A Staunton Afternoon

Sorry for the sporadic posts last week and this... we have been quite busy with the end of the school year, going away parties and dinners.... a visit from my fam(YAY!), Mother's Day and prepping for a two week vaca next week - I have been MIA. 

Although I did not get to spend Mother's Day with my wonderful Momma, Grandmother or Mother-in-law, we did get to spend the afternoon with some of our bestest buds. We can always rely on them to come up with something new and fun and adventures... and Sunday did not disappoint!  We decided to spend the afternoon in the quaint little town of Staunton, Virginia.  It's a small town... with decadent food and fabulous antique shopping. Little did I know, it has so much more to offer!!

Our first stop was Sunspots Studios for some American-made Art Gifts... and glassblowing!

They even let you blow your own ornament for $40. Be sure to call ahead and make an appointment!

After exploring the shop and watching some beautiful pieces of artwork being made we ventured across the street for some wine-tasting at Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room.

The Ox-Eye Tasting Room is located in downtown Staunton’s historic Wharf district.  It was designed by the noted architect T.J. Collins, and was built in 1904.  Originally, it was used as an office for a coal and lumber business.  It also served as a scale house for horse drawn coal wagons.  The loaded wagons would pull up under the covered archway behind the building to be weighed by the Fairbanks scale. I thought this was the best part - the name, Ox-Eye came from a weed that grows in their fields... the Ox-Eye Daisy, a white flower with a yellow center.  We enjoyed a bottle of vino on their back patio before heading over to the Historic Depot Grill for some amazing dinner! 

The Depot is a Staunton staple... an while it's nothin' fancy - they have some awesome food. 

I have to share one of the best pasta's I have had in awhile. It's called the Chessie Pasta (named after the Chessie Line) and has the perfect blend of spices, sauce and yummy veggies!   I wish I had taken a picture, but here is the description from the menu:

Veggie Chessie's Pasta: Sweet Corn, fresh diced tomatoes, mushrooms, capers, basil, garlic and olive oil tossed with penne pasta shrimp and lump crab meat. Talk about delectable - I polished off the entire dish!!  

It was a nice little Sunday, caped off with a drink (and water for the drivers) at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel left us longing for more adventures and sweet memories made with dear, dear friends! 

Until next time....

xo, Tracy


Kitchen Towel w/ a Ruffle

A good friend of mine, That's What She Said, knows how much I love to craft - so on a recent trip back in March she found a bundle of fun spring fabrics that she picked up for me. {I do love all her fun surprises}  Since then, they have been stuck in my craft basket - just waiting for a fun spring project so they can be put to use.  Last night I decided to break them out for an easy craft project to brighten up the kitchen {or as a fun gift for Mother's Day - ;)}.

So, what we are making today is a Spring Kitchen Towel with a Ruffle - cute for decorating and {with much praise from the hubs} practical for everyday use.

Supplies Needed:
One white basic kitchen towel
Fun spring fabric {mine were pre-cut, but any cotton fabric will work}
Sewing machine
Stitch Witchery {or you can sew if you have matching thread}
Grosgrain ribbon for trim
{Ric-Rac if you want to add some pizazz to the end}

First, You'll want to make a nice double sided 4 x 18 inch rectangle with your fabric {depending on your towel - you can extend the length by 6 inches}.  I flipped the fabric inside out and seemed the ends, leaving the top open so I could reverse it and iron. 

After ironing your fabric, place on the end of your towel - 1/2 inch from the end. Be sure you are working with the finished side of the towel up. Keep in mind that it's good for the fabric to be at least three inches longer on each end of your towel to give you fabric for the ruffle. 

Get your ruffle started by pinning both ends of the fabric to the towel, so you'll have an even ruffle. 

Work your way from the outside in, pining the fabric in various directions to create the ruffles. {Keep in mind, the more fabric you have the more ruffles you can make}

Slide the end under your sewing arm and stitch down your ruffle, removing your pins along the way. 

