A Kenney Dinner Party

A Kenney Dinner Party

So I threw a little party for Philip for his birthday. It was a glorious magical night where we were joined by our a few of our closest friends. I got a little ambitious and decided that we would have a seven course French dinner out in our newly finished backyard. I also decided to build the table we would all sit around… Yep I’m an overachiever folks. Somehow with the help of Philip, my sister, and plenty of family members letting me borrow stuff we were able to pull the evening off and have a blast.
In planning the menu I consulted a lot of French cookbooks and a few movies ๐Ÿ™‚ I had no clue how long it would take just to choose the menu. I used to laugh when people took longer then ten minutes to pull together a menu… yeah it took me two weeks just to decide what would work together. Julia Child gained a lot of respect in my book through this experience. I also have learned to appreciate party planners on a whole new level as well. Hosting, cooking, and serving was a whole new experience for me but a very fun one indeed! Thankfully my sister, Hillary, came and helped me serve and finish up the last minute details, couldn’t have done it without her!

Pretty sure more parties will be happening soon. Now to make more tables so we can have more guest next time ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing I realized after the party is that we were so busy having fun (and making sure nothing burned) that I forgot to take a lot of images with a decent camera. So these images are a mixture of D700 and Iphone 4s.

 

 

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Huge thanks as well to Mahaffey Tent rentals for doing a great job with the rentals. We rented the chairs, plates, cups, flatware, and napkins from them. Mahaffey has great service and an amazing selection of products that are perfect for any party. It was so much fun going in to their showroom and pick out the perfect plates for our specific party theme. We would highly recommend them if you are looking for a rental company for your party or wedding.

I’ve already had a couple people ask for the recipes so here they are:

Aperitif-
Alsatian cheese tart

Soup-
Soupe ร  l’Oignon gratinรฉe

Fish Course-
Red pepper rouille and shrimp toast

Sorbet:
Watermelon sorbet

Entrรฉe:
Cornish Hen Coq Au Vin with Garlic mashed potatoes and French cut green beans

Dessert:
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberries

The cake is actually gluten free and delicious! You would never know it is gluten free. I recently found out that I am gluten free and this is by far my favorite dessert. Also I used a rice flour on the Coq Au Vin to keep it gluten free. The cheese tart and shrimp toast were not gluten free but were worth the gluten splurge since they were small servings.

Invitation, menu, place card design- Hillary Butler

Bulb lights were purchased at Party Lights. They have the best deal for larger cafe style bulbs.

Cheers,
Savannah

Happy Birthday Philip

Happy Birthday Philip

A while ago someone once told us, “Y’all always look so happy together. From what I can see you really have a blessed life together.” As I pondered that statement I knew it to be true; I am one of the most blessed women out there. Philip Kenney came into my life almost 12 years ago. We were awkward little home school kids in a church handbell choir together (ok get your laughing out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and had no clue that 5 years from then we would stumble upon each other and realize that we were supposed to be together the rest of our lives. A friendship turned into romance and that romance turned into a deep love.

Every day I wake up next to Philip and smile knowing that he is the best thing that ever happened to me. He had shows me how to love passionately. He taught me to follow all my dreams with with everything that I am. He daily reminds me that I am his beloved and there is no one else for him. He is wise beyond his years and teaches me that virtues like patience, kindness, gentleness, and joy are thinks to constantly have in my life. He is my Philip and he is absolutely the best thing humanly possible in my life.

Today we celebrate Philip’s birth. I celebrate not only that he is here in this world but that he is deepest love. This past year as we have embarked on new journeys together he has shown me that I am good on my own but I am my best when he is by my side.

Philip, I love you with all that I am. You are my biggest blessing and my best friend. Thank you for constantly being there by my side, through the good, the great, and the not so great. Thank you for loving me. And most importantly, thank you for helping me know what it really means to love with all that I am.

Happy Birthday my Beloved!
Your Savannah.

Image by Melissa Sweazy.

Mini Session with Ava Grace Photography

 

*** Thanks to all who emailed us! We have already filled all the spots at this time. Thanks!! ***

Savannah and I try our hardest to stay on our toes creatively. One example is the photo above where we made a panorama shot at very dawn. That’s is not our normal atmosphere but we did it to try something we do not get to do very often. We constantly research photography, new products, our workflow, and many more things to make our clients happy. With this said, we feel like we can still do more and at the same time help some people out. We have been really wanting to stretch our creativity in shooting – have the freedom to practice what we want and to shoot how we want. So we have thought about it and decided to offer free bi-weekly sessions. The idea is you scratch our back by giving us freedom to do what we want, and we scratch your back by giving you some unique images! Here’s how it will go down:

 

1. These are the dates open for a shoot*: Feb. 3, Feb. 16th, Mar. 2nd, and Mar 17th. Shooting time can be set according to your schedule.

