Hello, Sandra’s Easy Cooking Peeps,
You landed on the page “about me, and my blog”. Grab a cup of coffee or a tea and enjoy reading all about me!
BLOG AND RECIPES:
I focus on budget-friendly recipes that are very easy for anyone to prepare. I started Sandra’s Easy Cooking in September of 2010. I wanted to show how easy it is to prepare home cooked healthy and balanced meals and still enjoy quality time with the family. I started this for fun, but a year into it, I noticed that it could be more than just a fun or a hobby. I sat and learned about anything and everything there is to know about blogging; from coding, marketing, advertising, photography, cooking, writing etc. Soon after it became my full-time job, where I dedicated the first 3 plus years working like a mad woman, 12-14 hours every single day. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. 7 days a week. It became a HUGE part of my life, my routine, plus I have really supportive and understanding family, so I’ll blog until I feel I have the strive to inspire and passion for continuing doing what makes me happy. Now I sound like I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I am ready to retire. Don’t get me wrong, I am still working every single day, doing different things connected to my blog; maintaining, updating, re-shooting old pics from years when I started blogging or re-writing content that is poorly written so many times. I absolutely love working with brands as their ambassador. I feel like I can be that voice, and to be quite frank it feels amazing. I love my job and this digital world where we can connect with people in a second. On the other note, I never worked with brands that I haven’t used before, so I give my recipe, my opinion and a voice and still stay true to myself, you know. That’s very important to me, just to stay who I am regardless.
I use social media a LOT, especially Pinterest and Instagram, every single day and I love being part of this amazing food blogging community. It’s such a supportive community, but it is a tad competitive too, so don’t get discouraged if you are at the moment not doing well as someone else! We are all unique in our own way. So, look into ways how you can change, and get your voice out and offer something even more unique.
Here on my BLOG, you can find over 600 recipes from all over the world and everything is done by me. I take pride in what I do on a daily basis. I enjoy not only Cooking and Photography part, but also creating something out of nothing and sharing with the people around the globe. I eat and cook a lot of Asian influenced meals for my family because we love the flavors, however, any cuisine is very much welcome. Generally speaking, I was never a picky eater, so food represents comfort and enjoyment to me, as well as for my children. I want them to grow up eating and experiencing different aromas, textures, and flavors, so the point of my blog, my deepest wish is that you can feel the passion and love that I have, and for you to see that my blog spread the love of food from all over the world. We don’t need to limit ourselves and only cook what we are comfortable cooking and eating, but I encourage you to experiment and see what else is out there that you might like.
Cooking is a form of art in my opinion. Some people love to follow the recipe and that’s fine, but when I don’t use a recipe for my blog I do not measure anything. All my meals come from the heart, using all my senses. The very important thing is to TASTE your food and go with your taste buds regardless what the recipe says. I expressed myself more here and here
This blog gave me the opportunity to work with great brands, agencies, and companies, and I will be forever grateful for that blessing in my life. One advice that I could give to a new blogger:
1. Stay true to yourself! Meaning: Do not promote on your blog for $10,$20 or whatever and ruin your reputation. Don’t sell yourself cheap because you are worth more than that. Stay in your niche, and work with brands that you really enjoy.
2. Don’t rush, or you will get burned. Nothing comes overnight, and don’t expect a herd of people coming to your blog right away… It takes time! Trust me.
3. If you feel stressed, or overwhelmed: Take a break, a breather, recharge and continue. Your readers, followers, we will wait for you and welcome you back with open arms.
4. Learn, learn, learn… How do you accomplish something, complete tasks on your own? Lesson learned! Let me tell you downside: NOT ONE BLOGGER will tell you everything; how much they earn, how they migrated from Blogger to WordPress, which networks they are working with, and so on… Believe in yourself and learn about everything if you wish to continue to become a successful blogger.
5. Last, but not least: Picture is worth 1000 words, as they say. Learn about photography, food styling, especially if you are a food blogger. There are so many amazing sources. Investing your time is necessary to be successful.
Photography is something that I loved my whole life. I wanted to pursue it as a career when I was much, much younger, but was discouraged and I just gave up. NEVER give up people, no matter what they tell you. If you have a burning desire, a passion, no matter what is it just go for it. I’ve continued to keep my passion alive, and I am so glad that I did. I call myself a photographer who is never done learning more to become better. I told myself even if I don’t earn a penny from it, even if it didn’t get me anywhere, I would still do it, because I love it that much. It makes me feel like I am doing something for myself, makes me calm, makes me happy, and it completes me. I take pictures of food, animals, people, nature, etc., every single day.
