My life as a food blogger



Hi there.

I say I am a food blogger.  What do you think?  Do you picture sunny days, where in a disney-esque fashion I roll out of bed, into a pretty cath kidston apron and set about in my perfect kitchen, possibly cleaned by squirrels and other woodland creatures?  Am I surrounded by reclaimed wood, a camera set up and perfect pottery?  Do I snap a few pictures of a dish I just pulled out of my ass magic hat, eating my dinner out of a mason jar and farting out a cookbook in the process?

Nope, sorry to break the illusions but food blogging is battles with natural light, trapped wind, stripper party requests and more washing up than could ever be done.  It's the compulsive need to take pictures of good food, and hoping to god you don't end up looking like a twit all whilst trying to appear like it's all in a days work.

Finding the time to blog is the first step as I work Monday to Friday with typical half 8am -  to 5pm.  (Doesn't sound as catchy as Dolly parton, but whatever.)  People think I spend my whole life online.... (not true, about 20% of it is spent in cook shops)

This is the real, unadulterated behind the scenes of my life as a food blogger.

Or something like that....



This one will be long, because it's hilarious.  I get a lot of PR requests, and some of them are awesome.  They've obviously read some of my blog and are interested in offering me something cool and in return I'll put my heart into it. That's fine by me, as long as it's relevant, I'll give it a go.  Most companies are lovely and really fun to work with.  There's mutual respect and stuff. But then you get the ones that are a little sarky and try to get something for nothing.  I once had a company email me and ask me to create a web series for them, positively reviewing their products (which they wanted ME to go out and buy) and in return?  Nothing.  They wouldn't even publicise my blog in return.  This was a big company too and they got very bitchy when I turned them down. (Politely of course.)  The best one I've ever had was press releases for a party in a strip club, they offered me a ticket in compensation for advertising it in a post.  I have no idea why they thought asking a five foot nothing woman, who posts pictures of dogs and cakes would enjoy this offer, but kudos for putting themselves out there.  When I said I wasn't interested their reply was "But there's good food here" Like the word food would suddenly stop and hypnotise me into submission.  "Food?  Dude, sign me right up to your stripper party, that sounds right up my street"   This is the reason I put a big long list in my contact page.  Most of them obviously don't read it.




I don't know about you, but I've come across a fair few blogs where their lives seem completely unattainable.  There's no mess.  Everything is organised and pretty.  Their place could be in a magazine, in fact it probably is.  That's awesome, if that's your style, but it's not mine.  My pantry goes through cycles of being vaguely organised and just a pile of stuff to dig through.  The other day I found a pair of cut up pants in my saucepan drawer.  It took us a year to repair the hole in our kitchen wall.  Sometimes I look at my worktops and think "Will anyone notice if I don't wipe these down today?" My house is a normal house.  I have cream carpets and a black dog.  I babysit children under 5.  Also, sometimes I'm just kinda lazy because there's more to life than immaculate things.




The no.1 rule is probably not to mention farts on your food blog, but what the hell.  Cooking your own meals is awesome, and much better for digestion.  Being a lady AND a food blogger I'm sure you can imagine that I don't fart, but delicately toot out rainbow poofs that smell like blossoms.  Which is a good job, because making your own food makes you gassy as hell.  Bare in mind that we eat everything I post, and I post a lot of stews and onion based dishes.  Lots of healthy food = lots of gas/farts/windy pops (whatever you want to call them to make it go down easier)  I once held a dinner party for friends, and we tucked into stew because it was before pay day and poor people serve stew.  About 2 hours later, someone stood up and said "Look, it's gonna be a long night of butt-clenching until we all just admit that stew had given us wind." And so began the funniest, if not smelliest night for a while.  Being a food blogger really does enrich your life in every way.




