Made Around Here Market in Historic Jonesborough Sneak Peek

Made Around Here Market is happening this weekend (November 10-11) at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. You do not want to miss out on all of the fabulous handmade goodness.

I was so excited to get a sneak peek of this year’s Made Around Here Market in Historic Jonesborough. Oh, my! Santa’s elves were busy setting up their booth spaces, and I was busy making a list of what I wanted to buy.

A couple of Santa’s elves busy setting up their handmade goodness.

My visit started with a chat about how long Jonesborough has had this holiday craft show and what makes it stand out. What I discovered was this event has been happening for almost 40 years and has made just a few changes over those years. One of the big changes was moving it away from Black Friday weekend, so it would not have to compete with the big box stores and all the crazy holiday sales and rush. Not being a part of that mad-dash weekend allows the Made Around Here Market to spotlight the importance of shopping local and buying handmade from regional artisans. What makes this holiday craft show stand out is its focus on every item being handmade and of great quality. It also offers a variety of goods that appeal to all ages–from little girls shopping for clothes for their dolls to grandmothers shopping for baby gifts for their new grands.

I would like one of each! These cuties are available at the Tri-Cities Crafters booth (Nancy Honeycutt and Libby Hatcher).

Whew! I am having a really hard time concentrating on writing this post for y’all because I am so excited about the almost 40 vendors and all of the wonderful wares they have. From handmade pottery and carefully crafted jewelry to seasonal décor and baskets galore, the Made Around Here Market has got our holiday shopping list covered. *deep breath* I am going to need lots of coffee from The Corner Cup in order to keep my shopping energy up.

These adorable snowmen will go fast, so come early to the Made Around Here Market. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 10th.

While I was sneaking peeks of all of the adorable snowmen, festive burlap wreaths, stunning jewelry, and gorgeous wood bowls, I chatted with a few vendors about why they participate in the Made Around Here Market and what they love about Jonesborough. Me–I totally love this precious town and firmly believe it needs to be the star in a Hallmark Christmas movie. Please, someone make that happen! **I have already written letters to Santa, but I am afraid I might not be on the good list. I can’t get into the details of why on this post, but trust me–I need all of you writing letters to Santa and emailing Hallmark!** I digress.

Festive burlap wreath by Debbie Alvis of Simply Blessed Gifts

Debbie Alvis of Simply Blessed Gifts has been a vendor at the Made Around Here Market for four years. She participates in this event because Jonesborough has a great reputation for supporting small businesses and crafters and because of how well orchestrated all of the events are. Debbie loves the atmosphere of Jonesborough and its history. She offers handmade burlap wreaths, ornaments, and jewelry. Her fan favorites include anything with a red truck, tassel necklaces, and burlap wreaths.

Handmade ornament by Simply Blessed Gifts. For more info about Simply Blessed Gifts, click here.

One word. Snuggly.
**I will be buying one of these handmade hats.**

My next chat (and I had these chats without sitting a spell with a good cup of coffee) was with a couple of ladies from Tri-Cities Crafters–which is a group of friends who craft together. They have knitted items for babies and adults, felted hats made from alpaca wool, homemade fudge (which I hear is divine), and so much more. This will be their fifth year to attend the Made Around Here Market, and they come because they love Jonesborough and want to be a part of this long-standing tradition. What makes Jonesborough stand out to them is it is a comforting place, a place to stroll, a place that represents home and family, and a place of history–a history so strong that is gives hope.

Tiny wooden jugs + a little baby vase by Brenden Bohannon of Electrified Wood Artisan.

My last chat of the sneak peek was with Brenden Bohannon, a self-taught wood artisan. This is his first year to be a vendor at the Made Around Here Market, and he is happy to be a part of this event because he has heard how well attended it is and how nice the quality is of the handmade items that are part of the show. I could have talked wood and art with Brenden all day. His passion for what he makes is contagious and shows in his work. His favorite thing about Jonesborough is how quiet it is and how he can enjoy strolling and shopping/dining with his family.

Bowls made from reclaimed and salvaged wood by Brenden Bohannon.

Now, before I head off to finish my shopping list for the Made Around Here Market, I want to let all of you know that admission is free, but donations will be accepted for Jonesborough’s free children’s event in December. You can also shop vendors outside and inside + parking can be found at the library, Courthouse, and other various locations throughout town. Personally, I like to park in the Courthouse parking lot so I can lazily stroll to the Visitors Center. It also gives me a chance to stop and get coffee *wink*

For more information about the Made Around Here Market visit Historic Jonesborough on Facebook or call (423) 753-1010.

