July 30, 2010

le fete de l’imagination: delta burke


This has been an important week for birthdays in the way of special ladies, today being the queen belle herself, Delta Burke. From her childhood in Florida to her beauty pageant days and then as that vixen Suzanne Sugarbaker, Delta remains one of those strong southern women who keeps bouncing back no matter what life throws at her.

suzanne sugarbaker 1

I loved to see her sashay around on Designing Women…always dressed to the nines, make-up and hair impeccable. My favorite episodes were when her real-life husband Gerald McRaney made appearances. Their on-screen chemistry was so sweet to see.

grand ballroom

What about the Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom for an elegantly opulent shindig? You’re all invited! I think Ms. Burke will like it…nothing less than the best for her!

Happy Birthday Delta! Hope it’s a truly wonderful one! And when are we going to be graced with your presence again on television? Your loyal fans miss you lady! Nobody else wears a crown quite like you!

July 29, 2010

Only in the south: servin’ up sweets


During one of my recent adventures with my adorable parents, we stopped in a little nearby town and ran across a cute old-fashioned soda shop. {just in case you were wondering, if it’s a fizzy liquid, I call it a ‘coke’…also a southern thing}. There was a glorious case of treats and I was torn between the chess squares and the fudge brownies. You know I’m not going to pass up homemade southern sweets!

When I finally decided on the brownie, the lady behind the counter took an awfully long time to ‘prepare’ it and I kept thinking "it’s just a brownie….what is taking so long?” This is what she presented me with: 


Only in the south is an already tooth-achingly sweet fudge brownie not complete without a huge scoop of ice cream and more hot fudge! Don’t worry, I shared! What’s your favorite sweet summer treat? Would you have gone with the chess squares? I gotta know!

July 28, 2010

le fete de l’imagination: jbk-0


Today would be Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’ 81st birthday. Whether in a      t-shirt, a turtleneck or an evening gown, she made it look easy and she did it with great style.


Though not a southern belle, she was most definitely a lady and many would argue that trumps belle status anyway (gasp!).

jackie's biceps vogue 61

The above photo spread is from Vogue magazine (1961), showing the Kennedys at home. Check out Jackie’s elegantly toned bicep. Clearly First Ladies have had lovely arms worth showing off long before now.


This gorgeous tablescape by the talented Amy Atlas reminds me of the designs found in the Hermes scarves that Jackie wore while spending time in Capri. It might seem a little over the top, but I think she’d like it for her birthday party.

But tell me, what do you get for the woman who has everything?

July 27, 2010

A Prize Inside!


As a kid, I would get oh-so-excited to find the prize in the bottom of my cereal box. I wish the healthy (boring!) cereals I eat as an adult were as fun! It's not very likely that I'll excitedly dig to the bottom of my box of Fiber-Crispies and pull out a secret de-coder ring. During the Great Depression, it was actually quite possible to eat your last bowl of oats and then pull a little trinket out of your empty oat container. The Quaker Oat Cereal Company helped keep one glass manufacturer in business by buying up several shipments of glassware and using the items as premiums (incentives) to buy Quaker Oats.


Many people collected these ‘oatmeal glass’ pieces, one by one during the lean years of the depression until entire collections were completed. They are now highly desired collectible items. Even though we've been in a bit of an economic slump in the past few years, I can't imagine some of the dire straits that folks, especially those in the rural south faced during the Great Depression. I can waltz into Target anytime I feel like it and pick up a new set of cups or bowls. The idea of waiting until all the oats were eaten before discovering which new glass piece was revealed is sort of a novelty to me. But I know at that time, it was something of a treat.


My good friend Mrs. C has an impressive collection of oatmeal glass and while I was looking at her pieces, I thought of the excitement that each one's original owner must have felt when she pulled it out of the oatmeal container. I'm so glad to have been raised to appreciate things of the past...things with a story. This is definitely something I wish would make a re-emergence. I know I would be more likely to buy a product if it included some little collectible item or its package was reusable. Wonder if we couldn't try to bring this back?


July 26, 2010

Spice it up!

Minneapolis, MN - Job No. 7112 - 06.09 June - MTR Metro: brasa dryrubDate: Monday April 20, 2009 Photo by ÔøΩ TOP/Tate Carlson 2009 Technical Questions: tate.carlson@greatwatermedia.com; Phone: 952.936.5184. MTR 06.09 7112 recipe brasa dryrub

What better way to add a little zest to an ordinary Monday than with a post about spices! When I moved out on my own and started cooking for myself, I was quick to experiment with lots of different recipes and dishes, but less bold when it came to using spices in my food. I knew I liked black pepper (lots of it) and a tiny bit of salt, but that was pretty much the extent of my seasoning repertoire.

tony's creole seasoning {my spice staple}

As I've gotten a little more brave (a few successful cooking experiences will do that for ya!), adding spices has become less scary. It helps that there are some wonderful offerings available at the grocery store. These mixed spices are great because they take the guessing out of things. Beau Monde (translated beautiful world) combines cloves, cinnamon, salt, bay leaf, allspice, black & white pepper, nutmeg, mace and celery seed. This seasoning is like a magic mixture that will jazz up almost any dish. Another popular spice is Herbs de Provence which mixes chervil, tarragon, savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and fennel. This one is best used in grilling or infused into oils.


Aside from using store bought mixes to spice up your food, you can easily make up your own seasoning mixes. This is a smart method if you are trying to limit your salt intake or don't like the taste of one particular flavor...you can pick and choose what you wish to add. The Creole meat seasoning is the one used by the famous New Orleans restaurant, The Commander's Palace and the meat rub is from Cooking Light's Chef Billy. Both tasty recipes for yourself or to put in cute jars and give as gifts.

Creole Meat Seasoning

      • 1 cup salt
      • 3.4 cup powdered garlic
      • 3/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
      • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 1/4 cup paprika

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a large glass jar. Seal tightly. Keeps indefinitely.

Meat Rub

      • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
      • 2 Tablespoons onion powder
      • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
      • 2 Tablespoons paprika
      • 3 Tablespoons cumin
      • 1 Tablespoon coriander
      • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
      • 1 Tablespoon salt

Makes 1 cup. Store in a cool dark place for 6 months or so. If you give this one as a gift, you might want to attach a card with cooking instructions like the one shown below.

meat rub tag

What’s your favorite way to keep things spiced up?

July 23, 2010

The process that is life…



{each day, i’m a little closer to being able to say this…thanks in part to all of you!}


Happy Friday friends! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend filled with people and things that you love!

July 22, 2010


beachside '58

{my adorable aunt & uncle lounging on the beach c.1950s?}

This summer will be one of two in my life that I haven’t vacationed at a Florida beach…I’m not complaining, just feeling lucky that I’ve gotten to go so many times. This week on SBS has developed a theme of travel (didn’t plan that). Yesterday while getting my hair cut and chatting with my stylist, she said her family goes to a different place every year for vacation. My family has always gone to the same beach (and basically always stayed at the same hotel). It made me wonder which was more common….going to the same place or trying somewhere new each year.


Do you have a favorite vacation spot that you visit each year or are you more experimental when you travel, never visiting the same place more than once? I’m curious…what does vacation mean to you?

July 21, 2010

Souvenirs Galore


This wasn't the post I'd planned for today, but reading the comments yesterday about buying earrings while on trips sort of got me thinking about something. If you missed it, I said that I always try to buy a pair of earrings in each city that I visit so I'll have a little reminder of each trip. A few people said they did the same thing. This little discussion made me think about when and why I started doing this.


Born and raised in a small southern town, my only option for department store shopping was JC Penney or its more elegant cousin Peebles. I'm not saying I was podunky, but shopping options in my town were limited. My senior year of high school included a school trip to Chicago which was my big introduction to a metropolitan city (if you don't count a bus ride to Washington D.C. in the 6th grade...which I don't). I hit the big city in my Gap (outlet) trousers and pea coat feeling like a big shot. I wanted to exude sophistication and prove to native Chicagoans that I belonged there. I knew I wanted to visit all the glamorous department stores that I had heard so much about and I was determined to buy a little something at each, not only for a souvenir but also because I was dying to have shopping bags with the stores' logos (I was seventeen!). I quickly figured out that my travel budget wasn't going to get me very far at Bloomingdales so I settled for a tiny pair of dangly beaded earrings. I relate to my blog twin Miss P at I Do Declare, feeling cool when somebody compliments your jewelry and being able to say “Oh I got these at Bloomingdales” (her earrings in question were purchased in Hawaii).

So this started an entire tradition of buying earrings on trips. I have earrings from Chicago, London, Rome and Atlanta. I have earrings from Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor and Saks. None of these were particularly expensive or even all that special, except I remember where they came from and when I pull them out to wear, it gives me a moment where I think of the trip and how fun it was. Another reader commented that she likes to purchase a Christmas tree ornament from places that she visits and I think this is a wonderful idea as well. It gives you a way to bring home a useful souvenir that isn’t a Hard Rock Café t-shirt or tiny collectible spoon.

