The Blogging World

Three major essays for three separate classes, three articles for my school’s newspaper, tons of emails and more writings in preparation for my upcoming mid-term later…I just want to kick back and relax. So what do I do? I hitch up my Macbook and write a blog post.

This is the ultimate sign: I have to be born to be a writer. Writing is in my bones. When I’m happy, I write. When I’m angry, I write. When I’m sad, I write. I write for school, I write for the Daily, I write for personal emails, and I write for this blog. But I have to admit, writing for this blog is the highest form of entertainment for me.

That said, being a blogger comes with tons of responsibilities, both consciously and unconsciously. Here’s my personal list of blogger responsibilities:

Blogger’s Code of Responsibilities

Keeping my blog updated: this is critical for any blog. You’ve got readers, and you don’t want to spring them with a random post after two months of hiatus. I no longer post daily, but I try to at least post once every two days. That may even be too much for some of you, but you can always work up a regular schedule, and stick to it.
Responding to readers: Sometimes, readers may ask questions, or share something really personal. I don’t want to leave them hanging and disappointed. Obviously I don’t have to respond to every comment that says something simple like “Yummy!�? But if they ask specific questions, I answer back in the form of email. I don’t respond in my comment page, though, as not all readers return back to look for it.
Being sensitive to readers: Okay, I admit I may have a bit of problem here. I am super-opinionated, and I have a hard time holding back some of my views. Of course this is my blog and I can say whatever I want, but I still have the moral responsibility that people are actually going to read what I say and be affected by it. If the majority of my audience is eating disordered, I’m not going to put anything potentially triggering on my blog. Likewise, even though I’m a devout Christian, I’m not going to scream out, “You’re going to hell, you heathen!�? when I talk about my faith.
Commenting back: This is kind of ambiguous. I personally feel a bit guilty if I don’t at least “return the favor�? of commenting back to those who has blogs. Not to say I feel pressured to read your blogs – if I’m a regular commenter, it’s because I like you— but I think it is at least common courtesy to check out the commenter’s blog once.
Being wise with commenting: This actually pertains to everyone— both the readers and the bloggers. I added this because a large chunk of food bloggers have/had an eating disorder, and this blog started as an eating disorder recovery blog as well. I noticed that sometimes, when a blogger with history of ED starts to slip, nobody says anything.

For example, signs of obsessive exercise or restriction. Eating salads and yogurts for most meals? That’s not normal, nor is it healthy. I’m not saying you should condemn that person, or embarrass that person by pointing it out loud on the comment page. But commenting something like, “Wow, you eat so healthy, good job�?? Not cool. You don’t even have to say anything. You can simply stop commenting, and the blogger may take notice. Or, depending on the circumstance and your relationship with that person, you can send a sincere email with a nice reminder.

I like to think of bloggers as a community. We may not know each other personally, but we do have a relationship, and we shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to someone who is clearly in need of support or encouragement, or criticize and judge each other.
Being truthful in product reviews: Now, this is probably one of the best perks of being a blogger…the free swag! Don’t go crazy and start accepting any random samples, though. If you’re a health blogger, obviously you don’t want to be reviewing Kraft’s fat-free cheese. Also, don’t feel pressured to say a good word just to be nice. There is no Ms. Nice in reviews. There is only Ms. Trust. You’ve got to be true to your readers, because trust, once lost, is hard to gain back.

And now, it’s time for my own product review! I haven’t done many of these, but I’ve been receiving some sweet packages lately so I’ve been toiling away, munching on some yummy eats just to do a review for you guys…ah, the pains I go through for my readers! 😉

I tried them plain at first, just to see how they stand up to the other breads I’ve tried— I liked it! They’re quite substantial, none of that fluffy business, and I love how they have that slight sour aroma…just a bit of that good ol’ artisan sourdough taste. Yum!

I wish they had a bit more chew and density to them, though, but I guess these were made to be used as sandwich bread, not to eat plain. So I blasted out my George Foreman for some sweet-ass grilled sammies:

Melon, Brie, and Smoked Ham Grilled Sandwiches

2 slices Nature’s Pride 12-Grain bread
dijon mustard
thin slices of melon
4 slices of smoked ham
thick slices of brie
thin slices of red onion

Slather one side of each bread with dijon mustard. Pile in all the other ingredients and snap them shut between the bread. Grill in the hot arms of Mr. GF.
Here’s where my “strong opinion�? budges in: This sandwich is the freaking bomb!! Heavenly, mind-blowing combination!
Don’t be afraid of the melon— it’s good stuff hot with melted, creamy brie!
=”http://burpandslurp.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/img_0756.jpg”>IMG_0756 If I had prosciutto, I would have used that, but you know with my pitiful budget and all…I had to make do with good ol’ 50%-off deli ham.
IMG_0754 Come on, I know you want a bite, don’t ya?
IMG_0755 Now, stop moaning and wake yourself up for another review: Chobani Greek Yogurt.
IMG_0563 I think by now all of you already know what Chobani is, and for good reason, because this stuff is rather awesome. I have to be honest— I was rather skeptical of this brand, because it is cheaper than its competitors.
IMG_0564 But I enjoyed them tremendously, even though I don’t really like flavored yogurt— they actually stayed creamy, without being overly artificially-flavored or sweet. Just perfect!
IMG_0661 My favorite was blueberry, pineapple, and of course good ol’ plain. I didn’t like the Pomegranate much, though. Something about that gritty seeds.
IMG_0663 See how thick it is?
IMG_0664 And the little pineapple chunks…
IMG_0667 Perfect light snack!

And here’s yet another review: Nature’s Path!
IMG_0772 (From left) Crunchy Maple Sunrise cereal, Pumpkin Flaxplus Granola, Optimum Strawberry & Yogurt cereal
IMG_0773 Optimum energy bar (blueberry, flax & soy) and HempPlus Raisin granola bars

First up, the Optimum energy bar:
IMG_0775 I’m not a big fan of bars in general, but these weren’t bad. They tasted a bit like blueberry coffeecake, but a very, very, very healthy cake, if you know what I mean. I liked them okay, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy them.
IMG_0776 Next, HempPlus Raisin granola bar:
IMG_0777 Pretty sweet! Chewy, sticky, with bits of crunch. Tastewise, I wouldn’t say they’re much different from your regular Quaker granola bar…but nutrition-wise, they’re stellar with the added omega-3 fats.
IMG_0778 IMG_0779
Now that the less-enthusiastic review are out of the way, I feel ready to rave about the next three…

Crunchy Maple Sunrise cereal:
IMG_0782This is amazing!!! Holy-freaking yummilicious!Tons of different textures, not too sweet, lovely maple flavor…I think I’m addicted, because I could not stop munching and crunching on these! Oh noooooo!! What about my budget?!
IMG_0785 They were awesome in my Chobani though.

Pumpkin Flaxplus Granola
IMG_0781 These are perfect. They’re already gone. The whole bag, in my tummy, now thoroughly digested. Enough said.

Optimum Strawberry & Yogurt cereal:
IMG_0783 I’m trying to restrain myself away from this, because I want my roommate to taste this— she’ll kiss her Special K goodbye, because this is incomparably good.
IMG_0784 I did dig through and just had to fish out the crunchy yogurt bites…urgh, bad habit. Stop it, stop it!

I can’t believe I used to be so cold towards cereal. Now I dread the day I reach my last handful of these wonderful cereal.

Well, that’s all, folks. Tomorrow I’ve got another blogger meeting planned…stay tuned! 🙂

Question of the day: What do you think of my Blogger’s Code of Responsibilities? Is there anything you disagree on, or want to add on? Please share! I’m still a newbie, so I’m still learning!