Tuesday's Girl

"You can change your fate.  You can sit back, or you can go after your life and what you want it to be."
Hilary Swank

You Look So Fine

I love this song.  Someday, I hope there is a guy to go with it.

This Charming House

Generally, I hate refrigerator magnets....

I make exception for my Grandma and appropriate quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Happy Monday


It's Monday again. 

I had crazy Tonya weekend.  It still happens from time to time.  I hate it, but you know, I was born to suffer certain amounts of unreasonable anxiety.  I'm not sure why it happens on the weekends.  Sometimes I think it happens at other times, but the requirement that I get up and get myself to work mitigates it, as opposed to having the ability to stay home by myself and hunker down - which is what I do when it hits on the weekend. 

Not so much that I did that. 

In fact, I went on about my business for the most part.  I had dinner with friends on Saturday and brunch with another friend on Sunday.  I also cleaned out a significant portion of my garage - which is exciting to me.  Basically, I had decided that the unswept, dog hair corroded, still full of crap from when I moved almost 3 years ago garage just wasn't good enough for the new car.  So I straightened it up a bit and swept it out.  There is still work to do.  The stuff I am selling on Craigslist and the stuff I am consigning and some stuff that needs to go to the dump is still out there.  But it's a significant beginning, which should always be celebrated. 

I also, with the help of darling, charming and wonderful friends, got the garage door opener on the car programmed.  Now, I can just push the button on the car and the garage door opens.... It's like magic!  Except, you know, it's not.  But still.....

But the anxiety was there, all weekend.  I suppose the good news is that I soldiered on.  That probably wouldn't have been true before.  

So Labor Day weekend is coming up!  Yay!  I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I feel strongly that sleeping will be involved.  

Thanks for stopping by and let's have a good week!
Image:  Apple Pair by 1doordown Photography.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

"Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams."
Charles Baudelaire
Image:  The Flower Market by The Left Bank.

Sunday Morning

Brunch! At Bistro La Bon.

French Toast ....

And Chocolate Waffles.....

Among other things......

A Little Extra Audrey To Start the Week

Image: Breakfast at Tiffanys.


Happy Friday!

Oh, it's the weekend again!

This is just a quick post to tell everyone to have a great next two days. 

I am, again, without much of a plan.  And as much as I hate to say it (and know I will regret later) I long for fall.  Cool days.  Even rain and grayness.  And boots.  And sweaters. 


I'm taking stuff to Goodwill this weekend.  And reading (book club is next Tuesday and I haven't read the book).  And I have reservations (that's right, reservations) for brunch on Sunday at Bistro La Bon.  Apparently, it's the hottest ticket in town on Sunday....  I'm wondering if it will live up to the hype.  But I love brunch, especially on Sundays, so even if it's not great (and I have no reason to believe it won't be, except that it's, you know, Charlotte) it should be alright....

So have a great weekend.  Thanks to so many new readers who've stopped by this week and left comments (I LOVE COMMENTS).  And thanks to all the old readers, too.  You know that I love you all. 

And I'll see you on Monday. 
Image:  Thistle by Tracy Heyman Photography.

Charming Dilemmas

I have a problem....

On the one hand, I feel flabby and fat and out of shape and I reallllllyyyyyy want to get back with the program.

On the other hand, I want to sit around and eat steak and lots and lots of cupcakes.

It's a problem.
Image:  23 Aug 10 by The Daily Foto  Project.

Random Pretty Man

This week's Random Pretty Man is Chef Eric Ripert....

He's French.  

And I love the way he says "Zee Shreemps". 

A Little Extra Pretty for the Weekend

Image:  High Spirits by Helen Frankenthaler.

Stop Dragging My Heart Around

Have a great weekend!


The Weekly Bean

Hanging out by the front door, waiting for the night and keeping an eye on all the neighbors.

My Formerly Hot Life

This is it!  OMG.  I have found my people, y'all!

How did I not know about this?  Why didn't y'all tell me?  This is what I am - formerly hot!

I'm not old, but I'm not young anymore - I am formerly hot - bless my heart.


I'm so relieved. 

