Hard Work & Luck

Happy Friday!  Good Lord it’s been a long week for me.  I don’t blog about Scott’s travel for safety reasons but he’s been gone all week. 

So in addition to me returning home from Mexico City last week

And moving into a new home last week just 24 hours after I was back from an international trip


This week I have been a single parent.  Along with working fulltime. 

Needless to say, I am running on fumes.

But his flight just landed.  Thank.God.

Needless to say, Daddy and Skylar will be having fun at the park Saturday afternoon.  Mommy needs to catch her breath.

Today Katie told me that my Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies made the Most Gawked list on Foodgawker for the past 7 days!

Here are my cookies on their site

Do I “get” anything for this?  No, not really.  No money, no blue ribbons, no pats on the back from Martha Stewart or anything like that.

Does it still make me insanely happy?  Yes.

Why? Because Foodgawker gets thousands of submissions each day to their site.  Most don’t make it.  That’s just the cruel truth.  The food sites are really picky and I have tons of photos turned down just like everyone else who submits.  Declines are common.  Of the thousands of submissions they receive daily, they probably publish less than 100 per day.  <–Just a guess.

But of the submissions they do publish from the last 7 days, let’s just say it’s 700 for the week, mine made the most gawked list and at the time of this blog post, I’m on page one!

That means that either my recipe is good, my photography is good, or possibly both.  I’ll take it.  

I work really, insanely, ridiculously hard on both my recipe development AND my photography.  I do put lots of effort and hard work into everything I do in life; including my blog, my recipes, my photography.  And it looks like the Gawking Gods are smiling down.  Thanks to everyone who has gawked.  Without your gawks, I wouldn’t be on that list!

Things like this makes me want to work even harder.   I am not mentioning this to get pats on the back.  No!  

I mention = it to remind myself that hard work pays off and to encourage everyone else to keep on working hard at whatever your passion is!  Dream big, set goals, and work hard at whatever it is you want to accomplish!

I’d also like to work hard at devouring some Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Bread (Gluten/Soy-Free)

Between the bananas and the peanut butter, this is the moistest banana bread I’ve ever had.

But those thoughts will have to wait.  No time to bake, yet. 

I have lots of other work to do!

From my last post about the Grocery Store Shuffle, we all seem to go to multiple stores.  Ugh!  Why can’t it just be one-stop-shopping?


Do you believe that hard work pays off?  Do you believe in luck?

I believe in hard work.

I really don’t believe there is much “luck” in life.  Some luck, yes, like the circumstances you were born into or the type of parents you had, yes, that involves luck, fate, or destiny; for others they may term this God’s will, but in a broad sense, I really don’t believe much of what happens to us or the course and path of our life is determined by luck.

I believe most of what happens to us is shaped by our own efforts, our choices, and our mental attitude and outlook on things and how we deal with the circumstances and things that life throws at us.

I have been the victim of violent crime.  Was this unlucky?  Yes. 

Does my mental attitude and outlook allow me to wallow in this, to live my life being shaped by this unlucky turn of events?  No!  It happened, I processed it, I am alive, I have moved on.

People who seem “lucky”or who have achieved some success or wealth or accomplished great things didn’t usually get there by chance.  They got there because they worked hard!

Did Oprah, Donald Trump, or Paula Deen get where they are because they were lucky?  No!  They all tell stories of how hard they worked, the sacrifices they made, the obstacles they overcame from abuse to poverty to single parenthood to long days, sleepless nights, and sheer fortitude and determination and drive and hard work.

Yes, you could get “lucky” and win the lottery.

But I believe you have a better chance of positively shaping and effecting your own life through hard work!  Pursue your passions and dreams like there’s no tomorrow, and just dive in.  Work hard, play hard, and seize the day.

I believe that “luck” does sometimes happen.  However, I define luck as: the intersection of preparedness and hard work meeting opportunity.

Be prepared, work hard, and that way if a door opens, or if there is opportunity for something “lucky” to occur, you will be ready for it and can take the fullest advantage of it.

I can’t wait to read your thoughts.  There are so many shades of gray, nuances, exceptions to rules, and opinions on these topics.

In a half dozen sentences there is no way I can fully express all my thoughts on the matter.  Just giving broad brushstrokes. 

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for the Barre 3 Giveaway Entries.  You all want to get your fit on!

Have a great weekend!



