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Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview
Today’s guest on This Blogger’s Life, Ree Drummondis one of the kindest and sweetest bloggers that I know. Ree  aka The Pioneer Woman is everyone’s favorite foodie mom. She does it all. I’ve “known” Ree for a few years now but we only just met in person in 2013 and boy, was it a memorable experience.
In case you were wondering, yes, she is even nicer in person than you could imagine. But don’t be fooled by the gorgeous smile and the cute photos of dogs and cows, Ree’s not just another pretty face. She is a smart, powerful businesswoman who works her tail off to do it all. I don’t know how she does it.

Ree Drummond has been someone that I have respected in the blogging space for some time.

She has truly built an empire doing something she loves; documenting life with her children and husband while writing about and photographing the things she is passionate about. Isn’t that the dream? I know it’s mine; to do what I love and make a living while getting to spend time actually in the moment with my family. Go, Ree! Not to mention, while she is writing books, filming for her cooking show, raising children on a ranch, homeschooling and cooking all of that mouthwatering food she still makes the time for her friends…like filling out these interview questions from me right in the middle of taping a new season of The Pioneer Woman. I appreciate it, Ree. You are good people.
Anyways, I could go on all day saying nice things about Ree. The bottom line is that she is a sweet, generous, charismatic mama who puts her foot in some Dr. Pepper barbecue. I’m honored to call her my friend and it’s my privilege to have her on This Blogger’s Life today.

This Blogger’s Life…Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview, the people behind the blogs

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging on a whim one day when my husband took all four of our kids to work cattle with him. I had no plan, no sense that it would last longer than a week. I just sat down, set up a free blog, and posted a couple of photos and stories.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?
Blog! Blog often. Blog daily if you can. It’s difficult to get comfortable with blogging if you write one or two blog posts a week. When I started blogging, I fell in love instantly and blogged daily for a few months—even on the weekends. It made me a better writer, and made blogging easier and easier.
What are the three words that describe you best?
 Happy, Messy, and Weird.
What is your favorite website?
Impossible for me to choose!
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?
My favorite thing to do when I have a little free time is just plop down on the couch and watch Real Housewives or old episodes or 24 or, as is the case right now, the NBA Playoffs. TV time in the evenings is what my husband and I do together. It sounds spectacularly boring, but it’s my favorite time of day. It’s when I recharge.
 What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself  from blogging?
I’ve learned that if I’m passionate about something, I’m much more creative, motivated, and efficient. I have loved blogging from the start, and since I blog about things I love—my family, the country, our dogs, the food I cook—I never get tired of it. That’s one of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone starting a new project of any kind: Make sure your passion shines through. It will show.
 How do you balance life and blogging?
It’s a continual balance. When I started blogging, my kids were all little. Now I have two teenagers, and one is about to be a senior in high school. When they were younger, I  was able to be more rigid and predictable with my blogging schedule. These days, I’ve loosened up a bit because life demands flexibility. While I still blog regularly, I’m not afraid to skip a couple of days here and there if the kids and I are busy. You have to have a little give.
 How has blogging changed you or your life?
Blogging has certainly opened doors for me. I wouldn’t have cookbooks or a TV show if I hadn’t started blogging. It’s all the blog’s fault! 🙂
 What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?
I think a successful blog is one that compels readers to return. One that becomes part of people’s daily reading schedules. That’s why I’ve always recommended that new bloggers commit to blogging regularly—daily, if possible. You won’t become a part of someone’s daily routine if you just blog a couple of times a week. When I first started blogging, I had lived in the country for ten years and must have had a lot to say, because I was prolific in my posting. Months later, after my readership had grown organically, people who visited my site started telling me that reading my site had become part of their day, like their morning cup of coffee. I realized that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t blogged as regularly as I had.
 If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?
Exercise more and learn to embroider.
How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? 
For me, it’s always been easy to strike that balance. I do blog about the people I love, but I don’t share their personal stories because they aren’t mine to share. I stick to our interactions together, fun anecdotes, and things about them that I appreciate and love.
Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed?
I love that the blogging community has grown and is so strong today, so I like where blogging is now. If I had to say something I miss from my early days of blogging, it would be that my waist was much smaller. 🙂
How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?
Again, I think if you remain passionate about your subject matter—in my case, family, home, food, etc.—you’ll never run out of things to share. And if your passion comes through, people will be drawn to read it. Also, I do try to change up my content so that it isn’t the same every day; I never want someone to come to my website and be bored!
 If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?
Al Pacino in 1972, Vivien Leigh in 1939, Russell Crowe, Meryl Streep, Mother Teresa, and my grandmother.
 What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I can put both my ankles behind my head.
What’s the one post that you are most proud of?

