Indulge Yourself

doTERRA Bath Salts

EVERY Southern Belle wants to indulge herself now and then.  Heck, every Belle wants to indulge no matter where in the world she is.

Nothing better than a nice long soak in a warm, soothing bath … light a few candles, put on some soft music, get some organic, silky salts into the bath water and … sink in.

There’s nothing more organic and soothing than doTERRA Essential Oils to make your own, luxurious bath salts! Simply follow the recipe in the illustration above (add a few lavender flowers to the mix if you have some).

I L.O.V.E. my doTERRA Essential oils!  Aromatically, Topically, Diffused into the air or stirred into my tub … they are healing, calming, invigorating – whatever you need, there’s an oil for that!  Even disinfecting your kitchen counters! (Or healing a baby’s bottom.)

Some of my favorites are:

LAVENDER:  Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities.

WILD ORANGE: energizing and revitalizing. It is also commonly used as an effective tool for uplifting mood, as well as for its wonderful citrusy aroma.

LEMONGRASS: soothe aching muscles.

EUCALYPTUS: calming and clearing properties as well as to ease breathing. Great for a flu soak!

CLARY SAGE:   uplifting and mood-lightening plus widely used by women to soothe monthly discomfort associated with their menstrual cycles.

PATCHOULI:  rich musky-sweet fragrance. It can have a grounding, balancing effect on the emotions while providing excellent mood support. Patchouli is also widely used for wounds and tissue repair, as well as in skin care preparations for these same properties.

If you’d like to learn more about essential oils and how they can be safely and wonderfully used for all sorts of home and family applications — from bath salts to laundry to safe and organic baby shampoos — just holler at me, Auntie Gwen, and we can chat over a cup of nice, lemon-tea!  You may email to me: or you may go directly to my doTERRA Essential Oil Shop to order:  

I can’t wait to talk with you!  (Oh, and don’t let me forget to tell you how you can get your oils and blends at wholesale prices, too!)


I have what? When? How?


Not really sure how this happened but apparently I have an elderly parent. I don’t know how to feel about that. Because I don’t think I do. I have Mama.

Y’all know what I’m talking about, right? She’s just Mama. The one who chased me around the house, took care of me when I needed tending too. Made sure I had clean clothes (cute ones, always!) Popped my bottom when it needed doing. Taught me how to be Classy and Sassy at the same time and all the other things I needed to know to be a Southern Belle. I should, in all fairness mention that she is also the one who can make me nuttier than anyone else in the whole wide world. I think I was born knowing what buttons to push when it comes to Mama and Lord knows, she knows mine.

We’ve had epic battles, went a while we wouldn’t talk to each other, yet somehow, we always found a way to figure it out. Thank goodness! She is truly my biggest fan. Seldom a critic, unless she’s telling me how to write something :).

Mama has arthritis, it hit her at an early age. It runs in the family and while I have twinges, it’s nothing like Mama and a cousin have gone through. By the time she was my age, she’d already had both her knees replaced.

Which brings us to the elderly parent…..I know y’all were wondering where this was going.

The nasty arthritis is all over her little body now. In her spine, her feet and her shoulders. The shoulders were so bad the doctor decided to do joint replacements on both of them and Mama chose to have the right one done first. While she was down here with me, so I could help.

Her surgery was this past Tuesday, and as y’all know if you follow us on Facebook, she had a rough go.

While talking to one of the nurses, she made the comment that “Sometimes we see this in elderly patients”. This is where my shock and dismay came in……. I looked around the room wondering just who the heck she was talking about. Mama isn’t elderly, she’s Mama. On a good day, she can still out shop me especially in Macy’s or Belk’s.

I know I am blessed to still have her. So many have lost their Mama’s at an early age. But she is not elderly. Or is she? Has she slowed down and I refused to let myself see that? She still grates her nutmeg and spices in the sweet potato casserole because that’s the way I like it. She still makes two batches of potato salad because I don’t like pickles. Still tells me how pretty and smart I am.

She has given up trying to tell me how to clean the house ( thank goodness). One of those epic battles I mentioned. She’s also decided that her Son In Law is a good one (again with the epic battle). She is the one person who gets my sarcastic sense of humor, after all it’s the same as hers……

I’ve decided Mama is NOT elderly. She’s just Mama. We’ll deal with it all as it comes. For now, no more epic battles. I will still listen when she tells me how pretty and smart I am. I will  still get aggravated when she talks a strangers ear’s off , I will still eat her potato salad without the pickles, and I still think she’s the most beautiful woman I know.


COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s  and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Bokeelia Live and Sunshine

Well, Good Morning all you Southern Belles! I hope you are ALL having the most glorious day so far!  And I pray the sun is shining where ever you are.

Here, in New England, it’s grey, cloudy, still and cold.

Some would call it peaceful.

I call it … blah. Just … blah.

But yes, it seen very quiet ‘out there’ but I know its only the ‘quiet before the storm’.

We’re expecting snow.

That white, cold stuff that falls from the sky instead of rain when the temps get below 32 degrees F that you blessed ones have maybe never experienced before (and trust me — you don’t WANT to experience it!)

BUT — I’m NOT going to complain .. I have my LIVE cam of Bokeelia Fishing Pier bookmarked to my favorites and it is to that page that I awake each morning …

I have my Facebook pages that pop up with messages from my kids, grandkids and nieces/nephews periodically throughout the day …

I have photos and “mug” shots of all my favorite people and things …

And ya know what?

I have The Southern Belle Charm community — right here. Right now.

I have all of you lovely Ladies … and YOU are part of my imagined sunshine on cloudy, blah days!

Thank you — for being part of my sunshine.

Secret Subject Swap……….

nTBXEeg8cI was so excited when I signed up for the Secret Subject Swap, hosted by Karen @  Her recipes are great and I enjoy her writing.

I pondered for days on what I would submit as a Secret Swap Subject from Southern Belle Charm and finally came up with two.   Then I waited to receive mine…………  I was hoping for something I could be a bit of a smart aleck about.  After all I do it so well……..

Imagine my surprise when I received this as my subject!  It was submitted by:

Every New Year people resolve to change something about themselves. What is one thing that you WOULD NOT change about you? Tell me what you are proud of

Hmmm, it made me think.  A LOT.  I knew  what I wouldn’t change. Like most of us, I focus on all the things I am not.  But what is the one thing I would NOT change about myself?  What do I like best about myself?  But would those closest to me agree?

So I did what anyone would do.  I called the besties and asked them.  Then I contacted some that have known me all  my life, or most of it anyway.  I knew what I wouldn’t change before I asked.  I think maybe I was looking for confirmation from others that I saw myself as they did.

Hubs said, “Not a thing.  You’re amazing.  You always have been”.  I must admit, he is slightly prejudiced.

My daughter said my energy.  She’s always loved the fact that I say I am going to do something and then I do it.  Despite set-backs, obstacles and nay sayers.

Mama said “Not a darn thing, you’ve always been perfect the way you are and you always win Best Daughter of the Year Award”  Thanks Mama.  Love you.

The best of the besties gave a great answer “Nothing.  You are you, if one thing was changed, it would change the essence of you.  And the essence of you is what makes you you”.

A mid 20’s young man I’ve known most of his life said he wouldn’t change my social skills.  It was the one thing about me that he wished he had.

A couple of people said they wouldn’t change my “wicked” sense of humor and my brain.  It was light years ahead of most people’s.

Ok, well I hadn’t thought those two were worth mentioning, though I must admit I did like that they mentioned my sense of humor.  Some people don’t get it.  I do have that underlying sarcasm.

The number one answer, from people I’ve only known a short time to those that I have known literally all my life ( well ok since I am 3 1/2 months older than Cousin David, all HIS life) was my heart.    Yep, my heart, it’s been broken more times than I can count.  It’s been stomped on, run through the mud, shattered into tiny pieces, but its’ HUGE.  I would give people the shirt off my back if it would help them.  I’ve always put others before myself,
( well accept for that time in the early 90’s, when I decided I would become a 1st class B***H and the world could figure it out without me).  When I love, I love with every ounce of my being.

Because of my heart, I have an amazing husband and 4 fantastic step-kids that love me.  I have a daughter who is the best of the best, along with the grands, that own every inch of my heart.

Because of my heart, I step up to the plate when others are in need.   I learn from them and bring them comfort when there is no else to do it.  The more pieces of my heart I give away, the bigger it gets.

So that’s my answer.  My heart, in all it’s scarred, loving, broken, amazing, wonderful glory.  It will more than likely be broken again, but it will heal, as it always does, stronger and full of more love and care than it was.


