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!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Living Room

Ok, So I know I've probably left y'all hanging on long enough. But I have to say, it was worth the wait. I am absolutely in. love. with this room. It's my favorite room in our house so far. Whenever I walk in, it calms my soul. Do you have a room like that in your house? If you do, you know exactly what I mean. For a re-cap on our living room and what it looked like before, check out this post.
Without further adieu, here she is. Finally complete.



I'm warning you, there are a lot of pictures :)


It's summer-y, it's COMFY and it's exactly what I wanted.


Our foyer (if you can call it that) where we corral shoes. That little basket is a lifesaver. The flowers are from my birthday. John knows I'm a sucker for fresh flowers. Don't look at the stuff on the stairs. I *ahem* haven't gotten around to putting it away yet. No judging please.


I love the bookcase. It provides a space for all my cookbooks, wedding pictures and family photos. We were in serious need of some storage in here. Best of all, it was built for me by my Grandfather when I was a little girl. He built it for me for all my little girl books and trinkets. I love that there's history in our pieces of furniture.



Love the look of linen in the summer. So cool and refreshing.



Don't worry, I'll give the run-down on all the projects through this process next. For now, just look at how pretty it is!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Few Things I'm Loving in Blogland Right Now

Just to keep some people in the loop these very hot days of summer, here are a few of my favorite projects I've been seeing around blogland. Maybe they'll inspire you to get your craft-y on.

I still CAN NOT get over Centsational Girl's FABULOUS linen slipcover: You must check out her post on how she made it herself for only $30!
Before:

After:


Holy Jeebus People! Amazing Transformation. Check out her post, so see how she did it.

Next, I am LOVING Thrifty Decor Chicks 4th of July decor. I wish I had the tools and the time to get this cutie patootie put on my door! And check out her FLOWERS too! I wish NC was getting the rain she is.. oh how my flowers would look...




Love her design and beautful eye for detail.


ADORE These BASKETS that Lemonade Makin' Momma made that are too PRECIOUS. I'm thinking about making a couple of these. One for MAGGIE and one for PICKLES' toys. :)


I hope you all are enjoying looking at these projects as much as I am. These are just the projects (big and small) that inspire ME to get going on some projects around our house. The summer heat really does dampen my drive to be productive, but after reading what these girls have been up to, it totally revives my crafty spirit!

Here's to MAKING your HOME the way YOU want it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Couple Things to Get You Through the Heat

So I gotta tell ya, this NC heat is KILLING me, not just me, but my PLANTS too. I swear everyday when I pull in the driveway, I want to break out the sprinkler and revive my poor plants and grass. Unfortunately, if I did it RIGHT THEN our poor plants would just STEAM instead of enjoy the pure bliss of the cold bath water coming out the hose.
And by the time I remember later in the evening (I mean at 10pm about to go to bed) I'm in my pj's out in the yard trying to attempt some CPR on them. It works, but I do get laughed at by our neighbors out there in my nightie struggling with the darn hose. Can you see this?

Anyways... 
In an ATTEMPT to try and make it a little more bearable, here are a couple of my most beloved SUMMER drinks to keep you cool.

Mom's Iced Tea:

Here is the original recipe as follows:
  • 2 Large Family size tea bags (we use lipton, find it gives the best flavor without any bitterness)
  • Fill any medium size pot, tea kettle ect with about a gallon of water (the great thing about tea is if its too weak, let it steep longer.. and if its too strong, add a little more water).
  • Place the tea bags INTO the pot/kettle of water.
  • Place on the stove for a few minutes, just to get a good simmer.
  • DO NOT LET IT BOIL!
  • Boiling the tea destroys the integrity of the bags and they will burst .. and you get a pretty nasty flavor of burnt tea leaves. Eww.
  • Just before it boils, turn the heat off. Move the tea off the burner and let it sit. I like about 30 minutes to create a great flavor.
  • Pour tea (it will still be warm) into your pitcher with about a cup of sugar. Stir.
Enjoy the wine of the south ladies!

 
It truely is that easy. As long as I have been making tea I have heard over and over again how so many people are scared and intimidated by making tea.
During the summer months we like to add a little extra something to make our tea that much more yummy:
After we pour the tea off into the pitcher mom (or family member who happens to be standing there with nothing to do) will go up into the yard and get several sprigs of fresh mint leaves.
Just rinse them off and throw them into the pitcher along with a lemon wedge or two.
I can hear the ice clinking in my glass now.
Ahhh. How refreshing.

 
Peach Bellini
A perfect compliment and treat for a scorcher like right now!

