Pretty Southern

What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

Southern Girl, Northern Shore

I grew up going to Holden Beach on the southern North Carolina coast. My grandpa had a house there for a long time; that’s where my dad always went as a kid. We vacationed at Holden until 2002, when my grandpa sold his house. Since then, we’ve been back to Holden once, and we’ve stayed at Hilton Head, North Myrtle Beach and St. Simon’s Island. My family loves our Southern beaches.

My boyfriend Kevin, who I met at Virginia Tech, grew up in northwest New Jersey. His family’s favorite beach spot is Cape May, on the southern-most tip of the state. When he invited me to spend a weekend with him at Cape May, my mind raced with rumors and stories I heard about New Jersey beaches from kids at my high school. In my eight years (ugh) living above the Mason-Dixon Line, I had never ventured to any of the popular shore spots (they call it “the shore” up here), like Cape May, Wildwood, Ocean City or Stone Harbor. Delaware and Maryland beaches didn’t catch my attention, either. I told Kevin I’d never been to a beach farther north than North Carolina.   (more…)

Atlanta Street Food Festival 2014

Atlanta Food Truck FestivalWe’re heading to the 3rd Annual Atlanta Street Food Festival with our pals from the Atlanta Food Blogger Society! Keep up with us on Instagram and Twitter @Pretty_Southern to see pics as we nibble our way throughout the day. It’s amazing how much progress food trucks have made in the South, especially thanks to initiatives like the Atlanta Food Truck Coalition. Here’s more information from the event.

“The Atlanta Street Food Festival brings many of the city’s favorite food trucks to diners at Piedmont Park on Saturday, July 12, from noon to 8 p.m. The Festival will showcase over 40 Atlanta-area food trucks, and event goers will be able to enjoy a variety of local merchants and artisans in addition to live entertainment from some of the area’s favorite music performers. The Festival is proud to announce that a portion of this year’s proceeds will support The Giving Kitchen.

The cost = $10.50 and y’all can get tickets here

Plus, ATL’s foodies get a break from the heat with a free screening of “Let’s Be Cops” starring Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson, Nina Dobrev and Rob Riggle. The Cinetransformer, a 53-foot double expandable trailer that converts into a complete mobile cinema, will show the movie at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Hope to see y’all there!

Oakland Cemetery – Summer 2014

Pretty Southern is privileged to be part of the Historic Oakland Cemetery Ambassadors program. We recently toured this Atlanta landmark visiting graves of thousands of Southerners including two of our favorites: Bobby Jones and Margaret Mitchell Marsh. You can scroll down below for photos, but first we wanted to let y’all know about a cool event happening this Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12.


Oakland Cemetery is now offering a guided walking tour – Malts & Vaults of Oakland: Where Beer Meets History. The tour adds to Oakland’s existing repertoire of 14 specialty tours and the additional “Sights, Symbols and Stories” tour. Authors Ron Smith and Mary O. Boyle of “Atlanta Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Hub of the South” will be onsite during the tours. Be sure to purchase a copy in our museum shop then have then sign it for you! At the end – your tour receipt is redeemable for $5 off at Six Feet Under in Grant Park. No beer will be served during the tour, but that receipt will get you a brew or appetizer. Get your tickets at It’s $10 for adults, and $5 for students & seniors. Ya hear that college kids? For those of y’all above 21, that’s a free tour of Oakland Cemetery and a beer!

Now here are a few of our favorite photos of Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery

Historic Oakland Cemetery tour

The beginning of our tour at Oakland Cemetery

Margaret Mitchell Grave Historic Oakland Cemetery

Margaret Mitchell Marsh’s Grave in Historic Oakland Cemetery

Bobby Jones Grave

The Grave of Bobby Jones – legendary golfer. Leave a golf ball for a blessing.

Jewish Oakland Cemetery

The Jewish family graves in Oakland Cemetery.

Ollivette Eugenia Smith Allison - a true lady

Ollivette Eugenia Smith Allison – a true lady

Of all the magnificent headstones and mausoleums we saw that day, there was a simple one that left me in awe. The prayer on the grave of Ollivette Eugenia Smith Allison. She was called the “Great Mother” for her work at the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home – and she loved elephants. Her grave is a mother elephant, with her trunk draped across a young elephant.

The prayer from Miss Ollivette is one that might be the ultimate prayer of thankfulness and gratitude…even from beyond the grave.

O God, I thank Thee for food, clothing, shelter, love, and understanding. For friends who are necessary for me to grow, to be a strong and respectable person. Grant me self-control, self-respect, and peace within. Amen.

“The two most important things that anyone can give a child are time and love. I’m never too busy to talk with a child. If I see a child who’s stressed, someone who’s having a bad day, I’ll go and spend time with them right away. If a child comes into my office while I am on the phone, I’ll hold her hand until I am finished talking and then I’ll give her a hug and ask her how she is.”

Amen indeed. For the living, keep up with Oakland on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Progressive Dinner in Atlanta

Appetizer Publik Draft House

Our first course at Publik Draft House

I think I was about 8 years old when I attended my first progressive dinner. My Girl Scout troop arranged a progressive dinner at three different homes so we could all earn our nutrition badge…or something like that! In my Southern girl mind, these dinners involved crock pots with packaged or pre-made concoctions. The recent progressive dinner I attended with the Atlanta Food Blogger Society was nothing of the sort!

We started our meal with appetizers at Publik Draft House, followed by dinner and dessert at Baraonda. These sister restaurants are two of my favorite places to eat before taking in a show at The Fabulous Fox Theatre, and my-oh-my was this meal a showstopper. About halfway through dinner, I told Erica Smith from A Taste of Our City that there was no way I could eat anymore…but we kept going!

Meatless Monday’s at Murphy’s

Meatless Mondays at Murphy's

Our entree from Meatless Mondays at Murphy’s.

The Atlanta Food Blogger Society hosted a fabulous dinner at Murphy’s in Atlanta, located in the heart of The Virginia Highlands. Literally y’all – it’s at the intersection of North Highland and Virginia Avenue. Murphy’s has always been my go-to staple for the quintessential Sunday brunch, or to wow out of town guests with Southern staples. I was looking forward to trying their new #MeatlessMondays menu, and oh my goodness I didn’t miss the meat for an instant. The fabulous Denise Romeo of We Like to Cook even brought squash blossoms from her own backyard garden!