May 31, 2011

Diana Warner New York


June 1, 2011 is a special day for my friend Diana Warner, a Knoxville belle who has made quite a name for herself. After experiencing much success with her eponymous jewelry line in boutiques across the country, she is opening a flagship store in Manhattan!


I wish I could be in New York for Diana’s grand opening, but we can still help her celebrate this exciting occasion with a post! Diana is beloved by many SBS readers, especially since she created a one-of-a-kind Southern Belle necklace which I gave away on the blog last year.


Her new store, located just off Park Avenue at 42 E 21st Street is absolutely gorgeous from floor to ceiling. Diana’s style is so unique and the store really captures that.


In addition to her fabulous jewelry offerings, the Diana Warner flagship store will also carry items by Tolani, Yumi Kim, Henry & Belle denim, Leona Collection, FashionABLE scarves, J.J. Winters and Magnus handbags.


If you’re in the New York area, you simply must stop by! Congratulations Diana and your entire team…we’re so proud of you! Thanks for allowing us to celebrate this milestone with you. 


Hope everyone has recovered from the holiday weekend and is having a grand week!

May 26, 2011

Biscuits, Rolls and Chocolate Bacon

daddy's biscuits

This weekend is the second ever International Biscuit Festival and I’m attending! Last year’s event had a few kinks. so hopefully the organizers have ironed things out and are prepared for the huge crowds that will attend. It’s sure to be a great time for everyone involved. Here’s my post on prepping for last year’s fest.

If you don’t feel like making biscuits, here’s a link to a post I did with a recipe for the Blue Willow Inn’s Buttery Biscuit Rolls. They are super easy and melt in your mouth!


If your mouth wasn’t watering enough, hop over to the blog for the fabulous artisan chocolate makers Olive & Sinclair. Located in Nashville, TN, this company has really been getting some great press, first from folks like Gwyneth Paltrow and now from national food events. They are even collaborating with Mr. Alan Benton on some special bacon flavored chocolate.

Hopefully Mr. Benton will be at Biscuit Fest and we can talk to him about it!

{Biscuit image via & link to Tricia Yearwood’s Biscuit Recipe}

May 25, 2011

le fete de l’imagination: Dixie Carter

peach ruffle cake

Today we’re celebrating the birth of a very special lady. Miss Dixie Carter passed away last year (we honored her life in a post), but I can’t let her birthday pass without a mention. She embodied what it means to be a southern belle, with both grit and grace. I’m sure she would aged even more gracefully had her life not ended too soon.


Instead of some sort of frou-frou beverage concoction, I think Ms. Dixie would enjoy a Coke for her birthday, or perhaps a Co-Cola…maybe sipped from a chilled silver tumbler. She was all lady, but not in a silly way. My southern story is certainly richer because of her.


And for the lady who probably had everything? Freshly cut hydrangeas grown in the soil of her sweet home state of Tennessee. Although I like to think there are at least a few hydrangea bushes lining the streets of heaven. If there aren’t hydrangeas in heaven, I’m not sure I want to go.


Happy Birthday Dixie Carter & Happy Wednesday my friends!

May 24, 2011

How does your garden grow: dusty miller


I must have been feeling nostalgic at the lawn & garden store because I ended up bringing home half a flat of dusty miller. Are you familiar with this white perennial? My granny always had some in her flower beds as sort of a border. It comes from the Mediterranean and can be propagated from cuttings. Instead of mixing it with some other type of flower or plant, I put all mine in an old metal washtub and I love the result.

You can also use cut pieces in floral arrangements. I fell in love with the bridal bouquet pictured below because it is such an interesting mix of things I wouldn’t have thought to put together.

dusty miller bridal bouquet

{image via}

Hope everyone is having a great week! What growing things are a reminder of someone you love?

May 23, 2011

Cornbread Festival & Deep South Mag


When the fabulous Erin at Deep South Magazine recently contacted me about doing an article about the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, TN, I jumped at the chance! Not only was it a great chance for an adventure, but also, I love sharing a bit of what my state has to offer. Read the article here.


The day included delicious food, quaint shopping experiences and the chance to tour the Lodge Cast Iron factory. The best thing about Lodge Cast Iron is it can last forever. I have several really old pieces that are even better now than when brand new. I also just picked up a deep fry pot at a rummage sale over the weekend for a steal!

