aaron. an appreciation post

Az2

A couple of months ago, the beautiful Amanda from i am baker posted a recipe for a classic vanilla cheesecake with a double-thick graham cracker crust. But it wasn’t just any cheesecake recipe, it was her husband’s favourite… right down to the extra-thick, buttery crust.

The aim of this post wasn’t just to share her husband’s favourite cheesecake recipe. It was the first of a series of ‘Appreciation Posts’ written by bloggers across the globe, the aim of which was to say ‘thank you’ to our long-suffering partners for their support, love and (endless) patience as we’ve embarked upon our food blogging journeys. A worthy cause indeed.

potsedited

bandroom

Now, if you read the list of existing ‘Appreciation Posts’ in Amanda’s original publication, you’ll realize that I’m a little behind in publishing my own. The main reason for this is the fact that I wanted my own appreciation post to tie in with our second wedding anniversary, the date of which is next Tuesday: 12th November 2013. Sentimental, yes. But hey, that’s me.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my ridiculously handsome love, Aaron:

mylove

He’s my husband, best friend, encourager and creative partner. He’s been there through the highest and lowest points of my life, gently encouraging, challenging and supporting me as required.

Aaron kindly agreed to answer the set of routine questions posed in the ‘Appreciation Post’ series. His responses are as follows (with a few of my italicized notes in brackets):

1. What are the best and worst things about being married to a food blogger?

The obvious answer is that you get to eat incredibly well. But I also like seeing Laura have a passion for something that motivates her to learn and improve. And it’s great that she enjoys cooking for others. I get to have my good friends come over, have an amazing feast, then play a game of Settlers. I think that Kings didn’t live so well. Maybe the worst thing is going to the shops with her and watching her take 5 minutes to choose between identical loaves of bread.

3. Out of the props that Laura uses, what’s your favourite?

I’m a big fan of natural materials. Anything made of wood… Or things that are old and worn. I like our chopping board (Aaron made this for me out of a piece of discarded Jarrah. He polished it with organic beeswax and it’s become one of my very favourite things).

4. What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve seen her do for a blog post?

Honestly, the weirdest thing for me is that she will intentionally get up an hour earlier every morning before work to write posts or respond to messages. I would choose sleep every time.

5. What’s your favourite recipe of Laura’s (not necessarily on the blog)?

Laura makes the most amazing salads. But my favourite is always crispy skinned salmon with some asparagus and roast potatoes*.

bottlesedited

6. If you had your own blog, what would it be called?

I have the beginnings of one on my website, MonsterBot.net. But if it was a food blog, it would probably be called ‘Steak is Good Enough’.

7. Do you have a favourite blog?

I constantly go back to boingboing.net. It’s a site with a number of contributors who write about a lot of different things. Some geeky, some arty, some political. It’s interesting.

8. How do you cope with the constant photo-taking/social media/blog world craziness?

Haaa, I love it because when Laura is working on her blog, I get to go play (PC) games.

9. Who does the dishes?

Laura used to insist on doing them because “…[she] made the mess”. I used to insist on doing them because Laura’s the one that cooks everything. Now it’s whoever gets to them first. Laura does more than me though.

10. What do you do for your day job and what are your favourite hobbies?

I used to be a bricklayer, which I am still sometimes involved in. Every now and then I go to a local film studio to work on an animation they’re doing. I spend most of my time working on a design and illustration business. As far as hobbies go, I love visiting cafes with friends, reading sci-fi/fantasy, playing games, watching movies and going to the gym or for a run. In summer, the beach and late-night volleyball are the go. Then there is art, travel and music… finding a good bar or chill out spot down some forgotten alleyway in the city. Car trips down south, nice wine. There is so much to do! I believe strongly that work-time is not time that’s written-off. In fact, it’s a privilege and something to be thankful for (even when work is sometimes horrible). But the best of life is in the in-between bits.

paperdaisies

So, that’s a very short introduction to the amazing man on the other side of the messy table (or more frequently, the couch). If you’d like to get to know him a little more, he’ll be sporadically blogging over at MonsterBot (where you can also see his evolving illustration and design work).

