Internet, I've been sad about my back patio screen door ever since I posted this picture way back in the early summer. A helpful commenter offered to come over and re-screen it, something I hadn't even noticed until it was mentioned. Oh, the shame! My very nice husband has replaced that screen, oh, a million times. But it always -- as we say down here -- comes a-loose, due to things like human hands and dog hands. Also, the door itself (which is original to the house and thus a million years old) needed to be re-painted and adjusted. So last weekend, we removed the door, took it apart, re-painted, re-screened, added a bar on the back side for y'all's filthy paws, and gave it some general TLC. (Also, by "we," I mean "Vince." Obvs.)

Oh. Well, hello there, hotness.

You'll also note our new (to us) picket fence, which Vince and my heroic brother put up with their bare man hands. We love it -- it offers privacy, but not too much, and now Hank can frolic in the yard without fear of becoming roadkill.

You'd like a closer look, you say? Voila:

Yay! I love it. And, as usual, I apologize about the photo quality -- I had my camera all set up and ready to go this afternoon before I realized that Hank Chao had CHEWED UP MY MEMORY CARD. He is no longer allowed to use the new door. But you are. Come over.

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AuthorAB Chao
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People ask me all the time how to arrange items so that they look pretty in photos. Well, here is a secret: if you start with beautiful items, you don't really have to do very much work. The photo above is a great example, since the entire thing was kind of an accident. The hot (and hawt) pink Epiphanie bag* was already on the kitchen table when I came home from work. Then, as a surprise for when everyone else got home, I arranged the macarons and king cake we bought at Sucre in New Orleans on two random cake plates. (Seriously random -- I have no idea where either plate came from.) The sun was sort of shining through the window at the time, and I realized that all of it looked really pretty together, so I moved everything closer to the light and grabbed my camera (fitted with that cheapie 50mm lens that everyone should have by now. If you don't have it, remedy that sad situation immediately.) Everything was done before I even started arranging things. All I did was put the smaller cake plate in front of the bigger one (obvs), and added in a silver vase with some sparkly picks inside (for no other reason than it was already in the kitchen with me.) I mean, this little vignette doesn't even make any sense. It's not even a very good picture. But it looks kind of pretty, doesn't it? That's because I started with beautiful things shot in nice light, and they did all the work for me. Voila! You are now a stylist + photographer. Go forth and bust out some beauty. PS. You can never go wrong with macarons. The reason you see them in so many styled photos is because they look good with everything, even king cakes and camera bags. Yes, they're a total cliche, I know, I've heard. Who cares? *For you old-school Flickr people, you'll be tickled to know that the Epiphanie bag I have is the "Clover," named after one of Sesame Ellis's twins! It was a gift from the delightful Maile and is super fabulous.
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AuthorAB Chao
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