I have recently enjoyed cooking some new fall dinners as well as some old favorites. This one is an old favorite. We have a big pizza stone which makes in easy to make a yummy crust. I like to roll out the dough on parchment paper and slide the dough and the parchment paper onto the stone. This recipe is my version from an old cook book called pizza by James McNair.

12 garlic cloves
olive oil
basic pizza dough
8 oz mozzarella cheese
8 oz crumbled California chevre or other goat's milk cheese
12 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil,well drained and slivered
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 300F. Place the garlic cloves in a small baking dish and toss with 3T of the olive oil. Cover the dish and bake until the cloves are tender but not browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and chop.

I like to have the oven preheated on 500 for a while so that the stone is super hot. I cook the rolled out dough for a few minutes alone. Then I remove it from the oven and let it cool a bit. I flip it over and start to pile on the toppings. This gives you a crust that is a little crisp.

I use the oil from the garlic and spread it all over the dough. Add the cheese and then all of the other toppings. Cook it on the stone and add the Parmesan when it comes out.


are you kidding?

This beautiful little painting by Jacqueline Gnott is $85. I do have a thing for pears but even if you don't how can you resist.


art love

I am in love with Erin's photography and her blog full of art and gardens. Her images are so peaceful. She inspires me to be better at keeping my camera with me at all times.


etsy love..

Thanks to Ashlyn over at Pinecone for introducing me to this wonderful site bellalulu.

This beauty would be perfect on our kitchen table. It is the perfect color yellow for that room.

I have a thing for old dolls.

And old doll chairs.

And not that I really need more things for the middle of our kitchen table but this would be great too. Full of daisy's nice and low so that I can see the person sitting across from me.


fantastic neighbors

One of the best things about our new store in Chattanooga are the fabulous neighbors. I am in the same building as Revival Uncommon Goods. The store is so breathtaking even these pictures don't do it justice.

Any Nashville girls up for a road trip?

Any one have a friend that lives in Chattanooga? I feel like the new girl in the lunch room. I need some friends.

blog love

How many adorable bloggers are there?

Just the other day I found Katie Armour the Neo- Traditionalist.

They were taken by the very talented Cooper Carras.

I am always partial to a girl with short hair.

Can some of you fabulous bloggers please stop. I am running out of time.


art love

Thanks to reader Julie Holloway for introducing me to artist Sandra Pratt. I am in love with her work. (Can you tell by how many I picked to put up?) It feels modern and old at the same time.


art love

I am loving this little painting by David Boyd for $200. It reminds me of the little house by a lake that I hope to have one day.

Even with out my getaway I am planning on relaxing this week end. Has anyone else had a crazy week that seemed to go by faster than lightning?


loved one

This has been my absolute favorite face cleanser for over 20 years. It seems to be discontinued. Where does a girl go when she needs to know answers to life's big questions like what do I use now?

She goes to one of her best friends. A friend that lives for creams and facials and all that fun stuff. This beautiful girl is one of my best friends. I think that she is also the best esthetician in Nashville. Every so often she writes down some of her thoughts on beauty (I have shared some of her past "news letters"). Karee can talk so this is a little long but worth it.

My Love of CHANGE!

As we go from Summer to Fall, there is something magical that happens inside me when I know we are close to a new season. I have always been one to celebrate the change of the simplest things. Ask any of my closest friends and they will tell you no one uses the word season more than me. I say all the time…well “this is for a season”. Whether I am referring to a hard time with one of my teens or most any reality of life, I tend to find great comfort in knowing this too will pass.

With cooler weather come different clothes, fun boots, new jeans and cozy sweaters for football games. Even the food we eat changes, as I have loved going to the farmers market and enjoying all the seasonal summer produce, I now look forward to what Fall brings. I love pumpkin muffins, spicy soups and many warm dishes. My palette craves richer flavors, smooth red wines instead of my crisp Summer favorite ice cold KENDALL JACKSON and getting out the chocolate brown furry blankets washed in Downy for the couches and new candles just makes me smile knowing we will all be curling up watching movies soon. Yes, it is clear I live through my senses in the smallest details and love it.

With bittersweet farewells from one season comes incredible excitement for the next.
As I am sitting here enjoying one of my summer favorites (Exotic Fruit Sorbet) from Publix, I can feel the excitement lessen with each bowl as I am wired for change. I recently read a study on people who embrace and desire change. It says they are 80% happier than those who master year round repetition and routine.

Getting out of our box in life, relationships, habits, communications and so on can be scary at times, but also incredibly healing and empowering. There is a difference between always searching for something new to be content and embracing simple little changes in the seasons of life.

Well…on to Fall Favorites.

In my job, as I evaluate the changes in skin, one thing I have continually noticed this season is congested skin. That could be due to humidly, heat, heavy sunscreens and perspiration. A lot of my clients pull back from their routines of chemical exfoliation for fear of sun damage.

As we approach Fall, I give my clients a serious summer tune up with a mini series of peels, deep cleansing treatments and some facial vacuuming. Yes, I said facial vacuuming. There is not one clogged pore once I finish with you. The skin can breathe and now better absorb products because the pores are clear.