Here are a few more sneak peek photos of the elves setting up and some handmade goodness that caught my eye!

Freshwater pearl and sterling bracelet by Tami Moore

Primitive dolls and animal

Handmade baskets by Diane Thompson, who will be demonstrating her craft during the Made Around Here Market

Just some of Santa’s elves setting up for the Made Around Here Market. *High Fives to all of the vendors for your hard work and awesomeness*

A couple of reindeer photobombing + wood-carved roses. Honestly, I had to touch them to know they were wood! I am still not convinced *wink*

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center.

It lights up! How fabulous is that!!!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the Made Around Here Market in Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee and took a look at a few sneaky peek photos.








Easy Gluten-free Trifle Dessert

This gluten-free dessert will be the star of your next dinner party!

Are you looking for an easy, gluten-free dessert for all of the upcoming holiday parties and dinners? Are you looking for one that can be upsized into a trifle bowl (or any large clear bowl you have hidden away in your cabinets) or downsized into cute, fancy clear glasses? Are you looking to impress those co-workers, friends, and relatives who are skeptical of gluten-free dishes–especially desserts? Then, I have the recipe for you!

So, grab a good cup of coffee and sit a spell with me as we chat about an easy-peasy, gluten-free trifle. For this particular one, I used a strawberry fruit/pie filling and fresh strawberries and blueberries. Cherry and peach are also great options. If you are feeling summery–lemon is fabulous.

Here are the basic ingredients for making a strawberry trifle. You can easily substitute cherry, peach, or lemon pie filling for the strawberry. **The two eggs and stick of butter are for the Betty Crocker GF yellow cake mix.


  • 1 can of gluten-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 packages of gluten-free cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 box of gluten-free yellow cake mix (follow ingredient list for the cake mix–varies depending on brand)
  • 2 containers of gluten-free, cool-whipped topping
  • 1 can of gluten-free pie/fruit filling (strawberry, cherry, peach, or lemon)

My daughter working on the trifle dessert + the hubby working on making a “gluten” recipe a gluten-free one.

As a quick note, my daughter and I have Celiac Disease (diagnosed in 2013) + I am not a food photographer/blogger. The little family and I are constantly looking for and trying new gluten-free goodies. The hubby is always adapting our favorite dishes to gluten-free ones. To be honest, he does most of the cooking because I am more of a microwave chef *wink*

Before we get started on the directions for the GF trifle dessert, let’s take a closer look at the gluten-free goodies used in it.

Borden Sweetened Condensed Milk is gluten free! *happy dance* This is a staple of Southern desserts *wink* If you know of other gluten-free sweetened condensed milk brands, be sure to share them in the comment section of this post.

Two thumbs up, Land O’ Lakes, for not only being gluten-free, but for also putting it right on the box for all to see. TIP: Don’t just glance at the label–always, always read the ingredients list.

Lucky Leaf has been a staple not only in the desserts I make, but the ones my mom and grandmothers made. It makes my heart happy that this brand has gluten-free fruit/pie fillings, so the traditional desserts can continue! Do you know of other gluten-free fruit/pie fillings? Let us know in the comment section of this post or snap a photo and mention @ChasidyHathorn on Twitter/IG.

So Delicious Dairy Free cool-whipped topping is so delicious! It is certified GF + it is dairy-free + did I mention it is yummy! TIP: Not all companies make solely gluten-free products, so be sure to check the label and the ingredient list + check out their websites for info on their allergen control programs.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese is a Kraft product and does not state directly on the label that it is gluten-free; however, Kraft has a gluten-free labeling guide on their website which explains how they label their products. “There is growing interest in glutenfree and an expansion of product offerings in stores and in restaurants. Kraft Foods recognizes that consumers are looking for gluten-free products for medical reasons or personal preference and we are doing our part to accurately label our products to help interested individuals make informed choices.” (from Kraft’s website) 

I have used Philadelphia Cream Cheese many, many times, and I have not been glutened. Please remember what doesn’t bother me might bother you, so read labels and don’t be afraid to email the company with questions.

Easy, peasy and gluten-free!

Now, let’s take a look at how to make this yummy, crowd-pleasing trifle that is so delicious no one will know it is gluten-free!

Mix the yellow cake mix according to the instructions on the box and pour into a 9×12 baking dish.