This sounds like an easy answer, but I would say whatever post I’ve written that day. Because my household is so busy and I’ve got different irons in the fire, if I am able to sit down and see a post through to the end, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. 

If you’d like to find out more about Ree Drummond ( The Pioneer Woman) you can check her out on her blog, twitter and my favorite Pinterest. If you want to learn about other great bloggers like Jill Smokler ( the Original Scary Mommy) , Jessica Gottlieb, Vera Sweeney and many more, please be sure to check out the rest of the interviews in the This Blogger’s Life series

Thank you, Ree Drummond, for being my guest today. Can’t wait to see you again in person, this time I promise not to body check you in the process. XOXO

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Ree Drummond has another fantastic cookbook coming out in just a couple of days, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays. If you are a blogger, you already know that Ree  Drummond is the Martha Stewart for busy moms. She is the only “expert” I need. She has a family to take care of, clothes to wash, kids to homeschool and a ranch to tend to yet she still manages to cook delicious meals and make it look easy. I’ve tried many of her recipes and I can attest to the fact that if you can boil water and follow a recipe you can make your family some awesome meals with the guidance of Ree. This latest cookbook  A Year of Holidays is a fantastic collection of tasty recipes, gorgeous photos and a  pinch of Ree’s signature humor sprinkled in to help you celebrate all through the year. You know you want it.

Ree sent me a signed copy to have and I was pretty excited because, as you all remember from this past BlogHer, I am a fan of The Pioneer Woman. There is just something about the Lucille Ball, Ethel Merman, Vivien Liegh combination of Ree that just makes her far too endearing to not be. The accidental country girl, award-winning blogger, Food Network personality, and #1New York Times bestselling author not only curates the most scrumptious recipes, she is also one of the sweetest and kindest people on the Internet.

The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, A YEar in Holidays, recipes, cookbook, giveaway

In her latest book, Ree demonstrates how to ring in your favorite holidays with inspired menus for breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, parties, deliveries, and feasts, accompanied by fun instructions and step-by-step photos. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays is filled with creative and flavorful ideas for intimate dinners, group gatherings, and family meals. It includes nineteen recipes for Thanksgiving alone.

I have to say, aside from the Thanksgiving section, my favorites are Mother’s Day and Cinco De Mayo. My favorite recipe of all is the homemade tortillas. When I was little, I remember my own grandmother making homemade tortillas and they were just about the best thing I had ever tasted. As Ree would say they truly are the bomb diggity dog diggity bibbity bobbity boo! I never learned how to make homemade tortillas from my grandmother and she’s since passed so I am looking forward to making this recipe and teaching my daughters to make homemade tortillas.

The book is full of great recipes to keep your family fed and beautiful photos of Ree’s own beautiful family and the recipe process. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays is a fantastic collection of a variety of dishes for every occasion. I told you that you’d want one.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays is available in stores October 29th but you can win your very own signed copy here at The TRUTH about Motherhood. I am giving away 3 copies. To enter to win all you need to do is be a subscriber to The TRUTH about Motherhood and leave a comment below telling me your favorite recipe from The Pioneer Woman. You can also earn extra entries via rafflecopter.  Contest starts today and will end Friday  November 1st at 11:59 pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, BlogHer13, blogging, blogger

Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, BlogHer13Dear Ree or as I like to call you Your Royal highness the Pioneer Woman,

I hope you don’t mind that I address you so informally; it’s hard for me to know my boundaries. We’ve been “friends” online for years and everything I know about you is from our contact on social media. You’ve sent me signed copies of your cookbooks, I squeed. I took it personally when that parasite on Twitter was making mean comments about you. I was invested. I needed to stand up for my  “friend!” And I did. You graciously thanked me. When I had my miscarriage last spring, you privately DMed me your condolences. You are good people, Ree Drummond. This is why everyone adores you.

