“NanaBread’s Head” Turns One Today

July 1st marks the one year birthday of my NanaBread blog. Can you believe it? Neither can I. While time seemed to fly by, it feels like we packed a lot into this first year. Favorite recipes, photos of the family, Ziggy’s adventures in… well, snoring. We even started highlighting some of the culinary creations of The Complete Package, my beloved husband. We’ve also seen the grandkids grow at an alarming rate, shared Hoegarden stories about our “ladies only” family weekends, thrown in a few crafts, and shared some of our travel pics. We’ve highlighted local products, spotlighted some of our favorite barbecue joints, and sprinkled in some of the things I love. I think this first year definitely lived up to my blog header in that it truly is a lot like my junk drawers. It’s happily filled with random tidbits, trash and treasures. Mission accomplished.

Overall, it has been a great year, and I couldn’t have done it without you. In fact, you are the reason I’m still here. Your comments and support are what keep this blog (and me) going, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really do. I appreciate each visitor and value every comment, but those of you who return again and again are more than readers, you’re friends. And that is the gift I most value from my first year of blogging. You. Without you and my family, there would be no Inside NanaBread’s Head. I keep writing because you keep reading. I don’t always understand why, but I’m so happy that you do!

Here is a look back at a few of my favorite posts. Click on any title to see the full post and take a walk down memory lane.

My name is NanaBread and I’m a Peppermint Bath Product Junkie.
In this post, I got a chance to bare my soul and share my addiction – peppermint bath products. I’m not proud that I’m an addict, but if you’re going to get hooked on something, I suppose this one’s pretty harmless. Not cheap, but harmless. And it answered the burning question “Is there such a thing as too many peppermint bath products?” with a resounding “You’re joking, right?”

Menopause, you hateful bitch…
This post still makes me laugh. I was suffering from a particularly raging hot flash when I sat down and let it rip. I don’t rage often, but I let it fly with this one. I felt like life had lied to me by omission, and I didn’t want another woman to be taken by surprise ever again. This one was for the ladies, especially those in the inescapable grip of “the change” like me. It also confirmed for me that if menopause had a rubber wristband, it should be black like my mood swings.

Hidden Treasure Cupcakes: Mocha Fudge Cupcakes with Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Inside
Of all the recipes I’ve posted, this is the one I personally enjoyed the most. I’ve never had an experimental recipe come out of the oven and make my eyes roll back in my head like this one did. Deep down in my soul, I’m a pie girl. But these cupcakes almost converted me. Dark chocolate, coffee and peanut butter? Seriously – it is probably the closest I’ll ever come to cupcake perfection.

Playing With Food: Big Sister’s Rainbow Tie-Dyed Cupcakes

Speaking of cupcakes, the prettiest cupcakes of the year (by far) were my Big Sister’s rainbow tie-dyed beauties. These were inspired by a food blogger I love, but Big Sis put her own spin on it by using one of our mother’s old white cake recipes and a frosting recipe she found on the Tasty Kitchen website. She brought all those elements together to make not only a gorgeous cupcake, but a tasty one. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s adaptable. You can substitute any white cake recipe or mix, and you could use any frosting recipe. But honestly, the one Big Sis found was awesome. For pure fun and beauty, these rocked my world and made me think outside the (cake) box.

Vacation Photos of Amsterdam: Let’s just say it was…interesting.
Of all the stories I’ve shared, this one continues to get regular weekly hits months after it was posted. Evidently, Amsterdam is a highly searched travel topic. Who knew? Maybe it’s the cheese; maybe it’s the weed; maybe it’s the waffles. It truly is a “whatever floats your boat” city. It was a great trip and an interesting place, and months after it was posted this story is still going strong.

“Buy Local” Spotlight: Salt Lick BBQ
This post will always be special to me because it was the first time one of my stories was selected as a FoodPress feature. It got attention from around the world, which seemed to open my blog up to an expanded global view. I received comments from exotic locales, and gained a few subscribers from far away places who visited and decided to stick around. For that, I am eternally grateful. It left me wondering if good BBQ might be one of the keys to world peace.

In Honor of Mother’s Day
This was by far my most read post of the year thanks to a feature on the WordPress “Freshly Pressed” homepage. I don’t know how they select stories to feature, but I was blown away that this one garnered their attention. It was highlighted on the Friday before Mother’s Day and left up the entire weekend. Because of that, it got over 8,000 hits in 3 days. Some bloggers hope that their blogs will hit the big time, but in all honesty this one made me a nervous wreck. That kind of attention brought a lot of spam and more than a little anxiety, but it also provided an opportunity for others from around the world to share memories of their mothers and siblings, or lack thereof. It was both an emotional and enlightening experience for me. It also provided my mother with more than 15 minutes of fame, which was fun for her. She deserved it.