Some days I feel like I'm just in a cycle of washing up.  I'll cook, do a load, and when I turn back around there's a whole new load in the sink.  Some days I'll feel like I've washed up about 60 forks, but there aren't any in the drawer.  Where did all the forks come from in the sink?  Where do they go when I put them back in the drawer?  Have I got some kind of portal in there that transports them straight back to the sink?  WHAT IS GOING ON?!  FORK CONSPIRACY.



The other day I looked in my fridge.  I looked in my pantry.  Then I looked in the freezer.  For some reason, only the gods know, I couldn't work out what to make.  My mind was a pool of ideas but my arms just went "meh" and flopped around like octopus legs.  The problem is, that it's so rare that this happens that I don't really have any quick fixes.  So I end up cooking anyway and I moan about it because then there's washing up.




If I'm cooking a meal for the blog, I will tart it up a little.  Present it nicely, get out the fine china and what not.  Here's the deal, the reason we do this is too make it look awesome so that nice people will come and have a read.  I don't actually eat chips out of a mason jar or set up a whole little vintage set of tins around a cake I'm serving.  Mason jars are hard to wash up and tins = more stuff to tidy up.  I don't spend 10 minutes artfully setting out a table setting for dinner every night and I hate to break the illusion but it's really hard to eat dinner off a chopping board.  It's all for show.  In real life, everything goes on a plate, in a big pile and I pretty much just motorboat my face into it.




Sometimes inspiration for a post just won't hit.  You want to write but everything that comes out sounds weird and disjointed, like you're someone else trying to write in your voice.  Those days suck because that big blank screen and blinking little line are mocking you.  Telling you that you suck and that you utterly deserve to be sent requests to stripper clubs and be mocked by big companies telling you you're crap.  But then someone will share an old recipe, or you'll be watching a cooking show and get a flash of "I HAVE AN IDEA!" and before you know it, you're back.





I don't know any blogger who doesn't love feedback.  When I see that little notification telling me I have a new comment I get all excited, like there's a little gift to unwrap when I click on the link.  It's awesome.  It's why I comment on other peoples, not because I'm massively trying to get myself 'out there' but because sometimes, it's nice to just be nice.  I actually read the post as well, otherwise what was the point in commenting!?  One word comments are awful.  "Good post.  Come check out my post" Is by far the most annoying as is an obvious 'copy/paste' job.




In the winter, it's too dark, in the summer it's too light.  If you don't have magical pixies sending natural light through your kitchen windows you have to set up a whole area just to take a half decent picture.  Or, like most people, just go and set it up outside and hope flies don't land on your dinner.  Really makes you get the job done quick though.  Most bloggers will invest in some seriously good lighting, but at the moment, I'd rather spend 10 minutes outside snapping shots with the husband, than spend £100+ on a light.  I do have a lightbox though.  But that was for work, so doesn't count.




I mention in my contact page list that I sometimes get emails from some random dude who sends me pictures of fruits and vegetables.  I'm not being cute, that actually happens and it makes my day when I see the subject line "Bananas in bowl"  or "Overly ripe mangos".  I also get a lot of spam comments on the blog.  Some of them are so badly google translated that I can't stop laughing.  I really do consider just letting a few in for comedy value.  Most of them are annoying though.




"Emma what's with the monkey?"  Shut up I like this picture.  He had to go somewhere.  Anyway, the food blogger pounds exist.  Those extra few pounds you carry around because you had to try every cookie you've made, take a bowl of the food you tried and sometimes stuff is too delicious.  Just because we blog about food doesn't mean we're angelic all of the time.  It's a tough balance, trying to be healthy but trying to make awesome stuff.  It's worth it though.  10 times over.



One day, a friend comes to me and says "Emma, how do you braise beef properly?"  I said, I didn't know because I don't eat beef.  They said "Yeah, but the blog."  People are still amazed that things don't always turn out right, or that I can make something fine one day and fail at it the next.  My blog hasn't given me some strange sort of superpower to cook everything perfectly.  I don't measure like I should, I experiment too much and things still burn, come out wrong / wonky and not like I hoped.  Guys, that's how we learn, that's how anyone learns!  The difference is, instead of writing our good recipes down in a book to be passed onto future grandchildren, we share them out in the open.  We aren't saying "Look how good I am at stuff, I know everything" we're saying "this turned out alright, you should try it if you want"

So why do we do it?

