by adwells on April 17, 2013
People LOVE New Orleans. I mean, really, really, love New Orleans. For some reason, I’ve always struggled with understanding that. My husband kept telling me I just wasn’t seeing what New Orleans really had to offer (as most know, Bourbon Street ain’t it, y’all), so in recent years, he’s made it his mission to make me one of those people. You know, those crazy “New Orleans is the greatest thing since way before sliced bread” people.
Now, I must admit, I’ve started coming around over the years. This past weekend, we took our first weekend away since our sweet baby boy was born and hightailed it to the Big Easy.
A little disclaimer, we’ve both been on a kind of ridiculous diet that has been working, but leaving us feeling a little deprived. So, in the spirit of New Orleans (aka eating and drinking to your heart’s content), we derailed the diet for a weekend of celebrating. While I love crawfish and seafood, other traditional cajun dishes like red beans and rice and jambalaya, I can pretty much take or leave, so we tried a bevy of other non-Cajun places.
Our first stop was Coquette on Magazine Street. Here, we tried to be good. And let me tell you, being good has never tasted so good. We split the Beef Tartare and the BBQ Pork Lettuce Wraps. The Beef Tartare was quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever tasted. No lie. Except for maybe the chicory ice cream we had the next day, but we’ll get to that.
We walked around Magazine and then the Quarter for a while. French Quarter Fest was this weekend, so the city was bubbling, to say the least. I do (and have) love the furniture stores, antique shops, and art galleries. You can find whatever it is you’re looking for.
We stumbled across the Idea Factory, the quirkiest little shop with the funniest yet most intricate woodworkings, like these clocks.
I’ve always wanted a piece of art purchased off the fence at Jackson Square, where you can find some amazing art at great deals among the not so great pieces. I fell in love with a drawing/etching of St. Louis Cathedral by artist Greg Giegucz. It became my early birthday present and I cannot wait to get it framed and hung.
That night, we took a cab over to Bywater in the Ninth Ward and proceeded to fall in love. After the urging of a couple of friends to try out Bacchanal Wine, we did and were head over heels. You walk in and someone helps you pick out the perfect bottle of wine. You can also grab some of the most delicious cheeses from their refrigerator. Walk out back to the patio where you can order food and listen to live jazz. They’ll even grill you some bread to go with the amazing (I cannot stress how amazing) cheese. The atmosphere here is easy and fun and the food, wine, and oh yeah – the cheese – is great. Did I mention that?
Saturday morning, after a literal run to Cafe Du Monde, we had a friend’s wedding in the French Quarter, which was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to. Simple and fun reigned – in the spirit of the city.
The reception was in a private apartment overlooking the Quarter. If you know me or have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m a sucker for good interior design. Make that “undesigned” interior design and I’m all over it. My mouth hit the floor when I walked in this apartment. Crisp white walls with some of the most gorgeous art I’ve ever seen. I was in heaven (in New Orleans, oddly enough). I only wish I had taken more photos. I was in awe, though, and soaking it all in. No time for photos. I’m pitiful.
After the wedding, we tried out Cure, on Freret Street. The Pimm’s cup is great, but may not hold a candle to the bacon wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates. Delish.
We then made our way to Magazine Street for dinner at La Petite Grocery. While dinner was fabulous, dessert is what shone here. We indulged (I mean indulged) in the chocolate cake with homemade Chicory ice cream. That ice cream was the nectar of the gods, y’all. That is no lie.
The next day, we met my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, recent New Orleans residents (read her blog here) for lunch at Cochon Butcher. If you like good meat, this is your place. I had the turkey sandwich, but had a bite of the Cubano (which was so much better!). They also introduced us to a real deal New Orleans snowball from Hansen’s. I got the chocolate cream with a dab of marshmallow on top. If you go to Hansen’s, stop by the great used bookstore next door, too! I bought a book about Zelda Fitzgerald that I can’t wait to devour.
