Category Archives: Family

Turkey Coma

Gramma’s for Thanksgiving~ turkey, dressing, gravy, green beans, mac and cheese, rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole {for the few of us who love it}, deviled eggs, and probably a few things I can’t remember!

I fell asleep around 6 and slept until this morning… I still feel like I’m coming out of a coma!

Happy Holidays,

Gracious Gal


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Our trip to Folly Beach was great. The little “island” has so much charm. We ventured into Charleston one evening… Amazing. Can’t believe I had never been, especially considering it’s so close. I look forward to going back and staying a bit longer.

Here are few pics I took with my {newly purchased} i-phone. Which I haven’t put down!

Of course I loved that everything around was “Ashley”…


We ate breakfast twice at The Lost Dog {sweet potato pancakes- yummo!}


If you have been to Charleston, have you noticed the number of houses that are leaning like this one?


Chick-mobile on Folly…


I loved being able to walk the beach in November!


Every detail of Charleston was pretty.


Sunset and sailboats in Charleston.


Fountain in Charleston.


Gracious Gal

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Filed under Family, Travel

Cades Cove

There is a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that for me, is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Though there are many places I have never been, I can’t imagine anything that could be more peaceful or breathtaking than Cades Cove.  Riding through the 11-mile loop, you will without a doubt encounter your share of wildlife including deer, fox, rabbits, and turkeys.  On our most recent trip, we were so excited to come across a mama black bear and her three tiny cubs!  I felt so lucky to watch them in their habitat, though definitely respecting their space {a mama bear is nothin’ to mess with, or any bear for that matter}.

If it’s your first time to Cades Cove, I definitely suggest taking your time, stopping at the cabins and churches still standing from the mid-late 1800’s.  May through September, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the loop is reserved for hikers and bicyclist from sun-up to 10 a.m.  According to my “Cades Cove expert” hubby, the best time to go is during the week around the month of September.  If you plan on driving the loop, expect to spend over two hours in the park.  Find more info here.

My favorite thing about Cades Cove is I feel my eyes can’t get wide enough- if that makes sense!  It is so breathtaking; I want to take it all in.  I feel so far away from my everyday worries.  So simple, yet so gorgeous and thrilling at the same time.  It’s truly a gift.

Pretty, huh? 🙂

Gracious Gal

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Filed under Family, Reflections, Travel

Scootin’ Around Nashville

One day, when there is a “baby Daniel”… 

If you already have a youngin’, check out Popo Cool Kid Stuff next time you’re in Nashville.

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Filed under Family, Fashion, Nashville

Primped and Polished

Every Sunday, without fail, I paint my nails.  I always think of it as my way of having a new outlook on the week ahead!  At least twice a week I spend 30 minutes in the bathroom prepping my legs for self-tanner, as I was unfortunately born with the whitest legs south of the Mason-Dixon.  And here and there I insert new “beauty rituals” as I go: at-home hair coloring, face masks, hair masks concocted in the kitchen, hand waxing treatments.  Every time my husband turns the corner I am poking, plucking, primping, or polishing something!

So, here’s a thank-you to my hubby.  For not using my good shampoo, or my new cuticle clippers, and for putting up with an odd-ball like me:)

(… I forgive you for using my raser to shave your beard.)


The Gracious Gal

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Filed under Beauty, Family, Lifestyle

Give Thanks


The traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving is a day of celebration where family and friends come together and “give thanks” for life’s blessings.  Of course it is usually also combined with lots of turkey, some good football, too much dessert and maybe a little Charlie Brown.

Like many families, we have things that make our Thanksgiving “ours”.  Gramma always makes the dressing, mom always sets the empty dishes out first and then labels them so that she will remember what food she intended to go in it and I always fall asleep (along with my dad and Bill).  Although it was our first one, I know my husband Jimmy will always want to watch the game (before he too falls asleep) and our son Nick will always try his hardest to sit still in a house full of grown-ups, until of course he gets too old and we wish he was a little wild man again!

After dinner, mom pulls out old pictures because that’s what she and I like to do.  And that’s when I remember what I’m thankful for: a great life.  I see pictures of my Maw-Maw and remember her recipes that my mom now cooks.  I see my Papa Gene and I remember his smell and that old denim shirt.  I remember Gramma letting me lick the spoon and I am thankful that she is still around to let me get a taste.

It’s strange that something so simple, something I do every year, can mean so much.  I hold on to our tradition for the love of those I have lost and for the love I have for those who are with me now.

I am so excited to make traditions in my own family with Jimmy and Nick.  I take pictures of us now.  Like before Thanksgiving dinner.  Because one day I may pull out those pictures with my kids and it will take us back and remind of us our blessings.  And remind us why we “give thanks”.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Gracious Gal

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Filed under Family, Holiday, Thanksgiving