 
What you'll need:
  • One bottle of cheap champagne
  • One can of peach nectar (you can find this in the mexican isle of your grocery)
  • One 12oz. bottle of Peach Schnapps

 
Thats it. Now, mix the trio together and put into a pitcher or bowl, whatever will fit in your freezer. Let it sit in there for at least 5 hours. I like to put mine in the night before. The mixture will not freeze because of the alcohol in it, but it will turn into our beloved slushy.
When you're ready, scoop or pour the mixture into decorative glasses or heck, Solo cups will do too! I like to have some munchies to go along with this drink. Its so good you can drink too much too fast and it can make you feel a little tipsy (just ask my sister!). Something I love is a block of cream cheese topped with a jar of red pepper jelly served with some yummy crackers! So delicioso!

*this post is inspired by my previous posts from last summer. You can check out the originals Here and Here.*

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Poll Results!

I want to extend a super duper Thank YOU for everyone who participated in the poll. As I mentioned in the last post, I wanted to hear from you, my readers about what you want to do with me. As the poll suggests, it looks like I'm going to have to pull out the calendar and set a date for some goodwill shopping to find those great deals! So be looking for that coming up :) Don't worry, I'll give you all plenty of time to mark it on your calendars too! I wouldn't want you to miss a single fun thing we're doing.

I have to say, John was a little bummed that y'all didn't want to go on a double date with him. He even gave me the pouty face. So cute. But, he did get off the hook with shopping, so I'm sure he'll find something to occupy himself while we're out and about. :)

psst: no, I haven't forgotten about your living room makeover. What started as a quick makeover back in May, has now taken on a life of it's own. It's the project that never ends I tell ya. It's getting closer each. and. every. day. So bear with me. I will say, I've had more fun planning this room than ever before. I can't wait to show you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

SC Readers Vote!

Good Afternoon my bloggie friends!

I'm going to switch this little gig up a little bit today. I got to thinking last night how fun it would be to do a little "field trip" of sorts with y'all. I've posted a voter box beside this post. If you would (or are even interrested) vote for the kind of field trip you'd like to do. I want to do fun things that MY READERS enjoy doing (because, afterall, you are the reason I keep writing). In an effort to bring more sunshine to the blog, I thought it would be perfect to include you!

So please, vote for your favorite activity. If you'd rather do something else that isn't on the list, feel free to leave it in a comment below! I can't wait to see/ hear what y'all come up with!

xoxo

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

creating coziness

So today I want to talk to y'all about some decorating faux-pas. I get asked quite frequently how to make those gigantic ceilings and large windows (aka every new constructed house) appear to be smaller and cozier. Everyone wants a house that say's, come in. Sit down. Enjoy a tall glass of tea with me (well, maybe I'm the only one who offers sweet tea.. but you get the idea).


So how can you get that with HUGE 18 foot ceilings?!? It's amazingly more simple than you think. But first, let's go through some things you should NEVER do. Evah.

#1 Faux Pas. Decorating too High.
When you have large and expansive walls, the last thing you want to do is make those walls appear larger. Bring all your artwork and decor down to your eye level. Here is a no-no to get the idea.


This picture is a great example that just because you have the wall space, doesn't mean you have to fill it. Knick-knacks have a place. But for the love of decorating, not on your walls people! Do you hear me? Do you? In the picture above (and if this is a picture of your living room, I apologize, it came from Google. But if it is your house, please re-do it and I'll be happy to do a re-post on the power of decluttering).

Faux-Pas #2 Filling the space with pieces too big or too small
This doesn't help either. Refer to the picture below to see how this really doesn't help accentuate your space.




The couch is too small for the wall it's on. Makes it look like it was an afterthought. It's like the homeowner put all their accessories in this one room and then said, Wait! We need to sit somewhere! The pictures on the far wall are too large and don't compliment each other. Make sure that what you buy/use really WORKS for the space and it proportional.

So now that we've gotten through a couple no-no's of decorating. Lets talk about what does work..
 First of all you need to bring the ceiling down to your level.
A great way to do this that's super easy is to make your own ceiling. No, not like building one. I'm talking about creating the ILLUSION of one. Let's think about this..

The average ceiling height is anywhere from 8-10 feet. If we were to draw a line around the perimeter of the room at (lets use 10 ft. b/c we are dealing with super tall walls) it would magically bring the height down. Look at the picture below.


By using some nice molding, the owner was able to bring the height of the room down a bit visually. Natural wood may not be your choice, but a beautiful white molding would look beautiful in a contemporary home. Now, to create coziness.
Imagine that you painted the wall UNDER the molding you just put up. A rich color like red, brown, or even one shade darker than what is already on the wall. Not only do you now only have to paint a normal size room, but it will help anchor your space. The rest of the ceiling will drift off into space and the room will now appear much smaller.

Just to re-cap this little session:
* Declutter your space visually.
* Don't decorate UP
* Bring the ceiling to eye-level
* Paint the lower portion of your walls in a rich or muted color to bring in your style and to anchor the space.


