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Sally Bell’s

There is something very unique about the South. There’s an essence to the people, to the way of life, to the general mannerisms. The South is a place that my heart yearns for when I’m not there. As there is everywhere, the South has a lot of off the beaten path joints and those special places that relate just to your town. Everyone has their favourite diner, their favourite hang out. You know who has the best sweet tea, where to the find the fluffiest melt in your mouth biscuits and who has the best pecan pie as close as you can get to tasting like your Mama’s!

A few months ago while reading an article, I discovered a Virginia treasure. Sally Bell’s, in Richmond, has been in business for over 92 years! Even more incredible then their longevity is the fact that Sally Bell’s was started after the meeting of two ladies at the Richmond Exchange for Women’s Work. An organisation that allowed women to earn money for selling their wares and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Just as important in 1883 as it is today. They’ve been at their present location since the 1920’s and not too long ago, after VCU purchased their property they moved to a new spot. In that move they discovered numerous pieces of their history stored away in the nooks and crannies of cabinets, drawers and hutches, they hope to put these on display in their new home.

Sally Bell’s is a place near and dear to many people’s hearts. That is clearly evident by not only the patrons that have been coming for generations, but also the people who work there. They are a family and they put heart and soul into their food. Their box lunches would be a treat for sure! I couldn’t imagine anything better. It’s nice to know that as the world continues to march forward, places like this still exist. The nostalgia they carry forward is so very important to who we were, where we are going, what we want to become and what we don’t want to lose value in.

I loved watching these ladies put the lunches together. What is it about something wrapped in wax paper? Maybe it just conjures up a certain time in my childhood for me, watching my mother and grandmothers wrap cakes or sandwiches in a layer of wax paper. The crinkly sound it creates always makes me think of a scene in Driving Miss Daisy, where Jessica Tandy prepares a lunch for her and Hoke. She wraps their lunch in wax paper and tucks it into a shoebox so nothing gets crushed. That sound the paper makes as she folds the corners in and later as they eat by the roadside, drinking Coca-Colas from a glass bottle, Hoke crushes up the wax paper that housed his deviled egg. The crinkly, crunchy, soft sound that it makes, I love that noise.

One day, I’m making a road trip to Sally Bell’s. Besides my boxed lunch, I think I will also be walking out with a box of cupcakes, because it just wouldn’t seem fitting to not do that!

Below are three brief, yet interesting articles on Sally Bell’s, worth a read:

Martha Crowe Jones & Marcyne Jones

Richmond Magazine: First Look: The New Sally Bell’s

Eater: A Boxed Lunch That Has People Lining Up at 6 a.m.

The Grand Total

Since my last post about reorganising the closets, we’ve given away a whole lot more! The grand total now stands at 10 garbage bags and one large shopping bag worth of clothing, fabric, towels and home accessories. Decluttering is an amazing thing, it frees the space and it frees you. I haven’t missed anything that we have donated. I’m truly enjoying the bits and pieces we decided to keep. I took great pleasure in making a loaf of bread yesterday, on countertops that were practically devoid of clutter. It’s very cathartic and something this little dollhouse and us were desperately in need of.

Six Bags

Six bags. Six garbage bags: each one filled to the brim with clothes that are now too big for us, since we started running. Six garbage bags filled with clothes, shoes and winter coats that were swallowing us whole. Six garbage bags that we’ve donated to charity.

The house feels empty; in an odd way. No one but us ever sees what’s behind the closet doors or inside the dresser. Now, they are incredibly streamlined. Everything has been organised so it is easily visible when you open the drawer. It feels empty, but it feels so good. And we have a list of a few items that need to be replaced, in smaller sizes.  It was a mentally and physically exhausting process that took us two days to complete.

Nevertheless, I feel exhilarated!

The Last Monday

Today is the last Monday before Christmas. How can that be? December seems to be flying right past us, even though we are drinking up every single drop.

Last night we watched Home Alone, while I wrapped up a secret Santa present and finished the last of our Christmas cards. I was missing two addresses and between my Mom and my sister, they had me covered and happily forwarded me the details.  Mr. Michie sat at the table with me and wrote out his cards for work. We drank tea and ate the most delicious brownies, sent to me by a kindred spirit.

Mr. Michie also very graciously gave me about three hours of his time yesterday, helping me rework my blog. It’s been a long time, since I’ve done some behind the scenes hacking and I was happy to have expert help on hand. So now, no matter what updates are thrown my way, everything should just stay put! I might change a few more things, but for now, I’m satisfied.

This morning, I ran to the grocery store after a frosty 6 mile walk and couldn’t resist the fresh rolls they were putting out. They were still warm! So, off I meandered home to eat a warm roll with butter and make a cinnamon hot chocolate for breakfast. Our lights are glowing, the candles are lit, my Christmas potpourri is simmering away on the stove and Christmas music is playing throughout the house. I’m so very happy!

