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Showing posts from 2017

The Wren's Nest

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By Laurie Bower Epps

When I had an interview down in Atlanta, I couldn't resist the temptation to find a hidden gem in Atlanta. Find a real gem, I did indeed. Since I started this blog modeling it after my friend Dana's fashion blog, I was hard pressed to find someplace she hadn't been. But due to my love of literature, the Wren's Nest was uncovered.

The Uncle Remus Stories was one of my first storybooks as a child. Much like Grimms Fairy Tales, most of the stories were originally based in oral traditions and also taught a moral lesson. But I loved the nutty stories of that kooky rabbit, Brer Rabbit. He was always getting into one scrape or another. Some of you maybe familiar with The Song of the South that was produced by Disney which was loosely based on the original stories.


Poinsett Bridge

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My dear brother Robert passed away on September 1, 2017 due to complications with cancer. I debated not doing this blog, but to clear my head, I went hiking this past Sunday with spectacular results. After reading many articles saying that GPS would steer me wrong, I worried a little bit about navigation. However, just off the Cherokee Foothills Highway, and 25 SC Highway interchange, the Poinsett Bridge is settled above the Cliffs Golf Course in plain sight from the road.

The medieval look about the bridge struck both my youngest and I immediately. We dreamed of everything from Camelot, to fairies with this magnificent bridge as our backdrop in the distance. The weather was perfect for such an outing as this... I imagined taking pictures of my middle daughter and her boyfriend here, and I hope to go back one day to do just that.

Carolina Raptor Center

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My dear friend invited me up to Charlotte for a girls weekend, and I couldn't resist the urge to go. However, I'd made plans with another friend for the weekend, and so I asked if I could bring her along. Since they're both dear friends of mine, they both responded, "Sure!" Undoubtedly, it was the most fun I've had all year. But I didn't forget all of you.... it also seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get in another fashion blog.

While we didn't get to see nearby Latta Plantation, I did get into see the Carolina Raptor Center up the street. From my homeschooling days, I was familiar with the area, and already knew of a few nearby possibilities.

Horseshoe Falls

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By Laurie Bower Epps

For those that know me, know that I'm a Girl Scout. I've participated with scouts for most of my life. I've even been a leader for all three of my daughter's troops. The oldest took to scouting, but due to custody battles, she wasn't able to attend things like sleepover camp due to a custody exchange or whatever. My middle child, instead chose dancing over Girl Scouts, and was a student of ballet for more than twelve years. My youngest, however, took it to a whole 'nother level! By the end of her first year, Chloe had more patches than both of her sisters combined spanning four years of scouting total. My Chloe is very into scouting as I was when I was a girl.

Why I'm telling you all this, is my youngest was at sleepaway camp for a week this summer, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to set out on an adventure. After picking her up from camp, we found a roadside barbeque place that just called to me. As we ate our lunch/dinner, we…

Sunflowers Over Clemson

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My affinity for sunflowers began as a lover of art. Very influenced by the Impressionists in my own painting, I loved the cheerful look of the sunflower as depicted by Van Gogh and Monet. I had hoped to see the famous fields that Monet recreated in some of his paintings while I was in France, but alas, I did not. 

My first experience witnessing them in the wild was while I was working as a tour guide for Lombardi's Ranch just north of Los Angeles in the quaint little suburb of Santa Clarita. They had massive display of them near Halloween called Scarecrow Alley, where local groups would stage scenes of everything from favorite movies to television shows. These groups would participate for prizes too, and mostly, it was just a lot of fun. 

Since moving to the upstate of South Carolina 11 years ago, about mid-summer, they can be viewed in the controlled wild in almost any direction of my home. I've come to look forward to seeing them every year, and I hope my f…

Traveler's Rest in Toccoa, GA

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since my week off from work proved to be really hot and uneventful, my youngest and I set off on an adventure. Not to be confused with Traveler's Rest in South Carolina, instead this is a homestead in the Northern Georgia mountains. Throughout its history, Traveler's Rest served as a post office, an inn, and even a makeshift hospital. Evidence of this is throughout the property.

