Blogger Spotlight: Lace & Lilacs

This week, we're proud to feature Abby Ingwersen  in the Blogger Spotlight. For those new to the column, every Friday, we highlight a member of The Daily Meal's Culinary Content Network, a limited group of bloggers who write about food and drink.

We look to this group of talented food writers for inspiration and participation in The Daily Meal, whether for restaurant recommendations or new recipes to try out for dinner. Our editorial team covers All Things Food and Drink, and we tap the CCN to keep up to speed on what is happening around the country and the world — whether that means fine dining or home cooking.

Abby Ingwersen is a San Diego-based blogger and will soon be moving across the globe to Paris to pursue a degree in photography. Her lifestyle blog Lace & Lilacs is a culmination of her passions for travel, literature, and fashion. She started her blog two years ago at 14 years old as a way to share her favorite recipes with readers.

The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Abby Ingwersen:
It's very simple, I think. I want to inspire people. 

How did you get started with your blog?
I began blogging in 2012, at the age of fourteen. A few months earlier I'd stumbled upon a few food blogs on the internet, and fell in love with the idea of sharing recipes, along with bits and pieces of my daily life, online. I'd already been cooking for quite a while, as well as journaling, and blogging seemed to be an ideal creative outlet for my passions and interests. As time passed the focus of my site has shifted from strictly food, and I currently identify as a lifestyle blogger. Food is often incorporated into Lace & Lilacs, though, and readers can expect travel guides, my original photography, and plenty of lovely inspiration, along with the sweet treats and recipes that are posted every so often.

What are some foods you can't live without?
Ooh, this is a toughie. If I had to select just five, though, they would be Greek yogurt, maple and brown sugar oatmeal, chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies, Honey Nut Cheerios, and ice cream.

What are some foods you can't stand?
Avocados, bell peppers, and mushrooms—those are definitely my three least favorite foods. Oh, and they're all vegetables... how odd? 

Which blog post are you most proud of?
The recipe post I'm most proud of is this Peanut Butter Cake, hands down. I've always been a bit skeptical about baking with peanut butter, for no logical reason, but this dessert was utterly perfect. The chocolate frosting I paired the cake with was divine.

What is your biggest blog blunder?
My biggest blogging blunders never make it to the site... usually they involve me accidentally deleting a post instead of publishing it, or a recipe that just won't turn out, regardless of how many times I modify and reattempt it. I don't think I've made one huge blogging mistake yet, but there have been scores of bumps in the road in the past... and I'm sure they'll continue to arise in the future. 

What is your most memorable comment from a reader?
So many of my readers leave lovely, thoughtful comments; it would be impossible to choose just one. What really stands out to me, though, is when a reader e-mails me personally to tell me in detail just how much they enjoy my work and why it inspires them. It's touching. 

What's on your cooking playlist?
If I'm whipping something up in the kitchen, there's a 99.99% chance that I've got music blasting from my laptop in the background. This is my current Cooking/Baking Playlist on Spotify:

  • Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson
  • The Show by Lenka
  • Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez 
  • Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde
  • Hard Work by Ella Henderson
  • This Is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey
  • What If by Five For Fighting
  • Collide (Acoustic Version) By Howie Day
  • Samson by Regina Spektor
  • Stick by Ingrid Michaelson 


What are your favorite food blogs?
I read dozens of food blogs regularly, and love them all, but if forced to narrow down my insanely long list to the ones I derive the most inspiration from, they would have to be The Vanilla Bean Blog, Hummingbird High, Local Milk, london bakes, Will Frolic for Food, My Name is Yeh, Une Gamine dans la Cuisine, A Brown Table and Oh, Ladycakes.

Any favorite food apps?
At the moment I don't use any apps specifically designed for cooking, but Instagram and Pinterest are excellent resources for recipe & styling inspiration. The Starbucks App is pretty darn great, too.

What is the best thing about blogging?
The blogging community is so sweet and supportive. I've made many friends and acquaintances through the blog-o-sphere. I also love how creative and artistic blogging allows me to be. It's a convenient way to share my thoughts, images, and ideas with hundreds of different, unique people. 

Following fellow photographers, writers, and recipe developers on various social media platforms is one of my favorite parts of running a site. The work of others inspires me to improve my own blog, and occasionally their brilliant ideas help me come up with new ones of my own.

Worst thing about blogging?
The tech aspect of it. Honestly, not all of this bothers me. In fact, I enjoy playing around with my blog's look (which was created for me by the lovely Purr Design) and formatting posts. However, dealing with web hosts, renewing domain names, etc. is stressful. And when my computer freezes before I've managed to save what I'm working on? The. Worst. 

Do you have any recipe failures?
We've all been there... recipes don't always turn out as excepted. It's never fun. Particularly when you've dirtied up a pile of dishes and have to wash them, with no successful dish to show for your hard work. Ouch.

Do you have a recipe you're currently obsessed with?
Okay, my current obsession is My Mother's Favorite Tea. It was my mother's favorite beverage for the longest time and I recently began drinking it daily myself. Three ingredients, a pretty teacup, and you're good to go!

What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
I strive to create a pretty, vintage-esque atmosphere on Lace & Lilacs, and though everything shared there is very much real, I do have a tendency to leave out the messy 'life stuff'. Examples? There are too many to count... the cakes that won't come out of their pan, the breads that refuse to rise, the photographs that don't turn out quite right... Things aren't always perfect, you know? 

A few random facts people may be surprised by? I love the colors lavender and lilac, but am not at all a fan of dark purple. I'm terrified of spiders (okay, maybe this one isn't *that* unexpected). And I'll always pick greek yogurt with fruit over a slice of cake, not for health reasons, but because I genuinely prefer it. 

Five of your all-time favorite posts: