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?

you create your own opportunities I howsweeteats.com

{via}

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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    Jessica H — February 5, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

    Not to be cynical or anything but I totally saw a pink tombstone over the weekend… most FABULOUS thing I have seen in my life! Amazing post, you are so inspired and true to your self and really, that is all that matters in life.

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    Katherine Wells — February 5, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

    YOU inspire me Jess! Thanks for the post.

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    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — February 5, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

    OMG, this post blows.my.mind. For real, inspiration is something I totally struggle with and I can identify with every single word you just wrote. But my biggest hurdle is convincing myself that writing and inspiration boards actually make a huge a difference. It’s like, I KNOW they do but then I never do them. Instead I’m like “But I wanna watch Top Chef ! or The Bachelor!” So I need a kick in the butt to get inspired and STAY inspired. And I can say in all sincerity that you are a huge inspiration to me. I have a tiny little blog of my own but seeing successful bloggers is so inspiring and makes me feel all “Girl Power!” so thanks for doing what you do.

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

      seriously, i felt the same way many times. i definitely thought vision boards were stupid. i think the key is to not be so strict with yourself! i mean, i made my vision board in january while watching trash tv for a few hours. you can do both!!

      Reply

      • Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — February 5th, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

        Yes! Excellent idea! Inspiration boards and 2 hours of Chopped are on the weekend schedule.

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    Sara @ Confectionary Tales — February 5, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

    This post is amazing. You have left me speechless (in a good way). There’s so much that I want to do and I feel like it gets so overwhelming sometimes that I just give up. But this post.. it inspired me. I want to plan more things for my blog so that I can stop comparing myself to all the successful blogs and enjoy my maybe hundred page views every few days. I want to really hunker down and pursue all avenues for my acting career, so I can be proactive and not wait around for people to notice me. I want to.. I want to live an inspired life and was feeling inadequate because I wasn’t yet. but reading your post.. it reawakened all of those desires and I just want to start right now.

    So thank you jessica. I can’t remember when I started reading your blog (it’s been that long) but I am absolutely LOVING this new series. So thank you :)

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    Peezy — February 5, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

    be true to yourself.. keep on going like you are Jessica.. you are growing and learning and you are fantastic!!! What inspires me? Always learning something new and trying new and different things..some that scare me, thus stretching myself more and more… life is a constant learning curve and I never want to stop knowing more and growing more…and also what totally inspires me is giving to and blessing others in need, especially if it is totally random and unexpected .. what a lovely feeling that is.. it makes life just so much more beautiful!

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    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — February 5, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

    I loved this post. I felt like you were my best friend here, because I think so many of the same things. I need to workout, I need yoga, I need coffee. I need pens in pretty colors and all things pink, sparkly, sprinkled and speckled with a touch of gold. I need to read other peoples’ posts, I need to see other peoples’ photos, I need to WANT to make a photo as beautiful as theirs.
    You inspire me.
    You inspired me to stop hating and make a vision board, and I love it. Its MY space and I want to live in it at all times. It makes me happy.
    You told me its ok to write exactly what happened, exactly what I’m feeling (even if its about a meltdown or a crazy eating spree or all things sugared or a weird new love of a crazy health food I swore I’d never eat).
    Thank you.

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    Christine — February 5, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

    I feel this way a lot. Like I lose inspiration and think I’m a completely horrible blogger because my blog doesn’t have a million readers so what’s the point and why do I even have a blog. Then I get ahold of myself and remember that I love doing it, and I do love when people read it and when people follow me on Twitter and I don’t need to feel bad about that. I love that through your blog you are completely YOU and it’s inspiring. That’s something I struggle with and am trying to work on. Just being ME, and loving that. :) Awesome post!!!

