I’m having a complete heartichoke that it’s February. I know it’s annoyingly cliché but it’s true.

on finding inspiration I howsweeteats.com

Since I’m a month in on my inspiration board, I figured it was high time I tell you how I manage to find it (“it” being inspiration)… mostly because I want to know how you find it too.

When it comes to goals, I can be a dream self-sabotager. It’s the worst thing ever but as I’ve grown up and am in the process of becoming an old person, I can recognize it more easily and put a stop to it.  Thankfully this issue doesn’t come in to play in gigantic huge life-type things… but but but, I do consider my goals and dreams and all that good stuff to be gigantic huge life-type things. So there’s that.

Making the vision board in January did WONDERS for me. It’s in front of my face daily. It’s a constant reminder of the things I want to achieve but also a constant reminder that I can achieve them if I want to work for it. The thing is though, and you might totally get this if you’ve read this blog for oh, point three seconds… I get bored pretty easily.

Like really easily.

Like I am the terrible product of this internet generation who doesn’t even like to call for pizza. I mean, can’t I just text for pizza? See also: never leave me voicemail ever.

So while seeing the vision board everyday has a partial impact on my brain, I find myself craving some constant diverse visual inspiration daily to live my life. Okay. Not just to live my life. But to do things like work at my highest potential. Write. Love the living space around me. Be a happy person. Be present in the moment. You might remember that a few months ago on my birthday, I wrote about wanting to live up every single day. I don’t care how cheesy it sounds. It’s what I want. I want to end everyday knowing that I worked my ass off to get the things I want and do the things I love. You know you know?

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I’ve mentioned it like ten times already in 2014, but my obvious go-to finding inspiration place has my pinterest board titled… (oh wait for it) inspiration. This is basically my board where I pin all kinds of crap that I love – and I focus on colors, the feeling I get when looking at the photo, the words written or the thought provoked. For the last two years I whined incessantly about how overwhelmed I felt on Pinterest and while I still often feel that way, this board has been a saving grace. I literally only pin things I totally adore. I pin everything that is ME. And it’s not a secret that things that are “me” usually include sprinkles, neon, high heels, ice cream, pastel buildings and pink sunsets. It is what it is.

Other places I find inspiration may seem obvious – websites and blogs. However, it’s so freaking easy to get caught up in the comparison trap. I have learned to let go of this over the years but I am no where near immune to it. I just try to look at is as an opportunity to grow rather than feeling like crap about myself.

I am so inspired by fantastic design and photography that feels untouchable on my own.

I am so inspired by some of the most creative real food ever.

I am so inspired by everyday life that appears extraordinary.

I am so inspired by pretty things that make me want to empty my pockets.

I often ask myself if I would still write this blog if I didn’t communicate with readers – no comments, tweets, emails, etc. After all, people have been “validating” my work (omg I love you and thank you) for the last four plus years. I am 99% sure that I would though, because this is a place where I let my inspiration flow freely.

Something I’ve struggled with in those four plus years is allowing my presence on the internets to totally define me. In a sense, it kind of does – I’m not sure if there is anywhere else in my life where I’m more real. Oddly enough, it is very comfortable for me to write out my exact thoughts and feelings in post without caring what people think. Yet, I’d have moments where someone would tell me that they tried my cookies and they totally sucked and made them want to punch puppies and I’m all omg I’m a horrible person and my existence on this earth doesn’t even count and everyone in my life hates my guts and my life is basically over because my cookie recipe isn’t the best and I may as well go purchase a tombstone now and do you think I could get a pink one?

