Saturday, February 26, 2011

Don't you love a sale?

Here is an invite for you to some great deals:

Southern Lit., Pick of the Week: Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress

It has taken me a few days to write about my latest read, Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress. Not because I hated it, because I didn’t. Nor has it taken me a bit because I loved it, because I didn’t. I love books, I love words and I love the stories they bring together so I struggle when I don’t get really attached to a book. Georgia Bottoms was a book I was eagerly anticipating getting lost in, and being sad when it ended because I had become so in love with the characters. But, when I finished it…it was done. That was it. It was a cute, light read that I was able to finish in an afternoon.

“Georgia Bottoms is known in her small community of Six Points, Alabama, as a beautiful, well-to-do, and devoutly Baptist Southern belle. Nobody realizes that the family fortune has long since disappeared, and a determinedly single woman like Georgia needs an alternative, and discreet, means of income. In Georgia's case it is six well-heeled lovers-one for each day of the week. But when the married preacher who has been calling decides to confess their affair in front of the whole congregation, Georgia must take drastic measures to stop him.”
I have often heard people refer to certain books as if they had been written to be movies. Well, as I have rolled this one around in my mind, I would have to say that about Georgia Bottoms. I can completely see it as a movie and think many of the scenes would come off very comical in that medium, more so than in print. I just wish that there had been a bit more depth in between the covers…and then I could have laughed out loud at some of the twists and turns that the story ran through.

All in all, it is a good little book to stick in your beach tote and head to Spring Break. You will enjoy the lead character, Georgia’s, mother (called “Little Mama”) who seems to be dying to burst forth every time she creeps on a page. Little Mama’s strong case of racism mixed with dementia bring the best laughs of this book. I would love to have gotten to know Little Mama a bit more. I will be interested in reading more of author Mark Childress works (curious enough to go back and read some of his earlier works such as Crazy in Alabama and One Mississippi) and seeing how reflective this newest release is of his previous writings.
This post was written as a member of Southern Mommas Writers
(and you don't have to be a Momma!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome Spring...Southern Living Style

A few days ago the March issue of Southern Living arrived in my mailbox and I have to say the cover was just stunning.  It was the perfect welcome to Spring.  I had to try the recipe for the cake shown on the cover, Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake (click link to recipe).  It just looked too good.  My husband and sons said it was my best effort...EVER.  Not "a really good cake"...but the best EVER!  Take my word for it, these boys know their cake and if this is the best EVER, you should definitely try it!
It baked up beautifully and the only deviation I made from the recipe was that I had to bake it for 10-15 minutes longer than the recipe called for.  Of course, that could just be my oven issue! 
It is so nice to have a recipe turn out just as pretty as when it is staged for the magazine!
Now, I can't wait to try the Key Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Glaze from the same article! 
Thank you Southern Living!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Weekend Haul...

DD and I happened upon a great Estate Sale on Friday and picked up some goodies!  I collect China Snack sets (they are going to come in handy one day when it is Bridal Luncheon time!!!) I am so excited to score some new pieces for my collection. 

 I got these 4 Lefton snack sets for $7.00.(available at Replacements, Ltd. for $14.99 each)  They are some of my favorites because the inside of each cup is a beautiful pastel that reminds me of dyed Easter eggs. 

I also got 2 more beautiful snack sets with 2 additional snack plates for a whopping $2.00 for all 6 pieces (available at Replacements, Ltd. for $23.99 each ) 

The Reed & Barton 104 bowl was my big splurge, at $10. When I went to this Estate Sale on the first afternoon it was marked $20.00 but when I went by on the second afternoon it was down to $10.00 so I took it home!  (available at Replacements, Ltd. for $31.99)

So for a mere $19.00, I feel like I got quite a bargain for some gorgeous and unique pieces! 

Doing the frugalista happy dance!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Southern Lit., Pick of the Week: What are YOU reading these Days?

Hey girls! This week, I am taking a bit of a breather from reading (well, actually I am doing some catch up reading - magazine style! Remember....fluff, it does a body good!) but I would love to hear what you are all reading and what you have found that you couldn't put down.

*Have you discovered a new author or just a new to you author?

*Have you redisovered a book you had long forgotten about?

*Do you have the scoop on some new amazing "southern" book that I should not miss?

Please leave a comment with what you are currently reading, what you have loved lately or what you can't wait to read. I am looking forward to getting some inspiration from you!
This post was written as a member of Southern Mommas Writers
(and you don't have to be a Momma!)

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ma Jones!