You’re growing on me, Big Easy. I’m starting to see what the fuss is all about. New Orleans didn’t disappoint – definitely not my tastebuds, but maybe my waistline. But it was SO worth it!
by adwells on March 6, 2013
I’m thrilled to have written the cover story for the March issue of Portico Jackson. I’ve been a longtime admirer of Kathy Thibodeaux of Ballet Magnificat!, and hearing her story of faith and following firsthand was really inspiring. If we all would only go out on a limb follow our calling, I can only imagine what the world would be like. Kathy & her husband Keith have made their mark on the world of ballet all around the world and for a greater purpose.
Also for this issue, I wrote a story on the home of a great couple (and friends!)- Jonathan & Gretchen Shull. Their house is a cozy midcentury modern (usually an oxymoron, but not so in this case!) home just around the corner from us. The ins and outs of the renovations are accompanied by a neat little story about the architect.
So pick up a copy or subscribe. What are you waiting for?
by adwells on March 4, 2013
The March/April issue of Mississippi Magazine is home to a story I wrote on Mississippi native and designer who is taking the fashion world by storm, Brooke Atwood. I had the pleasure of meeting Brooke over the Christmas holiday to sit down and talk fashion and how she has gotten where she is today. She is one of those people who is just effortlessly cool and I can only hope to be just a tiny bit like that when I grow up (one day).
by adwells on December 21, 2012
We have an elf, you know, an elf who goes by the name of Bob that reports to Santa each night. He moves around every night (that is if mom and dad aren’t super forgetful) and he can’t be touched or he’ll “lose his magic.” (Who came up with this drama?)
This year, Ry is 8. I’m fully aware that it’s probably the very last Christmas season where she is all about this Santa business, and by default, this Elf business. I kind of had a hunch that she may be onto us and the whole Bob charade, but we’ll get to that.
These girls. They keep me in stitches with their little personalities. The other day after school Ry ran into her room to change out of her uniform and comes out looking like this…
The socks on her hands were my favorite part by far.
So she proceeds to move around the house while instructing me to take pictures and baby sister to “look surprised like you didn’t know where I was going to be in the morning.”
Good gracious I love her. I was convinced the jig was up after this little display, but I was wrong.
The next morning, Bob had perched himself on top of a clock by where the girls hang their backpacks each day. Ry was grabbing hers and Bob catapulted to the tile below. That’s when I knew she is still a firm believer in the Elfin Magic. She backed up in a panic, fell to her knees, scooped up the dog and melted down in her signature drama queen fashion. She.Was.Hysterical. Convinced she had killed the elf and that Charlie was sure to gobble him up.
Being the awesome, and apparently super sympathetic mom that I am, through “I’m laughing so hard I’m crying” tears, I grabbed up my phone to snap a photo to document the moment. Then I assured her, if Bob can fly to the North Pole every night a little knock to the noggin won’t hurt him. And sure enough, he returned.
More fun elf drama – here.
by adwells on December 14, 2012
I’m alive. Blogging often takes the back burner whenever life happens and holy moly, is life happening. That whole going from two to three kids thing isn’t for the faint of heart. So between my babies, my (thankfully) influx of work, and chipping away at a home renovation in this ever-evolving house, life is full, to say the least.
I hope this Christmas season is fun and full for you and yours. Thought I’d pop in with a little stocking stuffer post. I really think shopping for stuffers is better than the big stuff. As a kid (and, who am I kidding, as an adult) I always loved dumping out my stocking for a peek at the contents. So fun. So if you’re stuck on what to stuff, here are a few ideas.
FOR THE KIDDOS:
1. My kids love art and you’d think simple little paintbrushes were made of gold. Can’t beat the price on this set of 20.
2. Popsicles are the nectar of childhood, in my opinion. Make your own (healthier) options with this popsicle mold. Ordered this for my kids today. P’s having her tonsils out the week after Christmas, so it will get put to good use immediately.
