Welcome to Karyl’s Kulinary Krusade! I’m so glad you’re here. I am such a creature of habit when it comes to food. I rotate the same recipes, go to the same restaurants, get the same dishes. I always did it that way because once I found something I liked, I decided to stick to it. But one day I realized that it was a boring, predictable way to live, and that I needed to change. So in 2012, on the way to a Caravan in Bartlesville, OK with 3 colleagues, I told them my idea. We discussed the concept, came up with the name, and the blog was born.
ABOUT THE BLOG
In the beginning, my goal was 100 brand new restaurants in 18 months. About 6 weeks later I added in repeat restaurants, so I could still go to my favorite places, but had to try something new on the menu. A few months later, I added new recipes because I love to cook.
It took me about 2 years to reach 100 restaurants, and by then I had already decided there was no point in stopping. I was having fun, learning to cook lots of new things, and finding great restaurants. Even though I was posting a lot, I had no social media exposure and my audience was some friends and a few random readers in Asia and Australia. I’m still not quite sure how that happened! In January of 2015 I met April when she and her family moved to Stillwater. April’s blog, uncookiecutter.com, follows her journey as she decorates and designs their home. April pushed me to embrace social media, get involved with blogger groups and link parties, and finally to make the move and switch to a platform that will allow me to host ads on the site.
I also recently did a longer post about my Food Blog Journey
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about blogging, is that it is HARD WORK!!! And for me, doing this while I have a full-time job is even harder. But I love doing it, so I am taking on the challenge head on.
HOW I ENDED UP IN STILLWATER
I wrote a post about this very early in the blog, so this will be the short version. Mike Gundy (head coach at Oklahoma State) was an assistant coach at University of Maryland for 4 years while I worked there. I left Maryland in May of ’06, and later that summer began working at Marriott. Within 2 weeks I realized how much I missed working in sports. So I started looking, knowing I had to move wherever the opportunity took me. In late January ’07 I found the job online. One week later I was on a plane to Stillwater for an interview, and 2 weeks after that I started packing up my life to move to Oklahoma.
Never in a million years did I ever picture myself living in Oklahoma, especially in a small town. We don’t have a Target, Sam’s Club, or a mall. And the town is only about 50,000. But I’ve grown to love it and the friends I’ve made here. My Maryland friends thought I was nuts to move (some probably still do), but the ones who have visited get it. Oh, and I’ve even grown to like country music!
MY “REAL” JOB
So what was the job that moved me halfway across the country? My official title is Director of Premium Services, and I manage the suites and club seats for football, basketball & wrestling. When I arrived on campus we had 63 suites, 4,000 club seats, and I had a staff of 34. We now have 119 suites and a staff of 80. I have 3 colleagues in Development who handle the sales side. Once the lease is complete, I take over and handle the service side. I’m so blessed that we have such a great group of suiteholders, and many of them I consider good friends.
My job is extremely seasonal. From August – December, life is absolutely crazy and I barely have time to breathe. I hardly get to spend time with my friends, as my days are consumed with work. Outside of football season, life thankfully slows down significantly, and I have time to be a “normal” person.
MORE FUN FACTS ABOUT ME
1. If I had been born a boy, my parents were going to name me Marvin. I have no clue what my they were thinking with that one! Let’s all say a HUGE prayer of thanks that I was born a girl
2. I’ve never been married. So many people are shocked when they hear that, and can’t understand why. The answer is simple: I’m very selective, and haven’t found the right one yet. If and when the right guy comes along, I’ll know it pretty quickly.
3. I went to Purdue for 3 semesters out of college. And partied WAY too much, so they asked me nicely not to come back. But I met some amazing friends, and when OSU played Purdue in a bowl game a couple years ago, of course I had to get a picture with the mascot!
4. I ran my first half marathon in 2012, participating in the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon. This April will be my 6th half. I have no plans or desire to ever run a full marathon…what the heck would I think about for 5 hours?! I’d be lying if I said I love to run, but I do it so I can eat! I recently wrote a post about my journey of Becoming a Runner.
5. My parents were born in Trinidad and both come from big families (dad is one of 14, mom is one of 6). I was born in Washington, DC. I have a half sister who is 5 years older than me. But she never lived with us, and I didn’t meet her until I was 22. So I’m essentially an only child.
6. I’ve always been a voracious reader. As a kid, my mom would leave me in the kids’ section of the bookstore while she went shopping. That is until a guy robbed the store while I was in there. Thankfully nobody got hurt or even knew about it until after the fact, but that was the last time she did that. When we were in Mexico a couple of years ago, I found the best reading spot…
7. As a kid I played basketball and field hockey, and I was also a swimmer. My relatives in Trinidad were convinced I would make the Olympic swim team. No chance of that one
8. I absolutely love to travel. I wish I had more time–and money–to do it. My plan was to hit that record Powerball the other day, and just travel around the world and blog. Sadly that didn’t happen, so I’ve just got to be a little more creative about it. I am very lucky though, that I’ve been able to travel to a lot of away games, in cities I’d never been to before.
9. I’ve never had any of the childhood diseases (chicken pox, measles, etc.) and never broken any bones. I did have a stress fracture in my left leg 11 years ago and was in a boot for 6 weeks. That was more than enough for me. I hear that getting those diseases as an adult are brutal, so hopefully I won’t get them.
10. One of the best things about Stillwater is all the friends I’ve made. And even better than just being friends, they are my family
11. I grew up in Maryland, and went to University of Maryland. I will always be a Terp at heart, and will always support them and love/miss my friends
I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into my journey and learning more about me!