Want to read the rest of the Secret Subject Swaps and find out who got my question?
Head over to these great blogs and let’s find out!!               Baking In A Tornado           Spatulas on Parade     Stacy Sews and Schools            The Bergham’s Life Chronicles                                    Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                     Confessions of a part-time working mom                Juicebox Confession              Someone Else’s Genius                                         The Momisodes                Climaxed                       Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                        Cluttered Genius      Evil Joy Speaks

Photo from:

COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s  and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake Southern Living
Hummingbird Cake
Southern Living

Southern Living Magazine published this recipe in the February 1978 issue and it is the most requested recipe EVER for them. Submitted originally by Mrs.L.H. Wiggins from Greensboro North Carolina It quickly became a Southern favorite. So here is the recipe from There are others out there, but why mess with perfection? This version is lighter than the original, with less oil and frosting.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened $
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.

Chocolate Banana Pudding


Banana Pudding and chocolate?  It doesn’t get any better than that for a Southerner.

Thank you Lisa Bell for sharing the yummy recipe and picture with us.

3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided to 1/2 and 1/4 cups
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt 3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 box of Nilla Vanilla Wafers
6 ripe bananas, sliced (4 or 5 if you don’t like it as chunky)
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate morsels depending on how much you like

  • Separate the eggs and set aside.

    For pudding mixture, in the top of a double boiler, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sugar with the flour, salt, and milk. Whisk in the yolks and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and mixture reaches 170 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and set aside, to cool slightly.

    In a 1-1/2 quart baking dish begin layering. Rather than neatly layering mine neatly I poured wafers in the dish and just covered the bottom (about 1/2 the box). Then I put scattered the sliced bananas over that (again nothing perfect or neat and this was about 1/2 the bananas). Repeat layering wafers and bananas one more time. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Pour pudding mixture from double boiler over the bananas, wafers, and chocolate chips. Set aside.

    Prepare meringue by whipping the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and add to top of the pudding, spreading to the edges. I whipped on high for about 5 minutes. Place into a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the peaks of the meringue brown. Remove and let sit for about at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving. Garnish with a sprinkling of crushed wafers just before serving, if desired.

Easy “Homemade” Lasagna

Great recipe from Belle Lisa!

I bake smaller portions because it’s just the two of us so it’s geared for 9 X 9



6 no boil lasagna noodles (barilla is the best)
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
1 small onion diced
1 small green bell pepper diced
4-5 baby portabellas sliced
1 cup ricotta (I use fat free)
1 egg or ¼ cup egg substitute
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
3 tsp. dried fennel seed
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400.   Sauté onion, pepper, and portabellas until tender in a pan with olive oil.
Mix in with spaghetti sauce.  Mix ricotta, egg, and seasonings.  Take 1/3 of
the spaghetti sauce and pour into bottom of baking pan.  Add two noodles.  Scoop
1/3 of the ricotta mixture and parmesan cheese on top of that.  Layer this a
total of three times.  Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes (until the spaghetti
sauce has thickened and soaked into the noodles).  Remove from oven and top with
mozzarella.  Bake until cheese is melted.  If you prefer to make a larger pan,
doubling it will yield a regular baking dish size portion.

Musing About Family Resemblance


I came into the posession of this portrait of my Great Grandparents recently.  This morning while contemplating how to restore this beautiful antique frame to its former glory, I really starting analysing their faces.
Now I know I have my Mama’s cheeks and my Daddy’s blond hair and blue eyes, but what part of these two people still shows up in their descendants today?
What struck me most was her eyes, they are very much like my mother’s, deep set and heavy lidded, indeed very much like my own.  They both seem to have thin hair with receding hair lines… so I’m going to blame them both for passing along that particular gene!  lol
I wish they had passed their trim figures along, but alas, THAT trait got lost before it got to me… well Fiddlesticks!
I also found another family gem.


The top photo is my Dad’s brother and the bottom one is my grandson.  Amazing resemblance there.  Thanks Uncle Buford for passing on all that cuteness!
Family resemblance is beyond our control, we have to take what we get out of the gene pool, but we can pass on thoughts, ideas, behaviours and such.  So take the high road in life and pass on some great things and you’re family will forgive you for passing on that cowlick!
COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s  and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Working On It

So excited! Working on the new design for Southern Belle Charm. It’s a learning curve and most days I’m ready to scream and pull my hair out at least once!

Forgive us if we don’t get a lot of posts up while it’s being re-designed. My plan is to have it up and running shortly after the first of the year. I think you’ll like the new look and layout!

Trying some things that work, some don’t (hence the hair pulling………..)

When it’s all done, I think it will be easier to use for y’all to use. YAY

Stay tuned!


Photo from: