Author Archives: lisasa1969

Christmas in Cullman

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesEarlier this week I was driving through Cullman and caught a ‘sneak peek’ of the Christmas tree lighting! The guys in the bucket truck had just hung the last strand and were calling it a night when I snapped this picture. Each year a huge cedar tree is placed in the middle of the shopping center and covered with lights. Yes, it lacks the grandor of the Rockefeller tree in New York City, still, there’s something magical about all those lights shining brightly against a dark sky.  Lights, for me, are a sign of hope and isn’t that something we could all use a little more of these days? For a moment that big ole’ cedar evokes romanticized thoughts of magical moments around the town tree. The kind of moments we all secretly enjoy watching in all those sappy Hallmark holiday movies! C’mon ladies… you all know what I’m talking about!

Cullman is still very much small town USA. Not quite Mayberry but not too far removed. Those of us privileged to live here love our town and this weekend we will all come together to celebrate. Young and old alike will gasp when the tree is officially lit and delight at the wide eyed children as they anxiously await Santa’s arrival.  The store windows are decorated, the light poles have been draped in garland and the lit snowflakes hung. The high school band has been rehearsing all week for the parade and I’m certain that Santa has his bags packed in preparation for his trip down from the North Pole! Won’t you join us for the 27th Annual Christmas in Cullman?

The Events Kick Off Saturday Morning November 10th, at 9:30 am with the Annual Christmas Parade

The parade route will start at the Busy Bee Cafe at 101 5th St SE. The parade will feature the Cullman High School Band, Santa and his sled, the cow train and a host of other merry-making elves!

Other events scheduled throughout the weekend will include:

  • Christmas Caroler’s and Christmas Music
  • Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
  • Train Rides
  • 25th Annual Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show & Auction by Patty’s Hot Rods (behind Depot Park)
  • Kid’s Area Near Wiess Cottage
  • Ice Skating Rink across from Berkley Bob’s Coffee House
  • Snow Maze
  • Letters to Santa
  • Hoop A Penguin
  • Reindeer Picture Painting
  • Reading with Mrs. Clause or Cookie Decorating
  • Christmas Balloon Animals
  • Pictures with Santa
  • Free Snow Cones for First 100 Kids to Visit Santa
  • Bounce Houses
  • Santa and his sleigh
  • Cow train
  • Beer garden
  • Moe’s BBQ
  • College Football on Game-day TVs
  • Live Entertainment at Berkeley Bobs
  • National Guard Marine Corp Band
  • Animal Adoptions
  • And Much More!!

The Official Christmas Tree Lighting for Christmas in Cullman will take place at 6:30 pm Saturday at Depot Park.

Come enjoy a weekend of fun events for the entire family. Don’t forget to add SOUTHERN ACCENTS to your ‘must do’ list while you are here!! We will be hosting an art exhibit upstairs from Southern Artist Mandy Maples Phillips. We’ve been working hard all week preparing the store for this special celebration. Please stop in, say hello, and take a look around. We would love to meet you!



Wal-Mart Pico

Yesterday I ran in to Wal-Mart (yes, I am a Wal-Mart shopper) to grab a few grocery items needed for today’s tailgate party.  For some reason, unknown to me, I am one of those people that strangers feel comfortable engaging in conversation in Wally World. Most often I am asked if I know where something is. I always do. Quite often I am asked food questions. I love to cook and love to talk food and am always flattered that someone would ask for my food advice, even a stranger. I share what I can before moving on to the next isle and the next customer question. I often find myself looking to see if someone has stuck an employee tag on my back as a joke or wonder if I resemble Martha White? Anyway, sometimes this works in my favor, as it did yesterday.

