Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Thanksgiving Dinner Side Dishes

November 18, 2017 } Blog { by Kelly | No Comments

The Turkey might be the star but the sides are what really makes Thanksgiving dinner special.  There are a few staples that are a must at the Spalding’s spread and my Southern Dressing (no stuffing around these parts!) and Cranberry Applesauce are on the top of the list.  Every time I make my mama’s dressing recipe (with a few changes here and there) it brings back memories of her in the kitchen.  I miss her the most during this time of year but thank goodness I had her teach me how to make dressing because there was no recipe written down (and there still isn’t but I will give you a good outline of how I make it.  The secret really is cooking it in iron skillet.

I won’t touch that canned cranberry jelly like stuff that my mom would slice and put on the table year after year.  (I know some of y’all love it but not me)  When I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner I decided to find something with cranberries that I would enjoy.  So after a few tries, I finally nailed the recipe down and now it is a family favorite.  The first couple of years I served it hot like baked apples and then decided to try it cold like applesauce and it was even better and you can make it a day ahead to save time.

Cranberry Applesauce

  • 4-6 granny smith apples (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon butter

Mix everything in bowl and pour into a 9 x 12 baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Take out and stir every 10 minutes or so.  I like mine chunky so I don’t over cook but you can cook it longer if you prefer it to be a smoother consistency.

Kelly’s Southern Dressing

Bread mix is a combination of lightly toasted bread slices, a couple of biscuits, cornbread and a sleeve of saltine crackers.  I do all of this the day before, crumble it up, spread it out on a cookie sheet and leave it on the stove all day to dry out…..seriously dry out.  If you don’t have time for that, turn the oven on 300 degrees then turn it off and put the cookie sheet in the oven for 20 minutes or so.  Next I put a stick of butter in an iron skillet and cook my chopped celery and onions until they are translucent.  I put my bread mixture in a big mixing bowl and pour veggies on top.  I add salt and pepper to taste, 2 teaspoons of Sage, 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning and some finely chopped parsley.  Once that is mixed well I add about 6 to 7 cups of chicken stock (I make my own but you can use store bought).  Here is where I go by instincts.  I don’t want it too soupy and I don’t want it too dry….so I stop adding stock when it looks right.  Cook at 350 for an hour or so…..again until it isn’t wiggly in the middle (super technical cooking terminology)

What are your favorite sides?

Stylishly Yours,



Thanksgiving Countdown

November 15, 2017 } Blog { by Kelly | No Comments

Thanksgiving table

If you are like me and fall is the busiest time of the year, you sometimes wait until the last minute to start deciding about your Thanksgiving gathering.  Well don’t worry we are going to countdown to Thanksgiving with some great ideas for decorating, some favorite recipes as well as a few “Thanksgiving hacks” to help you pull it all off with grace and dare I say…..ENJOY the day yourself!  Unheard of right?

I remember my mom killing herself to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table by noon.  My dad was a hunter and Thanksgiving day always marked the first day of duck hunting season and our day was planned around when my dad would come out of the bottoms.  When I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner I served it at noon too and I was miserable!  Exhausted and miserable.  My son asked me why I was so grumpy and I replied “Because I am overwhelmed!”  And right then I knew something had to change.  I wanted to enjoy the day with my family and not slave away in the kitchen and miss all the fun.  That decision was LIFE CHANGING y’all.  So from then on….dinner is at 3:00pm.

My next big tip……fix some things on Wednesday afternoon.  I fix my cranberry applesauce, sweet potato casserole, dressing ingredients and pecan pie the day before and that helps with oven time.  I have an additional oven in my garage just for big family dinners like this but I realize not everyone has that luxury so the more you can fix ahead the better.

We get up in the morning and I serve muffins and sausage pinwheels for breakfast and we watch the Macy’s Day Parade.  I get the green beans going, mix my dressing and get it in the huge iron skillet just like my mama did and post a list of what else needs to be made. Can’t count how many times a side dish was forgotten in the garage refrigerator so now a list goes up and everything makes it to the table.  The sweet hubby and my boys get the deep fryer set up and get our corn hole boards out (if the weather is nice).  Everyone gets an assignment and learns how to cook one of the sides  That’s what a southern mama does….teaches the recipes that they will one day want to cook for their family.  Plus that is how I make sure I am not alone in the kitchen!

So over the next few days I will post some of my favorite family recipes, some easy decor inspiration and of course a few more ideas on how you can make the most of family time!  Oh and a cocktail recipe or too for those more difficult family gatherings….no judgment here!  Southern families don’t hide their crazy…..