Anybody been to the Cornbread Fest? Anybody going to the Biscuit Fest this coming weekend? Hope to see you there!

May 19, 2011

Anti-Recipe: Killed Lettuce & Onions


A dish I can remember having sometimes while growing up was wilted lettuce and onions. I probably wasn’t much of a fan back then because I stuck mostly to salads consisting of lettuce, cheese and ranch dressing. My mom mentioned she made it last week and since I had all the ingredients handy from my weekly CSA shipment, I decided to give it a try too.

The term “killed” or “kill’t” lettuce comes from Appalachian culture as the lifespan of the lettuce is quite short once you pour the dressing on it. I recommend hearty lettuce such as red- or green-leaf, as opposed to iceberg. I used stick onions, but you don’t have to. Such an easy dish & tasty as can be!


The Recipe:

4 cups of torn lettuce pieces

1 cup of chopped onions

Dressing -

2 T bacon grease

2 T white vinegar

1 T sugar

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then pour over the greens & onions, mix to coat and eat immediately.

We slicked our bowls clean and wished for more…probably going to make another mess of it this week. Let me know if you’re a fan of this dish!

P.S. A wonderful new blog I just discovered with a sweet story about this dish! Love the title, love the design, love the content!

#GWTW75 Celebration & Giveaway

In honor the anniversary of Gone with the Wind’s publication (75 years ago today!) I’m giving away a copy of the beloved book. I happened to see this special anniversary edition at the grocery store of all places and picked up a copy for one lucky reader!

gwtw75 book

To be eligible, just leave me a comment/send a tweet finishing the following phrase: “Frankly my dear…” You can vent something, be funny/silly or just tell me something that’s going on in your life! I’ll randomly choose a winner Sunday at midnight and announce it Monday!

If you tweet, please use the hashtag #GWTW75 to spread the word about the festivities taking place in Georgia this summer to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Here’s mine…frankly my dears, I’m glad the weekend is almost here! Happy Thursday!

May 17, 2011

Southern Hospitality at the Hotel Indigo

A couple weekends ago, I was invited to visit the Margaret Mitchell House for a social media event kicking off the 75th Anniversary of the publication of Gone with the Wind. My apologies to any of my Atlanta peeps for not getting in touch…it was a quick trip and packed to the brim with activities. My original plans were to drive down for the event and then just drive right back. Round-trip that would have been 7 hours in the car, so I decided to try and find a hotel instead.

ATLANTA Hotels - Hotel Indigo Boutique Hotels ATLANTA MIDTOWN Hotel in ATLANTA  Book Direct fo - Windows Internet Explorer 5172011 11118 PM.bmp

Imagine my surprise to learn the Hotel Indigo wanted to host me at its lovely Midtown Atlanta location. I decided not to waste a hotel stay all by my lonesome, and asked my parents to join me, to show my mom some Mother’s Day love at the same time.

ATLANTA Hotels - Hotel Indigo Boutique Hotels ATLANTA MIDTOWN Hotel in ATLANTA  Book Direct fo - Windows Internet Explorer 5172011 11033 PM.bmp

Our lovely room, while a bit small, was crisp and clean. Everything about this hotel is bright and cheery, giving you the feeling you might be in Key West, instead of Midtown Atlanta. High ceilings, bright white moldings and shiny wood floors help set the backdrop.


I slept like a baby and didn’t have to share a single one of the four fluffy pillows with my usual bed hogging dog, ahem, companion. However, this hotel is as dog-friendly as can be and that’s definitely a selling point for folks who travel with pets. The staff was pleasant and helpful and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.


Our 12th floor view of the famous Fox Theatre and Peachtree Street certainly didn’t hurt either!


I definitely recommend the Hotel Indigo to anyone staying in Atlanta. It is centrally located and parking is a breeze. There is a nice cafĂ©/bar in the lobby and the patio at night is wonderful for people watching. If you’d like to stay at a Hotel Indigo location other than Atlanta, check here.

