Happy Blogiversary To Me!

cheersToday marks my three-year blogiversary. Quite a milestone, if I may say so! I’d actually forgotten the exact date I took the plunge into the blogosphere until today when my WordPress account prompted to renew my expiring domain name (something I have to do annually).

Three years ago today, I bought my own Tweetupdomain name and started a blog so that I would have writing samples for potential employers. Little did I know that blogging would catapult me into a completely new career path and take me into the uncharted waters of tweet-ups and other social media/blogging-related meetups. Not to mention the countless people I’ve met virtually and in real life thanks to this medium.

I don’t think I ever thought about where blogging would lead me or what would actually become of this blog. I simply just wrote in hopes that someone, at least–if not solely–my parents, would read, enjoy, be entertained, and be challenged by what I wrote.

breakfast sandwichMy first blog post was about a sandwich. I’m a woman of many words when it comes to the foods I enjoy, so it’s no surprise that food posts have made many appearances on this blog. I’ve shared family cooking traditions, expounded upon my own food obsessions, and even passed along a recipe or two.

classroomAnother thing I’ve loved about having this blog is that it’s been a great forum for creating dialogue on social issues that are important to me such as education, health care, and the latest happenings in local government. Facebook and Twitter rants don’t quite do it for me.

I raise my glass to you, Prince William!

Then of course, there’s the lighter side. That’s the great thing about having a blog called Ramblings, I can write about whatever I want. Conversation starters for the socially challenged, gushing over my literary crushes, reflecting on an old celebrity crush, requesting to work for Saturday Night Live in a cheeky cover letter, lamenting the death of romance, ranting about Comic Sans. One of my greatest joys came from solving the age-old mystery from my youth about the disappearance of the other Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers.

Perhaps the biggest laugh for me is in realizing that Snooki has provided my blog with the most traffic. Thanks to the post I wrote about her publishing a novel, there was always a spike in traffic to my blog on Thursdays just before Jersey Shore aired. Thank you, Google image search!

So, what’s next? What will the next three years bring? More of everything, I hope! For starters, it’s time to get back to a more frequent blogging schedule. Second, it’s time to get more personal. Perhaps throw in a bit more about my own life, only the interesting parts of course! Lastly, I really want to take a look at how I can engage foreign readers. Within the last year, WordPress started keeping stats on clicks by country. It’s really cool to look at the map of top views by country for my blog:

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 9.47.56 PM

People from Myanmar have visited my blog? Not to mention Albania, Egypt, Mauritius, Australia, and India. It blows my mind! If only I could get this visitors to speak to me and share their stories. The possibilities would be endless. I would love to find a way to foster an international conversation.

We’ll see what’s happen. Here’s to the next three years and beyond!

Champagne toast!
Champagne toast!

The Case of the Missing Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bakers…Solved!

I have extreme 1980s nostalgia and something I have not been able to forget about since that time is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercial.  The commercial, featuring three bakers, was so delightful and so was the breakfast cereal itself.  Each commercial featured the singing bakers and a delighted child who would proclaim, “The bakers are here!” upon realizing the bakers were cooking cereal in the kitchen. In perfect harmony, each baker took a turning singing, “Cinnamon,” “toast,” and crunch.” Beautiful. Everything was perfect.  If you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself below.

Everything was perfect until one day, in the early 1990s, two of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers disappeared without a trace.  The horror!  Having one baker instead of three is like having one musketeer, Larry without Moe or Curly, or Snap without Crackle and Pop.  Instead of three bakers, Wendell (the old guy) remained the only baker to represent Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  The disappearance of the other bakers coincided with the addition of the cinnamon swirl to the cereal’s flakes. Were the two incidents related or a mere coincidence? 

The disappearance of the other bakers has plagued me since the late 1980s and I am certainly not alone in my concern about the fate of the other two Cinnamon Toast Crunch bakers.  Nobody can say for sure what caused the disappearance of the bakers, but there are speculations.  One speculation I had heard in the early ’90s was that a jealous Wendell drowned the other bakers in the cinnamon swirl river. A less exciting  theory is that the other two bakers were eliminated for marketing reasons.  I guess we’ll never know the truth.  Or will we?

I decided it was time for once and for all to get to the bottom of the whole missing baker debacle and go straight to the source to find out the fate of the two other bakers.  I contacted General Mills via the consumer services section of their website.  After filling out the required fields, I wrote the following note:

I am a huge fan of all your cereals and their respective commercials. I especially loved the Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials as a kid. My favorite was the three singing chefs. I’ve always wondered, why did the other two chefs disappear from the box without a trace, making Wendell the sole mascot of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

In a matter of minutes, I received the following auto-reply:

Thank you for contacting us.
Your message is being forwarded to a Consumer Services Representative who will review your inquiry and reply. Please be assured that we will respond to you as quickly as we can.

General Mills Consumer Services

I just hope this Consumer Services Representative has extensive knowledge on the matter and can, in fact, respond in a timely manner. I need to put a rest to this 20-some year mystery.

Thankfully, a Consumer Services rep did in fact respond in a timely fashion.  Saturday morning, I received the following email:

 Hello Valued Consumer:
Thank you for contacting General Mills with your inquiry.
Wendell was the only baker that was named, and due to consumer feedback, we chose to feature him as the “Cinnamon Toast Baker” where he has remained in this title role since 1991.
We hope you find this information helpful. Please let us know if we can help you again.

Case closed! Thanks to consumer feedback, General Mills pulled the plug on the other two bakers, leaving Wendell as the sole mascot of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Too bad I wasn’t more of a concerned consumer in the late ’80s or I would have campaigned for the other two bakers.  I’m glad I can finally put this case to rest and I’d like to express my gratitude towards General Mills for replying in such a timely fashion.  On a Saturday, too!