Happy Birthday CWC! {Part 1}

Happy Birthday Country Wife Chronicles! Feature Image

It was late January 2016 when Wildland Man and I officially purchased the Country Wife Chronicles domain. And though I was preparing and posting blog articles later that year, CWC did not have its official launch until February of 2017.

So, here we are at the start of 2018, and I think it might just be time for a bit of a celebratory blog post series. One that takes a look back at how Country Wife Chronicles has become what it is today. This little bitty dream of mine has become a reality!

And, yes, CWC is still very much a work-in-progress. There is so much more I need to do in order to achieve several other blogging goals I’m working toward. But, here we are, a year after going live to the world at large, and I can cross this major milestone off the bucket list.

Country Wife Chronicles exists.

I set my mind on becoming a blogger. I designed my theme and developed content. And I bravely put it out there for y’all to discover.

Now, I wouldn’t dare lie and say that I have it all figured out after two years of blogging, one year behind the scenes and another year in the public eye. But I have worked hard to build Country Wife Chronicles into what it is today.

My heart has been poured out onto the pages of CWC. And I feel, deep in my bones, that Country Wife Chronicles is just getting started.

The Early Days

Now, a lot has changed since I first set my sights on blogging as a career. In fact, while I was still in my college-educated profession I was just dreaming of the blog life.

In the early days I was quite the blog follower. I was digging the material that was being put out there on the Internet, and by people just like you and me. Real people with real emotions, and real lives sharing funny stories, enlightening philosophies, and creative tips. I perused the Internet regularly, stumbling upon blogs of all types and niches.

But it never really occurred to me that I could do that, become a blogger, until Wildland Man and I hit up the theater to check out the new movie Julie & Julia.

I can still vividly recall that afternoon matinee date. Wildland Man is a big foodie and he grew up watching and learning from Julia Child. I was intrigued by the storyline…

Julie Powell was frustrated with her unfulfilling day job and seeking purpose in her day to day. She loved to cook and decided to take on Julia Child’s recipes—all 524 found in Mastering the Art of French Cooking—with the intent to complete all of them in 1 year, 365 days.

Julie’s passion grew with each recipe as she chronicled her experience on her personal blog. She had massive recipe failures and amazing recipe successes. Her blog followed it all. And her blog became a personal sounding board for life as she cooked. She was real, she was raw, and she was writing into the great abyss, sharing her deepest thoughts and emotions with anyone that might stop by and read awhile.

Somewhere along the way, she began to grow and flourish as a person. Through the experience of writing out her year and resolution to complete Julia Child’s recipes she let others in and her blog started to get noticed.

I feel like Julie Powell’s blog pioneered the average person being able to write online as a career. Her blog didn’t start out that way, but it spring boarded into it. And it paved the way for other bloggers to follow.

All of sudden, personal blogs were getting noticed. Regular, average people had something to say. Something the rest of us could relate to.

I remember walking out of that theater inspired. I felt like I could make this happen. I could make a career out of blogging. Wildland Man and I walked straight out of that theater, headed to Target and bought Mastering the Art of French Cooking for our cookbook collection.

Now, let’s be real, I wasn’t going to attempt Julia Child’s recipes for a year. That would probably be disastrous for a non-cook like myself. Besides, it had just been done. But I did share my dreams, ideas, and hopes with Wildland Man about living the blogging life the whole ride home.

That was years ago. Years before CWC came into fruition. And years before I would take any real action in becoming a blogger. I wouldn’t even give up my not-so-fulfilling career for another couple of years yet.

And then there was this Pioneer Woman Lady

One of the bloggers I would check out now and again pre-Julie & Julia was The Pioneer Woman.

I know most of you know and probably love, Ree Drummond nowadays. But back then Ree was still relatively new. I started perusing her pages right around the time that she really started to take off as a career blogger.

And when The Pioneer Woman blog took off, it took off like a wildfire. There was a cookbook and then a Food Network show. And then some more cookbooks. And even some non-cookbooks.

Now you can find her line of home and kitchen décor in Wal-Mart. And have you ever visited The Mercantile in her hometown of Pawhuska, OK? Or checked out The Pioneer Woman magazine?

Talk about a firestorm. A blogging career turned empire.

Pioneer Woman’s success blew the cap off of what a blogging career could become.

Now, I’m not planning on building a Mercantile anytime soon. And I don’t think you’ll be seeing any “The Country Wife” table linens in Target. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

Since I caught on to PW in her early days and witnessed her evolution, it fueled my fire to make something of this blogging career idea I had floating around in my head.

Cue the Casseroles

Ok, so, just to review…

I was like Julie in the movie. Frustrated with my day-job and looking for purpose.

I was like The Pioneer Woman, loving my country life and the idea of some comfort food home cooking.

And I was daydreaming about blogging…all the time.

So, shortly after leaving my professional job, the brainstorming began.

But not about CWC. Not, yet.

In fact, my first brilliant blogging idea would be: 3-6-5 Casserole Creations.

Why 3-6-5 Casserole Creations, you say?

Well, maybe you can put the pieces together by now, but I loved the idea of accomplishing a recipe every day, inspired by Julie & Julia, remember?

Though I’m not much for French cuisine. At least not fancy French cuisine.

And The Pioneer Woman’s country, middle-America style of cooking and casseroles stirred up my experimentation in the kitchen.

I guess you could say I was going through a casserole phase.

I enjoyed coming up with my own throw-together recipes and taking any old recipe and turning it into a casserole. This one-dish dinner wonder was quickly becoming my specialty.

And, thus, my idea for 3-6-5 Casserole Creations was born. In fact, I even created my first posts for the blog, though I didn’t yet have a blog to put them up on. And actually, those first blog posts I drafted did make an appearance here on CWC as recipes.

Do you remember “Quick Delish Pasta Dish” or “One Tamale, Two Tamale Casserole?” What about “Chile Rellenos Casserole” or my “Indoor S’mores Casserole?”

Here are a few more that have yet to make the cut here at Country Wife Chronicles:

casserole creations collage

Little did I know that my tastes and dietary needs would be shifting quite a bit. I still love me a good, comfort food casserole, but the dairy, gluten, sugars and processed ingredients don’t love me back so much these days. So I suppose it is best, for my health at least, that my commitment to bake a casserole every day for a year and chronicle it on my 3-6-5 Casserole Creations blog faded by the wayside over time.

I know you are probably feeling pretty bummed about that loss. But, had I pursued the 3-6-5 Casserole Creations route, Country Wife Chronicles likely would not have been born.Country Wife Chronicles blog Logo

How Far We’ve Come

So, now you have the backstory that led Country Wife Chronicles to what it is today. Maybe this insight will give you a deeper appreciation for how CWC came to be. Maybe this blog post is simply serving as a journal entry for the history books. Either way, I feel like it is important to take a look back in order to keep moving forward on the journey.

And CWC has come a long way since those casserole days.

Thank you, always, for joining me on this journey. I’m excited to share more of the personal side of CWC over the next few weeks in celebration of Country Wife Chronicles blogiversary!

Be Still & Know…

the Country Wife signature for the Country Wife Chronicles blog

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday CWC! {Part 1}

    1. And I am so very, very thankful for you, Laura! You’ve kept me motivated more times than you even know 😉 Love you!

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