Tag Archives: The Smintzes

Bloggers’ Favorite Things Giveaway

Okay, so (hopefully!) you’ve all heard about the AMAZING Bloggers’ Favorite Things Giveaway by now. But to refresh your memory, a bunch of us bloggers got together and all picked out our favorite things in the whole wide world.  And we’re going to give one extremely lucky winner a whole bunch of our favorite things!

Bloggers' Favorite Things

So without further adieu… Here are some of MY very favorite things!

Bloggers' Favorite Things

My Barbour Beadnell jacket: I got mine last year from J.Crew (Barbour for J.Crew).  It has a Liberty of London purple and white lining and I absolutely adore it.  It’s perfect for quail hunting, fire sitting, and is perfectly SoWeGa chic. ;)  Mine is no longer available, but there is still a plain Barbour for J.Crew Beadnell available.  Tip: Barbour doesn’t exactly go on sale very often… but J.Crew does!  I called to find my size in a store, and they allowed me to use the 25% promotion they had going after Christmas last year…
Anything Plaid: Like most other bloggers out there, I’m obsessed with plaid this year.  I am LOVING my new brown plaid scarf that Tana at Plum Classy gifted me.  Cream monogram + brown plaid = one happy girl!
The Laundress Cashmere & Wool Shampoo: This stuff is the jam.  It’s a wee bit pricey, but I purchased a bottle back in undergrad (over 4 years ago!) and it’s still going strong and saves me a fortune in dry cleaning.  Just turn your cashmere and wool sweaters and such inside out, hand wash or wash in your machine on the delicate cycle, dry flat, and be amazed at the softness.  Plus, it has cedar oil in it to make it smell wintery and run off moths.   They even have a blog where they dole out advice on how to remove stains and launder even the most delicate of clothes.  Do yourself a favor many times over and get this now.  The Laundress even sells a wool & cashmere gift bag that would be such an amazing gift for anyone with a quality sweater collection.
Living Proof No Frizz Styling Creme: I realize that I’ve already talked about this stuff, but seriously.  It’s the best goo I’ve ever put in my hair.  Just read the reviews and buy it and live without frizz and regret.
Sassy Wine Stoppers: This jingle bell wine stopper is from C. Wonder, but take your pick.  Attached to a bottle of wine, this is the perfect hostess gift that a lush wino gal like me will always appreciate.
Essie Carry On Nail Polish: The perfect deep burgundy nail polish for when you want to be festive, but also a little emo.
Sid Mashburn Oyster Shell Belt Buckle:  I realize that this is a dude’s belt buckle.  But there is nothing stopping me from purchasing it for myself.  This is the perfect gift for the Southern gentle person in your life, be he a man, or a woman (I hope someone out there gets the Anchorman reference there).
Cast Iron Skillets: no explanation really necessary, right?  They cook your food, but better.  Buy them old, buy them new, read my post on cast iron care, and cook like a boss.
Citizen Rocket High Rise Skinny Jeans: The best jeans.  Ever.  Once you go mom jeans, you never go back.  Really – I gave the rest of mine to Goodwill (and my shorter-torso-ed madre).
The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen Cookbook: (<– affiliate link!)  This has been a really fun cookbook not only to read like a novel, but also to cook from.  They adapt a lot of recipes from the famous Charleston Receipts for modern day kitchens, while explaining a lot of the history behind the recipes, too.  Scuppernong Sangria, anyone?
J.Crew Nightshirt: Super comfortable.  Super appropriate, too.  Which comes in handy during all of this Christmas-Holiday-Family-in-town madness.  Too cold?  Add leggings.  Heck, belt it and call it an outfit and a day.
Michael Kors Watch:  I feel like this is THE Pinterest watch of Christmas 2013.  Everybody wants it.  You know you do, too.
Shearling-Lined Bean Boots:  I got these for Christmas a few years ago, and they are crazy comfortable and warm.  You can fold them down to show some fur and be cute, or you can lace these bad boys up and hike some mountains or sludge through some snow.  So very versatile.
Georgia Cutting Board: I pulled this from one of my favorite shops in Thomasville – Firefly.  But they are all over the Etsy-verse too.  You can buy these in any state-shape you’d like.  With a pretty cheese knife or spreader, it would make an awesome gift.  Or for those of you shopping for yourself… just pick your favorite state and we’ll move on.
You would think I was done… but no.  Polyvore wouldn’t let me clip in some of my favorite things from more, ahem, obscure websites.  So in addition to those above, here are some of my other favorites:
Extra Large Custom Tobacco Slat Cutting Board by Marc Ventry | Oysters & Pearls Tobacco Slat Cutting Board, Edge Detail | Oysters & Pearls
Remember my post on Marc and his amazing cutting boards? Well you guyssssss he got a website!!  So please go check it out.  His cutting boards are TDF and beautiful and wonderful and are one of my very favorite things ever.
UPDATE: Next Wednesday (December 11, 2013) is the last day to order anything from
Southern Restoration Furniture before Christmas.  Just in case anyone is using this as a gift guide. ;)
And not only is my cutting board one of my most favorite things, but so are Marc’s Nunya Beeswax products.  His chapstick is some of the best I’ve ever used, and his hand balm is awesome and perfect for tossing in your purse without worrying about spillage!  He makes them all with beeswax from his own bee hives.  Jack of all trades, he is.
Nunya Beeswax | Oysters & Pearls
And the lucky giveaway winner is also going to get two Nunya Beeswax chapsticks and two hand balms!!  Thanks, Marc!
I first discovered GBCC on Instagram, where all good things happen.  Based out of Birmingham, Carmen hand pours all of these candles herself.  They are beautiful, smell amazing, and they are in wine bottles.  Another perfect gift for the lushes in your life who also like their house to smell nice.
The Green Bottle Candle Company Holiday Pear Candle- Bloggers' Favorite Things Giveaway | Oysters & Pearls
Even better news?  The Green Bottle Candle Company has generously donated a Green Bottle Candle to the giveaway!  So the winner will not only get Rachel’s favorite Capri Blue candle, the winner will also get a Green Bottle Candle in Holiday Pear, too!  Thank you so much, Carmen!
Seriously, y’all, the fabulousness of this giveaway is slaying me.  I’m dead.
And so finally… I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m giving away?  What will the winner get from Oysters & Pearls???
Well, that would be a cast iron skillet, of course.
Bloggers' Favorite Things Giveaway - Win a Cast Iron Skillet! | Oysters & Pearls Win a Size 6 Cast Iron Skillet in the Bloggers' Favorite Things Giveaway! | Oysters & Pearls Win This Cast Iron Skillet in the Bloggers' Favorite Things Giveaway! | Oysters & Pearls
The winner will be receiving an antique 6 inch diameter cast iron skillet that was purchased for just such an occasion from the Antique Annex in Bainbridge, Georgia and seasoned by yours truly.  It’s in great shape and ready for cooking!  Oh, and future winner, just don’t forget to check out my post on how to care for cast iron once you get it!
All right.  If you want to win this skillet, the Green Bottle Candle Company Candle, lots of baking goodies, a Capri Blue Volcano candle, and much, much more…
Enter now.  Good luck and Happy Holidays!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until Next Time

