Thanksgiving is upon us. To me, this is a time when family and friends set the daily grind aside and come together for sweet (and much needed) communion. It is often this day, out of every year, that reminds us what we love most about each other. It is often this day that draws us to each other, sharing in the sorrows and joys of the months before and months to come.
Last Saturday was Ocilla's annual Sweet Potato Day! Phillip and I decided to invite all of our family and friends over for lunch now that we live in the heart of downtown. With that being said, you know that I had a pretty large to-do list for us to work on before the big day! Our guest bathroom was on the top of our list. I knew that our guests would be using this room, so it was the perfect excuse to finally finish everything up! As a reminder, here is what the bathroom looked like when we purchased our home.
We knew we wanted a shower in this bathroom, as well as the original cast iron tub. Though this seems like a simple wish list, we had a difficult time dreaming up the design of the bathroom.
You don't typically want the plumbing for a shower located on an exterior wall due to the difficulty of getting to, and fixing, problems in the future. For this reason, along with the shape of our tub, our only option was to leave the tub where it sat and work around it! This posed many challenges, but also made re-plumbing a breeze! We decided to leave the toilet in the same location as well as the sink. This was super convenient, considering the floor in this room is 8 inches of concrete!
Now, I had to wrap my mind around creating a shower out of a floating tub. I went to Pinterest to help me solve my dilemma. I stumbled across the picture on the left. I thought this was a wonderful way to create a shower and lower the ceiling without creating awkward space! I could add a pantry on one side and have open shelving on the other.
The picture on the right was my inspiration picture for the bathroom as a whole. I loved everything about this bathroom and knew I wanted to incorporate some of the same elements in my own.
Once the walls were down, we realized that we had the option to add about a foot to the width of our bathroom by exposing brick and a cast iron ventilation pipe. However, this decision was all or nothing! The original wall covered these elements, and pushing the wall back would reveal them. I was going for an industrial look in this bathroom...so we decided to go with it! We framed up the walls around the tub and we were set!
By pushing the wall back in the bathroom, we created a void in the floor. Phillip filled in the gap with concrete and made his mark.
We added a light over the shower since we lowered the ceiling.
We plumbed the shower next so we could hang the concrete board.
Once the concrete board was hung, I could begin the tiling process! I decided to stick with the subway tile for this bathroom as well. The good news was that tiling to a tub was MUCH easier than tiling a shower from scratch!
I knew I wanted a bold tile for this bathroom floor, like in my inspiration picture! I visited our local tile stores and searched the internet over. I wasn't able to choose a cement tile, which was what I really wanted. This bathroom floor was already higher than the hallway and we didn't need to add another 3/4 inch by using a cement tile. I did, however, find a similar look in a ceramic tile...finally!
Here is a glimpse of the bathroom once the walls and tile were in place! We decided to go with the "shiplap" look in the bathroom to add to the industrial feel. We painted everything bright white to keep it light and clean.
Here is what my view from the kitchen island looks like now!
I absolutely love how this guest bathroom turned out! I think I even love it more than my master bath!
The subway tile just fits right in with the industrial look I was going for.
Phillip built a special frame for the mirror that would wrap around the brick chimney. This worked perfectly to cover up the damaged area that you saw above. I went with a more feminine choice for lighting, hoping it would tie in the (somewhat) floral patterned tile.
Phillip also custom-built this vanity straight from my dreams! I looked at our local cabinet shop and online, and couldn't seem to find exactly what I wanted. Phillip did a beautiful job! The butcher block counter top and the dark hardware perfect the look.
By exposing the cast iron ventilation pipe, we created an awkward space between the wall and the toilet. I took this opportunity to incorporate a few plant stands and live plants to add a little color!
The pantry provides us with wonderful storage space and blends right in with the vanity. On the right side of the shower, Phillip has created a cubby hole where we will add in a few floating shelves. (Eventually!)
Unfortunately, we did not have many original door knobs in the house. We did, however, find these beautiful reproductions online.
So, now that you've seen the details, here is another look at the before...and after!
