Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow In The Southland

When Life Gives You Snow, Make Snow Cream!

As most of you have either seen or experienced first hand, this winter has really packed a punch! From the epic Lake Effect Snow that pummeled Buffalo to the crazy multi-blizzard situation in Boston, the snow of 2015 has been relentless, to say the least. We in the South are finally getting ours! Nashville, Tennessee has gotten a taste of the snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain. Tonight we get the grand finale: record lows. With air temperatures reading around 0, the wind chill promises to give we Southerners a taste of what it is like to live above the Mason Dixon Line. The unfortunate thing down here is that we don't have the equipment that people have up there, so it takes us much longer to dig out and get back to normal. Today is day three of being more or less house bound, and I am already over it. I feel for you people in the North. I love snow, but that is probably because I rarely see it.

One of my favorite snow day activities when my girls were little was to make snow cream. I had a recipe that my mom used to make that called for, if I recall, milk, sugar and vanilla extract. It was good, but it pales in comparison to the recipe that a friend/mom gave me. Her husband made it and she swore that it was the BEST snow cream in the world. I was skeptical, because her husband is a Mississippi boy, and how in the world would someone who saw snow for the first time when he was 18 know what good snow cream was?! I made it once, and I was hooked. It really IS the best snow cream in the world! I will share with you my (his) recipe:

First, you must find a spot that has fresh, clean snow. I always find a patch that has been untouched. 

You need an extra large bowl and a spoon.

Pack the bowl with clean snow. Pack it tight, with more than you think you will need, as it melts. 

You need one can of sweetened condensed milk, and one can of evaporated milk.

Another large bowl. It does not need to be as big as the bowl that holds the snow. This one makes me happy. 

Mix together the cans of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. 

Fold in the snow to desired consistency. 


I had to post a picture of my front porch, as it doesn't see much snow. This is the most substantial accumulation we have had in my neighborhood since 2009. I love it! I will love for another day or two, and then it can go away. My tulips need to make an appearance soon!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shirley and Warren Lived Here via Hooked On Houses: The Current Life Of A Classic Foursquare

Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
I love hearing about houses that have some interesting history behind them, so I was excited to see this classic 1927 American Foursquare for sale in Richmond, Virginia, where famous siblings Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty once lived. Here’s a photo of how they looked then (so cute!):
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
Even without the movie-star connection, this is a great house. It’s nice to see how well-cared for it’s been by subsequent owners.
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
The listing says, “Lovingly restored and renovated childhood home of Shirley MacLaine and younger brother Warren Beatty. This classic Foursquare in the heart of Richmond’s historic neighborhood of Bellevue boasts a full front porch complete with porch swing.”
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
“The expansive foyer opens to the warm and comfortable living room with beautiful gas fireplace.”
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
According to Antique Home Style, “Versions of the Foursquare appeared in publications and plan books before 1900…[and] it wasn’t long before savvy builders simplified the shape and detail making it affordable to the middle-class. From its very beginning, it was perceived as an American type and style.”
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
“Initially, the most common plan was a formal entry with the stairs to the second floor, and a living room, dining room, and kitchen on the main floor. On the second floor, most plans had a bathroom in one quarter and three bedrooms, though four bedroom variants were common.”
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
The house has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
MacLaine has said that she grew up eating saltine crackers with Tabasco sauce for dinner. I have a feeling this kitchen looked a lot more humble back then.
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
Shirley MacLaine Warren Beatty Childhood Home 3954 Fauquier Richmond (16)
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
The house has 1,750 square feet and was on the market for $339,000. I just learned that it got multiple offers over asking price on the first day of showings and sold before I could even get this post published. :)
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
Many thanks to listing agent Paul Collins for telling me about the house. Visit his site for more photos and information.
Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty's Childhood Home For Sale |
BTW, the house where Shirley MacLaine filmed Steel Magnolias is now a Bed & Breakfast in Louisiana. You can see what it looks like today here:
Steel-Magnolias-house-for-sale1While I was working on this post I started looking up other Foursquares and came across this beautiful (and much bigger!) one. I really liked it, too, so I’m featuring its renovation over onmy Secret Blog today. You won’t believe what it used to look like!
Foursquare Featured on My Secret BlogMy weekly newsletter is going out today with a link to my Secret Blog for subscribers — if you’re not on my list and want to be included, click here to learn how! See you there! :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas in Nashville

From Nashville Guru:

Top 20 Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas

The equally loved and hated holiday is right around the corner. Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so make your dinner reservations early. There are so many amazing restaurants in Nashville that are perfect for Valentine’s Day Dinner. We’ve listed our top twenty picks we think your sweetie will love.
Enjoy our Valentine’s Day Dinner Restaurants Guide, and let us know in the comments section if your favorite romantic dinner spot didn’t make the list.


