July 30, 2009

SL and Tucker Blair's Where to Wear Guide


Look down deep inside yourself. Is there not a miniscule iota that appreciates your first-grade teacher's precise selection of seasonal sweaters? Now, I'm not advising us to trot off and go crazy with Santa and shamrocks, but let's be honest: Sometimes dressing appropriately just feels so right. And, oh yeah--it looks so good.

Enter Tucker Blair. This fabulous fledgling company out of Washington D.C. whips up hand stitched needlepoint items in evocative designs. "We want you to find the item that reminds you of the places and times you love most, whatever and wherever that may be," says founder Taylor Llewellyn. 

Is there anything more Southern than working under the tagline "Classically Casual?" Taylor gave me some thoughts about some of Tucker Blair's threaded items, and where they would shine the brightest on-location around the south. 

July 29, 2009

Pictures on Parade

I keep pretty labels, bedeck my cubicle with photographs, and scour art and fashion websites daily... I just appreciate visually appealing things in the most un-shallow way, right?

Enter my new favorite blog: All the Best. Read in over 75 countries, you'll quickly see why reading this blog is like flipping through a gorgeous magazine.

Photos courtesy of All the Best

July 28, 2009

Tales From a Southern Belle's Kitchen

At the Stallings residence, my mother reigns queen of the kitchen. Relocate to my grandmother's kitchen, and you'll see a similar state of affairs. These women with their spatula scepters are happy curled up at night with a cookbook in hand, look for reasons to throw together a certain dish ("Oh, it's the cat's birthday. I think I'll make a pound cake."), and I don't think a summer Saturday has tolled when a farmers market visit wasn't involved. Come to think of it, I've also never seen one of them squinting down at a recipe in frustration. In my mind's eye, mama's always listening to me run my mouth or nudging the dog out of the way with her manicured foot. 

Once upon a time, I made Tollhouse cookies by dumping all the ingredients into the mixing bowl at the same time. Note: This does not produce cookies. Another time, inspired by Rachel Ray, I seasoned my pasta with so much pepper that I rendered it inedible--thus wasting a family size worth batch of ingredients. Where was my southern cook extraordinaire gene? I felt so left out--there must be something wrong with me. There is no way I can just not know how to cook. I mean, you follow a delineated recipe. I have "helped" in the kitchen for years. I think textbooks are fun and watch CSPAN, yet can barely decipher how to get past boiling water all by myself...

July 26, 2009

Here's to Hometowns

Photo courtesy of my new clever name on Flickr.

One of my favorite things about interning at Southern Living is being surrounded by the beautifully penned words of some of the South's best journalists. Take this quote from Richard Banks, a senior writer at SL:

"I lived 33 of my 44 years in Memphis. Now after eight years away, the city’s culture is still under my finger nails like ribs and sauce, and its music reverberates in my head."

In the same spirit, I know Montgomery may not seem like much to some, but I'll always defend my sweet little river town .

Where do you lay claim?

Read the rest of Richard's story on SouthernLiving.com.

July 25, 2009

"The South is the only place in the world

where nothing has to be explained to me."

- Woodrow Wilson

Photo courtesy of Southern Accents

July 21, 2009

August Issue of Southern Living

Safe and sound in my Travel and Livings department cubicle, I'm flipping through an unbound copy of the August edition of Southern Living. Your copy will soon by at your doorstep, but here are my top 10 reasons to start salivating now. Nothing like a new mag, huh?


  1. Pat Conroy tells all and makes me crave Charleston (doesn't take much) in this gorgeous, glossy spread.
  2. I'll also add that there is an awesomely thorough South of Broad Guide to Charleston.
  3. THE 2009 IDEA HOUSES! Need I say more? Okay, I will--inspiring design on every page.
  4. Eco-friendly dog products from around the South. Harper Stallings, you can now be more like your big sister.
  5. A story on Blue Dog painter, George Rodrigue! New Orleans isn't the only town with a crush on this artist's work.
  6. A how-to on creating a Southern garden icon: The French oil jar fountain. No courtyard is compete without one.
  7. A recipe-chocked and photo driven story called "A Taste of Old Florida." Three cheers for seafood.
  8. Spotlight on four one-room schoolhouses across the south reminds me of the region's heritage.
  9. There's a fab guide to bargain deals in the South. Info on a Tibi outlet and where to get last-season Neiman Marcus.
  10. One of my favorite editors around here, Les Thomas, hits gold with this month's Southern Journal.