This bathroom was so much fun to dream up, and now it is so much fun to use. I love how every little detail makes us smile. This is a happy little room that I hope our guests enjoy using!
As we prep for the holiday season, we're always busy dreaming up interesting and festive invitations for our Christmas Open House at our brick-and-mortar location, The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry. This year we have chosen to do a farmhouse themed Christmas. We like to carry our theme out in everything we do--invitations, decorations, menu, etc. "A Farmhouse Christmas" isn't flashy, so we knew we couldn't dress the invitations up with glitter. We needed something a little more subtle to make a statement, so we decided to use a buffalo check patterned paper and create an envelope liner!
Envelope liners are a fun way to dress up an invitation or any piece of snail mail! It is such a simple way to make the receiver feel like they are opening something special.
First things first. Here are the tools you'll need to gather:
*Be sure to choose an envelope and patterned paper that coordinate--especially with your invitation!
Now that you have the tools you'll need, you'll want to take a good look at the envelope you've selected. You want to be sure that your liner fits your envelope just right!
Use a pencil or marker to draw a line showing where the liner should reach. Next, you'll want to cut your envelope along that line to help you create a template!
Now, gently tear your envelope completely open.
Since you'll want your envelope liner to fit nice and snug into your envelope, cut along the back of the envelope. You will want to remove all of the "wings" that make up your envelope, except for the top flap!
Now that you have your template cut out, trace this shape onto a sturdy piece of cardstock.
Cut it out and test it by slipping it into one of your envelopes. Make sure that it fits just right. This is the step where you will need to make adjustments if necessary.
Now that you have the perfect template created, you can start tracing on your patterned paper!
Cut them out...add a little glue...
And slip your beautiful new liner into your envelope! Press it down making sure that all of the edges line up correctly.
Your beautiful creation is complete!
*Helpful Tip: If you're looking to conserve your patterned paper, you can cheat a little and make your liners a bit smaller. All you need to do is slip your cardstock template into your envelope and trace along the bottom. This will give you a guide to know how far you can shorten your template, without it being noticeable when the envelope is opened!
We believe it is the little details that make the biggest impact. This is such a fun way to dress things up and we hope you'll try it out yourself!
And, if you're in the area (or are willing to travel), you're invited! We'd love for you to make the trip down and celebrate this Christmas season with us!
Most yards where we live are full of pecan trees. Whether you live in town, in the country, on a farm, or even in a subdivision, you will at some point spend time picking up pecans. They are too wonderful to waste so no one would dare leave them on the ground to rot.
As much as I love muscadines, I’ve never been a fan of a muscadine hull pie. I must admit, I’ve only tried a couple of slices, which weren’t all that bad, just not all that good either. It’s the concept that didn’t really appeal to me: squeezing the pulp and seeds out to cook down the skins of the muscadines to make a pie out of them?
Of course, I believe the idea came from what Southern cooking is best known for: making something delicious out of what you have on hand! Many folks make jelly out of muscadines, using only the pulp, leaving the skins behind. I’m sure what happened was some smart Southern woman decided she had worked too hard separating the skins from the pulp to just throw those skins away, so she made a pie out of the muscadine hulls! The idea must have caught on, because there are multiple variations on the same basic recipe. Now, I’m all about creatively repurposing leftovers, but since I don’t have to separate the muscadines by hand to make jelly, I’m certainly not going to do it just to make a hull pie!
Recently, a magazine contacted my husband, Chris, and asked for a recipe using muscadines with apples for a special piece featuring apples in North Georgia. Of course, he turned to me and asked, “Any ideas?” Although this was during our harvest season and fresh muscadines were abundant, I thought how much easier it would be to use one of our products made from muscadines that are available year-round. My favorite muscadine product is Paulk's Pride Muscadine Sauce. Maybe I could even combine it with apples to make a modern version of a muscadine hull pie?
So, I did what any good Southerner would do - I invited my best friends over for dinner and got to work! Chris took care of grilling steaks and vegetables I marinated while I chopped apples and made homemade ice cream. At least we’d have something delicious if the pie was a flop! After dinner, I proudly uncovered my creation and began to slice and serve it to raving reviews. Roxie declared it the best pie she’d ever eaten! Good thing, too, because I had to email the recipe later that week!
