January, 2012

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January 2012

January 2012

Please checkout our January 2012 issue!

Living in Color
The Wedding Issue
Fashion: Warm & Stylish Sweaters
Travel to St. Martin
Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Sevierville
Bridal Inspirations
…and so much more!


Living in Color

January 2012 feature a

Stepping into this unique midtown Memphis home can be likened to a scene with which most of us are very familiar. Imagine how Dorothy felt when she emerged from her mangled, monochromatic house into the wonderful Land of Oz. This rich, bright fantasy land was very different from Dorothy’s black and white world – everywhere she looked she encountered the lusciously exaggerated tints of a Technicolor landscape.

This 2,800-square-foot Mediterranean villa echoes the beautiful bold colors and whimsy of Oz. After 10 months of renovation and design, the home was completed in early 2011 by Cheryl Lee Smith, who served as the general manager of the design, architectural and contracting processes.
“Being able to fashion and create an entirely new environment that would house my client’s possessions and reflect her playful and generous spirit was my favorite part of this design process,” says Smith. “On this project, I used saturated colors that were beautiful and had lush qualities. The purpose was to create an exciting background in which all the colorsof wood, carpets, artwork and furniture would stand out yet be harmonious.”
Lighthearted from the start, the home’s foyer features a special guest. A life-size mannequin, handmade by SICIS/Italy and purchased locally from Henry Tile, wears hundreds of tiny, quarter-inch, cabernet-colored mosaic tiles. Light bounces all around this long, narrow passage – from the polished black marble tile floors to the harlequin mirror on one end of the hall to the contemporary mirrored drawer chest on the other end.

Moving into the brilliant yellow living room, one can get a glimpse of the starting point of the home’s layout and design through the French doors and window at the back of the room. Framed in the glass is a Four Seasons Fountain from Waterworks, designed in the spirit of European fountains. The water feature brings the outside into an already sunny room. Candy purples, clear teal blues and touches of black and bright white are brought together by kaleidoscopeprint couches flanked by two black fretwork armchairs with loose purple pillows trimmed in teal Houles fringe.

It’s challenging to decide where to look first in the room as it boasts many eye-catching aspects. A custom-designed fireplace mantle in the shape of a roaring face framed with loose hair was inspired by the renowned man-like carving “The Mouth of Truth” on the portico of The Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. The mouth surrounds the open fire and the light of the flames dances off the shadows of the marble-like stone face.

Next to the fireplace, “Sonny Boy Williamson,” a three-dimensional piece by Memphis artist George Hunt, reflects the homeowner’s love of the Mississippi Delta and the blues music that is rooted there. An oil painting of a Chicago theatre marquis by Designer Cheryl Lee Smith turns one homeowner’s eclectic art collection and love for lush color into a vivid and vibrant habitat of many hues.


Conveniently Healthy: New Year – New Fare

April McKinney - January 2013

April McKinney - New Year New Fare | athometn.com

The beginning of a new year brings a fresh start and a new opportunity to reach our fitness goals and establish healthy eating habits. I have learned over the years that in order to really stick with these goals we have to change things up by using fun recipes and fun workouts. One can only eat steamed broccoli and grilled chicken so much before a burger and fries are in order. However, by putting a healthy spin on some favorite comfort foods, healthy eating may not be so bad!

One of the ways that we can really make a difference in our health is by eating more fish and less red meat. As a native Southerner, fried fish has always been a favorite of mine, so I decided to come up with an “oven fried” fish recipe that is pretty close to the real thing, without all the calories. It is a fairly simple recipe, and much easier to clean up after than actual deep-frying.  I serve this with a quick and easy light tartar sauce, because you have to use tartar sauce with fried fish, right?

To go alongside our crispy fish, I made a delicious Quinoa Pilaf. If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, it is a pretty amazing whole grain. As easy as rice to prepare, quinoa is actually full of protein.  For this recipe I added a few veggies and lemon juice which gives it lots of flavor.

These recipes show that healthy food can “hit the spot” and satisfy those cravings.  For more comfort food made healthy, visit www.AprilMcKinney.com.


Ingredients (For Fish):

  • 4 6oz filets of red snapper (or any firm white fish such as Grouper or Cod)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • Cooking spray

Directions (For Fish):
1      Preheat oven to 400˚. Place a cooking rack on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2      Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
3      Mix together egg and Worcestershire sauce in a shallow bowl then mix together flour, cornmeal and Cajun seasoning in another bowl.
4      Dip fish in egg mixture then dredge in flour mixture, then place on the rack.
5      Once all fish pieces are coated, spray evenly with cooking spray.
6      Bake for 22 minutes.


