Welcome to Southern Comfort!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Helpful Cleaning Tips

So if you've known me for more than 5 mintues you know that I like all my things clean AND organized. Yes, I am one of those girls. I cant STAND it when there is a missing sock from the laundry (more on that later), when I find dust on the dashboard of my car (I know, I know... I look at those things) or when John cant walk the extra FIVE feet to the recycling bin to drop the empty bottle in and istead leaves it on the kitchen counter for the *next* time he goes outside(one day he'll learn, I swear... hopefully, right?) These things, plus many, many more drive me NUTS.

So that being said, here are a couple ways I keep myself sane in my crazy house filled with a dog, a cat and a boy. Yes, living with a boy can be challenging. See previous paragraph.

First of all,
Why would you go the extra step to clean something twice? If you know the shower needs to be scrubbed, and you need a shower anyway, go ahead and clean it while you are in there. DUH! I learned this trick when I lived with my good friend Donna right out of college. She said, "well, I've off for a shower". Left the room and headed upstairs with her cleaning supplies. I was like "WHAT?"... I didnt say anything at first, but continued to think about it and realized this idea was genious.

My saving grace, my dear, never-leave-my-side, my couldn't-do-it-without you, my secret cleaning agent is this guy:

Yes, I am talking about a Magic Eraser. It has completely changed and revolutionalized the way I clean. From a nasty baked on casserole, to the grubbiest soap scum, to the dirtiest floor. This guy is my wing man. It will honestly clean just about any surface and somehow get into the tee-nine-iest nooks and crannies. And best of all, no chemicals. Ahh, kissy kissy.

My next favorite thing is my laundry mesh bag. It keeps all my undies clean, all my bras intact, and all my socks from the dryer eating monster. Toss everything in the bag, throw it in the wash and voila! Clean and paired perfectly.

So what are your cleaning secrets? Your favorites? I would LOVE to hear from YOU!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stencil Boards

Today is Thursday. I know, I know. You are wondering where Take Me Thursday is. Well, today I am doing something different. Not because I procrastinated, but because I am SOO excited!

Let me start with a little story:

Several weeks ago I started thinking about my wedding and the details. The reception is at my parents house which is in the rear of a neighborhood. I started asking myself, how can I make sure my guests know how to get to the reception without having friends wave them down at every turn? Then, had an idea. I'll make signs. Nice signs that would replicate the wedding theme and colors. I started looking online at vinyl stencils and WOAH they are Expensive. I nearly fell out of my chair at the cost of having these done. I nearly gave up and just figured I would put out balloons. Enter Sarah.

I remembered a tutorial that Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick did on homemade stencils. You can check her out here http://www.thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-i-stencil.html

Hmm.. I thought to myself. I wonder...

So I emailed Sarah and asked her opinion on the project. At first I was thinking plywood or MDF that I would paint white and then stencil over. It would be sturdy, pretty, clearly seen from cars and just PERFECT for what I had envisioned. Sarah recommended plywood and a custom stencil to save time, but I only needed 2 signs so I could afford the time to cut out the stencils myself.

After some time spent in Michaels looking for supplies, I can across this:


OMG. Why didnt I think of this sooner!?!!

  • Sturdy? Check

  • Large? Check

  • Easy to paint on? Check

PERFECT! And a pack of 2 was only Ten Bucks!

After gathering the colors I needed for the project (blue and black. I already had some white at home). I found the adorable little stencil for 3 bucks. And all that was left was creating the lettering on the computer and printing them out. I Literally went skipping out the store.

So here goes.

This is what you need:

I started with taping down the stencil on the canvas. I knew my wording would be OVER the damask stencil, so I started there.

Using a stippling brush, I used very little paint and just dabbed it on.

Our cat, Pickles, was very curious.
I just kept moving around the board until I got the effect I was looking for.

And Voila! Parking signs for our wedding that cost me a total of $15. I dont think I did too bad.

I love your comments, so please let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lost. My. Mind.

So I am getting married. In 25 days. I am supposed to be happy, right?
Yes, I am marrying the most wonderful man.
Yes, I've been planning for months.
Yes, I have all my to-do's in line and everything organized.
Yes, everything is confirmed, paid for and ready to go.
Then why am I so freakin stressed out?!?!

This past weekend all my favorite ladies came to celebrate with me and we had to best time at my bachelorette party. I loved every minute of it and it was wonderful to see all my girls.
Its true that I stressed about my house being clean, organized and ready-to-show. And I attributed all my stress to having everyone come into town and being excited about it. I thought a huge weight would be lifted off my shoulders.... N.O.T. reality. Its two days later and I think I am more stressed than before.