Because that’s literally the type of shit that would go through my head four years ago.

get out of your own way I howsweeteats.com

Back then, that was the type of thing that would force me to change my inspiration. In food blog world, this is like the whole people-ask-for-healthy-recipes-but-then-they-are-too-healthy-and-you-suck-and-are-boring-so-then-you-make-something-utterly-disgusting-that’s-filled-with-food-coloring-and-stuffed-with-candy-bars-and-unicorn-tears-and-takes-food-porn-to-the-next-level-and-you-don’t-even-like-it-but-omg-pinterest!-but-now-you’re-responsible-for-giving-the-children-of-the-world-diabetes-and-can’t-your-recipes-be-more-easy-to-make-in-the-kitchen-and-not-have-55-ingredients?-so-then-you-make-spaghetti-and-meatballs-but-then-you’re-even-more-boring-than-before-and-can’t-come-up-with-anything-new-and-exciting-and-must-copy-off-of-every-other-person-on-the-internets-and-so-then-you-come-up-with-ground-spinach-faux-meatballs-on-rice-cake-pasta-tossed-in-honey-butter-with-grapefruit-slices-and-chocolate-chunks-with-a-Thai-infused-drizzle-and-a-side-of-Spanish-rice type of thing.

And then you’re like WHAT. What is on my plate.

In real life world, it’s like setting things aside because other people think you can’t do them.

THAT’S why inspiration and being real is so important to me. When it comes to creating recipes? Dude. Make the things you WANT to make. When it comes to living your life off the web and doing things that others think you can’t? DO IT.

Personally, I can’t do these things without constant visual inspiration. Or heck, even audial inspiration. I need to see pictures and see them often. I pour over magazines (total junkie). I also am a huge advocate of WRITING THINGS DOWN. Oh my god. Any friend that has asked me anything in the last year about a goal they want to achieve or after a discussion about something we are struggling with, I’m just like “write it down. Write it down!”

I write down all the things. I write down quotes. Goals. Thoughts. Ideas. Crappy feelings. Two weeks ago I started writing in a journal regularly again (something I haven’t done since, uh, high school) and it blows my freaking mind how much of a relief it is just to get things down on paper. I know that I may be dramatic but I feel like I’ve unloaded twenty pounds when I get my thoughts out there. (if only it was that easy.)

on finding inspiration I howsweeteats.com

I find inspiration in reading – both fiction and non. You know that I love getting lost in a story, whether it’s in a book or a TV series. These things spark my own inspiration.

In order to be properly inspired, I’ve found what works for me. It’s what I need to feel my best. I need some form of cardio exercise, preferably in the morning. It energizes me and makes me feel better overall – physically, mentally, emotionally. I need to stay hydrated: water (and coffee and wine?). I’m best inspired when I’m eating well and feel good about the food that is going into my body, but with enough give so I’m eating things I truly love and getting enough chocolate (=antioxidants.) I need sleep. Like probably eight hours. I’m currently getting around six or seven. Working on it. I need to read other people’s words. I need to write my own words. And I need yoga, preferably in the evening, because it calms my mind and makes me feel like a normal person. (since a normal person randomly writes about her inspiration on the internet.) Seriously though. It’s amazing how much more of an impact photos and words have on me when I’ve got my act together.

Oh hello. I just wrote a 1336 word blog post. I’m going to shut up now. But I really want to know WHAT inspires you. WHO inspires you. WHERE do you find the most inspiration? I want out of the comfort zone.

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131 Responses to “Real Life Wednesday: On Finding Inspiration.”

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    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) — February 5, 2014 @ 7:59 am

    THIS POST is amazing and exactly what I needed to read this morning. I tend to be a motivated person, but get thrown off track sometimes by the ‘must-dos’ of life or the opinions of others.

    I considered making a dream board the other day, then felt too much like a cheese-ball to follow through, but now I’m reconsidering. Keeping my motivation and WHY I am doing what I do right in front of my face is sure to help me stay focused and working hard.

    Keep doing your thang, too. Because you’re awesome. Great post!

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    Kayley Maybe — February 5, 2014 @ 8:05 am

    This was a great way to start my day. I don’t work in a creative field (I’m a lawyer, which I guess requires different kinds of creativity), but I still try to find inspiration for myself daily. For me, it’s pictures of places I’ve traveled that help a lot – particularly Banff, where I spent my 1st anniversary with my husband.

    My office is also FULL of pictures of my kids. They remind me to find joy even in the little moments, and of who I am working for. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is :)

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    April — February 5, 2014 @ 8:16 am

    This is great and your last sentence can’t be more true. I’m leaving a very comfortable job for one that’s finally in my field and I’m terrified. But like I told a coworker, no stories I tell today have come from safe decisions.

