Glancing Back, but Looking Forward, Home-Ec 101 2013 in Review

Heather says:

2013 is rapidly winding down and to say it has been a difficult year for me personally would be a gross understatement.


  • I lost two siblings in senseless ways.
  • I moved.
  • I’ve dealt with personal change.
  • I was in a car accident.
  • My current job became full-time and I quit the fun job at the pub.

Some of these changes were for the better, but change is still hard. I joke that I’m overachieving on the life stressor test.

Home-Ec 101 bore the brunt of this, for sanity’s sake. Despite this, I still think it’s a good idea to take a look at the state of things.

Home Ec 101 By the Numbers

1.4 million people have visited so far in 2013, compared to 1.8 million in 2012. It was the first year of decline, but since I’ve started writing for the site on a more regular basis, it does seem to be making a turn around.

2,754 of you subscribe to the Home-Ec 101 newsletter. Thank you, that means a lot to me. I appreciate your tolerating the dry spell that was 2013.

More than 514k arrived via search, Pinterest sent 30k, and Facebook, the world’s biggest time suck sent only 8k. I’ll give you one guess to figure out who is going to spend more time focusing on writing and less on trying to get Facebook to let fans see content. (Keep in mind that over 5k people are fans of Home-Ec101) remains mildly profitable.

Home-Ec 101 Skills for Everyday Living, which came out in March 2011, finally earned me a royalty check, which I happily applied toward a summer air conditioning bill. Here’s a tip to aspiring authors, being traditionally published is more about building your reputation than hoping to hit the big time. It’s a major resume bullet point, it is not the end all. I’m not spending my days poolside sipping margaritas. (I’ll spend a couple in February, but that is an entirely different story and one I’m excited about, hurry up 2014)

So there you have it: Traffic down, Facebook stinks, Pinterest? Maybe I should get back to taking prettier pictures of food again. We’ll see where the energy bar lands.

So what exactly did we write about in 2013?


Fried Pork Chops

I did a basic cooking series starting -and trailing off- with ground beef, probably the most useful of the bunch was a recipe for no-salt taco seasoning. Personally I’m more of a fried pork chop fan, but whatever floats your boat.


Not a whole going on, but here’s a Thai-inspired beef and cabbage skillet.


Well that was a quiet month, here’s how to clean kitchen laundry in a public laundromat.


Oh, look I found some balsamic marinated chicken thighs.



Michelle stepped up and saved the day with Hearty White Sandwich Bread

A look at 6 years of Home-Ec 101.


It’s high grilling season so I published a compilation of recipes and techniques for the grill.


How to deal with stubborn body odor in laundry remains, to this day, a bizarrely popular post. I’m glad none of you want to stink.


Here’s where things went from hard to unbearable. The good news is, that together with Anne Weiskopf and PostSecret, we helped raise of $50000 for the Kristin Brooks Hope Center.

Thank you.


Life went on. L’chaim.

Michelle shared a recipe for challah.


Through the misadventure of someone, we learned how to remove flammable liquids from clothing.


I thought I could handle the annual countdown to Turkey Day and well, ha. I got it started and just kind of fizzled.


With 11 posts, this is the most productive month since April. I hope this is a good sign. Maybe I’ve found my rhythm again. Maybe I’m once again on stable ground.

Parting note:

Your emails, tweets, and Facebook messages of support have come exactly when I’ve needed them most. This has been a tough year, but it’s over and there are new and better things to come.

In a few days, as we count down to midnight, let’s look forward with hope. On that note, I’ll leave you with my (current) favorite song.


Sharing is caring!

14 thoughts on “Glancing Back, but Looking Forward, Home-Ec 101 2013 in Review”

  1. First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my
    ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted
    simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?


  2. Heather, I’m just catching up on your blog now and I’m so sorry for your rough year. My heart goes out to you, sincerely.

    But I have to say through it all you still crack me up! And I’m so glad I bought your book. I just didn’t know it would take so long for you to get the proceeds. Geeze those publishing people are stingy!

    Here’s to a wonderful 2014!


  3. Heather,
    I want to wish you peace and strength in the coming year. Sometimes moving forward is the way out. I saw a proverb that really spoke to me a few years ago, so I thought I’d share that, below. It doesn’t solve anything, but maybe it helps in a tiny way. As I’ve said, and it’s true, you are in my prayers.

    You can only enter half way into the darkest forest before you begin to come out the other side.
    –Chinese Proverb

    • Thank you, Stacy, that means a lot. I try not to look back and I’m trying to keep my eyes on my own paper, as it were. Overall I’m feeling much more hopeful about the future. The kids and I are managing well and for the most part have adjusted pretty well. Sadness still hits me out of nowhere, worse if I forget and watch something violent, but it’s more just a few tears and no longer the sleepless nights it was.
      I do like that proverb, if I can quit with the side trails, I’m pretty sure progress will be made.

  4. Dear Heather
    I have learned so much from your site. Thank you!
    We have had a challenging 2013 also so when I showed my husband the ecard we had a good laugh.
    It is waaaay to true.
    Here is to a Happy New Year in 2014.
    With Hugs and Thanks

    • I’m sorry you guys had a rough go, too. I know that things don’t turn around overnight and that a glass of champagne and swapping out the calendar won’t change a thing, BUT it sure feels like a fresh start. I’ve been heading toward equilibrium for a while, so the new year will be when I start demanding more of myself, even if part of that means demanding I cut myself some slack. Demanding I let myself rest when I need to. It will be interesting.
      Here is to a happy new year for you and yours.

  5. Congrats on reaching your payout for your book. That’s a huge milestone that puts you in the top 20%. Which of course is precisely where you belong. I love you. I want to give you a giant hug but I’ll leave a comment instead. 2014 can only go up – I’m here for you.

    • Thank you, Angela, you’ve been an amazing friend during this year. I appreciate all the time you let me cry at you over the phone. I can’t wait to see you this year. Hopefully it won’t be too long.

  6. Hello Heather

    You have certainly been through your fair share of trials in 2013. I would like to think that you have survived most of it as a stronger and more resilient person. I hope and pray that 2014 is a MUCH better year for you. I , along with others, will be here cheering you on. Love you, your blog and who you are. Keep on fighting the good fight and keep the chin up.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.