In 2014, I started using Canon EOS 60D with several different lenses. Also, I have been enjoying iPhone 8 plus cam very much, so lately I am using it on my Insta.
Pictures on my blog are all done mostly under natural light with photo/silver reflectors that are balancing the light and gives you a more natural picture. However, from time to time lighting equipment is necessary, especially on those dark, gloomy days. For the editing, I am pretty satisfied with Lightroom 4.
Videos on YouTube are done with SONY NEX3 and Canon EOS 60D
To a certain point…
It is only appropriate that I update about page. Lots of things changed in the last 8 years since I started this blog. I’ve changed, I’ve grown up a little, and I came to think my views about who I was and who I am, became clearer. Where to start is the question? I could write a novel about me and my life. It’s extremely difficult to narrow 38 years down to a short paragraph. I love writing, but really hate talking about myself.
Take into consideration that I am different in so many ways that you can’t imagine, so I’ll write whatever comes to my mind… Bear with me! Here we go, folks… People often ask me who am I? Since I am the most private person, with the hint of shy, I’d never talk about my past, present or predict a future. I’d go with a flow and talk about the weather… It looks like we are going to have a rainy day tomorrow, eh?! Seriously, when you get to know me, I am the easiest going person there is, but if you gonna hang out with me expect following: embarrassing moments, jokes that are only funny to me, sarcasm and accept my snort laughter.
- I had a big dream when I was a kid, on the other hand, I was always a dreamer. I lived in many places, moved many times, but in the end, I haven’t seen the world just yet with my open eyes. The first part of my life began living on a farm, more like the suburbs with small farms around, but my real recollection of the best days was in my teens when I began high school in the big city called Belgrade. Belgrade was, and still is in my heart, and it will always be there. By high school, I’ve changed 5 different schools; and it’s not ’cause I was the Army kid, or bad kid and had to change schools, ’cause I was neither – we just moved a lot for different reasons, job-related mostly. I’ve been always that new girl, dressed in baggy dark clothes and cheap converse, listening to heavy metal, smiling from the back of the classroom (if I was not sleeping) trying not to be in anyone’s way, to make it more clear for you to understand, I hated the attention, and I still do. I like to blend in like a chameleon.
- I hate to judge people, maybe because I judged before and it slapped me right in the face. All of the sudden, I was that person on the other side feeling miserable because they’d judged me by my appearance, my views and opinions and the way I do certain things, or listen to certain music or hang with a certain crowd, so now, I expect whoever is friends with me not to judge. Who am I to decide or judge what you will do with your life. I can advise you, but in the end, you’re digging your own grave if you want to go the wrong way. I never divided people based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation, religious views or the way they look. I have been always friends with anyone who has a heart and good intentions, no matter who they are. We live in a colorful world, and everyone should be happy about it. #LOVE
- I don’t like social gatherings, never felt comfortable mingling with people, especially with people that I never met before… Which in a way makes me a weirdo. I am not a complete introvert, but I am not far off and that’s ok as long as you accept yourself for who you are and be happy. I am far better now open up or start a conversation, compared to a few years back, where I just answer a question if anyone asks. I try my best, I truly am.
- It’s kind of scary to share some things out loud. My life has been a crazy ride many times, but we all have those ups and downs, it makes us who we are. We learn to fight, to survive, we move on because life has to go on. I believe that it made me stronger as a person, made me look at things differently, made me appreciate life more in general, but at the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. I do not dwell on the past any longer, I don’t look back on those that made me feel small or not worth it – a negativity is a mood killer, so I embrace positivity.
- I came to the USA 20 years ago from former Yugoslavia (Serbia), and I can only say LIFE is GOOD because it gave me a great family, it gave me amazing kids, new chapters, and adventurous journey to look forward to every single day!
- My kids are my world, I live for them and for their “better” future. I want them to be fighters, to find what they love to do and to embrace it and not what others expect them to do, especially if they don’t like it, I want from them to find their own right path, to believe in themselves, to be confident, stronger and leaders rather than followers. I believe that I’ve done a pretty good job so far, however, hubster Nebs (made up nickname) is there to give me a push when the push is needed, helping me in every way, supporting and encouraging. Funny story, I made him a huge pot of spaghetti and sauce on our first “official” date and that was it, my guy has been stuck with me for 19 years. He’s been there when I needed him the most, my rock to lean on, the best dad ever, so he is definitely a keeper.
