The Kitchen Thyme Blogger Spotlight Series is a way for you and I to get to know and support the wonderful Food Bloggers who share their delicious recipes at Kitchen Thyme.
Meet Alex and Mila from Harry and Lexy’s Workshop!
Check out their recipes at Kitchen Thyme!
Kitchen Thyme: Hi Ladies! Thank you for being part of our Kitchen Thyme Blogger Spotlight Series! Tell us where you’re from and how you got into blogging?
Alex and Mila: Hey there! We are two sisters – Alex (Lexy) and Mila (Harry). We were born and grew up in the heart of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Nowadays we live in London and Frankfurt, and this is one of the main reasons this blog exists – it helps to gather us at the same ‘place’ despite all the kilometres that divide us.
KT: How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Alex and Mila: This doesn’t really require a long answer – it’s just our nicknames. It’s also a workshop as other than crafting tasty recipes, we also share other things. Useful information about different foods – fruit, spices, recipe origins, how did they appear and who invented them. We also write about our holidays and adventures around the world, what you can see and visit in different destinations.
KT: How long have you been blogging?
Alex and Mila: We had the idea in the end of 2013 but it took us a few months to create the webpage and to gather some bravery in order to publish our first recipe. I think the biggest step was about a year and a half ago when we decided to translate everything into English.
KT: Are you part-time or full-time bloggers?
Alex and Mila: Unfortunately, none of us is a full-time blogger, but we sincerely hope that one day we wouldn’t need to do anything else but this which brings us pure joy.
KT: How many recipes do you publish each week?
Alex and Mila: It depends. We thrive to publish 2-3 recipes a week but it is difficult when you’re working full time. The best is when there are bank holidays or days off – we don’t publish very often during these periods but we manage to cook and take pictures of more meals that we blog about on a later stage.
KT: After you publish a recipe on your blog, walk us through the steps you take to get more eyes on that recipe. What sites do you submit your recipe to? Do you use a spreadsheet to keep track of where you share your recipes?
Alex and Mila: We post a link on our Facebook page, create a pin for Pinterest and pin it to the multiple shared boards we’re a member of. Then we submit the recipe to Foodgawker, Fridgg, Healthy Aperture (if it is a healthy recipe), and of course, Kitchen Thyme. In time, we will re-pin it again, but we don’t actually use a spreadsheet to keep track. I count on my good memory, or perhaps I just look at way too many spreadsheets on a daily basis, but I haven’t felt the need to keep track this way.
KT: What does a typical week look like for you? Do you create recipes and blog posts on certain days of the week?
Alex and Mila: We do most of the work during the week, and most of the time – even when at work! Obviously, we do all the cooking at home, but when it comes to editing, translating, posting and scheduling, this happens almost entirely on my work computer. (I do hope my boss won’t see that haha!) It’s not that we’re not organized and can’t stick to a schedule, it’s just that life comes in the way – you know, doing some sport, seeing friends, occasionally going to the cinema or to see a play or musical. I don’t see any other way with full-time jobs but the dream is for this to be our job, then most certainly we will have a different schedule.
KT: Do you have a good blog/life balance? Do you unplug at night or on the weekends?
Alex and Mila: We definitely unplug on the weekends. We still cook, after all, that’s one of the best things about food blogging – you get to eat what you blog about, you have to cook anyway, and it’s not something that goes in and out of fashion. But this is also the only time when we don’t have to work and definitely deserve to relax. It’s also the roller-coaster of a life we’re leading – sometimes we’re super inspired and can’t wait to breathe life to an idea, other times we feel down and taking pictures is the last thing we want to do. But hey, we’re only human!
KT: How much time do you spend on Social Media each day? Do you use any schedulers for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Do you have a Virtual Assistant to help you?