2. If you can do any one of these, email us ([email protected]) and let us know. We want to know who you are, why you want pictures taken (just for fun is a valid reason!), and a picture of you and whoever else will be photographed. We have certain looks and ideas we are going for so we need people that fit them.

*For these sessions we will be needing couples this time around. At a later date we might be needing children.*

3. If you fit exactly what we are looking for on a specific shoot, we’ll contact you with details. Please keep in mind we have complete freedom to do what we want with the sessions, but we may ask for any ideas you may have.

4. The session is free and those who participate will receive one complimentary 8×12 print. Any additional art pieces or products that you want will be offered with a 10% discount.

 

We only have four available spots so hurry to get your name in!

 

Philip and Savannah

*These session are for those who are not current clients of AGP. Sessions that have been scheduled with AGP already are not eligible for the discounted rate. All who participate will be asked to sign a model release. AGP reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any session.

Giant’s Causeway and Amsterdam

The last leg of our journey. We were really sad to see our journey coming to an end but we were not sad to leave the rain. We decided last minute to go to the Giant’s Causeway on our last day in Ireland and we are really glad we did! While we were on the train the sun was shining and we thought we would have a chance to hike without rain. Nope. When we finally arrived at the Causeway the rain came down and we spent another day getting wet. But thankfully the view was worth it.

We left Northern Ireland and headed to Amsterdam for 22 hours. We thought it would be enough time to see a little bit of the city but we were so exhausted from all our traveling and we didn’t read Dutch and we had no clue that it would be so hard to get Euros (ummm pretty sure there are no ATMs in Amsterdam). So Amsterdam ended up being a mad dash quickly around and a short canal tour of the city. Our experience in Amsterdam wasn’t that hot but we wouldn’t mind going back again and having more than time as well as a better knowledge of the city ๐Ÿ™‚

The Causeway is known for its hexagonal rocks formations. This is the only place in the world they are found and are very interesting to see and climb on.

 

It was super sad to leave Ricky and Laura behind but they are planning to move back to the states soon so we will get to see plenty of them!

 

Little bit of Amsterdam:

Hope you enjoyed seeing Northern Ireland through our eyes.

Cheers,
Savannah and Philip

Bangor, Newcastle, and The Mourne Mountains: Ireland Part 3

Bangor, Newcastle, and The Mourne Mountains: Ireland Part 3

Portrush might have been one of our favorite cities but the best memories came from our weekend in Bangor, Newcastle, and the Mourne Mountains. This weekend really wouldn’t have been possibly without the whole Graham family and we are forever grateful for their kind open hearts. They took us in and treated us just like family and we will always treasure our memories with them.

On Friday afternoon we all took the train to the little city of Bangor where Ricky’s parents (Davy and Bernie) live. This town is known more as a retirement town and the laid back nature of it was perfect! We went to the marina for part of the afternoon then headed back to the Graham’s home for a fabulous dinner and a night full of music. Sitting in the Graham’s home that even made us feel like we were in our own home and Northern Ireland ceased to feel like a place we had never been before, it was a place we could say we really got to know. The stories told that night will be some that we always take with us and treasure.

Later that evening we went to the pub that Davy plays in every Friday evening. A bunch of his friends get together every weekend and play traditional Irish music till the wee hours of the night. The music we heard that night was like none we have ever heard before! We all sat back and soaked it all in, not wanting to miss a single note.

The next day we headed up to Newcastle via bus. This bus ride was by far the bumpiest and at times we all felt like we might lose our stomachs but the journey was well worth it! In Newcastle we went to the Tollymore Forest and hiked for a couple hours. This hike lead to some of our favorite images from the trip and it also lead to us getting completely drenched the entire hike. I’m pretty sure none of really minded the rain, the scenery was beyond breathtaking! Tollymore is in the County Down and it has been said that C.S. Lewis use County Down as his inspiration for Narnia. One step into the forest and you expect to see a lamp post, the White Witch, or Aslan. The fact that it rained the whole day actually added to the adventure and we all said that we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Following the hiking in the forest we headed to the Graham’s cottage in the Mournes. The cottage was originally built in the 1700s and Davy personally rebuilt the entire cottage by hand. When they first bought the cottage and the land that it is on all that was left was the basic stone framework for the cottage. Davy rebuilt the main room and added on a bathroom and a kitchen/sitting room. Only the add on had electricity (powered by generator) and the rest of the cottage was lit and heated by coal burning fireplaces. Staying at the cottage was by far the best memory we have from the trip. Davy cooked us a fabulous dinner from vegetables that he grew in the garden out back and we played board games till the late night while all our clothes dries out by the fires. Something was magical about the cottage. As we went up to the loft to sleep we had to carry candle lit lanterns to see. The simplicity of living in a cottage that is completely isolated from most of society is something that all need to experience. It makes you stop and really enjoy the little things in life.

