February's ILYB Award Winner: Twilight, Travel, and Treats

twilightcupcake buttonI found this blog when I met Jenny from TwiMobile. She makes mobile blogs for all of her blogging friends and I found out that she had a blog of her own. I had to give her this month's award just by the title. She was writing about some of my favorite things: Twilight, traveling, and cupcakes! She has a very beautiful blog that is very eye-appealing. I love her recaps of her travels and seeing the pictures of her decorative treats. I recently had a Q&A with her:

How did you come up with the concept of Twilight, Travel, and Treats?I'd been lurking on Twitarded for a long time. They were incredibly funny and on occasion were the only thing to make me laugh during the course of a day. I found myself having some Twi related thoughts I just had to share and didn't think there would be anyone in my regular life that would want to hear it. Plus my husband started a travel blog. Hence I decided to start blogging as well. I felt guilty devoting my entire blog to Twilight because, at the time, I still focused a lot on baking and I just had to add some travel photos in. It just seemed to extreme to be "just" a twilight blogger - only a crazy fan would do that!

How did you become a part of the TwiCommunity?I used to lurk and occasionally comment on the Twitarded blog. Eventually I became friends with Dangrdafne after asking about her Italy pictures. The exact details of how I found myself in the community elude me. I must have commented on the Twitarded forums. I remember that 17foreverlisa, Dangrdafne, and Jelena were some of my first readers - thanks to those gals! Mrs. P was kind enough to let me enter her Twi-Bite challenge (go read it if you haven't before) even though I was a relative blogging newbie and I found many Twi friends like Twired Jen that way.

Where was your favorite place to travel to so far?Difficult one...I really love Hawaii. It's tropical but without the risk of disease. Is that too medical of me? I love that it's still North America but with a twist. Plus my good friend and Forks roomie Honolulu Girl from TrueBloodTwilight resides there :)
Tuscany comes a very close second. There's a moment where my husband and I are driving in our little convertible in the countryside watching the sunset. I have some "Pride and Prejudice" piano music going on in the background and it feels surreal - like "this is the ultimate moment we've been waiting for". I still get chills ;)

What is/was your dream place to travel to?I would love to travel to a remote island one day with my husband. White beaches, quiet surf, but with all the modern amenities. Doesn't matter to me quite where it is as long as it's air conditioned, has a modern kitchen, huge bathroom with multiple shower heads, and a white canopy bed out on the beach!

You say you love cupcakes. What is your favorite kind of cupcake?My cousin took me to Kara's cupcakes in San Francisco. I love their Chocolate Velvet - classic but not overly sweet for me (although I'm sure it is to some).

What do you think makes your blog unique from others?The travel and treats part ;) And I'm Canadian. Being in Vancouver I wish I had as many set stalking photos as Malicious Mandy but I don't have the time or the guts to go to those lengths.
I don't post often but I try and make sure that when I do that the content is rich and if someone is interested that it will be informative.

Do you have anything new coming to Twilight, Travels, and Treats for 2011?I've been debating whether or not to convert back into wordpress.com. Reason being that my old Twilight, Travel, and Treats blog at http://twilightcupcake.wordpress.com/ still gets as many hits as the one on blogger that I'm currently using. And I haven't posted on Wordpress since August! Wordpress.com is definitely better for search engine traffic.
I have a new layout planned if I convert back to Wordpress. Hence the debate because the new layout is hard to implement on blogger but it's a pretty silver theme.

Are there any traveling tips for the readers?Plan ahead! I am notoriously OCD about making lists and I think it has served me well. I don't plan all our excursions because that takes out too much of the fun and makes vacations feel like work. But I play hotels and flight months ahead if I can. I use a lot of tripadvisor (keeping in mind to read negative reviews because sometimes people deduct marks for inconsequential things) and priceline/hotwire. I also have been surfing the Mr. and Mrs. Smith travel site to see where I should dream of staying and then book directly with the hotel.

Do you make your own desserts? If so, what was the best thing you think you made?I don't make as many desserts as I'd like. My husband loves chocolate mousse so I make that for him. The most addictive thing that I make is a super gooey chocolate chunk chocolate cookie. My husband found the recipe and said "make me these please" and he made a good choice.

Can you tell the readers what your other blog, Twi-Mobile is about?I originally made some tutorials about how to read fanfiction on my iPhone and then about how to make a mobile version of a blog. Eventually I decided to move these to a separate blog so as not to annoy all the non-mobile people. Twi-Mobile has now grown into a much bigger entity than Twilight, Travel, and Treats. Last year I had 10,000 hits I think on Twi-Mobile. It's really supposed to be a headquarters for any Twilight surfer who loves to use their iPhones or other mobiles to surf. I've got over 70 of the Twilight blogs and sites that have mobile versions listed as affiliates plus wallpapers for mobiles and also a whole section on reading fanfic on mobiles and making a blog mobile friendly. It's quite a lot of info actually. Takes up more of my time now than anything else!

How are you able to make the wallpapers for iPads, iPhones, etc?I use a Photoshop template that has the iPad or iPhone dimensions and blocked out areas already built into the layers. It makes it easier to design when I know where the clock or unlock bar will be. It is much better for making iPad wallpapers that will work in landscape or portrait mode. It's a real pain sometimes to get those right though. Most wallpapers out there don't care and assume you're using landscape so I may have to eventually cave and just go with the status quo.

How can blogs have their blogs mobile by you?I've got a whole section devoted to that at Twi-Mobile. If anyone has trouble figuring it out of course they can email me at twimobile (at) gmail (dot) com.

What is your favorite thing about blogging? Worse?The best? I love that I have an outlet for my Twilight craziness which is relatively hidden from my real life. It's also given me a place to be creative. Until I started this blog the only time I ever wrote was in scientific reports. Not a single creative word since first year English. It's nice to discover another side of yourself that you either thought was dead or never knew existed.
The worst? Feeling pressure to post. I have resigned myself to my follower number and now that Twi-Mobile gets good traffic I don't stress about readership for my regular blog. I'm just glad to have a place to discuss my Twilight obsession.

What have you learned from in the blogging world?That although online life can be dangerous the world of penpals is still alive. Just in a different format. There's a reason that our mothers used to have penpals back in the day. There is a whole community of wonderful, strong, intelligent, and caring women that I never knew existed until I started blogging. For anyone who is introverted and self-critical it is a surprisingly easy and refreshing way to express yourself.

Do you have any blogging tips for upcoming/new bloggers?
Don't try to be anyone else. It's too hard. Write what you know and don't worry about readership numbers. The whole point of this thing is to express yourself and have an outlet - if you stress about followers it becomes too much like work!

Please visit Jenny's two blogs! They are stunning and amazing!

Peace and Fangs,
Alisha
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