Behind the Blog

Behind the Blog: Get To Know Us

We are happy and excited to share that we’ve officially been blogging for an entire year! We want to thank everyone for their support and for reading what we have to share about our local community and interests.  We have exceeded 500 followers on our Facebook page and our readership has hit over 3,000.  We’ve gotten a chance to discover what makes this community so great and we hope we’ve helped sway some of you as well. We are extremely grateful for all of you and thought we would devote a post this week about getting to know us, the girls behind the blog, Always Take The Scenic Route.  

Who Are We?

Name: Melissa Doti

Age: 31 years young

Favorite Food: Pasta is high up on the list and it will always be one of my favorite foods (Carb Lover in the HOUSE). But I’ve really expanded my palette lately and experimented more with new flavors, I am currently loving Ahi Tuna Poke bowls. One reason why I need to go to Hawaii ASAP. I love the fresh seasonal ingredients.

Favorite Place I’ve Traveled: Seattle, Washington. I went for a cousins wedding and soaked up every moment I had there. It’s definitely a place I would love to go back to someday.

Where I Want To Go Next: Maine. I want to feast on fresh lobster, visit lighthouses, paddle-board or kayak on the bay, & hike up those majestic mountains.

Currently Reading: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Go-To Cocktail: Extra Dirty Vodka Martini with Olives

What You Do For A Living: Outside of blogging, I am currently Operations Accounting Manager at Sycamore Storage LLC. If you need a storage unit, want to rent a bike to ride on the Heritage Trail, need to store documents for your business, or want to buy Jadcore trash bags, come see me!

Name: Brittany Molinder

Age: 31 years

Favorite Food:  I’ve always found it difficult to name a favorite food.  There’s SO MANY different dishes and cuisines that I love.  Appetizers are one of my all-time favorites, I love making them, I adore eating them.  And 9 times out of 10, I’ll order a variety of appetizers over an entrée.  Ramen bowls (and I’m not talking about those cheap noodle packets you buy at the store), but true authentic ramen bowls that take days to prepare just the broth, has roasted pork belly, and tons of herbaceous add-ins; that is my kind of ramen.

Favorite Place I’ve Traveled:  The ocean, it’s not a specific place, but I love being on the beach.  There’s something about the breeze and the sound of the waves that calms my soul.  If I had to pick one destination, it’s Las Vegas, NV.  There is so much to do there, the food is absolutely out of this world and it’s always on the go.  I find something new every time I go there!

Where I Want To Go Next:  Maine, I have to second Melissa here.  I don’t plan vacations, I plan food-cations; and Maine has been on my list for years.  The fresh seafood and, of course, the famous Maine lobster have put this at the top of the food destination bucket list.

Currently Reading:  Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio & Steven L Davis

Go-To Cocktail:  Anything with vodka and fresh, vibrant flavors.  I don’t have a solitary go-to cocktail, and tend to base my decision on what sounds good in the moment.

What You Do For A Living:  I am the Catering & Events Manager at Clabber Girl Corporation.  I work on the first floor of our corporate offices, so if you’ve visited us at the café, attended a cooking class, or taken a tour of our museum; then you’ve probably seen me.  I wear many “hats” for my job, booking our numerous daytime events & caterings, teaching the occasional cooking class, sharing our history with visitors from all over the country, and assisting in the day to day operations of our café.  I love sharing our unique history and charming space with people, so be sure to stop in some time and say HI!

Get To Know Us

What is your blog about?

M: We are a lifestyle blog, so we write about everything under the sun (Travel, Style, Food, Drink).  Our main goal is to focus our posts on locally owned businesses or things to do around town that will support the community we live in. We both have grown up in Terre Haute and really love showcasing everything this town has to offer.

B:  Our focus is on highlighting locally owned businesses and events around town.  Melissa and I both share a lot of common ground in things we are interested in.  Where we excel as a team, is that though we both love a lot of the same things, individually we have personal interests that enable us to offer a balanced and meaningful lifestyle blog that covers a little bit of everything.

Favorite part about blogging?

M: My favorite part about blogging is having a reason to go out and explore new things.  It takes me out of my comfort zone and off the couch to get out and see and do things, that I wouldn’t normally have done.

B:  The food, naturally.  I have absolutely loved exploring more local restaurants and getting to share all the delicious details with our viewers.  Being a small business owner is hard, difficult work; you put your heart and soul into a dream.  So, being able to be even a tiny part of helping to make them successful and get the word out to people is by far the best part of what we do.

How many photos do you have on your phone’s camera roll right now?