One you have stitched the ruffle, flip your towel over- you will have a nice smooth backside of your towel.  Be sure you caught all of the fabric in your stitch, so it doesn't unravel on you later. 

Next, we are going to attach the ribbon to the front. 

Cut a piece of ribbon the length of your towel and match the back-side with a piece of Stitch Witchery. Be sure it's nice and stuck to the ribbon - let it cool and peel off the paper. 

Next, we are going to iron the ribbon onto the ruffle covering the seem and attaching the ribbon to both the towel and the fabric ruffle. 

Be sure it sticks to both sides before you start to iron it down. 

Next, iron over the sides so that they are nicely in place.  Trim the excess ribbon from the ends. 

Ta-da! You now have a finished ruffle on your towel.  At this point you can add the ric-rac to the middle of your ribbon, or run another simple stitch over the edges - just be sure and use the same color thread!

Enjoy your fun new towels - OR give them as fun Mother's Day Gifts! 

Happy Crafting!
xo, Tracy


A Smidgen of Sass

If you cook much at all in the South and have on your shelf an old family cookbook, you've likely read a recipe that calls for a dash, a pinch or even a smidgen of something or another. Now, while in cooking mistaking a dash for a pinch probably won't make a huge difference, in baking the difference could account for a big flop of one of your favorite family recipes.  Last weekend I came across the cutest Mother's Day gifts!  A set of three measuring spoons - a dash, a pinch and a smidgen.  Such a fun idea for the Mom that has everything... and only really needs a little bit more love in the kitchen!

So, what exactly do these measurements really mean?  Well, let's start with a dash - the largest of the three - would measure about 1/8 teaspoon. Most cooks probably have 1/8 teaspoon in their kitchen, so if your recipe calls for a dash - fish out the 1/8 teaspoon and use away.

A pinch would be the second of the group. A pinch is considered the amount in which you can "pinch" between your thumb and forefinger - or the exact measurement would be 1/16 teaspoon.

The final measure - a Smidgen - is the least popular, and also the smallest measurement you can have. It accounts to 1/32 of a teaspoon. Now, most people won't even notice this small of an ingredient missing, but foodies will - so don't forget the smidgen!

I found these at the Charleston open-air market, but The Weed Patch also has a great selection online.

Now you can enjoy your Southern recipes with a smidgen of sass.. just like grandma made them!


Off to the land of Lilly & Grits

I'm off for an adventure this weekend to one of my favorite cities of all time - the one and only - Charleston!  When I was 22, fresh out of college and ready for an adventure, I was one step away from packing my bags and heading off to this wonderful town - full of good food, great beaches and fabulous shopping!  Instead, I found myself on the road - traveling for my sorority {which i do not regret in the least}. It brought me so many amazing friends, mentors and a free trip around the country. Not to mention a fabulous husband and best friend, who I can't imagine my life without! We sometimes joke that instead of meeting in Richmond, I would have be-friended a good Lexington friend, who at the time was living my Charleston dream {and hers} and she would have taken me home to meet my future husband right here in little ole' Lexington. Who knows... I believe in Serendipity. :)  

One things I also know - is I can't wait to hit the road for Charleston. So, today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite things about this cute little coastal town. 

Fabulous Bow Ties for the hubs! 
{Charleston is also home of the most fabulous TJ Maxx - who also carries Vineyard Vines, Brooks Brothers and High Cotton Bow Ties!}

 Beach Time... Sullivan's and Isle of Palms are my favorites. 

 The open-air market. I can't wait to blog about my fabulous finds next week!

Good EATS!!  

Lilly Shopping 

A cold beverage at my favorite local tavern - Poe's.

And... I also get to see two of my very favorite people this weekend, Haley and her wonderful husband, Ryan!  They live in Beaufort, SC and are coming up on Saturday to have lunch. 

Can't wait to see you kids!  

