Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rainy Day Random

Hello!  It has been gloomy and rainy here for days, so I am very behind on a few photography projects that I need to get for today's post I thought I would gather up a number of things that I have wanted to show you but never seem to have the time to squeeze in...

I'll apologize in advance for the super long, random post!

In keeping with my love of outdoor photography, this past Summer I photographed everything I could, including a few picnics.  I did not snap a lot of pictures on this particular day, but I will share the few that I have.  Dappled light does not make for the best photographs, but we picked this spot because it was close to the creek and mostly shaded.  One of the things I really love about blogging is that it has given me such an appreciation for taking the time to make things pretty.  Taking that extra effort to make things special and pretty might, at times, go unnoticed by my family, but that's okay because I enjoy doing it...and having all of you to share it with makes it that much better :)) 

One of the many things I reuse the French lemonade bottles {from Whole Foods} for, is to hold new drinks that I make.  My kids happen to love what we call "blueberry fizz," which is just the organic blueberry juice from Trader Joe mixed half and half with San Pellegrino sparkling water.

Perfect for a brunch picnic, as well, is herb butter.  It is super easy to make your own butter if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer.  All you need is about 9 minutes and some heavy whipping cream and you are good to go!  If you would like detailed step-by-step instructions, CLICK HERE.  I love to fold in fresh herbs at the very end for an flavorful twist on plain butter.  Here I made thyme butter...chive butter is also a big favorite.

If you leave your honey out in the sun a bit and let it warm up, it is divine over sliced pears...crumbled goat cheese is a wonderful addition as well.  Just make sure the jar you have has a tight fitting lid so that you don't attract ants :)

And speaking of honey, I have been wanting to share with you my love for infused honey.  One of our favorites is lavender honey and it is super easy to make...

All you need is a clean canning jar with a tight fitting lid, raw honey, and dried lavender buds {make sure they are not treated with anything and are specific for cooking with, I get mine HERE}.  Then just fill your jar about 1/3 full with the lavender buds and fill the rest of the jar with your honey.  Place in a sunny window for one to two weeks turning the jar once per day.  After two weeks, strain the honey into a clean jar and discard the lavender buds.  Voila, lavender honey!  Easy!!  Infused honey makes a great gift!

Okay, moving on...I told you this was random :))  Autumn is my favorite time of year to photograph outdoors, and here in the Midwest I think God made Fall especially beautiful to make up for the long, cold winters ahead that we have to endure!  I would like to include some changing landscape photos in my posts over the next month or so as the beauty of Fall takes over...

I took these two photos at a farm that my sister and I take are kids to for weekly walks.  They have a 2.5 mile path that goes all around the prairie fields and it is one of my favorite places.

I would also love to share pictures that I take of my niece/goddaughter from time to time.  I have been practicing my portrait photography on Sophie since she was born in May.  Isn't she a cutie?!  I don't get enough practice at portrait photography because my own kids do not like to cooperate with me when I pull my camera out and ask them to stand still...let's just say that there is usually a lot of arguing going on :)  At any rate, here are just a few pics of precious Sophie...

And lastly {phew!}, here is a little peek at the new Jeanne d' Arc Living book, Amazing Retreats, that will be available in two weeks...

This book is full of outdoor styling inspiration and will feature many gorgeous Summer homes from Denmark, all in the lovely Nordic-French style!

As a bonus, the book will also include a chapter on Christmas decorating!  Yay!  I can't wait to see it!!

{last 7 images courtesy of Jeanne d' Arc Living}

You can pre-order a copy of Amazing Retreats in the SHOP

I think that was one of my longest posts ever!  Sorry to throw so much at you at once, but I have a very busy week ahead and I'm not sure how soon I will get to post again.

Enjoy your day!