Behind the Scenes at Browned Butter Blondie

July 24, 2019

  I’ve been blogging for just over a year and one of the questions I am asked the most right […]



I’ve been blogging for just over a year and one of the questions I am asked the most right after “do you eat all the goodies you bake?” is “what do bloggers do all day”?  As in…what does the typical day in the life of a food blogger look like?  I thought to myself the other day after a new acquaintance asked me that same question – – that would make a great blog post idea!

And no, we don’t sit around eating cupcakes all day.

One of the things that I love the most about my job is that every single day is different. No two work days look the same. I love setting my own schedule and being my own boss. But it’s also one of the reasons that being a food blogger is so challenging. Food bloggers wear many hats and there are SO many things to accomplish in the span of a single day. And because I work alone, it’s up to me to get everything done and cross it off the list. I’m running a one-woman show over here but I’m a bit of a control freak so it’s probably best that I don’t have a boss to answer to.

The downside is, there is no one else to blame when tasks aren’t getting done and deadlines are looming. I hear this a lot from fellow bloggers so today I’m sharing with you how I manage my time as a content creator by giving you a “behind the scenes” tour of a typical day. In food blogger speak we call it “BTS”. I have so much to learn and while I still consider myself a newbie at this whole #bloggerlife, I will share a few tips to help you manage your time well if you are a full time blogger like me.

Like any job, everyday starts with a list of work to be done. Somedays I have my hustle on while other days I wish I actually drank coffee so I could make any excuse for a time out and run to Starbucks. I have to make the time to get it all done and that starts with being productive the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning. Quite a few bloggers I know are also working full time jobs. I don’t have another career but I do have three kids and boy, do they ever keep me busy!

While I don’t sit at a desk from 9-5, I am bouncing from one task to another all day and often into the wee hours of the night. To give you a better idea of how I divide up my work day, let’s run through a typical weekday from start to finish. It’s a good chance to meet the blogger behind all the baked goods, which I for one, always find interesting. I love to hear what makes people tick, what they love about their job, and where they find their motivation to do what they do each day.

So let’s get right to it…



I keep my phone nearby in another room so I’m not tempted to hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off. Once I’m up, I’m up! I take about 30 minutes to scan through emails, pack lunches, serve up a quick hot breakfast to my kiddos and straighten up the kitchen. While I drink a cup of warm lemon water {a habit I swear by!} I get on Instagram for a few minutes to reply to DM’s, engage with comments on yesterday’s photo and scroll through the early bird posts. If the photo I am using for Instagram isn’t fully edited already, I spend a few minutes on the computer putting on the finishing touches and then air drop the photo to myself. Then I put my phone down and run the kids to school.

8:00 AM: ME TIME

As soon as the kids are off to school, I run my photo through my usual VSCO filter and post it on Instagram. Sometimes I write my captions in advance but usually I write them on the fly. Especially if they are short and sweet. I think it’s important to be genuine with your followers and sometimes I’m feeling sassy and other days I’m feeling sappy. Most of the time I just try to be upbeat and a little sarcastic since that’s my personality in real life. Writing my captions on the spot ensures that my readers are getting the real me, in the moment.

Once I’ve posted I spend about thirty more minutes responding to comments and engaging with other bloggers that I follow. As tempting as it is to “post and ghost” somedays, it’s important to me to continue to build relationships with creators that I follow as well as with my own followers by commenting, liking and just genuinely interacting on a daily basis. I have developed some wonderful friendships with other bloggers in this community and that is due in part to the time I spend on Instagram getting to know them. And I love hearing from my followers that they tried a recipe, loved a cake I baked or that my caption made them laugh. Keep those positive comments coming bakers. It makes my day every time!!

Once I post a few stories on Insta and reply to any new emails in my inbox, I put my phone down and take an hour to workout. I mix it up but I always give myself a solid hour of “me time” to break a sweat and mentally prep for the day ahead. I may run five miles, lift weights at the gym or hike the hills near my house. If I’m feeling up for an extra tough workout I head to the beach and run the stairs. I work out every day. For me it’s like brushing my teeth…it feels weird if I don’t do it. And I can honestly say that if I workout BEFORE I get to work, I am much more focused, creative and productive. No doubt about it. Plus it’s one more thing I can check off the list which always feels good.


After my workout, I shower and eat breakfast which is usually scrambled eggs or steel cut oatmeal with berries and almond milk. If I’m craving more carbs with a little something sweet, I’ll pop a couple of gluten free waffles in the toaster and top them with almond butter and sliced bananas. My favorite and it’s so easy!

Fun fact: breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Always has been. Always will be. Can’t live without it! On the other hand, I could totally skip dinner altogether. By dinnertime I seriously don’t want to make one more dirty dish that I have to wash!



By this time I generally have a recipe that I’m testing or a recipe to be photographed baking in the oven. When I have a lot of client work I often have multiple things baking at once but I don’t generally photograph more than two recipes a day. I find that I’m more creative and produce higher quality content if I can concentrate on just one or two baked goods at a time.

