M&M Snack Mix and How I Put a Post Together

I always wonder how other bloggers put their posts together. Are they totally organized with highlighters and post-its?

Do they sit down and know exactly what they’re going to write? Do they just want to talk about a recipe or event or topic or do they weave in tangents in their posts?

Since this snack mix isn’t an actual recipe – just a few ingredients tossed together – I thought it would be fun to go through my normal routine.

So here goes. I sure hope I’m not the only one that works this way.

1. Lately, I’m just starting to put my post together around 10 pm or later. Before a few months ago, I would put posts together earlier in the evening after work/dinner/dishes, but I’m currently working on a pretty big project so the posts come last right now. This is probably not a good idea for a lot of reasons. I’m usually exhausted already and tired of looking at the computer and my own words or I’m preoccupied by the Friends reruns on Nick and Nite or I had wine with dinner and I want to just. keep. writing.

2. Because I can’t stand the empty feeling of a blank post, I always toss my photos in first. That gives me something to work off of. I rearrange pictures, start thinking about what I want to write about in the post, how to tie it to the recipe (if it’s a recipe) and then sit and stare at the pictures for 5, 10, sometimes 30 minutes.

3. When I’m not just staring at the pictures, I’m checking Facebook, Twitter, and – again – the Friends reruns. Could I be any more of a procrastinator?

4. Finally, inspiration or exhaustion or the wine hits and I start typing. I sometimes start by working on the actual recipe so I can get that out of the way and get my brain thinking about the food again. This usually works and is really helpful if I’m posting about something that I made weeks ago.

5. I write, write, write until I feel I’ve said everything I want to say in that post. I read through it a few times, edit if needed, check over the recipe a few more times, make sure the pictures are the ones I want, and save it to post the next morning.

6. Then I go to bed. Or….okay, I fall asleep on the couch. With the tv on - you guessed it - a Friends episode.

So I want to know – how do you work? If you’re a blogger, what’s your routine? Do you work during the day? Do you struggle to find the words for each post like I do? Do you sometimes wish you could just blink and your post would be written for you like I do?

Spill it.

I want to know how you work, how your brain works, how you get stuff done. Even though I get posts written and come up with recipes on a regular basis, I always feel that things are hanging on by a very tiny little thread – my kitchen, my computer, my house, my laundry basket, my sanity. It’s a fun way to spend my days, but a little bit crazy.

PS: The only difference in the routine when I was putting this post together was that I was watching E! News and not Friends. Just keeping it real.

M&M Snack Mix

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup White Chocolaate Candy Corn M&Ms

Directions:

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl or bag. Store in sealed bag or container. Maybe hide from your boyfriend or husband if you want more than one handful.

35 Responses to “M&M Snack Mix and How I Put a Post Together”

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    1
    Kathryn — October 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I tend to write the recipe up and upload the pictures almost as soon as I’m done. Then, as it can be a week or two before I actually post it, I try and think about why I made the recipe or some little story to go with it. When it comes to actually writing the post, I tend to do it fairly quickly and then post almost immediately. If I can’t think of anything to say then I’ll often just say that and then ramble about my day for a while!

    I love hearing about how people write so I’m really interested to see the responses and hear your story too!

    • admin replied: — October 19th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      it’s so fun to hear how everyone else puts their posts together – thanks for chiming in!

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    Lauren @ What Lauren Likes — October 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I need to eat m&m’s now! Great pics of the trail mix :)

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    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean — October 19, 2011 at 10:22 am

    loved this post! i usually write my posts after dinner or on the weekend…and i put pictures in last!

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    Lauren — October 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    How festive! I love the mixes that are simple but has a little of everything.

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    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — October 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I do the same thing – pictures first, words second. Well, and maybe without the Friends and wine. But that isn’t such a bad idea.

    • admin replied: — October 19th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      I’m telling you…sometimes those are the things that get me writing :)

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    Faith @ For the Health of It — October 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I usually base mine around the photos too (unless it’s a random post of daily eats/exercises/ramblings, in which case I just start writing and illustrate as I go). I do them the night before in the evenings, then re-read in the morning and make and last-second changes before I hit publish. I need that short separation between writing and editing to look at it with a fresh eye.

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    Kasha — October 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I’m with Faith re: the fresh morning eye. I do the bulk of my writing late at night after my little guy is fast asleep. I also try to include some farm happenings in each post because I think they offer readers a new perspective (as of late this year, I’ve been avoiding such things because it’s too depressing).

