In Search of Elegance!

Audrey Hepburn is a style icon in our eyes and in the eyes of many women.  She is definitely one woman that so many of us agree to be an example of elegance!!! There is a great quote from her that says “Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.”

The majority of us would never use that word to describe ourselves.  In our minds, we aren’t rich enough, in the right social class, not beautiful enough…….. the list goes on and on.  In addition to the negative thoughts, we are all so busy working, cleaning, running errands, and taking care of those around us,  we hardly have time to breathe, much less even begin to think about aspiring to be elegant.

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Well, here’s something to consider!  Elegance as Dianne Vreeland put it is a state of mind! That’s right!!

“The only elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.” – Dianne Vreeland

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Believe it or not, you have elegance  already within you!! Yes, we all do!! We just need to learn the art of it.

Here are some ideas that we can all put into action to unlock the doors to the elegance within all of us.

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  • Posture!!!  – Oh my goodness, do y’all remember the words of our moms as they chided us to stand up straight and hold our shoulders up?  We do for sure!!! Well, it turns out that…….. wait for it…….. Our moms were right!!!  Our posture absolutely says a lot about us. It speaks to our confidence and the fact that we are in charge. The captain of our own ship!!!  So shoulders back and down, chest out, and hold yourself with a certain ease.   While this may seem like torture in the beginning, remember, we are changing a habit here, and that our dear sisters, takes time. Stick with it!!! After a while, it will get easier and then voila’, one day it will be your new habit!!
  • Hair Style!!!-  Choose a hair style to be your signature style! It does not have to be fancy, complicated or expensive. It does need to be a look that flatters the shape of your face and your personality. Whether it is a chin length bob, a shoulder length cut, a layered look or a longer style, that’s up to you!!! Just find one that makes you feel perky and happy and is a look that you can maintain easily!!
  • Finger Nails!!!-  Our hands are often so overlooked. We use them everyday all day and yet, we neglect them!!!  We know that you are thinking that we are talking about long nails! Well, actually we are really talking about taking care of them! A manicure or pedicure occasionally whether you get them polished or not will indeed help you to relax and feel a confidence as you approach your day. Take pleasure in taking care of yourself.  You can also do a manicure at home and get a positive result.

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  • Perfume!!-  Do you have a signature scent?  Are you aware of the way those around us smell? Spend some time sniffing around and explore the world of perfume!! Which scents appeal to you? Are there certain ones that just make you feel good? That is a sure way to determine which one is right for you at this time! That being said, remember that the goal is not to fumigate the room  with our scent, but instead we want to have others catch that wonderful smell as we give them a hug and identify as our aromatic calling card.  An awesome scent just speaks of elegance!!!

While we have recommended some tangible ideas for you to employ, we do want to mention an intangible idea as well.

When you are in the company of others, really really be with them.  Slow down! Give them your undivided attention. Look them in the eyes, listen to what they are saying , and share a smile with them!  Offer them your grace and attention. Make them feel special and important!  This is something that is becoming a lost social skill, and is so needed in our interactions with others.   What a gift that is to offer others…….  and What a sign of a truly elegant woman it is!!!

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We realize that these are not all of the ways to cultivate elegance, but we wanted to offer a short and very attainable list of suggestions as a beginning. We will offer more suggestions in later posts!!!

This is not about being perfect!! It’s about being you and releasing the elegance and style that you have inside of you, your own special style, scent, passions!!!!

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Much Love to all of our Elegant sisters!!!

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Dolling Up Your Dress

In cold months weddings and events that have you wearing dresses can be a challenge. Especially if it’s cold, and you’re wearing a short sleeve or sleeveless dress, you’re gonna have to find a shrug, wrap, or coat that is equally as dressy but warm.

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Our friend Weslynn sent us a picture and asked how she should style her dress to an upcoming trip to New York, and of course our wheels started spinning. So, we thought you might use our tips to help with dressing for a more formal events in chilly temps.

#1. Wear long dresses- BUT if you can’t or don’t want to find cute tights to warm up those legs. Tights have come a long way! You can find them with cute designs and consider the thickness. The more transarent the dressier, in our opinion. But the temperature does play a very large role in the thickness!

