Jan 29, 2010

Daddy Sang Bass, Mama sang Tenor

My parents seemingly have nothing in common- Daddy is a car dealer with a business mind.  Mama is a potter who sometimes I believe still has no idea what I do as a transactional attorney.  She was an anthropology major where she fell in love with ceramics, while his analytical brain studied engineering.

Mama is tight as a tick, while Daddy is a bit, ahem, more generous in his spending.  Mama is more of a country girl, growing up riding her horse to school on report card day.  Daddy, although born in East Tennessee, to East Tennesseans, grew up in Pittsburgh.  He is a bit more likely to turn up his nose at a dinner of beans, greens, and cornbread (although I think this has changed after thirty years with Mama).

Anyway, one thing they enjoy together is books and reading.  Our home is overflowing with reading material- books and magazines line the wall, and reside in stacks in corners and nooks.  Much to Hubs' dismay, our cosy little condo is rapidly becoming subject to the same fate.  I read, to put it mildly, a lot, and I love to be surrounded by books. So the Happy Prize for today is. . .BOOKS!

Two of my recent favorites- Bound South by Susan Rebbecca White, which is set in Atlanta.  I read this last summer around the time I read "The Help".  I recommend this to any fans of that book.

Book number two is a psychological thriller set in Cape Cod, "Tainted", by Brooke Morgan. I devoured this book, which kept me up all night.

So please enter by commenting which book you would like to win, and what is currently on your nightstand.  I'm always looking for fun recommendations!

Jan 28, 2010

I'm a Boden Girl, In a Boden World

Just received the new Boden catalog.  I never really order anything from them, but instead flip dreamily through the pages and imagine myself as a skinny smiley Brit with a great wardrobe of colorful classics.

I'm so adorable and quirky in my imaginary life.

Check out the purses and wallets that I am lusting after-

Good looking, no?  And reasonably priced.  What is your dream life catalog?  J.Crew used to have potential- now it would entail me being a slouchy, underfed and overstyled model wearing too much jewelry and socks with sandals or such nonsense.  Anthro is excellent for those wannabe Parisian gamines fluttering down the streets carrying loaves of French bread.

Jan 27, 2010

Odds and Ends

1.  I don't care about watching stuff in HD at all.  I find the channels confusing, and like to stick with my normal order.  However, this drives Hubs nuts, so whenever I hear him coming I quickly switch the channel to HD, reminiscent of when I used to be on alert for parentals while watching Salt and Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex" video in 5th grade.  Last night, though, I made no attempt to switch to HD while watching th Biggest Loser.  Hubs started to complain, then took one look at the jiggling as the weigh-ins commenced.  Yep, no HD for BL necessary.  Some things should be a little blurry in my book.

2.  What is up with Brad and Angie?  There was such a hullabaloo then crickets.  I guess that is an excellent PR machine at work.  Remember during last year's awards season, when Ryan Secrest had to chase after them?  I think that was kind of dick of Brad and Angie- the man is just doing his job!  It's not like they are strangers to the PR machine- remember those pics of them on an isolated Kenyan beach that a paparazzi magically was there to capture? Yeah right.

3.  I really detest people talking about politics in social situations.  I find it so distasteful and tend to shut down when it happens.

4.  This teen pregnancy moment that is happening is very entertaining to me.  Our high school had a daycare and a teen parenting class.  Abby Dids took it a few times (or was it just once?- correct me girl!), although obviously while a teen, she was not a parent.  Maybe that is why she is such a good mama now!

And that's pretty much what I have been contemplating.  Any deep thoughts going on with y'all?

Jan 26, 2010

The Latest Dumb Product I Purchased

A complete sucker for advertising and marketing gimmicks, I have some tendency to buy some really stupid shit.  Case in point #1-  The "Grapple".  A combination of an apple and grapes.

These things, unsurprisingly taste like apples dipped in Dimetapp.  I took one bite then spit it out.  I tried to feed it to my golden retriever who ate everything, including salad.  He tried to bite me out of revenge.

Next up-
The detox-ing foot pads. In my defense, these were a happy prize for Mama, who was intrigued to the point of obsession.  Yeah, they were a scam.

