meet andrea

Hello there.  My name is Andrea, and I am the creator of Bella Eats.  Thank you for stopping by, I am so happy that you are here.

I am an architectural designer by profession, so clean lines and calming design are the way I like to see the world. Photography has been a passion of mine since high school and sharing food as a way to share love has been a lifelong reality. Bella Eats provides the perfect outlet for me to explore and experiment with beautiful food and images, and to share the stories that surround them.  It is my hope that the love I pour into the recipes I create oozes out of my photographs and into my readers’ lives, helping them to create new memories with family and friends around the table.

Cooking is also a way to celebrate and share my adopted home town. Charlottesville, Virginia is a city with its eyes wide open to the wonders and challenges of maintaining a strong local food movement. My husband and I strive to live as sustainable a life as possible, so most of what I share at Bella Eats is local and seasonal.  We are passionate about growing our own food and also about the relationships we’ve established with farmers and vendors at the Charlottesville City Market.  I enjoy documenting not only my time in the kitchen, but also the journey to get certain ingredients to the table. We feel very lucky to have landed here and can’t imagine living anywhere else.  If you live in the Charlottesville area, please see my local page for a listing of food providers and supporters.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have, at

about the photography…

All photos featured on the blog are the property of myself and, unless otherwise specified. All rights are reserved. If you would like to use a photo from the blog, I’d be flattered!  But please, ask permission first and give proper credit to

Also, I am available for freelance food photography and writing.  If you’re interested in discussing a project, please send an email to You can see my full photography portfolio here.


67 responses to “meet andrea

  1. Pingback: great run + simple dinner « bella eats [and runs]

  2. Hi Andrea! I am on MFD as well- I find it is the best way to count calories and keep track of what is really going on!! Also.. the company I work for has their headquarters in C-ville.. funny huh!! anyway- i found your blog thru sweet and natural.. i love it! thank you!

  3. Hi Mariposa! I love MFD, especially that they have a mobile page that works on my phone, makes keeping track so easy! I’m so glad you stopped by the blog, thanks for commenting! 🙂

  4. I love your Meet Andrea page. I never realized how much we truly have in common. Its funny we have never been close, but have always dealt with the same issues.

    I’m 5’4″ too and when I first started to get healthier I thought 130 would be my ideal weight. That was what I weighed in High School and I thought that would be the best, but as I started getting motivated I realized 130 was not ideal and now feel very comfortable between the 123-125 range.

    Seriously when you are down for christmas we need to meet up. I feel like we have so much to say face to face now.

  5. Meghann – I agree!!! I think we’ve always had just enough of an age difference to keep us from being closer. I left high school just as you got there, same with college… Everybody always says age doesn’t matter as much once you get past those stages of your life and I totally agree!

    I’d love to meet up at christmas. Once we have a better grasp on our schedule we can plan something. I know we’ll be in Florida the 23rd-30th, but that time will be split between my mom’s and my dad’s.

    Yay for the 123-125 range!!! I can’t wait to get there…I’m about 10 pounds away! 🙂

  6. I love this. Congratulations on your healthy mindset towards weight and this great blog!

  7. Hi Andrea! I found your site from a link I saw on Carrotsncake and am so glad I did! What a terrific site with such great information! I live just a couple hours north of you in Arlington, VA just outside DC. I am a runner too and am working on getting back into a routine and am considering running a 1/2 marathon on March in DC. Your animals are too cute!!! 🙂

  8. Ashley – Thank you! I’m glad you’ve stopped by, because now I am getting to know your blog and love it so far!

    Melanie – Hi!! You should definitely check out the C’ville 10-miler too, its a beautiful, hilly and challenging course but there are people lining it the whole way to keep you motivated! Good luck with your potential training for the 1/2 marathon in March!

  9. I can really relate to your triumph!!! Great story.


  10. Hi Bella! Thanks for linking to my site–I’m happy to have found yours!

  11. Hello! Another Andrea!

    Another Andrea who loves New Orleans (i saw your post on the kitchen sink blog!)
    Andrea Andrea who loves New Orleans, Photography, and Cooking and Eating food!

