How Coffee And Champagne Came To Be


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As of late, more so than in the past, I’ve been getting requests to tell my story. More specifically, how I started my website and, really, how I became a blogger. Whether it’s an on-camera interview, class styled lecture, panel, an interested friend, I definitely have people curious. From what I’m seeing, it’s because they are seeing the successes my hard work has churned out and want to know the most streamlined way of harnessing the blogger lifestyle for themselves. What feedback would I give? What moments would I have skipped if I were to do it all over again? Wherever the conversation has gone in the past, it always starts in the same place—why did I decide to build a website of my very own and start sharing my thoughts with the world? Honestly, the answer is, I was bored. I’ll elaborate.

It all begins in what I’ve come to coin as, “my past life”. You know, those years where I worked in a nine-to-five environment. I worked at NBC, Ogilvy & Mather, ABC and a couple of startups and really loved all of the projects I was able to tackle and really dig into. I’ll never forget the time I was interviewing for one of these companies and was told, “we’ll hire you BUT you’re way overqualified, you’ll want to pick up a hobby”. I swear this happened. I still chuckle every time I think about it. I was told to pick up a hobby while in an interview. Ah, memories. Well, he was right. At first, the extra time I had on my hands was great! I used it to become my own wedding planner. By noon each day, I’d find myself trolling the internet searching for the perfect shoes, flowers, lapel pins, DJs, bands, pin-aspiration, you name it! Then, you guessed it, I got married (side note: if you want the details on how I planned my own wedding, I wrote about it for InStyle, so check it out here). Fast forward through the honeymoon and I was back at my desk in my windowless office, done with work by noon and basically twiddling my thumbs. Words With Friends was big then, thank God, but I was craving an outlet that was a little more involved. Happily married, I got to thinking about all of the now useless wedding information—contacts, handcrafted guides, curated wedding-themed Pinterest boards (yes, I was Monica from Friends, binder and all)—I had sitting there growing cobwebs in my brain’s version of a storage unit in grandma’s basement. Being that I didn’t plan on orchestrating another wedding for myself, I got to thinking about how wedding information is useless until you need it and then you have it, it’s information you never need again (ideally). I decided to write it all down and share it with all of those other brides-to-be who wanted tips and tricks from the first person perspective of a bride who did it all herself. Having my own office, where at the time most of my time was spent designing and maintaining websites for a slew of television shows, I decided that my hobby would be to create a website of my very own.

Then came the logistics. How to start? Hmmm. Well, I heard good things about Wordpress and then fell down the Google rabbit hole. There was GoDaddy here, blogs for creating blogs there, Lynda tutorials for days. Oh, man. But really, once I dove in and made my first decision everything started falling into place and each site was really self-explanatory. Honestly, in looking back, the set up was so intuitive I don’t even remember the frustration, just a bit of busy work.

I know, you’re like, “Michelle, Coffee And Champagne isn’t at all a wedding website”. No, no it’s not. Good for you for paying attention! I love good readers! Ultimately, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying writing about weddings anymore. All of my useless knowledge was out there and I didn’t feel like learning more. So, I did what naturally felt best and expanded my website into a lifestyle site. I wrote about what I knew best—me! I kept the wedding information as its own subsection and then added a whole bunch more—fashion, food (both recipes I had created and restaurant reviews), fitness, music playlists for every occasion; really you name it, it was there. Coffee And Champagne was my “me time” both literally and figuratively—it's become a sort of digital diary that I shared with whoever stumbled upon it.

Ultimately, I got comfortable with my site and was definitely too comfortable with my nine-to-five, and itched for a challenge again. I took an interview at a startup and was given an offer on the spot. Ultimately, I took it. My roll sounded like I’d have my hands in everything which for me meant, I had to rethink how I would enjoy my Coffee And Champagne hobby. I decided to refocus my site one last time. This time, I would be all about food because no matter how busy I got, I’d always have to eat. Yup. That was my initial rationale. Yes, more went into this decision, but I like to tell it that way because the rest is pretty much moot.

In the time since then, I’ve both redesigned and rebuilt my website to have a custom feel allowing myself to have all of the control I could possibly want. So, I left behind the Wordpress world that I look back at so fondly and moved forward to the next step of my site. It no longer was a scrolling sequence of articles. It became a thoughtfully curated experience. When it came to the domain registration and things like that—you know, the GoDaddy kind of stuff—nothing changed! I simply had to reroute my DNS servers and everything was back in place. Fast forward again and here I am sitting in a café reminiscing and writing all about it! Ah, the good ol’ days!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GoDaddy. The opinions and text are all mine.