Tag Archives: Bee Smitten

A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 1

A few of my favorite things, part 1 on http://amywatsonsmith.com

A few of my favorite things, part 1

This morning I have assembled a few of my favorite things to share with you. It wasn’t very hard to narrow this grouping as they were all within reach. I keep my favorite things close.

And just to be completely clear, all of these things are items that I or a family member has actually purchased. None of these have been “freebies”.

Here is what I included in the photo above.

Lots of stripes:


A few other things:

  • White and navy swiss dot cotton pjs from J. Crew (a gift from my very sweet husband who knows how much I l o v e pajamas).
  • “Oops” letterpress card by Ink Meets Paper, my favorite local letterpress studio (soon to be featured in my “Bee Smitten” series). I am a huge fan of snail mail
  • Reading glasses by Peepers. Now that I have reached a certain age, reading glasses are essential. I leave them all over the house but try to keep them somewhat ‘girly’ so my husband won’t borrow them. I have several favorite brands but the price is right for these stylish lovelies.
  • 154 Cologne by Jo Malone. This is my “go to” scent but when I want to change things up a bit, I layer it with one of their other fragrances. My favorites are grapefruit and pomegranate-noir.
  • Bright pink leather handbag with lime green interior by Sigrid Olsen. I especially love the scallops and bow. I picked this up for a steal a number of years ago at Marshalls.
  • Cream satin handmade rose brooch. This adds just a little something to anything. I purchased this several years ago from my favorite local store, Out of Hand in Mount Pleasant SC.

A few of my favorite things are missing:

peonies, gingham, red nail polish, coconut cake, seersucker, grapefruit, velvet ribbon, English breakfast tea, rick rack, colorful espadrilles, . . . .

I will continue to add posts to this series so keep coming back to see more of my other favorite things.

What are a few of your favorite things?

How to Spend a Year Writing

Happy 1year birthday to amywatsonsmith.com

Well, today is the one-year birthday of this blog.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday…

I don’t think that I ever really believed that I could actually spend a year writing on a regular basis. Okay, I use the term “regular” rather loosely. But despite my best attempts at procrastination, I still managed to write. No, I needed to write. And apparently I needed to write in this format (i.e., blogging).

The actual look and name and feel of my blog has changed several times as I learned more about blogging but the content has remained consistent. I have attempted to write about my life in an authentic way–not white-washing it as I hope many of my posts and photos demonstrate.

I have learned quite a bit about blogging along the way and even more about myself. I feel as if I am just beginning to hit my stride, so here I go. I am going to spend another year writing this blog. I do hope you will continue on this journey with me.

Below you will find links to my top ten blog posts from the past year. I invite you to read them again–or for the first time.

Thank you and God’s peace and blessings to you.



1. How to Make a Spring Break Survival Kit

Spring Break Survival Kit


2. Lessons from Miss Frances: On Living, Loving and Laughing

"Lessons from Miss Frances on Living, Loving and Laughing" on www.amywatsonsmith.com


3. How to Silence the Voice of Doubt

How to Silence the Voice of Doubt: Just write


4. When Everything Has Gone to the Dogs

"When Everything has Gone to the Dogs," Chester, one of the "twins"--English Springer Spaniels


5. Game Day Done Right

Ole Miss Road Trip

6. The Love of a Dog

A dog's love


7. Bee Smitten: Banner Celebrations

Oliver's banner


8. Time Flies When You are Living Life

Daddy-daughter chefs in "Time Flies When You are Living Life"


9. How to Have the Perfect Vacation

"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." -Robert Orben How to Have a Perfect Vacation on www.amywatsonsmith.com


10. Bee Smitten: A few of My Favorite Things

"Bee Smitten: A Few of  My Favorite Things / Photo of Judith Ann Entrican Kirkpatrick

Bee Smitten #2: Banner Celebrations

Merry Christmas banner by Elisabeth Hunter

Merry Christmas banner by Elisabeth Hunter

I am writing today about one of my favorite things made by one of my favorite people: celebration banners by Elisabeth Hunter (Charleston, South Carolina).

Merry Christmas banner by Elisabeth Hunter $35

Merry Christmas banner by Elisabeth Hunter $35

Just in time for the holidays, these hand-made banners are perfect for gifts or for decorating your own home.

I was so excited to see the brown paper package at my doorstep yesterday afternoon!

Joy comes in brown paper packages tied up with string / Photo by Amy Watson Smith

Joy comes in brown paper packages tied up with string

I suppose I should have bought this as a gift for someone else but I just couldn’t resist the tartan plaid.

Joy tartan banner / Photo by Amy Watson Smith

Joy banner with English springer spaniels / Photo by Amy Watson Smith

Even Hattie and Chester were filled with joy!

I asked Elisabeth to tell me a bit more about how she got started making these banners. Her story follows below.

“I grew up watching my Mom and Grandmother sew (and occasionally helping) but had never tackled a project on my own.