    I hope you don’t mind me stopping by and checking out your blog! and linking to you!

    By the way, I’ve, too, just recently lost weight and I’m always looking at ways to enjoy life (and eating) while trying to fuel my body wisely!

  12. I just came across your blog today and I really enjoy your posts. Can’t wait to read more!

  13. shady just gave me you blog info….So Cool!! i am going to make the ravioli lasagna… looks awesome (and i hear its great too!)

  14. Lisa – Thanks for stopping by!

    Andie – What a coincidence! I’m so glad you stopped by, and I’ll definitely be checking out your blog too. 🙂

    Katie – Welcome!

    Maggie!!! Yay! I’m glad you found me and I hope you continue to check in!

  15. love your blog!!! thanks for sharing your story!! your wedding pictures are so beautiful!! Wait a second…… your food pictures are absolutely stunning too! Everyday I am ooo-ing and ahh-ing at your eats! Love that camera work!! I look forward to reading! Thanks Andrea!

  16. Andrea, somehow I missed this page when I first stumbled onto your blog, I read the other pages but not this one. Great story!

    I live just outside of Richmond, VA. C-ville is one of my favorite places on earth!

  17. Just stumbled across your blog and I really like it. As a third year veterinary student I can completely relate to your grad school weight fluctuations. Thanks for inspiring me to not let my studies get the better of my health. Best of luck.

  18. I really love your philosophy on food, weight and life in general! Good luck with the weight loss. It’s definitely a journey but I hear it’s worth it 🙂 (I’m still trying to lose weight as well).

  19. This page is so cute, I love it!

  20. Gliding Calm – Thank you for the sweet compliments! I love your blog too, and can’t wait to try your tofu! 🙂

    Beadie – Thank you! If you’re ever in C’ville, let me know! I love meeting other foodies and C’ville-lovers in person!

    Ruth – Thank you! Good luck to you as well!

    Elina – Good luck on your journey!

    Linz – Aww shucks…thank you! 🙂

  21. I just came across your blog, and all I have to say is WOW! What gorgeous photos, I look forward to reading more.

  22. i love your blog – your photographs are beautiful!! i added you on my blogroll!

  23. Wow, I think we are destined to be friends! We have so much in common!

  24. you two are a fabulous pair! as a dietitian, i’m always happy to read that people are satisfied with themselves, but still willing to eat non-restrictively – and ENJOY their food!



  25. I love your story. Thanks so much for sharing it! The food looks beautiful, too . . .

  26. I just came across your blog and oh, wow.. your story is quite inspirational, and the photos of your food are just amazing! I love your philosophy on food and life! Great blog 🙂

  27. Andrea,

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I’m a law student at UVA and was wondering what were some of your favorite places to eat out healthfully in C’ville?

  28. Hey ! I love reading your blog….I also live in Cville. Just wanted to say I think your photos are gorgeous!

  29. Pingback: Banana Date Bread « Whitney in Chicago

  30. Just found your blog through a link to a link to a link… shiny object syndrome 🙂 I’m just north of Staunton and embarking on local/seasonal eating. Also from a non-seasons state (CA to IN to VA) Glad to find you!

  31. I just found your blog through The Beholder – and I am super happy to have discovered you and your approach to food. Too many of the “healthy” lifestyle blogs ignore the approach of eating real, local, and sustainable food. Love it!

    Have you read Real Food by Nina Planck?

  32. Betsy – Thank you for the sweet comment! I have not read Real Food yet, but it is on my list of summer reading. I am currently reading Alice Waters & Chez Panisse, and am thoroughly enjoying learning about the local food movement’s humble beginnings. I highly recommend it!

  33. katethegrate


    I stumbled across your blog and it is fantastic!
    I especially love your photography and approach to food.
    Check my food blog if you’d like:

    Thanks for sharing your writing!

  34. Pingback: my kind of [summer] meal « bella eats

  35. Andrea,

    We’re coming to Cville next weekend for the 4th. Can we maybe get together for lunch? We’re looking at Cville for a possible bakery location for a Great Harvest Franchise.