    I also feel anew pinterest board happening today too!

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    katie — February 5, 2014 @ 8:28 am

    LOVE this post. As a blogger, it can be hard to not compare yourself to other bloggers, and of course hard to get the negativity. One day I just stopped caring about what others thought about me and stopped comparing, and found ME. I am comfortable in my skin and my mind, I don’t want to be put in a damn category, I am just ME. I do what makes me happy, feel happy, and live how I want. I hate when people feel they have to eat a certain way, be a certain way, how about just be YOU?

    Your always going to have people who don’t like you, but you will never truly live if you always worry about that or try to be a certain cutout copy.

    I know my blog can be random, but I just blog daily about what I want, what makes me happy, and that’s how I roll.
    I am also a BIG write down things, inspiration, or ideas kind of girl. I sleep with my journal next to my bed, It seems lots of ideas or inspiration come to me at night. Sometimes middle of the night too, yeah I don’t sleep much.

    And I am off to go roll in pink and glitter now, haha!
    Love ya Jessica!

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    Tina Muir — February 5, 2014 @ 8:31 am

    What a wonderful post! I am so glad your vision board is really helping with the clarity, and you are making steps towards a better you…..which will lead to the accomplishments of the tasks/parts of it!

    I am sure you can already guess, but I agree 100% with the exercise in the morning part, as well as the sleep. Although sometimes my training can be at such a high level that I think i makes me even more exhausted (75miles a week will do that to you!), but most the time I feel energized, and it gives me time to rearrange my thoughts!

    I also made a vision board, and I love it, I have it sitting behind my computer so I constantly look at how I am going to achieve it! Such a worthwhile task! I will continue to follow your progress :)

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    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — February 5, 2014 @ 8:34 am

    Jess, although I adore your recipe posts, I think this is one of my all-time favourites. All I can say is AMEN to that! Like you I’m a hugely visual learner and I NEED visual inspiration to keep me on track. My inspiration/vision board is up on the wall in my living room and I see it every single day (one of the beauties of being a single lady is that I get to pick what’s up on my walls!!) Pinterest is a huge source of inspiration for me, as are the amazing restaurants that I’ve enjoyed delicious food at, other food blogs, the random ideas I get while running on the treadmill at the gym, magazines, browsing farmers markets and the grocery store (I swear, it’s one of the most therapeutic things I do to de-stress!), Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, and a bunch of other stores that I seem to have no problem giving #allthemoney to. Thanks for this awesome (and super inspiring!) post!

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    Laura — February 5, 2014 @ 8:42 am

    I don’t often comment, but please let me just say this. Your post in January made me realise that I wasn’t fulfilling any goals, that my inspiration has vanished. My husband and I discussed this for a while (over your pulled pork chilli, mostly), and made the decision to pack it all in and go and live in Australia for a year. We leave at the end of March, and its the scariest, most exciting thing I have ever done in my life. Your blog is about food, sure, but to me, its the thing I look forward too most with my morning cup of tea. A guaranteed laugh from a girl on the other side of the world. And to be frank Darling, your writing made me change my life, so regardless of any wobbles you may have had in the past, you’re killing it now. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

      laura! what!
      that is so incredible. i am so happy for you! please make sure to keep me posted. and THANK YOU!

      Reply

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    Kristina — February 5, 2014 @ 8:47 am

    Thank you for sharing! I love reading your posts because they’re so real life and even help me realize ways I’m not pushing myself and/or am limiting myself. I tend to shut myself down too and as I’m working to overcome this, it’s so refreshing to hear this from such a creative and inspiring person! You’re doing a great job, so keep at it!

