Monday, June 23, 2008

New Orleans

Wow, it's going to take me a week to recover from a three day vacation...

We returned last night from a long weekend in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. While New Orleans is famous for Bourbon Street and consuming dangerous quantities of alcohol, I enjoy it for the history and the food. Creole and Cajun cooking is something everyone should experience. The flavors are so rich and so interesting that it wakes up your whole mouth. Creoles are generally known as a people of mixed French, African, Spanish, and Native American ancestry. Other people define Creoles as those who originally colonized the New Orleans area. But regardless of how you define them, their cuisine is fantastic!
Cajuns are the descendants of exiles from the French colony of ACADIA (present-day Nova Scotia and adjacent areas) who left their homeland in 1755 and found refuge in southern Louisiana a decade later. Their cuisine tends to be a bit spicier and less sophisticated than the Creole recipes. But delicious nonetheless.

One of our meals this weekend was at The Pelican Club on Exchange. That had to be one of the best meals I have had in years! We started off with bakes oysters on the half shell, with apple-smoked bacon, roasted red peppers, Parmesan and garlic herb butter. Parrish then had the Blackened Drum with grilled shrimp, and Kelly and I both had the Filet Mignon with lump crab meat and a Bearnaise sauce, served with truffle mashed potatoes and green beans and asparagus. All this was accompanied by a bottle of champagne. It was an amazing meal! If you ever find yourself in New Orleans, please make reservations at the Pelican Club.

A trip to New Orleans would not be complete without coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde. For those that may not know, Beignets were also brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. These were fried fritters, sometimes filled with fruit. Today, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. They are served in orders of three. And they are GOOD!

While we weren't eating, we visited the Aquarium of the Americas, St. Louis Cathedral (where we saw a wedding party emerge Friday night to celebrate in the streets), Jackson Square, the French Market, a Haunted History tour, numerous shops, and walked. And walked and walked.

Oh, and in case you didn't know, New Orleans is hot. Not just your average "it's June, so it's warm" kind of hot. I am talking life-sucking heat and humidity hot. People down there move slow, and drink a lot. Because it's too dang hot to do much else. I told Kelly that if I even suggest going to New Orleans in the summer again to slap the sense back into me. The heat index on Friday was 108! By 9 AM, it's was well into the 90's. And still in the upper 80's at 10 PM. Next time, I'm going in February!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wall Galleries

As a full-service custom photographer, one of the services I offer is creating wall galleries for display in your home. These galleries are a collection of images from one or more sessions, and can be done in prints or canvas, framed or unframed, hung on the wall, or sitting on ledges. I wanted to share, so that you can all see how easy it is to create an eye-catching gallery in your own home. These photos were all taken at my mother's 70th birthday party earlier this year. By placing them on ledges, it's easy to re-arrange and update without filling your wall full of holes. It also makes it very easy to use a variety of sizes and framing options. Notice that some of these have mats, and some don't. This particular collection uses prints in sizes 5x7, 8x10, and 11x14. Some of the frames are 16x20.

As you can see, galleries can work even in small spaces! This gallery only encompasses a section of wall 4 and a half feet wide.

During your ordering session, or even before, I can help you choose a layout and design that works in your space. I can even frame your portraits for you. Don't forget to ask about wall galleries when you book your next session!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

They grow so fast!

I just love seeing my little clients grow! I first photographed Lily Cate last October. Then I photographed her baby brother, Henry in January. When I photographed them both today, I realized how much they have grown in just 6 months! They are both beautiful and sweet, and I look forward to photographing them for many years to come.

I had fun trying out my new background colors, and these great hats made by my friend Farrah, from 2Peas. Of course, Henry wasn't as thrilled about wearing the hat as I was about photographing him wearing it, lol! And the pettiskirt Lily Cate is wearing came from Kaiya Eve. What little girl can resist these beautiful, soft skirts?

Here's a sneak peak from this morning's session--enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Weekend at the Lake

Well, it's summertime, and the temperatures are soaring into the 90's, so it's time to head to the lake! We went down to Alabama, to Smith Lake and spent the weekend with my parents at their lake house. The water was clear and warm, and we had a lovely time visiting with my family.

I didn't get a photo of it, but my dad made this fantastic meal for dinner Saturday night.
Shrimp, Chorizo and Chipotle Gravy over Mexican Rice. You can get the recipe at the food network website, here:,1977,FOOD_9936_35663,00.html

I do recommend cutting back on the Chipotle peppers, though! it's insanely hot.

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