Let’s get oriented…if you’re from a small town and you go to a big city- the best thing you can do is make sure you stay close to a familiar spot so you can get back there! In New York, we stayed at The Jewel right across from the Rockefeller Center – it is a tiny boutique hotel, with tiny rooms and big windows- we could see St. Patrick’s Cathedral , unveiled now, in all of it’s glory and also see the side of Radio City Music Hall where the entertainment equipment is unloaded. A bonus is that we can look straight across the way and see the side of the ground floor NBC Recording Studio. The famous shopping on Fifth Avenue is a half block up from the Jewel Hotel, so we’re oriented! Everyday we passed by JCrewJCrewand Anthropolgie Anthropologie to go to our hop on- hop off bus! And every day I thought – well, you’ve lived long enough to have seen and worn Classics and Bohemian styles. JCrew’s spin on the classics by adding ‘bling’ necklaces is just a winning combo! Anthropolie’s Bohemian looks soft, feminine and vintage without being overdone- that’s their winning combo! Both looks are totally wearable for Spring and Summer. Which will you be wearing? I generally prefer the classics- but I loved both stores!
The handbags were small, but the shoes at Anthropologie were chunkier as you can see in the photos. At JCrew, there were classic pumps and tennis shoes…and of course the jewelry they have become famous for…
It looks like a good weekend to go shopping! Even if you get yourself an iconic T-shirt for your favorite birthday boy from Katz’s Deli Katz’s Delicatessen !
Just had to kid around with you a little bit! Have a great weekend!
Birthdays are the best time to send a handwritten note. I know, I know…it’s fun to find a funny card, or let someone else express the sentiment- but somehow I think seeing ‘Happy Birthday’ handwritten makes it more special. Here’s a few things I like to say…
‘You are a miracle !’
‘My life is richer because of you !’
‘ Life is sweeter with you in it!’
‘Let’s eat birthday cake!’
‘Today we celebrate you!’
Adding a gift card or some cash in a little purse or wallet is always a good idea-And since we have a birthday girl at Camellia’s Cottage in May- I did some window shopping at JCrew –
J Crew ‘bling’ jewelry with classic clothing is what the girls around here like! And they had eye-popping displays! The clothes were striped or solid and cotton sweaters, tee shirts, checked shirts and jeans, lots of denim in fact. Go birthday shopping!
Birthdays are also a great time to take a fun trip- May is a great time to head to the beach!
*Allie Mac recommends –
Gulf Shores, Perdido and Orange Beaches on the Gulf of Mexico
Go over to Pensacola to see the Blue Angels fly.
Take a tour of Historic Mobile.
Relax at the Marriott Grand Hotel and Spa at Point Clear. The guys can play a round of golf on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course there-or fish off the pier while the girls go to the spa!
Stroll around Fairhope or Magnolia Springs on Mobile Bay- that’s always a good idea.
The food on the Bay or Gulf Coast is the best seafood you will find anywhere, any time…
Allie Mac got so excited about that, she mapped it all out! You have to wonder about anybody who wouldn’t want to go to South Alabama! *We’ll drag out this map again later on…
And here is one of my personal favorite things to do on my birthday or any day! Go get a cup of cappuccino! What a way to say ‘I love you!’ with that sweet little heart the barista makes! (That’s Italian for that guy whippin’ up that fancy coffee!) Whatever way you choose to say ‘Happy Birthday!’ – big or small, I hope you will do it- a birthday is different than other holidays- it is specific to the person. Remember their day and say- I’m glad you were born!
So- to the adorable birthday girl at Camellia’s Cottage –
‘Happy Birthday! We love you!’
‘Our life is richer with you in it!’
‘Let’s celebrate you!’ ‘You are a miracle!’
We hope your birthday is filled with all the good things life has to offer – including cupcakes and shopping, getting some sand between your toes and freckles on your nose!
And to all of those who have a birthday today, in May or any day- You are a ‘milagro’ in any language! We hope all your birthday dreams come true!
Love y’all, Camellia
J Crew www.jcrew.com
Marriott Grand Hotel and Spa www.marriottgrand.com
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail https://www.rtjgolf.com
Alabama Department of Tourism www.alabama.tourism.gov
Blue Angels U.S. Navy – for schedule go to www.visitpensacola.com
From a fellow blogger! Agatha Chocolat ! Black Forest Gateau Recipe by Butter & Brioche Cherry Chocolate Sandwich Cookies Recipe by Tastes Better From Scratch Black Forest Coffee Recipe by Mr. Breakfast Black F…
It takes a lot of nerve to start a recording studio anywhere, to open up shop in Northwest Alabama along the Tennessee River amongst 4 small towns just a few hours from Nashville; but in 1959, Rick Hall started FAME Recording Studios with his buddies who ultimately opened another hit studio called Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. ‘The Shoals’ sound is as legendary as the musicians who recorded there.