3. Let the little ones paint their own toys and give them a chance to get creative with this DIY top & yoyo kit.
4. I kind of want these for myself (much like all of Anthropologie’s kid gifts). Shadow puppets found here.
5. I love a wooden toy (I’m sure you couldn’t tell) and these little handpainted peek-a-boo Waldorf toys are adorable.
FOR A MAN’S MAN:
I’m married to a manly man and I really like finding manly stuff for him. So, if you have your own manly man, take note.
1. Any Southern gentleman knows the importance of a handwritten thank you note – there’s nothing unmanly about it. I love this men’s stationery, complete with “letterpress vintage manly motifs.”
2. Movember, anyone? Grab some stache balm. I grabbed some moustache wax for my handlebar-mustached dad. Shh! Don’t tell.
3. He can utilize that manly stationery and make it all the more special with disposable Varsity fountain pens.
4. This ain’t your mama’s chocolate bar. For the love of bacon, stuff this in his stocking (not mine!).
5. Shaving has become a classy little thing to do. Grab a straight razor for your man from The Art of Shaving.
Here’s my run down for all you guys out there that need some help. You really can’t go wrong with these.
1. Bath balms. I.love.a.bath. It’s my me-time, my only alone time and I savor it. For all of you locals, these are from Musee, which is based in Gluckstadt. These suckers smell divine.
2. For any mom, anything with her kids’ names on them is a win. This necklace is sweet without being cheesy (like those stick figure bumper stickers that come to mind.)
3. This infinity scarf can be dressed up or down and I’m loving that color!
4. One of my favorite scents. She’ll smell good without smelling like she bathed in perfume. This is the perfect clean-smelling crisp scent.
5. I have raved about Lush’s Dream Cream for some time now. That’s because it really is dreamy. And creamy. And I can’t live without it.
by adwells on November 9, 2012
A short little post for your Friday…
When I think of the word “game room,” visions of anything pretty sure aren’t dancing in my head. Gross green pool tables and weird and funky smells are what I think of. But check this out…
I lost my breath for a few minutes when I saw this. It’s part of the Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House by designer Erika Powell. Check out more details on her blog.
by adwells on October 22, 2012
October, like always, has been good to me. We’ve stayed close to home all month, which has been pretty nice. This week and weekend was full of painting pumpkins, roller skating, eating at a gas station (and it was super good, I kid you not!), the pumpkin patch, and baby Jeremiah’s baptism. My cup really runneth over. A few scenes from October:
I have to explain this one. This is that gas station meal I mentioned at Heart & Soul Diner in Brandon, Miss. My husband swore to me it was the best softshell crab sandwich he’d ever had, and he was right. In the Shell station on Hwy. 80!
And it all ended with us finally getting around to starting the second season of Downton last night. Which was just kind of the icing on the cake. Happy October!
by adwells on October 11, 2012
Tis’ the season for warm colors, warm food and cozying up. Etsy’s all over that. My faves for Fall.
1. Flower Bracelet 2. Knitted Mohair Cowl in Fern Green 3. 60s vintage winter white coat 4. Felted wool slippers 5. Ceramic coffee mug in amber 6. Hardwood Bowl 7. Waxed canvas carryall 8. Crochet throw in cornmeal yellow
Happy Fall, Y’all!
by adwells on October 9, 2012
This is a little late, but I realized that I never shared pics from Ry’s birthday party. I’ve always had a thing for the 50s and well, she’s always had a thing for Elvis. So when she said she wanted to have an Elvis party and have everybody wear “those skirts with poodles,” I couldn’t help but excitedly blurt out, “I’ve waited my whole life for this!” I’m kidding. Maybe…ok, not really. This was really fun because Ry was full of very specific ideas, so we got to plan it all together, which makes it that much more special.
