July 30, 2011

Vintage SBS: Delta’s Day

dw gals in sequins

Last year we celebrated Delta Burke’s birthday in great style. Wishing her another fabulous year and hoping she feels oh so celebrated today! I’m going to find some sequins and shoulder pads and wear them in her honor! How are you paying tribute to the queen belle?

July 29, 2011

Eat Your Words

Ever wondered about your favorite author’s taste in snacks? Here’s one entry from a fabulous illustration by Wendy MacNaughton depicting diets of a few different famous wordsmiths. Of course Truman Capote lived on a liquid diet!

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In the meantime, I’ll be snacking on these. Hope everybody has a fantastic weekend!

July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Jacqueline!

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From the pool of regular people who make up our world, there will always a certain few who stand apart. Their style is copied, their virtues are aspired to. Jackie will always be one of those people. It’s hard to believe she would be 82 years old today, and even harder still to believe she’s been gone for almost 20 years.

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The mark she left on us is indelible and for this reason, we will continue to celebrate her. Happy Birthday Jackie! Thanks for the elegance, class and fortitude that we could always expect from you.

{Our celebration of Jackie from last year}


{images via}

July 27, 2011

Anti-Recipe: Not Your Granny’s Green Bean Salad


I’m definitely not a green bean snob…from canned to frozen, I eat ‘em all. But fresh is always best and this recipe gave me a great new way to enjoy all the beans I’m currently getting in my CSA box each week. It was super easy and oh-so tasty too.

The Anti-Recipe:

  • 1 lb of green beans, washed and ends trimmed (string-less beans work best for this)
  • 2 pears, halved & thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of sugared pecans {I used these & they were amazing!}
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (or to taste)

Blanch beans for 3-5 minutes and then transfer them to an ice water bath. Arrange on a plate with sliced pears and pecans. Whisk the oil, vinegar & sugar together to make the dressing. Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.

If you think this sounds like an odd combo, trust me…it’s SO good! You have to get a little bite of bean and pear together to taste what I mean. Enjoy!

July 25, 2011

An Extra Helping of Style: Jonathan Adler


Jonathan Adler is a designer whose style I’ve always admired, partly because it’s so punchy and bright and partly because he is brave enough to try just about anything. His color combinations, retro shapes and pattern mixings never fail to cheer.


I enjoyed his book, My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living, and think it could be a great source of inspiration for even the most blah of décor. We visited one of his stores in Atlanta a few months ago and I couldn’t help taking a couple of pictures.


All this color isn’t for everybody, but it certainly makes me happy. And according to Jonathan, my home is happy too!

jadler design aesthetic

Hope your happy home is filled with things you love today!

July 22, 2011

Friday Flashback: Lady Wrestlers at the Expo

lady wrestlers app expo

Sometimes I like to think about what my life could have been like if I were born in a different time. Apparently, had I been of age in the early 1900s, I could have been a lady wrestler. This image was taken at the 1910 Appalachian Expo, a huge event in Knoxville that officials thought would turn our fair city into a cosmopolitan southern center.


Sadly, it didn’t yield the results they hoped for, but we still have some lovely architecture to show for it and can say that former president Teddy Roosevelt was in attendance.

App Expo

The county fair is probably the closest thing we have to an expo nowadays and I always enjoy the heck out of it! It’s still fun to reminisce about the past and what might have been. I just don’t think Wrestlin’ Belle Simple has the same ring to it though.

Happy Friday y’all! Enjoy the weekend!

July 21, 2011

Farm Fresh + Fancy


I recently picked up a set of vintage silver-plated flatware for a steal. The pattern, from 1936 by Wm. Rogers, is called Fascination. I like it because of the art deco design and I plan on using it as my every-day silverware.


My favorite thing about this particular set is it came with several serving pieces, including the one above which I was able to identify as a tomato server. It certainly makes farm fresh ‘maters feel a bit more fancy!


My friend Mollie posted a lovely tomato tart recipe on her blog today, but plain old tomato slices make me just as happy. How are you enjoying the season’s bounty?

