Beautifully styled food images and mouth-watering recipes are the hallmarks of Jella Bertell’s delicious food blog, Vaimomatskuu.
With her dramatic styling and gorgeous imagery her photographs often resemble paintings, which makes sense given that Jella is also an art teacher. With such a creative life we were intrigued to find out more about what a typical day looks like for this super talented Finland based food blogger.
My Morning Routine
Let’s make it clear from the get go: I’m not a morning person! The earlier the morning, the grumpier I’ll be – and no amount of coffee will fix it. My ideal morning routine takes place in weekends, when my days can begin slow. For breakfast, my husband makes us pour over coffee and we eat a few slices of sourdough bread that I love baking myself. Sometimes there’s cheese or tomato with the bread, but usually we eat it just with butter. A very minimal breakfast indeed! While eating, I catch up with my social media, e-mails and my To Do list for the day.
Being a full time art teacher, the weekdays are a little different. Workdays start at different times, since it depends on when my first lesson begins. In general I try to wake up around 8am in order to have a slow morning that sets my mood for the day well; have my coffee in peace and have time to pick up a green smoothie on my way to work.
During the Day
Since my weekdays are full of teaching, in order to be able to take photographs on a weekday I need to plan my use of time very carefully ahead. I prefer to work with natural light and living in Finland, there’s only so many hours of it available during the late Autumn, Winter and early Spring months. Therefore I prepare the dishes I plan on photographing as far as possible the day before, and get my camera out the moment I get home.
For the darkest period of the year all my big and ambitious foodie projects take place on weekends and during holidays. When it’s not a workday I can cook and shoot up to 5 recipes per day and feel perfectly content with how I spent my free time! Food and photography are my passion so when I’m not cooking, shooting or eating, I’m always thinking ahead what to cook, shoot or eat next.
It’s actually quite funny how organized and dependent on timetabling I’ve become. I used to be a person who hated calendars and didn’t want to set up fixed dates to anything. For the last few years, a calendar has become the thing I’m most dependent on. It keeps me grounded, organized and feeling in control of my life. It keeps me on track of everything work related, but also of what I plan on photographing and how to organize it, when to post recipes (I try to do mostly seasonal recipes and seasons pass by fast), even when to go grab lunch from one of the many restaurants around my work place! Unless it’s written on the calendar, I’ll most likely forget it, and if the day is super busy, I can even forget to have lunch … imagine that from a food obsessed blogger such as me!
The calendar organizes the hours of my days, but also the days of my week; Mondays are for gym and meeting up with friends and family after work. Tuesday evenings are for food photography and blogging. Wednesdays are date nights with my husband, which means we might go out to our favourite restaurants, or cook together at home. Thursdays I tend to relax at home. Fridays I might go out and meet friends, or stay at home watching my favourite cooking channels on YouTube. And as mentioned, the weekends are for me to fulfill my passion for food photography and cooking!
Since lunch can be a bit of a hit and miss for me (a sandwich eaten by the computer), I balance that by cooking our dinner almost every night. Our go to dishes for weeknights are different takes on dandan noodles, quick and easy pastas and hearty salads. I cook mostly vegetarian and vegan food, though we are both omnivore. I’m a big veggie lover and care for our planet, so why not choose plant based options when they are so delicious, nutritious, filling and diverse these days?
My Evening Routine
I’ll be honest, my evening routine is nothing to bragg about. I love editing photos and writing recipes many nights a week, and often realize it’s 10pm by the time I’m done. Time flies when having fun! I also post most of my Instagram pictures in the evening, which means I’m hanging in social media very late. I don’t feel like limiting that too much though, since it’s like chatting with friends to me; I have many meaningful and important connections on IG that I value and want to stay in touch with.
In order to slow down and get ready for bed I sometimes go for a walk or watch the sunset from our backyard cliffs. I live right next to a nature reserve and the forest begins from our doorsteps. A walk in the forest – even a short one – will take my mind off the day’s issues every time!