{Disclaimer: While I was hosted complimentary at this hotel, I absolutely loved my stay there and would have paid full price for the room. I wouldn’t recommend something unless I really thought it was good. I plan on staying again in the future and taking my pooch along.}

May 16, 2011

Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s & Giveaway

If you’re a fan of Americana music or possibly just looking for an unforgettable adventure for your Memorial Day weekend, you might want to consider heading out of the city and enjoying the simple life on a farm in Middle Tennessee (No, not Bonnaroo).


Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s is a fantastic music festival, now in its 6th year. The family-friendly event is a blast, complete with delicious food vendors, handmade goods for sale and and a fabulous lineup of talent that includes the likes of Scott Miller, Marshall Chapman and The Black Lillies. Gates open Thursday May 26th at 3:00 and the fun doesn’t end until after the fabulous Ms. Marshall Chapman leaves the stage Sunday night.

I met her at the Southern Festival of Books last year and she was quite a character. Talk about somebody with stories to tell!

Anyway, Hippie Jack has agreed to give away a few tickets to some lucky SBS readers. I have 2 camping passes (valued at $55 each) and 2 day passes…in case you’d like to go, but not camp. If you happen to win the day passes and decide you’d like to camp, it will only be an extra $45 each. Pretty good deal, huh?

How to enter:

“Like” Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s on Facebook

“Like” SBS on Facebook

Leave a comment/email me/post on SBS’s FB wall/tweet…in other words, contact me in any way to let me know you’re interested in attending. This all counts for one entry.

If you REALLY want to go, leave another comment/email me again/retweet/etc. 

I’ll announce the winners on Friday May 20th….Good luck!

May 13, 2011

Friday Flashback: My great-grandfather


“Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.”

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

Hoping that the love of farm & country fills your heart this weekend…Happy Friday friends!

May 12, 2011

Farm Fresh Goodness, CSA Week 1

My love of fresh fruits and veggies combined with a desire to get healthier prompted my decision to participate in a CSA. CSA stands for “community supported agriculture” and it entails paying a sum of money to a local farm in exchange for weekly shipments of the farm’s bounty over a period of time.


For roughly the amount I would spent on grocery store produce each week, I am getting fresh, local produce AND supporting a small business at the same time. Win-win! Yesterday I picked up my first shipment and I seriously felt like a kid at Christmas.

One fun thing about doing a CSA is the element of surprise. Based on the harvest schedule, you have an idea of what might be in your box each week, but there’s probably going to be something you weren’t expecting too. I think this will be great for me because it not only challenges me to try new foods, but also provides a chance to experiment with recipes….one of my favorite things!


For the first time in my entire southern life, I cooked turnip greens that weren’t frozen or from a can. This might not seem like a very big deal, but when food is woven into our lives the way it is here in the south, cooking greens is something of an art form. I could feel all the great cooks in my family who have gone before me, cheering me on.

I was careful to save the liquid or “potlikker” and used it to start a pot of dried beans. Now I’m looking for yummy-sounding Bok Choy recipes, so if you have a favorite, please share!

{greens image used with permission via}

Also, this is a great article about potlikker & our southern food roots

May 11, 2011

From the China Cabinet: Peachy Keen Dish


Some might consider me a certified dish and glassware hoarder, but one type of lovely glassware I’ve never collected is milk glass. I didn’t realize milk glass originated in Venice, but that makes sense, what with all the other types of gorgeous glass Italy is known for. I saw this little lidded dish at a wonderful shop recently and for just $50, I thought it was a great deal. Alas, I didn’t bring it home with me…but I’m sure someone will snatch it up soon.

milk glass

If you’re interested in starting a milk glass collection, check flea markets and rummage sales…I frequently run across pieces at a reasonable price. Any current collectors out there? 

May 9, 2011

Gone with the Wind Social Media Extravaganza

















little while back, I hinted at some upcoming Atlanta adventures I had planned and one of them took place over the weekend. It should be no secret here on SBS I have a deep love for all things Gone with the Wind. After connecting via blogland & twitter, my adorable friend Ms. Brandi Nell, Southern Belle extended an invitation my way. In addition to having a fantastic blog, Brandi is kind of a big deal at the Atlanta History Center, which operates the Margaret Mitchell House, where GWTW was written.