Other than my earring and holiday ornament girls out there, do you all have any other things that you always purchase on trips?

July 20, 2010



{i am this excited when given a blog award!}

I’ve been doubly blessed to receive two awards recently and I’m so thrilled to pass them along to some other fabulous blogs I’ve found. First, let me take a moment to thank the lovely ladies who honored me with the awards.

That fabulous Girl with the Curlz and I bonded over our love of all things plates and paper! And besides that, curly haired girls must stick together! She gave me the Honest Scrap Award which I must admit, I’ve been coveting ever since I started my blog! There’s something about that little orange square and now I can say that I was the recipient of it!


I’m passing this award on to the following fantastic blogs! You really should check them out if you haven’t already!

1. Bea @ The Girly Tomboy

2. Bella Michelle @ Southern Somedays

3. Southern Champagne Wishes

4. Peachy Keen

5. Jules @ Chic & Pink

Next is an award from a wonderful new blog I’ve just begun following, Flip Flops & Pearls. Its author is a wonderful lady who believes in always giving people compliments…well I sure feel complimented by her since she’s given me the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award! Thanks so much for thinking of me!


I’m giving this award to these precious and sweet blogs…I advise you to make their acquaintance if you haven’t already!

1. Summer Wind

2. Molly @ Sugar & Spice

3. Southern Cinderella

4. Little Miss Can’t be Wrong @ How I met your Father

5. LeeLee @ DaisyLee

The requirements of each award is to list 10 things about myself, but I’m going to combine them so you don’t have to read 20 things. In no particular order…

DSC00910 1. I love anything with my name and/or initials on it

2. Pickles are one of my favorite foods and I eat them straight out of the jar without shame!

3. When I was little, I got my head stuck in my Me-me’s kitchen cabinet and had to be cut free with a saw

4. I just scored an amazing silver tea set at a rummage sale for $10

5. I brush my teeth with warm water

6. My tomato plants look pitiful and have no tomatoes on them…boo

7. I have always slept on a satin pillow

8. I have more than one best friend

9. I love pink wine and drink it like an old lady over ice!

10. I usually buy earrings from each city I visit so I’ll have a tiny something that makes me think of that particular trip. The coolest ones are from Rome.

Hope everybody is having a terrific Tuesday (Chews-day as I pronounce it…for which I am endlessly mocked!)

July 19, 2010

Fabric Jouy de Vivre!

Pink and Brown French Toile Throw Pillow

It’s nearly impossible to have visited any type of interior furnishings store in the last ten years without having seen some version of the above fabric. Having made quite a comeback in the last decade, Toile, or more formally Toile de Jouy was first produced in 18th century France by Monsieur Christophe-Phillipe Oberkampf. Toile simply means cloth in French, but this cloth is certainly not simple.

blue toile

Designs were first engraved with 10-inch wooden blocks, then engravings were done with copperplates and finally a Swiss machine was developed to allow for more detail in designs. The most traditional toile is decorated with idyllic scenes inspired by pastoral life in the French countryside. As its popularity grew, one might have seen images of Greek and Roman mythology, themes surrounding children or depictions of famous Americans such as Ben Franklin and George Washington. 


If traditional toile patterns feel too stuffy for your taste, you might want to take a chapter from the book of the talented author of the Cucumbersome blog who attacked her black and white toile pillow with a set of average highlighter pens and ended up with a funky twist on an old favorite. I think toile can be great in small doses…I have a couple yards that I picked up at a rummage sale and was thinking of trying to decide what to do with it. I don’t want it to take over my entire house, but a pillow or two might do the trick.

How do you feel about toile? Are you in love with this patterned fabric or does it send you running for the hills? What other ideas could be used to modernize this classic cloth?

July 16, 2010

Mellow yellow & tasteful turquoise


While on a trip to the beach, I took this photo…no doubt getting some strange looks from folks wondering why on earth I would be standing on my tippy-toes and trying to snap pictures of the balcony of the hotel next door, then under renovation. What caught my eye was the beautiful color combination of the pale yellow with the light turquoise balcony railings. I knew I definitely wanted to remember that pairing and possibly use it in my home one day. I have since found a couple more gorgeous examples of this color combo that I wanted to share.


