Life in the South, According to Instagram

30 11 2013

Just a sneak peak of what we’ve been up to in November … What have y’all been up to?

Instagram - November 2013 -  Butter Instagram - November 2013 - Becky sweet potato brew Instagram - November 2013 - Becky Instagram - November 2013 - Ponds purple grass Instagram - November 2013 - Sliders Instagram - November 2013 - St. Augustine sky Instagram - November 2013 - Becky stuffing Instagram - November 2013 - Ginger A Quiet Afternoon Instagram - November 2013 - Ginger Christmas tree

Kentucky Pie Bars

4 05 2012

May Day Pie, Pegasus Pie, Thoroughbred Pie — just don’t call it the “D” word.

You see, the Kern family, of Melrose Inn created the pie in the 1950’s and still owns and actively protects the name and the exact secret recipe. But a chocolate, pecan, and bourbon pie by any other name still tastes as delicious.

This year, since I’m celebrating the Derby outside my homestate, traveling in South Carolina, I still wanted my taste of you-know-what pie. So I decided to see if I could turn this classic pie into portable bars.

Here’s what you’ll need:

A recipe for your favorite pie crust

1 1/2 sticks softened butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup flour

a good pinch of salt

a splash of bourbon (optional)

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups pecans (some swear by walnuts, but I’m a pecan girl… use whatever you like).

Preheat your oven to 350. Then line a deep baking pan with your pie crust. Separately mix together the pie ingredients — butter, sugar, eggs, flour, salt, bourbon, chocolate, and nuts and pour it into your baking dish, spreading it evenly over the pie crust. Then just bake for about 20 – 25 minutes.

Keep your eye on this, as you just want a golden crust forming on top.  We’re aiming for gooey pie-like bars, not crunchy here. I wish I could eat warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, but they’re just as good at room temperature.

Cut into big ol’ squares, and wrap tightly and they’ll keep up to a week, but I’m guessing they won’t last that long if you’re anything like me.

For more inspiration for your Derby day party, check out some other Kentucky recipes for your menu:

Kentucky Hot Brown


Mint Julep Iced Tea

Bourbon Balls

One Night Stand, A Motel Art Show in Oxford, MS

26 10 2011

Erin Austen Abbott (see below) is the creative force behind the One Night Stand art show coming up this weekend in Oxford, Mississippi. If you can get there, it is sure to be the highlight of your year!  She shares with us today about the show. “The first motel show was created when I was out shooting pictures one day, back in 2007. I was taking pictures at an old travelodge style motel, the type that you drive up and park outside your room, set in a U shape. All the doors had these wooden red hearts on each door. I had heard rumors that the walls inside the rooms were brown wood paneling. I suddenly had visions of T. Model Ford sitting on the edge of the bed, playing his hill country blues while fine art leaned against the furniture or replaced the current art hanging in the rooms.

I immediately found ten artist friends that were having a hard time finding places to show their work locally. The first show was set. I did the show twice the first year. The second being bigger than the first. Then in 2008, I took the show on the road to Los Angeles. In a town where it could have been a bust, it proved to be just the opposite. The show made the front pages of City Search LA and Yelp as THE thing to do for the night. It was also featured in the LA Times. With that support, 1500+ people showed up to enjoy The One Night Stand at The Beverly Laurel Motel.

The show returned back to Oxford in 2009 and 2010. This year will mark the 5th Annual One Night Stand at The Ole Miss Motel.

Next year will begin a new formula for the One Night Stand. Presented by The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and The Motel Art Show Series, the show will be in Oxford every October and at an out of town location in the spring and fall.

In May of 2012, the show will travel to Brooklyn, NY, in September to Nashville, TN and again in Oxford to wrap up 2012. Then in the spring of 2013, the show will cross the country to Portland, OR and end up back in Oxford, MS in the fall.

For those interested in submitting work, please direct them to”

Erin Austen Abbott, born 1976, in Tupelo, Mississippi, studied photography at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, MA and at the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle, WA. She has had shows in Tampa, Seattle, Boston, Memphis, Los Angeles, Oxford, MS, Basel, Switzerland, Milan,Italy, Berlin,Germany and Water Valley, MS in the years 1999- 2010. Erin’s work is studied in the art curriculum at The University of Milan in Milan, Italy. She is also the creator of the “One Night Stand Motel Art Show Series”, started in 2007, a series of art shows transforming a motel and its rooms into a one night only art show, giving artists a chance to show their work in a non traditional setting. Erin has had work published in Esquire, Teen Vogue, Alternative Press, LA Times, Uppercase, and in Southern Spaces, an online journal for Emory University Press.  Erinis currently living in Water Valley, Mississippi.

From Erin, “I opened my store, Amelia, in Oxford in August of 2009. Aside from running my store, I also travel nanny for the guitarist for the band The Flaming Lips, who has two children and for the band Mates of State. Several months ago, I also launched chARTer nannies, with three other friends, which is a travel nanny agency, pairing creative nannies with families that want to take their children on the road. Our clients are musicians, artists, writers, actors, directors. Families that don’t want to put their creative lives on hold yet don’t want to be away from their children.”

While you are here, check out Erin’s featured work, shop Amelia Presents, blog, and home.  Good luck this weekend Erin!

