Monday, September 13, 2010

there was a little girl, who had a little curl...

...right in the middle of her forehead.

Monday, September 6, 2010

it's a great day to be one!

i recently had the pleasure of doing a photo session up on the mountain with this very photogenic family and their little boy who just turned one.  i just had to share because he's sooooo darn cute!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

what's LSD up to?

let me start by saying that this post will have nothing to do with LSD, so if you were hoping to see illegal substance talk on my blog, sorry to disappoint. sometimes i (along with some of my friends) refer to myself as LSD because LSD is my monogram.  and in south carolina, you know we monogram every.freaking.thing.

anyway, here's what LSD's been doing lately:

i've gotten back into a major cooking mood lately and have whipped up some pretty tasty stuff, including homemade blueberry muffins, a couple of cakes, shrimp and grits, and we've been grilling a good bit, too.
jeff has mastered a wonderful filet mignon recipe that i'll have to share soon.

i love photography and i love to do it when the family is as awesome on the inside and out as the shoot i did this past week. we had a lovely afternoon up on the mountain sunday afternoon. the clouds and sunset were breathtaking and the slight almost autumn breeze was divine. pics to come soon!

so i went a little nuts in the apple store recently. we decided we needed a new laptop. so off we went to the land of sleek white and glass. alas, we were going to make the transition from pc to mac.  those folks have it going on. they know that they don't have to "hard sell" anything because the product seriously sells itself, especially after you get to walk around and play with it all.  everything is so smooth and minimal. they drew me in like a moth to a flame. i won't go into everything that left in our bags with us, but let's just say we are enjoying our computer and iPads very very much.

football season tends to bring lots of folks over to our house so i'm helping my hubs spruce up the "man cave."  right now it is a mixture of college football paraphernalia and poker chips.  we're working on it....

i've been back into the walking thing now for several months and am getting ready to up my game and start running again. running used to be something that i did all the time in high school and college. i didn't think anything of getting out and taking a jog. now it involves a major self pep talk and giddy up and go.  but i love the alone time and the chance to clear my blackberry, no e-mail, no nothing. just me, the best pair of running shoes EVER and a good playlist.

that running doesn't come without consequence. getting old is NO FUN. i thought i'd be at least 60 before i said the words "my hip hurts" to my husband.

we're overjoyed that our little maggie dog is starting to show major improvements, like wagging her tail and standing on her own. she's even moving those little back feet now. hopefully she'll be up and running again in no time. in the meantime, we are celebrating those little things we took for granted.

on college football season to start tonight.  can i get a woohoo?

i've been super busy with my "day job." hard as it may be to believe, i spend my days in the insurance business.  then i spend the rest of my time moonlighting with photography and design ventures. i've been spreading myself a little too thin lately.

i got my tool bag of craft paints out today for the first time in a looooong time to work on a sign for a friend's new studio. it's starting to look lovely.

a lot. i enjoy windshield time and the open road but not as much as i have been on it lately. i got a great new-to-me car in july and would rather not keep increasing the mileage by the thousands each month. but i have just started listening to howard stern on xm for the first time and it's like crack. i cannot stop listening to him, no matter how bad i want to turn the station!  (and yes, i did just reference an illegal drug in this blog after all...)

i went to the ray lamontagne/david gray concert in atlanta all by myself last week (long story, but hubs had to work after all and i was not going to miss this show...)  i had a great time jamming solo to two of my most favorite artists.  an extra bonus--i met up with a long lost friend that i hadn't seen in 6 years, which made it even better.

while on my little road trip to atlanta for the concert, i decided to stay overnight and get up and shop the next day since atlanta tends to have a wider range of shopping choices than my little neck of the woods.  (note: the words "wider range" is a major understatement.  we have NOTHING HERE.)
but nonetheless, there is a lot to be said for shopping alone. i would prefer it any day over shopping with someone. sorry to my friends who shop with me. it's true. i love having no time limitations, not having to announce to someone "okay! i'm going to try this on now." and indulging in mall snacks and Sonic limeades whenever i want. whoa, i'm ranting now.  um, so yeah, shopping by myself was lovely.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

martha moments: shrimp and grits

nothing screams southern much louder than a big, heaping bowl of shrimp and grits. it's on my top 5 list of favorite foods and it's one of those dishes that has many different variations. i don't think i've tried very many that i don't like! 

