first cherries, blog thoughts

July 1, 2009 |  Category:   life

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Picked up some fresh cherries at the little farmers market across the street from our place. I’m glad that Claudine likes them, but I’m not particularly fond of how she eats them – taking small bites on one side till she gets to the pit, then abandoning them as she goes for another. So I get to eat half eaten cherries. I think if I had to rely on eating what the kids leave on their plates at each meal, I’d be fine. This is why I don’t really eat breakfast anymore – someone is bound to leave food behind (usually C, no surprise).

I’ve been thinking about how this blog has evolved over the past year. It stands on its own and is less about supporting or marketing the business (and anyway, how boring or annoying would it be to read about the mundane details of packaging cookies all the time?). I would love it if we still kept up with posting recipes, but that’s simply not possible with the workload we have these days, which is really disappointing since the initial plan for the blog was to document our meals as much as possible. So what has the blog become? I’m not completely sure other than a space to post photographs. Look, I’m no writer and I’m an amateur photographer at best, but what I do know is that I have gotten to know a lot of people I have never met, which is both odd and cool, and from what I’m hearing, there are many of you who can relate to whatever it is I’m rambling about. Maybe you too have started a business, or you’re also working parents seeking the infamously elusive family/work balance, or you’re also raising biracial children, or maybe you’re missing NYC and this blog makes you homesick. Whatever it is, I didn’t think that when we started this blog a little over a year ago, that I would be making so many little relationships. My only hesitation at times is that I get a bit self conscious that this whole thing is one narcissistic exercise (and I’ve expressed this before), but I suppose most blogs are. So why do we blog? What is this all about anyway?

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  • carina July 2, 2009 at 12:29 am

    for someone who isnt a writer, and an amateur photographer your doing a fanastic job!
    I love your blog 🙂

  • kate July 2, 2009 at 12:45 am

    it’s funny because i am about to start up a blog and have been asking myself all those same questions and i love your blog and i read a LOT of blogs but your honesty really works. i am sure you get days where you freak out but i have days where i freak out that my kids are on facebook and i guess the internet is our new world now so we just have to embrace it. but you really do a fantastic job keep it up

  • Lani July 2, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I can’t even hold a candle to your blog…it’s beautiful and quite readable. I look forward to it every day. I became interested in blogging because of you and found a lot more I liked, too, so began one myself, not being shy about writing. Fell flat…sheesh. I hate that I can’t tell if anyone’s reading it or not. Finally I put up a “gone fishing” sign…will need a new kind of energy to write into the void ever again. So good on you for keeping it up. As for what is it all about? Connecting. Or hoping to connect. Isn’t that what we’re all doing all the time?

  • hallie July 2, 2009 at 12:52 am

    your blog is one of the first that i followed regularly. i love reading about your growing business and the highs and lows of being a parent in NYC. it makes me smile. thanks for being so open and honest…and my mom loved her mother’s day gift box of whimsy and spice delights. cheers!

  • Kitty July 2, 2009 at 1:09 am

    I love your blog, too!

  • Brenda July 2, 2009 at 1:24 am

    I think it takes a special kind of courage to be open and honest on cyberspace – and that’s exactly what makes a great, not just good, blog! I love watching the girls grow up. Your photos are wonderful. It’s so reassuring to hear I’m not the only one struggling with philosophy and issues around the indie business. And if I ever make it to NYC, let alone Brooklyn, I hope I can visit!!! xo

  • amber of theambershow.net July 2, 2009 at 1:34 am

    I blog because I want to have a record of my own path through life. I’d journal, but it’s so much fun to hear back from people about what you have to say.

    I like your blog especially BECAUSE you share so much of your life and your kids. It’s interesting. Magazines about celebs jet-setting or mega-shopping is boring; reading about mini-vacations and school projects is much more fun for me.

    Also, you are a pretty good writer and photographer. You make it fun to read!

    Also also! I’m interested in hearing about anything you have to say about raising bi-racial children here. I’m black and white myself, and plan on making babies with a Jew and raising them in Brooklyn.

  • veronica July 2, 2009 at 4:54 am

    wow, you seemed to have articulated the exact same thoughts that run through my mind at times. sometimes i wonder why i blog, but at the same time i can’t seem to stop. reading blogs is so addictive because it’s like finding a stranger’s open diary on a bus, and them telling you to go ahead and read it. but then also we only blog what we want the world to know right? i guess you could call me a fair weather blogger! anyway, as always an interesting read – thanks for letting us share.