Some bakers do better with batch work and will photograph four or more recipes in a single afternoon. That’s just not how I roll. For me, it leads to major burnout and I find it far too exhausting. If it works for you, go for it. You do you!  Try scheduling it both ways and find a routine that you can stick with. While I’ve got indulgence baking at 350, I’m simultaneoulsy returning emails, listening to podcasts {new for me but I do love to multi-task!} or replying to more comments on Instagram. Are you sensing a trend here? Yep, love or hate it…Instagram is an important part of the job.

If I haven’t posted a few stories to my account yet, I’ll add a few now. I also always promote the photo I posted that day in my stories…usually within an hour of posting. I always try to include a swipe up to the recipe so readers are directed to my blog for all the details. If that’s how you ended up here…hello and welcome to my little corner of the internet!

11:00-2:00: SHOOT FOOD

My kids always laugh at me when I comment that I need to “shoot some food”. {with a camera of course.} As a general rule, I try to leave the hours of 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM open for food photography since the natural light is best in my kitchen that time of day. To keep a consistent look in my photography it’s important to shoot at the same time of day, in the same place. I may not use this entire window of time, but it’s nice to have those hours set aside so that I don’t have to feel rushed between styling and photographing the day’s recipes. I currently shoot with a Canon 6D and I swap between my 24-70 and 100 mm macro lenses. I also have a 50 mm f/1/8 that I use occassionally. More on my photography gear in a future post.

Once the photo shoot is done, I clean up my set, put my props away and get the dishes started. The dishes pile up fast and cleaning the kitchen is no small feat most days. Oh where, oh where is that dish fairy when you need her! {wink, wink}. While I’m getting the mess under control, I’ll usually prop my phone up and watch Instagram stories at the same time. It gives me a chance to catch up on what everyone is up to and another opportunity to interact with the people that I follow. I’ll usually add a few more stories to my feed midday and reply to any comments from previous stories.


Technically it’s not much of a lunch break since 90% of the time I sit and eat lunch at my desk while editing photos or sending emails to brands. It’s a bad habit but one I find hard to break since multi-tasking is sometimes the only way to get through the day’s to-do list. During this midday break I also check in on Instagram again and reply to more comments and catch up on the posts from the morning that I missed. I for one find it so easy to get sucked into the mindless scrolling and before you know it an hour has passed you by. Pro tip: set timer on your phone and when it goes off…sorry Charley, time is up!

I’m often in a hurry to prep lunch so I’ll have last night’s leftover salad or veggie tacos. If I’m really pressed for time I reach for an RxBar….the peanut butter flavor is crazy good! Not sponsored. Just a fan. Inevitably my sweet tooth kicks in right after lunch so I nosh on a piece or two of dark chocolate. What can I say…#chocolatelover.




Each weekday afternoon around 3:00 I’m back on mom duty for a couple of hours. I pick up the kids at carpool, shuttle them to and from their after school activities and run a few errands in between. I often stop at the market to pick up ingredients for dinner and for the next day’s baked goods. Two guesses what’s always on the list?? Butter and sugar!

If I am waiting for a sports lesson to end or sitting in a parking lot, I check my emails and social media and reply to any messages that need my attention. I love the flexibility that working for myself provides and that my schedule allows me to spend time with my kids when they need me. I feel so grateful to be able to run my business and still be a hands-on mom everyday.



We eat dinner as a family every night which is a great way for us all to catch up on the day’s events. Phones are off limits at the dinner table so I try to enjoy the time off a social media.

My husband cooks more often than not. He’s the cook. I’m the baker. It’s a match made in heaven. Although I do make a mean salad!!

We try to eat a lot of greens and veggies for dinner. Anything healthy-ish is pretty much a necessity for me after nibbling on chocolate cake and baked donuts during photo shoots. I’m not entering a swimsuit competition any time soon so I try not to obsess over it. I find that if I focus on the 80/20 rule it all balances out at the end of the day.

After dinner, we usually work as a team to clean up the kitchen unless I made a complete and total mess of it earlier in the day, in which case I volunteer to deal with the disaster I  created. Baking requires a LOT of dirty plates, bowls, utensils, pots, pans…you name it! It’s by far my least favorite part of the job, but then again, have you ever met a food blogger that adores doing dishes?? If you meet one, send them to my house. Ha!

I have a MAJOR sweet tooth {shocking, I know} that I passed on to each of my girls so ninety-nine percent of the time we all indulge in a little something sweet after dinner. For me, it’s almost always a classic chocolate chip cookie. I have one practically every day and I don’t feel one bit bad about it. You can get the recipe for my all-time favorite cookies here or click the photo below for a direct link.  Trust me when I say they are worth every single crazy delicious calorie!!


After dinner I will usually test another recipe for the blog or put something sweet in the oven that will keep overnight so that I can photograph it the next day.

And then of course, there are more dishes to be done.

It’s seriously never ending! I definitely do a little happy dance once the kitchen is clean and tidy again. I like to have everything clean and in it’s place so I’m ready to start fresh the following morning.



