Announcement! TOA Comment Contest

Happy Sunday, friends!

You can tell by the fact that I’m posting on Sunday that I have a special announcement today.


love blogging. I do a lot of writing (did you see my published article on Thought Catalog???), but blogging allows me a constant, structured, uncensored outlet for my writing. Seeing my “fanbase” (quotes added because I feel unworthy to call it that) grow steadily throughout my blog’s three and a half years has been such a blessing.

I apologize for the excessive amount of parenthetical comments in that paragraph. Bad writing.

However, I’ve noticed something. You guys don’t comment much. As I peruse other blogs, even ones with fewer followers than mine, I see a slew of comments on each post. Why are my posts not receiving comments? Hmm. . . Being trained in data-driven education, I can infer that people are less likely to comment if they so nobody else is commenting, and they are more likely to comment if they see it’s what everyone else is doing. Perhaps I have not done my part as the blog host to create a culture of commenting.

Why does it matter? Because comments are fun. They give me motivation and push my creativity. The also give me valuable feedback about how my recipes turn out in YOUR kitchens. They also show which recipes you guys are more interested in, and which you couldn’t care less about. This is all valuable data for me.

So here’s the contest.

For every FIVE comments that you post on ANY recipe/post (including the Oatmeal Enthusiast series, Saturday round ups, and Weekend Musings) between TODAY and November 14th at 11:59 PM EST, you will receive one point.

The commenter with the most points will get to be the final Oatmeal Enthusiast of 2015 (the coveted December slot!) . . . even if you’ve already been one!


  1. Your comments may not be spam in nature. This includes copy-and-pasting identical or near-identical comments on multiple posts. Give me authentic comments, please.
  2. “Throwaway comments” will not be counted. A throwaway comment is something with minimal meaning, like “Cool!” or “Interesting!” I am looking for engagement. The definition of engage is to “occupy, attract, or involve someone’s interest or attention.” “Cool” is not attracting anyone’s interest. Here are some exemplary comments:
    Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 9.11.24 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 9.11.37 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 9.11.45 AMAs you can see from the last example, they need not be lengthy, but Cassie was explicitly responding to the conversation within the post.
  3. All eligible comments (see rules 1 and 2) posted between NOW and Nov. 14th at 11:59 PM EST will be counted. Five eligible comments = 1 point!
  4. Make sure you post under the same name/account each time, as that is how I will track who is commenting. (Yes, I’m doing this manually–yippee!) Anonymous posts will not be counted. Consider using your last initial if you think it will help with identification.
  5. Responding to other readers’ comments also counts.

 Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Obviously, comment on new posts as they come out. Let me know what you think of the recipe idea. However, my favorite comments are your thoughts on the oatmeal after you’ve actually made it. Here’s an example of my favorite kind of comment (although I don’t expect every comment to be of this caliber!): Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 9.43.00 AM
  • Look back at your favorite recipes on the site and leave a note telling me why/how much you like it.
  • Leave a comment on a recipe telling how you adapted it to suite your taste/dietary preferences.
  • Leave a comment on an Oatmeal Enthusiast post sharing how you can relate to their story.
  • Leave a comment on a “Weekend Musings” post sharing additional tips that I may have missed, or anecdotes that relate to mine.
  • Leave a comment on a post requesting more of that kind of recipe. For example, I don’t have a lot of recipes with plums. If you love plums, tell me on a plum recipe that you’d like to see more plum recipes in the future!

Ready . . . set . . . COMMENT!

You have until Nov. 14th at 11:59 PM. 🙂

About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

36 Responses to Announcement! TOA Comment Contest

  1. Nikki says:

    I’ll play. I think people are less out to comment when there’s no discussion to have about a post.

    • Lauren Smith says:

      I do agree that there is value in this, but I have also attempted to start discussion with questions at the end of a post that go unanswered, so I haven’t found that to be effective, unfortunately.

  2. Ha, great idea Lauren! I hope it generates the kind of engagement you’re after. I’m not really looking for another Oatmeal Enthusiast slot, seeing as I just had mine, but it sounds fun so I might play anyway.

  3. Oh, and btw, I’ve tried twice now on two different computers to read your piece on Thought Catalog, but the page won’t load for me. :-/

  4. Cassie says:

    I absolutely love commenting on your blog! I’m always excited to see what’s new–recipes, lifestyle, anything! This is going to be a very fun contest!

  5. jaime Lindauer says:

    I am new to your blog, and only eat raw ( overnight) oats, but I have l loved your interesting food combos and have tried to modify them to my raw oats. Thanks!

    • daisy says:

      hi jaimie, how do you eat your raw oats?do you like to eat them plain,with fruit,or vegetables?