I just bought this book and so far, so good.

I'm especially looking forward to the chapter entitled "The Big Metabolic Fuck You".

I don't really know what it is, but I'm pretty sure it's happening to me. 

This Charming Closet

I want this WHOLE outfit, except I'm too short to pull off this jacket.  But the skirt is a definite possibility - from Talbots.


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image:  Opal by Alicia Bock Photography.

Bless My Heart

I have been asked by a charming reader to comment on the southern propensity to bless the hearts of others.

I view this request with some amount of trepidation.  Not that I don't know how to bless hearts or when to do it, but explaining it, in writing, is a whole other thing.

But I'll try.

Let me begin by saying that, generally, there are three distinct situations in which a southerner may bless another person's heart.  They can be roughly classified as "Sympathy" "Sniping" and "Pity". 

First, there are situations where someone that you know or love truly needs your love and support.  In these situations, we may look deeply at our friend and bless that person's heart in a truly heartfelt and sympathetic way.  I'll give you an example:
Charming friend:  "I got yelled at by my boss, my computer crashed, I gained 5 pounds and now my cable's out!!"

Me:  "Bless your heart."
It's important to get the "Sympathy Bless Your Heart" out of the way and to know right up front that there are sincere times to use it and doing otherwise would be unthinkable.

But these times are not the fun times to bless someone's heart.  And really, those times are not the point of this post.  

The next two examples of blessing hearts are really intrinsic to the true ways of the South.  In a society that is somewhat romanticized for it's manners, the art of the back handed insult often reaches a certain level of deliciousness and the blessing of hearts is a great example of this art form.

In our second example, the "Sniping Bless Your Heart" you just want to say something mean or ugly about somebody but you don't want to burn in hell for it.  Fortunately, you can do this as long as you bless that person's heart.

I will give you some examples:
"Can you believe that that stupid girl is going to marry Skeeter Morgan?  He ain't nothing but stomp down sorry!  And she is too stupid to live!  Bless her heart."
"That check out girl over at the Piggly Wiggly is so bucktoothed she could eat apples through a picket fence.  Bless her heart."
"Well, it's not really that she's ugly.  It's just that she's, well, she's just so plain.  Bless her heart."
You get the drift.  The "Sniping Bless Your Heart" is great when talking about the girl who married your old boyfriend and then gained 50 pounds - bless her heart.  Or your next door neighbor's uppity daughter who went off to college and got so drunk she fell down a flight of steps and now she's in traction for 3 months and will miss cheerleading tryouts - bless her heart.   Or their son.  You know, the one who couldn't get into Carolina and then decided to become a mortician?  Bless his heart.  Basically, anything mean you want to say about somebody else can be said without consequence as long as you bless that person's heart. 

The third instance, the "Pity Bless Your Heart", is sort of a hybrid of the other two.  You use this when you are saying something ugly, but not in a snide way.  Or you may use it to comment on a socially embarrassing or even mortifying situation that you know of - but are not involved in.  You are, you believe, speaking a truth, which may be hurtful but needs to be said.    You can also throw this one in when you just don't have anything else you can say.  This one is a little trickier because head tilts and nuance of voice are very important and can often convey more than the actual words you are saying.  Basically, you are conveying pity, and you are not doing it in a good way.  Fortunately, the "Bless Your Heart" makes you unassailable - as in:  (And this is an actual conversation I overheard in the ladies room of an expensive restaurant)
"Is it true?"
"Yes.  I was standing there waiting for the reception and one of the bridesmaids came walking by carrying this large basin and I heard her say to another guest 'It's for Ashley.  She's gonna wash Ben's feet.'" 
*long pause while both stood, flabbergasted and reliving the horror -then finally*
"Bless her heart!"
(From what I could gather Ben and Ashley were the newly married couple and foot washing (although Biblically sanctioned) was frowned upon during uppity wedding receptions at Myers Park Methodist Church.  The actual "Bless her heart" was not directed at Ashley - but at the Groom's mother - who was not the least bit happy about Ashley's decision to kneel on the ground, in her wedding gown, in front of others, and become subservient to her husband in front of *literally* God and everybody....)
I actually caught myself using this one just yesterday when talking about an unfortunate young man who is on trial in Charlotte for murdering two police officers without provocation and in cold blood.  In my opinion, there really isn't any middle ground.  He is either crazy or just as mean as cat shit, because nobody walks up behind two cops and shoots them in the head for no apparent reason and with no plan of escape.  And he may very well be crazy - but I think he's gonna fry....bless his heart.

