January 2017 Favorites

Here are a few things i loved in January 2017! 

  • So Delicious Coconut Creamer – I decided to try out some healthier coffee creamers this year. I mean, there’s still sugar in this creamer, but a lot less weird-o chemicals. The french vanilla and slight coconut flavor is perfect!
  • Blood Oranges – A constant winter favorite for me! I’m so #blessed to live in Florida where the citrus is abundant and delicious. IF you’ve never had a blood orange, they taste like a cross between an orange and a cherry.
  • Bunny Slippers – I’m a slipper girl. We live in an old house with wood floors and in the winter, slippers save my life! Ray bought these for me for Christmas and I love them!
  • Bergamont Waters Candle from B&BW –  My mom gifted me this candle for Christmas and it’s my new favorite!
  • Copper Bathroom Sink Faucet – Isn’t this beautiful? We found this perfect copper faucet on Amazon that goes perfectly in our downstairs bathroom. I have a few posts in the works discussing some of our recent and future home renovations.
  • My favorite Murder – MFM is my new favorite podcast! 2 female comedians talking about murder and true crime! It’s so good and there are 50+ episode to binge on!

  • Up and Vanished – Another favorite true crime podcast. Up and Vanished focuses on a cold case of a missing woman out of Ocilla, GA. It’s very southern, very small-town, very mysterious!
  • The OA – This Netflix original is hard to explain, but it it’s excellent. A young woman is found after being missing for years under very mysterious circumstances. 

What have you been loving recently?

2017 Goals

Happy 2017!! I might regret this in December, but I’ve decided to publically declare my goals for the year!

– Be better with plants. We love plants, but on the real- I always forget to water them. I also tend to let my succulents get too leggy. Time to propagate!
          – A sub-goal to being better with plants is to add new pants to our yard. When we rebuilt our porch in the fall, we also removed bushes from the front of our house. I would like to replace those bushes with large cacti. I would also like to add several fruit trees (most likely citrus) to our yard.

– Be better prepared for dinner. We cook a good bit in our home, but Ray and I are both terrible at meal planning/prep. It’s completely normal for us to have dinner after 8:00pm because we had to shop for extra ingredients, allow meat to thaw, etc. I’m going to try and be better prepared for dinner this year. My goal is to plan and organized our meals on Friday for the following week, shop on Saturday morning, and prep Sunday evening. I’ve already failed at this as I forgot to buy chicken this past weekend.

– Organize our upstairs storage area. We have two large upstairs bedrooms in our home. One is our guest room and the other is used for storage. Our storage room is completely unorganized and in disarray.  We want to get rid of the furniture in that room and add shelving for organized storage. We have a lot of mismatched storage bins and I would like to reorganize everything in clear labeled bins. As much as I hate the idea, I think a yard sale might be in the future for 2017.

– Organize our Sunroom. Our poor little sunroom ends up being a catch-all for all our knick knacks, extra records, wayward furniture, rando computer parts, etc. It’s Black Cat’s favorite room, but because it’s so cluttered he knocks things over and makes it even more messy. I want this room to be almost empty except for plants.

– Redo our downstairs bathroom. Our downstairs bathroom, which is connected to our bedroom, is teeny tiny with an old sink and toilet and boring off-white walls. We’re hoping to purchase a new sink, toilet, and lighting, add shelving, and paint the walls and trim.

– Continue to work on my Southern Lady list. I’m not sure if I’ve shared it on the blog, but my Southern Lady List is full of quintessential southern recipes I need to make and skills I need to learn.I marked off homemade pimento cheese a few months ago.

– Work on personal projects. Ray and I both work full time jobs with responsibilities and a lot of times we want to come home, sit around, and do nothing productive in the evenings. While I think that’s perfectly acceptable some nights, we also have projects we’re both working on that tend to get neglected. So… a new podcast is coming to you in 2017! 😉

– Blog more consistently. I’ve been semi consistently blogging since 2006, starting with myspace blogs. I love blogging! I probably have 15-20 fully written blogs hanging out in my drafts, just waiting for photos and to be posted. I always want to include photos in my posts, and if I don’t have photos I usually wont post the blog. So, maybe I need to take photos more consistently? – Blog redesign. It’s truly time to refresh this site. I’m not looking to do anything crazy, but I would like to refresh and update this blog. Honestly, I think this was one of my goals for 2016…

That’s what I have for now! I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress!