Because it's fun.  Despite the weird emails, the rude PR and the mess, it's a brilliant hobby to share with people.  I love reading other peoples blogs because I'm nosy by nature and I love getting recipes with a backstory.  I learn about new cooking techniques, new ingredients and new tools, all from people who aren't talking down to me, but talking to me.  That's pretty awesome.

There's a lot of highs.  You meet new people (some of the best people I know I met through blogging), you get invited to events, you get to share war stories with others and you can do it all by starting a blog.

Have a great Friday all!

Have I missed anything out?  Comment below with yours :)




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45 comments:

  1. *raises arms, drops to knees & shouts* "finally someone who understands!!!

    Awesome post. For any non-food bloggers reading, this is EXACTLY our lives. Not to mention the hungry b/f waiting at the table for his food while I play around with light reflectors.

    Gorgeous blog as well. Keep at it! xx

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    1. Cheers! Oh the light reflectors, I forgot to mention the bloomin light reflectors! Those are the constantly popping out and hitting me in the face!

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  2. "It's all for show. In real life, everything goes on a plate, in a big pile and I pretty much just motorboat my face into it."

    MARRY ME!

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    1. Thanks for the offer, would consider it wholly just for your surname!

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  3. I'm not a food blogger but this made me wet my pants and let out a little windy pops. Best description of gas ever. Laughed so hard! love Kaz xxxXxxx

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  4. I love this! I spend close to 15 minutes a day going through spam comments on the blog I work with and I have been tempted to let a few go through just because they are so bad they make me laugh.

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    1. haha, thank you! There are some corkers, I love the badly translated ones that make no sense!

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  5. I can totally relate to a lot of this! Well, not the PR companies harassing me with weird offers, definitely not the thing about strip clubs. :D And oddly enough, I've never gotten any spam comments...feels like I'm missing out! :)

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    1. I feel your missing out! I love that blogger has it's own little spam filter, and I sometimes go through it just for giggles.

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  6. Hahaha I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! All far too familiar. If I get one more "unique infographic" sent to me I'll probably just put my head in my food mixer xx

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    1. Ahh man yes! hahah Those are irritating, I get about 5 of those a day and some of them are very strange...

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  7. Such a great post Emma - gave me such a giggle!

    There is an on going war with my other half & I over dinner times. When I have earmarked a meal for the blog - he pokes & distracts me, until he gets banned from the kitchen. Leaving me in the kitchen preening mine all alone, taking thousands of photos - while he wolves his into him! I am becoming a fan of the cold solo dining experience.....

    Laura | Day Dreaming Foodie

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    1. Haha thank you! Preening, love that word.

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  8. fantastic piece, loved reading it and completely agree!

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  9. I wrote a massive comment then clicked sign out rather than publish - grrr! I loved this post, it made me laugh and your honesty is refreshing. I've not been blogging long but I've 'virtually' met some great people, that is a huge upside. I love seeing my readers figures increase, I love comments, tweets and shares. Its very exciting to do something I love so much in my spare time. Looking forward to the next post - now I must hit publish not sign out!! x

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    1. Hehe I've done that all too many times, glad it's not just me! Thank you for your lovely comments! :D

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  10. You have made my Friday! Many points, if not all, are so darn familiar..
    p.s I didn't know poor people serve stew at all...a good stew still cost something!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Angie

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    1. Ahhh I use frozen veg, frozen stock and chickpeas. Cheapest meal in my collection I'm afraid! Cheers Angie!

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  11. Hilarious! And all true, I about died at the fork conspiracy! (ok and a few other times too). I'm so glad you're blogging again, we need you!

