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Boots McBlog bio picture

bonjour, y'all!

I'm a dash of Jackie O.  A pinch of Elly May.  A splash of Quelques Fleurs.  A jigger of pickle juice.

My friends call me Boots. My name is JoBeth.  I'm a southerner who adores a great tune, a delicious meal, beautiful flowers, a frilly dress, good manners,  leadership books and the perfect shoe.  For 13 years, I've been married to a curly haired guy I call "The Angler" and we love calling Little Rock home.   

I have a master's degree in nutrition. I spent 10 years helping others reach their health goals. Today, I work in business development helping organizations, small businesses,  and women become the best leaders they can be.   

Whether it's fashion, photography, food, faith, or gracious leadership, my prayer is to creatively inspire you to 

eat well • live beautifully • lead graciously



Thank you for stopping by!


Fondly,

Boots







Disclaimer: the views expressed on this blog are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer)


chocolate covered sprinkled birthday and the best caramel cake ever

Last weekend, The Angler celebrated a milestone birthday.  These are the moments where he and I couldn’t be more opposite. To celebrate big decades, I want a crowd of friends. He wants quiet and just family. Both of us agree we want a delicious cake.

This celebration was a perfect opportunity for us to invite his parents, brothers and their families to visit our new home  and it gave me a good excuse to dust off and hone my hospitality skills. ( They’ve gotten rusty)

The menu was made up of his favorite things – BBQ and all the trimmings from a top pit in town with a good old fashioned caramel cake for dessert. Hip hip hooray for not cooking!

Birthday numbers

 

The Angler and I are both smitten for caramel cake and it’s not a recipe to attempt to make from scratch for the faint of heart.  I like to leave it to the pros. I ordered our first Caroline’s Cakes  which is touted to be the World’s Best Caramel Cake.  It was seven layers of heaven.  Not only did I enjoy this southern treat, I also loved with my busy schedule the cake arrived to my door a few days before his birthday.  Check that off the to-do list.

To make the cake a little more special,  I was inspired by Erika Powell from Urban Grace Interiors who posted on her instagram, pictures of  fun sprinkled numbers. The base of these numbers are wooden numbers I picked up at Michael’s Craft store.  I then melted some candy maker’s chocolate ( you could use chocolate chips just as easily) and painted the melted chocolate onto the numbers using a (new, clean!) foam paint brush.  photo 1 (4)

 

Next, I sprinkled the candy cake sprinkles over the melted chocolate.  VOILA!  Festive numbers. Technically the numbers aren’t edible, but  I guess they could be lick-able if you were really desperate for chocolate.  I love the way they turned out and gave the simple cake such a fun POP of color.

Since we don’t have our dining room completed,  I opted for an indoor picnic feel for our table setting.  I skirted a banquet table with simple white linens and  raffia table runner to pull in the natural elements.  I mixed the seating using multiple styles of wood, aluminum, and upholstered seating.

For the table top, I’ve been wanting (coveting) vintage bamboo/rattan cutlery for awhile.  I adore the relaxed feel they bring to a table setting.  I finally ordered these  reproductions from Howchow.com a few weeks ago.

 

simple summer lunch setting 2

 

For flowers,  I was thrilled to find these great GREEN glass Ball jars in the canning aisle at the grocery store into which I tossed some happy daisies. The dishes are  just my everyday white dishes I’ve been using for years. While  unpacking I rediscovered these precious topiary accent plates I bought eons ago. These all set atop a collection of gingham napkins.

simple summer lunch setting

 

After setting the table on Saturday morning,  I admit I got a little choked up and sappy.  My heart leaps setting a pretty table, dishing up yummy food and serving family and friends. Hospitality is where I find my joy. Our new space is allowing me to breathe, nurture and celebrate these little happy’s in life.  I’m thankful we are settling into a place that will allow us to invite more family, friends, and friends we’ve yet to meet to gather at our table.

I definitely think our 40s at Forest Hill are going to be fabulous.

 

 

birthday

 

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*all products are independent endorsements.  Nobody paid me to like them.  I just do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powder Room Refresh

powder room tulipsIt might be the smallest room at Forest Hill, but we finally have a room complete and ready for it’s reveal.  Our powder room  is the room guests will use when visiting. I have some events scheduled this fall, and it was a priority for the honey do list.

