Thursday, February 25, 2010

Show us your life: Collections

Over at Kelly's Korner blog it's Show Us Your Life Friday. She has some neat topics lined up and if I can remember, I'd like to participate. This Friday is: Show us your collections. Coming from a long line of artistic, creative-minded individuals it was inevitable that I turn out to be a pack-rack - for some reason those two qualities usually go hand in hand: artistic & a pack-rack. You see the reason is because artistic people always like to be surrounded by things that inspire them, things that provide motivation. Another very likely reason is the fact that creative people usually hold on to things in hopes of being able to eventually use them for a project. :) I do this a lot!

So all of that is to say, I am a pack-rat, a collector - I hold on to sentimental things passed down from family members. Since moving to our new home last Spring, I have made a new rule, only keep things that I truly LOVE. Don't keep or collect it JUST to collect it. After, narrowing down the many boxes I have purged through random things that I kept for no good reason. The things that I kept are things that I truly love and will cherish for years to come.
Among the many things I kept were things handed down from my grandparents. Some of the things I found in my grandparents things were things that started me collecting more of them. For instance, antique cameras. My granddad had a cool old Canon. I had no idea he even liked to take pictures. He passed away last January and it's neat that I still have his Canon to hold on to. This is also why I will always be a Canon girl. (Sorry, Nikon users.) ;)

One of my favorite things to do is go to estate sales and pick up a vintage camera or two. I love to imagine who's camera it was and all of the lovely photographs that were taken with it. Oh, if cameras could talk...

Wist List: Ballard Designs!

Anyone else out there obsessed with Ballard Designs like I am? Just in case you were looking to buy me anything, here are some ideas? ;)

The Pioneer Woman on GMA!

The Pioneer Woman on Good Morning America: Check it out!

Here's a link to her pot roast that she made this morning on GMA.

Remember when I met her? That was fun! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Lens

I just picked up a new Canon 50 mm f/1.4 lens for my Canon 30D (I realize all of these numbers mean nothing to you unless you dabble in photography.) Anyway, I'm super excited about it so I decided to try it out last night and what better subjects than my dogs, of course!
Thanks for letting me share! I can't wait to take my new "toy" out on a real photoshoot. Hope everyone is having a great "hump day"!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Foster Dog: Maggie

This little bundle of joy entered our home last night as our FOURTH foster dog. (Scooter - who we adopted, Huckleberry, Anabel and now Maggie!) It's hard to believe we started fostering only seven months ago and we have had the opportunity of sharing our lives with these four great dogs! Each one is different and unique and we are truly blessed to be a part of the C.A.R.E. organization as a volunteer foster family.

With that said, LET'S MEET MAGGIE! Maggies came to us from our dear friends, Jessica and Alan, another C.A.R.E. foster family. Jessica is actually the one who put the spark in me to start fostering! They will be taking a short break from fostering and wanted Maggie to have the opportunity to meet other foster families like us!

She is a bundle of joy and energy and is ALWAYS happy! She will do great in a home with other dogs or cats. I, personally, have not had her around children yet but I'm sure she will be perfect! Check out her C.A.R.E. profile here and a pic of the bouncy beagle!

If you would like to adopt a dog or cat or if you would like more information on how to become a foster family for rescue animals in Central Arkansas, please visit C.A.R.E.'s website at

Monday, February 22, 2010

Up and Coming!

I am so excited to announce that my friend/business partner Christen and I are *officially* in business. What business you ask? Wedding planning! That's right, wedding planning. This has been months in the making but you know it's finally official when you have a website and business cards. :) We have a lot of work to do but would love your support! We will do most of our advertisement through social media ie. Facebook, Twitter and our blogs and of course the occasional Bridal Fair. Please feel free to repost, retweet and reblog! I will be posting more about our business: Studio2B but until then, feel free to look around our website and get a taste for it yourself. Enjoy! Leave comments! We love comments!

Wedding Planning and Life Photography
Christen Byrd
Cara Beth Buie

Thursday, February 18, 2010

King Cake Catastrophe!

