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Apr-17-2011 21:15printcomments

Southern Living, The First Lady of Tennessee, Caramel Cake & CoCo

THE GOOD STUFF with Coco McCain

English Boxwoods
CoCo visits with Stephen Southall and
Ken Shumaker, proprietors of English Boxwoods
Photo: The Good Stuff

(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) - Welcome to “The Good Stuff” where we shine a light on the good things that happen every single day! Everyday acts of love, bravery and kindness. Everyday acts of determination, generosity and triumph in face of tragedy!

First Lady Crissy Haslam with CoCo

Do you believe all things are possible? Do you believe we'd all be better off if we heard a lot more of the good stuff? If YES, then get ready because “The Good Stuff” is on its way!

What’s Spring Break in the South ...without Yard Work, Southern Living, The First Lady of Tennessee, Caramel Cake, A Snake Head & the Boxwood?

Spring in the South is glorious and Spring Break is even better! We’ve had a marvelous break—but it’s great to be back ...and there’s a lot to catch up on!

Here’s what we’ve been up to this Spring Break - in as much of a chronological order as I can remember. (More on each event later!) And, may we please take this moment to express a heartfelt thanks to the people and places that have made this break so very memorable.

  • We spend loads of time working in the yard and planting our herb and vegetable gardens!
  • We catch up with J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons. Of course she looks amazing, but we expected that! What we did not expect, was her calm and soothing, yet warm personality. Special thanks again to Natalie Ponder and all those at J.Crew.
  • My big boys win their first two lacrosse games! (This is their first year to play on the same team: it is thrilling! Great job boys!)
  • The last, but not least, McCain masters his scooter aka his “Chariot” and he is very, very proud of himself! We deem him Quentin Maximus!
  • We travel to Virginia to hand-pick a few select English Boxwood specimens for our Boxwood Garden. It’s a real treat to meet Stephen Southall and Ken Shumaker, the proprietors of English Boxwoods of VA.
  • We visit the Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg, Virginia, which we fall in love with for many reasons … one of my favorite’s being that this hotel now occupies what was once a shoe factory!

    Southern Living’s Rebecca Reed

    And, all those at the hotel have totally embraced the property’s historic nature of recognizing the importance of footwear! Even their continental breakfast speaks volumes about the hotel’s history, as breakfast is served in a charming, wooden shoe box! Love that.
  • On the American Idol front- we send some "Lovely Goods" and "Good Luck Wishes" to Lauren Alaina, J.Lo, Randy, Steven & the other Idol contestants ...
  • We chair and help sponsor, "Touching Lives Around the World" – a benefit for an adoption agency which does an endless amount of great work!
  • We receive the honor and pleasure of donating door prizes for a Half-Marathon to encourage the Runners! (This is another great story!)
  • We talk with On Point – a group which is doing some amazing work with teens at home in the U.S. and abroad.
  • To our great thrill and delight, Crissy Haslam, The First Lady of the Great State of Tennessee, pays a visit and speaks to us about all the great things going on in her office! Great thanks again to this lovely First Lady, her wonderful Executive Assistant Amanda, and Trooper Harvey!
  • The Purple Lady

  • Southern Living’s Rebecca Reed “strolls” in from Asheville, N.C. for a 9 and 10-year-olds take on a 'Gentleman’s Tour of the Garden & Grounds', which of course includes an up-close and personal look at a chopped off snake head! We are grateful to Rebecca for making the trip, especially when you consider that this Gardening Editor had just returned home from chaperoning a group of students on a trip to D.C. and was scheduled to host her own Garden Club event shortly after her visit with us! (Wish I were on the guest list for that Garden party! Can you imagine?)
  • "The Purple Lady" in all her glorious color graciously presents us with a "Royal Purple" hydrangea for our Hydrangea Garden. We will treasure this gift, and I pledge to do the best I can to keep it alive!
  • Nationally publicized designer Beverly Baribault of Beverly Baribault Design Group drops in to take the Garden Club on a historic, interior design tour. She is dazzling, as always!
  • The Good Stuff talks with a new Television Network about taking The Good Stuff to TV ...
  • Talks continue with a wonderful hotel property about carrying Lovely Goods for Brilliant Living — very exciting! We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
  • We work with J. Thompson photography for the first time, and are so happy to be paired up with Jessie and her amazing work!
  • We report with great pride and pleasure that "Caramel Cake with Ice Cream and Home-Made Fudge Sauce" returns to Winding Way thanks to Ruth Oehmig and the amazing heritage and vision of her wonderful family!

I know I am forgetting some things... but as I said, it’s been a busy few weeks! So happy to be back: and, so grateful for yard work, great friends, and memorable moments!

May we celebrate Spring together and enjoy all the possibilities which come with a new Season of life!  

Join the conversation & find extra info about today’s Good Stuff article on the BLOG at www.COCOMCCAIN.com.  Share “your story” with me & help me “shine a light” on the good things you see every day at COCO@COCOMCCAIN.com. I hope to hear from you soon — but between now and then may you LIVE…GIVE...and...GROW with all the good in life!   

_________________________________

CoCo McCain grew up in central Florida and attended the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. After graduating in 1995, she moved onto the Cumberland School of Law in 1998. In addition to her role as an attorney and writer, CoCo works with a translator so that her articles can also be enjoyed by a Spanish speaking audience.

CoCo presently resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband and a roost of beautiful children. She says she is your ordinary girl-next-door … but on that one November day in 2009, CoCo was given an extraordinary dream: "A dream to shine a light on all the good things that happen every single day! Everyday acts of love, bravery and generosity. Everyday acts of determination, kindness and triumph in the face of tragedy. The simple things that make life so rich and rewarding! The zest and marrow of life."

She says from the very beginning, the vision for her column The Good Stuff has been crystal clear: shine a bright light on the good in life because sharing the good has the power to touch lives around the world.

You can write to CoCo McCain at this address: TheGoodStuffDesk@cocomccain.com




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