After [my first child] Henry was born, I was a stay-at-home Mama for the first time (I’d been a work-from-home-newlywed for the previous two years) and I found that after the newborn stage passed, I craved a creative outlet.  I got a sewing machine and for my nephew’s first birthday, I made him a birthday banner. It remains one of my favorites.  For the following year I gave birthday banners to many friends and family members.

I had put my sewing machine up (when sewing it lives on our dining room table or in the middle of our den) in early 2011, but in July we got George’s diagnosis* and I pulled it back out. I needed a distraction from Web MD and sewing provided it.  I sewed compulsively for the next 3 months while waiting to move to Boston for his birth.

I go through phases where I tire of the mess it makes in the middle of our house but it’s hard to stop myself from buying pretty fabric when I see it.  I’ve enjoyed making holiday banners this year because it gives me a little bit of focus … and selling them makes this a hobby that pays for itself and gives me money to indulge my insatiable appetite for classic children’s clothes.”

*I am saving George’s amazing story for a later post.

Happy Birthday banner by Elisabeth Hunter $35

Pricing for the banners is based on the banner’s length.  Short ones like “Boo!” or “JOY” are $15, longer ones “Thankful”, “Grateful”, “Give Thanks”, “Believe” are $25 and long ones “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Birthday” are $35.  Prices include shipping in a padded envelope. To add a name to a birthday banner, please add $10.

To order one of Elisabeth’s banners, email her at hunter.elisabeth@gmail.com.

All photos are by Elisabeth Hunter unless otherwise specified.

Bee Smitten #1: The smell of autumn in a candle

I am so excited to begin sharing a few of my favorite things with you in this new column Bee Smitten. There are so many things on my list but I had to start somewhere.

Stag Candle Patch NYC

I am starting with my favorite candle for fall and winter: the Stag Candle by Patch NYC.

I love this candle because the aroma is very distinctive. It reminds me of being in the woods on an autumn afternoon the air crisp and clean with a note of fir trees and wood smoke lingering. I can almost hear the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my feet and taste the mulled apple cider right now.

I think that I selected this candle for my first pick because it represents several things for me. The first is that whenever I light it, I immediately feel warm, safe and cozy. Who doesn’t love that feeling?

This candle is also ideally suited to this time of year which is my favorite season. In Charleston we don’t get much of a fall, so this is a reminder of the times and places I have lived where leaves  turned brilliant shades of red and orange and there was a chill in the air.

Finally this candle is one that I can actually smell. Over the last few years I have begun to lose my sense of smell (connected to my allergies and all of the lovely year-long blooming things in this part of the world). Somehow this is one of the only aromatic candles that I can smell.

Patch NYC stag


Click this link to go to their website. They also carry several other scents and products but this one is my favorite. It would make a great gift for a man with the woodsy smell and stag image. It is also made in the USA.

out of hand shop window

For my local readers, visit Out of Hand in the Old Village, Mount Pleasant to find this candle as well as the other scents from Patch NYC.

What are the smells that you associate with fall? I’d love to hear from you.


Bee Smitten: A Few of My Favorite Things

Bee Smitten: A Few of My Favorite Things

Bee Smitten is a new column on amywatsonsmith.com focusing on the beautiful things with which I am “smitten.” It is essentially a curated collection of things that are among my favorites–life simply would not be the same without these. It is meant to be for everyone who enjoys beautiful things, delicious food and great adventures, but it may be particularly useful for those of us who have little time to find these things on our own (busy bees) and who appreciate someone doing the filtering for us. Every week or so I will feature one of my favorite things.

The inspiration for this idea came from Miss Judy, my mother’s oldest and dearest friend. Miss Judy was a great Southern lady and style icon.

Judith Ann Entrican Kirkpatrick

Judith Ann Entrican Kirkpatrick

Notice I did not say fashion icon. Miss Judy was not concerned with fashion. She had a certain flair and confidence about her style. She might wear an inexpensive khaki a-line skirt, a crisp white blouse and loafers but then she would throw a Liberty of London scarf around her neck and look like a million bucks.

The truly wonderful thing about Miss Judy’s style, however, was that she always seemed to be able to find some unique item that one “simply could not live without.” And then she would buy dozens and share them with her friends. I’ll never forget the time she discovered a particular hair brush made in France. My mother received this gift with the statement that it was the best brush ever and Miss Judy just knew Mother was going to love it. It appeared to be a rather normal looking brush to me, but when I picked it up and ran the bristles through my hair, I realized she was right. It was an absolutely perfect brush. My mother and I both wept when the handle finally broke in two and we were not able to  use it anymore. Whether it was a luxurious hair brush, a pot of jam or a new book, Miss Judy always found the best things and shared them with her friends.

I have always loved the idea of finding something that I absolutely love and then letting my friends and loved ones in on the secret. It seems to transform an ordinary object into something precious. It is now imbued with so much more meaning–a dear friend has brought you into her world and shared something with you that she loves.

With this column, I hope to do the same thing with you–share some of the things I love most in the world with friends.