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2014 Holiday Mini Sessions

IMG_9861 copy For weeks and weeks you heard me talking about the Holiday Mini Sessions I was going to hold at Riverdale Elementary School.  Well the day finally arrived and it was such a wonderful, fun day!  I loved seeing all the cuties out in their holiday outfits as well as capturing so many fun family moments.


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I had so many favorite from this day!  I think everyone enjoyed playing around in the gym as well as being able to go outside thanks to the beautiful weather.  Thank you to all my amazing clients for being willing to travel some for these mini sessions and for showing up for such a fun time.  I will definitely be offering this again next year and am already thinking of different possibilities.  Until then, I hope these help put you in the holiday spirit!



Holiday Mini Session-October 25th

IMG_7136 Holiday Mini Sessions are right around the corner!  Can you believe it?? I am so so so excited for this opportunity and to see what these sessions will bring.


For some of us it's too early to be thinking Jingle Bells, Hot Cocoa, and a chill in the air.  For others of us, that's all we're thinking about!  Whether you are a Holiday Fanatic or like to give the holidays their due time, this is a great opportunity to get updated and cherished photos of you and your family for a great price.  We are so lucky to have a unique venue all to ourselves!  Riverdale Elementary has given us the space for the day and this includes their awesome gym, classrooms, outside, and beautiful architecture of the building.  We will have holiday set ups in some areas but we also get to just explore!  So even if you're not ready to put on those tacky sweaters, we can get some lovely shots!  Contact me today through the contact page on my website (  for more information!



Holiday Sessions!

holiday card Our holiday sessions are filling up quickly!  I know its early to be thinking about the holidays, and you may not want to yet, but just think of already having your pictures done and getting your cards ordered before everyone else this year!  What a load off to have one thing done and be ready to concentrate on fun stuff like, shopping!  (Have I mentioned I'm a little bit of a shop-a-holic?)  Our holiday session is filling up quickly, so contact me today to reserve your time slot!

Happy Monday all!



Holiday Mini Sessions

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I am super excited to be offering Holiday Mini Sessions this year!  This is the perfect opportunity to get great family photos as well as those fun shots for Holiday Cards.  Break out the tacky sweaters and hot cocoa!  I will be offering a great holiday set up at Riverdale Elementary in Strawberry Plains.  If you haven't heard of Riverdale, it's a historic building that has been restored by Connie and Wayne Whitehead and is now available as a photography venue.  Its got a lot of character and I'm excited to be able to offer my clients a new location that we can use for Mini Sessions no matter what the weather is like.  Spots are limited so please contact me to reserve your time slot as soon as possible!



Downtowner Fudge Pie

Friday night around midnight, I got in the mood to bake.  This happens more often than you would think.  So the only question was, what was I going to make?  The answer was simple.  My FAVORITE chocolate pie.  My mother had made it at Christmas but due to my bout of cluster headaches I was unable to partake ( chocolate + cluster headaches =  even more pain).  It was terrible, no chocolate a christmas!!  The horror.  So, I made up for it this weekend.  This recipe actually came from my Aunt which I'm sure she also got from somewhere.  It's one of those recipes that's just been passed along.  So I'm going to pass it on to you. In mixing bowl, beat 3 eggs until light, beat in 3 T. white caro syrup, 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1/4 t vanilla.  That right there is delicious.

Meanwhile, over low heat melt 1 stick of butter and 3 square of baking chocolate.  NOTE: I do this in the microwave just because it's simpler, but you can do this in a saucepan if you wish.  Also by "3 squares" it turns out that means 3 oz.  Hershey now sells bakers chocolate in 1/2 ounce squares so that can be a little confusing.  I also use unsweetened baker's chocolate.

Now at this point you may be tempted to lick this whole freakin' bowl, ahem, but remember this chocolate is unsweetened.  It will not taste as yummy as it looks.  Not yet.  Add slightly cooked chocolate mixture into mixing bowl.

Stir until combined.

Pour into 9" pie pan and bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.  Remember this is a chess pie, so be careful not to over bake.  When it is done it should still shake like a custard.

Mine was not very pretty but very very delicious.  I think the reason it fell and cracked was because instead of stirring in the chocolate mixture I beat it in, thus adding more air, so it puffed up a lot.  WARNING:  This chocolate pie is so good you (and maybe your husband) might just eat the whole thing before the weekend is out...and gain 3 pounds...might happen.  Just sayin'.


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Catching up

The holidays have been fantastic.  I really have enjoyed every minute, and I hate to say that I'm sad to see them go.  They've also been a whirlwind of presents, paper, food, traveling, family, and friends.  So as we head into the new year (can't believe it's going to be 2011) I'm going to try to do a little catching up. The week before Christmas we had all of Speed Racer's side of the family over for dinner and presents.  It was the first time since we really got a lot of work done on the house that everyone had been there at once.

So we pulled out my Grandmother's china, decorated with cheer, and cooked a ham.

The day of was a bit of fiasco until everyone got there.  I had been having terrible headaches every night the week before that were keeping me up at night (more on that later).  I was tired, moving slow, and just downright not thinking.  I was feeling so bad at work that I knocked off a little early and came home to take a nap, knowing that I had plenty of time to put the ham in before people got there.

