Saturday, August 6, 2011

I recommend...

So, this was such a well-received post the last time, I decided to post another one.

Today I am going to recommend a book I just finished.
Now, I read a lot. I love it! There is no way I could blog about all the books I read, it would take too long. If I did that, I would never have the time to actually read them!

But, every now and then, I know that a book I have read would be something everyone would want to know about!

Most people who know me are aware that my taste in books and movies is different than most women my age.
It's OK, i'm a big girl, I can admit it.

I DO NOT like love stories, or your typical "feel-good", mushy book. I don't take book recommendations from Oprah, sorry.
I like true-crime, mystery, and "who-dunnit" type stories. The real page-turners that keep you reading to find out the twist at the end. I like to be entertained when I read, and have a break from reality, etc.

But, occasionally I will read something that interests me that could somewhat fall into that "mushy" category. Sort of.

The book I am talking about is called "Heaven is for Real". It is a true story, written by the father of a little boy who became very sick, very quickly, and while in surgery experienced Heaven for (in earthly time) a few brief moments. To him it lasted longer and he had some amazing stories to tell.

This child was only 3 1/2 years old when this happened to him. In the book he talks about things that a child that age would have no way of knowing on his own.

I had tried several times to get this book from the library, but there were about 150 people on the waiting list in front of me! No way could I wait that long!

So, I ordered it from Amazon (it was only about $9).

It is one of the most amazing and wonderful books I have ever picked up! It was not long, only about 165 pages, but I could not put it down.

I had read the entire book in less than 24 hours!
Trust me, this is one book you will want to get right away! Even if you do not read a lot, or if you say you don't "have time" for it. It won't take you long, you can read it with your morning coffee or while you eat your lunch.

If you do, post a comment and let me know what you thought!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What have I been up to!?

Can't tell you how many times I have answered that question lately!

I have had many people ask me "What is going on with you?, something is different."
Yep, it's true. I have had quite a few changes in my life recently.

For starters, I have been asked quite frequently "are you still a photographer?"
Me: "Yes, of course."
I am simply adding to my "repertoire"! I have been blessed with great clients, whom I love working for and photographing. That has not changed.

However, the large amount of my time lately has been spent doing other things.
Other things that I love!

If you have been here before, you have seen my post images of the cakes and cupcakes, etc that I have been doing for a couple of years now. Actually, I have been doing this long before I began blogging about them.

Recently, my husband and I had a long talk about everything swirling around us in our life at this point. Actuallly, we were driving home from a family vacation to Florida so we had about 9 hours of talking to pass the time.

The kids were both involved with video games and iPods to keep themselves occupied during the long drive, so it gave us some rare time to talk with little interruption.

What we discovered was that we were on the same page. We usually are. We both had decided in our heart that we had something else bigger we wanted to do. We had tossed the idea around for a bit, but during that long drive we came to the conclusion that this is the direction God was pointing us.

So, we got to work, got permits and licenses, etc. and made it official.

I am now the official owner of Dixie Belle's Cupcakes!

We are very excited about this venture! All the initial plans have been made. We are still working out a few of the "kinks" of a new business, but so far things have been great!

Our biggest part of the business is the fact that we will soon be mobile.
If you have seen the news stories about the Food Trucks growing in popularity, you can add us to the list!
We will bake the cupcakes and then bring them to you! Imagine needing your 2pm sugar fix and not having to go out and get it! Just walk outside to the curb and find fresh cupcakes waiting for you!

Currently, I am taking orders and will deliver cupcakes anywhere in the range of Nashville and some surrounding counties.

Once our mobile cupcake truck is ready (it is still under construction, but will be ready soon!) we will travel the streets of Nashville ready to serve all those in need of something sweet on the go!

We will regularly tweet and post Facebook alerts as to where we will be and when, so you will have to be sure and follow us so that you do not miss out!

I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing this has already been in our lives. I pray that it will continue to be.