First of all, happy Mardi Gras (a little late)! If you are not familar with the celebration of Mardi Gras, read about it here. Don't have a clue what a King Cake is?- click here to know more than you could have ever needed to know!

Being from Louisiana, I have always enjoyed the interesting tradition of Mardi Gras. In high school, my friends and I would always share a King Cake during the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. It was fun to see who would find the little plastic baby inside. Whoever found the baby would have to buy the King Cake for next year. On Ash Wednesday we would always talk about what we were giving up for Lent. It was usually something we LOVED like cokes or chocolate.

The older I get, the more I find the religious aspect of Mardi Gras and Lent interesting. Even though, I was not raised Catholic nor am I Catholic now, Lent it still a significant part of a Christian's life and I have tried to make it a part of mine. (more on this later...)

But the fun part of Mardi Gras is and probably always will be the King Cakes! The cinnamon flavor goodness dripping with purple, green and yellow icing sprinkled with suger! Oh, so good! Well, I haven't had one in THREE years, since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This year I was determind to make a gluten free King Cake, so I searched on line and found this- a yummy sounding recipe for a gluten free King Cake. So of course, I tried it. I tried and tried and tried. I literally tried it three times and failed everytime. I followed the instructions perfectly but each time my dough would turn out crumbly, waaay too crumbly to even roll out. So I gave up. So with GF flour ALL OVER my kitchen and ALL over me, I hrew in the towel and enjoyed another Mardi Gras without a King Cake. :( When B got home, he said it looked like the kitchen had exploded but of course, he helped clean up. What a great guy.

I'm determined, even more determined now, to have one next year - even if I have to order a pre-made one online and have it shipped to me. I will eat King Cake next year! Until then, I will enjoy Mardi Gras will a glass of lactose free milk and a gluten free cookie. :)
Did you celebrate Mardi Gras? Are you giving anything up for Lent this year?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend Review: Bites, Boys and Blizzards

image via Flickr

This weekend was so random! It started out great with Friday night movie night with B. Saturday I went shopping with my sister in law and picked up some great finds at some local antique stores. Saturday night, B and I enjoyed takeout from Outback and watched FRIENDS on DVD. We were bums! :) While we didn't exchange gifts for Valentine's day, he did get me a sweet card and a book I've been wanting. He's so thoughtful! I picked up an antique coat rack while shopping that we've both been wanting for the house, so I guess that was OUR Valentine's Day gift for each other. Now our coats have a home when we come in from the snowy weather we've been having!

Image via

Sunday I was the innocent bystander in a dog fight. I wish I would have STAYED the innocent bystander but I jumped in to break it up (which you should NEVER do!) and got a nice strong jaw clinched around my left wrist. Ouch! Lesson learned: NEVER NEVER break up a dog fight! If I could do it all over again, I would have sprayed them with the water hose. Hind sight is 20/20, right?

Sigh... so Sunday started out bad then to my suprise it started snowing! What in the world? For about an hour or so it was like a blizzard outside. Luckily it didn't stick and B was able to make it home safe and sound just in time for supper and more FRIENDS on DVD. We're starting over at season 1 and rewatching all of them together! Only NINE more seasons to go! :)

So the good news about this whole weekend is that my brother and sister in law found out the sex of their baby! July 4th I will become an aunt to a handsome NEPHEW! I cannot wait to spoil that little baby boy!
How was your weekend? Perhaps it was a little less eventful than mine and hopefully YOURS didn't end in a tetanus shot. :/ Yucky.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I debated even doing a Valentine's Day post because the Buie household doesn't really get caught up in the commercialism that V-day has become. It's really sad to me that your love for someone has been reduced down to one day and that one day you're suppossed to sum up all of your feelings about your significant other by delivering flowers to work or getting a box of chocolates - probably the same box of candy that Joe Smith gave his wife down the street. Can I just say it? - Valentine's Day is nothing more than an economic ploy by the government to get consumers to BUY BUY BUY! Am I right? Well, even if you don't agree with me, you will probably still agree that homemade gifts are still soooo much better than bought, pre-packaged gifts that were given little or no thought behind them. I'm not against stimulating the economy, but I am all about some creative gift giving or perhaps just creative TIME-giving. Have you ever considered TIME to be your gift to someone? Well, perhaps this year you will! :)

