Thursday, August 29, 2013

Southern Send-Off: Pimento Cheese

Well we did it, we made it to Friday folks! Tomorrow is the big day - the kick off to the 2013 college football season! AND I AM SO EXCITED! Go Clemson Tigers!
photo via
Now that I am finished with that pity party I threw myself yesterday, I am on to bigger and better things starting with my brother's recipe for pimento cheese. This recipe is a must have for any southern gal because it is quick, easy and oh so southernly delicious!

here is a list of what you will need:
1 lb of grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 lb of grated pepper jack
1 4oz can of diced pimentos
1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon of granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1/2 tablespoon of green pepper sauce
1 cup mayo
1 hot pepper optional

side note: I buy the big blocks of cheese and put them into a food processor because I don't like to eat the shredded stuff you buy in the grocery store - there is a reason why the prepackaged cheese doesn't stick together! Think about it... ok I am off my soap box now! 

here is the really hard recipe:
Put all ingredients into a big bowl and mix together well! Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and then enjoy!

We are taking this delicious snack with us to our Clemson Tailgate. It travels super well in a cold cooler and can defiantly be made a couple nights in advance. I plan on serving with carrots and celery sticks but pita or pretzel chips would be delish too! 

I also wanted to give you a sneak peek of the amazing cookies I had made for the tailgate this weekend. My new obsession Kate over at Kooking in Kate's Kitchen, is a cookie mastermind and also a BIG Penn State fan. Even with her love for Penn State she put a lot of love and attention in to these cuties! Thanks Kate and def check her out!

Needless to say, Reid and I are packed and ready to roll out when the clock hits 5:00 this afternoon. Wish us luck as we take on 95 South and a 6 hour car drive! I cannot wait to fill you in on all the tailgate details next week!

Good luck to all your teams out there! I hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

till later loves!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Can of Crazy!

Hey Loves! I am going to keep this post short and sweet since I have been neglecting my wifely house keeping duties annnnnnnd my parents are coming to stay tomorrow to watch our dogs! Oops! Guess I should change the sheets in the guest bedroom!
Tuggy is not helping to clean up - clown!
Why is it when you are about to head out of town a can of crazy opens up and you now have a million and one things on your already too long "to do" list? Ugh and of course Wednesday was one of those days at work...just cra cra nuts!  I had a whole fun tailgate post planned for today but by the time I sat down to collect my thoughts and put the finishing touches on it last night,  I found this post escaping through my fingers! I think I just needed a moment alone to vent! Hello blog! Where have you been all my life! 

Reid and I were also super busy last night preparing for our rode trip to South Carolina. He and I lugged all our tailgating gear out to the kitchen to await the final inspection of what goes and what stays. Man, we really have a lot of stuff! But I did get a chance to organize and re-pack everything so now it is officially ready to go!
this is before I pulled everything out and re-packed it
I also attempted to get through my mountain of laundry but that did not happen. I can receive half a gold star on my chore chart because I got through 3 of the 5 loads! That's right, 5 loads! 

All of this happened after a late night work meeting followed by a 6:30 Junior League meeting...  at 9:36pm I rewarded myself with a big bowl of Lucky Charms and sat down to work on Virginia Sweet. Phew! Thank goodness today is a brand new day!

So don't loose faith in me my sweet readers - I promise to reward you tomorrow with my brothers pimento cheese recipe! It really is the perfect tailgate treat and OH so southern. It travels well and it is a grand shade of ORANGE! 

xoxo Loves! 


tailgate with a touch of southern class!

Happy Wednesday Loves!

Today Virginia Sweet is linking up with Newlyweds:North for a Kick Off Week Celebration! Stephanie over at N:N is actually a member of our Clemson Family and we will be seeing each other in 3 short days along with the rest of our crazy bunch! She and her husband are on a big adventure up North but still share the same passion for all things Southern.