The bones were good  in this small room but it needed to excuse itself and freshen up. Let’s take a look at where we started.

Here’s the BEFORE.

 

powder room before

 

It was pretty much a dark little dungeon.  The wallpaper was a deep crimson red with gold leaves and monkeys. Lots of monkeys…smug, perverted, I work for the Wicked Witch of the West kind of monkeys.  They had to go.

In addition to the monkeys, there were also dark oil rubbed bronze fixtures mixed in with antique brass sconces hidden by satin, feathered, and beaded lampshades. (The 90s were definitely the age of more is more)  A bulky standard gold mirror hung above the sink.  The ceiling and trim were painted in a sandstorm brown.  These dark, heavy colors and design just didn’t work for me.

It was time to lighten up and get monkey free.

After a few weekends and our first attempt at hanging wallpaper ourselves, here’s our new lighter, brighter, powder room.

 

powder room 2

 

The paper is a discontinued Schumacher / Greeff trellis pattern that I had originally bought for the McCottage Master bath a decade ago.  The great thing about choosing classic styles in paper is that I could still use this today.  The colors worked with my current palette and the price was right.  We kept the sink and toilet, and  replaced the dark oil rubbed bronze faucet and fixtures with antique brass.  The trim and ceiling were painted Sherwin Williams Dover White I  swapped out the bulky gold mirror for something slimmer and more feminine.  This mirror used to hang in the small entry to the McCottage.

 

poweder room mirror   poweder room 5

 

I kept the antique brass flower basket sconces. Their details were hidden by the previous shades. They really are dainty and beautiful.  Scott at The Shade Above in Little Rock,  helped me choose these sleeker linen shades and added the contrast of green velvet trim to give them definition against the walls.  I love how they turned out!  Such a little detail that adds panache to the small space.

 

powder bath sconce

 

For art  I replaced the monkeys with birds and flowers.  I loved the antique and traditional feel of these bird prints.  Once I hung them in the bath,  it just felt a little too serious.  I added in an original funky canvas I painted one rainy Sunday afternoon.

 

powder room art

 

Another mod touch is the large peony print. I’ve become obsessed with large blooms on walls. One afternoon in peony season,  I pulled out my old DSLR camera and decided to shoot some flower pics for myself. I had this one printed in a 24 X 36 and framed in white to contrast against all the gold and brass. The picture is the focal point you see when you walk down our back  hallway and peer into the powder room.  Every morning as I stumble to the kitchen for my coffee, I see this and it just makes me smile.  (Of course, my picture of the picture is not so grand with all the glare from the glass. Sigh.  But you get the idea)

 

poweder room 7

 

Overall, we’re pretty excited with our wallpaper skills and the the light, happy feeling this room now has.  It’s the encouragement we needed to tackle the rest of the brown walls and ceilings that await a good ol refreshing.

 

poweder room 8

 

Yay for no more monkeys!

Yay for flowers, birds, and one completed room.

Now excuse me while I go powder my nose.

 

Sources:   Wallpaper: Schumacher / Greeff discontinued;  Towel Ring and Paper Holder:   Pottery Barn Pearson in Antique Brass;  Faucet:  Overstock.com;  Bird Prints:  C. Wonder Store

 

 

Until next week - signature

colour my world: green + blush

Houses have their own language.  Our new home is no exception.  It spoke to me from the moment I crossed the threshold for the first time, telling me this is where we would put down roots.

Once I knew it would be ours…

Ok, maybe a few weeks before I was so sure it would be ours…

Ok, immediately upon touring it,  the color scheme for the entire home started brewing in my head.  The house kept whispering its colors to me. I originally thought when we moved, I’d go the trendy gray and white color way so many are choosing today. I think it’s a beautiful and serene combination. However, Forrest Hill has been telling me to buck the trend and just do what feels good to me.

My mantra has become, “This is not a showplace, it’s our home.”

Because we want our home to be a place of rest and renewal, the color green keeps coming to me – a rich green that echoes the forest like setting of our back yard.  I hope to incorporate other greens from pistachio, chartreuse, and sage. I’m inspired by God’s artistry. In all his creative wisdom created no two plants grow in the same tone or hue and they all seem to look beautiful side by side.  I’d also be remiss not to admit, the colors are also inspired by my favorite shoes – a pair of green suede pumps.