In honor of my first blogging birthday, I’m extending the celebration to one lucky reader. That reader, selected randomly, will receive a gift box containing some of my favorite things from my first year. Gift box items include:

1 bottle of Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla bean paste
1 jar of Dickinson’s Black Raspberry preserves
1 jar of Salt Lick BBQ spice rub, not pictured
1 set of small Nordic Ware spatulas
1 set of colorful measuring spoons
1 set of colorful measuring cups
1 set of Le Creuset silicone measuring prep bowls
1 bar of Garden Botanika oatmeal & peppermint soap
2 boxes of Stash tea – Chai Spice & Black Currant (decaf)
1 ladies print kitchen apron, handmade by NanaBread

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED TO COMMENTS. THE WINNER OF THE DRAWING HAS BEEN NOTIFIED BY E-MAIL, AND WILL BE POSTED AS SOON AS I HAVE A CONFIRMED MAILING ADDRESS. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SUSAN FROM FLORIDA. YOU’RE A WINNER! I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR GIFTS. -NB

Here are my rules:

1. Leave a comment on this post.

2. The selected reader will be notified by e-mail. Once I have a confirmed mailing address, I will announce the recipient of the gift box on my blog.

3. Participation is limited to residents of the United States.

4. One name will be randomly selected on Friday, July 8th at Noon (Central).

Disclaimer: All gift box items were purchased by me with my own money except for the apron, which was handmade by me. None of the products were donated or sponsored in any way, shape or form. They are simply items that I love, shared with one lucky reader.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a reader of my blog. Your support and friendship over the past 12 months has meant the world to me, and I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring.

Hugs & birthday kisses to you all,
NanaBread (Jeanne)

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76 Comments

Filed under Miscellaneous Thoughts

76 responses to ““NanaBread’s Head” Turns One Today

  1. Pat Counts

    My how time flies! I do love your blog, except that it makes me feel very inadequate! I always knew you were talented, but oh my goodness! Keep the tidbits coming Nanabread. You are my idol.

  2. The Baby

    Happy Blogday sis! I can’t believe it has been a year already. It has been fun seeing you dish on family, friends and food. I’m proud of you!

  3. TCP

    Congratulations honey on turning one! This is quite an accomplishment. Most bloggers lose energy before the end of their first year. Over the past year I have enjoyed seeing the sparkle in your eyes when you compose a new post or reply to a comment. I hope you continue to enjoy your blog in the future as much as you have the past year.

    On another note …. I may have to give up my title as “The Complete Package” to you. I don’t know of another woman who is such a good spouse AND is so crafty AND is as good a cook as you AND is willing to help her husband “wrench” on his mototrcycle (and has all of her own teeth). ;-)

    Sounds like it is time to celebrate. How about some mexican food and “nanabread inspired” home made ice cream? Time to get “Christine” back out?

    I love you more each day.
    TCP

    • Gosh darnnit, honey bunny. You always say the nicest things. I don’t think any woman reading this comment is going to let you relinquish your title as The Complete Package, but thanks for the offer. I love you, too… you big hunk of manly man. As for “Christine” – our fabulous but completely evil ice cream maker – I say, “let’s DO this!”

      Love you more,
      NanaBread

  4. bamaboy

    You guys go out for Mexican food every Friday, I think TCP is trying to pull the proverbial wool over your eyes and get credit for a weekly ritual as a special treat… I am on to your antics TCP, and I applaud you for them. You almost got away with it!

    Congratulations, Nana! If I were a blogger, I would want to be just like you! But alas, I am not…

    • Oh, snap! You totally went there! You’re right, son. We DO got out for Mexican Food Date Night every Friday, so TCP can’t say you’re not speaking the truth. Way to call him out on it! Made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the support, but I’m assuming if you were a blogger you’d want to be a dude blogger so you shouldn’t be just like me. I love that you’d want to be, though. Love you!