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    Annie — February 5, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    Wow this was a great post. I’m relatively new to your blog and I LOVE reading it everyday!! I think I like it so much because I talk the same way you write. I laughed out loud at this post and got inspired to do more things for myself. Thanks! :)

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    Trisha (Stew or a Story) — February 5, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

    This is an amazing post and so what I needed to hear today. I’m inspired by your food photos and your unwavering ability to just be YO SELF. It’s awesome. I’m also super inspired by the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and Linchpin by Seth Godin. They’re life-chaning, for real.

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    Emily — February 5, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

    Thank you so much for posting about this. It’s something I experience a lot. I just moved to the UK from Australia 6 months ago and the homesickness and lack of sunlight is really hitting me at the moment. I’m finding I really need the inspiration to get me through the day and the chocolate. I love your pinterest inspiration board it brightens my day so thank you for that

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    allison — February 5, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

    I love this!

    I know it sounds like a cop-out, but this weather is seriously draining me of every ounce of creativity and inspiration, and heck, joy. So, I have also been trying to use hibernating as a way to re-focus on what the simple things that motivate me.

    For me, this means more chats with my sister, who is my biggest inspiration. The one who makes me feel better and validate the crazy. I’m also thinking about where to go for summer vacation since I feel so much more re-energized after a vacation – especially since it means 4-7 days alone with my sister who lives on the other side of the country.

    Love Wednesdays where we can share our feeling on the interwebz. Happy snowday.

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 5th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

      omg not a cop out at all. i think around 3 years ago this time of year is when i really needed a kick in the pants with this stuff because i was in my house all day in the gloom and doom of winter. it’s a real thing!

      Reply

    • Alyssa — February 5th, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

      I feel you, this weather is killing me!! I hate the winter and the snow and all the mess and having to use personal time because it’s too icy out to drive to work and freezing my butt off while simultaneously sweating like a pig while I shovel my car out for an hour. Ugh. I’m dreaming of warm weather and trying to keep myself motivated by reminding myself that it will get here eventually!! And then my life will be complete for about 3 months. Lol

      Reply

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    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — February 5, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

    This post! I wish I could give you a hug, so instead a huge THANK YOU! This sounds silly, but finding inspiration – real, true, moving inspiration can be a hard thing sometimes. There are always ups and downs, and right now I’m desperately trying to inch myself out of an inspiration rut. Your words are beyond helpful and so inspiring!

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    Miriam — February 5, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

    haha I also should change my voicemail message for : “Please text. Do not leave voice message if it’s important or urgent.” ;)

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    Chrissy — February 5, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

    What a great post! I also find that I can be my most real self through my blog. It’s like my own little corner of the world where I can let my stream of consciousness go. Strangely enough, I was never ever one to journal and starting my blog sort of opened up a damn of thoughts and possibilities. I am inspired by, like you said, everything around me. The people I’m close to -my mom, friends because all all do inspiring things and lead inspiring lives. Something that may seem small to them seem big to me. Other people’s creativity, whether it be blogs, TV or movies, help me picture my own happily ever after and spur me to get off my ass if I’m getting too complacent. In a sort of like -wow, look what she/he just did. And you’re sitting on the couch? GO!

    I also hate voice mails. Like, HATE.

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    Nicole — February 5, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

    I am totally with you on feeling most inspired when all other aspects of life are in balance. I really love finding inspiration from your blog/instagram/pinterest, many YouTubers, pinterest and Instagram in general, wonderful magazines, God’s word, my husband, music, nature, food, children, the many great people in my life. I see inspiration everywhere. Not really sure what it’s towards yet, but sometimes I just feel things moving in me towards a greater something. Almost like I could burst it’s so overwhelming sometimes! Thanks for all your posts — your passion is evident in all that you do (on these interwebs) !!

    Reply

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    Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes — February 5, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

    It can be so so so hard to not only figure out what inspires you, but to actually write it out for the world to see. Props to you on that! I know I am constantly finding inspiration from the blogs I follow and then will put my own twist on it to make it more me (Hi, I always am inspired by your recipes/posts!). What’s neat is that even taking someone’s work and putting your own twist on it will eventually inspire you (or at least me) to create something entirely unique! I know I even get cross-inspiration (is that a thing?) when two or three or 17 people post similar crafts/recipes/ideas and then an idea hits me that sort of combines them all. Pinterest is really good for that. But I also love love love going through recipe books (am I 97 years old?) or my family’s recipe cards. And sometimes, good old-fashioned experimenting can create a rush of inspiration. It’s amazing what one post or tweet can do, and how it can help you to gravitate toward your goals– whether you realize it or not at that moment.

