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

It’s funny how life sometimes works out and takes you in places you’ve never planned on going before. I’m from Logan. Born, raised, and went to school there.  Through a crazy turn of events my husband and I are going to move to Utah county! I’ll share more of the crazy story and pictures of our upcoming apartment, jobs and all but tonight I’m feeling slightly sentimental at the thought of moving from this beautiful valley where I’ve made so many wonderful friends and most of my family lives.  Here’s to going on an adventure and perusing something that makes me feel peaceful about the move!


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I have been seeing a recipe all over pinterest that I’ve really wanted to try.  Everyone said that it was the best cookie ever and boy were they right!  You need to try this coconut chocolate chip cookie recipe from The Well Traveled Wife and it’s so moist and yummy!  You should give it a try.  Don’t turn your nose up at the coconut oil, give it a try.PINIMAGECoconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c. coconut oil
1 heaping c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cream brown sugar and coconut oil for 3 minutes or until well incorporated and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy, ~3 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper or silpat).  Bake for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown.


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This week Craig and I returned from a mini vacation to New England.  I flew out for a photography workshop (more on that later this week!) and Craig joined me for a weekend in Boston.  There is no shortage of things to do in Boston, we just had a shortage of time and good weather while we were there. One of the most adventurous things we saw while we were in Boston was this awesome musician as we walked through the park, he reminded me of Bert in Mary Poppins…my favorite movie!  The rest of the day I was singing, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  🙂

In every city we visit, we always stop by the local Botanical Gardens.  In Boston we were lucky enough to visit both the Public Gardens and the Arboretum.  New England fall was beautiful!  Our trips were cut a little short due to crazy rainstorms and two Utahans without umbrellas.FIND biz_0067PINIMAGEFIND biz_0077PINIMAGE

The other thing we always visit in each city we visit is the closest LDS TempleFIND biz_0101PINIMAGE

I was able to take a sunrise ferry that helps deliver local mail and workers from island to island.  Since I was the only patron on the boat, the captain let me drive the ferry!  I was so excited to drive the ferry, I stopped taking pictures…oops!FIND biz_0489PINIMAGEFIND biz_0507PINIMAGEFIND biz_0559PINIMAGE

I was determined to see as many lighthouses as New England sunsets over the ocean as possible.  These views made every bit of my trip worthwhile. FIND biz_0102PINIMAGEFIND biz_0332PINIMAGEFIND biz_1112PINIMAGEFIND biz_1111PINIMAGE

New England, I love you!

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  • Emily Steffen - Wahoo! What an awesome set of images….yay for finding so many lighthouses!!!!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Angela Muir - We also try to go to a temple in every city we visit, the boston temple is one of my favorites 🙂 It was so nice meeting you at alt in the cricut lounge, what beautiful photos you take!! http://www.handmadeintheheartland.comReplyCancel

  • Traci Zeller - These photos are gorgeous! You are so incredibly talented, Belinda. It was so nice to meet you at Alt’s House of Brinson styling workshop. I will cross my fingers that our paths cross again soon! ReplyCancel

Life has been a roller coaster lately.  There are so many great things to celebrate:   A busy wedding season.  A fall schedule quickly filling up. An upcoming family vacation. Paying off our car several years early. My birthday.

Birthdays are really one of my favorite things!  Each year I reflect on where I’ve been and the direction my life is headed.  I was reviewing my 101 in 1001 list and the things I still have to cross off my bucket list.  One thing on my list was to be a mom.  I knew when I put this on my list, this wasn’t something I had 100% control over.  I knew I was just starting my journey with infertility.  In my ‘grand plan’ I wanted to be done having kids by the time I was thirty.  I find myself a year away from that age and I’m no closer than I was five years ago.

For the first time, I publicly shared on instagram, my sorrow for mother’s day.

