Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Scottish Tartan Festival

Since moving back to Louisiana we have discovered a little gem of an event called the Scottish Tartan Festival. Just a couple miles north of my hometown, this festival takes place in a beautiful pasture filled with bright green grass, wildflowers and these adorable hairy Scottish Highland cattle. These cutie cows are the highlight of this festival, for me. I love the way their shaggy mane hangs over their eyeballs. 
 Lady, our King Charles Cavalier little rescue dog, found these guys extremely curious. But after a few tail wiggles and sniffs she let out her most vicious growl and bark and was then ready to move on. I think when she discovered she wasn't allowed to crawl under the fence and play with them, she was disappointed.
We met some of our best friends and their adorable little daughter at the festival. Their daughter shares my obsession with the hairy cows and we both practiced our best mooing.

We met some nice Scots who played us a little tune on their bagpipes and had a little fun with in the meantime. This picture cracks me up. He's lifting up his buddy's kilt without him knowing. hehe. ;)

 There were so many beautiful people in their outfits, kilts and Scottish dress including this woman. Doesn't her smile just radiate?

This year we brought our own little Highland dog. Lady had a blast getting belly rubs from all the children and even some soft hearted men in kilts took a second to scratch behind her ears. She was a stranger to no one. As silly as it sounds, I was a proud dog mom because of how well she was socializing with other dogs, big or small. As dog parents that has been our goal, to socialize her even beyond what is necessary and she passed the test with flying colors!

The festival hosted a little dog show, nothing big or anything, but we were approached and asked to sign up. Since Lady's breed is from England she is considered a Highland breed so she was entered in that category along with 2 other dogs, a Scotty dog (obviously a breed from Scotland) and a little Jack Russell Terrier (I think). She got 2nd place and even though there were only 3 dogs, I didn't care. She did so well and I was one proud dog mom. 

 Overall, this is such a great event and I hope it grows and grows each and every year. Buie's family origins can be traced back to Scotland. One day we hope to go there and experience their culture fully, but until that day, we will continue to attend Minden's Scottish Tartan Festival each year. It is honestly something we look forward to for weeks, if not months!

All images are copyright Cara Beth Studio. Please do not use anywhere without my permission. If you would like to use them for any reason, please send me an email at carabethstudio@gmail.com. Thank you for respecting my art work! :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Conquering Canton.

Can we just talk about how much I love the Canton First Monday flea market for just one second. Nevermind the blister that I still have on my left toe or the soreness that I still feel four days later. It was all worth it.

What is Canton First Monday? Well, it's only the oldest, largest continually operating outdoor flea market in the United States.   It takes place the weekend before the first Monday of the month. If you love vintage, antiques, dirt, a little rust and a whole lot of history, then Canton is the place for you. The first time I went I was completely overwhelmed. I didn't know where to go, what to think or what to buy. I've been quite a few times now and each time I go, I learn a little more. I can still get lost in a heart beat. I depend on my mom mainly to keep me straight but also my trusty map.

This past weekend my mom and I went one more time just for the day and had a great day! The weather was absolutely beautiful! It was about 75 degrees that afternoon. I had a list in my hand, my mother by my side and new tennis shoes on my feet which proved to be a poor decision in the end.

I go to Canton mostly to go prop shopping for my photography business. I have found tricycles, wagons, child's rocking chairs, vintage ABC blocks, hand sewn quilts, lace bonnets for my newborn shoots, vintage handkerchiefs...and the list goes on and on. Sure you can find all of these things on ebay or etsy but will you be able to bargain the price or meet the people who own the shops? Probably not. And in Canton you don't have to pay for shipping! I have found some pretty amazing deals by simply asking. It never hurts to be nice, too. :) 


Before you load up and head to one the largest flea markets in the US, there are a few things that I think you should know:

1. Have a plan in mind. Even just a rough idea is nice. For instance, this past Saturday I knew I was looking for props and a few decor items for our bedroom. I had about three places I knew I wanted to go to and we marked them on our map. The rest of the afternoon we spent wandering around the open air area hunting for props. 

2. Wear comfortable shoes. I thought I was doing that this time but the shoes I put on I had really only worked out in a few times. They were still fairly new. Even though they were tennis shoes, they were not broken in. And my dogs were barking by 3pm. It is not important to look cute at Canton. It is not a fashion show, people. Wear the most comfortable shoes you own and NOT NEW ONES. 

