Tag Archives: friends

My Life in Photos, March

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you. This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

As you know, photography is a huge part of my life professionally.

I love teaching workshops about how to style and shoot images.

You can find some of my favorite images popping up a few times a day on my Instagram.

Did you know I have two accounts? You can follow me here and my workshops here.

In the meantime, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my life through my photos.

This month is full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number 2. I hope you log on an follow along as I am a massive over-sharer. LOL

xx Annette

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

In my element. I’m so grateful for the harvest in my kitchen garden.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Our tub arrived from Marrakech and is the talk of the village!

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Antique pavers being laid in the kitchen at the Fortress.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

An extra large charcuterie platter and some cocktails with friends one weekend.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Most March days were spent writing about drinks all day long. Cheers to book 2!

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Recipe:: Fried Green Tomatoes

While it's not quite green tomato season yet, tomato season will be here before we know it. Put this recipe in your spring appetizer arsenal.

As most of you may know I am the Entertaining Editor for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME. In the latest issue, I showcased a traditional Southern recipe, Fried Green Tomatoes from one of the most original party ideas to date. One of my dear friends has a party called “The Birthday Club”. My friend and fine art gallery owner, Arnika Dawkins, gathers throughout the year with her best gal pals to celebrate each of their birthdays in a unique way.

Here’s how it works: each woman chooses an activity for her birthday and the other birthday club members make it happen. The club has enjoyed traveling, spa days, and concerts. In the Spring issue we featured Arnika’s birthday party. Everyone came together for lunch at Arnika’s photography gallery. For the complete feature make sure to pick up a copy of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME on newsstands now.

Make sure to put this recipe in your spring appetizer arsenal and enjoy them with family and friends.

xx Annette

Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Coulis 
Serves 6

You will need:
– 1 cup goat cheese
– 4 green tomatoes, sliced 1⁄2-inch thick
– 2 eggs
– 1⁄2 cup milk
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
– 1⁄4 cup yellow cornmeal
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– Feta and fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

To prepare:

Spread a small amount of goat cheese onto one side of each tomato slice. Arrange on a sheet pan, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Whisk eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and salt. One by one, dip each tomato slice into the egg mixture, then the crumb mixture; shake off any excess.

Pour oil into a deep frying pan and place over medium heat until a thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, fry tomatoes until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Garnish with feta and basil, if using, and serve immediately with red pepper coulis.

Red Pepper Coulis

You will need:
– 7 ounces roasted red peppers from a jar
– 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
– 1 clove garlic
– 1⁄4 cup olive oil
– 1 cup fresh basil leaves
– 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

To prepare:
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

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Noah’s Park Joshua Tree

I had an opportunity to visit one of my good friends Mikel at his Joshua Tree weekend retreat while I was in Palm Springs, so I skipped out on Atl Summit and headed to the desert. Joshua Tree has always been on my bucket list, so I got in my rental car and drove an hour out into the middle of nowhere. A dirt road and lots of Joshua trees later, I arrived at Mikel’s amazing home.

After a tour of his house, we headed into town for lunch, but first Mikel wanted to show me Noah’s Park. It’s an outdoor museum: an installation completely constructed of up-cycled materials. Noah Purifoy was truly a visionary man; Noah poured his entire soul into this art installation. I was blown away, and we walked for an hour among each piece of art, exploring interactive displays. Many works fuse architecture and art as the structures are towering.

Noah's Park

The theater is full scale and has a working stage. Many sculptures have messages. It’s an epic experience, full scale and moving, which was the artist’s intention. It’s obvious that Noah had a point of view, and it’s why the experience of walking the installation is so moving. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. In fact, I highly recommend a visit to Joshua Tree. It’s a national treasure, and there is nothing like it. I was not disappointed with the landscape and was happy I opted to skip out on the conference. After all, there’s nothing more fun than playing hooky, especially to enjoy a fantasy afternoon in Noah’s Park with a good friend. Plus I found my new hero, Noah Purifoy!

Noah's Park npportrait

I do not wish to be an artist, I only wish that art enables me to be.

– Noah Purifoy, 1963

Born in Snow Hill, Alabama in 1917, Noah Purifoy lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California, where he died in 2004. He received an undergraduate degree from Alabama State Teachers College in 1943 and a graduate degree from Atlanta University in 1948. In 1956, just shy of his 40th birthday, Purifoy earned a BFA degree from Chouinard, now CalArts.