Bake according to the instructions. Remove from oven and give it time to cool.

While your cake is cooling, prepare the cream cheese mixture using two packages of softened cream cheese and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk to the cream cheese–using a mixer of your choice. I have been known to mix by hand–doable, but not recommended!

This will happen, and it is totally okay. Use a spatula to rake off into the bowl. Continue mixing into fully blended together.

Once the cake has cooled, cut into 1″ squares (give or take a little).

Gather all of your ingredients together to make the trifle–cool-whipped topping, pie/fruit filling, cream cheese mixture, and one-inch cake squares. **We are a real family who uses paper plates + we make real messes in the kitchen! So, don’t be afraid to get a little messy and have a few laughs while you cook *wink*

Bottom layer is cake. Don’t worry about filling in the entire bottom. Loosely fill.

Using a spoon or spatula, add the cream cheese mixture.

Using a spoon, add the pie/fruit filling. Smooth it over the cream cheese mixture.

Cool-whipped topping goes on top of the pie/fruit filling.

Repeat the steps until you get to the top of your bowl. Adjust for smaller containers.

Garnish with fruit/toppings of your choice.

Individual portions work great for progressive dinners and office parties.

Small plastic cups and bowls work too! Be creative and change the container(s) according to the holiday or function.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about an easy GF dessert that will steal the dinner party show + how we took a closer look at the labels of GF products and chatted about the importance of reading those labels carefully!

Tried it? Share your photos and comments to Twitter and IG by mentioning @ChasidyHathorn.

The hubby working on his next GF recipe. Check out his IG @stanhathorn for photos that look good enough to eat *wink*





















Shopping Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Locally

Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins at the Farmers Market at the Pavilion at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City

Pumpkin Spice season is here! *cue Spice Girls”

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha)
I wanna really, really, really wanna a PSL with extra spice *wink*

After a little singing and dancing, it is time to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee or a PSL and chat about how to join the pumpkin spice craze on a local level.

Taking a fall coffee break at The Corner Cup in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Abby enjoyed a hot Pumpkin Spice Chai while I went for an iced version. We even had a gluten-free, fall-inspired snack! **The Corner Cup has several gluten-free goody options!!**

First things first, find a local coffee shop and order up a pumpkin spice latte or chai (hot or iced–depending on the temps!). With coffee in hand, take a stroll downtown looking for pumpkin-spice inspired goodness.

One thing I love about living in the Northeast Tennessee area is all of the local coffee shops! There are so many good ones it is hard to pick a favorite, but I will go ahead and spill the beans about an upcoming SSL adventure blog. It involves Abby and I visiting several area coffee shops, and it will feature our top picks and why we love them! It is a hard job, but someone has to do it *wink*

Abby and I showing off our arm candy inspired by pumpkin spice and fall. Abby’s arm wrap is from Reclaimed Inspired in Johnson City and my stack is a combo of bracelets Abby made me + a BRANDED Collective leather wrap I purchased at Reclaimed Inspired.

Abby and I made our first stop at Reclaimed Inspired Goods in Johnson City. This darling store carries all kinds of lovely things–from kitchen wares to jewelry for a cause like BRANDED, a collective that employs survivors of human trafficking from Nashville-based non-profit End Slavery Tennessee. #getBRANDED

After strolling downtown Johnson City, we got in the car and headed for Main Street Jonesborough–about 15 minutes up the road.

A collection of pumpkin candles at Carolyn & Lee Chandlers located on Main Street in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Before exploring all the shops on Main Street, Abby and I went to The Corner Cup to get our fall-inspired beverages. You can’t stroll without sipping and spending *wink* One of my favorite new stores in Jonesborough is Carolyn & Lee Chandlers candle shop and studio (you can actually see them making the candles–which is soooo cool!!). Did I mention this place smells divine!! Oh, my! I love candles so much, and this place will help me add to my ever-growing collection. Shhhhh. Don’t tell the hubby.

Stay tuned for an upcoming SSL blog post all about Carolyn & Lee Chandlers + see the candles I couldn’t live without. #candlelovers #candleaddicts

Dear Hallmark,
Please film a Harvest or Christmas movie on Main Street in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Thanks so much,
Chasidy–a Hallmark and Main Street Jonesborough fan

Stopping for a selfie with one of the International Storytelling Festival tents in the background #OnlyInJonesborough

After coffee, candles, and selfies, we headed to one of my favorite antique stores in the area to do a little pumpkin-spice inspired shopping. If you love vintage and antiques, Main Street Jonesborough has several stores filled with goodies. I totally suggest grabbing a friend and spending the day on Main Street.