Our temporary website is up and running, so make sure to check it out for more information on what we have to offer!

Then, head on over the Facebook and "Like" our page at
If you want to tweet with us, we are happy to have you @DixieBelleCakes

Now, don't think this means I will not be blogging any more! I enjoy it too much to stop! While I have been on a bit of a "hiatus" lately I am planning to be back to my blogging self in no time!

So, don't wander off! I will be rattling off more tales of life shortly!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweet Cupcakes

I always love to share when I get an order for something I am excited about.

It has taken me a while to get the pictures off my camera, but these are some cupcakes I made recently for a ballet recital.
It was a big job that I did with my neighbor. We were baking and decorating for 2 days straight, but they turned out so great!

We actually had a wedding reception to provide cupcakes for the same weekend, and sadly I did not get time to photograph them all.

Let me just say, It is really hard to bake all those yummy things and not eat them.

Man. That was really hard.

Anyway, back on track now. So, we had a wide assortment of flavors to do for this one. I have had many cake orders, but never so much variety in one event.

For the wedding we did:
Carrot cake with cream cheese and pecan frosting
German chocolate with german chocolate frosting
Strawberry with buttercream frosting
Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting

Now, for the ones I did manage to photograph....
I thought it was a pretty good idea for the customer having the ballet recital to offer 2 kid-friendly options, with one of them appealing to whatever boys would be there.
No self-respecting boy wants a frilly, pink cupcake no matter how good it tastes!

This is what we provided for the boys.

It is a devil's food cupcake with cookies and cream frosting, made with real Oreos.
Aren't they cute? These were a big hit!

I have also prepared these with a slightly cocoa flavored cookies and cream frosting for those of you who want something with chocolate that isn't too sweet.

Finally, the one I personally chose as my favorite.

This is a simple white cupcake, with sweet pink buttercream rosettes. They looked like a florists box of pink bouquets when we were finished!
In addition, we added a little glittery touch to the top for a little "girlie sparkle!"

Now, there is one thing I want to point out. Did you notice something?

As cute and kid-friendly as these are, there is not a pound of frosting on top waiting to send your kids into hyperspace-sugar-shock.
They are cute and tasty, and have plenty of frosting to suit any kid's taste, without being too much.

These are a great option for any occasion and much easier than carving a cake. If you have a birthday party, or some other event coming up give me a call!

With the exception of the German Chocolate, you can get these delightful treats for only $3 each or a dozen for $27.

Who can resist?? I'm having trouble myself.....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Special!

Wow! It is hot out there!

Can you believe it is already summer? Time has just flown by, hence it being a month since my last post.

As busy as the school year seems to be, it is multiplied in the summer it seems when the kids are out of school and I am playing "Taxi" to all the various camps and activities, in addition to working!

I am tired just talking about it!

So, some customers asked me recently if I had any good specials coming up. So, here you go!

This will be good for the months of June and July, so don't miss out!

Keep in mind that summer shots, while warm out, make beautiful portraits. If you book a morning appointment, the heat is not bad and right now everything is in bloom. Contact me now before the summer is all booked!

Before you know it, school will be starting!

Enjoy your summer while it lasts!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...

Ok, almost wordless.

This is stunning.

I wanted to post a few more cake pictures today. I love all of these and would love to give them a try!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Today has been a day of remembering for me.

I know, that seems like an obvious statement right?

Of course the first thing on my mind today was the same thing on most American's minds. You can't get away from it.

The historic news of how the Navy Seals went in, fought, and eventually killed the world's most sought after terrorist is unforgettable.

Just like 9/11 I will never forget the moment when I heard the news. It made me remember those days right after the attacks, and how the news coverage was constant and overwhelming but I couldn't pull myself away. There was always the thought that if I walked away or turned it off, something else horrible would happen. Hard to believe it has been ten years.