Stylishly yours, 



Pinkoween Party

October 25, 2017 } Blog, Entertaining at home, Party ideas { by Kelly | No Comments

Halloween is when I really let out my creative juices and go all out with decorations.  I start planning our family themed costumes in July and can hardly wait for October to get here.  Not only is October my birthday month but it is also Breast Cancer awareness month so I thought a glamorous party for my best girlfriends would be the perfect way to celebrate.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2012 and it was difficult to go through October with every show on TV talking about breast cancer and there were several times that we would be watching a show together as a family and it would be about a woman losing her battle with breast cancer and there sat my children looking at me, silently worrying if that would be how my story ended.  It was a really sad month for us and I swore that I wouldn’t let that happen again.  Cancer sucks but there is always room for humor and laughter. Nothing lifts my spirits more than fancy cocktails and feather boas y’all!  I hope this inspires you to have a get-together with your besties and celebrate, encourage and lift each other up because life is short and you should never miss an opportunity to laugh until your stomach hurts.

Pink Champagne just make me happy and add the pretty rim and I am in heaven!
Dip champagne glasses in colored syrup and then in pink sugar to rim the glasses. Put a little bit of Grenadine in the bottom of each glass and fill with champagne.I took my traditional Halloween decorations and “pinked” them up a bit. Pink feather boas and pink spider stickers did the trick.  I added sparkle and rhinestones wherever I could and layered with spider webs and torn cheesecloth.  I used the headstone as my focal point and found some fabric to use as my backdrop.  Plastic spiders scattered throughout the table décor were the final detail.Pinkoween Martini is one of my favorites and is always a big hit.

  • 1 oz Watermelon Schnapps
  • 2 oz Sweet and sour mix
  • Pour in a shaker with ice and shake well
  • Put a couple of tablespoons of Karo syrup on a plate and add 2 to 3 drops of pink food coloring and stir with a toothpick. Dip the rim of the martini glass in the syrup and then set aside to let is slowly drip down the sides
  • Pour into rimmed glass and serve immediately

Wicked Red Wine Spitzer is an oldie but goodie.  Just add a spider sticker to wine glasses you already have and bam…Halloween wine glasses. This one is really easy. Equal parts of your favorite red wine and lemon-lime carbonated beverage and add a fun label to the wine bottle for more dramatic table décor.

Wishing you a very stylish Halloween!



Easter Inspiration

April 12, 2017 } Blog { by Kelly | No Comments

Easter was always one of my favorites when my children were little.  We would spend an entire day decorating eggs, making treats and getting ready for the Easter Bunny!  I laugh when I remember hubby and I trying to hide eggs (outside or if the weather was being difficult, inside) without our children or the neighborhood children seeing us.  Now two are in college and the youngest is in high school so those days aren’t as exciting as they used to be but I still make it special.

Stuffed Grape Tomatoes

  • 8 oz of softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 T fresh parley, chopped finely
  • 1 t fresh basil, chapped finely
  • 1 container of grape tomatoes cut with an “X” in the top

Mix cream cheese and herbs until well blended.  Stuff cut tomatoes with cream cheese.  Wipe off excess with wet paper towel.  Add green onions for stems.

Then there is Dessert!

A rustic Carrot Cake is the perfect dessert for this delightful gathering.  I like to make mine with three layers for height and of course it allows for more icing!  I have a secret ingredient in my recipe and I am going to share it for the first time ever!

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots (approx. 5 medium)
  • ½ cup raisins (I use golden)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350.  I line the bottom of my 3 9” round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with Pam.

Blend cake mix, oil, OJ, eggs and cinnamon in a large bowl with an electic mixer on low for one minute then scrape down the sides and beat 2 more minutes at medium speed.  Gently fold in carrots and raisins (and walnuts if you want to include).  Divide the batter between 3 pans and tap lightly on counter to remove any air bubbles that might be trapped in batter.

Bake until they are lightly brown and spring back to the touch.  30 to 35 minutes.  Remove pans and place on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of each layer and remove cake from pan to finish cooling on rack.

Cream cheese icing:

  • 2 packages (8oz) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
  • 7 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blend cream cheese and butter on low speed until combined.  Add sugar ½ cup at a time, blending with the mixer on low speed until it is well incorporated.  Add vanilla then blend at medium speed for 1 minute until fluffy.