The next day lead us on the most incredible trek through the Mournes. Again it was pouring rain and within minutes we were all soaked. Hours later when we got back to the cottage Davy laughed at us and congratulated us for being so hard core. Apparently the rain we were experiencing was falling a lot harder than normal and we kept asking him to take us further and further. What can we say, we love a good adventure and nothing is going to stop us ๐Ÿ™‚

So now onto the images:

 

 

The seaside homes are the best! They are full of color and make the shore so appealing.


Traditional music in the pub. For the life of me I can’t remember the pub’s name!

 

From the bus ride to Newcastle

The coast of Newcastle.

Some of the best fish and chips was had at this pub! Irish food is seriously amazing. We couldn’t get enough of it, especially the breads and cheeses!

The Mournes. Sadly both days that we were there the tops were in a white out and visibility was pretty minimum.

In Tollymore.

This is how we found this tree. We really aren’t sure how it stood out so much since it was raining and absolutely no sun light was coming through!

 

Good ole Ben showcasing how wet we were getting.

Trekking in the Mournes. We followed a sheep path most of the way up to the top. The hardest part was keeping your feet from getting stuck in the mud! But being on a sheep path was pretty cool since we found a couple stray sheep and Ben and I chased them down the mountain.

Our sheep we chased! Sadly they got away and we weren’t able to take one home… This was close to the top of where we hiked and it shows how thick the white out was. At some points we were only able to see about 50 feet in front of us.

Probably the least flattering image of us but it holds so many good memories.

Preparing for the trip we knew to take rain covers for our cameras and we are so glad we did! It was raining so hard though that our camera could barely focus and it constantly was fogging up. That was probably the only downside of the trip.

This is the view of the Mournes from the cottage. We hiked to the top of this one but we were white out the whole time so we did get much of a view from the top.

And the cottage! Seriously our favorite memory of the whole trip! Isn’t it so cute!!!

Cheers,

Savannah and Philip

Ireland Part 2: Portrush, Dunluce Castle, and Golfing

Ireland Part 2: Portrush, Dunluce Castle, and Golfing

The little seaside city of Portrush quickly turned into one of our favorite places in Northern Ireland. It also was the only day we had sun shine while in Ireland. If there was one day to have sun, this was the day that we needed it. This was the one city where Philip and Ben did their own then and I went off to explore on my own. While some might be nervous about exploring a new city all on their own I was excited to get out and see the land and have my own personal adventure. Boy was it an adventure! We got Philip and Ben off to their golf game (more on that in a minute) and I grabbed a cab to go to Dunlace Castle. I had been looking forward to seeing the castle for weeks and figured it would be a fun experience but I had no clue just how amazing this day would be.

When I got to the castle (which was about 3.5 miles from where Philip and Ben were playing golf) my breath was instantly taken away. A quick look around showed that I was the only one at the castle so for a couple hours it was just me and this bad boy that was built in the 13th century. The image above shows the path that I took to walk down to the coast and view the castle from below. This day I took a full backpack of gear with me and the weight of it plus the steep nature of the walk way plus winds gusting at speeds I’ve never felt before made me almost bust several times. It was a little scary but became hysterical and I learned to just roll with it.

A beautiful thing happened while I was at the castle. A gorgeous rainbow appeared as I was taking one look back at the coast and the castle. As you will see below it was perfectly placed between the castle and the cliffs. While Ireland is known for its rainbows you actually don’t see them that much (or so our friends who live there told us). To have one appear at the castle was a perfect end to my adventures there.

 

 

Yes perfection.ย  Right after I grabbed this image it started hailing golf ball sized hail. Thankfully it was a short hail storm cause I had no where to really hide from the storm.

 

So instead of taking a cab back to town I decided to walk back. The road to the castle was right on the coast and on the drive up I knew I had to walk back so I could enjoy the view slowly. Deciding to walk back was one of the best decisions I made. And also one of the worst. The view was the best I had the entire trip and I had some great time alone with my thoughts. What was bad is I thought the whole trip would be down hill since the drive appeared up hill. Yeah I was wrong. Some how the walk turned into an uphill battle of me against the wind. But as you can see, the view was totally worth it!

 

Headed back into town and looking at the golf course on the coast.

The castle can be seen in the right side of the image. Can you image having this view all the time!

 

Little did I know that this would be the only sun we saw on this trip. ๐Ÿ™‚ The grasses are so lush and soft. You can lay down in the grass and it feels like a soft bed. Trust me I was tempted.

I got to experience an overhead view of the golf course the guys played at and I am so glad I wasn’t trying to play here. It is an amazing course though and one that is played by some of the best golfers.

These little guys were begging to go home with me. Come on aren’t they so cute!!

 

So while I was experiencing the rainbow at the castle Philip and Ben got to see it from the golf course (The guys played at the Royal Portrush Golf Club , they played the Vally Links course). Not a bad view while golfing. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Cheers,

Savannah and Philip