Friday, February 25

Happy Weekend

I'm off to sunny Florida to celebrate the impending wedding of a pretty awesome lady. I anticipate a weekend filled with Bob Marley songs, boat drinks and a beautiful day on the beach. Not too shabby. I hope y'all are able to get out and enjoy the sunshine and spectacular weather. Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 24

Dixie Dialect

"Frankly, my dear Scarlett, I don't give a damn.", was the end of the story for Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara {Hamilton Kennedy Butler} and the ultimate cliffhanger for millions of readers of Gone With the Wind. There have been multiple re-workings and re-imaginings of Margaret Mitchell's epic saga to try and produce an answer "to what happened next?", however, loyal readers would only be satisfied with an answer from the author herself. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood promises just that. Authors Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley, Jr. examine the life and writings of a disorganized Southern writer and how her incomplete manuscript became one of the most beloved pieces of American Literature. In a story almost as intriguing as Mitchell's own piece of work, Brown and Wiley were afforded unprecedented access to correspondence and GWTW records. They bring us the whole story and finally attempt to tell us what happened to our star-crossed lovers*.

*Margaret Mitchell was laid to rest beside her husband John in the Marsh family plot in Historic Oakland Cemetery less than a half-mile from where I live. I read GWTW every year and every year, I visit Ms. Marshall to read the final pages and hope for a "sign" as to how things turned out for Scarlett and Rhett. So far, she hasn't answered this reader. You better believe I'll be looking for that answer from Brown and Wiley and y'all should too!

Style Board::Ballet

I've always been a little enamored with the world of ballet. The structure, the lithe bodies and graceful movements, not to mention the fabulous costumes. Curious how I haven't been to the ballet since my final {and only} appearance in the Nutcracker in the eighth grade. I gave up dance for cheerleading in high school and while it took me through the majority of college, I couldn't quite get the hang of hip hop and always longed for the more delicate and difficult world of ballet. Obviously, I still have great love of all things frilled and ruffled and tulle. I love how all of these unexpected items can be found and used as great inspiration not only for a beyond lovely event, but in everyday life as well.

Credits: Dress, Vera Wang; Cake, Once Wed; Stationery and Anemone Bouquet, Martha Stewart; Veil, Twigs & Honey; All others, Pinterest

Tuesday, February 22

Love the Look

I have always been intrigued by Marie Antoinette. The hair, the fashion, the affinity for cake. One of my very favorite portrayals of the doomed French Queen is Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. She is amazing! The crooked little tooth, the attitude, Kiki brings her to life. Here are a few touches to help bring MA to yours. I thought Vera Wang absolutely killed it at 2011 Spring Bridal Fashion Week. Her dresses this season just epitomize french couture, especially this blush number. You think Marie Antionette would wear white to her wedding? Absolument pas! Bring on the pink. I also adore these Christian Louboutins in the same hue. Gorgeous! As a bride, Marie was gifted a blue diamond engagement ring. I like this sapphire and platium moi-et-toi version. It echoes the fleur-de-lis, also found on this cute clutch. Finally, what would Marie Antoinette do without her signature feather and flower and frill fascinator or her french macarons? Why, let them eat cake, of course!

Credits {No.1}: Christian Louboutin; {No.2} Laduree or Sucre; {No.3} Moyna; {No.4}Vera Wang; {No.5} Sapphire & Diamond Ring; {No.6} Linenwood

Saturday, February 19

A Sip of Southern

The French 75 may look unassuming in it's wine glass, but this cocktail packs a punch! Named after the famous French 75-millmeter howitzer cannon used in World War I, the French 75 cocktail was popularized in New York's Stork Club and a concoction of the same name popped up in New Orleans' French Quarter around 1920. The French 75 includes a pert mixture of gin, lemon, sugar and champagne. For a sweeter option, substitute brandy for the gin. Bottoms up!
French 75 {serves 2, because you don't want to be drinking this cocktail alone}
3 ounces gin
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons superfine granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
1 cup chilled champagne

In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, sugar, and ice cubes and shake to chill. Strain cocktails into 2 wineglasses and top off with champagne.

Friday, February 18

Cotton Picked

Yesterday, I got to gander at the new bridal and maids collection from Ivy & Aster and fell instantly in love with the feminine fabrics and whimsical appeal. From a local Atlanta designer, Ivy & Aster offers full-length and short bridal gowns and a fashion-forward assortment of bridesmaids selections as well as accessories. I'm besotted specifically with her Morning Glory short bridal {the lace is to die for!} and Confetti maid {oh, the hand pleating!}. You can see the full collection here and see their delightful story here.

Wednesday, February 16

Style Board::Botanical

Organic, Rustic, Natural. Whatever you want to call it, botanical touches in your decor bring out a raw element of romaticity rarely matched outside of nature. I love adding touches of botany such as the motif on an invitation or pressed fern for the bouquet. I absolutely adore this centerpiece of living "forest floor". It's all so beautiful and "nature-y" without being thematic. I can't wait for Spring and the green spaces that follow!