The number one best gift for someone (in my opinion) is a basket full of baked treats! Chocolate chip cookies are so easy yet say so much to recipient because you put your TIME into making them! Also, for a date night, consider picking a three course dinner and preparing it TOGETHER! Appetizer, Dinner and of course, DESSERT! You could also have a movie night with your sweetie! This is actually what we plan on doing. There are several good classics that we haven't seen yet that would be perfect for a Valentine's night. Anyone up for Casablanca?

So, this year, instead of fighting the crowds, paying way too much for that prime rib... stay at home, cook dinner and save a little cash. You can stimulate the economy some other made up holiday. ha. (Sorry that last part might have been a little harsh)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I am picking our newest foster dog today and I'm quite excited about her. Anabel is her name and I can't wait to introduce myself, the dogs AND the cats to her (and, of course, my husband). Don't worry, we won't overload her all at once. In fact, we probably won't introduce the dogs to her until tomorrow. Tonight will be all about making sure she is comfortable in her new temporary home. She will set up shop in our guest bathroom, Huckleberry's former abode. It's a nice little space - not too cramped but not too much room to overwhelm her. Isn't she cute? Don't you want to take her home with you? :)
Can't wait to meet our new foster dog! If you'd like to become a foster dog, just go to CARE's website and apply online!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More snow = more snow days!

After our last snow day, we learned quickly how much we LOVE snow days as a married couple. Our schedule does not allow us to have much time to spend together so having a day off TOGETHER is very rare. This past Monday and Tuesday we got TWO snow days - two entire days off together to just hang out. It was perhaps better than a planned vacation could be. :) Monday we literally wasted the day away. We watched tv, played games, played in the snow with the dogs and ATE! Tuesday, B tried to go into work but could barely make it out the drive and down our street. We live about 20 miles from his work so he didn't dare venture out into the vast of whiteness! It's scary out there! :)

So two days this week we have been snowed in and I don't have cabin fever yet! I've decided that I'm a homebody. Today I decided to be more productive than yesterday. I did laundry, dishes and even ventured out into the scary black hole that is our garage! Believe it or not, we still have boxes in our garage that have not been touched since move in day. We moved in our house last APRIL! That's almost a year ago. Sad, huh.

I found some interesting thing in the garage- lots of stuff to donate, lots of stuff that I simply just don't know what to do with, but I'll save that for another post.

For now, how about some snow day pics!

The boys seem to be fans of snow days. They get to spend all day with mom and dad AND they get to play in this cold white stuff. Scooter likes to eat the snow and today he even tried to bury his bone in the snow. It was too cute!
After playing hard in the snow all day, it's nice to come in and warm up by the fire and snuggle. All in all, it's been a good two days. Yup. It's official, we LOVE snow days!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yummy Gumbo!

For the Super Bowl last night I made this gumbo and I posted this mobile upload on Twitter and Facebook while it was simmering... I had several people ask for the recipe so I thought I would post it on our blog.

Ok, don't get stressed out by the ingredient list. It's a lot of items but all of these items makes one of the best gumbo recipes I've ever tasted - and I'm from Louisiana!

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used the olive oil my friend Alicia brought me back from Italy. Yum! I realize you might not have Italian pure olive oil laying around so canola oil works good too!)
1/2 cup gluten free sweet rice flour or rice flour (this is obviously the part that makes this dish gluten free)
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped Bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 pound peeled, chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned - I use canned, much easier!)
2 minced cloves garlic
10 ounce package sliced frozen okra
5 cups gluten-free chicken stock (fresh or canned - I use fresh from the chicken I boiled for the gumbo)
1 pound sliced gluten-free andouille sausage (I use spicy New Orleans style sausage- yummy)
1 pound cooked, shredded chicken breast
*You can add more sausage and/or chicken depending on how meaty you like your gumbo. This also applies to the veggies. Also, feel free to add whatever kind of meat you want to this gumbo: I also like crawfish, shrimp or even alligator - yes, I said alligator. Remember, I'm from Louisiana!
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 bay leaves (remove before serving)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups freshly cooked rice (I like white rice with gumbo - it's fluffier)
Parsley for garnish
Tabasco Sauce (optional - but if you're my husband this is NOT at all optional)

Okay, now that you have gathered all of these ingredients, let's get started.