At least we got him! I want to say a very BIG THANK YOU to our amazing military. They do such a wonderful, selfless, courageous job every day. Their performance on this mission was flawless. They came away completely unhurt, having nailed the bad guy, and gained a wealth of data and intelligence in the process. Way to go guys!

The other thing I keep thinking about today is the way my house looked exactly a year ago.
As was the case last year with an incident in New York, Nashville has gotten lost in the shuffle behind all the major news coverage today (Not that I blame them, I know getting Bin Laden was a much bigger story in the grand scheme of things.)

Today marks exactly one year since the big flood, May 3, 2010. It actually began before that on May 2, but things became especially bad on May 3rd when the dams were released to relieve the pressure and many areas of Nashville were submerged.

I was one of them.

My children's school, Donelson Christian Academy was badly flooded, as well as downtown and many other areas.

We have come a long way since that day and I am so thankful for it. I really think we have become a better place because of it. I can't speak for all of Nashville, but for myself and what I have seen from the school things couldn't be better!

So, despite the fact that I am home sick today (strep throat, yuck!) I have been extremely thankful. These 2 events "flooding" to mind on the same day was a little overwhelming, yet proved once again how good God is. He always makes something good come from something bad.

My heart and prayers remain with those who lost loved ones on 9/11, may they finally feel some bit of relief and closure.

Or at least something close.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I recommend...

Well, this is something I have considered adding to my blog for a while now. Coincidentally, it is also the "Show us your life" topic today over at Kelly's Korner.

Every now and then we all come across something that is either a good deal, a good read, great movie, and so on. I don't know about everyone else, but I love getting recommendations from friends when they come across something like this. Obviously you won't always have the same opinion or taste as someone else, but just think about the times when someone gave you a tip that you really enjoyed! You come away excited and grateful for it. At least I do.

For example, my sis and my friend Beth both told me for months that I needed to get the Pioneer Woman cookbook.

I admit that I hesitated, from the sound of it I was worried that it would involve too many things that make my skin crawl.... like lima beans and turnip greens. (shutter...)

BUT! After my sister repeatedly told me how good the Chocolate Cake recipe was I had to try it. I ordered it from Amazon for Christmas and when I finally dove into it I was thrilled!! In fact, on one of our many snow days this year I jumped in and tried several of her recipes, you can read about it here.

Lesson learned.

I was very grateful for the tip as I have made many of the Pioneer Woman recipes that I dare say I would never want to go without again!

So, here is my first recommendation for you (Ok, I guess this would technically be the second).

My husband told me about a book that someone had referred to him at work. He works in an office with lots of women, they talk a lot.
Anyway, he knew it would be something I would enjoy reading.

The book is called 90 Minutes in Heaven.

Wow. Let me tell you, it was great! I got it from the library and was done reading it within a few days.

It is written by a Baptist preacher in the south who was involved in a horrible car accident and died, squashed in his car on the side of the road, after being struck by a tractor trailer.
As you can guess from the title, he was later revived.

I have always had a fascination with "near death experiences." I have no idea why, but I love to sit and listen to someone tell of their experience. Even though there are times when some stories I read about or hear seem a little too "hoaky" or made-up, there are always the ones you can tell are absolutely for real. This is one of those stories.

As a Christian I know for a fact that Heaven is waiting for me, so there is not a problem with doubt. I guess you would call it curiosity, plain and simple. Quite obviously, most people do not go there and then come back. So to hear someone tell of his experience there is captivating.

It was one of those books I will never forget. His descriptions alone leave you thirsty for more detail.

I got mine from the library, but you can also find it at Amazon for about $8-10.
So don't wait!

I assure you it is worth reading.

For those of you who have read it, let me know what you thought about it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Internet hiatus...

Whew! Let me tell you, it has been rough the last couple of weeks.

I had been having trouble with my laptop for about a year now, but kept hoping it was nothing.

Silly me. Laptop problems are rarely nothing.

