Southern Woman - May/June 2022

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Dear Class of 2022, Dream big and go far.








Hey Y’all! It’s that time… Sweet summertime! I started thinking about when I was a little girl, spending many summers at my grandparent’s home. My nanny and granddaddy always had a big garden full of the most beautiful vegetables. All of us kids would help pick beans, squash, okra, tomatoes and Silver Queen corn. We loved to ride in the trailer, pulled behind granddaddy’s tractor, up the hill to the peanut garden, and pick bushels to boil. We would be so tired at the end of the day, and then Nanny would throw together the most delicious country meal! For dessert we had Aunt Katherine’s black bottom pie or a slab of watermelon. When it cooled down around 6:30 in the evening, we would go out in the yard and catch lightning bugs, or cut an old milk jug in half, leaving the handle, and go pick black berries. It sure seems like there were more black berries back then! I decided this year I am going to have a big garden and teach my son to harvest the veggies. We have so many things to be thankful for, even in these days of uncertainty. Some of my favorite experiences in publishing this magazine have been meeting people who are passionate and excited about what they do. It’s so nice to see folk coming together to help each other and inspire one another. Our family at Southern Woman would like to say Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mamas, and Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies too! We congratulate all of our graduates of 2022! Oh dear God, may the members of our Armed Forces be blessed with the fortitude to face every battlefield. May they trust in God’s mighty power to accomplish every task they are assigned. Let our military brothers and sisters be encouraged by our love and support. Lift those heavy hearts that have lost beloved ones for the sake of our country’s freedom. Bless those families with your strength and peace. With honor and respect this Memorial Day, we send our love and prayers.

Be Blessed,

Melanie Denney-Haas Publisher, Owner





May June Features 14

PLAY IT LIKE A GIRL Female Athletes


THE CHARM OF CHARLESTON Destinations to Explore


SUMMER PICNIC Delicious Recipes


NANCY DAVIS Race to Erase MS

May/June 2022





In This Issue

Food & Table

Home & Garden

2 REFLECTIONS A Moment of Pause

32 NOURISH + BLOOM Real Food, Real Products, Real People

58 IT'S A PORCH THING with Holly Cellini

10 ABOUT THE COVER A Closer Look

46 SOUTHERN CLASSIC Fried Green Tomatoes

66 CREATE THE CLASSIC Southern Garden

Beauty & Style

Health & Wellness

70 HOME GROWN Country Gardens Family Farm

20 SOUTHERN STYLE with Sarah Hunt



4 PUBLISHER’S LETTER from Melanie Denney-Haas

Family & Life 26 MAMA'S TRADITIONS Happy Mother's Day 30 MOTHER'S AND DAUGHTERS Legacies of Love


36 KENTUCKY DERBY Recipes for Your Party

50 GOODNESS For the Gut

62 LET'S GO NATIVE Planting Smart








SOUTHERN Publisher Melanie Denney Haas Creative Director Mandy Inman Editorial Contributors Bonnie Helander, Madeline Graham, Michelle Denney, Holly Cellini, Shar Peters, Annie Singh-Quern, Diane Morris, Katherine Litton

Southern Woman is a magazine for and about women living in the South. We want to invite you in and make you our family, one glass of sweet tea at a time. Make sure to join us on the web and on social media we have so much to share with you!

We’ll see you online!

Cover Photography Davel Photography Cover Styling Blue Fern Merchant Lori Duncan For inquiries, to be added to our distribution list, or to advertise, please email

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Summer picnics are a treasured tradition in the south. Whether you keep it simple or fancy-it-up there are many memories to be made while gathering with family and friends. Lori Duncan of Blue Fern Merchant in downtown Newnan brought our vision to life with feminine tea settings and towering candelabras. A moss table runner and plush textured pillows finished off the look. This summer don't be afraid to bring the inside out and explore different ways to make your picnic memorable!

May/June 2022 11


-Lori Duncan, owner and designer


be inspired.

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By Madeline Graham and Mandy Inman


hen thinking about girls' sports, what's usually the first thing that comes to mind? Let's be honest, it’s usually cheerleading, volleyball, and gymnastics. We've put girls' and boys' sports in certain categories. The fact is that anyone can play any sport with the right motivation. Meet four young ladies who chose not to conform to the labels put on “girls' sports.” They decided to participate in what they were interested in, not what society thought would fit them best. Flag football, lacrosse, wrestling, and sharpshooting all involve a great level of skill and strength that are needed for success. Many would say men are naturally stronger than women, and they are not wrong. Studies have shown an increase in physical strength in men rather than women, making men have an upper hand when it comes to full-contact sports. That doesn't mean women do not have an upper hand though. Women have been proven to have the upper hand in endurance, life expectancy, and withstanding trauma. Being physically strong is not always the key to these sports. By taking a look into these girls' lives, you will see the enormous amount of work being put into and outside of their sports seasons.

Madeline is a high school Varsity flag football player. She plays center and is #11 on her team. She has participated in various sports, and found a love for flag football. During the season she is consistently finding ways to improve and learn more about her sport. A very outgoing, positive member of her team , she was awarded with the school's “Spirit Award” for the impact she made in and out of the season! Outside of football season, Madeline focuses on family, faith and friends as they are the most important factors in her life. Being very goaloriented and determined, she is preparing to become an Air Traffic Controller at the age of 18.

Maddie is a high school Varsity wrestler and is captain of the boys' varsity team. Her achievements are many and she has worked hard for every single accomplishment. Maddie is ranked first in Georgia and eighth in the Southeast region of the US. She is a 3-time state qualifier and a freestyle state champion. She even set the school record for the most pins in a single season. When she is not on the mat she loves fishing, paddle boarding, and weight lifting. She recently signed with Trine University to begin a new chapter in her wrestling career.

Kayton plays high school JV and varsity lacrosse. While on the field she plays as #20 and shares that number with her boyfriend who plays lacrosse as well. Kayton doesn't just have one season of lacrosse, she plays year-round with another team known as Warriors Lacrosse. As much as she enjoys her field time, Kayton also loves thrifting, spending time with her boyfriend, and being outdoors. While Kayton’s makeup on the field includes eye black, off the field she enjoys trying new styles and methods with anything involving cosmetology.

Caroline is a sharpshooter. She joined her high school shotgun team during her freshman year. Caroline shoots a 12gauge shotgun, and has competed in state for three years. While she shoots Trap and Sporting Clays, Skeet remains her favorite as it is her dominant event. Besides shooting, Caroline enjoys running track and pole vaulting.

Do what you love and PLAY IT LIKE A GIRL!

Southern Style WITH SARAH HUNT By Michelle Denney

Dress - Tuckernuck ( Earrings - Lisi Lerch - from the collection Sarah co-designed (

Hat - Lisi Lerch ( Table Linens - Fenwick & Fields (

Dress - Hill House ( Bag - Barrington Gifts ( Jewelry - Lisi Lerch ( Shoes - Tory Burch (


Blue dress - Tuckernuck ( Bag - Bogg Bag ( Shoes - Palm Beach Sandals (

Tennis dress- Addison Bay ( Earrings - Lisi Lerch (

Dress- Smith & Quinn ( Earrings - Lisi Lerch (

Follow Sarah on Instagram and visit her website for more inspiration!

@SoSarahHunt May/June 2022 21

The Charm

of Charleston

By Bonnie Helander

Known to locals as the Holy City, Charleston has it all…a vibrant Southern culture, warm hospitality, rich history, striking architecture, celebrated restaurants and hotels, upscale shopping, beautiful gardens, and stunning beach communities. It is a city to fall in love with and return to many times! Charleston is a popular destination at any time of the year, so plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss out on the best restaurants and places to stay.


accommodations For upscale accommodations, Travel + Leisure Magazine recommends the John Rutledge House Inn, The Hotel Bennett, The Restoration, Wentworth Mansion and The Spectator Hotel as the top places to stay in Charleston. But if upscale is not in your budget, there are hundreds of other charming options, from historic bed and breakfasts to funky beach bungalows. Since we wanted to visit historic gardens, my husband and I stayed at the charming Inn at Middleton Place, about 16 miles from downtown Charleston. Middleton Place, considered “one of the most interesting and important gardens in America” by the Garden Club of America, is a must-see if you love nature and beautiful formal gardens.

getting started There is so much to see and do in Charleston, that it is a little overwhelming. If it is your first visit, get the lay of the land and start with a tour. There are multiple ways to take a tour of Charleston by bus, horse-drawn carriage, on a boat or a guided or self-guided walking tour. You can also purchase a comprehensive tour pass at that includes admission to over forty area attractions. To understand the rich and complex history of Charleston, spend some time at The Charleston Museum, founded in 1824, and known as “America’s First Museum.”

plantation tours Magnolia Plantation & Gardens – Still owned by descendants of the original owners, the Drayton family, this plantation on the Ashley River was established in 1676. It is listed with Travel + Leisure Magazine as “One of America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” and is considered the oldest public garden in America. There are many tour options to visit the gardens and historic buildings at Magnolia Plantation. To learn the poignant history of enslaved people who worked in the gardens and in the rice fields, don’t miss “From Slavery to Freedom: the Magnolia Cabin Project Tour” that focuses on efforts to restore the buildings used by enslaved workers and to highlight the slaves’ history and rich contributions.

