Behind The Scenes: Project Food Blog Challenge #10


Good evening!

I thought it would be fun to show you a behind the scenes look at my preparations for Challenge #10 of Project Food Blog.

Sometimes it is fun to see what craziness is ensuing behind the posts. It isn’t always glamorous behind the scenes!

My kitchen wept.

I sustained my energy levels on chocolate chip cookies, Green Monsters, protein bowls, and French Press.

Quotes centered me when I felt frazzled…


Santa watched over me in the kitchen…


Let’s just say that this year I am getting coal in my stocking.


I didn’t leave the kitchen for over 9 hours on the last baking day. There was not a second to spare.

I ate many meals standing up at the kitchen counter.


and by meals, I mean whatever scraps were around that were quick!

The night before the challenge #10 photoshoot, I planned the Holiday ‘set’


One of my goals for my last post in Project Food Blog was to try some new things with photography and really push myself out of my comfort zone.

In the morning (aka: good lighting) I began.

I printed off my photo and put it on the window beside me for inspiration of how I wanted the photos to look.

When I was having a difficult time getting the photos to look a certain way, I looked at the picture to guide me.


It didn’t really help, but I pretended it did!

After a couple hours of some crazy shooting, I had some decent shots to work with. I had to keep rushing the bars back into the freezer so they didn’t get all soft and melted for the pictures. It was a lot of running back and forth, back and forth. I must have ran 2 miles in my kitchen that morning.

I concluded it was worth skipping a couple workouts for!

I have so much respect for food stylists because it is not easy work. Food doesn’t stay fresh for long (in my case, it melted) so I had to be quick.

For example, I had this candycane sitting in my Peppermint Nog for so long, the candycane dissolved and fell onto the white tablecloth leaving a big red stain.


It was actually really funny (despite the mess).

I grabbed a handful of candycanes, bulbs, ribbon, and a tree ornament and put it in the background for the props.


I used square mirrors (from our wedding) to give a beautiful reflection.

I especially loved this one with the Peppermint Nog (it is just 1 glass, reflected 3 times, using three mirrors)



One of the props I made was this small red dish filled with marshmallows. In the background it looks like snow and fit in well with the holiday theme!


This photo below was made using wrapping paper reflected onto the mirror that the bars rested on.

Very fun, but a bit dizzying so it did not make the final cut for my last post.


My favourite bar to photograph was the Mint Chip Nanaimo Bar shown below. The green really pops and the crushed candycane is gorgeous in a photo.


I had the most difficult time with the pom-almond bar, so I sprinkled some icing sugar on top and that helped with how it looked in the photo.

IMG_6089 IMG_6095

I also liked how the three flavours looked all stacked up.


By the end of it all, I was ready to collapse.

The kitchen table looked like a bomb went off…



  • The Nutcracker was too creepy to use in the background of the photo (hehe)
  • I had to Windex the mirrors a million times from smudges and crumbs
  • Wine was opened when I hit publish on my post at 4:30pm on Sunday
  • I jammed to music from Eric’s laptop to keep my energy up
  • I am a bit crazy


When my post was uploaded, I enjoyed wine. Eric enjoyed beer. I went to bed early and then stared at the ceiling until 3am that night.

Good times.

When it was all said and done, the ‘set’ looked like a depressed reception hall the morning after a wedding…


I had that strange ‘it is all over’ feeling like I feel after Christmas Day is over.

Only chocolate and candycane stains, crumbs, ribbon, confetti, and a few sad looking decorations were left.

The table partied hard and it looked a bit hung over the next day…


Here is another behind the scenes shot taken from my challenge #4 shenanigans:



Clearly, I did not make as much of a mess back in challenge #4!

20101008-IMG_5483 20101008-IMG_5493

Ok, maybe I did…


And for fun, a photo timeline of the seasonal changes during the contest…

Challenge #1


Challenge #2


Challenge #4…


Challenge #5


Challenge #6


Challenge #7…(bye bye leaves!)


Challenge #8…(another big change)


Challenge #9…(ahh!)


And finally this is what it looked like for Challenge #10…! It has been a long journey.


It was a crazy few months, but I truly had a blast along the way and I hope to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone and using new skills in new ways. If there is anything this contest has shown me it is that this is truly what makes me happy. Sometimes it takes a few wrong turns to figure it out, so never lose hope if you are currently struggling with a career choice. If you keep following your passions, they will never lead you astray!