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    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — February 5, 2014 @ 8:48 am

    I needed this more than anything right now. I feel like I’m in a rut (seriously, do I get in ruts every 6 months?) and have just been feeling down, bored with my job, and wanting more. It’s so hard to take a step forward when you really aren’t even sure where you want to go…but this really puts things into perspective and is a great reminder to live in the day and make it all that it can be…maybe some day I won’t always be looking for the next best thing…but, even if I still am…who cares? It keeps me on my toes! Happy Wednesday, friend! :)

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    Michele — February 5, 2014 @ 8:51 am

    thank you SO MUCH for this. I love that you’re blogging about more than the foodstuff now- not because I don’t LOVE your recipes- I definitely do (I love the ones I eat vicariously through the awesome pictures and fabulous written descriptions to avoid the sugar and or cheese coma that would come from trying to finish off a recipe by myself) (I also love EVERYTHING I’ve actually made, and this is the first place I come when I need a reliable recipe that’s going to impress/raise eyebrows/wow people)! But this is so real… and something I think we all need to hear. I love that you don’t take yourself insanely seriously, but still manage to not sacrifice a genuine pride in yourself and your work. Totally deserved. Sure, cookies and bacon and hot pink glitter are not the most important things in the world, but being authentic and happy? I’m pretty sure that *is,* or it’s at least pretty close. Don’t hate me for being cheesy and sappy and gross, but I feel like your blog- even before this post actually ON inspiration- has inspired me to really embrace myself, what I’m good at, what I love, and to stop feeling quite so obligated to offer apologetics when someone doesn’t “get it.”

    I love your blog, your recipes, and your words. I swear, even if I didn’t love cooking/food, I would still read because it’s so dang entertaining. Also, I now have someone to blame when I spend too much at Sephora. Thanks for all you do!

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

      no hate at all – thank you so much!

      Reply

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    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — February 5, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    Dammit, I have a recipe that calls for unicorn tears scheduled for tomorrow.

    Simply put, this post is why I admire you so much. And so many other people do too.

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

      send it to me in an email and i’ll pin it. ;)

      Reply

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    Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 5, 2014 @ 9:00 am

    Where has this ‘column’ been all my life! It’s truly the best idea you’ve ever had to start this one! God,love it soooo much! Anyway the paragraph that’s all hyphenated, i.e. too healthy, too weird, too boring, it’s copied, etc. Yeah I’ve been there and it’s horrible to hear but for the first time in almost 5 year of blogging I can just let it go and be like okay I can’t please everyone and I’m just going to do what I’m going to do and that’s that. Thank you for stating that you hear all of it and more and that you just do your thing, make what you want to make, and live happily ever after :) Hearing things like that helps keep me inspired – thank you!

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    Robyn — February 5, 2014 @ 9:20 am

    I love this post, Jessica. So authentic. I feel like I just had a great coffee date with an old friend. :)

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    Jessica — February 5, 2014 @ 9:30 am

    Love this post! Comparing is the worst…

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    Maria — February 5, 2014 @ 9:36 am

    Love this post! You are an inspiration to me! Love you girl! xo

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    Jenny Flake — February 5, 2014 @ 9:38 am

    Jessica!! I love this! I have been obsessed with positive quotes, chalkboards, pillows, you name it. It’s so nice to see these things daily! Hope I get to see you this year! xoxo

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    Meg Jones | The Spatularette — February 5, 2014 @ 9:39 am

    I really really love this post. Even for the most motivated people its easy to get off track and caught up in the comparison game. Its nice to have a reminder to get out of our own way from time to time. Thanks for sharing!!

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    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan — February 5, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    This post is EVERYTHING I have been needing lately. Ever since you wrote about your inspiration board, I’ve been wanting to make one. I totally believe what you say about it getting shit done, because it’s RIGHT in front of your face every.single.day. I know I’ve read it over and over again, but in reference to your allll the things and making the best thing/food porn thing on the internet, I feel like finding my voice as a blogger has been the biggest struggle. I want people to like me! But I want to be deep! And funny! Buh! Often, when I feel like I’m just writing what pops into my brain I get the best response, rather than trying to write like someone else. Also, photo inspiration, I’m totally with you on Heidi’s pictures, they are beyonnddd amazing and inspire me to no end. Inspiration is also bloggers like you, who are making it happen and doing what they love, it shows that it really is possible, whew! Also, I’ve been coveting that planner you have been raving over so I’m going to go order that now, thanks a LOT! : )

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

      make one, make one!