Jack is wearing these vintage hats well!

Does this qualify as a pumpkin spice find? Hmmm. Kinda sorta. And I really need this in my life–in my art studio.

Just look at all of the pretty hardware and drawers! It could hold so many art and craft supplies. *Dear Santa….*

It is really easy to bring fall colors into the home. Look for rich browns, buttery creams, burnt oranges, rusty reds, and golden yellows.

We ended our afternoon in Jonesborough at One.40.Four, where we spied this pumpkin-spice convertible top. Abby decided she needed one, and hopefully, we will be modeling it soon on the blog. I am so thankful she was able to come home for Fall Break. It was much fun shopping pumpkin spice with her. *sappy Mom moment*

The hubby and I taking an obligatory selfie at Lady of the Fountain in downtown Johnson City.

Whew! After a busy day of pumpkin-spice shopping and drinking PSLs, I decided an evening in downtown Johnson City was the perfect way to end a perfect day. Abby had other obligations, so the hubby and I decided to have a little date night.

Downtown merchants decorated scarecrows for the First Friday event.

This cutie was created by Reclaimed Inspired Goods.

Artisans’ Village is well-represented by this fabulous scarecrow!

The Local Company is your go-to shop for area art and artisans. It is the perfect place to find pumpkin-inspired goodies. So, go and treat yourself *wink*

After spending all day shopping and most of the evening out on the town, how does one recover? A pumpkin-spice mini-spa day, of course! I called up Salon Bella Dona, a premier Aveda salon and booked a Pumpkin Pie Pedi with Lexie Panepinto + Pumpkin Facial and microdermabrasion combo with Ex-fo-li-ate by Renee.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Mask at Salon Bella Dona in Johnson City, located on Bristol HWY.

Pumpkin Spice Scrub + Pumpkin Pie Mask = Perfect Fall Pedi Treat

Look at all of these fall colors! How do you choose?

It is very important for us to take time to treat ourselves. Whether it is a pedi or massage or just a moment of stillness on the porch with a good cup of coffee. We need these moments to rejuvenate our spirit, so we can go forth and conquer the tasks before us!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about pumpkin-spice shopping. From PSLs at your local coffee shop to facials from your local salon, pumpkin spice is easy to bring into your life! Now, I challenge each of you to head out to your local stores, coffee houses, salons, and restaurants and see what pumpkin-spice-and-everything-nice things you can find. Feel free to share your fun in the comment section below or to my FB page or by tagging me on Twitter|IG @ChasidyHathorn.

Cute pumpkins created by my sweet friend Julie at First Friday in downtown Johnson City



















Sculpture Walk at Founders Park in Downtown Johnson City + Tips for Viewing Public Art

It was the perfect day to explore the sculptures at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City.

Johnson City Public Art Committee hosted a guided tour of the 14 new sculptures on display in Downtown Johnson City on Saturday, September 30. Bill Brown, guest juror, walked us through Founders Park and the surrounding area making stops along the way to discuss the selected artists in this year’s Biennial Sculpture Exhibition. The walk was at a leisurely pace on a gorgeous, fall day with an open dialogue of the selection process.

Grab some friends and enjoy a walk through Founders Park and the downtown area. Be sure to download the Downtown Johnson City app and click “More” to access the “Public Art” guide.

Hey, y’all! It is time to grab a good cup of coffee and sit a spell with me as we chat about the recent sculpture walk I attended at Founders Park. *happy dance* It was a lovely guided tour filled with fans of the growing public art scene in Johnson City. Bill Brown led the group and gave some pretty good tips on viewing outdoor sculpture. Using advice from Bill and my own experience, I have complied ten tips on viewing public art–with an emphasis on outdoor sculpture.

Bill Brown of Anvil Arts Studio, Inc. chatting about the importance of looking all away around a sculpture and seeing it from different viewpoints. How the piece looks from 60 feet away, 20 feet away, and 12 inches away.

tip one: slowly approach the artwork.

Take time to look at it from 60 feet away…20 feet away…12 inches away. How does the piece look differently from a distance versus up close?

This is one piece you need to see in person in order to really appreciate how it acts as a window to downtown Johnson City and its new, but old sign at King Commons.

tip two: look at how the outdoor artwork fits in and accentuates its surroundings.

