Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Bummer

Sorry I've been M.I.A. the past few days--my computer has a pesky virus! It is currently being worked on by our own special Geeky Squader Paul. (He is not really affiliated with the Geek Squad.) I'm not sure when it will be back in action, but hopefully he will have some time to work on it this weekend. I'm having withdrawals from checking out all your blogs! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Goodness Gracious!

Day 3: Goodness Gracious!

In Colonial America, pineapples were a symbol of luxury and abundance. If a hostess could provide a pineapple to display on her table, it showed that she must be a wealthy, or at least resourceful, housewife, so trade in the fruit was brisk. In fact, pineapples were so much in demand that they were sometimes rented for a day's use.

Psychologists in America and Germany have shown that making a facial expression alters our mood. If we make an angry face, our heart rate shoots up. If we smile, we find life much funnier. A Pearl Girl could have told you this without a lot of expensive studies or fancy degrees! We always keep a smile on our faces, and we know that it makes us (an those around us) much happier.

Until 1879, crude curling irons heated over the fire were the only method of bringing a wave to those flat locks. That year, Marcel Grateau invented a gadget that produced marcel wave. In 1906, a German stylist developed an expensive (and often painful) twelve-hour process called the permanent wave. We Pearl Girls don't need to go though pain for a permanent wave, honey--we've already got our hands flapping!

We Southern girls aren't the first belles to love pearls. Cleopatra was reported to have swallowed pearls as a symbol of her endless extravagance, and Elizabeth I of England is said to have worn pearls in abundance to symbolize her virginity.

In the Colonial United States, beverages in taverns were served in pint and quarter containers. When a guest would be a little rowdy, the tavern keeper would shout "mind your p's and q's" to keep them in line. When we tell our rowdy little sons and daughters today to mind their p's and q's, let's hope it's sugar hepping them up, and not ale.

In the nineteenth-century American Southwest, there was a lot of testosterone and nothing much to do but stare at the cattle. Inevitably, this combination produced bulldogging, a form of man-cattle wrestling. If the man had any hope of not being maimed or killed, he had to grab the animal's horns and throw him. From this tactic came the phrase "take the bull by the horns," meaning "to take decisive action."

Drinking liquor and shooting firearms were, until recently, common at funerals in some parts of the South. Unless you plan on having a follow-up funeral, however, I don't recommend bringing back these traditions.

**All excerpts are taken from Puttin' on the GRITS: A Guide to Southern Entertaining, by Deborah Ford.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Pearl Girl Knows

Day 2: A Pearl Girl Knows
**Stirring a packet of sugar into a glass of cold tea won't give you real Southern iced tea flavor. Always add your sweetener when the tea is still as warm as the heart of a Southern belle.
**Southern enternating begins in the home, and we Pearl Girls know that the best compliment we can receive is to be invited into the home of a new friend.
**E-mail has replaced letters. Television has replaced conversation. There will never be a replacement for home. Value your traditions and what you have learned from your family.
**A Southern hostess always remembers names. If she forgets, though, it's no problem. No Pearl Girl ever minded being called sugah, dah'lin, or sweetheart!
**Gentlemen know what makes a Southern belle ring--diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and, of course, pearls. And Southern ladies know that it doesn't take a gentleman for them to sparkle. If you've got the money, sugar, there's nothing wrong with buying a little something to make yourself shine like that star you are.
**Never accept an invitation from someone you wouldn't want to have back at your own house.
**One rule of thumb to follow )aside from not wearing white after Labor Day, but that's not something I need to tell Pearl Girls) is that the earlier the party starts, the more conservative the dress. That sequined gold lame' halter top may show off your tan perfectly, but it would be out of place at a bridal luncheon.
**If your hostess is pregnant, nursing, or a Baptist, a bottle of nonalcoholic cider or grape juice is a thoughtful way to let her sip a cocktail at her own party.
**Your last impression should be as good as your first. Make sure that the heels of your shoes are in good shape, as they are the last thing they'll see as you walk out the door.
**A Southern Girl knows that the best way to approach a party is to imagine that her mother-in-law (and all of her ex- and future mothers-in-law) are coming.
**A Pearl Girl without lipstick is like a Yankee without his lawyer. At cocktail parties, try to keep the nibbles small enough so the ladies won't have to ruin their lipstick.
**Want to take all the anticipation and joy from an invitation? Use an e-invitation! There's only one proper way to use e-mail to invite your friends to a party--don't.
**Be a true Southern belle, and use your silver every day. The more it's used, the more appealing its patina.
**Moonshine can be served in your grandmother's old fruit jars, though remember to put the lid on after each service or the dog might pass out from the fumes.
**Remember to alternate alcoholic with nonalcoholic beverages, drink slowly, and eat some food along with the liquor. Pearl Girls would rather be Botox-icated than intoxicated!
**Never eat more than you can lift. --Miss Piggy
**The best way to thaw a turkey...blow in his ear.
**Character is what you are, reputation is what you try to make people think you are.
***All excerpts are taken from Puttin' on the GRITS: A Guide to Southern Entertaining, by Deborah Ford.
***I am sorry that this post is so jumbled up. I've tried over and over to put spacing between the quotes, and it just will not work!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Puttin' on the Grits