I can’t wait to see the greens against painted creamy white walls and linen upholstery. I’ll also be incorporating shades of blush, pinks and pops of coral. What can I say? The girly girl in me can’t depart from pink, no matter how much I may try.  I plan to tone it down with natural elements such as tanned leather, aged wood and baskets.  I want our home to be fresh yet traditional – to feel cozy, welcoming,  and the kind of place you want to sink right into. Here’s a glimpse of some the images that inspiring my palette:

 

green

 

 

pretty colors from MS

 

hummingbird colors

 

colors

 

fiddle leaf

 

 

pink bows via this is glamorous

 

 

 

Next week,  I’ll share the first room to get refreshed (and it’s sources)…it’s the tiniest room in the house, our powder room.  Yay!  Inch by inch, we’re making progress.

 

For now, I’ve got to dash. We’re hosting our first “company’s coming” sit down lunch with family to celebrate  40 years of The Angler.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you celebrating the big and little things of life.  signature

The Miracles on 34th Street Kind….

goodbye hello

 

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello” 

 

Last we met we were facing a milestone goodbye for us.  Now it’s time I say HELLO from our new home.

Seven months ago, we signed the McCottage over to the new (old) owners.  Remember how I mentioned God had worked miraculously in the sale of our sweet little home? Within one week of putting it on the market, we had an offer.  A family who had previously had ties to our home for 40 years wanted to bring the McCottage back into their fold.  What an amazing thing to be able to turn our home over to people who already had fond memories of the little house.  I mean, truly, God was at work.

McCottage Dining Room

When The Angler and I set out to buy a new home, we had a few things on our “musts” for a house.  After living in a 1940s home for 13 years,  this list seemed comical to our real estate agent.  Anyone familiar with old home living will completely understand.  We wanted: a garage, a laundry room, a pantry, and kitchen drawers. Yes, I haven’t had a kitchen drawer in 13 years.  And after living in a fishbowl on a major thoroughfare, we also wanted a home that would allow us privacy, quiet, and peace.

Our home buying process actually began in Jan 2013.  It was part of my “fearless” phase.  I had found a home in a neighborhood I had no idea existed. It was a “newish” Georgian brick two story with great potential.  I made a quick call to our realtor friend only to find the house had sold.  While driving around the area, we turned into a cul-de-sac where I saw this quaint white Williamsburg style home atop a small hill. It was to me a picturesque home and it was… not for sale.  I remember telling Phillip,  “I would love to have a house like that”   Then life got a little hectic  and we put our house buying on the back burner to simmer.

Fast forward to October.  I’m in Atlanta on a business trip, when I get a text from Phillip saying that the little white house I wanted was for sale by owner.  When we returned, I dragged him begrudgingly to see the house.  We walked in the front doors…and I just knew. You know that feeling?   As we moved from room to room, my heart just kept beating faster.  I was falling in love.

After the tour, I remember calling my mom and breathlessly exclaiming, “Mom, it’s perfect.  It’s just the perfect home.  It reminds me of all the Southern Living pages you used to tear out” ( This was obviously in the pre-Pinterest era)

Then my mom in all her wittiness and grace said, “Well, we just have to pray.  We need a Miracle on 34th Street kind of miracle.”

miracle-on-34th-street-quotes-1

 

The Angler and I set in motion the frenzy to sell the McCottage.  Within 6 weeks our home sold and closed.  We made the offer on the white Williamsburg.  The sellers of our home were building a new home and we worked with them on a friendly timeline…for them. Translate that to we moved THREE times from november 6th until feb 27th. Finally,  March 2014  we began a new chapter in our new nest.

 

forest hill

 

Because I love to give everything a name,  I asked The Angler for his input on the moniker we’d give our new “grown up” house.  Something less “Mc”.  He suggested we use a name that would allude to the tranquil setting with a nod to it’s northeastern styling.  Named after a street in Martha’s vineyard, on our tiny hill surrounded by trees we named her Forest Hill.