Start your your journey into the heart of the Shoals sound with a trip to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, lined with Gold Records and gawdy costumes worn by Alabama native Hank Williams, Tuskegee’s Lionel Richie, Fort Payne’s Alabama, The Commodores and Montgomery’s Nat ‘King’ Cole. Drive from there to Sheffield to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where the Swampers- the Fame’s original rhythm section recorded with Lynard Skynard ~who can forget his hit- ‘Sweet Home Alabama’? Then there’s the Rolling Stones and Alicia Keyes just to name a few who recorded hit music with the Swampers. Head over to Muscle Shoals to Rick Hall’s longest operating, one owner recording studio in the world, FAME Studio! Rick Hall is known as the ‘Father of the Muscle Shoals Sound’ – he recorded such great artists as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett (Mustang Sally), Otis Redding, Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers who pitched a tent in the parking lot just to be near the recording sessions before he became famous! Known as ‘that hippie in the parking lot when record companies asked about his performance with Wilson Pickett’s rendition of ‘Hey Jude’; Paul Anka, the Osmunds, Tina Turner, the Beatles, Elton John, Ronnie Milsap, BB King, Tim McGraw…. whew the list goes on, just like the Muscle Shoals beat….and if that’s not enough?
‘The Father of the Blues’, W.C. Handy was born and raised just across the river in Florence Alabama where there is a statue in his honor, a museum and library ~ every year there is a W.C. Handy Music Festival as well.
Camellia thinks I’m gettin’ longwinded, I think we’re gonna have to have a part 2 on the Shoals! So much more to see and do…but remember this- when a good many of those musicians were down and out , thinking their careers were over- they got back their nerve and went to Muscle Shoals to find Fame! Hold it down Camellia, you’re singin’ so loud I can’t think! You might want to update your playlist folks!
Everybody needs at least one good friend like Allie Mac. She called today and said, ‘How you holdin’ up?’ The thing is, I’ve been trying to learn how to blog, doing something called ‘wordaday’ – where the Happiness Engineers send you a word then challenge me to write something using that word. Today something new started for real. WordPress Bootcamp. That’s right. Now in addition to the daily word they sent me a new challenge. Allie Mac knew I had been struggling with basic training…I told her ~’Well, so far so good, today they want me to comment‘ …’Comment? Camellia you’ve been commenting your whole life! Sounds right down your alley.’ Well it is, but…commenting and posting a comment is a little different. So, like the good friend she is ~she said the magic words, ‘Perk up Sugar’ …
What? ‘Yes Camellia, what you need is to perk up that house for spring. You’ve let it get so messed up with papers, had those painters in and out… you’re getting up every morning, making up the bed, rolling up that hair, lining up what you’ve got to get done. You haven’t felt up to getting that house dolled up like you always do.’ A good friend perks you up!
Well Allie Mac is right. I needed to perk up the house. I love my neutrals all year round but in the winter, I neutrals it to the hilt. Shades of white, black and gray…can’t get enough of it. Now with spring busting out all over ~ the house had begun to feel a bit drab. Let me tell you what a decorator’s best friend is ~ accessories! The best and cheapest way to perk up a room is with fresh accessories- right? Best of all? I shopped my own stuff, then added a few things. On the lower right is my living room in winter clothes, on the lower left is my den also in winter….both rooms have slipcovered sofas in white duck, both have black floors, sisal rugs and mostly gray accessories. At the top of the page, you can see the change out of fresh green pillows, plants or accessories the rooms have definitely been perked up! Now it’s your turn!
Hello darlin’, sorry I haven’t called lately, it’s been like the Dew Drop Inn around here! The painter was here for the front door, some teenagers came by takin’ up mission trip money to witness to some folks up in Mentone, the carpenter stopped by and said yes, the screen porch is in bad shape, he’s going to try to work us in between jobs, you know how it is with an old house~ on and on…
Yes, I know I’ve been putting you off, but believe me this bloggin’ is like learning how to practice voodoo and speak German at the same time… Well, they’ve had me doin’ something called word prompts… you know I don’t use words like – misstep…who says that anyway? Around here they say ‘you can’t mess this up’ or ‘He can’t walk and chew gum at the same time’ certainly not misstep. Yes, I used it in the Green Onion blog post. Those onion roots are already popping up!