To Aaron: thanks my love, for two years of marriage. Thanks for being the strong but gentle, inspiring, loving and God-fearing man that you are. Thanks for putting up with my quirks, weaknesses, inadequacies and flaws… you’re constantly helping me to grow and to become a better version of myself. Thanks for believing in me, even when I succumb to doubt. I love you endlessly and I always will.

Laura & Aaronblog

Concluding photograph courtesy of Lance Chicote @ Lanceshotme creative photography. Other photographs by myself and Aaron during various walks around Perth city.

*I intended for this post to be accompanied by a recipe for crispy skinned salmon with asparagus and smoked roast potatoes (Aaron’s favourite) but an exceptionally busy week has defeated me. I hope to post the recipe some time in the next fortnight with a link back to this post.

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122 responses

    • Thanks so much UPC! I don’t have a photo purely of the chopping board (I might take one soon as a few others have asked about it) but it’s already featured in many shoots on the blog. It’s dark wood, rather thick, with a ridge where I sit my knife. I’ll try and take a photo in the next few days and upload it in this post :)

      • Awesome!! I can’t wait to see it! My wife considers my care for my tools to be approaching the OCD level; and constantly teases me about it. I simply retort: “You like the food, don’t you?” and that’s typically the end of that… :)
        I’ve been meaning to do a post on cutting boards one of these days too. I’ve done a few on knives; cutting boards are next on my list!

      • Haha, I can definitely appreciate the dedication to the ‘tools of the trade’. I’m the same, I sharpen my knives religiously (both for safety and ease of use) and I always wash and care for my chopping boards daily. Aaron and I bought a whole heap of food-safe conditioning oil for our wooden boards a few months ago. A great investment, methinks! It’d be great to see your post on chopping boards. Out of curiousity, do you separate boards for meat and vegetables? I tend not to, just because I sanitise and condition my boards regularly, but I know that some are firmly in the ‘separate boards for each’ camp!

  1. So so beautiful Laura! And a very happy 2nd wedding anniversary for the 12th. Your husband sounds very much like mine. Both very supportive of our food passion. Even I wake up an hour early to write up my posts lol! I think I might have to dedicate a post to my husband too x

    • Aw, thanks lovely! Haha… we sound like we lead similar lifestyles! It’s such a blessing to have supportive husbands isn’t it? I don’t know where I’d be without my husband and my ever-supportive mother. Hugely blessed. I would LOVE to see a post on your husband. Let’s keep the appreciation going! xxx

  2. Happy Wedding Anniversary Dear Young Laura & Aaron! What a lovely and gorgeous couple you are, supportive of one-another and so much in LOVE! You are both so talented, and pride of what you create do come across. I wish you continuous health, love and prosperity together! Hugs, Fae.

    • Aw, thanks lovely Fae! I really appreciate your comments. It’s a privilege to have such wonderful blogging friends :) I do feel very blessed to be travelling through life with Aaron. We do have our ups and downs but at least we get to tackle things together! Hugs back xx

  3. Happy Anniversary Laura and Aaron! Hey what a beautiful picture to finish it off :) Thanks for the lovely post and how lucky you are both to have found each other! (also, its nice to see you do some “mad” blogging things like me ;) ) Besos! (kisses in Spanish)

    • Hello lovely Sofia! Thanks for the sweet comments. We are definitely lucky to have each other but I definitely think I got the better deal… Aaron is a huge blessing. YES. Definitely do some mad blogging things. Standing on tables to take aerial shots is another one!! Kisses back to you beautiful! xx

  4. Happy anniversary to you both! I love that last photo especially. Just beautiful! One of my constant prayers is that my daughters find men who are kind and thoughtful and generous in spirit. Men that will make them laugh and comfort them in hard times. Men who are worthy of the wonderful young women they are. Looks like you found all that. You are indeed a blessed woman, Laura, but the blessings are Aaron’s as well. I wish you a long and happy life together!

