Hi and welcome to Creative on the Side! I’m glad to have you here! My name is Mimi and I am the face behind the blogs. I am a wife, mom and blogger who works full time, but enjoys squeezing in creative projects on the side. (And I do have quite a few creative hobbies.)
I started blogging initially to share my creative projects (crochet, knitting, sewing and cake decorating), but quickly found that I enjoyed writing about an array of topics. Soon it became clear that they didn’t always fit together. I received some good advice to drop my extra topics and refocus to a single topic. However, I felt strongly about each of my topics and dropping some seemed much liking having to pick your favorite child! So after much deliberation, I instead decided to split my blog into separate blogs. Same result, each blog now focuses on a singular area of my life. But I found a way to keep them all. As a result, I feel that they each now have a clear focus and make more sense. And this will really let me tailor each blog according to my vision for the subject as I go (recipe grids for the food blog, galleries for the cakes & cookies, patterns and tutorials for crafting and so forth). Although it is quite a bit to juggle 5 (yes, 5!) separate blogs, I am very happy with how each one is coming along. I really enjoy being able to share my passions with others!
My lifestyle blog, Plan for a Healthier Life, focuses on my journey to try to live a healthier life (including my weight loss journey) and get better organized through planning. It currently focuses a lot of weight loss, as I lost 40 pounds in 2016 on my goal to loose 100 pounds. But is also incorporating not only meal planning and recipe organization to make it easier to cook at home and eat healthier, but other planning and organizational topics. In the future, it may also start to include some of the other changes I have been making to live healthier, such as using more natural products and making some of my own.
Once I started blogging, my passion for the both the technical side and the design portion of it made me want to write about the process and start a series of how to articles. Before starting my blog, I researched (a lot) about all the various aspects. Even that had not thoroughly prepared me for quite how much there is to blogging and all the promotion involved to help readers find (and read) it! As someone who works with web development, UI design and graphics, I felt that I could offer a unique perspective. Build, Design & Blog was born as a result. (It was actually the first blog to be split off since it was the only the only technical content.) I hope to make (and release!) my own custom themes and graphics in the future!
Create on the Side is my craft blog and it houses much of what Creative on the Side was originally planned to focus on. Not only is it the home for all my crochet, knitting and sewing (and future patterns!), it will now also house all of my other creative efforts. Some of those will include learning brush lettering (and practicing my calligraphy and other hand lettering), a series as I start working with my Silhouette (including resources for creating custom designs), painting and drawing as I work towards creating hand painted/drawn graphics and kids/family-related crafts. I grew up with a love for art and could always be found drawing or painting something. Making things is truly a passion of mine. It may take different shapes depending on what I am focused on and how I choose to achieve it. But I couldn’t imagine life without a creative outlet and the ability to design and make things.
It may seem a bit counter intuitive to have a food blog when I am not the one who cooks every night in my household. But I do love to cook and (not surprisingly) I love the creative side of it! I love to experiment with recipes and develop my own. My food ranges from family favorites and quick dinners to restaurant recreations and decadent desserts. It doesn’t always fit as well as I wish it did with my desire to be healthier and loose weight, but I love to bake. (I have always had quite a sweet tooth!) But I see baking as another creative outlet. There are so many things I want to make to challenge my self and to find our new favorites! Cook Home Baker is where I share all my recipes (as well as my cake decorating, more on that to come). I try to include tutorial-style steps and/or photos with most, to make it easier to follow along (especially since recipes don’t always clearly explain exactly how to go about the steps).
A combination of my love for baking, my artistic abilities and love of making things led me to be interested in decorating cakes and cookies. I had made glazed sugar cookies in the past with my kiddos. Then from various blog tutorials online taught myself to work with royal icing decorations for cookies. After that I officially had the bug and started experimenting more with cakes from standing color flow/royal icing decorations to frozen buttercream transfers. After my mother in law shared how much she enjoyed taking a cake decorating class, I signed up at a local craft store and ending up taking the whole series of classes they offered at the time. I had a blast learning so many techniques! Most of my cakes and cookies are for friends and family, so they tend to be more kid focused than a lot of the flower techniques I learned in the classes. But they are so much fun to work on! Check out some of my creations on Cook Home Baker.
So that is the story behind my blogs and how they all ended up being what they are today. I am having such fun working on my hobbies and being able to share them!
Thanks for taking the time read my ramblings!! Feel free to browse around and take a look through any of my blogs that interest you!
Feel free to contact me with any questions!