To make the roux-combine the oil and flour in a heavy stockpot. Over medium heat, whisk continually until the mixture turns a deep caramel color. There is nothing magical about making a roux. Stir continually and remove from heat as soon as the mixture turns a caramel color. (Just be patient with this process - it WILL turn a pretty caramel color - just keep stirring.)

Add chopped onions, celery, bell pepper and green onions and return to medium heat. Stir until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Put the okra in a heavy skillet and stir, over medium heat until not "ropey", about 15 minutes. (The ropes are clean strings of natural mucilage which make okra an excellent thickener.) Remove from heat.

Add the stock, sausage, shredded chicken, chopped tomatoes, okra, seasonings and garlic to the pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

I then transfer the gumbo from the pot into my crock pot and let it simmer for another hour or so. It makes all the seasonings mix and mingle together just right!

Serve with rice and enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Booking Spring Family Pictures! ... NOW!

I am currently booking Spring Family Pictures. Now is the time to make plans to have your adorable-framable-so-cute-you-want-to-pass-it-out-to-everyone-you-know family pictures, so grab your cutest polos and pastels and meet me at the park! Are you graduating this May? Now is a perfect time to book Senior Portraits!
These are my available shooting dates! I shoot all of my sessions outdoors in natural light!

March Dates
Saturday, March 20:
2 openings: morning & early afternoon sessions
Sunday, March 21:
1 opening: afternoon session
Saturday, March 27:
2 openings: morning & early afternoon sessions
Sunday, March 28:
1 opening: afternoon session
April Dates
Saturday, April 3 (Easter weekend):
2 openings: morning & early afternoon sessions

Saturday, April 10
1 opening available- TBA

Sunday, April 11
1 opening: afternoon session

Sunday, April 18th
1 opening: afternoon session
May Dates
Saturday, May 1st
2 openings: morning & early afternoon sessions
Sunday, May 2nd
1 opening: afternoon session

Saturday, May 8th (Mother Day weekend- a GREAT Mother's Day present!)
2 openings: morning & early afternoon sessions

I am also branching out to include pregnancies and newborns! If you would like to book one of these photoshoots, please contact me!

Cara Beth photography
Central Arkansas

Looking forward to shooting you! :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner, did a blog post about the Simple Pleasures in life - the little things in life that just make you smile. Here are just a few of mine.
  • hugging my parents when I haven't seen them in a long time

  • the feeling of accomplishing something really hard or really worth while and marking it off your 'to do' list
  • summer nights sitting outside on the back porch with the ones you love just talking about nothing or not talking at all
  • the feeling of sand in between my toes and the ocean rushing up my ankles for the first time all year!

  • the SOUND and SMELL of the ocean

  • waking up to the sound of children laughing (this happened recently when I was around my little cousins) maybe one day it will happen in my own home. :)

  • seeing my dogs tails start wagging like crazy the minute they hear my voice or see my face

  • a white chocolate mocha with hazelnut from Starbucks and knowing that I got it half off because my husband gets a discount :)

  • the feeling of satisfaction when I turn my computer off Friday afternoon and can go home knowing that I had a good work week

  • finding a great sale on something I REALLY need (and not just WANT)
  • waking up to a husband who loves me more than anything (and visa versa) :) but I won't go into all that mushy stuff

  • stepping on the scale on Saturday morning and seeing a number that is less than it was LAST Saturday morning

  • the feeling I get when I take a really good picture or capture a special moment on camera.

What are some of your Simple Pleasures??