  1. I don’t really believe in luck. I believe in making what you will of situations. I think no matter what happens, good or bad, the way you deal with it dictates the final outcome. I’ve had hard financial times, difficult family situations, and also fantastic opportunities. By learning from mistakes and appreciating everything good in my life, I’ve been able to become a person I’m proud of, be happy, and I consider myself lucky only because of the fantastic people and situations that I worked hard to create and maintain!

    Congrats on Foodgawker! My dream is to have an image even ACCEPTED! Can’t win if you don’t try, right?

  2. Great job!! You deserve it!
    I partially believe in luck…but I really think you control many of the things that happen to you, good and bad.

  3. Congrats on making the Most Gawked list!! That’s awesome :) I didn’t even know that existed! Haha – maybe I should spend some time and get to know my way around Foodgawker, Tastespotting, etc.

    I didn’t realize that Foodgawker got that many submissions and the percentage of photos that get published is that low. I’ll be much more thankful when one of my photos gets selected from now on!

    I definitely think hard work pays off, but you need luck as well. But, I agree that luck is really all about being well prepared and ready when an opportunity presents itself. Sometimes you need to put yourself in the right place to get those opportunities!

    • I didnt know it existed either until Katie mentioned it to me yesterday! I knew they had a popular list, like an all time greatest hits, so to speak, but didnt pay much attention to it or the most gawked.

      And yes, you SHOULD feel proud of all your submissions that make it!!!

  4. No wonder those cookies made it so far up the list. You’re making me get drool all over my keyboard! Nomz.

  5. Great post. Seize the day, indeed. Love your new digs. Beautiful place. Cookies look great too.

  6. I made those peanut butter cookies with the sweet boys I nanny for today! Such a wonderful {and delicious!} way to have fun inside during the crazy heat

  7. This is a fab post! Glad Scott is back and even happier that you are doing so well on Gwaker!
    I don´t believe in “luck”. But I believe in fate (why we meet certain people, tasks we have to learn, …) and hard work. We can all master our lives. We ARE the master of our lives. Mostly people say “I am always so unlucky, etc.”, because they FEEL and THINK they are unlucky and don´t try anything to achieve something positive.
    Yes, hard work definitely pays off and personally, I would always rather work extra hard, instead of hoping I will be lucky.

    • 100% agree with your last line

      and this drives me nuts in people
      “Mostly people say “I am always so unlucky, etc.”, because they FEEL and THINK they are unlucky and don´t try anything to achieve something positive.”

      Amen for your last line!

  8. congrats girl for being on Foodgawker’s list..you deserve it!

  9. A-to-the-men on the hard work thing. Luck is hard work meets opportunity for sure. Congrats on FoodGawker. Im def gonna have to try those PB cookies now. I made your coconut chocolate agave truffle things and they were amazing. So rich, they’ve lasted me in my fridge/freezer for a week :)

  10. I believe in both! I definitely work hard, but there are some wonderful instances in my life that were just purely based on luck. So both for me :)

  11. Gorgeous cookies and congrats on “most gawked” No small feat! I believe in a combination of fate, karma, having a positive attitude and, absolutely, hard work! Have a wonderful weekend :-)

  12. Congrats on making the list, that’s awesome!!! Hard work DEFINITELY pays off, you’re right!

  13. Congrats on making the most-gawked at list. It is truly an accomplishment!

    Yes, I believe that hard word does pay off. I really needed this post right now, so thank you.

  14. Oh, and I meant to add that the top photo in this post is incredible. I love it.

  15. First, BIG congrats for the popular Gawks! I have noticed incoming hits from my submissions in the same most viewed “7 days” but mine are always on like page 7 or 8, not one! haha So that’s pretty awesome, right?

    Yay for Scott being back in town!! You def need a break!!!

    Oddly enough, Dustin and I saw a Porsche today with a vanity license plate that said “WTHRDWRK” or something like that = “With hard work” <– YES!! In my opinion, earning something is far more rewarding than winning or being given something. And I agree: Luck plays a small role for a small percentage, but most success is the result of hard work, dedication, and calculations! I don't believe very much in life just comes to you, you have to go get it. And if it is just coming to you, landing in your lap, I think you're missing out on life. You know, the difference between Conrad Hilton and Paris Hilton… yeah, like that. :)

    • PS. Dustin doesn’t believe in destiny and I don’t either! I think we have the power–in most cases–to shape our “destiny.” So long as we have freedom, which is what sets us aside from so many other cultures.

    • Thanks for the compliments…you of all people know what’s involved with it all! Boy do you ever!

      And “And if it is just coming to you, landing in your lap, I think you’re missing out on life.”– Scott calls those people Lucky Sperm Club members. Just born into it. But I think those people have challenges too. Or at least I hope they challenge themselves with something! :)

  16. Great job! The cookies and you deserve it!

  17. I believe in hard work, not luck… but I also like the saying ‘don’t confuse efforts with results’.. no?

    Also, congrats on getting ‘most gawked’!! I love when I see that others love my recipes as much as I do :) Everytime I get something on fg or ts, it always makes me insanely happy… it just never gets old.

  18. I do believe that hard work does pay off, but only if you are truely honest with your hard work & yourself. Skimming the surface and pretending that you are doing hard work when you aren’t giving your best doesn’t count in my book.
    Luck on the other hand is like a fun suprise that you don’t plan on, like winning big in Vegas (but it can also suck to, like gettting robbed).
    I do believe in signs and things that are meant to be. I feel things happen & come into my life depending on what kind of energy I’m projecting & depending if the great universe is giving me a lesson (good or bad) to learn from.

  19. Congrats on the cookies! That’s such great news. I do believe hard works pays off, but I think a lot of it is who you know and how you use it. I’ve watched Tony career change over and it is quite interesting to watch how it has transformed.

  20. This post is one of my favorites of yours so far, it really resonates and I can tell how passionate you are about this topic and all that you do. Just through reading your blog and hearing and seeing all the hard work you put forth into all your hobbies, various certifications, passions, continuing education etc… I can tell it’s ALL through hard work. It’s motivated me over the past few months to keep pushing with my passion for photography also, and I’ve landed a potential job for the fall! I don’t plan to just sit back and hope it all works out I have a game plan and will keep pushing forward! So thank you for your inspiring posts daily.

  21. Congrats on all your gawks! Your photography really is always stunning, it is no surprise to me that people love to look at it! You go lady.
    As far as luck goes, I think that it is 99% preparation and perspiration, 1% being in the right place at the right time. I think in order for “luck” to really happen for you, you have to be prepared for it. Doing the hard work sets you up for success when the opportunity comes your way. You are then ready to take on the challenge of whatever fortune comes your way. Oprah worked hard until her last show. Her work didn’t stop, even after her big break. That is why I believe in working hard at something you are passionate about. That way you will be willing to continue to work hard, even after you have met with success or Luck!

  22. I definitely believe in hard work and the fact that it pays off! Take your blog for example– I can tell that you put a lot of thought and effort into your posts, and now look at the fabulous results you’re getting! :D

  23. I believe that everything is worked together – some of it by luck, some by hard work. But I refuse to sit around and trust luck to be my only option!

    Brooke Annessa

  24. Enjoy your well deserved break tomorrow!!! Just wanted to metion I’ve noticed the past couple days when I hit your site, it takes quite a bit longer to load before I can scroll down….usually in the past I can hit it and scroll down to “overview” your pics then scroll back up to read. Not sure if anyone else is experiencing this….but I’ve tried 3 different computers and different ISP’s. Take care chillaxin tomorrow!!

    • It likely means my site is experiencing more traffic and according to my stats, I am. Just means more people are reading :) But thanks for LMK. I really like feedback like this. I do everything I can to keep load times fast but it’s out of my hands at a certain point w/ servers and traffic patterns/eyeballs viewing.

  25. I MOST DEFINITELY believe hard work–> pays off. Why else would I work so hard in school? ;)
    that cookie picture is gorgeous!!

  26. I believe very much in hard work. There is also some luck. For example, I grew up poor. But I was lucky to have two parents who instilled in me the value of hard work. I was lucky to grow up pretty smart too, since some of that is genetic.

    Ah, you have my sympathy on the single parent thing. My husband suddenly started traveling in January about 2x a month on average (except for June and July which were only once). Full time job, one kid, no husband…it is frigging exhausting. A lot of people just don’t understand that you don’t get any time off to yourself. On that note…hubs is traveling again this coming week.

  27. I believe hard work never hurts, but sometimes its pure luck and sometimes you can just wing it really well :)

  28. I made these peanut butter cookies twice since i saw them here and they have already vanished. By far the best peanut butter cookie I’ve ever had.

    I’ve been making your recipes like crazy and they are all great. Thanks for giving me so many delicious easy things to make : ]

  29. Agree with ya on all fronts. Usually it takes a lot of hard work and knowing/meeting/luck. But then sometimes it seems like people who have really done no work get a lot of attention by just being rich and going to parties. But I guess they are working hard on capitalizing being famous or children of famous people.

    Photos are fabulous.

  30. Congrats on the most gawked! That’s awesome :) I know what you mean by getting excited. I’ve had I think 4 submissions accepted and I jump around like a lunatic each time I get that “Accepted” email. My husband looked at me the other day and was like “do you GET something?” haha I think my response was something like “No, but do you realize how HARD it is to get accepted, and prior to a month ago I didn’t even know what ‘aperture’ meant!” Now, if I could only figure out tastespotting, they seem so much harder!
    Anyway- I’m not a huge believer in luck but a firm believer in hard work paying off eventually.

    • TS looks for a different style of photography IMO than FG. And it’s not my natural style. Creatively, they and I don’t jive as much. They prefer top down shots I think and also really minimalistic and crisp. Generalizing of course, but I have way better luck with FG too :)

  31. I agree. Hard work is what takes us to where we want to be. Other things help, but hard work is the driving force. It bothers me when people say some are “lucky” to have achieved what they have. It undermines everything they did to get there.

  32. Congrats in the food gawker success that’s amazing! Although I’m not surprised, your recipes are always amazing!

  33. I definitely believe that people have the control, you can’t just wait around and hope something good happens to you. You have to work hard to get what you want. I cannot fathom having to go to a full time job, blog, and take care of a kid (and move in!) all by myself, you are amazing! It must be that coffee :) But seriously, you’re inspiring to live a healthy life and keep going even when things seem hard, because the easiest thing to do would be to give up.

  34. hard work definitely brings positive results (congrats on your most gawked!), and I believe a positive attitude goes a long way too. the other day I heard someone talking about education, more specifically his lack of it. he said “I’ve never been good in school”. my thought is, nope, he never will be! because he won’t LET himself be. positive manifestation can be very powerful – and yes, as far as education, it does come easier to some, but those that work harder can do just as well, or maybe BETTER.

    some of my best opportunities throughout my career have been the ones where I probably wasn’t the most qualified for the job, but I was the most confident and I said I could do it. ;)

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  36. As usual…so humble. Not one to flaunt anything…HA.

  37. Yikes, what a crazy schedule! But congrats on your cookies at FOodGawker!

    1. Sure and you’re definetiley working hard! It pays off as long as that work is not split in too many directions as I feel mine has been lately with work, so much going on with personal stuff, and blogging.

  38. Hard work is a huge part of it I think, but I absolutely believe in luck.

    I believe there are times in life where one is lucky to be in the right place at the right time to meet the right person who directs them down a path they didn’t even know existed before that moment. It takes hard work to recognize and capitalize on those moments, but a bit of luck for them to cross our path in the first place. I also believe we can have a hand in making our own luck, by putting ourselves out there to find new opportunities.

    I’m not sure if any of that makes sense, but at least it does in my head :)

  39. Congrats on the cookies! They do look deicious :)

  40. I think there is something to luck by certain opportunities coming up at particularly random times…but the hard work still has to be there for that “luck” to even have a chance to turn into something real. You deserve that gawker spot! I know you work hard and you are awesome.

  41. First, congrats on the cookies being most gawked! I am a newer reader and your photography is certinally one of the reasons I kept coming back!

    I believe in luck and hard work. I think hard work is more often why successful people are where they are, but I do know some people who have lucked into amazing opportunities or situations. I don’t begrudge them at all but even they will tell you they luckily were in the right place at the right time!

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  43. Congrats on the most-gawked!!! I love foodgawker, and tastespotting, and your cookies totally deserve a top-spot. They look incredible!

    I believe that hard work pays off absolutely. I believe in luck in that it is completely random, and some people “luck” out, or have a “lucky day.” I don’t think of luck in the same way as something like fate though …

  44. Ahh congratulations on your foodgawker success! :) Those cookies look AMAZING!! Well done! :) Hard work really does pay off! And a little bit of good luck never goes amiss either!

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