I’ve been blogging here at EatsLeeds for over a year now, and I’ve thought long and hard about taking this break.
I had a hectic few months in early 2017, that included traveling + moving house + getting married, all in the space of six weeks before mid-May.
To be honest, I was struggling to keep up with everything. Between day-to-day life (my day job, my freelance business, and developing recipes for EatsLeeds) and big-life-stuff life (buying a house and planning a wedding) I was stretching myself way too thin.
I focussed on running regularly, feeding myself properly (and taking the odd bit of downtime with a beer and my favourite people), but I was still feeling the pressure.
I started EatsLeeds in early 2016 as a creative outlet, and it has become so much more than that. Somewhere in the process though, I lost some of my passion, and I started to see blogging as a chore.
When I made the decision to take a break from EatsLeeds, it was just six weeks until the day I married my best friend, and part of the reason I made the decision was that I didn’t want those lovely memories to be overshadowed by negative emotions. I needed the time and space to breathe in the happiness of every day (and that might just be the most woo sentence I’ve ever written).
Basically, I was feeling the overwhelm. My freelance business, my mental health, and my relationships with friends and family needed to come first for a while.
So I took a 6-week break from the EatsLeeds blog.
And I had the loveliest time. I rediscovered my love of travel, I settled into our beautiful new home and I enjoyed the best. Wedding. Ever.
Whilst I was on my blogging break I was also reminded of why I fell in love with food blogging to begin with. Blogging led me to rediscover my love of writing and rekindle my passion for finding delicious recipes that fit into my vegetarian and gluten-free lifestyle.
And it also led me to rethinking my purpose as a blogger. I thought about my goals, what I wanted to achieve from blogging, and I made a massive decision.
I used to share healthy vegetarian recipes, gluten free bakes, running tips, local restaurant and event reccomendations, and general gluten free chit chat here on EatsLeeds. But honestly, it was mostly general chit chat. I didn’t have a focus and I didn’t have a purpose. I wanted to help people eat better food, but I couldn’t seem to focus on one topic for more than about 5 minutes.
Which is why I’m retiring EatsLeeds. I decided to refocus, on gluten free baking, at my new blog, Bake + be Happy.
Baking makes people happy. My baking recipes were amongst my most popular posts on EatsLeeds. Being gluten free, I totally understand the frustration of missing out on all that feel-good baking loveliness; and the disappointment of looking at another dry, soggy, funny-tasting mess, after ordering a slice of gluten free cake.
I’ve been experimenting with gluten free baking since I gave up gluten in 2014, and I want to share to everything I know about baking up the best gluten free goodies, so more people can enjoy baking (and baked goods).
I’ll still be sharing general foodie goodness on Insta (@zpickburn) and on twitter (@ZoePickburn), so follow me on there, and check out my new pages for Bake + be Happy on Instagram (@bake_behappy), Pinterest (@bake_behappy), Facebook (bake.behappy), Twitter (@bake_behappy), and my Youtube Channel, and sign up for the Bake + be Happy newsletter to get free access to my eBook, Gluten Free Baking 101, as soon as it is released: