January 30, 2012

Fashion + Art = Inspiration!

Art and fashion are closely linked in my mind and when I saw these wonderful creations on the collage site Polyvore, I wanted to share them. Georgina, an art lover and former art history student got inspiration from different works of art and created fashionable representations of each.

Maybe fashion (or art, for that matter) isn’t your thing…but these just serve to show that you can take inspiration from all sorts of places and allow it to come to life in different ways.

I once said I wanted to dress like a cupcake would feel, but maybe I should dress like a painting instead. Happy Monday, sweets!

Jasper Johns
 
 
 
Sonia Delaunay
 
 
 
Andy Warhol
 
 
 
Mark Rothko
 
 
 
Andy Warhol

January 27, 2012

Elegant DIY Framed Art

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It’s true I’m a huge art lover, but I’m often appalled by the price of framed art I see in stores. When I spotted these wonderful framed pieces that my friend created on a dime, I just knew I had to share them. He wanted a set of botanical prints that looked great, but didn’t break the bank. His solution? Buy a science book with lots of pretty color plates and use them to create one-of-a-kind art.

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I’m sure some librarians would cringe at the thought of cutting up a beautiful book, but I can’t think of a better way to enjoy those gorgeous images than by putting them on display. My friend took these to a frame shop, but you could easily buy ready-made frames to save on cost. Even mismatched frames can be spray painted the same color to create a unified look.

I really enjoy thinking outside the usual to bring a little lovely in your home. Have you done anything lately that made you feel like a DIY rockstar? I’d love to hear about it!

January 24, 2012

Only in the South: Toilet Love

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If you were shocked to see a toilet (yes, it’s mine) on the ol’ blog today…hang on to your socks. There is a reason for this post and it has nothing to do with anything gross. This picture might not look like very much to you. It’s just your average bathroom commode. But when I came home from work last night and saw it, I almost swooned and promptly took a picture.

You see…a couple (ok, three) years ago, yours truly was doing some routine plumbing adjustments to the toilet tank when the ceramic tank lid slipped from my hands and broke into 78 pieces on the bathroom floor. This was not my finest moment. For whatever reason, hardware stores don’t sell just the tank lid….you have to buy a whole new toilet. But my toilet was fine and I couldn’t justify spending the money on a new one while the current one worked ok (minus the tank lid).

So I lived without the lid for all this time, mostly having gotten used to it, but also secretly hating the whole bathroom situation. My dad kindly offered to buy me a new toilet for Christmas, but, not wishing to see one under the tree on Dec. 25, I declined his offer.

Sunday afternoon, I had a small crying jag in which I moaned to my beau about all the unfinished projects around my house, including the toilet minus a tank lid which “embarrassed me to the point that I can’t have people over and have taken to compulsive clothes shopping to soothe myself.” {drama, I tell you}

My southern beau, who didn’t realize this was such a tragic issue for me, calmly said he’d be happy to visit a salvage shop where he was sure he could find me a replacement. I didn’t think he’d be able to find one, but lo and behold, one trip to the salvage store, $5 and 1 canister of Lysol disinfectant wipes later, I have a toilet tank lid that could pass for the original. {If you’re wondering why it took us 3 years to figure out this was such an easy fix, I have no answer for you. I, too, am wondering this.}

So yes, I love my toilet. Only in the south would a girl get so worked up over something like a toilet and only a southern beau like mine could save the day with such quiet bravado. If only he’d waited a couple of weeks to present me with the lid…it could have gone down in history as the best/worst Valentine’s Day gift ever. 

January 19, 2012

Bosoms & Butter: A Birthday Celebration

Two beloved southern ladies were born on this day and I just didn’t feel right not honoring their births with a little virtual party here on the blog. First, the fabulous Dolly Parton, East Tennessee gal after my own heart. Dolly is an icon in every sense of the word, with talent, style and a generous spirit.

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Next is the southern cooking queen of Savannah, Ms. Paula Deen. Her drawl and hospitality, in addition to her tasty comfort food, keep folks coming back for more.

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The fact that two southern ladies such as these were born on the same day is a special coincidence, but I’m glad they both were born and I’m sure glad we can celebrate them here together.

But what do you get for gals who have everything? Glad this is only a virtual party…no gifts required!

January 18, 2012

January is…

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Everybody knows October is Halloween, November is Thanksgiving and December is Christmas. January 1 is New Year’s Day, but the festivities don’t last very long. February has Valentine’s Day and March St. Pat’s. But besides cold, dreary days, what does January have?

There aren’t really any fun January projects (unless you count putting away the holiday decorations or cleaning out the closets…please don’t say you count these as fun). There aren’t any holidays that warrant sweets or other cheery d├ęcor. Other than bundling up in bed with a few sleeping dogs and a good book, I just can’t seem to find any worthwhile January activities.

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Surely you have some fun January traditions. If so, I’d love to hear about them! Maybe you have a special January event or happening that you want to share. Can anyone help me figure out what to do for the rest of the month? Even my dogs are beginning to get bored with me, I fear!

What does January mean to you?

{note: That gorgeous snowy scene is not my picture…in fact, it was a balmy 62 in my neck of the woods today. Maybe this bizarre-o weather is making January less fun?}

images via

January 16, 2012

Southern Belle Simple Loves Pinterest

I’ll never forget meeting my fabulous friend Kristen at the Blissdom blogger conference last year. We were chatting and getting to know each other when she ask me if I’d heard of Pinterest. It was early 2011 and I had no idea what she was talking about. Little did I know….

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A year, 21 boards and almost 500 pins later, I have embraced Pinterest with a vengeance. The virtual bulletin board of sorts is a wonderful way to keep track of projects, inspiration, recipes and just beautiful images.

If you are using it, find me please! If not, let me know and I’ll be happy to send you an invite.

Happy Monday friend! 

January 13, 2012

Touring the Historic Tennessee Theatre

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A week ago, the southern beau and I attended a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic Tennessee Theatre located on Gay Street in Knoxville, and I wanted to share some of the pictures I took of the gorgeous facility. Opening in 1928 as a silent movie house, it’s the Official State Theatre of Tennessee as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The theatre is designed in the Spanish Moorish style, and was totally restored prior to its grand re-opening in 2005. Even down to the carpet pattern, styles and designs are as authentic as they could get to match what it would have been back in its hey day.

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The first film to play at the Tennessee Theatre back in the 1920s was The Fleet’s In, staring the IT girl herself, Clara Bow. Since then the theatre has been a place to see movies, concerts, musicals and even hold your wedding or high school prom.

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I was lucky enough to perform on the stage of the Tennessee Theatre while in college when my sorority competed in the annual All Sing competition. This was prior to the renovations, but it was still an awesome experience.

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One of my best friends saw Les Miserables there this week and I’m trying not to be too jealous. It’s just such a wonderful venue to see a show. The grandeur of it sort of overtakes you and creates a really magical time.

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Have you ever been to the Tennessee Theatre? If not, I highly recommend you go. And even if you can’t see a show, just take a peek in the lobby.

Are you a person who enjoys attending live performances? What was the last great show you saw? Or if it’s been awhile, what’s the next one you’re dreaming of seeing?

January 11, 2012

About Face: The Oil Cleansing Method

small tile bathroom

Since my mom bought me my first tub of Noxzema, I’ve been a skincare product junkie…trying just about every new-fangled item on the market that promised to clean, clear and smooth my skin.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been following a new skincare regimen and wanted to share and see if anyone else has tried it (or been curious about trying it.) Dubbed the oil cleansing method (OCM) and explained in detail here, it involves using different oils to clean the skin on your face. After experimenting with the formula, I’ve decided that an equal mixture of castor and jojoba oil works best for me, with a few drops of tea tree oil mixed in.

So far, I’m really happy with the results. The oil cleansing method takes a little more effort than conventional face washing, but it’s worth it to me because my skin feels so much better. I’ve read some different bloggers’ experiences with the OCM, some great and some not so great. As with anything else, you (or your dermatologist) have to determine what works for you. I just know it’s been a really good change for my skin.

Some things I recommend if you do decide to try it:

-Buy good quality 100% oils. My first bottle of tea tree oil (from the Dollar General) was full of random ingredients, but I found better options at the Vitamin Shoppe.

-Make sure your hands are clean before you begin & make sure you remove all the oil from your skin afterward.

-You don’t need nearly as much oil as you think you do. (I estimate in the palm of my hand).

So, has anyone tried the oil cleansing method? If so, did you like it/did it work for you? If you hated it, I’d love to hear that too.

January 10, 2012

Stella & Dot Giveaway from Southern Belle Simple

What is it about a new piece of jewelry that just brightens up a gloomy day? If it’s rainy and gray outside your window like it has been outside mine these past few days, I know just what will cheer you up!

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I recently met Heather Peterson, an independent stylist for Stella & Dot, and she has graciously agreed to give away a fabulous pair of Stella & Dot earrings here on Southern Belle Simple.

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For a chance to win the Goddess hoops (shown above), just hop over to Heather’s Facebook page and give it a like. For an extra chance to win, you can follow her on Twitter. Leave me a comment or send me a tweet (by midnight Thursday) to let me know you entered and we’ll announce the winner on Friday. 

You can also visit her Stella & Dot site to check out the 2012 Spring Collection…it’s gorgeous, I tell ya! I’m definitely putting the Pippa earrings from the Amalfi Collection on my wish list.

S&D Pippa earrings

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week, and best of luck in the giveaway!

January 8, 2012

le fete de l’imagination: Happy 77th Birthday Elvis

Today would be Elvis Presley’s 77th birthday…which is kind of hard to believe because in my mind, he’s sort of stuck somewhere in icon land where nobody ages and fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches have no calories. {Speaking of, check out the fabulous Ezra Pound Cake’s take on E’s favorite snack…yum!}

elvis

I went through a HUGE Elvis phase when I was about 12 or 13. The TBS network used to dedicate an entire week to him called “Elvis Explosion” (eat your heart out Shark Week) during which it aired (and I watched) every Elvis movie ever made for seven days straight. I also read Priscilla’s biography “Elvis & Me” and it was quite the page-turner for my 13-year old self.

