Behind The Scenes: Project Food Blog Challenge #10

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 15, 2010

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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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

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Stacy R. December 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

I knew there was a lot of behind the scenes work, but I didn’t realize it was THIS MUCH! You are amazing Angela and you have been one of my top votes from the beginning! I know you’ve got this in the bag. You are inspiring on so many levels and I love that you had the courage to take that leap to make change! I am in a similar situation and trying to determine what I want to do and y our wise words are so encouraging!


Roz December 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

OMG, your photos are FANTASTIC!!! I knew you must put a TON of work into getting them “just so”, but I can tell you, all the hard work is WELL worth it. I LOVE seeing your work!!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

thanks roz!


RhodeyGirl December 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I love behind the scenes posts!


Heather December 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

You are amazingly talented and have definitely played a part in inspiring me to follow my dreams!


Allison December 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I love seeing behind the scenes!! i always watch the extra behind the scene stuff on dvds, it makes you feel like an insider:) I cant wait to see you win! you always have awesomely amazing recipes and a great sense of humor:) i could definitely see you with your own show someday!!


MaryZ December 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm

You are amazing! I love your Project food posts and am so amazed by the amount of energy you have! Love the photos!


Erin December 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing the “real story” behind all of those gorgeous recipes and photos. What a journey it’s been!


Marci December 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

That is such a neat post to see how you created everything other than the recipes! Food styling is so interesting and it’s supposed to look natural but is far from it. Love it. Your food and backdrops were beautiful! And camera angles. And seeing the seasons change was so neat too.


LindsayH December 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Food stylists totally cheat :) They have tons of tricks they use, like using mashed potatoes instead of ice cream. A food stylist probably wouldn’t have used warm nog, they’d just use cold. Sometimes the stuff they use isn’t even edible! There was a special about this a couple years ago on Food Network.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

wow that is fascinating!


Shanna, like Banana December 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

The photography turned out really well. Creative, Clean, Cute :)

I really hope you idea who the others are, but I want you to win!


Elizabeth @ elizathon December 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Very nice. As always, a treat to read and see.


Moni'sMeals December 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

so refeshing Angela, you work so hard and are you sure you don’t live in the North Pole, hehe!



Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

i think I do!


bitt December 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

When do we find out if you won?


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

tomorrow at 3pm EST


Emily December 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Great post, I love the behind the scenes photos! I hope you win, you deserve it for sure.


Jessica Engel December 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Best of luck tomorrow, but like you said (and with all great adventures in life) you have accomplished so much in your food blog journey already, so winning will just be a very big bonus! I have been following your blog for almost a year now and LOVE it- so inspiring and motivating… do you have any winter treadmill workout advice? Since having my first child 10 months ago I have been struggling with getting regular workouts in and decided finally to purchase a treadmill so I can run once he is in bed for the night. Any tips that you have would be great :)!



Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm

my best tip for treadmill workout- interval training!

constantly change up the speed and incline every .25 mile. That works for me really well. Enjoy!


L'Abeille December 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Lovely post Angela. I had NO idea how much work went behind making it look that good in the pics, after all the work you’ve already done on the recipes. I’ve enjoyed exploring your ideas with my vegetarian daughter. Rooting for you to win.

Haha about the nutcracker. They had one just like it on stage at our church last Christmas and it creeped me out.

I’ve never seen your kitchen ceiling before. That is gorgeous! Is it pressed tin or wood?


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm

thanks! It is a faux tin ceiling :)

also yes nutcrackers can be creepy!


Katie December 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I can’t express how much I absolutely love and adore your blog. Your photos are absolutely beautiful, your posts flow with ease, and you have such an amazing personality that I’m sure rubs off on people who meet you. :) Thank you for bringing joy and happiness into all of our days!


Emily @ Emily Says December 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I think your photos look great! Very festive and pretty. Especially the one of the bars with the mirror and wrapping paper!
I love the Emerson quote, too. Very true, and something I’m learning right now!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes December 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Its so great to see all of the hard work that you put in to your posts!


Julie @SavvyEats December 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I LOVED getting to see how you set up your photos for Challenge 10. I’ve been really working to improve my photography, and you gave me some great ideas!

And, I feel better to know that I’m not the only one whose kitchen cries after a cooking/baking marathon. ;)


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) December 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

This is like the director’s cuts in DVDs! Love it. Really interesting.

I noticed the beer right away. :-)

I also made a career choice that I didn’t love. I wanted to be a dentist since I was about 10. So I became one. Well, it wasn’t what I loved. I bit the bullet and quit. Much happier now.


Jane December 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I hope you win…you got my vote…your work is inspiring and beautiful…


Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble December 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

You sure put your life and all your dedication in your blog! You deserve the best! Good luck!


[email protected] December 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm

seeing how you set up your photos was so eye opening! Great behind the scenes post!! I really enjoyed learning how much hard work you put into it!


Rachel December 17, 2010 at 1:01 am

Angela, thank you so much for this post. Your blog and a few others have helped me more than I can say, with working on my disordered eating, adopting vegetarianism transitioning to a vegan diet and with making some really big decisions. The environment of support and positivity is so great! Hope you win tomorrow, I will be crossing my fingers for you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 17, 2010 at 7:14 am

im glad to hear this!


[email protected] December 17, 2010 at 11:26 am

So VERY excited for you – sending lots of good vibes your way! No matter what happens, know that you have a huge community full of support and love behind you. You have changed more lives than you know – and brought some amazing yumminess to them as well!


Anne P December 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Love this post, especially the changing weather pictures! Crazy how long this challenge went on. Love your description of the hungover decorations too, ha. Good luck today!


Brenda December 18, 2010 at 9:26 am

Angela, I really enjoyed this post and I’m so glad that I was able to find your blog over the summer! The end of this post gave me goosebumps. You are such a fun, inspiring person. I admire you for going after what makes you happy.


Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons December 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm

This is awesome!!!! I love peeking behind the scenes. I’m JUST learning photography =)


Ffion December 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Its good to see the behind the scenes, shows how much skill goes into the photography, its not just luck! I liked the last few paragraphs as they definitely resonated with me as a recent graduate, I have realized that I am not cut out for the competitiveness of graphic design, but I can’t get any other jobs beyond minimum wage. I hope I am able to forge my own path soon.


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