Mixed Up Sayings

Recently I’ve overheard people intending to say, “six of one, half a dozen of the other.” However, I feel like I’m overhearing Ricky talking to Lucy when trying to decipher some of the interpretations. I’ve heard “dozen one, half dozen the other” among many other mixups. However, as sayings are a vital part of the Southern culture, I thought this would be a good time to explain the actual saying, as well as the meaning.

A dozen equals 12. So, half of a dozen equals six. The idiom of “six of one, half a dozen of the other” is saying that the two choices are the same. If a person says this saying, they’re saying that either way is fine or the same.

What sayings do you like? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for reading!

Authentically Real

Y’all may or may not recall this post where I talk about my love of Pottery Barn (as well as why I have stepped back from it). Clearly Pottery Barn isn’t the problem. The products are designs I truly love. The problem was my need for it and the “perfect life” it represented.

I get asked all too often if we dress in Sunday best for dinner at our house.

No, we don’t. Knowing which fork to use doesn’t make you a good person. Feeding others with what you have, does.

My kids love the dirt and mud. They ride in their battery-powered Jeep giggling and yelling. They trapse mud through the house in an effort to get to the bathtub. Our house is pier and beam and, thus, moves. My stomach is no where near where I want it to be. Neither are my hips. Neither are the bags under my eyes.

I forget to call or text friends back. I get overwhelmed. We are so very real and so very far from perfection. However, I walk the line where I refuse to glorify failure and false expectations of being perfect. I refuse to glorify not doing our best. I will never accept any person in my family not trying his or her best self. And still…perfection will never be obtained.

This has been hard for me to accept and to understand in today’s society where success is measured in the amount of time you spend simply being busy. Even when we’re with our family, we’re often not really there. This is what I will not accept for myself. While I will never be THE best, I can be my best. And that’s enough.

So, I hope you will find this blog authentically real and motivating. I never want anyone to feel defeated by different etiquette rules. As always, thank you for reading and for your support. 🙂

Granny’s Easy Peach Cobbler

My granny was known for her sweet tooth. There was never a day in her home that we weren’t offered dessert after every meal. This was the lady who added sugar to my bowl of Lucky Charms. 😉 And she oozed sweetness. There will never be another one like her, and I’m thankful to have several of her “recipes.” I use that term loosely because she rarely measured, but today I’m very happy to share the first recipe of hers I remember making.

My granny loved peaches. In fact, the jarred vanilla peaches from Atwoods were some of her favorites. She always had canned peaches at home, and it was from this very simple ingredient that she was able to create a favorite dessert of mine – easy peach cobbler.

Photo Credit: Google Images

In a 9×13 pan, melt a stick of butter in a 350 degree oven. While it’s melting, combine 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teapsoon of baking powder, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk and a dash of salt. After the butter has melted, pour the flour mixture on top of the butter. Add two cans (16 ounces each) of sliced peaches in syrup on top. As if that weren’t sweet enough, sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon before baking in the oven for about 45-50 minutes. Delicious every time.

I’m thrilled to share receipes with you, and I can’t wait to hear from each of you about your favorite recipe. Please feel free to share them at etiquettebyemily@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading!

Etiquette vs. Enough

I have a confession. I am addicted to Pottery Barn. In fact, my husband just chunks the magazines when he checks the mail now. I had longed for all things Pottery Barn when I was younger. My mom was very practical and wasn’t into “cutesy.” She was into functional. She has never once cared about brands, and this is an area I wish I shared with her more.

Before school started this year, I really struggled with wanting my daughter (who is soooo similar to my mom) to want a Pottery Barn backpack. But not just that. I wanted her to want the whole set. What did she want, though? The same backpack she had last year (it’s glittery and Frozen) and a lunchbag from Target. Nothing matched. She didn’t care.

I sometimes buy into the lie that I ask all of you to avoid – that certain brands are better than others; that etiquette costs money. None of that is true. Etiquette is about respect. It’s not about Pottery Barn.

One year I’m sure she’ll want a certain backpack, but it may just be from Walmart or Target. I came to realize that the values I had myself were ones I want her to avoid. What you have does not make you any better of a person. How you treat others, though, does.

Today, though, I’m thankful she’s confident enough in who she is to pick out what she truly likes and go with it. It is enough. 🙂

Traveling and Culture

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to post. For 9 days my husband, kids and I were out of cell phone range, which, to be 100% honest, was actually wonderful!

“At Mother Goose’s (Mary Goose) grave in Boston”

We had the opporunity to go to New Hampshire, Boston, Cape Cod (the Mayflower Beach in Dennis was beautiful!), Plymouth, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine (another favorite), and my husband went and ran the original Spartan race in Vermont. Overall, our trip could not have been better! We spent time with family who live in New Hampshire and disconnected from the outside world for a while.

However, this trip and its lack of cell phone signal did not give me any opportunities to update, so I apologize for my absence.

I was very intrigued by some of the regional differences in New England and the South. My aunt told me that the people are very nice in New England (and they are), but they’re not as initially warm. There’s definitely a sense of formality in how they act. That same formality, though, does not extend to dress, and I was mildly surprised that most did not seem to dress up as they do in the South. In fact, at the church we visited, I was the only female (aside from my daughter) in a dress. Y’all know my tendencies to wear dresses, though.

“At a lighthouse in Maine – one of our favorite stops!”

Additionally, people did not seem to initiate conversations, but they were happy to talk once they began. We dropped off my cousin and her two friends at a middle school dance, and the parents lingered briefly, but it definitely wasn’t like some of the local dances here where the outside of the dance seems to be a social gathering for the parents.

At Martha’s Vineyard, I was doubly shocked that people didn’t seem to ever stop for pedetrians who were trying to cross in the cross walk during their turn, but they seemed to have no problem wearing white after Labor Day. A lady I met at the above mentioned dance (from Florida) said she has still not gotten accustomed to the white after Labor Day she saw there.

However, even with the differences from “normal” life, I truly loved and appreciated our time there. Culture is so unique and diverse, and it should be. Out of all the places we visited, Martha’s Vineyard was actually my least favorite. Maine and the North End of Boston were my top two. When I visit, I don’t want to feel like a tourist; I want to be submerged into the culture.

“View from Gay Head Lighthouse in Matha’s Vineyard”

Martha’s Vineyard is undeniably beautiful. However, while we were there, other than the scenery, I couldn’t find anything about it that really made it unique. The shops were very similar to one another. Ice cream has to be the top trade there.

“Sharing ice cream on vacation”

On the other hand, in the North End, I walked into a cafe to order a cappuccino, and I had to find a waitress that spoke English. Fresh pasta was in the windows of a couple of the markets. There were fish markets, produce markets, meat markets, etc. I could have stayed there for days. By the end of the day we stayed there, I felt like I truly experienced the North End – I can only imagine how much more engrossed I would have been given more time.

I am so thankful my family and I had this opportunity and this time together. Getting to experience life in a different area is something I will never taked for granted. Is there a culture you truly enjoy experiencing other than your own? I’d love to hear!