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    Crystal S. — February 5, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

    Hi Jessica. First of all this post is TOTALLY inspiring. I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing your vulnerability and “human-ness”. A few years ago, when I first started to play around in my head about the idea of creating a food blog, your blog was one of the first that I came across and, was so inspired, not only by your amazing, creative recipes but also your talent for writing with such charisma. Every post I’ve ever read by you, I’ve been so entertained by. So thank you! I started my own food blog a couple of years ago, and I quickly became overwhelmed with the feeling of not being good enough in the world of “big time bloggers”, I played the comparison game, big-time, to my own detriment – my food’s not creative enough, my camera isn’t nice enough, I’m not interesting enough. It was madness and I ended up just throwing in the towel and QUITTING! It was a bit of a harsh lesson to learn that loving to cook and possessing all the skills required to run a successful blog are two totally different things. I wouldn’t give myself the opportunity to grow. I took what was a MAJOR passion for food and my desire to share what I love and walked away, because I couldn’t get out of my own head. That decision never stopped haunting me and I decided just a couple months ago that it was worth trying again, and that’s what I did. I still have that little nag in the back of my mind that wants to get ahead of myself and be frustrated over things like waiting while I am saving the funds to buy myself a proper camera. The feelings of inspiration I get when looking at all the other amazing work form other bloggers can quickly go from inspiring, to feelings of overwhelm to inadequacy, if I don’t keep myself in check. But I know that this time I will keep with it because I have a better understanding of what I’m trying to do and I’ve experience the regret of walking away from something I dreamed of doing. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post, coming from one of my most favorite bloggers. It really makes my day and fills my soul. I follow your pinterest boards and I have noticed how eclectic your inspiration board is and I love it !! : )

    Reply

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    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — February 5, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

    I love this post sososososo much. Your work and writing is just brilliant. YOU inspire me! [not cheesy at all, you really do]

    Reply

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    Heidi @foodiecrush — February 5, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

    XOXOXO. You continue to blow me away with each evolution of yourself and the blog aka community you create. While you know I love your recipes, I really LOVE that you’re writing about realness, and being you. Now, we just need to work on more pictures of pretty you in some of these posts and all will be right with the world.

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    Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker — February 5, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

    I don’t comment much, but this is a great post. I always like your tone in writing. I’ve been so much more inspired lately by getting off the computer are just looking at the little things around me. My daughter is pretty good at sparking some amazing thoughts in mine, too.

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    Kate Woods — February 5, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

    This post is awesome. I think having inspiration and goals is one of the most important things when it comes to ACTUALLY achieving the things you want to in life. When it comes to inspiration, I kinda of think of myself as a puzzle sometimes. I’m the most inspired and best version of myself when all of the pieces (eating right, working out, going to yoga, seeing friends, having alone time) are fitting together and I’m feeling balanced. One of my goals this year is to start writing a blog of my own and you have inspired me to do so! Yours is the first food blog I ever read and I would read it every morning on my train ride into my terrible office job I hated. I have since changed jobs- phewww! Anyhoo, you are an inspiration and so are all of the other great bloggers, food writers and creative peoples on these internets. Thanks Jessica!