Here are a few photos of our Elvis bash:
by adwells on October 5, 2012
Congrats to Molly Griffin for winning The Lovely Bee giveaway! Molly – email me your address – amanda(at)amandadovewells.com. Congrats!
by adwells on October 4, 2012
It’s so easy to get pretty overwhelmed when you move into a house that you have big plans for. Sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode because of all the plans I have for this place (and Pinterest doesn’t help at all). So, in an effort to not totally blow our budget or my sanity, I’m tackling one room at a time… starting with the first one you see when you walk in – the foyer.
I wish I had a before photo of when we first moved in. The foyer was a shade reminiscent of Country Blue. When we moved in, we pretty quickly painted it “Antique White” by Valspar, which is the white we used throughout much of the house.
I waffled back and forth about what to do with the walls to add a little interest. I was thinking a stencil, but decided to go with simple stripes instead on an accent wall and save the stenciling for our half bath (another project – my head really may explode!)
I measured the wall and divided it up evenly. Then, I marked lines up one side of the largest wall of the foyer (where the table sits). This is where a laser level came in to save the day. Originally, I thought I would just make marks and connect them with painter’s tape, but that proved to be pretty tricky. The laser level made the job a cinch.
The white was going to stay my “background” color, so the key was to put the tape outside of the lines that I would paint. The stripes will look like different sizes, but once the paint comes off, they’ll be even if you measured correctly.
Then, I took Valspar’s “Homestead Resort Parlor Taupe” paint and painted inside the bigger sections. I was going for subtle stripes, so I found a color just a few shades darker than our white. Another key to remember is to peel the tape off before the paint dries, as soon as your done with that stripe. Two coats did the trick for me and then a careful peeling to ensure crisp lines. Love the outcome!
So one little task down, now I have a new light fixture ordered and am working on some new art work for above the table and new lampshades (not to mention, we’re saving up for warm hardwood floors instead of the cold tile, so picture that if you can!). Stay tuned!
by adwells on October 1, 2012
It’s no secret that I have a
obsession love of paper, so when sweet-as-pie Laurel Donahoo launched her new line of stationery and notecards, The Lovely Bee, I couldn’t be more excited for her and for us consumers who love all things handmade and pretty. You came to the blog on a good day – Laurel has graciously decided to give one reader a pack of eight assorted, handmade Mississippi notecards.
But first, a little Q&A with the lovely Laurel…
Where did you get the idea to start The Lovely Bee?
I started making stationery years and years ago. I used to just sell it to my friends and my parents’ friends as a way to make just a little extra spending money. It’s always been something that I loved doing but finding time to do it got more and more difficult. So a few months ago I just decided, “You know what? This is something I love to do, and something I’m passionate about. I need to make more time for this.” So I rearranged my life just a little bit, and now I actually have a good amount of time that I can use solely for The Lovely Bee stationery!
What made you take the leap and launch The Lovely Bee?
I remember my mama telling me one time, “One way to know you’ve found “the one” is when, whenever y’all are apart, you’re constantly wondering what he’s doing and where he is.” Not only did I find that little tidbit to be helpful in the world of love, but I think it also comes in handy when talking about work! Since I’ve worked full-time since I graduated college, I always had the thought in the back of my mind of “What if I could really focus in on my stationery and make something happen with that?” Last year for my birthday, my sweet friend Kristen Ley gave me a book called The Handmade Marketplace and encouraged me to find more time to create and sell the notecards she knew I so enjoyed making. Then, my sister-in-law opened a store (Arco Avenue) and told me that if I ever wanted to sell my stationery there, she’d be happy to make that happen. After a lot of thought, prayer, and hard work, I finally got to a point in my life where my next step was clear. The Lovely Bee needed and deserved more time and attention!
Where does the name come from?