Halloween Recap

All right, boys and girls.  This week’s posts are going to be full of recaps!  To start it off, I’ll recap Thursday night, aka Halloween, aka my birthday eve.  Maggie and Greg (aka The Smintzes) invited us over to hand out candy at their house.  They live in the GO-TO trick or treating ‘hood, and we figured it would be far more entertaining than the few trick or treaters we would probably get.  So we turned off our porch lights and headed over.  Maggie had the cutest painted pumpkins and porch decorations.  Very pin-worthy!

Pretty Painted Pumpkins at The Smintzes | Oysters & Pearls

Pretty Painted Pumpkins & Mums at The Smintzes | Oysters & Pearls

There were probably some scratches in the paint after a few kids ignored the existence of a sidewalk, stairs, pumpkins, and/or candles, and clambered up onto the porch.  But for the most part, they lined up politely to receive their Christmas candy from Greg.

Greg Handing Out Christmas Candy on Halloween | Oysters & Pearls

Yup.  He accidentally bought Christmas candy for the trick or treaters.  It was hilarious.

Children not wearing costumes or failing to say the requisite “Trick or Treat!” got Christmas Dots.  Do y’all hate Dots as much as we all do?  They are pretty much officially the grossest candy found in Trick or Treaters’ baskets.

Greg had an extremely adorable Good Witch as a helper.  She LOVED handing out the candy to other trick or treaters.  She was SO cute!

Cutest Little Good Witch | Oysters & Pearls

I went dressed as a witch, as well.  The Dollar General hooked me up with a tiny witch hat on a headband for $1, and of course, I had my Halloween/birthday eve crunk cup.

Drink Up Witches | Oysters & Pearls

Maggie made some delicious Halloween cocktails for grown up treats, which were fully documented for posterity (see also: Maggie’s Instagram).

A Picture of a Picture of a Halloween Cocktail | Oysters & Pearls

Halloween Bourbon & Apple Cider Cocktail with Cinnamon Meringue | Oysters & Pearls + The Smintzes

I guess that the trick was that it wasn’t whipped cream on top of the bourbon & apple cider.  It was cinnamon meringue!  They were really tasty, and super seasonal, yo.  I’ll link up if Maggie posts a booze recipe!

After treats for children and adults alike, we all sat down for a bowl of Greg’s chili.

Greg's Chili with All the Toppings | Oysters & Pearls + The Smintzes

Naturally, I had to have ALL the toppings on mine.

Greg's Chili, with All The Toppings | Oysters & Pearls + The Smintzes

It was really good!  And I absolutely loved the plethora of topping options.  Toppings included avocado, fritos, green onions, sour cream, hot sauce, shredded cheese, onions, saltines…. I think I got them all.  And  eating chili has Wheat and I in the mood for even MORE chili, so I’m making some this week.  It’s finally cold, so it’s appropriate.  Even if we did just eat it.  Maybe Maggie/Greg and I can do a super seasonal chili recipe link up later on.

