What I’ve been up to.

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It’s been almost exactly one year since I wrote my last blog post – the one where I essentially said goodbye to this blog.

And up until very recently I haven’t given much thought to the future of Off The Eaten Path. Like, at all. I wasn’t sure if (or when) I would return to writing in this space, and I was 100% at peace with that decision. I knew that if I wanted to come back to this blog, it was here.

And…well…here I am. Hi! 🙂

Since I’ve last written here, I’ve been up to a lot. A lot. Let’s catch up, shall we?

I’ve done quite a bit of travelling. To Puerto Rico with my mom and sister:

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To Las Vegas with friends and family:

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And to Miami and Niagara Falls with Dan:

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And speaking of Dan…we’re engaged! We’re getting married this fall and I’m excited beyond words!! 🙂

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Other things I’ve been up to? I’ve been (re)learning how to play chess:

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Catching Pokémon:

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Going to a few Cardinals games:

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Running in a few local races around St. Louis:

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Studying Spanish like crazy:

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Exploring the great outdoors with the sweetest cat on the planet:

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Spending lots of quality time with family and friends:

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And of course – eating so. much. FOOD!

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I’ve definitely been keeping quite busy. 🙂

So why am I bringing the blog back? Well, to be honest – I really miss it! I was at a party a few weeks ago with my good friend Charles, and he introduced me as “Stephanie – the retired food blogger.” Of course, that perked up a few ears, and I proceeded to spend most of the night chatting about my former hobby of food blogging. And you know what? All of that talk made me really miss the blog.

I miss the connections I made while blogging: with other food bloggers, and with readers — through Facebook, Twitter, and just being out and about. I miss going to foodie events. I miss having my finger on the pulse of the local food scene. I miss writing. And yes – I even miss the weird stares I received when I pulled out my DSLR and snapped a zillion pictures of my food!

Back when I wrote my goodbye post last year, I knew that if I ever came back to blogging, it would be completely on my terms. What does that mean? Well – I’m going back to my roots with this food blog. I started this blog seven (!!) years ago as a way for me to document my food experiences in St. Louis. I did it completely for myself.

And as the years went by and my blog grew larger and larger, I lost a lot of that. I stopped writing for myself, instead choosing to write and cater my posts to a specific audience. Instead of publishing blog posts when I had the time, I made myself stick to a rigid schedule of posting every single Friday. A lot of the time, that meant that I was up until the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, scrambling to get something – anything – out there for Friday morning.

I wrote sponsored posts. I went to certain restaurants I wouldn’t normally go to – not because I really wanted to try them, but because that’s what the readers wanted. I looked at (and cared about!) my Google analytics. And my biggest mistake? I agreed to write a book, something I was never passionate about, and something I wasn’t willing to make the time for.

This time around? I’m not doing any of those things. Of course, I love and appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my (sometimes lengthy, often rambling) blog posts! That will never change. But I can’t – and won’t – promise to stick to any sort of regular uploading schedule. Maybe I’ll write one blog post a week. Maybe I’ll just write a few a month. And perhaps there will be a rare occasion where I go crazy and post 3 or 4 reviews in one week! I probably won’t write many (if any) sponsored posts, and if a new restaurant doesn’t excite me, I’m not going to force myself to go just for the sake of writing new content.

Whatever happens, you can be sure I will update Facebook and Twitter each time I hit that publish button. 😉

So there you have it. I’m back – and I’m super excited about it! And I hope you are, too. 🙂

See you next time!

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