Alex and Mila: I’d say about an hour to two each day, sometimes a bit more. We use Tailwind for Pinterest, and should start using it for Instagram. Unfortunately, there is no proper scheduler for Facebook – I was thinking of coding a script that will do that for us but the guys there know what they’re doing so it is possible to get banned! I don’t mean posting on our Facebook wall but rather posting in the multiple groups for sharing recipes. As for Twitter, we do have an account but don’t really use it very often. A few years ago it wasn’t the best social media for recipes but it is worth re-exploring as it might have changed.
KT: What social media networks/websites give you the most traffic to your blog?
Alex and Mila: Facebook and Pinterest.
KT: What AD networks do you have on your blog?
Alex and Mila: We run GourmetAds and Adsense. We had a few others but we didn’t like their platforms very much.
KT: What are the main sources of income from your blog? Sponsored Posts? Advertisements? Affiliate Links?
Alex and Mila: The main source is ads. There is still a lot of work to be done from our side but we’re getting there.
KT: Do you have a long relationship with any particular Brands?
Alex and Mila: Not yet.
KT: Do you enjoy going to Blogging Conferences? If so, which ones do you recommend for Food Bloggers?
Alex and Mila: There’s plenty of conferences we’d love to go to but they’re all in the US.
KT: Where do you find inspiration to create new recipes?
Alex and Mila: Everything beautiful can inspire us. Of course, we follow the culinary trends and spend a lot of time on Pinterest – it’s impossible not to get loaded with ideas there. We’re always seeking to be a bit different and to make things “our way”.
KT: What are your top 3 favorite recipes on your blog?
Alex and Mila: Our top 3 recipes are Unicorn Cake, Mini Cherry Pies and Easy Chocolate Mousse.
KT: Do you have great lighting in your house for photos or do you need to use artificial lighting or filters?
Alex and Mila: Both of us have flats with lots of light and we’re certainly not lacking windows. We believe the best pictures are taken using natural light, but we do have good equipment as well – DSLR cameras, tripods, photo studio umbrellas and softboxes. We use them often, especially when shooting main dishes as they are our dinner and it’s already dark at that time of the day.
KT: What advice would you give to new food bloggers when it comes to taking photos of food?
Alex and Mila: To find their own style! Everything comes and develops with time. Find bloggers whose pictures you like and try different things. When you look at beautiful pictures, think about how they were shot and where the light comes from. We think the best pictures have more than one source of light. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have only one window in the room you won’t be able to take a good picture – use light reflectors. Try, try and try again, you can only get better!
KT: Do you have a favorite cookbook?
Alex and Mila: Nowadays everyone has so many new, colourful and beautiful cookbooks. It’s the same with us. But our favourite ones are mum’s old cookbooks. They don’t contain difficult recipes for multi-layer cakes or dashing decorations, but recipes for real food – the food that’s nutritious and has been part of our lives and childhood, the food that’s connected with our home and family. We have one particular cookbook in mind – that’s an old notebook which consists of mum’s handwritten must-know recipes, which she has collected through the years.
KT: If you could cook with a famous chef or celebrity cook, who would it be and why?
Alex and Mila: Hmmm, Jamie Oliver! He is not an ordinary chef. You can see this is not only his profession, nor even his hobby, this is his worldly passion. Every time we watch his show, he boosts us with positive energy and desire to hit our stride in the kitchen. He’s cooking widely smiled and having fun the whole time, which is our philosophy as well. We could make a good team, cook with wine and perhaps we could even put some of it in the food!
KT: You are constantly working with food. What are a few ingredients you cannot live without?
Alex and Mila: Desserts would lose the point in their existence if we couldn’t have used chocolate, so that is why we put it in first place. Parmesan – without it the world would be a dull place. And savory – this is an herb without which the Bulgarian wouldn’t be able to cook as this would be like living without oxygen.
KT: Do you have any advice for someone starting a food blog?
Alex and Mila: Strive, don’t give up and never stop creating – in the kitchen or behind the camera.
KT: Thank you so much for joining us at Kitchen Thyme! Where can our readers find you?
BLOG: Harry & Lexy’s Workshop