Rarely a weeknight goes by that I don’t head back into my office for at least another hour or two to edit photos, write a blog post, return emails to clients or just to do some research on seasonal food trends or upcoming holiday recipe ideas. I’ll spend a little time on Pinterest so can get an idea of what Suzie, my virtual assistant, has been pinning recently. I’ll also take a few minutes to check my notifications and manually pin to a few boards. It’s been a huge time saver to delegate all things Pinterest to Suzie which frees up more time for me to work on the creative side of my job. Suzie is so knowledgable and detail oriented and I am already seeing growth on that platform. She’ll be doing a guest post here on Pinterest strategy in September so stay tuned! Even with handing over Pinterest duties this year, the to-do list never ends. There is goal setting, invoicing clients, creating graphics, reading up on how to increase my blog traffic or figuring out SEO strategy. Oh, and don’t forget client reports, pitching brands and marketing….I could go on and on.


If I have a deadline, I’ll often stay up working until midnight. It works for me because I’m a night owl and I am super productive late at night when the house is quiet. Doesn’t make me the best morning person though, as you can imagine.

Truth be told, I can get a little OCD about a project I’m working on and I end up staying up waaayyyy past my bedtime. I’m working hard to draw a hard line at midnight and hit the hay so I’m not a hot mess the next day due to lack of sleep. It’s all a work in progress but I’m making strides in the right direction. {ummm, the clock reads 12:25 am as I type this…like I said, work in progress}.


Any blogger that tells you they don’t work on weekends has their life way more figured out than I do. Some weekends I may work for two hours, while others I work ten or twelve. It all depends on my client work load and which tasks did not get checked off the to-do list the week before. Sometimes the weekends are all about shooting pancakes for fun in my pj’s and fuzzy slippers and baking cookies for the blog with my kids. I’ll test a new recipe or two on a Saturday and invite some friends over to taste test. It’s times like these that I’m 110% grateful for my job.

I’m feeling overwhelmed or the slightest bit burned out, I’ll take the weekend off and not even post on Instagram for a couple of days. Often just a quick 24-hour break is all I need to reset and come back on Monday feeling refreshed.

On Sunday nights I always spend thirty minutes reviewing my editorial calendar to make sure I have a grasp on the week ahead. I’ll check for any upcoming foodie holidays, plan the recipes I need to re-test and write a grocery list for ingredients I don’t have on hand. A little planning makes Mondays much easier!

So now you have a little insight into how I spend a typical day working as a food blogger. As you can see, it’s a lot of hours, many late nights in front of the computer and waaayyyyy too many dishes to call this job even remotely glamorous. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world. My creative mind is challenged every day, I get to set my own agenda and it sure doesn’t hurt that the cookie jar is always full.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about this blogger behind the blog. I’d love to find out more about you too! Leave me a comment below and let me know what we have in common. And if you are a blogger, spill all your best tips for how you manage to get through your busy day! Thanks for reading and for following along here at Browned Butter Blondie. I’m so glad you’re here!!

Hugs & Blondies,





  • Reply
    July 28, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this, Heather! I love learning all the behind the scenes details for what days look like for other food bloggers! I also feel like I need to get myself a little more organized haha. I can’t wait to read Suzie’s guest post on Pinterest strategy, too! I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a VA to handle it but haven’t taken the plunge yet.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 28, 2019 at 8:47 am

      Thanks so much for reading Taylor! Being organized has really helped me be more intentional and focused about my blog work this year. Can’t wait to share Suzie’s post in September….I think she’s got some great tips!

  • Reply
    Nisha / Rainbow Plant Life
    July 25, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    This was fun and informative to read! I love being a content creator, blogger, etc. but yes the work is never ending! You seem to have a schedule built in that works for you, though, which is impressive! Especially impressed that you can be a great mom and still manage it all. When you say you “don’t have another career”…you are selling yourself short because being a mother to three kids is definitely another career!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      July 26, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      You are absolutely right Nisha!! These three kiddos keep me super busy but I’m so grateful I can be here for them AND enjoy a job that I love. It’s the best of both worlds!! Thanks so much for reading!

  • Reply
    Abbey M
    July 24, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    So great to hear that someone else has the same never ending blogging schedule! Even though it seems like 24×7 most of the time, I don’t consider a passion “work”, even though I feel like I have much to still learn.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      July 25, 2019 at 12:44 am

      Thanks so much Abbey! I totally agree that it doesn’t feel like work….I enjoy it so much!! Minus the dishes of course! haha. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    I love this so much Heather!! So fun getting a sneak peek into your very busy life!
    I can relate on so many levels especially the kids and dishes one! Haha. Over the past year I’ve really become more intentional with my blog, my insta, and my photography and I love it but it takes so much time and planning!! There’s nothing I’d rather do though. Keep up the amazing work!! We all love it! – Anita

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      July 24, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      Aww, thanks so much Anita! That means a lot…I really appreciate it!! Love the kids! The dishes…not so much!! haha.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

      Thank you so much Anita!! I really appreciate you taking the time to read this post. I’m really enjoying following along with your blog as well! Your photos are amazing!

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