I saw this commercial for this new foundation that rolls on.  My thoughts go like this, "Neat!  It's like paint! Now I won't have to get foundation in my eye, from it being on my fingers when it put in my contacts (I realize putting in my contacts before I put in my makeup would be a wiser approach.  However, I never have touted myself as a sage individual).  It looks so fun!  Rolling all over my face with no lines, perfectly even with no streaks, OMG I have to have this, get me to a drugstore now because this is going to change my life!"

Yeah, not so much. Try to roller this crap around the corners and crevices of your face.  The roller does not bend. I was smushing against my face trying to not have lines, streaks and stripes across my face.  Major fail.   Don't buy this, although most of you have a lick of sense and wouldn't anyway.

Jan 25, 2010

Case of the Mondays

Lord, I am grumpy today.  I do want to announce the winner of the giveaway- #8 according to the random number generator thingie.  Bethany was the eighth entry so congrats! Send me an e-mail with your address please!

A lot of you asked about Banish Fat and Boost Metabolism versus the infamous Shred.  I love the Shred, but I use it along with heavy weights as my third weight-lifting day.  BFABM is about an hour and straight up cardio, so I do it on a cross training day from running, or if my blasted right shin is acting up, as it currently is.  Which combined with torrential rain, led to a lot of laying on the couch the weekend.  Blergh. I did catch some good stuff such as:

1.  The Hurt Locker- This is the likely reason for my current dour mood, not because it was depressing, but due to the fact that I was super tense the entire time.  Therefore, sleep did not happen.  See it- it's wonderful and interesting.  However, don't try and sleep immediately after wards.

2.  The SAG awards.  Find George Clooney talking about how Betty White is a bobcat in the sack on YouTube or whatever.  It's amazing.

3.  Lots of Sporting Events.  These consisted of NFL playoffs and basketball.  I find both of these vastly inferior to college football, and therefore read my book and made bored noises while Hubs partook.

And, to cure this case of the Mondays, how about a gratuitous picture of George himself.

Jan 22, 2010

Up In The Gym Just Working On My Fitness Happy Prize

Happy Friday Y'all!  I am ready- I think I have a dash of the winter doldrums.  Normally they do not hit me until February, but I can't take it anymore!  One cure is a good sweaty workout, which always puts me in a better mood. 

I really ejoy exercise, and even if I don't feel like it, I know I will feel like a new woman when it's over.  And it allows me to eat more.  My schedule usually goes like this:

Monday- 1 hour with trainer
Tuesday- run 3-4 miles, abs
Wednesday- workout dvd, or elliptical
Thursday- one hour with trainer
Friday- run 3-4 miles
Saturday- off, walk or light workout
Sunday- long run

So doing that and eating mainly unprocessed food during the week, I can eat and drink whatever I want within reason on the weekends, yet still fit into my clothes.

So two of my favorite workout DVDs are the happy for today.

Jillian's is about an hour of fun cardio intervals, and the Pilates consists of 10 minutes each of tummy, buns, legs and then 10 minutes of all over.  These are 2 of my favorites, which I love on cross training days.

So the fine print- contest ends Sunday night at seven.  Just shoot me a comment telling me your favorite workout.  Any "sweepers" who annoy me are disqualified because this is for my readers. I'm getting hard core on y'all. 

Jan 20, 2010

In My Tennessee Mountain Home

So the results are in!  Finally- I apologize for the amount of time it took me, but the honor system did not prevail.  Boo! It took me forever to check everybody thanks to the "sweepers" which are apparently professional contest enterers.  The contest is for readers, so the rest of this month's happy prizes will not have giveaway in the title.  I was madder than a wet hen reading some of the entries.  The Bealls are family friends, but I purchased the happy prize in full for my readers.  Lesson learned, moving on.

 And the winner is-  Summer is a Verb! E-mail your address and your goodies will be shipped onward.

However, please checkout Blackberry's website for some delicious East Tennessee goodies, so please peruse at your leisure.
 I have been very appreciative of my home lately after devouring Amy Greene's Bloodroot Mountain.  The author is from nearby Morristown, Tennessee, and her debut novel is set around these parts.  It's an excellent book, and reminded me of many of Lee Smith's wonderful novels set in Appalachia.

