Friday, October 28, 2011


Among other things, I am really bad at carving pumpkins. The pumpkin I carved at 5 would look remarkably similar to the pumpkin I would carve at 29. So, I am loving all these cute new ideas to decorate for Halloween without emptying pumpkin guts (and hurting my creative self esteem).

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Golden Goodness. Can't get enough gold.
Twig & Thistle

High Street Market

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Better Homes

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Better Homes

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Better Homes

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Katy Elliott

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Sharpie Design
HIgh Street Market


Thursday, October 27, 2011

In the Kitchen: Easy Beef Bourguignon & Beef Ragu

This is one of my favorite recipes. Not only is it easy and makes your house smell incredibly, but it is rich, comforting, and DELICIOUS! People will think you worked a lot harder than you did. And the best part is, you can use the leftovers from the Beef Bourguignon to make the most indulgent Beef Ragu (recipe follows).

I usually double the recipe to have lots of leftovers for the ragu. Both sauces freeze very well.
Hello cold weather eats!
Beef Bourguignon. The meat melts in your mouth.

Beef Bourguignon
2 lbs. cubed stewing beef
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 bottle full bodied red wine
1 pkg. low sodium onion soup mix
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
1 package egg noodles
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 325. Pat the beef dry and season with salt & pepper. (Drying the meat helps give it a nice sear which makes the meat juicier and more tender) Place in a ziploc bag filled with flour and add meat. Toss until well coated. Heat oil and butter in a heavy dutch oven. Brown in batches so the meat is not touching other peices - 8-10 minutes per batch. Return browned meat to pan and cover with wine. Blend in the soup mix. Bring to a boil and let cook for 3 minutes. Cover and simmer on low. Saute onions and carrots in a separate pan. Add to meat. Add chopped garlic, thyme, & bay leaf.
Cover and place in oven for 3 hours.
Add mushrooms at the beginning of the last hour.
Serve over egg noodles.

(This is a great dinner party recipe, bc you can have everything cleaned up well in advance of guests arriving.)

Beef Ragu
2 cups leftover Beef Bourguignon
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
1 pkg. noodles of your choice (I like rigatoni or pappardelle)
Parmesan for sprinkling

Saute the garlic in olive oil. Add leftover beef bourguignon. Stir well, breaking up the meat. Add the plum tomatoes. Boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to med-low. Cook for 15 minutes, until tomatoes break up easily.

Serve over pasta with Parmesan

(Mr. Fonty and I had this last night - pulled from the freezer - I put mine over spaghetti squash, and it was delicious.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Jamie Mearse of Furbish Studio in Raleigh, NC, is my style idol. Her designs are packed with color and she is not afraid of mixing patterns. 
Jamie is also the voice behind the fabulous I Suwannee blog.
A couple years ago, Jamie branched out and opened a small store in Raleigh. I visited and scooped up a gorgeous lamp and a faux bamboo coffee table (which was an engagement present from my parents). The store and her design services were so successful that she has expanded to a 3,500 sq ft warehouse space of colorful goodness. I cannot wait to get a U-haul and go crazy at the new and improved Furbish Studio!

Photos courtesy of Honey & Fitz

Foxglove wallpaper makes me happy

I need these stools in our living room

Pillows, and frames, and rope, OH MY!

This lamp lives in our living room and I adore it so!

Design Services

What a great DIY - Pantone Chips

I have been eyeing these black botanicals for years!
I believe they are $250 each. Furbish will ship.
The faux bamboo is the side table sister to our coffee table.

Jewels in Milk Glass!

Because of course you would have a graffiti wall.
Don't fret if you aren't blessed to be in the southeast. Lots of the Furbish gear is available online. The Furbish Trays are a perfect holiday gift. And who can deny their furry friend a custom dog bed?!?

Compliments to the Chef!

Yesterday the Michelin Guide announced their awards for the San Francisco Bay AreaMichelin stars are awarded to the best restaurants in the world. Receiving a star is the culinary equivalent of an Oscar.

And I am so proud to say that my brother Marty got a Michelin Star!!
Big Bro, it is amazing to see you achieve this honor. We are all so proud of you and all you have accomplished. Congrats, Congrats!

If you find yourself in the Bay, you must visit his restaurant, Dio Deka. It is certified BOMB!