The event was a blogger/social media meet-up and VIP tour of the apartment where Ms. Mitchell wrote her beloved novel. We were treated to yummy food, courtesy of Whole Foods and viewed the trailer for a new Margaret Mitchell documentary, produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting. All of this hooplah is to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the publication of Gone with the Wind, with an event Saturday May 14th to kick off the festivities.


If you’ve never been to the Margaret Mitchell House, you should definitely put it on your to-do list. Even if you aren’t a huge GWTW fan, it offers such a neat slice of history. I’m planning to get back to Atlanta during the summer to experience more of the festivities, including seeing a manuscript with the “lost chapters” of the book. This post is full of links to help you find out more information about all the fun…also search for the hashtag #GWTW75 to join the conversation on Twitter!

{side note: I just loved meeting Brandi in person…she made the whole day so special. We are not only kindred spirits, but also sorority sisters who attended different schools. Her blog is lovely and so is she!}

{gorgeous drop cap via daily drop cap}

May 6, 2011

Anti-Recipe: Strawberry Eatin’ Mess

The strawberry crops have been coming in and while I could eat them plain by the bowlfuls, I wanted to find another way to enjoy this lovely berry. I found an idea here and decided to try it. The actual name of this typically British dessert is Eaton Mess, as in Eaton College. Apparently it was served at the school’s annual picnic. Since I have always been prone to mishearing words and phrases (i.e. chester drawers), I decided to rename it with a southern twist. Hope you enjoy this easy treat! The final product isn’t all that pretty to look at, but it sure was pretty to taste!






Has anybody tried this dessert before? It’s definitely a new favorite of mine!

May 5, 2011

A Cowgirl Caravan: Sisters on the Fly


Have you ever had the urge to pack up a few necessities and hit the open road for awhile? One group of gals has done just that and I was able to visit with some of them recently in Tennessee.


Sisters on the Fly is a group of ladies who enjoy spending time together, traveling around and living the cowgirl life. For a yearly fee, each member of this nationwide sisterhood is assigned a sister # and permitted to join in all the organized activities of the group.


My favorite part of this cowgirl caravan is the vintage travel trailer each sister tows along. The sisters add their own unique flair to the trailers and they are quite a sight to behold.


To see more images of this fun-lovin’ group, check out the book Sisters on the Fly: Caravans, Campfires and Tales from the Road by Irene Rawlings. For the low price of $10.19 on Amazon, it’s definitely a great addition to any library.

sisters on the fly book

So much of our young lives are structured around friendship circles and the camaraderie they provide. Then we get a bit older and tend to forget the importance of a group of pals to just have fun with. These ladies are a wonderful reminder of what a blessing friendship can be!


Hope all you friends are having a lovely day! p.s. CitizenKG, this post is for you!

May 3, 2011

A Helping Hand, or Bowl


Last week I was invited to attend a fundraising event for a wonderful cause….Second Harvest Food bank (now known nationally as Feeding America). Working diligently with other partnering agencies, my local chapter of this organization feeds 158,000 hungry folks each month by stocking food pantries and providing other resources. The event is called Bowlicious and this year marks its 9th anniversary. 


For the price of a ticket, each attendee was given a gorgeous handcrafted bowl, donated by local potters. We then used our chosen bowl to enjoy the event’s meal, several varieties of soup and chili donated by local restaurants.


The idea behind Bowlicious is to remind us just how much we might take one bowl of soup for granted and bringing our bowl home at the end of the night serves as a lasting reminder of this.


I think it was a really good idea for a  fundraiser and I felt so special to have been included. I chose a medium sized turquoise bowl, in case you were wondering and it’s already gotten some good use.

Happy Tuesday!

May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Pe-Pa!

I’ve been very blessed in my life to have wonderful grandparents who made me feel like the most special person in the world…it’s only fair to return the favor in the best way I can.


Today is my Pe-pa’s birthday and since he is one of my most loyal blog readers, I knew he’d see this tribute. I was the first grandchild so I like to think I gave him the opportunity to learn how to be a grandfather. And what a good one he is!

His life has been full of much hard work, but also great rewards. He is well-known and well-loved in my hometown. He’s also a pretty good sport…this was a couple years ago at his birthday fiesta!

pepa bday

Happy Birthday Pe-pa! I hope you know how very special you are!