A Lovely Baby Shower

Want to throw the most gorgeous gender neutral baby shower??? Look no further!IMG_0087

(Invitation by: Katiedid Designs)

My sister-in-law, Ashley, throws the best parties, her Aunt Vicki can decorate like no other, then you throw in 5 other wonderful women to host and it’s a feast to behold. CD9A4389 CD9A4390 CD9A4391 CD9A4392 CD9A4393 CD9A4396 CD9A4397 CD9A4399 CD9A4401 CD9A4402 CD9A4403 CD9A4405 CD9A4406

My sister, Kelly, has no idea the gender of their sweet baby due in May. So, she incorporated both boy and girl decor.CD9A4407 CD9A4409 CD9A4410 CD9A4411 CD9A4412 CD9A4413 CD9A4415 CD9A4416 CD9A4417 CD9A4419 CD9A4421 CD9A4422 CD9A4423 CD9A4426 CD9A4427 CD9A4429 CD9A4430 CD9A4431CD9A4433

IMG_0014 IMG_0023

I just love her and her adorable bump! IMG_0015

After the shower was over, I got the pleasure of shooting this smoking hot mama!

Isn’t she a glowing little thing?!?!?

CD9A4680Kelly, we cannot wait to meet Baby Martin! He or SHE (I’m almost positive it’s a girl) is already spoiled rotten and loved beyond means!

(Photos by: Southern Shutter Photography)

The Heavenly Fremont Diner

Ashley googled the best breakfast in Napa, and the number one spot according to Zagat is the Fremont Diner. She read the description to my brother, and he said, “We are absolutely NOT going there, because it sounds uppity.” He continued with,”I’m going to find somewhere to eat that’s much better and not so pricey.” (Even though Ashley insisted it wasn’t either of those)

1423340159018

Driving away from Napa, twenty minutes later he says, ” THIS is where we are eating! Looks great.” It was a country farm place with a cool truck in the front. Grown up flowers all around. Ashley asked him,”Please look at the sign…” It was only the best breakfast in Napa. Nick managed to pull into the same place Ashley attempted to go twenty minutes ago! Oh the memories we made on this trip.. CD9A9826If you are ever in Napa, I would highly recommend eating here. The decor, food, and employees make it one great experience. It’s so good that I am dedicating a whole blog post to it.

CD9A9812CD9A9813CD9A9816CD9A9814CD9A9815   CD9A9818CD9A9817CD9A9819

CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
Niman Ranch Top Sirloin w/sausage gravy & buttermilk biscuitCD9A9820CHILAQUILES
Ranchero sauce, smoked niman pork, chips, sour cream, diner beans, avocado, & scrambled eggs

CD9A9821

CHICKEN & WAFFLE
Half fried chicken, corn & sorghum yeasted waffle, log cabin, & Clover butterCD9A9822

BLACK PEPPER BRISKET HASH
House smoked brisket, collards, potatoes, sage, & caramelized onions with sunny eggCD9A9823CD9A9825

California Part 3 {Sonoma & Napa Valley}

Once David and I were married,  I told him that I would like to visit Napa before we began “trying” to have children. We have been married for nine months and here we are in Napa. So I guess we all know what that means… Baby Davidge’s in our future hopefully!

We planned half a day in Sonoma and a full day in Napa. The main reason Sonoma was a top priority is the love Ashley and I have for red wine. So, La Crema from the Sonoma Valley had to happen and was our first stop to taste our favorite wine.
CD9A9682 CD9A9688Every glass was perfection!

CD9A9690

My husband, who isn’t a wine drinker at all, was sipping it down. By the end of it we left with a very expensive bottle to celebrate a special occasion and another bottle that we both enjoyed. Nick and Ashley left with a wine membership where they will get bottles delivered in the mail. We were definitely enjoying Sonoma one glass at a time! CD9A9692

Our game plan was to take on a few tastings and eat, and I have to say the food is as good as the wine. The first restaurant we tried was Barndiva and I can’t say enough about the food. CD9A9698

Another plan we had was to ask locals about great tastings to attend. Stonestreet Estates Vineyard was highly recommended.
CD9A9700 CD9A9702

The view was impeccable and the wine was different. It was a very expensive wine, so we thought maybe we don’t have a taste for high dollar wine, but the view and company were worth it all. CD9A9701CD9A9707

CD9A9709 CD9A9713

After the tasting we went for a scenic drive to see the valley’s. We learned there are many different valley’s where grapes are grown and sold to vineyards. Some vineyards grow their own while other’s buy from grape farmers, or they do both. The different valley’s have varying soils, temperatures, and sunlight which highly influence the taste of the grapes and give you many different wine flavors. CD9A9715 CD9A9719 CD9A9723 CD9A9728

After a day in Sonoma, it was time to check into our hotel which was a cute little rustic, contemporary spot. CD9A9732 CD9A9735CD9A9733

The next morning we had reservations at the Duckhorn Winery. We were ready to get breakfast and waiting on Nick to get the Mario Cart when he walked in to say the battery was dead and we were missing a hub cap. CD9A9740

In a ditter we had no idea what to do. It was our first full day to experience Napa and we had no car. So we thought.. Let’s call the rent-a-car place, let’s hire a designated driver and get him to jump it off then drive us around (btw you can hire a DD in Napa), or go buy jumper cables and get the taxi driver to jump us off.