When I was trying to come up with a good name for the business I was so passionate about, I thought, “Why not take something else I’m passionate about and use that as a launch pad for the name of the business?” Ever since I took a four-month extended work vacation in Oxford, England back in 2007, bees have completely fascinated me. While in Oxford, my travel buddy and I visited the beautiful Oxford Botanical Gardens on what was apparently “bee day.” Bees were everywhere in this garden, floating from bright flower to bright flower, just minding their own business. I became fascinated just watching them. It also so happened that I had just finished my favorite book of all time, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, which also gave me an appreciation for those little guys. (Another reason this book is so special to me is because, without even knowing it, my mother had been reading the same book back here in Mississippi at the same time I was!) Anyway, to make a long story short, that’s where the “bee” comes from in the name. I just like the word “lovely” and they sounded good together, so I went with it. On the logo, it was my mama’s suggestion to put a laurel wreath around the bee, since Laurel happens to be my name. It just seemed appropriate!
What sets your products apart?
The Lovely Bee stationery is a work of art! Every single card is one of a kind, so you won’t ever find any two that are exactly alike! The embellishment on each card is hand-painted, hand-cut, and hand-mounted. Some of the envelopes are even hand-lined! I put a lot of time into making a product that is different from anything else out there. And I’m always open to feedback and constructive criticism, so if you have some ideas for me, send them my way!
Tell me about the process of creating the stationery itself.
It’s a rather long process, but a fun one! Once I’ve got my cards folded and stamped on the back with The Lovely Bee logo, I’m ready to get rolling on the fun part! I paint a piece of paper with whatever design I’m feeling at the time. Once the design is dry, I flip the paper over and begin tracing which cut-outs I want out of the painted pattern. (I usually try to get several different cut-outs from the same pattern to keep from getting boring!) I then mount the cut-outs onto a contrasting paper to give them a little bit of a border. Then the design goes onto the card, is paired with an envelope, and is packaged! Voila!
What can people expect to come soon from The Lovely Bee?
An Etsy store! I’ve been working on one, but getting everything together takes a while. I’m hoping to have my Etsy store launched in the next few days, with new merchandise continually being added! I’m also working on an exclusive design for Arco Avenue using their colors, as well as some monogram stationery (which will be something totally new for me) for a dear friend who gave me very specific instructions! You can keep up with what I’m working on (plus other things that catch my eye) at The Lovely Bee!
Where can people go to purchase products?
The Lovely Bee products can currently only be purchased at Arco Avenue in The Township in Ridgeland, Mississippi, but as soon as my Etsy store is up and running, that will also be an option.
And finally, tell me briefly about yourself.
I’ve lived in Madison County, Mississippi my whole life. I’m married to my very best friend in the whole wide world, and we have three of the most hilarious dogs ever. Delta and Dover are our twin beagles and Ringo is our (larger than expected) rescue pup. I love dining at local restaurants, great furniture, nail polish, (keeping great furniture and nail polish away from each other, learned after a painful lesson!), coffee, Christmas, cooking, Mississippi State, a great party, and of course, writing letters on handmade stationery. I try to remember to count my blessings every single day and to not sweat the small stuff (because worrying is never a good thing!)
To enter the Lovely Bee giveaway, simply “like” The Lovely Bee on Facebook and leave a comment on this post telling what your favorite thing about Mississippi happens to
bee be. Or, if you’ve never been here, tell me what you imagine it would be! This giveaway will close at noon Central on Thursday, October 4. A winner will be chosen at random and posted on Friday! Good luck!
by adwells on September 24, 2012
I’ve been keeping my eye out for certain pieces for the new house lately, one of which was a desk chair for our little tiny deskspace in our kitchen. Kicker is that it had to be a small chair, because it’s right in prime traffic space through the kitchen. At a recent browsing of Goodwill’s thrift store, I stumbled (quite literally, actually) across this little metal chair marked for $3. Size wise it was exactly what I needed, but what it needed was some love. I told myself it wasn’t anything a good ol’ can of spray paint couldn’t fix, and shelled out my three bucks and away we went.