  • Marieh July 2, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Dear Jenna: I love it! Wouldn’t miss it! I go on every day – even now when I am in Scotland for a visit. Will be back in Washington for the family Picnic though and sure hope you are there as well. Keep up the good work.

  • Nadia P July 2, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I have to agree with Veronica and most of the other comments here. I know with my personal blog, I’ve gone through so much in just the last year – from trying to use it to voice professional opinions and thoughts on social media and search advertising, to what it’s become now… just a way to put something out into the Wild West that is the Internet and to allow a connection to happen with friends, family and strangers that may not have happened otherwise.

    Keep up with your blog for as long as it feels right. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to. 🙂

  • selkie July 2, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I love your blog, and check in nearly daily. Why? Because I am a middle aged mom of two (now grown) biracial kids and like hearing about others thoughts on that? Because I love reading about the city as I live in a fairly rural spot on the coast (having left a city after 30 years)? Because I too have a business that struggles and evolves? All of that. You are fresh and honest and revealing and true. Thanks.

  • a biracial mom reader July 2, 2009 at 8:07 am

    J, you are a good writer!! Your narrative voice draws an audience because it’s funny and honest and open and hits the right note. I like the blogging community because i can’t get out much (at home w/ 2 tots), so this is an easy way to access peers in my areas of interest. And blogging is cool because it is not subject to editorial limitations. Professional publishing/editing is subject to censorship for marketability. The result is the fakey world of media, where it’s always the same old thing. And, storytelling is another defining component of humanity, like music, like art. And biography/autobiography is popular category. But the catch is, for creative people who produce work for a public audience, adjusting to being a public figure. Write on! We need to read what you want to write!

  • mina July 2, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Clean, crisp, honest, true. Every blog has a niche and this is yours. It’s hard to find transparency anywhere these days, hence we are drawn to you. You get at the core of something I believe. We all have fascinating stories to tell, and we’re all interesting people. What you might mistake as narcicissm is really a celebration of the human spirit. Bravo, Jenna!

  • Sasha July 2, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Jenna,

    I come and visit your blog nearly everyday. I really enjoy your writing and perspective. I love seeing the pictures of your beautiful children and the creations from your business. I originally came to your blog to look at your products, but I really love what it has evolved into. Reading your post today I was afraid you were going to stop blogging. With that said, thank you for taking the time to blog.

  • alli michelle July 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I like what you are saying here. I just found your blog yesterday, but what drew me back were all of the photos that seemed like a glimpse into someone’s story. Glancing over your posts, I noticed, like everyone else, how honest you are in your approach to blogging. I look forward to reading your blog – and it’s always a bonus when the blogger lives somewhere cool like NYC.

  • Tumus July 2, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I think I like this blog just because it’s real. You’re right, reading/blogging about the business part would get SO boring. My blog is more about me and my life with my ‘business’ thrown in here and there.
    It’s makes you more human, it’s easier to relate to and pretty swanky.

  • joy July 2, 2009 at 10:08 am

    love LOVE your blog and the inspiration it brings. I recently contacted Nita of youreyeshere.com. Sending many thanks to you for blogging about her. I was going to email you to let you know but I might as well leave the comment here. Like you she is so helpful and such a great person. I can’t wait to work with her on my website. Also you bring such insight to my life. Freaking out about starting a family in my thirties, bi-racial kids (hopefully they will be as cute as yours), starting a business I can really love, and so much more. It’s nice to know that you’re not alone and that with hard work and no sleep you can truly make it. Congrats as well on Martha Stewart Weddings! You ROCK!!!

  • naomi July 2, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I love reading your blog. It’s my daily fix:) Your photos and writing are inspiring and beautiful.

  • Lecia/A Day that is Dessert July 2, 2009 at 10:57 am

    We’ve just started to enjoy cherries too and I meant to photograph them yesterday – too busy 🙂

    I like reading personal blogs because I think it’s interesting/thought-provoking/inspiring to have a glimpse of another’s life and thoughts. Sometimes because of resonance with my own life, sometimes just because.

    In terms of my own blog, in many ways my readers are as different as can be from me and from each other, as I know from comments and emails and blog links. I blog mostly about my family. Some of my readers have never been parents, some are grandparents. What brings them to my site may be defined very differently for each of them and may be a number of things. But I think it has something do with common goals of finding a little bit of beauty in our days, adding a little more mindfulness to our lives, and perhaps giving a little more respect to the little ones in our lives.

    And the photography? Same thing. Personal photography has a draw different than that of national geographic, full of professional photography (which I also read, for different reasons).

