December 25, 2013


While our card this year said "Merry Christmas from New Orleans" it should have said "Merry Christmas from Hawaii."  J and I are in the Aloha State right now and loving every second.  I do think my pale complexion is letting everyone know I'm a haole :)  So, from the beaches of Oahu, we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

P.S. - I made our Christmas cards this year.  A little acrylic paint, calligraphy ink, permanent marker, and (in the words of Emeril Lagasse) BAM!

December 20, 2013


J and I walked around the neighborhood last night after dinner.  I brought my new Olympus Tough along and snapped some photos.  The camera was an early Christmas present from my in-laws.  Thank you Mr. Terry and Mrs. Lynette!  I love it!  It's a fantastic vacation camera.  It's small, light, waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and freezeproof.  Hence the "tough" name :)  My photography friend extraordinaire actually recommended the camera to me.  She has an expensive (and big! and heavy!) DSLR too, but uses her Olympus Tough just as often.

December 15, 2013


Still need a 2014 calendar?  May I suggest Snapfish.  Every year (well, almost every year) I make J a poster style calendar filled with photos.  I know Shutterfly, Vistaprint, etc. have calendars too but not all the sites have this poster format.  Ours should arrive any day now...

P.S. - When I showed J the preview (after already paying for the order) he said it was pretty risque of me to put so many topless pics of him on the calendar since he'll be hanging this in his office.  Haha.  There are only 2 shirtless pics but he's right.  Maybe not 100% work appropriate?  Too late now.  Guess all the office ladies will get a good show ;)

November 12, 2013


What goes up and never comes down?  Your age of course.  J turned 32 today!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!  We celebrated with dinner at Domenica and a Whole Foods cheesecake for dessert.  It was a wonderful (and delicious) evening...

October 31, 2013


Wanted to quickly share a pic of my niece and nephew in their Halloween costumes.  Addelyn makes a very cute Piglet and Andrew is an adorable Pooh Bear!  My talented mother knit the hats for them.  And that's my brother Benjamin as Tigger.  Not shown is my very pregnant sister-in-law (due in November) who went as an "exhausted Eeyore."  I bet!!  Sending lots of hugs and kisses to my favorite trick-or-treaters!


Happy Halloween!  I know everyone is going to have candy and chocolate coming out of their ears after tonight... but... I thought I'd share this delicious fall dessert so you can take that sugar high to a whole new level :)  I made it earlier this week and it was really really good!


8 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk

8 tablespoons salted butter, softened
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan with Pam. 

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

In large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese with your electric mixer.  With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy.  Lastly, beat in the vanilla extract.  
Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake.

recipe adapted from Pure Joy Home

October 29, 2013


J, Jean the Elephant, & Me <3

A few months ago my former director at Audubon (Hi Lani!) e-mailed and asked if I wanted to write a short blog post for Audubon's new Special Events' blog.  You never say no to your boss (former or not) and I was honored she even asked :)  I started typing right away and came up with this...

Joshua and I met during Mardi Gras one year when we were both in college. He and his Ole Miss friends had traveled to New Orleans from Oxford while my LSU girls and I had come down from Baton Rouge. Somehow, amidst Bacchus and the beads, we fell in love. Years later, after an incredibly romantic proposal in Jackson Square, we started to plan our May 2009 wedding.

After settling on St. George’s Episcopal on St. Charles for the ceremony, we began looking at sites for our New Orleans wedding reception. Immediately, our hearts were set on the Audubon Tea Room. The vaulted ceiling, open space, wood floors, French doors and brick courtyard were picture-perfect. The staff was amazing. Everyone was kind, helpful and genuinely excited to make our wedding flawless. Hands down, it was the easiest wedding decision we made.

The big day finally arrived—and to our horror it was raining! However, in true New Orleans fashion, the torrential downpour was brief and the sun was shining in no time. Off to the church we went. After exchanging vows in front of all our friends and family, it was time to party! We danced the night away with an elephant, alligator and owl in tow! Yup, even some of the Zoo animals made our invite list. While Jean the elephant respectfully declines invitations to weddings these days, I know the alligator and owl are always up for a raucous good time.

The new venture is finally up and running.  Go check out Audubon's new blog HERE and my specific contribution HERE.

October 24, 2013


Bayou had the best day ever!  She got to run....... finally!  Remember HERE when I mentioned she tore her ACL?  Well after surgery, recovery, and weeks of physical therapy she was ready to play.  But then we encountered a slight problem.  She ended up tearing the ACL in her other leg!  What were the chances?!?  Apparently somewhat high in dogs that have already torn an ACL.  Anyway, another TTA surgery and more physical therapy was scheduled.  The second procedure didn't go as smoothly as the first.  One of the screws ultimately loosened and an infection developed.  Bayou was limping after any type of activity and sometimes not wanting to walk on the leg altogether.  Our poor puppy dog ended up having a third surgery to remove the implant.  While not as serious as her first two operations, there was still a long recovery.  So here we are, roughly 10 months later, and Bayou is finally allowed to run around off-leash and be a normal dog.  She has spent most of the year in pain or confinement.  Just praying that is all behind us and it's nothing but fetch, swimming, and bones in her future.  We love you Billie Lu Bayou!

October 18, 2013


I had my first class today at the New Orleans School of Art & Craft.  I had mentioned last month HERE that I signed up for a few lessons.  Today's focus was Copperplate Calligraphy.  I really really enjoyed it.  My hand was killing me by the end of the class (pressing too hard?) but I could already see a difference in my lettering from when I had started just hours earlier.  Definitely want to keep up with it and continue practicing.

New Orleans School of Art & Craft in the Bywater.

Lots and lots of supplies.

Practice makes perfect.

Getting better already...

Playing around with different inks.  Really liked the yellow and white.

October 14, 2013


My dear friend Anna got married this past weekend in Gulf Shores / Fort Morgan.  Remember I blogged about going to her bridal shower HERE?  She couldn't have asked for better weather.  It was beautiful the entire time.  J and I were so thankful to be included in the small and intimate wedding weekend.  So, congratulations on your nuptials Anna and Pete!  We had a blast celebrating with y'all!  May God bless you with much love and joy as you start this new chapter of your life.  XO

This was the cute little cottage we rented for the weekend.  Me, J, and my best buddy Kiersten stayed here.  It wasn't beach front but it was close enough.

And while J stayed inside most of the weekend "studying" for the CPA exam
(ie playing Plants vs. Zombies 2)....

...Kiersten and I wanted to take advantage of the GORGEOUS and PERFECT weather!

So the two of us hit the beach.  Kiersten, ever paranoid about shark attacks, calmed down a bit once we saw pods of dolphins swim by.

After some beach time we hit up the neighborhood pool.  It was huge and we had the whole thing to ourselves.  After getting way too much sun (the story of my life) it was time to get ready for the wedding.

The front of the beach house where the wedding reception was.

And the back of the beach house where the wedding reception was.

J walking down the seashell lined "aisle" to the ceremony.

Everything is ready to go.  As you can tell, we were first to arrive.

Bridesmaids from L to R: Jennifer, Caroline, Victoria, Stephanie

Mr. Rob walking the beautiful bride to the altar.

Anna and Pete exchanging vows.  Almost time to party as Mr. and Mrs. Saxon!

Loved the reception decor and centerpieces.  Anna did most of it herself.

Bride's cake.  Loved loved loved it!  Reminded me of Anna's wedding dress.

Groom's cake.

Will they be nice or mean?


Kier and J

Me and J

Congratulatory kisses for Anna Banana!  Kier and I <3 you!

Lighting Chinese lanterns on the beach to end the magical day.