Sources: Morning Glory dress, Ivy & Aster*; Gold Leaf comb, mod wedding; Bouquet, Martha Stewart; Cube Aerium and Centerpiece, Flora Grubbs; Invitations, Mossiere; Vine & Leaf Ring, Beth Cyr Weddings
*Ivy & Aster is one of my favorite new bridal lines! I get to meet the designer this weekend, so be on the lookout for some good scoop on both lines for brides & maids.

Tuesday, February 15


Whenever my husband and I go visit his grandmother in Quitman, Georgia, we always pass by this beautiful abandoned old home. Grandma Blair tells us that the patriarch of the family built a clause into his will that stated they would receive their trust and inheritance, only if they kept the house. It could not be sold, rented or otherwise disturbed. He obviously did not will it so that the house had to be occupied by a member of the family, because they are just letting it sit there and crumble. Every time we drive by, it just makes me so sad. What a lovely home in utter decay! I decided to pull over this weekend and photograph it and am so glad I did. I used my Nikon digital camera {nothing fancy} at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. All of the photographs are unedited and I used natural light.

Love the Look

Grace Kelly in the movie High Society is absolute perfection. Her last film role prior to retiring and becoming a princess, she plays the part of "ice goddess" exceptionally well. I love that she refused to wear the engagement ring provided by the studio and insisted on wearing the 12 carat emerald cut Cartier stunner given to her by Prince Rainier of Monaco. As Tracy Lord, Ms. Kelly is wooed on the eve of her upcoming wedding by her ex-husband, played by Bing Crosby, and a tabloid newspaper reporter, played by Frank Sinatra. Love Tracy's look for her wedding? To mimic her bubble sleeved overlay, I paired a strapless dress with a silk chiffon shrug. I then added some shoes with an icy sparkle, a pretty hairclip {Tracy would never wear a veil for her second marriage} and a lovely but simple clutch to show off that utterly gorgeous engagement ring. The key to this look is understatement. You want to whisper "bridal", not scream. Let that engagement ring do all of the talking.

Credits: {No.1} Gucci, {No.2} Cartier, {No.3} Lanvin, {No.4} Glamour Junkie, {No.5}, {No.6} Christian Louboutin

Monday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day

Every February, Parker and I spend the days preceding Valentine's Day helping his grandmother prepare her flower shop for the "Big Day". This year, I was allowed to make all of the rose arrangements. I am exhausted and my fingers are full of thorn pricks, but it is all worth it when we deliver them to smiles and excitement. I hope y'all are having a lovely Valentine's full of fresh floral goodness.

Saturday, February 12

A Sip of Southern

 Ask any Southerner what that carbonated, flavored beverage is they're drinking and no matter what it actually is, you'll get the same answer: Coca-Cola. "Co-cola", as my grandmother calls it, is one of the most used mixers in the history of the cocktail and why not? It's sweetness counters most dark liquors and adds a nice balance. Here in Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola, Holeman & Finch pours up the Southern Cola cocktail using amaro, lime juice and of course, co-cola. This bittersweet cocktail is the perfect compliment to their famous burger {here's a secret: the burger is also served on the brunch menu and is available all day Sunday}. Cheers, y'all!

H&F Southern Cola
1 1/2 ounces Amaro CioCiaro
1 lime juice ice cube (make cubes using 3/4 cup fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup water)
4 ounces Mexican Coca-Cola (made with sugar cane, found in the international aisle at your local grocery)
Put the ice cube in a glass, pour in the Amaro, pour in the Coke, and gently stir. Garnish with lime.

Friday, February 11

Thursday, February 10

Dixie Dialect

So, I'm a little behind Grey's Anatomy and Taylor Swift, but am seriously loving The Civil Wars. Comprised of John Paul White and Joy Williams, The Civil Wars is basically a guy with a guitar and a girl with a voice. No backup band, very minimalist. Meeting by happenstance at a writing camp, the duo enjoyed their collaboration enough to create The Civil Wars. Their song Poison & Wine was played, in it's entirety, on television show Grey's Anatomy and Taylor Swift included the song as a selection in her official iTunes playlist, saying, "I think this is my favorite duet. It's exquisite."

Personally, their title track off of their upcoming album, Barton Hollow, is what fires me up about singer/songwriters. The first two notes of the guitar with the added vocals and I was hooked. I'm just so in love with raw, pure music and this duo delivers in spades. They have a free album, The Civil Wars Live at Eddie's Attic, available for download and you can check out their other albums and EP's for sale here.

Wednesday, February 9

Style Board

It's almost Valentine's Day which always makes me think of elementary school. Which always makes me think about class parties, which makes me think about confetti and I love confetti! It's just so festive and fun swirling around or tossed about. I think it can be a super stylish and whimsical way to add a pop of color to your decor. Nothing says party like confetti!