3. Bring cash. Some of the boutiques in the pavilion will have a credit card machine but the internet connection is unreliable so sometimes they cannot run CCs. Have plenty of cash and lower bills. Not just $100 bills. And just to be nice, please don't offer someone a $100 bill at 8am when they first open and ask for change. Chances are they won't be happy with you. :)

4. Rent or buy a cart. They have little carts, or buggies as some people call them, for rent or for sale for pretty cheap. I think they are $10 for the day or $40 to purchase. Obviously if you plan on coming more than once, you should just go ahead and by one. Oh, and get one with the swiveling wheels. You can thank me later. They are pretty hard to navigate otherwise. 

5. Go ahead and leave your kids and dogs at home. I see people at Canton trying to make the most of the weekend or the day, however long they are there for, with their children and failing miserably. It's hot. It's crowded. Your kid probably thrives on a schedule. He's cranky because it's time for bottle and you can't get to it in time because it's underneath everything in your cart or there's nowhere even halfway private to breastfeed. I don't have children so I get that I might be making some moms mad and I'm sorry, but wouldn't you enjoy yourself more if you didn't have to worry about when to feed, when to wipe and dear Lord, what in the world do you do if you kid just has a full on melt down. I mean, you came all that way, and what do you do, turn around and go home? Just get a sitter or your mom or husband to watch them. You'll enjoy yourself more, I promise. Oh and the dog thing. Just don't. I mean, I'm obsessed with my dogs but I don't bring them shopping. Would Lady look cute sitting in a wagon being pulled around Canton all day. Of course! But it's just not practical. And where are you going to put all of your purchases, if your buggy has a big dog bed in it? So fight the urge, if just for one day. (Of course this is just a suggestion based on my personal observation. If you're feeling brave then by all means, ignore me.)

6. Bring a map. Print one off the internet and bring it with you. You'll need it. Oh and pay attention to where you park, you'll want to get back to your car eventually. 

7. The buddy system. If you go on a girls weekend and bring several friends with you, don't expect to all shop together. It's difficult to all stick together in this place. So pair off based on what part of Canton you want to conquer. Believe me, it'll be way easier than playing the 'shop and wait' game. You don't want to stand around and wait on 6 of your friends while they look at stuff you're not in the least bit interested in. 

8. Have a meeting point.  If you are with several people and are not shopping together, then have a meeting point and time to meet. Usually whoever I'm with, we'll plan to meet for lunch. We'll regroup, talk about how the morning went, any great purchases we found, then we'll go load up our car. With our buggies freshly unloaded, our stomach full and energy levels back up, we'll go back out for Round #2. We'll settle on a departure time and plan on meeting at a certain place (usually it's the car). We'll load up again, then go eat dinner. 

That's a good start at least to conquering Canton. There is no way to possibly conquer all of Canton in one day but you can surely try!

 Conner & Scooter enjoying my vintage lawn furniture I picked up this past weekend in Canton. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ice Ice, Baby.

So far this year I'm kinda failing on my blogging. I have the worst memory and one of my favorite things to do is look back on this blog and read what all happened through out the year. So let's recap the last few weeks shall we?

Old Man Winter woke up and shared a little ice with North Louisiana a couple of weeks ago. While our friends in Central and North Arkansas were having true snow days we were slip sliding on 2 inches of thick ice. Here's a little peek:

video

 This was Lady's first time to see any sort of wintry mix (at least while we have had her) and it was so fun to see her chase around the sleet as it fell. Then she would dance around on the slippery ice like it was the Doggy Nutcracker Auditions. :) Scooter is our dog that LOVES winter weather. He usually just lays in it for a while; I think because the cold feels good against his fur. He also enjoys eating it.


The ice only lasted about 36 hours before it melted and then it was back up to 70 degrees in about 2 days. Crazy Louisiana weather!

According to the Farmer's Almanac (and Mr. Groundhog), we will be getting one more frost before Spring. Buie & I are getting geared up for Spring already and seeding our herbs and veggies.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Feeding Time & BarkBox

You may have noticed our little blog here got a new look. I thought it was about time we added in our other two family members. In 2013 we added two members to the Buie's Zoo: one cat and one dog. The dog was our choice but Lannie Cat came with the house, but we love them both the same. So how is it living with 6 animals? A zoo for sure! I feel like it's always feeding time. Most days, B & I switch off feeding cats and dogs. He'll feed the 3 cats and I'll feed the 3 dogs, then in the evenings we'll switch. Everyone gets fed a measured amount twice a day. We don't ever leave food out during the day because inevitably the dogs will eat the cats food and the cats will be throwing up Lady's food 30 minutes after inhaling it. So when it's feeding time, it's feeding time. If you don't eat during the allotted time then tough luck. Your bowl gets taken up...except for Lannie Cat, our outside cat, she has her own bowl outside and no one ever messes with it, except for the occasional raccoon.