Tonight as I cleaned the kitchen, I listened to another East Tennessee girl- Dolly, who grew up in neighboring Sevier county and got her start on Knoxville's Cas Walker show.  I feel like Dolly and I would get on like a house on fire if we ever had the chance to meet in person.

Sevier County loves Dolly so much that her statue sits outside the Sevierville courthouse.

I get a lot of hell sometimes (especially during my years at the University of Georgia) for my East Tennessee roots, but I'm proud to be a seventeenth generation Appalachian.  Albeit one who made a B+ in Appalachian studies.  A class taught by a Canadian.  Hmmmppphh. I bet she's never been to a dirt track race (along with its fancier spawn, stock car racing was brought to the world by whiskey running Appalachians).

 So, what's your home's or region's claim to fame?

P.S. My bridal portrait at the top is done by another one of my favorite East Tennessee girls- A.K. Vogel.  Check out her amazinf work here- http://www.akvogel.com/

Jan 18, 2010

Double Digit Run and Wedding Season Begins

MOH and Surrat the blushing bride.

So while TMZ was at our local dive investigating Lane Kiffin's troublesome behavior (booze! coeds! drunk driving oh my!), most of the regulars had relocated to Nashville for DG's and Surrat's beautiful wedding at Belle Meade Plantation.

The wedding was a blast- as you can see.

Jules and I were ladies in red.

We all thought the sign on the outside of the church was a bit ironic.  Just like the rain on Surrat's wedding day.  Hence my hair not looking very hot.

Hubs was a bit discomfited with me as we had to make an emergency undie stop on the way to Nashville.  I originally going to wear this dress-

Tins, MOH and me.

However, that dress requires very specific undergarments, as it is a matte silk and short.  Underwear which I forgot to bring. Yeah, I forgot any undies at all, which I remembered about halfway through our drive.  Oops.  Luckily I brought the red number as well, but I still had no undies. Rain plus my clumsiness and the amount of wine I was planning on consuming equals a possibility of me falling. In a short dress.  With no undies.  Horrifying. 

So I began scanning exits for a drugstore where I could run in and grab some emergency undies.  Thankfully, we passed a J.C.Penney in Cookeville, and the emergency was solved.  Who does that?  I have a feeling Hubs will not let this one die for a long time.

I do have a bit of an excuse though- I was exhausted form my first double digit run!  Ten Miles!  I rocked it, much to my surprise.  Much more confident about my half-marathon chances now.  It's amazing what you can train your body to do- ten years ago I was about 15 lbs smaller than I am now, but I could not run a mile. 

I will announce the giveaway winner tomorrow by the way!

Jan 15, 2010

Blackberry Farm Giveaway

Once again it's HAPPY PRIZE FRIDAY!  Hurrah!  This is a special giveaway, as it comes from my neck of the woods and from one of the most fabulous places you will ever visit.  Blackberry Farm is a luxurious inn in the Smoky Mountains which has quickly become a foodie haven.  Last weekend I was absolutely chartreuse with envy of those attending the Southern Foodways Alliance weekend there. 

Sam Beall, the proprietor, has just written a scrumptious cookbook, The Blackberry Farm Cookbook available from Blackberry's website or Amazon.  Under Sam's guidance, Blackberry is now a working farm, making their own cheese, preserves, raising their own meat, and even shearing sheep for wool.

Unfortunately we all can't go to the Barn tonight for dinner.  However, I thought I would bring some Blackberry to y'all.  I received blackberry jam, a cookbook, and some Singing Brook cheese as a wedding present, and it was one of my favorite gifts. Here's some of my heavenly jam-

I loved this gift so much, I thought I would do the same for y'all.  First, some blackberry jam-

Then some chow chow (YUM!)

Biscuit Mix

And fried chicken mix

So to win this box of deliciousness, please comment for one entry.  If you follow S&S you get another entry. If you blog or tweet about the giveaway, you will receive another entry. (And just let me know- I trust y'all- we're on the honor system)

Update- listen all y'all sweepers!  I don't know who's giveaway blog I have been so lovingly "featured" on, but this is ridiculous!  If you read my blog you would know this giveaway ended over a week ago!  So stop entering please.  It's really kind of rude and pushy.  Thanks.