    I’m always amazed at how often many of you post. There’s no way I could fit all that in along with farmwork, but I have tons and tons of recipes on scrap paper just waiting to be typed up. I cook nearly every night and probably ‘create’ something new with just-picked produce at least 3 times a week. I also have a bajillion and one pictures in never-to-be-found-again files.

    I just can’t seem to get around to it. I’m in awe of you all!

    • admin replied: — October 19th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      If I was running a farm, I wouldn’t post as often as I do now :) You’re busy!! And I do love the tidbits from the farm.

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    Rose — October 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I do something very similar. Sometimes, I’m just too tired to formulate beautiful sentences at night. I generally upload my photos, edit them a bit (color, etc.), and then I’ll put them all into a WordPress post. I’ll save the draft and work on the writing the next day on my lunch break.

    It means that I’m technically behind on what I post, but that’s fine by me since most of the posts are evergreen anyway.

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    Cassie l Bake Your Day — October 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    #3 – totally Chandler. We were meant to be friends, I’m sure of it. I could spend every waking minute watching re-runs. I’m still in denial that it’s over. I usually start putting a post together with editing photos and choosing which ones I’ll use. Then I go to the recipe, format it correctly, etc. Then I write the intro to the post, the words usually just come to me but sometimes I struggle. I often write the post in my head while I’m making the recipe or while I’m driving, etc.

    Love this post!

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    Andrea — October 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    There are white chocolate M&Ms?! I love this little snack dish Brandi and am completely going to make some soon!

    Blogging for me, I try to plan the week out and then I have a day where I write all the posts. I always start the post off with a picture because visual is best and will draw people in. I like telling stories and try to do that with everything. Especially recipes because I think it’s important for people to understand the inspiration behind a dish. :) I always proof read a post before it goes live and make minor changes if needed. I manually publish, rarely do I schedule posts unless I have to.

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    Halley (Blunder Construction) — October 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    If I’m lucky enough to have a plan for what to post the next day, I’ll upload the pictures when I get home from work and write while I watch TV or make dinner. I’ve been trying to post in the morning, so I save my finished posts until the next day. Sometimes, I upload a bunch of pictures and write when I’m bored at work.

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    Evan Thomas — October 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I usually do “marathon blogging” where I’ll try and cook, photograph, and write 4-5 posts all on one day over the weekend. It’s what works best for me and my schedule, though it’s getting increasingly frustrating to take photos before the sun goes down. Even when the lighting is at its best, it’s not that great here. I guess I should just get used to the lightbox again.

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    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — October 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I just recently decided to go from 2 posts a week to 3, and boy is it a lot of work. I don’t know how others do it. Here is how we work.

    We have a 7 month old. I work full time, my wife Rachel part time, so I’m with you on feeling like no time for blog posting. We tag team the blog so it helps ease the burden. She photographs, formats photos, and preloads into wordpress earlier in the week. Usually night before the post, around 7 or 8pm, I start.

    I load all the pics, do keyword research for blog title (food blog seo, post coming soon) and start writing. I’m with you on procrastinating… I check twitter, FB, youtube, anything but what I’m supposed to be doing; write. Eventually I get it done, usually an 45 – 60 minutes later, and Rachel proof reads it and rearranges the photos. Fresh eyes really do help; typos or sentences that don’t quite make sense.

    When it’s all approved I schedule it. So… I guess I kind of cheat because our blog is a two person team.

    But hang in there! I’m loving your posts. Your hard work certainly shows :)

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    Green Dog Wine — October 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I’ve been struggling a lot lately to find the words – and I ALWAYS put all the pictures in first and then start writing. While at work – I’m a post it, list, highlighter, person – FOR SURE! Blog – not so much – definitely more of a wing-it, rambling tangent style with my writing! :) Loved this post Brandi!

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    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — October 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I always wonder what other people’s routines are too so I’m glad you posted this :)
    Mine is usually when I get home from work, after I get dinner started, I sit at my breakfast bar and bang on my laptops keys for about an hour. Then I decide whether or not what I just wrote was
    a. entertaining
    b. made actual sense and
    c. not a complete and utter disaster
    And then I reluctantly schedule it to post the next morning and hope people actually read it.

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    DessertForTwo — October 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one falling asleep to Friends episodes on the couch ;)

    So, my blog posts always start with a story I want to tell. Something will happen during the day that will cause a story to start writing itself in my head. I panic if I’m not near a computer and can’t write it down right away. The first line of the story always presents itself to me, and I go with it from there.
    Naturally, the story has some food aspect to it, and then I start working on the recipe. I make the recipe 3 times before I decide it’s done. Then, I photograph it.

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    Alison @ Ingredients, inc. — October 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    my kids would love this!