I spent 7 years in university pursuing something that ultimately did not make me happy (research) and I had to figure it out the hard way. That is a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes we just don’t know until we experience it first hand. For the longest time I had so much guilt about not enjoying what I was doing, but what I realized is that life is too short to beat myself up. We all make decisions that might not work out for us.

No one has all the answers and sometimes we have to admit to ourselves that something isn’t right for us so we can create a new path and start a new journey!

The beauty of life is not in being perfect or never failing, but in learning from our decisions and following our hearts. If you are doing this, you are moving forward.

Keep on truckin’ on.

‘Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.’~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

Meredith December 15, 2010

I am so glad you posted this! It’s amazing to see all your careful work. SO inspiring! Hats off to you!


Annie@stronghealthyfit December 15, 2010

Great post! I really hope you win PFB :-)


Bridget December 15, 2010

It’s really cool to see all the behind the scenes insights. You work hard girl!

I’m so happy that you are happy with where you’re at in your life. Your living the dream :)


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed December 15, 2010

Where you live looks SO stunning. Love all the behind the scenes pics! The peppermint nog is just too cute :)
Heidi xo


Sarah December 15, 2010

This post is beautiful. Is it Friday yet?!


Lauren December 15, 2010

I love seeing all the effort you put into the posts! I voted for you every round, and you really deserve to win because of all the time, effort, and love you put into your posts!


Anna December 15, 2010

Your pictures are amazing! I have enjoyed reading your posts and thank you for allowing us (your reader) to see a behind the scene look into what you have worked on.


Kelly December 15, 2010

I know you’ve been working really hard on this contest but it was amazing to see all the behind the scenes. Makes me feel even happier about how much I’ve been voting for you :) You are amazing and inspiring. You are going to win I think !


Balanced Healthy Life December 15, 2010

You take such great photos! I love all your prepping for the perfect scenes, it paid off in all your posts!


Sarah @ Daily Nibbles December 15, 2010

LOVE the mirrors in the pics Angela. Great idea! Best of luck in the finals. I can’t even image how much work you put in for PFB. I only made it round like four and it was draining enough!


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman December 15, 2010

I can’t believe all of the work you put into this. It’s amazing and you deserve to win! Thanks for the behind-the-scenes peak.


Estela @ Weekly Bite December 15, 2010

I love this post! I shows that hard work does pay off. I love that you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2010

thanks ladies!


Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun December 15, 2010

Wow. It really is amazing to see the behind the scenes. And I’m sure there is so much more you could share.


Jennifer@ knackfornutrition December 15, 2010

Your kitchen is a hot mess! It’s amazing the work you have put into Project Food Blog. I really hope you win!


Amanda December 15, 2010

I love seeing all the behind the scene mayhem it really shows all the effort you’ve put into your post. I’ve really enjoyed watching them all this time and will keep my fingers crossed that you win because you deserve it! Good Luck!


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete December 15, 2010

Angela I really liked seeing the behind the scenes — I mean, I know photography is challenging, but I had no idea how detailed everything is — from the sprinkling of powdered sugar on the bars, etc. Amazing job!

Thank you for the last part of this post — I am one of those people struggling with my career choice/job choices thus far. And to be honest, I don’t know what my passion is. I’m still trying to figure it out. I thought that by age 27 I would have figured out my career choice or least something I would like to pursue. I know that all of my decisions thus far has led me to where I am now and will ultimately lead me where I need to be. I just need to be patient with myself!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2010

very wise words, ‘I just need to be patient with myself!’ you will get there with time :)


J. December 15, 2010

I’m almost 30…with 2 degrees that I don’t even practice in…I have resorted to a terrible job that pays poorly. Struggling much. Clingling to faith.
I just wish for some peace and sleep. I wish for passion. I wish for meaning to get out of bed in the morning.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2010

im sending you good vibes…you will work it out. Keep the faith


Potato Chops and Boneless Chicken December 15, 2010

Angela this is so inspiring! It’s so true shooting food can be hugely chaotic at times. PS – I love the fact that we have the same coffee table. It’s by default ‘studio’ table. The only difference it’s Ikea’s ‘black-brown’ shade. All the best. Am rooting for you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2010

haha that is awesome….ive had the coffee table since university days


Dee December 15, 2010

You are amazing. :) That is all.