  • jennifer July 2, 2009 at 11:38 am

    you’re candid. just feels real, which is hard to find when you are staring at a machine all day. and you have a great eye. it’s nice to see the world through it.

  • llillian July 2, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I have been reading your blog since last summer, but I haven’t commented yet. I found your blog as I was nearing the end of two years of fertility treatments. your blog, with its wonderful pictures of your adorable daughters, gave me something to look forward to. when the treatments finally worked I continued to visit regularly. of all of the blogs I looked at, yours is the one that I enjoy the most and continue to visit even now that the visits come in between diaper changes and bottles.

    I was drawn by your openness and honesty and the balance (precarious though it may seem to you at times) between the various parts of your life. although I don’t know you, and I live far enough away to assure you that I’ll never be running into you and the girls on the streets of brooklyn, you are the kind of mother I like to think that I am becoming–and I don’t mean that as sappily as it might come across. you clearly love your daughters, but unlike a lot of other blogs out there, you don’t get cutesy and sentimental about them. you respect them and acknowledge them as individuals with their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses. you still have your own life, interests, and goals.

    and, if nothing else, I would still come to drool over your pictures oft the food.

  • Joy July 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I love reading your blog, too. The way you write about life is such a refreshing approach (we write differently than we converse–I much prefer reading someone’s writing.) I also love the photos of your girls. I keep thinking about how much parenting has changed from the 70s (I’m about the same age as you.) When I was a kid, cameras were brought out at Christmas, birthday parties, and maybe an occasional trip to the zoo. Film/processing was expensive, so photos were carefully posed. There were no candids. I like seeing your girls just being themselves, and imagining the life behind the photos. Also, I love your sense of design!

  • Manya July 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    A client of mine for whom I baked a cake introduced me to your blog. She’s also a graphic designer. Ever since she gave me your address I’ve been hooked! Although I live in Greece I feel that I’m very close to you, and the fact that every now and then I see pictures of my New York, it’s my glass of wine at the end of the day! I have written to you before and have mentioned that I’m also a pastry chef, so there’s another reason for checking up on your blog. I love it and please whenever you’re having “a day” think that there are so many of us who are supporting you and waiting to read your news.

  • erinn July 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I go through the same thing. In person, I am not super private but the internet is a weird and wondrous thing. I had a miscarriage in early may and shared that on my blog, but not after going back and forth for weeks whether or not I should. Of course my regular readers were so sweet. But the thing that got me the most was that I a got a ton of email from other women who had miscarriages and were so thankful that I had talked about it openly, especially about being jealous of a pregnant friend.

    When it comes down to it I think we are all just looking for other people in life whether it be in person or via the internet who we feel are ‘like’ us. And we are looking for honesty and sincerity. Which is why you have such a nice following of people.

  • mon ami July 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for opening up and saying what so many blog writers and readers think about and to challenge us to think more about this community and connections we make and why we do so. And thank you for being brave and using this space to share even more about yourself.

    I think your blog is beautiful and lovely both to look at and read. And I can’t stop drooling over your creations!

    Please know that you are appreciated (just look at these responses) and are touching so many people with your inspiring work and family life.

    xo

  • Anthony July 2, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Jenna,

    I think the reason people blog is to communicate ideas/thoughts/passions to other people. I think almost every form of communication is narcisistic to some degree. But what is wrong with that? I think it is a good balance to evaluate if you are being self indulgent to keep your self grounded. If you think about it all forms of art and work are a communication of yourself. A painter paints what is inside him/her, a reporter funnels things they see through their minds and a story emerges, a baker incorporates their opinions of a taste into their dessert. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Every action you make is the product of yourself. You can not control anyone but yourself. I think the personal should be embraced instead of pretending that you can be fully objective in your work, or stand apart from it.

    One final note (sorry for the long comment). I think that what elevates blogging above traditional forms of personal communication(which should not be ignored or forgotten) is that blogging allows you to communicate your ideas to someone else in a more textured way. You can show the tone of a thought by posting a picture, a song, a color. You can give insight that you might not be able to give through a conversation. All and all keep postin!

  • leslie July 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Hi there!
    I discovered your blog a couple of months ago (via etsy, I think). And this is such a refreshing place to visit. Your photos are gorgeous and frankly, I’m just intrigued by NYC life (my husband and I took our three little ones there last summer…it was so much fun!). It’s also nice reading about other biracial families (my kids are multi, multi racial!).