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#2. Jewel tones are so beautiful in the winter. They also pair well with black shrugs. A shrug is an essential part of a winter wardrobe. Although not worn often, still worn! And a great find in the back of your closet when you need it most! Shrugs can come in all shapes and colors, but the most used would be black. A shrug does the trick with a sleeveless or short sleeve dress. It’s normally a cropped waist and long sleeves to keep the shoulders and arms warm.

#3. Heavy fabrics are always best to wear in the cold months especially if it’s a dress and there is very little of it. The heavier the fabric, the warmer the gown. Even if the heavier fabric is a little more expensive, it’s worth it to splurge to get the warmer dress and have it in your wardrobe on special occassions. We are all about purchasing timeless dresses that can be worn in years to come.

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#4. Booties are a fantastic alternative to heels because they provide more warmth. Also, if you need to cheat a little and put on a pair of short socks with your booties, no one would ever know the difference. You can find some really dressy booties these days- so when thinking about what to finish off your fancy dress with check out what’s new on the rack.

#5. The cape is a gorgeous statement that draws everyone’s attention and rightfully so! The drama of it all is so captivating. The length of a cape gives much needed warmth, the hood of a cape keeps the wind off of your neck, and the length of the arms keeps your entire body snug as a bug in a rug without compromising your beautiful dress!

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Winter weddings are so perfect, we especially love seeing brides in long sleeve dresses. It’s unusual, especially in the south! We do love a fancy event no matter what the weather is, so we hope you have found these tips to be helpful in whatever climate you call home! Happy styling!

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Your Own Glorious Style

Does fashion excite you? Do you feel a passion in your heart when looking at and creating styles and different fashion elements?

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This probably does not come as a big surprise, but we adore fashion!  Everything about it!  Dressing, shopping, styling the looks , accessorizing- all of it!!

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Since we have been blogging and talking to women across the world, we have realized that many women experience anxiety and stress when it comes to what they wear!  Honestly, this hurts our hearts!

The reasons are many:  Some women hate their bodies and feel like there is nothing that looks good on them. Some are always comparing themselves to other women and feeling that they are not as attractive. . Some believe that the only way a woman can have a great wardrobe is to spend a lot of money! We have been giving a lot of thought to what we have learned from you  in 2017.

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That in turn has led us to reflect on our purpose for the blog and what we want to accomplish this year!

One of the reasons we started blogging was to share our passion for fashion with other women! We must admit that we are having a ball with it!

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That being said, another one of our Missions as bloggers is to show you, our beautiful sisters that being chic or stylish is not about wearing the latest designer’s creations but is truly about  each of YOU putting your own stamp on what you wear!

Don’t you just hate it when you see articles which say 50 things women over 50 should not wear! Or over 30 or 40?  Really?  Newsflash- Women can wear whatever they want whenever they want and at any age!!

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Your clothing choices should be fun and should represent you!! Not your sister, best friend, or your mother!  Your own glorious personal style!!  Now that being said! You do need to determine what that is for each of you!

We try to present diffferent looks and styles while also showing our own styles here in the blog posts!  We know that some of the styles appeal to you and others do not, but variety is the spice of life!

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You do not have to wear the same style everyday! One day you may feel like wearing  a little boho style and another day a more preppy or classic look! Guess what? That is perfectly ok!  As a matter of fact , it’s awesome!   Each day is a new day and a new opportunity to try something new!

This year, We look forward to helping you determine your fashion style and then inspiring you to feel comfortable, confident, chic, and beautiful in the clothes you put on in 2018!   Put on your seatbelts, ladies, and get ready for the ride!!

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The Ups and Downs

And by ups and Downs, we mean temperatures…. brrrrr once again! We,  southerners, had a mild week and this  past weekend  brought with it cold temperatures. We don’t even know what to wear and when anymore! The struggle is real! We literally saw flip flops this past week which certainly marks a need for warmer weather. But Mother Nature is saying oh no, babies….. not quite yet!

