My Baby Blog Turns One!

One year ago today, I did my first post. You can read it here. Over the past few weeks, I've been thinking about this one year anniversary post, but I didn't have a chance to write the perfect retrospective. Yeah, that would have been really nice. Oh well. I'm completely winging it.

It's funny, because I'm a big planner. I think and analyze before I do anything. Maybe too much sometimes. Blogging has helped me to be more in the moment. Sometimes you just have to say "yes" and jump in and write from your heart, or at least as much as time allows.

Am I editing this as I write? Yes!! Am I saving as draft every five minutes, so I don't lose my stream of thought? Yes!! And a good thing too, because I was booted out and would have lost everything.

I haven't suddenly turned into another person. Anali isn't my given name, but it's all me. I still try to plan for things, but in the last few weeks, so much in my life changed. And there was nothing I could do about any of it. All of it was totally out of my control. Recently, the more I try to plan, the more things seem to go strangely awry. I guess it's the Universe wanting me to be even more in the moment and open to what life has in store. I'm really trying!

Last Monday the weather was finally really warm in Boston, around 85 degrees. I'm working at a new place and in a different area of Boston. I used to work in the Back Bay, which I loved. Now I'm in the Financial District near South Station. It's a nice area, but it's taking some getting used to. Instead of driving, I'm taking the T again... Breathe in. Breathe out. It's all good.

I decided to walk around and enjoy the day. I ended up sitting in front of the Langham Hotel, which I think used to be Le Méridien Hotel, when I worked in this area years ago. Everyone used to sit on the grass out front. In the picture above, you can see that it's now blocked off.

People used to call it Méridien Beach, because that's what it was like in the summer. Everyone took a break from their offices during lunch and would just relax, take a nap, pull out a book, have an ice cream. Men would loosen up their ties or take them off. Women would take off their shoes. It was really nice. Well, I guess the grass is more well-kept now. Things change.

So while I was literally walking down memory lane, I figured I'd take a picture of my exact location. Next time you visit the area, you'll know where I was. I guess I'll stick with the walking metaphor and mosey on over to my next topic. Food.

When I started my blog, I wasn't sure what shape it would take. Over time it's changed. There's more food! I knew food would be a big part of my writing, but I didn't realize how much. I even started writing a second blog that is only about food! I would have never guessed that! And it's ironic that it's with a website for Boomers, because in my first post I mentioned the issue of generations and how I felt that I wasn't a Boomer or a GenXer. Who knew?

Anyway, I'm loving the food and glad that all of you seem to like it just a little bit too. And speaking of food, did you really think I could get through this post without some sweets? Not a chance!

There is a new bakery that opened up in Quincy called Babycakes. I went there once a few weeks ago and had their signature cupcake called the The Babycake. Oh my! It was good! Babycakes is tucked away on Beale Street, but it's been crowded each time I've been there.

Babycakes is a very small neighborhood bakery, but they have big city confections. Their motto is "a small celebration." I stopped by today, yesterday by the time you read this, and bought three of their cupcakes. I've only eaten one so far, the French Toast cupcake. It was truly a pleasure and a joy to eat this cupcake. I was doing Spring cleaning and running around a lot today, so I had this cupcake with a nice cup of coffee. What a nice break.

The French Toast cupcake is part of their Morning Baby Cakes menu and is described as "Vanilla bean bread pudding with Maple Frosting." It tastes just like French Toast, but cuter and portable! If you want to be the one to bring the best new thing to brunch, but you don't want to bake, bring a box of these. I'll definitely be buying these again.