Scooter and Conner just went to the vet yesterday and S had gained 3 pounds since November. That would be like me putting on like 30 pounds in 3 months! Ok I have no idea if that is what it would be like, but you get the idea. It's a lot for a 70 lb dog. It's a lot for any dog. Our vet recommended cutting his food IN HALF until he gets the weight off. In other words, we're going to have one pissed off dog for a while. Poor Scooter. That also means cutting back on treats which is sad because we just started subscribing to BarkBox.

What is BarkBox you ask? If you are not familiar with it and you have a dog or two (or three or four) that you are crazy about like we are, then I highly recommend this company.

I'm sure you are familiar with the many monthly subscription companies that have emerged such as BirchBox or NatureBox. There is even one for meat lovers that I know my husband would appreciate: Carnivore Club. Yes, that's right, you can have meat delivered straight to your door every month. What man wouldn't want that? 

BarkBox is the same concept but for your dog. This company puts together the best biscuits, treats, and toys, packages them and sends them straight to your door every month for you and your pooch to enjoy. You should definitely look into it. I know you are probably thinking, "but is it WORTH it?" And the short answer is YES!! definitely! The long answer is well, it depends on how spoiled your dog is. If you buy your dog treats and the occasional toy then this monthly subscription would probably be for you. We have definitely saved money by subscribing to BarkBox. I have received 3 months of boxes so far and ALL of the treats are made right here in the United States. Most of the treats are either grain free or gluten free and void of all of those nasty preservatives that we are all trying to avoid these days. 

 The best thing about BarkBox is that all three of our dogs love the treats and toys! Even though we have three dogs we only ordered one BarkBox and there is usually only one toy per box so we have to share. :) Last month our favorite treat was the Louisiana Alligator treats make from real gator. Go figure! I knew I was raising them right. ;)


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Project House:: 2014

Well, here's the obligatory New Year's - how is this year going to be better than last year - post. My resolutions are probably no different than anyone else's: lose weight, be more organized, yada yada yada... but I do have several big house projects than have been hanging over my head for the last (ashamed to say it) ELEVEN MONTHS!

Remember those lovely before pictures I posted months ago?
It's SO nice to look back and have a sense of accomplishment knowing that none of these rooms look like this anymore. I actually left off a few rooms. So in the sense of being complete, I will finish showing y'all the before pictures and then throughout the next few weeks, months (or however long it takes me - I really have no plan!) I'll start showing y'all the AFTER pictures of our home. It has been so fun to take each room and decorate it according to our style knowing that we aren't leaving here for a long time. 

2013 was a year for our new-to-us house. This home was actually built about 20 years ago but sadly was not maintained properly. As soon as we moved in we knew we had our work cut out for us. With the help of trained professionals we were able to accomplish these - along with many smaller - home projects:
our new fence going up
  • build a privacy fence
  • paint interior walls and trim
  • re-screen sunporch
  • hang a front porch swing
  • update lighting fixture in 2 bathrooms
  • replace old mailbox
  • landscape our front yard

And as any home owner knows, your work is never done. As far as resolutions go, the house is a big one: finish all house projects, including but not limited to:
  • organize the garage
  • organize my home office
  • landscape the back yard
  • spruce up the sunroom
  • renovate our kitchen (not sure if this will happen in 2014 or 2015 - we shall see!)
The day I can park in our garage again will be a day worth celebrating! What resolutions are you making this year?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It Just Keeps Getting Better...

Happy 2014!! I'm slow going this morning after a late night of partying...oh wait, that's completely false. Buie and I literally watched reruns of our favorite tv shows in our pjs all night, popping cold pills every 3 to 4 hours. I sporadically ran outside to catch a glimpse of our neighbor's firework display, Lady started barking every time she heard the noises outside - so basically ALL NIGHT LONG - and Scooter whined incessantly like a big baby. At midnight we went outside all wrapped in a blanket and watched their grand finale and made a few resolutions for the New Year. In it's own sad sickly way it was romantic. ha! There's no one I would rather be feeling blah with on New Year's than my sweet husband and all my silly animals.