Today is my Grandmother's Birthday. She would have been 98. Although she has been gone 6 years, I still miss her like crazy.  NOT a single day goes by that I don't think of something or see something that makes me think of her.  Most of the time, it is usually something funny that I would love to kid with her about (I was probably a torturous grandchild, as I loved to poke at her). 

Anyway, this is my Ma Jones' beloved Christmas Cactus and I am not sure how, but after she died, I ended up with it.  She loved plants probably just about better than anyone else I have ever known and loved gardening (both vegetable and flower.)  The day before her death she spent a cold November day digging in her yard to plant spring bulbs.  That is how I hope to until the end!

So Ma Jones' "Christmas" cactus is a crazy plant, in that since she died, it has not bloomed during December one single time!  It has bloomed during February, on her birthday...every year.  Really.  That is probably her way of poking back at me from the great beyond!!!  I noticed it was almost ready to bloom last week and here we are on her birthday and it is beautiful!  So funny, huh? 
Beautiful blooms to celebrate a beautiful life.

And some how, I know that when her son-in-law (my sweet Uncle Kenneth), joined her in Heaven on her birthday in 2009....she had a shovel and rake waiting for him to help her tend the flowers there!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Needing some advice...

OK girls, I need some advice...and quick!  What do you use as moisturizer on your hands?  Sounds simple, huh?  Well, I haven't found anything that seems to be really getting the job done and I am a little discouraged.  I am feeling a little sensitive here about the appearance of my hands, especially on the tops...those just can't be MY hands...can they?  I used to use something that had Vitamin C in it and I loved it, but like all good things it had to disappear from store shelves, never to be seen again. 

So, I am opening it up here for some suggestions.   What do you use?  Do you use different products for night/day and what do you use for in between? Tell me about your hand care routine.  Please...I am desperate for some tried and true recommendations! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Appreciating the Aging Process

There are a lot of things about aging that I don’t understand. But there is one thing I have figured out the reason for, and it is the eyesight thing. Y’all over 40s know what I am talking about (don’t look like you don’t!!!) Hey, I was one of those who thought that whole “you turn 40 and your eyesight changes” stuff was a bunch of bunk….then my husband turned 40! The man who never needed any kind of glasses began to hold menus way out in front of him when we went out, he didn’t notice things right in front of his face…the list could go on and on and (but I am kind, and stuff, so I will stop there). Anyway, he started having to buy reading glasses to be able to do detailed tasks. Of course, at first, I didn’t understand this phenomenon (because I didn’t turn 40 near as soon as he did) and I didn’t really have any great appreciation for it…until…I figured out why it happens!

God, being a loving and merciful God, provided this little aging gem for our good! Yes, He did! He created this aging far sightedness to save marriages! YES! He gave us all a way to not be able to see how our partner ages in great detail! Heck, when these “over 40 eyes” come along you stop being able to see the crows feet staring back at you! IT is  a built in TV filter (like Martha has on her show)…but for the rest of us! So, the next time you lament how things aren’t looking as lovely as they once were… just remember the closer you stand the less your “over 40” eyes can see!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Southern Lit., Pick of the Week: Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On! by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Hey girls! I might be a little late to the party with this week’s review of Shellie Rushing Tomlinson’s, Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On! What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters the Rest of Y’all Should Know Too , but all I have to say about that is, better late than never!

I have been a follower of Shellie for several years, even before her first book hit store shelves (and she just happens to be a member of Southern Mommas!). I found her originally when I was living “up nawth” in New York and was desperate for some southerness. While roaming the internet I found her “porch” at All Things Southern, and her very first eBook. She was like a breath of warm, humid southern air to my cold, snow-blind self. Well, the Shellie I came to know and love online has a wonderful book full of sweet, southern wisdom! She writes, “Our Southern Mamas have filled our lives with important values and silly little lagniappe, all woven into the fabric of our lives so subtly that it takes a discerning eye and a determined focus to bring them to light. Like a sentimental add-a-pearl necklace, each gem symbolizing an important event or a milestone, these mother-daughter jewels all have a unique value. It is up to each of us, the daughters of the South, to take the time to thread them into beautiful heirlooms worthy of bequeathing to the next generation.” So if you haven’t already read Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On! I encourage you to get yourself a copy and read it quickly, because in May, Shellie’s newest book will be hitting store shelves!

Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy: The Belle of All Things Southern Dishes on Men, Money, and Not Losing Your Midlife Mind will debut in just a few short weeks, and I am already lining up to read this one: “Guided by principles from the ancient Belle Doctrine, the host of radio and television's All Things Southern offers down-home advice on everything from health and fitness-managing thy caloric calculations without going Straight Running Crazy and surviving the Raging Inferno Syndrome (aka hot flashes)-to the Southern art of handling your man (Bubba Whispering). Whether giving business tips or debunking the Big Boned Theory, making political observations or celebrating the inevitable resurgence of big hair, Shellie is an adviser women can relate to and laugh with regardless of their age or which side of the Mason-Dixon they call home.”