The "Pity Bless Your Heart" is also good when talking about distant family members who will never amount to anything - bless their hearts.   Or the nasty little shit of a guy who used to pick on you and throw things at you on the school bus and who's now in jail for felony drunk driving - bless his heart.  Or, you know, Rachel Zoe, who just needs to eat something, anything - bless her heart.  Or your tacky co-worker who's bottle job didn't turn out quite right - bless her heart.

And just in case y'all doubt my ability to do this to myself, just let me tell you that there are times that I am so at the end of my rope that I bless my OWN heart.

My ex once told me I couldn't do that.  But there are a lot of things he didn't think I should do, which is why he's now somebody else's problem.  Bless her heart. 
Image:  Eat Your Heart Out by T. J. Toubeaux.

This Charming Kitchen

That's right, Charming readers -  it's cornbread time!

This is my grandmother's recipe for cornbread, which has served me well.  I make it in her cast iron skillet, which she probably inherited from somebody else and is well over 100 years old.  I suppose you can make corn bread in another type of pan, but I don't know how to do that.  If you are really committed to good corn bread, though, you need to lay your hands on a cast iron skillet.  They are great to have anyway and I use mine for all kinds of stuff, including oven baked french fries and broiled salmon... but I digress.

Back to the cornbread.

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour  (I recommend White Lily if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups butter milk
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or Crisco
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (optional)
  •  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Grease the skillet with the vegetable oil and/or Crisco.  Now, I think this next step is key.  Put the skillet in the oven while it preheats.  You need the oil to get hot. 
  • in a bowl, mix dry ingredients.
  • in a separate bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and butter
  • add buttermilk mixture and cornmeal mixture together and stir until batter is just combined.  If you are using the frozen corn, mix that in.
  • when oven has finished preheating, remove skillet and hot oil and add the batter.  If you've done this right, it should sizzle up and create the beginning of the crust that you are looking for.  If the oil is not hot enough, it will just absorb into the batter and make greasy cornbread.  
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until top is golden brown and sides pull away from the pan. 
This is best served warm, but you can store in an airtight container for a couple of days.  In the south, you can mix your day old cornbread with milk or buttermilk and have it for dessert the next day.

Just sayin.

Charming Words

Dress [dres]

- noun

An outer garment for women and girls, consisting of bodice and skirt in one piece.
Image:  Fashionista by Grey Chickadee.


Tuesday's Girl

"Always do the things you fear the most.  Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar."
Erica Jong

I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)

I know he's a little jerk, but I still love him.  I have high hopes that's he'll grow up soon.

This Charming House

This is the Bond Bar Table, available at Furbish Studio.

I have walked around my house with the tape measure and measured every possible place that I think I might be able to place it.  Alas, it ain't happening. 

That and the car payment......

But some darling, charming, parched person in need of a super cool bar should go buy it!  Immediately, if not sooner. 

And then send me a picture and I'll be jealous. 


Happy Monday

I bought dahlias this weekend at the farmers market.

I took naps.

On Saturday I made cornbread and green beans and new potatoes for dinner.  The green beans were so good I almost couldn't stand it.  And then there was strawberry shortcake for dessert.....

On Sunday I took all my returns back to the mall and then bought new foundation at Neiman Marcus - the Georgio Armani - I'll let you all know how it goes.  I also got for the concealer.  I have decided to accept that I'm now too old for Cover Girl, y'all.

I took the old car to Auto Bell and got it cleaned up and shiny.  Now I just have to get the gunshot wound fixed and I'll be ready to put her on the market.  I'm hoping I can sell it pretty quickly.  It's a good little car.  I hope someone will love it as much as I have.