Ingredients (For Tartar Sauce):

  • ¼ cup light mayo
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. spicy mustard
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. capers, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions (For Tartar Sauce):

Mix all ingredients together and serve with fish.



Ingredients (For Pilaf):

  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup bell pepper, chopped (any color)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock (may substitute water)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions (For Pilaf):

1      Heat a medium saucepan to medium high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of oil, white onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until veggies are softened.
2      Add quinoa and stir to coat in oil, then add chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil.
3      Reduce to simmer and cover for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
4      After quinoa is cooked add green onions, lemon juice and remaining Tbsp. of oil. Stir and serve.


January 2012

St. Martin shares a 37-square-mile island in the eastern Caribbean with Dutch St. Maarten. The character of France remains strong in St. Martin, where trendy European-style boutiques with dutyfree shopping abound, along with lush, mountainous scenery and captivating resorts.
The heavy French influence means that as far as food is concerned, “very good” translates into a short life for a restaurant. It must be outstanding. The culinary center of the island is Grand Case Village, about a 15-minute drive from Marigot, the capital. Grand Case (a Creole word meaning “Big House” ) was a sleepy little place with the main road built inthe days of horses, mules and carriages. As the cotton plantations, shrimping operations and salt ponds shut down, homeowners began to convert their houses into restaurants. Despite being completely renovated inside, the structures still retain their yesteryear exterior appearance.

Today, Grand Case is a microcosm of world dining, with restaurants featuring American, Asian, Caribbean, Mexican, seafood and of course, French cuisine. They run the gamut from internationally known to lolos, small outdoor places where local ladies barbecue fresh lobsters, chicken, fish and spareribs. Highly recommended restaurants include Ti Provencal, L’Auberge Gourmand, Spicy, Taste A Vin, Bistro Caraibes, L’Escapade, and the Fish Pot.

The Grand Case Beach Club is a 71-unit oceanfront resort which has won countless awards for its service and hospitality. Theresort’s Sunset Cafe, located only a stone’s throw from the water, is noted for its fine gourmet cuisine. Chef Alexandre and his wife Chantal make sure that there is something for everyone, however, with many value entrees on the daily menu.


Details, Details, Details…..

January 2012 Entertaining

Most of today’s brides want special attention paid to every last detail when it comes to customizing their big day. Organizing a wedding to the “nth” degree requires a lot of time and creativity; so many couples involve a wedding planner or event designer. The professionals at Social Butterflies, LLC, in Memphis recently orchestrated a wedding with a magical theme, and all the details to go along with it.

Theme: The clients, Casey and Tracy Dugan, requested a Disney theme for their wedding last October. (This was only fitting since the pair became engaged during a family vacation at Disney World.) “Vintage, romance, Disney and family were themes I wanted tied together,” says bride Tracy. “I didn’t want people to feel like they were at a wedding, but a place with friends having a good time.”

The designers at Social Butterflies knew Tracy wanted every element to work together, but not in a “matchy-matchy” way. “No monochromatic color scheme here!” says Michelle Hope, one of Social Butterflies’ owners and lead designers. “So we began designing the event in shades of blush pink, ivory and champagne with pops of peacock blue and marigold.”

Ceremony and Reception: The ceremony and reception took place at Hillwood on the grounds of Davies Manor Plantation east of Memphis. Valet parking attendants greeted guests and gave each one a custom program that held a ribbon wand (handmade by the bride and her mother) with instructions to “wave at the kiss.” The bride arrived for the ceremony in a white horse-drawn carriage while “When You Wish Upon a Star” played.

Following the vows guests headed to the reception area while sipping a signature cocktail, “Pirates of the Caribbean,” complete with sword-skewered fruit garnish. Alice in Wonderland provided the backdrop for the “Mad Hatter Cocktail Party,” a whimsical start to the evening complete with games for guests to enjoy.

After signing a quilt made by the bride and her mother, an alternative to the traditional guest book, family and friends made their way inside for the family-style reception. Natalie Chang Designs custom maps, inspired by Disney park guides, showed the event’s layout and the way to various food stations. Long tables dressed in burlap linens with handmade vintage fabric runners gave the reception a homespun, casual flair.

Haute Horticulture designed romantic flower, cotton, moss and succulent centerpieces in vintage-style containers including milk glasses, garden boxes and silver vases.

Details like enhanced lighting, including a custom light of the wedding monogram on the dance floor, set the ambiance for the reception. The monogram also appeared on the game boards for cocktail hour, napkins, invitations and photo sleeves guests took home …….