Confessions | Why I Started A Food Blog

CONFESSION: WHY I STARTED THIS FOOD BLOG

//Confessions of a Food Blogger is a tell-all series of what my life has been like as a food blogger. Check out the full list of posts here.//






I’ve been blogging ever since the age of Xanga. So starting a food blog wasn’t something out of my element at all. But the reason on why I started a food blog goes even deeper than just enjoying food, which is my usual answer when asked at social events. But I am ready to tell-all.


Are you ready for my in-depth explanation?



The reason might sound a little vain. But everyone had far-fetched dreams, right? Why judge mine?



I wanted to be famous.



First, I gotta talk about Neopets. I was absolutely OBSESSED with Neopets. I played all day and all night and would even wake up early just to play this game. Just to chat with others who played this game. I made online Neo-friends that even helped me with a Career Project in middle school. I realized the power of building online relationships and how it can foster potential lasting friendship through common interests. There was a Neopets convention at Westminster Mall. I went to that too. Throughout my Neopets career, I discovered a passion for website design and creating online communities. 


Faerie World in Neopets!  | dalybuajitt

I made several Neo-pages (websites) and learned HTML through tutorials taught by other Neopet users. There was a site I constantly referred to for hex colors called Faerie.net (or something similar). It was extremely satisfying to customize an entire website just the way I wanted with crazy cursors, music and backgrounds. It was an entirely new digital world I became consumed with. I made my own Neopets Guild and a website for that too using FreeWebs (which doesn’t exist anymore). And also, I made my own Neopets News Website: a resource for anyone wanting the latest deals on neo-sales, neopet treasures and more. Sound familiar? (Like this very food blog!)

After my obsession with Neopets died down, I started to blog about my daily life on Xanga. Digital journal entries consisted of the usual tween – teenage confessions of infatuation, boy crushes, random thoughts, Aim Message archives and of course food. I made sure to have the best song playing in the background representing my current mood. I remember Yiruma – Kiss The Rain was a favorite. Xanga furthered my passion for website customization, as I would always find ways to make my website better looking using HTML.

And then there was MySpace. Anyone remember those myspace services that created custom backgrounds or themes? I did that for my own MySpace! It was constantly changing to fit my changing styles and moods. I loved the minimalist style the best. The kind where you hide the comments and top 8 to avoid drama. And the music playlist always had to be top-notch varying from indie music to rap and happy hardcore (The Client, Shiny Toy Guns, DJ Satoma, “RNB4U”, etc.). It was Myspace that I became really familiar with HTML, how to read and how to manipulate code.

I wish I had saved screenshots of my Neopets webpages, Myspace themes and Xanga. I can’t believe I did so much as a kid!

When Youtube first debuted, I often filled my lazy days with laughter from the likes of Ryan Higa and KevJumba. They were hilarious and addicting to watch. YouTube was a great place to share homemade videos, watch talent and learn new skills. Back then, I was always browsing through dance tutorials and piano tutorials. But aside from browsing, I was also a creator.

I would upload random videos about my life hanging out with friends and even dance videos. It was a heck of a lot of fun to re-watch memories over and over again with people you care about. And it helped me develop some video editing skills.

What I am probably most known for (if anyone knew me at all) is for my piano covers. I liked to challenge myself by figuring out my favorite songs by ear and performing it on the piano. This included KPOP, EDM songs, and pop songs.
Before I knew it, my channel gained over 100k views collectively. What? No way? But my time became consumed by other matters such as school and work, so I stopped uploading.

My need to vent through an outlet eventually led me to Tumblr. It was what kept me connected with my other high school friends. The gossip, the confessions, and even mundane entries provided an escape for me. It also allowed me to look back and evaluate myself. Like, wow. I was such a teenager! I deleted most of the evidence though so you’ll never find it again.

When I studied abroad in Korea and Japan, I decided to make a Tumblr specifically for that (See SoulKorean + SoulJapanese). And public for whoever interested. It was then that I realized again, the power of social media and online community. 

One Ok Rock was life. I was studying in Japan and wanted to see them in concert so bad. They were playing in Yokohama on my birthday, May 26, 2013. There was no way I would allow myself to miss this opportunity. I AM IN JAPAN AFTER ALL. I MUST SEE THEM!

Tickets sold out in seconds. What do I do?! How else could I get this?
I vented out my frustrations on a Tumblr post and hashtagged #OneOkRock. My inbox became flooded with notifications of people re-blogging and liking the post. These were all strangers to me. But we all had a commonground: One Ok Rock. These fans messaged me giving me advice on an alternative way to buy tickets. It was because of this online community that I learned about Yahoo! Japan Auctions, and was able to cop my own ticket to the concert. I’ll never forget that experience!


THE BIRTH OF EAT WITH HOP!

I graduated with a B.A. from UCI in International Studies during my last semester studying abroad in Japan. At that point in my life, honestly, I became lost. I wasn’t sure what the future would hold and honestly didn’t know what type of career I wouldn’t mind enduring for the rest of my life. So, I made another blog.


Using my ipod touch for lighting and phone to take pics back in 2014


I told my ex-boyfriend at the time about my blogging dreams. I initially wanted to be a fashion blogger, because I dressed to impress (myself) all the time. I love fashion and always will. And I wanted to show the world my unique stylings! I was inspired by all the fashion bloggers I religiously followed on LookBook and Tumblr. I wanted to be like them too! My confession was met with a, “Why? Why do you want everyone to know you?” Upset at this sorta disapproving reaction, I put the fashion blog on hold and later decided to just write about food.

I already take photos of my food anyway, so why not share them to the public? I created an eatwithhop.blogspot.com at first but that looked ugly. I wanted to be legit. So I bought a domain from EasyDNS and my website became www.eatwithhop.com. Thus, the beginning of my food blog started in early 2014.





My goal was and still is, to provide honest and trustworthy reviews about my experiences, as if you were my friend. And friends don’t let friends go to bad places, right?

I wanted to be helpful and answer questions I would have such as: Is it worth the price? How is the parking though? And what landmarks is the restaurant near?

Yelp is misleading sometimes, right? Flooded with fake reviews and entitled reviews, who is there to trust anymore? And Instagram is getting worse now. Food looks super tasty for the eyes, but might not for the taste buds. Most of the time, Instagram food is all about the aesthetics without care for the quality. Who is there to trust anymore?



And that’s why I am here. 
That’s why I started food blogging.




//Confessions of a Food Blogger is a tell-all series of what my life has been like as a food blogger. Check out the full list of posts here.//

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