Cotton Tails continue the whimsy of the décor.  These are easy and make a great favor for your guests to take home.

  •  1 package white cake mix,
  • 1 can of vanilla icing
  • vanilla candy melt or almond bark
  • shredded coconut

Bake cake according to box directions.  Let cool then crumble in a large bowl.  Add icing and mix well.  Roll cake mixture into 2” balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes.  Dip balls in melted candy and put on clean lined cookie sheet.  Add shredded coconut while candy is still warm so it sticks.  Added bonus is the cake balls don’t have to be perfect because the coconut hides all imperfections!


Stylishly Yours,





A Southern Porch Makeover

July 27, 2016 } Blog, Inspiration { by Kelly | No Comments

Home may be where the heart is but the porch is where the fun is!  On a southern porch, it’s all about hospitality, charm and sittin’ and sippin’ and that especially goes for the front porches on Main Street here in Franklin, Tennessee.

I have so many clients that struggle with their porches.  They know what they want but aren’t sure how to pull it all together.  Porch weather here in the south is about 9 months long so it’s important to have one that you love to spend time on.  We offered a mini makeover a couple of month’s back to show you how I design and decorate a porch to hopefully inspire you to make some changes and bring your personality and style to the front of your home.

We had lots of great entries and it was really hard to pick one but I fell in love with this historic home’s entrance and knew I could bring it to life and make it an area that the homeowners would enjoy relaxing and entertaining on.

Here is the before.

Before The bones of the porch were good but it really lacked personality and style.  The homeowner wanted a place to enjoy her morning coffee but also be able to entertain guest.  I got a good sense of her style by the beautiful decor inside and knew that with just a few changes and some additional pieces here and there, we could bring her vision to life and make the front porch a charming place to sit and sip the afternoon away.

Here is the after.  Things a southern front porch should have are a rocking chair or two, a swing, a place to put your feet up and a place to put your drink down.  It must feel comfortable and well-loved and be a place that welcomes guests into your home.  A screen door just about makes it perfect if you ask me!

Front Porch I started with new fabric for cushions and pillows.  We wanted to keep the vintage feel of the original fabric but add some color and pop to the space that it was lacking.  The blue and white floral print was the perfect choice and the inspiration for the rest of the decor.  Next was furniture placement.  Just like the inside of your home you need to consider how you want to use the space and then design the layout to accommodate that.

This side of the porch is for entertaining.  I created a conversational area by moving the chairs and anchoring the furniture group with a rug.  I took the old wicker ottoman and gave it new life with a couple of coats of spray paint and a new cushion.  Now it is a great place to rest your feet or it can be pulled over to use for seating when guests are over.  The homeowners wanted a place to eat on the porch so I found this galvanized round table that is just perfect to serve breakfast for two or cocktails for a crowd.  The small tables beside the wicker chairs are stools that can be pulled up to the table as well.

Porch front viewMake sure to use pieces that have multiple uses when pulling a space together.  We moved the table over for lunch on the porch with the neighbors.  Every southern woman can pull together a delightful lunch when the ladies come over to visit.

Table for twoNew cushions gave these chairs just the punch they needed to add charm to the porch.

Front porch chairI designed this side of the porch for morning coffee and quiet time for reading or watching the world go by.  I found an old bench that serves as both a table and footstool for the rocking chairs.  I wanted it to be skinny so it didn’t take up much space and could also be used for additional seating when needed.  I used a rug matching the other side to anchor this seating area too.  

Porch rocking chairsPillows and a throw make this swing a great place to curl up and read a book.  Porch swingI added an old yellow table that I found on one of my picking trips by the swing.  I put a tray on top to make serving drinks easier and flowers are always a good idea, don’t y’all think?

side table by swingNow let’s talk about the front door….it was very ho-hum (ignore my purse I sat down while taking the before photos)

before front doorI added blue containers and a smaller rug to pull the color palette to the front door.  The topiaries added height and soon the ivy will fill in and add texture.  I added shade-loving flowers and put them in rusty olive buckets.  Rust is my favorite accessory and I use it wherever I can.  The burlap wreath can be used for all seasons and the galvanized welcome sign adds a touch of southern hospitality to the porch.

After pictureThe last things that needed a bit of rearranging were the steps.  I brought the large flower filled urns down to make more of an “entrance” then added the rustic lanterns for the big wow factor.  They are spectacular at night with the glow of the candles.

I hope you are inspired to freshen up your porch decor and add some style and personality to your entrance.

Stylishly yours,