Folk Tale


This Free People black dress that I purchased last summer continues to be one of my favorite pieces in my closet. I previously wore it with sandals, but I wanted to try belting it with tights and boots for this season. The dress I am wearing is sold out, but I adore the look of this dress in white. It has a similar easy vibe.


I love the longer back. I sometimes hate the new high-low trend, but it works with my lifestyle.

My lifestyle being that of a klutz. I am always dropping things and having to bend over and get them.


Case in point, the other day I was wearing my denim shirt “dress.” Thankfully with tights. I was in the grocery store. I had gone inside for two things and as I was walking to the register, I somehow managed to pick up ten items. I had them precariously balanced in my arms.


I probably would have made it to the register without a mishap, had I not at that moment noticed my children’s kindergarten teacher with her husband in another aisle.

We locked eyes and as I went to wave, I proceeded to drop all of my items on the floor. Three times! Over and over, I bent over and picked up cans and packages of cheese and chips.

It was mortifying.

I am sure the people behind me probably thought it was even more so.

I really could have used a high-low dress that day. Who am I kidding? I could use a high-low dress everyday.


Let’s move along from my mortification. I purchased this vintage folk belt from Modcloth last year (previously worn here). I love it so much. I keep it on my dresser instead of with my other belts because I am scared of it breaking.


I took these pictures on my dad’s property. I think I only explored this road once as a child. I was not very adventurous. Besides, the possibility of rattlesnakes curbed my desire to walk around.


Did you explore your neighborhood growing up? Or were you exploring worlds in books like I was? And when am I going to learn that I always need a grocery cart, even when I am “just running in”?

Pretty Pleats With A Necklace On Top


Way back in the peak of summer I fell in love with The Solana Swing Dress from Anthropologie. I reviewed it here. But I vowed to wait for a good sale price. I very much wanted both colors it came in: grey and pink. I liked the pleats. I liked the swing shape. I knew it was a dress that I could carry into all seasons.


It finally went down to less than $30 during a recent sale. And so I scooped up both colors, and happily awaited their arrival. I even took pictures in one of them while I was extremely sick (still am. I don’t know what to do about this illness) so I could show the dress while it is still available. This dress escorted me to the doctor’s. It is a keeper. Here is the deal, though…


In the reviews, two separate people stated getting any sort of water upon the dress resulted in a permanent loss of the beautiful pleats. I am terrified of even brushing up against the sink in this or going near Ollie, the drool monster. I will try dry cleaning, but I also worry they will want to iron it or steam iron it. Therefore, it may never, ever, ever get washed. That’s not too gross, right?


I ordered both dresses in a size medium, but the pink dress is noticeably longer.


I decided to pair the grey dress with a white long sleeve shirt and wear it more as a jumper with tights.


We took the dogs for a drive and I decided to pose with Murphy.


I initially wore my hair in a new ponytail style, but it was too windy to keep it.



Murphy was being kind of crazy, so I switched to Ollie.


But Murphy looked sad, so I decided to take them both for a walk.


This did not really help, because what they really wanted was my husband. They adore him the best. That is because he adores them the best. Funny how that works.


They finally got what they wanted. My husband is aghast that I took his picture. He doesn’t need to know I then posted it on the internet, too. Let’s just keep that between us. And, yes, I love a bearded man.


And I love a good scarf. I purchased this scarf from Anthropolgie many years ago. It has always been my favorite.


Do you “do” pleats? Do you wear long sleeves under your sleeveless dresses in the winter? What should I do about cleaning the dress? Any suggestions?

*I shared this on The Pleated Poppy and Reasons To Dress.

Meatloaf Muffins


I feel the same way about meatloaf that I do about meatballs. Ugh! The name! It really is gag inducing. I will eat a bite of it and be enjoying it, but then it always happens… I start to think, “I am eating a loaf of meat.” A shaped form of meat. M. E. A. T. And then I will push it to the side and eat my mashed potatoes. Which, really isn’t winning any name contests of its own anytime soon.

I sure know how to sell a recipe, don’t I?

Well, this is all to say my husband LOVES meatloaf.


And I like to make him happy. Making him happy makes me happy. I am hoping when he reads this he will remember this meal and my sentiments and not the dress that came in the mail today.

So, sometimes I form a mashed-together-pile-of-meat into a loaf. Just for him. I’m a keeper.

Still selling this recipe, aren’t I? Bear with me.

A few years ago, I made a batch of spicy meatloaf muffins (that recipe is not the one featured here). The kids liked the meatloaf made in muffin tins. I liked not having to cut a loaf of meat. Swallow. Breathe. And the other day I decided to make meatloaf muffins again using a variation of my meatball recipe. Would that make these meat muffins? There has to be a better name!

I served the meat muffins over mashed potatoes and it was so good. My husband actually groaned. And in a good way, not in a, “these recipe names are disgusting,” way that you are doing now.

I will absolutely keep making these little round suns of meaty happiness over clouds of potatoes. They are easy. They are fun. And everyone liked them.