      • TCP

        OK.OK. So we do go out for Mexican food every Friday night, but maybe this time we will go to a “different” Mexican restaurant … or better yet, Plucker’s ;-) At least the homemade ice cream will be a treat. BTW you too can be like Nanabread, just put in that Notebook DVD and start writing your first post on manapause. I know you are hot flashing, it has to be over 100 in Austin. SNAP

  5. Yay! Happy 1st Blogiversary! Let’s see, I met you on Tasty Kitchen I do believe, came over to your site from there and you were one of the first blogs I subscribed to. Keep on keeping on, you are doing a great job! ~Tonya

    • Thanks, Tonya! You’re right… we did find each other on Tasty Kitchen first. Your photo of baby Paxton totally sucked me in, but your recipes and stories about your family kept me coming back for more. Your family is adorable, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you this year.

  6. Susan K

    Nanabread you crack me up……………….in a good way!!!!

  7. Claudia

    Happy first Blogday & many happy returns, Jeanne! You & PW are my go-to blogs, but between the both of you, I have to say you made the biggest impression. These days, I can’t pass a Hoegaarden truck or see/smell/eat oliebollen without thinking of you. Quite the accomplishment in only one year ;-) And should you ever decide to visit The Netherlands again, I’ll gladly be your guide!

    • Awesome, Claudia! That’s the best offer I’ve ever gotten as a blogger, and I will be happy to take you up on it the next time I’m in the Netherlands. Turning the two of us loose in the land of oliebollen could be very, very dangerous. Or it could be life-affirming. It’s all about perspective. Thank you for the kind words and the support. You’re special to me, too. We will forever be joined by our love of oliebollen.

  8. NanaBread's Baby

    I do not wish to enter the “snap-off” TCP and my husband are having up there (reminds me too much of West Side Story), but I have to also say I am so proud of you!! It has been a fantastic year and I really look forward to all the great treasures and experiments the next year will bring!!! It has been fun to see your junk, Mom! I love you and am so proud that you are a blog-queen!!! Congrats, now come make those Reese’s Dark Chocolate Cupcakes again….oh, heaven!

    • Hahaha! Dad and I both laughed over your “snap off” and West Side Story comment. I can just picture them, circling each other in t-shirts and tight (but brightly colored) pants, snapping and giving each other the “stink eye.” That’s good stuff. Thanks for your support, honey. I appreciate it more than you know. You, BamaBoy and the kids have helped make my blog what it is. I can’t say that I’m planning to make the cupcakes again until there are more than the 2 of us to eat them, but we are talking about experimenting with that flavor combination when we make ice cream this weekend. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  9. Amy

    Congrats on the one year blog birthday! I don’t remember how i found you, but I am very glad that you did. Your posts light up my day. One thing I love about blogging is all the wonderful people that I’ve “met” over the years. It may not be the same as face-to-face friends, but it definitely has it’s own rewards.
    Here’s to many, many more years of bloggy bliss!!

    • I remember vividly….I found YOU. It was your WordPress feature on the zombie apocalypse. Then I poked around your blog and found your post on slutty Halloween costumes. I was instantly smitten. I said to myself, “Self, this girl really cracks us up. We like her. A lot.” The rest is blog buddy history. I may not be your Pop Tart ring wearing blog wife, but I still love ya’. (And between you and me, I love that people are going to read that last comment as say, “whuh?”)

      • Amy

        I love that you talk to yourself in the second (third?) person. And I also LOVE that people will “whuh?” at your comment. Nuthin’ like inside jokes. And nuthin’ like zombies and slutty costumes to bring people together!

  10. You should know that by now!

    I like Mexican food and homemade ice cream and TPC and your baby and Jonah Bear and Lily Bug and tou too! Now when can I expect that goody package? love you, MOM

    • Thanks, Mommy. I love you, too. But shameless butt-smooching won’t get you that box. You’ve got to win it straight up like any other participant. Life can be tough. You taught me that. (I can barely control my giggles as I’m typing this.)
      – Your Favorite

      • BamaBoy

        Besides, she never mentioned that she liked me…

        Hurt,
        BamaBoy

      • My poor BamaBoy. You know your Grand-Nana didn’t mean to slight you. She loves you, too. But if it helps, I love you twice as much! {wink}

        Your favorite,
        Mom (NB)

  11. Big Sis and you should know that tooo!

    Oh Snap!! I forgot to get you a blogday card!!! Happy Blogday!! I’ll drind a Mexican Martini in your honner, I think I’ve had a coople already. hoppy bothday twooo yuuzzzz!!!!!