And speaking of cars, I continue to bond with the new one.  I'm getting more comfortable with it, but one of my friends called me while I was driving down South Boulevard yesterday and I just so happened to be holding my phone in my hand (I was checking email at a stop light).  Anyway, I answered the phone like you normally would, but then she started talking and the bluetooth scared the shit out of me.  So newfangled! I mean, I had totally forgotten about it. 

I also made it all the way through the September issue of Vogue and I'm so excited for fall clothes now!  Chunky heels are back!  And just in time.  I've really missed them! It's also interesting to me that despite being 800 pages, there were only about 10 pages of actual content that I found worth reading.  The rest of it is just ads.  Fun ads, but ads nonetheless. 

I think it's going to be a good week.  Stick with me, we have a good recipe coming up on Wednesda, and a book I'm kind of excited about on Thursday.  And the new blog is coming!  I've seen the "sample blog" and I'm excited for it, so stay tuned!
Image:  Dahlia by Deborah Lynn Akers.

Sunday Morning

We had a catastrophe on Sunday - as in I spilled coffee all over myself and the white chair....

Despite my scalded chest, I sprang into action and was able to get most of it out.

And let this be a lesson to you, when the furniture people ask you if you want to pay extra for the scotch guard, you say "yes".

In any event, I thought I got it all cleaned up but when I turned around, I saw that Mr. Baby Man had had to implement his own emergency response plan.  I think he has discovered certain benefits to being so short.   

A Little Extra Greta Garbo to Start The Week

"There are some who want to be married and others who don't.  I have never had an impulse to go to the altar.  I am a difficult person to lead."
 Greta Garbo
Image:  Myths:  The Star by Andy Warhol, 1981.  
And if you ever have a chance to go see the real thing, run to the museum.  It's one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen in my life.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

Image:  The House of Victor Hugo by Rebecca Plotnick Photography.


Happy Friday!


What am I doing this weekend?

I just don't know.

It has occurred to me that our summer weekends are growing short.  It has also occurred to me that I think I've started each summer weekend with at least one thing that I've had to do - even if it was a nice thing.  And coming up on this weekend, I've mentally started to make several 'to do lists', but I've stopped myself each time.  I simply cannot stand the thought of a plan. 

So, the plan is this -

I'm enjoying this weekend.  I don't know what I'm going to do - I'm just going to float along.

I've had a great, wonderful, super-productive week at work and my office is in in excellent shape - such a happy thing.

And great weeks at work lead to happy, stress free weekends.

So nice.

So y'all take care and enjoy a summer weekend. 

And I'll see you on Monday. 
Image:  Any Given Friday by Barbra Ziemer.

A Little Extra Pretty for the Weekend

Image:  Untitled 1954 by Mark Rothko.

Fashion Report

When you wear this dress:

With these shoes:

And this watch:

While carrying this bag:

And wearing these earrings:
You end up with a big, ole' mess. 

Just because you have nice things and you clearly paid a lot of money for them, does not mean that you can wear them all together at the same time.  We are not, after all, Carrie Bradshaw and Pat Fields doesn't actually live at anybody's house. 

*I'm talking to you, woman in front of me, waiting for a table at Nolen Kitchen*

That is all.

Bad Reputation

Freedy Johnston is here to take us to the weekend. 

'Cause I love him and it's my blog....


The Weekly Bean

The boy has a hard life....

Random Pretty Man

Mr. Harmon is back again....

By popular demand and polite requests.

The September Issue


Celebrity Thoughts

*heavy sigh*

Julia Roberts needs a stylist.  And it's not like she can't afford it.  I mean, really.

If she's already over such an enormous betrayal after such a long relationship and marriage, she never loved him to begin with.  It's only been 4 months.  Geesh. 


Imagine your fiance and then some random guy you work with and then imagine posing for this picture with them. 

I must be getting old because I just find this vulgar, gratuitous and offensive. 

Rachel Zoe is several years younger than I am..... 

*heavy sigh*

She makes me feel like my Aunt Lieta, who had a burning need to feed you until you popped....  I just want to give her green beans (spiked with bacon grease) and cornbread.  