Paulk’s Pride Muscadine Apple Pie recipe was printed in the Fall 2017 issue of Georgia Connector magazine and is also available at www.paulkspride.com.
We’ve also made it into one of our Southern Mercantile recipe cards if you’d like to print it!
I sure hope you enjoy Paulk's Pride Muscadine Apple Pie as much as we have - we even served it in our Cafe during "Muscadine Week" in September!
If you have been joining me on this journey, then you know how long we've been at it! My first blog about our home renovation, Beech Street Bungalow: Before, was posted in May of last year. Now, well over a year later, I can show you the progress that we've made in my favorite room(s) in the whole house! Here is a little refresher of what the living and dining room looked like when we purchased our home.
We knew we loved the coffered ceilings, but we couldn't wait to update them a bit! We also looked forward to relocating the glass french doors from both sides of the fireplace to other areas in the house. Other than those two tasks, the most noticeable change was that we made the fireplace become the focal point in both rooms. If you have time, check out Beech Street Bungalow: The Fireplace for all of the details! Here is a glimpse of the room once we removed the walls and brick from around the fireplace.
Once the sheet rock was hung and our floors were refinished, it started to look like a home! (You can check out Beech Street Bungalow: The Walls and Beech Street Bungalow: The Floors if you haven't already!)
Now it was time to get to work. We had to remove all of the old trim from the ceiling beams in order to patch the problem areas. Once the beams were repaired, we were able to hang new crown molding, and boy was that a job. But, if you think that is bad, try caulking and painting it all! We chose to paint the ceiling a flat "ceiling white" and paint the beams and trim semi-gloss white. Me and my neck seriously wanted to throw in the towel on this one. Jobs that are over your head are almost unbearable--I don't know how painters do it every day! Other than caulking and painting, I also had to sand the beams in some areas to smooth them out due to the multiple layers of paint applied over the years. I'll have to say, as miserable as it was, I'd do it all over again for these results.
Since we were able to keep the bead board wall on the West end, we had to find a way to finish the corners where it met the sheet rock. We decided to go with lattice strips to create a smooth corner. Once they were caulked and painted, they made the transition seamless!
I chose "Still Water" by Sherwin Williams for the walls. I knew this was a risky move, but I wanted to take the chance! And I'm so glad I did. This big room, full of light and white trim, needed a dark color to add a little drama!
Not only did we have to caulk and paint the ceiling, but also the windows, door trim, and baseboard! Thankfully, my mom was there to help me! She worked on sanding the windows and painting the baseboard while I caulked and painted the windows. This job was too big for one person, and I am forever grateful for how helpful our family has been.
We were able to use the original light fixture in the dining room and we ordered a brass colored ceiling fan for the living room. (Can you tell how impatient my husband was about hanging our TV?!)
We chose to go with a carrara style tile for the hearth. We thought this clean surface would complement the beautiful white ceilings! After I finished all of my painting jobs, I started tiling! We had to build up the hearth with concrete to give me a (somewhat) level surface to work with.
I just love the combination of the brick, the bright coffered ceiling, the natural light from the windows, the carrara style tile and the dramatic wall color. It couldn't have turned out any more perfect!
Phillip trimmed out the hearth and we were done!
Since these pictures were taken, we have moved our dining room furniture in! It was so fun to unpack our boxes of china and linens and put them in their place. We have since hosted multiple dinners with family and friends, as well as a game night! We love being able to use this space and enjoy all of our hard work. Breeze even loves this room too!
I hope you have enjoyed stepping into our construction zone! We can see the light, and we are so excited. We can't wait to put all of the finishing touches on the house and enjoy every minute of being "at home".
When I moved home twelve and a half years ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into! God is so funny that way, isn't he? I moved home to run my Dad's new retail shop not planning on staying long, and having zero business experience. Here I am, all these years later, now owning that business with my husband, who is now mayor of this little town we call home!