So, I took it to a friend to have him wipe it clean and re-load it with Windows XP. I just like XP better than Vista (but that is a whole other issue, I won't bore you with that now!)

It was bad enough to be without my sidekick while it was being worked on.

Then the bad news came...... "Your computer is toast." They actually said it in a nicer way, but you get the idea.

Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!! How am I supposed to get anything accomplished without my computer?
I was completely speechless. This meant I had to buy a new one. Ugh... my stomach sank.

I hate computer shopping!! As much as I feel like I know when it comes to using computers, I instantly feel like a moron when I have to shop for a new one.
Luckily my husband is better with all the technical "lingo" than I am. I just say "I want it to be fast and hold a lot of stuff." and he translates that into what I need. Love it!

So, long story short I have been without a computer for roughly 2 weeks!

I feel completely cut off from society. Isn't that crazy!? It is amazing how dependent we are on our technology. I think I even began having withdrawals....

And, as much as I love my Droid smartphone, it just isn't quite the same. My eyes begin to go crossed trying to Google on it for too long. Plus, let's face it, there are some things those smart phones just weren't meant to do, at least until Adobe figures out how to put Photoshop on there..... ooooh, now that would be cool!

Fortunately, the new computer I ordered arrived a couple of days ago. Naturally, being a different system than what I was used to there is a bit of a learning curve, but I am happy to say that I am finally back in the land of the "informed"!

So, hopefully I can get caught up on my work and be blogging again within the next few days.

I did a session with some great girls and their cousins a few days back and let me tell you the Spring is the perfect time! There are really some great places to shoot and right now everything is blooming!

They looked beautiful, (although I can't share them quite yet since they want this to be a "Mother's Day Surprise." I will post a few after, though!)

Call me now to book for spring before we get into the "Africa Hot Summer" we seem to always have here in the south!

I will probably have some more specials coming up so stay tuned!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Proof Special!

Well, once again the springtime holidays are sneaking up on me!

Wasn't it just Christmas?? How time flies!

Before we know it, it's going to be Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day.

I always struggle with what to give my mom and dad on these holidays.
Doesn't everyone?
I mean, the traditional tie for Father's Day or a bouquet of flowers for mom just seems tired to me.

I like to do things a little bit different. Don't you?

To help you out a little, I am offering a special spring sale through the end of March.

You can get an entire set of proofs from any previous session for only $25!! This is half price and a great deal!!

They are the perfect size for a cute desktop frame and for giving as gifts.

Just think, you could put a few in a great frame and give them to Mom, put them in an album to keep for yourself, or give Dad a couple of great pictures to adorn his desk at work!

Plan ahead and give them a gift this year they will really get excited about!

Contact me now to order!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pics for the day!

Well, I had hoped to have a new post ready today.

However, Christian had other plans. In what feels like De Ja'Vu (sp??) I was home today with a little boy, throwing up. Therefore, my plans for today went out the window.

So, instead I am going to post some pictures I found that I really like. These are all cakes that I am anxious to make. They are all either really beautiful or just plain cool.

Hope you enjoy!


Sweet Baby blocks - petifores

Simple, elegant. Love it.

What a cool idea. The hydrangeas and pears are great.

How fun! Although, I must say I did not get a cake like this when I turned 16!

I could have posted way more, maybe another day.

I can't wait to try some of these!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

In the blink of an eye...

Things can happen so fast.

One minute everything is normal, fine, average. We go about our daily lives, doing our chores and complaining about the little things.

In the blink of an eye, things can go very, horribly wrong.

This is the theme of all news stories today. One horrible tragedy turned into two, and it doesn't seem to have stopped yet.

Japan has suffered a record-breaking earthquake, followed by a tsunami. Both have cost the lives of many.

This just shows us how fortunate we are. We are blessed with so much, and it could all be gone within a moment. We need to offer up our prayers for all the people affected by this horrible event. It is absolutely devastating.

It should teach us some very valuable lessons, though.

