Southern Shutters

I always loved the different styles and colors of shutters in New Orleans hence my photography business name,  Southern Shutter Photography. Even if it’s a play on words with the photography term “shutter speed”, the word can go both ways. I added Southern to the beginning, because I am fascinated by all things in the South. It’s a way of life that I practice always, and VOILA… Southern Shutter Photography!

With every venture to New Orleans, I have wanted to take pictures of these colorful houses embellished with unique shutters. It’s my inspiration, and I feel that I owe it to them. Well, it finally happened! Thanks to my husband who was  on an airboat hunting for hogs and nutria. Yes, you read that right, but that’s a whole other blog post. So, with him busy and the weather perfect, I finally found time to drive down and snap some photos of these charming houses!

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The mint and gold floral fit and flair

I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING WEDDINGS!

I’m glad that I got that off my chest. This wasn’t just any wedding, but my brother-in-law and his bride’s (my new sister-in-law) winter wedding at Liuzza Land. The venue is set on a rustic barn amidst acres and acres of farmland in Amite, Louisiana. It was stunning and lovely!Davidge-2814

But What Do I Wear??

I always like to dress up for any event I shoot. It’s a special occasion. It deserves a special outfit! So when I found this dress, I thought it would be perfect for this event. I like the vibrant colors, comfortability, and classiness of the dress, and my hair crown. It was rainy the day of the wedding, so I threw on some Hunter rain boots until the reception started.  Davidge-2644 Davidge-2645 Davidge-3433 Davidge-3459  Just a little peak into a wedding with me.Davidge-3511 Davidge-3512

I was lucky enough to have a second shooter that I highly trusted, so I could enjoy myself as well. My husband was the best man and he definitely managed to have a good time as well. Davidge-3613

Yes, I can dance holding my camera. I can be pretty talented at times.Davidge-3615 Davidge-3624  This dress came from Dillard’s and is actually on sale right now.Davidge-3908 Davidge-4243 Davidge-4254Davidge-5205 Davidge-5212 Davidge-6593

I am very thankful to have had this guy be by my side the entire night, and this guy, Ren Scott. He is a truly talented photographer and responsible for these lovely pictures. Check him out!

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A Day in Dallas with my Mom

Since I was little the ladies of my family (meaning my grandmother, her two sisters, their daughters, my grandmother’s best friend, Ms. Sarah, my mom and I) would plan a weekend trip to Dallas to shop once, sometimes twice a year. It has been a tradition of ours. Everytime we would eat at the same places, shop at the same stores, and always stay at the Embassy Suites by Dallas Market. Sadly, we haven’t gone since our last trip which was 4 years ago. It was a month before we lost my precious grandmother, but it was probably the best trip to date. I am telling you this, because 4 years later I took my Mom back to Dallas to take in the traditions which we have always had.

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This was a special trip for us though. My Mom’s birthday was over the weekend, and I could not have thought of a more perfect way to celebrate. It felt as if my grandmother was there in spirit the entire time.

We woke up early on Saturday morning and made the drive into Big D. I will always have butterflies, excitement every time I see this skyline.

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Our first stop was The Shops at Highland Village, so I could drool over shoes. Hatcher (1 of 10) IMG_9267FullSizeRender

I hated leaving, but there was much shopping to be done! Hatcher (2 of 10)

I am a huge fan of Anthropologie, and I think after this trip my Mom is too. They gave us a dressing room together, and my mom tried on at least 10 garments. Playing dress up and being a stylist to her is one of my favorite things. She always buys what I like, hates it until she wears it, and then thanks me for telling her to wear it later. It’s a constant battle, but we accept it. IMG_9279

I’m loving her spirit fingers! She was excited.

After a morning of shopping it was lunch time. The only request the birthday girl had was to eat at Mi Cocina, known for its “TexMex” and Mambo Taxi Margarita or as my mother called it that cab drink. IMG_9273IMG_9276

Our next stop was Northpark Center. Its high fashion and luxury shopping will catch your eye and your wallet, but I especially love the decor throughout the mall.IMG_9282

I had a little selfie action in the fitting room. I love my top too much not to share. Lace and ruffles win me over every time. Plus, I’m a rule breaker. I wear white all year long! IMG_9281

Our next spot on our itinerary was birthday pie for my birthday girl, and thanks to one of my friend’s Emily who lives right outside of Dallas in McKinney (she was introduced in my post from New Orleans), I knew the perfect spot, Emporium Pies!Hatcher (3 of 10)Picking which pie is the hardest part ,but we decided on a slice of Cloud Nine, a three layer creme pie with caramel, butterscotch, and brown sugar meringue and the Smooth Operator, french silk chocolate with a pretzel crust, and a big glass of cold milk.
IMG_9289IMG_9292IMG_9296After shopping and pie, it was time to check into our hotel. My other great friend, Mary Catherine lives in downtown Dallas. (She was also introduced in my New Orleans post) Mary was very kind to let us stay at her gorgeous chateau. I give you the ever so modern style, chic Hotel Mary!
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She even had us a welcome surprise and a….
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The fire place was going!