At home, you can start with the Walgreens Brand of Alpha Hydroxy and perk that skin up. Used with some Retin A or Retinol at night, you can be on your way to better skin. Remember to see your skin therapist each season to have your skin evaluated on its condition and get professional recommendations on percentages of treatments, Glycolics and Retin A’s.

I always notice a difference in my hair when I change up my shampoos and conditioners. That goes the same for your skin care. The skin will eventually plateau out and not respond the same as it did at first with some of your creams and lotions. It is good to change them out depending on the condition of skin. I may use Oil of Olay Regenerist one month and then Cetaphil Lotion or Cream the next and go back to Oil of Olay after a period of change.

Beauty Must-Haves for Fall

Jemma Kidd tweezers, they are hands down my favorite

Shu Uemura lash curler (add a little heat from your blow dryer to get curly lashes)

Instead of doing Obaji for 6 months with many steps to get dark spots off I use Skin Rehab once a week or every two weeks for three nights and poof, they disappear. It is prescription strength magic in a jar. NO JOKE! I have not put one person on this that does not RAVE about their results. Caution! You will be super glossy and radiant. $150.00

For my hard-core skin folks I like the Counter Clockwise Peel MD for the really stubborn spots and great for Melasma. I can hardly keep this product in stock because people love that there is hardly any down time and no laser required. $600.00 The price includes a complete kit of at home products and a post treatment facial.

I love Therapy Systems Better than Cover concealer and Bobbi Brown’s eye corrector.

I can’t live without Revison Tinted 45 SPF, the color is great for fair skin and as I need more color for Fall I simply add a dab of Clinique no streak bronzer to it and wow…my Summer GLOW is back. Very soft dewy finish. I like Mac Select SPF15 if you are oily.

Frederic Frekkai dry shampoo brings movement and body to my hair with a plant-based formula free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrances, for days I just don’t have time to wash my hair but want to look great.

Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum or L’Oreal Collagen Repair is nice under concealer.
Stand by favorites.

Don't toss out the coffee grounds that brewed up your morning pot of java. A handful of moist grounds (organic is preferable) make for a fantastic facial exfoliant or all-over body scrub. Not only do the grounds physically slough off dead skin cells, but the remaining caffeine also tightens and firms pores, resulting in impossibly smooth skin. For dry skin, add 1-2 tablespoons of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil.

Eucerin Therapy Plus Intensive Repair Body Lotion.
This is just a must for silky legs during cooler weather. I alternate with my favorite self tanner…Fake Bake and Voila, no need to give dry, ashy, colorless skin a second thought.

Mention this newsletter when you see me for any service and she will give you a 10% discount.
Karee Hays
Retief Skin Center
615 383-6092

PS Any one have a good cleanser that I can get at Walgreen's?


Date night

My vintage find didn't feel right so I decided to wear a Tracy Reese dress that I have had for a few years.
We only snapped two pictures the whole night. I promise to share more when Caroline comes back from her honeymoon and shares the pro photos. Caroline looked beyond beautiful. But the only shots we got were the flowers on the church door.
And the beautiful flower girls. (And I am not just saying that because they are wearing our dresses)
Nothing like going to a young wedding to make you feel old.....but happy.


Miss Caroline

Tonight is a very special night. Caroline who has worked with me for many years is walking down the isle. I love these photos of her taken by Jessica Lewis. Is she the prettiest thing or what?

Now if I can just figure out how to get my boobs high enough to fit into the vintage 60's dress that I am hoping to wear. Did they not have gravity back then? Any ideas?


irish soda bread

I love to make home made breads from freshly ground flour. This is a super quick recipe from Beth Holland via the Bread Beckers Recipe Collection.

I love it for breakfast with butter and jam or paired with home made soup for dinner.

It doesen't keep very well but there isn't usually much left over.


3 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs honey
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Mix well and knead slightly. Shape into a round about 1 1/2" thick. Slash X across the top. Bake on greased cookie sheet or parchment at 375 until done (about 45 minutes)


weekend fun

Along with a lot of much needed yardwork we had a little bit of low key fun this past week end. We had some extra boxes that we no longer needed so my 17 year old decided to make a house for some very excited little girls.
We also had a bonfire and made some smores. I love events like theses that all of my ages can enjoy together.

What are some things that you enjoy doing as a family?


date night

It is finally feeling just a tiny bit fallish. This is one of my go to looks for fall. Soon my blazer will change to wool. With my super short hair my ruffle blouse saves me from looking like a he. It is also the first time to wear one of my old favorites ....my pons quintana boots.



A wise woman knows know when to cook a yummy meal and when to cheat. Last night I did the latter. After I dropped off ballerinas I stopped at the produce place. I could not resist the figs that were perfectly riped.

I love their chicken salad and cheddar cheese with crackers. I also picked up their salad and some sesame dressing.

Dinner is done in time to head to the third open house/meet the teachers of the fall.

How do you like to cheat? Come on share the love.



This morning we loaded the car and a trailer with props and mannequins.

We return tonight very tired but excited. There is still a bit more to do but overall we are very pleased. Do you like my back to school theme in the window?