July 31, 2012

From the China Cabinet: Southern Belle Tumblers


I’ve mentioned that while on vacation, I do more thrifting than sunning much of the time…what can I say, vacation is relative to what you enjoy. My most recent trip to Ormond Beach, Florida yielded a few treasures, but I wasn’t able to bring everything home with me. Looking back, I wish I had gotten these vintage tumblers, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

Made by the Anchor Hocking company, these antique frosted glasses with southern belles etched on them are just adorable. Can’t you picture a gathering of demure southern ladies of times gone by enjoying a tall glass of sweet tea and possibly a pimento cheese sandwich (on white bread cut in triangles)? I bet bridge was played and gossip was shared. Sigh…I often think I was born in the wrong era.


If you’d like a set of these charming glasses for your collection, do a search for “southern belle frosted beverage glasses” and you should find several options. Or who knows, maybe you already have a set! If so, I’m mighty jealous.

July 30, 2012

Only in the south: Moonshine Fudge


I picked up a container of moonshine flavored fudge at a local craft fair for a steal. If you’re wondering why it’s pink, it’s because in addition to having that little kick from the white lightning, it’s also flavored with cherries. The taste wasn’t terrible, but you can probably guess it wasn’t exactly great, based on how little has been eaten.

Are you a fan of spirited sweets? I think I’ll keep my fudge to the peanut butter variety from now on. For those of you who wish to make your own moonshine fudge, I’m still trying to locate a recipe.

Happy Monday!

July 27, 2012

Nashville Adventures: Antique Archaeology


I spent the day with my mom recently and we decided to visit Nashville, a short 70 miles from my hometown. We mostly hit up some thrift shops and just enjoyed our time together but at the very end of the day, we accidentally stumbled upon a wonderful place.


You might be familiar with the popular television show “American Pickers” in which one man’s trash is truly another’s treasure. Picker Mike Wolfe has opened a second location of his retail shop in Nashville and my mom and I ran smack dab into it while heading to the Bang Candy Company for some homemade marshmallows.


Located in the old Marathon Automobile factory, Antique Archaeology is a fun stop for pickers, antique lovers and fans of the History Channel show.


Antique Archaeology features wall-to-wall memorabilia and oddities galore. Some items were ‘picked’ during episodes of the show. Most of the antiques in the store are just for display, but fans will be happy to know that lots of fun souvenirs are available, from t-shirts and caps to other collectible trinkets.


We were in a hurry but there was so much to explore. Leave yourself plenty of time if you decide to visit Antique Archaeology. Located a few blocks from downtown Nashville’s Gulch, you won’t run out of things to see, taste and enjoy!


Do you consider yourself a picker? My family has its fair share….my uncle even started his own site/group for pickers in and around Tennessee. You’re welcome to join the fun!

Happy weekend friends!

July 24, 2012

Brotherly Love

I’ve heard it said that siblings are nature’s way of creating different versions of ourselves. I didn’t become a sister until I was six years old, but for some reason I can’t really remember not being one. This is not to say that everything between my younger brother and me has always been peaches and cream…we loved each other, but we fought as kids. We said hurtful things to one another, got each other in trouble with our parents, broke/lost/hid each other’s toys.

Then little by little we grew up. Now that I’m 30, I think my relationship with my brother is one of the most important in my life. Again, don’t misunderstand that I’m trying to say things are perfect. We still disagree and have misunderstandings. I’m sure we will have many more. But through it all I am positive we will support each other. We will celebrate the good times. We will encourage during the tough times.

Based on other sibling relationships I’ve seen, I know this is a rare gift. Maybe you have a sibling you don’t feel close to. I’ve been there too. All I know is that when folks seem the most unlovable, this is usually when we need love the most.


There’s no real reason for this post today…just that I felt like putting some love out into the universe for my bubba. To steal Taylor Swift’s words: God smiles on my little brother, inside and out, he's better than I am.

I used to think that the people who loved us the most thought we were wonderful because their vision of us was clouded by love. Now I’m learning that they think we are wonderful because they are able to see us as we really are.

July 23, 2012

Only in the south: 10 Bucks for a Buck

While visiting my parents recently, my mom and I stopped in at one of her favorite hang-outs: the local Goodwill. We’ve been shopping at Goodwill (or as we sometimes refer to it, GW Boutique) for as long as I can remember. I'm not opposed to retail shopping, but I prefer thrifting. When I do shop retail, it's usually because I've scored some amazing coupons to help save money. Before my hometown got a Goodwill store of its own, we’d make regular treks to the next closest location, about 50 miles down the road.

Some people travel to sightsee or gain cultural experiences. My family travels for thrift shops. You’ve heard of people will innate extrasensory perception? I believe my family has that for thrift shops, junk stores, estate sales and flea markets. My mom even sniffed out a Goodwill while we were in the quaint hamlet of Franklin, Tennessee recently. Yes, we stopped. It was $.99 day, after all.

When I saw the lovely latch hook rug (pictured above), I couldn’t help but share it here on the old blog. Latch hook is one of the under-appreciated crafts, I think…based on the amount of time and effort that goes into creating them. I tried doing one as a gift for a friend years ago and never actually finished it (sorry Rach).

The deer one above probably took many hours to complete and I’m sure someone loved him very much. Hopefully he won’t have to live at GW for very long before another proud owner takes him home.

Have you found any thrifty treasures lately? Do tell!

July 18, 2012

Anti-Recipe: Pink Fluff (aka Quick & Easy Congealed Salad)


I’ve blogged before about our love of congealed salad here in the south. I’ve also blogged about our love of Jell-o salad, which isn’t exactly the same thing. Today I wanted to share a recipe for a dish my family ate frequently while I was growing up: pink fluff.

