September 26


August 2020 Recap

By Mashav Shelef

August had just finished, and it was a challenging month for me. The main challenge was to get things done on time. The first week of August was Leanna’s preschool summer vacation. We spent the week off in a vacation rental by a pond. 

The rest of the time, I had some physical challenges. I strained my ankle and injured my back. It made it harder than usual to keep track of my goals for the month.

Working on the website design

My biggest frustration was trying to switch to a new theme. I decided to check out Thrive Theme Builder, which was supposed to make my life easier while building the website. The issues were not late to come. There was some bug with the plugin that made it impossible for me to change a few things like the logo and page header and footer. I went into a back and forth support emails that dragged for weeks. Writing this recap, I still haven’t solved these issues. And the worst part is that my whole launch that was planned for September is being postponed. 

Writing content

I wrote three posts, not that much, and I wish I had done more. Check these out here: All about Ceviche, July monthly recap, Best Israeli Tahini Cookies, and I updated the Take out and Deliveries in SF so that I can keep it updated every month with our meals.

Logo and branding

I’m glad I put the logo aside for a while because when I went back to look at it again, I had a better idea of what I needed. I finished it by myself using Canva and cropped elements from the icon I found last month.

I even made it into animation and inserted it into the beginning and end screen of my YouTube videos.

I completed a Media Kit page to showcase my branding elements easily.

Branding Guide Always Tasting

Food photography

This month I had a lot of improvement shooting both video and stills images of food and recipes; for the photos, I started using props like these flat-lays I got on Ali Express.  

Creating processes

Thinking about building this website into a business, I knew I had to have useful documentation of the processes from day 1. I’m trying to keep it all organized in This month I also started screen capturing using Movavi Video Suite. It’s so easy to record my screen with it. Later on, I will upload the videos to google drive and use it as part of the training process when I hire someone to do these tasks. For example, I schedule Pinterest post using Tailwind every week for the next week. I captured the process so that I can hand this task to my future social media manager soon. I did the same for anything else I could think of that is repetitive and easier to show than write explanations. 

The lookout for a first Virtual Assistant:

I only started hiring a VA (Virtual Assistant) after a few years in my former business. It started pretty well but with a sad ending. The VA left without a trace not long after I finally hired and trained her. But regardless, I regretted not doing it earlier. I learned a lot about how to hire and work with a VA. I realized that I wanted to hire someone as soon as possible to take some things off my plate for this new business.

This month I’ve made the first step to hiring the first VA. I decided I’ll first find someone for the role of Social Media Manager. I wrote down the requirements, responsibilities, skills, and so on and posted a job post on I also posted in and joined several Facebook groups to connect companies with VAs.

A great resource I used was Travis’ guidelines on how to hire a VA with some great templates, examples, and tips.

I started getting responses real fast from all over these platforms. I’ve come up with a little project to give to applicants I think might be qualified. The best type of project would be a short “social media blast” for one of my already written posts. It was a good idea because it’s essentially the type of tasks I’m going to have this person do daily. Going through the responses, I decided who to set a time for a skype interview.

More things I did this month

  1. Set up Google Analytics, Google Console, and Google Alerts.
  2. Set up domain business emails and a signature.
  3. I Created Pinterest pin designs for the published posts.
  4. This month’s stats:
    • Not sure how exactly, but I got 607 pageviews in August
    • 400 unique page views
    • 99 sessions
    • 46 users

Goals that I didn’t reach this month

  1. Finish the basic design of the website and send it to my list as a soft launch. It didn’t happen because of the bug we couldn’t solve yet.
  2. Contact sheet and “join the email list” ready to use – didn’t get to that yet.
  3. First product freebie to put on the website for lead generation – didn’t get to that as well.
  4. I wanted to have some social media content ready before launch – didn’t do that yet.

Goals for next month

Everything I didn’t finish this month plus:

  1. Send an email with a soft launch campaign to my subscribers.
  2. Better map my core categories and subcategories and define my expertise.
  3. Start using a post scheduler to schedule ahead posts and social media for the next quarter.

Mashav Shelef

I’m a trained chef, a food writer, a culinary traveler, a food explorer and a mom. My mission in life is to inspire and motivate people by helping them experience life through food.

Mashav Shelef

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