Ashley, another member of the Clemson Family, and I have been hard at work this summer planning, plotting and pinning ideas to make this year's first game the best tailgate yet. Just the other day we were tossing around ideas of how to add a touch of southern class to our tailgate. With her blessing, I thought I would share some of our favs here with you! 

not everything has to be Clemson...
Oh lord, all you Clemson fans don't kill me but not everything has to have a tiger paw on it - right? 
A little tiger paw goes a long way! You can pull in your school's colors in other ways. Like really fun fabric for your tailgating table or a monogrammed tablecloth! Simple touches and moderation will keep your table and tailgate looking classy and refined!

make your self at home
Since you really do spend more time at the tailgate than actually at the game it is important to add some touches of home. Any good southern host wants their guest to be comfy, don't they?
Throw some color coordinated pillows into your tailgating chairs - not only does it add a great pop of color but also makes a great little spot for an afternoon nap if you have had too much gin! Who me??? NEVER! But really - don't you think that looks inviting??
Add some fun frames to the table in your school's colors! These cuties are in my living room and I did not feel like changing out the pictures but wouldn't it be cute to put pics from previous tailgates in them??

be a little formal, it's ok, we're all adults here!
 Dust off some of those wedding presents that never get used and bring them along!
Adding little touches of silver will bring an instant feel of southern hospitality and class! I love the idea of using the bar tool set for drinks and the silver drink tub to house our never ending supply of champagne! After all, you are having about 20 of your closest friends over for bunch SO why not break out the good stuff?

I really do owe Ashley a big shout out as she has been my partner in crime all summer and I cannot wait for all of our hard work to pay off on Saturday! Thanks also to Andrew (her hubby) and Reid (mine) for putting up with the two of us this summer going crazy about tailgating!! 
this is from the a LONG time ago but a fav of mine!
Reid, Caroline, Ashley and Andrew
Go Tigers!!! 
Later Loves, 

ps... If you popped over from Newlyweds: North be sure to check out my other Tailgating posts! It's really great to have y'all here!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Game Day Dress - Clemson vs UGA!

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone's week is off to a great start! I am counting down the days till Friday when we take off to South Carolina for the big game day weekend to watch the Clemson Tigers play the Georgia Bulldogs!

I am so excited to share my game day outfit with y'all! Here's the breakdown of the goods:

I bought this little couture dress from the Mamie girls of They had the cutest booth set up at the Richmond Bizarre Bazar in April and I could not resist! The second I saw this dress I knew it would be perfect for Clemson's first game. I love that it is an ivory color - so classic for Labor Day weekend and could I ask for anything better than little orange palm trees? Hello South Carolina!
You should def check out their website, they have some great pieces and all of their "hand picked" clothes are under $100.

monogramed sun hat:
up close and personal - are't those little palms cute?
What kind of southern gal would I be without something monogramed on at our tailgate? I received this sunhat as a belated present for my Monograms and Mimosa bridal shower and I just love it! It makes me feel so feminine and classy! It also keeps the sun off my shoulders while I am not under the tents!

sunscreen and shades:
So, if you know me, you know that I am not really much on wearing makeup (except on special occasions) but I am a firm believer in wearing sunscreen! I am a pretty pale girl and love to lather on 30 spf if I am out in the sun for more than 30 minutes. Shades also are.a.must! That sun can be brutal in the South!

no explanation needed! Pretty sure that most have a pair (or two) laying around!

the little things:
Since it is still August, I wanted to keep my jewelry easy and light! I am going with a gold bracelet that I bought myself as a birthday present at C. Wonder in Atlanta and my pearls. Tip! Don't wear anything too constricting or heavy - it can get hot and sticky out there and the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable. On the flip side, we are going to be out at this tailgate/game from 10am till close to midnight (Clemson has the 8pm time slot this year - NOW you know why we are sooooooo excied!) and I get cold at the slightest little breeze. I rarely go anywhere without a Jackie Cardigan so I def have my Clemson orange one already packed!

Well, I think that about covers it other than my undergarment! I am looking forward to posting some fun pics from the game and tailgate to show off the ensemble!

