If you’re not familiar with Ree Drummond you can find her promotional links at the bottom of this post.
I have a mildly obsessive love for Ree Drummond, otherwise known as the Pioneer Woman. I own all her cookbooks. I read her blog religiously. Her television show is among the few I actually watch. My friends even got me Pioneer Woman cookware as a graduation present. Okay, I have an incredibly obsessive love for Ree Drummond. But I don’t just obsess over her. Her narrative voice has had an incredible impact on me. She is my inspiration for blogging, and while my blog has taken a much different route than hers I’m thankful for her.
Needless to say, I was extremely excited, and nervous, to hear that The Pioneer Woman Magazine was happening! My excitement stemmed from my love of all things Pioneer Woman. Having just been horrible let down by The Magnolia Journal, sorry but it just don’t deliver on all its promises, I was nervous that Ree Drummond’s magazine would do the same.
What exactly am I looking for?
In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of magazines. If I need tips for something Pinterest is usually my first place to turn to, but sometimes I get a hankering for a good, old-fashioned magazines. When this happens I typically turn to some tried and true favorites like Southern Living, Hobby Farm, National Geographic. I’m honestly really picky about magazines. I don’t want to waste my time, or my money, on a flimsy item that has no substance. Really what I want is for the publication to meet four basic criteria:
- Contain helpful, original ideas that will be usual in everyday life.
- Utilize beautiful, bold photography that makes reading a pleasure
- Keep the ad-to-content ratio at a happy balance that doesn’t make me flip through ten pages of ads before getting to an article.
- Satisfy its cover claims.
Is that really a lot to ask for? I don’t think so!
How does The Pioneer Woman Magazine fare?
Quite well, actually! When I compare it to Hobby Farm, my favorite publication about recreational farming, The Pioneer Woman Magazine came out on top. I was honestly a little surprised. Somehow, Ree Drummond is able to capture everything that readers know and love from her blog and transfer it effortlessly into a periodical.
As I was reading The Pioneer Woman Magazine I actually felt like I was learning something. That’s a feeling I love. The ideas were fresh and honest. My personal favorite was the two page spread on “Pioneer Style”. It featured the same top styled once by Ree and once by Paige, showing women how to save money by sharing clothes with their teenage daughters. I just love this because it is very true to life. I think that most women with teenage daughters end up finding that their closets unintentionally become a shopping mall for their daughters. The Pioneer Woman Magazine embraces reality and shows women how to share clothes while maintaining their own personal sense of style. I love it!
But the fashion isn’t the only thing that is impressive. We are the recipients of a fantastic boot-buying guide, the love story of Ree and Ladd, the founding of the Mercantile, and a lovely piece by Ree Drummond talking about mourning a pet. I found myself reading every article with relish and finding that none lacked substance. That’s truly impressive for a 120 page publication.
One of the things that makes The Pioneer Woman such a popular blog is the beautiful photography that Ree Drummond incorporates into all of her posts. Whether it’s cows at sunset, her kids helping their father, or a step-by-step recipe guide everything is absolutely gorgeous. That remains true for her magazine. The eye-candy of The Pioneer Woman online follows seamlessly to The Pioneer Woman Magazine. Even the ads are designed in such a way to make them blend well with the visual narrative at play. It makes reading The Pioneer Woman Magazine a real visual treat.
Speaking of ads, how many are there? Well, I’m too lazy to count but I can say that there are absolutely no jarring ones. I hate being fully engrossed in a multi-paged article with a beautiful page design only to turn the page and be confronted with a full-page ad for Viagra. It drives me crazy! I understand that ads are necessary, but can’t they be designed to fit into the aesthetic of the publication?
The Pioneer Woman Magazine accomplishes that beautifully. Sometimes, I didn’t even realize that some pages were ads before I really looked closely. There’s a whole section on recipes using Dr. Pepper that incorporates the ads for the soda brand brilliantly. Overall, everything comes together beautifully and allows The Pioneer Woman Magazine to take its place in the Pioneer Woman aesthetic created by Ree Drummond’s previous undertakings.
Cover Claims Delivery
Y’all, I have never read a magazine that delivers to completely on all of it’s cover claims. I’ve already discussed many of things the cover claims, but there are still more things to talk about! I’m honestly blown away by the amount of substance that this magazine contains.
First of all, it contains somewhere around 24 recipes. 24 RECIPES. They are all step-by-step, beautifully designed, and everything we’ve come to expect from Ree’s blog. So if you’re picking this up hoping to get some cooking inspiration you will be pleased.
Most impressive though is that The Pioneer Woman Magazine really is from Ree Drummond. On every page you can see and hear her narrative voice. Never do we loose her voice, and that’s exactly what I want from a personal magazine like this.
At the end of the day, The Pioneer Woman Magazine is everything that we have come to know and love from The Pioneer Woman just in a periodical form. It is funny, honest, compelling, substantive, and beautiful. Personally, I think that it is worth a subscription.
Follow The Pioneer Woman:
Read The Pioneer Woman online
Subscribe to The Pioneer Woman Magazine
Watch The Pioneer Woman on Food Network Saturdays at 10:00 am EST.