Today’s “a day in the life” is Olga of Mango & Tomato. Mango & Tomato was one of the first blogs I read when I started following food blogs, and Olga was one of the first people I interacted with on Twitter. She’s super nice, helpful and her food and photography is to die for. I love her blog for the variety of content she provides. You must check it out!

Oh and she watches some of the TV shows I’m ashamed to say I’m addicted to so I love chatting with her about: Grey’s, Private Practice, Bachelorette, Bachelor…etc. I watch too much TV. Olga and I have agreed to disagree about Sean and Arie from this past season of the Bachelorette. I was a huge Sean fan–while Arie makes Olga weak in the knees. 

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Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.

Hi! My name is Olga and I’m a publisher of Mango & Tomato. Growing up, my entire family cooked, and it’s something I’ve always loved to do as well. I was born and spent the first 13 years of my life in Moscow, Russia, at which point my family moved to the US. The recipes I create and share on Mango & Tomato are definitely influenced by my upbringing and the travel I’ve done throughout the United States and abroad.


Take me through your day. Mango & Tomato started as a way to share my cooking adventures with my family members (they are all in Seattle, while I’m in Washington DC area) and friends, and grew into something more! After four years of blogging, I now not only share my original recipes, but also publish restaurant and cookbook reviews, travel photos, and cover some of the local food events.

I usually wake up around 8 am, snooze a few times and then force myself to get out of bed. I have a regular 9-5 job (I work as an economist for the government) and spend most of my day in front of the computer. Breakfast is typically bagels and cream cheese, sometimes yogurt and granola, but I’m also a huge fan of leftovers for breakfast ;)

While working, I find the time to check twitter throughout the day, linking to any of my newly published posts, check blog related email account, and think about what’s for dinner.

The majority of blog related activities happen during the weekend: that’s when I go grocery shopping, create recipes, cook, photograph and edit both the photos and the write ups.

What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?

I would not be able to do most of what I do without my chef’s knife. It’s definitely a must. But you can’t make me choose just one! I also love my cutting board, microplane, and Le Creuset!

What is the most important part of your day? Why?

Evenings. That’s when I relax, get to do fun outside of work things, meet with friends, or just sit and watch TV.

If you could choose one room in your house to spend the WHOLE day in, which room would it be? Why? 

My living room: it has huge windows, hardwood floor, comfortable couch and TV!!! I’m a huge Bravo fan and watch most of the reality shows they broadcast. Nothing wrong with having a guilty pleasure, right?

If you could choose one room in your house to remodel (on an unlimited budget!) which room would it be and why? 

My bathroom! It’s the one part of my condo that wasn’t remodeled before I moved it. The space is pretty small and it has tiles and bathtub from the 50ies. Oy! I would change the blue/black tiles into more neutral calming tones, install a shower and choose new lighting fixtures…but this all will have to wait.

What is your favorite day of the week? Why?

Saturday! It’s the first day of the weekend and there is still one more day of sleeping in: Sunday.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go and how long would you stay?

Does Europe count? I would love to visit Greece, Italy, Spain (I’ve only been to Madrid), and go back to France.

What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?

Some people don’t realize how much time is involved in having an up-to-date blog! I spent a good part of my weekend on blog related tasks…but I do realize that most of it is self imposed. Lately, the hardest thing has been figuring out how many product reviews I want to do. Let’s be honest, it’s fun to get free products from companies, but I also don’t want to turn into a 100% advertisement website. Finding the balance hasn’t been as easy lately.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in cooking or food blogging?

Cook what YOU want. Don’t feel pressured to publish recipes for a specific holiday just because others are doing so. Remember, it’s just food: if one recipe doesn’t turn out well, move on and do something else! Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be creative in the kitchen.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about yourself?

I’m a huge TV addict, salsa dancer, lover of flowers and plants (especially orchids) and jewelry!

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Thanks Olga! Loved learning more about you. I want to hang out in your living room–looks so relaxing!

You can also find Olga on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.