Just to share with my readers, although I live in South Carolina, I actually live quite a bit closer to many points in Georgia than in my own state. Anderson is very close to the border, and this frontier home in Toccoa was only about a 45 minutes drive total.

Cowpens National Battlefield

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Being a Southern girl, I've been bombarded with Civil War history my entire life. Not only is it a focal point of fifth grade history class, it becomes exasperated when you move to any other part of the country. It's as if my new school chums wanted me to defend the southern stance of The War of Northern Aggression. However, due to my passion for genealogy, my family lines are far more invested in the Revolutionary War. My ancestors are predominantly Tori's, but as most historians know and my family history will dictate, we have ancestors on both sides whom are usually brothers.

The first real history book I read out of school about the Revolutionary War is Jimmy Carter's book entitled, The Hornet's Nest. Through the years, my copy of the book has been lost, however, I did remember a crucial piece of information which places Cowpens National Battlefield at the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Due to this, I've been wanting to go since …

My Dirty Dancing Adventure

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By Laurie Bower Epps

My two most watched of my favorite movies are Breakfast at Tiffany's and Dirty Dancing. Since a trip to the Big Apple wasn't in this blogger's budget, this blog is dedicated to the latter. Also, Dirty Dancing celebrates it's thirtieth anniversary this summer. Settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is the picturesque community of Lake Lure. This region is no stranger to the filmmakers using the natural beauty to their best advantage. Within walking distance of where Dirty Dancing was filmed is Chimney Rock State Park, the backdrop to the movie Last of the Mohicans. Just forty minutes north by car is Biltmore Estate in artsy and chic Asheville.


SC Botanical Gardens

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By Laurie Bower Epps


Clemson is just next door to my current town of Anderson, so it makes sense that I've gravitated to places close to home. My daughters and I started coming here as a regular thing just a few years ago, and have found it a perfect spot for pictures. I finally realized that I've not shared this gem with my readers, and decided that the time is now.

With summer being well underway, my companions on this trip are my daughter and her bestie. I think they really enjoyed being included in my blog too. Nothing says summer like a pair of flip-flops with a cute pair of shorts. 


Last time, we'd come here the girls from my Girl Scout troop were earning their hiking badge. It was November. Much cooler than our hot, summery, June day.

A Truly Pretty Place in Greenville

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Terraced above nearby Greenville, SC there is a chapel with a spectacular view. For Memorial Day, I went with my dear friend, Jeff who is a vet. It seemed to be the perfect way to spend my holiday.

I first learned of "Pretty Place," as it's called by locals, from my classmate's Mary's Facebook cover photo. I just have to know where this spot is, I told her. That was my first knowledge of Symmes Chapel which is actually part of a YMCA campground. The best advice I received when visiting was to check their wedding schedule on the website before you go. It's a popular place for weddings.

Artisphere 2017

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since 2005, folks have flocked from all over the upstate to Artisphere in downtown Greenville. Although my middle daughter, Ellen had performed in it for Carolina Ballet Theatre, it wasn't until this year that I was able to go to see it. Artists from all over the country rent booths for this arts & culture festival. Throughout its brief 12 year history, it's become recognized as a premier cultural event both regionally and nationally. Usually on Mother's Day weekend, I decided to head out with my youngest and 2 friends.

Fort Hill at Clemson University

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since before I moved to the upstate, I've followed websites like http://www.upcountrysc.com/, travel websites, and chamber of commerce boards. I'm one of those who wants to know a bit about where I'm going to be living, and be aware of what's around me. I believe that we all should be aware of what's around us, since none of us are an island in this life.


Due to this curiosity, I've got quite the laundry list of places to visit while I live in this region. One of these places is the John C. Calhoun home on the campus of Clemson.