    I’m about to relaunch my blog (after my third child was born, it was really difficult to keep up with my original one). I’m excited to start again to rekindle my online friendships. I’ve met so many wonderful friends who have similar interests as me.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  • Stella July 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I think it is what you want it to be. . . sure, blogging can definitely be narcissistic as if we really just wanted to document, we could just keep it private. But perhaps you also want to contribute? You want feedback? You want to be a part of these communities that read or offer feedback. You can get a lot of different things from your blog, just depending on what you’re looking for and how you steer it.

    Also, while you’re not using the blog as “just marketing,” I would say it is a very effective marketing tool. I like to buy from you and spread the word and support Whimsy & Spice as you’re real people, give insight, provide a story and faces behind a brand name, and offer something back to me (sharing experiences, etc.) and the universe. Thank you. 🙂

  • Sandy July 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I appreciate your sharing your experiences. I love your blog for your photos mainly, so artistic and of course, your daughters are adorable. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kathy July 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I love your blog. It is wonderful of you to share and the photos are great too. Thanks!

  • Beth July 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I love this blog, it’s refreshing to read.

  • Sheila July 2, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    It’s interesting that you write this because I only recently stumbled upon your blog a week or two ago.
    I have started a food & design blog in April and I was having an identity crisis. I would go on and on to my boyfriend about what direction I was going in and wondered if I was being completely random. Then I saw your site and I instantly felt better because there was a blog I could relate too. More importantly, yours look so accomplished and makes complete sense even though it’s about many topics. It really encouraged me and it boosted my confidence that we can write about whatever we want.
    I’ve been enjoying your blog since!

  • mindy July 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Okay, Thank you for writing your blog!!! I discovered it by chance and feel as though I know you all. I am really impressed by your company (I own a small dessert company too, and I hope you don’t mind if I ask some questions). You both seem to have a good handle on the food biz and how to run things. I am just starting (and learning), and I am SO MUCH OLDER!!! I’ve asked before, but I will ask again, who do you order your boxes from? (Nashville Wraps??) I like their heft better than the ones I am using. Thanks (again) for you reply.

  • Jenna July 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    thank you guys. Some really good stuff here on why we blog. And now I have a bunch of new blogs to read too.

  • Carla July 2, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I always ask that question & came across this post at one of my favorite blogs the other day http://www.designmom.com/2009/06/once-upon-time-by-guest-mom-stacy.html It clicked with me.

    I love your blog. I have been a reader almost from the start & I’ve enjoyed seeing your business grow but also getting to “know” you. I read blogs to surround myself w/what I would like to see in my own life & to discover folks with whom I identify. Your blog represents both of those =)

  • Fiona July 3, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Ditto the many compliments above.

    And, in case I failed to do so: thank you. The cookies and whatnot that I sent at Christmas were received with delight and enjoyed by all. I will definitely order again. It’s great to watch a small business get off the ground and know that it has an excellent product.

  • Claudia July 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I love your blog and I was afraid when I read it today. I thought that you would stop blogging. Thanks God that you won´t! 😉 Pls, keep blogging and taking these beautiful pictures. I don´t know NYC yet, but I already identify myself with the city through your posts and photos.

  • ChantaleP July 3, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Hey J! I ditto everyone above! Love this blog and couldn’t care less what the theme is. It’s real, it’s honest. And as much as I love all my caucasian friends and family, I like to hear about other asians with biracial kids and the experiences they have. So thanks for that! Besides, all the gorgeous pics & occasional recipes are a bonus. Keep plugging along..

  • clouds July 3, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    i do so love your blog, and in fact, i’ve loved it more since it has evolved. it has been a privilege to read about your life. i love your pictures – pls don’t ever stop!!!

  • jennifer d July 3, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I’m chiming in to let you know how much I appreciate your blog. It’s kinda cool to know the going-ons of your start up business and the behind the scenes of your family life. Why? I guess because I’ve been a customer of W&S for the last couple years and I like that I’m supporting a family owned business. Besides, your treats ROCK! It’s been great to spoil the special folks in my life with your gift boxes. Thank you very much for all the care you put into sending them. You & Mark deserve every bit of good fortune and I look forward to buying more treats!

  • celine July 3, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    hmmm… i’m not a foodie, not asian, not a new yorker, not starting a business, but i’ve got 2 girls, ages 2 and 5, so I really relate to much of what you write about. i can see why blogging might feel narcissistic, but in a lot of ways it’s the opposite of that – it’s really generous. i live in an area where i don’t meet many people i have anything in common with, and it is so reassuring for me to know other people are having the same experiences. and i love the photos of your girls. they are beautiful.

  • Lee July 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I look forward to every post you write and I think part of your blogs success is that it doesn’t stick to one genre.

  • cicilia July 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    i miss nyc.

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