  12. I started blogging a couple months ago and stumbled onto your blog maybe a month or so ago–and love it! Your eclectic topics and consistent humor and love of life make your blog one I look forward to–that’s why I awarded you a blog award. Congrats on your 1st anniversary! I am impressed and hope you keep writing.

    http://learnmoreeveryday.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/what-a-delightful-surprise-blog-awards/

    • Thanks, Patti. I’ve said since the beginning – I’ll keep writing as long as someone else keeps reading, and we’re all still having fun with it. Thanks for the continued support. It means a lot. The blog award was a very nice, and much appreciated surprise.

  13. Ladylisabear69

    Congratulations on Year One. I’m a recent newcomer to your blog and enjoy it. Thanks! I think the name caught me as my son calls my Mom Nana. She loves to bake, too, though not bread so much ;)

    I ponder starting a blog for the family as we are spread out all over the country, but then I wonder if anyone would read it. Not that I’m looking for the numbers that the big blogs, or even small blogs, get, but just family and friends who are interested in how my 5 year old is doing and what I’m baking. I may just have to go for it.

    • I started my blog for the same reason – to share photos and stories with my family and closest friends. I thought it would be a nice way to keep in touch because we, too, are spread out across multiple states. Then they told a few friends, and they told some friends, then some people from The Pioneer Woman website clicked on it via comments I’d left or recipes I’d posted. It just spread through word of mouth. I don’t tweet, I don’t have a Facebook page, and I don’t advertise, but somehow it grew anyway. One year later, my little blog has had 50,000 hits. I didn’t set out intending to get attention, but sometimes it happens. I think you should just go for it. If you have fun writing it, people will have fun reading it. If you start your own blog, send me the link so I can read along. Best of luck to you!

  14. CJ

    Happy anniversary! It’s been a fun ride so far. Can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

  15. I don’t want to enter the contest because you have already been far too generous with me and my family… but I wanted to take the time to say that I enjoy reading your posts and feel like I’m catching up with an old friend when I do. I never thought that starting a blog would culminate in such a wonderful extension of friends… It’s a beautiful thing! Congrats on 1 year :)
    -Alex

    • Oh, you’re part of the drawing. You’ve been a regular reader and a valued friend, and I wouldn’t dream of not including you. No way. So there. That’s that. {wink}

  16. Happy Blogday, Jeanne! Hard to believe that your blog is *only* a year old. Seems like we’ve known each other far longer. Congratulations to you! I come back day after day because your big-hearted-snarky-charm and creativity is infectious. I’m honored to know you, and so glad that you share your snippets with world.

    P.S. TCP’s comment almost made me cry! What a sweetie.
    P.P.S. Your Baby & I would get along just fine–love the West Side Story reference.
    P.P.P.S Clearly, I’m missing out in not reading Amy’s blog. Shame on me.

    Kirsten :)

    • I feel the same way, Kirsten. It seems like I’ve been doing this longer. In retrospect, I think it’s just that I’ve made some really great connections with other bloggers and readers. I feel like some of us have been friends forever, and I love that.

  17. Sandy V

    LOL. I can relate to your menopause post. The hot flashes aren’t so bad (at least not yet), but I do struggle with the covers on, covers off all night long thing. Some nights sleep evades me altogether till time for normal folk to rise! Also my family thinks I have been abducted by aliens and replaced with a stranger. I am now wanting to turn down the heat in winter, and leave windows open when everyone else is cold. A total turn around for me! I also thought I was done with the pesky periods – till a couple of months ago. I have learned not to let a few months of period-free bliss lull me into thinking it’s all over. Rats. And the memory/concentration thing…I used to think I was (what’s the word I’m looking for?) a fairly decent communicator, but have been reduced to a babbling, forgetful idiot. Oh the joy!

    • Oh, Sandy. I’m feelin’ you. Another blog friend commented that her mother has been going through “the change” for more than 10 years. My first reaction? “Oh dear God. Just shoot me.” I’m six years in and still counting, and I’m a little more than disappointed that this started at 42. I though menopause was a “late 50’s” thing. Recently, my biggest issue is the insomnia. Most nights I go to bed at 10:30pm but go to sleep at 3:00am. The saddest part is that I’m starting to get used to it. Five years ago, I was one cranky bee-otch if I didn’t get at least 7 hours. Now I’m thankful for 4. Maybe you and I should just rent a cabin in northernmost Alaska and sweat this out together.

  18. Craftiest #4

    Happy Bloggith Day to you!!!!! (yea, I’m late, but I did show). I’m very proud of you Jeanne! You’ve done fabulously well with your blog. It’s been fun checking in with you off and on the past year and I look forward to all the tasty tidbits and snarky comments you’ve shared with everyone. In honor of Nanabread’s blog I made the dark chocolate reeses cupcakes (I dumbed it down a bit for my uncultured in-laws. They think velveta is THE only cheese). But they should pass their taste test. I’ll drink a Mexican martini later on and think of you once again. Congrats! You deserve it.