      Reply

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    Sarah @ Sarah's Bake Studio — February 5, 2014 @ 9:50 am

    This post really resonated with me because it sounds like me. Unfortunately, I don’t have the years under my belt to feel quite the same way you do. It is nice to know though that it is possible to get there.

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    Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change — February 5, 2014 @ 9:58 am

    This post was an amazing blog to read first thing in the morning. I’ve been trying to figure out my path in life, and I have just felt stuck. I finished my undergrad in December and I am feeling more lost now than ever. But in reality, I should be embracing this time and finding what inspires me & makes me happy…then my plan and goals with fall into place and establish themselves nice and clear. Thank you for this!

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

      i promise you that i felt that exact same about 5 years ago. it gets better! i think it’s a rite of passage.

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    Rose — February 5, 2014 @ 9:58 am

    Great to read this post from someone who is a creative entrepreneur!
    Have you read Lean In? Do you find that kind of thing inspirational? I didn’t think I would but I’ve read some excerpts and now I think I want to read the book..

    I’m inspired by people close to me.. how they work, what they achieve and prioritize.. it gives me drive to achieve my goals. I’ve always had a million interests and never known what I wanted to be when I grew up (I’m 27..) but I slowly am getting there. I love to work hard. I’ve realized being in a creative environment with new things and skills to learn inspires me. I can’t be somewhere with no where to go. My previous job was the easiest thing ever.. I spent most (like 8 of 9 hrs) of my day browsing internet, texting, taking extra long lunches at the mall.. and I was completely miserable. I need challenge to be inspired and motivated.
    I’m also inspired to help people and by movement, I’ve been practicing yoga for 15 years.. and am PIlates instructor.. these things need their place in my life to feel sane and yea, inspired.
    Ok, I’m rambling, great topic! Love reading stuff like this from you Jessica!!

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

      i absolutely love inspirational/self help books for inspiration, yes! i did read lean in and i did like it. i find some of the most helpful books to be much older ones though (like dale carnegie’s how to win friends and influence people, etc)

      Reply

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    Emily — February 5, 2014 @ 9:58 am

    When it comes inspiration, it’s quotes hands down! But my other inspiration is my baby girl. Ugh, most cliche statement ever, I know. I annoyed myself just typing it. But the thing is, I want to raise a confident girl, someone who is fearless (not the jump off the type, but the risk-taker sort). I think about it a lot. Well I had a sort of epiphany one day. kids learn what they see. Seems obvious,
    I know. Well the things is, I’m an “order the same meal every time” kinda girl. Every time. In every aspect of life. Sooooo 2014 is my year for out-of-my-comfort-zone activities, big and small. So far so good, even signed up for a warrior dash! Keep the Wednesday chats coming. It’s like we think the same things….minus the photography stuff. I got a b- in photography.

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

      not cliche at all – i think it’s wonderful and hope to do the same some day!

      Reply

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    Rachael P. from Texas — February 5, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    I have to say, I write/edit for a living. I’m a corporate communications gal. I love to write, its my passion and well, my career. But, as I’ve gotten more entrenched in work… I’ve written less and less for personal/home. That changed at the beginning of the year. Rather than a resolution, I made it a goal to write more. Bought a pretty pink journal, and I’ve been doing it. It soothes me, it calms me and it makes me so much less stressed to write more. And write more about life and feeling and all that good journal-type stuff.

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

      i love hearing this from a “real” writer. it definitely helps!

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    Megan — February 5, 2014 @ 10:16 am

    Love this post! In fact, I love all your posts, especially RLWed posts, and look forward to them every day. Keep ‘em coming – there’s no one who articulates “life” like you do.

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    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — February 5, 2014 @ 10:16 am

    First off — thank you for sharing this and being so honest. Actually, thank you for being so honest ALL THE TIME. I love your blog because it really does seem like a real extension of you, and that’s fun for readers to read.

    I get inspiration from a lot of places. I get it from my friends and family, of course. I also get it online from blogs or Tumblr or wherever else I hang out on the interwebs. I feel like this next one is sort of weird — but I find inspiration from my favorite TV and movies. I can’t tell you how many times a GIlmore Girls episode has pulled me out of a funk or a quick Parks and Rec viewing reignited my drive to finish this or go apply for that. That may be weird but it works for me!