Today we are taking it easy, drinking coffee in bed, watching the Rose Parade and Bowl games and thinking about the possibilities for 2014.

Looking back at 2013, it was both exciting and scary. If there is one word to describe last year it would definitely be CHANGE. After leaving his job of six years, Buie, along with our zoo and myself, packed up and moved to another state. The move itself was so hard leaving behind so many friends, beloved co-workers and wonderful neighbors. B started graduate school in May at a brand new school as a non-traditional student. With the added responsibilities of schoolwork, tests, reading and endless papers, we decided that instead of Buie getting a job and being in school that I would support us while he finishes up graduate school. I'm so thankful for my growing photography business. Leaving all of my wonderful clients in Arkansas was so hard but at the same time I am so blessed for settling so close to my home town where so many people know me and my family.

2013 also brought us two more lovely pets to add to our zoo. When we moved into our home we found our little Lannie Cat waiting for us. Then later in early September, we brought home Lady to complete our crazy zoo and bring our number to an even 6: 3 cats and 3 dogs. Some change is good, especially when it comes with 4 furry legs and a wagging tail.

Sometimes change is hard...well, USUALLY it is hard, but I know that the end result will be worth all of the sacrifices we have made. This year we decided to not go on our planned vacation, to put off having kids a little bit longer and I also opted to not go to Nicaragua this year. All of these were hard decisions but were all made for the benefit of our future. We are so looking forward to a healthy, happy 2014. Whether this past year was a great one or a tremendously hard one, I hope and pray that 2014 brings awesome things for all of you! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree.

I really need to do better about blogging more regularly. These past few months have been like a whirlwind in my photography business and I am so thankful. When my husband and I moved down here, we stepped out on faith, moved down here, bought a house and my business has grown. This is our first Christmas in our new house and this is the first year Buie is not working is retail this holiday season. For the last 6 Thanksgivings and the last 6 Christmases, B has dealt with the holiday crowds and has worked the long hours and had little or no time off to be with family. This year, though, we are enjoying every second of the holidays. 
 This is our first year to buy a real tree. Buie bought a bunch of colored lights and we spent tonight watching Christmas movies and decorating it. In the last 5 years of marriage this was the first time I remember us actually decorating the tree together.
I love ornaments that have a special meaning. I love old ornaments from my grandparents and parents that have been passed down but I also love picking up new ornaments with my husband as we travel. 
Aren't the lights just mesmerizing? I seriously wish we could keep colorful lights in our house up all year round. I mean, I guess we can. Who's stopping us, right?
The best part of Christmas is turning out all the lights in the house except for the tree lights...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

25 things.

There is a Facebook trend right now where people post certain little known facts about themselves. I've had so much fun reading everyones fact and it has me thinking about my own. Over the last few days, I've come up with a few. Maybe you'll get to know me a little better...or maybe you already knew these things...
  1. I'm obsessed with conspiracy theories, especially the Kennedy Assassination. 
  2. My former college boyfriend introduced me to my husband. 
  3. I buy random gifts for our future children: books, stuffed animals and even clothes. 
  4. When I was in junior high I wanted to play basketball for the Lady Techsters...but then I realized I was horrible at basketball.
  5. I broke up with Buie from Africa in a text message and he will never let me live that down. It's a long story but thankfully he stuck around and we got back together 6 months later. 
  6. I hate speaking to large groups where all eyes are on me. Hate it. Hate it. HATE IT. 
  7. I want my own pack of rescued dogs like Caesar Milan. We are well on our way.
  8. I have 3 tattoos. 
  9. I self diagnosed myself with ADD & dyslexia. If you know me at all, then you know this is an accurate assumption on my part. 
  10. When I was in 1st grade I choked on a candy corn pumpkin and my teacher saved me. 
  11. My favorite book in The Giver by Lois Lowry. 
  12. I took clogging lessons and had to perform a clogging routine in front of an entire audience. Still today, every time I hear the song that we clogged to, I get nauseous. 
  13. I hate roller coasters. I don't go fairs, carnivals or theme parks. I'll go with you and take pictures but don't expect me to get on a ride. 
  14. I have an irrational fear of part human/part animal beings such as mascots, talking animals, werewolfs, vampire, people that morph into animals and animals that morph into humans.
  15.  The last thing I ate that had gluten in it before giving it up was a bowl of Cheerios.
  16. I love pepperonis and I will eat them like candy straight from the package. 
  17. When I was much younger (like around 5 years old) I almost drowned at the Aquatic Club in Minden. My mom jumped in with a long denim skirt on and saved my life. I will always remember the skirt ballooning up around her like a mushroom.  
  18. I never finish books, like ever. This goes back to my ADD & dyslexia. If I can finish an entire book without getting distracted, I will announce it to the world & go celebrate. College was a difficult time for me as you can imagine. I much prefer reading magazines and short articles. It's all about attention span, people!
  19. I have an auto immune disease so if I don't shake your hand or hug you during flu season, please don't get offended. 
  20. I hate olives. They are gross. 
  21. I'm terrified of the idea of going on a cruise.
  22. I overcame my fear of elevators in college. I avoided them for years. 
  23. I DVR Kelly & Michael and watch it everyday.
  24. I have had seven stitches in my head because of a bed-jumping incident. 
  25. I accepted a job offer in Boston my senior year of college, but God had other plans. Instead, I moved to Little Rock and coincidentally, so did a man named Brent Marks Buie. :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Tale of Two Paintings.


