About a year ago I started on this adventure of blogging and sharing my lifestyle publicly for you all to read. Today I really wanted to celebrate Sweet and Strong’s one year anniversary and share some of my accomplishments since starting this blog. Whether it’s your first time reading, or you’ve been reading since the beginning I first of all want to say, “Thank You!”. It was initially a bit scary putting my thoughts to words, because I never thought of myself as much of a writer. But all your positive feedback has been so enlightening I am so excited to see what happens with Sweet and Strong this next year. As the source here states, there are over 6.7 million active bloggers out there and I’m extremely proud to be one of them! Blogging can be such a great way of getting your name out there as well as your brand, business, and whatever else you need a digital platform for, so if you are serious about it then you may want to apply for domain name registration so you can make your mark online and be that blog that you want to be.

I initially started writing because I was so inspired by so many other healthy lifestyle and food bloggers. I was always reading about other girls lives and finding healthy recipes, baking recipes, and workouts. Then my Pinterest board started getting out of control with so many different pins so I thought I could record some of my lifestyle finds on a website. With a lot of help from my little sister Sweet and Strong was born. There have been ups and downs with blogging the past year. As much as I adore working from home, I have learned it takes A LOT of time working on and perfecting each post before I can publish anything. Proofreading every last detail is so important. I was not always the best at proofreading but I have definitely got better at it. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you to master how to become a proofreader. And of course, it’s so worth all the work I put in when I hear all your positive feedback =)

Time to reminisce a bit. Here are some of my favorite posts that I published this past year.

10 Tips for Waking Up Early to Workout

Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats

Total Body Circuit Workout

Since starting this blog I also wanted to become more knowledgable when it comes to fitness and have always wanted to get certified in personal training or to teach group fitness classes. So this summer I spent much of my time studying to become a certified group fitness instructor and just recently passed the written exam and practical through AFAA (YAY!) I’m not sure what exactly I’ll teach yet, but hope to be teaching some classes by this summer when I’m off. Taking the AFAA course has taught me so much about the body and exercise that I truly feel more knowledgable when writing fitness posts. This is a huge accomplishment for me because I probably never would have done this if it wasn’t for the blog and all your positive support. The impact that blogging has had on my life has been overwhelmingly positive. I would recommend taking it up, even as a hobby, to anyone. Although, if you are serious about doing this then you will need to think about web hosting. You can visit hostiserver.com here for more guidance.

Certified AFAA group fitness instructor

GIVEAWAY ALERT: If I haven’t thanked you enough for visiting my blog or being an avid reader I also want to do a HUGE giveaway to celebrate my one year anniversary of blogging. Special thanks to the following brands who donated some of my favorite items to share with you. All you have to do is sign up to receive New Sweet and Strong Posts by email through the pop-up when you click on any post or the homepage (NO SPAM, I promise!) If you’re already receiving emails, then you’re already entered 😉 To get another chance of winning leave me a comment below on what you would like to see from Sweet and Strong this next year, more recipes, workouts, or what other topics should I research, etc. I will take entries through Saturday February 13th and pick and notify the winners on Sunday.

Now lets talk the fun stuff, here is what signing up or commenting will enter you to win:

Vitamin Shoppe sent me some sample products and included is my favorite protein True Athlete. I use the vanilla protein every morning in my smoothie and I like the chocolate in the afternoon when I get home from work. I also love that Vitamin Shoppe has so many plant based protein options for anyone that can’t tolerate dairy. All their proteins powders are super affordable and they have a great rewards program if you shop their as often as I do! Vitamin Shoppe also sent me an almond fluffbutter squeeze pack that is chocolate fudge cake batter flavored. OMG so delicious! I ate a spoonful by itself for dessert the other night and it totally satisfied my sweet tooth. It would also pair great with fruit, pancakes, or a snack with pretzels. One lucky winner will receive all these amazing and delicious sample protein products from Vitamin Shoppe.

Vitamin Shoppe Protein Samples

Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookie were kind enough to donate four boxes of cookies, brownies, or muffins to a few lucky readers. These vegan cookies are addicting because they are so good. They can either be eaten as a dessert or for a snack in between meals because they are packed with protein to keep you full. I am obsessed with all of their products but my favorites have to be the chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies. YUM! Four lucky readers will each get a box of Lenny and Larry’s sweet treats.

Lenny and Larry's sweet treats.

I try to drink a cup of Celestial Seasonings green tea with a little lemon or honey every night. Green tea has huge health benefits and keeps me relaxed and warm during the winter months. My husband has always been a fan of their Sleeptime tea which is a blend of spices and perfect before bedtime. I love having a cup of tea to distract me from snacking mid afternoon or late at night. Three lucky readers will each receive one box of Green Tea and one box of Sleepytime Tea from Celestial Seasonings.

Celestial Seasoning Tea

I have used Manitbo Harvest hemp seeds in my pumpkin granola recipe and hemp seeds can also be used to top on your salad or to blend in your smoothie for extra protein and nutrients because hemp seeds are high in omega 3 and 6. Manitoba Harvest also makes crunchy hemp snacks. These clusters are like a dessert because they are naturally sweetened. And can easily be eaten on the go or for a healthy snack. Two lucky readers will receive a bag of Hemp Seeds and another two readers will receive a bag of Hemp Heart Bites.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bites

12 amazing giveaways! Looking forward to seeing what the next year has in store. xoxo.

10 Comments on One Year of Blogging and a few GIVEAWAYS

  1. Kelly
    February 10, 2016 at 12:13 am (7 years ago)

    So proud of all you’ve done in the past year! I want to see more recipes- especially smoothies! I get bored with my recipes and find a lot of them bland.
    Love you ?

    • sweetandstrong
      February 10, 2016 at 11:14 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks Kelly! We are huge smoothie fans here so I will definitely come up with some fun recipes 😉

  2. Jess
    February 10, 2016 at 1:15 am (7 years ago)

    PATTY!!!! Amazing! So proud of you! I agree with Kelly! Let’s see some more recipes! I’ve also heard you’ve been taking some pretty nifty spin classes lately! Fill us in!! Can’t wait to see what year 2 brings!

    • sweetandstrong
      February 10, 2016 at 11:14 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks Jess! YES I plan to talk about our awesome spin classes together 😉

  3. Bobbi Oddo
    February 10, 2016 at 8:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Awesome Patty!! Congrats!! I am soooo happy for you! I would love to some tasty vegan recipes! Keep doing what you’re doing girl!!

    • sweetandstrong
      February 10, 2016 at 11:15 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks Bobbi! I have been trying to one vegan night a week with our menu, Tom is not the biggest fan yet though, so I usually cook something else for him, lol.

  4. Jocelyn Didich
    February 11, 2016 at 12:25 am (7 years ago)

    Proud of you Patty!!! Xoxo

  5. Caitlin A.
    February 11, 2016 at 1:38 am (7 years ago)

    Just came across your blog not too long ago and I am enjoying all the recipes. I look forward to seeing more and easy/handy/healthy snack ideas!

  6. Rachel Gapa
    February 13, 2016 at 2:14 am (7 years ago)

    Been creeping on your blog since you started it – love it! 🙂 If you’ve got any vegan baking recipes, I would love to see those! I became egg intolerant in the last few years (it’s so weird), and I really miss baked goods!!

  7. Renee Miller
    February 13, 2016 at 11:23 am (7 years ago)

    Patty, I’ve enjoyed your blog since the beginning. I have FINALLY started (again :-)) eating better to be a healthier me. Plan to go back to several of your recipes. Looking forward to the emails!!!