- We have 3 kids; Aleks, Anna, and Daniel -three years apart and they are such a beautiful and unique three individuals with amazing talents for many things, and when I say many things I mean it. My boys are amazing in the art (freehand drawing), music and sports, but they like to cook, too. My girl loves to cook, especially make sweet and delicious desserts, music is a big part of her life too, and she can write a story or a poem like a pro. I really want to publish her beautifully written stories, but we’ll see.
- We also adopted a beautiful Tabby Kitty in September (2017), and we absolutely fell in love with her. In April of 2018, we decided to give a little sister to Luna. Out beautiful Chantilly-Tiffany, Nala was born 6 weeks ago, so March 2018 and Luna is now almost 10 months. This is their Instagram Account 😀 After 48 hours they were already getting along. Now, they are inseparable!
- I am a very shy person in general. Most of the time I confuse myself when I talk, but that’s only when somebody cuts me halfway into the sentence and tells me “pardon me or excuse me”, squinting their eyes, like they don’t understand. You know what I mean, right?! I have an accent, alright, and I can get self-conscious, but that doesn’t mean I can’t understand or speak, cause I have been studying ENG since 4th grade, but can’t get rid of the damn accent… So when a person doesn’t want to even attempt to understand what I’m saying, I see red and all I want to either punch them in the face or turn around and walk away. 😀
- I cannot live without music. Ever since I was little, maybe five or six years old, my radio was turned on all day, and many nights, now I carry my iPod/iPhone everywhere… Hello Spotify!!! Sounds of music from my old radio woke me up and put me to sleep. Then MTV came in my neck of the woods, and I was literally glued to the TV. I am a shower singer if you know what I mean, but if I am being honest which I am, I DO NOT have singing talent whatsoever. I sing for my soul, so who gives a shit, right?! Joke on the side (it’s not a joke, though), music is my therapy, it is healing my heart and soul, so I need that fix daily.
- I’ll take a Coffee over any drink… Although I love TEA and my peaceful 5 minutes (when kids are sleeping (finally)). I really need a soundproof office. My little boss is on the drums as I write this! I am distracted, again :/
- I love pencil drawing, especially portraits. I think I got rusty over the years since I had kids.
- I am a bookworm, and yes, I am history, philosophy, and psychology junkie.
- Favorite dishes… It’s hard to pick because I love food and pretty much open to taste anything, however, Korean and Italian cuisines are my favorite. Mix them together, and it’s like HEAVEN on earth!
- I have been cooking for 20+ years… Pretty much more than half of my life. I still stand behind that homemade meals are the best meals, and it takes you 30-40 minutes to make that magic in your kitchen.
- Favorite dessert… You bring Nutella and I’ll bring the spoons… Ahem, big scoops. But real dessert, HM! I could never ever pass on the tiramisu or creamy pie; coconut, banana etc.!:)
- Spring is my absolute favorite season, although every season brings beautiful scenery and different aromas in the air.
- I don’t talk about religion, there is no point because my views and beliefs are no one’s business.
- I was never, ever ass kisser to become somebody or to be noticed, and I’ll never become one as long as I live. If somebody like me for me, for what I do, for what I have to say and for who I am, I’ll accept it, but I’d never purposely ask for attention or lie to get it. I heard time after time “Life is sometimes unfair” -No shit! Learn to accept teacher’s pets and just move on.
- One big thing for me is that If I can do it by myself, I’ll do it, if not I will learn until I improve.
This brings us kids to the end, however, it’s never the end with me, I keep adding and deleting as I think of something else. This is quite a lot for somebody who hates talking ’bout herself, but it might answer some of your questions who I AM. I’ve been told before I am too RAW, but that’s who I am, take it or leave it.
I am a strong believer in Karma, so treat others like you’d like to be treated, ’cause karma is a bitch only if you are. Also, never let dreams chase you, instead, chase after your dream. In all seriousness, if one door closes the other one will open. Be happy, keep smiling and enjoy life… Because being unhappy is not worth it. Take care, thank you for reading and for all your support!
Please, keep in mind that I am working hard to test these recipes and to shoot my images so please ask before taking the pics from my BLOG, and of course always link back if you do take my images. I really don’t have any problems if you are using my recipes or images and posting on your blog/website BUT do add where you saw it, and do not take the watermark off! Thank you very much, I appreciate your understanding!
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