Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blogging and Beyond-with Southern Hospitality

I've got another fantastic Blogging and Beyond interview for you today! From time to time, I like to share a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of some of my favorite bloggers. It's been really fun to learn about blogging and time management from them!

Today's featured blogger is Rhoda from Southern Hospitality.

The beauty of this series is that just about all of the bloggers I have interviewed have sites I found early on. That I am still regularly reading these blogs says a lot about the quality of content these writers are capable of maintaining over the course of several years. Rhoda is no exception!

Southern Hospitality, as the title suggests, is a warm and inviting spot for readers to stop by and find decorating tips, mouth-watering recipes (girl can cook!), and thrifty finds like you wouldn't believe. Rhoda is open and honest and a true lady. If you want to know how to be a gracious blogger, follow her example. I owe many of the things I've learned about blogging etiquette from Rhoda, who was kind enough to give me some tips. Her personal strength and character are to be admired!

Here's what I learned about Rhoda in our Q and A session!

1. Why did you start a blog, and what makes you stick with it?

After being involved with several online decorating forums back around 2000, when blogs came about, I thought it would be fun, so I started on a whim in 2007. I stick with it because it has been so rewarding, all the friendships I've made and the community that has evolved over the last 5 years has been very personally rewarding for me. It also has turned into a business for me, so that aspect takes it to another level. I still love it very much, it has gone to the next level for my business and I am grateful for that.

2. What's one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before you started blogging?

That it takes a lot of time and commitment to make a blog successful. It is hard work, but the rewards are great too. I wish I had been more savvy about technical issues and behind the scenes computer stuff too. That's been a learning experience along the way.

3. The most rewarding project you've completed?

I think the most rewarding DIY project that I've completed was when I ripped the nasty carpet off my old stairs and adding molding, paint, and a jute runner. That one felt so good to get completed and I was very proud of the outcome for not a lot of money.

4. Do you enjoy reading books or magazines? If so, what do you gravitate to when you have spare time?

I love books and magazines. Always have been a decor magazine junkie for many years and love the staples like Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, House Beautiful. I love fiction too and just finished The Help, which I loved very much.

5. Favorite recipe you've shared on your blog?

One of my favorites that I got from a fellow blogger is Lemon Chicken. It's so easy and all in one pan with potatoes and fresh green beans, roasted in the oven. The flavors are delish and it's a great recipe for chicken breasts, which we are always trying to fancy up and make it taste better.

6. How did you get your start as a thrifter extraordinaire?

At least 15 years ago or more, I started going to yardsales and found that they are a great way to find items for my home on the cheap or even clothes and accessories with great name brands. Once you start shopping that way, it's hard to go back to retail. So, I'm definitely a thrifter at heart. I would much rather dig through stuff at a yardsale or thriftstore than hang out at the mall. I have found so many great things at yardsales to repurpose for my home and at least 1/2 of the things in my old house were from yardsales or flea markets. I do think shopping like that adds another dimension to a home. We all love that layered and collected over time look and you can't get that with all new stuff.

7. What do you think it is about "Southern" Hospitality that really stands out?

I hope that it's because Southerners are warm and friendly people for the most part. We do tend to be gracious and friendly and love to tell folks about how great the South is. I've never lived anywhere but the South, so I'm probably biased, but it really is a nice place to live with the warm climate and relaxed way of living. I guess there really is such a thing as Southern charm! We tend to smile and make eye contact and are not stand-offish.

8. Where do you find your inspiration when you are working with a client?

I try to take into consideration their style and what they like in their home before going in a certain direction. I take cues from the rest of their house and what feel they tell me they are going for. Then I try to give them ideas on how to achieve the look and feel they want to create in their home.

9. Best yard sale find you've come across this summer?

I haven't done a lot of yardsales this summer, since I don't need anything else in storage right now. But, I have found a host of great treasures out there over the years. It is always fun to bring home a fun item and work it into my space. I still have a lot of things that I found over the years at yardsales and can't part with them, anything from vintage artwork, to white dishes, to an aqua blue birdcage that I just had to have and still have.

10. How do you balance blogging with your personal life?

That might be the hardest thing that a blogger has to do. As a blogger, we all spend a ton of time online and feel like we are missing out if we are not checking Twitter, Facebook, or emails constantly. Now that I'm blogging fulltime, I'm online even more than ever, but I do enjoy it and still love the community of blogging so much. We are excited about the Haven conference that is coming up next June in Atlanta and I will be spending even more time getting that planned and executed, but it's going to be so much fun that it will be worth the effort spent. I do take breaks during the day and go on trips, so am away from the computer sometimes for a few days, so that helps break things up. Being a blogger makes me feel connected to so many people all over the country, so I never feel alone when I'm online. And I'm single again, so I do have lots of uninterrupted time to spend on blogging. It gives me plenty to do!


Rhoda, it was such a pleasure to interview you and learn more about you. You are a wonderful presence in the blogosphere!

If you don't already read Southern Hospitality, please stop by and check it out. Be sure to let Rhoda know I sent you!


  1. Great interview! I am headed over to check out that chicken recipe right sounds delish!

  2. I started following blogs about a year ago and Rhoda's was one of the first I stumbled across. I enjoying reading her posts everyday and while I haven't tried it yet here chicken and dumplings looks amazing!

  3. Rhoda is one of the very first bloggers I ever "met"--that is, she responded to one of my comments and took the time to get to know me better. She really does personify Southern Hospitality. She is warm and gracious. She's talented and hard-working, and she shares her ideas so freely--the best of the blogosphere in person! :)

    Thanks a lot for these fun behind-the-scenes interviews!

  4. Hello Rhoda!!!!

    Looking forward to meeting you at Haven!!!!

    Janet xox

  5. Thanks for the interview with Rhoda. She's one of my personal faves!!!

  6. Hey, Amanda, thanks again for asking me to be a part of your blogging series. so happy to be here!!


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