Middleton Place – Dating back to 1705, it is considered America’s oldest landscaped garden. You can tour the stunning, classic formal gardens, the main house and ruins, the stable yards, carriage house, slave cemetery, demonstration rice field and the famous Middleton Oak – considered to be over 1000 years old! MacLeod Plantation Historic Site – Located on James Island in 1678, the plantation is considered an important Gullah/Geechee heritage site, and local tours focus on the history of the plantation from the point of view of the enslaved workers. During the Civil war, the plantation was occupied by Confederate forces and the house was used as a hospital. You can tour the remains of six clapboard slave cabins, detached kitchen, gin house, barn and carriage house and learn about Sea Island cotton production.

other attractions Civil War buffs will definitely want to plan a tour of Fort Sumter, at the entrance of Charleston Harbor, where the opening shots of the war were fired in 1861. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is a familyfriendly attraction where you step aboard the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, visit the Medal of Honor Museum and 28 historic aircraft and view the Vietnam Experience exhibit. Other must-visit attractions include the waterways of picturesque Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant for water sports and enjoying fresh seafood dining with magnificent waterfront views. A self-guided walking tour through the French Quarter and Rainbow Row on East Bay Street along the Battery is a popular activity to take photos of the 13 brightly pastel-painted historic homes. Not for the faint of heart are any of the popular ghost tours offered in Charleston including the Spirits of Magnolia Cemetery, USS Yorktown Ghost Tour, Haunted Jail Tour, Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour, and Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour. Don’t leave Charleston without a walk along one of the beautiful beaches at Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, or the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island.


restaurants Known for its culinary excellence, Charleston is a gourmet’s paradise! I asked a foodie friend for recommendations for fine dining and he suggested The Charleston Grill, located in Belmond Charleston Place Hotel on King Street. Described as “Southern soul with contemporary flair,” The Charleston Grill did not disappoint. You can enjoy your meal while listening to live jazz and an added bonus is free valet parking for the restaurant at the hotel. FIG is another downtown recommendation. FIG describes itself as “elevated takes on Southern classics with seasonal ingredients served in an upscale bistro setting.” My favorite stop, however, was the very casual, truly classic, Southern-style Bessinger Barbeque. Started in 1939 and still run by the same family, this BBQ joint is known for its famous mustardbased barbeque sauce. If good food is your “thing,” you can even take a guided best food walking tour in Charleston!

shopping Start your shopping expedition in downtown Charleston on historic King Street where you will find a vast array of boutiques, antique stores, name brand shops and art galleries to fit any taste and budget. Considered the cultural heart of Charleston and the city’s most visited attraction, the City Market, spanning four blocks, is located on downtown Meeting Street and a must-see tourist destination. Here you will find a selection of art, food, jewelry and hand-crafted items, including the city’s signature sweetgrass baskets, a Gullah artisan tradition, originally made to winnow rice on plantations. Mount Pleasant Town Centre (in nearby Mount Pleasant) was voted by locals as Charleston’s Best Shopping Destination. The 17th Annual Sweetgrass Festival will be held in Mount Pleasant on July 24 and showcases the culture of the Gullah/Geechee heritage.

Plan a trip to the Holy City of Charleston. You won’t be disappointed! For more information on visiting Charleston, go to


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Mount Pleasant Pier

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Mama’s Traditions

Southern moms (and grandmas!) pass on the best traditions! In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked readers to share their favorite pieces of family heritage the women in their families have passed down to them. Here are a few of our favorites:

mother noun.

A person who does everything for everyone and never asks for help. Also knows when you are lying, and makes the best sandwiches.

"Life was meant to enjoy, Lee. Don't sweat the small stuff. Work hard, be honest, and have FUN!" - Lee Bogle My mama was famous for her cornbread dressing. She made it for every holiday. Before she passed away she handed the recipe down to me and now I carry on the tradition of making the dressing. She even left her special dressing pan to me. - Renee Wright

My Grandmother took flowers and plants from her yard everywhere for gifts to leave behind and now I do! - Christy Griner Hulsey

Baking! Especially pies. We make the best pies ever! My children have been taught as well. Our favorite is butterscotch pecan. - Stacey Sembrick

Just being a hard, honest worker and taking care of my family. - Lori Robertson Ward She asked us to be presentable outside the home and to be a helper when we could. -Patricia Cruzan

We play Elvis Presley’s Christmas album while decorating the Christmas tree. (And my grown kids now do this, too, since it was part of their childhood.) - Stacey Gillilan Pierce

My mother loved feeding people. She could whip a meal for ten in just minutes it seemed to me. My friends say they can always expect southern hospitality at my house. I’m sure I got that from my Momma - Shirley Wheeler Battle

Spending a day together with the whole family building and baking homemade calzones from scratch. - Dana Davis

Lipstick. Always wear lipstick. “Finishes your face”. - Leah Coleman King

We make cookies. The recipe goes back to at least my great great grandmother. We just call them Grandma's White Cookies. Our whole family gets together and makes them in December. We make them here and there through out the year too. - Colleen Hinesley

We used to draw names for Christmas after thanksgiving dinner. That way, everyone only had to buy one gift. It was always a lot of fun and interesting to see what everyone got. - Renee Lee

I bake a sugar cookie recipe with my kids that is a tradition I inherited from my mother. The recipe is from my great great grandmother and will be passed on to my kids and grandkids! The recipe will be in the cookbook coming out this Spring. - Katherine Lanier

Always treating family supper time very special we always used real napkins and good plates and the good silverware. - Sharona Lee

we fold our towels into thirds. I always have a drink in the car and if not, I stop at a gas station to get one. We use to always have bread with dinner .. But not since going keto. ALL Christmas presents are wrapped... Even the gifts/candy in stockings. Birthdays are a huge deal!! - Val Gillilan Gurr
















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Mothers &Daughters LEGACIES OF LOVE

by Annie Singh-Quern My daughter turned 19 in March. I called to wish her a happy birthday. “Where did the years go? I feel as though I have just given birth to you!” She retorted, “Mom, you say that every year!” I hung up the phone and made a short trip to the closet in her old bedroom. The ivory sateen dress and matching bonnet my grandmother had sewn for her grand daughter made its annual journey out of its faded keepsake box. It was the first fancy dress she had worn, on a Sunday, when she was one month old. Nineteen years really did zip by. My 77-year-old mother has been staying with me since February. Every day, I tell myself how lucky I am to be able to share time with her. When I was growing up, my “mum” was our rock, putting her career on hold - without a complaint - to raise her four kids and run a household. Now my mother and I spend days stirring up family recipes, sharing stories of yesteryear and walking the golf cart paths. My mom is the same as she was 50 years ago always listening and never judging. Mother claims that her mother was opposite of her in personality. Grandma was stern and stubborn, traits that seemingly made up for her slight height of four eleven. She ruled her roost with tough love. Right after high school, my mom asked permission to visit England, but my grandmother refused with a firm “no.” To this day, my mother feels as though she had missed out on living her young life fully.


Grandmother prepared her daughters for the real world in her own way. The four young women learned to cook, sew and knit to perfection. When my daughter was ten years old, her grandma began teaching her to sew and knit during our visits in the summers. (Passion for such home crafts had somehow skipped a generation as I can barely pass a thread through the eye of a needle.) In raising my own young adult daughter, I decided to follow some of my mom’s methods, and a few of my grandmother’s. Last semester, when my daughter shared that she would like to study in France for nine weeks, I said, “Sure.” I was anxious, and realized that my grandmother was probably scared, too, to let her child go off into the strange and dangerous world. I’ve learned though to allow love to swell above my fears. I’ve also begun to listen more, rather than problem solve immediately. Heated arguments with my stubborn and sassy Aries teen have now simmered to bearable debates and pleasant discussions. My daughter has been drawing closer to me, and I am forever grateful. Last month my Aries grandmother would have turned 95. We would have celebrated her birthday with a houseful of children, grandkids and great grands. It was all that my grandmother would have wanted. Plus some homemade vanilla sponge cake. She loved cake. And so do my daughter and I.