      • Lauren Smith says:

        Look at my overnight oat recipes. You soak the oats overnight and they absorb the liquid and soften just like they do if you were to cook them on the stove. It’s like magic! And they get so fluffy and pudding-like. You should try it! I’m assuming she doesn’t eat them plain. Just use the search bar on the right side of my site and look up “overnight” and you’ll see how I do it. (Some are more elaborate than others.)

    • Lauren Smith says:

      Cool! I try to push myself to create more overnight recipes but I just love the physical act of cooking my oats on the stove.

  6. Christine says:

    Great initiative! I have to admit that I held back because I didn’t want to over-comment. Now, I feel free to comment with reckless abandon! I have plenty of feedback on recipes, oatmeal tips and tricks, and new recipe ideas I look forward to sharing with you.

  7. Sandra says:

    I never really bothered to look at the comments until you made this post. Now that you bring this to my attention, I will definitely look at the comments more. I cannot help but feel that missed many opportunities for creative discussion revolving around one of my favorite things, a hearty and healthy breakfast. I cannot wait to see what other oatmeal artists are thinking! And I hope that I am not the only one who has never cooked oatmeal on a stove top.

  8. Eveline S says:

    Hi Lauren!

    Yes, I’m definitely one of those people who loves to read your recipes but doesn’t usually bother to comment! But you’re right, I totally should, so I’m starting right now!

    Instead of commenting on my favorite recipes separately I’ll just list them here 🙂

    All time fave: Fudgy Banana and Peanut Butter Oatmeal (with plenty of PB). We pretty much eat this every Sunday, my husband LOVES it! He never even wanted to try oatmeal, but after he had this he is totally converted! If anyone hasn’t made this before –> you should! It’s awesome.

    My weekend fave: If I have time I usually make Snickerdoodle Cookie Baked Oatmeal. SO delish and comforting.

    Weekday fave: Overnight oats! I usually make them pretty simple with some roasted pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla. Sometimes I also add some cacao and/or instant coffee or some berries.

    Good luck with the blog!

  9. Christine says:

    I’ve actually never made your Fudgy Banana and Peanut Butter oatmeal, which is strange since I love the flavor combination and usually have the ingredients on hand to make it. Still, I’ve probably tried about 35-40 of your recipes. The reason I don’t have a more precise figure is because I wasn’t sure how to count multiple variations of the same recipe. Other times, I made so many ingredient substitutions that the final result really wasn’t faithful to the original. Since we’re on the topic of favorite recipes, here are some of mine (in no particular order):

    Strawberry Shortcake Oatmeal
    Lemon Drop Overnight Oatmeal
    Peach Pie Overnight Oatmeal
    Mocha Brownie Batter Oatmeal with Almond Butter
    Peach and Almond Butter Oatmeal
    Cookie Dough Muesli
    Elvis’ Oatmeal
    Honey Nut Oatmeal with Apples
    Banana PB&J Oatmeal

    • Eveline S says:

      Definitely try the Fudgy Banana and Peanut Butter oatmeal 😉

      I’ve just looked up a couple of your suggestions and will definitely try the Honey Nut Oatmeal with Apples and the Cookie Dough Muesli!

      I also love the apple pie oatmeal, which sounds pretty similar to the honey nut with apples.. If you want to make it extra fancy, instead of adding the whole apple to the oatmeal, chop up half the apple and saute in some butter, and use that to top with 🙂

  10. Angela L says:

    Hey Lauren!
    I’ve been following you for ages! I’m a total fan of your oatmeal recipes. Oatmeal’s become such a regular part of my life (just like your email notifications when you post a new recipe). I honestly won’t go to school until I’ve had some oatmeal in my tummy (even if that means getting to school late)

    Your recipes are such an inspiration- keep up the awesome work!!

  11. daisy says:

    i Love reading all the comments! particularly from others who have found oatmeal very nourishing and healing for ED recovery. Thank you to all who have shared their experiences. Great support network here!

  12. daisy says:

    What brand of oatmeal do you eat?I love the Bob’s Red Mill organic extra large flake oats.They have a good chewy texture.

    • Lauren Smith says:

      I currently use Country Choice Organic but they were recently bought out by Nature Path. I’ll be switching back to my previous habit: buying from the bulk section at Whole Foods. 🙂

  13. Christine says:

    This comment contest has been fun! An unexpected benefit is that it has made me try new recipes and experiment more so that I’d have more to comment on. Please do more contests! Maybe you could do more themed recipe contests, the way you did for savory oatmeal. You could do contests for toppings, oatcakes, seasonal recipes, etc.

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