Row No.1 {vertical}: Cake, Martha Stewart; Groom, Jennifer Williams; Confetti Balls, Martha Stewart; Headband,; Row No. 2 {vertical}: Heart Shoeclips,; Invitation, Martha Stewart; Bouquet, Twin Lens

Tuesday, February 8

Love the Look

Oh, Audrey! You make it all look so easy. In Funny Face, her character, Jo Stockton, is plucked from obscurity and sent to the front lines of Parisian high fashion, handsome photographer Dick Avery {Fred Astaire} at her side. Cue the scene where she walks the wedding gown on the runway. So lovely in the full skirt, clean lines and bateau neck. Add in the ballet flats, small bow detailing on the veil and the lily of the valley and oui, mademoiselle! You have the essence of a demure, classic bride.

No.1: Wedding Gown, Jason Wu; No. 2: Silk Clutch, Oscar de la Renta; No. 3: Lily of the Valley Bouquet; No. 4: Pearl Studs, Tiffany & Co.; No. 5: Bow Fascinator, Velvet Owl; No. 6: Diamond Solitaire, Tiffany & Co.; No. 7: Bow Ballet Flats, Chanel

Sunday, February 6

Sunday Supper

It's Super Bowl Sunday and y'all know what that means; chili and cornbread! My husband, Parker, got on this ground turkey "kick" about a year ago {blah} and although I a firmly in camp "ground beef", I have to admit that his turkey chili is to die for! Since I'm the baker in the family, my responsibility is the cornbread and of course yummy dessert. All of these recipes are super simple {with a few tricks, even pound cake can be simple} and serve between 6 - 8 folks. Y'all enjoy the game and most importantly, the spread. Pass the plates!

Parker's Very Famous and Very Spicy Turkey Chili
  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's Seasoning mix
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 14.5 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • sour cream, sliced jalapenos and cheddar cheese for serving

Brown  turkey. Drain and add 1 1/2 tsp of Chachere's Seasoning and 2 tbsp of chili powder. Transfer meat to crockpot. Add kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, 1 tsp Chachere's Seasoning and 3 tbsp chili powder. Stir and cook either on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve with sour cream, jalapenos and cheddar cheese.

Made-from-Scratch Cornbread
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool {or if you're like me, cut a big slice right out of the oven and eat with a tall glass of ice cold milk}.

Sour Cream Pound Cake*
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube  or bundt pan. Place pan in a cold oven on the lowest rack and bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees F. Increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Cool and serve with Vanilla Bean ice cream. Yum!

*The key to a good pound cake is simple. Use room-temperature ingredients, including the butter and eggs and start with a cold oven. Never open the oven door while baking a pound cake, it'll cause it to fall y'all!

Sweet Snapshot Sunday

I love everything about this photo {polly wreford via design is mine}

Saturday, February 5

A Sip of Southern

National Signing Day was this week and as far as I'm concerned, football season has commenced. To celebrate, this week's Sip of Southern is the classic tailgate libation, the Bloody Mary. This spicy concoction is a staple from The Swamp to The Grove and can be made with a myriad of ingredients. Simply speaking, a Bloody Mary should have a base of tomato juice, vodka and a selection of spices and garnishes. No two Bloody's are alike and I prefer to put so many garnishes in mine that I fulfill my daily serving of vegetables {a healthy diet is important, y'all}. What better way to prepare for a Saturday battle on the Gridiron?

Bloody Mary
Source: Carlee Sizemore

8 ounces of Tomato Juice or, if you prefer, 8 ounces Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix {the quick version}
1 1/4 ounce of Vodka, preferably Absolut Peppar or Bakon Vodka*
2 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, or more to taste
2 dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce, or more to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Horseradish to taste
Squeeze of lemon or lime
Garnish with Pickled Okra or Sport Peppers, Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olives, Celery and Lemon or Lime

Fill a Collins Glass with Crushed Ice, Fill with Ingredients and Stir. Garnish and Serve.

*Y'all, there is bacon flavored vodka. My lil' piggy loving heart be still!

Thursday, February 3

Dixie Dialect

I love everything about The Secret Sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Their look. Their sound. Laura and Lydia Rogers' timeless vocals evoke such a pure sense of sound on their self-titled debut album. Such a breath of fresh air for the country music industry! This sweet song, Tennessee Me, makes me wish I was rocking on my porch swing at the end of a long summer's day. Doesn't is sound like a little southern lullaby? And they do a fabulous cover of Frank Sinatra's Somethin' Stupid. I love anyone who will take on a rendition of anything from Sinatra. Not to mention the fact that I want their wardrobe {and lipstick...I do love a bright lip!}. Y'all be sure to check out their website and pick up your very own copy of The Secret Sisters!

Wednesday, February 2

Style Board { No. 100 }

Y'all, it is so drab here in Atlanta! Where is that lovely weather from this past weekend? All I see when I look outside is fog and gray and yuck! I'm about to die for some color. How about hot pink? And orange? And purple? Now we're talking! It all started with this pink dress. I want a dress just like this and I want to display it somewhere fabulous! Very Marilyn from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I found the bouquet next and then it just all fell into place. Yes! Bring on Spring!

Row No. 1 {vertical}: dress, the coveteur; pink champagne, celebrations of joy; ikat print, madeline weinrib; funky petticoat, iq photo; Row No. 2: bouquet, twin lens; invitation, elum; sign, chocolate butterbean