2011 the Home-Ec 101 Retrospective

Heather says:

Every year I try to do a look back over what’s happened with the site in the past 12 months and just about a year ago I said:

“If 2011 is half as fun or productive, it shall go down as a win.”

Before I even bring out the numbers, let’s make it official: Total win, hands down, amazing year.

And here are the numbers, as accurate as I can share anyhow:

  • 300 new posts which brings the total to just shy of 1900 posts.
  • 1,070k+ visits. Do you see that? Over 1 million people have seen Home-Ec 101 in 2011. This blows my mind
  • 1,778k+ pageviews Another crazy number.

That’s right around 139% growth. (And unlike most reports, I’m sharing the numbers so you have a concept of scale, but that’s a soapbox I won’t climb on right now)

So on numbers alone 2011 was better than I dared hope.

Events related to Home-Ec 101 and blogging in general:

Home-Ec 101 Skills for Everyday Living came out in late March and then, in November, on one of my best days ever, I was notified that Amazon listed it as one on Home & Garden’s Best of 2011.

In 2011 I spoke in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, NYC, LA, Nashville, Miami (ok it was Palm Beach Gardens), Atlanta, and Asheville. Many, many thanks go to Aliza Sherman and Danielle Smith for including me in part of their MOM, Incorporated book tour, they are both amazing role models and I appreciate their friendship. To those of you who knew me way back when, in college and *gasp* high school, yeah, I’m just as surprised as you.  Topics ranged from blogging how-tos and advice to how life skills are a tool for empowerment.

Ready for the 2011 rundown of the best of Home-Ec 101? (I have altered some of the titles as on a blog, it’s always a work in progress)


A reader wrote in to say: I Am Overwhelmed

Bran shared his Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts


How to Cook with Chicken Thighs

and A Lesson in Using Stainless Steel Cookware


This month we learned that bleach spots can appear from a wide variety of sources in What Causes Bleach Spots

We also talked about Emergency Preparedness after the Japanese Quake

and we can’t forget this recipe for Country Fried Steak

Shrimp quesadillas


How to Deal with Mildew in a Front Loading Washer

oh and Shrimp Quesadillas? YUM!


Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches *drool* I’ve been craving these lately and to go with that Bobbie shared her Blue Cheese Dressing, which is a perfect accompaniment.

How to Remove Gum from the Dryer

and Vera began contributing posts with How to be a Fabulous Knitter / Crocheter – Introduction


I was apparently on a big grilling kick:


I got to do my first cooking event with Cooking With the Troops and my life would never be the same.

Chipotle Mayonnaise (I really should have eaten before writing this post)


A reader wrote in to say she was Feeling Desperate (and for those who didn’t see the updates, she is doing much better, hurray for happy endings!)

How to Soak Clothes with a Front Loading Washer


How to Scrub a Tile Floor (why can’t I remember writing this, I obviously did) and How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink, Naturally



I also had the very fun opportunity to travel to Chicago and attend Butterball’s Turkey University.

Can I Substitute Chicken for Fish in a Recipe (yep)

Chicken Gumbo


I had an amazing opportunity to visit NYC with CWtT and be part of the NASDAQ Veteran’s Day Event.  (I’m sure some of you are more than tired of hearing me talk about it)

Bobbie shared her recipe for Homemade Substitute for Condensed Cream of Something Soup

And can I just say Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Cornbread Dressing?

And that brings us to December:

A reader felt she was Taken for Granted and wanted advice on getting teens to help around the house.

I also decided to have a little fun and dust off the Sunday Confessional.

And as we head into the new year, why not make a pot of Sue Polinsky’s No Tomato Chili, you won’t regret it.

Thank you all for being a part of Home-Ec 101 in 2011. Thank you for your emails, phone calls, and random texts of support and encouragement. I cannot wait to see what is in store for 2012. Hang on, I think it’s going to be fun!

Happy New Year to all of you!


