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Meeting an Old Friend & What is a Food Blogger?

Today I met an old friend for the first time. I know it does not really make sense, but bear with me.

I ‘e-met’ Reneé, aka Mummy Tries, at the very start of my blogging adventure, almost 18 months ago. Reneé has a no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Her compelling writing and accounts of life with young children without the sugar coating made me want to keep reading. Reneé’s writing is passionate, easy to read and down-to-earth.

Since I have ‘known’ Reneé, she has had a baby and revealed her identity (she used to write anonymously). She has also written a book, gone back to work and changed her family’s diet completely to get rid of food intolerances once and for all. We became ‘e-friends’ pretty quickly. We have been trying to meet for ages, but with 7 children under 7 between us, it did not quite happen until today.

Reneé and I knew each other before we met in the flesh. I knew what she looked like. I knew her kids’ names. I knew their ages. I even knew that F had probably not slept much the previous night and C would be the sweetest girl. Through emails and reading each other’s blog, we probably knew each other more than you would some of your friends.

Meeting Reneé ‘in real life’ was like catching up with an old friend. We spent the afternoon in Coram’s Fields, a safe open space for children, close to Euston station and Saint Pancras. Our little ones had a great time together, moving from one area to the next.

Meeting an Old Friend

Reneé and I are opposites in some ways yet so similar in others. She is a writer. Words are her armour. I am more of a creative type, with visuals at the forefront of everything I do. We both have one top priority: Family (see the capital letter there?). Not our careers, not blogging, not being successful in the traditional sense of the term. To both of us (at least that is how I perceived Reneé), being successful is nothing other than raising happy children who grow up to be decent members of society. That is huge, right?

We are also both passionate about food. We love eating and we started talking about blogging this afternoon, and what defines a ‘food blogger’.

Reneé and I both define ourselves as food bloggers. I cook every day, develop new recipes at the week-end, post recipes regularly, take hundreds of food photos every week, write about food in most posts, review food products, describe my toddler’s life with food allergies and my baby’s weaning journey.

Reneé creates and shares recipes for her family on a restricted diet. When she is not sharing recipes, she writes about food, how the family’s diet has improved her energy levels and her daughter’s behaviour. If that is not being a food blogger, then what is?

What are your views about food blogging? Do you think being a food blogger should only be about sharing recipes, or is there more to it?

Oh, by the way, I highly recommend Reneé’s self-help book, Become the Best You.

Become the Best You

And then the fun began...

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


  1. 12/05/2015 / 7:17 am

    Looking lovely ladies! So nice that you got to meet – Mel, I met you so briefly at Blogfest last year and Renee – well we’ve never met “in the flesh” yet but have been having conversations for nearly two years now and also still trying to get a chance to make that feel more solid with a proper get together. You are two people who’s blogs never fail to impress me (and if I’m being honest make mine feel like a poor shadow in comparison – you are both so driven and although I once argued the point with Renee, perhaps I have to accept that may be I am just one of life’s plodding donkeys). You are definitely food bloggers too – I guess there’s maybe some snobbery there but food blogging isn’t supposed to be the internet equivalent of Nigella Lawson – you both bring something extra to the table and you are both so passionate about it. I can see just what you’ve got in common and why you would get on. Thanks so much for linking this up Mel. #thetruthabout Xx

    • Mel
      12/05/2015 / 11:44 pm

      Sam, you are so kind! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this lovely comment. We really have to really have a conversation at BritMums. I find you funny, quirky, honest and definitely not a ‘shadow’ of anything (you silly lady!). xxxx

  2. 12/05/2015 / 7:19 am

    Oh my gorgeous Mel, you really are the sweetest person. Thanks so much for all the lovely mentions here, I’m very flattered! I felt exactly the same meeting you yesterday, like old friends catching up having not seen each other for a few months.

    What does constitute a food blogger indeed? I’d love to hear the thoughts of the blogging community on this one 🙂 Have a great day hon xxx

    • Mel
      12/05/2015 / 3:18 pm


      I can’t wait to see what people think about what food blogging is to them.

  3. myrecipebookuk
    12/05/2015 / 7:22 am

    I think there’s so much more to being a food blogger than sharing recipes. I’d say that blogging is more of a diary of your life that you share with everyone, your thoughts, feelings and what you’ve been up to. If most of that is about food then I guess that makes you a food blogger. I sometimes wonder if I should define myself as a food blogger as I share recipes but limit the amount of ‘story’ that goes with it. I’m more of a person with a recipe website.

    Personally I define both of you as family bloggers as like you say, that’s what everything is centered around. You just happen to write a lot about food too.

    Before I go… Do you coordinate outfits before you meet up with all bloggers. First Vicki with the blue tops at blog camp and now this!

    • Mel
      13/05/2015 / 10:33 pm

      Ha ha, no planned colour coordination, but we do match, don’t we?

