Name: Karlynn Johnston
Blog Name: The Kitchen Magpie
Where were you born? Winter, er, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Where are you living now?
Edmonton, Alberta. Wait. Did I just switch from one subzero city to another? Talk about self-punishment.
Why did you start your blog?
I’ve always been a writer in some form or another. Before The Kitchen Magpie I had a small website about parenting that ended up landing me some steady work writing articles for a few different magazines. I soon figured out that writing about parenting was actually my very least favorite thing to do (I still hate it. Won’t do it. You can’t make me.) I spent some time thinking about what I did actually love. Which was, and always has been, food. It helped that friends and co-workers were always pestering me to share my recipes with them, a blog with recipes was the next logical step.
How did you decide on your blog name?
My dad has called me a Magpie for as long as I can remember. I love shiny sparkly things, (vintage glassware, old costume jewelry) and am an avid collector of anything to do with vintage cook/bakeware. When thinking of a name I knew Magpie would be in it and my obsession with cooking and kitchenware…it was easy. Kitchen Magpie. It stuck….. Far too well. Now half of the people I know call me Magpie instead of my real name.
What do you blog about?
I think that I blog about me. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous, egotistical and high-falutin’? In all seriousness I had to really narrow down what it is that I write about…and it’s myself. What I eat. What I make. What recipes worked out and I want to share. Where I travel. What products I love. Whenever I try to narrow it down, I fail. It all comes down to the fact that I like to write about what I do, where I go, what I eat and how I made it.
I am mainly a food blog….oh wait, but I write about travel. I like to talk about homeschooling…shoot...I also write about restaurants when I am inspired. Lifestyle blogger? No, that sounds like I would have my crap together and my house would be clean, as if. I don’t write about everything…so I guess.. I just write about myself.
Lordy, if anyone else wants to chime in and clarify what I blog about, that’d be peachy.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
Without a doubt, my post about the announcement of my cookbook. I cry over everything. I’m superstitious. I am so grateful for everything that come my way. I talk about everything and anything on my website, my feelings, my fears and my hopes and dreams. Somehow, even in a post that announces my cookbook, I managed to sneak in travel, a food photo and a restaurant suggestion. Nothing sums me up better than that post does.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Any of my hunting ones, to be honest. I am always surprised; they get very high reads but no comments. Are people scared to comment? Don’t care? Are they holding in the mean comments? I’m always wondering why, not that it will stop me from writing about hunting but it can be like crickets on those posts for comments. I can see that hundreds of people read them and…..nothing. Like the one included in this interview, I thought it was a nice family story this fall, not bad pictures and not one comment. Yet a ton of people read it! But I’ll get 5 comments as soon as I post a recipe. Weird. Those posts are an important part of my heritage, so I really wish I had more interaction on them. Not only that, so very few women hunt nowadays that I’d actually like the support too. I’m needy, you know.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
I’m not surprised that people liked my post about my reasons for homeschooling but I was surprised and saddened by the comments and emails I received after. We have a bullying problem in our school systems, no doubt about it and I guess once someone publicly started talking about it like I did, everyone came to share their own experience. I am glad I wrote it but my heart was and still is so sad for those who are going through it was well. I’m lucky that I can remove my kids and homeschool to help my son heal. Not everyone can. I received so many, many emails and personal messages over this one and every single one broke my heart.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Stopping the work day. My husband and I both do this for a living so those lines between work and play are so blurred. The morning is spent homeschooling and then we both work on our websites. Lately my husband is taking over the homeschooling and I’m working on my cookbook all morning, then moving on to my website work. There are evenings when we are still working at 9 PM after putting the kids to bed and sometimes there’s just no helping it, that’s part of being self-employed. Articles are due, photos need to be edited and it has to all be done around family time, which has to come first.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
In the very few moments I have time to read other blogs, it’s usually friends here in Edmonton so that I can catch up on what they are doing like Valerie at A Canadian Foodie and Phil at Baconhound. When I have time I love checking in with Aimee at Simple Bites. She fuels my longing to live back on an acreage again.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
The moles at the Red Iguana in Salt Lake City. Moles are so complex, amazing and time-consuming to make that they are the ultimate food for me when I travel because I’m too lazy to make them at home.
What are you working on next for your blog?
My website is staying as is, but my husband and I will be launching a new website right away about blogging. He’s a tech blogger and I’m a food blogger and I don’t think there are many couples like us that work in different blogging fields, at home, together, for a living. Our accountant calls us the “unicorns in the mist” which makes me laugh every time I say it.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Hmmm. I have an addiction to cheesy paranormal romances, love Nora Roberts and can’t stop reading youth fiction. When I read it has to be absolutely mind candy, I swear since I read and write all day long I need cotton candy fluff to fill my brain at night.
What makes your blog unique?
There’s only one me and I’m unique. Just like everybody else.
What’s your Favourite FBC Feature?
I like the Pin It Thursdays and all the other encouraging social media sharing that goes on. There’s just not enough sharing the love in the Canadian blogsphere.
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