Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Six Month Check-Up

Six months old and I thought it was time for my baby to have a check-up. No, I’ve not had another child, Ptew (yes, I'm spitting) Ptew (gotta do it twice) – which is the Jewish way of warding off bad mojo. I know it’s gross but I didn’t make it up.

This is the other baby that has taken up so much time and attention and nurturing. No, I didn’t say nursing.

My bouncing baby blog is 6 months old. Hard to believe it’s been six months since that fateful day in June when I happened to mention on FB that I had done some writing to release stress and was considering starting a blog.

Six Month Check-Up | | #MyGraphics
  I know everyone celebrates their blogoversary, commemorating their first year, but when I was growing up we always tried to convince our parents that a half-birthday was a real thing, worthy of cake and balloons and gifts. Since I’m the grown up, I get to decide. I’ve come to the conclusion that a half-birthday IS a thing. Seems I was right all along.

Just like any other birthday celebration, there’s the inevitable inception story and health check up. The story of how Baking In A Tornado came about was told in my first post, Can I Blog? but really the inception was a process of being cajoled by friends on FB. It went like this:

On 6-14-12 I posted on FB
I’ve written three blog entries! I just haven’t posted them. After giving Google every iota of personal information I never wanted to give anyone, signing up for a new email account I don’t want and receiving a secret code on my cell phone despite not wanting to give them that number, I’m officially overwhelmed with how to set it up . . . and stuck on a name . . . I need aspirin.
J: I gave my blog name little thought -  and now it’s stuck somehow. Don’t over think.
MM: I agree
J: Just post them. The first one is definitely the hardest to post . . . do it!
Me: I just don’t know if I have the balls OR maybe I’ll be famous as the first person whose blog no one reads!!! Thinking about a few names, or maybe I’m just procrastinating due to the aforementioned balls issue.
K: You don’t need no stinking balls!!! Go for it. I would read your blog, as I find you quite hilarious. Though if you post a lot of pictures of what you bake I may get fat by osmosis.
Me: Thank you, K. If you read my blog I won’t be the first to have a blog that no one reads. Maybe I can become famous for having a calorie free blog zone?
J: I sense over thinking. Post it. Put a link on your FB page . . . there is zero to lose.
Me (later): I did it, I did it, I really, really did it . . .and as predicted my first choice for a name was taken . . . I need more aspirin . . .

The inevitable FB birth announcement:
6-14-12 Karen B announces with joy the birth of her bouncing baby blog. Murphy’s law of my life dictated that my first choice for a name was taken. Please stop by and visit my hard-labored bundle of joy, all you have to lose is a few minutes of your time. As an added incentive (OK, bribe) there’s a few personal shout-outs in there: Baking In A Tornado.
R: I love, love, love it! It’s the perfect name, the perfect vehicle for you to relieve stress.
MP: Fabulous keep it up! I think you should have people who join in the blog be able to order FREE food samples from you; just sayin’.
K: Love it! (Thank goodness you really can’t gain weight by looking at food).
E: U should send me a care package.
Me: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Free samples always available on a “come and get it” basis. I’ve tried to mail them but the kids tackle me on the way to the post office. Follow me, I need someone else to do it of their own free will!

You know how excited new Moms can be, so on 6-15-12, a second announcement:
I started a blog yesterday. I debated whether to even do it. I wrote my initial piece and edited it and re-edited it and re-edited it. I worked on the font, the color, the size, the name (and then another name when that one was taken). I changed the layout (6 times). I posted it, then I posted about it. I was supposed to make dinner too?

Later on 6-15-12, baby’s first gift arrived:
My blog has a follower!! So what if she’s related, it still counts. I also have 139 pageviews. Does that mean the other 138 people didn’t like it?
R: I’m going to forward you some emails I received regarding your blog. All good.
Me: Hey, I had the baby and you’re getting the cards, what’s with that?

And now for the check-up:
Baking In A Tornado has over 270 followers. 65 posts have been published with almost 20,000 page views. It has a twitter account with over 450 followers and a FB page with over 700 followers. Twenty blogger awards have been gratefully received as well as 6 recipe features and numerous features in on-line newspapers. It now even has it’s own domain (thank you A Little Unhinged)! It’s been featured on the web site Treat a Day. I’ve done 3 Guest Posts on other blogs, and hosted one myself. I’m a contributor to a collaborative blog, The Epistolarians. I’ve conceptualized, initiated, and continue to run 2 monthly group-participation posts: The Secret Subject Swap and the Fly on the Wall challenge.

The toast (raise your glasses, please):
Although this is not a hugely successful blog by blogging standards, it has well exceeded my expectations. I don’t take all the credit, I enjoy an amazing group of instigators and supporters to whom I am very grateful. I fully intend to do a shot in honor of each and every one of you.

And finally, the confetti:

Confetti Slice and Bake Cookies | | #recipe
Confetti Slice and Bake Cookies

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Confetti Slice and Bake Cookies

Printable Recipe

1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup multicolored jimmies (sprinkles)
1/4 cup multicolored nonpareils

*Cream butter, margarine and sugar.
*Beat in egg and vanilla.
*Mix in flour, baking soda and salt.
*Gently mix in the sprinkles and nonpareils. Try not to break up the sprinkles.
*Divide the dough in half and roll into two (1 1/2 inch around) logs.
*Wrap the logs separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours (can refrigerate for a few days or even freeze for a few months).
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
*Slice cookies into approximately 1/4 inch rounds.
*Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 12 to 14 minutes. Once they start to brown they’re done.
*Cool 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing.