July 20, 2011

Healthy Inspiration a’ la @just_ripe


Combine my participation in a local farm’s CSA program this summer with a recent viewing of this film and you’ve got one inspired belle trying to eat a whole lot healthier. When my parents were visiting me last week, we enjoyed the most delicious breakfast at a new downtown spot that is grocery store, restaurant and food co-op all in one.


just ripe is a neat little place located on Union Ave. in the heart of downtown Knoxville. Initially funded by local support and Kickstarter, just ripe offers East Tennesseans a great selection of local and regional products and wares. Can you tell how much we enjoyed our breakfast?


In fact, my mom’s selection of Apple Carrot Quesadilla was so tasty, I just had to recreate it over the weekend. Oh I’ll definitely be popping back into just ripe, but until then I can enjoy my own version of their yummy breakfast melt.


Here’s how I did it. Combine 1 carrot (grated), 1 green apple (chopped) and a handful each of dried cranberries and chopped pecans. Stir in 2 T of sour cream (or Greek yogurt). Use this mixture to fill a whole wheat tortilla, plus add a sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese. Heat (I used a regular skillet, but you could also bake it in the oven) until the cheese is melted and enjoy.


For the record, my southern beau wasn’t too sure about this combination but once he tried it, he was sold! I hope y’all will visit just ripe the next time you are in Knoxville and let me know what you think! My dad also picked up some of their homemade granola and it was really tasty.

July 19, 2011

A Modern “It” Girl

clara on carousel

I’ve always been a fan of Clara Bow. Imagine my surprise to see her 1927 film It available as a selection to watch instantly on Netflix. The film, also the source of her nickname “the It girl,” is a lively, yet silent romp. Watching it requires your full attention so don’t try to view it while multi-tasking or you’ll miss much of the charm (and probably the story!).

The above clip shows Clara and her suitor enjoying a carnival fun house…although I don’t think that whirling disc would pass any safety inspections by today’s standards.

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Here’s a little re-style of Clara’s pleated skirt & sweater ensemble from the film. Have you ever looked to a film from the past to get inspiration for the present?

July 18, 2011



We’re all roasting in the summer heat, so the thought of putting on a coat is the last thing on our minds. But you might want to think about jackets a little right now as many styles are currently in deep clearance, what with stores trying to make room for new fall items.

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I’ve always believed outerwear is one arena in which the Europeans have us beat…they tend to look so polished and 9 times out of 10 it is because they are wearing a chic topper or wrap. Let’s give them a run for their money and amp up our own style with classic outerwear!

navy trench











This navy trench, similar to the one sported by Duchess Catherine, is currently on sale at Land’s End, along with many other cute styles, including the green gingham trench and black quilted topper pictured above.

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This sweet yellow raincoat is less than half of its original price at Eddie Bauer along with some pretty blazers.

I know we’re smack dab in the middle of summer, but is anybody else stocking up on coats? On the first crisp day of fall, you won’t regret it! Happy Monday friends!

July 13, 2011

Anti-Recipe: Smashed Turnips


Turnips are one of those foods that often get passed over and I’ll admit to never having eaten them until recently. Maybe the image of Scarlett pulling a turnip out of the red earth of Tara and chomping down on it, only to retch, was emblazoned in my mind.

Since there were some cute little turnips in my CSA box a few weeks ago, I decided to be brave and try them. To my pleasant surprise, they were delicious! And I can promise this recipe will leave you much happier than Scarlett in her famed scene.

Smashed Turnips

  • 3-4 turnips, washed & coarsely chopped
  • butter
  • fresh chives (mine are the garlic variety!)
  • salt & pepper

Cover turnips with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the turnips are tender, but not mushy. Drain the water. Mash turnips with a little butter. Stir in chives and salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!

{This dish is especially great for someone practicing a low-carb lifestyle, because they are an alternative to mashed potatoes without sacrificing flavor.}

July 11, 2011

Penny Postcards


I’ve always been drawn to old things, especially when they have a story. One thing I’ve collected over the years is postcards…some from my travels and others depicting artwork and images I hold dear. My small collection of post cards pales in comparison to the cards my great-aunt received and collected in her life.