Check back tomorrow - I am linking up with another one of my Clemson Clan on her blog to help celebrate this kick off week!

till tomorrow loves!


oh yea! I am not advertising for any of the above mentions - I just love them! Oh and if you are lovin this blog leave me a sweet note or follow me!!! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tailgating Tips from the Mrs

Happy Monday Loves! 

Do you know what this week marks? I am sure most of you do, but if not, it is the first week of college football! Now, if you would have asked me 5 years ago I would have said ummmm... the last week of summer?? I can thank my crazy tiger lovin hubby for all of my cra cra Clemson football passion. Hah! I did not even go to Clemson but love* it just the same! 

As you know, this week I will be blogging all about southern tailgating...Clemson style!!!...but I will not be offended if you change the color scheme to match your home team! So now I ask y'all, are you ready for some football?

me waiting for the parade of tigers, a made up name but def one of my fav traditions!
I have compiled 3 key tips to help you kickoff an awesome tailgate:

 tip 1: tailgate with your best buds
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful Clemson Family and have the best time when we are all together! Most of these boys have known each other since high school and this group of 7 have grown up along side each other into wonderful men! These 7 are all either married or engaged to great gals (thus my entry into the club) and if it weren't for these ladies I would never love Clemson as much as I do. Isn't there a southern saying that goes something like "behind every good man is a strong woman".... well we have to be to put up with these clowns when they all get together! 
all of the wives!
tip 2: whip your tailgate bucket into shape
Our tailgate bucket has grown over the last 4 years to include a L.L.Bean bag, big plastic tote and the original orange bucket. It seems the amount of items that we need grows just a little each year! 
Here are some of the esstential items that we keep in our collection:
tiger tail for the back of the car - clearly a must have
hand sanitizer as one can never have enough
paper towels, trash bags and toilet paper (for those nasty porta-potties) 
koozies and tervis tumblers to keep your drinks cold on those hot game days
orange duct tape, lets be honest, you never know when you will need it
serving trays for your awesome tailgating food 
miscellaneous items such as grilling essentials, lighter, tape, napkins, paper plates and scissors

tip 3: tailgate prep
How can you have a successful tailgate without a dedicated day of prep? We spent most of yesterday running errands and pulling out all of our tailgating gear. Man, I am so glad we did because I think I left a roadie mimosa in my Tervis Tumbler from the final game last year - oops! Nevertheless, take this opportunity to restock your tailgate bucket (if you already have one, if not invest in one), wash up your monogramed cups and dishes, make sure your gear is in working order and set it aside so it is ready to rock and roll when you need to pack the car.

Some of our Clemson family sent pictures as they were preforming their tailgate prep! 
Laura going through her tailgating bucket

Andrew dusting off those corn hole boards 

Check in tomorrow for more tailgating ideas from the Mrs! 


*disclaimer - Don't worry Mom, Dad and Bro, I still have a big place in my heart for UVA!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Southern Send-off: Clemson Tailgating

Happy Friday y'all!

Did you know it is only 8 more days till the first offical day of college football? I am thrilled to be heading down to South Carolina next weekend to watch Clemson play/beat the University of Georgia in their season opener. We are so lucky to not only have a night game but ESPN Game Day is going to be on campus for the big event! 

Now I did not go to Clemson, I went to a very small college that did not have a football team so my love for this team comes solely from my husband who lives, eats and sleeps Clemson. What can I say?  I totally drank the orange cool aid and I really love a good southern Clemson gentleman!

AND What kind of southerner would I be if I did not love a good tailgate? I have been planning, along with my good friend Ashley, for the Clemson/UGA game for the entire summer. Next week on Virginia Sweet will be jammed packed with tailgating ideas; including my game day outfit (that I admittedly bought in April for the first game day),  tablescape ideas, tailgating menus, and small details that only a southerner would think of! 

I also wanted to point out that southerners take this tailgating thing very seriously, especially at Clemson. I read here, that Clemson actually won the best tailgating in the South in 2012. That is a pretty big deal, considering all the great southern colleges and universities out there! 


So join me next week as we kick off tailgating season with a tribute to true southern tailgating - Clemson Style! 