My Almost 49er Gold Rush Adventure

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Although I've spent 28 years of my life in California, I'm really from Georgia. Therefore, I know the histories of both states pretty well. Most people have heard of the giant gold rush of 1849, and no offense to the NFL team, the 49ers, the first major gold rush in the United States was actually in No. Georgia 21 years earlier (1828).

Although I didn't deliberately make this parallelism, I went to Dahlonega, GA for my 49th birthday. Housed in the oldest courthouse in the state of Georgia, you'll find GA State Gold Museum (aka the Dahlonega Gold Museum).

My Glitzy, Girlie, and Green St. Patty's Day

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Since my daughter did ballet for 12 years, I'm on the mailing list for the Peace Center. One day this past fall, I received the brochure for the shows of the upcoming season. When I saw that Celtic Woman was playing, and on St. Patrick's Day, being a good Irish lass, I had to go. To accelerate my excitement, it was also just 2 days before my 49th Birthday. By January 5th, I had the tickets for the show and the excitement was building.

As a former stage mom, I'd always heard about the great restaurants around the Peace Center, but I'd never been to any of them. I was always bustling around with Subway sandwiches or pizza from a nearby shop for the girls between showtimes. So I wanted to try one of the restaurants that I'd always heard so much about. My top 2 choices were Larkins on the River and Rick Erwin's West End Grille. I planned out the entire day. I started with getting my hair and nails done before heading out.

Fashion Incognito

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Sorry about my delay on writing this post, but I was sick with type A flu, or Chinese flu for most of the month. But this exciting post is too good to not put it out there in the cyber universe.

Many of you that know and love me, know that I'm a classic movies buff. I adore Audrey Hepburn, and I can actually say that she's influenced my own personal style to this very date. Other power hitters for my palette for fashion include also Jackie Onassis, Nancy Reagan, and my beloved mother.

The main reason I wanted to go to Columbia, other than my friend (of course), was to go to the exhibition called "Cut: Costume and the Cinema." My dear friend and college buddy was good enough to take me. I confess, I did believe the exhibition to focus on the classic movies from the 50s and 60s that I so adore, but instead, the focus was on period pieces that are more recent. No harm done, as an English major, I'd seen them all, and I adore them too.

Me and My Sexy Boots Take on the Capitol

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By Laurie Bower Epps

This winter is unseasonably warm here in the south, so when my college buddy invited me down to the state capitol for the weekend, I jumped at the chance.


I didn't really dress for my fashion blog, but I was in my favorite weekend leggings. The big success was getting into my sexy boots that I bought the day before I broke my foot while walking the family dog in January.

My youngest is studying state history in school, a visit to the capitol building itself seemed to be in order while we were in town anyway. I really hope to revisit the capitol building and grounds again this spring.


Romance and the Rails in Lavonia, GA

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Being a Georgia peach, I'm naturally drawn across the border to my state of birth. I've loved trains since I was a young girl, and I've shared this love with my daughter Ellen. Working sales helped me discover this little town of Lavonia, that's literally sprung up around the railroad tracks. Since love is a journey, I thought the perfect location for my daughter and her beau's valentines portraits was this town that's captured my heart.


We're All Mad at the Abbeville Opera House

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By Laurie Bower Epps

Fall is so full of beautiful fall leaves and chances to go outside, this particular entry was on the virtual cutting room floor. My youngest's favorite book is Alice in Wonderland and this past summer, I read it aloud to her. As a salesperson during the week, I fell in love with the quaint little town of Abbeville, SC. When going to see clients in nearby Greenwood, I made it a point to take the route through Abbeville even though there are other routes a bit more direct. 

I did start doing some research on the town of Abbeville, and the most visited place in town is the Abbeville Opera House. With a few clicks of the mouse, I discovered my daughter's favorite book would grace the stage in early November. So I purchased tickets online, and we set out on our mommy & daughter date on a crisp fall morning.