Monday, November 30, 2009

family feast

granddaddy & daughters
Mmmm… I am still dreaming of turkey and dressing after the huge spread we had on Thanksgiving. In fact, we had two hearty meals since we celebrated with my family one night and Trevor's dads side of the family the next day. Whew, there was a lot of good eatin' goin' on. The only thing we were in charge of was green beans, so we got off super easy this year. My young cousins were piling rolls, mac & cheese, and turkey. No vegetables for these taste buds. And one even had a big plop of ketchup next to his turkey… mmm. My little cousin Emily was asked, what she ate for dessert… her reply, "whip cream." Who needs pie anyway when there is cool whip around? The adults picked up the slack and piled high a bit if everything to taste.

jazz hand style

family portrait

The biggest news of the night, though, drum roll please… I wasn't partaking in the booze. Meaning only one thing - yep, I have a bun in the oven! Whoa, that feels weird to say. I've had three months to ponder this, but it still feels surreal. Trevor and I were super excited, though, to share our news with family and some friends over the weekend. It's been such a hard secret to keep (especially for my mother).

After a couple days of family and feasting, we were ready to get out and see some friends. Our first stop was to see the new baby I'd been anxiously waiting to meet. Little Maida was as cute as pie. And maybe it was my hormones, but seeing my friend with her bay felt so amazing and real.


Then it was off to a local pub for a little celebration. It felt so good to share the big news.



Anyway, more to come on the growing belly front. For now, we're just enjoying this time and soaking it all in.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Well, we're heading home today for a nice holiday break so this is my last post of the week. I'm cleaning, packing and running around like a mad lady! Pack for Trevor, pack for Cooper, get gas, go by kinkos for work copies, close up the house… yikes, I have a lot to do in two hours before picking up T at Clemson. Better get going, but check this out :

My new favorite ditty, "Home," is very fitting for today. "Ahh, Home - Let me come Home - Home is wherever I’m with you - Ahh, Home - Let me come Home - Home is when I’m alone with you." I told hubs its our new theme song! And on that note, have a happy Thanksgiving… we're headed home.

Monday, November 23, 2009

day tripping

The weather beckoned us outside on Saturday, so hubs and I took our first day trip to Asheville. It's about one hour door to door and such a pretty drive with the mountains in site. Of course, we picked the day of a Christmas parade downtown. I'm sorry to be ba-humbug, but what is the deal? It's not even Thanksgiving and yet here we are bombarded with wreaths and retailers telling us to start our shopping now. Maybe I'm cranky this Monday morning, but this is ridiculous. That's why I love Thanksgiving. No gifts. Just a day of family and giving thanks for all that is good. Even now, when every time I turn on the news of doom and gloom, there is still so much to be grateful for.


So, off my rant and back to Asheville. Everyone said I would love it and I did. Maybe it's the bohemian vibe and eclectic folks walking around. I don't know, but it's so cool and I can't wait to return. We tried dodging the parade of dancing tweens, breaking down to holiday rap music. Call me old fashion, but it was all a bit much. Good thing we had a tip from my aunt Louise to hit The Early Girl Eatery. Ohh, it was so cute and delicious local food. Mainly the menu was vegetarian, so I ordered the vegan black bean burger with avocado. Hubs had to have the "real" hamburger, but it did look good with basil mayo and goat cheese. I was so bummed, but after taking two pictures, my camera informed me the battery was dead. Sweet. Oh well, we'll be back for more.


Friday, November 20, 2009

turkey time

Ahhh, to be young again. Just kidding, I'm still purdy young. It's just that last night I wasn't feeling oh so youthful. Trevor had some classmates over before heading to a concert down the street. A few were 22 and one of their girlfriends, still in college. I said I graduated in '01 and you could tell she was trying to figure out how old that would make me. Sweet. My, how much changes in those years. I was the boring old lady, and stayed home while they went to rock out to Robert Earl Keen. Not my cup of tea, but it was fun to have some folks over and entertain.


It's a gorgeous Fall day here, but I don't have much to share with you… except a little shameless Tenn Hens promotion. Currier (my biz partner) designed these Thanksgiving invitations for a client recently, and I think they're simply gorgeous. This big gobbler has been eating well.