Option #3 it was! I have never seen two men more ashamed in my life as they rode away in that taxi. CD9A9736

So Ashley and I headed off to brunch! Don’t worry we got the boys breakfast too.CD9A9737

Our plan had worked and luckily the winery rescheduled us so we had time to squeeze in a quick tasting at the Larson Family Winery. It was down home, relaxing, and tasty.CD9A9739

They are known for their Three Lab Cab which we all brought a bottle home with us. Sadly, we didn’t see the dogs, but it was a fun tasting. The owner came in and took the boys to show them around and gave them a little history of the place.CD9A9751

And any place that has sweet tea outside of the south is a friend of mine!CD9A9752

As we were headed to Duckhorn we came across Nickel & Nickel Vineyards. We weren’t able to visit, but it was too adorable to not take pictures of.CD9A9757CD9A9761

This was everyone’s favorite stop of the day, Duckhorn Vineyards! CD9A9786CD9A9770CD9A9766CD9A9785CD9A9776One good thing about going to Napa when the grapes aren’t in harvest is that it’s less crowded. We only wish we could have seen some grapes. I guess drinking them made up for it!
CD9A9790

Another recommendation we got was to eat at Farmstead. We sat on the patio and had a delicious lunch. I believe I had a yummy pork chop.IMG_9779IMG_9774

After lunch we headed to another tasting at the Caymus VineyardCD9A9791 CD9A9794 CD9A9797

It was a stunning spot and the tasting on the patio was delicious.CD9A9801CD9A9804

Our last winery was Alpha Omega. It was a cool spot and the wines were pretty good. I particularly really liked one, and we enjoyed ending the day lounging outside.

IMG_9791

So we toasted to our last winery and headed to a fancy dinner.IMG_9789

We were honestly wined out at this point. Yes, it is possible. Press actually had  a $2,000.00 bottle that we talked about getting, but decided against it. I am only kidding. We were in shock. IMG_9794IMG_9797

It was another delicious meal! Once again our bellies were full and we were magically wine connoisseurs. We jumped in our Mario Cart and headed to the hotel, so we could recuperate to wake up early. The next day we were driving north  to the Red Wood Forest.

California Part 2 {San Francisco, Monterey Bay, Sausalito}

David and I flew out of LAX and arrived in San Francisco around lunch. My brother, Nick and sister-in-law, Ashley greeted us in the rent-a-voltzwagon aka Mario Cart. We headed straight for lunch on the bay at the Ferry Building Market. The restaurant is called Hog Island Oyster Company and it was out of this world! (A special thank you to Felicia Beene who shared all of her San Fran travel tips a girl could need)

After our bellies were full, it was time to be a tourist. We headed straight to the winding road on Lombard Street. CD9A9560CD9A9569CD9A9561

Ashley had to make some sharp turns, Nick was videoing, I was hanging out of the window taking pictures, and David was yelling at me to get back inside mario cart. We were laughing the whole way down.CD9A9564

Our next stop was Pier 39, because my Dave was on the hunt for Sea Lions.  Ashley and I got completely distracted by the mini donuts on the route to the pier.  CD9A9573

With donuts in hand, we spotted the Sea Lions! They were everywhere, but I loved Mr. Solo over here posing for the crowd.

CD9A9577

To the right of the animals was Alcatraz.
CD9A9581

We saved the best for last this day…

Being the tourist that we are, it was time to take in the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. CD9A9585CD9A9595CD9A9592CD9A9604CD9A9584IMG_9722        We drove all over to take in every view of the bridge. The bluffs around the bridge are stunning to see.CD9A9608

We ended our day with truffle fries and gourmet burgers. If you ever have the opportunity to eat these, do it! IMG_9720

Day 4 was a big day. We headed south to go horseback riding throughout the mountain valleys at Garrod Farms.IMG_9741

Where our biggest decision was…IMG_9740IMG_9724

David had the biggest horse we had ever seen named Nicky while Ashley had Elmo, I had Chuck, and Nick had Ben. IMG_9734

Elmo liked snacks, lots of snacks, Chuck enjoyed galloping often, Ben was the leader of the pack, and Nicky was a mighty giant.IMG_9737

But Dave had the big guy under control.IMG_9742We left the trails and took the scenic route to Monterey Bay for the afternoon. CD9A9649

I have seen fruit farms in South Louisiana particularly strawberries, but nothing as big as these.CD9A9648

We adored Monterey. It was the cutest little town right on the water. CD9A9622CD9A9619CD9A9624 CD9A9628CD9A9625CD9A9639

And what’s a vacation without a few drinks and some sea air?CD9A9634CD9A9629 CD9A9626

The spot we ended up at was near the Monterey Canning Co. The shops and eats made for the perfect spot. CD9A9620

We were in heaven with the gourmet cinnamon rolls. I got the honeybun and Nick got the original. Best 5 pounds we have ever gained.CD9A9640

Dave made a new friend too! CD9A9646

On Day 5 the boys wouldn’t let us bike over the Golden Gate to Sausalito, so we loaded up in the mario cart and drove over. It reminded me so much of Capri, Italy.
CD9A9655

Of course we were so thrilled to spot more sea lions.CD9A9656 CD9A9658 CD9A9663CD9A9660CD9A9664

And this sky line view of San Fran was breath taking.CD9A9667

Dave decided to take it in on this rock and was so happy until..CD9A9669

His iPhone dropped into the Pacific Ocean.CD9A9671

After this we decided it was time to make our way to wine country.CD9A9678Part 3 of our California trip will be in Sonoma and Napa where we became wine connoisseurs or at least we like to think so.