Just like little Susan Walker in the Christmas movie classic to which my mom referred,  we got everything on our wishlist and more.  A garage. A laundry room.  A pantry. Closets and Eighteen kitchen drawers on a cul de sac backing into a green space.  Not only did we get the house – it was even more like the movie than I could’ve imagined.  The weekend after we arrived we had a big snow storm.

 

photo (39)

 

And it truly reminded me of The Miracle on 34th Street House (the 1994 remake – that is)

 

Miracle on 34th street remake

 

 

 

 

While she’s not the lavish space many build today,  she is our new home. One of my friends gave me the highest complement when I gave him the tour.  “This is the kind of place you want to have Thanksgiving and Christmas”.  That was music to my ears.  We can’t wait to entertain all our family and friends.  We couldn’t be more grateful to be here.

In addition to the wishlist above.  we also have a sea of brown walls and ceilings, a red and green painted kitchen that will all get fresh new paint and updating.  I’ll be blogging it along the way to share the hits, misses, inspirations, and resources I discover.  And if you just can’t wait for the blog post, you can follow the progress on Instagram at @jobeth_mc.

Welcome to Forest Hill.

Miracles still happen.

Who knows?  Maybe like Susan we’ll get a baby brother and dog in the mix, too.

 

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~ the good in goodbye ~

I’ve been working from home the last couple of days to help coordinate the workmen who are here to help dot the i’s and cross the t’s before we hand over the McCottage keys on December 5th.

I’m thankful to have some extra time amongst these walls. In the late afternoon of autumn, they become the prettiest coral hue.  You see, the light is reflecting off of the hundred year old maple which stands in our front yard.  The color bounces off  Miss Maple’s leaves and into the front rooms of our house.

miss maple

I’ve stood here breathless staring at that tree who has given it her all this year in the most radiant red across all of her branches.  Cars have stopped and pointed.  Folks have asked to take her picture.  This majestic tree in front of our humble house has a paparazzi.  She’s kinda like the Jennifer Lawrence amongst the fall foliage.  Everybody wants a piece of her.

In the 13 years we’ve lived here, this year is her most stunning show. I’m grateful for that. It makes saying goodbye a little easier.

There’s an art to a good goodbye. Not everyone knows how to graciously depart, nor is there always time.

Some of us, in our more selfish moments, have probably been the author of a bad goodbye.  Most of us have been on the receiving end of a one.  It’s the worst.

miss maple 2

 

A bad good bye is like reading a favorite book, rooting for the hero.  Then, you turn the page to discover the last chapters have been ripped and tattered.  The jagged paper gives few clues and only offers a path to dead end questions.

Like a slash from a serrated knife, a bad goodbye leaves a messy cut on either side.  We know in time jagged edges will heal.  We also know, it’s a gash that will forever leave a scar.

Good good byes make moving on easier. They are a clean cut. They tie up loose ends. All questions seem answered and everyone rides off into the sunset.

They have a Dr. Suess-ness to them. “Smile because it happened”.   A warm glow is felt in the center of your chest.

dont cry 1

 

The McCottage chapter of our lives is winding down.  Boxes are being packed.  Only nails remain were once art and mirrors hung.

I’ve forbidden myself from dialing up Amy Grant’s “If These Walls Could Speak” on Spotify.  It would surely send me over the edge. Everybody knows I’m a sentimental sap.  ( Did I just say “sap”?  That was a completely unintentional arboreal pun.)

Even without the music, a lump rises in my throat. I look out to Miss Maple and think of all we’ve  had in common in the time I’ve spent living beneath her branches. We’ve weathered storms. We experienced days of drought.  We’ve basked in the sunshine.  We’ve each had our moments with the paparazzi. Then with the sudden changing winds, our flair became a memory.  We’ve experienced winters of nakedness and humility.  And we’ve repeated this cycle of rest and regeneration.

Through it all we’ve grown. Stronger. Older. Wiser.

Of all the homes I’ve lived, this is the house I grew up in.

I look to Miss Maple and smile because the McCottage happened.  I’m grateful to know amongst her inner rings, thirteen of them were the McElhanon years.

I know she feels the same because that warm red glow in the center of her chest has burst forth to the very tips of her branches.

 

miss maple 3

 

 

Cheers (and happy tears), Y’all -

Boots

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