Tag Archives: family

Elah’s First Birthday

Today is Pi Day, which not only is an excellent excuse to eat pie, it’s also the date that Wheat proposed to me in my living room, and it’s also the date that the sweetest, cutest niece ever arrived into this world. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this morning than by sharing way too many pictures from her first birthday party  yesterday afternoon. I’ll circle back around to our unbelievably amazing baby shower tomorrow!

She celebrated her first birthday in a dress that I wore, then her mama wore, and now she is wearing! That baby girl sure is pretty in blue.


She also has the Bristol raised eyebrow down pat.

Sister did a great job of party planning, and the weather was perfect for an afternoon outside. Lots of friends and family came to celebrate and we had a great time!


Elah was really getting into her presents, too. Favorites included musical cards, stuffed animals, and books! She racked up on some cute summer clothes, too. If baby K is a girl, she just got some amazing hand-me-downs for next summer. ;)

Then it was time to strip down, bib up, and eat some cake! Although true to the name, she enjoyed smashing her cake more than eating it.


Happy first birthday, sweet Elah! I am so, so lucky to be your aunt Nay Nay, and I love you so!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Thanksgiving Quail Hunt

I took so many pictures that I couldn’t bear not share that I decided our quail hunt (let’s be real: mainly all our dogs) deserved its own post.  So Happy Friday!  I wish every weekend could be as full of friends, family, food, dogs, and fun (they couldn’t all start with “F”) as this Thanksgiving was!

Thomas Mill Branch | Oysters & Pearls Bubba the Lap French Brittany | Oysters & Pearls Old Jeep Wrangler | Oysters & Pearls Natalie's Browning Citori | Oysters & PearlsGoat Skulls | Oysters & PearlsBilly Goat Skull | Oysters & Pearls

Redneck Vase | Oysters & Pearls

We have a natural honey bee hive!  Anyone have any recommended reading for me?  I would love to move them (in the spring, I’m told) into a bee box and become a bee keeper, despite my dad’s and husband’s extended eye rolling at my bee keeping aspirations.Natural Bee Hive | Oysters & PearlsHoney Bees | Oysters & PearlsHoney Bee at Thomas Mill Branch | Oysters & Pearls

My dad prepping the beer-butt chicken, or “drunk chicken,” as Wheat calls it.  These two nekkid chicks went into the smoker, along with two racks of pork ribs, to cook all afternoon while we hunted.  Beer Butt - Drunk Chickens | Oysters & Pearls

She’s ready to go!Pick Me! Bird Dog Ready to Hunt | Oysters & Pearls Bird Dog Excitement | Oysters & Pearls

Sadly, Louie is too old to hunt now.  But he gets to ride with us anyway for this hunt.
Louie, 13 Year Old French Brittany | Oysters & Pearls

And sadly, as much as we want Bubba to hunt… he just won’t.  He’d rather be up on the Gator riding with us.But I Just Want to Ride Up Here With You | Oysters & Pearls

Buster, Truman’s beautiful new Springer Spaniel, does ride on the Gator with us.  He’s a great flusher and retriever, but still very much a puppy.  Makes me want one!
Buster, Spring Spaniel | Oysters & Pearls

Finally, we actually do some hunting.  I would have taken more pictures if I hadn’t actually hunted the entire time myself.  But you’re probably grateful for that!
Quail Hunting | Oysters & Pearls On Point | Oysters & Pearls Under the Power Lines | Oysters & PearlsGood Shot | Oysters & Pearls Good Boy | Oysters & Pearls They're Over Here! | Oysters & Pearls Spring Spaniel Flushing Quail | Oysters & Pearls

Sunset catches up with us, and we head back to the barn.Sunset in the Piney Woods | Oysters & PearlsThe Ride Home | Oysters & Pearls

A fire is built, birds are cleaned (20 in all; I proudly got 4 of those), and drunk chickens and ribs are pulled from the smoker.  And the sleepiest dogs seem to be the ones who didn’t even hunt. Put Your Feet Up | Oysters & Pearls Just a Buddy | Oysters & Pearls Smoked Ribs at the Barn | Oysters & Pearls Beer Butt Chicken, Drunk Chickens | Oysters & PearlsBed Thief | Oysters & Pearls They Didn't Even Hunt | Oysters & Pearls

I wish you all a relaxing and wonderful weekend.  Hopefully I’ll finish getting decorated for Christmas (bad blogger, I know!) and will share that with you next week.  Follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks, as usual.  I got a new name! You can now find me @oystersandpearls.  :)

Happy weekend!

Until Next Time

Pickled Green Tomatoes

This is another belated pickling post, but with another crop of Fall tomatoes on the horizon, I thought it would be a good time to share this pickled green tomato recipe.

Better late than never, right?

Pickled Sliced Green Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

At the very tail end of our Summer tomato crop, we were left with quite a few green tomatoes.  We decided to go ahead and pick them all and tear out the plants, as they were quickly rotting thanks to the relentless monsoons.  Thank goodness for gorgeous, *dry* Fall weather!

I followed Garden Betty’s recipe for the most part, but left some spices out and added some based on what was in my cabinet.

Pickled Green Tomatoes
makes as many jars as you have tomatoes


Basic Brine Ratio:
– 1 cup cold water
– 1 cup white distilled vinegar (5% acidity)
– 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pickling Spices (per jar):
– 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
– 1 teaspoon celery seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
– 1 garlic clove, peeled


Wash and dry tomatoes and slice them however you like.  I did some cherry tomatoes whole or in half, and sliced some bigger green tomatoes into round slices, and some into quarters.  Do what feels right!

Fill each jar with pickling spices of your choice – really, it can be anything as long as your brine has the correct ratio.  Get creative!

Pack the jars as tightly as you can with tomatoes.  I could have packed mine much more tightly, but didn’t want to mix slices.

Bring vinegar mixture to a boil and ladle into jars over tomatoes and spices, leaving about a half-inch of headspace.  Use a chopstick to de-bubble, or just gently tap the jars down on the counter a few times to release bubbles.  Tighten the bands down over the lids, and process for 15 minutes.

Remove with a jar lifter to a dish towel spread out over the counter and let cool.  The jars will pop as they seal.  If any jars don’t seal, refrigerate them immediately.

Pickling Green Tomatoes  | Oysters & Pearls

These are SO great on salads, in relishes, in chicken salad, on burgers….  Or alone, if that’s your thing.

Pickling Green Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

I would also like to reiterate my love for the new blue Ball jars.  And to send my awesome Mama a shout out for always picking me up a case whenever she sees them!  They make pickles even prettier.

Pickled Green Cherry Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

Perfect mason, indeed.

And because you haven’t had a good dose of Harold in a few days, here’s a half wet, extremely displeased Harold after his bath the day I made these pickles.

Harold Hates Baths | Oysters & Pearls

You’d think he would learn to quit rolling in small dead animals.  Quit acting like a dog, Harold.

And last today, but most definitely NOT least, I’d like to tell my amazing husband HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I attempted to shock and amaze you with a surprise party!


Love you so much, old man! ;)

Bring on the birthdays!!  And Fall tomatoes! And pumpkins!  And everything else that Fall entails.

#fallingforFall #pumpkin #PSL

I’ve definitely got CFD.  It’s a very real, serious disease.  Follow me on Instagram for more.  ;)