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!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Take Me Thursday

Welcome to Take Me Thursdays


So I have been contemplating for some time on how to incorporate a little bit more of "me" into the blog. I am a North Carolina native and love my home state. So on Thursdays, I am going to show you places in NC that are some of my favorites and hopefully, bring a little inspiration to you to get out there and travel a bit. It is called Take Me Thursdays! Just in time for the weekend. I do hope you enjoy! Please comment on posts as I can use all the encouragement (or criticism) as I can get for the blog!


This week we Travel: To the Pursers' House



Because today is Thanksgiving I wanted to dedicate this post to my parents. All my life they have gone out of their way to make the holidays extra special for us kids. Not just their own, but all our friends too (who they also claim as theirs). From the moment I step out of the car, I can feel the warmth of this home. Not a house, but a warm, cozy, friendly home. The smell of woodsmoke coming from the fireplace, all the family dogs running up to greet you, the crunch of leaves underfoot let me know it's fall. Faintly, you can hear the sounds of music, bluegrass or country, or (if my sister is home, Christmas tunes) coming from the stereo. This particular sound means there is something a cookin' in the kitchen. Only when the stereo is on is there food in the oven! And speaking of food, sometimes, if you're lucky, you get the whiff of hickory wood and turkey waving through the crisp air while it's cooking in the smoker. Dads specialty.


Walking in the house, there is a fire in the fireplace, the dogs, Kanyun, Scout, Merlot and Maggie are underfoot craving attention. The air is warm from the cozy fireplace and divine smells are coming from the kitchen where there is family, who have come from all over the state to be here. To be with us. To be with family.


Mom, who is normally covered in flour, reaching out for a hug and grinning from ear-to-ear. Annie, my little (buy by no means baby) sister who is the queen of the stereo and all things silly. Her husband, Bryan, the minister, who is never seen without sweet tea in his hand or their dogs, Kanyun and Scout by his side. My Dad, who has never let any type of weather keep him from the outdoors prefers to only come inside if there is food readily available and a good movie to watch. He's the true outdoors man.
My cousin, Allyson and her husband Benny, who come in town from Boone, NC to help bake all the holiday goodies with Mom, Annie and I. And last, but not least, my Aunt Sue. Allyson's mom. Who comes in town from Greenville, NC to help cook, knead bread, decorate cookies, wrap gifts or simply to enjoy the holiday banter. My favorite aunt of all (but then again, I only have 1). Holidays just aren't the same without them.


And then there is myself and my husband John. I am the loud one. I like things to be fun, light-hearted and filled with laughter. John on the other hand is quiet. He sits back and takes everything in. He laughs quietly at our silly puns and jokes. Goes along with us as we look through old family pictures. Smiles when Annie does something silly and ends up falling out of her chair. Helps Dad whenever he needs a hand hauling in some more firewood. He's an observer. And this year, will be his first Holiday at our house since he married me. Now, a family member himself.


There are others to drop in to say hello too, old friends who only come into town for the holidays drop by for a cookie or two (or an entire meal). Who most of the time end up staying longer than they planned because we suck them into the holidays along with us.


The Purser house is always filled with food, and dogs, and people. It has been this way all my life. Mom always wanted to have a house full of people and chaos. And boy does she get it! God willing our family will only grow. But it truly is my favorite place in the entire world to be. Thanks Mom and Dad for making your home my home and so many others feel at home too.


What about you? Where is your favorite place to be for the holidays? What are your holiday traditions?




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Welcome to Take Me Thursdays




So I have been contemplating for some time on how to incorporate a little bit more of "me" into the blog. I am a North Carolina native and love my home state. So on Thursdays, I am going to show you places in NC that are some of my favorites and hopefully, bring a little inspiration to you to get out there and travel a bit. It is called Take Me Thursdays! Just in time for the weekend. I do hope you enjoy! Please comment on posts as I can use all the encouragement (or criticism) as I can get for the blog!





This week we travel to:


The Great Smokey Mountains National Park



Just in time for the holidays! Head off to the Great Smokies in Maggie Valley, NC






You will see incredible views for sure, leaves, trees, and wildlife but the most unexpected view: The Elk! Yes, Elk. They are protected by the state park and live there year round. These beautiful creatures live, breed and roam around the park. The park is full of campsites, cute creeks to play in, listen to and watch. There are lots of trails to take a nice hike or picnic tables to enjoy an afternoon picnic. If you want to be sure to see the elk, dont plan on going in the middle of the day. Go in early morning or late afternoon as they come into the meadows for meal time. They are the perfect place to take the kiddos to see "santa's reindeer" while they rest up before Christmas Eve. After you see the "reindeer" go pick out a christmas tree from one of the MANY tree farms.






