four years ago I was pretty lost and heck, even two years ago I was still kind of lost. Something inside of me demanded that I remain true to myself, be only myself, whether it wasn’t cool or hip or accepted or as popular as others or even understood. Whether it was annoying or brutally honest or transparent or unbelievable. Sure am glad I did that though. You know the real me. Minus the occasional meltdown.


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165 Responses to “Year Four.”

  1. #
    Jim — September 15, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Always sweetens my day!


  2. #
    kate — September 15, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    Aww wow! I can’t believe it’s been so long!! I remember when you hit year 2 so this is making me feel like time is flying! Even though I don’t eat most of what you cook (celiac and lactose intolerant – boo to my life) I still LOVE reading your blog and seeing your pinterest and instagram posts. Keep up the good work lady!!


  3. #
    Trudy Luther — September 15, 2013 @ 11:09 am

    Love, love, love what you do, keep doing it. You always make me laugh and I also love your recipes. Congrats on Year 4! Trudy


  4. #
    Julianna — September 15, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    Congratulations, Jessica!! You’re amazing and I LOVE your blog. I look forward to the How Sweet It Is email in my inbox, and I have lists of your recipes to try piling up until I get a chance to actually make them. Keep this up! Cannot wait to see what Year 5 brings!!


  5. #
    Clara Lourdes Peña Castro — September 15, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Desde Colombia mis agradecimientos por tu dedicación y enseñanzas sin fin, junto a las felicitaciones por tu cuarto aniversario.



  6. #
    Bibi Khan — September 15, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    Yes Jessica CONGRATS. IT IS AMAZING SOME OF YOUR RECIPES,I have tried. Keep up the good work and looking forward for more of your dashing recipes.


  7. #
    Ashley — September 15, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    Congrat’s on four years! It’s quite an accomplishment. I was dying when you linked back to one of your first posts. It’s wonderful to see the growth you’ve made. Cheers! Here’s to another four years in blogging land!


  8. #
    Aki — September 15, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

    I stumbled on to your blog this summer, and it is one of the things that I look forward to at the end of the week. And your beauty ideas! I have very different skin/complexion/etc from yours, but I love reading about your favorites. Congratulations, and thanks for being your lovely unique self. I am going to use the word ‘twit’ whenever people talk about twitter. SO PERFECT.


  9. #
    maria — September 15, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    I love, love, love your blog and am always passing it on to a dozen friends :) Love you for your food inspiration and all the giggles.


  10. #
    Mimi — September 15, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    Amazing to me that its been 4 years since you’ve been doing this blog and its been 4 years that I’ve been following all of your neon pink everything,sprinkles, cupcakes, nail polish and recipes. Your cooking disasters make me feel so much more comfy cooking and, well, you’re from the Burgh…muff said! Congrats!


  11. #
    Alicia @Bakeaholic — September 15, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

    Congratulations on four years!!


  12. #
    Princess — September 15, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

    Very well written. You are welcome and thank you. I wish you much more success.


  13. #
    Chelsie@citygirlcountrylife — September 15, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    I loved seeing your first year food pictures!! They remind me of what mine look like now! Ha! Hopefully I can learn to take them the way you do now too :) Congrats on year 4!


  14. #
    Sandra Tranmer — September 15, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    Congrats on your four years! Your blog always makes me giggle and never fails to brighten my mood… Thank YOU! xx


  15. #
    ATasteOfMadness — September 15, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    I saw your old pictures, and compare then to what your gorgeous pictures look like now, and I think to myself: There is hope yet!
    I love reading your blog, congratulations on the four years!


  16. #
    Kelsey Reiss — September 15, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    I check your blog every single day! Love the inspiration :) Keep up the great work & congrats!


  17. #
    Kay Lynn — September 15, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

    I rarely comment on blogs (except to try to win something) but there was just something , well…. SWEET about your blog today. Best of luck to you now and in the future. You can never go wrong when you are true to yourself. The hard part sometimes if finding that self. But once you do go for it – life will be …. wait for it…. SWEET!!
    and you can truly say “How Sweet it is”


  18. #
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic — September 15, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    Not sure how I found your blog wayyyy back when (am I close to the 4 year mark on that, cray cray?!?!) but am so glad I did – not only do you do some incredible things in the kitchen, you also keep us entertained with your fantastic stories and just awesome sense of humor that comes through perfectly in your writing :) Keep up the amazing work girlfrannn xoxo!!


