Belinda Olsen Photography » Utah Wedding & Portrait Photographer | Logan, Utah | 435-881-2184


Dear Past Belinda,

You live surrounded by beautiful women on magazine covers, television, the internet and even your family and friends.  Society judges women based on their appearance or status in life.  Honestly, you’ve done the same. There have been times you’ve compared yourself to __________ . (Fill in the blank; but you can practically insert the word ‘everyone’ here.)  Unfortunately, you’ve thought less of yourself because you weren’t what you wanted to be physically or professionally.  I admire you for making one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever made.  In August of 2012 you decided to start a new journey… a lifestyle change to become healthier. At first, you thought this only meant physical health, but now I can look back and know you were unhealthy in other areas of your life too.  You started by getting enough sleep, seeking help from a professional trainer and dietician, fueling your body with purpose and losing a pound or two here and there. Despite your efforts, it will be easy to lose perspective of where and why your journey started.  I write this letter to you as a reminder, both in words and photos.

In your journey to be healthier, you’ve lost weight and experienced several physical and emotional changes.  These physical changes do not define who you are.  Yes, you may feel more comfortable going shopping with girl friends or approaching a total stranger. Don’t fall into the trap of society and allow physical qualities to define you.  You’ve learned to live your life with purpose. You’ve learned you have always been beautiful.  You just didn’t always recognize it.  You’ve learned that beauty is not defined by physical appearance. You’ve learned one lesson you must never forget…

You are (and have always been) worth investing in yourself.  

Some of this investment will be through time to focus on your physical health.  It is not the only, nor the most important investment.  The best thing you can do is cultivate relationships: with yourself, God, your husband, family, friends and each person you come in contact with.  Strive to improve each of these relationships every day.  Continue to live your life with purpose.  Don’t fall back into the trap of comparison, for it is the thief of joy.  Trust your instincts. Continue to learn to love and forgive yourself. Let the little things go.  When you get discouraged, remember moments of clarity and vulnerability you’ve learned from.

Love yourself from the inside out and don’t forget it!

Sincerely, Today’s Belinda


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  • Janey - You are amazing! And inspiring! And, yes, beautiful! Keep up the amazing work, Belinda. You deserve everything beautiful that life has to offer. <3ReplyCancel

  • Robert Ashman - Very impressive!!!ReplyCancel

  • Dennis Brown - dear Belinda,

    I have been and always will be proud of you. I have loved, and always will love you.

    Dad BReplyCancel

  • José Bernardo Fanjul Purroy - ¡Eres preciosa! 😀ReplyCancel

  • Tara Siddoway - LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS. And I miss you. I miss our awesome chats we had when the boys would have their nerd game nights.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan Olsen - Love you.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy Harten - I was just thinking about you today, and then I saw a link to this. It’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Packard - Love it! You have always been beautiful. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Anderson - You are amazing. And you look fantastic! Good for you, healthy girl.ReplyCancel

  • Kiera Eve Haddock - Holy crap woman! You are amazing. So inspiring and beautiful (although you were always beautiful) Congrats on the healthier you! ( youre making me want to get on the treadmill that I have been avoiding for about 6 months now…)ReplyCancel

I try to be a great meal planner.  Every Saturday I sit down with pinterest and my collection of cookbooks after inventorying what’s in my fridge.  I put together my menus and grocery list for the upcoming week.  Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for what I have planned for the day.  When this happens, I stand in the kitchen with the fridge door wide open staring at the fridge hoping some magic recipe will just appear.  Today I was lucky and glanced at new potatoes, leeks, eggs and horseradish….today I made a potato and leek tart to share.

Since it’s just the two of us, I often like to make single serving dishes.  I started by slicing one small red, yukon and purple new potato for each of our tarts and arranged them in single serving dishes.  For Craig’s dish I added in mushrooms and slices of par-cooked bacon. (so there wouldn’t be a puddle of grease floating on top of his tart)
PINIMAGEI finely diced leeks and added them to the center of each dish.  Next, I combined the eggs, milk and horseradish and poured the mixture into each dish.
PINIMAGETop with your favorite seasonings and cheese.PINIMAGEBake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Enjoy!PINIMAGE

Potato Leek Tart

(ingredients are per individual serving)

3 small new potatoes, uniformly sliced

1 leek, lower bulb/white portion only, diced  (but save the rest of the leek for another recipe!)