The Art of a Southern Holiday Season


southern
Curating a southern holiday season is a true art form. The American South, like most other parts of the world, is deeply rooted in culture and traditions- many revolving around the holiday season! Below are a few ways to insure a Southern Holiday Season!

Magnolia Garland
Magnolias are already a southern staple when it comes to greenery, and their leaves are perfect for southern Christmas decor. Magnolia leaves are deep green, shiny, and will keep for the duration of the holidays! I’m hoping to make either a magnolia garland or wreath this week!

img_8125Poinsettias
When South Carolinian Joel Roberts Poinsett served as the Ambassador to Mexico in the early 1800’s, he fell in love with the classic Christmas plant. He immediately shipped some home to South Carolina, where they were eventually named after him. Poinsettas are used to warm weather, so they’re perfect for our mild southern winters.

cocktail 1Polite Drunkenness
If there is ever a time to indulge, this is it! With all the parties and holiday gatherings, you’re likely to encounter an eggnog or two. Or hot toddy. Or mulled wine. Or spiked cider. Take your pick, really. While it’s appropriate to have a drink or two, keep it classy and don’t get smashed! We are southern ladies and gentlemen, after all.  😉

Cookie Exchanges
Cookie exchanges are one of my favorite holiday traditions. In my life I’ve mostly experienced them in the context of church lady Christmas parties (my favorite!). Cookie exchanges are a great way to experience a variety of holiday treats, while only having to make 1!

apple sauce 2Apple Butter
While apple butter originated in Europe hundreds of years ago, in America it’s a southern tradition. Made by reducing apples and spices, apple butter is spread on biscuits, served over meat, and added to baking items – my favorite being apple butter donuts. My mother makes apple butter every holiday season and throughout the year!

New Years Superstitions
This is one tradition I’ve been known to skip on occasion. It’s customary to cook a southern feast on New Years Day consisting of black-eyed peas, greens, ham, and cornbread. Consuming this meal on New Year’s Day is said to bring good luck and fortune to the new year!

What customs and traditions do you believe are required for a southern holiday season?

Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life

ggGilmore Girls – A Year in the Life
I loved watching Gilmore Girls in my teens and early 20’s and I absolutely never thought I would get to see a continuation. I’ve been excited about A Year in the Life since it was announced, and it definitely lived up to the hype! Below are my exhaustive thoughts on Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life! Enjoy!

Thoughts on the Gilmore Girls
– Emily – I loved seeing her deal with grief and thus becoming a more relaxed and thoughtful version of herself. The addition of Berta (and her entire family?) and how this story line represented such a shift in Emily’s life (remember how she could never keep a maid?) was perfect.
– Rory – I know this may not be the most popular view, but I always see Rory as a disappointment. I can relate to being a 30 something and still trying to figure out a life path, I’ll give her that. However, It’s just hard for me to root for a person who is sleeping with an engaged man, even if it is rich and handsome Logan, while she has a perfectly nice (albeit a little forgettable) boyfriend. But also remember when she slept with Dean, a MARRIED man? And when she stole a boat? For the duration of Gilmore Girls, everyone told Rory how wonderful and smart she was, but she never had to work for anything. I hated how during Summer she kept telling everyone in Stars Hallow that she wasn’t “back” and wasn’t part of the 30-something club. It just came off like she felt she was better than everyone in Stars Hallow. Overall, Rory is just a shitty person.
– Lorelai – Everything about Lorelai seemed to fit perfectly with her character. Her place in life, her relationship with Luke, her relationship with Rory, it all seemed perfect. Lauren Graham is such a good actress. We all know she’s quick and funny, but A Year in the Life gave us a few really beautiful scenes that showcased her acting ability.