  36. Hi Andrea-

    I just stumbled across your blog and I’m so excited that you’re in Cville! Me too! I’ve been reading katheats for a long time and I saw her post about coming to Cville (I had family stuff going on all weekend so I couldn’t join you guys) Anyway, I just wanted to say hello. I see you’re a runner. Are you doing the Women’s 4 Miler? I’m doing it for the first time! I have a new, developing interest in fitness and health and I’m working towards becoming a runner (after years of being a huge couch potato)

  37. Janie,

    Thanks for commenting! I am running the Women’s 4-Miler, it is a fantastic race! Are you participating in the training program? It is a really great way to start running if you haven’t been. Send me an email if you ever want to get together for a run!

  38. I am totally in line with your eating philosophy! We are primarily vegetarian eaters, my husband and I, but we’ve been known to fry a chicken from our local farmers market because we can live with how it got to our plates!!

  39. Kristen,

    Thanks for stopping by! I always love to hear from others with similar eating philosophies. I hope you’ll stick around! 🙂

  40. Hi Andrea,
    I just came across your blog today am excited to read more! Can’t wait to check out your recipe index!

  41. Andrea,

    I just stumbled on your blog too. Glad to find a food blog from C’ville (so many foodies in this town!) I’m doing the 4 Miler, but haven’t done the W4MTP this year (I did do it previously.) Right now I’m using up a BUSHEL of peaches from Carters Mountain/Chiles Peach Orchard. Freezer jam is up next. 🙂

  42. Hi Meg! Welcome!

    Steph – Another C’ville foodie! I love hearing from people in C’ville, especially when it sounds like we have some common interests! My husband and I are headed out to Chiles today to pick peaches for the second time this season, and I have a loaf of peach bread in the oven right now. 🙂

  43. I just found your blog. I love the title of your blog and your nickname. My name is Andrea too, but I like Bella a lot better… 🙂
    I love to cook and to look at beautiful food pictures, so I look forward to following you along…

  44. Hi I just found your blog and wanted to say hello. I love y0ur attitude towards food and fitness and I really look forward to reading more. I hope you can check out my blog and let me know your opinion.

  45. Linda van der Linde

    Move over Barefoot Contessa and Nigella – Bella is here! What a beautiful blog – I’m a total fan instantly. I love your attitude towards food and life – and the photographs are fantastic. Thank you for sharing all this information – I’ll look forward to each new post.

  46. Hey! I just found your blog and I’m in love! Your food philosophy is very inspiring and, even though vegetarianism isn’t for all of us, we can all try to eat more whole, clean foods. I can’t wait to keep reading!

  47. Hey Andrea. It’s Erik from Titusville. The one that you and you’re dad went to Holland with SO long ago. Actually, I’m about to go back to visit my mom Dec 18th. You’re blog is really great. I admit that I love food as well but I have not the time to enjoy it as much as I would like. Makes me sound like I don’t eat. Anyways, my dad gave me the URL so I thought I would check it out. Also, I know that you went into architecture and right now I’m looking into that area as well. If you have any ideas or helpful advice that would be well appreciated.

  48. Hi Erik! Its great to hear from you. I am going to send you an email today to answer your questions.

  49. Hey! I just wanted to say that you have provided me with some of the best sweets recipes I’ve ever tried out and also with some amazing salads! I think that your food is as tasty as it is beautiful and also your photography skills are great. I’m pretty much in love with your blog and please go on posting.
    Much love, Elena. 🙂

  50. Elena – Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! I love to hear from readers who have tried the recipes that I feature, so thanks so much for your feedback! I will absolutely continue to post, and I hope that you will continue to read and comment. 🙂

  51. Hi, Andrea! I just commented on your latest post, then noticed Studio222 Photography on your blogroll – they did my wedding last May! Becka and Nate do wonderful work! Just had to add that in. 😉

  52. Jayce – I’m glad you found me! What a small world…if I could turn back time 4 years I would fly Becka and Nate to New Orleans for my wedding! Their work is so beautiful…

  53. Aw, thanks Jayce! It’s such a small world. 🙂 And if you ever wanna do any sort of anniversary shoot, I’d adore it! But only if part of the shoot has you covered in flour in your kitchen. 😉

  54. Andrea, I’ve been reading your blog through CvilleBlogs for quite some time and decided to post here just to say that I love your photography. It’s beautiful!