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    DessertForTwo — February 5, 2014 @ 10:19 am

    First, YOU inspire me. Like TONS.

    Let’s get real here. (This is probably something I should send in an email instead of post for all the world to see, but here goes). I use to be jealous of you. Like TONS. I compared myself to you. Like TONS. I almost quit blogging the day that you posted a cupcake for two recipe and it went over so well. I’m over here scrupulously scaling down all recipes to serve two with little regard or praise. But, I kept reading you because I could tell that you were the type of person that knew exactly what you wanted, and you put all of your effort into getting it. When you decided to do this ‘blog thing,’ you went ALL IN. You gave it 110%. And you achieved success. Of course! You gave it your all, and when you do that, things generally work out. So one day, the flip switched and I was inspired by you instead of threatened by you. And it all had to do with ME. My head. It was nothing you were doing or did. You were pursuing your dreams, and I was over here comparing myself.
    So, inspiration. This sounds silly, but it’s something Christy Jordan (Southern Plate) told me a few years ago. She said try not to pay too much attention to what other bloggers are cooking and posting. When you do that, you’re dangerously close to copying people. And when you copy, you compare. And that’s bad. So, I try to spend as much time as possible offline and connecting with real people and my friends to find out what they want to eat and what they like. I literally have to ask myself ‘what do I want to eat’ instead of what looked good on blogs lately. And it turns out, your taste buds never steer you wrong. I’m undeniably obsessed with simple food that is comforting, so I stick with it.

    I’m off to make a batch of thai-infused, rolo stuffed pancakes with blood orange curd. Kidding.

    Reply

    • Brittany from Counting My Cupcakes — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

      Christina, thank you for posting this here instead of an email like you thought about. It really helped me to see how you went through the same thing I have with being “jealous” of other bloggers. It’s SO silly and I’ve learned to just be inspired without letting myself compare and get upset because mine “isn’t as good” or something.

      Jessica – great post and you really are such an inspiration!! Your hard work and dedication to being successful is obvious. I want to make an inspiration board too! Besides you and other bloggers, I am inspired by visiting new places – most recently Breckenridge, Co! Amazing.

      Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

      GIRL. !! i could say so much here. thank you for sharing. i have definitely felt that way before too, so it is not rare. you’ve pretty much rendered me speechless here though. xoxox

      Reply

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    Ashley — February 5, 2014 @ 10:20 am

    Seriously. This post was AMAZING and my favorite yet in this series. I especially loved the part about the cookies and “WHAT is on my plate”? Those are both just so incredibly real for any food blogger. It’s rare that I actually laugh out loud at blog posts but those both did it. :) But the bigger message you’re sending here is fantastic. Your positivity is an inspiration. YOU are an inspiration. Love this + you.

    Reply

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    Molly — February 5, 2014 @ 10:27 am

    MUSIC! I love the imagination of getting trapped in another decade through music. (I more or less stopped listening to current music when i was 12 lol.) I find nothing triggers my imagination like song, and nothing helped me through design school like music did. The song leads to research on the band, then the decade, then the cities they favored and it becomes a never ending domino effect of visual information. It’s a wonderful inspiration worm hole.

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    Lindsay — February 5, 2014 @ 10:31 am

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I’ve been reading your blog for almost 2 years I think and I have always admired the personality you show in your writing, not to mention how awesome your recipes are! I always wondered how you kept it so real, true to you, and kept on coming up with new recipes that make my mouth water basically daily. I’ve been feeling the need for some inspiration lately and I am thinking that a vision board and finding things that work for me, not worrying about what others think is exactly what I need!

    Your blog is awesome and I love that you share this part of yourself with us, your readers!! Thanks!

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    Jessica S — February 5, 2014 @ 10:33 am

    Thank you. I really LOVE your Wednesday posts, especially this one. Thank you for sharing your life. It’s so nice to know other people have the same thoughts and feelings….I feel much less crazy now. ;)

    Also, yesterday’s brussels sprout caesar was delicious! You rock!