Until Monday.... I'm off to eat some great food, soak up some sun and find some bargains!

xo, Tracy


Navy loves Aqua

With warmer days on the horizon and two trips to the beach downing closer and closer, I find myself dreaming of all things beachy & nautical. Trendy navy stripes have long since made a come-back and now the little navy dress is selling-out quicker than stores can get them in stock. The nautical look has taken off ~ and being the beach-bum-raised-child that I am ~ I am in heaven!  I can finally wear starfish on my shoes, ears, arms and shirts - and it's trendy! ha. A new look that I'm loving this season is how aqua has fallen for teal. I love all the looks - solids, stripes, patterns, prints - love them all.  These are a few of my favorites.

I'm still searching for this shirt - but I found a cute navy striped bow like the shirt has above! Only $8

Found a great teal skirt like the one above from Forever21 for $12.80 - what a steal! 

One Tree Lane's Vintage Boxes in Navy & Teal patterns.

Target Find! Navy/Team Damask Throw Pillows - $25.99/each

Forever Ours Indie Earrings - $27.99

 I'm still searching for the adorable ones above, but I found a great chevron pattern & teal clutch! 

Check out Pretty Tape on Etsy - Japanese Washi Tape - $4


It's all in the Details.

Wedding season is in full bloom! It's hard to believe that last year we were 21 days away from our very own wedding... and thinking back, we still had so much to do. hah - I was just crazy! I find myself thinking back to last year and I must have just been out of my mind - I didn't think so at the time, but I must have been with all the things I would forget and just not do. The small wedding details that snuck up on is... and many of which, never got done - o well, right - we are still married and going strong!! 

Last weekend, however, the bride had it all pulled together!  Our very dear friends, Kara and Tim got married- right here in town {which was fun being the "locals" as we introduced ourselves to all their out-of-town friends- ha}. Kara made sure that each and every detail was not forgotten - from the cocktails to the table linens, this wedding was one for the books!  We had such a wonderful time celebrating the Braddick's and sharing in their special day! Everything was right from the heart - and it really shined all night long.   

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite details from the wedding.... 

First the flowers that the bridesmaids carried were each unique in their own way... all white, spring flowers - maybe each one's favorite flower? So thoughtful. The church bells sounded right at 4pm, and all was quiet for the festivities to begin! The programs at the church were beautiful ... with a sweet note to their parents and grandparents that shows just how thoughtful this couple really is. 

The alter was lined in tiny candles that just sparkled! 

The exit from the church was so fun... and the adorable little flags were made with lots of love from Mama Franke and Kara! 

Now on to the reception... 

First the tents - wow. Magical would be the right way to describe the scene. 

Signature cocktails {Southern Inn Mojito's} in bookshelves waiting for you upon arrival - with adorable blue and white straws.... 

Second, an old wooden fireplace mantle for the place-cards, so thoughtful and detailed. 

The table linens... Kara and her Mother searched near and far for this beautiful fabric, and in the end - it was worth the search. The tables were beautiful!

The monogrammed linen napkins and the heart-felt note to each and every attendee - just classic. LOVE you guys. 

The plush white couches that surrounded the dance floor... so cozy for the guests, and the chevron throw pillows - trendy and cute!  

...and perfect for snuggling with the groom.

Speaking of the Groom - Tim's fabulous monogrammed bow-tie and cummerbund set were the perfect touch to his classic tux! 

The Bride sported fabulous cowboy boots under her dress at the reception that were just adorable. 

The koozies were perfect - The state of Virginia with a heart over Lexington....
and the cookies, by One Preppy Cookie, were fantastic!! 

The food, catered by Southern Inn, was just outstanding - right down to the fried pickles. The three bars were serving all night long... and the Mo'Soul, from Atlanta kept the party groovin' late into the night. I could go on and on about all the wonderful details - but I'll leave you with a note from the bride and groom. 

Happy Honeymoon, guys! Love you!!