Does the piece act as a window to something beyond it? How do the colors of the artwork play with the colors of nature that surround it? Does it complement its surroundings well? Does it blend it or stand out?

Fortitude II by artist Mark Krucke of Sarasosta, Florida. Krucke uses natural forms and mathematical formulas in his work. This piece is part of the Fortitude series which uses the Fibonacci spiral to create the stem and overall form of the leaf. To learn more about this artist, click here.

Aquarium by Marvin Tadlock of Bristol, Virginia. This large, steel sculpture presents the viewer with different phases of life, and an opportunity for the viewer to contemplate what is presented before them–from the titled aquarium to the fish that has sprouted a large set of wings.

tip three: observe each layer|element individually.

How does each element contribute to the artwork as a whole? How do the pieces flow together to tell the story of the artwork? Is it easy or difficult to see the different elements and layers? Is there one thing that stands out?

Bill Brown, the guest juror and sculpture-walk guide, asking the audience how “Aquarium” makes them feel and what they see in the piece. For more about this outdoor sculpture, download the Downtown Johnson City app and click on “More” to access the “Public Art” guide.

tip four: get to know the artists before you go.

Check to see if the city you are visiting has a public art guide/app. Visit the artists’ websites for their bios, photos of other works, and their contact info. Don’t be shy. If you have a question about an artwork, email the artist. **Most websites have contact forms. Don’t be afraid to use them!**

Marvin Tadlock explaining the lifecycle of his sculpture to the audience.

Marving Tadlock created “Aquarium” out of mild steel and stainless steel. Here, he is talking about the large fish that is still alive in the titled aquarium and the fish with the wings that appears to be taking flight. How cool it was to have the sculptor there explaining his artwork!

Marvin Tadlock standing with his 12.5-foot tall sculpture “Aquarium”–which represents the hope of a life hereafter.

tip five: walk all the way around.

How does the artwork change as you move around it? Do you have a favorite view of the piece? Why or why not?

“Balancing Time II” by Ed Walker of Seagrove, North Carolina, Fabricated aluminum, 12′ x 4′ x 6′. Walker’s goal is to show the reverence he has for the natural environment, and he hopes those viewing his sculpture will as well. To learn more about Ed Walker and his art, click here.

“Metamorphosis” by Mary Ruden of Seymour, Tennessee was donated for permanent exhibit by Marcia and Lewis Songer. This sculpture symbolizes life cycle, change, release, and rebirth. For more about Mary Ruden, click here.

tip six: look up.

How does the artwork contrast or work with the sky and the clouds? Does it look different on a cloudy day versus a sunny day. If so, how? 

“He Stopped and Turned to the Light” made of locust wood by Charlie Brouwer of Willis, Virginia was donated for permanent exhibit by Wexler. This sculpture reminds us all to take a moment and enjoy the warmth of the sun or a cup of coffee with a friend.

tip seven: compare the texture(s) of the artwork to the natural textures around it.

Are the texture(s) of the sculpture rough, uneven, smooth, fine…? Do those textures blend in or stand out against the sculpture’s surroundings? Is the artwork in the perfect location for its texture(s) or would it look better somewhere else? Explain why.

Next on the tour was “Arbor Spire” by Aaron Hussey of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“My sculpture, Arbor Spire, is one of many works continuous in a body of art that I have been investigating for decades. Organic and structural forms reference connections between the built environment and the natural world,” states Hussey.

“Genesis” by Marc Moulton of Statesboro, Georgia and Duke Oursler of Macomb, Illinois is located at the western entrance to Founders Park. It was the first work commissioned by the Public Art Committee.

Up close view of the Founders sculpture

Mother Nature also has an art show happening at Founders Park.

“Hybridized Daylily” made of granite and stainless steel was created by Shawn Morin of Bowling Green, Ohio. “Hybridized Daylily” started out as a granite flower for the artist’s wife, who is an avid gardener and loves the dayliles their son is creating as a part-time daylily hybridizer.

tip eight: compare the scale of the sculpture to its surroundings.

Is it too small, too large, or just right compared to its surroundings? Does the scale of the sculpture and its surroundings feel intimate, dramatic, natural…?

Larry Millard of Athens, Georgia created “Stepped Tower” out of steel, and the hazy, reflective surface gives glimpses of the sculpture’s surroundings. To learn more about the artist’s inspiration behind this piece, download the Downtown Johnson City app. To explore this artist, visit his website here.

tip nine: observe the color(s).

