Kari + Bradley | Fayette County, TX Portrait Photographer

This past weekend was the Holiday Mini Sessions at The Shelby.  It's been really dry in Shelby, there's a burn ban in effect and wouldn't you know...10 minutes before our 9am session was supposed to start, the sky opened up and down came the rain!  But no fear, the rain only lasted a few minutes and the lovely sun came out to play.

Are these two cute or what?  Kari is the owner at Bad Habitz Jewelry, so of course I knew her accessories would not disappoint.  They pulled their wardrobe together fabulously!  

This is an FYI for future clients...take Kari and Bradley's lead...they got an A+!  Don't wear clothes that aren't you...you want your portraits to tell the story about YOU, not the family that walks around wearing the same shirt and pants - lame! :)

This shot below has got to be my favorite of the day...I can hear Barry White singing in the background..."Let's Get It On" ....wait a minute, please don't get it on! 
I'm almost done...then you can go get a room! 

Thanks again Kari and Bradley!

Country Girls Will Survive! | Shelby, TX Photographer

When Brad and I moved to the country, we knew we were leaving behind a lot of the things that were so readily available to us - Target, grocery stores, REALLY good restaurants, just to name a few.  Now don't get me wrong...there are some good restaurants here, but we miss some of our most favorites and now they're just places we go for very special occasions - when we're in the big city!  We both LOVE mexican food and we can pretty much size up a restaurant by the type of salsa that they serve.  So since we're so far away from good salsa, I make my own - and you can too!

Now if any of you know me, you know I blog stalk the Pioneer Woman.  You're scratching your head, wondering who one earth the Pioneer Woman is right?  Well, she's Ree Drummond, an awesome woman from the city who married a rancher and has lived to tell about it!  She writes about cooking, photography, ranch/country life and homeschooling.  She's actually become so popular with her cooking, that she wrote a cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks - Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl and it came out last December.

Can you imagine how excited I was when I found out that she was going to be having a book signing in HOUSTON!  Poor Brad...I drug him and Addyson with me.

He was overcome by the enormous amount of estrogen in the room, but he survived and now he's glad that I am making some of her recipes!

I love this book and recently, I thought I had lost it or someone stole it and I was sick about it...but luckily, we found it and all was right with the world again!

One of my favorite recipes of hers is Restaurant Style Salsa.  This recipe isn't in her book, but it's on her blog and it's my #1 go-to recipe for salsa.  So, in true Pioneer Woman fashion, I've photo-blogged step by step instructions for you - so here we go!

Here are the main players:

Some items not shown are: jalapeno (optional), sugar and lime.  Yeah, since the grocery store is such a long haul for me these days, I just had to make due with lemon...and it worked just fine!

Start by chopping 1/4 cup of onion.  Then put 2 cans of Rotel and 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes into your blender or food processor.  Now this is where you can change the heat of your salsa without using jalapeno.  My crazy husband picked up the Habanero Rotel and it was really hot, so if you want to add jalapeno, I'd recommend using the plain jane original Rotel.

Next, add the 1/4 cup of onions and spices (1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt).  Then you'll want to add 1 clove of garlic.  Or, if you're like me, you can add 1/2 tsp of the ready made minced garlic in the jar :)

Then add in your cilantro.  I used 1/2 cup, but you can add more to suit your personal taste.

Then squeeze in the juice of 1 lime or in my case, 1 lemon.  Now, just pulse your blender or food processor 7-8 times or more depending on how chunky you like your salsa....and that's it!  Make sure to taste your salsa with a chip to see if you need to add more salt or any other ingredients to make it to your liking.  Once you're done, please refrigerate for at least an hour before serving so that all the flavors can mix together.  Enjoy!

Here's the full recipe:
1 can (28 oz) Whole Tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10oz) Rotel (dice tomatoes & green chilies)
1/4 C chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp of jar minced garlic)
1 whole jalapeno, optional
1/4 tsp each (salt, sugar, ground cumin)
1/2 C cilantro
Juice of one small lime

Barnyard Antics | La Grange, TX Photographer

The little town of La Grange is probably the most widely known as the headquarters for the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, however, I would have to disagree!  Yesterday afternoon our little family decided to visit The Jersey Barnyard.  We've traveled past this place several times during our comings and goings back and forth between going to see Texas artists at Swiss Alp Dance Hall, shopping at the awesome little boutiques on the square and of course, getting our fix of the best Kolaches in the world from Weikel's Bakery.  So yesterday we decided to stop and check it out....and we are SO glad we did!  We decided to take the guided tour and it did not disappoint - in fact, I may have talked Brad into adding some of these barnyard animals to our family!