{according to a southern legend, blue porch ceilings ward off bad spirits…the only spirit this ceiling makes me think of is mine being lifted. Who wouldn’t want to sip a big ol’ iced tea on this lovely porch?}

yellow turquoise {be. still. my. heart. is this gorgeous or what? the only thing that usually gets me this excited is a cupcake}


5c3d8e7e53d6 {a little more subdued way to combine the 2 colors with stuff you already have}

I feel like I was pretty brave when choosing colors for my condo…I just had a certain idea in my head and went with it. My kitchen is kind of a terracotta orange, my living room is green and my bedroom is poppy red. Definitely color choices that aren’t everyone’s style, but it suits me. I’m not one of those “paint 30 different swatches of color on the wall before choosing the perfect one” type of decorators. But I can understand that if you are nervous about adding bold color, this could help make the process less daunting.

I recently found a really cool online painting tool provided by Lowe’s Valspar line of paint. It allows you to select different colors and add them to your palette. Then you can choose what style room you’d like to see the colors used in. I only played with it a little bit, but it seemed like a great thing.

Do you have a dream color combination that you’re wanting to use in your home? Maybe you should go for it. The worst thing that can happen is you hate it and have to repaint. Let us know if you’re tackling any re-do projects this weekend, especially if they involve painting!

Happy Weekend Folks!

July 15, 2010

Simply egg-cellent!


We all know that certain foods go in and out of fashion and it seems like the latest item du jour is the humble egg. Not that the egg needed any kind of help as it is pretty much the perfect food. Growing up southern, especially with grandparents who farmed meant having plenty of eggy goodness at almost every meal. I loved going with my cousin to gather the beautiful brown eggs that my granny would scramble up with cheese for my breakfast. I'm still quite partial to brown eggs, either from the grocery story or from my local farmers' market.


{a yummy salad via cooking light}

I read one article in a high society magazine about the recent trend of frou frou chefs "plopping runny, rich yolky eggs on everything." One dish noted was green beans (fresh of course), with onion and pancetta topped with a fried egg and parmesan cheese. I haven't tried this yet, but my curiosity is piqued. Also in the haute cuisine spotlight are deviled eggs (which my dad grew up calling "dressed eggs" much to the delight of my devout Freewill Baptist grandmother....apparently eating anything described as deviled was just too much for her!). Lately the devils have been paired with fancy seafood like shrimp, crab lobster and smoked salmon.


Eggs are the perfect go-to food when you don’t have much else in the fridge. Toss in a bunch of leftovers for a quick omelet, soak stale bread in a milk/egg mixture for easy French toast or boil them up to chop into a salad. Eggs add protein to your diet and contrary to what my brother thinks, the yolks are quite good for you and contain many nutrients in which some folks are often lacking. It’s ok Bubbie, I still love you.

chicken, me holding

{moi, age 3 or 4…holding a chicken…i told you i love eggs!}

So if you’re an egg fan like me, how do you like yours fixed? Scrambled with cheese a’ la my granny’s kitchen or some other fabulous way? Please share…I’m always looking for a new way to enjoy this little treat!

July 13, 2010

Strike while the ironstone is hot


I think I’ve alluded to my pack-rat tendencies here on SBS, especially in the area of tabletop goodies (aka dishes, linens, glassware, silver, etc.). My latest obsession is ironstone pottery. I guess I like it mostly because it’s old and every piece tells such a story. 

While tooling around a few local antique shops this weekend, I came across so much gorgeous ironstone, all of which I really wanted to bring home with me. Why it is that I feel the need to add one more thing to my vast list of collectible must-haves, I will never know. The problem is that when certain items become more desirable, they become less affordable as well. I'm not a total cheapskate, but I always think I can find a better deal at the proverbial 'next place.' So I mostly just window shopped and ended our shopping excursion empty-handed...ok I bought one thing, but no ironstone.

Then as we were heading back home, my mom spotted a Goodwill and wanted to stop. I swear to you, if there is a Goodwill within 75 miles of anywhere, she'll sniff it out. We left my dad sleeping in the car and started making our way around the store. In the far back corner I spotted a stack of dishes on the bottom shelf and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but 21 pieces of ironstone transferware!


All clearly marked Johnson Brothers in the pattern Staffordshire Bouquet, the set included 3 dinner plates, 9 bowls, several smaller plates and 2 cups. I was already willing to pay the asking price of $25, but since it was half-price day I brought all the little darlings home for $12.50.


I'm not trying to take my good fortune and rub it in anyone's face here, but I think this is just more evidence to support my claims that thrift store shopping can yield some wonderful treasures. I understand there might be certain qualms that people have about buying someone else's "old stuff," but don't blame me when you realize that you're missing out on some great goodies.


July 12, 2010

You should’ve tied a bow on it!