Have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo, CAD 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

home sweet home take two, the dining room

Hey y'all! Ready to pick up where we left off yesterday? Well, let's get right into it, I think our next stop will be one of my favorite rooms in the house because I love love love it!

the dining room

So, as you will see most of my downstairs is some shade of gray so in the dining room I wanted to be a little more bold. Don't worry, I still went with a shade of gray, just a much darker one. I was having a hard time finding the perfect inspiration for this room until my sister-in-law introduced me to Williams and Sherrill, a wonderful fabric and home decorating store in Richmond. 

I was in love the second I stepped foot in the store and knew that this was a very bad idea for my pocket book! Any-who, it was there that I found this wonderful pale blue fabric with birds in really fun colors. The blue/gray color of the fabric really works nicely with the color in the kitchen and living room and the birds add just the perfect pop of color to compliment my corner cabinet full of my grandmother's china. 

new dining room!
I pulled the gray/navy color out of the fabric for the paint and ended up with Peppercorn by drum roll please... Sherwin Williams - who woulda thought?? Reid actually did the board and batton beneath the chairrail himself and I love the way it turned out! 

Reid working on the board and batton
Random fact: Reid and I actually enjoy antique shopping as a couple! We used to go to this awesome antique stop in Charlotte called the Sleepy Poet about every other Sunday to walk off brunch and day dream. Now that we own a house, he is not as egar to go antiquing since we usually come home with the most random stuff but we have had some really good finds in Richmond. We found our 4 dining room chairs and head chairs at West End Antiques and our table at Impulse. Impulse is this awesome consignment store that is literately in walking distance to my house... Trouble with a capital T!   

Here is a snapshot of the chairs we bought for the ends of our table. I am in the process of recovering them in the gray and white fabric (they were an awful yellow fuzzy fabric) - also a great find on sale at Williams and Sherrill! Well,  when I say "process" what I really mean is it has taken me 6 months to do one back, but HEY who is counting? We are also planning on painting the bottom of the table and chairs below but really not sure what colors yet? Got any ideas???

I spy a little boo! 
Overall, I am really excited about the way this room is turning out! We still have some items on my "to-do list" to check off but we are off to a great start. 

Here is my "to-do" list for the dining room:

1. touch up paint
2. plantation blides
3. paint chairs and table 
4. finally hang up wedding pictures
5. finish recovering the chairs
6. install a fabulous chandelier in place of that cra cra brass one

oh wait! Didn't you want to see what our dining room looked like before we moved in?? 

How do you think we did? 

much love friends! 


ps...while you are here, why don't y'all follow me? It is easy, just look over to the right!! 

home sweet home, take one

Happy Wednesday Y'all! 

As promised from Monday's post,  I am working on the before and after shots of my home and thought I would start with the kitchen and breakfast nook. Mainly I wanted to start with these rooms because my house just got cleaned yesterday and they get the messiest the fastest! 

So, are you ready to begin the tour? 
(Please know that all before pictures were taken while the previous owners still lived in the house!) 

the breakfast nook

this was our breakfast nook before... the whole kitchen was this yellow color! 
We spent a lot of time deciding what color to paint this room. First, we had to cover up this crazy mustard yellow color, second, we had a lot of wood going on in this room so the paint color had to be light and neutral and third it opens right into our kitchen so whatever color we choose was going in there as well!

all of our paint samples
After many, many, many samples we landed on the perfect color - Sherwin Williams Rainwashed. It is a lovely shade of blue/grey and really complements the wood floors and dark wood antiques. We, and I mean Reid when I say we, repainted our entire downstairs ourselves. This room of our house is vaulted so it was no easy task but what can I say - I have a handy husband
our new breakfast nook
All the furniture in this room are antiques, dark oak/wood antiques which makes it sorta monotone but I love them. Isn't that pie safe amazing, it orginally belonged to my parents who brought it back from their adventures in England. They re-did their kitchen a couple years ago and no longer had room for it - SO lucky me because lord knows I need the storage!! The table came out of my great Aunt Jane's house where it was loved and used for a long time. The desk below that we use as a mail center was a random antique that used to be in my room as a little girl. And yes, I did paint that picture at one of those "let's get together, drink wine and paint by numbers type of thing."