I first found out about this park when I was in college at Western Carolina University. On the weekends, since we didnt have much money. My friends and I would go around the area to find cheap entertainment. This ended up being one of my favorite spots of all time. I will be headed back up there every year once I have kids to "see the reindeer" and get my kids as excited about the mountains as I am.





For more information, head to:


http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm





I hope you enjoyed this edition of Take Me Thursday. Please leave me comments so I can know what to improve, change or keep. I love reading ALL your comments!








Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Winow Cleaning 101

Ok, I know most of you out there are thinking. Really? You've got nothing better to write about than window cleaning? Well, let me tell ya. I am here to make sure you have all the nitty-gritty on how to make those windows Shine and Sparkle for the upcoming holiday parties, family meals, and holiday splendor!


If you're like me, I dont take the time to clean my windows very often. I know. Shameful. I have these wonderful little fuzzy creatures that declare my home theirs too and rub their noses on the windows and doors all the freakin time. They leave these snotty, streaky messes that I end up having to look at. And, well, sometimes I'd rather have clean laundry than to have clean windows. So...


Here is how to take back your pretty windows!


First of all, I try not to use harsh chemicals any time I dont have to. I learned this trick YEARS ago and boy oh boy does it WORK! You'd be amazed by the things you already have on hand to help clean your house and save you money.


What You'll Need:
Newspaper
White Cider Vinegar (the cheap stuff)
Water
Spray Bottle


Newspaper is a wonderful product for cleaning windows. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but its economical and safe too. But here's the reason why is works so well:


Newspapers are good at cleaning glass because the paper leaves very little lint. Compared to paper towels, news print is much more rigid and hence the fibers will not individually separate like they will from a paper towel. This is the source of the lint. The ink does not come off for two reasons, one you are wiping a mirror or glass, which is a highly polished surface, so there is nothing for the dried ink to stick to. Second, upon wetting the news print with liquid, the ink becomes infused in the fibers of the newsprint. Think of ink as nothing more than a stain. It is hard to stain windows with ink, yet easy to stain paper. Glass does not absorb ink, while paper will. And so all of the dirt on the window or mirror will be absorbed into the news print.To think of this more on a molecular level, the paper is nothing more than long interlinked strands of atoms with a flexible backbone. Glass however, is a highly crystalline solid that is hydrophobic (repels water). The molecular properties of each give the unique properties in absorbing stains.
Ok, so now that we know WHY it works so well.. lets keep going to the vinegar. Most of your chemicals for cleaning windows are composed of a Ammonia and Vinegar combo. Ammonia is a very good cleaning agent (unless you use it with bleach and then you can say goodbye to all your loved ones and kick the bucket. I do not recommend this combination) but it is very aromatic (and not in a good way) However, vinegar is just as good a cleaner, without all the nasty side-effects.
So, we put some water into our spray bottle. I'd say about 1/3 of the way. Then fill the other 2/3 with vinegar. Then spray all the windows, doors and mirriors you can find! Using your newspaper to scrub, scrub, scrub.
Ahh.. Freshly clean windows.
Now, if you are a fanatic like me (when I get around to doing this chore). I like to do what a great friend of mine, Amanda (hey girl!) recommended to me. On the inside of your house always use a DOWNWARD motion to your cleaning. And on the Outside of your house use a SIDEWAYS motion to cleaning. This way, if you ever have any of those streaks, you can tell which side of the window it is streaking from.
I hope this clears up any confusion on why your windows are streaky, lint-y, or just arent as clean as you would like. Before the holidays clean all (or at least the front of your house, this is reality) your windows so everyone can see and appreciate all your holiday decor through your beautiful, clean, streak-free windows!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Take Me Thursday!

So I have been contemplating for some time on how to incorporate a little bit more of "me" into the blog. I am a North Carolina native and love my home state. So on Thursdays, I am going to show you places in NC that are some of my favorites and hopefully, bring a little inspiration to you to get out there and travel a bit. It is called Take Me Thursdays! Just in time for the weekend. I do hope you enjoy! Please comment on posts as I can use all the encouragement (or criticism) as I can get for the blog!


This weeks destination: IKEA!
Ok, I know its not Thursday anymore, but I got side-tracked last night with another project (it happens to be holiday related so stay tuned for that coming up soon!) and well, its my blog, so I can procrastinate a little bit can't I? No judging please. :)

Anyways...
For Years I have heard of Ikea and all the wonderful-ness associated with them. Well, last weekend while in Charlotte for a wedding John and I had the opportunity to go and boy did we jump on it!

This store is H U G E. If you've never been, it is a must. It can take you all day. Seriously. Its like a museum. A museum for the thrifty or the decorator, or the organizer, or well, anybody. I could go on all day about this place. Seriously. Ask John. He was the recieving end of my (jumping up and down and screaming the day before we went) excitement.