I was in the produce section digging through the cilantro. This man walks up and asks, “What are you doing with that?” My reply,  “I’m making Texas Caviar. Tomorrow is fajita night”.  He told me that he was from Texas, had moved to Cullman a couple of years ago, loves spicy Mexican food and then began to share his easy pico recipe with me!  SCORE!! I normally do not like ‘prefab’ recipes. I’m a ‘from scratch’ girl but… it’s been a busy week. I’ve got 20 people showing up at my dirty house tonight to tailgate for a BIG SEC FOOTBALL GAME. I will spend all day trying to get my house in some sort of acceptable order before firing up the smoker. Easy pico…I’m in!

I can be a bit selfish when it comes to recipes. I don’t always like to share but since this one was a freebie…

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


  • 1 can Mexican “Rotel” (the kind with cilantro and lime)
  • jalapeno pepper
  • onion (I like a sweet onion)
  • lime
  • cilantro
  • salt

I literally threw this together in less than 10 minutes. Drain the can of Rotel. I sliced off about 1/4 of a jalapeno pepper and 1 slice of onion and finely chopped both. I added about a good teaspoon of each to the Rotel. I finely chopped and added a handful of cilantro, about a tablespoon once it was chopped. I added salt to taste and squeezed the juice of 1/2 of a small lime. Toss and your done!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Although pico mixed with your early morning cup of coffee is not the best combination, the taste of the pico is spot on! You can tweak this recipe according to your taste. I made two batches just to make sure we had enough.

The guys at Southern Accents are working hard today. I’ll be sending them signals from my smoker later this afternoon. I’ve been told that I make the BEST chicken fajitas this side of the border… I’m sure they are hoping I’ll throw them some leftovers!!  😉 If you are in the area please stop by the store and say hello. Tell them I said ROLL TIDE!

Thank you former Texas resident Wal-Mart man for this recipe. It’s a keeper! I used the remaining cilantro in my Texas Caviar. If you’ve never had Texas Caviar, I make a pretty mean one. Perhaps that will be my next recipe share?

Shutter Love

When I saw this shutter in Southern Accents I knew I had to have it.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I guess you could say that it ‘spoke to me’! I loved everything about it… the size, the color, the fact that it had louvers on one side and a flat panel on the other. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! I’ve been in the process of transforming my daughter’s room from little girl lime green to vintage teen and this piece was a perfect fit. I hauled it to my trunk, dirt and all. I knew that I would not have to do much more than give it a good washing, which is exactly what I did. I literally took it out back to the water hose and scrubbed it clean with a stiff brush. I gave it a few days to dry and then took a palm sander and worked my way over the entire shutter. My goal was to sand off loose paint chips and further distress the finish just a bit. I absolutely loved the way it looked and knew that the color was going to look awesome against the chocolate wall.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I dusted the shutter good and then gave it a clear coat of Polycrylic just to seal it and give it a clean finish.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I dug around the store and came up with a double hook and a couple of clear glass knobs that I attached to the shutter. I wanted my daughter to be able to hang jewelry on the flat panel side and display pictures on the louvered side. I thought the louvers would hold the pictures nicely but they weren’t deep enough and the pictures flopped over. I came up with a quick fix that I think adds even more character to the shutter. I used some cool looking furniture tacks and criss-crossed some string in between. Perfect!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

All that was left was to add wire to the back so that we could hang it on the wall. She absolutely loves the finished project! She now has here eye on one of those ceiling tin magnet boards!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The guys at Southern Accents just unloaded a trailer full of awesome shutters. They will be going on the site soon or if you’re within driving distance come on by and take a look. We would absolutely LOVE to see pictures of your shutter projects!! You can send pictures to or post them on our Facebook page.

Pecan Pie Muffins

Pecan Pie Muffins at Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesI LOVE to bake… the guys at Southern Accents LOVE to eat. It works! If you live down south, this time of year conjures up thoughts of pecan anything! My fav is probably pecan pie but I also have this incredible recipe for mini pecan pie muffins that is fabulous!!! Pecan pie in muffin form… oh my! I baked up a batch and brought them in to the store.  They disappeared rather quickly. SCORE!