  19. #
    foodwithpictures — September 15, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    Congrats on 4 years! And as a side note, I love James Taylor!


  20. #
    Michelle — September 15, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    Happy blogiversary !!!


  21. #
    Jenn H — September 15, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    You were the first blog I ever subscribed to one day when I stumbled on your recipe for chocolate chip cookie dip (um, hello? YUM). I have read your blog every day since then and even though I subscribe to a couple more now yours is ALWAYS the one I open first and still my very favorite. I often send recipes to my friend with messages like, “Jessica is my hero” and “It’s like she KNOWS me or something”. You always chose the very best things to make (we must have the same tastebuds) and I LOVE your pictures and enjoy your personality so much! Happy 4 year and I look so forward to many, many more :)!


  22. #
    Mari — September 15, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    YOU! Yes, you! You are responsible for forcing me to branch out with some (damn) delicious new foods. Things that I would have *never* imagined – although I already liked most of the ingredients. YOU sent me on a crazy Pinterest journey to find new/different/delicious foods and blogs that posted them. I’m thoroughly in love with you! :) (okay, maybe just a girl crush, but whatever.)


  23. #
    Abby — September 15, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

    This is one of my favorite blogs!!! Thanks for sticking with it and posting so many delicious recipes, beautiful pictures, funny comments, and everything in between. Congrats on for great years :-)


  24. #
    Meg Jones | The Spatularette — September 15, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    I stumbled upon your little space somewhere midway through year 3 and now click over every single day. Your creativity and adorable sense of humor constantly amaze me. Thanks so much for bringing us all along for the ride!


  25. #
    Lauren — September 15, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

    It’s been almost 2 years since that fateful day I stumbled upon your blog for the first time (thank you, Pinterest!). I spent weeks reading through post after post, and we’ve been bestest invisible internet friends ever since. I’ve made over a hundred of your recipes, several every single week, so on behalf of my family- thanks for the awesome eats, and thanks for the chit chat that helps me recharge on a daily basis (especially Tuesdays!) I pink puffy heart love you Jess, and here’s to many more! Happy blogiversary!


  26. #
    Nancy — September 15, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

    Your blog is, by far, the one I turn to daily. Just to see what’s yummy, cool, funny, fashionable, makeuptrendishy, and just plain fab. Believe me, I read many, MANY blogs, and I adore yours. You write as if you are here in the kitchen/family room with us. Love, love, love it – and you! Anxiously awaiting the next post :) –

    Sincerely – Sweets In Southlake


  27. #
    francine — September 15, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    i have so much love for you and your blog! you’re like–here comes the cliche–a breath of fresh air on the crazy interwebs! congrats on your 4 year anniversary! :) xoxo from ohio!


  28. #
    Alyssa — September 15, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

    I can’t even remember how I stumbled across your site – it’s great, I love your writing, and LOVE the recipes and all the fun. Thanks.


  29. #
    Christine — September 15, 2013 @ 11:29 pm

    Time is running! I think that I found your blog two years ago and I’m so thankful about it. It’s so much fun to read your articles and look to your beautiful photos. You are doing just a wonderful job. Congrats!

    Oh, and don’t stop!!!


  30. #
    emelreem — September 16, 2013 @ 2:20 am

    Congratulations!! Your blog was the first that I made a regular part of my day about 3 years ago! I’ve shared many of your recipes with my daughters, and most probably will continue to do so. I’ve giggled and laughed out loud at your sense of humor all the way from across the other side of the world! Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us! Keep up the great work, and always keep smiling…


  31. #
    Marianne — September 16, 2013 @ 2:49 am

    Congratulations for your journey! I admire you for keeping true to yourself :)


  32. #
    La Torontoise — September 16, 2013 @ 3:58 am

    Love your blog!
    It inspired many cooking experiments and I learnt a lot from it.
    Enjoyed your pictures, your writing and voice:-)
    I wish you much success in the years ahead and hope you find (or design?) your dream job soon!!
    All the best!