  1. haha! That's awesome! I'd much rather have a 6-month-old blog than a nursing baby any day! Congrats! That's great for only being "around" for such a short time!

    1. Thanks, Rebeka. Sometimes I think this blog is as much work as a 6 month old nursing baby!

  2. I love how you conceptualize everything...from the birth of your blog, to its half birthday! I can hardly wait to see its one year birthday! It could be bigger than the Oscars!

    I am proud to follow you and call you a blogging friend!
    Happy 6 Month Birthday Baking in a Tornado!


    PS ~ Our blog babies are two weeks apart ~ I started on the 6th of June..

  3. Happy Happy six months to you, to you! Happy Happy six months to you! You're good to go, now grab a candle and blow! Happy Happy six months, to you! Boy I hope the Sprout channel will give me permission to sing this to you.

    Congratulations Karen! I have a blogaversary on Jan 3rd. Six months for me too. Yippee! I may just make your cookies this afternoon. A certain husband of mine ate all of the holiday chocolate chip cookies I had made for other people while I was gone this last weekend. It wouldn't be so bad, except that I can't find any more of the holiday colored chocolate chips! :-( But I do have red and green jimmies, so this may work!

    1. Thanks for the warm wishes, looking forward to your blogoversary in January.

  4. Congrats on 6 months! You must have started right after me. I started on May 30 (My actual birthday!) Of course, I forgot that I wanted to celebrate my half birthday on the blog until it was several weeks too late...

    1. Looks like I started just a few weeks after you. I'm hearing from so many people who started at about the same time. Happy belated blogoversary to you.

  5. I LOVE half birthdays! And UnBirthdays!
    You've done great!

    1. I'm sure having fun with this half birthday thing. Thanks for stopping by the celebration.

  6. Congratulations - your six month baby is bouncing with good health! Have a great second six months

    1. It's a little daunting, thinking ahead to coming up with enough to say for another six months!

  7. I can't believe it has only been 6 months for you and look how successful your blog has already become!!! That is AMAZING, but not surprising because you write so well and your recipes are da bomb!!!! I have already baked several of your goodies and gotten rave reviews. AND you always make me chuckle, so that's a great combination of things. Holding up my glass of bubbly and saying CHEERS & CONGRATS TO YOU!!!!!

  8. Congratulations!!!! You have done wonderfully and am so glad to be your bloggy friend! Here's to many, many more birthdays for your bouncing baby!!!!

  9. YAY!!!! Happy 1/2 Bloggy Birthday!!!!
    Try saying that 5 times really fast.... ;)

    1. Thanks Stacy, for being one of my biggest cheerleaders! XOXO

  10. I can't even remember when we first met....Isn't that a line from St. Elmos Fire? Anyway, I'm so proud of you, your blog, your accolades and all the other benchmarks you've surpassed. Thanks for all of your support. I 'm looking forward to your year mark when I can say, "Yeah, I knew her when..."
    Salute, my friend!

    1. Thanks, Shellybean. So happy I stumbled on your blog (whenever that was). I've loved taking this ride with you!

  11. Congratulations, Karen! Happy 6 month blogaversary!!! Only 6 months old and look at your success!!! We're all glad you started blogging! I love reading your blog, it's funny, sarcastic, spanky, anything but boring and you've been a great bloggy friend and I thank you for it. Well, here's to many, many more blogaversaries! (I just gulped a shot of ouzo for ya! OPA!!!)

  12. P.S. Greeks also spit to ward off bad mojo!!! What do you know!!!

  13. Congratulations! You're one of the first bloggers I met. I am so glad to have. :) I started mine on July 18th so we both sorta grew together. ((Hugs))


    1. Thanks Becca, I'm glad we met too. You always keep me laughing! Didn't realize you started just a month after me!

  14. Wow! I think your baby is not only healthy, but also advanced for it's age! Congratulations. It's nice to see your success and also the baked lured me in with the baked goods! :)

  15. Congratulations Karen! And look at what a great community you have around in just six months! I'm excited to think about what your year mark will bring. If only I had that plate of cookies in front of my face right now! xo - Monica

    1. Thanks, Monica. I think back to when I started and didn't know if I'd ever make it to 6 months and I have to admit these 6 months have flown. Hope I make it to a year!

  16. You are so awesome! I'm so glad you started blogging and I found you. Even if you do make me spend the day craving things I cannot have... Butterfinger Rum cake... Who does that??? Karen the great if course!!! Cheers to many more beautiful posts and yummy treats!

    1. Thanks for all the compliments and for wishing me well on my 6 month blogoversary!

  17. You are the only other person besides me who celebrates half birthdays! My mom always made me a half cake and I got presents and I carried on the tradition with my son. Even now at 31, he wants his half bday celebration! Too funny. Must be a Jewish thing. Love your blog, I started in June too, so we're the same age.

    1. I'm amazed at how many people I've found who started around the same time as me. Happy belated half birthday to you!

  18. Great sense of humour! Love the details of your baby's conception, and the half birthday idea just rocks!!! I also started my blog 6 months ago, but I don't use my real name - I share every bit of detail so don't want all my friends out there to have access, so it was really hard at the beggining to just rely on random strangers taking a chance to read a post, but I celebrated the day I reached 1000 posts and now I have a blog best friend :) she doesn't know my real name and I don't know hers, but she truly feels like a friend. Great blog name by the way and congrats again on your baby's half birthday !

    1. I'm amazed that you've already reached 1000 posts, I haven't even gotten to 100. I do know others who don't want their true identity known. I wish I had done a few things differently when I started out, but I just didn't know then. Either way, it's been a fun 6 months, I wouldn't trade it for anything.


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