When you’re a successful food blogger, cookbook author, TV celebrity, world traveler, devoted wife, expecting mother, and occasional tap dancer, life starts to stack up like a seven-layer cake. Jocelyn Delk Adams’ personal goal through all of it? Keep things as sweet as possible.
The mastermind behind the popular baking blog Grandbaby Cakes, Adams is a lightning bolt of activity. In addition to creating and cultivating a rapidly growing brand and loyal fan base, the energetic 30-something racks up frequent flyer miles like they’re going out of style, jetting to appear live on programs like The Today Show or The Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets.
Yet even with her busy lifestyle, Adams’ favorite place is still in her own kitchen creating and testing recipes, most of which are based on techniques and tastes handed down to her from generations past. Adams says she relies on Office 365 apps in a variety of ways to stay on top of it all. For instance, she keeps track of her many food creations in Excel, using the Sort feature to quickly find what she’s looking for. And she says the Review feature in Word is indispensable for writing and editing the wealth of content she publishes on her blog, her website, and other brand outlets. (More on this below.)
As a young girl growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Adams had plenty of influences in the kitchen. Her mother and aunt taught her the basics of cooking and baking at an early age. Her father, seeing his daughter’s rapidly growing culinary interest, encouraged her talent by purchasing whatever she wanted at the grocery store each week, so she could make meals for herself and the family. She also says her uncle, BB, is one of the best cooks in the family. “He seriously gets down,” she proclaims.
Yet Adams’ biggest education took place during visits to her grandmother Maggie’s home in Mississippi. It was there, alongside her “Big Mama” as the family affectionately (or should we say “confectionately”) calls Maggie, that a lifelong love of creating cakes and other dessert treats took hold. It was Big Mama’s original recipes and stories that formed the inspiration behind Adams’ book Grandbaby Cakes, published in 2015.
Adams feels a big reason for the book’s popularity is the strong connection it makes between her Southern-inspired recipes and her strong family roots. “It was an opportunity to truly share my story,” she says. “I’m so glad readers connected with that.”
Family is what got Adams started in the baking business, and it’s what keeps her motivated today. Yet as a young adult, baking wasn’t always in her career sights. Her first fulltime job out of college was as a TV production assistant on the Judge Mathis show. From there she freelanced in casting for several big-budget films before eventually landing at an arts college, where she oversaw the production of a huge annual arts festival in downtown Chicago.
Through it all, however, were her grandmother’s recipes. And a natural entrepreneurial spirit. When Adams decided to pair her production experience with her unique kitchen history, Grandbaby Cakes was born. “Having a brand where family is central to its purpose really makes so much sense for me,” she says. “I’m so glad that I get to incorporate them into my first love and career in such a special way.” And while Adams’ recipes are based on Big Mama’s original creations, she likes to experiment as well, “adding new life to family recipes that could use a little spruce.”
Finding success in the crowded blogosphere and celebrity baking world requires exceptional dedication and organization. The elusive dividing line between work and life can be blurry at best, something Adams remains philosophical about. “When I realized that balance didn’t truly exist, I was finally able to prioritize and manage my schedule much better,” she says. “I believe in changing hats when I need to.”
Adams says she credits Excel for keeping her organized. “I have millions of spreadsheets devoted to everything from recipe ideas arranged by month or season to recipe test results to project budgets. Whether I’m making new seasonal recipe lists or invite lists for brand events, I can alphabetically sort—or sort by certain data. Talk about efficiency!” She also says she uses the Formulas feature in Excel constantly, for budgets and processing payments. “Formulas automatically calculate totals for me, which means I can concentrate on so many other things.”
As far as writing goes, she says she keeps all her recipes and chapters of her cookbook organized in Word. “The Comments feature is particularly useful for receiving edits from my publisher. We can implement Track Changes, which helps us keep tabs on any edits we make. It has totally revolutionized how I edit my transcripts.” Adams notes that for her, the ability to customize the Spelling & Grammar feature in Word is key. “I have some settings that automatically update words that I use frequently in my posts. This is such a time saver.”
The next chapter in the Grandbaby Cakes story may be the most exciting—the impending arrival of her “little BabyCakes” this winter. “My family and I are beyond excited. Because I’m having a girl, I can’t wait to get her in the kitchen and get her baking with her family,” says Adams. “We truly believe in passing down our traditions, so this will be no exception.”
No doubt adding a new family member will make a busy life even busier. But for now, Adams is taking it all in stride. “Family is always number one for me. And while I’m a super hard worker that constantly challenges myself to grow and soar more and more each year, my family comes before everything, and they totally should.”
That sounds like something that would make Big Mama proud.
See what’s new in Office 365.
Source: Office 365 – aggiornamenti