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    Molly @ Doughvelopment — February 5, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

    First LOVE that scarf, I totally got the same one!
    Oh my goodness, I ABHOR talking on the phone and checking my voicemail! I am way more a of text person too!
    Your inspiration board INSPIRED me to make one a few months back, and now it has to be my favorite board! ALL THE COLORS!!
    I also get your whole pressure to make healthy/ not healthy/ shove every possible ingredient into a recipe!
    I will have to try journaling, I have been so stressed lately and feeling weighed down, love that you feel 20 lbs lighter!
    Also, I am so one to get in my own way, i doubt myself a lot and have a bout zero confidence. I am much more comfortable expressing myself on my blog because when I get nervous around people I can’t make a cohesive sentence to save my life!
    By the way you totally inspire me…and Joanne Chang from Flour bakery and plenty more who I can’t think of right now…!
    XOXO
    Thank you for this inspiring post!

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    Lori @ RecipeGirl — February 5, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

    You are just too fun. I love reading your mind, and you’re so good at sharing it with us. XO

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    Laura Dembowski — February 5, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

    Movies and TV inspire me. I’m an aspiring screenwriter, so where you might just see a couple characters talking about something unimportant, I see a gorgeous long tracking shot while they chat seamlessly about seemingly unimportant things that really mean a lot to the narrative. Where I unfortunately haven’t been finding inspiration us my blog. But I hope that will change.

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    Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker — February 5, 2014 @ 9:52 pm

    LOVE everything about this post. xo

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    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — February 5, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

    Inspiration, I believe can be a tricky thing. It seems to come and go with me and I struggle to find the consistent flow. But I believe that constantly engaging things that you love can be a great way to be inspired. I started reading blogs a couple years ago and fell in love with the blog world. I truly love your space here and appreciate you for you!

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    Melissa — February 5, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

    This post made my day! My 2014 goals are very in tune with everything you have said in this post and I couldn’t agree more.

    Who inspires me? People who are fearless. And those who are not afraid to admit when they are not.

    Thanks for the inspiration :)

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    Courtney @ Neighborfood — February 5, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

    SO needed this today. I literally just finished a conversation with my best friend about how I needed to create an inspiration board and start writing things down. I’ve had periods in my life where I’ve been great at journaling, but the last 4ish years have not been one of them. I totally want to get back to that and stop being so darn rigid about what journaling is supposed to look like. Who cares if it’s total brain vomit or random crap pasted on the pages? My journal doesn’t need to be polished. It’s not a blog post. I have to remind myself of that sometimes.

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    Vanessa — February 6, 2014 @ 7:29 am

    I love this post. It says everything that is going on in my mind and I love the way you have acted on your inspirations. Great comments from other people being inspired too. You totally made my entire year with this one post. Thank you!

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    Rachel Wilkerson — February 6, 2014 @ 8:53 am

    I love this post and hearing about what inspires you!

    What inspires me and makes feel creative:
    – Beautiful photography, especially of anything related to morning
    – Nature, particularly flowers (cheesy but true) and winter (something about how stark and quiet it is)
    – Great writing and storytelling
    – Beautiful color palettes
    – Clothes that I feel comfortable and healthy and like myself in (even if that just means awesome leggings)

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    Victoria Bakrdjian — February 6, 2014 @ 10:10 am

    God I love your Real Life Wednesdays! Don’t me wrong, I adore your recipe posts, but these posts where you express your own moments of self-doubt and how you overcome your struggles have inspired me immensely. Since I started reading your blog, and most especially these personal posts, you’ve inspired me to do the things that others (including myself) think I can’t do, to face these challenges head-on with the knowledge that with hard work and determination, you really can accomplish your goals.

    And because of this post, I’ll create my own inspiration board. I already made a list of goals the same day you mentioned your list (I think it was you first Real Life Wednesdays post), but you’re right that visual inspirations have a bigger impact.

    Thank you for doing what you do every day and putting yourself out there. You really make a difference in the lives of your invisible Internet friends. :)

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    Fiery_Ginger — February 6, 2014 @ 10:16 am

    The timing of this was so right on for me! I hate my job and have wanted to start my own business for years but always think I don’t have enough experience… But I’ve been extra energized (motivated) lately but those damn thoughts keep coming back into my head. Thanks for reminding me that everybody feels that way and to find other things that inspire me too. And finding daily routines also helps motivate. I love your posts, mostly goofy but real mixed in with tasty recipes. Keep up the good work.

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    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen — February 6, 2014 @ 10:33 am

    OMG that run on sentence was one of the best things I’ve ever read. I get really inspired by the space and people around me, which is ridiculous because I spend all day in my house with my kids and those things really do not inspire me. My family spent a few months in LA over the last few years and I always feel more inspired while I’m there. There’s so much creativity and individuality that I finally feel like being me. On the internet specifically I think it’s so hard to be yourself. I could try to model myself after XYZBlog and make the candy bar/unicorn tear dessert you mentioned, getting tons of traffic on Pinterest and lots of facebook fans, but that’s not ME. I’d rather be myself and create an environment that inspires me and feels like ME than be really popular creating crap I don’t care about.

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    Kimiko — February 6, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    I actually find reading blogs like yours very inspiring and a good kick in the pants sometimes. Your Real Life Wednesday feature is one of my favourites! I read this yesterday and actually picked up my old journal to “brain dump” a bit so that I stop thinking about silly things that are bothering me. It really helped!

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    Amanda at Pink Skyline — February 6, 2014 @ 11:22 am

    Great post :) I love reading your blog! Blogs like yours inspire me. I need more inspiration to blog more – I keep getting stuck. Beautiful things on Pinterest and Instagram also inspire me. I need sleep, healthy food, water, coffee, wine, exercise. I used to go to yoga every week and to best honest just reading about you doing yoga inspired me to look for a studio near me. So thanks for that :) Keep writing! You’re awesome!!

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    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — February 6, 2014 @ 11:36 am

    So I know you like make amazing food and stuff but THIS is one of my favorite posts of yours ever. That paragraph with all the dashes, um yeah. Just yeah. I need to work on this inspiration thing this year. Like get off the computer and find REAL inspiration. Not what pinterest throws in my face or what I think people want. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in all that when it’s your job to be in the middle of it all day every day. Thanks for the inspiration :)

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    HeatherChristo — February 6, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Thank you for sharing this stuff. Thank you for writing “out loud” lots of the things I think. You are an inspiration for me- a constant breath of fresh air, and every day I await your concoctions and notes with a delighted smile. You are a 1 in a million Jess- thanks for sharing everything you do :) XOXOXO

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    Rena — February 6, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    just saw this and thought of your post: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things

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    Valerie — February 6, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

    that desk is beautiful! where is it from?

    my 70 grandmother inspires me, really. because i’m an old woman at heart, too. she is always so dang positive, after divorce, old age, breast cancer, everything. she’s amazing. i love her.

    pinterest inspires me to decorate my house. but it’s overwhelming, so i started writing down specifically what i want, need, desire, feel in a planner. hello 2014!

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    Judy — February 6, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    What exactly is pinterest? Sorry. Don’t all say dah at the same time please :-(

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    • Jessica — February 6th, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

      judy, pinterest is basically a virtual “pin board” where you post pictures of things you like. you can have boards dedicated to anything – food, recipes, home decor, jewelry, etc. it’s also used to plan weddings and parties!

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      • Judy — February 7th, 2014 @ 4:57 am

        Like pictures of my cats?

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    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm — February 6, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

    I really enjoyed this post and I feel the same way! I totally NEED an inspiration board AND a list of this years goal IN MY FACE. I also need to focus on one thing at a time. My mind get so muttled and full of so much shit that I am not actually doing while I am alone or driving home or whatever. I get distracted very easily as well, also very small attention span for things that don’t interest me! LOL! Being present is really hard for me. My husband calls my iPhone the other man. LMAO! Thanks for sharing, I love this and it can really help!

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    Vicki — February 6, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

    Great post! You have inspired me to start a journal once again. I did it decadesago and found out some very interesting things about myself. First of all I’m much more articulate on the page than in conversation. The process of writing puts real focus on the thoughts/ideas/designs/whatever. Also, since I am also an avid (as in non-stop) reader, I discovered that my use of language was influenced by whatever I was reading at the time of the entry. Sometimes more whimsical, or serious or descriptive. or filled with big words. Just something fascinating I noticed in reviewing the pages. Thank you for the inspiration!!

