Meet Kristy Bernardo, The Wicked Noodle
Today’s post is our third in our Spotlight series focusing on the amazing folks we meet on our quest to find the most ridiculously cool 365 Things to do in DC.
Kristy Bernardo, voted one of the Top 50 Mommy food bloggers, is a talented writer, cook, and on-air talent, and has been a great inspiration for the District365 team. Let’s take a sec to meet her!
Tell us a bit about yourself? How might our readers know you?
First and foremost, I’m a wife to Alan and mom to two fun little girls, Kylie and Katie. We live in a small historical town about an hour outside DC; the perfect combination of space, fresh air and close proximity to fabulous and fun things to do!
I started blogging two and a half years ago because we’d just moved to our little town and I was bored out of my mind. No friends, a long winter and sick kids can make you a little stir crazy. Little did I know that my life would be changed in amazing ways that I’d never imagined.
What do you enjoy most about blogging ?
Connecting with the world! Food is universal and I’ve made some great foodie friends through my blog and social media channels. I travel often for my blog and I’ve made some great contacts this way. Even just the foodie friends I’ve made through Twitter and Facebook are very dear to me.
I also love the way my blog has been a springboard into a well-rounded food career for me: I’m a personal chef, I teach cooking classes both in people’s homes and at Cookology (a recreational culinary school), I’ve become a national spokesperson for a well-known brand (that I love and can’t wait until the work begins on that!), I’ve won cooking contests and even judged one in a professionally filmed online series alongside two celebrity chefs (then did a second series filmed in my very own kitchen).
It’s all still a bit surreal but I really love every minute of it. The fact that I get to continue to be a stay-at-home-mom and still have plenty of time left over for a career that I love is something I never dreamed would happen to me.
What are some of your favorite spots in DC/MD/VA to get your inspirational juices flowing?
In my fantasy world I would sit on the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial, sipping coffee on a sunny and cool fall day until inspiration struck. More often than not, however, I’m stealing an hour here or there between spending time with Alan and the girls. And really, spending time with those that I love gives me all the inspiration I need! And if I get really stuck, I just shoot down to McLean, VA and spend a night with my sister. Staying up late drinking wine and talking about our lives has a way of refocusing me and getting me back on track. Sisters are good that way!
What do you do for your day job (If you have one)
We’ve covered my stay-at-home-mom status, but I do cook for my clients twice per week. I make their meals for the week and tuck it all away in their fridge/freezer for them to enjoy after a long day of work. Occasionally I’ll work a dinner party or schedule a cooking class in someone’s home, which is really too much fun to be considered “work”!
What do you think people like about your blog/service so much? What makes it unique?
I’ve been told by friends that the way that I write is the same as the way that I talk in “real life”. I try to be authentic and I only share recipes that knock my socks off. I also think that the fact that I never – and I mean NEVER – cooked until I had kids is something a lot of people can relate to. Most of my recipes are incredibly easy yet taste as if a lot more effort was involved. That’s the way I like to cook! Cooking for me is simply a means to an end; although I enjoy the process, it’s the prize of delicious food at the end that keeps me coming back for more.
So what fun things are you working on these days?
About six months ago, give or take, I started working with an agent out of Los Angeles. He’s a great guy who I enjoy working with very much and together we’ve been working on some exciting projects. I can’t really talk a lot about them (although I’m dying to!) but I will say that the ride I’m on is a lot of crazy fun!
Are there any emerging trends you’re seeing for your field?
One trend that I see – and that I’m not particularly fond of – is that brands tend to reach out to bloggers without any plans for a long-term relationship. I’ve worked with a few brands that I am incredibly devoted to just because I’ve seen the culture of the company and have great relationships with a few of their employees and their public relations team.
I think that if brands actually took the time to seek out those bloggers who truly believe in their products and spent the time and money coming up with ways to maximize on the authenticity of the relationship they’d get a lot more out of their outreach programs. For me, I want to be proud of a product that I represent and feel confident that when I’m tweeting about this to my readers and followers that it’s something they’ll get some real value out of.
(Editor’s Note): Couldn’t agree more!
Any fun, crazy, outrageous, or just plain cool thing about yourself that you would like to share with our readers?
I would have probably skipped this question entirely, but since I just yesterday had to come up with ten things about myself for another site, I’ll share the list with you here, too!
1. My dad was raised Mennonite on a rural farm in northern Minnesota with eight siblings. They had no electricity for most of his childhood, shared toothbrushes and were so poor they had to take lard sandwiches to school for lunch. I can listen to his stories about that time of his life for hours!
2. Foie gras is the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
3. We had one cow when I was growing up. We named him “Paleface”. My sisters and I boycotted meat for an entire winter after he suddenly disappeared.
4. I once camped for two weeks all the way from Seattle to Southern California. The Oregon coast is crazy beautiful!
5. I’ve lived in Northern Virginia for almost three years, which is the longest I’ve lived anywhere since I left my parents house at eighteen. And I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
6. I’ve swam with dolphins in the open ocean.
7. My blogging career began because I was bored. I haven’t been bored a day since.
8. I was married in Vegas. We had exactly 21 of our closest friends and family present at the wedding and I’ve felt lucky every day since.
9. I gave up traveling to Spain for a coffee table.
10. I truly believe that a positive attitude and a strong belief in yourself is all you need to succeed in life.
I know, I know – it’s nothing too crazy or outrageous. But the truly crazy things you’ll only get out of me after a few margaritas! : -)
Give our readers the lowdown on how they can best stay connected with you.
I’m up for anything! Email, call, tweet or Facebook friend me – it’s all good! New foodie friends is something I can never turn down. So if you’re so inclined as to reach out, here’s where you can best find me:
Thanks a lot Kristy, we certainly wish you the best and want to thank you for taking the time to do this. I have a feeling 2012 will have some amazing things in store for you.