Now all I can think about is everything coming up from now. I hate feeling this way! How in the world do I not go crazy while my mind is going a thousand directions? I know why some girls become the Bride-zillas! I promise, I am not one of those. I have people. People to check in with me and make sure I dont become one of those hair pulling, bridesmaid yelling, demanding girls.
I think I just bottle everything up and now I am exploding from the inside.
Any advice?
I never thought I would want my wedding to be over. I always imagined living in this little fairytale before the wedding where everything is perfect. Unfortunately, this is sadly not true. I cant wait to be married. All this will be over. I just wish I didnt feel like I could explode at any moment.

The kicker was last night while John and I were getting ready for bed. He said "I think I am ready to start another project on the house". I think this was the worst thing he could say. E.V.E.R. at this very moment. I politely and calmly said "can we please, please wait just 6 more weeks before we tear the house apart again on another project? Meanwhile, In my head there were visions of strangling, yelling, punching and steam blowing out of my ears. I think it knocked me over the edge. I think the twitching of my eye gave him the hint that this was not a good idea and an even worse suggestion. One that never should have been mentioned.

Please tell me there are others out there like me! Please tell me that people are waaay worse than I feel. And please, please tell me, there is an end and I can start feeling like myself again.
Does anyone have any advice? And if you got nothing, then I guess I am doomed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Take Me Thursday ... Apple Orchard

Welcome to Take me Thursday!

In this Addition we follow Fall

I am a sucker for all things Fall. With the current weather we've been having here in Raleigh, it has brought out my forgotten love for crisp fall air, apple cider, hay rides and warm sunshine. Not to mention all the creative costumes that will begin to make their appearance and who can forget the candy breakfasts after a night full of all things creepy! Ahh, memories of childhood.

I want to take you on a trip. A trip for the love of fall. One of my absolute favorite places in North Carolina. Waynesville. Tucked away and protected by the Blue Ridge Mountains this little town has so much to offer. Just on the western side of Asheville, Waynesville has shopping, hiking trails, rivers for those who want to experience true cold mountian water and of course, apple orchards.

Seriously, who can resist these views?!?

For those of you who dont know, John and I met at Western Carolina University. John grew up in the mountains of NC, and I was a little city girl, who always had an interest for new places. This, was a new place. A wonderful, creative, rustic, beautiful place to call home for my 4 years of college. Each trip home my mom would call and say "pick up some apples from Barbers on your way so I can make pies." Now, who in their right mind would NOT pick up some apples for the promise of fresh pies from Momma? Not this Chick.

On Saturdays, especially in the fall and winter, I would go with friends to Barbers Apple Orchard in Waynesville. This place is A-MAZ-ing. When you walk through the doors, the overwhelming smell of fresh, sun drenched apples ensnaires your nose to a place only your mind can take you. So many varieties, so many choices! If you want eating apples, they got it. If you want sweet apples, they got it. If you want cooking apples, they got it. I'm telling you, TONS of apples people! Even hybrids for the perfect firm, sweet, just off the vine apples. Yumm.

Now, dont get me wrong, the dont just have apples. No. Sir-ee. Bob. They have all sorts of fruits and veggies depending on whats in season. If you havent been, you must. And it is A. MUST.

For Serious.

I love this area of our state. It brings back so many memories of college. No, I didnt spend ALL my time in college enjoying the Frat parties :) A girl has to sober up every now and again does't she? Mom, if you're reading this, oops, secret's out.

We would grab an apple or two and head to the hiking trails to see views like this:

For the shoppers at heart, you must check out downtown Waynesville. There are boutiques, pottery galleries, restaurants, clothing stores, art galleries and a general store to boot! I cant resist the general store, E.V.E.R. I have to make a special trip. And....

In the case that you aren't a poor college student, there are wonderful Bed and Breakfasts up their to lay your pretty little head after a hard day of shopping, and enjoying the NC Mountains. One of my personal favorites is the Windover Inn. Check them out here: http://www.windoverinn.com/ Just off main street in Waynesville, this B&B offers jacuzzis in each room and delicious feather beds to snuggle into at night. Paired with the crisp mountain air and complimentary gingerbread men, its the next thing to heaven.

Rocking Chair front porch for a moment of reading the newspaper with a hot cup-a-joe in the morning, watching the sun set over the mountians at night or simply, just to listen to the mountains breathe.

With everything Waynesville has to offer, you cant go wrong. Pick up your straw hat, your comfy blue jeans and your boots and GO! Take your family, your friends, or your loved one (for a couples retreat) and head up for a weekend of orchard goodness, fresh mountain air and Relax!

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