After about 3 hours wandering, poking, oooh-ing and ahh-ing we were able to make our way to the checkout.
After a 2.5 hour drive home and unloaded the car this is what we got:
  • I large lumbar pillow in a pretty floral pattern. I dont know what I will use it for but for 5 buckeroos I'll find room for it SOMEWHERE.
  • 2 rolls of christmas wrapping paper. A buck each! Wahooooo!
  • 2 black canvas storage cubes. We originally bought them for our laundry room, but they are quickly finding other homes to keep our crap in where we need them more. 6 bucks each.
  • And my Pride and Glory buy. Our NEW kitchen light fixture for over our table. I cant wait for you to see the before and afters. It was 40 bucks.


Total for Ikea trip: Just under $70. I could have spent TONS more, believe me. We took $100 with us and that was all we could spend. Our goal was to find a light fixture and since we found it with such a great price tag, we were able to pick up some other things that we could use too. A very successful trip I believe!
So this picture was taken the week we moved into our house. Please dis-regard the mess! But it gives you an idea of our chandelier. Old. Like 80's old. With some glass missing. Oh. It was N.A.S.T.Y. looking. We hated it.

Enter the LOVE of our lives. This is it up and working. We (I mean John) put it in Sunday evening while I was cooking dinner, so please ignore the place settings. Hey, things get done when you can do them, right? It now sports some new cute lampshades too. I'll update it soon so you can see the "finished" project. I think it took about 20 minutes start to finish. Ahh, so lovely, so clean, so pretty. Goodbye old lamp. You will (not) be missed. Hopefully you can make some new friends in lamp heaven.
So get out there to Ikea. If you live in NC the only one is in Charlotte right off 85. Literally. Right off the highway. On Ikea Boulevard. Seriously. I think we need to make this trip a couple times a year. If for nothing else, the hot cinnamon buns at checkout that have you drooling the entire way through the store. And for 25 cents a pop, you know we got some. Ahhh Ikea. How I love you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's Your Style?

So, what IS your style?
I have a pretty good idea of what my style is. I tend to gravitate towards casual furniture with elements of contemporary and classic details. However, I wanted to test myself to see if that is truely what it seems. So... I headed over to sproost for a quick quiz.

If you haven't done this, you should. So fun!
My Results Are:

Classic

What's old is new again! The beauty of Classic Style is how well it takes all of the beautiful forms, colors and textures of the past and reinvents them in a way that feels both fresh and inspired. The style itself is a mix of European influences and French, English and Italian antiques and replicas are often used together. Furniture is well proportioned and comfortable and the rooms give off an air of sophistication and grace. Oil paintings depicting a still life or nature scenes and emphasizing symmetry of pairs helps maintain the Classic nature of the room. Windows are often covered with opulent fabric shades and/or drapery. Classic rooms give off an air of history that seems to say: "I was here long before you, and will remain long after you've gone." And yet, even with this level of sophistication, the rooms are soft and inviting.


Well, lets test these results shall we?


This is my favorite reading chair. It sits in the corner of our living room next to the fireplace. Comfy, yes. Clean lines, yes. Timeless, yes. Hmm.. looking good so far.
Here is a lovely antique table my grandmother bought me from a local boutique. It is a chippendale style, which normally I dont care for this style, but I LOVE this table. Its slim, it has clean lines and yes, its old, but it fits very well in our home among our other furniture. Classic? Yeah. I'd say so. Maybe sproost is on to something...

Ok, last photo. Our bedroom. Our bed is a platform/sleigh bed which I L.O.V.E. It too is timeless, perfectly stained for a contemporary look, but will always be in style. Paired with the perfect set of pillows and a comfy down comforter.. its just heavenly.

So, what do you think? Did Sproost do a good job on selecting my style? I think so. But what about you? What are your results?



Monday, November 2, 2009

Booo!

I'm Baaaaack!

I know, uber scary right? Ah, who am I kidding. I know y'all missed me while I was on hiatus.
Well, just to fill you all in since I've been away, here's what I've been up to since we last spoke:

September 15-30 attended MANY bridal showers and prepared with the fam. for our impending nuptuals.
Oct. 1-2 nearly pooped (haha, poop) my pants at the thought of marriage in 24 hours.
Oct. 3 Most perfect day of my life and married my incredible hubby.
Oct. 4-9 honeymooned
Oct. 10-29 wrote a BAZILLION thank you notes, unwrapped presents, after swimming in all the wrapping paper, found homes for all said presents in our house, started a new role as a wife, went back to work (boo) and prepared for halloween. Shew, we were busy.
So that just about wraps it up for our month of October.

Ok, so new month. NOVEMBER!
This month you need to stay tuned for MANY things coming up in house decor for Thanksgiving and Blessed Christmas (yay christmas!) as well as a few treats and surprises along the way. I will do my best to get back into Take Me Thursdays and get you all thinking about hopping on the road for a quick, or long weekend trip. :) We are ramping up for a great time this holiday season!
Stay Tuned!