How many colors to you see? Are those colors part of the sculpture, or are those colors coming from its surroundings? Are the colors bold, vibrant, subtle, natural, muted…? How does the color of the outdoor sculpture work with its setting? 

“Divided” by James Westermann is “a great example of a piece that started off entirely different….Often you just have to listen to what the materials are telling you and go along with them.” (From the artist)

painted steel, granite
8′ x 5′ x 3′

Closer view of “Divided” by James Westermann

Great view of “Through Someone Else’s Eyes” and “Balancing Time II” at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee

tip ten: be open-minded.

Remember there is no right or wrong way to observe a work of art. You do not have to know fancy art terms in order to express your opinions or give your interpretations. Do not reject the ideas of others. They are just seeing it differently. It doesn’t make anyone right or wrong. Art is all about starting an open dialogue and keeping the conversation going by being open-minded!

“Through Someone Else’s Eyes” created by Elisha Gold of Memphis, Tennessee.

This is what I love about public art and this sculpture by Elisha Gold! The rusty old truck, the blue sky with wispy white clouds, and the tree with its slightly changing leaves–all of it working perfectly together.

“High Rise” by Charles Pilkey of Mint Hill, North Carolina is located on Buffalo Street in downtown Johnson City.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we explored some of the public art in downtown Johnson City. If you are in the area, take a tour of the local art and let me know what you think + share your photos with #exploredowntownjc. If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway, make Johnson City your destination.

To learn more about public art in Johnson City and the mission of Johnson City Public Art, visit their website here.





Rock It Like Prince|Overcoming Fashion Fears

Strike a pose and have some fun!

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee (which today just so happens to be National Coffee Day–which I celebrate 365 days a year *wink*). So, grab a good cup of coffee (iced or hot or both), and let’s chat about fashion. Which is totally out of character for the blog. Mainly, because I hate–absolutely hate–my photo being taken. I don’t mind a silly selfie or a group photo where I am hidden in the back. But to be at the center of the photo–the camera staring at me–me trying to figure out what to do with my hands–my face. I absolutely do not smile with my teeth, and I have a really big, round head for someone who is only 5′. Bless! I am breaking out in hives just thinking about it.

My dad (better known as Paw Riley), me, and Abby (my daughter–who got her career started at 16 when she created and launched the Vintage Inspired Passionista blog).

Now, my dislike (hate really is a strong word that we should all remove from our vocabulary) of having my photo taken is genetic. I get it from my dad. He also has the round face and big nose–which we try to hide in photos by being silly. I am thankful my daughter did not get the awkward photo gene. I have also tried really hard to teach her to be confident in who she is and to express herself through fashion. That is easy preaching, but hard living.

Being silly is fun, but it also helps me cope with having my photo taken. I also like props–to hide my imperfections and insecurities.

Deep breath. Where was I? Oh, yes. Fashion and overcoming fashion fears. First of all, what are fashion fears? Anything you are afraid to wear–whether it is a particular color or trend, and it is anything you are self-conscious about wearing out in public. It is the clothes you see in magazines or on Pinterest that you really love, but you would never actually buy because you believe you are too short, too tall, too old, too chubby, too pale, too… to wear. It is the little voices inside your head telling you that if you wear those skinny jeans your muffin top will show or that blouse will announce to the world that your head is big and round. It is the outfit you put on in the dressing room–take off–and swear off food for life.

Fashion fears suck, and those voices inside our heads are mean. Now, it would take me days and days of blogging to explain why I say mean things to myself when I am standing in front of my dressing room mirror. But, today is more about overcoming one fashion fear at a time + about challenging all of you to face one of your fashion fears and to say one nice thing about yourself each morning (no negatives!!!!).

A big thank you to my daughter for taking time out of her crazy busy schedule to patiently take photos of me.

On this Try-Day Friday (which is a lovely idea from Dia & Co.), I am wearing a color I would not normally wear. I avoid this color because I am fair with blondish hair and green eyes. I always feel like it makes me look pink and draws attention to my rosacea. Deep breath. Trying to be positive and have the right attitude because that is what I learned from Dia & Co.

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the photos my daughter took of me facing my fashion fear of wearing burgundy (maroon, cordovan, or oxblood).

Simple pencil skirt dressed up with a pop of burgundy + boho accessories (necklace by BluKatDesign and bracelets my daughter made me for Mother’s Day).