As for me this week:

I had and have many sessions (if the rain will ever stop, it needs to go away now)

My husband drove up to visit for a few days 🙂

My brother and sister-in-law’s golden retriever, Kansas went into heat so our golden, Trip is being studded out and we are hoping for golden puppies very soon

Shooting a wedding in Dallas which means I get to visit with girlfriends and

My sweet sisters baby shower and birthday!

California Adventure Part 1 {Orange, Laguna Beach, LA, Hollywood, Malibu, Santa Monica}

I have always wanted to see what all the California talk was about. The sunny weather, wine tastings, red carpets, Beverly Hills, and ginormous trees is all I’ve seen in pictures and heard of on the internet and tv. I had 7 days to cram as much of “The Golden State” as we could and I took full advantage. We flew into Orange County on Saturday and accidentally ended up…. IMG_9636

In a parking garage for Disney Land. CD9A9475

Let me explain… We had no absolute plans for our Saturday in this area. I have always been a big fan of amusement parks and water parks, but my husband is not, not one bit. It’s been a dream of mine to go to Disney World or Disney Land (I didn’t care), but I assumed that I would wait until we had children. Fortunately, I thought too soon. I asked David if we could drive by just so I could see the magical place and luckily google maps led us to a disney parking garage which was one way. Since there was no way out, my sweet husband decided we might as well see it since we had paid to park.CD9A9468

So we did! CD9A9470

I was all smiles while Dave was hiding his excitement.
IMG_9641CD9A9477 copy

I was thrilled to find the teacups and flying Dumbos!CD9A9481 CD9A9485 CD9A9487

Now, the part when David got excited…. All it took was Ducks, Pirates, and the French Quarter!

(Guys can like Disney)
CD9A9489 CD9A9490 CD9A9493

There are those pearly whites!CD9A9494 CD9A9495CD9A9499

And then we found Walt Disney! CD9A9503 CD9A9507 CD9A9515

I was on cloud nine! We will be back! I’ll be wearing my sequin Minnie ears until then…CD9A9518

We left Disney and headed to Laguna Beach. I admit it.. I was a fan of the MTV shows and needed to join the gang or at least see what it was all about. The West Coast is stunning from what we saw of Laguna Beach all the way to San Francisco!CD9A9522   IMG_9659

The next morning we were headed to Los Angeles. Our first stop was the Hollywood Hills to see the sites. It was beautiful!IMG_9705

CD9A9523

We had to make a stop on Hollywood Boulevard to see the stars, prints, and Dolby Theatre.
CD9A9528IMG_9701CD9A9543

We were sad to have missed Vince Vaughn!CD9A9534CD9A9539

We got to see a real red carpet! It was happening that night, an actual red carpet movie premiere for Cinderella!
CD9A9540

I made David pinch me! Disney Land and now this! I was star struck.CD9A9541

Also, the oscars were a week ago. Such an amazing feeling to think about all the Hollywood stars that were just here.CD9A9542

Lunch time called for the California famous In-N-Out Burger. You can never go wrong.
IMG_9702  After lunch we drove through Beverly Hills and down Rodeo Drive. I have no pictures, because I was too busy obsessing over every perfect detail from the manicured mansions to the high fashion shops. I picked my mouth off the ground and we drove to Malibu.IMG_9685 My man is happiest near the water, so we spent the rest of the day here, beachside. IMG_9699IMG_9698              IMG_9703  CD9A9546With our sandy feet and windblown hair, we jumped in our renta-hyundai to find a drink in the sand.  CD9A9558

One of our friends suggested Paradise Cove, and it was exactly what we were looking for. This Cocolada (Bacardi Coconut Rum, Superior Rum, Pineapple Juice, Coco Lopez, blended with rich Ice Cream) and sea air hit the spot!IMG_9697

We ended our day at the infamous Santa Monica Pier.IMG_9700

It was a dreamy two days. I love traveling with my husband, because we travel so well together. We aren’t a couple that can stay in one place long. Seeing as much as possible is always our goal. We think there are too many places in this world to see, so don’t waste time by seeing the same place twice.

Part 2 of California will start in San Francisco. My brother and sister-in-law (Nick and Ashley) flew in to meet us and we spend the rest of the week laughing and exploring. More to come later.

As for me this week, I am headed to North Louisiana for two weeks. I have many sessions and two weddings to shoot. One wedding is actually in Dallas, and I am very much looking forward to it all and seeing my family and friends.