I was ecstatic when I saw that you were going to be the Keynote speaker for BlogHer13. Finally, we’d be able to meet in person. In my defense, it was my first BlogHer and I had no comprehension of what 5000 bloggers in one place looked like. I missed your keynote. I realized that the chances of meeting were slim to none. I spent the day bobbing and weaving in and out of sessions, hugging people and then off to an event in the city.

I got lost in Chicago. Did I mention I grew up there? Well, I did and I got completely turned around when my cab driver dropped me off a mile and a half away from the venue at rush hour. Yes, I was stuck about $13 away from the Sheraton. I walked the mile and a half in my obnoxiously bright J.Lo maxi dress, looking like a complete tourist and developing the worst case of chub rub in the history of the universe. Thighs ablaze and still no venue, I’m sweating, my hair is sticking to my forehead and I am positive I look like a lost child or baby Jane. My make-up is melting off of my face and my eyes are filling with tears, as I am already at least 45 minutes late for this meeting.

Finally, a nice gentleman who looked like he may or may not have been Jeffrey Dahmer in an Armani suit, offered to walk me part of the way. Thighs on fire, and not in a good way, I accepted his help. Walking like a cowgirl who just rode for 8 hours, I hoped he wouldn’t notice. Hell, who am I kidding I didn’t care. He walked me past where the original cabbie dropped me off only to find that I.STILL.COULD.NOT.FIND.The.VENUE!

Thighs chafed beyond recognition and permanently disfigured, I continue walking through the loop like my Diva cup is falling out and still, I am stranded. I make my way over to yet another stranger, who looks at me from above his square framed black spectacles and says, “Yeah, you want to walk a mile and a half in the other direction. Your address is wrong!” and he sauntered off just before I began to sob and my thighs began to bleed profusely at 5 o’clock in the afternoon in a sweltering Chicago summer afternoon.

I hobbled to the corner, threw my arms up in the air (the universal symbol for I give up God) and a cabbie, briefly hitting a pedestrian, pulled in like a white knight on his trusty steed, only the opposite. I got in, never mind the other cabbie who ran to the window and cussed him out for stealing his fare (my fucking thighs were bleeding through my Maxi dress at this point. Thank God it was multicolored and no one would ever know the difference.)

I sobbed quietly as we raced towards the Sheraton because I could not miss VOTY. This was what I came for; to hear the words. These are my people. I exited the cab, with no time to go up to my room, ran (thighs reigniting) to the ballroom and that is when it happened…YOU!

I was clearly running late, as there was no one else in the hallway. But just before I got in line to have my badge scanned, what out of the corner of my eye did I spy but a really tall, beautiful, red head in a reddish/orange chevron top surrounded by what could have been mistaken for bodyguards. With no thought, because believe me if I would have thought about it I never would have done it, I turned, sped towards you (holding back tears as my thighs were engulfed in flames), held my badge up to you ( as to identify myself like I was FBI or some shit) and said ( to the best of my knowledge because honestly this is all a blur to me. I do believe I was in serious danger of fainting from pain and shock), “Hi Ree, I am Debi! TruthfulMommy?” and you, gracious as ever and probably a little afraid, said something like, “OH. Yeah? HI! It’s been a long time.” (A long time indeed because its been forever because we have never met in person and you were just trying to be kind and remember if you had ever met me in person before. You.Are.So.Sweet.) You had that frightened deer in headlights look on your face, probably because a complete stranger, who I am sure looked completely deranged by this point, was invading your personal space and without asking going in for a full body hug and may or may not have accidentally body checked you. For that, I owe you an apology and I am so sorry. Then I turned and ran into VOTY,like a crazy little bleeding thigh Tasmanian devil..if he were a short, little Latina blogger, that is.

I assure you that I am not a deranged fan girl normally but that afternoon in Chicago, after the day I had, I just really needed my Ree Drummond hug. Thanks for obliging and not calling the cops. Next time, I promise you will not be harmed in the making of my BlogHer. So, please don’t get a restraining order against me.

Love, Your #1 Fan Girl,

@TruthfulMommy but mostly people call me Debi

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