Almost every southern cook I know has a recipe box or binder full of cards and slips of paper collected over the years from family, friends, and magazines. This is in addition to a cabinet full of cookbooks - from beautiful glossy picture-filled hardback books to spiral bound paperbacks filled with covered dish supper favorites and the name of the cook. My Mama had a dark wooden recipe box with a cornucopia painted on the top. She would pull it down from the cabinet above the stove, and we would know something delicious was about to happen in that kitchen.
When I got married, I received a recipe box, a couple of binders, and plenty of blank recipe cards. At the time, I had no recipes of my own to write on the cards and put in the binders or box! My mother-in-law gave me an old binder full of her and her mother’s recipes. This binder has become precious to me. Over the years, I have learned to make a few of those recipes, including my husband’s favorite - fresh peach cake for his birthday. (I shared this recipe in my blog Peach Cake.)
Last year, my Mama gave me the sweetest birthday present - her wooden recipe box! She included the card for my favorite meal as a child - Chicken Spaghetti! She’s also been working on typing up her other recipes to add to my collection. Of course, those in her own handwriting are the ones that are so dear to my heart. I have such sweet memories and feelings of home every time I look at that box.
Now that I have learned how to cook, I have lots of recipes in my everyday repertoire, and love gathering more. My problem is I have not organized all those recipes. I have a shelf full of cookbooks I’ve collected and lots of recipes scribbled here and there, but I don’t really have a system to organize them all. That’s one of those goals I’ve always hoped to get done, but never have! So, I’m trying to get my act together now, starting with our favorite recipe box from Rifle Paper Company. Choose from three different designs to match your kitchen and personality. We also have a cute Berry Basket Recipe Box you may prefer with its open top. And, all our recipes in the Recipe Archive are available in a printable format perfect for 4”x6” recipe cards to fit!
I look forward to organizing all my recipes - both old standbys and new favorites. Of course, I will still use recipes found online and in cookbooks; but, there is something nostalgic about reaching for a full recipe box. You can almost feel a connection to the cooks who have shared those recipes with you as well as the many southern cooks who have come before. And, what a wonderful gift for those who will come after us. One day, perhaps I can pass on a full recipe box to my daughter-in-law to help her become a great southern cook.
We love doing vintage shows because it gives us a chance to show off our true Southern style. One of our favorite things to do is to use our new and trendier items to feature our special vintage finds. We love the eclectic look this creates and we believe it brings our vintage finds to life again!
Each show we try to feature a different area or theme, so our booth at this show was heavy on kitchen and office items! Of course, we still brought some of our favorite garden items and jewelry pieces to finish the look.
We are still obsessed with the unique jewelry that Sweet Auburn Studio produces. These charming pieces are handcrafted with unique vintage finds to create the loveliest bracelets.
We mixed in a few vintage finds that felt like fall. It is hard to transition into the next season when it is still so warm out, but then again, we're pretty use to that!
This was one of our favorite kitchen set-ups yet. We are in love with this rusty old chicken coop and thought it would be the perfect way to display some of our recipe boxes and kitchen towels!
Vintage kitchen utensils and funky new kitchen towels make for a great pair. Our enamelware and jam was also a hit! Full of personality, this area became a fan-favorite at the show.
We love to bring out our Rifle Paper Co. notebooks and calendars every chance we get! This office space is full of color, and color makes us happy!
We underestimated how much everyone would love our paper rolls that can be mounted to the wall, so we're sold out! They didn't make it to the website, but don't worry, we've re-ordered! Keep an eye out for their arrival and in the mean time, tell us what else you want more of!
We are so blessed to have the opportunity to travel and meet so many new people! We hope you've enjoyed a look at our last show and we hope you'll plan to make it to one of our holiday markets! Check out our Events page to see what show might be close to you.
If you have seen anything that you are interested in pictured above that you have not seen listed on the web site, shoot us an email! We aren't able to list all of our merchandise online, but we'd love to send it your way if it is still available!
Email us at: email@example.com
Tara, Jorjanne, and I got a chance to hang out with our friend Carey this week to get a lesson in boiling peanuts. We had a ball spending the morning with him on his back porch, learning how he has perfected his methods of this very old, southern tradition of boiling peanuts.
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