Feeding YOUR Passion (and a free giveaway worth $25!)

(Scroll down to the pretty pictures if you’re just here for the giveaway. I won’t judge, hehe! Contest ends 12/11 at 11:59pm) 

Why I Love the Food Network and YouTube/Blogs:
by Tiffany Rivera. January 2013.

“Growing up, I never really had a celebrity crush. I always kind of went with the motions and squealed along as my friends printed out pictures of Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter for our binder covers. In fact to this day, my celebrity crush is jokingly Jackie Chan (he does his own stunts!). 

What really amazes me is seeing talent and passion combine to make someone remarkable. Being a Food Network Star means you’ve learned and mastered cooking. Being YouTube famous means you love what you do and do it well, whether you started doing comedy online or became known from your dance performance on a TV reality competition show. You are famous not simply being of your looks or your family name; you found yourself in your passion and went forth to share it with others. You express and showcase your heart in front of an audience.

I am often unimpressed by mainstream actors and actresses, even pop stars. I actually am terrible at pop culture trivia because of it, and have trouble identifying Hollywood stars. For my entertainment, I prefer and value seeing work done by real people like you and me, reminding us that we don’t need a perfect face, magazine cover body, or tons of money to be happy and successful. Find your passion and run with it. You can find success and even love by being yourself to the fullest. 

Someone once asked me if it’s weird that I read so many blogs and watch so many YouTube channels, even of less well-known people. Isn’t that kind of stalker-ish?

Well, I’d rather support someone’s passion than spend money and time obsessing over lifestyles and people that you have zero chance of ever getting to know personally. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with other bloggers and Instagrammers that I admire and it’s a wonderful thing. One famous blogger even sent me a lengthy email full of personal advice for young writers when I was going through a bad time last year. 

Connecting with strangers in this way is not surprising at all in the online community; but you tell me if you’re ever felt any personal satisfaction beyond a superficial level from People magazine. Maybe you were inspired to work out more and buy new clothes or makeup. But don’t you tell me that they care about you personally. Yes, they appreciate their fans, but it comes down to it, most are about themselves. 

I hope to be someone that runs with my passion and shares it with others to help make their lives more fulfilling, filling, and fun. A fame not just for me, but to make others feel worthwhile and inspired from having heard from me.”

This writing piece had been sitting unread in my iPhone notes since the beginning of the year until I revisited it recently. Looking back, my life has changed in so many ways from January to December. I’m in a new city, in a new graduate program studying what I love, and finding ways to spend my free time chasing my passions — helping others achieve their goals while bringing people together through a love of good food.

While I have a good idea of my goals and the things that make me happy, a busy schedule and the influences of others often shift my focus in too many directions, making me lose sight and be less productive. I craved structure in what I thought was organized chaos.

And so it is with perfect timing that I stumbled upon an extraordinary project by an amazingly creative high school friend of mine, Angelia Trinidad. She designed a tool to help others accomplish their goals — a planner/organizer. Have you ever experienced the hunt for the perfect planner, only to settle for one that’s missing key features that you really wanted? Well, my friend Angelia Trinidad has thought of it all with her new Passion Planner!

Not only does the Passion Planner have space to plan out your daily schedule and tasks, there’s specific areas designed for you to develop your passion and reach your goals! I could go on for days about how amazing it/she is, but I’ll let it speak for itself:

I’ve tried out the week layout prototype (free on her website) and after just a few days, it’s already working wonders on my productivity and stirring up my passion to create! I’m so excited because I put in an order by backing her Kickstarter project. Even more exciting, I ordered two Passion Planners — one for me, and one to give away to a reader!

While Dining at Tiffany’s is about sharing my own passion, the bigger reason I write is for my readers. I want to feed your passion.

So, here’s how to enter my contest:

Win a Passion Planner – 3 easy steps!

1. Leave a constructive comment below! This means, include something you’ve liked on my website and why, something I should add/improve and why, plus any types of posts you’d like to see based on what YOU are passionate about!
– Like I said, this website is not just for me, but to help others, so your feedback is key!
– If it’s your first time here (welcome!), feel free to look around!

2. *Like* Dining at Tiffany’s on Facebook. Click here.
– I know some of you have already. If so, you’re already on your way to win!

3. Tell a friend about Dining at Tiffany’s/Passion Planner!
– This part is honor system. 🙂

After you complete all three steps, I will use http://www.random.org to select a winner based on the number of your comment below (first comment is #1, etc.). This contest will run until Tuesday, December 11th at 11:59pm PST! 

The great part is, even if you don’t win, you’ll still have a few days left to be one of the first owners of a Passion Planner. Best wishes on the contest!

Cheers to passion and possibilities,

Tiffany R.

Dining at Tiffany’s


15 thoughts on “Feeding YOUR Passion (and a free giveaway worth $25!)

  1. Tiff, the email newsletter is a GREAT idea. I have you on my RSS feed, but sometimes I can go days without reading my feed. But I'll read emails on the daily. As long as you only send them out once or twice a month!

  2. Hi Tiff 🙂 I love reading your blog. One constructive comment I have is to have routine dates (ex. every Monday) that I can look forward to reading a new blog entry. That way I (and others!) can look forward to when we can see a new post and also incorporate it into our routine.

  3. This is a good blog on promoting a new product, supporting your local entepenuers (I sooo spelled that wrong), and aligning it with your own passions! Also, you can show off your skills blogging with one hand and writing with the other.

  4. Hi Tiff! I love the concept of your blog. The theme of cooking and feeding passions is unique and fun! I think it could be better if you found a way to stream line it a little. I know you mentioned you're switching to WordPress, which may help. One thing that I've seen other blogs do that I like is that they only do a little preview of each article on the main page or each section. If you click on the little preview or title, it connects you to the full article. That might help each section from feeling so crowded. Also, you might want to mix up the fonts. I know it's minor, but it might help to differentiate the main text from the links on the sides. I hope that advice helps! 🙂

  5. Hi Tifanny, Thank you for the reminder. I love organizing too, so when I first saw your contest I actually bookmarked it to do!! haha 🙂

    Well, first I just want to comment that I still believe you do a fantastic job incorporating food, personal life, school and work life all on one blog! I think it is a great idea to change to words press. I believe the layout will work better. For example, for this contest, the pictures go into your popular post sections. I tried seeing if that was a difference in chrome and safari, but it looks the same. I do appreciate being able to follow your blog by e-mail. I feel that is very helpful as a follower.

    In addition, is there a goal of how many posts you are aiming for? For example. if I know there is going to be a new post every other Sunday, then I know to visit back. Or at least share that posts may vary depending on occasions. Or if you were to share your tip of the week, or food of the week, etc. you can probably have a creative weekly themed post or something on the lines of that. That will have followers be able to look forward to something on a regular basis.

    When you are revamping your new site, I would love to take a look at it before you go global! Please, let me know how I can assist! 🙂

  6. Hi Tiffany! I love your blog! One thing that I really love about it is that with every entry and post, I clearly see your style. It's almost as if I can hear you explaining how you're cooking something or about how your day went! One of my favorite posts of yours was your post about cover letters. 🙂 Most of my critiques are something you mentioned would be included with your switch over to wordpress such as videos and an email subscription list, so I'm excited for that. I think I would like more consistent blogging like you're going to update every Monday/Sunday, etc, but I definitely understand that you're probably super busy with that grad school life. Maybe you can do weekly highlights. I would actually like to read more about your experiences in grad school and higher education in general.
    Not sure if you've done this already, but to have a post on what in your life has led you to where you are now, like what experiences have impacted your life immensely, etc. Lastly, if you got some tips on how to stay in shape, please share them! I know you're trying to maintain balance in grad school, and I hope a healthy lifestyle is one of them!
    Hope this helps! Wish you luck on everything ❤

  7. Your writing is definitely you (which is a good thing!) because I can definitely hear your voice when I read your posts haha

    You will absolutely see a great benefit from moving to WordPress. There's a lot of customization available and makes managing your blog an easy thing to do (including using previews/excerpts and “Read More” to declutter the main page. I recommend checking out WooDojo, which has a lot of useful plugins.

    It's been mentioned but let me say it again – post regularly and consistently. That way, readers know when to come back for new updates. I would also avoid combining two posts into one (most recently, your post about networking and garlic pasta carbonara should really be two posts).

    Good luck! – Dante

  8. Hey Tiff,

    I love your passion and commitment to Dining at Tiffany's! It really shines through in your writing. My suggestion would be to tighten up your posts. State your opinion about something relevant, back it up with your experience/expertise, and bring it back to the reader. When I do my guest blog posts for Nancy Schwartz the word limit is 300!! Short and sweet. 🙂

    You go girl!


  9. HELLO! Thank you for the reminder via FB and Email, I tend to forget because of everything going on & the reminders helped! I love your blog posts, very personal and I feel like I can literally hear you talking! A few suggestions would be to make things a little easier to find, like headers at the top “Recipes”, “DIY” “Organization” etc. Also, since you have so many great recommendations for foodie places maybe adding a tab of like “Where to Eat” or something to that effect like places you recommend divided by area like “SD” “OC” “LB” etc…… LOVE your blog name!!
    This is my favorite blog of all time, read it religiously.
    I love how she has “Ask Emily” segments, maybe something like that would be cool for yours?

  10. I would love to see more recipes! Or cooking tips. I really like that you have a well-rounded blog though, so keep doing the inspirational/motivational tip posts too!

    The one thing I would suggest improvement to is the layout, but switching to WordPress should solve your problem! I use Blogger too and it makes me want to rip out my hair. :p

  11. Ello Tiffany! Awesome blog! I believe your content is solid as is however if you do plan for your blog to grow. I would suggest interviewing people that are influential to you. As you mentioned there are mainstream stars and what not but it'd be nice to recognize those everyday heroes or anonymous extraordinaires share their knowledge and tips.

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