The majestic beauty of nature, exalted by the absolute refinement of jewelry: stunning one-of-a-kind creations pay tribute to each custom design, as well as the boundless emotions they inevitably stir in the human heart.




REAL FOOD…REAL PRODUCTS…REAL PEOPLE Story by Bonnie Helander Photos provided by Nourish + Bloom Market

Jamie and Jilea Hemmings’ quest to revolutionize the food industry started as a labor of love for their child. When their oldest son was diagnosed with autism, the couple began looking for healthier eating options for their children. Discouraged by the lack of wholesome products, the couple began developing their own line of organic, vegan children’s food items called Green Tots.


should have access to wholesome, nutritious, food choices, Jilea and Jamie recently opened Nourish + Bloom Market, in the Town of Trilith, the first autonomous grocery store with robotic delivery in the U.S., and the first black-owned autonomous grocery store in the world! All their products are carefully selected for superior ingredients, are minimally processed, and do not contain any high fructose corn syrup or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). You will find an array of locallysourced craft items, such as meats, plant-based products, produce, baked goods, dairy, prepared meals and everyday household items. The couple hopes to add their own line of Green Tots products in the future. Native New Yorkers who moved to McDonough to be closer to a family member with health issues, the couple learned about the charming Town of Trilith, in Fayetteville, when their three sons started attending The Forest School in Trilith, and decided it was the perfect spot to open their new business venture. The vision for the unique Nourish + Bloom concept was born out of the pandemic, when people became more cautious about handling items and waiting in lines in close contact with others. According to Jamie and Jilea, 87% of shoppers now prefer to shop touchless.

THE HEMMINGS combined cutting-edge technology with wholesome foods and personal service to create a relaxing shopping experience that allows you to select food and exit the store without standing in a checkout line or handling a credit card or cash. You simply download the Nourish + Bloom app and then enter your payment information. To enter the market portion of the store, you then scan the QR code at the turnstile and begin shopping. Thirty cameras and weighted shelves track your selections, and your payment is processed as you leave the store, sending an e-receipt by phone. No lines, no waiting – all touchless. This seamless concept is three times quicker than checkout at a traditional grocery store. Jilea and Jamie hope that less time waiting in lines will give customers more community time to engage in conversation with the staff and others shopping in the store. A futuristic delivery service is also available if you live within three miles of the store. When you enter Nourish + Bloom you will notice two loveable robots (aptly named “Nourish” and “Bloom”) at the entrance to the store to greet you and provide delivery service. Just place items in one of the robot’s temperature-controlled basket, scan your app, and off he goes! May/June 2022 33

Even if you don’t have groceries to pick up, you will want to stop by Nourish + Bloom to enjoy The Bistro, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As part of an extensive breakfast menu, the Hemmings offer authentic New York bagels and the popular British-based Costa coffee. The lunch menu includes signature sandwiches, like Philly cheesesteak, soups, salads and desserts. You can pick up a dinner bowl for the evening. According to Jamie, “Our staff is friendly, our products are clean, and our prepared food in The Bistro is delicious. We have great chefs. We want to connect with you as a community. We have put our entire life into this store. It is our passion.” The Hemmings plan to expand Nourish + Bloom Market in the Atlanta area and eventually across the country. It the legacy they want to leave for their sons.

Nourish + Bloom Market is located at 300 Trilith Pkwy., Suite #250 and is open Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Shortly, they will expand the market hours to be open 24/7 for your shopping convenience. For further information, visit 34 SOUTHERN WOMAN



Host a It’s Kentucky Derby time y’all! Every year since 1946, The Kentucky Derby has been held on the first Saturday of May. This year it will be held on May 7th. We have complied a few classic derby recipes to help bring your event to life! Let’s put on our fanciest hats and host a derby party!

Mint Julep • 8 mint leaves • 1/4 ounce simple syrup • 2 ounces bourbon • Garnish: mint sprig • Garnish: Angostura bitters In a Julep cup or rocks glass, lightly muddle the mint leaves in the simple syrup. Add the bourbon then pack the glass tightly with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside. Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome, and garnish with a mint sprig and a few drops of bitters (optional). Mint Sprig Garnish Hint: Firmly slap the mint sprig on the back of your hand before garnishing; this releases the oils to make the mint more aromatic.

Hibiscus Mint Lemonade 1 c. fresh lemon juice 1 c. sugar 1/2 c. fresh mint 2 hibiscus tea bags Combine lemon juice, sugar, and mint in a mason jar. Muddle with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon until mint is bruised. Add tea bags. Tightly screw on the lid, and shake until the sugar is dissolved about 1 minute. Let sit for 1 hour; discard tea bags. Pour the sugar mixture into a large pitcher. Top with 6 cups of water and ice. Serve over ice garnished mint sprigs.

Kentucky Hot Brown has all the best parts of the classic sandwich made famous at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. This Southern-inspired favorite is loaded with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and, of course, plenty of cheese. From the Run for the Roses to the big game, this is the hot appetizer you need to add to your party menu!

Hot Brown 2 oz. whole butter 2 oz. all-purpose flour 1 qt. heavy cream 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish salt and pepper to taste 14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast 2 slices Texas toast (crust trimmed) 4 slices of crispy bacon 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half paprika parsley

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk flour until combined and form a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer (about 2-3 minutes). Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven-safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour onehalf of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place the entire dish under a broiler until the cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Serve immediately.

Kentucky Derby Walnut Pie • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour • 1 cup granulated sugar • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled • 2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon • 1 cup chopped walnuts • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 pinch of salt • 1 ready-made pie crust (for a 9-inch pie) Heat the oven to 350 F. Combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and melted and cooled butter, and mix to combine. Stir in the bourbon, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is set. Set the pie on a wire rack and let cool before slicing. Serve and enjoy.

May/June 2022 37

Top it off! No derby party is complete without extravagant derby hats! This tradition is said to be a sign of good luck. The bigger the hat, the better the luck. Whether you fancy a wide-brimmed hat or a feathery fascinator, enjoy the party in style!







Ahhh! Summertime and picnics, whether it be a simple tabletop spread in the backyard, a gourmet basket by the lake, or a blanket by the ocean at sunset. An elegant spread or simple? There’s always something special about an outdoor picnic… it brings a feeling of nostalgia. Food and nature and good company surely is a treat!


MERINGUE PIE 1 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts 1 1/4 c. sugar, divided 1 tbsp. cornstarch 2 large eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks and 3 large egg whites 2 tbsp. Meyer or regular lemon zest, plus 3/4 c. lemon juice 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1/8 tsp. Kosher salt 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme

• Preheat oven to 400°F. Unroll 1 pie crust and lightly brush with water. Top with remaining pie crust and roll to a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, fold edges under and crimp. Prick the bottom with a fork. Line pie crust with parchment paper; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until edges are set, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper, and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. • Whisk together 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in whole eggs, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened and bubbling, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest and butter until melted and smooth. Transfer to crust and smooth top. • Beat egg whites and salt on medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Beat in marshmallow creme, in four batches, until smooth, about 1 minute. Spread over pie. • Bake until meringue is lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Chill, if desired.

May/June 2022 41

2 tbsp. olive oil 2 strips lime zest, sliced, plus 2 tablespoons juice 1 tsp. sugar Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 small watermelon, rind discarded and sliced 1/3 c. torn fresh mint sea salt • Whisk together oil, lime juice, and sugar in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. • Serve watermelon topped with dressing, lime zest, mint, and sea salt.


TANGY POTATO SALAD 2 1/2 lb. new potatoes Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 c. olive oil 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 c. chopped half-sour pickles, plus 2 tablespoons pickle brine 2 tsp. mustard seeds 2 c. watercress 1/4 c. chopped fresh chives 1/3 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Place potatoes in a large pot; cover with cold salted water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Cut into halves or quarters, if large. Meanwhile, whisk ­together oil, vinegar, Dijon, and pickle brine in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes, pickles, and mustard seeds, and toss to coat. Fold in watercress, chives, and parsley.

HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD 1/4 c. olive oil 2 tbsp. Champagne vinegar 1 tbsp. pure honey or agave Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 pt. assorted-colored cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving 1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, some sliced and some cut into wedges Small basil leaves, for serving Whisk together oil, vinegar, and honey in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add cherry tomatoes and chives; toss to combine. Arrange heirloom tomatoes on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon cherry tomato mixture on top. Garnish with basil and additional chives.

