Five years. Can you believe it? I can’t. Five years and two weeks ago, Home-Ec101.com was nothing more than a little pipe dream, a what if we -you do remember Ivy, right?- started a site where we shared all the information we wish we had learned about running a home and cooking, without all the saccharine platitudes, convenience food short cuts, or a heavy focus on coupons / deals. Those things all work well for other sites, but that was never the goal of Home Ec 101. I want to teach adults -and those who swear they are just pretending- the life skills that make life a little easier, a little more affordable, and a little more enjoyable.
Five years and I am nowhere near done. There are still cooking courses I want to create, recipes to discover and share, reader questions to answer, and so many more people to meet.
If I weren’t on an airplane, I’d visit the wayback machine and show you how far the site has come from my first, clumsy and rather pathetic attempts at creating a site design. Some of my first attempts at food photography are on here as well and while I’m certainly no Helene of Tartlette, I have improved; funny how practice will do that.
I wish I could tell you how good this site has been for me both professionally and personally. I wish I could show you how terrified I was of people and how this job has forced me to come out of my shell, yes I retreat into it at home, but that is the nature of an introvert.
I have gotten over my fear of public speaking. I now volunteer to speak publicly and teach people the ins and outs of writing for the web, how WordPress works (that’s the program that runs this site), how life skills are a tool of empowerment, in addition to home ec related topics. I get to work with an amazing non-profit, Cooking With the Troops and while we are doing good things, giving back to those whom we can never repay, I am having a ball. All of this means that the late nights, the early mornings, and all of the headaches have been worth it. As I write this I am on a plane flying to San Francisco to work with Method, yes the fabulous, environmentally friendly soap company. Not only that, but I’ve been working on a super-secret project the last few weeks and if you’re a fan of Pinterest you are going to wet your pants after it is unveiled this weekend. (Don’t worry, you’re in the right place to learn how to clean up after your little accident.) I am currently on cloud 9 (circling Dulles airport, no less) and I want to share that with you.
Did you know that 3 million people have visited Home Ec? We’re up to 180,000 people a month looking at well over 200,000 pages and growing, always growing. Almost as many people subscribe to Home Ec 101 as live in my town. This is because of you. Every single time you comment you create a feeling of community, when you share a post on Twitter or Facebook or send an email to a friend saying, Hey, you know, Heather might be able to help you out, you are helping this site grow and for that, I can’t thank you enough. It has been an amazing journey watching this site grow, in its own little weird corner of the internet, not quite parenting blog, not quite home keeping blog, not quite life hacking, Home Ec 101 is what it is and you help give it that uniqueness. Thank you.
So how do I celebrate five years of hard work on Home Ec 101? Well that’s easy, I give away a few of my favorite things. I also want to make it very clear that these things have not been provided by a sponsor. I’ve been saving up to give a little back. (I hope that doesn’t sound too self-congratulatory, but sometimes, I do need to acknowledge it)
Today I’m hosting a giveaway of: one 10 piece set of Emerilware Cookware -these are the stainless pans you’ve seen in my posts for the last 5 years, I’ve been using my set for 8 and it’s perfectly safe for those of you with flat top stoves, 2 copies of Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living, and just for giggles a can of Bar Keepers Friend (you saw that coming, right?).
To enter, leave a comment.
Tell me something, anything, maybe how Home Ec 101 has affected your life, maybe you link to your favorite Home Ec 101 post (there are almost 2000, surely something appealed to you), or if that’s too hard just share your favorite clean (har har) joke.
One comment per person, no purchase necessary, void where prohibited and limited to residents of the United States. I love all of you, but the shipping would blow my budget. This contest will end on Tuesday March 6, 2012 at 9am Eastern. The winner will be announced by 10.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, here’s to the future, wherever it takes us.