So I don't usually play favorites. I love my parents equally. I have two brothers and two sister-in-laws and I love them all the same. The same goes with my nieces and nephews.  I like to kid myself and say that the same rule applies to my animals....but we all know how that goes. If you have a herd like we do, then you know you have one animal that holds a special place in your heart. Conner is that animal for me.


I had gone back and forth about whether I wanted to have a portrait painted of any one of our animals because I didn't know if I really wanted a pet portrait in our home. I didn't know if I wanted to be one of "those people." You know, the ones that are crazy animal people. But let's be honest, with six animals, we are already "those people!" ;) 

So when deciding who gets their portrait painted, it was really between the two dogs we have the longest. Well, at the time we only had two dogs. It was before we adopted Lady. So I decided to have Conner's portrait painted first since he is the oldest and we adopted him before Scooter. 

The portrait of the left is the one I had a friend paint for me. I picked out the picture, told her what I wanted and paid for her services, and I could not be more thrilled with the results. 

The portrait on the right was a total surprise to me. Little did I know that at the same time the portrait on the left, was being painted, my cousin Lauren was having another Conner portrait painted for my birthday! I love it so much! 

Here are the two paintings of Conner::


 Both portraits are special to me and are completely unique. The first one is a more realistic image and it captures his happy personality. The second one is more abstract but yet still looks like him. I think he looks more like a puppy in the second one, innocent and sweet.
They both are amazing pieces of art. Completely different in style, both paintings still capture Conner's happy, loyal, loving (and sometime mischievous) personality. I will cherish them for years to come.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Our First Home.

I wrote this post weeks ago but I'm a bit superstitious so I didn't want to post it until it was official...so here is the big news...

Our home in Benton has SOLD!!! WAHOO! After sitting on the market for roughly about 8 months, we could not be happier that we have an accepted offer on our Arkansas home. As of yesterday, it is closed, done, official, sign on the dotted line, OVER.

It was never our intention to own two homes in different states especially when my husband is totally changing careers. But God had a plan to get us down to Ruston quickly so we listened. Provided the inspection process goes well, we will close on that house in one month. You know what that means, right? We will be down to only ONE house payment! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! 

While we were in Little Rock this weekend, we went by our old home one last time. We walked around sharing all the memories the two of us made in our first home. It was definitely a bittersweet moment. Buie even pointed out where the dogs would run over and over along the same path wearing a trail into the grass...the trail was gone and the grass had grown back. It was like the dogs had never even been there at all. When he said those words out loud, I got a gut wrenching ache in my belly because it pained me to even think about losing all of the wonderful memories made in that home. It saddened me think that the future residents of this home will always just refer to us as the future owners. They might even complain about the chipped paint and the nails we left in the walls. They won't know the wonderful friends that enjoyed a burger on the back patio or the countless foster animals who played in our backyard. 

This was the home we brought Scooter home to and later Charlie. This was the home where Buie and I buried George around the side of the house. I will never forget seeing the rare moment of my husband crying as he dug a hole and placed his body, still warm and slowing growing stiff, down in the ground. As we walked around the home, Buie and I said goodbye and looked at the spot where he is buried. The next owners won't know where he is buried because of the ivy that has now grown over the grave, but we will always know. 

If a house had a memory, what would it remember the most about us living there for four years, I wonder? That house might not remember us but we will never forget it. 

It was a wonderful first home.