May/June 2022 43


1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed 1 cup water 1 ¾ cups barbecue sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 ½ tablespoons hot sauce ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 15 (2-ounce) hamburger buns Place pork and 1 cup of water in a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until meat is tender. Drain pork, discarding cooking liquid. Return pork to slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. Stir in barbecue sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce, and some ground pepper. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour. Slaw Topping Ingredients 3 cups green cabbage finely shredded 2 cups purple cabbage finely shredded 1 cup carrot finely shredded Dressing ½ cup mayonnaise/dressing 1 tablespoon white vinegar ½ tablespoon cider vinegar 2 teaspoons sugar ½ teaspoon celery seeds salt & pepper to taste Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Toss with cabbage & carrots. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.



1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil 6 cloves garlic, sliced 2 to 3 dried red chiles (such as Arbol), lightly crushed 2 tsp. lime zest + lime wedges for serving Kosher salt 4 ears sweet corn Heat oil, garlic, and chiles in a small saucepan over medium heat until garlic is just beginning to turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Season with salt. Cook corn in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes; drain. Slice into 1 1/2" disks. Serve corn drizzled with garlic oil and lime wedges alongside.


S’mores are one of our favorite outdoor snacks, but there's not always a fire pit or grill to be found. Now you can have everything you love about s'mores buttery graham crackers, melty chocolate, and toasted marshmallow cupcake!

3 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 20 full-sheet graham crackers) 12 tbsp. melted butter 1/2 c. granulated sugar Pinch kosher salt Devil's food cake mix, plus ingredients called for on box 1 c. chocolate chips 1/2 c. heavy cream 24 marshmallow

Preheat oven to 350° and line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Make cupcakes: Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt in small bowl. Press about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each cupcake liner to make mini crusts. Prepare cake mix according to box instructions and divide batter between liners and bake for a couple of minutes less than the box instructs, about 16 minutes.

While the cupcakes are baking, make a quick ganache: Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof bowl and set aside. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips, whisking constantly until smooth. When cupcakes are almost done baking, pull them out and spoon about a tablespoon of ganache onto each cupcake, then top each with a marshmallow. (If it feels unwieldy, place the marshmallow on its side.) Return trays to oven and bake—watching closely!—until marshmallows are golden and very soft, 4 to 5 minutes more.

May/June 2022 45

INGREDIENTS 4 large green tomatoes 2 eggs ½ cup milk 1 cup all-purpose flour ½ cup cornmeal

½ cup bread crumbs 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 quart vegetable oil for frying



toes Fried Green Toma

Whisk together eggs and milk in a bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into the milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.


Southern-style fried green tomatoes are the crisp, tangy, and boldly savory appetizer you have to try. This classic, downhome treat can be paired with several of our favorite dishes. Y’all get ready for some tongueslapping goodness!


Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Let the ends go.

In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (about a 1/2 inch deep) and heat over medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Don’t crowd the tomatoes, and don’t let them touch. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels. Enjoy!

Dip It Good! Mix all ingredients together and dip those crisp Pauline’s Fried Green tomatoes in and enjoy!

GRACE’S ROUMALADE SAUCE 2 cups mayonnaise 1 tsp. spicy brown mustard 1 tsp. ketchup 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt 1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. cayenne pepper 1 tsp. worcestershire 1 tsp. prepared horseradish Dash of Tabasco Juice of one lime

May/June 2022 47

STRESS Many of us may be in a perpetual state of stress because of the daily challenges we face. There are children to care for, a home to clean, and work deadlines to meet. And these are the seemingly little stressors in our lives. What about the big ones such as death of a loved one, chronic illness, divorce, moving to a new home, or the loss of a job? Stress is your body’s response to an event or situation that is threatening, overwhelming, or harmful - whether real or perceived. When the response is out of proportion to the actual threat, you will experience distress. If this stress becomes excessive or chronic, or not managed well, it can take a physical and emotional toll on your body. It may exhaust you and weaken your defense against disease. As a result, you may experience gastrointestinal problems, depression, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Distress can also lead to negative habits like overeating, smoking, drinking, or drug use. Stress is a common trigger for overeating. When you’re faced with a challenge (e.g. a deadline), the hormone cortisol rises in the blood. This may lead to an increase in appetite if the chronic stress is allowing for the production of cortisol production to the point of impacting your appetite. In such stressful situations, people will tend to seek highcalorie, high-fat foods, and their bodies will begin to store more fat than if they were in a relaxed state. Stress eating is a bandage for stress rather than a cure. A healthier response is recognizing that stress and negative emotions do occur in our everyday lives, and that we must find healthy and sustainable ways to cope with them. While some people may want to dive into a bag of chips, try to choose a healthy activity such as going for a walk, doing a quick-guided meditation, or calling a friend. Other sustainable stress relievers include sleep and exercise. Drinking water can also decrease cravings, and being aware that thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger. Healthy activities turned into good habits can help avoid and lessen the stress-eating cravings for junk food. If you constantly struggle with stress eating, it may be worth seeking the support of a professional.


When faced with everyday or chronic stressful situations, try these simple exercises as healthy alternatives to overeating:

Pause. Observe. Focus.

Instead of trying to escape the experience, pause and take a few deep breaths. Stand up and do a slow head-to-toe scan. Become aware of the thinking and feeling of your body’s reactions.

Change thoughts.

If your body is reacting to something manageable or even reasonable, it will remain aware but not alarmed. Thoughts about the past or the future are often at the root of stress. Try thinking about something different or pleasant.

Acknowledge your emotions.

Use your phone or journal and write down your emotions and the food you seek that lead to overeating. Are they high fat, fast food, or sweets? After two weeks, evaluate your results and then make an action list of coping mechanisms to avoid unhealthy foods. Stress eating happens because there’s an emotional need that isn’t being fulfilled. Pay attention to your inner feelings before they become so intensified that it makes you reach for that jar of cookies. Diane Morris, Registered, Licensed Dietitian, author and speaker is the owner of DLMCreations, LLC in Fayetteville, GA. Her Food Freedom For Life proprietary program is available onsite or virtually. Ms. Morris works with individuals who are struggling with stress eating - from feeling powerless over food and embarrassed about their bodies - to making them feel happier and healthy, with more energy and confidence. Connect with Ms. Diane Morris at

crushing your goals

in style



ATHLETIC APPAREL ACCESSORIES SK Athletic Apparel is a unique clothing company that I created because I understand what we as women need. I know what it’s like to work out and test different fabrics, so I created a brand that looks and feels incredible on any woman. I offer clothes that are designed to flatter your shape and size, with an eye-catching design that will make you feel powerful and capable of anything. Fun, right? - Kanisha, CEO & Owner


dn goo


ess for th e

We routinely clean the lint trap in the dryer, change the filters in the HVAC units and take our cars for maintenance to help those machines run most efficiently and function properly. What about the most important machine we have — our body? The difference with our bodies is that we can’t buy a new one when it breaks down. In many cases, we can make the necessary repairs. However, in some situations, we cannot. The human filtration system that comprises the gut, liver, kidneys, and bowel are responsible for keeping our major internal systems in balance, and aid in keeping our bodies healthy. Good gut health is critical to our overall health. The gut wards off bacteria, viruses, and fungi with healthy bacteria and immune cells, and digests food. It is said to be the “brain” for the central nervous system and immune system. It is responsible for energy production, hormone balance, skin health, mental health, waste, and toxin removal. The gut also houses 85% of the immune system. Therefore, when the gut is healthy, so is the immune system. The liver is the primary detoxifier in the body. It is the only organ that can completely regenerate itself. It performs over 500 bodily functions, processes all blood from the gut, and breaks down waste into bile and urea. It also controls metabolism and determines cholesterol levels, and converts sunlight to Vitamin D. The kidneys detoxify the blood, convert waste to urine, filter 53 gallons of blood per day, regulate blood sugar, as well as, filter and remove drugs from the body. Carrying out our daily lives builds up toxicity in our bodies. Over time, such negativity can manifest itself as sugar cravings, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, and constipation. Add skin irritation, fatigue, brain fog, confusion, fluid retention, and excessive belly fat. Plus depression, anxiety, stress, short temper, waking up from 2 am to 4 am, soreness after activity, menstrual issues, and chronic headaches. 50 SOUTHERN WOMAN

It’s important to take timely and consistent measures to help the body get rid of toxins. Simple action includes eating real food, getting exercise, and maintaining loving relationships. A simple cleanse can only empty the colon, resulting in short-term results without affecting the kidneys, liver, gut, and blood. A detox supplementation (a true detox) can be achieved through the consultation and guidance of a licensed healthcare professional. It is critical to use the highest quality products that include renewing and restoring the body for it to function at its optimal level so you can live your best life.