for what it's worth, here's how i make mine.  we had this for dinner the other night and literally scraped the bowls clean. there was not even one grit left.  (can you even say "a grit", as in singular?) 

carolina shrimp and grits

you'll need:

1 lb. shrimp, shells removed and deveined
3 slices bacon
3 slices Virginia deli ham
5 tsp. fresh lemon juice (use the rest of the lemon in your sweet tea :-)  )
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
3/4 cup scallions, sliced thin

4 cups water
1 cup of grits or polenta
3 Tbsp. salted butter
1/2 cup shredded gouda
1/2 cup shredded havarti
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

To make grits:

Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside and stir in butter, gouda and havarti.

To prepare shrimp:
Clean shrimp well under running water and dry with paper towel.
In a large skillet, fry the bacon and brown the ham until all is browned.  Drain well, reserving grease. Set bacon and ham aside. Return grease to pan with the shrimp and cook until pink.  Add lemon juice, seasoning salt, parsley, scallions and garlic.  Chop up ham and bacon into small pieces and add to shrimp mixture.   Saute in pan for 3-4 minutes.
Pour grits into serving bowls and top with shrimp mixture. Top each bowl with a pinch of sharp cheddar.
Bon appetit!

Friday, August 13, 2010

five senses friday

i promise i have more things to blog about, but for now...


i love the smell of
the parking lot of Sonic.  it always smells like a carnival to me.

i love the sound of
steel drums.  it instantly transports me to the caribbean.

i love the taste of
diet cherry limeade guessed it...Sonic.

i love the sight of

i love the feel of
the new Incredible bra by victoria's secret. it really is incredible!

photo courtesy of

Friday, August 6, 2010

five senses friday

Dear Diary,


i love the smell of
anything that comes out of my Keurig. gosh, i love that thing. the perfect cup of coffee every time!

i love the sound of
rain against my window.

i love the taste of
good ole coca cola. the real coke, not diet. just every now and then.

i love the sight of
the mountains every single morning.

i love the feel of
the slight glimpse of fall in the air that we got last weekend. 27 days until kickoff!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

five senses friday

every friday, i'm going to post a "dear diary" piece that i'm going to call "five senses friday."  i can't take any credit for this; i saw it on lovely blog, Dancing Branflakes, and i thought it was such a neat idea.  so here goes.  feel free to comment and post yours as well!

footnote: yeah, yeah, so i know today isn't even friday but i forgot to publish it yesterday. stick with me here. it's been a long week!

Dear Diary,


i love the smell of
a newborn infant's head, particularly this one sweet baby named kyla.

i love the sound of
my sweet maggie's bark.

i love the taste of
fresh tomatoes from the garden with salt and pepper.

i love the sight of
my brother as a father.

i love the feel of
high thread count bamboo sheets fresh out of the dryer.

now, it's your turn.  what are your five senses this week?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

sweet weenie

my sweet weenie dog, maggie, woke up to a not-so-good thing saturday morning.  she went outside, did her thing and then came in and couldn't walk.  bam.  just like that.  her back legs would hardly function.

we took her to the only vet in the area that was open on saturday mornings and he proceeded to give her a steroid shot in her back and advised that we keep close eye on her over the course of the week to make sure the condition didn't get worse.  and if it did, surgery may be required.  but wait a week, then reassess.

well, thank goodness we are educated people with a somewhat good dose of common sense and we looked into this "disk disease" on the internet.  according to every single article we read, this disease is very common in dachshunds and is most often referred to as IVDD.  and it's serious. everything said that if surgery was to be done, it HAD to be done in the first 24 hours of onset.  if not, the dog would have a 5% chance or less of ever walking again.  paralysis, people.

and the vet that morning mentioned nothing of the sort.

so we bundled her up in her snuggie and took her to an animal emergency hospital about an hour from home.  a neurosurgeon was called in and confirmed that we had made the right decision.  maggie was rushed into emergency surgery, as one of her disks had ruptured.  at this point, she had no movement in her back legs at all, nor was her tail wagging.  the doctor explained that since the surgery was being done in that 24 hour window that her chances of walking again were around 95%.  had we waited till sunday (or heaven forbid a week), not so much.