Sinema is one of the newest fine dining restaurants creating buzz in Nashville. Situated where the historic 1940’s Melrose theater used to be, the owners kept the cinema atmosphere intact. Screens and televisions play classic movies, the decor is warm, and the ambiance is spot-on. Call for reservations: 615.942.7746
Sinema Nashville Restaurant-9


Tempur Chocolate Shoppe has an amazing menu of wine, cheese, and truffle pairings, which are perfect for a date night. You could hit this spot before or after a bigger dinner, or just keep it simple and spend your Valentine’s Day enjoying wine, cheese, chocolates and conversation. They also have truffles by the box that you can buy if you need a gift! Tempur is first come, first served.
Tempur - Germantown-6


Moto is a gorgeous, Italian restaurant in the Gulch. With authentic Italian cuisine, you’ll be overwhelmed with how great the food is. If you need a recommendation, the Blueberry Lasagna is divine! Wine selection is a very important aspect of Moto — there are 250 labels and a rotating selection of 30 wines by the glass. Call for reservations: 615.736.5305



Prima is located on the ground level of the Terrazzo condo building in the Gulch neighborhood. Prima’s environment is upscale and contemporary. The ceilings are high, the tablecloths are white, and the wine selection is extensive. Chef Sal Avila described Prima a “Mediterranean steakhouse with global influence.” Call for reservations: 615.873.4232
Prima - Gulch - Nashville-62


Part music venue, part restaurant, part winery, and part private event space, City Winery brought something fresh to the Nashville dining and entertainment scene. If you’re wanting a more upbeat Valentine’s Day, consider buying tickets to a show at City Winery. Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist, Sam Bush, is playing on February 14. Get details and purchase tickets. City Winery also has a full and bar restaurant outside of the music venue, if that’s more your pace. Call for reservations: 615.324.1010
City Winery - Nashville-10


Watermark is one of the nicest restaurants in Nashville. Located in the trendy and bustling Gulch, this is sure to feel like an upscale night out on the town for you and your honey. Call for reservations: 615.254.2000


Holland House is an awesome epicurean restaurant and cocktail lounge in East Nashville. The vibe is more rustic and relaxed, but the food is seriously good. Call for reservations: 615.262.4190


The Southern, located in SoBro, is always a great date night spot. You can easily walk to grab a before or after drink at one of the other many nice establishments downtown, too.  They are offering a special four-course menu on Valentine’s Day this year. Parking is available in the Pinnacle building, and they’ll validate your parking ticket. They also have free valet, which is an even better option. Call for reservations: 615.724.1762


Husk is definitely going to fill up quickly for Valentine’s Day. The incredible food is the highlight of this place, although excellent service is nipping at its heels. Husk is a popular date spot year-round, so you won’t be disappointed. Call for reservations: 615.256.6565
Sobro - Nashville, TN-34


Rolf & Daughters in Germantown has been the talk of the town since opening its doors in late 2012. The buzz continues because of their original menu and use of quality ingredients. Oh, and the hip, intimate atmosphere makes it pretty great, too. Call for reservations: 615.866.9897
Germantown - Nashville, TN-3


Lockeland Table in East Nashville is, in one word, impressive. This is a foodie’s restaurant with its one-of-a-kind, chef-driven dishes. Don’t expect a white tablecloth, but do anticipate a tremendous meal. Call for reservations: 615.228.4864
East Nashville-60


Rumours Wine Bar in East Nashville is an amazing spot for a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day. Wine is the perfect accompaniment to a romantic dinner, hence, the appropriateness of a wine bar. This restaurant delivers wonderful meals, service and ambiance. Call for reservations: 615.262.5346
East Nashville Area - Nashville, TN-45


An incognito sign on a side street in Germantown marks one of Nashville’s best restaurants. City House is tucked away, but its impeccable dining experience is well-known. For a guaranteed great meal and overall experience, head to City House on Valentine’s Day. Call for reservations: 615.736.5840
City House - Germantown-2


Another great spot for Valentine’s Day dinner is Josephine in 12 South. With a simple, yet elegant atmosphere combined with modern American cuisine, Josephine is living up to their own one-word description of “unfussy.” Call for reservations: 615.292.7766
Josephine - 12 South - Nashville-24


Eastland Cafe is a favorite among East Nashvillians. Expect an amazing meal and dependable service. Renowned for their happy hour, Eastland Cafe might be an even better option if you’re looking for an early bird Valentine’s Day dinner. Happy hour runs from 5pm to 6pm on Friday and Saturday. Call for reservations: 615.627.1088


Kayne Prime in the Gulch is one of the most popular steakhouses in Nashville. With an incredible atmosphere and top-of-the-line culinary execution, you will definitely love this place. Call for reservations: 615.259.0050
Gulch - Feb 2014 - Nashville, TN-19


Park Cafe is located in a quiet neighborhood called Sylvan Park. Although small, Park Cafe boasts an unbeatable ambiance and you’re guaranteed to love the food. Get your reservation early: 615.383.4409


Etch has become one of the most talked about restaurants in Downtown Nashville since it opened a little over a year ago. Etch has a classy ambiance and incredible food, which makes it a perfect option for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Call for reservations: 615.522.0685


Virago, located in the Gulch, is one of the trendiest restaurants in Nashville. If you love sushi and want a great, high-energy “in the city” feel, this is your place. Call for reservations: 615.254.1902


Margot is one of East Nashville’s gems. Known for their menu that changes every day, it’s no wonder people return so often. The ambiance and consistent high level of service are also major perks of dining at Margot. Call for a reservation: 615.227.4668
East Nashville Area - Nashville, TN-54


Sambuca is one of the most romantic restaurants in Nashville. With the dark red and purple decor, dim lighting and awesome live music, this is a go-to date place. Call for reservations: 615.248.2888
Gulch - Nashville, TN -24

Did we leave off a great restaurant?