Dr. Linda Weigand is the founder and CEO of InsideOut Dynamics. She is a LifeStyle Strategist, Health and Wellness Educator, a Certified Nutritional Therapist, and a Doctor of Psychology. As a health and wellness professional, Dr. Weigand’s passion and purpose is to help individuals do life better by providing tools and creating awareness using valuable information. Dr. Weigand’s practice is located at 14 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 106, Peachtree City, GA. 678-364-1300 |

straight Each year 62 million Americans are diagnosed with a DIGESTIVE DISORDER. The average American is exposed to over 700 THOUSAND CHEMICALS per day. 1 in 3 Americans has detectable levels of HERBAL PESTICIDES in their systems.

More than 64% OF TOXINS are absorbed through the skin. Over 53 MILLION SUFFER from irregular bowel movements.

May/June 2022 51


It’s not an ordinary race….it’s a race for

answers and cures

By Shar Peters It’s not unusual to have life-changing events throughout your journey on this planet. Many of these transitional experiences may influence who you become, what you do, and sometimes, change your life and its direction. But for one kind and unselfish woman, a medical diagnosis not only is changing her life, but it is giving hope and life-saving benefits to many others. A Startling Medical Diagnosis Nancy Davis, a philanthropist and foundation creator from Los Angeles, shares her life-altering circumstances. In a lengthy phone interview, Nancy’s drive, unending energy and concern for others becomes apparent. She talks openly about her health struggles and her own surprising medical diagnosis when she was in her early 30s. Ultimately, it shook her life as she knew it. “I was devastated,” she remembers. Growing up in Denver, Nancy was an avid and skilled skier. However, as fate would have it, a skiing accident in Aspen in 1991, when she was 33, was the beginning of her quest to get answers and cures to a medical problem she didn’t know she had. This accident immediately changed her life, and fortuitously, in various ways, is changing the lives of many others. Eager to tell her story, Nancy relates that following the skiing mishap that tore her ACL, she began having symptoms totally unrelated to her injury and the knee brace.

“About three weeks after the accident I woke up and I was having these crazy symptoms. I started losing the feeling first in three fingertips of my right hand, and then the fingertips in my left hand, and then my whole hand,” she remembers. “Every few days I had more numbness; and I noticed my eyesight failing.”


Nancy consulted her orthopedic doctor thinking perhaps the brace was pinching against a nerve and causing the numbness. The doctor agreed that something had “gone strangely awry here.” She said it didn’t make sense to him and he referred her to a neurologist. This new doctor ordered numerous tests, including an MRI, and gave Nancy the shocking news the next day that she had multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological disease. “At that time,” Nancy remembers, “I was a young mom with three children to take care of. I wasn’t in a particularly good marriage, and here the doctor is telling me that my life as I knew it was over.” He went on to tell her that she could have trouble walking, and, if she was lucky, she may be able to lift a remote to change the TV station. He cautioned that she probably wouldn’t be able to care for herself.

“I was young. I couldn’t accept this news,” she recalls. “I had a lot of life to live. It wasn’t what I had planned.” Nancy wouldn’t accept this prognosis. She sought others’ opinions and did extensive research. “I realized finding answers myself was the most important thing I could do.” Through her own investigations and doctors’ consultations, Nancy discovered there was no known cause for MS, no drugs to treat the disease, and basically no hope—at least at that time. Establishing a Foundation to Fund Research Growing up in a philanthropic family, charity and fundraising are familiar to Nancy. Her mother successfully established the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Aurora, CO, after Nancy’s sister was diagnosed with the disease. Fortunately, because of the family she grew up in, Nancy knew how to be proactive, gather support for a cause, and get things done. She took control. She had the means and the skills to establish a foundation and garner donations to combat MS and create hope —so, she did. In 1993, she established the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis, which is now called Race to Erase MS. This foundation is dedicated to research for the treatment and ultimate cure of MS. The first Race to Erase MS event was held in Aspen, Colorado in 1993 and raised $1.3 million for the foundation. Since, the event has moved to Los Angeles, and over the years the annual Race to Erase MS gala has raised over $51 million for research. The 2022 Gala is Back Indoors This year’s festivities will be held on May 20 and once again be in a resplendent ballroom after resourcefully being held as a Drive-In event at the Rose Bowl for two years because of Covid. “We are finally back indoors,” beams Nancy, “and we

May/June 2022 53

are so excited to be opening with a fashion show. Longtime supporter, Tommy Hilfiger, will showcase his amazing line of adaptive clothing and other fashions that night.” Over a thousand attendees are expected to fill the ballroom at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in LA, where they will be entertained by various celebrities, including Niles Rodgers and the band Chic. “We are so lucky to have stars donate their time and talents to help us raise funds,” Nancy says. The Best Researchers Seek Answers To date, over 22 drugs, including life-changing infusions and injections, are now on the market to treat MS. There were none when Nancy was diagnosed. Research is at the core of these breakthroughs. Nancy is very cognizant of the importance and value of research, leading her to establish the Center Without Walls (CWW) program which is funded by the Race to Erase MS foundation. Nancy explains why CWW was founded and why it is so important. “We discovered that so much research is duplicated and the results are not shared or communicated in a timely manner. So, we addressed this by bringing the best physicians and researchers in the nation and world together into one program (CWW) to collaborate on multiple sclerosis.” These young doctors and research professionals meet regularly to share their findings and new discoveries, resulting in more efficient and advanced MS research. “This group is magical,” says Nancy.


When asked what her greatest blessings have been, Nancy ponders for only a few seconds, and then answers from her heart, “My parents.” She adds, “Watching how my parents viewed a problem, and instead of walking away from it, found a way to solve it, taught me so much.” With a small laugh, she says, “I think it is in my DNA to never take no for an answer.” In an effort to help others on their journey, Nancy wrote the book, Lean on Me: Ten Powerful Steps to Moving Beyond Your Diagnosis and Taking Back Your Life. This book offers advice to patients who may have received a recent lifechanging diagnosis or who are dealing with a chronic illness. “You need to know that there is another door that can be opened—and there is something you can do,” Nancy states.

For more information on MS: For more information on the Foundation:

peace and LOVE IT’ S ALL ABOUT

Nancy Davis has spent her life inspiring others, bringing them peace and love in their daily lives, and hope for their future. This inspiration manifested itself into a creative outlet for this multi-talented woman with her jewelry, accessory and gift collection. Nancy’s initial jewelry design was created for the 2002 annual Race to Erase MS with Tommy Hilfiger. “Tommy and I needed a theme for the event and we felt a peace and love theme was perfect for the post 9/11 times.”

Thus, the striking design of a heart with a peace sign nestled in the middle was born and it has since become the celebrityrecognized symbol of her line. Necklaces bearing this powerful icon were gifted to performers at the 2002 gala. Many admirers inquired how they could purchase this jewelry for family and friends. This led to the creation of Peace & Love Jewelry by Nancy Davis, which was exclusively launched by Saks Fifth Avenue. Portions of the sales in her line are allocated to support her causes.

May/June 2022 55



Nancy Davis is not one to simply fund a cause, she LIVES for the cause.

Along with Race to Erase MS, another cause that she is dedicated to is funding research to help people who are affected by addictions. Determined to make a difference in the lives of addicts and their loved ones, Nancy and her son, Jason Davis, co-founded a nonprofit, Cure Addiction Now (CAN) in 2018. To date, CAN has funded more than a handful of studies researching critical aspects of addiction. Nancy explains, “We are gathering the best doctors and researchers in the field to study the causes of addiction, the brain activity involved, and the genetic links.” This team, dubbed the Scientific Dream Team by Nancy, includes stellar minds from prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Mount Sinai and others. The program’s goals are aggressive and rational. A basic aim is to remove the stigma of being an addict, and the societal shame and blame endured by the family. “Addiction is a disease,” Nancy emphasizes. “And,” she goes on to pronounce, “a disease is a disease. Any disease is the worst disease in the world if you have it, or your loved one dies from it. Those suffering from this disease need to be treated as patients, not criminals,” she asserts. 56 SOUTHERN WOMAN

e of my life.” v lo e h t s a w e “H Nancy acknowledges that her son, Jason, was struggling off and on for 12 years with addiction issues. He was working alongside his mother and others establishing CAN when he became an early victim of possible Covid. “He was clean for nine months,” remembers Nancy, “but then at the beginning of 2020 he succumbed to a double pulmonary embolism as a result of possible Covid.” He was only 35. Jason was an actor and the voice of Mikey Blumberg from the animated TV series Recess. “He was very creative and funny,” says Nancy. “He was the love of my life.”