  1. JoLynneS on January 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    You have had an AMAZING year! So excited to see what 2012 has for you. 🙂

  2. VeraThomasHannaford on December 31, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Thanks. I do plan to post some knitting and crocheting videos next year. I’ll start with some of the basics–casting on, knitting, purling, casting off. Then on to shaping, increasing, decreasing, short rows, color work, etc… Is there anything in particular that you’d like to see?

  3. VeraThomasHannaford on December 31, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Congrats on a great year for Home Ec 101, and thanks for allowing me to prattle on about knitting and crocheting from time to time.

    • HeatherSolos on December 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

      @VeraThomasHannaford I love having you as part of Home-Ec 101 and I know other people appreciate the change of pace. Prattle on any time 🙂

  4. adventuroo on December 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Totally amazing year. So happy for you!

    • HeatherSolos on December 31, 2011 at 8:55 am

      @adventuroo@JaniceCroze Thank you. I love that I have created a job that I truly love and that is so rewarding.

  5. JaniceCroze on December 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    What a YEAR! Wow! So thrilled for you friend. You deserve all your success! 🙂

    • HeatherSolos on January 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Thanks, @JaniceCroze I’m so glad I got to spend some time with you this year. I’ll see you soon, I’m sure.

  6. carnellm on December 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Your website make me hungry….

    • HeatherSolos on December 31, 2011 at 8:55 am

      @carnellm You know, that’s kind of the point, right?

      • carnellm on December 31, 2011 at 9:26 am

        @HeatherSolos Yes, but… well, it should be hooked to a delivery service so that I can press a button and have tasty morsels delivered directly to my door.

        • HeatherSolos on December 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

          @carnellm I will get right on that. . .

  7. Bobbie Laughman on December 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve loved being part of Home Ec 101 this year, and I hope I get to meet you in person some day!

    • HeatherSolos on December 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      @Bobbie Laughman It will happen even if I have to visit PA just for that reason.

  8. pguyton on December 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Auld Lang Syne my friend! 🙂 hoping it’s just the start for you! on to 2012! lets kick this years butt! 🙂

  9. pguyton on December 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Auld Lang Syne my friend! 🙂 hoping it’s just the start for you! on to 2012! lets kick this years butt! 🙂

  10. LauraCatherine on December 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Congrats on an exceptional year! I have been a follower for several years and have really enjoyed watching your success!

  11. Lou Mello on December 30, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Amazing year and fun seeing you on G+ and FB, now if you could just escape from +Michael Carnell and the Cyber Ninja escapades, all would be perfect. Bwaaa Haaaa Haa.

    • HeatherSolos on December 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

      @Lou Mellocarnellm is just a cross I have to bear.

      • carnellm on December 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

        @HeatherSolos@Lou Mello Why is everyone always picking on me? What did I do to deserve such ill treatment. 🙁

        • HeatherSolos on December 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

          @carnellm@Lou Mello oh look at you playing all innocent. No one believes you for a second, my dear.

        • carnellm on December 31, 2011 at 9:25 am

          @HeatherSolos@Lou Mello But I am innocent! I really am. And bashful too.

  12. 5minutesformom on December 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Wow. You really did have an amazing year! ~Sue

    • HeatherSolos on January 1, 2012 at 8:21 am

      @5minutesformom some parts of this year were absolutely surreal. Thank you, I wish you and @JaniceCroze all the best in 2012

  13. Nikki_S on December 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Heather I said this on Facebook but it bears repeating; I loved meeting you and hearing you speak in Asheville. I learned so much there and you were a big part of it. Thank you for coming out with a book that a non-domestic gal like myself can read. I’ve bought other Home-Ec style books and by far yours is the best! I can’t wait to see what comes for you in 2012! I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you again 🙂

    • HeatherSolos on December 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

      @Nikki_S I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you. Don’t worry, I’ll be in Charlotte at Type-A, I’m the speaker coordinator again this year. You don’t think kelby hartson carr would let me quit, do you?

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