You don't have to make more than one lap around your local mall to see that bows have made something of a resurgence. As a child of the 80s, my mom wasted no opportunity to plop a larger than life bow on the top of my poufy head. The Brown-eyed-Belle can back me up here as she recently took us on a little walk down memory lane with her own bow collection....wowzers!

I don't think I'll be sporting a bow on my head anytime soon, but there are plenty of other ways to incorporate this bit of pizzazz to your outfits. I have a huge collection of scarves that don't get much rotation until cooler days, but a scarf can easily be tied into a bow and used to add a little style to a plain tank or t-shirt. I pinned this one on, but you could also just tie it around the straps of your shirt. Or if you are thinking a long skinny scarf around the wrist is more your style, check out the how-to on that adorable blog Summer is a Verb. DSC00942

Mondays can be tough so treat yourselves with extra care my friends! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

July 9, 2010

Peeling back the layers…

{my favorite drink as a kid}
It's no secret that we undergo quite a few changes from childhood to adulthood, and one of these changes has to do with our taste buds. Based on my own observations, it seems that roughly half of the kids I know who were picky eaters grow up to be picky adults....while the other half sort of outgrows being a picky eater and moves on to having a more diverse palate.
I hardly consider myself to have been a picky eater as a kid, but there were certain things that I would not touch. I'm glad that I've developed a greater sense of gastronomy as a grown-up because the one food I previously refused to eat is now one of my utter favorites. Let me present you with the onion, specifically sweet onions such as the famous Vidalia and it's northwest cousin, the Walla Walla.
The Vidalia on ion was first grown in Georgia in the 1930s and rose in popularity because of it's non-oniony sweetness. In order for the official Vidalia stamp to be used, the onions in question must have been grown in very specific areas of the state. The same goes for the Walla Walla onion, which is the state vegetable of Washington.
Since I'm all about the onion these days and they are peaking right about now, I wanted to share a few tips as well as some delicious recipes. 1. Pick good onions: Look for firm, dry onions that are shiny with no bruises. 2. Store in a single layer (to prevent bruising) in a cool, dry spot. You can also wrap each onion in a paper towel and store in the fridge, and supposedly chilling will reduce tears when you go to cut your onion.
{Baked Vidalia Onions}
  • 4 Vidalia onions (or other sweet onions)
  • 4 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 T butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Peel off outer layer of each onion. Cut a 1/4-inch slice from bottom of each so the onions will sit upright. Cut a hole 1 to 2 inches deep in the top of each onion. Insert a bullion cube and 1/2 T butter in each hole. Place flat side down on a large square of foil and wrap tightly so the juices cannot escape. Place in a baking dish and bake for 1 hour. To serve, unwrap the onions and place in a serving bowl with the juices.  Serves 4 (or at my house, possibly 2)
recipe from My Mama Made That, Virginia Favorites from the Junior League of Hampton Rd. Inc
{Vidalia Onion Pie}
  • 3 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (9-inch) prebaked deep-dish pie shell
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until lightly browned. Put the pie pan on a sheet pan. Line the bottom of pie crust with the onions. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and the flour together to combine. Add the milk, sour cream and salt. Mix well and pour over the onions. Garnish with the bacon and bake until firm in the center, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.
recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Have a great weekend y’all!

July 8, 2010

You tell me!



I was chatting with one of my friends today and I happened to pose the question to her "what's the deal with the whole mustache trend?" She had somehow missed this mini-zeitgeist. Do the rest of you know what I'm talking about? I'm guessing you probably do and hoping that one of you lovelies can enlighten me (and my friend!).

mustache blog

Ok, for those of you like possibly my grandma who don't get the reference to which I am referring (Hi Me-me!), there is a current trend that has been big for awhile that involves people wearing faux mustaches...more specifically at weddings, in wedding photos. I suppose it is sort of cute for a whole group of people to do something silly and fun for a photo. But why the mustache? What about bunny ears? Why not clown noses? One summer I attempted to single-handedly bring back parasols and the phrase "pleased as punch." Maybe it's possible for me to apply the same effort to change this whole mustache trend. Maybe I'll start a trend where everyone puts clothespins on his/her noses in photos and acts like they smell something stinky. But that's just ridiculous, right?

100lc_rwlisageoff9 So why is wearing a mustache cool? I honestly don't know, but I hope somebody can explain it to me. Don’t worry Me-me, then I’ll explain it to you!

Call me old-fashioned, but the only way I will ever have a mustache in my wedding photos is if the Sally Hansen Crème Hair Remover was past its expiration date…Lord forbid!