Now, how can that one not be a winner?
This post was written as a member of Southern Mommas Writers
(and you don't have to be a Momma!)

Wordless Wednesday

Semi Wordless Wednesday Hosted by Flip Flops and Pearls
Linking to Flip Flops & Pearls

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Serious Sunday

BlackShear Place Baptist Church
WARNING: today I am feeling serious (I am just giving you a heads up, in case you aren't in the mood).

Why so glum?  Because we have been in our "new" town since last summer and still have not found a church home.  We have visited quite a few and always find something positive about each one (well, there was that one....but, I won't go there). Some have friendly faces, some have a beautiful sanctuary, some have wonderful music, some have a great history...but we haven't felt led to become part of any of them. 

It is a strange feeling because we have always been very involved in our church and it is truly an integral part of our family life.  I, we, miss that.  It is difficult finding the right fit that includes everyone in our family.  I have been surprised that we have found it so difficult to find a church home, as it seems there are an abundance of churches.  We have moved a lot, so we have done this a time or 10.  Why is it so hard this time?  Are we being too critical?  Are we looking for too much?  I just don't know. I am feeling discouraged.

We have started visiting again, through the churches we have already visited (well, except that one...but I won't go there).  Today, I am home with my youngest who is battling a cold that I don't feel the need to share with others, but my DH and oldest DS will be visiting a church that we previously visited.  We attended on a Sunday when the regular minister didn't speak so we feel the need to go back.  I do miss our GA church very much (can ya tell?).  It  is a vibrant, God loving church that has just the right blend of traditional worship and contemporary without sacrificing the Truth.  There was a place for all of us (from the youngest to the oldest) and we all felt plugged in. There was an abundance of ways to serve and be involved, whether you were a new Christian or a seasoned veteran.  It was home, and we need a new one!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cold Weather Comfort Food

All seasons have their own special comfort foods, but none more than the long, cold winter months.  This winter has been particularly long and particularly cold ,so I have found myself reaching for my beloved local cookbooks a lot, searching for something to take the dreary away.  This week my DH had a cold, so to help him feel better I made his favorite Homemade Chicken Pot Pie. 

I have been using this cookbook consistently for over 20 years (can't you tell with all the stains and worn cover?).  It has served me well, with the secrets of the wonderful cooks of Hartsville, SC. I love local cookbooks! I feel like I am getting tried and true recipes that are reflective of the heart of the area. 

Click to enlarge.
 This is truly the easiest of recipes. *The only change I make is that instead of 1 can peas and carrots, I use one can of mixed veggies (i.e. Veg all).  The crust is to die for and simple.  It is also an easy one to double for a larger crowd. This recipe generously feeds 5-6. 
I serve it over white rice (a great frugal way to stretch the meal even further). Serve with a green salad and you have comfort food at it's best!
Yum...this will keep the chill away!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Southern Lit, Pick of the Week: I Love You - Now Hush by Melinda Rainey Thompson & Morgan Murphy

Don’t you love a good mixed gender dinner party? You know the great ones, where you sit around the table and conversation flits to and fro, full of hilarious, truthful, and sometimes surprising perspectives? That is what reading I Love you - Now Hush by Melinda Rainey Thompson and Morgan Murphy is like. When I finished this book I felt as if I had been sitting around having a wonderful party with friends.

These two authors dish it up in a comedic blend of “she said/he said”. Both are true Southerners who feel the roots of Southern culture deeply. They have a ball discussing how Southern culture impacts gender relations. I mean, there are even opposing essays on swearing! See, I told you it was interesting.

Melinda Rainey Thompson has written 2 other books, SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully (see my review here: SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully) and The SWAG Life. She loves her a little Southern with a big side of sass. Morgan Murphy has written for Forbes, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and was formerly on the editorial staff of Southern Living). He is a true Southern gentlemen with a dry wit and is the epitome of what we would all like our little Southern Gents to become. I knew he was my kind of man when he wrote, “Casual Day. Those two words denote the ruination of our civilization, the collapse of all that is good and decent in our land. The unknotting of the necktie will be the unraveling of our social threads, mark my words.” Just makes me swoon!
This post was written as a member of  Southern Mommas Writers
Please check out the Southern Sisterhood @Southern Mommas
(and you don't have to be a Momma!)