so that was saturday. today is thursday. 

maggie is home and is slowly showing small movements in her back legs.  bless her sweet heart.  she is doing well, but certainly has a long road ahead of her.

if you have a weenie dog, it is so important that you do everything you can to keep them from jumping on and off furniture and going up and down stairs continually. their little backs are so delicate and they are the #1 breed of dog that is susceptible to this disease.  we were fortunate that we did our research, didn't trust the first opinion and were financially able to do this for our sweet dog.

with that said, maggie would like to show off her battle wounds....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

welcome home surprises

to help welcome my brother's new little family home, i thought i'd go over while they were still in the hospital and hang some curtains.

easier said than done.

if you know me at all, you know that i cannot just stop there. their walls were blank and they gave me their blessing to do as i wanted.  anytime someone tells me, "go ahead, i trust you,"'s like music to my ears.

so i hung the curtains.  and then i kept going.
and  in the end, they came home to:

...a new wreath on their front door pillows for the couches...
...a revamped lamp (this is the before)
...and this is the after.   i just wrapped it with some spray adhesive and sisal and voila!

...a new side table, mirror and decorative urn that i loooove...
...some new handpainted artwork that is going to be hung above the desk, along with some new shelves...
...a new ficus tree, doormats and framed prints of them
...and of course, new curtains!

mama and i worked hard to get it all done before they got home and luckily we got just about everything accomplished.  

they already had a great house and now it's a lovely home.


Monday, July 26, 2010

meet kyla jane

our beautiful, absolutely perfect niece
kyla jane
born 7/18/10
12:52 a.m.
7 lb 12 oz
20 inches 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

summer party 2: mama's surprise retirement party

a week after the big bbq shindig, i threw mama a surprise retirement party. yes, i tried to do too much in a matter of a week, but it was so much fun! and i left for a week of nothing but waves and sand the very next weekend, so it was all good...

so, mom finally ended a 32 35 year teaching career....teaching elementary school, mind you.  there are a lot of teachers in my family, but i can honestly say that i absolutely got NONE of that "educatin'" gene.  God bless her and all those teachers out there because goodness knows what they have to put up with!

she truly had no idea that we had organized a surprise for her...she thought she was going to a baby shower for ashton (we sent her a fake invite in the mail)  so, she bit the bait and arrived at her own party with a baby gift in hand. priceless!


...annnnd she's figured it out!

the venue before the party started-isn't it pretty? it's the old train depot in my hometown of westminster, sc. unfortunately, some jerkwad burned it down a few years ago, but the town completely rebuilt it.  the colors are gorgeous and the floors are original.  they un-nailed each board and flipped them over, so now the burned part is on the, huh?

decoration-wise, i made martha stewart's pom poms (always perfect for any occasion and so easy to make) and i also made a pennant banner with black construction paper and chalk.  what can i say? 
i like cheap and cute. :-)

the theme was granny smith apple green and black. of course it had to have an apple theme! 
(so original, i know...)

a close up of the banner (click it make it bigger)

the entrance table

no time to make 70-something caramel apples, but these caramel apple suckers did just the trick!
i used handwriting paper to write little placards on.
petey penguin comes to every major family event/holiday. he's a member of the family.
long story--i'll share it with you one day.

 i went online and made a crossword puzzle with facts about mama for everyone to do while they were waiting on her to get there.  they were a hit!

pencils for the crossword stuck
down in alphabet dry pasta

instead of a traditional guest book i bought "the giving tree" by shel silverstein and had everyone write personal messages to mom throughout the book as a keepsake for her.

 the start of the food table--i used mini chalkboards from michael's to note what was what.  i also used granny smith apples in vases with sticks to carry the theme through. 
...and can i just say that deli spirals from costco are a MUST for any event?  they are a lifesaver!  
and gooooooood!

of course we had to have a slideshow!

zack practicing his daddy-ing skills on sweet little parker

 mama with papa and grandmama


 all of the teacher buddies

happy retirement to my wonderful mother!