She got a good coating of this:
But the kicker was this seat. Gross.
I found simple black vinyl, unscrewed the seat, recovered it and screwed it back on. Easy enough!
And here she sits! I love when something inexpensive (in this case, almost free) works out. (And yes, I swiped that pillow from the nursery.) Stay tuned for more ways I’m trying to squeeze every bit of bang out of our buck when it comes to making this house ours… Anybody have any fun DIY projects you’re working on?
by adwells on September 19, 2012
We’re steadily trying to make this place ours…on the cheap. Talk about challenging, but fun all the same. Here’s one little update we took to recently…
First, the nursery needed a few little tweaks. Starting with a new light fixture.
During the “hunt” we came across a steal on a floor lamp from Lowe’s. Something simple for a dark corner in our living room.
And then, in a dramatic turn of events, Nathan broke it shoving it in the back of my car to take home. He tried to fix it, but to no avail.
So I decided to use the simple drum shade that came with it to make something for our little man.
I marked even spaces to paint some stripes on the shade, taped it off with painter’s tape and then went through my stash of acrylic craft paint in search of a mustardy yellow. No luck, but I did have a yellow and a brown and decided I’d mix my own perfect shade.
Then I took to her with a foam paintbrush…
Let her dry and attached to a $10 pendant fixture from Lowe’s.
And there we go. A cheap and easy funky little boy worthy fixture. I imagine he’ll have his own ideas about things like this before too terribly long (if my girls are any indication), so cheap and easy was definitely the way to go…
by adwells on September 12, 2012
Sometimes when you have kids, it becomes hard to do all of the spur of the moment things that you always are wishing you would do, like pick up and head somewhere for a single day, for instance. Before Jeremiah’s birth, we decided that we were going to do “those things” anyway. I think that parents so often feel like they are tied down and confined to home once kids enter the picture. My philosophy is that it’s good for kids to see and do, and who better to do that with than their parents?
So we recently decided that we were going to make a day trip once a month to show our kids the South and make them aware of what it means to be from a place such as this. After all, there is so much culture and so much to see in our own backyard that many of us are simply unaware of. Maybe we’ll stop to go to the bathroom six times in a two-hour drive, maybe they’ll go to bed late, maybe their legs will get tired from walking and we’ll inevitably say, “keep up,” about a million times, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll be making cherished childhood memories that our kids will never forget. Just maybe.
We began our day trip tradition two weekends ago with a trip to what I think of as the most “Southern place on Earth.” Yes, the South has a sorted history, there’s no doubt about that. Learning about that sorted history makes us realize how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go. Natchez, Mississippi is by far one of the best places to get a glimpse of life in the Old South. With plantation homes galore still in tact, you can briefly see what life was like for those proper Southern gentlemen and ladies. I imagine them prancing about in their hoopskirts wiping the glow from their brow. I can envision the old steamboats chugging down the Mighty Mississippi while revelers hooped and hollered from the saloons along the banks. It’s one of those places where you can just imagine. And that’s what I love.
Before our trip, I asked my friend Will, a Natchez native and enthusiast in every sense of the word, what he would do if he only had one day in the town. So we took some of his suggestions and set out to explore Natchez, starting with Longwood Plantation.
What makes Natchez so incredible are the huge antebellum plantation homes. Don’t leave without a tour. Longwood is the “largest octagonal house in America.” Hmmm…who knew? What is so fascinating about Longwood is that construction began on it in 1860 and then a little event known as the Civil War stopped construction in its tracks. Craftsmen from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, under the direction of architect Samuel Sloan were building the house for wealthy cotton planter Haller Nutt and his wife Julia. At the onset of the war, the craftsmen dropped their tools, which can still be seen in the house today, and fled North. Haller recruited local workers to finish the basement level (one of six levels) so his family could take up residence. Haller died, not so wealthy after the war, in 1864 and Julia and her eight children lived in the basement of Longwood until her death in 1897. According to our tour guide, the mansion will forever remain in its unfinished state, as a reminder of past glories and tragedies.
