March 2017 Favorites

I think my favorites for this month are more like SUPER favorites! Let me know what your favorite things have been lately!!
Daylight Savings – I LOVE longer days and the sun shining well after 7pm! I love being able to walk around my favorite lake into the evening hours without it being too dark.

Spring Blooms – Spring is here, and in Florida it doesn’t last long, so I’m trying to soak it up! We’ve had so many beautiful flowers pop up this month!

Natalie’s Juice – Ray and I both love this juice! It’s local to Florida, contains minimal ingredients (most flavors contain just 1!), and is truly delicious!

Gateway City Craft Beer & Wine Festival – A few weeks ago was the second annual Gateway City Craft Beer and Wine Festival. Ray and I went with a few friends and had such a great time! We tried countless (and many locally brewed) beers, sampled wine, visited with friends, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and got a little tipsy! It was such a successful event!

Go Go Geisha – The new favorite pink polish. Perfect for Spring!

S-Town – S-Town in a new podcast by the producers of This American Life and Serial. Rather than releasing 1 episode a week, S-Town went the way of Netflix and released the entire season at once. It’s perfect for binge listening! I simply cannot say enough good things about this podcast. S-town is a beautiful portrait of John McLemore, his “shit town”, and the strange south and I highly suggest you immediately download it.

Missing Richard Simmons – While Missing Richard Simmons is very different from S-Town, it’s equally as intriguing. This podcast explores fitness icon, Richard Simmons, and his mysterious and sudden absence from the public eye.

Blood Orange Cocktail

Up until a few weeks ago, if someone was to ask me what my favorite cocktail was, my answer would have been a Dark & Stormy. It’s my go-to. With dark rum, lime juice, and ginger beer, Dark & Stormies are crisp and light and a little spicey. A Dark & Stormy is essentially a Moscow Mule (which you might be more familiar with), but with dark rum as opposed to vodka.

If you saw my January Favorites post, you saw that I’ve been really into blood oranges lately. I made blood orange ice cream a few weeks ago and have been playing around with ideas for different blood orange cocktails. I decided to go with what I know and love and create a blood orange Dark & Stormy!
This drink recipe is so simple and it’s almost laughable to post a recipe, but I didn’t want to keep this masterpiece to myself!
1 shot of dark spiced rum (or 2 or 3)
Juice from 1-2 blood oranges
Ginger beer

Add the rum and blood orange juice to a chilled copper mug (because fancy). Fill the rest of the mug with Ginger Beer. Garnish with an orange slice. Enjoy!

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?