Monday, December 6, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

It could be Christmas bells, but in this case it's also wedding bells..
I am overjoyed to announce my engagement to Steven, my amazing boyfriend of almost three years!

This is a photo that we took right before he asked me the big question (I had no idea). We were ice skating at the Memphis Zoo after Auburn's huge SEC championship win!

We are in the works of working on a wedding blog-

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Student Teaching, Part Two

Update: I am at the end of my Fall 2010 semester of student teaching. Graduation is only a few weeks away and I will (finally) hold a Masters in Art Education!

For the last 7.5 weeks I have been student teaching at an elementary school in Homewood alongside instructor, Mary Jane Coker. I love the emotional support and the management structure that the school provides. Character education is a huge part of the learning experience and I cannot agree more. We recently hung the art show and everything looks fantastic! Below are a images of a few projects created over the last several weeks at Shades Cahaba..

Kindergarten- In The Jungle, Paint Study
First Grade- Leaf StudyThird Grade- Romero Britto StudyFourth Grade- Aluminum Tooling
Fifth Grade- Stuffed Self Portrait

Monday, October 4, 2010

Student Teaching, Part One

For the last 7.5 weeks, I have had the pleasure of student teaching alongside a very talented and experienced high school art instructor, Olsen Ross. What a great program in the visual arts! The students are fantastic and inspired, and I wish them nothing but the absolute best! Below are some images of student work from the lessons that I created and implemented during my time at Shades Valley Technical Academy..

Esme, Freshman (SVTA). Graphite, watercolor. 18"x24".
Handscape Assignment

Melissa, Junior (SVTA). Colored pencil, watercolor. 18"x24".
Handscape Assignment

Anna, Senior (SVTA). Colored pencil, graphite. 18"x24".
Handscape Assignment

Samuel, Senior (SVTA). Ball point pen, India ink. Two pieces, each 18"x24".
Mixed Media Diptych Assignment

Maggie, Senior (SVTA). Photograpy. Three pieces, each photograph 18"x24".
Mixed Media Triptych Assignment

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lovebirds in North Alabama

Congratulations are in order for Luke and Miranda! After ten years of courtship, these two are just as crazy about one another as they were the day they met. The lovebirds got hitched on a farm in Trinity, AL. I'm so happy for you both and wish you the best as you start your life (officially) as husband and wife!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

30 to Grow On

It has happened! The once dreaded year is here... at long last, I have turned 30. How surreal it is to announce that I am no longer in my 20's!

I am so thankful to have grown up in a loving environment with a supportive family and awesome friends. Though life has certainly presented its trials and tribulations, I am proud of what I have achieved thus far. Last month I turned 30 and oh what a unique time in my life it is, I am a grown up!

My twin sister and I were delightfully welcomed into our 30's with a big day and night full of surprises! Friends and loved ones from all over the southeast came to surprise us during such a monumental birthday. It was too much and my heart was, and still is, overflowing with love. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who were involved in our special day!

I would like to take a moment to also thank my mom and my dad. Thank you for life and for instilling in me a sense of integrity and teaching me how to become a useful and productive part of society. And thanks also to my Aunts and Uncles who have loved my sisters and me like we were their own. Losing two parents when you are essentially still children is something that most people will not have to experience. I have been so blessed with a support system that is unconditional. My heart loves and my life is fruitful because of all of you.

*Medium Format Photo by Montgomery's Rus Baxley, circa 1985(ish)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Elvis Week

I spent the last week in Memphis for Elvis week 2010. Every August, thousands gather to celebrate the life of the King of Rock 'N' Roll. This year marked the 33rd anniversary of his death on August 16, 1977. It was over 103 degrees with an index of a sweltering 110. Event coordinators thought ahead and provided shade, misting tents, and water stations all around Elvis Presley Boulevard.

While I was not able to make it to the Sunday night Candlelight vigil or to the Memorial service itself.. we had a blast meeting Elvis tribute artists, visiting Graceland and the Meditation garden, and people watching! Check out event details (and more!) at

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Introducing Mae

Introducing Mae! At five months old, she is the newest addition to our growing (rescue) pack. Just like Mae West, she's sassy and blonde and is perfect for the part! It is a little too early to tell, but we are thinking that she is probably part Carolina Dog.

The very morning I was pulling out of the driveway to take Tiger to his first Heartworm injection appointment, I saw a little blonde puppy in the front yard flower bed. She was skinny, covered in fleas and ticks, but smiling from (big) ear to (big) ear. I got out of the car slowly, not wanting to scare her away. I sat down in the grass and she came running over to me, happy as a lark. She put her front paws on my shoulders and I knew I couldn't just walk away.

We searched for any signs of identification and posted an ad online, though frankly she was so starving and neglected at 5 months that I would have struggled giving her back even if an owner had been located. Just as in the case with Tiger, originally I took her in wanting to find her a new, stable family to take the best care of her possible- and she found one after all.. with me!