I sat waiting to hit ‘publish’ for quite some time that day crying in my car.  I didn’t want people’s pity.  I wasn’t sure if I was really ready to talk about it.  Ultimately, I just closed my eyes and published it.  There was no looking back.  The reaction I received was incredibly humbling and inspiring.  Each time I hear of someone else’s infertility story, I find it comforting to know that I’m not alone.

Now I find myself five months later.  We were content saving for several surgeries I need to have before we can pursue biologically having our own children.  Out of the middle of no where someone approached us about adopting a little boy.

Talk about a whirlwind of emotions, questions and ‘what if’ scenarios!  We needed some time to get back to them.  We needed to run these scenarios through our heads.  We needed to evaluate if now was the right time to put grad school on hold.  We felt really good about it and decided that if things fell in to place, it was meant to me.  This specific roller coaster ride isn’t officially over…but it is.  We’ve learned the likelihood of this adoption isn’t at all as realistic as we hoped.  The more this scenario slips through my fingers, the more emotional I become.  This heartache is so different than the pain I experienced with each miscarriage.

I’ve sat around thinking, ‘why me?‘.   This weekend I realized that I’ve been asking myself the wrong question.  I needed to stop asking myself, ‘why me?’ and start asking myself, ‘what can I learn and how can I grow from this?’

I really wish I could tell you I have these answers.  I don’t.  Not yet.  I can tell you, I’m grateful to have Craig along for the roller coaster.  There is no one else I’d rather have holding my hand for the ups and the downs.

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  • Kristen Perschon - Belinda, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. We have been going through infertility for 4 years now and it is so hard. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and if you ever want to talk or if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.ReplyCancel

    • Belinda Olsen - Kristen, If you’re ever interested in talking, one of my client’s started an infertility support group that meets once a month in Logan. If that sounds like something you would like to check out, let me know, I’ll pass along the information.ReplyCancel

  • Tara Siddoway - Belinda, you have always been an example of strength to me. Thank you so much for sharing. You’ve probably already read this talk, but it is one that I go to all the time when life seems to throw me a major curve ball, or just isn’t going as I “planned”. It’s by Richard G. Scott called “Trust in the Lord”. He gave it back in like 1995 I think. When you said you are trying to ask “What can I learn from this” instead of “why me” made me think of that talk. It is beautiful and comforting. I wish I could come upstairs and paint nails with you and talk about life like we did in the past, but for now just know that I am thinking about you and praying for you.ReplyCancel

    • Belinda Olsen - Tara, Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I love that talk! I read it often 🙂 I really miss having you close by. I hope you’re feeling well and think of me when you see that picture of the Temple. Xo!ReplyCancel

  • Kami Essig - Thanks for sharing. This isn’t something I personally had to deal with, but I know how sad it can be. I think the more open people are, the more it can help others who are going through this!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie Carpenter - I know exactly how you feel, especially the frustration of feeling like you’re being left being while everyone else in the world is having babies and more babies. Unless they’ve dealt with it people can’t understand the sadness that goes along with it and even when they’re meaning well with comments like saying you’re lucky you don’t have kids so you can travel or you’re so lucky to not be pregnant and suffer morning sickness they’ll never understand why those comments are devastating.

    The only small part that helps is knowing when I finally do have a baby they’ll never be able to flippantly say that I don’t love them because I’ll be able to show them the journal entries that are begging for them and they’ll know they were very much wanted.

    We’ll be mothers someday, our babies are just taking the scenic route to get to us!!ReplyCancel

  • Christy - Belinda, we just love you tons! Thanks for sharing–because, like you said, it’s easier on the road you’re on to know others face the same thing. You are helping lots of people by sharing, I’m sure. Equally sure that your little one(s) will come, especially if you are considering adoption. There are so many children out there who need wonderful parents, and I’m sure they will find their way to yoyReplyCancel

  • Christy - *to you and Craig.* Love you.ReplyCancel

This summer I’ve been going to the farmer’s market almost weekly.  It’s one of my favorite things about summer! I love to support the local farmers and most of the time the prices are unbeatable!  This week I found myself with a lot of squash varieties: zucchini, crookneck, patty pan and courgettes.   I’ve been trying to include a few more vegetarian meals into our weekly meal plan.  With this in mind, I thought of making this Summer Veggie Lasagna based on Bianca Lasagna With Pesto from Kelsey Nixon.