In our family it's a phone call or an email with what to bring and what time to show up. Boring. Maybe I should bring this up when we gather. Honestly though, it will be a lost cause. Unless I do them of course. I guess I should be worried more about the food anyway. After all, that's the very best part. Hubs and I are assigned a green vegetable, ho hum, and are currently arguing over green beans (him) vs. brussell sprouts (moi). What I REALLY want to make though is this winning pie I saw on Martha the other day. Yes, please. I don't know if I can swing it though since we're doing my family dinner early on Wednesday. Can you make a pie 2 days ahead? Hmm… too bad I don't have Martha on speed dial. Tootleoo!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

recipe for disaster

Just when I thought I might be getting the hang of cooking… bam! I suppose I was getting too cocky and it was time time to remind me I was still very much a novice in the kitchen. Here's what happened.... I had a huge craving for homemade granola bars. So I hopped in my car and arrived at the gross & dirty Bi Lo down the street from my house. I was all set until I realized at the checkout, I'd forgotten my wallet. Typical! So I ran home and drove back to get my things : sliced almonds, butter and parchment paper. finally home, it was time to whip up these delicious treats. So there I was, measuring ingredients and checking the recipe when there was a knock at the door. It was a guy in a ratty t-shirt, jean shorts and of all things, a confederate flag skull cap. Nice. He was looking for yard work. Is this really what you choose to wear when looking for work? Note to self : look out the window before answering the door.

So back to baking. After putting the granola goodness into the oven, I started to clean up. Well a few minutes later I smelled something burning. I opened the oven and was engulfed with smoke. Apparently my substituting wax paper for parchment paper (they didn't carry any at the sketchy store) was not OK. Shoot. I quickly pulled them out and was just going to slide them easily off the paper and back in the dish, when half of the mixture slid right into the dirty sink. Lordy, this was just not my day. After stomping and cursing a bit, the other half went right back in that oven determined to finish. What survived was right tasty, but goodness what a lot of work for a whopping 6 granola bars!


I may have been defeated in the kitchen this time, but I'll still return. Because when a meal turns out great… its such a sense of accomplishment, you can't help but keep trying.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Picture 4

I have a huge design crush on this business. Love the concept, love the branding and love the interior design. It's for kids, but even I want to go to Moomah. As a matter of fact, I'd like to move in and play.



Their goal was to make the space inviting to kiddies, without using crazy bright colors everywhere. It's simple, but whimsical and I can imagine parents and children, alike, adore the retreat. Of course New York gets all the hip spots! Oh, fun fact : the owner is John Stewart's wife.



These bags are to die for. Full speed ahead is my favorite. Shoot, I wish I'd designed these!

Picture 6

And speaking of wee ones… my sweet, most thoughtful, dear friend Amy had her baby last week! This little nugget, Maida, is the cutest thing and I can't wait to introduce myself and hold her. Momma Amy, I know you have your arms full literally, but if you can hear me, I send you lots of wishes and congratulations.

little maida

Monday, November 16, 2009

sunday ritual

I love Sundays. I start by taking big buddy outside, looking eagerly for that bright blue plastic bag on my curb. Last weekend it wasn't there.....harumph! I may be in Greenville, South Carolina, but darn it I want to know whats going on in the world. Yes, I could read online, but it's simply not the same. Doesn't the delivery man/woman know that I only get the New York Times on Sunday and that it totally disrupts my morning when they decide to sleep in instead? But yesterday there it was, crammed underneath my tire, looking glorious and thick with plenty of stories ready for me to read.


Another ritual I enjoy is the show, Sunday Morning. I used to think only old people watched and that it was kind of dated looking. After all, their graphics are faded and there's that weird sun image everywhere. Well hello, I must be old and boring now because I'm obsessed with it. This episode included a segment on King Ranch. I'm sure my brother Will, who went to Texas, knows all about this place, but it was news to me. Apparently it's this huge family ranch (they have over 800,000 acres) that has it's hands in all sorts of business ventures, but still is a working farm/ranch that raises horses. Triple Crown winner Assault is even buried here. Anyway, the show is definitely worth tuning in if you don't already.

Trevor was off to campus for a group project and the weather was perfect, so I decided to hang outside all afternoon. I took a quilt, some towels, a drink and the Sunday Times, and headed all the way out to my back yard. They say a little sunshine is good for the soul. It definitely lifts my mood, that's for sure. Coop and I settled in to do a little reading of the Times and even dozed off here and there. I was awoken twice by falling nuts. Our neighborhood has more acorn trees and they have covered the lawns and sidewalks. Good for squirrels.... not so good for napping.