The guided tour allowed the kids and parents to feed and pet many of the animals.  From the miniature horse named Midnight to the goats, rabbits and chickens.

Then the excitement came when we got to meet the baby calves and actually bottle feed them.  Addyson's little calf sure did get mad when his milk ran out...he tried to plow through the fence!

Next on the tour was the hayride to the dairy processing center.  The hayride was actually pretty long, so it was really nice to relax and take in the scenery.  Their farm sits on right at 900 acres and it's been a working dairy for the last 100 years. 

We made a pit stop along the way during the hayride...and that was to meet this hunk of burnin love!  This dude weighed in at a whopping 600LBS!  Holy moly!  

We finally got to go into the milking center where the heifers line up and are hooked up to the milking pumps.  And then - what I had been waiting for the entire time....we got to try milking a cow for ourselves!  I was a pro... I wonder if they're hiring?? :)

Did you know that Jersey cows produce milk with the highest milk fat content and that is why Blue Bell only uses milk from Jersey cows for their ice cream.  The higher milk fat content makes it the creamiest! AND, you know Belle from those Blue Bell commercials?  Yeah, she lives on the farm...she's a celebrity around those parts....

She wasn't there yesterday though...I think she was out getting her tail washed and a hoof-icure!

Holiday Mini Sessions | Shelby Inn Retreat & Healing Center

For those of you who have followed my blog since last October, you may remember a divine little bed & breakfast located in Shelby, TX.  It's the place where last year's Holiday Mini Sessions took place.  Well this year, I've been lucky enough to get access to this location again! I'm so excited because now that I live in Shelby, it's such a nice feeling to be able to incorporate the beauty of the town where I live with my client's portraits.  The B&B is actually now under new ownership and will now be called The Shelby Inn Retreat & Healing Center.  The new owner has a lot of awesome things in store for The Shelby and she's kicking it off with a Masquerade Ball Grand Opening!  If you're interested in finding out more about The Shelby or would like more info on attending the Grand Opening - take a look HERE

Here are some shots of the beautiful grounds that will be available for your Holiday Mini Sessions

If you haven't already secured your time slot for the 10/23/10 Holiday Mini Sessions, please hurry, availability is limited.  If you missed the information about these sessions, check out all about them HERE

2011 High School Senior Reps | Cypress, TX Senior Photographer

Over the past couple of months, if you've paid any attention to my blog or Facebook, you know that I had a campaign for 2011 High School Senior Reps.  Well, I had fabulous entries from Cy-Fair ISD.  Me and my crew met up with the girls and their moms in Brenham for their photo shoot.  The day was a little overcast, but it was absolutely perfect and we came away from the shoot with some awesome images.  Thanks again Jaree and Brooke for your fabulous smiles and styles!  And thanks to their mom's for being great sports during this whole thing.  Stay tuned later this month for a behind the scenes look at what a Senior photo session is like...and it's starring my 2011 Reps!

So are you ready to meet the girls? Here's Jaree:

She attends Cy-Springs High School and is involved in Early Childhood Professions and loves kids and their education is important to her. She’s a self-proclaimed social bug and says that she never meets a stranger. 

Meet Brooke:
She attends Cy-Woods High School and is involved in Cosmetology and Senior Women. Brooke has a great sense of style and gorgeous smile!

If you go to school with either of these ladies and want to have unique and fabulous senior portraits, let them know and pick up a Senior Rep Card that offers a $20 print credit if you book a session before 11-30-2010!

Holiday Mini's ARE HERE!

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...well, not really, but it's right around the corner!  And you know what that means....it's time for Holiday Mini Sessions.  Lots of clients love to have the opportunity to have a mini session to get some nice portraits of their family for the year and get some awesome Holiday cards too!

I'm offering a new product this year - Mini Accordian Albums!  They're the perfect album for moms to carry in their purse to show off to their friends and they make awesome gifts for grandparents!

Here are some new Holiday Card designs this year.  You can also choose from the card templates offered last year! I will post those later.

The Holiday Mini Sessions will be taking place the following days:

Saturday, October 9th - Cypress Top Park 
Times: AM (8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11)

Saturday, October 23rd - Brenham/Shelby area TBA
Times: AM (8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11)

Here's the 411!

 If you're interested in booking a session, please contact me as soon as possible...availability is limited!