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Top Posts of 2013

2013 has come to a close, and I thought I’d share a round up of the top visited new posts on my site for the year. It’s always fun for me to see what was most viewed, and in case you missed some things that I shared, you can catch up! Last year I shared Top 12 posts in 2012, so I thought I’d share the Top 13 posts in 2013!  I’ve also got a little giveaway and link to my bloggy friends top posts of the year, below. It’s a great way to get to know some FAB bloggers, and their best posts!

Now, for my top 13:

Top 13 Posts of 2013 by Kristen Duke
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The PINspiration Place

Do you love Pinterest as much as I do?!? Do you head there to find inspiration for all things food, DIY, party, home decor, holiday, photography, and printables???  I’m so excited to share that I’ve teamed up with a fabulous group of inspirational bloggers to bring you a Pinterest board filled with all of that goodness! It’s called The PINspiration Place, and YOU are invited to follow along!


Are you as excited about I it as I am?

I’m hoping that you already follow me on Pinterest, but this board was started by a friend of mine, so even if you follow me on all of my boards, you won’t be following this board yet. I’d LOVE for you to get all this greatness in your home feed on Pinterest. To do so, simply click below to FOLLOW THIS BOARD!

I’ll see you there!

Sharing is Caring

This is a quick little blog post to tell you to go read the very informative blog post of a friend of mine. It’s all about how you can help your favorite bloggers out, just by sharing. Sometimes it’s easy just to read your favorite blogs, but in order to keep us going, we need YOUR help! This post sums it up better than I can, so please GO READ IT (and the comments below). The only thing I’ll add specifically is that if you see a post or a picture from a blogger on facebook that you love, click SHARE, comment, or LIKE it! It helps us with our REACH, which helps us get more clicks, which helps sustain us enough to share!  Facebook has been frustrating for bloggers, and this is how you can help! But for now, click on the picture below, or go directly to this post on Sawdust & Embryo’s.

Sharing is Caring {Sawdust and Embryos}_thumb[5]{source}


BlogHer Food 2013 Blogging Conference

Last week I went to my 3rd blogging conference this year. Before you think it…it’s a little much, I agree! What on earth do I need to go to 3 blogging conferences in 6 months??? Well, they all came about in different ways, and I went for different reasons (2 because they were practically free). This one I went to because it was RIGHT HERE in my hometown of A-Tex. I signed up nearly 9 months ago. I had originally planned to just stay at home at night, but I got to help with a sponsor party and got a hotel suite to stay in along with it. I didn’t like leaving my family again, but it was 3 days, and they were well taken care of while I was away. The reunion is so sweet after being gone…

This conference was filled with FOOD BLOGGERS. It was all about food. I have really enjoyed food photography the past few months, and even bought a few books to help me get some things figured out with styling. There were a few beneficial classes, but some a rehashing of things I’d heard before. The highlight with this conference (along with all of the others) is the bonding time with fellow bloggers. Not only do they “get” me, not only do we talk about blogging inside and out, but they become true friends–that are hard to say goodbye to.

food blog conference

I crammed all of these girls into my mini van and went to The Hula Hut, a local Austin Polynesian Tex Mex restaurant. I had to take advantage of the beautiful natural light and snag a group pic–I just love these girls. We spent hours and hours talking and laughing about life and sharing blogging tips, too.

Back row L to R: Camille from Six Sisters Stuff, Monique from Ambitious Kitchen, Elyse from Six Sisters Stuff, Nikki from Chef in Training, Kristy from Sweet Treats and More

Front Row L to R: Ashton from Something Swanky, Christy from The Girl Who Ate Everything, ME, Kristen from Six Sisters Stuff, and Deseree from Life’s Ambrosia

Ashton (Something Swanky) was hosting a PJ Party for PicMonkey and asked if I wanted to co-host with her. PicMonkey is an online photo editing program that I’ve recently discovered, and I LOVE it!!  I’ll share more about it in a future post, but for now, some pics of the party we threw for them.Capturing Joy and Something Swanky

Our room was filled with lots of treats: local gourmet goodies and lots of others stuff.  Well, it wasn’t just a room, it was a corner suite, a great place for our friends to hang out.

chatting in the suite


Gourdough's Doughnuts

Doughnuts from Gourdoughs and Cupcakes from Hey Cupcake. Yummy local treats! the pic below is a snippet of our PJ party (flash gone crazy).  I’m not sure I can name everyone in the pic below…so I’m not going to try (except for my good friend Lorie from Be Different, Act Normal in the bottom right corner since she isn’t in other pictures)!

friends at food blog conferencePJ Party for PicMonkey  Hey CupcakePicMonkey PJ Party Hildie

Hildie from Beehives and Birdsnests was my roommate at SNAP last year, she’s a local gal, too.

Kristen and Ashton

Above, Ashton and I enjoying the Crunch Pak dinner. I’m not sure why I put my hand on her hand…it was my attempt at a partial hug!

Below,  my friends Aimee from Shugary Sweets and Jocelyn from Inside BruCrew Life were also at the party. I had been emailing with Jocelyn for quite a while now, and it was so delightful to finally meet her! Her food photography is some of my favorite–colorful and fun!

Shugary Sweets and BruCrew Life

Kristen Duke and Ree Drummond

I got to chat with Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman. I told her she inspired me to write my Love Story after reading hers.

Here is a little collage of phone pics:

BlogHer Food Conference

Bottom left: I chatted with Amanda from Kevin and Amanda as well as Jenny from Picky Palate.  Amanda  inspired me with her weight loss story a while ago, and Jenny (funny enough after the weight loss comment) has the greatest Soft Batch Style chocolate chip cookie recipe that I use all the time. I love that bottom right pic of friends taking food pics and then instagramming them!

I am so happy I got to spend quality time with Christy from The Girl Who Ate Everything. She and I had emailed here and there, and she is just so sweet. Also a BYU grad, she is expecting her 5th baby in August. I told her I needed a side shot b/c you can’t even tell she is pregnant in this pic!

The girl who ate everything and me

This is the view from my hotel room, it was so fun to see my city this way…I just haven’t discovered it enough.

Austin Texas