    • Hello beautiful Stacy. Thanks so, so much for the comments. I know that my mother prayed exactly the same things for me as I was growing into a young woman. I eventually began to commit it all to God also and things worked out better than I could have ever asked or thought of. We’re both very blessed. Life isn’t always easy but we’re travelling through it together which helps. I do pray that your daughters will find men who love, appreciate and encourage them as they travel through life. I can tell you that the prayers of a parent mean a lot!!! I am always so grateful that my mother has invested prayer into my life :) You are beautiful inside and out, sending you hugs and thanks xxx

    • Thanks Johnny! Haha, yes. An hour earlier or possibly a little more… born out of necessity (working full time as a blogger really sucks). Hopefully one day we both might make a bit of profit out of this blog business, then I will make sure I sleep in! ;)

    • Thanks Jen. Haha, some things about being married to a blogger are pretty ok, right? I am glad that you understand the seriousness of bread selection…! By the way, wish you were coming to the Australian blogging conference tomorrow. I’m lucky as it’s in Perth this year so I don’t have to travel anywhere… would’ve been so good to meet you xx

  5. Steak is Good Enough sounds like a promising blog – I’d read it for sure. Also, crispy skinned salmon with some asparagus and roast potatoes? I would give you 3 brick, 2 wheat and 1 sheep just to have a bite :)

    • Hahaha, yayyy, you’re a Settlers fan too? We play all the time, very fun. And I do wish that you and the husb could come over for a salmon dinner with us. Is Australia too far? xx

  6. Awww! What a lovely post, Laura! Happy anniversary to you and your love. You’re so lucky to have each other.

    P.S. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I always check for comments/messages and then I reply. Haha! Aren’t all bloggers like that?! :p

    • Haha, yep I do think that all bloggers have our quirks, particularly when it comes to social media! Lucky that we understand each other! Thanks for the lovely comments Jhuls xx

    • Hahaaa, yep. I do wonder what would be in the blog though… just… steak recipes? And is he trying to tell me something about overly complicated feasts?! I shouldn’t overthink it, right! Thanks for the kind words. Yep, adventures, whatever they may be! xx

    • Aw, thanks Paula! Yep, you’re right… it’s a privilege to feel that we’re friends despite distance and never meeting face to face (though I do hope that will change one day! I want to have a giant blogger meet-up… we need to find someone rich to pay all of our airfares!). I loved Aaron’s last sentence too. The quiet, unplanned moments in-between the rest of life, when we can stop to breathe and just BE. Love those moments. Thanks for the comment beautiful xx

    • Hi Wendy! Thanks so much for the lovely comment. YES, definitely, I think we should all keep the appreciation going! It’s hard work being a blogger’s spouse (well, in some ways… though in the food department they are definitely blessed!) and if O is agreeable, it’d be awesome to ‘meet’ him :) xx

    • Thanks John! It was lots of fun to read Aaron’s point of view on blogging matters :) We’re a funny bunch, aren’t we? I feel lucky to have so many blogging friends who understand the foibles…

    • Thanks lovely! It was so wonderful reading your appreciation post too…. I felt like Aaron definitely deserved one! Can’t believe that we’ve been married two years already. Time goes so fast xx

    • Hi lovely! They do look a little alike. I love the red in Aaron’s beard, he has a few flecks in his hair as well, particularly in summertime. Thanks so much for the anniversary wishes. I’m definitely very blessed… life isn’t always easy but at least we’re going through it together! Hugs xx

  7. Great post, Laura! Your love for each other is heartwarming. You and Aaron make a beautiful couple. (Of course, you’ve been told that dozens of times before. But it doesn’t hurt to hear it again, right?)

    • Hello Kim! Thanks so much for the kind words. Haha, it’s always nice to hear wonderful comments from lovely people like you… I do think that I am very, very blessed to have Aaron in my life. Hugs xx

  8. Laura, I’m so happy to have “met” you! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your photography, your writing and your very handsome hubby!! My daughter is a wedding planner so I now pay attention to all the wedding shots that are so very different from when I got married way too many years ago!! I’m browsing through all your recipes and definitely need to follow along so I don’t miss anything!!

