TO FOODIES & WANDERLUSTS
So you love to eat, prepare food (as much as you can =p) and or travel but I also know that you are way more than that. You are a foodie but you are not just a foodie. You are a wanderlust but you are not just a wanderlust. You’ve got a life and your passion for food and travel tells me that you are passionate about that life as well. Yes, that passion might be hiding beneath a thick stack of boredom at work or a nagging frustration at home but IT IS THERE, deep within you.
You used to have big dreams but you’ve tucked them all away out of fear, self-doubt or you plainly don’t know how to start. Or you’re probably in the middle of pursuing a dream but you’re finding it really hard, confusing and lonely. I hear you. I feel you. And I want to be that voice that tells you that you have what it takes. No dream is too big for you.
Is Fully Freely Lesley for you?
There are many food and travel blogs out there so why follow or subscribe to another one? I know you already have your favorites and that’s where you get all the information you need to make that perfect brownie or explore Thailand hassle-free. I’ve got my personal favorites too and I don’t think I can really add any more to the overwhelming wealth of information out there. What I hope to do here is to invite you to a meal or a trip, become friends and talk about life. Yes, I will state my case and share with you whatever little bit of information I know on baking or my personal review about a place and provide helpful links, like friends do. But I want to give you more than that, you know, like friends do. Here, I endeavor to go beyond the information and give you inspiration to fully freely live the life you love as I endeavor to do the same. Let’s talk about life over delicious recipes and awesome destinations and come out recharged, with more clarity and with a better perspective. My closest friends and I actually do this about every month and I want to capture that wonderful and fulfilling experience in here.
Now, can I be perfectly honest?
I don’t know if this will turn you off or not, it probably will (hopefully not, hehe) but I would like to embrace where I am at today and tell you that I am not exactly sure what I am doing with this blog. Yes, that’s true my friends but I also know that progress is always better than perfect. I am not yet where I want to be but I am also not where I used to be. Just to clarify, I have always been clear about my mission and that is to inspire others but I really have no idea how to “operationalize” that in a food and travel blog. But I am willing to learn, work hard and make mistakes; that’s where it all starts, right? Actually, that’s where it should all stay as well. I have learned that that beginner attitude is the most fertile ground for growth and impact.
If you have been following from the beginning (anybody?), you would know what I just said about having no idea is true. This blog was not Fully Freely Lesley at the very beginning. I have rebranded twice in just two years and that’s certainly smells of confusion. I can try to deny it or sugar-coat it for you but it’s just that. My blogging journey has been nothing short of finding the switch in a dark and cluttered room.
MY BLOGGING JOURNEY
This blog was first launched as a marketing avenue for our then homebaking business – Sweets fr: Home. It was then called BAKE HOPE LOVE. I was planning to deep dive into the technicalities and science of baking with the blog at that time. Just like my favorites but better, you know what I mean? However, we had to pause, re-assess and find a new direction because we lack the needed capital to keep moving forward with the business. I say pause not to deny a “closure” but because we simply have not closed the book on the dream of putting up our own cafe specializing on homebaked cookies and goodies. It’s going to happen someday soon =).
Then, we thought we’d focus on making a business out of blogging and so the new name The BuckEAT List was born. By this time, the focus was on finding the best food out there, which as I always say, is not always the most popular. It was also about promoting start-up cafes and other food- or travel-related endeavors. We hit a bull’s eye in August 2016 with our month-long sweep of the new cafes and restaurants all over Marilao and Meycauayan and the subsequent top ten ranking we put out. From basically no one viewing the blog, we saw a sudden spike of almost a thousand views in one day!
On the other hand, I also put up a recipe video on Youtube that same fateful month. Another jackpot! My No Bake Yema Cake recipe video quickly gained momentum and continue to attract a lot of views and subscribers to the channel. It now has over 350,000 views! This was a sign of the bright future ahead for sure. I just need to keep striking where the iron is hot, expect growth and be happy, right? But I was not. Something was not right. Instead of being pumped up, encouraged and motivated, I was confused more than ever.
I could not recognize the person behind the blog that I was creating. Every post was a constant struggle between who I think I should be and who I really am; and between what I think I should share and what I would like to share. I felt like who I am and what I have to offer could not fit into what many in the blogging world say will lead to success so I was always torn. I have too much to say about life for a food or travel blog but sharing recipes and travel destinations do not really have a place in a life coaching blog. If you will check out my very first recipe post and all the rest of my posts, it would not be difficult to see that the struggle is real even up until recently.
But I have decided to fully and freely be who I am in this blog, it’s a personal blog after all
I am digging deeper into myself and staying true to who I am. I love food, I love to travel and I also love to talk about life. If you’re into that then welcome dear kindred spirit. It’s going be an amazing ride. I am looking forward to hear from you and get to know you. Most importantly, I am excited to inspire you to also find your true self and pursue your dreams. I hope to see you enjoy life in all its fullness.
By the way, I am Lesley
I am ambitious, hardworking, multi-passionate and creative. I love learning and that is probably the reason why I have many interests and passions or that I thrived in the sciences. I actually have a degree in Biology (with latin honors at that!). I enjoy reading, thinking and writing. I have actually been keeping a journal since I was probably eight years old. I also write poems, songs and I love to sing (at least at home and in church where I am a worship leader). I also enjoy taking food photos but I don’t really see myself becoming a professional food photographer. I would like to keep it as something I enjoy for its own sake and teach others. I am actually mounting my first photography 101 with a number of young people in the church who are interested.
Most importantly, I know I am loved by God and I am grateful for His grace and His truth. I am deeply disturbed by any form of injustice and I believe that societal change will only be lasting and sustainable if it happens from the ground up and not the other way around. I believe entrepreneurship has a lot to do with the transformation as well and I am particularly interested in the concept of cooperatives. I was planning on a thesis around just that to complete my Masters in Community Development but I am yet to get back to that.
I am also happily married and looking forward to having children as I am finally ready. My husband and I are working together as financial consultants and have recently started a financial literacy advocacy page. We also have an online gift store. Oh, I also have polycystic ovary and endometriosis as I have shared in my health-related posts here, here and in the future. I am a foodie and a wanderlust for sure but it’s really just a tiny part of who I am and what I want to share with you.