Jan 14, 2010

Evening Gowns Galore

Before tackling the mass amount of superficiality contained within- please know you can help earthquake victims in Haiti through Wyclef's organization by texting "Yele" to 501501.  It's legit (I discovered through NY Times, which is publishing excellent updates online), and a $5 dollar donation which takes about 3 seconds. Now on to clothes.

So, cotillion is the third weekend in February and I recently decided to confuse the matter by ordering another dress from Sak's (it was half off and only in my size, such is my lack of willpower). Between MOH and myself, no decision could be reached! So she took some snaps, and put the decision to the world wide web.  Background info- in these pics I am wearing both grannies and tights, so excuse any lumpiness caused by such under-attire.  Also, I am obviously going to be tanned and groomed, and the dresses will altered appropriately- both taken up, and the blue needs to be taken in.

Also, excuse my messy room at my parents' house.  As MOH puts it- it's a bit of a black hole.

So ladies- I can't decide!  One is far pricier than the other, but they are both good deals.  Girls are pretty split between wearing blue or red dresses.  Red is my signature color (seriously, hahah it is), but everyone will expect me to be in red.  The things that occupy my brain are sometimes frightening in their vapidity.

Jan 13, 2010

Why I Can't Watch BL Until They Lose

So when I am watching Biggest Loser this early in the season, it makes me (a) exercise less and (b) eat more crap. Until they get to under 400 lbs, I feel so thin comparatively that I convince myself that I am anorexic and need to skip the gym and eat chocolate cake instead.  Because I'm shaky due to lack of food (I had a Petro at JL meeting thirty minutes prior).  So no more Biggest Loser for me tonight (probably a good thing since I have work to do).  I'm not scared of you Jillian. (Total lie, by the way, I'm quaking).

Tara- what a badass!

So realizing that I have to be presented in a clingy red dress to a bunch of people in a month, this feeling super skinny when I am decidedly not, has got to stop.  So started tomorrow- it's detox time.  I am all abou thte detox- me and Gywneth are best buds like that.  Until, Chick-Fil-A comes out with a spicy chicken sandwich.  I'm all over that.  I don't think Ms. Paltrow would be feeling it as much. 

Anyway, this detox is from Body and Soul Magazine (part of Martha's empire), and you can find it here. Starting it tomorrow lasting until the wedding Saturday, when I dash my body's newly cleansed state with mass amounts of vino. Sorry, Gwynnie.

Clarification- Although I love you ladies commenting that I am skinny (because who doesn't like that), this was not a plea for compliments (although, of course I will always take them).  I just want to fit into said clingy red dress, and eating slabs of chocolate cake while watching trash tv is not helpful for squeezing into sex bomb slinky gowns.

Jan 12, 2010

Weekend Gallimaufy*

So the Elvis Birthday Celebration was fun- although I was disappointed not to rock my leopard print wrap dress- Hubs took one look at me, stated that it was 18 degrees, icy and I need to wear shoes with traction, and clothing with warmth properties.  Common sense triumphed over my desire to emulate Priscilla Presley.  Just this once though.

Ak managed to combine both Elvis style and warmth by sporting her fur (which I will definitely be doing for the wedding we are attending in Nashville this weekend- apparently you have to walk outside to reach the bathrooms).

Saturday, I decided to enjoy the cold weather and gathered my mom and the pups for a little excursion to a local wildlife refuge with seven miles of trails.  Look at all the snow!

Mama, Dixie and Henry. 

Here's the old homestead of the farm originally on the property before it was donated for a refuge. 

The rest of the weekend was spent curled up with a book and my snuggie, until Hubs appropriated it.  Then it was time for some blackmail pictures of my UT die hard fan husband cuddling up in Georgia apparel.  See the look of fear?  Maybe not.

Also, I want to introduce y'all to a blog two of my best friends from Georgia have recently created- http://affordablefoodie.blogspot.com/  If you need excellent recipes and Atlanta recs and reviews please check them out!