2 eggs or 4 egg whites

2 T. milk

1/2 t. horseradish cream

1 t. rosemary

1 T. favorite cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste



Arrange potatoes and leeks in tart dish.  Whisk together eggs, milk and horseradish.  Pour over potatoes and leeks.  Sprinkle remaining ingredients on top.  Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Note:  Because potatoes and eggs are both extremely versatile, add your favorite ingredients: diced chicken, bacon, mushrooms, more cheese, green onions, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

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  • Susan - Looks delish! Lovely pictures, too. (:ReplyCancel

Today for Food Friday I wanted to share one of my favorite ingredients: quinoa.  (Pronounced: keen-wah)  I’d never really gotten into it until my personal trainer and dietitian, Mary Dimmick, really encouraged me to try it.   Many people consider it a whole grain but it’s really a seed.  It has a mild nutty flavor, is very filling, high in riboflavin, protein and fiber.  Unlike white rice, it won’t spike your blood sugar after eating.  You can substitute quinoa for rice in recipes and not really notice much of a difference in flavor but save yourself calories.

My local grocery store carries three varieties in the bulk food section: white, curry and red.  White is the most mild in flavor and easiest to find.

PINIMAGECurry quinoa is white quinoa that has been roasted and has a curry powder blend combined with it.  I do not salt this variety of quinoa because I find it already has great flavor as is. PINIMAGERed quinoa has a stronger nutty flavor and takes slightly longer to cook.  There is a black variety of quinoa but I have yet to get my hands on it…when I do, I’ll let you know how it is!PINIMAGEQuinoa can be cooked in a rice cooker or on the stove.  It is essential to rinse the quinoa before cooking. (I don’t rinse the curry quinoa or anything else that says it has already been rinsed and washed….those varieties tend to be a little bit more expensive because the work is already done for you.)  If you do not rinse your quinoa, you’ll end up with a very bitter tasting dish.  Quinoa is cooked in the same ratio as rice.  1 c. quinoa to 2 c. water or chicken broth.PINIMAGEPINIMAGEToday’s recipe, Wilted Spinach Salad, is one that actually comes from Mary!  It is one of my very favorite recipes, is really easy to make and can be made in 20 minutes!

Cook quinoa in water or chicken stock. While quinoa is cooking, combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. In a large bowl combine spinach, cranberries and cooked quinoa.  PINIMAGEChop one granny smith apple.  Remove garlic clove from dressing and add apple. Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Enjoy!PINIMAGEPINIMAGE

Whole Grain Wilted Spinach Salad

2 c. water or chicken stock (I always use low sodium chicken stock either homemade or the Kitchen Basics brand)

1 c. quinoa, any variety

1 bag fresh baby spinach

1/2 c. dried cranberries (I buy the Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar)

1 granny smith apple, chopped

1/2 c. chopped pecans or almonds (optional)


3 T. olive oil

1 T. orange juice concentrate (or 3 T. orange juice and omit water)

2 T. water

1 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. maple syrup

1 garlic clove, smashed

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1/8 c. onion, green onion or shallot, chopped


In a small saucepan bring water or stock to a boil.  Add quinoa.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.   While quinoa is cooking make dressing.  For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk all ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the warm quinoa, spinach and cranberries.  Remove garlic clove from dressing.  Right before pouring dressing over quinoa add apples; toss to coat.  Sprinkle with pecans or almonds.

I love to add roasted chicken to this salad.  This salad stores very well in the fridge and Craig and I usually eat a batch over a couple of days.


If you’re in the Logan area and want to learn more about how you can improve your nutrition and exercise, I recommend you give Mary a call!  She’s at the Sports Academy and you can learn more about her nutrition services here and training services here.  A consultation is free and she can help create a custom health and fitness plan for you.

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  • Lisha Harman - You seriously make my tummy growl! Great post and photography B! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Justin N Meagan Hoffman - This looks super yummy! I’ve never used quinoa, and we eat WAY too much rice, I’m going to have to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Belinda Fanjul Olsen - Meagan, I have the perfect idea….you guys should come over for dinner some time soon and I’ll make some kind of quinoa dish for you to try before you go out and buy some. I think you’ll like it!ReplyCancel

  • Justin N Meagan Hoffman - how can I say no to that?! haha! Sounds like a perfect idea to me!! We’ll have to get together and pick a day 🙂ReplyCancel

Each birth story is an incredibly humbling experience.  I am overcome with emotion and cry at each one.  Weeks before a mother is approaching her due date we discuss her birth plan and how her ideal birth will go.  I was really excited and humbled when Cami said that she was wanting to work with an amazing doula, Erin Oakeson, and have a natural delivery.

It was heartbreaking to watch as literally over 30 hours of labor later the pain became too excruciating. There were many tears shed while trying to decide if it was possible to have this birth continue according to plan.  I watched as an incredibly loving husband was there to edify, support and love his wife and help in any way possible.  Those moments between a husband and wife are priceless…they are one of my favorite things to photograph during a birth story.  A little over 38 hours and C-section later a beautiful, healthy, nine pound baby boy joined the Davis family.

Welcome to a wonderful family, Easton!

  Watch Easton’s full birth story below!