Liz @ Blog is the New Black December 15, 2010

You amaze me! You have earned your spot in the final three. :) Loved reading this post and seeing the behind the scenes!


Joan Nova December 15, 2010

This was a very interesting post — to see and learn some of the presentation techniques (your photos are beautiful) and to see how the season changed over the duration of the challenge. It’s been quite a long haul.


Mastering Public Health (@MasPublicHealth) December 15, 2010

Once again, I am floored by the amount of time and energy you poured into this challenge (and your blog in general)! Hats off to you. Your blog has quickly become my favorite.


Allie (Live Laugh Eat) December 15, 2010

I was so impressed with your set up—thanks for showing us the behind the scenes! Gosh you are incredible. No matter what the outcome on Friday you know you are a star!


Izzy December 15, 2010

Loved reading (and seeing) your retrospective of your challenges! Esspec loved the changing seasons (I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas!!!).

I can completely relate to your last bit especially – I’m in my third year of university right now and I KNOW I don’t want to do what I’m majoring in, yet I feel like I’m too deep in now to get out. So here I am, truckin’ along, and I have NO IDEA what will come once I’m done my last semester – but I’m excited to find out! ;)



Ange @ Health & Swellbeing December 15, 2010

Even before seeing this post – it is so evident how much work you’ve put into this project, but it’s fun to see all the behind the scenes.
I love all your attention to detail! After you win, you should have Eric treat you to a home cooked meal & dessert :)


Erin (Travel Eat Repeat) December 15, 2010

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: your pictures blow me away every single time. Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks.


Diana @ frontyardfoodie December 15, 2010

Wowsers! Looks like you put a lot into this! I’ve been voting for you and I hope you win sister. Keep pluggin


Alaina December 15, 2010

I love this post. Thank you for showing how you make the food blog “magic”! So inspiring. :-)


Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 15, 2010

This post makes me smile so big. I don’t hate my major, but it’s not something I see myself doing in the long run. I’ve been tossing ideas of career paths around but haven’t settled on anything yet…in any case, it’s wonderful to see someone that was successful doing what they love. Good luck- fingers crossed for you!!


Traci(faithfulfoodiefashionista) December 15, 2010

Even your messes turn out pretty in pictures. What a fun post :)


Allison @ Food For Healing December 15, 2010

i love the behind the scenes pictures and how you put it all together. its a HUGE part of it isn’t it! its nice to see that you get a little messy and crazy in the kitchen too!


Nicole (Picky Nicky) December 15, 2010

Wow this is amazing! I never really thought about the amount of work that went into your photographs. Now I see what makes them so precious :) Keep it up!


Madeleine@ Stepping to the Brightside December 15, 2010

What a lovely post :) I especially like the seasons changing. I’m rooting for you, girl!


Julie December 15, 2010

I loooove this post! I was laughing when you showed the kitchen table & said it looked like a bomb had gone off :D ahahaha. All your hard work definitely paid off, keep it up!


Liza Jane December 15, 2010

I have to admit I especially loved this post. I feel like a photographer failure sometimes for my badly lit shots when I don’t have leftovers for the next day’s light, so it helps to know that you’re not just pointing and shooting for your awesome photos. Great work!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2010

I def have to work to get the shots…takes a long time and many, many photos! You are not alone :)


Kris | December 15, 2010

Hahahaha! This post was so REAL and amazing! We all view our blog friends as being so ‘perfect’ all the time and it is great to see the ‘behind the scenes’ and see the mess that goes along with it.

The moral of the story is cute….keep on going!

I think I would have drank the whole bottle of wine! You are going to win this girl!



Healthy Chocoholic December 15, 2010

Good luck!! All of your pictures turned out awesome!!!!!!!!!


Heather (Faces of Beauty) December 15, 2010

it’s so obvious how hard you worked…you’ve earned every single one of you reader’s choice awards and passes to the next level :)


barefoot and frolicking December 15, 2010

Hi Angela,

I’ve just stumbled upon your blog, and am loving every single post! It seems we have similar backgrounds (academic) and a love for raw and vegan cuisine; and we are also Canadian gals! I love your advice about creating a new path and journey for ourselves – very inspiring! Lovely photo work as well. I look forward to reading more of your inspiring posts :)


Katy (The Singing Runner) December 15, 2010

This is a great post and I am so happy for you! :)


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