To face my fashion fear of wearing burgundy even more, I tossed on a boho top in varying shades of burgundy and deep rust.

Oh, I almost never wear a “round” or crew neckline. Which means, I conquered TWO fashion fears on Try-Day Friday! #winning **p.s. do y’all spy the furbabies?**

I wore this outfit to a meeting I had on Thursday. So, technically, I tried one day early *wink* It was a fun outfit that really got me into the spirit of fall. *fingers crossed for cooler temps*

Just swinging with Mattie and owning who I am–a 40-something artist trying to find her way in this big world.

What I have learned from Prince, my dog Mattie, and Dia & Co.–express yourself, be positive, be bold, and have some fun. *cue Raspberry Beret*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about overcoming our fashion fears. Also, thanks for being my therapist today as I muddled through some of my insecurities. I challenge all of you to Try-Day Friday and to #rockit like Prince by sharing your photos to my Facebook page or tag @ChasidyHathorn on Twitter|Instagram + tag @diaandco.

I will revisit this topic and challenge again because I think it is important to face our fears and to not be afraid to admit our insecurities. Together we can make this world a better place–but it starts with being kind to ourselves and forgiving ourselves for not being perfect. *cue Put a Little Love in Your Heart*


No, Mom. I do not want to give sugars.

Abby: Act Natural
Me: **Karate Kid**

Jazz Hands



How to Brighten a Dark Staircase

Mattie would like to welcome all of you to the staircase revamp. She is excited about it being brighter and easier for her mom to clean *wink*

Bringing “light” into my dark and semi-enclosed staircase has been on my project list since the hubby and I bought our house a little over three years ago. Yes, I have a project list that I am still working on from 2014….Most likely it won’t be completed until we decide to move again *wink* Now, this project wasn’t a difficult one. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being easy-peasy and 10 being so-hard-it-makes-you-physically-ill, it’s totally an easy-peasy 1. You might be wondering–if it were so easy-peasy, why did we wait so long to do this paint project? Seriously, I have no idea!

This is the first time I saw the staircase of our current house. I say “current” because the little family and I moved a lot during a relatively short period of time.

Flashback to Fall 2013. The little family and I were house hunting in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The hubby got a new job, and it required us leaving our beloved Birmingham area and moving to the mountains. It was a crazy and stressful time, but we made it through without completing losing our minds and religion. Long story short–I fell in love with an old home (which had recently been renovated) in Johnson City, Tennessee. I had to have it–the porch was perfect, the view from the upstairs was gorgeous, and the neighborhood was friendly and revitalizing. The hubby knew I would have a project list, but we agreed to tackle the list slowly because we were both tired of constant renovations.

The staircase is semi-enclosed and does not have its own light source. The lights in the hallways upstairs and downstairs provide a little light along with all the big windows in the parlor and dining room. Bad news is when the sun goes down, it is a black hole and tripping hazard!

A few weeks ago, the hubby was inspired to paint the stair risers. I use the word “inspired” loosely. Perhaps, he just wanted to cross off an item on the project list or impress the neighbors with his mad painting skills. No matter. The risers are painted, the staircase looks amazing, and the project list is now shorter by one item.

Before I get into Hathorn Hall’s stairway makeover, let us flashback to some past stair projects. It will help explain my love of stairs, and how a little paint can totally change the look of a stairway and entrance.

Upstairs railing of our former home in Trussville. The white contrasted with the stained wood is classic. Both pop against the soft yellow walls of the two-story foyer. It takes a lot of patience to paint spindles, but totally worth the time. If you are not in a hurry to finish (e.g., your mother-in-law isn’t coming to visit next week and/or you’re not hosting a dinner party in a few days), paint a set number of spindles each day. It won’t be nearly as overwhelming + you won’t get tired and grumpy wishing you would have never started!

Basement stairway makeover. For more about this project, click here (which will open up to a Sweet Sorghum Living blog post from the archives), and check out my post about the genesis of the basement revamp and how I thought it would go much faster than it did.

Okay, stairs, steps, staircases, stairways…no matter how you say it, they deserve some love and a little glam to make them feel as special as the rest of the home.

Don’t forget to add a little pizazz and character to the outside steps! The hubby built these planters for the steps leading up to the front porch of our Trussville home.

Now, enough about past projects! Let’s take a look at Hathorn Hall’s staircase + see the hot mess little projects make!