M: 6,479. It has exponentially grown since we’ve started this blog.  I take pictures of as much as I can, just in case we need the photos for posts or Instagram.

B:  6,633.  80% of which is food, I’m constantly taking pictures of food.  I can’t help myself.

Why did you start the blog? 

M: I’ve always been a creative person and this was the perfect outlet for all my creative energy. When I started hanging out with Brittany we realized we share a lot of the same traits and it was just silly not to work together on something wonderful. It was originally going to start off as a restaurant review blog and it turned into something way more than that.  I absolutely never thought I’d say this, but I highly enjoy writing and it warms my heart to know that other people seem to enjoy what we have to say.

B:  I’ve always enjoyed writing and photography, and blogging has been a great outlet for that.  Back when I was in culinary school, I started a blog by myself dedicated to food.  Though I loved it, I made the mistake of not truly realizing how much time and dedication a blog can take, and ultimately decided that I would have to put it on the back burner until I was able to truly give it my all.  When we first started talking about starting a blog, I jumped at the idea of being able to be a part of something special with someone I knew would be as passionate about what we are doing as I am.

What’s your advice for people who want to start a blog?

M: That you must be 100% committed because no one wants to read half-assed work.  You must devote time into a blog, it can’t run on it’s own.  Being consistent with content is key, and we’ve luckily been able to stick to that and post at least 3 times a week if not more.

B:  I completely agree with Melissa on this one, you really need to think it through before starting a blog and truly decide if it’s something you are passionate about and can dedicate a decent amount of your time to doing.  One thing I might add is do not get discouraged in the beginning if things aren’t “moving fast” enough for you; you don’t have a lot of followers, people aren’t seeing your content, you don’t have as many likes as you want, etc.  It’s hard when you do put in all that time, that you then don’t get the immediate results or response that you want.  That’s okay!  Having a blog is about building; you are building your content, building your following, building a relationship with your viewers.  If you stick with it and stay consistent, the rest will follow with time.

What do you use to edit your photos?

M: I usually use the app A Color Story for Instastories or Instagram where I don’t have a lot of time to edit.  I also use Adobe Lightroom for most of my posts on our site.

B:  Most often I use PicMonkey, both on my phone and computer to edit pictures.

How do you pick what you are going to write about?

M: Most of the time it’s just by chance.  We may visit a restaurant or partake in an activity locally and if we have a great experience we want others to know about it, we write about it. Sometimes businesses will contact us and invite us to come visit and we absolutely love that!

B:  If you haven’t figured it out, I’m going to say food.  I try and pick as many posts as I can that have to do with food.  That said, often times, it really is by chance.  What’s going on locally, new places we’ve heard about and go check out, or places we’ve been invited to.  It’s really been an exciting adventure to find all these places that are here in town or just a short drive away.

When do you have time to blog?

M: I am not a procrastinator so I usually always have my posts done a few days before they are scheduled to go live.  I like to write my posts if I have any downtime during the work week and weekends.  We usually plan out a month in advance what our content will be and then fill in the gaps as we go.

B:  I am quite literally the exact opposite and am a procrastinator through and through.  I love planning and will brainstorm ideas and outline my posts in advance.  But when it comes to writing them, I tend to take it down to the wire.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

M: I despise chain restaurants, so you will most likely find me at J. Fords if I am feeling a bit fancy or if I want a more laid back vibe Charlie’s Pub & Grub is a great spot.

B:  Not a chain restaurant fan, they tend to lack a uniqueness and charm that I like when dining out.  Umi Grill is a frequent stop for me, and I love just hanging out at Charlie’s Pub & Grub with my friends and enjoying their food (yes, I order a variety of appetizers on a regular basis) & great beer selection.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?

M: Schitts Creek. Suddenly broke, the formerly filthy-rich Rose family is reduced to living in a ramshackle motel in a town they once bought as a joke: Schitt’s Creek. The cast includes Eugene Levy and his son Daniel.  It’s everything you didn’t know you needed in your life.

B:  Harlots (this is on Hulu guys-but still binge-worthy).  The show is set in the 18th century and follows the brothel owner Margaret Wells, as she struggles to raise her daughters in a chaotic household and battles with rival madam, Lydia Quigley; a cunning and ruthless brothel owner in the more prosperous Golden Square.  If you’re looking for a little out there indulgence, this is for you.

If there is anything else you would like to know about us please leave a comment and we will answer your questions.  If you are interested in working with us and would like your business featured on our blog, please contact us at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow and like us on Facebook & Instagram to stay connected with us!


-M & B