1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound of ground beef (I like 96/4 so that there is not a huge layer of fat on top of the meat at the end. I hate that!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup diced Onions cooked sautéed in 2 Tbsp. butter
Pinch chili flakes
2 Tablespoons of Dalmatia My Mom’s Red Pepper Spread (any kind of red pepper spread is good. I also really like the one Trader Joe’s carries)
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 clove or 1/2 tsp. of minced garlic (sautéed at the last minute with the onions)
1/4-1/2 cup ketchup


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease muffin pans. This will yield eight meatloaf muffins.

Your package of meats are probably about one pound each. If that is true, split each package in half and save the remainder of the meats for another meal. I used mine as a substitute for the whole pound of meat in the coffee ground spaghetti recipe that I love. It was delicious.


In a small pan, sauté onions in the butter for 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional one minute.


Add butter, garlic and onions to a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for five minutes.


Add all remaining ingredients except ketchup and mix with hands until incorporated. You do not want to over mix. Just make sure everything is together.


Now with an ice cream scoop, scoop meat into muffin pan.

Repeat until all meat is in the pans. Now layer ketchup over each muffin so that no meat pokes through.


Place in oven and bake for twenty-twenty five minutes. I removed mine at twenty two minutes and cut open one to make sure it was done inside. I know this goes against every culinary rule (but, I mean really, we’re making meatloaf muffins here. How technically accurate do I need to be?), but I rest my meatloaf muffins on a paper towel for two minutes because I do not like the excess fat.


I served mine on top of mashed potatoes.

And it was good, despite the flaw of its name. It had a perfect blend of flavors and the creamy mashed potatoes brought it all together. I am actually craving them as I write this. I am a meatloaf convert. Let’s just keep this between us.

Shakespeare once wrote,

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”


“Meatloaf by any other name will still taste of meat.”

Hmmmm… still not sure I’m sellin’ these right.

Spaghetti Carbonara


Spaghetti Carbonara is one of those deceptively easy looking recipes. And it is easy. Except, I will say you need to have a bit of cooking experience to be able to execute it well. If not made correctly, it will quickly turn into a scrambled egg pasta.

The whole dish only takes about ten minutes to put together after the noodles have been boiled, drained and set aside. But the last two minutes makes you hustle.

I use Rachael Ray’s Spaghetti Carbonara recipe. I have tried many and I feel hers is the best. I tweaked it very slightly. I changed the amount of spice and garlic, because that is what my family preferred. And I use good ol’ bacon instead of pancetta.

I wanted to write the recipe down and add some tips because I have learned some things that will make this recipe go more smoothly:


1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pound package of spaghetti noodles
4 slices of chopped bacon
1 minced clove of garlic (or 1 tsp. from a jar or one handy little pocket from the frozen packet available at Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup white wine (whatever you are drinking. The recipe calls for dry, but I have used a Riesling and it is equally as good)
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8-1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (start with 1/8 and see if it is enough)
1 cup reserved cooking water from the pasta


First things first. Freeze your four slices of bacon for twenty minutes. This will make it much easier to cut.


This part is purely optional: with the remaining bacon, I cook it in my oven with my oven bacon recipe while I prepare the Spaghetti Carbonara. My kids love to munch on the extra bacon with their pasta.

Boil a large pot of water. Add two Tablespoons of salt to the water once it is boiling. Add spaghetti noodles to the boiling water and cook according to directions on the package.


Separate egg yolks while spaghetti is boiling. This part is my favorite. It is so fun. Just crack your egg. Break it in half, keeping the whole egg in one half. Now pour the egg yolk into the other half of the shell. Keep doing this until the white has completely fallen out. Add the yolks to a small bowl and gently beat. Set aside.

Before draining the spaghetti, carefully reserve 1 cup of the boiling water.

Drain spaghetti. Set aside.


Chop bacon. Add to a large skillet and cook until crispy but not burnt. Usually this takes five to six minutes.


Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook an additional minute. Add wine. Let simmer in the pan for two minutes. Scrape up bits of bacon pieces. Turn off heat.


This is where you are gonna turn into a super hero. Are you ready? Well, it doesn’t matter because you are all ready at this part. There is no turning back. Go ahead and flip that apron into a cape.

No! Don’t really do that! We’re working with bacon here! Keep that apron on and just imagine it is a cape. You are free to implement your fantasy after this dish is on the table. And won’t that be fun?!

The next steps need to be done in order and pretty quickly.


Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot cooking liquid you reserved from the spaghetti noodles to the egg yolks while you are continuously whisking them. Keep whisking until all of the 1/2 cup is added. You do not want scrambled eggs! Add your water slowly.

Now add your spaghetti noodles to the wine and bacon mixture.

Immediately add your egg yolks to the spaghetti noodle mixture and toss and toss and toss. Right before your eyes the spaghetti mixture will start to come together and turn creamy. If it is looking too dry and not easy to toss, slowly add more of your reserved cooking water to it while you toss.

Add salt, pepper, and cheese. Toss some more.

Serve promptly! If you did this properly, you will now have an incredible creamy white pasta with bits of bacon in it. Your family will swoon at your feet. If you did this incorrectly, you will have chunks of eggs and be thankful that you made some extra bacon. Just don’t tell anyone you weren’t trying to make breakfast for dinner!


Enjoy! This is one of my very favorite things to make. My husband requested it for his birthday dinner this year.

Do you love Spaghetti Carbonara? Have you made it yet?

Well, what are you waiting for? That cape ain’t gonna turn itself! ; )

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.