    • Aw, thanks so much beautiful. I appreciate the lovely words! Wow, wedding planning must be a very demanding job. It takes a lot of artistic flair, patience and attention to detail to get things right! Aaron and I are both creative people so we planned every detail of our wedding together. It was quite stressful but luckily we have similar taste and it meant that we got everything exactly the way we wanted it :) Thanks for becoming a blogging friend, I love what you do too! xx

  9. Love love LOVE your wedding photo, you both look ridiculously adorable. Love the interview with Mr. Aaron and thoroughly enjoyed his answers. Basically, love this post! Happy anniversary Laura and Aaron!

    • Hello lovely. Thanks so much for the kind words. Two years since that photo was taken… time has gone so darn fast! It was fun for me to read Aaron’s responses also. I am a very lucky woman. Hugs to you Azita! xx

    • Aw, I think Matthew has an equally (if not more) lovely wife!! Hm, since it seems that our husbands will get on, can we have a edamame gathering and throwing/Settlers playing/awesome casserole making night some time soon?? Please Pam? Ah, I wish you lived down the street from me xx

    • Aw, thanks so much beautiful Kiran! It’s a great idea isn’t it? I’ve really loved reading all of the posts so far, it’s given an entirely different perspective on my favourite bloggers. Sending you hugs my dear! xx

  10. Oh Laura m’dear, sounds like everyone should have an Aaron! You make such a lovely couple and photos are gorgeous :) I love the idea of an Appreciation Post but alas I have no Aaron of my own – merely a Yorkshire Terrrier who spreads her favours pretty liberally. She might do an appreciation bark about me though cos I cook her dinners everyday ;)

    • Haha, I think Aaron would love your comment… indeed, I am a lucky woman! But alas, despite having an Aaron, I have no Yorkshire terrier. Both Aaron and I are dog mad, so we pine after every little furry dog we see on street corners/in yards/in photographs/on billboards every day. It’s become a personal joke for our friends. Crazy dog people with no dog. But, you know what? I’d love to see an appreciation post on your Yorkie! Even if it’s all barks and howls ;) xx

      • You should totally get a Yorkie too. They are the best! Bags of attitude – Clemmie struts her was around the house, and lets everyone know when she thinks something’s up. She’d LOVE to meet you though – she adores people who cook (“do you NEED that beef or shall I help you with it??”) ;)

      • Haha, I’d love to meet her!! I’d cook up a storm just so she’d be my friend. We were tossing up between a boxer, French bulldog or a terrier of any kind (I LOVE them). Ah, wish you lived closer Trixie. You could loan me Clemmie and I’d send Aaron over to do your home maintenance etc as required. Plus, we could do cook ups together all.the.time! xxx

      • I LOVE french bulldogs AND boxers, but don’t let Clemmie hear that. In front of her, my loyalty is to terriers and only terriers ;)
        I think you might find that exchanging Clemmie for Aaron might not be a fair swap: sounds like Aaron is just a weeny bit more useful. Clemmie likes to eat socks, can’t imagine Aaron does that? nom nom.

      • Hahahaa, I’ll keep mum about your split allegiance… uh, your SOLE allegiance to terriers! Ahem. Oh, and as for socks? It’s possible that Aaron eats them, as I keep finding single socks in the washing basket with no sign of the evasive twin. Hm, interesting. But yes, he’s pretty useful and wonderful. He likes walkies too. Maybe I’ll keep him ;) xx

      • Ok, so I said “sole” because she was sitting watching me with those big brown eyes of hers. I had NO OTHER CHOICE!!!
        Aaron eats socks. Admit it.

      • Hm. Suspicion but no evidence. We’ll just have to call the probability at 50:50 (me being the other 50, as there are two inhabitants in this house. Maybe I ate the socks in my sleep).

  11. What an awesome post, Laura! I am long overdo to do a post about my husband. You two make a beautiful couple and I hope you have a fantastic anniversary!! Now I need to head over to Amanda’s to check out her appreciation post ideas. I may jump on this bandwagon with you…Beautiful post!! (oh, and I”m totally watching out for the crispy skinned salmon recipe!!)