    • Thanks, Crafty. I hope everyone enjoys those cupcakes as much as I did. Posting this story made me crave them all over again. Instead, I opted for dark chocolate mocha brownies and TCP and I are going to make some homemade peanut butter ice cream to put on top. Wish I could share them! Thanks for the congrats and the martini toast. I appreciate it.

  19. gapgrad

    Congrats on your blog birthday! I just found you recently so I love the look back over your year…I am SO gonna have to try those cupcakes. YUM!

  20. Michelle

    Wow, what a great giveaway! Congrats on your blog-iversary!

  21. Kat

    “Life had lied to me by omission”

    OMG. You slay me. And this is why I continue to read. Happy first blog-birthday to you, lady! Here’s to another wonderful year of shenanigans :)

    • Thank you, Kat. Or shall I say “Mrs. Kat.” Welcome back from your wedding and honeymoon! I can’t wait to hear about your own shenanigans. Well, not ALL of them {wink}.

  22. cindy

    Happy Birthday NanaBread! Sorry for the belated wishes but just got home from a vaca with the extended in-law family! Had a great time and missed reading your blog. Keeping my nephew until Thursday night. Maybe we can do the “run to Richmond” on Friday?

    • I think we’re going to have to push it back. TCP and I have plans for Friday. We’ll talk. Good luck with jury duty selection tomorrow. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  23. I’m so so glad you are here and still blogging! Your posts are always so heart-felt and real. Congrats on the bloggy birthday!

  24. Woohoo!! Congrats on a year. Your writing inspires me.
    I truly love the inside of Ms. Nana Bread’s head. Literally. :)

  25. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary! What a great giveaway! :)

  26. Rhonda Cunningham-Phillips

    Time does fly, especially when you’ve found someone you really enjoy reading. Thanks for all the time you give to us, your readers! Great giveaway too! :)

    • I’m glad you like the box of birthday presents, and I’m even happier that you came to visit and enter the giveaway. Best of luck to you, Rhonda!

  27. One year, huh? Wonderful! Congratulations and sign me up to win the goodies. No, I mean seriously, we’re friends so you can give me a little edge over the competition and I won’t tell ANYBODY. Like, maybe just say, “Kandi is the winner!” without even doing any of that random selection business. It’s overrated, anyway…

    ;)

    • You know…. now that I think about it… it WOULD save me a lot of time and effort to just declare you the winner. Hmmmmm…. nope, sorry. I love you to pieces, but I’m going to do this the fair way. Thanks for the chuckle, though! Now if we were drawing for the house across the street, it would just be between you and Kirsten, so your odds would improve dramatically. Interested? ;- )

  28. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I think I told you this already, but I made those tie-dye cupcakes. Next up…that peach pie.

  29. I am new to your blog, a friend of my turned me onto it, but I like it. You are so crafty. Keep up all the cute stuff.

  30. Happy Blog-day!! Here’s to many more amazing years Jeanne!
    All the very best ~Megan aka Wanna Be a Country Cleaver

  31. Happy Blog Birthday! I’ve only been at blogging for 6 months, and cannot imagine achieving the popularity that you have in a year. When I came upon your site many months back, I immediately had to keep you as one of my favorites to read. Thank you for providing a top-notch site to visit and for sharing your life with me and others.

  32. Deb

    Happy Birthday to your blog! I love it! The menopause one was one of my fav’s too because I am right there with you! I just figured that women don’t tell other women how bad it gets because we would all begin drinking heavily or seriously medicating at 35 ; )) It is quite an amusement ride from hell isn’t it! Looking foward to many more years of reading your stories!!

    • You have my deepest sympathy… or is that empathy? An amusement ride from hell is a pretty accurate description, and frankly, I’m ready to get off now!

  33. I’m also a peppermint bath product junkie! It’s the best stuff EVER. I especially love that it’s therapeutic for stressful times year-round, and in the summer it’s refreshing and cooling!

    I’m new to your blog and just LOVE it!

    • Welcome, WaterLily!
      I’m glad you found me, and I’m happy to have another peppermint junkie friend. My favorite peppermint product this summer is the Dr Bronner’s liquid peppermint soap. That stuff is like a cold slap in the face on a hot day…and that’s a GOOD thing! Thanks for tuning in and joining the party.

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