And to you. Yes, I mean you! I need to thank you. When I first started writing this blog, you weren't here. There were no comments and not many people were reading. It's so nice to know that you read, comment, keep coming back, linking to me, and mentioning me in your posts. It's been wonderful meeting all of you bloggers! Sometimes when I'm not feeling so great, I'll read one of your posts and start smiling, laughing, and my whole mood has changed. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Last April, I figured at the very least, blogging would be a way to force myself to write at least twice a week. If my writing was no good and nobody cared what I was saying, I was going to close up shop after a year and call it an experiment. The experiment is working, so I guess I'll keep doing what I've been doing. However, I have realized that with my flexible schedule gone from work, it's much harder to blog. I may have to cut back to posting just once or twice a week. Unless the blog starts paying me, I have to focus on the work that does.

And that brings me to some new things. I've added advertising to my blog. I tried Google ads for a while, but did not make any money and some of the ads I didn't like, so I got rid of them. I became a member of the Boston Blogs Ad Network and feel much more comfortable with their advertising. I've learned about more local blogs and recently met some local bloggers too.

Sometimes life is so unexpected. On Universal Hub, I read this post stating that Wainwright Bank, wanted to meet with progressive bloggers. I figured that I was a progressive blogger, so I found out more about the meeting and attended this past Thursday. There were several bloggers from the area and we met with some people from the bank including Robert Glassman, one of the bank's founders.

I was very impressed with the bank and didn't know that banks like this even existed. Wainwright truly seems to place social justice as one of its top priorities. The bank even has a policy of opposing the Iraq war. They are thinking about starting a blog and possibly placing advertising on local progressive blogs, so they wanted to meet with area bloggers and brainstorm. Many ideas were discussed, but this is all very preliminary. I'm looking forward to learning more and hopeful that there might be some exciting news to discuss later on.

So there you have it. From my first post with no comments to cupcakes to meeting with bloggers and a bank president. I wonder what this next year will bring?

*Updated 6/5/2011* For some reason all the pictures stopped showing up, so I've removed the code. I've also added in links to BabyCakes that were not available before. I still love this place!


FH said…
Congratulations on your first anniversary!You sound like me.I edit at least 4-6times after I publish it and write in spurts as it comes to me straight from heart as you say!:))

Good to hear that you like where you are now and wish you continued success.

Baby cakes are so yummy.French toast and pudding!!!Drooling!!!
Anali, happy blog birthday! Funny that you and I work and live in opposite directions. I live in Boston, work in Quincy. I am definitely going to stop by Babycakes and pick up some treats, first for home. (Got to make sure they're quality before bringing them into work, right?)

That's interesting about Wainwright, esp. since that's where I have my checking account. I will have to look at their website more carefully-- although we knew they were more progressive in their employment practices, which was why we chose it in the first place.

Keep up the writing! You're so right about blogging being a conduit for being more present-- and for appreciating any given moment.

Again, happy blog birthday!
Sai said…
Congratulations on your first anniversary!

By the way regarding your blogger name "Anali," when you first commented on my blog I thought you were from the Indian subcontinent because that is such an Indian name.

I love your blog, love the photos and love to read what you have to say. Heres to many more years of blogging!

PS: I have to get back to writing regularly.
Mosilager said…
Congratulations Anali! Somehow thought that you had been blogging for much longer than just a year! Anyway, great job.
Congratulations Anali! I wish you many more years of blogging and a few more of those French toast cupcakes.;)

I enjoy your blog, and always smile at the humorous comments you leave on mine. Best of luck with all of your blogging endeavors!
Dezel Quillen said…
Hello Anali,

Congrats on your 1 year Anniversary; we started at around the same time and I have really seen your site blossom! Nice going and look forward to many more years of your blogging and writing to come.

I need to find out when my 1st post was – hopefully I didn’t forget my anniversary (lol).

Lisa Johnson said…
asha - Thank you! I'm so grateful to have found you and your blog! You are definitely one of my blog mentors and have shown me what really good blogging looks like. : )

bipolarlawyercook - That's funny about our opposite work/home commute! Boston and Quincy are so small; we've probably bumped into each other on the T and didn't know it! : ) Enjoy the cupcakes!