We ended the night sitting around the table with more adult treats. :)

Halloween Round Table | Oysters & Pearls

It was an awesome way to spend my birthday eve!  So thanks for having us over, Smintzes!

Until Next Time

Weekend Recap, Maggie’s Tomato Soup, & Goats

So, it’s like, already Tuesday.

Oops.

I just couldn’t get my act together to get a post ready for Monday, for no other reason except that I was just too busy.  In a good way.

Just a warning, this post is all. over. the. place.

Friday we did our usual.  Went to happy hour at the country club, and then ate supper at our friend Lance’s restaurant (Bonnie Blue’s) with Wheat’s parents.

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Yep, that’s my father-in-law, just clowning around with some of the kids at happy hour.  I challenge any of you to beat him in a headstand contest.  To my knowledge, it’s never been done.

Saturday we did the opposite of sleeping in.  Wheat had me up and out of the house by 8:00 a.m. (he’s not human).  We rode out to the farm with quite the agenda.

Check Wheat’s birthday present (aka his new game camera).

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I took that picture in the bottom near Wheat’s camera.  It’s so pretty down there.

And my personal favorite picture from his camera:

Deer Peekaboo | Oysters & Pearls

Peekaboo!

Then we checked my pumpkin patch and picked 9 more pumpkins!  Stopped at Harvest Moon and purchased another pumpkin and gave Marla one of mine.  Developed my dream of being a pumpkin farmer.

Pulled some peanuts, then boiled some peanuts.

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Then had an awesome BBQ at Maggie and Greg’s house.  I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy stuffing my face, but suffice it to say that I’ll be anxiously awaiting her recipe posts.  She made a shaved brussel sprout slaw that made a self-proclaimed brussel sprout hater clean his plate (cough, Wheat, cough).  You should check out her new blog and anxiously await them with me.

And speaking of Maggie, I spent my post-Church Sunday afternoon baking (recipes coming soon!) and making the Cream of Tomato Soup recipe she posted last week, which she adapted from Deb at the Smitten Kitchen, who nabbed it from America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.  We didn’t eat it Sunday night, but we did eat it for lunch yesterday.  And will again today.  And tomorrow.

Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic for Tomato Soup | Oysters & Pearls

Here it is, reposted verbatim, for convenience (but check out her post for step-by-step pictures), and a couple of things I learned in the process:

Maggie’s Cream of Tomato Soup Recipe

Cream of Tomato Soup, from thesmintzes.wordpress.com
(Adapted from Smittenkitchen.com)

2 cans San Marzano whole tomatoes
1.5 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch allspice
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pour the cans of tomatoes out over a colander set on top of a bowl, so that the juices catch in the bowl. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands, then spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the brown sugar atop the tomatoes on the baking sheet. Slice the whole clove of garlic horizontally and place both halves cut side up on the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes and garlic for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat until foamy. Stir in the tomato paste and allspice and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, then add the roasted tomatoes and reserved tomato juices. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes.

Transfer the tomatoes and other solids, along with the roasted garlic cloves, into a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the saucepan, then add the heavy cream and stir well to incorporate. Heat over low until hot, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste (I never need any).

Smitten Kitchen Tomato Soup & Frico'ed Grilled Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

SO GOOD!  Some things I learned whilst making this soup: 1) When you go to squeezing those tomatoes, WATCH OUT.  They have a tendency to explode in your hands and make a tomato-mess all over you and your counter; and 2) an immersion blender makes the blending process a lot easier.  I want to hug mine every time I use it.  Just stick it in the pot when you’re done cooking and blend away.

And because Deb at the Smitten Kitchen is amazing, I also made her frico grilled cheese sandwiches to go along with this delicious soup yesterday for lunch.  Because what is tomato soup without grilled cheese?

Nothing. It’s nothing.

All this really means is that I throw some freshly grated cheddar cheese down on a cast iron skillet, then build a grilled cheese on top, then pick it all up when the cheese is nice and crispy and frico’ed, and put some more cheese under there, then flip the whole thing over.  Butter on the outside, cheese (and a little sriracha for me) on the inside.  Simple and classic grilled cheese & tomato soup.  With a twist.

Smitten Kitchen Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

And finally, in honor of my hometown’s Goat Day on October 19, which I will be missing this year due to my dear friend Sara’s wedding (yayitsalmosthere!!), I’m celebrating from afar this week by using my phenomenal goat napkins from Anthropologie.

Goat Napkin from Anthropologie | Oysters & Pearls

I’ll try to work them into posts all week.  Because I’m a huge nerd, and also because I’m a former brochure covergirl for Goat Day.

It was my dream to share the brochure I was on the cover of with you all today.  But alas, my mom couldn’t find it.  However, she did find two excellent pictures of me with goats.

Natalie & Goat | Oysters & Pearls

Natalie & Billy Goat | Oysters & Pearls copy

Yes, goats and I go way back.  All things Goat will be taking place at Sam Atkins Park in Blountstown, Florida, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Central) on Saturday, October 19th.  There’s even a Pioneer Settlement, with a real blacksmith and shop, tons of food, reenactments, and lots more.  For further details, here’s {an article} by my very own cousin, Kristy!

Promote the Goat, y’all.

Until Next Time