  4. The Free From Fairy
    12/05/2015 / 11:57 am

    Ah I am so jealous!!! But, I can’t wait to meet Renee for the first time at BritMums…not long now!!! We are going to have such fun! I know what you mean about e-friends…I think I probably do know more about you and Renee than some of my physical friends! So glad you had a lovely day x

    • Mel
      12/05/2015 / 3:15 pm

      He he, really looking forward to BritMums too!

  5. Julie's Family Kitchen
    12/05/2015 / 9:18 pm

    Ah! This is so lovely. I finally met you Mel at Blog Camp and feel like I have known you for years and would love to meet both Renee and Vicki (Free From Fairy) too. So pleased to hear you both had a lovely day. xx

    • Mel
      13/05/2015 / 9:00 pm

      Same here my lovely Julie. It felt like we’d known each other for years when we met. I wanted to write all about it after BlogCamp but on the day my laptop died, I also lost my SD card with all the photos I’d taken that week. Have you got a photo of the two of us by any chance?

  6. 12/05/2015 / 10:23 pm

    This is such a sweet post, I love how you became e-friends first to then meet up and feel like old friends! I think everyone defines food blogging in their own way and that’s just the beauty of it! I think (almost) anything goes as long as it aligns with the bloggers voice and is mostly centred around food somehow 🙂

    • Mel
      18/06/2015 / 11:06 pm

      That’s a beautiful way of describing it, my lovely!

  7. 12/05/2015 / 11:10 pm

    Look forward to meeting you both at BML!

    I also have a handful of friends who I didn’t meet in person until a number of years after I met them online. It’s an interesting way to meet people – you already know what they look like, you’ve generally become friends because you share some kind of common interest and you’re already familiar with at least part of their background. In my (limited) experience of meeting people like this, that first meeting really is like you’ve known them in person for years.

    • Mel
      13/05/2015 / 9:55 pm

      It really felt ‘natural’ to see Reneé and chat with her all afternoon. I am so glad we met through our blogs. This blogging thing is bringing me so much more than I ever anticipated.

  8. Louise
    13/05/2015 / 10:08 pm

    Lovely photo of you both and I agree that meeting up with fellow bloggers is like meeting old friends even if you’ve never met before! So glad that you had such a lovely day together 🙂

    • Mel
      16/05/2015 / 1:39 pm

      We did! It will be nice to see everyone at BritMums live! I can’t wait!

  9. 14/05/2015 / 1:18 am

    That’s a great question! I’ve been blogging about food for going on 5 years now and sometimes I tell personal stories, but I don’t always have the emotional energy for it. So about 80% of my blogging is strictly food focused. I love to read all kinds of food bloggers though – who take all different approaches. I don’t think there is a ‘right’ formula.

    • Mel
      18/06/2015 / 11:06 pm

      You’re right. I don’t think there’s a formula either!

  10. 21/05/2015 / 1:28 am

    I too love Renee! She is such a sweet and caring individual. How exciting to meet someone from the blogging world in person! I too hope to do that one day. I am popping over from #brillianblogposts 🙂

  11. 21/05/2015 / 7:57 am

    Gorgeous photo of both of you and you look like you must have clicked straight away. I’ve always fancied going to Coram fields, must definitely add it to my list. One of my favourite food bloggers is Emily from a Mummy Too and she does such a varied thing on her blog, kind of like she blogs about whatever she likes, but the essence is still food!

  12. The L's Mum
    21/05/2015 / 8:33 am

    I keep meaning to purchase this book, it sounds like just what I need to read at the moment. I’m hoping to meet some of my blogging buddies soon, I fell like I already know them but have never met. I think you have defined a food blogger exactly as I would. I also write about food, post recipes and photographs but i wouldn’t class myself as a food blogger because I’m not consistent, I definitely fall under the parenting blogger. Great post and glad you finally got to meet your old friend 🙂 #BrilliantBlogPosts

  13. 21/05/2015 / 10:25 am

    Aw I want to come next time, so wonderful to connect with blogging friends isn’t it. I say bloggers shouldn’t feel restricted and should blog what they like and when, if naturally that means more of one genre than the other, fine but always feel free. I blog about all my passions. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  14. 21/05/2015 / 3:17 pm

    Lovely picture ladies, it sounds like you have had a fab time together and the little ones got on so well. 🙂 It must have been so nice to know each other so well that when you met it was just like catching up with an old friend, I think that’s one of the things I love so much about the blogging community. It’s just such a lovely place to meet and get to know people – probably a lot better than you may know some other “real” people in your life. Ray xx #brillblogposts

  15. Carol Cameleon
    12/07/2015 / 9:10 pm

    Wow, lovely that you both got to meet! I have to admit that I don’t tend to ‘get’ foodie blogs much but the photography is definitely a winner (hence why I’m drawn to yours Mel!) A pretty picture of food is definitely something every foodie blogger should strive for. And/or good vlogs 🙂

    • Mel
      13/07/2015 / 10:41 am

      Thank you so much my lovely, it means a lot! It was great meeting Reneé; she is one amazing lady.

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