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  • Lucie lee - This was so beautiful Belinda! I was thinking about doing that for our second child, that definitely made me want to do it. If we/you are still around by that time I really might hire you 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Tara Siddoway - Belinda. . . that brought tears to my eyes! The Davis family is amazing. I don’t know if this sounds weird or not, but I totally felt the reverence and awe and overwhelming love that comes with that experience, even though I have yet to go through it. Your pictures really touched me. You are amazing. And you are getting me to think about having someone do our birth story (when that day comes).ReplyCancel

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I really, really, REALLY love to cook.  I love to try new things and I’m on a quest to become more healthy.  I’ve decided that I want to combine my love for cooking and my love for photography once a week on my blog. (and try to make most of the recipes nutritionally sound)  I’m going to start a new series: Food Friday.

For my first Food Friday I wanted to share something I’ve always wanted to make but never have….Meyer Lemon Curd.  I don’t particularly love the word ‘curd’.  It just sounds weird and is a total turnoff.  I’d really just call this recipe: Awesome Lemon Creamy Custardy Deliciousness. 🙂  Lemon Curd is great on toast, cheesecake, over fresh fruit, used as a meat marinade, atop oatmeal or eaten just by the spoonful.
PINIMAGEThe top lemon is a Meyer lemon and the bottom lemon is a traditional kitchen lemon.  A Meyer lemon is a combination between a traditional lemon and a mandarin orange, as a result it is a little sweeter.PINIMAGEOne thing I love about this recipe is that it requires some of my favorite kitchen gadgets: favorite sharp knife, juicer press and microplane.PINIMAGEPINIMAGEPINIMAGEPINIMAGE

Cream butter, vanilla and honey until fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks and whole eggs one at a time.  (Don’t mind that my pictures have all of this done in one step….I made two batches to see which way I liked more.  There wasn’t a significant difference.)PINIMAGE

PINIMAGEZest your citrus and add to egg mixture.PINIMAGEThis is what your mixture will look like.  Don’t worry about the clumps, the mixture will smooth out while cooking.PINIMAGECook mixture over double boiler, stirring frequently.  As the butter melts, the mixture will become smooth.  PINIMAGECook mixture for approximately 15-20 minutes until it is the consistency of thick jelly.  You’ll know it is done when your finger leaves a clear path on the back of your spoon.PINIMAGEEnjoy!PINIMAGE

I made a blood orange curd which was delicious!

Honey Sweetened Meyer Lemon Curd (adapted from Green Market Baking Book)


4 T. butter, at room temperature

1/3 c. honey

1 t. vanilla

4 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 c. fresh citrus juice (this can be a combination of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit juice)

1 T. finely grated zest



Cream butter, honey and vanilla until fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks one at a time.  Next, beat in whole eggs one at a time.  Add to the egg mixture the fresh citrus juice and zest.  Pour the juice mixture into a large glass bowl and cook in a double boiler. (Double Boiler: Put 3-4 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, reduce to medium heat and put glass bowl over the top making sure the glass bowl is large enough to sit on top of the pot so about half of the glass bowl is above the top of the pot and the other half is down in the pot.  The steam from the boiling water is what will cook your lemon curd without scorching it.) Stir frequently with a spatula.  Cook until the mixture has thickened and becomes jelly-like, approximately 15-20 minutes.  You know it’s done when your finger leaves a clear path on the back of the spatula. Remove from heat and pour curd into a glass jar and let it cool completely before you screw on the lid.  Store curd in the refrigerator.  Will last approximately 10-14 days.


If you would like to can your lemon curd: Prepare your jars by washing and drying the jar, lid and screw-on ring.  Heat jars in oven at 200 degrees while making lemon curd. Follow all cooking instructions as printed above.  Funnel lemon curd into jars leaving about a 1/2″ space at the top of the jar. Screw on lid and ring.  Submerge the jars in boiling water  and allow to process for ~20 minutes, which is about 5 minutes after you hear the lid ‘pop’.  Remove from water and let cool, undisturbed for 12-24 hours and check to ensure lid is completely sealed.  The shelf life of canned lemon curd is approximately 3-4 months.



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  • Jessica Smith Parker - Love it! I like the food friday posts! I am excited to see what else you post!ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - Nice. Lemon curd is awesome. If you want to do an easier recipe here is the one Chey made.

  • Lisha Harman - Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Belinda Fanjul Olsen - Thanks Jessica! We still need to get together soon for dinner! If we wait too much longer we’ll be in full blown wedding season again….what about a Sunday night?ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Smith Parker - Yes we do! Umm Sundays are really bad for us…it is a battle every week between families! What evenings are best for you?ReplyCancel

  • Belinda Fanjul Olsen - Mondays or Wednesdays are best….what about for you?