  33. #
    Aggie — September 16, 2013 @ 8:04 am

    I remember you 4 years ago babe! Can’t believe it’s been so long, congrats my friend! Love ya!!


  34. #
    Ali @ Inspiralized — September 16, 2013 @ 8:11 am

    This is such an inspirational post for someone like me who just started off as a food blogger! I’m so excited to keep following your journey. I love your blog and your voice, keep on truckin’!


  35. #
    Jeana — September 16, 2013 @ 8:21 am

    This is the only blog I read! Congrats on four years, and here’s to many more! Cheers!


  36. #
    Joanna — September 16, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    Congrats! You’ve created something pretty awesome here, definitely one of my very favorite blogs and a part of my day that I always look forward to! Not only for your great recipes and gorgeous photos, but your hilariously honest and funny commentary- you’re relatable and lovable! Cheers to the next 4!


  37. #
    Alicyn — September 16, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Congrats on your four years! I absolutely love your blog!!!


  38. #
    Robyn — September 16, 2013 @ 8:47 am

    You’re an inspiration, Jessica! It’s just a matter of time until How Sweet It Is is listed on air right next to the Pioneer Woman :)


  39. #
    Jana H. — September 16, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    Congrats on four years! I’m so glad you do what you do because I love reading about it…and drooling over the photos. :) To be honest, though, I love the huge blocks of text as much as the photos and recipes because, girl, you got writing skillz. Even if a particular recipe isn’t something I’m excited about, I still love to read what you say about it because you make everything sound awesome.

    Mostly I love you, though, because you introduced me to brown butter. The end. ;-)


  40. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — September 16, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    <3 <3 <3.

    I want bacon.


  41. #
    Elizabeth — September 16, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    Congrats on four years! One of the first things i do in the morning is check your website .. no kidding! Thanks for sharing your recipes and life with all of us! XO


  42. #
    Courtney @ Semi-Sweet Eats — September 16, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    Congrats on 4 years of blogging. Your blog was one of the first that I fell in love with! At first it was your recipes that had me hooked.. and then I kept coming back for your hilarious and relatable commentary. And now there’s the beauty posts and “things” – I just love it all.

    THANK YOU for this little ray of sunshine (sweetness!) in my day. :)


  43. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — September 16, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    I love love love your blog. You, your recipes, and your photography are so, so inspiring! I’m so glad you linked to that recipe from 2009 because it reminds me that awesome things sometimes just take a while. Congratulations on 4 years!


  44. #
    Ashley — September 16, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    Well I don’t think I’ve been reading the complete 4 years but pretty darn close! It doesn’t feel like that long ago but at the same time it feels like I’ve always been checking you site!


  45. #
    j lynn — September 16, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

    Thanks for this post! :) For the past several months I have been going through the similar feelings of feeling “lost” and attempting to stay true to myself. I’ve yet to get to that point and do what is truly in my heart. I guess I just need the little bump or ounce of energy that you seemed to find 4 years ago. Congrats! :) You’re an inspiration.


  46. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — September 16, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

    I;ve only been blogging two years and i can’t believe it’s been that long. Time flies. It’s pretty scary actually!


  47. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — September 16, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

    I love that you’re on your way to finding your dream job. Blogging is so cathartic and I can see how having a creative outlet would lead you to finding yourself…or at least pulling yourself out of a rut. Although I will never own a denim vest, my love for neon nail polish and every color of eyeshadow runneth deep; almost as deep as my undying love of sprinkles. I’ve truly loved every moment I’ve spent reading your blog and I hope somebody will someday feel the same way about mine. Cheers Jessica!


  48. #
    Channeling Contessa — September 16, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

    I loved this post Jessica. Got to see a side of you I hadn’t! And nice to know you still appreciate every comment :) xx


  49. #
    David @ From Ballparks to BBQ — September 17, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    Love the throwback link to the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Quite a difference.

    Keep up the fantastic work! This is often the first place I look when my wife asks me for recipe ideas.


  50. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — September 17, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    Congratulations Jessica!!!!!!! I meant to respond to this when you posted on Saturday, but I was out of town and leaving comments with my phone never works out so well (hello, typos!).

    You are such an inspiration. This space is my must-read every morning and I’m so happy to call you a friend. Thanks for all your support over the past year!



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