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.

October 7, 2013


Happy Monday!  It's BEAUTIFUL in New Orleans today!  The AC is off for the first time in a long time and all our windows are open.  Really and truly a gorgeous day!  Unfortunately, I'm stuck inside working on a paper for school :(  At least I get to stare at these cute picket fence fish while I write away...

Don't you love them? They were a present from my Mom and Dad. An artist named Sharon K. Sharpe makes them.  I'd seen them for sale before on Cottage Coastal but my parents bought my set from Outer Banks Trading Group.  They're so bright and cheerful.  Thank you Mom and Dad!  I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately :)

Have a fantastic week everyone!  Hope you're able to get outside and enjoy this weather!

October 6, 2013


Well, Karen never came.  Time to put away the Pop-Tarts and SpaghettiOs.  Maybe it rained some throughout the night while we were sleeping?  By the time we woke up though, it was nothing but sunshine and blue skies.  J and I decided to go on a quick bike ride through City Park before he started his CPA studying.  After the bike ride we stopped at Morning Call for beignets and iced cafe au lait.  The breakfast of champions!  It was great sitting outside with J and taking in the scenery.  Sounds like a lovely morning, right?  It was.  Up until the very end.  That's when I took a tumble on my bike at the intersection of Carrollton and Orleans.  A fairly busy intersection for you non New Orleanians.  The tumble wasn't that bad.  My skinny bike tire got stuck in the streetcar line groove and I kind of fell in slow motion.  In addition to the 15 or so cars stopped at the intersection, there happened to be a firetruck full of firemen right next to me.  Yes, the firemen witnessed it all.  They kindly stuck their heads out the windows to inquire whether or not I was okay.  Mortified, I nodded that I had survived the fall.  Apparently, there was also a homeless man who witnessed the incident.  He proceeded to follow me across the street and angrily yelled I was committing suicide by not using enough bike lube.  "My tire got stuck in the streetcar line," I tried to tell him.  But there was no arguing with the fella.  "Suicide," he kept yelling at me.  I smiled, thanked him for his advice, and kept on moving.  J was with me the whole time by the way.  I was never in any danger :)  And for his part, he did not laugh when I fell.  A difficult feat I imagine.  His main concern was that I didn't break anything.  I have a habit of doing that you know.  So, to sum it up... first 95% of the morning = awesome and last 5% = pretty embarrassing.  Time for some pictures...


This is where Brad Pitt dances with Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  Remember that scene from the movie?  It's the City Park Peristyle.  We've known 2 different couples that have gotten married here.

Thought this was a pretty cool reflection on the water.


Morning Call

Hot beignets for breakfast!

Almost home....

October 5, 2013


J and I are ready to welcome Tropical Storm Karen to NOLA.  I broke out our emergency hurricane stash... 2 boxes of Pop-Tarts, 4 cans of SpaghettiOs, 8 gallons of water, and a huge heavy duty Maglite.  I figure the Maglite is dual purpose.  Light provider/weapon should any looters come around.  The National Hurricane Center reported that Karen's winds have dropped to 40 mph. That makes it barely a tropical storm. The rain is supposed to come tonight, last all day Sunday, and go into Monday. For now I'll enjoy the blue skies my pup Bayou and I saw on our walk this morning...

P.S. - See the black dot in the photograph?  What is THAT?  I stopped and took 3 pictures of the same cloud and the black dot is in a different spot in each time.  It was moving y'all!  Gotta be UFO, right?! Okay okay, possibly an oddly shaped airplane.

October 4, 2013


This spread is from Matchbook magazine.  Loved the article so much that I wanted to share.