Photo Credit: Kat Akers of Requiem Images

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. My name is Nikole Boyda McGuinness. I am a food, lifestyle, and travel blogger and content creator who is creative & curious. I am an image maker; of photos and illustrations, a food lover; creator of new recipes and reviewer of others, world traveler, friend gatherer & storyteller. My mantra is to “savor the seasons, one bite at a time.”

I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA, where I am currently living, but have also spent time in Atlanta, GA, Albuquerque, NM, and most recently, Portland, OR. I returned “home” the fall of 2017 for family reasons and have not looked back. I’m excited with what is currently happening in my hometown as it transitions through a sort of renaissance; food wise, tech wise, and over all, creatively speaking as well. There is so much happening in Pittsburgh right now! I say that this city is where Portland used to be, in that beautiful emerging state, around 20 years ago, with a little urban grit that still gives it some edge. I’m excited to be a part of what continues to develop here.

My background is in fine and graphic arts. I was a partner in a small design and branding agency focused on helping small businesses and start-ups until my father was diagnosed with cancer. I took a step away from the company that I helped create, to focus on and care for him, and during this time was surprisingly led onto another path. I found that spending time in the kitchen was a positive distraction for me. It was a calming and grounding activity, that eased the constant stress and the worry. Not only did I fall in love, but I fell hard. Because of this, I began traveling the world in search of new knowledge, cultural understanding and new food experiences. During this time, I thought a lot about focusing on telling my story through food, images, words, and how to bring people together in celebration of the moment. With my background in art and design acting as a supporting role, my focus is now completely on this realm of food, travel, and creating a life at home that is simple, but overflowing with beautiful moments.

If I’m not behind the lens, my desk or in the kitchen, mixing and meddling, you can usually find me in the backyard planting and playing in the dirt, arranging flowers, absorbed in a series of paintings, walking the trail, or searching for treasures at the local antique stores and flea markets to add to the ever growing “prop shop” that has made itself a home beside my studio kitchen. There’s nothing better than a treasure found!! Or, I’ll be spending time with those that I love most; my husband, John, and our menagerie of cats, two chihuahuas, (Izzy and Lucy), and our seven chickens; all named “egg” in a different language; Yaytse, Heuvo, Tamago, Oeuf, Kahi, Anda, and Yumurta. I’ve started to plan out and create what will eventually become a “micro farm” in our backyard with fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers, and support the idea of buying and working with local farms, seasonal foods, and small batched artisan companies. Although I love being close to home, my interest stretch to the far reaches of the world in learning about different cultures and processes used in creating, growing and harvesting foods to form that special dish. I hold a strong belief that food is a commonality that helps us to understand one another and has the ability to bring us closer together. It holds the opportunity to bridge the gap to form community, local or world wide, if we allow for it. At the end of the day, setting differences aside, we all still need to be nourished; body, mind and soul.

I am currently accepting new collaborations and projects. I am available for content creation including food and product photography and/or styling, illustrations, recipe development, product/brand ambassadorship, and sponsored recipe posts. Rates will vary depending on scope of work, usage and exclusivity. Please reach out to me with all budget levels. I would love to learn more about your business and/or product, your objectives, and to talk with you to figure out ways that can work within your financial plan. Thank you for stopping by, and for your interest in The Lil Chefista and my Lil Creative Cottage. In the meantime, I hope that you remember to savor the seasons, one bite at a time.

For questions, comments or conversation, please contact me at