Thursday, April 25, 2013

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - National Cornbread Festival

The National Cornbread Festival is this weekend! 

I don't think I'm going to make it this year, but if you've never been, I highly encourage you to go.  It's what I would call "good, clean, fun."  There are craft vendors, food vendors, musicians, rides, festival food vendors, and LOTS of cornbread. 

There are some free cornbread samples throughout the festival, but you have to stop at Cornbread Alley.  It's just $4, and you get to sample 10 different cornbreads.  I think the variety of the cornbread is what makes it fun.  They have everything from sweet and fruity, to savory and spicy. And it's all good.

If you do get to go this year, read about my first trip to the Cornbread Festival.

My Tips for the National Cornbread Festival:

  • Check the weather.  Last year sunscreen was a really good call, and this year an umbrella might be a good idea. (It never rains when you bring an umbrella, so I'd take one for that reason alone.)  The festival is almost entirely outside, so dress appropriately.
  • Take cash.  This is not the kind of place where the vendors will all be taking credit cards on their cell phones and iPads.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.  There are some shuttles from the parking areas, but the lots are close enough that we just walked last year.  You'll be doing a decent amout of walking in the festival too, so be comfortable.
  • Buy something from a vendor.  Bonus points if it's something you've never seen or tried before.  One of my favorite vendors from last year was the flavored honey jelly.  The raspberry honey jelly is really good, and I never even knew it existed.
  • Don't be in a hurry.  Part of the charm of South Pittsburg is the slow pace.  Enjoy it.
  • The drive isn't as bad as you think.  I promise.

Here is some more information on this year's festival.  And a link to some of the winning recipes from previous years.

National Cornbread Festival
When: April 27th-28th 2013
Where: Downtown South Pittsburg, TN
website | recipes

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

wildflower wednesday

Man I've been all about the garden posts lately haven't I?  It's spring, so I guess it's to be expected, and I'm sure there will be more to come soon, as I'm really trying to get some work done around my house.

Here are a few of the wildflowers that have sprung up around my house as of today.  I'm working towards a moss yard, and since I don't mow my grass, almost everything growing in my yard is a wildflower.

What I have most of right now are what my grandmother calls 'Blue-Its'.  They're these tiny pale purple flowers that carpet my yard.  They've spread since last year, and I love it.

I also have these really pretty blooming clover.

The daisies are just starting to shoot up and bloom today.

And my first woodland poppy decided to bloom.

The wild blackberries are just starting to bloom.

I'm not sure if they count as a wildflower or not, but the rock irises are blooming.

The best wildflowers blooming right now are the wild azaleas.  My mom and I did a lot of work this weekend clearing undbrush in my front woods, and we found quite a few azaleas.  I hope they'll benefit from the extra breathing room, and I love that I can actually see them now!

If you'd like to see more of the wildflowers blooming today you can click here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bloom day follow up

Have you ever had one of those days?  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  I had started my bloom day post, but never finished it, and just said $*%* it, and hit publish when I got back to my blog today.  Anyway, here are the rest of the pictures that I didn't upload yesterday.

Yay pretty pictures.

Synopsis: lots and lots of daffodils, pale blue muscari, yellow tulips that haven't bloomed, lots of wild 'Blue-its', my hostas are all coming up, a money plant, the spider-wart *just* started blooming, and the hellbores are still going strong, but starting to show their seed pods.

april bloom day 2013

Spring is finally here!!  And by spring I mean it almost feels like summer.  This year I think we're skipping the days where the highs are in the 70's, and moving straight to the 80's.

Spring is my favorite time of year in the yard, so I'm going to get straight to the pictures!

The first thing you notice when you get to my house are the flowering trees.  The redbuds and the dogwoods are gorgeous right now

My pansies have come back, and are looking ok.  They will be replaced with impatiens as soon as they start to fade. (side note:  Here's an article from the Farmer's Almanac on the fungus that has infected a lot of the American Impatiens, and which varieties are resistant)

These little wildflowers are in the viola family, and have just one dark purple petal.