In honor of Jason, his brother Brandon Davis, and his twin sisters Isabella and Mariella Rickel, are key executives in the CAN organization and take an active role in its operations. The 17year-old twins are proactively campaigning and creating PSAs to get Narcan (the opioid overdose medication) readily available over the counter. “You can save a friend,” is the powerful theme of this campaign. While the work continues to honor Jason, the pain of losing a child remains with Nancy. In memory of her son, Nancy has written a book, titled, Just One More Day, that will be out soon. The book’s idea actually came from a script that Jason had written when he was grieving as a young man. “The premise,” says Nancy, “was that if you could bring the person you are grieving back for just one more perfect day, how would you spend those 24 hours?” She hopes this book can be healing to so many people who would have liked to have had just one more day. “Sadly,” she says, “during Covid so many people didn’t get a chance to say good-bye. Their loved ones were just gone.” “This book has helped me heal. I hope it will do the same for others.”


Porch Thing IT’S A

By Holly Cellini | Photography by Michele Mabie

Spring is in the air… Normally, I am all about your own space. In this issue, I am going to encourage you to venture out to a different space, The Avenue in Peachtree City, Georgia. We got the privilege to sprinkle a little spring magic on their beautiful space. When they asked me to come up with some ideas I instantly thought of butterflies. They are such a beautiful symbol of new beginnings. The amazingly talented and kind Tarra Williams of Peachtree City was given the task of creating the main attraction, the butterfly wings. You have to come and get your picture taken in front of the 10-foot by 10-foot butterfly wall or the sweet little baby version. They will be there the entire season of spring.



If wings aren’t your thing grab a coffee, snack, or meal from one of the many places at the Avenue. Sit under the arbor that is all decked out with hints of spring. Do you want to imitate any of the looks? You can! We took willow balls and coated them with our favorite pastel spray paint. If you want to hang them outside like we did you will need to coat them with some clear polyurethane. That will ensure that they will stay beautiful all season long. Get out this season, and enjoy the warm weather, your family, and another location. Bring your kids, camera and make some memories. We spent an hour laughing and having some fun. Your housework will be there when you return. The memories that you create this spring will last a lifetime.


May/June 2022 61

native! LET'S GO

By Katherine Litton We are talking about native plants in the landscape. Just what is a native plant, one may ask? It is a plant that has been growing naturally in an area forever, since before the colonization of America. Through the generations, however, colonies of plants that are a little different have cross pollinated and created a different variety of the native plant. This has happened in native azaleas to a large extent.


Indigenous plants are native plants growing in a particular location. However, they can be planted and will grow in other areas, as well, but do not occur naturally in that area. The term ‘native to Georgia’, or ‘native to the South’ describes a particular plant in that region. Plants that are native to south Georgia or other warmer regions may not necessarily be cold-hardy enough to use in a north Georgia setting. Also to be considered are plants native to cold regions that will not do well in very warm climates. It is necessary to determine coldhardy factors in choosing native plants for the landscape. Exotic plants are plants introduced from another continent such as Japan, China, or Europe and used in landscapes in North America. They are propagated and grown in large acreages in our country and are usually the ones available in garden centers and nurseries to be used in landscape settings. Because of this many are prone to have diseases and insects that must constantly be watched for to control because there are no natural biological controls in place for them. Exotic plants can also be classified as Invasive Plants. Some can become so widespread by birds and animals that they destroy entire forests and upset our ecosystem. One of the most common is ivy planted by thousands of gardeners.

Soil preparation is the most important factor in getting native plants to grow successfully. The soil must be prepared to duplicate the growing conditions of the native plant as much as possible. Many native plants are woodland plants and the root system is acclimated to the deep humus soils that have accumulated on the forest floor. We will discuss some favorite varieties of native plants to use in the landscape and how to prepare the proper setting for them. Homeowners like to purchase plants on the spur of the moment and haul them home without any idea of where to plant them nor what growing conditions they may need. Big Box stores take delight in only showing plants when they are in full bloom to entice this practice. This author admits to being a ‘plantaholic’ also and wanting every plant in sight. Most plants are sold now with tags on them identifying the plant, how tall it will grow, and the cold hardiness zone it likes. Also by carefully reading the tag on the back will be instructions on how to plant it. Most homeowners never pay attention to this information. Always read the tags carefully before making a purchase. Many nurseries are now beginning to sell native plants because of the trend of getting back to nature. First and foremost, it is not recommended to try to dig native plants out of the wild as most of them will not live when dug and brought to the homeowner’s property. So many plants are becoming scarce in the wild because people think they can dig one instead of purchasing it at a nursery. It might live for a while but will most likely die off within a year. Please don’t dig from the wild!

Native plants can also become widespread rapidly in a landscape by sending out suckers or birds scattering the seeds. However, native plants are NOT classified as invasive, but are called AGGRESSIVE! That can bring a chuckle as some natives love their location and like to take over the spaces. Some natives can be called opportunistic plants for sure.

Baptisia Australias (false indigo)


May/June 2022 63

Why the sudden push to plant natives? They provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. They use less fertilizer than the exotics and have less diseases, so constant spraying with chemicals is eliminated. Some small amounts of fertilizer should be used to have the plants grow as well as necessary in the landscape setting, but too much is detrimental to the plant. Native plants use less water once they are established as they grow in the natural habitat with only rain. However, it is necessary to not let them dry out in the home landscape as they will not perform well. Greatest of all is that native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife and support pollinators. Beautiful native perennial borders can be achieved in the garden by determining whether you want to develop a shade garden or sun garden. Study the varieties of plants to be chosen for bloom period, height, and bushiness of the plant. Also to be considered is if you want to attract butterflies or other pollinators. Certain species of butterflies require certain plants for their survival. Proper siting of the perennial border is a must. Certain plants require sunny locations and other require shade or part shade. Types of pollinators that will be coming to the plants need to be considered also. Butterflies like wide open spaces so they can flit from one flower to another, and hummingbirds like to fly down get nectar and dash away to a safe place. An all time favorite for the sunny border that attracts many Butterflies to feed on the plant is the Butterfly weed, and its many varieties. This is the only food for Monarchs. Baptisia australias, false indigo, is another wonderful native plant for the sunny border. Its bright blue blooms are attractive. After blooming seed pods will form that can be allowed to dry and plant in other locations. During pioneer days the roots from this plant was used to make a type of dye for clothing when indigo was not available.


Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum is good for pollinators and is deer resistant as well. It grows several feet tall and can be sited in the back or at corners of the border. It grows naturally in low meadows and bogs over a wide variety of locations but will take to the garden nicely if kept watered so it does not get very dry. It is stated that the name boneset comes from the idea that it would heal broken bones, but actually, it was used medicinally for a species of influenza which had prevailed in the early days called Break Bone fever. It is listed in pharmacology books as a treatment for influenza. You will notice the unusual formation of the leaves which causes it to look like the stem is growing through the leaf. A few other favorite sun-loving perennials that bring color at different times of the season include Aster species, Chrysogonum virginianum (Green-and-gold, a ground cover type plant), Dicentra eximia, common bleeding heart for shade, Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Lobelia siphilitica, the great blue lobelia with its wonderful flowers in early fall. Of course, we could not have a garden without Monarda didyma, our beloved beebalm, which likes moist sunny places with its red flowers. Phlox paniculata, garden phlox is another beloved plant that loves the sun and blooms over long periods of time. The author discovered one growing in her garden and it was eventually patented, and on the market as David’s Lavender phlox.

Some favorite native shrubs to use in the garden that perform well, and may not be well known at this time is Diervilla sessifolia, Southern bush honeysuckle. It is a perennial shrub found in the Great Smoky Mountains and some mountain slopes in North Georgia. It is a threatened shrub in the state of Tennessee. This author found it growing on the mountain slopes near her home in north Georgia in Union County and brought home some cuttings to propagate for landscape use. That area has now been bulldozed and a parking overlook built for tourists to look at the mountains.

Southern Bush Honeysuckle

Of course articles on native plants cannot be written without paying homage to the plethora of native azaleas available over the state. There is a native for every area. They are naturally part shade loving plants growing in woodland humus soil, or along creek banks, so much detail must be given to having them in the landscape. Many people are collectors of native azaleas and devote their entire property to collecting different varieties. Georgia has such a large number of varieties. The beloved Flame Azalea, Rhododendron calendulaceum is by far the most widely planted. They need part sun in order to bloom at their best.

Chrysogonum virginianum

Space does not permit giving information on all the great natives that can be used in the landscape. It is suggested that one visit the garden centers and see what is available and how the plants would be suited to add to your setting along with some of the other favorites you grow. Many new selections have been grown and available as growers tweaked and worked with some of them to select better characteristics of growth, bloom, and hardiness.

Flame azalea

Sometimes the person you are talking to may not know all the answers, but they can lead you in the right direction to find out what you need to know. Also go online and explore information provided by the University of Georgia Extension Service on information available that they have put online for educational purposes. Go Native!! July/August May/June 2022 2021 65


Southern Garden Story and Photos by Bonnie Helander Springtime is bloom time in the South. Excitement soars as the brilliant arrays of pinks, reds, whites, blues, and purple bloom, and some of the South’s most traditional plants take center stage. While many of our favorites are native to our southeastern habitat, some actually originated in Asia, but have been adopted as iconic plants of the South. Let’s take a look at some of the show stoppers that create the classic Southern look.

s e e r T g Flowerin ntest rity co la u p o p ring flowe had a e u h o t y , If trees and vorite nolia, g a for fa m earn ood, dogw would d u b d rn re spots. Easte three p o t the

Southern Magnolia

You really can’t say you have a Southern garden unless you plant at least one magnolia! Native magnolias are huge and don’t fit in many of our reduced landscape sites. Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ is a great selection since it only gets about 15–20’ tall. The glossy green leaves are smaller and so are the flowers, but with ‘Little Gem’ you don’t have to wait for years for it to bloom as you do with larger species. Classic, fragrant white blossoms begin in summer and continue through the fall. Other magnolias to consider are star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) with sweet, star-shaped flowers, and the saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana), also known as the tulip magnolia, which produces saucershaped pink and white blooms on bare branches.

Eastern Redbud Our native Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is another prized understory tree. The variety known as ‘The Rising Sun’ is a favorite, with striking lavender blooms appearing on the bare branches in early spring. The foliage of ‘Rising Sun’ is just as spectacular—starting out pink and then changing to apricot, gold, and finally lime green, making it a show-stopper into fall!

Pink Dogwood Our native dogwood (Cornus florida) is a beautiful understory tree (thriving under the dappled light of taller trees) but does have some fungal disease challenges. The Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa), native to East Asia, is a popular choice since it is more disease-resistant and has colorful fall foliage and beautiful exfoliating bark. May/June 2022 67

Spectacular Shrubs Oakleaf Hydrangea My favorite hydrangea, the oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is native to the Southeast, blooms in full sun, and has large white cone-shaped flowers and vivid red leaves in the fall. It takes little care and thrives in our climate. Also check out the panicle and lacecap


Nothing is more anticipated in the spring than the blooming of a mass planting of azaleas. Another plant adopted from Asia and now considered a must-have southern plant, azaleas come in every color of the rainbow, and different varieties bloom at different times, which allow you to feast on flowers throughout the whole spring and into early summer. Our native azaleas are deciduous (they lose their foliage in the winter) but have gorgeous tubular blooms in spring and exceptional fall color before leaf drop. Favorite azaleas include the Encore® reblooming varieties that give you flowers periodically throughout spring, summer, and fall.

hydrangeas to expand your collection.

Camellia Add romance to the garden with camellias. They are prized for their luscious, fragrant flowers that last for weeks, and for their shiny evergreen leaves that give structure to the garden all year. If you plant both popular types of camellias (Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica) you can enjoy the flowers and fragrance from late fall through the spring. For inspiration on how to incorporate camellias into your landscape, visit Massee Lane Gardens in Fort Valley, home of the American Camellia Society and over 1,000 varieties of camellias, many of them for sale.

Bigleaf Hydrangea An old-fashioned shrub that evokes “days gone by” in your grandmother’s garden is the hydrangea. A pass-along plant that is easy to propagate and share with other gardeners, the hydrangea becomes the star in the garden in late spring. The most popular is the bigleaf (mophead) hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), known for its huge, globe-shaped cluster of blooms in exquisite pinks, blues, and whites. It is one of the few plants in the garden that produce true blue flowers.

No Southern garden is complete without a boxwood hedge or parterre. A parterre is a construction of hedges in symmetrical patterns, surrounding flower beds and pathways. Because boxwood is evergreen and can take both shade and sun, this shrub provides the “bones” of the garden, giving structure throughout the winter months. Old, historic Southern gardens used the dwarf English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'). American boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a good alternative for a tall hedge. It is tough, drought-tolerant, and deer-resistant. To see beautiful examples of how you can use boxwood in a formal Southern garden, plan a visit to Hills & Dales Estate in LaGrange, which features 2.5 acres of boxwood parterres.

B o x w o o d H ed g e

Chinese Snowball Viburnum Other tried-and-true Southern favorites to plant include spring daffodils, Chinese snowball

s e n i V g n i b Clim

harm to ry and c te s y m f w sense o ave a fe To add a re you h u s e k a arbor, en, m l over an the gard w a r p s plants to svine, ine, cros climbing m s a J . e c fen scens) trellis or ria frute te is (W n wisteria erfect America are the p s e s o r g bin s soften and clim bing vine m li C . s n olor and additio d more c d a d n a pes en. hardsca the gard to e c n a r frag

viburnum (Viburnum macrocephalum) and gardenia. Just add a classic garden sculpture or two and you have created the magic found in the classic Southern garden.

May/June 2022 69


grown FARM FRESH GOODNESS At Country Gardens Family Farm in Sharpsburg, Georgia, growing and providing fresh, locally grown food is truly a family affair! Mike Cunningham and his family work over 150 acres of rich and diverse family farmland year-round. Cattle, pigs, and chickens are raised on pasture all the time, and never given antibiotics or hormones. Hens graze all day on grass, as nature intended. If you've never eaten a free-range egg from Country Gardens, you don't know what you're missing! The Cunningham's commitment to wholesome food is continually expanding. They invite your questions and encourage you to get to know where and how your food is grown.


The Cunningham s passion for growing good

Country Gardens BEET AND KALE SALAD Serves 4-6 as a side salad

1 large apple, cored and thinly sliced 2 beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks 1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks 1 bundle kale, center vein removed and chopped 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup chopped pecans Microgreens Dressing 4 Tablespoons orange juice 1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons dijon mustard Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

food extends to teaching you how as well.

Sign up for their weekly newsletter at: for tips, recipes, event schedules, and a weekly list of product availability. Taste of the Farm featuring Dairy products Saturday, May 14, 10-2 Free, No Registration needed, drop-in any time between 10 and 2 Lasagna Gardening Class Saturday, May 21, 10-12 Watch for upcoming registration Taste of the Farm Saturday, June 4, 10-2 Free, No Registration needed, drop-in any time between 10 and 2 Growing & Cooking with Herbs Saturday, June 11, 10-12 Watch for upcoming registration Taste of the Farm featuring Honey Saturday, June 25, 10-2 Free, No Registration needed, drop-in any time between 10 and 2 We are at the Farmstand Friday and Saturday from 9-4 to assist you. 2050 Sharpsburg McCollum Road Newnan, GA 30265 770-251-2673


Combine the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad. Enjoy!

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Even though she was new to town and didn’t know anyone, Carol, a natural leader, decided to start the Garden Club of Senoia. When she saw a beautiful garden within the historic district, she noted the address and sent a personal invitation to the owner to join the new club. Slowly her contacts grew - 30 women joined as founding members and the rest is history! Carol is President and Founder and has recruited an impressive Board of community leaders to help give direction to the club. Ledy Escquenazi is Vice President, Teresa McCarthy is Treasurer, and Adrienne Tigchelaar is Secretary. The Garden Club of Senoia began quietly during the start of the pandemic in 2020. According to Carol, “We are passionate about the beautification of Main Street, the natural garden spaces within the city, and committed to encouraging knowledge through education, conservation, preservation of our historic gardens, and protecting the environment. We are gardeners who make a difference one garden project at a time.”

MAKES HISTORY By Bonnie Helander Before moving to Senoia, Georgia in 2019, Carol McMackin, along with her husband, Brian, owned a garden shop and design studio in East Hampton, New York for 25 years. Carol designed gardens at oceanfront estates for clients who had luxury tastes and budgets that allowed Carol the freedom to create spectacular landscaped gardens. After retiring, Carol and Brian decided to move to Senoia to be closer to their daughter and two grandsons who live in nearby Peachtree City. When Carol first moved to Senoia she realized there wasn’t a garden club for the city. Over her first few months in town, she drove around the historic streets and admired a few beautiful gardens and homes. Some of the historic gardens were in need of restoration, while other areas had the potential to be developed as small public gardens for the whole community to enjoy. “My parents were gardeners,” recalls Carol. “I was always involved in gardening, even as a small child. We would walk around the garden together as a family and learn the different varieties of flowering perennials and gather blueberries as we learned how things grow. I always lived in small communities that had garden clubs and knew this was a need in Senoia that I could help meet. 72 SOUTHERN WOMAN

Carol McMackin President and Founder

Garden Club of Senoia

Board of Directors

To raise funding for future gardening projects, club members immediately started to plan a garden tour, which was held Mother’s Day weekend in 2021. All the gardens evoked Southern charm and beauty, and over 300 people came to enjoy the tour. Proceeds from the garden tour and membership dues allow club members to design, plant and maintain the 30 large brick planters along Main Street.