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  12. All of this is so true except I don't have a fork conspiracy its knives for me where do all the knives go? They are probably hiding in those extra blogging pounds you mentioned!!! It's true you have to sample before you share after all it could be hideous and yes I have made hideous bakes that I can't stand and would never share! I totally understand where you are coming from with the light, in Scotland its far too bright in the summer and there is possibly only about 90 minutes of daylight in the winter!!! Taking photos can be a real nightmare sometimes especially when you have white bed sheets hanging from the kitchen cupboards trying to create some more light but hey ho this is the life we have chosen...... would we change it? NAHHH :D

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    1. hahah so true Emma! Despite all the mess and whatnot, I still love it! Totally worth it.

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  13. I loved this post! I am a massive foodie, but I've only recently started including more food posts on my blog. I would love to do more because it's such a huge part of my life and my husband and I are obsessed with food, but it's much harder than I expected! My kitchen is tiny and pretty dark and I hate food going cold whilst I try to take pictures! x

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    1. I have the same problem! My kitchen has a massive window... that faces a wall. Bah! So much fun though :)

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  14. I love this. You summed up food blogging perfectly!!

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  15. I can definitely relate to everything you've said! Except the stripper one...I've never been invited to a strip club haha :) My kitchen's always a terrible mess after I make anything, even stuff that's simple- it makes washing up a really horrible chore :( I swear, I spend more time washing/cleaning up than cooking/baking!

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    1. Am I seriously the only person that gets these weird invitations?! I could've sworn it was a common thing! So with you on that though, I don't have the luxury of a dishwasher either. All by hand!

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  16. This post rules, I love you more than I already did. I relate to lots of these and was just having a talk to a friend about some of these. Gotta love brands that you want to do all the work for free, or even slightly more offending is when they offer a $3 bag of rice. Come on. One other pet peeve: bloggers who don't share love back. I get that people are busy or popular... but I think there's a due to be paid to return the love no matter what, even if once in a blue moon.

    By the way I get weird invites too. Lots of rap video invites to... I don't know.. stand on the side and watch? One day I might attend.

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    1. That's so cool! Rap videos! You should go, imagine the fun :)

      Agreed on the sharing love, thanks for reading!

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  17. Great blog Emma, made me laugh so much. x

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  18. Brilliant post - I really chuckled! I'm with you on the constant battle for natural light - I've had my husband 10ft up a ladder this week chopping down trees to get more light into the kitchen! My kids know NEVEr to start eating without checking its had its photo taken!

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    1. haha that's brilliant! Cheers for reading :)

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  19. This is probably the most thorough post on 'behind the scenes of a food blogger's life' and I thought it was spectacular! Thanks for the many laughs I got from reading this.

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  20. I and and my boyfriend dated for two years and we where planning to get married soon then all of a sudden his love for me started changing and he started avoiding me recently he just made it clear to me that he is no longer interested in the engagement, i thought he was joking but to my notice it was getting serious as he now charts and move out with his new found girlfriend I tried to lure and beg him if their is anything I have done wrong he should forgive me but he never listened all he says is that I should get it into my thick score that the relationship is over (meaning my relationship with him is over)I further tried all means to get him back but nothing worked as at last I was able to get a spell caster contact named Priest Ajigar I heard his spell works in terms of restoring broken marriage and relationship. I contacted him and he assured me with in the next three days he will come back for me, after three days it really did happen he came back and he have left the other girl now, i never could have got the love of my life back if not Priest Ajigar who did it for me and my advice to all you out there searching for a genuine and powerful spell caster just know that Priest Ajifar spell works and its the best email him on (priestajigarspells@live.com)

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  21. Good post. Now come check out my post. BWAH HA. I feel your pain on much of this. I gotta say, Emma, I'm psyched I found you -- except for the fact that you're way funnier than I am and that makes me sad because I think I'm hilarious. ;-)

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  22. I haven't been on the blog for a while Emma - it's looking great. I love the graphics. Congratulations on the wedding by the way :-)
    (Lianne AKA LucyRainbow)

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