Design Sponge Southern Book Tour

6 10 2011

We all love our Design Sponge. The crafts, ideas, and just general things of interest I gleaned since adding Design Sponge to my reader program years ago has been incredible.  Grace Bonney and her crew, being the crafty and super smart people that they are, published a book this year.  The book is simply amazing. Seriously Martha Stewart better watch out, Design Sponge is the heart beat of the people!

In case you are lucky enough to live in or close by any of these great southern cities, make sure you stop in to buy your book, or get your book signed. Many of the cities are also hosting crafts as well, but you must RSVP (I know all of our southern ladies will of course).

Have a blast out there and craft away!

October 13Dallas, Texas

October 15Austin, Texas  

October 24Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina 

October 25Asheville, North Carolina

October 26Charleston, South Carolina 

October 27 – Savannah, Georgia

November 1 – Birmingham, Alabama

November 2Athens, Georgia.  

November 3 – Atlanta

Jules Reid, A Southern Based Clothier

3 08 2011

Splitting time between both Virginia and New York City, designer Jules Reid gives all of us southern girls something to look forward to with her fall/winter line for 2011. Color abounds, as do the unique influences and designs. 

You can order online or find a store near you.

The Jules Reid website also has tons of summer items on sale currently, and truth be told, a “summer” dress in the south can be worn more months out of the year, than not.

Mark my words, this will be a designer we see for years and years to come.

{All photos from}

Guest Post: Punch Brothers Concert {In Review}

6 06 2011

Hello fellow SIT fans! Becky asked me to share with you about a concert I went to recently and I am so excited to tell you all about it!  I borrowed a Garden and Gun Magazine (which I originally heard about right here on SIT!) from some newlywed friends of mine. The main article was on the new crop of bluegrass musicians that are gaining momentum in the music world, and the Punch Brothers were one of the featured bands. Being a huge Nickel Creek fan, I was already familiar with the uber talented and adorable mandolin player, Chris Thile. To my delight, I saw that they were coming through my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, so two friends, my cute bf, and I were off to the Florida Theatre for the event.

Let me first say that I love going to the Florida Theatre. It is a beautiful venue and I love staring up at the Mediterranean inspired interior before every show. The crowd was an eclectic mix of fans, which I always think makes for a great time. As I was not very familiar with the Punch Brothers music and my adventuring friends weren’t familiar with bluegrass (where have they been?), I knew it was going to be an experience for all of us.

The Punch Brothers are made up of guitarist Chris Eldridge, banjo player Noam Pikelny, violinist Gabe Witcher, bassist Greg Garrison, and Chris Thile on the mandolin. They all entered the stage in their sharp suits. Men in suits? Check. Amazing musicians? Check. Great harmony? Check, Check. Throw in an upright bass, and I’m done. Let’s just say I was sold from the beginning.

Three selections I enjoyed the most were their “Blind leaving the Blind”, which is a four movement piece from their self-entitled first album. The song from their most recent album, How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, is a great, foot stomping “Rye Whiskey”. You can’t help but clap and tap your toes! Watching Chris’ moves onstage makes it even more enjoyable. He loves making music, and his rooster like strut is fantastic entertainment! My favorite piece of the night was from their upcoming album. The song was entitled, “Soon or Never.” Gabe on the violin lead, along with the beautiful harmony throughout the song, had me leaning so far forward I almost fell out of my chair. It epitomized so much of what I love about bluegrass music. There is a melancholy longing that runs through the genre. A soul twisting recognition that something is missing or lost.

Ok, I lied. There were four songs that I loved the most. The encore started with an unexpected solo of Bach’s 4th movement of the G minor sonata by Chris. Um, hello? Classical music on the mandolin? Yes please, and thank you very much. While Chris was the main draw for me, I so appreciated the camaraderie of the whole band. They seem to genuinely enjoy playing together, and respect each others’ musicality. The crowd loved them, and they seemed a little surprised by our enthusiasm. They promised to return to Jacksonville more often. Woo Hoo!

After the concert, my friends, bf, and I hopped across the street to Dos Catos for refreshments. (Chill atmosphere, fun drinks, and a good dj spinning on Thursday nights.) What sealed the evening was when Chris, Noam, and Gabe came in! Once I got over being star struck, I walked over and told Chris that they all did an incredible job.  I was tempted to road trip to see them the following evening at the Savannah Music festival, but, alas will have to wait for the next go around. If you haven’t gone by their site, picked up their music, and especially seen them live do it ASAP. Beck, thanks for having me on SIT!

{picture via}

Play Me, I’m Yours: Austin Edition

10 05 2011

Bringing music in the form of street pianos to the neighborhoods, parks and everyday places where people meet and enjoy life is one of the goals of the Play Me, I’m Yours movement. With a recent installation in Austin, Texas, from April 1 – May 1, 2011, there are over 400 pianos in cities worldwide.  Often local artists decorate the pianos and while some scheduled performances exist, most often they are available for any passerby to enjoy and thus share the music. 

I was able to see several street pianos on my recent trip to Austin and the picture below exemplifies exactly why they are installed….people just stopping to play the piano. I love it all so much. Play Me, I’m Yours is an incredible idea and I wish they were in my city!!!