And last but not least, the spring bulbs.  I planted almost 200 bulbs last fall, and it looks like everything survived, despite the best efforts of the chipmunks & squirrels.  The daffodils were a little droopy after last night's rain, but this gives you an idea of what was in my mixed bag.

I also planted some tulips that have yet to bloom, and some hyacinths & muscari.  Hyacinths might be my new favorite bulb, they smell so good!

This picture from Saturday was too good not to re-post
I hope you enjoyed your walk in my yard.  To see what else is blooming around the world today, visit Carol, over at May Dreams Gardens.

Edit:  I didn't get to upload all my pictures with this post.  Here's what else is blooming.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

garden update - emily vs ivy & spring bulbs

I'm winning!

It was hard work, but pulling the ivy out by it's roots was the right way to go.  (This is where I knock  on anything resembling wood.)  It's been almost a year and the ivy has not come back around the house.  The side yard, bird garden, kitchen garden & foundation are still clear.  Yay!!

I did have to use Round-Up in one corner of the side yard near the rock wall, to keep from dislodging the rocks, and it seems to have worked fairly well. Most of the ivy has died, and the wall is still (mostly) intact.

Next on the list of ivy to tackle are the trees between the house & the pond. I don't mind the ivy as a ground cover, but I need to go out with a knife and cut the ivy down off the trees.

I'm also going to try and tackle the woods behind the house so I can maybe one day pretend to have a backyard and not just woods.

Since I got rid of the ivy in the side yard, this past fall I planted some bulbs beside the rock wall.  And by some I mean 172.  A mix of 100 daffodils, 32 yellow tulips, 32 muscari, and 8 hyacinths. I threw in some day lilies for good measure too.  I was worried about my bulbs getting dug up, so I mulched the bulbs with a mix of grass & pine neetles from the tree in that area.  I'm glad that I did.  All winter I worried as I saw holes in the mulch from critters trying to get to the bulbs.  Somehow they didn't succeed, and I am beyond thrilled with how my rock wall looks right now.  It's been a late spring (if you can call it spring at all, I think we skipped to summer), and new bulbs take a little white to get estabolished, but my daffodiles and hyacinths are peaking right now.

These pictures just do not do it justice.  It makes me smile every time I come home.  Also, Hyacinths are my new favorite bulb, I had no idea how amazing they smell. These sit beside my bed right now, and believe it or not I'm sleeping better!

I have yellow, pink & blue hyacinths.
The muscari are starting to bloom, and the tulips are starting to shoot up their stalks.  My kitchen is yellow, so I'm hoping that I'll have some nice cut flowers to add to my collection soon.  Thank goodness for springtime!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

(Re) Discover Chattanooga - Lupis

You can't go wrong with Lupi's. When I was in high school the downtown Lupi's was "the" place to go.  There were Christmas lights inside, your friends were there, it was the fun place to be.

Fast forward to now, and when I came back from Clemson, not only was Lupi's still around, they had expanded to my neck of the woods, East Brainerd.  And now they have wine.
Since I've been back, I've gotten into the local food movement, and I was surprised to lee Lupi's on the Harvested Here, Restaurant Week list.  If I had paid more attention to the food before, I wouldn't have been surprised.  Lupi's has always been a supporter of Local ingredients, I was just too distracted by the lights to notice...and I was 16.  That played a part too.

Lupi's uses as many local ingredients as possible.  This includes everything from local whole wheat flour, to local (and organic) gluten free pizza dough, to local toppings from the farms shown in the blurry picture on the side of this post.  They're also supporting another local company, PURE Sodaworks.  I love that Lupi's has seasonal toppings, and I can't wait for the heirloom tomatoes this summer, their caprese salad is on point!