Pink fluff is kind of a lazy cook’s congealed salad. It’s a dish you make when you don’t have time to wait for the Jell-o to set or the congealed salad to freeze. To make this delicacy, stir together the following:

  • 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple
  • 1 small carton of cottage cheese
  • 1 package of strawberry Jell-o

It’s just that easy and you’re ready to go. I hadn’t thought of it in awhile (it’s not particularly vegan), but while visiting my grandparents the other day, I saw the ingredients sitting out on the kitchen counter and I knew what was coming. The photo above is strategically cropped to hide the two giant bites missing from the bowl where I dug right in.

What can I say? Something about pink fluff takes me straight back to childhood. If pink isn’t your preferred flavor, you can also make orange fluff or lime fluff. I can’t speak to the quality of any other flavors because they aren’t in my Jell-o repertoire.

Any other fans of pink fluff out there? Tell me I’m not the only one.

July 13, 2012

Friday Flashback: Odie’s Drive Inn


If you’ve never been to a real life drive-in, you’re missing out. Red plastic baskets, lined with greasy wax paper…spilling over with double stack hamburgers, made to order and all the onion rings you can eat. Corn dogs with mustard. Patty melts. Thick milkshakes and malts. Root beer floats. Tator tots and a squeeze bottle of ketchup.

There’s nothing like summer and there’s nothing like dinner at the drive-in, or in this case “drive inn.” This sweet season of freedom is slipping through our fingers…pushing us towards crunching leaves, cozy sweaters, shorter days and more responsibility.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for summer to be over. Mine actually feels like it was just getting started. I hope you enjoy this next month and I hope you make time for a few more summer adventures. Happy Friday my friend!

July 12, 2012

Roger’s Shoe Repair: Soles and Souls


Last week I stopped into Roger’s Shoe & Luggage Repair, a little shop in Knoxville that also offers general leather services. I had some belts that I wanted to get altered and I was told by several folks that Roger’s would be the best place to go.

I chatted with the cashier who asked me if I needed my belts altered from losing weight. When I told her that was indeed the reason, she sort of sighed and said that she had been struggling to lose weight and was feeling very defeated about the whole thing.

I consider myself fairly friendly, but I don’t usually divulge much of my personal story to random strangers. For some reason, I felt compelled to share it with her. I told her how, after slowly gaining weight over the last decade, I had, for the past year, been on a journey towards getting healthier. I said that each day brings new challenges but I’m trusting God through the process.

Apparently this struck a chord with her because we both ended up sharing more, crying a little bit and praying together. I left the shop feeling like I was walking on sunshine and I have thought about that day several times since.

I am not blogging about this to prove how caring I am or pat myself on the back for losing weight. I just wanted to share because this experience reminded me how important it is to connect with people. To see every person we come in contact with as someone with value, importance and a unique perspective that deserves to be heard.

You just never know when a random stranger will brighten your entire day or maybe, if you look for the opportunity, vice versa.

Hope you have a wonderful Thursday sweet friend!

July 10, 2012

Southern Belle Simple at The Southern Coterie


Imagine my surprise and delight when the fabulous folks over at the Southern Coterie contacted me about being a regular contributor to their site. If you haven’t read this wonderful blog celebrating the southern experience, you must!

My first post for the Southern C, which went live on July 4th, features a favorite southern “C” of mine…the southern curiosity. Of rednecks and mud, that is! For more of my musings over at the Southern Coterie, tune in on the first Wednesday of each month.

Founders Cheri Harden Leavy and Whitney Wise Long have some exciting things in store and I’m so honored to be part of this wonderful community. My fellow contributors are some of the most talented bloggers and creative minds on the scene…I’m still pinching myself to have been included! I cordially invite you to check it out and tell ‘em Kate sent ya!

July 9, 2012

My Granny’s Sugar Cookies, The Best Ever

Today is National Sugar Cookie Day and I can’t let this monumental occasion pass without mentioning my granny’s famous sugar cookies. Sadly, I do not have a photo of them, but below is an image I found that looks very similar. They aren’t really anything like a typical sugar cookie nor are they quite a teacake but you’ll just have to trust me on how delicious they are.

sugar cookies

Linnie Mae Hampton’s Sugar Cookies

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. oil
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5 c. sifted plain flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Cream together sugar and butter. Combine with remaining ingredients and mix well. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. (Watch carefully and don’t overbake.)

The glass with sugar on the bottom is the most important part. This flattens each cookie out and coats it in sweetness. My granny’s cookies would all run together on the pan and she’d have to cut them apart so they were always in the shape of squares and rectangles. She kept the cooled cookies in a giant Tupperware bowl and I snuck plenty of them during my childhood.

Hope your week is off to a great start…and if you were looking for a reason to enjoy a sweet treat, grab a sugar cookie in celebration!

July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

Freedom. Independence. Celebration. Summer. The 4th of July means so many things to so many people. We all have different customs and traditions for this day, but each is special because it is beloved by the people we love. Some of us are at the beach, soaking up the sun and eating all the fresh seafood we can get our hands on. Others might be at the lake, enjoying the slower pace of life. 

Small towns across America are wearing their July 4th finest today, draped in the red, white and blue. Daddies will fire up the barbecue, mommas will whip up their famous potato salad, kids will stir the lemonade. From block parties to community festivals to cross country road trips and parades down Main Street, there is something for everyone. 

Whether you are joining the rest of your community for a city-wide celebration or just gathered with friends around the kitchen table, seeking the breeze from a window air-conditioner, I hope you have a wonderful day. 

The 4th of July is special because it's a day when we can outwardly acknowledge what we feel in our hearts....pride for our nation, gratitude to the heroes who have gone before us and the ones who continue to give their lives for our freedom, compassion for our fellow man, and love for our creator. 

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Independence Day!