His earliest body of sculpture, constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts rebellion, was the basis for 66 Signs of Neon, the landmark 1966 group exhibition on the Watts riots that traveled throughout the country. As a founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, Purifoy knew the community intimately. His 66 Signs of Neon, in line with the postwar period’s fascination with the street and its objects, constituted a Duchampian approach to the fire-molded alleys of Watts. This strategy profoundly impacted artists such as David Hammons, John Outterbridge and Senga Nengudi. For the 20 years that followed the rebellion, Purifoy dedicated himself to the found object, and to using art as a tool for social change.

In the late 1980s, after 11 years of public policy work for the California Arts Council, where Purifoy initiated programs such as Artists in Social Institutions, which brought art into the state prison system, Purifoy moved his practice out to the Mojave desert. He lived for the last 15 years of his life creating ten acres full of large-scale sculpture on the desert floor. Constructed entirely from junked materials, this otherworldly environment is one of California’s great art historical wonders.

 

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Homesteading in Joshua Tree

I recently visited a quirky, well-appointed metal house. The Joshua Tree home belongs to my friend Mikel, and needless to say, it's awesome.

The view from the living room is spectacular!

The view from the living room is spectacular!

As most of you know, I recently visited Joshua Tree. Mostly because my dear friend Mikel invited me to tour his home there. He bought a ramshackled metal house in the middle of the dessert. The view sold the house along with the promise of peace and quiet which is something Mikel treasures as a TV producer/developer in Los Angeles; Mikel and I met when I was filming a pilot for HGTV.

The pilot never made it, but our friendship blossomed. We shot my own Bravo pilot a couple of years after meeting, and a creative bond was formed. I wanted to give you a tour of his house. Here’s the cool thing: you can rent this gorgeous location through Airbnb You can also follow the home on instagram.

The gallery wall in the garage, I think I need this in my life.

The gallery wall in the garage, I think I need this in my life.

Mikel has a quirky design sensibility. It’s whimsical and retro and my favorite, irreverently kitsch.

Thanks again Mikel for inviting me to your little piece of heaven, fair warning…I’ll be back! xx

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ALT Summit 2017: A conference in review

A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs for a few days at the ALT Summit conference. The Palm Springs airport is stunning! A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs for a few days at the ALT Summit conference.

Hi Everyone! I’m Nicole, Annette’s blog manager, and today I’m sharing our awesome, whirlwind trip to ALT Summit. A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs to meet Annette for a few days at the conference.

You might remember that we attended last year, and after having a fantastic time and learning a ton, we knew we had to get back for the 2017 conference. This year’s ALT was held in Palm Springs at the Instagram-worthy Saguaro hotel. You’ve probably seen this hotel in photos; it’s an old motel that’s been modernized and painted punchy colors. While Annette and I both agreed that the hotel wasn’t really our style, it made for some gorgeous photos.

A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs for a few days at the ALT Summit conference.

The conference is attended by over 500 women from all over the world and features speakers from some of the best in the blog world. We rubbed shoulders with the likes of Darcy Miller (aka Martha’s wedding expert…yes, THE Martha), and heard from speakers like Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day, Susan Peterson from Freshly Picked, and the husband-wife duo behind Young House Love. Many of the speakers made a point to share and be vulnerable with their stories which was inspiring and interesting.

31930478174_f2bb695466_k 32771535115_7d3a662e17_k 32771364985_c8980764f6_k One of the best parts of ALT summit is being surrounded by like-minded women who focus on community over competition. We met some new friends and spent our days mingling with bloggers, photographers, stylists, and authors who are just as driven and business-minded as we are. It was such an empowering atmosphere!

Of course, we also did a little exploring around Palm Springs. It was such a funky town with a lot of visual interest, and the landscape was incredible.

IMG_6539

We soaked up as much sun and knowledge as we could, and we’re both looking forward to implementing some of the things we learned at ALT summit here on the blog. If you’ve ever considered attending ALT, don’t hesitate to go. Tickets usually go on sale in the fall, and this year, it sold out in 24 hours!

If you were at ALT this year, we’d love for you to say hello, and if not, let us know if you have any questions about what we learned. We’d love to chat more!

xo, Nicole

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