Times I cried:
– The first 10 seconds of Winter after hearing clips from past episodes over the years.
– The funeral scene, the scene every GG fan was dreading. It was terrible. You can tell everyone in that scene was truly mourning.
– Lorelai not being able to articulate a happy memory with Richard in the midst of her grief. I get it. People are a mess when they’re living through the death of a loved one. It was heartbreaking to watch.
– Lorelai listening to Sutton Foster singing Unbreakable from the Stars Hallow musical. TOO MUCH!!!!
– Luke and Lorelai’s fight. It hurt my heart.
– Lorelai finally being able to articulate a happy memory with her father… and, not just a happy memory, but a memory of her favorite birthday when Richard saved the day after she had her heart broken.

Disappointing Moments:
– Tristan. Or, rather, fake Tristan. Is Chad Michael Murray THAT busy that he can’t take a day and film a cameo for Gilmore Girls?!?! Surly he can’t be…
– Stars Hallow : The Musical was a little long, especially since it didn’t really feature any known Gilmore Girl’s characters.
– Rory and Logan’s relationship. I hate that they were both cheating on their significant others with each other. I hate that Lorelai wasn’t incredibly angry about it. Everything about this was disappointing.
– Rory’s one night stand with the wookie. This seemed to come out of left field. What’s more disappointing than Rory’s one night stand was Lorelai’s indifferent attitude towards it!
– Sookie’s story line. I know there were times when the writers weren’t sure if Melissa McCarthy would be able to be involved, so I get that they had to come up with some bizzar situation for her absence- but it seemed a little phoned in.

Favorite Moments:
– Luke giving out fake WiFi passwords.
– Kirk handing Lorelai that brita pitcher on their way to Emily’s.
– Paris! Paris! Paris! It’s safe to say Paris was one of the best parts of the series! She’s such an over the top bad ass!
– Lorelai and Rory hanging out by the pool with their child servants during Summer.
– Jess. Every moment with Jess. Especially that last look! I’m Always team Jess… However, after watching A Year in the Life, I’ve decided that Rory doesn’t deserve Jess. SORRY BOUTCHA, RORY!
– In Omnia Paratus! I’m so glad we saw another glimpse of the Life and Death Brigade!
– Rory writing “Gilmore Girls” at her grandparent’s house. Very Little Women-esque!
– Lorelai doing Wild… along with 100 other middle aged ladies. How hilarious!
– Luke’s monologue to Lorelai about how he loves her with all his heart.
– Emily offering Luke’s endowment to Lorelai to expand the Dragonfly (mirroring the pilot episode when Lorelai asked for money so Rory could go to Chilton) under the condition that Luke and Lorelai visit her in Nantucket.
– That wedding. That truly perfect Gilmore Girl’s wedding.

Final Thoughts
– The last 4 words (revisited). I know this is pushing Rory’s life to be a reflection of Lorelai’s, Logan being Rory’s Christopher and Jess being her Luke, but I’m just not into it. I DID think it was a good and interesting way to end A Year in the Life – It took me by surprise and definitely got everyone hoping for more!gg1

Dapper Day – November 2016

img_7913A few years ago I came across an instagram photo from a Disney World Dapper Day event. I was instantly smitten with the idea of a fancy outing at the Disney Parks. A few of our friends attended the Magic Kingdom event last spring, and after seeing their photos Ray and I decided to attend the next Dapper Day outing.
Well, we had that opportunity last weekend! Ray and I, along with our friends Kristi, Nathan, Lacey, Sara, Josh, Katie, and TJ, made our way to Epcot is our dapperest (and somewhat patriotic) attire. Here are a few snapshots from the day:img_7903img_7933img_7961img_7914img_7946img_7962(photo credit : Kristi…or maybe Nathan since Kristi is in the photo. lol)
img_7963(photo credit: Josh)

What a great weekend! Not only were we able to celebrate Dapper Day, we were also visiting Epcot during their Food and Wine Festival. We visited last year during the festival and I blogged about it here. For me, the stand out food this year were the hummus fries from Morocco, cheddar soup from Canada, peanut butter and white chocolate mousse from The Chew, schinkennudeln from Germany, and pescado con coco from Islands of the Carribean! I can’t wait to go to the Spring Dapper Day event!