northwest, AR...Instagram Thursday

Today I am linking back up with the Instagram Travel Thursday group. These photos are from a long weekend trip we took to Northwest Arkansas in the spring. 
Peter and I both went to school in Fayetteville and our love for NWA runs deep. As I take the exit off of I-40 and head up 540 I can feel myself take deeper breaths, it is gorgeous and one of my happy places. On this trip we stopped off at Devil's Den State Park for some hiking and a little snack. I hadn't hiked these trails in years and they were just as beautiful as I remembered.
From there we headed on to Fayetteville were we spent two nights and spent time with friends.
We also had the chance to go to Crystal Bridges Museum. It is a must see! An American art museum that is itself a work of art. The gorgeous building is surrounded by hiking trails. Unfortunately the day we visited it was rainy so we will for sure head back this fall and check out the trails and make our way back through the museum. 
A little rainy day bed jumping and then we headed to another favorite place. Castle Bluff is a camp in Newton County Arkansas. It is a magical place filled with memories of my teenage years, of meeting my husband, falling in love, and wonderful people. It is a place I was so happy to introduce the boys to and I can't wait for the memories they will make here as they grow up.
This weekend I will head to this camp again for a weekend with 100 high school students. I am beyond excited and trying to rest up. 
Where are you traveling? I would love to see the beautiful places you go.

announcing Fall Mini Sessions!!!

I have been working on this for a couple of weeks so I am beyond excited to announce that I will be doing my first Fall Mini Sessions! It will be November 9th from 8-11am. The cost is $90 and will be for the 10-15 minute shoot and then you will receive the edited images (6-10 shots) on a disc to use however you like for print and online, perfect for Christmas cards and gifts!
*this photo is not from a mini session, it is from a recent shoot that has me excited for all things fall
Spots will be as follows:




To hold a spot email me as times will go on a first come first serve basis. I am hoping to have a great fall outdoor location, but will not announce the spot until closer to the day.
Please email me with your top time choices or for any questions.

craven family peek

Every year it is a joy to work with the Craven family. It is possible that it is because it is my brother and his family, but it is also because we always find a fun place to shoot and spend half of our time laughing with or at each other. I love to laugh and the older I get I am learning the joy in being able to laugh at myself. This is an important skill when you are with your family and the people who know you best.
It is also a joy to watch my handsome nephew and beautiful niece as they grow...way too quickly. The way that I still see them as babies, much like my own children, and yet am able to see the teenage version of them that I know will sit before me in the blink of an eye.

This year we ventured to Jonesboro to take photos. My sister in law's family owns an old building that she was excited to use for photos because of sentimental reasons. I can not explain my excitement over this space. It is a challenge to show up at a place you have never seen and jump straight in to shooting so I was quietly intimidated by the possibility, but so thrilled with the result. I could spend a long time showing you photos of the smallest details of this wonderful space.
Instead just a tiny glimpse at the wonder.
Happy Monday!

food friday...olive tapenade

Today is one of my most favorite people's birthday and as I looked through some photos this morning of our 15 years of friendship I was struck by how many fun times we have had together. We met at church as we were both newlyweds and were trying to get our feet under us as new wives and really as grown ups. We cooked together, laughed and cried together, watched our favorite shows together, welcomed each other's babies, and though we now live 3 hours apart she is still one of my best friends. 
For food Friday I am sharing a recipe that is from a bible study that we did together and have giggled about since. It is a perfect addition to any cheese tray and though it is super simple the name alone makes you feel like you have really done something.

Olive Tapenade:
1 cup black olives
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp capers
1 Tbs good olive oil
1/4 tsp cracked pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and combine to your preferred consistency. 

For more on cheese and wine check out this post from Alison at Chino House.

fall engagement (central arkansas wedding photographer)

I was so excited last week to meet up with this sweet couple. We were expecting an early fall shoot to pair perfectly with their late fall wedding, but were surprised by 90 degrees temps. Luckily we were on the river and had a nice breeze and it really was a gorgeous day. I will be saying a prayer that they are so lucky for a beautiful wedding day.

I have known these two since they were teenagers and so it was beyond fun to hear their love story and plans for the wedding. This might be my favorite part of engagement photos, I love a love story.

food friday...grilled shrimp salad with bacon vinaigrette

 Though I have to admit that as I type this I am burning a pumpkin candle and dreaming of soup and scarves, we have had a gorgeous and warm September in Arkansas and I have been soaking up my time at the grill.

 I think this recipe will carry well into fall and would pair great with tomato soup.

grilled shrimp salad with bacon vinaigrette:

6 slices of bacon (keep drippings for dressing)
3 hard boiled eggs
4-6 cups spinach
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 purple onion sliced

1 lb raw shelled and deveined shrimp
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice from half a lemon
5 basil leaves chopped
salt and pepper to taste
grill on medium heat until pink...i cooked on skewers, but could also do a grill basket

3 Tbsp bacon drippings
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic chopped
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
while heating bacon drippings combine all remaining ingredients and slowly whisk in with warm drippings. continue mixing until emulsified.

 We enjoyed this meal on the back porch on a summer like September day. In the picture below you can see that this salad is easily separated for a pickier eater. While my boys like all these ingredients they always eat a salad better when it is served sectioned out. It is a spoil I am willing to give in to.
 Have a happy friday!

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