    Reply

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    Tina — February 5, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    Just…thank you.

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    Beth @ bethcakes — February 5, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    I’ve been feeling discouraged all week and I really needed to read this today. I have always been inspired by you and the things you write, and I have always been able to “hear your voice” in your words here, which I admire so much!

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    Ashley — February 5, 2014 @ 10:52 am

    Great post! I’m extremely inspired by visual stimulation, which is why I’m such a big fan of Pinterest. In terms of my blog, every thing I do inspires me! I feel like the gears are always turning up there as I go about my day.

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    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — February 5, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    So. Much. YES. I’m working hard to get more inspiration into my life this year, too… and I even started a vision board to put above my desk, thanks to you (OK OK so it’s still on the floor and not exactly hung up yet, but STILL. Baby steps).

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    Joanna @ love always jo — February 5, 2014 @ 11:03 am

    Love this post, Jessica!

    I get inspiration from going out of my routine–taking a different way to or from work, for example. Sometimes I’ll even do something as silly as standing on one foot while doing the dishes (because I hate it and it gives me something else to focus on).

    Walking is a big one for me. Cooking too. And yoga. I also get a lot of inspiration being in the car…which is rare for me because I live in a city. Car rides home to PA are the best.

    I posted my inspiration list on my blog a while ago: http://www.lovealwaysjo.com/2012/04/my-inspiration-list/

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

      walking is a HUGE one for me too! i crave walking and this weather is killing me. i do some of my best thinking there.

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    Rhea — February 5, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    Jessica-

    Damn, can you be any more inspiring? As a newby to the food blogging world, I just want to thank you for the truth that your words speak. Sometimes I wonder myself if any body cares about the things I’m posting, or if my recipes are any good, or if people get annoyed that I’m probably overloading their social media pages with my food. But then I step back and remember why I do it….because I FREAKING LOVE IT!

    To get inspired, or just to get our of my own damn way, I like to try new things, like weightlifting (you can find me with the 10-lb. weights ion the corner), but hey I still do it! Or trying to hike a new mountain, or going out to eat by myself and my thoughts! It’s nice to be able to take life in and appreciate all we have been given and all that we have worked so hard for.

    Keep being you girl! Becuase we (your readers) all adore you and your food and your obsession with pink-sparkle-candy-rainbows!

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    Katrina @ WVS — February 5, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    I love the idea of making things you WANT to make…it seems simple enough, but with people throwing requests my way all the time and then complaining about what I came up with…sometimes it cuts me deep. I love this Wednesday talk Jess – it’s so fun!

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    Heather — February 5, 2014 @ 11:28 am

    You go girl, this post was awesome! I love it when bloggers can just freely write about what makes them tick and what goes on behind the scenes! Love it and now I definitely want to get my inspiration on.

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    Sues — February 5, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    Yes, yes, and yes. Also, I hate calling for takeout and can’t stand when people leave me voicemail.

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    Meg — February 5, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    Oh MAN, I want to marry this post. I want to print this post out and put it on my own inspiration board. 1300+ words speaking directly to my soul. I’m finding that I need to get out of my own way as well but it is so difficult. Important – but difficult. Will definitely come back & read this when I can feel myself blocking growth and progression.

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    Vanessa V — February 5, 2014 @ 11:41 am

    I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while now but fear has been standing in my way. Fear of judgement, fear of failure, just fear. Your ideas on inspiration and achieving your goals make me want to take the plunge! I’m ready to be passionate about what I do, not just put in time waiting for the workday to be over. Thank you! Thank you for putting yourself out there and making us question our lives..what are we all waiting for? why are we wasting time doing things that aren’t taking us in the direction we want to go?

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

      you should definitely start one! do it with the knowledge that there will be judgement, there will be failure and it will be scary to post things – but those things are all inspirational and teach you so much. sounds so cliche but very true.