Marty working at Manresa

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tunesday with George: CMJ Recap

Only a few days removed from the whirlwind that was Americana week in Nashville last week, we were immersed in yet another music festival/conference, this time CMJ in New York. Here's a little wrap-up of the week, and the music involved.
My first destination of the adventure was a trip to Brooklyn, where two of our bands, Buxton and the Wild Moccasins, were playing a showcase put on the radio stations KSXC from LA (Univ. of Southern California) and KTRU from Houston (Rice University). I took the wrong train, and ended up having to walk about a mile and a half in the rain, and subsequently missed our first band Buxton's set. The "venue" is called "Shea Stadium", and when I arrive I discover it's not much more than a loft in a warehouse district with a plastic table as a bar. But despite that, and the nasty weather, there was a great crowd in the room. And I arrived in time to see our second band, Wild Moccasins, get the house dancing.

After a much quicker and simpler trip back to Manhattan, involving the proper trains, I decide to check out another showcase before turning in. Not recognizing many of the names anyway, I go with with what sounds interesting....Global Noize featuring DJ Logic and Jason Miles at the Bowery Electric. Logic I was familiar with, Miles I was not. But turns out he's a world famous jazz keyboardist who has worked with everyone from Miles Davis to Luther Vandross. The group is sort of a global jazz funk fusion thing with a touch of hip-hop.

Thursday begins with our artist Robert Ellis doing a roof-top boiler room session for RELIX magazine around 11am. The setting was quite unique, and the videos of Robert's songs will be up on their website shortly.
Robert Ellis
Then came the Paste party Thursday afternoon at The Living Room. First of four bands was Nikki Lane, the intriguing and raspy-voiced up-and-comer from Nashville. I particularly love her songs "Look Away" and "Gone, Gone, Gone." Following Nikki, our band Buxton really got the place stirring, and set the stage nicely for a home-run set by Robert Ellis & The Boys. Then as an added bonus to top it off, I got to see an acoustic set by Jason Isbell, one of my favorite singer/songwriter/musicians.
Jason Isbell
No time to waste, we had to rush over to the City Winery, where un-related to CMJ we also had John Hiatt playing a sold-out two night stand. His daughter Lilly opened the show, and proved to the crowd that she has some singing and song-writing chops of her own. When it was her father's turn he and his band, like the pros that they are, owned the room for a solid two-hour set.

The next blurry four hours were spent being drank under the table by a certain tv terrorist terrorizer, who happens to be best friends with one of my co-workers. But that's another story for another time.

After an un-inspiring trip down to Occupy Wall Street, Friday afternoon was spent in the studios of SiriusXM, where Robert taped an interview and he and his band recorded a blistering live session. It should be airing on Outlaw Country and a couple other channels in the near future.
Robert Ellis
Friday night was our big New West showcase, back again at The Living Room. Wild Moccasins were the perfect kickoff to the party, and by the time Buxton took the stage and blew the house down the room was at capacity. Robert Ellis & The Boys capped the night off with their best performance of the week....everyone's mark having successfully been left on NYC.

to be continued next week...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend of Blessings

What a wonderful, whirlwind weekend!

On Friday, my good friends Evan and Abby came to Athens for a wedding. I got to spend Friday night with the hunkiest guy in town, their new baby Bowen. He is such a good baby! I'm in love...
...and so is Ryman.

Ryman and I woke up early the next morning and headed to Nashville for a very special day - and girl, Evie!!

Ryman was a great co-pilot

The girl of the day, Evelyn Wiley Stewart

The cutest family ever - Tish, Evie, & Carlton

Congratulations, Stewarts! I love you all so much!!

On our way home we stopped in Sewanne to knock out #24 of our goal to go to 50 different Waffle Houses together. Two Texas Cheesesteak Plates were just what we needed. Waffle House added calorie counts to their menu... that was pretty depressing.

When we finally got home, I made a pit stop at the nursery, and got much needed flowers to re-do our planters for fall... but more on that later. In the meantime, here is the dismal "Before":

Loved seeing so many special friends this weekend, and being a part of such an amazing day on Saturday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Miss Evelyn Wiley Stewart
This weekend in Nashville is the blessing for my sweet goddaughter, Evie!
Honored doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about being a part of this beautiful baby's life. She is so stinking precious - don't get me started on those cheeks! I plan on spoiling her rotten and teaching her all sorts of bad habits - and being her spiritual guide and all that too - throughout her life.
Congratulations, Tish & Carlton!