Manuela Kjeilen is a
43 years old mother of 5 children, a girl, age 23 and 4 boys aged 19-12 years
old. A year ago she launched her blog, www.passion4baking.com, and now she is a
virtual star in Norway with almost 30.000 daily readers and teaching people her
enthusiasm for baking.
Last year, her blog
in Norwegian was voted the most loved blog of Norway among the 250 nominees. As
a Norwegian / Dutch living in Sweden, Manuela shares her life that is filled
with inspirational baking and styling. Manuela cooks, decorates, photographs,
and posts an article for baking every day for her thousands of followers.
What does your blog focus on and why?
However my blog is called for
passion4baking.com, it is not only baking I have a passion for. I do make all
kind food and I enjoy it a lot.
Of course it is my baking which I blog mostly
about. I like to share my baking experiences and sharing gives me lot of joy
What was your childhood kitchen like? Is there
any inspirational taste or person in your baking passion?
Yes of course. My mother has been my biggest
teacher and inspirational person from early age. I used to follow her in the
kitchen and she was making food and baking every day. My father liked very much
cakes and sweets and my mother was baking all the time. That gave me the same
interest from both parts, as I enjoy very much both eating and baking
What do you think about Norwegian cuisine?
I personally have some favorites but generally
I use much more spices in my cooking and baking. I love trying different food
and cakes from different parts of the world and I love experiencing and tasting
What sparked the idea to create your blog?
I used to upload a picture or two of my food or
baking of the day on Facebook and some of my friends encouraged me to use a
blog to write the full recipe instead of only pictures. I was not aware what a
blog was and when I did some research I decided to try it. I asked my husband
and he said that it was important to have an idea what to do and more
importantly to have a grate name for my blog. The first name hit my mind was passion4baking. I wanted this as I was
inspired by Oprah Winfrey who always encourages everyone to dream big and to
follow their dream and passion. I knew that my Passion 4 baking was indescribable.
Checking on Internet I also found out that domain was available. Having access
to the competence needed at home, was my blog up and running already that
evening and I started my journey with no expectation at all.
If someone were to describe your blog, what
three words would they most likely use?
Passionate, delightful and simplicity
How has blogging impacted your life? Good, the
bad, and the ugly.
As our life is impacted by our choices, my life
has been strongly impacted in the way I would never be expecting it.
Fortunately there are lot more positive and good impacts than the negative one
but I can summarize it in these few points:
The blog has given me enormous joy, new job
that I like it very much, lot of opportunities, possibilities and a great deal
recognition. I’ve full time job with my
blog, writing my second book and having fully sated courses. A few more very
interesting news is also underway. What else can I expect?
Of course it has another side but I would not
choose to call it bad or ugly. There is always a price to pay to get realize
the dream you have. I’m very thankful that I have a very supportive family who
have supported me in all ways and by all mean, but there are lot of work to be
done, lot of trips and very little time with my family and kids are left. This
cannot be appreciated. Also not having enough time to replay and get back to
all e-mails, comments and response I get soon enough, however I do my best to
answer everyone, is troubling me.
What is the best thing that has happened to you
because of your blog?
Being able to work with what I like most and
have passion for must be the best thing happening to me because of the blog.
How do you balance blogging, and all of the
other demands life throws at you?
It is hard, and work almost never stops, as I
answer tens and often hundreds of e-mails and comments every day on my off
time. But as I mentioned I have a very supportive family who understand me and
gives me the freedom and space to do what I need to do.
What does a typical day look like in your world
while managing the websites, family, and everything else?
My day starts normally at the kitchen thinking
of and experiencing new ideas. After breakfast I do some shopping for what I
need and then it continues in the kitchen again. It takes time to do the
baking, decorating, taking pictures and finally serving the result.
Later I will have to work on the pictures and have them in correct size and
quality for uploading to the blog. It is taking most of the time. Then it is
time to write down the recipe and have it checked for misspelling and more.
Finally ready it is time to post it on the blog and Facebook. Doing this is
causing immediately many comments and e-mails. After dinner, I use lot of time
answering comments and responding to different contacts.
You have a lot of followers and I am sure you
may not know most of them, how did you feel at certain points – like having so
However I do not know them but I feel a special
connection with my readers and I love interacting with them. It is true that
the good things you can never have enough of. I love my readers and I welcome
What can readers expect to see on your websites
in the coming months?
I think my readers who
have followed me last two years have a great idea that I do not plan too much
ahead and I often surprise myself along with my readers. My ideas and new
recipes are coming as the time goes and I’m as excited as anyone on what will
be next recipe on my blog. Of course some news and happenings are underway, but
it is too early to talk about it now.