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So, every morning when our feet hit the floor we look at the weather! You have to! Today’s high of 54 is  an improvement from yesterday’s temps., but really? The weather man has said that we may a tad bit of snow mixed in with some rain on Wednesday!

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So what do you do when you live in a wIshy washy climate? You layer up and remove as needed!

If you know you are going to be spending the majority of your time inside, don’t worry so much about multiple layers… but getting in the building is another story. Make sure you have a warm coat, gloves, and maybe a decorative scarf to adorn you as you make the brisk walk inside!

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Both Michelle and Susie don’t love to wear pants, so finding something to cover your legs in the winter months with skirts and dresses is a challenge. Susie likes to layer longer things which creates warmth. Michelle likes a more tailored skirt which means her tights or leggings have to be very well thought out.

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So, we understand the dressing dilemma in the mornings trying to figure out what is appropriate.  One of the best pearls of wisdom that we can offer about choosing what to wear is to keep your eye on the weather forecast for the next day and to choose your outfit the night before!

Being prepred ahead of time gives us the opportunity to go through out emeardrobes and look for the items to layer and try them out  with the ensemble! It gives us time to look in the mirror and decide if the items we are layering actually work without being bulky and frumpy!  Neither of those are part of the look any of us are trying to achieve!

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Think function and style!!  It also lets us choose our accessories before we are literally trying to dash out the door! As moms, we are always telling our kids to have their school supplies and books in their bookbags the night before so that they don’t forget anything and can start the day in a calmer and happier mood!!

Believe it or not, we our fabulous sisters need this same mood for the start of our day!!

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Wish us luck as we approach our closets once again with mother nature’s fickle mood this week!! 💙💙💙💙

Keep  smiling. and stay warm!!! 💙💙

 

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Our Words!

If you are like us, you probably belong to at least one or two Facebook groups. Some of you belong to quite a few! There are so many different kinds – from fashion to recipes- to diets- and exercise groups just to name a few!
Some are small groups,  and some just have a few members!

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So much variety and so much fun!

Fun that is until the mean girls- women – bullies arrive.

Susie experienced one earlier this week in a fashion group of mostly awesome and supportive women. With over 8000 members, it has been such a wonderful place of conversation, fellowship, and inspiration.

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The situation included a  lady who decided to comment  on a conversation thread in a critical and negative way meant to make a person feel bad about themselves. In this case the person was  Susie. Little did she know, that in the grand scheme of things, her words reflected more on her than the women involved in the pleasant conversation.

Then a few days later, another woman in the same group , posted that she had been private messaged by a woman in the group and had been really hurt by her disparaging words about her hair, her clothing, her makeup, and even her “extreme size”. she was even asked  wasn’t she ashamed to be seen.

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That’s what has led to our post today!  Those words- our words – which carry such enormous weight and have both the power to lift up and tear down those around us! Let’s face it, we all know those women who seek to disguise their mean words under the cloak of-  “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but…….”   I am sure that each of you can fill in the blank with the words which have been spoken to you after that word- but!

The old adage,  Sticks and stones may break your ones but words will never hurt you-  just is not true.  Negative words can indeed cause psychological pain. Social rejection, the feeling that one is inferior, and the feeling of being ugly- all cause wonderful and fabulously talented people to retreat into themselves and suffer.

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Our question for reflection in this post  is – What words do we use in our conversations with others in person or online?

We each have the opportunity or choice to  be a  person who lifts  those around us  up to such great heights that they aren’t used to because of their own lack of confidence or happiness, or we can be that individual who tears someone down to the ground and walks over them again and again. You can either be the best thing for someone and really help them change their ways of thinking, or be extremely toxic to them and cause a lot of problems within themselves.

Initially, we don’t think about how important a person will be to us in the future. We’re humans, and we like human interaction. It’s natural for us, it makes us comfortable, and we’re social creatures by birth. This doesn’t mean we should be causing others to be uncomfortable for any reason by the words we speak or the things we do.

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We always need to be careful with the words we use. The truth is we each change other people’s lives, whether we realize it or not!