  12. (I just tried to comment, and my browser is going nutty, so if this is a duplicate – I apologize!!) This is an amazing post, Lara!! You guys make a wonderful couple, and I hope you have a fantastic anniversary!! I need to head over to Amanda’s to check out her appreciation post and I may jump on the bandwagon with you! Beautiful post and I am looking forward to the crispy salmon recipe!!

    • Hello beautiful Emily!! Yes, definitely keep the appreciation movement going! It’d be wonderful to read about the man behind your blog. Sending you a hug, thanks again for the kind words xx

    • Thanks so much Holly!! I do feel very lucky to be travelling through life with this man. It was a fun post to do, so nice to hear his point of view on the whole blogging thing! xx

  13. What a lovely post and tribute! You both are very lucky to have each other. A very Happy Anniversary to you both and I love that last photo, adorable. Btw, my husband and I celebrate our anniversary on the 14th :)

    Nazneen

  14. Happy Anniversary Laura and Aaron. Gorgeous wedding photo. Aaron is a lucky man – what a lovely post Laura. Will forward this to my husband to read, so he’ll understand he’s not alone! I can absolutely relate to so many of the things Aaron said about you. Waking up an hour earlier to write recipes and respond to messages? Yep, that’s me! Nice to know you’re awake too, and that we may be writing simultaneously! Looking forward very much to the crispy skinned salmon recipe.
    PS. Love the wall in the first photo. Gorgeous!

    • Haha, great idea to share Sas! Moral support for the blogger spouses :) As Aaron mentioned, they’re lucky in some ways though… they probably eat better than most! It’s nice to think that we might be sipping coffee, bleary eyed but blogging simultaneously in the mornings (though with daylight savings I’m a little further behind you now!). I feel so lucky to be part of this beautiful blogging community we share. Sending you hugs, I’ll post the salmon recipe soon! xxx (P.S the wall is in an alleyway in the Perth CBD, I think it’s Prince St? Not sure who the artist is but the whole alley is covered with amazing urban art) xx

    • Haha, thanks Soph! I’ll tell him that you think so (I do too, by the way, I am a lucky wife!). Hope you’re going well my dear, I’ve been busy over the past couple of weeks (crazy stuff… attended a conference and did some other writing) but I will get back to reading my fabulous friend’s recipes very soon. Hugs xx

  15. Thank you for this post Laura! It’s such an incredible story of yours and inspiring to know a bit more about what makes you, who you are! Secondly, brave hubby for stepping forward to tell his side of the tale. I can definitely see my guy emphasizing with all of this! Have you checked out Amanda’s profile on Google+, I’m part of her new baking community there and it’s definitely worth looking at! as you’re a fan!

    Loved this post!!!

    • I haven’t really gotten into Google+ as yet, I have an account but I don’t often use it! I need to take a look at Amanda’s profile. Sounds awesome. Thanks for the kind words about this post my dear, it was fun to write. Hugs! xx

  16. Such a lovely post and appreciation, Laura! Congratulations to both of you for two years of marriage. Your marriage photograph is one of the most beautiful marriage pics I have ever seen, so natural, yet special and magic. And I like your little interview – it seems that food blogger’s live companions enjoy and wonder about similar things everywhere in the world: great food, many dishes, early/late blogging, and endless food shopping ;-).

    • Hi Claudia! Thanks so much for the beautiful message, I appreciate it a lot. Haha… Aaron was wonderful in terms of answering the questions. I appreciated being able to appreciate all that he invests in my life in a public forum like this. He’s amazing and I am lucky to travel through this life wtih him! By the way, Aaron is also obsessed with Berlin… you might be able to meet both of us over a beer next year. I hope so xx

  17. Hey Laura, Jamie here (Gourmet Male). This is an awesome post! Love, love it. I will definitely co-opt the idea and interview my longsuffering wife, the Gourmet Female. She’s the one who let me just take off for the weekend to EDB and the one who puts up with my incessant photography. Great to meet you. And BTW, how do you get so many comments?! Your comment today was the fifth in two years. I get heaps of readers just no one interacts…