**Update on Mae**
Mae is adjusting/has adjusted faster than I ever imagined! When we took her to the vet, there were (miraculously) no real concerns. She was treated for her fleas and some pesky Hookworms- and I just recently got her spayed. Mae loves to play with other dogs, especially Tiger and my sister's dog, Margot. She's a crazy little lady and I feel so blessed that I found her in the flower beds!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chance meeting with the folks of 2nd Chances

Today I ran into a group of folks traveling the country, moving to end hunger across America. They call themselves 2nd Chances; Free Food Kitchens. We got to talking and I took my camera along for the conversation.

I was invited to see the inside of their bus which was fully stocked with food and supplies and somehow also managed to house at least 8 people (along with dogs and other pets). The ceiling of the bus was decorated with signatures of people they had met along their movement, and I am happy to say that my name is now one of them.

Atlanta is next on their feeding tour and then they're heading to the coast. If you see them along your way be sure to stop and say hello. Donations (food or money) are welcome!

They have a Myspace page, check it out..

Friday, July 23, 2010

Introducing Tiger

Tiger is a four year old Plott hound mix who I rescued from the Mobile Animal Shelter (two weeks ago, yesterday). An old friend of mine is affiliated with animal shelters and helps find homes for dogs on the euthanization lists. She posted a photo of him on Facebook, explaining that he had only one more day to find a new home or at least a foster parent. To make matters worse, he was not getting much adoption attention at the shelter since he was no longer a puppy.

I was torn about taking in a new dog since I did not want to seem disrespectful to Basil, my beloved Boxer who passed away in January (see previous posts). After some soul searching though, I realized that I couldn't think of it that way.. instead, there was a dog with only hours remaining in his life and I needed to step up to help.

Now, two weeks later, Tiger has had a new awakening in life. He has taken a strong liking and attachment to me. I offer stability and continue to work and rehabilitate him. Steven has become attached to him as well, so we are sharing the guardian role.. in fact, he has spent the week with him up in Memphis. We look forward to sharing our love with Tiger and giving him a new lease on life!

**Update on Tiger**
Now, three weeks to the day, here is an update. Steven and I took Tiger to the vet to inquire after his lingering cough and to administer a standard heartworm test. Much to all of our surprise, Tiger's blood tested positive for adult heartworm disease. The vet suspected he was infected at least six months ago due to the adult worm stage.

While tackling heartworm disease is a long and expensive process, it is not a hopeless venture. The medication will arrive in the next week or two and we will begin the 3 to 4 month process. Steven and I will not give up on him like others in his past.. just more reason not to look back, only to look forward in his new (and better) life.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Condition of the Gulf waters

Two weeks ago while down in Navarre and Sandestin, we saw no sign of oil or suspicious residue. In fact, schools of sting rays (at least 200) swam around us. While floating along, I also saw a sea turtle bobbing less than 50 feet away. I began to reflect after seeing these peaceful animals in their beloved habitat. I want to help and protect them, but what can I do?

Over the last 45 days of the oil disaster in the Gulf, I am just as concerned as ever. Currently the Louisiana coastline is suffering heavily, though soon that will not be the only case. My god brother is out in the Gulf waters, assisting BP with the clean up efforts. Check out his blog at if you're interested.

(Images from Getty, AFP)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nuptials in Navarre

A big congratulations to Pat and Amber who got married over the weekend in fabulous Navarre Beach, Florida! I took the entire last week off and we went down to enjoy the beautiful sand and emerald waters of the gulf..

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cooking in Memphis

Steven and I love to cook when I come to town. His kitchen is pretty quaint, so I usually take the reins and he accepts the role of recipe "guinea pig." Over the weekend, we played around with a new creation and were pleasantly surprised. We'll probably tweak it a little more, but for now, our Citrus Glazed Salmon is delicious! (As you can see in the photo above, we added a little extra color to the plate with Steven's fried rice and a broccoli/carrot medley.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Wedding in Music City

Congratulations are in order for two dear friends who got hitched over the weekend at the beautiful Travellers Rest Plantation in Nashville, TN. I am so excited for Ryan and Sarah and wish them the very best! See y'all next month in Navarre Beach.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Continuously inspired, thanks to Ina and Martha

(WARNING; Girly alert)

What you may or may not know about me is that I heart all things Martha Stewart. Maybe it's her use of pastel colors or the marriage of vintage and modern delicacies, maybe it's her flawless taste.. with the exception of investment advice. I'm a fan.

I'm a big Ina Garten fan as well. Her love of beautiful homes and gardens, creating photogenic French cuisine, and chic cottage living.. I'm addicted. I own her cookbooks and tune into her show every week.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sad day.

It is with great sadness that I type this entry. A loyal friend and member of the family, my dog Basil, has passed away. Imagining a life without him makes it hard to breathe. When I think about Basil's sweet face, one who had been by my side for eleven years, I am indebted to the heavens for letting me have him for as long as I did.

Crazy that a dog can do that to you, right? Or not. They live for us and love us so much, unconditionally.. and that kind of love and loyalty never seems to last as long as we would like.

Photo by Lauren Lallone