I guess a lot of people have Wainwright, especially because of all the flight from Fleet. I've never used them, because their branch locations were never where I lived.

sai - When I chose the name, I really didn't know anything about it, but thought it was very pretty and it resonated with me. It just felt right. I'm so glad that you like my blog and keep coming back!

I've noticed that you've been posting less. Blogging takes way more time than I ever thought! A new job can do that too. And more painting??!! : ) I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

mosilager - Thank you so much! Time does fly by doesn't it?

susan - Thank you! It's always a treat seeing you stop by here and I look forward to your wonderful recipes and stories every week!

dezel - Thank you! I'll be looking forward to your anniversary post too! I guess there will need to be a very special wine for that celebration!
Tera said…
Happy Bloggiversary Anali! And yes, writing from the heart helps...when I sit down to write a blog, I tend to write about what is presently on my heart and on my mind. I am sure you will have several more good reads to come!

Now that you've made me hungry, I'm off to the breakroom...although it is sure to lead to disappointment as I cannot have that delicious looking French Toast cupcake you have posted!!!!!
JustMeWriting said…
Congrat's on the anniversity. I was so feeling the pictures you posted along each 'place' said Knewness to me...refreshed and rebirthed and I found it so calming... a simple picture can mean so much...thanks for sharing.
Suldog said…
Happy Analiversary!
amisha said…
congratulations on your blogiversary! i am so happy to have discovered your blog and gotten to know you a bit. i am always delighted by your writing, your political passion, your great thoughts on food :) (um, very hungry for a french toast cupcake now!)
it's a time of change... transition.... keep trying to remind myself too to breathe in, breathe out, think about right now and not yesterday or tomorrow.
So So Simple said…
Wow you have achieved so much in 1 year. Congratulations. When I first read your blog I was intrigued as we had just been to Boston for the first time and we loved the place, Pity we hadn’t both been blogging before we visited…we could have lunched
Anyhow another time.
I have been interested in your views on your country and its policies, they fit with most of my US friends. Keep on educating us all. I love your enthusiasm for excellence in food.
It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures, along with blogging!!! Lol…
CapCity said…
Happy Anniversary, Sistah Anali!
Lisa Johnson said…
tera - Thank you so much! I hope you found something good in the breakroom!

justmewriting - Welcome! I really appreciate your stopping by. And it's so nice to see that you enjoyed the pictures. Thank you! ; )

suldog - Thank you! LOL! Analiversary!!! You're so creative!

amisha - Thank you! I'm so glad to have found you and your blog too! I guess we are both going through some transitions. Breathe in. Breathe out. : )

so simple - Thank you! With all your travels, maybe you'll come by again and we can do lunch!

capcity - Thank you my sistah! : )
Warda said…
Happy anniversary! Wishing you all the best for your blog and her hostess.
Nina said…
Anali~this is all so cool! it sounds like you've come a long way, I'm glad I found you (thanks to Nance) and was able to be a part of the end of a very wonderful year in your blogging world. If I ever make it to Boston, I'm hunting down that bakery, sounds excellent! All of the local bakeries in my town have closed down. The only place you can get baked goods around here seems to be at the local gas station or chain grocery store. it's sad :(
Lisa Johnson said…
rose - Welcome and thank you so much!

nina - I'm so glad I found you too! If you make it to Boston, I hope you'll look me up! And maybe a new bakery will open in your area. Every town needs some quality baked goods!
karrie said…
Happy first blogiversary!

You're the only local blogger that I read regularly that I do not know offline. It is nice thinking of another blogger out there enjoying many of the same sights and treats. I used to eat lunch at "the beach" often in the nice weather. Get there early to snag a waterproof cushion!
karrie said…
Oh, crud! I was so excited to see that spot that I missed the part about it being blocked off. I think the city is going overboard with that sort of thing lately. Sad. :(
wheresmymind said…
Should've stopped by and said hello!
PunditMom said…
Happy Anniversary! Mine is tomorrow! ;) Thanks for all the wonderful posts and pics of Boston!
David Sullivan said…
My first post was all about being a "tweener" stuck between the petulant gen-xer's and the "know it all" boomers.