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    Cookin' Cowgirl — October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Mmmmmm LOVE those M&M! ;)

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    Biz — October 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I think that’s the number 1 email I get from readers is “how do you blog every day??!! and work a full time job?”

    Here’s how I do it. My sale paper comes out on Thursday and by then I’ve written down recipes I want to try that week and match that up with the sale paper – if chicken breasts are cheap (last week – boneless, skinless chicken breasts were $1.29!) I go through my chicken recipes.

    Friday night I make my grocery list. Saturday my husband and I shop. Then Sunday morning I write all my posts for the week, since I know what’s on the menu – type up the recipes – it probably takes me about 1-2 hours depending on how many recipes.

    Then each night I download and choose my pics that will be on the next post – and the morning I publish I’ll fill in the events from the day. It works for me because I don’t miss any family time because the mornings are my time anyway. :D

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    natalie (the sweets life) — October 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    i need to find those m&ms!

    i really enjoyed this post and it was fun to read the comments! I usually have at least a week of posts drafted at any given time. my schedule is so busy that i have to do that…so oftentimes I make something and it’s not on the blog for at least a week or two (though sometimes I play around with the order depending on certain things). As for actually writing them, sometimes I sit and stare at the scream for awhile but oftentimes as I’m making something I think about what I want to say when I post it. Unfortunately not every post inspires me to share some random anecdote or story! :)

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    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — October 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Your process sounds similar to mine. I edit photos and then, eventually upload them and arrange in the order I want. Then, I write the post and edit like 25 times. I usually do this later in the evening as well, but since my schedule’s been crazy lately, I fit it in where I can.

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    Erica — October 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    This is so colorful! I bet its delicious. My posts used to be a lot more organized. Now, with the baby. I post when and as I can! I also put the pictures in first!

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    Lauren from Lauren's Latest — October 20, 2011 at 12:52 am

    OMG! All of us are sucked into the Friends re-runs! They are addicting! I have 92 on my dvr right now. Forreals.

    As far as blogging goes, I always write the recipe out first, then edit photos, then do my writing dead last. And all this magic happens around 9pm. One blog post typically takes 1 1/2 hours start to finish. And, lucky for me the tv is downstairs, or I would be watching all the Friends episodes until 1 am. I turn some music on and get into the groove.

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    Paige @ Running Around Normal — October 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Most of the time, I sit down and start righting. I take a look at my morning/evening/day and talk about it, picking out the point that stuck out most to me and centering the post around that. Usually it’s a just sit down and write post, but I also have topics on the back burner that I’ll discuss when I don’t have anything that’s particularly discussion worthy about my day :)
    And wine helps. It does. ;)

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    Mary @ Bites and Bliss — October 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I write my “normal” posts whenever I get home from school, taking pictures in the morning, putting it together while on campus, then finally writing everything once I get home.

    As for recipe posts, I usually have those photos a day or more ahead of time..so I’ll put them together the night before and post them first thing in the morning.

    But with every post, there’s plenty of procrastinating and Facebooking just like you said! ;)

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    Kathy - Panini Happy — October 20, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I do pretty much exactly what you do – load in the pics and the recipe then stare at it all (getting distracted by email and web stuff in between) until inspiration strikes. Other times I’ll get an idea in the middle of the day and I’ll be able to write up an entire first draft right on my phone.

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    Teacher Girl — October 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I don’t have recipes so my blog tends to center around different “memes” that I participate it. I have “Ten on Tuesday”, “What I Wore Wednesday”, “Writers Workshop” on Thursday, and “30 Days of Truth” on Friday. On the rest of the days, I post when I have an idea brewing or a I just want to give an update. I tend to write out my posts, take a little breather from them, then read them over one more time before I publish.

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    Emily — October 21, 2011 at 1:19 am

    I have a habit of writing my posts during my biology lecture! I know it isn’t the best time to do it, but it works for me :)

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    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — October 21, 2011 at 6:18 am

    OH do I know the feeling of staring at the screen and getting distracted by the internet when I’m trying to write a post! It never fails.

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    Aggie — October 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    love the ‘behind the scenes’ approach of this post :)

    I’m like you where I have to put the photos in first. Can’t write without photos. I usually don’t know what I want to write about so then I put the recipe in. By then I hope to have a first sentence. I usually will know right away if the post will get done or not…if I can’t get that first sentence going then I just hit Save and come back later.

    I write my best in the mornings. My brain is fried in the evenings. But I do find the evenings a good time to just get posts ‘ready’…with photos and recipes. That doesn’t happen very often though…I’m very random when I post. :)

    Love the snack mix too!

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