Friday, November 13, 2009

open studios


This town I live in is pretty sweet. Open Studios is a yearly event here and it's a weekend for artists of all kinds to open their doors and share their goods. There were a ton of galleries participating, but we stuck to one section of town, Pendleton Street art district. There is an abandoned old mill near the center and old buildings of a once thriving little area are left. Of course the artists, being the pioneers that they are, have re-claimed the strip and set up shop in some amazing spaces, right next to some umm, crack houses. Makes it eclectic though!


Art Bomb, the first we toured, had at least 15 different studios inside. A sort of cooperative, where they could share and create amongst one another. Our favorite was Jo Carol Mitchell-Rogers who had these little square acrylic on masonite paintings. Is it weird that I fell in love with the "singlewide trailer" & empty bathtubs in a field? I guess there's just something about junk that brings out nostalgia. Kind of reminds me of the drive up to our mountain house in Beersheba Springs. It's a slice of America that's like no other. I wish I could stumble upon a field full of old, discarded bathtubs. That would be rather nice.



Next it was on to Flatiron Studios which sits on a triangular lot down the street. There were a couple stores inside including art & light gallery which had all sorts of eye candy. The shop was tiny and packed though and that usually spells disaster for a 6'4" husband. He knocked over some magnets and caused a commotion, but luckily nothing was broken and the owners were cracking up. It's hard to be tall. Then it was on to Knack next door. I introduced myself to the owner and found out she refurbishes old furniture. Paints them pretty colors, adds fun knobs and just makes a worn out piece look simply fabulous and new again. I wish I could do that! I was eying all sorts of stuff in her shop. All the shops are open the first Friday of the month and I can't wait to go back.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

reading list


I saw this on a blog recently and thought it was such a great idea… I'd borrow it. Hope that's ok. It's a "what I'm reading" section on the sidebar. I love hearing about new books people are recommending. As I've said before, I love perusing the aisles of a good bookstore. But, it's become rather hard to find a cool bookstore anymore. I'm talking an independent shop, loaded with personality and quirky book folks. Barnes and Noble is fine and all, but it 'aint the same. Nashville has Davis Kidd which is pretty great. Their new location in the mall though, is super average compared to the gem they used to call home. Greenville on the other hand is very lacking. They have the big box stores, but I've yet to discover a local shop I like. Maybe I need to find a room like this…

crazy book room

I just finished reading The Help, which I wholeheartedly recommend. I wasn't that excited about it actually when mom loaned it to me. But, boy I couldn't put it down. I loved how each character had their own voice and switched back and fourth narrating the story. And the names were fabulous : Aibileen, Skeeter, Minny and Constantine.

Plus this will motivate me to continue picking up a new book instead of turning on the tv. Trevor will be reading text books and I shall be reading the sequel to The Glass Castle (if you've been living in a cave and haven't read this... you MUST get your behind out to the store and buy it up quick - it' that good!) : Half Broke Horses. And if ya feel like sharing a book recommendation, I would LOVE it. Happy reading friends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

burger + fries


My aunt Louise always has the latest scoop on what's new in Nashville. Every time I mention a new spot I've been wanting to try… she's been. Every time. It's amazing really. She does indeed have more energy than most people I know and she is always up for a good time. Always. That's my kind of aunt! So on my last day back home last week, she wanted us to go try a new spot called Gabby's. (us : my aunt, my cousin, my mom & moi.)


It's quite an adventure just to get to this place and you'll go down streets you never knew existed, but it is worth it. The place is small and packed in there, but it's friendly and very lively. We were the only group of ladies - lots of dudes filling up on lunch. Yummy burgers + the best sweet potato fries I've ever had served with kicked-up, homemade ketchup! The burgers are organic, grass fed beef which made me feel slightly better about eating such a sinful meal. It was a good day to wear leggings though because I was stuffed. And I just read that they serve chocolate dipped nutter butters. Umm, excuse me, but why didn't we know this? Good excuse to return I suppose.