If you are a reader in one of these states, look forward to some homegrown stories:
Alabama People & Places Volunteers with the CASA Community Garden yields vegetables for the elderly of Huntsville in this heartwarming story.
Georgia Living Photography from the rural slice of paradise Gin Creek is Southern wedding-style exemplified.
Tennessee Living An arts district of Memphis is home to the fashion mecca MUSE. Look for Betsey Johnson and Hale Bob collections!
Texas Living Get pumped for Longhorn football and read our story about Coach Brown's Women's Football Clinic. Hook 'em. I also flipped over the story about troubadour Ryan Bingham--if you haven't started listening, head over to iTunes.


“A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth
and that is why we call what he writes fiction.”

- William Faulkner

Photo courtesy of The University of Michigan Library

July 20, 2009

Ladies Who Lunch Work

Some mornings I have the most productive prework schedule. Yoga, a healthy breakfast, quiet time, and a leisurely primpfest. This is far from the majority of my work week morning rituals. Thanks to Tuesday nights out at Jackson's in Homewood or Otey's in Mountain Brook, midnight summer blockbuster premiers, and nights catching up on TiVo'd shows, a few extra minutes in bed are divine. An easy go-to outfit, accessory stash, and summerized primp routine are all I need to look my best for work during the dog days of summer.

Continue reading my article on MyScoop.us.

July 15, 2009

Fit To Be Tied

Photo courtesy of Southern Proper

AmericanBoom, a blog encouraging creating jobs in the states, posted this interesting read about the much-loved Southern Proper company:

"Assuming your area of the south has discovered the internet, climb in your fratmobile, go home, and go to southernproper.com and check out these preppy, preppy ties," declares writer Paul Joseph.

Why, thank you darling. But many of us are hot on the Proper trail already. Just like a bird dog.

I'll Speak My Southern English


Sometimes, we venture beyond the Mason-Dixon and discover our new-found status as a conversation piece. But hey, it turns heads--and that's not always a bad thing.


For anyone who's ever answered the "Oh my Gawd, where are yous guys from" question. Read this charming article, hot off the press from MyScoop.us.

Photo courtesy of Harper's Weekly, 1861

July 13, 2009

His or Hers

Photo courtesy of WhoWhatWear

Freshman year of college, with a high school uniform nary in sight, I had to adjust to the world of real life. I could no longer pull out my standard issue button downs, polos, and crest emblazoned crewneck sweaters.

What's a girl to do when her (closet) world is rocked? Simple, shop in the little boys section. No annoying women's cut polos here, just basic straight cuts.

My WhoWhatWear email today reminded me of all the times I've said "pardon me" while brushing into a 10-year-old--as we grab the same shirt.

July 9, 2009

Guess I Have To Keep 'Em...

video
Once again, I was honestly worried about the welfare of my feet, but Katie was there to the rescue. Thanks to Southern Living editor Richard Banks for capturing one of my shining moments.

July 8, 2009

Boot Scootin'


For an upcoming Southern Living story, I have been hot on the trail of fabulous Texas boot designer Stephanie Ferguson. As a girl has yet to grow out of that inevitable I-just-love-horses-stage, I have been entranced with her boots: the gorgeous inlay, handcut designs, and crafting process.

And then I met them in person. Today, a shipment of six pairs of Stephanie Ferguson creations landed on my Southern Living desk. You should smell these puppies--the leather alone is an southern aphrodisiac.

So Katie (my fellow intern) and I decided to have an impromptu fashion show on the third floor. Which was great and wonderful, until my foot got stuck in one of the boots and it took 12 minutes for Katie to yank it off. Disclaimer: I wear a size 7 and the boot was approximately a 4.

Katie, if it weren't for you, my foot would still be located inside the Southwestern Style boot. And my abs would be significantly less toned from laughing so hard.

Southern Bucket List


If there is one thing (and trust me, there's more than one thing) I've discovered in my two months interning in Southern Living travel headquarters, it's that these people know the south. Seriously--any one of the editors can rattle off where locals dine on the freshest seafood, the personality of City A compared to City B, and how on earth to pronounce that little island of the coast of Carolina.

These erudite scholars of the South were prime suspects for assistance in compiling a Southern Bucket List. Here's their Top 40 Things to Do in the South Before You Die.

What have you done? What would you include on a Southern Bucket List?

Continue reading my article on SouthernLiving.com

Buzz: 30Threads

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

July 2, 2009

Sample Sales


Say the word: sale. It slithers off my tongue in one quick syllable. Stack the word "sample" in front of that, and you can count me in. A sample sale is a retailers way of offering beautiful excess merchandise at a mere fraction of the cost (just in case you've taken a siesta from the chick lit and/or flick genre). Cue the flurry of caffeinated fashionistas, sharp-for-a-reason stilettos, and anxious tossing of expertly crafted garments: sample sales are quick and dirty, and lucrative to come by.

As we know, things take a little while to drift down here to the sultry south. But thanks to the internet, southerners are finally tapped into this big-city based phenomenon.


Photo courtesy of RueLaLa
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