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    Alanna — February 5, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

    I totally get what you mean about writing it down. I love my iPhone, iPad, iEverything, but there’s something about writing things down that just clicks for me. I’ve always had a journal on the go, but am usually only good about writing in it when I’m travelling. One of my goals this year is to physically write more. The act of writing is so therapeutic for me, and always has been. I can completely relate when you say that it feels like you’ve lost 20 pounds by writing!

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    Amanda — February 5, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

    What a wonderful post to start the day off with. Your ideas of inspiration are so great and thought provoking. Thank you so much!

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    Karina — February 5, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    Honestly, if for no other reason, know that posts like these really inspire some of us to pursue our own inspiration. Thank you for sharing for thoughts and making me feel like I’m not the only crazy one who panics and proceeds to think of a pink tombstone (with glitter, obviously.)

    (P.S. Can’t wait for your book!)

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    Candace @ The Wheatless Kitchen — February 5, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

    THIS. Omg. I feel like you are in my brain right now. Pretty much every word in this post has been on my mind allllll the time lately. I am definitely going to take your advice and starting writing things down. I have never been one to journal, but I am definitely going to give it a try. I’m kind of a dream self-sabotager too. My issue is always self-doubt. I always have this super annoying little voice in the back of my head telling me that I’m not good enough, or that I’ll never be able to do ‘that’, whatever ‘that’ is. But, I’ve been trying to punch that little voice in the throat (voices have throats?) by getting inspiration from wherever I can. I’m totally with you on the visual inspiration! I need pretty pictures! Reading my Bible, exercise and yoga are definitely up at the top of the list too.

    Seriously, keep doing what you’re doing girl! You are one of my biggest inspirations in the food blog world. I love how you just put yourself out there, and that inspires me to do more of the same. Soooo, can we be best friends?? I promise I’m not a stalker.

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    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — February 5, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

    The best thing I’ve read in a long time. Let me tell you, Pinterest and it’s OMG-CHEESE-MORE-CHEESE vibes has made me want to quit this whole blogging thing all together. I feel like I can’t win at that game. That’s not the stuff I actually want to eat. It’s tough. The validation part is also incredibly annoying. My good days depend on how many comments, likes, etc., and I know deep down it just shouldn’t be like that, but I don’t know what to do about it.

    And I love what you’ve written about writing things down. I need to do this more. I’ll feel so much better, I just know it. AND YOU TOTALLY MADE MY DAY with what you said about my blog GEEZ!!!

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    Meg Jones | The Spatularette — February 5, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

    OMG, have you watched this???

    http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

    I’m stuck inside after the ice storm last night, and watched this after reading your post today and had to share!

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

      i have not buuuuuuut guess what i’m doing right now.

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    Allyson — February 5, 2014 @ 1:03 pm

    I left my creative self somewhere along the way and am trying to rediscover her. I even stole your Pinterest inspiration board idea, although mine is very spare right now.

    Read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird if you haven’t already. It is writing focused, but I think it applies to so many other creative endeavors. I read it in January. I’m going to go back in the next week or so and write down on index cards all the passages I highlighted. I think I will be coming back to them often.

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

      yes!! it is one of my favorite books. i keep it on my desk and read it often. agree it pertains to so much more than just writing.

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    emily @ plain black t — February 5, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

    As a blogging “newbie” – this was precisely what I needed to read. It’s refreshing to know that other people share the same feelings. i love your thoughts on keeping your own voice – that’s something I always notice (and admire) about your blog. Thanks for your honesty and humor – and inspiration!

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    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — February 5, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

    LOVE this post. SO real, and I was hooked each and every word. While you’re getting inspiration/looking up to/comparing yourself to all the those other fabulous people, others are getting inspiration/looking up to/comparing themselves to YOU! You are a total inspiration of how life is as you want it to be, and you’re only as good as the amount of effort and heart you put into something.I try not to get too bogged down into what others are posting/cooking and try to stay away from recipes that aren’t true to myself, but it’s hard sometimes, because when you see a GREAT reaction to something by the general public you want to please them over and over and over again. I have to constantly keep in mind that I started a food blog for ME because I love FOOD, and I love to share my love of food with other people who share the same interest. Pardon, the cheesiness, but thank you for an inspiring start to my day!

    Reply

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