Totally against advice I gave earlier, make sure to pick a time that is really inconvenient–like preparing for a neighborhood yard sale. That way you can really have a hot mess and lose your religion *wink*

First things first. Sand the risers and leave your sander where the furbabies and the wife can trip on it.

Tape off the area around the risers and leave your paint bucket on the stairs, so the furbabies can knock it down the steps into the parlor. *Note: Thankfully, this did not happen to us. **Another Note: Do not leave paint container on stairs.**

View from above. First coat and it is already brighter! **Note: It is a miracle that the furbabies did not get into the paint or knock the bucket down the stairs.**

Pricing items for the yard sale while waiting on the first coat to dry.

We painted the risers in Bright White Gloss. Why? Ziva. Gloss is much easier to clean and really durable. It doesn’t take the best photos, but one wipe with a Mr. Clean sponge, and the furbaby dirt is gone!

This photo was taken late afternoon with no lights turned on–just natural light from nearby rooms. The bright white against the dark stain adds a bit of light to the space making it easier to see going up the stairs.

View up the stairs in late afternoon with only the upstairs hallway light on. The gloss paint reflects the light adding to the brightness.

Almost dark outside. No light on in the hallway and one light on in the parlor. The bright white gloss is shining like a beacon!

Almost dark outside. A few lights on in the surrounding rooms. The crispness of the white really makes the semi-enclosed staircase brighter.

View from upstairs. Love how the white risers stand out against the stained wood!

One more project checked off the list! Time for the next one *big smile*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about making over a dark and semi-enclosed staircase + looking back at other stair makeovers. It feels good to do a little revamping–just remember no matter how little or big the project, there will always be a hot mess *wink*

“Solitude Ride” by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) For more about my art, please visit my website Chasidy Hathorn.










Strolling on Main in Jonesborough, Tennessee

A few pieces of my art hanging out at Strolling on Main in Jonesborough, Tennessee on Saturday, September 9.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversations about everything from gluten-free goodies to home improvement projects. Today on the blog, we are chatting about art and upcoming posts. I was excited to be one of the local artists at this year’s Strolling on Main in Jonesborough, Tennessee. The weather was gorgeous–sunny with a touch of fall crispness, the art was amazing, the music was awesome, and the over 20 varieties of cheese and cheese-infused bites throughout Downtown Jonesborough were delicious. Oh, and the wine was divine!

My view during Strolling on Main. I just adore this little town so much–from the local coffee shop to the darling shops up and down Main Street–this town is definitely a Hallmark-Christmas-movie town.

One thing I love about Jonesborough–and there are a lot of things I love about Jonesborough, is how it embraces and supports local art and artist. This event gave artists an opportunity to not only show off what they do through demonstrations, but to also sell their creations and to chat about their passion for art. Food, wine, art, and music! Oh, it was splendid!

A big thanks to the Town of Jonesborough for the opportunity to chat about my art–from “Tobacco Barn” which was recently exhibited in Knoxville to my portraits which are inspired by my memories of growing up in a small town in the South. It was a lovely evening, and I cannot wait until next year’s Strolling on Main.

I had the best spot in town *wink*

This event was sponsored by the Jonesborough Area Merchants & Service Association (JAMSA)

Prepping for Strolling on Main. A few quick tips: Always, always “practice” your setup for events. Take photos so you can recreate it once you get to your location. Take extra props, tape (all kinds from clear tape to duct tape), and don’t forget to take business cards and other info about yourself to give to people who stop by your table or booth.

Now, it has been a bit crazy here at Hathorn Hall. But don’t fret. There will be posts coming soon showing all the hot mess and simple home improvement projects. Someone please tell me why the simple projects are always the messiest and longest ones!!! The hubby has been busy in the kitchen cooking gluten-free goodies + the daughter and I have been whipping up easy-peasy gluten-free desserts. For those who may just be joining the SSL blog, my daughter and I have Celiac Disease. It makes grocery shopping and cooking a challenge–and don’t even get me started on how having Celiac affects the social life–because this is the South–and social gatherings are all about food!!

What are the Hathorns up to in the dining room?

Hmmmmm. I wonder what dish the hubby is getting ready to make. Any guesses?

Adding a bit of bright white to the staircase.

An easy-peasy, gluten-free dessert–perfect for a girls-night-in or a dinner party.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about art and took a little sneaky peek at upcoming posts. **p.s. Staring at this photo of GF strawberry parfait has me needing a snack!!**

The hubby and I taking a moment to show a little love at Lake Erie in Erie, PA.