As I was cleaning up a little clutter yesterday, I stumbled across one of my favorite little books-- Puttin' on the GRITS: A Guide to Southern Entertaining by Deborah Ford. Here is a quick blurb from the official GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) website.
Family and friends are the center of life in the South, and kitchens the center of Southern homes, so there is no better way to celebrate Southern traditions than a book on entertaining. From the heartfelt love in Grandma's dumplings, to the stomping fun at a good hoedown, Southern entertaining is special. This book will help everyone to be as gracious, warm, and entertaining as Deborah Ford herself. She can't help but sharing--it's the Southern way!

Whether you were born in the South, are Southern at heart, or just like to eat Southern food, this book is bound to entertain you on more than one level. For fun, each day this week I thought I would do a different posting on something out of this book. I hope you enjoy!

Day 1: Southern Translations

Hootenanny: n. an old-fashioned gathering to hear and share good old Kentucky bluegrass music, a foot-stompin' good time, what happens whenever two Pearl Girls get together. (Get out of the way, boys!)

Hospitality: n. The virtue which induces us to feed and lodge certain persons who are not in need of food and lodging. --Ambrose Bierce

Precious: adj. in the North, something valuable, such as a gem, in the South, a glorious gem of a girl.

Outblonded: n. the state of being outdressed, outshone, out-thought, or outlasted by another woman. If she's a bigger sensation, you've been outblonded, honey!

Streaking: n. in the Northern United States, taking off one's clothes and running around nekkid as a fool, in the Southern United States, adding blonde highlights to one's hair.

Tee-totaler: n. A Pearl Girl who leaves the house wearing her T-shirt without pearls. It better be an emergency (and even that excuse is suspect)!

Progressive: adj. pertaining to a type of left-wing political thought, n. a dinner at which each course is eaten at a separate home.

Sippin' whiskey: n. the best-quality bourbon--ladies sip it slowly.

Homebrew: n. liquor made behind the shed--ladies avoid it at all costs.

Afar: n. a place that is not near; your guest's hair when he does a drunken Polynesian fire dance.

Fishin': n. catching your supper (or losing a lot of crickets and worms) with a rod and reel, the art of getting people to give you the praise you so richly deserve.

***Pearl Girl: n. a well-mannered woman.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Voom, Voom

From Audrey Hepburn as "Ann" in Roman Holiday to Blake Lively as "Serena van der Woodsen" in Gossip Girl, it's hard to resist wanting to jump on a Vespa and take off exploring. Wouldn't you find it utterly romantic to be whisked away on one of these for a day trip along the sea-breezing coast or though rolling hills resplendent with grape vineyards?

**This post is dedicated to my adventure-loving father, who has been scooting around Europe on his red Vespa.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's Etsy Time

I could spend hours a day on the computer. Literally. Hours. I could look at blogs all day, I could search eBay all day, I could browse online shops all day, I could scour fashion websites all day, and lately I could explore Etsy all day. There are multitudes of amazing things on Etsy!

I recently found one that I thought was worth sharing. Decorative Instincts is a smaller store, but don't let the size fool you. Chicago based, it specializes in fashion-forward accessories for the home. There is not a single thing on Decorative Instincts that I would not love to have in my home. I cannot decide if the Imperial Trellis Wastebasket or Suzani Apron is my favorite! Head on over and check this fabulous store out!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Award Time

In my head I've thought to myself how "cool" it would be to actually receive a blog award. For the longest time I didn't have a single follower. It made me sad to look over at the followers button and it be empty. I told Emily how I felt like a loser (she politely chimed in how she and her friends followed, just not via the "follower" link, since they don't/didn't have blogs), that it was utterly ridiculous for me to even have a blog. Then, one bright and shining day, I got a follower! Next on my list of daydreams was to someday receive a blog award. Ding, ding, ding!!! Much to my surprise I received two blog awards in the same day!!! Cloud nine was rising even higher!!! So...a HUGE thank you to the very sweet Annie over at Classic Annie for the "Sugar Doll" award!

As I have recently learned, with awards come rules. These rules are very simple. 1) Thank the person who gave you the award 2) Share 10 things about yourself 3) Pass this award on to 10 bloggers you recently discovered who are fantastic and contact them to let them know you picked them for this award.

1. Cooking is one of my favorite things--I will never turn down a good recipe.
2. When I receive new magazines in the mail I skim the whole thing at once, turning down pages of things to try and websites to check into. Later I go back and re-read.
3. I think I should have been born and grown up on the East Coast.
4. When I was little I had a pet Jersey cow named Pansy, who had the most beautiful eyes. When Pansy grew up, she had a calf named Buttercup.
5. My husband is a loser, I am a finder.
6. My skin tans fades even faster.
7. Not I "was" a KKG, I "am" a KKG.
8. This summer I've taught more kids to blow bubbles out of a bubble container than to swim.
9. I'm not much of a sweets person, but once I start eating chocolate I crave it every day.
10. I'm sure the town in which I live is smaller than the town in which you live.

And the winners are...
Sweet Southern Prep
Pink Preppy Lilly Lover
Sweets and Treats
Monograms and Manicures
Poppies and Sunshine
How I Met Your Father
A Pinch of Lovely
Brown Eyed Belle
The Entertaining House
It's A Golden Day

And also, a HUGE thank you to Allison and Tarryn at 2Bloggeristas for the "You're Going Places, Baby" award!

The rules for this award are quite simple: 1) Describe where I think I will be in 10 years 2) Pass the fun along to 10 other bloggers

1) I can honestly say that I do not have a single clue where I will be in ten years. As of now, I'm living in my parents house (they are out of the country) with my amazing husband in the teensy town where I grew up and vowed I would never live. With Bryan's job, we will probably move within the next two years. As far as details go, they are all up in the air. A vague description would be much better. ten years we will be settled into our own home, have adorable little munchkins running around, a smart and playful second dog (one of Ivy's puppies) of our own (since Sadie Ann and Sailor are technically my parent's dogs), and I will be have an established event planning career.

2) And the winners are...
South of Midwest
Southern Girl in the City
Flannagan Family
Kara's Stories
The Park Wife
The Life of Jake
Sunny Peaches
Nautical and Southern
High-Heeled Foot in the Door
A Cup of Jo

On another note, I think I am going to put a freeze on my spending habits. Three months sounds like a good amount of time. (These thoughts came to me last night) But tell me please, how can I carry out that freeze when I find things like these???

*Very high on wish list that is in my dreams*

*Hello Lovers*

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Knock, Knock

"...knock, and the door shall be opened unto you..."

Friday, July 2, 2010

You've Got Mail

"You have a redbone on the bench and a cat on the swing. Will they bother your packages? Sounds like a good title to a children's book." The note my mailman left for me yesterday. You've gotta love living in a small southern town!!