This Charming Closet

I love Michael Kors and I love python print.....

It's the Gansevoort Large East/West Shoulder Satchel. 


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image:  Mountains and Sea, Helen Frankenthaler, 1952

The Secret of Life

Everything matters.

Image:  Blue Like the Sea by Yvette Inufio Photography.

Charming Words

Bal-loon [buh-loon]

- noun

A bag made of thin rubber or other light material, usually brightly colored, inflated with air or some lighter-than-air gas, and used as a children's play thing or as a decoration.

Image: Floating in the Night by Stephanie.

On Dreaming A Little Dream

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."
Gloria Steinem
Image:  Making Wishes in the Dark by Claudia Kay Photo.


Tuesday's Girl

"Sometimes you have to sacrifice your performance for high heels."
Gwen Stefani

Hanging on the Telephone

I can't get this out of my head!

This Charming House

I saw these at the Kate Spade store last week - the Banyan Stripe Highball glasses.  Unfortunately (and perplexingly) they are not on sale at the Kate Spade website (?).  I found them at Amazon.

Whatever -

They are cool and I want them and I can't have them because I don't need them and now I have a car payment.......

*heavy sigh*

But some cool person out there who needs bar wear should really go buy them.


Happy Monday

Happy Monday!

I had a perfectly lovely and very lay around weekend.

I took my incredibly stinky Beans to the spa on Saturday morning and then went off without guilt to enjoy Mama's day off, which included cleaning my house in peace, finishing the laundry and getting my facial with the lovely and incredibly marvelous L.A.

I love L.A.  There just isn't much more to say about it!

On Saturday night I went to dinner with my darling friend, Sarah,  and we tried out Blue, uptown in the Hearst building.  I have to say that I had high expectations for Blue and I was underwhelmed.  The food and the service were wonderful, but the overall vibe wasn't there.  The whole thing was just sort of flat to me.  I really think it was the lighting.  It was too dark and too light at the same time and the result is that my eyes were strained.  I think maybe a candle on the table may have made things a little better.  It was fun to valet park the new wheels, though.

Sunday was a lazy and makeup free day (the best kind of Sunday) and I cooked pinto beans and took a long nap.

And I loved on two clean, fluffy and sweet smelling Beans all day.  I think they're a little sick of it.

Oh, well.

Such are the travails of their lives - to be catered to and doted on and smooched within an inch of their pampered and spoiled lives.  And it is my lot to do it to them.

This is going to be a week from hell (I'm afraid).  My boss is gone for vacation and this usually cues the universe to rain down piles of crazy on my head.  Pray for me, won't you?

Oh, and stay tuned.  We are working on updating the blog so it looks a little nicer around here.  I'm hoping by next week we'll have it all up and running.

And have a Happy Monday!
Image:  Tete a tete by Color Me Gifted.

A Little Extra Marlene Dietrich to Start the Week

Image:  Marlene Dietrich by Milton H. Green, New York 1952.

Sunday Morning

Soaking pintos for Sunday night dinner.....

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

"1000 parties and no work."
F. Scott Fitzgerald on the summer of 1925 - spent in Paris
Image:  Metropolitain by Elgarbo.


Happy Friday!

It's Friday the 13th.

Big Spooky Friday the Thirteenth!

I have several things to do this weekend.  I have to get a facial.  I am taking the Beans to the dog spa because they are stinky dinky stinky Beans. And I am trying out a new (to me) restaurant on Saturday night.  It's uptown and I believe it to be hip, slick and cool.  I'm not sure if it will be all that, but I have lately discovered that I like being uptown at night so I'm looking forward to it.  

And then on Sunday, I am getting the (old) car cleaned up and I have another massage.

My body has been sore and achy all week.  It really sucks.  It takes a lot out of you to get up and go in this heat when your whole body hurts.   I am hoping that the massage will rub the rest of the soreness out.

Pout pout pout.....

Anyway.... have a great weekend.  Try to stay cool.

And I'll see you on Monday.
Image:  Morning Light on White Hydrangea by Lucy Snowe Photography.
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