My junior high had a monthly newspaper and, for $.50, students could submit to each other song dedications which were published on the back page. My then-best friend and I racked our brains to choose the perfect songs to capture our deepest love and devotion to our 7th grade boyfriends. I selected none other than “Love me Tender,” thinking Elvis could best express my innermost tween angst. I recall that it was fairly well received.

I’m not sure why I chose to share this little anecdote today, but I made a resolution to share more personal things here on the blog and what’s more personal than an embarrassing story about adolescence?

Anyway, I’m going to play some Elvis songs today in honor of his birthday. My favorite is “Are you lonesome tonight?” and I’d love to hear what yours is, if you have a favorite.

Also, according to the official Elvis website, less than 50 cabins remain for the Elvis cruise…so if you were planning to go, you need to act fast.

January 5, 2012

Bird-Brained with Southern Belle Simple

In honor of January 5 being National Bird Day, I thought I’d share a few items that have recently caught my eye on Etsy, all sweetly sporting bird motifs.

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This gorgeous cockatoo stencil if you like your birds big and bold.

royal bird pillow

Soft and sweet, this bird pillow comes in an assortment of colors and I love the little crown.

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Maybe you’ve recently added a baby bird to your nest…this sterling bird necklace captures the sentiment for sure.

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Or perhaps you have many secrets and need a place close to your heart to keep them…I’d love this antique silver purse necklace…wonder if it comes with a few secrets of its own?

bird artwork from etsy

Don’t the little chirpers in this sweet bird artwork seem to be enjoying themselves? I love God’s feathered creatures so much.

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Finally, handcrafted pottery in the form of this tiny bowl with a bird perched on the rim. It’d be a perfect place to put rings or loose change.

I hope you’re enjoying today…we’ve almost made it to the weekend! Happy Thursday friend.

January 4, 2012

Only in the South: Cheap Tail

Every year one of my dear friends and I get together on Christmas Eve morning for a little breakfast, shopping and catching up. We usually make the rounds among a few antique stores in his quaint southern hometown and this year was no exception. We saw lots of great deals and I had to resist the urge to buy up some ironstone pieces I really liked. However, there was one item for sale I did not feel any urge to buy.

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Only in the south would a little bundle of tails be nestled in with the antique potato mashers and egg beaters, just hanging on a peg. I’m not sure if the price tag referred to only one tail in the bunch or the if the whole lot of them would have been $2.50.

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Perhaps someone more knowledgeable of the going price for tails can advise us as to whether or not this was a good deal.

Part of me really wanted to buy this and secretly tuck it in the stocking of an unsuspecting family member, but because I don’t love touching parts that have been removed from animals I can’t identify, I left it hanging there on its peg.

So what do y’all think?

{Disclaimer: The owner of this blog loves all animals and neither participates in nor condones animal cruelty, including but not limited to tail removal.}

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year from Southern Belle Simple

fireworks from flickr

January 1, 2012 started out kind of gray and gloomy in my neck of the woods. The southern beau and I were enjoying a little New Year’s breakfast when a dark sky opened up and poured rain for a couple of hours. We mucked around in the rain for a bit and then out of nowhere the sun appeared and the gray sky changed to blue.

A new year gets everyone thinking about new beginnings. So often we judge things by how they begin. It’s hard not to put pressure on ourselves and feel discouraged if circumstances don’t seem to be headed in the way we want them to. I’m trying to remember, as my great-grandmother said to me once “that we must hoe each row all the way to the end,” even though it’s my tendency to get stuck somewhere in the middle.

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This year I’m going to quit trying so hard at things that don’t matter and focus more on enjoying the things that do. I going to be my true self, even as I’m still figuring out who that is. I’m going for more quality, less quantity in the hope of living more in the moment rather than longing for the moments to come.

blue sky flickr

A gorgeous morning doesn’t guarantee a perfect day. Just like a perfect New Year’s doesn’t guarantee a great year. We often forget that the the darkest and gloomiest of mornings can sometimes turn into the loveliest of afternoons.

I hope you’ll join me this year in believing there are amazing times ahead, encouraging each other through the rainy days and celebrating the blue skies together.

{images via flickr Poppy Thomas-Hill}

January 1, 2012

Anti-Recipes: Black Eyed-Peas for New Years

The southern beau and I rang in the New Year with a hearty bowl of black eyed-peas for good luck in 2012. While I don’t really put too much stock in superstitions, we’ve carried out this tradition for years now and it’s a fun way to celebrate the evening.

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We watched The Help (he hadn’t seen it yet) and I managed to stay awake (barely) until 12:01. I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s too. There’s still time to eat some peas (and hog’s jowl) today, if you’re so inclined.

Happy 2012 my friend!

Now, would anyone be willing to share his or her resolutions? I have a couple, although I’m not really fond of that word. I’ll be back tomorrow to share a few.