Monday, November 9, 2009



It's one thing to come home to a dirty house, but this is what I pulled up to Friday evening… a massive construction zone. A couple weeks ago a plumbing service came out because none of our system was working. It quickly turned into a bigger issue than we imagined and our landlord was not a happy camper. Her contractor slacked and put in cheap plumbing. To make a long story short, they've had to basically replace the entire line out to the street line. I knew they'd been working while we were gone, but good gracious - our yard looks like a disaster area, complete with caution tape. The street has two giant holes and the side walk has been ripped up. Jack hammers, a dump truck and a skid loader in front of our house totally add to the quiet vibe of the street. I'm sure our neighbors are oh so happy. So this is what we'll be living with the next couple days. My biggest worry though is all the plants they tore up. We had these fluffy bushes along the side and poor things are all exposed and discarded to the side. I sure hope they survive when they're replanted. Otherwise we'll have even less buffer to weird hermit neighbor!



Friday, November 6, 2009

happy weekend


I am packing it up again this morning. Back and fourth, back and fourth. Greenville to Nashville - Nashville to Greenville. At least it's a pretty fall day and I get to see my sweet hubs tonight! I've missed him and can't wait to hear all his tales from San Fran. I've got to pack up my things (which are everywhere in the house), pack up Coops stuff (simple man only brought his food and bed) and then carefully pile it all in in hopes I can take a chair back with me as well. I can't wait to show it to you - it's adorable. My new thing on road trips too is to pack my lunch. I hate stopping at fast food places and always feel horrible afterward. So, a peanut butter sandwich, an apple and some chips will accompany me and buddy. Off we go and have a happy weekend.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

an orange box


Ahh, that orange box. Hermes gift boxes are so chic and immediately recognizable. I have a small one on my dresser that holds jewelry. And I wouldn't mind some more. They've done quite a job branding that orange square with thin, painterly brown edges. Below is a pic mom snapped while in New York to show me. It's an entire building wrapped up like a present. No sign, no mention of whats to come - just a large pop of iconic color that grabs a passerby and screams Hermes. Very smart.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

pick a poster


It seems like we're always "borrowing" from the past. Fashion, architecture and especially the design world, all nod to what's been done before. Hey, they created such amazing work, why not? I, for one, love looking at old packaging labels and advertisements. The stacks of post cards and magazines in antique stores. I gather so much inspiration for color palettes and font ideas. My dad sent me this look-book online of beautiful vintage posters for auction. So fun to flip through, not to mention the technology of a digital catalog is super cool.


By far, the coolest vintage poster shop I've been in was in Omnibus Gallery in Aspen. Seriously, their collection is amazing and I wanted to buy everything in site. Forget that nothing was even remotely in my price range, I wanted them all. And most were huge. He had to carefully flip them for us because they're original and delicate. Wouldn't it be fun to have an entire room with these on the wall?? Ahh, a girl can dream.



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

pot pie

Apparently my parents don't believe in heat until December. They have little heaters scattered throughout the house instead. I've been huddled in front of one of these little beauties every night in the kitchen. Mom had a meeting last night and daddy-o does not cook. Actually, he cooks, but only steaks and that's it. So, I was in charge of supper for the fam. We had everything you need for a chicken pot pie. Peas, carrots, chicken, onion and stock. Put it all in a pot and voila. You actually have to go through a lot of steps, but lemme say… it's so worth it on a cold night. Our bellies were full of goodness by the end.

I kind of winged it based on mom's suggestions + I looked at Ina's recipe. In her recipe she makes a whole crust… forget that unless you have a whole lotta time. I used those roll out ones. Parboil the carrots, sauteed the onions + added chicken stock, cream of chicken, bit of cream & spices. Mix it all up and then you've your self a pie!





Monday, November 2, 2009

grateful for today


I can not believe it's November already. My, where does the time go and could it be any more beautiful today? The leaves are changing and the sunshine is making all of their colors pop against the blue sky. The hubs is in San Francisco for a conference with school this week. I was going to stay in Gville....but to tell the truth, I was worried I'd be lonely. So, I packed up ole dr. livingston (my car) and headed out. I drove through N Georgia and Monteagle Mountain to Nashville yesterday and the weather made the drive so enjoyable. That, and big buddy dog was quiet as a mouse the whole trip. We stopped twice at rest stops though so he could stretch his legs and nibble on some food since it was past his dinner.


I haven't been back in Nashville even a full day, but I've seen a girl I went to high school with, a friend of my brothers and a reality tv contestant I wish I could say I didn't recognize at the grocery. Man, this is one small town. And after work today, I had 4 fuzzy buddies greet me at the door, ready to enjoy this gorgeous day. Now, it's off to work for my rent - I'm making a chicken pot pie tonight for mums & dad… wish me luck!