Food/Product photography

Fall Afresh

October 5, 2016

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August (oh, August, you’re always so abrupt) was stagnant. I wasn’t present. In hindsight, a lot of hours were likely clocked sitting cross-legged in a chair well-suited for pondering or at a desk with my eyes wandering up and outside.

With a few creative hurdles jumped, I’m left with the glorious and well-packed calendar of the fall season and already wondering how this will be managed. I daydreamed back to our lake pace and have made a lot of calls based on what we were able to put first with ease while away from city life. I got good at margin there. Really good. Happy soul good. I floated, decked, read, adventured and napped weekends away. No one was waiting on me, and I was in no hurry.

Big dreams aren’t as friendly to margin, nor is life in a city with relationships and school and work, etc. I’ve had to make them learn to play together through trial of a few ridiculous formulas. A friend reminded me that amid what I considered a failure to achieve was simply the absence of a start. It was margin growing from the inside out. Us declaring time for rest and honoring play above work—because it’s what we needed, not always what we saw happening. Somehow that little heart prick sent me soaring into joy that big dreams and small living can co-exist. It takes margin, intentional downtime and choosing to be your best when it’s appropriate, not always (no matter your location.)

Fellow Southerners are rejoicing in slightly crisper air and I’m grateful to be back in a season of a lot of shower thoughts. Aren’t they great? Such gems of wisdom and creativity just waiting for you there where you’re held captive device- and company-free just long enough for them to surface.

A SHORT LIST OF FALL GOALS:

#1 Breathe in a season of great smells.

#2 Reignite Bible study with peers.

#3 Dig into brand building and storytelling with great teams.

#4 Love the hard stuff.

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A Summer Away

July 12, 2016

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Friends, there’s so much grace in imperfection. Scroll back and check the date on my last post. Quite a few days (years!) have gone by. Sometimes, you just juggle the agendas.

God gave me a big agenda after the blessing of our (now 4-year-old) fella—be you. I didn’t hear it right at first. And if I did, I fought it. Being me hasn’t meant having it all, doing it all, being my best all the time. It sure has been good when I sit still in it though. Sitting in scuffed, orange-painted chairs in my porch “office” this summer, well that’s a dream come true. Out of the corner of my eye, just beyond the antique diner-style table, is a big body of water and a lifetime of memories.

I’ve fought a lot of agendas in the last few years (potty training, other moms, my own false prophets, a toddler’s iron-clad will.) I still wake each morning choosing not to battle—and usually fail. So, I dove into summer vying for an IN season to set my heart back right. It’s not just about swim lessons or homemade ice cream or counting the stars in the Milky Way each night. For once, I tried to look at the big picture of smiles and sunscreen and simple pleasures, not a checklist. I want to watch the competing agendas melt away in the heat of this summer.

A QUICK LOOK AT SUMMER GOALS:

#1 Sit still before God and chill.

#2 Make Summer ‘16 an IN season to remember.

#3 Develop new habits to remind me eyeballs > screens.

#4 Fresh fruit ALL the days.

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A new contributor to Kitchn.com

June 18, 2013

Tickled is an understatement when I tell you that today I have my first by-line on Apartment Therapy‘s Kitchn.com blog. Little ‘ole me? Well, yes ‘mam.

Turns out your best friends (and husbands who know all about technology and absolutely nothing about shelter blogs) are quite fine cheerleaders if you let them be. After my awesome friend Melissa (have you seen From Scratch magazine? This girl is a homestead superstar.) tipped me off to this post on TheKitchn.com mentioning the search for new contributors, I promptly filed the idea into the “that would be cool” file. I did give it some thought but didn’t take much action. Days before that deadline, and with a few hours notice, my now famous, skinny cook friend opened her kitchen and family up for me to take a big leap and send off a submission.

Thanks to all the awesome cheerleaders that made this happen. I’m thrilled to show off the south and the overflowing wealth of fine folks and even finer cookin’ we have in our region.

Check out my first post on Bo and Lindsey’s kitchen here (bonus: a cute baby!) : my first post on TheKitchn.com!

I’ll be continuing to do tours of kitchens in our region. Send me a note of you have or know of a great kitchen to share.

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Spread a little love

February 5, 2013

Doing things out of love is one thing I KNOW lights my heart on fire. I’ve always gotten a great big knot in my throat (the good kind!) when I’m making something happen in pursuit of nothing more than a big smile in return.

Earlier last month I started a new portion on my to do list. The tasks in the “for others” section rarely lasted more than 48 hours before getting a sharpie line right through them. I LOVED marking them off! Not because it was one more “to do” I accomplished, but because it made me full of joy to know my time had been well-spent in bringing joy and happiness to someone else. Big or small, they reminded me how much actions of love can alter a life, or even just a day.

So last Saturday morning I hopped in the kitchen to break in the Weelicious cookbook from my sweet in-laws and whip up a batch of homemade graham crackers. I’m not supermom enough to insist that everything we share with Thomas is homemade, but I do like the idea of avoiding as much from a box as possible; especially when it comes to cookies and crackers.

It’s a super easy recipe, even if you aren’t right at home in the kitchen (like me). Photos of my adventure are above. The first one is about the point my first “Is it supposed to look like that?” thought kicked in. Of course I’d already checked the recipe half a dozen times to make sure I was following it just right. Things shaped up after a little work. Before I stuck these lovelies in the oven, you better bet I had my pica pole out (bonus points if anyone even knows what that is) and was measuring to see if I had gone way over the suggested 1/4 inch for the dough.

Everything turned out great! Why was I so worried? I’m such a nervous cook; and for no apparent reason since I don’t recall ever making anything that was completely inedible. I do plan on taking the thickness down a notch on our next batch so Thomas can munch on these alone. They came out just a little too thick for eight teeth to handle alone.

This one little to do sure filled my heart right up. I enjoyed setting aside time to do something special for someone I loved. And what better month to have a freezer full of heart-shaped cookies to share? Snack time never was so sweet.

If you want to give the recipe a try, check it and soo many great recipes for all ages on the Weelicious website.

Food styling for Kellogg’s

December 1, 2012

What a blast! I’m not sure you can call light this pretty and food this beautiful “work.” The big, fabulous windows of a neighborhood restaurant operated by chef Wesley True (yep, called True) were the perfect (how will I ever shoot food anywhere else?!) setting for a series of recipes I shot for Kellogg’s nutrition department. My oh-so-patient stylist and buddy Evan G. Cooper and a just slightly overcast day made the perfect combination. We sipped on coke zero, nibbled bites from thirteen recipes and shared a lot of laughs.

A couple of the recipes are also on SnackPicks.com
Flatbread Crisp Pizza Nachos
Apple-cheddar flatbreads

 

 

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