Friday, January 24, 2014

Southern Living and Southern Weddings

Have you read the January issue of Southern Living magazine?  In addition to their must-save Southern recipes, decor photos, and gardening tips, they now are collaborating with Southern Weddings magazine to publish weddings content written by the Southern Weddings team three times a year in 2014...beginning with a 24-page section in the January issue.  Subsequent special sections are scheduled to appear in the May and September issues.

Southern Weddings is designed to bring brides and mothers of brides inspired, uniquely Southern ideas for the big day!

Looking for expert advice for your Southern wedding?  Check it out here.

I love all the fabulous photos on their website, full of ideas for wedding day fashion...

Photos of beautiful real-bride reception tablesettings...

Fashion ideas for the bridal party.  I adore these dresses!!!

This Southern bride looks like a princess on her big day and her flower girl is adorable!

You'll also find fashion ideas for the men/boys of the wedding party.

Of course, the South is all about traditions and you will learn how to add them to your own Southern wedding.

Want a chance to have your own dream Southern destination wedding?  Enter here for a chance to win a wedding package at the Willcox in Aiken, South Carolina.  Southern Weddings is also hosting a workshop at The Willcox this weekend.  For more information, go here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Grits Cafe

Way down yonder in the land of of my favorite songs y'all!  When I'm driving to Mama's house in Georgia, I love looking out at the cotton fields, which are everywhere!  It always makes me feel so at-home.

Of course, I love grits too.  On my last visit, I read about the Grits Cafe in Forsyth, Georgia just up the road from Mama's, so I just knew I had to check it out.  If you are driving south from Atlanta on I-75, you will find the small Southern town of Forsyth, Georgia about 60 miles south of Atlanta and just north of Macon.  The courthouse is the first thing you notice when you arrive at the town square.  It was built in 1896 in the high Victorian Eclectic style.

Across the street from the courthouse is the Grits Cafe.

Lord have mercy...welcome to Southern cooking done right!

The original building was destroyed by a fire back in the spring of 2012.

Thank goodness the establishment was rebuilt after the fire!

Y'all, I could NOT decide what to order in this place.  They have a wide selection of "creatively fun Southern food!"  There was the Grits Martini--Grits, shrimp, bacon, and shitake mushroom cream.

The Fried Green Tomato Napolean--with the tomato, jumbo shrimp, and remoulade sauce.

The Charleston Shrimp and Grits--no explanation needed.

I decided on the BLFGT--Bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato sandwich.  Everyone around me was eating one and let me tell you, this sandwich does not disappoint!  It was well worth the extra jogging I had to do later in the day.

As I was eyeing the plates the waitstaff were delivering to other diners, I got the feeling bacon is their "garnish of choice" at the Grits Cafe...and I'm okay with that!

I am definitely going back to the Grits Cafe when I visit Mama again.  I also want to award them my "FIVE SILVER SPOONS" award for their friendly service, nice decor, and ambience.

  If you are traveling I-75 between Macon and Atlanta, Georgia, the Grits Cafe is located at 17 West Johnson Street in Forsyth, exit #187 off I-75.  You can contact them at 478.994.8324.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

James T. Farmer, III

James Farmer is Editor-At-Large for Southern Living magazine.  He's a Southern author, gardener, floral and interior designer, cook, and garden-to-table lifestyle expert.

I was excited to meet him at the Mistletoe Market when I was in Georgia in November.  I picked up his latest book Sip and Savor.  "Drinks for Party and Porch."  Well I love that!

James is a native of Kathleen, Georgia, which is very close to Perry and Warner Robins.  He was taught as a young boy how to pull vegetables, herbs and flowers from the family farm and kitchen garden to provide much of the food, decor, and flavor of his family's everyday life.  He developed an early appreciation for fresh, seasonal foods cooking at the side of his grandmother, whose Southern heirloom recipes he has revitalized for contemporary tastes.

Here are some of his other fabulous books...

Southern Living magazine featured his fabulous blue and white Thanksgiving setting back in November.

He definitely knows how to set a beautiful table!  Love this autumn setting with the black and white buffalo check!

More buffalo check with gingham!

Love this formal setting!

More of his fabulous work...

His floral design...


Outdoor floral design.

More of his outdoor work...

Here's one of his garden-to-table dishes...Tomato-Onion Pie.  You can find the recipe here.

In the Spring of 2013, he opened his design and antique store in downtown Perry.  If you are ever in Perry, Georgia, stop in and take a peek at his store.  It's right across the street from my favorite restaurant, The Swanson!

Check out his website here and his Facebook page here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pageant Coach - Kim of Queens

Oh my goodness...there's a new show on Lifetime Network that is right up my alley!  It's Kim of Queens.  Last week's show was the premier and if you missed it, you can watch the first episode here.  It will be televised on the Lifetime Network on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

The star of the show is Kim Gravel, former Miss Georgia 1991, who is one of the country's most successful pageant coaches.  Her business near Atlanta helps feature beauty queens.  Kim lives to polish local girls into future to take the crown and rule the world.  She tries to transform unpolished young Southern girls into beauty queens.  It is her mission to find "diamonds in the rough" and transform them into confident young women.

Kim has worked for Revlon and Christian Dior as a make-up artist and in 2009 she launched her own boutique cosmetic line, Beloved Beauty.

Kim is assisted in her business by her Mama Jo...a prissy Southern lady and a former beauty contestant herself!

Her younger sister Allisyn is her assistant too..and is also a former pageant girl.  Miss Allisyn is sassy and loves to bedazzle everything!

Kim Gravel was only 16 when she won the title of Miss Georgia!

I think this must have been her talent competition gown.

Kim in the bathing suit competition...probably wearing a Catalina suit!  Look at her long legs y'all!

Y'all can read more about Kim at her website here and she also has a Facebook page here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Awaiting Downton Abbey

What a fabulous way to kick off the start of National Hot Tea Month!  9 pm ET is the premiere of the 4th season of Downton Abbey!  I am hoping that there won't be any more sadness on the show this season.  

No football for me tonight...and I better not be interrupted!

Oh how I love the British-style wait staff servers.

The posh life...dining with others who have impeccable table manners and seated at a table with exquisite place settings.  They are so very proper!

I'm patiently awaiting the lovely costume designs.

 For those of you who might be having a "Proper tea," this is the correct place setting for taking tea at the dining table.  The hostess pours the tea for each guest and serves them individually from the right-hand side.  Teacups & saucers are never passed around the table.  After all the guest have been served tea, the hostess serves herself and the tea begins.

If you chose to take your tea at the coffee table while viewing the show, this "Low tea" place setting that I featured during last year's premier show would be appropriate.

I have already set up the coffee table for my "Low tea" tonight.  I'll be having a decadent chocolate croissant and the "Florence" tea from Harney and Sons.  This a wonderful black tea with nut and chocolate my favorite teas.  I will also be having a bit of champagne!

Y'all have a wonderful week!