Do you have anything to add? Maybe you have something in mind that will work too. Please share! I look forward to reading and responding to all your comments!  


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Birthday Bash

My family loves birthdays. I mean LOVES. Of course we will find any reason to par-tay. Dad finish the bathroom on time? Party! Annie finishes school? Party! John actually clean out the litter box? Party! (sorry honey, I had to). The same kind of thinking goes for family birthdays.


My Daddy and I share June as our Birthday month. He was born on the 11th and I on the 22nd. I absolutely l.o.v.e. sharing my birthday with my Dad. Mostly because we've always had fun parties together to celebrate. Since we're both summer babies, we tend to want to party summer style. Having friends meet us at the pool for diving-board contests, awesome. Off to the beach house for some fishing and sand, sure. Taking the boat on the lake skiing. Absolutely.


This year is no exception. But now that we're both grown ups  (yes, Dad FINALLY grew up.. well, kinda) it's hard to celebrate with all our friends, all the family and still have room for the birthday girl and boy. Not to mention still have some money in the bank after feeding everyone.


So this year, we're mixing things up. Mom asked me last week if I minded having 2 parties. Me? Mind having two parties? HA! She obviously doesn't remember my love for cake! But why? I wondered. That seems a little over-the-top. I mean it's not like I'm turning 21 again.. no big birthday year for Dad either. Hmm.
So she explained. It's hard planning a party away from the house for two birthdays to celebrate. The food. The supplies. The Cake. The Dog. The Dog's supplies. Mom's 99 bottles of wine. You get the picture..it gets to be a lot. So on Friday night, we're having a family party. Just family to cook a big meal for, eat cake and enjoy blowing out sparklers candles (just for reference purposes, don't put sparklers on a cake. Ever. I know from experience).


So that leaves one more party on Saturday for friends. Yes, family can come too (we know you're only there for the food anyways). Saturday afternoon we're headed out to Falls Lake on the boat for some water skiing, tubing and the inevitable water fight. Since it will be in the afternoon, we'll only serve snacks, drinks and birthday cookies (cake can get messy). The lake is free (since Dad is an asst. ranger, go dad!), and friends supplied their own sunscreen, bathing suits and sunglasses. Here are some pics from our day.

Here's Birthday Boy Ranger Dad. For some reason he always makes this face when pictures are taken.

My baby sis' Skiing. She hadn't tried since she was 8 and made it up on the 2nd try! Go Annie!

Annie, Emily, and Pastor Jim, a friend of my parents'.

 A fun day filled with giggles, water and lots of sunshine. Looking forward to celebrating another summer birthday with Dad. How do you celebrate birthday's in your family? Do you go all out? Celebrate with a budget in mind? I'd love to hear all about it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Well well well

Well Hello there...

Almost didn't recognize me did you? No worries. Same blog. Different design. I felt the other one was a little too heavy for the weather we're having now a days. So until I can afford to pay someone to completely re-vamp this little place permently, we'll just have to do with "pre-fab" templates for now.

Hang with me while I try and give my blog baby a little facelift to reflect itself. For those of you trying to visit and the blog is down, check back soon! I promise I'm not going anywhere. Well, maybe to the beach a couple times, but I'm not going far. Pinky Swear.

Happy Renovating!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

etsy.com

Oh the wonderful world of Etsy. Spelled just like it sounds. I found out about Etsy as I was searching online over a year ago. If you aren't a big internet surfer or blogger most people don't know about Etsy. After recieving several questionable looks from friends and family as I casually mentioned Etsy in my conversations I decided I needed to do a post on the wonderful website.

Etsy is a website designated to the small business owner. Most companies are here in the U.S. and either work out of their homes or small studio. You can search locally, nationally or by category. Most of my searches are under "homewares", but you can do a search for organic food, pets, woodworking,  pottery, jewelry, baby, etc. There are thousands of business owners who are doing FABULOUS work that just needs to be discovered.

I tend to prefer to shop locally and to help small business rather than in large big-box stores. Etsy allows you to do just that.
Here are a few things that I'm loving right now.


I am in love with these baby girl headbands that turn these beauties into something out of a Ann Geddes picture. How adorable is that flower? Best thing is, you can change out the flower for a bow! How often do you see mom's trying to keep a bow in their daughters hair just to have it slip off 10 seconds later? What a fabulous solution.
I saw these pillows and nearly squealed. Love.


Or these? With a chosen number put on them? They'd make a great wedding gift for the couple with the wedding date on the platter. Or for any anniversary. You can make any date special with these!


What about a gift for that hubby of yours? Ever having a hard time find something unique for him? Something interresting? Something fun?


Now that you've found Etsy. Enjoy. The possibilites are endless.

** I was in no way paid by etsy for this post. I simply enjoy supporting small businesses and awesome websites.**

Monday, June 7, 2010

A While Ago..

