Yum

Per my last post, I took the past two weeks to “chill,” er, well, ahhh, kinda.  In all honesty, there are still two little humans running around my house that need frequent attention.  Also, in the background of this blog, I have picked up a few clients and odd-jobs that require my time every day.  So, it wasn’t all feet-on-the-ottoman-watching-Oprah-and-eating-bon-bons kind of two weeks.  There was still plenty going on, but it was definitely rejuvenating for my creative soul to take a short break from shooting videos, developing recipes and blogging.

During my time of reflection, I was able to quiet my mind long enough to visualize the roadmap for this second chapter in the ongoing development of my business/life.

Joanie Simon

Goal Setting

“Begin with the End in Mind.”  I read this in Stephen Covey’s book eons ago and am finally getting around to internalizing it.  Now that I have one year under my belt and have been able to take inventory of what I enjoy and what feeds my soul, I finally have a sense of what “the end” or “the goal” actually is.  It’s hard to do goal setting when you’re not sure where you’re going.  When I set out a year ago, I knew I wanted to do creative work that involved food, but the picture of what that could be was vague.  Now, after having done a wild variety of things, from working the line to teaching classes to food styling, the one thing that lights me on fire is being in front of the camera.  More specifically, cooking and doing things with food in front of the camera.  Between the welcome opportunities to cook on local morning TV to my YouTube channel, I adore the entire process.  It’s a place where I feel like I have lots of growth opportunity.

Of course, there’s a lot of baggage in setting a goal like this, right? Tons of negative self-talk.

“Who am I to say I should be on camera?”

“People will think I’m doing this because I have a big ego.” (okay, so maybe I do…what of it?)

“You’ll never be able to support yourself doing this.  It’s reserved only for the truly talented.”

Thank you, inner monologue, for deferring dreams.

I’ve actually wanted this for a long time.  I initially dreamed it when I was 17 and started applying to broadcast journalism programs for college.  The food component wasn’t in the picture yet, but the foundations were there.  But, I let the inner critic drive and pursued more “reasonable” goals.  Well screw you, inner critic…and your little dog, too.  I’m going to follow crazy dreams.  Go big, or go home.

So, the clear goal is to focus on video and figure out a way to build it up to a place where it can financially sustain my business and my family.  Yes, people are making money on YouTube.  So far to date, I’ve made $475.25.  Won’t pay a mortgage, but hey, it’s a start!

After the main realization to simplify my vision to focus on video, the creativity started to eek out. I got ideas.  I started to think about how I could offer more and be more helpful through videos.

It’s Entertaining

Personal friends and family know that I’m a nut for entertaining.  I live for the holidays.  Easter, Thanksgiving, a random Saturday night. It’s why my dining room table can seat twelve.  It’s why I dream of renovating my kitchen and dining room, to accommodate more people.

Food brings us together.

I come from a long line of women who are naturals when it comes to hospitality and I firmly believe, “there’s always room for one more.”  Food, of course, is a huge part of entertaining, and my favorite part of party planning.  I’m not much for the table-scapes and decor, but gosh darn, I can put together a menu.  So, instead of reserving this passion for friends and family only, I’ll be sharing all of the party secrets with you on YouTube and the blog.  It’s a Party at Joanie’s.

What does this look like?  Videos and their complimentary blog posts, for the most part, will now be a part of a series.  In each series, I’ll be walking you through how to prep and complete three to four menu items all centered around a theme.  From apps to entrees, specialty beverages and desserts.  Then, the final episode will be a party at my house, showing you how the whole meal comes together.

The first four months are sketched out and I can’t wait to share!  The recipes are easy but meant to impress, with most of the work taking place before your guests arrive.  Afterall, when you’re having a party, you don’t want to spend all of it working in the kitchen.  Most of the recipes also incorporate affordable ingredients that should be easy to find no matter where you live.

The first four themes are:

May – Grills Only (A whole meal made on the grill!)

June – Easy American Italian (Red sauce, mozzarella and lots of GARLIC.)

July – Smokin’ (If it’s smoked, we’ll eat it.)

August – Latin Travels (This one will also be gluten-free.)

Want to make sure you don’t miss an episode?  Subscribe to my YouTube Chanel and good ol’ YouTube will let you know when a new video is posted.  Or, get on my e-mail list and you’ll get updates when a new series is up.  Each series will be posted over several days in the middle of the month.  So, for May, you’ll see a new episode every other day starting the 18th and rounding out on the 24th.

I’m so glad that the Lord spoke to my heart to take some time to rest and re-evaluate.  If you haven’t done this in a while, I highly encourage it.  Yes, sitting still is a discipline, but beautiful things come from being at peace.

If you’ve got questions or ideas, please shout ’em out in the comments below!  You might just get yourself invited over for a Party at Joanie’s!

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Hi! I’m Joanie.

I'm a pro food photographer living in Phoenix, AZ with my hubby and two little dudes. Join me on YouTube for photography and cooking tutorials.

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