Remember, that even though the tongue has no bones, it is strong enough to break a heart. So, let’s be careful with our words.

Being  kind is always in style!!!

Winter BLUES

Winter blues should only refer to the color of the sky or the ocean. Too often this time of year brings a sadness. It’s dark early and moods seem to sag. It’s a good thing we aren’t blogging tonight about Winter blues…. instead we would like to discuss WINTER BLUES❄️

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The color blue in cold temps is beautiful! Navy blue is good- oh but a brighter royal blue is so much more exciting! It’s like a smudge of spring right in the middle of winter!

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Michelle paired her blue bell sleeve from H&M with a pair of ankle cut pants that are black and white. Either one of these pieces could be a foundation on which to build.

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Susie went with a color blocked look by pairing this blue and black trench coat jacket over  a sleeveless black top and  black leggings from H&M.  She  chose some awesome black booties from Nine West that she got right before Christmas and a fabulous vintage royal blue hat.

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So let’s beat the Winter blues with this fabulous color and Don’t believe Keith Urban when he sang “blue ain’t your color!! It certainly is! Give it a go! Singing the blues never looked so good!!! 💙💙💙

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A little MORE

In 2018, we have seen so many of you make resolutions, claim that this is a year of jubilee for yourselves, or declare that this is a new year, new you! Like all of you, we decided to collectively come up with a word that meant something to both of us that would keep us striving in the right direction.

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One word can be so small but mean so much! The word MORE for both Susie and Michelle means multiple things. As the year progresses, we will be defining those things to you along the way. Our goal is to inspire all of our readers. We want to inspire you to do a little MORE, give a little MORE, love a little MORE and so on.

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We believe that change happens in this world of ours when each of us do our tiny part of being MORE than we thought we could. Taking care of one another as a whole, dressing for success within your day (whatever that looks like for you), and thinking outside the box when it comes to giving of yourselves are all things that we could do more of.

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MORE comes to play in our behavior. What we give attention to will get MORE of us. What we let our emotions control will control MORE of us, what we let our minds think about will consume MORE of us, and what we allow ourselves to dream will become MORE of a reality. You see more isn’t always about doing things differently than we have been doing. In fact, Susie and Michelle did NOT make a resolution for this very reason. We love what we are doing, we just want to do MORE of it!

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Don’t forget to Wear a Coat

To be honest, these southern girls have never really had to worry about coats for subfreezing temperatures and snow days!  That’s not say that we don’t have coats, but for the most part, we usually go with fashion over function because we are lucky in the weather category when it comes to winter climate!!! One of the many pluses of living here.

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So as we have been experiencing our snow days and observing the bomb cyclone ripping along the East coast and really hitting our northern neighbors with a vengeance, we have realized that Jack Frost is on a rampage and that the need for warm outer wear is a requirement!! As a magazine put it- we need some sleeping bags disguised as coats!!

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One of the great things is that post holiday sales always include some fantastic coats to wear now and next year. Anything from structured or slouchy can be found to add to your coat wardrobe. A really good coat can be an investment, one that you want to get your money’s worth out of while looking stylish.

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We went on the hunt for some different sale options to share with you and have styled a few coats that we already have.

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Faux fur is definitely in and warm!!!

Women's Winter Thick Outerwear Warm Long Fox Faux Fur Coat

Find the above white faux fur by clicking here.

Women's Smooth Warm Soft Lush Faux Fur Coats Mid-Length Fluffy Jacket For Winter

Check out this mid length black/dark gray coat by clicking here.

This isn’t a coat but what a great buy and look!!!   It is a Cashmere wool blend knit poncho, super soft and warm, light weight,  and easy to put on! It even has a faux fox fur trim. $26.99 is a great price for this!!!

Womens Luxury Bridal Faux Fur Shawl Wraps Cloak Cape Warm Poncho Coat

Leopard coats are one of Susie and Michelle’s favorites.

Choies Women Elegant Vintage Leopard Print Lapel Faux Fur Coat Fall Winter Outwear

Trench coats both short and longer offer resistance from the wind

We found these at Belk in their winter clearance. If you haven’t you should check out the major deals they are having!