We should live our lives as if today were the last and be thankful for everything God has given us. We shouldn't put so much weight on the little things that get us so uptight.

Mostly we should tell those we love how much they mean to us.

Because, what if they were gone tomorrow?

We should make sure that we are living our lives as Christians, and not waiting to do it tomorrow.

Because, what if WE were gone tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sick boy

Today has been one of those days...

You know, those days when you think you will get lots of chores, etc. done around the house, errands run, work, and all that. Then all that goes out the window when you get a sick child.

Yep, its been one of those days. I just hope it's the last.

Yesterday I got the call that no parent likes.

"please come and get your child, he threw up all over the place." Ugghh.... OK.

Poor Christian.

I got to the school and he looked so pitiful. He was sitting in the bathroom, just waiting for the next round (or for me to show up, whichever happened first.) So, I took him home and put him in pj's, after which he curled up on the couch.

(He has the "pitiful" look down to perfection. I think he knows it works in his favor, even when he is clearly feeling better.)

He was able to sit up and eat this morning. He asked for cinnamon toast. I figured that was probably safe...

So rather than my endless "to do" list, today has mostly been spent cleaning, disinfecting, giving meds, and snuggling to endless movies. We have watched everything from 2012 to the minions of Despicable Me.. LOUD.

In the process I have discovered a thing or two.

1. Watching loud movies makes you feel better sooner.

2. Mom's cinnamon toast makes everything better.

Monday, March 7, 2011

One day 5x7 sale!

Good afternoon folks!!
Today's post is about saving you money!

I am all about saving some money!

My lab sent me a message today saying that all 5x7's are on sale for 24 hours, so I am going to pass the savings on to you!!

Contact me now and order some 5x7 prints, with FREE linen texture. Plus, when you buy one 5x7 you will get another one for FREE!!!

Now get this cool little detail!
Most of the time a sale like this will specify that the second print must be of the same image as the first one.

NOT TODAY! Choose any prints from any of your previous sessions.

Just order before 2pm central time tomorrow!

Friday, March 4, 2011

mmmm.... cupcakes!

Well, once again this will probably be fairly short.

I posted here the other day about making the leap into Cakes as Dixie Belle's and have since started a Facebook page for those of you interested in seeing my cakes.

Thank you to all those who have visited and sent me sweet messages. It is so exciting and rewarding to do something fun with my time that people actually enjoy.

I realized when I posted that day that there were no pictures of cupcakes, only the cakes. Oops!

So, here you go! I am so excited about some of these, they are just delightful!

Now, I just have to concentrate on NOT tasting every single thing I bake....

That's gonna be tough. I LOVE CAKE.

Anyway! Here are some recent cupcakes I have done. They were quite cute and I am currently working on new designs.... (oooh, this is FUN!)

These were really beautiful! No matter what angle I shot from though I could not seem to find one that did justice to these. All gathered together it looked like a bright flower garden on my table.

I love how sweet and simple these are. I dusted them with some sweet pink, sparkly color and added some edible pearls.

Very girlie.
I have 2 boys so I don't get to do much "girlie" stuff, so these really appeal to me (and my need for some pink occasionally...)

These are so cute! When you put a whole bunch of these together you have a whole bouquet of daisies! They are smaller than a typical cupcake, perfect for the small child with small hands. Perfect for a springtime tea party!

Let me tell you, these did not last long at my house! Yum is all I can say about this one. I made some similar to this and gave them out at Christmas. They were a big hit!

I have to say that this is one of my favorites. It's elegant, but not over the top. I love the little rose buds in the bright green, but I think they would be awesome in other colors too! Imagine this for a bridal shower in her colors..... very cool!

I must add that I would have posted these sooner, but my life as a photographer would not allow me to just snap a picture on my kitchen counter.

Some of the added enjoyment I get out of this process is figuring out the color and presentation. I want them to be tasty, but they also need to stand out and look good!

More designs to come...