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    Kelly — February 6, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

    I am an aspiring author (about halfway through my first real attempt at a novel), and I found it extremely helpful to make an inspiration board of quotes by writers that I admire. Or in some causes I’m not an ardent reader of the author, but what they said about writing really spoke to me. When I sit down at the computer, before I type my first word for the day, I look over my board and it gets me in the head space to write. It’s not as if the words just flow from there, but I feel able to make the attempt. Overcoming the inner critic and finding the creative voice is extremely difficult, but I have found inspiration boards to be effective at getting me to a neutral space before I write.

    Loved your post, as always :)

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    Amy — February 7, 2014 @ 3:04 am

    I love you, Jessica. Thanks for getting real. Really.

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    Charlotte M. — February 7, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    “See also: never leave me voicemail ever.” I literally laughed out loud! That is so totally and completely, me. I’ve even managed to convince my mom to never leave me a voicemail because I never listen to them. So instead…she sends me a three-page text message. (Ugh! Why?!) Anyway…I love your blog. For its recipes. (I can’t get enough!) For its pictures. (Best food porn. Ever.) For its pretty sparkly things. (Stop making me want cute things!) And for how witty and sarcastic and real-life you are, even through words on a screen. (Genuine wit is not easy to come by on blogs in my opinion.) Thank you for this post and for all the others that make me laugh and reevaluate things like vision/inspiration boards and stuff and what not. You. Rock.

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    Ross | TheFaceBaby — February 7, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

    You really are the coolest. But you missed a hyphen, so how am I supposed to trust that the other 1,334 words are valid?! Kidding. People are ridiculous and will hate when they can’t find their own inspiration to be truly great. Success isn’t defined by other people’s failures, just like happiness isn’t the product of other people’s sadness. Some people (read: mean people) just don’t get that. Inspiration can come from so many places: the right music at the right moment … a success story that makes you want to be better … a sad story that puts everything into perspective … a compliment when you need it most … a random observation when you’re not even expecting to be inspired.

    Happy that you’re happy to keep on being YOU … gobs of people happen to love it, this guy included.

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    Jen — February 7, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

    I’m a complete home-body but I often get inspired when I get the chance to travel. It takes me out of the routine (that I simply love), but it shows me that there’s more to life and so many things to see.

    People who are productive and live by the ‘just do it’ principle inspire me too. Often I have so many IDEAS of things I want to do, but I never end up following through with them. I’ve found that really taking a step back and starting to do the things that make ME happy, regardless of how simple or complex they are, really make me a happier person – I don’t get overwhelmed by everything else and let myself feel like I’m missing out on something.

    Awesome post – you’re an incredible writer and definitely an inspiration to me in the kitchen.

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    Rachel Cooks — February 7, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    I’m totally slow and behind things…which clearly I blame on my children, but ohmygosh I love this post. Especially the dashdashdash paragraph. I know we all can related to that! Keep doing what you’re doing. Everyone loves you. Thanks for this post. I definitely could use some refocusing and inspiration in my life too. And exercise. Yes.

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    Jessica — February 8, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    YOU inspire me!

    I am completely loving your real life wednesday posts, and this one was awesome. There are things I need regularly to feel inspired, like yoga and cardio too, but also reading- online and real paper books. I feel most inspired when I’m learning something, even if it’s as silly as getting to know a new character in a book, or if it’s reading the news, or researching my future career plans. :)

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    Amber — February 10, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

    Love love love this post! I hadn’t stopped by your page in awhile, and have been binge reading … seeing your creative kitchen masterpieces is inspiring. And just an fyi- not one of your recipes has flopped for me- ever! Loved every one I’ve tried, and genuinely appreciate finding recipes where I know I won’t be wasting time-money-ingredients.

    Reply

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