Food Friday Summer Vegetable Lasagna ComponentsPINIMAGE

Food Friday Summer Vegetable LasagnaPINIMAGE

This is a definitely a great recipe you can make using store bought components or you could go all out making each individual sauce.  Personally, I like to make my own sauces so I can control the amount of sodium and fat in each one.  I also think the flavor is richer in homemade sauces.  🙂

Since there are only two of us at our house  I wanted to make the lasagna in individual portions and freeze the rest.  I did this by cooking the lasagna in salted boiling water until pliable (4-5 minutes) and layering the noodles in a + shape in lightly greased ramekins.  I then added one sauce, one topping and one cheese per layer.  Then overlapped the two ends of the same noodle (the two sides across from each other).  Add remaining sauce, topping and cheese.  Overlap remaining noodle and top with cheese.

Food Friday Summer Vegetable Lasagna Before and AfterPINIMAGE

Summer Veggie Lasagna


1 box oven ready lasagna

1 T. butter

4 springs thyme, finely diced

1 large leek, diced and well rinsed

1/2 t. garlic salt

4 c. fresh spinach or one package frozen spinach, thawed

2 c. squash varieties, diced

2 small  shallots, diced (you can easily substitute half a white onion)

2 c. alfredo or any other white pasta sauce (*see below for my homemade version)

1 c. pesto (^see below for my homemade version)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 c. ricotta

2 c. parmesan

2 c. mozzarella

salt and lemon pepper to taste


cooking spray, butter or olive oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place oven rack in middle.

Sauté leek and thyme in one tablespoon butter for approximately 4 minutes or until leek is tender and transparent.  Add spinach and garlic salt. Sauté until cooked.  Set aside.   Combine white sauce and pesto. Set aside.  Combine ricotta and eggs. Set aside.  Combine diced squash and shallot. Set aside.

Now to layer pasta: Spread 1/2 c. pesto mixture in the bottom of 9×13″ pan (this is so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan).  Lay noodles across sauce.  Spread 1 c. ricotta mixture over noodles, add handful of squash mixture.  Top with handful of parmesan cheese.   Add another layer of noodles.  Spread 1 c. pesto mixture over noodles, add handful of spinach mixture.  Top with mozzarella cheese.  Repeat until all ingredients are used ending with cheese on top.

Cut piece of tinfoil to cover pan.  Lightly grease with cooking spray and put sprayed sized toward cheese.  (this is to prevent the cheese from sticking to the tinfoil and the tinfoil is to prevent the cheese from over browning and becoming hard)

Bake for 30 minutes covered.  Remove tinfoil and bake additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Serves: 8-10

*Homemade White Sauce (Béchamel)


3 T. butter

4 springs thyme, finely diced

1 clove garlic, finely diced

3 T. flour

1 c. milk

1 c. low sodium chicken broth


In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add thyme and garlic. Cook until fragrant, approximately 3 minutes. Whisk in flour 1 T. at a time.  Allow floured mixture to cook for approximately 1 minute or until very pale golden brown.  Whisk in milk and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

^Homemade Pesto


1 clove garlic

1/2 c. shelled pistachios (or any other nut)

2 c. fresh spinach

zest & juice from one lemon

1 c. basil

1/2 c. olive oil

1/2 c. grated parmesan

2 T. water

1/2 t. garlic salt

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper


Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth.

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  • Justin-Meagan Hoffman - This looks so delicious!! We’re trying to add vegetarian food into our diets too, so I might try this one! I’ve never seen food look so pretty either 🙂 haha! thanks for the recipe! ReplyCancel