We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Gierhart and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erin, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Balance does not mean equal. When a circus performer rides their unicycle across the tightrope sometimes they will lean left and sometimes they lean right. This back and forth allows them to stay on the tightrope. Balance means leaning into the area that needs you at that moment. When I feel out of balance I can usually identify an opportunity to clarify my priorities, because I am leaning into the wrong thing.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After spending 17 years in the food and beverage industry, my job was eliminated due to the pandemic. In the quiet space of the stay-at-home orders, I had an opportunity to reevaluate my goals and dreams, and I decided to start a food blog. It was originally a place to chronicle my family’s journey of experiencing famous recipes from each state across the nation, yet it soon transformed into a full food blog, sharing quick family dinners and decadent desserts. My goal is to give you flavorful, impressive recipes, that you can feel confident preparing, even if you don’t consider yourself a great cook!

I’ll be honest, growing a food blog into something successful is a lot harder than I anticipated! There is so much competition and it requires continual learning and pivoting. One of those unexpected pivots for me was with food photography. In the beginning, I would snap a quick photo using my cellphone, before serving the dish to my family. Then I got a hobbyist camera and started learning food photography composition. That’s when I fell in love! Now a significant portion of my business is selling recipes and photographs to other bloggers! It amazes me how quickly a new hobby became my career! It’s never too late to learn something new!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In this scenario, let’s say they are staying at Hotel Drover in Fort Worth. That way we could spend a whole lot of time relaxing in their outdoor area, which is beautiful and so relaxing! Then, of course, stroll the Stockyards! I love the new shops that have popped up there. One day would be spent in Grapevine, eating loaded tater tots and sliders at Heritage Hall, and sampling wines all along Main Street. I’d love to catch a Dallas Stars game and maybe show them the Perot Museum or the Kimbell. But most importantly, we would eat at incredible restaurants, like Wishbone & Flint, Canon Chinese Kitchen, Campo Verde, and Bread Winners. Who am I kidding? Let’s skip all of the other activities and just eat our way across the metroplex!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to the teachers! Both to those who chose to teach as a profession as well as those who teach as their way of life. My success is 100% a result of having great teachers! This includes influential bosses like Sharon and Audra, who invested in my development. My photography mentor Greta, who saw my potential before I knew it was there, and took the time to coach and challenge me. Podcasters like Megan, from Eat Blog Talk, who speak guidance out to the masses. Not only have each of you shaped me, but you have also demonstrated that success is not simply in one’s own accomplishments, but in bringing others along.

Website: https://stateofdinner.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/stateofdinner

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eringierhart/

Facebook: https://facebook.com/stateofdinner

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