The recipe is really quick and easy. One important note: you can only bake these in the mini muffin tins. They will NOT work in a regular size tin… trust me, I”ve tried! 😮


1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup pecans, chopped (I chop mine very small)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp molasses

Pinch of salt (I literally mean a small pinch)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the brown sugar, flour, salt, and pecans together and set aside. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and whisk together. Add the vanilla and molasses and whisk until incorporated. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir together. The batter will be rather thin. Spray your mini muffin tins with a non stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the tins, filling to the top. Bake at 350 for 15 to 16 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Remove muffins from tins and enjoy! Makes 24 mini muffins.

*Notes: if you use the dark, non stick tins, turn your oven down a few degrees. My oven bakes these muffins in 15 minutes in the dark pan at around 330 degrees. Bake time will vary depending on the pan you are using and how your oven functions. Watch the muffins and remove them as soon as they look like they have set.

I use a small “cookie” scoop to fill my tins. It looks like an ice cream scoop but smaller. It is the perfect size for mini muffins and cupcakes.

Do NOT bake these in the cupcake liners. This muffin is a gooey, chewy delight and will stick to the paper. You will loose about half your muffin to the liners.

Yes, the recipe is correct. There is NO baking powder or baking soda in this recipe. This is why the recipe will NOT work in regular size tins.


Ceiling Tin Message Boards

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesMy teenage daughter recently decided that she had outgrown her lime green bedroom with hot pink and orange flowers painted on the walls. I spent days meticulously hand painting those flowers! I had even added a butterfly or two in the mix. Together we had collected a variety of ‘cute’ colorful items to add to the already bright decor. I was a bit hurt that she wanted to paint over my masterpiece. Not one ounce of sentimentality in her request. I had to remind myself that it was only a wall and she’s no longer a little girl. I think what hurt more was the realization that my little girl has grown into a stunning young woman. It was time to trade in the cute for cool! She wanted to go with a Vintage look. I work at Southern Accents. I can do vintage! Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I’m working on several projects for her bedroom that I want to share as I complete them. The first are these awesome message boards made from reclaimed barn wood and old ceiling tins. Last week I added old ceiling tins to our weekly specials page. There are several stacks of tin in various sizes and colors in the warehouse. There’s also always a stack of salvaged wood laying around here somewhere. I have seen a variety of these  message boards floating around Pinterest that I really liked. I also saw some beautiful boards a couple of weeks ago at Bella Rustica. Having all this tin and wood around me I decided to play around with a few pieces to see what I could come up with. I’m pretty handy with tools but have been in a major time crunch lately so I called in a friend to help. Leldon is one of the guys around the store that we call on from time to time for some of our small wood working projects. I showed Leldon the tin and told him what I had in mind. Two days later he had two pieces of the tin framed and ready to hang! Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesWay to go Leldon!! My only problem now is deciding which one I want for her bedroom!

I pictured both boards and posted them on the website since we have plenty of tin and wood and I know I can call on Leldon to ‘whip up’ some more if needed! Sitting here looking at the boards for a few days I kept thinking something was missing. How can you have tin message boards without magnets to hold the messages?! I began scrounging around the store looking for small items that could be used for magnets. The first place I headed was the old antique coke machine. We keep the machine stocked with those old fashioned glass bottled coca-colas. I decided those red caps would make pretty cool magnets. I purchased a large pack of round magnets at Hobby Lobby and used a little E-6000 glue to attach a magnet to each cap. Easy peasy!

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesThe next trip around the store saw me return with a hand full of really cool odd and end hardware pieces. Definitely cooler than the bottle caps and very vintage!! I would love to find some old pieces of vintage jewelry and turn those in to magnets… I can see a trip to the local flea market in my future! There are a lot of items that could be used to create magnets: old beer bottle caps, old buttons, legos or lego men. board game pieces, wood blocks from an old scrabble set. You can change the look of the board by changing the magnets.