I spy my little nephew!!
This room opens right into our kitchen and is divided by a peninsula that houses our sink and makes a perfect place for our monogramed theme bar! 

can anyone say "wedding presents?"
the kitchen

here she is before...
and here she is after!
We really have some storage issues in our kitchen because it is really small! Reid gets after me all the time that we have too much stuff, well, what's a girl to do? I will get it organized at some point but for now I am more excited about ordering our new kitchen lighting and installing our new fun touch faucet for the sink!  Yay for working in the plumbing and lighting business!! 

We still have some things to do in both of these rooms to make them complete and I, master of list making, jotted down a few of them below so you can help keep track:

1. find a rugs for the bnook and kitchen that corresponds but does not match (this will have to wait till Tug is done being a puppy)
2. add fun curtains for the window in bnook
3. new light for kitchen and bnook
4. plantation blindes for both spaces
5. finish painting all the trim work
6. hang some dang pictures on the wall! (an overall must for all the rooms, I just have such a hard time committing!)
7. reorganize everything (this is Reid's job clearly)
8. install new faucet (this is a plumber's job clearly)

Check back tomorrow for a peek of our living room! 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

oh Sampson, you little boo you!

So truth, hah, I sat down last night to compose a completely different post than what I ended up writing... I started to do a before and after of our house but then this little guy crawled into my lap and laid right on my computer. 
how do you make this little cutie move?
Oh Sampson, you pretty much stole my heart the first day I met you and you truly were my first love. We have been together for 10 years as of this summer and even with your gray hair you still make me smile everyday. So why not dedicate an entire post to you?

The moment I heard that Kristen (my college roommate of three years) and I were going to live off campus our Junior year my dog hunt began... I was all over the SPCA websites and looking for the perfect pooch. I came across a random listing for a part schnauzer, part yorkie mix named Toto with no picture attached. Having grown up with a couple family members who were schnauzers I was immediately planning a trip that very weekend to the shelter to visit this said Toto. My parents again tagged along, they are always doing that, and tried to talk me out of getting this dog. When we pulled up to this sorta sketching looking shelter we found this practically bald, mange infested, mean, growling dog that had been passed around from shelter to shelter for over 6 months. So there I was, in that nasty shelter where Toto was miserable Town, USofA and being a complete terror and what did I do? Well, I took him home of course! I did ask the lady if she would hold my check for a week because I did not know what I was getting myself into. But when we put this dog in the car, he immediately jumped into the front seat and looked back at us like "are you clowns coming or what?" Yup, I knew, in that instant that this dog was going to be apart of my life for a long time.

He got a new name of course, Sampson, and a much needed bath and time for his hair to grow back and then became just another member of our family. Now, I so wish I could say that he is the most wonderful dog that anyone could ask for, so great with children, and just really happy go lucky...but sadly he is not. I swear Sampson is a person trapped in a dogs body and is highly annoyed by his silly mommy trying to tell him what to do. He is grumpster and does not like strangers, children, bikes, children on bikes, adults on bikes, anything with wheels, delivery men, toll booth workers, his sister Tuggy...the list really could go on and on.

Sampson does have some awesome qualties about him. He is a super classy fellow and loves to wear a good bow tie every now and then, he is an excellent singer and very good at balancing like a badger on his back legs! He much prefers to sleep on our bed or couch than on the floor, only eats his dinner we Reid and I eat ours and pretty much runs our house.

Even with all his craziness he is our "little boo", a favorite nickname that Reid and I have for him, and we love him to pieces. In fact Reid and Sampson have a very special bond, I like to think that they choose each other. I am pretty sure that the reason Reid asked me to marry him is to secure his link to Sampson forever.

We love you, you old man, more than words can ever express! You make us so happy and we cannot wait to get home everyday to see you!

xoxo Sammie-Boo - We love you!

Monday, August 19, 2013

home sweet home

Welcome to our home!
Happy Monday y'all!  I thought it might be fun this week to share our home on Virginia Sweet so that all our family and friends who follow from far away can come for a quick visit!

Reid and I bought our home in October of 2012, which was a very busy time for us as we were preparing for our December wedding but we did it and moved in on Reid's birthday! (Reid I promise to get you something much better than movers this year for your birthday)
Last summer we looked and looked at houses in the Willow Lawn area of Richmond with our awesome Realtor Corbin Ryland but every time we fell in love with a house it either sold before we had a chance to go see it or we got into a crazy bidding war. We literally were about to give up when Corbin sent us an email saying that we should take a look at this house, it was outside of where we had been looking but it had a walk in closet in the master and granite countertops. 
say no more....a walk in closet in the master? Yes please!
At our rental house on Patterson, I had been living out of three closets all about the size of a shoe box and most of the homes we had been looking at were not much better. So for this one reason we went to go look at this house. 
My parents happened to be visiting that day when Corbin took us through the house and I must say that we were excited. The house was built in the 90's and was so different than have we thought we wanted. It was right over the county line, which Reid LOVED since city taxes are higher and in walking distance to an awesome elementary school. It was still close to everything and just a stone's throw away from my little nephew's house. It had 3 bedrooms and a fenced in yard for our then one dog Sampson. It was just what were looking for and we put an offer in that day! 
just enough room for Sam and Tug to play! 
With a little negotiating, ok a lot of negotiating, a big check for the downpayment, the house was ours!
We love our almost 1500 sqft home and it is just perfect for our 5-7 year plan. (Reid will not even let me think about another house for 4 more years!) We are quickly approaching the one year anniversary of being in our home and although I still need to unpack some things, we think the house is coming along nicely. 
I am excited to show you the changes we have made to our little piece of the world and want to thank our friend/reatlor Corbin for making us look outside of the box!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Southern Send-off: Southern Girls and their Pearls

some of my favorite pieces! 
What is it about pearls that just screams "hey look at me y'all, I'm a southern girl!"? 

Is it the fact that pearls add just the right touch of southern sass and class to any outfit? Or is it that most pearls have a wonderfully southern story behind them? Or every time a I wear my pearls, they serve as a gentle reminder of a special event in my life? 

My most favorite pieces have got to be my pearl studs, bracelet and garnet and pearl necklace.

A pair of pearl stud earrings a can take a girl a long way with any outfit or event. Throw on your studs with any sundress or dress them up with that LBD (little black dress) and a fun, festive, big, chunky necklace. I pretty much wear them everyday, one because I am lazy and they hang out on my night stand and two, they just go with everything!

These little beauties were given to me by my parents for my 25th birthday. They wanted to give me something special, something that I could pass down to my daughter or (god help me if I have all boys) daughter-in-law one day. I love them, they are so classic and such a staple in my life!  

ahh, I see you have met my pearl bracelet! This old gal is a true piece of family history and held my hand during my wedding.  

The pearls and clasp came from an old pearl chocker that belonged to my great aunt Lucille, more affectionately known as Aunt Tooter.When I inherited this piece she was missing her third when I got married my mother had her restrung and made into a bracelet. Isn't she something? Her clasp is missing a stone or two but I love her just the same!  

The last lovely I will mention are the pearls my parents gave me for my high school graduation. A single strand of pearls is another true classic and a must have in any collection. This strand is just a little bit more special since it has a single garnet in the center - the garnet was my favorite stone in high school and just so happened to be the school colors, red and white. 

Are you seeing a trend here, clearly my parents really like to give me jewelry and who am I to stop them? I know that really my mother is a sap about family heirlooms and special occasions so pearls are the natural gift for any true southern girl. 

These pieces of jewelry have such wonderful stories behind them and many more memories to make. They are like any true southern girl, rooted in the past but ready for whatever the future may hold!  

So next time you are rooting around your jewelry box for inspiration, check out your pearls - they will never steer you wrong and are always a true southern classic! 

Have a great weekend y'all!!! 

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