    I bet there are some bloggers out there who would love to know what kind of gear you use!

  55. Hi Jeannine! Welcome, and thank you for reading! I love Small & Chic too… I started following you after you were Blog of the Week on CBS19. My husband and I have an 800 square foot house so we relate well to your blog!

    I use a Canon 5D MkII DSLR camera, with a multitude of lenses. My favorites are the Canon 50mm 1.4 and the 100mm 2.8 macro lenses. Send me an email if you want any other specifics!

  56. Andrea, I just found your site and am really loving it – thanks!

    After starting a blog very, very recently, I’m finding that the photography part of it is one of the most enjoyable. So, a special thank you for all your camera info!

  57. Pingback: a long braise « Whitney in Chicago

  58. Oh my goodness! When you linked to Albemarle Baking Company, I realized I’d stumbled upon the blog of a fellow Charlottesvillian! Of all places, for some reason I never imagined I’d randomly stumble upon a blogger who hailed from my hometown!

    Your photography is lovely, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the recipes. Keep up the fantastic work!

  59. Hi Andrea! I was told that I MUST check out your blog by my friend Jess ( and she was so right. Your recipes sound amazing, and your pictures are gorgeous. I just started a blog last month, and it’s been a lot of fun so far! I’m also in Cville and love it. You mentioned that you are a fan of locally grown food – have you tried the restaurant The Local? Their food is great.
    I’m going to be following your blog from now on and I’m very excited to start trying out your recipes!

  60. Your photography is great!
    What camera do you use?

  61. Kyle – I’m glad you’ve found me, too! Thank you for reading!

    Kate – I am constantly amazed at the distant web Charlottesville has spun. Thank you for the compliments!

    Jen – Welcome! I love The Local, they have really fantastic food. Thanks for reading!

    balancingfoodandlife – Thank you! Please see my comment above for camera info, just above Kyle’s comment.

  62. Love the blog, but I’m so sad to hear you gave up on vegetarianism so fast! There are football players and body builders that are vegetarian and even vegan, so perhaps it’s not that he’s not “made for vegetarianism,” maybe you just need to choose other foods…Obviously smaller farms with better slaughter methods are superior to the horrors of the mass-meat industry – but any slaughter is cruel, and harmful for the environment. Ok, sorry to preach!

  63. Hi Allie, thank you for commenting! I appreciate your view and don’t mind the preaching.

    I truly don’t think that a vegetarian lifestyle is healthy for my husband. He in fact has a build opposite that of a football player or body builder and, while we tried a variety of balanced vegetarian diets during that small period, the amount of weight he shed in such a short time was disturbing.

    I think there are some farmers out there that are on the right track towards changing the way we think about farming, and believe whole-heartedly in supporting those efforts. The best known is Polyface Farm ( which is located just an hour from where we live. There are many other small farmers closer to us that are practicing similar principles, and we get most of our animal products from them.

    Every little bit helps, and we try to do as much as we can. If you’ve got suggestions for a vegetarian or vegan diet I’d love to hear them. You’re welcome to shoot me an email.

    Thanks for reading! 🙂

  64. Pingback: march {and the Baked Cookbook winner!} « Whitney in Chicago

  65. Just found your blog through Meghann’s – just wanted to say, your blog is breathtaking! Love the writing, photos, design and the content!

  66. Hi Monica,

    Welcome! Thank you for your sweet comment. Meghann is my cousin, and I’m flattered that she keeps me on her blogroll! 🙂 I hope you’ll continue to read Bella Eats!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Best, Andrea

  67. I love your blog always! So, couldn’t resist choosing you to receive the One Lovely Blog award!
    Head over to to receive your award!!

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