Meditation Garden Charwoman and 2nd Vice President, Julie Schafer, is working closely with club members and the Senoia United Methodist Church on Bridge Street to restore, preserve, and maintain the Meditation Garden at the church that was first planted in 1956. The club has added a wooden handmade trellis, restored the garden wall lanterns, and will be installing a fountain, urns, seating and many flowering plants. This garden is always open to the public. Future public garden plans include the installation of an educational botanical garden at the Senoia Historical Society on Couch Street. The Garden Club of Senoia’s most recent project is a farmto-table Southern cookbook – Sweet & Savory: Recipes from Georgia’s Savviest Hostesses. This beautifully illustrated cookbook, in a handy binder, contains not just scrumptious Southern recipes but gives tidbits about local history, the history of classic Southern cuisine, information on edible flowers and how to grow fresh herbs. All 40 members of the garden club submitted recipes, and you will find recipes as well from local chefs and celebrities, including some stars from the Walking Dead which has been filming in the Senoia area for 11 seasons! The cookbook can be purchased for $35 online at the garden club’s website.

THE GARDEN CLUB OF SENOIA meets the third Thursday of every month at 12:30 at the historic Stone Lodge at Marimac Lakes Park. For more information about the club or to purchase a cookbook, go to

May/June 2022 73

Sample some of the sweet and savory dishes in the Garden Club of Senoia Cookbook!

Purchase online at

Stone Lodge Punch


PUNCH: 1 bottle La Mura Pinot Grigio, organic 1⁄2 cup strawberry lemonade, organic 1⁄2 cup Lakewood Pure Pineapple Juice, Premium 1⁄2 cup Ginger-Ale, Fever-Tree Premium 1⁄2 cup Welch’s Sparkling Juice, Red Grape 1 container fresh strawberries, organic 1 whole fresh lemon, sliced in the round and seeded 1 bunch fresh mint from your Herb Garden Chill ingredients overnight and keep chilled until ready to use. Add the first five ingredients to your punch bowl. Stir gently, just until blended. Slice the strawberries into thin lengthwise slices and add to the punch bowl mixture. Stir to blend and let sit so the flavors combine while you ready the Ice Ring.

ICE RING: Fill a decorative metal Bundt pan, about 1⁄4 the way, with cold water. Slice the lemon in rounds and place a layer on the top of the water, leave in freezer overnight. Remove the ice ring from the freezer just before the guests arrive and the punch has been blended in the punch bowl. Run hot water briefly on the back of the metal Bundt pan to loosen the ice. Remove ice from the pan and float gently in the center of the punch bowl. Add small fresh mint sprigs to the iced lemon ring to garnish. Makes 41 oz., Serves 6-7, and can very easily be multiplied for a large crowd.


freedom isn't free.

- Happy Memorial Day from Southern Woman -


Khrys Vaughan believes women are

needed now more than ever to step into their place with clarity, structure,

It’s not uncommon for fellow

and strategy so they can have the

womenpreneurs to struggle with

impact they were destined to.

removing everyday hurdles that impede their success. However, although most

Khrys grew up in St. Louis and moved to

womenpreneurs are busy, they often

Atlanta in 2018. She attributes her

remain determined to solve issues

determination and adventurous spirit to

alone. And, they may not readily ask for

her dad who encouraged her to dream,

assistance until they find themselves ill-

and early lessons in taking risks to

equipped, overwhelmed, or burnt out.

reach her goals, to her mom.


Khrys’ eight-week OSS (Operations, Khrys discovered a natural talent for

Structure, and Strategy) program is for

business early, rapidly gaining

established womenpreneurs who are

experience and knowledge as a young

ready to dive into 90-minute working

adult within multiple corporations and

sessions to uncover root causes (usually

various industries. She eventually

the problem is not the problem),

began sharing her knowledge with

identify better structures and ways of

smaller businesses, but chose to work

working, differentiation, vision

exclusively with women after reading

realignment, and more.

“Over the past 20 years, I’ve found many womenpreneurs show up powerfully, yet still feel they’re living beneath their purpose and capability.” - Khrys Vaughan, Multi-passionate Strategist and Author

Banker to the Poor, a book showing how social enterprises elevate quality

Khrys offers the following tips to help

of life for women.

womenpreneurs better navigate these areas with intention and purpose:

“We often think of impact in terms of

before we can do something

The pandemic didn’t change your destiny. It opened a path for you to

significant. We end up disqualifying

pursue it. Create a new norm on your

ourselves, overlooking what’s within our

terms. Be intentional about what you

reach, and opportunities to do so

add or remove from your life.

milestones we have to reach or achieve

collectively,” says Khrys.

Get clear. Take action on the clarity As an entrepreneur, and a mother who

you gain from asking hard questions

homeschooled four children while her

about your life and business.

Khrys Vaughan is a Multi-passionate Strategist and Author. She works with mission-driven womenpreneurs who are ready to get clear, structure their vision, and harness their unique power so they can have the impact they are destined to. Schedule your 45-minute Clarity Call with Khrys to elevate your life and business at

husband traveled for work, Khrys saw

the important things prioritized, helped

The time you’ve been waiting for is now. Have the courage to take the

her family better manage life together.

road less traveled. Say “no” to anything

the value of clarity, and how keeping

and anyone that does not align with the life you want to live.

It will work if you do. Don’t sit down on your dreams or stand in your way.




A Catalyst for Connection

Besides being the number one drink in the world (sorry coffee), tea has played an important role in negotiations, business, and bringing people together for a common cause in its 5,000 year history. The portrayal of gentlemen’s smoking rooms and hunting parties are common in western culture. Lesser known are women’s tea socials where women connected, and strategies made over a pot of tea, created businesses and launched movements. Today, we’ll make a trip to Multipassionate Strategist and Author Khrys Vaughan’s home for insight on sisterhood behind the brew.

Who attends the monthly socials? KV: Most of the women who attend my tea socials

tea ritual after taking classes and workshops on the

are mission-driven womenpreneurs who strongly

history, art and science of tea at a tea room I

believe in their capability to be their own solutions,

frequented in St. Louis. The more I learned, the

know that sisterhood is not dead, and are

greater my appreciation grew, and the more

intentionally seeking to connect with like-minded

intentional I became about the teas I purchased.

women. If this is you, you will be in good company!

How did the Women’s Tea Social start? KV: When we moved from St. Louis to Atlanta, I

How does one get on the guest list? KV: Each month, I open registration for 20 women to

designated a cabinet specifically for my teas and tea

connect whose paths would not otherwise cross. I

ware. While unpacking, the thought of inviting our

announce it in my newsletter first, then post to

neighbors to enjoy a cup came to me. It so happened

Instagram and Eventbrite.

that several of the ladies were also business owners. I

would be an excellent way to connect them

How do women expect to feel after the tea gathering? KV: Women leave feeling reinvigorated and

personally and professionally. The Women’s Tea

connected, with greater clarity and confidence in

Socials are not just another networking event. The

their pursuits, and often a new friend.

gradually met other wonderful women accomplishing amazing things. And thought a monthly tea social


What was your first experience with tea? KV: I enjoyed tea periodically, but began a personal

gatherings allow for great conversation and much

often become the catalyst for great things to occur

When is the next Women’s Tea Social? KV: Our first tea social since the pandemic will be

among women.

Saturday, May 14 at 9 am. (The second Saturday of

needed connection to take place over rare teas, and

each month.) Register for this month’s gathering at

Why tea and not coffee? KV: It’s a personal preference, but they are very for a chance to win a special tea gift!

different brews. The body processes caffeine from tea in a more gradual and naturally attuned way. With coffee, the experience is more of a jolt and crash. The saying tea makes everything better is true on many levels. Tea represents an opportunity to reset, to center and meld the energy between people, leading to more open in-depth conversations. I've incorporated tea into my consulting practice for this very reason.

What kinds of tea do you store? KV: I purchase tea directly from the growers. My cabinet always contains teas from several countries to include oolongs, pu-ehrs, living, rare, and prizewinning teas. For each social, I select three teas so that there is always something new to experience.

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May/June 2022 79

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