The cards, mostly dated from around 1910, ended up in the care of my great-grandmother, sister-in-law of the collector. My mom says she can remember looking through them as a child and I’m so thankful to have a few of them now.


This particular card tickles me because Bakers Cross Roads, Tennessee is little more than its name suggests…a spot where two roads happen to cross. I’m impressed they had their own official card printed.


This image, the back of the Bakers X Roads card, is sweet because it begins with the phrase, from your best friend. Kind words from a loved one are always appreciated, no matter how thoroughly modern we consider ourselves to be.


I wonder if this seemingly innocent card was considered risqué by the morality standards of the past.


This is another of my favorites because the concept of a harlequin doesn’t really seem like something the folks in rural Middle Tennessee would have been familiar with, but it paints a magical scene.

I hope we never stop sending and receiving mail…the old-fashioned way. There is something so fun about opening up the mailbox to find a card or letter inside. Let’s all think about sending someone we love a sweet note…it would do wonders to brighten his or her day!


Happy Monday friends!

July 8, 2011

Anti-Recipe: Pork n’ Greens

Kale is something of a super food, even trumping Popeye’s beloved spinach in several categories of vitamins and nutrients. I’ve been eating more of it lately since I took part in a local farm’s CSA, a program that allows me to pick up a box of farm fresh veggies & fruits each week.

The best way to partake in the leafy goodness is to eat Kale raw, but if you are looking to incorporate it in a cooked meal…this is the one to try. I used ground pork, but you could easily use another meat.


Pork n’ Greens

  • 1 lb ground pork, lean beef, turkey or chicken
  • 3 cups of Kale, washed and torn
  • 1 cup water
  • Onion, chopped
  • 1 T red wine vinegar

Brown meat in a pot with a heavy bottom. When meat is fully cooked, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate or colander to drain the grease. Over medium heat, put a handful of Kale leaves into the pot and stir them around until wilted to a bright green. Keep adding Kale until all of it has been wilted down just a little bit. Add a cup of water (onion optional), cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add the drained meat & vinegar back to the pot and enjoy!

Click here for nutrition facts about Kale

July 6, 2011

Shirt Tales

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I don’t really look to trends all that much when choosing my clothes, but this summer’s light, airy blouses are definitely making their way into my wardrobe. There’s something about a blouse that feels distinctly feminine…and for a tiny bit of extra effort (I’m talking about ironing, people), a blouse can make you feel special.

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These first two options (both from Gap) are lovely because they aren’t the typical button-up variety. Button-up blouses can be problematic for those of us bustier girls. [Sorry Pe-pa…you can skip today’s post]

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If you prefer a buttoned blouse, something like this one (from Old Navy) would be a good option. The ruffled detail is sweet and draws attention to your face, plus the color is flattering to many different complexions.

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This smocked top (also Old Navy) is another example with pretty details that are easy to wear. I might complain about the heat, but an adorable blouse definitely makes it better. I’m curious…are you wearing blouses this summer? If so, how are you wearing them?

{p.s. I’m not really pushing Gap or Old Navy…I just know what brands work for me and these are two that do!}

July 5, 2011

New Bike Summer

girl on bike

I was something of a late bloomer when it came to bike riding, not learning to pedal on my own until I was in 4th grade or so. Once I learned to ride, I loved my bike so much and spent many summer days zipping around, pretending it was a horse, of course.

During college, it seemed everybody had a bike…but since I always lived fairly close and got by just fine with walking, I never cared too much about having one.


Then the lovely Miss Janice posted a picture of her new bike (a sweet birthday treat) and I was so smitten. Maybe it’s time for me to have a bike again! (Here’s a link to Huffy so you can see different styles)

Want to see more fabulous bikes with lovely girl riders? Check out this sassy tumblr blog, Girls with Bikes.

July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July, 2011!

jasper johns flag on orange
“When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great [Smoky] mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.”
-- Adlai Stevenson
{image by Jasper Johns, via}