    • Hey Jamie! Thanks for the kind words. It was awesome to meet you also, thanks for hanging out with me over the weekend! Definitely pay the appreciation forward, it’d be great to read about your beautiful wife’s experience in the world of blogging. Aaron quite enjoyed contributing to this post… we read through the rest of the appreciation series together and had a laugh at the common experiences of food blogger partners!! :)

      Re the comments, it’s all about time, persistence and reciprocity. You probably know this already, but it’s an unwritten rule that if someone comments on your blog, you comment back on theirs and vice versa. Initially, I did this as a networking thing (whilst also just gaining inspiration from other bloggers) but over time, natural friendships developed. My network expanded and I naturally wanted to visit and check in with my blogging friends regularly to see their work and make sure they were going ok. They do the same with me, out of relationship and probably also to extend their own networks through mine. Reciprocity!

      That brings me to the ‘time’ aspect. As a rule, I devote about 4-6 hrs+ per week to commenting on other bloggers work (split up into a bit every day) from my reader, RSS and email follows. It’s inspiring and wonderful, from the friendship aspect, but I’m sure every blogger will tell you that keeping up with their reading list can be overwhelming at times. I also try and reply to every comment that comes through to me, as an appreciation thing. It takes AGES, but it’s entirely worth it, from a friendship perspective. Hope that this helps!

  18. What a great idea, these appreciation posts… And yours for Aaron is so wonderful. I think some of Mark’s answers would be the same, especially the part about him preferring to sleep late while I get up and blog/respond/read… Like Paula said, this is a nice way to get to know BOTH you and Aaron.

    • Thanks David, I appreciate the kind words. Haha, maybe you should do one on Mark? It’d be awesome to get to know the ‘other half’ and his perspective on things! I’ve loved reading the whole appreciation series :) The shared experiences of blogger partners are quite hilarious and heartwarming to read! Thanks again David :)

    • Hello Amanda! So wonderful to hear from you. Thanks for being the catalyst of this series. As soon as I read a few of the appreciation posts I instantly wanted to do one with Aaron’s involvement! He loved being able to relate to some of the other blogger husband’s responses… I think there’s something wonderful, humorous and rich about shared experience. Thanks for taking the time to write. Hugs xx

  19. I love this! What a great idea to dedicate a post of appreciation to those who support us through all the craziness of life. :)

    I also wish that we lived on the same continent so we could hang out in real life. You guys seem so cool! And this post makes me think that our husbands would get along very well. Mine, too, loves sci-fi books, video games, film, design, and art. And we looove a good game of Settlers!

    Cheers to your anniversary!!

    • Aw, I wish we could too! Sounds like you guys are just like us… our husbands sound pretty identical and I’ve already thought that you and I would have a grand old time if we hung out! That’s the frustrating thing about blogging… meeting amazing people who are ‘real friends’ (not just ‘blogging friends’) but being so darn far away that we can’t meet up. Sigh. Maybe one day :) Thanks so much for the sweet words. I’m excited, Aaron and I are going to party it up tonight and I have the day off work tomorrow. Yeew. Hugs, thanks again Ali xxx

  20. What a sweet post, Laura! I love the idea of an appreciation post… and I wish I’d known about this earlier because we just celebrated our third anniversary at the end of October!

    Happy Anniversary to y’all! May the coming years be filled with love, laughter and delicious food!

    • Aw, congrats on your third anniversary lovely Erin! I’d still love to see an appreciation post if your hubby is willing to be featured… would be lovely to get to hear his point of view on the blogging madness (Aaron has loved reading all the other responses from spouses, haha.. shared experience is awesome). Sending wishes to both of you for love, good times and blessings too. Hugs xx

  21. That was such a sweet post! I love the idea of an appreciation post. I cannot imagine life or my blog without my husband…it’s funny how much our blogs are a family thing:-) Congratulations on your anniversary! And beautiful photographs Laura!

    • Hey Sonali! Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Yep, I agree… family is so important in every element of life. We’re lucky to have the support that our husbands and families give us xx

    • Thanks so much Seana! Wow, congrats to you and your husband on 17 years!!! Woop! I always get inspired when I hear about other couples and their journeys together. I met an elderly couple who have been married 72 years a few months ago. Wow. What a journey! xx

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