Southern Flair

Southern Flair
Always Look and Feel Fabulous!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Soul of Summer

 Summertime is Here!
Lounging by the pool. The watermelon was cool and delicious!

Sundresses, sandals, and backyard barbecues are in full effect, and I'm enjoying every single minute of it. Summertime is fun time! The days are longer and hotter, which is perfect for lounging by the water (pool or beach) enjoying cool drinks, having fun with family and friends, and soaking up the sunshine. Here are a few staples that define the soul of summer--Southern Style.

There's nothing like sitting on a porch, rocking and enjoying life!

Barbecue: I love Smithfield's. They have great bbq and their iced tea is soooo good!
Lemonade: Ice tea is the official drink of the South, but during summer months, lemonade rules the season. In my opinion, Chik-fil-A has some of the best lemonade--and you can get it anywhere in the country.
The Beach: The South has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Check out this list and go for a visit!
Watermelon: A picnic isn't complete without this deliciously juicy fruit. Learn more about watermelons--including recipes and how to choose a ripe one--at
Rocking on the porch: There's nothing like the peaceful feeling of sitting in a rocking chair, enjoying a warm summer day/night.
Fireflies (lightening bugs): These beautiful little creatures light up the night and make an ordinary evening spectacular.
Ice Cream: Not to be mistaken with frozen yogurt, ice cream, in all its rich goodness, is heavenly on a hot summer day. Ben & Jerry's can be found everywhere, and it's yummy!
Shopping: Okay, this isn't really a summer staple because you can shop year-round. But summer clothing; sundresses, sandals, bathing suits, shorts, tanks, etc., make shopping extra fun!
Reading: Reading is great anytime of year, and especially during summer. A good beach read makes for great entertainment. I include a Recommended Reading section in my enewsletter. If you haven't joint my mailing list to receive my enewsletter please visit my website at, and sign up today!

The Soul of Summer" is the theme of this month's issue of Southern Living magazine.

No matter where you live or how you decide to spend your summer, make sure you have fun, stay safe, and do things that bring you joy!

Until next time, be fabulous!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sweet Tea Chat with Brian W. Smith

 Sweet Tea Chat

Fabulous Southern Belle is excited to feature the talented, award-winning, bestselling, the-hustle-don’t-stop Southern gentleman (by way of Naw’lins) Brian W. Smith! 

Award-winning, bestselling author, Brian W. Smith

Brian’s career was born from a real-life experience. In 2004, he endured a personal trauma that inspired him to write and publish his critically acclaimed, semi-autobiographical novel, Mama’s Lies—Daddy’s Pain, in 2006. Brian is now the author of fourteen novels to include: DEADBEAT, Nina’s Got a Secret, and If These Trees Could Talk. His novels have earned spots on the Dallas Morning News, Amazon, and Black Expressions Bestsellers lists. He has been awarded the Male Author of the Year by several organizations (AALBC and OOSA Reviewers to name a few), and is the co-host of the popular literary radio show, The Bookends. On August 25, Brian will be release two books on the same day—his 15th contemporary novel, QUAGMIRE, and his second mystery novel, A Murder in the Quarters: A Sleepy Carter Mystery.

This Southern girl is twirling her lace parasol with excitement as I sit down to share a cool glass of extra sweet tea (the sweeter the better!) with Brian while we chat …Southern style.

Q. The thing I find most interesting about the South is…
A. there are thousands of people who refuse to admit that the south lost the Civil War. They fly the Confederate Flag (on their porches, car bumpers, etc.) with a level of passion that makes a black father (like myself) concerned and uneasy whenever my sons leave the house. And although I know that's the "flag waver's" intent (to remind black folk that we're being tolerated not accepted), it still makes me fearful for my kids.

Q. The trademark of a Southern Gentleman is…
A. Many of us can cook...and enjoy it.

Q. Po’boy or gumbo…
A. You know I was born and raised in New Orleans so this is a question I take VERY serious. I'll take the Po'Boy sandwich...if it's on real French Bread - not some whack bun. A lot of people try to cook gumbo, but not everyone can MAKE gumbo. If the roux is too light, the gumbo ain't right.

Q. I’m meticulous about…
A. Manners. I drill my sons about practicing good manners. I can't stand people who don't say "thank you" when you do something kind for them or "excuse me" when they bump into you.

Q. I get excited when…
A. my sons accomplish anything they set out to achieve.

Q. _______ is overrated…
A. Networking is overrated. The cliques in the adult world are more prevalent and discriminating than the ones teenagers in high school gravitate to. As a result, I'm convinced it's not the quantity of people you know, it's the quality. I know several people with thousands of "friends" who spent months unemployed and begging all those "friends" for job leads only to get little to no assistance.

Q. The last meal I cooked was (’cause men cook, too!)…
A. Spaghetti w/Italian Sausage; garlic bread; and a Spinach salad...I from the N.O. baby, I can cook better than most women. From Collard greens to gumbo to red beans and rice...I'm a beast in the kitchen. 

Q. The most challenging thing about writing is…
A. Remaining committed to being a writer when you don't feel your best efforts are producing a noticeable Return on Investment.

Q. I expanded my writing into mystery because…
A. I wanted to expand my fan base. Relying solely on black readers to support your writing career will have a brotha standing on the side of the road holding a sign that says, "I'll write for food." It's no secret that more white readers read Mystery than blacks. And since I've always been a mystery fanatic and many of my contemporary novels have a lot of plot twists, expanding into the mystery genre was a natural fit.

Q. After readers turn the last page of one of my books I hope they…
A. Feel like they didn't waste their money.
Brian, thanks again for stopping by and hanging out with me below the Mason Dixon line! I wish you much success on your two upcoming releases! Readers, please check out Brian's work by CLICKING HERE! You can connect with Brian on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.

Until Nex time, stay Fabulous!