Thursday, February 21, 2008

New (and Good) Eats in Cary

I live in Cary, IL. It's a great place to live and raise a family. Unfortunately, it's not the greatest place to eat. If you exclude fast food, there are only a few restaurants to select from. So, I was super excited to hear that we were getting a new upscale sports bar and grill, Wool Street Grill. I watched it go up, and it looked like the kind of restaurant that Cary needs.

It opened three weeks ago, and we had the chance to eat there last night. We were impressed. Pete had a blue cheese burger with waffle fries. Mmmmm, those fries were good with that special dipping sauce. I had a pulled pork sandwich that was very tasty. Even the side salad was good and the dressing was homemade and delish. And, the beer selection is great. The place was crowded at 7:30 on a Wednesday night.

I've never advertised my business before. So far, wonderful word of mouth has kept my plate full enough (sometimes fuller than my family would like). But when my friend, Teri, told me about an advertising opportunity at Wool Street, I couldn't resist. So, I've signed up to have my business card printed on their placemats for the next 6 months.

Here's the card I'm starting with:

This little cutie is one of my recent favorites. Isn't she just a doll? It's too bad the card is printed in b&w because she has the most beautiful blue eyes!

I'll be changing the photo on the card every few months. So, your image may be the next one. Wouldn't it be cool if you went to dine and saw your little one's portrait on the table?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dinner Party

I LOVE entertaining. But, with two little tornados running around, we haven't done very much of it recently. Sadly, I miss it. I miss the creative element of the menu selection and the table design. I miss the fun we have when we have a cozy dinner party with dear friends.

So... last Saturday we hosted a casual dinner party for some of our closest friends who we don't see nearly enough. The menu was simple and intended to warm our wintery spirits: gourmet chili (a unique version with dill and lemon), homemade cornbread, sausage stuffed french loaves, and salad. The chili was delish - so much that a friend took home a doggy bag. I hope he's not too embarrased if he reads this!

Helping my sister register at Crate and Barrel for her wedding inspired me to set a smashing table. I adore the versatility of white dishes. With the help of new linens from Crate and Barrel and placemats from World Market, I was pleased with the result. The contrast of the brown placemats, salad bowls, and dark chairs against the white dinnerware and the mist tablecloth and napkins give me a feeling of balance and peace. If only I had a little more balance and peace in real life.

Oh yeah, here's what I don't like about entertaining. Ironing! It took forever to iron the tablecloth. And each napkin came out of the dryer like a shriveld up raisin. I spent at least an hour ironing. Next time, they go to the cleaners to be pressed.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fashionable Photographers

I just have to link to this really super cool photograph that my good friend, Laura Stetser, took while we were in New York. She posed us, took the shot, and then did this really cool photoshop effect. I especially love the guy looking on in the distance. She's amazing, isn't she? The gals in the photo are some of my fellow pixel chicks. We're a group of photogs from around the US and UK. Together we learn, teach, laugh, support, and share this fantastic passion for photography.

Just click here to see the photo. From left to right, it's Candy, myself, and Megan.

Better Photo Finalists

I recently received TWO emails from better photo saying:

"Congratulations! You have placed as a finalist in this month's BetterPhotoContest! Over 31300 photos were entered into the competition; it is an honorto have your image selected among the top 363 finalist photos."

What that means is that only 1% of the photos entered were recognized. And I had two. Pretty cool.

Here they are:

The little boy was from a pre-school that I photographed this fall. The crop came as a creative inspiration a while later. The second image was from a session this summer. I had so much fun with this beautiful and really nice model and some fantastic urban locations.