For heaven’s sake- I told you it was a word prompt- Boot Camp Word a Day from those Happiness Engineers…they send you a word and tell you to use it in your blog post that day~ on your mark, get set …go! The next word was incomplete. The only time I’ve ever said that was when your roommate was sneaking out after curfew, missed so many of her classes she was about to flunk ‘Human Behavior’ and took an Incomplete ~ though Lord knows she was out practicin’ it! The best I could do with that word was when I wrote ‘A blog is incomplete without great photographs’, I know it didn’t sound right but you have to admit Jeremy Miniard’s pictures sure were amazin’and I knew you would get a kick out of the title- ‘You really need to get out more, darlin” …you say that all the time!
Yesterday I put my foot down! The word prompt was fleeting, Lord, I about died on that one! I just sat there blank, well not totally blank….all I could think of was a Fleet’s to clear you out before you have a baby! I have never heard… not even one southern lady, coarse or common- use the word fleeting…though I will say those Fleet’s…never mind, don’t get me started! I got out the dictionary and fleeting means ‘brief, short, short-lived, quick movement’ sort of like that Peepin’ Tom …what was his name? Lightnin’ that right! Lightnin’ scared the livin’ daylights out of me when I saw his ol’ head reared up outside my bedroom window with the moonlight shining ~ before I could get out a good scream- he was gone in a flash! He was runnin’ down the alley quick as the devil! That’s what the word fleeting meant to me! Can you imagine usin’ that word for anything? What?
No, I didn’t let them know I wouldn’t be sending in the word prompt – they’re Happiness Engineers, they wouldn’t give me an Incomplete, they’d just send me another word the next day.
The best thing those word prompts did for me was to make me sit down and write a blog post for 3 days in a row- no, I just turned in 2. I felt guilty about it though… Remember when I got the Bible App? I signed up for a daily Bible reading, was so excited about it and the next thing you know I got busy and missed a day. They must have ‘unhappiness engineers’ because that bossy Bible App sent me an email letting me know that they knew I had missed a day! I’ve got enough to make me feel guilty without that going on! My face looked like death sucking on lifesaver I was so upset. I put up with it until the third notice. I’m ashamed to admit it but I removed that App! I can take care of my daily reading on my own thank you very much! I know…don’t remind me, you got a badge for reading yours everyday.
Yes, darlin’ I’m going to do it right now… I’m going to drag and drop your precious face right smack dab at the bottom of the page….yes, honey, watch for it…you’ll love it- glad you called. Bye…love you too!
Okay y’all, in honor of Best Friends Week and without further ado…here she is…Allie Mac! My own sweet friend who knows a whole lot more about nothin’ than I do! She’ll have her own page and everything- watch for it! Love y’all, Camellia
Now that Spring has definitely sprung, I’m stir crazy thinking about taking a road trip. I’ve been home so much lately that I’m feelin’ like this old car~ loads of good memories, definitely great style, a dash big enough for your whole life’s Lost and Found, an Alabama tag on the front ~ but a bit rusty and more than a little mired down at the old homeplace; and I thought~ ‘You really need to get out more, darlin’.
Long before this blog was any kind of reality, Jeremy Miniard’s photography inspired me, he’s one of those photographers who get out on the backroads of Alabama and capture the most amazing images! I loved the photo of this car so much I asked Jeremy to make up some notecards for me. The name of this photo is ‘Alabama Special’ and I just know y’all agree ~ it sure is special, one of my all time favorites.
A blog is incomplete without great photos. As much as I like to draw and paint, garden and read, write and laugh – I’m no great photographer, Jeremy has generously given me permission to use some of his Alabama photos every now and then~ for this I surely do thank him!
In the days to come, I can’t wait for you to meet Allie Mac! As soon as the Mail Chimps and the Happiness Engineers from WordPress help us get some of the kinks worked out, she’ll be sharing some of her ideas for great road trips right here in Alabama!
Before you leave this post, here’s another great photo from my star photographer, Jeremy Miniard – makes you wanna get out there doesn’t it? Until then… keep humming ‘Stars fell on Alabama’ and get that car gassed up!
Love y’all, Camellia
related link- www.jeremy.miniard.fineartamerica.com
Both of these photos are courtesy of Jeremy Miniard and are his sole property not to be used without permission – thank you Jeremy!