It was so homey.

I love her! Hatcher (9 of 10)Hatcher (6 of 10) And I admire her taste in home decor.Hatcher (7 of 10)Seriously..How cute is this remote holder?!

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We even left her a little surprise for showing us such amazing southern hospitality, but look at that rug!
Hatcher (8 of 10)  I’ll try not to obsess too much.

Back to our day…We had a little down time before our dinner reservations and someone shopped till she dropped.IMG_9297  Nevertheless, we made it to Stampede 66 for dinner. (Another recommendation from Emily, she knows her food if you haven’t noticed yet)

It’s as Texan as can be and everything is made to perfection.

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My Mom ordered a Bloody Maria with mixes of men in black tequila, sangrita, serranos, and salt.IMG_9301IMG_9312

I ordered the pan seared gulf catch of the day with jumbo lump crab meat, grapefruit butter, and avocado fries.

IMG_9310And she ordered….grilled quail, spiced sweet potatoes, and crispy spinach. Both were extremely tasty.

IMG_9311With our bellies full and our wallets empty it was time to go home. I believe we did pretty good!   IMG_9323  We had one last stop on the way home for lunch. This is the one tradition with my grandmother that I kept. We always stopped at the “World Famous” Dairy Palace in Canton.

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Only the best for my birthday girl!!IMG_9327

First Boil of the Season

What happens when you have your first crawfish boil of the season on Super Bowl Sunday? A Super Boil, and this guy was super happy about it.CD9A7676

It was our first weekend down south, and we started it in true tradition with boilin’ and a little booze. You can’t eat crawfish without beer to wash it down. The combination is delightful.

Here’s what you need to have one successful boil:

1. Good Beer.

Abita Brewery is located about 30 minutes from here. Everything is local and extra delicious .

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2. White “Shrimp boots” are a must (I hear), but also fill your pot with water.CD9A76793. Add these ingredients to your water for the perfect seasoning.

CD9A76804. Clean your crawfish. They aren’t called “mudbugs” for nothin’.

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5. Don’t let your dog play with the crawfish.

Trip, our golden retriever, got pinched twice, but he did manage to make a fashion statement.CD9A7683CD9A7689

6. Vegetables can be added for more goodness. We not only cook crawfish. We add lemons, garlic, onion, mushrooms, potatoes, and corn. CD9A7692

7. Rinse off your crawfish. Again.
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Don’t let them get away. I was told the correct saying is, “Get back in der”.CD9A7690

8. Add more seasoning always.
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9. We boil our vegetables and meats first. This time we added sausage and boudin to our boil. CD9A7738It’s fun to throw anything in there, because it always taste incredible.

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10. Boiling Crawfish.. We let them boil for about 5 minutes and then let them sit in the water for about 20 minutes. CD9A7750

One stirring ninja later…

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The ruby reds are ready to be devoured.CD9A7757

CD9A7758CD9A7767CD9A7773We invited our family over, turned on some zydeco music, and enjoyed a full afternoon in fellowship and food. My kind of “get together”.

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Experiencing this culture is like no other. The Cajun’s pleasure-loving nature tends to express itself in food. Cajuns are known for their “joie de vivre” (joy of living), and to add excitement to their food they experiment with spices and ingredients to create some of the most flavorful dishes shared with the ones you love.CD9A7746

If you’re lucky enough it might be Mardi Gras season, and you can end your boil with a King Cake for dessert.CD9A7778It’s icing on top of the cake!

Romping in Plaid

It’s our first week in our new place and a lot has happened. We are living with my husband’s parents while searching for a house. Luckily, I have the best inlaws in the history of ever, so living here isn’t bad one bit. It’s quite the opposite. Looking for a house on the other hand is very stressful. Do you build, pay a little a lot more, settle, rent, or just do it??

Saturday morning and Monday evening was spent looking at all types of houses in Hammond, Madisonville, and Mandeville. My dream location is Madisonville. It is your picture perfect town in Louisiana. At this point, I will be happy with whatever my husband decides. Thankfully, deer season ended Saturday, so I have my man back until turkey season. Looking for a house will be top priority for a while.

I figured I’d celebrate deer season being finished with my plaid romper. It’s very fitting, right? It was 70 degrees down here, so this red onsie has a winter look with a cool feel. You can never go wrong with a romper. I’d add black leggings and booties if it would have been colder, but that wasn’t the case.

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I have my favorite model dog, Trip along side of me. He has legit posing skills.CD9A7703CD9A7720CD9A7684CD9A7715 CD9A7713Romper: Riff Raff

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