Whether you choose to wear a coat that you already have or go looking for a great deal in the sales, stay warm and safe in the blanket of arctic air which is making everyone miserable!!

Shed a Little Light

Some days are for reflection and some days are for adventures. Today as we venture out into the white beautiful snow we took a look around.

We were standing in the same yards, on the same roads, in the same town yet things look a little different. Isn’t it interesting that when things are covered up or manipulated from the norm just a little it looks so different. In fact, it’s a memory we all want to keep locked away in our minds forever.

Ever wonder why? Why are we in such awe of this beauty- we are privy to it every single day. The thought really made us think. Are we seeing “our” worlds as beautiful as they are on a daily basis? Are we looking for the memories that could be made all the time? Probably not.

This new year wouldn’t it be a great resolution to make….to see the beauty in everything? We need to look beyond the outer, beyond the makeup, beyond the routine and monotonous landmarks and see a little MORE!

You will be seeing a whole lot of that word through out this year. Susie and Michelle have decided that MORE is the key word in their lives that they are going to focus on. As the weeks progress you will learn more about us and why we chose that one small word to make such a huge impact on our 2018.

We love giving tips- you know that! So we decided to give you a few tips for seeing beyond the normalcy of your life and finding the beauty.

Tip 1: look around. Sounds super simple, we know but there are days that pass us by and we never even look up and around to see what’s beside us or across the room from us. Is it family? An old picture on the wall you pass by? What beauty both store….. some people get to look up all the time to no one else in the room and no furnishings to beautify their home. What a gift we have. Really study things when you look up. Your perspective will change.

Tip 2: think positively. We find that a lot of people don’t even realize the negativity they have been wallering in it for so long. The more negative thoughts you can replace with happy positive ones the more your eyes will be opened up to see the beauty around you.

Tip 3: breathe…..Slower than normal. Make a point to slow down your breathing. Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly… oxygen to the brain is a very good thing that adds clarity to your life! It allows you to see what you might have missed before.

As we continue to unravel the word MORE along the way we hope we will inspire you to do positive things that make an impact on your daily life. Perspective changes just by adding or taking away something. Why not conduct a little experiment of your own and see what you could be missing!

Let It Snow???

Wow -just-Wow!!! Who would have thought that today would bring at this point over 4 inches of snow with more to come until midnight to the Lowcountry and Charleston!!!

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We are just not cut out for this stuff!!!  Now, don’t get us wrong, we can handle a hurricane like no tomorrow!! You know, strong winds,  torrential rain, tornadoes, storm surges and flooding….. the list goes on!

But bring these soft and beautiful flakes of ice around and we fall apart!!  Who can even drive much less walk on surfaces covered with ice?? Subzero temperatures??? We have friends who have not even put away their flip flops.  They flat out refuse to!!!!

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Yesterday, we blogged about our ideas for things to do while stuck in our houses!! You do know that everyone went to the grocery store and bought all the milk and bread yesterday, right!!!

So today, we thought that we would include some comfort food ideas for this snow event!!

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We love a hot Chicken Noodle soup with a grilled cheese sandwich! This recipe is a great one!!

We are going to assume that everyone knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich!!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/26460/quick-and-easy-chicken-noodle-soup/

Ingredients

30 m     6 servings161 cals

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.
  2. Cook onion and celery in butter until just tender, 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in chicken and vegetable broths and stir in chicken, noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes before serving.

Chili and Beans are always a quick and comforting food when the temperatures take a dive!!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13329/quick-chili-i/

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot lightly brown ground beef, and drain if needed.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.
  3. Add tomatoes, diced tomatoes with chile peppers, tomato sauce, water, kidney beans, pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes and then serve.

You can see that adding sour cream and cheese is always a good idea!!

What to serve with it??

Might we suggest some cornbread? Paula Deen’s of course!!

ww.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/moist-and-easy-cornbread-recipe-1921711

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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We are really enjoying this snow even!! Videos have been made and pictures have been shared from home to home as we frolic in the wonder and beauty of it all!!!