Friday

I’m late out for my walk this morning. I normally go when it’s still dark, but I got caught up in doing things around the house. I’ve mopped the bathroom and kitchen floors and replied to a few e-mails and chit-chatted with my postmen after he knocked on our door with a bundle of parcels in his hands for us. It is one of those days where I can’t seem to get ahead. I’m doing things, but that creates another pile of items to be sorted. I’ll get there in the end.

It’s damp outside and raining, it feels like a Friday. The air has that feeling. I’ve been singing along to Christmas tunes while I clean. It makes my heart happy. The weekend is up for grabs. We have a few errands to run on Saturday and I’m working on a grocery list for the week ahead. I have a new recipe that I want to try from a cookbook that Mr. Michie surprised me with.

Mr. Michie had a late school night last night and so when he got home, we ate breakfast for dinner. I made brown sugar and maple syrup roasted apples and sausages with clementine zest, cheese grits and a pan of buttermilk biscuits. He was very happy. After dinner we cozied up on the couch and watched Love Actually. That movie always puts me in a good mood.

Here’s to the weekend! Long may it last!

Pixie Girl

As I sat down at the kitchen table today to work on writing out our Christmas cards, I noticed sugar cookie crumbs everywhere. I couldn’t figure out where they had come from. I brushed them off and carried on going through my card list.

But my mind kept turning over and over where those golden little crumbs had come from. Maybe Mr. Michie munched on a few cookies last night while working and I didn’t see him? Maybe some crumbs whisked off my dessert plate as I took it back into the kitchen to tidy up?

I got my answer this afternoon. While making a cup of tea, I heard a tiny giggle and the rustling of branches. I got out of the kitchen door just in time, to see my pixie girl nestling down in her little spot with a star shaped sugar cookie tucked into the folds of her skirt.

Now, I know where those crumbs came from! I don’t mind. You have to look after your house pixies, especially this time of year as they are reporting back to Santa, himself! And, I for one, would like a good report!

It’s Thursday, Alright!


Well,  it’s a Thursday alright! We’re doing a major overhaul in the cottage. Cleaning, gutting and downsizing. I made two trips to one charity store this morning to bring them two side tables we were getting rid of. Mr. Michie helped me make the other trip before work, to a different charity shop, that will take electrical items. I’ve dusted high up places and low down underneath places that haven’t been dusted in awhile and in doing this my vacuum broke. It hasn’t been very happy for a bit, so I guess it thought today was a good day to go.

Well, I just had to laugh, because this would only happen to me. So, even though it is just the first of December and not the first day of Christmas, I started singing, as I often sing and talk to myself: “On the first day of Christmas my true love bought for meeeee, a new-eww vaa-ac-uuummm!”

I’ve been a very good girl this year, so there is one winging it’s way to me now as I type. So, I thought I shall take a five minute break, catch my breath, re-work my plan of attack for the day and share something with all of you. I saw this gem on Monday and it is just pure Wes Anderson happiness. So, here’s to the first of the month and here’s to Thursdays, let them be short, so we can move on to Fridays and then on to the merry weekend! And, wherever that train is going, I want to ride within it’s mint green walls and rattle down the tracks.

Defrosting

autumn-print-by-esme-eve

Well, my candles are lit, A Christmas Romance is playing on TV, so naturally I’m watching it. Nothing like a little Olivia Newton-John and Gregory Harrison to get your morning going. I have a steaming cup of tea in front of me and brownies are baking in the oven.

I’m slowly defrosting from my walk this morning. It was so cold! But, my heart was warm from all the furry kisses I received. I saw a lot of my four legged friends as I made my way along this morning. I also had a nice chat with a robin, who I see from time to time. I whistle and he sings back. After a nice little chit-chat he usually follows me for a while down my path.

I still need to do a bit of prep work for dinner tonight and a bit of tidying up so we are set for the weekend. I’m going to work on wrapping up some packages this afternoon, with Christmas music blasting of course!

This weekend brings with it a chance for us to catch our breath and get a few things done around the house, while also finalising our Thanksgiving menu. I can’t wait for pumpkin pie! Really pumpkin pie and my leftover turkey sandwich is the highlight of my Thanksgiving.

I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful weekend, wherever you may be. xx

{Imaged found HERE // Pinned HERE}

A Halloween Ride

jennifer-michie-hallowen-glow-stick

After a Saturday night bubble bath and new Halloween PJs were put on, we took a night time ride through the neighbourhood to see all the Halloween lights. A pumpkin stack glow stick was definitely in order for the occassion. There were lots of “Ooohs” and “Aaaahs” as well.

jennifer-michie-pecan-spice-muffins

Sunday morning brought with it a cool morning so we made a batch of pumpkin pecan spice muffins and dusted them with “snow”.

This morning we woke up to a touch of frost, but the sun is shining and it feels like Fall.