These boards are really simple to make. The ones shown have the mitered wood frames but you don’t have to miter the wood. We have a good variety of tin and lots of salvaged wood and beadboard. Some with a natural finish and some with chippy paint. The only other thing needed is a few small nails and some wire for hanging. If you are like me and time is an issue we have constructed a few boards available for purchase. Since I can’t decide which board I like best I guess I will let my daughter choose…then again, we just got in some awesome red beadboard…maybe I’ll give Leldon a call!

Bella Rustica – Milky Way Farms

Southern Accents at Bella RusticaMy alarm clock rang early this past Friday morning. I had purchased two early bird tickets to Bella Rustica in Pulaski, Tennesse and I meant to get there early. My friend Patty, who is by nature an early bird, and I hit the interstate and headed north. It was an easy drive… pretty much a straight shot from Cullman, Alabama. We would have been there by 8:00 am, probably first in line, had we not been chatting and missed our exit off the interstate. Thankfully we did not venture too far into Tennessee before we realized our gaffe. We took the next exit, turned tail, and got back on track. It was a gorgeous drive. Driving north into middle Tennesse always is. We could not have asked for better weather. An hour and a half after our departure and only a few minutes off course, we arrived at Milky Way Farms!

Southern Accents at Bella Rustica

Southern Accents at Bella Rustica Vintage Market in Pulaski, Tennessee

If you love antiques, vintage goods, and repurposed items, this was definitely the place to be. The organizers did an excellent job screening the vendors. The booths were all very well done. The merchandise offered was exactly as expected. A wide range of antique items and small furniture as well as a lot of creative goods made from salvage material. Even the local church ladies got creative by placing delicious cakes in jelly jars, labeling each jar with the cake name and even attaching a spoon to the jar with a piece of string. Yes, we had cake. Actually we had cake before lunch… this was a special occasion!

We made our way through the restored stone barn which was a beautiful sight in itself. We then ventured to the few outdoor booths and continued to ooh and awe over all the goods. We grabbed lunch which was also delicious! I’m a true foodie and am a really hard sell when it comes to eating out. I typically walk away from most meals proclaiming “I like mine better”. For me to proclaim something as being delicious is HUGE! I had a BBQ taco and it really was scrumptious. I had hoped to hang around for the workshops that were scheduled for later in the day but by noon the crowds had arrived, the dust and hay got the best of me, and I had to move on down the road. I was so disappointed that I did not get to sit in on the workshop as I’m sure it was wonderful!

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee

Milky Way Farms was offering tours of the manor during Bella Rustica. We could not pass up the opportunity so before heading home we headed towards the manor. It is spectacular! The 25,00 square foot home, built in 1931-32 by Frank Mars,  boasts 21 bedrooms and 14 baths. The architecture throughout the home was splendid. Arched doorways throughout. Iron gates inside the home leading to an incredible dining room that houses the largest known privately owned dining room table in the United States. The view from all rooms was breathtaking.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee

As incredible as the home was my favorite part of the tour were two stone cottages that sat within a stone’s throw from the manor. Each single room dwelling was built with the lay of the land. One of the cottages was curved on one side, the walls and ceiling within covered in bead board. The exposed rafters from within look new, giving hint to the idea that these beautiful buildings are being lovingly restored. I hope that is the case.

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques at Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee

History records that this majestic farm was once home to 30 barns including the world famous “crooked sheep barn”. Most of them are no longer standing, the exception being the stone barn that hosted Bella Rustica this past weekend. As we were exiting the farm I had to stop and snap one last picture of this old barn. It is sad to see what used to be a grand dwelling, possibly for one of the thoroughbred horses this farm once housed, slowly deteriorating. As much as we love barn wood at Southern Accents, we would love nothing more than to see this barn restored to it’s original splendor.

If you happen to be within driving distance of Milky Way Farms, it is worth the trek to visit the manor and tour the grounds. You can visit their website for information on the farm, tours, and events.

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