We even ventured out to see the family graveyard, where the Nutts are buried. I only made it halfway because I was stopped in my tracks by this little guy.
Ry and Nathan braved the forest while Parker, the baby and I decided we’d go sit in the air-conditioned bathroom and wait. So wait we did.
We took a nice afternoon stroll around downtown, where we wandered into the First Presbyterian Church. They have a permanent exhibit entitled Natchez in Historic Photographs. The (gigantic!) collection of photographs were taken from as early as 1840 and offer a look into life in Natchez back in the day. Pictures of steamboats and residents are featured and just intrigued me.
You also can’t go to Natchez without a walk along the Mississippi River. The bluffs are gorgeous and on the view is breathtaking.
On our way out of town, we stopped by the Emerald Mound, the second largest temple Indian mound in the United States. The mound is about eight acres big and was used between 1300 and 1600 by the Mississippians, the ancestors of the Natchez Indians.
You can’t go downtown without visiting Darby’s at 410 Main Street. They have lots of gift and home items, but I go for the fudge and with a tiny hint of fall in the air, Darby’s whipped up a batch of pumpkin fudge. Yum…
Natchez is also home to a bevy of antiques stores, which you know is right up my alley. But alas, I actually left this trip with not an antique or thrifted item in tow. Just a bunch of fudge (not that I’m complaining).
Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be right if the most Southern place on Earth didn’t have some good eats, am I right?
We lunched at Mammy’s Cupboard, at 555 Hwy. 61. Built in 1940 by the Gaude’ family, it stands as a quirky landmark that has had many lives as a gas station, restaurant, gift shop and craft center. In 1994, Doris Kemp opened Mammy’s as the restaurant that’s known for delicious Southern home cooking.
It’s impossible to miss, what with the large Mammy doll façade. The girls were most thrilled at the thought of being able to go “under the big skirt.” Despite the oddity that is the building itself, Mammy’s down home vibe is hard to beat. In fact, when we came in to discover that you could only pay with cash or check, we said we’d be back after a visit to the ATM. The owner, with her casual nurturing attitude, responded with, “Well, I hate to inconvenience you like that, you can just mail me a check.” Welcome to Natchez, folks.
When you go to Mammy’s, you have to get a glass of their famous Blueberry Lemonade. My girls were fans.
And then there’s the food. I went for the Sesame Chicken Salad on some of the most scrumptious, light and fluffy homemade bread I’ve ever tasted and a cup of hearty homemade vegetable soup. Delish.
Before we headed out of town, we stopped for an early dinner of sorts. Fat Mama’s Tamales on South Canal Street is a place we never miss when in Natchez. Here, the patio lends the perfect spot to take in the early fall breeze off the Mississippi. The tamales are just spicy enough, the chips are crispy, and the salsa has a kick. But the real showstopper is the Knock You Naked Margarita. I left fully clothed, thankfully, but it really was that good.
When you’re in Natchez, also try -
The Castle Restaurant on the grounds of Dunleith Plantation – 84 Homochitto Street
Biscuits and Blues – 315 Main Street
Pearl Street Pasta – 105 South Pearl Street
Anybody else got any favorite Natchez spots?
by adwells on September 7, 2012
I just got the new Dwell Studio catalog in the mail and each page was met with a gasp and a dogearing of the page (not that the cheap girl that I am will ever break down and buy a $4,000 sofa, but a girl can dream). The Dwell powers that be really outdid themselves this time. I’ve always loved the company for their laid back, yet sophisticated style.
So, without further ado, a little eye candy for your Friday, straight from Dwell Studio’s new fall collection…
Happy weekend, everyone!
by adwells on September 6, 2012
Tonight we celebrated eight sweet years of an even sweeter girl. I can’t believe how fast she’s growing up. She makes me so proud every day. Happy Birthday to a precious girl that forever changed my life. Now, time, would you please slow your roll?
by adwells on September 4, 2012
I have no energy for words today, so here’s a little photo montage for your Tuesday…
(1) She stalks her prey.