Oh what a lie that was.  In my tiredness I had misread the cook times, and there was not enough time for ham.  So, I ran back to the the rain...and bought another, precooked, smaller ham.  As I started cooking everything became a disaster, the potatoes, the ham still wasn't cooking fast enough, things still had to be done...I was on the verge of giving up and going back to bed.  But who came to my rescue?  None other than my Speed Racer.

He kissed me.  Told me everything was going to work out, that the mash potatoes were bad but fixable...put on some Christmas music and got to work.  He ironed the table cloth, started the fire, and then helped me in the kitchen.  It was teamwork and just as people were arriving, we pulled a beautiful ham out of the oven.

Everyone started tearing into their presents, and the kitties were glad to play with all the paper.

It truly was a wonderful evening.  I love having family and friends in this house, it brings me complete joy and reminded me that this is what Christmas is all about.

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There's a Monster on our porch...

It's black, it's shiny, it's BIG, and it creates amazing delicious food.  Meet our new grill.  With a lot of help from a few elves, Mrs. Claus was able to surprise Speed Racer with this beautiful monstrosity...he didn't even see it coming. As I lugged Christmas presents up the stairs from the lower garage, having just arrived home from a lovely Christmas at my parents house, I heard a cry from upstairs.  "What's this??!"

"What's what??" I asked, trying really hard not to grin like a Cheshire cat.

"There's a big box in our''s...a grill??"

It's not often I get to truly truly blindside Speed Racer and I was enjoying every minute of it.  I began to grin remembering how he had "seen" the box of his decoy present (a poster tube, inevitably containing a rather cool poster, but pretty obvious) and had bragged for days before that he knew what it was.

He kept just looking at me, then looking at the grill, then looking at me.  After several more gapes, and silences as he let it sink in, I explained my evil plan and how many of our family members had been involved.

So last night, after setting it up the night before, Speed Racer treated me to a feast on his new grill.  And I have to admit folks, he showed me up.  It was AMAZING.  I may have to change "Dish-o-the-Week" to "Speed Racer's Grill of the Week."  I rather like the idea.

The New York Strips marinating...

Mushrooms filled with red pepper, mozzarella, and garlic filled green olives.

That's the love of my life right there.

The smell was out of this world I tell you.

The button on my jeans just popped at the mere memory.

Our delicious delicious meal, AND one of our awesome Christmas presents this year...

awesome beer glasses.

Now with my stomach rumbling, I'm going to have to go start dinner.  If only we had more steak.



Winter Wonderland

I woke up this morning to freezing rain, super icy conditions, and almost busted my bum when I decided to "test" the road.  It's still pretty gross out there and since I live on a back road, it's taking a little while to clear up.  So while I enjoy my hot coco and snuggle with my kitties, I thought you might enjoy the beautiful sunrise that I experienced yesterday morning.



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While Visions of Sugar Plums...

Last week my good ol' pal Stephanie and I did some Christmas baking.  It was such a great time!  We baked, we mixed...we washed lots of dishes. My messy kitchen...

Wonderful peanut butter fudge.  Mmmm.  We accidentally forgot to check how much the recipe made, so we doubled it.  And we made 6 heard me 6lbs of peanut butter fudge.  If you need a fudge fix, stop by my house.

Stephanie working away.

These cheesecake cookies are fantastic, like unbelievable!

Cashew Brittle!

What's that Stephanie?  Your apron is amazing and it's only been 6 hrs since we started cooking?  Whew.  I need some peanut butter fudge.

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Christmas Tree, oh, Christmas Tree

I woke up this morning to snow.  I'm sure many of you did.  Snow in Knoxville, Tennessee though is a big deal.  People freak out a little bit about it, and not just like, "OOO snow!" more like, "We may get stuck in our houses forever."  There was not even an inch this morning, and by this afternoon it had all melted.  There were still hundreds of cars in the grocery store parking joke.  However, it was very pretty this morning and put me in a great holiday mood. This is what it looked like on my walk to work...

...I'm a very fast walker, but the guy in front of me was movin'.  It was really cold.

And of course all the morning commuters.

This is one of my favorite statues.  It's of a man rowing a boat, but the way the sculpture is done he is rowing it into pavement, and it looks almost like he is sinking.  The irony of this is that he is right outside the building where I work, and sometimes when I walk by I feel like I'm sinking in there too.  Ahem, in a non-emo way of course.

When it was snowing on Sunday, Speed Racer and I were tackling our Christmas decorations.  It was pretty perfect, Christmas carols were playing, christmas lights were not working, and the fire was beautiful and warm.

Ah, perfection.  I mean, the lights, not the handsome redheaded man right....there.  But I'm getting distracted.  It does puzzle me how every year you can buy new Christmas lights, when they are done put them into a safe, dry box, and then the next year half of them do not work.  What is the deal??  I want answers Christmas light industry.  In the end we went out and had to buy some more...these were gonners.

Now we just need the star!

These cute little owls are some of my favorite ornaments.  I got them at Le Target when we first moved here and I just think they are adorable.  They make me smile every time I see them.

Speed Racer on the other hand...

...thinks they are weird and creepy.  It's Christmas by gosh and it's not Christmas without...Christmas owwwwwllls???  As I say with most things, "Whatevs, I do what I want."  Le. End.