Happy Anniversary
Lisa Johnson said…
karrie - Thank you! Wow, that's quite a compliment! : ) It is sad that "the beach" is no more. I guess they were trying to make it a more "dignified" place?? **sigh, sigh**

jeff - I forgot that you work over there. Well, that's where I am now too. Maybe we can grab lunch again! : )

punditmom - Thank you! And Happy Anniversary to you too! I'll have to stop by. I'm glad you like it here and thanks for the link!

david sullivan - Thank you! I just read your first post. I think we are tweeners. The only thing is that it's not our generation's unique name, because 11 and 12 year olds can say the same.

I wonder why our generation didn't get a separate name? Everyone that I speak to about this who is the same age feels exactly the same about it.
Peter N said…
Hi Anali! It's Wednesday...I haven't been here to say hi in too long! And Babycakes?? That was the name of my kitty who just passed. I miss him still so so much. I'll have to stop in there.
Happy 1 year....many more to come...Peter N.
Nance said…
Congratulations on One Year of Blogging! I'm coming up on 2 years in August, and it sure goes fast, doesn't it? It's also incredible how you find people and people find you, and how the relationships link and build. It's been great reading and getting to know you and sharing readers. Hope we continue to do so for a long time to come. Enjoy the spring that we've looked for for so very long; it seems to finally be here!
starry said…
Happy first anniversary Anali.I am so glad you started to blog and that I met you .I love reading your blog and also the recipes you post.Thanks and keep blogging.
Anonymous said…
No one knows cupcakes like Anali knows cupcakes and don't you forget it. Or law, Or living. Or politics. Happy birthday! Many good wishes from the empress. You always make us feel so centered.
Anonymous said…
Congratulations on your first anniversary! Your photos iare very beautiful. I love your sweety
AVIANA said…

Where's the new post?!!!


Have a nice weekend!

Lotus Reads said…
Look who's one today!!!!! Happy blog birthday, Anali and many,many more! It's been lovely getting to know're a great gal!
Lisa Johnson said…
peter n - Thank for stopping by for my special day! I do remember reading the post about your kitten and thinking about the name. I'm so sorry that he passed away. I'm sure that you'll love the cupcakes and maybe the place will bring back some sweet memories.

nance - Thank you! It's so cool finding new people and then getting to know them. I'm trying to think how I found your blog, but I don't remember. I'm glad that I did though! You always make me laugh and give me something to think about. ; )

starry nights - Thank you so much! I've so enjoyed getting to know you too. I don't remember who found who first, but I'm glad that we did! You are one of the sweetest bloggers out there and you always inspire me.

lisa - LOL! Thank you! And coming from Royalty, well I guess I must be doing something right! : )

pom d'api - Thank you! I glad you like the photos and the sweets!

lisa francisco - LOL! I've been thinking the same thing! This might be the longest I've gone without posting. I promise very soon! : )

lotus reads - Thank you! It's been wonderful getting to know you too! My co-conspirator! Wasn't that fun??!! ; )
KAYLEE said…
CONGRATS.I love reading your blog.
Lisa Johnson said…
kaylee - Thank you! I'm so glad that you like it! : )
Gunfighter said…
I'm a day late and a dollar short.... which is about standazrd for me...

Happy Anniversary, Anali!

Keep 'em coming!

Liz Dwyer said…
So happy to have my first visit over here be around such a special time for you. Congratulations on your year anniversary. A wonderful friend of mine lives in Medford so next time I'm out that way, I'm going to make her take me to get some of those delicious desserts.
Lisa Johnson said…
gunfighter - Thank you so much!

liz - Welcome! Thank you so much and enjoy the sweets! : )
plez... said…
Happy Anniversary... thanks for the wonderful memories and I'm there are many more to come!
Lisa Johnson said…
plez - Thank you!

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