(2) Day off due to Hurricane Isaac. All she wanted to do was watch HGTV renovation shows.
(3) Sweet conversations between big sister and little brother.
(4) Preciousness all wrapped up in a little blanket.
(5) Ry’s tadpole officially became a frog.
(6) Quiet moments of a 4 am feeding.
(7) Wedding ready with their cousin.
(8) Getting to know Charlie.
(9) Filling out.
(10) On the banks of the Mighty Mississippi.
(11) Heading to the neighbors for a Labor Day cookout.
These photos were taken using Instagram. Follow me @amandadovewells.
by adwells on August 29, 2012
Guess who just turned six weeks old? I can hardly believe it. He’s such a little angel. In the last week or so, he’s started cooing and trying his hardest to talk to anyone who will listen. It’s just precious, precious, I tell ya!
We’ve been settling into the routine that the beginning of school always brings with it. I’m always glad to have some sort of normalcy, so it has been really nice. Although, last week Nathan was on a trip to Alaska. I was jealous, I won’t lie. But, I’m really glad that he had the opportunity to experience Alaska. Although, when I’m knee deep in diapers and he texts me a picture like this, I find it hard to be happy for him. Kidding. He had a great time and I can’t handle cold weather, so all is well.
We survived the week thanks in large part to my mom who came and stayed to help with the kids. Pretty sure I couldn’t have made it to this week if she hadn’t.
Lately I’ve been feeling really compelled to give my kids some responsibility – for their character and for my sanity – so I’ve become that OCD mom with chore charts in hand. I have to say, it’s amazing to me how a task that usually would have been met with kicking and screaming is now exciting for them when accompanied by the opportunity to make a check mark with a dry erase marker. It’s like magic, I’m telling you.
I’m not above bribery. Not above it at all, so our deal is that if they get a full week’s worth of check marks, we get to do any activity of their choice on the weekend. So far, we have made homemade playdough and gone on a nature scavenger hunt. It’s been great because it’s making me stop and take the time to plan an activity and then indulge in a little quality time with those sweet girls.
For the playdough, we used this recipe. It was easy and the colors turned out great. Plus, it smelled like those scented markers I loved as a kid. My girls were in playdough heaven.
For the nature scavenger hunt, I simply made a list of things for them to find outside, gave them a bag labeled “nature bag” and set them loose. It was such a hit for my little outdoor girls.
Two weeks ago we also headed to Senatobia, Mississippi for Nathan’s little brother’s wedding. Unfortunately, wrangling two flower girls and a newborn limited me on my picture taking. Somehow I didn’t even snap a photo of the bride and groom. But here’s what I did get…
Hope everyone is battening down the hatches in prep for Isaac. I’m looking forward to a rainy afternoon inside. Happy Wednesday!
by adwells on August 14, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my writing. Which is ironic, because it is my love. Nothing makes me happy quite like pounding out some copy.
The August issue of Portico Jackson (they have a great new web site!) features an Interiors piece I wrote on the hoem of Jennifer and David West. They were our neighbors while we lived in the rental house briefly (and they go to our church and are now really sweet friends). The neighborhood is one that is full of old historic homes and they actually built a home to fit the neighborhood. One day when I was picking up my girls from playing at their house, I got to go in and invite myself on a tour (like I often do at people’s houses. I’m sure people love that. Never invite me over if you don’t want me to look around.).
I absolutely fell in love with their house. It’s exactly my favorite type of house – full of character, yet very livable and functional. Plus, it’s clean and white with bright pops of color (which I’m also a sucker for). The house screams “happy” and I of course left with a “you have to let me write about your house!” Check out the August issue of Portico Jackson for a full write up!