Lupi's in East Brainerd is a semi-regular stop for me, one of the few on this side of town.  I like to dine in and have an adult beverage, but my mom does the 'Take & Bake',  and it's located right next to Heritage Park, so it's never a bad idea to pick up a to-go order and head to the park.
Zucchini & Mushroom
Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic, Spinach & Artichoke
Edit 4/12:  You can see from the pictures that they don't skimp on the toppings at Lupi's.  I will recommend that you stay away from the garlic though.  There was a lot on my slice, and it wasn't quite all the way roasted.  You can tell that they roast the garlic in house, so it may have been a one time thing, but I would have liked to see less garlic, that was all the way cooked.
Lupis Pizza
1414 Jenkins Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
(423) 855-4104
Also: Downtown, Hixson, Cleveland
Hours: Monday: Closed, Tues- Thurs: 11am-10pm, Fri & Sat: 11am-11pm, Sun: 11:30am-9pm
Menu | Take & Bake | website | facebook 
Lupi's Pizza Pies on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 8, 2013

a post about jewelry...yes, you read that right

If you know me at all, I'm not the girliest of girls.  I'm more of a jeans & a t-shirt, whiskey by the fire, kind of girl.  BUT, as it usually is with siblings, my sister is just the opposite.  She has been in charge of all things feminine in my wardrobe since I was in high school, and now sells Stella & Dot jewelry.

As such, about twice a year, (or whenever my sister asks), I do the sisterly thing and host a trunk show.  I like the trunk shows for a couple of reasons: there is no presentation, just a display; I can earn free stuff; who doesn't love fun appetizers and drinks; there is also an online component, which is right up my ally.

I'm not going to bore you with a pitch, but I will show you some of my favorite things.  If you want to take a look at the rest of the line, you'll see that there's all sorts of price points, a good mix of classy & trendy items, and everything can be dressed up for dressed down.  I fall in the dressed down category.

If you see anything that you like, my trunk show runs for just 2 more days, through April 10th, and you can choose me as your hostess when you check out.  My sister and I both would appreciate it!

And now the pretty things.....

The first things I want to show you are part of an Autism Awareness "April Shop for a Cause" event. 20% of the April sales from pieces in this collection go to Autism Awareness.

Bring it Jewelry Roll $39
Tree of Life Necklace $69

Since I'm going back to Clemson this weekend for the Orange & White game, I'm going to show you what this not-a-girlie-girl has my eye on for football.  The nice thing about this orange is that it's a good Clemson Orange, but not so dark that it can't pass on gameday at Tennessee or Auburn.  Shipping with Stella & Dot is pretty fast, so if you order today, you should have presents in the mail for this weekend.

Soiree Studs - Coral $24
Vintage Twist Bracelet $39
Adina Necklace $59
Olivia Bib Necklace $118

These are also on my wish list, and fall in the more 'classic' category.

Sanibel Chandeliers $49
'The Slinky Bracelet' $49

Please take a look at my sister's website, Christy Fazio, and if you see anything that you like you can choose me, Emily, as your hostess.  My sister really appreciates it!! (She's also still booking trunk shows if you'd like to see the line in person.)

Edit 4/25/13 - My show is over, but if you see anything you like you can still support my sister.  All of the links on this page connect directly to her e-store. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#travel2013 - Clemson

My last trip to Clemson this past weekend was short, sweet, and completely under the radar, but it still counts towards #travel2013.

Usually when I go to Clemson it's a big ordeal.  Since I spent 10 years there (I feel weird every time I say that), but return less frequently now, I tend to hit the ground running when I get to town, and I never get to spend as much meaningful time with any one person as I would like.  This trip was different.  I took advantage of the fact that it was last minute, and almost a secret.  I concentrated on seeing a select group of people, with the intention of focusing on a different group when I come back in two weeks for some baseball and the Orange & White game.

While there are definitely people I hate I missed, I'm glad I did it this way.  I got to spend real, meaningful time with people without overbooking my calendar trying to see everyone.  Whether is was lunch or drinks, it was really nice to take time to relax and enjoy the people.  The best part about Clemson has always been the people.  This weekend, my time in Clemson was never stressful, I was never rushed, and I enjoyed every minute I got to spend with the wonderful people I saw. 

The part of Clemson I miss most is the laid back attitude almost everyone carries with them.  The appreciating the moment, the environment, the people around them, and the experiences they share.  I love Chattanooga for everything it has to offer, but it's not a coincidence that the very first person I met on twitter in Chattanooga was a Clemson Alumae.

It was nice to have some quiet time in Clemson.

That said, my next trip is going to be a blast, and I can't wait to hang out downtown and see everyone I missed!!

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