A while ago our house belonged to another family. This couple got married in our back yard (so our neighbors tell us). I love that our house has history. Not just any history, but a history very similar to our own. Two people fell in love. Not just in love with each other, but in love with their first home. They were the first owners of this house.

Recently, I decided to research our homes' past history from our county's property website. Here's a picture of what our home looked like in 1996:






It's a big change to what it looks like now 14 years and 2 owners later.



Do you have any pictures of your home before it was yours? How does it compare to now? I'd love you to share with me!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Cross-Over Event!

We are so fortunate to have such creative talents in our family. Over Memorial Day weekend John and I (and Maggie) headed up to the High Country of Boone, NC for a little fun. We were invited, along with my sister, Annie and her hubby Bryan, to my cousins house for "Cousin Weekend". Along with the 6 humans, we had 4 of the four legged, tail wagging kind too.


My very talented cousin, Allyson and her hubby Benny, co-own the blog Living Green Saving Green. If you haven't heard of them, you MUST check them out. Allyson is one of those amazing people who can stretch a dollar until it's   
t h i s  t h i n  and still have money to spare! She can have 3 different meals planned and cooking at the same time. The same time people! I have a hard time getting one meal on the table each day! Do you know anyone who actually MAKES their hamburger and hot dog buns? Allyson does. She's incredible. You can learn all her tricks and how to make the Earth a little greener on their blog.

Here are Benny, Allyson and their four-legged kiddo, Lavender

So what did we do between making coffee cake, vegetable stock and eating incredible food? We played of course!
We traveled up to Valle Crucis to the park and played and picnic-ed (is that a word? oh well, it is now) in the sun.
This park is amazing. Lots of grass, a pond, playsets for the kiddos, and a walking trail and it's all lined by a beautiful mountain river. Gorgeous.

Enjoy the pictures!


So Pretty.

From Left: John, Benny, Bryan, Annie and Allyson

Annie and Scout

All of us (minus me, I'm photographer)

Love this picture of Scout and Kanyun peeking in the window from the balcony.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kitchen Diva Mom and Ranger Dad's Bathroom Remodel: Part 3 The Result!

We've come a looooong way with this project. What started out as a sad, unloved, cracked bathroom has become a calm, soothing, and relaxing space. Mom and Dad are thoroughly enjoying their new space. But before I can show you the results (I know, I know, I'm so mean) let's see where we came from so those last photos will truely sparkle.


Old. Grungy. Hospital Green.
Gold accents. Can we say circa 1978?

Cave of a shower.

My parents have never been ones to quickly get a project done. All my life we've lived with project zones through the house as it's transformed. Not to say they don't get done, they just don't get done until Mom's had enough of looking at the demo. Same with this remodel. Since Ranger Dad was doing a lot of the work himself, Mom had to put a cap on how long this particual project would take. Smart woman. The end date was Saturday, May 15th. The same day as my baby sister's graduation from Campbell University. The same day we are having a celebration at Mom and Dad's house for Annie's graduation.


So here she is. In all her glory. I consider this project to be Complete and on time! GO DAD!) No sleeping on the couch for this guy tonight :)

The amazing after:
**warning: Picture Overload**


 I still can't believe how much brighter it is. Take a look at the gorgeous travertine tile. I love to touch it, it feels like buttah.

 Because glass tile is so expensive to add as an entire shower, they chose to use an accent strip in the shower. Shows it off perfectly.


The kept the same vanity, but replaced the faucet and the top. Dad put in all the beadboard and molding himself.

New Towels as a Mothers Day gift.





Of course, a new potty. It's a low flow. Because they're environmentally conscience.

Isn't it gorgeous? I still can't believe it's the same bathroom.
What do you all think? Good job? Not so good?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Amanda's Design Accomplished: Home Office


One of my wonderful friends, Amanda, sent me pictures in an email last week of her amazing office re-do and I just couldn't believe what a transformation.

Here's Amanda's Old Office:
The office before. Two filing cabinets on either side of a cheap, old desk.


Change! Add two cute city pictures, but most of all the new desk top: an old wooden door stripped, primed and painted!



And the kicker... legs made from 2 sawhorses, with storage shelves added. Sawhorses and shelf idea made from scratch, primed and painted to match the desk.



Amazing job Amanda! I love the door desktop! Wouldn't that be lovely with a glass top? Oh, swoon. I'm also digging the build in storage in the sawhorse legs. Perfect storage that otherwise would have been wasted space.

Great job Amanda, I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

If you would like to be featured on Design Accomplished, feel free to send me an email of your current home project. And if you need help with that certain space that's driving you bonkers, check out my sidebar! I've just started doing room ReDesigns for you! Check out the link for everything I need to get your room the way you want it.