Hello and Happy Friday!
Big news here: I decided to participate in Katy's 28 Day Blog Challenge because, let's face it, this blog could use some work. The idea is to take steps - big or small - to improve your blog. I'm all for taking baby steps, but I'm still mulling over some bigger changes like self-hosting. For some reason, I've been afraid to pull that trigger, even though I am frustrated by the limits of Blogger. Go figure.
So today is step 1. I won't be posting all of my improvements, but this is one for all of you so I thought it warranted some attention:
I ditched Disqus. I've heard lots of people complain about how hard it is to comment using it, so I switched over to Intense Debate. Let me know what you think (preferably by leaving a comment, of course)!
Today I wanted to highlight five blogs that I regularly read and that I think you should, too.
1. Running for Bling
Elizabeth and I just happened to have gone to high school together, but I would read her even without the personal connection. She's a passionate runner who's serious about collecting race bling - so far, she's up to 27 half marathons and is currently gunning for a BQ. However, my favorite part of reading her? She's honest and isn't afraid to call B.S. when she sees it. It's nice to read someone willing to honestly and fairly critique a race. Plus, she's just straight up brave, having survived (and then thrived) a nasty assault.
2. Dream Big Runner
I started reading Christine's blog when we both participated in a race challenge called "Run for the Bling of It" back in 2011. The concept of that blog was awesome - every week, the blog posted race reports from various bloggers. It was how I started reading a lot of running blogs. Hmm, maybe that's something I can bring back?
Anyway, Christine is one of those bloggers that I feel like I'd be friends with if we met in real life. She's recently engaged and just ran a half marathon with her fiancé in Charleston. Like Elizabeth, she has a goal to run all 50 states and has done 11 so far. She's always happy and reading her makes me pumped to go for a run.
Don't bother reading her if you don't have a sense of humor. She's a ridiculously fast runner who's not afraid to give her opinion on everything from the blogging world to the Bachelor. In fact, she says a lot of the things that the rest of us just think. This makes some of her posts "controversial," but it's one of the few blogs where intelligent debate is encourage and fostered. I don't always agree with her, but I love her candidness. I also appreciate the fact that isn't a running snob, even though she's got the chops to be one.
Two non-running blogs:
A former pastry chef turned cookbook author now living in Paris, David specializes in making his readers drool on their keyboard while reading his recipes and restaurant reviews. He primarily writes about sweets. I own two of his cookbooks (including one that's just about ice cream) and all of my best desserts come out of them. He has a dry sense of humor and I love reading his observations about Parisian culture.
5. The Amateur Gourmet
Adam is a law student turned cookbook author/restaurant reviewer/blogger. Do not read him if you haven't eaten lunch. One of my favorite posts is his course-by-course description of his meal at El Bulli, a now-closed restaurant that was once lauded as the "greatest restaurant in the world." He's a great writer that makes you want to eat better food.
Tell me some of your favorite blogs in the comments (or leave your own blog handle). I'm on the lookout for new ones to add to my reader.